Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Edgerank, Et Al

Facebook pages; how much fun are they? Truth be told, obviously some people aren’t having much fun at all because they don’t put much new content on it, if they put content on it at all. Two weeks ago I spent some time going through some of the pages I liked to see if they were doing anything, and those that weren’t I “unliked”; you know, when I was a kid that wasn’t even a word. lol

Facebook pages are an odd duck, if you will. We create them because everywhere we’ve gone to talking about them says they can help us with our business. I’m not all that sure, but I do believe that if done right they can at least help give you a presence. But who’s seeing that presence, and what can you do to increase your presence?

There was this article on Jeff Bullas’ blog titled 6 Ways to Increase the Marketing Effectiveness of your Facebook Page, which includes this very cool infographic. It talks a little bit about Edgerank, which is the name of the algorithm Facebook uses to decide just how many people who have liked your page will have the opportunity to see whatever you put on your page. It’s based on a few things; how often those people have come to your site, so they participate in any way, do they ever share, etc. Actually, they use the same algorithm in determining how many of your friends and which friends see your general posts If you’re connected with 1,000 people on Facebook, you can bet that if 100 people ever see any of it you can count yourself lucky, unless you’ve made yourself popular.

Why do they do that? They do it because people share way more long form information on Facebook than they do on Twitter. On Twitter, every person I’m following has the ability to have me see everything they post via a general column. I have the ability to select certain people and put them in segregated columns so I definitely see what certain people post as opposed to everyone, but if I decide to check the general column the skies the limit.

On Facebook people share pictures, blog posts, etc. Some folks write long form prose of some type. If Facebook showed you every single thing that everyone posted, you’d be overwhelmed. Yes, you do have the ability to segregate your audience on Facebook at all, something I’ll cover at another time, but it’s still a lot of stuff.

So now you know why you don’t see everything from all your friends and why everyone doesn’t see everything you put on your Facebook page. How can you improve the odds of getting more people to see your stuff? The link I provided above gives you 6 ways. The idea is that, at least for your business page, you want to add more content to it so people have more to see, and you want to add more images because it’s been proven that people react better to them, but what if you’re not a bit time photographer, or the images you have don’t quite fit what your business is about?

Now, you might want to know how it’s going for me, since I adopted the process I talk about in my link about 3 weeks ago. I mainly post links from my business site since, well, it’s my Facebook business page. lol I do post a link here and there from this blog, the motivational stuff, but not all that often.

For the full month period before the last 3 weeks Facebook was my 5th best source of traffic, and I only had 21 visits. In the last 3 weeks Facebook has moved up to #3 and I had 55 visits in that time. Not only that but I went from a page duration time of 1 minute and 4 seconds to a whopping 14 minutes and 39 seconds. Why anyone would stay on a page for that long I couldn’t tell you, but what could be happening is that people could be sticking around and looking at other pages. And one more thing; from Facebook it’s a lot of repeat visitors, as the rate of new visitors is only 29%, as opposed to 95% from Google and 79% from Twitter.

Not so shabby I’d say. Anyway, I’ve told you about Edgerank, shared a link to an infographic, and a link to my post about ways of finding things you can add to your Facebook business page to help raise the number of people who come by. What else would you like to know? 🙂 By the way, if you’d like to see my page look to the left and click on the link that will take you there; always happy to have more likes for that page.

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Are Your Social Media Standards Too Strict?

A couple of weeks ago I had a post and video titled What Will You Do For More Followers? I asked at that time whether you’d go for the gusto to get more followers and thus more publicity with the possibility of more influence or whether you felt that wasn’t what you wanted to do at all.

Talk Nerdy To Me #2
Constantine Belias via Compfight

This time I’m asking you about your social media standards; what will you do, what do you do when it comes to social media in general. This question supposes 3 things:

1. That you have standards;

2. That you know what your standards are if you have them;

3. That you have good reasons for those standards if you have them

Yes, that’s kind of a challenge, because if you don’t have standards then it’s hard for you to be a part of the conversation, although I suppose not having standards can be freeing. If you have them but you don’t have any reason for them other than “because”, well, that’s your right but it’s certainly not informed. But if you have standards and have reasons… that’s when things get interesting.

This is a question I ask myself all the time because I do have standards and I have reasons for those standards, and sometimes I wonder if I’m holding myself back in some ways because of those standards. I mean, is it legitimate for me to hope to get tens of thousands of followers on Twitter when I’m following less than 900 people? Is it right of me not to connect with people on LinkedIn because they don’t have a picture on their profile, or because I can’t figure out why they think our businesses are compatible? Is it right of me to not just accept every friend request on Facebook when they know at least one other person I’m connected to? Is it right that I don’t just automatically follow people on YouTube or Instagram that are following me?

Some weeks back I made a comment on a post by Marcus Sheridan titled The Fleeting Title that is “Social Media Expert”, when he asked what makes someone a social media expert. I stated that I tend to believe that most of the folks put on lists were anointed by someone else who really had earned it and thus had the banner passed onto them without having had to work for it. I stated that I looked at a list that was recent at the time, checked out many of the names I didn’t already know, and saw that this blog was ranked higher than a lot of them, had way more content, and was written at least as well as those blogs, or not better (trying not to be conceited), and that the only real difference I saw between myself and those folks was that they had been anointed, put on a list, and given a boost that I’m not sure they deserved.

Then I looked at other numbers and, well, that’s when you get to thinking about things. These were people connected to tens of thousands of people on Twitter, thousands of people on Facebook, and well connected in other places as well. I’ve never really played the numbers game so I don’t compete well on this level. I do know that numbers mean something, but I’ve always been more about engagement and interaction, figuring that worked well with my mores.

Are your social media standards strict at all? Are mine? I’ll share mine; tell me what you think:

Twitter – If you don’t talk to anyone except to say “thank you” or to share links, I’m not following. If your politics are not only different than mine but your statements come across as hateful, I’m not following. In general, if you don’t really interact with others, I’m not following. If you AutoDM me after we connect, I’m immediately unfollowing you. I have some other standards as well but these are enough for now.

LinkedIn – If you don’t have a picture and I don’t know you, I’m not following. If your business isn’t compatible with anything I do and I haven’t talked to you in a group and you’re not local, I’m not connecting with you.

Facebook – If you ask to connect with me as a friend and you don’t have a picture, it’s not happening. If I don’t know you and you don’t know a lot of people I know, I’m not connecting with you. If I know who you are but we’ve never talked anywhere before, I’m probably not going to add you. And, sad as this might be, if I start getting irritated by stuff you’re putting up all the time because of its negativity, I’m hiding everything you post from that point on, possibly removing you from my friends list.

YouTube – if you don’t have any videos on your channel I’m not following you. If you have some videos but they’re not yours or you’re not in them, I’m not following. If they’re horrid… well, you know.

Instagram – I’m still relatively new to Instagram so I’ll admit to not really having a standard there yet, which is fine. However, I figure that for those people I have checked out that I haven’t added there’s got to be something in my mind that’s repelled me, and once I figure that out then I’ll have a true standard to uphold.

Am I too tough with my standards? Are there any you’d like to share? And is it possible our standards hold us back, and if so is it worth it?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Creating A Facebook Cover Photo, Mitchell Style

I have to face this fact; I’m not the most creative guy in the world. I know what I like, but I’m bad at figuring out how to create images and the like. Heck, it took me more than 2 years to figure out a title for my first book. I can write almost anything at almost any time, but I do have my limitations.

Thus, I came into this thing about Facebook, timelines and cover photos with a lot of trepidation. Lucky for me, my personal page hasn’t gone the timeline route yet, but my business page had. And when one came to it and looked at it, there was this major gap in the upper middle that just looked horrible.

I knew I had to take care of that at some point so last night I decided it was time to try to do something. I had saved a great number of pages that all said they were going to teach me how to create a cover photo, which you’ve probably seen on a lot of pages already, but every page was lacking. Most didn’t have anything at all for me. A couple mentioned to use Photoshop or Adobe something, which I can’t remember since I don’t have those programs. And one other site said I could download a template to help me, but only if I subscribed to a newsletter; that wasn’t happening.

So I used Microsoft Publisher to help me out with it, and I’m going to tell you what I did. First, let me show you the image I created:

It might look a little strange, but the explanation is coming.

I opened up my Publisher program, and instead of going through all the gesticulations of trying to remember how to landscape the thing I just made it bigger on my screen. I initially set it to a 150% view, which helped me to start putting things together.

I started with a text box and elongated it into a triangular shape. You’re trying to get to an image size of around 851 x 315, which is odd, but that’s Facebook for you. Then I went to the picture box and selected my business logo to start with because I thought that would work well. The problem is that in reality it’s only 639 pixels wide, and if I was looking at a 100% normal view it would look great. However, at 150% it was smeared and looked lousy, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to use it.

I deleted the picture box and decided to just type in my business name in my business title font, which is Imprint MT Shadow. I added my favorite color, then increased the size. I centered the image as well because I needed to make sure that once I copied and pasted the image into my photo program that I wasn’t going to have to worry about those editing lines that always exist in Publisher.

Once I did that I did a screen print and copied it into Microsoft Photo Editor, the program I like to use for pictures. I cropped around it so I only had my business name showing, then I saved the image. I did that because I figured the first thing to do was see if I could get close to the width required by Facebook. It was way too large, and I had two choices; reduce the size of the font or reduce the size of my view, since I was doing print screen images.

I decided to reduce the size of my view, and I dropped it to 125%. When I tested it again, the images was around 830; I figured that was pretty close as a starting point.

Next, it was time to add images. I knew I was going to frame the bottom with two professional images I have of myself, but wasn’t sure what I’d put in the middle. I tested the two images first though, putting each one on the outside, and then did a series of tests trying to get close to the 315 width. I had to alter the size of the images about 5 times, but I got it to 302 and figured that was close enough for the moment.

Now, which other two images? As you can see, in the end I decided on one with my dad and one which was an actual image that I “cartooned up” to create something different that I liked from years ago. I saved and tested everything, then decided to increase my view size from 125% to 126%, a very minor increase but it brought my image to 852 x 314; almost perfect! Just to let you know in case you don’t already know this, when you save the image you can look at it in Explorer, hover your mouse over it, and it’ll tell you the dimensions. That works for all images on your computer, just so you know.

Now it was time to upload my image to my Facebook business page, which I did, but it didn’t work out. Why not? Here’s the original image:

The problem is that Facebook business pages have this logo box that pops up to the left side. If you don’t have an image in there the box remains with a big question mark, so you have to put an image there. With that box, it completely covered the bottom half of my image; that wouldn’t do. So I had to come back to the drawing board and resize an image, and I decided I didn’t want to shrink my professional image, done by my friend Kelvin by the way, so I reversed the order of the first two images and shortened the cartoon version instead. Here’s what it looks like on the page now:

There you have it. Now, you can obviously go your own route in the type of image you wish to use, but I found for this task that Publisher worked well for me, and doing screen prints also works well for me. Of course, if you have those other fancier programs you can go a much different route. It’s even possible that if you don’t have those programs OR Publisher that you could do the same thing with Word. The problem with Word is that it doesn’t have the image or text boxes to help you out.

There you have it; a true tutorial, even if you can’t use it. Good luck!

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Marketing – Facebook

I wrote a post titled Getting More Eyes On Your Facebook Business Page. That post talked about the kind of time it might take to keep one of those pages going and the commitment overall it takes to have one. I always believe, just like I do with blogging, that if you’re not going to add new content to it don’t even start.

Real feel -23 Don't like it!
Daniel Kulinski via Compfight

Of course the overall question is whether Facebook is a good marketing tool or not. I tend to think “no” overall, and I’m going to tell you why.

First, initially the only people you can invite to your Facebook page are people you know. How many of you have loved ones or close friends that often read your blogs? Very few people do, and it’s the same with a Facebook page, for the most part. I was lucky enough to get 26 people to initially sign up so I could create that little widget over there to the right that I could put up on this blog, a couple other blogs, and one of my websites.

To date, that little widget has driven 3 people to sign up on that page. That’s not all that good when you consider I’ve had that page up over a year, possibly longer; I’m not sure where I created it exactly. I’ve promoted it of course but it’s one of those strange conundrums where you’re asking yourself if you want to drive people to your Facebook page or your blog.

At this point I have 204 people subscribed to the page. Most of the people I’ve invited through Facebook, and I’m happy they’ve signed up. There’s a good number of people who signed up through Empire Avenue, of all things, although I’m not sure if they signed up directly because of that page or because I asked some questions on the Empire Avenue Facebook page. It’s my assumption that anyone else who’s signed up might have seen something in the stream of someone they were following and decided to join, but truthfully I’m not really clear on that one.

What kinds of things do I put there? I post a lot of links from 3 of my blogs, but mainly from my business blog. Occasionally if I find something that pertains to a business issue I’ll post it there as well. I also occasionally ask questions, trying to get a conversation started.

How successful am I? Every once in awhile I’ll get one response; makes me wonder if people even see the content all that often, since Facebook’s timeline moves pretty fast, especially if you’re connected to a lot of people. Frankly, there’s a lot of effort for very little active return.

Is it a good marketing tool for me? I’d have to say no. Can it be a good marketing tool for others? Actually it can, and that’s proven by one of our local TV news stations. They’re pretty big on Facebook. They ask “the question of the day” and will put some of the responses on TV; people love that. They’ve hooked up with their own Groupon-like deals thing that they push through Facebook and people love that. They promote the page often during newscasts, even more than their own website, which has news but isn’t really all that interactive. And one of their top news announcers, a guy named Matt Mulcahy, has fully embraced social media as he’s also on Twitter, writes a blog, and shows up at a lot of local social media events when he doesn’t have to do the news.

For my purposes, it gives me backlinks to my blogs. Other than that there’s no real marketing on my end; nothing I can really do. I’m not sure what others think, but maybe if you have something more to offer you could share it here.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Too Many Facebook Friends?

Do you have too many Facebook friends? Rather, do you have so many that there are people you’re not sure why you’re following anymore, whether they’re updating or not?

I ask this because I’m often reading where people have said that they’re about to start whittling down their Facebook connections because of whatever reason they decide to pick on. It got me to thinking that maybe I should take a look at some of the more than 550 people I’m connected to there to see if I should be paring my list.

First, why would one want to pare their list? Lots of reasons; I’ll name some here. One, just too many people, such that you miss the stream of people you really care about. Two, you might not like some of the updates you see from certain people. Three, you may never even talk to or hear from someone you’re connected to. Four, they might not even be active on Facebook anymore; what’s the point? Five, you have some folks still connected you that you have now decided you don’t want seeing any of your updates anymore. I think that’s enough for my purposes right now.

I decided I was going to pare my list down as well; I certainly know there’s a lot of people on there that I added for some reason or another that maybe I don’t need to be connected to anymore. I went looking for something like what Twitter has to help me out; you know, Friend or Follow or maybe Twit Cleaner, but I couldn’t find a single thing. This meant that I would have to do it manually, looking at names, looking at their accounts, and decide that way instead.

You know what? That turns out to be way harder than I could have imagined. I didn’t want to just drop someone whose name I didn’t recognize because they might be subscribed to my Facebook business page (by the way, why aren’t YOU subscribed to my Facebook business page?) and that would be insulting to them. That and they might have connected with me because they’re friends of someone else I know better, and I don’t want to insult them either.

I looked up some names I didn’t know and saw that they were current on the site, and they weren’t putting out anything that was irritating me. I decided to leave them, just in case. I saw people whose pictures I recognized for some reason, even if I couldn’t ever remember seeing them saying anything in my stream or to me. And I actually found a few people who fit my criteria for deleting; nothing new on the site, few friends, etc.

That was kind of the problem; after almost 45 minutes (I’m surprised I stayed that long) I’d found only 3 people that I decided I no longer needed to be connected to. I think I’d only looked at 15 accounts; at more than 550 people, throwing out the at least 100 people I know very well, I realized that would be 30 hours worth of time that I’d never get back; no thank you.

I’m a lot more judgmental these days in who I’ll add to my Facebook account, but that won’t help me for my past connections. Actually, I have to admit that I was surprised that I didn’t see the names of a few people I know I’d connected with; did they up and drop me first or leave Facebook without saying anything? One of those people was supposed to be my college roommate my junior year, then he ended up not coming back. He reached out to be first, then totally disappeared; his name no longer even appears on Facebook, which I’d thought people had said was hard to do.

No matter. I’m sticking with the people I’m connected to, whether they care or not. However, if anyone finds a program that works like the two I mentioned works with Twitter, please let me know and I might revisit it. Right now, too much work. 🙂

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell