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Facebook Contest

There's a trend on Facebook that simply won't die. Many dealership pages continue to offer giveaways, contests, and even "exclusive" games on Facebook in order to get more fans. It has been proven over and over again to be ineffective at getting targeted, high-quality fans but there seems to be an insistence on continuing it in order to bulk up the numbers.

The problem with this is that it actually hurts a page more than it helps, especially for localized businesses.

The example above demonstrates a "popular" dealership page that has over 250,000 fans. In 14 hours, it's been able to accumulate three likes and likely a handful of clicks, but the important thing to note is that it leads to an app that forces people to like the page in order to play the game and have a chance to win a million dollars or an iPad Mini. This cannot be stated more clearly - you do not want people to like your page because they think they're going to win something or get to play a game. The people that like the page for these reasons will not be engaged. They're not interested in your content. They aren't there to buy a product. They're on you page to try to win something or to play a game.

It's important to understand what this does to the page. The Facebook algorithm is very picky when it comes to presenting business page Facebook posts on news feeds. Every negative action as well as non-actions count against your posts' likelihood to be seen. It's not just the people who hit "hide" or "report" on your posts. They are bad enough, but the people who simply pass over your posts are also counting against your future posts' abilities to be visible on news feeds. Every time someone sees a post and scrolls right passed it without liking, commenting, clicking through, or sharing the post, they are less likely to see future posts... as are their friends.

The Facebook algorithm is designed to reward authenticity. It's made to allow their users to be presented with the content that they are most likely to enjoy, which means that for a business page to "coax" people into liking their page is a localization disaster.

Posts should be real. They should be designed to encourage engagement and to offer people what they expect to see. If they like a business page because they want to see things that the business knows about (such as information about their business and industry) as well as special deals that can come to them as a result of being a fan, then that's exactly what they should be delivered. It's the type of content that will get them more engaged and help them to spread that engagement to their own friends. Using contests or giveaways to bribe people into liking a page demonstrates an obvious misunderstanding of how the algorithm works and how Facebook itself can be useful for a local business.

There is, however, one type of contest or giveaway that can be effective. It's the type that rewards local people for visiting the business itself. These types of giveaways and contests can be golden. It would take a couple of blog posts to go into details about how these types of contests and giveaways work, but the important thing to remember is that a giveaway or contest should be an incentive for physical visits, not to try to accumulate worthless Facebook fans.

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A few months ago, we confronted one of our dealers that had our website solution about why they were putting a watermark of their logo on irrelevant pictures and posting them to social media. Apparently, their social media vendor had a theory.

It was a process, really, and it went like this:

  1. Find viral images on sites like Reddit, 9Gag, and Buzzfeed.
  2. Slap the dealership’s logo in the bottom right corner.
  3. Get it liked and shared by hundreds of people around the world.
  4. Sell more cars as a result.

The biggest challenge with a strategy like this (and there are many) is that it hurts the brand’s image. Most people on social media have a nice flood of funny and interesting pictures coming through their feeds. The idea that a dealership needs to fit into this is ridiculous. Dealerships have to stand out.

The goal should not be to take an irrelevant picture and get it exposed to tens of thousands of people scattered around the world in hopes that enough of them are locals who can buy a car. The goal is to take truly local, relevant branding messages and get them exposed to thousands of locals only.

Would you rather your brand be associated with an image of a car nicely placed in front of the dealership with a the sign glowing bright on local people’s news feeds, or would you rather have people in Singapore or Tunisia loving a funny image that has made its rounds around the internet?

Social media isn’t like other marketing venues. On search, it doesn’t hurt to have your message reach people who aren’t in your market. On social media, it does. You want to be as localized as possible. You want a bare minimum of 80% of your fans to be within driving distance to the dealership. When you spread out too far, you are no longer able to post high-quality localized messages that the majority of your fans will recognize and care about.

It’s not realistically possible to keep 100% of your fans localized, but you can get close. In the image to the right, you’ll see that this page is small. It had practically zero fans less than two months ago. There are a couple dozen offshore likes; the only way to avoid this completely would be to manually inspect every new like and kick out those who are not helpful to the cause which is a waste of time. If you keep it over 80% localized (and these guys over 90% local) then the out-of-towners won’t do much damage.

Perhaps the biggest reason that dealers and vendors like bulk is that they follow the misconception that you can only reach fans. There has been this confusion that has followed social media sites, particularly Facebook, since they became marketing venues. The thought is that since this page has hundreds of fans, not tens of thousands of fans, they can’t reach enough people. This misconception is completely opposite of reality.

When someone likes, comments, or shares your post, it has the opportunity to be exposed to their friends in their own news feed. When two people in the same circle of friends like, comment, or share a post, it becomes much more likely that their friends will see it. By “much more likely” I don’t mean twice as likely. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the chances increase exponentially, but it’s a dramatic increase.

For example, Bob likes a post on your Facebook page. His friend, Sally, also likes the same post. They each have around 200 Facebook friends and 30 of them are mutuals between them. Their friends have a chance of seeing your post in their news feed, but their mutual fans have a much greater chance. Now, one of their mutual friends likes that post, and the dominoes start falling. The reach potential from Bob’s first like was small. Once Sally liked it, the reach potential increased. When Tom, their mutual friend, also likes the post, now we’re getting into a post with the potential to be seen by hundreds just from the Bob’s like alone. That doesn’t include the other people who are already seeing your posts. For those people, the potential can continue to grow as well.

This localized expansion of exposure is impossible when you have too many fans from outside of the area. Those people outside of the area hurt the potential for locals to see it because they’re less likely to interact with it. This lack of interaction can damage your posts algorithmically. In other words, by having too many distant fans, you hurt the chances of Bob ever seeing the post in the first place, which means Sally would never have seen it, which means Tom would have never seen it, which means those hundreds of locals who might have seen the post never had the opportunity.

It’s a little confusing. That’s why it’s just easier for dealers and vendors to think along the lines of accumulating as many fans as possible regardless of why they liked the page in the first place or where they actually live. Perhaps the easiest way to understand it is to see the actual reach of the page example above.

These numbers are decent for a page that was reaching nobody less than two months ago. They’re not fantastic; localized reach should be sustainable at five-digits with spikes in the six-digit range at times depending on the area targeted. Still, it’s a good illustration that a properly managed page with hundreds of local fans can still reach thousands of of people within driving distance to the dealership.

The bottom line is this: social media strategies in general and Facebook strategies in particular fall victim to misconceptions about fans and reach. You want to reach locals. You want to post content that is relevant. You want to brand the right way. You don’t need to employ tricks or schemes to become the most popular kid in school. You only need to employ sound strategies to reach potential consumers who can actually make a difference to your bottom line.

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Article originally appeared on AutomotiveSocialMedia.com.

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Reach

I’m not a broken record, at least I’m not trying to be. It seems that I’ve covered this topic from different angles a lot lately, but it’s simply that important to understand. In business in general and in automotive marketing in particular, getting more Facebook fans is a very low priority compared to reaching more people.

This seems to be counter-intuitive. One might argue that getting more fans on Facebook is the way to reach more people, but they dynamics of the social network make it to where this isn’t the case. A page can be extremely successful and reach the masses with very few fans. Conversely, a page with hundreds of thousands of fans can reach next to nobody. It’s a challenging concept to understand until you get down into the way the Facebook algorithm works.

In essence, it’s not size but quality that counts the most on Facebook. Just because someone likes your page doesn’t mean that they’re going to see any of your posts. Just because someone doesn’t like your page doesn’t mean that they won’t see your posts. It’s for this reason that getting more likes is such a small component of the overall Facebook marketing picture.

Here’s a quick video I did for the automotive industry that highlights a couple of examples of this principle. In it, a decent Facebook page with 4K fans is getting 1/10th of the reach of a great Facebook page with 700 fans. If that isn’t convincing enough, I’m not sure what else to say.

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KGB

The KBG. Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti. The Committee for State Security for the former Soviet Union was one of the most feared agencies in history. Thankfully, this post isn’t about them.

Here, we’re going to talk about a different type of KGB, the type that is plaguing social media on pages across the internet, hurting businesses and striking fear into the hearts of knowledgeable internet marketing professionals around the world. It’s the type of bad posts that were once thought to be effective but that have been debunked time and time again, yet so many businesses (and even vendors) continue to post them.

Today’s social media KBG is this:

  • Kitties
  • Games/Giveaways
  • Bogus Questions

If you or your vendor are still using these things, stop immediately. They aren’t helping. In fact, they are hurting the cause of using social media as a proper advertising venue through which to increase business. Here’s why:

 

Kitties

Kitties

Don’t misunderstand. I have nothing against felines. By “kitties” I’m referring to the type of posts that have absolutely nothing to do with business but that are designed to become popular on social media for their general appeal. They are often funny, sometimes cute, and almost always fluffy (not in the feline way).

Do they work? If the goal is strictly to get more likes in an effort to improve Facebook EdgeRank, then technically they can be effective. The problem is two-fold. First, they turn many people off. They get enough kitty posts from their friends and family. Many people don’t like it when they see business pages post irrelevant kitty pictures because it is insincere. “You’re a business, not a buddy.”

The second and arguably more important reason is that your business has plenty of relevant content to post. Stay focused. A car dealer should be posting cars. There are plenty of awesome cars that work just fine to get engagement. Local businesses have a world of potential content surrounding them in their community and within proximity to the store. Kitty images are simply not necessary for driving engagement and the risk of turning people off as a result is simply too high to dismiss.

 

Games and Giveaways

Giveaways

Just as with kitties, games and giveaways intended to inflate the fan counts on the various social networks (Facebook in particular) can be effective in achieving its goal. Just as with kitties, it’s not necessary and can have dramatic negative consequences.

Who wants fans to like their page so they have a chance to win something? What are the chances of getting any engagement from that person? How many people do not win the great prize and get a negative sentiment about a business right from the start?

Most importantly, it’s just too easy to acquire high quality fans through transparent advertising to give games or giveaways any consideration. Through transparency, pages are able to grow at a much better pace. Is it faster? Sometimes, but not always. That doesn’t matter. I’ll take 100 fans who came in for the right reasons and with the right expectations over 1000 fans hoping to get something for free any day.

 

Bogus Questions

Bogus Questions

Of the three components of KGB-style fan acquisition techniques, this is arguably the most annoying. You don’t care and we know it. There, I said it.

No business outside of a movie theater cares what their fans’ favorite movies are. It’s so apparent to anyone who’s been on Facebook for more than a month that companies who ask irrelevant questions are doing so to get you to talk to them. It’s a desperate move that is apparently so to the people who see the questions.

If you’re going to ask questions (which is a good thing when done right), keep it relevant. Keep it in line with what your business does. Ask questions that you might ask a customer if you were sitting with them in the waiting room or met them at a party. Don’t ask questions that are simply there to drive engagement. People know what you’re doing and they don’t like it.

Will some people respond to any question? Of course? Is this a good thing? No.

* * *

There are too many transparent and effective methods to get fans and increase engagement. Using these types of techniques is so antiquated that I can’t believe there are still companies that use them.

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Fans

For years, the acquisition of a bigger, “better” Facebook page has been a focus of many in the social media marketing realm. There are companies that are dedicated to the task. The reality now (and for a long time, actually) is that fan acquisition for business Facebook pages is such a minor piece of the puzzle that it’s something most businesses should push to the back burner. It’s not that you don’t need them at all, but the success of a Facebook page is determined by reach and fans are only a small part of the equation.

When someone likes a page, they have the potential of seeing your posts. For better or for worse, Facebook has made it challenging for the majority of your fans to actually see your posts on their news feed. They have to really, really like your posts a lot for them to appear on their news feed without help, which causes a chicken and egg conundrum. They have to see your posts to be able to like, share, or comment on them, but they need to like, share, or comment on them before they start seeing them in their news feed, at least organically.

This is where Facebook ads come into play, but there are distinct challenges there as well. Those who discover the reach potential of Facebook ads often make the mistake of promoting the wrong content. It’s not just about posting the “fun” stuff naturally and using Facebook ads to boost the promotional content. That is only effective until the content starts getting negative feedback. Remember, every time someone is presented with the content and chooses not to interact with it, that’s a bad thing.

A common series of events with Facebook ads looks like this:

  1. A user tries Facebook ads for the first time and their reach explodes for very little money spent.
  2. The content wasn’t super-viral and while it gets more interactions than most of the page’s content, it doesn’t do well in relation to the people it reached.
  3. Over time, the Facebook ad budget starts to yield reduced results. Hundreds of thousands reached becomes tens of thousands, then thousands.
  4. Budgets go up but engagement and reach stay stagnant.

Play the ad game the right way with EdgeRank in mind. That’s an entire other post. For now, let’s get back to reach versus fans.

Here’s an example of an above-average car dealer’s Facebook reach statistics:

Scott Robinson Reach

In this example, you see that they’ve done a pretty good job of keeping it local. They have a page for their dealership in the Los Angeles area with around 4K fans. They post good, engaging content regularly. Their reach isn’t bad for an organic-only strategy.

Here’s an example of how a properly managed Facebook page should look for a local business. In this case, it’s a car dealership in Waynesville, NC:

Waynesville Reach

The targeting is hyper-localized. They’re getting almost all of their views and engagement from within a 50-mile radius and the vast majority within a 20-mile radius.

They have around 700 fans.

Getting fans is important, but it’s only important in that it helps to expand a page’s reach. It isn’t who likes your page. It’s who sees the posts. The more people you can get to see your posts, the more effective your social media campaigns can be. Fans are part of it. Ads are part of it. Content is part of it. Putting together the exact right mix of the three is one of the biggest keys to success.

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Keep it Local, Local, or Local on Facebook

Local Buying a Car

I was moderating a small panel at a conference about two and a half years ago that focused on Facebook fans. The two panelists represented the two different sides of Facebook promotion at the time: one focused on local quality fans and the other focused on bulk fans. After the debate, one might have called it a draw. That was over two years ago. Today, there’s really only one side that deserves any representation at all. Local businesses should focus solely on getting local fans, period. To get a broad reach of fans outside of the market area as a local business can do more harm than good.

Only one side of the argument “deserves’ to be mentioned today, but unfortunately that’s not the case. There are still plenty of companies out there that try to use contests or other incentives to coax people to like their pages. Some even purchase fans. Both methods are antiquated.

 

Don’t Reach Too Far

This is still very prominent today and it needs to go away. No games. No giveaways. Get that our of your head. You don’t need to get fans that way.

To the right, you’ll see a standard demographic breakdown from a Facebook page we recently took over. They had been growing their fan base through contests for some time. Despite the fact that the drawing for a free iPad required that the winner had to come to the car dealership to pick it up, there were still hundreds of entries in the form of likes on the page that came from outside of the area, even outside of the country. I know that iPads are great and all but nobody’s going to hop on a plane to get the iPad they won.

Fan growth can and should be organic and transparent. We’ve had extreme success with stating the absolute truth. In one example, we took over a car dealership Facebook page in Honolulu that had 26 total fans. Three months later, they have over a thousand and their demographic composite is exactly what we want it to be:

Cutter Chevrolet Likes

Other than the four people in Cincinnati dreaming of living in Hawaii, the likes we’ve built have been completely localized. The goal should be that every person who follows you on Facebook should be within driving distance of becoming a customer. Some would argue that you can expand your reach beyond the immediate local area, but in the vast majority of America, keeping it hyper-local is the way to go. It isn’t just about focus, either. It’s about exposure. Your brand needs to be seen by as many locals as possible and the easiest way to do this is to make sure that only locals are following you.

 

Don’t “Coax” Fan Growth

Like Our Page

Here’s the thing. People will follow businesses. It has been proven time and time again that people are willing to follow businesses if they give them a valid reason to do so. A contest is not a valid reason. Getting the latest funny cat pictures is not a valid reason. The latest Facebook game is not a valid reason.

The valid reason that you’re looking for is all around you. You’re the expert in your field. People come to you and trust that you know what you’re talking about when it pertains to your business. If you’re a car dealer, you know cars. Period. Your content should reflect a deep understanding of the automotive industry, your brands, the local area, and your customers.

Present it just like that. There’s no need to promise that you’re going to be interesting. Promise tangible things that pertain to your business. For example, you can advertise that your Facebook page is “The home of the most important Chevrolet news, pictures, and videos that pertain to you, Honolulu.”

It works. We know. We’ve seen it in action.

When people like your page because they think they can win something, play a game, or perform any action that has nothing to do with your business, they will not be engaged. If they’re not engaged, they’re wasted fans. Having fans that are not engaged kills your EdgeRank and makes your actual business-relevant messages and branding invisible to your audience. I cannot stress this enough. In the future, I’ll compile a blog post that proves beyond a doubt that this is true, but for now, you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

 

When Your Fans Are Local, You’ll Reach More Locals

Waynseville FB

This is arguably the hardest thing to do on Facebook when a page has been algorithmically damaged by poor strategies. Getting the algorithm to like you again takes time, but it can happen. It’s a healing process.

In the example above, it’s clear to see where the engagement is happening. By keeping the page completely local, we’re able to more easily target the dealership’s message towards those who can come buy a car, get their oil changed, or interact in some way with the dealership.

This isn’t a large dealership. It’s not a large Facebook page. In fact, it has around 700 fans. Thankfully, those 700 fans are engaged and we’re able to reach the local audience with their message much more easily than if they had fans spread out across the country or around the world. That’s the key to all of this. By keeping it local, you can reach the people that matter. Unless you’re Dell or Skittles, chances are that you aren’t going for a global audience. Make sure your Facebook page reflects this concept.

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Carnival Stuffed Animals

Social media icons and signs that say “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter” aren’t nearly as common in brick and mortar stores today as they were a couple of years ago. Many companies who tried to make it work (or are still trying) found that the presence of signs didn’t do much to improve their following.

Today, it can be different. Many people use their mobile devices to stay active on social media, much more than they did a couple of years ago, but even with this the old school follow/like signs still won’t work. They can, but not if you don’t give them a reason. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase your following. To do it, you have to make it worth their while.

One car dealership I’ve worked with has found strong success by using the concept in their service department. They’ve gone so far as to give three reasons for people to follow them on Facebook (they aren’t as hip on Twitter yet but I’m trying to get them interested). There’s a sign at the pay counter that says, “Get a 5% discount just for liking our Facebook page.”

In the “small print” under the offer, they write, “We post 4 or 5 times a week and we won’t annoy you with bad jokes or links to our blog. Instead, we post Facebook-only service specials and only the best of the best cars for sale from time to time.”

It works like a charm. Their numbers are constantly rising. Then, the take it a step further with the third incentive in even smaller print below the second line. “If you like us already and still want the 5% discount, just post that you’re here and that you ‘like getting my service done at [dealership name] because _______.”

Signage is the least used effective way to get fans, followers, engagement, and endorsements. These are people who are already doing business with you and if they like the way they’re treated, you should encourage them to let their friends know. It doesn’t have to be a discount. It does have to include a reason. I know one non-dealer that has stuffed animals, the small ones you see at the carnival, stacked on the wall with a sign that says, “Get your kid (or yourself) a stuffed elephant or moose by becoming our Facebook fan.”

Be creative. Be fun. Make a promise about how your social media profile brings value to your followers and then deliver on that promise by making your pages and profiles awesome.

People won’t like or follow you without a reason.

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For better or for worse, Facebook made it easier for people to report or block page posts in September. Since then, the need to tread carefully with posts has increased dramatically; too many reports or blocks can hurt a page's performance dramatically. This is an important topic that will be covered more in-depth in a future series of articles, but for now it's important to note.

 

As Facebook's ability to drive traffic and improve branding continues to increase, the need to understand the metrics grows as well. Fans, the way that many businesses in the past (and some still presently) judged their effectiveness has never been as important as total reach, but now it's even more important to note because of increased usage of the network. More people are on it and they're spending more time on a daily basis. Facebook is no longer an option for businesses. It's a must-have.

 

First, let's get an understanding of what reach really is on Facebook.

How are People "Reached"?

Facebook has always received some jabs from those in the programming world for their terrible site architecture. Those in the know would tell you that the site is held together by coding duct tape and superglue when the curtain is drawn back. However, the way they are able to track people and their eyeballs is unquestionably elegant.

 

When someone is "reached", it means that a post or advertisement was presented to them on screen. Facebook knows what you see and what you don't see. For example, if you post something on your page, it will be available for your fans to see on their news feed. For them to see it (and thus, be reached), it has to register as appearing to them directly. Let's say someone logs in and they start seeing some of the items in their news feed. If they scroll down far enough to see your post, they were reached. If you post is below where they scroll, they were not reached. The post had the potential to be presented to them but if it doesn't make it to their screen, they don't count.

 

We'll go into more detail about how to improve reach and sustain it in future articles, but for now, let's take a look at why reach is so much more important than number of fans.

Real versus Artificial Indicators

Social media is loaded with numbers that are relatively meaningless. One of those numbers is Facebook fans. That's not to say that you don't need them. It only means that a low number of high-quality, engaged fans would be much better than a high number of low-quality fans. In fact, having too many fans that aren't engaged can actually hurt your chances of having your message seen by those who are.

 

The image above is a snapshot of a page's reach statistics for a month. The total number of fans is relatively low - from 360 up to 404 beginning to end in the graph. However, you see a sharp spike in people reached. This was accomplished through Facebook advertising and clearly highlights how the reach was exponentially increased as a result.

 

Important Note: Do not fall into the trap of jumping straight into Facebook advertising without fully understanding it. Facebook users are extremely particular about what they see on their news feeds. Done improperly, Facebook ads can generate an incredible boost in the beginning, but this can fall very quickly even with an increasing budget if it's not positioned absolutely properly. Running Facebook ads is simple. Running them properly takes experience and understanding.

Getting the right fans, people who are interested in what you are posting, is extremely important. The number of fans is a blip on the overall Facebook marketing strategy. I would contend that a properly-run page with 500 good fans can get a higher and more worthwhile reach than a poorly run page with 50,000 weak fans. In Facebook, it's about how many people see your message, not how many people like your page. One has a loose effect on the other, but it's a misleading concept. The math and algorithms behind it all aren't difficult at all to understand. It simply takes a little research.

 

When you're gauging the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, look first towards reach. This is the number that you must manage. It's the number that is hardest to maintain at high levels with or without Facebook advertising, but it's also the one that has the greatest opportunity to improve your overall business performance.

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It was the 2011 Driving Sales Executive Summit when I was asked by Joe Webb to participate in a debate about Twitter followers. I had around 100,000 followers at the time and he wanted me to argue for the side of quantity being more important than quality. This made perfect sense except for one fact: I don't believe in quantity being a more important factor than quality. I did back in 2008 when Twitter was bright and shiny and "churning" for Twitter followers was a common technique, but those days are way behind us.

 

Today, size still matters. It's not the total size that counts but the size of your engaged audience. Under most circumstances, I hate using buzzwords like "engagement" but it fits perfectly here. Your engaged audience is all that matters from a business perspective.

 

Let's look at a handful of social networks for examples of how quantity and quality fit into the models for marketing in each. We'll focus on three areas: fan base (likes and followers), posting frequency, and interactions with others.

On Facebook

This is the big daddy in social media and deserves to be up top.

  • Fan Base - This is the most important component when discussing quality versus quantity, particularly for localized businesses. National and worldwide brands do not have to worry about it as much, but when you're promoting a local car dealership, you actually want fewer fans that are outside of your area. An ideal Facebook page fan base would be comprised entirely of locals, of people who would be willing to drive to the store. I'll take 500 local fans over 10,000 fans spread out any day, even if 500 of those spread out fans are local. Why? It's all about demographic and advertising. Facebook ads are extremely powerful and pages that are loaded with irrelevant fans actually hurts your ability to market to the locals. It drives up expenses and can make you look like a cheater to those who see your page and wonder why so many people outside of your area seem to like your page.
  • Posting Frequency - There are two different strategies here. On one side of the spectrum, you have the business-only Facebook strategy that puts up 2 or 3 posts a week all related to business and advances these through Facebook ads. EdgeRank will not be favorable to this strategy, but EdgeRank goes out the window with proper advertising in place. The other side of the coin is to go after 1-3 posts a day (or more) with the hope of being a part of the conversation on a daily basis. This works fine as well. The pages that fail are the ones that are posting constantly. This becomes noise and forces people to hide you from their news feeds. They aren't here to see a bunch of posts from businesses. They came to Facebook to see little Timmy sliding into third base. Don't overpost.
  • Interactions - Again, quality is better than quantity here, but it's less of an issue on Facebook. If you're posting comments, liking, and sharing the posts of other pages regularly but not too much, you'll be fine. The biggest challenge I've seen is in having people log in as their Facebook pages and actually interact. Most are willing to comment on their own posts when people respond to them, but it goes deeper, or at least it should.

On Twitter

The biggest problem that most businesses face with Twitter is automation.

  • Fan Base - I've seen accounts with 1000 avid and engaged followers that have more power and get more interactions than accounts with 250k followers. This is a big problem, the ease in which people can buy fake followers to bump up their numbers. It's a joke, really. Focusing on getting real people who are active on Twitter to follow your account is gold.
  • Posting Frequency - It's not really possible to overpost on Twitter. Posting too many at once is a challenge because flooding followers' feeds will make them unfollow you, but it's possible to get a ton of posts out there every day without making people too upset. However, automated posting tools such as RSS posters or Facebook post integration is a mistake. On some of the accounts I manage, I post over 20 times a day, but every single post is done manually. I schedule them - I'm not on Twitter 24/7 - but everything I schedule is manually vetted. More importantly, they're all hand-crafted. You can get more out of a properly written Tweet than five RSS-fed Tweets any day.
  • Interactions - I'm rude. I don't reply to every single person who Tweets at me or retweets me. It's not because I don't appreciate the interactions. It's because I don't want to flood my followers' feeds with a bunch of "Thanks for the Retweet" posts. As a general rule, interact with those who put in the effort. In other words, you don't have to talk to everyone who pushed the retweet button, but if they typed something specifically at you or added their two cents to a conversation, it's best to interact right back at them. Keep it fresh and don't talk to spammers.

On Pinterest

The newest big hotness in social media is making a splash on the business side. As a result, there is a need to understand the quality versus quantity aspect as it stands now. This can change as the site continues to grow, but for now here are some best practices.

  • Fan Base - For businesses, this is the only social network where size really does make a big difference. You can still be effective without a ton of followers, but they definitely help. Just like with Twitter, there are buying services available that let you bump up your numbers. Just like with Twitter, this is a terrible idea. You can grow your following by posting regularly, tagging appropriately, and interacting with the accounts that are also posting content that you like.
  • Posting Frequency - The first thing I do when I see my Pinterest page flooded with someone else's posts is to unfollow them. The elegant way in which Pinterest displays their feed makes it easy to spot the overposters. To me, the magic number is 10 a day if you can spread it out and no more than five at a time, but some would say you can post more in a day but should post less at a time. Make your choice based upon your schedule; if you can log in and post three or four times a day, post 1-3 at a time. If you're logging in once a day, get 3-5 out there during your Pinterest session.
  • Interactions - Pinterest and Tumblr are the social networks where it's okay to operate strictly from an interaction perspective. Twitter is as well when used strictly as a communication tool, but unless a business is truly dialed in and has integrated their Twitter into their standard operating procedures, they'll get more benefit by proactively engaging. Pinterest and Tumblr are sharing machines, so even if you never post your own original content, you can still be successful by simply being a strong curator. The benefit here is that it's easier to get engagement when you're working with other people's content.

This doesn't mean that having no friends, followers, and fans is a good idea on any social network. It simply means don't focus on size. Stay true to keeping things rolling along in the right direction and the right followers will find you.
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Jeep® Brand Reaches Major Social Media Milestone: First Domestic Automotive Brand With More Than 1 Million Facebook Fans

SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jeep® brand reached an unprecedented domestic automotive milestone today, as fans on the brand's Facebook page reached and surpassed the 1 million mark. In achieving more than 1 million fans on its Facebook page, the Jeep brand exceeds the next closest domestic automotive brand fan's total by more than 450,000.

"We are honored to be the first and only domestic automotive brand that can claim more than 1 million Facebook fans," said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "This reinforces the fact that Jeep is clearly one of the most well-known and loved brands throughout the world, and comes as we continue to gain sales momentum and begin to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the brand."

In 2010, the Jeep brand experienced triple digit growth in its fan base on Facebook. The brand continues to foster a vibrant and innovative social community for its passionate fans and owners. In July, Jeep brand fans tested the size limits of Facebook's photo album, "Photos by Others." Fans exceeded the 20,000 photo-limit resulting in a need for Facebook to accommodate the increased number of images.

Along with Facebook, the Jeep brand's social media initiatives include presence on Twitter, You Tube and foursquare web sites. The Jeep brand was the first automotive brand to have an official profile on foursquare.com, the popular location-based social network that allows users to "check-in" at any location. The official Jeep brand You Tube channel is among the top 10 sponsored-channels with over 4.3 million video views.

In 2010, Jeep vehicle sales improved 24 percent globally, and 26 percent in the U.S. versus 2009, with double-digit sales gains for each vehicle in the brand's lineup.

For 2011, Jeep has introduced all-new or significantly refreshed versions of each of its vehicles. With the greatest range of SUVs under one brand, the Jeep vehicle portfolio consists of:

  • Compass: A compact SUV with a new sophisticated, premium design for 2011, the Jeep Compass delivers unsurpassed 4x4 fuel economy, freedom, utility, and Jeep 4x4 cachet and capability, all at a terrific value
  • Grand Cherokee: The most capable and luxurious Grand Cherokee ever, balancing legendary Jeep capability with sophistication to deliver a premium driving experience for all adventures 
  • Liberty: The mid-size SUV from Jeep that offers Jeep Trail Rated® 4x4 capability combined with on-road refinement and numerous innovative features, including the industry-exclusive full-length Sky Slider® open canvas roof 
  • Patriot: A compact SUV delivering the fun, adventure and value only Jeep can offer, with unsurpassed 4x4 fuel economy and segment leading capability 
  • Wrangler: The icon of the Jeep brand, it remains true to its heritage as the original fun-and-freedom machine. For 2011, it boasts an all-new interior, and an available premium body color hardtop for Sahara models
  • Wrangler Unlimited: The only four-door convertible SUV on the market with room for five adult passengers, Wrangler Unlimited receives an all-new interior for 2011 and an available premium body color hardtop for Sahara models

Jeep Brand

Built on seven decades of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic sport-utility vehicle (SUV) with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.

Whether identified by their ownership of multiple Jeep vehicles, or their regular attendance at branded events, or by their abundance of Jeep gear – branded products from clothing to baby strollers – Jeep owners all have one common trait: a Jeep vehicle delivering benchmark, all-weather capability that allows them to go anywhere and do anything. It's not unusual to see Jeep owners sporting a bumper sticker that reads, "It's a Jeep thing...you wouldn't understand."

To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models are sold outside North America – and all are available in right-hand drive versions and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options. Chrysler Group LLC sells and services vehicles in approximately 120 countries around the world.

©2011 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

 

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