Ever wonder what your partners, competitors or market leaders are doing well on Facebook? Guess what? Facebook has you covered!
You can actually set up “Pages to Watch” and then track both their weekly progress and their top posts of the week. If you haven’t already set up this functionality, fear not—it’s easy!
First go to your Facebook brand page (you might call it a business page). Then at the top menu, go to your insights.
In the left-hand menu, you will be in Overview by default. This section will give you top-line info on your page, show you analytics for your most recent five posts and, if you scroll down, allow you to watch any pages you have setup to watch.
Bear in mind that Facebook offers these free tools (and MANY others) on a tiered system. Your page must have at least 35 likes in order for you to access your insights in the first place and it must have at least 100 likes to unlock the pages to watch feature. So if you don’t see these options, fret not. You’ll get there! And when you do, you have plenty of great new tools to look forward to.
Assuming you can see “Add Pages,” type in a page and select “+Watch Page.”
Once selected, it will show up in your Pages to Watch section.
Right off the bat, you’ll see the pages total page likes, their percent change from last week, how many posts they did this week and their engagement this week.
If you click on them within your list, you’ll get a list of their most popular posts from this week.
It’s worth pointing out, none of the information you are seeing in this section is private. You could see all of this by heading to their page and looking through their posts, seeing their comments, shares and reactions and tracking their page like growth on your own. But if you have many competitors, it can be a lot of trouble to keep up with all of them.
This functionality puts every page you want to follow in one easy-to-access place and shows you their weekly growth and engagement. And Facebook will include you in the list, so you can see how your own page compares.
As far as seeing their top content of the week, while this too is nothing private or hidden, it is a good practice to see what is working well for others in your field. There won’t be any state secrets revealed, but it will help you see what is getting people excited in your field on any given week.
So set yours up, and share anything interesting or exciting you learn in the comments, or on social. Follow and chat with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is nothing if not dynamic. Understand how part of its functionality works today, and tomorrow you’ll notice that it’s changed. A week later, it may have changed yet again.
The goal shouldn’t be to KNOW everything about how the platform works, rather to spend enough time with it that you know how to grow and adapt with it.
Recently, Facebook made a change to how it displays a brand’s response time and it added an option to send instant replies to messages you receive through your Facebook page.
Both concepts are easy, and worth taking a moment to understand.
The Change: Response Time
Until very recently, Facebook published to your page how long it takes you to respond to messages you receive through your brand page. It might say a few minutes, an hour or a day. It also publishes your response rate.
Pro-tip: Even if you are going to respond to someone through another medium (phone, email...), respond to their initial message to let them know. For example: “Thanks for writing, I’m calling now.” It’s quick, easy, not at all awkward, and it allows you to maintain a 100% response rate on your page even when communicating through other methods.
While Facebook still publishes your response rate, they made a major shift regarding your response time. It used to be something you couldn’t edit or control (save for responding quicker to messages in the future). It was a report for your customers on the speediness of your response time. No more. Now, it is a tool that allows you to let people know how long they should expect you to take to return their message.
If you have someone working on your social media full-time, it should take you less than an hour. Or maybe even just a few minutes. Let people know that. But if it’s just you and Facebook is one of 1000 things you are managing, you can now let people know that it might take you a day to respond.
The set up is easy.
Go to your Facebook brand page. Directly below your avatar, you will notice a section that shares things like how many followers you have, how many have checked in with you and the like. The very first thing in that section will be your response rate and your response time.
To edit it, go to your page's Settings (located in top right hand corner of your page). Then click on Messaging in the left-hand menu.
From here, simply pick your (reasonable) time frame.
Pro tip: Be honest here, both for your own sake and for that of your customer. If it’s going to take you a day to respond, don’t say you will respond within an hour. Set up expectations that you can meet, and then work hard to meet them.
So that is the change Facebook made. But they also recently made a fairly substantial addition to their brand messenger.
The New Option: Instant Replies
You can now set up Instant Replies that will automatically be sent to anyone who writes to your brand through Facebook.
Let’s say you rarely check your Facebook messages, but you live in Gmail. Send an instant reply telling people that you’ll be in touch soon, but if they want a quicker response, they should email you as well. Or provide a phone number they can call. Or let them know you will be in touch, and send them to your website to shop/learn/take action in the meantime.
We can’t control how people choose to reach out to us. But with this new functionality, we have yet another tool in our toolkit to ensure happy customers and seamless customer service.
Not sure what to put in your Instant Reply? Drop me a line and let's figure it out together!
Twitter, and the internet in general, can be an overwhelming place if you don’t speak “the language.” While this list is neither meant to be exhaustive nor ever up-to-date up with an ever progressing set of terminology, these are some acronyms that you should know.
Come across any others you aren’t sure about? Google can usually provide the answer pretty quickly. But don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ll be happy to get back to you. NP (No Problem).
Without further ado, here are some Twitter (and general social media) acronyms that you should know:
Not sure if you are open to receive DMs from anyone? Here’s a blog post I wrote on the subject.
Any that I missed? Mention them in the comments, drop me a line or tag me online (Twitter or Facebook). In the meantime, HTH (Hope This Helps)!
Recently, I spoke at Social Media Breakfast about Using Social Media to Build a Movement (Even Without a “Real” Budget or Staff).
We covered many topics and concepts, but the one that seemed to garner the most buzz was the concept of the Digital Guide.
So let’s break it down.
What is a Digital Guide - An Overview
A Digital Guide should offer everything that you supporters (more on defining your supporters below) need to help you tell your story. They are typically created for a particular event or campaign.
Let’s say your company (“Sneakz”) makes and sells tennis shoes. You are having a grand opening for a new location. You want buzz online. Your official social channels are of course going to be posting about the event in advance and, once it starts, promoting how great it is going. But official accounts ≠ buzz, no matter how often you post or how great your content is. Buzz is what happens when many parties all come together to post about something.
What Goes Into a Digital Guide
First of all, you need to give the details of the event. Who, What, When, Where, Why.
Is there an RSVP link or a place to buy tickets? Do people need to reserve their new Sneakz in advance or can they just show up and buy them? If there is pertinent information, share it.
Give the reader the context to understand the event from 30,000 feet. The story of the day isn’t that you are opening a new store -- it’s that you are growing! Or that you are entering a new market. Or that people are so excited about your company, one store just wasn’t enough to contain your product.
The better your supporters understand how you see this day, the easier it will be for them to help tell the story you want to be told.
Share who your partners are, what time it starts, the address of the new store. If it’s something people should know, put it in the guide.
But Who Are My Partners?
The company that makes your laces by hand. The mall into which you’ll be moving. The online store selling some exclusive design of your Sneakz.
Who are the companies/organizations/brands, etc., without which you couldn’t thrive? Those are your partners.
Where Are You Online?
If you want people to write about you online, make sure they know how they can find you. Share your handles and relevant social media platforms. If you are working with a younger audience, you probably don’t have to explain how to use your tags (@s). If you are releasing a new line of orthopedic shoes and are hoping to target baby boomers, you might need to offer some instructional sections.
The question you should be asking when constructing your guide is: what do our supporters need to join us in telling our story?
What’s Your Hashtag (#)?
You should have a brand hashtag. Something you are encouraging your customers to use when they want to show off their #Sneakz. Or maybe it’s more personalized: #MySneakz. Or more active: #GetSneakz. Whatever your overarching hashtag is, include it.
If you have crafted a hashtag for this specific event, share that as well. Maybe you created a hashtag for anytime a store opens: #SneakzToYou. Or you could go hyper-specific: #SneakzMadisonEast.
Don’t just share your hashtag(s), but give examples of how they can be used.
Encourage people to create their own content, to add pictures or videos, to get clever–so long as they tag you and include your hashtag(s), a positive post is a great post!
Distributing Your Digital Guide (Who Are My Supporters?)
It’s an internal document. DO NOT publish it on your website or to your social media channels. Rather share it with your employees, interns, rapid response team, top-level fans, volunteers, etc.
Distribute this guide with anyone who will (or should) actively be working with you to tell your story throughout the event or campaign.
A Story Comes in Three Parts
Make sure to remind your supporters that every story has a beginning, a middle AND an end. Remind them (again and again) to tag you and include hashtags in EVERY post. Give sample content for each of the three.
Creating and sharing a Digital Guide is not the end of telling your story… it’s the beginning!
You should be actively monitoring social media for both mentions of your brand and usage of your hashtag. If people are posting, engage with them.
As long as you keep asking yourself what your community needs to tell your story, and including or excluding information/samples/information accordingly, you are doing it right. There isn’t one correct Digital Guide, there’s only the one that works for you.
Create a guide for your next event. Learn from it. Tweak it as needed for future events. Learn from what worked AND from what did not. Ask your supporters what else they need to support you.
You might find it worth holding trainings, especially for staff and interns. If someone doesn’t have a Twitter or a Facebook account, they probably won’t create one just to tweet about you. Unless you help them to do so! Never underestimate the power of working with someone on their journey into social media. Trainings are an investment that will pay for themselves many, many times over.
Need a staff training or help creating a Digital Guide ? Drop me a line. These are services I offer. Or just have some questions about finishing touches or need a fresh set of eyes to help you see what you missed? I can help you there as well.
Continuously ask what your supporters need and then give it to them. They are your best asset for creating buzz and telling your story.
The wait is over! It’s now officially as easy to switch between Instagram accounts on your mobile device as it is to switch between Twitter accounts.
For those of you who run only a single account, this won’t change your interaction with the platform. But if you have a personal account, and you also run one for your business, non-profit, band, microbrewery or anything else, this is the time to get excited.
Until now, you had to log out of one account and login to another to switch back and forth. Tracking down passwords and taking the extra time to move around pretty much guaranteed that whatever account was your primary, stayed your primary.
Instagram heard our frustration and they have—finally!—acquiesced. Switching between accounts is now easy.
Open up the app. In the top right corner, you will see a gear. Click it.
Scroll down to the bottom of the list and click on “Add Account.”
Login with your second account.
Now, you can simple toggle between the accounts. Go to your homepage (bottom right icon showing your avatar). At the top of that page, you will see your username, followed by a ٧.
Click it and you will see a list of all accounts you are logged into. You can now toggle back and forth to your heart’s desire. That's it--now enjoy!
Quick note: You can repeat this process with numerous accounts.
While this search method still works to find your friends in a city (as well as to search Facebook in many other powerful ways), Facebook has also replaced the ability to search through your friends by "current city."
I love Facebook. I use it for all kinds of things. But for a long time, my two favorite components of Facebook were:
1) Mutual friends and
2) Searching friends by current city.
The first one was great -- any time you meet a new person, you can head over to Facebook and figure out which friends you already have in common. It made life so interesting.
The second one was a must for traveling. If I was heading from Madison to Milwaukee or Chicago for the weekend, the first thing I would do was head over to Facebook and see which of my friends were living in my destination city.
Then Facebook removed the option. Then they added another way to do it through the My Friends tab. Then they took that one away. Then you could do it by searching for the city and choosing “friends.” Then that one went. [sigh]
I gave up. Facebook clearly didn’t want me to know which of my friends were in Madison and which were in Green Bay. So I went back to mass texts and word-of-mouth, not understanding why this had to be so difficult.
But good news: there’s a new way to search for friends by city on Facebook and it is extremely easy!
When you login to Facebook, at the very top of the page, you will see a search bar.
It’s where you search for friends, pages you like, cities, apps and anything else you want to find within Facebook.
The thing most people don’t realize though is that this search bar functions more like a real search tool than they realize. If you type in a person, a city or a page, it will show you that person, that city or that page. But you actually can make your searches significantly more detailed.
If you type in “my friends in Madison” [insert the name of any city], it will simply give you a list of your friends in Madison, WI.
If you type in “ice cream places in Madison” it will list all of the ice cream shops in Madison.
And so on.
It’s worth noting that once you have entered in your search, Facebook will show you results based on what they consider to be “top” finds for you. So that might mean they will only show you ice cream shops in Madison whose page you like on Facebook. Or they might show you posts from your friends who have written about ice cream shops in Madison. (Bear in mind this will not change existing privacy filters. You still won’t see any content from people who haven’t made their content available to you.)
But look at the tool bar at top and you will notice that you have numerous options for how to search.
Poke around in there and see what else you find. If you just want a list of pages for ice cream shops in Madison, click on “Pages.” If you want to see the most recent posts, click on “Latest.” “People” probably won’t get you far for this search, but when you are looking for which of your friends live in a particular city, this will be the tab for you.
Hope this was helpful. Have any other questions about social media you’d like to have explained? Leave a comment or write to me on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll do my best to answer your pressing social media questions.
Looking for more social media tips, tricks, strategies and hacks?
Check out my podcast Step Up Your Social. All episodes are short (~10 minutes or so) and provide quick, actionable tips to help you step up your digital marketing.
Tune in today.
Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about the fact that I’m nearing 1000 followers on Twitter (!!!). After writing the post, I started sharing it through social media. While posting it to Facebook, I chose to run it with three pictures. The first was the graphic I had made, proclaiming this exciting achievement. The second was a Twitter logo. The third was my own logo.
I linked the graphic (the first pic) and my logo directly to my blog post, outlining both the announcement and the free audits I was giving out to celebrate. But I also wanted a way to drive traffic straight to my Twitter page. That’s where the second pic comes in.
Let’s walk through this.
When you input a link into a Facebook post, Facebook will automatically go and scrape any pictures it can find on the page you are sharing and auto-populate them in your post. You can then run your post with all of them, some of them, or none of them. Generally speaking, you always want to leave one (or more) of these pics in place, or replace them correctly (more on this in a minute). By doing so, you ensure that a click on the picture will lead—not to an enlarged version of the picture, but—directly to the site you are linking. If your goal is link clicks, ensure that as many actions as possible deliver that result.
So let’s start at the top. Copy the link you want to share and paste it into your Facebook page. If possible, Facebook will populate one or more graphics to accompany your post.
Notice underneath the post, there will be several thumbnails, with small numbers in blue boxes in the top right corner.
By clicking the blue boxes, you can turn on and off these different pictures. Any picture with a number will show up in your post. You can also rearrange the order in which they are shown by simply dragging them into the order you prefer.
Notice the right-most box with the plus (+) in it? THAT is how you should add additional or replacement pictures to your post. Adding them in any other (and there are several) will sever the relationship between your picture and your link. Which is bad, unless that is your goal. (But if it is, why are you using a link in the post in the first place?!)
You can post up to five pictures with your post. These can be things Facebook pulls from the link, pictures you add in, or some combination therein. Unless you specify otherwise, all of those pictures, when clicked on, will lead to your original link.
But if you want each picture to lead to a different landing page, you can do that as well. And setting that up is easy.
First, choose which pics you want to be associated with the post. Then scroll over the picture (not the thumbnail) and you will notice a link icon appears.
When you click that link button, you will get a popup box:
From there, you can input any link you want. You can do that for each picture associated with your post. They each stand alone.
So check out the post I shared yesterday and try clicking around. You’ll notice that the first and third images take you to my blog post and the second image (the Twitter icon) will take you straight to my Twitter page.
Let me know if you need any help. Or share your own success stories using multiple links in a Facebook post.
Looking for more social media tips, tricks, strategies and hacks?
Check out my podcast Step Up Your Social. All episodes are short (~10 minutes or so) and provide quick, actionable tips to help you step up your digital marketing.
Tune in today.
There are countless tools and sites out there to help optimize your social media presence. I want to share one that offers a great solution to a very common problem.
How often have you logged onto Twitter and seen people in your feed posting links to their Instagram pics? Probably pretty often. And how often have you actually clicked through to see those pictures? Probably a lot less often, right?
Fair enough. Who wants to click a link to see if the content is worth exploring?
Wouldn’t it be nice if, without any extra work, you could post your actual Instagram pictures (as opposed to links to those awesome pictures) directly to Twitter, just like you can post them directly to Facebook? You can! And it’s easy. Let me explain.
Why post to Instagram at all?
You could post your pictures directly to Twitter, skipping over Instagram outright. But Instagram has amazing filters and very engaged audiences. The goal isn’t to minimize networks—rather it’s to minimize the amount of work it takes you to positively engage with multiple networks.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, posting there directly is as easy as hitting share. But when you try to cross-post to Twitter, they only tweet out a link. They are seeking to drive your followers away from Twitter and to Instagram. Which might be good for them. But it’s not good for you.
It’s simple. Set up an account with “If This, Then That.” (www.IFTTT.com) Once you have an account, you can set up all kinds of cool tools (they call them recipes).
Clearly, there’s plenty you can do with this site. But to solve this particular problem: sign up, set up a recipe so that IF you post a picture to Instagram, THEN it will share it to Twitter. You can search around in their “Recommended Recipes” or just follow this link.
Give IFTTT access to both your Instagram and Twitter accounts and confirm the recipe. Then anytime you post a picture to Instagram, it will automatically tweet out the same picture to your Twitter network. With no additional work, you will reach twice as many networks! (3x if you are already sharing directly from Instagram to Facebook.)
Now instead of your feed looking like this:
It will look like this:
Which do you think are going to get higher engagement rates?
Let me know if you need help setting up your recipes. Happy sharing!
A little while back, Facebook added a new feature for brand pages: the call-to-action. It is a simple button, next to “Like” on your cover photo.
Setup is extremely simple. Go to any brand page for which you are an admin. If you have not yet set one up, you will see this:
When you click the button, you will get this pop-up:
Click where it says to “Choose a Button" and you will see this dropdown box:
These are your options. Facebook does not allow you to create your own, one of these will have to do. If you aren’t sure what to select, I’d recommend using "Contact Us" (as do they—it’s the default). You can add in a url and then when people click the call-to-action, they will be taken directly to your page.
Rather than sending people to your contact page though, I’d send them to a page that does a better job of introducing yourself. They are only one click away from your contact page (or at least they should be!) and in the meantime you are better off introducing them to your brand via your homepage (or your blog/about us/services page...) then sending them to a contact us page that puts all of the onus on them.
Once the call-to-action is setup, it is extremely easy to edit. If you are an admin and you go to the page, you will see the call-to-action button. Click on it, and rather than it taking you somewhere, it will offer you this dropdown menu:
You can edit, test or delete it, view insights or promote it (pay to let people know it exists). You can see insights for it just to the right of your cover photo.
Don’t expect to see much traffic from it. It won’t be a driver, but it will give people an option to quickly and easily from your Facebook page to your site.
Just as important, to the (even remotely) trained eye, not having it will stand out as a red flag (why isn’t this brand page using all of the resources at their disposal?).
Click “Contact Us” (or whichever option you selected) and Facebook will offer up some very basic analytics.
The whole process should take less than two minutes. So heed this call-to-action and set one up today!
UPDATE: Since writing this post, Facebook has deleted their spam folder. So worry not about missing those important (and possibly not-so-important) emails in the future!
Ever bump into an old friend and have them admonish you for not returning their Facebook message?
Maybe you were busy and forgot to respond. Maybe you were busy and willfully didn’t respond. Or maybe, Facebook sent their message to your spam folder and you never saw it in the first place!
Facebook has a spam folder. If you don’t know about it, you might be missing some important mail. That, and a lot of invites to events you were probably going to skip anyway.
If you get mail from a friend, or a friend-of-a-friend, it will go to your inbox. Everything else will wind up in your “other” folder.
The good news is that checking this folder is easy. After clicking “messages” in the top left of your Facebook homepage, look at the very top left of the new screen. “Inbox” will be highlighted. Right next to that is a tab titled “other.” Click it and you will see messages you never realized you got, dating all the way back to 2010.
Most of these messages will in fact be junk. But if you have been fuming for years that one of your college friends invited everyone but you to a holiday party back in 2011, you might very well wind up owing that person a mental apology for all those mean thoughts.
See anyone in your “other” folder who doesn’t belong there? Move their message to your inbox and Facebook promises that their mail will no longer be siphoned off, into the abyss of a folder you didn’t even realize existed.
Any truly great surprises awaiting you in your “other” folder? Share them in the comments or tweet them with the hashtag #SurprisesInMyOtherFolder
Say it ten times: "if it didn't happen on social media, it didn't happen."
Then say it a few more times, just for good measure. Make sure it's fully ingrained.
Then incorporate this simple lesson into your digital strategy.
If it didn't happen on social media, it didn't happen.
Whether your Facebook feed is made up mostly of your friends and family, organizations you support or businesses you like, chances are these days it’s full of lots of video. That’s not surprising. Facebook users are posting almost twice as much video to Facebook these days as as they did last year!
In any given scroll through my feed, I might see a video dealing with current events, one or two from a friend’s daily life, several of cats or dogs doing funny things… You know how it is.
But we’re busy, and can’t possibly find time to watch all of these videos while we should be working. Fortunately, Facebook’s got us covered.
Next time you see a video you know you want to watch, but just don’t have the time, simply “save it for later.” Go to the top right hand corner of the video and click on the dropdown menu (the v looking carrot).
Then simply choose “Save video.”
That’s it, your video is now in your saved folder.
But where’s my Facebook shared folder?
Go back to your home page. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see your “favorites.” It’s in there.
Once you are in your Saved folder, you can watch, share, and/or delete it.
If you run a Facebook brand page, there’s a decent chance that your page takes the same breaks as you. If you don’t work weekends, your page probably doesn’t either. That is a big mistake.
Your followers don’t stop paying attention on the weekend—if anything they are spending more time online. You can’t just walk away Friday afternoon and assume that your Social Media networks will be just as engaged on Monday morning.
Does it sound like I am telling you to never take a break again? I’m not.
Rather I’m offering you a simple way to set up all of your posts on Friday (or any other day) to run on their own until you get back. This way, the next time you take a (much deserved) break, your Facebook page doesn’t have to join you.
The solution is: scheduling.
Go ahead and write out your post, exactly as you want it to run. Then take a look at the “publish” button. Notice the small downward arrow to its right? Click it.
What you’ll see is a dropdown menu with three options: “Schedule,” “Backdate” and “Save Draft.” (More on the latter two in a moment.)
Click on schedule, and you will see a pop-up box that looks like this:
Pick the date and time that you want your post to go live (make sure you pay attention to AM vs. PM and time zone!). Then sit back and let the engagements come rolling in.
Just Because You Are Taking a Break, Doesn’t Mean Everyone Else Will Be
This is a VERY important point to remember. If you are a business and you are scheduling your posts for the weekend on Friday evening, you may have fans or customers (or trolls!) responding. Not every comment needs an immediate response. But if you are posting regularly throughout the weekend (through the beauty of scheduled posts), and your customers are getting ignored, they are going to notice.
There is no magic formula. But set it and forget it is never going to complete work to engage a Social Media audience. If you are posting a few times a day through scheduling, maybe check the page once or twice throughout the day. You can do it right on your phone. Depending on the size of your audience, you can also have Facebook notify you anytime you get a comment. This will help you decide which comments merit an immediate response which ones can wait until Monday morning.
One other note: it can look VERY inappropriate to be posting about a product or service if there has been an event going on that has everyone talking. If you are trying to sell shoes while everyone else is talking about a shooting or a plane crash (or the US women's soccer team winning the World Cup), you probably won’t be putting forth the image you want. Just pay attention. You can stop, edit or reschedule your posts from running at any time.
How to Stop, Edit or Reschedule a Post
If you have any posts scheduled, at the top of your wall you’ll see a message that looks like this:
Click on “See post” and it will take you to a list of all of your scheduled posts. From there you can edit, delete or reschedule as needed.
The other two options in your dropdown menu were Backdate and Save Draft. Backdate will post something to your page anytime in the past that you want. It works just like a regular post: you write it, set it up and then instead of posting or scheduling in the future, you can backdate to the past.
Save Draft puts the post in your saved file so that you can come back and work on it—and post it—when you are ready.
If you have any questions drop me a note, ask them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter: @jlemonsk or @ReverbalC.
Backdate and Save Draft
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