Social Media Marketing Tips for Facebook — SEM Synergy Extras
On today’s SEM Synergy, our weekly Web show dedicated to all things Internet marketing, I had a discussion with David Turner, the chief technology officer of Brand Glue, about Facebook fan page marketing strategies.
The highlights of the interview, for me, were David’s ideas about news feed optimization and custom landing tabs for fan pages. It was the first I’d really heard about either of these topics, so I thought they deserved a little extra face time here on the blog.
Fan Page Custom Landing Tab
We’ve probably all come across these before, and you can check out Brand Glue’s Facebook page for an example. Rather than greeting users with the “Wall” tab, the default setting when they first come to a fan page, David suggests a custom landing page that does two things. A specific landing tab should help introduce people to a) the brand and b) the conversation.
Think of a Facebook page like any other landing page on the Web. Oftentimes online businesses are serving more than one persona through their site. In such a case, it’s important that the landing page segments user types to help funnel a conversion. In the case of a brand with distinct audiences, a custom Facebook landing tab can make it clear to the different segments that the company has something to offer them all.
Anytime a user arrives at a fan page wall, there’s a chance that the discussion on the wall is about something he’s not interested in. If this is the user’s first exposure to the brand’s fan page, it may be enough for him to decide not to become a fan and wander away. However, if a custom landing tab highlights something for each of a brand’s different user segments, then users will realize what the brand and fan page has to offer them. That way the visitor won’t be discouraged if what he’s looking for isn’t the most recent topic of discussion on the wall, and they’re much more likely to become a fan.
News Feed Optimization
Becoming a fan, or liking a fan page, is the first step needed before a user will be able to see those fan page updates in his news feed, which brings us to the second point of interest from the interview. Users that like fan pages are eligible to see that page’s updates showing up in their news feed. And that’s where news feed optimization comes in.
While the factors that make up EdgeRank (Facebook’s news feed ranking algorithm) are unknown to those outside Facebook, Brand Glue has discovered ways to make updates more likely to show up in news feeds.
The Wall Street Journal featured Brand Glue’s news feed optimization methodology in a recent article called The Black Art of Writing Facebook Updates. Similarly, David explained to me that news feed optimization boils down to writing updates that are very likely to get a response. The more interactions an update has, the more likely it is to show up in fans’ news feeds.
Engaging updates may ask a question that doesn’t require a lot of thought to answer. Ask direct questions that have a limited number of options. For example, instead of asking “What’s your favorite meal for breakfast?” ask “Do you like strawberry or blueberry pancakes better?” Narrowing down the choices for fans increases the odds of engagement, which increases the odds of showing up in the news feed.
So you got all that? Custom landing tabs and news feed optimization — add them to your marketer’s vocabulary. If David’s right, Facebook is going to play an increasingly larger role in the online marketing mix.