Creating useful PR content for Facebook

We are all too aware that social media opportunities seem to change with the wind.  New darlings pop up all the time, and while old standbys remain the anchor of most social media campaigns, these too are evolving at a rate that’s often hard to keep up with.  With today’s post, we take a quick peek at some Facebook trends and tools to consider for boosting your PR content.

Facebook hashtags are NOT working and they might be hurting your brand

According to EdgeRank Checker, Facebook hashtags don’t help with brand awareness. In fact they might instead be hurting your brand. The study states that posts with hashtags make people less willing to engage with your content, and have lower potential to go viral.

The main reason for the fail of hashtags on Facebook is they feel out of place, they “interrupt the flow of communication and people tend to abuse them” as it’s stated on a Facebook page called “This is not Twitter. Hashtags don’t work here” which has over 15,000 fans.  So, if you want interactions with your fans, you should avoid using hashtags when “talking” for your brand.

The future of Facebook is in mobile

According to a study from TechCrunch, in the U.S. alone 78% of all Facebook users (almost 100 million people) logged into their Facebook accounts via mobile this year.  Also, eMarketer predicts that this number will continue to increase and by 2017, 154.7 million Americans will be using Facebook on their mobile devices.

So if your target audience is in the U.S., be sure to consider a mobile strategy. First, take a look at your Facebook page on a mobile device to check out what your visitors are seeing.  Also, focus on great visuals, and lots of them (images, videos, infographics)!

Finally, don’t forget to encourage your customers, employees and business partners to check in on Facebook while at your location. Mobile searchers have the tendency to make local buying decisions,  and recommendations and check-ins from mobile users make it a fantastic tool for word-of-mouth marketing.

Paid ads increase reach but reduce click-throughs

Paid ads on Facebook make a big difference, especially in terms of reach and impressions.  According to the 2013 Social Rich Media Benchmark Report, promoting a Facebook post with a paid ad increases organic and viral reach significantly, although it reduces click-throughs. However, in the case of status updates, unpaid posts have a much higher reach than paid posts.

When considering paid ads on Facebook think about your goals. If your purpose is  driving brand awareness or increasing your customer base then paid ads are the best choice for you because of their viral nature. However, if you’re trying to build your email list by having users click-through to a landing page, the research says you should invest your money elsewhere.

Negative feedback increases as paid ads are applied to most post types

Negative feedback must never be ignored.  Even though there is no “Dislike” button, users can show their aversion toward your content by hiding it from their news feed. According to ShopIgniter, negative feedback (including actions like Hide Post, Hide All Posts, Report as Spam, Unlike Page) increases the more you add paid media to your posts.

This is the case for most post types.  Surprisingly, Facebook Offers generate less negative feedback than links, mainly because everyone likes a good deal, even if the ad “interrupts” their news feed.

Facebook Graph Search optimizes your content strategy

Information that is relevant and of value to your target audience is golden!  The more you know about your fans, the easier it is to pinpoint this content.  Facebook Graph Search allows you to hone in on your network’s interests in specific ways.  Here are some examples of what you can search for and learn by using the Graph Search bar:

  • What type of people like a certain page and why – prefix the name of any page with “People who like”
  • What are the interests of the people who like your page or a competitor’s – prefix the page name with the phrase “Favorite interests of people who like”
  • A list of pages liked by the fans of a particular page – prefix the page name with  “People who like” and suffix it with “like”
  • A list of groups associated with or relevant to your industry – prefix the name of your industry with “Groups about”
  • A list of pages liked by people in a certain age category – use the phrase “Pages liked by people above age # and below age #” 

Which Facebook tools do you find most useful?

Written by Suzanne Mannion

Suzanne has been in the communications industry for more than 20 years. With a focus on strategic planning and program management, she has developed and implemented campaigns for numerous business and consumer-facing clients.

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