Rachel Melia


Take It From A Facebook Pro Interview

I was interviewd by Tier One PR last week, so wanted to share the full interview here…im_on_facebook._now_what._rachel_melia

It’s no secret that Facebook can be a powerful platform for brands to build and nurture relationships with target audiences. But staying on top of Facebook’s seemingly weekly updates and new marketing programs can be a tad overwhelming at times. Accepting and embracing change is one of the keys to success when it comes to marketing on Facebook. To help us filter out what’s really important in today’s noisy world of Facebook marketing, we sat down for a chat with Facebook marketing expert Rachel Melia, co-author of the 2nd edition of “I’m on Facebook…Now What???” Here are some insights Rachel shared with us:

first, tell us a little bit about your book.

I’d love to! I helped write the second edition of “I’m on Facebook… Now What???,” which was published late last year. The book is designed to help businesses of all sizes successfully market on Facebook. It’s written in easy to understand language and covers topics like how to create engaging content, how to manage a Facebook Page and build community, how to create Facebook ad buys and promotions, how to use Facebook applications and plugins, and how to measure success. It has many examples of how businesses and organizations are using Facebook successfully, and Action Items to help readers implement what they learn.

you clearly follow the world of facebook marketing very closely. what advantages does facebook provide brands that other social media channels do not?

Facebook now has 1.1 billion users that are very active online, and want to connect with brands and organizations. It’s a great place to reach and build relationships with a mass audience.

are there shortcomings that facebook has that are solved by other social media channels?

Everyone’s mom is now on Facebook which makes it not as cool for younger generations. While many teens and 20 somethings are on Facebook, many are spending more time elsewhere. Twitter and Instagram are two properties that are picking us a share of these younger audiences, and good places to reach them.

what do you think are the most exciting new opportunities for brands using facebook as a marketing tool?

Facebook is always making changes, which keeps things exciting. Some new changes that I think are great opportunities are the new ability to run contests and sweepstakes directly on the News Feed and the ability to target and serve ads to email list subscribers on Facebook.

It used to be that businesses were required to use a 3rd party application to run sweepstakes and contests, and these promotions needed to live on a Facebook tab. Facebook recently relaxed these rules, and now allows Pages to run promotions directly in the News Feed. Running a contest or sweepstakes in the News Feed is a great way to increase engagement and excitement about a product or service.

Facebook’s ad management tool now allows Pages to upload an email list and target those users with ads on Facebook. An example of how this functionality could be used is to target everyone that has not yet RSVP’d for an event, or to target your best customers for a special promotion.

ok, here’s a back to basics question. what is the best way to build a following on facebook?

Bigger businesses and organizations often see a lot of organic growth on Facebook. But smaller or lesser known organizations need to put a lot of effort in to build a follower base.

First, do the obvious things like put a link on your website, let current customers know about the Facebook Page, etc.

After that, some ways to grow a Facebook Page include offline promotion, co-promotion with relevant Pages, sweepstakes that include a Like component, and Facebook ad buys.

what are the most successful strategies you’ve seen to increase engagement on facebook?

The formula for increasing engagement on Facebook is pretty straightforward. You need to:

  • Create highly valuable and interesting posts that are relevant to the audience. Try to solve their problems, or make them laugh.
  • Include an image as often as possible. Images that are shareable like inspirational/motivational, funny, or are related to holidays, often do very well.
  • Keep copy short and catchy, and ask for engagement.

what are the most common mistakes you see brands making on facebook?

One common mistake is being too salesy. People Like a Page for interesting content, not to be sold to. Remember the 80/20 rule and focus mostly on providing great content, and to a lesser extent selling.
A second mistake is not posting images. Posts with images are more likely to be seen and get more engagement. Even if you are posting a link, include an image.
And, a third mistake is being too spammy. Nothing will get your Page unfollowed faster than bad content posted too often.

what brands do you believe are using facebook to its fullest potential as a marketing tool?

There are so many great examples. Two bigger brands I love to watch are Ben & Jerry’s and SephoraEllie is an example of a lesser-known consumer brand doing a great job driving traffic to their site and generating sales. A favorite government organization is Nasa. And, a b2b favorite is Social Media Examiner.

with things changing so frequently in the world of facebook marketing, what are the best ways to stay current with all of facebook’s changes?

There are many great resources for staying current will all of the Facebook changes. A few of my favorites are:


Facebook Marketing Tips Webinar Coming Soon!

I’m happy to announce an upcoming webinar… Here are all the details..

Join the authors of I’m on Facebook — Now What??? for a FREE webinar with sessions from each of the three authors. In this 90 minute webinar, each authors will do a 30 minute presentation jam-packed with information. We will expand on content from the book as well as share brand new information not available anywhere else. 
 
Date: June 27th, 2013
Time: 11am-12:30pm
 
Here is the schedule..
 
11am – 8 Tricks For Building a Thriving Facebook Community by Rachel Melia. Growing a thriving Facebook community can be challenging. In this webinar, learn 8 tricks for how you can build a community of the right fans that are engaged and ready to take action (and what to do next).
 
11:30am – Managing Professional Relationships on Facebook by Jason Alba. Finding prospects on Facebook (or any social network) is great. Now what do you do with them? Use a relationship management tool to develop your contacts into real relationships.  Don’t let prospects fall through the cracks.  Follow-up and nurture relationships.
 
12pm – Using Passion to Drive Growth and Conversation by Jesse Stay. Having grown many Facebook Pages to millions and millions of fans, Jesse has found one common theme that has helped grow all of them – passion. Focusing on the things that really resonate with your audience and implementing that throughout your social strategy will make night and day difference in how fast your brand grows for the amount you put into it. In this webinar Jesse will show you how to grow your brand on Facebook using passion, and what factors lead to a successful social strategy.
 
Don’t miss this exciting webinar, register now.
 
-Jason, Jesse & Rachel
*P.S. We will pick three lucky webinar viewers that will each win a signed copy of I’m On Facebook — Now What???, and one webinar viewer that will win a signed copy of Jesse’s book Google+ Marketing For Dummies. Register now!
 
*P.P.S. Enter for a chance to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. Purchase I’m On Facebook — Now What??? 2nd Ed. and be entered to win. Write an honest Amazon review for two additional entries. Purchase nowEnter by 7/3/13.

I’m On Facebook — Now What??? 2nd Edition Now Available!

I’ve been busy co-authoring a book on Facebook marketing “I’m on Facebook — Now What??? 2nd Edition” with the authors of the first edition, timthumb300x464Jason Alba and Jesse Stay.

I’m excited that the book is now available on Amazon and in stores.

Here’s the exerpt:

Facebook took the internet by storm and brought social media to the masses. There are now over 1 billion people using the site monthly, from all around the world. And Facebook, along with other popular social media properties, has revolutionized marketing. Where marketing was once dominated by one way messages to the masses, it is now much more relationship based. And while marketing used to require big budgets and favor large businesses, it can now be done much less expensively, leveling the playing field for organizations of all sizes and geographic regions.

In this updated version of the book we will bring you up to speed on the changes to Facebook since the last version of this book was published, as well as teach you how to get started with a Facebook business Page, how to create engaging content that meets overall objectives, how to manage your Facebook Page and build community, how to create successful Facebook ad buys and promotions, how to measure success, and how to use Facebook applications and plugins.

The book is written in easy to understand language and includes many examples of how successful businesses and organizations are using Facebook, as well as Action Items to help you utilize what you learn.

Contains a foreword by Mari Smith and an afterword by Mike Stelzner (of Social Media Examiner).

Hope you like it!


How To Create a Facebook Reporting Template

My most popular post of all time was on social media reporting templates, so I wanted to share updated information.  Here are some tips about what to include in a Facebook reporting template as well as an example.  You can add other social media properties to compare high level performance.

First as some background..  There is ALOT of data available.  Facebook Insights has great data.  And if you are using a social media management tool like HootSuite or Sprout Social, those have great information also.  Google Analytics also provides valuable data.  And there are other free and paid tools like PageLever, etc.

All this data is great, and can be very useful for understanding and improving your efforts. But it can also be overwhelming.  At the end of the day, it’s important to track several key high level metrics.  Many set up a simple reporting dashboard to do this.

You’ll want to include Facebook metrics like total Likes, new Likes and unlikes, as well as reach, and engagement rate.  You’ll also want to include metrics that track performance against business objectives including traffic to your blog or website, mentions, improved brand sentiment, leads or email opt-ins, reduction in customer service calls, sales, and revenue.  Here is a simple reporting dashboard that can be tweaked for your business’ unique objectives and reporting capabilities.

facebook reporting template


The Future of Social Networks

I’m excited to be featured in The Future of Social Networks as Interpreted by 21 Social Media Practitioners, an article that appeared yesterday on the Ignite Social Media blog.

The article asked 3 questions of the 21 social media professionals:

1. Do you think social networking has hit a saturation point and peaked in user interest?

2. Compared to what happened to MySpace, what do you think is the future of Facebook?

3. For businesses and brands that are just starting to ramp up in 2012, what new social networking trends do you see going forward?

Here are my answers:

1. Yes, I believe social networking is close to a saturation point. Most everyone that wants to be social is. There will still be some growth in the older demographics and hold outs.

2. That’s funny you asked. I am updating a book that was written in 2008. It says “Of course MySpace has the biggest user base, with over 200 million people registered. At the time of this writing Facebook only has 70 million users.” Wow, how things change in four years. I believe Facebook will be around for a long time. While MySpace only caught on with the younger crowd, Facebook appeals to everyone, and checking Facebook has become as regular as checking email to many.

3. Of course Pinterest is the current darling. I believe it will become more popular, and continue to have a mostly female audience. Images have become more important on properties like Facebook and Pinterest, and I believe brands will invest more time creating and sharing great images.

Click here to read the entire article.  Enjoy!  What do you think is the future of social networks?


6 Brands Doing Facebook Images Right

Images have become a very important part of Facebook page posts.  Facebook gives a higher EdgeRank score to posts with photos so they are more likely to show up in a newsfeed, and posts with photos get increased interaction.

Here are a few examples of brands doing a great job with images.  Several are in the food and beverage category as I’ve been paying close attention to the category because of my client in the category, Margaritaville Mixed Drinker.  And yes, I did include Margaritaville Cargo, the Facebook page for the Mixed Drink Maker, in the list 🙂

Jamba Juice

Bright, fun images with clever copy make we want to head to my nearest Jamba Juice.

Jamba Juice Facebook image

Starbucks

They have a passionate fan base of 31 million coffee lovers.  I’m not a coffee lover, but their posts makes me want to become one.

Starbucks Facebook image

Budweiser

Their close-up images and clever copy make me yearn for a cold one.

Budweiser Facebook image

Disney

Who doesn’t love classic Disney images and iconic quotes?  I’m ready to go to Red Box and get a movie for Friday Night Movie Night.

Disney Facebook image

Jetsetter

I can’t wait to get the Daily Moment of Zen each day.  Time to start planning my next vacation.

Jetsetter Facebook image

Margaritaville Cargo

We use enticing images, fun fill-in-the-blanks, and exotic locales that make fans want to mix up a refreshing cocktail.

Margaritaville Cargo Facebook image


5 Tips To Increase Facebook Fan Engagement

It is really important to get Facebook page engagement rate up as much as possible to maintain EdgeRank score (Facebook’s algorithm for deciding which posts make it to your fan’s newsfeed), and to meet other objectives like awareness, brand affinity, referrals, and sales.  Here are some tips.

1.       Get the right people on the page

The more highly interested fans, the easier it is to get interaction on a page.  So, first focus on getting anyone who has any interest in your brand to your Facebook page.  Make sure to have a Facebook icon front and center on your website.  Also send emails to your email list, promote via other social media, and include links everywhere else you can.. signage, email signatures, etc.  Next, do targeted ad buys or sweepstakes/contests with highly relevant prizes to increase the number of fans that are interested in the page content.

2.       Post stunning images

Facebook has become very visual.  Facebook gives preference to images and people are more likely to interact with images that catch their eye.  Take advantage of this by posting images as often as possible.  See this example from client, Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker’s Facebook page.  Who doesn’t love seeing a picture of Bora Bora?

Image

3.       Use clever copy and include calls to action

 Make your copy short and appealing to the audience.  Not always, but often, include calls to action to comment, Like, share, etc.  Here is another example from client Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker’s Facebook page.  This post earned a 9.21% engagement rate (vs. 2-3% industry average).

Image

4.       Respond to comments regularly

People want to be heard.  So show them you are listening by replying to their questions and comments.  If you don’t respond they will stop interacting, and if you do, they are more likely to interact again as well as buy your product.

5.       Make it fun with events and offers

A great way to get fans excited and interacting is with a fun sweepstakes or contest.  As a bonus (and often primary objective) increase Likes, email opt-ins, and referral traffic.

What are some of your tips for increasing engagement rate?


2012 Social Media Stats

ImageWith the year almost half over, here are some recent interesting stats for many the top social media properties.

Facebook

  • —  Over 845 million active users (Facebook)
  • —  #2 trafficked website in the world behind Google (Alexa)
  • —  57% log in daily (Facebook)
  • —  2.7 billion likes and comments/day (Facebook)
  • —  Approx. 26% of referral traffic (Shareaholic)

Twitter

  • —  500 million registered users, approx. 200 million active (mediabistro)
  • —  36% tweet at least 1x/day (mediabistro)
  • —  175 million tweets/day (mediabistro)
  • —  8th most trafficked website (Alexa)
  • —  Approx. 3.6% of referral traffic (Shareaholic)

YouTube

  • —  800 million users/mo (YouTube)
  • —  60 hours of video uploaded every minute (YouTube)
  • —  4 billion videos viewed/day (YouTube)
  • —  500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute (YouTube)
  • —  #3 most trafficked site (Alexa)
  • —  Approx. 1.05% of referral traffic (Shareaholic)

LinkedIn

  • —  150 million professionals (LinkedIn)
  • —  74% of LinkedIn users have a college degree or better, with 26% having a graduate degree (LinkedIn)
  • —  2 million+ companies have company pages (LinkedIn)
  • —  1 million+ Groups (LinkedIn)
  • —  12th most trafficked site (Alexa)
  • —  Approx .2% of referral traffic (Shareaholic)

WordPress

  • —  48% of the top 100 blogs run on WordPress (Technorati)
  • —  16% of all websites run on WordPress, estimated 20-25% of new websites built on WordPress (WordPress)
  • —  70 million WordPress blogs worldwide (WordPress)

Pinterest

  • —  18.7 million unique users (comScore)
  • —  Retaining and engaging users 2-3 times as efficiently as Twitter was at a similar time in history (RJMetrics)
  • —  98 min average/mo on site (comScore)
  • —  97% female (AppData)
  • —  Top areas of the country for Pinterest users: East South Central (Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee) and West North Central (Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota)
  • —  Approx. 3.6% of referral traffic (Shareaholic)
  • —  39th most trafficked site (Alexa)

Google

  • —  100 million active users (Google)
  • —  Ave. 6 minutes on site
  • —  71% are male
  • —  Approx. .22% of referral traffic (Shareaholic)

Instagram

  • —  30 million+ registered app users (Instagram)
  • —  1 billion+ photos uploaded (Instagram)
  • —  5 million+ photos uploaded/day (Instagram)

Tumblr

  • —  1.8 million users (Tumblr)
  • —  Hosts 50 million blogs (Tumblr)
  • —  160 min ave. on site/mo, second to Facebook (Tumblr)
  • —  Skews heavily 12-24 (Tumblr)

I’m excited by Pinterest opportunities.  Were you surprised by any of the numbers above? Let me know in the comments below.


How To Do A Facebook Ad Buy

FacebookIn my last blog post I shared 10 Ways To Increase Your Facebook Likes. The final suggestion was to do a Facebook ad buy. In this post I will share how to do a basic Facebook ad buy.

First, some things to know:

Creating a Facebook Page is free, but running an ad campaign requires a budget. Grow your Page as much as possible for free first, then consider doing an ad buy to increase your Likes more.

Facebook ad buy costs are going up. Just like Google paid search costs started very low and increased as advertisers jumped on board, Facebook ad buy costs are also increasing. 2010 cost per clicks were about double 2009 cost per clicks. That said, Facebook ad buys can still be very effective and costs are likely lower now than they will be a year from now.

Let’s get started..

1.       Go to the Facebook page you want to promote, then click on “Promote with an Ad

2.       Now you are able to “Design Your Ad

a.       Select Destination. You can select an External URL (a website) or a Facebook Page or Event. My instructions are for ads promoting a Facebook page.

b.      Select Type of ad. Sponsored Stories are new. There are three options, click to see what each looks like. Facebook Ads are the standard ad. I will share how to create a Facebook Ad.

c.       Select Destination tab. You can drive people to your Wall, Welcome tab, or other tabs on your Facebook page. If you have a Welcome tab I recommend sending people there. A well designed Welcome tab can double your conversion to Like. If not, the Wall is generally where you want to send people.

d.      Choose a Title. If you are linking to an external website, you can create a title, otherwise, the Facebook page name is the default title.

e.      Create your Body copy. I generally recommend copy that clearly explains what type of content a person will find on a Page and a clear call to Like the page.

f.        Upload Image. Choose a relevant and appealing image.

You will see a preview of the ad.

3.       Next, choose your Targeting

a.       Select Location. The default is United States. You can also target by State, City, or Country.

b.      Select Demographics. Select the age you wish to target, as well as Sex.

c.       Choose Interests. Here you can select interests, like golfing, etc. as well as competitive or similar Facebook pages. Type selections into the box, and you will see Estimated Reach on the right hand side.

d.      Select Connections on Facebook. I usually recommend targeting “Only people who are not fans of xx”. And larger Pages can target “friends of fans of xx”.

e.      Select Advanced Demographics, if applicable.

f.        Select Education & Work. This is where you can target by Education and Workplaces.

4.       Lastly, enter Campaigns, Pricing, and Scheduling information.

a.       Create a Campaign Name. To do this, click on “Create a new campaign”.

b.      Enter the Budget. If you want to enter the entire campaign budget select “Lifetime budget”. Facebook will deliver your budget evenly over the life of the campaign.  If you have a very limited budget, you can start small.  $50 will get you a nice little test. If the budget allows, increase for a longer campaign and better initial learning.

c.       Select Campaign Schedule

Now your first ad is created and you can click “Place Order”.  You will be dropped at your campaign page.  You can run the campaign with just one ad, but it is recommended to create multiple ads, as Facebook optimizes by ad performance. To create more ads, go to your first ad and click on “Create a Similar Ad”.  In order to test the ads, change only one variable in each ad. For example, change the copy and keep the image and target the same, etc. Make sure to name each ad clearly so you can easily differentiate.

Once Facebook approves your ads, your campaign will go live.  Good luck!  Once live, monitor the campaign and stop it if your cost per Like is unacceptable. And, once you have these new Likes on your Page, make sure to give them valuable content so they stay, and work to convert them to achieve your business goals.

Feel free to ask me any questions!


10 Ways To Increase Your Facebook Likes

Facebook LieIf you have a Facebook page for your business and want to increase Likes, here are some suggestions. Some are very basic (but work) and others will take a little more effort.  Here goes..

1.       Send an email to your friends and family asking them to Like your Facebook page. Maybe they are not your target, but they will get your Likes up to make your page look more legitimate and may be more likely to comment/Like which is helpful to get interaction going on the page, and helps for newsfeed optimization.

2.       Send an email to your email list (current clients, partners.. anyone that you think might benefit from your Facebook page). Again, let them know your page exists. Email really is the best way to increase your numbers quickly.

3.       Add your Facebook icon/url everywhere. Add icons to your website and blog, add an icon or url to your business cards and email signature, add a link from your LinkedIn profile, add an icon/link to any presentations you do and printed collateral, and put up signage if you have a physical presence.

4.       Add a Facebook Like box to your blog. This way people can see others that have Liked your page (including their friends if any have Liked your page) and Like the Facebook page without leaving the blog.

5.       Cross promote your Facebook page on your other social media properties.  Periodically simply mention your Facebook page on your personal Facebook page, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Or if there is anything exciting happening on your Facebook page, mention that.

6.       Take advantage of any opportunities to share your Facebook page.  Some Facebook pages periodically let others share their Facebook page on their wall for their audience to see.  Facebook guru, Mari Smith, does this periodically.  She has 44k Likes so a huge potential audience. The WIC Facebook page also does this periodically, so be on the lookout for this opportunity. Some LinkedIn groups also post Discussions allowing members to share their Facebook pages. And periodically email lists ask members to share.  Look for these opportunities.

7.       Link to other Facebook pages in your posts. To do this, first Like the other page, then link to the page in your post by typing @ and then the page name. Your post will show up on the other page’s wall and the page owner or others may notice the post and visit your page.

8.       Host a Q&A on your Facebook wall. Get an expert to answer questions on a relevant topic. If the expert has a large social media following, many may come to the event and Like your page.

9.       Promote your page at live events. Beyond mentioning your page you can get more creative. Let people know they can like your page from their phone by texting the name of the page (for example, womeninconsulting) to FBOOK.  Or, if you have a computer, ask them to Like the page on the spot in exchange for something (entering a contest, free product, etc.)

10.   Do a Facebook ad buy. If you have a marketing budget, consider a Facebook ad buy. Cost are going up, but advertising may still make sense (and if you want to advertise at some point you may want to do it now, while costs are still reasonable).

Do you have any other suggestions?

*This post was originally published to the Women In Consulting blog