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How to Build Your Facebook Audience

A guide for bloggers and media publishers looking to grow their Facebook audience through better content, promotions and advertising.

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How to Build Your Facebook Audience

  2. 2. @GRINER TYPE-A PARENT CONFERENCE 2013 A T L A N T A , G A . S P E C I A L T H A N K S T O : K E L B Y C A R R , T Y P E - A P A R E N T F O U N D E R M E L A N I E N E L S O N , T Y P E - A P A R E N T P R O G R A M M I N G D I R E C T O R C O V E R P H O T O B Y R E T O F E T Z / F L I C K R C R E A T I V E C O M M O N S Originally presented at #TypeACon
  3. 3. @GRINER •  About 20% of referral traffic to major content publishers is driven from Facebook •  Twitter is around 6% •  That said, it varies wildly by site First off, how important is Facebook? #TypeACon Source: ChartBeat/Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic, 10/12/12
  4. 4. @GRINER How important is Facebook? #TypeACon Overall traffic sources for YearOfAlabamaFood.com:
  5. 5. @GRINER When your post does go viral on Facebook, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to make the most of it And you never know when things might blow up #TypeACon
  6. 6. @GRINER #TypeACon
  7. 7. @GRINER #TypeACon
  8. 8. @GRINER #TypeACon
  9. 9. @GRINER #TypeACon Oh, hey there.
  10. 10. @GRINER 1.  Organic content 2.  Promotions (Giveaways, contests, etc.) 3.  Advertising and promoted content So how do you build a Facebook audience? #TypeACon
  11. 11. @GRINER 1.  Better images 2.  Better coding on your site Part I: Organic Content Two ways to grow audience #TypeACon
  12. 12. @GRINER Recently, Facebook changed the way it displays photos in post links. The change is good, if you adapt to it. 1. Better images #TypeACon
  13. 13. @GRINER #TypeACon It used to work like this:
  14. 14. @GRINER #TypeACon So publishers started doing this:
  15. 15. @GRINER #TypeACon Facebook compromised with this:
  16. 16. @GRINER #TypeACon Which is great, unless you end up with this.
  17. 17. @GRINER •  Go horizontal. (Specifically, Facebook uses a 1.91:1 aspect ratio.) •  Recommended minimum size is 600 px x 315 px •  Ideal is 1,200 px x 630 px or more For ideal Facebook images #TypeACon
  18. 18. @GRINER No worries. Now you can upload custom photos when you’re posting. Doesn’t work with your blog layout? #TypeACon
  19. 19. @GRINER #TypeACon Huzzah!
  20. 20. @GRINER Welcome to the super duper boring part of blogging. But it’s pretty important. 2. Better coding on your site #TypeACon
  21. 21. @GRINER Facebook Open Graph (OG) tags can have a big impact on your site’s shareability and fan growth Let’s get OG #TypeACon
  22. 22. @GRINER They’re built into the metadata of your site in the same way that your post titles and summaries are. OG tags tell Facebook lots of info about your site and your posts. How OG tags work #TypeACon
  23. 23. @GRINER OG tags in their natural environment #TypeACon Woo, it’s gettin’ hot in here.
  24. 24. @GRINER OG tags you already know #TypeACon OG:Title – Post headline OG:Site_name – Name of your blog OG:Description – Post summary (Facebook recommends 2 sentences or more, btw) OG:Type - Designates your content as an article, opening up other tag options (WordPress plugins typically cover all this.)
  25. 25. @GRINER Other tags you SHOULD know #TypeACon Article:author – Lets you identify the Facebook URL of the post author, which will trigger a “Follow” button on posts (Good for multi-author blogs.) Article:publisher – Identifies the Facebook page of your blog, which will trigger a “Like Page” button on posts. (This one’s super important.)
  26. 26. @GRINER Effect of Author and Publisher tags #TypeACon
  27. 27. @GRINER Right now, lots of blogs and even mainstream media outlets are behind on these new Facebook formats and options. Taking advantage of them now can help set your site apart and make the most of your content being shared. Subtle, but important #TypeACon
  28. 28. @GRINER As you probably know, Facebook has eased up its restrictions on giveaways and contests, but there are still lots of rules to know about. Part II: Promotions #TypeACon
  29. 29. @GRINER Until August 2013, Facebook required all promotions be hosted on third-party applications, usually in the form of “tab apps” on your Facebook page. Now Facebook has dropped this rule, allowing pages to host giveaways that can be entered by Liking or commenting on a post. The big change #TypeACon
  30. 30. @GRINER Hosting a promotion in an application still has a lot of benefits. But just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD #TypeACon
  31. 31. @GRINER Why still use an app? #TypeACon Using an app for your giveaway or contest makes it easier to gather contact information, sign up participants for future emails and embed rules.
  32. 32. @GRINER •  The ability to measure analytics •  Fan-gating to require visitors Like the page before entering •  Lots more design/image flexibility A few more perks of promotion apps: #TypeACon
  33. 33. @GRINER •  Your attempts to contact winners privately can get caught in their “Other” inbox or blocked outright by privacy settings •  You’ll still have to include the line, “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.” If you do a giveaway on your Facebook page… #TypeACon
  34. 34. @GRINER •  “Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions” •  That means you can’t allow entries via sharing a post on a user’s own wall (or a friend’s) •  Try to avoid violating this when running giveaways on your blog, as well. Giveaways on your wall also include one big restriction #TypeACon
  35. 35. @GRINER If you’re going to be doing several smaller giveaways, create a Facebook tab app that makes it easy for winners to enter their contact info. It can also include your rules and disclaimers. Then you can simply link to one app when you announce giveaways or notify winners. Here’s a good compromise #TypeACon
  36. 36. @GRINER A few promotion tools I recommend #TypeACon Shortstack Woobox
  37. 37. @GRINER When used in conjunction, promotions and Facebook ads are the single most effective way to build audience. Part III: Advertising and Promoted Content #TypeACon
  38. 38. @GRINER Daily fan growth example #TypeACon
  39. 39. @GRINER Daily fan growth example #TypeACon Giveaway w/ advertising & email blasts Contest w/ email blasts (no advertising) Giveaway w/ advertising & email blasts
  40. 40. @GRINER Daily fan growth example #TypeACon Giveaway w/ advertising & email blasts Contest w/ email blasts (no advertising) Giveaway w/ advertising & email blasts Despite strong daily engagement, fan growth between promotions was essentially flat.
  41. 41. @GRINER Advertising on Facebook comes in a lot of flavors, but the two you should care most about are: •  Like ads (Sponsored Stories) •  Promoted Posts Facebook ad options #TypeACon
  42. 42. @GRINER If your site is well known, Like ads can be an effective way to generate new fans. Plus…. Like ads vs. Promoted Posts #TypeACon
  43. 43. @GRINER Daily fan growth example #TypeACon They are literally the cheapest ads on earth.
  44. 44. @GRINER But if your content is your strong suit and your name recognition is low, go with promoted posts. Like ads vs. Promoted Posts #TypeACon
  45. 45. @GRINER 1.  Create a budget and timeline, then tell Facebook to promote your newest post 2.  Manually promote your posts for any dollar amount on any schedule Remember: You can target your promotion to any location, demographic or fan base. Two ways to buy Promoted Posts #TypeACon
  46. 46. @GRINER If you’re promoting content, first be sure any image you’re promoting contains less than 20% text. Otherwise, Facebook will reject your post. Beware ‘The 20% Rule’ #TypeACon
  47. 47. @GRINER The 20% Rule in action #TypeACon
  48. 48. @GRINER Facebook’s ‘Grid Tool’ lets you check #TypeACon
  49. 49. @GRINER While many people focus on complying with the 20% rule, they don’t realize that promoted posts also must abide by Facebook’s lengthy ad guidelines. So many rules #TypeACon
  50. 50. @GRINER “Ad text must include proper grammar and the use of all symbols, numbers, or letters must adhere to the true meaning of the symbol.” (Bless you for this one, Facebook.) More Facebook ad rules you should know about #TypeACon
  51. 51. @GRINER More Facebook ad rules to know #TypeACon • Can’t “position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner.” • “Ads may not contain content that exploits political agendas or ‘hot button’ issues for commercial use.” • Can’t imply the audience’s gender, religion, age or sexual orientation • “Ads may not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives.”
  52. 52. @GRINER Keep an eye out #TypeACon Facebook is currently overhauling its entire approach to ad units, scheduled to roll out “this fall.”
  53. 53. @GRINER As frustrating as Facebook’s ever-changing options can be, it’s worth experimenting and adapting your approach to audience growth. (But you still have a Constitutionally protected right to complain about it.) How to keep growing on Facebook #TypeACon
  54. 54. @GRINER David Griner Twitter: @Griner Email: Griner@gmail.com Linkedin.com/in/Griner Thanks for your time #TypeACon