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What I learned at #SocialFresh

by Meghann on February 24, 2011

Do you know what happens when one Social Media Obsessed Blogger attends an in depth Social Media for business conference with a couple hundred of her closest peers?

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She realizes she knows absolutely nothing and should probably start from square one.

Ok, that’s not true.

She realizes there’s a whole big social media world out there and she’s only begun to grasp the very edge of it. πŸ™‚

Facebook

Day 1 of Social Fresh was all about Facebook for businesses.

It was pretty much a wham, bam, thank you ma’am, brain dump of knowledge.

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Fun Facebook Facts:

  • The average Facebook fan page has 624 likes
  • Business 2 Consumer companies have on average more likes than Business 2 Business
  • On average only 1 in 500 updates make it to the Newsfeed
  • 41% people say they like a page for Promotional benefits. 39% because they actually like the brand.

Content

In the world of Facebook, content and interaction are key and it’s all about quality over quantity. Several studies have shown that companies who post every other day receive more interaction than companies that post every day.

Did you know there was a Facebook Algorithm called EdgeRank that determines which updates make it in your newsfeed?

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Companies that appear more often in newsfeeds are more likely to be interacted with, shared, and liked.

Ellie Mirman from HubSpot led a great session on Getting Your Content Seen. She broke down 20 tips on breaking down the barrier of the algorithm to make sure your content appears in your fans’ newsfeeds. Her tips from the presentation can be found here for anyone interested.

My biggest takeaway for the business side is being able to target Facebook posts via locations, so you can target a post to only be seen by people living in Florida for instance. Anytime you target fans the post will more likely appear in their newsfeed.

Tabs

Companies who take advantage of tabs on average have more likes than companies that do not. The key to tabs is keeping it simple and synced. Two or three is best for engaging fans, anymore would be too cluttered and messy and any less would leave your fans little reason for staying on the page.

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Personally, I’m a BIG fan of welcome pages. The trick to a good welcome page is giving the reader a call to action. Such as Chobani below who prompts the reader if they love Chobani then they should like their page.

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There was a big debate about ‘Like-Gating’ (where a company hides a portion of their Facebook page until the fan has agreed to like them) throughout the two days. Personally, I am not a fan, but studies have shown that Facebook Pages who ‘like-gate’ see a dramatic increase in likes.

There are also debates on whether walls should be everyone posts view or only the page posts view. Right now I’m resisting the ‘page posts only view.’ I mainly go to business Facebook Pages to see what other people are saying about the brand, not just what the company has to say about themselves.

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It’s no secret that Facebook will stop supporting Static FBML on March 11. Instead iFrame will take over as the new wave of designing Facebook Tabs. HubSpot posted a really informative iFrame tutorial that can be found here. The iFrame needs a little more backend support, but will ultimately be a little more designer friendly.

Facebook Ads

I was a little weary going into the Facebook Ad session, but after an hour of facts and figures, I really, really want to test a couple out and see what the results are.

The biggest selling point for Facebook ads is how targeted your ads can be. AND you can keep costs down by selecting out-of-the box interest topics. They used a great example where Lane Bryant targeted people who listed Biggest Loser as one of their favorite tv shows with their ads.

Here’s a great tutorial on Facebook Ads in case you’re interested.

Facebook Analytics

Probably the most informative session of the day, but also the most confusing. I tried to keep up, but was truly more lost than you’ll ever know!

What I did take away was that you should take advantage of iFrame and find ways to intertwine Facebook with your Google Analytics. One of the biggest pieces of advice presented was creating personalized URLS for each of your social media outlets and tracking how those URLS move to get a better feel of where people are coming from and how they’re finding your business.

Here’s a copy of the presentation I saw. This information is great for tracking and measuring Social Media from a business perspective, which has traditionally been next to impossible!

Everything Else

Day 2 was a little more scattered than day 1 as I was volunteering and away from my laptop for half the day. I failed at collecting good notes and wasn’t as interested in the material as I had been during the Facebook day.

The big topic – for me – was the discussion on location-based check-in marketing and it’s future for non-storefront companies. The trend is showing that people will be able to ‘check-in’ to phrases or moods that companies can align with. I’m really interested to see where this new market will go.

Social Media and the Future

Most people/companies look at Social Media as a ‘tell me what to do and I’ll do it’ type of approach, but that is NOT the case at all. There are no guaranteed answers. It’s about testing, trying, and figuring out what works for YOUR business over and over again.

Social Media is constantly evolving and consumers are smart. A twitter or Facebook campaign that worked for onw company may be tiring for the fans of another.

For example:

How many times have we seen the following sentences appear on a blog or on a company’s website?

For additional entires to XYZ Giveaway you can:

  • Follow XYZ Company on Twitter
  • Tweet: “Check out the XYZ Giveaway on XYZ Blog”
  • Like XYZ Company on Facebook
  • Post on your Facebook Wall:Β Β “Check out the XYZ Giveaway on XYZ Blog”

And when’s the last time you followed those guidelines?

I think the additional entries scenario is just one example of a style campaign that has worked for companies in the past, but is a dying art. If XYZ company were smart they would approach the blogger in a new, revamped way to see if they could get their message across in a fresh style that keeps their audience interested.

The trick to being successful in Social Media is keeping one step ahead of the game. You want your company to be the FIRST to try something new, even if you’re the second, it may be too late to reap the same benefits.

Alright, that was a BRAIN DUMP.

I would love to hear your opinions on all the topics discussed. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

1 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) February 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Algorithms, what? They never talked about this on The Social Network πŸ™‚

Thanks for sharing your newfound wisdom. I love learning more about social media. It sure is changing the world as we know it.

2 Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin February 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Wow Meghann!! It sounds like you learned so much. I’ve thought about doing a Facebook Ad for my blog but wasn’t sure – – it’s so cool that you can target the ads like that! Thank you for all this info.
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3 Natalie @ Will Jog For Food February 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm

So much GREAT stuff! Just bookmarked this post so I can re-read and absorb even more πŸ™‚
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4 Dori February 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Fascinating! Thank you for the recap. Good stuff here that will help me at work, and I am reading about News Feed Optimization now.
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5 Jason Scott February 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Great Post! I wasn’t able to attend, but followed along on twitter. I agree, it was a brain dump, but it sounds like we were able to draw specific things from the experience. πŸ™‚
Jason Scott recently posted..What Does a Blog Award Even Mean

6 Katy (The Singing Runner) February 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

This is fantastic and informative. I am looking forward to reading up more on social media and marketing this weekend! πŸ˜€
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7 Jess@atasteofconfidence February 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

All of this info is so interesting- thanks for sharing!!
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8 Stacy @ Every Little Thing February 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm

All very interesting info! I really dislike when blogs/companies do the whole “Tweet this, like us on FB, blog about it, THEN you can enter our giveaway” …seriously? I never, EVER do it. Why are we making people do so much work for companies? Shouldn’t they be doing this stuff anyway, because they like the brand or blog, rather than luring them into it because of a giveaway?
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9 Katherine: Unemployed February 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I’m so the same way
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10 Megan February 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Usually, it’s the company. I mean, yes, some blogs require you to “like” all their stuff or tweet about them or whatever, but I know that some companies require you to ask readers to like them or follow them on twitter as part of the deal in you getting their product to give away.
Basically, I’m just saying, don’t take it out on the blogger πŸ™‚
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11 Meghann February 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I know that’s why I said the company should approach the Blogger with a fresh idea πŸ™‚

12 Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans February 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I love learning about the ways tht different forms of social media have transformed how we interact and do business. I can’t say that I support all the changes to social dynamics but there are defintiely a lot of benefits to be found when these tools are used in complimentary ways.

13 Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

This makes me realize how much more is out there in the world of Facebook….oh how I miss the college days when it was just about finding other college friends πŸ˜‰
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14 Hope February 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Thank you for all of this information. It’s crazy to see how much influence Facebook has made on everything. I really learned a lot by reading this πŸ™‚
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15 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Ok, so I don’t have time to read this as in-depth as I want to right now, but I’m printing it off as my reading material for tonight!! I think it’s super interesting so far, and I love how some companies have leveraged Facebook so well (while others certainly have not!) Great post Meghann!
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16 Stephanie @ Living and Loving February 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

This is really great information. I’m going to read more into this post tonight (click on all the links and stuff ;)). I’m really interested in how to grow my blog and am trying to learn different ways to make that happen. I post on my own personal FB Page about when I post, but have been thinking about creating my blog FB page… We’ll see! Anyways, thanks for sharing all this information!!! I really appreciate all your hard work in writing this post!!
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17 Nellie February 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I think it depends on the company when you decide what approach you’ll take. For instance, I work for a small, entrepreneurial company that is highly community based. I would never dream of making a corporate-looking welcome page that patronizingly tells people to “like” the page for the company I work for, but for Disney, other consumer products and services, etc, it makes sense. I mean, if they like us, they’ll like the page. The “welcome page” is basically the wall, a series of happy customers asking questions/singing praises, etc. I think that’s ultimately the point of Facebook: consumers being the “evangelists,” not the company. I agree with Stacy & Katherine. Inauthenticity has no place on Facebook, because it’s probably the richest form of efficient, immediate person-to-person web interaction that we have (I don’t include blogs because it’s not exactly the same thing).
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18 Jason Scott February 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I agree, Nellie. Not all strategies work for everyone or every company. The biggest thing I learned from this conference is to take away from it what works best for me. I don’t own my own company, but many of the topics/issues I’m able to apply to my own “brand”.
Jason Scott recently posted..What Does a Blog Award Even Mean

19 amy February 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

the facebook ads link doesn’t work πŸ™ but other than that, great post! love your blog.

20 Meghann February 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

It worked for me, but just in case here’s the original link http://www.shoemoney.com/facebook-advertising-soup-to-nuts-guide/

21 Kacy February 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm

This topic is so overwhelming to me! I’m trying to get my foot in the door with social media, but I have so far to go. My blog is still a disaster, haha. Baby steps I suppose.
Kacy recently posted..A letter to my lost self

22 Jason Scott February 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

If you haven’t done it, I highly recommend doing #blogchat on twitter, Sunday nights at 9pm EST. I’ve learned so much just from doing that about blogging. πŸ™‚
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23 Lee @ RealLeeRunning February 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

So much great information! I am such a newbie but social media really intrigues me. I love it! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait until the announce the Social Fresh dates for MD!
Lee @ RealLeeRunning recently posted..Nails and the weight room

24 Rachel Wilkerson February 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm

We were actually just talking about some of this at work today — mainly, the landing page thing! I ended up creating a static landing page because it’s so much easier and faster. I think iframes are surprisingly easy, but you have to have a place ready for them to point, and that requires building that place. But we might switch over at some point. As of right now, however you do it, I think it’s really good for pages to have them.

My thoughts on the debatable topics —
– I think FB pages should always be Posts by ALL
– I like Welcome pages a lot
– I agree that the way most companies do giveaways is LAME but I also think that customers/bloggers can help companies out here by asking for better contests
– I’ve been playing with the location-based thing for a non-storefront for the past month or so and I agree, figuring out the best way to do it is going to be super important
– Facebook may be creepy in its info-stealing but it’s SO useful to marketers in terms of targeted ads, it’s honestly kind of brilliant, even if it’s evil.
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25 Katy February 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Can I just take your recap and post it on my site! πŸ™‚

GREAT job, sister…it was so much fun going with you, and I’m already trying to figure out how to use all of the stuff we learned at work and at home.

26 Alaina February 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for the great (albeit head scratching) tips! πŸ˜›

I never knew all that went into making sure you are out there in the media. I really thought it was the whole “more is better” mantra. I guess “quality over quantity” is where it’s at!
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27 Emily @ Savory and Savage February 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Wow, you packed in so much information into one post!

It will take me a while to go through it all.

I did love your mention in your last post about photo – shopping out the dog hair πŸ™‚
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28 Grace February 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with us! It was all very interesting, I plan on using some or those Facebook tips for sure!
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29 Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Wow that is a ton of info — I’ll have to check back and read again!
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30 Sara (Miles and Manhattan) February 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Oh so interesting, thanks for the recap, doll!
XOXO
S
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31 Kara February 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Wow, social media is way more complicated that I thought. I think the most interesting part is how quickly it must evolve to stay “fresh”.
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32 melissa (fitnessnyc) February 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

wow! so much information. I’ll have to read this post a few more times! Not that I ever read your posts just once! πŸ™‚
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33 Jessica @ The Virtual Scrapbook February 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Oh – I can’t even digest all this now. I have been waiting for this post since you started tweeting about social fresh. Awesome info!!
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34 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Geez, hearing all that makes me realize that I could never have my own business… it seems so hard! Haha πŸ™‚
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35 Lindsay February 24, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Really interesting points, Meghann! Thank you!

36 Te-Erika (My Savvy Sisters) February 25, 2011 at 12:46 am

I was with you only half of the time. The other half I was sitting here going “huh”? Now you’ve given me more research to do. Thanks! =) Love your writing style by the way.

37 Jenn (eating bender) February 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

This post is amazing. Just saying. πŸ™‚ I felt like I was actually there! Thank you for sharing.
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38 Kate February 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I loved this post so much. So many good points and so much to think about! I’m really passionate about social media and am trying to shape my career to move into that field completely. I’m hoping they’ll do a conference like this near me so I can pick up more helpful information. Thank you for sharing.
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