Tag Archives: Facebook

Crappy Image Cropping on Facebook posts with links? The 20% rule makes your posts POP!

Putting links on your posts is a critical part of your marketing strategy. Without that link so Fans can click to go to  your website, event registration, blog, etc it is just a picture. Links with your images turn entertainment into marketing and Marketing is what your Fans expect and a business needs.

Facebook has recently changed their image formatting so that when you add a link to your image it autoloads information and crops your image to make room. Most images don’t survive the cropping and important elements get cut off. Many are resorting to removing links to keep images looking good which defeats the point of Social Marketing, but keeping the link damages the brand. What to do???

dougs blog problem and result feb 15, 2016
What to do – the 20% rule

Thank goodness Facebook is ran by a computer and contrary to the idea that computers are all thinking and all knowing they are, in fact, quite dumb and predictable. Facebook has a 20% rule for cropping images which works slightly differently for Portrait and Landscape orientation. Note you should always use Landscape as it is preferred for all social sites. But here is the guideline for both Portrait and Landscape. Here is a simple tool for the 20% check http://www.social-contests.com/check-image/

Portrait:

Portrait oriented images are cropped on the top and bottom. This requires creating an additional 20+% of space on the top and bottom of your image to avoid cropping. The red inset on the left image is how it appears on Facebook when posted with a link. To ensure that it is not cropped I put the image into the 20% checker to see how much I needed to add to the top and bottom to avoid cropping. Note: for Portrait orientation images adding space on the sides does not change the cropping.

dougs blog portrait before and after feb 15, 2016
Landscape:

Landscape images are also cropped on the top and  bottom. The red inset on the right is how it appears on Facebook with a link. Notice the image is only cropped on the bottom 20%. However when a 20% buffer is applied to the bottom it forces the top to get cropped and so 20% buffer on top and bottom is still required.

dougs blog landscape side by side feb 15, 2016

And the winner is?!

dougs blog final post for landscape on Facebook with link feb 15, 2016

Hint, you don’t need Photoshop to fix your pics. If you have an image cropping tool like MS snipping tool or Pic Monkey just put your image in any document or email and then clip it and add 20% on the appropriate edges. It doesn’t matter the background colour as it will be cropped out in the final post.

Much success,

Doug

Douglas@PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

Advertisements

Mrs. Smith’s 3rd grade class designs Facebook’s Video algorithm, or so it seems

It is no secret that Facebook is competing with other social apps in a determined effort to be all things to everyone and the last app standing. A short time back they took on YouTube in an attempt for most video views. To accomplish this they rewarded Fans who uploaded video directly rather than using a YouTube link with better looks, autoplay, metrics and, most importantly, increased Views and Reach. If you upload a video directly to Facebook you get an algorithm bonus and Facebook pushes you higher and wider so more people will see your post. This was like magic to many small businesses that saw the views on their posts 10’s, 100’s and even 1000’s times higher than ever before.

This client had a modest 2,000 Fans on their page. These results are Organic

facebook organic video results

Facebook video statistics for Organic video results

This all seems like an incredible gift, and it is, but there are complications created by Facebook that are outside the control of Page Owners. First it is about reasonable expectation setting. Videos receiving many times their normal expected Reach and Engagement can put a shop owner’s head in the clouds. And all too quickly the realization that this was an anomaly not likely repeated can be a real let down. But lack of control is probably the most disconcerting. The two charts below paint a queer picture of how Facebook chose to twist this client’s marketing efforts.

Facebook Demographic of Fans on page and those reached by video post

Facebook Demographic of Fans on page and those reached by video post

The chart on the left shows the Fans of the Page. The breakdown is as the client requested with a greater focus on U.S. and a smaller number for their Hong Kong headquarters. Additionally, India is a focus for select inventory. The demographic targeting is accurate. However, the Fans Reached in the month of the “great” video shows a markedly different Reach with Malaysia, a non-target country, receiving 50% of all views. Small businesses benefit from precise marketing to make sure money and effort is not wasted. So it is curious why Facebook’s video algorithm decided that a country excluded from the client’s target market now be included? As this action was created from the Facebook algorithm there was no way for the Page owner to influence, redirect or even object.

As we see Facebook and other social sites try and increase Engagement rates to demonstrate relevance we will likely continue to see marketing actions that are outside the Page owner’s control or wishes. Taking this to a logical conclusion of how does Facebook make money off of this I can only conclude that as Facebook takes more control away from non-sponsored ads they will be encouraging Facebook page owners to regain control through paid targeted promotions. And of course there is social media optimization which continues to be a powerful marketing tool.

Much success,

Doug

http://www.PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Social Media Strategy Optimisation Intensive Workshop Session 1

After receiving the highest rating for content and delivery of any presenter for this subject by Pacific Conferences I decided that it might be good to share some of presentation and and what I learned from the participants. I will start with a Case Study and then share two discussion points. The blog is based on this slide presentation:

http://www.slideshare.net/PRDA/social-media-in-2015-and-beyond-prda-douglas-white-july-2015

Organic reach is decreasing as changes to algorithms that determine what is seen in your newsfeed is adjusted to “advertise” the social media business model. Therefore, it is critical for success to fully leverage the most out of our social media strategy and the tools available. Approximately 9 out of every 10 companies that ask me to measure their social performance score below 20% effectiveness. With salaries of skilled employees rising along with advertising rates, more companies are starting to ask the right question: Where has the other 80% effectiveness gone?

Case Study: Star Trek

The original series was delivered by Desilu Studios to NBC from 1966 – 1969. At that time TV was using demographic tracking and market share to measure success. Despite high quality demographics, it lacked market share and so was cut. In syndication it continued to be driven by loyal demographically targeted fans and is still a major hit 40 years later.
star trek combined small.

Morale to the story is to focus on your correct demographic and deliver quality content and they will deliver ROI!

Discussion Point 1:

Communications is changing less than it appears. Even though it seems that there has been a dramatic shift in the way we communicate it has really changed little. It is more that the bits have shifted about than the fundamentals have changed. We used to read on paper and talk over the phone and share stories at cocktail parties. Now we read our news online, talk using messaging apps and share our stories on social media. What decided what originally made it to print, phone or cocktail party are still the same factors that drive online, messaging apps and social media. The only way to get talked about is to either pay for it or earn it. To earn it you need to popular, trustworthy, scandalous or another factor that basically involves getting sufficient enough interest from others to get tongues wagging. And depending on how you managed this you ended up on the Washington Post/ Huffington Post, Phone/ Whatsapp or cocktail parties and social media.

Morale of the story is that the fundamentals of communication remain constant. Technology shifts how we use and execute communications, but when approaching a new app, don’t look at it is was completely foreign. Remember the basics and learn the enhancements. It is easier to move forward with confidence if you don’t forget where you have been.

Discussion Point 2:

Effective communications is not a matter of either quantity or quality (usually interpreted as creative). PRDA has conducted research for the better part of a decade and found what determines how well received a brand’s content is depends more about science and process than either quantity or quality (creative). As algorithms become more refined to better process the trillions of posts made daily on social media it is necessary for social media applications and those that look to source and share content to use more refined search techniques. Example: a few years back if you posted a picture of a cat the algorithm that chose what would appear in your news feed let most everyone see it. But now that we all have 1000+ Friends and Page Likes on several apps with businesses posting 1000’s of posts a day that in February of 2014 it was estimated that there were 3.8 million cat pictures posted each day. Clearly the algorithms can’t put 3.8 million pictures of cats in your news feed each day. The algorithms became more sophisticated taking in to account other Social Media Optimisation factors such as keywords, length of message, quality of image, performance of person posting, engagement levels, time of day and more.

Morale to the story is that to be successfully seen in Organic results (real people) quality needs to be interpreted beyond creative to include Social Media Optimization (SMO). By using this strategy you can publish more messages across more platforms and achieve greater engagement and with further refinement by monitoring results data you can start to achieve customer segmentation and much more.

Much success,

Doug

Slaying the Giant: How to Beat Facebook’s Algorithm

D and G

Facebook has done it again. Two months ago they stated that they would cut off Organic Reach for business pages. Then last month they announced that Facebook would change on March 12, 2015 the way Likes, Comments and Shares were tracked and that there would be less of them. It is unclear how you can count a physical action and come up with two different answers, but apparently Facebook can and they decided the number is going to be less. But never fear there are always opportunities for smart people that are willing to do the work. Facebook wants us all to take the easy route, the paid advert route, but that is a slippery slope with no possible chance of return.

Defying gravity:

March 12 the big Doomsday for Likes, Comments and Shares which are the primary factor that influences Reach came and went with little fanfare or scary happenings. In fact a local client of PRDA showed significant gains before and after, actually defying what was assumed to be the inevitable

Post Reach

EA FB  Post Reach March 2015

Total Reach

EA FB Total Reach March 2015

So how do you accomplish this?

Social media has become more science than social over the years and this has never been truer than now. To filter through the enormous amount of content the algorithms in social apps are becoming ever more complex to select what you might like to see best. There is also the issue of money and the increasing focus on paid advertising for revenue. Between these two forces it is almost impossible to achieve good views anymore.

But it can be done!!

SEO tricks of keyword optimisation, formatting and proper publishing at the right time of day can trigger the algorithms. PRDA works hard to determine what these triggers are and how to make them work for our clients. But if you are not an expert at SEO and social message optimisation then I recommend using advertising in a limited way. Putting small amounts of money behind a variety of your posts will help you achieve your reach goals and it will start to tell you what performs the best. Here is an example:

This client had a reach of 100 or less for each post. This was disappointing as it has 100,000 Fans. Something was not right. We started writing a range of different message and image combinations and put a small advertising budget behind them. Four different posts US$1.50 per day and this is what we achieved.

With an amount of about US$0.80 per day and optimised messages we increased the reach to 18,000 with the majority coming from Organic. The combination of good Organic methods and a small money boost made it shoot up. Facebook liked the fact we spend money, their algorithm like the content and between the two we got huge bonus value.

CND organic and paid reach FB post March 2015

Summary:

Over dependence on any one strategy is not always good. Trying to beat the system by tricking algorithms is time consuming and risky if you are not experienced. Sticking to paid advertising is a one way path to endless payments. Try balancing strategies to see if the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Much success,

Doug

http://www.PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Granny’s getting her’s on Facebook: Demographic Targeting

Doug's Blog Granny Feb 20, 2015

The stories about the “Greying of Facebook” have been with us for quite sometime. The fact is that these stories are largely true. However, it is less about the demise of Facebook and more about the change in online behaviour, but most pundits don’t look too closely. The reasons are many such as the younger generations are using a wider variety of online apps to expand their digital experience and those that were first onto Facebook are quickly approaching a decade older. So much of the “Greying” is just biology. But then there is that the truly “older” are more active on social media largely because of increasing ease of overall use, sharing experiences with friends and family is common and as any activity becomes integral to our daily activities it reaches more people over time. But this is not the interesting part about Facebook getting older. What floats my boat is that the older generation are proving to be the most excited and active on Facebook. Marketers continue to focus on youth or the golden range of 24 – 45 earners. And if you want to get some BUZZ going you target the younger market. But it is getting clearer that Granny’s got the action!

Below are two profiles of Facebook pages from different industries showing the targeted Fans and the Fans that are really engaged. Let’s look at the fun stuff.

Profile 1: The business is well established and has a nice age range of Fans more women than men, but a much more natural distribution than Facebook’s. What we then see is who is showing the love.

PG FB Demo Jan 2015When it comes to engaging with content and being active in sharing, liking and building a community those with the senior citizen discounts are the big winners, 65+ rocks the charts.

PG FB Engaged Jan 2015

Profile 2: This next business shows a more gender balanced profile still nicely reflected along a wide age range. And though the increase in engagement for mature women is not as marked as the previous example is still shows a 100% over representation. That is, women age 55 – 65+ are less than 2% of the Fan base but engage at a rate twice that, 4%+. Where as across the board men’s engagement is under represented.

TGT FB Demo Jan 2015TGT FB Engaged Jan 2015
Summary:

While this blog is about Grannies getting theirs on Facebook, it is really about the larger message. Demographic targeting is critical to marketing success. Tools are available to see deeper into the brand interaction. No longer is assumptions and guesses necessary or allowed. It is fine to want a certain demographic as your Fan, but it is not fine to ignore those that really are your Fans.

Much success,

Doug

Founder www.PRDA.Asia

Demographic targeting: Ditch your friends and kick out anyone that can’t pay the rent!

Fan quality has been a topic long avoided until now. Engagement rates plunging and advert rates skyrocketing and self proclaimed  “social media experts” clueless how to respond.

Doug's Blog Feb 10 Demographics

The second biggest request I get from new clients is “How do we fix this sh**!”. What they are referring to is the 10’s or 100’s of thousands of Fans that clog their social profile and deliver no results. With Engagement rates crashing and adverts cost skyrocketing it is now a big concern to have dead weight on profiles. There was a time that companies paid agencies big dollars to treat social media like it was a huge party with hosted bar and everyone was invited. Come to my page, drink big, play big, no worries. But now that the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost and the companies are being handed a bar tab that looks like the debt of a third world nation and the only people left at the party are the dregs. They’re not thinking “did I invite them?” they’re thinking “who the hell let them in!” and then it becomes WTF! time.

My dad used to tell me the best way to get out of trouble is not to get into trouble to start with. Well he and I were never good on taking advice, but the message still holds true. Here are several ways to look at demographics to make sure you are getting the right audience and then followed by a case example.

  • Do NOT invite your friends! Most people the first thing they do is invite everyone they know to Like their page. Do NOT do this! Your friends already know what you do they don’t need to be cutting into your limited Reach provided by Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. A message only gets seen by small % of your Fans, make sure it is Fans that really should see it. Besides friends are famous for saying things like “stop posting so much, I already know what you do and I am getting tired of seeing your messages”. What!? you are in business to make money, not entertain your friends. Get them off your page and go buy them beer and pizza instead.
  • Contests and Freebies are bad for your page. There are 2 kinds of people in the world. Those with no time and lots of money and those with no money and lots of time. Which do you want your customers to be? If you picked the first then you have already answered this question. If you have a big giveaway where anybody can have a chance to win by running around town taking Instagram photos, tagging them and posting to your Facebook page. Which kind of people do you think will participate the most? Yes, the second type. The first type “your choice” is motivated by quality content, good service, consistent posting. Go ahead and have a big promotional event on social media. It is great for brand building and launching events and products. Just don’t have people Like your page as part of it. Trust me you want them to flit away after because I guarantee when you offer then next free thing, they will return. No sense having them camped out on your page just waiting.
  • Know  your demographic, you may think you know your customer, but do you really? I find all too often that clients want to prejudge who is their target market. And as a starting point that is o.k. but without ongoing review of the data and continually looking for new avenues to existing customers or create new opportunities (growth hacking) you will not be making the most of your effort and money. Case study:

The graphs below represented different views of a Hong Kong Pub’s demographic. The top graph looks like a Pub might. Heavy on on males skewing upward toward a nice pint of lager.

TGT FB Demo Jan 2015

This second graph shows who saw the posts most and it is clear that the women are far more represented than the Fan demographics would suggest.

TGT FB Reached Jan 2015

The third graph show the Fans that engaged with the posts (Like, Comment or Share) and the women population still shows strong gains over men.

TGT FB Engaged Jan 2015

Lastly we see the most impressive. Checkins are the holy grail of Facebook and Women are champs.

TGT FB Checkins Dec 2014

Summary:

Quality of Fans is more important than ever. The cost of marketing makes targeting the correct demographic critical. Social media for business has never been about any Fan for any reason, unfortunately too many poorly skilled or unscrupulous “social media experts” managed to convince many it was. Now is the time to focus and this is a good thing. Your Fans/ customers deserve your attention and in return will reward you.

Much success,

Doug

Incubator 2.0: Social Cooperation for SME and Start up Marketing

A new way of doing business is here. Most don’t even recognise it yet, but they take part in it daily. It is collaborative or cooperative marketing. Whereas there is still flexibility in the definition, it is based on the  simple common sense ideas as strength in numbers and the sum of the parts are greater than the whole. But it is also based in sound results data which makes it undeniable.cooperate definition

Jeremiah Owyang (@JOwyang) has recently released some powerful financial data on the “collaborative” economy reaching back to 2002.  His definition is about technology that allows for efficient sharing of services such as UBER and AirBNB. This definition has popularity as it is the basis for most current start up models.

Small Business Saturday takes social cooperation to the streets. Started by American Express to coordinate marketing efforts of SME’s to promote sales for the Saturday following Thanksgiving in the U.S., it has proven hugely successful. As reported in an article by CNN in 2012 SME’s reported that Black Friday and Cyber Monday had little effect on their sales, but the coordinated marketing effort for Small Business Saturday delivered US$5.5 billion in sales for the day. Note Black Friday, which favours large retail outlets, saw only US$1 billion in sales in 2012.

Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) is developing the extended incubator. Having seen the success of other incubators such as Y-Combinator has envisioned extending beyond development to product launch. In the incubator model, resources and knowledge are brought together to provide a heightened environment for success. However, there does not exist an “incubator” for after the product is developed. How do you go from not known to a necessity?

In these three examples I touched on three key points of Incubator 2.0 or as I like to call it the Social Media Cooperative. And the there is the fourth which differentiates  from the common aggregator model which collects and lists businesses under a single brand (e.g. Uber, Expedia, Yelp). The key points are:

  • Having a platform and interface that allows SME’s to join, contribute and participate
  • SME’s power the world, they generate more revenue and employ more people than the multinationals could even dream about. SME’s ROCK!
  • There needs to be an effective model where SME”s can tap into an existing collective of resources and knowledge
  • Rather than aggregate the model needs to propagate

Unlocking the secrets of social media:

Fundamental to all social media and including search is Like, Comment and Share. The more you do, the better the results. This model suggests that instead of creating an app that aggregates businesses such as Groupon mobile app which may have 100,000 businesses represented, we advocate establishing digital footprints for each brand. This would mean 100,000 Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram streams, Blogs etc. and the good search that results from this optimised content. But more importantly you have 100,000 healthy communities built of Fans/ customers that have joined these brands because they chose to. Consider this, which do you think is more valuable to a business for ROI?

  • Having 10,000 Fans on your page that chose to be there and are actively engaged
  • Paying Facebook to push your ad to 10,000 random people

Next Step:

Now that we have these 100,000 businesses how do we get it to work? Technology and expertise play a large role. Social media is all about understanding algorithms and online consumer behaviour. By leveraging knowledge of these along with a proven process and a technology backend driven by a crowdsourcing model, science becomes magic. By effectively posting on these 100,000 businesses profiles using optimised content and then systematically cross promoting through Share, Like and Comment we have proven to increase Organic reach by 20 times! And in addition to an increase in organic reach, each brand that cross promotes using Likes, Comments and Shares gets exposed to a new and wider range of Fans/ customers. This works the same way as when we share a post from a friend and in doing so all our friends get to see this post and they also get to see who it originally came from.

Cooperation:

This can only work with cooperation. SME’s must recognise the value in sharing promotion. What we have found odd is that a brand will not hesitate having their advertisement on the same website, newspaper page or bus stop as other businesses, but they hesitate when asked to cross promote. This is where successful activities like Small Business Saturday are proving that by sharing and cooperating a business does not jeopardise their brand and market share, but in fact, increases it.

Better understanding:

The technology and process is too detailed to go into here. PRDA has been proving this concept for 6 years and it has remained successful despite changes to algorithms or popular apps. Fundamentals change more slowly and the concept of cooperation being good for outcome likely to not change anytime soon.

Immediate benefits:

  • Access to a large pool of engaged Fans/ customers through shared communities
  • Highly effective organic results and search through optimised content
  • Efficiency of process, technology and scale:
    • Reduced cost
    • Increased performance
    • Reduced risk
    • Increased services
  • Big Data

 

Much success,

Doug

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency