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HOW TO: Improve Engagement on Your Brand’s Facebook Page

(Article originated from Mashable) Awesome article….read on….

If you’re looking to boost engagement on your brand’s FacebookPage, a new report from Buddy Media has some key findings for you. The social media marketing company collected data from 200 of its clients’ Pages* over a 14-day period and found that time is an important factor in determining the success of a Facebook post. The study reveals that more often than not, a Facebook post is ill-timed — in fact, office hours could be the worst time to blast content.

“While marketers may work Monday through Friday, Facebook is humming with activity 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” says Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow. And so, brands must adapt to their consumers’ schedules in order to optimize their engagement.

Here are the findings, along with tips about when and how to make the most of a Facebook post.


Be Timely



The study found that daily Facebook engagement has three peaks: early morning (7 a.m. EST), after work (5 p.m. EST) and late at night (11 p.m. EST). Therefore, posting all of your updates during the workday means you’re missing key opportunities to engage fans at non-work hours. However, not all brands’ engagement peaks at these three times — Playboy engagement peaks in the wee hours of the morning, for example — so you must work on a case-by-case basis.

Good timing on Facebook depends on the day of the week, too. Thursday and Friday have 18% more engagement than other days of the week, suggesting that Facebook is a procrastination tool when people are itching to get out of the office. But don’t start stacking all of your Facebook updates on Thursday and Friday — the study found interesting user patterns and engagement trends throughout the week that are unique to particular industries. Below, the findings are broken down by market so that you can see where entire industries are missing the mark and where — or rather, when — there’s room for improvement.

 

To see the rest of this article click here.

 

Social Media Marketing

If you would have told someone ten years ago that they would have a mobile phone that was also a camera, a TV, and an MP3 player (of course they wouldn’t have known what an MP3 player was), chances are they wouldn’t have believed you. Technology has changed the way we consume information. It also has changed the way we communicate with each other.

It is no longer enough to offer one-way communication to our clients or potential clients. They expect more. Social networks are exploding with no apparent end in sight right now. Companies can no longer sit by and wait for this “fad” to pass by. By not participating in the online conversations, the company is choosing to forego sales, branding opportunities, and a whole generation of clients. Who can afford to do that?

Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world, boasting 500 million active users. Facebook has bypassed Google now, both in time spent on the site and in link origination, which means more people are going to sites based on links they find on Facebook rather than links found through a Google search.

Why? Facebook acts as a filter for consumers. People do business with people they know, like and trust. If my “friend” already trusts a business, I can make the assumption that because I know, like and trust my friend, I can trust the companies they recommend.

LinkedIn is another popular social networking site with 50 million members. LinkedIn’s primary purpose is professional use, whereas Facebook is experiencing a high level of overlap between personal and professional use. All Fortune 500 companies have executives on LinkedIn and someone joins approximately every second.

LinkedIn comes across as a resume online, however, if you limit your understanding of this site to that, you will be missing the power of LinkedIn as a sales generation tool. It has advanced search features that let you find leads, clients, and colleagues.

Twitter has created quite the buzz as the site for micro-blogging. Micro-blogging offers the ability to send out a short message to your “followers.” Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet. It is often used in combination with a blog by sending out the link to a recent post.

When I first discovered Twitter, I must admit, I had a hard time seeing the benefit of a bunch of strangers answering the question Twitter posed, “What are you doing now?” I thought I would have to read about people having a latte at Starbucks and other such dribble. However, I found that I actually discovered valuable content. You just need to figure out how to filter the information out there.

I know social media marketing can seem like an overwhelming challenge, but with a few key strategies in place it doesn’t have to be. Here are three easy steps to start you in the right direction.

ONE: Determine your goals.

Brand awareness?

Connection to customers?

Increased lead generation?

TWO: Where is your target audience?

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

THREE: Which tools to use?

Social Networks

Blog

Podcast

Flickr

YouTube

 

Don’t let the fear of the unknown paralyze you. The biggest disappointments come not from the things we attempted and failed at, but the things we never attempted at all. Let me warn you, a successful social media marketing plan is not always a guarantee. However, I can guarantee that if you don’t ever begin one, you will never succeed.

 

Smart Apps for Smart Phones

“Hello my name is April and I have an app addiction.”

“Hello April” (I can anticipate your collective response.)

It’s true. I don’t think that I am personally prone to a lot of addictions, well except for sweet tea and my semi out of control tab addiction…let’s face it, when you have 20 tabs open on your computer at any given time….you have a problem!  I must admit that this app addiction is the most fun though. There truly is an app for everything!

I have an iPhone now but I’ve run the gamut on different phones…Crackberry, HTC’s and Palms. When it comes to apps though, iPhone blows everyone else out of the water…for now. Although, droids may start giving them a run for their money soon.

So, I thought we would go over some of my favorite must-have apps today since I do speak on the topic.

1.)  Pro On Go Expenses. Love it! You can take a picture of a receipt, it will categorize it on it’s own and then you can send it to Excel, make a PDF, upload to quickbooks. Never type up another expenses spreadsheet again! You can try it for free for a little while, but worth the purchase when it’s time to pony up.

2.)  Trip It. If you travel a lot, this one can help you organize your trips and stay on top of the details. You email your confirmation of your flights to your Trip It account and it automatically adds them in. Then you always have easy access to your flight information. (Comes in handy on days like today where my flight was delayed …but I’m sure that NEVER happens to you!)

3.)  Yelp. Looking for  a restaurant, pharmacy, movie theater close to you? Have no fear, Yelp is here. Uses geo-tracking to pinpoint where you are and identify the places close to you.

4.)  Siri. My newest favorite. Welcome to having your own personal assistant. You literally speak your need into the phone and “she” (I don’t know why but I just think of Siri as a girl) helps you. If I want to find the closest Bank of America I just ask Siri and she gets me an answer and a link to map it.

5.)  RedBox. Did you know that you can reserve your movie at a RedBox before picking it up? Awesome! No more heading down there on a Friday hoping that something is left worth watching. Just reserve it and pick it up at your leisure – it’s a faster process too, swipe your card and it spits it out for you.

Okay, that’s enough for now. All of these are on the iPhone, however Blackberry and Droid users can check their application directories because some of these are already there as well.

Don’t Let A Natural Disaster Steal Your Event:

The Power of Social Media Unleashed

Have you ever wondered what you would do if your event was cancelled at the last minute? If you are a meeting planner, I imagine you have had a nightmare or two about it. The planners for this year’s ASAE Technology Conference experienced this living nightmare when record snowfall hit the Washington DC area, making travel by planes, trains or automobiles nearly impossible.

But what if I told you that it didn’t have to die? That there was a way to still capture your audience and deliver a memorable event.  Sit back and take notes on my first hand experience at the ASAE Tech Conference.

Tip #1: Use Twitter to communicate efficiently.

Less than one hour after arriving in DC with my colleagues we got word, via Twitter, that the conference may be cancelled and that a decision would be made in the next 3 hours. The Twitter stream was buzzing as we all waited to hear.  Many were in airports all over the country tweeting that their flights were cancelled or delayed. Others were tweeting asking about the driving conditions.

Everyone was on hold as we watched our twitter stream for the update. Our fears were confirmed when a tweet was sent out announcing that there would be no conference. The tweet said emails would be sent out to all registered attendees. My email was received two and a half hours after the tweet was sent out.

Tip #2: Create and promote a hashtag for your event.

Communicating via Twitter would not have been possible, had we not already had a Twitter hashtag assigned to this event (#Tech10). Hashtags are an agreed upon acronym or word that anyone on twitter can use to follow topics of interest to them. A hashtag always starts with a # and then any word or combination of letters follows.

For example, the 2010 National Speakers Association Conference could use #NSA10 for their hashtag. Then throughout the conference attendees include #NSA10 in all of their tweets. This allows others to do a search on #NSA10 and see everything that was being said. EVERYTHING. Regardless of whether I was officially “following” the tweeters on Twitter or not.

You can create your own hashtag for an event, but before you do, it is always good to go to http://search.twitter.com to make sure it is not already taken. Once you find out it is still available, just start using it and promoting it.

So, back to the Tech Conference. Thankfully the power of social media came into play. Among the attendees were Maddie Grant and Lindy Dreyer from Social Fish, who led the charge and created “UnTech10” from the ashes.

Twitter was used to discover who was still in town, coordinate a planning meeting, send out schedules, and keep everyone connected. Sponsors began coming out of the woodwork. Peach New Media quickly offered to webcast the event live. The Port reserved a ballroom and support. NFi Studios, offered to cover the transportation costs of any local association executives who could make their way into town.

The event was a huge success. We had 75 attendees in the room, and over 400 online. This from a conference that was only scheduled to have 600 attendees! Speakers condensed their presentations and panel discussions were constructed. Questions were asked by the virtual attendees via Twitter and responded to live on the webcast. #UnTech10 – the official hashtag for the unofficial Tech Conference, was even a trending topic during the day in the DC area.

Tip #3: Consider the needs of your online audience.

Logistically, we made some changes to a standard “in-person” event when we knew that most attendees would be virtual that any event planner should consider adopting. First, there was an announcement made in the beginning that we would not be taking official breaks. When breaks occur in a live webcast, you tend to lose your audience. You don’t want dead air time.

Also, during a time that we scheduled to have some break out sessions for the in-person attendees with small group discussions, the online audience was engaged with live interviews.

All in all, a very successful conference, with many lessons learned and relationships developed. So don’t let a natural disaster turn your event into a non-event. Use the power of social media to breathe life back into it and make it an experience your attendees will never forget.

IT’S ABOUT TIME FACEBOOK

Have you read the post Mark Zuckerbery, Facebook Founder, sent out on Facebook? I’ve included it below, but I wanted to point out my favorite pieces.

First off…a change to the massive network scenario. I can’t tell you how many times I have been teaching a workshop where we check on their Facebook settings only to discover that there profile has been open to ALL of their network. When people originally sign up for their Facebook account, they are asked which networks they want to be a part of. Many choose the city that they live in. Therefore, if your profile is open up to ALL in your network, you are open to almost ALL who live in your area. This is a problem. With this announcement, that problem goes away.

Second, I am so excited that we will be able to decide per post who will be able to see it. I’ve been wanting to see this released for a while. Now, when I make a post that I don’t want my “Professional” Friend List to see, I can do it without fear! Love it!!

An Open Letter from Facebook Founder Mark ZuckerbergShareby Mark Zuckerberg Tue at 9:23pm
It has been a great year for making the world more open and connected. Thanks to your help, more than 350 million people around the world are using Facebook to share their lives online.

To make this possible, we have focused on giving you the tools you need to share and control your information. Starting with the very first version of Facebook five years ago, we’ve built tools that help you control what you share with which individuals and groups of people. Our work to improve privacy continues today.

Facebook’s current privacy model revolves around “networks” — communities for your school, your company or your region. This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students, since it made sense that a student might want to share content with their fellow students.

Over time people also asked us to add networks for companies and regions as well. Today we even have networks for some entire countries, like India and China.

However, as Facebook has grown, some of these regional networks now have millions of members and we’ve concluded that this is no longer the best way for you to control your privacy. Almost 50 percent of all Facebook users are members of regional networks, so this is an important issue for us. If we can build a better system, then more than 100 million people will have even more control of their information.

The plan we’ve come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.

We’re adding something that many of you have asked for — the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. In addition, we’ll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings. If you want to read more about this, we began discussing this plan back in July.

Since this update will remove regional networks and create some new settings, in the next couple of weeks we’ll ask you to review and update your privacy settings. You’ll see a message that will explain the changes and take you to a page where you can update your settings. When you’re finished, we’ll show you a confirmation page so you can make sure you chose the right settings for you. As always, once you’re done you’ll still be able to change your settings whenever you want.

We’ve worked hard to build controls that we think will be better for you, but we also understand that everyone’s needs are different. We’ll suggest settings for you based on your current level of privacy, but the best way for you to find the right settings is to read through all your options and customize them for yourself. I encourage you to do this and consider who you’re sharing with online.

Thanks for being a part of making Facebook what it is today, and for helping to make the world more open and connected.

Mark Zuckerberg

Loved This When I Found It….

A Poem for People Like Me

 

no matter what

the time or day,

we always have

so much to say –

we talk, we twitter,

text and gab,

we chit, we chat,

we blog, we blab,

we tell it straight,

we tell it true,

you email me,

I  IM you,

on our cells

or at the mall,

or writing on

each other’s wall…

from “hi-hello”

to news that’s global

face to face,

online and mobile,

up to date,

and in the loop,

we know what’s what,

we scoop the scoop…

there isn’t much

that we don’t share,

because we can,

because we care,

our next topic

to discuss?

this world needs more

real friends like us!

 

I found this when I was searching for a birthday card for my girlfriend and couldn’t resist buying this and sharing it with you all. Thank You Carlton Cards!