Can a CEO or star employee boost your Facebook engagement?

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As organic reach continues to decline, Facebook page admins are looking for any way to get their messages read by more of their fans. Some companies are experiencing success by operating two pages: one for the business, and one for the CEO or popular employee. SumAll, a marketing analytics firm, has found that the employee page (not a profile) has in many cases outperformed the business page for engagement.

SumAll CEO Dane Atkinson described this approach to Inside Facebook:

Even before the great mess of the algorithm, it was a good point to have your major personalities driving attention to your overall brand. It could be a chef for a restaurant, or for a bigger company, there’s a thought leader or a CEO or a great engineer. There’s things out there that help bring attention. … There’s a lot of content that you don’t want to put money around, and you’ll find that the personal page still has a multiple of how much its content gets used.

Atkinson noted that brand pages usually get 5 percent reach nowadays. He’s seeing double that on personal pages.

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4 ways to benefit from combining Facebook brand & direct marketing

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Many marketers think of Facebook marketing as a brand activity – not one that can drive conversion directly. However, it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. By combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers can drive both amplification and conversion.

Companies are growing their social media budgets and with more money comes increased expectations (and scrutiny). The need to prove ROI of efforts and social media’s role to the bottom line is becoming essential. This still isn’t down to a science, however. As Social Media Examiner points out in its 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 88 percent of marketers still want to know how best to measure social media ROI.

This makes Facebook ripe for a convergence of brand marketing and direct marketing. Why? Because by combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers contribute to specific data and revenue objectives, allowing them to show ROI and measurable business impact. In the process, they prove the value of the social media investment and the social marketer’s value as well.

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Should Facebook pages still pay to acquire new fans?

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A common refrain among small business marketers goes something like this: “We’ve paid to acquire new fans, and now we have to pay again to reach them?”

There’s been a shift recently in Facebook ad and marketing circles, prompting page admins and brands to put more investment in engagement. But has the “like” been rendered useless? According to Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer SocialCode, definitely not.

A new report by SocialCode shows that pages should keep doing campaigns to acquire new fans on Facebook, as they tend to convert more often than non-fans. Instead of just acquiring fans and hoping for profit, SocialCode Chief Innovation Officer Addie Conner told Inside Facebook that fan acquisition campaigns should be coupled with retargeting so these new fans don’t just disappear:

We were looking for new ways to scale on (direct response). Facebook started allowing new ways of retargeting against email lists through Custom Audiences. Immediately, we saw that if they use an email list on Facebook and were retargeting against those users, that works really well. We were able to get really efficient CPAs on that. If you think about fans, it’s just like another email list. You’re getting a group of users who are opting in to see your content going forward and you have an audience that is retargetable over time. If you measure the marginal benefit and it’s coming in, these people are saving you more money than they cost downstream.

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Facebook testing call to action options on organic video posts

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Facebook appears to making it easier for pages to utilize a call to action. As discovered by Memorado and Inside Facebook reader Matteo Gamba, some pages have the option to add a call to action when they upload a video.

Facebook has made the call to action button a powerful option for direct response through ads, but now it looks like page admins could get the ability to add such a button on non-advertised posts.

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Inspiration is the new currency for Facebook likes

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The Facebook marketing free ride is over (in case you haven’t heard), and brands are scrambling to find a free way to interact with potential clients. So what is the new currency for Facebook likes?

When thinking of an insurance company, a college or a temp agency, most people don’t look to be inspired. And yet, on Facebook, that is what many companies are doing to reach their customers and continue to thrive as the social media giant continues to evolve.

Does it work? Will it continue to? Yes and not for long.

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How Front Gate Tickets earned 10x ROI through Facebook ads

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Front Gate Tickets handles tickets and promotions for some of the biggest musical festivals in the country, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, as well as events like the X Games. With help from social data firm Umbel, Front Gate Tickets was able to utilize Facebook advertising to reach music fans and other event goers, earning a 10X return on investment.

Front Gate Tickets incorporated Facebook login into their purchasing process, allowing buyers to see if their friends are going to the same event. This also gave Front Gate Tickets the chance to pitch events to people via Facebook ads.

Uri Bogler, Front Gate Tickets’ Vice President of Marketing, talked with Inside Facebook about the major problem that was facing his company and how partnering with Umbel to use targeted Facebook ads helped:

(Umbel) creates this digital genome to try to do precise, data-driven lookalike campaigns on Facebook to reach fans who may not know about an upcoming show. Really that’s the problem we’re trying to solve. One of the biggest reasons people don’t attend concerts or festivals is because they didn’t hear about it  or didn’t know about it in the first place. Facebook advertising can work really well and Umbel’s reach extension campaigns have worked great.

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The Facebook marketing free ride is over

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If you want to grow your business through Facebook marketing, you will very likely have to pay for advertising.

That is the new truth.

In years past, many pages on Facebook could do all right in terms of driving sales and traffic to websites without using advertising. But now, as more pages become serious Facebook marketers, you’re battling for diminishing space in your audience’s News Feeds. Demand for impressions, views and clicks is higher than ever, while the supply of News Feed space hasn’t grown to keep up.

So while Facebook is financially free if you want to chat with friends and look at cat memes, if you are using Facebook as a tool to grow your business, advertising needs to be part of the plan.

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Facebook is demolishing the like gate

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When you like a Facebook page, Facebook wants to make sure you really like that page. The company announced recently that it will end the process known as the like gate, where users would have to like a page to enter a contest or receive more points in a game.

Facebook detailed this change in a developers blog post:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Developers and page admins who use the like gate tactic must come into compliance by Nov. 5.

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Infographic: Clearly Canadian is one of the top Facebook brands in the U.S.?

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In July, the most engaged Facebook brand in the U.S. was Clearly Canadian — according to the latest report by Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Socialbakers. The bubbly drink brand had an engagement rate of 10.27 percent, a stark rise from the previous month.

T-Mobile is still the most socially devoted brand on Facebook (among U.S. users), with a stunning 95 percent response rate to questions on its page. Other telecommunications companies such as Sprint and AT&T also had very high rates of response.

To see which pages really performed well in July, look below for the infographic from Socialbakers.

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Infographic: Are brands shifting to owned media instead of Facebook?

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Jun Group, a content distribution platform, released data this week that shows brand advertisers have shifted their digital goals away from Facebook and YouTube to promote their owned online destinations.

According to the data, the share of clicks driving consumers to brand owned and operated sites more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, increasing from 28 percent to 57 percent. Facebook and YouTube, which represented 31 percent and 38 percent respectively, declined to 10 percent and 24 percent over the same period.

Mitchell Reichgut, CEO of Jun Group, said in a press release:

This shift towards owned content from social channels represents the convergence of a few big trends. First, as advertisers spend more developing branded content and digital experiences, they want to drive audiences directly to those destinations. At the same time, social platforms have made it more complicated for brands to communicate with fans.

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