INFOGRAPHIC: T-Mobile, Waggin’ Train Dog Treats among Facebook’s top brands in Aug. 2014

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While most companies and brands can claim to be active on Facebook, a few go the extra mile.

Socialbakers, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, tracks the most engaged and active Facebook brands each month. Among major brands, Waggin’ Train Dog Treats was tops in engagement, while T-Mobile was a superstar at answering fans’ questions.

Wondering how industry leaders are performing on Facebook? Check out the infographic below.

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What can marketers learn from Facebook’s Audience Insights?

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The value of social has always been reaching consumers in a unique environment where they are deeply engaged and generating a meaningful conversation between those engagers and a brand. To do this well, we have to deeply understand the passions, preferences and interests of the brand’s audience and how these affinities relate to the brand itself.

Major opportunity lies in making sense of the social data created by the billions of consumers who willingly broadcast their affinities and brand connections daily across social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.  These social channels account for the planet’s largest and least biased focus group ever created. Affinity data holds the secret to how consumers want to be engaged, leading not only to better social media marketing, but a more engaged consumer across all channels.

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Are mobile users moving away from sharing content via Facebook?

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A new report by Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Adobe shows that people may be moving away from Facebook’s public content sharing methods in favor of more private methods, such as messaging.

Adobe’s latest Mobile Benchmark Report shows that, among digital magazine publishers, Facebook sharing on mobile is down 42.6 percent year over year, while sharing via iMessage has risen 259 percent. Sharing through Pinterest rose 131 percent in that time period.

Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst for Adobe Digital Index, talked with Inside Facebook about how people seem to be preferring more private methods of sharing via mobile than Facebook:

Facebook, to a certain degree, is a victim of its own success. We have so many friends from all walks of life in it. The fact that all of the interactions going on between mobile devices and Facebook are having problems with getting smaller sets out this big thing that Facebook has become is likely to create a dampening on the amount of sharing. If you’re a media company, that’s a problem. All that sharing is how you get traffic. You want sharing to happen on Facebook because Facebook is broader and you’re more likely to get more people clicking through an article.

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Why you may be learning the wrong lessons from Facebook marketing gurus

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“Social media is a conversation”

How many times have you heard this phrase? If you’ve dabbled with social media long enough and been hearing from a lot of social media marketing gurus, a phrase something like the above would not be unfamiliar to you.

In fact, a lot of gurus would preach that social media is a platform to connect with your audiences and build relationships with them. “Be accessilble,” they would say. “Solicit feedback from your fans through polls and open ended questions. Check your social media sites often, including outside of normal work hours if possible. Make sure that your fans know how to reach you.”

These same gurus may also be preaching that in order to be successful on Facebook, you would need to have wacky and creative ideas. As such, a lot of brands and organizatons have been be ridiculously misled to run campaigns on social media that lack clear objectives, let alone driving new businesses.

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How can Facebook ruin your business?

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There is no denying that social networking sites have taken the world by storm. This popular branding tool is also a great way to drive tri-branding that can lead your company towards great success. Tri-branding on Facebook occurs when your customers promote you on your behalf. But, if this powerful marketing tool is used in improper way, it can have a negative impact on your business.

It is a great way to build up a business, but it can also tear it down again just as quickly. Let’s understand how.

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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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