Posts filed under Building a FB Following

Tips for building a following on Facebook, Part 6: Advanced Analysis

Since this is the last post in this series, let’s quickly review that which we’ve looked at so far.  In part 1 we built our foundation, identifying our social media objective and strategy. In part 2, we identified our target audience. Part 3 addressed the importance of, and provided some tips on, managing the cornerstone of your social media blueprint: content. Part 4 provided an overview and the basics of using Facebook Ads and part 5 delved into analytics. In this final installation, we’ll use advanced analysis methods to help us identify ways to use social media for identifying growth opportunities for your business.

Discover your Mentions

Finding pages or people that mention your Facebook page brings the opportunity to develop content and nurture that relationship, ultimately leveraging another page’s audience.

By identifying the most frequent posters on your business page or the page of your "mentioner", you can get a good idea of whether or not your target audiences overlap significantly and where your outreach should start. One should look many factors to ensure that the most relevant stories appear in the news feed, including which posts are receiving the most engagement (likes, shares, comments, and link clicks).  Also take a look at the posts which are receiving the most engagement from people who like both the person/page that posted and the page that was tagged.

Locate Pages With Similar Interests and Large Audiences

Have your competitors reached potential customers that you have not? There’s a good chance that the answer is yes. So, how do you reach them too? You could run an analysis on a big chain store that would be similar to your business and use the information to tell you the techniques they are using to bring in customers on Facebook. You can also learn the kind of audience they have with whom you could connect as well.

This sounds like cheating, I know, but it isn’t. It’s simple and smart…and it’s the world in which we live now. And it doesn't have to be nefarious, it can be done in a friendly way because you can share your audience with them, if you choose to do so. Competitive analysis is one of the easiest and most under-utilized types of analysis. There is so much that you can learn and leverage from businesses similar to yours.

Conduct a side-by-side analysis in order to determine how you measure up against your competitors or other successful companies. Identify their trends in engagement and track that which is working and that which is failing for them. If you can do this on an ongoing basis you will get a very clear understanding of target influencers, industry friends, how and when to mention them on your page, and how to leverage their audiences.


Once you have identified the pages from which you are looking to pull an audience, pinpoint the peak times that your audience is engaging on Facebook and then cross reference with qualitative research on the industry-aligned pages you are looking to target.  Are they active at similar times? Mentioning or tagging other pages during peak times to ensure that your content displays effectively on both news feeds is going to make a huge difference in growing your followers.

Test and Measure

Now, did it work? In order to find out, you will want to determine which posts received the most engagement and analyze whether or not tagging the other pages or brand names boosted your interaction per post. This will help you to qualify the value of engaging with certain pages over other ones. You will, of course, want to conduct a similar analysis on organic versus paid posts or ads.

Don’t forget to take into consideration your ultimate content goals for Facebook. You will want to see not only the post inviting the most engagement, but also the type of engagement. If tagging a specific page led to a lot of picture views, for example, but no actual link clicks it may be time to reevaluate if the goal of the content was, in fact, to get people to click.  

Use Insights

By asking specific questions, you can evolve your planning process and social media strategy.  Simply Measured says to use a “SWOT analysis”:

Strengths: Characteristics of your social presence that give you an advantage over competitors. Where are you exceptional? Where are you being proactive, not reactive?

Weaknesses: Characteristics of your social presence that put you at a disadvantage in comparison to competitors. What are you not doing that you need to be doing? Which minimum industry standards are you failing to achieve?

Opportunities: Holes in your competitors’ social strategies that you can fill. What are some successful competitive strategies you’ve learned that you can mimic or improve upon? Which social network capabilities are you not taking advantage of fully?

Threats: Possible competitive impediments or encroachments to the quality, reputation, singularity, and overall value of your cross-network social presence. Where is your brand at risk on social? Where do you need to devote resources immediately?

In this day and age, it is imperative for businesses to have a strong website and social media presence. I hope that this series has provided a comprehensive look at all the aspects involved in creating a strong social media and marketing plan from the initial objective to strategy, audience, content, ads management and analytical tools.  Now, go forth and build your following!

Posted on May 29, 2015 and filed under Building a FB Following.

Tips for building a following on Facebook, Part 5: Analytics

So far we’ve determined our objective and our strategy (part 1) and we have considered our target audience (part 2).  In part 3 we emphasized the importance of and provided some tips on managing content and in part 4, we provided the basics on Facebook Ads. Now, let's get into the basics of Analytics.

So, what are analytics and why are they helpful? Facebook is constantly evolving, both in regards to how content is distributed and how users interact. For those using social media as a marketing tool, the challenge is determining how to best reach and engage your audience.  One of the keys to success in this arena is knowing how to use your data.

Measure your Real Audience

Who is your effective audience? Those who see your content are not limited to those who like your page. Reach, which measures the unique number of people who saw content associated with your page, can provide that answer for you.

Over time, Reach helps you understand how the sharing of your content impacts your ability to attract and engage your audience. Without it, it’s difficult to accurately measure your ability to engage people or to turn them into customers.

You can evaluate Reach in two ways - organic and paid. This will help you to determine whether your content was seen primarily by people engaging with your content or due to your ad spend.

Also, by reviewing the data chronologically for specific dates, you should be able to identify the exact content or campaigns that engaged most with your audience, whether in a positive way or negative.

Analyze your Engaged Audience

Now that you know your engaged audience, increasing it each month becomes the goal. As your number of page likes increases, you will also want to expand the number of users who engage with your content.   When combined with your posts, the percentage of audience engaging metric tells you when and on which content types you’re getting engagement value from the audience you’ve worked so hard to build.

Grow your Likes

Although your total number of page likes isn’t the only metric you should care about, like growth is important. It can help you identify tactics to increase your audience as well.

First, look at the sources of your likes. By doing this, you can determine where folks were in Facebook when they liked your page or what device they were using as well as they came across it through a paid source or organic.

Next, you want to compare that with other user actions by reviewing likes, comments, shares, and link clicks for a given time period within the same chart.

Third, check out your page visits. Look at the number of times each of your page was viewed alongside your new likes.
This information will tell you which part of your page is a bigger attraction to your new likes. 

And finally, consider your referrers by looking at your likes progress over time. This will tell you which non-Facebook activities bring you the most likes.

Identify Who Likes You

To identify who likes your page, establish an audience baseline using Facebook Insights demographic data. Then, put the data to work. For example, knowing where your followers are located can help you to make informed decisions about the kind of content you share and when you share it.  No matter your brand, it’s important to know that age and gender demographics for your Facebook followers matches your target audience for your product or service. Then use sales data to identify the products in which your audience is more likely to be interested. Once you’ve established a baseline, go beyond follower demographics by building identities that map to certain products or content topics. Measure engagement with content which ties back to the identities as part of your regular audience analysis. This type of analysis can give you a more profound understanding of your audience and which content will resonate with them.

Identify when your Audience is Active

By noting how your page likes change when your fans are online, you’ll be able to time content posting more wisely to increase page likes. By comparing the timing of your likes to when you’re fans are online over time, you’ll be able to paint a realistic picture of how posting times affect page likes in particular.

Stay tuned for our sixth and final post in the is blog series in which we’ll dive into Advanced Analytics and how to identify growth opportunities.

Posted on May 22, 2015 and filed under Building a FB Following.

Tips for building a following on Facebook, Part 4: Ads

So far we’ve determined our objective and our strategy (part 1) and we have considered our target audience (part 2).  In part 3 we emphasized the importance of and provided some tips on managing content. Now, let’s talk about ads. 

Using Facebook Ads is an easy way to reach more people. You can run ads that get people to engage with your posts or direct them to your website.  It is also a way to share exclusive content and information with customers.  According to eMarketer, global ad spending on social media will total $23.68 billion this year and reach $35.98 billion by 2017. That’s huge, right?  Clearly, social media advertising is becoming a great way to market your business, product, or service. So, here are the how-to basics:

Choose an Objective

Your first step in creating an ad campaign on Facebook is to choose your objective. Once you have done that, Facebook will automatically optimize your exposure to the audience that is most likely to take action in the way that will help you reach your objective.  For example, if you set your objective to get more downloads of an app that you are advertising, your ads will get shown to the people who are most likely to install the app.

Customize your Audience

Reach the people who are the most important for your business objective.  We discussed the target audience for your business page, but let’s take it a step further and talk about the intended audience for ads. You can connect with those who have already shown interest in your page, use existing contacts, or reach new contacts using the lookalike audience option.  All of these tools can be accessed through the Ads Manager and are described below.

Also, a relatively new addition to the Facebook option is dayparting, which is running ads during a specific time period to ensure that users are served those ads during that time frame based on their time zone.

Using Audience Insights is another great tool designed to help marketers learn more about their target audiences. It provides aggregate information about geography, demographics, and purchase behavior. We’ll cover this in more detail in our upcoming blog post addressing Analytics, but it's important to realize it's the connection between data and ad creation.

Native (Mobile) Ads

Let’s not forget about the importance of mobile pages! Facebook certainly hasn’t. Last year, they introduced the Audience Network, which “improves the relevance of ads inside mobile apps by extending the reach of existing Facebook campaigns beyond Facebook and helping developers and publishers monetize their apps”. The best part of Audience Network is its native ad format which allows managers to “create custom ad experiences in their apps that maximize yield and user experience”. They have customizable templates and management tools already set up for you to use. Thanks Facebook!

It’s important that your ads are concise and eye-catching so that they draw attention as users scroll through their news feeds and friend pages.
Relevant and engaging photos, videos, and appropriate links make Facebook Ads an important method to find new customers and build brand loyalty. Check out our blog on content for some more tips on how to do this.

So, I hope that this information will be helpful to you as you move forward with promoting your business, service, or product on Facebook. To learn more, the Social Media Examiner offers a detailed and comprehensive look at Facebook marketing in their Essential Facebook Marketing Resources: A complete guide. Also, Facebook itself has a dedicated page for marketers that you can "like" or "follow" for news, tips, and best practices.

Now that you have created your page and have an effective marketing strategy in place, what's next? Stop back next week for the fifth installation in this series when we delve into the analytics.

Posted on May 15, 2015 and filed under Building a FB Following.

Tips for building a following on Facebook, Part 3: Content

So, in part 1 of this series, we determined our objective and our strategy and in part 2, we considered our target audience.  We will certainly want to talk about Ads and Analytic Tools as well, but we’re not here quite yet. For now, let’s talk about content. After all, the content on your page is your cornerstone for building and maintaining followers.

Posts on Facebook - and most social media outlets for that matter - are more successful when they connect with your audience in an authentic way. It can be difficult for a business to navigate that idea since the temptation is to be more business-oriented. While is it, of course, important to maintain a level of professionalism, remember that Facebook was created as a social interaction site, targeted more towards individuals than for businesses. As its relevance evolved, however, its perceived usefulness expanded. It’s a great tool for businesses to get their brand out into the world, however, a more casual approach should be considered. So here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when posting on your business Facebook page.

Keep it short and sweet

It’s a good idea to create basic updated and post about things in which your customers would find interest. Now that you’ve identified your target audience, knowing that which should appeal to them should not be terribly difficult. Your post should not be convoluted or even very long. And remember that, even when you keep it simple, you can get draw attention to your posts, once published, by pinning the post to the top of your page or embedding the post into your website. You can accomplish either of these tasks by clicking on the arrow in the top right corner of your post once it is published and choosing the option from the drop-down menu.

Pin to Top: keeps your post at the top of your page. It’ll be the first post people see, which is great if you have an important update or event.

Embed Post: add the post to your website. If there’s a special post you would like for visitors to your website to see, FB will provide you the code to add to the HTML of your web page.

Use eye-catching photos, graphics, and videos

Posts with attention-grabbing photos, graphics, and videos stand out in news feeds and will draw more attention. It is, therefore, more likely that people like, comment, or share your post with others which is how you expand your audience.


It’s important that the page manager is interacting with your followers by responding quickly to comments.  When you are responsive, you’ll find that customers will be as well. It’s also a good idea to visit your clients’ pages and comment or share their content. Frequently, they will return the favor and you can help each other to build a following.  

Pay attention and post more of what customers want to see. When you learn how your customers are responding, you’ll be able to post more of what they enjoy.
And don't be afraid to show some personality. Posting on your page is about quality, not quantity.  From there, you can build on your more popular updates, post more of what your followers like, and avoid posting that in which they are not interested. Analytic tools can help you more here as well, and we’ll discuss that in a later blog in this series.

Keep a Calendar

When special events or holidays are approaching, mention them or incorporate them into your posts. Planning and scheduling posts around important dates—like Independence Day, Halloween, or even silly days like May the Fourth Be With You (Star Wars Day)—means you’ll be more likely to get attention.

Post about offers, events, or milestones for your business. Click on “Offer, Event +” at the top of your status update field.  This is a great tool for businesses.

Link Posts to your Website
When you add a link to your post, it automatically creates an image from the website and a shows a large, clickable area that makes it easy for people to go to that site. Consider customizing the headline and description to intrigue your customers and give them a reason to click!

So, hopefully these tips on how to manage your content will come in handy. Check back for more posts in this series which will get into the nuts and bolts of how to manage ads and utilize analytics.

Posted on May 8, 2015 and filed under Building a FB Following.

Tips for building a following on Facebook, Part 2: Audience

Doing it Right

According to the 2014 Social Media Industry Marketing Report published by the Social Media Examiner this past May, “a significant 92% of marketers indicate that social media is important to their business, up from 86% in 2013”. Let’s consider the implication of that for a moment, especially since many do not really know how to use this fantastic tool to obtain maximum results.

If you read Part I of this blog series, then you have now determined why you are creating a Facebook page for your business and have a clear objective in mind. So, for Part II, let’s talk about how to create your page right the first time in order to build an audience – the true audience – and how to maintain a following.

Determining your Audience

Businesses may be tempted to outsource their social media work. However, most small business experts, it seems, argue against that. In the initial stages you are building trust and creating a following. You should be in control of the content, engagement and relationships you are developing. Social media is most effective when targeting a specific audience. Take a moment and think about who your target audience might be. For example, let’s say you run a pet grooming business. Your audience would consist of pet owners, animal lovers and advocates, and your local partners such as pet stores, rescue operations and veterinary offices.

Connect with People

Now consider what kind of posts would appeal to your audience and encourage them to engage. An appealing post for this audience might be a local rescue success story or initiate a conversation on how people keep their pets healthy and safe in inclement weather when winter is approaching. If your posts are thought-provoking and alluring to your specific audience, they will get more publicity by followers liking, sharing or commenting. Of course, now that you have their attention, you want to make sure you come back to your brand and your business of pet grooming.

It is more productive to have a small number of dedicated followers than it is to have hundreds who are really not interested in what you’re doing. Remember that Facebook was created as more of a social tool than it was for business purposes, so posts should be fun and casual, but still informative and interesting.

With such an opportunity to reach your audience, don’t get left behind! Spend time on your social media strategy as mentioned in Part I, remember the purpose of your content, engage with your audience, and take advantage of the analytics tools available (a topic which will be discussed later in this blog series). If you use social media effectively, it could prove to be invaluable to your business and help you to stay ahead of the competition.

Posted on January 15, 2015 and filed under Building a FB Following.

Tips for building a following on Facebook, Part I: Strategy

Getting Started

Have you considered using Facebook as a way of building a following around your business but haven’t figured out where to start? Here at Extra Nerds, we provide a long list of support services for all your business needs, including social media marketing. Follow along the next few weeks as I provide you with a few tips for building a following on Facebook.

Find your focus

Before you even create your Facebook Page, which is the name of the account that’s designed for businesses or organizations, think about the reasons you’re creating the page. Why are you doing it? Are you trying to raise awareness about your brand? Are you trying to create new business? Is your purpose to drive traffic back to your website or blog? Are you hoping to communicate with your consumers in a new way? For many businesses, the objective for creating a Facebook page will be a combination of several things. But by asking yourself these questions early on, it will help you to develop your strategy.

Create a strategy

The posting strategy, or deciding what type of content to post, will depend greatly on your objectives. If you’re trying to create new business, perhaps one week you’ll post a special discount just for your Facebook followers. If you’re trying to boost brand awareness, the next week might be a blog post about how your unique services will help make your customers’ lives better. With your strategy in mind, come up with a list of post ideas and place them on your new social media calendar. This calendar will help you think ahead for ideas of what to post and how often. The biggest downfall of those new to Facebook is failing to keep their business Pages active. The calendar will help you stay on top of it. When thinking of types of posts, try to make your selections a mix of links, photos and videos. As you post and gain fans, you’ll learn about what types of posts your followers prefer. We’ll talk more about that in a later post.

With your Objective decided and your Strategy created, you’re well on your way to establishing a solid professional presence on Facebook for your business. Tune in next time as we explore other tips to make sure you do it right the first time.

Posted on January 15, 2015 and filed under Building a FB Following.