How to Build Your Facebook Audience

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    17-Oct-2014
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A guide for bloggers and media publishers looking to grow their Facebook audience through better content, promotions and advertising.

Transcript of How to Build Your Facebook Audience

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B Y D A V I D G R I N E R C O N T E N T S T R A T E G I S T

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T Y P E - A P A R E N T C O N F E R E N C E 2 0 1 3 A T L A N T A , G A .

S P E C I A L T H A N K S T O : K E L B Y C A R R , T Y P E - A P A R E N T F O U N D E R

M E L A N I E N E L S O N , T Y P E - A P A R E N T P R O G R A M M I N G D I R E C T O R

C O V E R P H O T O B Y R E T O F E T Z / F L I C K R C R E A T I V E C O M M O N S

Originally presented at

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About 20% of referral traffic to major content publishers is driven from

Facebook Twitter is around 6%

That said, it varies wildly by site

First off, how important is Facebook?

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Source: ChartBeat/Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic, 10/12/12

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How important is Facebook?

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Overall traffic sources for YearOfAlabamaFood.com:

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When your post does go viral on Facebook, youll want to make sure youre ready to make the most of it

And you never know when things might blow up

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Oh, hey there.

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1. Organic content 2. Promotions (Giveaways, contests, etc.)

3. Advertising and promoted content

So how do you build a Facebook audience?

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1. Better images 2. Better coding on your site

Part I: Organic Content Two ways to grow audience

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Recently, Facebook changed the way it displays photos in post links.

The change is good, if you adapt to it.

1. Better images

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It used to work like this:

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So publishers started doing this:

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Facebook compromised

with this:

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Which is great, unless you end up with this.

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Go horizontal. (Specifically, Facebook uses a 1.91:1 aspect ratio.)

Recommended minimum size is

600 px x 315 px

Ideal is 1,200 px x 630 px or more

For ideal Facebook images

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No worries.

Now you can upload custom photos when youre posting.

Doesnt work with your blog layout?

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Huzzah!

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Welcome to the super duper boring part of blogging.

But its pretty important.

2. Better coding on your site

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Facebook Open Graph (OG) tags

can have a big impact on your

sites shareability and fan growth

Lets get OG

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Theyre built into the metadata of your site in the same way that your post titles

and summaries are.

OG tags tell Facebook lots of info about your site and your posts.

How OG tags work

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OG tags in their natural environment

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Woo, its gettin hot in here.

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OG tags you already know

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OG:Title Post headline OG:Site_name Name of your blog OG:Description Post summary (Facebook recommends 2 sentences or more, btw) OG:Type - Designates your content as an article, opening up other tag options (WordPress plugins typically cover all this.)

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Other tags you SHOULD know

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Article:author Lets you identify the Facebook URL of the post author, which will trigger a Follow button on posts (Good for multi-author blogs.) Article:publisher Identifies the Facebook page of your blog, which will trigger a Like Page button on posts. (This ones super important.)

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Effect of Author and Publisher tags

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Right now, lots of blogs and even mainstream media outlets are behind on these new Facebook formats and options.

Taking advantage of them now can help set your site apart and make the most of

your content being shared.

Subtle, but important

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As you probably know, Facebook has eased up its restrictions on giveaways and contests, but there are still lots of rules to

know about.

Part II: Promotions

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Until August 2013, Facebook required all promotions be hosted on third-party

applications, usually in the form of tab apps on your Facebook page.

Now Facebook has dropped this rule, allowing pages to host giveaways that can be entered by

Liking or commenting on a post.

The big change

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Hosting a promotion in an application still has a lot of benefits.

But just because you CAN doesnt mean you SHOULD

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Why still use an app?

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Using an app for your giveaway or contest makes it easier to gather contact information, sign up participants for future emails and embed rules.

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The ability to measure analytics Fan-gating to require visitors Like the

page before entering Lots more design/image flexibility

A few more perks of promotion apps:

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Your attempts to contact winners privately can get caught in their Other inbox or

blocked outright by privacy settings Youll still have to include the line, This

promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or

associated with, Facebook.

If you do a giveaway on your Facebook page

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Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions

That means you cant allow entries via sharing a post on a users own wall (or a

friends) Try to avoid violating this when running

giveaways on your blog, as well.

Giveaways on your wall also include one big restriction

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If youre going to be doing several smaller giveaways, create a Facebook tab app that

makes it easy for winners to enter their contact info. It can also include your rules

and disclaimers.

Then you can simply link to one app when you announce giveaways or notify winners.

Heres a good compromise

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A few promotion tools I recommend

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Shortstack

Woobox

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When used in conjunction, promotions and Facebook ads are the single most

effective way to build audience.

Part III: Advertising and Promoted Content

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Daily fan growth example

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Daily fan growth example

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Giveaway w/ advertising & email blasts

Contest w/ email blasts (no advertising)

Giveaway w/ advertising

& email blasts

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Daily fan growth example

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Giveaway w/ advertising & email blasts

Contest w/ email blasts (no advertising)

Giveaway w/ advertising

& email blasts

Despite strong daily engagement, fan growth between promotions was essentially flat.

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Advertising on Facebook comes in a lot of flavors, but the two you should care most

about are:

Like ads (Sponsored Stories) Promoted Posts

Facebook ad options

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If your site is well known, Like ads can be an effective way to generate new fans.

Plus.

Like ads vs. Promoted Posts

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Daily fan growth example

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They are literally the cheapest ads on earth.

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But if your content is your strong suit and your name recognition is low, go with

promoted posts.

Like ads vs. Promoted Posts

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1. Create a budget and timeline, then tell Facebook to promote your newest post

2. Manually promote your posts for any dollar amount on any schedule

Remember: You can target your promotion to any location, demographic

or fan base.

Two ways to buy Promoted Posts

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If youre promoting content, first be sure any image youre promoting contains less than 20% text. Otherwise, Facebook will

reject your post.

Beware The 20% Rule

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The 20% Rule in action

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Facebooks Grid Tool lets you check

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While many people focus on complying with the 20% rule, they dont realize that

promoted posts also must abide by Facebooks lengthy ad guidelines.

So many rules

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Ad text must include proper grammar and the use of all symbols, numbers, or

letters must adhere to the true meaning of the symbol.

(Bless you for this one, Facebook.)

More Facebook ad rules you should know about

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More Facebook ad rules to know

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Cant position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner. Ads may not contain content that exploits political agendas or hot button issues for commercial us