Facebook for Branding & Marketing
I think it’s a given that businesses and marketers are now realizing the important role that Facebook plays in their overall marketing strategy.
From Facebook fan pages, to groups, and even to profiles, those with commercial interests are becoming increasingly curious as to how to leverage this thing called “Facebook”.
I want to talk for a moment to those of you who have a business (a brand, products, services, etc…) and who also have a web presence outside of Facebook (a website, blog, or both).
What I want you to know is that there are tools in existence, right now, that can help you capitalize (build, expand, leverage) on your Facebook branding and marketing efforts that are actually working at building your audience, and eject those efforts that are doing nothing for you.
There are tools out there, right now, that will tell you for example which blog posts – out of all of the total articles on your blog – are the most engaging. Meaning, which blog posts are generating the most sharing, like’ing, commenting, etc… throughout Facebook.
These numbers are important because they tell you what’s working and what’s not. More importantly, they show you what to focus on and what to eject.
I’m going to just coin the term right now and call these numbers “Facebook analytics”.
Facebook analytics are critically important because it helps you – the marketer, business owner, consultants, SEO’s, writers, bloggers, etc… – work smarter, not harder.
With Facebook analytics, you’ll work smarter because the more data you collect, and the more this data is formatted in a way that educates you on what’s working – and even more importantly, what’s not working – you are ultimately optimizing your workflow and your efforts.
And overtime, this iteration process is like a natural evolution where each new input you produce equals a better return on your efforts.
The Facebook index score
Let me use an example before I show you two tools that I find myself gazing out continuously throughout my day. And this example I take right from this blog, Social Media SEO.
I have over 3,500 articles within this blog.
Somewhere around 9 out of 10 articles, I will syndicate and share through my SMSEO Facebook Fan Page.
You’ll notice on each of the articles here at my blog, there are sharing tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc…
Facebook is, by far, the highest volume sharing tool on my site.
So naturally, since Facebook produces the most sharing, engagement, and interaction, I would want to analyze and optimize my efforts to build upon that success.
So one of the tools I use is a plugin for my WordPress blog called Facebook Share Statistics.
This amazing little plugin will analyze the Facebook activity across all 3,500 plus articles within my blog – that is, all of the Facebook sharing, commenting, and like’ing that occurred for each article.
And then I can isolate the top 350 articles (you can do less if you’d like), and it ranks the articles according to what I call a Facebook index score.
Basically, for each article, it adds up the total number of Facebook shares, comments, and likes, and those equal one number. That one number is what I’m calling the Facebook index score.
This tool then analyzes and ranks all of the articles within my site and shows me, ranked from highest to lowest, the top 350 articles in my site that have the highest Facebook index score.
Here’s an image of my current Facebook index score – or table:
I’m hoping you are seeing the importance of what I’m talking about here…
Because now I’m able to see, in one simple graph, the top 5 or 10 articles – out of my 3,500 plus articles – the ones that have generated the most activity and engagement on Facebook.
If I’m wanting to work smarter, and not harder – which I think we all would want to do – I’d realize that also tells me what type of content – from titles, to subject matter – what type of content my readers find the most compelling.
And if I’m smart, I would write more content about those subjects… right?
It’s like forgetting what doesn’t work, and focusing on what does work – continually expanding on the positive, and ejecting the negative.
Facebook Fan Page insights
The second tool that I use continuously is the Facebook Fan Page insights tool.
Now this tools, which is found at the right of your Facebook Fan Page while you’re logged in as an admin, will tell you also the top 10 articles that are receiving the most interaction and engagement except that Facebook calls these “interactions” and “feedback”.
After you click on the “View Insights” link on the right hand side of your Facebook page, look in the top left corner under “Page Insights” and click “Interactions” > now scroll down a bit and look to the right of that graph and click “Interactions”.
This will sort the top 10 wall updates according to “interactions” from highest to lowest.
Here’s my current insights graph ranked by “interactions” > “graph”:
Now for my Facebook fan page, since I’m pretty much initiating new wall updates with new articles I’ve written on my blog, this graph is important because it tells me what type of content is the most engaging for the fans of SMSEO.
Again, if I want to continue to deliver content that the fans of my page enjoy engaging with, I will focus my efforts that type of content.
Facebook is an amazing marketing platform to build your brand, reputation, and actually engage a growing audience of followers who actually enjoy engage with you or your brand.
And by using tools like that ones I’ve described above, you can become a much smarter, and be much more effective, with branding and marketing your business – continually learning what your audience likes the most, and what they like the least.
Ultimately, what we are talking about here is a marketing strategy that’s all about building relationships and fans – not about spamming and trying to leverage the law of numbers.
And with the tools I described above, you can start the process of building a larger audience of real people who actually enjoy engaging with your brand, which in turn gives your brand a wider range of leverage, exposure, and relevance in the marketplace.
What about you?
What are some analytical tools you have found useful that helps you build your brand and connect more effectively with your audience?
Facebook Analytics image from Handshare20.com