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What’s Up With Social Media And Friends Recommendations?

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Ok. I get it. We trust friends with recommendations more than we trust brands or people we don’t know. That makes sense. But think about how social networks work nowadays. Do we know everyone we’re friends with? A research just came out this past week saying the average 22 year-old in England has over 1000 friends on Facebook. And now you tell me, do we really know everyone we’re friends with? I doubt it.

Google +1

Not long ago, Google launched Google +1 button. As Google itself describes, the button is a “shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.” They said you just have to click on it to “publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.” So basically, it’s a recommendation button.

New Facebook page feature

Rumors this week started about a Facebook page recommendation tool, where friends can recommend friends about which pages to like. Yet again, we are trusting our so called friends with recommendations.

Enough with that

Stop to reflect about it. Would you care about what pages your little brother likes on Facebook? Do you really want to get a recommendation from your best friend’s mother? People have different interests, and that’s perfectly normal. I believe that Google +1 can easily become spam if not handled right. I’ve been using the Google+like extension in my browser (Chrome), and it’s been great. Not for the recommendation bit, where I should believe the content my friends have shared is more interesting (cause I don’t), but because this is great for research. I can see how many likes a link has had, which is great to understand the reach and popularity of online content.

What does the future hold?

Saying all that, I still think recommendation is a great opportunity in Social Media. I think it would be perfectly normal for me to get recommendations from my Twitter followers, and you know why is that? Because my Twitters followers are not exactly my friends, but people who share the same interests as me. I wouldn’t follow them if I didn’t care for what they had to say. Recommendations should be about the relationship you have with someone, it should be about sharing and caring for the same things.

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Written by Cristina Dresch

May 26, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Posted in Facebook, Social, Statistics

Social Media Interaction

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If you are one of those people who say the number of followers on Twitter and number of fans on Facebook doesn’t matter, you won’t like what I have to say. You will either disagree or I’ll change your mind. We’ll see.

Numbers matter

Fans who don’t see your posts range from 10% to 75%. I know this is a big range, but still, huge. This depends on a different factors, such as interaction with the post – the more interaction you get, the longer your post will show up at your fan’s feed. It also has to do with the amount of interaction your fan previously had with you, if he never interacts with your page, it’s more likely he won’t see your updates. Facebook assumes he simply doesn’t care.

Source - All Facebook http://bit.ly/kmG8dP

 

Fans who like or comment at your page ranges from 0.1% to 4%. What do you think, not good enough? It’s actually higher than average. Jakob Nielsen, a huge name in the usability world, wrote an article about participation inequality. After doing a lot of research, he concluded that in most online communities 90% of members are lurkers, people who never contribute. They might be listening, but they are not collaborating. 9% are intermittent contributors. This group contributes from time to time, but the community is not a priority for them. And just 1%, yeah one per cent, of the community are heavy contributors.

Fans who go to your actual fan page range from 0.1% to 0.5%. Very surprising for those who didn’t know, but users don’t actually go to your Facebook Page. They expect to get everything they need from their new feeds, they are not interested at your page, instead you give them a reason to (aka: an application that offers something valuable).

Do the math

So let’s say you’re a very small and focused business. You currently has an average of 100 Facebook fans, and all your hear people saying is that ‘number of fans is not important’. Well, do the math:

  • 10 to 75 fans won’t see your posts at all.
  • 0.1 to 4 people will actually like or comment at your posts.
  • 0.1 to 0.5 (that’s not even ONE person) will actually go to your page.

So, what do you say?

All that awesome job you did building your Facebook page for this amount of interaction? Not enough! You need more fans, that is a fact! Check my blog post about Facebook Contests for some ideas about getting more fans and interaction.

Did I change your mind? Or do you still believe is not about the numbers? You might not believe the stats, and I respect you for that.

Written by Cristina Dresch

May 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Posted in Facebook, Statistics

Facebook Contest – An Offline and Online Integration

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We’ve all heard that the best way to get interaction from Facebook fans are through surveys, promotions and contents. So last month we decided to create some kind of contest in our Facebook page in order to get more fans and interaction. The prize was two free tickets to the Social CRM conference in London. The contest should be around the choice of the topic for our next’s month event. The attendes are normally social media professionals, which means they would all be very interested to win the free ticket (£145 worth).

We could say we had some of the most important things covered:

Goals ✓
Audience ✓
Prize ✓
Theme ✓

But what about the contest itself?

Funny, but when you seat down to think about it, Facebook contests aren’t as simple as they sound. I did a quick brainstorm online and found some cool ideas here, here and here. Some are really fun, and sound exciting. But they aren’t as simple as we would expect, which means more work to create and more work to participate in the contest. Remember, if the goal is to reach a broad audience, you don’t want to make it hard. Keep it as simple as you can.

Narrow it down to different ideas

After reading some blog posts and articles, I found some ideas that were pretty doable. I decided to narrow them down, and look at the pros and cons of each.

Quizz about social media. Whoever got more answers right would be the winner.
⇡ Pros Fun.
⇣ Cons Need to use an App. A lot of time to create questions and answers. Time consuming for fans. It doesn’t necessarily shows up in the fan’s news feed.

Ask fans to suggest a blog in our page. From all those who suggested we would draw a winner.
⇡ Pros A lot of interaction in our Page. Friends of fans would see it on the news feeds. Easy to do.
⇣ Cons More effort from fans. Hard to keep track of names.

We think of a specific subject/blogger/social network and asked fans to guess what it was.
⇡ Pros  Easy to join. Easy to do. Friends of fans would see it on the news feeds.
⇣ Cons If a fan guesses it too early, contest can not be extended.

The contest

When thinking about the whole dynamic, all the ideas changed. So keep that in mind, first think about when and where you are going to announce the contest. That does make a difference.

Offline
Since we announced the contest in our offline event, we decided we had to take advantage of that, and get some offline interaction as well. So before the event we emailed all the participants to bring at least one business card to our event if they wanted to have the chance to win a free ticket to the Social CRM event. When they started to arrive one of us was at the door asking each participant to give their business card and write at the back of the card a topic they would like us to cover at our next event (don’t forget to have pens available). After our guest speaker finished his talk, we took one of the business cards from a bowl and gave the winner a free ticket for the event. Very simple. But remember, we had two tickets. And yes, the whole goal was to get more fans/interaction at our Facebook page. So at the event we announced that all the topics written at the back of the cards would be up at our Facebook page, and everyone who voted online in their favorite topic would have a chance to win a free ticket.

Online
We decided to use Facebook Questions, which worked perfectly. First thing we checked was if when a fan answered the question, it was going to show up at his news feeds. And it does, so no worries there. It’s easy, for us and for the fans. It doesn’t get much better than.
⇡ Pros Easy to create. Quick and easy to participate. Appears in the news feed.
⇣ Cons Not a whole lot of interaction. Questions doesn’t allow ‘likes’ and comments before you open the page.

Promote the contest and the winner

That’s essential. Use all the channels you’ve got. We mainly used our two Twitter accounts and our Facebook page. Tweets were scheduled at least once in two days during the 10 days the contest was running. We also sent a Facebook update to remind all the fans to vote. One day before the contest ended we scheduled about four tweets. The morning the draw was made we immediately announced the winner on Twitter and Facebook. Ideally you should contact the winner individually as well, by a Facebook message or email. In case you are friends with the winner, don’t forget to use the @___ feature on Facebook.

The results

A group of 25 people attended our April’s event and we got 20 business cards with different topic ideas. 80% participation, which is great. On Facebook, more than 36 fans answered our question, which is more than the total of participants in our event. 25% of all our Facebook fans answered the question. We increase our Facebook fans by 12.5% in less than two weeks. So I guess what everyone says about contests, is indeed true. Great way to get more fans and interaction in your brand page.

Conclusions

As we all know, offline still matters. We started the contest by asking people to collaborate offline, giving one of the participants a tangible prize at the same night. We just moved the group online afterwards, when the relationship was already built. This proves being effective, since people are already engaged the results are probably going to be much higher.

UPDATE:  You cannot forget that when you create a Facebook contest you need to meet Facebook’s guidelines. Here’ s an article that clarifies some doubts about it.

Written by Cristina Dresch

May 1, 2011 at 10:27 PM

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