Wowed just by the contents page!

You know that I often speak about the power of content and now I also want to remind you that – if you’re writing a book, don’t underestimate the power of contents pages.

Think about your own behaviour – when you pick up a business book, (either to browse on or off line) you’re likely to paw through the contents pages to see what delights may unfold within.

Contents 5

The latest Amazon review for our book is titled ‘Wowed just by the contents page‘.  This delights us – because actually, when writing a book, you start with the skeleton. What needs to go into the book, the ordering of content, a logical flow is critical.  There’s got to be a natural start, middle and end (just as with any great story).  Of course, with a practical social media guide book such as The Business of Being Social – then each chapter delivers value and insight – so it’s great that the content pages really do sell what’s in the book – and importantly, that the book stands up to the expectation of those content pages. There are no less than 4 pages of contents in our book – which as authors, when you scope them out – it’s a pretty daunting task to think – now we need to get writing to ensure we cover all those aspects in practical detail – bringing the book to life. 

Here’s the great review…

“I was wowed just by looking at the contents pages of this book. It’s incredible how much information is in here and with social media moving so quickly it still gives up to date information. I have an understanding of the platforms but still learned a lot from the book, the content and video chapters were hugely beneficial to me and undoubtedly will now help me in my business too. Definitely recommend to anyone looking at growing their social media following or even VAs and social media consultants too.”

contents3Contents 4

Wonderful to hear – and so far, so good. Every review we’ve received (albeit only 4 live on Amazon for the new book so far -v- 69 for the previous book) – is a 5 *****.  So thank you – and if you are reading the book – then do keep them coming.

Best wishes

Michellex

contents2

The Business of Being Social 2nd Edition – First review and it’s a 5*****!

Always delightful to great off to a great start… David and I are delighted with the 5***** review for the book. Let’s hope there are as many as for our first edition.

“There are so many books out there that claim to teach businesses the art of using social media platforms, but they are full of wordy jargon-filled passages which give most non-web professionals a headache.
This is such a refreshing read, breaking each chapter down to focus on a specific social platform, and explaining why businesses should use the platform, not just how.
It covers the basics, like describing each platform and what they are used for – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ are all covered, but it goes deeper and explains how businesses need to communicate with their customers, how to engage, lead a conversation and get the best from a strategy. As a small business owner I found this actually quite a compelling read, and I have used it for creating strategies for using social media, and how to get the best out of it. Hands down the best social media book for businesses if you don’t want a heavy read.”

Wonderful – just what we set out to achieve.

Michelle x

The Business of Being Social – 2nd Edition is here…

Yay – it’s happened. The Business of Being Social 2nd Edition is here.

Why a second edition and not a brand new book? I hear you say…

Well – whilst the skeleton is similar – and some of the aspects from the original book have been retained, the majority (around 85%) is brand new.

2nd Edition of The Business of Being Social

2nd Edition of The Business of Being Social

A lot has changed in the social media space in the past two years – and so this 2nd edition features not only all the relevant updates to keep the content, fresh and relevant and as highly practical as possible – but it also includes two whole new chapters.

  • Social Media Advertising
  • Becoming an Adaptive Social Business

When we wrote the book almost 3 years ago now – when we were training and consulting with organisations and business owners, the question was ‘why should we do social media‘.  Just a few years later, the question is now more likely to be ‘how can we do social media effectively‘.

The answer to both questions will be uncovered throughout the 13 chapters.

So – grab your copy today – and be sure to leave a review. We had so much praise for our original book, which spurred us on for book number 2 – so enjoy and let us know what you think.

Happy reading…

Michelle x

 

 

 

 

Facebook to Drop Sponsored Stories in April 2014

If you’re not aware about Sponsored Stories, then to simplify things for you – these are ad like updates shown when a user’s Facebook friend interacts with a sponsored Page, App or Event.

They will appear in your Facebook News Feed because a business or individual has paid to highlight them in the hope that there’s more of a chance others will see them and click ‘Like through to the Page as well.

However – it has been known to many, that marketers and Facebook users have had a love-hate relationship with Facebook’s Sponsored Stories. Proving to be a source of confusion for the marketers (who want to get as much out of their advertising budgets as possible – and a source of annoyance for News Feed noise.

Facebook has announced in a blog post that they plan to put an end to Sponsored Stories altogether – so if you’re looking to purchase a Sponsored Story then you better do it fast – because by April 9th 2014, this feature will be completely removed!

What will this Mean for Marketers? What is the Next Step?

The company confirmed that they were planning to drop Sponsored Stories back in June 2013 – however it wasn’t until recently that we have an official date for when they will disappear from the site altogether (April 9th 2014).

Currently it’s not that clear as to what will replace Sponsored Stories – however what we can tell you is that the existing Sponsored Stories will transition into the ad format “Social Context.”  What ‘social context’ means is that – if your friends like something, then it may get shown to you too on the assumption that you also may like it.  The ‘social’ element of ‘social context’.

The removal of Sponsored Stories only changes the way these ads are delivered to Facebook users, not the fact that the information can be collected and used. A key difference with Social Context ads however, is that they will appear in the right hand sidebar, rather than directly in your News Feed.

So rather than have your News Feed bombarded with ads – the Social Context ads will run in the usual right hand bar where we have become used to seeing  all Facebook’s advertisements.

Social Context will be offered as an option to advertisers alongside other advertising options. With Social Context, Facebook will continue to gather information on users and deliver that information back to those users in the form of ads.

Here’s what Facebook announced in June:

“Wee’re bringing the best of sponsored stories — social context — to all ads. Since this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a stand-alone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see.”

See the diagram below to see how this should work:

facebook image for blog

As you can see, social media advertising is a constantly-shifting medium, especially as the industry is always growing. So the best thing that you can do is try to keep up with these changes and learn how to stretch each pound as far as possible.

Tip: Don’t give up -Facebook is known to be one of the best ways to reach a large number of customers all at once.

Facebook Update: Edgerank is Dead

In Chapter 5 of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all Businesses – we discuss Facebook’s algorithm, Edgerank.

What are they talking about? -  I hear your brains a pondering.

If you think about Facebook as a huge database (which it is) – then given the scale of Facebook, you can imagine that ordering the data so that updates and comments etc can be delivered to the relevant people is a significant task.

Instead of having a ‘everyone sees all’ activity schedule – (which would be totally unmanageable given the size of Facebook – and how frequently people use it) – then instead, Facebook has to determine who is going to see what.

And of course, it’s not people that decide who see’s what – but instead, the role is in the ‘chips’ of mathematical algorithms that are accessing a number of factors around the content – and then serving the output.

Historically, Facebook promoted Edgerank as their algorithm. An algorithm which considered 3 key factors (each in themselves a complex calculation):

  • Affinity score – between viewing user and edge creator (translation – how engaged you are with specific connections)
  • Weight for the edge – ie: the quality of the type of content – eg: a comment, a tag, a like, a share etc
  • Time decay – factors based on how long ago the ‘edge’ was created

(See Page 102 in the book for more info).

Whilst these elements are still part of the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine who sees what – it is now widely published and accepted that there are significantly more factors now considered.

In fact – it’s rumoured that there are over 100 factors (and in some reports 100,000!).

Either way – the key element remains in that you need to be working hard on Facebook to generate engagement and then keep that engagement going.

Asking questions (getting people to engage with your Page), quality content and building an influential audience still count.  I suspect as Facebook continues to be a noisy space – then more creativity in to how you corner the eyeballs and activity is going to be needed.

Targeted posts rolled out to majority of Facebook Pages

In the Facebook Chapter of the book, we talk about targeted posts, content that can be targeted directly using a range of demographics.

Until recently, only pages with more than 5,000 fans had access to this feature. However, now as long as you have 30 fans, you can take advantage of this facility.

Targeted post

To get this feature, you need to go into the settings of your Page and ensure your post privacy gating is turned on. Click here to read how to do this.

You’ll then see what looks like a target in between the scheduler and the geolocator in your updating window.

Targeted post 2

If you click on this target, you’ll get a drop-down window (see left) which gives you a number of different demographic options for your targeted content.

Once you’ve entered the required criteria and added your content, you then click on Boost Post and a new window will appear in your screen.

 

Targeted post 3

Select the People you choose through targeting option, set your budget and away you go.

Facebook will tell you the estimated audience for your post. You can also track its performance using Insights.

So if you are looking to reach out to a new, highly targeted audience, or possibly improve your EdgeRank score, then this could be a very cost effective form of advertising on Facebook.

One word of warning though. You need to be posting a high quality of content – strong images, video, infographic etc. – and the image you use should contain no more than 25% text.

Another Facebook change! They have removed the polling function from Pages

In the book, we talk about how important it is to ask questions in social, be conversational and listen to your customers.

A great way to do this is using polls, which until this week were available on Facebook Pages. Alas, that is no longer the case as they have now removed both the Question and Polling function, which used to appear in a drop-down menu underneath Event, Milestone+.

Instead, they have renamed the drop-down menu as Offer, Event+ and removed the Question/polling option.

Before

Facebook questions

 

After

Offer event

 

Quite why they have decided to do this is anyone’s guess. However we believe that one reason may be that they want to streamline Facebook Pages and make them even more of an advertising platform.

We’ll see what happens. But in the meantime, there is nothing to stop you asking questions when you update your Page. It is still a great way to get engagement from your fans.

Graph search is coming to Facebook

Facebook announced yesterday (Monday) that their new Graph Search would be rolled out for English-speaking users of the site.

Graph search graphic

Essentially, this is Facebook starting to take on Google and Google+ by creating an intuitive search engine.

As we say in the book, the social media giant is looking to take on the internet itself so having a search engine to rival Google is an obvious step forward.

 

So what does this mean for businesses looking to use the site? For now, you won’t have to worry too much. Here are three simple steps to take:

  • Continue to post rich, engaging content
  • Use keywords in updates, photo captions and tags as well as the About section of your Page
  • Make sure that your Page content has been filled in fully. In the same way that Google works, the more information and content you give to Facebook, the easier it will be for users of the site to find your Page.

Have you optimised Graph Search for your Facebook profile yet? We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Facebook make a change…(again). Online Offers to end July 9th!

Just this morning we were on Facebook promoting an online Offer for a client on Facebook – and voila – up came the following message:

‘Starting July 9, online offers will no longer be available. To share a discount or promotion, create a Page post with a link to your website, then click Boost to promote it.’

Further evidence that any serious visibility you want to gain on Facebook – needs to be paid for.

facebook offers, boosted posts, facebook tips

Launch Party – The Business of Being Social

So… what a fun event our book launch turned out to be.

Everyone enjoyed the presentation we gave sharing insights into how we came about writing the book, the gap in the market we were aiming to fill – and the practicalities of writing of book, when you’re running your own business and have small children.  The presentation ‘The Making of The Business of Being Social‘ went down really well – (and everyone particularly liked our Bloopers video- lots of hearty laughter… thanks guys).

And the stage was set in the wonderful offices of Laytons Solicitors, 2 More London. The views, as you can see from the photo gallery – were absolutely spectacular. And the word ‘WOW’ was commonplace as guests arrived. Such a vantage point from which to enjoy canapes and wine and watch the sun going down over London’s panoramic skyline – and experience the changing light on Tower Bridge.