Tag Archives: Facebook

How to optimize your content for Facebook’s Paper newsfeed app

Facebook Paper

OK, you must be wondering Facebook has just launched its new newsfeed app called Paper, it hasn’t even been used by many people, not many reviews are available online, and I’m already talking about optimizing your content for it. In case you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about and what is this new newsfeed, head to this nice review on ReadWrite.com that says that this app is more about looks and less about the content it plans to broadcast.

Anyway, there is a great buzz all over the Internet and you may have already seen people fervently tweeting about the release. Sadly the app is only available for the iPhone users (well, it remains to be seen whether it is a good thing or a bad thing) and as iPhone users are prone to doing, they are blowing this thing out of proportion.

When you talk of optimizing your content what is the first thing that comes to your mind? What exactly is content optimization? To me it is

  • Creating as relevant and useful content as possible
  • Writing in a language that appeals to your target audience
  • Creating a captivating headline that draws people to the main article
  • Making your content shareable
  • Organizing your content – text – under appropriate headlines, sub headlines and bulleted points
  • Hyperlinking to further bits of useful and related information
  • Avoiding excessive use of images and videos (unless your content merely constitutes of such media)
  • Using the correct structured data markup

The last point is very important especially for the apps like Facebook’s Paper newsfeed app. Such apps use the structured data markup to identify the nature of your content and then adjust it in the feed accordingly.

The points mentioned above are the universal traits of content that is optimized for practically every medium whether you are writing for your blog/website or for social networking websites. The same goes for Facebook Paper. Use the right markup so that your content appears under the right section, create captivating headlines so that your content can grab people’s attention, write smaller sentences so that it’s easier to read them on smaller devices and as always, stick to the point.

What is Facebook Graph Search and how to optimize your content for it

Facebook Graph Search

If you are spending most of your time on Facebook you might as well also carry out your daily dose of searches on the social networking website. Almost every individual and every business that is on the Internet is also there on Facebook. So that is why Facebook is coming up with its own search engine called Graph Search. How is it going to be different from conventional search engines like Google?

Facebook is people based. In the name of improving user experience Facebook is able to extract as much information from its users as possible. It knows how old you are, where you live, where you work, which school and university you attended, with whom you are hanging out, who is your spouse or brother or sister, which foods you like to eat, which books you like to read and which movies you have recently seen or would like to see. This kind of detailed information is not available to conventional search engines, although with Google Plus Google is trying to break that barrier. In fact Google is changing its ranking algorithm in such a manner that people will be forced to use Google Plus if they want to improve their search engine rankings as well as search engine traffic.

Anyway, back to the Facebook Graph Search. Facebook is all about wanting to know what your friends and relatives are doing. You trust your friends, at least more than the search engine ranking algorithms. The search results that you get on Facebook will be totally different from those appearing on Google simply because the Facebook search results will be based on the preferences of your friends.

Take for instance, you want to read some sci-fi books that your friends have recently read. On Graph Search you will look for the following:

“Sci-fi books my friends like”

Or if you want to find a good coffee shop in London (I know, quite a broad search) you can search for

“London coffee shops my friends like”

Or if you want to find out something more specific

“London coffee shops my female friends like”

Or

“London coffee shops my friends have been to”

You can replace London with any other city, and you can replace coffee shops to any other business.

The basic idea behind Facebook Graph Search is that it is based on your friends’ recommendations and preferences. It is totally human-based. Most of the data has been submitted by people themselves and hence there is little chance of error.

Optimizing your content for Facebook Graph Search

Relevance and quality, as usual, are always relevant. Content marketing that also involves social media marketing, should also take care of how you create content on social networking websites, in this case, Facebook. What language you use when you post your updates can alter the way you appear on Facebook search results. It is based on natural language processing as you might have experienced in Apple’s Siri.

Remember that your presence on Facebook becomes popular when people “like” your content or share it on their own timelines. For example, in order to find my services people may look for “content writer my friends like”. To make sure I appear in these search results, I need to make sure that enough number of people, and right type of people, like my Facebook page or my Facebook updates.

In order to optimize your content for Facebook Graph search

  • Use the language people use (if they are looking for a content writer, then actually use this expression while creating your content)
  • Post relevant content so that people “like” it and share it
  • Use social buttons on your website so that people can easily post your links on their own timelines without having to leave your website or blog
  • Encourage people to leave comments on your website using Facebook
  • Create great content on your website or blog so that people have a reason to promote your links and talk about your website or blog
  • Establish yourself as an authority

As you can see, the same rules that apply to creating content in general also apply to optimizing your content for Facebook Graph search. Be regular, stick to quality and relevance and give people a reason to appreciate your presence on Facebook.

Is content marketing the only marketing left?

This is something Seth Godin said in one of the interviews he keeps giving on various Internet marketing forums, that content marketing is the only marketing left.

Many people tend to disagree, but they don’t get the import of the thing. They always equate content marketing with something that necessarily has to do with the Internet. Of course a major part of content marketing evolves on the Internet, but it goes beyond the realms of the world wide web.

Content marketing in its truest sense means two-way engagement. Unlike conventional advertising you are not simply broadcasting promotional messages using various channels (print magazines, newspapers, TV, radio and even some form of Internet advertising), you are actually trying to reach out to your target customers and clients. First with the arrival of the contemporary Internet and then with social networking and social media, the dynamics of how people consume content (information, education or advertising) have gone through a paradigm shift. It’s no longer about passively receiving messages. Now people immediately respond to those messages and also create their own messages.

This, is a big difference. People talk to businesses and they talk among themselves. Your business and your brand must be talked about in order to remain relevant. This can only be achieved by engaging content, and hence the relevance of content marketing.

Again, although I mostly deal with writing, content, it can be anything. It can be a video, and info-graphic, an audio, a presentation, a PDF file, your postings on social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. It can be images and videos on Pinterest and YouTube.

The biggest reason why content marketing is the only marketing left is that people “search” on the Internet before doing business with you. People no longer buy your products and services after seeing your advertisements and flyers. They log onto their favourite search engine, and they search for your product name or your service name (and various other combinations involving your product name or your service name), and read and view information and opinions about it. If not their favourite search engine, then they use their favourite social networking website (most such websites like Twitter and Facebook are making search a big part of their offerings) to know what people are saying about your product or service.

Conventional marketing brings you brand awareness. Content marketing brings you brand involvement, and this is what you need in the current scenario. You want conversations to happen around your brand and business, and if possible, positive conversations. This happens when you create and promote content people can share, respond to or react to.

Content marketing also gives you an ability to measure various aspects of its effectiveness. Take for instance blogging. At a particular time, using analytics tools, you can easily find out how many people are reading your blog posts, from which geographic regions, at what particular time of the day, during which days of the week, etc. By actively engaging them in your comments section you can even get more information.

The same holds true for social networking websites like Facebook. The amount of information its analytics can give you is unparalleled.

Why you need a Facebook page and how to increase your fans with quality content

Increasing Facebook page fansCreating a Facebook page is a great way to build a community around your product, brand or identity. More than 99% Fortune 500 companies have a Facebook presence (it differs from company to company how much they engage their customers and clients via their pages).

It takes a few minutes to create a Facebook page but it can take months to get a decent number of fans. Creating a page over there can be as simple as using its default features or as intricate as creating an interactive Facebook app to take your presence to an entirely different level.

Lets quickly go through some benefits of having a Facebook page.

  • It can act as your landing page: Since you can make your Facebook page as interactive and feature-rich as any other web page you can easily create a landing page for your product or service. Since you cannot create multiple pages you will have to take down one page in order to create another. Or you can have different tabs as different landing pages and then randomly decide on which tab people should land when they visit your page.
  • It can help you build a community around a product, service or idea: Just as birds of same feather flock together people of similar interest try to find people like them. There are many gadget companies that create Facebook pages to post interesting stuff about their gadgets and then have interactions with their fans. You can get valuable feedback from your fans. Some of those fans can turn into your evangelists and promote your product, service or idea on their own timelines, websites and blogs. The basic idea behind building a community is developing a kinship with your fans and having regular interactions with them to maintain a buzz around your presence.
  • It can act as a press release: Whether you’re launching a new product, testing a prototype, or giving an offer on your various products or services, you can announce that on your Facebook page. A good thing about releasing your news on your Facebook page is you will get instant feedback. So if you have just launched a product, you can include a link to the purchase page of that product and you can immediately see your sales soaring. Provided you have a considerable number of fans it can be a great PR tool for you in case you get some bad press.
  • Your Facebook fan page can help you build an audience: Suppose you are an artist or a writer and you want to build your own fan base. Just imagine what a boost you will get if you have 10,000 fans on your Facebook page. A good thing about having more fans is there is a greater probability of you getting more fans much faster. As a writer it will certainly give you an edge when you are negotiating with publishers or looking for agents. People who have become your fans will be more eager to buy your books. Similarly, if you are an actor people who have become your fans will be more eager to see your movie, and hence it will be profitable for producers and casting directors to prefer you over another actor who doesn’t have a solid Facebook presence.

These are some selective benefits and there can be a long list of other benefits of having a Facebook page.

Getting more Facebook fans with quality content

Quality Facebook contentEventually it all boils down to what sort of content you post on your Facebook page. Remember that you have to engage your audience. Your content must be inspiring, informative, provocative and thought-provoking. Since they have liked your page they expect you to say something authoritative, knowledgeable and useful. You are like a thought leader. They look up to you.

Publishing content on your Facebook page differs from field to field. It depends on your audience. A Paris Hilton audience would be totally different from, let us say, a Salman Rushdie audience (yup, I’m stereotyping here but that’s the reality). So you have to understand the dynamics of your audience and post your content accordingly.

A professional content writer can help you study your audience and then create your Facebook page content accordingly.

Three things get you a greater number of fans on Facebook:

  1. Regular posting
  2. Sticking to the interest of your fans
  3. Interacting with your fans however much possible

Regular posting

Regular posting gives you constant visibility. Timelines on Facebook move very fast. No matter how popular you are if you don’t post for a couple of weeks nobody really misses you unless your presence is indispensable. So you have to appear in the timelines of your fans as much as possible. There are different frequencies for different types of audience, 4-5 postings everyday is the least amount of content you should create and post.

Regarding creating quality content, it doesn’t always have to come from you. If you come across an interesting link that you think your fans will find useful, post that link. If you find something controversial, post that and invite your fans to give their comments. You can also share stuff from people you are friends with on Facebook and other social networking websites. Use different sources to keep your Facebook page timeline buzzing.

Sticking to the interests of your fans

Your fans follow you for a reason. If you are a writer, they expect literary content from you or something related to your writing pursuits, or whatever is happening in the field of literature, writing and publishing. Of course you can also express your views on whatever is happening in the world at a particular time, but you should maintain a ratio of 80:20 – 80% your subject and 20% general interest.

Interacting with your fans however much possible

Social networking is after all 1-1 interactions. If you just post and never respond to your fans’ comments people gradually begin to lose interest, especially when they are addressing to you and they don’t get a reply. It gives them an ego boost when you personally reply to their quarries especially if you are a budding celebrity. If you are a business then people will most probably comment about how fantastic or how lousy your product or service is. Try to respond to positive and negative feedbacks as early as possible because timeliness makes your conversations more effective and relevant.

So keep on posting relevant, quality content on your Facebook page and see your fans growing with great speed in a matter of a few months.

As a business person or as an artist it is not feasible to focus on your core area and also focus on your Facebook page. Sooner or later you will need professional help, especially when it comes to regularly posting quality content on your Facebook page.

Why content marketing is important for your business

Content marketing is a misunderstood terminology. It has got nothing to do with conventional marketing where you keep on pushing your messages and then wait for response.

There is often some confusion regarding why you need content regularly and why it needs to be marketed through proper channels. Unlike your brick and mortar business, the game is totally different on the web. You cannot compete on the Internet on the strength of your money, market reach and off-line reputation. You need to have a presence, and you need to have a convincing presence, and only high-quality content gives you that presence.

On your website or your blog, you cannot directly communicate with your visitors unless you are constantly online and are using a webcam or a chat interface to talk to individual visitors (this is feasible, but only up to a certain point). Your web pages, and what they contain, become your representatives, your voice on your online presence. So your content helps you communicate.

But this is not the only reason you require ongoing content and subsequent content marketing. You also require content to

  • Strengthen and establish your brand
  • Generate traffic from social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook
  • Improve your search engine rankings
  • Establish yourself as an authority
  • Keep your visitors/customers/clients informed
  • Provide answers to the most common questions regarding your business
  • Keep on communicating with your prospective and present customers and clients so that they remember you when they need the product or the service you provide
  • Give your visitors a reason to visit your website or blog regularly

Why content marketing

After you start publishing on your website, people need to know about it. Since there are zillions of pages and blog posts on the Internet it is practically impossible to publish 50-60 odd web pages or blog posts and then expect the traffic to pour down from all over the Internet. Some people may have 500-600 web pages or blog posts, and some may even have thousands of them. So in terms of quantity and quality, you are in a constant competition on the Internet, and the good thing is you need to compete constantly. Why I say this is a good thing is because then everybody gets a chance to compete on the strength of his or her ability to produce and market high-quality content. This way, even while working from your basement, in your undergarments, you can compete with as big a company as Forbes by producing better content and marketing it properly.

In order to compete, along with publishing relevant information you also need to market it. You need to highlight it and promote it where people can see it. Here are a few things you can do in the effort of content marketing without spending much money:

  • Search engine optimize your content: Although this comes under search marketing, basically it is content marketing. With the help of your content you are trying to promote your business on various search engines. If you are able to optimize your content, it is going to rank well on major and minor search engines and this can bring you tons of traffic. Choose the right keywords, pack your articles and blog posts with as much information as possible, and make them as helpful as possible.
  • Write for other websites and blog posts: You can publish articles on article directories (although they are losing their charm over search engine rankings because there are 100s of such article directories). A better thing to do is write blog posts as guest blogger for reputed blogs. This might not be easy so first you will have to interact on the blogs and let the blog publishers become familiar with you. Many start-up companies use this content marketing tactic with great success by publishing blog posts on tech blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch.
  • Maintain an active social media presence: This may include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or YouTube. These days your website may get traffic from multiple sources and you need to maintain a vibrant presence over these places. Regularly interact with your friends and followers on social networking websites and generate content for social media websites like YouTube and Tumblr. Lots of content is shared and passed around using these platforms and you never know which of your links might go viral.

These are but a few ways you can carry out your content marketing effort. As mentioned above, content marketing is important for your business because first of all content is important for your business, and second, you need to make as many people aware of the existence of your content as possible.