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Problems Fundraising on Facebook

It’s two weeks before a charity event that I’m personally raising
funds for, and almost no one I know is aware of it. At least, not many
of my social media friends. You see, in the past several years, I’ve
raised significant funds (thousands of dollars) via social
networks like Facebook and Twitter for the CT Challenge and the MS Society with my bike rides.
This year, however, I’m getting almost no response on posts that link
to my fundraising sites. A recent post with a beautiful photo
in my state park that referenced my fundraising got 4 likes, and no
comments or shares.

Click Here to Donate

A similar landscape shot from the previous day got 11 likes and 7 comments. The difference – no fundraising link. Contrast that with a picture of my wife and me on our anniversary -
300+ likes and 61 comments. Now, we’re a very good looking couple, but 300 likes is a lot. There’s clearly something going on in the Facebook algorithm.

This is not me berating Facebook. Let’s posit that Facebook isn’t doing this to “hide things from people intentionally” or to be “evil.” Dr. EvilI am asking, theoretically,
if the Facebook algorithms are down-ranking fundraising links or money appeals because they believe people don’t want to see that content for whatever reason.
When I was at Microsoft, we had an analogy of a giant, walking throughout the land. Even if this gentle giant tried, he was still going to stomp some farmer’s field, or knock down a tree. He might crush things too small to notice, without even meaning to do so. Facebook’s latest algorithm changes may be like this giant – no ill intent, but things are getting squashed in the name of “showing people what they want to see.”
If this is true, it has major implications for many non-profits who
ask event participants to share links and fundraise on their networks. Let’s take another case.  My friend Geoff Livingston has been responsible for “Give To The Max” days and other, major online events that have literally raised millions of dollars for non profit causes. Geoff’s recent IndieGogo campaign got much less engagement than his regular articles and posts.

He told me, “I would say the engagement was pretty low compared to other posts perhaps 20-25% of what I normally get. I only got traction by pounding it everyday. The page didn’t really help much, I could have just as easily have done myself with PayPal.”

Let me be clear (because I teach social media for non-profits at NYU
and think about this a lot), there are lots and lots of tactics that I
haven’t discussed. Some of my personal email outreach has been
effective. Some email sent via the charity’s donation system has had
almost no effect – possibly ending up in spam or filtered into one of
Gmail’s Tabs. I’m not one of the people who have the ability to pay to promote my own personal posts. I could be making personal appeals to FB friends to like and share my post via messages, or directly tweeting to people to ask for re-tweets. There are creative ways to promote your fundraising – Beth Kanter does public thank you’s to donors, promoting the cause along the way. There are many other methods.

The thing that most concerns me here is, if I’m struggling, how are
people who spend less time thinking about social and fundraising going to fare? How will this affect the non-profits who count on the funds?

Have you seen problems reaching people with fundraising messages on social media? Share your thoughts… and do feel free to pass this along, so interested folks can donate.

 

How do you track and measure social media marketing?

How *Do* you track and measure social media marketing? It is all about figuring out what things you’re sharing are bringing people back to your sales funnel. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business shouldn’t matter.

I’ve had the privilege of researching this particular subject and interviewing some really great experts, Marshall Sponder, Justin Cutroni and Christopher Penn, for this paper I authored, which was just released by Vocus. You should download it now to understand:

  • Essential social media metrics and KPIs
  • Getting started with key Google Analytics features
  • Attribution modeling to discover which actions lead to outcomes.
  • Metrics for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Please let me know if you like it, or what other questions you have on the topic.

How to Track and Measure Social Media Marketing

Facebook Marketing – New Ways to be “Found”

I recently contributed a Facebook Marketing whitepaper to Vocus. In that paper, I talked about Facebook’s new Graph Search. In the two weeks since that paper was released, Facebook rolled out Graph Search for everyone in the US. What does Graph Search mean to your business?Introducing Graph Search

As you can see by the example above, Graph Search lets Facebook users search things like “Restaurants in CITY my friends have been to.” If you’re an in-person, brick and mortar business, this kind of searching may change the way you get customers. People often rely upon the suggestions of friends when they’re making choices for restaurants, stores, or other places to make purchases. Facebook is making that data more easy to find. Additionally, they’ve added a “nearby” feature to the mobile app, letting you see places your friends check into and like that are near where you are.

For more about the New Ways to Get Found on Facebook, check my guest post over at Vocus.

 

 

Facebook to Simplify Ad Units, Soon

Facebook briefed analysts and reporters last week about an effort to simplify both the number of ad choices and the flow by which advertisers reach customers. Most of the rollout will occur between now and the end of the 3rd quarter of this year, though some products will disappear within the next few weeks.

Facebook product managers explained that advertisers currently have 27 choices when deciding how to reach their market on Facebook, from Page Posts to Promoted Posts to Offers. They are looking to reduce the total number by roughly half. The crux of the move is meant to help marketers to reach their objectives more easily, without having to choose different ad units, according to Facebook Product Marketing Director Brian Boland. “Advertisers want to drive business outcomes and measure effectiveness of their campaigns. If we make it easier for an advertiser to pick the right audience, and the right format, it also improves user experience by putting more relevant information in front of user.” This means that the right ad, to the right customer, at the right time, should get better response and be more relevant.

While Facebook didn’t show reporters the actual workflow, the idea is that marketers will be able to decide on an objective, such as increasing Page Likes or driving app installs, and Facebook will recommend the correct type of ad unit and the type of targeting.  As an example, if you created a Page photo post this week, you would also want to create a sponsored story so that a user “liking” it would cause the ad to show for their friends. The new workflow will just “provide the ad with social context on top.” No extra steps to purchase different units.

According to Fidji Simo, Product Manager for Ads, they’ll be removing the Questions product for Pages in July because marketers can simply ask a question in a post and get answers in comments. They’ll also be removing the online Offers product in favor of Post Adslinking to an online site, but the in-store promotion Offers product will remain. This element was confusing, because companies that have both online and in-person presences will now have to run 2 different kinds of ad units – an offer for those coming to the store, and a Page Post ad linking to the online offer. This seems to go against the simplification trend. When I asked this question during Q&A, there was not a clear response.

Facebook will be also be making the creative unit sizes more consistent, to allow companies to provide fewer sizes of art and copy to create ads. The ads themselves will be more consistent on the desktop and in mobile. There’s also a implication that, since mobile is now where over 30% of Facebook’s revenue is derived, and on Mobile there is no right hand column, having ad unit sizes be more consistent helps solve some interface challenges.

This briefing was clearly the start of a discussion about how Facebook advertising will change over the next few months, and a way to prepare reporters and businesses for a group of small announcements and changes that will happen over time. You can read Facebook’s official release and see their graphic examples at their newsroom site.

Where It’s At – Local Marketing

Harbrooke was privileged to get a writing assignment for Vocus on Local Marketing. The paper is out and available for download from the Vocus site.

Whether you work for a local restaurant chain or a regional architecture firm, the marketing function works to raise prospects’ awareness of your prod- ucts and services, and then to turn them into customers. If you’re a marketing officer of a mid-sized company trying to reach local customers, you already know those customers are looking for you online and you’ve likely done something about it. In the last two years, almost 79% of businesses have created a social network presence, up from 45% in 2010.

In the paper I covered social media, search marketing and SEO, email marketing, PR and metrics. It also includes the importance of mobile search, location based services, and use of social media on the go.

I wouldn’t have been able to do this paper without help from some great businesses and consultants who contributed their knowledge and experience to the piece.

Thank you to:

Brian Carter

Heidi Cohen at RiversideMarketingStrategies.com

Allison Lynch of Baskervill

Ric Dragon of DragonSearchMarketing

Joe Sanders at Meatheads

Aaron Strout at W2O Group

I hope you’ll read it and provide any feedback or suggestions for future things to write about.

 

Thoughts on Social and Personal

For today’s post I want to credit Stephanie Booth, whose blog I saw recently (after not seeing it for too long) and found a link to an excellent series of pieces from JP Rangaswami. JP is Chief Scientist at SalesForce.com, and I know him going back a few years to the time he had a similar role at BT.

JP is always good at putting together a bunch of great thoughts.

  • The Plural of Personal is Social - in which JP describes business of “old” – ie. before the 1980s, when we had to actually go to the store, we often knew the clerk or owner, and got personal service. He clearly describes the state of the world now, and how companies are trying to get back to that place where relationships with customers are possible. At least some companies are.

 

I wish I could give you a huge amount more insight into the subject at the moment. I will only say, Thank You Stephanie for pointing me to these great thoughts, and to JP for writing them. I’ll be mulling this over.

 

In which the Harbrooke Group catches a cold…

Well, we didn’t technically catch a cold. Our site was infected by the Pharma hack for WordPress.

Harbrooke Hacked and fixed

This insidious and annoying code infects your website so that you can’t see it. You don’t see this collection of sp am words when you login with a browser, but unfortunately the search engines suck it all up. Google, Bing and other bots see this link-rich collection of words that you don’t want to share from your site, but you don’t see it at all. Annoying.

Thanks to the fine folks at Sucuri for documenting this hack and the fix, and to Larry Aronson for helping me to fix it all up. I recommend Larry constantly, and for good reason.

If you manage websites, run a scan from Sucuri’s home page and ensure that your own site hasn’t caught cold. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Speaking at NYXPO on 10/17

I’ll be speaking at NYXPO on 10/17 at 10:00am in room #4 about social media tools and strategies to increase business and revenue generation in companies. This is the third year for this panel, which also includes Cara Friedman and Nelly Yusupova, and moderator Ellis Henican.

During my talk I’ll be referencing use of lots of different social networks, including Facebook. I’ve written a few articles on Facebook recently so here are the references:

Facebook Tries to Woo Small Business

B to B Marketing on Facebook

Basics of Facebook Promoted Posts

Updated info on Facebook Pages and Facebook’s Mobile App

How to Show Customers You Really Care (a good case study on the use of social by small businesses)

Finally, it is a few years old, but still a good piece on how to create a website.

If this has been helpful, maybe you’d like more tips and articles from Harbrooke Group. Just give us your email and we’ll get you set up quickly.


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