Blog | Sep 21, 2012 | 3 Comments

Happy Anniversary, WagnerWrites Page

Today marks the second anniversary of my WagnerWrites Facebook page. It’s also my birthday. Here’s how I really feel about this birthday present two years later.

In 2010, I wrote a blog post, [more face time], that listed these hesitations about launching a page:

  1. I work primarily with long-time clients who already know me quite well. I don’t try to get business from the web.
  2. I love Facebook as a personal social networking platform. I’m not really sure how to be a business on Facebook.
  3. It could take a lot of additional time to manage another social media outlet/profile.

Today, here’s how I would respond to each point.

Point 1. I’ve gotten no new business directly from the page but I’ve noticed three important benefits.

Point 2. People do understand that WagnerWrites is me, and a lot of personal friends follow the page.

Still, I concentrate on content about communication, marketing, social media, technology, and nonprofits because that reflects my skills and work. I also limit posts on my personal profile that crossover into my professional life. Occasionally that’s challenging because I work a lot (though not exclusively) in the nonprofit sector and I care about the causes my clients support. But I’m not paid to promote their events or issues on my personal profile, and I only do so when I feel my friends would want to know.

Point 3. Facebook as a marketing platform is getting harder to use and more frustrating.

I guess I should qualify that statement–maybe it’s only more challenging for small businesses that don’t have dedicated Facebook page managers or deep pockets for ad purchases. As a way to push page owners to paid services, Facebook has continually degraded the ability of pages to actually reach their fans. On average, less than 20% of a page’s posts will appear in the news feeds of people who like the page. This happens through a secret proprietary algorithm called EdgeRank, which Facebook uses to control all the information posted on its platform.

There was a good discussion about this on a September 7 post from BlogAid, the company that helps me with my blog. (I am not paid to promote this business!) Here are a couple of excerpts from BlogAid owner, MaAnna Stephenson:

Only about 18% of your posts are seen by the folks who liked your page. And, it’s a myth that your posts get shown only to those who interact with it most. In fact, during those times when it throttles what appears in my news feed, it’s the pages I interact with least. Getting this same verification from other social media guru buddies who officially track it. EdgeRank does not work and even if it did, should be abolished. Facebook is the only platform that does not show you every post of the pages you marked to see.

But what’s the alternative? The jury is still out on that. I agree with these additional points by MaAnna:

Unfortunately, G+ just doesn’t have the audience that FB does. As owners of biz pages, we’re fed up enough to go elsewhere, but the B2C folks we are trying to reach aren’t. However, G+ is becoming a much better platform for B2B, and guess who buys Google Ads? Mmm, should make FB rethink their policy, especially since FB ads (and promoted posts) are not delivering the same ROI as Google Ads and Google AdWords…Last year I started spending more time on LinkedIn because of this and the ROI far exceeds FB. The ROI on G+ is still nil to nothing.

I’m not leaving Facebook any time soon, but I’m changing my social media strategy slightly.

  1. I’m going to concentrate more on LinkedIn. I’ve already created a strong profile there but I want to be a more active participant in groups. My objection in the past is that the groups and other sections have been full of self-promotion. But I need to give LinkedIn another chance.
  2. I’m going to continue building a presence on Pinterest. It actually helps tremendously with Facebook. We’ve known for a long time that visual content is the most popular kind on Facebook and Pinterest is my go-to source for great images.
  3. I’ll pay closer attention to Facebook metrics and see if I can detect patterns to help better plan my content. Edgerank does have the tendency to cancel out a lot of our efforts, though, so I’m not sure I can ever truly know why a specific kind of post is popular or unpopular.

I’ll continue reporting back, and sharing the intelligent and thoughtful posts of other Facebook users and “experts” on the WagnerWrites page. Thanks for being there with me.

Image: Kevin Broidy on flickr

 

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Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

3 Comments

Thank you for the mention, Claire, and for this thoghtful post on the realities and expectations of what it is to juggle an online presence with so many platforms. It’s good to look at ROI and evaluate where your time is best spent.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

@MaAnna, ROI evaluation happens just about every day. We have so many choices and so little time. Thanks for your advice and support!

[Reply]

MaAnna

9/21/2012

Hi Claire,

First of all, Happy Belated Birthday! 🙂

Second, thanks for talking about your experience with Facebook. It’s the biggest social media avenue that I don’t use for freelance marketing. Strategizing your social marketing is a beast unto itself, so I think it’s a great idea to take stock and adjust your course when you feel that it’s not working the way you hoped.

Personally, I’m thinking about giving StumbleUpon and Reddit a try. I normally stay away from those platforms from a marketing perspective because I never felt my content would be remotely visible on there. But maybe I was wrong. I’m still running my informal survey with other freelancers.

Keep us in the loop on what you decide with Facebook. Oh, and share your Pinterest link! I’m eager to see what you’re pinning. 🙂

[Reply]

Candace

10/19/2012

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