Belgacom, the largest telecommunications company in Belgium, has taken the new Facebook Timeline feature to tell their own story, right from the start in 1992. They're filling up the page with more content as we speak, but their brand new facebook.com/Belgacom clearly has a more human feel to it:
The Facebook Page notes point out that the people in the videos are real people, not actors. This is Dax, for instance:
By the way - did you notice the Belgacom/Proximus co-branding? What do you think?
When it comes to your audience, there are two main parameters:
- Reach - any number that gives an idea of the size of your audience, and how it grows or declines
- Engagement - any number that gives an idea of how reactive that audience is
Reach is pretty easy to measure. You could track the amount of Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers, YouTube channel subscribers of your brand's presence in social media.
Or you could apply this metric to a specific social object you've launched, like a YouTube movie, a Tweet message, or a Facebook Post. In that case you'll focus on clicks, impressions, views, etc.
The hard part is in measuring Engagement. For lack of better tools, most use something like a Klout Score, a Net Promotor Score, and anything in between.
Socialbakers.com have just published their formulas for Facebook and Twitter Engagement rate. Facebook Engagement is calculated "on a given date", while the time stamp seems less important in the Twitter formula. Still: a very interesting and yet surprisingly simple look at social media metrics.
For your reference:
Formulas Revealed: The Facebook and Twitter Engagement Rate @ socialbakers.com
When it comes to their social media strategy, businesses have two options:
- Hire an outside firm
- Hnable employees to manage social media
From How to train your employees to handle your social media infographic @ Mindflash.com:
Though outside firms sometimes seem like the safest choice, many companies find that their own employees make natural brand ambassadors and can use their networks to create new clients and generate buzz.
In order to do this successfully, your employees must be effectively trained based on their social media skills.
Mindflash.com distinguishes 5 different groups:
- The digital native: social media is a part of his daily life. Training should focus more on the company's specific social media goals and how to measure returns, and less on how to use the techology.
- The savvy technologist: not raised on social media platforms, but taught himself to use them. Focus on the social media platforms the company wants to utilize, and how you wish to engage audiences on them.
- The reluctant user: is familiar enough with social media, but has not adopted them into his daily life. Teach advanced use of the social networks they are familiar with, and how to get started with less familiar tools.
- The digital contrarian: opposes the digital age and feels that social media is just a passing fad or waste of time. Explain how and why businesses benefit from skilled social media campaigns, and why such tacts are useful to the company.
- The digital newbie is extremely new to social media and the digital world, and may not have the skill necessary to freely navigate the networks. Train them on how to use the social media platforms your company has deemed important to its digital campaigsn, and educate them on what the company's goals are.
From A Case Study in Social Media Demographics @ onlinemba.com:
Over 66% of all adult online users are connected to one or more social media platforms. Use of these platforms and tools has been increasing steadily over the last 10 years, for both personal and business reasons.
Image below is part of an infograph that takes a look at the statistics behind some of the most popular platforms.
Put simply, blogs are the easiest content management systems, and they have the added advantage of being social media-optimised and search engine-optimised by default.
Most blog platforms have unique urls and rss feeds as a standard feature, which makes the sharing of blog posts via (for example) Facebook or Twitter extremely easy. By allowing comments, blogs also encourage the use, reissue and remix of your content and ideas.
As a result of their many incoming links and freshly updated content, social media tools – and blogs in particular – score high in organic search procedures.
And yet are often overlooked as a significant source of online conversations, while all this time consumer interest in blogs only keeps growing.
NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, tracked over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million only five years earlier in 2006.
Overall, 6.7 million people publish blogs on blogging websites, and another 12 million write blogs using their social networks.
Some of the highlights from the report:
- Women make up the majority of bloggers, and half of bloggers are aged 18-34
- Bloggers are well-educated: 7 out of 10 bloggers have gone to college, a majority of whom are graduates
- About 1 in 3 bloggers are Moms, and 52 percent of bloggers are parents with kids under 18 years-old in their household
- Bloggers are active across social media: they’re twice as likely to post/comment on consumer-generated video sites like YouTube, and nearly three times more likely to post in Message Boards/Forums within the last month
- Buzz in the Blogosphere: Millions More Bloggers and Blog Readers @ blog.nielsen.com
- State of the Media: U.S. Digital Consumer Report, Q3-Q4 2011 @ nielsen.com [regwall]
- State of the Media: Social Media Report Q3 @ nielsen.com [regwall]
The roll-out last week of the new Timeline for Facebook Pages call for a revived approach to how brands use Facebook.
To recap, a quick overview of the most important changes.
Left-side menu with Tabs
Tabs no longer appear in a left-side menu. Applications and tabs appear as “favorites” beneath cover photo as thumbnails. You select four to display.
Deal with reduced tab visibility by using fewer but better Facebook apps focusing on the 2-3 apps that can be visible ‘above the fold’ on your page.
Default landing tabs
Overcome the inability to set default landing tabs for apps (such as a splash page app) with more Facebook advertising to guide people to your Facebook apps.
New sizes for visuals
- Branded cover photo: 851x315 pixels
- profile pic: 125X125 pixels
- Tab apps and content: 810 pixel width
- App icons: 111×74 pixels
The branded cover photo allows for maximum creativity. Rethink how you present yourself on Facebook. Be careful not to break Facebook's terms: cover photos cannot contain price or promotional information, contact info, calls to action or references to any Facebook features like ‘Like’ or ‘Share’.
Private messages from your fans
Fans and non-fans alike can send a direct, private message to the Page. This feature can be disabled.
Use private messages between brand and user to deal with any support enquiries. It could de-clutter your Timeline from support inquiries, but be careful not to frustrate your Fans by not answering their requests in time.
Pinned and starred posts
Feature priority content by using the new ‘pin’ feature that allows a post to remain at the top of your page for 7 days.
Pinned posts keep important stories at the top of the highlights feed for up to 7 days.
Page posts can also be ‘starred’. Starring makes a post go full width across the highlights feed to prominently feature the story.
Timeline, not only adds the date but also automatically inserts geo-targeted posts for fans in that country/city. Publish the life story of your business of your through milestone events in a timeline.
According to Social@Ogilvy, the brand world will soon be divided into those who fully "adopt" Timeline, and those who simply "migrate" their old strategy and ways of working to the new feature set. Brands looking to adopt must consider and prepare for the hidden implications of Timeline - reallocation of resources, increased creative involvement, a reset of content process, the new profile of community managers and more.
Check out their most recent Slideshare presentation for a summary of the Pages changes and the hidden implications of Facebook Timeline for brands.