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Facebook Marketing Strategy: Get Automated

Using RSS Feeds Cuts Labor While Testing Results

Facebook automationA solid Facebook marketing strategy can increase traffic to a Web site, but it also is possible to spend too much time on social media platforms and end up disappointed  in the results.

Automation can save time and increase ROI.

Companies everywhere are dedicating greater resources to social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The fact that Facebook has the largest audience of any Web site in the world is part of the allure.

Another part is how easily Facebook services integrate into another Web site.

A Facebook marketing strategy provides at least four measurable benefits — likes, shares, comments and Web site visits. Together, these four metrics contribute to brand engagement.

One study I found claims that major social media sites account for only 3 percent of total traffic to other Web sites.

Another study says they make up only 1 percent of newspaper site traffic, and newspaper sites are dedicating a great deal of time and attention to integration with Facebook.

Why bother putting any effort into such small numbers?  The reason why is that it is possible to start it in a way that keeps the labor to a minimum while growing the above metrics.

One simple way automates everything using RSS marketing, an underappreciated tactic.

How to Automate Facebook Feeds

Facebook Marketing Strategy:
7 Steps That Need Little Effort

  1. Create a fan page
  2. Ask friends, relatives, co-workers and clients to Like it
  3. Use an RSS feed to send posts to the page wall
  4. Use Facebook like and send buttons on your Web site
  5. Use other Facebook plugins, but know they can be slow
  6. Make a customized Facebook URL
  7. Promote the URL in all online and offline channels
S

etting up an automated feed is easy. Keep in mind that once established, it will take a little time for the feed to first appear on the Facebook page.

  1. Create a Facebook RSS feed of your Web site content. Most content management systems have RSS capability. If not, use an RSS creator such as Feed43.com, which converts Web pages to RSS feeds.
  2. In your Facebook fan page  — the kind that allows people to Like it — do a search at the top on RSS Graffiti and add the application to your page.
  3. Follow the steps in RSS Graffiti that allow you to submit the RSS feed from Step 1.
  4. Under Profile Settings, add your Twitter account if you have one.
  5. Give careful thought to the frequency and number of updates. Too many will generate unLikes, also known in the publishing world as churn.

You now have automated feeds to both Facebook and Twitter.

When RSS Graffiti grabs the new articles from your site and sends them to both social media accounts, the people who have Liked your Facebook fan page or subscribed to your Twitter tweets will get headlines from your stories, click on them and go to your Web site.

Prominence Delivers Fans

Give careful thought to the frequency and number of updates. Too many will generate unLikes.
E

xperience shows that the number of people who sign up for your RSS feeds depends in part on how prominently you promote them on your site.

Not surprisingly, the number of Likes you get from your Web site also depends on prominence.

Facebook gets a good signup rate because of the plugins that integrate its services and members with other Web sites.

The Like Button is especially effective if you show the faces of members who Like your site.

Give it a prominent position on your site in the content area or run it through a display ad position to increase the growth of Likes.

Once the automated portion of the project is implemented, it is possible manually to add posts to both Facebook and Twitter when time permits.

The best-performing sites I have seen generate 5 to 10 percent of total traffic and sometimes more from Facebook and Twitter.

These numbers don’t approach direct access or search engine traffic, but they make a meaningful difference and are much better than the 1 to 3 percent reported elsewhere. And if brand matters, the Facebook page interaction delivers even more.

Automation and Facebook Page Editing

T

hink of content development as having seven steps in the online environment that, when implemented correctly, will produce the desired results.

  1. Conceptualizing — the core idea
  2. Writing — the actual creation of the article
  3. Editing — reviewing and revising the article for site users
  4. Optimizing — revising even more for search engines
  5. Publishing — the actual posting of the item
  6. Tracking — periodically checking the results
  7. Re-optimizing — fine tuning the article to correct weaknesses or magnify strengths

This article is about using automation as part of a Facebook marketing strategy. Yes, the posting part of the process can be automated and never touched. But content is about quality and quantity.

As a professional journalist with 30+ years of experience, I can tell you without a doubt that quality matters more than quantity.

It is a rough rule of thumb that 20 percent of content generates 80 percent of readership, meaning that only a small number of posts will increase four important metrics of Facebook engagement — likes, shares, comments and Web site visits, which translate into brand engagement.

Low quality items ending up on the fan page is one potential downside to automation. Another is that Facebook sometimes doesn’t even grab the feed — or grabs it hours or days after it has been updated.

When to Update Manually

L
et’s say you have a busy day with other priorities. Your Facebook account gets updated anyway. On an easier day, you can focus on quality:

  • Add your own comments to the automated postings
  • Create original ones
  • Interact with your page visitors
  • Record a video (if you have a Web cam)
  • Build a poll
  • Delete low quality posts that slip through

It is a good idea to think about the number of postings you want to go on your page. Also, are you posting daily or weekly?

Every post that goes on your page also goes into the news feed that appears in the account of the person who likes your page.

Too many items, or too many low-quality items, will be unappealing and raise the risk of that person unliking the fan page, which results in churning.

Automation can be a labor-saving and productive Facebook marketing strategy. But it is only one basic step in building measurable results.

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