For my top five Facebook pages I took into account a few things to choose the pages.
- Relevant posts
- Interaction with fans
- Quality of posts
- Video and photo quality
- Application on the page
#1 Web Designer Depot
The first page a chose is Web Designer Depot. I have personally followed this page for quite some time and they definitely stay relevant. Their posts are usually consist of one of three things.
- Posts with links to articles or tutorials hosted on their website
- Funny pictures that poke fun at web design such as html or java script jokes
- Post that link to articles or photos directly related to design from outside sources
I especially like the logo they use and the banner photo which I feel fits the subject matter and is quite pleasing to look at.
#2 Hot Topic
Next would be and actual brick and mortar store, Hot Topic. The logo and banner fit well. The logo is very simple but impactful and the banner is just a wall of t-shirt designs but it works because that is what the store is known for. They also take advantage of the “Shop Now” button. There is a nearby locations application with a map and local locations displayed which is important for a brick and mortar store. All of the posts are relevant to the brand and encompass music and fashion.
Another Facebook page that I am sure everyone likes and follows is Amazon.com.
The first thing you see is the iconic logo and a fun banner photo that has cute animals taking refuge in Amazon boxes. The photos even look as though they were customer submitted adding a certain fun appeal. Amazon also uses the “Shop Now” button. They have special offers posted daily but a majority of the posts consist of fun images, graphics, animations, and videos that are entertaining be also link to products sold by Amazon. They also have community guidelines in their more section which makes me think they care about the interactions of their community.
Newegg holds a special place in my heart as a PC hardware enthusiast. Their logo conveys professionalism and the banner add makes a great statement with the words “MAY CONTAIN AWESOME.” Boldly printed with what seems to be an employee preparing to ship the awesome. They do not, surprisingly, have a “Shop Now’ button they do link to their Instagram and Pinterest. All of the post center around their target audience which are PC gamers and hardware nerds. They hold contests and special Facebook deals to promote their business and display visitor posts which are usually customer service problems that seem to be swiftly resolved.
#5 Cyanide & Happiness
Ok, so this may not see applicable but Cyanide & Happiness is not just an online comic strip, it IS a business. They sell a variety of merchandise right at the top of their page. All of the posts are meant to be fun and entertaining. They post video from their YouTube channel and comics that directly link to the main site of explosm.net all of which generate revenue and build their brand. In every post they interact with the community and you can look at any post and see thousands of comments and even community creations.
So, I read thought about seven or eight blog posts about effective social media strategy and I found that many of them had similar points to make. I will go over these similarities below, but for now here is the list of the five blog posts I thought were most informative.
- Three Elements Of An Effective Social Media Strategy
- 6 Steps to Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy
- Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps
- 7 Tips for a Successful Social Media Strategy
- 8 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy
Maybe we can make a drinking game out of how many times Social Media Strategy is typed in this post.
From what I have gathered from these five posts are three main points when considering an effective social media strategy.
First would be setting a realistic goal and one that can be measured. There is no point in investing time and effort into social media if your success or failure cannot be demonstrated as measurable metrics. If you wish to have 1,000 followers on Facebook then set that goal and use metrics to better understand your successes and failings. Using measurement tools can guide you by highlighting what works and what doesn’t.
The next, which applies to most any kind of media marketing, is to understand your target audience. This is vital to every form of marketing but more so in social media. The things you might ask are:
- Where does my target audience spend the most amount of time? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ect.)
- How does my target audience interact with friends?
If your target audience is not very active on Youtube then you can save yourself time and money posting videos that no one will ever see.
The last point that stood out to me was that even if you represent a large company you have to be real and be human. When posting it should represent you and your brand so it should reflect how you are in real life. When I say “be human” I mean have a conversation, be thoughtful, and be engaging
I have scoured the internets for a few days, searching frantically for articles that give pointers on how to effectively blog. I found three or so very informative and insightful articles, but then I haphazardly stumbled upon two very interesting articles with some good insights about blogging in general so I thought I would share them in this post.
The article with the most stand out information was an article by Clive Thompson from nymag.com. The article follows a blogger and his story of rags to riches by way of blogging. The story about the blogger was “meh” at best but included in the article was a study done by Clay Shirky, an instructor at New York University. Shirky studies the social dynamics of the Internet. Included in the article is something I have never heard of called “network theory”: a mathematical model of how information travels inside groups of loosely connected people, which definitely applies to the Interwebs. Shirkly to a sample size of 433 blogs and counted the number of links that were “inbound”, that is links that pointed directly to the blog from outside sources. He used these inbound links as a measure of a blogs popularity and popularity equals money. He found that there was an enormous inequity in the sphere encompassing blogs. It turns out that blogs follow a “power-law distribution”. To explain it simple and in a way that everyone can be familiar with, a power-law distribution is pretty much how wealth is distributed in the American economy. With the wealthiest families (160,000) own as much wealth as the poorest 145 million families (2014). So when blogging to make money I think this is a good piece of information to keep in mind.
Another article I had found was very informative, even though the ads were really irritating, and went over many topics. Everything is there from where to start, techniques, workflow and even motivation. Each category had at least three linked points and each link lead to another page. I think the biggest take away from this site was something I had learned in my HTML and Web Design classes. That is to make your content scannable.
- The article goes over formatting
- Use of headings and sub headings correctly
- Pictures that draw the user’s eye
- The use of borders and block quotes
- White space and spacing in general
- Oh, and get to the point
The next article I found was one from homestead.com. It had some good points, like being clear and concise and to understand your persona. However, the bullet that stood out to me the most was #4 Have fun with multimedia. I love multimedia and have lots of fun using Photoshop and Illustrator since I took the courses. Seeing this as a tip gets me super motivated because I can make use of a skill that I get a lot of enjoyment from.
A blog post I found of LinkedIn by Darren Rowse. It had 20 great points for being effective at blogging. These points were short and sweet but insightful to me. If I had to pick one of the tips that stood out it would have to be the tip to publish selectively. So as a blogger you can write for hours on end and only publish what you see as relevant at the time and maybe save other works for a later time or opportune moment.
“I’m not sure what a blog is anymore. I’m not sure who a blogger is anymore. I’m not sure what a blog post looks like anymore. These used to have specific and unique characteristics. These characteristics (tags, comments, share buttons, links, subscription buttons and more) have all been adopted by mass publishers.
In fact, in order to grow the Six Pixels of Separation audience, a lot of the strategy has less to do with posting here – as a hub – and much more with turning this place into a receptacle for the myriad of places that content is now distributed through (radio shows, business books, other digital spaces, magazines, YouTube and beyond). In order to keep familiarity, I’ve dismissed the language of blogs and blogging and have begun to replace it.”
The idea of what a blog is (and will be) has become a moving target
The first blog I subscribe to is the Friendly Atheist over at Patheos.com. This is a blog written by Hemant Mehta about all things that are atheism related. He also has various contributors that post on his blog from time to time. These people are usually important movers in the secular atheist movement. I subscribe to this blog because the posts keep me up to date on news pertaining to atheism such as separation of church and state, religious freedom and freedom from religion. Hemant even has a Youtube channel, TheAtheistVoice, which discusses topics that he covers in his blog. The Friendly Atheist also has a podcast that ties into his blog and Youtube channel.
The second blog I subscribe to is The Angry GM. In this blog the writer discusses topics that cover all forms of Dungeon and Dragons including games like Pathfinder but in a bluntly rage fueled way that I find entertaining. He writes his blogs with the angry shtick that is reminiscent of a grumpy old man yelling at little kids to get off his lawn. Also, I’m a huge nerd when it comes to D&D and even play a drunken weekend campaign with friends on roll20.net.
The third blog I follow is Marc Schenker and Ezequiel Bruni at webdesignerdepot.com. Marc and Ezequiel blog about topics specific to newcomers and veterans of Web Design. I find them very informative because my field of study is Web Design and reading blogs from professionals in the business helps me keep up with design trends.
I also follow the blog Scibabe, short for science babe and a parody of the foodbabe. She blogs about topics in science and skepticism. Her blog is interesting and fun. I specifically enjoy her blogs on Woo, that is pseudoscience and alternative medicine, it entertains and bewilders me the lengths con artists will go to and the gullibility of people in general. Although her posts can get a little TL;DR for me at times, I highly enjoy them.
Lastly I follow the blogs at The Skeptics Guide to the Universe written primarily by Bob Novella and Evan Bernstein. They write about a wide range of topics but with a scientifically skeptical point of view. I subscribe to this blog because science amazes me and I am amazed even further by how everyday science news is released and we take it as fact then it turns out to be a sample size of one, not peer reviewed and not replicated enough to be considered science fact.