Don’t let Facebook control your organic reach

With over 1 billion users creating content, sharing news and posting photos, it was only a matter of time before Facebook started limiting which content appears in newsfeeds. With Facebook’s new guidelines and rules, every business page’s organic reach took a hit. Organic reach is defined as the number of unique people who saw your post in their newsfeed, either because they are a fan of your page or a friend shared, liked or commented on your post. Two years ago, organic reach for most Facebook pages was around 17 percent, meaning your posts would reach an average of 17% of your fans, without any promotion. Now it hovers around 6.5 percent, according to a recent study from Edge Rank Checker.

So how can brands fight back and increase their organic reach naturally? Facebook uses a few things to calculate how important your post is and whether or not it deserves a higher spot in someone’s newsfeed – the number of shares, likes and comments. Here are some ways you can increase your social reach.

1. Post relevant content to increase shares
Shares are becoming increasingly important for your reach. Every time your fan shares a post or image, it appears on their newsfeed which is more likely to rank higher in other’s newsfeeds than your own post. What is deemed as share-worthy depends on your target audience and what has worked well with your fans in the past. For fashion retailers, this could mean sharing DIYs or style guides. For sport retailers, this could mean sharing game day recipes or humorous posts. The bottom line – post content that is helpful and worthwhile for your fans to read.

coach

2. Use visuals to increase likes
Facebook has taken a stand on visuals. Posts can now only contain 20% text, leaving 80% of your post for visuals. Increase likes by including stunning images that tell a story. Your fans will be more willing to ‘like’ a post if the image is something they can relate to. Always make sure that your image evokes some sort of emotion like laughter, love, or nostalgia. Feature fan generated photos to increase brand advocacy and generate more shares as others try to become featured fans. For example, Coach has a very large style savvy fan base. Their Facebook posts consists of what is trending now which works well with a fashion forward demographic.

3. Include CTAs to increase comments
Include simple calls to action in your posts for immediate responses. If you have something important for your fans and their friends to see, i.e. an amazing promotion, simply ask them to spread the news. Questions are also a great way to get feedback, either likes or comments. Ask fans to vote between two products to increase discussion and comments. Chipotle ran a Post Contest earlier this year and got a huge response from their fans.

chipotle

4. Enable employees to become brand advocates
Encourage your employees to like, share and post on your page to increase overall engagement. Your biggest fans should be your employees. They are the ones that know your product inside and out and can be your biggest advocates.

Take your social reach to the next level by adding one of these Social Annex boosts. These few social tools can quickly increase your social engagement and fanbase.

5. Run a Facebook contest
Contests are fun and work when your fans are properly incentivized. Try a Like-Gating contest on your site to increase your fan’s engagement on social and grow your fan base. To increase engagement on your Facebook page try hosting a Post Contest. Turn any post into a contest by asking your fans to submit captions and vote for their favorites with likes, similar to Chipotle’s Haiku contest. With Social Annex’s Post Contests, you’ll gather insights and social data from every comment as well.

6. Reward Facebook actions
Make sure that Facebook actions are part of your loyalty or rewards programs. Reward your shoppers for their social advocacy to keep them happy, engaged and primed to become loyal brand advocates.

 

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The Secret to Consistent Growth: Churn Management through Loyalty

A more crowded online marketplace with less barriers to entry and shoppers who are more comfortable buying from new online retailers make continued growth and maintaining market share more difficult than it has ever been. Growing traffic and increasing new customer acquisition are obvious factors to growth, but managing churn can be easier and have a much bigger impact. Don’t waste time searching out in the internet wilderness, managing churn only requires that you pay attention to the shoppers you already have.

Recently a niche retailer partnered with Social Annex to reduce their churn while leveraging its repeat customers to organically grow its market share through incentive driven referrals with a Customer Loyalty program. Here are 3 core concepts it used to take their growth rate to the next level:

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Brand Advocacy: 7 Brilliant (and slightly badass) ways to achieve it

Brand advocacy has been a big buzzword. With social commerce gaining steam, businesses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the crowd. As the internet gets more personal, businesses are as well. Social for brands is becoming more of an outlet to showcase company culture and lifestyle. In order to really stand apart from the crowd, it’s not enough to just have likes, follows or fans, but rather businesses have to focus on developing brand advocates. This can be tricky, but not impossible.  .

We’ve compiled a list of brilliant ways to achieve brand advocacy through various social channels and tools that might just give you some street cred.

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Google’s Wildfire goes out.

It looks like Google’s burning desire to dive into social commerce merely flickered and went out. Without a splash, Wildfire announced that they will be shifting their focus from social. But don’t think that you’re left out to dry, Social Annex can light a fire under your social strategy.

In addition to offering the same social contest tools as Wildfire, Social Annex offers 4 additional social suites: Loyalty, Social Commerce Apps, Social Login and Social UGC. Take your social contest strategy to the next level with additional tools for a seamless social experience across all your channels. Make it easy to enter social contests with Social Login. Amplify your contests’ reach with referral programs and incorporate them into a Loyalty Program for a complete, sustainable social solution. Below you’ll find that Social Annex offers over 20 social tools, in addition to social contests.

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Driving Conversions with Shares

Likes and follows are great, but they don’t always translate directly to sales. Likes and follows build authenticity and fandom, but in order to increase conversions and drive quality traffic, businesses must focus on shares. According to Nielsen, 84% of consumers worldwide trust word of mouth recommendations from their friends and family. Shares are the online version of word of mouth. They are trusted and more often than not, they drive quality traffic onsite that converts. Shoppers tend to share contests and promotions with like-minded friends who would be more likely to be interested in your products, especially if their friends already approve. Social Annex clients have seen that traffic from contests convert at 3x a higher rate.

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The First Step to Brand Advocacy: Referral Marketing

When brands approach us to increase their social reach and brand advocacy, the first social tool we suggest is a referral program. Refer a Friend is one of the easiest ways to get your shoppers to share your products with their friends, increasing your social reach, driving new traffic and helping your current traffic convert.

Referral marketing programs are structured to complement your business plan and are customized to attract your unique customer base. At Social Annex, we’ve come up with 6 best practices for developing your referral marketing program.

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Monetizing Instagram with Curated Galleries and Contests

In the past year, social commerce has really evolved into visual commerce. Visual social platforms have boomed in popularity in the past year and businesses have flocked to them. The most notable of which is Instagram with over 150 million active users. Instagram can be a bit of a headache for businesses because people can not directly click back to your site from an Instagram photo, unlike Pinterest or shares on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram is primarily a mobile app and most users do not stray away from the interface once they are on it.

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4 Tips to Pimp Up your Pinterest Strategy

Pinterest has really upped their game this year, introducing new ways for businesses to take advantage of this visual network. Preliminary data shows that it is driving 78% more revenue in 2014 compared to the previous year. And not slowing down with news to introduce paid advertising next quarter, similar to promoted pins.

Pinterest is not just for businesses with highly visual products. Pinterest promotes a lifestyle and can be easily incorporated into any type of business. For example, a tire shop could just post photos of their products, but in order to really engage with Pinterest users, the tire shop could add boards with cars, road trip ideas, fast food destinations, etc.

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