“They Came Highly Recommended!”: The Changes to Facebook’s Review System

Vector realistic isolated neon signs of thumbs up and down on the wall background. Concept of rating, network and social media.

Life used to be simpler, before social media democratized everything—including criticism. Now while this can be a good thing (in theory), allowing all consumers to have a voice is an incredibly difficult system to police. Arguably the most famous —slowly becoming infamous— review site Yelp has faced enormous criticism over what’s seen as a Mafioso-like approach that would leave Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola shocked and appalled. Everything from negative reviews about parking, to outright extortion. The pushback has been fierce, and Yelp has been the subject of countless articles, a 2017 documentary, and a 2015 episode of South Park—and if you’ve ever seen South Park, you know that you don’t want to be the subject of one of their episodes. Like many aspects of the digital world, advances come quick and changes come quicker. Facebook is leading the charge in this regard, and are changing their review system from a 5 star rating system into a new, recommendation system. But how will this affect your dealership? Continue reading ““They Came Highly Recommended!”: The Changes to Facebook’s Review System”

The Oldest Problem in the Book: Facebook or Instagram?

phone with social media icons, some crossed off

You know, we pride ourselves on being a reflective sort here at Strathcom Media. More than once, I’ve found myself sitting in my oak-bedecked corner office (most of us here have one), pondering a certain large, dark portrait that looms high on the wall and which ties the room together rather nicely. Glaring down at me is the grizzled oil-cast countenance of our own hallowed founder, Fauntleroy Pamplemouse the Sixth, Earl of Strathcom. I often think of how different the automotive advertising game must have been, back in 1886, when our noble firm was founded. Much has changed since; the marketing tools we work with are more persistent and more precise. What would Ol’ Faunty have thought about the marketing possibilities for platforms like Facebook and Instagram? What advice would he have dispensed to clients in the throes of deciding on which of Zuck’s social networks to focus their digital marketing spend? Alas, while we might not have Lord Strathcom himself here to give his insights on the topic, we have a close second. Myself. Continue reading “The Oldest Problem in the Book: Facebook or Instagram?”

With Facebook, it’s All about Organic Content Now

On January 11th, 2018 Facebook announced a major change to their News Feed algorithm that will cause some impact on brands’ ability to reach users on Facebook through organic distribution.

The change will focus on prioritizing content from friends, family and groups, rather than less public content like posts from businesses, brands and the media.  This means news feeds will likely start to show more pictures of your friend’s new puppy and fewer Buzzfeed articles.

As the changes roll out over the next several months, businesses will most likely see a decrease in their organic reach, but there’s opportunity here… Continue reading “With Facebook, it’s All about Organic Content Now”

Facebook’s Heart Will Go On – Facebook Newsfeed Changes

Facebook newsfeed changes

The Titanic didn’t change directions easily. It changed directions almost reluctantly, because A) it was an ordeal to maneuver such a large vessel, and B) the staff didn’t want to cause concern among the wealthy elites on board (and I don’t have to tell you how that worked out; James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster probably handled that already). This example is an apt metaphor about how surging ahead blindly in a straight line, without planning far ahead for directional changes, can be the downfall of a large organization. In a recent statement from its founder, Facebook essentially said they’re changing directions, and they aim to avoid such a fate. Here’s what you can expect from recent Facebook newsfeed changes… Continue reading “Facebook’s Heart Will Go On – Facebook Newsfeed Changes”

Facebook for Auto Dealers: Meh, Myth or Legend?

We’re all familiar with Facebook and that 18 million of us Canadians visit the site daily, but what’s in it for the dealership? As a dealership, can you utilize Facebook and all of its data for more than likes and shares?

Some dealers have remained skeptical and think successful advertising on Facebook is a myth. However, after reading the data in Facebook’s latest study, that myth is busted. Continue reading “Facebook for Auto Dealers: Meh, Myth or Legend?”

Every Generation is the Facebook Generation

phone screen with social media applications of Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Periscope while a male finger is about to touch on Facebook app.

Facebook. What started out in a college dorm room has since grown into one of the largest advertising platforms available. Yet, there are many companies that still do not realize the potential Facebook has to offer their business.

One common objection we hear about Facebook advertising is “I’m not on Facebook, and my customers aren’t on Facebook”, or “people my age and older aren’t on Facebook”. Although this sounds like a reasonable objection, the data simply does not back it up.

There are 22 million Canadians on Facebook, and 17 million of them are on Facebook every day. The population of Canada is about 35 million people, meaning that about 63% of Canadians are on Facebook, and almost 50% are on Facebook every day. When one considers that 1 in 2 Canadians are on Facebook, suddenly the “people my age aren’t on Facebook” argument seems unlikely.

Also, a recent study by Sprout Social looked at which social platforms each generation – Millennials (ages 18-34), Gen Xers (ages 34-54) and Baby Boomers (ages 55+) – engage with the most. They surveyed 1,000 people from each demographic and the results showed that, actually, every generation is the Facebook generation.

43.6% of those surveyed chose Facebook as their social network of choice. 64.7% of Gen Xers chose it and 65.2% of Baby Boomers chose it. That’s right, out of all three generations, the highest percentage came from those aged 55+. 65.2% of Baby Boomers chose Facebook as their social media platform of choice

Another interesting discovery in this study is which generations are most likely to follow a brand on social media. They found that 48.6% of Millennials currently follow brands, and 48.8% of Gen Xers currently follow brands.  That means almost half of people aged 35-54 have opted-in to following brands on social media. Is your brand available to them?

But what about Generation Z? Even though Sprout did not survey anyone from this generation, there are a plethora of articles out there trying to figure this generation out. Many suggest that SnapChat is going to be that generation’s Facebook, but according to an article by Contently:

“67 percent of older Gen Zers regularly use Facebook, while 50 percent name the Facebook-owned Instagram—only one percentage point behind Snapchat. Facebook was also named by 26 percent of respondents as the social network they use ‘constantly,’ compared with 23 percent for Snapchat. Nearly half of respondents said they log onto Facebook multiple times a day”.

One of the most basic lessons in advertising is to be where your customers are and where your competition isn’t. It’s been proven that your customers are, in fact, on Facebook; but right now, a lot of your competition is not advertising there. Give us a call today to get started and get $500 in bonus spend to put towards your next lead-generating campaign.

Every Country is the Best at Something…

When one thinks of Canada, what is one normally reminded of? Hockey? Maple syrup? Saying ‘sorry’ too much? According to a recent study, Canada is known for personal freedom. But if you look at the study, you will see that before personal freedom was listed, Canada was known as  the country that is on Facebook the most! At first I found this result to be surprising, but it turns out that Canadians are online and on Facebook more than any other country.

what every country is known for

So why is Facebook still not being utilized in the automotive industry? Why are millions of dollars still being spent on print ads when Facebook, Canada’s personalized newspaper, is where everyone is looking?

If you are not advertising on Facebook, now is a great time to try it out. If you start a campaign with Strathcom today, you will receive $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend.

To find out more, give us a call or sign up for our newsletter!

Up Your Video Game with Facebook 360

Facebook 360The next big thing in vehicle walk-around videos won’t merely showcase your vehicle from multiple angles; it will flaunt the vehicle from every single one of the 360 degrees.

Introducing the brand-new, open-sourced Facebook 360-degree video camera!

Right now, even the most progressive dealerships in the country are using some sort of spinning platform with different areas where you can attach lighting for best results. This contraption raises the vehicle off the ground and spins the car so you can capture it from different angles.

The new Facebook 360-degree video technology will take consumers’ increasing demand for more photos and video to a whole new level with full 360-degree video. They are claiming this is the “best camera of its kind”.

 

The How & Why with Facebook 360-Degree Video:

The Facebook 360-degree video camera is built with 17 component cameras: 14 wide-angle cameras on a flying saucer, 1 fish-eye camera on the top, and 2 more on the bottom. Using web-based software and new techniques in filming, you’ll be able to “stitch” images together and bring your customer into the vehicle in a new way. Facebook has created a webpage with helpful tips and tricks, best practices, and success stories to help you get the most out of Facebook 360-degree video: https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/get-started/360-video.

Facebook is saying they’re not interested in jumping into the camera-manufacturing space, so they’ll be putting the open-source designs on GitHub sometime this summer. There are a few other companies in this space that have designed versions similar to the Facebook 360-degree video camera, but so far, there has been no comparison of video quality between them all.

Nikon – http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/action-cameras/index.page

GoPro – https://gopro.com/spherical

Nokia – https://ozo.nokia.com/

The future of video shows a clear path into 360-degree viewing and virtual reality. If you haven’t started doing videos of your showroom and dealership, get filming and give the people what they want! What are you waiting for?

In the meantime, check out some AMAZING Facebook 360-degree videos other industries are doing: https://www.facebook.com/Facebook360/timeline.

Driving Engagement on Facebook

Facebook strathcom media automotive advertising

If you scroll down the news feed on Facebook you’ll probably encounter a video. And not just any video–it’s probably one that will make you at least consider watching. That’s all it takes to be successful on Facebook. Attention, in the world and age of mass information, is the currency potential customers will offer you. One of the best ways to get that currency is through engagement.

But how do you get engagement and what is that engagement worth to you? After all, at the end of the day, everyone should benefit. Here’s 3 ways to benefit:

  1. Videos (entertainment, viewability)
  2. Consistent, barrier-free value
  3. Sticky pages

Videos

Videos are the easiest way to deliver a message. Gaining access to information at the push of a button makes it a lot easier for the user to digest information. It’s also a good method to stand out from the competition. If the competition isn’t entertaining the same users you’re targeting, than you have an advantage.

Consistent, Barrier-Free Value

The more value you can provide, the better. However, the best value comes when the interested user doesn’t have to jump through many hoops to get it. In a Facebook post, try to give all the information you have. For instance, if there are multiple vehicles you’re promoting, provide all the information– don’t make the user search for it. Besides, the ‘read more’ option lets users sincerely interested in that information find what they want.

Sticky Pages

This is the result of a having a strong presence on Facebook. On your page, as you accumulate more and more content, you increase the time spent on your page. In addition, you’ll also very likely increase the chance someone views content on your page again. For a car dealership, it’s imperative that you interact with everyone at every level in the car-buying process. Even after they’ve purchased a vehicle, they now look to you for other services.

Bonus – Creating Organic Posts

 

BlogImage

Always provide value in your posts. Whether your posts are to be entertaining or informational, make sure the user knows what they can get out of it!

And if you need help with your Facebook advertising, let us know!

Facebook Best Professional Service – What It Means To You

Facebook, being the largest social media network (with about 1.5 Billion active users) has always tried to close the gap between their users and other sites. The more they can roll into facebook the more time their users will spend on facebook. This is why it was no surprise when facebook took a giant leap in the reviews world by launching their new Best Professional Service site.

Facebook's new Best Professional Service is the latest tool at your disposal

Continue reading “Facebook Best Professional Service – What It Means To You”

Think like a Casino Owner to Get Your Facebook Posts Seen

We are seeing again and again that auto dealers who take social media seriously see their bottom lines grow.

That’s nice. But what does such social media mastery look like in practice?

Here’s the latest such story I’ve come across:

A dealer shared a promotion on their Facebook page in which they were giving away a free 42″ LCD TV with the purchase of any used vehicle over $10,000. The first comment to that post was a guy asking if they had any used trucks for between $10,000 and $12,000. The dealer’s social media staffer responded right away, sharing listings of some of the trucks that fit that range.

(That alone made a positive impression on me, and I wasn’t even their customer!)

So the man replied back said he would come in the next day to test drive a Chevy Silverado the dealer had in stock, and by the end of the day the customer was leaving with the truck, his new TV, and the dealership had locked in a sale that might have otherwise never materialized into signed contracts. (Not to mention making the social media manager look like a techno-stud to their boss.)

This is one of those marketing stories that gives you the warm and fuzzies, and that social media managers cannot tire to quote. But what good does it do for your dealership if your posts are never seen by your customers in the first place.

The solution?

Play the Odds

Casinos don’t care if you have a big night at the blackjack table every now and then. They know that the odds are in their favour. So if they have a big enough crowd of gamblers, and those gamblers play enough hands, then the casino will make money.

The same long-term thinking is needed when you use Facebook for marketing. Give yourself the best possible odds, and keep at it long enough so that eventually the numbers will be in your favour, and you’ll start generating leads over months of impressions and interactions.

Sure, not every one of your Facebook posts is going to be a lead machine. And not every person who walks into your dealership will buy something. (If otherwise, please correct us in the comments section below.)

Savvy Facebook marketing relies on playing the odds.

And What Are the Updated Odds?

Data company trackmaven.com has analyzed 1.5 million Facebook posts from 6,000 brand pages to determine which factors contribute to higher visibility on Facebook.

Here are some of their key findings, ensuring you the most eyeballs on your posts when properly leveraged:

  • Always Use Images – People are 37% more likely to engage with your posts when your posts include pictures, compared to text-only ads.
  • After Hours – Posts put up after the standard 9-5 business hours receive 11% more interaction. Time your next post just before that expected bump in traffic.
  • Sunday – Fewer people are posting on the weekends, but Sunday posts are interaction gold; posts on Sundays get 25% more likes, shares, and comments than midweek or early weekend posts.
  • What was that? – Posts that ask a question get 23% more engagement on average. Can you guess why?
  • TGIT – The most popular day to post is Thursday, and the most popular time is 12:00 P.M; so either this is prime time for traffic, or your post will get burried under friends’ cat photos and engagement announcements. Test it for yourself.

Check out Trackmaven’s infographic below for more stats on what can take your Facebook posts to the top.

Connect with Strathcom on Facebook

Want to see some of these tips in action? Then connect with Strathcom Media on Facebook. We’re also just a few clicks of your keyboard away from answering all of your social media marketing questions.

 

Facebook 101: Why Do I Need to Be on Facebook Anyway?

We get asked all of the time, “Why do I need to be on Facebook anyway?” often followed by “Nobody cares what I had for dinner!” True, what you had for dinner probably falls out of the realm of things your mother even cares about. However, for car dealerships, Facebook does have a number of benefits—and it just so happens to be where your customers are.

Facebook

Reasons your dealership should be on Facebook:

  1. Google likes it — especially since the new Hummingbird Update,Google has been including the content from your public page in their rankings and, more importantly, its looking for how interactive your fans are (how often they are sharing, commenting and liking your content).
  2. The conversation happens whether you are there or not — everyone has questions, and Social Media is the new “word of mouth” referral.  Potential customers ask each other for opinions and recommendations, and if the question is about where to get their next oil change or what kind of SUV will be optimal to tote little Johnny and his four messy friends around in, you have a unique opportunity to become a part of that conversation or at least monitor what people are saying about your dealership.
  3. Social media is everywhere and it’s necessary — if you’re going to dive in, why not start with Facebook?  It’s hyper-visual so it lends itself well to car sales. It’s been around since 2004 and has billions of users worldwide, making it the largest platform (meaning more access to different demographics). Most importantly for your brand, Facebook has the highest levels of user engagement.

Who should manage my Facebook?

Find someone within your company that naturally likes talking to people and who has an affinity for customer service. They can learn the platform relatively easily, but it’s more important that they just like engaging with people.

How to get started:

  1. Do a quick search to see if there is already a Facebook Places page related to your business that people are checking in at or liking. If there is one, you can claim it from the Edit Page drop down menu at the top.
  2. To create a new page, please visit this link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and make sure you choose “Local Business or Place.” Dealerships who make the mistake of setting themselves up like a “person” (as you would with a Personal profile), after reaching about 1000 friends, Facebook will notice and reserves the right to cancel your account.

Stay tuned for our next social media blog post on how to properly set up your Facebook page and get started with Facebook posts.

Need help getting started?  Ask Strathcom Media today!

We leave you with this Public Service Announcement:

caps_offcaps_on

 

Facebook Graph Search: What it means for your local business

Facebook announces Graph Search during its January 15th, 2013 press conference

Nobody appears to fear this change more than Google itself. They suddenly face a competitor able to index loads of data that they cannot access. Don’t worry Google: Facebook isn’t launching a traditional search engine like Google or Bing. They are launching a social search engine.

It’s a social search engine most likely to succeed if compared to Google+, considering its billions of users who are already members of the site as well as the vast amounts of data that users enter into the site every day.

Most of us see Facebook as one giant scrapbook, but in reality it’s a huge database full of useful information.  Facebook users are familiar with browsing one page of information at a time. With the Open Graph search tool, Facebook users can now search this database for a unique, personable experience.

Facebook Graph Search

How did the Graph Search get started?

Lars Eilstrup Rasmussen who previously worked for Google (and designed Google Maps) joined Facebook’s existing search team. There was a problem to solve: while Facebook was already a repository for loads of information, it was difficult for users to sort through it all. Users had questions like “Who are my friends in Vancouver BC?” and “What TV shows are my friends watching?” but Facebook had no way for users to easily access this data.

Facebook Graph Search now provides answers to such questions:

“People use search engines to answer questions,” Zuckerberg says. “But we can answer a set of questions that no one else can really answer. All those other services are indexing primarily public information, and stuff in Facebook isn’t out there in the world — it’s stuff that people share. There’s no real way to cut through the contents of what people are sharing, to fulfill big human needs about discovery, to find people you wouldn’t otherwise be connected with. And we thought we should do something about that. We’re the only service in the world that can do that.”

This new announcement is exciting for any businesses who

  • Has a Social Media focus
  • Is a B2C
  • Is a local business
  • Relies on  word-of-mouth marketing
  • Wants to show up in search results for un-branded search queries.

How is Facebook Graph Search different from Google search?

When we use Google, we are searching through web pages. The pages that appear at the top of search results are largely based on the number of incoming links a website gets from other sources – each of which acts like a vote for that webpage/site. The number of quality links (links from authoritative websites) a page has helps Google decide where to place it on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

With Facebook Graph search, we aren’t searching for webpages but rather for representations of real-life places, people and products. The way Facebook decides on top results is based on how many “likes” that product, place, or person has. Other connections determine which search results will be relevant for an individual user, instead of using links as a measure of authority as with Google’s case.

Facebook also has layers of search and can show demographics for who “likes” certain products or services. For example, you can see if your friends “like” pubs located in Edmonton, AB, other Facebook users who like pubs in Edmonton who actually live in that city, and even see a sub-list of which pubs your married friends, gay friends, or single friends “like.” This could help you choose a pub to suit your needs.

Facebook’s Graph Search and a traditional web search are very different. Web search algorithms take a set of keywords (for example: “used Toyota Corolla”) and then show top search results that include those keywords. With Facebook Graph Search you can combine phrases (for example: “my friends in Edmonton who like Toyota”) and search results will include photos or other content that has been shared and liked on Facebook surrounding the specific question.

For now, Facebook only includes people, photos, places and interest posts in their results. You can’t just search anything as you would with Google.

 

Future uses could range widely from finding job openings near you, to sorting your friends by city, to finding which of your friends have kids under the age of 3 so you know who to invite to your child’s first birthday party. You can get answers to questions quickly, and don’t have to resort to asking questions in your status.  How often have you seen your friends on Facebook posting statuses to ask their friends questions?

You can also sort your behaviours on Facebook: typing in “View photos I’ve liked” will divulge a collage of images you have liked from various parties, pets, travels and more. It’s a feel-good experience.

How do I make sure my business gets found in Facebook search?

It’s not all about who you know, but rather who knows you. If you have the right audience when people search for information from their friends about your industry, Graph Search will connect them.

Your “Fans” are your marketing force. With Graph Search, people who “like” your Facebook page and then share your posts and tips will be marketing on your behalf. Facebook has always said to focus on attracting the right fans to your page so you can engage directly with them. Their algorithm will pick business pages with the most “likes”  in conjunction with higher user interaction over those with less.

Facebook will need to encourage users to start sharing and liking more if they want this search feature to take off properly. I have never “liked” a book I’ve enjoyed, or even a restaurant where I find the food delicious unless there is an incentive for me to do so. Is the Facebook page offering me discounts and coupons, information, tips and user interactions? No? Then I would be less likely to “like” the page.

My advice is to continue marketing your Facebook page to the right audience with store contests, incentives and helpful information. If you aren’t focusing on this now, you should make it happen immediately. Appoint this task to a staff member knowledgeable in social media or hire someone who knows the industry to work closely with your Marketing and SEO departments.

Other tips directly from Facebook include:

  • The name, category, vanity URL and information you share in your “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
  • If you have a location or a local Places Page, update your address to make sure your listing appears when someone searches for a specific location.
  • Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving them a reason to interact with your page on an ongoing basis.

Will Facebook Graph Search surpass what Google+ attempted to achieve?

The Facebook Open Graph search engine will never entirely replace Google Search. Yes, it does create a more personable search experience and will be useful for some search types such as local service searches. But will people start to take two steps when researching online? Will searchers start to use the Graph Search in addition to Google Search to see what their friends “like,” or will that be too many steps to find a local plumber or car dealership?

Will Facebook users change their search habits entirely and only use the Facebook Search Graph for local searches? Or perhaps Facebook users will use the Graph Search solely as a Social Search engine to help sort through their Facebook data. It also depends on whether Facebook users will begin to share and” like” business, product or people pages more often.

Google+ already has this service in place: you can already “plus” any webpage directly in Google SERPs. So far I haven’t found this service to be useful to me, as my Google+ friends aren’t recommending content regularly. I’m eager to see if people start to correlate their search results based on how much their friends share on Facebook.

Will users begin to share and engage in more “likes” to help their friends find the information they are looking for? What demographics will start using these features more? Many questions come up when I think of the future and I’m enthusiastic to see how this will affect Social Media Marketing and the SEO industries.

 

Samantha Goettel

SEO Team Leader

@SamGSama