Tag Archives: Facebook

Tweaks to Facebook Comments Mean More Traffic for You

If you run a website then you should also run a Facebook Page. This is your ‘social presence’ on the world’s largest social network and should be a place where you use Facebook comments to post links to your latest content and build a community of people around what you have to offer.

Man standing on a soapbox
Use Facebook, not a soapbox, to build a community around what you have to offer

The trouble is, it’s hard to keep track of conversations on Facebook because there are no conversation ‘threads’ – posts on the Facebook timeline that are linked as a series of posts and replies. Presently, a user must scroll to the bottom of a list of Facebook comments to leave a reply and the thread of the conversation can often be lost – particularly if there are lots of comments.

“Write a reply” to Facebook Comments

It may seems like a small thing, but Facebook are testing a new comment reply system for  that could explode the use of Facebook as a discussion forums, particularly for communities built around Facebook Pages.

Facebook's Write a Reply feature
Facebook’s Write a Reply feature

Since Facebook is all about user engagement, this feature has been a long time coming.

Samantha Murphy of Mashable writes:

The move would make it much easier for users to respond to individual comments left on wall posts… as well as a prompt to “write a reply.”

The last part of her statement is important.

If this feature is released from it’s current limited testing to the wider public, then replies to comments will at last become contextual and much easier to follow. Coupled with Facebook’s invitation to “Write a reply…”, it will encourage interaction between visitors, building a stronger, more socially engaged community.

Ranked Facebook Comments

Coupled with is addition is another feature under test: moving high ranking comments at the top of the page.
You’ll already have a sense of this feature in your own Facebook news feed, where posts can be sorted by “Top stories” or “Most recent”.

Placing Facebook comments at the top of the page, of course gives them more exposure, and popular comments are a magnet for engagement.

As Samantha Murphy writes in another post:

If the test sticks, it would allow Facebook to promote more interesting and engaging content, as well as enable more conversations about posted content across the site. The concept is similar to how users on Reddit rank posts by “upvoting” and “downvoting” content.

Facebook love comments. So should you.

Understanding which threads are the most popular on your Facebook Page will also give you some great marketing insight. Knowing what your visitors are passionate about is pure gold. You should be tailoring your website content around these high ranked conversations, since these are clearly motivating engagement in your visitors.

Facebook graphics

You should also use the subject of high ranked conversations on your page as a source of ideas for producing Facebook graphics – memes that will go viral through the passion of your audience.

This will help you build an even larger community for your Facebook Page and, ultimately, more traffic for your website.

Dartyh Vader on 'SpaceBook'
Spacebook: Building a Community Across the Universe

Facebook comments from WordPress

If your website is based on the WordPress platform, you should absolutely enable Facebook comments for your website visitors.

There are a number of WordPress plugins that will enable Facebook users to leave comments on your website – comments that are also placed on their own Facebook timeline. This means their friends will also see these comments, who may be interested in visiting your website as well. This is viral social proof at its best.

Facebook Like icon

Facebook Kills Suspicious Likes

As an Internet Marketer you must be using the awesome power of social proof to drive traffic to your website. Facebook ‘likes’, Twitter ‘tweets’, Pinterest ‘pins’, and Google ‘plus’ should all be part of your content traffic strategy. More than ever, search engines are placing a high value on the interaction and approval of your business, products and services from within social networking sites to calculate the authority of your website content. And, as we all know, the more authority you have in a particular niche, the higher your search engine ranking will be.

Getting Facebook Likes the wrong way

For the past few years, many Internet Marketers have tried to increase their social standing through more dubious means by generating a huge number of likes, tweets, pins, and plus’ either by paying low cost service providers to do it, or by using automated ‘bot’ software. This activity is reminiscent of the high-volume “back-link building” activity that has driven Internet marketer “Warrior” activity ever since Google published their earlier PageRank algorithm, which based search engine ranking on the number of back-links to a website.

Well, in the same way Google got wise to the manipulation of their search results, and changed their algorithm, Facebook are about to wipe the smiles off the faces of a very large number of Internet marketers. On August 31st, 2012, the Facebook security team announced in a blog post that they were now able to detect suspiciously generated Likes, and will remove them:

When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand’s content. As such, we have recently increased our automated efforts to remove Likes on Pages that may have been gained by means that violate our Facebook Terms.

Facebook doesn’t Like a lot of Likes

Curiously, it doesn’t seem to as much of a problem as you would think, with just 1% of Likes on any given Facebook page considered dubious. However, the Facebook security team revealed that ‘purchased bulk Likes’ (low-cost service providers) and ‘malware’ (bots) aren’t the only way to twist things in your favour. Indeed, two other methods seem very ‘black hat’; compromised accounts and deceived users:

These newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes… we only want people connecting to the Pages and brands with whom they have chosen to connect. Beyond the need to maintain authentic relationships on Facebook, these third-party vendors often attempt to use malware or other forms of deception to generate fraudulent Likes, which is harmful to all users and the internet as a whole.

Oh dear. But, this has been going on for years. Why is Facebook taking such action only now? They would likely argue two main reasons: First, that suspicious traffic from Internet Marketers has reached epidemic proportions. One percent of Likes may not sound like a lot but, of course, this is 1% of 2.7 billion Likes and comments per day. Secondly, that it has taken time to develop their cyber-defences against such suspicious activity. I’m sure both of the reasons are entirely valid, but an interest comment in their blogpost points to another more interesting reason. The same reason, in fact, that prompted Google to release the Panda an Penguin updates to their search ranking algorithms.

This improvement will allow Pages to produce ever more relevant and interesting content, and brands will see an increase in the true engagement around their content.

Oh, really? Is Facebook taking on Google at their own game? There are a number of rumours around the ‘net that Facebook intends to displace the search giant as the place to go to find relevant content. And what better way to rank relevant, authoritative content than by the social vote given to it by its fans?

The correct way to get Facebook Likes

Politics and corporate ambition aside, there is a clear lesson here for every Internet Marketer, whether chasing Google back-links or Plus’, Facebook Likes, Pinterest pins, or anything else: You need to build an audience for your business in a way that plays by the rules.

Not only will this correctly generated social authority remain with you for many years, surviving successive rounds of algorithm updates, but your customers are real people who will buy from you repeatedly and recommend your quality products and services. There are a number of ways to generate authentic social authority:

1. Publishing relevant, high quality, engaging content on niche Facebook pages/Twitter streams/Pinterest boards/Google circles. Fill out your profile information properly and interested people will have no trouble finding you.

2. Viral images (cure kittens in wicker baskets, and so on) are very popular on all the social networks. Genuinely so. They are easy to produce, can be linked back to your website and the very best will spread like wildfire around the ‘net. There is no manipulation here, other than “tugging at the heart strings”.

3. “Connect to reveal”. Use the “apps” and other linking technologies developed by the social networks themselves to create a buzz for your products. People interested in obtaining product, or getting access to content, from your own website, can be asked to Like, Tweet, Pin or G+ before they are allowed access. It works extremely well and is completely supported by the social networks.

4. Media buying. Yes, a little money spent in the right places will rocket authentic traffic to your relevant, authoritative content (see #1 above). In fact, Facebook ads return more ‘bang for the buck’ than most other online advertising because of the high degree of audience targeting that can be done. (Only want to target 20-year old males who own ginger tabby cats and play the saxophone? No problem!) Clearly all the social networks support traffic generation (and subsequent social approval) through media buying because this is how they make their money. It is one way of generating Likes on Facebook that is never going to go away.

You can read the Facebook Security Team’s blog post in full at Facebook.com.