15 takeaways from the PR News Facebook conference

From ‘like-gate’ to measuring your competitor’s bit.ly links, what this PR pro learned about Facebook this week—and what you can, too.

The room was packed, the salmon was dry and Facebook was in the air Tuesday at the PR News Facebook Conference at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

With that in mind, I wanted to post a short list of informative items that I took away:

1. Should I be embarrassed to say that I didn’t know what “like-gate” meant? It’s the terminology for a fan having to “like” your Facebook page before they’re able to view content, participate in conversations and contests, etc. This term was explained by Jason Winocour.

2. Do you know what content becomes “Top News” in your Facebook feed? It’s created by an algorithm (not drawn on a frosty window in a Harvard dorm) called EdgeRank and is comprised of affinity, weight and relevancy. I’ll be using these phrases more often, thanks to Greg Roth of Buddy Media.

3. You don’t need to give away prizes to be successful in engaging fans in contests or trivia. These simple words of wisdom from Kim Miller from Time Inc.

4. According to Buddy Media, Thursday is the best day of the week to get eyes on your Facebook posts.

5. If you post during prime time (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST), you risk your content getting pushed down by news feeds and other traffic. Get your big stories out early!

6. Apparently you can measure others’ bit.ly links. I’m serious. Major commendations to Johna Burke for that tip. I know what I’ll be doing all day now.

7. Speaking of bit.lys, don’t use them on Facebook. Fans are wary of abbreviated links, with full-length URLs being 300 percent more likely to get clicked on.

8. When posting time-sensitive information, use words like “today,” “limited time only,” “weekly special,” etc. Keywords indicating urgency increase the aforementioned EdgeRank.

9. There is a difference between a “Like” button and a “Send” button that can be built into a website. I suggest using both to achieve different goals. This from Joe Becker.

10. To engage the audience, ask who, what, where, when, but not why. Why? People want to write back with short answers, not long explanations.

11. Half of all social media traffic in the United States comes from Facebook. (Is this good proposal material or what?) Got that one from Geoff Livingston.

12. Make sure you claim your Facebook place before you create a deal! This should be a no-brainer, but it’s not. From Doug Winfield.

13. Social media policies mean nothing if you don’t implement the training to accompany them. This is an easy but important one from Melanee Hannock.

14. If you want to get social media buy-in from the higher-ups, show them what their peers are doing. I actually did that this morning. Thanks to Frank Eliason for that one.

15. Any good digital media campaign requires measurement from the very beginning. How else do you show your client that you’re making a difference?

Eric Fischgrund is the Digital Media Manager at Beckerman. He blogs at Beckerman Voices, where this post originally ran.


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