Getting More Facebook Clicks – an experiment and some thoughts

our popular facebook post

My library has been running some experiments and pilot projects on our Facebook Page – some on our own, and some with help from Ben Bizzle (who’s doing some research on Facebook Pages) and so far, they have been really successful. This post explains one of them.

See the ecards image? Ben had posted this to a couple of library Facebook Pages, and it was pretty successful – so he asked if I could post it to Topeka’s Facebook Page. So I did – at what I thought would be a rotten time to post – 9:08 am on a Thursday morning.

I was wrong.

This post is the most popular post EVER for Topeka’s Facebook Page. Here are the basic stats I’m getting for it so far:

  • 237 Likes
  • 88 Shares
  • 33 Comments

And from Facebook Insights, I’m seeing this:

  • Reach – 3900 (Reach is the number of unique people who have seen the post)
  • Engaged Users – 748 (Engaged Users is the number of unique users who have clicked on the post)
  • Talking about This – 660 (Talking about This is the number of unique users who have clicked like, commented on, or shared the post anywhere – not just on your page)
  • Virality – 16.92% (Virality is the percentage of people who have clicked the story from the page post out of the total number of unique people who have seen it).

A bit more about Virality, because for us anyway, this is HUGE. The median Virality rate for Facebook Pages, according to ZDNet anyway, tends to be around 1.92%, and a really stong Virality rate, meaning your post was pretty popular, is around +2.5%.

So you can see why I’m getting a wee bit excited about a 16.92% rate, right? That is HUGE. And not just “huge for my little ole Topeka Library” huge. This is actually a pretty big accomplishment. And one I’d like to see more of on my library’s Facebook Page.

So what’s going on here? Why did this particular post get so big? Here are some thoughts on that (you might have some ideas too – I’d love to hear them):

  • It’s visual. Visual is HOT right now. Think Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, etc. And honestly, those victorian ecard thingies are pretty hot too at the moment. So we were picking up on a trendy thing.
  • Visual is also pretty useful. The image supports the message of the post, so more people get it (i.e., those visual thinkers).
  • Another trend – images with words. People like finding an image and putting funny words on them. So … another trendy thing that people might enjoy if done well.
  • The message connects with something our customers love. As in books and reading.
  • Hit on an emotion. This particular message touched on a feeling that apparently many readers have – that horrid feeling towards the end of a book, when you know you’re almost done and there’s NO MORE. I can relate – I had that feeling towards the end of book 7 of the Harry Potter series. So we hit a nerve that our customers could relate to.
  • We asked for it. We asked a question in the post (“We’re curious – does this ever happen to you?”) and people answered the question.

OK David, so you got a lot of likes and comments and shares. So what? How does that help the library? I have an answer for that. A couple of them:

  • Helps your message Rise to the Top: Here’s how Facebook works right now. You don’t see everything. Most people only see highlights (called Top Stories) of the daily postings of the people and organizations they have friended (that’s the default setting – you have to actually click Sort to see everything). If you post stuff that’s popular and a bit viral, that means that those particular posts will “rise to the top” and will actually be seen by more people.
  • More eyes is a good thing: When someone likes, shares, or comments on your post, that post has a good chance of being seen by that person’s Facebook friends, too. So the more interaction you get, the farther your reach spreads out.
  • Like once, might like more: If someone likes one of your posts, they are more likely to watch for and interact with more of your posts. So be silly, funny, or tongue-in-cheek sometimes, and share links to books, events, or online resources other times. Your Facebook fans will start to notice, and will end up seeing and interacting with more of YOUR LIBRARY.
  • Time of day: experiment with posting at different times of the day. We have been posting a lot at night, getting that evening Facebook crowd. By posting at 9am, who did we get? My guess – people who just got to work … who also have their Facebook account up, either on their work computer or on a mobile device sitting at their desk.

I’d love to hear your Facebook Page successes! Share away!

Oh – and if you like this post, you might also like my new book, called Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media tools to Create Great Customer Connections. Get it now!

Face2Face – my Handheld Librarian 7 Presentation

I had the honor of giving a presentation at last week’s Handheld Librarian 7 online conference. I presented a very condensed version of my book, Face2face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections.

The presentation slides are embedded above – enjoy!

PS – earlier that day, I gave another Social Media 101 presentation at a local Goodyear plant. That was a fun group to present to – lots of questions! Here are those slides, too – just for kicks.

Web Design Trends for 2012

I’ve been working on some large writing projects this year, and in the process, came across some great lists of web design trends for 2012 that I thought I’d share. Let me know if you are incorporating any of these into your websites!

Web design trends for 2012

Web Design Trends in 2012

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Fixed-Position Navigation
  • Circles
  • Big Vector Art
  • Multi-Column Menus
  • jQuery/CSS3/HTML5 Animation
  • Ribbons & Banner Graphics
  • Custom Font Faces
  • Infographics
  • Focus on Simplicity

15 Web Design Trends to Watch Out For in 2012

  • Responsive Interface Design
  • Touchscreen Mobile Devices
  • Tons of Freebies!
  • HTML5 & CSS3 Standards
  • Ribbons and Banners
  • Premium WordPress Themes
  • Online Magazines
  • Easy Drop Shadows
  • Dynamic Typography
  • Image Gallery Slideshows
  • Modal Popup Boxes
  • Inspirational Lists
  • Generated Image Thumbnails
  • Oversized Icons
  • Exaggerated Hyperlinks

Web Design Trends for 2012

  • Oversized Logos/Headers
  • Sketch/Hand-drawn Design
  • Slab Typefaces
  • Typography
  • One Page Layouts
  • Huge Images
  • Change of Perspective
  • Interactive/Intuitive Design
  • Modal Boxes
  • Minimalism
  • Oversized Footer
  • Retro
  • Intro Boxes
  • Magazine Layouts

Top Website Design Trends for 2012

  • HTML5, CSS3 and JQUERY
  • Mobile Compatibility and Responsive Layouts
  • Typographic Layouts
  • The Grid
  • Large Background Images
  • Perceived Affordance and Metaphoric Design
  • Social Media Integration
  • Illustration
  • Single Page Websites
  • Parallax
  • Elegant Modal Boxes

15 Top Web Design and Development Trends for 2012

  • Progressive enhancement
  • Responsive design
  • Flash will survive
  • Native support for plug-in features
  • Appification takes hold
  • Web app fragmentation
  • Mobile gets bigger
  • A device explosion
  • Respect beyond aesthetics
  • social battles heat up
  • Growth of the two-screen model
  • Distributed workforces
  • Stronger customer service
  • Better value, not lower prices
  • Pushing the boundaries

The State of Web Design Trends: 2012 Annual Edition

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Grid Systems
  • Typography
  • Technology Pushing Art
  • Scrolling, Vertical Narratives
  • Like it’s 1983
  • Modular Interfaces

So – get busy and start designing like it’s 2012!

image by Mike Licht

New Presentation – Designing the Digital Branch – it’s everyone’s job!

Gina Millsap and I gave this presentation last week at the Texas Library Association’s annual conference (this year in Houston, TX). Great conference, fun people!

Especially check out the final part of this presentation – it will give you a little insight into how my library decides on strategy – through data-mapping and GIS market segmentation data. Really handy stuff.

Enjoy!

asdf

Pinterest for Libraries – what we’re doing

I recently helped set up a Pinterest account for our library (and by “help” I mean that I created the account. Most of the work so far has been done by Jeff Tate, our Digital Branch Librarian, and our fine group of staff participating in the pilot project).

What have we done so far? Here’s a list of our goals and process to date, and a list of a few “best practice” tips we’ve discovered along the way:

Goals and process:

  • Goal: focus on the library, on things our customers might be interested in, and on “local.”
  • Goal: focus on things that make people “click”
  • Goal for each board – at least 9 pins a week.
  • For staff – wear your “library hat” – think like “the library” rather than an individual when pinning something
  • We set up 16 boards for starters, each with at least one staff member in charge of it (most of the boards have a team of 2-3 staff).
  • The boards we set up, for the most part, match up to our neighborhoods in our physical library and on our website (we have grouped subject areas together into neighborhoods, i.e., the Travel neighborhood, the Cooking Neighborhood, etc. Each has a physical collection and a blog).
  • We will soon have a link to our Pinterest account from the main page of our website
  • Write a short, “tweetable” blurb for each pin you create.
Useful Tips:
  • I used a group email (we use Microsoft Exchange/Outlook for email) when setting up the account, and assigned everyone participating in the pilot project to the email group. That way, everyone sees likes, pins, follows, comments, etc  that happen in Pinterest.
  • When creating a new board, fill it up with 9 things – this way, the board doesn’t look “empty” [like my personal Pinterest account looks :-) ]
  • Pinning books from our catalog is great – but it’s also a multi-step process. First, you need to find a bookcover pic and Pin that (because Pinterest Pins focus on images). Once you have the pic, you can then add in the direct URL to the book’s catalog record.

That’s pretty much it. Pinterest is a very simple site … that has taken off like crazy! Like I said, this is a pilot project. Our plan is to use Pinterest for 6 months to see if it works for our library and for our customers. If there continues to be growing interest, we’ll go with it. If interest wains, we’ll kill the project.

More articles on Pinterest and libraries:

What’s your library doing with Pinterest? Let me know!