How will the Facebook Star Ratings affect Businesses?

In the last few weeks, you may have noticed that your Facebook page has a brand new feature. Underneath your page name, there may be a set of five stars that indicate how people feel about your company. Although this isn’t a completely new concept, allowing this information to be publicly displayed IS brand new.

This significant change in the display of your Facebook page will have two major effects. First, it shows the public’s general sentiment towards your business and social media content in a higher capacity than just your “Like” volume. A Like only shows how present an entity is, but not how people feel about it. Second, this five-star system will easily show what your page viewers may or may not already see by evaluating your page likes and comments. Your page visitors will see this rating first. They will most likely not take into account your number of Facebook Likes nor read the comments that explain why the five-star rating is what it is.

Several questions have been raised in response to this new system. Some wonder if the number of people who rated the business will be shown. Others ask if ranks given by certain users will have a different weight based on their number of connections or when they gave their rating. Facebook has even been questioned about how it will handle false ratings that are only intended to inflate company ratings instead of providing honest evaluations.

It is not yet known whether companies will be obligated to display the new star rating. If Facebook moves to compete with other popular review-based sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Angie’s List, then this new feature could significantly change how businesses use their Facebook pages.  Given the wide adoption of Facebook as a key marketing tool, companies could be forced to look at ways to improve customer service while also stepping up social media engagement in order to maintain a favorable star rating (which is always a good thing, from a consumer standpoint!).

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Increase your website traffic and engagement with Twitter Cards

You may notice when you click on a tweet in your timeline that links to an article, you get a short summary of what the post is about.

Twitter Card

This is a Twitter card.  This powerful tool allows website administrators flexibility in displaying content by adding additional text or media to their posts in an effort to increase the chance for engagement.

Twitter cards provide many benefits:

  • Call to action: Each link associated with a Twitter card adds a ‘View Summary’ call to action that prompts users to expand into conversation view, showing the highlighted data and interactions.
  • Allows you to stand out: Most sites are still not using Twitter cards (though they should be!). This allows your content to be set apart from the crowd.
  • Higher click through rate (CTR): The average CTR on Twitter is anywhere from .5% to 3%. Twitter cards allow visual images to be attached to ‘shareable’ content. On Facebook, that can increase the likelihood of engagement by about 80%. The same is true for Twitter. Images will help your content stand out in the Twitter stream, resulting in more social engagements and increased traffic to your website.
  • Increases your character limit: You get up to 200 more characters to summarize your content in addition to the 140 characters of your tweet.
  • Content attribution: Twitter cards are attached each time the link is used from any account.  Not only does this lend credibility to your content, it will increase followers on your organization’s and author’s account.
  • Mobile app deep linking: In addition to being able to deep link to content within your site, you can add a link which allows users to open content in your app or download your app.
  • Deliver highly qualified web traffic: By providing supplemental content to your tweet, users interested in your content will be further motivated to click through, leading to a higher conversion rate while users who do not want to consume your content will move on.
In addition to adding a summary (with a large or small image) to an article, Twitter has also has cards for photos, video, apps, products, or a gallery. Twitter has also developed a lead generation card which they made available to all advertisers in August. This expands ability to provide a short snippet of additional contact by allowing you to capture user data with the click of a button.
Setting up Twitter cards is simple for any web administrator and developer and absolutely worth the time.  If you use WordPress, be sure to install this great plugin that will add the field for the meta data to each of your posts for you.

12 Twitter Dos and Dont’s

1. DO respond back to users who engage with you.

The greatest benefit of social media is not just that it allows your target audience to interact with your brand, but that you can, and should, interact back with them. This is especially true if the mention is favorable. Tweet thanks, promotions, or tips to people who show interest in your brand. It is also important to take negative feedback seriously, but be cautious with your response – it could go well, or backfire. Always be professional.

2. DO Tweet share-able content

It is important to keep your fans engaged with you, switching up types of content is a very effective way to do just that. Focusing on share-able content like infographics, original pictures, and video is very effective and will help spread your message outside of your network.

3. DO listen

If someone says something positive about you or makes a negative comment about a competitor they oftentimes will not tag you or them. You can use simple Boolean operators in tools like HootSuite, or even from the Twitter search bar to zero in on conversations around your brand. Just be careful not to be too creepy in your responses.

4. DO Make a great profile

Many brands often neglect the profile on their personal page, but this is an important piece to explaining to users who you are. Use a good, high quality logo and header image , fill in the bio with a brief explanation, and – most importantly – link to your website.

5. DO Be consistent

This should seem obvious, but it is surprising how many brands make this fatal flaw. If you have a team managing your account, tweet with ‘one voice.’ Meaning, users should not notice a different style of communicating or language from day-to-day. Also, don’t leave your account inactive for days at a time. You should be posting regularly without large gaps so users know you are there.

6. DO Retweet

Retweeting from accounts relevant to your followers isn’t just a great way to diversify your content, it is also a great way to build relationships with other brands, bloggers, and news outlets. Note: Always be sure to give credit to those whose content you retweet.

7. DON’T use excess abbreviations, poor grammar, or spelling

The basic rule of thumb here is ‘if you wouldn’t send it in an email to the boss or a client, don’t tweet it.’ Perception is huge on Twitter and users measure quality content by how it appears. Abbreviations like ICYMI and FYI are great and leaving out punctuation like apostrophes, commas, and periods is a necessary evil, but steer clear of things you’d see in your teenage daughter’s text messages like b4, gr8, 2, u, and so on…

8. DON’T forget the ‘dot rule’

This is, without a doubt, the top mistake I see made on Twitter. If you start a tweet with an @ reply but aren’t responding to another user you have to put a ‘.’ before the @ sign or only your followers that follow that user will see the tweet. Another workaround is to simply reword the sentence to not start with the user’s name.

9. DON’T ask people to ‘DM for more info’

This a problem for a few reasons. First, users who may want to get more information won’t likely be able to DM you because you must be following that user for them to send you a private message which leads to the uncomfortable ‘hi, I want to DM you but you need to follow me’ tweet that you will probably just ignore anyway. Secondly, and probably more importantly, it doesn’t look professional. Create a page on your company website with the information and place it there.

10. DON’T tweet too close together

With tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck to schedule your tweets, this is a problem that we should have moved on from long ago. Fewer things will get you an irritated mention from a follower quicker than a tidal wave of 10 tweets rolling through there feed within minutes of each other. Spacing your tweets out also allows you to catch users who are online at different times of day.

11. DON’T send automated direct messages.

You may think it is cool and very helpful that you signed for a service that allows you to deliver an identical message to every single user who follows you, but you couldn’t be more wrong

These messages are annoying, create a bad experience for users, and just spam. Social media is about personalized engagement and nothing is further than that telling a user to go to your website or your Facebook page through a robotic DM.

Just don’t do it.

12. #DON’T #over-#hashtag

Hashtags are a great tool to reach users out of your network that are interested in your niche, but using three or more hashtags in each tweet will likely result in users overlooking them and they make your tweets harder to read.

What you need to know about Twitter’s updated profiles

Twitter recently made its new profile design available to everyone and it’s causing a lot of chatter. Twitter is breaking away from its simplistic nature and seems to be embracing a layout that is very similar to Facebook. Let’s examine some of its new characteristics and see if they work for Twitter.

New Font

The new font for tweets is bigger than it was before, 28px (double from the 14px it was in the old design), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The popular tweets, the ones that have received the most engagement from followers, are highlighted on the user’s profile by enlarged text. The text on the right-hand and left-hand columns is still smaller font.

Background Header

Now twitter users can upload a 1,500 x 500 background header that spices up their profile. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with a boring blue color for the background header and text that says, “Make this space yours. Add a photo!” While this is extremely reminiscent of Facebook, the header works well for Twitter because it doesn’t distract too much from other elements of the profile.

Profile Picture

Twitter upsized the profile picture for the new design, so use this as an excuse to update your profile picture! You will want to upload a new picture that is 400 x 400 pixels, otherwise it won’t look sharp and focused.

Pinning Tweets

You can now pin your best or favorite tweets to the top of your feed on your profile. So, if there is something you want to promote, then this added feature allows you to do that with more ease than before.

These various changes don’t seem to interfere at all with Twitter’s ease of use. The changes actually allow users to browse Twitter more efficiently and open the profiles up for a less-cramped viewing experience.

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