WEEK 1: A Conversation with Guest Speaker Serena Ehrlich by Ece Peliter

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Ece Peliter

Ece Peliter

Ece Peliter

On April 5th, our “Best Practices in Social Media for the Communications Professional” class had the pleasure of meeting Serena Ehrlich, director of social and evolving media at Business Wire. Perhaps the best thing about the whirlwind conversation with Serena was the lesson on how to use Facebook effectively. While many brands use it, few know the insider tips and tricks Serena showed us to make the platform more effective.

Serena Ehrlich

Serena Ehrlich

Here’s a bullet point summary:

Facebook recognizes your interests

Facebook’s algorithm is designed to give users the best (i.e., most relevant) news feed content to match their interests. This means that if a user likes a lot of videos posted in her feed, the algorithm will feed her more videos.

Facebook page likes no longer matter

Facebook page likes have lost much of their value, but video views are more important than ever. Research has affirmed that we are visual beings who like to watch images (vs. read text), regardless of whether the image is still or video. Videos are currently the richest storytelling format for advertisers, so marketers should focus their efforts on video.

People are starting to treat Facebook just like Google

People are increasingly using Facebook before Google to find information on a given topic. In fact, some people spend so much time on Facebook that it has become their primary online resource. In their minds, Facebook has become the Internet. For them, Facebook works like an RSS reader for news.

Facebook’s target audience button can help you expand reach

Most companies with brand pages don’t have the time or expertise to use the platform’s ad targeting options, but they’re worth the effort. Such options enable brands to target messages effectively, expand reach and optimize their Facebook posts.

Bonus: Targeting micro audiences is key to success on any social media platform

“Family and friends are the first micro audience for targeting,” Serena explained. Basically, they can help you kickstart your efforts by quickly building buzz across their online network. This approach can help build momentum on various platforms. For example, building a private list of family, friends and coworkers on Twitter enables you to message them all at the same time with a request to share your content.

Thank you Serena for sharing your expertise on SM!

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