The world of the internet has grown exponentially over the last fifteen years - I remember (here I go into old lady mode) when the internet was not a household convenience at all. I was also a teenager of the noughties which included MSN, dial-up internet and inevitably having to type to my friends on a nightly basis "brb mum needs to use the phone".
So I don't think it comes as a surprise that the jargon that has been created through working on the internet can be baffling at best and down-right alien at worst. I thought it might be a helpful mini series on this blog to 'break down the jargon' from the internet.
(photo credit: ivmgroup.com)
If you have been reading my blog for the last couple of weeks you will notice that I have been writing a lot about Facebook and so I thought that we would start with some Facebook jargon as it follows on nicely.
n.b. - this is jargon related to having a Facebook for business page not a personal profile!
1) Likes vs. Followers
It used to be that pages on Facebook just received 'likes' from people. A like happens when someone clicks the little thumbs up symbol on your page. This gives you an indication of how many people like your brand and organisation. However, recently Facebook has introduced 'following' to pages. This basically means that there are two ways that people can engage with your page.
a) they can 'like' the page and then automatically Facebook makes them a 'follower' of the page. This means that your posts will appear in that person's news feed (see below for definition) when they log on to Facebook. This is the type of customer you want as it means they will be more likely to see what you're posting.
b) they can decide that they no longer want to 'follow' your page but remain connected to it via a 'like'. This means that your posts will not appear in their news feed when they log in but should they want to find you in the future your page will appear in their 'liked' box on their profile page.
You have no control over someone who unfollows your page - if you want to help reduce the number of people unfollowing you try to make your content top notch and a good mixture of friendly and professional.
2) News feed
Most people who are setting up a Facebook for business page will know what a news feed is because you have been using Facebook personally already, however as I have mentioned it in the above point I thought it might be helpful to quickly clarify.
A persons 'news feed' is the page you see when you log into or open Facebook and is comparable to a home page. It is where posts are displayed from your friends and from companies you have 'liked'. It is not your timeline - this is located on your profile and it's where your posts appear.
This is a tool Facebook uses to let you know how many people are physically seeing your posts across Facebook. Let's break down the process with an example so it's easier to understand.
Floral Fancies posts about an offer on bunches of tulips.
25 people click 'like' on the post.
Each one of those 25 people may have hundreds of friends on Facebook.
Because those 25 people have liked your post, Facebook will send a notification to some of the friends of the 25 stating "Sarah liked this post" or "Tim liked this post from Floral Fancies"
This means that a percentage of those hundreds of friends are seeing your post as well as the original 25 who 'liked' your post.
The way 'reach' is calculated is that Facebook knows (don't ask me how, I don't know) when you have seen either the original post or the "Sarah liked this post" notification and feeds that back to the business page. It is a way of knowing how many people have physically seen your post.
Leading on from 'reach' we have 'engagement' . . .
Whereas reach is about people who have seen your post on Facebook, engagement is exactly what you would think - people who have actually engaged with the post. That may be that they have clicked 'like', they may have commented on the post, or they may have 'shared' the post on to their own page.
Engagement is harder to get on your posts because it requires the person to actively do something to the post whereas reach is simply placing the post in front of their eyes. People are less likely to engage because they generally only spend short periods of time on Facebook. Yes, they may look at Facebook several times a day but usually only for a few minutes at a time. There is so much information to process in those few minutes that only a very small number of what that person sees will actually be engaged with.
Do not despair though, reach is just as important as engagement when it comes to the success of your Facebook page so my recommendation is to just keep posting content, make it as good quality as you can and make sure it's a nice blend of sales, anecdote and information.
5) Pin to the top
This relates to a post which you can 'pin' to the top of your timeline so it is always the first post people see when they go on to your business page. People tend to use this feature for important information about the business - opening times, seasonal closures, last minute information etc.
To pin a post to the top of your timeline, write a normal post that has the information in it you want to pin, publish the post and then click the little grey arrow in the top right of the published post. This will give you a list of options. The first option is to 'pin to top of page'. Click that and you'll see that the post always appears at the top of your page's timeline.
Only original posts made by your page can be pinned - you can't pin a post from a customer and you can't pin something you have 'shared'.
6) Facebook Insights/Analytics
Okay we're about to go down the rabbit hole of Facebook analytics . . . actually, no I can't do it!
The very basic explanation is that 'insights' is the analytic data presented to you by Facebook so you can see how successful your page is and how many people are seeing and engaging with your content.
If you have some prior knowledge of how analytics works on a website then you will already know most of what the Facebook Insights is about, or you will find it easy to navigate and be able to pull out relevant information.
If the word 'analytics' fills you with fear and loathing or is completely alien to you then you need a more in depth definition and breakdown of how it works. I can do this if it is something you would like but it would require a separate blog post. let me know in the comments below.
I do just want to say that in terms of reach and engagement as discussed above, these figures can be seen at the bottom of each of your posts when you look at your business page. Similarly you can clearly see the number of likes and followers that your page has from your business page home screen. So if you are someone who doesn't want to delve into the world of Facebook analytics (I personally don't use it!) then don't worry - you can still find some statistics easily on your business page which will help you track the success of your page.
I hope that has helped to clear up some of the Facebook for business jargon - if this is helpful please do share it with friends and family who you think might benefit from it.
If you would like me to break down more jargon related to Facebook, Twitter or any other aspect of online marketing just let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/charlottefurnesswriter
Thanks for reading!