What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers

Big news for Facebook Groups!

Facebook is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to focus efforts on building true communities on its platform.

Mark Zuckerberg: Building Global Community

Along with expanding their own internal community teams, the social media goliath also kicked off its first-ever Facebook Communities Summit, gathering hundreds of Facebook Group admins from across the globe to discuss ideas and features that would make Facebook Groups, well… easier to manage.

And that’s when a HUGE announcement was made!

Key community management features will soon be gracing our beloved Facebook Groups, including:

  • Group Insights
  • Member Request Filtering
  • Removed Member Clean-Up
    Scheduled Posts
  • Group-To-Group Linking (this is the one I am most excited about, and I’ll tell you why in a moment!)

So, what do these new Facebook Group features mean for community managers?

Let’s talk about it with real life examples and some sweet images (thanks to Facebook and TechCrunch!)…

Group Insights

From Facebook:

Group Insights: Group admins have told us consistently that having a better understanding of what’s going on in their groups would help them make decisions on how to best support their members. Now, with Group Insights, they’ll be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement, and membership—such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged.

This. Is. The. COOLEST.

Until now, community managers of Facebook Groups had to either rely on vanity metrics — like the total number of members — or invest in third-party analytic platforms to get any insight into who participated in their community and how often they did so.

I’m so happy to see that Facebook is making an effort to help community managers measure what IS important — like participation and activity.

A word of caution here—it looks like the initial version of Group Insights include some vanity metrics when it comes to community growth:

Community Metrics Insights

Community managers shouldn’t measure growth by a total number of members or a total number of new members — real community growth is a result of member activity, so for the moment, it looks like there is still some work to come in the growth metrics department.

This feature does mean that community managers can potentially stop investing in third-party tools and rely on Facebook to do what it does best – provide valuable data to make the best decisions.

Up until now, Facebook only provided insights for Pages as a way to understand how people were engaging, performance metrics, and help provide better ad targeting.

Community Metrics Insights
Which begs the question… What’s Facebook’s end goal here? Perhaps a way to better understand your community in order to… dare I say it… advertise?

As Mari Smith noted in her insights into this feature, “This could be the first step in monetizing groups. We’ll see.”

Member Request Filtering

From Facebook:

Membership request filtering: We also hear from admins that admitting new members is one of the most time-consuming things they do. So, we added a way for them to sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once.

Membership Request Filtering

If you manage a Group, you are acutely familiar with the pain it takes to go through a long list of member requests every day.

Facebook Group Features

It’s time-consuming, it feels like busy-work, and… it’s boring. I’m bored now just thinking about it.

Facebook’s new member filtering feature will be a welcome reprise for communities who focus on catering to specific demographics or locations.

And BATCH. ACCEPTS. Be still my beating heart.

This means community managers can spend their time actually building up their communities through content and strategy instead of spending hours (yes, hours) going through membership requests one-by-one.

From the bottom of my heart: thank you, Facebook.

Removed Member Clean-up

From Facebook:

Removed member clean-up: To help keep their communities safe from bad actors, group admins can now remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments, and other people added to the group, in one step.

Removed Member Clean Up

Fellow Facebook Group moderators, I can hear you toasting champagne glasses from here. Cheers!

Every community manager has had to deal with a toxic member at one point or another. Trolls. Spammers. Straight up assholes.

If you’ve ever had to remove said person (and their hateful remarks) from your group, you know how painful it is to go back and make sure the poison from every wayward comment and post is removed from sight.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now in one fell swoop, that jerkface—and all their awful contributions to your community—can be wiped off the face of the planet.

Oh, happy day!

Why is this important for community strategy? Ever heard of the phrase, “Monkey see, monkey do?” 

Humans are imitators; we learn by repeating the actions of others who have gone before us. We naturally mimic behavior that we see… especially in tribes that are linked to our personal identities.

It gets a little complicated from there, but the main takeaway here is that bad behavior can easily create more bad behavior in communities. Our brains are just wired for it (good news though—good behavior works the same way!).

By removing toxic comments and posts, community managers are looking to educate their groups on the proper way to behave — it’s often less a matter of “policing” and more to do with removing barriers to valuable conversations.

The new member clean-up feature will go far in helping community managers keep their communities moving forward; a thriving, happy family that doesn’t have room for the haters.

Scheduled Posts

From Facebook:

Scheduled posts: Group admins and moderators can create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.

Scheduled Posts

Um, yes, please.

Creating engaging, consistent community content is a cornerstone to helping community members connect with one another.

For example, in our DigitalMarketer Engage Facebook group, we create a #OneWeekOneThing post every Monday so our community members can keep each other accountable on big goals…

DigitalMarketer Engage One Week One Thing

On Friday’s there’s the #CelebrateTheWin post so our members can celebrate their achievements…

DigitalMarketer Engage Celebrate the Win Post

Not to mention our members-only weekly webinar announcements…

DigitalMarketer Weekly Webinar Announcement

And monthly content like #HotSeat!

DigitalMarketer #HotSeat

Community managers understand the power of consistent community-building content… having the ability to schedule these posts is a HUGE time-saver!

That time can be spent actually participating in community conversations instead of creating them.

Group-to-Group Linking

From Facebook:

Group-to-group linking: We’re beginning to test group-to-group linking, which allows group admins to recommend similar or related groups to their members. This is just the beginning of ways that we’re helping bring communities and sub-communities closer together.

Group To Group Linking

THIS. THIS S!*T RIGHT HERE.

Why, you might ask, am I so excited about this particular feature, given all the greatness that was just announced?

Two words: Social Density.

OK, four more words…

It’s too damn high.

If you’re not in the know on community management lingo, social density refers to the amount of conversation that can happen in a set space.

For example, let’s say you take five people…

…and put them in the Kauffman Stadium (go Royals!)

That stadium would feel super empty, right?

But let’s take those same five people and put them in a filing room…

facebook-group-features-img14

Now we have the opposite problem — it’s way too cramped!

The same concept applies to conversations in online communities—if your social density is too low, not enough activity is happening to keep new members interested in participating.

If it’s too high, there are so many different conversations happening that it’s impossible to keep up. Large Facebook Groups (like the DM Engage community) suffers from a very high social density.

With nearly 10,000 members, there is such an overload of new conversations and active discussions that it’s difficult for new members to plug in and for active members to find where they can best contribute.

It’s a problem that stunts community growth.

Other community platforms, like forums, address high social density by creating subtopics, like Reddit famously does here:

Reddit

This keeps different discussion topics in their own dedicated area, so conversations don’t get cluttered.

Until now, creating subgroups or subtopics was an impossibility on the Facebook platform. Community managers who struggled with high social density had to do their best to organize content on their own.

The new group linking feature could be a solution for organizing subtopics of communities by groups conversation topics into their own groups — without alienating the community as a whole.

All in all, each of these new features is exciting for community managers. It’s so encouraging that Facebook is now viewing Facebook Groups as a tool for truly bringing people together — and helping community professionals do their jobs better!

Has your Facebook Group been access to these new tools yet? We want to hear about it!

The post What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Big news for Facebook Groups!

Facebook is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to focus efforts on building true communities on its platform.

Mark Zuckerberg: Building Global Community

Along with expanding their own internal community teams, ...Read More

The Beginner’s Guide to Google Optimize

You’ve probably heard you should be doing more split testing to “optimize” your marketing funnels. You may already be using tools like Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) or Optimizely to do just that.

Guess what?

Google brought their considerable resources to the table and now offers their own split testing platform.

It’s called Google Optimize and it’s one of the more powerful tools on the market.

guide-to-google-optimize-img1

Here’s a snapshot of the reasons why you’ll want to take a look at Google Optimize:

  • Split testing WITHOUT a developer!
  • Automatic integration with Google Analytics
  • Able to implement using Google Tag Manager (if you want to)
  • Advanced targeting capabilities
  • Built-in visual editor

To top it off, this new tool is FREE for 99% of you. Google Optimize Quotebox

NOTE: There is a paid version called “Optimize 360” that’s part of the Google Analytics 360 suite, but that carries a $150,000 per year price tag and is typically for enterprise level tracking and split testing.

Today, I’m sharing the 4-step beginner’s guide to Google Optimize and how you can start using it immediately

Step 1: Create Your Google Optimize Account

The first step is the easiest.

Head over to http://optimize.google.com and sign in using your Google Account.

Once there, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

guide-to-google-optimize-img2

Click the blue “Create Account” button to begin the process of setting up your account.

guide-to-google-optimize-img3

The image above shows how we’ve created an account for our site, MeasurementMarketing.io here.

NOTE: While you don’t have to give Google all those permissions, we typically recommend you do. It’ll help give Google feedback on how you’re using the product so they can make it even better.

Once you click the blue “Next” button, you’ll be asked to create a “Container.”

You’ll store all your experiments under this container, and I recommend naming each container after the site you are testing.

In my case, I’m using “www.measurementmarketing.io” since we’ll be setting up our tests for this site and want them all “contained” in the same spot.

guide-to-google-optimize-img4

You’ll then click the blue “Create” button to get to a screen that looks similar to this:

guide-to-google-optimize-img5

Now we’re ready to create our first experiment!

But first, a very important (though optional) next step…

Step 2: Link Your New Google Optimize Account to Your Google Analytics

Why is this optional?

Simple.

Because not everyone wants to use Google Analytics. Fortunately, it’s not a required step, so if you fall into this group, you can still use Google Optimize.

If you are a Google Analytics user, however, you’ll want to link it to your new Google Optimize account. Once you do, Optimize will automatically send a copy of your split test results directly into your Google Analytics (you’ll see them in the Google Analytics “Experiments” reports).

With those results in Google Analytics, you can segment by traffic source, build custom retargeting audiences, and more.

Short story, if you can link your accounts… you should.

Fortunately, linking your accounts is fairly straightforward…

guide-to-google-optimize-img6

And then, once you’ve selected the Google Analytics Property and View that you want the data to flow to, click “Link” to complete the process. How easy is that?

guide-to-google-optimize-img7

With your accounts linked, you might come across a message that looks like this:

guide-to-google-optimize-img8

The “snippet” is just a piece of code you can copy and paste to your site so Google Optimize can do its job and help you run all those split tests.

It’s pretty simple to do, so we suggest you choose the “GET SNIPPET” option and follow the directions there to get the Google Optimize container snippet on your site.

NOTE: If, like me, you’re a fan of Google Tag Manager, there is a built-in tag you can fire to deploy the Google Optimize container snippet. You can learn more about that here.

(RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Google Tag Manager)

With everything ready to go, it’s time to create our first experiment!

(NOTE: Want to become an Analytics & Data Master? Make smart business decisions by building a powerful analytics dashboard. Let us train you to become a Certified Data Analyst. Learn more now.)

analytics2

Step 3: How to Create Your First Experiment

Ready? Let’s go!

guide-to-google-optimize-img9

After clicking on the “Create Experiment” button you’ll see a screen like this:

guide-to-google-optimize-img10

As you can see, you’ve got a few decisions to make here.

The first is what to name your test. In this example, we choose “Headline Test.”

Next, you’ll need to tell Google Optimize which URL the test is running on. In our case, it’s the URL of our membership product.

Finally, decide which type of experiment you are going to create:

  1. A/B Test: These are the easiest to setup and use the built-in Google Optimize editor. They are perfect for simple tests (like testing headlines) and they don’t require a developer.
  2. Multivariate Test: This is a more advanced test, and you should only be thinking of using these tests if you have a massive amount of traffic.
  3. Redirect Test: This is the one you choose if you are testing completely different pages built on different URLs.

Google Optimize QuoteboxFor this example, I’m choosing “A/B Test” since I’m testing something simple (a headline) and it’ll give me a chance to show the Google Optimize Visual Editor!

As soon as you click the blue “Create” button you’ll be dropped into “draft” mode where you can define the details of your test.

Let’s start with creating our variant (the thing we actually want to test).

Step 4: Create Your Variant

For this example, we want to test a headline. So, our first step is to create a variant that has the new headline.

Here’s where you’ll click

guide-to-google-optimize-img11

Google Optimize then asks us to name our new variant. Since we’re testing a more curiosity-driven headline, that’s what we’ll name it.

guide-to-google-optimize-img12

Once we’ve created our variation, we’ll want to double-click it to edit it in the Google Optimize Visual Editor.

The Visual Editor is one of the biggest benefits of using Optimize. It’s pretty flexible and you can make a ton of changes without having to bring in your developer with a few simple clicks. 

Overall, it looks something like this:

guide-to-google-optimize-img13

Notice how it brings up the page we are going to be editing?

From here, we just need to click on the parts we want to change and adjust them

guide-to-google-optimize-img14

There are a bunch of features that this editor has, including the ability to view your pages using different devices. That way, you can make sure your tests look great… even on a mobile device!

guide-to-google-optimize-img15

Once you’ve edited the variation and are happy with the changes you’ll be testing, it’s time to determine your objective(s) and write down your hypothesis.

guide-to-google-optimize-img16

In this example, the objective is to improve “session duration” but you could easily make this “Improve Opt-ins” or “New Widget Sales” as long as you have those set as a goal in your Google Analytics.

NOTE: Any goal you have set up in your Google Analytics can be used as an Optimize “Objective.”

Once your Objectives are set, it’s time to adjust the “Targeting.”

guide-to-google-optimize-img17

As you can see in the above image, you can adjust what percentage of your visitors will be exposed to this test and what percentage of those visitors are exposed to this variation.

But it gets SO MUCH BETTER.

guide-to-google-optimize-img18

In this image, you see we defined our test to only match visitors who see our sales page, but we asked Google Optimize to further filter those visitors to only show the test to those who are using a mobile device AND are in Austin.

Google Optimize QuoteboxPretty nifty, eh?

The targeting of Google Optimize is truly incredible and worth spending a few minutes with. It’s amazing how specific you can get.

Once that’s done, simply click “Start Experiment”

guide-to-google-optimize-img19

…and congratulations! Your first test is LIVE!

guide-to-google-optimize-img20

From here, it’s a matter of traffic. Checking the results of your tests is pretty straightforward and can be found here…

guide-to-google-optimize-img21

They’ll show you which variation is winning (or losing) against the original control.

Remember, be sure you follow these best practices to make sure you’re split testing correctly and aren’t making bad decisions based on faulty data.

Enjoy this new tool from Google! Optimize has a small learning curve (as do all new tools) and it’s a powerful addition your marketing toolkit.

And be sure to bookmark this post as we’ll be adding Part 2: The Complete Guide to Google Optimize in August 2017!

(NOTE: Want to become an Analytics & Data Master? Make smart business decisions by building a powerful analytics dashboard. Let us train you to become a Certified Data Analyst. Learn more now.)analytics2

 

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Google Optimize appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

You’ve probably heard you should be doing more split testing to “optimize” your marketing funnels. You may already be using tools like Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) or Optimizely to do just that.

Guess what?

Google brought their considerable resources to the table and now offers their own ...Read More

Episode 102: Facebook’s Offline Events: The New Way to Track the Untrackable

This is big! The rollout of Facebook offline events is giving marketers the ability to track what the Facebook pixel can’t: sales that happen in your physical store or over the phone after people see or engage with your Facebook ad.

From local businesses to online companies, any business can use and benefit from Facebook offline events, no matter your budget. Join the experts and special guest Scott Desgrosseilliers, founder of Wicked Reports, as they explain how you can use Facebook offline events to your advantage, as well as the caveat you need to be aware of.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Who should use Facebook offline events and how it can have a profound impact on your business.
  • What data may conflict and where to proceed with caution so you can make informed decisions about your Facebook ads.
  • Scott’s #1 metric you should be tracking that will help you understand what creates a new lead for your business.
  • Listen till the end of the episode for a “Ryan Rant” on the problem with direct response and what you can do about it.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Facebook Offline Events: What This Means for Marketers
Wicked Podcast

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!

The post Episode 102: Facebook’s Offline Events: The New Way to Track the Untrackable appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

This is big! The rollout of Facebook offline events is giving marketers the ability to track what the Facebook pixel can’t: sales that happen in your physical store or over the phone after people see or engage with your Facebook ad.

From local businesses to online ...Read More

Facebook Offline Events: What This Means for Marketers

Facebook recently rolled out a powerful addition to its advertising platform.

This feature is called Facebook “Offline Events,” and it’s revolutionizing our ability to track and optimize for transactions that aren’t usually “seen” by the Facebook pixel.

Facebook explains…

“With offline conversion measurement on Facebook, you can track when transactions occur in your physical retail store and other offline channels (ex: orders made over the phone) after people see or engage with your Facebook ad.”

This is HUGE for any business that may suffer from a “black hole” in their tracking because transactions (lead gen, sales, etc.) aren’t always occurring on web pages where Facebook can track.

This can make it hard to analyze what’s actually working in ad campaigns or to validate that your advertising is generating business… period. For example:

  • If you have conversations with prospects or customers on the phone or through email. (At DigitalMarketer, we have a sales team and this can make it tough to attribute their sales to a specific Facebook ad campaign.)
  • You’re a brick and mortar store who’s looking to drive in-store visits and purchases (asking people in an ad to use a coupon code for a free appetizer can work, but is still tough to track).
  • If you sell your products online AND in stores, it can be tough to attribute the in-store purchases back to an ad campaign (BassPro shop can track if you clicked on a Facebook ad for a fishing pole and bought online… but what if you saw the ad and decided to purchase in store?).
  • If you’re a coach or consultant that’s looking to drive phone conversations or demos.

So…

How Does Facebook Offline Events Work?

Offline events can be found in the Business Manager menu:

Facebook Offline Events

After you click “Upload Offline Events” on the next screen, you’ll see a pop-up that’s very similar to uploading a data custom audience:

Facebook Offline Events

This is where Facebook asks you to upload your DATA. This is the “offline data” that they are going to match with your Facebook ad data to see if any of these people had viewed or clicked your ads in the past.

Facebook asks you to include event descriptors and identifiers.

Event descriptors help identify the actual transaction. These are anything from the…

  • Event time
  • Event name
  • Value
  • Currency
  • Order ID

This will help Facebook understand what action this person took offline.

Identifiers are specific information about the individual. Anything from…

  • first name
  • last name
  • phone number
  • email address
  • city
  • county
  • zip code
  • date of birth

…and so on (there are 17 identifiers).

NOTE: ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IS NOT REQUIRED – include as much as possible to ensure you get as high of a match rate as possible.

Once uploaded, you’ll see this screen:

Facebook Offline Events

Facebook shows how many records you uploaded, how many of them matched (a match rate 60% or higher is great), the date range, and date updated.

You also have the ability to create custom and/or lookalike audience from this data, too, which is VERY powerful for future campaigns and retargeting.

To see how these offline conversions attribute to Facebook campaigns in ads manager, select “Offline conversions” from the delivery columns:

Facebook Offline Events

Facebook will report on the number of offline conversions that they could contribute to specific campaigns, ad sets, and ads.

Facebook offline conversions are powerful in their current form, but it also shows Facebook’s commitment to tracking and validating the effect that advertising is having on businesses’. I believe this is just the beginning and we’ll continue to see more advanced tracking in the near future.

Now, it’s your turn… do you have any offline data that you could upload?

Let us know how it goes!

(NOTE: Have a great product, but no one knows it exists? We’re launching a brand new 3-part mini-class that will show you how to launch a profitable Facebook ad campaign that gets you high-quality traffic and leads who are primed and ready to buy whatever you’re selling… within 5 days! Register now to get started.)Launch a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign Mini-Class

The post Facebook Offline Events: What This Means for Marketers appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Facebook recently rolled out a powerful addition to its advertising platform.

This feature is called Facebook “Offline Events,” and it’s revolutionizing our ability to track and optimize for transactions that aren’t usually “seen” by the Facebook pixel.

Facebook explains…

“With offline conversion measurement on Facebook, you can track ...Read More