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McCord Web Services Where the Focus is on Your Success

Nancy McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC.Dear Friend,

I have just finished my most recent research paper and posted it on the web. It is called "A Real World Guide to Twitter and Facebook".

As a newsletter subscriber, you can download this paper for no charge. In this newsletter you will find key points, but will certainly want to read the full brief.

I think you will find this, our newest paper, interesting reading.

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

Connect with me online on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Our Blog


A Real World Guide to Twitter and Facebook

FacebookTo develop the insights for this guide, I watched 23 different Facebook and Twitter accounts for a period of three months and monitored over 2,865 status updates. I personally consider this a fairly small data set, but it is large enough to show some important trends that warrant consideration and further discussion.

As the clients that my firm writes for, are in diverse markets, purchase different service engagement levels, and have unique starting levels of follower/fans, it is impossible to state unequivocally how to specifically grow a social networking account from my data. However, there are some statistical averages and trends that I have found and wanted to share them with you.

The Timing and Consistent Posting of Your Updates on Twitter Can Grow Followers

Contrary to what has been published on the web in a recent statistical report, I've found that for our clients, a unique time schedule for status updates and tweets works for most accounts to grow their follower numbers. To test this strategy, I had our writers schedule the publishing of content based on the following schedule trying each program for a full 30 days to see which made the biggest difference if any in follower and fan counts.

Widely Reported Best Twitter Posting Schedule:
For Twitter: 6 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 6 p.m., and 9 p.m.
For Facebook:  noon and 7 p.m.

After 30 days we posted content on a new schedule for Twitter:
For Twitter: 6 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.
For Facebook: 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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Here is a sampling of data for several of the accounts that I monitored:


Account Area

New Users First Schedule

New Users Second Schedule

Auto Sales

+26

+42

Vehicle Sales

+10

+39

Pest Control

+35

+46

Citrus Grove

+11

+19

Vehicle Facebook Page

+4

+14

Although it appears that all accounts had increases using the second schedule, the variance in the full statistical data does not allow me to make such a blanket statement. Additionally, although I monitored both Facebook and Twitter accounts for this report, there were such small differences in Facebook numbers for many accounts that it is best to consider the second schedule best to use mainly for Twitter growth.

When I looked at the overall data, I found that followers grew at about a rate of 5% using the first schedule and grew on the average of 10% on the second schedule. Although not every account had the same growth and some accounts actually grew faster on the first schedule, the recommendations in this guide are based on overall average growth across all accounts.

It is important to note that although we used a very specific schedule unique to our needs, your results may be different. I feel personally that setting a schedule and being consistent about posting at the times you personally choose are important. You may want to test several schedules to see what works best for your audience.

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The Reality of Facebook Follower Growth and Engagement Challenges

I started following our client Facebook accounts right when Facebook was altering the data it reveals on fans and their interaction levels. Again, I would not consider the data I have recorded as scientifically accurate, but I did see some trends on fan growth for pages with different starting levels of fans.

First, for Facebook Pages with fewer than 100 fans, the ability to get and grow a fan base is very different than for Pages with 100 to 500 fans and different again for Pages with 5,000 fans.

Here's what I learned:

  1. Brand new Facebook pages will have a very difficult time building a fan base in the current Facebook climate. Be prepared for a new page to grow at the rate of one or two new fans a month! If Facebook activity is important to you, consider Facebook pay per click advertising tied to a promotional offering to get new fans and drive traffic to your Business page. Additionally, I have had good success getting new fans with Facebook Sponsored Stories. I added 27 new fans in a 16 day period for under $2.50 per fan. Remember just because you don't have fans does not mean that people are not visiting your page. They no longer need to like your page to interact with it.

  2. For businesses which are just starting their Facebook Page, consider doing one status update a day and don't worry about fan growth. Invest your money in Twitter updates at this time for a better return. You can even use Twitter to drive traffic to your Facebook Page to try to build your fan base up over time, or until Facebook makes some business-friendly changes to its current Business Page model.

  3. Once your Facebook Page has over 100 friends, it seems to be easier to grow your fan base, but this still happens more slowly than before the fourth quarter 2011 Facebook changes. At this point it appears that the more frequent updates you do (I recommend up to five a day when you hit about 100 to 200 fans) that your fan base will grow at a higher rate than with just one or two updates a day. We've done a very small sampling on this, but from fan feedback of what and when they see items in their News Feed, more updates rather than just one or two a day seem to be the best way to get exposure in fans' News Feed.

  4. For Facebook Pages with several thousand fans without regular moderated interaction with fans, I actually saw fan numbers drop. Status updates alone will not cause fan numbers to continue to grow.

The guide also contains my concrete recommendations for your Twitter and Facebook plans. Don't forget to click in to read these very important tips. You can read the full brief online at our website.

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