Facebook is quickly becoming a great marketing tool for businesses to build a compelling social media presence and engage with users. With company Facebook pages jumping from 700,000 last December to 1.5 million over just a few months, it’s clear this social networking site is here to stay. But, are companies making the most of the platform?
Facebook has immense potential to provide much more than simply a place to interact with customers and post company updates. As more and more companies join the site, Facebook could offer valuable competitive intelligence information to help companies keep up with market trends and generate compelling content while attracting and retaining Facebook fans… that is, if they had the right tool.
That’s precisely what ContentAide has set out to help companies achieve. Founded by VentureBeat writer and social media strategist Cody Barbierri, ContentAide provides brands and agencies with a technology platform for monitoring engagement with their Facebook page content, as well as the engagement with their competitor’s Facebook pages. Not only does this help companies gather competitive intelligence, but it also helps them create highly engaging, brand-generated content.
In a recent opportunity to speak with Barbierri, he explained that coming up with the idea for ContentAide came about pretty organically since, as a social media strategist, he’s constantly helping businesses get up and running on Facebook.
“While setting up a Facebook profile and finding third party tools to run a promotion or contest are fairly easy, the hardest part is creating engaging content from day to day. The content is what’s going to attract and retain loyal Facebook fans,” explained Barbierri. “After some research and not finding a simple tool to help this cause, we launched ContentAide to aide these businesses with what they should post for updates each day.”
The service uses an algorithm to get beyond Facebook’s basic page insights and simply counting ‘likes’ for each status update posted by brands. It does this by measuring comments on brand status updates across Facebook and weighing them against how many fans each brand has on their respective pages. And, while ContentAide currently does not monitor comment sentiment, whether positive or negative, this is a feature the company is considering offering in the future, among others as it comes out of Beta, including more ways to customize reports and the addition of Twitter. And for organizations who need or do crisis communications, this will be priceless.
When asked why Facebook was the main focus instead of other popular social media platforms, Barbierri noted, “Facebook Pages, though public, offer much more of a closed community with features to promote engagement and interaction, such as custom tabs, the new questions function, video and photo albums. Other networks, like Twitter for example, are much more open and offer a different type of content creation and distribution, similar to a public message board. Businesses are starting to discover the flexibility and functionality of Facebook and are experimenting with it more. We want to help them be successful in their efforts by showing them what works to engage the more than 700 million users.”
As Facebook continues to grow exponentially, and having a company page becomes the “norm,” ContentAide could very well provide the missing ingredient for companies to take their Facebook Page from a static presence to a highly engaged, content-rich destination. More and more users are expecting companies to be engaged with social media, in fact, 93 percent of social media users expect companies to have a social media presence. But, in order for that presence to be meaningful, a tool like ContentAide can make all the difference.
ContentAide is currently offering PR agencies and brands a 15-day free trial, for which they’ve already signed up hundreds of users, so, check it out for yourself!
This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense.