Facebook Small Business Bootcamp unplugged

Facebook Australia small business bootcamp BrisbaneOn Tuesday morning, I emailed Nick Bowditch from Facebook Australia to ask him if I could come along to the Facebook Small Business Bootcamp in Brisbane that day. I thought, may as well beg even though the tickets were sold out with 80 people on the wait list! Well, to my great surprise, Nick emailed me right back and said “come along.” So, with my newly printed ticket in hand, I rushed to call a babysitter and raced into the city (you know, like all those regular commuters do every single day) and somehow managed to get there by 9am. Miracle!

Anyway, I am soooo glad I was able to go, because the bootcamp was brilliant! Here’s a run down of some of the key highlights from the day.

Nick spent a lot of time busting Facebook myths. Did you know that the term Edgerank was made up by a blogger?  It doesn’t actually exist. Nick stressed that there are quite a few algorithms at work when it comes to the newsfeed and they are being tweaked and improved upon all the time.

Facebook is not the fun police. Facebook does not go digging around for dirt on your page. They only investigate if you are reported to them. Otherwise, unless you have over 2 million fans, they don’t know about you. So who reports? Users do!

Posts made through Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are not penalised by Facebook algorithms.  Ha! There you have it. However, your sharing is limited with Hootsuite posts (because there’s no “share” button, unless you post an image).

Images will always be more engaging, particularly if they are beautiful, feature puppies and babies, and have WHITE SPACE. In fact, they talked a lot about white space. Hmmmmm!

If you’re not getting good engagement on Facebook, it’s because you’re not being engaging. So mix it up and start being interesting folks.

Facebook will always warn a page 3 times prior to removing the page. You have been warned!

The purpose of cover images is to share them. Did you know that? We’re meant to be posting gorgeous photos that tell our story. And, you can use cover images for brand placement or co-branding, so long as you follow the rules. How many businesses are doing that? Not many it seems.

There was a lot of talk about story arcs. I have to say that I’m gobsmacked that NOT ONE EXPERT I’ve listened to or read pieces by in the past 3 years has ever talked about story arcs. What’s a story arc? It’s when you tell your story in stages and keep people hooked in so they want to know what happens next… like a Spanish soap opera. I’ve used story arcs but not in any conscious way. Boy is that gonna change. Watch out Facebook!

Here’s a biggie: You are not permitted to download and share an image on your page if you don’t own it! That means, don’t share e-cards, don’t share images you’ve downloaded from Google etc etc. You can, however, share images that other people have downloaded through the share button. Hmmm. Seems an inconsistency there, but that’s the work around. We were told, under no uncertain terms that Facebook will be cracking down on copyright violations in the coming few months. The lesson here: take photos and share them. Create your own images and share them.

Adding milestones is good for your page engagement because they are highly shareable. I think I’m going to have to go through my pages and add all the significant events and dates. How about you?

With the People Talking About This score: Nick recommended pages aim for about 1/4 of their overall “likes”. Buying or harvesting fans is a waste of time and businesses should be focusing on attracting potential clients who want to buy! Really? I had no idea!

Okay, well that’s enough for now. I’ll blog more about this conference next week but just wanted to give you some of the extra juicy bits.

What are some beliefs you have about Facebook that I can bust/confirm for you? Leave a comment below and let me know.


  • http://www.facebook.com/TeHiku Teowai Ratahi

    Great Post ! Food for thought!

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thank you for your comment Teowai!

  • Cassandra Head

    Thank you for the run down. I had a ticket but had an opportunity to attend a Business Workshop closer to home as part of a 3 week plan so ended up very easily getting a refund. Glad to hear some important points feedback. Thanks for sharing. I will share this as well. :-*

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      I’m sure there will be other opportunities Cassandra. I think they plan on doing these roadshows fairly regularly. It was also a great opportunity to hear from some local talent.

  • http://twitter.com/karengunton karen gunton

    thanks for this cas! i particularly appreciated the inclusion of the reminder about creating your own images! not only is it a copyright infringement to upload someone else’s image, but creating your own images to communicate a message about your biz means that you get to brand the images to match your biz, build brand recognition, and get traffic back to YOUR page (instead of sending it somewhere else by only sharing other people’s images.) anyhow – as you can see this is a big passion of mine, so i am so glad to have yet another little bit of proof to share with my readers. =)
    i would LOVE to hear more about the concept of story arcs. perhaps you could expand on it for us in a future post?
    =) k

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Yes, I’m planning on doing a whole blog post dedicated to story arcs in the next few days. Keep an eye out! Thanks for your comment Karen! Love your work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Chambfam Andrea Chamberlain

    Thanks Cas!! I will keep going, there are some great points, although my interaction is not bad, I can see some room for improvement using the points. My question would be is there any difference if you post as personal and share from there or post straight as business. I just wondered if the extra interaction will help with being seen.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      From what they were saying it’s better to post and respond to comments on other’s pages as your business.

      • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

        In saying that, I think it’s good practice to first introduce yourself on someone’s page as yourself and not say “newest liker from @….”. To me, that’s just plain rude.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sallythibault Sally Thibault

    Hi Cas, Thank you so much for sharing those ‘gems’. I am with you – there seems to be so much that even the Facebook marketing gurus are not sharing.. Love the idea of a story ‘arc’, fabulous.

    I find the whole ‘Edgerank’ thing really interesting. I was following a huge blog post this morning by Mark Cuban, that Mari posted on her fan page – and it was all about Edgerank, followed by 39 comments all talking about Edgerank. How funny, is it one of those ‘because it was on facebook/twitter it must be correct?

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Yeah, I think it might be Sally! Nick said that if it’s not on their Facebook page or he hasn’t said it, then it’s not true. I think I’ll stick to that rule from now on.

  • http://twitter.com/isocialize_au Celina Johnson

    Great blog post Cas! I wish I lived closer, would have loved to see it. Next time I’ll have to jump on a plane :)

    It must feel good hearing some of this stuff from the horses mouth. Interesting that pages get 3 warnings too. Looking forward to reading your next post.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thanks Celina! I think they are holding them all over Australia and New Zealand. I’m sure there’ll be another opportunity for you in the not too distant future. Of course, you’d be welcome up here! We’re a fun bunch!

  • http://www.facebook.com/helena.alkhas Helena Alkhas

    Great post Cas! Thank you so much for sharing these nuggets and will be working on them!

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thanks Helena! Me too!

  • Kate

    Thanks Cas – great post!

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thanks Kate!

  • Pingback: Know the rules or risk having your Facebook Page shut down (part 1) « Bright Spark Media – social media and internet marketing strategies for your business()

  • http://twitter.com/motivatingmum Alli Price

    Wow! What a great blog post Cas – packed full of really helpful info. Thanks loads for all that – and for relieving my stress that Hootsuite posts were marked down – cheers! Alli x

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thanks Alli! With Hootsuite, I still wouldn’t share anything but images on Facebook through Hootsuite generally. If you post status updates via Hootsuite they won’t be shareable unless they are an image. I generally use Hootsuite for Twitter.

  • Jodi

    I really appreciate a lot of this info though I challenge the statement that Fb warns you three times before removing a page. Not so. My nonprofit’s page was removed without warning and was gone for 10 days this past August. Your only formal recourse is to fill out forms, which I did 2 or 3 times a day, every day. I left pleading vm messages for sales people in Fb’s advertising department who, ironically, had called me during the fiasco. It was only with the help of a SM expert and blogger I follow that we were able to recover our page. If she hadn’t intervened on our behalf I don’t think we would have gotten it back. It was a nightmare.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Hi Jodi, so sorry to hear your page was suspended/removed. There is a difference between suspension and removal of your page. You can definitely be suspended without warning. It happened to one of my admins once for “liking” too many comments too quickly.

      Also, the warnings for minor issues (not page removal) that cause you to be suspended can be easy to miss as they aren’t official emails or anything, just little messages that pop up when you try to do something. I only know this because, waaaaaay back when I had two profiles and went to consolidate them, I messaged friends on one profile by cutting and pasting the same messages, to let them know I was consolidating my profiles. I was warned but didn’t understand what the heck it was all about and by the time I realised what was triggering it, I had been suspended from messaging for 2 days.

      That said, I would be happy to refer your comment on to Nick Bowditch and see what he has to say. He was absolutely adamant that pages weren’t being banned permanently without warning.

      Did you find out what triggered the removal?