Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Image courtesy of SimonQ錫濛譙/Flickr.
Facebook has announced a few changes to the News Feed that can help businesses drive more traffic to their websites and strengthen their Facebook communities. While Facebook seems to be unrolling new features and updates on a regular basis, these new changes are especially important to businesses that use Facebook pages as part of their social media marketing strategies.
High-Quality Content to Appear More in News Feeds
The first change Facebook is making will reward high-quality content by allowing it to appear more often in users’ News Feeds. Facebook hasn’t divulged exactly how it will determine what constitutes high-quality content, but it has told us that links that are clicked on more often will be recognised as high quality. So, as more people click on a link, Facebook assumes the content is valuable and high quality.
Facebook’s announcement states that referral traffic from Facebook has almost tripled in the past year, showing that people who use Facebook are clicking on links to high-quality content.
The links that receive more clicks will start appearing for more users, and therefore could drive more traffic to your website. As your business produces and shares more high-quality content, more people will click on it and it will be shown to more and more users, helping you get more traffic to your website.
Related Articles will Be Displayed Below Links
Another new feature that will soon be added to Facebook is related articles. Now, when a reader clicks on a link on Facebook, a list of related articles will appear underneath that post.
As you produce and share high-quality articles, they may appear in this section of related content. This gives your business another opportunity to get your content in front of your markets and drive traffic.
Older Conversations will be Revitalised
Lastly, Facebook has introduced a feature that will bring new life to old posts and conversations. If you feel that your older posts benefit your business for a few days and then are forgotten and buried by your newer posts, this new feature could be a good solution.
Now, posts that have new comments from peoples’ friends can show up in their News Feed again. Before this update, new posts were only featured once in the News Feed, but this update makes it possible to continue older conversations and strengthen social media communities.
As your posts continue to receive comments, they could continue to be displayed in users’ News Feeds, so they can gain more momentum. This update could mean that your posts will get more comments and could drive more traffic to your website, as more people see the links you share.
Facebook continues to be a major tool when it comes to social media marketing and these latest updates will make it even easier for businesses to drive traffic to their websites and build strong Facebook communities.
Your business can start taking advantage of these updates by producing and sharing quality content that your audience will want to click on and comment on, triggering the News Feed algorithm to share that content with even more users and repost it in peoples’ News Feeds.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Image courtesy of Philip Chapman-Bell/Flickr.
With the holidays just around the corner, you may be preparing to set up your social media accounts so they will run on auto pilot while you are out of the office. Many, many businesses use social media scheduling tools to help keep their accounts active and to keep promoting content during holidays and just to help them keep up with their social media marketing.
The problem is, if you rely too heavily on social media scheduling, you risk looking like a spammer. Your followers know when you are simply pushing content on them and aren’t being genuine. Sometimes businesses fall into the trap of sounding robotic, losing touch with their market and becoming less genuine when they use social media scheduling.
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can use scheduling tools to help you keep up with your accounts without compromising your brand and becoming a spammer.
Start Finding and Creating Valuable Content to Share
First, don’t just write scheduled posts at the last minute for the sake of having posts. Start planning in advance by deciding what kind of content you want to share through scheduled posts and start finding it or creating it.
The idea is to be purposeful with your scheduled posts so that the content you share when you aren’t posting live is just as valuable as the content you would normally share. Don’t leave your audience hanging by posting less helpful content just because you are scheduling it ahead of time.
Write Scheduled Posts as if they were Live
Even though you are writing social media posts days or even weeks in advance, write them as if you were writing them to be posted immediately. Use the same style, tone and voice that you would normally use so that your audience can’t tell that you aren’t posting live.
Also be sure to use the correct tenses when scheduling posts. For example, don’t use the future tense unless it will be necessary at the time of the posting. Instead of writing “Don’t miss our holiday sale next week,” write “Don’t miss our holiday sale going on right now!”
Don’t Change Your Posting Frequency
When you sit down to schedule social media posts, it can be tempting to get carried away and schedule more content than you would normally post. If you do this, you will come across as spammy and you could even lose followers.
Instead, maintain your regular posting frequency even when you use scheduling tools. If you normally post three to four times a day, schedule posts to go live three to four times a day.
Check in Whenever Possible
One of the best ways you can avoid making your accounts look spammy when you schedule posts is to check in whenever possible. If you can, don’t rely completely on the scheduler to maintain your accounts for you, but find a middle ground. For example, maybe you can schedule posts that share content, but you can still log in periodically to engage with your followers.
Keeping an eye on your account even while content is scheduled to go live can also help you make sure things are running smoothly. When you log in you can make sure your posts are being shared and monitor activity more closely.
Using social media scheduling tools can help you manage your social media accounts, especially during busy weeks or when you won’t be in the office. These guidelines can help you make sure your accounts maintain their followers, stay active and continue to provide value to your market.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Image courtesy of Emanuel Hallklint/Flickr.
YouTube is a major social media network that can help you build your brand, generate traffic, make more sales and reach other business goals. But, YouTube doesn’t lend itself to every business. The visual aspect and the type of audience the site attracts need to line up with your business and goals in order for you to benefit from it.
How do you know if YouTube is a good fit for your business? If you answer “yes” to these five questions, you should consider adding the site to your social media marketing strategy.
Does Your Business Already use Video?
If your business already produces videos as part of its marketing strategy, YouTube may be a good fit for you. Creating high-quality videos that inspire and move your market is one of the most important parts of using YouTube effectively, and if you have already started producing videos, why not use YouTube to deliver them to your market?
Do You Already Use Social Media Marketing?
You don’t necessarily have to have a strong social media following to use YouTube successfully, but it can help. When you already have a strong and loyal Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or other social media community, you can leverage it to help you get more YouTube subscribers and views.
Are Your Products or Services Visually Interesting?
Businesses that have products and services that are visually interesting generally do better on YouTube. If your business lends itself to how-to videos, product reviews or informational, entertaining or moving videos, you should consider using YouTube.
It may seem obvious, but to get a lot of views and shares on your videos they need to be interesting. If your business or industry isn’t very visually interesting, you may want to pass on YouTube and opt for social networks like Twitter or LinkedIn.
Can You Use Video Creatively while Still Meeting Your Goals?
Your business shouldn’t create videos just for the sake of creating them. If you can creatively and strategically capture your brand, business and products in video format, while meeting your business goals, YouTube could be beneficial to your business.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but only if it is done well. The videos you use need to be of the best quality, portray your brand and speak to your market. If you can accomplish this, YouTube could give your marketing a boost.
Would Your Market Respond to Video Content?
Lastly, if your business can successfully reach its markets through video, encouraging them to respond to calls to action, you should consider using YouTube for social media marketing. As you form your online and social media marketing plans, it is important to make sure you are choosing channels, tactics and strategies that your market will respond to, and if video is one of them, you should consider using YouTube.
YouTube can be an extremely powerful social media network if used for the right purposes and for the right business. If you answered “yes” to these questions, you should consider finding a way to add it to your social media marketing strategy.
Monday, November 18th, 2013
While LinkedIn may not be the first social network that comes to mind when you consider social media marketing, it is one you don’t want to miss out on, especially with this newest feature: Showcase Pages for businesses.
This new feature makes it possible for businesses with multiple products, or brands, to create a page that highlights each one. LinkedIn users can follow Showcase Pages to get updates from businesses. For example, Microsoft has a Showcase page for its Office product, which people can follow for updates specific to Office, rather than Microsoft in general.
But, businesses don’t have to create Showcase Pages for products. They can create them for business units, programs, initiatives or anything else. This feature is slowly being offered to all businesses, so watch for the ability to create a page on your account.
To set up a Showcase Page for your business, log in to LinkedIn and go to your company’s page. Then, choose “Edit” and then “Create a Showcase Page.” From here you can set up a Showcase Page for your business that highlights a specific product or element.
Make sure the information you include on the new page is complete and targeted for your market. Then, share relevant content through the Showcase Page. You will be able to track how well your page is doing through LinkedIn’s analytics tools.
Once your Showcase Page is ready, you can start promoting it to your LinkedIn followers, other social media followers and your market in general. When users visit your page they can click on “Follow” in the top, right-hand corner. People who follow your Showcase Page will see updates from the page on their news feed.
What Showcase Pages Can do that Business Pages Can’t
You may be wondering why you should create a Showcase Page if you already use a Business Page. If your business is large enough to have several different products, sub-brands or major initiatives, a Showcase Page can help you target your market in ways a Business Page can’t.
The more you are able to make sure the right audience sees your content, the people who will respond to it, the more successful your business will be at social media marketing. This new feature lets you target your markets more precisely.
You may also be able to connect with more people by setting up Showcase Pages. People in your target market who aren’t necessarily interested in your business in general may be hesitant to follow your Business Page on LinkedIn. However, they may be interested in following a Showcase Page that provides content that is relevant to them, their interests and needs.
LinkedIn is an excellent social media marketing tool that can help you promote your business and reach your market. If the people in your target market use LinkedIn, you should be using a Business Page, and now you can set up Showcase Pages too.
Start by deciding which products, or elements of your business, you want to create Showcase Pages for and setting up the pages, and then share content and start getting followers!
Monday, November 18th, 2013
Image courtesy of Garrett Heath/Flickr.
Twitter has launched a new feature, called timelines, which will make it easier for users to create streams of related tweets. For businesses that use Twitter to promote their brand, publicise events and connect with their public, this new feature could bring lots of new opportunities.
What is a Timeline?
In essence, a Twitter timeline is a stream of tweets that are all related to each other. A user that creates a timeline will get to decide which tweets are displayed. Right now, users will use TweetDeck to drag and drop public tweets into timelines, but Twitter is testing an API that will allow timeline creators to add tweets according to topic or specific requirements.
How do People View Timelines?
Twitter timelines are displayed on their own page on Twitter, much like a person’s profile page. When you create a timeline, you can share a link to its Twitter page, which people can see even if they aren’t a Twitter user or logged in.
Timelines are also very easy to embed, so you can add them to your website, blog or anywhere else. The embedded timelines are automatically updated as you add tweets through TweetDeck, providing a constant stream of tweets to those who visit your website.
How can I Create a Timeline?
If your businesses wants to set up a timeline, you will need to use TweetDeck. From there, add a new column and select “Custom timeline.” As you find tweets you want to add to the timeline, just drag them into the new column. You can just as easily remove them by clicking on the “X” in the bottom corner of the tweet.
To share the timeline, use the column options and click “Share.” This is where you can navigate to your timeline on Twitter.com or embed it on another site. If you choose to embed it, you can customise everything from the timeline’s height to its colour theme and link colour.
The timeline API is currently being tested, but once it is widely available you will be able to use it to set up logic rules that fill your timeline with tweets.
Why Should I use a Timeline?
The possibilities of Twitter timelines are virtually endless. If your business uses Twitter you should consider whether or not timelines could enhance your social media marketing strategy.
Just few ways you could use the timeline feature include gathering and sharing tweets related to:
- Promotional Events
- News Events
- Product Launches
- Twitter Chats
- Ways to Use Your Products
- Customer Support Topics
- Company Developments
When you use a timeline, you are collecting tweets that can help you keep your market informed. Since you are able to separate these tweets from your regular Twitter feed, using a timeline is much more powerful than simply retweeting related tweets.
Some examples of timelines include Carson’s Voice Timeline created by Carson Daly and Music Superstars created by Twitter Music. The Guardian used a timeline to highlight some questions and answers during a recent Twitter chat.
If you already use Twitter as part of your digital marketing strategies, take advantage of the new timeline feature by using it to keep your market informed about anything from an upcoming event to new product launches.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
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Monday, November 11th, 2013
Image courtesy of Alan Reeves/Flickr.
How do you get more social media followers? You probably use a variety of strategies to get more followers and more “likes” and you work to drive traffic to your accounts. In addition to those strategies, you need to be showing off your social media accounts wherever possible.
There are five main places you need to add social media buttons in order to gain more followers and get more out of social media marketing.
It may seem like an obvious place, but far too many businesses don’t put social media buttons in a prominent place on their website. Keep in mind that your visitors may leave your site when they click on your buttons, but if your goal is to drive people to your social media accounts, this strategy is a good one.
Try putting the buttons near the top of your page, on a side bar or in another area where they can’t be missed. Also be sure your buttons are easy to read so your visitors know what they are.
Each of your blog posts should have links to your social media accounts. Some businesses use buttons that allow readers to share the content on social media, which is beneficial, but it can also be helpful to use buttons that allow readers to connect with you on social media.
Using buttons here will help you target two audiences: the people that visit your blog and the people that see your content through social media, RSS feeds or other means. Both of these audiences can help your business grow if they know you have social media accounts and know how to connect with you.
Your email signature is another important place to include links to your social media pages. When you add links to your Facebook, Twitter, Intagram or other social media accounts, every single person you send an email to will know you use social media and how to connect with you.
But, don’t stop with your personal email account. You should also include social media buttons in marketing emails, promotional emails, email receipts and any other form of email communication your business uses.
Product or Checkout Pages
People who buy things from your business, or your current customers, are likely to want to connect with you on social media. These people probably already like your brand and support your business, so they may want to connect with you to show their support, stay up to date with your business and access and share your content.
Encourage these people to become social media followers by including social media buttons on your product and checkout pages. Then, as customers are browsing your products and making purchases, when they are most likely having positive thoughts about your brand, they can easily find you on social media.
Biography or “About Me” Sections
If you use biographies or “about me” sections, you should include links to your social media pages in the copy or as buttons. These sections are often used for:
- Guest Blog Posts
- Blogs with Several Contributors
- Employee Directories on Company Websites
- “About Pages” on Websites
- Social Media Profiles
- Press Releases
When people read these paragraphs, they want to know more about you or your business, so they will probably be interested in social media accounts that let them interact with you.
The more ways you can spread the word about your social media accounts and show people how to connect with you, the faster your accounts will grow. Start boosting your social media accounts now by adding buttons or links to them in these five places.
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Recent reports have shown that teenagers, who were once one of the biggest groups of Facebook users, are leaving the site in favour of newer social media sites and apps. This means the audience on Facebook is changing, which could have an impact on how your business uses it for social media marketing.
Earlier this month, Facebook made a statement that included the news that Facebook use among teens is declining. Teenagers are tech savvy and are quick to jump on the next new thing. They also make up a very viable market, so the fact that they are spending less and less time on Facebook is big news for marketers.
Why are teens leaving? Many experts are pointing to two reasons: the increase of adults on the site and the need to find more private ways to connect. Trends prove that more and more people in older age groups are joining Facebook, including teenagers’ parents. It’s likely that as their parents join Facebook, teenagers are looking for parent-free social media networks.
Since teens are gravitating toward apps and networks like WhatsApp, SnapChat and Kik, some believe they are also looking for more personal and private ways to communicate with their friends. Instead of broadcasting status updates, messages and pictures to hundreds of friends and acquaintances, teens are looking for ways to share media with friends in small groups or individually.
What this Means for You
According to Emarketer, most Facebook users fall between the ages of 25 and 34, a market that is quite different than the teenage crowd. Facebook’s user base is constantly trending toward an older age group, a fact you should keep in mind as you create social media marketing strategies.
If you already use Facebook, you may need to alter your strategy and messaging so they will resonate with the age groups that are becoming more common on the site. To get more followers and more engagement, and to make sure your Facebook page is benefitting your business, you need to share content and information that appeals to an older audience.
On the other hand, if you have been using Facebook primarily to reach teenagers, you may need to rethink your social media marketing strategy. Realise that teenagers are branching out and using other social media sites more than they are Facebook and that you will need to follow them there.
Reassess your social media marketing strategy and define your goals and which markets you want to reach through social media. Then, make sure you are using the social networks that are most likely to help you connect with those markets.
Some of the foundational aspects of good marketing have always been the ability to reach your target market, capture people’s attention and then encourage them to respond to your calls to action. Social media marketing is the same, and as the user base for various networks changes, your business will need to adapt to ensure it is using social media to its fullest potential and reaching its key markets.
Friday, November 1st, 2013
Image courtesy of Thomas Angermann/Flickr.
If you have a Facebook page and use it to promote your business, chances are that you are working to increase the number of “likes” on the page. Pages with more “likes” often have more engagement and reach a bigger audience, making them more effective marketing tools.
There is all kinds of advice out there on how to get more “likes,” ranging from creating ads to holding contests. While there are many strategies and tactics you can employ to increase your page’s “likes,” the approach you use will depend on your business and market. Here are a few simple tactics that could work for you.
Ask your Market to “Like” Your Page
Leverage your existing audience and market by asking them to “like” your page. Use marketing channels that are already in use, and effective, to tell people about your page and tell them why they should connect with you on Facebook.
There are so many ways you can do this, including through your blog, marketing emails, other social media accounts, newsletters, brochures, banners and more.
Do More than Self Promote
If all you do with your Facebook page is self promote and spam your followers, you won’t build a very big fan base. You do need to use your page to build your business, but make sure you also use your account to listen to your market, connect with others, join conversations and share helpful information. When you do this, you will retain current followers and attract new ones.
Make it Possible to “Like” from Your Website
The easier it is for people to “like” your page, the more likely they will be to do it. Add a button that makes it possible for people to “like” your Facebook page directly from your website. Make it easy to find and consider using it on pages throughout your site and not just on your home page. It’s also a good idea to make sure people can “like” and share your blog posts, which will help you promote your business and page even more.
An excellent way to advertise your page is to let your followers help you show other users why they should “like” your page. When your posts and the content you share on Facebook are so good that your followers share them, you will get more “likes.”
If a follower shares something you post, his friends will see the post and where it came from on their news feed. As people are exposed to your content, and enjoy it, they will want to “like” your page, so they can see even more.
Include Your Link in Marketing Materials
Don’t forget to include a link to your Facebook page in your regular marketing materials. For example, if you send out a weekly email, add a link to your Facebook page so that all your subscribers will see it. Other places you can attach the link include blog posts, email signatures, email receipts or notifications, technical support emails, and any other automated marketing tool you use.
Getting more “likes” on your Facebook page can help strengthen your social media marketing and help your business be more successful. Start using some of these strategies to get more followers and build your Facebook audience.
If you use Google Plus, you no longer have to use a long, confusing URL for your profile page. Google has started offering some accounts custom URLs, which can make your page more memorable and more inline with your brand.
Businesses will qualify for a custom URL if they are a verified local business or if their website is linked to their Google Plus profile. A custom business URL will look like: “plus.google.com/businessname.”
Coach uses a custom URL for its Google Plus page.
If you are an individual, and not a business, you will need to have a profile photo, an account that is at least 30 days old, and at least 10 followers to qualify for a custom URL. Once you meet these requirements, you will get an alert when you login to your account telling you that you qualify for a custom URL that looks something like: “plus.google.com/name.”
This new feature is being made available to users slowly, so keep an eye on your account for a notification letting you know you can update your URL.
3 Google Plus Features You Should be Using
Big Foot Digital’s circles.
Google Plus makes it very easy for you to organise the people you are following into groups, or circles. For example, you could put some of your contacts into a circle called “Local Businesses” and another in a circle called “Industry Partners.” Why would you do this? So that you can easily share different posts and marketing messages with different audiences. This feature makes it easy for you to target different markets on Google Plus.
Xbox has a Google Plus community where its fans can connect and share posts.
Communities are groups of users that join together to discuss certain topics. You can create your own community, about anything you want, and you can join communities created by others. These communities give you another way to make your Google Plus marketing more targeted so you can reach the right people with the right content.
If you create your own community, remember to keep it active by asking questions, interacting with members and inviting others to join. Setting up your own community can be an excellent way to build an online hub where you can interact with your market.
Links in “About” Section
Google Maps includes keywords and links in its “About” section.
Did you know you can actually link to your website from your “About” section? Of course, you should enter your company’s URL into the “website” box, but don’t pass on this additional opportunity to build links!
The best way to take advantage of this is to use keywords, that you are trying to rank for, on your page and then link back to your website or pages within your website. Don’t spam your followers, but don’t be afraid to use a few links throughout this section.
Google Plus is a steadily growing social media network, and now that custom URLs are available, you can more easily brand your page. Features like circles, communities and the ability to link back to your website with keywords make this social media channel a valuable one that you can’t afford to ignore.
If you already have a Google Plus page, set up your custom URL and make sure you are using these feature to enhance your social media marketing. If you haven’t set up a page, now is the perfect time to start building your presence on the site.