Posts Tagged ‘Facebook marketing’
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Facebook has unrolled a new feature: the ability to comment on posts from Bing search result pages. When a Facebook user searches for a term, Bing displays relevant posts from the user’s friends on the right-hand side of the page, where searchers can now add a comment. Another new feature is the ability to add a new Facebook post from Bing.
Last year, Bing added social search results from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, but today is the first time users have been able to interact with those results from Bing. For users to use the new features, they will have to login to Facebook through Bing.
Are Social Results Helpful?
Social search results aren’t anything new; Google has been offering it for years. But, how useful are these results? If someone is searching for information through a search engine, does he care what his friends think?
There may be cases where social search results are helpful, but it may be more likely that the results are more for fun, adding a new dimension to social media. However, even if a searcher doesn’t think he cares what his friends have to say about a topic, he may still see related posts and be influenced by them.
Studies have shown that people value their peers’ opinions. When someone’s friends are all talking about a new product, that person is bound to become interested as well. People’s friends and family members also have a tremendous influence on one’s decisions.
For example, if a searcher is researching a product, and sees a post from a close friend that speaks highly of the product, the searcher is more likely to purchase that item.
How Can Marketers Use the New Feature?
Perhaps the biggest way your business can use Facebook and Bing’s new feature for your marketing campaign is to bolster your social media marketing efforts. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and with social search results, it becomes even more powerful. Knowing that your target market may see social media posts that mention your brand when they use a search engine, you can make an effort to create more of a buzz about your business on social media. As more of your customers post about your company, your business will be more likely to appear in social search results.
Encouraging customers to post positive messages about your business, products, services and events can have a big impact on your overall success. Taking advantage of this feature can help you leverage people that are influential over your target market, so you can gain more customers.
Another benefit of this feature is that it adds one more way companies can earn search engine results. If you are using a search engine optimisation campaign, you can add this feature to your list of tools that can help you earn higher rankings. While these rankings may not directly bring traffic to your website, they can help raise awareness about you brand and spur people to seek out your company.
Facebook and Bing have worked together in the past to bring new features to users, and this latest update is just another example of how the two companies are influencing the way social media and search work. Your business can take advantage of this feature by recognizing that your social media presence is growing increasingly important, that you can leverage comments from influential people and that you now have one more way to gain search rankings.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
What kind of social media marketing does your business use? Do you use paid marketing or do you use social media in the more traditional way, writing posts, adding pictures and connecting with other users? Both of these approaches can be very successful ways to market your brand, and each has its pros and cons.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Paid social media marketing encompasses any social media marketing tactic you have to pay for. Some common examples include:
- Promoted tweets and posts
- Social media ads
- Sponsored posts
- Promoted accounts
Businesses that use paid social media often do so with very specific goals in mind. Sometimes these goals include raising awareness, but more often paid social media is used to drive traffic, promote an event, gain customers, publicize a contest or generate leads.
One of the main advantages of paid social media marketing is that your content is almost guaranteed to be presented to your target market. Most social media networks allow advertisers to select specific demographics, allowing them to control where their content goes.
The downside to this is that some users are wary of ads and don’t respond to them at all. Some members of your public may be less likely to trust ads than they would be to trust traditional social media posts.
Traditional Social Media Marketing
For the sake of this post, traditional social media marketing is defined as tactics like status updates, pictures, comments, responses and social media shares. This type of marketing is similar to the way social media is used by your target market, except you should have a strategic campaign behind the way you use your accounts.
Traditional social media marketing allows your business to have conversations with and interact with your market. As customers or potential customers comment on your content or ask questions, you are able to respond. Paid social media marketing doesn’t allow for this.
Using social media this way is also more natural and may be more effective for an audience that is prone to tuning out advertisements and content that is too sales oriented. With traditional social media marketing, your brand can become part of larger conversations and a community, which can be extremely beneficial.
Much of marketing and sales is based on relationships. Traditional social media marketing allows for the growth and fostering of these relationships. If you are seeking to add a level of transparency or approachability to your company, these kinds of tactics can help.
However, traditional social media marketing often takes more time and requires you to work harder to build an audience and to get your message to the right demographic.
The Best of Both Worlds
Most businesses use a combination of paid and traditional social media marketing. Both strategies have their place and both have strengths and weaknesses that can compliment each other. According to Nielsen, advertisers and agencies use the free social media tools slightly more than they use the paid tools. But, 64 percent of these businesses plan to increase their social media spending in 2013.
The way you use social media marketing to promote your brand will depend on your business and your goals. As you decide what kinds of results you want to get from your social media involvement, you can decide if paid or traditional social media marketing is best for you.
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Image courtesy of Jason Howie/Flickr.
If your business doesn’t use social media marketing or if it is not using it very successfully, it can be overwhelming to try to build an online presence. Some businesses are tempted to start using all social media channels available, only to find that their efforts aren’t paying off.
By strategically implementing a social media marketing plan, you can make sure you are using the channels available to you to their fullest potential and reaching your target market with the correct message.
Prioritize Social Media Networks
Not all social media networks lend themselves to all businesses. It’s very likely that there are two or three networks that are better for your business than others. Consider your business goals, where your target market is likely to be, and what kinds of messages you want to send through social media. Then, prioritize social networks starting with the ones that are most likely to help you reach your goals.
Start Small and Focused
Start with the first few networks on your prioritized list. Set up complete and optimised profiles for these accounts, post to them often, build a following and engage with other users. You should also promote these accounts on your website and blog and through other marketing channels as appropriate.
The idea here is to build very strong accounts on a few networks and to get very good at using them for social media marketing.
Translate Your Tactics
Once you start to see results from a few social media channels, you can branch out and begin to use others, using some of the same tactics you’ve already practiced. Of course, each channel will require slightly different tactics, but the things you’ve learned about how your company, target market and social media work together can help you be successful on new social networks.
Follow Your Market
As you decide with additional channels to add to your strategy, follow your market. Remember that where your market is and where your business has an online presence need to be the same. For example, just because you build a very strong presence on LinkedIn, that doesn’t mean that you will be able to reach your target market if it is more likely to use a service like Twitter.
Slowly Build a Larger Presence
The businesses that are the most successful on social media slowly build a presence, rather than spread all their resources too thin. By focusing on just a few channels to begin with, and then slowly joining other networks and expanding your social media marketing efforts, your business will gain more from social media. Businesses that try to take on too much in the beginning may have a lot of social media accounts, but they generally don’t have a very strong presence in any of them, meaning none of their accounts are especially valuable in helping them reach their goals.
Creating a strong social media presence that brings rewards takes time. It will take strategy to reach your target market and then build a following and to build accounts that will help your business reach its goals, grow and be successful.
Friday, April 26th, 2013
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Creating websites that are optimised for mobile use is a current marketing trend, and for good reason. More and more people are browsing the Internet from their smartphones, meaning the small screen is an excellent place to reach your target market.
One of the most popular smartphone uses is accessing social media. Fast mobile browsers and various apps make it possible for people to reach out to their friends, post pictures and status updates, and connect with your business, all from the palm of their hand.
Making your social media marketing campaign mobile-friendly is relatively easy, considering the number of social media apps that already format social media sites for a small screen. But, there are still some things you can do to make your campaign more effectively reach a mobile audience.
Use Mobile-Ready Apps and Landing Pages
If you use Facebook apps, make sure they are mobile ready. If a user accesses your app from the Facebook app, and lands on an app that is not optimised for his screen, he’ll likely exit the app.
Likewise, make sure your landing pages are mobile optimised for the same reason. Any page you send social media followers to should be mobile friendly, whether that’s your own site or a landing page.
Keep it Simple and Short
People who access social media from their smartphones are usually on the go. They don’t have a lot of time to read long posts or follow complicated directions. Your social media posts should be short and to the point and your campaign should be designed with this in mind.
Another benefit to keeping things short is that short messages and campaigns are often more memorable than long, complicated ones.
Use the Mobile Aspect to Your Advantage
Since mobile social media use is so popular, you can integrate the mobile aspect into your campaign. Smartphones and apps make it easy to make things like check-ins, photo contests and QR codes a major part of your campaign. You can make mobile work for you by creating a campaign that utilizes the fact that your market is on the move.
Enhancing your social media marketing campaigns by making them accessible to mobile audiences can make your strategy even more effective. Using mobile-friendly apps and landing pages, keeping your messaging short and using the fact that your audience is on the go to your advantage are simple ways you can start mobile optimising your campaign now.
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Measuring social media can be difficult. How do you know how all those posts, shares, tweets and “likes” are impacting your bottom line? While there are lots of ways you can estimate the affect your social media marketing has on your business, one recent study claims to have found the dollar value of each Facebook “like”: $174.17.
The study, by Syncapse, researched how 2,000 Facebook users’ “likes” impacted 20 major brands. It took into account brand loyalty, page recommendations, product spending, media value, brand affinity and acquisition cost. Interestingly, the $174.17 value is a 28 percent increase from the value reported from the same study in 2010.
Syncapse also found that people who “liked” a business on Facebook spent $116 more, per year, on the brand than those who did not “like” it. People who “like” a company on Facebook spent 43 percent more in that company’s industry than those who do not “like” the company. The research also revealed that when a Facebook user believes his or her opinion shapes a brand he or she is more likely to react positively on social media.
How You can get the Most Value for Your “Likes”
So what does this research mean for your company? How can you get the most out of your Facebook “likes?” Perhaps most obviously, the study means your business could see more sales if it is able to attract more Facebook “likes.” Of course, this isn’t the only factor that will help boost your sales, but the research shows that people who “like” your business on Facebook are likely to spend more money on your brand than those who don’t. You could also benefit from “likes” at other companies in your industry.
One of the most important factors in Facebook marketing success is finding the right market. If you are able to find your potential customers and encourage them to “like” your page, this study suggests you will see a change in your sales.
Image courtesy of GOIABA – JOHANNES FUCHS/Flickr.
Getting more Facebook fans can sound easier than it is. To successfully build an audience, your business needs to post interesting and useful information. Social media users are already overwhelmed by posts, pictures and marketing noise, and if you don’t have a good reason for people to follow your brand, they probably won’t.
As the study suggests, showing your social media followers that you value their opinions is extremely important. This strategy can help you gain a loyal following and build a positive reputation. Listening to your market can involve reaching out to potential customers, responding to posts on your social media accounts and asking for your followers’ opinions. Remember, if you do ask for your fans’ opinions, be ready to show your market how you are listening. Even if you aren’t able to implement every suggestion, find other ways to let your audience know you are listing and take their comments seriously.
Facebook, with its huge audience and long list of features, can be a very powerful marketing tool. When you know how to reach your market and make them feel valued, your Facebook marketing can have a direct impact on your business’ bottom line.
Friday, April 19th, 2013
Image courtesy of tungphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Has it been a while since you’ve read the about sections on your social media accounts? When was the last time you changed your profile picture? Business social media accounts need a spring-cleaning every year so they continue to be useful in your digital marketing efforts.
Decide Which Accounts are Worth the Investment
You likely have several different social media accounts; but are you using all of them? Is each account benefiting your business? Hopefully you’ve been tracking your movements and successes on each social media account, but if you haven’t, go back and assess the success of each one. Social media management takes time and resources, and part of your social media spring-cleaning should include deciding which sites are worth the investment.
When you know which sites are helping your business the most, you can put more effort into those ones and slow down on, or even stop using, the others. A word of caution: be very careful if you discontinue the use of a social media channel, as you may abandon or confuse a portion of your target market.
Edit the About Section and add Keywords
The about section on your social media accounts is very important. Read your current description and make sure it accurately portrays what your business does. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated this, the goals or even services at your business may be different.
You should also use keywords in your social media biographies. Not all social media sites are crawled by search engines, but keywords can help users find you within the site.
Upload Branded Images
Some believe you shouldn’t change your social media profile picture often, to avoid brand confusion. Others believe that updating your picture periodically will keep your account fresh and prevent it from fading into the background noise of social media. Only you can decide if you should change your profile picture, but, if your picture is outdated or doesn’t fit with your current brand, it’s safe to say it could use an update.
If the accounts you are using allow for additional pictures, like Facebook’s cover photo or Twitter’s background image, make sure the ones you use speak to your brand. The colors, messaging and type of image should all enhance your business’ social media presence.
Use Every Applicable Feature
Social media sites add new features quite frequently. Look over your accounts and see if there are any features you aren’t using that you should be. If you are able to link to your other social media sites, add any accounts that are missing. Also check to make sure things like categories, business hours and URLs are all correct.
Reassess Your Strategy
Are you using your social media accounts to their fullest potential? Are you successfully reaching your markets and reaching your goals? Now is a good time to reassess your strategy, making changes where necessary to make sure your strategy is as efficient as it can be. Also keep in mind that changes in your services or traditional marketing efforts could trigger a change in your social media marketing strategy.
Spring-cleaning your social media sites can help you decide where to focus your efforts and how to best use your accounts. You can start now by updating your accounts and then making sure you are using all the features that will help you build your online presence.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Image courtesy of Jakob Steinschaden/Flickr.
Rumor has it that Facebook is planning to launch pop-up videos ads at the steep price of $1 million per day. Facebook hasn’t officially announced the feature yet, but Ad Age has reported that the social network has started to offer the ad packages to some agencies.
It is believed that Facebook will offer four daily slots to advertisers beginning this summer. The ads will each target a different, very broad demographic, likely based on age and gender. According to reports, the video ads will be a maximum of 15 seconds long and Facebook is planning to put a limit on the frequency they run, ensuring that no user sees more than three video ads per day.
The video ads will most likely pop-out over the newsfeed and will be on auto play, meaning they will begin playing immediately when a user loads the newsfeed page.
Big Opportunity for Big Businesses
The new ads could be a huge opportunity for some businesses, assuming they can afford the big price tag Facebook is assigning to the ad slots. Big corporations and their ad agencies may jump on the opportunity to have their message shown to a massive audience.
Video ads would give some businesses a distinct advantage over businesses that place regular ads on Facebook, since users can’t help but see the video ads. It is unclear what the format of the ads will be, but if users aren’t able to control the settings or opt out of seeing the ads, the videos could be very powerful.
As of now, the ad slots will probably be targeted at the following groups: women under 30, women over 30, men under 30 and men over 30. Of course, these are very general demographics, but they are demographics that cover most target markets.
Will Users Accept the New Ads
Every time Facebook unrolls a new feature, it seems that users react strongly, especially when that feature has to do with ads. Facebook is becoming more advertising focused, much to the dismay of many users. However, businesses, and Facebook executives, know the value of ads placed on such a huge social media channel, so users are likely to experience even more advertising as more options are made available to advertisers.
The question may be: “How much advertising are users willing to accept?” Up until now, brands have been able to get their messages in front of their markets with sponsored status updates, sponsored “likes” and traditional site ads. But, will they successfully be able to push pop-up videos on users?
Some believe that this move will be a step too far for Facebook. Some claim that people will leave the site, turning to other social media sites that are already becoming popular and have less intrusive ads.
As companies begin experimenting with the ads and Facebook begins presenting users with pop-up video ads from their timelines, the idea will either take off and become the new norm for Facebook advertising, or it will backfire, causing users to leave the site and forcing Facebook to look for new advertising options to increase its revenue.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Real-time marketing is being used by more and more businesses as a way to engage with markets and leverage current events, turning them into marketing opportunities. If the whole point of real-time marketing is that it is spontaneous and dependent on what is happening in the moment, how can you plan for it? How can you successfully use real-time marketing in your business?
Understanding Real-Time Marketing
In essence, real-time marketing consists of tactics that are employed in response to a current event. Sometimes these tactics are aimed at a large audience; think billboards, press releases or social media posts. Other times the tactics are aimed at individuals in the form of customer support or social media comments and responses.
Because social media allows for timely responses and lets companies get a message out to a huge audience in very little time, social media is a popular channel for real-time marketing.
An excellent example of this type of marketing is an image Oreo tweeted during the U.S. Super Bowl. The much-anticipated game was being watched and followed by 108 million people when the power in the stadium went out. The game was delayed for 34 minutes, and Oreo jumped on the opportunity with the following tweet:
Oreo’s well-known Super Bowl tweet.
While this response was spontaneous and wasn’t completely planned, it’s clear that Oreo was prepared to launch a real-time marketing tactic through social media.
How to Implement Real-Time Marketing
You can’t always plan real-time marketing in advance, but you can take steps that will make it possible for your brand to use these tactics when the right time presents itself.
Identify the Best Channels
As with many other marketing strategies, you need to identify which channels will be the best for this type of marketing. Social media is commonly used for real time marketing, but you can also use your blog or even more traditional channels like billboards or press releases. When you have identified the channels you want to use, listen to the conversation or news that is being talked about on that channel so you can identify real-time marketing opportunities.
Be Aware of Opportunities
Being aware of real-time marketing opportunities may be one of the biggest preparations you can make. Know when an event is likely to pave the way to launch one of your tactics and then be ready to act. For example, big events or industry developments can provide opportunities for your business to react with a marketing message. One way to find these opportunities is to follow blogs, news sites and to use Google alerts.
Image courtesy of the waving cat/Flickr.
Have a Marketing Team at the Ready
Just like Oreo did with the Super Bowl, you can have a marketing team ready during previously identified real-time marketing opportunities. During large events, new product launches, or holidays, this team can be ready to deploy a message through the channels you have chosen. Your marketing team can also constantly listen to your channels to watch for and respond to these opportunities.
Engage with Individuals in Public Forums
Real-time marketing doesn’t have to be targeted at huge audience. In fact, some very valuable marketing opportunities happen between a business and an individual. However, in order to use these interactions as marketing opportunities, they must take place in a public forum like social media sites or on your website or blog. Some easy ways to implement this type of marketing include responding to your customers’ questions, responding to comments and thanking people for mentioning your brand on social media.
Real-time marketing can be a fresh way to reach your audience and when done correctly, it can resonate with a group of people. Your business can plan for these tactics by identifying channels, becoming aware of opportunities, having a marketing team at the ready and engaging with individuals in a public forum.
Friday, April 12th, 2013
Image courtesy of Toa55/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Social media is quickly becoming one of the most-used channels when it comes to announcing news. All kinds of businesses, from small start-ups to large corporations are turning to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to announce company news. Is this the path your business should follow?
Who is Your Audience?
If the intended audience for your announcement includes heavy social media users, making your announcement this way could be beneficial. If your market depends on your social media accounts for all the latest information about your business, products and services, making that big announcement online will ensure this audience hears the news.
On the other hand, if the audience for this particular piece of news spends more time reading the newspaper, watching television, listening to the news or tuning in to other marketing channels, you may want to consider making your announcement in a different way.
Is Your Brand Predominantly Social?
If your brand is social, your audience will likely expect announcements to be made through social media networks. For example, if you develop apps, sell software or if most of your marketing is done through social media, an announcement made elsewhere may seem out of place. Considering your brand and the way you market your company can help you decide if making an announcement online will be beneficial.
What Kind of News are You Announcing?
The type of news you are announcing can have a big impact on deciding whether you will announce it on social media or somewhere else. If the news is of interest to your customers, social media may be the right channel. However, if it is aimed at your community, business partners or investors, you may want to consider using a press conference, press release, blog post or company email to make your announcement. Also, keep in mind that some news may not be relevant to the audience you reach on social media, and shouldn’t be announced there.
Will People Miss Out?
If you make your announcement on social media will people miss the news? If the answer is “yes,” and you don’t want that segment of your market to miss what you have to say, social media probably isn’t the best choice for the announcement. If your audience isn’t on social media or doesn’t expect to receive company updates this way, an important part of your market will be oblivious to the announcement.
All things considered, the best route for making company announcements often includes a combination of social media and traditional media tactics. Using several channels will help you reach your entire market and can help your business make industry or local news. Many businesses decide to break news through more than one channel. You may want to use social media first, and then follow up with other tactics. Or, you may want to use all your channels at the same time.
These factors should all be considered when deciding whether making a company announcement on social media is the best decision for your business.
For many businesses, Facebook ads have proven to be very successful. The social media site attracts a huge audience with people in many demographics. If a portion of your market uses Facebook, advertising on the site could be very beneficial to your business.
Setting up a Facebook ad isn’t as complicated as you may think. In fact, you can do it in just five steps.
Prepare Your Facebook Page
If you don’t have a Facebook account, you will need one. If you do, make sure your business page is up to par with posts, updated contact information and recent activity. Establishing your presence on Facebook will help your reputation and marketing efforts.
Set a Budget
The Facebook advertising process includes a unique pay system. Basically, when you run ads the amount you pay will depend on how many clicks your ads get. This is good news for you, because in essence, you’ll only be charged for how much your ads are actually used.
However, you’ll also need to set up a daily or lifetime budget, which is where things can get confusing. According to Facebook, the higher your budget the bigger the audience will be that sees your ad. You will never be required to pay more than the budget you set.
When you start a campaign, it’s important to decide what your budget will be so that you can determine what kind of reach your ads will have and so that you can keep your other business expenses and goals in tact.
Create an Ad and Choose a Target Market
Create an ad that will help you reach your goals and that is in line with your brand image. You should already have a target market in mind when you decide to set up an ad, so now you’ll need to choose that same market on your ad settings. On Facebook, you can choose to display your ad to people depending on their gender, age, location, interests, likes, workplace, education and relationship status.
Create a Destination Page
Your Facebook ad will need to link to another page that users will see when they click on it. Facebook ads can direct people to one of your own, or somebody else’s Facebook pages, apps or events or to an external website. The destination page will depend on the purpose of your ad campaign.
As you decide where to send potential customers when they click on your ad, consider your call to action and make sure it is very easy for them to follow through with it.
Test and Track Your Ads
When you run Facebook ads, you can test different styles and messaging. Facebook’s administration area can walk you through this process. Doing this can help you determine what kinds of ads work well with your market so you can use the channel more effectively. You should also track your ads to find out how many clicks they are receiving.
As you run your ad campaign you can experiment with timing, messages, ad design and markets to find the exact combination that helps you reach your goals.