Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’
Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Friday, August 15th, 2014
Image courtesy of Fredrik Rubensson/Flickr.
If you’ve been using social media for a while, you are at risk of falling into one of a few common pitfalls. Many businesses find that they start posting the same kind of content over and over, stop attracting new followers and even that their posts are being ignored.
So how do you avoid these problems? By making sure your social media strategy and accounts stay fresh and current. There are some sure signs that your social media strategy needs a boost and that it’s time to make some changes to keep getting great results.
Your Growth is Flat Lining
One of the first sure signs that your social media strategy needs an update is that your accounts aren’t growing anymore. If you aren’t gaining new followers, something isn’t right when it comes to the content you are sharing or the way you are reaching out to your market.
It’s important to track what tactics work when it comes to growing your social media accounts. If you can, look back to when your account was growing and what you were doing to get those results. Also look for new ways to attract more people to your accounts and encourage them to connect with you.
Interaction has Decreased
Social media accounts that spur comments, shares, interaction and website traffic bring the best results. If you have noticed a decrease in engagement, it’s time to give your social media accounts a boost.
Experiment with different types of posts, reach out to others, join groups, start conversations and work to make social media a two-way conversation between you and your market.
Your Accounts don’t Reflect your Current Brand
Another sure sign that it’s time to update your social media accounts is if they no longer reflect your brand. Businesses, products, brands, areas of focus and markets all evolve over time, and your accounts should keep up with these changes.
Make sure your pages are branded with your current look, logos and colours and then assess the content you are sharing and the types of posts you are publishing to make sure they are consistent with your branding strategy.
You are Behind on Social Media Trends
How closely do you follow social media trends? It’s not always wise to jump on the latest trend just because everyone else is doing it, but it is important to keep up with things so you can take opportunities that will help your social media marketing, and entire business, grow.
Watch what new social media networks become popular, how people (especially in your market) use different sites, what kinds of new features are added, what kinds of advertising options are offered and other trends so you can find ways to make sure your accounts are up to date and you are taking advantage of every opportunity to reach your market.
It’s important to make sure your social media accounts and strategies are current and are helping you be as successful as possible. If you recognise any of these signs, it’s time to give your accounts a boost.
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Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Image courtesy of Courtney Dirks/Flickr.
New social media sites are always popping up and the sites that are popular this year may not be as popular next year. But, before you open an account on any new social media site, whether it’s new or not, use this checklist to make sure you are setting yourself up for success.
Decide if the Network Matches your Market and Goals
Not every social media site is right for your business. Do your homework to find out if the people you are targeting use the site. You can do some quick research by looking into the site’s user demographics or go a little further by conducting some surveys.
Also consider whether the site and its features can help you meet your goals. For example, Instagram is a great choice for a business that wants to visually promote products while LinkedIn is a good choice for a business that wants to use long form content.
Set up your Bio, Description, Links and other Settings
Set up your account and make sure things like your bio, description, links and other settings are all complete. Take advantage of things like profile pictures, backgrounds and other features to brand your page so it looks like it belongs to your business.
Explore the Features
Take some time to explore all the features on the site. Look for things like posting options, notifications and extra features for businesses you can use to get even more out of the site. You may also consider looking into advertising options you can use later if the site is successful in helping you reach your market.
Start Posting Quality Content
Once your account is set up and your page looks branded, it’s tempting to start promoting it and building a following. But, before you do that start posting updates and sharing content so your account looks active and valuable before you actively promote it.
This simple step can help you gain more followers and avoid turning off users who take one look at your empty page and decide not to connect with you.
Interact with Others
As you start posting content, interact with other users on the site. Leave comments, join conversations and start connecting with others. This will help you start to build the foundation of your account so you will have some activity and a good start before you officially launch it.
Of course, as you start to interact with others you will probably begin to attract followers. This is great and a good way to begin building your audience.
Promote your Account
Once your account is completely set up and you have shared a few weeks’ worth of content or posts, you can start promoting your account and actively generating a following. By now, your account will look active and users will recognise the value it brings.
Add a “follow me” button to your website and promote your new account through your blog, other social media accounts and any other marketing channels you can.
Whenever you start using a new social media platform you need to do so strategically. Start by making sure the site is a good match for your market, business and goals and then lay a foundation with a complete profile and some quality posts before you start promoting it.
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Image courtesy of Master OSM 2011/Flickr.
Facebook advertising can be a valuable part of your social media marketing strategy if you use it right. All of your ads need to be strategically planned so they will resonate with your market and encourage people to click on them.
But, there are some extra tips you can use to make sure your ads are more than good; to make sure they are great and bring the best results possible.
Test Different Ad Types
There are four main types of Facebook ads: sidebar ads, mobile app ads, sponsored stories and video ads. Not only can each of these styles help you frame your message and calls to action in a different way, but they could also each help you reach a different segment of your market. Test different types to find out which ones work best for your business.
Explore Facebook’s Options
Facebook offers advertisers a lot of options when it comes to designing and targeting ads. Explore those options and experiment with different settings to make sure your ads are successful and to find new ways to reach your market.
Use Text on your Images
Enhance the images you use on your ads by overlaying text. This is a great way to make an announcement, spread your message and increase brand awareness. Facebook requires that any text used on images takes up 20 percent or less of the total image space.
Use Action Words
All of your ads should include a call to action and the best way to make sure it is clear and strong is to include action words. Ads with words like “subscribe,” “buy,” “sample,” “download,” and “sign up” are more likely to lead to responses than ads without action words.
Keep Design and Text Simple
Don’t try to cram too much into your ads. Instead, stick with simple images and clean designs that attract attention and convey your message simply and quickly. Ads that are too busy can be overwhelming and users might actually ignore them.
Don’t just stick with the same ads, rotate the styles, messages and links you use for better results. Of course, you can always do this manually, but you can also use Facebook’s settings for automatic rotation.
Don’t just tell your market what you are selling; tell people what benefits you can provide. Talking about how your product can help people or how your service can do something your market doesn’t want to miss out on will capture attention. This technique can also help you increase your click-through rate as people will want to find out how they can get all the great benefits you are offering.
To get the most out of Facebook advertising, you need to start with targeted and well-designed ads. Then, experiment with different designs, Facebook’s settings and different types of ads to find what works best for your market. Keep these tips in mind as you enhance your campaigns and start new ones.
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Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
Image courtesy of Flazingo Photos/Flickr.
It’s hard to stand out on social media these days. With so many people using it and so many posts being shared, social media is full of content and some businesses find that their posts are being skimmed over or even ignored.
Social media can be a powerful marketing tool if you can stand out and capture your market’s attention. All good social media strategies start with quality content. From there, there are some simple things you can do to stand out on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Remember that Less can be More
Use short, to-the-point posts to get people to stop scrolling through their news feeds and read your posts. In some cases, less can be more. Instead of posting long, wordy status updates, stick to just a few sentences.
This is especially easy to do when you post a picture or a link to content. Use just enough text to lure people in and get them interested enough to click the link.
Use Bold and Interesting Images
Pictures can help you accomplish things and convey messages in ways words can’t. They can also help you get people’s attention and make them curious enough to read your post or the content you link to.
Use images that are bold, interesting, funny, entertaining or that give your audience a new look at your business or products. These kinds of pictures can help your content stand out among all the other social media posts.
Offer Quick, Valuable Posts
Offering value is a great way to get your market’s attention, but on social media you need to do it quickly. Creating posts that provide instant value will help you reach more people and could even help you gain more followers and get more social media shares.
Some simple ways to do this include offering a coupon, announcing sale dates, linking to a how-to video or otherwise providing value in just a few words or one sentence. This tip is similar to the idea that less is more, but takes things a little further by introducing real value to a short post.
Incorporate Two-Way Communication
Don’t just use social media to talk about yourself and at your market. Instead, talk about others and talk with your audience. Do this by commenting on posts, joining conversations and even mentioning and tagging others in your posts.
These kinds of social media posts are more dynamic and interesting because they aren’t fully self-promotional and they make it easy for others to get involved.
Don’t Over Post
Lots of businesses are tempted to post to social media accounts too often. Yes, you do need to post frequently and stay consistent, but don’t spam your followers. If you over post, you could lose followers and people may start to ignore your posts because they are so frequent.
On the other hand, when you post regularly but not too often, your posts will stand out on news feeds and people will be more likely to pause and read what you have to say.
Standing out on social media so your market will see and interact with your posts is important if you want to use your accounts to promote your business. These simple tips are things you can start implementing right away to see better results.
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Friday, July 25th, 2014
Image courtesy of Adam Fagen/Flickr.
A few days ago, Facebook announced some platform policy changes and one of those could affect your social media marketing strategy. Businesses will no longer be able to use like-gating to incentivise people to “like” their Pages.
What is Like-Gating?
According to Facebook, like-gating is the practice of requiring a user to “like” a Page before he can see some content or view specific tabs or applications. In other words, it’s the tactic of forcing people to “like” a Page before they can see exclusive content.
Businesses used like-gating as a way to build their Facebook following and increase their reach so that when they post content more and more people would see it.
What’s so bad about Like-Gating?
Facebook has explained that it is banning the tactic because it leads to inflated numbers of “likes.” The company said: “To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.”
In the end, this will be good for your business because it means that the people who “like” your Page are more likely to do so because they have a genuine interest in your business. These are the people you want to target because they probably fall into one of your target markets and it will be easier to convert them from Facebook fans to customers.
Can I still Incentivise People for “Likes?”
This new ban doesn’t exclude all incentives. Your business can still require people to “like” your Page before they enter a promotion, login to your app or checkin at a place. So, even with the ban, you can still encourage people to “like” your Page if you are offering them some value other than exclusive content.
What should my Business do?
Always follow the site’s rules and guidelines when you use social media. If you are currently using like-gating tactics to encourage people to “like” your Page before they can see exclusive content or access some tabs on your site, you will have to find other ways to build a following.
However, you can still ask people to “like” your Page before they enter a promotion, login to an app or checkin at a place on your Facebook Page.
In short, this policy change means businesses will have to start working harder and smarter to get more “likes” for their Pages. The best way to do this is to offer quality content and make your account one that people in your market will want to follow so they don’t miss out on the latest news, tips and information from your business.
As you do this, you will find that your Facebook audience will become more valuable. The people who will “like” your Page will be those who are genuinely interested in connecting with your business and who are more likely to be the people you are trying to reach with your Facebook marketing strategy.
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Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Image courtesy of Scott Beale/Flickr.
Two new numbers, from Facebook and Shareaholic, show that Facebook is gaining more value as a marketing tool for businesses. We already knew that Facebook is an invaluable part of Internet marketing, but these new studies show that despite some rumours, Facebook is still a great promotional tool.
More Daily Users
Facebook announced that it has had a 19 percent increase in daily users since last year. The site has 829 million users. This statistic shows that although some have speculated that Facebook has reached its peak and is declining in popularity, it has more daily users.
People are still using Facebook, and according to the study, they are logging in frequently. People still use it as a way to connect with friends, share content and socialise.
Your business would be missing out on a lot of social media marketing benefits if you decide to skimp on Facebook marketing. A strong social media strategy and Facebook ads can help you reach a large portion of your market, raise awareness and promote your products.
The Most Social Referrals
The Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report found that the amount of Facebook referral traffic has also increased. Over the last few months, the traffic took a minor dip, but is now higher than it has been since March.
This month, Facebook was responsible for 23.39 percent of social media referral traffic. In March, it was responsible for 21.25 percent, and in both April and May, it accounted for about 18 percent of social media referrals.
These statistics tell us that while more people are using Facebook daily, more people are also clicking on the links being shared. When you promote your website and blog on Facebook, there’s a good chance that you’ll drive more traffic to your site.
But, that’s not the only thing this study found. According to the research, Facebook brings more social media referrals than Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined!
Pinterest brings 5.72 percent of referrals while Twitter brings 1.03 percent. All the other sites mentioned above each brought less than 1 percent of the referrals.
Start Leveraging Facebook
Since Facebook’s daily users are increasing and it has the potential to refer a lot of traffic to your website, your business can’t risk not including Facebook as an integral part of your Internet marking and social media strategy.
So, how do you start harnessing the power of Facebook? There are so many features you can use to your advantage to make it a stronger part of your marketing plan.
Some places to start include:
- Branding Your Page
- Building an Active Following
- Sharing Content Strategically
- Using Well-Targeted Ads
Facebook remains an important part of the social media marketing world and when you use it to help you promote your business, you are getting your brand in front of more people and working to drive more traffic to your site. As you build this presence, you will benefit from increased brand awareness, more sales and customer loyalty.
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Friday, July 18th, 2014
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Most businesses use social media to promote their blog and website. Sharing content here will help you drive traffic to your site where you can convert visitors to customers and even increase your search rankings.
But, simply copying and pasting links from your website to social media can get stale. It’s okay to post links, which on some sites let you automatically show a preview of your content, but when this is the only way you share your content, you aren’t using social media to its fullest potential.
With some creativity and by using some different approaches, you can update your social media marketing strategy to get your market’s attention and see even more social media referrals.
Post a Teaser
One of the most basic ways to generate interest in a link is to post a teaser. Copy and paste a sentence or two from the post itself or write a short blurb that gets people interested enough to want to click through to the content.
An example of a good teaser for an article about how to choose the right laptop would be: “We compared the top five selling laptops to help you decide which is right for you!”
Promise a Benefit
With so much content out there and with so many things to look at and do on social media, people need a good reason to click on your link. If social media users don’t see value in what you are offering, they won’t visit your site.
A post that says something like, “Don’t waste your money on the wrong laptop! Our comparison chart will help you find the perfect fit for you,” tells people what benefit your content provides: advice on how to save money.
Ask a Question about the Content
People like to give their opinion, so ask for it! When you post a link to your content, ask people a question about it. This makes them curious about what is in your content while also encouraging engagement and comments.
When you post a link, ask a question like “Have you tried any of the laptops on our value comparison chart? What do you think? Did we get it right?” This does two things. First, it makes people want to look at your blog post and chart and also encourages them to leave a comment on your social media post or blog post.
Give a Hint
Giving a hint is similar to posting a teaser, but it provides less information and tempts people to click on your link to find out what it’s all about. For example, write a post that reads something like “You will never guess which laptop came out on top in our comparison of the most popular models!” This hints at what your content is all about but doesn’t give too much away so people will still want to visit your site.
Sharing content on social media is a great way to drive traffic to your site and interact with your market. When you use more creative ways to post and share, you will stand out on social media and see even better results.
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Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Facebook has announced that it’s testing a new feature that will let users buy products from businesses directly through the site or mobile app. This addition has the potential to make increasing sales through Facebook easier for businesses and could increase conversion rates for ads and posts.
What we Know About the Feature
We don’t know very much about this new feature yet, except that it will add a “buy” button to some Facebook ads and posts. This way, people can buy products through Facebook without leaving the site or app.
Facebook explained that the payment will be secure and users will be able to store their credit card information on the site or check out without saving payment information. It also states that payment information used on Facebook won’t be shared with other advertisers.
According to the announcement, the feature is currently being tested with some small and medium-sized businesses in the United States. Facebook says it will be assessing feedback, so it may be safe to assume that if the feature works well it could be available to businesses everywhere.
You can find out more about the test on the news section of the Facebook for business website.
How Businesses will Benefit
While this new feature hasn’t been expanded for all businesses and Facebook advertisers, it is an interesting development that could benefit your business later. Facebook seems eager to stay relevant and to entice more businesses to use the service and buy ads. If the tests go well, and the new feature is unrolled for all businesses, you could use it as a major part of your social media marketing campaign.
The addition of the “buy” button would give you a way to include a very visual and clear call to action. When you advertise products or just post information about them to your page, you could make it much easier for people to make a purchase.
Conversion rates could increase because making purchases would be faster and easier and customers could buy things as they use Facebook. People may be more inclined to make spur-of-the-moment purchases, especially if they don’t have to stop what they are doing.
Currently, advertisers can include links to their website and product pages, which makes it easier to convert people into buyers, but does require some extra work. The ads need to be enticing enough to convince someone that they are worth clicking on and exploring further. With the new button, some of that inconvenience could disappear.
How to Make more Sales Now
In the meantime, you can make sure your ads and posts are as optimised as possible to increase sales. Start by using ads that are appealing to your target market and make the shopping experience better. Link directly to a page where users can make a purchase and make sure the checkout process is easy.
To enhance your page, work to build a following of people who are likely to become customers and then post strategically so people will be interested in visiting your website where you can convert them to customers.
We’ll keep an eye on this test and keep you posted as it develops and if it becomes more widely available to businesses.
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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
Image courtesy of Goldy/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Getting more engagement on your social media accounts can increase brand awareness, boost sales, drive traffic and encourage customer loyalty. Many businesses are constantly looking for ways to get more “likes,” comments and shares on social media.
To get the best engagement and see long-term benefits you will need to use some strategic social media marketing plans. But, here are seven quick and easy ways you can start getting more engagement today to jumpstart your accounts.
Start Asking Questions
One of the quickest and easiest ways to start getting some engagement is to ask questions. Ask for product feedback, opinions, reactions to events or responses on anything that will interest your market. People love to talk, especially about themselves, so use this to generate some responses and conversation.
Participate in a Group or Community
Groups and communities are the perfect place for conversation and interaction and can even help you gain more followers. Find groups that are related to your industry or community and that are likely to attract people who would also be interested in your business. Join existing communities or set up your own groups and start inviting people to join them.
Mention and Tag other Users
Generate responses and conversations by mentioning and tagging other users. Do this with a status update or by sharing content from another business and giving it credit. When you mention others in your posts, they will be more likely to respond, starting a conversation, or even share your post with their followers, helping you reach a larger audience.
Start a Conversation
Start a conversation by asking another user a question or commenting on someone’s post. As you start a conversation with someone else, other users may also join in and before you know it, you will be involved in a conversation with a group of people and eliciting all kinds of engagement.
Post Something Different
If your followers are used to the types of things you post and are no longer interested in interacting with them, change things up. You may want to make some permanent changes to your overall social media strategy, but you can test some different tactics by posting something new.
Post something that is different from what you normally post and go with something funny, entertaining, touching, amazing, awe-inspiring or even controversial. Sometimes all it takes to start generating more comments and interaction is a small change in what you post.
Crowdsource Something Simple
Crowdsourcing something simple, like a photo caption, is a great way to get people talking and involved with your brand. Other ways to do this include asking people to vote on a new blog design, asking people to comment on which of your products they like best, using fill-in-the-blank posts or asking for photo submissions. This tactic is similar to asking questions, but it involves more creative interaction.
Do a Giveaway
Giveaways are popular on social media and they are an excellent way to gain new followers, get comments and encourage people to share your posts. Make sure the giveaway is for something your market values and that it requires people to somehow interact with your brand on social media.
All of these tactics can help you generate more interaction on your account right away. Start using these tips and then when you find what works for your market, consider changing your social media marketing strategy so it will be more effective.
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Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Increasing brand awareness through social media isn’t a unique goal. Many businesses use social media, and other forms of Internet marketing, to make their brand, business, products and services more recognisable.
When your market knows who you are and what you provide, you can increase sales, become an industry leader and build trust with your market, which will help your business grow. With just a few easy tactics you can start building this kind of awareness through social media.
Ad campaigns are a great way to promote your business and attract new followers on social media. Design a campaign specifically for people who don’t already know about your business or who have a very limited knowledge of what you do. The ads can be used to drive traffic to your website, increase sales or build your social media following.
Your social media campaign should give you direction and purpose. It should help you avoid random or unorganised posts and messaging. Make a plan that outlines what you want to tell people about your brand and what kinds of actions you want people to take, and then make sure your posts will help you accomplish those goals.
Develop a Personality
Part of your brand is your personality. Clearly define if your brand is fun, spontaneous, professional, casual, friendly or serious and then make sure that personality shows through on your social media profiles and posts.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and post monotonous content or updates that are dry and lack feeling and personality. Break out of this by becoming more human and conversational on social media.
Social media is meant to be conversational, so talk to your followers! Accounts that respond to questions, ask for feedback and interact with others attract more followers. Having conversations can also help you get in front of more people and build your social media presence.
Some easy ways to have conversations include:
- Asking Questions
- Thanking Customers for Feedback
- Commenting on Customers’ Posts
- Interacting with other Businesses
- Responding to Comments on your Posts
- Giving Shout Outs to Partners or Community Members
- Thanking Customers
As you start having conversations it will become a habit and before you know it your accounts will be a hub for your customers and draw the attention of people who haven’t heard of your business.
It’s hard to establish a brand and increase awareness when you aren’t consistent. As you start to include these strategies in your social media plans, be consistent. This means posting regularly, continuing to have conversations and maintaining your presence.
When you are consistent you will establish your place on social media and you’ll become part of larger conversations. You’ll also be more visible to other users, which will help you raise brand awareness.
Using social media is a great way to increase brand awareness and by adopting just a few habits and making sure you are using your accounts strategically, you can inform your market about your business and grow your customer base.
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