Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Making your social media accounts more likable, creating a brand personality and connecting with you followers, can help your accounts grow and benefit your business. In general, people are more likely to engage with accounts that start and participate in conversations, that are useful and that are more than tools that push out self-promoting information.
Find Your Voice
Your brand probably already has a voice, but the trick is to find it and use it in social media. Identify whether your voice is casual, authoritative, professional or fun. Many times, brands use a more casual tone when using social media, but that doesn’t mean you should completely abandon your brand. Find an appropriate way to mix the casual tone used on social media with your brand’s voice. Incorporate you chosen voice into your account with your posts and with the type of content you share.
Share what Your Followers Want to See
Find out what kinds of information your followers want to see and are more likely to respond to and then share that type of content. Of course, you still need to share your own content and things that will help you reach your goals and persuade your audience to respond to your calls to action. However, if all of your content is too sales oriented, your account will be less likable. Followers will be less likely to connect with your account and probably won’t interact with you as much as you would like them to.
By openly conversing with your followers, asking questions, responding to comments and listing to input from your audience, your account will become more likable. Fans of your brand and brand advocates like to be heard and want to interact with your business. This strategy also creates a welcoming environment for new followers and creates a positive reputation for your company.
Actively Communicate with Other Users and Followers
It’s easy to become passive on social media, and while there is some merit to listening to your market, being actively engaged with it can help your account be more likable. Seek out and follow accounts that your followers may also be interested in. You can also connect with community accounts or other businesses that you work with. Then, as you form these online relationships you can start conversations, share content and actively communicate with others.
This strategy can help you be more likable on social media because it helps followers see your account as one that is interested in what others have to say. Be cautious though, and only share things that aren’t from your competitors.
By finding your voice, sharing content your followers want to see, becoming approachable and actively communicating on social media, you will be able to make your accounts more likable. More likable accounts will gain more followers, foster more interaction, and will be more effective digital marketing tools.
Monday, March 25th, 2013
Image courtesy of jcburns/Flickr.
Link bait, which is often used in digital marketing strategies, is content that is shared by a brand with the hope that the audience will click a link to view it and share it with others. This strategy is a way to build search engine optimisation links, create a buzz on social media and drive traffic to a company website.
The most successful kinds of link bait is content that is compelling enough for your market to share on their social media accounts or blogs. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what makes good link bait and continue to share mediocre content that doesn’t get shared as much as other types of content. Thinking outside the box and looking for, or creating, content that makes the best link bait can be extremely beneficial to your brand.
Whether you regularly do surveys to study your market or not, you can use survey results as link bait. The types of results that get shared the most are humorous, interesting or surprising statistics. If your company doesn’t have its own survey information, do an informal poll on your blog or social media profile or find some interesting and relevant findings from another source to share with your audience.
Annual Review or Report
While annual reviews may be more popular among your current customers, donors or investors, they can also interest potential customers. Annual reviews can be long and text heavy, so consider sharing just an excerpt or turning some information from a report into a visual representation like an infographic. This approach is a good fit for businesses that sell products or services or that have hard numbers to share.
Videos have the potential to be spread around the Internet in way few other types of content are shared. Instead of going with the expected funny YouTube video, advertisement or product review, give your market an inside look at your business. You can do this by taping a tour of your facilities, interviewing one of our employees, letting people see one of your processes (like packaging products) or announcing news through a video.
Who doesn’t like a free sample? Offering a free online resource, download or tutorial can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. When people hear about your free offer, they’ll likely share it with their friends. You can also maximize exposure by requiring your followers to share a link to your free offer before they can claim it. This tactic is also a good way to build a positive reputation and relationship with your market, who will begin to see you as an industry expert.
Resources for Reference
If your brand can create and share a valuable resource that your audience will want to refer back to, you’ll likely see an increase in traffic. Valuable content is shared more often and gets more views than content that lacks purpose. The content used in your resource will depend on what type of business you have, but concepts that are informational, useful, include training and are detailed are usually well received.
No matter what kind of link bait you include in your strategy, be sure to use it to drive traffic to one of your online properties: your website, blog, social media account or lead collection form, for example. Good link bait is compelling enough to entice viewers to view and share the content and is hosted on, or includes a link to, your company website.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Image courtesy of Michael Dales/Flickr.
Between all the pictures, videos and funny status updates on social media sites it’s easy to forget why you logged in to begin with. While social media can serve as a distraction for your public, if you become distracted while using it for your marketing campaign, you probably won’t be taking full advantage of the medium.
So how do you stay focused and use your company’s social media accounts as marketing tools?
Have a Purpose Before Logging In
Before you even log in to your social media accounts have a purpose in mind. Maybe you plan on sharing a new blog post or posting pictures from your last event. Sometimes your main purpose for using social media is to engage with your audience. While that is a somewhat abstract goal, it is a goal that can help you stay on track.
Set a Time Limit
When you start using social media, look at the clock and decide how much time you’ll spend on your accounts. This tip can do two things: keep you on track and help you save time. If you know you only have 30 minutes to post to your accounts and respond to comments, you’ll be much more productive. Setting aside a set amount of time will also prevent social media from taking up too much time.
Use a Social Media Calendar
Create a social media calendar that can help you stay on track. The calendar can include things like company events, new product launches, promotions, community activities and holidays, and how your social media accounts will work around those things. Some things, like current events and the way your market reacts to your posts or brand, can’t be planned, so leave some space in your calendar to account for these things.
Align all Your Goals
Your social media strategy should have goals that are in line with the rest of your marketing goals. If your strategy is well planned, social media is just one of the tools you are using to improve your business. Remember this and make sure each time you use social media your time is spent working toward these aligned goals. One excellent way to make sure this happening is to include all your marketing strategies on your social media calendar.
Stay on Message
It would be impossible, and likely impractical, to infuse your brand’s message into every single one of your social media posts. However, a good portion of the content you post should include your message and calls to action. Keeping this in mind as you use social media can help you stay focused.
These tips can do more than help you stay focused while using social media for marketing purposes. In fact, when you have a purpose, set a time limit, align your goals and incorporate a calendar and messaging, your social media account won’t be the only thing to flourish. You will likely notice that your digital marketing strategy in general will grow stronger and more focused as you use these tips.
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Image courtesy of Eston Bond/Flickr.
Facebook has announced that a new feature, called Replies, will go live this summer. The feature will allow page administrators and people with popular profiles to reply directly to comments on posts made by followers.
The new feature has been in testing for several months and will soon be available on a few pages before it is officially launched. Along with this feature, the most active conversations will now start appearing at the top of the newsfeed so other users can see them more quickly. The site will also recognize when a user is friends with members of a conversation, and bump that conversation to the top of the feed, since people will likely be more interested in these comments.
Replies Bring A Whole New Realm of Opportunity
Businesses will find this new feature incredibly useful since it adds a whole new mode of communication between them and their markets. The new feature will make it possible for businesses to respond to posts individually, giving a more personal and direct response.
This feature will also help enhance two-way communication on Facebook. At times, it’s challenging to find ways to talk back and forth with followers, and some brands fall into the trap of pushing out content and rarely listening to what their market has to say. This feature will make back and forth conversations much easier.
Is Facebook Behind?
In fact, it seems that this feature is one that Facebook should have implemented a long time ago. With sites like Twitter, Reddit and others that already allow for this kind of direct but public communication, is Facebook behind the times?
Recently, many have speculated on how Facebook will reinvent itself as other social media sites gain popularity and as it seems that the younger, once faithful Facebook market, begins to migrate to other social media sites.
As overdue as this feature may seem, it is a step in the right direction for Facebook. All social media sites must make changes to keep users occupied and to avoid becoming outdated. Since becoming a public company, Facebook must also cater to a new audience: investors and advertisers. These groups are becoming more and more important to Facebook and new features like this will satisfy their need for innovation.
How Will You Use The New Feature?
Your business can use the new feature to respond to followers’ questions, to clarify information and simply to engage at a deeper level with your market. As businesses begin to reply directly to followers, we may discover more creative uses for the feature. For example, you could host a frequently asked questions discussion or even start a thread where users are encouraged to ask your company questions about a new product or ask about new features.
In the coming months businesses will start using the new feature, making them more successful and bringing a whole new world of opportunities for brands and their markets.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
The much-anticipated Facebook update was announced today and includes a major overhaul of the site’s newsfeed. Since Facebook became a public company, rumors have been floating around the Internet that the site would change drastically in order to satisfy investors and make more money.
While the site redesign brings some aesthetic changes, it may also open doors for more advertising opportunities. These opportunities may bring new options to your company’s social media advertising strategy.
This recent update focuses on the newsfeed portion of Facebook. When users login or use the Facebook mobile app the first thing they see is the newsfeed, making this part of the site vital to users and advertisers.
More Than One Newsfeed
With the redesign, users can now choose what kind of information they see on their newsfeed. The feeds can be sorted by posts from certain people or of a certain type. The new feed choices are: all friends, most recent, close friends, music, photos, following and games.
A Focus on Images
Images on the newsfeed will be larger, reflecting the trend of users being more interested in images than text updates. The new feed also has a new look for profile photos, shares, and Pinterest images and includes a new look for the music stream.
The new design is very mobile friendly, and in fact, parts of the design seem to be inspired from the site’s mobile apps. As more and more people access the site through a mobile browser or app, this change makes sense.
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
Business owners and marketers are eager to find out how they will be impacted by changes to one of the biggest social networking websites. Some of these impacts are clear now, but others will come to light as people and businesses around the world use Facebook’s new design.
First, it’s not entirely clear how the addition of multiple newsfeeds will affect business pages. Whether users will be able to more easily block sponsored posts, ads and page updates isn’t clear yet, but it is probably safe to say that Facebook won’t make it harder for advertisers to use the site.
The focus on images means your brand needs to find more ways to create visual content that resonates with your market. You’ll need to include more photos and videos if you want to stand out on the newsfeed page and avoid being buried by others’ prominent visual posts.
There is some speculation that the redesign is making way for new advertising space and opportunities. These opportunities have not yet been announced, but could be in the works. If Facebook is a major part of your social media marketing campaign, your business need to embrace these changes and find ways to use them to your advantage.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Technorati has published its 2013 Digital Influence Report with some very interesting findings. The report covers information about consumer behavior, how brands can create influence and what kinds of media channels are most successful in achieving different goals.
The entire report is 34 pages long and is packed with very useful research digital marketers can use. Some of the significant findings include why consumers follow brands, where content is most likely to be shared and which sites are most trusted by consumers.
Why Consumers Follow Brands
Technorati studied Facbeook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram users to find out why they follow brands. The results were interesting and can help brands better understand how to leverage their social media accounts.
The number one reason consumers follow brands on:
- Facebook is to learn about products and services.
- Twitter is to keep up with activities.
- Pinterest is to learn about products and services.
- YouTube is to learn about products and services.
- Instagram is to keep up with activities.
The most popular reasons for following brands are to learn about products and services and to keep up with activities. By understanding why your target market is likely to follow your brand on different channels, you can use your accounts to fill that need and use each channel more effectively.
The results of this study also serve as a reminder that consumers view different social media sites differently. For example, your market may see your Facebook page as a great place to learn about your products but not the best place to find out about your company’s recent activities. When you understand this concept, you can use each channel to fill those expectations and provide the type of content your market is looking for on each channel, more effectively sending your message.
Facebook is Most Shared From Website
Technorati’s report also found that Facebook is the most shared from website. It beat out blogs, news sites, retail sites, other social media sites, and several other types of websites. Interestingly, brand sites are the least shared from type of website. What does this mean for your business? It means that if you want your users to share content you need to focus on Facebook. Posting interesting and shareable content to your Facebook page may be one of the best ways to leverage online word of mouth and encouraging your customers to act as influencers over their friends.
Facebook Second Most Trusted Behind News Sites
A related finding revealed in the report is that Facebook is the second most trusted site, second only to news sites. This statistic is an amazing finding, considering all the sources that were also studied: retail sites, online magazines, brand sites, blogs and other social media sites.
If your market trusts Facebook more or just as much as news sites your brand has an excellent opportunity to reach its customers. Building trust is essential to a successful digital marketing and social media marketing strategy and this statistic shows that it is very possible to build trust through your brand’s Facebook page.
Knowing and understanding these statistics, and the many others included in the report, can help your brand use social media more effectively.
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
In January of this year, Facebook unveiled Graph Search, which makes it easier for users to find friends, brand pages and businesses. The feature also allows users to search for things their friends have interacted with. A few months after the debut, digital marketers and search engine optimisation professionals are looking for ways to optimize Facebook pages so users can more easily find businesses through Graph Search.
Your can optimize your Facebook page in much the same way you optimise your website and other social media profiles. The following are three easy steps that can help your page get better Graph Search rankings.
1. Include Current and Complete Information
The about section on your Facebook page needs to include current information and needs to be as complete as possible. Include your company’s URL and make sure your page is listed under the correct category.
Listing your URL will help with rankings and may also help increase traffic to your site. Using the correct category is extremely important to making sure your page is included in results when users search for keywords relating to your business.
2. Update Local Information
With Graph Search, users can search for something, like a restaurant, shopping center or any other type of business, in a certain area. If there is an address and city associated with your page, it will be more likely to appear in results for these kinds of searches.
If you can list a geographic location for your business, do so. This will help ensure your business will appear in results when a user is searching for something by area. Including location information, so your audience can easily find your business, is also a good marketing practice.
3. Claim Your Territory
Facebook Places can be created by anyone: you, your marketing team, your fans and even your customers. Facebook Places can be very beneficial as users check in and advertise to their friends that they are using your services.
Business owners can login and “claim” their Place page, giving them more control over the feature and allowing them to better optimise their account. If you chose the local business option when you created your page, Facebook most likely created a Place page for you.
Beyond these three steps, you need to make sure your Facebook page is active and that your fans interact with your posts. An active page will rank better in Graph Search and will benefit your other SEO efforts and brand.
Optimising your business Facebook page has always been important for effective SEO and social media optimisation. However, with the addition of Graph Search, the way a business page needs to be optimised has changed slightly. Use these three steps and you’ll be able to achieve rankings in Graph Search results.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Facebook has expanded its advertising options for business that want to run ads on the site. The change makes it possible for marketers to more easily target their market and even target people based on their Internet browsing habits.
To make the change, Facebook has partnered with Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom and BlueKai. These organizations help businesses target their markets through online ads and email marketing, among other marketing tactics.
New Targeting Capabilities
With the expansion, companies who already work with these four marketing companies can further target their markets on Facebook by using the data the companies provide to create Facebook ad campaigns. Businesses that are not working with these companies will still benefit from the partnership because they will be able to push ads to lists of users categorized by their actions on Facebook and across the Internet.
For example, according to Facebook’s blog post, businesses can now target an audience based on a category like “soda drinkers.” But that’s not all. Companies can also send Facebook ads to users based on what they search for online, such as those users who have searched the advertiser’s site for a specific product.
Will Your Business Benefit?
If your business runs ads on Facebook, you could benefit from this change. The ability to more deeply target your ads could help you reach your target market and even save money. When you are able to target ads to a specific group you will be more likely to reach potential customers than you would be if you sent more generalized ads to a group of people that may or may not be interested in your message.
More accurate advertising options can help you save money. Rather than running several different ads to several different groups, you can use a more narrow approach, using your resources for ad campaigns that are more likely to be successful.
The Privacy Issues
Whenever Facebook makes a change, users worry about their privacy. As with many of the other features the site offers, users can opt out of being included in this type of advertising targeting. This option will be available on ads that are displayed or in the Facebook Help Center. It is important to note that while businesses will have access to lists of people who meet certain criteria, they will not have access to personal information.
It’s likely that some users will opt out, making this feature slightly less effective for some businesses. However, the majority of Facebook users will probably not opt out, meaning their information will be included on categorized lists that can be used in advertising campaigns.
This latest development in Facebook advertising features means businesses will be able to more accurately reach their target markets. If you use Facebook ads, or have considered implementing them, this could be good news for your digital marketing strategy.
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/FreeDigitalPotos.net
Before you start using social media as part of your digital marketing plan you need to do some research. Smart brands do research before implementing any type of social media strategy to find out more about their markets, messaging and reputation.
Chances are your business has already done some market research, so you may already have the information that will shape your social media plan. On the other hand, you may need to do some additional research to get the vital information you need to make your social media strategy as successful as possible.
Find Out Who Your Audience Is
You likely already know who makes up your target market. But, do you know who your audience is on social media? Do some research into which members of your markets will be most likely to connect with you on social media. Also take into account what demographics each social media channel attracts.
Knowing who your social media audience is can help you use the channel more effectively. It can also help you determine what kind of message to use and even which channels will help you reach your goals. Depending on who your audience is, it may not be appropriate to use the same messaging on your brochures and your Facebook page.
Find the Right Call to Action
Consider your company’s call to action and decide if it lends itself to social media. Of course, the call to action you use on social media should benefit your brand’s overall goals, but it should also be social media friendly. For example, your normal call to action may not apply to your social media audience or people using social media may not be able to respond to your call to action.
Do some research to find out how your social media audience will react to various calls to action. You can do some basic research by simply experimenting with different types of posts and monitoring which ones get the most engagement and are the most successful in fulfilling calls to action.
Find Out What Your Current Reputation Is
By finding out what your market, and even the public in general, is saying about your brand, you’ll know how you can use your social media accounts to sway public opinion. Listen to your target market and even ask some questions through social media to find out what people are saying about your brand. Then, take that feedback seriously as you create a social media plan.
Doing research before you start using social media as part of your digital marketing campaign is extremely important. By finding out key information about your audience, calls to action and reputation, and then using that information to make a plan, you will be starting your strategy on the right track.
Does your website have social media buttons? If it doesn’t, it’s time to consider adding some. Social media buttons can be part of your larger digital marketing campaign as a tool for connecting with your market or providing a call to action. There are a few things you should know before you start adding buttons.
Connecting vs. Sharing Buttons
There are two different kinds of social media buttons: connecting and sharing buttons. Connecting buttons are generally used on a home page, major pages on a site, or a site header, and are links to a brand’s social media accounts. Sharing buttons are usually used on content like blog posts, photos or newsletters. Readers can use these buttons to share the brand’s content through their own social media account.
You will most likely want to use both of these button types in different areas on your site. Remember what your calls to action are and decide where you want to communicate with your market.
VisitLondon.com uses connecting buttons in its site’s footer.
VisitLondon.com uses sharing buttons next to information about tourist destinations.
Placement is Important
Where you put your social media buttons is important. You want your readers to see the buttons and use them, but you don’t want the buttons to be a distraction or to cause traffic to quickly leave your site. Many companies choose to put connecting social media buttons near the bottom of their pages. Normally sharing social media buttons are placed near the content that can be shared.
When deciding where to include buttons, keep in mind what you want your readers to do. If you want them to share specific information, then you should highlight buttons near that content. If you want them to spend as much time as possible on your site, and visit your social media accounts as an extra way to connect with you, you may want to burry your buttons a little deeper.
Only Use Needed Buttons with Active Accounts
It doesn’t do much good, in fact, it could do harm, to place buttons on your site that lead to accounts that are inactive. Don’t just open a social media account to have one or so that your button will take readers somewhere. Only use buttons that will take readers to social media site your company actively uses.
Linking to accounts your business doesn’t use won’t be very helpful to your customers or potential customers and it could make you look less credible. If readers see that you don’t post very often, or that the information on your social media profile is out dated, they may not feel your company is a very good resource and may even take their business elsewhere.
Social media buttons can be an important part of a social media or marketing campaigning. Knowing what kinds of buttons you need and where to place them are important to making sure your market responds to calls to action and your campaign is a success.