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Posts Tagged ‘news’

Don’t fall Victim to Facebook’s Updated News Feed Algorithm

Monday, April 14th, 2014
Image courtesy of Dimitris Kalogeropoylos/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Dimitris Kalogeropoylos/Flickr.

Facebook has updated its algorithm, which determines what appears in users’ news feeds. When you understand how the algorithm works you can better understand how to get your posts in front of the biggest audience and use your account effectively.

This latest update is mostly designed to fight spam, but you should be aware of the changes so your content won’t be targeted.

Don’t “Like-Bait”

In it’s announcement, Facebook warns users not to do what it calls “like-baiting.” This is the practice of asking users to “like,” share or comment on a post. Your business might be doing this in an effort to increase engagement and make your content visible to a wider audience. According to Facebook’s announcement, users find these kinds of posts 15 percent less relevant than other posts.

From now on, these kinds of posts will appear less frequently than posts Facebook thinks are more relevant to a user, like posts from friends and even other pages. Facebook says that it isn’t targeting pages that are genuinely working for engagement, so to make sure your page’s posts are seen, avoid asking for engagement on a regular basis. Instead, ask questions and post insightful content that sparks a natural reaction from users.

Don’t Upload the same Content Multiple Times

Facebook is also cracking down on pages that upload and share the same piece of content several times. Some businesses may do this as a way to make sure more people see their content, but it is a form of spam that users don’t appreciate.

With the new algorithm these pages won’t appear in users’ news feeds as frequently as they used to. Only upload and share each piece of content once.

Don’t Share Spam

Spammers are using a new tactic in an effort to get Facebook traffic. They are sharing links on Facebook that look like they lead to helpful content, pictures, or a high-quality website, but instead, lead to a spammy page or ads. Facebook is using this algorithm update to make these kinds of posts less prevalent on users’ news feeds. Your business should never share this or any other kind of spam on Facebook.

For most businesses, this update won’t make a big impact on the way they use Facebook. As always, the key to success with social media marketing is sharing high-quality content that will benefit your market.

As you do this, be careful not to blatantly ask your followers to “like,” share or comment on your posts too often. This could lead Facebook to flag your content and posts from your page won’t be as visible to users.

Instead, encourage interaction by asking your followers questions, participating in conversations and sharing the kind of content that people will want to interact with. Doing this will make your Facebook page a more valuable resource for your market and a stronger part of your social media marketing strategy.

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Study Shows Local Mobile Searches have an 80% Conversion Rate

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

We already know how important mobile marketing is, but a new study by Neustar Localeze highlights just how vital it is and how it can actually help your business make more sales. According to the research, mobile searches have an 80 percent conversion rate. The study also found that three out of four of those conversions actually lead to a customer coming into a store, not just an online purchase.

The same study found that 63 percent of people who do Internet searches do so from multiple devices to find local businesses. They use laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices to do searches to find information about businesses in their area.

These statistics tell us that people aren’t just searching for local businesses on their mobile devices, but those searches lead to a high number of purchases.

But, that’s not all. A study done by Google and Nielsen found that:

  • 55 percent of people using a mobile device to research a product want to make a purchase within an hour.
  • 83 percent of those people want to make a purchase within a day.

So, people aren’t just buying products online, they are also going into brick-and-mortar stores to make a purchase and want to do so quickly. Local mobile SEO can be a very powerful way to increase your brand awareness and sales.

Adding Mobile to your SEO Strategy

If you’re already using SEO to drive traffic to your site, it’s imperative that you make sure you are also doing mobile SEO. This newest research highlights just how important it is and how lucrative it can be.

Use Mobile Keywords

People use different keywords when they search from a mobile device than they do when they search online. For example, they may use shorter phrases since they aren’t using a physical keyboard and they are likely to search for local information. Target some specific mobile keywords as part of your SEO campaign.

Link to the Right Pages for a Mobile Market

Just as people use different search terms while using a mobile device, they may also be looking for different information. Your market may be looking for your address, contact information, product specifications or pricing. Think about what mobile searchers are looking for and then optimise and rank those pages.

Build a Mobile-Friendly Site

Of course, to get the benefits of mobile SEO, traffic and leads, you’ll need to make sure your site is easy to navigate on a mobile device. Smartphones and tablets have smaller screens, so be aware of how much text you use and create a navigation menu that is simple and intuitive.

The latest research reminds us that mobile optimisation, traffic and leads are extremely important. To increase your sales and reach your market more effectively, it is essential that you use mobile SEO and make sure your site is easy to use from mobile devices.

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Big Update to Twitter brings New Look and Features

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

On the heels of the ability to upload four pictures per tweet and to tag others in pictures, Twitter has announced more updates that will change the way your page looks and even what you can do with it. All of these changes culminate to create new social media marketing opportunities for you. If you use Twitter, these are changes you don’t want to miss out on.

Fresh Profile Pages

It seems that Twitter is focused on becoming more visual. This makes sense, as images make it easier to capture peoples’ attention and can even help you convey a message. Part of Twitter’s upcoming change is a fresh, new look for the profile page.

The first thing you’ll notice is the bigger profile picture and a bigger cover photo, which will make your profile page more visually interesting and make it easier for you to align your profile with your brand. You’ll also notice that pictures are much larger on the web platform than they were before.

But, the visual changes don’t stop there. Now, your bio, and any links you include, will appear on the left-hand side of your page underneath your profile picture. This space will also include a designated place for a link to your website and the date you joined Twitter.

The new profile page is much more visually appealing, more interesting, draws interest to photos and is easier to brand. With the larger photos you can tell your company’s story and with the link back to your website, you can more easily attract traffic.

Best, Pinned and Filtered Tweets

The second part of this update makes it possible for you to use tweets in entirely new ways. There are three new features pertaining to tweets that allow you to do new things with them and your timeline.

Best Tweets

Your tweets that get the most engagement will now be easier for your audience to find. The tweets that attract the most “likes,” replies and retweets will now appear bigger on your page so they stand out on your timeline.

Pinned Tweets

Have you ever wished that you could keep one of your most important tweets at the top of your feed? Now you can. The new pinned tweets feature allows you to choose one tweet to pin to the top of your feed so that everyone that visits your profile will be sure to see that vital information or key part of your social media marketing campaign.

Filtered Tweets

Now, when people look at your timeline they will be able to filter your posts to see all your tweets, only tweets with pictures or videos or tweets and their replies. This gives your audience a whole new way to explore your content and interact with your brand.

Currently, these features are only available to users who sign up for an account now and a few current users. You can see the list of updated accounts and what they look like on the Twitter blog. All profiles will be updated with these new features in the next few weeks, so be sure to take advantage of them!

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Now You can Tag People in Photos and Create Collages with Twitter

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Change is in the air at Twitter and these two new features are exciting ones. Twitter has added the ability for users to add more than one photo to a tweet and create a collage as well as tag other Twitter uses in the photos when you use the Android or iOS app.

These two new updates do make Twitter a little more like other social networks, but they also make it possible for businesses to achieve new things and even enhance their social media strategies.

Tagging Other Users in Photos

The first new feature is the ability to tag up to 10 people in one photo. Users will be notified, if they choose, when they are tagged in a photo and they can choose who can tag them: anyone, just people they follow or no one at all. And, in case you are wondering, the tags don’t count toward your 140-character limit.

When you upload a photo, all you have to do is tap on the picture, choose the button that says “Who is in this photo?” and then enter the user names. When the photo appears in a feed, the people tagged in it will appear next to it.

As a business, you can use this function to more easily connect with others on Twitter. Now, you can tag people in photos from events, conferences, your store, sales events, product launches, company parties and anything else.

Add 4 Photos to 1 Tweet

Previously, you could only attach one photo to a tweet, but now you can add up to four! When you attach more than one photo, the app automatically turns them into a collage, putting them together in one image. This feature is only available on the iOS app right now, but soon it will be added to the Android app and the Twitter.com website.

This update makes Twitter much more photo friendly because it makes it easy to share a few related photos at once. Instead of having to separately tweet three photos from one event, you can now add all three to one post.

According to the official announcement from Twitter, both of these features will carry over to embedded tweets. So, when you embed a tweet from Twitter.com onto your website, or someone else adds one of your tweets to their site, tags and the collage will still be visible.

Now, your tweets can be much more visual and interesting, since you can share several photos at once. We’ve seen before that visual social media posts stand out more, so this could help you get your followers’ attention and stand out on their timeline.

Both of these updates add new functions to Twitter and make it a more photo-centric network. As you start using them, you’ll be able to more easily connect with other users and share photos. You will also be able to make your posts and timeline more visual, which can help you capture your market’s attention.

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Survey Shows what Makes a Video Shareable and What Viewers Want

Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Image courtesy of scot2342/Flickr.

Image courtesy of scot2342/Flickr.

A new survey and research conducted by Animoto provides dozens of interesting statistics and lots of information that uncovers the power of videos in Internet marketing. Videos are a great addition to content marketing plans and make it easier to capture a market’s attention. They also allow businesses to get creative and show their market something, rather than just tell people about it.

Just one of the interesting statistics from the study includes the fact that 73 percent of respondents reported that they are more likely to make a purchase after watching an online video about the product or service.

But, the survey goes deeper and reveals what makes online videos more shareable and what viewers are looking for when they watch them.

The Most Shareable Videos

When your video captures your market’s attention and provides so much value that people want to share it, you’ll likely get bigger results. Your video will be played across the Internet, reaching more people and having a bigger influence.

According to the survey:

  • 94% of respondents said they share humorous videos.
  • 91% of respondents said they share heartwarming videos.
  • 89% of respondents said they share educational videos.

When you know what kinds of videos people are more likely to share, you can find ways to fit those themes into your videos.

What Viewers Want in Your Videos

The survey also looked into what consumers want to see in online videos. This information is very valuable to businesses.

According to the survey, 42 percent of respondents want to see more product descriptions or service demonstrations. Other things people like to see in videos include information about electronics, restaurants, travel and exercise and fitness.

Another interesting piece of information is that 83 percent of respondents said that videos that are five minutes long or less are most effective when doing research or shopping online.

Respondents to the survey also provided some feedback about what businesses can do to make more effective videos:

  • Use only high-quality images and visuals.
  • Funny videos but with no nonsense.
  • Demonstrate what the product can do.
  • Info-rich videos are way better than blatant advertising.
  • Show a 360-degree view of the product.

When you know what people who watch online videos prefer to see, you can make more effective videos.

The information from this survey provides a lot of valuable insights, and when you understand what spurs people to share online videos and what they feel makes a video more valuable, you can create more effective videos.

This isn’t the first study to show the power of online videos when it comes to Internet marketing. But, this research adds to our understanding and can help businesses create videos that will increase sales.

To make sure you get the best results from your videos, and that they are worth putting time and resources into, use these tips as you plan and create them. The videos you produce should also be aimed at your market and created specifically with your audience’s needs in mind.

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The Internet is 25 Years Old and has Brought Amazing Marketing Opportunities

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The Internet, as we know it, is 25 years old. This isn’t very old, but the world of marketing was a vastly different place back then. Thanks to the Internet, businesses have many, many new opportunities and tools to promote their services and reach their markets. In fact, it could be argued that the Internet has made it easier for businesses to market themselves than ever before.

A Long Way in 25 Years

The Internet has been around for more than 25 years, but it wasn’t until 1989 that it became usable and available to the masses. This is when people could access it more easily and navigate to websites, which were a brand new concept.

Of course, the Internet we know today is vastly different than it was back then. New technologies have made websites more visually appealing and easier to navigate and made it possible for us to access them in record time. We are also now able to use the Internet from almost anywhere, thanks to smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The Internet has become such a huge part of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine how we functioned before it existed. Social media applications, online shopping, the ability to find information in seconds and online entertainment have changed the way we do almost everything.

New and Valuable Marketing Opportunities

The Internet is a worldwide marketing and communications channel. It gives businesses amazing and valuable marketing opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

With the Internet, you have a direct line of communication to your market. You can reach your audience through websites, blogs, social media accounts, ads, news sites, mobile apps and many other Internet marketing tactics.

The Internet can put your business, content, messaging and products right in front of your market. Through the Internet, you can tell people about what your business does and promote your products.

But, the Internet allows you to do more than that. It allows you to create marketing tactics that are open for interaction. Before the Internet became available to everyone, businesses used tools that facilitated one-way conversations with their markets. Things like television commercials, billboards and magazine ads are effective, but they don’t allow a market to interact with a brand.

On the other hand, marketing tactics like blogs and social media pave the way for two-way conversations. Your business can share information and your market can talk back or otherwise interact with you.

This interaction can lead to more sales and increased brand loyalty. But, it also provides a very valuable opportunity for your business: the ability to listen to the response your marketing generates. When you listen to what your market is saying and how it is responding, you can make your marketing and business strategies even more effective.

There’s no question that the Internet has changed our lives, but it also brought amazing marketing opportunities that you can’t afford to miss. To successfully promote your business and reach your market, you need to embrace Internet marketing and all it has to offer.

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Twitter Will Now Show Promoted Accounts in Search Results

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Image courtesy of thethreesisters/Flickr.

Image courtesy of thethreesisters/Flickr.

If your business uses Twitter for social media marketing, the network’s newest feature is an exciting one. Now, when users search for terms that relate to Promoted Accounts, they will appear in search results. Previously, only tweets and Twitter users appeared in search results.

For some time, Promoted Accounts have been a great way for businesses to get their tweets in front of their followers, as they appear in users’ timelines. Promoted Accounts also appear in a list called “Who to Follow,” which can help you get new followers.

But, this new feature means that your account will be even more visible to Twitter users. As your account shows up in search results, more people will find and follow you. Businesses with Promoted Accounts have been able to target specific demographics, and now, those targeting options will be taken into account as Twitter displays search results.

Promoted Accounts are an excellent way to get your account, and content, in front of your market and build your following. When people find your account through a related search, they may be more likely to follow you because they are already interested in your industry or products.

The Power of Twitter to Influence Sales

In 2013, Twitter commissioned Market Probe International to conduct a study. The research analyses responses and Twitter users from the US and UK. One of the most stunning findings of the research is that Twitter users are 72 percent more likely to make a purchase from a small or medium business that they follow on Twitter.

Some other statistics from this report that illustrate the power of Twitter include:

  • 85 percent of users felt more connected with small or medium businesses after following them on Twitter.
  • 73 percent of users said they follow small and medium businesses to get updates on future products.
  • 32 percent of users are more likely to go to a small or medium business after they see a Promoted Tweet from the business that relates to their interests or needs.

These statistics show us just how powerful Twitter can be as part of an Internet marketing plan. But, they also tell businesses how they can use Twitter more effectively.

The research shows that people follow businesses on Twitter to get updates about future products, so by sharing that kind of information you can gain and retain followers and even make more sales.

If you already use Twitter as part of your social media marketing, consider using a Promoted Account to make your business more visible on Twitter, gain more followers and get more out of Twitter.

On the other hand, if you don’t currently use Twitter, now is the perfect time to consider opening an account and using it to strategically promote your products and share your content.

Twitter is a very popular social media site that can help you promote your products, drive traffic to your website, engage with your market and build an online community that benefits your business.

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What Your Content’s Quality Means for Your SEO Rankings

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

High-quality content is beneficial to your business in numerous ways, including its ability to help you get high search engine rankings. For some time now, Google has emphasised the importance of creating and publishing quality content. Now, Bing has taken this a step further by stating that content with typos and mistakes won’t rank as high as other content.

In a blog post, Duane Forrester, senior product manager at Bing, explains that the search engine is judged by the quality of results it shows users, so it will be looking specifically at the quality of content published on websites. He says that lower quality content, with errors, won’t rank as well as high-quality, error-free content.

High Quality Leads to Better Rankings

There’s no question that high-quality content will rank better in search results, from both Google and Bing. When your audience enters keywords that describe your business or what you do, you want your website to appear at the top of search engine results pages, and publishing high-quality content is the first step to achieving this.

How does high-quality content impact rankings? According to both Google and Bing, their algorithms identify strong, relevant content and rank it higher than other content. The best content also gets more social shares and traffic, which can help you boost your rankings.

What You Need for High-Quality Content

So, how do you go about creating the best content? There are a few things all good content has in common, and when you keep them in mind as you develop your Internet marketing plans and create content, you’ll see better search rankings and build a stronger brand reputation.

Purpose

First, each piece of content you produce should help you reach some goal. Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. In most cases, your goal should be to benefit your market in some way. You can do this by providing information, offering entertainment, providing a solution to a problem or teaching your market something.

Error-Free Copy

Copy that is free of typos, grammatical errors and other mistakes is also essential. Proofread your content carefully and make sure it is something you want to use to represent your brand.

Value

You need to give your market a reason to pay attention to your content by adding value to it. Provide people with information they need, are looking for or will benefit from.

Relevancy

Your content needs to match the needs and desires of your market and audience. Irrelevant content doesn’t rank very well, and it certainly won’t help you promote your business because it won’t help you appeal to your market and persuade people to take action.

High-quality content is produced with a market and purpose in mind and is well written and professional. As you publish this kind of content and create a strategic search engine optimisation plan, you will see better rankings. As an added benefit, top-quality content will also build your brand and help you create a positive reputation among your markets.

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Facebook’s New Ad Targeting Options and What Makes a Good Ad

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Image courtesy of [ Mooi ]/Flickr.

Image courtesy of [ Mooi ]/Flickr.

Facebook has announced that advertisers can now more easily target their markets through Facebook ads. The announcement is good news for businesses that use this form of Internet marketing, because it just got a lot easier to make ads more effective.

When you create a Facebook ad, you can now target your market based on general categories: location, demographics, interests and behaviours. These categories may seem broad, but they allow you to target people based on recent events like engagements, where they live and even what kind of education they have received.

But, even with this update, it’s still important that businesses understand how to create a successful Facebook ad. The features Facebook provides will help you reach your market, but you still need to create ads that inspire your audience to take action.

An Attention Grabber

First, Facebook users are practically flooded with posts, photos, content and yes, ads, on the social network. If you want your ads to work, you need to grab your market’s attention.

The way you do this will depend on your brand and products, but using attractive pictures, entertaining ads and readable text and making your ads different than your competitors’ can help them stand out. You will likely have to do some testing to find out what kinds of ads your market notices and responds to.

Influential Content

The best ads, on Facebook and other sites, have influential content. You need to know what inspires your audience, what they are looking for, what needs they have and what they are interested in. When you know this, you can create influential content.

The images, taglines and copy you use all need to influence people in ways that inspire them to want to learn more about your company, make them more aware of your brand or encourage them to respond to your calls to action.

A Call to Action

Every one of your ads needs to include a clear call to action. This is absolutely essential, and is what makes your ads worthwhile and what will bring you results. Some common calls to action include:

  • Buy a Product
  • Visit a Website
  • “Like” a Page
  • Read a Blog
  • Visit a Store
  • Fill Out a Lead Form

Of course, these are just a few of the most common calls to action, and yours could be very different depending on your business and goals.

An Incentive

People are busy and when they are browsing Facebook, they don’t always want to stop looking at their friends’ pictures or posting a status update to respond to your ad. You need to provide an incentive.

The incentive you use could be tangible, like a free sample or a discount, or it could be something more abstract. For example, you could tell your market that if they “like” your page on Facebook, they will be the first to hear about your new product launch.

Facebook is always adding new features that make it easier for businesses to use the site and target their markets. When you include these elements in your ads, they will be much more successful and you will be able to reach your current and potential customers.

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LinkedIn Opens its Publishing Platform to all Users

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Image courtesy of Sheila Scarborough/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Sheila Scarborough/Flickr.

LinkedIn has announced that it will be allowing all of its users, not just users designated as “Influencers,” to publish content on its site. Until now, regular users have only been able to post updates and links, but now they can post longer articles to the site, sharing them with people across the network.

Since 2012, some users, which LinkedIn labeled as Influencers, have been able to publish blog posts on the site. This content was viewable by all LinkedIn users and could be shared across the network. Users like Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Richard Branson and Martha Stewart could post content to contribute to industry news and reach their markets.

LinkedIn’s announcement explains that now all users can publish content that will be included on their profile and can be shared on the professional social network. Users will be able to follow other users that aren’t part of their network, or already on their list of contacts.

How You can use this New Feature

LinkedIn can be a valuable part of your social media marketing strategy. The site boasts 277 million members who are professionals all over the world from all kinds of industries. In Europe alone, there are 57 million LinkedIn users.

With numbers like this, you can’t afford to ignore LinkedIn. You can set up a business page, which allows you to tell people about what your business does, promote your products and link back to your website. Your employees, managers and even CEO can set up a personal LinkedIn profile, which can also help you market your business online.

This new feature that allows everyone to publish content on the site is a valuable tool you can use to accomplish several goals.

Raise Awareness

When you publish content and share it with those on LinkedIn, you can raise awareness about your business. People will begin to identify your name with what you do and the experience you provide, which will strengthen your brand.

Drive Traffic to Your Site

As you produce content and publish it on LinkedIn, you can include links back to your website. This can help improve the quality of your content, as you can provide valuable information for your readers. These links can also help you drive traffic to your website, blog, social media profiles or product pages.

Become an Industry Expert

Publishing content on LinkedIn can also help you establish your business as an industry expert and a valuable resource for your market. When you show that you have something to offer and are a thought leader in your industry, your business will grow.

Communicate with Your Market

Of course, when you publish and share content on LinkedIn, you are also able to communicate with your market. You can provide information about your business, products and industry and become the solution for your market.

Create an Online Community

Since LinkedIn allows you to attract followers, you can use your content to create an online community of customers and potential customers. Then, as you use your content to build your brand, you will be able to send your marketing messaging to your followers and inspire them to take action: buy your product, visit your website or share your content.

This LinkedIn update is an exciting one, because it gives your business another platform to publish content that helps you develop your brand, reach your customers and meet your business goals.

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