Posts Tagged ‘SMM’
Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Wednesday, July 23rd, 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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Friday, July 18th, 2014
Image courtesy of Michael Verhoef/Flickr.
Both Foursquare and LinkedIn have announced new features that take their networks to a whole new level. Local search engine optimisation has long been valued among businesses and Internet marketers, and now social networks are looking for ways to use local features to expand their services.
For example, Facebook recently added a feature called Nearby Friends that lets users see where their friends are so they can connect in real life and communicate about local areas, destinations and sites.
Foursquare Personalises Local Search
Foursquare has always been about location, but now it is taking that speciality to a whole new level with personalised local search. This feature changes the way search works for users and could highlight what social media users are looking for.
The mobile app will rely on a user’s check-in history and answers to a few questions about personal preferences to provide search results about local places designed specifically for that person. Foursquare says that no two local search results pages will be exactly the same.
Search results will also be served based on tips, check-ins and photos that other users have submitted since Foursquare began. In other words, the social network has made local search personalised by using its database of information, along with personal preferences, to provide results about places the user is most likely to be interested in.
Foursquare hasn’t specified when the feature will be available, but says it will be rolled out soon.
LinkedIn Offers new Connected App
LinkedIn is now offering a new app, called Connected, for iPhone users that makes it easier to strengthen relationships in person. While the new app doesn’t add any location-specific features, it does encourage people to use LinkedIn in a local way.
The app makes it easy to be prepared for meetings and working lunches so you can take online relationships offline and strengthen your professional network. Connected will also help you keep track of what your contacts are doing and helps you keep up with things like job changes, birthdays and other events.
In other words, Connected makes it easier to network in real life and to make relationships more than just an online connection. Right now, the app is only available to iPhone users and is already on the iTunes store.
Does Your Business Embrace Local?
Facebook’s, Foursquare’s and LinkedIn’s recent updates show a trend in social media. People are looking for ways to make in-person interaction easier and want to make social media more personal. They want personalised search results and social media features that help them foster real-life relationships.
What does this mean for you? It means that to keep up with trends and market desires, you need to find ways to meet those personalised, local needs. Whether you have a small local shop or a large brand, look for ways to provide personal experiences and don’t forgo real-life interaction and experiences for online engagement.
Social media and Internet marketing should be used to supplement the experience your customers have when they work with your employees or visit your location. These recent changes to social media networks show that more and more people are expecting this kind of service and when you provide it, you will attract more customers.
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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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Monday, July 14th, 2014
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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Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Image courtesy of Esther Vargas/Flickr.
Twitter has updated its analytics dashboard to provide more detailed information to businesses. With more information, you can see how your tweets are performing and even how your followers are interacting with them.
Who Can Use the New Analytics?
The analytics dashboard is available to businesses that have an advertising account, a verified account or that use Twitter cards. If your business has access to the previous analytics dashboard, you will be able to see the new data. You can also sign up for an account to start using the dashboard now.
Previously, businesses relied on basic information, like the number of retweets or favourites a tweet had, to find out how popular or successful it was. This is still a good way to get an idea of how many people are seeing your tweets and whether or not your market likes the type of information you are sharing.
But, these statistics were limiting and didn’t give businesses a very broad picture of what was happening with their accounts. That’s why the new dashboard is big news and will help businesses be more successful on Twitter.
Now, you can see how many times your tweets have been seen on the Twitter website or one of its mobile apps. “Impressions” refers to the number of times a tweet has been viewed, not necessarily the number of people who have seen it.
Twitter allows you to see the total number of impressions for each tweet, an hourly distribution, so you can see when your followers see your posts, or the number of impressions your tweets have received in a 28-day period.
Now, you don’t have to rely on third-party link shorteners to see how many clicks your links get. You can choose a specific tweet on your dashboard to see how many times a link was clicked on.
If you use hashtags as part of your social media marketing strategy, being able to see how many times they are clicked on can help you be more effective. Click on a tweet on the dashboard to see hashtag clicks.
App Installs and Opens
Businesses that use Twitter’s app cards will now be able to see how many times their apps were installed or opened.
Tweet-Induced Follows and Profile Views
The new dashboard will also let you see how many followers you are gaining and how many times your profile is viewed due to tweets you are posting.
If you took advantage of Twitter’s CSV export tool, you’ll be happy to know that now you can export data for up to 3,200 tweets, significantly more than the previous 500-tweet limit.
The more analytical information you can gather, the more you can assess your Twitter strategy and find better ways to reach your market. Start taking advantage of the new dashboard now by taking some measurements and then tracking different values over the next several weeks.
As you start to notice changes, find ways you can improve the way you use Twitter to get better results, reverse negative trends or just see even more success.
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Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Accenture Interactive recently did a study that reveals how chief marketing officers across several industries feel marketing will change in the coming years. The study found that 78 percent of all CMOs surveyed agreed that “marketing is expected to undergo radical changes over the next five years.”
What are these changes? The world of marketing is always changing and with technology it is changing very quickly. Some of the expected changes were revealed in the study, which asked CMOs what they expect to see. Here are five of those changes and what they mean for your business.
Digital will Account for more than 75% of Marketing Budgets
Digital marketing is becoming more and more vital to business’ success. In the coming years, your company will need to embrace digital marketing tactics like search engine optimisation, social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising. All of these forms of online marketing can help you build your brand, increase awareness, boost sales and accomplish all kinds of business goals.
Mobile Specifically will Account for More than 50% of Marketing Budgets
We’ve known for a while now that mobile marketing is growing quickly. In the next few years, many expect it to account for more than half of marketing budgets. If you don’t want to be left behind, you need to embrace mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing can include things like social media, mobile apps, responsive site design, text message marketing, email marketing and sophisticated technologies that allow businesses to track customers, through their smartphones, as they come into their stores.
Earned Media will be more Important than Paid and Owned Media
Earned media is becoming more valuable. Focusing on things like distributing press releases, providing high-quality content and reaching out to bloggers will result in coverage that will bring brand recognition and site traffic.
Earned links are also an important part of search engine optimisation, so producing content that people will want to link to is important to multiple aspects of Internet marketing.
Marketing Campaigns will Begin Unfolding in Real Time
Real-time marketing is made possible with social media and the ability to quickly update blogs and websites. This kind of marketing is often in response to news events or pop culture or just as a way to make a product launch more exciting. You can lay the groundwork for this kind of marketing by building up your social media and blog followings and keeping tabs on what is happening in your market, industry and community.
Analytics Skills will Become a Core Competence in Marketing
Website, social media and other social media analytics can tell you whether your marketing is working and can help you understand how to make your campaigns more effective. Keeping close watch on how your tactics are performing, how your market reacts and what kinds of results you are getting will help you enhance your strategies.
There’s no question that digital marketing is the way of the future. Your business will need to use online tactics and strategies to keep up with its competition, reach its market and succeed.
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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Social media marketing and search engine optimisation are two popular forms of Internet marketing. In fact, for most businesses, they play a major part in their overall marketing and communications plans. One of the most common questions people have concerning these topics is “Does social media benefit SEO efforts?”
The answer is “yes and no.” While this seems like a frustrating response, when you understand how the two can work together, you can find ways to make your Internet marketing even stronger.
What Google Has Said
Earlier this year, Matt Cutts said that Google sees Facebook and Twitter pages like other Internet pages, crawls the content when it can and returns the pages as search results. But, he went on to say that Google’s algorithm doesn’t specifically use things like number of followers or “likes” to determine how to rank a social media page.
Google never comes right out and explains its algorithm in full, but these statements do tell us a lot about how the search engine takes social media into account as it ranks pages.
Keep in mind that some social media sites, like Twitter, use no follow links, so they aren’t the best solution for link building strategies.
Should I use Social Media for SEO?
However, social media could help your SEO strategies if your goal is to get your social media pages and mentions ranked by Google. Working to promote your brand on social media could mean that social media pages related to your business will get higher rankings.
While you shouldn’t rely on social media to build links to your site, you can use it to promote your content and generate some earned links. If people see your content on social media, they may be more likely to link to it from their own website or blog, which will help your SEO efforts.
Social media can also help you drive more traffic to your website and encourage engagement, two factors that may also influence your search rankings.
Social Media and SEO Produce Similar Results
With all this discussion about social media and SEO, it’s important to remember that both tactics can be used to produce similar results. While they can’t always work together, they can both be very beneficial.
For example, if your goal is to increase traffic to your sales page, you could do this with social media, SEO, and in most cases, a combination of both. Other benefits that both strategies can bring include increased awareness, site engagement, more email subscribers and more sales.
Remember that while social media and SEO can help you accomplish different goals, they can also help you achieve similar things. When you can work toward marketing goals with more than one tactic, your results will often be better.
The complicated answer to this question is that while some social media factors don’t impact search rankings, social media can be used to supplement SEO campaigns. Use both of these tactics to reach your market, raise brand awareness and increase site traffic.
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Monday, July 7th, 2014
Image courtesy of Maria Elena/Flickr.
One way you can bring something new to your Facebook marketing strategy is to use Facebook apps. A custom made app can help you run contests, collect email addresses, offer games and make it easier for your market to engage with your brand.
The benefits you’ll see from an app will depend on the kind you use, but all businesses that use Facebook apps can expect to see some general benefits.
First, Facebook apps are a great way to help you brand your account’s page. You can use your profile picture, cover photo and posts to show people that your page is an official part of your business and increase awareness, but an app lets you take this branding to a whole new level.
A custom app can include your logo, brand colours and a design that matches your overall brand, reminding people that use it that it belongs to your business.
Incentive to Follow You
An app adds value to your Facebook page and can incentivise people in your market to follow you. When people know what you have to offer, they will be more likely to follow you for easy access to the app.
Of course, you will still need to make sure your posts, the content you share and the conversations you have with your followers are valuable, making your entire Facebook experience something people won’t want to miss out on.
Using an app gives your followers and market another way to interact with your page and business. Now, in addition to being able to post comments, answer questions, “like” posts and share your content, they can interact through your app.
Think about what kind of goal you want to accomplish with your app and then make sure its design and function will help you get there. Your app should be easy to use and intuitive for visitors.
More Page Visits
While people in your market may only see your posts in their newsfeed, and rarely look at your page right now, an app will give people a reason to go directly to your page. For example, they will now navigate to your page to enter a drawing, play a game or otherwise use your app.
You can take full advantage of this perk by using an app that encourages people to visit your page daily or weekly. The easiest way to do this is to do a giveaway every week that requires people to use your Facebook app to enter it. As people are coming back to your Facebook page on a regular basis, be sure to keep it updated with current posts, links to your website and other information.
Facebook apps are a great way to enhance your page and make your social media marketing more powerful. Your app will work best when you use it in conjunction with a Facebook page that is frequently updated and already has a strong following, so work to build up your account before you launch an application.
We help businesses create custom apps to improve their social media marketing strategies and get better results. Contact us if you’re interested in finding out how you can benefit from a Facebook app.
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Image courtesy of takomabibelot/Flickr.
When you use Internet marketing to promote your business, you want to reach as many people as possible. Some new research shows that if you include just two things in your marketing strategy, you will reach 8 out of 10 Internet users.
So what are those two things? Social media marketing and blogging.
While these two basic Internet marketing strategies may seem simple, Search Engine Watch reports that businesses that use them reach 80 percent of Internet users.
To widen your audience and make sure you are reaching your target market, you need to use both social media and blogging strategically. If you use these tactics without purpose or direction, they won’t help you achieve results.
Jumpstart your Social Media
When was the last time you reviewed your social media marketing strategy? Reassessing your strategy often will help you make sure you are using each account to its fullest potential and benefiting from your efforts.
Choose your Sites
What social media sites are you using? Look at your accounts and make sure things like your biography, profile picture and contact information are all up to date. If your fans are engaging with you and you are gaining an audience, you are likely using these sites well. Consider if there are other social media sites that lend themselves to your brand and goals.
The content you create, curate from other sources or even the status updates you post should all help you reach your goals. You can accomplish all kinds of things, from increased brand awareness and sales to more email subscribers through social media. Decide whether the posts you share are helping you be successful.
Take some time to assess your social media accounts and strategies to make sure they are helping you reach your overall marketing goals.
Rethink your Blog
Your blog should also help you achieve your business goals. One of the biggest benefits of your blog is that it is a platform you have full control over. Social media sites come and go, features are always being added and removed and you don’t have complete control over how your page is branded. But, with your blog you know you have a platform that will always be there and will look and function the way you want it to.
Your blog also gives you a unique opportunity to get your own message, facts and information out there, without the risk of it being misconstrued. Media coverage, other blogs and sometimes even social media sites don’t give you full control over your message the way your blog does.
Who is Your Audience?
Think carefully about who your blog audience is. Is it potential customers? Current customers? Other businesses? What demographic information do you have about your audience? When you know who your blog is for, you can leverage it to your advantage. If the kind of content you are sharing isn’t of value to your audience, your blog won’t be very successful.
Social media and blogging are two very important Internet marketing strategies. When you use these two elements effectively, your campaign will be successful and benefit your entire business.
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