Facebook Gets Personal As Algorithm Cuts Brands

Social media marketers have been given another kick in the Facebook. The content sharing giant has announced a change to its News Feed algorithm that practically wipes out the scant organic reach small businesses did have. As a result marketers are challenged to change their Facebook marketing strategy again. According to Vice President, Adam Mosseri, Facebook want to return to their core roots and promote stories from family and friends. This was the result of an alleged referendum taking the results of Facebook user preferences. A statement released by the company confirmed users are likely to spend more time in their News Feed when they “see content they are interested in.” Is this an admission that Facebook are concerned about the growing influence of social rivals such as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest? Mosseri noted that Facebook users are more interested in stories from family and friends, but also added that the social network intend to promote “All Ideas.” The social network claims publishers still have a way in by using their Pages initiative. Encouraging publishers to use Pages to post content their audience are likely to share means Facebook still intend to maintain some organic reach even if the network is forcing you through channels they want you to use so that users stay rooted in the network. How Facebook intend to manage this contradiction in terms remains to be seen, but given the company acknowledged content that is shared from source sites rather than posted to News Feeds will favour established brands with bigger marketing budgets. In other words, Facebook are favouring recognised brands people are familiar with...

Instagram Set To Launch Feed Algorithm

As social media networks continue to evolve, Instagram recently announced it will be adding an algorithm that will determine what content appears in your feed. The free ride is over. So should businesses worry that marketing content will not reach their audience? If the changes to Instagram are anything like its big brother, Facebook, then yes, online business owners should have cause for concern. But the changes could also benefit marketers. In its current chronological format, Instagram calculate that users miss around 70% of content that appears in their feed. The proposed change to filter content will help users free up the clutter and manage their accounts more easily. But for marketers algorithmic feeds are a concern. There is the danger your content will bypass your audience altogether. And since the algorithms are based on user-behaviour, marketing on social media becomes redundant for many small businesses that simply don’t sell products or services people want to read about. Paid advertising The real reason behind the change is to encourage business owners to purchase ad space – of course. And because algorithm feeds limit the amount of content on the page, there is more space to slip in promotional ads. Instagram has gradually ramped up its ad options over the past year. On its blog page, Instagram for Business, the social network explained the intent to focus on three key areas: “Expanding ad offerings to include action-oriented formats, enabling more targeting capabilities, and making it easier for businesses large and small to buy ads on Instagram.” With the introduction of advertising units – like Facebook did – online businesses have...

Is Advertising on Instagram Right For Your Business?

There are over 75 million users bouncing in and out of Instagram on a daily basis. The photo-sharing social network is no longer just an iOS-only app, but a major marketing platform. But it’s not for everybody! At least, this is the general perception – or it has been. But as more small businesses find creative ways to visually promote their brand, marketers are seeing the potential to reach out to a wider audience. When Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, the social platform became the largest grossing acquisition in digital history. Mark Zuckerberg saw the prospects. In just three years, the photo-sharing app has emerged as one of the most visited social media networks on the web today. Well-known brands with bulging budgets jumped on straight away – but small businesses have typically shied away. This is understandable. Instagram primarily attracts followers by using images. So the photo content you post has to be of exceptional quality – which can be expensive. But you don’t have to blow your marketing budget to be a success on Instagram. You just need to think outside the bubble and flex your creative muscles. Instagram ideas Story-telling has become a marketing art, and telling a story’s through the use of images is arguably easier than writing an entertaining 1000-word article. And customers are generally interested in people – or more specifically, the people that work for the companies they are trading with. Browse through Instagram and you will find numerous examples of how companies are using images as an open window into the business. And given online marketing is essentially...

Social Media in 2016 Where Will Your Audience Go?

With Facebook Messenger and Snapchat using popularity, social network users are looking towards other apps to access content, engage with brands and find entertaining videos to share. The big hitters are still batting the ball out the park, but user behaviour is changing and consumers are looking for something new. So where will you find your audience in 2016? Facebook still reigns supreme Long time users may be losing interest in Facebook, but there is no doubt that the social media giant is still stomping all over its competitors. But whilst millennials are looking for something new, Facebook is attracting an older audience aged 65 and upwards. The reason for the shift in demographic is because young people are migrating to apps their parents are not using. So where are the kids going? Instagram Fair enough, Instagram is owned by Facebook so is only a jump for the kids to make, but the image-sharing network has become more popular with users in a short space of time. Predominantly featuring videos and photos, Instagram is easily digested on mobile phones and the content published on the social platform is typically top-notch, although the standard is dropping as more online businesses attempt to capture a growing audience. Yik Yak One of the most popular social media apps of the new crowd is Yik Yak, although bad press may damage its reputation. Despite being used for cyber bullying, students have really taken to Yik Yak as an alternative to other better known sites. The benefit of Yik Yak is the audience is concentrated on locals and the youngsters find it is a...

What The Experts Say About Social Media Marketing

Social media is an important tool that allows online businesses to connect with customers and drive traffic. But not every company is achieving results from social networks. There is a code of conduct – social etiquette, let’s say. Knowing how to correctly use social media is the first challenge marketers need to master. So to get you started, here are some top tips from social media marketing experts. Mine Twitter to Grow Your Audience The first objective of a successful social media campaign is building a community of followers that engage with your content and have a genuine interest in your products and brand. Easier said than done, and a fair amount of research is involved building customer profiles. And time is not a luxury many online businesses can afford to flitter away. According to social media consultant, Mark Schaefer, the quickest and most effective way of accruing valuable followers and developing an audience is by mining Twitter. Look for specialist communities and follow influencers in your field of expertise. This will allow you to tap into users engaging with the people you are following. Influencers are bloggers and celebrities that show an interest, or are affiliates of a specific brand, most of whom use Twitter as their social tool of choice. They like quick tweets, it’s fast and efficient. And mining the followers of influencers enables you to tap into people that already have an interest in your services and products, thus are more likely to engage with your content. This is best practice for businesses that are new to online marketing or if your social media strategy...

The Facebook Paradox: Is Posting More Content For Organic Reach A Good Idea?

To combat the drop in organic reach on Facebook, marketers have started to post content more frequently. But does this strategy work, or could it damage your organic reach? Since Facebook slashed the number of followers to just 6%, marketers have been challenged to reach their audience without having to go down the paid ad route. Posting content more regularly has been the common answer, and whilst this has had some positive shot-term results, posting more often could actually hurt your organic reach over the long-term. Facebook has an algorithm to determine what type of content appears in a user’s newsfeeds in relation to previous content they have engaged with. Everything else is just “noise” they will never see as it is filtered out. By posting content more often, you are making more noise, and in doing so could be hurting your organic reach as Facebook limit the number of stories that land in a newsfeed to 300 a day, so they say. Therefore, your content could end up going to followers that do not have an interest in your content just because they once showed a fleeting interest in a previous post. Furthermore, the more brands using the strategy to most more often, also means more noise is being created and your content gets pushed down the limited number of newsfeeds and off the board where it is never seen, a bit like Twitter. Potential problems with more posting The outline above is only a potential problem and will not affect every company, but as more brands use this strategy, it makes Facebook a less effective platform for...

New Report Reveals 92% of marketers Say Social Media Is Important For Business

According to socialmediaexaminer.com, a leading authority on everything social media, a whopping 92% of marketers give a big thumbs up to online networking. Social networks have had a major impact on our lives and is changing the way companies can connect with customers. Although social platforms were never intended to be used for commercial purposes, they do have a major role to play in company-customer interactions. So let’s take a look at the top five most crucial benefits social media networks offer online businesses. 1. Drive traffic Although social media is not seen as an advertising platform per se, social networkers use it to discover content. By linking your blog with your social media networks you instantly post content in your account for others to access. Providing you are publishing great content with clickable titles, you will drive traffic to your site which helps to boost SEO. If you have a user-friendly website and excellent products, you should also expect to increase conversion rates as well. 2. Raise brand awareness The worldwide web does exactly what it says in the title. As a result your brand name is seen by more people. And social media is an ultra-fast courier. By interacting with followers, giving advice and making intelligent comment, your brand name and expertise will be noted by more people than traditional advertising can ever hope to achieve. 3. Developed customer loyalty Customer loyalty is important for the success of many online businesses. A core following enables you to build a strong fan base which will eventually earn you more reach. Social media networks are arguably the best tools...

Has Facebook Put A Bullet In Viral Marketing?

Social media has redefined the way in which we communicate with each other. For online businesses, dynamic social platforms have allowed them to extend their reach, raise awareness and drive traffic to their website. We also have social networks to thank for the rise of viral content. “Sharing is caring” has become a general motto, and as a result, some content is being viewed by thousands of people who would ordinarily have never received it. So why has Facebook shot down viral marketing? Facebook ban clickbait Writing headlines is a skill copywriters perfected with clickbait – titles that entice readers to click on the article to find out what happens. Typical click bait headlines include, “You will never believe what happened next,” “This video proves…,” and “what happened next made me cry.” When done well, click bait headlines are a very powerful tool. Beneficiaries of viral content attract huge swathes of visitors and significantly increase profits. The problem is, the content does not always offer readers the value the title promises. And that is why Facebook has taken action to prevent unwanted content appearing in the Newsfeeds of its users. How does Facebook measure content that offers value? Content designed to drive traffic to a website includes a link. Facebook use metrics that time how long a user’s account has been inactive after they click on a link that diverts them to a third party site. If the user appears to be away for some time, FB can assume they found content that interests them and will allow this type of content to appear in their newsfeed. Likes and...

Avoid These Potential Legal Issues When Using Social Media Marketing

Marketers using social media run the risk of infringing legal issues that have a negative effect on you and your brand. And could seriously but a dent in your finances if you are ordered to pay damages. But don’t panic, there are no major concerns and you are probably already aware of legal issues that can arise. That said, potential problems are worth going over and keeping in mind. It is worth pointing out at this stage that I am not a legal consultant, therefore do not take the following as advice. This article is only to raise awareness. Be careful what you say Social media largely includes posting messages into a public domain. You are therefore responsible for what you say. Advertising laws require companies to be honest about their products and services. Don’t say you can do something if you cannot deliver as this damages your credibility and you can be sued for damages. Likewise, if you say your product provides benefits that it does not, or if you lead consumers to believe your product does something that is not true, you will be in trouble with the advertising agency who will ban your advertising and issue a penalty. You are also accountable for defamation so do not spread rumours about your competitors. These type of legal actions brought against you can be very expensive. Duplicate content/plagiarise Never use content that somebody else created. All content that is published whether it be text, graphic, image or video is subject to copyright. Unless the copyright holder gives you permission to use their content for commercial purposes, you are...

How Social Media Is Evolving Customer Service

Social media has already revolutionised the way online users stay digitally connected, share content and interact with one another. These dynamic networks have even helped online businesses to expand their reach and improve conversion. And now companies are finding that social media networks enable them to master customer care services both pre and post-sale. Essentially, social media networking can become an integral channel as part of a purchase path together with customer support for aftercare services. But social can be more than that – with the right tools. Let’s say you have a disgruntled customer who tells a friend how unhappy they are with your product and services. This kind of social sniping could damage your reputation and online creditability. Online tools are available that enable companies to monitor discussions on social media so that when somebody mentions your brand or products associated with your company you will be alerted. Therefore, if an unhappy customer moans about you on their social media account rather than coming to you directly, customer services can swiftly look to resolve the complaint early and rectify the matter – thus protecting your creditability and saving your reputation. Customer sales services One of the key benefits of using social media to manage customer care services is that it allows you to interact with customers in real-time. From a sales point of view, this can be the difference between securing a sale or losing a customer to your competitors. This type of technology is already being used on-site. You have probably noticed the rise in virtual assistants when you visit a website which allows companies to...

4 Tips For Social Media Marketing On Linkedin

For B2B professionals, Linkedin is arguably the social network to be. The growing number of professional service providers are reaping the rewards of instant connections – to the right people. And now Linkedin has developed a publishing platform, not only can online businesses effectively network, you can also position yourself as an specialist in your field and show off your expertise. Here are a few pointers for maximising the benefits of networking on Linkedin. LinkedIn publisher stats If you are not already publishing content on Linkedin, the social platform is a good place to start. Unlike many of the other social networks, your content is being received by your connects. They also provide you with valuable statistics which enable you to measure whether users are engaging with your content. You can view how many people visit your content and how long they spend reading it. This info alone is a good indication of whether they are reading the entire post or only hanging around to take in the first paragraph or two. If readers are moving on within the first minute, you need to revise the approach of your writing style or your material. Consider sales navigator Although Linkedin are now charging for a fully-functional sales navigator, it is arguably worth the investment – albeit not for everyone. Unlike the limited free version, the master navigator provides valuable information with regards prospect research hand buyer identification. Not only that, you also have access to relevant information about your target company and what your prospects care about which enables you to influence decision-makers more effectively. Join niche groups Linkedin has...

Which Social Media Networks Drive the Highest Traffic and Conversion Rates?

Some online companies are still finding their feet on social networks. And with so many to choose from in today’s virtual world, knowing which the best platform for your business can be a tricky trial and error exercise. So we thought we would put together some traffic and conversion stats for you to give you some insight as to which social media networks drive the highest traffic so you can decide might be best suited for you to concentrate your marketing efforts on. Facebook With 936 million active daily users, Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet and dominates traffic. According to Shopify, the social platform drives two-thirds of their customers and 85% of orders come from Facebook. Twitter Two years ago Twitter was the leading social marketing tool for conversions and is still an important asset for online marketers with over 58% of brands collecting a strong following of over 100,000 users. Companies with eBay accounts are having the most success from Twitter with over 1.6m engagements coming from the blue bird every quarter. Linkedin According to statistics published by Hubspot, Linkedin has the highest lead generation conversion rate of all the social media networks. A study of 5000 businesses showed that 2.74 visitors coming from Linkedin turned to conversions, outstripping Facebook in second place with a measly 0.77 per cent. Google+ Although Google dominates search and provides online businesses with the most powerful marketing platform ever, the search engine giant has not found its mark with social. Despite attracting 20 million users in the first week of launching, Google+ is not proving to be...

How Video Marketing Can Give Your Brand Advanced Targeting Potential

The number of internet users digesting video content is growing, and with platforms hosting digital video adverts, brands have the possibility of reaching a wider target audience. YouTube has been a mainstay of video advertising and now it has been joined by Facebook, there has never been a better time to advertise online using a video format. Video is easy to digest and with more mobile users engaging with online content, video is the preferred choice of format. Nielson reports that 64% of marketers say video marketing will dominate their digital marketing strategy by 2017. It is estimated that around 20 million people watch at least one online video a week in the UK alone, and it is young mother’s that are engaging with video content more than any other audience type. Mum’s on Youtube A recent Google think piece highlighted that 83% of mother’s are tuning into YouTube – more than any other audience member. The survey reveals that mother’s will typically watch five videos a day, projecting a 70 per cent increase in opportunities for brands to target mother’s with young families. But it is the type of content mother’s tune into that is specifically different than other types of viewers. Music related videos, people blogs and light entertainment are the preferred choices. The implication for brands is that mothers watch a broader range of videos than the average viewer and are more likely to watch adverts targeting family-orientated content, together with household products, animals and “How To” information. Even if your product does not specifically target mothers, creating promotional videos that capture a mother’s emotional state...

Pinterest Streamline Image Search

Pinterest has made some useful changes recently; an improved search facility with built-in spell checker and the addition of trending topics. The trending topics is only available in the US at the moment, but is likely to be launched worldwide if beta-testing proves to be successful. But how can a ‘trending topics’ feature fail – so UK users can expect to see that in Pinterest accounts in the coming months. For the time being however, dig your hooves into the new search facility. For starters, developers of the social account have embedded a spell check into the search engine to take into account the 12 per cent of mis-typed searches. The search engine now offers alternative options that closely match user keywords in case there is a spelling error. And if searchers do make a spelling mistake, the engine will turn up results rather than a not found message. This is Pinterest’s way of making their site more user-friendly. A spokesman for the social network claimed the new feature has helped more than twice as many searchers find brands, bands and celebrities they want to follow. Pinterest is an image-based social media platform that can help raise the online visibility of retailers and other brands that benefit from visually-aided images. It is not for everyone, but if you think promoting your brand through images will help drive traffic to your site, Pinterest may be worth checking...

Facebook Retailer Beacons Available For Free

Facebook recently announced it will be expanding its Place Tips program and launching retailer beacons free of charge. The feature could help small businesses extend their visibility across the social media network. Retailer beacons alert Facebook users in the vicinity of participating shops, museums and landmarks. The service is the social giants attempt to rival info-share sites like Trip Advisor, Yelp and Foursquare. Beta-testing of the service was launched in Brooklyn, New York six months ago – and it seems to have gone rather well. The Facebook Bluetooth beacon is now being rolled out universally. How Facebook beacons work Whenever a Facebook user is near a location of a participating retailer or tourist attraction, a ‘tip notification’ is sent to their phone. The notification can be left by friends and users have to open the social network in order to receive alerts. The cards give users access to more information about a place. For example, if you walk into a museum, you will have access to photos, tips and any other info Facebook friends have shared about the rooms and exhibits. To access the info, mobile owners simply tap the notification and are given a series of info cards. They then have the option to engage with them and learn more about the site or shop. However, there are a few snags. Firstly, you need a physical location in which to place your beacon. Contractors and freelancers working from home or remote locations will not benefit. And although the service appears to be highly advantageous to small businesses, advertising is not permitted. It is likely that ads will be...

Using Social Media As A Digital Marketing Billboard

Social media networks were never intended to be used as online advertising bill boards. Still, this is what they have become. And social networkers do not particularly like it. It seems that avid users of social networkers are not interested in receiving “noise”. This is what they call content they don’t want. They prefer to know what friends they haven’t seen for years or do not even know are eating for dinner. Too much noise gets blocked, or they unsubscribe altogether. So marketers need to be socially savvy in order to get followers interacting, talking about them and purchasing products. Develop relationships Social media users are not so against receiving adverts. They actually recognise that following brands gives them easy access to assistance that will answer their queries. How convenient is it to contact your local sports store and ask, “Have you got any Nike Air Max in a size 9?” This would be great of course, if all of your followers were approaching you with questions you can answer in their favour. In reality it does not work like that – primarily because social media users are savvier than marketers. Brands have to be visible on social media networks, and that does not mean simply posting content and sharing the content of others, but actively engaging with followers. Comment on their wall, compliment their posts, like their comments. You know the drill. This may all seem superficial, but by building relationships, you build trust, and that is an important aspect consumers consider before they opt to purchase from brands online. Furthermore, you eventually want to make them want...

How The Top Brands Are Mastering Social Media Marketing

Social media networks have taken on a leading role in online marketing. Yet social was never intended to be an advertising platform, which can pose a problem for brands. So how are the top brands mastering social media marketing? CEO of Boom and co-author of Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstar, Kim Garst says, the best approach to social media marketing is to be authentic. Four Seasons look before you book campaign The Four Season hotel designed an app that allows their customers to view rooms and explore destinations where they own property. The virtual reality app allows prospects to can hotel room and facilities in 3D before they choose to purchase. This is an authentic approach and gives the hotel credibility. But the app team did not stop there. They also provided additional information for what visitors could expect from a particular resort, for example whether it is child-friendly or whether it has business facilities. Roberto Cavalli’s passion and personal touch Italian designer, Roberto Cavalli, provides a face behind a name by featuring in his videos and posting images of himself on his blog and Instagram account – among many other images of course. The personal approach has helped him to accrue over 1 million Facebook fans and almost half a million on Twitter, not to mention another 128,000 followers on Instagram. And Cavalli is passionate about his brand and fashion in general. He frequently posts content to his blog – which he shares across his social media networks of course! USAA Interactive Social media is all about interacting with people, and USAA took advantage of the...

GIF Up: Add Personality To Your Brand On Social Media

The importance of using images and animated videos is apparent in online marketing. According to Rhythm & Insights, animated GIFs improve ad engagement by 22 per cent and there are loads of other eye-opening statistics that indicate the benefits video can have in an online marketing campaign. Of course, the reason why images appeal to online users is because the human brain responds better to pictures than words. It is scientifically proven our brains process information from images far quicker than text. What are GIF’s? Over the past two decades, Graphic Image Format (GIF) software has improved and is now capable of storing compressed files without losing any of the quality. You can therefore publish images on your website that is compressed into a small file and does not weigh heavily on your upload speed. GIF’s have been something of a godsend for website owners and end-users, so it should come as no surprise they are being used by an increasing number of marketers. Video is set to become the leading advertising platform. TV on the net! With the right type of GIF software program you can build brand awareness, develop a voice and brand image and create stunning animated content that will attract more engagement and possibly even go viral. So let’s look into this more deeply. Developing a brand personality To have a successful online presence your brand needs to develop a personality your audience want to engage in. To do this you need a strong voice that has character and authority. You can achieve this with high levels of success by actually creating an animated character...

Facebook Add Deep Links In Mobile Ads

Facebook is pushing its paid ad subscriptions by adding deep links to app installations. The service allows advertisers to steer mobile uses to specific pages. The feature works by downloading a mobile app ad inside Facebook and directing it to a specific product page or landing page rather than the homepage. This enables marketers to drive traffic directly to relevant pages and improve the user-experience for mobile users. By removing the in-between steps of a purchasing process, online businesses should expect to improve engagement and conversion rates – and Facebook can expect to turn more heads towards their paid advertising service. Because deep link capabilities are more convenient for end-users to find content and deals they are pursuing, the service is more effective for helping marketers achieve goals. Not only that, but installing the links is pretty easy. Setting up deep links in paid ads To imbed a deep link, all you have to do is open your mobile ad install where you will find a new Deep Link field has been added to the creation tools. All you need to do then is enter the deep link URL and check the deep link verifier to ensure the link is set up properly before you run the app. You can also install apps using the Deep Link option is SDK Facebook. For more information and instruction about Facebook’s new deep linking option for mobile apps, visit their...

Why You Should Be Taking Advantage of Tweets in Google Search

Social media metrics (likes, shares, etc) do not typically show up in search engine results. However, in February this year, Google struck a deal with Twitter that allows tweets to appear in result listings. Given the number of tweets posted on a daily basis, this is good news for marketers. It gives you the opportunity to raise visibility and longevity to your content. The benefits are obvious and you should be taking advantage of this new feature, and we will explain why in a moment. However, you also need to be careful how you employ this tactic as it could pose you problems with Panda and Penguin. Good news for tweeters Since Google curbed the use of keywords, marketers have been limited to using one or two principle keywords rather than an assortment of related keywords in addition. This practice of “keyword stuffing” subsequently reduced the chances of content being found in search engine results. Sassy marketers can overcome this problem by tweeting published content using alternative keywords that do not exactly match the title of principle keywords of their content. Now Twitter feeds are appearing in search engine listings, this means that your content has more scope to be matched against a broader range of search terms other than those that closely relate to the title of your content. That’s the good news, but here’s the caution! Twitter is a link farm Another punishment Google dished out several years ago was the use of link farms – sites short on content, but with loads of links pointing to third party sites. Also called directories, these type of sites...

Facebook Adds Carousel Format To Mobile

Facebook announced last week that it is adding the carousel ad format to mobile platforms. The social media network launched the feature for desktops last year and it proved to be a huge success. According to official statistics, carousel images with embedded links in Facebook ads “drive 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click than the single links ads.” But other than the financial benefits, the carousel feature also allows marketers to be more creative and develop eye-catching advertisements. Not only can you improve ad performance, you can also increase engagement with end-users. What is the Facebook carousel? If you haven’t already seen how carousel ads work, it is quite simple. Companies can post up to five images on a rolling scroll and embed direct links to product pages. The interactive nature of the carousel has proven to be more effective than any other advertising feature on Facebook. A whole host of top brands have published content detailing how the feature has boosted sales. Scrolling images grab the attention of consumers and helps businesses to raise brand awareness. The instant links also provide a direct response function which can negate the need for a two or three step purchasing process. If you want to improve your engagement with your Facebook audience, get your creative team together and figure out your best approach of creating eye-catching carousels that appeal to mobile...

How To Get The Most From Facebook Ads

Now that Facebook is pushing paid advertising, it’s time marketers changed their social media strategy. So if you are going down the paid ad route, what tactics should you use to get the most bang for your buck? Targeted audience You would be surprised by the number of online businesses that do not know who their audience is, what they want and what their needs are. Until you have a specific audience to target, you will be spraying bullets and hoping to hit someone. This strategy involves a lot of testing which means you will probably spend a lot of money for little return. It is not worth the investment. You need to find an audience that will show a genuine interest in your brand and product. Use data analysis wisely Having said that, there is still room for error when targeting an audience. It may be the case that you have generalised your audience rather than categorising them into specific targets. To do this, use consumer data to identify the type of individual your prospects are. Ask questions like what are the interests of your followers, what have they purchased before, what content are they engaging with? This will determine which of your followers are mostly likely to purchase your product. Your aim then is to convert Likes into paying customers. An offer you can’t refuse It’s a no-brainer, but the better your offer is, the more people will buy. Value for money is still a priority for consumers, but the number one consideration is quality. This should be expressed in your copy. The offer should come in...

An Insight Into Linkedin Groups And Company Pages

For B2B companies, Linkedin typically generates more leads than any other social media network. If you are still slogging it out with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and have not yet tried Linkedin, maybe it’s time to switch. Linkedin actually works in a very similar way to Facebook. You can set up a company page and post your content there, and you can also set up group pages and invite followers that share a similar interest in a particular niche. Make the most of your company page Anybody can see your company page. This is your opportunity to stake your claim in the virtual world and raise awareness of your brand. Passersby that view your profile will study the content on this page and determine whether or not they want to connect. It is therefore important that you make the most of the space on your company page. Explain what your brand and company is about in the description page and make it interesting and engaging. You do not have to write a sales pitch on your homepage, but share your vision for your company with readers so they get excited about what you have to say. They will be more likely to want to know more. You should also encourage your employees to create Linkedin profiles. This widens the net for your brand and helps drive more traffic to your company page and your business website. You should also be using your company page to host content on your blog, or landing pages offering attractive deals. Your content should be engaging and provoke a reaction. In some circumstances, it...

Social Media Checklist List: How Much Do You Know?

Now social media marketing is emerging as a promising source of sales, it’s probably time you learnt how to take advantage of the medium. Unfortunately, social media marketing is not as simple as acquiring as many connects as possible and posting ads on their account. Customers do not just flock to you because you have a great offer! There is an etiquette. But having said that, by following simple rules and dedicating some part of the day to social networking, you can make this effective marketing tactic really work for you! Choose your friends carefully It used to be the case that numbers counted. The more followers you had receiving your content the more likely you were to make a sale. It’s how the law of averages work. But that strategy will not work anymore. Social networks have introduced paid advertising which means unless you pay, the majority of your followers will not receive your content, thus you make fewer sales. Therefore numbers are no longer important. What is important is that your followers have a genuine interest in your content, products and brand. It is better to have 50 customers that convert than 500 that do not show an interest. Don’t spread yourself to thick Social media networking can be time consuming, especially if you are trying to manage more than one account. If you are using social solo, limit yourself to two networks otherwise you put too many demands on yourself. You may need to experiment which platforms will be the most effective for you. Get to know your audience Social networks are a great way to...

Facebook v Twitter: Which Social Network Is Better For Business?

A spate of social media networks are battling for the attention of marketers. And to win, that means acquiring the most users. There are a few players in the mix it has to be said, but the superstars are without doubt Facebook and Twitter. So we thought we would put them head to head so you can consider which is best for your business. Finding connections Whilst both social tools are highly effective for acquiring and engaging with contacts, Twitter has the edge on the quality of followers you attract. Tweeters are blessed with a better search engine than Facebook thus is more effective at finding the right audience. Engaging with followers Being active on social media involves engaging with connections to raise the awareness of your brand and position yourself as an expert in your field. Twitter is excellent for getting involved in conversations, but if you follow too many contributors your newsfeed can get flooded with tweets very quickly. And with some much incoming, it is easy to miss articles you are interested in amongst all the mundane content you are not interested in. Keep followers to a minimum and you resolve the problem. Facebook on the other hand gives you more control of whose content you do not want to receive. However, since they shed the amount of content you receive to just six per cent, you will also miss content you could use to engage with prospects. Starting a group to which you can invite followers that engage with your content quickly helps sort the wheat out from the chaff. Opening your virtual door Facebook...

The Secret Power of Social Media Marketing

Social media networks have become an extremely powerful marketing tool for companies – especially new starters and online businesses that are new to SEO. Whatever your rank though, social media should be a part of your digital marketing agenda. Although search engines do not count likes and shares from social networks at the moment (although Google and Twitter have struck a deal for tweets to appear in search engines later this year), they do provide a different door for you to open and invite customers into your virtual store. However, the key point to remember, is that social media is not designed to be used as a virtual billboard, or at least social users do not want to be bombarded with promotional copy and advertising slogans. There is an etiquette. Content marketing on social media Publishing content is the best way to attract attention on social media. If your online business is new to SEO and thus does not rank in search, social media networks are your best way to target an audience. By posting content, you can drive traffic to your site, whereby you can improve your search rankings and your conversions. However, your content has to be good enough to attract attention and your on-page sales copy has to be good enough to persuade browsers to buy. Another massive boost social medias can give new websites is instant access to prospects. This means being active on social media and engaging with them, either one on one or in groups. Comment on posts they make and whenever you share the same interests, tell your follower about your experience...

How to use social networks for lead generation

Social media marketing is a bit hit and miss don’t you think? By that, I mean, it’s a hit for some and a miss for others. So you have to ask yourself, if social media channels are not working for you, are you doing it right? It may just be that you haven’t given your strategy enough time. Like all digital marketing, building a following, engaging readers and generating interest does not happen quickly. But before you throw your hands in the air and say “so what’s the point then,” statistics that have been produced in the last year show that social media channels do boost sales. According to Marketo.com, 58% of marketers confirmed sales did increase significantly thanks to glad generation on social platforms. However, marketers also said they had been plugging away at social for three years. Established authority The reason you need time and patience is because you need to earn trust from other social networkers. Before you start to see developments in lead generation strategies, you have to establish yourself as an authority in your field. This involves being socially active so that you are on-hand to offer advice and answer questions your followers have. It also means getting customer feedback and keeping your brand visible through blogs and newsletters. Do your research That little ditty is not the only disappointing news for social butterflies eager to go diving in and get started on social media marketing. We know it’s an exciting prospect, but steaming in unprepared will waste your time in the long run. The first decision you need to make is which social...

Do You Need To Be More Responsive on Social Media? Here’s How!

The importance of social media networks cannot be underestimated. They enable you to cast your marketing net further afield and connect with customers on a personal level – well virtually at least. But the emergence of social networks as a marketing platform has changed the way companies connect with customers in the digital sphere. Essentially, you have been invited into their personal world and they demand respect. Customer service has always been high on the agenda of consumers, and even though shopping is switching to the digital realm, the needs and principles of people have not changed. The modern day consumer still expect companies to provide great customer service, and on social networks this means being more responsive. The key principles of social media marketing Connecting with customers works both ways. Your customers can take the initiative and approach you with questions first. This gives you the opportunity to serve them by offering advice online as if they were in your physical store. What you have to consider, is the device a customer is using. The majority will use a mobile which means they could be within 5 minutes reach of your store. Quick responses are required and that is what customers expect. One of the bugbears for your social connects is receiving content they have no interest in, especially if it is a promotional ad. Therefore you should group customers into specific categories based on their personal interests. Take note of what kind of content your customers are engaging with, the type of questions or comments they post and what content they share with friends. This will enable...

It’s time To Cull Your Facebook ‘Friends’

Ever since Facebook took the decision to limit the amount of followers that receive your content, reaching your audience has become a problem for small businesses and freelancers. The resulting strategy is to cull “friends” that are not actively engaging in your content. But for some, this is actually not a bad thing on a personal level as well. It enables you to reduce unwanted posts from your own newsfeed and makes your account more manageable. Facebook say the reason for limiting organic feed is to reduce the amount of content users are receiving, and only show people content that is more relevant to them. No mention of wanting businesses to pay for advertising which we know is the real reason, but hey ho! So how do you go about culling your Facebook “friends”? Friends and family On the assumption that freelancers and some small businesses operate their Facebook page under your own name, you may well have friends and family listed in your account. It would be harsh to discount family. Friends on the other hand are a different matter. By all means keep your best friends, and old friends from school or previous work places that engage with your content. Friends that you do not see engaging with your content can go. If you are not sure, write to them and ask if they are interested in receiving your content in the newsfeed. If they do not respond, drop them like a hammer. “Friends” you have acquired Up until last year, it was a common trend for online business owners to accumulate as many social friends as...

How Does Social Media Affect Your Search Rank?

Search engines may not rank interaction on social media networks, but using platforms like Facebook, Twitter et al does influence search standings. Given Google, Bing and Yahoo! intend to promote websites that produce engaging content. It may come as a surprise that likes and shares do not count towards how well a page ranks. The reason for that however, is because social media networks are not allowing Google to crawl their site and publish content in search results. The only exception is Google+ for obvious reasons. It is therefore worth posting to Google+ as a matter of course. Even though there is little engagement among the networks users, your content will still attract traffic through search results. The other exception – once the rules come into play – is Twitter. Google recently struck a deal to include tweets in search results to help the social network drive non-users to its platform. It’s a revenue thing! How content on social affects ranking Social media networks are a means of reaching your audience who then click through to your site. This counts as an organic visit and is thus included in your SEO score when the bots coming crawling. Furthermore, social networks give you the platform to influence inbound links. Other content publishers use social media networks to promote their own content and find inspiration from the work of others. Inbound links are regarded very highly by search engines and are the best kudos source that improve page rank. It is therefore worth engaging in social media marketing strategy to push content – rather than using social as a virtual advertising...

5 Social Media Strategies To Leverage Your Business

Social media networks have become the number one platform for marketers to launch content in the face of their followers. However, poor content and bad advertising gives your brand a bad reputation, quickly followed by a mouse click on the unfollow button. Get your social media strategy right however, and you can leverage your online business and generate more conversions. Here are a five tactics to engage readers. Use images wisely Images include photos, video footage, animation and infographs. They can obviously be used in several different ways, but the key purpose is to attract the reader’s attention and compel them to click-through to the content on your website. According to a survey conducted by socialmediaexaminer, content with photos receive much more engagement than content with no images – and without fail. Furthermore, 82% of marketers that launch promotional videos report higher levels of engagement. Quality over quantity It has become a sneaky custom of social media networks to extract cash from business customers using their platforms as virtual billboards. The ultimatum is to either pay to pitch your posts, otherwise they will only reach a small percentage of followers. A few years back it was the trend to accumulate as many followers as possible to increase the chances of attracting traffic. Social networks have kicked that into touch. The aim of the game now is to find an audience that WANT to receive your content and actually engage with your posts. Look for the followers that share a genuine interest rather than clocking up numbers. Be transparent Online consumers want to be able to trust companies they buy...

Could Paid Ads Ruin Social Media Marketing Channels?

As far as we know, social media was never designed to become a marketing platform. But inevitably it has. Perhaps that was the plan to make social networks money in the first place. But maybe not. Either way, we are faced with the reality that social media networks are an easy way for companies to connect with customers and push their products and services on to them. It’s only a matter of time before social networkers get fed up with receiving irrelevant content and promotional videos. They only joined to hang out with their friends and share news and interests! Paid advertising is a pain Social networks have not done anything to smooth over a growing problem. If anything, they are making it worse. For marketers to get their content seen by more than a handful of prospects, paid advertising is the only way to go. As a result, unwanted content is appearing newsfeeds of social media users. You have probably seen plenty already. It’s a nuisance isn’t it? And if you think it’s a pain, then so will your audience. So now, companies are faced with a Catch-22. You either have to shell out for paid advertising or have a limited presence on social media. For the time being, paid advertising on social media may be working for some companies, but how long will it last? It won’t be long until social networkers are flooded with content companies have paid to sync with their newsfeeds. It is often the case that the recipients have no interest whatsoever in the advert and they inevitably get in the way. Essentially,...

How To Track Revenue In Social Media Networks

Social media marketing is a great way to pull visitors to your site, but without relevant data it is difficult to determine how much revenue you are generating from social channels. Basic data analysis allows you to measure traffic and even analyse which titles are attracting attention and what type of content is being shared. But how do you know the money you are spending on social media marketing is being recouped in sales conversions and which campaigns are driving revenue? The first step to take to measure revenue from social media networks is to integrate your AdSense account with Google Analytics. If you do not know how to do that, you can find more information from Google’s AdSense Help. Running revenue research The data you can recover by combining AdSense with Analytics is much broader than tracking revenue, but for the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on metrics that enable you to pull profit data and set up a system of data analysis. A good place to start is to determine which of your social media networks is the most effective. You can do this by opening up your Analytics dashboard and clicking on the “behaviour” tab in the sidebar to the left. If you host more than one website in Google Analytics, obviously you need to select the website you want to track data on first. In the behaviour tab, you can recover metrics from AdSense. To identify how much traffic you are getting from your social media networks, select AdSense Referrals. This gives you a list of all platforms which drives traffic to your...

Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide To Hastags And Why You Need To Use Them

You will be surprised how powerful a little hashtag (#) is. Well, on social media networks anyway. According to Neil Patel, founder of KissMetrics and an authority on online data analysis, says adding #’s to social media posts generates twice as much audience engagement than tweets without hashtags. How can this be? The simple answer is that hashtags reach out to social media users that state they are interested in certain keywords whether they are in your network or not. Therefore, hashtag’s are designed to give message senders extended reach. Hashtags are most commonly used on Twitter, but all the major social networks have adopted the principle. Patel claims that when he hashtagged photos on Instagram, audience engagement increased by 15%. Hashtags in social networks Google has started to include hashtags in search results and delivers a sidebar of Google+ posts alongside the search results that are churned out in the usual way. If you are a Google+ user therefore and have not been using hashtags, sorry to say, but you have missed out on ample opportunities to gauge the interest level in the topics you are posting and discover new content from other users. Hashtags on Facebook took a while to pick up momentum, but Patel’s stats show that including one or two #’s in a message with pick up an average 539 engagements. The key takeaway with the FB data is to limit hashtags to 1 or 2 a post. When ten or more hashtags were used, audience engagement dropped to just 188 interaction per post. If you have not yet discovered the power of the #,...

How To Establish Brand Identity On Social Media

Although social media is not strictly a sales platform, it is proving to be a powerful marketing hub where online businesses can raise their brand profile. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat enable online businesses to stress a unique value proposition and improve user-experience for customers. The principle focus of your social media campaign should therefore be centred around trust. Social users are typically the younger generations and millennials do not fall for advertising – but they are responsive to brands they trust. Publish quality content It goes without saying that the quality of your content will determine the number of readers you attract. And social media is a great way for getting your content in front of more people. Professionals can take advantage of the social culture by positioning themselves as an expert in their field and developing trust with followers. Post quick tips that are practical and actionable, publish comprehensive how to guides and answer the questions of your followers. Use images Images and videos are proving to be the most effective media for attracting clicks, likes and shares. If you are publishing an article, an accompanying image at the top immediately captures the eye of your audience. Ideally the image should catch the eye, relate to the theme of the article and be of generally good quality. Video has obvious benefits for advertisers and statistics show has the highest click-through rate of any online ad format. Develop a personality Building an online brand is tantamount to you becoming a mini-celebrity – providing you get a following that is. And you will have a better...

Why has Facebook started advertising on TV?

Facebook recently launched three TV ads in the UK – but there seems no clear reason why the social media giant would need to do this. Business Insider couldn’t work it out either, saying; ‘It’s not entirely clear what the aim of the advertising is, beyond perhaps encouraging people to be thankful for Facebook.’ The ads all centre on the importance and the value of friendship. Unsurprisingly enough, they all feature Facebook branding, but there is no obvious call to action. Some commentators are describing the campaign, which will also spread to billboards, as little more than a celebration of Facebook’s success. But if this is the case, it seems a slightly bizarre way to spend money. Is Facebook hoping to widen the net? Facebook’s wider aspirations involve bringing the net (and presumably Facebook with it) to more and more parts of the world. The lead story on Facebook’s news portal discusses The State of Global Connectivity. It argues by early 2015, 3 billion people will be online. That’s 3 billion targets for Zuckerberg, but contrastingly, it also means just 40% of the world’s population has ever connected to the internet. So with 3 billion onside, perhaps the social media giant is looking at ways to entice the remaining 60% of the global population. TV advertising seems highly unlikely to do this alone, but alongside billboards, maybe the aim is to push Facebook’s brand presence beyond the realm of the internet. If that is the case, there’s an irony. As the world’s creator of social media goes for more conventional sales tactics, the rest of the marketing world is...

Why Do Financial Advisors Still Resist Social Media?

A recent piece in the New York Times discusses how social media and online marketing affect financial advisors. To be precise, it quotes Mitchell S. Rock, a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley. He’s an advocate of social media, saying it helps get ideas in front of target markets. But Rock isn’t typical. Many financial advisors only see social media as a potential risk. Compliance officers check off comments before staff post at many firms. The risks appear reputational. There’s a genuine fear that one misjudged comment, the context of which can’t be controlled, could push million dollar clients offside at the click of a button. The debate begs a question. What can digital marketing men do to help high stakes, high value clients in sectors like financial advice? Winning over new markets Developing such sectors will require posts and tweets to link into articles which take theories a step further. Marketing men need to realise that when you’re getting new sectors onside, you don’t just send posts, or monitor them. Send them as a package, with three or four links to similar articles taking your actual ideas further. Then, the overall process is more akin to education. And rather than fearing digital, tough sectors will become drawn into an overall process that educates about social media, and helps them understand financial advice better too. In this way, digital marketing is about education. Creating a debate is more likely to succeed than trying to get an idea out there...

Facebook Adds eCommerce Shopping Engine To It’s Basket

Mark Zuckerberg has been splashing the cash again – this time with the acquisition of TheFind, an eCommerce search engine that personalises shopping experiences for Facebook users. The new function is good news for small businesses that act as resellers for top-named brands. For small company manufacturers it’s another nail in the online coffin. TheFind claims to index more than 500 million products from 500,000 stores and make it easier for online consumers to find the products they want for great tie-in deals. Typical offers include something along the line of discounts with Amazon if you buy a coffee from Starbucks. In other words, large corporations are working with each other to dangle carrots in front of online shoppers. And now they can dangle the carrot on Facebook walls to give them more visibility and a greater share of the population. Relevant Facebook ads According to Facebook, the ads will work on relevancy. Users signed in to Facebook and have authorised TheFind to post messages on their wall should receive products and services they are interested in based on previous account activity related to Facebook ads. It is not certain exactly how TheFind feature will work within the Facebook platform other than the results are based on your social profile. Local businesses should therefore be able to elevate their products to local customers. With this in mind it is worth running through your Facebook “friends” and prioritising local followers rather than international followers. With mobile also focusing on local search, the internet no longer caters for global reach for online shoppers. That is a good thing for many small...

LinkedIn Sponsored Inmail Tool Designed To Drive More Leads

Social media networks are competing with one another to attract paid advertising from subscribing companies. LinkedIn is the latest to launch an initiative with a revamp of its Sponsored InMail tool. The purpose for the upgrade is to encourage marketers to take advantage of the networks paid advertising facility in order to target a wider audience. A statement from the social enterprise says it hopes to “break through the limits of traditional email marketing and drive more leads.” The new tool, currently in beta-status, is being trialled by 45 leading corporations and, on the provision it is successful, will be launched worldwide later this year. Given testing privileges have only been awarded to a select few, we cannot give you a full report of how the InMail tool works or what advantages it will give users. What we do know is the social network has formatted mobile-optimisation templates that allow marketers to strengthen their call to action, much like Googles recent “call only” feature in Adwords. The advantages of InMail The tool also allows companies to narrow their target audience down to industry, company size, seniority and job function whereby you can more accurately send messages to the right people rather than a blind and sweeping sales ad to an info@inbox account. From a marketer’s point of view, it is clear to see the advantages the InMail tool offers, but how will receivers feel about it. Companies will have to keep excellent records of targets that have already received a message otherwise you risk becoming unconnected and perhaps lose a potential...

How Are Marketers Changing Tactics On Social Media?

A recent report published by Leadtail Social Insights in conjunction with Neustar highlights compelling content is crucial to engaging followers on social media. Subsequently, marketers are sharing more news from established and reliable sources and creating more of their own content rather than making wish-washy comments about nothing in particular. A study involving 1434 content marketers showed that social media trends have changed in the last two years. Attitudes have switched from posting pictures of their lunch to publishing content readers actually care about. It’s a no-brainer really. But that is not the only trend. Social media strategies for 2015 So what are the other latest trends in social media marketing? The biggest trend this year and probably every other moving forward, will be the growth in visual content. An image with a marketing slogan is proving to be an effective means of increasing lead generation. Linkedin is fast becoming the preferred social network of choice, particularly among B2B companies. The network is specifically designed for professionals and content published on the platform attracts a higher level of engagement among peers and interested readers. Linkedin also allows marketers to publish content directly into the forum where a ready-made audience is ready and waiting to read posts. Given the network also allows you to cross-post content in Twitter makes using Linkedin as a primary network even more convenient. It has also become a custom for marketers to share content produced by third party sources, typically from established and recognised publications that are relevant to their industry. A change in Google guidelines have principally governed this practice and essentially promotes publications...

Social Media Tools: GinzaMetrics Helps Marketers Analyse Social Impact

The ability to analyse data to determine the impact of your social media campaign is crucial. Fortunately for marketers, GinzaMetrics recently launched a new range of tools to make things that little bit more easy and effective. The Social Intelligence Suite has four key tools designed for marketers to assess the performance of their social media strategy and the ROI of your campaign. The tools also help you set goals and helps to refine your overall social strategy. The four tools focus on Marketing Channel Performance, Competitor Social Landscape, Content Insights and Social Engagement Analytics. You can also pull data across a full range of devices. Marketing channel performance MCP allows you to compare the impact of your social marketing campaign against other strategies you have in your digital arsenal. Metrics detailing cost and return on revenue are calculated and matched up side-by-side so marketers – and your accounts manager – can register at a glance which SEO strategies are working. The metrics enable you to pinpoint key areas of your online marketing campaign such as how much engagement content is getting through social media channels versus search engines. The Competitor Social Landscape tool allows you to assess your social performance against that of your competitors – which sounds a bit like social espionage, but only gives you stats relating to content traffic and number of followers. Content insights One of the most useful tools is Content Insights which pinpoints the performance of specific content. This enables you to identify what types of content are attracting the most traffic, likes and shares. This type of statistical data is essential...

A Guide To Social Media For The Holiday Season

The holidays are a massive part of the year for many reasons and for marketers it’s a big opportunity to leverage social media success. A study from MarketLive says that half of holiday shoppers will be influenced by social media this year and this shouldn’t come as any surprise. Holiday shoppers take part in a number of social activities over the festive period – from product reviews and recommendations to hunting for gift ideas on Pinterest. A strong social presence at this time of year could make a great start to 2015 so its time to get your holiday social campaign off the ground. How to choose your holiday strategy Just like any other marketing campaign your festive strategy needs to be planned out for success. The right approach depends on the type of business you are and the services you offer. A social media campaign for toys at this time of year will vary greatly from a triple-glazing company and its important you understand the role of your services or products. If it’s hard to imagine your products or services as a Christmas present, offer your customers the gift of a discount or special offer. Even if you’re generally associated with the summer months (eg: a marquee hire firm) you can send out offers for those Christmas and new year’s parties – as well as those summer wedding, which will already be in the planning stage. The question you need to answer is, what does your audience want at this time of year? It could be free shipping on their gifts or guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve. They...

The New Strategy For Content Marketing On Facebook

Facebook is emerging as one of the best platforms for online businesses to leverage their brand. Despite likes and shares not counting towards your SERPs, new tools and algorithms threaten to muscle in on Googles dominance in the digital marketing world. Marketing on Facebook is still not without its challenges. Unless you are prepared to pay for native advertising – which is FB’s ultimate goal – your posts only reach around two per cent of your followers. And you still face the task of getting them to engage with your content. A lot of companies may struggle with this stumbling block. According to surveys, a low percentage of Facebook users engage with brand on social media. Therefore a lot of content is going unread. Quality over quantity Several years ago, it was a trend to collect as many followers as possible to show you were more popular than your rivals. This strategy has now backfired as companies have a high percentage of followers that never engage in their content. And it is not reaching those that might. Things cause for a drastic change. Companies will be better off shedding followers that so not show an interest in their brand in favour of genuine followers who do engage in their content. Choosing your friends When you’ve got hundreds, if not thousands of Facebook friends trawling through to determine which are valuable and which are dragging you down is a tough call. To help make the task easier and quicker, sort friends out into five categories; clients, prospects, people you know, affiliates, business that are not relevant to your and one-hit...

Tips For Elevating Content On Facebook

Last year, Facebook cut it organic reach down to just six per cent of your followers. That means that for every 100 Facebook friends, only six are receiving your content. The reason for this is because Facebook want to encourage business users to buy their paid advertising scheme. But what do you do if you don’t have the marketing budget? It has become a custom for consumers to favour quality over quantity. Think about this for your content marketing campaign. But you can also apply the same principle to followers on your Facebook. On average, only one per cent of Facebook users engage with content. You can improve that average by identifying followers that are interested in engaging with your content. Quality, not quantity It is the quality of Facebook friends, not the quantity of followers you have in your network that gives you greater visibility. By reducing the number of “friends” that receive your content, you will find an audience that interacts with your content. A large culling exercise will be need, but you can use this to your advantage by putting together a questionnaire to identify who your followers are. You also gather crucial consumer data that, when used wisely, can be used for personal marketing – thus you can improve your customer relations and retention as well! Facebook users prefer to engage with video and image content rather than written articles. Therefore, vary your content and use images more often. You content can be to raise awareness, lead generation or your landing page. Timing is also important. Using page insights, track the times of day most...

What Are The Best Performing Types of Content On Social Media?

A survey conducted by Hubspot aimed to determine what the best performing types of content are getting the most engagement on social media networks. The results determined that content formats work on an industry basis and are seasonal rather than one-size fits all. For example, list articles performed well in the travel industry, but poorly in the education sector. The conclusions to draw from the data is that online businesses need to determine what content formats perform well in their field. To give you an edge, this article will outline the types of different content options posted to social media networks and attempt to explain how to best utilise the type of content. Lists Lists focus on a specific topic and go through a number of options. We can see why this will work well in industries such as travel, electronics, marketing and business, but lists do not work for everyone. The pros of lists are they are easy to knock together and are intriguing to readers. The survey showed that lists received 22.45% of engagement on social media. The problems with lists are they typically regurgitate the same ideas because they are written by writers who have used the internet for inspiration. Especially in travel. Sooner or later readers will not trust them. Furthermore, since search engine algorithms have switched to semantic text, they can read and understand content on the page, thus better determine whether the post is fresh and original, or a rehash of somebody else’s ideas. Therefore, if you are going to publish lists, make sure they are original and have different recommendations to those...

How To Groom Future Prospects on Social Media Networks

Internet marketing on social media is a free for all. Online businesses are accruing followers wherever they can find them, and throwing out content in the hope their social media “friends” will read, like and share. But in reality, your content marketing strategy does not work in the virtual world. The problem for most brands is that the audience they have asked to follow them are not interested in their products or content. According to Adage, only 1% of Facebook users engage with brands. However, other researchers have found that brands are successful at engaging prospects increase customer loyalty. According to Bains.com, customers engaging with brands on social spend 20-40% more than customers purchasing through regular channels. So how can online businesses attract the right audience and engage with them through social media channels. Be proactive Reactive marketing is a thing of the past now that social media and semantic search are taking over the marketing landscape. Online businesses have to attract customers to them by being visible. This means publishing content and engaging followers on social media networks. However, if your followers are not a true audience you are wasting your time, money and energy. Target a specific audience by joining groups which have members that have an interest in your brand and product. If no such groups already exist, then start your own. Dedicate personnel to social media It is not always possible for every small business, but if you can afford to dedicate a member of staff to manage your social media accounts, you can connect with customers in real-time. Grooming prospects on social media is...

Getting To Know Tsu: The Social Media Network That Give Cash Back To Users

Here’s a novelty – get cash back on the content you publish. It may sound unreal, but new social media site Tsu aims to do just that. The social upstart promises to give users 90 per cent of the ad revenue their content creates. When you consider Facebook is making $2.2bn a year from its users, Tsu’s business concept is either very generous or commercial madness. Tsu was only launched last October 2014, but has already amassed more than 3 million users. You can expect that number to grow sharply once word gets out about cashback on content. Could this be the social network that topples Facebook of its perch? Only time will tell, but the incentives for advertisers is certainly more appealing to small businesses than the paid advertising Facebook offer you, especially when you consider the Facebook fraud a few years ago! Can you really trust paid FB ads? How Tsu works? On the surface, Tsu works like most other social networks for marketers. You find your audience and publish content. All members of your community will receive your content (and not just 6%) and is also filtered down to your friends’ friends. The major difference is that for every £100 of ad revenue you accrue from your content, £90 gets shared with users who share and re-share content. So if 8 of your friends share your content, you each get a spoil of the revenue. The split-share is as follows: content creator 50%, first share, 33.3%, second share 11.1%, third share 3.7%. One of the company’s founders, Sebastian Sobczak said: “We are fighting a philosophy. The...

What Do The Experts Say About Marketing On Twitter?

Marketers cannot underestimate the power of social media marketing. Twitter is a prime example. However, it can be frustrating when you do not get results. Believe it not, but tweeting has etiquette. The first thing to realise is that you will not become a Twitter sensation overnight. Social media is about building relationships and sourcing a community of followers that trust your tweets and enjoy the information you publish. Also, different strategies work for different businesses so not one size fits all. To point you in the right direction, let’s take a look at how the experienced experts recommend you use Twitter. Update your profile Your profile is one of the first introductions to your audience. It should therefore give them some indication of who you are and what type of content they can expect to receive from you. Give them a reason to follow you. Your Twittering ideally needs a core message that you stick to. This works in the same way as posting relevant content on your blog. Keep within the confines of your purpose and you followers will know what they can expect from you. In which case, update your profile with a mission statement. Sharing other people’s content Every expert on tweeting will tell you it’s not just about you. This is where Twitter etiquette kicks in. The community is about sharing content and users are expected to share other people’s content rather than using the platform as a self-promoting digital billboard. The key to Twitter however, is sharing the right type of information. Think of your mission statement and direct your followers to links...

What Are The Benefits of Advertising in Facebook Atlas?

Facebook has taken a few hard knocks from advertisers over the last year (and rightly so), but the social media giant is hoping to make amends by providing tools that help advertisers analysis their ad strategy with more efficiency. Last year the social media giant launched its Atlas advertiser suite purchased from Microsoft for $100m in February 2013. The program enables marketers to analyse ad performance in two significant ways. Identifies consumers not cookies Important data can be gathered by marketing departments by monitoring how visitors interact with your website. The current technology which allows you to do this is cookies – but they only have a 59% success rate of tracking user activity. Atlas covers the same basis, but provides more information about the user including their sex, age and location – albeit this information will be based on the average user and not individuals. The software also identifies touch attribution which will identify the last ad a consumer clicks before they purchase. Up to now, the credit for sales is given to the last ad the user saw before they purchased, but in reality this can only be a presumption because it may take exposure to several types of ads before consumers take the decision to invest. Identifies devices The use of multiple devices to access online stores has become a typical ploy for consumers. Desktop computers remain the preferred device to use when purchasing, but an increasing number of shoppers are using mobile handsets to browse online stores and compare prices. Atlas can identify the type of device used to view ads and more importantly which...

Viral Content: What Can The Multi-Coloured Dress Teach Us About Viral Content?

Virtually everyone has heard of the infamous dress – it’s even got its own Wikipedia page. The entry reckons within a week of the image appearing, more than 10 million tweets had mentioned it. Achieving such astonishing virality would be a dream for digital marketers. Journalists have described the dress phenomenon as generating vertical growth, instead of a more typical bell curve. BuzzFeed built extensive features around the dress and in doing so generating ad revenue. By 1 March, say some estimates, the original BuzzFeed article had received over 37 million hits. So why do we have such an insatiable appetite for posting and sharing seemingly irrelevant material? Whether it’s a dress, or the Gangnam style video, which to date has some 2 billion Youtube views, our hunger for utterly meaningless debate and content consumption seems undiminished. It all makes the DM battleground a vastly crowded space. Shining through is harder and harder. Social “attachment” A Guardian article reckons most people share things they feel some attachment to. Whether that’s a political viewpoint, what colour dress they see, or which of us associate with the anti-cool Gangnam may not matter. If this attachment theory is true, there’s a whole new world of virality out there to leverage. All digital marketers need to do is conceptualise how sharing an image, which they want to go viral, could be made into a personal statement. That way, sharing images that illustrate our point of view, we also share what digital marketers want us to see. And it’s not just cats and cure babies that pull on the emotional heart strings of social...
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