Posted on Feb 23, 2011 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
I recently attended the Social Fresh conference in Tampa, FL and had the opportunity to hear some mind-blowing speakers. One of them was Ellie Mirman from HubSpot. She provided 20 tips on getting your content seen on Facebook. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, but check out these great tips!
What is “News Feed Optimization”?
The news feed is the #1 most visible real estate on Facebook. It is customized to each user based on their network and their patterns of activity, like which of their friends they interact with the most. The news feed shows the top posts from a user’s network, filtering out more than 99% of content. So, the question is, how do you make sure your content makes it into that <1% of content securing real estate in the news feed?
Facebook’s Algorithm: EdgeRank
Facebook, unlike the super-secret Google, has shared their algorithm for ranking content on Facebook and filtering what appears in the news feed. The algorithm consists of three components:
1. Affinity – the number of times 2 people (or a person and a page) have interacted
2. Weight – the number of times users have interacted (commented, liked) with the content in question
3. Recency – the time since the content was posted, note that Facebook moves and changes very quickly, and my news feed, for example, never has content more than 24 hours old.
20 Tips to Get Your Content Seen on Facebook
With the understanding of how Facebook ranks and filters content, what can you do to make sure your content makes the cut? Here are 20 ideas.
Post a variety of content to attract interactions from a higher percentage of your users, raising your affinity score.
Focus on positive and fun content on Facebook. Sex sells.*
Talk about Facebook – Facebook is the number one most shareable topic on Facebook.*
Respond to comments that your fans post on your content to increase the number of interactions per post.
Respond to comments that your fans post on your wall to increase your affinity score.
Experiment with targeting posts to get a higher feedback score (percentage of impressions that turn into interactions).
Post regularly, but not too frequently (more than once a day) to give each post a good chance of gaining traction.*
Post content outside of main work hours – Facebook users interact more when they’re off the clock.*
Include images on blog posts you publish to create a more eye-catching post.
Don’t forget to write an appealing meta description for any links you post, because Facebook automatically pulls this in for links.
Use share links on your blog articles and landing pages to encourage users to post your content directly.
Integrate landing pages within Facebook to get higher conversion rates – Facebookers don’t like to leave Facebook.
Post videos directly instead of links to articles with videos, so users can watch the video within Facebook.
Include links in video descriptions to drive traffic back to your website.
To share photos but protect your copyright and get better analytics, use Flickr integrated with your Facebook account.
To share photos for maximum interactions, post photos directly to Facebook.
Refrain from using complex language or jargon in your posts for maximum response.*
Ask questions and specifically ask for feedback from your fans.
Use Facebook Insights to measure which content performs the best on your specific page.
Encourage user-generated content, including user-created photos, comments, or links.
With the rise of digital marketing, it can leave you wondering how you can improve your web presence and where to start! Let us give you some quick tips….
The Obvious Social Network Route
As the movie The Social Network hit screens, the time came to reflect on the phenomenal success of Facebook and other social media sites. Facebook has an estimated 500 million users and this is likely to increase even further. Twitter now has well over 100 million users and is attracting an average of 300,000 new users a day. This makes it plainly obvious as to your main 2011 social media strategy. Facebook seems to attract users in the ‘right’ age group for marketing purposes, so dedicate a considerable amount of your budget towards setting up campaigns both on Twitter and Facebook.
Video Kills The Behind The Times Company
Yet it is important to push yourself to the front of the queue when it comes to jumping on the video marketing bandwagon. A recent whitepaper by Cisco suggested that more than half of all web traffic will be video-related by 2014. The days of the 30 second advert are dying out with more and more consumers skipping these dull and unimaginative productions. Sites like YouTube need to used more frequently with thought provoking and lengthier adverts the key to success. If you want someone to buy your cereal, don’t depict a happy family with 2.4 children eating the product by the kitchen. Edgy, new and deep will sell in future where fast, predictable and cheesy once ruled.
Email And Mobiles
As one might expect, email marketing is moving with the times. An extraordinary 97% of American households use email so a well constructed email campaign will reap dividends. It is a fact that social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are being integrated with email. The smartphone, Android and iPhone are linking even more users to their mail. The challenge facing digital marketers is to find a way to tailor their campaign for customers who view their email on a mobile device. The best strategy is to use a tool such as Litmus to find out more about your audience and tailor your campaign to them. This is necessary because it is difficult to find a current strategy that will work well for all mobile users.
SEO Is Still King
Believe it or not however, despite the huge budgets set aside for the all of the above, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still top of the list when it comes to 2011 digital marketing tactics according to a poll carried out by Top Rank. Yet in order to get your content to the top of the search engine ladder, you still have to know your targets and audience. If you know your audience but not their triggers, start surveying. If you know what you want to market but have no idea to who, check out sites like eMarketer for market statistics. It should be remembered that no amount of marketing will work if your content is poor, sort it out. Oh, and avoid those nasty “please stay on my page and click on cancel for something special” pop-ups, these REALLY annoy consumers!
So where will this leave your marketing strategy for 2011? All four of these pieces will make your marketing plan come together and keep up with the ever-changing trends for digital marketing.
Posted on Oct 18, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
I think we can all recall our childhood of walking through museums and libraries and constantly being reminded to use our “inside voices” when taking field trips. You are listening to the teacher or tour guide and speaking softly when talking with friends or asking questions. Don’t you feel that the same applies to social media?
As individuals or businesses get started in social media, their first reaction is to start shouting out information to anyone who will listen about themselves or the products or services that they offer. What’s the first word in the phrase “social media”? – “Social” – right? We can’t be very social if we stand in a room full of people and shout out information without listening to what people are saying and even responding to their needs. Maybe a review of “Field Trip Rules” is necessary!
Rule #1 – Listen And Learn
When beginning your social media strategy, take the time to stand back and listen. What are people looking for and how could your business help them? As you gather some of these ideas, start adding some helpful posts on your blog. Once you do start interacting, you can always share your post with them, but most importantly these posts will help you stand out as a reputable source in your industry.
Rule #2 – Use Your Inside Voice
As you see areas for you to start conversing with people, the best way to jump into the conversation is to start with a whisper. Offer a quick tip to see if you could help solve the problem. No need to shout at them about your company and all that you offer when you first meet. Remember, if you are talking on Twitter, you only have 140 characters and trust me…you don’t need to use them all! A conversation starter could be to ask a question about their business or even an interest of theirs that you noticed in their profile. By beginning the conversation slowly, your trust is built with your new connection.
Rule #3 – Don’t Roughhouse
Whether you are using social media as a means of customer service, lead generation, or a mixture of both, you are sure to run into some individuals that might say things you don’t want to hear. Don’t be too quick to react, but take a step back and think of the potential dangers to your reputation if you push, pull, or say harsh words back to your online connections. Always practice good manners, courtesy, and respect.
Don’t be caught in “social media timeout”…. Just practice the basic rules and you will be sure to enjoy engaging with your connections. What rules could you add from your childhood?
Posted on Oct 1, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
Are you hiding under your desk scared of what social media could mean for your company? Remember thinking that you are “safe” if you don’t get involved? If there is one thing we hope you realize is that disasters aren’t caused by social media! Social media is what lets you SURVIVE them! No matter how small or how large your company is, your customers are still talking about you! Avoiding the conversations makes you look like you aren’t interested in connecting with your customers. When taking a look at social media, don’t only think about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or MySpace. Think about using these tools to connect with your target audience…social media is about people.
So are you ready to take that leap of faith into the social media world? The only way to start is by developing a social media plan. No plan? Well, let’s get you started – no one is successful without a plan, right?
Define Your Success
You shouldn’t enter into social media unless you know what you want to get out of it! If you aren’t sure what defines “success” for your company, then you aren’t ready! Some examples of metrics are:
* Building buzz and conversation around your product
* Gaining more traffic
* Knowing how your customers view your brand
* Better overall brand awareness
* Leads or blog subscribers
Once you know that, the next step in the planning process is to figure out how you will measure it! Be sure you understand your challenges and goals to determine how “buzz” will be quantified. Are you looking at blog comments, conversions, links, Twitter conversations, or better brand recognition? No measurement = not meeting goals!
Tell Your Story
The best way for you to connect with your customers is to use social media tools to tell them who you are! What are the values your company holds? Are you known for anything in particular or do you have something you want to be known for? Marketing is telling a company story! When your story is being shared by your customers, you know you have been successful because they WANT to be associated with you!
Make sure that you understand who your customers are and where they are located. If you aren’t sure, start some research to find out. Starting with Twitter, search for your brand name, your competitors’ names, your keywords, industry, etc. You will then need to decide if there is enough conversation to start engaging. With Facebook, see if there are Business Pages dedicated to your company or industry. If there aren’t, are there a lot of people who list it as an interest and possibly interested in joining a community on that topic? You can also check out Yahoo Answers to see if people are asking or answering questions.
Rules for Engagement
There might be some times where your company is called names and have some negative comments come from customers, but make sure you set up a strategy for dealing with them! Having ground rules is a must! You also need rules for not just what you will say, but WHO will be in charge of saying it and what their role is. Better to create the rules before you get started and not while the fire is flaming!
Check Your SuccessYou can’t set up your account name on your social media accounts and then just wait for things to happen. You have to make sure that you are engaging with your community, but then also taking a look at your efforts to make sure you have been successful. If you haven’t, what are you going to do to fix them? Make sure you give it time…. Social media efforts start showing their effects about 2-3 months into your plan. When you begin, you start looking at Twitter followers and Facebook fans, but those aren’t the metrics you should be evaluating all the time. You should really be looking if your rankings have increased based on traffic and links, if social media users are actually engaging or converting, and if you have increased awareness about a product that has led to a sale.
Whatever you had outlined as determining “success” before, now is the time to see if you’ve gotten any closer to that goal. If you have, congrats. Keep on doing what you’re doing. If not, figure out what’s broken and fix it. If you can’t do it yourself, you may need some help! I’m sure you know where we will point you ———–> Digital Street!
Posted on Apr 30, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
Even if you have a great product it can be a real challenge to get a new company off the ground. If people don’t know about your products they obviously can’t buy them.
Typically, new businesses will invest heavily in traditional advertising, cold calling, and email marketing. All of these are legitimate and should be pursued.
However, a robust social media component to your marketing efforts can make all the difference.
Social media is about generating buzz. The only thing worse than bad press is no press at all. If people are not talking about your brand they’re probably not buying it.
Here are 10 reasons your small business should be using social media:
1. More Traffic (a lot more) – The amount of traffic a successful viral marketing campaign can generate is simply staggering.
2. Reputation Management – Find out what people are saying about your brand and where.
3. Increases Search Rank – The more people share your content and talk about your brand it generates natural links back to your site. This increases your search engine rank which increases your traffic and the quality of it.
4. Branding – Creating a recognizable identity and a strong brand is key to success.
5. Buzz – Get people talking about your brand. This will increase the spread of your brand via word of mouth. People trust what their friends and family tell them.
6. Levels The Playing Field – Social media allows tiny companies and one man shops to get the same exposure as multi-billion dollar companies with massive advertising budgets. A single viral video has the potential to be seen by as many people as a million dollar Super Bowl ad.
7. Saves Money – Social media costs a fraction of what traditional advertising does.
8. Increases Trust – Companies with a strong presence on social networks are more accessible. Companies that are more accessible tend to be more trustworthy (or are perceived that way).
9. Makes You Better – When you engage with customers through social media you’ll know what they want, what’s wrong, what’s right, and how you can do better. Domino’s Pizza heard from customers via social networks about how terrible their pizza had become. They responded by throwing out all the old recipes and starting from scratch.
10. Increases Your Market – The web has made doing business all over the world as easy as doing business in your own neighborhood. A robust social media presence will expose your brand to potential customers all over the world.
Posted on Apr 28, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
American college student Amanda Knox was recently convicted of murder in Italy and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Knox allegedly murdered her roommate with the help of two accomplices. Most of what was used to convict Amanda in Italy would’ve never been allowed in an American court. I have no idea if she’s guilty or innocent, but suffice it to say the case is extremely controversial in the US and in Italy.
What I find most interesting and somewhat alarming about this case is the role that social media played in her conviction. While not the centerpiece of the case, Amanda’s social networking profiles were seen by prosecutors as strong evidence of her guilt.
Like many 20-year old college students, Amanda created a playful and somewhat sexy image of herself on Facebook and MySpace. She called herself “Foxy Knoxy” and frequently uploaded pictures of herself partying, acting silly, or posing in unusual ways. Her profiles were nothing out of the ordinary for someone her age and in fact would be considered quite typical. However, once accused of murder her profiles took on a whole new meaning.
Italian prosecutors used Amanda’s social networking profiles and her “Foxy Knoxy” persona to portray her as a slut and someone with loose morals quite capable of committing murder. Maybe they’re right, I don’t know. But it’s important to understand the implications of this. Maybe the person you portray on Facebook is really you, but if not you should think carefully about how you’re being perceived. When taken out of context seemingly innocent pictures or blog posts can become something else entirely.
The Italian media ran wild with the “Foxy Knoxy” meme and her Facebook pictures were on the cover of every newspaper and magazine in Italy and across Europe. It was later discovered that Amanda had written a short story several years earlier on MySpace about a man who drugs and rapes a girl. Once again, a short story like that doesn’t mean much until you’re accused of rape and murder.
Everything we write, say, post, or upload to the Internet will absolutely be there forever and could be used against us at anytime — even in a foreign country.
Posted on Apr 22, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
I’ve been convinced over the last few months that location based services like Foursquare are going to be huge this year. Foursquare’s latest move may be the just the catalyst needed for this technology to catch fire.
Foursquare is now making itself much more business friendly by offering a suite of tools for business owners to use in conjunction with the service.
Now every unclaimed business venue has a link asking, “Are you the manager of this business?” The link takes managers to a page asking them for proof that they are indeed the manager so that Foursquare’s sales team can call them to set them up with tools for claiming their venue and managing offers. There is also a new Businesses page explaining the different tools available to local merchants.
Businesses who claim their venues on Foursquare get a dashboard with realtime stats on number of check-ins, times of day people check in, most recent visitors, and most frequent visitors. They can also manage the offers and badges people get when they check in. These include Mayor specials, specials for people who check in a certain number of times, or wildcard specials which can be customized. A special can be anything from a free drink to 20 percent off a purchase.
This is pretty exciting stuff. I can imagine this being very popular with businesses. The marketing potential of this technology is impossible to calculate at this point because it’s just too new. Mobile technology in all its forms is getting more popular by the second largely due to the iPhone. Local businesses need a way to cash-in on this technology and integrate their brands with it. Foursquare is undoubtedly the first of what will be many companies developing ways to do that.
Businesses should take advantage of this and give it a try. There’s no downside to registering your venue on Foursquare and creating a couple of promotions.
Posted on Apr 16, 2010 by Michael Herman |
Posted in Social Media
It may not be as sexy as Facebook or get as much love from celebrities as Twitter, but LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social networks on the planet. When it comes to business networking LinkedIn is second to none.
Here’s an interview with Lewis Howes, author of the bestselling book LinkedWorking. Lewis talks about how businesses can benefit from using LinkedIn: