- Facebook is one of the most popular websites on the Internet. With approximately 250 million unique visitors each month, Facebook is the 2nd-most visited website on the Internet (behind Google). All those eyeballs mean plenty of exposure for your ads.
- Facebook offers targeted advertising. Facebook allows advertisers to target a specific group of people based on age, personal interests and more. Facebook can even comb through user profiles to place your ads only on pages that mention a specific keyword.
- You can increase customer loyalty through a Facebook fan page. Countless businesses have created Facebook fan pages that users can join. These pages allow your business to interact directly with your customers so that you can build loyalty and brand image.
- Offer special promotions through your Facebook fan page. Your fan page can also be used as a platform to promote new products or ad campaigns. Updates on new product launches keep your customers more informed and up-to-date on what products or services you offer.
- Facebook ads are more flexible than Google AdWords. Compared to Google AdWords, Facebook offers additional character length for ad descriptions. The ability to create image-based ads also adds flexibility.
- Facebook users offer heightened audience engagement. Facebook users visit the website not only to consume information, but also to create it. This results in a higher retention rate that improves ad visibility.
- Facebook facilitates multiple ad views. Your ad has a better chance of getting noticed or having a positive effect when seen multiple times. A high number of Facebook users visit the site several times a day.
- Choose between PPC and CPM pay structures. Facebook allows advertisers to purchase ad space on a click-based or impression-based fee structure. This allows you to tailor your ad campaign based on budget and other preferences.
- Advertising on Facebook can be inexpensive. Thanks to the targeted nature of Facebook advertising, your online campaign can reach your target market for a fairly affordable price. Range of packages for impression-based campaigns is also fairly large, allowing you to reach as many users as your budget allows.
- Ability to reach smart-phone users. Facebook is accessed via smart phones worldwide every single day. This fact means advertisers not only have the ability to reach computer and laptop users, but people out in the world as well.
Want to bone up on the history you forgot from high school, or maybe never learned? Spending some time on Facebook might be a valid option. Here is an article we wanted to share on a less traditional way to use Facebook.
During the past year or so, a number of federal agencies have filled in the history on their Facebook timelines all the way back to their founding dates.
The White House made the first strike in the spring of 2012, filling out itsFacebook history all the way back to George Washington’s inauguration. Since then, other agencies have followed suit.
The State Department has taken the task most seriously, papering its timeline with articles from its Office of the Historian on diplomatic accomplishments, initiatives and ephemera.
State Department posts vary widely in subject matter, from the Berlin Crisisand the U.S. effort to reconstruct Japan after World War II to lesser-known stories such as a clandestine 1919 visit to Soviet Russia by William Christian Bullitt, an American attaché to the Paris Peace Conference following World War I. Bullitt hoped to broker an agreement with the ruling Bolsheviks to end that nation’s civil war and allow the WWI allies to halt their blockade of that nation.
The Defense Department’s page is less ambitious but still well stocked with notable moments from Pentagon history, such as President Truman’s 1952 establishment of the National Security Agency inside DOD and Eisenhower’s1958 founding of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency known as DARPA.
The Agriculture Department’s page is built more around interesting photosfrom department history than around major policies.
The Labor, Treasury and Justice departments have filled out their agencies’ backstories more sparsely. However, their timelines still share some great facts, such as a 1976 musical commissioned by the Labor Department andthe day the Bureau of Public Debt got its first computer.
As an added bonus, you can also decide which attorney general had the most awesome portrait and spot the occasional silly typo.
What’s your priority on Facebook? Think about your personal use of Facebook for a moment. Now ask yourself this question: When was the last time you opened up Facebook to: Make a purchase or a donation? Find out the latest news from a brand? Connect with your friends? If you’re like most people, you’ve never done No. 1 or No. 2, and you always do No. 3.
So Facebook is about friends connecting with friends, as shown above in this graph from the Atlantic. The biggest mistake that companies make is forgetting that for most, Facebook is all about connecting with friends . So the next time you make a Facebook post or launch a Facebook campaign, think about how you can make it about your community rather than about you.
When working in an industry like social media you can’t create strategies for the present. By the time you complete your marketing strategy, all the tools and networks you rely on will have changed. In order to be strategic and be ahead of your competitors, you have to look into the future. What trends are on the horizon for social media? What’s coming next that we need to prepare for? Here’s what we think:
Step 1: Build an Ark
Nobody should “own” social media strategy in your organization. Social impacts all corners of the company, and should be more like air (everywhere) than like water (you have to go get it). Thus, the first step in the process is to create a cross-functional team to help conceive and operate the rest of the strategy.
Step 2: Listen and Compare
It’s an old social media strategy chestnut by now, but “listen” is still good advice that’s often ignored. The reality is that your customers (and competitors) will give you a good guide to where and how you should be active in social media, if you broaden your social listening beyond your brand name.
Step 3: What’s the Point?
Yes, you can use social media to help accomplish several business objectives. Butthe best social media strategies are those that focus (at least initially) on a more narrow rationale for social. What do you primarily want to use social for? Awareness? Sales? Loyalty and retention? Pick one.
Step 4: Select Success Metrics
How are you going to determine whether this is actually making a difference in your business? What key measures will you use to evaluate social media strategy effectiveness? How will you transcend (hopefully) likes and engagement? Will you measure ROI?
Step 5: Analyze Your Audiences
With whom will you be interacting in social media? What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your current or prospective customers? How does that impact what you can and should attempt in social media?
Step 6: What’s Your One Thing?
Passion is the fuel of social media.
It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you sell, your product features and benefits aren’t enough to create a passion-worthy stir. How will your organization appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head? Disney isn’t about movies, it’s about magic. Apple isn’t about technology, it’s about innovation. What are you about?
Step 7: How Will You Be Human?
The mechanics of social force companies to compete for attention versus your customers’ friends and family members. Thus, your company has to (at least to some degree) act like a person, not an entity. How will you do that?
Step 8: Create a Channel Plan
Only after you know why you’re active in social at all, and how you’ll measure social media strategy success should you turn your attention to the “how” of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the rest. This channel plan should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each.
Facebook is always making changes to the look, feel and back-end and the system and profiles. This article came out yesterday on HubSpot about 5 Ways You Can Capitalize on Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Update We wanted to touch on this real quick, as a social media management company we are always making sure with the tools and strategy we are using that our clients posts are coming up in peoples news feeds on a daily basis. This can be a very difficult task to achieve for some people.
Here are the 5 steps HubSpot talks about to read this article in full please click here
5 Marketing Takeaways From the Facebook News Feed Update
1) If you’re using Facebook for lead generation, you need to make sure that every post counts.
With the new Story Bumping feature (which resurfaces older posts that you may have “missed” to the top of the News Feed), you have even more opportunities for your content to be resurfaced to your Fans — that is, if it’s good.
We’re guessing that visual content will be even more important than it already was, as photos get 53% more likes than the average post — so figure out how you can make the most of your images and cover photo updates to benefit your Facebook lead generation. If you’re trying to reach your Fans in order to generate leads, really think about what content would be most engaging; you might end up staying in the News Feed for longer than you used to. (And if you need a few ideas to jump-start your lead generation creativity, check out this blog post.)
2) But if your Facebook posts flop quickly, you’ll have more chances to get it right.
On the flip side of Story Bumping, if your content isn’t performing as well, it will be pushed down much more quickly. While at first glance this means that your content must perform well — and perform well fast — to remain in the News Feed, it actually is a positive thing. According to EdgeRank Checker, Story Bumping will decrease the effect of Time Decay — which means if you’re swinging and missing with Facebook content, you’ll have more opportunities to test content to engage with your audience.
3) At the same time, you could also get knocked for posting a flurry of updates … so find a delicate balance for your Facebook posting schedule.
That being said, once Facebook gets the Chronological by Last Actor feature right, flurries of updates will get grouped together in the News Feed … which means your individual post engagement (and potential for lead generation) could decrease. With this new change, you should really monitor your posting frequency to make sure you’re not posting too much. Plan out spaces between your social media updates accordingly and then test to see if you can adjust the timing between posts to increase engagement and conversions.
The good news about the overall algorithm update is that it won’t help people who send out spam update after spam update, as they’ll get removed again and again from the News Feed.
4) Throw out impression-based metrics: Engagement is king.
The whole Last Actor part of the algorithm is a huge indication of the core metric Facebook values: engagement. So while “post reach” is an interesting metric you may want to keep an eye on, Facebook seems to care more about people actually interacting with your Facebook content. This is a huge win for small businesses or companies who have small Facebook Company Page followings — focus on engaging people with your posts, and you should appear in their News Feeds more often.
5) Supplement your efforts with Facebook advertising to potentially increase engagement.
If you’re trying to ramp up your engagement metric but your current fans’ engagement isn’t enough, you might want to consider testing Facebook Ads. They could help you reach a new audience that would love to engage with you — again, taking advantage of the Last Actor metric. Also, keep in mind that the Story Bumping feature does not affect ads on the News Feed — ads are determined by a different algorithm. If you need help getting started with Facebook ads, check out this free ebook.
The moral of the story all comes down to one thing: with all of these changes, you need to test what works on your Company Page with your Fans. What works for one marketer in one business could completely fail in another. So get testing — with the right data, you’ll start increasing your Facebook engagement and leads in no time!
We love getting updates from HubSpot!
You should be regularly evaluating how your audience is reacting to your social media presence. If you are constantly up to date on your social media progress, you will find it easier to identify your strengths and weaknesses and ultimately improve your social media presence!
- Are your friends and followers increasing? It is very important to remember that an increase in friends and followers does not mean that profits will immediately increase too. An increase in friends and followers does mean you are doing something to attract attention, which is a good thing! If the number is decreasing, it is definitely time to change your strategy. You may be sharing content that is not relevant to your audience.
- Monitor the engagement of your followers. Are your posts and pictures getting comments and likes? Are tweets getting re-tweeted? Do your events have a significant following of people that will ‘attend’? These numbers can be monitored very easily. Make sure to be aware of them. You can also apply various tools (like Google Analytics) to receive deeper insights. Pay attention to which posts and pictures seem to be the most popular – and ask yourself why.
- Analyze what is working for your audience. If you are seeing an increase in sales, consider what it is on social media that could have been responsible for the spike. In other words, what is your audience responding too? Was it a promotional discount or the free shipping option?
Evaluating the strategy on a regular basis is crucial. Remember to stay current!
Any company can give out free gift cards or electronics, so that really is not enough to hold the attention of social media users anymore. What is taking your contest to the next level? If you are running a contest, you must make sure your contest stands out among the rest. Here’s how:
Do your users have a reason to keep coming back to your page? Include your fans and contest participants in every possible step of the contest. Brands often do this by allowing the fans to vote on a winner, respond to a question, or answer a poll. Get creative here and choose what seems most relevant to your brand and product.
Consumers are constantly interacting with social media on their mobile phones. This means it is vital to take advantage of location. Urge users to check-in on social media when they are interacting with your company’s physical location. Offer some sort of incentive such as a discount, a charitable donation, a few points in a contest, etc. Getting social media users to check in not only allows you to generate more traffic, but also creates a deeper user interaction (physical and digital).
Would other social media platforms be appropriate for your contest? Your contest may be Facebook based, but ask yourself if the nature of your contest could be enhance on other platforms. For example, say you are the marketer for a line of gluten-free butter and your Facebook contest asked users to post pictures and recipes of things they made with your butter. In this case, it would make sense to start a Pinterest board, displaying the recipes. Using more than one social media platform can allow you to reach a larger audience. The key here is to make sure your second social media platform is relevant to your contest.
The whole concept behind Facebook contests is to increase consumer brand interaction. Remember that anybody can make a Facebook contest, but your goal is to expand that user interaction as far as possible. Think of ways to take your contests to other social media platforms, physical locations, and beyond.
Who can make a Facebook page? If you immediately thought “anyone” you are absolutely right. This is exactly why as a company it is incredibly important to make your page exciting. Getting those “Likes” does not mean all that much if you do not interact with your fans beyond that. One of the best ways to bring excitement to your page is to use Facebook apps. Keep in mind that some of the ideas below are complex – they are often developed by a third party and then can be run on Facebook.
Create interactive quizzes. The truth is, as ridiculous as it may seem, people love taking quizzes about themselves. So whatever quiz you decide to create, make sure that the quiz is all about your customers. For example, if you are a frozen yogurt company the quiz could ask, “What frozen yogurt fall treat are you?” The bottom line is to make sure the quizzes ask personal questions. Keep it relevant to your business and all about your fan. To get it started, you could offer discounts to the first 100 people that take the quiz.
Use personal Facebook information to create a story about the user. People love interactive apps like this. Typically, apps such as these use the Facebook user’s photos, name, and hometown to fill in the story gaps. This usually gets a good laugh, which is great because it is likely to be shared. If you are a tax company, use the information to narrate a scary tax scandal
Make your apps about your fans. This option is not as complex as the two above. Ask fans questions and encourage them to reply. Then, each month your company can highlight the fan that had the best response to your question. If you work for a beauty company, ask a question about the meaning of beauty. Offer a coupon or a free product to the participant with the best or most creative answer.
1. Make sure you are staying relevant to your business.
2. Be creative. Surprise your customers.
Most small businesses feel a sense of urgency to get onto social media because of the tidal wave big brands have made on all social media platforms. Focus on your social media goals. Whatever they are, the bottom line should be to build relationships and grow customer trust. That means that social media is not the place to display your promotional copy. Get rid of anything remotely resembling a “BUY ME” button. Social media is about social engagement. Think of yourself in a social situation – do you spend the entire time talking about yourself? Hopefully the answer is no. This type of etiquette applies to social media as well. Just as you would in a social environment, strive to be interesting on social media. Post content that gives your followers or friends something to react too. If someone were to walk up to you and give you a compliment or ask you a question, you would never just ignore it. You would acknowledge it with a “thank you” or a reply. The same thing should be done on your social media platforms.
You are a small business. Your budget is probably much smaller than that of Starbucks. Inevitably, your social media strategy will be different than those big brands – that is okay! You don’t have to keep up with Pepsi. If you do not have the budget to giveaway the latest IPad – don’t do it. Offer a prize your company can handle such as a service, discount, or small product. This also means that the participants in your giveaway are likely to be interested in your company, and not just in it for the free Ipad.
You have probably already picked up on the fact that there is no physical cost to join social media. As a small business, marketing without fees probably sounds like the best kind. But don’t be fooled – social media marketing is anything but free. Doing it right requires serious man-hours. The commitment to social media is unrelenting and endless. Engaging with followers and sharing valuable content is a full time job.
As a small business, you do not need to be present on every social media account. If you use Facebook over Google +, it does not mean you are a social media failure. The biggest error you could make is to have a Google + account that is completely neglected and shows inconsistent activity. It is better to have one or two active and up to date social media accounts than have five accounts that are not receiving adequate time and management.
Small businesses tend to make these mistakes, which can do serious harm to their social media success. Make sure your business gets it right!
A recent report from Facebook and comScore looked at how using Facebook Pages effects consumer behavior and social media marketing. The report closely examined the impact of paid media exposure on Facebook Fans. Here are some of its key findings.
1. The Facebook Page has become the brand’s new website.
For several companies, Brand Facebook Pages are turning into the hub of the company. For example, the popular candy brand Skittles had 23,000 visitors in May on their website, versus 320,000 visitors on the Skittles Facebook Page during the same month!
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Brand Pages are the main source of brand engagement on Facebook, however. It’s known that Facebook users spend the most time on the News Feed, so the amount of brand exposure on the News Feed is greater
Also, this does not mean that you should abandon your company site and focus solely on your Facebook page. Websites are important for focusing on lead capture and transactions. The popularity of the Facebook Pages is just a shift in consumer behavior, which should be understood by companies.
2. The number of Facebook Fans is not a major measurement of performance.
Many companies are still too focused on taking their number of Fans as the main indicator of their performance with social media marketing on Facebook. The more important measurement however, is how brands are delivering their message to make the most out of their consumer reach and engagement.
In order to increase reach, companies should optimize their posts so they will be more likely seen in all of the News Feeds of Fans. Additionally, the ad platform is another way to help brands increase their reach. By promoting a post, it is more likely that it will reach a greater percentage of the brand’s fan base.
3. Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans are spending more.
It doesn’t seem to matter whether purchasing decisions of Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans are truly influenced by earned media exposure because they are “substantially more valuable” consumers based on actual purchase behavior, according to the report.
The report found that Fans of Amazon’s Page spent over twice as much when shopping on Amazon compared to the average consumer. And Friends of Fans spent about 8% more in purchases.
4. In-store purchasing behavior is influenced by Facebook earned media exposure.
When looking at Starbucks, researchers examined the behavior of Fans and Friends of Fans during a 4 week period and found that on the fourth week after exposure, a test group had purchase incidences that were .58 percentage points greater than the purchase incidences in the control group. Furthermore, the fact that the normal lift in purchases rose with each week following exposure, which shows the effects exposure has in increasing purchase behavior.
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