Your Social Marketing Strategy: Execution and Measurement

social media strategy

In our post last week, we provided key questions to ask before embracing social media for your company and showed you how to assess which business and marketing objectives you should support with social marketing. This week, we’ll show you how to complete your plan, implement metrics to measure performance, execute your strategy and assess your successes and opportunities for improvement. [Read more…]

Your Social Marketing Strategy: Identifying Your Goals

social media strategy goalsSo you’ve decided your company needs some social media exposure. Great! Before you start spending time and money on your company Facebook or LinkedIn pages, we suggest you take the time to define your digital marketing goals and strategy.

Social media marketing is not only about tweets and blog posts – although those can be key digital marketing vehicles; it’s also about identifying fundamental business objectives and defining the best ways in which social media can help you achieve them. Taking the time initially to clarify and map out your approach means wasting less time and money later on, when you may realize all the work you’ve put into your blog or tweets isn’t doing much for your company’s bottom line. [Read more…]

Pinterest Promoted Pins: Now for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

pinterest promoted pinsEach time we perform a Google search, paid ads show up in our search results. Our Facebook and Twitter feeds are interspersed with suggestions for people or businesses to follow. Now Pinterest has jumped on the bandwagon! Fittingly, Pinterest is beta-testing a “DIY” program to promote individual pins. (Although, unlike most other Pinterest projects, this will require far fewer mason jars and virtually no wooden pallets.)

During the fall of 2013, Pinterest allowed a limited number of large businesses (such as Expedia and Old Navy) to begin promoting individual pins. Now Pinterest is beta testing the service for its small- to-medium-sized business pages. The Promoted Pins program is a pay-per-click (PPC) model similar to Google Adwords. To complement the promoted pins program, Pinterest has improved its analytics. This gives Pinterest account managers better data to help them decide which pins are worth promoting, and gives the ability to track the click-through rates for each promoted pin. [Read more…]

Pinterest Case Study: How Etsy Finds the Needle in the Haystack

pinterest case study etsyIn this edition of “Why we love Pinterest, and why you should too,” we’ll look at how Etsy has used the platform to grow, engage people and ultimately, make more money for their individual sellers.

Etsy is an online marketplace in which artists from around the world can sell their wares. Representing thousands of artists from hundreds of countries, the sheer number of products available is overwhelming. Although most of us work on a much smaller scale, Etsy has been held up as a business that is using Pinterest successfully. What can we learn from their example? Let’s look at this Pinterest case study. [Read more…]

Power to the People – Joanna Lord on the ‘Loyalist Advantage’

This year’s KahenaCon in Jerusalem was an intimate gathering of about 250 marketers, offering some star power from home and abroad, including Eitan Chitayat of Natie, Kate Morris of Distilled and Adam Melson of SEER Interactive.

joanna lord big door marketing kahenacon

Joanna Lord of BigDoor and Ari Nahmani of Kahena Digital Marketing during the Q&A portion of “The Loyalist Advantage” Photo by Netanel Tobias

The keynote featured Joanna Lord, CMO of BigDoor in Seattle, who spoke on “The Loyalist Advantage.” She deftly profiled today’s consumers, and why it’s vital for brands (and marketers) to seize the opportunity to follow their lead and provide content that matches their behavioral changes. [Read more…]

Put Social Media to Work for You

social media, smx israel 2014One of the greatest parts of SMX is the passion. People really love what they do and what they’ve learned – and they come to SMX to share it!

A theme of this year’s conference seemed to be how to develop great content and how to share it, creating legitimate and long-lasting workarounds for the rules and algorithms that Google and Facebook roll out on a regular basis. Serving up your best content – on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ –should be a snap! [Read more…]

Fight Facebook’s Algorithm Change with Engaging Calls-to-Action

While Google+ is looking very attractive of late to get your content in front of your readers or customers, let’s face it: People love Facebook. They’re loathe to leave their friends-in-the-computer, Facebook’s games, and easier-to-understand privacy settings.

So it’s time to regroup and give your content the best chance for engagement! Let’s review – for Facebook, engagement means:

  • A post or picture receives a like
  • A post or picture is shared by a fan
  • A fan leaves a comment on a post, picture or share

Calculating Your Engagement Rate

Facebook is continually calculating your engagement rate for both the page as a whole, and on a post-by-post basis, with the following formulas:

engagement-rates

Your engagement rate for both the page and the content you post factors heavily into how frequently Facebook displays your content to your fans.

When you have content that is interesting to your organization or important to your field or audience, it’s natural to want to share it. But as we’ve seen, Facebook wants your fans to be receptive to it – and act on it!

Buy It Now!

But how can you make people engage with your content? While there’s no magic formula, just asking your fans to continue reading, thinking, looking at pictures or watching a video can be a great first step, and you ask them to come join you by using a “call to action” (CTA).

coke, marketing, call to action

In marketing terms, a CTA directs customers to take a specific action now – to buy, to click, to watch. Even in our savvy modern marketplace, people need a little nudge to take the next step! Directing your Facebook fans to follow through on their initial impression – whether a post is funny or cool or interesting or helpful – will help with your engagement rates and ultimately how much of your content is seen.

The best CTAs are clear, decisive and timely:

  • Clear: Tell viewers what the post will offer them by including a clear value proposition
  • Decisive: Click, download or watch elicit action more often than vague commands such as “learn more” or “see it now.”
  • Timely: Adding an element of urgency to your post improves the chance a viewer clicks now, instead of later … because later often becomes never.

A CTA is just part of a great Facebook post – other elements that will inspire your audience to share your content or links include photos, information teasers (don’t give everything away!), and conversational tone that caters to real people. For the full scoop on how to create a terrific promo for Facebook, check out Jim Belosic’s guest post for Social Media Today.

Why Your Company Needs a Google + Page Now

Like many people, my first forays into social media were, well, social. When I first tried out Facebook, it seemed like a gigantic high school reunion. When I first tried out Google+, it seemed like a gigantic high school reunion where the organizer forgot to send out invitations. PC Magazine has a great article, including an infographic, comparing the primary differences between the two for personal use.

It very quickly became clear to me that Google + was not going to swoop in and take Facebook’s place in our social lives. As a result, it’s been easy to write off Google+ as unimportant in the world of social media; but for businesses, that would be an enormous mistake. [Read more…]

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates: Is Native Advertising Enough?

In my last post we looked at how Sponsored Updates are narrowing the advertising playing field by getting LinkedIn into the native advertising game. The ability to target your content to users that don’t follow your brand, right in their news feeds, is a great opportunity that has been available on Facebook for quite some time.  But when deciding where to spend your social ad budget, you must also consider user intent. [Read more…]

Putting User Intent to Work with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn joined the ranks of Facebook this past July, expanding their advertising options into users’ news feeds with the Sponsored Updates feature. No longer relegated to the side bar, top banner or other page placement of traditional display ads, company updates can appear directly in a targeted user’s news feed.

linkedin-sponsored-updates-example

But don’t think that the ability to get into the field of vision of your target audience is enough to get that click, like, lead or share. Users are getting more adept at filtering out content — the same way viewers learned to tune out TV commercials before the invention of TiVo.

To make the best use of Sponsored Updates, brands need to look beyond the basics and focus on context.

Pick a network, any network

For brands, the social networks are constantly trying to deliver the trifecta of great content to the right audience, at the right time, and in the right place.  The networks’ ability to do this secures the advertising dollars that keep them afloat. Although LinkedIn has additional revenue streams, they are interested in competing for your Facebook ad spend. Sponsored Updates propelled them forward in that effort, as native advertising has distinct advantages for brands over display ads.

The ability to target content more and more accurately, with a multitude of filters, is the linchpin in this operation.  And although I expect to see great success with Facebook’s roll out of Custom Audiences worldwide, we’ve been enjoying the ability to remarket via Facebook Exchange (FBX) for some time now. This type of precise targeting doesn’t change context, it just minimizes its importance.

What’s in your news feed?

What you expect to see on a social network is an indication of your intent. The reason people use Facebook is not the same reason people use LinkedIn.

And there it is: To make the most of native advertising, brands need to understand the expectations associated with user experience on each social network.

In our next post coming next week, we’ll take a look at how user intent can affect the success of native advertising.

For a how to on LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, check out How to Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates from Social Media Examiner.