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.

Strategic Marketing: Taking it to the Next Level

Online marketing can often feel like a daunting task, at least for those that understand the numerous interrelated options available. Choosing where to put your resources in order to obtain your goals should be a calculated decision based on a sound strategy, but strategy is often the piece that online marketers skip.

Playing the online marketing game without a game plan is the equivalent of shooting in the dark, except shooting in the dark presents a greater chance of hitting your target. [Read more...]

Using Competitive Intelligence to Stand Out

NPOwk-logo4Welcome to Non-Profit Week on the Pixel/Point Press blog! We’re featuring guest posts this week from around our community. Our fourth post comes from Ephraim Gopin. Enjoy!

 

“The wise learn many things from their enemies.” – Aristophanes

In normal times, the job of U.S. intelligence agencies is to mine data in order to thwart attacks, carry out tactical operations and keep American interests safe at home and around the world. Remember Benghazi? Remember General Petraeus? The word “intelligence” took a beating. [Read more...]

How to Stay Sane When Social Media is Your Job

NPOwk-logo4Welcome to Non-Profit Week on the Pixel/Point Press blog! We’re featuring guest posts this week from around our community. Our third post comes from Laura Ben-David, social media coordinator at Nefesh B’Nefesh. Enjoy!

In an ideal world we would all do what we love, and love what we do. Imagine being one the lucky few who are paid to do what they truly enjoy, and happen to be doing all the time anyway. It’s perfect. Well, it’s almost perfect. [Read more...]

Perfecting the Act of Not-For-Profit Task Juggling

NPOwk-logo4Welcome to Non-Profit Week on the Pixel/Point Press blog! We’re featuring guest posts this week from around our community. Our second post comes from non-profit pro and community manager Mordecai Holtz. Enjoy!

“I’m the marketer. The fundraiser. The volunteer coordinator. The case manager. The…”

Anyone who works in the nonprofit sector can relate to this laundry list of responsibilities. When we add social media into the mix, do we also have to throw all of our time management skills out the window? [Read more...]

What’s Wrong With This Facebook Screenshot?

Sometimes it can be difficult to parse the “right way” of going about social media. There are tools and tutorials, assessments and analytics. What works on one network may not play on another. But beyond the rules of “know your audience” and “engage with your followers,” good social media takes practice and finesse.

Conversely, the wrong way to do social media is easily spotted. [Read more...]