Local Businesses: Benefits of Posting on Your Facebook Page

Posted on March 5, 2014 
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

In this article, we will talk about the benefits local businesses can have by posting on their Facebook page. But before that, let’s address the question: Does it matter? Does it matter if I’m not Starbucks or BMW? You bet it does! Here is why…

facebook

While large corporate pages do have more Likes, Comments and Shares, studies have shown that when calculate the engagement per fan (that is, the number of Likes, Comments and Shares that each fan generates), the level is actually higher for local businesses!

What? How? Why? Well…

To begin with, fans are more likely to actually see a post coming from a local business. Why? Because it’s considered to be more relevant and personal (due to the fact that it’s happening in the same neighbourhood). Also, the posts made by local staff tend to be more relevant as they are able to post very specific timely and relevant things or events that are actually occurring in that particular area.

Also, you are more likely to ‘Like’ a picture of a cashier and someone in the neighbourhood you know, than a random ad with 2 people you don’t know.

These “familiar” feelings also explain the higher engagement per fan.

Now that we’ve seen how what you post will actually be seen and have an impact on people, let’s have a look at the actual benefits of posting on your Facebook page.

More Buzz about Your Business Online and Offline

Put simply, if people see you more often, they will talk and hear about you more often. Even if you don’t drink Red Bull as a habit, you’ve heard about it. And if some day you feel like having an energy drink, chances are, Red Bull will be your beverage of choice, even it’s a bit more expensive than its competing products.

People get the “good feel” of “knowing” a product, service or business, even if they don’t really know about it, just because they’ve seen it, heard about it, or see and hear people talk about it.

More Email Subscribers

For large corps who already have a list in place, they usually send out emails to encourage people to connect to them via social networks.

For small businesses, the other way round is more likely to happen. People are more likely to discover you on Facebook than directly stumble on your website.

So basically, if you don’t post, people will neither see your posts, nor your emails. So how about posting more often so that people can discover your website and sign up for your newsletter?

Some of your posts for example can offer hot tips or tricks that they can discover after subscribing.

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Facebook Marketing Done Right (With Real-Life Examples!)

Posted on February 28, 2014 
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

Let’s be honest. Facebook marketing is not as easy as some marketers would like you to believe. People do not have their credit card in hand, ready to buy, when they are checking out the pictures of their crush or when they are writing on their friends’ walls.

Actually, social conversion rates are less than a third of the rates of email conversions (0.71%, as compared to 3.19%, according to this study).

The thing is, email marketing is getting tricky, and not only because of the introduction of tabs. Even if email tabs are not a ‘universal’ feature (yet), people are already doing selective reading and opening on the go; they can tell who is writing to them, and who is trying to sell them something.

The solution? Dip your feet into social, too. “What? But you just said…”

I know, I know. I said it’s not as easy as people are led to believe, but it can be very effective if you do your marketing right; and that’s what this article is about!

1. Give People a Reason to Join and to Stay

Seriously, if people want to look at what you have to sell, they will check out your website or online store. That’s not what your Facebook page is for! Your page is here to gain fans AND to get them to engage.

Just-Girly-Things-Facebook

This page, Just Girly Things, are doing things right. At this time of writing, 83.4% of their fans are actively talking about them.

Pretty sweet (and rare!). How are they doing it? By posting stuff like this:

mario-image

(Spoiler Alert: For those who don’t want to spend minutes figuring it out, it’s Mario)

Their page is full of pictures. You’ve got to admit; that’s what Facebook is mostly about. Don’t have the time, money, or interest to invest in custom tiles for some engagement? No problem. Maybe you can post pictures like this instead:

status-message-facebook

(This “picture” has 19,728 Likes, 899 shares, and 831 comments so far…)

I think we can all agree that it’s not about the design. As long as you post something that is one or more of the following, you should be able to produce a nice response:

  • Relatable
  • Inspiring
  • Funny
  • Cute
  • Novel

2. Share What’s Interesting, not Necessarily What You’ve Created

Let’s have a look at that Mario picture above. Do you think Just Girly Things did it themselves? In fact, the majority of their shares are taken from other places.

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Stop Collecting Facebook Likes! What Are You Going To Do With Them?

Posted on February 23, 2014 
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Viral Marketing | Leave a Comment

Tell you what, if you go to my Facebook profile right now, you will see that, over time, I “Liked” at least a dozen high fashion brands and two dozen local attractions including restaurants, hardware stores and a few travel agents. For one, there is this little French restaurant 3 blocks over that I have been meaning to drop by for quite some time now. Then there is dinner cruise I am always thinking I will book one day for my birthday or Valentine’s Day.

facebook-like

Basically, I am a potential customer for each and every one of these businesses and I absolutely love the fact that Facebook and the other social networks make it so easy for me to keep up with what’s happening around me. I mean, if tomorrow, the little French restaurant is having a special event like say 50% off steaks, I would want to know but at this point, I am not an actual customer of any of the establishments I “Liked” on Facebook. My “Like” means very little. And I’m not even talking about tweets or +1s!

So here is a question for you marketers.

Why are you guys still obsessed with Facebook likes and Twitter followers? Is it getting you anywhere?

You need to realize that at the end of the day, social media is all about increasing your business potential. A good social media campaign increases the reach and impact of your brand and exposes you to the right people. But an even better social media strategy involves work that converts this potential into action.

So are you ready to get your social media strategy right?  Let’s get started!

1. Don’t Be an Attention-whore. Be Tactful!

For social media success, you need eyeballs on your content. What you need to know is this: Getting on people’s radar is a tactful process. You can’t mastermind crazy stunts to build your brand awareness. Sure, faking a hack (*cough* Chipotle *cough*) might draw some attention, but do you think that kind of brand awareness leads to action?

If you are going to invest in social media marketing, make sure people talk about you for the right reasons. You want your followers and Facebook fans to convert into buying customers.

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Ranking Newsfeeds: How Does Facebook Do It?

Posted on February 16, 2014 
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm is dead. In fact, it’s been dead for the last two and a half years. Instead, the social networking service is using a more complex algorithm based on machine learning. The current News Feed algorithm doesn’t have a catchy name but it is estimated that as many as 100,000 individual factors are involved in organizing and producing a Facebook user’s News Feed.

facebook-algorithm

About EdgeRank

Facebook’s original News Feed ranking system worked around 3 variables:

1. Affinity

2. Weight

3. Time decay

Affinity

Affinity is a one-to-one function between a Facebook user and an edge. In Facebook’s EdgeRank, an edge is anything that happens on Facebook. It can be a status update, a like, a comment or a share. For businesses, affinity quantifies and qualifies the connection between a brand and a fan. Affinity is built when a fan repeatedly interacts with a brand’s edges.

Weight

On Facebook, a comment is deemed more valuable than a like because it involves more engagement. In the “weight” system used by Facebook’s EdgeRank, certain actions have more value than others. All edges are assigned a value.

Time Decay

Time decay is a measure of how long an edge remains alive. Mathematically, time decay equals 1/(time since action) and the older an edge, the less valuable it is. This serves to keep Facebook’s news feed fresh.

What’s New?

So with EdgeRank, the way people used Facebook determined what stories showed up in their News Feed. This is still the case but now, there are some other factors that also come into play.

Each month, more than a billion people use Facebook. Users are accessing millions of Pages (over 18 million Pages to be precise), many of which actively look for ways to show up in people’s News Feeds and they are using a diverse range of mobile devices to do so with different technical capabilities for processing and displaying content. With all that going on, Facebook faces the challenge of controlling what stories users see each time they log in on Facebook and what content from Facebook Pages make it into people’s News Feed. Affinity, weight and time decay are still important but now, there are also categories and sub-categories of affinity.

Facebook is now measuring how close a user is to specific friends and Pages based on not only personal interactions but also global interactions. For example, if Facebook shows an update to 100 users and only a few interact with it, it may not show in your News Feed but if many people actively interact with it, chances are, the story will show in your News Feed.

1. Relationship Settings

Facebook now allows users to choose different relationship settings. For each Facebook friend that you have, you can label the person a “close friend” or an “acquaintance.” With liked Pages, users can choose to “Get notifications” or “Receive updates”. These factors are taken into consideration to determine what shows up in people’s News Feeds.

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Online Highlights of 2013 | The Most Popular People, Places and Events of The Year on Social Media

Posted on December 31, 2013 
Filed Under Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Twitter, Viral Marketing | Leave a Comment

With 2013 coming to an end, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have published details of how the world snapped, tagged and posted their way through the year.  From the new Pope to pop stars like Justin Bieber, 2013 has seen some familiar faces and surprisingly popular places.

online-highlights-20131

Online Highlights of 2013

Let’s talk Instagram. With more than 150 million users worldwide and around 55 million photos posted everyday, Instagram is the perfect way to look back at the year that has almost gone. Earlier this month, the photo-sharing social network revealed its most popular picture and the most Instagrammed locations, cities and hashtags of 2013.

This year, the most ‘liked’ photo on Instagram was Justin Bieber’s picture with Will Smith, collecting more than a whopping 1.5 million likes.

will-smith-justin-bieber

The top location of the year on Instagram was the Siam Paragon shopping mall and leisure complex in Bangkok, Thailand with Times Square in New York and Disneyland in California in the second and third places respectively. No European landmarks made the list, which also includes New York’s Central Park and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. London was the fourth most geo-tagged city behind New York, Bangkok and Los Angeles.

The year’s top hashtags on Instagram include #friends, #food, #fashion and #selfie with the most popular being #love.

Moving on to Facebook, this year, the most talked about topic on the social network was Pope Francis with Miley Cyrus, Nelson Mandela and the former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also in the top 10. News events that dominated the most talked about topics on Facebook also includes the birth of Prince George.

In Twitter verse, Leah Michele’s post after the death of Glee co-star Cory Monteith and the tweet confirming the death of Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker were the most re-tweeted posts of the year.

glee

paul-walker-death-tweet

What’s Google Saying?

In 2013, people searched for:

1.    New Beginnings

vroyal-baby-birth

- On July 22, the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy, delivered at 16:24 BST at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London.

- As of August 19, fifteen countries (Argentina, Belgium, France, Iceland, Netherlands , Brazil, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay) and several sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Mexico and the United States) allow same-sex couples to marry.

pope-francis

- This year, Pope Francis was the most talked about person on the planet.

2. Goodbyes

 cory-monteith-nelson-mandela-paul-walker

- Cory Monteith, 31, actor on the television show “Glee” died on July 13 after struggling with substance abuse for years.

- Nelson Mandela, 95, colossus of the 20th century who emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to the white minority rule in South Africa died on December 5.

- Paul Walker, 40, star of the “Fast & Furious” movie series died on November 30 in a car crash.

3. Consumer Electronics

This year, the most searched-for consumer electronics were:

- The iPhone 5s. Although overall opinion to the debut of Apple’s new smartphone seemed to be positive, there were some moments caught on social media that drew wows while others were just ho-hum.

- Samsung Galaxy S4. Samsung’s biggest release this year was the Samsung Galaxy S4.

galaxy-s4-iphone-5s

- PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. According to the annual Google Year-End Zeitgeist, PlayStation 4 beat the Xbox One on the consumer electronics searches chart.

ps4-xbox

4.    Other Global Top Trending Searches

1. Harlem Shake. The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme in the form of a video, which became viral early February 2013. The video currently has 68,406,520 views on YouTube.

2. Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by several cities in eastern Massachusetts. This year, during the 2013 Boston Marathon, at 2:50 p.m. EDT, two explosions occurred about 180 m apart on Boylston Street, in the last 205 m of the course. Three spectators were killed and more than 200 people were injured.

Boston-Marathon-Bombings

3. Malala Yousafzai. In a world where girls are gazed at more than heard, this newsmaker is no less than a revolutionary. Being featured on Time’s magazine cover as the 100 Most Influential People in the world, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, recipient of the 2013 UN Human Rights Prize  as well as many other awards and laurels, this girl surely knows how to get her message across. A pen is surely mightier than the sword as they say.

Malala-Yousafzai

4. Miley Cyrus. The 20-year-old singer took raunchy performances to a whole new level at the MTV Video Music Awards this year with an explicit display of tongue wagging and twerking.

5. Oscar Pistorius, Aaron Hernandez. The two most Googled athletes of 2013 include Oscar Pistorius and Aaron Hernandez. Oscar Pistoriusis a South African runner who used prosthetic legs after having both limbs amputated at the age of 11. He won numerous gold medals at the Paralympic Games and participated at the 2012 Olympic Games. Pistorius was a source of inspiration for the disabled until the sad news broke that he murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Aaron Hernandez has a similar story. A star on the rise, in the summer of 2013, he was convicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits. He faces a life sentence in prison without parole.

Oscar-Pistorius

6. Typhoon Haiyan. Typhoon Haiyan was an exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, in early November 2013. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record and at least 6,109 people died in that country alone.

Typhoon-Haiyan

A look at Google Zeitgeist

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10 Essential Components of A Comprehensive Social Media Marketing Plan

Posted on December 17, 2013 
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Viral Marketing | 2 Comments

Creating a comprehensive social strategy is a major marketing concern and a continued challenge with the social media environment becoming increasingly complex. However, it is the central element that businesses need to make sense of their social media presence. Without a social strategy, how will you know what to do, how will you measure your performance and how will you determine the ROI of your social media program?

Social-Media-Marketing-Plan

The key to achieving excellence in social media is understanding the different components that make a comprehensive social media strategy.

1. Branding

Branding boils down to being consistent. Across the different social media channels, the same naming, imagery type and color scheme that is part of your branding need to be applied to social media. The challenge is perhaps to keep your voice consistent as well, which is the most important aspect of social media branding. You need to choose a voice to represent your business and choose a tone.

2. Content

Content in social media provides a medium for businesses to engage with social media users. Informative and shareable content benefit a business’s social media presence. That being said, content is not limited to blog posts and photos. You can think outside the box. Infographics, memes and discussions (for example tweet chats) are all different types of content that you can include in your social strategy.

3. Curation

In social media, if you only talk about yourself, people will lose interest in what you have to say. To breathe life into your social media accounts, you need to curate content that is of interest to your fans and followers and promote it together with your own content. Does your social strategy include sources from which you curate content?

4. Channels

Over the web, there are over 50 active social networks with million of members each. You can’t and should not have a presence on each one of them. You need to choose which social networks to include as part of your social strategy and subsequently determine the best practices and tactical plans for each of these networks.

5. Frequency

The next stop is maximizing your ROI for time and resources spent on each social network. No two social sites are alike and based on statistical data, you need to decide how much time and resources you will allocate to, for example, making posts on Facebook and tweeting. More frequent posting does not mean more effective social media marketing.

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How to Improve the Credibility of your Website

Posted on December 12, 2013 
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks | 1 Comment

In 2014, credibility is a huge factor when it comes to doing business, especially online. On your website, you do not have an innocent-looking, struggling 20-year old student named Carla at the checkout to make the customers comfortable to hand over their credit card information to. Your site needs to do that on its own (along with your name/brand).

social-media-credibility

Credibility not only brings you more purchases, but also higher rankings in the SERPs. Why? Because that’s the actual business model of search engines: serving legitimate, relevant results to their users.

Similarly to the young woman at checkout, there are some factors (or if you prefer, signs) that tell the search engines that you are indeed legit.

Here are some factors that contribute to making your site more credible (There are thousands, but I’m only going to list 4 here):

On-page Content

Low-quality content (for example articles with spelling mistakes) will limit your credibility. If I would find that shady, why would Google not?

Inbound Links

I think we all know about backlinks here, but in short, the more links you have from other trustworthy web pages, the better. If you have a technology-related website and have a link from Gizmodo for example, search engines take it that you are more credible than someone with no links or links from an article directory.

Outbound Links

Ever saw Wikipedia linking to a shady, or irrelevant page? Me neither. And these guys rank pretty high in the SERPs for A LOT of keywords. Just like a link to you is like the source is “vouching” for you, an outbound link from your site works the same way (well, opposite). So if you have a blog about healthy smoothies and “vouch” for a site offering free Viagra, your rankings may be affected.

Good Structure

I’m going to take the example of Wikipedia again here. Go on any Wikipedia entry about any topic that comes to your mind. The article is FULL of internal links…THAT WORKS. Broken links may cause damage, and so do a lot of 404 errors. Make sure to build a perfect internal linking structure.

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4 Ways To Localize Your Social Media Strategy To Increase The Impact Of Your Business

Posted on December 4, 2013 
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Twitter, Viral Marketing | 1 Comment

Large multi-location brands and small businesses alike are starting to understand the importance of localized social media marketing to drive business growth and profitability. Why is localized social media stalking and interactions suddenly a hot topic among savvy marketers? How is localized marketing an effective marketing maneuver for small businesses and national brands?

local-social-media-strategy

For small businesses with no international market or plans to expand in the near future, localized social media marketing makes sense. Take your average local auto shop or specialty-catering company for example, followers from another country offers the benefit of a bigger following and engagement but they are not likely to ever make a purchase.

For national brands alike, focusing on key geographic areas is an effective marketing maneuver to increase business growth and profitability. A local digital marketing strategy increases the reach and impact of the brand in their many locations and helps generate local leads.

How to Get Local on the Social Networks

1. Localize your Social Media Accounts

If your business is focused entirely on a given geographic area, build social pages that link back to a local website and fill out as much location information as possible. On Twitter, this means that you should have your city name mentioned in your user bio. On Facebook and Google+, you can also include a full address and alocal phone number.

For national brands targeting specific locations on social media, it’s a good approach to create secondary social media accounts dedicated to each area. This strategy is of course dependent on a number of variables including time constraints, resources, scalability challenges and brand messaging. If you have the resources to do so, build social pages for each of the brand’s locations on the top social media sites including Twitter and in particular Facebook on account of the recent changes made to the social site including Facebook Nearby and Graph Search.

2. Post Targeted Content

The top social networks including Facebook and Twitter have geo targeting tools that businesses can use to push localized content on the social networks. When used correctly, these tools can significantly increase brand engagement and exposure.

Let’s take an example of how geo targeting tools are useful. Large brands like Starbucks have millions of fans. With fans from all over the world who obviously speak different languages and relate to different things in life, a single global message will not be as impactful as many messages targeted to geographic and demographic audience segments. With Facebook Targeting for example, brands can customize messages to different audiences, increasing the likelihood of exposure and engagement. Facebook enables marketers to target posts by gender, relationship status, age, location and language among other things.

starbucks-twitter-page

starbucks-facebook-page

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How to Convert Websites Visitors into Facebook Likes with Facebook’s Social Plugins

Posted on November 26, 2013 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

The Facebook Like button is perhaps the most widely used website widget across the web. It is used on millions of websites around the world and it’s become integrated into the way we browse the web and share interesting content we come across with our friends and contacts. Because of how actions figure in Facebook’s Open Graph, it’s become more important now to use the Facebook Like button across your website than it was before.

like-us-on-facebook-button

Facebook’s Like Button

Facebook’s Like button is the quickest way for people to share content with their social contacts. A single click of the button will ‘like’ pieces of content on the web and share them on Facebook.

How to get the code for your Like button

Go to https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/like-button/

To get the code for your Like button, fill in the following:

  • URL to Like
  • Layout of the button
  • Width and
  • Action type

The Facebook Like button comes in 4 different layouts: standard, box count, button count and button. Facebook also allows two action type options for the Like button: Like or Recommend.

Next you need to check or uncheck the following two boxes:

  • Show Friends’ Faces
  • Include Share Button

With all the above information specified, click Get Code.

In addition to the settings above, you can also change other things about your Like button. We’ll discuss three.

  • colorscheme: The color scheme used by the plugin can be light or dark. The default is light.
  • href: This is the absolute URL of the page that will be liked.
  • kid-directed-site: If your website is directed to children under 13, you must enable this. The default is false.

A Quick Q&A

Is it better to display the Like button on its own or use the Like and Share buttons together?

The difference between the two options will probably answer this question for you. The Facebook Like button lets people post links to Facebook with a single click. The Share button on the other hand allows users to add a personal message and customize what they are sharing before posting. In most cases, it’s better to include both buttons on your website and allow people to decide how they want to share your content.

Can you display the Share button without the Like button?

Of course you can. To do so, follow this link https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/share-button/ instead of the one above.

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Everything You Need to Know about Facebook’s New Promotion Policy (Aug 2013 Update)

Posted on November 13, 2013 
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building | Leave a Comment

As of August 27 2013, Facebook has new terms applying to all Pages making it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and run promotions on the social site. Here is what you basically need to know:

facebook-promotion-guidelines

- Promotions on Facebook can now be administered on Page Timelines. Previously, this was only possible through apps. This means that businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having fans and followers post on a Page or comment on a Page post
  • Collect entries by having fans and followers message a Page
  • Use Likes as a voting system

What remains unchanged is that like before, businesses cannot run promotions on personal Timelines.

- Accurate tagging is now a requirement in promotions. This maintains accuracy of Page content and prohibits Pages from encouraging Facebook users to tag themselves in content they are not actually depicted in.

For instance, if you own a bar and you have a new drink, it’s OK to ask people to submit names for your new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize but you cannot ask people to tag themselves in pictures of your new drink in exchange for a chance to win a prize.

More about Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines

Before we get into what’s changing and the best practices for businesses to create and administer promotions on Facebook, let’s think about what is considered a promotion on Facebook.

On Facebook, a promotion typically includes 3 components:

  • Registration
  • Element of chance
  • A giveaway

Facebook has now removed the requirement that promotions on the social site may only be administered within apps. Promotions are now also allowed on Page Timelines but not on personal Timelines. These new promotion guidelines make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and run promotions on Facebook.

To make the most of these new Page terms, here are a few things to consider:

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