3 Tips For Trouble-free Monitoring On Social Media

Data: This one four-letter word can incite panic in the most stalwart of public relations professionals.

If it seems like there are numbers following you everywhere, that’s because there are. Website traffic, earned media pickup, social media engagement…Understanding these performance metrics and communicating them to others is an inescapable job requirement.

And as CNW Group’s Laurie Smith notes in her two part series, Social Analytics Danger Zones and MORE Social Analytics Danger Zones, it’s easy to lose your away among all of the data that’s out there.

Here are three ways to stay clear of trouble when monitoring and measuring your brand’s communications.

Pay attention to quality over quantity.

When working with analytics, it’s easy to hear what other brands are doing and get caught up in a number.

“More is not always better,” says Eden Spodek, a Toronto-based digital strategist. “What does it mean to have 5,000 Likes on a Facebook page? So you got 36 retweets on a tweet, but is that doing anything for you?” Case in point: She worked with one client who had a very small social media following, but a deeply loyal one that would respond with comments (and purchases) to most of her posts.

The quantity of social activity going on around your brand is only a fraction of what you should look at. Analytics can also give you a solid picture of how your content is being received and by whom, information that is critical to future campaigns.

It takes the careful eye of a PR professional to not accept the numbers at face value and provide context.

Avoid complacency.

Social media is tricky to nail down so when you find success, it can be tempting to try and replicate it again and again.

Although it’s ok to celebrate your victories and figure out what made a particular campaign successful, don’t allow your efforts to stagnate.

“You can get into a comfort zone,” says Gary Edgar, managing director of Ruckus Digital. And he doesn’t mean it in a good way.

Social media algorithms and best practices change all of the time. Even if something is working today, doesn’t mean it will tomorrow. You need to stay current on how social networks treat user content and you need to experiment with new tactics on a regular basis.

Know how to report your analytics clearly.

Analytics are not just useful at developing and improving your campaigns, but also demonstrating the value of your work.

However, if your executive team or clients don’t understand what they see in your reports, it’s all for naught.

The key is defining your goals and KPIs in advance so that everyone sees the same thing when they look at your numbers.

If the numbers aren’t telling you the full story, it may be time to invest in tools that provide more meaningful insight. Although free tools can get you started, social monitoring subscriptions offer in-depth analytics that help you gauge success and benchmark campaigns.

 

 

This article was written by Amanda Hicken from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Building a Social Media Strategy in 10 Easy Steps [Part 2]

And so we continue our adventure in the Land of Oz, and finish the construction of our own yellow brick road with the last 5 steps towards building a social media strategy. For those who missed the first 5 steps, the post can be found here.

6 – Build a community

When it comes to our social following, remember that quality is better than quantity. It can take some time to build a successful community that is both targeted and rich with engagement. We all have to start from somewhere and the below tips may be helpful in picking our social media strategy up off the ground:

Use relevant hashtags
Share content on targeted groups on LinkedIn
Follow those who follow you
Interact with industry influencers

All of these things are easier to find with a media intelligence tool (hey, we make one of those) that helps you find exactly what you need to find.

7 – Be social on social

Since the evolution of social media, it’s much easier and faster for our audience to get in touch with us directly. Many of us have technology to hand, whether it’s on our phone, tablet or computer. Accordingly, we should be integrating after sales service into our social media strategy. We can even use social as a focus group as explained in a previous blog, social listening can unearth all kinds of trends to inform our social media strategy. What better way to retain our audience than involving them in decisions.

8 – Use social media to generate leads

Lead generation can also be fulfilled with a well thought social media strategy. That doesn’t mean to say we should be blurting out sales pitches on social. Rather, with the use of media intelligence tools, we’re able to find prospects and direct them to landing pages. Certain software solutions can also track folks through our sales funnel.

9 – Measure social media strategy success

So how do we know if our social media strategy is working? By analysing data for example post click-throughs, brand impressions and engagement levels. We can then adjust our social media strategy – if necessary – according to results. One key to social media strategy success is to find the right ingredients and differentiate. Easier said than done? Not necessarily! If we have specific information about our market, its trends and influencers, the mission becomes very achievable!

10 – Take your time

As they say, falling to plan is planning to fail. Building a flourishing media strategy takes time, but if something was easily achieved it wouldn’t be half as valuable, right?  If we are equipped with the best tools, achieving success is ever more possible. But ultimately, what we really need is time, patience and practice.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences

During a recent #MarketingMinds chat, participants spoke of the differences between engaging on Facebook compared to Twitter. Although touched upon in the chat, we feel this deserves its own dedicated post. After all, if we know how engagement differs between the two most widely used social media platforms, we know how to adapt our social media strategy to accommodate.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #1
Storytelling vs. Short bursts of Information

Facebook’s unlimited character updates make it the perfect channel for brand storytelling. Storytelling is important to feed into our social media strategy as our audience is more likely to buy if we nurture and flirt with them throughout each stage of the purchase funnel. We recently published a post on how flirting is one secret towards a successful social media strategy. When thought of like this, if we storm in and ask if a person would like to go out on a date before engaging they will find us creepy… and nobody likes a creep! The same principles apply to marketing. Facebook is so successful from a sales point of view because it’s the perfect channel for long conversations.

Twitter on the other hand is for short bursts of information. Sheena Cox, Key Account Manager at Meltwater explains, “Whilst all social media content has to tap into the here and now, Twitter is the Usain Bolt of social media channels. 140 characters is the fastest way to spread the word. Whereas Facebook content tends to keep conversations going for longer.” Due to the 140 character limit, we tend to see brands directing the audience to other sites rather than focusing communication purely on the platform. Don’t be afraid to share third party content on Twitter. The hashtag feature is often used by the audience as a social discovery mechanism to follow industry news; therefore our audience expects to see third party content to engage with.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #2
Evergreen vs. Real-time content

shutterstock_129942332There’s a real weigh-up between real-time content and timeliness between the two social media channels and we must consider this in our social media strategy. Twitter is often thought of as a news outlet due to the real time nature of the platform. We tend to see shorter but more frequent posts on Twitter, with users and brands often providing a running commentary on situations (take Dunkin Donuts’s #DunkinReplay campaign for example). Consequently, the lifespan of engagement with content on Twitter is shorter. For those wanting to post evergreen content, consider Facebook as the medium as it is the outlet for on-going conversations, as Sheena Cox mentions.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #3
‘Real Life Friends’ vs. Connecting with Strangers

Our Facebooks are typically full of people we’ve met. Whether it’s an old school friend, a family member or somebody we met travelling and made a deal to keep in touch with (we all know how that turns out!). Twitter, however, is less about ‘real life’ friendships. It’s perfectly normal for users to connect with strangers. This makes Twitter a great platform to build influencer relationships. There’s a hefty list of reasons why our social media strategy should aim to connect with industry influencers.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #4
Knowing the Different Peak Engagement Times

likeaWhen building a social media strategy, it’s important to consider the best optimal time and day to post. As mentioned in a previous Meltwater blog, engagement for our own target audience occurs at different times. According to Fannit, Twitter engagement goes up by 30% on weekends, with the most optimised times being 1pm-3pm. For Facebook, we can use Meltwater’s Likealyzer.com to analyse whether our post timings are successful; here’s an example of Marks and Spencer.

Once we know the best time to post, we can use social media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater’s Media Intelligence platform, to schedule posts to ensure we don’t miss the best time slot for engagement and set up our social media strategy to flourish.

10 Ways to Get More Likes for Your Brand’s Facebook Page

In order to achieve success on Facebook you need an engaged community. Without one, there’s no one to see or read your content, making it difficult to build brand awareness and deliver ROI.

However, it’s not just about the quantity of Facebook Likes, it’s about the quality. You need to attract the right audience and engage them in ways that align to your business goals. Getting good results on Facebook involves equal parts common sense, understanding how Facebook works, and using free social media monitoring tools to help you fine-tune your page.

Here are 10 ways to increase quality Facebook Page likes for your business:

1. Optimise your Facebook Page Info

Most of the time, the only thing people see from your company’s Facebook Page is the profile picture, cover image, and short description. Make sure your brand’s images and description are engaging, encapsulate what your company does, and encourages people to like your page.

Don’t stop there, make sure you fill out as much of your Page Info as you can. Select the categories and subcategories that best describe your company, include your website URL, list your address, phone number, and hours of operation (if applicable). All of this information will help your page appear in Facebook & Google search when people are looking for companies like yours, which can increase your Facebook likes even more!

2. Post engaging content

It’s important to post engaging, entertaining, and interesting content on your business Page. Facebook constantly updates its Edgerank algorithm, and rewards posts that receive engagement (likes, comments, shares) with increased reach. Facebook will reward your content by letting your engaged users’ friends know on their newsfeed that they’ve engaged with your content.

facebook_newsfeed_stories

Recently Facebook announced that it will update its algorithm to track how long users spend reading posts. Videos are the best type of content to post on Facebook for capturing attention and driving engagement. But make sure the videos are at an optimal length to grab your followers’ attention and keep it long enough to digest the content.

3. Be active

People are unlikely to like your Facebook page if you don’t post regularly.

How often should you post? There is no magic number but many best practice guides suggest 3x a week to once a day.

You can also use your Facebook Page Insights and check out which days (and times of day) your audience is active on Facebook. Click on Insights > Posts > When You Fans are Online to find this information. Post at peak times when your audience is online and experiment with the timing of your posts to gauge when the majority of your followers are engaging with your content.

when_your_facebook_fans_are_online

4. Promote your Facebook Page, everywhere

Once you’ve got great content on your company’s Facebook Page, make sure you share your Facebook presence on all evergreen content you own and manage.

For example, promote your Facebook Page on your website (homepage, plus header or footer), your e-mail signature, marketing e-mail footers, business cards, and all other digital marketing materials.

Make sure to make it as easy as possible for your audience to get to or like your Facebook Page with one click. More on this below in #6 “Facebook Social Plugins”.

5. Invite your existing community

You have a community that’s easily within reach: employees, current customers, business & industry partners. They are likely to be your first advocates and find your content interesting and shareable. Why not send a friendly personal invitation to ask them to like your company’s Facebook Page if they haven’t already?

One way to do this is by simply adding a call-to-action in a personal e-mail (i.e. “P.S. Like us on Facebook“). Add a slide at the end of your presentations or webinars to encourage customers and business partners to remind them to like your Facebook Page, if they haven’t already.

For internal advocates, work with HR to make sure that your company’s Facebook page (and other social channels) are promoted in the new employee orientation and in any internal communications (e-mails, intranet pages, etc).

In addition, Facebook offers a Suggest Pages tool. When logged into Business Manager, click on Use Page > … (the ellipses button at the bottom right of your cover image) > Suggest Page. Connect an e-mail service or upload a .csv of e-mail contacts to send them an invitation to like your Page.

Facebook_Suggest_Page

Make sure you upload or connect to an owned list of contacts that you or your company have an existing relationship with (and not a paid ‘lead’ list). The suggestion message can come off as spam to people who don’t know you personally and leave a bad first impression.

As for your industry ‘buddies,’ find their Facebook Pages and Like them as your brand. To do this log into in Business Manager > click the Use Page button > click the Use Facebook As Your Page link (top right, in a skinny grey bar). It’s a great way to Like your industry partners, colleagues, & other influencer brands. Plus you’ll be able to view your News Feed as your brand and keep watch on what’s happening in your industry on Facebook.

6. Use Facebook Social Plugins

As we suggested earlier to promote your Facebook Page on your website, you can do so with some free Facebook Social Plugins:

The Facebook Page Plugin lets you easily embed and promote your Facebook Page on your website. Just like on Facebook, your visitors can like and share the Page without having to leave your site.

Facebook Page Plugin

The Comments Plugin lets people comment on your site’s content using their Facebook account. If people wish to, they can share this activity with their friends in News Feed as well. It also contains built-in moderation tools and special social relevance ranking.

7. Use data to entice new community members to like you

This step goes hand-in-hand with #2 “Post Engaging Content” and helps inform your overall content strategy.

You’ll need to use a specialized, data-driven tool. For our purposes, I’m using Meltwater’s media intelligence platform to illustrate an example.

Let’s say I have a pizza brand. To learn more about my target audience’s interests, I create a social search for “pizza.” Based off my search data, people who talk about pizza also talk about wings, food, cinnamon, crust, and hot dogs. Also, it looks like the hashtag #itsfoodporn is also associated with people into pizza.

pizza word bubble meltwater dashboard search media intelligence tool

This information is great to have when you’re wondering what to post on your Facebook page. By posting content that your audience is interested in (for example, sharing a photo of wings + pizza with the hashtag #itsfoodporn) your audience will share your Facebook post with their friends and help you get more reach.

8. Pay to play with Facebook Ads

You need to pay to play in order to be seen on Facebook today. Facebook has a large assortment of ad products to choose from with some of the best targeting options available on social.

By utilizing the data you found above along with contact lists of your known community and the assistance of a Facebook pixel, you can get your content seen by the right people to build your Facebook community. Plus, all Facebook Ads offer the option to show a Like Page button to people who see your ad but don’t already like your page. Win-win.

Here’s a quick breakdown on ad objectives, which can ultimately lead to more Facebook likes:

  • Boost your posts – get your content in front of the right people. Target by interests or upload your owned contact lists to show content to known targeted audiences. You can also test Facebook’s Lookalike audiences tool and create a target audience that shares similar interests and demographics of your current customers, prospects or Page fans.
  • Promote your Page – find people on Facebook who are the right fit for your business using location, age, and interest targeting. Another great ad product to test the lookalike audience tool.

facebook_ads_for_likes

You can test and experiment with different types of ads to see what works best for your organisation, and make sure you choose the option that allows Facebook users to like your page directly from the ad.

9. Run a contest

Companies run Facebook contests all the time to get build their audience and get more likes. If you decide to do so, make sure your contest follows Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines.

Some quick guidelines: make sure your contest is fun, easy, relevant to your audience – and encourages users to share their result(s) and participation with their friends. Don’t forget to utilise Facebook Ads to promote your contest. And If you use an app to run your contest, make sure it’s mobile-optimised.

10. Use social media monitoring to measure, analyse, and learn

Use Facebook Insights to find useful metrics on your Page performance. You can view metrics like reach, number of engaged users, engagement rate, and new Page likes. These metrics will help you understand what’s driving your likes and engagement, so that you can adjust your posts accordingly.

You can also use our free Facebook analytics tool, LikeAlyzer to get personalised recommendations for your company’s Facebook Page.

Did I forget something? Have a question about any of the suggestions above? Please add a comment and, if you like the post, feel free to share it with your friends.

P.S. Now that you know how to get more likes for your Facebook Page it’s time to make sure you increase the reach of your Facebook content. Read more about this in Get the Edge in EdgeRank: 5 Facebook Marketing Tips.

P.S.S. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook if you haven’t already.


This post was originally written by Robert Rydefalk and revised July 10, 2015.

6 Steps to Proving Our Worth: Social Marketing ROI

Social Marketing ROI
If you’re in any marketing discipline that isn’t measured on an immediate sale and, consequently, leads to your budget being hit first when things are tight…

What does social media do for us, anyway?

I have been one of those beleaguered folks looking for meaningful KPI’s to show senior management that things like The Twitter had a viable business purpose.  Those of us in “softer” marketing disciplines (PR, brand, community, events, social media) have traditionally had a very difficult time quantifying our efforts to prove out what we’re doing to higher-ups accustomed to the cut-and-dried metrics of direct marketing disciplines (SEM, direct mail, display).  Traditional PR and socially-driven program measurements like “ad value” and “impressions” are guesses that media outlets have applied to their real estate in order to provide numerical value to earned media, and these metrics can cause a raised eyebrow among C-level execs who want clear, quantifiable social marketing ROI. (For more on this, check out this article on vanity metrics.)

Relationships aren’t best measured by a single interaction

Those softer metrics are fine for what they are, and “awareness” is actually a perfectly valid business goal: customers don’t usually give it up on the first date just because we winked at them.  But in the case of social marketing metrics, we have the technology to measure engagement.  First, though, we must differentiate between a direct marketing discipline and a relationship marketing discipline.  Direct marketing leads to single-sale conversion, and its metrics are very simple.  We send an email or post an ad with a prompt to buy, and a certain percentage of those people will buy.  The customer journey is clear, linear and trackable.

Now, established brands can indeed use social media channels for quick, direct sales: Clif Bar, for example, once used Twitter to sell an overage of bars at a reduced price.  But this effort was a direct marketing campaign that happened to be on a social channel, not a social marketing initiative – and that’s another article (and it’s covered in this social channel strategy overview).  For the purposes of this article we’re going to talk about the fuzzier side of marketing, which is to say the relationship marketing discipline.  Social marketing is, at its core, about building relationships.

Relationship marketing disciplines are nurturing models that serve a multi-touch awareness effort.

twitter birdClick to tweet

Advocacy can’t happen without awareness

social marketing ROI
A typical sales funnel starts with awareness and ends in purchase, but an ideal customer journey ends in advocacy. Relationship marketing disciplines like social marketing typically touch the customer at the top and bottom of this funnel.

Relationship marketing is a nurturing model that heartily embraces awareness as the beginning of the customer path to sale, and carries with it an understanding that most customers will need multiple touches (read: impressions) before they buy something from us.

That said, in exploring the difference between traditional monologue marketing and social dialogue marketing, we’ve discussed the importance of action-based social marketing metrics (read: a click).  These metrics are important not just because the ultimate goal of social is word-of-mouth, but because this sort of measurement allows us to both follow a customer and set up a reporting process that will please the people wondering why they’re paying someone to fiddle around on Facebook.  With that in mind, setting up a workflow to make sure that every social marketing effort we undertake ties to solid metrics looks about the same.  So, without further ado:

6 Steps to Having An Answer to “What Does Social Media Do for Us, Anyway?”

 

1. Make sure that the social marketing effort is servicing a larger business goal

As discussed in the deep dive on social media campaign strategy, our social marketing needs to be crafted with a solid business goal in mind.  Once we know what we’re trying to accomplish, it’s a lot easier to measure it.  Don’t try to get more Twitter followers; look to engage targeted social communities and specific influencers that make sense, and craft a Twitter campaign whose success will leads to more followers organically. It’s here that having a good media intelligence solution comes in really handy: influencers are a critical part of our communications programs, and figuring out who to engage (and how to do it) is much easier with a tool that gives us the answers.

2. Use an action-based engagement metric for the first round of tracking

In social marketing, this amounts to a click. If we get their attention, what do we want to do with it?  Do we want them to share?  Click off to a landing page?  Actually purchase something?  Participate in a contest?  Here is where have to understand what sort of action works toward those larger marketing and business goals.

One thing to note here is that people don’t typically like to leave the native app, and herein lies the rub of social media marketing: while we say that our Facebook and Twitter pages are owned media, they’re not really owned – they’re rented. Nowhere is this more evident than when we want to understand how those Facebook likes led somebody to engage on our owned properties. Facebook’s been stripping away various functionalities over the past 2 years that used to allow brands to capture more information from their Fans, ostensibly because it improves the user experience. With that in mind, setting expectations to engagement higher up in the funnel (rather than direct lead capture) is the best bet.

TIP: When reporting out successes for the quarter, we should include all the earned social media shares for any content we marketed both onsite (like blog posts) and offsite (the social shares attached to a Facebook post that was shared by someone else, or the shares attached to an article that was syndicated). Keeping track of the social shares on paid, earned and owned properties helps provide a more holistic view as to what’s working – and why it matters.

3. Follow those clicks

If we’re fine with just understanding what content is engaging folks, measuring the engagement on our social channels themselves (and keeping track of the message amplification therein) is good enough. But if we really really want to use our social media properties to drive people into the purchasing pipeline, that click needs to take them off-site – and that means that we can track them. This level of tracking is typically for those of us who live in an online purchasing model. That said, even if we’re selling cat food in a local store but have an online presence, it’s nice to know what content on our site is keeping people engaged. (And if the “Prettiest Cat Contest” is bringing people in droves, we might consider taking online orders.)

At this point, we need some sort of analytical tool that follows the customer – and we probably need to use a tracking pixel for the landing page and/or UTM’s on the original URL for tracking. Marketo, for example, can tell us how many folks who read this blog post end up asking for more information about our products (thank you, kind friends) – and this is the level of detail that helps social, PR and content marketers understand what content is actually driving leads. With that understanding comes both a better understanding of what content customers want to consume (making this a better experience for them), as well as quality reporting that senior management can appreciate.

Another thing to look at is referring URL’s, which is a free metric from Google analytics. This can be particularly helpful for PR placements, the success of which are notoriously hard to track (beyond the usually-public social share number). If we earned a “New York Times” article and suddenly the NYT is showing up in that same time period as a referrer, that’s something to note.

4. Prompt leads to the next step of engagement

Now that we got his number, it’s time to use it… wisely.  Yes, we should wait at least 3 days.  If we have an email nurturing queue set up to add teeth to our social marketing program, so much the better.  If we don’t, we might consider getting one set up.  It’s up to us to determine how engaged and interested our leads might be in our product. Working with our demand generation team here (if we have one) is a great way to build bridges internally, and make sure that the folks we’re sending along are being welcomed appropriately.

5. Follow these leads through the funnel

Leads may ultimately convert off an e-mail or a sales call, and it’s up to us as the Social Media Manager to make sure that multi-touch attribution is considered and counted toward our own social marketing KPI’s.  Most affiliate models credit the originator of a new lead with the sale; our company may have a last-touch model.  Whatever the revenue attribution model is, it’s important for everyone that might touch a customer to understand where that customer has been touched along the sales cycle. This is another place wherein good software with great analytics come in very, very handy.

6. Report up in a format that helps the boss understand success

Senior executives are busy, but they do like to know what’s going on in our social marketing world – especially when revenue is down.  We might not have to do a Power Point deck, but it never hurts.  (Well, the doing of those slides hurts those of us generally pained by such exercises, but they’re almost never a bad thing to have.)  Keep reporting consistent, both in format and in schedule.  Some things I’ve learned over the years are summarised in the somewhat crude but entirely heartfelt matrix below:

Executive Thumbs-Up Executive Thumbs-Down
Data visualisation Vague explanations
Short bullet points Reading expository statements
Real numbers compared against KPI’s Made-up metrics without hard data
A traceable path to ROI ROI?  *Shrug*

 

Manage up and stay strong, fellow relationship marketers

At the end of the day, it’s important that our higher-ups understand that getting people to click on a Twitter link is easy, but unless we’re a known brand with lots of followers and we’re having a deadline-driven sale, chances are that our social marketing has more to do with awareness and nurturing relationships than closing the deal – and that’s as it should be.  Social marketing programs usually have an indirect but strategic connection to business goals, and proving our value doesn’t have to mean an immediate sale off a click.  However, we must understand and demonstrate how our efforts encourage the prospective customer along the happy path to a sale, loyalty and – if we’re really lucky – advocacy on behalf of our brand. (For more on that, check out this article on why brand advocacy matters.)

 

 

 

How To Localise Social Media Campaigns

Expanding your marketing efforts to new national markets is an exciting and critical moment for your brand. Do it properly and your company’s revenue can sky-rocket by tapping into massive audiences previously off-limits – but do it on the hoof and your international brand will most likely be strangled in its infancy.

Navigating the minefield process of localising your campaigns to each market without any prior experience can be daunting, especially so with limited funds, but there are a few simple procedural changes marketers can make to their strategies to ensure that creative social supports international expansion. First up…

1- Define the local market

People in different countries use different social platforms. If you’re in charge of localising your company’s social media output to new markets, your first port of call should be to work out which platforms are popular in each market – even if they’re unfamiliar to you – and which also are the best fit for your brand.

For example, you can forget about using Twitter, Facebook or Youtube to break into the Chinese market as all three have been banned by authorities. But there are always alternatives to the channels you’re used to – Qzone or Renren are massive in China.

Once you’ve worked out which social platforms will work in each country your localising to, the next step is to spend some time truly understanding exactly what people are using these sites for; is it microblogging? Sharing videos? Private messaging? The myriad distinctions in function between each social media platform can be dizzying but the best way to get to the bottom of what a channel is all about is to ask the question: what makes this channel successful and popular in this market? Once you have the answer to that, you’re en route to comprehending the essence of a platform.

2- Think culture

If you want your messaging to translate effectively across cultures, your content must be relevant and look native to each specific culture. Stay on top of the social and political climates in each market and you’ll avoid churning accidentally insensitive remarks in to the public sphere. Remember Kenneth Cole – the best way to introduce yourself to a new market is certainly not to insult that market.

Do your research, respect societal norms and draw up a culture/style guide for each market. Anything less and your social efforts will be wasted.

3- Think tone

Related to culture but still distinct enough to deserve separate consideration. This is more about researching the general attitude and personality of a market. When marketing to your own country this is an instinctive process, honed through years of growing up and gaining a sense of nationhood. Unless you’ve spent serious time in the country you’re creating social content for, you will not be afforded this luxury when marketing to new markets and will have to learn it from scratch.

A combination of field and desk research is vital to achieving this. Add it into your cultural style guide and consider the importance of “transcreating” – rather than simply translating your campaigns.

4- Create localisation-ready assets

The scourge of every global marketer is having to work with creative that hasn’t been designed with localisation in mind. Creating assets like videos, memes and infographics can be expensive enough – being lumped with a tranche of non-localisable creative that has to be made all over again for a new market is insanity; wasting time, money and resources.

If you’re rolling out a campaign across multiple markets, instruct your creative team to plan all assets with localisation in mind and to do their utmost to streamline processes at every opportunity. This can be as simple as sending .psd asset templates for infographics to each localisation team (rather than .jpgs which have to be edited all over again, inevitably creating unwanted variations between markets). All that planning will be worth it and make the localisation process as stress-free as possible.

5- For god’s sake – don’t use Google translate (find yourself some locals)

Number one sin of localisation: Google Translating your copy. I struggle to believe anybody still does but if you do, stop it, stop it right now. This article will help you understand why.

If you have the money – and you shouldn’t be expanding your marketing if you don’t – create local teams in each country who can be in charge of adapting content to their markets. Cultural savvy is essential here — in-market linguists are best positioned to decide if a particular piece of social content is relevant to the target country, not only in terms of content but also tone. Avoiding committing cultural taboos and understanding what encourages social engagement are not two of Google Translate’s strong points – so get yourself a local.

A good alternative is using Unbabel, who offer an online translation service that combines Artificial Intelligence with Crowd Post-Editing, to provide seamless translation. These guys are actually trying to get the brands’ tone right for their translations.

Also consider applying strict version control and don’t let translators or designers copy/paste content. Subtitling apps can support translators with local market knowledge and help your brand create high quality, geographically relevant content.

6- Keep up to date with the rules

When it comes to multiple market translation, social media platforms are prone to messing around with their rules. YouTube, for example, are scared of skewed view counts and have strict rules in place that must marketers must adhered to – just having different subtitles doesn’t quite cut it. In China meanwhile, there is a long list of words that you are simply not allowed to use (you’ll be banned from all networking if you do).

Again, the key is to do your research, as well as continually staying on top of any developments in social media platforms’ policies.

7- Unify

While it’s important to tailor your content to multiple markets via segmentation, it is equally important to unify all of these markets through one global brand account – the ‘daddy’ account.

We hope this steps can help you localise social media campaigns. Let us know what you think. How are you crafting your social media strategy around the globe?

 

This article was written by Joao Romao from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


3 Things Your Business is (Still) Getting Wrong About Social Media

Does it feel like no matter how hard you try your business just isn’t getting the traction you expected from social media? Sure, maybe you’ve amassed a few thousand followers and your posts regularly get favorited or re-tweeted, but brand recognition hasn’t improved and sales are still stagnant. Or maybe sales are up, but you have no idea whether that’s because of social media, or simply due to increased marketplace demand. On the flip side, top brands like Coca-Cola, American Express and Johnson & Johnson seem to have mastered the art of social media marketing. So, what gives?

If you’re confused about why your social media ROI isn’t living up to expectations, you’re not alone. Consider this: more than half of all marketers (52%) say Facebook is their most important social network, yet 45% of marketers aren’t even sure that their Facebook efforts are effective, according to Social Media Examiner’s 2015 report on the industry. Virtually every marketer (91%) say they still need to master social media tactics in order to better engage with their audience. And only 42% feel confident measuring social media ROI.

Working with an agency for their social media advertising services is one option for improving your social media ROI. But before you even engage with a firm, it’s helpful to have a general idea of what’s working (and not working) with your current approach. This gives you a clear starting point for productive and meaningful engagement. Is an incorrect assumption about social media holding your business back? Here’s what you could be doing wrong– and how to fix it.

Assumption #1: Sharing content on social media is sufficient for building my brand.

Reality Check: Social media may be a powerful channel for sharing content, but you still need to drive traffic back to your website. Sharing content is an important first step towards building brand recognition. But shares alone won’t drive sales. Social media is a means to an end (not the end itself): great posts connect, communicate and turn your website into a daily destination for followers. Remember, your website is home base and it’s here you get to really control what happens and move the lead nurturing process along be that signing up for a e-newsletter, downloading a whitepaper, or receiving a free product sample.

Assumption #2: Likes are a valid metric for quantifying social media marketing success.

Reality Check: Go beyond the like: social shares and followers are important, but are your followers actually clicking through to the content you’re sharing? How deeply engaged are they with your content? If you’re not sure where to get started with social media ROI, Moz has a great (and free) how-to guide to social media metrics. It’s a convenient cheat sheet for which quantitative and qualitative metrics matter most. Keep in mind that superficial social media engagement (e.g., liking a photo or post) is not also predictive of future customer behavior. Marketing Land reports that while “social media enthusiasts” account for 85% of a brand’s social media interaction, they make up only 29% of a brand’s audience. Furthermore, many are designated as “dabblers” and “lurkers” rather than buyers. Digging into your metrics will help you better understand whether your brand is only connecting superficially with these dabblers and lurkers, or truly translating into deeper relationships and ultimately more sales.

Assumption #3: Posting only when you have fresh content is best.

Reality check: Sporadic posting yields (at best) sporadic engagement. In order to build a steady audience, you need consistent posts to drive interaction and interest. The quantity of posts for optimal engagement varies by industry. The real estate industry, for example, posts the most frequently, with nearly half of all real estate firms posting three or more times per week. The nonprofit/education industry posts the least frequently, with barely half posting more than once per week, according to Hubspot. What matters most for all these industries, however, is both the quality and consistency of the posts. Short on content? You don’t have to post something new each day; sneak peaks and teasers are just as effective for building engagement. For example, if your business is releasing a new whitepaper next week, tease out a different key finding every few days in the week leading up to the release. You’ll build anticipation and drive downloads for your content while strengthening follower engagement. That’s a win-win-win.

Bottom line:

Assuming you’re doing the right thing just because everyone else in your industry is too may lead to a lot of likes, but a low ROI. While there’s no secret sauce for guaranteeing social media success, if you’re disappointed with your business’s current social media performance, be sure you’re not making one of these three mistakes. Once you’ve got a clear idea where things went off the rails, it’s much easier to get back on track and improve ROI.

 

This article was written by Brian Hughes from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats

Though “social media” broadly encompasses a variety of platforms including blogs (WordPress, Medium, Tumblr), content sharing (YouTube, SlideShare, Instagram), and content curation (Scoop.It, Triberr, Paper.li), the term is nearly synonymous to many for the big social networks.

And with Google+ being deprecated, social networking now primarily means the “big three” of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, plus Pinterest now at #4.

 

Facebook facts and stats 2015

 Image credit: The Wonder of Tech

Here are a few highlights from the social networks stats and facts below:

  • Everyone’s on Facebook–except CEOs? Facebook is of course (by far) the largest social network. It drives more than one-fifth of all social media referral traffic to websites; 30% of the U.S. population gets its daily news there; and 77% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. Yet just 8% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account–a lower adoption level than American grandparents.
  • Twitter can’t get no respect. Though 85% of B2B marketers distribute content on Twitter, only half view it as an effective social media channel, and just 42 Fortune 500 CEOs have a Twitter account (and a third of those haven’t posted anything in the last 100 days). Yet 75% of journalists use Twitter to build their personal brands, and Twitter drives more web visits than StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn–combined.
  • And LinkedIn means business… 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase; 65% of B2b companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn; and 91% of B2B marketers distribute content there. The most popular type of content is industry insights.
  • • …while Pinterest means shopping. Pinterest drives 25% of all retail website referral traffic. Consumer brands are noticing: 36% of Fortune 500 companies had a presence in 2014, up from 9% in 2013 and just 2% in 2012.

Find these and many more nuggets of information in these nearly three dozen stupendous social networking facts and stats.

12 Facebook Statistics and Facts

1. Each day on Facebook, there are 350 million photos uploaded; 45 billion “Like” buttons clicked; and 10 billion messages sent. (The Wonder of Tech)

2. Facebook accounts for 21% of all social media referral traffic to websites. (TechCrunch)

3. 81% of B2B marketers use Facebook to distribute content. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

4. Worldwide digital ad spending topped $140 billion in 2014. Facebook accounted for 7.8% of that total. (eMarketer)

5. 8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account, putting them firmly behind America’s grandparents in terms of adoption. 2.6% of CEOs have Instagram accounts. (MediaPost)

6. While 55% of SMBs maintain a Facebook Page, just 20% have run a Facebook ad or promoted post. (MediaPost)

7. 77% of B2C companies have acquired customers through Facebook. (Ber|Art)

8. In an average month, 1.28 billion users are active on Facebook. (Convince & Convert)

9. In the United States, average click-through rate (CTR) for Facebook advertising increased by better than 50% last year, from .09% to .14%. But the average Facebook CTR in the U.K. is nearly twice that, at 0.27%. (Convince & Convert)

10. Facebook drives 23% of all website traffic. (Shareaholic)

11. 81% of millennials are on Facebook and their median friend count is 250. (Heidi Cohen)

12. 30% of the U.S. population gets its daily news on Facebook. (BentoBox Media)

8 Twitter Facts and Stats

13. 85% of B2B marketers use Twitter to distribute content. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

14. Or 74% of them do, depending on whose stats you believe. (Biznology)

 

Twitter social media marketing

Image credit: Ber|Art

15. And yet – only half of B2B marketers view Twitter as an effective social media channel. (Ber|Art)

16. Twitter offers more referral traffic per share than Facebook. (Social Media Today)

17. 42 Fortune 500 CEOs (8.4%) have a Twitter account, though nearly a third haven’t posted anything in the last 100 days. Those who do post send an average of 0.48 tweets per day. Roughly half tweet once a month or less, and less than a quarter tweet daily. (MediaPost)

18. Twitter drives just over 1% of all website traffic. While that’s considerably less than Facebook or Pinterest, it’s more visits than are driven by StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn–combined. (Shareaholic)

19. Twitter is where millennials turn for business and financial information as well as sports. (Heidi Cohen)

20. 75% of journalists say they use Twitter to build their personal brands. (BentoBox Media)

10 LinkedIn Statistics and Facts

21. 91% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. (TopRank)

22. Just 30% of executive directors at the top 100 companies in NASDAQ are active on social networks. LinkedIn led the way, with 23% of executives maintaining a profile on the professional site, followed by Twitter with 11%. (MediaPost)

 

Why B2B marketers should use LinkedIn

 Image credit: Ber|Art

23. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. (Ber|Art)

24. 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase. (Ber|Art)

25. 97% of the Fortune 500 companies have a company profile on LinkedIn. Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing–how is it possible this isn’t 100%? (Sword and the Script)

26. 98% of sales reps with 5000+ LinkedIn connections achieve quota. (Biznology)

27. You are almost 5X more likely to schedule a first meeting if you have a personal LinkedIn connection. (Biznology)

28. Twitter and Facebook may reign when it comes to social sharing of stories, blog posts, and visual media, but when it comes to direct traffic to your main site, LinkedIn is far and away the No. 1 social referral source. LinkedIn accounts for 64% of social media-driven visits to corporate home pages, vs. 17% from Facebook and 14% from Twitter. (Buffer)

29. The three most popular types of content on LinkedIn are industry insights (favored by 60% of users), followed by company news (53% – likely popular with job seekers) and new products/services (43%). (Buffer)

30. To optimize reach, post at least 20 times per month on LinkedIn. But keep in mind that “LinkedIn’s best-in-class marketers post 3-4 updates per day, which could mean up to 80 posts per month” (though only if your content supports this). (Buffer)

5 Pinterest Facts and Stats

31. Women account for 69% of all users but 92% of all pins on Pinterest. (Ber|Art)

32. Pinterest accounts for 25% of all retail website referral traffic. (Ber|Art)

33. 36% of Fortune 500 companies had a presence on Pinterest in 2014, up dramatically from 9% in 2013 and just 2% in 2012. (Sword and the Script)

34. According to data from Shareaholic, Pinterest drives nearly 6% of all website traffic–5X as much as Twitter (does that sound right?). (Shareaholic)

35. Pinterest is where millennials shop. (Heidi Cohen)

 

 

This article was written by Tom Pick from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


8 Ways To Drive More Traffic To Your Facebook Page

With over 1.44 billion monthly active users and over 900 million daily active users, it is fair to say that Facebook is the supreme social network in terms of user base. Facebook’s ever growing popularity and significance make it a crucial social network for your business to get on and optimize effectively. Facebook has made rules over the years that now make it more difficult for business pages to get their content in front of their audiences, but once you get a massive audience to see your Facebook content, they’ll come back to your Facebook Page numerous times. Remember that most of the 900 million people who log into Facebook every day also spend over an hour on the social media behemoth per day. Facebook is still important, and it’s importance grows as the days go by. If you don’t optimize Facebook for your business, then now is the time to start. If you already have a Facebook Page or want to get one, that Facebook Page needs more traffic. Here are eight ways to drive the traffic to your Facebook Page:

#1: Promote Your Facebook Page On Your Other Social Networks

One of the most basic ways to promote your Facebook Page is by promoting it to the audience that you have already built. I use my social networks to promote each other and depending on my needs at the moment, I may spend extra time promoting one of my social networks. When I decided to get back on YouTube, I went off to Twitter for the channel promotion. I have gained thousands of subscribers for my YouTube channel ever since the promotion started. This cool story about my YouTube channel is a cool story that you can replicate for your Facebook Page so it gets thousands of likes. You don’t want to be overly promotional on social media, but it is okay to promote yourself and your other social media accounts often.

#2: Promote Your Facebook Page On Your Blog

There are WordPress plugins that allow you to display your Facebook Page and some of its posts directly on your blog. If your blog visitors like your content, then they will be enticed to like your Facebook Page. However, your blog visitors will only like your Facebook Page if you include a call-to-action. You can include a call-to-action through your blog’s sidebar. If you do not have a fancy widget or plugin that displays your Facebook Page and the like button, you can always take an image of the Facebook logo that says “Like Us On Facebook” or something of that nature and link it to your Facebook Page. That way, when someone clicks the “Like Us On Facebook” picture on your blog’s sidebar, they will get sent to your Facebook Page.

#3: Tell Your Email List About It

Now that you know to promote your Facebook Page to your current audience, why stop short at the email list? If you send meaningful email blasts to your subscribers, then your email list will be your best source for traffic, sales, and social media growth. When you get started with your first Facebook Page or start to take an older Facebook Page more seriously, you can let the people on your email list know about the change. The people on your email list are usually your biggest supporters, and in addition to the likes and engagement your Facebook Page generates from the email blast, you may also get emails from the people on your list who enjoy what you are doing with your Facebook Page or just enjoy your brand as a whole. These types of emails are very motivating, and they never get old. Even the most successful, inspirational individuals like it when they get more motivation to do something.

#4: Participate In Facebook Groups

Have you heard of the saying “go where your audience is”? When you search for keywords that revolve around your niche, you will come across active Facebook Groups that may have thousands of people within your niche. The people who are a part of the Facebook Group would probably click the like button on your Facebook Page, but only if they see your Facebook Page.

The best way to get people in a Facebook Group to see and like your page is if you join the group through your Facebook Page instead of joining it through your personal account. Joining Facebook Groups with your Page allows every comment or post you put in the Group to promote your Facebook Page. When other group members hover their mouses onto your name, they will see your Facebook Page and the like button instead of the personal account and the “Add friend” option.

When you do participate in Facebook Groups, you must participate by the Group Rules. 99% of the time, that means you are not promoting your Facebook Page in post or comment. You can post and comment using your Facebook Page, but the moment you post something along the lines of “Please like my Facebook Page,” you will lose respect within that group and most likely get kicked out. Look at how other people in the Group interact with each other before jumping in. By looking at how other people interact, you will learn how to interact in a way that the other group members will notice and appreciate.

#5: Do Shout Out Exchanges With Other Facebook Pages

One of the most underrated ways to get more Facebook Page likes is to do shout out exchanges with other Facebook Pages. SEO expert Neil Patel used this one strategy to accumulate thousands of likes for one of his Facebook Pages. Once your Facebook Page hits a certain number of likes (Neil waited until his page surpassed 3,000 likes), you should contact owners of Facebook Pages that are similar to your Facebook Page and ask for a shout out exchange. If you are a digital marketing expert with a Facebook Page about digital marketing, you would use this strategy to target other digital marketers who have successful Facebook Pages.

The people you contact should have close to the same number of likes as you do. If you contact someone with a small number of likes compared to the amount of likes you have, then you won’t get the good end of the deal. If you contact someone with 10 times as many likes as you, then that person probably won’t agree to do the shout out exchange since that person wouldn’t get the good end of the deal. If you have 3,000 likes, you should be contacting people who have 2,500-5,000 Facebook Page likes. That way, more people will say yes to your shout out request. You can both agree to delete the shout out post eight hours after you both send the shout out posts so your Facebook Pages don’t appear over-promotional. Most Facebook Page owners say no to these types of requests, but if you get 10 people with 3,000 likes to say yes, then your Facebook Page will be put in front of 30,000 additional people who may then choose to like your page.

You also get the benefit of helping someone else in your niche to grow and thrive on Facebook. With this strategy, you and the Facebook Page owner who agrees to the shout out exchange will bring each other up to the next level.

#6: Post Multiple Times Per Day

You can generate traffic from your blog and other social networks, but you should also generate traffic from Facebook itself. Exchanging shout outs with other Facebook Pages similar to yours is one way to get traffic from Facebook, but one of the main ways to get more traffic from Facebook is by posting on your Facebook Page multiple times per day.

Not only is it important to post on your Facebook Page multiple times per day to get more traffic, but posting on your Facebook Page multiple times per day allows you to build a stronger relationship between you and the audience that you have already built. There is no point in having a successful Facebook Page with over 100,000 likes if you won’t interact with your audience by sending out posts.

#7: Look At Your Page Insights

Knowing when to post content is just as important as posting content. With a Facebook Page, you get Facebook Page Insights provided to you free of charge. These Insights let you know when a large percentage of your audience is on Facebook, and this information will let you know which times of the day are the sweet spots for posting your content. You may discover, for instance, that more people in your audience are on Facebook every Tuesday at 6 pm than any other time on Tuesday. You should primarily send Facebook posts at optimal times when you know your audience would see those posts so that those posts can spread farther and attract more engagement.

#8: Use Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is one of the most powerful forms of promotion on Facebook, and some people rely on Facebook ads to get hundreds of thousands of likes. Some marketers have perfected the system and get thousands of likes for under $100. If you spent $10 per day to promote a Facebook ad, and you optimized your ad to perform well, then your Facebook Page could potentially get thousands of likes every month all for just $300 per month. It takes time and practice to reach that point, but once you reach the point of getting thousands of likes for a few hundred dollars, then you will have a large audience to interact with. If you have landing pages to get more subscribers, and you promote your landing pages to your Facebook audience (preferably promote the landing page with an ad), then your email list would get super-sized. The result of a super-sized email list is that the next time you do some type of product promotion, you will generate more revenue, and some of that extra revenue can go into the Facebook ads. It is all a matter of starting that cycle to a point where you can always count on it for your business.

In Conclusion

With Facebook approaching 1 billion daily active users, Facebook Pages are constantly growing in importance. If you spend time every day growing your Facebook audience, your Facebook audience could potentially transform your brand. You can jumpstart your Facebook growth by spending some money on Facebook advertisements, but none of the growth matters if you are not posting new content on your Facebook Page and taking the time to interact with your audience.

Do you use Facebook for your brand? Do you think Facebook’s new rules restrict Business Pages to the point where the results are not worth the time and money? Do you have an additional tip for generating more traffic to your Facebook Page? Please share your thoughts and advice below.

 

This article was written by Marc Guberti from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


3 Ways to Get Customers Posting More Content About Your Brand

Word of mouth has always been an important driver of successful social media marketing. When you enjoy a product or service, you tell others, who in turn, tell others – the web grows. Consumers trust in an authentic review of a product/service from their peers. Before, the average consumer was able to influence their small group of friends and perhaps create a ripple effect on the greater community, affecting dozens, even hundreds of people. But in today’s world, inundated with social media, that ripple effect has been magnified tens or even one hundred times over. A single Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube post can reach millions of people in a matter of hours.

So it comes as no surprise that brands have turned their attention to social media as a new source of marketing content. Businesses in nearly every vertical have had tremendous success marketing with the voice of their own customers by leveraging user-generated content, not just on social networks, but also on owned media.

Businesses that use customer content on their websites, mobile shopping apps, and advertising see better conversion and click-through rates, higher average order values, and increased engagement and lift.

But it only works if customers and fans are posting about brands. Without social content, there is no social word of mouth. At Pixlee, we are often asked to address this issue. “How do I get my customers and fans to post more content about my brand?”

We’ve put together three easy first steps to quickly increase the volume of social conversation, and help get customers to post more content about your brand:

1. Promote an Evergreen Hashtag

If your brand does not already have an evergreen hashtag, then go ahead and create one. An evergreen hashtag is an overarching hashtag that represents your brand as a whole. More often than not, even if you have not promoted an evergreen hashtag, your customers have already created one for you. Find the existing hashtag or create a new one, and make it a part of your social media marketing strategy both on social media and throughout your marketing and owned media.

Use your evergreen hashtag in your branded social media posts, put it on packaging, highlight it on your website; make it easy for customers interacting with your brand to discover your hashtag and join the conversation with their own content. Also make sure to track hashtags in order to obtain valuable Instagram insights about your followers.

Pro Tip: Put your evergreen hashtag in all of your email signatures. Whether is be customer service emails, marketing blasts, or sales emails, make sure that when people interact with your business, they see your branded hashtag.

2. Run Contests & Incentivise Participation

This one is common and effective. One of the fastest ways to increase customer engagement on social media is through contests and campaigns.

Photo and video contests are a powerful because they give your fans and customers a reason to submit great content and share it with their own social communities. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and come up with clever and engaging programs. Encourage your audience to have some fun and get creative, but make sure the barrier to entry isn’t too high.

A great example of this was Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadow’s ski resorts’ #TahoeSnowDance campaign. The contest asked for fans to submit their best “snow dance” to help bring the winter snow! The idea was fun and easy for participants. The content and submissions that came in were incredibly entertaining. Here’s one of our favorite submissions that won a weekly giveaway:

Pro Tip: Give out prizes! Customers love the chance to get free swag or products and are much more likely to post high quality content when they have the chance to win a prize, no matter how small.

3. Celebrate your Customers on your Owned Media

Customers and fans love being recognised by the brands they love and support. Highlighting customer photos on your website, or reposting on your own social media is a surprisingly efficient and effective way to generate more content and conversation around your products and brand.

Create a real dialogue with consumers and join the conversation around your brand on social media. It really makes a difference to humanise your brand and generate brand affinity and loyalty. When customers see brand’s celebrating their customers and engaging with real people, it helps to validate your brand’s social presence and reach a larger audience.

A great example of this is Kenneth Cole’s #KCStyle gallery. By celebrating customers directly on their homepage, Kenneth Cole continues to see increased engagement on both social media and on their website as more customers join the community and share their content.

Screen_Shot_2015-10-13_at_3.56.14_PM

Pro Tip: Find and leverage your key brand influencers. Not every customer photo is the same. By finding your top influencers and brand advocates and celebrating them in your brand’s owned media, you can dramatically increase brand awareness/lift and get the most out of those already promoting your brand organically.

 

This article was written by Andrew Higgins from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

How to Boost Facebook Reach

For some time now, Facebook’s organic post reach has been in decline. You may have 1,000 likes to your business page, but how many of the people who have liked your page are actually seeing your message? Well, it depends on how often people engage with your content, but the figures are alarming: estimates are around 10%, but some writers put the number as low as 1%. So your 1,000 likes may result in 10 people seeing your post.

With this in mind, how can you boost your Facebook post reach without breaking the bank?

Create Great Content – OK, this is a tough one. But there is nothing more effective in maximising your Facebook reach than excellent content. If you produce content that is fantastic, then people will engage with it: and if people engage with your content, they are more likely to see your posts, thus boosting your reach.

Ask Questions – You would be surprised with the effect that asking questions has on your engagement levels. People enjoy being asked their opinion and are often happy to share it. So use content such as asking open questions, caption competitions and fill in the blank competitions: a good way to drive your reach not only to your existing audience, but to new people too.

Know Your Analytics – There is no excuse for not knowing your numbers on Facebook. The insights section has improved dramatically over the years and you can now easily find out what time is best to post your message, what type of content works best and what your audience looks like (gender, age, location, etc.). You can also send messages to targeted areas of your page – for example, you can send a post to an audience segmented by location, gender, age or language. The more specific the message, the better the engagement.

Stop Selling – A lot of businesses go wrong with Facebook right at the start: they see it as a good way of selling more. But Facebook is not about that, it is about engaging an audience. If you were catching up with your friends and someone who you didn’t know interrupted and started selling something to you, how would you feel?

Advertise – I know that I said there were ways of boosting your Facebook post without breaking the bank, so why mention advertising? Well, Facebook advertising doesn’t need to be expensive. You can run a full campaign where you can select your audience and budget, or you can choose to ‘boost’ a post. This is where you can choose to spend a small amount of money to reach an audience that you select with one of your posts. You can see the number of people you are reaching as well as how that changes if you amend your budget.

How do you boost your Facebook reach? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

 

This article was written by Justin Wilson from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


The Perfect Marriage Of Content And Social Media: How To Make It Work For Your Business

While some webmasters may bemoan the impact of Google content marketing drive and supporting algorithms, there is no doubt that this has improved the quality of content on the World Wide Web. After all, it was less than a decade ago that link builders prioritised quality over quantity, achieving a high search engine result for their clients based on volume rather than detail.

The days of investing just £6 and linking to more than 600 connected domains are thankfully over, however, meaning that webmasters and marketers are now required to create insightful, relevant and ultimately engaging content. This should be considered as a chore or a negative development, as along with the development of social media it has created a unique opportunity for businesses to establish themselves and thought and industry leaders in 2015.

Combining Content with Social Media to Good effect

This marriage of form and medium has not only offered brands access to a targeted, global market, but it has also provided them with guidelines for how to effectively engage readers. With this in mind, consider the following steps towards combining content with social media to good effect: –

Develop a Relevant Content Strategy

As logic would suggest, this process starts with the development of a relevant and advanced content strategy. This must be tailored to suit the needs of your industry and readers, so that your written copy serves as an entry point into a relationship with individual consumers. Your strategy must also cover both internal and external content, including copy that is created for diverse platforms such as your blog, individual landing pages and even micro-blogging mediums such as Twitter.

While this should be the goal of your content strategy, however, its implementation relies on a detailed easy to understand tone of voice. Exclusive to your brand, this should create a set of guidelines that can shape and underpin all written content, whether you are writing a 2000 word blog post or an update for your Twitter account. This helps you to deliver a consistent and effective message regardless of the platform, which in turn is crucial if you are to establish yourself as a thought and industry leader.

Prioritise Quality over Quantity when It Comes to Link Building

While your branded tone of voice should also dictate the nature of any external link building, there are also other factors that need consideration when cultivating a natural link profile. The first step is to prioritise quality over quantity when looking to build links, as you strive to identify clean and powerful host domains that are relevant to your niche. So long as use purposeful link building tool such as BuzzStream and Majestic SEO to inform your selection and refine all content to suit the destination website, you can develop a natural and productive profile.

Anchor text is also an important consideration, as the use of heavily optimised text or branded keywords will also prove damaging over time. Where possible, you should create content that includes natural anchor text, which adds value to the article and links back to an informative, relevant source. This negates much of the risk associated with link building in the modern age, and ensures that your external content can be used to its full effect.

Share Your Content Across a Tailored and Integrated Social Media Platform

Once your content strategy has begun to produce informative internal and external content, you will need to share this across your social media network. This is not simply a case of promoting your work across a generic selection of websites, as the range and quality of social media outlets has evolved considerably in the last five years. Even relatively new resources such as Snapchat have grown at a considerable rate since their inception, achieving in excess of 100 million active monthly users and developing a range of business applications.

Not only have these new additions added depth and diversity to the market, but they have also created an opportunity for business-owners to target specific demographics with their content. By understanding the membership demographics associated with niche sites such as Pinterest and LinkedIn, you can create accounts on the social media outlets that are most relevant to your brand. With market leading outlets such as Twitter and Facebook at the head of your integrated profile, you can optimise your reach, increase the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaigns and create measurable results and ROI.

 

This article was written by Laura Cole from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Social Metrics Then & Now: The Numbers & Nuances that Really Matter

Social as a communication channel has grown and matured. So, too, have opinions from marketers and community managers on which metrics matter the most. The pure numbers game—who has the most followers, fans, likes—has now smartly shifted to encompass a series of quality-driven metrics based on holistic engagement rather than sheer volume.

Because individuals are unique, the intent behind each social conversation should be unique too. Whether to deepen a relationship with a customer, close a deal or simply join in on an interesting conversation, authenticity is key.

As you focus on improvement rates, not just raw numbers, let’s examine three shifts in social metrics that shed insight into how well your brand engages, what your community says about your business and how well you foster relationships. Unilaterally, this approach to social analytics will be more impactful than focusing on rudimentary numbers showcasing one-dimensional growth.

Then: Audience Size
Now: Audience Engagement

Many times when I speak at events or talk with community managers, the first question I am asked is about ways to quickly and exponentially grow the size of their social followings. When I stop them and ask why this seems to be of such value, they are often hard pressed to find an answer. But can you really blame them?

When social was first adopted by marketers, the overriding focus was on quantity: How many fans does your Facebook Page have? How many Twitter followers can we get? The emphasis was not only on quantity but on the pace at which audiences grew. This apparently was the leading indicator of the influence of your brand. Admittedly, those raw numbers are easy to understand and, if going up and to the right, paint a nice picture for an organization and C-suite that may not fully understand social’s impact.

But let’s be real: Whether you have 1,000 or 1 million followers, what good are you doing if you don’t engage in meaningful conversations by treating each of them as individuals?

As social becomes a deeper part of our daily lives, the quality of audience engagement is a stronger indicator of your brand’s impact. Therefore, social teams should focus on measuring and quantifying components such as inbound and outbound conversations, number of touch points within a conversation and frequency of repeat conversations.

Then: Social Likes
Now: Social Shares

OK, I’ll admit, every time a Facebook post of mine gains momentum and racks up Likes, I can’t help but feel a little popular. It’s human nature, after all, to want acceptance, acknowledgement and even accolades from your family, friends and peers.

Brands are no different. Just as the raw number of fans and followers acquired is traditionally a focus, so too is the number of Likes or Favorites on a given page or post. While basic Likes are a good indicator of which posts resonate, truer value lies in shares. Why? Because while a thumbs up is an nice acknowledgement, a share says a person finds enough interest, humor or relevancy—that is, total value—in what you’ve shown to endorse it and pass it on to a broader community of trusted peers. Put another way, a Like starts and ends with your post; a share or Retweet lets your message reverberate.

How often your audience deems your content share-worthy is a good indicator of how well your messages are resonating at the individual level. To that end, measure what content and messages get shared the most, identify patterns among them and replicate your efforts to continuously provide captivating content that not only resonates with your audience (likes), but that they feel will resonate with their own networks (shares).

Then: Network Expansion
Now: Community Depth

Social marketers used to focus on how large they could grow their audience across all the major platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat and so on—the more people who saw the brand name, the better.

As social evolves, but resources do not necessarily follow, one thing remains clear: It’s not the scope of networks but rather the quality of your communities that matters. Thousands of scattered connections and disjointed experiences across a half dozen networks are not nearly as valuable to your brand as a few carefully curated network presences that focus on value-driving engagement and adding dimension to your brand story.

Networks are valuable for building brand awareness, but weak network presences are nothing in comparison to strong communities. Brand advocates don’t come from your “network”; they come from your community. When you shift your focus to cultivating your community, instead of simply expanding your networks, you establish a stronger base of loyalists who are ready and willing to spread the word about your brand. Identify the networks with your most engaged audiences, build relationships by tailoring your content to those audiences and enlist the help of your social data to identify patterns and trends to improve performance and organically grow.

Make the Most of What Matters

Social was once a space in which quantity prevailed, but it’s crucial that brands don’t stay stuck in that mindset forever. Remember, a strong community that engages with your brand is more valuable than millions of followers who sit dormant. Your brand is not a lifeless force—so the people you attract shouldn’t be either.

 

This article was written by Andrew Caravella from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.