Posts Tagged ‘social marketing’
Photo by ShardsOfBlue via Flickr
Social media platforms provide small-business owners with more low-cost marketing and advertising options than ever before. Either if you choose to handle this in house, or to work with an online marketing agency who can help you with fresh, viral content, you can achieve great results and keep your costs in control.
Facebook and Twitter still provide entrepreneurs with access to hundreds of viewers, but another social media platform is quickly taking the lead. With over 70 million users and counting, Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with and a game changer for business owners. In case you’ve been living under a rock, let us fill you in. Pinterest is a digital archive where users can create virtual pin boards of collections from around the web (a.k.a. pins). Pins are arranged in a visually appealing format where users share images that lead to relevant content when clicked on. Business owners should think of this as a virtual storefront where prospects, near and far, window shop through your goods and services. Get on board and start increasing your profit!
After creating your business Pinterest account, start putting together your boards. The trick to gaining pins is two-fold: create visually stimulating images that lead to relevant information. Take the Martha Stewart Pinterest page for example. Click on any of the showcased pins and you’ll find yourself directly guided to more information regarding the image posted. By posting images that are not only eye pleasing but informative, followers feel a stronger connection to the brand thus becoming loyal advocates.
A great way to spread visually appealing information is through the use of infographics. These modern data charts offer viewers an eye-pleasing collection of well-researched information without pages of boring text. Because they cover the two unspoken rules of Pinterest (pretty and informative) these artfully crafted diagrams provide excellent pinning material. Don’t take our word for it, this infographic on why you should use infographics explains it all.
With anything in life, the only way to measure success is to track it. Pinterest offers web analytics to help you understand how pinners are engaging with your content. See what pins work, what pins don’t and how many visitors went to your website. Pair this up with free business accounting software to track your financials and see if increased traffic to your site is promoting online sales. By tracking where visitors are coming from, you’ll be able to monetize the rate at which Pinterest exposure grows your income.
Optimize your Site
Encourage current website visitors to follow you on Pinterest by adding a widget. The “pin it” button presents visitors with the opportunity to pin images directly from your site to their pin boards. Once you set it, just sit back and let your customers spread the word for you. The Pinterest business resources guide walks you through the step-by-step process to have your widget up in no time. You can also add a “pin it” button to your mobile app for added exposure.
Incorporate Your Social Life
Don’t get sucked in to this black hole of productivity. Pinterest has a knack for getting people hooked, making it easy to forget other social media platforms. To gain full reach of the social spectrum, take the time to share your pins on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and anywhere else your customer might find you. You can also create a link between your social media accounts by using an app like Woobox who allows you to post a Pinterest box on your company’s Facebook page. Woobox also lets you see statics on how many views, visits and likes you received through the box. You can also use it for other social media accounts, just keep in mind that only the first box is for free.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what your public searches online and likes most. You will also be able to find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, which will help you if you haven’t decided yet to outsource social media management to an internet advertising agency.
Before we start digging into Google Plus and the hows, the whys and the whos, I deem it important to note the differences between a profile and a page (as both will be often used in the following post). The majority of you might already know this, but unfortunately I still find businesses represented by profiles. Many social marketing professionals and even social media channels underline the importance to distinguish profiles from pages: profiles are for individuals, pages are for businesses. It’s important to note this because pages have features that profile have not, from which the most important in my opinion is the insights.
At a first glimpse, Google Plus combines the advantages of Facebook pages with most of Twitter’s functionality.
How to create a Google Plus business page?
Choose the appropriate category, because you cannot change this latter (not yet anyway). There are several categories you can choose from:
1. Local Business or Place is the special category, as these type of pages are designed to help people locate the business using its physical address. So choose this if your business is a restaurant, pub, shop etc. in one particular city. The first step in this case is entering your location and primary phone number, in order to identify the location of your business.
2. Product or Brand – use this category if you want to separate your brands and products from each other. For example if you have a brand of women’s clothing and one for bowling equipment (being a little bit of absurd here, but you get the point) you might want separate pages.
3. Company, Institution, Organization – if the Google Plus page relates to a company or organization as a whole this would be the best choice.
4. Art, Entertainment, Sports – I would recommend this type of page for bands, artists, football clubs (obviously).
5. Other – If you feel that neither of the above is suitable for your page, you can choose this category, as it will not affect any feature regarding your page, every category having the same characteristics, except the local business one.
Big companies with multiple locations, or multiple brands or products, have the option of creating multiple pages for every location/ brand they own, apart from the company page for example.
After choosing your category you can enter you business page’s information, together with the subcategory within the category (in the example above: Consulting and Business Services) and the age for which the content is appropriate (and your address if you choose Local Business or Place).
Tagline and page photo
The Tagline is like the elevator pitch on Google+. It will appear as the description when somebody shares your page. If you don’t have inspiration right in the moment you’re creating your page, do not worry, you can edit it later.
You might wonder, where and how will the tagline appear to your potential or actual followers when someone shares your page. Well, in this case even if it is longer than 10 words the whole text will be shown (and if it is very short it will look a little bit bare if you ask me).
Where the profile photo is concerned you can change it later as well, but do not forget to add one. It can be the logo of your company, your brand, or if you want something less mainstream put your creative hat on
How to edit your Google Plus page?
To edit the information of your business page just go to the Profile Tab and click Edit profile. You can change the name of your page, the tagline and the introductory information about your page, your contact info (email, phone and fax number, address, chat, pager). Additionally, you can change your profile photo and your cover photo. Make sure your profile photo has a high resolution and take into consideration that your cover photo has to be 940 x 180 pixels, but the last 1/3 of it is covered by your profile picture. Take advantage of the cover photo feature by illustrating your brand in an original way. If you already designed a cover photo for Facebook, you can try modifying that one and use it on Google+, as your brand is the same no matter what social channel you use.
To save the changes you have made press the “Done editing” button at the top.
I would like to mention a new little feature Google+ has, which enables you to see your page through the eyes of the “Public” or any other individual profile or business page. You can check it out by clicking on the “View as” button next to the “Edit profile” button.
How to manage your Google Plus page?
To act as your business page just select the page’s name from the list of your pages from the Manage your pages section, which you can find under the “Pages” tab or find the name of you page in the profile drop-down menu, in the upper-right corner.
To edit settings, as the email address you want to receive notifications on, the managers of the business page and other aspects select Page settings or Managers from the drop-down menu from the upper right corner or in the “Home” tab find the Settings option under the wheel icon.
This is it for now. In Part 2 on how to actively manage your Google+ business pages we will talk about getting more followers on Google+, managing circles and hangouts and other features available on this relatively new social network. Until then post your questions or comments in the comment section below or let’s chat on Facebook, Twitter and of course Google Plus
Looks like Google+ is about to take things to a more personal level. Unlike Facebook, Google+ plans to differentiate contacts between: real friends, acquaintances, work people and few other categories. This division is based on the idea that sometimes people simply don’t feel like sharing certain feelings with all their contacts, but maybe just with close friends or maybe to people from work.
Google+ wants to make you “feel like you’re connected to a group of people, like you’re part of something”. That “something” wants to be much more narrow and personal than the “Friends” list from Facebook.
What’s your opinion? Will Google+ be a threat to Facebook?
Facebook matches advertisers to users based on users’ interests, activities, favorites, their job titles, as well as the names of the groups they belong to and the pages they are fans of. That’s a lot of information, and Facebook is still a place where more often than not people are willing to share an unbelievable wealth of personal stuff with their Friends and the Facebook Corporation. From a marketer’s perspective, Facebook can offer profound insights into the personalities and circumstances of one’s target audience. As a gathering place on the Internet, Facebook’s communities and the community demographics developed therein can give marketers surgical precision as they find an arena for their ads.
To begin his talk at SES Toronto, Marty Weintraub identified three classes of Facebook targeting tactics that every Facebook marketer ought to have at their disposal. Literal, competitive and inferred targeting should all inform a Facebook ad strategy. Let’s take a look at these three and summarize Weintraub’s discussion of them in more detail:
These are the most obvious connections a marketer can make. Selling lacrosse sticks to people who like “playing lacrosse” on Facebook would be an obvious starting point. Literal targeting aims to match ads that are semantically related to the interests of users on Facebook. Often a keyword appears both in the interests listed by users and in the ad itself. Literal targeting allows marketers a way into Facebook that is parallel to SEM efforts on search engines. The downside is that these clear relationships sometimes don’t exist and that they unlock only a fraction of community demographics’ potential. As a marketer, Facebook allows you to go deeper into the lives your audience than ever before. The question according to Mr. Weintraub is “how deep are you willing to go?”
Competitive targeting focuses on both the positive and negative Facebook presence of a brand’s competitors on Facebook. A competing brand’s fans on Facebook might be an effective place to market your superior goods. Explain the added value of your product in your ad, offer a deal, try to win people over to your side. Fans of brands that are vulnerable, either because of an inferior product, negative press coverage, a recall of some sort, whatever the vulnerability may be, present fertile ground for converts. Essentially, marketers should try to find ways to leverage competitor investments in organizing their followers on Facebook both for their own Facebook presence and against the competitors themselves.
Last week, Google bought PostRank, a social analytics service that tracks and measures social posts. With this acquisition, Google has gained a resource to better understand the social web, and that resource can be applied to great impact in several of Google’s key social arenas.
What Is (or Was) PostRank?
PostRank, in their own words, “is the largest aggregator of social engagement data in the industry.” The service allowed users to get real-time data on trending topics, high-volume conversations around the web, and their own posts. The company was established in 2007 under the name “AideRSS.” They re-branded as PostRank in October of 2008 in preparation for more socially oriented features. In July of 2009, the company released a service to track social trends (i.e. for datamining). Over the next year they expanded into brand management, blogging services, trend analysis, and consulting services.
The company was acquired by Google earlier this month, but beyond that no details have been released regarding the transaction. A Google representative gave a fairly typical statement to TechCrunch about the company’s excitement to be working with the PostRank team, stating that PostRank has “developed an innovative approach to measuring web engagement, and we think they can help us improve our products for our users and advertisers.” Which is almost exactly the same as what they said about buying Slide.
While we don’t know exactly what the PostRank team will be doing, it is known that they’re moving from their Waterloo, Ontario home to Mountain View, California, and statements from both Google and PostRank indicate that the team’s focus will continue to be on social tracking and analytics. As was the case with Slide, SayNow and Fflick acquisitions Google is most likely buying the talent of the development team, rather than the product.
What Google’s Acquisition Means
It’s fairly common knowledge that Google is going more social. Since Google’s first foray into the social scene (aka, the disaster that was Buzz), the company has been attempting, with mixed success, to implement social features. However, if one thing is certain, it’s that Google is committed to changing its poor position when it comes to the social web. They even went so far as tying the bonuses of all Googlers to the company’s success in social.
Social media budgets often takes a backseat to search. After all, it’s easier to measure the ROI of search, so marketers see it as a safer bet.
First, it’s easier to tie SEO and PPC directly to sales than, say, tweets or Facebook likes. Second, search offers an element of intentional targeting: whereas social users log-on to socialize, search users are actively looking for something – and probably that much closer to a purchasing decisions.
But the social evolution of SEO has brought search and social closer together. Specifically, now that social signals impact rankings, marketers need to invest social as part of their SEO strategy.
After all, search engines look for these “social signals” because they want to show human beings the most relevant search results. And what better way to determine whether something is relevant to humans than by measuring how many other human beings have said that it’s relevant?
So now, you need more than just backlinks to rank. You also need tweets, likes, and other “votes” from social users to let search engines know that your brand is relevant.
Shareable Content 101
It’s one thing to place social buttons on all your pages. But if you want to get your content (e.g. product pages) tweeted, liked, and bookmarked, you need to understand what motivates user to do so. There are a number of reasons users share content, but they usually do so because it’s:
Depending on what vertical you’re in and what kind of products/services you sell, your content can probably be made to fill one of these roles.
In an effort to come to a better understanding of just what social media is worth, it’s important to actually segment out and track social media traffic. With a set of filters, a few goals, and a custom report, we can start to track which traffic mediums impact our business and deserve a greater focus.
The Social Media Analytics Report
Here’s what a completed report looks like:
We’re able to track each individual traffic medium and compare it against the number of goals completed.
The Website Settings Page
Google Analytics isn’t the easiest platform to navigate, so follow the screenshots below to get to the settings dashboard. From the settings dashboard we can create the filters and goals needed for the custom report.
First, log into your Google Analytics account and click on the gear on the top right of the page.
That brings you to the “Account Administration” screen. Click on the specific account you want to create the report, filters, and goals for.
More Facebook referrals and more search referrals stemming from Facebook
Did you know there are small adjustments you can make to your use of Facebook’s Like buttons/social plugins that can have an incredible impact on your traffic?
Facebook can provide a level of engagement between businesses and consumers that you simply didn’t see much before it was around. Naturally, as a result, Facebook has proven to be an indispensable marketing tool and driver of website traffic. Granted, the content has to be compelling, but you already know that.
Getting Traffic from Facebook
Danny Sullivan posted a slew of Facebook Like button/social plugin stats that came directly from Facebook itself. Here are a few of the stands-outs:
– The average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic.
– Users coming to the NHL.com from Facebook spend 85% more time, read 90% more articles and watch 85% more videos than a non-connected user.
– ABCNews.com, Washington Post and The Huffington Post are said to have more than doubled their referral traffic from Facebook since adding social plugins.
– Levi’s saw a 40 times increase in referral traffic from Facebook after implementing the Like button in April 2010 and has maintained those levels since.
– Outdoor sporting goods retailer Giantnerd.com saw a 100% increase revenue from Facebook within two weeks of adding the Like button.
– American Eagle added the Like button next to every product on their site and found Facebook referred visitors spent an average of 57% more money than non-Facebook referred visitors
According to what Facebook told Sullivan, Like buttons get 3 – 5 times more clicks if versions that show thumbnails of friends are used, they allow people to add comments, they appear at both the top and the bottom of content, and they appear near visual content like videos or graphics. He looks at a specific example with Metacafe, which originally had a Like button at the bottom of its videos, but after adding one to the top in addition to it, tripled its number of daily likes and doubled its amount of referral traffic from Facebook.
That’s a pretty huge impact from such a simple adjustment.
Social media marketing has entered a new era. Brands are no longer content to simply experiment with a Facebook page and a Twitter account and “hope for the best.” With social media marketing budgets on the rise, marketers need their social campaigns to drive bottom-line sales, measurable brand benefit, and improved customer lifetime value.
The maturation of the social media space has created the need for simple, standardized measurement techniques that clearly show whether social campaigns are working to deliver real brand impact and actual sales. Unlike the online advertising industry, which has standardized on a few key metrics (CPC, CPA, and CPM), social media success measurement is still in its infancy and continues to suffer from a lack of common metrics standards.
Large brands are able to license powerful social media analytics software and hire agencies to help them measure social programs with accuracy. However, many smaller organizations are unsure of how to best measure their social marketing programs.
- What should we measure?
- How do we measure it?
- What does success look like?
- Out of the many numbers we could measure for social media, how do you determine which are the key metrics you should measure now and in the long term?
The answers to these questions are complex, but every company can get started with social media measurement by focusing on three simple metrics.
These metrics won’t tell you everything about the impact of your social media programs, but they will establish a low-cost, repeatable standard you can use to gauge success over time.
1. Total Online Community Size (sCRM)
Assuming your business has invested in a solid brand community presence on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and launched a few managed blogs, measuring the total active size of your social CRM program is the simplest key metric to regularly evaluate.
Absolute size isn’t as important as whether your program steadily growing over time. The sCRM metric offers insight into the value you’re creating for those communities, as well as size of the ‘captured audience’ that has granted you permission to receive regular messaging, deals, and content.
sCRM = #Facebook Fans + #Twitter Followers + #blog unique users + #YouTubeChannel subscribers + #all other registered managed community members
To do: Manually collect figures from key channels; calculate weekly or monthly; save figures in basic spreadsheet; produce sparkline graphs to depict trendline. Bonus points: calculate same numbers for top three competitors and compare monthly.
2. Monthly Referred Social Traffic to Site (sTraffic)
Many large brands use sophisticated social content sharing tools to exactly track social media link clicks, content pass-along, and other deeper metrics. However, you can start simple and focus on the total unique site traffic coming to your website from links shared through blogs, forums, and the key social networks. You can get this with a simple query through your Omniture, WebTrends, Google Analytics, or other website analytics tool.
sTraffic = monthly website Unique Users via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, owned and 3rd party blogs, and forums
To do: Export absolute sTraffic # and % of total site traffic from your site analytics tool to a spreadsheet, then produce month-over-month sparkline graphs to depict trendlines.
Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels, currently in limited beta release, will allow marketers to take a big step in the direction of calculating the elusive social media ROI.
What is Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels?
This new feature allows any marketer with Google Analytics on their site to measure the impact of all the channel interactions a visitor has with the site leading up to a conversion or purchase.
Google Analytics will track source related information for how visitors come to your site so that if a visitor ultimately converts it can report the interactions that lead to the conversion. For the purpose of the Multi-Channel Funnels, data will be reported at an aggregate level for all of your site visitors with interactions from the 30 days leading up to a conversion being factored into the reports.
Google Analytics provides a series of reports that allow you to analyze the data in different ways. These reports are outlined below and are similar to the Search Funnel reports that are available in Google AdWords.
- Path Length: Breaks down the number of interactions it takes before a conversion occurs as well as the amount of revenue generated for each.
- Time Lag: Shows the number of days between the first interaction and the final interaction where the conversion occurred.
- Top Conversion Paths: Shows the top combination of channel interactions taken by visitors before a conversion occurs. This can be very powerful as it shows you which channels work together to drive conversions as well as the order in which they work together.
- Assisted Conversions: Shows the overall impact that each channel has by segmenting the conversions and conversion values attributed to each channel in three ways:
- Last click conversions
- Assisted conversions
- First interaction conversions
The two most powerful reports are the Top Conversion Paths and the Assisted Conversions. The Top Conversion Paths report allows you to view conversion paths in a number of ways by default, but also gives you the ability to create custom channels. By default you can view by Source/Medium, Source, or Medium.
Using Multi-Channel Funnels to Measure Social Media
These alone provide great insights, but what if you want to understand the impact of a particular campaign or your brand keywords? That’s where creating custom channels comes into play.
You can use this feature to combine various criteria to better understand how a particular channel segment performs. This is particularly powerful when looking at social campaigns.
You could create a custom channel that combines all social referred visits that aren’t directly attributed to your efforts; another that combines all the visits that can be attributed directly to your non-paid social efforts; and yet another that combines the visits from your paid social campaigns.
You’d then have the ability to not only see how these segments work together, but also to see how each works with any other channel.
For example, you could see how your various social channels work with your PPC or display campaigns, with organic search, or with direct traffic. You may find that social channels tend to be the first interaction someone has with your brand, but that they generally end up converting using organic brand search. Or you may find the exact opposite!