Social media is an ever changing landscape. Each year there are new success stories, old network that bite the dust and tons of platforms forecast to be the "next big thing". As technology and our interests evolve, so does social media. Here's an infographic from MagicLogix, presenting the 7 social media perdition for 2014. Some key takeaways are: More employes will be active one social media for their company. Expect to see a spike in Native social media ads. More articles and discussion will take place regarding Google Glass as the Future of technology, but we're still years off from it being viable and relevant. Expect a rise in using brand advocates to appeal to a user base. Companies will face more pressure to pay to sponsor ads.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Facebook has become one of the most popular and sought after social media today. Different people use Facebook for different purposes. To most young people, it is one very efficient platform for connecting with old friends and making new ones from different parts of the world. But, to the business minded, Facebook is one platform that allows them reach a global audience and tell good stories about their products and services.
The fact that having a popular facebook page increases the number of visitors and customers to your blog or site has established this social media platform as a force to reckon with in today’s social media marketing. Most bloggers and online merchants pay attention to the number of likes their Facebook page generates as it goes a long way to determine the number of genuine followers their blog posts get. Below are some very effective tips to help you maximize the links on your Facebook fan page to get more likes.
Get a Facebook Like Widget Box Installed on Your Blog
This tip has been working for a long time and still remains one of the most effective ways to increase the number of likes on your Facebook fan page. This widget will enable your visitors like your Facebook Fan page without going to your Facebook page. Place it in a very strategic point to make it more visible to your site visitors. Try out different colors, height and width before choosing the most visible widget.
Link to the Fan Page
Always remember to leave a link from your blog or website to your fan page. You can equally link them to your about us page or the author info page. These are some of the most effective ways of increasing likes on your Facebook fan page. Always remember to link your social media pages to your blog and website to reveal your online presence.
Get Search Engine Optimization for Your Fan Page
The most important reason why people look for more Facebook likes is to generate organic traffic. Optimizing your Facebook fan page for search engines is much easier than you have always believed. You can get your fan page optimized for search engines like Google, Bing, etc. Ensure to include your tagline and company’s name on your fan page. Don’t forget to add your meta description which covers all the keywords.
Make Use Email Newsletters
Use email newsletters to solicit for Facebook likes from your contact list/ followers. It is not odd to ask for a Facebook like from your readers as it will help them get posts and updates from you much faster than newsletters can deliver them. Make sure your social media link is added at the bottom of all your email feeds.
Be an Active Facebook User
Being active on Facebook has been found to be super-effective. Find groups that are related to your niche or industry and come up with posts and topics that will keep them coming to your page for more. Adding your link to your posts is allowed and you can even ask for likes from there.
Invite your Friends
Sending out invitations from your admin section to your friends can be one of the most effective ways of getting them to click on the like button.
#1: Build Your Spreadsheet
#2: Identify Categories and Subcategories
#3: Outline Your Targets and Calls to Action
#4: Collect Your Data
#5: Sort Your Data
#6: Analyze Categories
Engagement was the buzzword of 2013, so what will be the buzzword for 2014? I believe that word will be advocacy. We all know how important customer reviews and recommendations are to compelling people to make a purchase. This is because positive reviews help to build confidence in your brand and your products. So how do you get more positivity on the web? Through brand advocates.
Over the last few years, we have all heard about the importance of growing relationships with brand advocates – the people who speak positively about your brand, and share your content on social media. In fact, it’s been found that offers or promotions shared by social media advocates convert at a much higher rate.
So how do you identify your potential brand advocates?
1. Pay Attention
Your advocates aren’t hiding in the shadows. They’re standing in full sight. All you have to do is pay attention.
Start by looking through your last few months’ worth of social media posts:
- Who’s liking & favoriting your posts and tweets?
- Who’s sharing and retweeting your content?
- Who’s commenting on your posts and conversing with your brand?
- Who’s linking to your content?
These are all potential brand advocates.
2. Track Their Engagement
It isn’t enough just to look at the numbers, you have to look at the people behind those numbers. Now that you have started to pay attention to who is most engaged with your content and your brand, you should start to track their engagement with you over time.
Open a spreadsheet and start to list anyone that engages with you in social media. You can go back through a few months of post and tweets, or if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can analyze a whole year’s worth of content or even multiple years. Do this by creating a column with a list of name of people who have engaged with you in social media and then create separate columns to track different engagement metrics like: post likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites, and repins. You can even get more granular and look at link clicks as well.
You can also discover these metrics through in-channel statistics like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics (only available if you advertise through Twitter), Pinterest Analytics (make sure you have verified your account), Google+ Insights and third-party management and analytics software as well as through link shortening tools like bit.ly.
3. Analyze Your Findings
Now that you’ve tracked your followers’ engagement, it’s time to compare their engagement against your other followers and fans.
- Who is liking & favoriting your posts, tweets, and pins the most?
- Who is sharing, retweeting, and repining your content more than anyone else?
- Who is commenting on your posts, @mentioning you in tweets, posting questions and comments on your Facebook wall regularly?
These are your brand advocates.
Once you’ve identified the people who recommend your brand to their friends, leave positive reviews on sites like Yelp and Google+, and seem genuinely interested in conversing with your brand, it’s time to put those advocates to work. Stay tuned for our follow-up post on how to engage and grow your relationships with your advocates.
As far as "web content" is concerned, few ingredients get overlooked as often as images do. That's kind of surprising, given that they make an instant impact, and can make or break a first impression.
Because no part of your online marketing plan is unimportant, we want to see you make the most of the images on your business website. Here are some of my fav strategies for finding those diamonds in the rough:
1. Create written content with images in mind. The best way to marry images with text is to think about that relationship ahead of time. In other words, create blog posts and other text content with a thought towards what kind of image you might use in conjunction.
2. Look for colours and shapes. Common sense tells you that, when you're trying to attract attention, it makes sense to use attention-grabbing images. Keep that in mind as you look through your collection. Try this tip: when selecting stock images, start a few pages deep (many people are too lazy to go beyond that point - leaving lots of great images unused), scan thumbnails without looking too closely. Pay attention to what catches your eye at a glance. It’s very likely that colour block, a very simple image or perhaps a face is what gets your attention. No surprise there, as people are naturally drawn to eyes and bright colours, while tending to avoid complexity.
3. Don't be afraid to spend a little money to make an impact. While free stock images and Creative Commons free use images do exist, keep in mind that a good image is a bit like a tie or a scarf – you might feel silly spending a lot of money on one until you see how well it brings everything else together. As with most things in life, shopping the bargain bin isn't always a great strategy. And realize that clip art and often-seen images just don’t make any manner of good impression.
4. Know the difference between stock images and "stock images." There are images that are available for purchase, and those that just scream "fake." You want images that have a bit of personality and fit what you are talking about.
5. Use images that are safe for readers and viewers to pass along. If something in your marketing content (either written or visual) seems a bit risqué, there’s a chance others might not pass it along. So, stick to a what will resonate with your audience.
6. Consider getting your own custom images. Many companies decide that custom images or photos must be too expensive without ever exploring the possibilities. Often, by getting a batch done all at once, or having a bit of editing done to an existing image, you can get a unique visual at a fair price.
7. Remember that drawings, videos and animations count, too. Most of us tend to associate website images with photos, and indeed they tend to be the most prevalent. But, drawings, videos and animations can make an impact, too, so consider sprinkling them in with other forms of content.
8. Once you’ve got a great image, it’s time to consider placement. In my experience, right-justifying images is usually better than left. The reason being that word wrap on list-type items seldom flow well around an image. Whereas a right-justified image can fill any gaps and helps word-wrap flow better. Those websites that have the room for larger images may want to consider centred full-width for big impact. I personally only apply left-justification to small images, and away from any list items.
9. Try incorporating graphs and charts. Likewise, graphs and charts can tell a story or convey information in a way that words or other images can. Consider using them when you're trying to explain a before-and-after relationship, or something with strict numerical values. Be aware that these types of images do better within a story that headlining them.
10. Use screen grabs to explain situations or step-by-step processes. Sometimes, you don't need fancy images to show off a practice or idea. In those cases, simple step-by-step screen grabs can do a better job of explaining, or supplementing an explanation, that anything else can.
11. Don't forget to title and ALT tag all of your great images. By adding the right titles and tags to your images, you make them easier to find (and are fantastic from a search engine optimization standpoint).
As we all know, a great picture is worth a thousand words… and possibly at least as many clicks. So, make the most of your image content, because it could be an important but overlooked part of your online marketing strategy.