Friday, April 18, 2014

Innovative Ways To Customize Your Facebook Fan Page

Facebook

theibisnetworkblog - Today, just having a website is simply not enough. Maintaining a Facebook presence is vital in order to have a successful online marketing strategy. Facebook fan pages allow businesses to connect with potential customers, past customers, and referral partners. A successful fan page will generate leads, and allow you to share valuable content with your contacts. Customizing your Facebook fan page is fairly straightforward. Here are a few ways to make your fan page unique and attractive.

1. Personalize Your Vanity URL: This will help your page look more professional and identifiable to your audience while also making it easier to share with others. For example: use your company name.
2. Customize Your Welcome Page: Use iFrames and create a custom tab on your page, which will allow you to feature specific images and promotions. Use the welcome page to greet your viewers, and encourage them to “Like” your fan page.
3. Use A Creative Visual: This can be your logo or something more creative that will provide information about your business. Design something that will catch the eye of your audience, and entice them to explore the rest of the page.
4. Take Advantage of Post Targeting: Facebook now offers a tool that allows you to target certain audiences with different posts. Use this tool to customize posts for fans with different languages, certain locations, and specific needs. This will customize your fan page and result in increased engagement.
5. Run Facebook Promotions: By running promotions on your fan page you will attract new fans and drive increased traffic to your page. Use contests, user-generated content promotions, and coupons to attract a larger audience and engage with your existing audience.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

These 7 Tips Will Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing

supercharge your social media strategies
Social Media News - For several years running, Americans have chosen to spend more time in social media than anywhere else on the Web. Marketers recognize the opportunity; 86% indicate that social media is important for their business. Yet 88% still want to know more about the most effective social tactics and how to engage their social audience.
In fact, only 37% of marketers think their Facebook marketing efforts are effective and almost nine in ten marketers still believe the top benefit of social media marketing is exposure.
Social media marketing done right reaches far beyond broadcasting messages about your brand and getting exposure. Use these tips to expand your social presence and realize the potential for direct sales, converting prospects, driving relevant traffic to your website and nurturing client relationships.

Supercharge Your Social Media Strategies

Plan to Succeed

Of course you don’t want to fail. But you will if you don’t have a solid social media marketing plan in place.
Gather competitive and market information to determine your audience’s interests and which platforms will be most effective for reaching them. Social media content creation must be informed and thoughtful. Craft content and compile it in an editorial calendar. Google Docs Spreadsheets are a good starter tool for this.
Get your company social policies down and determine the roles each member of your team will play. Establish the workflow and approval process for posting new content and monitoring interactions. Empower your social team members to respond and engage your social followers.

Tie Social Efforts to Real Business Outcomes

Benchmarking and goal setting are critical to your social success.  What do you want to accomplish with your social efforts and how will you know if you’re reaching your goals?
Many social marketers are tracking activity, but few are managing to tie the gathered insights back to real business outcomes.
supercharge your social media strategies
Recent research from Altimeter shows that 53% of companies have formulated metrics that show the positive outcomes of social activity on marketing optimization. Less than half have achieved this in measuring the effects on brand health and customer experience and just 24% are effectively demonstrating the effect of social activity on revenue.
Big brands now have social media staff across an average of 13 departments, yet only 52% of companies say their executives are aligned with their social strategy. Benchmarking, goal setting, accurate measurement and a more holistic, cross-enterprise approach to social are all necessary for taking your social strategy to the next level.

Understand Your Cross-Channel Audiences and Tailor Content Accordingly

People typically aren’t looking for the same volume, format or tone in content on Twitter as they are on LinkedIn. You can make certain assumptions like this when you’re just getting started, then use your social analytics data to fine tune your content strategy.
Cater to the visual nature of Instagram and Pinterest with high quality graphics and photos. Use Twitter to participate in relevant conversations and broadcast short and sweet messages or links to longer form content. LinkedIn and Facebook can be great for sharing in-depth or multimedia content and starting conversations.
Increasingly, social networks offer ways to target various segments of your audience by geography or other parameters, so take advantage of this when you can. You might have some overlap across channels, with customers and prospects choosing to follow your company on more than one platform.
Broadcasting the same information across channels simply doesn’t deliver the unique experience they’re looking for on each network.

Get Comfortable with Social Customer Service

supercharge your social media strategies
Image credit: The Social Habit
It doesn’t matter whether you intended for your social channels to be used for customer service or not. Social audiences now expect it. In fact, 42% of customers with a complaint voiced via social media expect a response in 60 minutes or less.
Companies face a number of obstacles and challenges in social media customer service, not the least of which are that you may be dealing with potentially sensitive information or confusing customers with a mix of marketing and customer service messages. Corey Eridon shares some great insight at HubSpot on combating these problematic situations and more through good planning, solid policy and setting realistic expectations.
Positive and negative mentions alike deserve a prompt response. If you plan on having a serious social presence, assign a first responder to monitor each channel and give them access to a troubleshooting library that addresses common questions and issues. Establish a brand voice and ensure proper training so your messaging is creative, but consistent across all channels and team members.
Finally, never, ever ignore a comment posted to your social channels. Each one is an opportunity to resolve a problem, showcase your customer service skills, build brand advocates and more.

Own Your Mistakes

Everyone goofs on occasion, even the biggest brands. While an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, all is not lost if an employee goes rogue or your social automation software posts a scheduled tweet at an inopportune time.
Take a page from Pamela Vaughan’s book.  HubSpot’s lead blog strategist accidentally posted a picture of her baby bump meant for her personal Twitter account to the company account back in December.  We’ve seen this happen before with varying levels of impropriety, such as an errant Red Cross tweet about drinking alcohol (getting slizzered, to be exact).
supercharge your social media strategies
Pamela, like the Red Cross before her, responded with humor and grace that would be hard for a Twitter follower not to forgive. She deleted the tweet after checking to make sure there were no replies to it (in which case she would have responded). She then wrote this apologetic blog post explaining how the mishap happened and what measures were in place to prevent a repeat.
Everyone was able to have a laugh and move on. This is how you want to handle a social goof.

Listen Up!

Social listening is a science. The greater your audience and the volume of conversation around the brand, the more difficult it can be to find the nuggets of insight in the noise.
Listening at any level of scale requires social monitoring software. Ideally, your social listening will integrate seamlessly with your customer database, allowing you to reap the most personalized and valuable insights from online interactions.
Setting up alerts on specific keywords brings peace of mind, allowing you to respond to select issues immediately. Listening also points to opportunities for your company to insert itself in relevant conversations, engaging influencers and establishing thought leadership.
The data gathered by your social listening software also informs your social media marketing strategy going forward. If you haven’t found the right social listening software, get on it. This is a must-have for companies serious about social.

Get Up to Speed in Search & Google Authorship

Recent Google changes mean companies need to understand how team members, brand advocates and influencers all creating and amplifying content can impact search visibility.
Even if you’ve been less than impressed with the size of your potential audience on Google+, it’s worth incorporating into your social strategy. Not only has it become increasingly important for local marketers, each profile on Google’s social network acts as a publisher’s identity when Google is ranking content in search.

Monday, April 14, 2014

8 Simple Steps to Maximize SEO on Google Plus

images (4)Google Plus is still in its early stages, but that does not mean it is a less effective tool for marketing. You just have to use it differently than all of your other social media marketing tools. Google Plus has not yet reached its maturity, so you must implement a unique strategy in order to get the most from it.
In order to maximize the results from your Google Plus marketing strategy, here are eight steps that will give your content the advantage in SEO. You will increase visibility of your posts, giving your social media marketing strategy the boost it needs.
#1 Set all of your posts to Public. Having more circles can create a broader interest for your friends, but by telling Google that all of your posts can be shared publicly will allow them to be indexed in the public search engine. Every time you post, select the Public option.
#2 Use a source link when adding your content to Google Plus. Google Plus has not been playing well with URL shorteners, so when possible use a link directly from the source. This helps Google more efficiently populate the content, including the name of your blog, post title, description and image. The content will also be cross-referenced with any +1 likes from other Google Plus users. Much like sharing URLs through other social media sites, you just copy and paste the original link to the Share what’s new box on your homepage.
#3 Add a before a person’s name in order to link to their profile in a post. Anyone that you are connected to on Google Plus can be linked in the same way as on your Facebook network. A feature that some users are unaware of lets you do this by simply prefixing the name with a as you write your post. This will highlight the name, letting readers view the individual’s profile, if privacy settings allow it. Being able to link with others helps open conversations and engage users.
#4 Be sure to broaden your circles, add friends, engage and share. Like Facebook, the more you engage others, the longer your posts will remain visible to other users. Increasing the number of people in your circles to share with will give your content more reach.
#5 Spread the +1 button around all of your sites. The small piece of code is easy to embed on all of your web pages, blogs, e-commerce sites, etc. The easier it is for readers to click on your share buttons, the more likely it is that they will do so. Easy sharing helps extend the reach of your content through social media.
#6 Fill out your profile as completely as you feel comfortable. Over time, your Google profile will create itself depending on choices that you make. By adding other touches to it, you will grow your profile and curate it so that it fits you perfectly. Take a look at your social media profile and decide what areas you feel need more information added. The more open you are on your public profiles, the better.
#7 Consider clicking the “Email people not using Google Plus” for some of your best posts. If you are connected with people who are not on Google Plus yet, you can still share your content with them by having an email sent directly to them. This is not an option you should choose for everything, as this can cause you to become an annoyance. Instead, only choose to do this when you have written a great piece of content that you want to send out there.
#8 Take part in the Google Plus community. Similar to Klout, how much you actively participate on Google Plus can affect your relevance on the social media site. How many people you reach can help you be ranked higher.
Making the most of Google Plus takes patience and commitment. When you do it right, the rewards you reap will be worth the effort you make. Are you using Google Plus to extend your reach? What has worked best for you in social media marketing? Share with us!
By Kevin Dreefs         

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How often should you publish content on your Facebook page?

 - When it comes to the “perfect” frequency to publish content on your Facebook page, you’ll get very conflicting advice from the various experts who wrote something on the topic. For some, once a day is good enough, others will tell you to go with 3 times a day, others may even tell you to post every 2 or 3 hours to capture your audience throughout the day as users come and go.
These suggestions may apply to you, or not… There are so many factors to take into account, such as your ability to create (or curate) enough good content to sustain the rythm you’ve decided to go with, or the location of your audience (from very local to all over the globe) that no single frequency will work for all.
But there’s one piece of advice I’ve seen here and there that seems to be pretty commonly accepted by everyone: you need to post consistently to keep your audience engaged and “reachable” over time, not doing so will damage your edgerank score and will cause your page to disapear from the surface of the newsfeed.

Does the frequency of your Facebook posts affect your page performance over time?

Good news, the answer is no, and here is how I found out:
I have made several tests with a page I started for fun: the MV Agusta Brutale Fanpage. I own one of these monster-of-a-machine, so it looked like a fun thing to do :-)
As it is a “hobby” page for me, i.e., I don’t do any kind of business with it, I tend to be lazy when it comes to publishing content on a regular basis. Worst, I even let the page live with no content at all for weeks, even months sometimes.
Actually, as of April 8, my latest post was dated August 22nd! More than 7 months ago… That is what you can call an inactive page…
So, on April 8, I decided to run a little test with one question in mind: does the fact that I don’t publish regularly on that page will affect my ability to reach my fans? Is leaving the page inactive hurting its edgerank score and damaging its performance over time?
I chose to publish a photo because I could benchmark it with two other photos, one from June 11 and another from January 5th of 2013. My August 22nd was a text update. Here is the post I used for the test:
8  MV Agusta Brutale 650 pix

24 hours after the post was published, here are the results:

MV post performance last year 650 pix
That’s pretty amazing! That post had a better reach than the status update published 7 months ago and was pretty much in the range of reach of my 2 previous photos from 2013. Engagement was even a bit higher than usual.

After 7 months without anything published on that page, the performance of that latest post is amazing:

  • 30% of fans reached organically (6,440 out of 21,200). Wow! That’s almost 3 times the average organic reach for a page of that size.
  • 14.4% of engaged users (clicks + likes + comments + shares on the total of users’ reached). That’s twice the average engagement according to our Facebook Page Barometer
  • 5.5% people talking about this (likes + comments + shares), That’s also twice the average PTAT according to our Barometer.
That’s a heck of a good performance for a Facebook post!

Key takeaways for you:

  • Leaving your page without content for a while, even a long while, will not affect it’s future post performance
  • Great content will always work, even after a long time of inactivity
  • If you can’t come up with great content often enough, it’s probably better to post less often and wait to have the ressources to increase your posting frequency while maintaining the quality high.
  • As the performance of your posts seems to be way more influenced by past performance than by post frequency, always favor less content of higher quality over more content of lower quality.
I know this may sound like common sense advice, but this time it is backed with real data!
If you want to benchmark your Facebook page performance against the competition, you should definitely check our Facebook Page Performance Barometer!
What’s your take on this? Were you worried that not publishing often enough would damage your page performance?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The 5 Brilliant Strategies You Can Learn From Top Content Marketers

Ready to get started with content marketing?  Although the process might sound daunting, there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel.  Instead, take a page out of the playbooks of the following five industry-leading content marketers.  Adding these strategies to your own content campaigns can take your 2014 marketing initiatives from zero to 60 as easily possible -- helping you to avoid common content-marketing speed bumps along the way.
Philosophy of Rand Fishkin, the ex-CEO of marketing site Moz
Rand Fishkin
Image credit: Nakeva via Flickr
1. Philosophy of Rand Fishkin, the ex-CEO of marketing site Moz: “Over-invest in big content.”
In an interview given with Marketing Land, Rand Fishkin, the ex-CEO of Moz, comments on how the rapid pace of content-marketing adoption means that the bar for content quality will grow higher in the future.  As a result, what works today might fall below the minimum barrier entry just a few years from now.
Fishkin’s strategy is to invest in big content, rather than spreading resources too thin producing smaller, less valuable pieces.  Your company can adopt this strategy by reallocating funding and human capital away from run-of-the-mill marketing pieces in order to concentrate on big content, including mini-sites, videos, interactive infographics and other show-stoppers.
Philosophy of Neil Patel, founder of analytical and marketing companies Quicksprout and KISSMetrics
Neil Patel
Image credit: Neil Patel via Twitter
2. Philosophy of Neil Patel, founder of analytical and marketing companies Quicksprout and KISSMetrics: “Combine your content marketing with SEO.”
Neil Patel states on his blog, “If you are trying to grow your qualified search traffic, you have to combine your content marketing with your SEO efforts.”
To do that, you’ll first need to isolate the keywords that are driving the most traffic to your website, as well as those you aren’t currently targeting that have the potential to generate more visitors.  Once you’ve identified these phrases, build high quality content around them – content so good “that even Wikipedia would love to link to” it, in the words of Patel.  It’s a time-consuming prospect, but one that stands to benefit your company from both a content marketing and SEO perspective.
Heidi Cohen Philosophy of Heidi Cohen, author of the Actionable Marketing Guide
Heidi Cohen
Image credit: Heidi Cohen via Twitter
3. Heidi Cohen Philosophy of Heidi Cohen, author of the Actionable Marketing Guide: “Marketers and media firms must create stories people want to read.”
In her book Actionable Marketing Guide, Cohen emphasizes that content marketers must become storytellers.  This advice is especially relevant, given Fishkin’s comment on the increasingly competitive nature of content marketing.  Stories draw people in, so if you want to stand out, becoming a better storyteller is a powerful way to do so.
Cohen’s blog lists three key factors that make up a strong story – using a hook to pull in readers, ensuring every story you tell has a beginning, middle and end and delivering an ending that’s worthy of the build-up used throughout the story.  Try planning a few of your content marketing pieces according to these criteria and see how your results change.
Philosophy of Scott Abel, the content-management strategist behind The Content Wrangler
Scott Abel
Image credit: Scott Abel via Twitter
4. Philosophy of Scott Abel, the content-management strategist behind The Content Wrangler: “Look for ways to connect data with documents in innovative and meaningful ways.”
Scott Abel is another content marketing guru predicting an era of increased competition.  His suggestion for combatting combat fatigue, however, relies on marketers working with content engineers to harness the power of new ideas, techniques and tools.
One specific example he cites is infographics, which he refers to as being “dead on arrival.”  A better alternative, in Abel’s view, is the type of interactive data visualization being created by companies like InfoActive.  If your company’s resources allow, consider adding this new type of content to your marketing plans. 
Philosophy of Barry Feldman, a writer for Social Media Today
Barry Feldman
5. Philosophy of Barry Feldman, a writer for Social Media Today:“Answer your prospects’ top 30 questions.”
Writing for Social Media Today, marketer Barry Feldman and owner ofFeldman Creative, offers one of the easiest possible strategies content creators should implement today.  Instead of wasting time brainstorming topics your audience might not care about, simply choose 30 of their top questions.  Then, write a blog post, publish a video and release a podcast for each question.
The rationale behind Feldman’s theory is simple.  As he says, “Your prospects aren’t going to buy your stuff until they get the answers they seek.”  By answering these questions preemptively, you’ll both demonstrate your thought leadership on the subject and cut through the clutter of content that doesn’t provide information your audience is actively seeking.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.