Posts tagged "facebook marketing"

Facebook Engagement

If you’re looking to get better engagement out of your Facebook posts, add more pictures and start speaking in the first person.

Social media data expert Dan Zarrella — who tracked and analyzed more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-Liked Facebook pages — has released details about which posts get the most likes, shares and comments on Facebook, from post type and length to the best time of day to add updates.

Photos bring in the highest number of engagement across the board, followed by text and video, according to Zarrella. News links bring in the least numbers of likes, shares and comments.

Meanwhile, posts with a high number of self-referential words such as “I” and “me” get more likes — a tactic that doesn’t work well on Twitter.

SEE ALSO: The Best and Worst Times to Share on Facebook, Twitter

“Overall, the best strategy for Facebook, as well as all kinds of social media marketing, is to create a lot of interesting content and share it,” Zarrella told Mashable. “On Facebook, visual content does especially well. It’s also important to be passionate, not neutral.”

This means that both positive and negative posts tend to do well with engagement.

Timing is also key. Updates posted later in the day (Eastern Time) bring in more shares and Likes, but they tend to peak around 8 p.m. Shares trickle off around the end of the work day (6 p.m.).

“Publish when others aren’t, such as later in the day and on the weekends,” Zarrella advised.

For example, Facebook posts that go up on Saturdays and Sundays tend to get more Likes than those during the week. Similar to Twitter engagement, Facebook posts do better earlier in the week than later: Thursday is the least active day for Likes.

People also tend to be active throughout the week in the early hours of the day (5 a.m. ET) and during lunchtime (12 p.m. ET).

For a full look at which posts do best, check out the infographic below or sign up for Zarrella’s free marketing webinar.

What seems to be working best for you? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook Infographic

What to post

Content makes social media an effective tool for achieving core marketing goals including building brand, attracting prospects, converting customers, and supporting sales and advocates. Content feeds social media’s voracious appetite for information in a variety of forms.

Distributing targeted content across different social media platforms helps brands and businesses respond and engage with prospects and customers. This targeted information shows prospects that marketers have been listening to their problems.  Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion refers to this as the secret sauce. As a result, this content provides context for future interactions regardless of the device prospects use.

Here are the seven core social media content formats laid out in a useful infographic to help you use them effectively.

  1. Blogs are your social media home base in Chris Brogan’s opinion. Have one or more blogs to provide content that’s easily distributed and shared on other social media. Actionable Marketing Tip: Leverage the power of blogs to support your search optimization by integrating your blog(s) into your website, focusing each post on a keyword phrase, developing magnetic post titles, and creating stellar content that gets people’s attention.
  2. Images, particularly photographs, are a quick content format anyone can create with their smartphone and share via social media. Photographs pull viewers in and engage them. Use images to show your brand’s vision and versatility. Actionable Marketing Tip: Curate other people’s images with their permission. Also create images using text.
  3. Videos offer three options: high quality professional content (The figure mentioned at Content Marketing World was $10,000 per minute (but I haven’t checked this fact.)), the scrappy DIY approach used by up and coming YouTube celebs, and voice over presentation that’s like watching a webinar. Your choice depends on your subject and your budget. Actionable Marketing Tip: Optimize your video for search by adding text to it (since YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google.) Also, integrate a call-to-action into the audio portion of your video like a DRTV ad.
  4. Audio, specifically, podcasts, provide a personal channel to talk one-to-one to your audience with a human voice. Audio has significant potential given the prevalence of smartphones and the ability to multi-task while listening to podcasts. Actionable Marketing Tip: Build your audience and learn to use this medium before it’s growth period. Audio is low cost relative to video. Further, with smartphones always within arm’s reach, it’s a great way to give your audience content when they’re focused on your information such as drive time.
  5. Slideshare. According to Todd Wheatland, author of  The Marketer’s Guide to Slideshare, Slideshare is a content treasure trove since it can deliver any content format including PDFs, infographics, video, and text, to a targeted audience that generally B2B focused. Closely integrated with LinkedIn, Slideshare helps get your content found more effectively than posting it on owned media. Marketo, according to Maria Pergolino (@InboundMarketer), transformed their content into the SlideShare presentation, Building a Better Inbound Marketing Machine; it garnered 145K views and and 173 comments on Slideshare. Actionable Marketing Tip: Strategically select content that positions your organization for the business terms your target audience is searching and transform it to shine on Slideshare.
  6. E-books are a sexy way to provide information that answers your target audience’s questions regardless of business type. Sheridan compiled information comparing all of the pool manufacturers into an ebook for their customers called: How to Buy a Swimming Pool the Right Way, causing them to call him. Sheridan says, “Have a dang opinion and share it because no one likes grey today!” Actionable Marketing Tip: Keep e-books short (5 pages or less) or long (over 50 pages) based on research by Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella. (BTW-Here’s a link to my e-book, What Every Blogger Needs to Know – 101 Actionable Blog Tips.)
  7. Infographics are a visually appealing way to present information. This is attributable to the fact that many infographics transform data into colorful charts making it faster to grasp the concept. As a result, infographics integrated into articles and blog posts are highly shareable. Actionable Marketing Tip: Use infographics to show your expertise and build links back to your blog or website.
Nice, simple social media icons for your site. Make sure your customers can easily get to your social media!

Nice, simple social media icons for your site. Make sure your customers can easily get to your social media!

(via brentlevi)

How Often to Post on Facebook

One of the most frequent questions I get from small business owners relates to how often they should post updates on their Facebook business page. Additionally, I get frustrated when I go to a business page and see very infrequent updates, with gaps of sometimes days or weeks.

So, how much is too much? or too little. How often should you be posting on your business page?

First off, there is no formula, no “one size fits all” answer. There are a number of factors that might determine the frequency of your posts. The one thing that I always tell businesses is:

You are only as good as your last post.

When people log in to Facebook, the first thing they see is their news feed. Most people don’t spend a lot of time scrolling down to check out everything that’s happened since their last log-in. If you aren’t in someone’s news feed when they log in, chances are they won’t see you. If they don’t see you, you don’t exist. Plain and simple.

Having said that, you need to find the right balance for you in terms of posting frequency. Here are a few basic guidelines I think will work for most businesses, while keeping in mind that every situation is unique:

1. Post at least one update a day – With at least one update a day, there’s a good chance that a number of your fans will see you on a given day. One update a day will almost never be seen as “too much” by any of your fans.

2. Two or three updates is better – A few updates spaced throughout the day will give you a greater chance of being seen. Vary the content and you might see an increase in impressions and engagement. Often when I tell businesses to make the jump from one to three posts a day, I hear “So you mean I need to hire a full-time Social Media person?”. Not at all. An update can be very simple and take only 10 to 30 seconds to create. You can create a few meaningful updates in fewer than ten minutes a day.

3. Vary your posting times – Don’t necessarily post at the same time every day. If you mix up your times you have less of a chance of being seen as spammy, and you’ll have a better chance of being seen by more people based on their Facebook using habits.

4. Some posts might require consistency – One exception to the above guideline is if you have a particular feature that should be posted at the same time every day. One of my clients, Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches, is a regional chain of 20 restaurants. Each day, each of their stores is inundated with phone calls asking about their soup of the day. Many people make their dining decisions based on what that soup of the day is, so as a result, Isaac’s posts their soup of the day on Facebook each morning, as a way of notifying their customers, and these daily posts not only perform well in terms of impressions, but they also do well in terms of engagement, or what Facebook refers to as “feedback”. It’s a post that makes fans actually seek out the fan page each day.

Soup of the Day at Isaac's

5. Vary your content – Status updates can be statements, questions, photos, videos, notes, events, links to interesting articles…pretty much anything. If you have a blog, link your blog to Facebook to post automatically via the free Networked Blogs app. Questions are great because they spur on engagement; some people feel compelled to answer. People also love photos and videos, especially if you have the ability to tag them. Also, remember that not all of your post content should be about you. Generic statements and random questions about current events or local events will also work.

6. Know your audience – You need a good understanding of those who are in your audience on your business page. Who are they? What are the demographics? How many people like your page? One of the reasons this is important is that different types of people have different tolerance levels for frequent posting. In particular, if your fan base is made up of an older demographic, remember that those in that category tend to have fewer Facebook friends, so if you post frequently, they are more likely to see all of them, and will have a lower tolerance for what they see as spam. The older demographics also tend to be newer to computers and Facebook, and therefore might be less tech savvy, and more easily overwhelmed.

7. Check your analytics – Not only will your analytics give you the aforementioned demographic info, but you should frequently take a look at how many people are unsubscribing (hiding) from your updates, and how many are unliking your page. If you see any spikes in either of those, try to figure out what you may have done to cause that. Did you post too much or too often? I have one client who noticed a spike of unlikes on one particular day, and it seemed to correlate with having posted a few updates in a fairly short period of time. They have been more careful since that time, and haven’t seen any more spikes of people leaving. Also, look for the types of posts that get the most feedback or the least feedback and use that information as a guide for future postings.

Those are a few guidelines, but to provide a simple answer to the question asked in the title of this post in a quick and concise way, I’d say:

Post at least once a day, but two or three posts throughout the day might be better.

Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Many marketers launch their social media programs because they feel they need to and then scramble to understand both how they will make these work and how they will be managed. Most of them do this with no goal in mind and worse, no understanding of how social media marketing (SMM) works.

Many believe that social is the answer to customer acquisition and are short-sided in defining realistic results. Unfortunately this all results in lost time, lost customers, lost market share, and lost profitability.

Stop chasing your tail in social. Start your SMM planning right by following these five easy steps.

SMM Step 1: Create Your Executive Overview Business Plan

Spell out your business in a one-pager to realize why you need social:

  • Your Business Mission and History
  • Your Business or Revenue Model
  • Descriptions of your Products & Services
  • Details of Your Target Audience
  • Review of Your Current Marketing Efforts

SMM Step 2: Define Your Specific Social Media Goals

It is impossible to reach and attain a goal without defining exact specifics. Too many business owners let social metrics define their goals, such as “More Twitter Followers”, “More Fans on Facebook”, “More YouTube Views.”

As marketers, we all know that it is really about engagement that counts. But, what engagement are we talking about? Positive engagement? Volume of commenting on a controversial piece of content?

You need to go a step beyond to define specific, actionable, and (most importantly) reasonable SMM goals. Here are some specific SMM goals you might use after completing your business review:

  • Validate a new product or service using social as a research platform.
  • Develop buzz and interest around a new product.
  • Engage users in social to generate relevant and targeted traffic to your site.
  • Gain market share by leading customer/client service through social.
  • Generate registrations to branded events through social.

SMM Step 3: Find Your SMM Voice

One of the keys to ensuring your success in social is to create and implement a voice that resonates with your specific target audience. For each audience type, break down and research age, income, location, and reasons for possibly buying your products/services.

SMM Step 4: Choosing Your Social Tools Appropriately

Choosing your social tools appropriately is an essential piece of your online communications plan, so choose wisely. Let’s do a short review of the leading social sites to assist you in your selection:

  • Facebook:More than 955 million users. Majority between 18-25; 60 percent female. Best opportunity for community building with customers.
  • Twitter:More than 555 million users. Majority between 26-34; 57 percent female. Best tool for interacting in real-time.
  • Google Plus+:More than 170 million users. Majority between 26-34; 63 percent male. Platform for driving visibility around a brand.
  • LinkedIn:More than 150 million users. Majority between 26-34, directly followed by 35-44. The number one B2B social networking tool.
  • Pinterest: More than 12 Million Users. Majority between 26-44; 68 percent female. A viral platform for sharing stories via pictures.

SMM Step 5: Plan & Execute Content & Delivery

Now to the hard part – finding, creating, and delivering engaging social media content. Social media execution can be daunting, but with a proper plan it is doable and can drive real (marketing) results.

What you need to define:

  • Your frequency of content delivery & response to social engagement.
  • Your types and specific topics for content creation.
  • Ways to increase audience engagement.
  • Events that can drive social.
  • Your social success metrics (number of followers, number of fans, volume of traffic back to site, number of retweets, etc.).

Summary

Social media marketing can be an excellent vehicle for developing online brand awareness, customer engagement, and audience growth. This requires a solid, measurable plan and a commitment to developing consistent and valuable content. In addition, it’s crucial for you to have a clear understanding of why social can be useful for reaching your business goals.

Tips for having a memorable Halloween promotion

Now that summer is unofficially over, it’s time to start thinking about plugging in the remainder of your 2012 promotional calendar. There are some big dates still on the calendar, which means there are some big opportunities to keep your brand top-of-mind from now until the ball drops on 2013, starting with Halloween.

Here are five non-cavity inducing tips to make sure your Facebook page’s promotional efforts aren’t scary for the all the wrong reasons…

1) Give Your House A Little More Haunt – Brush up on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to immerse yourself in  the seasonal verbiage and take some fashion advice from Freddy Krueger to give your promotion and messaging a more authentic look, tone, and feel. Psst…it takes more work than some spider clip art in your cover photo and pushing out a generic “Happy Halloween” promo to send your brand viral.

2) Hand Out Quality Candy – Whatever promotion you decide to activate, remember to reward your fans from a “value” perspective. Seriously, liking a brand’s page only to be underwhelmed by what you receive in return (offer, gift, or experience) is kind of like trick-or-treating at the not so generous house on the block. No one ever tells their friends to go knock on the door of the house giving out the mini-box of raisins.

3) Ding-Dong > “Trick-o-Treat” > Moving Along – Your fans are busy and bombarded with orange and black invitations left and right, so make your promo simple for them to enter and participate with (yes, treat them, don’t trick them). A complex entry process has a tendency to scare users away just like The Jigsaw Killer.

4) Last-minute Costume Ideas Come Off As, Well, Last Minute – Don’t be the guy (brand) that lazily slaps together an uninspired costume at 8pm and then runs off to the party empty handed (not even a six-pack..). Start planning out your promotion now and you’ll actually have something to measure come November.

5) Reach and Connect With The Pumpkin Carvers – Halloween is unlike any other holiday. It has ridiculously fanatical following – online and off. From targeting the candy and decoration buying parents to the trick-o-treating kids to the costume party freaks, you should be using smart PR and paid media strategies to get the word out about your Facebook promotion. Hint: The most successful Haunted Houses (i.e. custom Facebook promos) market to visitors that live outside their own neighborhood.

Need more inspiration? Launch a costume photo contest to ramp up more engagement. How about inviting fans to participate in a scary caption contest or handing out budget costume ideas? For more ideas on how to spread your message, be sure to peep North Social’s custom apps to see how we can help launch a unique experience for your brand.

Boo!


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