Posts tagged "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

Pinterest SEO

This week we expand our discussion on how to leverage Online Visual Marketing successfully in your bridal business by taking a fresh look at creating inspiration boards on Pinterest. You might think the point of Pinterest is to garner attention for your brand inside this busy social network. And, of course, it is. But the value of Pinterest to me is far greater than that. I’m also highly interested in the traffic I can build outside of Pinterest…namely, from search engines. And in my consistent pursuit of Pinterest SEO strategies, I’ve discovered a few that you might not know about.

1. Your Links Don’t Count…Or Do They?

In March 2012, Pinterest added the “no follow” code to its overall infrastructure. That’s a tag that tells search engine crawlers not to follow a link to the destination. In plain English, it means you don’t get credit for the link that is placed in the Link field of your Pin and, consequently, it doesn’t help you build up search engine authority for your domain. However, that link can still send real, live traffic to your website, so don’t stop using it. Just know that it doesn’t necessarily count toward your SEO goodwill.

However, there is a silver lining…at least, for now. If a link is placed in the Description box of a Pin, it is a “do follow” link, which means that search engine crawlers can index it and can credit your website accordingly. So, if in addition to getting Pinterest traffic, you also want to boost your overall SEO, add your link to the Description field when pinning in Pinterest.

2. Your Pinterest Profile is Powerful

Search engines are officially indexing Pinterest profiles. This means two things for you. First, if you include your target keywords in your Pinterest profile description, there is a chance that your profile could appear in search engines for that keyword…even if your website doesn’t. Second, it means even more chances for your company to appear in search engines, outside of just your website. Take advantage and, remember, visitors will see the profile description so make sure it’s click-worthy.

3. Pinterest Plays Nice

Pinterest allows you to create a social networking web by letting you connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts (only your personal Facebook profile, not your Fan Page). When you do this, you allow search engines to see that these various social accounts are associated with the same brand. 

And why would you want to do that? Because search engines are beginning to use your social clout and activity to determine the importance and relevancy of your brand and primary domain. When all of your social media accounts are connected and they all link back to your website, search engines can see the bigger picture and reward you for influential social activity with higher search engine rankings for the appropriate keywords.

So, in a nutshell, make sure your Twitter account is linked and, if you use your personal Facebook profile for business mostly, then connect that too.

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)

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.

Email Is Still Huge, And That’s Where People Want To Be Marketed To

Email is thirty years old, and it’s arguably bigger than ever, despite other technological advancements in computing and communication. The number of emails sent per day continues to increase, and there are way more accounts than even Facebook has.

This week, ReadWriteWeb interviewed the  “father of email,” Ray Tomlinson, who implemented an email system in 1971 on the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The piece cites some stats from the Radicati Group, saying that 144.8 billion emails are sent per day, and the number projected to hit 192.2 billion in 2016. Another stat from the same source: there are currently 3.4 billion email accounts worldwide, and somewhere around 75% of them are actually individual people.

That works out to be over 2.5 billion accounts of individual users. Facebook recently announced that it had hit the 955 million active user milestone, with just 552 million of them accessing it daily.

In the interview, Tomlinson is quoted as saying, “Email has the time difference — that is, you send it now, you read it later — you don’t have to have someone sitting there and ready to respond like you do with instant messaging to make it work and make it effective. You can use instant messaging that way, but if they’re not there, nothing happens, and you gotta remember that there may be a message coming back to you and go back to the IM client and look for the response.”

He also said he expects email to be around for “a good long time,” adding that “We may find that these other forms of communication may be merged with email.”

We are indeed still seeing the merge of other online communication channels with email. For example, earlier this summer, Facebook started listing Facebook email addresses as the default email address for users, as even the world’s largest social network recognizes email’s importance to the communication landscape. Google+ and Twitter have both recently made moves indicating that they are relying more on email for user engagement.

Email is even making its way to Google searches. Last month, Google introduced a new way for you to search your Gmail account right from the Google search box, perhaps enabling users to access old emails when they’re at their most relevant. It’s only in limited trial mode right now, but this could become an important Google feature sometime soon.

In this article, I talked about why this could make email marketing even better for conversions. The point I was trying to make is that it can make marketing messages available perhaps when they’re more relevant to the audience, when they’re actually searching for something that you’re selling. Basically, it adds some search marketing advantage to your email marketing efforts, though perhaps not in a way that’s as visible as straight paid search. But hey, it’s free.

ExactTarget’s Jeff Rohrs said in a piece about email’s 30th anniversary, “In fact, an overwhelming 77 percent of all consumers surveyed prefer to receive promotional messages from companies via email compared to five percent who prefer text messages and four percent who prefer Facebook. Email is also one of the most utilized apps on every smartphone right up there with the phone, text messaging and the browser itself.”

Emphasis is mine, because those numbers are quite interesting, given how much we see about Facebook marketing these days.

According to a recent study from Experian, email volume rose 10% in the second quarter, compared to the second quarter of last year. This is only a continuation in a trend the firm says it has seen each quarter for the past three years. Open rates were similar to those in Q2 2011. While click rates declined from last year, the pace of that decline slowed. Revenue per email fro multi-channel retailers increased from $0.13 to $0.14.  According to that study, the average click rate rose for business products and services in Q2.  42% of brands, the firm says, enjoyed a “statistically significant” increase.


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