Tag Archives: content development

Facebook Promoted Posts: A Step-By-Step Guide

9 六月

Facebook has started rolling out Promoted Posts for Brand Pages, a new feature that allows businesses to pay for posts to be more predominantly displayed on news feeds.

Earlier this year, Facebook shared the statistic that a Brand Page’s content is only seen by 16% of the fans. Facebook’s slew of ad tools and these new Promoted Posts are geared to help businesses reach and engage more of their fan base.

A brand can now pay $5, $10, $15 or $20 to “get more people who like your Page to see this post.”

“Promoted posts help increase the people you reach for any eligible post. It’s an easy and fast way to reach more of the people that “like” your page and your friends,” says a Facebook spokesperson in an explanatory video.

Facebook users will see promoted posts labeled with “Sponsored” in the news feed (not in the right rail where Facebook ads live) both on desktop and mobile. Promoted Posts have the same targeting ability that regular posts do, so you can geotarget just to your company’s area to get the most bang for your buck.

We walked through the process of creating a Promoted Post and the insights that assess their efficacy, so check out the gallery below for the step-by-step guide. Will you use this tool, and do you think it’ll be more effective than Facebook Ads? Let us know in the comments.

10 Ways to Boost Sales on Your Ecommerce Website

9 六月

It’s fairly simple now to become an online entrepreneur, thanks to technology and social media. Making a profit, on the other hand, is not always simple. There are small details that could greatly affect how your business thrives on the Internet — you can’t just put up an ecommerce portal and expect customers to come rolling in.

Building the smartest (and most successful) business website requires a lot of consideration. Online retailers must balance web design and development with marketing practices to successfully drive sales.

To add to the balancing act, your website and business will benefit when you consider what your customer wants and needs. Most are looking for a simple, straightforward shopping experience. Think about it — when is the last time you felt that way in a mall? There’s a reason shoppers are flocking to the web for their commerce needs — everything is tailored to them.

We’ve gathered a few tips for a successful ecommerce platform in the gallery below, some of which were suggested by Sucharita Mulpurur, an analyst at Forrester, and Ben Zifkin, CEO of Hubba.

Whether you’re a small business owner or an online shopper — as a customer, what features do you appreciate when you’re purchasing something on the web? Share your thoughts in the comments.

8 Hot Media Trends You Need to Know

15 五月

When a week’s vacation can leave us behind on social media trends, early adoption becomes more about pattern recognition than bandwagon jumping.

Mediaphiles dismissed Foursquare as a toy, until it suddenly owned the geo layer. Internet junkies took afternoon naps and missed Pinterest’s leap to #3 in social networking. Mom couldn’t log into Hotmail; now she owns Farmville. All of these trends were forecast well before their big breaks, largely due to the astute eyes of early adopters who are ready to add new and fresh tools to their media-consuming arsenal.

Here are eight media trends we’re tracking right now. Some are right on the cusp of becoming mainstream and others still have a bit to cook before breaking the surface. What patterns are you observing in the media world and what do you think will be the next big thing? Let us know in the comments below.


1. Targeted, Geo-Mobile Coupons


When Foursquare started garnering press coverage in 2009, co-founder Dennis Crowley confessed his dream was to one day know users well enough to target smart coupons on the fly. He wanted to send push notifications that essentially said, “We know you like pizza, and it’s dinner time right now. Pizza Place X, two blocks away, has a special.”

That day has finally come. With 1.5 billion check-ins, 750 thousand merchants, 20 million users and millions of geo-tagged tips, Foursquare now has the ability to deliver hyper-relevant coupons to its users. I just started getting them and they’ve been surprisingly accurate.

LevelUp and other mobile services are digifying the in-person coupon space as well. We expect this field to mature rapidly now that geodata infrastructure is in place and half of all U.S. mobile phones are smartphones.


2. Audio Watermarking


Technology for embedding subliminal signals in audio — digital sound waves humans cannot consciously detect — is being used to track data and connect digital devices in increasingly clever ways. New York-based startup Sonic Notify, for example, built technology that allows television shows such as Bravo’s Top Chef to invisibly activate a viewer’s smartphone or tablet with related content while watching.

As audio watermarking becomes more mainstream (and consumers acclimate to the idea), opportunities for mobile content integration at events and retail stores will arise faster than you can play a Beatles record backwards.


3. Passive Location-Based Networking


According to social media data collected by Tracx, the top 3 buzziest startups at SXSW 2012 were all in-person networking apps: Highlight, Glancee, and Sonar.

Highlight was the most popular by far, gaining 300% more buzz than any of its peers. Its hook is that it’s completely passive: Users allow the app to track their locations throughout the day, then when other Highlight users (friends, potential connections) are nearby, it shows both parties the nearby user’s info.

Though buzz was high, the big question around this trend is whether the utility of such apps will outweigh the privacy concerns (and battery drain). There’s certainly competition in the space, so we’re likely to see a lot of movement around this concept this year.


4. Motion Tracking and Facial Recognition for Intention Data


CBS‘s hit series Person of Interest called this one last September. As facial recognition and motion tracking tech becomes more accurate and less expensive, the ability to digitally divine real-world intent is coming into our grasp.

Interpublic Group, for example, has a laboratory in Manhattan where Xbox Kinects, flatscreens and fake grocery aisles come together for some serious spying. When you pick up a box of Pop Tarts, the motion sensors track your face to see if you’re smiling or frowning about what you see. Screens then output data on how long you’ve lingered in front of a particular product, and ads trigger based on your gender (which cameras infer) and what objects you’re touching.

All this will help product marketers deliver better experiences. Once we get past the “creep-out phase,” consumers will likely start expecting — and appreciating — such personalization in their everyday shopping ventures.


5. Automatic Social Media-Activated Discounts


Handing a coupon to the waiter after a meal can be embarrassing for customers and time-consuming for employees. American Express has figured out how to bypass both challenges using social media.

The credit card company recently launched Twitter and Foursquare integrations that allow cardholders to sync their plastic with a social account, then take advantage of in-store coupons with no more effort than a tweet or check-in.

For example, many Foursquare locations have “$5 Off” AmEx specials. If a user checks into a location with the special and uses an AmEx card, the store’s credit card machine pings AmEx, which verifies check-in with Foursquare and then credits $5 to the user’s card.


6. Brands Building Publications and Entertainment Channels


“We’re all publishers” is a trite phrase by now, but big brands are starting to take the mantra seriously. With budgets behind them and no advertising to worry about, companies are building media properties meant to compete with TV stations and magazines.

Red Bull’s homepage, for example, looks like an action-sports news site. The company pumps out professional-grade news articles, feature stories and videos each day, pushing them to social marketing channels such as Facebook and Twitter. This fuels the company’s social media accounts with content and points followers back to Red Bull’s site, rather than elsewhere on the Internet.

Fashion companies are especially keen on building publications to compete with traditional media. Several have even reported that building entire publications is no more expensive than advertising. A look at the sites of Tory Burch and Kate Spade show where these brands are investing their efforts.


7. TV on the Internet


The Thursday Night TV lineup’s days are numbered.

Barry Diller, the media mogul who greenlit The Simpsons while running Fox in the ’80s, thinks broadcast television is the next big disruption in media. As we’ve seen with music, Internet users want to consume individual pieces of content — tracks, not albums; episodes, not box sets. They want to pick and choose, and they want their content online, not attached to a cable TV plan.

Diller’s latest project, Aereo, puts live broadcast TV on the Internet. It’s the next step to cutting the coaxial cable entirely.


8. Mobile, Immersive Reality


Digital technology allows us to be in one place while experiencing another. Skype and FaceTime connect people across the world, in person. The next evolution of this is immersive video and augmented reality.

Google is developing augmented reality glasses, which would enable wearers to view data layered over real life. A startup called Condition One makes iPad video apps that let the tablet holder move around a faraway scene, like a battlefield. There’s even R&D happening to create video-enabled contact lenses.

Tron, The Terminator and The Matrix, here we come.

By: http://mashable.com/2012/04/19/hot-media-trends/

How to Track Social Media Traffic With Google Analytics

4 四月

Why Google Analytics?

Google Analytics allows you to see where your visitors come from and if they engage with your content or leave immediately. Additionally, you can set up goals that match your business goals and measure if visitors are meeting those goals.

With Google Analytics, you can get valuable insights about your visitors and in this article I am going to show you how to track social media traffic.

This will help you identify the social media sites that send the most visitors back to your website to see which one needs more attention.

You will also discover how you can learn more about the visitors who come to your site from Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social media sites.

Additionally, you will learn how to use a feature called Advanced Segments to segment your social media traffic and see how those visitors behave on your site.

Getting Started With Google Analytics

Before we dive into this, I want to make sure that you use the latest version of Google Analytics.

To do this, just login into your Google Analytics  account and click the New Version link from the top left section of your screen.

new version google analytics

Click the New Version link to switch to the latest version of Google Analytics.

Once you do that, you are all set up and ready to follow the rest of this article.

Identify Your Main Traffic Sources

First you will need to discover what social media sites send the most traffic to your website.

To do that, go to the Traffic Sources section, select Sources and All Traffic.

Here you will be able to see a list with all of the websites that send traffic back to your site. Right now, you will need to identify which are social media websites and keep the first three in mind.

google analytics traffic

Identify the main 3 social media sites that send you traffic.

From this example you can see that Twitter (t.co is Twitter’s shortened URL), Hacker News and Facebook are the main social media sites that drive traffic.

For you, the most important may be Google+ or StumbleUpon or any other site where you have an active profile.

Create Advanced Segments

Once you have identified your main social media traffic sources, you can create Advanced Segments for those websites and segment the traffic to individually analyze your visitors.

You can also set up multiple Advanced Segments and compare them to see the difference among them.

To make this easier to understand, I will show you how you can set up Advanced Segments for Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to compare their traffic and for multiple other social media sites to better analyze traffic.

Twitter Traffic Segment

You can create an Advanced Segment for Twitter to see how it compares with Facebook and Google+.

To do this, simply click on Advanced Segments from any Google Analytics report and click + New Custom Segment.

create advanced segments

Create Advanced Segments to individually analyze your visitors by traffic source.

Then add a name for your segment and start to include as sources the following containing terms that might send traffic to your website:

  • twitter.com
  • t.co
  • hootsuite
  • tweetdeck
  • bit.ly

As you can see, there are multiple filters that should be added using an OR statement because different Twitter clients might send traffic that will not get tagged as being from twitter.com or t.co.

While adding these filters, you will see that if you have traffic that matches, Google Analytics will insert the filters using an autocomplete function.

This way you can be sure that all the filters you apply actually match visits.

twitter segment

Create a Twitter traffic segment to see how the inbound traffic from Twitter compares with other social media sites.

Once you add all your filters, press the Test Segment button to see if everything is set up correctly. If so, save your segment.

Facebook Traffic Segment

Next on the list is the Facebook segment, which can be created exactly as you did for Twitter—just change the filters to:

  • facebook.com
  • m.facebook.com
facebook segment

Create a Facebook traffic segment and include as a source both facebook.com and the mobile version m.facebook.com.

From my analysis, Facebook sends traffic as facebook.com and m.facebook.com if the traffic comes from mobile devices. To make sure that your filter will match, you can simply use “facebook.”

Google+ Traffic

The Google+ segment is similar to Twitter and Facebook, but simpler. All you have to do is just filter:

  • plus.url.google.com
google plus segment

Create a Google+ traffic segment to analyze only the traffic that comes from Google+.

Google+ sends all traffic from plus.url.google.com. You may also see traffic from google.com, but do not include it, because that is something different.

Social Media Traffic

Now that you know how to create individual segments, you can create a more comprehensive segment that analyzes traffic from more than one social media outlet.

You can use this type of segment to include the traffic from StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, LinkedIn and any other social media site.

As an example, below are some of the sites you can include in this segment using the OR statement:

  • twitter.com
  • t.co
  • hootsuite
  • tweetdeck
  • bit.ly
  • facebook.com
  • m.facebook.com
  • plus.url.google.com
  • linkedin
  • youtube
  • reddit
  • digg
  • delicious
  • stumbleupon
  • ycombinator
  • flickr
  • myspace
  • popurls

A simpler version of this segment would be to select as a condition Matching RegExp, which will use a regular expression to detect the traffic that matches your condition.

The advantage of this will be the fact that you will not need to type in 10-20 conditions for this segment, but just one.

To create this segment, select Matching RegExp as condition and then type in brackets “()” the social media sites that send traffic to you, separated by a vertical bar “|”, just like the code below:

(twitter|t.co|hootsuite|tweetdeck|bit.ly|facebook|plus.url.google|linkedin|youtube| reddit|digg|delicious|stumbleupon|ycombinator|flickr|myspace|popurls)

You will need to make sure that there are no spaces in this code.

social media segment

Use a Regular Expression to create only one condition which includes all the social media sites from where you might get traffic.

You can also include other sites that send traffic to you.

Understanding Social Media Traffic

Now you have four powerful segments that will help you get more insights about your visitors.

You can use the first three to see how they compare to each other and if there are any big differences among them.

You can use the fourth to see how visitors who come from social media sites behave on your own site and how they convert.

We will cover more about this in future articles, but to start you should have a look at the Audience reports to determine their behavior, how engaged they are with your site (how much time they spend reading your content), how frequently they come to your site or the ratio of new visitors to returning visitors.

The Content section is the one that you should check next to see the pages your social media peers visit on your site, your site speed for their connection or what they search for on your website.

For example, you can see from the screenshot below that the visitors coming from Twitter (even if they have a higher number of visits) are less engaged with the content of the website, because the majority spend less than 10 seconds on the website.

social engagement

Use Advanced Segments to identify which social media sites send you valuable visitors.

You can use the above segment to compare the traffic from multiple social media outlets and see where you should invest more time, which one sends you more engaged visitors, visitors that convert and much more.

With the more comprehensive segment or if you apply only one segment, you can actually filter the traffic and see all of the Google Analytics reports for that specific segment.

This helps you identify visitors’ behavior and engagement for that specific segment of traffic.

Over to You

These are just a couple of examples, but I would love to see what other experiments you’ve done.

What do you think? Which of these examples have you successfully implemented? Plus, what other tutorials about Google Analytics would you like to see on Social Media Examiner? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

By: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-track-social-media-traffic-with-google-analytics/

5 Tips for Moving Social Media Leads Into the Sales Funnel

27 三月

Do Fans Mean Business?

Marketers have made tremendous strides in growing their audiences on social media channels. There have been concerns over whether social media could only be successful in business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, but we’re starting to see great case studies in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands.

In looking at the B2B software space, we can see tremendous success from companies like HubSpot, InfusionSoft and HootSuite that have grown large numbers of followers by providing valuable content to their target audiences.

In the B2C space, our passion for brands like Old Spice, Coca-Cola and Ford have been reignited by creative social media campaigns. But what now?

Have these large followings contributed to revenue for these brands? The next natural question for C-level executives and marketers is, “Can we monetize our social media following?”

As pressures have risen for solid measurements and a demonstration of social media ROI, more companies are recognizing that revenue generation has to be a top priority of social media strategies.

This doesn’t give license for tacky sales pitches on Twitter. Rather, it opens the door for a more strategic approach to social media content, content distribution and measurement.

To get started, there are a few things you’ll need to prepare for.

Tip #1: Understand Your Sales Funnel

It’s pretty difficult to place leads into the sales funnel if you don’t have a clear understanding of the sales process that supports it.

The first step in monetizing the social media channel is to have a clear understanding of which marketing channels are currently contributing leads to the funnel, what the sales follow-up process is and how long it takes to close the sale.

You’ll need to figure out where social media fits into the equation.

  • Will social media leads respond to existing sales processes?
  • Where are social media leads in the buying process?
  • Will they convert at the same rates?

To truly understand how social media leads behave, you’ll need to do some testing. It is unlikely that social media leads will perform the same way that other types of marketing leads do.

This is because with social media, more commonly you are reaching potential buyers earlier in the sales process, before your competition. Getting potential buyers’ attention early has tremendous value that can be overlooked if expectations haven’t been set for how the social media lead will perform.

If you compare social media with traditional sales, in essence social media adds three levels that extend your sales funnel to provide more opportunities for conversion.

funnel with goals

Social media adds three levels of brand awareness to the sales funnel, providing more opportunities to convert prospects.

Tip #2: Optimize Your Path to Conversion

It’s important to make sure it is super-easy for potential buyers to buy. We tend to be fairly lazy consumers and if we have to search out how to buy from you, we are less likely to convert.

Therefore, take a look at your Facebook page. Does a potential buyer have to click on the Info tab to find your website, then go to your website and figure out how to buy your products or services? If so, you are likely missing out on the opportunity to convert Facebook fans into purchasers.

Create a tab that allows fans to convert within Facebook and you’ll likely see a spike in new revenue.

Success in social media relies on having strong content to share on social networks, which many times resides on the corporate blog.

Look at your blog and make sure there are conversion points that will in essence turn every post into a landing page. Make sure you test multiple calls to action to figure out what works best at converting social media traffic.

funnel graphics

Understand the path to conversion from social media so you can optimize each step.

Tip #3: Provide Opportunities for Soft Conversion

The social media lead likely enters the sales funnel earlier in the buying process. He or she may not be ready to make a purchase; however, you have an opportunity to convert interested social media fans and followers into email subscribers.

Soft leads are people willing to provide their email address in exchange for highly valuable and relevant content. These are valuable leads who have said they are interested in your content; but they haven’t necessarily said they are interested in your product yet.

If you combine email marketing campaigns that provide a mix of content that helps to push them through the sales funnel while providing valuable information, you will have a better opportunity to convert social media’s soft leads into potential buyers.

Tip #4: Nurture the Social Media Lead Differently

It’s important to understand the difference between the social media lead and the traditional lead because traditional sales-related email campaigns will kill the sale with the social media buyer.

Because social media leads may enter the sales funnel at an earlier stage in the buying process, you will need to adjust your email campaigns to provide value and content that will help drive the decision-making process.

This will require a strategy that includes decision-making content. Decision-making content is designed to answer questions that commonly arise when purchasing your product, overcome objections that are frequently heard in the sales process and provide opportunities to convert into a hard lead.

A hard lead is someone who has taken an action that directly indicates he or she is now interested in your product. This means the lead is now in the research and consideration phase of the buying cycle and you have an opportunity to convert the lead into a buyer.

Through your other social media efforts, you have been able to develop trust with prospects; therefore, if you continue to show thought leadership in helping them to make a decision, they will be more likely to purchase from you rather than the competitor they don’t have a relationship with.

Having a combination of decision-making and topically relevant content that is sent to soft leads will help you identify when the lead makes the jump to product interest.

At that point, you can follow up with traditional product-based information and put the lead in the traditional sales processMany times you can recognize this transition if you identify pages and calls to action that indicate product interest, such as signing up for a product demonstration, attending a product-based webinar or downloading decision-making content.

Tip #5: Measure Your Results

Finally, the only way to identify where leads are in the sales process is to measure your efforts.

The quickest and most cost-effective way to monitor social media conversions is to apply Google analytics campaign tracking to the links you shorten and post on social networks.

The combination of Google Analytics and HootSuite Pro makes this easy. Once you have the data, it is important to put it into a format that tells the management team what they want to know.

Use these metrics to demonstrate success through the sales funnel:

  • Cost per impression
  • Cost per engagement
  • Cost per soft lead
  • Cost per hard lead
  • Cost per sale

BY: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-tips-for-moving-social-media-leads-into-the-sales-funnel/

5 Productivity Tools to Make Your Job Easier

25 三月

Your time is valuable, so optimize it by using these productive tools. Do you:

  • Send the same emails over and over?
  • Have emails that you would rather automatically send later?
  • Wish you could have more information on who you’re emailing?
  • Wish you could have a better email signature to really show off your brand?
  • Need a robust project management system (that’s free)?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the following tools will help you.


1. Yesware


Do you despise sending the same emails over and over? Would you like the ability to track open rates on your emails? How about the ability to track when, where and what device was used to open your email?

SEE ALSO: 5 Mobile Apps to Boost Small Business ProductivityYesware is a Chrome extension that allows you to save templated emails and also track open rates for each email that you send. It’s the perfect tool for people who use email frequently — it’ll save time and give you insights on your customers. You can also conveniently BCC emails to your customer relationship management (CRM) tool. And guess what? You can share templates to your team — more time saved!


2. Rapportive


If you need to find an easy way to connect with a person, Rapportive is your answer. This Chrome extension pulls together information on your prospect from different sources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Quora. If applicable, it’ll show you the person’s latest tweets or Facebook updates. Perhaps he just tweeted a question that you might be able to answer, or his favorite team just went down in triple overtime — great opportunities to connect on a personal level!


3. Wisestamp


Most email signatures I see are boring: name, title, phone number. People who aren’t making the best use of their email signatures are missing out on the opportunity to tell people what they’re all about.

For instance, showcase your latest blog post or your latest tweet so others can have more insight on you. Or include links to your social network profiles so they can connect with you. Your signature is that extra chance to shine and build more trust with others – so don’t squander it!

Wisestamp solves this problem by giving you various options to customize your signature. You can also create different signatures based on different situations (e.g. home, business).


4. Boomerang


Boomerang is a Chrome extension that allows you to send your emails at a later, specified time. You can even send recurring emails to people if you want.

Let’s say you send a high volume of emails and tend to lose track of things easily. No problem — you can tell Boomerang to send the message back to you if no one replies. No more waiting until the morning to send an email and no more digging for emails.


5. Trello


We all know project management tools can help prevent headache, but the challenge is finding an exceptional one to suit your needs. Trello is a free, intuitive project managementtool that can be used for multiple purposes. You might already have a great project management tool on your hands, but give Trello a shot and see how it might be able to help with other business processes.

Productive tools help us save valuable time, which we can then apply toward more important processes. Instead of manually searching for someone’s information or having a boring signature that doesn’t say much about you, why not let these tools simplify your life?

What other productivity tools do you like to use?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, arakonyunus

By: http://mashable.com/2012/03/23/productivity-tools/

Facebook Cheat Sheet: Sizes and Dimensions

9 三月

Updated: March 6 2012

What is the size of the profile picture in Facebook? How wide is page of your brand? Here are all the numbers you need and you can even download a handy PDF Facebook cheat sheet.

Due to the recent release of Facebook timeline for brand pages, some new sizes have been added and old ones modified. We’ve added them here. The cheat sheet pdf and jpg will also be updated ASAP.

facebook cheat sheet sizes and dimensions 1to1 300x488 Facebook Cheat Sheet: Sizes and Dimensions

Big picture for timeline

This is the big picture (also known as cover photo) for Facebook’s timeline.

Width: 851px

Height: 315px

Application icons for timeline view

These are the icons that are displayed on a fan page that has Facebook timeline enabled. If your picture exceeds these limits, your icon will be resized and converted.

Width: 107px

Height: 70px

Maximum file size: 5MB

Facebook application favicon size

This is the tiny icon that is being displayed on the left hand side of your news feed, where the applications that you use are.

Width: 16px

Height: 16px

Facebook milestone picture size

This is the size you use for milestone pictures such as company’s foundation date. This is also the size for starred (highlighted) posts. The image in the post will be scaled down accordingly, if it exceeds the limits.

Width: 843 pixels

Height: 403 pixels

Profile picture for timeline pages

Recently updated sizes for timeline. The new width and height are 180 px which will be automatically scaled down to following:

Width: 32px

Height: 32px

It’s extremely important to choose a picture that can be scaled down as the profile pictures that are displayed on timeline posts are really small. Best practice is to choose your logo.

Thumbnail

The image that is displayed next to the link when you click like or share somenthing.

Width: 90px

Height: 90px

Facebook page

The usable area of your brands Facebook page

Width: 779px (Update: The CSS of Facebook has some errors, so we’re not actually sure what the final width will be. We suspect it will be 810 px)

Height: Unlimited

Uploaded images

This is the maximum size of the image you can upload.

Width: 2048px

Height: 2048px

Pinned post picture size

This is the size of the picture of your pinned post. It will not be scaled down, Facebook will take the centre of the image and cut it out accordingly.

Width: 403px

Height: 403px

Pictures displayed in Facebook

This is the maximum size of the image as shown in slide show or album.

Width: 960px

Height: 720px

Facebook ads

Picture in the ad

Width: 110px

Height: 80px

Size: 5MB

Text in ad

Header: 25 characters

Body copy: 135 characters

Facebook status update

Status update length: 63,206 characters

Comment length: unlimited

Video

The maximum size of vide you can upload

Size: 1024MB

Length: 20 minutes

By: http://www.dreamgrow.com/facebook-cheat-sheet-sizes-and-dimensions/

Facebook Brand Timelines: 6 Big Changes Every Marketer Needs to Understand

6 三月

Today Facebook announced to brand marketers the world over that, within the month, everything they knew about fan Pages on Facebook would be overturned. While you get your brand ready for the new Timeline format, here are six important changes to keep top-of-mind.


1. Updated Look and Feel


What’s new: The format of Timeline for brands is quite similar to Timeline for personal profiles. It employs a cover photo at the top of the Page, and the Page is separated into two main columns by a dividing line, which represents the passage of time. This format provides brands with new options for self-expression: They can outline their corporate history with milestones (such as product launches, store openings, etc.) to construct a narrative for their audience.

Recommendation: Milestones present an important and dramatic opportunity to educate the public, humanize the brand and remove a perception of corporate anonymity. Our analyses of Page engagement have continually shown that brands posting content that depicts behind-the-scenes activities, exclusive updates or promotions encourages user interactions and promotes higher engagement rates. Using interesting milestones to craft the story of the brand over time (and updating the Timeline with new milestones as they happen) can help to stimulate conversations around major achievements.


2. Reduced Tab Visibility


What’s new: The new Timeline format does not have the left-side panel of links, which could include hundreds of different tabs. While applications still exist, they’ll display differently, in rectangular panels underneath the cover photo. The width of the Timeline and the space allocated for native apps like Photos means that only three tab panels are viewable at any given time. To see more, users must expand the tab panel by clicking a drop-down box.

Recommendation: For marketers, this major change means that the three above-fold tab apps need to be considered carefully — this will be one of the first things users see when interacting with your brand on Facebook. Brands will want to switch up which tabs are visible “above the fold,” according to current company objectives or project popularity. A good Page analytics tool will be useful for determining which tab to promote on a day-to-day basis.


3. No Default Landing Page


What’s new: With the new Timeline Page format, you will no longer be able to set a default landing Page, a favored feature for many savvy brands. The option was one of the primary ways to control the first (branded) impression a user encountered. Since there are no more tab Pages, there is no way to set one as a default. This will drastically change user impressions when they first visit a brand’s Timeline Page.

Recommendation: You will need to apply new and careful attention to all the top messages in the Timeline, as they will be the first objects seen by visiting users. Likewise, Facebook ads for brands will become ever important, as ads will be one of the major ways brands on Facebook can control a user’s experience. Setting up an advertising campaign for a Facebook promotion or new application will be the only way to guide new and clicking users directly to that application (as landing on this Page cannot be achieved by default).


4. New Way to Feature Content


What’s new: One major new feature that marketers will love is the ability to “pin” certain posts to the top of the Timeline. Similar to marking a blog post “sticky,” so that it remains at the top of a blog for a specified period of time, pinning a post to the top of Timeline allows it to precede any other content. A pinned post is distinguished by a small, orange flag. Brands can pin only one item at a time, and the pinned item then exists in two locations — as the top item on the Timeline itself, as well as within its chronological place. Once unpinned (which happens automatically when a new item gets pinned, or the item has been pinned for more than seven days), the post remains in the chronology of Timeline posts, but there is no visual history that it was pinned in the past.

Recommendation: Since you can no longer create a default landing Page, pinning items to the top of the Timeline will become every marketer’s go-to strategy for highlighting new and interesting content. We will begin to see savvy brands design posts specifically to be pinned, whether images, a well-designed call-to-action, a statement about brand value, or a message calling for the user to click one of the tab panels under the cover photo.


5. Current Tab Content and Applications Become Outdated


What’s new: The new Timeline layout displaces Facebook’s existing Page tab configuration (including a tab’s 520-pixel width), and replaces it with a new 810-pixel layout. As a result, existing Page tab content will look centered in the middle of the 810-pixel layout without any adjustments. All applications that remain on a brand’s Page will need new application icons (the new dimensions are 111×74).

Recommendation: The most pressing updates for brands will be to update the images and tab functionality of the above-fold two apps. As these are the first tabs users will see, they will likely be the first to be interacted with, or entirely ignored if not optimized for the new experience.


6. Private Messages Between Brands and Users


What’s new: Finally, brands will be able to send and receive private messages with users. This allows for much deeper consumer interaction, and will also enable Page managers to take extended customer inquiries off the Timeline and into a private message.

Recommendation: Be mindful of noise in the Timeline. Since the real estate allocated to each post depends on how engaging it is or how much interaction it has received, it can be easy to clutter your Timeline with customer inquiries. When these inquiries can be better serviced in a more one-on-one manner, reach out to the consumer with a private message and resolve her question. It’s a good opportunity to yield both a happy user and a clean Timeline.

Timeline for brands will certainly shake things up for social media marketers who seek to make an impact on Facebook. One thing is for sure though: The way content is shared and viewed within a Timeline Page is incredibly important. Brands that constantly create engaging updates and share important milestones will stay at the forefront of users’ attention. Create and rotate new apps for engagement, pin relevant and timely content, and update the feed with user-friendly dialogues to stay relevant in this new space.

Will you or your company do anything differently, right off the bat? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

4 Ways to Boost Your SEO With Google+

6 三月

If you use Google regularly — and who doesn’t? — you’ve probably noticed that the company has been using various ways to coerce you to join Google+, its incipient social network. The plugs have been pretty overt and include a call-to-action on Google’s homepage and automatic G+ registration for new Gmail accounts.

For businesses, the sell has been more subtle. Since Google integrated Google+ results into search under its Google Plus Your World initiative in January, the word has gotten out that lack of a Google+ presence could affect organic search results. The upshot: If you don’t have a Google+ page, your placement for various search terms will suffer.

Companies that specialize in search engine optimization are used to rapid change, but this is something different. These days, if you want to get better search results, you have to know a thing or two about social media marketing. So, Google has, in effect, given you two headaches for the price of one. Another way to look at it is that Google has given you a free opportunity to boost your SEO and get a leg up on competitors who don’t know what Google+ is. “If you’re a first mover on this, you’re going to capture more visibility,” says Rob Garner, vice president of strategy for digital marketing agency iCrossing. “This is kind of a gift in a lot of ways.”


1. Get a Google+ Page


Unwrapping Google’s gift is pretty easy: Just set up a Google+ account for your business. The company held off on letting brands onto Google+ for a few months, but at this point, the setup is fairly turnkey and even allows for multiple administrators. (You can actually start the process now, before you finish this article by clicking here.)


2. Get In As Many People’s Circles as Possible


This part is a bit trickier. The quickest way to get the ball rolling is to put as many people inside your circles as possible. It also helps if those people are in the same industry, so you should include your rivals (you could even make a “competitors” circle), industry gadflies and, if you have a storefront or rely on local customers, people in your community.

There’s nothing you can do to make other people put your business in their circles, but making people in your segment aware that your page exists is a good idea. Erin Everhart, director of web and social media for 352 Media Group, a digital marketing agency, says you should put your Google+ page on your email signature, on your business card and above the fold on your homepage.

Don’t get desperate, though. Buying Google+ fans is a bad idea, Everhart says, because it might get picked up by Google’s search algorithm and result in a lower search profile.


3. Stuff Your Page with As Many Keywords as Possible, But Do It Organically


As with step 2, there’s a tempting way to cheat — just fill your page with all your relevant keywords — but you should avoid it since you might run afoul of Google. So, instead of randomly or egregiously larding your page with such terms, do it organically. Write posts that include the keywords, but don’t write them specifically for SEO reasons.

Garner says it’s also a good idea to time your posts in the best possible way. In other words, think like a publisher. For instance, during the Super Bowl, if you wrote an interesting post about the halftime show just after it started, you might get traffic and attention from people searching the term. (Garner calls this effect “velocity.” )

Another trick is to use Sparks, a Google+ feature that automatically loads videos and articles found on the Internet to your stream. If you set keyword searches in Sparks, which is an option under the search window, you will be able to see who else is using the term and what they’re saying about it, which could help you craft more relevant posts.


4. Use the +1 Button


We haven’t heard much about the +1 button since Google introduced it last year as a competitor to the Facebook Like. Yet you may have noticed that you’re seeing more and more profiles of your Google+ friends coming up in searches. That’s because if you +1 a lot of things, particularly things that are relevant to your industry, your image or logo will increase its visibility as well.

Though common sense would dictate that there’s little downside to clicking on a free button, research has shown that there’s a lot of upside, too. A Dutch company called SEO Effect found that getting 72 people to +1 its page resulted in a 20% lift in click-through rates.

Will all this improve your SEO? While it seems likely, the experts just don’t know yet. After all, the integration between Google search and Google+ is still very new. Nevertheless, there’s a strong case to be made for making the most out of Google+. With 100 million users and the full support of Google, only a federal investigation (always a possibility) can stall Google+’s growth. As a business owner, you may not like the fact that Google seems to be offering you little choice but to join Google+, but just like you couldn’t create a credible SEO strategy without considering Google, you now have to also take Google+ into account.

By: http://mashable.com/2012/02/10/seo-google-plus/

Pinterest Optimization for Internet Retailers

29 二月

Virtual pinboard Pinterest is the hottest thing on the Web right now. That means that it deserves the attention of merchants and marketers as well as the millions of users who have made it one of the fastest-growing websites in history.

Some of the most recent numbers indicate that Pinterest currently drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined, and that 9 percent of the top 300 online retailers are offering “Pin it” buttons on their own sites. That’s compared to about 60 percent who have Facebook Like buttons and 20 percent who have Google+ buttons – and Pinterest was a relatively unknown commodity until just recently.

The point is that an enormous opportunity awaits e-commerce merchants who understand how to leverage the popularity of Pinterest by utilizing the service itself as well as the rising number of ancillary tools. Here are some tips on how to do exactly that:

Get initiated
If you’re still unsure of what all the buzz is about, here’s a quick review of what Pinterest is, followed by how it can generate revenue for Web retailers. It is a social “pinboarding” site on which users share images with one another by “pinning” them onto their “boards”. Users can create multiple boards and give them specific themes, and other users can follow the boards in which they are most interested, sharing their favorite pins with still others by “repinning” them, liking them and adding comments.

The actual images or pins on each board can link back to a retailer’s online store, which is why many of today’s top brands are using Pinterest to display their products, create awareness and build communities of targeted, qualified users. That last part is of critical importance for merchants – visitors who land on retail websites by way of Pinterest are generally highly targeted potential customers who have already shown an interest in a specific product, category or brand; more so, in fact, than most users who share products on Facebook and Twitter.

This is what makes Pinterest such a potential gold mine for merchants, and here is how to optimize for the best results.

Add “Pin it” buttons to your online store
As mentioned above, about 28 of the top 300 Internet retailers have already done this, but expect that number to rise dramatically in the very near future. Pinterest users will have Pin it bookmarks on their own computers’ browsers, but this simple step is a must for merchants who want to get the best results out of the Pinterest experience. One more reminder to visitors of your online store that your product images are available for pinning can go a long way toward attracting and converting new customers.

Get creative with your use of images
If you have been delaying that update to your product catalog or website design, do not put them off any longer. Pinterest offers a rapidly growing community with which to share your images, but not just any images or use of imagery will do. Poor-quality, outdated or uninteresting product photos may even have the opposite effect and drive users away from your store rather than to it. Make sure that you offer a wide selection of photos that properly illustrates the different styles in which your products are available (see example).

And product images are hardly all we’re talking about, so start getting creative and generous with your overall use of imagery. Add compelling photos to each and every blog post and pin the images to Pinterest; update the “About” section of your website with photos of staff members and pin them to Pinterest; involve your customers in the process and ask them to submit their own photos of themselves with your products, perhaps as part of a contest, and pin them to Pinterest; take photos at industry events and your own company events and pin those to Pinterest, too. These are just a few ideas for how to get more serious about images and video than you may have been up to this point.

Take advantage of your tracking and referral data
Through Google Analytics, merchants can easily determine what referral traffic is arriving via Pinterest as well as keeping track of individual pins. This information can be used to determine the most popular items on your board that are receiving the most pins and how many actual conversions are resulting in each case. Based on this data, retailers can experiment with time-sensitive sales for Pinterest users or offer discounts for the products that users are pinning the most – and/or rewards for the most active pinners among your Pinterest community.

Don’t be a stranger
The most successful merchants on Pinterest are going to be the ones who actually use it the way other users do, and not strictly as a marketing vehicle. So have fun with it and interact with the community, and don’t be a stranger who drops in every once in a while. Get in the habit of spending some part of every day on the site, and also in the habit of pinning every interesting, fun and/or engaging photo or video that you come across. You won’t really be a part of the community if your only interactions are dropping by every other week to pin a new product photo. One way to ensure that you have a community of users from the start is by encouraging your existing customers to take the Pinterest plunge along with you, and build out from there. Another way to increase your Pinterest street cred is by playing on both sides of the ball, i.e. make sure that you are helping other users by pinning their photos and videos rather than just idly sitting by and waiting for users to pin your content.

Don’t stop at Pinterest
Just as the daily deals craze began with Groupon but then grew exponentially larger than the company behind it, the pinboarding craze has more than a good chance to outgrow just Pinterest. In fact, that process has already begun with sites such as Chill, a pinboarding site for video only, and tools such as this one for Joomla users and these WordPress plugins. Many retailers went this route at the height of the daily deals buzz and have enjoyed great success by running their own versions of deals sites, but at the very least you should keep an eye on the increasing number of Pinterest clones out there and give some of them a try as well.

BY: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2012/02/27/pinterest-optimization-for-internet-retailers.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter