Instagram is a
photo-sharing application that was recently purchased by Facebook for a
whopping $1 billion. With Instagram, you use an app to take a photo with your
mobile phone, apply a filter to that photo, then upload it and share it on
various social media sites. Instagram photos have a retro, quirky vibe, but the
real advantage is the ease with which you can share photos across social
platforms. And while it’s fun for individuals to use, some of the world’s biggest
brands are using Instagram as a marketing tool to engage customers and create a
sense of community through visual storytelling.
If crowdsourcing has a rallying cry, it’s probably “power to
the people!” Crowdsourcing is all about taking a task that would generally be
assigned to one person or group (usually employees) and farming it out to the
public at large. Like Ben & Jerry’s “Do the World a Flavor” project, in
which the company’s newest ice cream flavor was determined by an online contest
(the winner has yet to be announced). And Foldit,
which asks people to “solve puzzles for science” in an effort to help cure
diseases. But crowdsourcing is not without its critics: Some worry that it
results in substandard work, while others question the ethics of soliciting
free or low-paying work.
You don’t have to be elected to become mayor these days. All
you need is a smartphone and foursquare. Foursquare
is one of several geolocation-based social networking services that allow users
to “check in” at various venues and, if desired, share that information with
their connections on Twitter and Facebook. Foursquare rewards users who check
in frequently at the same place with points, badges, even the title of mayor.
Brands can get in on the fun, too, by hosting pages with tips, sponsoring
badges and offering discounts when users check in at their venue. The White
House is on foursquare – are you?
Facebook advertising operates a lot like PPC advertising,
with a bidding system and cost-per-click model. One of the advantages of Facebook
advertising is that ads can be microtargeted based on the plethora of
information available in people’s profiles, such as age, location, college, interests,
even relationship status. And while conversions in a PPC campaign are
generally tied to a specific revenue-generating action, Facebook ads might be
designed to simply raise brand awareness or increase the number “likes” on a
brand’s Facebook page. But be aware that with all the noise in a typical news feed,
Facebook ads need to be carefully crafted to cut through the clutter.
When it comes to the web, content is king. It’s an old
adage, but one that’s more relevant now than ever before. That’s because
content no longer takes the shape of static, one-way communication – it’s meant
to be shared, bookmarked and interacted with. And that’s why savvy
marketers are content marketers. Content marketing involves sharing valuable,
relevant, engaging information with customers and prospects. Giving people something
that truly benefits them, not just pushing your own products and services. Do
it right and you can position your company as a thought leader, create brand
ambassadors, even rank higher in search engine results. It’s good to be king.
Dramatic chipmunk. Lolcats. Tebowing. Ah, the Internet meme.
Defined simply as a concept that is distributed through the Internet, memes are
usually humorous, often customizable images or videos that spread like wildfire
through blogs, social networking sites and email. But they’re not just for
killing time. Savvy marketers can capitalize on existing memes or even create
their own, like Blendtec’s “Will it blend?” series of YouTube videos.
How many pages do you “like” on Facebook? If you’re anything like me, you can’t begin to count them. Of those pages, how many updates do you see from each? How many times have you missed a promotion that was marketed on Facebook? And how many times have you seen the same page sharing the same content over and over again?
If you’re frustrated as a user, imagine the frustration for marketers trying to reach consumers. Facebook recently revealed that pages can expect about 16% of fans to see the page’s posts.
So what all goes into this number?
Time of day that fans are on Facebook in relation to your posting.
Social relevance of the posts for fans: how many of their friends are liking, commenting, or sharing the content.
General post success: likes, comments, shares.
There are a couple of new features to take into account.
“Promoted Posts” Facebook is allowing pages with over 400 likes to pay to promote their individual posts in fans’ newsfeeds. They are guaranteeing an estimated reach for specified dollar amounts.
This new feature will allow small- and medium-sized businesses to pay to throw their hats in the ring with the big names, but what does it mean for users?
Promoted Posts put users and marketers in two categories:
There are those who are upset because they believe that popular content is no longer “popular”; it’s paid for. We, the users, no longer dictate what the best content is – we are shown what Facebook chooses.
There are those who are happy because on a cluttered platform, the little guys now have an opportunity to buy a spot on the team and get their message out there.
“Show in News Feed” This second feature, most fans (and page administrators) don’t even know exists. When you hover over the “like” button on a page, you have the option to select “Show in News Feed” or unselect it and unsubscribe from page updates.
Go check your pages, some will have this checked, some will have it unchecked, based on your recent engagement with that page.
I noticed that even some new pages I liked didn’t have this feature checked. I was essentially “liking” these pages (formerly a way of subscribing to the content they shared), without getting the content. I was automatically made a dormant fan.
With the frequent changes Facebook presents, we must be adapting our strategies constantly. How are these changes affecting your Facebook experiences as a marketer or user? What category are you in? Share your comments below.
Many see Facebook simply as a place to post clever comments or funny photos, but it can be a valuable marketing tool. Utilize it and you could be well on your way to having "that fun social site" be the top traffic source for your website.
Tip #1: Share compelling content (most important)
Ask yourself "Where do I want fans to go?," then share different types of content to direct them there. The possibilities and tactics are endless. Look to other similar brands to your own or the biggies for inspiration. See what they do that works and mold it to your needs.
Example: The clever team at Target saw National Bike to Work week as an opportunity. They created a buying guide on their website and with a humorous post, directed customers to visit.
Tip #2: Entice the click
When offering a discount to fans, rather than including the discount code within a Facebook post, tease it along with a link to find it on your website.
Example: PFI Western Store uses sale prices to get their fans to click through to see the boots on the website.
Tip #3: Add social media and share links to your site
If customers like your product, blog post or YOU, let them tell their friends. Include social share icons throughout your site. With each click of a "Like" or share button a post shows in the news feed for everyone to see along with a direct link back to the site.
Example: National Jewelry Liquidation Center offers a new deal each week. To help spread the word, they have Twitter, Facebook, email and even Pinterest added on their site to let visitors share the deal with their friends.
Tip #4: Utilize Facebook tabs and applications
Since a Facebook tab is simply a mini-website, it's a great location to highlight certain products, services or even run a promotion for fans.
Take a cue from Express, they've done a great jop utilizing their tabs for an online store.
Promotions can be run entirely on Facebook, you can also use your social media reach to push entrants to your website to enter instead.
Tip #5: Build a strong network with partners and allies
Build relationships with other companies/blogs by sharing their content to your fans and tagging them. They usually will reciprocate the favor and help broaden your content's reach. Don't for get to always B polite and thank those who share.
Tip #6: Fill out you profile
You might be thinking "Duh!," but I'm serious.The most important entry field in your profile is website. We also suggest listing your web address first in the "About" section. Every time someone looks at your profile image, they can see and click through to your website.
Boasting over 150 million users, LinkedIn has evolved into more than an online resume host or job seeking community. The social networking site has become a marketing tool for branding, networking, and driving web traffic. Below are six tips for using LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website.
With over 3 billion views each day, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (behind Google). You can't ignore its potential to drive web traffic.
Videos are extremely popular online. Men, in particular, spend more time on YouTube than they have on other social networking sites. Keep in mind that YouTube content is also indexed by Google, improving its odds of showing up in search engine results. Videos can also be embedded on websites and blogs, shared across social media channels, and around the world in moments.
To drive more traffic to your brand's website, all videos posted to your brand's YouTube channel should include:
Overlay a link at the bottom of your video telling viewers what to do.
Verbal direction for viewers explaining what to do with the information you've given them (subscribe, go to the website to shop for products, comment below, etc.)
A keyword-rich description with a link to your website
Include proper tags
Make verbiage engaging, enticing viewers to follow the link to your website
A strong video title: name it as close as possible to what a user would type into Google or YouTube when searching for a video like yours. This will improve its odds of showing up in more searches.
Another best practice is encouraging conversation on your YouTube videos and channel. The more activity your videos gets, typically the more views and visitors to your channel, and ultimately, your website.
YouTube isn't just about making funny, "viral" videos. Believe it or not, there are people out there searching for information related to your products and services, and YouTube is one way to make sure they find it. This video that informed viewers how a cowboy boot should fit received over 20,000 views.
Keeping your videos relevant, concise and attractive is the best way to ensure they're watched and shared. Including proper YouTube video optimization, a strong call to action, and awareness of website linking will guarantee an increase in your traffic.
Not entirely convinced that YouTube is for you? Comment below with questions and concerns for us to answer!