Category Archives: Social Media

Getting Started with Social Media Advertising

young french artist with mobile phone

 

If you are considering dipping your toe into online advertising, social media ads are the perfect place to start – they are relatively inexpensive, easy to set up, and effective.

Most social media ad platforms rely on a PPC model.  PPC means Pay Per Click, essentially, you don’t pay for to display your ad, instead you pay a certain cost every time someone clicks on your ad.  You can set up a budget for your ad, decide, for example, that you want to spend no more than ten dollars a day over the course of ten days.

But how much does every click cost?  It varies – a lot.  A click can cost anywhere from $ 0.02 up to over $2.  Different platforms have different targeting options.

For some social media networks like Facebook the cost is dependent on your targeted demographic audience.  These platforms allow you to pick characteristics of the audience you would like to be viewing the ad–it is extremely customizable.  If you want your ad to appear in front of 50 – 60 year-old women in the Chattanooga, TN region who are interested in knitting, that cost per click will be different than having your ad appear before 18-30 year-old men in the Atlanta area who are interested in sports.  Usually, the more companies competing to advertise to the same target audience, the more expensive it is. (Bonus tip: if this process seems overwhelming try using Facebook’s lookalike audience feature which allows you to target Facebook users that have profiles similar to the profiles of people who already like you Facebook page).

For platforms like Twitter that don’t have as much user information, you can target based off of search terms or hashtag uses.  You may want to advertise your new club to someone who uses the hashtag #singlelife which may or may not be more expensive than advertising your comic book store to someone who uses the hashtag #nerdsforlife.

Once you have played around with different audiences and budgets, you will be ready to create an ad!  Feel free to get creative with your own photos and slogans, but if you need professional help to design your ad or even set it up, Collective Design Works can help with that!

 

Social Media Strategy: Does Memorial Day Really Work for your Brand?

_DSC8778 patchPublic holidays are always great fodder for your social media feed.  Brands embrace not just Christmas and Thanksgiving, but less consuming holidays like Presidents Day, Earth Day, the Superbowl, and even Talk Like a Pirate Day.  But the question you should ask yourself before hitting post is this – “Is this holiday right for my brand?”

For an example, look at the next major holiday, Memorial Day.  Should your social media feature a tribute to those who have fallen for our country?  Maybe.  While capitalizing on current events is a powerful way to participate in the greater conversation, it can also damage your brand if the message doesn’t resonate.

Embracing a more frivolous holiday is rarely going to go seriously wrong, although there may be some cognitive dissonance if your brand generally embraces conservative values and marketing strategies.  However, involving your brand in a more serious holiday like Memorial Day, or even a national tragedy, is a calculated risk.  You are pushing your brand to the frontlines of consumer angst.  This precarious position can reap you vast rewards, or create the unflattering perception that you are taking advantage of a solemn moment to promote and market your brand.

Ask yourself this “Can I create a post in relevant respectful way that stands out and may even inspire my audience to do the same?”  If the answer is a confident yes, then proceed with caution.  If the words “no” or “maybe” crossed your mind, then go ahead and sit this one out.  No one is anxiously waiting at home for your next social media post.  Wait a day and resume your normal posting to reengage your audience, you won’t be missed.

Don’t Let Your New Website Go to Waste

So, you have a new website. Or, maybe you have branched out to a new form of social media, you finally got that Instagram account.  Congratulations! A new digital footprint is an accomplishment worth celebrating. quote

Now, you need to promote it.  Creating something wonderful is not enough, you have to let people know it exists.

Start with an official email blast. Add pictures, graphics, and compelling text and send the email to every contact you have. Do not be afraid of self-promotion, you have the perfect excuse to utilize your contact list!

You can recycle that content to your existing social media channels as well, hit Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with the same content.  For a website launch, you can actually stretch this process out over a week or more.  Drop teasers along with a countdown over the course of days until you reach “launch day” when you utilize your prepared content.

If you are willing to spend money for promotion, consider Facebook ads.  Facebook ads are less expensive than you think, some campaigns can be created on as little as $5 or $6 a day.  Because Facebook contains demographic information on all of its users, you can really target your ads to the appropriate audience.  Internet users spend approximately 4x more time on Facebook than Google, so if you are interested in dipping your toes into internet advertising, start there.

The New Facebook Reactions, One Week In

ReactionsToday is the one week anniversary of the widespread release of the new Facebook “Reactions. ” For years, Facebook has been struggling with its “Like” function.   No one wants to “Like” a fashion disaster or news of a breakup.  And yet the “Like” feature has been so essential to Facebook that the icon is perhaps more recognizable than the logo itself.

Announced last year and released last Wednesday, Facebook’s solution is “Reactions.” If you hover your cursor over the “like” icon, six choices now appear.  You can now respond to a post with “Like,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry.” Users seem to be slowly but steadily adopting the new “Reactions” format and in general the response is positive.

However, if you manage a business Facebook page,  this could be a game changer in how you curate your page content.  You are quickly gathering new information on how people interact with each of your posts.  Over the next few months you will be learning what kind of posts inspire which reactions, an incredibly useful tool from a marketing perspective. You can even use it for competitor research.

One thing you may not have realized is that this will affect how Facebook algorithms curate newsfeeds.   Facebook has traditionally been more likely to show you a post that has more “Likes.”  For now, “Reactions” are being clumped together and treated as “likes” in order to determine what is an engaging post for newsfeed reach, but this will not always be the case.  Facebook is monitoring the current “Reactions” data and will be using it to create entirely new newsfeed algorithms.  In the future it may be harder to understand why or why not a Facebook spreads a post.  Will we mainly be served positive content because Facebook wants us to be happy and think of Facebook as a positive experience? Or will Facebook be more likely to serve us “angry” content because fear-based advertising works and they want us to stay actively engaged for longer? We don’t yet know, but it will be interesting to find out.

Visual Social Media Strategy

Social Media NetworkYou post on Facebook, but do you do it well?  While having an active Facebook for your small business is a definite step in the right direction, it is important to ensure you are engaging with quality content.

You should not only be curating a collection of interesting and relevant content, but specifically visual content.  Pictures, infographics and illustrations can all be more powerful than a relevant and engaging article.

Research shows that “90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000x faster than plain text.” And social media and marketing statistics reflect this research – Facebook posts that have photos receive 53% more likes and 104% more comments. Going beyond pictures v. text, ads that are in color get read 42% more frequently than the same ads in black and white.

Your audience voraciously processes visual information, so take the time to ensure that the majority of your social media posts are filled with colorful images. You will reap the reward long-term.

Create a Facebook Cover Photo for the Holidays

The holidays offer plenty of opportunities to take advantage of social media marketing.  Holiday decorations, events, and sales are all wonderful social media content.

But before you start posting like mad, ensure your Facebook page is decked out for the holidays by using a holiday appropriate cover photo.  If you don’t have design software, then one of the easiest ways to create a custom Facebook cover design is by using the free online Facebook cover builder by Canva.  While some of the premium options do cost a dollar or two, most of the designs are free.  You can upload photos, change text, and move elements around for a completely custom holiday message.

Why Google+ is Relevant to Your Business

While Facebook is the Goliath of modern social media, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine are all popular niche alternatives.  Yet Google+ is often forgotten in the mad rush to get content out on as many platforms as possible.  It’s one of the lesser active social media platforms in terms of individual active users and many businesses don’t ever go through the bother of creating a Google+ Business Place Page, writing it off as socially irrelevant. This is a huge mistake.

Google+ is essential in order to convert search traffic into customers and also for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. When people are specifically searching for your business on Google, Google will bring up a box in the corner with information from your Google+ Business page – things like open hours, type of business, a few pictures, and reviews.  Having that information readily available is not only convenient but increases your business’s aura of credibility.

Furthermore, if someone searches for a type of business, say “Senior Living Communities, Chattanooga TN” then Google will create a list of relevant nearby business, including website link, address, and phone number.  Businesses with a Google+ page get an additional piece of information, either a link to their Google+ page, or a link to their online Google reviews if there are any.  Customers are 50% more likely to purchase goods or services from a company with several reviews online.  Being one of the only senior living communities in Chattanooga, TN that has immediately accessible and easy to find reviews on Google may ensure that the prospective client tours your facility instead of others.

Google+ pages don’t just help with conversion rates, but are also essential for search engine rankings.  In a search, Google prioritizes its own product, no surprise there.  So a website linked to an existing and developed Google+ Business page will get a bump in search rankings.  But it doesn’t stop there, search engine analytics show that number of times a Google+ page has been +1d is more highly correlated to search engine page rankings than any other factor. While this can be partially explained simply as Google preferring its own product, there are other factors that come into play as well.  Google crawls and indexes Google+ posts almost instantly, using Google+ as its own exclusive source of new content.  Because of factors such as privacy settings, its not uncommon for Facebook posts to never be indexed by Google at all.  Another huge factor is the structure of each Google+ post, Google reads it as if it was its own full blog, with a distinct URL.  If a post is shared, it can actually accumulate internal links from the Google+ platform with relevant anchor text.  Having internal links from a website as important as Google greatly affects the determined “importance”  and ranking of your post and boosts not only the individual post and your Google+ page, but also your website in rankings.

While Google+ may seem like a wasted effort on your part, with limited user interaction compared to that of Facebook or Twitter, any business that recruits customers from any online sources would be well-advised to maintain their Google+ presence.