• Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on November 17, 2014

    The Rules of Engagement on Facebook

    If you want to make your content sharable and searchable on Facebook, you need to have a thorough understanding of Facebook principles and the general rules that apply to content and behavior.
  • One of the main ways to develop a strong, loyal customer base is to create a community feel through social media and PR. This can often require a detailed strategy as well as a deep pocket and the luxury of time.

    One of the main ways to develop a strong, loyal customer base is to create a community feel through social media and PR. This can often require a detailed strategy as well as a deep pocket and the luxury of time.

    Consumers now see brands social media platforms as more than simply an advertising platform; they are now a vital tool to ensure product satisfaction. The question that everyone asks is whether brand loyalty can be built and strengthened. General trends highlight that the answer is very likely to be yes.

    The integration of a customer service through social media has had considerable impact. According to Social Habit, 32% of social customers expect a direct online answer within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response within one hour. It is clear that consumer needs are constantly getting higher and brands have to adapt to this social change.

    Apple are a prime example of a business who put their customer base first. Their in-store ‘Genuis Bars’ offer a friendly offline approach to customer service as well as maximising the potential for brand loyalty and future purchase. Online they are just as helpful offering step-by-step guides to fix common problems

    Across the Pond, UK shoe retailers, Wynsors, used their social media channels to analyse their customers and find out their market. By noticing their target market were parents and school children they implemented a ‘click & collect’ option on their website. This limits any fuss and ensures the purchase of the product.

    They have also targeted content around their target market to ensure loyalty and a sense of ‘community’ amongst their customers. Their recent road safety campaign with UK road safety charity Brake created considerable engagement and was specifically aimed at children and parents.

    These examples go to show how both global and local brands ensure an element of trust and loyalty with their customers, whilst aiming their online offerings around their target markets and developing a positive customer experience.

    The idea of brand loyalty is incredibly important as consumers want to be listened to and feel a sense of validation. Brands should ensure they have a healthy online presence, create loyalty schemes, build a sense of community and recognise that their target markets come first.

    This past week, I had a prominent CEO from an up-and-coming startup reach out to me via LinkedIn message. After a few conversations back and forth I was really able to understand what his business was trying to solve and I genuinely felt personally connected to him.

    This past week, I had a prominent CEO from an up and coming startup reach out to me via LinkedIn message. After a few conversations back and forth I was really able to understand what his business was trying to solve and I genuinely felt personally connected to him. I was thinking to myself, “there is no other social network that connects me to like-minded CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Social Marketers, and potential clients like LinkedIn.” Unlike other platforms for business that struggle to connect, messages can be blocked by privacy settings, tweets go unanswered because they look like spam, and emails are full of non-personal marketing that doesn’t relate.

    I truly believe that LinkedIn is the most dominate force in Business networking for these three reasons!

    • Content can be published to the Public – this is vital because people are searching LinkedIn for interesting content to share on their social networks and LinkedIn feeds. Everyone has a different mind and voice, but I truly believe in the approach of sharing relevant content. Sharing content that people will want to share with others is an important focus for your postings. I have a variety of content I like to post, but some of the most viral content I’ve seen is the following.
      • Business /Motivations Quotes
      • Quotes from you, and your company/team
      • Articles about your Industry

    • LinkedIn Pulse - we’re all now content creators; LinkedIn Pulse is truly a brilliant way to trend content topically. Like I said before most people are browsing LinkedIn to find content that will impact their business or looking for content to curate and share on their social networks. Now when you write a blog than impacts the LinkedIn community it will be pulsed out and you have the chance to experience your content going viral. Last week my blog about “What’s Next for Social Business in 2015” went viral, and I’m still experience new followers on LinkedIn as well as connections messaging me about the article and wanting to connect. I would focus your LinkedIn Pulse articles to information about your industry, and share your opinion on topics. People love to take sides and you will find that folks will rally for your topic as well as against it. It’s a great opportunity for your content to go viral!

    •  LinkedIn Endorsements/Recommendations - Now when people ask me about testimonials, or references I will send them the link to my LinkedIn page. I’ve found that when you can get to know a person outside of even their current role it’s truly a better way of quickly personalizing the relationship. When you go to my LinkedIn Page you will see the history of my career working for Morgan Stanley, Disney, and Comcast… all which are truly incredible companies! You will also see the stories from clients and testimonies along the way, which I absolutely love! In business it’s important to have transparency and I love the ability to learn about a potential client or like-minded connection in literally 3-5 minutes or less from browsing their public LinkedIn page. Some tips to getting more endorsement/recommendations.
    1. Give Back every time you’re on LinkedIn – Take 1 minute to give out some endorsements to connections that you are or want to do business with.
    2. Share Content from Connections - Like/comment on 2-3 posts, share one interesting post from a connection, and comment on their posts about how you had to share!

    I could go on and on about LinkedIn as I’m on it every day and I truly believe it’s my most influential business network. Those that read this article and take daily action steps will see the rewards it will bring to your business in the next year. Take 15 minutes a day to invest into commenting on posts, sharing content, and giving out endorsements/recommendations. Take 1 hour per week to invest in a quality and insightful LinkedIn blog. If you plan the time to maximize the power of LinkedIn, you will see the rewards, and the more time you invest the more you will get back in return! Have a giving spirit and you will see the gifts of LinkedIn!

    Image Credit: Brightbull , CrazyeggStartup Bisnis

    Snapchat is on the cusp of transforming marketing as we know it. Here’s a look at why you should use the sky-rocketing app as a free and highly powerful marketing platform.

    With 100 million monthly active users and 400 million snaps sent per day, Snapchat can no longer be ignored as a powerful marketing tool. Since its launch in 2011, the app has had a meteoric rise, even outstripping Twitter’s popularity amongst the highly prized 18-34 demographic. It’s muscled its way in to the social media scene, and now Snapchat is on the cusp of transforming marketing as we know it.

    Slowly but surely, businesses are wising up to the benefits that Snapchat can bring. And one thing is certain: the businesses that do incorporate Snapchat into their marketing strategies are not only well ahead of the game, they’re also reaping significant rewards.

    Not convinced there’s a case for Snapchat in business? Here’s a look at why you should use the sky-rocketing app as a free and highly powerful marketing platform.

    Snapchat allows you to show personality

    More so than any other social network, Snapchat is intended to be light-hearted fun. Due to the highly short-term, visual nature of the messages, there’s a freedom attached to snapping that you won’t find with any other platform. Capitalise on the jokey spirit of Snapchat and show off your company’s personality.

    With Snapchat, you can reveal exclusive media to users that they wouldn’t see otherwise. Users can ‘see the man behind the curtain’ and access your behind the scenes reel, giving them a reason to engage.

    American football team the Philadelphia Eagles have got this right. They show pre-game footage from the locker room, snapping quick videos of players singing, gearing up and generally getting high on team spirit.

    Granted, your business might not have world-famous sports stars to entice customer engagement, but you’ve still got fun behind-the-scenes footage that you aren’t utilising. Offer your connections a taste of the personality behind the corporation through quick, quirky Snapchat stories.

    Even the most traditionally old-school businesses are learning that corporate doesn’t mean closed, conventional and painfully prim. It doesn’t matter what your sector or specialism, you should show off some personality, and Snapchat is a red-hot way to do this. It will require minimal effort, zero cost and time, and will give your business a human (and therein interminably more interesting) face.

    Snapchat will grow your community

    Snapchat is where the people are. It has explosive popularity across the globe, and its users are increasing by the minute. Compellingly, Snapchat will connect you to the young demographic.

    With 71% of its users being under the age of 25, it’s the platform of choice for Generation Y. The odds are that the vast majority of your social media following is on Facebook and Twitter. Whilst that isn’t problematic, it does mean that you’re not engaging with a huge slice of the population.

    Today, the largest active Facebook demographic is the 35-54 group, with 56 million members. Young people are deserting Facebook by the millions, with 3.3 million users aged 13-17 abandoning Facebook since 2011, as well as a further 3.4 million people who are 18-24. And according to the latest research, the average Twitter user is 37 years old.

    So, where are the under 25s headed to? All evidence would suggest Snapchat. If you want to not only grow your community but also to diversify its age, it’s time you head there too.

    Let’s look at some real life examples. Frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles successfully used Snapchat to drive sales and engagement. In return for sending a snap of yourself enjoying a 16 Handles treat, the company sent back snaps of coupons for either 16%, 50%, or 100% off your next purchase. Off the back of this simple campaign, 16 Candles reported over 1,400 engagements with customers through the app – all from their target under 25 demographic.

    Not convinced? Then look at Audi. During Superbowl 2014, Audi partnered with Huge and The Onion to execute the world's first successful Snapchat campaign at scale, connecting the company with new audiences during the big game. Their Snapchat campaign received 100,000 total views and reached a total of 37 million social impressions. This converted into over 10,000 new Snapchat followers, 2,500 new Twitter followers and 9,000 new Facebook likes.

    Whether your company is a small frozen yoghurt chain or a global car manufacturing giant, you can use Snapchat to dramatically grow your social following and your online community.

    Snapchat will keep you current and competitive

    To survive in business, you have to roll with the times. It’s not enough to stick to tried and tested social media methods: you have to embrace the new. The hashtag is still extremely powerful, but it’s not as powerful or as versatile as the video.

    Think about what Snapchat can do. All with a quickly disappearing image or video, you can:

    • Host contests, asking followers to submit snaps to win a prize
    • Provide sneak peeks of products, introduce new initiatives and share exclusive content
    • Offer coupons and discounts codes that can’t be shared due to their brevity
    • Create innovative recruitment campaigns through snap submissions
    • Go behind the scenes and humanise your company
    • Use the Snapchat Stories feature to catalogue up to 360 seconds of snaps, engaging your followers with higher-level content creation

    The beauty of all this is that it’s temporary. It’s fun, it’s secret, it’s cool. Your followers will race to view momentary images – something that other platforms lack entirely. You’re giving your connections unique, real-time content, and you’re doing it in a way that creates a sense of urgency.

    Without Snapchat, you’re starting to fall behind the times. Current social media channels are permanent, public and packed. Snapchat is the exception. If you want to stay one step ahead of the game, it’s time to stop lagging and start snapping.

    To actually attract and entertain your social media following, small businesses should definitely be posting several times a day from their business’ Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Easier said than done though right? Well, here’s a handy guide full of great (and easy!) ideas to populate your social feeds with.

    To actually attract and entertain your social media following, small businesses should definitely be posting several times a day from their business’ Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The social posts should be high quality and interesting, or you'll never be successful in growing your following. It's also crucial to make sure that small businesses are effectively using their social profiles and followers to promote their business and increase sales. All these things are easier said than done though right?

    Well, here’s a handy guide full of great (and easy!) ideas to populate your social feeds with.

    Promotional Postings

    How can you balance promoting yourself with providing interesting and relevant posts to your followers? By informing them! 

    Sales & Promotions - Of course you should announce your regular sales like Black Friday or Labour Day savings, but promotions can be so much more than that! Get creative with one day, flash sales or fulfillment promotions like “bring your daughter in to get 20% off”. Your followers will stay tuned in to your business' feed to take advantage of these sales, and chances are pretty good they’ll share them with applicable friends and family (“Look Mary! Take your daughter in!”). When it comes to Facebook, these days your posts will be granted greater reach the more they're shared and commented on. Make some sales just for your social media followes- they'll love feeling rewarded for being loyal customers!

    New Stock - Your stock, supplies, or offerings likely change with the seasons right? Well let everyone know that there’s new stuff to check out! Be sure to include a photo, as pictures drive higher levels of engagement. Let your customers know via word of mouth or flyer that they should follow your social accounts to be the first people to hear of such announcements- this tactic is a great strategy to grow your followers! You can draw this category of posts out by creating several posts in advance of the big reveal. Begin by vaguely announcing that exciting changes are coming to the store, then another post informing your followers when to tune in to hear the exciting announcement, and then finally the actual announcement itself.

    Company Milestones - Share big accomplishments, new hires, and business expansions with your followers. They’ll love to feel like they’re apart of the show, and it’ll serve as excellent marketing for any potential new customers. 

    Company Mission Statement - From time to time, simply post a declarative statement about something that matters to your company (we support organic) or parts of your company's actual mission statement. It's good to remind your followers what your company is all about, and social media users like to retweet or share declarative statements that they agree with! Avoid anything controversial or political>! Great, crowd pleasing ideas for this category include: depending on coffee, supporting the environment, loving dogs or cats, your home state or town, excitement for happy hour or the weekend, and even which movie stars are your favorite!

    Showing Off Your Fans

    Social proof exists even within social media! By "reposting" or retweeting your followers' posts, not only will you show off how loved your brand is, you'll also subtly encourage your other followers to post about you too! Social media users love the limelight!

    ReShares - Encourage your customers to share photos or updates about being at your business or using your products, then reshare or repost! Social media users love attention like this! Resharing also bolsters your brand, it’s the best and most authentic kind of social proof there is, and simultaneously encourages more of your customers to share even more images or posts too! 

    Interviews - Interview or profile your employees or customers. People love to read about other people, and chances are the friends and family of your profile will share the post too. Interview or profile your employees or customers. People love to read about other people, and chances are the friends and family of your profile will share the post too. 

    Testimonials - "Best Pizza Ever" , "BrandName is SUCH a Lifesaver!" or other props given to your business make for excellent Twitter retweets. Be sure to include commentary or comments when retweeting (then the original customer can retweet your retweet- the cycle can continue!). Customers love interacting with a brand, and they'll definitely appreciate your gratitude for their complementary comments. Need we even mention how great these posts will look to potential new customers? 

    Getting Creative

    Ok, now it's time to turn that creativity tap on! It's important to post just to entertain your users!

    Inspiring Quotes – Include motivational, inspiring, or even just plain old encouraging quotes! Try to tag the speakers when possible- there’s always the chance they’ll share your post! This is a great category to get creative with. Use quotes from your favorite business leaders, authors, anything that resonates with you will likely also resonate with your followers.  Avoid political or negative sentiment.

    Funny Holidays - Take a play from some of the most successful social companies and wish your followers a happy national left-handers day, or happy coconut ice cream day! These types of posts usually see high levels of engagement across all the social networks.

    Links to Useful Content - One of the easiest answers to the “what to share on social media” question is useful content! Share helpful resources with your followers. This could be local tourist guides, local polling stations or things relating to your industry- it will all work and be appreciated! 

    Local Pride - Your local followers will love funny, surprising, or wacky local trivia. Work in advance to compile about 100 or so interesting local fun facts and spread out your posts from this category over time. Even a photo of your favoite local landmark will do!

    Pop Culture - Comment on major pop culture events like the Super Bowl, Grammys, or the season finale of The Voice for a chance to get your content seen by a larger-than-usual crowd! Use the appropriate hashtags so your tweets or Facebook posts will be seen! Customers will appreciate that you're into the same things they are, and if you can find an opportunity for a joke or two, more social power to you! One of my most favorite examples is Hamber Helper's "I woke up like this #flawless" tweet! If you don't get that one, recruit your younger employees to help you create similar content! 

    Max Interactions - Retweet/Share or otherwise interact with other local businesses, related corporate chains, or even your local politicians. If they respond or retweet, you'll gain exposure to their audiences too! This is a great tactic to try with local news reporters, news papers, or broadcast stations! Complimentative statements get the most reactions on social networks.

    Facebook makes it easy to connect with the local customers that matter most. First, focus on getting their attention. Engagement is all about attracting interest, so start by posting useful information, news or entertaining pictures, to get people to talk about your business and your products.

    Because the way people acquire information has changed, Facebook has become an effective platform for connecting small businesses with their audience. In the “good old days”, your customers mainly obtained information from newspaper, radio and television. These sources, while still relevant for some, have become increasingly less relevant for small business. Why? Because they don’t work well locally. The emergence of the internet has meant the information flows easily on a local, national and global scale.

    Facebook has changed the way we market to our customers from one-way to two-way. People can now acquire information and convey their own sentiment at the same time. This facilitates exchanges and interactions among people and makes information flows more influential in the real world.

    Convinced? How to make your Facebook page a killer marketing tool:

    Engagement is key
    Facebook makes it easy to connect with the local customers that matter most. Firstly, focus on getting their attention. Engagement is all about attracting interest, so start by posting useful information, news or entertaining pictures, to get people to talk about your business and your products. Once customers get to know you, they are much more likely to buy from you. Once you have built a stronger relationship with your fans you can use Promoted Page Posts to ensure that your stories are prominently displayed in their News Feeds.

    Get more Likes
    Before exploring all of Facebook’s ad options for business, start simple. Reach out to family and friends, and ask current customers to Like your page. By getting more Likes, you can increase your audience. When you start using Facebook Offers or other promotions, you’ll have a much larger audience of fans and friends of your fans. Remember though: quality over quantity.

    K.I.S.S with the 80:20 rule
    It’s great to feature your products and services: but not all the time. When you showcase your product or service offering, try and stick to the 80:20 rule. That’s 80% valuable and relevant content to your audience and 20% sales messages. Your audience will feel like you care about their needs and not so much your need to sell.

    Give something away
    Giveaways and coupons are a great way to get more customers to visit your store, and these types of promotions can be more effective with Facebook. Give a unique coupon code to your Facebook audience and drive sales through your door and online.