• 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.
  • Facebook gave small business owners an unexpected early holiday gift yesterday, December 11th – new CTA buttons for business Facebook pages! Calls to action (CTAs) are an incredibly important – but often forgotten – part of the design of any piece of marketing. How are you supposed to get your potential customers to take the action you want if you don’t tell them what it is?

    Facebook gave small business owners an unexpected early holiday gift yesterday, December 11th – new CTA buttons for business Facebook pages! Calls to action (CTAs) are an incredibly important – but often forgotten – part of the design of any piece of marketing. How are you supposed to get your potential customers to take the action you want if you don’t tell them what it is?

    CTAs typically show up most in outbound marketing pieces like emails and online ads, but savvy business owners know that it’s also key to have highly-visible calls to action on their websites. The online viewer is fickle and easily distracted, so it’s imperative that they know immediately what they’re supposed to do while you have their attention.

    For the savvy business owner who understands the value of Facebook as part of any marketing plan, it has been frustrating not to be able to install a clear call to action at the top of the page…Until now.

    Announced in a blog post yesterday, Facebook’s new CTA buttons will begin rolling out to business pages over the next few weeks, and worldwide over the course of the year. For anyone who has been looking for ways to get a better return on investment from their business Facebook page (so, everyone), this is fantastic news.

    There are currently seven CTA options, which encourage a wide variety of actions by the viewer. Facebook has done a great job of looking at their business user base and coming up with buttons that really reflect what their business objectives are. The new CTAs are:

    • Book Now
    • Contact Us
    • Use App
    • Play Game
    • Shop Now
    • Sign Up
    • Watch Video

    It looks like online retailer Dollar Shave Club was among the first to test this new option, and had this to say about it according to Facebook:

    “Over the course of a three-week test, the Sign Up call-to-action button delivered a 2.5x higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements aimed to drive new user acquisition.” — Brian Kim, Director of Acquisition, Dollar Shave Club

    New Facebook CTA Buttons

    So, even though the rest of us will have to wait for our CTA buttons to be bestowed upon us by Facebook, now is the time to start thinking about which one you will choose, and where it will direct people. The buttons can link to any destination both on and off of Facebook.

    Already have the new CTA buttons from Facebook? Share a link to your page in the comments so we can all gaze enviously upon it!

    I’ve teamed up with my friend Sarah Mason to breathe new life into some vital ideas from my blog archive, and I think this one is perhaps our best work yet. It’s fun, entertaining, and an educational look at blogging confidence.

    If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that I have been creating a series of fun and colorful Slideshare presentations from some of my most popular content.

    I’ve teamed up with my friend Sarah Mason to breathe new life into some vital ideas from my blog archive, and I think this one is perhaps our best work yet.

    It’s fun, entertaining, and an educational look at blogging confidence. Take a look at this presentation and if you enjoy the enormous amount of care and work we put into this, can you please pay it forward with a share to your favorite social network? Thanks!

     

    If live events are not already part of your marketing strategy, perhaps they should be. Social media marketing and live events are actually perfectly paired to generate massive amounts of buzz, given they offer an immediate and high-impact method for reaching your target base. Even better, the combination of social media marketing and live events offer the potential for establishing meaningful and long-lasting relationships with consumers.

    If live events are not already part of your marketing strategy, perhaps they should be. Social media marketing and live events are actually perfectly paired to generate massive amounts of buzz, given they offer an immediate and high-impact method for reaching your target base. Even better, the combination of social media marketing and live events offer the potential for establishing meaningful and long-lasting relationships with consumers.

    While social media marketing and live events may appear to be a marriage made in heaven, it is important to ensure that you conduct some pre-marital counseling ahead of time to ensure that you will be able to reap the results you want. It is not simply enough to throw social media into a live event at the last minute and hope it will work. The two should be integrated from the beginning to drive maximum results. Entrepreneur reports that experiential marketing is an effective method for generating brand recognition, with 84 percent of respondents surveyed reporting that they would bring friends and family to a live event marketing experience. Clearly, social media marketing and live events hold massive potential.

    Live events marketing are effective because they establish an intimate, one-on-one connection between your product and customer. As the old cliché goes, “the proof is in the pudding.” With live event marketing, you are able to provide prospects with a chance to learn about your product on their own, and in a memorable way. Furthermore, you are able to take advantage of the opportunity to create an emotional tie while establishing the groundwork for customer loyalty.

    While the benefits  of combining social media marketing and live events are numerous, the key is to ensure that you integrate the two seamlessly. The good news is that due to its very nature, social media can be easily integrated into marketing your event before, during, and after the event is concluded. This makes it possible to maximize the return on investment you receive from live  events marketing well beyond the conclusion.

    Bear in mind that not all events are suitable for social media integration. Live events marketing only works successfully with social media if it is an event that your customer base actually wants to share with others. Therefore, your event needs to be unique, special, and exclusive. Not sure which types of events are most appealing to your customer base? Listen to what they have to say. With the variety of social listening tools available today, including Hootsuite and SocialMention, it is much easier to determine the preferences of your prospects so that you can create an experience that will truly resonate with your customer base.

    It is also important to take advantage of word-of-mouth. Recently, there has been an increased focus on influencer marketing and the power it holds in today’s permission-based world of marketing.  With the days of 30-second advertising all but gone, consumers are increasingly willing to listen to people they know and trust. In integrating your social media marketing and live events campaigns, it is important to tap into the power that influencers offer to drive pre-event awareness. Never underestimate the impact that social media influencers can have in promoting an event experience. Use it to your advantage.

    Also, recognize that sometimes it simply is not enough to hope that consumers will share your message. In some instances, you may need to get creative to encourage consumers to participate in your campaign during the event. It could be something as simple as asking participants to tweet a particular hashtag for a chance to win prizes. Call it incentivizing participation or even outright bribery, but such methods do work.

    Keep in mind that even after your event has concluded, you still have work to do. In fact, you may find that your job becomes even more complicated after the event to ensure that you are able to keep your followers engaged. This might include offering regular discounts, running contests, or coming up with creative ways for your followers to provide feedback.

    When handled correctly social media marketing and live events can present the potential to significantly expand your customer base.

    Effectively incorporating social media into your event can transform a one-off experience into an ongoing engagement opportunity with unlimited potential.

    The reason we post to Facebook, Tweet daily, and update our LinkedIn pages, etc. is to drive people back to our websites. But some businesses may have been drawn to Facebook because they've considered it a free tool, despite the fact that no real marketing channel is in fact free. Read what you should be doing instead to reclaim your marketing power.

    Every day a new story hits my inbox discussing Facebook, its changes, its current state, and ultimately, the prospects of its demise. The one fact that most people are not writing about is that Facebook is just a tool. The service was not supposed to be the Holy Grail; just one of many tools used to lead people back to your website.

    I speak at many conferences where business owners ask me to take a look at their Facebook pages. What kind of advice would I give them and where would I make changes? I usually take this opportunity to navigate them towards their websites and educate them on the importance of focusing there first. In some cases, I meet with apprehension, because many businesses have not made changes to their websites in years.  With CMSs like WordPress, it’s very easy and affordable to create a website that anyone can update.

    The reason we post to Facebook, Tweet daily, and update our LinkedIn pages, etc. is to drive people back to our websites. But some businesses may have been drawn to Facebook because they've considered it a free tool, despite the fact that no real marketing channel is in fact free.

    If you want to avoid losing your audience to these tools that are ever changing, you need to follow these critical three steps:

    1. Focus on your website. If you don’t already have a website with a CMS (Content Managing System), invest in one this coming year. WordPress is the most popular one, owning 60% of the market share. Be careful to not set up a WordPress blog that’s on a URL different from your main site. Seek professional help that will help you build the site correctly. Once complete, you will be able to create and edit content on this site  without needing to understand much HTML.

    2. Concentrate on your customers.  Keep them coming back for more with a newsletter (but please be careful not to spam anyone, and make sure that everyone on your list has truly opted in). Provide value with every newsletter. If you don’t have a lot to say, then don’t. Make the newsletter as frequent or infrequent as your audience will tolerate.

    3. Finally – Network! Get out there. The best way to build trust is to have real life interactions with your audience. Did you know that Taylor Swift hosts her fans at her home? She invites them to sample her music, provide feedback, and to create real connections. She understands that to build trust we must interact with our audience in real life.

    Next time you are wondering what to post on Facebook,  remember "shiny objects" are just that. They help us get noticed but we had better have a great message and be prepared to interact on our own terms so that we don’t find ourselves in Like purgatory – where Facebook sends our so-called fans who've lost interest in what we do.

    Email marketing's typically seen as a good way of distributing already existing content and to promote content and products to all the subscribers listed. But that's all going to change. The old model is steadily decreasing in its effectiveness and marketers are going to need to look at new ways to make use of email content marketing.

    When you're looking at the factors that'll be the most influential in determining search engine rankings, it's essential to remember that long-form, high-quality content with plenty of social media actions is going to be one of the biggest deciders. Something else that's worth bearing in mind is that longer content is usually going to bring in more attention on social media, so it wouldn't even matter if social signals weren't resulting in higher rankings, there's still plenty of benefits from adding depth to your content.

    It's sure to say that SEO's going to remain as a primary aspect of the marketing mix, but it's on track to be more and more about technical features such as meta tags, indexing issues and keyword research. Search engine rankings are set to become driven by content marketing.

    1. Content marketers are going to evolve their email marketing.

    Email marketing's typically seen as a good way of distributing already existing content and to promote content and products to all the subscribers listed. But that's all going to change - the old model is steadily decreasing in its effectiveness and marketers are going to need to look at new ways to make use of email content marketing.

    A Hubspot survey was recently carried out that found that people are actually less likely than they've ever been before to buy something from an email that they've received. Add that to the fact that spam's becoming more of a nuisance to people and they're more easily picking up on what's what. The solution to the issue is to create compelling, relevant email content that's enjoyable and engaging for your subscribers.

    2. Social media marketing is going to link with content marketing.

    One of the biggest methods for businesses to distribute their content is via social media sharing, seeing as it's so effective in amplifying content. It's certainly true to say that the majority of marketers already knew about this, but in 2015 we're going to be noticing businesses paying much more attention to social media. It's pretty much essential for any distribution model.

    Social media distribution and the increasing amount of focus that's being put on it is going to result not only in a boost to organic usage, it's also going to boost paid social media advertising. Social ads will be used by smart marketers to massively extend their content's reach, generating leads by gating content that's being advertised. 

    3. Advertisements won't be clear as before - marketers will have to opt for ads that integrate with content.

    You might have already noticed the increase in native advertising in big name publishers such as Forbes, BuzzFeed to local publishers like Dhaka Insider. Banner ads are becoming more and more unpopular, which is largely down to consumers clicking on to the fact that they're seeing an actual advertisement. One of the few benefits of banner ads will simply be brand visibility. Branded content, sponsored content, advertorials and other native ads will dominate as the most effective and popular advertisement strategy.

    Similarly to how it works in the movies, advertisements are going to have to be cleverly placed within excellent content rather than coming across as remotely spammy. Advertisers and publishers are going to work together to make sure that paid content's working transparently and seamlessly with existing content. Steve Carell working at Ecigsopedia explains how native advertising works for them, “Native advertising brings absolutely amazing results when you compare it with text based/banner ads. It works best when you can create content informs, educates and entertains. Native advertising brings a whole new meaning to advertisements for both advertisers and publishers.”

    4. Guest blogging's going to rebuild its reputation as a good content marketing strategy.

    People began to steer well clear of guest blogging after Matt Cutts called it "done" earlier in the year. It turned out that his comments were misinterpreted and he later explained that he was simply trying to discourage marketers from using guest blogging just as a link building strategy. 

    Legitimate guest blogging isn't about advertorials or article marketing; it's about providing relevant, great content to high-end publishers. And there's not much more to it, there's no secret formula at all. It's all down to the actual quality of what you're providing people with. 

    While we've seen guest blogging taking a lot of abuse throughout the year, in 2015 we're going to see it rise once again as a highly-effective strategy.