• Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on January 22, 2015

    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.
  • In this blog post, I discuss ways that your brand can come out victorious during the big game in 2015. From organization and preparation tips, pre-game content recommendations, social media campaign tips, and rules of real-time engagement, there are tons of great tips included to help you win the advertising and marketing game this Super Bowl Sunday!

    So you couldn’t find it in your advertising budget to throw down the $4.5 million for a 30-second commercial in Super Bowl XLIX like these guys? We understand. But we’re also here to let you know that you can still come out on top through alternative advertising and marketing methods on social media during the big game.

    There are plenty of ways to ensure that your brand message will be heard through all the noise of the Super Bowl on social media, but you have to commit ahead of time. Think about it-there are 184 million viewers that could potentially come in contact with your brand. But you have to have a strong brand voice and a solid game-plan (pun intended) in place so that your content is sharable. Are you on board? Let’s engage.

    1. YOU MUST BE PREPARED AND ORGANIZED TO BE SUCCESSFUL

    When it comes to big events like the Super Bowl, a good rule of thumb is that 80 percent of potential content should already be created, approved, and placed into specific draft folders before the game starts. How is that possible? Sit down with your creative team and write out scenarios that are likely to happen during the game. Have content pre-approved for interceptions, touchdowns, questionable calls, etc. as well as content ready about key players (not only their football capabilities- think mannerisms, celebration dances, physical traits) so that when something happens your team is already prepared. It is also important to think of a few scenarios that could happen that DON’T have to do with football (just in case). This content should link back to your brand in a creative way so that not only is your brand being relevant, but it is at the same time being new and fun. When it comes to interacting during important live events, it is better to overestimate the content you may need than to be scrambling for content.

    Butterfinger did a great job of this in the 2014 Super Bowl by immediately posting pre-made content when the game started out with a safety. With 80 percent of content pre-planned and pre-approved, you are left with 20 percent of your content to be reactive and in the moment of when things are happening. This is when your creative team comes into play. They are able to focus on the more unexpected events and turn them into something your brand can capitalize on.

    2. Pre-Game Content Matters Too

    Long gone are the days of secrecy that brands used leading up to the Super Bowl. Instead, companies today are choosing to engage fans earlier on and create deeper story telling lines that they can share with users on social media in order to build more hype about their brand during the event. Let your following know that you will be participating in the “social” Super Bowl without explicitly saying so by releasing content before the big game. Engage your fans through polls on who you think will win on Facebook, hosting contests, and posting creative content that are appropriate for your target audience to “like”. The most important thing to remember about pre-game content is that it should give your audience something to look forward to- so entertain them!

    Victoria’s Secret Angels Play Football- Pre-Game Content

    3. Create a Social Media Campaign

    This is a given, but brands that come out on top during Super Bowls past have almost always had Social Media Campaigns in place. Theme and tone needs to stay consistent, and messaging should be clear. We aren’t going to go in depth into how to create a social media campaign, because you already know how to do that. However, this year there are two important concepts that you need to keep in mind while posting your content on Facebook.  

      • - Advertise on Facebook with their “Big Game” Segment- This year, Facebook is capitalizing on the Super Bowl by creating a “Big Game” targeting segment that allows brands to reach more people that are engaging in Super Bowl conversation. According to Marketing Land, Facebook stated that the segment will “include people beyond just football fans, including those liking, commenting and sharing content related to party planning, recipes, flatscreen TV purchases, conversations about TV commercials and other topics surrounding the game.” The article also stated that “The segment will be updated frequently ¬– growing and changing dynamically as more people become engaged with Super Bowl topics– in the remaining days before the game and throughout Super Bowl Sunday. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning on releasing “football themed” ads on the book. Find the segment through the Facebook interface in the “Behaviors” section under the “Seasonal and Events” category.
      • - Plan to BOOST- If you believe that one of your ads or posts are especially strong, and are getting a lot of engagement on them, plan to boost your post to keep the momentum going. Facebook- 1, Wallets- 0. Still worth it.

    4. Rules of Real Time Engagement

    Every brand wants its "Oreo Moment", but you aren’t going to achieve it unless your creative team brings its A-game to play on the real time engagement field. If you want to score big time, you’re going to have to have a social-command center. Have a real-time engagement strategy in place so that theme, tone, and voice are all consistent on your reactive posts. Also ask yourself “Who will share this post and why” for every post you put out. Here are some other tips when it comes to real-time engagement during the big game.  

      • - The most appropriate channel to flood with real-time updates is Twitter- don’t flood your other social channels with all of your updates.
    • -Tweet about the game itself, but always ask yourself how things can relate back to your brand and try to apply that as often as possible. Ask your fans to engage with simple things like “RT if both feet were in” tweets and other applicable requests during questionable calls. Always include hashtags.
    • -Get weird. The super bowl is a chance for you to be a little more edgy with the content that you are posting. Make sure to monitor competition’s tweets, and keep other brands in mind. Follow what is trending and JUMP IN ON THE CONVERSATION!

    5. Be Playful


    In good-hearted fun, call people and other brands out! If your brand can boast about something and relate it to the game, do it! If there is another JC Penny incident, call them out! Engage with competition! Be clever! Make people talk about your brand. Make people laugh.

     

    Other things to keep in mind:

    •Know your target audience…and from that predict what their behavior is going to be. Will they be watching the game with their family, or getting rowdy at the bar with their friends. From that prediction, give them more of what they want to see. Hint: it must be entertaining. Another hint: drunk people love dumb humor.
    • Dumb content doesn’t come out on top just because it is dumb. These ads had a lot of thought go into them.
    • If someone else has already done it, come up with something different.
    • Have fun with it.
    • Don’t forget to measure your efforts so that next year you can be more successful.

    Good Luck! 

    Social media is such a great place for businesses, and you know that maximizing your profile by loading photographs, filling out your bio, and staying active are important.

    Social media is such a great place for businesses, and you know that maximizing your profile by loading photographs, filling out your bio, and staying active are important.

    However, what you might not know are some of social media’s (best-kept) secrets that can seriously help boost your social media profile and get more engagement. Let’s head into three social channels’ hidden lairs of secrets to find things that you can begin using right now.

    Facebook’s Laboratory of Secrets!

    You might think you know all that Facebook has to offer, but do you really? Let’s take a look at three awesome, hidden features you should be using on Facebook! I found these excellent tips from HubSpot’s blog about hidden social media features.

    1. You Can Save Links on Facebook to View Later. This is a great way to keep a log of resources that you want to use in your blogs or share on social media. It is really handy for those of us who see something interesting but don’t have the time to look at it. How does this maximize your profile? It gives you the chance to store several excellent resources that you can share in the future without forgetting what you saw. Neat, isn’t it?

    2. Manage Sections on Your Business Page. When you have people come to your Facebook page, you will want them to see specific things first. However, you probably think they will always have to see your “about” section first, which isn’t quite what you want. A great way to maximize your profile is to manage your sections and put them in the order you want people to see! Want clients to see photos first? Then you can easily move that section to the top!

    3. Do You Want to Poll Your Followers Easily? Updating your business page with status updates and photos can be great for engagement, but sometimes you just want to send out a simple, little poll. You may have found a number of free programs, but you don’t like how they look or aren’t sure you want to send your followers to those sites. Fret no more! You can actually ask your poll questions when you go to craft a status update on your business page. Now you can get even more client engagement on Facebook.

    Pull the Book to Reveal Twitter’s Secret Door!

    When you look at Twitter, you see a lovely bookshelf filled with useful and viable information, but is that all there is? Pull that book, no, not that one, the other one, yes! Now you get to learn about three wonderful Twitter feature secrets you can use for your profile.

    4. “Favorite” a Tweet to Save for Later. You’ve seen the feature to “favorite” tweets, and while it seems like Twitter’s way to copy Facebook’s “like,” it actually serves a different purpose. Sure, you can favorite something you like, but you can also favorite things you’d like to save for later. You may see an interesting article, but don’t have time to read it before sharing. Just favorite the tweet and come back when you have the chance! You can also use favorites as a way to curate information, allowing followers to peek at your favorite resources.

    5. Have a Trend You Like? Then Follow it! You know that hashtags and trends are important on Twitter, which means you will want to follow a few. You don’t have to keep searching for the hashtag and trend every time you log on though. Twitter has an excellent feature that allows you to follow certain keywords or hashtags when you use their free desktop app, “Tweetdeck.” This is useful because it helps keep you “in-the-know” on trends without making you constantly search Twitter for your favorites.

    6. Create a Custom Timeline with Tweetdeck. Honestly, Tweetdeck is a perfect tool and feature that a lot of people should be using. Another way it can help maximize your profile is that you can create a custom timeline that can be embedded on your website, and show people what you want them to see. How handy is that? Try it out on your blog or website!

    Solve the Riddle and You Might Just Find What LinkedIn is Hiding!

    Don’t worry; you don’t actually have to solve a riddle to uncover these awesome hidden features. All you have to do is read the next three items! Let’s take a look at some stellar LinkedIn features you should be using.

    7. Do Target Research with “Advanced People Search.” You can do some quick, easy target research by simply using the “advanced people search” on LinkedIn. Don’t let the name fool you; you don’t need to search for a specific person. You can also search for keywords or different titles. The advanced portion lets you tweak the search further, giving you better, more tailored results.

    8. Create a Company Page and Review Analytics. You might have a professional LinkedIn page for yourself, but do you have a company page? If you don’t, it’s time to create one and start using it to review analytics. This will help you know what you should be posting, and can also help you connect your business with other industry leaders. Look at all that networking you could be doing but are missing out on!

    9. Joining Groups is Perfect for Visibility! This seems like a no-brainer, but you might not realize just how powerful a LinkedIn group can be. You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn, so take this opportunity to connect with people who have similar interests to help boost your profile and create connections. This will be great because you will not only meet people that you can work well with. You will also meet people who will be more than willing to share items from your site and any blogs you post to LinkedIn. Get active on your profile and create new, professional relationships!

    Look at All That Treasure!

    Just by using these great hidden gems, you can easily start boosting your profile and making it something your clients will enjoy. A great thing about these features is that you can go ahead and start using them right now. Go on, head on over to the social channels and start playing around to get some seriously awesome results.

    Did you know that we remember 80% of what we see, yet only 20% of what we read? The power of visual content is hard to ignore. And that's why an infographic is such a valuable piece of content.

    Did you know that we remember 80% of what we see, yet only 20% of what we read? The power of visual content is hard to ignore. And that's why an infographic is such a valuable piece of content. Not only is it one of most engaging ways to tell your story, but businesses who market with infographics actually gain on average 12% more traffic than those who don't. So what makes a good infographic? Well, you're about to find out...

    1. A Targeted Audience

    As with any piece of content, if you want your infographic to be a success then you need to create one for your target audience. When coming up with the concept, do your research and find out what your audience likes, so that you can create an infographic that they will just have to share because it's so on-point with their thoughts. Think about it like this. Your target audience has a problem (otherwise you wouldn’t exist) and your job is to solve that problem. When coming up with concepts, your goal should be to show your audience that you are their solution, using the creativity of an infographic. If you don't have one, make sure you create a buyer persona so you know exactly who you are creating your infographic for.

    Exclusive Bonus: Download an awesome template to help you create your own buyer persona today!

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    2. A Compelling Theme

    If you check out the largest online community for infographics -Visual.ly – then you'll see that each one comes with a different theme. Your theme is essentially your story and it needs to correlate with your brand, as your infographic will become another footprint in your content marketing journey. If you check out this example below from Home Food Safety, you can see that they've really nailed their theme. The aim is to teach people the importance of cooking safety to help avoid food poisoning. Their theme is set within the various focus areas of the kitchen, and it really matches their brand too!

    Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 15.08.57

    You can check out the full infographic here.

    3. Actionable Data

    Next step should be to find the right data for your infographic, and this should be a heavy focus throughout. Don't just create one because you think it looks cool. For people to want to share it, it needs to feature stats that will back up your case. The key here is to find stats that will help prove to your audience that your product or service is the solution that they need in their life. As you can see from this snippet of one of our infographics below. As a video company, we're looking to attract marketers who are interested in creating an explainer video, so we've used stats to show how powerful video can be.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 15.02.01

    You can check out the full infographic here.

    4. Awesome Graphics

    This is an obvious point to make, but your infographic has to look good! The graphics you use within it will help guide the viewer through the story, and if you haven’t put much effort into it then you'll never see any shares. If you don't have an in-house design team then think about outsourcing your infographic, because this is too important not to get right. Some of our top tips from our infographic designers include:

    • Keep your graphics simple
    • Tell your story in sections so it flows
    • Don't use too many colors
    • Make it readable
    • Match up your visuals with data
    • Stay true to your brand
    • Don't be too repetitive

    This infographic below is a great example of simple graphics split into sections to effectively tell the story...

    Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 16.02.37

    You can check out the full infographic here.

    5. Powerful Copy

    Yep that's right, it's not all about how it looks. The copy on your infographic is just as important! We're not saying make it copy-heavy but If you want to share it on social then you need to come up with powerful headlines to really convey the message. Your headline needs to be strong so that people will be compelled to share it. Keep it simple, concise and relevant to the theme. Quite like blog posts, a great way to grab attention and invite people to check out your infographic is to create a 'how-to' headline or one that asks a question. Here's an example of one that we created with the headline: How much do average apps make?

    Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 16.26.38

    You can check out the full infographic here.

    What's Next?

    So once you've put together your infographic with all of the above points in mind, the next step is to start outreaching. Sure you can promote it on your social, but if you really want to make it go viral then you need to put the effort in. There are plenty of bloggers and influencers out there who will be looking for an infographic just like yours, so start putting a strategy in place to contact them and see if they will feature it on their site.

    Exclusive Bonus: Download a two page checklist to guide you through the steps required to increase your content marketing reach!

    Do you Like Content Marketing as Much as We Do?

    It's true, we love content. But what we don't love is the same old stats that we have to use within our content. We are looking for fellow content marketers to let us know what the future holds for content markting. How do you use content? Which brands are getting it right? How successful is your content? Enter our survey today and tell us all about it! We'll even share the results with you so you can use it in your own content.

    Check out these six great examples of marketing texts to improve your SMS marketing strategy. According to research, approximately 90% of marketing texts still get opened. By being personalized, but not intrusive, your text message marketing can lead to great results. Here are some good examples.

    According to research, approximately 90% of marketing texts still get opened. By being personalised, but not intrusive, your text message marketing can lead to great results. Here are some good examples.

    1. The Useful Text Message

    One of the most important things you can do is to make sure your marketing texts are useful. People don’t want to receive useless messages, but if you offer them something of value such as a discount or a free offer, they will appreciate it. By researching your audience and targeting your text, you can send each individual a message that is relevant and useful for them, making your texts helpful and interesting instead of just spam.

    2. The “Limited Time” Text Message

    Send out special, time limited offers such as “Get 50% off your next visit - claim within the next 24 hours.” It will give your customers a feeling of urgency and inspire them to take action. Give them a deadline and it will make them feel like they should act now, so that they don’t miss out on the discount or special product you are offering.

    3. The “Short and Sweet” Text Message

    You only have a few seconds to catch your customers’ attention. Get to the most important point of the message as soon as possible, without waffling or using unnecessary words. For example, “Spring sale ends Friday, don’t miss these deals!*

    4. The Strong Call to Action Text Message

    Ensure the action you want your customers to take is clearly outlined in the text message in order to achieve better results. For example, add a link to your website to drive clicks from smartphones.  

    5. The Succinct Text Message

    Avoid overused marketing hype words like “amazing” and “revolutionary”. Your customers will roll their eyes and delete your message if they spot these insincere attempts to impress. If your message contains any of thesecliché words, think about rewriting it.

    6. The Text Message That Identifies Your Brand

    Many brands make the mistake of sending a text message without identifying who they are! These are certain to be deleted, so make sure that you clearly state your brand within the “ sent from name” field.

    Takeaways for your SMS marketing strategy

    • Use your data lists to segment your target audience and get your timing right.
    • Offer your customers something useful.
    • Write text messages with urgency and a call to action with a deadline.
    • Offer an option to stop messages.

    Discover the secret to sending the right message at the right time. Get your eGuide now: Make an impact: Key stages in the customer lifecycle

    Saying that marketing on social media doesn’t work because you’re not seeing a return on your investment is like saying that the treadmill you faithfully use as a coat rack isn’t working because you haven’t lost any weight. If you’re not making money on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, odds are that you’re not using them correctly. Social media ROI is not a myth!

    Saying that marketing on social media doesn’t work because you’re not seeing a return on your investment is like saying that the treadmill you faithfully use as a coat rack isn’t working because you haven’t lost any weight. If you’re not making money on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, odds are that you’re not using them correctly. Social media ROI is not a myth!

    Think about these sites: Globally, Facebook is the second largest website. YouTube is the third largest. Poor little Twitter isonly the eighth largest global website, which might make you think that it isn’t worth your time. That’s sort of like thinking that Christian Bale is a failure because he’s only the eighth highest paid actor in Hollywood.

    These are not only large sites, but also they all offer robust targeting options to reach your desired audience, using optimizations on the platform and media buys. Saying that you don’t see any returns on social media means that something isn’t right and changes need to be made.

    Here are the top four things to change if you want to see social marketing make you money:

    Start Setting Meaningful Goals

    This seems almost too obvious to point out, but a lot of people focus their marketing on vanity metrics. “Likes” and “Followers” mean nothing. At one point, I had a Klout score that was 15 points higher than Joe Biden’s. Now, as much as I would like to believe that I was more influential than the Vice President of the United States, I have a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t. But the metrics told me so and numbers don’t lie! Well, numbers may not lie, but they don’t always tell the whole truth.

    1/22/09. Official White House Photo by Pete SouzaDespite how big Klout.com claimed my social media megaphone was, no one cared about my ideas on foreign policy. (I think we should have one.) No one was asking for my input on economic problems. (I am staunchly opposed to them.) And no one was clamoring to know my views on law enforcement reform. (I’m not about to touch that here!)

    When I begin working on an account, I require a tangible goal. Normally, it is to improve sales with direct marketing. Sometimes, it is to improve awareness for a ubiquitously available product like soda or makeup that can be picked up at any store. But, ultimately, I try to compare year over year trends, or run split tests in different cities to prove an increase in demand caused by social media. Wait a minute. This is beginning to sound like my next point.

    Set Up Your Analytics and Sales Tracking Properly

    Facebook and YouTube each have platform analytics data that blows my mind. But, seeing if someone clicked doesn’t show what that person did off of the site. You know your goals. You should track those.

    Assuming that you sell a product using ecommerce, Google Analytics Goal and Event Tracking, along with UTM strings to track the links you share, will give you a very clear idea of what is and is not working to drive sales. If you’re running ads, something as simple as a conversion pixel in your website will at least give you last click attribution.

    Truth be told, I think last click attribution should be placed on the shelf with that $400 Beanie Baby, because it’s time has passed. I have seen analytics mangled in more ways than I can remember, but the worst thing is having nothing to show your results off of the platform.

    In a perfect world, you should add every tracking pixel that makes sense (Try Google Tag Manager for this) and integrate your Google Analytics by using UTM strings tied to Goal Tracking. If you want to go the extra mile, try using dimension widening to add more data from your point of sale system, other any other data you like. Go nuts. I do, also in the name of Mat Cuts make your site HTTPS, you'll thank me.

    Take a look at Google Analytics Academy and Steve Hammer's Leveling up Google Analytics slide share for more information on advanced Google Analytics functionality.

    Spend Money When It Makes Sense

    I had a large company tell me that buying ads would break their organic image. This company did pay for television, radio and billboard advertising. This Facebook fan page was posting multiple times a day to over 100,000 fans, yet was getting fewer than 30 weekly engagements and a weekly reach of fewer than 700 people. With stats like those, can you really say you have an organic presence on social media?

    Sometimes you have to pay to reach your own audience. Think of it as a toll road. If you want to choose the path of least resistance to reach your destination, you need to be willing to spend money on tolls. If you wish to reach your target audience on social media in the most effective manner, you need to spend money on advertising.

    Nearly every free social network makes money by selling its user data to advertisers. If you advertise, you get rich user data that can target exactly who you want to see your content. I’ve used this with great success for direct marketing, but ads targeting your own fans on Facebook or Twitter can drastically help improve your engagement. If you are a large consumer brand, you can track the engagement increase and see if it correlates to sales.

     

    The moral of the story is that sometimes you have to pay to play. If you don’t want to cough up some cash, try email marketing. Remember it doesn’t matter who says you’re more influential than the Vice President of the United States. If you don’t own the platform, you don’t own your audience.

    Post the Right Content

    Since your goals should dictate how you approach everything else, when you focus on the wrong KPIs (key performance indicators), you lose before you’re even out of the starting gate. You can’t make money if you focus on building an audience of people who will never buy your products or services.

    Keyboard Cat, Acrylic on Canvas by Bud CaddellYes, cat photos are engaging, but unless you operate a pet store or “I Can Has Cheezeburger,” it’s hard to make cats profitable. It is, however, possible to be creative and talk about cats without really talking about cats.

    On the flipside, you can’t just sell. You’re on social media, not sitting in a kiosk in the middle of a mall. You need to balance engagement, while staying on brand. That can be tricky, but it is yet another reason to focus on meaningful goals and not vanity metrics.

    Did I mention that, during the early days of Klout, I was more influential than Joe Biden on that platform? The heartbreaking truth is that it didn’t make me any money. None. Zippo. Zilch. Bupkis. Heck, it didn’t even get me a guest slot on “The Daily Show,” with Jon Stewart (who has always had a higher Klout score than I have).

    The Recap

    If you want a return on investment, act like it. It’s time to take your metaphorical coats off of your metaphorical treadmill and make some positive changes. Know what “return on investment” means. Don’t be penny smart and pound foolish, as my British friend, Mel Carson, would say. Spend money if it’s going to help you, but spend wisely. Be relevant. Don’t just sell, and don’t just share irrelevant things in order to be popular. You can go broke and lose your identity while sitting at that popular table.