• Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on November 18, 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.
  • With Facebook and Twitter’s new "buy" buttons integrated into user newsfeeds and optimized for mobile, brands have a direct avenue to drive sales through social media. MarketWatch commented that “a strong mobile strategy will be the determining factor between this year's retail winners and losers."

    With consumers now using smartphones to price-check items both online and in-store before they commit to purchase, retailers have  responded to this growing trend by integrating mobile into their marketing strategies. An article in Forbes noted “nearly 50% of consumers believe their personal mobile devices are more efficient than store associates in helping them make buying decisions.”

    According to Google’s 2014 Holiday Shopper Intentions research report, “more than half of consumers surveyed said they’ll start their research before Thanksgiving, with 26% of shoppers starting before Halloween.” Wall Street Journal commented on Wal-Mart's decision to spread  ‘Black Friday’ Over Five Days, as “consumers accustomed to online convenience lose interest in lining up at night.”

    Notably, Target has attempted to address the issue with their introduction of a new mobile app designed to link products with store maps, where the “user builds a shopping list or uses a search bar to find products, then the aisle where a product is located is revealed.” According to AdWeek, the app represents Target’s attempt to ‘blur the line between online and physical stores’.

     With the increased focus on mobile, this also gives retailers the opportunity to integrate social media ads optimised for mobile e-commerce. According to research from advertising technology company Spongecell, “75% of U.S. social media users who would interact with ads were most likely to do so with mobile ads on Facebook, compared with just 8 percent for Twitter and 6 percent for Pinterest” (via allfacebook.com). The research found only 10% of consumers find mobile ads personalized this holiday season.

    With Facebook and Twitter’s new ‘buy’ buttons integrated into user newsfeeds and optimized for mobile, brands have a direct avenue to drive sales through social media. MarketWatch commented that “a strong mobile strategy will be the determining factor between this year's retail winners and losers." Retailers need to focus on a more comprehensive mobile strategy that goes beyond simply providing basic integrated checkout processes. This will require retailers to “meet their customers at all shopping channels, especially mobile, if they want to be competitive this season."

    I think we can all agree that the internet is a non-stop avalanche of new ideas and informational products. So how can you to be expected to know what is crap and what is gold? There is no shortage of self proclaimed guru’s out there marketing all of the “secrets” of Facebook, and Linkedin, and Youtube and on and on.

    We just discussed 3 easy strategies that will increase your online presence; let’s identify a few things to avoid that can save you time and money on you internet marketing.

    I think we can all agree that the internet is a non-stop avalanche of new ideas and informational products. So how can you to be expected to know what is crap and what is gold? There is no shortage of self proclaimed guru’s out there marketing all of the “secrets” of Facebook, and Linkedin, and Youtube and on and on.

    Here are 7 reasons why your efforts may be falling short and some ideas to improve your results.

    1) Your website is an online brochure.

    This is a very common error in the market place because the capability of a website has evolved dramatically. We have gone to, I need a website so when someone search for me something comes up; to my website is a lead generation system, company validation platform, sales processor, dynamic face of the company.

    Get your site on a CMS like WordPress, or Joomla (Just 2 of many examples, I prefer WordPress myself)

    2) There is no “Call to Action”

    I have heard people say, “My site has a Contact Us page, if they want our information they know where to find us.This is horrible!

    We as a society have become lazy and impatient. When we get to a website we want benefit, instantly. By not capitalizing on why people come to your site and addressing their needs immediately you are losing people faster than it took them to find you

    3) No communication

    When people interact with you on your site or social media it is your duty to respond. Most of your efforts are probably being made to try to get people to interact with you and when they finally do you don’t even communicate back! Now, I am not referring to having an auto responder send them an email, I am talking about you actually taking a moment and show you give a damn about what they took their time to say.

    Making a phone call based on someone’s communication online is almost unheard of. I have asked this in seminars “Who has ever gotten a call from someone online based on your subscribing or purchasing something?” The response is maybe 3-5% of the room, and of those people all of them can tell you exactly who it was that made the call.

    Pick up a phone based on an online communication and skyrocket participation and exposure.

    4) Shiny object syndrome

    Marketing online is great, but when you are doing something new every week, are on every new webinar, and are looking for the magic bullet to explosive viral growth you are wasting an immense amount of time.

    Which leads into the next ROI killer.

    5) Lack of strategy

    Creating a profile on all the social networks, and setting up a website is not a strategy. Making random posts about what you do or about your company of your Facebook page is not a strategy. Telling people about your business in everyone of your post responses is not a strategy. Posting a pitch of your company on other people sites or fan pages is NOT a strategy.

    You may laugh, and say “Joe, duh! Why would I do that stuff?” Well the fact is it happens all the time, and for some reason people think it works.

    A strategy is exactly that, a strategy. It is a formulated plan of attack. It defines objectives, goals, timelines, milestones, checklists, and a success tracking plan.

    6) Tracking

    Strategy is great and necessary, but when you don’t ever take the time to look at what is and isn’t working the wheels never stop spinning and they may be taking you down a path of failure faster than you can imagine.

    Identify how many people come to your site (daily, weekly, monthly), where are they coming from, how long are they there, what are they clicking on, what percentage of people are subscribing and/or buying, how many are opening your emails, are they clicking on links, what is your sites rank and bounce rate?

    All of these things can pretty much be achieved with Google analytics and a CRM like iContact, Constant Contact, or Aweber.

    7) Thinking you can do it on your own

    There is nobody out there creating massive success online completely by themselves. Just like in any business everyone has a few things they like to do and a few things they are really good at. It is important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and leverage them.

    Outsource, collaborate, barter, do whatever you have to do get away from the stuff you know other people are much better at than you are. You may be great at implementing a strategy, but have no idea how to create something that is going to generate revenue or vice versa.

    I love creating strategy, but hate doing the leg work. There are pieces I like, and I can do everything (for the most part) that I need to get done with some exceptions, but I began to pay others to do the bits and pieces I don’t want to be bothered with and life is much easier.

    Don’t be another “I tried internet marketing and it didn’t work ,” B.S. story. You can do it, it does require learning new stuff, and the only one who can make that decision is you.

    Thanks for stopping by, and please let the audience know if there is some tool you used that you did or didn’t like or even a strategy.

    Have a great day!

    Photo Credit: Internet Marketing/shutterstock

    Technology can cut either way. It can be a differentiating factor that helps your business be more successful or it can be something that contributes to your company's downfall -- particularly, if competitors are first-to-market and apply it for a significant competitive edge.

    Technology can cut either way. It can be a differentiating factor that helps your business be more successful or it can be something that contributes to your company's downfall -- particularly, if competitors are first-to-market and apply it for a significant competitive edge.

    Technology adoption and usage can help to increase efficiency, reduce wastage, advance productivity, improve product development, enhance customer service and accelerate time-to-market.

    Technology is at the heart of many business success stories. Besides, the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) can become one of the key positions within a company, but it is also now one of the most challenging -- due to the raised expectations.

    ABI Research has compiled an analysis that collects input from the whole ABI analyst community and presents a broad perspective of which technologies should be on a CIO's planning agenda.

    The top technologies were broken down in to the following lists:

    Top Five Technologies Overall:

    • Device-to-Device Communications (D2D)
    • Machine Learning
    • Cellular RAN Virtualization
    • Bluetooth Low Energy/Bluetooth Smart
    • LTE-Advanced

    Most Potential Impact:

    • Device-to-Device Communications (D2D)
    • WiGig
    • Energy Storage for Portable Devices
    • Graphene
    • Machine Learning

    Time to Disruption:

    • Cellular RAN Virtualization
    • ISW and Unified SON
    • Bluetooth Low Energy/Bluetooth Smart
    • In-vehicle Smartphone Standards
    • Machine Learning

    Highest Probability:

    • Cellular RAN Virtualization
    • Bluetooth Low Energy/Bluetooth Smart
    • Machine Learning
    • LTE-Advanced
    • Device-to-Device Communications (D2D)

    "The digitization of our world and the democratization of the Internet means that innovation will increasingly be digital and will come from unexpected quarters. The ability to have a huge net to capture this innovation is not only key to surviving the tsunami of evolution but it is also paramount for companies to be armed with enough knowledge to understand which innovations will matter," said Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research.

    Photo Credit: Tech Disruption/shutterstock

    Christmas is a time of year that evoke feelings of generosity and community, especially in the social media world. We have seen A LOT of changes, both good and bad, this past year and there are more looming in the first part of 2015. With changes, we tend to feel like starting over. New strategies, new tools, new actions we must take.

    My daughters have started to make their Christmas wish lists. Actually, they started back during the summer. Christmas is a time of year that evoke feelings of generosity and community, especially in the social media world.

    We have seen A LOT of changes, both good and bad, this past year and there are more looming in the first part of 2015. With changes, we tend to feel like starting over. New strategies, new tools, new actions we must take.

    This post isn’t about that. Back to the Christmas lists.

    I recently surveyed my community about what they would ask Santa for for Christmas. Here is a social media pro’s wish list…

    Dear Santa,

    We’ve been really good this year. We made it through all the changes without going bezerk. We gave back and helped businesses move forward. We would like to think we all made the good list this year.

    Here is what I would like to ask you for…

    • For Facebook to stop tweaking organic reach.
    • For a social media professional board to certify social media professionals to weed out the fakers from the authentic.
    • A personal assistant to help with day-to-day duties.

    In addition, my friends would like…

    • To be able to tweet in my sleep. – Brian Fanzo
    • A free (API approved) Instagram scheduling tool! I know, it’s a lot to ask. But if anyone can do it, Santa can, right?  – Jenn Herman
    • All of our social media analytics pre-packaged in an easy to understand presentation. Preferably tied together with a neat little bow. – ThomasNet RPM
    • A few more fun clients to work with and one big speaking gig. – Dorien Morin-van Dam
    • A drama-free Facebook. – Kim Dick
    • 1000 new clients and a personal assistant who understands all things tech savvy so I don’t have to do the nuts and bolts “stuff”!  – Donna Sumner Hovey
    • I would like for it to be required that people read (and hopefully comprehend) the articles that are posted before commenting. – Amy Addison
    • More Time! – Blue Flame Design
    • Get a coffee break with Gary V! – Anna Zubarev
    • A transporter! – Rhiannon MacDonnell

    Lastly, I would like success for all of my fellow social media pro friends. We all have varying strengths and focuses and work really hard at what we do.

    Please consider our requests and we’ll be looking out for you December 25!

    Sincerely,

    Social Media Pros Everywhere

    What would YOU add to your social media Christmas list?

    Photo Credit: Social Media Christmas List/shutterstock

    Social Sensitivity is being able to recognize social contexts and cues in conversations. In business, and in life, this is an important skill to have because it demonstrates that you are aware of other people in social and business situations.

    I’m reading Focus by Daniel Goleman. One of the topics he discusses is social sensitivity, which is being able to recognize social contexts and cues in conversations. In business, and in life, this is an important skill to have because it demonstrates that you are aware of other people in social and business situations. If you’ve ever been in a situation where someone isn’t socially sensitive, you know what its like. The person keeps talking about themselves and whatever they are interested in, and doesn’t listen to anything you say and refuses to see the nonverbal cues that also demonstrate you aren’t interested. When this kind of situation occurs it becomes very awkward for everyone around the person. I see this situation occur a lot in networking. I’ll go to a networking event and there will be one or two people there who just don’t seem to be aware of how much they are hogging the conversation.

    It is possible to become more socially sensitive. One of the ways you can do this involves practicing mindfulness. Being mindful involves focusing on being aware of your surroundings and other people, in a manner where you pay close attention to what is being said or done. Before you go to a networking event, take a few moments and ask yourself what you want to say and how you want to show up to people. When you go to the event, keep that awareness in your mind so that you focus on only telling people what you want them to know. When they speak, focus on listening to them intently. Ask some questions to show interest in them (you can come up with these before you go to the event as well). By doing this you will be more aware of other people and it will help you learn how to read the verbal and nonverbal cues they share.

    In situations where you are doing business with someone from another country, social sensitivity is even more important. Each culture has its own particular behaviors which are considered acceptable, and other behaviors which aren’t considered acceptable. Recently I started working with a client from another culture. When we discussed some business strategies, she explained to me that there were some things she couldn’t do or would need to do differently because of how people would respond in her country. She needed to be less direct than an American might be, because such directness could be considered rude.

    Even in the U.S. you will find that certain subcultures or ethnicities have different expectations about how business should be conducted. What might be acceptable to one ethnicity, might be considered rude to another. It’s very important that in such situations you make the extra effort to learn what is considered acceptable behavior versus rude behavior. By demonstrating such social sensitivity you show that you are aware of and respect what other people feel is important. In business and in life respect is what really shows how committed you are to developing the relationships that make your business successful.