I’m a lazy pinned. I’m working hard to get more excited about Pinterest but I still only use it sporadically. If you are lazy like me or even if you don’t use Pinterest at all there are a few things you can do to encourage more pins from your site. For example you can make sure it’s easy to pin your content by adding a ‘pin it’ button to your site.
If you want to find out how sucessful you are being you can find out how often content from your site has been pinned. See below:
This weeks cool tool PinAlerts is a really handy one that will tell you when someone has pinned something from your website. This gives you the opportunity to thank the pinner as well as monitoring the success.
About a year ago Facebook took away our post targeting options. At that stage we were only able to target Facebook posts by country and language. I’ve been waiting for ages for them to return and it was only on Friday whilst teaching a Facebook workshop that I discovered where they had gone.
The good news is that not only can you enable targeting but that it is now far more comprehensive. Here’s how it works.
Finding other local Facebook pages or even finding Facebook pages from other businesses in your industry has always been hard work. I’ve spent hours trawling through Facebook and Google search results looking for page examples to share or for my customers to follow.
This weeks cool tool Social Searcher is the easy way to find local Facebook pages.
Type a search term into the search bar and click ‘Search’. I searched my local town ‘Athy’
Social Searcher then gives you a list of results that include that keyword along with a like count, a talking about statistics and check in’s.
I’ve tested it along side Google’s search for ‘Athy Facebook’ and it does throw up far more relevant results.
It’s hugely important as small businesses that we monitor the pages of our customers if we are B2B and those of our competitors. Following the pages of other businesses in a similar industry also helps us build contacts and relationships and It’s also a great way to get inspiration or ideas. This is going to be a massive time saver.
When I was compiling my list of digital predictions for 2013 I’d never heard the term Real Time Marketing (RTM) but now it’s one that seems to be mentioned daily in online marketing circles. Although the term has, according to Wikipedia, been knocking around since 1990 it’s really coming of age in with social media.
The first time I heard the term was during coverage of the Superbowl. During a power cut that interrupted the event Oreo came up with this now famous piece of content. Since then it seems like brands are desperately trying to jump on the RTM bandwagon, some more successfully than others.
Thatcher & Oddbins
You’d have to have been offline this week to have missed the news that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died. The reaction online both in Britain and Ireland is mixed. Many are celebrating the passing of a woman who they hold responsible for the issues that are currently tearing their country apart. Others are paying tribute to her as a strong no-nonsense leader. It would be fair to say that most of the comment in my own feeds has been the former. It seems that the Manager of Oddbins Crouch End had a similar opinion, sending this tweet from the official business account.
To me the tweet seems quite restrained. They haven’t #tagged it and it doesn’t make direct reference to the death, just suggests it. It seems however that Thatcher loyalists and those who believe the celebrations were untasteful took exception. The tweet was swiftly removed. The fact that the story reached my Twitter timeline shows that the story has been spreading far and wide. Although there was lots of negative responses those who are pleased at Thatcher’s death may be more inclined to buy from Oddbins in the future. If only they had done the research first.
Policy & Guidelines
I doubt the manager of Oddbins, who has since been suspended, was familiar with the idea of RTM but it is clear that the tweet was designed to bring in business from a current event. Examples like this are why it’s so important to have a set of social media guidelines from head office so that you know how you should react in particular situations, what is acceptable and what isn’t and to set the correct tone of voice to represent your brand. Even small businesses or one person businesses need to put a policy in place, this way we have something to refer to in the heat of the moment. It’s easy to react with emotion, in this case the obvious delight of the manager, a policy brings logic back into play.
I’ve featured Visual.ly as a cool tool before but this new service is definitely worth a mention.
We all know that Google Analytics can be a time suck, it is so in depth that it can take a long time to sift our way through to the information that we want. That’s where Visual.ly comes in, presenting our Google Analytics information in an easy to digest infographic.
I work with a lot of local businesses who feel they should have a Facebook presence. Very often they set up a page, start posting content, some even get a good core of Facebook Likes but struggle with what they should do next. If this is you it’s time to spring clean your Facebook marketing strategy. Here’s my tips for making it work for you.
When someone lands on your page for the first time what impression do they get? Do you have an inviting cover image? Does your profile image represent you well? Just like your shop window your cover image should attract people and show what they might find inside. Designing an attractive header image doesn’t have to cost money. Online photo editing tools like Pic Monkey make it easy to create collages and to crop photographs to fit the right size.
2. About Page
Is your About page up to date? Does it have your right contact details? Does your map appear and are you marked at the right spot? If you are having problems getting your map read here for the solution I found.
Once you have a map you also have the opportunity to add sub categories. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive list to choose from so it can be trial and error in order to find the right one for your business. Your sub category must appear in the drop down menu when you start to type to be valid. (see video below)
3. Who Are Your Target Market And Do They Like Your Page?
Our first port of call for getting people to like our page is usually our friends. This makes sense, our friends are invested in us and our business, they want us to succeed so that we can buy a round next time we are in the pub. They are also excellent at supporting us and spreading the word about our business. Many will not fit into our target market however. Take a look at the demographics for the people who like your page and check that you are reaching enough people of the right age group/gender and location.
Whether you are currently reaching the right people or not you need to start thinking about attracting the right people to your page. Start to think about what sort of content you can create that will appeal to them. Make a list of their interests, activities and where they live. Get this right and you are giving people interesting and compelling information to share that will get the right people interested in your page.
4. What Is Your Strongest Selling Point?
Ask yourself why customers come to you. Is it because you are the cheapest? Is it because you are exclusive? Do you have knowledgeable staff? Is it the quality of product or the friendly welcome? Once you have defined this you can use this asset in your marketing strategy. Make sure your Facebook marketing compliments your strengths and becomes an extension of what you do in store.
5. What Is Working Already?
Take a look at your insights page and at the insights for each post. Which posts are getting the most engagement? What type of post are they? What time of day are you posting them? Are they relevant to your business. Likealyzer can help you with this too.
If there is a particular kind of post that gains most attention try and work out what it is about that post that works and replicate it. Warning – It’s still important to post a variety of content so that you reach the maximum amount of people. For example maybe links don’t have as large a reach as status updates but if they are relevant to your target market and particularly if you are linking back to your own website you need to include them occasionally.
6. How You Can Reach Your Existing Customers?
Your existing customers should be the second easiest group of people to reach with your Facebook page after your friends. Start to think of ways that you can encourage them to Like your Facebook page. Make sure you advertise your page in-store and give people a reason to Like it. For example will you be sharing tips & information. Will you post special offers? New stock as it comes in?
Think of a competition that will attract them. Can you work something in-store into the competition, maybe create a sweepstakes where the question to enter is related to something in your shop. Then advertise the competition in store as well as on your Facebook page.
Traditionally word of mouth marketing has always been the best kind of marketing. Being recommended by your existing customers will bring you new customers Your Facebook page is an online tool that can help facilitate word of mouth marketing. Keep your customers informed about what you do, what services you provide, what makes you special and you are give them content that is interesting, informative or entertaining that they will want to share.
You can also involve your customers in what you do. Ask them questions about what stock they would like you to carry, ask their opinion on something. The more you can get them involved in these decisions the more invested they will feel in your company and the more they will want to see you succeed.
8. Devise A Content Strategy
This should bring together all the points above. You need to decide what you are going to post and when. How often will you post? What sort of content, what is the desired result? Some posts will be aimed at gaining reach and audience others will be sales posts. Make sure you are including a variety of content too, status updates, photos, videos and links.
I find it best to put these into a document so that I can quickly see what I need to post and prepare content in advance.
Don’t forget why you are doing Facebook. Before you start on your new content strategy you should set yourself some very definite goals for what you want to achieve. Make these SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Sensitive.
Measure your success against these SMART goals and adjust your strategy accordingly.
I’ve just scratched the surface with these tips. What have I missed? What do you do when you review your Facebook page?
It’s Easter weekend and we’re having a cold one here in Ireland. If like us you have a long weekend, take some time to put your feet up and read my top links of the week.
How To Set Up A Facebook Business Page
Yes I know most of you have probably already set up a Facebook business page and are well versed in how to. It is sometimes worth going back to basics though and this post from Social Media Examiner does just that. It’s a step by step guide to setting up your page, taking into account all the new features. It’s a great one to pass on to someone you know who is just starting out.
The 5 Types Of Social Media Complainers
People live in fear of the complainers, people who arrive on their social media channels to complain or have a good rant. We shouldn’t fear them however, these are mostly customers who can teach us about our business and particularly what we don’t do well. We have the opportunity through social media to address complaints and customers, to turn them around and showcase our customer service. This infographic discovered via All Twitter breaks down the different sort of complainers you may encounter and shows you how you can deal with them.
The Wave System – How To Get Your Facebook Page Updates Seen By More People
Since Facebook changed their Edgerank algorithm towards the end of last year page owners have been up in arms about the reach of their posts. There are a few cheats and quick fixes for some areas but the system described here on pro blogger will take far more work. The benefit will be huge however. I’m not sure I’m ready to run a campaign like this but it’s something I’ll definitely try at some stage.
How To Be A World Class Real Time Marketer
This is a term that seems to have really taken off since the Superbowl. During the event there was a massive power cut and several brands, Oreo most prominently responded by pushing out complimentary content. Since then hardly a day goes by without someone talking about Real Time Marketing or Newsjacking. As this article points out Newsjacking and Real Time Marketing are two different things but both are indicative of the new power of social media on marketing. Social media gives us the opportunity to respond instantly in a way that not even radio or TV can. Here’s Hubspot’s take on RTM and how to use it.
Vine And The RTE Archive
RTE is the national broadcaster here in Ireland. As we all sit at home shivering or roam the streets taking photos of the freak snowstorms we’ve had over the last week they cut together this Vine showing us what the weather should be like, what it was like this week in 1965. I love how they’ve used Vine to tell this story.
5 Ways To Proactively Engage As A Brand
It’s not just enough to create content and push it out via social media anymore. We need to be proactive and engage with our customers. Many of us forget about the ‘social’ in social media when in fact it’s that aspect that can make us most successful. Our content needs to be engaging, we need to listen and respond, we need to know our customers and thanks to social media we can do this better than ever before. This article on Social Media Today talks you through five of the best ways to proactively engage.
Fake Tweets & The Ethics
I stumbled upon this tool myself on Twitter last week, it helps you easily create fake tweets enabling you to create screenshots that look 100% authentic from any user you wish saying whatever you wish. Of course there are massive ethical issues with a tool like this so I decided to step away as soon as I’d found it. I really like what Brian Solis has done with it, drawing our attention to it’s existence and asking what this tool and tools like it can mean for social media.
And From Spiderworking.com This Week
Does your Facebook cover photo comply with the 20% rule?
How to add the right category to your Facebook business page
Up until now it’s been really hard to categorise business pages on Facebook, they give us such a small selection to choose from that it can be quite frustrating finding one that comes near to your business type. Luckily there is a fix, you can add sub categories and there’s one for almost everyone. This weeks one minute video shows you how.
That’s it from me for another week. Have a great Easter and if you are as much of a chocolate addict as me… enjoy!
The lack of accurate categories for Facebook pages has been a bug bear for many business users for a long time. Now with Graph Search being rolled out it becomes more important that our pages are categorised correctly. With such a small choice of main categories it can be hard to find the right one for your business. Luckily there is now a solution. You can add sub-categories to your page, although there is no comprehensive list of sub categories, I’ve found through trial and error that there is something for almost everyone.
How do you enable sub categories? This short video shows you.
There was some great news last week for Facebook page owners. The rules for cover photos for pages have changed. We used to be prevented from adding contact info, calls to action and discount info to our covers, now anything goes EXCEPT the 20% rule. We are still only allowed to devote 20% of our cover photo to text. This weeks cool tool will help you know you are compliant.
Once the image is loaded click on all the boxes including text
As you can see Mari’s page only contains 16% text so it’s compliant.
This tool is going to be very handy, now that we can add more info to our covers we can really exploit the 20% that Facebook does allow. I’m going to enjoy playing around with this tool for my next cover.
**UPDATE: Since I wrote this post Mari Smith has written a more comprehensive review on her blog – Read it here**
Social Media World Forum didn’t disappoint this year. Here’s my top tips and moments from the event.
Crowdsourcing – Mojito Toothpase
‘The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas’ – Linus Pauling (1901 – 1994)
The final speaker of any conference has a hard task, delegates are getting sleepy, we’ve had information overload and we’re thinking about getting home. Markus Maurer from Migros was just the man to wake us up. His presentation on how Migros used crowdsourcing was fascinating.
Migros is Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain and they have taken an innovative approach to getting customers involved. They crowdsource ideas for products. The process involves asking people what they would like to see, narrowing down choices, testing and then producing the products. This can be as simple as knowing that their customers want Vanilla Coke to creating a new flavour of Toothpaste – Mojito (no alcohol included) or naming a shower gel ‘Dirty Harry’.
As small businesses there is a lot we can take away from this approach. We may not always be able to create our own products but we can certainly talk to our social media communities and listen to them to find out what they really want us to stock or offer.
Making Content Social By Design
One of the events I was looking forward to the most at SMWF was the presentation by Karlijn Vogel-Meijer from KLM. KLM airlines have certainly been innovative with their approach to social media and Karlijn didn’t let us down.
It was the volcanic ash cloud crisis in 2010 that grounded many airlines in Europe that sparked KLM’s approach to social media. At the time there were only a few people managing Twitter and Facebook. Because of the scale of the ash cloud crisis the company recruited everyone available to help respond to consumers on social media including management. It was this that really sold the power and importance of social media to the company.
The key takeaway for me from Karlijn’s presentation was ‘Making content social by design’. What does this mean? She cited a promotion that the airline ran that gave customers the chance to lower the price of a specific fare by sharing it. Each time the content was shared the flight price would drop by 10c. When the promotion ended they sold the flight for the discounted price seeing a massive boost in bookings.
Similar to the crowdsourcing example above by getting customers to participate in the process they saw a boost in sales. As small businesses we should be looking at creating more innovative content like this, getting customers involved and rewarding them. We might not have the budget for a fancy app but we could manually incentivise sharing in a similar way. It’s going to have a far better effect on our ROI than asking for a share or like.
Don’t Control The Conversation, Participate
One of the breakout sessions I attended was on reputation management. It was an interactive session where we worked in groups to solve a problem.
The session started with an introduction to reputation management from Cedric Cauderlier from Danone. Their first attempt at crisis management had followed a pretty standard format. They had written a response and went out on social channels to share their side of the story. From this they discovered that people can be hostile when you jump into a conversation, their solution was to become active participants on all the social channels that their customers inhabited. It wasn’t just about their own channels they joined and got involved in message boards and Twitter. They no longer tried to just control the conversation but became part of their community.
This is an important lesson to businesses of all sizes. We can become obsessed with creating and pushing out content when in fact conversation is one of the most valuable aspects of social media. Another speaker pointed to Gary Vaynerchuk’s method of spending 10% of his social time creating content and 90% getting involved in conversation.
The group task on reputation management involved us choosing an industry and discussing how they could manage their reputations online. I chose a table at random and ended up sitting in the banking/financial services section. It was fascinating to hear about the challenges affecting this sector. Regulations mean that disclaimers have to be added to almost everything they say and do, limiting the content they can push out. Many had resorted to just sharing information on their CSR. We talked about how they could address these issues and came up with three key points.
1. Transparency – As advising customers and promoting products was out of the question due to regulation we felt it was important to manage customer expectations. Telling people directly what you as a business were and were not able to discuss online would ease customer frustration.
2. Humanise the banks – Banks are huge institutions and they can often seem cold and impersonal. As we start to do less and less banking face to face this problem will get larger. Although I as a consumer probably wouldn’t follow my banking institution on Facebook I would probably follow my local branch. We discussed showcasing the staff, opening branch specific Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to capitalise on this. We felt that by doing this and by sharing customer stories we were able to put a more human face on banking and finance.
3. Educate – Banking can be laced with jargon, we felt that social media gave banks the opportunity to educate and inform their audience.
You Don’t Have To Be Frivolous On Twitter
The first speaker of the day was Bruce Daisley from Twitter. He talked about the tone of voice that brands use on Twitter. It’s commonly thought that a frivolous and fun tone of voice works best but this isn’t always the case. Many brands would find that fun doesn’t fit with their image. Bruce showed us a triangle with a three factors that can effect tone of voice at each point. ‘Fun’ ‘Give info’ and ‘Help’. He believes that a brand can set their tone of voice by choosing two points from this triangle. For example O2 are ‘Fun’ and ‘Help’. Innocent are ‘Fun’ and ‘Give info’. And Samsung Mobile are ‘Give info’ and ‘Help’.
This would be an interesting exercise to do for a small business, particularly if there is more than one person managing your social media accounts. Does it fit your business for you to be fun? Would the other profiles suit you better? By setting your tone of voice you will ensure continuity even when different members of staff are Tweeting.
So they are my highlights from day two. Were you there? What did you enjoy most? What would you add? … oh and did I mention I won a bottle of champagne from Meltwater Buzz?