Paid advertising on Facebook: the boost your content needs?

Pay us on FacebookIs Facebook marketing – you know, the “free” marketing all businesses should be taking advantage of – becoming a pay-to-play landscape?

In short, yes. But before we start bemoaning our budgets, let’s consider why this shift isn’t really a bad thing.

  1. Facebook realigned its algorithms so that individual newsfeeds focus more on friends and family of the individual, rather than businesses or publishing outlets. While this does make it more difficult to get those organic eyeballs on your business content without coughing up some dough, the move was designed to keep users happy. If the users aren’t happy, or all they see is clickbait, they abandon the platform. In short: we WANT Facebook to keep the users happy so that we have an audience to market to in the first place.
  2. These changes are driven by a desire to cut through clutter and see relevant content – and Facebook advertising has targeting features designed to get you in front of the audience most relevant to you. Not everyone on Facebook wants or needs the product or service you’re selling. As Facebook continues to gather data on its users and adjust newsfeeds to keep them happy, it gives marketers access in the form of targeting tools to make sure we’re reaching the right people.
  3. Social media marketing is only as good as the content behind it. The same few bucks we cough up to target that relevant audience may also make us pause and think “Is this post worth the money?” Does it offer the user something of value or drive an action? Is the wording concise, clear, and spelled/punctuated correctly? Do links point to appropriate areas of your website? No one wants to waste money – we may put more thought into posts we have to pay for.
  4. It’s not THAT expensive. (I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking I should have led with this one, but the three items above are more important.) Facebook offers three different paid advertising levels, starting with the easy-to-deploy and very inexpensive Boost Post. A very minimal investment can greatly increase the number of eyeballs on your content.

No one really likes to spend money, especially on things we’ve been accustomed to thinking of as free. However, it’s worth remembering that your posts may be reaching as little as 2% of your followers organically. A few dollars will not only give you more visibility and increased reach, but could improve your content – and your audience – as well.

-Amy

Don’t Be So Negative – Leveraging White Space

Leveraging White Space While I was attending the Digital Summit Detroit last week, the topic of white space came up in a few presentations. Meanwhile in some projects at the agency we had some discussions with clients who wanted to fill every available square inch.

Early in my career, I was taught that white space wasn’t what was left over after all the visual elements were used – it was a design element just like type or photos. Every day I see examples that illustrate the “cover every square inch” mantra. Like trade show booths with copy down at foot level. Or billboards with 20-word headlines, four URLs, and social media icons for every channel. Sometimes, quite simply:

Less is more.

See how I did that? You read that line because it was all on its own. It had impact, power, and simplicity. Three simple words. With space around them. A few other key benefits of white space:

  • It helps the reader prioritize – when the entire space is filled, the brain can’t process what to pay attention to first. So, your primary benefit could get overlooked entirely.
  • It improves readability – by making elements stand out, they are easily and quickly read and grasped.
  •  It separates and groups elements – keeping copy associated with the relevant visual is a key benefit of leaving some white space.
  • It creates balance – the reader’s eye likes order and balance, thus attracting greater readership.
  • It invokes imagination – by leaving some white space, the readers mind becomes freed to process what you’re saying and engages them to explore the possibilities.

An additional thought – “white space” doesn’t have to be white. When the term is used, it’s simply negative space. The color doesn’t matter, what does is the fact that it’s not filled by other elements.

So the next time you’re tempted to cram in just one more graphic to occupy that “empty” space, consider this:

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

-Sean-

Does Your Content Have Superpowers?

Content marketing | Content Superpowers | PWB MarketingA few years ago, while serving on a social media panel during a presentation to a local entrepreneurial group, I casually remarked that, “Content is everything; social media is just plumbing.” In the years since then, I’ve seen this proven over and over both with clients and with brands I follow. In order to succeed, your content marketing needs superpowers.

This post examines some of the content marketing your brand needs to succeed.

Exceptional Audience Relevance

Social – more than any other medium – has to connect with what your customers and prospects want to learn. If it doesn’t, they’re on to the next thing. Too many marketers are pushing content that THEY want to tell customers, as opposed to information that customers are seeking.

Powerful Stickiness

Remember the old days of “sticky” web content? Where your reason for existence was to get customers to return to your web site? Sticky content and content marketing are essentially the same concept. According to a study by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway, 84% of a company’s fans are already customers.  Only relevant, interesting, and fresh content keeps people coming back.

Incredible Engagement

In his book SocialnomicsEric Qualman observes that social media marketing is, “More like Dale Carnegie than Mad Men. Less about selling and more about listening.” Social is a unique channel because of its allowance for real-time dialogue. Harness this ability with content that asks questions, solicits opinions, and takes other actions to encourage audience response.

Robust Adaptability

Successful content marketers generate content for use across multiple channels. A LinkedIn post might lead to a white paper on your web site, expanding on the post topic. A targeted Facebook ad might direct users to a a topic-specific landing page. Great content is great content – just be sure to recognize the unique nature of each channel and modify appropriately. For example, text on a web page won’t make a dynamic Pinterest post without adaptation.

Brand Power

What does your brand stand for? How are you positioned? What is your unique value proposition? Content marketing should clearly and consistently support your brand and values. If you don’t have a clearly defined set of brand values, we can help you with that.

These are but a few of the content marketing superpowers your brand needs. Want to know the others? Or put this to work? We should chat.

-Sean-

Social Media Size Guide 2016

To help our social media clients, we created this handy infographic. Print it out and hang it up somewhere handy. If you need help with social media management or social media listening, PWB is here to help. Contact us at 734-995-5000 or at dialogue@pwb.com.

social media image size guide 2016

Is This The End for Google+?

google plusI hate to say it, but I have a hard time using Google+. In fact I generally don’t promote Google+ much, and find very little value in it. I do have clients who have been forced into accounts since they created YouTube channels or were transitioned to Google+ after they had Google Places pages. Not many of my clients use it though.  Perhaps that is due to individual clients goals, or perhaps it is because Google+ pages that lack any substance, don’t get traction. Regardless, I have a hard time supporting it.

Even as far back as 2011, I had a hard time determining IF my clients needed to set up a Google+ page. Today I ran into an article that brought that to mind again. What I read made me consider that these changes may be the beginning of the end to Google+.

Throughout the last few years, Google has actually been back peddling on several of Google+ mandates put into place. That’s why these new changes, specifically for Google Play, are not that unusual. The changes will ultimately benefit Android users, since very soon Google Play will become less integrated with Google+.

As it is explained in the article, Google Play Services are currently tied to individual Google+ social media accounts. All users are required to sign in, which allows players to continue game progress from any device. Doing so however makes game activity visible to anyone on the web. There are some options to minimize this, however it takes quite a bit of effort on the part of the user to make their game play less visible. Soon though, users will not be required to sign in to Google+ to access games.

I suppose that sounds like a big mess. In some ways it is. Integration of Google+ into “everything Google” has caused a big mess. Certainly Google+ falls short on competing against Facebook, and has backed down from a few other mandates in the past year or so. As we begin to see Google+ unravel, I begin to question the strength of the platform and find myself asking, “Is there value in using Google+?” and “is this the beginning of the end for the social media platform?”

Please add you your thoughts on Google+ in the comments below.

 

Social Media Posting Frequency

Last week I read with dread a Tweet and subsequent blog post answering the question “How many times should I post on Social Media Sites?” It even went so far to advise readers the ideal “number of times/day (or week)” for social media posting frequency. In reading the post, it really made me consider… Wouldn’t it be great if my Magic 8 ball told me how many times to post and what to post on social media sites?

Wouldn’t it be great if it everyone knew the magic social media posting frequency? The problem with giving that bit of advice is, in telling clients “how often to publish on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter” or anywhere else, is that individual company needs and goals are not being considered!

Instead, I would argue that completing a social media audit is the first step in determining social media posting frequency. Determine what a company has first THEN develop a well thought-out marketing plan. Here is what I suggest doing to help determine how often to post to social media.

First review, review and re-review all available analytical information. Look at Google Analytics, Twitter and Facebook Insights, or other available analytical data. Then answer the following questions:

  1. Does the analytical information indicate when potential clients are viewing shared content? Wednesday at noon seems to be a hot time for many of my Facebook clients, however a friend of mine who is a divorce attorney has found that weekends are when more people are viewing his content.
  2. Does the information offer insight into what the audience is looking at, what they are reacting to AND what content an audience is taking an action on? Knowing this will help determine what content “moves the needle.”
  3. Are the individuals viewing the content the desired “audience”? One of my clients encourages the office staff to “Like” everything on Facebook. While this is all well and good, a better idea might be to ask the office staff to comment and share the content to increase the reach of the post.
  4. What are the company goals in sharing content on social media? Is the goal to become more visible to an audience? Is becoming an industry expert the goal? Should posts only share the latest deals? It’s always good to take on the 80/20 rule where only 20% of shared information is self-promotion. It is important though tat all content shared is still relevant, and liked, by the audience. Sometimes it’s not about what moves the needle,  but instead just a venue to share good information.

My final bit of advice when considering social media posting frequency, is to consider the time and resources available for the platforms being considered. There is nothing worse than wanting to participate on all of the social media platforms when they can not be managed properly. There must be time available to share, collect and analyze the data. Take the bite that you can actually chew and don’t have eyes bigger than your stomach!

Social Media Image Size Guide [INFOGRAPHIC]

I have been updating a couple client social media sites recently and realized that it has been a while since we updated a social media image size guide. In fact, June 2013 was the last time I published information on correct sizing of images!

The size of social media images changes from time to time, so having the most current data available is paramount. Each social media profile has unique size specifications and failure to properly size images may result in misalignment, cutting off part of the image or simply not being able to post them. There is nothing more frustrating to me, than seeing a company that does not have consistent branding across all social media profiles, so please feel free to print and reference this social media image size guide.

This infographic is a great source to reference when creating the correct size images for your LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Having trouble managing your social media? Need assistance with analytics or even initially creating your social media presence? Perhaps a social media audit is necessary. Regardless of your need, PWB marketing can assist your company in getting the most from social media.  Call our office today at 734-995-5000 for your social media answers.

 

2015 Social Media Predictions

There is always interesting discussion at the end of one year looking into the next – What are the social media predictions, trends and hot topics to look forward to. This year I thought to analyze several of the expert predictions for what is to come from a recent Business 2 Community post.

Many marketers are looking forward to a “buy” button availability. During summer 2014 the “buy” button has been tested on Facebook and a roll-out to the rest of us seems to be in the eminent future. And who wouldn’t love the one-click opportunity to buy when the products or services seem impending from those potential Facebook clients.  As the article says, this is a strong prediction for 2015!

With the introduction of the ‘buy’ button both on Twitter & Facebook, social commerce will truly get its wings. To ensure the most targeted offer on social for customers based on demographic & behavioral attributes, vendors will build cross channel consumer profiles. Customers will benefit with more relevant offers and companies will benefit with a more comprehensive customer profile across social and traditional channels.

Impending Facebook algorithm changes will make it harder to be promotional. post too many “look at me” posts and your content will not be shown to your target audience. In this social media overloaded society, it will be increasingly important to create content that engages your audience.  Starting in January, content on Facebook pages will have increased scrutiny, that why I think that this next statement is likely true for a 2015 outlook. It’s a no-brainer really, work smarter and not necessarily harder. Invest more on sharing your influence and expertise and less on the shameless self-promotions that many are getting tired of seeing. It is not about quantity, but instead good quality!

Businesses will no longer strive to push content out daily. Instead, they will focus on longer form content (stats show effectiveness here) that provides context, hard data and analysis.

 

Another thought shared by one of the 25 industry experts I agree with, as well as disagree with. As far as social media predictions go, it is certain that social media will continue to be further integrated within business practices, how can it not? What I disagree on is that business owners should never choose their social media channels before considering their overall marketing plan – Just because a social platform is out there, does not mean that you should be there. Be sure to choose the right platforms for your business to be on. Also always be aware of the implications of being there. Do you have the manpower to properly manage the platform? Is your voice being heard? Are your customers there? Careful consideration needs to take place FIRST!

Social media will continue to be more closely integrated with day-to-day business practices. DISAGREE: Social media will continue to be more closely integrated with day-to-day business practices. Many businesses will think social first when crafting a marketing plan or developing sales outreach strategies. In addition, businesses will continue to invest more of their marketing and strategy budgets toward existing and new social platforms, as well as social analytics. Specifically, as the organic reach of promotional content faces more challenges, paid placements will become essential in reaching potential customers via social media.

Feel free to read more of what the social media predictions for 2015. There are several more thoughts that merit careful consideration. No matter what happens though, during 2015 we will continue to find more businesses participating in social media to reach their customers.  Next week I will have share several of the PWB staff predictions for the coming year too, so check back. Until then, have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!

New Facebook Admin Changes

Most Facebook Page administrators know the frustration of posting updates and commenting on a post on it. First you needed to be either using the page as the “business” then you needed to toggle back and forth to “use the page as.” Within the last few days though I have noticed Facebook Admin changes that have made posting, commenting and liking a page a little cleaner.

Facebook Page Administrator

Users can still use the top drop down arrow (#1) to choose the Page they wish to administer. This allows the Facebook Admin to view only the content for that Facebook Page including the Wall for that page. In doing this Page Admins will know they are on that page by how the name appears at the top. It clearly indicates what Facebook Page being viewed and worked on. This will allow the Facebook Admin to also view who posted comments (#2) on the wall should there be several Page Admins.

In 2011, Facebook introduced the option to post on a Page as an individual or on behalf of the business or group the Facebook Page represented. This was done by clicking a link at the top of the page to either post as “PWB Marketing Communications” or, as in my case, as “Tammy Mayrend”. Pages now automatically post as the page you are administering for.The toggle link at the top of the page is no longer visible. In posting this way, I still see some personal content, the user can still see their name and profile icon, however when typing in the content field, the update posts as “The Page” (#1).

I know, terribly exciting, so what are the Facebook Admin changes? This is where I get a little excited. I work with multiple Facebook Pages with several of the Pages having multiple Page Admins. Sometimes posting to a Page is challenging to those who don’t post  often. I know many Page Admins who struggle with Liking and Commenting on posts without clicking over. In essence they “Like” and “Comment” as the Page and forget to toggle over to “Like” or “Comment” as themselves. This latest Facebook Page change, helps those sometimes users.

The change I noticed is this:

See the little drop down arrow above the comment field? It allows Page Admins to choose to “Like” or “Comment” as themselves OR for the Page! Such a silly little thing to get geeked about but it sure does make life a little simpler.

And before you ask, no, this is still not the case for those administering sites through mobile. I signed into the Facebook Pages App and that option is not there. I know many Page Admins that struggle with this since mobile is how they access Facebook 90% of the time. This Facebook change appears only to be for desktop users.

So Facebook powers-that-be, can we make this change for mobile platforms as well. If not for the Pages App, then at least for Facebook mobile.

Having difficulty with social media management? We can help. Call us at 734-995-5000.

Social Media Tweetable Facts

social media facts 2014Social media statistics these days are all about big data, how companies are collecting (and using) the data, where this data comes from and how social media sites are used.  Do you know the recent B2B social media facts from fiction? Here are several of the latest Tweetable social media facts to consider – No matter how you look at it though, social media is changing faster than a blink of an eye.

Social Media Facts:

[FACT] Each day, Facebook devours 500x more data than the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter devours 12x more. TWEET THIS

[FACT] Although data mining poses a challenge to today’s marketers, 61% say big data will overhaul marketing practices for the better. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 71% of chief marketing officers feel their organization is not prepared to deal with the impending big data explosion.  TWEET THIS

[FACT] 70% of the Fortune 500 companies, have have a Facebook page. @CNET TWEET THIS

[FACT] 34% of Fortune 500 companies have a public facing blog. @CNET  TWEET THIS

[FACT] 47% of users indicate Facebook influences their purchase behavior. #B2C. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 33% of Facebook users use a mobile phone to primarily access Facebook. TWEET THIS

[FACT] 74% of online adults use social networking sites. @pewresearch TWEET THIS