Facebook Ads Changes: What Marketers Need to Know

Facebook has gone all in to provide businesses with tools and targeting options to connect with customers and prospects in the moments that matter.

In this article I’ll share the five biggest things to happen with Facebook ads.

five facebook ad changes

Discover what marketers need to know about five Facebook ads changes.

#1: Call Now Button Connects You to Mobile Users

Facebook launched a local awareness initiative in 2014 that gave advertisers the option to add a Get Directions call-to-action button to their ads. This year Facebook took it up a notch with the Call Now button.

This is an important lead generation tool for businesses of all kinds, but especially local businesses. It basically takes an entire stage right out of the funnel. Rather than send people to your website or Facebook page hoping they’ll contact you, the Call Now button allows you to let people call you directly from your ad.

facebook call now button gif

The Call Now button makes it easy for people to call you.

Smart targeting on Facebook can get you in front of motivated consumers on mobile. Adding the Call Now button gives people a direct link to convert from the ad, no extra steps required.

#2: Dynamic Product Ads Sync With Sales Catalogs

As powerful as Google Shopping ads are, it only made sense that Facebook would enter this arena, too.

Though they serve a similar purpose, Facebook’s product ads do not work in the same way as Google’s product listing ads. Facebook’s product ads are actually more like Google’s dynamic remarketing display ads. They use Facebook’s targeting parameters, or the consumer’s history on your site or in your app to serve ads.

The ads are template-based, meaning you don’t have to spend time on new creative for each ad. The templates pull images, product names, pricing and other attributes from your catalog, based on the keywords you’ve provided. This catalog integration also means your ads will stop running once your product is out of stock.

dynamic product ad template

Templates pull images, product names, pricing and other information from your catalog.

Best of all, these templates work for news feed and sidebar ads across all displays, so you don’t need separate ads for desktop, tablet and mobile.

#3: Carousel Ads Come to Mobile

Facebook launched carousel ads last year, but this summer they extended the option to mobile. This format has a lot of interesting possibilities, thanks to its ability to display multiple images with different links within one ad unit.

This mobile carousel ad from Tinker Crate spotlights different features and views of their product.

facebook carousel ad on mobile

The carousel format is a natural fit for mobile devices.

This spring, Neiman Marcus used carousel ads to showcase shoe and handbag collections and reported three times more conversions and 85% higher click-through rates, compared to standard ad units. The average lift in conversion across early testers was 12%.

Given the natural inclination to swipe sideways on mobile, carousel ads are an intuitive, seamless ad format for mobile users that gives you a creative, engaging way to tell stories.

#4: Updated Ad Tools Boost Productivity

A June overhaul gave Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor facelifts, as well as added functionality.

On the Power Editor side, this release offers a more logical interface, but also enhances bulk editing and advanced search capabilities.

power editor placeit imagea

The redesigned Power Editor has a more intuitive interface. Image: Placeit.

Ads Manager has a more streamlined feel, with performance metrics featured more prominently. Facebook said the update means “advertisers can quickly reference how their ads are performing in the same environment where they create and edit them.” Essentially, you now create your ads and manage them in one place.

What’s particularly awesome about this update is that you can bulk-edit the targeting and budgets for several ads at once and use the Create Similar option to duplicate ads and campaigns.

If you aren’t seeing these new features yet, don’t worry. They’re rolling out globally in the coming months.

#5: Ads Manager App Brings Campaign Management to Mobile

Small- and medium-sized advertisers rejoiced earlier this year when Facebook released the stand-alone Ads Manager app. You can now track ad performance, edit ads,revise budgets, adjust scheduling and create ads, right from the app. (You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play).

ads manager app in use placeit

The Ads Manager app enables you to create and manage ads from a mobile device. Image: Placeit.

The stand-alone app also lets you receive push notifications, save new ad drafts,create ads using photos from your phone and more.

Now, you can be as mobile as the people you’re trying to reach and not feel chained to a desktop computer to monitor your ad campaigns.

Look to See These Ad Formats in the Future

Prefill Form Fields with Lead Ads

This summer, Facebook announced they’re testing a new mobile ad format calledlead ads. These ads auto-populate some form fields on mobile devices using information that’s already known about the person. This makes the submission process much easier, as the user can just verify the accuracy of the information and click through.

facebook lead ad example

Lead ads make it easier for people to fill out forms on mobile devices.

Lead ads might be a good option if you want people to sign up for your company’s newsletter, request a follow-up phone call or receive a price estimate. Once you get in front of motivated consumers on their mobile devices, you don’t want to risk losing them by asking them to type in a bunch of information.

Facebook has promised to share the results of their early testing.

Design Immersive Mobile Ads

This summer at Cannes Lions (an annual ad industry festival), Facebook gave a sneak peek at an immersive mobile ad format they’re working on.

Basically, the ad takes over the screen when a user clicks it in his or her news feed. When it expands to full screen, the ad becomes a browsable microsite, but it keeps the user within the Facebook ecosystem.

This ad format will demand a great deal of creative and will probably suit larger brands, at least in its early days.

 

Shared via smexaminer

By
Published August 24, 2015 

Tips To Use Google Search Efficiently

dr seuss google logo

Millions of people use Google search every day for a variety of reasons. Students use it for school, business people use it for research, and millions more use it for entertainment. Did you know that you may not be using Google search to its full potential? Here are 20 tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency.

Use the tabs
The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. It’s rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it’s highly recommended to get associated with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilized properly.

Use quotes
When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.

Use a hyphen to exclude words
Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.

Mustang -cars
This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.

Use a colon to search specific sites
There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.

Sidney Crosby site:nhl.com
This will search for all content about famous hockey player Sidney Crosby, but only on NHL.com. All other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut you can use.

Find a page that links to another page
This Google search tip is a little obscure. Instead of searching for a specific page, you’re searching for a page that links to a specific page. Think about it this way. If you want to see who cited a New York Times article on their site, you would use this trick to find all the sites that link to it. The syntax is below.

link:nytimes.com
That will return all pages that link to the New York Times official website. The URL on the right side can be practically anything. Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get. We know not a lot of people will likely use this Google search trick, but it could be very useful for some.

Use the asterisk wildcard
The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax.

“Come * right now * me”
To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word. More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.

Find sites that are similar to other sites
This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed. Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax.

related:amazon.com
If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.

Use Google search to do math
As a college student, I can attest that I use this one rather frequently. Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones. It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax.

8 * 5 + 5
Planck’s Consant
If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant. So it can do math, but it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.

Search for multiple words at once
Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax.

“Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”
By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below.

chocolate OR white chocolate
This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate!

Search a range of numbers
Searching for a range of numbers is another tip we don’t anticipate a lot of people using. The people that do use it, though, will probably use it quite a bit. People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below.

What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2004
41..43
In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2004. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results. In the second, Google will search for the numbers 41, 42, and 43. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.

Keep it simple
Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

Pizza places nearby
Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

Gradually add search terms
There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option. As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below.

First try: job interviews
Second try: prepare for job interviews
Third try: how to prepare for a job interview
This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step. Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.

Use words that websites would use
This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples.

“I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
“My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”
The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.

Use important words only
The way Google search works is to take what you search for and match it with keywords in online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example.

Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
Or: Chinese restaurants near me.
Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only.

Google search has shortcuts
A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results. Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links. Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google.

Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
The math example posted above is another one.
What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.
These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks and condense it into a single search. This is very helpful for information you need repeatedly.

16. Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter
Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly. As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples.

If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.
This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled. It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.

Use descriptive words
Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. Take our namesake, the “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives. If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.

You may search “How to install drivers in Ubunut?”
When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Ubuntu.”
There really isn’t a good specific example for this one. If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps the results.

Find a specific file
An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple.

*Search term here* filetype:pdf
In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of. This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.

Money and unit conversions
Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies. If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it.

miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.
It’s true that this tip is geared toward math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.

Track your packages
Our last trick is to use Google search to find out where your packages are. You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package. This is much easier than going to the specific sites, waiting for them to load, then searching for your packages there. No examples are really needed for this one. Just type your tracking number in and see where your package is.

Google Search wrap-up
Google search is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web. Whether it’s avoiding Wikipedia for a school essay project, finding the latest stock prices, or even finding song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.

Shared curtsey of TECHNOLOGY BY JOSEPH HINDY

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

These days, you want to create a LinkedIn profile that will get praise on the web. A profile that will get recruiters to dial your number… a profile that will clog your profile with thousands of InMail messages.

Indeed, having a presence on LinkedIn can increase your odds of being recruited. The platform rose to 300 million members last year, amongst which are individual recruiters and enterprises looking to hire the right fit for their corporations. It’s also intriguing that89 percent of employers have recruited from the site, so it’s a great opportunity to seek professional roles.

But just filling out a profile is not enough…

If you hope to be on someone’s radar, you’ll have to optimize your presence. The platform offers many overlooked ways to be more discoverable in search results and promote your expertise.

Below then, are 10 tips to craft a LinkedIn presence that will help you attract eyeballs of potential recruiters:

1. Write a robust summary

There’s a space of 2,000 characters to fill up for the summary, so you have the opportunity to list your goals, broader expertise, and success stories. You could also include real-life examples to demonstrate your experience. If you are a graphic designer, you can include a digital clip. If you are an author, you can include a chapter of your publication.

As for the keywords, the most important spots are the Job Titles, Headlines and Skills, but the Summary section counts as well. Mention relevant keywords in this section (without stuffing) while you write a compelling description. Here’s the LinkedIn summary of Cindy King, Director of Editorial at Social Media Examiner:

LinkedIn Summary should be thoughtfully crafted

Start-ups, sales, marketing, social media – the right keywords can be incredibly effective.

Some other things you should do in the Summary section:

  • Use proper spacing, formatting, and bullets where possible. Don’t fill up the summary with a block of text
  • Demonstrate your experience by including presentations, web addresses, etc.
  • Add a CTA (call-to-action) such as contact references and links to other web profile addresses
  • Display rich media

2. Headline and profile image matters

Headline gives you an opportunity to highlight your experience, so it needs to have something specific than the title of your current profession. LinkedIn will fill this space if you don’t optimize this element by filling the headline with the title of your recent or current role.

You should also note that the professional headline will show up under your name in search engine results. It can be a selling point, so you need to use a variety of terms to show up in a variety of searches. For example, using ‘Graphic Design professional’ as well as ‘Web Design specialist at abc’ will increase your chances of being discovered by recruiters in the same industry.

Example of a bad headline

Example of a bad LinkedIn headline

Example of a good headline

Example of a good LinkedIn headline

I recommend using the divider symbol (|) to separate titles when listing several expertise in the headline. Also, you should avoid any words like ‘experienced’ as mentioning such words is weak telling.

Next, you should pay attention to your facial appearance as it can affect judgments of traits such as competence and trustworthiness. You should avoid using:

  • Pixilated or grainy images
  • Black and white images (without reason)
  • Self-portrait (snaps taken by holding your arm out)

Instead, you should:

  • Use natural lightning
  • A clear light-colored background
  • Relax your face and expression

As the profile picture is crucial for your personal brand, you can take the option of hiring a professional photographer.

3. Join relevant groups

Discover relevant groups by using industry-specific keywords or via the group memberships your connections have. When you join a group, contribute professionally by sharing your views on a particular topic and start ongoing discussions. And if you’re the founder of a group, you might as well be an active member of it.

You might not know that when you’re a member of the same group as someone else you want to get in touch with, you can message them without the need of being their first-degree connection. Group members are also able to see profiles of fellow members without being connected, so joining more groups will expand your profile visibility and messaging options.

So if you’re a freelance graphic designer, you would join these groups:

Join LinkedIn groups to gain profile visibility

Give them a try, and see how joining a group can add a boost to your optimization goals.

4. Use the publishing feature

Wouldn’t you like people to see you as a thought leader as you optimize your profile? LinkedIn’s publishing platform will deliver your content to a network of people seeking professional insight. You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to come up with interesting topics relevant to your profession.

A published post can be viewed by anyone on LinkedIn; think of the platform as a way to showcase your expertise with high-quality information. The added benefit is that LinkedIn articles are ranking well in Google search results.

LinkedIn's publishing feature

Published posts are added to your profile, and anyone viewing your profile can see your publications. Even analytics showcasing the number of views, likes and comments are displayed.

Other tips to remember

  • Use formatting, spacing and best practices like in blog posts
  • End with a call-to-action
  • Be consistent with a publishing plan
  • Participate in comments

If your contribution gets featured on a LinkedIn channel (read about Channels here), you’ll get added exposure.

5. Get endorsements and recommendations

You need to add skills to your profile for optimization and get endorsements for those skills from your connections. LinkedIn will display your top 10 skills based on the number of endorsements, which will help profile viewers know what you excel in. The skills will be displayed in the drop-down menu, and skills that have been endorsed will move to the top.

Endorsing others also helps build strong connections with people in your circle. Usually after endorsing someone, you receive an endorsement and it’s easier to talk to the connection because you’ve been in touch recently. It’s possible to rearrange, edit and remove the skills and corresponding endorsements as well.

Another thing you should do is ask for recommendations from people you’ve worked for or worked with. These recommendations take up important real estate on your profile at the bottom. It serves as a social proof to win over new business; recommendations show what companies you’ve worked with and why they love working with you. Here’s an example of a recommendation given to a graphic designer:

Getting recommended on LinkedIn

To get high-quality recommendations, you need to:

  • Ask a team member or employer to recommend you on a specific detail, such as your deadline driven approach
  • List your key achievements to provide substantive content for the requested recommendations
  • Give recommendations – let the act of giving work out on itself. Recommendations can prompt a positive response, getting you one in return

Only recommendations approved by you will be displayed on your profile.

6. Highlight your achievements

In your profile, you get the option to add your certifications, honors & awards, volunteering experience, publications, projects, and test scores. These credentials will add value to your profile: if you don’t have a job, your volunteering experience will show you have been a part of an organization. If you have a certification that will make you stand out in the competition, display it here. Show prospects what you’ve achieved so far in your life.

You can include a lot of details in each of these sections. For example, publications let you include the URL of the book or website, the excerpt and the title. LinkedIn allows you to add up to 2,000 characters of description to a publication, as well as names of people (if any) associated with the publication.

Likewise, you can list larger initiatives you’ve been a part of in the Projects section. You don’t have to stick to collaborative efforts though; you can too reference your own internal work.

Highlight your achievements on LinkedIn,such as completed projects

Projects to highlight can include:

  • Designs developed/managed
  • Presentations & public speaking
  • Surveys, webinars & interviews
  • Training or team-building tasks

While you can list as many publications and projects as you have available, I don’t see it as a necessity. Instead, list the achievements you really want prospective employers to recognize you for.

7. Customize the URL

Similar to other social networks, your LinkedIn profile URL by default contains alphanumerical random characters. However, you can customize the URL of your profile by following these steps:

  • Open Settings > Edit
  • Click on Public Profile > Customize Your Public Profile
  • Select a name you want on the vanity URL

The profile will include your personal name. My recommendation is to keep the vanity URL same for all your social networks, something like ‘facebook.com/danvirgillito’ and ‘linkedin.com/in/danvirgillito’.

Getting a vanity URL for LinkedIn

Here are the benefits of using vanity URLs:

  • It enables consistent branding
  • It creates link trust
  • It makes you more memorable

LinkedIn users can also use profile badges to promote their profile on personal websites, guest blogs, etc. When users click on those badges, they’ll be redirected to your profile through the vanity URL.

8. Post regular updates

Your status updates will be seen by anyone who views your profile, and these updates will appear in the LinkedIn feed of your connections. Status updates are also included in the email you receive from LinkedIn as the weekly network update. Your latest status update will appear on your profile page. The character limit was changed from 140 characters to long-form for the status.

Status updates are a great way to build a memorable reputation and stay on top of mind of recruiters. Here’s what to share:

  • Key accomplishments: Something like, “Just received investment advice from xxx; excited about giving it a try!”
  • Industry insights: According to LinkedIn’s marketing strategy guide, 60 percent members want to look at industry insights over other forms of content
  • Tips and new trends: Good-quality updates related to your profession will interest others in your industry too. You can write about new trends, share success stories, etc. Search for new trends by following industry publications, Influencers and Pulse

Also, if you can’t post updates in real-time, there is always the option to schedule them. You can use one of these tools:

  • Buffer: Enables you to schedule statuses at optimal times (for company pages too)
  • HootSuite: You can schedule updates to be published on your profile, in groups, and company pages
  • Sprout Social: Schedule updates for your profile

In the ‘your updates’ tab, you can see the summary of all your updates.

Status updates increase LinkedIn engagement

With the above-mentioned tabs, you’ll be able to spot any update that was left as a draft and schedule it for later.

9. Incorporate branding

We think highly of people with good company, so increasing your network connections builds your personal brand on LinkedIn. Connect with former classmates, friends, industry leaders, trusted partners and other professionals.

If you want an introduction to someone, ask your connections (1st degree, 2nd degree, etc.) to introduce you as a contact. Profiles with strong and relevant connections (your connections reflect your personality) are always growing.

Another way you can incorporate branding is by customizing your LinkedIn background image. This requires you to upload a custom 1400×425 pixel image. Background is the first thing visitors notice on your profile, along with the profile image, so it is a sign of trust and credibility.

Custom background is a way to brand your LinkedIn profile

For premium members, it’s possible to choose a default background offered by LinkedIn, but it’s always a better option to upload a custom image. LinkedIn wants you to use a GIF, PNG or JPG image with 4MB being the maximum size.

For the custom image, you can:

  • Work with a graphic designer
  • Use tools such as Pic Monkey to create an eye-catching background design

Choose the option that suits your budget.

Note: When deciding what to use as a background image, keep it simple. If your success can be demonstrated with numbers, add them. If you have known clients, add their logos.

10. Be active

Optimization isn’t just about filling all details on your profile; it’s also about being active as a LinkedIn user. This can be done in several ways, such as by using an application to show yourself as an active individual. For example, you can use:

  • SlideShare: For getting the word out about your presentations
  • TripIt: To post your upcoming trip and keep viewers updated about your next destination
  • WordPress: To showcase your existing blog posts

Using third-party LinkedIn applications

Finally, offering help is crucial. Give out recommendations, congratulate people on their work anniversaries and volunteer your expertise. When people know you can be relied upon, you create a memorable experience, which builds trust and gives you additional recommendations.

Promoted Pins – Wading In The Shallow End First

Do you want to add Promoted Pins to your marketing mix?

Are you wondering how to budget for a Promoted Pin campaign?

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on Promoted Pins for them to be effective.

Because they have long-term visibility, they’re a sound addition to your Pinterest marketing.

In this article, I’ll share how to build an effective, affordable promoted-pin campaign on Pinterest.

#1: Start With Effective Pins

While promoted pins are an excellent way to get the most visibility for your advertising dollar, it all starts with crafting a great social media image. Based on your business specialty or niche, create images that speak to your audience.

promoted pins on a budget

Discover how to create a promoted pin campaign on a budget.

Also, use tall images to make sure your pins get noticed. They stand out better and command the attention of Pinterest users.

Give yourself a section of images and pin them ahead of time, so you have choices if you decide to test out various types of visual content using different small budgets.

Once you decide what image you want to use, here’s how to craft an ad for your promoted pin.

Note: Promoted pins are still rolling out in the United States. If you don’t have access yet, join the waitlist.

#2: Choose Your Objective

Go to your Pinterest profile and click the settings button next to Edit Profile to get to promoted pins in the drop-down menu.

pinterest profile settings

To get started, go to your Pinterest profile and select Promoted Pins under Settings.

Once you click the Promote button, you’ll see that Pinterest offers you two choices: Boost Engagement or Get Traffic.

pinterest promoted pin goals

Decide if you want to boost engagement or drive website traffic from your promoted pin.

To get maximum benefit from your promoted pin ad campaign, choose Get Traffic to Your Website.

Keep in mind this is a future strategy that does the promotion backwards. While you tell Pinterest that you want traffic to come to your website, what you really mean is that you want engagement for your pins.

#3: Create the Campaign

Give your campaign a name and then decide on what date or dates you want your promoted pin to be seen. Since the budget is low, you don’t want to stretch it out too long.

choose a pin to promote

Choose Get Traffic to Your Website, and then decide when you want to run the campaign and determine the budget.

If it’s your first time promoting a pin, use Saturday as your day. The more you use promoted pins, the more likely you’ll find the best day for your brand. Keep fine-tuning this aspect of your campaigns.

Now, decide how much money you would like to spend each day. I recommend spending $10 for one day or spread $10 over two days ($5 per day).

#4: Select Keywords for Visibility

The next step is to pick which pin you would like to promote. Then use keywords to tell Pinterest where you would like it to be seen.

This is one of the most important things you can do to get your pin noticed. Keywords should include everything that anyone searching for what you have to offer would think of. So make sure you hit all of the right niche-specific terms for your pin.

add keywords

Use niche-specific keywords to make sure the right people see your pin in Pinterest search results.

Depending on your niche, you can see an estimate of how many weekly impressions your pin may get.

#5: Determine the Cost Per Click

After you set your keywords, decide how much money you’re willing to spend for each person who clicks on your pin to be directed to your website. This is where you may think you need a large budget to get good traffic. However, we’re not after traffic right now. We want the engagement in the form of repins.

Come up with a low cost-per-click (CPC) number. I usually offer 15 to 25 cents per click.

set the cost per click

Set your Cost Per Click limit at a low number, so you get the most clicks for your budget.

A low CPC ensures you won’t run out of money if people get click-happy.

#6: Review Campaign Results

Once your campaign is complete, review the results and wait for the resulting traffic.

For example, I only spent $5 on the campaign below. It received a lot of engagement and impressions at the time, and I’m still getting traffic from it today.

viewing promoted pin stats

This $5 promoted pin campaign received more than 7,000 impressions and 42 repins.

The point of this whole strategy is to turn small amounts of money into traffic generators for your website in the future. The 42 people who repinned this pin will show it to their followers. When their followers repin it, it opens up new reach for you on Pinterest. It just keeps snowballing.

After two promoted pin campaigns over 30 days, I received an extra 218 repins by using a low CPC and targeted keywords for my campaign.

viewing promoted pin campaign results

Two campaigns in 30 days netted more than 61,000 impressions and 1,360 engagements.

Pinterest is a long game in terms of traffic, so a small budget goes a long way. People will always be pinning, and Pinterest rewards you for it.

Over to You

While many people think they need to spend a substantial amount of money for an advertising campaign to work, this is not necessarily the case.

To succeed with promoted pins, be mindful of your visual marketing. Choose a good branded image that will attract attention. And be patient.

This long-term strategy helps save money on ads, while giving you the greatest benefit. This is perfect for companies, but especially important for individuals looking to increase visibility and engagement at an affordable price.

Shared via SME
By
Published July 29, 2015

What Industries get the most reach on FB?

If you ask 3 Facebook experts about organic reach on any given day, you’ll probably hear 3 different claims:

  1. Reach is up
  2. Reach is down
  3. Reach hasn’t changed a bit

So, which is true?

Well, it depends on your page, niche, location, ad budget, etc.

To get an accurate picture of how reach has changed over the past year, you’d have to access 1,000s of pages — which is exactly what our friends at AgoraPulse did.

They examined about 7,200 Facebook pages to see if organic reach is in decline.

The pages came from various industries & niches, including:

  • Personal website
  • TV channel
  • Actor/Director
  • Radio station
  • Computers/Internet website
  • Athlete
  • Recreation/Sports website
  • Jewelry/Watches
  • Games/Toys
  • Food/Beverages
  • Cars
  • Hotel
  • Wine/Spirits

And the results might surprise you:

These Industries Are Getting the Most Reach Using Facebook for Business

using-facebook-for-business

These numbers came from pages that use the AgoraPulse Facebook Page Barometer.

You can get a pretty decent perspective on the website as a whole from these 7,200 Facebook pages.

For the infographic here is the break down of pages and quantity of pages used:

  • Personal website: 14
  • TV Channel: 17
  • Actor/Director: 4
  • Radio Station: 44
  • Computer/website: 20
  • Athlete: 31
  • Recreation / sport website: 21
  • Automobile: 59
  • Jewel: 33
  • Games / toys: 19
  • Food / beverages: 270
  • Hotels: 126
  • Wine / spirits: 32

Summary

The study showed that organic reach for some Facebook pages has increased. Many companies are still very successful at using Facebook for business.

But for others, reach has dropped.

Entertainment-based pages in the categories of personal website, TV channel, actor and radio station saw increases.

Reach dropped for pages focused on:

  • cars
  • food
  • games
  • jewelry
  • hotels
  • beverages

Pages that post lots of entertaining, interesting content, rather than just pushing products all the time, saw their organic reach increase.

Shared via PostPlanner

Advanced Facebook Marketing Strategies

You have to experiment if you want to take your Facebook page to the next level. Following all the Facebook best practices just won’t cut it. Instead of copying everyone else, here are 8 ways to buck conventional norms & really get important data for your Facebook marketing strategy.

If you’re new to Facebook marketing, don’t worry — this advice is easy to follow. But these tips will work wonders for the most seasoned social media marketer too.

8 Advanced Facebook Marketing Strategies for Serious Pros

1. Segment Time for Different Content

The trick here is to post different types of content throughout the day.

Then take note of what works at what time.

For example, post a news link in the morning so your fans can catch up on what’s happening in the world.

Then publish something more light-hearted in the afternoon — like a meme, fun question or a quote.

Then do the reverse the next day & compare the results.

2. Experiment With New Content

Do you post enough variety on your Facebook page?

Would you like to test some new content but don’t know where to begin?

Post Planner’s new viral photo finder can help. The tool quickly locates the most popular & shared photos on any Facebook page.

I used the viral photo finder to find this post:

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?app_id=&channel=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.ak.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2FX9pYjJn4xhW.js%3Fversion%3D41%23cb%3Df3ab4bb43%26domain%3Dwww.postplanner.com%26origin%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.postplanner.com%252Ffec77aa3c%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=764&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpostplanner%2Fphotos%2Fa.118784028196924.21727.118495694892424%2F631845643557424%2F%3Ftype%3D1&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&width=466

The trick here is to try posting stuff you’ve never tried before — maybe stuff you’ve never even thought to try before.

See how it works. Gauge the reaction & then try something new.

Think of each post as an experiment! And let Facebook tally the results.

3. Post the Right Content on the Weekend

Maybe people don’t want to read your blog posts on the weekend.

At least that’s what recent research from BuzzSumo says.

So try posting other stuff.

Instead of posting articles, mix it up on the weekend with more engaging posts like questions, quotes & photos.

>> Click to Tweet <<

But again — treat these posts as scientific experiments.

4. Post at Different Times of Day

So many social media experts think they know the #1 best time to post.

Guess what?

They don’t.

That’s because it’s different for every page & fanbase.

The only way to find out is to run experiments.

Ie. try posting at off-peak hours when there isn’t as much competition for eyeballs.

>> Click to Tweet <<

It worked for one of my Facebook pages.

We got strong engagement on content we posted after 10pm.

5. Test Post Frequency

You’ve also heard lots of advice about how many times you should post each day.

Just remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every page. The only way to find out what works best on your page is to experiment.

We post 6-8 times a day at Post Planner!

So it all depends on how engaged your fans are with your content.

Here’s a recent post from Post Planner that got more than 4,000 shares:

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?app_id=&channel=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.ak.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2FX9pYjJn4xhW.js%3Fversion%3D41%23cb%3Df68f18d4c%26domain%3Dwww.postplanner.com%26origin%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.postplanner.com%252Ffec77aa3c%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=764&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpostplanner%2Fphotos%2Fa.118784028196924.21727.118495694892424%2F631547030253952%2F%3Ftype%3D1&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&width=466

Guess what?

The posts that we posted 2 hours before & 2 hours after this post also got huge engagement.

So don’t believe the hype when experts tell you to post only twice per day!

Test it out for yourself!

6. Be Personal

The Facebook pages I remember best are ones that engage with me on a personal level.

They showcase the personal side of their business.

Try communicating with your Facebook fans on a personal level. Discuss a new product launch by showing your team working hard behind the scenes.

Facebook is a social network, so be social.

Here’s a great Mother’s Day example from Creative Market:

advanced-facebook-marketing-strategies

7. Highlight Current Events

Are there events in the news that may interest your fans?

If so, you can craft your posts around those events.

For example, if a big game is coming up & your page focuses on recipes, share recipe ideas before the game.

If you run a fashion page, ask for opinions from your fans about what celebrities wore to a newsworthy event like the Academy Awards.

The possibilities are endless.

Pool Supply World posted this on Star Wars Day:

advanced-facebook-marketing-strategies

8. Crowdsource Decisions

Are you launching a new product or service soon?

Why not let your fans weigh in with their feedback?

>> Click to Tweet <<

Let them help you make decisions like:

  • picking a new book cover
  • deciding on a title or headline
  • choosing a new logo

This is a great way to get fans to engage with your page.

Check out how my friend Chris Reimer crowdsourced his book cover:

advanced-facebook-marketing-strategies

Wrap Up

Use these advanced Facebook marketing strategies to take your page to the next level.

The tricks could help you attract more followers & stay engaged with your fans.

Shared via PostPlanner

Using Blogger Outreach To Market Your Product

Tags

, , , ,

Outreach marketing header

The story of the “great” blogger with “great” content but no traffic is a common one. Your excuse may be that you’re blogging as a hobby, maintaining an online journal just for fun, or not in it for the money.

But who are you kidding? Be honest with yourself—if you wanted to journal and didn’t care about having an audience, it would have been easier to write in a diary or Word doc.

So, you want traffic, right? Even if you aren’t blogging with the intention of building a million-dollar blog, it’s nice to have your ideas, words, and hard work appreciated.

The unfortunate thing is that this idea of “content is king” has got you believing that, if you writeamazing content, the traffic will somehow find you and because of this, you’ve been producing a post or two a day for the last 6 to 12 months. While you haven’t wasted your time, this strategy is incomplete.

Whether or not you run your blog like a business, you need to strategize like a business. Focusing on your “product” with no investment in marketing is like a business sourcing materials, manufacturing 100,000 widgets, storing the inventory in a warehouse, and then wondering why the customers haven’t been buying the product.

Not all is lost, however. You have tons of great blog posts already published and now you need to find the right bloggers or audience to share it with.

Get Your Free Outreach Marketing Template Now!

Outreach marketing mockup

Link Building Strategies: Guest Blogging And Outreach Marketing

Unless you’re already recognized as an authority or have thousands of readers a day, a passive form of content marketing isn’t going to work. Instead, your link building campaign must take two forms—guest blogging and outreach marketing.

For purposes of link building in this article, let me define guest blogging and outreach marketing:

  1. Guest blogging is contributing a blog post to a publication.
  2. Outreach marketing is requesting that a blogger link to your content from an existing or upcoming post.

Any effective link building campaign should, at the minimum, incorporate a combination of these two tactics.

But how do you decide where to leverage each one?

Guest blogging

outreach marketing

Guest blogging should be reserved for highly-relevant, powerful authority sites. This is because, as an individual blogger or one part of a small team, you don’t have the resources (time, energy, money, opportunity cost, etc.) to contribute to every single guest posting opportunity. You have to pick and choose where your resources will yield the greatest results.

The obvious example is that you would make a concerted effort to contribute to the CoSchedule Blog, whereas a smaller, lesser-known blog might get a pitch to be included in next month’s roundup.

Finding guest blogging opportunities.

To evaluate a blog, you must find relevant ones. This is really the easiest task of all because whose job is it to return relevant blogs? Google’s!

However, you need to be specific. If your blog is about “personal finance”, you wouldn’t try to reach out to CNN, Yahoo Finance, Wall Street Journal, or Bloomberg, which happen to be some of the top results for that keyword search.

Instead, pick a related, niche topic such as “how to become financially independent” and open up every website in the first 300 results (maybe not all at once).

Just remember that, as you work through this guide, it will benefit you to repeat the following process multiple times with different keywords to find the greatest number of bloggers to contact.

Evaluating blogs.

To determine if a website is worth guest blogging, don’t bother with the standard PageRank and domain authority (DA) metrics. PageRank hasn’t been updated since December 2013 and doesn’t seem to have the weight it once did in Google’s algorithm. Furthermore, as a third-party metric developed by Moz, DA is easily manipulated.

For example, I’ve come across dozens of penalized sites with high domain authority, and I view penalized sites as essentially useless for SEO purposes. If Google penalizes a site and takes away its traffic, it is effectively stripping the strength of that domain, so why get a link from one? Beware of link sellers and SEO’s selling links on crappy high DA sites.

Ultimately, the best indication of a blog’s strength is the amount of traffic Google sends to it via organic rankings, making SEMrush my favorite SEO tool. Just enter the blog you are interested in contributing to, choose “Positions” under the “Organic Research” tab on the left, and click on “All time” in the “Organic keywords” section.

If you find a level or upward trend, the blog is trusted by Google. Here’s a blog that ranks for nearly 10,000 keywords and is one you would likely be interested in earning a link from:

SEMrush organic traffic review for outreach marketing

Note that this blog has been around for at least 4 years and enjoyed gradual growth until recently exploding with traffic. That’s the kind of blog you should want to be featured on.

However, if this blog only had a 6-month history, now that might be a red flag indicating black hat SEO. And while you may get a temporary boost in rankings by guest posting on a site like that, it might be short-lived and thus a waste of your time because the goal is to build a strong, sustainable, long-term business model even if it takes more time and energy.

An example of a blog to avoid may have a chart like this:

SEMrush organic traffic drop review for outreach marketing

As you can see, this blog was hit by a penalty in late 2011 and has slowly been losing its keyword rankings.

Not all penalized domains will demonstrate an obvious trend like this one, but anytime you see a huge drop in traffic and no recovery, the blog is in decline. This doesn’t necessarily make it unworthy of contributing to, assuming the traffic hasn’t finally reached 0; it just means it isn’t a priority right now. Save it for a lull period when you want to tie up loose ends.

Guest blog vs. outreach: How to decide?

Outreach marketing guest blog vs. outreach

Once you’ve decided a blog is worth reaching out to, you must determine your approach. There aren’t strict rules for pitching a specific blog; it really depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • How many keywords is the domain ranking for?
  • How relevant is the blog to my target audience?
  • Is there a “Guest Post”, “Contributor Guidelines”, or “Write For Us” page? If so, how demanding are the guidelines?
  • Does the author link out often? If so, are the links dofollow?
  • How commercial does the site look?

For me, a domain needs to rank for at least 300 keywords or have a large, loyal following (subscribers or social media) to be worth investing hours writing content. The bigger the blog, the more time you should invest in making your contribution absolutely memorable because eventually, your portfolio of work will be your future credentials in email pitches.

On the other hand, if a blog is weak, you’re better off pitching the blogger on giving you a quick link by asking them to check out your content. Here is a template of the email pitch I use:

outreach marketing email template example

To make this feasible, the page you ask them to check out and possibly link to must be impeccable. Your content has to be extremely unique and insightful, your graphics need to be beautiful and vibrant, or you need to find some way to make a strong emotional connection with the blogger.

The page must offer exceptional value to the blogger’s readers to convince him/her to share your resource; otherwise, you are wasting your time.

Choosing the right content to promote.

I’ve never been a prolific blogger. In fact, I probably don’t build “blogs” the way traditional bloggers do because I don’t develop content on a daily or even weekly basis.

Since I create and grow so many websites, I focus on writing content where it makes strategic sense. There isn’t an exact formula for that, but I’ll use my latest project as an example.

Outreaching marketing choosing the right content to promote

After 5 years of being a full-time Internet marketer and SEO expert, I finally thought it was time for me to start sharing my Internet marketing and SEO knowledge. I created StartABlog123.com to teach beginners how to start a blog.

Given that the competition in the all-encompassing “blogging” niche is intense, it was important that I make my content stand out. This meant comprehensive non-commercial content, useful guides and resources, custom images, infographics, etc.

For instance, I noticed a lot of solo bloggers discussing burn out, not knowing what to write about anymore, and linking to other resources that helped blog owners come up with new ideas. Knowing there was a “market” for this type of content, so I created the “Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas”.

Now lists of blog post ideas already exist, but none of them break them up into the types of content (how-tos, checklists, top 10 lists, interviews, podcasts, etc.) and then provide 5 examples of actual ideas for each. The post ended up being nearly 3,000 words.

Fortunately, after all that work, it was a hit. I even got a Tweet from Ann Smarty:

Knowing I had created something bloggers might consider special, I searched for “blog post ideas” in Google, skipped the first 30 results, and started approaching bloggers with the email pitch above. Since then, my traffic has nearly doubled!

an example of how successful outreach marketing doubled traffic

Market Your Content

There are many bloggers who pour their heart and soul into their writing and have absolutely amazing ideas, analyses, and content. You may be one of them. Sadly, your work may not be getting the appreciation it deserves, and that’s because you haven’t spent the time to let readers know you exist.

That can all change with an effective marketing strategy.

You can get to 100,000 visits a month with 100 posts or 10,000 posts. Frankly, I prefer the former. The only difference is how much time you invest in marketing your content.

Timeline Contests Break Facebook’s Rules!

Tags

, , ,

I’ve been keeping an eye on my news feed (as you’ll recall, I’ve liked over 4000 pages & counting) in hopes of finding lots of good & bad examples of contests being run since the rule change.

Honestly speaking, I’m not seeing as many contests as I’d expected.

This is probably because most of the pages I’ve Liked are larger company pages — and not small local pages.

In my opinion, contests on Facebook tend to work best with smaller, local pages — and maybe also with personality type pages, like music bands.

In any case, here are 3 examples of Timeline contests that violate the new Facebook Promotion Guidelines.

1. Tag To Win

According to Facebook’s Promotion guidelines :

In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:

  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize

But time & time again I see pages (even after Facebook made the new guidelines) clearly instructing their fans to tag themselves in a photo to enter a contest.

An example of this is on the Nature’s Bakery page:

natures bakery facebook tag contest

This is a clear violation of the Facebook Page Guidelines — but as you can see, 108 people Liked the post & there are 126 comments.

So you can see why doing this kind of contest is tempting.

2. Share To Win

I see this one much more often than the “Tag to Win” contest.

Our friends at Nature’s Bakery appear to be offenders on this type of contest as well:

share to win facebook contest

What do the Facebook Guidelines say?

Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).

Translation: Page owners can encourage users to share the contest & come vote — by Liking their comment on a contest — but sharing cannot be a form of entering the contest.

Looks like 144 people helped Nature’s Bakery violate the rules!

Just so you don’t think I’m picking on Nature’s Bakery, here’s another offender (Lake Tahoe North) that collected 176 shares:

share photo to win facebook contest

3. Upload Cover Photo to Win

This is an old trick I’ve seen many page owners use over the years:

  1. Load a great cover photo promoting your product or event
  2. Encourage fans to upload it as their cover photo for a chance to win something

Is this against the Facebook Guidelines?

Let’s see:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.

Yep, seems like it’s against the guidelines to me!

Even if you aren’t doing it as a contest, encouraging fans to load your cover as theirs for exposure is a no-no.

Here’s an example from a band, Fresh Bakin, who recently asked fans to load their cover photo to win tickets:

cover photo facebook contest

There is no way of knowing how many fans actually uploaded the cover — but it does appear 91 people Liked the image, which was part of the “rules” for their contest.

Legit Facebook Timeline Contests

Don’t get me wrong here — if you want to run a contest on your timeline, then go for it!

Just make sure you follow the Facebook Guidelines.

Promotions

1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
a.   The official rules;
b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a.   A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b.   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

In other words, you can require fans to enter your Timeline contest by:

  • Liking a post
  • Commenting on a post
  • Liking & Commenting a post
  • Posting on the Page’s timeline
  • Sending a Message
  • Having the comment with the most Likes

It’s very tempting to run contests that involve sharing, tagging & uploading your cover photo — but don’t do it.

And obviously you can still use 3rd party apps to run your contest.

You’ll need to weigh the options of whether you run a Facebook Timeline contest or use a 3rd party app — that’s your call.

Social Media Calendars: To use or not to use…

You’ve heard of social media calendars before, but do you know what they are and how to use one?

Chances are you don’t. And that’s okay… I didn’t either when I entered the realm of social media marketing. But once I learned about it and how to use it, it change how I marketed my businesses on the social web.

Here’s why you need a social media calendar and how you can create one:

 

Why You Need a Social Media Calendar and How to Create One
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

 
A social media calendar can help you consistently promote high quality content, cut down on the amount of time you waste, and organize and curate content.

If you aren’t using one, you should reconsider. It’s helped me almost double my Twitter engagement over the last six months.

Shared courtesy via Quicksprout @ NEIL PATEL on APRIL 24, 2015

Facebook Tips From The Trenches

Tags

, , ,

You know how to set up a Facebook account, you have even boosted posts so reallysocial media marketer how hard is Facebook marketing?

What sets a true social media marketer apart on Facebook? Quite a few things actually, but mostly it’s their holistic vision and appetite for information. Here are a couple of examples of things pro marketers do on Facebook that other page admins most likely don’t.

Natively Uploaded Videos

When you see a natively uploaded video from a brand page on Facebook, it’s a sign that the marketer who shared the video is a pro. Why? Pro Facebook marketers know that natively uploaded videos get more views than links to YouTube videos on Facebook — like 52 times more(!) according to a blog post from GetResponse.

To upload and share a video natively to Facebook, you will need your video’s raw file. Facebook accepts many different video file types (you can check out their list here), but .mov and .mp4 are the most commonly used. Once you have your video’s raw file, you can drag and drop it into your page’s status update box or upload it as you would a regular photo/video.

What a natively uploaded video looks like:

unnamed-1

What a YouTube video looks like:

unnamed-2

Videos with clear calls to actions often yield better results. So to take your natively uploaded video up a notch,  add a call to action button and fill out the optional video description fields.

unnamed

Staying on top of industry news — like knowing that natively uploaded content performs better on Facebook — allows pro Facebook marketers to be agile. They can quickly assess (often before the news has become widespread) whether or not they should research, test, prepare for, implement or disregard an update.

Using Graph Search to Learn More About Their Audience

When Facebook rolled out Graph Search in late September 2013, pro Facebook marketers immediately started investigating uses for the new tool. What pro marketers found was that they could use Graph Search in a lot of savvy ways to learn more about their Facebook fans and the types of people they wanted to target.

Since its release, Graph Search has been refined and updated to function as a semantic search engine, making it an even morevaluable tool for Facebook marketers. Now search results are indexed by Facebook (rather than Bing) and include people (both friends and people in a person’s extended network, i.e., friends of friends, people with similar interests and people nearby), posts, hashtags and locations, according to a post by Lior Degani on Social Media Examiner.

Pro Facebook marketers use Graph Search to research their audience, then use the insights they discover to more narrowly (and presumably more effectively) target their users via Facebook posts and/or ads. Here are a few phrases you can enter into Graph Search to start quickly learning more about your audience:

Here are a few phrases you can enter into Graph Search to start quickly learning more about your audience:

  • Pages liked by people who like [insert the name of your page]
  • Pages liked by people who like [insert the name of one of your biggest competitors]
  • Groups joined by people who like [insert the name of your page]
  • Pages liked by people who are older than [insert age] and like [insert the name of your page]

There are so many Graph Search searches you can try. Don’t believe me? Check out this post by Facebook guru Jon Loomer — he tests nearly 15 unique searches and shares his results.

Are Aware Of But Don’t Chase the Algorithm

Historically, when news breaks that a specific practice is working well on Facebook,  you’ll immediately notice a trend of everyone doing the same thing — it’s usually a trick that claims to help you boost your posts’ reach and/or increase engagement. But while everyone is busy changing their posting strategies to start doing “what’s working right now,” pro Facebook marketers are letting the bandwagon go on its merry way.

What’s most important to pro Facebook marketers is consistency regarding the tone, brand image, and the type of content they share on their page. If memes are the new “it” thing to post on Facebook to drive likes, you’re definitely not going to see a company like GoPro start posting lots of memes on their page. Why? Because they’re pros and are going to stick to sharing the content that represents their brand best.

This doesn’t mean that Facebook marketing pros are against testing. Testing is always smart, as long as it doesn’t compromise or confuse your brand’s current strategy.

#4 Pros Admins Think Mobile First

The number of people logging onto Facebook via their mobile devices continues to rise. In fact, of Facebook’s 1.32 billion users, a whopping 30 percent of them use the social network only on their phone, according to The Verge.

As social mobile usage increases, so does the number of pro Facebook marketers who are implementing and testing mobile strategies. These marketers have mobile on the brain! Before they share content, they consider the experience of the users who will consume their content on a mobile device. When they invest in Facebook ads, they invest a portion of their budget into mobile ad buys and tools like ShortStack that allow them to create mobile-optimized landing pages.

Mass mobile consumption is the future, and pro-level Facebook marketers are the folks who know this best.

Facebook Is Not The Only Way They Promote Business

This is perhaps the most important point of all. Pro Facebook marketers, who are also likely pro Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, email, etc. marketers, know they can’t rely solely on Facebook to promote their business. So when Facebook decides to change their algorithm in a way that does not favor content from brands, pro Facebook marketers don’t panic. Why? Because they don’t have all their eggs in one basket, and they know that they can lean on the other social platforms and marketing channels they’ve developed.

Readers, what else do you think sets pro Facebook marketers apart from the rest? Let me know in the comment sections below.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 417 other followers