Video Interview on How to Get Traffic from Facebook Ads

This is a very informative interview with Victoria Gibson on Rise to the Top that describes how you can drive traffic to your site effectively through Facebook advertising.

Key takeaways from the interview:
-Facebook will lower your cost per click if your ad gets a lot of clicks.
-You definitely need a Facebook page for your business.
-Even if people don’t click, you can increase awareness of your brand for free.
-You are more likely to engage with a brand that a friend recommends.
-People are still seeing your brand message even if people don’t click on your ad.
-The image accounts for about 80% of why people will click an ad.
-Give away something of value first.
-Questions generally work well in your headline.
-Focus on the benefits.
-If you use Facebook Ads to promote your Facebook Page, people who like the ad will automatically like the page.
-Keep your reach under 200,000 (so it is more targeted).
-You can create an event in Facebook and turn it into a Facebook ad.
-Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s advertising guidelines.
-The average cost per click is about 70-80 cents.
-You want your click through rate (CTR) to be above .02.
-Facebook ads get stale quickly (in about 5 days). You need to refresh your ad constantly.
-Not testing is the single biggest mistakes people make.

Free vector image courtesy of Noupe.com

Free Webinar: Social Media and Email Integration

Marketing Over Coffee host Christopher S. Penn shared 18 tips for social media and email integration in this free webinar from Marketing Profs (registration required). You can sign up to view the recorded webinar here.

Key Takeaways from the webinar:
-Figure out who you are in 140 characters or less. This statement should guide your content strategy.
-Customers are constantly tuned into WIIFM: what’s in it for me?
-Your email has to be valuable.
-Your email should make people laugh, learn something, or love you.
-Those who give first win.
-Put social profile buttons in your email.
-A top reason people unsubscribe to email is because they receive too much email.
-Give people an incentive to share your content.
-You don’t actually own any of your social media properties.
-Promote your email newsletter on your social media profiles.
-You can no longer force someone through a “Like” gate on Facebook.
-Gmail is starting to look at email open metrics to determine spam.

Creative commons photo courtesy of Todd Van Hoosear

Why Marketers Should Care About Pinterest

They say you can find anything on the Internet. Each year, hundreds of programmers and developers attempt to come up with the latest social media tool. They spend a huge sum of both time and money in hopes of launching “the next biggest thing”. The sad reality is only a few handful are successful, and out of that handful, only one or two are in for the long haul. Everyone (by everyone I mean computer wiz’s & geeks) dreams of making it big; hoping to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.

For all you digital marketers, social media gurus, or really anyone who spends a good amount of time on the web, you’ve probably seen, heard, or have an account with the latest sensation: Pinterest. While isn’t as well known as Facebook or Twitter (at least not yet), it is certainly turning heads. In fact, it’s reported growth to 10 million monthly users has surpassed that of both FB and Twitter.

For people who are less tech savvy or don’t spend as much time on the web, Pinterest is best described as a web based corkboard to post up pictures, jokes, recipes, inspirations, and other noteworthy things. For the average women who have discovered this wonderful creation, it is both a good and bad discovery. It is a great public space for people who are into cooking, home improvement, art, funny memes, fashion, archetiecture, wedding planning, and so forth. The only negative aspect of this site is that it is a time killer. Beware: once you go on, hours fly by like minutes.

People always wonder how these social media platforms become popular. One of the reasons why Pinterest has caught the attention of so many members is because it is user friendly. It’s not geared towards the web geeks or conceited celebrities, its geared towards your average person. The second reason why Pinterest has caught the attention of so many people is because it is truly helpful, or at least the users seem to think so. For example, countless of women use Pinterest to find inspiration for their home, personal fitness, and wedding planning.

Women like to visualize everything. Women also love to look at pretty things. Women love to share and build off of pretty things they can visualize. In a nutshell, Pinterest is a site where you can visualize pretty things, get inspiration from other people, and share your own inspiration. Despite the fact that the current majority of users are women, men can also benefit from this handy dandy site. Guys are often clueless about what women want. Well if you ever wanted to know what women like, Pinterest is the site for you fellas. If you’re getting married or planning on popping the question, go to Pinterest for some inspiration. Women are constantly posting pictures of how they want their wedding to look like; from perfect vintage wedding dress to the diamond bands they’ve been eyeing.

All in all, Pinterest is a great user friendly site – perfect for digital marketers. Its’ simplicity draws in many users. Though Pinterest isn’t going to be equally beneficial for all businesses, it is and has already proven to be an useful tool for certain big and small businesses. Because Pinterest places so much emphasis on visualization, businesses who can offer products that are aesthetically pleasing will benefit from it. Ask yourself, is what your selling visually appealing? Clothing retailers, home goods, edible goods, and electronics are predicted to benefit the most from Pinterest. The best way to drive traffic to your site or business is by posting up strategic, head turning pictures of your product. The more heads the picture can turn, the better!

Emily Li works for Eternity Wedding Bands, an online Eternity Bands retailer. In her free time, she loves learning about new social media platforms, reading blogs, and pinning pictures on Pinterest. Check out her Eternity Wedding Bands Pinterest page.

How to Market Your Business on Google Plus

The following is a guest article by Sharon Shapiro.

Social media is an essential marketing tool for any business these days, and as of recently a new Google-powered social network has entered the scene.

Google+, which recently became available to Google Apps users, allows businesses to create pages. Through this social network, your business can easily promote itself, share content with others, and track your social media progress. The ability to improve your communication and collaboration with customers sets Google+ apart as the premier social network for businesses.

There are a number of easy ways to promote your business, and have others do some promotion too, on Google+. The first of these promotional tools involves notifying visitors to your company website of your presence on Google+. You can accomplish this with one of two tools: the Google+ badge or Google+ icon. With the Google+ badge, people can add your business’ Google+ page to their circles without having to leave your website. On the other hand, when people click on the Google+ icon they will be taken directly to your Google+ page. And for those who are already aware of your presence on Google+, the new direct connect tool on Google makes finding your business’ page simple. Beyond these self promotional tools, Google+ has features in place that help customers do some marketing for you, as well. This mainly comes into play when people +1 your business. Now, you can connect all of the +1s your business receives for its Google+ page, website, and advertisements. This connection is an important promotional tool because when people do a Google search for your business they will be able to see all of your +1s, including exactly who and how many people have +1’d your business. This +1 presence is a great word-of-mouth promotional tool because it allows potential customers to see the number and type of people who support your business. Thus, the +1 visual serves as a recommendation for your business to potential customers.

Once you bring people into your business’ Google+ page, it’s important to keep them there. You can accomplish this through sharing with the stream, circles, and hangouts. The stream on Google+ enables your business to share a variety of content with your followers. This content, which can be videos, text, or photos, can be shared publicly or with designated circles. Circles is a feature that is unique to the Google+ social network. With circles, your business can group people into specific categories. Such grouping can be useful when you have a message you don’t want to share with everyone, but rather with only a certain demographic or type of customer. Examples of how businesses can use the circles tool is to group customers by location or by the products or services they have previously purchased. Yet another sharing tool on Google+ is hangouts. This feature will not only help your business communicate with others, but also improve on your collaboration capabilities. With hangouts, your business can hold a video chat with multiple people on Google+, share screens, and collaborate in real-time with Google Docs. This tool allows you to communicate with people remotely but gives the feeling as though you are all in the same room.

Another important part of marketing your business through a social media platform is tracking your progress. When your business has a Google+ page, this tracking can be done through ripples and analytics. Ripples is a tool that allows you to follow the progress of the information your business shares on Google+. Specifically, you can track where it is going and the impact it is making by viewing who is sharing this content and who is paying attention. This tool is useful in deciding how to best market your business through Google+. By keeping track of information on ripples, you can discern the best type of information to share with customers and with whom to share it to improve your business’ reach on the social network. In addition to ripples, your business can use analytics to keep track of the activity on your Google+ page and the +1s for your business.

The wide variety of promotional tools and sharing features, along with the ease of tracking the progress of your efforts, makes Google+ a key social media platform for any business looking to market itself on a social network.

This blog post was written by Sharon Shapiro from Cloud Sherpas. Cloud Sherpas is a leading Google Apps cloud service provider. As a Google Apps Authorized Reseller and Google Enterprise partner, we have migrated over one million users across all major industries from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps, helping organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. Get to know our company by checking out our Google+ page at cloudsherpas.com/plus.

Image by ChethStudios

Mike Volpe Presentation on the Dangers of Marketing Automation

In this presentation Mike Volpe from Dreamforce, CMO of HubSpot, discusses the negative aspects of marketing automation and makes a case for inbound marketing. You can learn more from Mike Volpe by following him on Twitter at @mvolpe or checking out his weekly marketing show Marketing Update.

Here are some of my takeaways from the presentation:

  • Pretend a kitten dies when you email a cold list with an untargeted message.
  • Contact information on a list changes at a rate of about 25% per year.
  • People lose interest over time in an email campaign.
  • There are 200 million Gmail users.
  • There are more social media users than email users.
  • 86% of C-level executives have a smartphone.
  • Include social links in your emails.
  • Make it easy to share your emails.
  • Make sure your site is optimized for mobile.
  • Social Media Marketing Rules of Anonymity

    The following guest article is by Maranda Gibson.

    A couple of weeks ago, I was in stop and go traffic on a busy street. At a red light I could hear a horn blaring behind me and after glancing in the rearview mirror, I realized it was the guy behind me. I couldn’t hear a word he was saying but the combination of the horn, his mouth moving quickly, and the interesting gestures he was throwing up, I imagined he was upset about the pace of traffic. I ignored it – really, what was I going to do? I couldn’t drive over the top of the five cars in front of me. The light turned green, I put on my signal to make a turn up ahead, and this angry man flew around me. He slammed on his horn a few times and I saw the one fingered salute he gave me. I was shocked – and when he floored it in the other lane, I saw the white markings on the back of his window.

    Steve’s Law Firm.

    And it had a phone number. I considered calling the number and leaving him a voicemail that his angry gestures and horn honks wouldn’t quite get across. Instead, I didn’t – instead, I just laughed to myself and realized that if he acts like this while he drives, he’ll be out of business soon enough.

    Why?

    social media anonymityBecause he forgot in the hustle and bustle of getting to his next meeting that he was driving around in his marketing machine.

    One thing I think we forget is that we carry our brand around with us everywhere we go, whether we realize it or not. It’s easy to think that once we walk out of the office, we aren’t attached to our business anymore.

    For the social media marketer this is never true. In some way, shape, or form our name is connected to our business whether we are at the office or not. When I first started Tweeting for AccuConference, running a Google search on my name would pull up MySpace, my personal Facebook, and even this ancient article where I was quoted in my college paper.

    Three years later and when you Google my name, it’s all business. There’s my picture, my LinkedIn profile, and my company blog. Imagine if I wandered around the Internet acting like a jerk under my name. A simple search would connect me to my company and render my company a jerk as well. Here are some things you can do to at least help ease yourself back and forth.

    • Privatize your personal Twitter / Facebook account.
    • For public accounts – never say anything you wouldn’t want your mom to read.
    • Keep private jokes private. We all have them, but it you want to make a friend chuckle, send it DM or private message.
    • Run at least one search a month on your name to see what your results are. If things look positive, you’re doing a great job, if not, you may want to see what you’re doing wrong.
    • Finally – don’t be a troll. It is easy to hide behind your shield online, but with your name out there, things are bound to somehow loop back around to you and your company. If you have an opinion, that’s great, but share it in a responsible and mature way.

    I tend to be very careful what I say or do because I never know if a client might run a search to find out more about me or my company. Being a social media marketer means that my name and company is always on the windshield and I always have to remember that – do you?

    Maranda Gibson lives in Arlington, Texas and began blogging for AccuConference three years ago. Maranda writes about public speaking and making great presentations and you can check out her tips on the AccuConference blog. She can also be spotted on Twitter sharing her musical tastes and expressing her love for baseball and cooking.

    Photo by Johan Larsson

    The Advantages of Social Media Versus Traditional Media

    The following article is a guest post by Christian Arno.

    iphoneMore and more companies are using social media to promote their business and connect with customers – it is now an essential part of the marketing mix for most businesses.

    Social media platforms, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, forums and more, have a number of advantages for companies, and are fast overtaking traditional media formats such as print and TV ads, brochures, flyers and email campaigns. Here’s why…

    Low cost

    Traditional media can be extremely expensive, especially for small businesses. However, most social media is completely free to use and the only cost to businesses is the time staff need to spend updating profiles and interacting with customers and contacts.

    Businesses can use social media to create and distribute articles, videos, audio and more for a fraction of what it would cost for this content to appear in traditional media.

    Access for all

    In many ways, social media levels the playing field for businesses, as it is accessible to anyone, regardless of the size of their company, its turnover, or their contacts. Social media tools can be accessed by anyone, whereas access to traditional media can require a lot of money and a good network of media industry contacts.

    Simplicity

    Traditional media production can require a high level of skill, training and specialist equipment. However, social media channels are extremely simple to use, even for people with basic IT experience, and only a computer and internet connection are required.

    Global reach

    It’s true that traditional media can reach a global audience too, but this is extremely costly in most cases. Through social media, businesses can instantly reach a global audience as easily as they can reach customers based locally. It’s easy to tailor your content for each market segment, too.

    If you happen to hit the jackpot and produce a piece of content that does go viral, as well, there’s no limit to the amount of people you can reach at no extra cost – the trick is in hitting that sweet spot that makes content eminently shareable.

    Get to know your customers

    Social media offers unprecedented opportunities to build relationships with your customers, largely due to its real-time and participatory nature. Companies can source feedback, test ideas and manage customer services quickly and directly, in a way that they can’t with traditional media.

    Traditional media marketing is one-way, but with social media customers can choose the messages they receive and seek out. The proximity that social media offers between businesses and their customers also offers opportunities to really communicate, rather than simply push out sales messages.

    Flexibility

    With social media, companies can be extremely flexible and adapt instantly. Information can be updated, altered, added to and commented upon in a way that’s impossible in a printed advertisement or article, or a TV or radio ad. Since information can be published in seconds, you can ensure it’s always current and up to date.

    Measurable

    Feedback with social media is immediate, whereas traditional media often needs to be monitored and evaluated over a long period of time. With social media, businesses can experiment and test marketing messages and approaches, gauge user feedback and tweak the messages accordingly.

    There are an ever-growing number of easy-to-use social media measurement tools, many of which are free and provide fascinating and valuable insights for businesses.

    Although many businesses are getting on board with social media, others are still wary of it and reluctant to make a break away from traditional media. However, with its low cost, immediacy and interactivity, can your company really afford to ignore social media?

    If you’re intimidated by the world of social media, you can dip your toe in slowly. Get online, listen, get a feel for the different platforms, and start experimenting with content and interaction. You’ll soon see how much more social media can offer than traditional media.

    Christian Arno is the founder of professional translation services provider Lingo24, experts in the foreign language internet. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 150 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over forty million words for businesses in every industry sector, including the likes of MTV and World Bank. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.

    Image source: William Hook

    Transforming Organizations With Social Media: Review of Open Leadership

    How do you make your company more open using social technologies? That is the challenge that Charlene Li discusses in her latest book Open Leadership. She discusses how social media can help organizations become more open and transparent and also share ideas more effectively within the company. She also discusses how to overcome the challenges of implementing an open strategy including changing company culture or executives who view openness as too risky.

    According to the book “Most organizations don’t feel they can trust employees to use social media at all in the workplace. A survey by Robert Half Technology of 1,400 CIOs of U.S. companies reported that 54 percent of them block use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace in the workplace.”

    This demonstrates that many companies still view social media as a time waster and counter to their business goals. However there are many ways that an open strategy can help a company be more effective and profitable.

    “I’ve spoken with hundreds of leaders about their desire to tap into the power of social technologies to transform their businesses. They like the idea of being able to hear instantly what their customers are saying about them. They’re curious about the ability to obtain new ideas from customers or to lower their support costs by having customers solve each others’ problems.”

    Social media can help develop deeper relationships with customers by showing that there are real people behind the corporation.

    Charlene Li writes: “At the core, marketing and communications is about building relationships, but the key is knowing how to do it in a way that feels relevant and “authentic” to someone.”

    The book also gives a good argument against focusing too much the ROI of social media which inevitably comes up at large organizations.

    She writes: “An undue emphasis on hard ROI does no one any good…Inevitably, we base many of our decisions on just the thinnest sliver of information and evidence or, even more likely, our gut feeling…what’s the ROI of a handshake?…companies invest an inordinate amount of money on relationships…In most cases more than half of a company’s operating expenses are likely to be spent on activities that have an indirect impact on the bottom line. We may not be able to link the ROI of these expenses to direct sales, but we know there’s some incremental benefit that makes them worthwhile.”

    However to convince leaders who still need ROI justification, there are some great cost/benefit breakdowns with ROI estimates.

    Li also goes beyond theory and provides action plans for an initial openness audit, creating social media guidelines, executing the open strategy, and preparing for failures. She explains different models that organizations can adopt such as organic, centralized, and coordinated because the level of openness will depend on the organization. I would encourage any business leader to read this book, especially if you are a leader at a medium or large organization.

    Full Disclosure: I received a review copy

    Best Buy CMO Barry Judge on the Future of Marketing: Video

    I think a company that really understands the new digital marketing landscape is Best Buy. The CMO has a blog and twitter (@bestbuycmo) where he talks and learns from customers. Greg Verdino discusses engaging consumers with digital media and how Best Buy is building credibility for social media marketing.

    The importance of listening, and engaging with customers directly in an open and honest way. The growing importance of the mobile web and the ways it can empower consumers throughout the buying process. The fact that everything is going digital and what this means for the products and services companies offer. The realizations that a great customer experience is the best marketing money can’t buy, and that brands are inherently social.

    Heard it all before? Of course. But somehow it sounds more credible when spoken by the CMO of a large corporation, even more so when that CMO works for a company that actually practices what he preaches.

    Check out this video of Best Buy CMO Barry Judge, talking about the future of marketing. Judge offers a nice overview of how Best Buy’s marketing approach has evolved from old school tell-n-sell, where it is now, and where it’s headed tomorrow.


    This article was originally posted at Greg Verdino’s Blog, and is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 license.

    John Jantsch Discusses Twitter Tactics for Small Businesses (Audio)

    If you are a marketer of small to medium businesses, John Jantsch is someone you ought to be paying close attention to. Jantsch practices what he preaches and has built one of the strongest brands in small business marketing. In this podcast he goes into depth on how small businesses can utilize Twitter to market better and grow their business.

    Duct Tape Marketing Podcast website