Category Archives: Social Marketing Tips
I was recently reading a discussion in a LinkedIn group about Facebook Ads. One member was having trouble getting people to click his ads and asked for advice. Another member commented that Facebook Ads were still in their infancy and the advice-seeker should stick to Google Ads.
I’m very inclined to disagree with this line of thinking. Facebook Ads can be successfully used to drive immediate and long-term benefits. It’s up to the marketer to know how to properly execute the Facebook Ad strategy to get the best results.
A lot of blog posts today talk about using GeoTargeting and Interest Targeting to reach the right audience. This is of course, extremely important. What’s equally as important is what happens after someone clicks the ad, and I don’t just mean what type of landing page you send the traffic to. I mean, what happens after the person clicks the ad that turns them into a long-term customer?
First let’s talk about possible places to send the ad traffic to, and then how to turn that traffic into loyal customers.
Where to send the Facebook Ad click:
When using Facebook Ads you have three main options for where to send the person who clicks your ad:
-Optimized landing Page (in a nutshell: limited navigation, scannable content, A/B tested, clear call to action)
-Your Website (homepage or a deep link)
Sending people to your Website, either the homepage or a deep link, is almost always the wrong answer. Your Website has a lot of information on it, but your ad promises something specific (receiving a percentage off, redeeming a free gift or coupon, finding information on a specific product, etc.).
Sending people to your Website can distract them from their intial desire to get what was promised in the ad. Once they’re off track they may never get back on track, and you’ve now paid for a click that led to no action.
Depending on what your goal is, you will get the most out of your ad by sending the traffic to a optimized landing page or your Facebook page.
Long-term goals for Facebook Ad converts
Choosing which option is right requires thinking about your long term goal for the traffic. Your short term goal is likely:
-Get people to download a coupon
-Get people to download a white paper or other collateral
-Get people to learn more about a specific product
Your long-term goals should focus on what you are going to do with these people after they take your immediate call to action. Ask yourself:
-Would it benefit me to have these people opt-in to my newsletter
-Would it benefit me to put these people in an email nurture campaign?
-Would it benefit me to connect with these people socially on a daily basis?
Depending on your answers to these questions (and the answer to at least one of them should be “Yes!”) you should have a clearer idea of whether to send folks to an optimized landing page or your Facebook Page.
Long-term Facebook Page benefits
If your core customer type is socially active and you have a fairly mature social media program, sending the Facebook ad traffic to your Facebook Page makes a lot of sense. You can create a custom landing page that focuses on your call to action. For example, “Click like to unlock the coupon” is a tactic that works well. As a marketer you are now able to:
-Track the use of the coupon (and a direct ROI on the Facebook Ad spend)
-Connect daily with the new members of your Facebook page.
-Send them future coupons and promotions
-Increase brand awareness by staying on their minds
Here’s an example of Whisk using this method:
Long-term optimized landing page benefits
If your core customer type is not very socially active (they use Facebook sparingly to connect with friends and family but don’t log in daily), you would not want to send those people to your Facebook Page.
Rather you should send them to an optimized landing page. On the landing page you can include a promo code or a printable coupon (allowing you to correlate a direct ROI on the Facebook ad spend) and also include an opt-in email form.
The opt-in form can allow you to do the same type of things the Facebook Page does. It will allow you to send future coupons, promotions and marketing collateral. It will even help you increase brand awareness by staying on their minds if you have a drip or nurture email campaign set up.
Just be sure that all email recipients opt-in and always have an opt-out option. You don’t want to violate CAN-SPAM laws!
The bottom line is, in most cases your Facebook ad doesn’t have to serve just one immediate purpose — turn those clicks into long-term customers by having a plan to connect after the immediate benefit is received.
Are you using Facebook Ads? Where are you driving the traffic to? Are you receiving long-term benefits?
Most business owners and definitely all digitally savvy public relations managers are signed up for Google Alerts.
A Google Alert is an email from Google that contains links and a summary of new content that has been indexed using the keywords you set up the alerts for.
Google Alerts allow Google to notify you every time they find a new piece of content that mentions a specific keyword. Most people sign up for alerts for:
-Top industry-related keywords
Google Alerts help you monitor what is being said about you, your brand and your industry.
Many times Google Alerts will be a mix of really useful content and a few pieces of spam — this is especially true for keywords that are traditionally highly spammy, like “blogging for business” or “conversion optimization tips.” Naturally this is because every spammer and his brother is out there trying to rank for these highly competitive keywords.
But, like I said, the useful content often outweighs the spam.
When you receive a Google Alert you should scan the contents for:
-Anything about your site
-Anything about your competitors
-Any sources that might be a good place for you to guest blog
The above example is one Google Alert I receive to help me monitor content for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, a client of mine.
The first two news stories shown are ones that I knew would be published, the third one is a bit spammy but the last one from humanitariannews.org, is one I checked out for guest blogging purposes. Actually, the first reason I checked it out is to see what the blogger is writing about the Fossey Fund (it’s important to know the online sentiment of your brand), second I’m checking it to see if it might be a good place for a guest blog post.
Every day I receive Google Alerts like this where I can monitor what people are saying around the web and find new guest posting opportunities.
If you aren’t already using Google Alerts for this purpose, I definitely suggest you start today!
How are you using Google Alerts? Do you use it to find guest blogging and other PR opportunities?
Running contests using social media is a great way to increase the number of participants (and the number of people who know about your brand) through word of mouth marketing. Here are six steps to getting your started:
1. Decide what the goal of the contest is:
Are you using the contest for customer acquisition or customer retention? This is the number one decision that has to be made because it will shape all the messaging for the contest, who is eligible and what the prize should be.
The side benefits for either (acquisition or retention) includes increase brand awareness and similar benefits, so don’t confuse these as the main goal.
2. Determine the (social) rules of the contest:
Decide what users will have to do to enter the contest. Remember that your traffic sources are social networks, so make it easy for a social media user to enter.
For instance, if a user account has to be created to enter, allow users to sign up using Twitter or Facebook.
Also consider that one great advantage of running a contest via social media is the aplification of your message to people who may not know about you. This means you want the majority of the contest steps to take place on social networks where the amplification will happen.
Consider rules like:
-You must RT this message to be entered
-Use this #hashtag as many times as possible over the next week. The person who uses it the most will be the winner.
-Each time you use this #hashtag you will be entered into the drawing another time
A huge benefit to using a contest-specific hashtag like #TypeKContest would be that you can interact with the participants in a wide open conversation. Anyone who uses the hashtag is in on the convo – it’s like a tweet chat that goes on for days!
Great creative with your rules, just make sure they’re social, measurable and evangelize your brand!
3. Write benefit-driven messaging to promote the contest:
What are the benefits of participating in the contest? The obvious benefit will be the top prize you are offering. However, also include if there are second or third level prizes or if everyone who participates get something.
Great “free” prizes to offer everyone include:
-A white paper you’ve written
-Top 10 guide you’ve written
-Webinar you’ve recorded
Also, talk up how easy it is to enter the contest (as long as it’s true).
4. Use more than one social network:
Don’t confine your contest is only one social network. Allow everyone in your social universe to get involved. Promote it everywhere you can that makes sense. If the contest is for customer retention rather than customer acquisiton, you’ll likely be more limited in how you market the contest and the number of people who get involved, but you have endless possibilities in where you can market it.
Social networks that are prime for running a contest:
-Your blog commenting area
5. Decide on the prize:
If the goal of your contest is customer acquisition, the prize likely should be a free account, free services, a free contract or something of that nature.
This works really great in the B2B world for expensive contracts. For example, if the winner receives a FREE one year contract for your B2B software and the annual contract is valued at $25,000 a year, your goal is to turn that winner into a long-time customer that extends the contract beyond one year.
If the goal of your contest is customer retention, the prize should not be related to your company (in most cases). You want to reward your customers with a great, third party prize (could be something one of your partner’s offers) such as an iPad, a vacation or conference tickets.
6. Capture leads from the contest:
If at any point during the contest entrance process you have capture personal information, be sure to include an opt-in line that allows you to use the information for marketing purposes. I don’t mean you should spam the entrants as soon as they enter.
Rather, you could place them into an email nurture campaign or in your e-newsletter list. This allows you to have touchpoints with them after the contest is over.
Additionally, you definitely want to create a Twitter List specific to contest entrants. This allows you to talk to people on this list in a more specific way than you might to your general followers. You know the people on this list are engaged with you because they took the time to enter the contest.
Twitter segmentation through lists is a must-do for all Twitter campaigns and contests you run.
What tips do you have for running a contest on social networks? Leave a comment below! If you need help running a contest on social networks, send me an email now.
This past weekend Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 opened to $168.6 million, and the Fandango site went down. Throughout most of Saturday, potential Fandango customers (including myself) were unable to purchase movie tickets through the site. Given that Fandango’s main purpose is to sell movie tickets, one would imagine they would have their web development team working hard to fix the site issues.
Customers took to Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration to the world (and to Fandango). Here are just a few of the postings:
So many upset customers, and yet no response from a Fandango rep to any of these messages.
I recently wrote a post arguing that most companies do not need a social media representative who works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, I probably should have mentioned it can be a huge PR nightmare if you don’t respond to an emergency right away. While this isn’t a life-or-death emergency situation in any way, it should be considered an emergency to Fandango. They are unable to sell their product and their customers are very upset. Not just one customer, but many customers, who complained all through out the day.
From a social media perspective, this could have been a huge opportunity for Fandango to show it’s human side… and more importantly to show how much it values its customers. It should have had a social rep available to answer questions and keep frustrated customers updated. Fandango’s official Twitter account says “Rachel here” — but where is here? Saying that Rachel is behind the Twitter account is a great way to humanize the brand, unfortunately it only works if Rachel is actually there when it counts.
Even worse is that Fandango’s customer service line was providing a similar level of help for frustrated customers:
As I’ve said multiple times in the past, great customer service has to be part of a company’s culture.
Every single line of customer service should be properly staffed and maintained. For many companies this will involve simply having representatives available during normal business hours. However, in times of a crisis (aka customers not being able to make a purchase), all customer service avenues should be manned and responding as fast as possible.
I didn’t write this post to express my personal frustration with Fandango, but rather as an example we can all learn from. Great customer service should always be the number one priority for every company. And, while frustrated customers who call your phone line may later vent to close friends, your social customers will vent to the whole world.
What would you tell Fandango to do to improve their social customer service? Leave a comment below!
Recently Darren Dahl asked me for a few tips on B2B social media marketing for an article he was writing for the American Express OPEN Forum. Here’s what I had to say:
Plan your attack
B2B social media really shouldn’t be that different from B2C social media, says Kristina Allen, who heads up Type K Marketing in Fort Lauderdale. “Companies must remember that even though they are selling to a business, the business doesn’t make the final purchasing decision, a person does,” says Allen. “B2B messages must still resonate with people.” Given that advice, Allen suggests the following tactics.
-Use social media for lead generation: connect with people talking about the topics your company can help with and begin a conversation with them.
-Use social media to establish your brand as a thought leader: connect with other thought leaders, produce a thought-leadership blog, produce white papers and podcasts, etc.
-Use social media for lead nurture: create a hidden list to add your warm leads to.
-Engage them daily on Twitter and other networks to keep them warm and move them toward purchase.
-Use social media for customer service: monitor brand keywords and reach out to any customers who need assistance.
-Create how-to videos and circulate them socially.
-Create industry related, branded infographics and use them for lead generation.
You can read the rest of the article about B2B social media marketing now up on the American Express OPEN Forum.
What are some other ways B2B marketers can use social media? Leave a comment below.
Yesterday Chris Hall wrote a guest post for one of my favorite blogs entitled: The Fallacy of Round the Clock Social Media. In the post Chris talks about the expected, average customer service response time on social networks.
Because online marketers tend to be uber connected, we often check our social networks about sixty times an hour (only a slight exaggeration, really). From the time we wake up until the time we fall asleep, we’re flipping open our Hootsuite accounts to see if we need to respond to anything.
A 9 to 5 social media response schedule
Chris argues that we should be more willing to disconnect during our “off hours.” He says, for most brands, whether a social media response comes at 11pm or 9am doesn’t matter. He argues that keeping a 9 to 5 social media response schedule is okay.
I tend to agree with Chris’ theory. For most brands a social media strategy doesn’t have to have a 24 hour response cycle. I commented that a brand like a hotel might want to have a 24-hour cycle but a 9 to 5 business doesn’t need one. However, even in the case of a 24-hour, always on-call brand (like a hotel), having someone at the social media wheel isn’t necessary if a proper customer service strategy is in place.
For example, if someone is having a bad night at a hotel for one reason or another and he tweets about it – someone should respond right away. Come the next morning the bad experience won’t be forgotten even with a comped room the next night or on a subsequent visit. The problem must be nipped in the bud.
However, most people wouldn’t tweet about an issue in the middle of the night at a hotel, they would call down to the front desk first. If there is a solid customer service strategy in place that all employees adhere to, the issue should never make it onto Twitter at 2am. The front desk staff should be equipped to take care of the issue right away, then the social media team can follow up with the customer the next morning.
Following up after a customer complaint should always happen anyway, social media involved or not.
Whether it’s used as a customer service, marketing or public relations tactic, social media should always be part of an integrated strategy.
A 24-hour response cycle
One other commenter on the original post wrote that brands that monitor social media 24/7 are providing exceptional customer service. He says that while this isn’t yet necessary it may be in the future. He writes:
Responding to social media chatter within minutes all hours of the day is not the norm…yet. But how upset are you when you call a call center and you hear “call back during our regular business hours” or get put on hold for 5 minutes?
This is a valid point, however my argument is that a reasonable person would not expect most companies to answer the phone at 2am. There are certain brands that certainly MUST be available 24 hours a day in some customer service capacity (police, hospitals, firemen, etc.) but to suggest that all companies must keep these hours is just not reasonable. There are issues that need immediate attendance and there are issues that can wait until 9am.
During the 9 to 5 hours certainly someone should be monitoring and responding to social media mentions as soon as they come in. But, even if it becomes the norm to keep an overnight social marketer on staff it doesn’t make it reasonable.
Do you really need Pepsi to respond to your tweet at 2am because your bottle exploded? Do you need Oral-B to respond to your Facebook post at midnight because your new toothbrush bristles aren’t firm enough even though you bought Extra Firm? Do you need your accountant to respond on Quora at 3am because you had a dream about your taxes that made you think of a new question?
It certainly would be nice, but it’s definitely should not be expected. The brands that respond at all hours of the day will certainly be recognized as exceptional by … well, probably by fellow marketers. But brands that keep a 9 to 5 schedule probably won’t see any loss in revenue because they aren’t responding on Twitter at 3am.
My advice is simply to know where to put your efforts.
I think the overarching issue here is not about social media policies and response times, but rather how we can improve customer service period.
What do you think? Should all brands keep a 24-hour (or 15-18 hour) customer service schedule, or is 9 to 5 okay?
The more you tweet and engage with followers about a particular topic, the higher your authority will be about that topic. Not just in the bragging rights sense, but also in the way Google and other search engines rank the pages you tweet links to. That means if you often tweet keyword rich messages with links back to your own site, your pages can rank higher just because you’re active on Twitter.
Your Authority Score
Currently search engines like Google and Bing look to your authority score (in combination with other parts of their search algorithms) to determine how to rank the pages you tweet links to. Your authority score is very fluid though. Neglecting your Twitter account for even just one day can sink your authority and reduce the weight of the links you tweet. However, the swing goes in the other direction as well. If you start tweeting and engaging followers and racking up retweets your authority can skyrocket pretty quickly as well.
You can keep track of how well you’re doing by checking out your Klout Score which ranks your social influence. People who rank in the 90s or at 100 have the highest influence and authority or in theory that would be the case.
The authority score is calculated based on quite a few factors including your following to follower ratio, the number of likes and retweets you get and your ability to get votes on social bookmarking sites like Digg.
Image source: Search Engine Journal
When it comes to social marketing activity, there is no doubt in my mind that Twitter eats up the most amount of time. However, if you’re properly engaging in conversations, sharing good material and increasing traffic to your Website – it becomes less of a daily task or more of a fun activity.
What benefits have you reaped from increased Twitter engagement? Leave a comment below!
Small businesses without a dedicated social marketer on staff often neglect social networks all together thinking management of the networks will require too much time. However, with a plan and a checklist in hand, even a time-strapped business owner can tackle basic social networking tasks.
Here are some tips I found on Chris Brogan’s blog along with some tips of my own:
(You can Download the Daily Social Media Checklist as a PDF now)
-Find seven things worth retweeting (spaced out throughout the day)
-Reply to at least five tweets with full responses (not just “thanks for the RT”)
-Follow back up to 10 new people
-Twice a week check out the lists you’ve been added to
-Tweet at least three pictures each week
-Respond to at least three interesting comments on the wall
-Post at least one status update
-Post at least three pictures each week
(pictures hold the most FB weight and are shown in newsfeeds the longest / provide highest level of engagement)
-Approve group requests early in the day
-Post one question, status update or link
-Respond to comments
It will be important to monitor @ replies on Twitter and keyword searches for your company constantly, but you can use an app to help you rather than having to sit and watch your feed all day.
I like to use Newsfire for Mac but there are plenty of other tools you can try. With Newsfire you simply tell the app which keywords you need to know about and it’ll pop up an alert as soon as someone tweets that keyword or phrase.
You can Download the Daily Social Media Checklist as a PDF now. Print it out and post it above your computer!
Anything you think should be added to the daily social media checklist? Leave a comment below and I’ll update the doc with the best responses!
There is no doubt, the UFC does a lot of things right when it comes to integrated marketing campaigns. For each Pay-Per-View (PPV) event, they air a portion of the pre-lim fights on the official UFC Facebook page, then they show another hour’s worth of pre-lims on Spike TV and finally fans are encouraged to order the main event on PPV. After getting hyped up watching two hours of free fights and seeing ads for the main event, I imagine a huge portion of the audience goes on to buy the PPV.
Campaign-Specific Hashtag: #UFC131
Across the bottom of the screen during the pre-lims viewers see a banner that calls them to action. This past Saturday it persuaded fans to tweet with the fighters and other fans using the campaign-specific hashtag #UFC131.
Using this hashtag allows UFC founder, Dana White, to monitor fan conversations in real time. He knows if cable goes out somewhere or if a fan is upset because he purchased expensive but fake tickets. In an interview with ESPN White says, “Back in the old days, this is [stuff] you wouldn’t know until Monday. You’d hear all these bad things that happened during your event, and you’d be like, ‘God, we got to make sure this doesn’t happen next time.’ … Now, as these things are happening, I have people running around fixing all the problems that are happening that I’m reading on Twitter.”
Social Media Engagement, @DanaWhite
White understands the key to social media is engagement. He responds to fans, eggs them on, tweets to fighters and shares his inside insight.
He also doesn’t sensor himself the way other CEO’s do. In fact you’ll often see White engaging in public arguments with those who provoke him. He doesn’t hold back because fans wouldn’t want him to. He understands his target audience.
Not only does White use social media to connect with fans but he encourages fans to connect with each other and the fighters through Twitter and Facebook.
By advertising a single hashtag to use, fans can find each other to talk about the fights or support their favorite mix martial artists. It also allows fans who aren’t able to watch the PPV find information about the fights in real time.
White is offering a social media bonus for fighters who put together the best campaigns. His personal Twitter account reaches about 1.5 million fans, while the official UFC account connects with close to 3 million fans. But why stop there? Each individual fighter brings his own fan base and White hopes to increase awareness for the UFC and its events by having the fighters engage their fans on a consistent basis. To do so, he provided social media training and introduced a social media incentive.
When asked why, White said. “It’s not only good for all of us, but when the fighters retire, they have this built-in fan base,”
He says, “When they move on to that next chapter in their life and they continue to do other things, they’re still connected with all these fans.”
I like that!
Social Marketing Take-A-Ways
-Cross-channel campaigns are the best kind. Use TV air time to promote your social media activities and vice versa to get the whole world talking! (Or at least your target audience).
-Engagement is the key to effective social marketing for customer service. Don’t just post updates, solve problems for your fans.
-Fans will respond to you positively if you act real. Don’t try to sound corporate or overly fun (what I call “Fake Fun”). Just be yourself.
-Train your team to use social media the right way and reap the benefits of increased brand awareness.
UFC fans and smart marketers, what do you think Dana is doing right? Leave a comment below. I’ll add the best answers to this blog post.
In the beginning there was light … people knew their companies should be on social networks to engage with customers, but weren’t sure how to tie those efforts to ROI. Today we have many tools, metrics and books to help us demonstrate a return from social networking. Whether your social goals are customer loyalty, brand recognition, customer service, lead generation, or something in between or outside this box, there are ways to track, analyze, measure and optimize your efforts.
While social media marketing is no longer in its infancy, for many companies it’s still in its growing stages – and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you’ve already successfully created your social strategy and have been immersed in it for some time, it’s a good idea to look at taking your efforts to the next level.
In the case of brand recognition, customer loyalty and other similar efforts, you’ll want to discuss how to tie your social and SEO efforts together into a neatly packed sandwich. If your social goals are more closely aligned with “sales” activities like lead generation or direct purchases, you’ll want to look at how to use social as a cycle where you bring the consumers back again for repeat conversions/sales.
In the end I think you’ll see social, SEO and multiple conversions all must come together in order to demonstrate long-term ROI, but first let’s break it down piece by piece.
Marry your social and SEO efforts
While Twitter search isn’t going to take over Google any time soon, it is likely that as more people join Twitter the more the search function will be used. Because Twitter is often used as a way to connect with friends to talk about brands, or to connect with brands for customer service/sales, it should not be ignored in your SEO strategy. When you’re constructing your tweets, be sure to include the top keywords you’d like to rank for. Doing so is likely to increase your reach and brand recognition.
Beyond that, the people who do search and find you on Twitter are very likely to engage with you (if they couldn’t find you, how could they engage you?); link to you, talk about you, want to buy from you, etc. And that, for brands, is what it’s all about: social media ROI.
Strive for Repeat Conversions
Once you’re successfully bringing in social media leads and converting them into paying customers, you’ll want bring them back around again.
Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents took you to Disney world? As soon as you got off Space Mountain you wanted to go right back in line and get on again, right? Your sales process should work in much the same way; it should be painless and exciting to keep the customers coming back.
Once your visitor becomes a customer and makes a purchase, they will hopefully be in a great state of mind– simply overjoyed by their decision to welcome a cool new product or solution into their lives. While they’re in this euphoric state, you as a marketer are presented with the perfect opportunity to have them share this positive sentiment with their social networks. By serving up a one-click share option on a thank-you page, you position your company to now be introduced, in a positive light, to many new people.
Not only that but inviting the customer to connect with you on social networks allows you to continue to keep your message in front of them, engage them in daily conversation, and subtly remind them to come back again. That’s called killing three birds with one stone: repeat conversions (sales), increased brand recognition and increased loyalty. All of which are directly correlated to ROI.
Although every company and brand is different, it seems clear to me that SEO and social are both working towards the same goal for businesses: to bring in new eyeballs that will eventually convert. Undoubtedly, they both go about it in different ways, but when combined together, the results can be staggering.
Are you ready to take your social strategy to the next level? How are you going to do it?
This post originally appeared on the Kyle Lacy’s (author of Twitter Marketing for Dummies) blog and was written by Kristina Allen president of Type K Agency.