Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Social News: Facebook Eases the Pain of Managing Multiple Business Pages

Do you manage multiple Facebook business pages and/or ad accounts?

If the answer is yes, you’ve likely felt the mind-numbing pain and frustration of trying to keep all of your accounts straight. Up until now, Facebook hasn’t made it easy for users to manage multiple pages.

At TKG, we manage multiple business pages and advertisement accounts – and it can get quite cumbersome to navigate from account to account, in addition to having the risk of using incorrect payment methods on different advertising campaigns without a way to switch between payment methods.

All of that has changed with the launch of Facebook’s business manager tool. Marketers, rejoice!

The new tool will allow admins more control and keep everything in one place.

Here are the basic steps to get your Facebook business manager account setup:

Step 1: Login to your Facebook Account

Step 2: Go to http://business.facebook.com

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the page and click get started.

setting up facebook business manager

Step 4: Read the “Getting Started” page, then click “Next”.

Step 5: Enter Information about your business, then click “Next”.

Step 6: Enter your business name and select which page you want to use as your primary business page. Please note that you need to have admin privileges for the page you would like to use as the primary. Click “Next” to move to the next step.

Step 7: Enter your personal information to setup your business manager user account, then click “Next.”

And just like that you are set up to add business pages and ad accounts. From now on, you will need to go to http://business.facebook.com to manage your primary business page.

Try it out and let us know what you think! Does the change help your business?

Do Social Media Best Practices Work for You?

best type of tweetIt’s easy enough to read article after article on general best practices for Social Media. We’ve even posted some of those general best practices here, because they are great guidelines for businesses looking to get started or to enhance their Social Media efforts.

While these general best practices are named so for a reason (they do indeed fare well on Social), there are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Adhering blindly to any practice without monitoring and testing to ensure its best for your audience can often mean plummeting results in engagement or followers.

Businesses and brands who use best practices as initial guidelines only, and move forward to develop their own unique formula for Social usually fare well in the mercurial world of selfies and viral Kickstarter campaigns. Here are some ways I’ve been seeing how non-general-best-practices have been working for clients lately.

1. “Normal” Tweets

Twitter upgraded its platform to be much more visual. In fact, a Twitter feed is now virtually identical to a Facebook feed, with links, photos and videos blended seamlessly together in a single stream.

While this visual experience can make for a richer interaction with your brand, some of our clients are actually seeing better results with “normal” Tweets, or Tweets that are simply statements or questions, with no photos, videos or links attached.

The important thing with normal Tweets is that they contain compelling, shareable or engaging content to help them stand out from photos or videos. Often, they come in the form of a question, a fact, or even just a witty take on a service or brand promise.

2. Tagged Posts and Mentions

Facebook, of course, swings heavily visual, especially with recent updates including more video in feeds. If you’re running a Page on Facebook, however, you’ve probably noticed that even visually compelling posts have taken a nosedive in organic reach.

You’re not alone. Recent algorithm changes have hit Pages hard, meaning that less and less of your content will be seen organically by your fans (the platform is gradually moving toward a world where brands will likely need to pay for, oh, just about any exposure in individual user’s feeds).

However, we have seen some better than average engagement with posts that not only feature a photo, but also tag or mention other businesses or brands in the photo caption or status update. Not only does this tactic seem to push the post a little further into the feed, it can be a great help to fledgling pages that need as much exposure as possible.

Do be careful here, though, to use this tactic in a natural and friendly way, since it can very easily morph into spam.

instagram clean photos3. “Clean” Photos

When sharing photos, especially on Instagram, it’s tempting to overuse enhanced controls and filter options. Sometimes these filters can be used to great effect…and sometimes, well, less is more.

For some of our clients (and even TKG!), we’ve seen higher engagement with photos with no filters, or with filters that only subtly enhance or alter the photo.

While I’m currently monitoring from month to month to check numbers against each other (it’s possible that certain hashtags are coinciding with no filter posts, or that we simply haven’t stumbled upon the “right” filter for our audience yet), it is interesting to note what is working in the present. In a sea of harsh burnouts and overly wide frames, it does appear that simple, well-lit photos are outshining layer after layer of poorly used tilt shift.

Again, best practices are named so for a reason, and they’re always a great place to start for your brand or business. But as the competition to be heard continues to increase on Social Media, it’s more important than ever to closely monitor analytics and insights and adjust general best practices to your best practices.

This Week in Social Media: New LinkedIn App

LinkedIn recently announced a new iPhone app to replace an outdated Contacts app.

The new app, called “LinkedIn Connected”, is designed to help you stay better connected with your network. Connected will allow your network to see special moments in your career or life and increase your ability to receive endorsements as well as many more profile views.

LinkedIn says users could receive 6X as many profile views with LinkedIn Connected, as well as 7X as many endorsements.

Because the goal of the app is to help you stay more intimately connected with members of your network, LinkedIn says the app includes easy ways to invest in your relationships: big moments, personal victories and professional accomplishments are all highlighted in LinkedIn Connected.

“We know you’d love to reach out and catch up with everyone in your network over coffee, but that isn’t always possible. Connected gives you relevant, and timely, reasons to reach out and keep in touch with the people in your network,” said LinkedIn’s David Brubacher. “This app helps you invest in your relationships today, so opportunities blossom for you tomorrow.”

The early reviews of the app from early users are overwhelmingly positive, with most reviewers noting ease of use and functionality.

What they say is true – it really is all about who you know sometimes. Keeping your network up to date (and your prospects warm!) is important. It looks like this app might help with that. It is now available in the App Store.

Have you tried LinkedIn Connected yet? We’d love to know what you think of it!

Building a Strong Brand on LinkedIn

building a brand on linkedinLinkedIn is a powerful tool to display your company professionally. But it should also be used to expand your follower and fan base, release company news that might not fit well on your other Social platforms and recruit from the diverse and talented group of professionals that use the platform.

It is important to put thought into your brand’s logo, description, connections and external links on LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile is a snapshot of your brand and can often be a prospective client’s first impression.

But why use LinkedIn for your brand in the first place? LinkedIn offers several benefits for companies, including:

  1. B2B Networking: Find and vet new vendors, suppliers and manufacturers, connect with partner companies or organizations and simply keep an eye on the competition
  2. B2C Networking: Build your brand, add a different facet to your brand, increase likability and trust through transparency, product promotion
  3. Lead Generation: Network with possible consumers through an optimized profile and robust product and services descriptions
  4. Staffing: Find and recruit qualified active and passive candidates
  5. Customer Satisfaction: Interact with customers on a one-to-one basis, such as through conducting surveys, answering questions or solving customer complaints or problems
  6. Promoting Corporate Culture: Connect with employees and leverage employees to interact with the page, share stories, accomplishments or awards and show the human side of the business

LinkedIn is so much more than a simple “digital business card.” It is a valuable way to promote your company to thousands of customers, build your brand, and promote your company’s culture.

When building your company page, first think through why you’d like to leverage LinkedIn for your brand. It can be for any of the reasons listed above, but having a good idea of what you’d like to accomplish will help you begin to build a strong brand on the platform.

Next, match the overall look, tone and feel of your brand as closely as possible on the platform. No need to re-invent the wheel; use images your customers and employees are already familiar with and can easily recognize.

But beyond creating a consistent profile that matches the look, feel and tone of your brand, there’s more. Frequent, consistent posting helps companies build their audience on LinkedIn while also giving followers a “behind the scenes” look at their business. Showing this angle to your business, as well as adding showcase pages or posting current job openings, lends to a feeling of transparency to your company, which can be an excellent way to attract new customers and bolster your overall brand.

Just remember, LinkedIn might be a platform dedicated to business, but it is still a Social platform. So think through how customers or employees might want to socially interact with the “business side” of your business. You may not want to post your latest press release in its entirety, but you might want to post a quick snippet with a photo that then leads to a link on your website. Think in small snapshots, and your followers will be grateful.

Are you currently building your brand on LinkedIn? What tactics have you found helpful?

Are You a Brand Journalist?

brand journalist

A shopping cart full of Shearer Perfection!

It was me.

It’s true; I was that crazy lady snapping pictures of her shopping cart at the grocery store this weekend. And of the nice endcap display. And, umm, I may have taken a few of some random guy’s cart.

Yeah, that too.

Don’t judge. It was all in the name of good content.

It’s no secret that brands and marketers everywhere continue to scramble to figure out what good content is and how they can create and incorporate it into all of their platforms.

Everyone knows that content is king (if you haven’t heard that, you’ve likely been living under a rock!). But what a lot of people don’t realize is that good content isn’t this crazy, hard-to-obtain thing. Good content is everywhere, and the simplest things are often the best.

The key to finding that perfectly on-target content is to just live it. Rather than try to dream up an idea that will make people everywhere swoon to ‘like’ your content, try coming by it naturally. If you know your product and audience, you shouldn’t have to reach too far.

The trick comes in mobilizing your staff to become brand journalists of sorts, and able to report what they see in real time.

In social media, it’s the difference between your company telling people that it is awesome vs. someone else relating to other why your company is so awesome. It kinda inches up the credibility a notch.

At TKG, we often become brand journalists for our clients, taking every opportunity to take notes and snap pictures when we see the product or service of one of our clients in the real world. Essentially, we become another set of eyes that can capture stories as they are happening.

And yes, sometimes that happens at the grocery store, like it did for me last weekend. Shearer’s Potato Chips is a TKG client, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to snap a few pics for them of some perfectly placed Shearer’s chips in the cart in front of me. Or the wild riceworks that just so happened to jump in my cart (side note: you have to try them, they are amazingly delicious and addictive).

People connect with brands through social channels when they can see their lives in it. Good content is relatable, relevant and personal. And in the ever-evolving world of news, it’s important for brands to be able to tell their own story.

Is your brand telling the story of your business? Is your staff mobilized to spot good stories that should be shared? Are you sharing them in a consistent and well strategized way? We’d love to hear how brand journalism is working for you.

This Week in Social Media: Should Facebook Suggest You Unfollow Pages?

Should Facebook suggest you unfollow pages? Have you noticed that Facebook has started asking if you want to unfollow pages as you scroll through them in your newsfeed?

As if people didn’t already know they could unfollow pages, now the option is right in front of their face – and the dreaded unfollow is just one click away.

Allfacebook.com reported the new practice is a test by Facebook.

The worry for marketers, of course, is that the test will become permanent and pages will lose even more visibility in newsfeeds.

The reason it matters to you? Your posts need to be primo – top notch and on-target every time – in order to retain your fans. More than ever, brand posts are going to have to matter to fans, so make ‘em good! Posts will also need to reach out to fans in more substantial ways than, “Like and Share if you agree!”

Why? Because you need interested and engaged fans.

It all boils down to what is more important: visibility or engagement?

Visibility vs. Engagement

Some think that having inactive fans unfollow a page could be a good thing. They may have followed the page to win a contest, get a coupon or whatever, but there was not further engagement after that time. Having them unfollow enables a brand to target and reach a specific audience that they know is interested in their products.

On the other hand, many brands may take less followers as adding insult to injury after also watching their organic reach decline rapidly over the last several months. The visibility they feel like they have built up in their fan base may now begin to decline as well.

Many companies, especially smaller businesses, have had to work hard for each and every “Like” or “Follow.”

Fans, on the other hand, are often glad to “clean up” their newsfeed and drop brands they don’t want anymore.

So what’s your take? Will this invitation by Facebook to “unfollow” pages result in a decline in visibility for brands? Or do you think it will it just foster engagement with those who are truly interested in the brand?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Photo Credit

Does Your Company Have LinkedIn Showcase Pages Yet?

LinkedIn is seen as many things by many people. To some it is the most wonderful social media platform available to our day and age. You can find and interact with coworkers, bosses, owners, read Richard Branson’s newest business tips, and spam other users with skills and endorsements.

It’s LinkedIn’s latest change that is both surprising, yet not at all surprising at the same time. They have removed your products and services from your company profile. Yes, they did it. Maybe you read an article telling you it was happening, or maybe you’re only just now hearing about it. Either way, this presents a problem if you haven’t had a chance to request the recommendations you had previously received.

LinkedIn Showcase PagesDon’t worry! Well, not yet. You have until May 30th to request your recommendations. You’ll still need to request permission from the individual who gave the recommendation before using it for promotional purposes, but at least you’ll have them. You worked hard for those recommendations. You gave the world your best product or service, and they gave back, and not just in recommendations, since you usually buy or use something before recommending it.

Now is the time to make sure LinkedIn-verse has an opportunity to see glory return to your company page. Now is the time for Showcase Pages.

A showcase page is the replacement to your former products and services tab. So what’s the difference? It is much more customizable! And, the various citizens of LinkedIn have the opportunity to now follow your product or service, instead of having to rely on your overarching company page for product updates, fixes, or new features, they can simply follow your product or service and automatically receive any posts you make. I would still recommend that you don’t only spam people with offers or promotional updates, be sure to include some engaging pieces about cute puppies or lolcats.

Bonus item: You now get to use your beloved Hero Image on your showcase page. Simply put, showcase pages allow you to give a more customized appearance for your product or service, and the extra bit of engaging the audience.

Extra Bonus Item: Your showcase page is searchable. If someone begins looking for your product on LinkedIn, they no longer have to fumble the search to find your “best thing ever!”

Sure your page may look a little bare right now, but you have huge opportunity to (re)engage your target audience with updates they care about! Updates they actually may want to see! Updates that let them know what’s happening with your product, and not everything else you may throw on LinkedIn.

I’m sure they’ve been over-used as an example of a company with great showcase pages. Still, it’s worth taking a look at what they’ve got. It’s creative, yet informative. Microsoft Office offers a great showcase page:

Microsoft Office LinkedIn Showcase PageHere’s how your showcase pages will show up on your company page:
MIcrosoft Office LinkedIn Showcase Pages List

Pick a custom image for your product or service, which you probably have already, and then get to work customizing your page. Remember May 30th is the cut-off date for getting your recommendations back!

If you have any questions, we’re happy to help, just leave a comment or contact us.

This Week in Social Media: The Next Phase of Pinterest Promoted Pins

On Monday, Pinterest announced via the news section of the Pinterest blog that the next phase of Pinterest’s targeted pins has been put in motion.

Back in September of 2013, Pinterest announced that it will be offering promoted pins, a new way for brands to advertise on Pinterest. Its implementation has been slow, and they are now adding the next phase by working with a few select brands to test the new program. Brands like ABC Family, Disney, Gap, Kraft, Target (of course) and Ziplock are all part of this new “Promoted Pins” venture.

From the News at Pinterest:

Tens of millions of people have added more than 30 billion Pins to Pinterest and brands are a big part of this. Brands help people find inspiration and discover things they care about, whether it’s ideas for dinner, places to go or gifts to buy. We hope Promoted Pins give businesses of all sizes a chance to connect with more Pinners.

Pinterest says they would love to open up Promoted Pins for all businesses but for now are testing a small group so they can gather as much feedback as possible before launching to all businesses. Some of the brands included in Pinterest’s first paid test include:

  • Kraft
  • Expedia.com
  • Target
  • Ziploc
  • Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Target PinterestAre you currently using Pinterest to promote your brand and engage your customer base? If so, we’d love it if you left a link to your boards in the comments!

This Week in Social Media: Facebook’s Organic Reach Decline

If you’ve been on Facebook at all recently, you’ve probably seen posts from pages asking if you can see their posts, to like or comment so they can tell who is seeing them, etc. They complain that Facebook has reduced the number of people they can reach organically and don’t understand why.

WHBC Facebook TestFacebook claims to be showing users stories they wouldn’t see if their feed was clogged with just posts from pages they has “liked” and followed.

Facebook has made a number of comments on this decline, but the most prevalent assumption is that Facebook has what is being referred to as a “Pay for Play” attitude. They want to sell more advertising, so they are suppressing posts so that marketers and others have to pay to be seen. The graph below, done by Social@Ogilvy, shows the average decline of the organic reach of content published on Facebook pages over the last several months. As you can see, most pages are reaching only 2-6% of the audience following or liking their page. As of last week, that number was closer to 1-2%.

Ogilvy Facebook Reach Graph

Matt Kapko from www.cio.com shares a quote from Marshall Manson, managing director of Social @Ogilvy for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, in his article on the topic:

“The proper response to these changes, according to both analysts and marketers, is to develop a wider social media strategy. The capability to build large communities of engaged fans was a critical aspect of Facebook’s early appeal to marketers and many brands have invested millions toward that objective. Facebook Zero is a reality now facing every brand and business with a presence on the platform. Action is required, and specific decisions will need to be made with regard to content planning, paid support for social media activities, audience targeting and much more.”

So what does that mean for you, in regards to your brand and social media? Diversify. You can’t keep all your eggs in the Facebook basket anymore. Social media will continue to evolve, and this is just one stage in the evolution. I think we can assume all the social media platforms will one day do the same, unless someone can come up with a way to eliminate users who don’t interact with your brand from seeing your posts in a regulated way – allowing brands to trim dead weight from their followers, and marketing to a very targeted audience. Even then, social media platforms are going want and need to cash in on your use of their platform. Be ready to spend some money, but you will also need to be ready with unique content and the ability to change things up, grow your presence on the most useful platforms when necessary.

Have you noticed a big decline of your page’s reach on Facebook? Has that in any way impacted your sales or other marketing goals? We’d love to hear from you in the comments – tell us your Facebook Zero story!

The Best Ways to Optimize Your Videos for YouTube

If you’re thinking about using video content on your site, the next thing you’ll need to do after creating them is market them. We typically recommend publishing your videos on YouTube – after all, it is the biggest search engine after Google and typically the go-to place for anyone who wants to access the world’s largest library of video content. YouTube videos are also very well indexed within Google search results.youtube

But, how do you make your video stand out in a sea of cat montages? You optimize it, just like you do you website’s content.

The YouTube algorithm relies on several signals when ranking videos within YouTube’s search results, including:

  • Text in titles
  • Text in descriptions
  • Tagging
  • Number of views and recent trending
  • Ratings

Titles

While it is tempting to use creative or cute titles, it is actually more difficult for your videos to be found organically in search with titles that convey ideas other than the actual content of the video. Keep it simple, describing only what the video is actually about.

Descriptions

Your video descriptions should be compelling, but should also be simple and true to the topic of the video. Make sure to include links to your site near the front of the copy so that it appears above the “Show More” line.

Tagging

While tags are not visible to the viewer anymore, they are still an important part of optimizing your videos because they are used by search engines to position your video in organic searches, and by YouTube to associate your videos with others containing similar content. Choose relevant tags only, but think bigger than just your company. For example, a local business might want to tag their video with their city or state.

Number of Views

Using the right titles, descriptions and tagging with help boost your views, but you can also do that by sharing your videos with your audience across all of your social networks, embedding in your site where relevant or linking to it via newsletters, etc. Keep in mind that it doesn’t count as a view until it’s played for 8 seconds – so make sure your video is compelling enough to get someone past 8 seconds. (Actually – make it compelling enough that they want to watch the whole thing!)

Ratings

If your content is compelling, ratings are generally pretty easy to get. It’s also OK when you share your videos to ask your audience to give your video a “thumbs up”! Often the best way to get visitors to convert is simply to ask them.

Have you had success with videos on YouTube? Tell me in the comments!