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Have You Noticed Facebook’s New Design?

Posted on March 12, 2014 in Social Media by cmblogger

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In another of a long line of design updates, Facebook has once again switched up its visuals for users, provoking ire in some circles and praise in others. The company redesigned the look of its news feeds last week, and this week has focused on Brand Pages. For the Pages, the new version features two columns:  the one on the right as the timeline, the one on the left incorporating all the brand or company information as well. “Invite Your Friends” has moved from the right to the left hand side, and the text box has moved from the left to the right.

Admins will also note that new metric displays on the right hand side show ad data as well as information about likes and post reach. Facebook’s “Pages to Watch” will also be something admins can use to compare their own progress with those of their competitors. What do you think of the recent changes?

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#MakingtheMostofYourTwitterAccount

Posted on January 8, 2014 in Social Media by cmblogger

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Twitter can be complicated. Too many businesses use it without understanding how to take

advantage of this burgeoning social media platform, making obvious mistakes that leave users

uninterested, and marketers frustrated by the lack of response. Some things are simple. For

example, did you know using too many hashtags (more than 2) turns people away as surely as

using too few? Or that simply asking people to retweet something can be hugely successful?

 

Other issues are more challenging. Successful Twitter campaigns are focused on the

continuous acquisition of a specific, targeted audience for their tweets, along with creating

engaging content. For many, this is a little daunting in just 140 characters.

 

First, identify your goal. Are you looking to sell more stuff? Get the word out about your

brand? Establish your company as experts in the field? Don’t try to do it all-have a measurable

goal to start, one that may change in time but that will nevertheless guide your strategy.

 

Consider Twitter as a giant hub of ideas, information and opinions that’s happening 24/7. Your

mission is to get in on the conversations that are important for your business and your overall

plan. Whether you spend hours a month on Twitter or just a few minutes a day, just a little

time invested can make a difference, and yield valuable results.

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Don’t Worry: Facebook Is Still Going Strong

Posted on January 3, 2014 in Social Media by cmblogger

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The press has been busy in recent weeks. It’s the end! Look out! “Facebook is dead and

buried.” reported one mainstream publication.

 

Don’t believe the hype. A clarification from the original pundit who gave the deadly quote

emerged several days later. While he hadn’t been misquoted, he’d specifically been talking

about British middle class teenagers aged 16-18 in one small geographical study. His

preliminary statistical results had been released in an article sent to an academic

clearinghouse, and the story had been picked up by a national British newspaper. Before

you could say, “Happy New Year!” the headlines had officially gone viral.

 

Facebook isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it may be stronger for its lack of faddish popularity

among one segment of teens. For marketers, especially those catering to those Americans

over 18, Facebook remains the number one social media platform in the world.

 

According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook has even more users than ever before-and

more than any other networking site. Furthermore, its members return to the website multiple

times per day to check their news feeds. For a small business looking for fans, that kind of

traffic is invaluable. Facebook is also multidimensional in its user demographics, with men,

women, the young and old, the urban and rural all participating.

 

If you’re doing a social media campaign to get the word out about your products and services,

your business needs to be on Facebook. Judging from the real numbers, it looks like it’s here to

stay.

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The Spirit of the Holidays

Posted on December 25, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger

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In this era of political brinksmanship and a media machine salivating for the next big story, it’s

easy to overlook the spirit of altruism and community that really define the holiday season,

whatever your faith. In the end, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or

your own holiday tradition, nothing can replace the lasting joy and sense of peace that comes

from helping another living being in their journey forward.

 

Opportunities for giving abound online. The National Breast Cancer Coalition has been rated “A”

by the nonprofit charity monitoring group CharityWatch.com. Endorsed by medical researcher

Dr. Susan Love, media personality Linda Ellerbee, and former President Bill Clinton, the

organization has set 2020 as the year breast cancer is defined as a curable illness in our world.

Will they achieve their deadline? We hope so. Check out their website to learn more. http://

www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org/about-the-deadline/.

 

Charity Watch has awarded http://www.childfindofamerica.org an A+ for spending more than

75% of their donations for programs instead of compensation, as well as for providing an “open

book” on their spending and financial records to the public. Providing free investigative services,

referrals, and support for families of children who have been abducted, the organization has

brought thousands of children together with their loved ones since it was founded in 1980.

Whatever your holiday, we hope you enjoy the season with those you love. From Captain

Marketing, we wish you all the best.

 

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Want Visibility? Consider Commenting!

Posted on December 23, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger

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If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your brand’s visibility and connect with the larger

community of influencers within your field, make a statement! Commenting on someone else’s

blog can be a great way to share knowledge, as well as to network with the consumers and

professionals who matter for your business.

 

Do a search for the blogs that focus on the products and services in which you specialize. Is

there an online community of car buffs, for example, who come together to discuss mufflers?

If you’re an auto parts dealer, join in and introduce yourself. Do you offer on-site machining for

steel mills or hydroelectric plants? Find where those company insiders go online to trade stories

and information-and pay a visit.

 

Offering advice, explanations, or just plain sharing what you know about a particular topic is

not only useful for your potential customers, but a great way to build goodwill along the way.

You’ll get helpful feedback on what you do sell, and you may identify new opportunities within

the marketplace from listening to your consumers’ ideas and experiences.

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Add value to the conversation, and you’ll encourage others to check out your own website.

It’s the new social currency of the web. Pay it forward, and you’ll collect on the back end too.

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On Sale Now! Social Media On a Budget

Posted on December 11, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger

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For many of us, social media marketing is the brave new frontier. Does it really matter if you

don’t have any “likes?” Should you just buy a bunch, and forget about it? What is an effective

Facebook strategy anyway, and do you need to spend tons of money to get one?

 

Well, empty Facebook “likes” are about as useful as you might imagine. And it does matter if

you don’t have anyone coming to your page or liking what you post. But the good news? You

don’t have to spend a lot of money to get results from your company’s social media presence.

It will, however, take time.

 

Like so many elements of a successful digital marketing campaign, a specific goal and a plan

are everything when it comes to doing Facebook, Google+ or more for your business. What

consumers are you looking for? If your buyers are mostly women, then Pinterest might be a

great idea. If you’re interested in sharing a lot of technical information and “how to” videos,

an active Google+ account would be a natural for your products. Facebook is a great place to

communicate what your brand’s about-and perfect for sharing special contests and giveaways

with your customers.

 

Finally, no matter how tight your budget, you must build accountability into the process.

Check your comments section regularly. Always respond to questions and concerns in a timely

way.

Remember, rather than just offering a chance for strictly advertorial copy, social media

platforms provide an opportunity-and a mandate-for interactions with consumers. After all,

that’s why they call it “social”. While it doesn’t have to be expensive, it does require showing

up. No little black dress or sportcoat required!

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YouTube Hits: The Viral Fever You Want to Catch

Posted on December 4, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger

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We’ve all seen the YouTube videos that captured popular attention. A biting toddler, or a

dancing hamster, a funny commercial or a cute marriage proposal. When you add up the

number of hits, it seems that everyone in the world has seen at least one of our favorites,

more than once.

 

How are your company’s YouTube videos doing?

First, it may seem elementary, but remember to make your video useful, or interesting, or

valuable in some way to your users. Self promotion for the sake of such is just plain boring, in

most cases.

 

Second, make sure you’ve identified the relevant and important keywords for your clip. Once

you have, take care to incorporate them into your title, description and tags. Your title will be

most important, and needs to be not only accurate, but perfectly suited to your users’ search

queries. If you must include a brand name, put it at the end of the title, not the beginning. As

only the first 32 characters will show to viewers, it’s critical to make sure relevant keywords

appear at the beginning where everyone can see them.

 

Optimizing your description should also focus on delivering a concise, but detailed summary of

what your video is about. Remember, only the first 120 characters of 1000 total will initially

show up for viewers, so make those count.

 

Going viral may be one part magic, but it’s also many parts implementation of practical

optimization techniques designed to get your video seen by as many people as possible. Share

a great one, and you may find the hits just keep on coming. Cue the dancing hamsters!

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Bowl a Strike with These Pins

Posted on November 27, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger

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As the little guy on the social media playing field who turned into Joe Namath seemingly

overnight, Pinterest will be enjoying an early holiday with recent news from analysts at Piqora.

According to their research, a single pin is now worth about 78 cents, up 20 cents from the

same time last year. The survey also revealed “Each pin delivers 2 website visits, 6 page

views, and over 10 10 re-pins.”

 

The new data is part of an increasing body of evidence to support the idea that Pinterest,

more even than Twitter, generates the kind of share activity that only Facebook also delivers.

According to Seth Fiegerman at Mashable, “Pinterest’s share of overall visits increased by

66% year-over-year, more than any other social network. Pinterest now drives more traffic to

publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.”

 

Having just raised $225 million dollars in a huge funding from Fidelity Investments, Pinterest

is now poised for new growth fueled with this new infusion of financial support. The site itself

is now valued at $3.8 billion dollars. By any measure, it’s time to get your website on this

burgeoning social media platform posthaste. Its newfound importance for your digital marketing

strategy cannot be underestimated.

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Pinterest Upgrades Discovery Experience

Posted on November 20, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger

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It’s the “niche” social media that’s quickly become a mainstream and powerful advertising

platform. Pinterest is winning in the e-commerce tug of war with Facebook, with a 41%

share over Facebook’s 37%. Many speculate this is because Pinterest captures an audience

interested not just in purchasing products, but the shopping-as-discovery experience itself.

 

Capitalizing on this idea, Pinterest has now upgraded its users home feeds to include “related

pins,” similar products or ideas that are linked to posts users have already liked across the

platform. They’ll also have a thumbs up/thumbs down design so that users can provide helpful

feedback and improve content relevance over time. Take note: these are entirely different

from “promoted pins,” the de facto paid ads that Pinterest is now testing in search results and

category feeds.

With either feature, Pinterest is demonstrating its stated intention that this is a social media

network that’s here to stay. When you consider that the platform broke all records with its

unprecedented addition of 10 million monthly unique visits in less than a year, they appear to

be making that goal into a reality. Clearly, they’re already a boon to any online marketing strategy.

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Response Time on Twitter: Ready, Set, NOW!

Posted on November 13, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger

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In startling new research from Lithium Technologies, more than 60% of Twitter users expect

a reply back to their query or comment in under two hours from the brand with which they’re

interacting. More than 50% prefer one within an hour…or less.

 

It makes sense. After all, social media platforms make it easy to communicate with even the

largest brands, 24 hours a day. And just as someone would expect, quite rightly, a response

from a customer service person if they spoke to them in the store, Twitter, Facebook, and

Google+ are no different. The echo of an unanswered question is a long and lonely one. Don’t

let that happen to you. The idea that a company is too busy or just doesn’t bother with its

customers is a resounding and negative one, not just for the person who Tweeted you, but for

the potentially millions of consumers who see it, abandoned and creaky like a swing blowing in

the wind from a dead tree.

 

An amusing comparison, perhaps. But a true one by all measures. The takeaway? Stay vigilant.

If you’re planning a social media campaign, only a comprehensive approach that includes

regular, frequent monitoring of your accounts will work. Surely your brand deserves as much.