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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
Posted on November 6, 2013 in Social Media by cmblogger
As much as we might try to ignore the possibility, it happens. If you’re going to engage with
customers on social media, you’re going to encounter negative feedback once in awhile. How
to handle it?
First, this caveat seems to go without saying, but judging from the number of companies who
don’t appear to be following this warning, we’ll say it again. You must monitor your social
media accounts regularly. By all measures, the worst response from a consumer’s negative
comment is none at all. It is very important to address criticism in a timely and appropriate way.
When considering what to say or do in response, consider what kind of feedback you’re
receiving. Is this a consistent negative, voiced by many people over time? If so, while
upsetting, use this feedback to inform future business decisions. Even if they’re the right ones
for your bottom line, you’ll understand better how you’re currently perceived in the
marketplace among various demographics. Address these concerns in targeted conversations
or advertising to these particular audiences. If it’s a one time only problem, a comprehensive,
well thought out reply may be enough.
In responding to any negative feedback, first demonstrate you hear what they’re saying.
Acknowledge the writer and their experience before you present a plan of action or even
apologize. You’ll gain far more ground by making your consumers feel heard and appreciated
than by anything else you’re able to do for them. Remember, when it comes to social media,
how you handle negative feedback is more important than the comments themselves.
Posted on October 30, 2013 in SMO by cmblogger
If you’ve signed on to Google+ as part of your larger digital strategy, congratulations. It’s a great way to boost SEO rankings and connect with consumers. And in light of Google’s recent announcement this week concerning new features for its proprietary social media platform, Google+ now presents an even bigger opportunity for effective social media marketing.
First, consider Google+ Hangouts. Back in the olden days of Google+ (which, in the hypersonic timetable of the Internet, was just last week), Hangouts was simply a way to conduct a private or public video chat with friends, business associates or customers. Now, you’ll be able to schedule public video chats (”Hangouts On Air”) and let people know about them in advance with a dedicated watch page. You’ll also have the capability to go full screen in video conversations with either a desktop or mobile device, as well as to adjust or enhance your webcam lighting. Google+ is adding in location sharing and SMS support for Android users as an extra bonus.
Photo editing on the social media platform is getting an upgrade with new enhancement features and filters. Their “Auto Awesome” tool will now allow you to create strobe effects, erase blur, and create highlight reels from your photo and video collections automatically, complete with a soundtrack and smooth transitions too.
The changes should be in place by the end of this week, according to Google. They illustrate the continuing emphasis on engagement as the critical watchword for online business now and into 2014.
For many small businesses, even creating a Google+, Twitter or Facebook account is an achievement in and of itself. And yet, some companies find they stall out once they arrive on social media, unsure of what to post. Following the unspoken “rules of engagement,” however, can go a long way towards building your fan base fast.
It comes down to one central tenet. Most of the time, talk about something besides yourself. This may seem counterintuitive. After all, this is your company’s social media account, right? Surely it’s meant for touting your products and services. While true to a certain extent, don’t go overboard.
Instead, adhere to the 80/20 recommendation proposed by consultant Steven D. Strauss, author of the best selling Small Business Bible (http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1118135946). According to Strauss, 80% of anything you post should address your customers immediate needs, likes or problems. Only 20% should be directly about your own goods and services.
In other words, think of social media as a party. Even if you planned to go in order to network with as many people as possible, you wouldn’t attend only to discuss yourself the whole evening. You’d ask questions. You’d draw out others guests to talk about their plans, interests and hopes for the future. Social media works in the same way. Authentic interest in your customers makes your company interesting to them. Following this simple guideline will allow you to make real connections, and turn consumers into loyal fans.
More than a few businesses are still not as familiar as they should be with Google+. Whether for a long term branding strategy or just better organic search results, a Google+ page is essential for any small business on the web today. Along with its obvious benefits as an opportunity to connect with customers, a Google+ page will also let the search engine behemoth know you matter. As some marketers phrase it, it’s actual “social proof” for Google that demonstrates why your site deserves good rankings.
Once you create a Google+ account. how do you know what makes for good content? After all, we know Facebook is for socializing. Google+, in contrast, is about learning. Research has shown that most Google+ users utilize the site to find out more about a business, a hobby, or a product in depth. In keeping with its layout, the best Google+ content is also extremely visual. Whether you’re uploading videos, photos or illustrations, images are a critical part of anything you bring to your Google+ readers.
Whether you’re focused on attracting B2B or B2C business, Google+ works well for both. Consider offering special coupons or helpful “insider information” for consumers who approach you on the social media platform. Alternately, you might provide educational videos, useful tips, or relevant tutorials. Along with driving traffic to your website and promoting engagement, Google+ is all about adding value to the lives of your customers. In doing so, you’ll find marketing benefits for your company across the board.
Can you say it five times fast? Creating an actual social media campaign strategy that works may not be as complicated. While nevertheless challenging, it’s actually fairly simple. If you’re interested in building brand loyalty and increasing conversions through Facebook, Twitter and the like, the answer lies in the following: provide value for your customer with every post.
Many companies panic when faced with opportunities for social media interactions. Surely this must call for an aggressive sales pitch, some say, or posts that demand something from the customer in return: an email address, a consent to be contacted by a sales agent, etc.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Before you ask consumers to do something, think about what you’re bringing to the table instead. Are your social media posts helpful or entertaining in some way? Do your updates invite the customer to share their own experiences or ideas, or are
you simply telling them what’s great about you, over and over again?
Social media is about relationships-and those marketing campaigns that utilize these platforms well are ones that allow the company and the customer to come together for shared experiences, whether it’s to watch a fun video or to have a conversation online. As Dave Evans, author of several books on social media marketing and a respected strategy consultant explains, for success on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, businesses first must “build campaigns that encourage the audience to socialize.”
Brand loyalty begins with making your customers you’re loyal to them above all. Demonstrate your commitment with helpful, entertaining or interesting content that adds to their experience on your page in some way. In doing so, you’ll reap all the benefits social media has to offer today’s digital business.
Hopefully, we all understand by now the important role Facebook plays in branding, search engine optimization and even conversions, but a recent study shows that many companies are overlooking perhaps the simplest way to maximize the effectiveness of their posts: photographs.
According to research done by data analysts at ShopIgniter, the click through rate on postings both paid and organic that featured photos was significantly higher than that for postings with none. On the organic side, even posts that offered something to readers (a coupon, a free widget) didn’t score as high a CTR as an update or ad that featured an accompanying visual.
When it came to negative feedback (meaning readers reported the post as spam or hid it from their newsfeed), Facebook’s “notes” feature appeared to garner the most. These “notes” allow for lengthy paragraphs with no photographs-and quite simply, they can turn customers away.
The takeaway? When you write for Facebook, make sure to include an interesting image along with a call to action. Link posts, accompanied by a “tap to open” or “click to expand” work exceptionally well with consumers. For paid advertising? Again, make sure your ads are visually appealing, and compose all of them with an eye for the Facebook fans who already like your products. Statistically, they are the most likely group to share your ads and drive your campaign forward.