Well, it's finally happened. Whether you had already switched over or not, as of March 30, 2012 every business with a Facebook site has automatically received a face-lift in the form the Facebook's new "Timeline" design. Not everyone is thrilled about all the changes, but there are actually several exciting new features you can take advantage of once you've learned how the new design works. Let's take a look at some of them.
The first thing you'll probably notice is the absence of the default landing tab that once graced the top of your site page. But don't panic, because you can still create custom tabs that allow for like-gating and direct traffic toward various point both inside and outside Facebook. The great thing about this change is the addition of a huge, attention-grabbing cover image where the default landing tab used to sit. You can use this image to entice customers with pictures of your products or services. While the rules dictate that you'll have to take out ads for full-blown promotions, you can add custom thumbnails to push special deals and encourage sales.
You'll find other bells and whistles in the new design. The Like button now displays when you've already liked something while also letting you add it to Interest Lists. You can also add business milestones, pin a given post up on your Wall's top position for up to week, reposition your shared photos to any point on a page and much more.
If you're have more trouble than you'd anticipated getting the hang of the Facebook Timeline layout, don't worry -- we're here to help. Contact us and our digital marketing consultant will go over the features together so you can see what these changes mean for your business's Facebook presence.
Social signals have now become part of the ranking factors used by search engines and one very clear indication about this trend is their integration with social media platforms. Google, for instance, has become omnipresent across various social media through the ownership of social channels like YouTube, Picasa, Orkut, Google+, and Blogspot. Microsoft and Yahoo have also made their 'social move' with their announcement about an alliance with micro-blogging site Twitter aimed at giving them greater access to content and tweets, which can be very helpful to deliver more relevant results to users.
For us in the field of SEO, this recent development in search algorithm has changed the landscape of our web optimization strategy – now with social factors considered as part of the equation to improve our website's position on SERPs.
Here are some social strategies we can employ:
Twitter posting - it's pretty amazing to realize that a 140-character post we make in our Twitter accounts can help improve our website's ranking on SERPs. The links we post are actually crawl-able, index-able and therefore can help to generate more inbound traffic.
Facebook page - this is another platform that is crawl-able and index-able by major search engines and certainly can positively influence a site's search engine ranking, which gives a boost to our SEO campaign. Creating a Facebook page allows us not only to build social media presence but for SEO purposes as well.
Google+ exploration - this social media platform by the search giant Google provides us lots of benefits, opportunity both in reaching out to people in the social network and for SEO. It allows us to build our own networks of potential customers, create a page that could best represent the products and services we have. At the same time, we can take advantage of its features and functionality, helpful for our web optimization campaign.
Harnessing the video channels - posting interesting videos are a great help for our SEO campaign most especially today that more and more potential customers are going the audio-visual way. Posting video content that provides interesting information about our products and services can go viral through likes and shares, which is helpful SEO-wise.
Using Social Media to Improve Rankings - Some Tips
Optimal number of authoritative followers on social media platforms helps maintain social signals consistency. If our social media activity decelerates, then our ranking is likely to be impacted accordingly, the following can help:
Creating and sharing high quality, interesting content – this is not just helpful for SEO but it helps us build our brand as an authority in our niche.
Building natural relationships – we can identify specific segments of social media communities where people are interested in our business; we must build good relationships with them.
Keyword strategy still works - this is also effective when leveraging this strategy on social media channels.
With some social media optimization techniques, our websites can have better opportunity to achieve better positions in SEPRs. We just need to be always diligent in our SEO works.
Today’s Hottest New Social Network
A Guide to Google+
The official slogan for Google+ is “real-life sharing—rethoughtfor the web”. Google+, is a social network operated by Google Inc, with integration across a number of Google products, including Google Buzz and Google Profiles. Started in June 2011 as a test version, its popularity has grown by leaps and bounds. Google+ notices are posted insideusers’ Gmail inbox, so it’s 100% real-time Gmail deliverability. When you write about a subject on Google+ and your circle friends Google that subject, your comments and links are displayed automatically on page one of Google. No back-linking, no on-site optimization, just free traffic. All these factors make it a social media platform that is likely to stay on the scene and gain increased favour.
What’s So Special About Google Plus?
One key element of Google+ is a focus on targeted sharing within subsets of a social group (or what Google calls ‘Circles’).
Also within Google+ is a section specifically for viewing, managing and editing multimedia. Google+ includes an image editor, privacy options and sharing features.
Hangouts’ is Google’s new group chat feature. Instead of directly asking a friend to join a group chat, users instead click ‘start a hangout’ and they’re instantly in a video chat-room alone. At the same time, a message goes out to their social circles, letting them know that their friend is ‘hanging out’ and that they are invited to join.
Get ready to integrate Google+into your Internet marketing strategy.
Building your Google+Presence
Businesses are beginning to see the value of Google+ with the new Pages feature.The new Google+ brand Pages look similar to Google+ Profiles, except for the little square icon that indicates that it’s a Page rather than a Profile. Users can add brands to their circles, check out their information, and browse their photos. When users add a brand to their circles, it helps increase that brand’s follower count.
So what are you waiting for? Create a Page for your business and take advantage of Google +:
Before you can create a Google+ Page for your business, you need a Google+ Profile. The ‘You+’ link on your Gmail dashboard will direct you to the Profile creation page.
Choose a category to begin. Local businesses is good for smaller, less well-known businesses. Product or brand would work for companies and larger known businesses. Company, institution, or organization is mainly for businesses that don’t directly sell something, mostly not-for-profits.
Personalize your page with a photo/logo and tagline. You can continue with an introduction, information, and contact information, and finish with a photo strip of five different photos.
It’s time to start engaging with the Google+ community. For your business Page, you can create circles (networks), start posting information and news through your feed. You can also add your Google+Page details to your existing website and share it via other networks.
Leveraging the+ Power of Social Media
If you have your own website or online business, an efficient social profile Page using Google+ will let you explore a whole new world of social media marketing, that is not only fun, but easy and profitable.
Google+ posts sent to “public” rank fairly well in Google search results. Merging Google properties into Google+ and integrating it with the search engines has a tremendous impact on where your company appears in search engine results pages (SERPs).
You can manage circles—distribute clients into specific categories and share different posts, news or deals with different circles accordingly. This is a great way to connect with fans and share information with clients.
“Hangouts” is another great way to engage your customers and colleagues. It’s a high quality video chat that allows you to interact with your fans face to face. This interaction will allow you to get to know them, answer questions as well as get live product/service feedback. Businesses can also use “Hangouts” for video conferencing, to push live events and seminars to customers.
Use the Google+ badge to promote your site and your Google+ page. Google+ badge links your website with your Google+ page and lets others knowyou’re here. When a visitor likes your site and clicks the icon they will be taken directly to your Google+ page and will be able to share and follow your posts.
Google+ Direct allowspeople to simply enter a ‘+’ before your company name when searching on Google and get directly to your Google+ page.
The +1 button on Google+ is an ideal way to have customers spread the word about your business and its presence on Google+. You can also connect your +1’s from your website to your +1’s on your Google+ page. People tend to trust recommendations from people they already know.
“Ripples” is a Google+ tool that allows you to watch your posts and information as they travel across social networks. You can easily determine who is sharing your content and who is paying attention to it.
With “analytics”, you can get information about your page’s followers, visitors, and the general traffic and social activity around your business.
Google+ for business is unique in that it has blurred the lines between personal social networks such as Facebook, and business networks like LinkedIn. Contact Usto help you invigorate you web presence with the social media game changer—Google+.
Social Media, Local Search & Mobile Search Collide in the So-Lo-Mo Revolution
The convergence of latest internet and wireless technologies has created a powerful new opportunity for mobile marketing – social networking and local search through mobile devices (smart-phones and tablets). These location-based mobile social networking services are revolutionizing mobile marketing by allowing users to:
share real-life experiences via geo-tagged user-generated multimedia content
exchange recommendations about places
identify nearby friends
and set up face to face meetings
Influencing the buyer is no longer enough; now you must influence the buyer’s social network to increase the potential for sales exponentially. People want to tell their friends where they are “hanging out”. They do this with their mobile devices. They use an app to ‘check in’, and it sends a message to their friends. It’s a win-win situation – customersget rewards, discounts and offers, while businesses get more word-of mouth advertising.
Is your business geared to incorporate social local networks into your mobile marketing strategy?
‘Checking in’ with mobile devices
You can use a smart-phone to ‘check in’ wherever you go – whetherit’s at the airport, a holiday shopping trip, parks, bars, museums, libraries or a local restaurant; and share your whereabouts with all your friends. With services from Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook Places, Gowalla, Google Places and others, userscan get special discounts and offers for their willingness to share information about their whereabouts.Mobile apps let them post messages to Facebook and Twitter whenever they visit a place and want to let their friends know about it.
It's a great form of word-of-mouth marketing for local businesses. People have shown they are willing to allow their devices to be tracked in order to take advantage of special offers.
Foursquare has garnered millions of users who want to let people know where they've been, where they're headed and where they are now.
If you’re a business owner, it allows you to reward customers with a coupon or offer when they ‘check-in’ to your business. It provides a measurable way to reward your most loyal customers while attracting new ones.
So is your business optimised for social mobile marketing?
Location-aware mobile technology is transforming social marketing
Knowing a consumer's location, as well as the time they're at a specific location, can be a useful“predictor” of his or her intent to buy. You can use location-based marketing to:
Deliver a coupon, offer or discount to a mobile phone user
Display local ads to a person visiting a website from a specific location
Deliver detailed product information when someone is standing in front of the product
Offer incentives for location-based activities such as visiting a store multiple times
Make it easy to find nearby things such as stores, ATMs or even vending machines
Provide events and social opportunities based on a physical location
Share location-based information with others in a social network
Leverage the next trend in Mobile Marketing
Time and localise your mobile marketing to reach people who are actively sharing their location online. Here are a few tips for getting started:
Specify which geographic areas you cover. If you’re a service business that travels e.g. a plumber, you can specify on Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp or Google Places which areas you cover. This is also helpful for pizza/food delivery businesses.
Optimize your website for mobile. An easy-to–navigate mobile friendly site is a necessity, not just an option anymore.
Ensure your own location(s) are “check-in” worthy. Would you check-in to your own location a second time?
Allow customers to opt in. Not everyone is going to want to disclose personal information such as their interests and their location, so give them the option.
Be transparent. Once a customer has opted in, make sure to explain exactly how you plan to use the personal information you collect from them, assuaging any concerns over privacy issues.
Create great deals. Reach out to the deal services such as Group on and Living Social and ask specifically for ways to participate in their instant deals.
Make it easy to opt out. Don't “lock” customers into a program they decide they don't want to be in. Just like any level of customer service, it's all about keeping customers happy, loyal and eager to make purchases.
Smartphone owners want quick access to location-relevant information on-the-go.So-Lo-Mo offers powerful new ways to promote practically any product, service, or venue.Whatever your goal, role, or industry, contact us to help you find new customers, strengthen brand loyalty, and increase profits.
Is your business using social media channels like YouTube and SlideShare? Video is great for demonstrations and presentations to your target audience. Screen-casts with voiceovers work particularly well, especially for technical topics or marketing videos. Audio podcasts are ideal for interviewing industry experts or to record interesting discussions that occur as part of conference panels.
Unlock the potential of these powerful tools to build your online presence, and maximise the returns from these social media platforms.
Content is the heart of an effective web presence. If your content isn’t right, your prospects simply won’t engage with it in the way you hope. When people link to you, they’re linking to your content. When they share via social networks, they’re sharing your content.
Don’t start with a social media campaign. Start with identifying what content will be interesting to your audience. Then consider which platforms and tools are going to give your videos or presentations the best chance to be seen and shared.
A smart response strategy with a commitment to engaging viewers and commentators will strengthen those relationships on YouTube. Take the relationship building potential of the social media community to a new level by creating individual video responses to viewers who commented on the originals.
Pull lessons from platform-specific data points, such as what people “like” and “dislike”. Initiate discussions about what’s popular and what’s not. Your viewers are voting with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down — try to initiate a dialog about why they vote as they do.
Search for people and company profiles in your field and start “following” them. Review their content and provide them with feedback, favourite presentations or videos that you really liked. Comment on them, provide them with a link to your own presentations or videos on the same topic and ask for feedback.
Best Practices for Sharing Media Online
Quality over Quantity - most companies get into the ‘quantity versus quality’ count of followers or fans. Quality followers will engage with you, give you honest feedback and could even become your brand evangelists.
Engage with Customers - customer service and engagement overall is a new and genuine form of un-marketing. Customers, prospects, and influencers are already engaging with others to contribute, learn, and discover. Try using engagement as a fast, free, and powerful way to reach and serve customers.
Give to get - successful social media marketing programs involve listening and participation. That participation centers around giving value before expecting anything in return.
Make it Portable, Searchable& Shareable - avoid the mindset that your content must be published only on your site and completely controlled by you. Good content should be built to travel, so users should be able to download, embed or share it as they like.
Facebook is currently the most popular social media network online. Market-savvy brands are tapping into their Facebook audience to get instant feedback, find ideas on new product design and seek insights on how to market better. It is a great tool to build brand awareness within your target market.No matter what type of business you are in, you can use Facebook marketing to tap into your social network enhancing positive relationships for your business.
Building your Facebook presence
Remember, building and nurturing your network comes before monetization.So here’s how to get started:
After you’ve made your Facebook fan page, take advantage of the various tools Facebook offers businesses to promote their pages.
You can add your brand logo, any company photos, and as much information and content as you possibly can to build credibility.
Facebook allows you to connect your Twitter profile, your blog, and your website so they are all linked. The activities and interactions you undertake on one network will automatically be posted on all of your other networks.
Facebook also allows you to embed widgets on your website pages so that visitors to your site have the option of connecting to your Facebook page.
To jump start your business page, begin by determining which users and other Facebook groups are the most influential and which ones you should begin interacting with.
Once you start communicating regularly with other users and groups, you'll be surprised to see how quickly the interactions on your business page increase.
How to turn loyal fans into paying customers!
Here are some more tips for monetizing Facebook:
Facebook’s core value proposition is connecting and communicating with friends. While word-of-mouth, or “earned” media, helps brands gain Facebook fans, it can only go so far. Companies also need to contemplate using paid advertising to develop their Facebook fan-base.
Create engaging content. The simplicity of the “like” button means that there may be no actual engagement beyond the fleeting moment of the click. To be successful in this post-“like” phase of Facebook marketing, businesses need to excite their fan-base with compelling posts, interactions that spur a sense of community, and rewards for their ongoing support.
Give people a reason to become fans. Apps are a good way for any business to have engaging interactions with fans. Everyone wants the latest app, and you can place it for download on your page. The process of sharing will increase your business awareness and deliver good returns on your investment.
Use innovative apps to help monetize Facebook fan pages. For example, create apps that enable your business to post coupons for promotional discounts on your Facebook page. After clicking on the promotion, fans are prompted to provide their email addresses before receiving the coupon. Thus, you have not only increased the likelihood of a fan becoming a paying customer, but also gained a potential customer’s email address, which you can use for future marketing endeavours.
Incorporate e-commerce directly into your Facebook page. A Facebook storefront application willenable users to make purchases directly. You can also offer promotional deals to fans, but the storefront app offers the additional advantage of publishing a fan’s purchase on the Facebook news feed. This further promotes the item to your fan’s friends who can then make comments about the item.
Attracting new customers to your brand is a great benefit of Facebook fan pages; but if you have not monetized your Facebook page, then you are missing out on an easy way to generate revenue!
An effective way to strengthen your business relationship with your clients
Businesses are increasingly turning to social media to enhance brand visibility, increase sales and strengthen relationships with their customers. By engaging in a rich, ongoing dialogue with customers, companies can better understand their evolving needs, resolve service issues more effectively and gain true brand advocates.
Driving Website Traffic
Savvy companies are successfully using social media to drive sales and build traffic. What matters is how you decide to use all the tools of social media and how they’re integrated to work together. Play off of each other, complement each another, reinforce messages; and at the end of the day, effectively drive traffic and engage users. Cross-promote each account or profile.
Look for your audience by searching for groups that are directly related to your product or service.
Ask the question, “Have you tried our product yet? We would love to hear your feedback!” This simple call for client testimony can inspire a great conversation.
Include a video on your site and publish it to YouTube to spread the knowledge.
Plan an integrated campaign that utilizes chat software, direct mail, print ads, radio spots, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn ads, mobile initiatives and an interactive Twitter billboard.
Post a weekly blog. Once that blog is published, have it set up so that it automatically posts to your Facebook page within a few hours.
Craft tweets that are scheduled to go out once a day (at different hours on different days) with a link back to your blog.
Also post articles of interest and company updates. Ultimately, everything should keep to the goal of pointing back to your website.
The website must have conversion architecture, so visitors can easily be led into the buying cycle.
Consistent contribution across all platforms is an absolute must for social media success!
Here are some of the ways to put social media to work to improve your brand loyalty so customers will want to promote your company in a positive way.
Monitor Customer Comments
Most customers and first-time buyers make purchase decisions based on the online comments they read. Designate a person on your team to track and monitor all social media mentions for your organization / brand.
To be proactive about identifying customer needs, consider promoting a survey via social media. The survey can help with new product development, branding and positioning, and overall reputation monitoring.
Act quickly when you discover negative comments online, since bad news can spread rapidly. Determine what went wrong; resolve the customer’s problem and then blog about how you took care of it.
Encourage customers to share feedback directly, via comments on blogs or a Facebook page, or via Twitter. These channels create exciting new opportunities to gain real-world insights into your customers’ attitudes and needs.
Encourage Satisfied Customers to Talk
Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences on social media sites. If you have brand advocates who love your product or service, you may well be at the top of the list of recommended names.
Social media makes it easier to understand your customers, track their needs and provide the product or service they want. These same applications can help you tell themthat you have just what they need!
Google has recently launched a new technology called Google+ Project aimed at addressing the growing demand on social media services. Compared to other social media platforms – often flawed by privacy problem, restriction options – Google has engineered this platform to fix the issues mentioned.
Google+ Project has the following features:
With +Circle, you can create a specific group of people for a particular interest in your network. For instance, you have 100 people in your network - some of them might have interest on movies while others like sports and some others love books. +Circle makes it certain that you share particular information to a circle of people who find it interesting.
Another feature of Google+ Project that allows you to strike-up a conversation about anything that interests you and the people in your network. All you need to do is add your interests and you will have something to watch, read, share and discuss to specific people in your network.
The platform features on-screen gathering with multi-person video. Google+ Hangout allows you to stand-by when you are free and spend time face-to-face with the people in your circle. This will bring you and the people in your network even closer together.
Google+ Mobile makes your pocket computer even more personal. The platform is designed so that you are still conveniently connected with the people in your circle even if the only available medium of communication is your phone. + Mobile has two important features: (1) +location – allows you to add your location to every post and (2) +Instant Upload – makes uploading and sharing of photos a lot easier.
This feature allows you to experience group messaging that lets everyone inside the circle know what is happening, right this second.
social media marketing can help for brand awareness by sharing your company profile or
name in the social network. This can be done through video presentation,
designing banners that best represent your business, sharing informative
content about the brand you are promoting.
network – social networking sites take a huge chunk of the webspace as more and
more people are into it. On twitter, for instance, you can build a network by
increasing the number of your followers. You can also do the same on Facebook through
fanpage. In this way, you can connect to business individuals with same
relationship – building a good relationship with customers (and potential
customers) is also an important strategy that every business should take into
consideration, knowing that customers have this natural “buy-by-trust” attitude.
With the help of social media, this can be attainable.
contact to potential customers – when you establish your own network in the
social media sphere, it will just be easy for you to have a direct contact with
your potential customers. This can be done through chat conversation, sending
private messages, initiating a group discussion.
customers – with hundreds of millions of people engaging in social media
activities, each market segment certainly has a representation. You can generate
a list of prospects that will eventually turn into customers when you build a
social media presence.
product/service updates – with social media, you can easily give product or
service updates to your potential customers. Whenever you want to introduce a
new product or service or send special offers, you can do it effectively if you
have established a customer network in the social sphere. You can easily
broadcast the message you want to share to your recipients.
reputation – as a business entity, reputation management plays an important
role to maintain a good image in the market - social networks allow you to do
that. When your company is an established social media user, you can easily
address whatever issues that your customers have with your product or service.
This is vital because un-answered concerns or issues can cost your business
Email marketing has long been proven effective in generating more revenue for an Internet based company. However, this can be further enhanced through the help of social media campaign. Email and social media integration has become more and more popular today and some of the reasons are as follow:
Social media has the capacity to reach larger audience quickly which helps to share email content, increase the number of followers and prospects, and improve brand credibility.
User-engagement is also one of the reasons why the integration of the two can be very useful to online marketing campaign. Social media enables email marketer and subscribers engage or interact in a real time basis.
An email promotion letter with social media integration allows easy sharing, forwarding of information to a wider audience – not just to their email contacts but to people in their rapidly expanding social media networks.
Statistics also have shown significant improvements to Internet marketing revenue – from Internet marketers who’ve integrated social media and email campaign.
Here are some tips to maximize the potential of email-social media integration:
Identify the most relevant social networking sites – it is imperative to only select social media that are relevant to your company. It depends on your target audience (e.g LinkedIn and facebook have pretty different targets).
Integrate the “share” icon into your news letter templates – in this case, you are going to learn some coding techniques.
Newsletter (with the new template) testing – it is ideal to have your new newsletter template tested, initially focused to a small group of recipients before rolling it out to a much bigger audience.
Roll out the newly-designed newsletter templates to the rest of your prospects in your database – if the testing is successful, then it is time for its full-swing implementation.
Track shared newsletter metrics – your email marketing system should be designed so that you are able to track how the integration with the social network performs, particularly on how many times the ‘share’ icon is clicked.