This Week in Social Media… Facebook announces new ad unit for businesses and launches Ad Manager app

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” Facebook announces the multiple product ad unit and launches Ad Manager app for advertisers and marketers.

Facebook Announces Product Ads

As Facebook continues to evolve their ad platform, one of the biggest headaches for business owners is promoting multiple products. That is no longer the case as Facebook is introducing a new ad unit, product ads. “Product ads is a solution designed to help businesses promote multiple products or their entire product catalog, across all the devices their customers use,” Facebook wrote.

Product-Ads

The new ad unit offers businesses a number of ways to feature their different products. You will be able to upload your product catalog and create campaigns that targets everyone or specific audiences with certain products or just let Facebook automatically deliver the most relevant products to people.

Product ads can be customized for use throughout the customer journey, from discovery/awareness through purchase. Here are some options:

  • Advertisers can automatically reach people who visited their website/app (via Custom Audiences), or reach people based on specific interests, locations, etc.
  • Advertisers can curate ads as they see fit. For instance, they can highlight products that were viewed on their website/mobile app or showcase best selling products. Or they can create a multi-product ad that highlights the different benefits of a single product.

With dynamic product ads, Target has been able to more easily engage consumers with highly relevant creative. The early results have exceeded expectations, with a 20% increase in conversion compared to other Facebook ads. Performance has also been especially strong with people shopping on mobile devices — an important and fast-growing area for Target — where we’re seeing two times the conversion rate.” — Kristi Argyilan, Senior Vice President, Target

Product ads are being rolled out to everyone over the coming weeks. To check to see if it’s available to you or to start using product ads login to your Power Editor today. You can learn more about product ads by clicking here.

Facebook Introduces Ad Manager App

Keeping with the theme of Facebook Ads, just this past week Facebook introduced their latest creation, Ads Manager app. Last July Facebook rolled out a mobile website dedicated to advertisers and marketers to create and monitor their ads while on the go. Since the website was rolled out last summer, it is now being used by more than 800,000 advertisers each month.

Facebook-Ad-App

To make ad management even easier for the more than 2 million businesses using Facebook advertising, they created the Ads Manager app. Whether you want to monitor current ads or create new ones, ads manager app gives marketers more power to manage ads from anywhere. Using the app, marketers can:

  • Track ad performance
  • Edit existing ads
  • Edit ad budgets and schedules
  • Receive push notifications
  • Create ads

As of now, the app is only available to iOS users in the US. Over the coming weeks, the app will be rolled out worldwide. For Andriod users, you will have to wait a little longer as the app is expected to launch later this year.

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How Much Time do I Need to Dedicate to Social Media? (FAQ)

How much time does social media takeThis is a common question that I get asked when speaking at conferences. As businesses and organizations begin to see social media as a viable opportunity, they want to be sure that it is resourced correctly.

The challenge with this question is that it depends.

How long does it take to cook dinner?

How long does it take to create a budget?

How long does it take to fall asleep at night?

How much does it cost to build a house?

With all of these questions there is a HUGE range, and it depends on what you want.

I can build a house for $100,000 or $1,000,000 – they won’t both be the same. The budget for my house will depend on what I want and what I need.

The same is true with social media. The time it takes you depends on what you want and need to get out of it.

Last week I spoke to a State Board of Election Conference. Very few Boards of Election are using social media (for a variety of reasons) and one of the top questions was – how much time will it take to get active on social media?

For a Board of Elections, which isn’t posting as often as a traditional business and had different goals and objectives vs. a traditional business, a small investment in Facebook is probably a good starting point.

With some set-up time and a quick understanding of best practices, a Board of Elections could be active on Facebook and meet their objectives with under 30 minutes a week.

Compare this to a restaurant, which will probably post more frequently, receive more comments and aim to translate Facebook attention into butts in seats. A restaurant will probably invest more on a daily basis than a Board of Elections will in a week.

The important first step is to understand WHAT you want to achieve and consider the ACTION PLAN that is required to achieve it.

This Week in Social Media… Pinterest adds app Pins, Facebook makes selling easier, and rolls out relevance scores

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” Pinterest introduces a new type of Rich Pin, Facebook updates Facebook For Sale Groups and rolls out Relevance Scores metric for advertisers.

Pinterest Launches App Pins

Last year Pinterest rolled-out Rich Pins that provided additional information for Pins. Initially, there were 5 types of Pins when it was introduced: article, movie, place, product, and recipe. For example, with the recipe Rich Pins you could list ingredients and cook time as additional information.

Pinterest-App-Pin

The latest update is only available for iOS devices at this time. Now if you’re on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see another kind of Pin: app Pins. Let’s say you’re Pinning workout motivation Pins to your Get Fit board. If you see a fitness app that helps you reach your desired goals, you can download it right from Pinterest.

When you come across an app Pin, tap Install (the button is located directly next to the Pin It button as illustrated in the image) to download the app right to your device. The idea behind the app Pin is to allow users to download apps without ever leaving Pinterest.

You can check out the App Store’s new board or top picks from Pinterest Pinployees (it’s what Pinterest calls Employees) Staff Picks board for a collection of app Pins available for download.

New Features For Facebook Groups

Facebook recently improved their Facebook For Sale Groups adding features for buying and selling. For Sale Group members can now choose the Sell feature when creating a post (illustrated in the image). Included in the new Sell feature is the ability to add a description of what you’re selling, price, and set a pick-up/delivery location for the item.

Facebook-For-Sale

In addition, Sellers can also mark prior posts as Available or Sold and easily view their catalog of items previously sold.

The new features will roll out to all Facebook For Sale Groups in the coming months across iOS, Android, and web. If you would like to participate now, have your Group admin nominate their Group by clicking here.

View Your Relevance Score For Ads On Facebook

Facebook has always used a Relevance Score to take into account when it displays ads to users. Before now, it has not made the information visible to advertisers. That is changing, as advertisers will now see the metric in the ads reporting tool as illustrated in the image.

Facebook-Relevance-Score

Taking relevance into account helps ensure that people see ads that matter to them, leading to a better experience for people and businesses alike,” Facebook stated.

Understanding relevance scores helps advertisers in a few key ways:

  • It can lower the cost of reaching people.
  • It can help advertisers test ad creative options before running a campaign.
  • It can help optimize campaigns already in progress.

It’s important to keep this metric in perspective as understanding relevance scores do have real benefits for advertisers. However, relevance scores should not be used as the primary indicator of an ad’s overall performance. The idea or goal, behind relevance scores, is to reach your audience at lower costs and to experiment with your ad creative and targeting.

To view your relevance scores, head to Ads Manager and add the tab to your ads reports.

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This Week in Social Media… Twitter launches Quick Promote, while you were away and Pinterest helps you find Pins with Guided Search

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” Twitter is on a roll with two new features to help you get the most of the social network and Pinterest unveils Guided Search to help you find exactly what you are searching for.

Promote Tweets Even Faster

Twitter introduced ‘Quick Promote,’ which is a faster and easier way for companies, both small and medium-sized, to get their best content in front of more people.

Now you can amplify your best performing Tweets directly from the Tweet activity dashboard. Promoting one of your Tweets will take a few clicks and your Tweet will automatically be targeted to users who have similar interests to your followers.

“Promoted Tweets can help you drive measurable business results,” states Buster Benson, Product Manager for Twitter. “In fact, we found that users who see a relevant Promoted Tweet from an SMB are also 32% more likely to visit that business.

Twitter-Quick-Promote

How to get started:
Here’s how to get started with quick promote once you’re logged into your Tweet activity dashboard.

  1. Select a Tweet to promote. We recommend you choose a Tweet that’s already resonating with your followers. You can tell that a Tweet is resonating if it has a high number of total impressions and engagement rate.
  2. Choose a budget. We’ll provide an estimate of the reach you’ll see after promoting your Tweet. If you haven’t yet signed up for Twitter Ads, follow the prompt in the Tweet activity dashboard to set up your account.
  3. Watch people engage with your Tweet in real time, and optimize your content strategy to drive more of your desired actions, like Retweets or URL clicks.

Quick promote is now available to all SMB advertisers. To access quick promote login to your Twitter analytics account.

While You Were Away From Twitter

In addition to the roll-out of Quick Promote, Twitter also launched ‘While you were away.’ The welcomed feature is being introduced will show you a recap of some of the top Tweets you might have missed.

While-you-were-away-Twitter

A lot can happen from the accounts you follow while you’re away. To help you stay on top of the news and fill in the gaps, Twitter will show you a few of the best Tweets you missed. Twitter’s goal is to help you keep up with your world, now matter how much time you spend on the social network.

To determine which Tweets will be displayed, Twitter will factor in several variables including engagement with the Tweet itself. Users on iOS devices will start to see the new feature while those on Android and users logged-in to Twitter.com will see ‘While you were away’ soon.

Pinterest Search Is Getting Smarter

Pinterest wants to help you find the best ideas, so they recently introduced Guided Search. Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for or just starting to look around, Guided Search is here to help you explore.

The next time you search for something, road trips, recipes, summer activities for the kids, descriptive guides will help you filter through all the great ideas from other Pinners. The guides are there to get you where you want to go, but also leaves room for other ideas.

Watch this video learn more about Guided Search:

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5 Steps to Get Started with Twitter

5 Steps to Get Started with Twitter

I just finished a presentation at a trade show about Twitter, and I realized that there are still many businesses struggling with how to get started. I wanted to share 5 simple tips for anyone to get started with Twitter.

Even in 2015, it isn’t too late to get started… Here are 5 simple steps to get started with Twitter, regardless of your social media knowledge or experience.

1) Start with Search

Start by doing a few keyword searches on Twitter – consider searching for words related to your product, industry, geography, service, category, etc. Just do some searches to get a general understanding of what people are talking about.

Twitter also has advanced search options so you can really narrow down and target any search option.

2) Look at what your Competitors are Doing

Spend some time looking at what your competitors are sharing and posting. In 2013 chances are that at least some of your competitors are using social media, and at least 1 – 2 of them are doing a pretty good job.

Learn from them – what is popular? What falls flat? What do people like? What do people respond to?

3) Look at what your Customers are Doing

Your customers are another great source of social media inspiration. Take note of what they like, talk about and what gets them fired up. Knowing your customers is important to understanding what you should talk about, the tone, positioning, etc.

4) Explore Your Community

Your definition of “community” depends on the type of business you are in. For my business, I participate in the social media community, the marketing community, the Cincinnati community and the Entrepreneurship community. Businesses that get noticed in social media participate and connect with communities — they take advantage of the 2-way dialogue.

Many of the companies that nail it on Twitter are constantly promoting others in their community and building connections. Consider who your community is. What hashtags do they use? Are there any Twitter chats that they participate in? Who are the influencers?

5) Figure out what you WANT TO ACHIVE from it

Before you start Tweeting, step back and ask yourself what you hope to achieve from participating on Twitter – personally and professionally. Knowing your objectives will dictate your direction and choices once you get started.

After these 5 steps you are ready to create an account and start participating!

Is there still value in Facebook? Given the challenges to marketing on Facebook, is it still a valuable business marketing tool? Social Media FAQ

Is there still value in Facebook?
Many businesses wonder if Facebook is still a valuable marketing tool, given the challenges that businesses face when marketing on Facebook. This is one of the most common questions asked about social media: Should my business be on Facebook?

Here is the thing. It is like going online and asking “Should I be on a diet?” or “What type of dog would be best for me?”

The answer is: It depends.

It depends on the type of business that you are in.
It depends on your strategy.
It depends on your resources.
It depends on what you want to achieve.
It depends on your goals and objectives.
It depends on your customers.
It depends on your category or industry.
It depends on whether or not your customers what to connect with you on Facebook.

So, it is a complicated question without a “one-size-fits-all” answer.

That being said, here are some things that you should know about marketing your business on Facebook.
The Challenge of Facebook Marketing:

The challenge that businesses have with marketing on Facebook is that Facebook has reduced organic reach over time. What this means is that initially, most of your “fans” or people who have liked your page would have seen your posts. Now less than 10% of the people who like your page will see your posts (and maybe less than 1%).

If you are a business on Facebook you aren’t competing against other businesses on Facebook, you are competing against everything I care about and fighting for my attention. Coke isn’t competing against Pepsi for my attention – they are competing against my friends kids, news articles and funny YouTube videos.

Because of the lack of visibility of business pages on Facebook, many businesses are questioning the viability of using Facebook for marketing.

There is still value in Facebook.

The reality is that there is still value in marketing your business on Facebook. Facebook generates value by gaining exposure for your business, and we know that being exposed to a brand (or just seeing it) increases the probability that you will do business with it.

Seeing something helps to Know, Like and Trust, it, which increases the chances that you’ll do business with the person or product.

The bottom line is that Facebook is the biggest and most used social network out there. If you want to grow your visibility and your brand, Facebook isn’t a bad choice…

So it isn’t free. Cry me a river.

The expectation that social media marketing is “free” is not sustainable in the long-term. Just because something isn’t free doesn’t mean that there is no value. Arguably by charging people the network has to prove its value more.

Facebook ads are extremely targeted and cost efficient. Spending a bit of money to reach your target audience shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Evaluate whether or not Facebook is right for you.

The bottom line is that you need to evaluate whether or not Facebook is right for you and your business. I wouldn’t write it off, but you do need to evaluate how much time/effort/money you put in and what you get out.

Assess your business goals and strategies, your content plan, your target audience, the amount of time/effort you have and your other available options to determine where Facebook should for into your broader strategy.

If you don’t understand Facebook, get some Facebook Training you improve your knowledge. Using best practices for Facebook can always help to get more bang for your buck.

7 Ways to Repurpose Your Instagram Photos

Since I’ve written a lot about Visual Social Marketing, you can probably guess that I’m pretty big on Instagram. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks and the community on Instagram is highly engaged. That being said, if you invest a lot of time on creating great images for Instagram, you may want to get more bang for your buck.

The good news is that you can repurpose your Instagram photos across social media to get more visibility from your investment in creating great images.

Here are some ideas of how you can get more out of great images.

1. Cross Post to Other Social Networks

Crossposting to other social networks is the obvious way to get more from  your photos. I use IFTTT (if this than that) to automatically post my Instagram photos to Twitter and Facebook. Using IFTTT to post means that they will show up as organic images on Facebook and Twitter. For example, if you post through Instagram the image will show up in Twitter as a link, however by using IFTTT your images will show up as organic Twitter images, which gets them more visibility on Twitter.

2. Use Them as Marketing Assets

We use our Instagram photos as marketing assets in a few different ways. We’ll sometimes use them in blog posts, but we also recently used them as the cover image for our Facebook page. Many businesses use their Instagram photos on their homepage, or even in their other advertising materials. Keep your Instagram images in mind for all of your marketing.

3. Create a PowerPoint Presentation for SlideShare

Slideshare is a great social network and many of my presentations on slideshare have thousands of views. Consider your Instagram photos as individual slides. For example you can create a powerpoint of 15 Inspirational Quotes with 15 Instagram photos. Our goal is to create one of these every month. This is a great way to easily create more content from your initial images.

4.  Create an Animoto Video

Video is hot right now – especially short videos that can easily be uploaded to multiple different channels. Animoto allows you to create a simple video from a number of images, or if you want more control you can use iMovie or other video editing software. Create a quick video to share your best images in a compelling way.

5. Add Them to Your Website

Add the images to your website or blog. If you use wordpress there are plenty of plugins that you can use for this. Add your best Instagram photos to your website as a visual way to connect with your customers.

6. Pin Them to Pinterest

You’ll want to do step 5 first, and add the images to your blog or website (so that you get the traffic from Pinterest clicks). Add all of your images to your website and then every week pin them to different boards on Pinterest. Quotes and other images are great for Pinterest, so this is an easy way to create great Pinterest content and drive traffic back to your website.

7. Create a Blog Post with Your Best Ones

Every month, create one blog post that highlights your best Instagram photos. If you can’t do #5 (or find it too difficult) then you can use your blog as a way to get the images on your website (and then later pin them to Pinterest).

7 ways to repurpose your instagram photos

Online Marketing is Effective for 75% of Small & Medium Businesses

New data from a BrightLocal study shows that over 75% of businesses say that online marketing is effective for their business. Are you part of the 75% getting results? If not, you may be missing out. When it comes to online marketing and social media, you can’t afford to fall behind – or your competition will get the edge.

Not only are most businesses getting results, but they are planning to increase their spending this year. Also surprising is that most of them handle internet marketing in-house. This is somewhat surprising since there are so many SEO, Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing companies out there. At the same time, many small businesses aren’t spending enough to justify hiring an agency or consultant, with most spending under $300/month.

What blows my mind is that most businesses are getting results from social media while spending under $300/month and doing it themselves.

Findings from 2015 internet marketing study from small and medium businesses

In order to really achieve results like this, businesses must:

  • Prioritize online marketing
  • Learn the essentials
  • Track success
  • Optimize and improve

A third of businesses spend most of their budget online.

This doesn’t surprise me because small businesses can easily get started online with small budgets. For many forms of traditional marketing like advertising you typically need bigger budgets to have an impact.

2014-small-business-spend-on-internet-marketing

 

75% of businesses say internet marketing gets them customers

Most of the business surveyed get real results (attract customers) to their business.

2015 chart statistic how effective is internet marketing

So What Channels Work?

Strangely social media wasn’t included as an option (although arguably, social media would be included as a part of word of mouth)…. Apparently the survey was more focused on traditional online marketing channels vs social media. Interestingly, most online marketing out-preformed traditional marketing.

2015 chart statistic effective online marketing channels

This Week in Social Media… Pinterest makes Promoted Pins available, LinkedIn expands Publisher platform, and Pinterest creates Pinstitute

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” Pinterest makes Promoted Pins available to everyone, LinkedIn expands the Publisher feature, and Pinterest creates Pinstitute.

Promoted Pins Now Available to Everyone

Promoted Pins

At the beginning of the month, Pinterest officially rolled out Promoted Pins to everyone! Eight months ago, Pinterest launched Promoted Pins for a select few brands to test the new feature. After analyzing the data obtained from the campaigns, the company is ready to move forward with the roll-out.

Results have been promising,” said Joanne Bradford, Head of Partnerships with Pinterest. Additionally, this is what the Pinterest team gathered from the results:

  • Promoted Pins perform just as good and sometimes better than organic Pins. Brand advertisers achieved about a 30% bump in earned media (free impressions!) from their campaigns. That’s from people who saw a Promoted Pin and thought it was good enough to save to one of their own boards.
  • Promoted Pins perform long after a campaign ends. Since Pins are evergreen and last forever, we often saw an extra 5% bump in earned media in the month following the end of a campaign.
  • Brands both in and out of our core categories found success. From financial services to food to auto, brands from a wide array of industries saw results.
  • Auction-based Promoted Pins (CPC) are seeing success, too. Many of our self-serve beta partners are seeing major gains in traffic and impressions. We’re still making tweaks to the product and want to make sure we get it just right before we roll it out to all businesses.

LinkedIn Expands Publishing

Early last year LinkedIn introduced Publish, a feature for users to publish long-form posts about their expertise and interests, to every member of the social network in the United States. A milestone was reached for the company as the one millionth post was recently published.

The plan is to expand the feature according to Akshay Kothari, Product Manager at LinkedIn, as he stated, “We want each one of our more than 330 million members to be able to share their insights with other professionals across the globe.” Last week the company moved forward with the plan to expand as the ability to publish on LinkedIn is now available to all members in English-speaking countries.

That now encompasses more than 230 million people around the globe who can now tell their stories, show their expertise, and share their stories. Have you written yet? Click the pencil in your status bar and give it a try.

Pinterest Announces Pinstitute

As Pinterest continues to grow, they committed to making the social network more business-friendly. “We’re committed to making Pinterest the best place for you to inspire your customers and see measurable results from your marketing,” stated Joanne Bradford, Head of Partnerships at Pinterest. To education business users, the company rolled out Pinstitute.

Pintitute is a new program for businesses to learn how to connect with Pinners and see a return from Pinterest. Pinstitute will focus on two particular areas, creative, and measurement. As of now Pinterest has invited a select group of companies to attend the quarterly Pinstitute workshops- the first is scheduled for March. For small businesses, they are planning a series of webinars and additional online learning tools.

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