Author Archives: Mike Gingerich

About Mike Gingerich

Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite . Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact. Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.

YouTube Tools to Improve Your Video SEO

YouTube Tools to Improve Your Video SEO-315If you spend money and resources to create video content, then you want people to find it. Just like improving your web copy for Google SEO, you should be optimizing your videos for YouTube’s SEO.

Here are a few tools to help your videos rank higher on a video search engine like YouTube.

1. YouTube Search Filters

Let’s start with the basics. When you’re planning and creating your video, you should conduct several searches to see what videos have been set up and what they’ve done with their video titles, tags, etc.

Use YouTube’s search filters to find results uploaded in the last hour, last day or week, as well as the type of content, duration, and features it contains.

You’ll want to search for titles similar to your video and look for the best ranking keywords in your niche. Take a look at the top results in each of your searches. These are videos that have done YouTube SEO right. Take notes on what is working. Examine their descriptions, tags, titles, and thumbnails to determine what they’re doing that helps them rank so high.

2. YouTube Search Auto-Suggest

Similar to doing keyword research on Google, YouTube’s auto-suggest tool can also be a great way to determine the most popular keywords on the platform.

Start typing in a keyword related to your niche and take note of each of the auto-suggested endings to that keyword. Those are all popular search terms, and you should use any relevant to your video or niche.

A similar, but more in-depth, tool called SEO Chat takes your base, short-tail keyword and adds each letter of the alphabet to it to give you a full list of every possible long-tail keyword you could rank for.

3. TubeBuddy Chrome Extension

Sometimes the tools YouTube gives us aren’t enough. That’s why extensions and other tools have been built to help even further with video SEO.

The TubeBuddy Chrome Extension is one of these.

This extension has a tag explorer that helps you find and use some of the top ranking tags/keywords from other top performing videos. When you perform a search in the tag explorer, it provides you with information on the search volume of a keyword, difficulty to rank, and competition (i.e., how many other videos are also using that keyword).

This extension also has a suggested tags tool that will give you more relevant tags after you’ve input your initial tags using the tag explorer. It provides you with a scorecard that lets you know your chances of ranking for each of the tags it suggested you add to your video.

In addition, the TubeBuddy extension also allows you to A/B test your video titles or thumbnails to determine which performs the best. You can use up to two variations and get analytics on which one received more engagement and/or clicks.

When using YouTube video content in your digital marketing strategy, it’s not simply uploading, publishing, and done. It’s important to pay attention to your video SEO, so your content ranks higher in search results and is found by more people. When you’re spending so much time and money putting together quality video content, you want to make sure as many people as possible can see it!

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15 Facebook Tools you Need to Know about for your Business

Facebook is the #1 most used social media network across North America, Europe, Australia, and South America.  It’s a key place where people spend significant amounts of time online and did you know there is a powerhouse of Facebook Tools your business can be using to help your marketing on this network?

A key reason Facebook is a powerful platform for marketers is the time spent by users on Facebook.  Recent stats released by Facebook show U.S. users are spending on average 40 minutes per day total on the platform in bursts of 2-5 minute increments.

The majority of this time spent is on mobile devices, particularly the mobile app, and it is spent surfing the news feed.  So within that backdrop, what do we need to know about Facebook Tools for business?  I bet you are not using all 15 of these!

Let’s dive into 15 Facebook Tools you need to know about for your business today!

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15 Facebook Tools you Need to Know about for your Business

Facebook is a powerful tool to market your business and brand.  

People spend an enormous amount of time on the site, the age demographics span all major buyer profiles, and the people use the site daily.  A bonus is that Facebook gives businesses plenty of tools to use for successfully engaging your ideal audience.

Likely you are using Facebook for your business already if you’re a reader here.  The question is whether you are using the Facebook Tools that you should be. Might there be some you are missing?

Here are 15 Facebook Tools you Need to Know about for your Business  

Facebook Pages 

This is the starting point for a company on Facebook.  Different from a profile, you need a Facebook Page where you can post as the company and grow a fan base who “like” your Page that you can communicate to.  It’s the core foundational Facebook tool you need for your business.

Go here to create a Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

Customize the URL of your Facebook Page:

So, first and foremost, make sure you business has a Facebook Page and all the Facebook Tools it offers!

Facebook Page Post Scheduling

This is a key Facebook tool within your page for when and how you can post.  You don’t have to be on Facebook at 8 pm to have a Page post for your business go live!  You can schedule them to go at key times of high Facebook use by your fan base.

Anytime you create a post, you get the option to “Schedule”.  Go through the quick setup to deploy it at the time you desire.  NOTE: In the Insights area within any Page you Admin, you can go to the

Pages App for iOS and Android

A free app for managing your page on the go via your smartphone!  This is powerful way to keep posting to your page and responding to comments while out of the office.  It’s a “must have” tool for any Page admin.

Facebook Apps – TabSite

A key feature on desktop for Facebook Pages is the ability to add 3rd-party apps to your page.  Our TabSite.com software is one of these apps.

3rd Party apps allow you to add functionality to your Page that doesn’t exist such as to run a Photo Contest or to host a Sweepstakes right on your page.  Key TabSite apps for Facebook Pages include:

The benefit of a app like TabSite is that you can simultaneously embed the app on your website as well.

Facebook Page Admin Roles

In the “Settings” area for your Facebook Page you can add other users with specific roles on your Page.  It’s a good idea to have a trusted person be an additional Admin on your page and you can assign employees or third party social media management helps to specific roles such  as Editor, Advertiser, or someone that can go Live on the Page.

Be sure to check this section and manage it.  Best practice is to have a second user as a Admin that you trust! (spouse, partner, etc.)

Facebook Events

Setup and get RSVPs for events on Facebook! A great and simple way to have focused attention, including sign-ups, around a event.  Perfect for a training event, grand opening, special event, and more.

Facebook Ads

You’ve seen them before – they’re the ads in the news feed with “Sponsored”. These ads are designed to look like a typical post made by a friend. On a desktop they appear in your sidebar and can be images or video. Some are specifically created as an ad setup and launched. But some are posts that have now been “boosted”. If you have a popular post, it can have a wider reach by paying to boost it.

How they work

Facebook offers a dashboard to manage your ads and monitor their performance. You design the ad, specify the budget, and pay out for every click on the ad.  There are other options as well such as paying per impression (when an ad is seen).

There’s a corresponding cost for every click on your ads, but you can manage your spending by setting a per day budget. This will spread out your total budget across several days.

You can target your ads by choosing from the massive filters available. Make your ads visible to everyone, or you can limit your audience by geographical area, gender, age, language, and/or specific interest. You can be as broad or specific as you want, though it’s advisable to start with a wider audience and just narrow it down as you go along.

More on Facebook Ads >

Facebook Audience Network

What is Facebook Audience Network?

This is how Facebook allows its advertisers to advertise off of the platform with the exact same targeting it offers on the platform. This can be remarkable for advertisers, websites who want to generate revenue by being a part of the network, and of course, for Facebook who now has, even more, ways to offer advertising.

There are 3 types of visual ads your business can place: banner (shows up at the bottom of the screen), native (appears in an article), and interstitial (takes up the full page above or below the article). You can also place Audience Network video ads that will appear throughout a video stream.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences are great Facebook Ad tools for reaching exactly that…..custom audiences.  For example, by adding a Facebook Pixel to your website (web developers can do this) you can then setup an ad just for those who recently visited your website!

If someone visits your website after clicking on a Facebook Ad, they may not always complete an action like making a purchase or giving you their contact information. The Facebook Pixel can help you by:

  • Bringing website visitors back to complete a purchase
  • Finding new people who are similar to your website visitors
  • Get more value from new customer acquisition campaigns by excluding existing customers

More on Custom Audiences >

Facebook Video

Video is a leading Facebook tool today!  People watch video and Facebook shows video to more of your fans than they do a text post!  You read that right.

Native video is the key….By this I mean videos loaded directly to Facebook for your Page, as opposed to videos on other services like YouTube and Vimeo that are shared on Facebook.

I’ve done a number of tests for my own videos like this:  I load the same video to YouTube and to Facebook, and share them at the same time of day on my Facebook business page.  The results are not even close!  The Facebook video reach and engagement is MASSIVE compared to the YouTube link share.  This is important because marketing on Facebook is about getting in front of your audience and providing some of value that they want to engage with.

In fact, I’ve found that little videos I post to Facebook are performing from 50-400% better than text, photo, and link posts for many of the Pages I manage!  

More on Facebook Video >

Facebook Video Auto-captions

Facebook wants people to understand and engage with video content, so they created the auto-captioning feature to add context for the people who watch videos without the sound on, and they made it dead simple for the average person to use.

How Facebook Auto-Captioning Works

When you upload your video to your Facebook page, it goes through an automated process that attempts to accurately transcribe the video.

While auto-captioning is very effective, it doesn’t always get everything right on the first try. So Facebook gives you a simple way to edit, line by line, the transcription of the video. Generally, Facebook does a solid job transcribing and it can be from 75-95% correct from the start!

More on Facebook Video Auto-captions >

Facebook Video Crossposting

Crossposting is a way to share videos across multiple Pages.

Crossposting can only happen between Pages that have added each other. You control which videos you want to crosspost. When a Page crossposts your videos, they will also be able to view video insights for their posts.

Perfect if you have complimentary pages or multiple Pages for different store locations!  Go to Settings / Crossposting to access this for your Page.

Facebook Live Video

One of Facebook’s newest features to help businesses to market is live video. You don’t need special equipment or any special software, all you do is open your company Page in the mobile App and click on the live video icon where you publish a new post!

With this feature, you can see the number of people watching, along with their names and comments. As soon as the video is over, it’s saved and posted on your timeline automatically as a new video post others can watch. You can share it on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, or even embed it in your website.

Here are some of the benefits of using Facebook live video for your business >

Facebook Messaging

Make sure you have this turned “on” for your Page so a visitor can contact you via Messaging.  It’s like a contact form, only better with the Artificial Intelligence options for intelligent immediate responses that help you be efficient and effective!

Facebook Groups for Pages

New since mid-July 2017…Groups for Pages!

Having the ability to add groups to your Facebook page helps you foster a  real community around your brand. Knowing they can have extended interactions through a group, page followers are likelier to become more loyal to the brand.

Full details on ways to use Groups for Pages >

Facebook Instant Articles – Publishing Tools

This is a newer mobile format developed by Facebook which is used to serve pages rapidly to visitors accessing website content from the Facebook mobile app.

Why should I optimize my content for Facebook Instant Articles?

Facebook Instant Articles is built to load instantly on mobile devices and designed for higher engagements, resulting in improved News Feed reach.

More details on the where and how for Facebook Articles here >

Signup link for Facebook Instant Articles >

Instagram Connection for Facebook Pages

Yes! You can manage Instagram on Facebook!

Add your Instagram account to Facebook so you can easily edit your account details, create Instagram ads and more.

Facebook Jobs

Yes, you can list jobs on Facebook and they appear in the marketplace.  Think of it as a growing Monster.com or Indeed.com with the ability to reach your desired employee target with the powerful targeting tools on Facebook!

More on Facebook Jobs >

That’s a bit more than 15 tools!  Are you using all of them?  Implemented within a overall digital marketing strategy (see my book link below), these tools can be key pieces that add to the success of your online marketing.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Other Resources:

  • BONUS: Win a free ticket to the fall’s best social media marketing conference, Social Media Strategies Summit in New York City, Oct. 17-19!  Enter now through Sept. 30 for a chance to win a free ticket. 

  • My complete guide to Facebook and social media lead generation  online!  Game Plan Book >>

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Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

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How Do I Manage Job Posts for my Facebook Page?

How Do I Manage Job Posts for my Facebook Page-315-1In addition to using your business Facebook Page for promoting and marketing your business, the platform has added the ability to post and promote job listings from your Page. Since Facebook’s end goal seems to be to crush every other social network. This appears to be their way of competing with LinkedIn’s job postings and even sites like Indeed.com and Monster.com.

Posting a job on Facebook is free, as compared to LinkedIn where you pay per candidate who viewed your post, there’s no reason not to use it for hiring as well.

Here are the basics for using Facebook to publish and manage your job posts.

How to Create a Facebook Job Post

The very first thing is to make sure you have messaging turned on for your Page. Job applicants will be sending their applications in via your Page messaging.  This is done in Settings, then “Messaging.”

To get started, click Publish Job Post under Facebook’s Job options, which, when on a desktop or laptop computer is in the left menu of Page items. A popup will appear on your screen with all of the required details you need to fill out.

How Do I Manage Job Posts for my Facebook Page 1

It’ll ask for a photo to accompany the job ad (we typically recommend creating a graphic with the job title for each opening at your business in dimensions 1200×630). Add the job title, location, type, and details. You can even include salary information.

If you have any initial questions for each applicant, add these for candidates to fill out upon applying for the position. As mentioned before, you’ll receive these via Facebook Page messaging, but you can also add an email address you’d like applications sent to.

Make sure the job ad looks good in the preview section to the right before clicking Publish Job Post.

How Do I Manage Job Posts for my Facebook Page 2

How to Manage Your Job Posts

Once you’ve created a job post, you can access it by clicking Jobs in the left-hand navigation on your Facebook Page.

This is where all of your current job openings will be housed. Facebook users will have access to this Jobs tab and will be able to click Apply for this job to submit their application via Facebook Messages.

You’ll be able to review applications through your Messages Inbox or via the email you added.

All job postings on Facebook automatically expire after 30 days. If you find a candidate before then, you can take down the job posting by going to the bottom right of the post and clicking Mark as Closed. You can also renew it by clicking Renew Job Post in the same section. Edit a job post from the Jobs page by clicking the down arrow and going to Edit Job Post.

If you’re looking for new talent for your company, it’s the perfect time to try hiring on Facebook.

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5 Facebook Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Facebook is the top social media network for a reason and there are 5 key Facebook marketing mistakes that marketers need to avoid today on this powerful marketing platform.

A key reason Facebook is a powerful platform for marketers is the time spent by users on Facebook.  Recent stats released by Facebook show U.S. users are spending on average 40 minutes per day total on the platform in bursts of 2-5 minute increments.

The majority of this time spent is on mobile devices, particularly the mobile app, and it is spent surfing the news feed.  So within that backdrop what do we need to avoid?

Many marketers are not keeping up with Facebook shifts.  What mattered and worked a year ago on Facebook for marketing is often not working today.  It’s critical to stay current and use the latest tools and features that are working.  Let’s dive into 5 things to avoid and what really matters today!

Ready to go?

Listen Now:

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BONUS: Win a free ticket to the fall’s best social media marketing conference, Social Media Strategies Summit in New York City!  Enter now through Sept. 30 for a chance to win a free ticket.
More details here.

5 Facebook Marketing Mistakes Podcast Video

Facebook is a powerful tool to market your business and brand.  

People spend an enormous amount of time on the site, the age demographics span all major buyer profiles, and the people use the site daily.  A bonus is that Facebook gives businesses plenty of tools to use for successfully engaging your ideal audience.

Likely you are using Facebook for your business already if you’re a reader here.  The question is whether you are using it well!  Many businesses continue to make mistakes when using Facebook for marketing. These mistakes are costly and hamper an overall marketing strategy.

Here are 5 mistakes that you need to avoid when using Facebook for marketing.    

  1. Not Using Facebook Ads   

To truly reach the right audience on Facebook, some money must be spent. Many businesses, especially small ones, don’t have unlimited funds and must carefully construct cost-effective, engaging ads. However, it’s possible to make mistakes in this area that can waste time, money and fail to earn attention.   

Facebook determines potential ad reach mainly by budget size. Ad cost must be factored in the size of your target audience and the length of time the ad will run. If the budget is too low, there can be a dramatic reduction in reach. Trying to take a lower budget and stretch it can be wasteful as it will be less likely to have the desired effect.   

How to Avoid:  When working with a limited budget, make certain the money is being directed toward strategies that are proven to work. First, make use of Facebook’s Power Editor tool. It allows users to specify, in great detail, where they want their ads placed, and it provides information on how well ads do in certain niches. Ads placed in mobile news feeds for example often work better than other potential placements such as the desktop sidebar.   As well, if your dollars are limited, limit your ad time length.  It’s better to go shorter duration and have more impact than to go long and limited.

  1. Not Seeking to Engage Your Audience   

Marketing, forming communities and making human connections go hand in hand. In an age of social media, this is even more evident. There are a number of ways your business can make the mistake of ignoring this human link including:

Talking “at” your followers.  This is simply a turnoff. When your Facebook content is focused all on the brand and not the followers, it isolates followers and makes the page appear less approachable. Because engagement leads to your business being displayed to a wider audience, ignoring audiences is not the way to go.   

How To Avoid:  Create your posts around people; analyze fans & followers, and make an effort toward humanizing your brand. Move away from a monologue and create a dialogue between followers and the brand. Share relevant viral content or ask questions directly or in polls which will give followers a voice. When a negative comment shows up, don’t ignore it, it can seem as though the brand does not value its customers. Instead, respond with a kind, individualized manner to try to alleviate grievances. This shows that person and all watching that your brand is human and does care.  

Understanding the followers on a Facebook page is easier with the Insights tool that Facebook offers. To effectively market to someone, you need to know who is already being reached.  With Insights, you can see the posts that are getting the most likes and engagement, active fans, and follower demographics.  Learn from these items as you plan new content to share.

  1. Using the Wrong Post Types   

Quality content is important to marketing in any media. It’s one of the backbones of your marketing campaigns. Weak content that comes off as a continuous sales pitch or a boring mess of information isn’t going to get much attention, or at least, not for very long. Common marketing mistakes regarding content are:

Lengthy Content – Facebook content that is too long isn’t optimal for reaching customers.  Facebook news feeds are often cramped with lots of posts vying for the attention of Facebook users. Lengthy text-only content can turn off those users as they look for content that is easy to scan through quickly.  Unless you are getting great engagement already, beware of 500 word posts!

Bland Content – Employing the same type of content repeatedly gets old fast. Because Facebook is a visual medium, not including visuals and video can leave existing text content feeling a bit bare and boring.   

How to Avoid:  Content that’s relevant, attractive and helpful is the type of content that will be invaluable to your marketing. Optimize your content so that it will be rich with important information in a compact form.  And think visual!  

Don’t overload your followers. The ideal character count for many Facebook posts will usually be around 150 characters with an upper limit of 250 characters. Integrate multiple content types into your posts.  It has been frequently shown that pictures, video, and infographics and other visual content receives more engagement that basic text content.      

  1. Avoiding Facebook Live   

It takes courage to go LIVE the first time but it’s an important “next step” in your marketing.

Why?  Because Facebook gives priority to Live and if you want to reach the majority of your fan base and use a method where your fans are notified in app that you are online on your Facebook Page, then you need to use Facebook Live.

Often due to discomfort or fear businesses are avoiding trying Facebook live.  I recently helped a business through this.  They are a retail B2C shop and one of the owners did such a good job with welcoming people who walked in and showing them around that I explained we needed to do this for Facebook Live.  Ultimately I was the “new guest” and I had them going live showing me around the store and it worked great!  Start simple and be consistent in doing live and you can gain traction!

  1. Inconsistent Posting and Updating   

Although it seems like a basic rule, it’s not unheard of for businesses to not update their Facebook pages regularly. Many businesses have more than one social media profile. As a result, some pages end up getting neglected. This makes it appear to possible followers that the page has been abandoned, and potential fans will steer clear.   

How to Avoid:  Set a regular update schedule. When followers learn to expect regular updates, they’re more likely to keep coming back. Take time to fill out all the page’s sections. Make sure the about page is properly filled out and provides relevant information and includes links to the main website or blog.

Know that “regular updates” means a few times a week at minimum if not multiple daily posts.

So there you have a wrap on some more common Facebook mistakes and how to avoid them.  Facebook is a great place for businesses to connect with their potential audience.  Like anything in business, it simply has to be done planned out and executed well.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Resources in Post: Facebook and & Social Media Changes August 5

  • BONUS: Win a free ticket to the fall’s best social media marketing conference, Social Media Strategies Summit in New York City, Oct. 17-19!  Enter now through Sept. 30 for a chance to win a free ticket. 

  • My complete guide to lead generation  online!  Game Plan Book >>
  • Waftio for Lead Capture pop-ups and widgets on your website

Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Download this Episode:
Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?

Grab my helpful checklist that includes strategy for social media lead generation. Click image!

web and social media marketing checklist planner

How can A.I. Help Your Business?

How can A.I. help your business?

how-can-AI-help-your-business

What do Siri, Cortana and Watson all have in common? For one, they all work as personal assistants. For the other, none of them are real people: they’re all artificial intelligences, A.I.

The Rise of A.I.

There is a growing trend in businesses using smarter and faster programs to manage repetitive and mundane business tasks.

A.I. doesn’t mean handing over control of your business to a computer; we’re not talking SkyNet, here. Instead, it means using highly compatible software with your existing business infrastructure to gather and make sense of large amounts of data, quickly.

In an analysis carried out by Sage, predictions forecast 62% of businesses to use A.I. in some form by 2018, 39% of business owners still don’t fully understand how these technologies can help them.

 

  • Intelligent Recruitment

From creating numerous job listings to sifting through hundreds of résumés to find the best candidate, recruitment can be one of the more mundane and time-heavy challenges of running a business.

“Arya” is just one of the recruitment bots capable of rapidly scanning thousands of social media profiles for your required skills, while other programs can write and monitor your job postings, leaving you more time to interview the best candidates.

 

  • Reports & Writers

With the internet making it easier to “go global” and companies expecting to manage more and more data, A.I. is proving one of the most efficient ways of gathering and formatting enormous amounts of information – or “big data” – and quickly presenting it in intuitive graphs and tables.

Some programs take this one step further and, using the data you input, will write e-mails, product descriptions, and reports for you. In fact, “Quill” is so good at this that its output is considered indistinguishable from a human being.

 

  • Chatbots

Have you ever visited a website and gone to use its help system only for the conversation to be powered by a bot answering your questions based on the keywords you use? This is a chatbot. Chatbots are an excellent way of providing your customers with 24/7 support without having to pay an employee to work online at all hours of the day.

 

  • Asset Management

A.I. isn’t restricted to online or big data businesses. It can be just as useful at cost-saving and improving yield in manual and traditional business.

Cognitive technology for assessment management is software which works together with the electrical components in machinery. The A.I. monitors sensor data, proactively orders machinery maintenance and assessment, and, in the event of potential damage or danger, can make real-time decisions, such as shutting down machinery in an emergency.

 

  • Facebook “Insights”

Facebook continually improves its customer experience, a large part of which is its growing business market. As users spend more of their time on this social media website than any other, it is an essential source of advertising for businesses.

“Insights” is the free A.I. business intelligence which runs alongside your business’ Facebook page. It can gather enormous amounts of useful data, from the age and location of the users that are engaging with your page, to the number of clicks on your website, and even the length of time a user was watching a video.

A.I. isn’t entirely automatic. First, it needs to be made compatible with your existing infrastructure, and you need to be able to specify what data you want and how you want it actioned. However, once the system is in place, it can be enormously effective in improving business performance, freeing you and your employees to focus on more important tasks.

Facebook Groups for Pages

Facebook Groups for Pages-315Facebook is a powerful marketing tool. Part of the platform’s power is the ability to connect with your followers through Pages and Groups. Facebook now allows you to combine the functionality of both by creating Groups, especially for and connected to your Pages.

Have Deeper Interactions and Connections With Followers

Having a group allows you to interact with your followers on a deeper level. When you post updates on a page, these posts end up in the large news feed stream where it competes with the messages of hundreds of other brands. Add in the fact that Facebook is reducing the influence of obvious promotional content and your message can easily end up lost in the noise.

Groups allow you to break away from the competition by offering more intimacy. Engagement grows when your followers feel you’re listening to them. Groups foster interaction and continued conversation between members of the group and the brand in a way pages can’t. As the conversation builds around brand-related topics and shared interests in the group, it will be easier to be more noticeable in the news feed.

Keep Followers Updated Using Groups

Another great benefit of having page groups is the ability to keep fans updated. Your average follower’s news feed has plenty of brands vying for their attention. This increases the likelihood that your carefully crafted post may not get seen. A group allows you to post updates and have group members instantly receive a notification.

Personalized Information

Facebook gives you the option of managing your group as your own account or as your page. While the former option offers the chance to interact on a person to person basis, interacting with followers as a brand lets you speak directly to them.

Other Benefits of Having a Group For Your Facebook Page

Forming a Community

Having the ability to add groups to your Facebook page helps you foster a  real community around your brand. Knowing they can have extended interactions through a group, page followers are likelier to become more loyal to the brand.

Having a Forum

Groups can be used for constructive feedback for brands. If you have a question or an idea to test, posting in the group gives you a chance to experiment with a smaller audience and gather insight.

Members Can Spread The Word

Members will invite their friends to join the conversation, growing your group membership as well a number of people interested in your brand.

Engagement and connections are the things brands chase after on social media. Creating groups for your Facebook page allows you to explore another way to get people talking and interacting with your brand.

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Recent Social Media and Facebook Updates for September 7th

Facebook Updates for September 7

There are some exciting changes from the past several weeks. I’ve collected the ones I think will impact your business the most.

Facebook

Facebook Blocks Ads that Repeatedly Share False News

Facebook is on a mission to reduce hoaxes and false news. Now if Pages repeatedly share news that has been categorized as false by third party fact checking organizations they won’t be allowed to place ads on Facebook.

Bottomline

If you don’t share false news then there will be no impact. But if you do share questionable news stories, then don’t expect to be able to place ads for your business, which may have an impact on your bottom line.

Facebook is now Showing News Publisher Logos

To further their mission to eradicate false news from their news streams, Facebook has begun to show the logo of the news publisher in the search and trending area.

Bottomline

This will help businesses that share news on their own page feed spot questionable sources and channels quickly and easily.

Create Your Facebook Cover from a 360 Photo

360-degrees photos are well supported by Facebook and they’ve even given you the ability to take 360-degrees photos inside the Facebook app itself. Now you can use your 360-degree photo for your cover photo. It’s the first support update that Facebook has made to the cover photo area since it introduced cover images.

Bottomline

This is excellent news for businesses whose products have a visual component, like Nat’l Parks, Wedding Planners and venues, adventuring and landscaping companies. Anyone that needs to show off a large area of grounds or event will benefit from using 360-degree photos.

Instagram

Use Landscape and Portrait Formats in Multiple Image Posts

Woo Hoo! Free to use the all the images you take no matter what! This has always been a bit of a pain … using only horizontal (landscape) images for a post. This improvement makes it so easy to add multiple images and get my point across.

Bottomline

I’m for anything that will save me time and brain cells. Now I don’t have to think about the picture format when I’m taking pics, I can use the best format for the shot.

Age Demographics for the US and UK

eMarketer forecasts that in the US and UK we’ll see a double digit rise of Snapchat and Instagram usage. Facebook use for ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 24 will fall. Overall usage for Instagram will grow 23.8% in 2017 alone! In the under 12 and 12 to 17 user, SnapChat will have even more younger users than Instagram.

Bottomline

Parents in the US and the UK are letting younger children use SnapChat and Instagram. So if your business counts on these age groups for sales, SnapChat and Instagram are excellent places to be and to advertise.

LinkedIn

Active Status Now Live in LinkedIn

Active status has been added to LinkedIn. Now you can see who’s online and signed into LinkedIn. Now you will get notified immediately to when someone messages you.

Bottomline

This is excellent for relationship building and hiring potential contractor and vendors. No more drumming your fingers on the desk waiting for an answer.

Google

Edit Your Business Listing in Google Search

Yesterday Google rolled out a new dashboard that allows businesses to change their Google Business Listing directly in the search engine. Add and update contact information, opening hours, photos, and more directly from the search engine.

Bottomline

Now it will be easy to keep an eye on, update and maintain your most important business account, your Google Business Listing.

That’s a snapshot on what’s changed recently! Anything stand out to you?

What is Relaythat.com? How You Can Use It

What is Relaythat.com_ How You Can Use It-315Sometimes hiring a designer to create the graphics you’ll use is a bit out of your price range. However, not hiring a professional designer can scrambling to deal with the design aspects of your marketing. If you can’t afford a designer then you have to do it yourself.

Why Are Graphics Important

Look at Facebook. Or Twitter. Even better, take a look at Instagram. What do these social media platforms have in common? Images play a big part in the way successful brands communicate on those platforms.

Graphics work because visual content is more appealing than text. In fact, the human brain is hardwired to recognize visual content much quicker than text. Using graphics helps you create a cohesive look and build brand recognition.

When your audience sees your images, they come away with your brand messaging faster than if you simply told them who you were and what you are about.

Graphics enhance your social media posts, email marketing campaigns, and all marketing strategies you use. It has been shown that audiences engage with visual social media posts much more than text only posts.

Design With Relaythat.com!

With Relaythat.com, you won’t need amazing Photoshop skills to create content. You become the designer. Get your message across much faster with the images you create in Relaythat.

What do you want to say with your content? Creating your own graphics gives you control over the design process and the final output. You don’t need to try to convey your thoughts to a designer and hope they can figure it out.

Relaythat.com makes it easy to:

Create a Cohesive Look

Chances are you’re creating content for several channels. Relaythat helps you design across multiple channels while keeping a unified, brand look. Relaythat also adapts your content to different platforms automatically, saving you time.

Auto Re-size

With a single click, you can re-size your images automatically for the platform you are posting to. No need to check the dimensions for images going to Facebook or Twitter. Relaythat has you covered!

Built-In Themes

Are you a beginning designer? Relaythat comes with themes with the best color combos for a quick look.

Boost Engagement

Your brand deserves recognition. Get it with designs you’ve created yourself in Relaythat. Boost engagement, search rank, and likes with Relaythat.

Help with Ad Creation

Some platforms will reject your ads if the text is over a certain word or character limit. Relaythat automatically keeps your text in check.

Relaythat helps you create your own optimized graphics without any design experience. Try it out!

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What is Streak for Gmail?

What is Streak for Gmail-315Marketing may sometimes feel like a field that relies on instinct and an unidentifiable charisma that the most successful marketers have. But the truth is, data and research are just as important in marketing as they are in discovering if the universe is made of wiggles or what cooking temperature makes the best souffle. You can apply intelligent methods to your digital marketing quickly and inexpensively with the Streak Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

What Is Streak CRM?

The primary goal of Streak is to allow organizations to collect concrete data about the success of their individual email sends.  Yes, track when an email sent via Gmail is opened by a user! In the process of organizing your email data for use, Streak also makes it easier to manage your email campaigns since it integrates directly into Gmail.

How Does Streak Work?

Once you install Streak with the easy one-click installer, it becomes embedded within your Gmail experience. A quick guided tour will introduce you to the core elements of pipelines and email chains.

What is Streak for Gmail-1

Creating an email chain is as simple as adding the tracking option when you send out the message. Pipelines are frameworks that detail the expected flow of tasks that you would accomplish via email.

This could include business tasks like hiring and bug tracking or personal tasks such as a job search or event planning. The default pipelines contain key steps in the process and data fields related to the task.

What is Streak for Gmail-2

If you scroll down the sidebar where your email categories normally are, you can you can quickly make a new pipeline using one of the pre-made templates. Here’s the basic look of the job search pipeline.

What is Streak for Gmail-3Once the pipeline is created, begin adding email chains, assigning the chain to the appropriate step in the process. From there, you can add information like the company name, the position you’re applying for, and other important notes. If you decide to track another field or step, quickly add it to the existing pipeline scheme or create an entirely new pipeline from scratch.

You can share access to pipelines with your team, granting access to the associated email to facilitate easy collaboration. Whether it’s helping your kid through their first job search or sharing bug data with a development team.

Sign up for the 14-day trial or pay for the monthly subscription. Then begin seeing the true power of Streak CRM’s analytics.

Analytics You’ll be able to know

  • Who read emails
  • When they read them
  • The devices they used to read them
  • Where they read it

All of this data can be used in Streak CRM to help your team decide how to manage the email campaign or be shipped out to other software via the API.

Is Streak Worth the Cost?

Streak CRM is quick to setup.  Put CRM capabilities in the hands of your marketing team with just a few minutes of training. For freelancers, individuals, and small businesses, the free account is robust enough to potentially cover your needs. You get 200 tracked email per month and access to most of the analytical and management tools.

At $39 a month, small to medium businesses can turn up the impact of their email marketing campaigns. Additionally, you can improve customer service responsiveness and effectively organize complex scheduling needs. At the very least, get your marketing team to try out the 14-day trial to see if it improves your business.

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Digital Sales Funnel Basics: Discovering a Simple Overview and Plan

What is a Sales Funnel, and how do I use one online to accomplish growing leads from my website?

If you are asking questions about online sales funnels, this is a great post to dig into!  I’ll cover the Digital Sales Funnel basics in simple terms to help you identify a plan and strategy to implement on your website.

A digital sales funnel process is critical to actually growing leads that can convert to business online. Let’s walk through an overview and the keys in each step of the funnel!

Ready to go?

Listen Now:

Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes  | Android users via RSS  | Listen on Stitcher.

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Digital Sales Funnel Basics: Discovering a Simple Overview and Plan

What is a Digital Sales Funnel: And How to Implement One:

Build. Attract. Retain. Evaluate. – The building blocks courtesy of Rich Brooks.

If you spend any amount of time researching online marketing, chances are you’re going to encounter the term “sales funnel.” It’s not a new term, but if it’s new to you, then you’ve come to the right place! This is everything you need to know about the basics of a digital sales funnel, sometimes called a online sales funnel.

Stages of Purchasing

Sales funnels are built around the accepted practice and data driven learnings that people need multiple interactions with a brand or product before they purchase and that there are several stages to the purchasing process.

Let’s drive into the stages here:

Awareness

Awareness is the first stage of the sales funnel. It’s very much advertising driven. At this stage, new customers who’ve never heard of you see ads or articles about your products.  In this stage a business tries to reach more of their key target demographic, often by using targeted means such as:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Adwords
  • Bing Ads
  • Keyword Content Blogging

Interest

If you’ve ever heard that it’s the visitors that return to your website that count this is what they’re talking about.

Interest is when people who visited your site once, as the result of an ad, make a repeat visit (or 6!) They read articles, look at reviews and product data, and immerse themselves more in your products and services.

Decision

After enough contact with your company via your website, reading articles and reviews, and hearing good things about you, eventually, customers reach the stage where they will make a decision.

They might be looking at more than one option. If you’re credible, your products and services are high quality and meet their needs; chances are, they will purchase from you.

Action

Action is the last step of the customer driven sales funnel. This is where orders are made, payments exchanged, and delivery details agreed upon. This is a big step for any customer, so make it as easy as possible.

Use large, clear, easy to find buttons to direct customers to your online store or contact page. Offer multiple payment options.

After Sales

Many people forget this crucial step in the sales funnel, but you’ll do a lot better if you don’t! The truth is, the sales process doesn’t end when you’ve taken payment or delivered the item in question.

Follow up with customers after sales, stay in touch and keep them up to date with new products and deals is a great way to boost your bottom line.

Make sure you automate the after sales marketing to existing customers process and keep them coming back, time and time again!

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Resources for Post:

BONUS: Win a free ticket to the fall’s best social media marketing conference, Social Media Strategies Summit in New York City!  Enter now through Sept. 30 for a chance to win a free ticket. More details here.

  • My complete guide to lead generation  online!  Game Plan Book >>
  • Waftio for Lead Capture pop-ups and widgets on your website

Help Spread the Word!

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Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike?

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

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Grab my helpful checklist that includes strategy for social media lead generation. Click image!

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