Tag Archives: facebook marketing

What are Facebook’s Audience Network Ads

's Audience Network Ads-600

If you’re implementing a social media strategy for your business, Facebook advertising must be a part of it. It’s demographic targeting, and price points make it very attractive for a lot of businesses. It’s much cheaper than traditional advertising, and it gets your business in front of more people than organic Facebook marketing does.

There are many different ads you can create using Facebook advertising, but one of the most unique is advertising on 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 to advertise.

There are 3 types of visual ads your business can place. A banner that shows up at the bottom of the screen. A native that appears in an article. An interstitial which 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.

Why does Facebook Audience Network matter?

Many marketers have worried that Facebook’s news feed and in-platform advertising spaces would eventually become too saturated to be effective, or for the platform to continue to make money. Facebook’s new Audience Network allows Facebook to display their ads on external sites much like Google’s Display Network.

This is very important for Facebook, businesses, and marketers alike. They’re able to keep the same price point or cheaper sometimes on Audience Network ads. Therefore, making them that much more appealing.

Why are these ads so powerful?

This advertising can bring your cost per click down drastically. In fact, if you choose to opt out of the Audience Network Placement while placing your ad, Facebook will warn you that doing so might increase your overall cost per conversion. With more availability comes lower ad costs, and that’s a powerful thing.

Not only that, but you’re able to reach even more people. Even people who might not be regularly using Facebook or viewing the ads on Facebook. With Facebook’s incredible targeting data and demographic insights.

Facebook advertising should be an essential piece of your digital marketing strategy. If you have a limited advertising budget, test out social ads on Facebook’s Audience Network.

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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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More details here.

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.

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!

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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:

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

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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!

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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?

Social Media Updates for Facebook and Twitter

Social Media and Facebook Updates for week ending 7/6

Things continue to change in social media!  There’s never a “dull moment” (or week) in social. These are key social media updates I think you’ll want to be aware of.

Facebook

Facebook Safety Check

If you’re in an area affected by crisis or natural disaster you can check in with your loved ones via Facebook. When enough people post about an incident Facebook’s Safety Check is activated.

If you’re in the affected area you can go to Safety Check and mark yourself safe. If you know someone in the affected area you can check Safety Check for their safe status.

The Community Help feature helps people find and give help. People can offer food, transportation, and shelter to those affected by the crisis. This feature has been added to desktop.

New features in Safety Check

Fundraisers – People can start fundraisers for the natural disaster immediately and quickly get attention for the cause. This feature will let people help even though they can’t physically be there.

Personal notes – A way for Facebook users in the affected area to relay their personal safety status rather than the default utilitarian safe.

Bottomline

Is Safety Check a good feature? People have been asked by Facebook about their safety status even though they’re 6 miles away from the affected area. Will Facebook Safety Check cause more worry than it alleviates?

New Tools for Facebook Groups!

Facebook is building a world where each and every person has a sense of purpose and community! To do that they’ve added some new features to Facebook groups.

  1. Group Insights
  2. Post scheduling for groups
  3. Membership request filtering (You add the filter)
  4. Member leaderboard
  5. Removed member clean up – Clean up the posts a removed member left behind in one step.
  6. Group to group linking for subgroups and related groups

Bottomline

Facebook is making it easier to connect with like-minded people. So if you’re a non-profit, a group of friends or a business that uses groups to build sales if will now be easier to keep the conversation going in your Facebook group.

New Social Platforms

Chat Fiction Apps – Books for Teens

These digital book alternatives, which are presented as text messages, have been dominating the app charts for the past few months. The format may seem a little strange for people who are used to paperback books, but at least young people are reading.

Chat Fiction Apps are digital book alternatives that teens are flocking to. Viewed in a chat-like format these books include images (for a small fee). The app is free, but you’ll have to wait to get the next chapter, or pay the weekly or yearly cost and get the whole book and it’s images right away.

Currently, only suspense/horror YA books are available on the apps.

Bottomline

Right now it doesn’t look like these these apps have ads or story sponsors. But that could be a way to monetize them in the future.

Apple

Apple Unveils Business Chat

To compete with Facebook messenger Apple brings customer service and shopping into iMessage in iOS 11. Now you’ll be able to open Maps, Safari, Spotlight, Siri, pay for a purchase using Apple pay, choose an airplane seat or schedule an appointment right from iMessage. Right now all Business Chats will be Human to Human, no bots allowed.

Bottomline

Will this make a big difference to businesses? Probably not because there are more Android users than iPhone users.

Twitter

Businesses can now add buttons to drive actions in Direct Messages

Uplevel your customer experience and service with buttons in Twitter direct messages. Now you can combine private messaging with links that make it easy to share from a private message to their public Twitter stream or share a page on a website.

Bottomline

If your brand uses more than 1 Twitter account DM’s can be shared across all account. This will keep account admins aware of potential issues. ECommerce companies can now share product pages to drive sales and give the customer an easy way to buy.

Recent Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Social Media Updates to 6/15

Social Media and Facebook Updates for week ending 615

Social Media platforms do not remain static. They shift and evolve and as a marketer, it’s important to keep up. Here are recent changes I cover from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook social media updates that have happened in the past two weeks!

Stay abreast, sign-up for my weekly email updates!

Twitter

Twitter Now Filters DMs From People You Don’t Know

Now your Twitter direct message inbox is more like text messages on your phone.  Messages from people you know and follow will go into your inbox. Messages from people you don’t follow will go into the requests area.

Bottomline

It’s a nice addition to make Twitter’s interface for user-friendly.  It’s taken them far too long to get to this but it’s a nice move to help us.

Facebook

Add a post, not just photos to Facebook albums

Now you can add videos, check-ins and text posts to albums. Show off your favorite collection in a “featured” album. Or follow your friend’s album to get notified when they’re updated. Create a collaborative album and easily add contributors.

Bottomline

Run an event? Add an Album for the event and let your volunteers post pics and text testimonials from the attendees. This way you’ll have a wealth of info for next years event.  It’s a valuable way to capture and retain more types of content per album.  Another move by Facebook to make things “sticky” so we keep coming back!

As a side note … Facebook Messenger emoji’s have been used 2 Billion times in their first 2 months in the app! Now that’s a success!

Facebook’s AI now assists in Spanish

Facebook Messenger’s artificial intelligence assistant “M” will make recommendations in Spanish if it detects Spanish as the user’s language of choice. This new feature scans the words and intent of a message, then give suggestions for Messenger’s many features, like emoji’s or payment buttons. This feature is available for US users with their language set to Spanish and in Mexico.

Bottomline

Since most of the world doesn’t use English as their native language Facebook added a translation capability to their news feed. Spanish is the language with the second most native speakers after Chinese so it’s only natural that Facebook would add Spanish capabilities.  It’s just another big bonus from Facebook to “make the world a more connected place” and it shows they are not sitting still but helping marketers….remember when they help marketers they help themselves though as well because we are the ones that create ads and use AI!

Instagram

Instagram Connects to Facebook Messenger

This button will redirect users to Facebook Messenger to interact with potential customers. This lets account holders to use Messenger Bots to improve the customer experience.

Bottomline

This is BIG!

Since most people have a Facebook Messenger mobile app it’s now seamless and easy to interact with potential customers whether they’re on Facebook or Instagram. Facebook Messenger also accepts payments between friends and for gaming and eCommerce. It just a small jump to selling from Instagram.  This is a huge cross-platform leap, enabling seamless movement from one social media network, Instagram, to Facebook’s Messenger.  This is the start of more to come!

Hide your Instagram photos indefinitely with the archive feature

Now everyone can hide photos on Instagram thanks to the new archive feature. The photo has to be published, at least for 1 second and then you can archive it.

Bottomline

Hide photos that didn’t get much traction or hide photos of the ex. Use this feature as a way to store photos for the future.

Google

Google’s smart keyboard app, Gboard adds phrase suggestions and draw-an-emoji

While this isn’t a social media network update per say, Gboard does make posting to your social media network a little bit easier.

Bottomline

It’s just cool! And makes texting and posting from your smartphone quicker and easier. It’s my all time favorite keyboard with the ability to swipe to spell a word and built in gifs.

That’s a bit of the key news and tidbits that have happened recently.

Stay tuned and stay in the know…sign-up here!

Social Media and Facebook Updates for June 1, 2017

Social Media and Facebook Updates for week ending 61

Facebook

Facebook cracks down on fake live videos

In an effort to cut down on misleading use of their Live video format Facebook is cracking down.

They’ve added a section to their Live API Facebook Platform Policy:  “Don’t use the API to publish only images (ex: don’t publish static, animated, or looping images), or to live-stream polls associated with unmoving or ambient broadcasts.”

The types of videos in question and being targeted are simply a computer graphic with a looping background. These videos are considered undesirable and not true “live” video. They’re concerned that they reduce the user experience.

Bottomline

These types of videos are often used as click bait. Since Facebook alerts fans and friends when a Page goes live or a friend goes live, it creates a bad experience if the visitor then gets a repeating banner image video!

It’s a form of spam and people trying to “game” the system rather than use it as intended.  Create high-quality videos for your viewers and you won’t have any issues.

More Ways To Connect with Friends in Facebook Live

Facebook announced 2 new features that will make it easier for you to connect in real time and share experiences on Facebook Live.

Live Chat with Friends

Have a private chat with your friends during a public live broadcast.  This lets you talk privately as you watch corporately.

Live With

Go live with a friend! Select a guest from your live viewers and they can choose to join you or not. Go live in portrait mode for a picture in picture experience or landscape mode for a side by side experience.

Bottomline

So many possibilities for Marketing! This is a feature that has been in demand and is now here.  Ideas:

  • A live Q&A for your business with your potential customer
  • Celebrities can meet with contest winners live on Facebook
  • Live Chat during a political debate
  • Interviews at sporting events

Instagram

Instagram Launches Selfie Filters… Copying Snapchat Again

Instagram Stories added a copycat of Snapchat’s augmented reality selfie filters. They’re called “face filters” and work just like Snapchat. The filters are easy to use but error-prone.

Bottomline

The face filters are the last Snapchat feature missing from Instagram. Now one can use Instagram just like they use Snapchat. I’m sure we’ll see these carry over to Facebook Messenger Day also.

Instagram tests Location Stories

This new feature, in beta testing, compiles publicly shared Instagram Stories posts, tagged with a location sticker. Users can then visit that business, landmark or the place’s Instagram page and watch a slideshow story of posts from that location shared by anyone, not simply those they follow.

Bottomline

People that may not have known about a business or event will now have access to learning about it with Location Stories.  It’s a one-to-many feature that Instagram is hoping helps people spend even more time in the app.

Snapchat

Snapchat Rolls Out 3 New Ad Products Using Lenses & Geofilters

In an effort to differentiate itself from Facebook, Snapchat expanded its ad products. These new ad features will take advantage of Snapchat’s lenses and geofilters. The new products will include World Lenses, Audience Lenses, and Smart Geofilters.

Bottomline

The update to SnapChat’s ad products is the largest update to its Sponsored Creative Tools since the first branded Lens debuted in 2015. On average, 1 in 3 daily users plays with Lenses every day. Snaps with Geofilters are viewed,  on average, over 1 billion times a day.

Will it work?  Time will tell.  Snapchat is needing to innovate and differentiate as Instagram continues to grow and take some of its market.

That’s a bit of the Social Media news from the past 14 days!  Always something new, always something interesting.

Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools

Website SEO Grader and keyword tools help you get a picture of how your site is performing, and better yet, how to help improve your site!  We cover 4 key tools you can use today…

In this episode, I dive into what a SEO Grader tool is, what a Keyword tool is, and then the details of four tools and the key benefits of each.

Website evaluation tools help you see how well your site is performing and the areas it may be lagging behind. These 4 site evaluation tools will give insights into how and where to improve your website to gain traffic and rank!

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

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

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Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools Video

Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools Show Notes

As I noted, these website tools help you evaluate site performance and the areas it may be not up to current standards. These 4 site website evaluation “graders”, or tools, will give insights into how and where to improve your website to gain traffic and rank.

LXRSEO

LXRSEO gives marketers a rundown of their site’s SEO performance.

For every page on your site, LXRSEO analyzes the problem areas and gives you tools to fix them. If a page is missing a meta description, you’ll receive an alert from the Website Auditor tool. The SEO Webpage Analyzer examines the SEO of a page for optimization.

Key features:

  • Nice free version of the Website Grader
  • SEO Dashboard (live SEO performance)
  • Task Manager for recommended SEO Tasks
  • SEO Toolkit – tools to execute SEO Tasks

SEM Rush

Seeing your competition’s strategies gives insight into strategies to use for your site. With SEMRush, enter a competitor’s domain and research their videos, advertising, keywords, and backlinks.

As a keyword tool, SEMRush helps you use the data found on a competitor’s site and your keywords to boost traffic. With SEO Keyword Magic, you can save and export keyword research related to your website.

Key features:

  • Organic Research
  • Great Website Audit tool
  • SEO Ideas
  • Position Tracking
  • Facebook Audience insights
  • PPC Keyword Tool
  • See competitors’ best keywords
  • Discover new organic competitors
  • Observe position changes of domains

Hubspot’s Website Grader

How strong is your site? Hubspot’s Website Grader will tell you.  After searching your site, Website Grader grades your site based on over 30 factors and tells you which areas need improvement. Website Grader, answers the following questions:

  • Where is my marketing performing well (or not so well)?
  • How do I fare against my competition?
  • How is my blog performing?
  • Is my website optimized for mobile?
  • Are my social media accounts factored into my marketing?

The grader goes a step further and gives pointers to improve your site. Website Grader provides step by step actions to take on each part of the sales funnel.

Key Features:

  • Overall Website Performance – page load, page requests, speed of site
  • Mobile readiness
  • SEO checks
  • Security (https) check

Ahrefs

Ahrefs helps improve your content to build traffic and push your blog up the search engine. This web tool lets you see how Google sees your site, as well as a host of tools to see your own site’s rank and keywords, backlink growth, and top pages by rank and earnings.

Like SEM Rush, Ahrefs gives you invaluable market insights.  By examining competitor content, determine what topics and type of content get traffic and create similar content for your site. If infographics receive a good amount of traffic, create some for your own site.

Website evaluation tools help you see the holes in your marketing strategy so you can improve it. With the help of these 4 tools, you can boost your site’s performance.

Key Features:

  • Keyword Research
  • Backlink Research
  • Content Research
  • Rank Tracking
  • Website Monitoring

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!

Quick Access Resources: Website SEO Grader and Keyword Tools


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!

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Using Facebook Marketing to Grow your Email List

Facebook Marketing offers great opportunities for reaching your ideal audience.

One reason to use it is to grow your email list.  In this podcast I cover key ways you can use Facebook Marketing to grow your email list.

In this episode, I dive into 10 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your email list.

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

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

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Using Facebook Marketing to Grow your Email List Video

Using Facebook Marketing to Grow your Email List Show Notes

Facebook is an invaluable resource for digital marketers. Whether it’s an active and vibrant community page or a highly targeted ad program, Mark Zuckerberg and company have created a premium platform where people spend upwards of 40 minutes PER DAY.

What many people don’t realize is that when you start cross marketing using Facebook with other channels, your impact grows exponentially.

Email marketing and Facebook are a match made in hybrid marketing heaven. Here’s how you can leverage your presence on Facebook and take your list to the next level.

1. Go Live! 

People sign up to get updates from experts. So get on Facebook Live, and show the world that you know what you’re talking about.  As part of your presentation, make sure to share your sign-up page where they can go to sign-up to be updated regularly.

2. Pin a Post

Use a pinned post to send traffic to your newsletter sign up page. Pinned posts stay at the top of your feed and are first to see for visitors to your page. With an eye catching image and a great CTA, they’re the perfect way to drive sign ups.

3. Use the Page Call to Action

If you use a sign up button on your Facebook page, don’t send click throughs to a generic page on your site. Send them directly to a landing page. Dedicated landing pages are proven to convert more!

4. Use Apps like TabSite for Sign-up

Add a newsletter subscription app to your Facebook page itself. You’d be surprised how many people would don’t want to leave Facebook.

5. Use a Group for Engagement and Alerts

Use a group and a page to generate more engagement. Stats show that people are more likely to get involved in a group on Facebook, so by having both, you cover all the bases.

6. Facebook Offers

If you have a promotional offer you use to generate list subscriptions, Facebook’s paid ads can be the perfect way to promote it. They’re super targeted, and who doesn’t like a freebie popping up in their feed? Make sure you know who you’re targeting!

7. Retargeting Pixel for Ads

If you use paid ads, upload your existing list and using Facebook’s super smart look alike targeting option. This option generates a target persona for you, and targets people like the ones who already subscribe.

8. Facebook Contests for Lead Capture

Create a contest. Facebook contests have been a staple of the marketer’s toolkit for years, but instead of likes or comments, promote a incentive sweepstake prize in exchange for signing up for your list as the criteria for entry!  Lead Capture contests for Facebook can be a boon for growing your email list!

9. Teaser Content on Facebook

Give your fans a teaser of your newsletter only content. If your fans know there’s valuable content they can only access by subscribing to your newsletter, they’ll be happy to sign up.  Send them from Facebook to your website where you have a signup pop-up or widget on the post using a tool like Waftio.

10 Text to Signup

Use Text to Join to give visitors and fans of your Facebook page another sign up option. After all, up to 90% of Facebook’s users access it on their phones!

Facebook is a gold mine for online marketers, in many ways, but the key to success is a clear goal. Don’t use Facebook just for the sake of using it, or because everyone else is. Have clear and defined goals about what you want to achieve, and how to achieve it.

Since opt in email marketing is one of the best conversion methods in the digital marketing universes, it makes sense to make list building one of the major goals of your Facebook 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!

Resources: Facebook Marketing to grow Email lists


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

What You Need to Know to Outsource Social Media Marketing

What You Need to Know to Outsource Social Media Marketing

As a small business owner, you may have come to realize that you simply don’t have the experience or expertise to effectively market your business properly through social media. Instead, you know you need it but that it’s probably best to hire an employee or professional. The problem with hiring an employee is that they can be hard to find and you may not need 40 hours a week for the tasks. At the same time, hiring a pro might seem like a cost endeavor that you are not sure your company can afford and it has it’s own set of questions as well.

How can you be sure the professional understands your brand and audience? That’s an important consideration and so is the next question:

How much is this going to cost?

The truth is, it depends on the regional area and scope of your needs, and you’ll find that some social media marketing is more reasonable than others.

Social Media Marketing on Facebook

You probably think Facebook is the best platform to invest in… and you are likely right. With more than a billion Facebook users, the opportunity to reach your ideal audience is high. Your social media marketing professional needs to be familiar with your client demographics. Hence, to know if they’re on Facebook and if it’s the appropriate place for your business to invest.

Facebook marketing can be complex and will include posts, images, links, videos, and ads to draw traffic to your website. Image quotes are popular and get a good amount of engagement. Your professional needs to be able to choose quotes and images that will get likes, comments, and shares, and stay up on current trends, such as the importance of video and Live Video.

With Facebook, organic reach going down on a daily basis, ads are taking a more prominent place in Facebook marketing. Professionals should well versed in running Facebook Ad campaigns. They should be able to show you case studies and testimonials of successful ad campaigns.

Social Media Marketing on Twitter

Another option is Twitter. Twitter marketing techniques aren’t as involved, and the overall cost is usually cheaper. Twitter has a totally different type of audience. The demographics may overlap, but the way you communicate with your audience is completely different.

A social media marketing professional that specializes in Twitter will know the in’s and out’s of the 140 character message, Twitter ads, and cards.

Social Media Marketing on Other Platforms

You may want to market on other platforms, like Instagram, SnapChat or Pinterest. Unless your company is a major brand or produces a good or service that would specifically benefit from the audience on these platforms, you might not need this. Your professional should know the type of people that use each of these platforms. Additionally, if they overlap with your audience. Be wary of any company that tries to convince you that you need these services if you believe that you don’t.

Saving Cash With Professional Social Media Marketing

You might be surprised to see the prices for social media marketing, but in many cases, the ROI you get is fairly high. It is a professional position and requires someone with both knowledge and skill in the field but also ability to understand your business and audience and communicate effectively.  This isn’t a simple task!

This doesn’t mean you don’t want to save some cash in the process, right? One of the best ways to save money is to look for bundles. Many companies will offer lower pricing if you choose to bundle social media marketing for 2 or more platforms.

Finally, you can save money by hiring an intern, but you risk the time and energy it takes to train them and get them up to speed. Plus you need to make sure you’re on top of the tactics and strategies because your intern may not be. And even though you’re paying a reduced fee, you may be paying for twice the hours an agency would use.

Have questions about marketing on social media or want to get professional help? Monthly pricing is in the $300-$800 range to setup a social media account and $250-$800 range to manage content and accounts monthly. Contact us for more info.

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