Tag Archive: Facebook

  1. Social Media Marketing Drives Search Engine Marketing

    Every two years, Moz (formerly SEOMoz.org) surveys a group of SEO experts and asks them to give their opinions on what factors they believe will be most important in driving search engine rankings.  Since Google and other search engines do not make the mechanics of their algorithms publicly available, surveys like this are important to try and identify patterns and trends.  The results of the 2013 survey are now available online and there are some interesting conclusions to be drawn.

    In the world of SEO, things change quickly and dramatically.  In order to gain a little context, it may be helpful to review the results of an older survey (i.e. the 2009 survey) to see how the times have changed.  Just four short years ago, having the proper text inside a link was crucial; now, that practice is almost frowned upon.  As such, keeping tabs on these factors is important to any marketer who wants to rank well in keyword searches.

    While some of the survey results are pretty technical in nature, there are some really important generalizations that can be made.  Most notably, social media marketing continues to increase in importance with regard to how search engines rank a particular page or site.  From the survey results, here are some key take-aways on this point:

    • Google+ – How many +1’s (the equivalent of a Like on Facebook) that your page/site has is very high on the chart.  If a company has no Google+ presence, the time has come to move forward in creating and developing one.  Better late than never!
    • Facebook Likes, Shares, and Comments – Your pages must be tied to Facebook and boldly solicit Likes and Shares.  Google looks at the number of times your pages are liked and shared and considers these as votes for your content.
    • Twitter Influence – Your site and content will be measured for its appeal on Twitter.  The more tweets and influence on Twitter, the more favorably characterized your page will be.
    • Content, Content, Content  – This is not a new revelation by any means, but it is a known quantity that high quality content drives search engine visibility AND the three categories mentioned above.  Sites without fresh, interesting, and engaging content don’t receive social media attention from Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

    There are many other conclusions to be drawn from this important survey, but it’s abundantly clear that truly working on your social media strategy will go a long way toward increasing your site’s search engine visibility.  A brief snippet of some of the results are below, but you might consider reviewing the full survey results for yourself.

    A glimpse of the 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors survey results.

    A glimpse of the 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors survey results courtesy of moz.com.

  2. Facebook Advertising – Is It Really Worth It?

    It seems like everyone is spending a crazy amount of time on these newfangled social media sites. In fact, nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online is spent using social media. That is a lot of time and it is only going to increase. So what does that mean for you? Well, Facebook has implemented a very advanced advertising system that is just begging for you to take advantage of it.

    Social Media Examiner breaks down Facebook’s ad system which has three sales channels: Direct, Inside and Online.

    • Direct sales deals with the largest global brands, for which Facebook has dedicated account teams to manage the relationship directly with the advertiser and their agencies. These are generally referred to as managed accounts.
    • Inside sales handles the next tier of clients, who may be spending in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on Facebook. These clients will have a sales rep whom they deal with directly to buy advertising, but they don’t have quite the same level of strategic support as managed accounts.
    • Online channel. There are companies developing products on top of Facebook’s Marketing/Ads APIs to facilitate the buying process for self-serve advertisers.

    If you’re willing to shell out the big bucks for advertising on Facebook, it is best to contact them directly. Otherwise head over to the Facebook ad page and get started!

    Facebook makes it easy to target a specific audience. Oh, you’re interested in selling to males, ages 16-18, who live in Boston and play World of Warcraft? Well you can – with just a click of a button. The Facebook advertising platform offers the ability to target your ad to specific segments such as Location, Age, Sex, Relationship Status, Interests and more. This leads to more bang for your buck, because you are not wasting your marketing efforts on users not in your target audience.

    According to comScore, after seeing an ad on Facebook from a major offline US-based retailer, fans and their friends bought 56% more frequently online from this retailer. 70% of brand campaigns also showed a return on ad spend of 3x or better. But, that information comes from a study done in conjunction with Facebook, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.

    So how effective are Facebook ads? Recently released reports suggest that the ROI on Facebook ads are not as effective as  advertisers expect them to be. A recent study found that less than 1 in 20 users returns to a brand page within 30 days of having ‘liked’ it. According to a new poll from the Associated Press and CNBC, nearly 60% of Facebook users don’t click on ads or sponsored content.

    General Motors, the 7th largest advertiser in the US, also pulled their paid advertising from Facebook because GM executives felt that Facebook ads had little effect on consumers’ car purchases. Sources said that Facebook doesn’t provide consistent, clear-cut metrics that prove advertising on their sites works. GM wasn’t feeling the results so they pulled ads – which has caused quite a stir amongst advertisers.

    Another example shows Ajith Prasad Edassery, founder of Dollar Shower, who spent $27.51 on Facebook ads and saw the following results: 1.27million impressions, 303 clicks, and zero sales. So, while a large audience saw his ad, very few clicked it and not one user purchased anything. However, that does not mean that Facebook ads are ineffective. Adam Dion of Synergy Beads has seen a substantial increase in sales through Facebook ads. Every $50 of Facebook ads brings him between $220 and $250 of revenue per month.

    Facebook is a platform built around socializing with friends and sharing information, not shopping. There is something to be said for the ineffectiveness of traditional ads on Facebook. If you’re looking to run ads on Facebook, your best bet is to drive visitors to your Facebook page and earn customers from there. In reality, 45.7% of advertisers use Facebook ads to build awareness and brand sentiment, not generate leads.

    The effectiveness of Facebook ads will vary from case to case. It is best to try out the ad platform with a few different variation of ads and take it forward from there. See which one makes sense for your business. Finding your sweet spot with ads will help drive more fans to your Facebook page and more fans to your services. Just make sure to keep an eye on your results to make sure you’re getting the most from your money.

  3. What is Content Marketing?

    Content marketing is a quickly-emerging area of practice for marketers.  It is emerging rapidly and will continue to be more and more important as time goes on.  But before defining exactly what content marketing is, it is important to acknowledge the shifts in the landscape of consumer behavior:

    • Consumers are no longer using the Yellow Pages to shop for things
    • People are turning to Google, Bing and other search engines to shop for products and services
    • Buyers are reaching out to friends and acquaintances on social networks to look for recommendations and reviews

    If you ponder this shift in consumer behavior–especially the search for products on Google–the challenge of marketing becomes much different the old days of designing a yellow pages ad.

    Content marketing is a term which refers to the development, production and sharing of content in order to attract and engage a specific audience in profitable activity.  In short, content marketing is the practice of using information to gain customers.

    Consider the first time homeowner who has a small hole in her drywall.  Puzzled by how to fix it, she doesn’t even think of looking for a solution in the phone book.  Instead she reflexively enters ‘fix a hole in my drywall’ in Google.  If you are a marketer selling spackling paste, drywall saws, or home repair services, this represents a critical moment–an inflection point.  The goal of your content marketing strategy should be to gain exposure to this consumer at this moment.

    Content can take many forms.  It can be anything from an article or blog post to a podcast or e-book.  Content marketing can be facilitated on company websites, blogs, social networks, and user-generated sites like YouTube.  Naturally, the specific vehicles chosen for a content strategy should be selected according to the audience itself.  And similar to the tenets of search engine marketing, solid keyword research should drive the strategy.

    Getting back to our example about the role of a hole in the drywall, marketers have many many ways in which to capitalize on content marketing opportunities.  Brands like Home Depot or Lowe’s might create home improvement videos containing these search terms.  Makers of spackling paste like DAP might create instructional guides or blog posts about how to fix these holes.  Sears/Craftsman tools might create a home improvement podcast and feature this as a topic.  And all of this content can be shared and referred by customers on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

    Scenarios like these are real examples of actual opportunities that marketers have to use content to sell products.  If marketers take a concerted approach to content marketing, they have the potential to not only acknowledge the big shifts in consumer behavior, but be well-positioned in the eyes of the consumer at the exact moment when they are needed.

  4. Barack Obama & Facebook

    Speaking of Facebook, this New York Times article paints a vivid picture of how the social-networking phenomenon is playing a role in Barack Obama’s White House Bid. There appears to be some very useful thinking for organizations wanting to understand this phenomenon and use it for the benefit of customers and organizations alike.