What makes the Perfect Post?

We all know that social media success comes from engagement and content. And that varied statistics guide us into developing what we consider a good Facebook post that will result in wide reach, immediate engagement, and hopefully a future sale… but is there such a thing as the Perfect Facebook Post?

The argument is a good one. In my opinion, every business is different with a different audience. A Facebook message is asking something unique from that audience to show that their message was effective – so how can you judge the perfect post based on all these variables? OR if you follow all of the advice and research you can read without going crazy, you could actually create the perfect post.

The guys at SocialMouths think they have the answer for the perfect post and created a really awesome infographic  based on research from TrackMaven that analyzed 1.5 million posts across 6,000 pages. Here is the answer to our dreams…

Word Count
The results show that posts with 80-89 words get double the engagement that those with 70-79 words. However, don’t be afraid to share what you need to with your audience, regardless of word count.

Visual Content
According to analysis, posts with photos get an average of 2.35 interactions per post versus text-only posts. Of course you need to consider that 88% of Facebook posts do have an image.

After Hours
Posting after hours (5pm – 1am EST) can get you 11% more interactions than those published during work hours. Makes sense, since most people are trolling the web outside of work and daily activities.

Weekends
Posts published on Sunday can get 25% more likes, comments and shares than those published on Wednesday, yet only 18% of the total posts are published on weekends.

Hashtags
Posts with hashtags see an average of 60% more interactions. #NowIKnow

Questions
Of course you would expect a question to increase engagement (by about 23%). That does not mean every post should be a question or poll. When you’re writing on a topic, you can use a question to generate engagement and expand the conversation.

Infographic
Because image and content are king!

The perfect Facebook post

Perfecting the Networking Encounter

587214_handsI know there’s already advice in the blogsphere on how to give your 15-second elevator speech or ways to maximize your networking events… but not all of it is practical or effective.

So here are some REAL tips to make an impact on the other professionals you meet during the next Chamber luncheon or mar comm event you attend.

  1. Make eye contact
  2. Be a listener first, then you can tailor the information you have to share to match their interests
  3. Remember specific detail from your conversation and write it down (on the back of their business card) for future conversations
  4. Turn your phone off and hand out business cards
  5. Ask questions that you actually wan to hear the answers to
  6. When introduced to someone, say their name out loud immediately so it sticks in your head
  7. Avoid annoying self-promotion
  8. Let them know you would like to hear from them again – and when you follow up use something from your conversation to help you stand out from the crowd

Marketing events and  conferences are adapting speed networking sessions in which you get 90-seconds to meet another professional, exchange cards, and mention communications challenges they’re facing… and then meet someone new. (It’s a trend that I expect will be growing.)

What’s the best networking tip you ever received?

Catalogs Adapt New Purpose in Marketing Mix

stackedcatalogsWell, if they say that print is dying than catalogs must be a thing of the past… but not really. While many catalogs are no longer printed but available in digital format, the concept behind them continues to hold A LOT of value in marketing.

In many cases, catalogs are no longer considered part of the selling channel yet they still hold value in sharing in depth details about products and services. This survey had great answers to why companies (both B2B and B2C ) still use them in targeting customers.

The 2014 Multichannel Merchant Outlook Survey reported that ecommerce websites at the top channel through which merchants market (90%), followed by social media (87.4%) and email (83%). Still 51.7% of retailers that responded said they do use catalogs to promote their brands. – Get the full report coverage here.

So unless you have a limited breadth of products where a direct mail campaign would be more appropriate, acquiring customers with catalogs statistically increases response rates, average order size and drives repeat purchases. The top three answers for catalog usage today are mobile traffic driver, customer retention tool and web traffic driver.

Catalogs also have a renewed purpose in prospecting. More than three-quarters of merchant respondents said catalogs were a top choice for their  prospecting strategy in the next 12-months. And more than 52% of companies planned to increase their catalog circulation by up to 20% in 2014.

The style and size of catalogs are changing too. While the number of pages have dropped dramatically in the past 10 years, the page counts seem to be leveling off with more than half of respondents expecting catalog page counts and frequency of distribution to remain the same from last year. It’s not all about quantity of pages though, some companies are selecting better paper quality and creating a tactile experience.

QR codes also hold value in catalogs, more than half the merchants use them. The codes mostly linking to a product page (54.8%) or video (13.7%).

But do these changes really make catalogs effective?
YES! A little over 66% claimed key code capture proved effectiveness and over 60% used a match back program. Often catalogs are part of a multimedia program targeting customers which makes true evaluation for each mailing difficult.

Catalogs are also adapting to digital formats – allowing users to easily find what they saw in print and more. Some choose to only offer a PDF digital version that customers can zoom in, share on social media and have one click shopping.

The fact remains that customers need prompting to purchase and catalogs are a good format for prospecting sales and driving traffic to a website.

Do you still find a benefit in providing a catalog for your customers? How have you changed the role of catalogs in the marketing mix?

Social Media Ad Spending Out of Control. Make yours count.

usa-dollar-bills

We all know by now that a successful social media campaign includes content and advertising. But just what kind of media mix does it take to really consider your reach successful?
In a recent article on Social Media ad spending on LinkedIn there was a lot of shared data on changing consumer trends (check it here) So what’s a business to do? One business owner confessed to the Wall Street Journal she spent up to $250,000 USD per month on Facebook ads?!
Which makes us all ask – what does that kind of budget get you? Well, when they started it was $30,000 per month on Facebook. With consistent testing and refining, they increased to $250k monthly. Tripling the subscriber base to 35,000 and revenue run rate to around five million dollars.
There are a lot of new digital agencies that specialize in social media advertising ad claim to help get you these results. If you choose to invest in this method, make sure you do your homework to find a qualified agency interested in helping you use your dollars efficiently and targeted to your audience.
In 2013, internet advertising flew past print advertising for the first time. Our media habits are changing – mobile devices, tablets and DVRs are making it easier to stream content on demand without having to watch the paid ads. So if you have built your audience correctly, you are marketing to people interested in your products or services. The payoff for digital ads can then be well worth it.

Stick with the basics to be successful.
1. Establish good relationships.
2. Post regularly.
3. Write great content.
4. Avoid forcing customers.
5. Consistent message across channels.

What have you found to be successful in your social media advertising campaigns?

Social Media Trends Update

According to Forbes, there were 7 Social Media trend predictions made just before 2014… and they’ve taken the time to analyze how accurate they were in predicting how companies are marketing their brands so far this year.

Prediction 1:  Investment in Social Media will become a Necessity, not a Luxury.
Yes, this seems true… and quite obvious. The importance for brands to engage with its customers online ,through Facebook, Twitter, et al, is increasingly critical as more consumers spend their “free” time on those channels and not with traditional media (print and television). And while 92% of businesses say that social media is important to their business, the challenges become showing ROI for the marketing investment to the board and having talented staff to engage and maximize the online conversation.

Prediction 2:  Google+ will become a major factor.
Umm, not so much. Yes, 61% of businesses are planning on increasing their Google+ activities, however changes in the platform are making it difficult to be cost-effective in communicating effectively with targets when brands must first establish Author Rank and authority for content.

Prediction 3:  Image-centric Networks will see huge success.
Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram are seeing steady increases in number of uses and activity on their platforms. Brands continue to find creative ways of engaging their customers and as a result both the companies and Social Media have found success.

Prediction 4: The rise of Micro-video.
Brands that use micro-video platforms, like Vine and Instagram video, can stand out by simplifying their message. While both platforms are currently hot with uses, Instagram is definitely providing a greater return on content engagement.

Prediction 5:  Foursquare will decline sharply.
In an effort to re-invigorate the dying platform, Foursquare recently split its app into two: The original Foursquare, and its new app, Swarm. Swarm allows users to easily find friends without the need to “check-in” and giving recommendations based on personalized usage and searching.

Prediction 6:  Myspace will grow.
While the once popular platform is still around and loved on the music scene, the slow increase in visitors is not much compare to the activity on Facebook, Twitter and even Google+… expect more changes as they try to remain competitive.

Prediction 7:  LinkedIn will become a major player for B2B business growth.
Yes, LinkedIn is the primary network for businesses, particularly B2B. Company page usage increased from 24% to 57% so far this year. Amazingly I think this trend is only going to grow as more B2B brands and professionals use the network.

What trends are you seeing? Has anything surprised you about consumer social media usage?

 

 

 

GOL! McDonald’s Viral Success

Getting into the spirit, McDonald’s latest video series to promote the World Cup has consumers not only in the spirit of the game, but also playing it.

Love this latest viral hit…

 

Give Your Next Post a Visual Boost

social_networkingWhile we could debate on whether or not a picture is really worth a thousand words, when it comes to social media, a picture CAN give your post a visual boost resulting in more likes, shares and reach.

All the latest studies and statistics suggest that images on social media commend more attention than text alone… so multimedia becomes a key element in successful online communication.

How many ways can you make a photo or video part of your next post? Let’s think about it.

The Product Shot
Every business and brand has a product to display, so don’t just talk about the benefits and features – show it off in pictures. The more, the better.

The Team Picture
Take pictures of your colleagues on a regular basis – at work, with clients, at a trade show, on the next ad campaign shoot -  and share them with your audience. It humanizes your business/brand behind a real face and something your audience can relate with.  People like to do business with people, so the more they feel like they’re part of your business, the stronger the connection to your brand.

The Spotlight on Your Fans
Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame – why not give it to them! By highlighting fans and followers, it shows you care about them being part of your brand and ambassadors for it. Give them a bigger stage, Retweet them, Tag them, Make it all about them – you’ll get more loyalty in return.

The Peek Behind the Scenes
Provide your audiences with the occasional exclusive experience, something they can’t get anywhere else, like a big reveal or look into what goes on behind closed door meetings (this would work for B2B audiences too). Take them backstage or show them how your products are built.

The Action Shot
While a team picture may be posed, your action shots are of you and your fellow team members actually doing what you do best. It doesn’t matter where you are – speaking at podium, swinging a bat, or in front of the computer – capture your people in the act of doing their jobs.

The Graphic
Creating your own visuals from scratch is a unique way to add variety and call more attention to your posts. Use PowerPoint, Photoshop PicMonkey and other tools to add special effects and text to the image you share. Or, if you have real data to share – make your own infographic!

The Spontaneous Shot
Capitalize on social media’s ability to connect with customers in real time. Share impromptu, candid shots of you and your team in the  moment. What’s happening now is far more credible and commanding on social media than old news.

The Collage
Twitter’s new mobile feature let you upload four photos in a single tweet or you can always rely on the aforementioned photo tools to edit your pics into a collage for sharing.

The Selfie
Of course, the Hollywood favorite, because we can’t get enough of ourselves doing what we do, the Selfie.

The Moving Picture
Yeah, remember when I mentioned multimedia – that means VIDEO  too! Right before you snap that group shot or selfie, take some video or just make a video to answer your customers FAQ. Not every video will be a viral hit, but if it educates and/or entertains your customers then you have something worth sharing.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, snap away and give your next posts some extra boost.

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