Archive | October 2014

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

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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?