Monthly Archives: July 2014

6 Facebook Experts: How the First $200 Should be Spent

by Kapil Jekishan
July 27, 2014

By now most marketers and businesses have accepted the fact that in order to grow your presence on Facebook you’ve got to open your wallets. Sure some of the investment will go towards Facebook advertising  but there are other strategic initiatives your business can take advantage of without the need to spend a large budget.

I’m excited about today’s post because we get to reveal what 6 experts suggested they would do with a nominal sum of $200 if they were launching a new Facebook page (assuming small to medium business).  We’ve also put together an infographic which covers some of the key concepts from each of our guests so feel free to share this with anyone you believe will reap the benefits of the advice.

Aaron Lee from Post Planner

aaron lee postplanner

$200 is not much to play around with, that is why I would keep everything on a budget.

The first $5 would be to spend on Fiverr to get a decent looking cover photo designed, the reason why is because when we’re promoting a new page through Facebook ads, we want them to land a pretty decent looking page that is not amateurish.

The next $100 would be to spend on a variety of Facebook ad campaigns to build and grow fans, a page is nothing without the fans.

If the business sells physical items, the remaining $95 would be spent on searching and sending products to potential influencers that might want to write about the business.

If the business offers e-products, I would spend $45 on the best performing ad and keep the $50 for the future to be used on promoted posts

Francisco Rosales from Socialmouths

FranciscoRosales

We all know Facebook marketing is harder than ever, especially if you are starting a Page now, and I’m not sure that $200 will create enough impact to get a business going solid.

That said, here are my recommendations if you have $200 to get started with a Facebook Page:

Top of the funnel

Since you are starting, the investment will have to be focused at the top of the funnel. I’d spend the entire budget on getting Page likes.

Audience

With a small budget like this, you have little room for trial and error. I’d spend most of the time working on targeting the perfect audience. You can use remarketing if you have traffic on your website, or import and email list to Facebook, this will help turn people that are already familiar with your brand into Fans of the Page.

You can also target Fans of your competitors or other Pages that complement your business if you don’t have an existing audience on other platforms.

Campaign

The obvious ad type here is a Page Like ad, but since you need to get as much ROI from a small budget, I’d go with what can make the biggest impact and run some type of contest. Set up a custom app with a like gate to collect those page likes and offer a very attractive prize.

Use the $200 to advertise this contest and see how you can implement a referral system, perhaps giving a bonus to participants so that they can help you promote the contest and stretch your advertising dollars.

Ravi Shukle from RaviShukle.com

RaviShukle

It can often be daunting for new business owners when first marketing on Facebook. Despite the information out there Facebook is still a great place to market your business and reach your ideal customers.

If I had $200 today and was starting my fan page from scratch I would consider the following:

* Who are my target audience, age, gender, job title

* What are the current interests of my target audience

* Where are my target audience primarily based (Location)

Once you have driven down specifics on who your ideal customer it’s then important for your business to determine its goals. Now this will be different for every business and will affect how your business is promoted using Facebook ads. Some examples of goals include:

* Traffic to my website

* Increased visibility on key posts

* Increase brand awareness

* Increase fan base

* Increase sales

Once you have determined your business goals you can then begin to create a Facebook ad strategy to support those goals. I would begin inviting relevant friends to my new Facebook page to help kick things off. I would then look to create a content calendar which supported my business goals typically a week in advance. Then using Facebook ads I would look to promote 5 key Facebook posts linking back to my blog at $20 each to help raise awareness for my business. These posts would be targeted to fans who share an interest in my industry. This would slowly help build up visibility for my page. After promoting these key posts with the remaining $100 I would create a sweepstakes competition promoted at $10 a day for 10 days to help build my email list and increase my fan base.

I would make sure these ads were again highly targeted and the prize on offer was relevant for the industry my new business was in. This would be the perfect start to building my list, getting new leads and attracting highly targeted fans

 Chelsea Hejny from ShortStack

ChelseaHejny

If a new small business owner wanted to start their Facebook presence with $200, our suggestion is that they spend half of their budget on Facebook advertising. Why? Because unless you pay to promote your Page, it’s tough for people to discover your new business on Facebook. Facebook allows you to get really creative with ads. You can target people really narrowly by their interests, location, family dynamic, purchasing behaviors and more.

For the type of content a small business owner should promote in their ads, there are two good directions to go: Promote awesome content that will be entertaining, informative and/or fascinating to your ideal audience; or promote a contest that gives people the chance to win something from your brand. Both of these directions, if you nail them right, can encourage engagement and sharing amongst users!

With the other half of their budget, small business owners can invest in someone to help them produce content and/or a tool that makes creating and hosting a Facebook contest simple.

So overall, the $200 should be spent on efforts that help a small business’s content or contest be seen on Facebook by as many people within their target audience as possible.

Emeric Ernoult from Agorapulse

EmericErnoult

You’ve just launched your new Facebook business page and only have a $200 budget to get the ball rolling. It may look like you can’t get much done with $200, but if you think out of the box, those $200 will definitely help you getting started.

First and foremost, let’s assume the following:

  • – You have an existing business (if it’s a totally new business, or if you re not making money yet, Facebook is not the best place to invest your time and money)
  • – You already have an “audience”, whether this audience is made of email subscribers, website visitors or foot traffic to your store

That being said, the first thing you want to do is to invest these $200 to incentivize your existing audience to join your page! What you don’t want to do is to recruit fans using Facebook ads. Why? 2 reasons for that:

  • – Your existing audience knows you, and probably appreciate your business. They are the best possible fans you can get. The fans you may recruit using Facebook ads won’t know you are will be far from qualified.
  • – Your existing audience is already paid for. Whether website traffic, email list or foot traffic, you’ve already invested a lot to attract them. It makes sense to make them like you on Facebook “for free” and double down on that initial investment.

In a nutshell, you need to invest these $200 in a way to convert your existing audience into fans. How can you do that? Easy! Invest $29 in a Facebook app vendor (like Agorapulse :-), setup a sweepstakes, promote it to your mailing list, to your website visitors (via an embedded iFrame in a pop up) and to your foot traffic (via a QR code they can access to on their mobile device).

And use the remaining $171 to invest in sexy prizes to give away to your winners.

Doing that can provide you with hundreds or thousands high quality fans (depending on the size of your existing audience) where Facebook ads will never give you more than 100 (not so qualified) fans. The average cost of a fan being $0.5 via ads.

That’s a no brainer!

Scott Ayres from Post Planner

ScottAyres

I wouldn’t spend money on creating a profile photo or cover photo — I’d use a picture for both of them or use Canva to design a quick cover. Remember no one ever visits your Timeline anyway so don’t waste money on it!

I’d start out by spending $5 per day on Page Like ads. Just run them straight from your page, you don’t need to learn the Ads Manager or Power Editor (maybe later but now). I’d target the ads at my local demographics. Make sure the ad is running to those 20 and over, unless your product is for kids, and is within a 10-15 mile range of your store.

This should add a good amount of Likes to your page over the next month, but not too many. The key here is getting their friends to see they Liked the page, thus giving you “free” Likes.

After about 100 Likes I’d be sure to Boost a few posts at about $5 each so that I engaged my existing fans and their friends. Don’t Boost every post, but maybe every 4th-5th one. Mainly target existing fans and friends at first and then change it to target by area (remembering to choose your town and correct age demographic.)

If you did this for 30 days you’d spend about $150 in Page Like ads, and hopefully that gained you a few hundred Likes. And if you spent about $40 on Boosting posts you should be getting great engagement.

Take the remaining $10 and go buy a 6 pack of Dos Equis! You’ve worked hard!

Conclusion

There you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed the practical and actionable advice these Facebook specialists have been kind enough to share with us. It goes to show how a little bit of creativity with your budget can go some way to expanding the reach of your content, targeting your audience and even building an email list.

new facebook page 6 experts infographic

Social Employee Study #3: Meet Anna Cochrane from Receipt Bank

by Kapil Jekishan
July 21, 2014

Welcome to the third and final part of our social employee interview series where we get a completely new and unique perspective on social media marketing for both personal and professional use. Today we’re going to chat with Anna Cochrane who is the Partner Success Manager at Receipt Bank. They help you to eliminate the need for little bits of paper e.g. receipts, invoices by converting it into data which you and your business can use – both a life and time saver!

Anna Cochrane

Twitter Handle: @anna_cochrane

AnnaCochraneinfographic

Question #1: What social media platforms or networks are you currently present and active on?

Facebook: Personally to keep in touch with friends and family, and to connect with client FB pages rather than having to ‘friend’ them.

Twitter: I use as a cross section of ‘what you see is what you get’, sharing interesting information in regards to work, promoting places I find, photos, thoughts, articles, really it’s my ‘this is Anna, if you don’t like it don’t follow’ but also keeping in context with personal values – a.k.a. ‘treat others how you would want to be treated’ and ‘it’s going out there on the net… be careful!’

LinkedIn: Professionally to connect with clients, likeminded people, workmates and to build out the network of connections.  Participate in professional groups and share relevant business information (which I can then send to Twitter as well).

anna-linkedin

Instagram: This again is similar to Twitter, but my main use so far of Instagram other than for connecting is to send the photos to Twitter and Facebook at the same time, so very handy to streamline time management.

Question #2: What type of content do you typically share: videos/images, blogs, memes, etc.

I typically share blogs/articles/images and at times videos I will share if I find it relevant/adorable/random, and I will RT [re-tweet] or share memes I might find entertaining, but not very often.

As we are all so busy, the information that can impart knowledge quickly to get people thinking can be the most relevant, but then also giving the opportunity to read further into a blog or article.

Question #3: Which social networking method or platform brings in the most leads for you?

For me personally, I have found I connect most with people over Twitter and this has only continued to grow and expand in the last year especially as I have further begun to build up my brand. It’s likely that it’s also the platform I’m most active on as well.

receiptbank-twitter

Question #4: Do you use any specific social media sharing/communication tools to help you?

I have attempted to use a few, Hootsuite and Tweet Deck, but found that I need to give more time that I haven’t had (catch 22) to devote to learning the best way and ensuring it’s all setup properly.

Question #5: How do you use social media networks to build your personal/professional brand?

I have some rules… e.g.

  • Facebook simply personal, although I will ‘like’ clients FB pages.
  • LinkedIn I only share professional information and I can send that to Twitter as well.
  • Twitter is an anything goes, personal/professional/work/cats (not that I really like cats, but they are just random), but also whatever platform I am on, ensuring that my personality comes across and to keep the comments/thoughts/articles/photos above the line, aka not dodgy.
  • Instagram again mainly photos and thoughts, always trying to be thought provoking and uplifting

Question #6: Do you wish you had more time to dedicate to social media and why/why not?

Yes I really do, I would love to learn more about the sociology behind our use now, peoples behaviors, thoughts, feelings compared to the days before social. To be able to investigate more on the right ways to ensure I am using social and then to be able to impart that knowledge to other employees of firms as well.

You can get caught up in the constantly connected social world the fear of missing out, or having to reply instantly. So trying to stay connected but also to ensure that you don’t lose time to social when it isn’t relevant

Question #7: If you could only use one social media platform, which would it be and why?

Yikes, this is a hard one… But I think right now, I would have to say Twitter. The connections that I’m making globally in regards to people I can follow or who are finding and following me first, interacting with and just having a much larger reach by use of words/video/images/articles is the most influential for me. It’s almost like a one stop shop, with unlimited reach (bar those that aren’t on it…)

Question #8: Do you feel that social media is getting more or less demanding for professionals?

I think it’s getting more demanding, I feel that professionals in all industries should be on social, promoting themselves, their company and building their knowledge from the amazing talented people out there in the world.

But also in that way it is also getting more demanding to manage all the different options and to ensure that you are across all the interactions, but also making sure you remain genuine (aka I hate Twitter validation. If someone does that I won’t follow back), being genuine is still the main way in which to ensure that you are really connecting online like you would offline.

Question #9: How big of a role do video-based platforms like Vine and YouTube play in your life?

I will watch the odd clip, and share, but as for producing anything it hasn’t played any part so far.

Question #10: Do you incorporate streaming into your social media presence?

I have to say no to this… and maybe I need to investigate!

Conclusion: Interesting Stuff!

Each of the folks we talked to makes it abundantly clear that social media is something a little different to all of us. Anna’s been successful, but as you cans see she struggles with many of the same things that we all struggle with: time management, using increasingly complex tools, etc.

So there we have it! 3  social employees from 3 different industries. If you missed out on the other interviews, visit the following links:

Tia Kelly, Unbounce

John Dougan, MHI Global

Email Signatures: Photo or No Photo?

by Kapil Jekishan
July 18, 2014

Listen, between you and me email signatures are one of the most overlooked and underestimated tools of the digital workforce. Over half of the professionals out there have one and your average person gets around 50-100 emails a day. Whoa! But, how many of these emails sport well-done signatures WITH a human-face photo? An itsy bitsy percentage…nearly nonexistent.

Roughly 1 in 20 have an image in them, like a banner-style image but extremely few have face shots. In a fabulous Fast Company article, Stephanie Vozza pretty much spells out the danger that keeps people who want an image completely freaked out:

“Some email providers or devices have default settings that block images in emails. If your signature is an image that includes your name, title, and logo, you run the chance that the recipient won’t see anything.”

Ouch! Then there’s those who fear being pre-judged based on their appearance. Or, how about people you have to talk with on a regular basis, should they be forced to look at your mug in ever email? Furthermore…this is the mobile era and photographs in signatures run the risk of not rendering well.

The Primary Benefit of a Signature Photo

At the end of the day there’s really only one huge upside to getting a small, maybe just a few notches bigger than a thumbnail, and round ideally, face shot into your email: humanization. Just think about it. Say you were shown two emails that were identical in every way but one of them had a picture like this next to the name at the bottom:

emailsig rescue

You know what else it does, it makes the person in the email feel “closer” because that image is exactly what everyone is used to seeing in the social media realm. Look at Pinterest and Google+. Tight little face shot images. Does it bother us to see these images next to each Pin or update on a social media page timeline? No.

What to Do?

First of all, again, make sure that the image is small like the one above. It really doesn’t need to be big, it just needs to be there if you’re going for the edge that extra humanization provides. Don’t hyperlink it. And, make sure that you do not stuff the side-space next to it with too many links.

After you get something that looks nice, begin to verify your work. Check it on your phone and get friends and family to let you check your signature with theirs. If you start seeing your image taking forever to load, or it doesn’t load at all, ditch it. It’s better to go with a more conventional signature than to look incredibly sloppy.

Do Your Homework

You probably have an email signature. Is it effective? Is there something you want to change about it but aren’t out of sheer intellectual laziness? Never underestimate the power of your signature. As the years go by more and more studies come out and pretty much spell out how to be successful with them. Whether you choose to go with a photo or not, here’s a couple great articles with some amazing tips. Enjoy!

A Social Employee Study Series: Part 2 with John Dougan

by Kapil Jekishan
July 14, 2014

Okay, here we are at part 2 of our the social employee interviews and we’ve got another completely unique approach to social media. John is the Client Director for MHI Global. They’re a sales-focused training service for modern professionals. Let’s jump right in…

John Dougan

Twitter Handle: @intrepid_sales

JD Infographic

Question #1: What social media platforms or networks are you currently present and active on?

From a personal business brand perspective, I’m present on LinkedIn and Twitter, using both to interact with prospects and clients, typically sharing insight and delivering compelling messages to support our customers buying process.

From a company, MHI Global, standpoint we’re brand new! This is exciting as we’re galvanising a social brand using LinkedIn, Twitter, Google + and Youtube, catch our first (of many) videos below.

Question #2: What type of content do you typically share: videos/images, blogs, memes, etc.

I typically share blogs – both self-created and curated content – the main reason for this is to support the way my customers consume content, the end goal is to bring people from the short form content to the thought leadership we offer in whitepapers/blogs. This has been the mainstay for the sales performance industry for many years.

MHI Global are now leveraging the expertise of social experts and strategist all over the world to develop other forms too. Sometimes it pays not to be the first cab off the rank as we have been able to decipher what content works well for our customers and our market – excitingly, in the sales performance industry, we’re starting to see more video, images and infographics surface which our customers are finding enjoyable, engaging and useful.

Question #3: Which social networking method or platform brings in the most leads for you?

LinkedIn – it is almost a CRM of sales leadership nationally. With so many sales leaders on the platform, it’s our go to – I would go as far as to say every sales person has a requirement to be present and active on LinkedIn.

Question #4: Do you use any specific social media sharing/communication tools to help you?

I try not to regulate or schedule my content, simply because majority of what I put out there is based on a circumstance or experience I have. I do use Hootsuite but only as an aggregation service to get the holistic view of what’s happening.

Question #5: How do you use social media networks to build your personal/professional brand?

I have a unique way of doing so – pseudonym – I use an online brand ‘The Intrepid Sales Detective’. I also comment on other peoples content and invite comments on my own. I play in a relatively niche market so personal brand is huge for me and I spend a lot of time perfecting my online presence.

With regards to my professional brand, I have been in sales improvement and efficiency all my working life – the really exciting element is helping and being helped by the reputation of several brands coming together to form a new sales resource for sales leaders.

Question #6: Do you wish you had more time to dedicate to social media and why/why not?

Yes, it is still a medium of communication that can be improved upon. I am very active but investing time in the social relationships we build, whether that’s face to face or over the phone is certainly where my focus, based on industry, has to still lie.

Question #7: If you could only use one social media platform, which would it be and why?

LinkedIn, it provides me with the most robust research, insight and communication to understand and listen to my customers – In truth I would be lost, as a visual communicator without it.

I am also a huge advocate of their new publishing platform – as a consultant it allows me to create value, from a thought leadership perspective to those I do and don’t already know. I use it frequently and enjoy the interaction it gives me with customers and prospects alike.

publishing platform John Dougan

Question #8: Do you feel that social media is getting more or less demanding for professionals?

Social is now part of the sales role, you don’t have to make the decision as to whether you want to use it; your customers have already made that decision for you. Therefor social should be getting more demanding from a usage point; however it’s as important to use it when needed.

Question #9: When it comes to a concept like “social selling”, how do you feel the role of a sales representative or business development manager has changed or should change with social media?

My mantra on this is to play where your customers are and to maintain presence as much as possible – for me it’s more about social engagement than social selling – if you’re product based sure, social selling can work but in complex b2b environments it’s about using a medium to leverage thought leadership and share insight where your customers or prospects are researching,

For this reason the role of the sales person has changed as they now need to conduct more marketing activities than they did before.

My Note: While on the topic of social selling, to add to John’s words, you can refer to the following quote from HubSpot on the definition of social selling in under 100 words:

social selling in under 100 words

Question #10: Do you incorporate streaming into your social media presence?

We do, The MHI Research Institute consistently delivers webinars and tutorials to customers on strategic issues – we also share our research papers and presentations – this way with a small research team we are able to reach a wide audience, also freeing up time for more consultation.

Conclusion: Another Social Employee on the Path

There’s no question where John places the emphasis for his particular business: LinkedIn. His “LinkedIn – it is almost a CRM of sales leadership nationally,” comment was especially an eye-opener. Listen, we really love doing this, hope it was useful to you and provided some inspiring perspective.

If you missed our first social employee interview with Tia Kelly from Unbounce, head over here to learn more.

If you have a great story and would like to be involved please let us know and we’ll promptly send out a questionnaire so you can get in on the action. Thanks!

Not Having Images in Your Blogs is like Giving Someone Stale Fries

by Kapil Jekishan
July 9, 2014

By the time you’re done digesting this extra salty, fatty, warm, finger-licking-good article you’ll understand why your blog posts need to provide the savoury goodness of visual imagery. This is especially the case when we’re talking digital branding or information marketing. You ready to dig in? Let’s do it!

Ketchup for those stale fries?

The primary difference between this ultra-informative blog post…

fbook 1 like

and this one…

fb many likes

Is imagery! Think about it, what happens when you try to share a web article on social media or professional online networks that has no images in it? The algorithms feel like you just handed them a flat burger and stale fries. Step one to success is having a “shareable” photo.

  • It needs to be attached or directly within the blog post itself, ideally at the top.
  • Keep in mind which networks this is going to be shared on and pick/design accordingly.

Let’s use this article on Social Media Marketing from ConversionXL as an example.

conversionxl article

That’s the photo they’ve chosen to be at the top directly under the title. There are all kinds of images within the article that they could use when sharing this on their networks, but because i) it’s a funny meme relevant to their audience and ii) it’s an ideal photo for social media platforms….

Do you want an extra small fry with that order?

Here’s the second-most wonderful benefit of using tons of visuals in your blogs: you can keep the copy readable/condensed and they look 10 times longer! Need a clear example? Good, so while their blog post only has about 500 words, it’s so long I couldn’t fit it into one screenshot on my huge desktop monitor. See ya in a few seconds…

blog post with imagery

What kind of fries are you serving me?

Let’s take a look at another snazzy example of the “sharable” principle. If you want to get more eyeballs to at least give your titles a chance, why not create a meme-style photo with your title in it? That way it’s both a textual headline and a visual simultaneously. Here’s the share-photo Kim Garst used for her article, “What You Need To Know About Facebook’s New Fan Page Look.”

kimgarst blog

Her article’s a bit heavier with a whopping 1400 words, roughly, but it’s like a miniature education with a visual narrative. That’s not internet fodder. That’s a highly targeted, incredibly useful post layered with explanatory images that for her platform is worth its weight in digital gold.

People want to share it for no other reason than to boast, “Hey, I read this so I know what I’m talking about. I’m savvy!”

Optimise Your Fries and Fry the Competition!

Imagine that you’ve got 10 images to add to an epic blog post. That’s 10 meta-data optimisation opportunities. They’re your photographs. Optimise them! That way you can avoid any unnatural writing for SEO purposes within the content.

  • You can title them what you want.
  • You can add whatever meta-description you want.
  • You can use any keywords.
  • You can add any Alternative Text that suits you.
  • See how cool that is?

Web crawlers have absolutely no clue what your photographs look like. At least not yet. For now all they see is meta-data. So, you need to tell them what the photograph is in optimized language. As long as you make sure they’re all named/titled differently, they’re all directly relevant and properly filled out then the indexing spiders report back to search engines…

“Hey, we got a really informative post here! There are ten unique and relevant photographs layered throughout the text!”

What do I get with my Happy Meal?

Ah yes, the almighty Happy Meal. Probably one of the most profound branding/marketing gimmicks of all time. Because stock imagery is so out of fashion and over-used these days, this presents you with a creative opportunity to set your brand apart from others. Check out how Brooke Ballard does it. She uses personalised visuals:

brooke ballard imagery

Her audience can spot her blogs from a mile off. And, imagine how this looks on any social media share-stream. There’s her picture and then all this personalised visual material.

brooke ballard 2

Let’s See an Example of a Splitting Headache!

I know, I know. Overloading on fries can be rough. Especially when there’s no extra-large soda within reach to tamper the salt-spell…please forgive us RaboDirect!

rabodirect

So basically, what we have here is a really good writer with an incredible mind but a really un-shareable blog post. How easy would it be to add one or two photographs to this article? If you look at it for a few seconds your mind will actually visualize the best places to put them…even if you’ve never written a blog post in your life.

Why? Because at this point in the game the average web-user’s mind is literally programmed to experience certain emotions when web content is crafted and curated in certain ways. We long for it.

Perceived Authority is all about Packaging

It’s easy for Seth Godin to publish “Cat food is for people” and get 1200 tweets. So avant-garde!

seth godin

For people who haven’t reached quasi-internet stardom, become bestselling authors with a huge following or a celebrity-of-sorts who commands a legion of fans, it’s not that simple. Although make sure that if you do go this route for some reason that you use a bit of psychology.

Tip: Because of how highly contrasted Seth is in that bright orange photo, with nothing else to look at on the page the mind goes straight to him. I mean straight to those white eyeballs in the colored classes within microseconds. Then, we’re hardwired to look where other people are looking and Seth happens to be looking at the blog…

Conclusion: Make sure your fries are hot, perfectly salted and oozing with flavor!

Memes. Screenshots. Customized graphs. Smartphone pictures. There’s really no escape anyways. Successful marketing is visual marketing. It’s not enough to simply sport direct-response copywriting or even ultra-personalized writing. People need something to look at! Oh, and make sure your photos are mobile-responsive and open up either in an in-window popup, or a new tab. Thanks for reading!