Great Articles for the Sharing!

While I would love to say that I created more great content, I have instead decided to share with you the great content of others. Here are a few articles that I am finding to be particularly helpful, and I hope you will too.

The Art of the Social Media Press Release

If you have only a moment to tweet out an announcement, you only have your smartphone to take a quick photo or video related to your announcement, or you simply want to promote your official press release, then you have to rely on the power of social media. Unlike the average press release where you get 300 – 800 words to express your announcement, with social media, you might only have 90 characters, one image, or just seven seconds. Read More Here.

5 Inexcusable Social Media Sins

Social media is a great way to connect with people, but it can also turn some people off. Here are five inexcusable social media sins to avoid. Read More Here.

Listen Up Old School Advertisers: Social Media & Digital Advertising Are Here To Stay

Despite the efforts of old school advertisers doing things the old way, social media and digital advertising are here to stay.  The basic rules of advertising have not changed, but the way we present content and advertising have changed due to the invention of social media and digital advertising. Read More Here.

5 Ways to Grow Marketing in the Era of the Empowered Consumer

Brinker gives great advice to CMOs for using digital marketing to deliver an exceptional customer experience in this era of the empowered consumer, one touch point at a time. Read More Here.

8 Tips for Success on Facebook’s New Video Advertising Platform

Facebook has been changing the game for advertisers since its inception a decade ago. And with its new video advertising platform, there are now even more ways to reach your target audience. But how should you use the tool to generate the most successful results? Read More Here.

Instagram Photos With Faces Get 38% More Likes

Instagram photos that include faces are far more likely to get likes from followers than those without, a new study suggests. According to a report conducted at Georgia Tech, people are more drawn to photos that feature the face. In fact, of 1.1 million randomly-selected Instagram photos analyzed with face detection software, those with faces were 38% more likely to get Likes and 32% more likely to get comments. Read More Here.

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Make Your Facebook Business Page Dynamic in Minutes

Facebook has launched some pretty cool options to make your business page more dynamic. Here are a few ways to make your Facebook page work for you.

Ralph Baker FacebookCover Photo

Be sure your cover photo captures the essence of your business and is sized appropriately. Sizes for Facebook covers are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you upload an image that’s smaller binderthan these dimensions, it will be stretched to this larger size. The image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall. Be sure your logo is visible within the cover art or in your profile photo as well.

Facebook TabsTara Facebook

Create Facebook tabs to link to your other social networking sites, websites, blogs, events, contests, and more. Google+, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinvolve, and Pinterest all have their own tabs to connect to. If you need an app you would like to customize (to add your website), WooBox is great for that. These tabs will make your Facebook more dynamic and engaging to your followers.

miceli FacebookFacebook Edgerank

Social Media Today posted a great article about Facebook for Businesses. They have discovered that only 16% of your fans see your status updates. Facebook Edgerank has a ranking for types of posts. Edgerank determines what posts appear on a Facebook user’s newsfeed. Facebook EdgeRank formula includes:

  • Affinity: Measures the relationship between the viewing user and the creator of the story. The closer the relationship the higher the score.
  • Weight: Different types of posts carry different weights (photos, videos, status updates, links, etc.). The higher the weight, the higher the score.
  • Time Decay: As a post ages it continually loses value.

Photos and videos tend to carry the highest weights. By posting photos and videos, your followers will see your page more and your business page will have a higher engagement rate.

80/20 RulePicture1

Try publishing around 80% original and curated content that provides value to your followers and no more than 20% promotional content. Promotional content includes selling your products or services, posting about how great your customer find your business, showing your work or portfolio, promotion of your accomplishments, or products and services you provide. Curated content encourages engagement and discussion.

Encourage Geo-tagging

When looking to optimize your Facebook page for better outreach, develop geotagging. Find creative ways to get fans to check in to your location, as the exposure builds traffic and community. At the end of 2013, Pew Research Center reported that among check-in services, Facebook was the most widely used, at 39 percent, followed by Foursquare at 18 percent.

Use Facebook’s Built-In Features

  • Vanity URL- Customize your URL to your business’s name. This can be done in the settings.
  • Boost Posts- Boosted posts appear higher in News Feed, so there’s a better chance your audience will see them.
  • Promote Posts- Promoting your Page is a way to create ads that will show in News Feed and on the right side of Facebook . You can also create ads for your Page from the ads create tool.
  • Milestones- Milestones are key moments you’ve decided to highlight on your Page. Milestones have a flag icon and take up the full width of a page.

 

If you are interested in brainstorming, call me at 704-797-4231 or email me at tvangeons@salisburypost.com.

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Case Study in Social Media with Kitchen Crashin’ with Tara

This is an experiment in social media. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate how we, at SP Digital, can take your business to the next level in the social media arena.

Kitchen Crashin’ with Tara is a new series where I get to visit local restaurants and people’s homes and learn how to cook something cool. We film it and publish it the day the column goes on the Food page in the Salisbury Post.Kitchen Crashin' with Tara

On February 17, 2014, I began a Facebook page for an article and video that was not yet published in the Salisbury Post and on the SalisburyPost.com. The article and corresponding video was published on February 18, 2014.

I began constructing my new Facebook page with a headshot that I thought represented me well (taken by Sean Meyers). I then used a cover photo that was designed by one of our super cool graphics people (Andy Mooney).

From there, I filled out the required information about the page’s content.

I sent it to a few friends, and ta-da! Facebook page complete.

The article and video came out on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, and I used this new Facebook page and my personal Facebook page to really promote the article with posts. I also included information about the series on my work email signature.

Now, I did really push and ask my Facebook friends to like the page. About 150 of them did.

Later that week, I created a Twitter account and a Pinterest account for Kitchen Crashin’ with Tara. I also created a small website.

On February 22, 2014, I did spend $55 of my own money to promote the Facebook page over two days. But, it actually resulted in less “likes” than I anticipated (Only 27). What was most effective was more of a grassroots, organic strategy. I asked my friends to “like” my page, and subsequently, a lot of their friends saw that they “liked” Kitchen Crashin’ with Tara, and then they “liked” it.

The first column and episode of Kitchen Crashin’ with Tara was on February 18, 2014. The second was published on March 4, 2014.

The first week, my Facebook “likes” grew from 0 to 535 and subsequently to 609 by March 4, 2014.likes

This weekend, I went through and created widgets to my Facebook page: PinterestTwitter, my Website, the Salisbury Post, my blog, and the Taste of Home.

This weekend, I also had some tricks up my sleeve. People, in general, have interesting patterns when they are on Facebook . This is based on market research, but mostly based on what I see on accounts I have managed. Between 7am to 8am and 7pm to 9pm, this is when “socializing” happens most on Facebook.

Between 8am and 5pm, a lot of people are at work and are more open to B2B communication, articles, newsworthy information, weather, traffic, and services / products you provide. This is the type of posting that should occur during regular office hours.

So, if you are trying to engage your fans, post fun and engaging material before work and before bedtime. I chose to post pictures and videos of my daughter making cupcakes. I know my demographic. According to my Facebook insights, my demographic is women.They are within my age range. And I am making the assumption that there are probably moms and working moms like me. So, I post pictures of easy recipes, tips in the kitchen, my children, and the articles from the Salisbury Post.

You can find this information on your Facebook business page under “See Insights.”

demographicsThe post on March 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm was the highest engagement post thus far.

The seven things I have found that work best for engagement (of course, depending on your demographic) are: 1) kids, 2) animals, 3) comics, 4) religious quotes embedded on photos, 5) patriotic images and quotes, 6) selfies with kids and animals, 7) and all of these combined! And don’t forget video. Video indexes at a rapid pace.

postsWhy am I sharing all of this with you? To make your social media engagement better. And to show you how I can help your social media presence.

Is it time consuming? Yes. There really is no doubt about that.

Is it worth it? Yes. Social media is the new form of marketing. How best can I demonstrate what I do and how I do it then to market myself and walk you through the process?

I will update this blog over the next few weeks to track progress. I will ask my graphics guru to create a better format website for me. I will continue posting and curating content.

Let’s see how it goes! Don’t forget to “like” my page!

Contact me for more information regarding social media fulfillment at tvangeons@salisburypost.com.

 

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What is Video Content Marketing?

Many companies think of video as an after-thought or something they may want to incorporate into their social media marketing strategy. However, research suggests that video is the most important form of content marketing a company could utilize.

“YouTube receives over a billion unique visitors a month and is the second biggest social media platform,” says Richard Forsyth of Varn Media. What makes video so interesting and versatile is that it can be used, posted, and share in any medium (emails, social media, website, and more!).

According to Wikipedia, “Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers… The idea is to inspire business and loyalty from buyers by delivering consistent, ongoing valuable information.”

And Video Content Marketing falls right in step. According to a 2013 Nielson study, companies indicate that Video Content Marketing will dominate future marketing strategies. By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco.

Axonn Media research found seven in ten people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them. Companies big and small can embrace this new medium to communicate their brand and engage with clients and potential clients in an interactive and personal way.

A more compelling reason for using video is that it drastically improves search engine optimization (SEO) as well. The more a company’s video is viewed and shared, the higher their ranking in Google and other search engines. YouTube and Google are directly connected and work symbiotically.

Whether a business is promoting a corporate video, an interactive video, or a product launch video, embedded videos in a landing page or on a website can act as a catalyst for a company’s SEO and marketing strategy, not to mention that it can increase click through rates by 30%.

Miceli Productions

Miceli Productions, located in Southington, Connecticut, has a web video content portfolio containing product demos, reviews, web commercials, human interest videos, and more. Miceli Productions helps companies cultivate and implement video content marketing strategies. They also have a B2B blog with video content marketing ideas and approaches.

Miceli Productions is a great place to start your research for integrating video content marketing in your marketing plans.

Video Content Marketing is no longer an option for companies. Meaningful video content, without a doubt, is the wave of the marketing future. great place to start your research for integrating video content marketing in your marketing plans.

 

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2014 Social Media Predictions

Social Media Today has some harsh predictions for social media trends in 2014. Many small businesses are resisting social media and all things digital, to be honest. There are many small businesses that have relied on word-of-mouth referrals and small local advertising in print. But advertising, and business in general, is moving in a new direction.

The best way that I know how to describe it to some of our clients is… social media is word-of-mouth times a gazillion. An exaggeration? Maybe. Maybe not.

But are businesses who are not on social media aware that they have an online presence whether they want it or not? It may be time to sit down and Google yourself and your business just to see what happens. You may even want to search social media to see what is being said about you.

All businesses, regardless of online presence, must consider the following social media trends from Social Media Today as we delve into 2014.

#1: Social Media is no longer an option. Businesses must integrate social media into their marketing plan. Harnessing social media is also a way to control your online reputation.

#2: Your website needs to be mobile friendly. Your website needs to function on both desktop computers and smart phones. And your mobile friendly site needs to have “click to call” and “click to map” functions. Forbes predicts that by 2017 Mobile Sales will grow by 87%.

#3: Google+ needs to be integrated into your Social Media Efforts. Why? Because Google wants you to use their platforms, and they arrange their algorithms for search. Being on Google+ is no longer an option. Google is also linked to Google Places, Google+, and YouTube.

#4: Images will be used more and more across the internet. Professional photography and video are vital for your brand, but user-generated photos and videos carry tremendous weight on social media platforms like Pinterest, Vine, and Instagram. Images grab people’s attention, and video tends to be indexed faster on search engines than photos or text. The SEO benefits of video are too numerous to post here. But just note, that people are more likely to watch a 30 second video than read an email you send. What if you sent an email with your video on YouTube?

If you are questioning the power of video, watch this. I laugh every time. It has been watched over 2 MILLION times on YouTube. And the most viewed commercial on Youtube is…#DancingBabies.

No matter what your business size or budget, we are here to help. For information about SP Digital, contact Tara Van Geons at tvangeons@salisburypost.com.

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