Posts Tagged ‘Shelly Kramer’

24 Extraordinary Facebook Guides, Tips and Rants

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Facebook remains the undisputed Goliath of social networks. It offers marketers  creative flexibility and sophisticated targeting options.

Yet with recent changes including prohibition of “like-gating” and dramatically decreased organic reach, some brands are questioning the value  of the platform.

Cost to reach 1000 people on Facebook

Image credit: Moz

How can marketers best respond to the loss of organic exposure? What Facebook marketing tactics are most effective today? Which page apps are most helpful? What are the best tools and tactics for Facebook advertising? Or is  the best course of action to focus more on other platforms?

Find the answers to those questions and more here in two dozen of the best Facebook marketing guides, tips, and rants of the past year.

Facebook Marketing Guides and Tips

8 Brilliant Facebook Marketing Tactics to Use Right Now by Social Media Today

Betsy KentBetsy Kent explains how to use some lesser-known Facebook marketing tactics such as copying and pasting a post to use elsewhere by clicking on the timestamp and getting the URL (“Now you can repost on other Social Media sites [such as LinkedIn] or shorten the URL and use it on Twitter”), and determining the best time of day to post by looking at your Facebook Insights.

The End of the Facebook Like-Gate Era: What Marketers Need To Know by V3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KrammerShelly Kramer lists several of the most common “like-gating” tactics no longer allowed by Facebook (including offers to free access to special content in exchange for a “like,” sweepstakes or contests, giveaways, or polls where visitors have to “like” your page in order to vote), and provides guidance on what to do in place of these now-banned activities.

Essential Facebook Marketing Resources: A Complete Guide by Social Media Examiner

Lisa D.  JenkinsWant to learn how to market your brand on Facebook? Lisa D. Jenkins here collects more than three dozen categorized resources to help everyone from newbies to experienced Facebook marketers up their games. The articles are grouped into categories including getting buy-in, marketing with your personal profile, creating a Facebok business page, using Facebook’s tools, running contests, and understanding Facebook advertising.

Organic Reach on Facebook: Your Questions Answered by Facebook for Business

Brian BolandFacebook’s Brian Boland contends that organic reach is not “dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money,” but rather because 1) there is now much more content being shared on Facebook, and 2) Facebook has responded by changing the way News Feed works—using “thousands of factors relative to each person” in order to surface the most valuable and engaging content for each user.

Infographic: How to Get More Facebook Likes by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal

Jim DoughertyyJim Dougherty shares an infographic outlining several tactics for increasing page likes, such as using email: “Invite your email subscribers via email, provide them with a description and an incentive to like your page” (being careful not to violate the rules outlined by Shelly Kramer above)…”According to HubSpot, 80% of social media users like to connect with brands via Facebook.”

How to Compare Your Facebook Page With the Competition by Social Media Examiner

Ian ClearyFrequent best-of honoree Ian Cleary reviews five tools “to help you compare your Facebook Page against competitors and identify tactics to help you improve your Facebook marketing,” including Fanpage Karma, a freemium tool that provides a wealth of competitive Facebook stats like fans, growth, ad value, response rate, post interaction, and page performance (which “is calculated using a combination of the growth of fans and engagement and is scored out of 100″).

What 11 Experts Are Saying About Facebook Marketing by Louder Online

Aaron AgiiusAaron Agius shares tips on how to get more out of your Facebook marketing efforts from top experts including JD Lasica (“To attract customers and generate sales, you first have to show customers that you aren’t just interested in selling them something. You have to build that trust”…[so, for example] “Highlight your vendors’ successes and talk about good customers. Stick with JD’s rule of thumb above-4:1 status to promo ratio [and] focus on providing value”) and the brilliant Mari Smith, who explains why and how to post effectively outside of regular business hours.

A four-step antidote for declining Facebook reach by Ragan’s PR Daily

Mairead RidgeMairead Ridge offers practical tips illustrated by an accompanying infographic “to help you reclaim your brand’s digital reach lost to Facebook’s changing algorithm.” Among the recommendations here: test a variety of content types (“Monitor the differing engagement levels of status updates, photos, videos, and links”), share links, and diversify your channels (e.g., “Create Web versions of your emails, and include ‘share’ buttons”).

How to Make Your Facebook Marketing Work for B2B by Social Media Examiner

Ben Harper details four tips to help maximize results from Facebook marketing, such as creating and curating thoughtful content: “When you understand how your B2B audience reacts to content on Facebook, you can start creating content they want to share—the kind of content that lets them reinforce their own interests and expertise.”

Guides and Tips for Facebook Pages and Apps

New Facebook page layout: 18 things you need to know by Agora Pulse

Richard BeesonRichard Beeson steps through 18 key page layout changes implemented by Facebook in the summer of 2014, among them three changes to the ways apps are displayed (“Apps tabs are still present on your page, but they are below the fold…All apps are still in the top menu, but hidden behind the ‘more’ dropdown…[and] You can have one app featured on the main menu, above the fold, but only one, and no sexy visuals here”). He explains the details behind and ramifcations of each change.

The new layout for Facebook brand Pages: what you need to do by Smart Insights

Marie PageWhile the post above focused on what was changed, this article from Marie Page details four areas in which marketers should make changes (or at least check to be sure all is still working) in response to Facebook’s page layout changes. For example, with regard to your Facebook page cover image, “Although the dimensions of your cover image are still fine, you may well find that content is now hidden by some of the new features.” She shows how elements can be rearranged to take advantage of this modification.

15 Types of Facebook Apps to Enhance Your Facebook Page by Social Media Examiner

Andrea VahlNoting that “Facebook apps let you customize your Facebook page in many ways,” Andrea Vahl shares “15 ways Facebook apps can enhance and customize your Facebook page.” Among her categories of useful apps are custom tab apps (“you can use them to create so many different things. For example, you could include an image, a restaurant menu, a video, and an opt-in form on a single custom tab to basically install a mini-website on Facebook”), email capture forms, blog / RSS feed apps, and job listing apps.

Facebook Advertising Guides and Tips

15 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads by Social Media Examiner

Rocco BaldassarreRocco Alberto Baldassarre details 15 techniques for getting better performance and ROI from Facebook ads, among them keeping mobile and desktop ads separate; installing a conversion pixel (with instructions on how to do this); and testing bidding strategies (“Test different bidding methods to find out what reduces the cost per conversion but still gets enough volume. I recommend starting with CPC and conversion optimizer”).

Facebook Getting Closer to Being an Entirely Paid Media Site for Brands? by Strut Marketing

Steve GoldnerYes, everyone knows that organic reach has been greatly diminished for brands on Facebook, but what’s really behind this? Steve Goldner speculates that there are several reasons (including Wall Street pressure), but believes “If you lump all of the issues together, the key fact that emerges is that most Facebook users are turned off by brand interruption in their social platform.” He explains four important impacts of these changes on how you should approach social media marketing.

Here’s What Happens When Facebook Advertising Fails by KISSmetrics

Sherice JacobExpanding on Steve Goldner’s post above, Sherice Jacob observes with regard to diminished organic reach that “The brand wants the viewers’ eyeballs, the viewer wants the brand to give them something more relevant.” She then offers three approaches designed to please both sides, incuding link posts: she cites recent research which found that “of posts made by fifteen different major brands, text-based updates dropped 65%, video and photo-based updates stayed about the same, and link-based posts jumped 30%.”

How to Use Facebook Ads for Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide by Content Marketing Institute

James SchererNoting that “Successful content marketing isn’t always just about the content. Sometimes the marketing aspect (i.e., WPO) needs to take center stage,” James Scherer points out that Facebook ads remain “one of the cheapest ways to increase brand awareness” and details how Facebook ads work, how Facebook’s ad auction works, how to use Facebook’s targeting options, how to generate leads from your content, and how to retarget lost readers.

How To Knock 70% Off Your Facebook CPA by Moz

Ben Harper (again) details how a three-step process combining data insight, smarter targeting, and aggressive optimization can lead to as much as “70% reductions in CPA through Facebook adverts.” The process begins with a data phase in order “to gain a deep audience understanding so that you can more effectively target your campaigns. By drawing out audience insight, you can identify where your audience are active, and identify lower competition targeting segments.”

3 Facebook Advertising Tools That will Save You Significant Time and Money by RazorSocial

Amanda WebbGuest author Amanda Webb reviews three useful Facebook ad tools (two of which are free), explaining how each works; for example, Social Stats “assesses how much you should spend on your advertising campaign, depending on the size of your audience…When you are planning a Facebook advertising campaign, one of the hardest questions to answer is how much should you spend, and there is no simple answer to this. If you are very specific with your targeting, a little can go a long way.”

9 Facebook hacks that will blow your mind by iMedia Connection

David ZaleskiDavid Zaleski explains how to use several interesting capabilities of Facebook many users may not be aware of, such as how to embed a Facebook post onto your website (also noting that “Visitors can also like your page right from the embedded post”), how to use Facebook Insights to determine the best times to post (based on when your fans are online), and how to track the level of “like” activity on competitor or friend pages.

Easier, More Effective Ways to Reach the Right People on Facebook by Facebook for Business

This post explains how to use four main targeting types: location, demographic, interests and behaviors—plus Partner Categories in the U.S.—to target Facebook ads more effectively. Within location, for example, “you can build campaigns around any combination of geographies: country and city (France and London), country and state (Canada and New York), state and city (California and Las Vegas), state and ZIP code (US only), etc. It’s also easier to exclude certain areas  i.e., New York City, except 11211, or the UK, excluding Cambridge.”

Why Every Business Should Spend at Least $1 per Day on Facebook Ads by Moz

Brian CarterBrian Carter calls Facebook Ads “the biggest marketing opportunity ever,” based on their exposure potential (“they can reach as many people or more people as radio or TV, and in whatever country”), sophisticated targeting options, and low cost. While the economic of Facebook ads have changed a bit since this post was written, the essential points still hold.

And Finally…Not Fans of Facebook

‘Facebook Zero': The End Of Social Media Engagement by The Holmes Report

Arun-SudhamanArun Sudhaman analyzes the changes to organic reach implemented by Facebook in the spring of 2014, reporting on research showing “marketers can now reach just 6% of their fans via organic reach, a decline of 49% from last October’s peak” (and the situation’s gotten no better since then). He quotes Forrester that “Facebook has abandoned social marketing” in favor of an ad-driven model, and notes Ogilvy is now “encouraging clients to look more closely at other social networks, particularly Twitter and Instagram and, for B2B players, LinkedIn.”

Why You Should Forget Facebook by LinkedIn Pulse

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas (who knows a thing or two about social media) quantifies the drop in organic reach on Facebook, and points out that brands like Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, and Charity Engine are either quitting Facebook or focusing more on other content and social channels. He then outlines “two key strategies that you can pursue” in response to Facebook’s declining reach, and three tactics for earning free traffic outside of Facebook.

Is Facebook afraid of its future? by iMedia Connection

Brian Easter“Facebook has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately,” according to Brian Easter. He speculates about the motives behind the giant social network’s recent moves, and wonders if the company’s leadership will find their higher purpose, or if instead of “trying to build a great company, Facebook leadership decided to monetize everything they could, in every way they could, before they join AOL and MySpace as ‘has been’ tech giants?”

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29 Guides to Beautiful and Effective Website Design

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Long gone are the days when websites were essentially static online brochures. Today’s websites are expected to convey a positive and compelling brand image, differentiate a firm’s products or services, educate visitors on how to solve problems, provide the latest industry news and thought leadership, serve as pre-sales engineers, entertain, personalize, interact, and display content in a wide variety of formats, from text and photos to infographics and video.

Gravity Movie Website - HTML5And to accomplish enough of all that in 15-20 seconds to keep the visitor on the site. While delivering a great user experience on any device from a smartphone to a 60″ HD LED screen. Yeah.

How can designers produce websites that offer both stunning visual design and fast page load speed? How can content creators make better use of the ubiquitous “About Us” page? How can sites be best designed to optimize search visibility? Effectively convert visitors to sales prospects and buyers? Offer an optimal mobile experience?

Find the answers to those questions and many more here in more than two dozen guides to beautiful and effective website design from the past year.

Website Design Guides

5 beautifully immersive HTML5 websites by iMedia Connection

Devanshi Garg showcases five websites that use HTML5 to “create graphical and feature-rich web experiences that blur the line between entertainment and digital marketing,” including the marketing site for the movie Gravity, on which visitors can “initiate a 3D spacewalk experience through their browser using HTML5 and WebGL.”

Why “Simple” Websites Are Scientifically Better by ConversionXL

Visitors to this post will unfortunately be assaulted with an obnoxious, screen-filling pop-up, but once past that, will learn from Tommy Walker “that ‘visually complex’ websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts. Moreover, (sites)…with simple visual design were rated as the most beautiful across the board.” Walker goes on to explain what a “prototypical” website is, why the brain finds simple design more appealing, and offers seven tips for designing a simpler site.

Skinny Ties website - before and after

The secret to a compelling B2B website by iMedia Connection

Making the point that “While your business may be B2B, your website could be dramatically more effective if it looked, acted, and worked more like a consumer website. That’s because no enterprise will ever be visiting your website. It will always be an individual — one living, breathing person at a time. A human who needs to be enticed, persuaded, convinced, and welcomed,” Paul Dunay offers practical guidance on how to make b2b websites more compelling and effective by taking “a few pages from the playbooks of consumer marketers.”

Unusual Navigation - Form Follows FunctionCreative Websites with Unusual Navigation by Designer Ledger

The English is a bit rough, but the examples of noteworthy and distinctive navigation approaches from sites like Ralph Van Rentergem, Yodabaz, and Form Follows Function (right) are well worth exploring for inspiration.

6 ‘About Us’ Pages That Are Probably Better Than Yours by HubSpot

Sonja Jacob spotlights half a dozen examples of noteworthy “About Us” pages, along with tips for creating compelling copy and graphics for one of “the most important pages on your website — which also happens to be one of the most commonly overlooked pages.” Among her examples are Yellow Leaf Hammocks: “Good stories humanize your brand and provide context and meaning for your product. What’s more, good stories are sticky.”

Yellow Leaf Hammocks - About Us page

Maximum Quality: 44 Free Fonts for Creative Designers by Noupe

Dirk Metzmacher presents a collection of more than three dozen “high-quality fontsets from all over the world,” as well as specifying the format(s) and license type for each typeface.

40 Of The Most Beautifully Designed Corporate Websites by Simply Zesty

Claire Brown highlights 40 “beautiful inspiring designs” that communicate the “company’s goals in the most attractive manner as well as make the user want to explore more,” among them Mooseheads, These Are Things, Art of Flight, and White Rabbit Beer.

White Rabbit Bear - Creative Website

Thinking of a Site Redesign? STOP and Take a Look at These Blogs by Craig McBreen

Craig McBreen presents a post that is “all about stopping, looking and paying attention to the elements of (great) redesigns.” He then delves into four noteworthy site redesigns, including Adam Toporek’s Customers That Stick, which incorporates “Minimal color adorned with a very cool logo (is that Don Draper leaning on the ‘C’?) and an uncluttered top navigation bar with only four links.”

Guides to Parallax Design and Infinite Scroll

7 cool web design trends to watch by iMedia Connection

According to Lisa Wehr, for websites today, “Plain-Jane HTML just isn’t going to cut it. And it shouldn’t.” She takes a closer look at how design trends like parallax design, infinite scrolling, alternative navigation, and responsive design work and what they help accomplish, along with examples of each.

G'Nosh Website

Long Homepage Design Part 1: Debunking “The Fold” by Market 8

Lynn Sharafeddine uses statistics and logic to dispel the myth that CTAs must be “above the fold” (a term borrowed from the newspaper industry) because website visitors supposedly won’t scroll down the page (they will). She then offers four tips for getting visitors to scroll, like presenting information at the right time: “When people are scrolling, you get to control when they see certain information. This is why sometimes a CTA placed at the very bottom of the page might convert better.”

Top 60 Parallax Examples by Intechnic

Danielle Kogan lists 60 (!) examples of parallax design, which she defines “a popular design technique used on websites in order to create an illusion of movement on the screen…This cool 3D-like design concept allows users to scroll up and down a page at different speeds, while images on various layers move at different rates to give the page more visual depth and dimension to give the user a more seamless experience,” including Tinké, The Winkler Organization, and Saucony Kinvara 3.

Tinke - Website Design Example

Guides to Website Design for SEO

Infinite scroll: its impact on SEO and how to fix it by Econsultancy

While web designers aren’t necessarily (and shouldn’t have to be) SEO experts, the design of a site should never hinder optimization efforts. Andreas Pouros explains two different techniques for implementing the infinite scroll effect in a search engine-friendly manner, along with the pros and cons of each approach.

8 SEO Best Practices For Website Architecture by Snaptech Marketing

Noting that “website architecture is a pivotal process that can make-or-break your site’s SEO success,” Darcy McGilvery advises using these eight best practices for SEO-friendly website design, among them making site architecture reflect page priorities (i.e., your most important pages should be highest in your site architecture, utilizing breadcrumbs, and keeping all pages within three clicks of the home page.

Simple Website Information Architecture Example

How to Create a Parallax Scrolling Website with SEO by SEO Buzz

Conceding that “Many believe that a parallax scrolling website and SEO are incompatible,” Wanda Anglin presents a case study on how this arresting visual technique can in fact be combined with solid SEO practices. Vitally, she notes that, from the outset, “The site must have a site architecture for SEO. Parallax scrolling is a style of effects that can be applied to each URL but you first have to start with SEO-friendly web architecture.”

Getting The Website Information Architecture Right: How to Structure Your Site for Optimal User Experiences by ConversionXL

Ignore the obnoxious pop-up here (again) and you’ll find an outstanding post from Peep Laja that outlines five steps for creating an information architecture (such as: metadata, scenarios, pages…Once you have an understanding of the users – their intent, the why behind it and how they’d like to achieve their goal – you can begin to figure out how to present your content in a way that will make sense to your users”), techniques for optimizing menu structure, navigation design, tools, and more.

Conversion Rate Optimization Guides

How To Collect Email Subscribers With Landing Pages That Convert At 50% by Marketing Land

Chris Hexton shares “examples and provides guidance on how you can use dedicated landing pages to increase your subscriber conversions rates” from email marketing, richly illustrated with both consumer and b2b marketing examples. He also offers three tips for maximizing conversions, such as using social proof (“People hate missing out!”).

Converstion Rate Optimization - Unbounce Page Example

5 Ways to Utilize Thank You Pages for Better Conversions by Visual Website Optimizer

Oli Gardner points out that “Thank you pages are usually an after-thought, a quickie, a clumsily put up half-hearted meal,” because efforts are focused on designing a high-converting landing page. Once the conversion is complete, the conversation generally ends, which leaves “an awful lot of money on the table.” He follow up with five ways to use thank-you pages to get more value out of the conversion.

Testing and Optimization: Radical website redesign program improves lead gen 89% by MarketingSherpa

David Kirkpatrick presents a case study on how One Call Now radically redesigned its home page, testing multiple elements to optimize conversions. He writes that “Through optimization, the sign-up process was shortened, and free trial sign-ups increased 55.3%, and the overall redesign of the entire website garnered a 89% lift in lead generation.”

Videos for Landing Pages 101 by Business2Community

Noting that “52% of consumers say that watching a product video makes them more confident in online purchase decisions,” Juan Pablo Castro explains how to decide what type of video to use, the importance of audio quality and scripting, how to create the right video content, and how to use video most effectively to increase conversions on consumer or b2b landing pages.

Path - Video Landing Page Example

10 excellent video-embedded landing pages by Econsultancy

Supporting the post above, Christopher Ratcliff here highlights noteworthy examples of landing page video content. While most of the pages are from the consumer marketing world, the General Electric example (“GE took off all the text-heavy mission statements from its website and replaced them with videos of examples of the company’s work instead”) shows how B2B marketers can use video for lead gen effectively as well.

GE Video Landing Page Example

Creating Search Optimized Landing Pages That Convert by Volusion

This guest post explains why it’s important to optimize landing pages for organic search; the distinction between organic and PPC landing pages; and how to build an SEO landing page that converts (e.g., “the first thing you need to do is analyze your reader’s intent. Ask yourself what type of readers and/or buyers you’ll be attracting. It’s not only what you want them to get out of your website, but what you feel they want to get out of your website”).

How To Optimize Contact Forms For Conversions [Infographic] by unbounce

To maximize conversions, Oli Gardner (again) advises keeping contact forms short, skipping the phone number field (unless absolutely necessary), and continually testing–as well as using left-aligned fields for readabilty, and using a button label other than “Submit” (“Forms using Submit have an almost 3% decrease in conversion rate”).

21 Inspiring Examples of Contact Pages and Forms by Web Design Ledger

Gisele Muller showcases 21 inspiring examples of exceptionally well designed contact pages and forms, noting that “A website should have a clear an obvious way for visitors to get in touch with the site’s owner..it is even nicer if your audience can find a contact page/form that shows your personality – something that shows that you care about your viewers and that you want them to contact you.”

Milk & Pixels - Contact Page Example

Mobile Website Design Guides

Smartphone Users Want to Buy: Get Out of Their Way by V3 Integrated Marketing

Social is Mobile - statsShelly Kramer writes that “Smartphone users are looking for what it is you do and sell because they want it—now,” cites statistics to back this up (for example, “70% of mobile users have used click-to-call to connect directly from the search engine results page…61% (say) it’s the purchase phase of the shopping process when click-to-call is most important,” and provides tips on how to make it easy for mobile visitors to find what they need and take action on your site.

3 reasons you’re not ready for responsive design by iMedia Connection

While the case for using responsive design is compelling, Scott Kiekbusch warns that organizations need to take a look at their current web presence and take three key considerations into account before attempting a transformation, such as starting with content inventory and strategy: “Most of [your current website content] is probably outdated or even downright worthless (you don’t still have content appearing in Flash, do you?). And it almost certainly isn’t optimized for viewing on a screen the size of a deck of playing cards.”

A group debate discussing the best way to make your site work on all devices? by Smart Insights

James Cannings reports on the results of an interactive session with web designers exploring the relative merits of four different design options: responsive web design, adaptive web design, separate mobile site, or “do nothing.” The post delves into technical aspects and distinctions between the approaches, and includes a helpful comparison of the pros and cons of each approach (with the final “con” of the do-nothing approach being “slow death”).

Responsive design for dummies by iMedia Connection

Evan Gerber explains what responsive design is, how it works, and how to best capitalize on the advantages of this technique while reducing risks, such as thinking across form factors (designers should create “interfaces that can work for both mice and fingers by doing things such as using big targets for tapping or clicking”), working collaboratively, considering bandwidth differences, and combining a mix of responsive and selective design.

The Next Web - Responsive Design Example

How to do a Mobile SEO Audit: Identifying and Maximizing your Website Mobile Potential by State of Digital

While, as noted above, web designers aren’t necessarily SEO experts, website design does of course play a role in optimization, and this is particularly true and important in mobile site design. Aleyda Solis walks through three different approaches to mobile site design, and explores the SEO impacts of each alternative.

Responsive Website Design TipsWarning: Your Hasty Move to Responsive Design Could Backfire by iMedia Connection

Devanshi Garg (again) contends that while there’s no question optimizing the online experience across the different devices visitors will use to access your site is critical, responsive design isn’t always the best choice–it depends on the nature of your site, as well as other design and analytics considerations.

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21 Fantastic Facebook Marketing Guides

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Many (most?) marketers have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.

On one hand, not only is it an easy-to-use, low-cost platform with more than a billion members, but 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B vendors have acquired customers from Facebook, and the world’s largest social network drives 20% of all internet page views.

Markets Have Mixed Emotions About FacebookOn the other, marketers don’t “own” their presence on Facebook, consumers continue to have privacy concerns about the site, and Facebook is constantly making changes to its interface and other functionality, including recent modifications that have drastically reduced organic reach for brands.

But the bottom line is, as Amanda DiSilvestro notes in one of the posts highlighted below, “there are two online platforms (marketers) just can’t avoid: Google and Facebook.”

So with that in mind, how can brands optimize the limited organic visibility they still have? What are the best page apps for Facebook today? What can SMB marketers learn from the biggest brands on Facebook? What are the best practices for advertising on Facebook?

Find the answers to these questions any many more here in almost two dozen of the best guides to marketing on Facebook of the past year.

Best Facebook Marketing Guides

5 Painfully Obvious But Extremely Effective Facebook Tactics Nobody Told You About by unbouce

Stefanie-GrieserWriting that she’s “heard that it’s easier to get into Harvard than into someone’s Facebook news feed,” Stefanie Grieser shares a handful of tips to help get your content noticed by fans, such as creating a photo collage instead of just posting a single image, and asking questions only at the end of posts.

Is there value in #Organic #SMM after Facebook closes the “Like Economy”? by Social Media Marketing 4 Business

Gary SchirrPondering the impact of the death of EdgeRank, Gary (@ProfessorGary) Schirr ?notes that “a post by a brand’s Facebook page could expect to reach 16% of its fans” up until the fall of 2013; but “after the algorithm change that figure seems to be 2.5%!” Will content proliferation and advertising keep small companies from being successful with social media marketing?

Infographic: Ten Facebook Page best practices by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal

Jim DoughertyJim Dougherty highlights an infographic detailing ten ways to boost a brand’s Facebook page agreement; for example by asking questions (ask fans to share consumer preferences or help name your new product), use images, use fan content (“People love to see their content & their friends’ content shared by brands”), keep posts simple, and have fun!

37 of the Best Facebook Page Apps for Brand Marketing by Pamorama

Pam DyerWriting that “One of the easiest ways to use your Facebook page to its fullest potential for social media marketing is to employ third-party Facebook applications,” Pam Dyer provides brief reviews of more than three dozen such apps here, from Facebook app suites like AgoraPlus to apps for creating tabs, ecommerce, posting/scheduling, contests and promotions, blog apps and more.

Easy-to-steal ideas from Facebook’s 10 biggest brands by iMedia Connection

Drew HubbardDrew Hubbard shares ideas from mega-brands that “can be stolen…by even the smallest brands,” such as showcasing sponsorship of a local cause or organization; using caption contests (Red Bull does this well); documenting an event in photos; sharing an image of a cute animal next to your product (you don’t really need a reason); or giving people a look “behind the scenes” at your brand or company.

Facebook: News Feed Visibility Changes and RIP EdgeRank via V3 Integrated Marketing

Katy-SchambergerKaty Ryan Schamberger explains that while the term “EdgeRank” is no longer officially used by Facebook, “the algorithm’s three determining factors—affinity, weight and time decay—still play a role in News Feed visibility, although today’s ranking algorithm is much more complex. After detailing other new features, she notes that the key to increasing Facebook visibility is to create content users find engaging.

7 Powerful Facebook statistics you should know for a more engaging Facebook page by The Buffer Blog
***** 5 STARS

Belle Beth CooperBelle Beth Cooper reveals some real-world findings about Facebook use that can help marketers optimize use of the social network, such as that photo posts get 39% more interaction; using emoticons increases comments by 33%; and question posts generate double the number of comments as the average post.

Facebook Finally Gets Hashtags: 10 Smart Ways to Help B2B Marketers by Inbound Visibility

Sunita BidduExplaining that “hashtags can help your business get noticed by putting your posts in the stream of what’s being said and bringing you together with other people that are talking about the same thing as you are,” Sunita Biddu shares tips for optimizing your posts with hashtags, among them: know your audience, be consistent in your communications, engage your fans, and be active during events: “Creating a custom hashtag for your event (e.g. fundraising, seminar, handmade trade, etc.) and sharing it with attendees is a great way of increasing your brand’s buzz online.”

Does Facebook Work for B2B Lead Generation? Hell Yes! by Marketo Blog

Jason MillerWriting to those “who say that Facebook is not an effective lead generation tool for B2B, I will tell them that they need a new strategy,” Jason Miller reveals how Marketo generates leads on Facebook and summarizes the experience with four helpful recommendations, among them: “Wittiness is terribly underrated. B2B marketers like to have fun too. They are not on Facebook to be sold to. Entertain them a bit, and then tie it back to something useful.”

Best Facebook Advertising Guides

Infographic: Facebook ad term glossary by Inside Facebook

Justin LaffertyJustin Lafferty presents an infographic that explains words and phases as used in the world of Facebook advertising, such as Broad Categories (“allows advertisers to target users who have information in their Timelines and actions taken related to a specific category of interests”), Conversion Specs, Custom Audience, and Offsite Pixel (“tracking code placed on an external success page which alerts Facebook” of a conversion).

The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads by buffer

Amanda DeSilvestroAmanda DiSilvestro provides an outstanding guide for those new to Facebook advertising, covering everything from the four different types of Facebook ads (and under what circumstances each option works best) and progressing through how to set up a Facebook ad, how to manage ads, and how to optimize campaigns once they are up and running.

Infographic: Facebook ad cheat sheet by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal
***** 5 STARS

Jim Dougherty (again) showcases a phenomenally useful cheat sheet detailing all of the different Facebook ad sizes, types, positions, and options available. Beyond ad dimensions, this infographic also includes helpful tips, recommendations, and potential pitfalls to avoid.

20 Quick Facebook Ads QA Steps by FB PPC

Andrew FoxwellAndrew Foxwell lists 20 questions to ask if your Facebook ads aren’t performing well, or if performance takes a sudden dip. Among them: Does (the) mobile landing (or desktop) page stink? Are the targeting audiences too small? Does the client have an active Facebook page? And have you gone through the signup flow and seen if the parameters stick properly?

How to Setup Facebook Conversion Tracking and Why It Matters by SteamFeed

Writing that “the Facebook Conversion Tracking feature is a way for marketers to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their Facebook ads,” Amanda DiSilvestro (again) provides a concise, three-step process for setting up and using this capability.

A Guide to Facebook Advertising by Capture the Conversation

Leah LeskoConfused by “the ever-changing landscape of Facebook ad types”? You’re not alone. But Leah Lesko here helpfully sorts it all out, explaining the use of, details behind, and tips for sponsored stories, promoted posts, dark posts, Marketplace ads, and mobile app install ads.

Best Guides to Facebook Cover Photos

5 Ways to Turn your Facebook Cover Photo into a Call-to-Action that Converts by Wishpond

This post provides detailed and richly illustrated examples of five ways to drive conversions using Facebook cover photos, such as promoting a Facebook Page Tab, getting more “Likes,” or promoting gated content such as a white paper–though the post does point out that “it is not easy to fit content like ebooks and infographics inside of a Tab.”

Facebook Reduces Cover Image Restrictions by v3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer says that “the latest (Facebook changes) might just make your day. The site has quietly removed the majority of its cover image restrictions, making it easier for brands and businesses to use this valuable visual real estate to promote things like sales, events and the Facebook page itself.” She then details what elements brands are now permitted to use in cover images, including “Calls to action such as ‘Buy now,’ ‘Tell your friends,’ ‘Contact us,’ etc..”

How to Effectively Use CTAs on Your Brands Facebook Page Cover Photo by Ignite Social Media

Building on Shelly’s post above, Ross Wilson delves into the use of calls to action on Facebook page cover photos, offering six tips for writing a compelling CTA (such as “Front load them with subjects and verbs. With only 20 percent content allowed in your cover photo, your CTA will be approximately the length of a tweet”) and following up with a handful of illuminating real-world examples.

Best Guides to Facebook Graph Search

Infographic: How to optimize your business Page for Graph Search by leaderswest

Jim Dougherty (one more time) showcases a nine-step “cheat sheet” for optimizing a page for graph search, from the basics like choosing the right category and making sure your business address is listed correctly through posting and tagging photos and videos (“posting photos and videos and tagging your business page in them can improve Graph Search rankings”).

Introducing Graph Search: Help People Discover your Business by Facebook Studio

This brief post explains what Facebook Graph Search is, how it works, why it was developed, and how it will be rolled out. “With Graph Search, people can search the social graph by looking for things like ‘sushi restaurants that my friends have been to in Los Angeles,’ ‘hotels near the Eiffel Tower,’ or ‘TV shows my friends like.'”

Social Media: Why Facebook’s new Graph Search will change social media marketing by MarketingSherpa

John CockburnNoting that “The way Graph Search works is simple … it filters our search results by what our friends and neighbors have previously liked and shared with us,” John Cockburn explains that while graph search by no means heralds the end of marketing on Facebook, it does make relevance even more vital and means “companies will now have to find the right mix of creativity and incentives as they battle for check-ins and likes to maintain relevancy in consumer search listings.”

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20 More of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips of 2013

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Social media marketing has become an integral part of strategies for maximizing the overall web visibility of an organization. To be effective, it must be integrated with SEO and PR efforts, and even executed to enhance online advertising efforts.

Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013Back in October, the post here 21 of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013 (So Far) noted that as social media marketing practices mature, the questions about it have evolved from simple “how do I do x” queries to more complex investigation into how to optimize social marketing strategies and tactics.

How can you make your blog content stand out amid the increasing online noise? What are the key platforms to utilize beyond the “big four”? What key trends in 2014 should social media marketers to be aware of? What are the best practices for promoting events through social media?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in 20 more of the best social media marketing guides of the past year.

Best Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips

The Ultimate Social Media Tip Sheet by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenThe insightful and prolific Heidi Cohen collects 101 top social media tips and tactics in this bookmark-worthy tip sheet, from knowing your target audience and their hot buttons and writing regular features responding to your audience’s needs to answering questions on forums and sites like Quora, and incorporating social media calls to action.

21 Rules For Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies, an infographic by WordPress SEO Cloud Hosting

Berrie PelserBerrie Pelser shares an infographic covering “21 unwritten (well, they were unwritten) rules of social media marketing” for social marketing success, which include: quality > quantity, mind your manners, patience is crucial, and—one easily misunderstood—access doesn’t equal entitlement (“Making connections may give you access, but it doesn’t mean fans and followers owe you anything”).

How to Find Influencers Who Already Want to Share and Link to Your Content by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS

Mark TruemanMark Trueman walks through a multi-step process for finding content similar to yours that has broad reach, determining who is sharing these posts, and then getting these people to share your posts. He even provides sample outreach email text that’s been proven to drive significant response.

IBM: These Are The Top 7 Social Trends That Will Emerge In 2014 by Forbes

Mark FidelmanThe brilliant Mark Fidelman reports on seven top social media trends for the coming year identified by IBM, including taking social beyond collaboration; increased traction for brand journalism; and “the true convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud.”

70% follow social media for business purposes – Can it be ignored? by Pitch Magazine

Moneka KhuranaThe English is bit rough, but the concepts are spot on in this post. Moneka Khurana compiles b2b best practices and tips from Dell and Cisco, demonstrating how different types of information (e.g., brand information vs. market trends) lend themselves to different content formats, and a six-step approach to building a robust social media presence.

26 Tips to Create Social Media Magic for Your Business by Positively Peggy

Peg FitzpatrickIf you feel like your social media marketing efforts are hitting a wall, Peg Fitzpatrick prescribes more than two dozen “easy, actionable items that you can do to put the social media magic back into your brand,” among them: creating a weekly Google+ Hangout series, adding “a board with links to your other social networks and blog so people can find you everywhere,” and using third party apps to help grow your Twitter following.

20 Things You Should Share On Social Media by jeffbullas.com

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas lists 20 things to share on social media “that can assist your business to be viewed as a leader in its industry and drive inquiry and sales and help you get found online,” including Slideshare presentations, infographics, company news releases, and “Share your humour…mix up your serious content with some humourous photo’s, articles and even cartoons.”

How To Socialize An Event by LinkedIn
***** 5 STARS

Guy KawasakiGuy Kawasaki provides 14 tips to make it “possible to ensure that an event is covered in social media—even trending as a hot topic with an event with only 100 attendees,” such as choosing an evergreen hashtag and promoting it everywhere, produce livestream video coverage and real-time updates, and require executives to be available for photos.

The Best [And Worst] Times To Post On Social Media by V3 Integrate Marketing

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer outlines three methods for “discovering the optimal posting time on a social media platform,” including the use of third party data; for example, an infographic she includes which illustrates, in general, the best and worst times to post updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

20 Quick-Win Tactics For Building A New Social Media Presence by Marketing Land

Courtney SeiterCourtney Seiter lists “20 quick-win tactics for building a new social media presence on any network,” like filling out your profile as completely as possible; using professional, high-resolution images; analyzing similar accounts to determine what’s working (and what’s not); and cross-promoting the new account through your other social media points of presence.

Are You Using Quora in Your Social Strategy? 8 Tips to Do It Right by The Daily Egg

Joanna XuDescribing Quora as “the mature, authoritative big brother of Yahoo Answers,” Joanna Xu shares eight tips for getting the most out of the platform, from proper editing, formatting and use of photos through linking Quora to your other social accounts and backing up all of your answers.

How to Use Tumblr for SEO and Social Media Marketing by SEOmoz

Takeshi YoungTakeshi Young says that Tumblr is an often overlooked platform with great potential for SEO and social media marketing, and so in this post covers “1) What Tumblr is and how it works, 2) The benefits of Tumblr compared to other social networks, and 3) Actionable advice on how you can use Tumblr for online marketing, including specific content ideas.”

Why The Company You Keep Online Is A Big Deal [And How To Fix It] by V3 Integrated Marketing

While every company wants lots of Twitter followers and Facebook “Likes,” Shelly Kramer (again) provides a helpful reminder that it matters who is doing that following and liking. Fake followers, ill-advising activities or connections on Facebook or Instagram, purchased or otherwise illegitimate reviews–all can harm a company’s online reputation. Fortunately, she also explains tools and strategies to help keep a firm’s social presence respectable.

YouTube Marketing Guides and Tips

How to Optimize Your YouTube Video for Maximum Traffic by jeffbullas.com

Courtney GordnerMaking the case that YouTube is much more than “the world’s foremost provider of cute kitten videos, guest author Courtney Gordner explains how the video sharing site fits into overall social media marketing strategy and how to optimize YouTube videos for search.

YouTube Gives Video Publishers Calls-to-Action With External Annotation Links by Cloud Tactix
***** 5 STARS

Sam SwiechSam Swiech explains how to add your company website as an “associated site” on your YouTube channel (and notes that “It’s important to keep in mind that you can associate more than one site to your YouTube account at once,”) and “tastefully” apply annotations to videos.

Top 10 Ways to Optimize Your Business YouTube Channel by Pinterest

Mike JohanssonMike Johansson shares an infographic showing how to optimize a business YouTube channel, from creating an attractive channel design and developing a video strategy through utilizing annotations, calls to action, keywords, playlists, and social promotion.

Image Size Cheat Sheets for Social Media Profiles

Complete Social Media Sizes Design Chart [ #Infographic ] by Jason Fox

Jason FoxIn this brief but bookmark-worthy social media sizes design chart post, Jason Fox lays out the design specs and image size requirements for graphically optimizing profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

Infographic: The Ultimate Social Media Size Cheat Sheet by CloudTactix

Sam ZastrowFor those who want a more richly illustrated of the social network profile image size chart called out above, Sam Zastrow shares a photo-rich infographic which “includes everything you want to know about visuals sizing for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (and probably a lot you didn’t care to know, too).”

Social Media Policy Development Guides

Law Firm Creates Social Media Guide For Businesses by Twin Cities Business
***** 5 STARS

Rebecca OmastiakRebecca Omastiak reports on a free guide created by Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant & Mooty that “informs businesses about the legal ramifications of using social media websites—including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others—to connect with clients, advertisers, and customers” to help companies understand how to write social media policies that are both effective and legally compliant.

Social Media Policies Present Challenges to Business via ThomasNet News

David SimsAlthough, as David Sims notes, “There’s no question whether manufacturers should establish rules governing if and how employees may use social media,” it’s vital for employers to understand the rules governing such policies. For example, a blanket prohibition on criticizing the company on social media sites is likely to run afoul of the law.

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The Top #Nifty50 Women Writers on Twitter for 2013

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Each year, the #Nifty50 awards honor 50 men and 50 women who actively engage on Twitter. 2011 was the inaugural year. In 2012, the #Nifty50 recognized the top men and women on Twitter in the technology realm.

The #Nifty50 Women Writers on Twitter for 2013The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the contributions of honorees to their fields, as well as their level of engagement on Twitter; to encourage interaction with these leaders; and to expand social networks. When the timing is right, the #Nifty50 will be expanded to include an element of social good—the #Nifty50 Kids project, which will provide access to advanced technologies for low-income children.

This year’s #Nifty50 highlights men and women who write—more specifically, who regularly produce some form of business-related online content (blog posts, news articles, videos, infographics, etc.)—and who actively engage on Twitter. The honorees include both full-time (e.g., journalists, authors, or PR professionals) and part-time writers (e.g., bloggers).

Since the first awards, the #Nifty50 hashtag has been tweeted and retweeted nearly 7,000 times, with a total exposure of more than 50 million people, according to Topsy. The #Nifty50 was also featured in the new book by Mark (@mnburgess) and Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess), The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) How Great Companies Make Social Media Work – Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Domo on building a social culture.

For 2013, we’re pleased to honor 50 women (below) and 50 men (in a post on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) who are both outstanding writers and content producers and active social media connectors and engagers. Beyond their professional lives, the interests of these women range from the fairly conventional (travel, food, wine, health, fashion, family) to the unexpected (Star Wars, Milk Duds, beer, Swedish fish).

We’re proud to acknowledge these 50 women from 48 different organizations as the top #Nifty50 women writers on Twitter for 2013. You can find and subscribe to or follow the entire list on Twitter here.

(Editor’s note: Though I’d be proud to claim her as a member of my extended clan, I’m fairly certain that Marissa Pick and I have no familial relationship.)

Jennifer Aaker
@Aaker

Jennifer Aaker

 

Diana Adams
@adamsconsulting

Diana Adams

 

Ardath Albee
@ardath421

Ardath Albee

 

Kare Anderson
@kareanderson

Kare Anderson

 

Judy Bellem
@JudyBellem

Judy Bellem

 

Meghan M. Biro
@MeghanMBiro

Meghan M. Biro

 

Susan Borst
@susanborst

Susan Borst

 

Lisa Buyer
@lisabuyer

Lisa Buyer

 

Sandy Carter
@sandy_carter

Sandy Carter

 

Karima-Catherine
@karimacatherine

Karmia-Catherine

 

Ann Charles
@annmcharles

Ann Charles

 

Dorie Clark
@dorieclark

Dorie Clark

 

Heidi Cohen
@heidicohen

Heidi Cohen

 

Julie Cottineau
@JCottin

Julie Cottineau

 

Gini Dietrich
@ginidietrich

Gini Dietrich

 

Jenna Dobkin
@JennaSD

Jenna Dobkin

 

Esther Dyson
@edyson

Esther Dyson

 

Marni Edelhart
@CarpeDiFemme

Marni Edelhart

 

Kristi Eells
@Kristi_Eells

Kristi Eells

 

Laurie Friedman
@lauriefriedman

Laurie Friedman

 

Anne Deeter Gallaher
@AnneDGallaher

Anne Deeter Gallaher

 

Ann Handley
@annhandley

Ann Handley

 

Catherine Hays
@catharinehays

Catherine Hays

 

Elizabeth Hitchcock
@ElizHitchcock

Elizabeth Hitchcock

 

Amy Howell
@HowellMarketing

Amy Howell

 

Martine Hunter
@martinehunter

Martine Hunter

 

Jennifer Kane
@JenKaneCo

Jennifer Kane

 

Julie Kehoe
@juliekehoe

Julie Kehoe

 

Katrina Klier
@KatrinaKlier

Katrina Klier

 

Shelly Kramer
@shellykramer

Shelly Kramer

 

Megan Leap
@MeganLeap

Megan Leap

 

Heather Lloyd-Martin
@heatherlloyd

Heather Lloyd-Martin

 

Margaret Molloy
@MargaretMolloy

Margaret Molloy

 

Wendy Marx
@wendymarx

Wendy Marx

 

Lori Moreno
@LoriMoreno

Lori Moreno

 

Marissa Pick
@marissapick

Marissa Pick

 

Maria Poveromo
@mariapoveromo

Maria Poveromo

 

Tonia Ries
@tonia_ries

Tonia Ries

 

Jill Rowley
@jill_rowley

Jill Rowley

 

Lori Ruff
@LoriRuff

Lori Ruff

 

Angie Schottmuller
@aschottmuller

Angie Schottmuller

 

Esta H. Singer
@sheconsulting

Esta H. Singer

 

Mari Smith
@marismith

Mari Smith

 

Michele Smorgon
@maxOz

Michele Smorgon

 

Elizabeth Sosnow
@elizabethsosnow

Elizabeth Sosnow

 

Jayme Soulati
@Soulati

Jayme Soulati

 

Ann Tran
@AnnTran_

Ann Tran

 

Casie Vogel
@casievogel

Casie Vogel

 

Deborah Weinstein
@DebWeinstein

Deb Weinstein

 

Patricia Wilson
@brandcottage

Patricia Wilson

 

Again, you can find and follow the entire 2013 #Nifty50 Twitter women’s list here.

 

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