Posts Tagged ‘facebook social media for business’

Reasons a Strong Business Presence on Facebook Matters

There’s a bit of rift between long-time successful companies and relative startups. Businesses that have been turning a profit and molding their brand image for years are up in the air about whether or not a Facebook presence—or social media in general—is required to achieve success. Newer businesses, however, without the luxury of tenure, insist that it’s a must.

Image - Human, Silhouettes, Facebook, Twitter, Experience - Clipart 65924

So, which is it? Can you get by without a Facebook presence, or do you really need one in today’s marketplace? Well, that particular question can be argued until the cows finally come home, but as you’ll read below, logic points directly toward having a presence.

5 Reasons to Keep a Solid Foothold in Facebook

1: The Stats are Overwhelming

Over a third of the American population alone uses Facebook. All told, the site has over one billion users, which is going to push a lot closer to 1.5+ once India and other parts of Asia come into the fold. Over half of all Facebook users visit the platform regularly. Trust is growing amongst Facebook fans toward businesses. The stats can go on and on, including the fact that advertising on Facebook cost very little compared to other mediums, and the potential for higher ROI is enormous.

2: A Business-Friendly Atmosphere

Facebook has not only created an extremely business-friendly atmosphere, but one that doesn’t intrude on a user’s experience (unlike MySpace and other networks). With updates like Custom Audiences, Timeline, new advances in their ads via Sponsored Stories, and other measures Facebook has taken to rake in the advertising dollars, the network is currently in the midst of its own boom right now, and no one sees a dropping off point yet.

3: Ways of the World

The world today is trending Internet. There’s no other way to put it. Although Facebook only has a billion users, there are over 5 billion people across the planet who have access to the Internet. As we evolve further in terms of technology, Facebook’s numbers will exponentially increase, as well as Internet activity in general via people handling their shopping online. Any business would be missing out not to ride this train.

4: Adding Credibility

What do you think a tech-savvy customer thinks of your business when they find out you don’t have a Facebook page? (And that’s even assuming they can find you at all without one.) The odds are great that they don’t see you as credible. You’re not a part of the culture they’re a part of, so why would they trust you? Having a Facebook presence works wonders for your credibility.

5: Infinite Traffic Potential

From your business Facebook page, you can interlink an entire web network, including blogs, a main business site, Twitter, LinkedIn, and an infinite number of other sites, profiles and pages. You can reach out beyond your network and work with other businesses to share traffic. You can drive an enormous amount of traffic with a Facebook page (to and from), and there is literally no ceiling on how much you can attract.

Reasons like “free” and “easy” were left off the list, but you can include them as strong factors that may help you make up your mind. The fact of the matter is that your business might not need a Facebook page. But it’s also true that your odds of success increase with one. 

 


Author’s bio:

Eric Taylor works as a freelance writer and business developer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad manager tool. Qwaya provides extensive information, tools and up-to-date news about social media marketing trends and strategies, most specifically on Facebook. The company’s goal is to build and develop a very sophisticated tool with powerful features that are user-friendly and affordable specially for social media marketers world wide.

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What Can Social Media Marketing Do For Your Business?

There are plenty of businesses who jumped on the social media marketing bandwagon, set up accounts on every platform they could name, and then expected followers to appear and sales to skyrocket. When this doesn’t happen, many companies give up on social media, claiming that it “doesn’t work”. And they’re right. Just joining these platforms won’t “work” to make sales, there is so much more to be done before that will happen. It may even be that a company never achieves a direct sale from their social media presence. Why is this? What does social media marketing actually achieve?

The first thing to understand is that regular people don’t use social media as customers. They use it as a way to connect, and as we’ve seen through the Social7 program, they use it to build community. People use Twitter to talk about what they’re thinking, when they’re thinking it, and read their friends thoughts too. They use Twitter to catch up on the latest global news, and to feel a part of a larger conversation. People use Facebook to see what their friends and family have been up to, to share cool, funny links they’ve found, and to upload and view holiday snaps. People don’t tend to head to Twitter or Facebook thinking, ‘I’m going to make a purchase today, let’s see what’s being sold on Twitter and Facebook’.

This is why sales streams don’t “work”; because businesses are using social media the same way they would use a billboard or a banner ad. These methods of advertising tend to have captive audiences – commuters stuck in traffic or sat on trains, blog audiences & website visitors. Social media is all about choosing whose updates you see. When someone agrees to Like or Follow a company which then pushes the hard sell, the Unfollow button is right there, waiting to be pushed.

The key to a business having a presence on social media is to first understand why people are there in the first place – as connectors. People like to share what’s going on in their lives, and they do this on social media. They might @ mention the brand of a great dress they bought, or a new brand of ice-cream they tried, or even where they got their concert flyers printed. Their followers click through the mention, see the brand’s feed, and maybe go to their website. Social media is really about giving current customers the capability to be brand ambassadors. Companies can leverage the networks of their client base in order to gain wider brand exposure, and potential new customers – even without hundreds upon thousands of actual followers. And this is how social media “works” to create sales.

Do you use social media to promote your business? How do most people interact with you on these platforms? Are you thinking of using social media marketing? Get in touch with our Seattle web marketing experts to arrange a consultation today.

 

Create a Long-Lasting Social Media Strategy on Facebook

RoryMartin.com team is here to help businesses succeed in the world of social media, social networking, and web marketing; we’ve got a few questions you should ask yourself to help your business create a long-lasting social media strategy using Facebook.

Is Facebook really where your business needs to be?

This is a question that many businesses never asked themselves, in their hurry to jump on the social media bandwagon with everyone else. There are many, many businesses on Facebook with abandoned profiles, who decided that they should be where everyone else, but then didn’t immediately receive the influx of positive feedback which they were hoping for.  Is Facebook really the right platform for your business? Or is it that your business isn’t making the best use of Facebook?

Is my target demographic on Facebook?

Sure, Facebook has over 900 million active users on a monthly basis, so statically speaking, there must be some people using Facebook who are interested in what you’re saying – but how many of these users are your targets compared to how much time you spend creating the perfect Page? Once you’ve ascertained whether your target market use Facebook, and how much, then you need to ask…

When does my potential audience use Facebook?

Thanks to EdgeRank, it’s likely that only 17% of people who have Liked your Page are actually seeing your updates in their timeline. This percentage drops after every update which doesn’t receive Likes or Shares. If even less people see them to begin with, there are going to be even less interactions. You could be crafting the perfect update but if you post at 9am when your audience is mostly active after 7pm, then that’s an incredible amount of traffic which you’re immediately missing out on. In order to create that perfect update though, you need to ask…

Why does my target market use Facebook?

Do women over the age of 50 use Facebook to follow businesses? Are they active on company Pages? Or are they just staying in touch with their grandchildren and cooing over family photos? You need to find out why and how your potential audience uses Facebook – and harness that knowledge to work for you. Do they prefer to share interesting links to content, or Like images of animals skateboarding? Would they rather help you come up with a punchline to a joke, or enter a competition to win vouchers for a family day out? Once you know how they are using Facebook, you can create targeted content, dedicated to engaging your prospective market.

Finally, you need to ask…

What do I want my audience to do on Facebook?

It’s easy to forget that a Like doesn’t equal an opt-in. People who Like a page are not a captive audience, on the edge of their seats waiting for the next update from your company. Using the data from the answers to the above questions, you can create targeted updates and start tracking that data. This can show you the progress towards your goals – what you actually want to achieve with all this Facebook activity – and help you work towards measurable ROI in terms of customer satisfaction, customer acquisition and brand integrity.

When you have answered all of these questions, then you can start to build a long-lasting strategy on Facebook. Not sure where to start? Email RoryMartin.com today for a social media consultation, or to speak with one of our web experts.

How to Opt Out of Facebook’s Email Program

Logging into our Facebook this morning, we realized our email address had been changed to the new Facebook default address – an email@facebook.com account.  We realize that many FB users probably don’t utilize Facebook’s messaging system.  This is especially true, since as one Forbes writer put it: “social network’s screwy messaging system … auto-sorts your email for you, putting emails from ‘strangers’ in a shadow inbox that’s easy to miss.”

Whether you opted for an @facebook.com email address or not, you now have an email address with Facebook. Facebook has stated that they’ve done this to make their branding (including email addresses) consistent sitewide.  Don’t fret, though – it’s easy to opt out.  They’ve also added a setting that lets people decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines.

How to Opt Out of Facebook’s email addresses.

Go to your Timeline and click “about”, under your contact info. Scroll down to “Contact Info” and hit edit. For the email addresses you want visible, switch the crossed out circle symbols to a full circle. For the email addreses you DON’T want shown, including the @facebook.com address, switch the setting from a full circle (“Shown on Timeline”) to the crossed out circle (“Hidden from Timeline”).  Click save, and you’re ready to go!

As Gizmodo notes, “This is also a good opportunity to check your privacy settings and make sure your various inboxes are visible only to friendlies.”

What do you think about this change?  Was it necessary?  Do you wish Facebook had left your email alone?  Tell us below, in the comments.

Making the Best Use of Edge Rank

A while back we wrote  an article on making an impact on Facebook through your business Facebook page.  We wrote:

While Facebook updates may seem like a way to alert fans to events and news – showing up like messages in users’ in-boxes – a very small percentage of updates are actually visible to fans, because of an algorithm called EdgeRank.

EdgeRank gives every post a quality score – measuring the number of comments, likes, and shares per post against the number of fans a page has. Businesses who want to be seen need to build up their EdgeRank, by making their posts interaction friendly – which means businesses need to spend more time building community with their fans.

If you can succeed at building your EdgeRank, your business has a higher chance of increasing your brand recognition and therefore, your revenue.     If you’re like most businesses, this means that EdgeRank should probably play a larger role in your marketing efforts.

As a Seattle Social Media Marketing company, Rorymartin.com focuses on helping our customers build their EdgeRank.  Our clients are better equipped to educate their target audience and build brand awareness.  Our clients are able to win and retain customers with engaging and impactful websites and web marketing.

So how is EdgeRank calculated, and what do you need to do to improve yours?

Every post (status updates, polls, photos, etc) is an “object” and objects all have edges – therefore each of your posts has “edge”.  Every single EdgeRank score depends on individual Facebook users’ post consumption.  The EdgeRank Algorithm was designed to show individual users more of what they “like” to see in their news feed.  The higher the EdgeRank of your particular post, the more likely it will appear across your users’ feeds.

The algorithm looks like this:

edgerank algorithm

So what does this algorithm mean?

Social Media Affinity is the relationship between your business and your target audience, based on frequency of contact, logins, likes, post responses, shares etc.  If a user has interacted with your business Facebook page in the past, the user has an affinity for your brand.  The only way you can build affinity is to create engaging post content that will entice your target audience to come to your page to interact.

Weight is based on how many clicks a post receives against each major Facebook metric (clicks per like, clicks per comment, clicks per impression).  For example, just getting a bunch of users to click “like” won’t cut it – unless you have millions of them each day.  What you really need are comments, since comments have 4 times the weight of “likes”.  How do you create comments?  Comment generation is done in much the same way as building affinity – create engaging content.

Time Decay is KEY.  Think back to your Facebook timeline.  How many times does that page change in an hour?  In a minute?  In 10 seconds? EdgeRank changes the time-decay factor based on how frequently users log into Facebook – so if your users are used to checking Facebook several times a day, your post may disappear more quickly based on this time decay-factor.  EdgeRank Checker explains,

“With the new hybrid news feed comes more objects in the feed, as Top Stories happen at a faster rate than previously. Facebook most likely increased the speed at which objects time decay. It seems that this has created a more “honed in” EdgeRank effect. Meaning, EdgeRank is creating Top Stories for users who are more likely to engage and dropping less engaging objects into Recent Stories.”

How do you overcome time-decay?  Post when your target audience is ready to engage. This means doing a little research on your target audience.  Know when they’re online and what they’re talking about.

Other tips:  Treat each “like” as a potential brand ambassador and make it worth their while to be on your page.  Offer exclusive fans-only content.  Use calls to action – for example “Like this status if you agree!”

Well this all sounds pretty difficult, doesn’t it? That’s where Rorymartin.com comes in.  We’re focused helping our customers create and execute their social media campaigns.  We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimization and search engine marketing and social media marketing.  From entrepreneurs to established businesses, we do the work so you don’t have to – making social media simple.

Why Should I Customize my Facebook Business Page?

With the popularity of Facebook fan pages and the releases of new timelines, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to implement a customized Facebook page for your business. Since the new Facebook Timeline feature shows your posts to your fans and your fans friends, in a ticker at the top right-hand side of the page. Your posts now reach a much wider audience – and you need to stand out from the crowd.

Offering interesting updates with a well-designed Facebook Page is often the deciding factor in whether or not your fans will choose to interact or share your page with their friends. Building interaction with your fans is an important factor – you need to have relevant information that isn’t always self-promotional.  However, we like to stress the importance of having a well designed Facebook page, that offers incentives for prospective fans to click “like”.

business customize facebook

Do you "like" the RoryMartin.com reveal tab?

Consider this: The first thing users see is your business’s wall – and while that may have relevant information, it may lack the branding your company needs to make an impact.  We’re finding that businesses are increasingly aware of the visual impact their Facebook page has, and trends point to the increased use of “splash pages” or reveal tabs for facebook pages.  It’s the equivalent of having an active ad built directly into your page that’s clickable.  You can set these Facebook reveal tabs to be clickabe so that users can click to like, which would reveal discounts, for example.

When it comes to the internet, looks are everything.  The design is as important as the implementation.  Having a well-designed landing tab will help you stand out from the crowd.  Keep it simple, and neat.  Don’t go overboard with apps.  Be consistent with your branding, and display different pages for fans and non-fans.  You can even engage your current fans to take another action via links or reveal tabs.  RoryMartin.com builds these welcome tabs and customizes facebook pages for a variety of clients.

And while you’re customizing your Facebook fanpage, it’s a good idea to consider implementing a custom URL.  If you have 25 or more fans, implementing a custom URL on your facebook page will increase your search engine rankings and will be easier to promote.  Consider your custom URL another step towards branding your business.

Here are a few simple ideas for implementing customizations on your Facebook Page

  • Display the services or products you offer
    • Be sure to include a specific call to action, along with a link so your fans can actively participate
  • Host a contest
  • Make sure to post about your blog, and share your blog posts with fans
  • Let people know who you are and what you’re about
    • If you do any charity work or special events, make sure to share those
  • Give fans a reason to like your page by using reveal tabs, or by letting users know what to look forward to
    • For your fans, let them know how they can contribute
  • Share your twitter posts

Now, more than ever, it’s increasingly important to make sure your social network business profiles are integrated into your marketing and branding.  If you’re not sure how to implement social media into your marketing strategy, come see us at www.rorymartin.com.

Forbes: 10 Social Media Mistakes

We found an article on Forbes this morning listing 10 social media mistakes businesses commonly make.  They range from not addressing negative feedback, to skimping on social media time, to not measuring your return on investment.  Forbes tells you what to do, and at RoryMartin.com, we tell you how to do it:

Mistake No. 1: Not Having a Plan

Sit down with your marketing guru and map out where you want to be with your social media campaign and what you want it to do for you.  Be realistic about what you can achieve in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years.  Figure out how you’re going to do it and who’s going to administrate your accounts.  Map out your monthly social media calendar and estimate how much time you need to spend on each piece of the puzzle.  Great planning produces great results.

At RoryMartin, we create customized social media calendars for each of our clients, making sure we match our marketing recommendations with your marketing plan.

Mistake No. 2: Too Much Too Soon

You don’t have to do everything all at once.   Your plan (above) should work in waves.  That way, you have ample time to put into each step of your plan and nothing is missed.  If you follow your social media calendar you should avoid that overwhelmed feeling of trying to do it all.  Keep it simple, and only build when you’re ready to take on a new challenge.

If you don’t have the time to keep up with your social media accounts, consider hiring a company like RoryMartin.com, a search engine optimization, web design and web development, social networking, and social media marketing firm.

Mistake No. 3: Not Measuring Your Success and Return on Investment

You need to know if what you’re doing is producing results, right?  Get Google Analytics and become familiar with that tool.  Check out Google Webmaster tools (and yes, the two are very different).  Create Google alerts, email alerts and Twitter alerts to find out when, where and how your company is being talked about.  Analyze which avenues work the best and build on them, which will help you cut out the unnecessary steps in your social media plan.

RoryMartin.com specializes in helping businesses create social media strategies with the analytics and reports that help you see the effects of a good social media strategy.

Mistake No. 4: Underutilizing Social Platforms for Branding

Make sure you fill out every available field you can on those social media accounts.  It’s like talking about your company or touting your elevator pitch.  The more complete your profiles are, the more accessible your business becomes and the more transparency and brand value those sites have.  Won an award?  Manta asks for those kind of stats, and that can be the reference your brand needs to pick up that high profile account.  Got a blog that offers industry insights?  Put that into your LinkedIn profile, to make sure other professionals in your industry know about your blog and have the chance to stay up to date.  Make sure your Twitter account is linked to that blog, and to your LinkedIn, and to your Facebook.  Leave no stone unturned.

Mistake No. 5: Promoting Without Listening or Engaging

We’ve talked about social media engagement, here on the RoryMartin blog.  Social media is a communicative tool.  As with any form of communication the best thing you can do is listen. Listen to your audience, your competitors, and people you want to work with. Listen, or look for conversations that you want to be a part of. Listen to, and watch social media influencers and keep track of ways that you can contribute to become an authority.

Be a part of the conversation – the HUMAN conversation. Creating relationships in the social media world is important to creating trust between your brand and the world. Develop a deeply human relationship with your audience, and your audience will reward that relationship.

Figure out why your customers would want to befriend you in their social media networks.  They want to know “what’s in it for me?”  And you need to be able to answer that question.   At RoryMartin.com, we can help you answer these questions and show you how to engage your social media customers.

Mistake No. 6: Not Addressing Negative Comments or Feedback

Instead of responding with ire, or just ignoring this conversation completely, ask those negative commenters what you can do to “make better”.  Customer service is all about finding better ways to communicate and better serve your customers.  Look at those avenues of social media as creative ways to give better customer service.  Start a dialogue with your unhappy customers, and they’ll be a lot less unhappy.

Mistake No. 7: Not Claiming Existing Profiles

Your business is most likely listed in several places you didn’t know about.  And the info on those sites may be old, outdated, incorrect or incomplete.  The strategy here is to search for your company, across the web, to find out where you are listed and what needs to be updated.  After you’ve made a list, go through and systematically update your profiles to reflect your website, your address, your contact info and interlink your profiles – adding things like your Twitter account and Facebook page.

Mistake No. 8: Skimping on Time

Let’s face it:  Social media is a time investment.  It can take months for your social media efforts to pay off, and patience is key.  That’s why tip  #2 is so important.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and know that you’re going to have to block out chunks of time to monitor and engage in your social media efforts.  If you don’t have the time, hire a professional who knows the ins and outs of social media engagement, or look for a Social Media Marketing company like RoryMartin.com who can help you build and implement your social media strategy – so that you have more time to run your business.

Mistake No. 9: Lacking Passion

If there’s one thing we have here at RoryMartin.com, it’s passion for social media.  Without the passion, your social media efforts may fall flat – you know your brand and as a business owner, you more than likely love what you’re doing.  Try to channel that into your social media efforts, since social media is an extension of the way you promote what you love.  If you just can’t get jazzed about interacting on the social web, consider hiring social media professionals who have the passion and knowledge to be the voice of your brand.

Mistake No. 10: Not Knowing When Social Media Isn’t Right for Your Business

81% of entrepreneurs still don’t take advantage of social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and 40% small and medium-businesses don’t even have a Web site.  That said, internet users spend approximately 22% of their Internet time in social media, making social media a priority for any company that wants to be visible.  Think about your target market and your audience.  Who are they and where do they spend their time.  Maybe social media isn’t right for your business, but how will you know unless you try it?

At RoryMartin.com, we’re focused on finding the right social networking and social marketing options that are right for you.  We do the work so you don’t have to, bringing social tools to every business, and making social media simple.

Make an Impact on Facebook

One of our focuses at Rorymartin.com is helping customers create and execute their social media campaigns. An effective social media campaign should be married with your marketing campaign, and should use a wide variety of social media tools – including Facebook. Facebook is one of the most useful social media marketing tools out today; yet many businesses don’t quite know how to implement Facebook into their social media strategy. One key point to Facebook as a social media tool for business is building interactions.

Initially, Facebook didn’t offer pages, and so businesses created profiles as a way to reach out to users, especially since messaging users has continued to remain a feature reserved for profiles. Yet, one of the most common mistakes businesses make on Facebook is creating a profile instead of a Facebook fan page. What these businesses may not know, is that profiles have not been as visible and don’t necessarily get the visits that pages do. While Facebook updates may seem like a way to alert fans to events and news – showing up like messages in users’ inboxes – a very small percentage of updates are actually visible to fans, because of an algorithm called EdgeRank.

EdgeRank gives every post a quality score – measuring the number of comments, likes, and shares per post against the number of fans a page has. Businesses who want to be seen need to build up their EdgeRank, by making their posts interaction friendly – which means businesses need to spend more time building community with their fans. Fans don’t interact with self-promotion nearly as much as they interact with conversation. Your page needs to have a conversational, community feel – a give and take that makes your brand appealing to your fans and their friends. To really optimize your Facebook experience, mix up the types of posts to include blogs, videos and engaging questions.

Building the interactions your Facebook page is just one part of a good social media strategy. Seattle Social Media Marketing company, Rorymartin.com focuses on helping our customers build their EdgeRank. This helps our clients educate their markets and build brand awareness while winning and retaining customers with engaging and impactful websites and web marketing. We offer a comprehensive set of services from website design and web development to search engine optimization and search engine marketing and social media marketing.

Five Leading Contributors to Facebook Fan Value

As growing audiences migrate to social networks like Facebook, a brand’s ability to connect and influence these customers must shift from traditional marketing strategies.

Facebook offers a great platform for developing stronger relationships with your customers. Facebook fans represent a significant opportunity to drive revenue enhancement, brand, and loyalty without incurring the considerable cost-per-person of conventional marketing.

The five leading contributors to Facebook fan value are:

  • Product Spending
  • Brand Loyalty
  • Propensity to Recommend
  • Brand Affinity
  • Earned Media Value

How you interact with your Facebook fans is more important than the number of non-engaged fans your page has. So the question is how to manage this platform to build loyalty and generate sales? Fans are an extremely valuable segment of the Internet audience and should be addressed with specific strategies to nurture their ongoing participation and influence. RoryMartin.com offers comprehensive Social Media Marketing services to help your company tap into the power of social media.

Facebook Strategies Allow for a Discernible ROI That is Not Allowed by Most Other Approaches.

  • More than 10 million users become fans of pages each day.
  • On average fans spend an additional $71 on products for which they are fans compared to those who are not fans.
  • Fans are 28% more likely than non-fans to continue using the brand.
  • Fans are also 41% more likely to recommend a fanned product to their friends.

RoryMartin.com helps clients educate their markets and build brand awareness while winning and retaining customers with engaging and impactful websites and web marketing. As a Seattle Web Design company that specializes in Seattle Search Engine Optimization and Seattle Social Media Marketing, RoryMartin.com can help you build a Social Media Strategy that reflects your unique brand and meets your business goals.

A Look at the Current State of B2B Social Media Marketing

Original article

B2B marketers are increasingly using social media to connect with their customers, but oftentimes they are not using those tools effectively. One report found that only 32% of B2B companies engage with their customers on a daily basis via social media. Another discovered that 46% of B2B marketers thought social media was irrelevant. And another found that 60% of B2B firms have no staff dedicated to social media and just 10% of B2B firms use outside agencies or consultants. While the vast majority (86%) of B2B companies use social media for marketing, it’s clear there’s considerable room for improvement.

Increased online investment is one sign of change. Forrester Research is betting that interactive spending will double from 2009 to 2014 to total $54 million. While it’s not clear how much of that money will go into social media, the report was bullish on the new tools provided they’re used correctly. “Social marketing is great for building more intimate relationships with your clients and prospects,” wrote Forrester’s Michael Greene. “But many marketers are diving into social marketing without a coherent social marketing strategy.”

social media marketing

As a Seattle Web Design company that specializes in Seattle Search Engine Optimization and Seattle Social Media Marketing, RoryMartin.com can help you build a Social Media Strategy that reflects your unique brand and meets your business goals.

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