This Week On Facebook: Updates You Need To Know

1. Your Facebook Newsfeed Will Now Feature Trending Stories



With this new change, “when a friend or page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in the newsfeed, so you can see it sooner.” 

So, what does this mean for your business’ facebook page? It means that you can take advantage by monitoring which topics are trending, then posting about them on Facebook. Your fans will be more likely to see your update about this trending topic over posts that are not related to trending news. An important note: Use hashtags! Hashtagging words related to the trending topic will help Facebook recognize the content. More about hashtags in this blog.

2. Facebook Pulls Personal Promoted Post Feature



If you’re a business using Facebook, you should be paying to promote your company page posts. Since October 2012, individual users could also promote their posts. This feature was controversial because reports emerged that Facebook was deliberately decreasing the reach of the regular, non-promoted posts in order to force people into payment for the promoted post.

Needless to say, this update is beneficial to companies using Facebook and you won’t have to compete with personal promoted posts to get your content seen.

3. Facebook Tailors Delivery of Ads Based on Feedback



Facebook allows you to hide content that you no longer want to see. To take it a step further, they ask you why you don’t want to see the content. They use this information to decide whether they will show the ad to other users. Facebook will “pay more attention to feedback from people who don’t often hide ads so that when they do give us feedback, we take it as a stronger signal.”

Just another reason to make sure you’re promoting content that is useful and relevant to your audience. If you’re simply talking about how awesome your business is, it’s probable that your post won’t get a wide reach. Instead, talk about how your audiences’ lives will benefit by using your product or service. 





This Week On Facebook: Updates You Need To Know

1. Your Facebook Newsfeed Will Now Feature Trending Stories



With this new change, “when a friend or page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in the newsfeed, so you can see it sooner.” 

So, what does this mean for your business’ facebook page? It means that you can take advantage by monitoring which topics are trending, then posting about them on Facebook. Your fans will be more likely to see your update about this trending topic over posts that are not related to trending news. An important note: Use hashtags! Hashtagging words related to the trending topic will help Facebook recognize the content. More about hashtags in this blog.

2. Facebook Pulls Personal Promoted Post Feature



If you’re a business using Facebook, you should be paying to promote your company page posts. Since October 2012, individual users could also promote their posts. This feature was controversial because reports emerged that Facebook was deliberately decreasing the reach of the regular, non-promoted posts in order to force people into payment for the promoted post.

Needless to say, this update is beneficial to companies using Facebook and you won’t have to compete with personal promoted posts to get your content seen.

3. Facebook Tailors Delivery of Ads Based on Feedback



Facebook allows you to hide content that you no longer want to see. To take it a step further, they ask you why you don’t want to see the content. They use this information to decide whether they will show the ad to other users. Facebook will “pay more attention to feedback from people who don’t often hide ads so that when they do give us feedback, we take it as a stronger signal.”

Just another reason to make sure you’re promoting content that is useful and relevant to your audience. If you’re simply talking about how awesome your business is, it’s probable that your post won’t get a wide reach. Instead, talk about how your audiences’ lives will benefit by using your product or service. 





7 Things Business Owners Need To Know About Twitter

One social media site is not like the other. They should all be treated and managed differently. This can be a time-consuming process, which is why it’s important to share experiences - good and bad - in order to alleviate some of the confusion or frustration that can occur.

Twitter is a very unique social media site. There is so much opportunity just waiting to be tapped into. The trick is using it in the best way to seek out and attract that opportunity.


1.  When posting to Twitter, it’s important to use hash tags the right way. 

We’ve all heard this one before. What we want to get across is HOW to use them. The best practice is to use 1 to 4 hash tags at a maximum. Too many hash tags can be extremely distracting to the reader.



Also, Twitter users prefer reading Tweets with the hash tags outside of the post text, so try to follow this guideline whenever possible. 

 

2. Mention and thank your customers and fans.



In the book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ Dale Carnegie said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” This principle holds true today. On Twitter, people love to be mentioned and re-tweeted. You can make use of the well-known “Follow Friday” and mention some standout fans on that day. But we recommend taking it a step further and personalizing a few tweets to fans each week. This small gesture will go a long way. 

 

 

 

3.  Attach photos and videos whenever possible.

People tend to use images and videos in abundance on social sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. But they often forget that Twitter users love imagery as well. A Tweet that contains a high-quality graphic or short video will be viewed more than one without.

Don’t believe us? Test it out for yourself. Which of the following do you find more appealing? 

We bet you picked the latter. 





4. Place hash tags in your company description on your Twitter profile.



Most people completely miss this one. It’s a simple, clear way to get your Twitter page found when people search the keyword you’ve hash tagged within your bio.

See the screenshot of our founder’s profile for an example. When Twitter users search the term #socialmedia or #marketing, Nicole’s profile will be considered as a possible result. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Tweet between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST, Monday through Thursday.

In general, these are the days and times that Twitter users are most active on the social media site. It’s as simple as that!

 

6.  Create a follow list. 

The tweets in your home feed are probably on all different topics, which can be overwhelming. It’s helpful to group your followers into lists by interest. This allows you to have a streamlined way of accessing only the type of information you want to see. To do this, create a follow list by clicking on your Profile, clicking “More,” then clicking “Lists.” Then, “Create a New List.”

Type in a name for your list and a brief description. Set the privacy settings, save the list, and you’re done.

Add Twitter users to your list by clicking on the gear icon next to the Follow button on any user’s profile. You don’t have to be following the user to add them to a list.

Choose “Add or remove from lists…” and check the list you want. Done! You now have a curated group of Twitter users. Viewing each List will allow you to see a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.



 

7.  Start using #Discover. 

You’ll notice on the top bar of your Twitter page is a tab called “Discover.” Clicking this gives you an algorithmically-curated list of tweets that you should see, but that don’t appear in your regular Twitter feed. This is a great way to find new, trending content to share with your audience. Based on follows, mentions, interactions, favorites and retweets, #Discover gives you a list of the best of Twitter at that very moment. 



RELATED: Are you interested in trying advertising on Twitter? Find out how in this blog



Technology Knows No Age


Today we were reviewing the Yelp activity of one of our clients when we found this:



This man, who is over 100 years old, was not only using Yelp to find a restaurant, but he was using it via the Yelp app for his iPhone. This man is on the upper end of the technology-savvy spectrum, and he’s over 100 years old. This got us thinking about the older generations in today’s digital age. They are much too often dismissed in discussions of online branding. We hear comments like this one all the time.


"My business’ target market is over 60. We don’t need to be on social media!"

Excuses like this are naive in today’s digital world. Did you know that 1 in 5 Twitter users is over 50? Or that 2/3 of people ages 50 to 64 are now on Facebook? A 2013 study shows that people over 50 years of age are the fastest growing user group on Facebook. Reducing social isolation and loneliness and a strong willingness to be involved in their family’s lives are among the most important motivators for seniors to get involved in social media. Also participation in communities, creating new social circles and establishing new relationships online lead older people to use social media.

Our point is, don’t ignore the older generations in your online marketing efforts. They have a voice and immense buying power. We’ll leave you with this visual which looks at internet usage and trends among the older generation.


Technology Knows No Age


Today we were reviewing the Yelp activity of one of our clients when we found this:



This man, who is over 100 years old, was not only using Yelp to find a restaurant, but he was using it via the Yelp app for his iPhone. This man is on the upper end of the technology-savvy spectrum, and he’s over 100 years old. This got us thinking about the older generations in today’s digital age. They are much too often dismissed in discussions of online branding. We hear comments like this one all the time.


"My business’ target market is over 60. We don’t need to be on social media!"

Excuses like this are naive in today’s digital world. Did you know that 1 in 5 Twitter users is over 50? Or that 2/3 of people ages 50 to 64 are now on Facebook? A 2013 study shows that people over 50 years of age are the fastest growing user group on Facebook. Reducing social isolation and loneliness and a strong willingness to be involved in their family’s lives are among the most important motivators for seniors to get involved in social media. Also participation in communities, creating new social circles and establishing new relationships online lead older people to use social media.

Our point is, don’t ignore the older generations in your online marketing efforts. They have a voice and immense buying power. We’ll leave you with this visual which looks at internet usage and trends among the older generation.


How To Avoid Facebook’s Latest Newsfeed Restrictions


On Monday, August 25th, Facebook released this blog post revealing a new change to how they decide what appears in your newsfeed. This is another of many changes which have frustrated business owners who have spent years building their audiences on Facebook. Online ordering giant Eat24 even wrote this breakup letter to Facebook earlier this year. As you may know, Facebook only serves you content in your News Feed that they think you’ll find interesting based on a number of factors. There’s simply too much content to show a user everything that gets posted.

So, what’s this new change? Well, there are two:

1.  They’re reducing click-baiting headlines. We’ve all clicked on a headline only to find that the content we’ve arrived at is not what we thought. These headlines have been altered to grab your attention but are misleading. Facebook is now measuring the time people spend after the click to decide if the content is genuine. 


"If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted."  — Facebook employees Khalid El-Arini and Joyce Tang

2.  They’re helping us see the links posted on Facebook in the best format. In their studies, Facebook has found that 2 to 1 people prefer clicking on posts which have context and a related photo. An example is this screenshot below. This preferred post includes a personalized post, photo, title and excerpt from the article. Facebook favors posts like this and will serve them up over posts that do not have these features.



Now, what does Facebook dislike, and how can you avoid it? Here is an example below. You’ll see that this article does not have the title and article excerpt like the post above. In addition, this post includes the link within the personalized post, which is now a no-no.



So, how can you improve your posts to avoid Facebook’s newest restrictions? Here are a couple of simple solutions.

First, if you’re sharing an article on Facebook, be sure that it’s quality content. And think about whether your audience will spend time reading it. Don’t mislead people by editing the headline just to grab their attention. The best way to judge whether your content is of quality is to really understand your target market and their interests. To help do this, we recommend reading this blog post.

Second, here’s a simple step you can take to avoid showing the link within your personalized post. All you have to do is paste the link into your content box, let the related photo, title and excerpt appear. Then…wait for it…DELETE THE LINK. The supporting content will stay and that will now be the content that viewers will click to visit the full article. 

Questions? Let us know at nicole@thesocialhaven.com. 




5 Ways To Boost Your Brand’s Presence Online

"Why does our company appear on page two of Google search results?"  — Bake Shop Owner

"Our customers told us they couldn’t find us on Google Maps!"  — Restaurant Owner


We hear complaints like these from business owners all the time. There are lots of ways to improve your visibility online without paying. We’re talking about improving your SEO (search engine optimization) which is the process of getting website visits through search engine listings like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. The goal is the optimize your brand online so you work your way up the list. Aim for the top.

Here are 5 simple steps you can take to help improve your online visibility:

 



1.  Don’t just have a Google+ page, USE IT. 

Google+ is owned by Google (obviously). So we can all assume that Google recognizes the content posted on Google+ when producing search results. You’ll notice this as you’re perusing the web. Often results from Google+ fall even higher than your website or other social media pages. Don’t just post content on Facebook and Twitter, be sure to regularly post content on your company Google+ page and use your hashtags (see #2 below)! 


2.  Use Hashtags, but don’t overdo it. 

Hashtags are an important way to classify and categorize the content you post on social networks. They make it easier for people to search for your posts by the designated hashtag terms. To use them, you simply add a pound sign before the term. For example, typing #marketing into the Facebook search bar will bring you results that have used the #marketing hashtag.



Still not understanding? Think about what you last Googled. Maybe it was, “best Los Angeles date spot.” Or maybe it was “best ice cream spot because my ex-boyfriend sucks.” Whatever the search query, you definitely received a list of results. How does Google know which results to give you? There are many technical ways they decide, but one way that is useful to you is the hashtag. I’ll bet that within your results was a piece of content that contained a hashtag similar to what you searched. For example, maybe someone tweeted that same day, “My wife and I loved our dinner at Gusto #LAdatespot.” Since this person used a hashtag that was similar to what you typed into Google, it’s likely this tweet will be one of your results.

*TIP: Don’t use too many hashtags at once. This will distract people from what you’re actually trying to say. 2 to 4 is an ideal amount. 



3.  Figure out your keywords, then use them. 

Think about this question…what are your customers typing in Google to find you? Maybe it’s, “Best Italian Restaurant in DC” or “How to learn German?” Make a list of these terms and use them online as much as possible. Work them into your website copy. Use them in your social media posts. Add a couple into your business description on LinkedIn. The more the better! Using these terms will help convince Google that your business is an important result when someone types in that specific term or phrase.  

*HINT: If you use Google Analytics, look under ‘Acquisition.’ Here you will find a section labeled ‘Keywords.’ Find out which Organic Keywords people have been using to find your website. Be sure to add these to your keyword list. 


4.  Start a company blog.



Running a blog seems like a lot of work, but with today’s easy-to-use blogging platforms (like Tumblr, Wordpress and Square space) it’s easier than ever. Remember above when I talked about using your company’s keywords within your online content? A blog is one of the easiest places to do this. The more you use your keywords, the more optimized your content will be and the higher you will come up in search results. We’ve also found that blogging is a great way to display your brand personality and values, which often attracts customers. So get to it! Be confident in your expertise and share with the world.

Here’s a great article to walk you through starting your own blog


5.  Make your social pages easy to find. 



Whether it’s in the footer or header of your website, be sure to clearly display your social media links. These should also be included in your blog, all the emails you send, and don’t forget to link between pages. For example, let your Facebook followers know your on Twitter and vice versa. 

Advertising On Twitter: The Breakdown


Business owners are constantly telling us about their Facebook advertisements. That made us wonder…what about Twitter? We dug in and reached a couple of quick conclusions as to why Facebook advertising has seemed to trump Twitter in the past.

  • Facebook wins in regard to network reach. Facebook has 1.15 billion active users while Twitter has just 232 million. 
  • When it comes to ad performance, Facebook has been much more forthright. The average cost-per-click on Facebook is $0.50. Twitter had not released this data.

Despite this data, the tables are turning. Twitter advertising is evolving quickly and according to this study, Twitter ads now generate a significantly higher click-through rate than Facebook. Just last year, businesses spent $405 million on Twitter advertisements and this year’s ad revenue is expected to reach $1 billion.

So how can you, as a small business owner, get involved in Twitter advertising? The quick answer: Start small and reference our guide below. We recommend starting off by promoting a Tweet that has gained organic engagement first. In other words, which of your Tweets has received the most likes, comments and re-tweets? That’s the one you should most likely pay to promote. 


A Starter Guide to Twitter Advertising

1.    Start by signing into your Twitter account and clicking ‘Advertise' which you'll find in the footer usually on the right side of your screen. 



2.    Next, click ‘Create new campaign' in the upper right corner. Here's what it looks like below. You will need to immediately choose your advertising goal. Is your goal to gain new followers? Get website clicks? Ramp up engagement? Choose whichever you feel is most needed. Remember, you can always test small and adjust the settings as you learn more about your audience's preferences.



3.    Now you will tell Twitter what you want to name your Ad and choose your campaign time frame. Be specific with your Ad name so that you can differentiate this ad from others you may run in the future. 




4.    Now for the Ad Creative. You will create a Tweet and a Website Card. I know…what the heck is a Website Card? Twitter says, “Website cards are extra content that enhance your tweet. A website card is made up of an image, button, and link.” Cards can improve your campaign performance because they allow more opportunities to link out to your website.



5.   Now this is where things get really cool. You can choose your primary method of targeting; Keywords, Television, Interests and Followers, and Tailored Audiences. This step is where it’s very important that you know your target audience well. The better you know your target audience, the more specifically you can direct your ad to reach them. You can also set specific limits by age, location, language and more. As an example, one of our clients is a restaurant that only serves Orange County, California. So it’s important that we are only targeting people living in Orange County and not wasting ad dollars on people who will not realistically visit. 



6.   Last but not least, set your total budget and daily maximum spend. Remember that you can start small, even as low as $5 per day. Work your way up once you get the hang of things. 



7.   Now it’s time to Launch! But this is not where the process ends. Running an ad without reviewing the results is like trying to run a marathon with no training. It just won’t work. Check back to the Advertising section of Twitter regularly to check in on your ad. Make adjustments based on your results. This is how you will improve over time and continue to reach new customers on Twitter. 



Marketing Jargon…Simplified

There are tons of terms and acronyms that get thrown around in the marketing world. Since many of these are important to running your business, let’s take a moment to break them down into less complex terms.



THE GIF

GIF means “graphic interchange format.” You don’t need to know that…everyone just says GIF. You are probably aware that video files are huge. They’re hard to move around without losing visual quality. GIF’s, on the other hand, are basically compressed video files. Compressed, meaning smaller so you can do more with them. But the cool thing is that even though they’re small in size, they’re still great quality. 

There’s also a quite funny ongoing disagreement about the pronunciation of GIF. While the inventor of the GIF, Steve White, uses a soft G (like Jiff Peanut Butter), it is more commonly pronounced with a hard G. Dictionaries actually contradict each other on the pronunciation. I prefer the soft G because it makes me think of peanut butter. Peanut butter is awesome, especially with chocolate. I digress.



THE HASHTAG

Think about what you last Googled. Maybe it was, “best Los Angeles date spot.” Or maybe it was “best ice cream spot because my ex-boyfriend sucks.” Whatever the search query, you definitely received a list of results. How does Google know which results to give you? There are many technical ways they decide, but one way that is useful to you is the hashtag. I’ll bet that within your results was a piece of content that contained a hashtag similar to what you searched. For example, maybe someone tweeted that same day, “My wife and I loved our dinner at Gusto #LAdatespot.” Since this person used a hashtag that was similar to what you typed into Google, it’s likely this tweet will be one of your results.

Hashtags are used to classify and categorize content on social networks. It makes it easier for people to search for your posts by the designated hashtag terms.



THE MEME

The term meme is deeper than people think. Most people today use “meme” to simply describe a photo with text overlay. When in fact, “meme” is defined as — an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. The word is actually short for mimeme (try pronouncing that one!) which is Greek for “imitated thing.” Meme was coined by British biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976 and describes carriers for cultural ideas. Think melodies, catch-phrases, fashion or technology.

So what do we need to know today? We need to know that this term is used today to mainly describe “internet memes” which are activities, concepts, catch-phrases or media that spreads from person to person on the internet. Some examples you have seen (and probably tried yourself) are planking photos and Harlem Shake videos. Creating a meme branded to your company can catch a lot of attention and increase online awareness.



SEO

SEO means “search engine optimization.” That doesn’t help, I know. What it means is the process of getting website visits from a search engine listing — without paying. It happens all day, every day. We all use Google (or Bing, or Yahoo!) to get information online. The companies and information that are better optimized fall higher in the search results. Since we all want our companies to fall above our competitors, this is the goal. 

So how do we improve our SEO? It’s like the ultimate question (any Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans out there?). There are many ways to improve your website’s SEO. Some include:

  • Editing your web content to include more search terms
  • Edit your website’s HTML code to increase relevance to specific keywords
  • Sign up with Google Webmaster Tools 
  • Set up Google Authorship
  • Create outstanding content that is easy to share

While some of this can be done in-house, it’s helpful to bring on a marketing or SEO firm to help if you’re truly struggling. This is work for the tech-savvy. 


For more marketing & social media insight, sign up for The Social Haven Community. Your information will never be shared. 









An Offer For Business Owners In Bethesda, Maryland



A Free Social Media Consultation - From Us, To You


Our founder, Nicole Reisberg, has just made a big move from Los Angeles to Bethesda. In order to get acquainted with small businesses in the area, we’re offering free, personalized one-on-one social media consultations to everyone who fills out the form at this link.


Do you live within 20 miles of Bethesda, Maryland?

Do you own a small to medium-sized business?

Do you often feel confused about how to use social media to drive sales? 


If you answered “yes” to all three of the questions above, fill out this form for a free social media consultation with our founder.