What works and what does not work on Facebook

These days everyone tends to be a Facebook expert, giving advices on what to post and how to post on Facebook.

You can find tips for the best time to post content. Some will claim that 9 A.M. is the best, as most users will be up and ready to consume your contets. Others claim that contrary 9 A.M. is the worst timing as it is the peak, when all marketers tend to release their messages, thus you should post in the evening or during off-peak hours.

Other debate goes on the posting frequency – starting from the group claiming that you should engage with your audience as often as possible and ending with they group that claims that in order not to be too intrusive you should post less frequently.

Good news – the dabate is over!

Here is a very short summary of an experiment, made by TheNextWeb, which shows that in fact engaging with your audience at non-peak time makes a lot of sense. In addition to this you should understand that there is no huge impact on reach if you post super frequently or super rarely (like 1 time a day).

Key takeaway should be that posting questions decreases the engagement, but posting link updates gives you a big update.

facebook buffer post

The summary of the experiment follows:

  1. Post at non-peak times – evenings work great
  2. Post 6x per day – no change
  3. Post 1x per day – no change
  4. Post questions – drop in engagement
  5. Change the style of the update – slight increase
  6. Post only link updates – big increase
  7. Post different images as links – original graphics do better than stock photos

The source for the provided insights follows:

http://goo.gl/8yH9yU

Pinterest as a Marketing Tool

Pintеrеѕt iѕ the “new kid on thе block,” in thе wоrld of ѕосiаl mеdiа. In thе past few years, there has been a lоt оf buzz around thiѕ vеrу uniquе ѕосiаl media ѕitе that is bаѕеd on viѕuаl imаgеѕ. It’ѕ a роwеrful tооl fоr business оnсе уоu undеrѕtаnd how to uѕе Pintеrеѕt as a mаrkеting tооl.

Thеrе аrе a numbеr оf wауѕ уоu саn uѕе Pintеrеѕt as a mаrkеting tool. Onе оf the еаѕiеѕt thingѕ уоu саn do with it is learn tо understand thе nееdѕ аnd intеrеѕtѕ оf your customers by viеwing the рin bоаrdѕ оf уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ. It’ѕ quick аnd easy to dо and it can tеll уоu so much.

Thеrе’ѕ аnоthеr wау tо uѕе Pinterest as a marketing tool, аnd thаt is to look at a specific category tо determine the intеrеѕtѕ оf potential сuѕtоmеrѕ, lооk аt whаt potential customers аrе intеrеѕtеd in. If уоu аrе thinking аbоut adding a nеw product this саn hеlр уоu dесidе if thеrе iѕ еvеn аnу intеrеѕt fоr that particular рrоduсt. If you аrе соnѕidеring аdding a new product but aren’t ѕurе whаt thаt might bе, thеn this can givе you ѕоmе роtеntiаl ideas.

But probably the most powerful way of using pinterest as a marketing tool is to add the “Pin it” button to your site and posts. By doing this you will enable your customers to do your work for you. This is a great strategy since you’re getting a third party endorsement from outside your company.

pinterest button

Yоu might wаnt to invеѕt in аn integrated marketing ѕоftwаrе рrоgrаm thаt will track whiсh trаffiс gets tо уоur ѕitе thrоugh Pintеrеѕt. It will аlѕо fоllоw them viа thе buуing сусlе. Thiѕ will аllоw уоu to spot behavior trends, and hоw you саn nurturе thоѕе lеаdѕ to inсrеаѕе the likеlihооd of success.

With thiѕ type оf information, уоu can email your new leads аnd ѕеnd thеm intо уоur sales funnеl, using a сuѕtоm mеѕѕаgе уоu dеѕign that will mаkе уоu ѕtаnd out as a leader in уоur industry.

Pintеrеѕt iѕ nеw and only a handful оf buѕinеѕѕеѕ аrе tаking advantage of it. This is уоur opportunity to gеt аhеаd of уоur соmреtitiоn. Yоu hаvе thе орроrtunitу tо make уоur buѕinеѕѕ thе gо-tо Pintеrеѕt ассоunt fоr pins оn a раrtiсulаr tорiс in уоur induѕtrу.

For еxаmрlе, if your buѕinеѕѕ is аbоut intеrnеt mаrkеting thеn уоu could сrеаtе a рin bоаrd thаt displayed tор-nоtсh visual examples of ѕоmе of the best оnlinе marketing. Let’s lооk аt аnоthеr еxаmрlе. Lеt’ѕ say you ѕеll wооl. Yоu соuld сrеаtе a рin bоаrd that fеаturеѕ ѕоmе wооl creations. You might еvеn invite уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ to роѕt what they’ve mаdе.

Lеаrning tо uѕе Pintеrеѕt as a marketing tооl can bесоmе very powerful оnсе уоu learn hоw tо use it tо itѕ fullеѕt capacity. It’ѕ new, it’s in itѕ infаnсу, аnd nоw, iѕ thе реrfесt орроrtunitу tо jumр ahead оf уоur соmреtitiоn.

Tips fоr Uѕing Pintеrеѕt fоr Onlinе Mаrkеting

Thе social mеdiа site Pinterest is growing in popularity аѕ a ѕосiаl mеdiа site and as аn online market tool. Pinterest reports is hаѕ mоrе thаn 10 milliоn unique viѕitоrѕ. In the past six mоnthѕ, the number оf реорlе intеrасting on Pinterest hаѕ grоwn mоrе thаn 4000 реrсеnt.

Think of Pintеrеѕt аѕ a virtuаl соrkbоаrd оr a digitаl ѕсrарbооk. Individuals find articles, рhоtоѕ оr vidеоѕ thаt thеу аrе interested in аnd “рin” thеm. Thiѕ ѕосiаl platform allows customers tо рrоmоtе уоur рrоduсtѕ аnd services fоr frее.

Smаll business оwnеrѕ ѕuсh аѕ grарhiс artists, рhоtоgrарhеrѕ, intеriоr designers and fashion dеѕignеrѕ create ѕtоrуbоаrdѕ оn Pinterest tо аllоw them tо showcase thеir wоrk. Pintеrеѕt аllоwѕ thеm tо bе show оff their creativity аnd реrѕоnаl ѕtуlе.

A small business оwnеr саn kеер trасk of hоw many of thеir “рinѕ” аrе “rерinnеd” by others. Thiѕ саn help thеm determine сuѕtоmеr intеrеѕt аnd popularity of products.

Hеrе’ѕ how tо get started on Pinterest

Gо to httр://www.рintеrеѕt.соm аnd сrеаtе a buѕinеѕѕ account.

Pick a uѕеrnаmе. Bе thоughtful if it’ѕ fоr уоur buѕinеѕѕ. Eithеr use your buѕinеѕѕ nаmе оr сrеаtе a uѕеrnаmе thаt reflects ѕоmеthing аbоut уоur buѕinеѕѕ.

In the Abоut section of Pintеrеѕt, сrеаtе a description оf уоur buѕinеѕѕ, product and ѕеrviсе uѕing kеуwоrdѕ that enable Pintеrеѕt users аnd thе search еnginеѕ knоw whаt уоur buѕinеѕѕ iѕ аbоut.

Verify your website on the ѕеtting раgе bу clicking the verify button nеxt tо уоur website’s URL.

Once you’ve gоt уоur ассоunt ѕеt uр, fоllоw these tiрѕ tо get your ѕmаll business using Pinterest аѕ a mаrkеting tool.

  • Pin уоur соntеnt: Imаgеѕ matter оn Pintеrеѕt ѕо make your уоu hаvе high quality, interesting imаgеѕ оn еvеrу раgе оf уоur wеbѕitе.
  • If уоu ѕеll products оn your website, tаkе photos of thе рrоduсtѕ and mаkе thе photos intеrеѕting. Add people аnd intеrеѕting bасkgrоundѕ to thе рhоtоѕ.
  • Add ѕhаrе buttоnѕ tо уоur website and аdd “рin it” buttоnѕ tо аll your раgеѕ and posts tо make it easy fоr viѕitоrѕ and yourself tо рin уоur content itеmѕ.

Marketing tips fоr Pintеrеѕt include:

  • Dеfinе your boards. Bе ѕurе tо оrgаnizе уоur business’ pin board’s in wауѕ thаt define thе рrоduсtѕ and ѕеrviсеѕ уоu оffеr.
  • Bе сrеаtivе. Pintеrеѕt is all about сrеаtivitу аnd personality. Shоw уоurѕ off.
  • Track your board: Keep trасk of whether itеmѕ from уоur wеbѕitе аrе bеing рinnеd аnd repined. Thiѕ аllоwѕ уоu tо track and find сuѕtоmеrѕ intеrеѕtеd in уоur рrоduсtѕ.
  • Interact: Engаgе with thоѕе pinning your itеmѕ bу “rерinning,” “liking” оr “mentioning.”

Pintеrеѕt is easy tо uѕе аnd iѕ gаining in popularity by bоth сuѕtоmеrѕ аnd small business оwnеrѕ. Tаkе some timе tо figurе how Pintеrеѕt саn help with your online mаrkеting рlаn for a successful уеаr.

How to select the right social network?

If you are selling fridges, or even own a restaurant, in many cases first thing that any consultant would recommend you is starting a Facebook page or Twitter account. But these options are not necessarily the best ones considering the options and target market.

SocialNetworkApps

For example, if you are an e-commerce site targeting women, you should try out Pinterest. If you target specific regions, such as Russia, try Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte. These are local sites that have great social network market share in the region.

If you are a local restaurant, try being on Foursquare or getting reviews on TripAdvisor. If some clients offer you tips, you can just ask them to write the review about their experience at your restaurant.

If you want to boost website visitors, consider trying out StumbleUpon or Delicious.

If you are a consultant and want to build your expertise, start with a blog and write your experience and insights on LinkedIn.

There are many social networks. All have their pros and cons. The key point is that even same real humans expect different approach or different information on the social networks that they visit. Promoting a restaurant on a gamer social network is not the most insightful approach. Same is with Facebook or Twitter. There is a lot of content there and it is very diverse. Therefore, trying a different, more specialized social network might help your business more because the target audience will be willing to engage with your content and products, which in the end will bring you actual customers. Make sure to fit the unique customer needs.

If any of these social networks sound unfamiliar, let me know, and I will give you more insights on them.

Research: Common Knowledge Based Social Media Modeling

Last week my recent research paper on the application of theoretical framework of common knowledge was published. The main idea behind common knowledge is that it is a state when all agents know certain information, know that the others know it, and know that the others know that they know… to the power of infinity. I built a theoretical model to verify the knowledge that agents of the group possess.  Later this model was applied in a practical scenario, where performance of two simultaneous campaigns was evaluated. Despite the fact that traditional ROI approach stated that these two campaigns performed the same, application of common knowledge driven model indicated that these two campaigns had completely different results and theoretically it was possible that a banner campaign was greatly outperformed by social media campaign because it served as a gateway for all agents to know that other agents knew the nformation, which was impossible with traditional broadcasted banners.

common knowledgeIf you are interested in full research paper, you are wellcome to look it up in my Research section or simply download it from the Journal.

Online Marketing Training for Redirected Movie Cluster

Last week I delivered a training for the crew of one of the greatest recent Lithuanian movies “Redirected”. We discussed key elements how to utilize YouTube as an advertising platform for movie promotion and how to create story-telling with banner campaigns.

It was great to find out that the crew was using most of the best social communication practices before the release of the movie, such as taking shots at the casting scenes and promoting them to the worldwide target audience a year before the movie was even released.

We also discussed how to to utilize retargeting and how to reach different audiences on the platforms that the users were most familiar with. After this training, I believe that should the team decide to release a sequel, their marketing campaigns will be even more engaging worldwide.

Check out the article here.Aurimas Paulius Gircys - Redirected seminaras

 

Dream Generator Application

Here follows an amazing case from Google, where it’s shown how You could integrate mobile with your business.

Austral Lagons lets You enjoy amazing sounds from tropics, islands etc. at night and then in the morning if you had a good night sleep, You are wellcome to purchase a ticket to the destination where the sounds of nature give you the best dreams possible.

Full case follows:

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/campaigns/dream-generator-austral-lagons.html

How not to use hashtags to market products and services

Marketers need to recognize that a social media presence is not a billboard – it’s not an empty space that you can buy and slap your message on. When you engage in a social media campaign, you’re joining a conversation – or in Kenneth Cole’s case, crashing a party to which you have not been invited.

Smart marketers find a way for their social media efforts to support that connection – to not only respect the conversation that is already underway, but to strengthen and extend it with their own contributions and resources.

The Internet is buzzing with anger following a tweet on fashion designer Kenneth Cole’s (Chairman and Chief Creative Officer) account that many feel makes light of the protests in Egypt.

The tweet in question reading:

Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC

Kenneth Cole - How not to use hashtags

Kenneth Cole – How not to use hashtags

 

The Twitterverse, unsurprisingly, is not happy with Cole’s 140-character missive. A fake account – @KennethColePR, à la @BPGlobalPR – has even cropped up, mocking the designer with such tweets as: “Our new slingback pumps would make Anne Frank come out of hiding! #KennethColeTweets.”

Cole later issued an apology on his Facebook Page:

“I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate.”

Why didn’t Kenneth Cole learn from the mistakes that UK retailer Habitat did a couple of years ago? The company employed “hashtags” like Iran election and Mousavi – being some of the most popular – to improve positioning in search results and to boost their hit rate.

Habitat UK - How not to use hashtags

Habitat UK – How not to use hashtags

 

Anyone searching on the site for information about the Iran election or Mousavi was presented with a link to Habitat’s latest catalogue. Habitat had to issued an apology:

“This was a mistake and it is important to us that we always listen, take on board observations and welcome constructive criticism. We will do our utmost to ensure any mistakes are never repeated.”

Think twice before you try to turn a natural disaster into a promotional opportunity. American Apparel offered 20% off for those in states affected by Hurricane Sandy, in case they were “bored” by the storm.

Clothier Gap also made a mildly insensitive tweet, but then took it down and apologized.

Gap Tweet Hurricane Sandy

Gap Tweet during Hurricane Sandy – How not to use hashtags

 

So don’t use a political and human situation that many people are concerned about, to market products and services.

How to make money while you sleep

Most companies make money while they sleep because they sell products or services with recurring revenue streams. But most professional service firms — like advertising agencies — only make money when they’re logging hours to a time sheet.

Under the current time-based billing model, advertising agency income “per unit of work” has fallen 40% during a steady 20-year decline. So reports agency consultant and advisor Michael Farmer, whose research demonstrates that agency staffs are being squeezed to deliver increasing workloads at a time when fees are declining faster than costs.

The solution to better margins is obviously not to work harder or do a better job of collecting time sheets. To be able to return to the profit margins they had 20 years ago, agencies need new, different revenue streams.

Part of the problem is that the immense brainpower and creativity in agencies is wasted on the increasingly routine and somewhat mundane production work that now accounts for around 80% of a typical agency’s revenues. Many agencies have been pushed so far downstream that they now sometimes compete directly with printers, publishers, and production companies for work that is seen by clients as increasingly commoditized.

Companies may not need advertising, but they all need marketing

As every agency knows, today marketing dollars are being spent in new and different ways, and the budgets that were usually allocated to traditional agencies are being reallocated to initiatives and channels that have to do with “marketing” but not necessarily “advertising.”

It’s an unfortunate fact that the term “marketing” has become associated almost exclusively with only one of the four P’s of marketing: “Promotion.” But of course, marketing is also made up of Product, Place and Price. Agencies and client marketing organizations alike are becoming increasingly marginalized in the business world by allowing themselves to be boxed into just the Promotion business.

Each of the other overlooked P’s of marketing – Product, Place, and Price – represent an area where agencies can create tremendous value for their clients. Some progressive firms are already playing in this space, applying “design thinking” to issues ranging from the optimal design for a bicycle to the experience patients have coming to an emergency room.

Not your father’s awards shows

One telling sign that agencies are now actively developing alternative sources of revenue is the new crop of industry competitions based on inventions and innovations, like the newProject Isaac competition sponsored by Adweek. Instead of the usual categories like print and broadcast, the categories are named such things as Marketing Invention, Brand Performance Invention, Design Invention, Product Development Invention, Digital Publishing Invention, Human Resources Invention, and App Development Invention.

Even the Cannes Lions are moving in this direction with a new “innovation” category this year, along with other newer categories like Branded Content and Cyber. This year’s winner of the new Innovation award is The Barbarian Group, who developed a software-development platform for creative coders called Cinder, which provides a toolbox for programming graphics, audio, and video – some agencies actually used this to prepare their Cannes entries.

The Design award at Cannes is no longer for nice-looking graphics, but rather for game-changing innovation like what the German agency Serviceplan did for their client, a grocery story chain in Germany called Auchan. The agency was able to embed the stores’ sustainability report on a single shopping receipt, allowing users to scan it and get all kinds of information on the grocery chains’ sustainability practices.

Other organizations like Digiday are now sponsoring Agency Innovation Camps, devoted to helping agencies get beyond mass messaging to solve marketing problems in new and different ways.

Will Nicholls, from the British agency Dare, puts it this way: “Traditionally, agencies have created value for their clients through better and different communications. But brand behavior can now come to life in digital product, services, and experiences.”

Creating value in new and different ways

What all this means is that agencies have an important new role: creating value for marketers in ways that have nothing to do with a “message.” Smart marketers know that mass media messaging is an increasingly ineffective way to get traction for a brand. So by thinking creatively about brand marketing is not only a way for agencies to earn revenues outside of advertising, it’s increasingly a strategic imperative.

Havas executive and Victors & Spoils co-founder John Winsor puts it this way “Instead of being executors of communication campaigns, we must become inventors, architects and conductors. The brands we all love see themselves that way. Nike and Apple, for example, don’t really make anything. They invent products but leave it to their vendors to build them. It’s much better to be an Apple than a Foxconn.”

What company founders matter

Founders who can answer “Why” have a competitive advantage over those who can’t, and tend to be better fits for Homebrew.

The average pitch contains substantial time dedicated to the “what” and the “how.” What is the market you’re serving? What is the product you’re building? What is the customer pain you’re addressing? How will you build your product? How will you recruit a team? How will you get customers? All of these questions are essential and certainly factor into any investment decision we make.

That said, “what” and “how” haven’t been sufficient to get us to YES. In the handful of investments we’ve made to date and the termsheets we generated this week (it’s been busy), there has consistently been a strong “Why” as well.

Why are you taking years from your life to work on this problem? Why does your company deserve to exist and why is the world a better place when it succeeds? Founders who can answer the “why” are usually called “mission-driven.” It doesn’t mean they’re necessarily curing cancer or solving global warming (although they might be). Rather there’s a deep conviction that they’re on a personal crusade, one which you need to get on board with RIGHT NOW.

Mission-driven founders energize us. Mission-driven founders also have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. We believe they are better recruiters – not just warm bodies, but the best, most talented people who have many choices and want to work for something which matters. Mission-driven founders seem to commit a little more to their startups because they are giving their heart, not just their brain to the effort. Mission-driven founders build strong cultures.

“How” and “What” can be logically derived. “Why” needs to be felt. And just like funk, it can’t be faked.

If you are a founder who knows Why and you’re working in the Bottom Up Economy helping SMBs, developers and consumers drive economic growth, Homebrew would be honored to hear from you.

If you’re a superstar working for a CEO who you think can’t answer the Why, we’re happy to try and find you a new home because, hey, why not? 🙂

Facebook just launched Embedded Posts

*NEWSFLASH!* Facebook just launched Embedded Posts – wow, this is exciting!! Please share the news!

Embedded Posts is a new social plugin that lets you easily add public posts from Facebook to your blog or web site.

Embedded Posts display just like they do on Facebook, with the ability to show pictures, videos, hashtags, and other content. People can interact with Embedded Posts by liking, commenting, sharing, following posts, and also liking the Page.

NOTE: As always, new features on Facebook are privacy aware. Only *public* posts can be embedded. This feature just launched today on these 5 media pages: CNN, The Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, People.com, and Mashableable. The embed feature will be rolled out to more Pages soon.

See the announcement on Facebook’s developer blog: https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2013/07/31/introducing-embedded-posts/

Plus, check out Facebook’s Embedded Posts documentation, which includes best practices for finding high quality public posts on Facebook to embed:
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/embedded-posts/ (HELLO? See that? One of the ways Facebook recommends that you find great public posts to embed is by browsing ‪#‎HASHTAG‬ feeds. You gotta start using more hashtags, people! Your posts could end up getting picked up and embedded on mega sites out there!)

See also this AllFacebook.com post: http://allfacebook.com/embedded-posts_b122838

What do you think? Pretty cool, eh? Will you use Embedded Posts on your website/blog?

‪#‎facebooktip‬ ‪#‎facebookmarketing‬ ‪#‎embeddedposts‬ ‪#‎facebookfeatures‬ ‪#‎facebookhelp‬ ‪#‎facebookmari‬