Friday, March 1, 2013

Facebook "Likes" Don't Trump Quality Content

It amazes me how many businesses and companies are so devoted to increasing likes and gathering followers. Many individuals, and worse still, marketers, are obsessed with the goal of ‘numbers’ that they get completely distracted by the business goals that they should be striving to achieve.
The amount of social media numbers of course have value, but by making this your sole objective in your marketing efforts is completely missing the point.
Facebook likes for business
Facebook is not a popularity contest!
The number of likes you have is just a figure of how many people have been persuaded to click a little ‘thumbs up’ icon. In increasing cases this is by acquiring fans by other than natural and organic means. We’ve all heard stories of shady ways to increase your likes and marketing departments that have spent large amounts of money through promoted posts and adverts to achieve an impressive number. This means that all that money you’ve spent has achieved little more than making yourself look a little more popular. If you are operating a Facebook page for a third party, then you can go to the boss and say ‘Look what I’ve done, we have X amount of followers for our social media efforts’.  Ask yourself: Where’s the value and ROI in that?
Are these the likes we wanted?
It’s one thing to get hundreds, or even thousands of likes for your Facebook page, but are these people your target audience that you would like your business to engage with? Sadly, if you’ve been adding likes through unnatural means it’s possibly the last time you will ever see them. These people are unlikely to share, promote or engage with you even though they’ve clicked the like button. The whole point of having a large following is to get them to do something.
Provide quality content.
Now, in these days of Facebook EdgeRank, those who work hard to provide quality content for their fans to appreciate are rewarded. The genuine people who have liked your page are your biggest asset and should be treated as brand ambassadors to share and drive your message. Rather than focusing on the numbers, focus on providing value by delivering engaging content to your audience.  Don’t become obsessed with the misguided goal of increasing numbers as this isn’t the important part of your overall strategy. Make sure your social media efforts are more about the quality bottom line than immaterial pointless numbers to brag about.
Are the amount of likes, fans and followers important to you?

7 Facebook Marketing No-Nos

ImageFacebook has become a part of the marketing activities of millions of organizations worldwide. Every day, new businesses are trying out this medium to reach out to their market. You hear this everywhere: “Facebook is the way to go,” “Ignore social media at your peril,” and “X things to do in social media,” and so on. Some of these tips are coming from people with ample amounts of experience, however some are not. You need to be careful while following Facebook marketing advice. Here are few such advices you need to take very, very cautiously.
1. Focus only on Facebook, ignore other social networks
No doubt, Facebook is one of the biggest social media networks. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore others. For certain types of businesses, another social media channel might be a better choice. For example, for a local news channel or news service, Twitter might be a better choice. For a headhunting firm, Linkedin might work better.
Your focus should be on the medium where your ideal target audience is spending their time. Here’s a tip to find out that quite easily. Most social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc., offer paid advertising. Paid advertising offers some of the great targeting options such as geographic location, profession, personal and professional interests apart from normal targeting options like gender, age, etc. Using these, find out how many of your target audience are hanging out in that network. If the number makes sense (for some businesses, even a small number makes sense!), then make sure you are visible there.
2. Automate all your Updates
There are several tools like Hootsuite, SproutSocial, etc. that help you automate your Facebook and other social media updates. Yes, these are helpful tools to a certain extent; especially in the case of international businesses, because you may not be awake or working when your target audience is active on the social network. Using these tools you can schedule your updates and reach them. However, never use these tools to schedule your posts for weeks together and get back to your account once all those are sent.
3. The more you share the better. Really?
Remember hearing this as a kid? Yes, it might sound like a good thing to do, but not when you are on social media. Keep your Facebook updates to two or a maximum of three a day. However, it’s important to identify the best time to post on Facebook, so that it reaches the maximum number of your fans.  Equally important is the quality of what you share, it should be useful and add value to your fans.
4. Focus on Number of Likes
Don’t measure the success based on the number of Facebook fans.  It’s better to have a lesser number of fans who are engaged; rather than having thousands of fans, who do not even click on your links or like your posts or share it. Even if your community is small, try to engage with them, ask questions, respond to their comments, see how many fans ‘like’ or ‘share’ your posts. Also check how many of them click on the links and visit your sit or blog post and convert to a lead or sales.
5. Buy Facebook Fans Initially
Many businesses find it difficult to attract fans for their pages initially. To take advantage of this situation, there are several companies ‘selling’ Facebook fans and likes. When you are desperate, it may sound like a good idea, but never fall into it. Read more about the dangers of buying facebook fans.
Instead, draw the attention of your existing customer base by running an email campaign or doing a special promo on your home page. If you have the resources, you can run paid advertisements on Facebook to attract fans for your business. Facebook advertising provides various targeting options to zero down to most potential users.
6. Your Business Page Timeline Cover should not be ‘salesy’
Facebook has very strict rules as to what you can or cannot have on your timeline photo. Here are some of the most important rules:
- No price or purchase information.
- No call to action to Facebook specific activities such as Like, share or business call to action such as ‘Order now, ‘Book Now,’ or ‘Call Now.’
- No contact information like address, telephone numbers, or email address.
- The Timeline Cover can’t have more than 20% of the area with text on it.  This includes text in your logo image and any text in general.
7. Post Exactly the Same Content on Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networks
Yes, it helps you save tons of time! If that’s the case, it’s better not to use social media. By doing this, you are telling your fans that you don’t really pay attention to your social networks; you’re just on there to spread your message, not to engage or share useful stuff. There is nothing wrong with sharing the same message occasionally, but make sure it is customized for each social media channel.
There is no doubt; Facebook can bring you success, if used wisely. The key to success is not to forget why people use social media. They use it to keep themselves updated about people, environments and companies they are concerned about. Just keep it that simple!

A Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare

SlideshareAny sensible marketer knows to be constantly searching for new opportunities, as the next best thing may be around the corner. Likewise, what works today might not work tomorrow, so having new ways in which you can market your website, business or brand is crucial to long term success. Fortunately, a new alternative is on the horizon: SlideShare. Slowly becoming a powerhouse in the world of online marketing, SlideShare will certainly provide you with the opportunity to open your marketing to a whole new audience. For those interested in expanding their marketing efforts, continue reading to find out more.
What Is SlideShare?
SlideShare is an online way in which content marketers can share information, promotions, infographics and other forms of content in a fashion that is both consistent with and appealing to social media. By breaking with the status quo on how presentations and slideshows are delivered, SlideShare hopes to revolutionize the act of presenting information, while doing so in an aesthetically pleasing format. Many people are now using SlideShare to build their base of followers, recruit additional email subscribers and draw additional traffic to their websites. By pinging search engines with this content via SlideShare, you can increase exposure and “piggy-back” off of a site that has quickly managed to get into the Top 200 in Alexa’s rankings.
How To Develop Your Content
Content always determines how well any endeavour will do, and SlideShare is no different. While the tools at your disposal allow for an increased amount of creativity and flexibility, you still need to adhere to a few simple points that are pretty universal within the realm of marketing. The most important element in this case is determining what approach you will be using – are you going for shock value, which tends to generate viral buzz? Perhaps you are instead considering an angle that focuses solely on the quality of the content (by being as informative as possible), or separately, maybe you wish to invoke the emotions of your readers. Whatever route is chosen, it is vital that you pick a theme and consistently utilize that approach throughout your SlideShare presentation.
You Are Telling A Story
Regardless of the angle from which you approach your SlideShare project, you should remember that you are telling a story. As a general rule of thumb, the project should have a natural flow to it; a presentation that leaves individuals asking questions long before the answers to those questions are explained can be risky. This can lead to viewers being intrigued by the initial information, but then turning elsewhere to find answers to their remaining questions. Do not be afraid to use as many slides as necessary, as keeping each slide’s content as simple as possible is a good way to convince others to continue reading.
If you are seeking a new way in which your content can be distributed freely and always find its way to interested parties via pinging search engines, then SlideShare can be an extremely important element in your marketing strategy. With both free and premium solutions available, this platform is set to become the largest social networking presentation tool on the web; don’t miss out on the next big opportunity!