Articles written in August, 2013

August 28 2013

Facebook’s Price for Admission? Quality Content

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Last week, Facebook announced an update to the algorithm that determines which posts get precious News Feed real estate, and which don’t. This new algorithm now places a greater emphasis on quality content.

For brands that are already creating quality content, this is great news – it means your Facebook posts have a better chance of being seen by your followers. For brands that are not creating quality content, it should be seen as a call to action.

What Is Quality Content?

Facebook, like Google before it, is interested in serving up the best possible content for its users. Before the algorithm update, Facebook says it surveyed thousands of users to understand what makes a post “quality.” They claim to have built their algorithm around those findings.

Some of the questions Facebook asked users about the content in their feeds include:

  • Is this timely and relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you would trust?
  • Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
  • Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?

In order words, brands that are creating thin, promotional or meme-based content are likely to be left off their follower’s News Feeds as the new algorithm rolls out.

Where Do You Go from Here?

If you’re not in the pool of brands celebrating the roll out of the “quality algorithm,” you’ve got some work to do.

First off, survey your posts from the last month. How many of them would you consider sharable, relevant or interesting? How many, on the other hand, are low quality, overly-promotional or meme-based?

Now, consider how you can begin creating content that will be relevant and useful to your users. Consider, for example:

  • What do they need?
  • What do they want?
  • Who do they trust?
  • What will they share?

Then, begin to craft content that responds to your follower’s needs in a more effective way.

August 26 2013

Pinterest – Is it Right for Your Company?

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Although a tad reluctant at first, many businesses have embraced the Social Media world and are pretty active on their channels. Social Media is a brilliant way to engage with clients or customers, offer exclusive incentives and promote new products or services. That being said, many companies have become rather proficient in engaging with their “likes” on Facebook and their “followers” on Twitter, but have little to no idea what Pinterest is, let alone how to utilize it (effectively) for their business. So, what is Pinterest anyway and how can it work for your company? Pinterest is self-described as “a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you”. Wikipedia defines Pinterest as a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos.

If you are a business owner, you’re probably wondering (and you ought to be) how or if this booming social networking site could work for you. With its 25 million members and growing, Pinterest could be a wonderful addition to your overall social media marketing plan. One of the many benefits of Pinterest is that when someone “repins” one of your images, another person can then click on it, and he or she is then sent to your actual website and can either make a purchase, sign up for a Webinar, etc.

Here are examples of 3 top brands that are utilizing Pinterest very well:

Nordstrom

Whole Foods

Real Simple

In addition, below is an example of an ecommerce retailer (Polka Dot Peacock) currently running a giveaway contest on Pinterest. Being that I have made online purchases, I now receive their newsletters and this particular one caught my eye.  It is a terrific way to gain Pinterest followers, as well as keep them engaged as they pin on their board(s) and what could be better than winning a free gift card?

I encourage you to take the time to research and understand how your business could effectively use Pinterest. Take a look at your competitors, as well as other websites you frequent to get ideas for how they might be utilizing Pinterest to interact, promote and grow their brand. For example, Infographics are quite popular on Pinterest, (especially for B2B companies) and are much more likely to be read than plain text.

The possibilities for how you can be creative and make Pinterest work for your company are pretty much endless.

August 1 2013

Social Media (if done correctly) is a Full Time Job

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Social Media continues to rapidly evolve. With a multitude of channels available, it can be difficult for businesses to keep up, let alone choose where to dedicate their time, resources and energy. It was not long ago, when companies had to be “convinced” that there were genuine benefits of social media and that a Facebook and /or Twitter company page was a legitimate opportunity to grow their business or brand.

Fast forward to the present; those two channels (or at least one of the two) have essentially become the standard. Today – if a company says they are doing Social Media, it is a safe assumption that they have a Facebook Page and likely Twitter, as well. Sure, there are some savvy businesses that not only see the value (and sheer necessity) of social media, they do it well and are active on multiple channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest, etc.  Then there are those who feel as though Facebook and/or Twitter are more than enough to maintain.  Whichever category you fit into, social media requires a considerable amount of time and dedication. Here a few critical components to keep in mind when it comes to ongoing social media maintenance, whether you have just one active channel or many:

  • A well thought out plan/strategy as to how you will present your company via social media is super important. You certainly don’t want to just throw up an unprofessional looking Facebook page and begin posting random things here and there. In addition, you want to make an educated decision on how you will respond to your audience for both positive, as well as negative comments. This is very important.
  • Dedicating the necessary resources to each channel is crucial. There are few things worse than a channel that has remained stale and inactive for months. This is a surefire way of losing the interest and loyalty (“followers” & “likes” in social media terms) of your audience. You want them engaged and paying attention. Your posts should be timely and relevant to your industry.
  • Not every channel is for every company and what makes perfect sense for one may not make much, if any, sense for another. Become knowledgeable and well versed on the channel(s) your company decides to engage in.
  • If your company is new to social media, it is advisable to start off slowly, perhaps with one (to two) channels at a time. This will help to ensure that you are not taking on more than you can chew, so to speak. Additional channels can always be added in the future.

Take a peak at a business to consumer brand that is doing an excellent job with their social media channels. Just a few of their active channels are listed below:

lululemon Twitter
lulelemon Facebook
lululemon Pinterest

In addition, they responded very well during a major PR crisis back in March, which garnered a ton of negative posts, tweets, press, etc.

Social media truly is a full time job and requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Seriously.  Go big or go home.

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