The Algorithmic Rule: Understand, Know, Follow & Create
Algorithms play a role when marketing your business online. In order to maximize your efforts and your return on investment you need to understand the algorithm, know it’s triggers and play by the rules. This will then help you create your algorithmic rules.
First you must understand the algorithm, which is not as easy as most might think. This simply means you are better off working with someone who has an understanding, a professional with experience marketing businesses online.
Second, you must then know what triggers different results. When I do A it triggers B and sometimes C. For example: A like holds a different algorithmic value than a share or comment on Facebook, whether it is less or more only Facebook knows, but knowing that helps me create content geared to achieving specific results. This steps takes a lot of research as well as trial and error.
Third, you must follow the algorithms rules. Every algorithm has a set of parameters, it’s what makes it tick. Those are it’s rules and following them will help you gain success marketing your business online.
If you have a basic understanding of the algorithm then you can create your own company guidelines to follow the algorithm. Which I call your algorithmic rules. This is a simple way of keeping your company on track when posting certain types of content with the goal of achieving a specific result.
*Disclaimer: Tracking the results of your algorithmic rules, or guidelines, will increase their chances of working for you. With experience, analytics and updates your algorithmic rules/guidelines are an educated guess but are a sure fire way to keep your business focused on specific goals.
Facebook Ads, Effective or Ineffective & ROI
One of the bigger topics of discussion since the launch of Facebook’s IPO has been it’s ads service for businesses. Recently for us it’s been more of a question as to their effectiveness and what the return on investment is. There is no simple answer to either of those questions, but I will attempt it anyways.
The Social Solution for EVERYONE!
After looking at audience data to figure out the best times to post, how often to post and the best content for engagement, shares, likes and retweets, I finally have the solution for everyone. The one solution that will help us all increase our reach, engagement and ROI. It is fail proof and guaranteed to work.
I have looked over so much data from so many different resources and came up with one social marketing solution that will work for everyone! I dont know about you but that makes me excited. The best part is I am going to share it with you now, for FREE!
The social solution that will work for everyone is, drum roll please, nothing. There is no one size fits all solution. What works for me may or may not work for you. The type of content I post may or may not be the content your audience wants to receive so it may or may not work for you. If I were to tell you to only post images to increase engagement, which I have heard from a lot of different sources, that may or may not work for you.
Honestly, the social solution for everyone is to look at your own data to see what is and what is not working for YOU. Just because it works for you does not mean it will work for everyone else too. I love reading the latest about social marketing and each social network, but I am so tired of being told by “trusted” sources that if I do something it will give me a certain result. Truthfully they only say that because it worked for them a few times and a client or friend.
There really is no one solution for your social marketing, other than research, consistency in posting and responding. These are a few basics that work for us all and that is your social solution.
There are three data sources I trust when it comes to social networks and web.
1. Facebook Insights
Once you create your Facebook Page and receive 30 likes you will have access to Facebook Insights. This is your social analytics for Facebook, giving you audience data, post level data and more. You do not need all the information they provide but it is valuable. Analyze this data correctly and you will continue to find success.
SocialBro gives me the Twitter analytics I need to manage users, discover the best time to tweet according to my followers and discover what content works for my audience. This is a service I pay for, but it is well worth it.
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free service for your website analytics. This gives you so much data for your website that it will help you maximize the use of your website. This service is free with a gmail account.
Listening to others share their insights is not wrong, but my number one rule is test it all. Do not just trust them because they say so, test it. Just because something worked great for another person does not mean you find the same success, so test it.
Twitter DM Change, Good or Bad?
Twitter recently updated your ability to Direct Message (DM) anyone, rather than just those that follow you, is this a good thing or a bad thing? This is going to open up a whole new thing for marketers, which we will ruin shortly. The new DM ability will allow you to message anyone, which can be a good thing.
Should A Business Post Personal Content
There are two camps of thought on this topic. Those that believe a business is a business so therefore should not be personal and there are those that believe a business is an extension of people so therefore should be personal. I myself is not of either camp, rather I believe in a merger of the two camps of thoughts.
I believe a brand is an extension of people, not one person, which causes a business to form it’s own personality. Our individual personalities come together when in a group setting to form a group personality, it simply is a blend of all the individual personalities. This gives a business it’s own voice, it’s own personality. However, that does not make it a person, but many have said we must humanize our brands.
I believe we do that by posting three types of content as a business profile. Whether it’s a Facebook Page, Twitter account, Instagram account, Google+ Page, Pinterest, Linked Page or any other social network your business has a presence in. This content will set your business apart and humanize your brand.
1. Industry news with a twist.
You must first find industry news in some way, whether it’s through an RSS feed, saving websites as favorites or reading the news paper. Once you find an article, or blog post, worth sharing you may not agree with it 100%. That is where the twist comes in. You simply share the nugget and add your own thoughts into it. Now you are sharing industry news with your twist.
2. History, accolades or milestones.
Listing your milestones on Facebook, blogging about your history and sharing your company and employee accolades make your brand appear to be more human than not. It is another way to story tell, to connect your audience with who your business is.
If you look at Coca-a-Cola’s Facebook Page you will see really cool milestones, including images. This really makes them interesting and really helped give them some traction with the audience. Take advantage of historical dates and memorable moments for your company. Don’t e afraid to talk about the achievements, awards and accolades.
3. Employee recognition.
Your employees make your brand more human than any content ever could, so talk about them. Many companies I talk to are afraid to do that because they don’t want any backlash if that employee ends up in the news paper. I have always said, do not let fear stop you. If fear is what holds you back then that is a poor excuse. However, I would suggest creating a contingency plan.
Highlighting a positive about your employees reinforces your work environment, but only if what you are stating is true. The worst thing you can do is lie about your employees, stating a false positive will hurt you far more than ever help you. Sharing the truth is always the best thing to do, especially on social networks.
The best way to highlight your employees is by talking about something they have done outside of work, share how proud the company is of them for their award or achievement or share about how an employee was spotted going the extra mile. These are all ways you can positively highlight an employee.
Posting these types of content will set your company apart, humanize your brand, but you can only find success if you share it in a story. There is a saying I learned about radio when I was the Social Media Producer for K-LOVE, “People will only remember what you say for a short time, but if you tell them a story they will remember it forever.”
Timing Is Everything
When should I post on my Facebook Page? When do I post on Twitter? How often should I post?
These are the most common questions I receive from entrepreneurs, business owners and other marketing professionals. In business we realize that timing could make us or break us, show up too early or too late and you can miss an opportunity. Timing is key when it comes to social, when and how often are key components to the success of your social network.
First, know your audience. Knowing your audience will allow you to take their possible lifestyle into consideration. That will tell you a few things about when they are on their social network and looking at their News Feed.
Second, look into social analytics, such as at your Facebook Insights. Your insights will tell you when your actual audience is on Facebook. This gives you an even better opportunity to reach your audience and grow. Currently Twitter does not have much for analytics unless you advertise, but if you use a social management tool you should have some analytics from Twitter.
If you use SproutSocial Twitter analytics is included and if you use HootSuite some are included but they offer more for additional cost. Currently what I use is SocialBro.
SocialBro allows me to dig into Tweet Analytics, see who currently followed me, who doesn’t follow me, who I don’t follow back and the Best Time To Tweet. I use this tool for clients and create reports for them. I really like the updates they have made with a slicker new look, making it more user friendly.
Third, simply apply all the data you have and make it easy on yourself by using a social management tool. The tool I prefer setting up clients on and coaching them with is BufferApp. This tool allows me to analyze their social networks and create a schedule in the backend so they do not have to worry about timing. All they have to do is load up the content and the schedule I create in their BufferApp account does the rest. That is the difference between doing social on your own and working with a professional.
If you would like assistance on setting your social networks up right and having the right tools at your fingertips contact me at 877-494-9668.
Content: Quality vs. Quantity
The great debate! Not that it’s really much of a debate any more.
I always thought it went without saying, but recently I was presented with a question that brought me back to this topic. A few years ago the evidence for quality content over the quantity of your content was overwhelming, yet I see so many businesses and professionals not abiding by the findings. Honestly, I have been guilty of focusing on quantity rather than quality but I will read an article or get asked a question that causes me to refocus on what is most important.
The number one reason I will say that quality content is most important than the quantity is because Google holds content that has been interacted with higher. Since Google is still the number one search engine and they look at content in such a way, well, then we should too.
Whether you hate Google or not, they impact whether your business is found above or below your competitors or even found at all!
If that’s not enough for you, then think about it from a social perspective. When you create social content but lack interaction then your social account is not relevant, but if you create content that appeals to your audience then you will be seen as relevant by the social network. Whether it is searching on Google or a social network it is all based on an algorithm, in order to get your brand voice heard then you must play by the algorithmic rules.
If you would like some assistance in understanding in algorithms then contact me at 877-494-9668.
Labor For Your Marketing
You labor for your business, we labor for your marketing. You know your business, from sales to customer service. We know marketing, from print, to web and social.
Blogging, something to think about
I have been reading a few local small business blog posts lately, quickly discovering a few frustrations that lead to some blogging tips to share with you.
When a small business writes blog posts they need to write it for the person reading, for public relations and search engines. When writing a blog post for business here are some tips for keeping focused on the people reading it.
1. Mention a business, link to their website.
While creating your blog post, keep in mind that it is beneficial for you to mention other companies that you worked with as long as you link to their website. Consumers know you are not doing everything alone, they know it takes collaborative relationships for any business to be success. Why not share that?
When you do share about a collaboration with another business it, really does, make you look good. It shows the reader, or consumer, that you a proactively building working relationships to ensure success and the success of others. Especially if you link to their website. Not to mention the search engine benefits to it.
2. Lay it out so it’s readable.
Many times I see so many businesses with multiple advertisements within one blog post that it seriously makes it almost unreadable. Think about this before including advertisements within your blog post. Also, think about why you are advertising on your blog and what is it doing for you.
As long as your blog post is aesthetically appealing you will gain readers and keep them engaged.
3. Search engine optimized.
It’s not just about creating your blog post with keywords, but also what websites you link to. Linking to a credible source that has established themselves as credible will most likely increase your search ranking. Also, linking to an original post or article that may have sparked your blog post content idea will be beneficial.
Another way to increase search ranking is by integrating your post with Facebook comments and social sharing capabilities. The more your content is shared or engaged with the more relevant it is to Google. Keeping your content current, readable, linked and with keywords will improve your search ranking.
4. Analytical data.
It’s helpful whether it’s good, bad or downright ugly. Your data will tell you whether your content is being read, an idea of who is reading it, what device they are reading it on and which blog post has been read the most. This data will tell you exactly what your audience is looking for, which will help you create better content in the future.
All these tips will help you gain readership, keep readers engaged so they read the whole post and create better content for the future (resulting in social sharing).
If you need some assistance with creating, optimizing, linking or analyzing your blog posts contact me at 877-494-9668.
Facebook Contest: This changes everything!
Recently Facebook announced changes to the contest guidelines for Pages, which is in favor of pages. “Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook,” Facebook News. What does this mean for the business and most importantly the consumer?
I will be honest, this is not completely shocking news, since most pages break the rules to begin with. I personally think this is Facebook’s way of saying, if you can’t beat them, then we will change the rules. This definitely is a great way for Facebook to gain some momentum with businesses. On the other hand, it may be a bad move on Facebook’s part.
Facebook could be neglecting the end user on this decision. Now that the gate is open, the word is getting out, so you will begin to see an overwhelming amount of contests that, I would date to say, most pages will not actually monitor well. I just think our News Feeds may get flooded with contests, ultimately resulting in contest numbness.
I really believe that a business needs to be more clever than ever now. You don't want to jump on a contest just because you can, you want to make sure you are tracking the results, be honest and don't play favorites (it’s not fair). I have worked with businesses and marketers for long enough to know that this new ability will be abused, at least for a short time. This just means, now more than ever before, companies must adopt a the social mindset and social marketing.
For contest assistance, contact me at 877-494-9668 so I can help you setup your contest and guide you through the process so it will be done the right way.
You may have the best products in the world, but no one may know about it unless you tell them. Telling people is not as easy as it sounds, it's not like you could make one announcement to the entire world. Getting your message out takes time, talent, knowledge and, most importantly, strategy. There are so many ways to spread the word that you must strategically plan how, when and where that will be done.