Website Audience Retargeting on Facebook – What You Need To Know

website audience retargeting graphic

 

We have grown to accept that Facebook is a pay-to-play space but many of us are still struggling with how to play AND how to decrease the amount that we need to pay in order to play.  I was SO excited to learn about website audience retargeting and how it could be used super effectively by anyone who has a website. Suddenly here is a tool that I could sink my teeth into.

If you have not heard of website audience retargeting on Facebook, I’m not surprised.  Not many businesses are using it yet although some big brands are (Target, Pepsi, Toyota, Gucci, MTV, Petco, Lexus and more). Those who are not using it are may be leaving money on the table. Studies have shown that only 2% of those who visit your website will become a customer. From the very recent One Fest, Jeff Bullas tweeted out that $4 trillion in sales is abandoned every year in online shopping carts! 63% is recoverable.  Website audience retargeting could aid in that recovery.

So what is website audience retargeting anyway? 

It’s a way to create highly relevant Facebook ads that are directed only to those people who have visited your website and expressed an interest in what you have to offer.

So, for instance, a person visits your website, checks out a certain page or product on a page and then leaves your website and at some point logs into Facebook (which is highly likely). You are then able to place an ad directly in front of them that relates to their behavior on your website!  You are able to track their behavior by placing a pixel on your website and creating website audience buckets.

Why is this important? 

Let’s say that Susie visits your website, notices your newest program on Raw Food Preparation. She checks out the sales page, clicks on purchase and for whatever reason, does not complete the purchase. Perhaps the doorbell rang, or one of the children needed her… or whatever.  The shopping cart is abandoned and you don’t get the sale.

With website audience retargeting, you now have a second chance.  You can create an ad that will be shown to Susie when she gets on Facebook. It might be a testimonial in praise of your new program or even a coupon code for a discount.

Another example: Jacob visits a website that sells used cars. While scrolling around he sees a white Toyota Prius and clicks on it. When Jacob returns to Facebook, the exact Toyota Prius can be placed in front of him on a Facebook ad.  You’ve seen this yourself from the big brands but now this is available to those of us with much smaller budgets.

With one client, a budget of $3.65 was used to target just 60 people and brought in over a thousand dollars in revenue. That is revenue that would have been lost without website audience retargeting.

 

Why Facebook?

  • Only 19.4% of Americans are unable to access their Facebook account at work
  • The average user spends 21 minutes per day on Facebook
  • There are 1.39 billion active monthly users
  • Facebook just introduced friend-to-friend payments (buying within Facebook will happen)
  • Facebook has the largest psychometric data base on the planet

Other ways that you can use the Facebook pixel and website audience retargeting:

1. a person who visits your website but does not sign up for your newsletter

2. a person who purchases a product who might enjoy a partner product

3.  a person who once visited your website but has not returned in some time

4.  to gather information in order to create a look-alike audience of your website visitors

5.  to obtain audience insights: psychographic and demographic data such as male vs female, age, income, etc.

“Retargeting can dramatically reduce your overall advertising costs and make every ad dollar 3 to 5 times more effective!”  ~ Jesse Jameson

Even if you don’t plan to use Facebook advertising right now, you’ll want to add the Facebook pixel to your website and create some audience buckets so that data from your website can be collected.  Then when you ARE ready to set up some ads, you’ll have a large enough audience in your bucket to work with.

If you need help with adding the pixel to your website or setting up your buckets or running your ads, contact us for a quote. We’d be happy to help.

Image credit: Used with permission of Jesse Jameson

 

The Top 7 Mistakes Direct Marketers Make When Hosting a Facebook Party

Young women in pajamas looking at laptop at home.For many direct sales marketers (think Scentsy, Origami Owl, Younique, Jamberry, Facebook parties have become an excellent alternative to in-home parties.  Attendees can party without the need to leave their home, pay for a babysitter or even get dressed to go out.  Party in your PJs has become the direct marketers battle cry!

Of course, some marketers have much more success than others and others are left to wonder why.  If you’re not having as great a success at your online parties, perhaps you are making one (or more) of these 7 mistakes. 

1. Making the event public.

Making the event public is just overwhelming for everyone.  Choose to either create a private event and send a limited number of invitations or create or a closed, secret group and add your party guests to the group.  I’m seeing many more direct marketers creating closed secret groups instead of events and having participated in a couple of them, I find them to be more effective.

 If you choose to create a closed secret group, immediately inform the attendees that they have the option to leave the group (and that there will be no hard feelings on the part of the hostess or rep) and how to do it.  Also advise them that they can turn off notifications if they’d rather not be notified of every post.  Provide directions on how to do that, as well.

Brande Belanger of Younique states “I find that the participation in events has been less than ideal for me. I think primarily because invitees need to RSVP. Plus, as new products roll out or if there are some really cool things I’d love to show (off), I can pop back in the group at any time and post an update. And, by setting the groups to Closed or Secret, participants aren’t sharing their FB activities to the world.”

2. Not coaching your hostess.

Your hostess needs to know what is expected of her.  Because she’s not in this business herself, she may not know the ins and outs of Facebook parties or of direct sales marketing itself.  Advise her to give you a list of at least 25-30 people (the more the merrier) and show her how to get them excited during the event. 

Also remember to coach the potential customer, as well. Let them know what to expect as far as length of party, what will be happening during the party, where to go to ask questions, etc.

3.  Following the outline of your home shows.

Of course, Facebook parties are not the same as home parties.  

Jamberry independent consultant, Rebecca Cantu notes that “the main difference I see between a Facebook party and a home party is the amount of time you have to cover all the desired content.

At a home party you focus mainly on the product and getting to know your audience. You have to do this in a short time so live demonstrations, one or two quick games and a drawing is usually all you can fit in.

With a Facebook party, you need to cover the same content, but it is spread out over a longer period of time (if you’re doing a longer event), so you have to build and keep interest. This usually involves a lot more creative ways, like games, to introduce your product as well as get to know your audience.”

4.  Making the event too long.

There seems to be a discrepancy among direct marketing experts on this one.  Some say that the event should be on one night and not last longer than an hour so as not to take up everyone’s time.  Some say that they have better success with an event that lasts up to a week.  Experiment between the two to find out what works best for you.  I can only speak as an attendee but I don’t want to be stuck in front of Facebook for an hour. I’d rather have the information dripped to me at a slower pace.

5. Linking to your online site too soon.

If you’re holding an event with a specific start and stop time, don’t link to your website too soon, ESPECIALLY if you sell a lot of different product.  Your potential purchaser might leave the party, begin clicking and never return.  And then she may forget why she went there in the first place! It’s best to link to your website at the very end of your event. 

6. Not using images.

Images convert at a much higher rate than plain text.  Try to use an image each and every time you post.  PicMonkey and Canva are great sites to use to create images.  Apps such as WordSwag, PicCollage and Rhonna Designs are also fantastic.  If you’re not good at image creation, Fiverr is a good place to find someone who is.

Do be careful that you are using your images legally.  If not, you could be sued.  (Attribution does not necessarily mean legal.) Check out this article for more information.

7.  Being too salesy

We’ve all seen the over-zealous and apparently ill-informed direct sales marketers who post a photo of an item and say something like “check out this fabulous necklace combo. It’s one of our best sellers! Book your party now and it could be yours!”.   No one wants to hear that.

A better option: “Check out this fabulous necklace combo.  I’m sporting this at the opening day Angels game.”  And that’s it!  Nothing else need be said.

Bonus: Bugging your potential customers using the private message feature.

When hosting an event, you have the ability to reach out to your attendees with a private message. Use this feature for important “requested” information. DO NOT PRIVATE MESSAGE YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AND ASK THEM TO CHOOSE NUMBERS FOR THE BINGO GAME OR ASKING IF THEY’RE GOING TO PLACE AN ORDER!    JUST DON’T.

Do let me know if these tips have helped at all.  And if you have further questions about how to set up Facebook events or Facebook groups, feel free to ask.

Photo credit: DepositPhotos/vadimphoto1

 

 

Click Here to Download my new free report: Top 7 Tools for Managing Your Social Media Presence

The Do Apps: Recipes To Save Time and Increase Productivity on Social Media

Colored pencil drawing of the words simplify your day 

I love IFTTT (If This, Then That) and use its recipes frequently as a way to fit some short-cuts into my social media tasks.  Because I recently changed my Instagram password, I found the need to visit the site and reconnect Instagram to one of my recipes.  When I arrived on the site, I noticed the 3 new Do buttons.  I had heard of them before, but I didn’t know they were affiliated with IFTTT,

IFTTT is a service that specializes in creating innovative solutions that it calls Recipes. These are apps that allow people to simplify many everyday tasks. IFTTT has recently introduced three new, related apps, called the Dos. These apps provide users with many potential uses or recipes that can make life easier, especially for social media related tasks. The following is a summary of how these apps work and what kind of Recipes you can create to become more productive and efficient.

Do Button

As the name suggests, the Do Button works as a button you can use in many different ways. While people are accustomed to using lots of button to operate devices and get things done, having a button on your phone or other device can make things much simpler. The Do Button allows you to create up to three recipes at a time but you can make changes to your Recipes whenever you want. The following are some possible recipes that can be created with Do Button.

  • Track your time and location on Google Drive spreadsheets – this one is my favorite because I work with several different clients during the course of a day and I need to keep track of where my hours and minutes are spent.
  • Set your thermostat in your home or office to the ideal temperature – no need to leave the home office in order to reset the thermostat, just hit the Do Button.
  • Send a quick message to someone to set or cancel an appointment.
  • Share your location or status with someone via Twitter.
  • Manage any internet-connected device in your home or office.
  • Turn lights on or off  – this requires special hardware, a Philips “HUE” light bulb, but would be great for turning the porch lights on when you arrive home in the dark if the switch is on the inside of the house.

Do Camera

Do Camera is an app that makes it possible to customize your camera and integrate it with many popular platforms and services. If you like to share your photos on many platforms at once, this app will make it faster. You can use Do Camera for fun or to make it easier to conduct business related to image sharing. Since social media today revolves a great deal around images, Do Camera can be a very useful app to make photo sharing easier. The following are just a few of the possible Recipes that can be created using Do Note.

  • Share documents or receipts on Evernote.
  • Send photos to friends, co-workers or team members via Gmail.
  • Post photos to the specific Facebook album of your choice.
  • Share images on WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter and more.
  • Post notes to Slack.
  • Email yourself a photo – super great when using an app to create a graphic for social media when you’d like it off your phone or tablet.

Do Note

Do Note is a notepad app that lets you create a customized notepad that can be integrated with a large number of widely used channels. This is another app that makes communicated via social media very efficient. Do Note is an app that lets you get more out of any notes that you jot down, letting you share them widely with just a click. The following are some possible Recipes that you can create with Do Note.

  • Post messages quickly to Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, Todoist and many others places.
  • Create a list of prospects or leads for your business.
  • Post to a chat room.
  • Share tasks with team members.
  • Quickly create events in Google calendar – simply write (or speak into the microphone) something like “lunch with Susie on Friday at 2 pm” and it will automatically be added to your calendar.

The three Dos are simple yet powerful apps that have a wide variety of uses. They can be particularly useful for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs who need to communicate over a wide variety of channels and platforms. With Do Button, Do Camera and Do Note, you can make sharing information on social media faster and simpler, which enhances your productivity.

Let me know if you try any of the Do Button recipes or if you discover some great ones that I missed.

Image credit: DepositPhotos.com/karelnoppe

Give Your Website a Boost By Cutting Its Bounce Rate

Small smiling baby with tablet pc This is a guest article by Corinna Rake of Online Empowerment and was reposted with permission by the author.  I thought it was excellent and wanted to share. Seems

Bounce rate. It’s one of those website terms that kinda makes sense, but you may be wondering what it *actually* means – and why you should care.

Let’s give it some context first. The bounce rate is one of many analytics, or data, that can be collected to measure your website’s performance. Another, more common analytic is “page views.”

Bounce rate takes page views one step further and incorporates action – action (or inaction) taken by the web page visitor. More than just taking a general headcount (which doesn’t tell you much), bounce rate tracks whether someone navigates within the site – clicks on a link, presses a button, or fills out a form that takes them to another page within your site. The more they browse around, the lower your bounce rate statistic. That’s a good thing!

On average, a bounce rate falls between 40-60%. That means 40-60% of ALL visitors leave your website without visiting another page.

Bounce Rate stats

Depending on the style and desired outcome of your website, the bounce rate may be critical, or not at all important. A ‘single-page’ site, for example, will have a 100% bounce rate because there is nowhere else for the visitor to go. Chances are though, your website falls into the standard, multi-page site category, and all the information your ideal visitor/client needs is not located on a single page.

Sticky keywords keep visitors interested

Imagine your website is a chalk board and your website visitors are tennis balls.

They search a relevant keyword and land on your chalkboard (your website).

Now, picture that you have a piece of velcro stuck on your chalkboard each time you mention important keyword or any related topics. Since your visitor’s tennis ball is fuzzy, it’ll stick to the velcro every time their search matches what you’re talking about.

In other words, your chances of that visitor sticking around are much better if your website contains words, and imagery, that matches what they are looking for.

Although, having relevant information is just the first step. Once they land and stick, you need to make sure you have a clearly defined action for them to take. That could be a simple email optin box, or perhaps clicking through to read more about your products/services.

If you don’t have what they are looking for, or if you don’t provide an obvious ‘what’s next?’ action, the ball will bounce right off. This translates into pressing ‘back’ in the browser, closing the tab/window, typing in a new URL, or simply doing nothing for up to 30min, when the session times out and it’s recorded as a bounce.

People aren’t poking around your website – what are you doing wrong?

Best case scenario: the tennis ball lands on your site from a referral on social media or other highly-regarded source (think JV partnerships, word-of-mouth referral, etc.) they tend to be super fuzzy and stick to your velcro more easily. They start looking around, reading your About page, more of your blog posts, they sign up for your opt-in, or best, buy something.

Sometimes basketballs arrive – they represent spambots, or other non-human visitors that will never stick, no matter how much velcro you have. Unfortunately, their bounce still counts in your data.

What about “real” visitors who don’t come from trusted sources?

What keeps them from staying and how can you entice them to click around and explore?

  • You’ve got a slow-loading website.
    Nothing is more frustrating and ensures a click on the ‘back’ button faster than a site that takes more than a few seconds to load.
     
    “According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.” – Sherice Jacob, “Speed is a Killer” on Kissmetrics.com
     
    The good news, improving site speed can be fairly straight-forward. Want to test your site? There are free tools you can use. We use Pingdom to test our sites and our clients’.
     
    Sometimes though, it requires an intensive site audit, and possibly changing website hosting providers. GoDaddy, for example, is notoriously slow for hosting WordPress sites.
     
    The speed of your site can mean the difference between having visitors stay, and buy or contact you, versus bouncing on their merry way and never seeing what you have to offer. It’s worth the investment to resolve this.
     
  • You don’t have enough and/or the ‘right’ keywords.
    SEO (search engine optimization)  scares a lot of people (but it doesn’t have to). Basically, it’s about making it easy for search engines to send traffic your way based on matching the terms people search with the keywords you include on your site.
     
    You don’t need to hire some firm that promises to help you rank on the first page of Google. These days SEO is about creating relevant content, not gaming the search system. What can you do right now? Play customer and list the top ten words you think they plug into Google when seeking the solution you provide. Be sure those words appear prominently across your site.
     
  • Your site doesn’t have a clearly defined outcome.
    A “sticky velcro” website is about so much more than technical stuff.
     
    Your words, design and imagery must work together to create a powerful experience for the visitor. Remember, you’re creating an experience that matches your ideal clients’ needs, interests, and aesthetic. When your perfect person hits your site and says “yes, that’s it!” she’ll click around and lower your bounce rate. Much more importantly, she’ll take action and opt in or buy what you’re selling. Make sure your site is prepared to guide her easily on that journey.
     

    What changes can you make today that will improve your website’s bounce rate and over-all performance?

    Photo credit: Deposit Photos/Vitalinka

Social Media Time Management: Getting it All Done

image of a clean desk with the hands of a young woman on the keyboardIn July of the past year, my 90 year old mom came to live with me. She doesn’t require much hands-on caregiving, but her being here has changed the way I manage my schedule. No more 8 o’clock dinners or putting in 12 hour days.  I need to provide a proper dinner, spend a bit of time with her in the morning and ideally schedule at least one day per week for outings.

Because of this, I’ve needed to become very intentional about the way I manage social media – both for myself and for my clients.

Putting some systems in place was paramount. One thing that has helped was finding a very simple, but effective To-Do list that could be used both on my desktop and my mobile devices.  I found the solution in Teux Deux. It’s not overly complicated, sync’s between devices and allows adding daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly tasks just by typing “every day” or “every month” when adding an item to my list.

By looking carefully at what was on my daily or weekly lists, I learned to easily batch items together.  For instance, I create all posts that can be scheduled (using Rignite.com) on Tuesdays.  This way, if I get busy on other days, I know that I have something going out on all platforms.

Content creation is now scheduled between certain hours of certain days. Even if I DON’T feel like writing, I set a timer and write for that specific amount of time.  Social sites and e-mail is shut off during that time. Research is scheduled for different hours.  Client calls are also now scheduled on a certain day, as much as possible.

Batching your own social media and content creation times will help you to get it all done in less time.  

The infographic below (courtesy of Rignite) does a great job in demonstrating what can be done with 30 minute to 60 minute time slots.  The only comment that I would make is that your content (blog piece) can be created and scheduled to be published at a later date by using the schedule publication feature in the upper right hand corner of your WordPress site. This deletes one step in the process.

 

Manage Social Media More Efficiently With RigniteCompliments of: Rignite Inc.

 What are your biggest challenges when managing your own social media?  Do you have any tips that you could offer?  I’d love to know. 

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

 

 

 

 

 

Which Social Media Platform is Best for Direct Marketers?

two smiling women, one  applying make up to the other at homeThis article originally appeared on SheOwnsIt.com.

Many direct sales marketers are successfully using social media to help market their businesses.  But just like in any other business, choosing the best social media platform for your particular brand is very important.  In order to choose, it’s imperative to define your ideal client and determine where they might be hanging out. We already know that physical products that are sold using the direct marketing system are popular among Facebook users.  And Facebook is the largest social media platform and the second most visited site after Google.

But Facebook may not be your best choice.  Here’s why:

Facebook’s recent algorithm changes have caused a significant decrease in the amount of content that is seen by those who like your page.  Experts are suggesting that only 1 of every 6 posts is seen by any one person.  So theoretically,  if you want even one post to be seen, you need to post something on your business page at least 6 times per day.  Facebook is putting more emphasis on images and images with links to relevant information.  Fortunately, many direct marketer’s products are very visual businesses.

We have known for awhile that Facebook has become a “Pay to Play” market for businesses and now marketers are being given tools to evaluate their campaigns further emphasizing that they are serious about advertising dollars.  This is not good news for those working in a direct sales market that does not allow advertising.

This is not to say that you should dump your Facebook business page. If you have a loyal following and can provide relevant and engaging content, you might still do well.  Some ideas for content might be motivational quotes, personal notes, humor, links to your other social media presences, company news, promotions (limited but not absent), questions and links to your blog or newsletter, if you have one.

Be sure that you fill out your “about” section completely so folks can get an instant idea of what you and your business is about.

There are 2 other social media platforms to consider using.  Pinterest is one of them.

Pinterest is an excellent site for direct sales marketers for several reasons.

  • There are 70 million Pinterest accounts of which 80% are owned by women.
  • There are 2.5 billion monthly Pinterest page views.
  • 80% of total Pinterest pins are repins, which means that your original pin has a longer staying power than a post on Facebook or Instagram.
  • The percentage of total social referrals to commerce sites (your O2 website, for instance) is 20% and people who have seen an item on social media are 40% more likely to purchase it.
  • The average amount per order that Pinterest shoppers spend is $140.00 – $180.00 and 60% of Pinterest users live in the United States.
  • *(Stats are from Expanded Ramblings.com)

On Pinterest you’re able to repin images from other direct marketer’s boards onto your own boards which allows you to show different ways to use your product.  Etiquette states that you may change the caption of the pin but you should never, never change the website redirect address.

This brings up the number one mistake that I’ve noticed that direct marketers make on Pinterest.  They add their website to the caption of the pin but don’t add their website as their image source. If you are pinning from your own photos, this is a must because otherwise the image is not clickable.  To add your website address, click on the image, click on the pencil (edit), place your website address to the box that says “source” and click on “save changes”.  But remember, if there is another person’s website address listed in the source box, do not change it. This is for images that you add from your own files.

Hint: if you have a website and apply for Pinterest’s “Rich Pins”, (and are approved) you can add a price to the description of your item and it will then be featured in the “Gifts” category (thus giving more attention to your Pin). Just how Pinterest chooses to display pins in this category is still a bit of a mystery but it’s worth a try.  Be sure to check your company’s terms of service  to that posting prices on Pinterest is allowed.
Instagram is another social media platform that is being used by many direct marketers.  It is a highly visual platform and allows for images or videos to be uploaded directly from your smartphone. Using Instagram, you could not only show images of your products but ways that they can be utilized.

The great thing about Instagram is that is utilizes hashtags in a big way. Unlike Twitter and Facebook where using more than 2 hashtags in a post is frowned upon, Instagrammers use many of them.  So for instance, you could use many of your keywords as tags and even add your home town as a tag with each image you post.

Like all social media sites, Instagram is not just about selling; it’s about connecting, offering value and getting to know your connections. So do post other images on your Instagram account that show off all sides of your personality.

You are also able to repost an image that you find on Instagram by using the Repost app (iPhone) or PhotoRepost app (Android).  The app will give credit to the original poster.

Because Instagram accepts 15 second videos, it’s also a great way to provide tips for your potential customers or for your team members.

So there you have it.  Which platform do you think is the best for your particular brand? Can you think of other ways to use these platforms?

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos/Syda_Productions

8 Annoying Twitter Habits To Break Right Now!

A blue bird with pink glasses in front of a white backgroundI love Twitter. It’s my favorite social media platform and I believe that almost every business should have a Twitter presence. But just like every other social media platform, it has its own share of annoyances.  Here are a few items that make me cringe.

Repeating Lists of Twitter Names For No Apparent Reason

Whenever I glance at my Twitter stream and find horrendous amounts of notifications, I know they are at it again.  “They” are a group of people who preface a tweet containing a list of tweeters with something such as “TY!” or “YAY!” or RT and then they retweet the whole thing multiple times in a day – as if this is going to help them acquire influential followers. It’s annoying and is just going to get them “muted”.

Retweeting or Favoriting Anything And Everything

Seriously, WHY would you retweet or favorite a notification from someone that said  “thank you for following” or “thank you for retweeting”.  Be selective. tweet original or useful content. Use your “favorites” category for exceptional compliments or even for items that you wish to revisit at a later date.  But let me ask you this: when is the last time you checked any of your Twitter connections’ “favorites”? Right… and they’re not checking yours either.

Tweeting Statistical Data From Third Party Applications

Most people are not that interested in how many new followers you received during the week or that such and such a person is now following you. Turn off the notification tweets in your third party apps.

Overuse of Hashtags

Less is more. 1 or 2 hashtags per tweet is sufficient.   Remember that a word without a hashtag will still show up in search results, so it’s not always necessary to hashtag it.  Do use hashtags when 2 or more words are strung together, for example, #socialmedia, or #biztips. Resist the urge to use hashtags in your bio.

Scheduling Auto-direct Messages to Thank New Followers

There are some who will disagree with this but most folks are annoyed with the large amount of automated direct messages they receive.  It’s difficult to be original when scheduling a thank you tweet that will go out to all followers. A better method is to send a quick “thank-you”  tweet or if you have the time,  craft a personal direct message.

Changing a Notification Tweet Into a Regular Tweet

Many years ago, Twitter showed all tweets, even if they were notifications from one person to another. As Twitter became more crowded, they did away with that feature in order to streamline the Twitter experience.

But then Gary Vaynerchuk used a promoted tweet and a Slideshare presentation to demonstrate that by placing a word or even a (.) before the @mention sign, a tweet would be seen by all followers again. This is GREAT… IF the information is worthy of being seen by all your followers.

Each and every follow does not need to see you thanking a person for a retweet or responding to a notification that is simply a conversation meant to take place between the two of you.

Your main goal is to provide good content and to be of service.

Linking Your Facebook and Twitter Accounts

Big mistake! Have you ever seen a tweet that looks something like this: fb.me/u964 ? Does it make any sense? No… therefore, it does not belong on your twitter stream. Facebook content doesn’t translate well to Twitter and Twitter content doesn’t translate well to Facebook. 

Airing Your Relationship Woes

Just. Don’t.

I know this is just a small list.  What Twitter practices annoy you?

4 Great Reasons To Try Rignite Now

Vector abstract background; clip-artAs a social media strategist and community manager, I am always looking for ways to save time on social media while still being effective. I also need access to reliable analytics. As such, I’ve tried various scheduling and analytic software products such as Hootsuite, Market Me Suite, Sprout Social and others.

Recently, I had the opportunity to retry Rignite and because it has changed so much since my last trial, I thought I would give it a shot.  I’ve only been using it a month now, but here are some of the features that have impressed me so far.

1. Campaigns

Rignite has different types of campaigns that can be set up. You can easily run contests (they even help choose a winner), promote an event, blog or content; boost engagement or grow your fans and followers. There are suggestions and easy to follow directions to help set up a campaign. The drag and drop calendar is especially easy to use and enables you to see which days are lacking in scheduled content.

example of rignite calendar sheduling tool

One of the features that I especially like is the ability to schedule a blog post to be tweeted out on a regular basis for up to 6 months. I have been using the plug-in “Tweet Old Posts” (now called Revive Old Posts) to randomly tweet my previously published posts on a regular basis but in the world of social media, things change so quickly. Blog posts such as “Facebook Changes Its Algorithm… Again” become outdated in weeks, sometimes days. With this feature, I can easily cancel the scheduling of the post when it is no longer relevant.

2. Photo Gallery

I love this feature! Rignite has an area called “Gallery” which can contain albums of photos. This is a great place to store all those quote images so that they can easily be scheduled out to post on social media platforms.

nature

3. Easily monitor competitors, influencers and VIPs without following them.

Sometimes there are folks that you’d like to keep an eye on but don’t necessarily want to follow (perhaps because you’ve reached your follow limit) OR whose posts you want to be sure not to miss. rignite makes it easy to do both by using their “Account Search feature. This same feature allows you to build relationships with your VIPS by being able to respond to them quickly and in a timely manner.

4. Unlimited Social Accounts and Low Pricing

The free version of HootSuite allows up to three social media accounts and no team members while its next level up at $9.99 per month has 50 profiles included and allows up to 100.

MarketMe Suite’s basic level at $20.00 per month includes  5 social profiles (and only 20 scheduled messages) while its next level at $45.00 per month includes unlimited social profiles and scheduled messages.

Sprout Social’s first level plan (called Deluxe) at $59.00 per user per month allows up-to 10 profiles   and its next level up (at $99.00 oer month) allows up to 20.

Rignite allows unlimited social profiles in all of its levels!  Their basic level is $19.00 per month but does not include campaigns. Their next level up (which does include campaigns) is just $39.00 per month. If you pay the annual price, there is a 10 per cent discount. These prices are great for the small to medium-sized business owner.

None of the social media scheduling and analytical software solutions are exactly the same. Take advantage of free trials to find out which solution is best for your own needs.

Image credit: Deposit Photos and Rignite

* I did not receive monetary compensation for this article but I was invited to receive an extended trial of Rignite upon completion of this article. I’ll let you know of my findings after the completion of my trial.

 

Facebook Bans “Like-Gating”: Here’s Why This Is a Good Thing

abstract grunge texture with title of article written on it.Buried at the bottom  of Facebook’s recent updates for their API and SDKs (and unnoticed by many for a period of time) was the notice that Facebook would no longer be allowing “Like-Gating” (also known as “Fan-gating”)

“Like-gating” is when a “like” is required in order to get to certain information on a Facebook page. That could be in the form of a contest or just certain content.

Per Facebook:

“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.”

Apps refers to 3rd party apps such as Heyo, ShortStack and many others. Often these apps are used to run contests and gather “likes”. Frequently, you’ll see something such as “First “like” my page to enter and then… ”   

This was never a good idea anyway, because the prizes didn’t always correspond to the content that the page was offering or intended to offer in the future. There were many folks who just liked a page in order to be eligible to win a prize such as an iPad Mini and had no interest in the content being offered. These folks would never be the target audience of the ideal client of the page owner, so essentially they were worthless “likes”.

Facebook gets that and stated “To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”

This makes complete sense to me. But not all marketers are happy.  Many marketers feel that large amounts of “likes” are imperative to their business.  Having large amounts of “likes” is beneficial IF you have the engagement to go with them. If you simply have “likes” and a small engagement rate, it can even be detrimental to your business.

According to Jon Loomer, “the negative impact of like-gating goes far beyond your number of “likes”. Facebook tells us that the average user would see 1500 stories on any given day.. and their algorithm brings it down to a more manageable number.” Like-gating confuses the algorithm because it doesn’t doesn’t know which persons are really interested in the content being distributed. This eventually has a negative impact on all of us with business pages.

It looks as though 3rd party apps knew this was coming because they are making changes to their platforms. ShortStack has designed a campaign that allows marketers to collect actionable and valuable data such as email addresses and customer feedback without having to receive a page like.

You can still ask people to “like” your page but concentrating on actions and engagement rather than the number of “likes” will be much more beneficial for everyone in the long run.

*Current apps will be allowed to run until November 5th.  Like-gating won’t work for any new apps created from this day forward.

What’s your opinion? Yay or Nay?

Optimizing Your Pinterest Account for Business

Pinterest for business articleThis article first appeared on SheOwnsIt.com

With over 70 million users and 2.5 billion monthly page views, Pinterest has proven to be a great social media platform for almost all businesses.  Studies have shown that consumers who engage with your small business on Pinterest are more likely to do business with you and spend more money in the process.  When using Pinterest, you’ll want to optimize your experience as much as possible in order to gain the most benefit. Here are 14 tips.

1. If you are a business, sign up for a business account rather than a personal account.

This allows you to take advantage of business offerings such as verifying your website and applying for Pinterest’s “rich pins”.

2. Optimize Your Profile.

As on any other social media platform, your profile is the first impression anyone has of you so make it count.  Your Pinterest user name and the about section underneath it are picked up by search engines so be sure to include who you are, what you do and the specific keywords that are used in your niche.

3. Create Focused Boards With Catchy Titles.

Make your boards specific and remember to use your keywords.  So for instance, if you sell kitchen cabinets, rather than creating a board with the title KITCHEN, you might create “White Kitchen Cabinets”, “Oak Kitchen Cabinets”, “Modern Cabinet Hardware”, etc.

Try to keep your titles under 28 characters so that the full title is visible.

4.  Create Keyword-Centric Pin Descriptions.

Many people choose not to add a description to their pins but descriptions can have great SEO value. Pinterest allows a huge amount of space for a description but per Hubspot, studies have shown that 100-200 character descriptions seem to work the best. Use your keywords but in addition to that, know your target market and know how to captivate them with your descriptions.   Consider using appropriate long-tail keyword descriptions, as well.

Hashtags are also being used again on Pinterest although searching by a word is easy enough. Remember to use them sparingly.

5,  Organize Your Rows.

Just as you would on your website, place your most important boards above the fold in the top 2 rows.  Studies have shown that the eye tends to see towards the middle so position the boards that you want to be seen most in this area.

6.  Share Unique Content From Your Website Onto Your Boards.

I think we all know the importance of having images attached to our blog posts, but when pinning from your website, you want to be sure that the images you use are interesting, clear and large enough to be seen well on Pinterest. Images should be at least 750 pixels wide so when purchasing your images, keep this in mind.  They don’t need to appear this large on your site; they just need to appear that large in your media url.

When folks are using the Pin It button from your site, be sure that your image populates correctly with the title of your post/page and your website name.  For more on that, check the Pinterest article here.

When folks are using the “Pin It” button in their browser to pin your images, it usually populates with whatever is in the “Alt text” box. This actually distresses me because the purpose of the Alt tag is to describe the image for those readers who are visually impaired.  I’ll leave it to you to decide what is best.

Once you pin an item from your website, go back to the pin on Pinterest and edit the pin to be sure it redirects to your post or website.  You will find the edit pencil on the upper right hand corner of the image. Do NOT edit other pins from other websites to redirect back to your own. I know that you wouldn’t, but it has been done.

7. Make sure that your boards are visible in “Search”.

Under Pinterest settings, which can be found on the drop-down menu under your name, there is a category called “Search Privacy” and if set to “yes” will “Keep search engines (ex: Google) from showing your Pinterest profile in search results”. This needs to be set on “no”. It is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make.

8.  Place the “Pin it” button on your website to make it easier for others to Pin your images.

You will find instructions for this here.

9.  Pin great content from other sources.

Just like on other social media platforms, it’s a mistake to make it all about you.  Choose images and content that parallel your own content or that shows some of your personality.  Some popular Pinterest niches are Food, Family, Home Decor, Photography, Design, Crafts, DIY, and Weddings. Pinning in these categories is a way for people to get to know you and then your business.

This is also a good way to position yourself as an expert in your niche by curating great content.

When you do pin other content or repin it, check to make sure that the link to the pin actually works.  There is nothing more frustrating than finding a delicious looking recipe, clicking on the pin to get to the recipe and finding either no link or just a link to the homepage of the site.

10.  Build followers.

Use the search box to find Pinterest users with similar interests or those who would might be a potential client and follow either their whole Pinterest account or the certain boards that are of interest to you..

11. Accept invitations to join “group boards”.

This is one of the fastest ways to gain followers and extend the reach of your content. Participating in group boards allows you to share your content on the group board and thus it is repinned by many of the participants onto their own boards.  Every time a pin is repinned, it is a “shout-out” the search engines by creating a backlink to the source page. The more a pin gets shared, the more backlinks are created within Pinterest.  These backlinks are said to be “no-follow” so they don’t add SEO value to your site.  The links in your pin’s descriptions are “dofollow”. I am NOT an SEO person so hopefully that made sense.

12. Take advantage of the “Gift” category.

Pinterest recently launched this new Gift category.  Whenever a price is added to a pin, it will appear in this category.  So whether you sell products or services, if you create an original image and place a dollar amount in the description, you’ll gain extra marketing exposure by having your pin fall into this category.

So there you have it.  Which are you favorite ways to optimize your use of Pinterest?  Can you share any tips that you have used successfully?