Tag Archives: social marketing

Should You Use Facebook Ads for Your Business?

We all know that making your advertising dollars count is critical to the success of your business.

Many people have asked me what I think about advertising on Facebook.

Is it effective? How does it compare with Google AdWords? Will it track my ROI?

Well, for starters there are over 800 million people on Facebook that you could potentially reach with your ad. That’s impressive.

Aside from that, Facebook allows advertisers to choose the audience they want to reach by filtering by location, age and interests. It offers the ability to test different image and text-based formats for the ad to see which gets the best response. You can also set a daily budget and adjust it at any time, so you have complete control over how much you spend on ads on a daily basis.

On top of all these features, Facebook just recently announced they are rolling out some new changes to Facebook Ads, giving marketers more opportunities for targeting and tracking results.

Coming soon, Facebook advertisers will be able to see what actions consumers take after seeing their ad on the social networking site. Before, Facebook Ads only permitted optimization for clicks, Page Likes, app installs and check-ins, but now marketers will be able to see whether the particular ad elicited the desired behavior (ie. visiting the website, making a purchase, redeeming offers, posting a comment, etc.)

Also with the new changes, advertisers will be able to target their ads to the people who are most likely to take the desired action. Eventually, Facebook will be able to tell which people are most likely to purchase online, share links, redeem coupons,etc., and then target their ads to those people.

Why is this new data so important? Measurement is EVERYTHING!

One thing about this kind of advertising is that you really need to pay attention to the metrics to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ad dollars, or else you can end up losing a lot of money.

You need to be analyzing how many impressions and clicks you’re getting and the conversion rates. You should also alter the messaging of your ads a few times to see what works best—which ad gets the most clicks? Which gets the most conversions?

So, what’s my answer? It all comes down to your goals.

Do your research and find out the average cost-per-click, the targeting options, tracking abilities for Facebook Ads and its competitors. See which one makes sense for your business.

Facebook Ads can definitely be a good idea. Just be sure to keep an eye on your results to ensure you’re getting the most out of your ad dollars.

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Marketing Showdown: Texts vs. Tweets

 

The global marketing race is off, and SMS and Twitter are neck-and-neck…or are they?

If you’re looking for new marketing tactics for your business, you’ve probably already considered using text message marketing and/or social marketing.

Thanks to the recent “mobile boom”, SMS has become the most ubiquitous form of communication, so it’s no wonder why more and more businesses are turning to text messaging to reach their target market.

Twitter has also become a popular form of marketing communication as it allows brands to send messages to other users, who can can then “follow” the brands to receive updates about them.

I came across an infographic comparing Twitter and text messaging as marketing tools, which is what got me thinking about the pros and cons of the two. Here’s what I wanted to share with you:

PROS:

  • Global Internet penetration is over 30% of the world’s population.
  • There are over 100 million active accounts on Twitter.
  • Brands can check up on customers and competition and stay up-to-date on what people are saying about your business online.
  • Brands can tweet sales, promotions, special offers, etc.
  • It doesn’t cost anything for brands to sign up.

CONS:

  • ROI and other results can be hard to measure on Twitter.
  • With Twitter, there are no available segmentation or targeting options. Each post will go to anyone who has followed you—you have no control over your database of followers.
  • One-to-many communication = lack of personalization.

PROS:

  • 90% of the world offers 2G coverage.
  • There are 4.2 billion SMS enabled mobile devices in the world.
  • 95% of messages are read by your subscribers in the first 15 minutes.
  • Marketers can deliver relevant information to a specific audience.
  • SMS allows brands to put together text-based contests, sweepstakes, mobile coupons, etc.
  • With text messaging, brands can segment out their database to target specific audiences.
  • SMS is PROVEN to increase loyalty and customer retention.
  • One-on-one communication: personalized user experience.
  • Measurable results.

CONS:

  • Brands have to entice customers to opt-in to receive text messages, and sometimes customers regard the messages as spam.
  • Creating unique, valuable call-to-actions through text messaging requires time and creative energy.
  • Brands have to pay a mobile marketing company or short-code provider to send out messages to their subscriber database.


What Now?

It’s obvious that both channels are important to growing your business.

With text messaging, you are fostering a one-on-one relationship with your customers. Even though your brand’s text message may go out to thousands of subscribers, it still makes each person feel that one-on-one connection when they receive the text message on their own phone. Also, because of the reach of SMS, you know the message will be read. Tweets, on the other hand, can get lost among the thousands of others in the Tweet feed.

However, if you are deciding between using either one form or the other, instead think about using them together. Both tools should be incorporated into your brand’s marketing strategy, as it is important to develop your database in as many channels as possible.

Each channel has its own advantages and disadvantages, but the more ways to communicate with your target markets the better!

What are the Marketing Opportunities with Facebook Mobile?

Facebook recently created some new opportunities for brands and marketers who want to target mobile consumers on the social networking site, which include three main components – Pages, Ads, and Sponsored Stories. 

Checking in

There are some exciting opportunities for brands and marketers that want to target mobile consumers on Facebook, the company revealed in an exclusive interview with Mobile Marketer.

Facebook has mobile applications for all of the top smartphone operating systems and has a mobile Web site as well. The company claims that approximately 200 million consumers access Facebook from their mobile device daily.

This is an obvious and huge opportunity for marketers. But it has been unclear as to what Facebook offers marketers on its mobile destinations, until now.

Mobile Marketer Deputy Managing Editor Giselle Tsirulnik interviewed Facebook regarding some of the opportunities for marketers on the social network’s mobile destinations.

Here is what the company said:

What are some of the opportunities that Facebook offers brands in terms of marketing and commerce?

Facebook has become an important part of online marketing. This is evidenced not only by the growth of Facebook’s business but also by the industry being quickly built around it. Facebook is now at the center of a fundamental shift in how marketers think about the role of social in their marketing.

There are three components for brands who want to get involved on Facebook – Pages (owned), Ads (paid) and Sponsored Stories (amplifying earned).

When you combine an engaging Page with creative Ads and Sponsored Stories, the opportunity to achieve a truly “always on” status increases exponentially.

We’re just getting data back on the success of Sponsored Stories, since they are a new addition to a marketer’s toolbox on Facebook, and it’s impressive. On average we’re seeing twice the engagement over Ads and in some cases we’re seeing up to seven times the engagement.

In order to help brands scale their efforts, Facebook created the Ads API, the Insights API, and the Pages API so third parties can help their clients efficiently buy and measure Facebook ads.

The Ads API is now out of Beta and anyone can apply to use these APIs.

The Ads API Beta included more than 20 companies that have already used the Ads API to service thousands of advertisers.

What role does mobile play in terms of the marketing and commerce opportunities for brands on Facebook?  

Brands looking to take advantage of mobile marketing opportunities with Facebook can activate Check-In Deals when they claim their Place on Facebook.

Check-In Deals can be a powerful way to connect with local customers and spread the word about a brand or business.

There are four types of Check-In Deals: 

● Individual Deal: You can offer this type of deal to both new and existing customers. You may create Individual Deals when you want to launch a new product, get rid of excess inventory, offer seasonal incentives, or simply get more people into your store.

● Friend Deal: Friend Deals allow you to offer discounts to groups of up to eight people, when they check in together. Friend Deals are a great way to build even more exposure for your business because more stories are generated when multiple people check-in.

● Loyalty Deal: To focus on rewarding your most loyal customers, create a Loyalty Deal. These deals may be claimed by customers only after a certain number of check-ins. Depending on your business, the number of check-ins may vary. Please note that you must create a deal that is redeemable after no fewer than two and no more than 20 check-ins.

● Charity Deal: Create a Charity Deal to make a donation to the charity of your choice. This is a great way for your business to give back to the community while adding a human touch to your business.

Recently, Places has been enhanced, allowing people to also check-in to an Event on Facebook, view their friends’ check-ins through a map view and have the ability to Like a Place (like a brick and mortar location) without leaving the mobile app.

At this point Facebook has not announced plans to serving Ads on mobile apps. However, a developer could choose to serve Ads in their own mobile application or mobile Web site.

Can brands split efforts for mobile and online? In other words have specific programs for PC users and different smartphone-tailored programs for mobile?  

Yes, brands always have control over where they want to focus their efforts.

 

Original Article

Retailers Place Hopeful Bets on Social Marketing

According to survey data from Forrester Research Inc. and Shop.org, retailers will spend more this year on Facebook and other social networks.

Nearly three-quarters, or 72%, of retailers plan to spend more on marketing via social networks this year than in 2010, according to survey data from Forrester Research Inc. and Shop.org. Only search marketing—this includes paid search and search engine optimization for natural search—beat out social networks for anticipated increases in marketing spend in 2011. 75% of retailers plan to spend more this year on search marketing.

The results come from the annual State of Retailing Online survey  conducted by Forrester Research Inc. for Shop.org, the online retail division of the industry trade group National Retail Federation. The first wave of the two-part report, released today, is based on a survey conducted in March and focuses on marketing, social networks and mobile commerce. The second section of the report will cover other aspects of online retailing and be released in the second half of this year.

The survey, conducted in March, includes responses from 68 e-retailers, including web-only retailers, multichannel retailers and manufacturers who sell online to consumers. Survey respondents reported a 40% average increase in 2010 web sales compared with sales in 2009—a hike skewed upward by a 79% increase among the manufacturers in the survey. (The 40% increase compares to 2010 online retail sales increases of 11% reported by Forrester, 14.8% by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and 9.8% by comScore Inc.)

Despite the anticipated spending increases, social networks account for only a small part of marketing budgets—2% of the $5.5 million average marketing budget among the retailers responding to the survey. And only 29% of respondents say social marketing has helped grow their businesses.

Still, 18% of respondents say that a social network presence was among their top sources for acquiring new customers—tying social networks with e-mail marketing for fourth place among customer-acquisition techniques. Search engine marketing led that list with 90% of respondents, followed by affiliate marketing with 49% and organic traffic at 44%.

When asked about their attitudes toward the value of marketing through social networks, the largest group of respondents, or 82%, say they are pursuing social marketing strategies because “this is a great time to experiment and learn more about what they can do.” The next-largest group, 62%, say the returns on social marketing are unclear; and the third-largest group, 61%, say the primary benefit of social marketing is “listening to and better understanding our customers.”

When asked specifically about the benefits of marketing through the Facebook social network, brand building is cited by 40% of respondents; listening to customers, 37%; getting new fans or Likes, 16%; building the lifetime value of existing customers, 6%, and customer acquisition, 1%.

Original article found at: http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/05/03/retailers-place-hopeful-bets-social-marketing

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