The writing was all over the wall and it was inevitable that social would truly turn into a marketing machine. I remember the days when I had my own social network for motorcycle enthusiasts, motorsport companies desired to be there because it was their target market all in one place. So why wouldn’t they want to pay to be there to advertise their products? But, today social networks aren’t that niche specific anymore because it’s just easier to be where the majority of your “friends” are and to just just create groups or hashtags of shared interest.
With social networks having member numbers the size of countries this obviously is the targeted area for brands and small companies. But, this also forces them to have to be more creative and truly think outside the box in regards to strategy. Below I took some snippets from Online Social media that really provided some great imagery breakdown of trends to look for in 2014. Like I said the writing was on the wall with Social Business, all that hard work of building your Facebook fans, especially your going to have to pay to play. According to the data below 82% of people don’t believe Facebook ads to be true, so it’s going to come down to what you’re trying to accomplish and being really creative and setting defined KPI’s. This will also force business to take a hard look at all their other social networks such as, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest for new exciting ways to engage their audiences. Bottom line is that this year it’s time to really use your Social CRM!
It happens ever so often that I see a complaint in my news feed about annoying sponsored ads. I get it, what was once just a social space to be only taken up by your friends, family, and not real friends has slowly been hijacked by big Brands and local businesses. In order for social networks to be able to offer us free usage they need to make money some how right? So let’s not be too picky.
I realize that there is a rat race of data collection going on, one of the biggest things Facebook is honing in on is location based data building. I wasn’t surprised to see that they partnered up with IT powerhouse Cisco, to offer Facebook login for businesses that have Cisco wifi. Genius right?
Then of course today we see that Instagram is rolling out sponsored ads on our activity walls. Sure it will be slowly fed to us by only brands who have a big following in the network, but soon it will be open to the localized level I imagine just like Facebook, and Twitter.
To keep your sanity with all the sponsored ads everywhere keep in mind they most are based off of your behavior and habits. (I say most, because there still is a good share of badly targeted marketing out there).Remember the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise? Below is the advertising seen, which I absolutely love because advertising keeps evolving and the way that we marketers get creative to target consumers is exciting but, eye scans? I could actually see that.
My point is, knowing that most online marketing is based off your behavior follow these 4 steps below to ensure a better user experience.
1. Do a sweep of all your social networks that you’ve provided information to such as interests, and hobbies. If your interests have changed then update them. Be honest about what you like.
2. Only “like” brands, companies, pictures, etc…. that you actually do like. Kinda makes sense right?
3. To stop unrelated banner ads from following you around the internet limit the use of family or friends using your computer under your user name. Create and use a guest account.
4. It doesn’t hurt to clean your cache every once in a while:-)
Your Digital Diva
With all the changes that we’ve all felt with Facebook you’re probably feeling the engagement meter has taken a dip. But, were you committing social media no-no’s before this even happened? So what am I talking about you ask?
As mainstream as social media is nowadays it still doesn’t surprise me how so many businesses still manage to make mistakes that will cost them there fan growth.
- Out of control scheduling and link blasting– Third party scheduling posts, statuses, and tweets is definitely a luxury I love as well, but some businesses have just gone out of control with it. You’ve basically set up your social and leave it on cruise control and then …. well you become unsocial. Not answering comments for days, or thanking for RTs etc…. I’m sure you’ve encountered this.
- The Facebook Ad Junkie- Yeah so you’ve ran a few contests or promoted some cool stories and by doing so you’ve grown your fan base substantially. But, since the big up tick in new fans there hasn’t been anything interesting that has kept them engaged….. Soo I guess I’ll run another ad~ don’t be that guy
- The all of sudden semi-automatic promoter- If you’re like me you probably forgot about some of the pages you liked on Facebook and because nothing else was really engaging about it was out of sight. Well out of the blue this page starts throwing out promotions left and right all in your wall space….. Yeah time to unsubscribe or unlike!
- The Secret Social Promoter- You just posted a an awesome savings coupon or a redemption where all you have to do is say you saw this on a wall, but the employees at the counter have no idea about it.. #fail
These are just a few of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen businesses make. What encounters have you had?
I was just browsing through some of my fav fanpages such as Coca Cola and Pepsi. It amazes that such big brands still can’t quite keep up with their social media moderation. I understand the importance in allowing fans to post to your page for the interaction, but this needs to be closely monitored especially if you’re a small business. For example the screenshot below shows the activity log of recent posts to Pepsi’s FB wall. Obviously the “seexy videoos” is just horrible spam, but the thumbnail picture is absolutely offensive and pornographic, “hence” the red X . The simple fact that kids will see this as soon as they come to their favorite drink’s fan page is sickening.
Bigger brand with a million + fans yeah not that detrimental to business, but if you’re a smaller company and have outsourced your social media management you still can’t let treat it like it’s on cruise control because you’re entire social efforts could crumble apart with an incident like this.
I’ve seen many mistakes made by agencies and careless “accidental” postings or unmonitored networks subjected to obscene spam. Don’t fall victim to it. When outsourcing your social media efforts you have to have someone accountable within in your organization, your “champion.” be sure your agency gets you familiar with setting alerts or simply helping you find the right mobile apps to keep you in the know when you’re on the go. You may not be able to stop the spam 100%, but you can be prepared if it happens and be able to put the fire out when need be! So just remember this is your reputation as a business owner staying social is a business by itself and you don’t have to take the reigns, just make sure you know what the horse doing, lol.
Are you taking advantage of best practices when it comes to promoting news about your business on Facebook? Now you can check with Facebook’s new Facebook + Media page, which launched Monday. The new page — geared toward journalists but with implications for all businesses on Facebook — includes best practices, tools to drive traffic and other insights for promoting news on Facebook.
To determine the best practices compiled on the page, Facebook analyzed 100 top media sites that use Facebook’s social plugins.
Okay — so you may not be a media company. But if you publish news about your company on Facebook, Facebook’s new page should be very applicable to you. While the Media Page offers advice to journalists for driving traffic on Facebook, it also includes tips for driving engagement and interaction. If you’re a marketer, these tips can be especially helpful as you try to increase interaction on your business’ Facebook page.
Social News Best Practices for Marketers
Check out our marketers’ guide to Facebook social plugins if you’re unfamiliar with them. Then review some of the most applicable best practices for marketers we pulled from Facebook’s new Media Page. Here they are!
To drive audience and interaction:
•Implement the Like Button social plugin on your website. Implement the version that includes thumbnails of friends, enables comments, and place it at the top and bottom of articles and near visual content like videos/graphics. According to Facebook, websites that followed these best practices experienced 3-5x greater click-through rates on the Like Button.
•Publish to users through Pages and Like button connections. (Click here to find out how.) Status updates asking simple questions or encouraging a user to Like the story have 2-3x the activity. In addition, stories that are published in the early morning or just before bed have higher engagement.
•Run promotions on your Page using FBML tabs.
To increase engagement:
•Implement the Activity Feed and Recommendations social plugins. Place these plugins above the fold of your website and on multiple pages to generate more engagement. Sites that placed the Activity Feed on the front page as well as other content pages received 2-10x more clicks per user than sites with plugins only on the front page.
•Planning a live event, webinar or webcast? Use the Live Stream box to capture real-time engagement.
•Keep your pages timely and regularly updated with fresh content to keep people engaged. Update the status on your page often.
Don’t forget Insights!
•Facebook offers basic insights into your Facebook page’s growth, fans and interactivity via Facebook Insights. Your page’s Insights Dashboard will provide metrics to help you understand and analyze trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content. Keep track of your business page’s performance to determine what works, what doesn’t and learn how best to engage your fans.
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Thanks To Driving Sales, I wanted to share this with you:)
1. Focusing on the Wrong Thing
Let’s set the hype aside for just a minute and think about how people shop for cars today. Know of anyone who says, “I think I’m going to buy a new car. I better go to Facebook and see which dealership has the best deals.” What customers do today is research, which includes doing homework specifically about each dealership. A recent study* found that one-half of Internet users research online before making any kind of purchase – on the Web, in a store or through any other method.
The study goes on to note that existing customer reviews had a strong influence on purchases by 71% of respondents, while only 25% said the same about Facebook fan pages. What is really interesting is that the same study polled a variety of retailers to learn what tools they were planning on deploying for their social strategy, and the number one response (91%) was a Facebook fan page.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Facebook has a place in your strategy, but it should be primarily centered on connecting with your existing customers, not primarily focused on acquiring new ones. Put the focus on growing your reviews instead.
2. Focusing Only on Sales Reviews
Ratings and reviews play a significant role in driving new sales; that’s not new news. If you’re like most dealerships today, you are doing all you can to increase sales department reviews – but don’t forget about service department reviews. They are critically important for two reasons: first, your service department has the opportunity to obtain a significantly higher number of reviews, and more importantly, the reviews actually help drive new car sales. You read that correctly. Service reviews impact car sales.
New data by DriverSide/Kelton Research reveals that over six in ten (61%) Americans would opt for a specific dealership to buy a new car from if they read positive service department reviews about that store – assuming price and location criteria had already been met. Think about that the next time the guy down the street has you beat by a few hundred bucks. Could your positive service department reviews compared to their lack of service department reviews make the difference? You bet they would. Grow your service reviews.
3. A Sales-Centric Website
What’s the biggest problem with most dealers’ social media strategy? It’s their website. Most everything we do with social media is created to get people to visit our site, right? The problem is most dealer websites are 80% focused on sales. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you consider that fixed operations drive 80% of the profits for most dealerships.
Sure you might have a “service page” with a service scheduler or even a generic coupon or two, but what percentage of overall content on your website is focused on topics of interest for owners versus prospects? If your site is sales-focused, what reason are you giving your existing owners to visit it?
Owner-focused website content will improve customer retention.
4. Conquest versus Owner Focus
Want your social media strategy to really take off? Think relationships. That’s the core of a successful strategy. It starts with leveraging your existing customer base.
An ongoing service and maintenance reminder and customer communication program, like DriverSide, is the easiest way to automatically stay connected with your existing customers. Don’t make the mistake of sending impersonalized non-service specific communication either. Remember it’s about building and then maintaining a relationship, and to do that you need to send relevant, timely information – not generic “one-size-fits-all” spam.
Remind them when their car needs its 50K service, tell them what is included in that service and give them a discount coupon as an incentive. And don’t stop there. Provide articles relevant to owners of vehicles with 50,000 miles – like how to save money on new tires or how to cut car insurance costs.
Do this via your newsletter and your automated service reminders with tie-ins to your social pages and watch your social media results grow.
Strong existing customer relationships will attract new prospects almost on their own. How? Your customer base will communicate their satisfaction with your dealership to their network socially to the benefit of both your service and sales departments.
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According to a report by, Nielson 17% of all time spent on the internet goes to social networking and blogging sites this past August. Consumers have obviously made a huge change in how the internet has changed.
Of course video and text still rule the overall experience of the web. Obviously the desire to connect or openly express thoughts seems to keep attracting people and continues to grow use.
I came across these cool stats below. You can see that for Aug 09 to Aug 2010 online advertising spend on the most popular social networks grew from $49 mil to $108 mil. Which, makes sense because the percent of share went 9% to 15%.
In particular, advertisers that want to connect with core fan bases, such as movie studios, and now car dealers catching on are allocating more dollars to online communities like Facebook and MySpace, because hello- this is where your target car buyers are hanging out and this is how you keep them engaged!