Facebook Business Best Practices For Posting in 2016

Facebook Posting Tips

Facebook currently has 1.65 billion monthly users, and they’re not going anywhere. There is a huge opportunity for your business to gain a loyal following and attract attention to your brand.

But with all of the competition out there, how do you get your fans engaged and immerse yourself in your industry and social community? We have a few Facebook best practices for you!

Keep It Short

Facebook posts should be short and concise in order to capture your audience’s attention. According to a study by Jeff Bullas, Facebook posts under 40 characters receive 86% higher engagement than other posts.

Facebook-Best-Practices-Short-Post-Example

Since it is almost impossible to portray your business’s message in under 40 characters, we recommend sticking to the 100-120 character range when writing posts related to your business.

That said, users on Facebook want to be able to scroll through their timelines quickly, engage with a post, and move on to the next one.

Ask Simple Questions

Asking a question is one of the easiest ways to engage your fans, however, you want to make sure that you’re asking a question that guides your audience towards a fast answer. Make it easy for them to engage by asking simple questions that are quickly answered.FB Post Best Practice Example Questions

The easier your question is to answer, the better. For example, “What is your favorite pizza topping?” will get a much better response than, “What do you like about our pizzas?” The first question guides your audience towards an answer, making it easy for them to type out a quick comment.

Sharing (Content) is Caring

Sharing content from other Facebook pages is a great way to connect with other businesses in your industry or geographic area. Many companies make the mistake of only posting their own content-but that’s not social.

Example of Facebook Share

Look for organizations and thought leaders in your industry and within your geographic area with a sizeable fan base and engaging content on their Facebook page. This way you’re providing your fans with high quality content and supporting other brands in your space.

Doing this not only improves the content on your page, but even more importantly, you’re engaging with and immersing in the community.

Stay Relevant

Your fans are following you because they want the latest and most relevant news from your industry. Don’t waste their time by posting funny videos of babies (unless you’re a baby clothing company of course).

At the same time, you don’t have to post content directly related to your business all of the time. Create and share content from within your industry or geographic area. Know your audience and gauge what might interest them.

For example, if you’re a company that sells outdoor gear; posts about camping hacks, fishing jokes, or beautiful hiking pictures will probably appeal to your audience. This is your chance to connect with your fans and create a community, so take advantage of it.

Facebook-Post-Stay-Relevant

Change It Up

Variety on your Facebook page is key. Your page won’t see sustained engagement if you’re posting only links to your website or images of your coworker’s dog. Yes, the dog is cute but it’s not really related to your company or industry.

Vary the content on your page by making 70-80% of your posts completely non-promotional, but still keeping them relevant. By changing up the type of posts, you will be able to hold your audience’s attention for an extended period of time.

Variety-of-facebook-posts

Bonus Tip

If you’re staring at your screen wondering, “Is this ok to post?” ask yourself these questions:

If the answer to any of these is “yes”, then don’t post it. Where there’s doubt, there’s better content to be had.

Whether your social media goals are to engage an already expansive following or to get yourself noticed in your community, it all starts with an engaging Facebook post. By posting the right kind of content to Facebook, you’ll not only gain a following but you’ll keep your audience’s attention and turn them into loyal fans of your company.

Ready to give your social media strategy a boost? Download our latest guide, The Social Media Image Cheat Sheet today. It’s better to be proactive than reactive, ya know?

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How Social & SEO Go Hand In Hand

It should be no surprise to companies that in order to build their brand, they need both social media and search engine optimization (SEO). How can one help the other?

In more ways than one, your social channels have the ability to help improve your search engine visibility. While many people are aware that social networks and SEO work together, they are still unsure about how this is accomplished.

Let’s take a look at how these two can work hand in hand.

Utilize Social Pages and Their Ranking Potential

Did you know that social media profiles are often in the top results for a brand name? This is because social networks already have high domain authority and ranking potential. Businesses should use this to their advantage. When done correctly, social media channels even have the ability to appear before the official website of a company, as you can see here.

General Electric Search Rankings

While you should never use targeted keywords in an unnatural manner, it is good to craft engaging social media content around them on your social channels. This can help create multiple search listings for a brand.

Bonus: Did you know that it’s possible for an individual tweet to appear and rank in Google’s search results? Google searches the Web for the latest in a specific topic and, if it is your tweet, given that it is relevant and credible, it will show up first on the page. Although it is easy for your terms to appear at the top of the page, it is just as easy for it to be dropped to the bottom if more suitable information is found.

The Hunt for Backlinks

Another way to boost your brand’s SEO is by posting relevant and useful backlinks. Social channels are a great place to encourage your potential clients or customers to learn more about your company, services and overall brand by clicking on your website. Links to your content and website on social media networks help search engines, like Bing and Yahoo, recognize that your company is credible as well as what keywords to associate you with, based on your content. While Google has not officially announced that backlinks from social media are part of their search ranking algorithm, it is highly suspected that they are.

Social Back Link

Be sure to create content that is useful, informative and necessary. Don’t drive your audience away by stuffing your social pages with unnecessary backlinks. An example of effective link building with content would be to create a Youtube video for every blog your company publishes, then embedding it into the social platform when you share the blog. This allows you to capitalize on the social channel’s Web authority while sending traffic to your site.

Grow Your Fan Base

Having a large number of followers also helps give Google the green light that you are a trusted brand. It’s true that a company with 500,000 followers on Twitter will rank higher than one with 5,000. However, Google also has the ability to detect when you have fake followers and will penalize you for that.

Facebook Like

While it may take a bit of time to build a prominent following on social media, the key is to stay patient and consistent. Post content that relates to your brand and demonstrates your authority in the industry. Don’t forget that social channels were created for you to be social. Connect with those who engage with your posts and pages by commenting, liking and sharing what they said.

While there are still many unknown or unverifiable factors that go into determining a website’s search ranking, it is no surprise that social media plays a vital role in the process.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Checking Social Analytics

When was the last time you checked your Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics? If you use social media to bolster your business and marketing efforts, hopefully, your answer isn’t “never”! Without analytics and concrete numbers to compare, there’s no way to measure the results of your efforts. Checking your analytics regularly and keeping track of your numbers allows you to post strategically. Don’t just cross your fingers and hope you’re doing this whole social media thing right.

Analytic sites, such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, throw a lot of information at you. However, if you can answer the following four questions, you’re well on your way to improving your social media strategy and increasing your numbers all around.

1. Who Am I Talking To?

One of the first questions a marketer will ask you is: “Who is your target audience?” Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics provide basic demographic information, such as the distribution of your audience’s gender, age and location.

Twitter Audiences

Take a look at your own audience and ask yourself if these numbers reflect your target market. If you’re a local business, the majority of your audience should live in your area. If this isn’t the case, it might be time to reevaluate your social strategy.

Bonus Tip: Get to know your audience on another level by noting their top interests under the “Audiences” tab in Twitter Analytics. Consider this list when it’s time to create content.

2. How Many People Did I Reach?

Reach is the number of people who saw your post on that network. So the larger the reach is, the better — especially when your objective is to increase brand awareness. People can’t like, comment or share your post if they never see it.

For this reason, you want to maximize your reach by posting extremely engaging content at optimal times. According to Facebook, posts that get more engagement show up more in News Feed and are seen by more people. In contrast, posts that are hidden, reported as spam or cause people to unlike your Page reach fewer people. Posting at optimal times can have a huge impact on your reach and overall engagement rate. Be sure to look into tools that can automatically do this for you.

Facebook Optimal Times

3. How Engaging Are My Posts?

An account with engaging content will keep your current audience happy and attract new followers. More importantly, it’ll make your business memorable. A common way to measure engagement is to take the number of engagements (i.e., “likes,” comments, shares, etc.) and divide it by the reach. We recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of your engagement rates, and hopefully you’ll see these numbers increase as you fine-tune your social strategy.

Twitter Engagement

When analyzing your engagement metrics, make note of posts that performed extremely well or poorly. You may want to ask yourself certain questions, such as: What caused the engagement rate on May 16th to be more than 4-percent higher than the average rate this month?

If you’re not seeing the results you need or want to improve your average engagement rate, take a look at posts that performed exceptionally well and add similar content to your schedule. See what else our ad specialist has to say about getting more “likes.”

4. How Much Traffic Did My Website Get?

If your goal is to direct people to your website so they can find more information about your company or as a way to generate leads, the traffic metrics that are available are likely important to you. Although you can view the number of link clicks directly on Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, we recommend that you get into the habit of using Bitly (a free link-management tool that allows you to track who’s clicking your links). It shows you how many people clicked your link as well as additional information.

Look: Even big brands like Nordstrom use Bitly!

Nordstrom Bitly

To view details for a specific Bitly link, just add “+” to the end of the URL in the address bar. For example: http://bit.ly/1TaQRkA+

Bitly TrafficBitly Clicks & Geo

If you can answer these questions after reviewing your social analytics, you have a pretty solid understanding of your audience and your performance on social media. Remember to monitor these numbers regularly because as your audience grows, so will the value of your metrics in regard to understanding the impact that your social media marketing is having on your business overall. However, don’t expect anything to change overnight. Improving your social strategy is a continuous effort and, as long as your growth is positive, you’re heading in the right direction.

Behind Taco Bell’s Social Media Strategy

Do you ever wonder how a brand can establish such a prominent social media presence? It isn’t easy, but with the right social media strategy, the job can be done. Case in point: Once a struggling fast food chain restaurant, Taco Bell is now a social media sensation.

Taco Bell has garnered nearly 10.4 million Facebook fans and 1.7 million Twitter followers, not to mention their many other supporters on other social channels, such as Snapchat and Vine. In the ’90s, Taco Bell was known for their old slogan “Think outside the bun.” However, newer and younger consumers wanted something more than just food; they wanted the overall brand experience and, ultimately, a cool lifestyle.

We’ve already gone over how to market to millennials, so now let’s look into which specific social media strategies Taco Bell uses to do that best.

Why Taco Bell’s Social Channels Are Successful

#1: They react instantaneously.

When you enter the realm of the social media, you’re also dedicating yourself to digitally interacting with others in real time. The notion speaks for itself across the different social media platforms: We tweet to share what we’re currently thinking; we Instagram to show what we’re currently eating; and we Snapchat to show what we’re currently doing.

Nowadays, customers—in particular, millennials who were born into the digital age—expect no different from businesses who are present on social media. Just like when online users engage with their friends through social media, they always assume that somebody, such as a brand representative, is on the other end and will quickly respond to them.

Taco Bell tweet 1


Studies
 show that customers expect a response from a company within an hour when it comes to Twitter, especially if it’s a complaint. Taco Bell recently employed a #TacoEmojiEngine, in which Twitter users send @TacoBell a tweet containing the taco emoji and a second emoji of their choosing. Then, Taco Bell replies back with a relevant photo or GIF that’s an amusing mashup of the two. Twitter users receive a response within seconds, thus quickly boosting their brand loyalty.

#2: They show they’re human, too.

People use social media to connect and have fun, not to drown in posts that are selling products or services. Rather than accepting their position as the passive consumer, now, customers want businesses to feel like a friend; they want authenticity to shine through.

Put simply, people want their favorite brands to “keep it real,” and Taco Bell does just that with the perfect amount of humor and wit, as is evident in the following example tweets:
Taco Bell tweet 2

Taco Bell doesn’t allow their customers to feel as if they’re talking to an automated robot. Each of their social media replies is tailored and specific—they are never a matter of “Ctrl+C” and “Ctrl+V.” This strategy cultivates a digitally intimate relationship between Taco Bell and their customers. Ultimately, Taco Bell teaches us to stop selling, and to start talking.

#3: They highly value their customers.

It’s in our nature to want to be noticed and credited for the things we do. Customers always want to be a part of the experience, and Taco Bell’s social media strategy has acknowledged them as one of the most valuable assets of their brand.

Taco Bell blurs the traditional line between producer and consumer by encouraging user-generated content. They show us what it truly means to appreciate the customer. Take a look below.

Taco Bell tweet 3

Taco Bell shares the experiences their customers have with their brand, often in the form of a retweet on Twitter. Whether or not the images are high quality, Taco Bell makes sure to share to show they care. In addition to sharing consumer content, they also pay close attention to what their customers have to say.

#4: They go out of the box (or better put, they “Live Más”).

Almost every move Taco Bell makes on social media creates buzz and lasting impressions. They go above and beyond, to be adventurous and experimental in their social media strategy, just as their demographic is.

As one essential component of their strategy, Taco Bell introduces new menu items in bizarre ways that keep their customers curious and engaged. In the following example, they introduced the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos via a six-second Vine.

Taco Bell Vine

More recently, Taco Bell unveiled the Quesalupa in a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. Prior to the big reveal, they allowed people to preorder the secret menu item online, even when they were unaware of what is was. The campaign provided intrigue, even pulling in people who weren’t initially Taco Bell fans.

If there’s one thing that Taco Bell’s social media strategy boils down to, it’s that to reach quantity, you must first understand the importance of quality. Your business doesn’t have to follow the exact same footsteps as Taco Bell, as not everyone has a millennial audience. Instead, find what’s unique to your brand, making sure to understand and listen to your demographic.

5 Tips for Responding to Negative Social Media Reviews

Responding to Negative Reviews on Social Media

Nowadays, it’s extremely easy for consumers to look up a business on social media to see what their ratings are and what the quality of their customer reviews are. Prospective customers will read these reviews to determine how your company handles customer service issues.

Word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly effective, so these social media reviews could make or break your ability to attract potential consumers. Therefore, having great customer service online is of the utmost importance, augmenting your social media presence.

From time to time, it’s possible a negative review may show up on your page. Maintain the integrity of your business by reacting appropriately to the negative comment. Follow these five tips to learn how to respond to a bad review on your social media.

Tip No. 1: Respond to the comment.

Always respond to the negative review, as other customers can see how you react and may judge your company’s customer service based on that interaction. This transparency will allow others to see that you do pay attention to how your consumers feel, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they leave with a positive experience.

Always respond to the negative comment on the thread so others can see your attempt to provide good customer service

By discussing the situation on the online thread, your audience can see your attempts to correct any mistake or wrongdoing, and that you truly care about building a relationship with your customers.

Tip No. 2: Contact the user in a private chat.

We recommend responding both on the public comment thread and in a private message, so you will be able to get more in-depth information from the commenter in a direct chat.

Chobani Example Social Media Post

If you end up resolving their problem, you can ask them to re-review your business on your social media to counteract the negative review.

Tip No. 3: Don’t make excuses.

Instead of making excuses regarding why the customer’s situation may have happened (e.g., we were short-staffed, our computers were down, etc.), make it a point to tell them that the occurrence is unusual for your business and that you would like a chance to make it up to them.

Make sure to do whatever is in your power to solve the dilemma and do not make excuses.

Earn back their trust and business by explaining how important customer satisfaction is to your company, and then take whatever steps are in your power to resolve the dilemma.

Tip No. 4: Give them your contact information.

Provide your direct contact information, so they know who they are talking to and are guaranteed a response. By getting on a more personal level with them, the customer will know they are talking to a person, not simply a profile picture of your business on social media.

Give the customer someone they can talk to directly so they know they will not get an answering machine.

Tip No. 5: Take their feedback into consideration.

Their feedback may highlight a weak spot in your company that you weren’t aware of. See if there are further actions you can take to prevent this problem (and another negative review) from happening again.

Example Whole Foods Social Media Post

Responding to negative reviews isn’t always a fun task, but it’s crucial for you to get to the bottom of the problem so future consumers won’t have the bad impression of your business that can be relayed in a single comment on social media.

Our platform specifically notifies you whenever a new review appears on your page, so you can immediately take action if it happens to be an unfavorable opinion.

By reacting in a positive and friendly manner, you’ll demonstrate that your business’ No. 1 concern is your customer’s happiness, which will earn you a stronger audience and devoted consumers over the long run.

Why Local Social Media Is Critical To Multi-Location & Franchise Brands

Recent studies show that social media engagement with brands is at an all time high. With 78% of surveyed consumers reporting that social media affects their purchase decisions, most brands have embraced the importance of having a corporate presence on social media.

“the surge in local business page searches on social media has made Facebook the #2 mobile search engine for local businesses”

However, as consumers have become more conditioned to use social media to engage with brands, the trend has become to do so at the local page level. In fact, the surge in local business page searches on social media has made Facebook the #2 mobile search engine for local businesses, and a top five site for local reviews.

Of further importance to Franchises is that more than 73% of potential franchisees now cite local social media pages as a source of their due diligence when considering a franchise brand.

Unfortunately, most brands are missing out on this recent consumer activity, as they have generally ignored their local social media pages. These brands are either leaving them unclaimed, claiming them but not posting to them, or allowing them to be managed by a local manager or franchisee as they see fit.

In this post, we will explain the reasons that brands can no longer ignore their local pages, and how they can leverage local pages to multiply the benefits of social media across their entire organization with minimal effort.

Facebook Cannot Be Ignored

While there are many options for engagement on social media, Facebook has become the industry leader for brand interaction. With over 1.6 billion users, more than half of which interact daily on mobile, Facebook is a platform that can’t be ignored. Beyond its pure size, Facebook has begun to dominate digital marketing in two very important ways: local search and local reviews.

Facebook Search: You Have To Engage To Rank

With 823 million users checking Facebook on their smartphones or tablets daily, and the average American spending 14 hours every month on Facebook’s mobile app, it’s no wonder that Facebook has become a massive force to be reckoned with in local search. In a previous post, we mention that Facebook is changing the way people search, and it is becoming the popular choice for finding local businesses.

Mobile_Skyline

Consumers are searching for all types of businesses on Facebook, from their local pizza or sub shops, to the nearest hardware store, to a reputable service provider in their area.  However, Facebook has its own methodology for ranking local businesses that is completely independent of the Google algorithm. Amongst these factors is whether the local page is active and engaging. Unclaimed or inactive Facebook pages rank lower, and as a result may be missing hundreds of searches daily for their product or service.

“we did a simple search on Facebook for “Pizza San Diego”… 319 results before we saw the first Pizza Hut!”

Let’s look at an example. At the time of writing this article we did a simple search on Facebook for “Pizza San Diego”, expecting to find the usual major pizza brands. To our astonishment, it took 36 search results before finding a single Domino’s, 97 search results before we saw the first Little Caesars, and 319 results before we saw the first Pizza Hut!

So why are these monster brands not showing up in the Facebook search, especially since they each have dozens of locations in San Diego? It’s because, like many brands, they are only speaking to the Nation through their corporate page, instead of posting to all their local pages.  This gives more active local pages an opportunity to attract customers (or franchisees) through social media.

Facebook_Graph

For those pages that are ranking higher in Facebook search results, it is important that the page be on brand and consistent with brand values.  Pages managed by a local manager or a franchisee can often be inconsistent and potentially damaging to a brand’s identity.

Facebook Reviews: There With or Without You

With its high and frequent user base, it’s no surprise that Facebook would add reviews to their offerings. What is surprising is how quickly Facebook became the leader in reviews, now receiving more local business reviews on a monthly basis than Yelp or Google – and in some categories 4x more.

“Facebook became the leader in reviews, now receiving more local business reviews on a monthly basis than Yelp or Google – and in some categories 4x more”

For brands, this is both a blessing and a curse.  Facebook reviews is now a required feature on every local Facebook page, whether the page is claimed or not, and whether it is monitored or not. While this is a great opportunity to be found by new customers through the word of mouth of their trusted friends, or to show great customer care, these reviews could also be very damaging if the local pages are left unattended – scaring away potential customers and signaling a poorly run business to potential franchisees.

Brands must make sure those pages are claimed, and should consider leveraging a technology platform such as SOCi – it lets you know when those reviews have been left, and allows you to quickly respond or direct a local manager or franchisee to respond.

Leveraging Software To Manage Your Brand’s Social Media

Now that we understand that social is important for your brand, particularly the social media goliath Facebook, let’s explore some simple tactics for taking advantage of this opportunity.

Empower Local Managers

Brands work very hard to create the goodwill associated with their names, often spending millions of dollars in advertising and image shaping.  Yet it always surprises us when we see that $100 million brand in the hands of hundreds or thousands of individuals, all of which are now imputing their own personalities and interests onto the brand.  Not only can this be damaging to your brand, but it also may be damaging to your ability to recruit new customers or franchisees.

Brands must have a strategy in place to keep local pages on-brand and interesting. Left to their own, local managers or franchisees will either do nothing, or potentially damage your brand with off brand messaging.

Technology solutions, such as SOCi, exist to help multi-location brands efficiently deploy brand positive messaging across multiple pages, and empower franchisees with local libraries of content from which they can quickly get ideas and assets.  Furthermore, workflow technologies like SOCi allow you to moderate post scheduling across multiple locations, and to deliver feedback and ultimate control over messaging.

These solutions help brands gain a local presence without adding headcount, while protecting their brand investment and goodwill.

Deploy Campaigns To Engage And Recruit

EnterToWinAmerica loves giveaways!  What’s better than attracting hundreds of fans to a giveaway on one of your social media pages? Attracting tens of thousands of them to that same giveaway that now sits on hundreds of local Facebook pages.  Once the effort has been made to take control of local pages, you can use them to mass distribute messaging as well as promotions and campaigns.

These campaigns can be a true catalyst to engagement and new customers. As a recent example, we had a customer that deployed a giveaway campaign across 300 local pages.  While the brand page generated more than 500 entries to the campaign, the total campaign across all pages resulting in more than 30,000 entries and 25,000 likes, with little incremental effort!

Giveaways are not only for attracting new fans.  Many brands have been deploying campaigns as recruiting tools to find new employees, agents or customers. By leveraging local pages, a brand is able to cast a vastly wider net, while maintaining a local feel with their audience. Of course, regardless of your goals and methods, this sort of mass deployment is only possible on certain technology platforms like SOCi, as it is built specifically to help you scale your social media efforts.

Do It From A Single Platform

Social media is not like a website –  the content and conversations are always evolving.  Succeeding at social media across dozens, hundreds or thousands of locations requires sophisticated software. You need an enterprise platform that delivers all of the functionality under a multi-tiered permissions system that allows you to give different controls to different parties. Your platform should include content intelligence, content library, analytics, peak traffic time scheduling to the four major networks, listening and responding capabilities, campaign creation tools and a robust reporting suite.

SOCi is an All-In-One Social Media Management Platform
Built For Scale.

What can SOCi do for you?

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3 Things Brands Can Learn From Bands on Social Media

Make Your Brand A Social Media Star Like Your Favorite Bands

Brace yourself for an influx of glow sticks and flower crowns in your social media feeds, because festival season is in full force! From Outside Lands’ lineup announcement this week to next weekend’s Coachella kick-off, there’s certainly no shortage of savvy crooners to creep on.

Beyonce_Formation

We’ve already learned that Taylor can cover her tour via Twitter, and Beyonce can drop a surprise video on Facebook right before her Super Bowl spot, but what can actual brands do on social media to replicate a similar success story to scale?

It’s simple, really – and we’ve narrowed it down to three steps: Show up, keep up, and keep it personal.

1. Show Up

Have you ever been in a relationship where the other person just stops communicating for days, weeks or even months at a time? Whether it be a coworker or closer companion, chances are that relationship ended, and it didn’t end well.

You are also in a relationship with your social media followers. If you don’t show up with new, engaging content on a regular basis, they’re going to back out. You simply can’t disappear and expect to have the same fuzzy feelings reciprocated upon your return.

Taylor_Swift_Shanghai

The reason bands do so well on social media is because they are constantly sharing new stories with their audience. You have followers because they are interested in what your brand has to say, so continuously give them something to talk about.

2. Keep Up

It’s one thing to simply show up – it’s another to actually keep up. The good news is you don’t have to be a Kardashian to make it happen (enter sigh of relief here). Merely make sure you get to know your followers on each of your social channels, as they may vary greatly.

Whether someone mentions your brand in a tweet or comments on your latest Facebook post, respond. Validating your followers with likes, comments and retweets is pivotal for building a lasting relationship.

Jack_Antonoff_Bleachers

You can even use these conversations as another form of testimonials for your brand, like Coldplay and Jack Antonoff often do. Showcasing your followers’ feedback benefits both you and them immensely, and you’ll look good doing it.

3. Keep It Personal

No one wants to be in a relationship where they are constantly being sold on something. You must first build a foundation of trust, as your followers thrive on knowing there is a real person behind your brand with whom they can connect. Bands don’t just post when they’re headlining a festival or promoting a new record – they share pieces of their every day lives to keep their audiences’ attention both in and out of the arena.

Coldplay_Today_Show

So, don’t be afraid to dig deeper into your brand’s culture by sharing a video from around the office, or to capitalize on current events with a holiday hello. After all, your followers stay inspired through your input.

Time For The Mic Drop

Successful bands on social media don’t have customers, they have fans. While most brands are aiming to accrue a greater market share, bands just want to satisfy their tribe. Empowering your followers to be a part of your brand’s story goes a long way.

Lady_Gaga_Birthday

Bands like Incubus and Blink-182 have held fan contests to create their next music videos, and Lady Gaga responds to her fans’ personal stories at her shows with compassion. You, too, can host contests and simply show you care through social conversation.

Don’t think of your followers as customers, think of them as brand advocates. When you think of retention, think relationship. And when you think of your next sale, think of social media – because that is where the conversation is happening, with or without you.

Mistakes to Avoid For Brand Building on Social Media

5 Brand Building Mistakes to Avoid on Social Media

Did you know that as of January 2014, a whopping 74 percent of adults online use social networking sites?

Thanks to the ability to reach a potential audience this large via social media, it is highly likely that a well-crafted social media campaign and strategy will help your brand grow. Alternatively, one mishap on social media has the ability to hurt your brand image and reputation.

Get the most out of social media by avoiding these five brand building mistakes.

Mistake No. 1: Using every social platform

Social-Media-ManagementWhile there is a wide array of social media platforms available for use today, it may not be valuable to your company to be active on all of them. Each network serves a purpose and appeals to a specific audience. Prior to signing up for social media accounts, determine what your social media goals are. It is important to align your goals with the platform that can convey it best.

It is also essential for you to conduct market research on where your audience lives online. Being on too many channels may hinder your ability to reach your target audience and result in ineffective content. Social media requires you to be active and engaging with your customers, as frequently as they are with you.

Mistake No. 2: Not staying relevant with content

Given that social media platforms were built with different goals in mind, they each offer a unique experience to their targeted audience. For this reason, it is important for companies to deliver content that expresses the right tone for each channel.

Here are the characteristics of the top four most-used social channels and how to cater your content to the users of each social platform.

Twitter

1459310562_twitterTwitter is a powerhouse for creating buzz around a brand and building it fast! Companies are able to speak to customers in a more informal and fun way. Use this channel to share events and conversation in real time.

Facebook

1459310564_facebookFacebook is by far the most personal of the “Big Four” social sites. This network is best used by providing content that’s complete with visuals: clear and eye-catching photos. Use this channel to put a “face” to the name of your business, communicating with the use of long-form content and comments from your fans.

LinkedIn

1459310558_linkedinLinkedIn is the most formal social platform. It was built for business professionals to share updates on their companies and the related industry. Use this platform to provide potential employees and clients with updates on the current state of your business.

LinkedIn also offers users discussion groups and has a built-in blogging platform. Companies and employees can use these avenues to display their expertise and express their opinions about current industry events. This helps build your credibility as well as your brand.

Google+

1459310555_google_plusGoogle+ is the key to maximizing your brand’s visibility on Google’s search pages. It has the ability to draw customers in by providing essential business information such as your location, phone number and reviews. Google+ allows you to craft content for specific target audiences by placing them in different circles, which is a way to group people by certain characteristics.

For example, a business may want to create circles for VIPs, prospects and current clients. You can then craft and deliver circle-specific content. Use this platform to increase your company’s SEO and to laser focus your content for specific audiences.

Mistake No. 3: Sharing too much information in a short period of time

Posting and interacting in a consistent manner is definitely important, but it is possible for pages to publish posts too often.

Followers will get tired of you constantly flooding their dashboards and could potentially unlike or unfollow your page!

Twitter

Tweet at least three times a day, but never more than once per hour. Since Twitter was made for real-time, short-form content, you can post on Twitter more often than you would on the other platforms.

Facebook

Post to Facebook two times — max. Socialbakers found that posting once a week wasn’t enough for brands to capture their audience, but that posting more than twice a day would cause brands to lose engagement.

LinkedIn

Post here once a day, but not on weekends. Given that your company shouldn’t make business moves too frequently, there is no reason to post more than once a day.

Google+

Post on Google+ three times a day at most, but not on the weekends. With Google+, the more you post, the more engagement you will see!

Mistake No. 4: Ignoring the “social” aspect of social media

Spark-ConversationOne of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media is actually forgetting what the platforms were created for. Social networks provide companies with a voice and a personality. It allows customers to see that companies are not robots, that they are doing business with real people.

Outside of posting content and updating statuses, companies should respond and reply to what their customers are saying. While you don’t have to interact with every single post or tweet, responding to them builds more trust and camaraderie among your followers.

Use social media as a way to display the fun and different quirks and traditions that only your company may have!

Mistake No. 5: Not utilizing your analytics

Almost all social media platforms now provide their users with analytics regarding who has been engaging and receiving their content the best. Facebook provides insights about gender, age, location, post clicks, website clicks and more. Recording these numbers allows you to see where you may have gained unexpected customers, as well as whether the content you are currently posting is engaging.

After collecting more details on your engaged audience, you can target your advertisements more specifically toward the age group, gender, location and other demographics that performed well. You can also conduct more market research about how to reach these specific groups, creating ads that will be more cost effective.

Avoid the five mistakes above, and you will be well on your way to creating an engaging space where you can be social with your fans and followers. What are some social media mistakes that you have learned to avoid?

SOCi is an All-In-One Social Media Management Platform
Built For Scale.

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3 Easy Ways To Step Up Your Mobile Facebook Game

It’s no secret that Facebook users are increasingly using mobile devices to access the popular social media platform. A whopping 823 million daily users only check Facebook on their smartphones or tablets, and the average American spends 14 hours every month on the mobile Facebook application (app).

What does this mean for your social media efforts? It means that you need to start optimizing your page, your content and your ad budget for mobile users.

Start by creating an intriguing page.

Your page’s first impression can mean gaining a customer or losing credibility. Having a poor-quality profile with lackluster cover images, or lacking those images altogether, could drive a customer away before they even know what your business is about.

Make sure your cover image and profile image are eye catching and offer a good representation of your brand. Images are what your audience will see first, so make them clear, colorful and the correct size.

Mobile screenshot of SOCi facebook page

The second thing a user is going to see when visiting your page is your company name and category. Update the category of your business page to best reflect your services, so a mobile user can quickly identify what your page is about. If a user can’t find what your business does within a few seconds, they will most likely move on with their search — to another business’ profile page.

Make it easy for your fans to find you.

More than 1.5 billion searches are performed on Facebook every day. That means that people are searching for your business on Facebook, so don’t make them work too hard to find it. How can you make it easier for users to find your Facebook business page? Simply, always ensure that your page details are up to date.

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If you change your phone number or address, immediately update that detail on your Facebook page. The more information you have filled out on your page, the better. Be sure to fill in your hours — even if you are an online business — to let your customers know that you are available 24/7.

If you want to make it even easier for your current and future customers to reach you, add a call-to-action button. These buttons appear smaller on a desktop device, but are front and center on a mobile Facebook page. You can choose whether you want to send your visitors to your website or encourage them to pick up the phone and call your business for more information.

Target mobile users in your ads.

When running an ad with the goal of capturing page likes or boosting a post for engagement (i.e., likes, shares and comments), remember that more than 50 percent of your audience only uses Facebook on their mobile devices. This might mean running an ad that only targets mobile users or making sure that you include the mobile-targeting option when setting up your Facebook ad.

To put all of your budget towards mobile users, simply uncheck the desktop and right-column options and leave the mobile option selected.

Mobile-Ad

As the use of mobile devices continues to increase, it’s important that you ramp up your mobile social media strategy. Luckily, this doesn’t involve completely changing your strategy, but simply making a few key adjustments. Having an eye-catching profile, providing all the information a potential customer might need and being smart with your ad dollars will put you on the right path to success.

Create Buzz Around Your Business With Facebook’s Local Awareness Ads

Getting Customers To Find You

How well does your community know about your business? Are you promoting your business properly on social media? If not, you might want to try Facebook’s Local Awareness Ads. These ads are easy to create, produce a high reach to your page, and let people surrounding your business know who and where you are.

This quick read will provide you with everything you need to know about Local Awareness Ads.  We know you’ll be getting the buzz you hope for around your own business after using these helpful pointers.

What are Local Awareness Ads?

These type of ads allow hyper-local targeting of potential customers that live near or have recently visited the area surrounding your business location. Local Awareness Ads make “advertising for local businesses easier and more effective”, because businesses can find their customers by feeding them ads when they are nearby.

How To Set Up Local Awareness Ads

Benefits of Local Awareness Ads

Local Awareness ads are the perfect solution for small businesses to affordably generate awareness. Facebook understands the importance of advertising for all sized companies and has made it easy (and inexpensive) for even small businesses to get their name out there.
Cost Effective

Audience Targeting

Easy To Use

Setting Up Local Awareness Ads: 4 Easy Steps

Some business owners get scared when it comes to promoting their company on Facebook for the common (and false) worry that it is hard to navigate.

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Fear not, Facebook Local Awareness Ads can be set up with these 4 easy steps:

  1. Select “Create ads” in the Facebook ad manager then select the “Reach people near your business” option. Paste the URL of your Facebook page (or the page you are wanting to promote).
  2. Next, the location address should automatically populate. Otherwise, enter it manually and choose the radius, age, and gender of your target demographic.
    • Is your business not located in a big city? No worries! Facebook Local Awareness Ads allow you to reach people 1-50+ mile radius to ensure you are spreading the word to everyone!
  3. Enter the lifetime budget and select the date range in which the ads will run. Facebook will then display the estimated daily reach. (Feel free to play around with different age ranges and interests to see the max reach you can achieve).
  4. Select the image you’d like to use and create short & specific copy. Next, simple select from one of the four call to action choices and place your order.

As you can tell, utilizing Local Awareness Ads are not only easy to set up and use, but are also a great way to create buzz around your business. Do you have any advice through the success of using Local Awareness Ads? We would love to hear your helpful tips in the comments below!