New changes on Facebook

As usual, more changes happening on Facebook. These are actually good ones.
Here is what the great Mari Smith said about these changes:

Two more changes to Facebook’s News Feed just announced! Again, the emphasis is on quality content, relevance and giving priority to related conversations. “Helping You Find More News To Talk About” http://newsroom.fb.com/News/768/News-Feed-FYI-Helping-You-Find-More-News-to-Talk-About

Here are the two updates with suggested takeaways:

① Facebook continues to put emphasis on quality content. Now, links to quality articles on external sites will be given priority in the News Feed, especially on mobile. “Meme photos” (hosted outside of Facebook) will be given lower priority in the News Feed.

Facebook’s surveys reveal that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports teams, or shared interests to the latest meme.

In addition, soon after you click on an article in the News Feed to read it, you may see up to three related articles directly below to help you discover more interesting content. Cool!

➤ TAKEAWAY: As we get ready to go into a new year, focus on producing, curating and sharing excellent content that is relevant to your audience. Of course, this has always been the case, but with these new changes, we may start to see (finally!) LINK posts getting better “EdgeRank” (News Feed visibility). Perhaps at some point, link post reach will eventually be on par with status updates and photo posts?! That would be awesome.

② Earlier this year, Facebook announced a new way to push stories you may not have seen in the News Feed yet back up to the top. This tweak to the algorithm is called “Story Bump.” Now, Facebook is adding bumping to also highlight stories with new comments. When you make a comment on a post, often you might not return to that conversation. This new bumping update allows you to resurface stories with new comments to see what else has been said and add to the thread, if you wish.

➤ TAKEAWAY: Make good use of Friend Lists (including the Close Friends List) and Interest Lists to keep a closer eye on key contacts, friends and Pages so you can proactively engage with relevant posts. As you engage with posts, this helps to bump that story higher in the News Feed of the people involved in the conversation. (To learn how to set up Lists, see this post: http://bit.ly/fb_newsfeed).

Remember, “Content is King but Engagement is Queen and she rules the house!” These two updates to Facebook’s News Feed are great examples of that quote.

7 Success Factors of a Social Business

  1. Define the overall business goal and align social media strategies against it.
  2. Establish the long-term vision for becoming a social business.
  3. Seek and earn key executive support and sponsorship based on the business case, not the trend.
  4. Beyond marketing and service campaigns, develop a list of prioritized initiatives that will demonstrate business value at the enterprise-level and in key functions/lines of business and plot them on a two-to-three year roadmap.
  5. Train and educate executives and employees not just how to use social media, but also how social media can impact business objectives and how to develop and run programs that do so continually.
  6. Get the right people involved at the right levels. An effective social business strategy takes a unified approach with cross-functional support. It’s a combination of social media savvy and business acumen.
  7. Invest in technology only after your vision and strategy are set. Technology and social media in general are only enablers to the overall mission and purpose you set forth.

social media graph

Research by Brian Solis

E-mail marketing better than SEO and Social Media?

Very interesting info-graphic about the efficiency of e-mail marketing from Business2community.

E-mail marketing

 

If you feel overwhelmed by this fact, read on to learn about some great email subject lines that will guarantee your targeted audience opens your email.

1.) Subjects that Offer Contrary Advice

This particular subject line works really well if the audience happens to encompass members of the business community. Ultimately, the use of a contrarian title makes a reader begin to think about what you actually mean and they end up opening your email specifically to find out if they guessed what you were talking about.

Example: Your Clients Have No Idea What They Want: Effective Research Shows Correct Market Trends and Foregoes Collecting Customer Opinions

2.) A Creative Thought that Doesn’t Really Fit Together

In a sense, this could involve the use of sarcasm. When used correctly, this style of writing can be humorous, invoke curiosity and inspire action. But remember, if you use it in the subject line, the body of the text has to back it up.

Example: Accomplish All Your Dreams without Leaving Your House

3.) Say Something Controversial

Ultimately, controversy will always be an effective marketing tool. This is why the National Enquirer and other celebrity tabloids will always fly off the shelves. A reader always wants to learn a secret or be privy to salacious information. As an email marketer, you can use this desire to sell your product or service.

Example: What Facebook Doesn’t Want You to Know About Paid Ads

4.) Shock and Awe

Shock will always be one of the most intense emotions a human can experience, for better or worse. Shocking information sells and, just like the breaking news ticker that scrolls along the bottom of the TV screen, this type of subject line should be timely. After all, how many times have you paused what you are doing specifically to check out what a shocking headline was about, either on TV or the Internet? The same can be said about email.

Example: Warren Buffett Explains Why Your Business Is Going to Get Crushed in 2013

5.) Reference the World of Pop Culture

As much as many of us may hate to admit it, there is a reason why people like the Kardashians and Lindsay Lohan attract our attention. While it may be a form of mediocre entertainment, most people have a hard time turning their attention away from pop culture references. This is because, for good or bad, pop culture icons satisfy our curiosity as well as allow us to feel good about our choices (because of their bad ones). A pop culture reference in an email subject line can be pure gold.

Example: What Not to Do: Kim Kardashian’s Guide to Bad Business

In closing, there are some rules to follow when writing email subject lines.

  • Make it useful; promise valuable information to the reader.
  • Ensure that there is a sense of urgency; it must inspire the reader to open the email right now.
  • Create a unique message; ensure the email is something that is compelling and creative.
  • Provide specifics; always make sure that the message shows how the reader will benefit from the information.

Remember, your targeted audience is not simply standing by, waiting to hear from you. When you do happen to have an email in their in-box, you have to give them a reason to open your message and read what you have to say.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/how-to-write-attention-grabbing-email-subject-lines-0369445#yiaclyAqIYL2SeJz.99

Love me, hate me but look at me

Frankly every time I go to a social network I can hear the screams of professionals: “Love me, Hate me but look at me”

Every one with a different tip, a cooler picture, or in many cases, a bigger lie. “look how I made 6 figures in 3 days: etc.

It looks like we are so desperate to be popular, to be visible and to get people to pay attention to us that we just do anything.

So desperate, we forget to search for what is really important: Qualified customers with an emotional reason to stay close to us.

We forget what is really important in our business and just spend time in actions that will not bring us any profits. Even worse, most of the time we forget to set a structured process to convert the few that do pay attention to us.

No wonder, failure is a word that crosses the mind of many of these entrepreneurs.

Friend, social media is a knife with a sharp edge on both ends. It can help you a lot but it can also kill you.

Unfortunately, lately it looks more like a harakiri sword where many entrepreneurs use to commit suicide.
They drink this drug of choice and leave their business to the hands of fake popularity.

It drives me crazy. I love what social media can do for business but I can’t stand anymore this search for fool’s gold. A new trick everyday to fool yourself that things will happen fast and easy. If only you buy this new e-book, software, program etc.

Stop this nonsense right now I beg you!

Achieving long lasting prosperity takes more than this. Above all it takes some thinking time and a strategy.

Let’s look at this:
If you were an artist with your work in a gallery, how could you stand out from the other paintings?

1. You could paint a bigger picture. That alone would make you pop. In marketing, I think this is where social media can be used well. You can be everywhere.

2. Paint a different picture. You can always go with the herd and do whatever everyone else is doing or…..you can do what makes sense to your business, have a structured process to convert your marketing efforts. Let’s face it, you can be marketing all day but if you don’t have a process to make sales where are you going to end up?
I talk to people everyday and so many don’t have a process to sell.

3. You can paint a picture that tells a story. You can create emotional connections, have people stop and pay attention to you, tell your hero’s story and engage people is a whole different level than number of friends and followers. Those numbers don’t matter if they don’t pay attention. I have a whole system on how to position your business to become irresistible here.

4. You can do all of the above and stand beside the picture engaging with possible buyers and closing the sale. Yes you. not a tool, not an audio, not a message on a wall. You. You are necessary in your business. You must have a process, a strategy and you must ask for the sale. You don’t need to be miss popular, you need to be a true entrepreneur that does what it takes to succeed. You need to stay away from the herd, be yourself and take specific actions to make your business grow. Most of them will happen outside the social media environment. Stop fooling yourself. Social media is just media, it is not the solution to all your business needs or marketing needs.

Come on, you can achieve so much more.

Social midia marketing: Here comes Pinterest

Yes, there is a shiny baby out there and the name is:

Let’s look at some numbers:

It’s been around for two years. But in the last few months, interest in Pinterest, the social media site that lets you “pin” images onto a virtual corkboard, is off the charts.

Before you start groaning because it’s one more program to learn, check out these stats:

–From December 2011 to January 2012, unique visitors to Pinterest.com increased by 155 percent.

–More than one in four users earns more than $100,000 a year.

–The site registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December, up from 1.6 million in September.

–It’s pulling more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined, according to one study.

–Research shows that many people are spending more time “pinning” than they are connecting with their friends on the almighty Facebook.

Why should businesses pay attention to Pinterest?

By putting the “Pin It” button on your pages, all of your pins will include a link back to the source, such as your website or blog, a great way to revive interest in old content.

–You can connect Pinterest to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, which means you don’t initially need a huge number of followers on Pinterest to start picking up steam.

–You can create boards around topics that tie into your products and services, being careful not to overtly promote.

–Users admit that Pinterest is absolutely addictive. That’s because, unlike other social media sites, it’s filled with millions of colorful, captivating photos and a clean design that pulls you in.

Facebook Sucks: Google+ Blows Away Facebook for User Visibility

Awesome post by Jon Cilley

So why does Google+ – in my opinion – work so much better for smaller businesses than Facebook? Why can unknowns become known so much easier on Google+? There are a couple reasons. Let’s start with the most important: Google Search. Of course, like all social media platforms, Google+ has its very own search feature. But what makes this feature fundamentally different from Facebook is how it is utilized.

For instance, I want each of you reading this to go into Facebook’s search engine and type one simple word: “photos.” What you will find are pages that have this keyword within the title of the page, maybe someone named “photo,” and four relevant photos from your friend’s recent posts. You won’t even see every page relating to photos or content, you’ll just see the ones who thought to put it in the main name of the page. One thing you won’t see is a photo from an unknown content provider, the very thing you would want someone to see – if you are looking for exposure. What you will see is the very thing your News Feed should have produced in the first place: content from your friends – which is hidden and tucked below at the very bottom.

What you have here is a very closed system. Putting friends first, not content. This makes it very hard for individuals or brands that are not known commodities to reach new followers. Now I want you to type the same word “photos” into Google+’s search engine. What you will find is exactly what you searched for: photos.

You will see two different options, “most recent” and “best of.” Most, if not all of the search results, are from individuals the current user does not know – if these posts have been posted publicly. Also, right from these search results the user can then add individuals or pages to their circles. They can click “best of” to see which content is getting the most engagement and visibility, and if you agree with the magnitude of engagement a particular post has acquired you can add right from these results as well. This is how the unknown becomes known: putting content first.

This is virtually impossible on Facebook, which relies on a one-to-one friend network to expand word-of-mouth endorsements. Because of this, Facebook provides a virtual speed bump for the rapid expansion of content that might deserve the added visibility.

Google+ is a search-first social network. Facebook is a friend-first social network. Just notice when you first type something into Facebook. Friends popup first, and you have to scroll down with the arrow keys or cursor to get to search results as opposed to friends. On Google+ it’s the opposite, a keyword search appears first before individuals in your circles.

The next reason Google+ increases the ability to rapidly expand your follower base is “Shared Circles.” Getting in a shared circle can be an additional way to gain followers and grow visibility for the content you produce. Because the framework of Google+ makes it much more appealing to add individuals you may not know than Facebook, an individual might not hesitate to add a shared circle containing hundreds of individuals relating to their interests. Getting in one of these is usually a gift that keeps on giving. Also, relating this back to Google+ search, people can find your shared circles without even following you beforehand – again, if it is shared publicly.

So if you want to grow followers and increase engagement on the content you produce: first create great content, second post it publicly, and third do it on Google+. Facebook sucks.