Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why do people unfriend companies

Here's a great graphic on why people turn away from brands on social media. The top reasons are predictable: too many posts, repetitive content, too much marketing without enough good information. Companies, however, are much more likely to be shunned on email than in social media.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Google Adwords or Pay Per Click

I've now talked with several people who have stopped me when I've mentioned the term "adwords" or they've simply gotten that confused look that most people reserve for the Swedish directions that come with Ikea furniture. Other's confuse adwords with metatabs or SEO. So, here's your one-minute explanation.

Google adwords are words or phrases that prompt your listings or ads come up in the search page of Google. This is also called Pay-per-click advertising because you typically, well, pay... per... click through to your site. It gets complicated in that you have to bid on the word or phrase in an auction to determine the rank of the sponsored listings.  Click through rates are typically 8% for the first listing, 5% for the second and it goes down from there.

Along with the auction, the order is also determined by Google's quality score. The search-engine system calculates the quality score on the basis of historical click-through rates, relevance of an advertiser's ad text and keywords, an advertiser's account history, and other relevance factors as determined by Google. The quality score is also used by Google to set the minimum bids for an advertiser's keywords. The minimum bid takes into consideration the quality of the landing page as well, which includes the relevancy and originality of content, navigability, and transparency into the nature of the business. Confused yet?
There is also an art to finding the right keywords to get the most visitors to your site. That will have to be for another day.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Changes to your Facebook page

Changes is inevitable. Online it's constant.  Facebook is changing its format and anyone with a facebook page, which is everyone by now, will soon see them. 

•Increase on the character limits on status updates from 500 to 5,000
•Added floating top navigation bar
•Gave users the ability to edit the left hand navigation menu
•Hid the poke button
•Streamlined the Birthday notifications feature
•Removed the ability for users to add custom messages to friend requests
•And don’t forget friend lists, introduced last week

The biggest update to the platform, however, is without a doubt the redesigned newsfeed section. With this update, Facebook has further defined and developed their relevancy algorithm. Now, the default newsfeed page has been redesigned to include a split stacked single column feed instead of two single column tabs.

The first, and primary section is for top stories, a contextually optimized feed which contains the “top” stories that were posted since the last time you logged into Facebook. These top stories are selected using Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, which can now be more easily refined thanks to the addition of a top story toggle button on the upper left corner of top posts.

What do these changes mean for brands?
1. These changes are like a filter to get what people want
2. Brands will game the algorithm. This is the next SEO.
3. It will be harder to get fans and keep them interested.
4. Companies will make rich content, like photos and video on their updates.
5. This type of content will get bigger.
6. Updates will reach for not only news but a higher level of engagement

Don’t panic. As with every major Facebook update, you’ll have to make some changes to your strategy. It will take marketers some time to catch up with these changes. But they will, and the savvy brands will ultimately become stronger and better at generating engagement on Facebook.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Trial by technology OR the frustrations of set-up

Technology is growing leaps and bounds daily. It's amazing to see. It's fun to experience. It's brutal to set some of it up.

So much of technology is trial and error. These days training is rare and to learn the tricks of the trade, many times, you just have to dive into the trade. It's not easy. Tonight, I've spent an hour trying to get a RSS feed to automate. The software doesn't seem to want to accept the feed URL. Not easy. Yet, once I get it to work, every part of this business' social program will update once the blog is updated.

The answer is I keep working at it, learning as I go.  I look up references. I ask friends and mentors. I experiment. Success will be sweet. Until then, I just have to deal with the bitter taste of defeat. Once I learn from my mistakes, the next time around will be a breeze.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How Social Media Picked The Last Presidential Nominees

As I've said before, I'm taking a class to get a certification in Social Media. This week, we went over a timely case study of one company and how they predicted the outcome of the 2008 Primaries well by looking at how the candidates used Social Media.

At the time, the leaders for the Democrats were John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. For the Republicans, Mitt Romney and John McCain held the public's attention. So, the social media company created a grading criteria to track the candidate's social media use. The candidates were graded on 1. Awareness 2. Publicity and 3. Importance.

They installed the SEO Quake plugin on each candidate's site to tell them the page's rank on Google, how many pages Google ranked and how many other sites are linking to the site. Then they looked at the Alexa Ranking, which is how many unique users are going to the site and how much time they're spending on the site.

They also used SEO Digger to find how many times the site comes up in the search engine searches. They also looked at how many videos were made about them, the number of friends, the number of blogs writing about the candidates, the use of Twitter. They also looked at how many emails they were sending out (probably asking for money).

From this they saw in August before the primaries that Obama and McCain would win their primaries. You may think this was a fluke or coincidence. Could be. But they then predicted Obama winning over McCain using these analysis.

Analytics are powerful. In the last race, social media was a major influencer. In this election, it's even more powerful. It can be powerful for you too. You just need to keep up with it or pay a content specialist to keep up with it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stats from my Social Media Class

I'm taking a class from University of San Francisco to become certified on Social Media and Google Keywords. These stats were given by the teacher and social media guru, Jim Kukral.
1. 60% of people interact with companies with a social media presence
2. 93% say companies should have a social media presence
3. 85% say a company should interact with customers via social media
4. 56% feel better served by companies with a social media presence
5. 43% say a company should use social media to solve customers' problems
6. 41% say a company should use social media to solicit feedback from customers

What does this all mean. Social media is now as mainstream as any media. It's now the "obvious" media.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Social Media Resolutions

1. I will post more. This is a given every year.
2. I will read more about new trends. This one goes along with...
3. I will use to aggregate all my RSS feeds and save some time. I need to know more about their tools
3. I will try to create better content that drives traffic.
4. I will discover and use at least one new social media site.
5. I won't rely on the "5 best" types of posts that EVERYONE uses on their blog.
6. I will retweet more.
7. I will redo my website. I also say this every year.
8. I will change up the podcasts I listen to and maybe even create more audio and video files for this blog.

That's enough for now.  I'm already exhausted.  Happy 2012 everyone.