Today's post comes from Craig Robinson. A freelance writer from Qwaya.com – a Facebook ad management tool and helps advertisers organize their campaigns.
It’s not a threat that crosses the mind of the average, social media businessperson, but your information is at great risk any time you log onto the Internet. There are always hackers out there looking to steal your personal information, and even if they’re not going to access your monetary accounts, they can still do a lot of damage to your overall brand.
Nobody wants to deal with online hacking, especially on social media, but it’s a fact of Internet life that we all have to face. So if you’re a company using a site like Facebook, you have to take steps to ensure your safety.
Staying safe is about learning a two-tier system: Things that you need to be aware of, and safe practices to adopt for your business dealings.
Tips for Your Social Media Safety: Awareness
1: Suspicious Links
Does that link you just received look a bit suspicious? Is it structured like “w/.ci.491/” or in another unrecognizable format? There’s a difference between shortened links you’ll see with sites like Twitter and malware links sent by hackers. But hackers can also stuff malware inside of legit-looking links, so “suspicious” in this context means to be aware of who it’s from as well.
2: Random Friends
As noted above, who the link is coming from is important. Not every “friend” you have on Facebook is actually a friend. Some are spam or troll accounts just looking to leverage you into clicking a link. Beware of anything sent to you from anyone you don’t know.
3: Private Messages
A private message seems a lot more personal than a random post with a random link. But does that mean you should trust it? Hackers are banking on the fact that you’ll view a PM as nonthreatening. Beware of the PMs!
A malware link or another virus might not be aimed at you directly. It could be aimed at a general audience and accessed through someone’s wall posts. If you haven’t got the picture yet, be very cautious about what you’re clicking. Even something you think is an image or a video link could be malware.
Hackers go to great lengths to get your personal information. Hiding malware like key loggers in applications is a popular tactic used on Facebook. Everyone’s looking for cool apps, but make sure you trust the source.
Good Practices to Adopt
Using social media for your business advertising doesn’t require you to give over personal details to people. Make sure no one else knows your personal information, such as account emails, your full name, etc. More often than not, passwords are deduced from the information you give rather than being hacked through malware.
2: The Shell Game
When you think of a shell game, you think of picking the shell you think the object is under only to find that it’s not there. Well, this is what you want to use as social networking security with things like email accounts. Keep your social account emails hidden and use other email addresses to correspond with people.
3: Real-Time Measures
You need some real-time protection to stay safe online, such as real-time scanning systems, notifications, privacy protection, and other pieces of software that act as a strong barrier when something slips past you.
Try to stay informed on the many different ways hackers are penetrating accounts. There’s something new coming down the pike consistently, and what works as defense today may fail tomorrow if you’re not aware of the new tool or tactics used.
5: Ignoring Things
You must learn to ignore things when you’re operating online and especially via social media. While it’s true that most social advertising tips preach the importance of engaging your audience, that doesn’t mean to go around clicking the links people send you. It doesn’t mean to answer every PM. You have to ignore some things that seem suspect. It’s not your duty to open links and files or follow others to a destination.
My friend Larry Levensen at Sigma Web Marketing wrote a nice write up about the State of Inbound Marketing, based on research compiled by HubSpot. He provided 10 Take-Aways. Among them:
- Sixty percent of companies will execute inbound marketing strategies in 2013.
- Marketers allocate 34% of their overall budgets to inbound tactics – 11% more than they dedicate to outbound strategies, like banners, direct mail, and more.
- This year, 48% of marketers plan to increase their inbound marketing spending – the third year in a row that inbound budgets are increasing at a near 50% pace.
If you're in the process of implementing an online marketing campaign that includes a strong, well-optimized website, a comprehensive SEO strategy to improve your website rankings, social integration, online customer service, attention and response to online customer reviews -- then you're well on your way to succeeding at inbound marketing. Congratulations!
But if you haven't claimed your profile on Google Places, or you're inattentive to what your customers are saying about you on Yelp, or you don't know how your TripAdvisor ratings are affecting your reputation, then watch out. I'll be teaching a class about how to manage your online reviews and recommendations on Sat. August 10th.
As Larry explains, relationship marketing is not just about learning how to use a set of tools, its about having a strategic and cohesive marketing strategy well aligned to your business goals. "To see real results, you need to deeply commit to the model and optimize continually," he explains.
That's never been more true. And, it's never been as easy to connect with your customers and prospects. Don't let the opportunity pass you by.
Read the State of Inbound Marketing Report 2013 (No Opt-In Required) and Larry's Summary of 10 Take-Aways
Facebook announced the launch of a new smart discovery engine that, for now, will focus on four areas: people, photos, places and interests.
It uses the power of your own network to give you highly personalized results for your search queries. Results will be ranked according to your friends and friends friends interactions.
Does this mean the end to Google, LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare and the rest?
I asked Robert Scoble if I could share his thoughts here, and he agreed. The following is from the discussion on Quora:
Q: Is Facebook's new Graph Search Engine a danger to Google, LinkedIn, Yelp & Foursquare?
Robert Scoble (studies tech for Rackspace): It is a threat, but only in the long-term if the others don't react quickly. I've used the new search engine quite a bit. Yes, it is disruptive to many of those competitors.
Just so you know where I'm coming from, I study how others use Facebook and have built several lists, including these:
But to more directly answer the question.
Let's say you want to find a Mexican Restaurant near you. Where do you go?
Google? Sure. You coud search for "Mexican Restaurants in half moon bay ca" like this: Page on Google.com
You get a list of stuff, some of which have reviews, some of which are noisy intermediaries (http://business.intuit.com directory shows up, for instance). But which one is REALLY good. Which ones do the locals like? Which ones have your friends liked?
Heck, on the Google Result is a restaurant that's been closed for months (brianna's). Google isn't good at cleaning out old stuff (Fourquare, Foodspotting, Yelp, are much better at this).
Now, go do the same search on Facebook with the new Graph Search. You'll see just how many people have checked in at each place (good indication of popularity and frequency), how many people like it (good indication of brand resonance and impulse to come back), and how many of your friends like it. Along with other details. Far more useful.
Notice Brianna's is on Facebook too. I reported that, lets see if it gets removed quickly.
Let's try this on Yelp.
I like Yelp because of the reviews and because of the detail. Also its search is optimized for finding different kinds of Mexican Restaurants.
But what's missing from Yelp? Friends! The reviews are from people you don't know, and it's very hard to figure out who the reviewers are because Yelp doesn't force real names or a real identity system.
Which will happen first? Yelp gets real names and real people, er, friends of yours, or Facebook gets the detail and search quality that Yelp has? I bet on Facebook getting there first.
I like Foursquare for its "explore" feature on mobile phones and also for the tips that people leave on places. But the others clearly have more data. That said, this view doesn't really show Foursquare's advantages well, which are really in the tips for each restaurant (I find they are easier to use and more accurate than your average Yelp review).
Here's the tips for Tres Amigos, my favorite Mexican place in town:
Can Facebook match the tips today?
Nope, but it could within short order just because of the number of people who use Facebook and who write about each place.
I know you didn't bring it up, but let's look at Foodspotting.
Here you can see photos of food, which is really awesome. You also get lots of Facebook-style likes and interactions on the pictures. Do they get disrupted by Facebook's search? No. They offer something that Facebook can't match. Yet. Photos of food taken by real people.
Now, let's look at LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn really good at? Finding people in business. Some for hiring. Some to help with a project. Etc. etc.
So, here's a search about Twitter on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is really good at this.
Let's do a similar search over on Facebook using the new Graph Search:
Shoot me, but the Facebook one looks warmer because I can see who connects us.
But lets go further. Let's look at Twitter employees who like programming. That's hard to do on LinkedIn because there isn't a common "like" system over on LinkedIn:
Yes. Facebook has done something disruptive. As it gets better it will take value away from the other places that people do searching for things.
Some limitations with Graph Search today:
- No mobile client yet.
- No content searching yet. (No searches like "who on Facebook liked xxxxxxxxx Quora post").
- Very few Facebook members have it yet (and it'll be rolled out "slowly" according to Facebook execs, which means it might be months before all Facebook members have access to it).
- You can't yet use lists in your searches and lots of other searches you will try might not work because Facebook hasn't hooked up the datatypes yet. As Facebook says so far this is really designed for a small number of use cases: searches for location, people, interests, etc. If you want to search for other stuff it'll use Bing for the results.
If I were working at one of the other companies I'd be spending a lot of time thinking about how we would counter the threat of a Facebook search/discovery system. The others have time, but not much.
Will it dent any of the other's profits or such short term? No. This is a long-term threat. But that doesn't mean it's any less disruptive or dangerous.
PR/Communications professionals: Social media marketing is having a profound impact on corporate communications, and traditional methods of marketing and public relations are in decline. It's important to retool your skillset in response.
A marketing survey of 972 professionals familiar with their business’ marketing strategy found that social media marketing channels are maintaining their low-cost advantage. These types of "inbound marketing-dominated organizations," which design marketing programs around their ideal customer prospect, reported a cost-per-lead 61% lower than outbound marketing-dominated organizations, which rely on print or display advertising, direct mail or events.
The lower cost-per-lead finding is remarkably consistent from year to year. Over the past three years studies have showed strikingly similar results. Inbound marketing-centric organizations experienced a 60% and 62% lower cost per lead respectively over the last several years.
For those that question the value of Facebook marketing--akin to those who pondered email marketing in the 90s--the trend for social media marketing is clear. Consumer brands need to be where their customer is. Facebook is the modern equivalent of main street. It's the digital gathering ground. So, companies need to start interesting conversations and show great customer service, as well as genuine concern for their customers. Never has one-to-one relationship marketing been so accessible for advertisers. Marketers can get to know their customers by looking through the profile pages of their fans. See a TV show your fans like? Start a conversation around it, or join a tweet chat. Show how your brand fits into your customer's lifestyle.
Because social media marketing is increasingly affecting the ways consumers make buying decisions, most companies are either maintaining or increasing their online marketing budgets. When asked about the reason for increasing budgets, nearly hald say the reason is due to “past success."
As a result, marketers are allocating more of their lead generation budgets to social media and company blogs.
Companies that rely on their website for new business leads say they are attributing more of their budget to regular and frequent website content, primarily in the form of blog posts. Corporate blogs are an effective way to publish fresh, new pages on topics that are timely and of high interest to ideal customer prospects. Previous studies have found a strong correlation between the number of blog pages on a company's website, and the number of leads that company generates each month.
Blogs had the highest instance of being reported as “below average cost.” 52% of companies who blog indicated leads from this channel were “below average cost.” Trade shows, direct mail, and telemarketing were most frequently ranked as more expensive.
The average budget spent on company blogs and social media, acccording to HubSpot, increased from 9% in 2009 to 21% in 2012. Much of that growth was attributed to social media. In 2010, blogs represented 7% and social media was 8% of total marketing budget; in 2012, they were 8% and 13%, accordingly.
Because social media marketing is so measurable, it's common for marketers to try to make direct connections between their social media marketing efforts and sales. But here is where many mistakes are made. Social media influences many aspects of the purchase process, but it is not well used as a direct selling tool. Here is where social media becomes more aligned with the marketing and public relations department, rather than the sales department.
Social media marketing is about building and reinforcing relationships with customers and prospects. It's also about reinforcing the positive feelings your existing customers have, and perhaps serving as an additional customer service channel. Social media can help new prospects find out about your products and services, but it is most effective when your existing customers share their testimonials and positive experiences with other users. It's difficult for marketers to get away from this "top down" messaging state of mind, but in fact, the most successful marketers in 2013 will be those that facilitate and make possible the peer-to-peer or customer-to-customer interaction. That's where the real change will come from.
For more than 22 years PR/Communication executives have relied on Microsoft PowerPoint. It's installed on more than 1 billion computers and an estimated 350 presentations are given each second somewhere in the world.
But PowerPoint slides confuse more than they help. Diagrams are confusing and there's way much information on each slide. Choices of font styles, colors and formatting are selected by people who have no formal graphic arts training.
Jesse Desjardine, head of social at Tourism Australia is trying to fix bad PowerPoint presentations, one slide at a time. He shared the following tips to improve your next presentation on SlideShare.com.
Jesse's tips also support the conclusions of a May 2012 study in the journal Technical Communication
which found 36% of presentation prep time is consumed by managing graphics and animation features of slide show software. Instead, that time should be better used by developing a story around your presentation, or creatively finding ways to engage the audience. (Thielsch & Perabo, 2012
If your slides are more text than visuals, you may have a "slidument
," a document in the form of a presentation slide-deck that is neither suitable as a presentation nor as a take-home document. Instead, use one of the creative templates inside your word processing program and start filling in the information there. Leave your presenatations slides for connecting to your audience on a personal level only. Share a story, and use your visuals to support your main points.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in: Death to PowerPoint!
by Bob Parks of Business Week.
Marketers who can write HTML code or use PivotTables in Excel are the most desirable and valuable. But really. How many marketers do you know who can do these things? Not a lot.
So an effort is underway to help PR communication professionals and marketers get the technical skills they need. Flip through the slides below to understand why web design, copyrighting, forecasting, statistics, databases, SQL and SEO are essential skills. There are also embedded links where marketers can learn more about these areas.
For business owners, consider where your business is today and what your goals are for the next five years. Do you have the resources you need to keep your business competitive in the digital economy?
Is a mobile strategy
part of your marketing plan?
Connecting your web, advertising, online marketing, analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) software into one platform has the power to radically transform your organization and help you get more value from your marketing and sales efforts.
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Here are 12 examples of remarkable Facebook ads to give you an edge on your next Facebook advertising campaign.
Facebook works differently than Google Adwords or other search-based PPC campaigns. Facebook is social advertising, not search advertising. Search advertising reaches people when they are looking for a specific solution to their problem. The difference is people use Facebook to connect with other people. Your advertising has to resonate with social cues.
Let me give you an example:
Chili's Grill & Bar designed this ad to evoke memories of fun times with friends. If you've been at Chili's, drinking margaritas and enjoying large entrees, chances are good that you were enjoying good times wirh friends.
The ad features the iconic chili pepper, then uses a "series of yeses" to mentally attract your mind to Liking the page. You like frosty margaritas? Yes! You liike bold entrees? Yes! You like tasty appetizers? Yes! After three "yeses" your mind is much more apt to agree to the call-to-action," Now it's time to like our page." Wow. How can I resist?
People will have a much stronger affinity towards liking this page because their mind is flooded with positive thoughts triggered by Margaritas and delicious food. Notice that over 1,631,824 people have "liked" this ad? Impressive.
Now here's one from Drugstore.com. But notice they don't promote their own store location. Instead, they promote a highly popular product on sale inside the store--Burt's Bees.
Burt's Bees has a loyal and raving fan base. They love to talk about Burt's Bees on social media. By featuring a brand people are passionate about, Drugstore.com is able to get several hundred thousand Likes to it's business page.
Researching the products your fans love can be a powerful way to drive attention and Likes to your page. It also helps if those product-lovers tend to be affluent and digitally savvy, like the fans of Burt's Bees. Ask yourself, what products or images is your organization associated with, and could one of those images be a compelling way to drive Likes to your page?
This next ad is for a consultant who helps women "become more successful with men." You would never stumble across this website on your own. But the headline is a question most women ask themselves at least once. This ad promises "the truth about men" and what to do if you're dating someone who isn't "emotionally available." Most people won't look for the name of the website behind the ad, but they should.
Think of McDonald's and chances are good you're not thinking of fresh, wholesome nutritous food farmed sustainably from American farmers. McDonalds, the pioneer of fast food and the $1 menu, is responding to consumer preferences for healthier food and sustainable farming practices. Alternatives like Chipotle, Subway and Panera Bread have taken some of McDonald's market share.
It's hard to run away from the Golden Arches, but McDonalds tries a different spin with this ad. I've tried McDonald's tasty salads and fresh apples. It's just extremely hard to order these while enveloped with the smell of burgers and french fries. Not impossible. But very, very, difficult.
Another popular Facebook advertising technique is to run a contest that supports the lifestyle of your most loyal fans.
Here, Subway invites people to "nominate a friend" to be a Subway "High School Hero." This campaign supports local high schools, making the campaign locally relevant to all entrants. It associates the brand with sports, supporting Subway's healthy living lifestyle brand. By encouraing people to nominate friends, this campaign fits well inside the environment of Facebook.
What's better than supporting your local high school athlete? How about donating books to Kindergarten classrooms? Here, LeapFrog offers an irresistable offer: Like thier Page and they'll donate a book to a Kindergarten classroom. How can you not give the gift of reading to a child?
Consider ways your organization can give something of tremendous value back to those who Like your page. The average Facebook user only connects with 5 or 6 brands, so how are you going to rise above the competition and make your page better than all the others?
Come up with offers and gifts (like "reading") that could also be beneficial to your organization. In Leapfrog's case, large numbers of impressionable young students will get to experience a free trial of Tag interactive books. And Leapfrog will also get valuable contact information. Maybe that's a fair trade.
Sometimes your offer might just have to be a major discount. Fab.com is offering a 70% discount. It's hard to ignore a 70% discount.
For discounts to work, you should start at 50% savings. The lifetime value of each new customer you earn will more than make up for the discount.
But don't give away anything for free, as using the word "free" reduces overall marketing effectiveness. Instead of "free," offer something for $1.
As more advertisers move over to Facebook, the competition for attention will get more fierce. Many frequent Facebook users now "tune out" the Facebook ads on the right. The more "fun" and "social" your ad is, the more successful your campaign will be.
Here, the makers of Frosted Mini-Wheats have created a "Mom Homeroom" with content designed just for parents. This ad offers a real reason to Like the page -- a digital community of like-minded parents. This type of "Lifestyle Branding" is essential for advertisers. Consumers don't want to be sold to, they want to have fun and connect with people who are like them.
Let's not forget the power of cuteness. Dogs are one of the most effective images you can use to grab attention for your ad. Want more attention? Use a cute puppy. Babies are another. Or attractive models. Anytime you see puppies or babies (or girls) you know the ad firm was desperate to get your attention. Another great image is chocolate. Use images that are strongly associated with intense positive feelings.
What does a Chihuahua have to do with medical billing? Doesn't matter. Notice that this ad also used location targeting in the text. You can design ads that target specific demographic groups. It takes more time to set up, but significantly boosts performance.
Remember to offer something of specific value. It's not enough to just ask for a Like. This ad uses a cute, attention-grabbing cartoon with clear, specific benefits. The question, "Know These 3 Tips" also uses the element of curiosity to pique interest. People love getting answers to questions. Just asking a question gets people to want the answer. Giving them that answer in exchange for a Like is like scratching their back.
Here's another example of how to use curiosity in your campaign: "Are your skills on point?" Well, gosh, I don't know. Well here's this marketing pop-quiz to help me find out.
One word of caution: Don't use ALL CAPS in your headline. Caps are harder to read and don't perform well.
Know the power of images. Here, an advertiser gets you to imagine a private villa, personalized service, privleged access against a tropical paradise setting with an infinity pool. "Win a beach getaway." Imagine how many people sitting at their computers secretly wish to escape to a setting such as this.
There you have it! My 12 most favorite examples of Facebook ads. If you'd like to learn more about Facebook advertising, including what you can do to avoid "ad blindness" in your target market, then contact me to have me set up your Facebook advertising campaign.
And tell me, do you plan to advertise on Facebook sometime in the next 6 months? Tell me why (or why nott) in the comments section below.
If you're curious about getting started on social media, or where the trends are headed to these days, here is a Social Media Primer provided by my trusted colleague and friend, Tara Coomans:
It includes examples of small businesses using social media and will help give you ideas for your own business.
If you think you're just "not ready" for social media, consider this:
- People who follow brands on social media are much more likely to buy from that brand in the future
- The average lifetime value of customers who follow online brands is higher than those who don't
Soon, the social media waters will be swarmed with businesess competing for customer's attention. The time to move into this space is now.
You may also be interested in our 25-page guide with step-by-step instructions for how to incorporate Facebook & Twitter into your marketing strategy. Just click on the button below:
Don't wait too long -- business owners and PR Communication practitioners only have about 36 months to claim the space, according to the experts
We are in the midst of a social revolution! More than 70% of Fortune 500 businesses are using social computing in their business. Now is the time to connect with customers, listen to their stories, improve customer interactions, innovate your business, share your best stuff, collaborate with colleagues and move your industry and business forward in the process. How has social media changed your business? Tell me what you're seeing in the comments below.
The trend is clear: the majority of people these days are spending more of their time on social media. But the keynote speaker at Inbound 2012 didn't mince words:
“The only reason I love social media is because it sells shit," Gary Vaynerchuck, the best-selling social media author said.
Gary underscored his passion and a short clip of his keynote address is presented below. Warning: it contains strong language.
Gary Vaynerchuk at Inbound 2012 from Laura Kinoshita on Vimeo.
Gary estimates marketers have less than 36 months to get people's attention through social media. "When marketers come in, people leave," he reminded the audience. Facebook may have peaked with their IPO.
That means it’s time to start moving towards the “next big thing.” The rise of peer-to-peer recommendations will naturally drive businesses to focus on building better customer experiences.
Companies like SalesForce.com and HubSpot are building software that will better help your customer service and sales team to deliver outstanding service. Look at what Nimble has in store for you.
For now, Gary Vaynerchuck encourages businesses to get ready. This isn’t a fad. We are only at the very early beginnings stages of a complete change in the way our culture and society shares and consumes information. Don't get left behind, he warns. Start adapting.
One of the most common questions I get is about PR Communication jobs in Hawaii. The Public Relations Society of America, Hawaii Chapter, hosts a job board. This site is regularly updated and provide an excellent source of information. It's free for members to publish job postings. Click on the image below to see the current list of offerings:
Don't forget to also visit the websites of your most-desired employers. Most organizations posts jobs on their own website before publishing them in the newspaper.
Before applying for that job, do a Google search for your name to see if search results are what you want your employer to see.
Remove any controversial images from Facebook, as "cybervetting" is becoming increasingly popular among hiring departments. Check your privacy settings to ensure you're only sharing information with appropriate audiences.
Some practical advice for social media is to use the the "4-Way Test" before publishing any content:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it beneficial to all concerned?
3. Does it build good will and friendships?
4. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Only hit the "Publish" button if you can answer YES to each question. Following this guideline will help keep your social profile clean during your PR Communications job search. Parents, share this tip with your kids today!