After five months of writing, coding and learning, my time at SS Digital Media is coming to a close. Coming in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t anticipate liking my internship this much. Here is what I’ve been up to this past semester.
Feel like you’ve been wasting your time and energy attempting to market your business on Facebook? Don’t stress. Here are a few reasons why your current Facebook marketing efforts may not be producing results.
You Don’t Have a Strategy
Successful marketing on Facebook, or any other social media platform for that matter, requires a detailed plan. Before you can expect to see results, sit down and map out your end goals, along with the strategies or tactics it will take to achieve them. This should include audience research, specific types of content and a thorough look at your current social efforts.
There’s No Call To Action
How will users know what to do if you don’t tell them? This can be resolved by providing your followers with a direct call to action. Whether you’re asking them to give you a call, download a pdf or schedule an appointment, include this action throughout your pages and posts.
You’re Not Targeting Your Audience
Social media gives the illusion that it can reach anyone and everyone. While this “spray and hope for the best” approach is technically possible, it is not exactly wise. Think about who is actively engaging with your Facebook content. This information will help you create more specific and interesting content targeted to who you’re trying to reach, resulting in higher conversions.
You’re Not Engaging
The 24/7 world of social media means users are always engaged. The question is, are you? It is highly important to be tuned in to your social media at all times, or the very least multiple times a day. Questions, comments, messages and any other user interactions on your page should be answered within hours of original posting. This tells users you’re listening and you care about what they have to say.
This doesn’t just apply to questions and positive reinforcement. Even if a user leaves a negative response, it is key to reply. A simple acknowledgement or explanation can go a long way in the eyes of a customer.
You’re Not Watching the Competition
Pay close attention to what your top competitors are doing with their Facebook marketing. If they’re successful, see how you can repurpose their strategy to fit your needs. If they’re not, try to figure out why. Doing this can help you avoid repeating their unsuccessful efforts.
Successful Facebook marketing isn’t easy. However, if you take your time, do your research and continue to experiment and improve, the possibilities are endless.
Absolutely worth every dime. What I found most surprising is the size of this industry is still very small. I’d say about 30 percent represented an organization that wanted to learn more about digital marketing and 70 percent were representing an agency. I can honestly say I didn’t attend a bad session. I kept my attention in the advanced sessions where the presenters often spoke about real world case studies and findings. I had 3 great takeaways from SMX West and I have broken them down below:
1. SEO is alive and well. I was beginning to change my perception of the term SEO. We are proponents of using the word ‘search,’ essentially combining SEO and SEM. While there is very much a strong relationship between SEO and SEM, these are still separate practices. While many people are doing very well in non-branded and branded SEO, there are two very large opportunities that many businesses are missing out on.
a. The power of SEM as it relates to real life events, like weather, celebrities, sporting events or games. An example would be purchasing keywords like ‘score of Lions and Packers game’ for a company interested in getting in front of male viewers aged 18-24.
b. Leveraging big advertisers huge TV campaign budgets to purchase keywords about the product or industry they are building. This is also important for the actual companies spending on TV already and where the 1+1=3 comes into play. What a huge opportunity and it requires your organization to be on the constant lookout for new opportunities. The power of listening is extremely valuable today.
2. Visual communication is the future of the web. We are continuing to skim more content and faster, giving ourselves less time to decide if we are going to engage or not. By 2018, 84 percent of the communication done on the web will be visual. This means content must be more creative than just a blog or landing page. Infographics, charts, maps and digital stories with video and audio are becoming more crucial in converting a visitor into a customer. The story your brand tells is continuing to grow in importance. I know, you say that has always mattered, and it has, but not as much as it does today. Now, we have more options. Bottom line, web content is getting better and will allow us to learn and absorb information much faster.
3. Your brand can lead your industry by relying entirely on Google, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. I’m repeating, you can and should build a multimillion dollar business and only market yourself online. I knew this before I went to SMX, but it was confirmed multiple times. For example: There was a mattress company that has established themselves as the top searched branded keyword in their industry and it only took them about one year. How did they do it? They told a great story and leveraged it through the power of social media.
SMX is an absolute grind. The sessions go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for three days with only two, 15 minute breaks and half an hour for lunch each day. When you throw in networking and a couple cocktails, you don’t have much time to get your actual business work done. However, this is the cost of a really good expo. I would suggest bringing a couple people from your office and split up the events to cover more ground. The perfect combination would be someone from management and a beginner. Both will learn a great deal and at the same time learn a lot that can be shared amongst each other. Thanks to everyone who attended, all the speakers, the sponsors and #SMX.
It was a great first day at SMX West. There are probably only around 1,500 people here, which really surprises me. It also excites me because it puts SSDM in a small group of agencies that are not only attending these, but are able to come back and implement. I attended “Thinking Outside the SEM Box” which had a lot of great case studies about unorthodox campaigns. Like KitKat purchasing football team names in Adwords to attempt to give scoring updates to their every challenging 18-24 male market.
A repeating theme of the day was how social and search need to be connected in strategy and execution. Looking at SEO and Social and PPC separately is not the way to go, we know this, but it’s nice to get the affirmation. Maggie Malek (@MagsMac) was really good. Speaking about the relationship between search and social, Maggie said, “We know everything is changing but everyone is acting like nothing is happening. Brand development happens through social and search.” There is so much education that has to continue to happen in the marketplace.
Bruce Clay is basically the Father of SEO, I’d say Perry Marshall is the Father of PPC. Bruce had a lot of swagger actually. He was kind and humble but didn’t want to take anyones shit. A true sign of a man that’s been around awhile, maybe a little cynical but certainly a master of his craft. The biggest takeaway was Bruce was saying how his agency has to reinvent themselves every 6 months to remain relevant. The ‘not set’ organic change was a big hit, but uses an API from Search Council that allows him to see the actual keywords being used to generate SEO traffic.
Bruce Clay Key Takeaways:
- Pop ups should show up with the follow: average time on site divided by 3.
- Disavowfiles.com – Keep adding websites. Accumulated report over all-time.
- Outbound links are valuable. – Think like bibliography.
- “We’ve increased page ranking by removing bad/old content.”
- “If you’d been using the same website for 8 years, give it up.”
- API from Search Council to see your organic search terms.
Dynamic ads and visual content are the future. 85% of communication will be visual by 2018. I’ll have more on this for my Day 2 recap, stay tuned!
Watch the recap here: