Gary Vaynerchuk said he’s interested in doing an AMA on /r/socialmedia! Please upvote for visibility!

We’re excited to have you next Friday and super thankful for you reaching out to Gary V!

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Real list of top 15 SEO tools

I’ll start by adding Moz, market samurai, Google keyword research tool and raven.

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I asked 15 social media pros for their tips on Instagram marketing

Chris Makara: As with any social media platform, Instagram allows businesses of all sizes a great opportunity to connect with others on a more personable level.

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Gary Vaynerchuk said he’s interested in doing an AMA on /r/socialmedia! Please upvote for visibility!

We’re excited to have you next Friday and super thankful for you reaching out to Gary V!

source: Click for more

Which are more Profitable? Facebook Likes or Twitter Tweets ?

A study by “Eventbrite” published on March 16 concluded that Facebook “Likes” are more profitable than Tweets. The company monitored sales and traffic over a six month period, an extension of a previous 12 week study. The average Facebook Like returned $1.34 cents per share compared to the $0.80 cents with a Tweet.

Here are some other factors to consider…

‘Followers’ vs. ‘Friends’
Friends require a two way relationship so there is a certain amount of trust. It does make the endorsement by a true Friend more valid but there is a higher signal to noise ratio. In comparison, people tend to follow a Twitter account because they are interested in the content. Twitter does not require a reciprocal, exclusive relationship so it is possible to reach a larger pool of people. Twitter works more as a broadcasting system with occasional feedback and Facebook more commonly works more like a forum or exclusive social network. This is why I would suggest the person who has the top amount of followers has much more than the person with the top amount of friends.

In fact, Facebook has changed their fan pages to be more like Twitter so that you can ‘Like’ someone (this used to be ‘Become a Fan of’) but you don’t have to be their ‘Friend’. Some Facebook pages need you to ‘Like’ it before you can view anything which could be viewed as a rather heavy-handed technique to get a ‘Like’. The Facebook fan pages generally require you to have a Facebook account to view the page. On the other hand, Twitter does not require you to have an account to view the content apart from the relatively few protected accounts. However both require you to have an account to share content.

The Like Button
Referring to the Eventbrite study, it mentions “…the Facebook “Like” button, the lowest-friction social sharing tool on the web. On our order confirmation pages, we integrated the higher-friction but stronger “Publish to Facebook” tool. It requires more work from the user to share than with a Facebook “Like.”

The Eventbrite study however makes no mention of the new Facebook changes to the ‘Like’ button despite it being posted well after the changes. On February 27th, the night of the Oscars interestingly enough, Facebook changed the function of the “Like” button virtually without any notice. Users were unaware that when they “Liked” something on a site outside of Facebook, it automatically posted to their wall. What used to be one line is an entire post with a thumbnail image, link and short blurb. The “Like” function is now essentially a Facebook “Share” but without triggering the dialogue box.

Some sites have accused Facebook of ‘bait and switch’ tactics. The change does actually take agency from the user because there is no way to add anything unless you comment on your own like at your Facebook wall. However in terms of social media marketing, it does increase the presence of the “Like.” It is no longer the lowest-friction social sharing tool though and users may become more selective about what they do “Like”. Considering that Liking something now registers as Sharing, has the new “Like” made “Share’” obsolete?

The question Eventbrite posed is the involvement and effort put into the action and how that translates to real results for the company but I think the changes warrant further study.

Driving traffic back
Eventbrite published that consistently across all channels: one share drives seven visits back (Facebook itself up to 11). It does depend on the type of event of course. Now that Facebook has surpassed Google as a source of information, it will be interesting to watch to see if this trend continues. To ‘Friend’ someone and to ‘Like’ something is to add them to your Facebook news feed so it is following Twitter quite literally.

Despite the Eventbrite results, I wouldn’t be throwing out my Tweet button yet. The study does not make mention of users that use both platforms – a not uncommon feat in today’s hyper-connected online community. However you might want to try and make use of the Like/Share by placing them in different positions (top and bottom of content maybe) for a double Facebook effect.

What we can be sure of is that social media is no longer the next big thing – it is the current big thing. It will be exciting to see how this changes things and whether the backlash regarding the changes to the “Like” will affect the profitability of “Liking” something and whether people will continue to use the “like” button.

Social Media Marketing and your Marketing ROI

ROI is defined as (gain on investment-cost of investment/cost of investment), with the expectation of investing less than you will actually get in return. ROI is a business metric, not a media metric, so it will prove legitimate results with social media marketing including SEO, email marketing, and website implementation.

Oliver Blanchard, a BrandBuilder Marketing principal and senior strategist has done extensive research into Social Media ROI and reveals some clarification into how this is possible to measure. Something important to remember is that social media marketing is not free; it takes time, energy, people, and technology to be carried out.

There are two large and fairly simple reasons why it is necessary to allocate money for spending on social media within the company. First, it will result in cost reduction in customer service, business intelligence, and market research, just to name a few. On the other hand it will simultaneously generate greater revenue by yielding more transactions, more net new customers, enhanced customer loyalty, and brand awareness.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is especially pertinent to gaining as many users and potential customers as possible. If used correctly, then your company will be sure to receive much more attention and publicity. Failing to get your website on the front page of a search engine site such as Google equates to 40% of potential visitors who won’t see your site. According to statistics, 67% of people try another search after reading just the first two pages and 81.7% abandon the search after reviewing the first three pages, so being placed anywhere past these makes the possibility of your website being acknowledged very unlikely.

Clearly the ROI for mastering SEO is very measurable and will create not only more visibility and recognition for your company but also greater financial incentives because the high traffic will allow your site to be expanded even further and will enable every dimension of your company to grow. With dedication and focus on the important aspects of SEO such as reviewing competition, finding popular key words, predicting click-through rate, and predicting future behaviour from SEO experts, then making your way to the top will be possible.

Email marketing is another increasingly accepted and widely used tactic that is yielding positive response rates, especially compared to direct mail strategies. In fact, across all industries 25.16% of email marketing messages are opened by British recipients at the end of 2009 with 75% of people opening their mail within 24 hours. On the other hand, a mere .02-4% of people respond to any direct mail marketing messages. Once again the ROI on the email marketing strategy is obvious and if used effectively will create a new niche of an active and interested audience.

It is necessary that when you first begin measuring the ROI for social media marketing that you start with a proof of concept by showing growth in the company’s awareness, sales revenue, number of transactions and net new customers after its implementation. Transaction data should be specific by showing the frequency, reach, and yield of the customers.

By looking for patterns in the different fields that have changed since the execution of social media tools, it will be easy to see the impact. By stacking these time lines on top of one another, your company can create a picture of which efforts are working, and which ones aren’t. Watch for correlations between events, such as certain blog articles equalling more customer calls, or positive online mentions and a jump in site visitors.

By using what you know, you will be able to make it affect all aspects of your business, including traffic in your actual store or business. Social media marketing will be sure to greatly increase your ROI for all aspects of the company.

How not to manage your Social Media

With numerous social media scandals hitting the news of late, you would assume that companies would take extra care when dealing with complaints from the public. Customer service issues and problems addressed through public social media channels rarely end well, as was the recent case of UK based company Cineworld Cinemas.

An argument on Twitter sprouted between the company and a disgruntled customer and quickly spiraled out of control. In an era of brand awareness and social media promotion, the Cineworld case is the perfect example of what not to do.

Late last month, a dispute arose on Twitter after a customer complained when Cineworld disregarded and subsequently deleted their tweet. According to the customer, this tweet was a complaint about the price of a single ticket. The individual managing the Cineworld Twitter account tried to defend the business, questioning the client about their accusations and an online argument ensued. After avoiding the topic in a series of back and forth tweets, Cineworld finally told the customer in a rude and abrupt way that they could take their prices or leave them, before letting them know that they were done with the argument and were heading home for the day.

Social Media Marketing Strategies for Instagram

In just a few short years the use of Instagram has skyrocketed, with millions of active users sharing and viewing photos through the application on a daily basis. With such a large potential audience, it has become one of the most effective platforms for brands to market themselves and to target potential customers.

However, regardless of how effective it may be, there are a few rules to keep in mind when integrating Instagram with your online marketing strategy. Let’s take you through a few do’s and dont’s of using Instagram for your business.

Take it nice and slow

Any form of social media requires a steady, consistent approach. Just because you may have time to spare, doesn’t mean you should post 30 images in the space of 10 minutes. Enrich your value by sharing only your best and most relevant images on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the amount of followers your business has.

Develop a personal identity

Instagram is about sharing cool and intriguing images, and this is often where many businesses go wrong. People won’t engage with your posts if they are constantly flooded with professional stock images taken straight from your website. That’s what the website is for! Instagram photos are meant to be the “backstage pass” to your business, even something as simple as an image of what one of your employees are wearing that day or a new product that you’re about to release – it’s all about what happens behind closed doors that excites an audience.

Engage with your audience

This might be slightly more challenging for larger brands that have well over a million followers, but when possible it is important to interact with people on Instagram. Respond to messages that people have left on your post and establish a two way dialogue with your audience.

Reward your followers – An exclusive discount is a fantastic way to keep your loyal followers coming back to your Instagram channel. For some businesses, a competition would be a great way to reward followers, while some may just stick to discounts and special offers. Keep it relevant and ensure audiences are engaged by including promo codes in posts.

Welcoming the Bots: Facebook Messenger Advertising

It All Started with Facebook

Facebook, now a grey-haired veteran of the Internet wars, was once the newest kid on the block. Over time, the brilliant minds behind Facebook have added more and more functionality. Facebook chat, implemented as a mobile app called messenger, is one of the more popular added functionalities.

The concept was simple, as are many immensely complex ideas once someone implements them. Facebook would display the names of your friends who are using Facebook at the same time as you and enable you to open chats with individuals and groups.

Now that the Messenger app is so popular, Facebook has begun to monetise it with Messenger Bots.

Who Uses Messenger?

Facebook reports that more than 900 million people are using Messenger.

Since introducing the Messenger app, Facebook has observed that the number of people using the Facebook app for interaction on their new feeds is decreasing. More and more frequently, people simply pass through Facebook to reach Messenger. Messenger is a chat app associated with the Facebook app, designed for mobile users. Since its introduction over seven years ago, the Messenger and Facebook apps have travelled together; separate apps that are an inseparable kind of “conjoined app”.

Welcoming the Bots: Facebook Messenger Advertising

In his most recent announcement, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a ten-year plan that includes un-bundling Messenger to launch a multitude of new functionalities. This announcement, made at the recent F8 Facebook developers’ conference, included the information that Facebook has already partnered with some businesses.

These insiders have released Messenger Bots enabling people to see and interact with brands via private messages.

Interacting with the Messenger Bots is designed to be quick and easy to eliminate the need for human chats and to accelerate transactions. Additionally, your bot tracks your data. The next time you order, your bot may well reply more quickly as a result of its prior history.

It is possible that once you interact with World Wide Widgets, the bot will want to inform you of all widget sales, offer you discounts for ordering right now and explain the latest advances in widget technology.

Certainly, the path we see for Messenger Bots is one of advertising. However, we have also seen that in circumstances such as this where the user can easily op out of the advertising, that businesses tend to make the interactions as pleasant and indeed humorous as possible to keep the user engaged.

The Long Game

The Messenger Bots are coming, whether or not we like it. However, Facebook promises we will be able to block bots. If the bots turn out to be a great success, we could be ushering in a new era of sales.