Online Marketing Solutions
If you’re a business owner, and you haven’t spent some time exploring Pinterest’s boards (and benefits), you should -- it just might help to boost your bottom line! Below are some Pinterest best practices we suggest you peruse before you dive in.
Boasting an average of 1,090 visitors per minute and a database increase of over 145% in just one year, Pinterest is more than just a new kid on the block (shop.org). Generating over four times as much revenue-per-click as Twitter, and 27% more revenue-per-click than Facebook, Pinterest has attracted a valuable (and oft-difficult to snag) business and retail audience (venturebeat.com). For a relatively new network on the social media scene, these numbers are both staggering and convincing.
As with all social networks, the age-old strategy of “build it and they will come” is extinct. Marketing through social media requires engagement, integration and consistency, and Pinterest is no exception. To build and execute a successful presence on this network requires five key practices that should be included on every social media manager’s sticky notes.
Plan. Create a content strategy that is customized toward the lifestyle of your target audience. “Pin” products and information that engage with your demographic and always think of your consumers first.
Engage. A natural social community, Pinterest requires engagement. Repin, Like or Comment on both your own pins/boards and the boards of others. Be sure to participate.
Integrate. Do not silo your social media efforts. Promote your boards on your pre-existing accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, for example). Incorporate the “Pin It” button onto your social sharing lineup.
Evaluate. Be sure to measure your social media marketing success. What boards are seeing the most “likes”? What pins are seeing the most “repins”? Is Pinterest driving traffic to your website? As you’re following your plan and engaging with your audience, keep track of your KPIs (key performance indicators) and continue to evaluate and re-evaluate.
Enjoy. Have fun with this network! As a visual medium, encourage others to enjoy your content and engage with your copy. Have fun.
In a recent study led by ComScore, it was revealed that 21% of people with Pinterest accounts have purchased an item after seeing it on the social network (comscore.com). For small, independent businesses, this statistic should leave you salivating. Requiring a minimal budget, Pinterest enables small businesses to display their product lines in a unique and visually compelling fashion – something that a business of gifts, home décor, housewares and jewelry will excel within. Likewise, travel and tourism industry marketers would do well to get online, post pictures of their destinations and encourage visitors and guests to do the same!
Registering on Pinterest is easy. Visiting www.pinterest.com will take you through a “Login” or “Join” process right on the homepage. Simply click “Join” and register with your Facebook, Twitter or email address. Upload a photo, supply Pinterest with brief details and your business is set.
What are you waiting for? If you need advice, or want to pursue Pinterest as part of a larger social media marketing campaign, Stir can help. Give us a call today!
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In Part I of this post (Does Social Media Marketing really help to boost a business's bottom line? Yes!), we talked about the importance of a social media campaign to your company's success. In this post, we'll look at some of the great social media campaigns of late. Our hope is that in them you'll find inspiration, motivation, and proof that a social media campaign done well can mean real wins!
Stir is always watching for social media success stories like the ones below. It’s a great way to learn what works. You could (and should!) do the same. Combining the inspiration they offer with the tips above will enable you to create a social media marketing campaign that will build your brand, boost buzz online, and improve your company’s bottom line.
BC Guest Ranchers Association -- from www.stirsolutions.com
“The BC Guest Ranchers’ Association (BCGRA) wanted to run a social media (Facebook) contest to promote its member ranches across North America, and needed an agency to help imagine, plan, create, and carry out all aspects of the campaign. So Stir combined strategic planning, graphic design, content creation, email marketing, and Twitter engagement with a world-class Facebook contest to great effect. By the close of the campaign, Facebook "likes" had grown by over 1200%. And eight custom contest update newsletters were sent to thousands of targeted and qualified recipients, resulting in a contact list the BCGRA could continue to use for future marketing.”
Huggies -- from www.dmnews.com
Kimberly-Clark recently released results on a Huggies promotion it ran in spring that made novel use of social media. The brand promoted offers via email and on its Facebook page and website for $1.50 off any package of diapers. Interested parties could print out the coupon and go, or they could click a button, share the offer with three friends and instead receive a $3 coupon for their trouble. More than 600,000 people took Huggies up on the offer, and two thirds of all visitors to the offer page printed a coupon. According to Kimberly-Clark, the open rate and the click-through rate on email referrals was 56%, and the company estimated that it reached 3.5 million new consumers through the campaign.
More interesting to direct marketers, perhaps, is the fact that Kimberly-Clark was able to track all the offer-takers. “As soon as the consumer presses the ‘share' button and gets to the landing page, they're given several ways to share it. They can post it, tweet it, email it--all with a branded message,” says Vijay Sundaram, head of marketing and sales for Social Twist, the company that deployed the promotion for Huggies. “No matter what route they use to get to the microsite, we know who they are, who referred them, and whom they referred, so we can identify the biggest influencers. We can apply conventional marketing metrics to this.”
“The Huggies promotion had some consumers who had five generations of referrals. That's high, so the brand can say, ‘These people got 15 other people to engage in the brand and these people got six' and they can segment them into groups of influence,” Sundaram says. “Social media gives brands a way to reach out to and hear from consumers, but brands don't own the channel, so they don't know who the consumers are. This is a way to find out who your most influential consumers are.”
Dunkin’ Donuts: Keep It Coolatta -- from www.acquisitionengine.com
“Dunkin’ Donuts came up with an awesome campaign to promote the launch of their Coolatta beverages – a sweepstakes where Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook fans could upload a photo of themselves with a Coolatta beverage to Facebook and automatically be entered into a daily giveaway. The relatively low cost campaign built up their social network following, increased brand & product recognition with the mass of Coolatta-related images flying around the web, and obviously encouraged people to buy their iced-coffee drink too.”
Dove: Dove Evolution -- from www.acquisitionengine.com
“Dove’s viral video ‘Dove Evolution’ was part of its ‘Campaign For Real Beauty’ launched in 2006, and was the first purpose-built viral video to make a real impact on a marketing campaign for the company. The video features model Stephanie Betts being given a makeover then later being photoshopped, and is supposed to highlight how our perception of beauty is distorted. The video managed to acquire over 11,400,000 views on YouTube, and it has been estimated that it brought in a massive $150,000,000 worth of exposure for the company. Not bad.”
Obama: Election Campaign -- from www.acquisitionengine.com
“It’s been well documented that Social Media was a huge part of Obama’s election campaign, and that can be backed up by some fascinating statistics regarding what the campaign achieved: 5 million ‘friends’ on more than 15 social networking sites; 13 million email subscribers; 8.5 million monthly visitors to MyBarackObama.com (at its peak), [and] 3 million online donors.”
Nike at the Olympics -- from econsultancy.com
Nike is known for using guerrilla marketing tactics to try and steal the limelight from its competitors, and during the London Olympics it managed to outshine official sponsor Adidas with a massive billboard and social campaign around the capital. Nike eschewed the usual celebrity endorsements in a campaign that celebrated everyday athletes. It bought up hundreds of billboards around the city featuring the hashtag ‘#findgreatness’. Adidas, which spent tens of millions of pounds to be an official sponsor, ran a campaign featuring Team GB athletes and the hashtag ‘#takethestage’.
Heinz -- from econsultancy.com
Heinz is another FMCG brand that frequently uses social to build excitement around its product launches. As part of the marketing activities around a new Five Beanz variety, Heinz created a Facebook quiz app that told people what kind of bean they had grown up to become in response to a series of questions about their personality traits. To encourage people to take part and share the app, five winners were picked every hour and sent a personalised bean and every user that invited 10 people to take the quiz was given a goodie bag. Heinz also offered Facebook fans a coupon so they could try the product. The campaign ran for two weeks and achieved impressive results: 22,143 took the quiz to apply for a personalised bean; More than 10,000 users shared the app; The campaign reached 10.8m people on Facebook; It reached 3m people reached outside of Facebook through Twitter, blogs and news sites, [and] The Heinz Facebook community grew by 30,000 extra fans
FanFeedr -- from socialfresh.com
“For some background, FanFeedr is a sports news aggregation site that collects and classifies over 10,000 quality sports related sources, photos, scores, and tweets into team specific pages. Content is published on team specific Facebook and Twitter accounts, in addition to the FanFeedr website. We have engaged in trials using Facebook ads for several of our pages with the goal in mind is to increase the following: Awareness of FanFeedr and its many team pages; Our overall Facebook presence growth, [and] Referral traffic back to our site, FanFeedr.com.”
Fanfeedr employed “precise interest targeting” and achieved some pretty “surprising CTR results”! “For each page, we ran multiple ads and A/B tested everything from advertising copy, the photo in the ad, location, precise interest targeting, and demographics such as age, and gender. The factor that consistently saw the largest increases in CTR (click through rate) and largest decreases in CPC (cost per click) was precise interest targeting. At times, we included over 60 precise interests and this resulted in significantly better results than targeting a larger and more broad audience.
“In fact, our Yankees page, which was one of our best performing pages, saw a peak CTR of 0.45%, which is 997% higher than the reported average...We think the reason for our success is simple: people would rather see an advertisement for a page or product they’re interested in (in our case, their favorite team), as opposed to something that may be completely irrelevant to them and that they most likely will never click on.”
Still not sure where to begin? Call Stir today. We’ll be happy to do an analysis of your online presence and the efficacy of your social media marketing efforts so far, and then make recommendations about where you might spend some of your marketing resources for the best result. We look forward to working with you!
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It matters a lot!
In today’s competitive business landscape, being “on top” when people search for businesses like yours using search engines like Google is critical. 86% of online searches in Canada are performed using Google, and research consistently proves that “the top listing gets the most attention” (capturecommerce.com).
In fact, one study showed that “the top spot drove 34.35% of all traffic in the sample, almost as much as the numbers 2 through 5 slots combined, and more than the numbers 5 through 20 (the end of page 2) put together...The biggest jump, percentage-wise, is from the top of page 2 to the bottom of page 1. Going from the 11th spot to 10th sees a 143% jump in traffic...As you go up the top page, the raw jumps get bigger and bigger, culminating in that desired top position” (insights.chitika.com).
Excerpt: “How much is the top spot on Google actually worth? According to data from the Chitika network, it’s worth a ton – double the traffic of the #2 spot, to be precise. In order to find out the [real]...we looked at a sample of traffic coming into our advertising network from Google and broke it down by Google results placement. The top spot drove 34.35% of all traffic in the sample, almost as much as the numbers 2 through 5 slots combined, and more than the numbers 5 through 20 (the end of page 2) put together...”
Fig. 1 “Percent of Traffic by Google Result”
Getting that top spot in search engine results pages involves Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of creating or modifying a website and its content for the purpose of improving its visibility to search engines (and therefore its ranking on search results pages). SEO includes a combination of internal and external (on-page and off-page (ie: behind-the-scenes)) strategies like:
URL structures; keyword/keyphrase research and implementation; site design; HTML; site navigation; link quality; menu items; title tags, metatags, and meta descriptions; navigation; directory and search engine submissions, and content writing. And, recently, social media marketing went from being an important aspect of SEO to a crucial one.
Achieving that “top spot status in Google requires working with the confines of Google’s algorithm. (Definition, Algorithm: “A step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer” (www.merriam-webster.com). In the case of Google search results, it means “how Google uses the search criteria you enter to find the best, most appropriate results”.
In the early days of Google, understanding and working with algorithms was something only the most experienced web programmers and internet (SEO) experts could do. Today, Google’s algorithm is much more refined, and there are now some clear industry standards to help those of us who aren’t experienced programmers, SEOs, and Google engineers to compete.
- Give website visitors what they're looking for; provide interesting, valuable, timely, and accessible information on your site
- Make your site easy to navigate (including considering mobile users’ experience) with a logical link structure; include a sitemap
- Use proper headings (title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions), and include images, tables, and lists
- Properly tag yours pages and online content Optimize your site’s text (keywords/keyphrases) and use good anchor text
- Make sure that other sites link to yours Support your website optimization efforts with Social Media Marketing and submit your site to Google
Remember, though, that at the end of the day, your website (or business’ online content) should serve human visitors before search engines. Again, make your site’s design and content interesting, valuable, timely, and accessible. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings (Google is smart enough today to tell when you’re stuffing content with keywords willy-nilly or participating in link schemes designed to increase ranking.) And ask Stir for a free copy of our “SEO 101: A Beginner’s Guide...” to help you get started.
Additional online articles and resources:
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The Best Social Media Monitoring Tools for Tracking your Business, Service, Product, or Brand
Social Media Marketing is the use of web-based and mobile Internet applications (or sites) like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and blogs by individuals, organizations, and businesses to market themselves -- to tell the world about their perspective, their mandate, their unique selling point, their services and their products, upcoming events, and news (campaigns). And it’s an inexpensive, fast, and far-reaching marketing tool for businesses.
But you can’t just tell people about yourself, your organization, or your company. You must actively listen to what they’re saying, analyze the response, and react to it in a proactive way.
That’s where Social Media Monitoring comes in. Social Media Monitoring is the use of one of a variety of tools to gather and analyse that online conversation about you, your organization, or your company. Today there are a multitude of social media monitoring tools (of varying levels of quality) that will monitor the internet (social media sites), gather information, and produce reports using which you can improve marketing tactics and increase sales. Below are some of the best Social Media Monitoring Tools available today.
Note: Choosing the right tool, analyzing the data it provides, and deciding how best to react to that data can be onerous, difficult, time-consuming, and costly. Working with an agency, like Stir Solutions, that specializes in Social Media Marketing and Monitoring will be a crucial component of your online marketing and monitoring effort. Stir Solutions will help to make the process of online marketing and monitoring easy, exciting, and effective.
“Get the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of query or topic.”
Using the Google Alerts Monitoring Tool – which sends an email alert each time Google finds a new result – you can monitor a product, find out what’s being said about you or your company, and keep up with the news on a topic you’re interested in (like industry trends and competitor updates). Monitors webpages, newspaper articles and blogs and can accommodate up to1000 alerts at once.
“Social Media Monitoring Tools Made Easy...with a money-back guarantee.”Trackur Social Media Monitoring was founded by online reputation management expert Andy Beal – widely considered the “the go-to-guy for reputation building, managing, and monitoring” – and offers powerful results through a userfriendly platform. Trackur offers several packages for different needs and promises users will “be up and running in less than 60-seconds”.
“Social customers don't talk just to talk. They want to be heard.”
Lithium Social Media Monitoring monitors search-specific mentions and sentiment (whether online comments are positive or negative) on a variety of platforms including blog posts, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr and presents the results in easy-to-read graphs and metrics. Current clients include Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Disney Online, Motorola, Coca Cola, and Netflix.
“Ready to plan and execute your social media initiatives effectively?”
Spredfast Social Media Management is considered a full social media management, measurement and campaign tool with a user-friendly dashboard from which clients can manage, monitor, and react to online conversations from multiple networks. Clients include AOL, Nokia, and IBM among others.
“A brand’s best friend. How are you listening to social media chatter?”
Brandwatch Social Media Monitoring’s tool monitors news, blogs, forums, wikis and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to provide clients with information about mentions of their company, brand, and/or product. Clients receive reports and brand summaries on which they can act. Clients include Aviva, CheapFlights, and The Body Shop.
“Our semantic technology pinpoints your customers preferences and considerations”.
Collective Intellect Real time Social Analytics is considered a “top-tier player” in the social media monitoring field, and combines self-serve dashboards and human analysis to provide comprehensive reports. CI’s tools are best suited to mid-size and large companies, and package pricing is scaled based on specific client needs and according to published reports. Clients include General Mills, NBC Universal, Pepsi, Walmart, and Hasbro.
“Listen, Analyze, Relate, and Act”
Attensity360 Customer Experience Management tool monitors trending topics, influencers, and “the reach of your brand” while recommending ways for your business to join the conversation and respond to customer needs and wants. Attensity360 uses text analytics to understand sentiment and to uncover trends. Clients include Whirlpool, Vodofone,TMobile, and Oracle.
“Go beyond social media monitoring.”
Sprial16’s Monitoring Software focuses on gathering and analysing “who is saying what about a company, brand, or product” in comparison to competitions. Spiral16 promises to help monitor social media strategy success while effectively sourcing and analyzing extensive data. Spiral16 works with companies (like Toyota, Lee, and Cadbury) to tailor plans that fit their budgets.
“...redefining social media analytics.”
Sysomos’ Heartbeat Social Media Monitoring Dashboard is a “real-time monitoring and measurement tool” that provides frequently updated synopses of social media conversations related to your company, product or brand in a variety of reports and graphics aimed at helping you find ways to engage in that conversation. Clients include IBM, HSBC, and Shell Oil.
“Know what the online conversation really means.”
Crimson Hexagon Social Media Monitoring and Analysis popular and reliable tools mine and analyze vast amounts of data and turn it into “actionable data for better brand understanding and improvement”. Clients include CNN, Hanes,AT&T, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Mashable, Microsoft, Monster, AdWeek, Thomson Reuters, Rubbermaid, Sybase, the Huffington Post, A&E, the Wall Street Journal.
“Are you ready to engage?”
Alterian SM2 Engagement Management & Analytics’ tools track and monitor conversations about a person, product, or company on blogs, forums, social networks, video- and photo-sharing sites, and Craigslist and provides easy-to-use and interpret reports. Clients include Rosetta, Pursuit, and YouCast.
“Provides organizations with a platform to listen, discover, measure and engage.”
Radian6 Social Media Monitoring and Engagement helps business owners “listen to what’s being said about them” online and determine the best responses through a monitoring dashboard that tracks mentions on more than 100 million social media sites. Reports and summaries help clients respond to data, and a comprehensive dashboard allows for updates to various social media platforms all at once. Clients include Adobe, Cirque de Soleil, Red Cross, and Microsoft.
To find out which tool will best suit your needs and help you to reach your business goals, contact one of the Social Media Marketing and Monitoring Experts at Stir Solutions today.
Social Media Marketing for Business
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- Putting Pinterest to work for your business
- Inspiration and Motivation: Some of the most successful social media marketing campaigns
- Does Social Media Marketing really help to boost a business’s bottom line? Yes!
- Understanding “Facebook Reach” and how to use this information to increase the exposure (and value!) of your posts (Part I)
- Understanding “Facebook Reach” and how to use this information to increase the exposure (and value!) of your posts (Part II)
- Facebook Global Pages: Right for your business?
- Best Face Forward: Social Media Monitoring & Online Reputation Management
- Blogging Best Practices: How great blog posting can boost the efficacy of your online marketing campaign
- Twitter Marketing Campaign Apps
- Understanding Timeline: How to keep your business’ Facebook Page up-and-running after March 30th