The new Facebook star ratings and fan reviews for company pages on the ever popular social media site are causing quite a stir for many businesses – especially as it is only in testing mode at this stage and is not being applied to ALL company pages on the network.

This new addition seems to have cropped up out of nowhere, with Facebook keeping relatively quiet about its launch or why it has chosen to do this. More importantly, Facebook now seems to be actively prompting users to rate a review company pages and brands that they have previously followed or interacted with in some way.

This prompting is not only happening when a user visits your company page, but it is also being heavily promoted whenever a user logs in on their mobile device – even if they have not visited or mentioned a particular company page recently.

These star ratings are then displayed below your logo on your company page and the reviews and star ratings are included in the right hand side of your updates on your company page.

Here’s an example of this star rating and review system on KFC’s company page, as our own IMA page is yet to receive the rating system:

KFC Facebook Page

With this star rating being in such a prominent place on your company page, what does this latest Facebook update mean for you?

In my opinion this update can be seen as both good and bad for company pages on Facebook. If you have a good star rating it can certainly help make your brand stronger on Facebook, but if you haven’t got a good rating and are getting negative reviews then this can certainly be damaging – most of all because these reviews, good or bad, can’t really be influenced or removed unless they class as abusive or as spam.

For me personally, I would see this as a great chance to improve upon your products/services and overall customer experience as a business. Many companies might have become complacent with the Facebook marketing strategy – simply pushing content out and not making a great deal of effort to connect with their followers on the site. Well, this Facebook star rating and review system will certainly change that.

If what you are providing as a business is good quality products and services, backed up by dedicated customer service then it is likely you will receive a good rating overall. If you find that you are getting a low star rating and negative reviews via Facebook then you need to start changing the way you do business in order to tackle this.

Whatever way you look at this new Facebook update, you need to be aware of what it will mean for your company page and your brand overall – so keep a close eye on its development over the next few months and make sure you are prepared to deal with both the good and bad reviews you could face.

Thanks!

Louise

Louise Denny Profile Pic

Louise Denny

Head of Marketing

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

Facebook Like - Frame AngelIn terms of social media marketing, Facebook is widely considered to be a predominantly Business To Consumer platform – with few corporate companies making a real effort to include this particular social networking site in their social strategy.

Whilst it is true that Facebook is one of the less corporate social networks out there, it is still one of the most well established and widely used social media platforms in the world and B2B companies certainly shouldn’t dismiss Facebook as a potential avenue to reach their target market.

As a corporate company you simply need to market yourself differently than B2C businesses on Facebook and below are our top 3 tips for finding B2B prospects on Facebook and ensuring you get your brand in front of a relevant audience.

1. Be Clear On Who You Are Targeting

You need to think carefully about exactly who you are trying to target before you start planning your strategy. Whilst it is clear that you are going to be looking for people who are likely to be interested in your products and services, you need to work out exactly who this demographic will be – and you can do this by analysing the traffic you have coming through your other marketing avenues.

You might have several different target markets to attract, so you need to be clear on what the demographic for each one of these markets is before you can market to them successfully on Facebook. Are they mostly male or female? What age ranges would they be? Are they based in a specific area?

Further than that, what groups would they be a member of? What other companies would they be interested in? What blogs or online magazines would they choose to read? All of these are important questions to help you target this market successfully.

2. Understand Their Facebook Behaviour

Once you are clear on exactly who you are targeting you need to study how a cross section of this market would behave on Facebook. Who have they “liked” and who are they following? How is their profession involved in what they do on the site? What interests are they quite vocal about?

You can then use this information to target them through Facebook advertising and ensure that you are displaying your ads to the right type of Facebook users for optimum results.

3. Use Keywords To Find Them

So how exactly do you set up your Facebook ads to target your B2B prospects? Well, you simply combine all of the demographic and behavioural information you have complied using the steps above and structure your Facebook adverts around it.

Start by working out what kind of response you want to get for these ads. Do you want to get more likes on your Facebook page, do you want to drive more traffic back to your company website, do you want to simply get your brand in front of them etc?

You can then choose a relevant image and ad copy to create your advert, and then you can start to target your ad to the specific demographic needed. Through Facebook ads you can target the following areas of a user’s profile:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Education
  • Workplaces
  • Interests
  • Connections

And the list goes on and on! You can be really specific about who you want to target with your Facebook ads to ensure you are getting your brand in front of the right B2B audience – but you need to know exactly who you want to target, how they behave on Facebook and what interests them in order to do this effectively.

Thanks!

Louise

Louise Denny Profile Pic

Louise Denny

Head of Marketing

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image by Frame Angel at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

CaptureYour cover photo will be one of the first things that followers see when you visit your page, so why settle for something bland and boring? Choose a great Facebook cover photo to really make a splash and help build up your brand’s image.

One of the biggest mistakes that a business attempting to market through Facebook can make is to have a stagnant cover photo. Remember, your followers want to be assured that they are receiving fresh, innovative content when they visit your page. One of the best ways of doing that, and helping to encourage repeat visitors, is by changing your cover photo up more than once or twice per year. And when you do change your cover photo, why not go with an option that is fun, creative, and that can really help you in your marketing efforts?

Use Your Cover Photo As Advertising Space

Do you have a big sale coming up, a sweepstakes you want to promote, or a trend you want to alert your followers to? If so, your Facebook cover photo can function as valuable social media real estate. It is one of the first things that your followers will see when they visit your page. In addition, using that space to promote offers and trends is a great way to encourage your followers to stop by for a visit, rather than waiting for your posts to turn up in their feed.

Direct Followers To Your Other Social Media Accounts

Whether it’s your website, your twitter, or your YouTube page, you can rack up many more views by using your Facebook cover photo to direct followers elsewhere on the web.  Doing so can attract additional followers to these sites, and can give you many more marketing opportunities.  Not only that, but you can also use this space simply to encourage visitors to Like your page. Since so many people make their way to Facebook pages through other types of searching, this can help to greatly boost your follower count.

Celebrate Special Occasions & Seasons

Whether it’s mother’s day, summertime, or even your business’s anniversary, using your Facebook cover photo to celebrate special events, holidays, and seasons is a great way to appeal to your followers. Not only that, but it can be a great lead-in to special deals and offers that you have coming up.

And of course, you can always just use your Facebook cover photo to have a little fun and to build your brand’s image. Whether you showcase your mascot, highlight your brand message, or play around with variations of your logo, there are plenty of ways to make a splash with this feature of your Facebook page.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image by Tung Photo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

WorkersYou’ve likely put a lot of thought into the company social media accounts, blogs, and other content sharing mediums. However, have you ever thought about what your employees are doing – and what they could be doing? An increasing number of businesses are doing just that, and for many there have been some big benefits.

There are many reasons to encourage employees to get connected and to engage in the marketing process. One of the biggest is the fact that there is power in numbers, and you are more likely to reach a wider audience with several social media accounts connected to your brand as opposed to just one. Additionally, knowing that the employees support their brand and are proud to stand behind it can go a long way toward building an audience’s trust. However, there are some things to consider if you do plan to get your employees connected with your marketing strategy.

Consider Your Employees’ Talents – And Use Them

You hired your employees for a reason. They possess a unique set of skills and specialised knowledge. So why not allow them to share their skills and knowledge with your fans? It’s likely that they have a better insight on certain aspects of your company than even you do, and that’s something that can attract a lot of followers.  When encouraging your employees to engage in social media, also encourage them to share their insights, skills, knowledge, and talent with their followers.

Build an Employee Network

When your employees go online, help them to build an online network of social media sites and accounts. Additionally, inform them of the importance of sharing information and updates from their fellow employees, as well as content from your company’s main social media account. That can go a long way toward “getting the word out” when it comes to your company and can help encourage audience engagement.

Be Aware of Potential Pitfalls and Know How to Prevent Them

Anytime you put social media in the hands of your employees, you are potentially setting yourself up for marketing pitfalls. This is especially true if your employees are not themselves social media or marketing experts. Combat this by teaching your employees the basics of using social media for marketing purposes and by giving them some basic guidelines for the use of their company account.

Do remember that because they are not official company accounts, your employees should feel free to be more casual with their social media usage. One of the best ways to encourage them to keep up with their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn is to ensure that they are having fun with it.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

CaptureIt can be tempting to engage with every social media platform when you’re looking to connect with customers. After all, social media gives you a way to instantly connect with customers, to provide them with information on your brand, and potentially to develop lasting relationships that lead to dedicated customers. However, before signing up for every social media site on the Internet, you should put on the brakes. It has been proven time and again that it is much better to have only three or four social media sites as a part of your marketing arsenal.

There are a number of reasons for this, primary among them being that by engaging with every site on offer you may be spreading your marketing message too thin. It is better to take the time on the few sites that you are signed up for to utilise quality, thoughtful content. By using only a handful of social media sites, you are also allowing yourself and your marketing staff a better opportunity to become acquainted with the finer details of marketing on those platforms, whether you choose Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social media site at your disposal.

Determine Where Your Audience Is to Choose the Right Social Media Sites

Choosing to limit the amount of marketing you do on social media sites does come with a small price. Fortunately, that price is easily paid with just a little bit of extra attention to where you decide to direct your energies. The temptation is obviously to hit every social media site in order to ensure you reach the broadest number of consumers possible. However, it is better to take a targeted approach – therefore, it is a good idea to determine where your target audience spends most of their time online.

Each social media site has its own target demographic. While Google+ and LinkedIn have largely attracted a professional audience, social media sites such as Pinterest tend to attract those with a love for fashion, culture, fine dining, and other hobbies. Understanding who your audience is can help guide you toward choosing the social media site, or sites, that will work best for your needs.

Connect Your Social Media Sites to Build a Social Network

One of the great benefits of choosing just a few social media sites for your marketing needs is it makes it easier to connect them. Connecting your various social media accounts can offer you a lot of benefits, the biggest among them being that you are able to attract your audience from one site to another, which can help to build up your online network.

Many social media sites have built-in functions that allow you to connect them, such as Facebook and Twitter or Google+ and YouTube. Others may take a little bit of experimentation in order to connect. However, doing so may be one of the best things that you can do to ensure that your audience is waiting and ready for your message.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

ID-10039776Social media is a powerful tool in any business’s social media strategy. It offers many benefits, foremost among them being the ability to connect directly to potential consumers and to build a relationship with them. Social media also offers businesses and social media gurus the ability to see feedback on their goods and services in real-time – something that is changing the way businesses think about marketing and driving home the need for adaptability in an ever-changing marketplace. However, with those many advantages come the potential for some big errors. Navigating the social media landscape can be risky if the person managing a Facebook or Twitter treats it too much like their personal account – or if they don’t take into account that a little bit of personality and relationship-building is not only acceptable, but encouraged with this type of marketing.

Responding Properly To Social Media Messages

One of the big benefits of a social media account is that it allows the customers of a business to contact the business directly with questions or concerns. Social media extends customer service beyond the experience of selling items and accepting returns.In a face-to-face encounter, customer service can help build a lasting customer relationship or it can drive a customer away from a business for good.

Before the advent of social media, customers would tell their friends and family about their customer service experience, potentially driving business away. That experience is amplified in the social media age. A negative comment to a customer, an argumentative reply, or a negative response to criticism can result in a problematic public image for that business, especially if the story gets shared on other social media sites. Therefore, it can be tempting to ignore those social media messages – however, that too can have a negative effect.

When these kinds of messages roll in, it is important to respond positively and helpfully. Offer to mediate or investigate a situation, and ensure that the customer feels that their concerns have been addressed. Not only can this respond save that particular customer’s business, but it can have a positive effect on those that see the message as well.

Find The Right Tone

The small snippets and sound bites that the average person leaves on their Twitter or Facebook is a pretty good indicator of their personality. Those outside a person’s circle may have nothing to go on besides these short snippets and updates when determining a person’s personality. Likewise, a business should think about the type of personality they are expressing when they use social media accounts. Being austere and overly professional may not have the right effect, just as being too friendly or casual can cause you to lose some credibility.

Think about the persona you want to come across, and consider how that persona benefits your business. When you’re building a relationship with the customer, the right tone can play a big part.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

 

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

ID-10030811People talk a lot these days about how social media marketing is, rather than being directly about promotion, more about building long-term relationships with your customers and generating new leads. That’s absolutely true, but your ultimate goal is, in fact, to sell. So how can you make sure that your social media strategy is working, and that you are converting your followers and fans into paying customers? There are ways to make sure that you are posting updates that do what you really want them to do – bring in sales – without jeopardizing your long-term social media marketing goals.

Have A Call To Action

When your customers visit your social network pages, they generally want to learn something or do something. They may be seeking information about your company, trying to find out about your products or services, or looking for special deals or promotions. They may be hoping to find tips and how-to information. Use your status updates to make sure they get what they want. When they get what they want, you get what you want: sales. “Click here for exclusive coupon,” or “Enter here to win a free…” are examples of ways to get them engaged and taking action.

Remember, though, that most of your content should be relevant, valuable information, not promotion. Keep directly promotional content to a minimum – many experts recommend no more than ten percent of your social media content.

Create Urgency

You have a limited amount of time to get your message across on a social media platform because of the ticker-tape style of the pages. You want to compel readers to act, and quickly. “Own it first,” “Special price this week,” and “For a limited time,” can have the desired effect. You can also give your readers incentives for acting immediately. For example, shipping fees could be waived for people who order today, or by Friday. Or, offer a 10 percent off deal for the first ten people to share your post.

Offer Exclusive Deals For Followers

Another way to offer special deals to your social media followers is by making sure they know the deal is only for them. “Facebook Exclusive Deals” or “Special Promotions Only For Pinterest Followers” get their attention and encourage loyalty and continued interest.

Keep Your Profiles Current. Always.

At a minimum, go through all of your company’s social media profiles several times a year to make sure that all of the information contained there is current and accurate. Customers will be looking for information about your company and it goes without saying the kind of impression you will give them if they find invalid information on one of your pages. Also stay on top of rule and format changes on the social media platform itself. For example, this year, Facebook began allowing calls to action on cover photos – are you taking advantage of this yet?

Remember, you can use social media to give your customers what they want, which is the best way to get what you want. Use these simple strategies to connect with them, connect with potential new leads, and convert them into happy – and paying – customers.

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image: freedigitalphotos.net / nuchylee)

ID-10039776You undoubtedly know by now that Facebook can help your business. Facebook is a great way to build and maintain relationships with your customers, reach new ones, and drive sales. Over a billion people like and comment on Facebook posts every day. Make your business a part of these interactions and engage your customers with these tips for fun ways to create Facebook posts that encourage them to get involved.

Use Photos

A simple image with a caption can be used to show a solution to a problem relevant to your customers or another way to improve their day-to-day lives. Use larger images to get more likes, comment, and shares, and optimise them in the timeline for the 403 x 403 pixel display. Larger images display from the centre of the pictures, and you don’t want images with missing edges in the news feed.

Ask Questions

Your customers want to be heard, and when you ask them questions you give them that chance. Ask them about their consumer preferences, ask them to help you name a product, or ask them to share memories or funny stories associated with your brand. Keep the questions simple and related to specific customer lifestyles, like how or where they used your product. Monitor your feedback to help you come up with ideas for question topics.

A fun variation on this is to ask your customers to fill in the blank. Post a short sentence with a word missing; this is sure to generate a substantial number of comments and shares. This tactic allows you to interact with your customers as well as understand them better for future marketing strategies. Use fill-in-the-blank posts in conjunction with a specific holiday or some other specific event such as embarrassing or awkward situations.

Share Quotes

Quotes help people identify with you and can evoke feelings of camaraderie. The right quote can help people associate your brand with good feelings, which will enhance your relationships with your customers. Choose quotes that align with your campaign goals. Using images or memes with your quotes will increase shares.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags simply use a categorized term or phrase behind a # symbol, and they can increase brand awareness in wide audiences. Use common phrases like #socialmedia to encourage more dialogue and enhance visibility. Use hashtags to bring attention to specific events such as contests and sales; you can also research which hashtags your customers are using to find conversations suitable for you to participate in.

Posts like these can be adapted to various applications to let you connect with your customers and increase their engagement on your Facebook page. They can also teach you quite a bit about your customers’ preferences, so try a few out – and pay attention when your customers respond.

 

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: freedigitalphotos.net / master isolated images)

kokokoIt’s tempting to target a young audience with your internet marketing. But don’t overlook the 65 plus set. They are becoming more and more active and computer literate all the time. Those 50 and up are the largest – and most affluent – group of internet users. Their net worth is much higher than that of younger people, and they have outgrown email as their only means of internet communication. Seniors now search on Google, use Facebook, and watch YouTube videos.

In fact, senior-living communities are now teaching their residents to use social media. More and more, they are establishing their own Facebook pages and posting photos and videos online as a way for family members to stay informed and connected. And there are now social networking websites just for older generations.

How many seniors are actually online? Over half of them. That’s tens of millions of people at least comfortable enough with computer technology to make online purchases. These people are embracing the simplicity and convenience of internet shopping, and smart marketers will try to keep up. Older generations have more disposal income than youngers, are brand-loyal, and usually have plenty of time.

Social Media Marketing

People 65 and up are the fastest growing social network demographic. Millions of people in this age group use Facebook, Twitter, and Skype. Reports show that at least 11% of Facebook users are seniors. They use social media to connect with their friends and family – just like other Facebook users – and to share photos and play games. Even if you already have a social media marketing strategy, you may want to consider a separate account specifically geared toward older generations, because they make choices and purchases differently than younger adults and teens.

How To Market To Older Generations

Understand that seniors make shopping choices based on relationships, more so than their younger counterparts. They generally buy the same thing that everyone else buys, but they research and plan more first. Their most popular online activities are email and health information research. Realise that seniors value experience over material possessions. Gadget porn won’t work on them; instead, they want to know how a product will enhance their activities. In other words, they won’t love something because it’s cool; they will love it because of what it can help them do. Spend some energy learning about this valuable demographic to optimise your internet marketing.

And if there isn’t sufficient evidence to convince you that you should be marketing to seniors now, consider this: over the next decade or so, as the baby boomers continue to retire, they will become the next generation of old generations – and the baby boomers are every bit as computer literate a generation as you could hope for.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Ambro)