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What You Need To Know About Facebook’s Algorithm Update

Facebook recently developed 3 new algorithms to balance out News Feed content. Feedback from users dictated that user experience was not satisfactory, there was too much promotional content and not enough friend updates. Facebook’s goal was to balance the updates from the user’s friends versus updates from public figures and business pages.

So what are the changes and how will they affect your company’s page?

The Updates

  • More content for users who want to spend more time reading their News Feed

Facebook had rules in place to prevent users from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row. Facebook’s Newsroom says, “With this update, we are relaxing this rule. Now if you run out of content, but want to spend more time in News Feed, you’ll see more.”

  • Close Friend Updates will show up higher in the News Feed

Users were afraid they were missing important updates from close friends. So the second update ensures that content like video uploads, photos and status updates from close friends are higher up in the News Feed. This won’t eliminate Pages, but it will prioritize the News Feed to show close friend updates first. The update will be individualized for each user.

  • Friends that have Liked or Commented on a Post will be lower in the News Feed

This was one of the biggest complaints. Users did not like seeing stories that their friends had liked or commented on, they will be lower in the news feed or not shown at all. You will likely see the stuff you care about directly from friends and the pages you have liked.

Facebook Post Example

What You Can Expect From These Changes

Facebook says, “The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity.”

Consider This

Evaluate why your traffic has slowed. Posting valuable and relevant content to your target audience should be an ongoing practice. And, don’t overwhelm your audience with lots and lots of posts.

After fortifying your website content, you can also improve your social sharing options. Hubspot offers, “That way, instead of your content getting on Facebook only by publishing on behalf of your brand, you’re getting more people to share your content on their personal Facebook accounts — which could ultimately help you reach a larger audience.”


How to Keep Your Social Media Info Private

With social media an ever present fixture in most people’s lives, the need to share feelings, pictures, and opinions has become the norm.  The phrase, “pics or it didn’t happen!” has almost made it feel necessary to share pictures of life events, just to prove to others that you in fact have a life.

The fact that social media sites are, well, social creates an environment that encourages sharing as well.

But where do you draw the line of who your pictures and information are shared with?  You probably don’t mind if your friends see pictures from your 21st birthday party, but do you want your parents to see?  What about your boss? Or a random stranger who you’ve never even met?

Each social site has different privacy settings and different user interfaces, so it can be very tricky figuring out how to secure your personal information and photos.  This infographic, posted by Hubspot, will help answer all your questions!  Each section will walk you through step by step, with images, how to update your privacy settings on various social media platforms.

HubSpot Infographic

3 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Lead Generation

Does your LinkedIn profile read like a resume and cover letter? Does your profile have a call-to-action in it? Are the majority of your contacts currently in your field?

Here are 3 tips for the best ways to optimize your LinkedIn leads generation.

#1:  Show Me What You Can Do For Me

Including your resume and cover letter on your LinkedIn profile is a good place to start when building your profile, but is that all you are including? Brynne Tillman from Social Sales Link shares, “prospects don’t care about what you’ve done- they want to know how you can help them.” By showing prospects your potential value, they will be more apt to find you through searches. Be like the “Show Me” state of Missouri, and show your prospects what makes you stand out from the rest.  Fill out your profile completely and include why your solutions to possible problems are the best; this will make your profile a powerful marketing tool.

LinkedIn Summary Example


#2:  Marketing Your Content

A great way to engage LinkedIn users is to include content marketing as call-to-action posts.  Not only does this give your prospects something to click on to learn more about you, it creates more leads and opportunities for you. The content could range anywhere from a giveaway, employment opportunities, or a white paper, the goal is to get people curious to who you are and what you can offer them. The stronger the content you post, the better results.

#3:  Cull Your Contacts

It’s tempting to add every Tom, Dick and Harry as a contact, the more the merrier, right? But are they relevant to your business? It’s imperative that your contacts are actually related to your business, industry, and field. With the understanding that these folks you have as contacts will be viewing and hopefully clicking your posts to learn more about you or your business and vice versa.

LinkedIn Connections

When you are searching for contacts, pursue the decision makers and strong influencers. Social Media Examiner’s Kristina Jaramillo says, “Define who your primary and secondary prospects and influencers are, and then use hot-button topics to connect and engage with them.”

Remember, the most important thing to remember on LinkedIn is: “sell your value, not your accomplishments.” Tell prospects how you can help them. Use your entire profile and all of LinkedIn’s tools to show how your value contributes to their success.


Top 4 Tips to Connect with Your Audience on Social Media

If you are only focusing on business in your social media posts, you’re doing it wrong. The reason it’s called social media is to socialize. If you are at a dinner party, you wouldn’t talk only about work, you share funny stories, jokes, and personal experiences. You might talk to someone about how you know the host, about the food that is being served, or learn something about the people you are talking to. Social media content is not much different than this.

Here are 4 ways to make better connections with your audience on social media:

1)  Cultivate Relationships

Instead of giving a hard sell to your followers all the time, it is essential to create goodwill with them.  Posting things that people can relate to or find humorous is a good way to cultivate these relationships. This creates a sense of personality and makes your online presence appear less robotic.  For example, Miller Lite posted this funny internet meme on their Facebook page.  It’s culturally relevant, funny, and mostly likely would appeal to their target demographic.


2)  Integrate Relevant Events

Find ways to integrate relevant events into your brand posts. For example, Tide used The Dress Debate to tie in their product to this wildly popular controversy. It’s current, lighthearted, and easy to relate to, which also helps cultivate relationships with your followers. This post ended up having almost 2000 shares, 16,800 likes and almost 800 comments. I’d say they nailed it.

Tide Facebook Image

3)  Create Calls-To-Action

Creating a call-to-action allows your followers to interact with your brand, for example liking a post or sharing a photo. This in turn will enhance your business goals of either purchase or lead generation. Pampers campaign of #PampersFirsts encourages their followers to post photos of their baby’s firsts, from the first time they smiled or had solid food or spoke their first word.

Pampers Tweets

4)  Curated Content

Social Media Examiner proposes that sharing curated content that is relevant to your product or brand will also create goodwill. It shows that the business is not all about them all the time.

Chobani’s Pinterest account is an excellent example of this. Kierra Stein says, “A yogurt brand associated with health living, Chobani caters to its audience with tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They use their Pinterest account to share recipes, workouts, inspirational quotes, ideas for setting up your kitchen and more; and most of these are repins or pins from other sites.”

Chobani Pinterest



The business side of your work is important, but so is cultivating relationships within your online presence. Applying these tips to your social media posts will give your content the best online personality.

3 Myths About Inbound Marketing

All businesses use their own jargon when discussing internal projects, and it can sometimes be a little confusing. Marketing is definitely not an exception to this rule, and inbound marketing is one of those often confused terms.

Inbound marketing is the creation of quality content that attracts people toward your business or product. “By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic.”  Even with this defined, there are still many people confused about what it means and there are many misconceptions surrounding inbound marketing.  Here are 3 common myths that surround inbound marketing:

Myth 1:  Inbound marketing is a fancy way of saying SEO.

SEO is actually a fundamental part of inbound marketing, but it’s just one part of it. Inbound marketing brings traffic, that traffic turns into leads, which eventually and hopefully, turns into sales.

Inbound-Marketing Graphic

Myth 2:  One person can handle doing all the inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing needs all hands on deck. It really shouldn’t be one person’s responsibility, there are many skill sets needed. It’s SEO, social media, content writing, design, development, strategy, project management, data analysis, business thinking, and audio/video production.

Myth 3:  Inbound marketing is formula driven.

Inbound marketing isn’t a to do list of things to check off:  writing blog posts, tweeting, publishing white papers and Facebook posts, and done! While these things are important, they don’t necessarily need to be done each day or week. Personalizing the content to your audience is the key to successful inbound marketing.

HubSpot agrees that “it’s a commitment to focusing on your customer/client, not you. It’s a focus on creating a business that matters. It’s a decision to be a human business that shows personality.”

At the end of the day, creating a big online presence for your business takes more than just a few clicks of the mouse. Inbound is a mindset. Specific strategies should be developed for this online presence.  Learn more about your consumer first and serve them what they want, and in turn it will help you build up your business’s personality.


6 Tips to Make Your Twitter Profile Stand Out

Twitter profiles are a great way to show your audience who you are and what you’re about in a creative way. Do you have a catchy yet captivating profile? Here are some tips to create a relevant profile that will get you noticed.

  • Go Against the Grain – Resist the urge to copy current Twitter profile trends. Check out what your followers have written in their profile and then do the opposite. Reading the same wording that everyone uses is not only boring, but it also may not convey the message you want to give to your followers.
  • Recognize Your Audience – Using the word ‘You’ in your profile makes the reader feel involved in your business. It creates personalization, which in turn makes your followers or potential followers feel welcome. It’s similar to saying hello or goodbye.
  • A Single Word – Less it more, a single word in your profile can show your creative edge while still getting your point across. Twitter Example #1
  • Update Often – Most Twitter users know that an occasional refresh of your profile will keep your followers interested. Renew your Twitter profile with relevant things that are happening in your marketing endeavors or your career.
  • Exaggerate, Playfully – Using an amusing sentiment in your profile attracts readers to want to read more of your tweets. Ellen’s whimsical profile includes, “Comedian, Talk-Show host, and ice road trucker. My tweets are real and they are spectacular.”  The obvious fib is fun and inoffensive to her audience, and it shows her spunky personality.Twitter Example #3
  • Keep It Brief and Use Links – Keeping your profile brief but to the point is a good technique to tell your reader who you are, what you are known for, and also an opportunity to link your website. Hashtags are a unique way to make your profile stand out too. SocialMedia Examiner advises you to, “Choose the most important thing you do; state them in a clear, compelling way.” Twitter Example #2

Being a creative writer can take some finesse. But it’s not all about the wit and the one-liners, it’s about gaining more followers that in turn will be more leads for sales or connections. Don’t let your creativity get you in over your head, use it smartly and often.


Reorganizing Your Marketing Strategy for 2015

In years past, the thing to do was to get on as many social media platforms as possible. Or write more blog posts, more twitter posts, more status updates on Facebook. While this technique may seem like a good idea, the quality of your work might be suffering and you’re losing traffic and/or potential traffic. This year, think about what you can trim off your marketing strategy in order to make your business more efficient and effective.

Take a look at your current marketing plan and make some honest decisions on what is actually working for your business and what is not. Then cull out the pieces that aren’t getting your analytics to rise.

Ginny Soskey from Hubspot Blogs writes about 6 things that should be cut from your marketing in order for it to be more effective. I’ve highlighted 4 that will make the most of your marketing.

  1. Real-time marketing – this was cute until it wasn’t. Remember the Oreo cookie ad that was tweeted during the 2013 Superbowl when the power went out?  “It was relevant, it was quick, it was witty, and the general public loved it.  So many marketers thought that real-time marketing was the next big thing,” explains Soskey.  Oreo Superbowl TweetA popular pizza company attempted this technique with the #WhyIStayed (a hashtag that supported domestic violence victims), and ended up insulting a large part of their audience. It was downright insensitive and got a lot of kickback.

    Real-time marketing can be effective, if it is used for pure purposes, and not that of viral ones.

  2. Using Social Networks that aren’t working for you – Did you know that the average B2B marketer promotes their content on six social platforms? Your strategy should reflect that of your consumers. Look at your metrics and see where they are coming from. Spend more quality time on the posts written for those social networks. This could be Facebook or even a niche social platform.

    Soskey offers this pro tip: “If your ultimate goal on social is to generate sales, be sure to investigate the entire funnel before cutting a platform. You may find one network doesn’t generate a ton of traffic but does convert that traffic into leads really well, for example. In cases like that, you probably wouldn’t want to cut the platform — instead, cut time from another platform that isn’t driving many bottom-line results.”

  3. Bad Stock Imagery – No one wants to look at a generic piece of stock imagery that barely even relates to your business. Instagram, Canva and other photography solutions should be put into practice. They are relevant, interesting and usually much more creative than the cliche man in a suit on a street with a pigeon sitting close by on a park bench.
  4. Not Optimizing Conversion Paths for Mobile – Making your call-to-action noticeable and user-friendly is key for mobile marketing. A hard to find or click link for a contest or a giveaway is an automatic out for someone who is using their mobile device.

This new year, trim the fat and start looking at your social strategies and make some positive changes in your techniques.


5 Steps to Optimizing Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns

You’ve probably already been doing these steps with search engine optimization (SEO):  checking your analytics, being sure your content sharability is easy to access, and knowing what your audience appreciates.  Social media optimization (SMO) has one focus:  increasing visibility of your business or products using social media. By using best industry practices and past performances, it will make your content the best it can be.

Jaysen DeMers, a contributor from Forbes,  provides 5 optimization techniques that will have your social media marketing’s closet bursting at the seams.

  1. Headlines:  An attention-grabbing headline is key to engaging your social media audience.  DeMers suggests using numbers within the headline, a clear, tangible benefit and a timely hook to gain the most interest in your blog posts or twitter posts.
  2. Strong Call To Action Social Media Posts:  If you want people to click onto your website, be sure to include ‘click below to download now’ or ‘click to read more’ or even a simple, ‘to learn more, click here’. Make it easy on your readers and have the URL embedded. Web-Buttons-free
  3. Make The Most Of Your Social Media Profile
  • Keep your URL in an obvious space
  • Complete every field on your profile for greater presence on social media sites
  • Use consistent images, format and voice throughout your profile
  • Link to a network-specific landing page.

4. Images, Images, Images:  According to the recently released Social Media Content Optimization Study, a survey done by Adobe and social CRM resource Software Advice, 82% of marketers said images were important or very important to their social media marketing.

5. Hashtags:  Hashtags allow users who may not be familiar with your business to find you. Using relevant words in your hashtags, a new reader may discover your business. Hashtags are the best way we have of making your posts and tweets as ‘findable’ as possible.Get-Your-Hashtag-On-684x260

Test out a variety of these strategies with your audience and see what works best for your brand and within your demographic. Not all of them may work with your already established audience, but they could draw in new users. So get started or continue optimizing your social media marketing campaign using these steps as a guide.


3 Examples of Successful Marketing Campaigns

You’ve probably heard the saying, “no need to reinvent the wheel”, and that can definitely apply to marketing.  When it comes to successful marketing campaigns, there’s no need to start from scratch.  Learn from what others are doing and figure out how you could do something similar using your brand and target audience.

Social Media Examiner came up with a list of 10 examples of successful marketing, here are the top 3 that we think really stand out.  We hope that these campaigns will inspire you to come up with your own amazing and unique marketing ideas!

  1. Dove.  Time and time again, Dove has created moving videos that are highly sharable and truly touch people’s hearts.  In these videos, they rarely mention their brand because they aren’t selling your their product, they’re telling an honest and beautiful story.  And that, my friends, is how you create a viral video.  (well, that or having your cat do something hilarious)  Dove also knows how to create engagement by encouraging their followers to tell a story about someone and then tag them in their post, as seen in the screenshot below.  Dove Facebook Post
  2. Humans of New York.  What started out as a lone photographer sharing his candid and startlingly honest photos of strangers on the streets of New York City has become a recognizable brand with a cult following.  How did he do it?  The photographer isn’t just sharing his photos, he’s sharing people’s stories.  Real people, raw life experiences, beautiful love stories, everyday struggles.  The snippets are short but impactful, and the fact that they’re all shared on Facebook makes it easy to create a following.Humans of New York Facebook Screenshot
  3. Starbucks.  Being one of the most recognizable brands in the world doesn’t mean that you can phone it in with your marketing efforts.  One of the reasons Starbucks has been so successful on social media is that they don’t just promote their products, they teach you how to use them.  In the example below, they show followers how long to brew various teas and what color it should be when properly brewed.  In addition to the helpful information, they included a beautiful visual image of the brewed teas as well. Starbucks Facebook Post

I think the common thread between all 3 of these examples is that the brands are not forceful in promoting their brands or products.   They tell a story or help you learn something new.  In today’s world of marketing, people are done being marketed at, they expect something more than that.

Do you have any successful marketing campaigns you’d like to share?  Please leave your ideas/experiences in the comments section, we’d love to hear them!


Should You Take a Social Media Vacation?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a season of celebration for many, and for those who do not have holidays to celebrate this month it can serve as a welcome break while the business world slows to a crawl.  Depending on what type of field you work in, most people take at least a day or two off around this time, but what about social media marketers?  Can they take a social media vacation?

Social Media Break

This interesting article from Lance Ulanoff asks and dissects the very question, “Can I really take a social media vacation?”  Ulanoff’s case is slightly unique in that he himself is his brand, and all his tweets, vines, and other social posts are amusing quips that come straight from him.  Because he is his brand and the only person in charge of maintaining his sites, it does make it difficult for him to take a break.

There is also another thing that makes it difficult for Ulanoff to take a break.  He says, “there are times when I’m tired and I don’t want to Tweet, Vine or Instagram. I do so at those times because I fear my silence will lead to a wave of unfollows. I mean, I get this feeling if I haven’t tweeted for two hours. It’s a wonder I can sleep six or seven hours a night. I should be waking up at 1, 2 and 3 a.m. to post something, right?”  This is a common fear of social media marketers, that even a moment of silence will cause a mass exodus of your followers.

So, we’ve seen that for a solo entrepreneur, it can be difficult to detach from the ever present social media, but what about for a larger company?  Can they, and more importantly should they, take a social media vacation?

Chances are, your office is going to be quiet around the holidays because many people will be on vacation, which could make it difficult to push any work projects forward.  This might lead you to believe that by this logic, you could stop posting to your social media sites, but you would be wrong!

In my opinion, most brands should continue to regularly post around the holidays.  Here’s why:  With so many people on vacation what do you think they’re doing?  They’re at home on their computers!  They’re checking Facebook on their iPhones!  If you have a recognizable brand with a large audience or sell a tangible product, this could be an ideal time for you to post to a captive audience.

However, I will contradict myself and say that if you do not have a large social audience it may not be worth your time and efforts.  In this case, I’ll sign off on your social media time off request and say it’s fine to take a little vacation.

So, will you be taking a social media break this holiday season?