Many of us in the Social Media sphere have been lamenting the fact that Facebook organic reach has been declining in the past year, as Facebook has pushed brands into paid advertising to reach their target audience. The bad: you have to spend money to reach your target audience. The good: you can target like never before.
In spite of all the bitching and moaning, Facebook continues to drive more traffic to websites. Since Facebook owns the rights to all of their users and any content on their social network, it only makes sense to drive traffic from Facebook to a website where you can capture a lead and own it.
The latest stats are in: the world's largest social network only continues to drive more and more traffic to websites:
In fact, according to a new report discussed in WebProNews, it’s the only one of the top eight social networks to actually drive more traffic from March to June than it did in the months prior.
Highlights of the WebProNews article:
- Facebook drove 23.39% of overall visits to sites. All in all, social media appears to making up a greater percentage of the referral pie.
- Facebook launched a new feature which should result in even more referrals for sites: the new "Save" feature lets users save links (as well as places, movies, TV shows, and music) in their News Feed to view later.
- The "Save" feature supports sponsored posts, so that’s good news for Facebook advertisers. You might get the click later, but you'll still get the click.
Amazingly, I still have clients arguing with me that "Facebook isn't right for me" and "Our audience isn't on Facebook."
Read about the report here.
Finally, Facebook has added a somewhat limited Save capability to the ubiquitous social network. The current version of the Save feature only allows you to save links for later viewing, with apparent plans to allow users to save timeline content for later viewing.
Well done, Facebook. Keep it coming!
Remember when the Facebook timeline appeared last year? We were not supposed to promote with that new Cover image. Now, that's all changed, according to CrazyEgg.com.
Now, you can use up to 20% of the image area for promotion. Here's a great example from Mari Smith's timeline:
Mari Smith takes advantage of Facebook's new Timeline cover rules.Mari Smith has maximized her 20% in a great way.She uses the space to:
- Promote her social media survey in exchange for a free Facebook marketing report.
- Draw attention to her like button to increase fans.
- Tell people how they can get all of her latest updates by selecting the Get Notifications option.
For those of us marketing our clients' businesses on Facebook, this comes as a welcome relief.
Read the entire article here.
Google recently announced its new Google+ Sign-In platform during the Google Developers Live stream. I’m all for minimal user names and passwords so I think this single sign on might be a big Google+ win, but only if it can compete with the existing Facebook and Twitter sign-in platforms.
Not only does the new sign-in system provide ease of use for site and app users, it also has huge potential to facilitate consumer interaction, expand online communities and increase mobile app downloads for businesses and web developers.
The Google+ Sign-In feature is represented by a shiny red “Sign in with Google” button. Supported on the web as well as Android and iOS devices, the feature will allow users to sign into websites and mobile apps using their Google accounts rather than having to create a new user name and password.
If you're a fan of the Facebook & Twitter logins available around the 'web, you will like this. Unfortunately, it's only going to be on a select group of Google partner sites for now, including The Guardian, USA Today, Flixster and Tune In Radio, among others.
Sounds like it's going to be a bit more robust than the empty Facebook share box:
Once a user has logged onto your website or mobile app through Google, interactive sharing allows them to share information from your site with their friends, family and professional connections via their Google+ circles. This is where the Google+ sign-in offers a bit more interactivity than Facebook’s sole “share” button: Developers will be able to choose from over 100 verbs to represent a call-to-action like “buy,” “listen,” “vote,” or “review.”
Interactive sharing will also allow developers to customize the text in a user’s post. Unlike the empty Facebook “share” box users are accustomed to, the Google+ posts will help businesses and marketers start the user’s dialog. This pre-fill text will appear as a default entry for the user. Users can then share as-is, modify the message or erase and add their own text.
What do you think? Is this a big deal or a yawn?
John Henry Scherck is an SEO associate at SEER Interactive’s Philadelphia offices recently penned a story about how difficult lead gen is for the medical field, especially with competition from the big players like WebMD and Mayo Clinic. Their clever strategy to level the playing field with those 800-pound gorilla sites? Rich snippets using video.
According to Wikipedia:
"On May 12, 2009, Google announced that they would be parsing the hCard, hReview, and hProduct microformats and using them to populate search result pages with what they called 'Rich Snippets'. Rich Snippet displays additional data from other pages about the resources being displayed in the search result. In order to work, webmasters must incorporate open standards such as microdata, microformats or RDFa in their web pages. Google does not guarantee that the use of these open standards will result in rich snippets, but webmasters have the option to contact Google for its inclusion."
Rich snippets, in essence, are a little clue of data within a website that is specifically formatted for search engines, featuring details like an article's author and other attributes that give credibility to the article. Rich snippets are used to nest semantics within existing content on web page. It requires the data be specifically formatting (in a type of XML code) so the search engines can index it.
How do you benefit from using Microformats or Rich Snippets? In the results of a web search. Have you noticed those little author avatars that appear from time to time in the SERPs? Those are rich snippets. Heatmaps of SERPs show that viewers eyes are drawn to those images. Here's an example:
In addition to the author avatar, most YouTube videos when formatted correctly display a thumbnail, thusly:
Can you see the potential here? At least for the forseeable future, using Rich Snippets in a website will result in more clicks, even if the link isn't appearing first in the results. Of course, you still have to get the link to page one, but using Rich Snippets will assist in that as well.
Read the full story on the techniques employed by Body Logic here.
And of course, if you'd like to get these same type of results, you know who to call.
In numbers too big too ignore, Facebook announced that at the end of 2012, they had 1.06 Billion monthly active users.
They also report 680 million mobile users, more than 42 million pages and 9 million apps.
Facebook isn't just for kiddies anymore, folks. As a matter of fact, my teenage daughter doesn't use FB that much anymore, because it's been "invaded by old people." She's migrated on to Instagram.
Social media is now an integral part of web marketing, particularly for local businesses. Here are some other interesting stats:
- Google+: 343 million active users
- LinkedIn: 200 million users
- Twitter: 500 million total users, more than 200 million active users
- Youtube: 800 million users, 4 billion views per day
- Instagram: 90 million registered users, 4 billion photos
We just finished producing another branding video for the folks at Pickerington-Eastland Heating & Cooling, this one for their Whitehall Ohio service area. Go take a look and let us know what you think!
Props to MobileMarketingWatch:
According to Efficient Frontier, a leading performance marketing firm, spend in social media advertising is now additive to existing budgets rather than subtracting from other digital media channels, demonstrating the growing investment in the medium.
Brands continued to acquire Facebook fans at 9% per month. Facebook spend share reached 2.7% of biddable online advertising spend in Q4 2011 and is expected to increase fan base by 2x by the end of 2012.
The research from Efficient Frontier shows that search spend increased significantly in Q4 of 2011, bolstered by aggressive spending by retailers. Overall, search spend grew 14% Year over Year in the United States.
I literally heard this same information from two different sources within a few minutes today. MOBILE ADVERTISING on Facebook is set to be released in March 2012. Don't be left out in the cold.
Did you know LinkedIn has over 135 million members worldwise? That 77% of LinkedIn users are age 25 or older? And the average household income of LinkedIn users is $109,000?
Clearly, LinkedIn is a network full of people who love to network, the movers and shakers of their industries. If you’re a SMB, these are the people you want to know about your business.
As you know, Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools but LinkedIn users are known to be especially serious about their jobs, industry and social network. If you plan to market yourself on LinkedIn, you have to change your mindset. This mini-bootcamp will whip you into shape for LinkedIn marketing.
Hubspot's Dan Zarrella offers this great infographic about the right time to post on Facebook.
Best tidbits: articles posted at 8am and posted on weekends are shared the most, and posting every other day is just about right.
- Creative Marketing Genius & founder of iNvision Studios Web Marketing, Sherm Stevens has spent the past 20 years helping SMBs, non-profits and other clients with creative marketing solutions. iNvision Studios offers a mix of technical, creative and marketing services, giving small businesses the opportunity to increase their inbound customer traffic with an SEO-optimized web site, social network marketing, local search marketing, mobile-optimized websites, PPC advertising, and mobile marketing.