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State of Social (July 2019)

State of Social (July 2019)

International Foodie Management, The Buffalo Rose Restaurant and Influencer Marketing Tips!

Be on the Lookout: Checkout on Instagram

Be on the Lookout: Checkout on Instagram

If you think about it, the changes that e-commerce has seen over the last two decades are beyond extraordinary. With the introduction of Amazon and eBay in the late 90s, to the digital marketplaces that are utilized in countless apps and websites, e-commerce is evolving right in front of our eyes. (Read more)

How to Leverage Social Media for Last Minute Holiday Sales

How to Leverage Social Media for Last Minute Holiday Sales

In case you haven’t started your holiday marketing early, we discuss last minute options on how to use social media to drive holiday sales this season. Consumers turn to social media for gift ideas and discounts more now than ever before, so be a part of that conversation.

4 Common LinkedIn Advertising Pitfalls and How to Solve Them


4 Common LinkedIn Advertising Pitfalls and How to Solve Them

Advertising on LinkedIn is something that both B2C and B2B companies are doing. Why? Because it’s the world’s largest professional network and the knowledge you can gain from advertising with them is nearly infinite. However, a successful LinkedIn campaign isn’t as easy as a click of the button. One common pitfall when advertising on LinkedIn is using the wrong targeting strategies. Read on to find out four common targeting struggles on LinkedIn and how you can fix them for your next campaign.  


Budgeting for Social Ads


Budgeting for Social Ads

With the ever changing newsfeed one thing has become apparent, to stay in front of your audience you need to set aside ad dollars. Let's get down to it - so how much is it going to cost?

1. Industry matters.

If you're B2B plan on spending between $1 - $3 per engagement. If you're B2C cost per engagement will most likely run you $.30 - $60. I often say the more "fun" your business is (think food, spirits, fashion), the less money you'll need to spend.

2. Networks matter.

Whether you are B2B or B2C, Facebook tends to be the most cost efficient when it comes to social ads, followed by Twitter and then LinkedIn. This has held consistently true no matter what the industry. Facebook also allows integration of Instagram with its ad platform, so you can target two networks at once.

That said, if you can't find your audience easily through Facebook targeting, it may be worth spending the extra money on Twitter and LinkedIn. At the end of the day you want your message to reach the right people, even if that means fewer people overall.

3. Goals matter.

What's your ask? If you want people to click to an external website you'll probably pay more. If you want people to commit to liking your page versus liking a boosted post you'll also pay a slightly higher premium. The larger the "ask," the more you'll need to budget.

4. Reach matters.

Like any traditional ad buy, the more people you want to reach, the more it will cost you. I recommend a minimum $50 a month ad buy to clients. This allows you to boost two posts a week at $5 reaching around 1,000 - 3,000 people based on your targeting goals.

Social ads are accessible, easy to create and a must in today's world of social media marketing. Make sure you carve out budget to support your content, otherwise you may be talking to yourself.



Facebook's Call-To-Action Button, Worthwhile?

Any good community manager knows the action is in the newsfeed on Facebook. People like your page once and then interact with your content via the newsfeed page. Facebook's redesign of the page itself over the years has placed less and less importance on page design, outside of the cover photo, which when changed, feeds into the newsfeed. That's why I found it odd that Facebook rolled out the "Call to Action" button, a button which prompts fans to "Shop," "Contact," "Book," etc, and can only be accessed by visiting a business' page. Now you can make the argument that if someone needs to reach out to you they'll visit your page and behave in a more proactive manner, but those fans are few and far between. At least that's what my gut told me. I decided to test this theory by activating several "Call to Action" buttons on client pages and here are the results.

Out of the 10 pages I activated, only 1 click on a "Contact Us" button has occurred in the last two weeks and I'm not convinced that wasn't from me testing. These are active pages which are supported weekly with advertising and are gaining new fans daily. On the other hand by including a website link in a promoted post I received several clicks to "Shop" on my client's website. Not surprising as the content appeared in the newsfeed, not just the page.

The "Call to Action" button is free to install, so there's no reason not to do it, but don't rely on it to do the heavy lifting. If you really want to drive action you need to be where the action is and that's in the newsfeed. Include links to your site and promote your posts to a targeted audience to see results.



Promoted Pins - How to Advertise on Pinterest

I admit it...I was probably way too excited to try my first Promoted Pin, but then again when you're a social media dork, these things happen. Pinterest recently rolled out Promoted Pins, a similar product to Facebook's boosted posts or Twitter's promoted tweet. The premise is to extend the reach of your pinned content to relevant users on Pinterest. To set up the promoted pin go to and log into your company's Pinterest account. You must tie a credit card to that account, so be sure to have an AMEX handy.

Once inside, Pinterest populates recent pins and you can select which one you want to promote. It didn't populate all my pins which was a tad annoying, but after scrolling through I found one that would work for my test. Pinterest does want you to promote original content that you own, which makes sense anyhow if the end goal is to get people to click back from the pin to your website.

Once you have a pin selected you can choose interests, geography (medium to large cities), device type and gender. At this time you can't select age.

You then set your maximum CPC, how long you want the campaign to run and your daily campaign budget. Since this was a test I ran it for two days with a maxiumum $5 daily budget and $1.50 CPC. I was out $10 at the very worst. Keep in mind, you only get charged when someone clicks on your pin to go to your website, so it is totally possible to run a campaign and not spend anything.

Since the spend was minimal I didn't see outrageous results, but I did see a definite spike in reach for the particular pin I promoted. I also found it interesting to see what keywords / interests drove the most views. Using that information you can create more pins and boards around keywords that did well.

Overall, setting up a Promoted Pin was just as easy as a Promoted Post on Facebook. Pinterest doesn't have the robust analytics that Facebook has but it is making strides. And at the end of the day, Promoted Pins are another indicator that all social will need to have paid "media" in the mix when you want to expand your reach.

Go on. Test it out. The platform is fairly intuitive and you can set up an ad buy for minimal cost. Let me know what you think.


Know How Technology Works

When driving North on I-65 I came across two billboards each a mile apart. The first was for a local mom and pop diner. On it was a picture of food and a call to action - the restaurant's phone number. From what I could tell it wasn't the type of joint you would need to call ahead for a reservation, so why was the phone number featured so prominently? The second billboard was for Burger King. It also had an image of food but in big bold letters it read: Turn right at the next exit. Followed by an arrow. Burger King nailed it. Granted they probably had a support of a large agency,  but they clearly understood how the medium (a billboard in this case) worked.

Whether it's a poorly placed QR code or a text heavy Facebook post, people often fail to think about how the medium is being used by their customer. Here are two key questions to ask yourself when developing a campaign:

1. What is the information your customer needs to know?

2. What is the best way to deliver that information on the particular medium you are using?

If you are using mobile use wide ranging methods to reach your customer -  less QR codes and Apps and more use of mobile web and SMS. Mobile search is often searching "in the moment" or "on the go." What types of information would your customers need to know as they are heading out to shop, eat, etc?

If you are using social be conscious of which platform you are using. Twitter behaves differently than Facebook which behaves differently than Pinterest. Make sure you are in the right space to reach your customers. On social media, what social currency can you give your followers so they'll help spread the word? Maybe it's a coupon, maybe a recipe or perhaps a bit of trivia. Think about information that is interesting and useful for your fan base while still helping you achieve your business goals.

No matter what the medium, it's important to understand how people are using it and to identify the critical information they need so you can make a sale. Sometimes it's as simple as a big yellow arrow pointing toward your next Whopper.


Optimizing Facebook Ads

I have to admit...I was a bit hesitant about sponsored stories ads on Facebook. Wouldn't you want a compelling line of copy (even if it is only a few characters long) and your picture of choice in your ad? That way you could ensure you'd win people over as customers and fans. But alas, much like everything else in social you have to shove your ego aside and give people what they want...which isn't your copy writing genius. Having hosted ad campaigns for a variety of businesses large and small, I can tell you what works best over and over again. It's the sponsored story.

There's something about the personal recommendation that is far more legit than any ad copy you or I could write.  And I've seen it not just perform better once or twice. It's every time, most of the time performing 10X better than a standard Facebook display ad. (I usually always run them side by side, just to be certain).

It's essentially word of mouth marketing, but you don't have to wait for someone to tell their friends because sponsored stories do it for you.  For example, when you like Nike's page it goes into the newsfeed once. It's up to Nike then to pour a few dollars into a sponsored story ad campaign to make that "Like" work as hard as possible. Now that "Like" is being shown to all of your friends multiple times a day in the form of a sponsored story ad. Good news for Nike, especially if you're an influencer among your circle of friends. If you want the biggest bang for your buck on Facebook ads, go sponsored stories and save your copy writing skills for another day. It took me awhile to become a believer, but I got there eventually. You should too.

$50 Facebook Ad Experiment - Small Businesses

I've worked with global brands who have spent six figures on Facebook advertising and seen great results, but what about a small budget for a small business? Here's what happened when I invested $50 on a Facebook ad for my company Go Social, a Louisville, Ky based communications agency. The Set Up: Creating the Ad

Some will disagree but I find the Facebook Ad system fairly easy and intuitive to use. There are multiple ways to get to the ad system - I went to my company page and clicked the Create an Ad link on the right hand side.

When you get to the Ad page the first step is to create the actual ad. Facebook will ask you to choose the page or insert a url that you want the ad to drive to  (this is super important to get right because that's where people who click on your ad end up).

Choose Sponsored Story or Facebook Ad. Sponsored Stories pulls in fan activity from the newsfeeds and serves it up in an ad. If you have a small fan base and your goal is to get new fans or awareness I would keep it simple and go Facebook Ad, which are the standard ads you see on the sides of your page.

In terms of where you should send the people, I would choose Wall or Default (which is most likely your Wall). Really not sure why you would spend money on an ad to drive people to your photos tab or discussions page. I would guess most advertisers want more fans, in which case the Wall is probably your best bet.

I would put your logo or an image of your product as the picture. Remember the space is small so the more simple the picture the better. I went with my logo because it is bright and colorful, and I was hoping it would attract attention.

Facebook will put your page name as the Title. In a larger ad buy you can alter this and get more creative with the Title, guess that's one of the perks. For the body text you need to keep it simple as you only have 135 characters.

Tip: Tell people what's in it for them. My end goal was to get people to like the page so I could continue the conversation with 2 - 3 posts showing up in their newsfeeds a week. I could have said, hey hire me as your social media agency, but that's a bit obnoxious and unless someone was specifically in that moment looking for an agency, they probably wouldn't like the ad.  Instead I said let me help you keep up to date with social media trends.

The next step is Targeting. I narrowed my audience finally settling on the following: live within 50 miles of Louisville, Ky., 30 years or older, college graduate, English-speaking and not already a fan of Go Social on Facebook. Again, if your goal is getting new fans, make sure you aren't serving up ads to people who are already fans as it's a waste of money.

I played around with other attributes targeting people's interests - like social media and small business owner - but it narrowed the field too much.  I've worked on other ad buys which were too targeted and Facebook was unable to deliver enough impressions for the budget.

Lesson: Be smart about your targeting, pick the things that really matter. In my case, I wanted to make sure that I was reaching people in Louisville that were in a position where they may influence marketing departments or own a small business themselves. I wasn't interested in reaching people right out of college.


Having worked on previous campaigns I've found you get more bang for your buck if you run your ad over a short time period. The idea is to take advantage of the social newsfeed aspect - more people seeing "so and so" liked Go Social in their newsfeed, the more likely they are to recall it and possibly like the page themselves. I ran my ad from 7 am on Thursday to 7 am on Saturday. Facebook will spread the money out over that period based on a bidding system. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you get charged. Remember though, you set the ultimate limit in terms of total money spent, so no big surprise bill at the end.

The Results

Long story short I received 164K impressions from my ad. Sounds impressive but I was less excited about impressions and more interested in the actual likes. If your goal is awareness then 164K impressions for $50 is pretty good. My goal was to get more likes so I could continue the conversation on a regular basis and stay top of mind over a longer period of time.

I had 45 people click my ad and out of that number 15 people actually liked my page. As a result of those 15 people liking my page I got an additional 3 people who liked the page because they saw it in their friends' newsfeeds. So 18 fans for $50 which means I paid about $2.77 for each new fan.  Not bad. Prior to the ad buy I was averaging 8 new fans a month, so you could say $50 bought me two months worth of fans.

I researched advertising in a local paper and rates for a fairly small ad that would run in the back of the paper, surrounded by other ads, ran around $150.  While that price did buy me a month's worth of exposure, I still find great value in getting into someone's newsfeed, especially knowing the average Facebook user has 130 friends.

Was it worth it? We'll see if any new business results, but for $50 I felt I got a good deal of exposure and 18 people who (fingers crossed) will help me spread the word to their friends.