Category Archives: social media

Read on for marketing tips for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus: which of these should your business focus on?

Facebook
If you don’t have a custom Facebook username yet (without the numbers at the end of the URL), get it now.

Make your marketing more effective by using targeting and scheduling on Facebook. The post explains what these features are, and offers ideas on how to use them.

What does the information on your Facebook Insights tell you?

Twitter
What you get out of Twitter depends a great deal on who you follow. Find and follow these five kinds of people.

How do you find people to follow on Twitter? Use these tips and tools.

Too many businesses make these mistakes. Don’t be one of them.

Just starting with Twitter? Check out this useful guide.

Scroll down for more social media advice.

Five Ways to Find Relevant People to Follow on Twitter

A common question business-owners who use Twitter ask us is, “How do I find relevant people to follow?”

In my last post, I talked about who you should follow on Twitter: now let’s look at how to find these people.

1. Twitter Advanced Search

A useful but rarely used feature of Twitter is Advanced Search.

Continue reading Five Ways to Find Relevant People to Follow on Twitter

Five Kinds of People You Should Follow on Twitter

Twitter is a tricky medium for small businesses. You will find a lot of people saying it’s a waste of time and enough people who swear by its benefits. You need to build your following, but when you start out you have to focus on following the right people.

Here is a quick guide on what kinds of people you should follow.

1. Customers – existing customers or people in your target customer group

You should follow your customers to see what they are talking about — what they are interested in, what products/service they like and what they are complaining about. Also this is a good way of letting them know that you are on Twitter. If they are interested in what you offer, they might even follow you back.

But don’t start selling to them on Twitter, not yet. Listen, engage and offer help but don’t be pushy.

Continue reading Five Kinds of People You Should Follow on Twitter

New Page Like Sources on Facebook: What Do They Mean?

Facebook has changed the Like Sources in Insights, adding more sources and changing some of the names of existing sources. At first glance, this makes it more confusing, but I think it helps to have more insight into where exactly your likes are coming from.

Facebook like sources line graph

This is how Facebook Insights used to show your Like Sources. If you’ve got the new Insights, you might see something like this.

Continue reading New Page Like Sources on Facebook: What Do They Mean?

Marketing for a Publisher: Interview with Maegan Chadwick-Dobson of Tara Books

Maegan manages marketing and social media at Tara BooksWe haven’t done an interview in a while, and I’m especially pleased with this one because it focuses on an interesting industry: book publishing.

Maegan Chadwick-Dobson manages social media for Tara Books, an independent publisher based in India. Tara Books has an awesome Facebook page with lots of lovely photos of their books, events, and “the Book Building.” The Twitter account shares interesting info as well, and Maegan is behind it all! We asked her about social media, marketing to an international audience, and more.

My questions and comments are in bold.

You share a lot of interesting updates on Facebook. Do you keep a publishing calendar or just decide at the moment what you’re going to post today?

Continue reading Marketing for a Publisher: Interview with Maegan Chadwick-Dobson of Tara Books

5 Lessons for Social Media Marketing from Cricket (Yes, the Sport)

I was really excited to find a blog dedicated to social media and sports analogies. I have always been a cricket fan and even though I don’t watch all the games now, I still follow the updates.

This was originally published on that blog and if you are a sports fan you’ll find a lot of other interesting posts there.

I came across this blog a few weeks back and loved the idea of relating social media with sports. I don’t know how many of you follow or understand cricket but Brian agreed to publish this and I am hoping you will share your feedback in the comments. Even if you don’t like what I have here, do say ‘hi’ if you love Cricket or would like to learn more of it.

Comparing social media to a five-day long game of cricket seems a bit odd but that’s what I am going to do. There are so many similarities between the two that I had to limit myself to writing only from a batsman’s perspective. So here we go.

Social media is like test cricket
Originally uploaded to Flicker by fiverlocker

Continue reading 5 Lessons for Social Media Marketing from Cricket (Yes, the Sport)

Using Markitty: Links You Share on Twitter and Facebook

Update: We’ve made some changes to this table. 

I’m really excited about this new table on Markitty. It appears at the bottom of your Today page.

Markitty table: Links You Share on Twitter and Facebook

As the table heading says, these are the links you’ve shared on Facebook and Twitter  this month. We’ve put them all in one table and included the number of posts, impressions, likes, and stories for Facebook, and tweets, retweets, and favorites for Twitter.

Continue reading Using Markitty: Links You Share on Twitter and Facebook

Twitter Mistakes Small Businesses Can’t Afford to Make

Twitter is a tricky medium to get right, and many, many brands make a few simple mistakes.

Not Following Anyone (or Following Too Few People)

Twitter is a social medium. If you’re not following anyone, that tells me you’re not interested in listening, only talking. If you’re a big brand with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of followers, you can get away with this, but small businesses can’t.

Not Tweeting

Listening’s necessary, but why are you on Twitter if you’re not tweeting?

"Official Twitter account" @Philips has no tweets

Continue reading Twitter Mistakes Small Businesses Can’t Afford to Make

How Small Businesses Are Using Hashtags on Facebook

I’m not sure whether I’m more excited or wary about Facebook hashtags, but I do think it’s a game-changer. I took a look at how small businesses are using hashtags on Facebook, and what we can learn from them.

Don’t: overuse them.

Facebook post with a bunch of similar hashtags: #smallbiz, #smallbusiness, #business

We’ve seen this on Twitter all this while, and now it’s on Facebook: overuse of the hashtag. Don’t use a bunch of synonyms in your hashtags — just use one or two hashtags that might be most relevant.

Continue reading How Small Businesses Are Using Hashtags on Facebook

5 Advantages of Being A Small Business

It’s Small Business Week in the U.S., a good time to write about my pet theory: being small is an advantage. Big businesses have big resources, what do small businesses have?

Small businesses are closer to the customer.

Hummingbird and flower
Small can be both beautiful and effective

If you’re a small-business owner or marketer, you know your best customers by name. You know why they are good customers — which goes beyond being just regular to being easy to work with, or maybe they give you constructive feedback. If you’re a B2B business, you know their business challenges. If you’re a bakery, you know Donna loves cheesecake and is allergic to walnuts.

Why is this an advantage? Because it makes it so much easier to tailor your marketing and sales to them. To tell Donna she might want to try the new mango cheesecake just in and that you’re baking a fresh set of nut-free brownies. Big businesses have to get sophisticated CRM systems to keep track of that stuff…  but small businesses can do it more organically and easily.

Continue reading 5 Advantages of Being A Small Business

Monday Marketing Mash-Up: Social Media News You Should Know

Social media changes: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
They’re all beginning to look the same

Looks like all social media sites are making tons of changes. Here are some recent changes that affect small businesses.

Facebook has removed a number of features, including sponsored stories — which is great, because we’re all tired of those sponsored “your friend likes this page” updates. But I’m sad that they’re killing questions (though why not call them polls, Facebook)?

Here’s the announcement by Facebook and a nice explanatory post on HubSpot. What does this mean for businesses? Now you can’t waste money promoting what someone did on/to your page or content.

The other big Facebook change is the introduction of hashtags: this could really change the game for Facebook, by making search and discovery much easier. Marketers, start optimizing your Facebook posts!

Twitter’s adding analytics. This is really cool, but no idea when this will be rolled out to all users. For businesses, this is will help to see what tweets are working and whether you’re just wasting your time (even if you’re not using Markitty).

Twitter has started 2-step log-in verification, and so has LinkedIn.

Speaking of LinkedIn, you can now share media files in your updates, so start sharing those photos and presentations. LinkedIn also previously added the ability to add visual content to your profile (or page). 

With these updates and having added the ability to tag people, LinkedIn’s begun to look eerily like Facebook and Google Plus. And Facebook’s trying to be more like Twitter, earlier with timelines and now hashtags. Which begs the question: if they’re all the same, should we bother trying to be present on all of them or just focus on one? Or maybe automated cross-posting is the answer (please, no).

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Facebook Hashtags: Tips for Marketers and Small Businesses

facebook announces hashtagsThe big argument for using Twitter for marketing has been that you can see what others are talking about, even if they are not in your network. Facebook is out to change that.

Facebook today announced its much awaited feature: Hashtags.

“Starting today, hashtags will be clickable on Facebook. Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion.”

Continue reading Facebook Hashtags: Tips for Marketers and Small Businesses

Using Markitty: What Type of Facebook Post Works Best for You?

Update: Facebook Insights also shows you your post types now, but Markitty still gives you more detail.

Photos, videos, links, text, questions… which should you post on Facebook? Research tells you that photos do better on Facebook than other types of posts, but is this true for your page? What post types get you the most impressions, shares, and clicks?

Markitty’s new Average Performance by Post Type table compares all your post types this month so you can see what’s worked best for you. (Don’t forget to click on Previous Month to see what happened then.)

Average Performance by Post Type table on Markitty
Here’s a screenshot of the table

Only have one or two post types in the table? Try experimenting with a few different post types and see what works for you!

Continue reading Using Markitty: What Type of Facebook Post Works Best for You?

The Most Important Marketing Metrics for Small Businesses

In our interview series, we asked marketers and entrepreneurs we admire about their marketing practices. One question I asked most people was about metrics: what metrics do they measure or think are most important for small businesses should measure?

Website Metrics

If your website is also your product (content sites like Ask A Manager and YourStory, product startups like AppSurfer, e-commerce sites), website metrics are of paramount importance.

The AppSurfer team tracks website metrics regularly, especially engagement-related metrics: pages per visit, bounce rate, etc.

We met Jubin Mehta of YourStory recently, and he told us that YourStory focuses on the number of unique visitors — not total visits or page views, but the number of readers.

Continue reading The Most Important Marketing Metrics for Small Businesses

Using Markitty: Daily Tips and Insights on Your “Today” Page

The daily recommendations are the most important part of Markitty. Your Markitty home page tells you exactly what you should be doing today.

We just redesigned the page to make this more obvious (and pretty). The Home page is now the Today page: as in, your things to do today.

This is how it looks.

Online marketing recommendations and tips

Continue reading Using Markitty: Daily Tips and Insights on Your “Today” Page

Closing The Loop: Merging Online And Offline Marketing

You probably have a Facebook page for your business if you are a restaurant or an established retail business. How do you promote your page? How do you reach out to the same people online who are already coming to your physical store?

Most businesses rely on their customers (or prospects) to find them online and like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. But why not actively close this loop? Let’s look at examples of some businesses in Pune who are doing this.

1. apniChai asking their customers to like them on Facebook

apniChai is on Facebook

Continue reading Closing The Loop: Merging Online And Offline Marketing

Are Facebook Pages Worthless or Are You Doing Social Wrong?

Often, we tell business-owners that just because someone liked your Facebook page doesn’t mean your posts show up in their news feed. Usually, they are shocked to know this. This blogger on Forbes found out the hard way:

Once we started posting on our Facebook page, we were shocked, shocked, to see that not all the users that liked our page were seeing our posts. For example, with over 6,000 likes on our page, a typical post would only be seen by fifty to several hundred people. To reiterate, only 1% to 5% of the people that liked our page saw our posts.

But does this mean Facebook pages are a bad investment for small businesses, as the title of that post says? No.  Continue reading Are Facebook Pages Worthless or Are You Doing Social Wrong?

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Only Some of Your Facebook Fans See Some of Your Posts

Many business-owners we talk to don’t know that not everyone who likes their Facebook page sees all (or even any) of their posts. So this week’s links will tell you how this works.

First of all, you need to know about something called EdgeRank. From TechCrunch:

Facebook’s news feed ranking algorithm (widely known as EdgeRank) chooses between hundreds or thousands of pieces of content each day to show the few dozen most relevant stories in each person’s news feed.

Facebook told me in February that the average Page reaches 16 percent of its fans with each post. That’s because some fans aren’t online when the post is published, a specific post hasn’t gotten much engagement from the people Facebook already showed it to, and because if you don’t interact with that Page when you do see its posts, Facebook will only show you them every once in awhile.

In February last year, it might have been true that a post on an average page is shown to 16 percent of fans. It seems to have gone down significantly since then, to 10% or even less.

Here’s an explanation of how Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm works. It’s based on three variables: Affinity (your fan’s history of interacting with your content), Time Decay (newer posts are more likely to show up), and Weight (what kind of posts do your fans interact with  more — in general, as opposed to Affinity, which is for particular fans. Confusing, I know.)

Basically, the more fans engage with your content, the more likely your content is shown to them. This infographic explains more.

How do you increase the reach of your content? Mashable has some (obvious) tips.

Also on Mashable are these more interesting and actionable tips. This article is from 2011, but these should still work!

The short version: focus on engaging your fans. For Facebook, reach –> engagement/interaction –> more reach.

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Using Markitty: How to Sign up and Connect Your Accounts

We created this short video that shows you how to sign up for Markitty and connect your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Google Analytics account. (You need to be the Manager of your Facebook page and the Administrator of your Google Analytics account to connect them to Markitty.)

As you can see, you can sign up, connect your accounts, and start getting your recommendations from Markitty in three minutes flat!

Sign up now: