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Which Social Media Platform Works Best for Your Marketing Strategy?

Social media marketing is a hugely popular way to get out the word to potential clients, but you definitely need to strategize. Different consumer demographics use different social networks and the way to leverage social media is to figure out how to reach the most people with this information in mind. Your marketing campaign needs to effectively utilize the most relevant social networks to reach out to your target audience. Don't worry - it's not as hard as it might sound.

 

Social Media Statistics

There are a figurative ton of social media services out there. Some are nearly universally used, such as Facebook and Twitter. Some, however, are nowhere near as widely used. These are probably best ignored, unless they cater to a niche market that happens to coincide with the product or service your company is providing.

Here are some overwhelming social media statistics from May 2013. Facebook stands strong at the very top, with 1.11 billion users, the behemoth of social media networking. Twitter has 500 million users, over 200 million of which are active. LinkedIn has 225 million users, and Tumblr follows behind with 170 million users. Flickr has some 87 million users, while Pinterest has almost 50 million users.

These are just some of the most widely used social networks. There are a vast number of others out there, many of them aimed at people with special interests, such as DeviantArt, which caters to artists, or Goodreads, which is a way for people to archive and review books they have read or make lists of books that they are interested in reading.

Measure the ROI of Your Social Media

While most online businesses do not measure the ROI of their social media, it's a great way to figure out who is looking at your pages. By using even the most basic ROI software, like Google Analytics, you can figure out what is trending on your social media page, which content is proving to be popular among users, and ultimately figure out if the platform is working for you.

Many social media sites also have built-in analytics tools, such as Facebook Insights and Pinterest Web Analytics. By using these, you can figure out what's going on within your social media platform. While these are useful, they are also entirely contained to each platform and, as such, don't do much to measure your overall traffic.

All in all, your best bet is ultimately to use a combination of these social media platforms, which will ultimately reach out to a much broader client base.

Hooking Your Clients With Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to reach out to your client base and it really does work - when done effectively. There are a lot of ways that many businesses flub their email marketing strategies. Fortunately, there are lots of strategies for bringing in clients via email that will keep them hooked on your content. If they're interested, they'll be much more likely to stick around.

 

Bringing In Customers

Just sending a bunch of emails willy-nilly is no way to get your customers invested in your product or service. There are much more effective ways to put together a solid email marketing strategy.

Before you do anything else, you need to first get people to subscribe. Unsolicited emails are a great way to push away any potential customers, and for good reason. Make it easy for them to subscribe via Facebook, or your blog or website. Once they subscribe, you're halfway there: you've brought them in and now you just need to keep them engaged.

What Do Customers Want?

The next thing to do is to consider your client base: what do they want? The answer is a lot of things, even things they didn't know they wanted - it's your job to let them know. Don't send an email if you don't have something to say, though. Think about what you hope to accomplish with each email and proceed from there.

There are a number of different kinds of emails you can send. The first step should be to send a combined welcome and thank you notice, which will let your customers know that you appreciate them signing up and you're excited to have them.

Emails are also a great way to let your customers know about special offers. If your offer is time-sensitive (such as "Today only-receive 20% off!"), then email is an immediate way to let customers know that they can and should take part.

Email can also work to establish a relationship of trust if you make sure that your content is upbeat and friendly. Let your customers know ahead of time if your business is taking part in a major event in their area or if something with your product is changing. Letting them know ahead of time will make sure that customers are prepared and potentially even excited about changes and other happenings.

Email marketing can be an excellent tool for reaching out to new customers and keeping a loyal clientele. Make sure you employ an effective strategy for getting the word out and keeping customers engaged.

Keep Your Strategy Mobile With Email Marketing

More and more people are keeping up with the Internet on the go by using smartphones or tablets, constantly checking their email no matter where they are. When it comes to marketing, it's important to keep your strategy up-to-date and that means catering your emails to a highly mobile client base.

 

Email Marketing: The Basics

Email marketing is instant, engaging, and cost-effective. It's a great way to keep your clients updated about your company's various offers, promotions, new installments, and other up-to-date information. Email marketing works, but it works differently when you're trying to reach a mobile clientele.

Smartphone and Tablet Users: No Longer a Niche Market

Here are some smartphone and tablet statistics for you. Fifty percent of all Americans own and use smartphones, which means that these users are able to constantly check their Facebook feed and email. 88% of people check their emails using their smartphones every single day.

What does this mean for email marketing? Smartphones and tablets are not just for keeping up with social networks. 56% of users report that they have made at least one purchase using a smartphone as their venue for transaction. These took place specifically in response to a marketing message that they received on their mobile device.

Mobile Email Marketing Tips

In order to make mobile email marketing more effective, here's the bottom line: keep it short and sweet, but not too short. The most important place to start is the subject line. If it's too short, your audience might not open the email, but if it's too long, then they will fail to see the end of the subject line. The solution? Make sure your keywords are at the beginnings, rather than at the ends of the subject header, to better grab their attention.

When it comes to the content of the email, it's important to consider the design. Many email layouts look very appealing with a desktop email application or in a web browser, but look cluttered or are impossible to navigate in a mobile window. Make sure that your email's layout templates are just as appealing on a much smaller screen and don't forget that the font should also be readable.

Don't use too many links. If there are too many links in your email's content, then it may be flagged as spam. Also, since touchscreens require people to use their fingers to click on links, it often ends up being a much less precise way of navigating. When engaging mobile users, space links a ways apart to minimize accidental clicking.

Keep Your Site Safe: Watch Out for Domain Registry Scams

If you are maintaining a company website, you may have received a notification from an agency named something like “The Domain Registry of America.” If it’s warning you that your domain has expired, don’t worry – these letters are, quite frankly, only spam letters trying to scam you.

 

What to Look Out For

The Domain Registry of America is particularly insidious because they send out these notifications to people who are not, in fact, their customers. Consider where it is that you have registered your domain. It is probably a much more reputable service, such as GoDaddy or Register.com.

Another thing to look for is the domain name extension. If your domain is registered as a .com site, but the letter refers to a .net, .org, or something else entirely, watch out – if this is the case, it is almost definitely not a legitimate notification.

Many of these scam artists have gotten ahold of enough information about your site that they actually are able to provide the exact date your domain is due to expire. If you’re not careful, you may very well find yourself transferring over your domain registration to their service – and paying a much higher fee to re-register your domain in the process.

What to Do if You Receive A Domain Registry Notification

If you have any doubts, even vague ones, the first—and best—action you should take is to contact your domain registry service. They will be glad to tell you if your registered domain name is due to expire and address any concerns or questions you have. If they tell you to disregard the notice, send it through the shredder.

Don’t give out any financial information, such as bank account information or credit card numbers, unless you have confirmed that you are sending it to the correct company. Not only might you find yourself paying a higher price for the service, but you may also end up a victim of something even worse, such as identity theft, by giving out personal information.

Once you have established that you have, in fact, received a scam notice, you should notify the Federal Trade Commission or your local Trading Standards office. By doing so, you will not only help yourself stay protected from domain registry scams, but you will also be able to keep other, more unassuming people who may not be able to spot the fraud, safe from harm.

Google Penguin 2.0: Is your site ready?



Google Web Algorithm Update

Matt Cutts, the head of Google's webspam team, announced that Google has begun rolling out version 2 of it's Penguin search algorithm. According to his blog post, this algorithm update was completed today (5/22/13). This means that Google is updating the way it ranks the websites in it's database. It also means that some websites might see their search engine placement change.

Video Overview



For More Information

The Google Webmaster blog includes more information about how Google Penguin changes affect how sites are ranked. Of course, if you have any questions you should feel free to leave a comment below or contact us.

Interactivity in Your Marketing Strategy: Making Social Media Work for You

In the digital age, many companies and agencies are using social media venues, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to reach out to their clientele. But when does social media marketing flop? As it turns out, a lot of businesses are failing to accomplish one simple thing: in order for your client base to interact with your social media campaign, you first have to bring them to it.

Social Media Strategy 

Marketing Basics Still Apply

Social media is great: it’s free used by a lot of people. But just like in all your previous marketing strategies, you need to be aware of the most fundamental basics of marketing.

Consider your customers. Ask questions: who are they? What do they want and what are they expecting from your company? What kind of social media networks are they using? These are the most foundational elements of a successful marketing strategy. If you aren’t engaging potential customers and clients, they will quickly lose interest.

Engage Your Followers

A major aspect of social media marketing is that the major focus should be on keeping your already devoted clientele. Social media works like the online version of word-of-mouth. If you have a following, let them know you care about them. When you post a photo of your product on Facebook, accompany it with a question – many will want to answer in the comment box.

Another extremely important aspect of social media marketing is to make sure your customers know that you’re doing it. If customers don’t know you’re updating your Facebook or Twitter page, they won’t see it. So make sure they know what you’re doing: link to your Twitter account or Facebook page from your website or use a combination of social media and outbound marketing to get the word out.

Social Media Marketing Content

Social media marketing is not magical, even if it is an important piece of a well-developed marketing strategy. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of all is to use good content. The best part of social media is its interactive nature – so use it to the fullest. Instigate discussions between your followers by asking questions and letting them respond both to you and to each other. If your followers ask questions, make sure you respond to them too!

Ultimately, social media marketing is not the be-all end-all of any marketing strategy, but it does offer a platform to show your followers that you care about them. In return, you will find that your clientele is much more devoted and interested in your product or service.

The Importance Of Developing a Mobile-Friendly Website

If your site is not optimized for mobile visitors, your company will likely lose an enormous source of conversions. Mobile visitors require specific adjustments to your site, since you must consider how your pages will appear on a smartphone and how visitors will interact with the site. Creating a mobile-friendly version of your website is a smart way to increase conversions.

Whether or not your site is currently optimized for mobile customers, those mobile clients are already searching for you. It is crucial for you to get your site ready for them! Non-mobile sites are bulky and inconvenient for mobile visitors, and tend to drive them back to find other search results. Follow these tips to ensure that mobile visitors land on an appealing site!



Mobile Navigation

Mobile users today are generally on touch screens, so mobile sites must figure out how to make their pages thumb-friendly. For instance, experts recommend increasing the size of any links and buttons to at least 38-44 pixels.

In addition, mobile sites should feature large, easy-to-read fonts that will be clear on small screens. Site navigation should be simple so that mobile customers don’t get frustrated.

A professional site designer can assist you in setting a mobile version of your site that automatically directs to the appropriate pages depending on the visitor’s device.

Pages should be streamlined in order to gain a speedy load time. Mobile visitors will lose patience with a site that takes more than around 5 seconds to load. Focus on presenting the most important information in a reduced format.

Focused Content

Once you have the technicalities in order, it’s time to direct your attention towards your content. Mobile content should include strong headlines that present priority content as close to the top of the page as possible.

Keep content brief and to the point with short paragraphs, bullet points, and plenty of white space. Mobile screens can only handle so much information, so make sure the content is tailored to fit on a small screen.

If you’re worried about optimizing your mobile site, don't be. AGENCY 3.0 can help you setup a mobile-friendly website for your business without needing to change your existing website. It's a cost effective solution that helps ensure your mobile visitors don't click your competitions website instead of yours.

How does your company’s site accommodate mobile visitors?

Update Your Email Marketing Strategy For Increased Customer Interaction

Although some experts suggest that email marketing is no longer effective, many marketers believe that email marketing can be modified in order to be a valuable tool in a mobile marketing campaign. Using the appropriate strategies, companies can turn email marketing into a device that engages customers and encourages them to interact with your brand.

Essentially, email marketing is the parent of social media. Despite the marketing hype that currently surrounds social media, email marketing is still a strong way to create a substantial connection with your target audience. According to a recent study, 66% of marketers still consider email marketing to be bringing in an “excellent” ROI.

The key to maintaining relevance within your email marketing campaign is to optimize your strategy for mobile. As smartphones continue to take over the world, marketers must find ways to relate with mobile users. Mobile users often turn into instant conversions, which increases their value to marketers.

Determine Your Target

Targeted email marketing is one of the most successful strategies for marketing campaigns. As you get to know your customers, you can begin to segment your audience and tailor your emails to reflect individual interests. Targeted emails augment your level of relevance to a consumer’s life.

As you begin to target specific groups, don’t forget to consider mobile customers. Your company might find it valuable to email consumers during peak shopping hours with a discount on a certain product, or send an email around dinnertime about a special promotion.

Develop Your Content

In regards to content, focus your pitch on the interests of the consumer. Readers usually respond to informative content rather than just a sales pitch. Create appealing content that adds value to their lives and doesn’t oversell your products.

Keep your text short and easy to scan. Mobile viewers in particular are not going to take time to read a lengthy email, so prioritize short paragraphs, strong headings, and bullet points.

Gain Conversions

A fatal mistake frequently made by marketers is to not offer easy access to information about your products or services. Include obvious links in your content so that readers can quickly transition to your site. If your main goal is to drive consumers towards your products, make sure that it’s simple for them to get to your real sales pitch!

Ready To Get Started?

AGENCY 3.0 can help you setup an effective, easy to manage email marketing system for your business. Want to learn more? Click here for more information about our email marketing tools and services or contact us.

The New Facebook Page (2012 Timeline Edition)

Facebook is about to transition business Pages to the new timeline format that most user profiles have already been transitioned to. All Facebook Pages will transition to the new format on March 30th, 2012.

What's Changing?

The new Facebook Pages have the same layout as individual user profiles. This means you can include a "cover photo" at the top of your page and the bar right below the cover photo will include some basic "about" information and access to the apps you are using on your page. In the screenshot above, you can see our Photos, Likes, Map and Videos app are all displayed below the cover photo.

Below this new header area, you'll see a two column list of you most recent posts.

Below, you'll find details of what's changing and how to prepare your Page for the update.

The New Facebook Page Cover Photo

The new cover photo offers a number of branding opportunities for your page. However, there are some limitations regarding how you can use this area.

  • SIZE: The optimal size for the new Facebook Page cover photo is 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. You can upload images that area larger than this, but Facebook will crop the image to these dimensions and it might results in some loss of quality. According to Facebook, the cover photo has to be at least 399pixels wide. We'd recommend uploading an image exactly 851x315 for the best results.
  • RESTRICTIONS: Your cover photo can not include any price or purchase information, such as "30% off" or "buy it at our website". The photo can't include any Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section. You're also restricted from including references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends." That's a lot of restrictions, right? You can still accomplish some creative things in this space. If you'd like some inspiration, check out some of the featured pages that have already transitioned to the new design at http://www.facebook.com/about/pages.
  • MORE HELP: Facebook has created a dedicated overview page and help section to guide you through the transition, so be sure to check out the resources they've provided too.

We think the new Cover Photos are a positive change overall - they provide a much better branding opportunity than the old sidebar images, but they also have a number of restrictions so you'll need to be creative when creating your image. If you need help, please contact us and we can start brainstorming.


Other Facebook Pages Changes

In addition to the new Cover Photo, the new Facebook Pages include a number of other changes.

DEFAULT TABS ARE GONE: In the past, Page administrators could specify a default landing tab for users visiting their page. In fact, you could also choose to display a specific page to users who hadn't "liked" your page yet and a different page to your fans. The new page format removes the ability to specify a specific landing tab for your Facebook Page. All visitors to your page are now forced to land on the default timeline. This is a pretty big change and it means you can't create landing pages to prompt users to "like" your page or "opt-in" before they see the rest of the content on your page.

APPS & OTHER CONTENT: Facebook Apps used to be displayed on the left side of the page in a list. In the new design, they are displayed at the top of the page in small boxes right below the cover photo. You can include up to 10 Apps on your Facebook Page (photos is included automatically) and you can specific the order of the apps in this area. The area will expand an contract as you add more apps. Unfortunately, this means only three custom apps can be visible below the cover photo.

In the screenshot below you can see Facebook's Facebook Page and their apps displayed as tiles below their cover photo. Notice only three apps are displayed (and the default Photos app).

This is what the list looks like expanded.

  • You can include a total of 10 custom apps on your new Facebook Page. These apps can display custom content or specific functionality. There are 12 tiles/slots available, but one is reserved for the photos app and the other is reserved for the number of "likes" your page has received.
  • You can control the order of all of the tiles, except the photos app, and the first three apps in your list will be displayed when your app list is open and closed.
  • You can specify the names and images displayed on each app tile. The images used in your tiles should be 111 pixels wide by 74 pixels tall.
  • Custom apps/pages are getting a little larger. Custom pages will be up to 810px wide in the new design, which gives you a little more room to work with when designing custom pages.

What do you think so far? Be sure to leave us a comment to tell us whether you prefer the new or old Facebook Page design.


Messages - An Inbox For Your Facebook Page

One big complaint many people had about Facebook Pages was that their was no way for users to contact the admin of a page. The new Facebook Pages also include a new "Messages" feature that will allow you fans to contact you through Facebook's messaging system. We're not completely sure about this feature yet. While it will provide users with a way to contact the admin of a page, it might also decrease the number of comments and wall posts you'll get on your page. You should experiment with this to see what works best for your organization.

The good news is that you have a choice, you can turn off private messaging for your page if you want to. To turn it off, go to the "admin" section of your page and then to the "Manage Permissions" screen. From there, you can choose to check or uncheck the box next to "Show message button on your page"

Once you’ve balanced the pros and cons of the private messaging system, if you choose to turn off private messaging for you page, you can. Facebook certainly did. Simply go to your Admin Panel, then click on Manage and Edit Page. On the Manage Permissions screen, you will see a checkbox for Show “Message” Button on your page. Simply uncheck that to turn off the private messages option.


Your Next Steps

Facebook Pages are changing whether you like it or not (no pun intended) on March 30th, 2012. You don't have to convert until then, but Facebook has given you the ability to preview how the new design will look on your page privately until then. Page admininstrators will see a new "preview" option when they visit their page. Here are some things you'll definitely want to do before the 30th.

  • Create A Cover Photo: Be sure to select a great image for your cover photo. Facebook Pages that don't have a great cover photo will look amateur without one.
  • Update Your "About Us" Info: Your "About Us" information is now displayed front and center on your Facebook page, so make sure you've provided accurate information in this area. The new summary "about" section can include up to 165 characters - we'd recommend using some of those characters to create a link to your website.
  • Update Your Page’s Basic Information – Click the "About" link and review your page’s basic information. Make sure it's up to date and accurate.

Other Resources From Facebook

Hopefully this post provides you with enough information to make the transition to the new page design a smooth one. If you have additional questions, post them in the comments and we'll help if we can. In addition, you might also find these official resources helpful.

  • New Facebook Pages – Facebook created a thorough introduction for the new Page design and the main features. This introduction also includes links to a number of example pages to give you some inspiration.
  • Facebook Pages Questions – The official help files for the new Facebook Pages include a number of answers to questions about the new design.
  • Facebook Pages Guide – Facebook created this 8 page .pdf ebook to walk you through the new page features. It also includes a thorough checklist to help you prepare for the transition.
  • Best Practice Guide – Facebook published this 14 page .pdf ebook to introduce a number of "best practices."

In summary, the new Facebook Page design include a number of positive changes, but also a few new restrictions and limitations that could impact your marketing efforts on the world's largest social networking site. Even with the new limitations, we're excited about the changes - how about you? Be sure to leave us a comment to let us know what you're thinking.

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from the team at AGENCY 3.0!