Social Network User Predictions 2016

One of the keys to success in social media marketing, is to know where your audience hangs out.

This handy InfoGraphic, published by Adweek, based on predictions by eMarketer, gives you insight as to where to invest your social time and dollars in 2016 based on social network and age groups. Some key insights:

Facebook continues to be the largest social network

As has been the trend for the past couple of years, those 35+  are the largest Facebook demographic and 65+ is expected to increase

Those 18 – 24 year old love Instagram

Where do your peeps hang out?

4 New Toys for Facebook Marketers

Facebook has introduced several new tools for marketers.

  1. Smart Publishing Tool
    This helps to find stories that will resonate with a specific audience and in turn publish stories automatically.
  2. Interest Targeting
    You will be able to target posts to a subset of the people who like your Page
  3. Post End Date
    This will allow you to specify a day and time to stop showing a post in News Feed.
  4. Call-to Action-Feature
    These new buttons link to destinations, on or off Facebook. There are seven call-to-action buttons available:
    – Book Now
    – Contact Us
    – Use App
    – Play Game
    – Shop Now
    – Sign Up
    – Watch Video
FACEBOOK CTA BUTTONS

FACEBOOK CTA BUTTONS

Because I’m all about the inbound, I’m very excited about these buttons.

All of these new Facebook tools are available on a limited basis now, but will be rolled out to everyone in the new year.

You can find out more about these features from Facebook:

5 Steps to Social Media Success

While doing some research on social media, I came across this factoid:

Social media’s influence on driving business via the web is expected to surpass search engine optimization (SEO) in 2013, according to eMarketer

If you’re not engaging with social networks yet, or if you have let your networks gather dust, now is the time to move forward or be left behind in the world of search! In an effort to assist you, here are some steps you can take to be social.

Step 1 – Who are your customers?

  • Create a persona of your ideal customer – are they household consumers? Business principals?
  • What is their average age?
  • What social networks do they use?
  • What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests?
  • How can you reach them –search engines, social media, blogs
  • What kinds of content do they prefer?

These types of questions will help you develop buyer personas and determine which social networks will be of most value to you

Step 2 – Determine which social networks to join

  • New social networks pop up each week. It’s a waste of time to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them.
  • Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes.
  • Some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: Google Alerts, Technorati, Google Blog Search, Bloglines,
  • The most popular social networks now are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest
  • Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest are great for reaching household consumers, Linkedin, YouTube, and Twitter for the business community
  • Once you’ve determined which social networks you want to join, setup your account(s)

Step 3 – Join the conversation

  • Engage prospective customers by answering questions, providing insights etc
  • Add value to the community – answer questions and help others where you can
  • Your posts should not always be about “selling” your business
  • When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company you won’t like – but that’s OK!
  • Find a way to help and be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen – you’ll be seen as a hero
  • Recognize happy customers and reward them if possible with something like an added-value offer only available to those who follow you on Twitter
  • If you find something interesting posted elsewhere, share it

Step 4 – Create and post content

  • Whether you publish videos on YouTube, start a Linkedin Group or post to Facebook, the more content you produce and publish, the more traffic you can attract back to your website.
  • If your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads, these activities will help you increase sales
  • Make sure to provide links from your website to your social media networks

Step 5 – Monitor & Revise

  • Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube offer analytics for you to see how many people have viewed your videos, how many people you’ve reached with your Facebook page etc
  • Use free Google Analytics on your website to see where your traffic is coming from
  • If possible, keep track of how your customers learned about you, and which social network, if that is how they found you
  • If you see that you’re spending a lot of effort on a social media network with no return, then eliminate it and focus on the network that brings you the most traffic and/or where your customers want to engage with you

 

5 Things To Do Before Creating Your Facebook Timeline

As of March 2012, Facebook introduced Timelines. Whether you need to edit an existing Facebook page of create a new page, here are five items to work on before you start creating your page.

  1. Cover photo – gone are landing tabs. Now we have cover photos. Facebook mandates that we not put marketing promotion messages on the cover photo, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make a nicely branded attractive cover image.
  2. Milestones – tell your business’ story. You can post historical facts such as:
    • the founding date of your company
    • store opening dates
    • awards and accolades

3. Vanity URL – if you’re setting up your page for the first time, Facebook will ask what you want to call your page. Think about it, because you can not change it later. If you don’t do it immediately, then you’ll have wait until you have 25 ‘likes’ before you can have your vanity URL – something I discovered too late!

4. Plan your posts – You should post once or twice a week. It’s a good idea to plan out what you want to post. Specials/promotions are good, links to blog posts, case studies on your website, articles online of interest to your customers, tips, etc.

5. Create a response plan – how will you respond to comments, both positive and negative?

For more information about Facebook Timeline for pages, this post by Mari Smith does a good job of explaining the changes.

For examples of two pages I’ve recently designed, visit:

Go Local With Places – Location-Based Marketing

I recently looked into  media for a chain of franchised restaurants to help with their local store marketing efforts. Along with traditional tactics, such as advertising in local community newspapers, I suggested that they use location-based media as an inbound marketing tactic.

People search locally on-the-go

People now search “on-the-go” with mobile devices, such as smartphones and iPads, when they want to find a restaurant nearby, or their closest hardware shop. Nielsen predicts that, “We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to  friends, the internet and the world at large.”

As a consumer, depending on where you’re located,  location-based media will deliver content to your mobile device. For marketers interested in driving traffic to their locations, it is a way to deliver a targeted marketing message to customers in a specific geographic location, and therefore, ideal for local store marketing.

Leaders, at this point, in location-based media include:

Using location-based media may help to increase:

  • Website ranking
  • Customer acquisition
  • Loyalty
  • Community building

For this post, I’ll focus on Google Places. Subscribe to my blog so that you’ll know when I’ve posted about Foursquare and other services!

Google Places

Google Places gives you the opportunity to rank higher in search results on Google. Claiming  your space may even get you on the first  page of your customers’ search results – for free!

This will give you:

  • More visibility
  • More traffic
  • Level the playing field with the big guys

To get the best results you’ll want to:

  • Include as much information as possible, including videos and photos
  • Optimize for keywords/phrases
  • Encourage customer reviews – the more you have the higher your rank will be

To enhance your free listing give Adwords Express a try. Adwords Express lets you create an online ad campaign attracting more hits to your website and Places page.

With Adwords Express you:

  • Set up a monthly budget for your ad
  • Google will decide what  keywords trigger your ad, based on the categories that you select
  • You pay for the clicks that your ad actually receives.
  • Advertise different categories of your business
  • Promote multiple locations

Learn more by watching this Google video:

Do you, or will you use Google Places, to enhance your online marketing efforts? Share your intentions or experience by leaving a comment!

Look Out Clios – Here Come the Facebook Studio Awards

Many agencies live and die by the awards they win for their creative. Judged by people who work in the advertising, marketing communications and digital worlds, some favoured awards competitions are:

Now we have the Facebook Studio Awards .  Anyone, not just those who work in the industry, may vote. OK, so it’s not as glamorous or prestigious as the others and it’s Facebook centric. Still, I like that we commoners can have a say about what is the best.

How Facebook Studio Works
Recently launched by Facebook, Facebook Studio lets agencies enter their campaigns to the Gallery. Friends, family and groupies Like the campaigns. If your campaign receives enough Likes, it may advance to what Facebook terms the Spotlight.

The Spotlight is  work voted “the best” by Facebook viewers based on the number of Likes it receives. Once in the Spotlight, your campaign is eligible for the Facebook Award. As an added bonus, your agency is listed in the Agency Directory.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better
At this point the big guys, like BMW, Coke and their agencies, dominate the entries. I say, if you have a small agency, don’t let this stop you from entering. You may find yourself with a winning Facebook Studio award.

When you enter don’t forget to tell your friends!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The QT on QR Codes

Have you seen these strange symbols yet?

QR Code for Preston Creative

Scan This!

Are you wondering what they are? They are Quick Response codes, or QR Codes. No big secret in Asia and Europe, until now, QR Codes have been on the QT in North America.

However, with the proliferation of mobile devices in North America, QR Codes are becoming de rigueur as a marketing tool.

They are a 2 dimensional code scanned by QR Readers. Readers are available on most smart phones now. You can also download from iTunes, or from service providers. Invented by Denso-Wave in 1994, they were originally used to track vehicle parts, but are now used different ways.

QR codes appear in art by the artist, Fabrice de Nola , and there is a comic book designed entirely from QR Codes.

QR Codes in Marketing Promotions

As a marketing tool, they’ve been used in both traditional and online campaigns. They are an interactive tool you can use in print, such as on business cards, newspaper ads, direct mail response campaigns, trade show displays, posters and menus. They can also be used in online campaigns, and placed on websites and emails.

QR code used in newspaper ad

I found this QR Code in the Help Wanted section of a newspaper

Once scanned, your QR Code can lead  your audience to:

Or they can simply be a way to communicate your contact information.

You can capture information by providing:

  • A mobile page with a contest entry form
  • Newsletter sign-up form
  • A survey

You could also look into a service provider that provides the Code and tracking information. Some providers you may want to investigate are:

These companies also supply the QR Readers.

If you want to generate a simple, free QR Code, like mine, you can go to http://createqrcode.appspot.com/

To learn more about QR Codes:

Give QR Codes a try in your next marketing campaign.

What do you think about QR Codes? Share your musings in the comments area.