Facebook Changes in 2012 | Are You Current?

We know that Facebook is a great place to publish all that great content being created. Much to our chagrin, we have to keep up with the abundant and ever changing platform. So, the question is, how well have you done?

Trying To Keep Tabs On All The Facebook Changes 

Around and around and around we go. Just when we think that we have got the whole Facebook thing sorted out, whack, they change the game. All the continuing tweaking and updating can make you crazy. So, we thought that we would highlight some of the changes Facebook made in 2012, in case you missed something.

  • If you have been living in a cave, you may not know that the timeline format has a cover photo and a smaller profile picture. The profile picture is perfect for your logo.
  • Tabs now appear directly underneath the cover photo, and you now have the option of moving those tabs around, deleting tabs, adding tabs, etc. You get it.
  • You can pin your favorite posts up high on the list for seven days. Something that you want to keep front and center can remain there even while new posts are being added. You can also “star” a post making it larger and thereby more prominent.
  • Number of ‘likes’ and friend activity is also featured in a larger way. This reminds me of Junior High School and showing how many friends you have. More friends makes you way more cool. It did then, and it does now. Cool means greater reach on Facebook, and just like Junior High School, the more cool you are the more people are repeating what you say.
  • If someone ‘likes’ a business page, they can now send a personal message to the administrator. Great for businesses using Facebook for customer service, but you better have someone on top of this 24/7 lest it backfires in a big way.
  • Drum roll please….the biggy here is ‘offers‘. It appears that this little device is turning out to be quite the hit on Facebook. Offers on Facebook work like word of mouth marketing. Friends love to share a deal and sharing is exactly what we hope people will do with our content. New statistics from Facebook say that from the 100 most popular offers, 3/4 of the claims came not from the initial target, but from someone that the offer was shared with. This makes a big argument for the virality of offers ad campaigns.
  • The latest change focuses on receiving notifications. Fans will now be able to control whether or not they want to receive updates and if they want to see them in their news feed. The interesting thing is that fans that are already seeing your content in their new feeds will get the post detailing how to add you. It doesn’t really do anything for the people that were not seeing your content.
Of course, there were other changes but I think these are at the top of the pile for relevance in distributing content. We will continue to monitor changing events and update you periodically. As they say, stay tuned folks!

Any other big changes in 2012 that I left out? Let me know!

 

 

 

Landing Page Optimization

In our experience writing copy for landing pages, we have found some tried and true rules to follow. These ten rules have proven successful for us in writing copy for clients regardless of the offer.

  1. Clearly state your offer. Now is the time for being blatantly obvious about what you are offering. If the reader doesn’t understand your industry jargon or cute humor, they probably are not going to stick around to figure it out. Be sure you are speaking their language.
  2. Bring your best offer. Make sure that the visitor can easily understand the value of what your offer is to them. “It solves their problem now.”
  3. Remove distractions from the landing page. Keep the page clean and free from other links or navigation buttons. You have one goal on this page for marketing sites – get their contact information. For commerce, the goal is to get the sale.
  4. Get the most important information that you need to follow up with this lead.
  5. Keep your form as simple as possible. Get only what is needed for the offer on this page. Once you have permission to contact them, you can gather more information and determine what other offers you may have for them.
  6. Make sure that they know you have received and accepted their information by directing them to a “thank you” page or sending an automated email response. Nothing is more frustrating than not being sure that your request was received.
  7. Ask for a referral, “Do you know anyone else that we can help?”  Generally speaking, the time to ask for a referral is after you close the sale. Make it EASY to share this great offer with other people by way of social media. Put your Facebook, LinkedIn and  Twitter icons on your thank you email.
  8. Suggest other offers on your thank you page or your follow-up email. This may also be the perfect spot to allow sharing of the offer through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
  9. Track the conversion rate. Usually the first pass is not the touchdown. You will probably need some revision to nail it. Set your expectations accordingly.
  10. With regard to number 9, setting up two pages simultaneously and tracking the results of both (essentially A/B testing) has been most effective in optimizing landing pages.

These ten rules apply to any offer on a landing page, whether it be a free download of valuable information or a discount on a service or product.

The key point to remember is that there are no overnight successes.

You have to get the content right for SEO as well as convey the value of your offer to an actual human reader. This can take some time to get it perfect.

Certainly there are other elements that go into writing quality content for landing pages, these are just top of list for us.

Let us know what other techniques have worked well for you!

Churn Baby Churn

 

The more pages that get indexed, the more leads you get. Google certainly is on the lookout for them. And, increasing your index page total establishes greater authority for you – also a key to rank. Hubspot reports that companies that blog see more than 200% leads per month.

So, what creates more indexed pages?

Blogging!

We like our clients to develop a content churn. This means that there is a continuous “adding to” that causes you to increase freshness and the number of pages that the search engines see. Blogging is a great way to do this. You can add page after page of articles , which dramatically increases your search effectiveness.

Write the articles, and watch how you grow in rank. And, make sure to place those keyword phrases strategically through the article.

It’s all about the churn.

Our friends at Hubspot continue to produce awesome data on social media, blogging and search.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Objectives to Online Marketing

 

It’s really interesting to talk with business owners about the reasons why they want to market themselves online. Almost everyone will tell you that they want to grow sales. Few will tell you specifically how they will achieve it, what success looks like and what the metrics are that set the boundaries.

Certainly, we are biased that content is a tool for achieving success, but when you take a step back, it is important to view the big picture so that you can plan and execute with intentionality.

We offer that all online marketing has three core objectives:

  1. Establish a Presence
  2. Build Visibility
  3. Generate Sales

Establish a Presence

Remember the old adage, “you only get one chance to make the first impression?”

There is more truth in this than many realize. When building a website or a landing page or your Facebook page, consider the fact that your presence online might be the very first impression that people have of you. How much more then do you want that impression to be the best?

From a content perspective, the words on the page really have to say something. Bring meaning, and resonate like you live in their closet. When you know your market and whom you serve, it is easier to say exactly the right things that draw them in.

 

Do not skimp on your image. Invest like you did on that first date. Remember how upset you got because those five hairs were out of place and would not get in line? That passion is what is needed to build a great presence.

Visibility

A great presence doesn’t make you visible. People need to know that you are out there. This often gets neglected. In talking with our friends at EBWAY, we learned that their number one complaint from their clients is that their website doesn’t do anything. We have heard similar stories from Matt Weeden MWDWeb and Rob Riggs at YDO.

It is work to get in front of folks. Blogging is a great example. The more blog posts you write, the more indexed pages that Google creates. This really makes you visible. Also, do not neglect SEO. Yes, it takes a while, but it pays off in building your brand. It’s a must have. Many people are still trying to figure out how to use Social Media, and the bottom line is that you simply have to roll up your sleeves and commit.

We have one client whom we have done some writing for on the social scene. Their industry is mundane, and it is hard to keep coming up with cool new stuff related to what they do. But, they live in the San Francisco general area, and it is World Series time. So, we started developing content around that, and the “likes” just started popping up all over the place. Now, our client’s name is getting in front of all of those people’s social network.

Sales

Revenue must be there, right? It is amazing how many people do not enter into online marketing with a plan for growing sales from their efforts. Even establishing goals would be helpful.

Once you set your basic objectives, you can develop a solid plan that includes critical milestones, the timeframes associated with those milestones and how you plan on achieving it all. This will help control your spend and allow you to throttle up or down your online marketing efforts.

For example, we often see people go at adwords with the mindset of, “I have $400/mo to spend.” That’s it! There is no goal on what that $400 will produce. And, they do not have the slightest idea as to whether $400 will produce one lead or one thousand. As we have written copy for ads and landing pages, we have learned a little from our friends who manage PPC. And, we can tell you that it’s hard work. There is a lot going on in managing the keywords, adjusting the ads, etc. It could cost more than $400 just to manage the campaign. But, the results are definitely there when the project is handled appropriately.

Our point is that the Internet has made it really easy for people to think that they can just jump in and do it themselves and see the same results as those who do it for a living. There are key elements that every online marketer addresses, and these often come with years of experience. Whether it is building a website, managing PPC or even writing your blog, we certainly believe that results are what we should focus on.

And, those results will be found from looking at the three core areas of online marketing and developing an actionable plan to achieving success.

So, how are you doing in being intentional online?

 

Get More Secrets Here!

Testimony: Nova-Kem, LLC

 

I have interfaced with Mrs. Laura Stein on several business matters for the better part of a decade. Most recently, I engaged Mrs. Stein to lead the rebranding of a spinoff of an existing 25 year old, specialty chemical company that was entering the international arenas.

Her ability to empathetically listen to her client’s goals and primary challenges to accomplish these goals are flawlessly translated to impactful words that gain the attention and build the branding that is crucial to an early-stage company.

Laura works on behalf of her clients as if it were her own company, which is where she clearly separates herself from her peers.

 

Randy Nash
CFO
Nova-Kem, LLC

Testimony: Public Safety Czar

 

Laura’s efforts involved helping us write the copy for our website, blogging and reaching out to major players in our space. We didnt know how to write effectively for our goals. And, we found that in areas like blogging, we just do not have the time to do it. But, we realize that saying the right things to the right people is critical to our success.

Content and Blog has helped us build our brand, increase the number of people who know us and drive revenue.

 

We are grateful to Laura and Content and Blog.

Steve Markland
President
Public Safety Czar

Testimony: Your Design Online

 

Laura has been great to work with! She understands the target market and how to craft language that will resonate. She understands what we do – and the importance of deadlines.

Overall, a great find!!

 

Rob Riggs
Principal
Your Design Online

Testimony: Moore HVAC

 

[quote author=”Jon Diamond, Owner, Moore HVAC”]

The Sonoma Trade Show is the biggest in the region for the entire year. It is a major deal to make a big splash at this event.

This year, we came up with the goal of getting published in the show’s magazine. The impact can be a big deal.

And for us, it was. We ended up bringing in two clients – one right there on the show floor. The total amount was more than $15,000. The ROI was in the thousands of percent. Amazing work.

We give all of our thanks to Laura and their content team.

[/quote]

Canned Spam

 

You know, once upon a time, SPAM fed our GI’s in war. It sustained life and brought a great victory – I think. Now, it’s equated with invasion of a different kind – our email inbox.

No matter what, it can taste kinda nasty (personal opinion), whether it comes in online or offline form.

So, how does one deliver the goods in a tasteful manner?

We would suggest that there is valuable content that you have about your business, market, industry and products/services that would be received very highly, especially if offered for free.

A great way for you to increase your brand online is to promote yourself by offering advice, templates or other stuff and give it away as an email newsletter, blog post, eBook or other item of value.

Then, you will leverage your base in a manner that is favored rather than seen as spam.

Game Plan:

1) Gain understanding on who is listening to your conversations or should be.

2) What is valuable to them? Find out and deliver on it.

3) How can you package your information (content) and deliver it to them for free? Use the medium that they prefer to receive your information.

You do not have to give away the farm or trade secrets or your grandma’s apple pie recipe. But, if you deliver value to your audience, they will want more. Increase the value to them, and they will gladly share it with their friends. Emailing content that is of value is right on.

And, your brand will not taste like it came out of a can.