What is the world wondering about? Google 2016 trending searches

Before we commence planning for 2017, it’s worth reflecting on 2016. What worked in marketing your business…and what didn’t work? Did you see any micro -or macro- changes occurring to your market or industry. And what’s been important to your target market: your all important customers?

One tool to provide some insight into that final question is Google’s 2016 trending searches tool (Google’s Year in Search) – an intriguing, somewhat bizarre and occasionally depressing insight what the world was wondering about, month by month, last year.

Many of the breakout searches were people (often celebrities), some elements of popular culture, some new businesses, some new terms…and some are things I’m still scratching my head about!

It does demonstrate, however, that what is fascinating people really changes month by month. Likely, day by day. What lessons are there in that for those of us in marketing? If you’re trying to get some traction in social media and blogging, or simply like to be in tune with the zeitgeist, keeping on top of what people are interested in “right now” can be a powerful connectivity tool. Whilst this (free) tool is looking backwards, you can use the (free) Google Trend tool all year round. And if you’re not in that sort of market? It is amusing to check it out for the curiosity value alone!

What is the world thinking?

Check it out online here.

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Unpaid engagement is still possible on Facebook…just

Facebook is a tough master for marketers. Once the land of zero budget marketing opportunity, these days when you don’t want to pay for advertising, it’s hard to be seen, let alone get people to engage with your posts. And of course, thanks to Facebook’s Edgerank, the less they engage, the less they see….the proverbial viscous circle.

So how do you get people to engage with your posts? Well, the short answer is: Post engaging stuff!

The problem is…truly engaging stuff can be extremely difficult and immensely time consuming to create all the time. (Or expensive if you need to pay someone to do it for you). Plus, sometimes what you think will be engaging really isn’t.

There is a bit of a shortcut for the zero budget marketer, though. You can share other people’s engaging stuff, in between your own, which has the added bonus of making your page more like an entertaining dinner party and less like attending a one-woman show. This should then help your less engaging posts show up a little more and get some interaction – not a lot, but at least some. And it’s keeping your brand on their radar.

I recently put this to the test with a series of posts on Facebook around a marketing theme for July – a ‘productivity’ month. I’ve included some shots below of three posts- two were shared articles and one was a ‘straight’ product post. You can see the engagement is huge on “the 6 hour work day” because, let’s face it, who among us doesn’t want to work a little less?! But the Midori Traveler’s Notebook post – a ‘straight’ post – got more likes that it would usually. And when you look at the reach, it’s over a thousand people, compared to the post below which had more likes but still only hit seventeen hundred people. So the marketing post isn’t setting the world on fire, but it’s also not a waste of time with a reach over a thousand.

Facebook organic marketing is tough – and engagement is so much higher these days on a platform like Instagram. But if you’ve put the effort into building an established audience on Facebook, and you’re still trying to reach them without paying to talk to them (via Facebook advertising), little tactics like this piggybacking on relevant and engaging third party content can help.

facebook post example 1

facebook post example

facebook post

What is your ‘cost per fan’ on Facebook?

With the “average” Aussie spending up to three hours a day on social media, and most of it on Facebook, the zero budget marketer needs to understand whether they can tap into this bounty of online attention. So today we’ve got a guest post on the issue of “Cost per fan”. You may also want to check out some thoughts on what makes an effective Facebook advertisement.

GUEST POST: What is the Cost Per Fan and how Does it Affect You?

As you have probably noticed by checking out the competition on Facebook, practically every business around has some sort of Facebook fan or business page. Hands down the largest social network around, Facebook attracts millions of unique users every day, and a large percentage of those will become recurring users. If you could somehow make them fans of your business, your brand would exponentially explode and you’d be dealing with massive success.

Marketing successfully on Facebook takes a lot of knowledge. You probably already understand a lot about online marketing in general, as in how to determine your niche, how to create materials, how to promote your brand, and how to drive conversions. But once you start dealing with Facebook, an entirely new set of metrics open up. Take the cost per fan for a quick example. This is something that only exists on Facebook – CPF. So let’s a look at CPF in greater detail.

Understanding CPF Metrics and How They Relate to Your Success

The term is fairly self-explanatory, although it can be confusing in the context of Facebook. Obviously, it all has to do with what you’re paying per fan – per an individual you convert who likes your ad material. Yes, this does cost money. It isn’t something you get for free on Facebook. It comes from what you’re paying for CPC or CPM Sponsored Stories or another type of marketplace ad. It includes what you’re paying for your overall campaign versus how many visitors you actually convert.

The Two Steps to Measuring Your CPF

Step One: Conversions Report

Words like “metrics” and initialism like “CPF” make things sound a lot more complicated than they need sound. To put it simply, you can open up Qwaya (or whichever advertising management tool you’re using) and check out your conversions report. In plain English, a conversion is a fan, and a fan is a conversion. It’s the same logic, only a different name. You want to view your conversions report and figure out what you’re paying for a fan.

Step Two: Advertising Performance

You deduce how much you’re paying per fan by viewing your advertising performance within your conversion report. How much does your ad campaign cost? How many views are you getting? What’s your CTR? This is how you figure out how much you’re paying per any one fan.

With the Sponsored Stories features and other unique features on Facebook, you can always find ways to drive the costs down. Of course, you first have to realize what you’re spending money on and exactly how much you’re spending.

Author bio: Craig Robinson is the Editor for Qwaya and works with Social advertisement and how social context works within online behaviour today. 

Small can pack a big punch on facebook pages

If you’re a regular reader of the marketing press, you could be forgiven for thinking that the only companies doing any marketing are the big ones. But with a million small businesses in Australia alone, we know that can’t be true. So I’m always excited when I come across any list of “small doing it big” in any way.

I was reading this story on Social Media Examiner which features ten small businesses they selected as winners for their Facebook page. All are worth checking out for some inspiration.

Locally, I’ve seen that wool brand Jo Sharp has been doing some Facebook advertising and over a couple of weeks I’ve watched their likes go through the roof, and I doubt they’ve spent more than a couple of hundred dollars a week.

When I liked them maybe 2 weeks ago they had under 2000 likes. Now they’ve got 7,000!

That’s a seriously impressive result. If you look a little further, they haven’t even had their page that long – they started posting regularly in April last year. So what are they doing right? When I came across them I saw there were some free patterns, special offers, daily posts – and it was enough to make me ‘like’ them.

Now “craft” is a natural for social media – there’s always something new to talk about. But that’s the case with SO MANY industries, from fashion and beauty to food to finance. The important thing is to being talking about something every day – and showing that you understand your market by posting engaging items.

If I was advising Jo Sharp, I would give them a couple of tips to consider:

1. Advertising – chose the option to only show it to people who don’t already like you (as I still see it even though I’ve liked them). Although if they’re paying for “showing” rather than “clicking” this may not be an issue – but otherwise you don’t want to be paying for eyeballs you already have.

2. Add a cover photo – it makes landing on there a little more lovely if you’ve got a gorgeous image.

3. Build in a means of collecting people’s email addresses, to ensure you’re capturing multiple means of contacting your customers.

4. Add a little more “interaction” as most posts are one-way. That is, ask for comments, encourage shares, that sort of thing.

But hey – I haven’t managed to get 7000 like for any business yet, so they seems to be doing ok without me!

Some tips for Facebook marketing (on the cheap)

It’s not exactly news that social media is big news for marketing. In fact, it seems to be all that some magazines and blogs talk about!

But for all the buzz, is it worth the time and effort and opportunity cost?

You see, social media marketing LOOKS free. But for anyone who’s had a crack at it, you’ll know it’s extremely TIME intensive. It’s also a slow build – especially if your business is not in a “hot” space, like fashion or music.

I’ve yet to see a case where social media was a huge marketing lead generation tool for business – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. What I have seen work well is community building and “engagement” in the social media space. It’s also hit the point where if you’re NOT in the social media space, you look like you’re ‘old school’.

So with that in mind, are there tools out there to help you? Luckily, yes – and they’re a lot cheaper to access than they were a year or two ago.

TOOLS

I’ve used Lujure.com and Woobox.com.

All are multi-purpose and have quite low subscription levels – from free to around $30 a month on average.

I’ve used Lujure to build a landing page inside a Facebook page – so that instead of landing on the generic wall, you can link to a particular tab that’s specific to the promotion you’re running.

And I’ve used Woobox to run a promotion inside Facebook.

Both have been relatively easy to use and are worth trying out. (You will need to invest in some graphic design for images though – otherwise your promotions will look too homemade).

TIPS

Some other things you may not know about Facebook marketing but you might want to try:

  • You can claim a USERNAME for a page (sometimes called a vanity URL). So instead of the “messy” URL that Facebook will auto-generate for you, you can have something like: Facebook.com/WiggyBusiness.
  • If you post images, you’re more likely to be “liked” or shared. So avoid text based “updates” only. Why do you want people to click “like”? Because it improves your chance of being seen by the person and their friends.
  • The more you post, the more likely you are to continue to collect fans. Once a week is not enough. Several times a day is better. As is posting outside business hours, as this is when most people check Facebook.
  • Timeline gives you much great visual impact – and soon you’ll HAVE to use it. So put some thought into your large image and profile pic.

What makes an effective Facebook advertisement?

Have you ever been engaged – and then visited Facebook? After changing my FB status last year to engaged, the advertising I was served was ALL related to weddings. Or losing weight. Or wedding dresses. Or wedding accessories. Had I been seriously in need of suppliers, it would have been pretty helpful actually…which I did notice when wearing my “marketing” hat.

(That said, I really enjoyed being able to change the status to married as I looked at a lot of those ads way too many times. Hint: don’t run the same ad for months at a time!).

I’ve yet to have the occasion to run a Facebook advertising campaign for a client, but I’m watching and waiting for the right chance. Why? They currently seem to be an inexpensive – and less cluttered – way to conduct CPC (cost per click) advertising than Google IF you have a product or service that matches the environment.

Why do I make this distinction?

People are searching on Google for information. A huge variety of information. That’s not the case with Facebook. People are on Facebook to catch up with friends and family (or at least find our what they’re doing without even having to speak to them!).

So the Facebook audience are less likely to look at advertising and less likely to respond to certain types of advertising. Yet there’s also less ads on facebook that you’d expect to find. Even if you voluntarily click on “see all” next to “sponsored”, there were only about 20 ads where I “fit” the profile set up by advertisers. These are things like age, gender, education level and where you live.

So if it’s a less cluttered space, and if you have something that you feel will appeal, it’s a cheap marketing test. So if you do have the right product or service, the next thing to consider is what makes an effective Facebook advert. (For the sake of this article, effective just means what I think works, as I’m not privvy to the success of these ads).

These three adverts I’ve grabbed at random because I think two work well, one is uninspired, but there’s something to learn from all of them.

Advert 1 – The “hook” in this advert is the competition side of it. LOTS of people like to win tickets, so it’s a great way to get traffic. The cute little image stands out too. What is less apparent is what’s being advertised – North Coast Holiday Parks. I’m assuming this is a flash way of saying “caravan parks”. When you click on this, you go to their page. The lost opportunity with this great little advert is that you can “enter” without “liking” the page. The opportunity to win should have been traded for a like. And they should have brought you to a special landing page in Facebook, rather than the generic wall. This isn’t as exxy as you might imagine – you can build one for free at places like Lujure. Why do you want a Like? Then you’re actually likely to be able to market – and potentially SELL – in the future.

Advert 2 – The issue with this advert – there’s NO real hook. It’s just shouting at me about vague deals. This could have been great for a “sponsored stories” type of advertisement (in Facebook you can run “facebook ads” or “sponsored stories”). You could run a POLL on your page as a “post” and have this show as the advertisement. The poll could be something like “What place would you most like to travel to..” as the website that’s being advertised seems to be a generic online travel site, not one about Malaysia specifically. So much more can be done with a fun product like travel to sell…

Advert 3 – This ad has such great copy because it draws you in, telling you a story. LOVE that about it. It’s going to hit a pretty small market though – those considering University and possibly already pondering studying to be a pharmacist. As such, I’d question the marketer’s decision to include someone like me in the demographic – that is, almost 40 and already having a University degree. So big ticks for the copy, less so for the targeting, as it means you may be paying more in the CPC auction that necessary (as the wider the market, potentially the greater the CPC bidding competition).

In summary – Facebook advertising can be a pretty good zero budget small business marketing tool, but just because it’s “cheap”, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think carefully about how to use it. By that, I’m talking ROI (return on investment) – and how to ultimately get a LIKE … and then a SALE!

Facebook pages – are Likes worth anything?

If you are in marketing, or running a business, you can’t escape the buzz around social media.

Facebook is one of the behemoths of the space, with 700 million users. As someone that runs several Facebook “pages” for clients, I can attest getting Likes takes time and effort, and can be slow going.

There are some good cheap tools appearing to help go beyond the basic interaction (such as Wildfire), but I guess the question on many people’s lips is…is it worth it?

I thought this quote was telling, in an article published yesterday on Smart Company, about the sale of KidSpot.com.au for a reported $45 million.

News Limited chief John Hartigan said in a statement Kidspot was attractive partly due to its 31,000 fans on Facebook, representing one of the largest, “most active” fan bases of any Australian media group.

So I think that’s a rather resounding yes, it probably is worth it, for even more reasons that you thought! And as a Facebook page is a great zero budget marketing tool, it is well worth your consideration for inclusion in your box of marketing tactics.

Facebook Brand Pages For Dummies + why social media isn’t something you do occassionally

So we keep getting told that social media is the “new, new thing” that must be engaged in.

But if you’ve ever tried to set up a Facebook page for a business, you can quickly find yourself wondering what on earth to put on there. I found this presentation from Soap had some great tips. Whilst they agency that put it together obviously has some BIG brands to work with (Coke, Magnum), I still got some ideas for a couple of my clients. Love a bit of zero budget marketing inspiration!

Facebook Brand Pages For Dummies

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