business

Snap Your Way to Earning More Business

11.16.2014 (1)
11.16.2014 (1)

Does your company associate with the younger demographic? Then you should be considering Snapchat.

Snapchat usage is becoming more than just a fun way to communicate with friends, but a tool utilized by businesses to create innovative content to engage audiences with their brand. With over 100 million daily snap chat users worldwide, businesses are chomping at the bit to integrate Snapchat with their social media marketing.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media platform designed to take photos and videos for audiences called 'snaps.' Whether you're a casual user boasting how good your food looks to your friends, or a business owner looking to cash in on marketing their brand, snaps eventually disappear shortly after being viewed. That's where the 'Story' function can be utilized, mentioned a little later.

IMG_3129
IMG_3129

Snapchat Demographics

For every business' social marketing strategy, it's important to reach and engage the largest audience. Statistics show that 71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old, 45% of that between 18-24. This demographic may suggest to business' whether or not Snapchat is an effective tool for their brand. If your company does cater to this age group, exposure for your business through Snapchat is imperative to experience with, as the numbers of active users is there and growing.

SPRINGTIME (1)
SPRINGTIME (1)

Snapchat Stories

The Story feature on Snapchat lets users create a loop of 'snaps' compiled over the day to be viewed by followers. Unlike regular snaps, Snapchat Stories can be viewed multiple times a day without disappearing and can be viewed anytime for 24 hours. This method can help a business create a brand narrative, as the compilation of snaps acts as your company's advertising. This gives your audience a better picture of what your brand is all about, while keeping them engaged and updated as you add new snaps to your story.

Untitled design (1)
Untitled design (1)

Tips For Using Snapchat With Your Business

There are many ways utilizing Snapchat can strengthen a business' social marketing campaign. The fact is, Snapchat provides the immediacy other social media platforms can't deliver.

  1. Provide behind-the-scene content for your audience: Having the ability to see what goes on other than what's apparent, is a good way to keep users engaged in your advertising and willing to come back to your business' Snapchat content. 
  2. Live events are intimate and immediate:Who isn't a fan of live interaction via your mobile device? It's free engagement between your business and your potential consumer audience. This strategy can build relationships with users because of the 'realness' factor of live interaction.
  3. Introduce your new product through Snapchat: Consumers appreciate being able to see a pre-launch product before anyone else. Show off what you're working on live and unedited, as you create interest from followers about the new product.
Untitled design (2)
Untitled design (2)

These are just a few features Snapchat can provide your business' social media marketing campaign. Just remember, we all love the immediacy of photos, videos, and content created in realtime. So for your business, experiment with Snapchat, find that perfect demographic for your product and brand, and snap away with your bad self!

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Using Pinterest Analytics For Business

Analytics
Analytics

 

Pinterest only recently started giving us access to the analytics behind our marketing efforts for Pinterest business accounts. The new analytics tool gives more stats on engagement within your Pinterest profile, like being able to track actions that originate from your profile and actions that result in traffic to your website. This is crucial because it allows you to see where your efforts are being rewarded to maximize your presence on Pinterest, and ultimately the presence of others on your website. First and foremost, if you want to dive into Pinterest Analytics then you'll need to make sure your account is a business account. For those just starting Pinterest for business, it's really easy to convert your account to a business account. Next, I would personally recommend that you include a Pinterest widget on your website or a 'Pin It' button (especially if you're in the retail business or have lots of image-based content on your website); you can build those buttons here. Once you're account is set up, it's time to analyze your efforts.

p4bmainpage
p4bmainpage

Your Pinterest Analytics dashboard will contain 3 major categories: your Pinterest profile, your audience & your activity from your website (for this demonstration we are using Kimbrell's Furniture's Pinterest Analytics). Underneath those categories will be a box of  your 'Top Pin Impressions' from the past 30 days, showing you which pins that you've pinned in the last month that received the most impressions, repins, clicks & likes. 

Now let's explore the categories a little further.

1. Your Pinterest Profile

p4bprofileimpressions
p4bprofileimpressions
p4bclicksprofile
p4bclicksprofile

This section gives you a little more detail in what's actually going on with your Pinterest profile. With 4 sub-categories-Impressions, Repins, Clicks & All-time, you can see which pins are getting the most traction with your audience. The impressions section will give you data on which pins showed up on your audience's feed the most. The repins section will give you data on which pins were repinned the most. The clicks section will give you data on which pins got the most clicks (which hopefully most of them link back to your website). And the all-time section gives you data of which pins have done the best over-all. You have the option to view your analytics from the past week, the past 14 days or the past 30 days, depending on the timeframe in which you wish to analyze.

2. Your Audience

The 'Your Audience' section basically dives into the demographics of your audience and what they're interested in based on what they are pinning from you and overall. You can see how many monthly/weekly viewers you get on average and what percentage of your audience is engaging with your profile. This section also categorizes your audience by country, gender, metro-area and language, which is extremely beneficial when creating a strategy for your Pinterest account. My favorite part about the audience section is the 'Interests' tab that shows what your audience is pinning and what they are interested in overall.

This particular data (see below) shows that the audience is interested in Home Decor, Recipes, DIY, Furniture, Design, etc., which is right on target for a furniture store. For beginners, if you're only pinning stuff directly from your website, this is a great tab to use. It kind-of prompts you on things you could be pinning to gain more traction. For example, if Kimbrell's Furniture was only pinning their furniture, it would be a good idea to make a 'DIY' related board and a 'Food' related board to spice things up for our audience. Looking at the same ole' stuff can be repetitive, pushy and boring.

p4baudienceviewers
p4baudienceviewers
p4baudienceinterests
p4baudienceinterests
p4bdemographics
p4bdemographics

3. Your Activity From Website

This is by far the best thing Pinterest could have done for businesses accounts. Using this analytics tool to see how many Pinterest users are visiting your website will really prove your marketing efforts within Pinterest. This category also has sub-categories: Impressions, Repins, Clicks, Original Pins, All-time & the Pin It button. This will help you analyze different areas of your Pinterest efforts. This section is a great way to find out which pins are resonating with your audience the most so that you can create more content like this. The Pin It button sub-category can only give you data if you build the widget and add it to your website. If you take the time to do that, you can see how many impressions and clicks have been made through your website and see how many times stuff from your website has been pinned directly to Pinterest.

p4bewbsiteactivity
p4bewbsiteactivity
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p4btip

Throughout analyzing these 3 major categories, you have the option to filter your data based on the devices that your audience is using to engage with your Pinterest account, whether it's a laptop, a mobile device or an iPad. This is helpful where image sizes are concerned. In the image below, you can see that Pinterest Analytics also provides tips in several areas to help you optimize your marketing efforts. You also have the ability to 'Export Data' from the analytics to create reports when needed.

Have you used Pinterest for business yet? If so, share your thoughts or helpful hints!

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How-To: Boost A Facebook Post With Targeting

FACEBOOK 101_
FACEBOOK 101_

 

When it comes to Facebook for business, you have to pay to play. As annoying as that is, unless you have a large following (and even then, not everyone is going to see all of your posts), boosting a post on Facebook is a necessary part of Facebook advertising. In this week's blog, I am going to show you step-by-step how to boost a post on Facebook by targeting a specific audience. First thing's first... Make sure that your post includes an eye-catching photo and an informative and engaging caption. Once you have the post you wish to boost, click the "Boost Post" button at the bottom right corner of the post.

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boostpost1
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boostpost2

Once you click 'Boost Post,' Facebook will bring up a page with several options for boosting posts. You will want to click the 'People you choose through targeting' option in the top right corner to make the most of your boosted post. Since you probably won't already have your audience you will need to click 'Create New Audience.'

targeting
targeting

The next step requires a little more thought. Choose a name for the audience that you ideally want to see your post. Pick the location of your intended audience; Facebook even gives you the option to add 'x' amount of miles outside of a particular city. Next, click on the age groups of your intended audience. We chose the minimum & maximum age for this particular post, however you will need to think about the age groups of your intended audience. If the post you are boosting is for a restaurant that sells alcohol, a bar, or alcohol in general, you must have 21 as the minimum age, otherwise, Facebook will not approve of your boosted post. As far as 'interests' go, it is in your best interest to be specific as you can, and to think about the interests of your intended audience. For this post, which is about an upcoming play in Charlotte, I chose the following interests: North Carolina's Blumenthal of Performing Arts, Discovery Place, Performing Arts, Theatre, Acting, Plays, William Shakespeare & Oscar Wilde; these 'interests' are intended to target people living in Charlotte that are interested in plays, acting, and have kids that are interesting in these activities.

budget
budget

Once you have created an audience for your post, the next step is to choose your ad budget. First, think about how long you would like for your post to run; Facebook requires you to spend at least $1 per day that your post is running. Our post is for a play that is on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, so we boosted it on Wednesday to run for 3 days through Friday in hopes that the audience will schedule the play into their weekend plans. 

reviewboostpost
reviewboostpost

Now that you have set up your targeted audience, a budget and timeline for your post, click 'Boost.' You will then see that your boosted post is being reviewed by Facebook and will take approximately an hour to start reaching your intended audience. Once your boosted post run time has ended, you will be able to check out the results and see how many people were reached, how many interacted, clicked on a link, etc. It's a good idea to look this over and learn what you could possibly do different/better for next time!

Boosting a post on Facebook gives your audience a better chance to see and interact with your post. Without paying for Facebook advertising, you are only able to reach a certain amount of people who 'Like' your Facebook page, so it critical to pay for boosting if you want the right people to see you page, event, etc. If you want to run ads through your Facebook page for more page 'Likes,' Facebook will take you through a very similar process as the one above. As long as you've taken the time to think about who your audience is and budget correctly, you will start seeing results on your business Facebook page.

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Social Media During A Tragedy

Unfortunately we live in a world where disasters and tragedies sometimes happen. This was certainly the case yesterday when several people were injured and killed during the Boston Marathon when 2 bombs exploded near the finish line. In these circumstances, it seems that a lot of business owners and brands do not know exactly how to react to such a tragedy online in a respectful and professional manner. For example, recipe website, Epicurious, sent out these tweets soon after the Boston Marathon explosions:

Epicurious screen shot
Epicurious screen shot

Even though these tweets are not offensive, they are certainly distasteful considering that the company is taking advantage of a tragic situation where people were killed. People have lost their lives today just by cheering on their loved ones in a race and the cure for that is a bowl of breakfast energy? Sigh.

Even though social media marketing is still fairly new to us, the way a business reacts to a tragedy of this sort should honestly be common sense. Use your best judgement on how you would want a business (large or small) to speak to you, the consumer, during a sensitive time. It seems now that most will post condolences after a matter like this: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims families and those affected by the tragic happenings at the Boston Marathon today." I would agree that this response is a "safe" way to go if you feel that you MUST make any sort of statement. But before you do, think of why you feel like you need to make that statement at all? Maybe your company really does want your fans and customers to know that you care (because I'm sure you do) but does it make much of a difference when every single brand is doing the same at the same time? It's something to think about...

Most people are also offended by tweets and posts immediately after a crisis that clearly have nothing to do with the tragedy at all. It's so bizarre to see businesses post things during a crisis that signify business is still operating as usual. In times like these, most people want to stop to reflect about the events unfolding. They don't want to be sold to. Sometimes, though, this is usually a clear indication that the business has "auto-scheduled" tweets or posts in advance to make it easier for them to manage their social media marketing. In best practice, it is imperative that any social media manager or company turn off all scheduled posts for the time of the crisis as to not accidentally offend. The chances of a tweet with the ironically wrong wording at that time could almost ruin a brand.

My advice would be to choose your words carefully when posting to social media networks (if at all) after a tragedy. DO NOT use the situation to promote your company or product. Do not make jokes and choose your time wisely. Think before your type and take it as seriously as you would as a respectful individual.

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