Which Social Media Should I Put My Efforts into for My Business?

Due to issues with privacy and security, Google+ is shutting down in April of 2019.

On November 6, 2018, Google+ users were faced with the exposure of their private profile content. Alphabet Inc, Google’s mother company, revealed that a bug allowed 52 million users’ private information to be compromised and given to outside app developers without the users’ consent.

“Protecting the privacy and security of our users has long been an essential part of our mission,” says Google, Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai. Yet, in October of 2018, there was a similar breach of privacy which also provided outside app developers with Google+ users’ private information, including full names, email addresses, genders, birthdays, photos, places lived, relationship statuses, and occupations. It was after this glitch that Google initially announced the demise of Google+, which was to be terminated in August of 2019. Considering the second privacy violation, the date of termination was moved up four months to April 2019.

So, with all these major changes from Google, which platform(s) are most practical and provide the most security for your company?

Google My Business (GMB) is presumed to be the platform of choice for business owners. GMB is a free tool for businesses to supervise their online presence throughout Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. This platform allows customers to find your business’ location as well as inform them about your business, its hours, and contact information.

Within your GMB account, there is a section called Insights which offers new analytic features. Among these are queries used to find your business, customer actions like visiting your website, making phone calls, and direction requests. The platform also allows business owners to place ads, write posts, upload pictures, and update company information. Another aspect beneficial to business owners is that GMB allows for customers to leave a review of the company and compiles them in an easy-to-read list. These reviews can be responded to by the business owners.

Other Social Media You Should Use for Your Business

Social media is the basis of which most customers are going to learn more about your business. Many companies use various social media platforms to not only connect with their customers but to gain visibility throughout the internet as well. It is most beneficial to your company if you utilize multiple social media outlets to market your business. But which ones are worth it?

LinkedIn is the most professional social media platform and allows businesses to network with other people or companies and draw potential customers or clients to your business. On your company profile, you can share any awards bestowed, your accomplishments, and post in detail about current and past projects. In addition to these features, you can post and share articles, videos, and photos on your newsfeed with your network of connections and followers. You can even develop your own articles using LinkedIn Publishing. Another great aspect of LinkedIn that is ideal for business owners is the ability to list job openings and review applications from potential employees. LinkedIn is a one-stop-shop for all your social media, marketing, and business development needs.

Facebook has specific pages and profiles for companies and business professionals. These provide the business with analytics, ad opportunities, and the ability to post events and updates along with photos and videos. Keeping your clients and customers up to date on all that’s happening with your business has never been easier or more condensed into one outlet. Facebook Messenger also provides more interaction with customers. Messenger allows customers to directly message a business and discuss any questions or concerns they may have.

Instagram is perfect for sharing photos and videos from company events and posting promotional graphics to market your products or services. There is a business profile option which will allow you to connect your email address, phone number and website at the top of your Instagram page. Interaction with customers and clients is extremely simple with Instagram’s comments which, depending on your privacy settings, give anyone the ability to write a comment on a post.

Twitter is another great social media platform for businesses to post last minute updates to their followers about promotions, events, or cancelations due to weather. In addition to these updates, Twitter is also a great source to repost from Facebook and Instagram.

Not sure which social media platform is best for your business? Focus on what your company is providing to the public. If you have a lot of photographs to share with your customers, Instagram is a great option to allow your pictures to highlight your business. If your business hosts a lot of events, consider utilizing Facebook to create ads and invite customers to these events. Additionally, Twitter is great for making quick updates to schedules and keeping in contact with clients. If you still aren’t positive about what platform to use, start with one you are personally using. This way, you already have some experience with the platform and can utilize your prior knowledge to increase your business’ exposure.

You may find that you want to have presence on more than one social media network. Being present in multiple areas will increase your company’s visibility and help you reach more potential customers.

Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts

It may seem as if managing multiple social media accounts can become overwhelming. However, there is no need to fret. There are terrific software programs that help consolidate all your social media accounts in one space. Among these are Hootsuite and Buffer.

Hootsuite integrates multiple types of social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter into one interface. Other sites such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and WordPress blogs can be incorporated. If you have multiple businesses or organizations you manage, you may add these organizations along with all their respective social media accounts. Buffer is very similar. You can include multiple organizations as well, and each may have multiple social media accounts. Among those covered are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

These integrations are wonderful because they provide you with the ability to create a singular post and share it on all your social media platforms with just a few clicks. You can also schedule your posts to go out at a later date or time, even months in advance! Both Hootsuite and Buffer provide analytics and the ability to respond to all your comments within the same window.

When it comes to choosing which social media management software is best for your business, it is best to research each software to find one that fits your needs and budget. For further information please contact us at 1-855-PRMG-123 or email us at info@theprmg.com.

Using Video Ads on Facebook

Facebook video ads allow you to reach more people who matter to your business. With over 50% growth in viewing, video ads on Facebook are a great way to drive awareness, capture lead generation and close online sales for your company. According to an IDC “Always Connected” report, people return to Facebook’s news feed on average 14 times a day. By advertising on Facebook with video, you can target real people based on their interests, behaviors, age, gender and location across a range of devices such as desktop, tablet, or smartphones.

According to its own earnings reports, as of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook sees 1.79 billion active users a month. Also, as of January 2016 (the most recent information), more than 100 million hours of Facebook videos are viewed daily. Needless to say, that’s a large potential audience for you to market your goods and/or services to. Not only is it a large potential audience, but video advertising on Facebook is also more cost-effective than traditional advertising such as television, Facebook video ads we have run for our clients see an average CPC (cost-per-click) of $2.15 and an average CPM (cost-per-1,000 impressions) of $15.92.

Facebook video ads work on an objective-based system. Whether your objective is to increase overall brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, increase lead generation or online sales, Facebook video ads are effective in engaging your target audience and achieving your business objective.

A Facebook video ad could increase brand awareness by showing your video to as many people within your target market as possible, as per your allotted budget. Facebook video ads can drive traffic to your website by encouraging users to click on a “Learn More” button and also drive prospective buyers with a “Shop Now” button. By attaching a form to your ad, Facebook users can exchange their contact information in a request for more information from your company. Similarly, if you want to drive traffic to and capture leads from your site, we can develop a landing page with a contact form which stores that information as well.

Right now when you create a video ad on Facebook, that ad gets shown in the News Feed of your target audience, just as if it were any other type of content a user views on a daily basis. As stated earlier, these videos garner more than 100 million hours viewed on a daily basis.

As recently reported by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is going to start testing 15-second advertisements mid-roll of organic videos. This means that, if you are viewing a video posted by your favorite news outlet, chances are there will now be a 15-second ad in the middle of that video you started watching. This is just one way that Facebook is experimenting with expanding their video ad presence, and it indicates that they don’t plan on dropping it anytime soon.

Facebook’s Audience Network Expands Reach of Digital Ads

Facebook Audience NetworkEarlier this year, SocialTimes reported a change to Facebook’s Audience Network that will allow even non-Facebook users to see Facebook-powered advertisements as they surf the web. Since its launch in 2014, the Facebook Audience Network has become one of the largest ad networks in the world. So what does this new policy mean for businesses and organizations trying to gain a cutting edge in the cutthroat world of digital advertising?

Originally, advertising partners with Facebook simply reached Facebook users through ads displayed on the site. But with the launch of the Facebook Audience Network two years ago, the social network enabled advertisers to extend the impact of their ads beyond Facebook. On a select number of mobile apps, partners could display ads with the added capabilities of the same targeting and measurement tools used on Facebook. However, these ads only reached users who were simultaneously logged into Facebook.

Facebook’s recent announcement removes even this restriction. Ads that take advantage of the Facebook Audience Network now have the capability to reach even users without Facebook accounts. This offers a further incentive to advertisers looking for the convenient and comprehensive metrics Facebook’s business program provides. In addition, it increases Facebook’s clout in the world of online interest-based marketing, alongside other services like Google.

Ultimately, Facebook has stated that they aim to improve users’ experience through their new advertising program as well. One of the benefits of the common ad platform will be to improve the overall quality and relevance of the ads users see, while individuals’ tools to opt-out and control their ad preferences are maintained. One can hope that the increased reach of the Facebook Audience Network will prove to enhance both advertisers’ and users’ online experience.

At the Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG), we can help your company develop strong and well-coordinated Facebook advertising campaigns to broaden your exposure and drive people to your business. For a free consultation or for samples of previous digital advertising campaigns, please contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.

Facebook Improves Advertising Options by Adding Behavior-Based Targeting

facebook megaphone

Facebook Improves Advertising Options by Adding Behavior-Based Targeting

Facebook recently overhauled its advertising system, making it easier for advertisers to target specific audiences. When using Facebook Ads, advertisers will now see many different options in the “Audience” section, which can be used to narrow down the Facebook users who will be shown their advertisement. Most of these options, such as Location and Interests, were already available in Facebook’s old targeting system. However, Facebook has unveiled a Behaviors option, which offers advertisers the opportunity to improve campaigns directed at general or narrow target audiences. Behaviors are broken down into eight different categories, with each containing numerous subcategories.

Automotive:

The Automotive category sorts Facebook users in many different ways— based on the cars they own or are shopping for. Advertisers can appeal to general audiences such as individuals who have purchased used vehicles. They can also choose to be very specific by advertising to owners of a certain make, model, age, and price of a car.

Charitable Donations:

Facebook allows advertisers to target users who have made charitable contributions to a broad selection of organizations. Advertisers can be general by targeting those who have contributed to any charitable organization, or they can choose specific subcategories such as Animal Welfare, Health, Political, Environmental, and more. Continue reading “Facebook Improves Advertising Options by Adding Behavior-Based Targeting”

Interest-Based Advertising

Marketers always want to better target demographics and spend less money in the process. Facebook’s targeting features allow you to narrow your audience to only those who will be most interested in your product, based not only on demographics, but also by interests. This is different from Google AdWords, which is search-based and responds only to the use of keywords without knowing anything about the “clicker.”

PRMG has recently been coordinating and maintaining more complex Facebook ad campaigns for a variety of our clients. I wanted to share with you three interesting cases where our clients have utilized different aspects of Facebook’s targeting options, with varied outcomes.

Case Study 1: Islip Condo Complex
One of our most successful long-running campaigns has been the ad we put together for this condo community back in February. We attempted to target the ad to first-time homebuyers by selecting for adults between the ages of 25 and 40 within a 25-mile radius from the community’s location. We capped the daily budget at only $10 and have seen a very consistent result of 6 or 7 clicks every day, for a total of over 1,000 clicks!

This campaign is a perfect example of consistent diligence paying off. Someone who may have seen the ad back in March, but wasn’t exactly in the market for a new home, might click on the ad in July, when their circumstances have changed. Though this client has paid over $1,700 for these leads over the last six months, that amount is about the cost of a single ad in the three local Pennysavers, which would have nowhere near the lasting impact of this ongoing ad.

Case Study 2: East End Restaurant
One of our clients is an upscale, East End restaurant that serves two distinct demographics: local, year-round residents and seasonal residents and tourists. The owner had decided to run two different ad campaigns to capitalize on the restaurant’s distinct appeal to each group.

We ran a set of four ads advertising Thursday night as Ladies’ Night with Two-for-One drink specials. Each ad had a different picture of one of the bar’s signature summer cocktails. This ad was targeted to female users between the ages of 25 and 35 who live within 10 miles of the restaurant’s location, and were not already connected with the business’ page. We initially bid very close to the suggested bid, but raised the price we were willing to pay when we only received a few clicks in the first two days. We also posted the special on the page’s wall to ensure those connected with the restaurant were made aware of the special. The wall was also the destination of the link in the ad.

Then we set up a set of four more ads to target the summertime visitors – again utilizing different photos, this time of plated entrées. The restaurant had recently received an excellent review from a reputable East End publication. We took the content and photos from that review and created a landing page on the business’ website that featured the positive content. For the Facebook ad copy, we included a brief quote from the review and a call to action to read the rest of the piece on the website. This ad was targeted to 28 to 45 year olds living in New York City. However, because that in itself is such a broad demographic (and we really only wanted to show our ad to those who might travel to eastern Long Island) we used Precise Interest Targeting to narrow down users who had listed “culinary arts,” “fine dining,” “Fine wines,” “French cuisine,” “Hamptons,” “Hamptons restaurant week” or “Montauk” in their profiles. This allowed us to show our ad to most of the 2,700 users we were interested in.

When we assessed the success of the ads after four weeks, we saw that 25 local women had “liked” the restaurant’s page, and over 30 NYC residents had visited the landing page. The 50+ leads cost the business about $65. Considering how competitive the restaurant industry is, we consider this to be a decent result for an ad that ran less than one month.

Case Study 3: Day Camp Program
One of our clients was having a tough time filling the slots in its summer day camp program. Since we only had a short period of time to promote the camp before the program’s commencement, we determined Facebook advertising was likely to give us the most bang for our buck.

We put together a campaign using Broad Category Targeting. The only parameters we used were adults living within a 25-mile radius of the camp. Then we selected three broad categories to narrow the audience further. We selected the “Parents (0-3yrs)” and “Parents (4-12yrs)” from the Family Status heading and “Pets” and “Environment” from the Interests heading, since these were most relevant to the topics of the camp. The ad directed clickers to the portion of the business’ website that gave detailed information about the camp. Over 250 people have been directed to the website in only three weeks, costing less than $350. We considered this to be an excellent response, considering we bid at the very low end of the suggested range.

The introduction of Broad Categories does facilitate a lot more depth in easily targeting your advertisements, but it isn’t necessarily more specific, especially since you cannot combine Broad Category and Precise Interest Targeting in one ad campaign. This means that you can reach users based on qualifications that were not previously available to advertisers (including what kind of smart phone they use to access Facebook and their family status). However, because you are limited to selecting from a seemingly limited list of categories, your ad will likely be shown to persons whom you did not intend to target.

When running campaigns, we suggest creating a few versions of the same ad to experiment with the images and wording to determine what has the biggest effect on your audience. Include a call to action when possible. (“Come on down!” “Check out our page!” “Visit our website for more info.” “See what eveyone’s saying.” “Join us for the event.”) Check in every few days to see if you need to adjust your bid. You can also pause your campaign if your business plans to be closed for vacation, for example, and resume the campaign upon your return. This is better than ending your campaign to create a similar one a few days or weeks later because it saves time and preserves more accurate statistics.

Making The Most Of Your Facebook Page

PRMG's Facebook Page

Every business today needs to take its message where its customers are. Facebook, one of the largest social media networks with over 350 million active users, has grown beyond its role in personal networking and emerged as a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Facebook “fan” pages are now an essential branding tool for all organizations, helping businesses or non-profit organizations of all sizes interact and engage directly with customers or the community in a way that’s least interruptive.

Facebook pages enable you to create your own unique presence where customers can interact with you and keep in touch with your brand, product or service. By becoming a “fan” of your page, customers can access the latest updates on your “wall,” read your latest blog entry or event, and view videos or photos you may post on your profile. They can also participate in discussions and post comments or give feedback on information you may post.

When someone becomes a fan of your page, posts a comment or interacts with your page, their activity is visible to their friends through the “News Feed.” The social nature of Facebook gives your page greater exposure, allowing you to attract more fans and draw attention to your company or organization.

Besides these benefits, Facebook pages usually rank high in search engines, helping potential customers find you easily and own more “real estate” in the first few search pages. By sharing links with company-related news or other information on your Web site, you can drive more clicks and better optimize your site for improved search engine results.

How To Get Started

The first step is to set up your profile. If you already have a personal profile, just log in to your account and click on the applications tab on the bottom left. Select “Ads and Pages” and click on “Create a Page.”

Select an appropriate business category for your page and enter your company information. List your Web site’s URL and links to your blog or Twitter profile, along with other contact information. While creating a profile, think about how you want to project your company to your fans and what keywords you want to include in your profile and business description. Once you set up your page, click on “Publish your page” to make it public.

You can then invite your “friends” on your personal profile to become fans of your business page. If you don’t have a personal profile, it is recommended that you set one up first before creating a business page. Having a personal Facebook profile will make it easier to promote your Facebook page among your existing network.

What Should You Post On Your Facebook Page?
Keeping your profile active is important if you want to retain your existing fans and attract new ones. You can post regular updates on new projects your company may be working on, links to the latest company news, press releases or your latest blog post. You can also post events and pictures and start discussions with your fans, inviting their ideas or soliciting their feedback.

Using applications such as Facebook polls, you can gauge what your customers think about a particular product or new service you want to introduce.

How To Attract Fans To Your Facebook Page
To attract fans to your Facebook page, the first step should be to become a fan of your own page. This will ensure that your Facebook friends learn about your page through the News Feed. You can then also invite your own Facebook friends to become fans of the page by using the “Suggest to Friends” feature that shows up below your profile picture on the top left.

To publicize your Facebook page, add links to it on your Web site, e-newsletter and blog. You can even add a clickable Facebook badge or icon to your e-mail signature that points to your Facebook page. If you wish to try paid options, you can use Facebook ads to publicize your fan page to a select target audience based on demographic or geographic criteria or other criteria, such as profession or interests.

Visit PRMG’s Facebook page and become a fan to stay connected with us.