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7 steps to elevate your social media presence [part one]

By now, it is old news that you should blog or be on Twitter, but now that you’re online and have an intermediate level understanding of social media, how do you take it to the next level?

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Maximizing actions to maximize results

One day I was having lunch with a dear friend of mine who owns a record label. I offered to help them with their social media efforts, because they are at the same stage of most of my clients: they know what social media is, the basics of using the different sites, and understand social media etiquette.

What they don’t get is how to maximize their actions to get the best possible results from marketing their content.

If you’ve reached the point where you have an intermediate understanding of social media etiquette, but aren’t sure how to make more of an impact with what you share, this article is for you, too. These are simple, testable tips you can try, first one at a time and then together, to get your message to reach more people, who in turn can also help you spread your message outside your reach.

Some of these tips may seem obvious once you know them. But it’s often the little actions we take that make the biggest difference – I just happen to know more of them because social media is where I “live” during my work day.

(We’re going to assume you already understand how to produce compelling content for your audience. So much hinges on sharing what your community thinks is awesome, rather than what might have blown the CEO’s skirt up.)

This week, we will dive into the first two steps to elevate your social media presence, and next week will dive even deeper.

1. Perfect Your Timing

There are two types of timing you need to master – the “rush hours” at the sites you use, and the time at which your audience gives you the best response. This step will increase the number of people who will see your updates because you’ll be posting at a time when most people are on.

For example, more than half of Facebook users log in daily. And some of their login patterns are predictable. People tend to log in:

– when they wake up
– when they first get to work
– at lunch
– after work

People also log in on weekends but that’s a little bit trickier to predict. It’s worth your while to coordinate your posts to these time periods, and test to see when you’re getting the best responses.

You may also find that there’s a specific time when your audience tends to read your newsletters more. My original audience was made up of entrepreneurs building brand new microbusinesses and startups. I went against the grain on an instinct once and started sending out my newsletters at midnight on weekdays. My click and buy rates doubled, all because I figured out that other young entrepreneurs were up working at midnight just like I was.

2. Bond and Blend

People aren’t going to buy your product until they buy into YOU. You’d be surprised how much people wanting to support your endeavor or your company’s mission factors into their buying decision.

How do you get people to buy into you or your company? Tell your company’s story. Tell their stories. It may sound corny, but Care. Care as much about what’s happening in their lives and spreading their messages as you do about them spreading yours.

It’s perfectly logical once you think about it. On the current version of the web, most people are gravitating toward content and people they care about. If you care about the same topics as your community, and your community cares about the topics you write about, it’s only natural you share each other’s content.

You can never hope to catch every single item, so you’ll often follow other people who are on top of their curation game in your favorite subject. And those people are looking for the same thing you are – more about what they love, and more people to discuss those same interests.

What’s often forgotten is that discussion is a two way street. You can’t just talk about yourself and all the great things you do — that’s broadcasting. People get deaf and blind to that quickly – on Facebook there are even many ways to stay connected to you and still ignore your updates completely.

This is easier to grasp if you pay attention to the language, mannerisms and customs of the community you’re seeking to lead. It can be the simplest thing that makes or breaks you.

We bookworms often hate grammatical errors and typos more. Poets love it when you can properly execute a masterful turn of phrase.

Technical people may love all the intricate details, certain types of executives may want an overview of the big picture.

This is an ongoing process – you aren’t going to have one research phase and then it’s over. Stay current and involved.

Next week, I will address how to get people excited about your brand and empowering them to evangelize and offer advice on some tools to equip your toolbox. Some advice will be contrary to what the gurus have told you, so stay tuned!

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is the CEO of Leveraged Promotion and a member of Network Solutions Social web Advisory Board. Her website promotion company specializes in reputation management, and engineering demand generation system for businesses, integrating search, expertise marketing and social media.

Social Media

Facebook’s Résumé takes another shot at LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook took another swipe at LinkedIn by introducing a new Résumé feature.

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Any job hunter is likely familiar with the little section somewhere during the application process where you’re asked to enter in social media information. Thankfully, Facebook is usually an optional field.

While I try to keep what the public can see of my social media profiles toned down enough as to not cause my grandmother to blush, I’m still not quite comfortable sharing my profile with prospective employers.

I’m sure many out there feel the same, and Facebook knows this.

Tinfoil hat theories aside, LinkedIn may be shaking in their boots as Facebook begins to advance their growth in the professional sector in their pursuit of social media domination.

Facebook has begun experimenting with a new Résumé/CV feature that works as an extension of your standard “Work and Education” section on a Facebook profile page, allowing users to share work experience in more detail with friends and family but most importantly: potential employers.

Luckily, the new Résumé/CV feature won’t be sharing personal photos or status updates, but will rather combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package.

So far this feature appears to be rolled out to a small number of users, and it’s unclear when it will be officially launched, but this isn’t the first time Facebook has dipped their toes in the waters of the job sector, or took a jab at LinkedIn.

Several months ago, Jobs was launched, a feature that allows Business Pages to post job openings through the status composer, and keep track of them on their Page’s Jobs tab.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the intent behind the new Résumé/CV feature, “At Facebook, we’re always building and testing new products and services.

We’re currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook,” and so this is just the beginning of Facebook’s plan to become a one-stop-shop and create a more seamless way for people to find and get jobs.

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Social Media

Tag photos, connect with friends, order food?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook seems to be sprawling into every nook and cranny of life and now, they’re infiltrating food delivery.

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Facebook is now bringing you food! Although, no one was really asking them to.

In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is attempting to transform into more than just a social media platform. They have partnered up with food delivery services to help users order food directly from their site.

They hope to streamline the process by giving users a chance to research, get recommendations and order food without ever leaving the site.

Facebook has partnered with their existing delivery services including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo in addition to restaurants to fast track the process.

The scenario they imagine is that while scrolling through the newsfeed, users would feel an urge to eat and look to Facebook for their options.

After chatting up friends via Facebook Messenger to ask for the best place to go, users would visit the restaurant’s page directly, explore their menu and decide to order. When ordering, you will have the option to use one of the partnered delivery services either with an existing account or by creating a new one.

The benefit is you stay on one site the entire time. With the time you save, the food can get to you faster, which is a plus for everyone.

Assuming that people already live on Facebook 24/7, this seems like a great update. If you like getting recommendations from your favorite social media resources, it’s even better.

The problem is that in recent years their younger audiences have dropped off in favor of other sites. Regardless of what they think, not everyone is flocking to Facebook for their every need.

My guess is that this service will benefit those already using Facebook, but is less likely to draw new audiences in.

Adding more services may not be the key to success if Facebook can’t refine their other features. They have already been criticized for their ad reporting practices, though they seem to fix everything with a new algorithm.

Facebook has continued to stray away from their original intent, and food delivery won’t be their last update.

Facebook wants to be everything, but not everyone may want the same.

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Social Media

Hate Facebook’s mid-roll ads? So does everyone else

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Those pesky ads that pop up in the middle of that Facebook video, aka mid-roll, seem to be grinding everyone’s gears.

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In an ongoing effort to monetize content, Facebook recently introduced “mid-roll” ads into videos by certain publishers, and it has now been testing that format for six months. If you aren’t a big fan of those ads interrupting your content consumption experience, you aren’t alone; publishers aren’t crazy about them either.

In a report on the program, five publishers working with Facebook’s new mid-roll ad program were sourced and all five publishers found that the program wasn’t generating the expected revenue.

One program partner made as little as $500 dollars with mid-roll ads while generating tens of millions of views on their content.

Two other partners wouldn’t specify exact revenue number, but they did acknowledge that the ad performance is below expectations. As far as cost goes, certain publishers mentioned CPMs between 15 cents and 75 cents.

That range is large because a lot of the data isn’t clear enough to evaluate their return on investment. According to the Digiday report, publishers receive data on total revenue, along with raw data on things like the number of videos that served an ad to viewers.

The lack of certain data points, along with the confusing structure of the data, makes it difficult to assess the number of monetized views and the revenue by video. For context, YouTube, as arguably the biggest player in video monetization, provides all these metrics.

Another issue is that licensing deals are cutting into margins. Facebook pays publishers, via a licensing fee, to produce and publish a certain number of videos each month. In exchange, Facebook keeps all money until it recoups the fee, after which revenue is split 55/45 between the publisher and Facebook.

While these challenges doesn’t change the fact that revenue is low, it does make it difficult to dissect costs in a meaningful way.

Why is revenue so low to begin with?

For starters, a newsfeed with enough content to feed an infinite scroll probably isn’t the best format for these kinds of ads. As a user, when I’m watching the videos and the ad interrupts the experience, I’ve always scrolled right on through to the next item on my feed. It’s a sentiment echoed by one of the publishers in the Digiday story.

Because of that, Facebook’s new Watch program, which creates a content exclusivity not found on the news feed, might produce better results in the future. Either way, Facebook will need to solve this revenue challenge for publishers, or they might pull out of the programs altogether.

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