Author Archives: pmsocialmarket

7 Essential Social Media Marketing Tips for Business Owners

Social media marketing has rapidly become one of the most powerful – and essential – marketing activities that a business can take on. Whether your business is large or small, social media marketing can be a cost-effective addition to your overall marketing strategy.

According to one recent report, around 80% of SMBs use social media to grow their business, and around 60% report that they have direct evidence that their social media efforts have directly resulted in new customers. As a result, nearly 100% of top brands in the United States are utilizing both Facebook and Twitter, and between 60% and 70% are on the smaller platforms, which include Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.

There are a number of reasons why social media marketing has become such a powerful, popular, and effective tool, however there are two statistics that summarize many of those reasons: the average American spends 37 minutes per day on social media, and nearly half of them (46%) use social media when making at least some of their purchasing decisions.

The following are seven social media marketing tips that will help make your efforts as effective as possible.

1. Know exactly what you want to achieve through social media

Before you can even begin to establish an effective social media marketing campaign, the first step is to determine what your actual goals for the campaign will be. Just like anything else in business – and particularly with marketing – knowing what you want to achieve should be the guiding principle from start to finish.

Each business’s objectives will be different, and you should spend some time determining how social media can best benefit your business. One common example is determining whether engagement or branding will be the focus of your campaign. If your primary goal is to utilize social media as a way to interact (i.e. engage) with your customers and prospective customers, then your efforts – and the metrics you use to measure them – should reflect that goal. If your primary goal is to build awareness of your brand, then the same rule applies.

You might be tempted to want to accomplish both of these goals. While that is certainly noble and worthwhile, each requires its own distinct campaign. If you are new to social media marketing, you are better off focusing on one, excelling at it, then working on the other.

2. Identify your target audience(s)

You probably already have a decent sense of who you target audience(s) is (are). However, with social media your audience can be broken into far more granular components. The more specific you can make your audiences, the more customized – and thus effective and cost-effective – each element of your campaign can be.

3. Build out a concurrent (and complimentary) content marketing strategy

A sometimes-overlooked element of social media marketing is ensuring that you have a large and growing bank of content for your audience to consume. Getting social media engagement and followers is only part of the battle; you must also have something useful, engaging, and share-worthy for them to consume (and share). Every social media marketing strategy should have a corresponding content marketing strategy to go along with it.

4. Build a list of competitors and research them extensively

You can learn a lot from your competitors. This is true in general, but it is particularly true if they have more experience than you do in the social media arena. Don’t be afraid to research, and learn from, your competitors. You can rest assured they will be doing the same to you.

6. Assign at least one employee who is responsible for social media customer service

This tip is more self-evident if your primary goal is engagement (as opposed to branding), but it is an essential part of every and any social media marketing campaign. You should have at least one employee whose only job (or at least one of their primary responsibilities) is to actively engage with, respond to, and assist social media followers who reach out to your company.

7. Develop an understanding of each social media channel, and treat them as distinct entities

While Facebook is certainly the leading social media platform, the other platforms are worthwhile (and widely used) as well. Remember that each platform has it’s own distinct strengths and weaknesses, and tailor your campaigns to the uniqueness of each platform.

Hopefully these social media marketing tips give you a better sense of what to look for and think about in the social media realm. Remember that there is help out there if you seek it out!

Using Facebook coupons and offers

Generally, users are following their favorite brands on Facebook to get “inside information” about their products and services; and many are hoping for a special discount for being a loyal fan.

The best way to give your fans what they want is with Facebook coupons.

Facebook coupons, or ‘Offers’, allow your business to share discounts with customers through your business Facebook page. By posting an offer on your Facebook Page, you allow your fans the ability to “claim an offer.” This means they would receive an email with the offer to allow them to use online or at your business’ physical location.

Sounds great, right?

Creating your Facebook Coupon is easy to do, given the instructions on Facebook Help:

  1. Go to the ads create tool.
  2. Click Offer Claims.
  3. Select your Page from the dropdown menu.
  4. Clickto create a new offer.
  5. Write a title and description, click the image to upload a new one and click Next.
  6. Choose an expiration date for your offer. You can also add optional terms and conditions and advanced options, like a redemption link, redemption code, claims limit and reminder time, which is when people who’ve claimed your offer but haven’t redeemed it yet can receive an email reminding them about the offer.
  7. Click Next to review what your offer will look like. We’ll also send you an email with a preview of what the offer email will look like when people claim it. Click Back to make any changes.
  8. Click Post Offer.

Be sure to pay extra attention to step number six. This is where you can get most of your customization for your Facebook coupons. Expiration date, redemption codes, and other limits help to make your offer specific and beneficial to your business and bottom line.

Just remember you can only utilize the Facebook Coupons tool if you have more than 50 Likes to your business page.

By creating these offers within the ad tool you are able to promote your Facebook coupons easily through an advertisement or as an organic post.

Rules for Facebook contests

Facebook Contests are a great way to promote your brand and enhance engagement with your users.

But, to win in this form of engagement you have to play by the rules.

Luckily, if you set up your competition with Pagemodo Contests tool, you will automatically be complying with the Facebook contest rules.

The tool includes the Terms and Conditions required by Facebook for an essay, video, or even a photo contest.

Here is a general summary of the Facebook contest rules that you can find under ‘Promotions’ on their website here.

  • You must include terms and eligibility requirements like age or residency restrictions
  • You must include rules and regulations concerning the promotion and prizes involved
  • The promotion on Facebook must have a complete release for each entrant or participant
  • The promotion on Facebook must acknowledge that it is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.
  • The promotion can be administered on the Facebook Page or within a Facebook app, but personal timelines cannot be used to administer promotions. (Meaning that you cannot use sharing on personal or friend Timelines as a form of entry or way to gain more entries into a contest.)
  • Facebook will not assist in the administration of your promotion and therefore will be administering your promotion on Facebook at your own risk.

These Facebook contest rules are easy to understand and follow.

Just remember to promote your contest, and you will see brand awareness and engagement increase.

Top 5 tips for Facebook cover images

The first thing that your visitors see when they come to your business’s Facebook page is your cover photo – so why not make sure it’s the best it can be?

Before you get started, it’s important to note Facebook’s cover photo guidelines. While Facebook did relax the rules a bit in recent years, there are still a few items to observe on their guidelines page:

“All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.”

cover photo dimensions

Beyond that advice, and the 851 pixel by 315 pixel limit, there is no set Facebook cover template – so let your creativity run wild! Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

1. Keep it simple. Even though Facebook relaxed the rules about having text on cover photos awhile ago, it’s still a good idea to keep it to a minimum. Your cover photo is a billboard, and people will be ‘driving’ by it very quickly on the way to the rest of your Facebook page. Don’t expect them to read too much text.

2. Keep it fresh. Changing up your Facebook cover photo often is a good idea for a number of reasons. For one, it keeps your page looking fresh for the followers that come to your page regularly. Also, every time you update your cover photo, it shows up in the News Feed of the people who follow you. One more way to engage with your followers!

3. Keep it current. Do you have a contest going on? A special promotion? Talk about it in your cover photo! This will show followers and potential followers that there are lots of reasons to connect with you on Facebook, and it will get more exposure for your campaigns.

If you don’t have access to a designer or expensive photo editing software, you can still make an attractive, engaging cover photo with a dedicated Facebook cover creator, like Pagemodo Cover Photo Designer.

Tips for successful Facebook timeline photos

Whether you are trying out Facebook Ads or just looking to create Facebook timeline photos that stand out, there’s a lot of advice out there on the web. And if you’re just looking for the basics, it can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll take a look at three things you need to know in order to have an engaging visual presence on Facebook.

Where To Get Images
There are lots of ways to get images for your marketing efforts on the web – some more legal than others. While plenty of people choose to ‘borrow’ images they find through a Google search, this practice in nonetheless illegal – and increasingly risky. With Google’s reverse image search, it’s easier than ever for photographers to find (and prosecute) people who are using their images illegally. But don’t despair, there are still lots of great resources online for free and reasonably-priced images for social marketing.

1. Creative Commons offers a huge portfolio of images, all with different types of licenses. Many simply require attribution in exchange for use.

2. IMG Embed is a relatively new creative service that aims to great a community with fair pricing for both users and photographers. There are a number of affordable image use options and lots of high quality photos.

3. Fotolia has been around for awhile and has a well-established reputation. They offer pay-as-you-go and subscriptions at low prices.

4. Pagemodo Post Designer also has a huge library of free images that can be combined with text and other graphic elements, and posted directly to Facebook.

How To Stand Out
While there’s no fool-proof formula for what images work best for Facebook timeline photos, there are some tips that have become general knowledge over time.

Showing people tends to increase viewer engagement. If you can use a great stock photo or a photo of your own that shows someone interacting with your brand in some way, try that first.

– Cropping closely can improve engagement because it more easily shows emotion if a person is the subject, and it simplifies the image so that it can be quickly recognized by a scanning viewer.

– Using warm colors is a great way to stand out against Facebook’s cool, muted color palette. Reds and oranges provide a nice contrast and are more likely to pop off the page. It’s also best to avoid an image with a solid, colorful background, instead of white.

The tips above are a great place to start to make the most of your Facebook timeline photos. The best way to find out what works for your audience? Trial and error! Test out the tips above and keep a close eye on your Facebook Insights over time.

Facebook timeline photo size

It can be difficult to navigate the size, dimensions and other requirements of Facebook photos and image assets, particularly Facebook timeline photo sizes.  As Facebook aims to optimize its user experience, they try to provide information how to get the perfect photo sizes.  There are some very basic tools, such as cropping functionality, directly within the Facebook photo upload tool.

cover photo dimensions

If you find Facebook timeline photo sizes daunting or confusing, Pagemodo allows you to create images that are perfect for the Facebook timeline.  You can leverage stock photography or upload your own images, then edit and overlay text or other design elements.  By using Pagemodo you can worry less about the logistics like size and resolution, and more about the impact your photos have.

Facebook design tips

Facebook advertising is becoming more and more important as the ability to reach your audience with organic posts continually declines. However, exuding meaningful effort into both methods is essential for success.

In order to make every post, organic or paid, most effective you must heavily focus on Facebook design.

The term Facebook design is used since the social network has particular design rules that optimize your visual posts.

Here’s a breakdown of the rules for Organic and Paid:

Organic Facebook Design:

  • Keep image dimensions between 400 x 300 pixels and 800 x 600 pixels for maximum resolution and News Feed real estate.
  • Assign image credit (the source of where you found your image) on the image to reduce the need of more text for your post –a plain image can potentially gain more reach than an image with text.
  • Use colors that are attention grabbing and do not conflict with each other – colors that grab your audience’s attention will be more engagement (likes, comments, shares) worthy!

Paid Facebook Design:

  • Keep image dimensions specifically to 470 x 394 pixels to meet Facebook Ad requirements.
  • Ads and sponsored stories may not include images with more than 20% text. This can be the trickiest to follow – so be careful!
  • Avoid spam-like Facebook designs which could end up in Facebook’s rejects pile.

Here’s a breakdown of what Facebook requires of your paid ads right from their Help Center:

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Remember, this is just for your Promoted Posts in the News Feed. These dimensions can change for your Mobile, Right-Side Newsfeed, or Page Post images.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, try using Pagemodo Post Designer to help with your image woes. The images are organic post-ready and have a variety of templates to choose from to meet your Facebook design needs.

In just a matter of minutes, you can create beautiful visual posts that enhance your content strategy – just keep to the rules explained above!

5 Examples of great Facebook cover photos

Ever since Facebook updated their timeline layout so the Facebook cover photo appears at the top of every section of your Facebook profile, people have been paying a lot more attention to this valuable piece of real estate.

Many small business marketers are aware of the importance of having a great cover image, but with all the other demands on their time, have trouble thinking of creative image ideas. If that’s you, check out the companies below for some inspiration. We’ve highlighted what’s great about their FB cover photos:

1. Make sure your Facebook profile picture doesn’t overlap with your cover photo by selecting an image where the subject is closer to the right side, like Warby Parker. 

image001

2. Combine your profile picture and your cover image by aligning certain elements that make them look like one image, like Sprite.

image003

3. Create plenty of contrast between your Facebook cover photo and your profile picture, especially is your picture is your company’s logo, like Airbnb.

image005

4. Show people interacting with your brand in a way that speaks to you company’s purpose (and shows off your product at the same time) like TOMS.

image007

5. If you sell a physical product, get creative and make your profile picture into a label that you “stick” onto your cover photo, like A.1.!

image009

Facebook timeline cover photos

When setting up and using your Facebook account, it’s important to understand how the Facebook timeline and cover photosare related.  The cover photo appears at the top of the page, and essentially anchors the timeline.  Most people and businesses consider it to be more “timeless”—something that is representative of your personal brand or business.  You should think of the cover photo as the cover to a book or album.

Alternatively, the timeline itself (in this analogy) would be all of the content within the book.  The timeline includes all of your activities:  photo uploads, status updates, posts on friends’ walls, etc.  The timeline is like a real time diary of your life on Facebook.

By default, the cover photo lives at the top of your timeline.  Strategically, you want to make sure that your Facebook cover photo and timeline are aligned and portray a consistent brand image to your customers.  Pagemodo can help you design more professional looking timeline cover photos, with several different layout options and design recommendations.

How to create a Facebook sweepstakes

A common promotion sweeping the Facebook platform (pun intended) is Facebook sweepstakes. Sweepstakes, or contests, are a great way to boost visibility and engagement amongst your Facebook audience.

Lucky for you, Pagemodo has a Facebook sweepstakes tool, called Contests that can help you set up the perfect promotion.

Your contest can be created in five easy steps.

  1. Choose Your Theme: Do you want to do a giveaway, photo, essay or video contest? What about offering special coupons or discounts? This is the step where you decide how you want to get your audience engaged with your brand.
  2. Modify Your Theme: Customization is at your leisure in this step of the process. Make your contest page represent your brand, and have the layout that satisfies the designer in you.
  3. Edit Your Content: Give the details about your Facebook sweepstakesand follow Facebook contest rules. (Don’t worry, Pagemodo automatically fills out a Terms&Conditions guideline for you, but feel free to add rules in this step!)
  4. Like Gate: Facebook used to give the permission for you to add ‘Like Gates’ to your contest. This way, for an audience member to participate they would have to ‘Like’ your page first. Facebook recently dismissed this feature – so this feature will remain on the “OFF” switch for now.
  5. Publish: In this step, you can preview what your Facebook sweepstakespage will look like on Facebook. You’ll be able to title the tab as it will show on your page, and even add a custom icon. Once you are happy with how your contest looks, just click PUBLISH!

This Contests tool also makes it incredibly easy to keep up with your contest entries. In the Contests tab you can see who has entered, their entry contents, and even select a random winner! There are also features that allow you to keep track of your favorites and manually select a winner if your contest has more restrictions. Finally, there is a handy ‘Download CSV’ tool that will compile the entries into an Excel document for easy sharing amongst team members.

Just keep in mind when building your contest; the purpose is to intrigue your audience members, but to stay true to your brand. Holding a Facebook sweepstakes just to gain followers by giving away a car does nothing for promoting your brand (unless your business deals with cars). Think more along the lines of giving away company ‘swag’ or some of your sample products or services to provide an experience with your brand and an opportunity for your audience to want more!

Hosting a Facebook sweepstakes or contest is easy with the proper tools. So use Pagemodo Contests and enjoy your increased engagement!