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Is Engagement the Most Important Social Media Metric?

This article was originally posted on and can be found here.

Likes, shares, comments, and now hearts. Engagement is an important social media metric, but is it all you should be watching?

Social Media Engagement Meme with Dog on Computer

Social media engagement reminds me of the Skinner Box. Except instead of pushing the lever myself and getting the reward, I’m relying on users’ affirmations to give me that weird, endorphin-like high. Engagement means my content resonated, it entertained, and it effectively solicited the kind of reaction I wanted.

But while engagement is certainly a valuable social media metric – and one of the most commonly measured – it isn’t the only one. And in some cases, it isn’t the most important one either.

Engagement vs. Other Social Media Metrics

Let’s say your company is brand-new or just about to launch. You have very different needs on social media than a business with huge market presence. You must make yourself known (brand awareness), whereas the other business may be more focused on increasing sales.

Because you have different goals, your organization must measure your performance differently, too.

Your goal needs to correspond to a specific social media metric that tells you how well you’re doing – or not doing.

For a campaign focused on brand awareness, engagement is certainly an important metric. The goal is to get in front of as many social media users as possible, and to increase likes, shares, etc. in order to gain even more exposure. The more users who engage with your brand, the better for building your brand.

But for the company that is building a sales campaign, measuring conversions is a better fit. The business needs to see which social content is getting users to click and then buy the product or service. The goal is to sell more, so the business must be able to see whether or not their social media is aiding this initiative.

Some campaigns may even combine metrics. But that’s a whole other post. For now, just know that while engagement is a very good social metric, it may not be the most effective one to help you reach the goals that are important right now.

How to Increase Social Media Engagement with Facebook 360 Photos

This article was originally posted on and can be found here.

If your social media engagement on Facebook has taken a nosedive recently, you can thank the platform’s newest algorithm change. Since placing the posts of friends and family above those from publishers, it appears that many brands are experiencing extremely low engagement – some less than 1 percent.

If this resonates with you, then you are probably wondering what you can do to increase your social media engagement. Rather than resort to memes about political speeches or blatant promotional posts, how about creating unique content people actually care about. You can start with the new Facebook 360 Photos. (more…)

Facebook for Businesses of all sizes.

Being up to date on marketing your business online is essential to your success. Facebook has many different ways in which it chooses what posts are more important than others. Knowing how Facebook works will help you find out what you can do differently in order to succeed.  This article will go over specifically how you can use Facebook to your advantage.

It’s important to be aware that most consumers are on Facebook. Whether your organization is business-to-business or business-to-consumer, your customers are most likely there.  Stats below show that for business-to-consumer companies the platform is even more important.


The reason why practically almost every target market is on there is due to the fact that it is a place for people to socialize with their friends. Whether the person is a professional or not chances are they want to socialize.

1. Personal Account Basics

Before creating business profiles on any social media network you need to make sure you understand the basics of the personal profiles.

  • Import your email addresses
  • Up to 5000 friends
  • Set your Vanity URL for better search results
  • Set your “interests” list
  • “Like” Business Pages of interest
  • Easy to search with new Social Graph Search

The personal profile is one of the main drivers for business advertising on the platform. You can have up to 5,000 friends before having to create a public figure profile. Whenever you set interests or like brands, books, and topics this information is used to target ads to you and to other people. Be sure not to try to create a business profile out of your personal page. Instead, you can create a business page and then asking your friends to like the business page.


2. Business Page Tips

  • Increase your information bandwidth
  • Create custom pages w/cover photos
  • Connect to Twitter to cross-promote
  • Create Social Media tabs: Pinterest, twitter, LinkedIn
  • Talk casually w/other businesses; tag them!
  • Set your Vanity URL for traditional marketing
  • Use Ads/Sponsored Stories to get message out
  • Post good content

Business pages are very important for business. The first step is to fully fill out your business profile.  This means making sure that all the descriptions and location information is filled out with content that involves what your business does. The main reasons that this helps is when people search for your type of business this will show up. Also the search engines pull different information from this section so it is important that all the sections are filled out.


Social Media Marketing: These Lies will Kill you

*The original article can be found in ASPE’s ROI November/December Newsletter. Interested in more articles like this one? View the most current newsletter here.*

Social media is booming. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe use one or more social site every day, with some jumping from service to service to get their fill.

This alone should be enough to excite you about the future of social media marketing. If you take the right approach and are willing to tweak your strategy when necessary, the sky is the limit.

For a better idea of just how big social media has become, consider this information shared by Mediabistro earlier this year:

“Did you know that Twitter has 255 million active users who collectively send 500 million tweets each and every day?

What if I told you that there are more than 50 million Facebook Pages, that 20 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram or that 5 percent of all selfies on social media are shared on Snapchat?”

Now that we have that out of the way, there is no reason for your business to ignore social media marketing any longer.

If you have come to the conclusion that now is the time to focus more time and resources on this part of your business, there are steps you should be taking. There are also things you should avoid at all costs.

Here are five common social media marketing lies that could kill your momentum before you ever get started:

1. More followers is always better. There is nothing wrong with wanting to increase your number of followers, as this will give you a solid sense of accomplishment.

But did you know that higher numbers do not always pay off when it comes to social media marketing? Your goal should not be to increase your follower count as quickly as possible. Instead, you should focus on those who are interested in engaging with your brand.

Think about it this way – you aren’t going to generate much interest from people who don’t care about you, your business, or what you have to say. On the flip side, there are people who are interested in your brand and the messages you promote. These are the types of followers you want and need.

2. Social media can generate traffic, but it does not convert well. This is one of the biggest lies circulating. It is also a lie that has sunk many social marketing campaigns over the years.

Do you think the biggest and most reputable brands in the world would be using social media if the traffic didn’t convert? Do you think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn would be publicly traded companies if all these services were unable to provide high quality traffic?

This does not mean that every person who comes to your site from a social media service is going to convert into a buyer or client. What it does mean is that you can most definitely generate interest through social media. From there, once these people make their way to your site, you can use a targeted approach to increase conversions.

Not sure if this is true? Do this:  use Google Analytics to set up goals associated with your social media traffic. This can help you determine what you are getting out of traffic from each site.

3. Social media marketing is the right strategy for every company. There is no denying that this is a big lie. There are companies that can leverage social media time and time again, using it to generate traffic and increase profits. And then there are companies that have no chance of succeeding, either because of their industry or other constraints (such as a lack of time).

If your company does not typically generate income from the internet, there is a chance that social media will be a waste of time. Of course, you will never know for sure until you give it a try.

4. Daily participation is a must. One of the primary reasons people shy away from social media is because they are afraid of the time commitment. They don’t want to get started because they are scared of missing a day of updating their accounts.

If you have something unique to share every day, good for you. If you don’t, however, it is not a reason to avoid social media altogether.

Let’s put it this way:  it is better to share high quality information on a semi-regular basis than to push daily updates that don’t offer any real value.

Don’t feel pressured into updating your social media properties every day. If you have something to say, say it. If you don’t, there is nothing wrong with taking a step back for the time being. Just don’t let too much time pass between updates, as you don’t want to turn off your followers.

5. You shouldn’t take the time to interact with your audience. Whoever started this rumor was probably somebody who didn’t want to take the time to interact and converse with their followers.

If you are going to use social media, you should expect people to engage with you on a regular basis. There will be times when you are praised. There will also be times when you receive negative feedback. Either way, it is your job to respond. It may be more enjoyable to respond to positive feedback, but if somebody has something bad to say, or disputes your update, don’t be shy about stepping in.

Note:  some companies have dedicated Twitter accounts for customer care and support, such as Nike.

There is a lot of good that can come from social media marketing, but if you believe these lies to be true you could find your company missing the boat.

Social Media Trends for 2015

Social media is a constantly evolving media with new trends and changes in how people use it.  For some, their social media channels will remain the eternal time wasters while others will capitalize on the relationship building nature of it to bring in new business.  Although no one can predict the future, here are some expected trends based on what has been happening in the social media world.

New networks will keep popping up… and dropping out

elloIt is no surprise that new networks will continue to pop up as we saw some new ones in 2014, like Ello which promises to not sell user data and and Yik Yak  which allows users to share anonymous posts.  Most people are pretty concerned about their privacy so a channel that claims to not collect data can be appealing to people who are pretty uncomfortable yikyakwith the information they provide to certain channels (Facebook) every time they connect.  With the shared challenges of gaining and keeping users though, we will likely see even more new channels proliferate in 2015 and drop out of the game in 2015.  And some of the newer guys will find their 15 minutes of fame coming to an end.

Money will be involved (more…)

Tips for Advertising on Facebook

Advertising on FacebookGoogle is not the only game in town when it comes to advertising.  Facebook has a viable platform for advertising considering it’s user base is well over 1 billion people.  Before you jump on this platform with your advertising dollars, consider some of these tips for advertising on Facebook.

Drive leads to your website….

There are multiple options for advertising on Facebook and a common goal for advertisers is to drive leads to their websites.  They want users to learn more about their brand and the website is the place to do that.  Simple ads for driving website traffic are seen on the right column.  Advertisers choose the title, description, and URL to display.  Another option for website traffic is the promoted post which has more options for display, including the user’s news feed and mobile devices.  When the ad runs in the newsfeed, it can include a large image that will help get the user’s attention.  In addition to your picture and a URL, remember to give them a reason to visit your website from the Facebook ad.

… or not

If driving leads to your website is not your goal of a Facebook ad, that is okay.  You may prefer to gain more likes on your page or more engagement with your page.  Know what your goals of a Facebook campaign are before you create your ads.


Creating Content for Your Social Media Channels

agency-myths.1You are probably familiar with some of the general rules for social media.  You know better than to push out promotional messages 24/7.  And you have also heard that it is considered a bad idea to post the same exact thing on every single channel.  When you do that, it is clear that your social media “strategy” is pure automation which will have people wondering if there is a real person hidden there somewhere.  Of course you know too that it is important to engage with people across channels.  With some of the basic “rules” laid out, let’s dig in and look at some tips for the tough part: developing and creating content for each of these channels.

There seems to be a new channel popping up every day.  Once you master a channel, you then hear about the next big thing that you have to go and learn.  In this post, we will focus on the three most people are familiar with: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Let’s start with Facebook.


Clearly the big one when it comes to social media, Facebook has more than 1.3 billion users so it is the one channel that has the attention of most brands.  The great thing about content for Facebook is the number of ways you can distribute it.  You can have a poll, links and photos, with new features coming all the time.  Facebook is the place where people can have a little more fun and show a lighter side – as long as it still fits within the guidelines of your brand.  Tell a story.  Make people laugh.  People seek entertainment when they are surfing on Facebook.


The Value of a Facebook “Like”

What’s the value of your “likes’?

The objective of social media marketing is to be genuine, to represent the softer, approachable side of your brand.

It’s less stiff-collared corporate CEO and more hip barista at your neighborhood coffee shop kind of vibe that encourages engagement with your content.

It’s real, it’s raw, it’s you.

So why can’t this authentic content that you’re putting out into the world seem to generate shares or comments?

Especially if you have tons of likes?

Especially if you use Facebook advertising to get those likes?

The Ingenuous Side of Social Media Advertising

News has been brewing for several months about the fraud behind advertising on Facebook.

You need only look to YouTube, marketing blogs, or even the U.S. government for examples on how thousands of dollars spent on Facebook advertising increased likes…but not from – as Facebook puts it – “more of the people that matter to you.”

So why the insincerity, or “fake” likes?


The 5 Most Important Things You Should Be Doing on Facebook

A great Facebook profile is several things:  It’s informative, it’s well-branded, it’s interesting and it’s visually appealing. Nearly every organization has realized the importance of the largest social network, but not every organization is fully utilizing its potential. Poor captions, a lack of images and infrequent posting are the typical culprits of a Facebook page done too quickly.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that “a loyal fan base” or “a quality product” can suffice as excuses to not treating your Facebook page with care. Similar to a low-quality website or a shoddy store interior, an unattractive Facebook page reflects poorly on your reputation. Considering we shop first with our eyes, images matter, and looking bad usually implies bad service. Do yourself a favor and follow these five tips to keep your Facebook page clean and fresh.

  1. Pick a Great Cover Photo and Profile Picture (more…)

5 Steps for a Basic Facebook Advertising Strategy

Learn to maximize your business and sales potential with Facebook advertising and more in our social media training course.

It’s fast becoming a reality: In order to do well on Facebook, you’re going to have to spend money. Now that there are so many advertisers on the social network (more than 1 million), it’s nearly impossible for a page to get noticed organically. There’s too much competition.

It’s unfortunate, but I can’t really blame the social network — it’s got stockholders now, and stockholders tend to avoid displaying loyalty when you’re not producing revenue. Like it or not, in order to increase your exposure, you’ll need to fork over some cash.

Perhaps you’ve known this and you’ve been putting it off. It looks confusing, you say. CPC or CPM? Targeting? And what in the world does “bidding” mean? Better just to avoid the whole thing.

Sorry, but keeping your head in the sand is a terrible approach, and you’re not doing your business any favors.  Hopefully these five steps can get you started through the process.

Step 1:  Design your ad (more…)