How to Improve Your Facebook Fan Engagement

Facebook marketing isn’t only about what you say — it’s also about when and how you say it.

The key message from Buddy Media’s latest study, Strategies for Effective Wall Posts: A Timeline Analysis, is that brands aren’t taking full advantage of Facebook’s timeline. In the process, they’re missing opportunities to increase audience engagement.

Maximize Facebook fan engagement and interactionFacebook’s new timeline, rolled out earlier this year, caused a major shift in strategy for brands. Marketers have experimented with design elements like cover images, private messages, and pinned posts, but they still don’t have a clear understanding of how to optimize fan interaction. Your fans interact with you in different ways — Likes (79% of all interactions), comments (15%), and shares (6%) — and each offers an important opportunity for conversation with your audience.

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Top 12 Social Media Insights for Nonprofits in 2012

Social networksBlackbaud, NTEN, and Common Knowledge have released their fourth annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, a yearly analysis of how nonprofits are using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This year’s report highlights 12 key social media insights for nonprofits that are intended to help the sector become more effective at using social media to drive value and raise awareness for their causes.

Conducted between January 24th and February 21st this year, over 3500 nonprofit professionals completed an online survey around two main categories:

  • Commercial social networks: The use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google+
  • House social networks: The use of social networks built and managed by nonprofits themselves

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50 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits

Thanks to their member-driven nature, nonprofits came early to the social-media party. Because nonprofits are so deeply invested in relationships, many were early adopters of online community and social networking tools. These presences gave them a new way to fuel and channel their members’ loyalty and passion — the Internet’s potential to deepen relationships, share knowledge, and strengthen teams made the social Web a natural fit for organizations.

Chad Norman, manager of the Internet Marketing team at Blackbaud, compiled this excellent overview of the tactics and tools that nonprofits can use to support their goals. This isn’t a to-do list, but it offers a host of examples and ideas that can be integrated into an organization’s existing marketing plan. Don’t have a marketing plan? Norman advocates using the P.O.S.T. method, as outlined in Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s great book Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, which is a big help in developing a social media program:

P = People: Who are you trying to engage?

O = Objectives: What are you trying to achieve?

S = Strategies: What will it look like when you’re done?

T = Technologies: What are the tools you plan to use?

The presentation is full of examples that can easily (mostly) be implemented once you have a well-considered social media plan in hand. There are key lessons for businesses here, too, about how to use social media to enhance customer relationships.


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Saturday Social Marketing Round-Up

Here are some must-see posts about social marketing for your weekend reading pleasure:

234 social media marketing examples
Image by Pete Kim via Flickr

Do you make these Top 11 mistakes with your social media?
Social media can be seriously profitable for your business. “It’s the secret low cost marketing weapon used by the leading entrepreneurs. But, it can go horribly wrong if you make these mistakes…” explains today’s 30 Days of Social Media contributor, Meredith Collins. She identifies 11 mistakes that you don’t want to make.

Social media marketing: In search of an opt-out
Lines are being drawn between email and social media marketing, but not all elements have obvious correlations. Here’s why the unsubscribe doesn’t directly translate to social media.

Social Marketing Is Rooted In The Brand
Your brand is something that lives in the hearts and minds of people out there, and in that sense social marketing is the purest expression of branding.

Utilizing Social Media for Exposing Your Business Website
Social media is a wonderful way for business owners who already have great content on their websites to expand their reach further with marketing their products.

A quick check-up for your social media marketing plan
This little quiz (which you technically can’t fail as we have not devised a scoring system for it—yet) should help you identify the areas where your organization/team is strongest and weakest with respect to social marketing.

Introducing Google Social Search
Google Social Search plugs into your Twitter and FriendFeed accounts and sifts through content based on what people have been talking about. This seems like another function that’s moving you closer to Google Wave, with everything happening seamlessly in one window of information.

Google Social Search Introduces New Opportunities Within SEO
Google has launched a new experimental feature in Google Labs that searches your social circle in addition to your regular Google search results.

Is Social Media Marketing a New Requirement of SEO?
Here’s an interesting question worth a minute of pondering for any SEO practitioner: “[I]s it now a necessity for an SEO to have practical social media skills?”

Strategies: Which social networking site is best for your small business?
In the olden days – say five years ago – it was enough for a small business to market its services with advertising and public relations. But in the last few years, an avalanche of new opportunities has cascaded on the Internet in the form of social networking sites. These sites give entrepreneurs more opportunities to get the word out about their companies, but they’ve also made many of us feel overwhelmed, trying to keep up.

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Got a Tweet to Spare? It Could Help Your Favorite Charity

Social media is all about engaging people and facilitating conversation.

The global nature of that communication is a very powerful platform for generating awareness and spreading the word about causes and issues.

Charities can really benefit from an active social media presence. Social networks are a boon for fundraising, as evidenced by several recent campaigns:

  • Using the #BeatCancer meme, a combined Twitter/Facebook effort helped raise $70,000 for cancer organizations.
  • FarmVille, the popular Facebook game (over 56 million members play each month), sold a virtual crop of sweet potato seeds and raised almost $500k for feeding poor children in Haiti.
  • TwitCause, service built on top of Twitter, used tweets to promote a diabetes research walk and to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And Haagen-Dazs has pledged a $1 donation for each #HelpHoneyBees tweet from November 5-11 to raise awareness about the worldwide collapse of honeybee colonies.
  • SocialVibe, which develops charity-focused sites and social media applications, has launched a Halloween trick-or-treat program called Click 4 Good geared toward Twitter, Facebook,  and MySpace users.
  • Room to Read partnered with Twitter to raise money for African and Asian schools and libraries by selling custom wines from Crushpad.
  • Facebook has enabled its members to buy virtual gifts to benefit various nonprofit groups.
Money Back Guarantee
Image by Roby© via Flickr

Even during this recession, when overall donations to charitable groups are down, social networking campaigns have helped replenish nonprofit coffers.

Methods for leveraging social media are still evolving — nonprofits need to tread lightly in order not to “over message”. But its advantages for getting the word out about good causes means that more charities should, and undoubtedly will, jump in and embrace the medium for doing good works.

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