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Facebook tests new 'buy' button for online purchases in U.S.

FB7-18(Reuters) - Facebook Inc is testing a new "buy" button on its website that will let consumers purchase products that are advertised on its social network.

The new service, which Facebook described on Thursday as a test with a "few small and medium-sized businesses" in the United States, represents the Internet social networking company's latest effort to play a bigger role in the e-commerce business.

Facebook said its new Buy button will be available on the mobile and desktop PC version of its website and will allow consumers to purchase goods directly from participating businesses.

[New free eBook] Leveraging Psychology in Digital Marketing – the Smart Way to Build Customer Demand

3-19mktoHave you ever been in a checkout line after shopping and grabbed one of the chocolate bars, sodas or videos while you're waiting? Of course, we all have. When you're at your local grocery store, the last minute decision to buy an additional item is an impulse driven by consumer psychology.

Download Marketo's new ebook to see how incorporating these principles into your marketing campaigns can increase engagement and revenue for businesses of any size.

10 Essential Social Media Tactics to Get Your Content Seen

social media marketingDo you spend a lot of time crafting the perfect piece of content, only to find that it barely generates any shares, let alone drive leads?

This is hands down one of the most challenging things about being a content marketer. We know that content marketing can generate more leads, but according to Content Marketing Institute, only 30% of marketers consider themselves to be effective. What’s the missing link?

It’s time to go back to the basics. The problem may be in your promotion strategy or your lack thereof. Unless you have an audience that seeks out your content en masse, promoting your content is the only way that your audience is going to see it. But aside from simply posting it across your social media channels, what else can you do?

Let’s take a look at 10 tactics that are essential to expanding the reach of your content:

2016's Most Shared Facebook Articles (And What to Learn From Them)

most shared FB articleEarlier this week, BuzzSumo published their list of the most shared content of the year across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and it’s another great, data-driven post from the BuzzSumo team, definitely worth checking out. But there were some interesting themes among the most shared posts - the Facebook posts in particular - that are worthy of extra attention as we look to 2017 and how to refine our content strategies to align with Facebook’s audience and algorithm.

But first off, a quick reminder – back in June Facebook released an algorithm update which put more focus on content from friends and family, as opposed to content from Pages.


2016’s Biggest Social Media Trends for Business

social trends 2016The runaway expansion of social media hasn’t, of course, escaped the notice of businesses. Social media, much more so than the web itself, has become the new ‘front door’ for business today. Nine out of 10 US companies are now active on social networks. 90 percent of businesses see increased exposure as a result and more than half report improved sales.

So what exactly is in store for 2016? Here are 5 key social media trends for 2016 that businesses should be looking at:

3 Ways Content Marketers Can Stay Inspired

inspiration-light-bulbWe’ve all had slow days, we’ve all been overwhelmed, we’ve all felt left behind by the next big thing — this is why it’s crucial for content marketers to stay absolutely positive and enthused about what they do.

Like any job, a few lax moments in the brain department and we start seeing negative returns. This is deadly for social media marketing, especially when every share, like and comment builds upon one another. How, then, do we stay inspired doing the same thing day in and day out?

3 Ways to Use Google My Business for Your Marketing

google my businessAre you currently managing a Google+ Business and a Google Local account and are getting confused about the difference between the two? If so, you’re in luck. If you haven’t already heard, Google introduced Google My Business. It combines Places for Business, Google Local, and Google+ Business under the My Business dashboard. Managing multiple Google accounts has never been simpler, and the marketing advantages are endless. Here are three ways you can take advantage of My Business to get a leg up on your competition: 

3 Ways to Use Social Media to ‘Listen’ to the Competition

LI7-20Confession: I have a slightly unhealthy early morning ritual. For the last five years—since I launched Hootsuite—the very first thing I’ve done every day after I wake up is take a peek at what our competition is up to.

I use an appon my iPhone (you can probably guess which one) to see all of the social media mentions of my company and our competition on Twitter, Facebook and other networks. At a glance, I can see what’s being said about all the competitors in my industry and any big news that may have happened overnight. I get the kind of intel that used to take days to gather in a matter of minutes.

4 Fundamental Tips to Help Maximize Your Social Media Marketing Process

4 fundamental tips to help maximize your social media marketing process

There’s no ignoring social media in 2017 - it’s how we find, research and interact with businesses.

And, social media isn’t going anywhere. If anything, its usage is only growing.

I’m sure you know you need a social media strategy, but where are you supposed to get started? Well, this blog post has you covered - here's a step-by-step breakdown for building a social media strategy.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

4 simple ways to improve your social media marketing strategyMore consumers today are seeking to engage with their favorite brands on social media networks. In fact, research shows that a third of Millennials actually prefer to communicate with businesses via social networks than through other mediums.

For this reason alone, building and maintaining a strong presence on social media is now vital to connecting with your customers, gaining new ones, and increasing awareness to your brand.

4 ways to make your social data work for you

Woman pulling graph dataWhat defines social media success? In the early days of social marketing, brands raced to amass legions of fans and followers. The accumulation of likes, tweets, shares, and impressions were considered by marketers as benchmarks of success. For brands, success often meant building, but not necessarily understanding, its social audience.

With the deep pool of data now available to marketers, we've begun to see a shift in how social success is defined: less by volume and more by action. By focusing on social segmentation, brands can use consumer data and social metadata to gauge not only the effectiveness of their content, but also the actual engagement of their audience.

Given the volume of social activity and data associated with some brands, the task of segmentation can seem potentially overwhelming. To help manage it, we've identified four steps to social marketing success.

4 ways to monetize a live streaming app

Traditional monetization boasts a strong foothold in online media by forcing people to wait for the content they want to see. Users on YouTube have to sit through pre-roll advertisements, and Hulu users sit through mid-roll advertisements similar to television commercials.

This works well for static media, but the future of media is far from static -- it's live.

5 Benefits of Twitter's 140-Character Update for Your Brand or Business

5benefitsoftwitterarticleThe update Twitter users have longed for is finally here - images and links at the end of tweets will no longer take up any of your precious 140 characters.

The change opens doors for much more in depth communication on the social media network - Twitter was always designed to be used with phones, but back when Twitter started we only really had SMS which would start to split messages at 140 characters (hence the character restriction). But it’s 2016 now, and I’m so glad Twitter has implemented new updates that keep the core of the network alive, while giving us a little more wiggle room.

5 Best Facebook Marketing Strategies

5bestfacebookmarketingMy friends who worked as Facebook managers were literally panicked. This resulted from the last update on Facebook, which determines organic content reach to 6% or less. This update pushed Facebook managers to paid advertising like crazy leading to 2.27 billion dollars profit in the first quarter of 2014 for Facebook. This represented an increase of 82% from the profit of Facebook in 2013.

5 Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid In Your Small Business

5 marketing mistakes you should avoid in your small business

No matter what sector you're in, marketing can make or break your business. That's why brands spend so much time and effort on developing an effective a marketing plan - but if you think the success of your marketing depends only on smart planning and doing the right things, let me tell you it isn’t.

To succeed in marketing, you need to have in-depth knowledge of what to do, as well as what not to do. This is especially true for small businesses, as you're already stretched thin and as have a very limited margin for error.

5 Simple Marketing Mistakes Local Businesses Make + Easy Fixes

5 simple marketing mistakes local businesses make easy fixes

I love the 'shop local' ethos and if I can support a local business, I do. The truth is, however, that local businesses sometimes don't do themselves any favors, and are missing out on some simple marketing opportunities - and losing potential business as a direct result.

Investing a little time into making sure that these areas are not overlooked will help a local business to attract more customers, keep their business top of mind, and guarantee repeat business and positive word of mouth. And crucially, none of the following mistakes require a big investment to fix.

6 Big Benefits of Using Influencer Marketing in Your Social Strategy

6 big benefits of using influencer marketing in your social strategy

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to quickly build your brand online and raise awareness among your target audience. According to Forbes, influencer marketing is growing faster than digital ads, with emphasis placed on leveraging an industry leaders' followers to foster growth in your own business.

The beauty about influencer marketing is that the audience is already there, all you need to do is establish a win-win partnership where both parties are offering amazing value to each audience.

6 Extreme Social Media Strategies

bigpapiprezselfieIn a market that has been transformed by social media, businesses are searching for unique ways to make a splash. Here are six innovative (or are they crazy?) social media strategies that businesses used in the last year to make a different kind of impression.

6 Myths About Social Sharing

Consider everything you thought you knew about social sharing. Now, forget it. The trends you thought you knew have evolved and are not the same as they used to be. Time to hit refresh on your social marketing strategy and optimize your customer engagement by sharing the right content at the right time, and truly understand what channels people are using to make your message go viral.

A recent study revealed some surprising results that debunk some common misconceptions of social sharing. For instance, you would expect younger age groups (28 and younger) to engage with more shared content since they are the most “plugged in,” right? Not even close. In reality, people ages 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with a brands’ content. Additionally, you might predict that Saturdays and Sundays see the most consumer engagement since most people are not at work and less busy. Wrong again! People engage with shared content 49% more on weekdays than they do on weekends.

6 Ways to Kill Your Blog

do not actually kill your blogThe importance of blogging cannot be stressed enough in the social-content marketing arena. If you’re at all familiar with Internet advertising (which I assume you are) you’d know that a well-formed, high-end business blog is capable of pushing a brand’s products and services into the customers’ view more than pay-per-click advertising, social media, and other online marketing techniques.

As a blogger-for-hire, I’ve come to realize the most critical aspect that separates the good and the other business blogs: Mistakes.


7 steps for writing an effective social media marketing plan

Designing a social media marketing strategy for clients is no cakewalk. Typically, their current social media efforts are lacking - they may have big ideas, but have little direction or know-how when it comes to executing them. This is why they came to you.

It's your job to not only help weave these ideas into a tangible plan that can help the client achieve his or her goals, but you will also need to document results to prove a positive ROI from your efforts.

Half of 600 social media marketers, surveyed by TrustRadius February through March, struggle to tie social media activities to business outcomes.

Here are some tips for designing a compelling, organized social media marketing plan:

7 Ways to Maximize Social Media’s Full Potential this 2016

maximize social mediaThere's no denying it. Social Media is part of our everyday life, as consumers, marketers, and social beings.

Whatever the niche is, whether B2B or B2C, one thing is certain—we have to do social media right. The fact is, your target market is in social media, you just have to know where and how to reach them efficiently.

Today Spiralytics' Rhiza Oyos talks about how to get ahead of the game and maximize social media’s full potential this 2016. Here are several ways on how to do it:

8 Reports That Every Marketer Needs

6818  essential8 landingNo matter what type of marketing you specialize in (whether it’s social, events, email, content, website or another type) you always need to be able to track and report on your programs. In today's economy, CEOs and CFOs want to hear about growing revenue and profits. But how can you prove your impact without knowing the key high-level metrics to track? Check out Marketo’s ebook, Essential 8 Marketing Reports, to review the top reports that every marketer needs to confidently track program performance.

8 Time-Saving Tools for Social Media Marketing Teams

8 time saving tools for social media marketing teams

Social media has become one of the leading advertising platforms in recent years, and the growth in use as a promotional platform has lead to a spike in tools to help manage it all. Every other week, a new tool seems to be released to help improve your social media management team’s productivity or to help curate the best content, etc.

Instead of making you do the research work on these options, we’ve put together this listing to highlight a few of our favorite tools which our social media team utilizes weekly.

8 Winning Habits of Social Media's Top Brands

8-winning-habits-of-social-media-top-brandsIn 2015 social media’s top brands are focusing on content in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

These winning characteristics should give you a clue how to use the habits of the web’s top brands in your own social media:

1. Invest in Facebook

It’s no accident that Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Red Bull have invested heavily in their Facebook pages. Currently, the Coke page has over 94 million fans; McDonalds has over 57 million; and Red Bull tallies over 46 million fans. A look at their pages shows constant updates, interesting content, and a variety of CTAs.

Big brands can't afford to miss out on Snapchat filters

snapchat sponsored filtersSponsored filters don't come cheap, but when done well, there's no better way to put a product or brand in front of young, Web-savvy consumers. If your company has the wherewithal and budget, now is the time to invest in a sponsored Snapchat filter.

Boosting Your Social Media in the B2B World

social connection imageWe’re all aware of the power social media holds in the B2C world, but executing successful B2B campaigns has proved to be more of a challenge. Why is it that B2B marketers are still struggling to use social media to generate revenue for their businesses?

Bridging the Skills Gap in Social Media

bridging-skills-gap-newsletterQuestion: What is now regarded as one of the top 3 essential digital skills for an organization’s success but is usually found between a rock and a hard place?

Answer: Social media.

Are you surprised? I wasn’t.

Consider this: Capgemini released a study reporting that 90% of jobs over the next year will require digital and social media skills.

Content is Only as Good as its Shareability

content shareabilityMost of us can remember a day when the pinnacle of communication revolved around our beeper and a pay phone. This best effort at mass communication was unfortunately tied down to a newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, billboard, and word-of-mouth. Content shareability and “viral” content was strictly reserved for the global enterprises that could afford TV ads and national billboard campaigns. And even if a brand had a great national campaign, it might take weeks or months to attract the majority of their target segment, and by that time, they’ve most likely progressed to something else. In the 1970s, if a very good friend that lived in a different city had a baby, it may take days or weeks for you to even see a picture of this new bundle of joy. Fast forward to today, we see pictures instantaneously of people on different continents just seconds after a photo is taken, thanks to advances in social media. Let’s venture even further into the past, shall we? “Gold was discovered in California in January 1848, but the gold rush did not really start until an article appeared in the New York Herald on August 19, 1848.” (History House) You catch the drift. Good content begs to be shared, and its success is only as good as its shareability.

Don't Have a Customer Loyalty Program? Here's Why They're Valuable [Infographic]

customer loyalty programsThe first time a new customer buys something from you, it's an exciting moment. But keeping them as a happy customer -- and turning them into an advocate for your brand -- takes more than just great service on that first sale. What are you going to do to get that customer to keep buying from you in the future?


Email Marketing: More Important Than Ever

email marketing jennifer daly articleAs we move forward into the future of marketing, we’re focusing on things like organic search, social media, and mobile devices. Does this mean we should be leaving email behind as an archaic form of communication? Absolutely not. In fact, email marketing is more valuable now that it’s ever been. Today we’ll look at some incredible statistics surrounding this type of marketing, and follow that with three compelling reasons why email should be in your list of top marketing strategies.

Enough Smoke … Here is How To Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy

clearing the smoke on social media marketing

I am still amazed at the “dive-in” mentality that is prolific across brands (and agencies) when it comes to executing a social media marketing strategy. Most people start out with an idea of what they want to do without doing the required due diligence, social audits, and overall marketing integration work to set a strong strategy.

When you are developing a social strategy, there are some tasks that should be formally implemented and there is also an informal mentality/approach that is required for success.

Facebook Bans Like-Gating: What Can Marketers Do?

banlikesStarting November 5, 2014 (and August 7, 2014 for all new apps) like-gating will no longer be allowed on Facebook Pages.

According to Facebook,

  • “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”

Facebook Releases New 'Topics to Watch' Report Based on Trending Mentions [Infographic]

facebook releases new topics to watch report based on trending mentions

Making it in right at the end of the month, Facebook has released it's latest 'Topics to Watch' report, which highlights the key subjects gaining traction across The Social Network.

Facebook's monthly Topics to Watch reports provide an overview of the issues that are seeing significant increases in mention volume throughout the platform, along with charts showing discussion increases over time, related topics and who's discussing each, in terms of demographic profiles. And while the topics themselves cover a wide variety of subjects, those highlighted are definitely worth taking note of - Facebook says that up to 80% of the topics they've identified in this way have gone on to become more significant trends.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter - Your Free Cheat Sheets to Social Success!

Social Media imagesHow would you like to quickly learn all of the most important social strategies and success metrics? These three social media cheat sheets featuring Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn explain how to drive your brand, optimize your ads, and automate your social activities.

In these cheat sheets, you'll learn tips for mastering social, such as:

- Building your brand presence and fan base
- Advertising and optimizing your ads
- Best practices for creating a voice

Click here to download your free cheat sheets

Here's to your success!

For Better Marketing Decisions, Think Incrementally

Measuring marketing return on investment (MROI) has become increasingly popular, as marketers face growing pressures to demonstrate the value of their activities and programs. Marketers are calculating and using MROI for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To measure the effectiveness of individual marketing campaigns or programs
  • To demonstrate and prove the value that marketing contributes to the company
  • To justify and/or defend marketing budget levels

Getting Social Media Marketing Right the First Time

getting-social-marketing-right-first-timeJust four years ago, I felt like you do. Social media was another language. Foreign. Frightening.

Your insecurities are natural… Will I look lame? Am I too late to the party? Will anyone care what I have to say?

Let ‘em go. Relax. Social media is a conversation. You can join any time. Join now. You’ll be welcomed.

Help us out! Please take this short group survey so we know more about what is important to you


marketing-survey-7-2This is a very short 10 question survey that will help us know more about YOUR priorities and how we can better serve you. I know, you’re busy, you’ve got a ton of work to do, but this seriously will only take a few minutes of your time. It helps us focus on continuing to bring you the best and most relevant information, free resources and great offers from the best of the best in Social Media and Digital Marketing.

Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6CKFL39

Feel free to send this to your friends and colleagues that you think might be interested, too.


How Do You Avoid Self-Serving Bias in Your Business & Marketing Efforts?

how do you avoid self serving bias in your business marketing effortsThink back to the last great thing that happened in your business. Remember all the good work you put into making it happen, and smart decisions you made that led to the triumph?

Now, reach into your memory to find a time when the new project or expansion didn’t work out. What was the reason?

Without knowing the specifics, I’m guessing you can blame industry news, dishonest competitors, or maybe even the economy as a whole.

How Social Titans Market To Win

how social titans market to win

It’s sexy these days to analyze the gaudy advertising budgets that brands allocate towards promotion on social media channels.

But what about the ad spending of the social channels themselves? We’re glad you asked …

Kantar Media took a peek at the five big social channels in the US, and the $117.9 million they spent last year on marketing. Two of them stood well above the rest in expenditures and success.

How to Define Social Influence

defining social influenceLately, I’ve been reconsidering who I think are influencers in and on my business. There are those who you follow and hang on every word and there are those you watch from afar with admiration but caution.

Who we let influence us, both professionally and personally, says a lot about who we are. Are you easily swayed or does it take some research and work? 

How to get the most from 4 social networks

get the most from social networksMarketers can tap Facebook's anonymized data to discover what the platform's 1.59 billion monthly users are saying about their brand. Snapchat's reporting is not yet as sophisticated, and brands need to manually sift data to find interactions. Tumblr's blogging traffic is growing at 74% per year and gives marketers an opportunity to engage with influencers, and Instagram's 400 million monthly users can be engaged with brand hashtags.

iJustine on Creating Massive Social Reach

8-9ijustIf you’ve been on social media for a little while, there’s a huge chance that you know who iJustine is.

In fact, she has the 5th largest social media following of any woman on the internet.

No joke.

In social media, quality beats hype

Social media marketing is the online equivalent of flyering: there’s you, going about your business and there’s the marketing person, shoving a piece of paper in your face. Of course, you have the option to decline the flyer and be on your way. Or, you may accept it and read what it has to say. If you do happen to take a moment to glance at the leaflet’s content, the next step is deciding if it’s convincing enough to act upon—the same way that you decide if you’ll click the link on a marketing tweet or ignore it and keep scrolling down the feed.

This could be why, on the Business Journals Web site last week, millennial trends consultant Jeff Fromm boldly declared, “Social media marketing is dead,” in the sense that “the idea that social media marketing is the most effective approach to win over millennials” isn’t necessarily true. Even if (and precisely because) that demographic is a group of heavy social media users.

Instagram hires new brand exec to ramp up ad efforts

It was all the way back in November of last year that Instagram first began running its first ads to a big, successful numbers. Frankly, there has seemed to be much movie since then. Now, though, the Facebook-owned company is finally about to step up its ad game in a big way.

James Quarles, who has been Regional Director Facebook EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) will be transitioning over to a new role: as Global Head of Business and Brand Development at Instagram, it has been confirmed by an Instagram spokesperson to VatorNews.

Instagram touts app-install ad wins

instagramInstagram demonstrates its effectiveness as advertising platform for app installs

Instagram is proving to be a strong advertising platform to drive mobile application installs, with a click-through rate of 0.8 percent compared to Facebook’s rate of 0.6 percent, according to a new report from Nanigans.

Instagram Upgrades Editing, Search, and Explore Features

I11-11-1Instagram listened to its users and determined that it was time to evolve its system to meet the needs of consumers. So on November 10, Instagram released iOS version 6.2 for Apple and version 6.10 for Android users, which include some very significant upgrades to the system.

Typeahead Search Functionality

Speed is essential on an app like Instagram, and the platform says it has "made some improvements under the hood to make it easier and faster to find the accounts you’re searching for." This includes typeahead search, which will auto-populate results as users begin typing in letters.

Instagram’s “Bolt” Leak Could Be A New Facebook App Or An App Install Ad Test

Inst7-25Some Instagram users are reporting having briefly seen a banner advertisement within the Instagram application which pointed to a new app called “Bolt,” described as a “one tap photo messaging” app. Next to the app’s name and description, a download button linked out to a non-functional URL on the Google Play store.

The current speculation being shared around the web is that Bolt is a new application soon to be released by Instagram. However, it also seems likely that the Bolt leak was a test involving an expansion of Facebook’s app install ads to the company-owned Instagram platform.

Is Your Social Media Content D.O.A.? Try This. (Infographic)

formula7-16Like everyone, you hope every piece of content you post gains some traction, and with any luck, goes viral. But all too often even well-crafted posts end up in the social media graveyard, with just a small number of shares and likes.

Well, it's on to the next post, right?

Not so fast. Before you start drawing up that next one, consider this infographic from Los Angeles-based Gryffin Media that might unlock some of the secrets to that elusive viral post.

It Should Be Called 'Social Helping' Not 'Social Selling'

it should be called social helping not social selling

Tell me the term 'social selling' doesn’t conjure up images of a hard- hitting salesman spamming everyone in sight with promotional messaging. Really, if we struck the word 'selling' from this description and replaced it with 'helping', we'd be much better off.

We’re all marketers of something, whether it’s our own personal brand or a company brand. However, it’s no secret that the most successful salespeople are helpers first.

Lead Generation Strategies for Every Channel- Go For the Gold! [Free In-Depth Guide]


1-26MKToffer2Today's buyer is self-directed and multi-tasking continually, which means marketers have to work even harder to spread their message across multiple channels. That's why Marketo created the Definitive Guide to Lead Generation to help your marketing team find better leads, enhance relationships with potential customers, and close deals faster. "Thar's gold in them thar hills" and this great guide full of useful nuggets will help you dig it out.

Click here: http://bit.ly/1D2n18o

Lessons Learned from Viral Content

lessons-learned-viral-contentIt is hard to predict what will turn into viral content. But when something does, you need to be ready. We had a chance to put that theory to the test recently. I wish I could say we did everything right. We didn't. However, we learned a lot along the way.

Marketing Trends Experts Want You to Avoid

trends9-4Not every trick to boost visibility and engagement can stay in favor forever. We asked some of Entrepreneur’s favorite experts in marketing and social media which trends folks can finally put to rest. 

Rethink real-time marketing
Brian Honigman, BrianHonigman.com
"Yes, many people are active online during the SuperBowl, but that doesn't mean every brand and business needs to be chatting about the event as it happens. For many businesses, chatting about the SuperBowl makes no sense for their audience.

NASA social media a branding lesson for B2B marketers

Nasa lessons on B2B marketingNASA is an old hand at social media, selling inspiration, rather than products. The space agency maintains multiple social media accounts, with a focus on brand that business-to-business marketers can learn from, including conversational engagement.

New Twitter Design Gives an Advantage to Businesses

new twitter design, twitter profile, social media strategyThe new Twitter design has been completed and rolled out to users on the Web. User reviews of the new Twitter design are mixed but businesses really like it. The new design changes are explained below.

New Twitter Design Emulates Other Social Media Sites

First, the profile page is made to look more like other social media sites such as Facebook and Google Plus. A large header that spans the top of your profile page can give your business a huge opportunity to promote your product or service. The recommended size of this header is 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall with a maximum file size of 5 megabytes. The header is responsive and will adjust accordingly to the size of your web browser.

Pinterest Narrows Ad Focus to Match Users’ Interest

pinterest adsPinterest is limiting its advertisement targeting to two categories as it tries to capitalize on the nearly 50 billion images the site houses. Identifies retailers and packaged-goods makers as core areas.

Image bookmarking service Pinterest Inc. is scaling back the breadth of its advertising ambitions, focusing more on attracting dollars from retailers and consumer packaged-goods companies while de-emphasizing other marketing categories.

Real-Time Marketing Isn't Just About Twitter MTV uses Snapchat, ESPN's on Twitter, and Hyundai works Tumblr

AW7-29-1When MTV announced the nominees for next month’s Video Music Awards, it leaned on social media, of course, to create buzz. But the channel it selected for the big reveal underscores how real-time marketing is suddenly becoming a fragmented affair. 

MTV used neither Facebook, where it counts 50 million fans, nor Twitter, with its 11 million followers. It instead chose Snapchat where it has just 150,000 followers.

Rebranding Through Employee Social Engagement

employer-access-social-networksIs it time for your company to rebrand? Companies today need to keep up with the changing times - or risk losing out to more agile competitors. But rebranding is a process that takes time, effort, money, commitment and business smarts. It takes buy-in from your employees too.

Employees today (especially your younger talent) need - almost expect - to have their voices heard. Staff who’ve grown up in the days of social sharing bring a culture of open communication and engagement. That expectation of being involved is likely trickling up to your more senior levels too.

Recycle to Boost Your Marketing Campaign Success

You could discover a goldmine of new leads and opportunities by recycling the records in your database.

Recycle to Boost Your Marketing Campaign Success image boost campaign success by recycling image

Marketing enjoys boosting its return on investment by repurposing existing content for new platforms:

  • Creating blogs from long form content such as consideration documents or white papers.
  • Creating audio-only podcasts from webinars.
  • Using transcripts of audio- or video-based work as a basis for an eBook.
  • Taking key ideas and themes from blogs and using them for social media updates.

It’s a cost effective approach that sees marketers fully exploiting their initial content spend. But can the same principle be applied to your database?

Reddit: The Sleeping Dragon of Social

redditarticleYou may think of Reddit as the weird cousin of social media that has nothing to do with businesses or marketing - or even a place where anti-social media people go to play. But this is simply not the case.

Yes, there are some pretty weird corners of Reddit, but there are some dark corners of Facebook and Instagram, too. The true power of Reddit lies in its ability to place you and your business front and center before your target audience, and entirely new audiences, in a personal, and responsive way.

Running a Social Contest in 2016: What's Changed

Social ContestsDigital marketing has evolved a great deal in the past five years, since the last information about running social contests was published. With social media changing at an especially rapid pace, it’s time for some updates. Here are a few things you need to change about your social contests in 2016, plus a few things that should stay the same.

Schools and Social Media

schools and social mediaSocial Media is no longer a buzzword, a "new fad", or the next wave of...well, anything. It's a well-solidified and very mainstream part of our everyday lives, both personal and business. What used to be the domain of teens and geeks is now home to grandma, cousin Eddie, your pharmacy and favorite restaurant, and your children's school. It's this last entry that becomes a little disturbing in some situations, and it needs to change.

Good Intentions and Bad People

Should Brands Abandon Facebook?

no free lunch facebookMy answer to this rhetorical question is yes - unless you are willing to rethink your Facebook strategy and spend money to sponsor your company page posts. While you do not have to spend a large sum of money, my experience has shown that Facebook organic reach is rapidly diminishing and it is almost not worth the effort to continue with the "free lunch" approach.


Silicon Valley invades and transforms Cannes Lions, advertising’s biggest dealmaking party

6-27cannesEvery year, the biggest names in advertising and marketing gather along the French Riviera for a confab called the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

A few years ago, Silicon Valley’s ad-driven Internet giants discovered Cannes. And in the same way tech is transforming the ad and marketing game, Silicon Valley changed the look and feel of Cannes Lions.

Snapchat releases first digital ID login

snapchat id loginSnapchat has released its first "Log in with Snapchat" button on the Bitmoji Keyboard app. It could be the first step in the platform's move to copy Facebook by enabling its users to have a digital ID that tracks them online and provides more opportunities to advertisers.

Social Marketing Is Changing All the Time – Here's How to Keep Up!


MKebook9-10Social is no longer just a channel, or a tactic – social is a strategy that must be present in every aspect of your marketing campaigns. Download Marketo's Definitive Guide to Social Marketing to see how integrating social into all your campaigns can drive customer engagement, new business, and ultimately revenue.

This free guide has everything you need to implement and optimize your social marketing efforts.

Click here: http://bit.ly/1tsxZOw

You'll learn how to:
• Establish guidelines that can help your entire organization become more active on social networks
• Turn your customers into powerful brand advocates
• Take advantage of specific tactics for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest
• Incorporate social marketing into every stage of your sales funnel
• Effectively measure social marketing to determine real business ROI

Social Media Insights for 2015: Year of the Marketing Masters

1-14MktTo start off the year, our friends at Marketo want to share some predictions from internal thought leaders to help you embrace exciting, new changes to come in the marketing world!

Download brand new Marketo's eBook and learn about:
• Engagement marketing and new personalization strategies
• The growing separation between publishing and editorial – how to maximize both
• How content will change for B2B and B2C for better engagement
• Ways that Social will become even more of a real revenue engine – as the Jerry McGuire movie line goes, "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

This is a great read, easy to digest. You can get it here free compliments of Marketo: http://bit.ly/1w7My9O

Stop Selling. Start Sharing. What Social Media's All About

stopsellingstartsharingIf you think social media's about selling, think again. Advertising is about selling. Social media is about sharing: sharing your expertise by positioning yourself or your business as the expert. After all, you are the expert, right? As the expert, your role is to share your expertise.

The 5 Factors of Social-Media Marketing Most People Don't Consider

SMM9-19Does social-media marketing work?

This has long been a question brands have tried to definitely answer. It has been brought to the fore of late by a recent Gallup poll, the report from which states, "A clear majority of Americans say social media have no effect at all on their purchasing decisions."

That may make it sound like social media marketing has little benefit, but the report's cursory dismissal doesn't take into account several other factors. 

The Art of Storytelling in Marketing

the art of storytelling in marketing

Hieroglyphics. Cave dwellings. Fireside chats. Ghost stories at a campsite that scared you so much you were afraid to go to sleep. Telling stories is one of the most fundamental ways in which we communicate with each other, and while the mediums through which we do this are changing, the concept remains the same.

Something happens in our heads, in our brains, when we hear stories. Think about it – how much do you retain, when sitting in a classroom, or watching someone show you a Powerpoint presentation? Now think about how much you retain when your best friend tells you a story about something that recently happened?

The Benefits of Using Social Media Like a B2B Boss

benefits-of-using-social-media-like-b2b-boss"Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell." -Seth Godin

There are all sorts of untapped marketing benefits available through social media, and when you use it like you know what you're doing, you make yourself - and your company - stand apart from the crowd. Take a look at the B2B benefits from social media use.

The case for marketers merging e-mail and social data

marketing integrationIntegrating data and processes across business departments is hardly reinventing the wheel, and for years brands have been moving away from silos and toward overlapping infrastructures. While some companies are getting better at adopting integration, many still fail to replicate this merger when it comes to marketing outreach. In particular, many marketers struggle to craft email campaigns in tandem with other digital channels like social media.

The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends Dominating 2014

smm7-30Would it surprise you to learn that some experts believe Google Google+ is on its way out, that MySpace is making a last-ditch attempt to re-engage users, or that Foursquare is in the middle of a radical overhaul?

Late last year, I made some predictions for social media trends in my article, The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014. In this article, I’m going to examine where things are now that we’re around the mid-way point of 2014, and assess how my predictions have fared so far. 

Turning social media likes into restaurant traffic

sm7-25If you can get all of your regular customers to come into your restaurant just one more time a year, and spend a little more for just one more meal, it will make a big difference in your business. That’s why getting your regular customers involved in your social media strategy is the key to success, according to Katrina Padron, CEO of Padron Social Marketing.

Padron offered tips on how to strengthen your fan base and attract new guests via social channels during a webinar Wednesday sponsored by the National Restaurant Association.

Twitter policy tweak opens new doors for marketers

twitter no longer counts images towards character limitMarketers have considerably greater freedom under Twitter's policy that no longer counts image links and tags toward a tweet's character limit. But experts say it's still advisable to keep the messaging focused and not overuse the new privileges.

Twitter Tells Brands They Can Reach 30% of Their Followers for Free Sharing new stats with marketers

tw7-19Twitter is telling brands, "Come to us if you want to reach fans freely." The company said today that marketers can hit an audience equal in size to 30 percent of their followers in a given week with a consistent and free tweeting strategy. That level of free exposure contrasts with Facebook, where brands have to pay to be seen by more than 5 percent of their fans.

"On Twitter, nothing comes between your tweets and your followers," the company said in a blog post today announcing new measurement tools for brands and verified users.

Two Great Free Social Guidebooks from Hubspot to Help Maximize Holiday Sales


S115Our friends at HubSpot have two free offers for you this month to help you prepare your Facebook and other social channels for the holiday season!

Generate Leads Using Facebook
Facebook can be a valuable channel to use to attract readers to your website. Get HubSpot's free ebook to learn the content you should be posting and advertising campaigns you should be running to generate leads with Facebook this holiday season:

Download Now: http://bit.ly/1rYCb6d

250 Free Holiday Stock Photos
Images on social media generate up to 55% more leads than posts without images! This holiday season, don't worry about digging around the Internet—and your wallet—to find and pay for holiday themed stock photos for your upcoming social media campaigns. These 250 photos, a $1,500 value, are on us!

Download Now: http://bit.ly/1x7Mbyw

Remember, sharing is caring! Share this with your friends and colleagues and enjoy the holiday spirit. Also, you're probably tired of hearing this but some anti-virus programs like McAfee send a false "malicious link" warning when clicking on Bitly shortened links. There is nothing malicious in these links, the shortener is simply used to make the link easier to click / read for your convenience.

Want Your Elected Representative's Attention? Use Social Media, Study Says

electedrepattentionsocialmediaOne of the growing frustrations about the American political process is the ever-widening distance between our elected representatives and the people that vote them into office. Voting is incredibly important, but it can seem painfully insignificant before the much more vast influence that money has. But there might be a workaround for the average person trying to get a politician's attention: Social media.

What You Can Do About the Decline of Social Marketing on Facebook

SMM7-26Over the last year-and-a-half, organic reach of brand or fan posts have dropped significantly. Some reports claim it to be below 5 percent. Brands that spent years building out their Facebook following are now seeing their organic reach fall significantly.

Facebook has said that this is due to changes made to the algorithm that determines what content is shown. With the promise of viral marketing on Facebook now slipping away, what is a social marketer to do?

When Marketing Goes Wrong

when-marketing-goes-wrongWe’ve all seen brands fail epically on social media. In fact, I’d wager that most of us enjoy it. But when something backfires, it raises a question: Are they doing it on purpose for exposure?

Unlikely in most circumstances, though a few companies have done things so terribly wrong it’s easy to imagine one disgruntled (yet brilliant) marketer smiling while a campaign burns to the ground.

Why brands should be cautious about social influencers

social media starsWorking with the Instagram and Snapchat elite isn't easy for brands

Let’s say you’re a brand that wants to tap into social media influencers. Option A: Vine star Logan Paul, with 8.8 million followers. Option B: Snapchat wunderkind Michael Platco has 100,000 followers. Paul is paid as much as $80,000 per sponsored post on Vine. Platco has charged up to $60,000 for a campaign.

Knowing which is better and whether they’re worth it is a complete crapshoot in the still-wide-open world of influencer marketing, where pricing varies wildly, metrics are scarce and comparison between options nearly impossible...

Why Podcasting Matters to Marketing [Infographic]

why podcasting matters to marketing

You may not be aware, but podcasting has seen a big increase in popularity over the past few years.

According to Edison Research, podcast listenership grew 23% between 2015 and 2016, while 21% of all Americans now listen to podcasts on a regular basis. For comparison, 21% of Americans use Twitter – so the same amount of people tweeting are listening to podcasts, yet I’d hazard a guess that no where near as many businesses are using podcasts for marketing as they are tweets.

Why You Shouldn't Buy Facebook Likes

dontbuylikes.jpg-730x452"Should I buy Facebook likes to boost my presence?" We get this question WAY more often than we should. When talking to people around the office, we thought the answer was a no-brainer – NEVER buy fans. Unfortunately, we've seen far too many pages do just that. After a lot of reading, talking to some influential social media professionals, and using a little of our own common sense, we've answered the question.