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5 Simple Tips To Improve Your Social Media Marketing

112987077Social Media plays an increasingly important role in many business marketing efforts. It's one of the pillars of a successful Inbound Marketing strategy, and with as little as 6 hours of dedicated effort a week, a small business can see improved sales results. While increased usage is great sign that business is adapting, there are some all-to-common errors that prevent business owners from taking full advantage of everything social media offers.

It's particularly important since recent research has shown the average time spent using social media is increasing. According to research from HubSpot, more than 85% of Internet users have Facebook accounts and 49% are on Twitter. In other words, your prospects are using social media.

Since social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, it's important to eliminate the stumbles.

Here are 5 simple tips that will help you reach your prospects more effectively using social media:

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Small Businesses Are Bigger Than Ever on Social Media Marketing

112987077According to the latest industry data and statistics, small businesses in the United States are turning to and relying upon social media for marketing like never before.

Not surprisingly, Facebook and Twitter are the top destinations for companies of all sizes with commercial products and services to promote.

Based on the research from BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor, small businesses spent an average of $1,190 in these media and marketing areas in the last year.

That's an increase from the average of $876 spent during the previous 12-month reporting period, eWeek confirms.

Small businesses are also turning more to mobile platforms and the advertising and promotion formats that ride on them. In the latest survey, 14.7 percent of respondents reported having a mobile Website, with another 22 percent saying they intend to add one within the next 12 months. That figure represents a healthy rise in the percentage of SMBs that reported having a mobile Website during the Q4 2011 survey (8.7 percent).

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Up the Down Escalator of Social Marketing

112987077Forget everything you ever learned about conversion funnels and traditional online marketing when thinking about social (media) marketing. When it comes to social marketing you can't simply expect customers to flow seamlessly through a series of steps as if being pulled by gravity as funnel analysis implies. It's time to embrace the concept of getting your customers to walk or run up the down escalator of social marketing.

When it comes to traditional online marketing (banner ads, email marketing, pay per click ads), you are marketing to people's wants. You've done your demographic studies, you know what keywords they're looking for and you simply created ads that appeal to that audience at a particular point in their buying cycle. When your creative is effective and people click through to your website, you can allow the site to generate its own gravity to pull (guide) their interactions through a series of steps, to their ultimate goal. These steps comprise your conversion funnel.

With social marketing, you're reaching people at a completely different stage in the buying cycle. Frequently social marketing reaches people so early on that they might not even know what they want. They have no idea what the prize is at the end of the social engagement. It is through multiple social interactions that you will ultimately encourage them to walk up the down escalator to reach a prize they don't even know they wanted yet. A prize they perhaps didn't know existed when they took their first steps towards the escalator. 

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Social media fast food fight: McDonalds vs KFC

112987077Writing his memoir, 'Goodbye To All That', Robert Graves reminded himself that 'people like reading about food and drink'; so I've decided to write about burgers and fried chicken, alongside social media (always adds flavour).

I want to investigate the idea that most people see BIG corporate Twitter accounts as some kind of barefaced shill, only followed by the devout.

I looked at KFC and McDonald's tweets from October 2012, to see how they do it. This is by no means an exhaustive audit, nor is it scientific. I also add that I'm a pescetarian of six weeks, and following these feeds has been somewhat of a coping mechanism.

I must highlight there's a separate McDonald's Corp account, @McDonaldsCorp, that is pretty darn great, and I've given it a good nod at the bottom of the article.

Your tweets are only as good as your tweeter

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Secret Facebook Link Shows Old Version of News Feed

Secret Facebook Link Shows Old Version of News FeedAs those of us who spend our days on the social network (for research purposes, naturally) know, there are two ways to view your News Feed on Facebook: sorted by "top stories" and by "most recent." You switch from one to the other via a menu at the top of your feed.

Many of us assume that "most recent" means you get posts from your friends unfiltered, without Facebook's algorithm determining what's a "top story." In fact, even "most recent" is filtered for your reading pleasure, based on whose stuff you've interacted with in the past.

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Facebook Tests Ranked Comments to Boost Engagement

Facebook Tests Ranked Comments to Boost EngagementFacebook is testing a new comments format on brand and subscriber pages by placing the most engaging comments up higher on posts, the company confirmed on Monday.

"We are testing a new format for comments on Page posts," Facebook said in a statement to Mashable. "As part of this test, the most engaging comments appear higher up. You will also be able to reply to individual comments as well as the original post."'

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