Tag Archive | "facebook"

Twitter to Give Away Free Ads to Small Businesses

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Twitter to Give Away Free Ads to Small Businesses


Advertising on Twitter has been something that’s been talked about a lot in online marketing circles. The microblogging service has now become part of many companies overall social media strategies. In fact, millions of businesses around the globe have created a Twitter accounts to promote their brand and share information with users who may be interested in what they have to offer. There are two ways a company can advertise on this social media site.

The first one is free and simply involves creating a Twitter account. You can then post messages on your profile, which can be read by users that follow you. But for those who want more exposure, Twitter has recently expanded its paid ads option, which allows your messages to be seen by Twitter users based on your selected demographic. Many companies, especially large and well known brands, have taken advantage of this paid advertising option.

But now, it seems that Twitter wants to increase the number of small and medium sizes businesses that advertise on its network. The company has made an announcement on November 20th that it is going to give away $100 in ad credits to small businesses that qualify. The conditions to receive the ad credit are quite simple: it requires a business based in the United States, which has a completed Twitter profile and image, sends tweets on a regular basis, hasn’t used Twitter’s paid advertising features before and has at least 20 users following them. The first 10 000 small business who sign up and fulfill these conditions are going to receive the advertising credit in their account and can begin using it right away.

Now, some may think that there isn’t anything spectacular or particularly generous about this offer. And this is actually quite true. Advertising credits have been given out by Google Adwords, Bing and Facebook through various channels. For example, it is common to receive $100 in Google Adwords credits and a $100 Facebook Ads voucher when signing up for a webhosting package. But it seems that Twitter has been a lot slower in rolling out its paid ad services and hasn’t been aggressively going after small business advertisers like Google.

But this seems to be changing and the company is now actively on the lookout for new advertisers, especially small businesses. And it also seems to be working. In fact, all statistics show that Twitter ad revenue has been steadily growing since 2010. This growth is expected to continue again in the next 2 years, with projected Twitter ad revenues reaching $808 million by 2014.

This recent promotion will give small businesses the chance to try out Twitter’s ad service without spending any money. This will give them a more “hands on” look at how Twitter advertising work and they can determine for themselves whether it is likely something that they will want to keep paying for in the future, or if other ad networks will give them better results for their online advertising campaigns.

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Getting Your Facebook Page to Work – Part 2

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Getting Your Facebook Page to Work – Part 2


Yesterday, we’ve seen some reasons as to why your Facebook page might not be giving you the results you had originally hoped for. But there are actually more issues that could be the cause of the problem. Today, we will examine some more of these and will give you a few solutions that you can employ as well.

Here are some more reasons behind common Facebook problems and ways to resolve them:

You don’t participate in the conversation

If you start seeing some responses to your posts, or people posting stuff on your Facebook page, you should respond to them. Do this from the very beginning. If your fans see your page and notice that you don’t bother to answer questions or comments that others have made, they will figure: nah, why bother? They won’t answer me either, so I’m just wasting my time by commenting.

It has been shown that companies which engage their users actively on Facebook get better results: more participation, more shares and more likes, which results in more fans coming in and more sales.

You don’t update your page consistently

This is another turn off for users. If your page isn’t updated on a regular basis, it just looks like a ghost town: there are a few things there, but in general, it looks lifeless and deserted. Many people won’t be too comfortable speaking on your page if they notice they will be alone. And if you haven’t posted anything in quite a while, they may assume you’ve simply abandoned your page or that your company went out of business. So once again, the users will think: why bother? I’m just wasting my time here.

Now it’s important not to exaggerate in the other sense either. Don’t post just for the sake of posting. Have something useful to say, but post once every few days at least. This will make your page look more alive and inviting.

Your target audience doesn’t use Facebook much

They all say that Facebook is simply the best in the world when it comes to social media. Hey, everyone, no matter their age group or interests, uses Facebook, right? True, but there are some who use it less than others. Figure out what your target audience is. Then, figure out what social networking sites they use.

If you have something that’s really artistic, maybe using Instagram or Pinterest may draw more attention to your business, as these networks are heavier on the “visual sharing” aspect of things. If you’re in the B2B industry, perhaps your audience members use Facebook for personal reasons, but not so much for business. They prefer to use LinkedIn. Also, don’t forget discussion boards, forums and other niche specific online communities. These are social sites too!

This doesn’t mean that you should simply scrap your Facebook page thinking that it’s useless. It’s not. Having a presence on various social networks can be beneficial, but you need to be aware that some networks will give you better results than others.

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Is Your Facebook Page Not Giving You the Results You Wanted?

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Is Your Facebook Page Not Giving You the Results You Wanted?


One question that some business owners ask is: why aren’t people actually participating on my Facebook fan page? The question isn’t one that’s easy to answer, as there could be a myriad of reasons as to why this is happening to you. Facebook is of course, the biggest social networking site around, with nearly a billion active users. So we all know how important it is for a business to set up their presence on the network. If you read any online marketing material that deals with social media, you will see the message: get on Facebook and promote your business. So you go out, create a page, then maybe add some content on a semi-regular basis. But it’s still not working out for you. The content is there, you may get some fans, but the “connection” with them isn’t happening as you may had planned before.

What you need to do is to actually motivate your fans, so that they will like your posts, comment on them, share their own ideas and also share the stuff that you’ve posted with other on their own profiles. But it’s just not happening and you’re now busy looking for what the reason is. This is something that you would need to identify yourself. Sure, you can hire an outside firm to do it for you and this is something that many businesses have done, usually with good results. But the problem here is that many small businesses, especially startups, don’t have thousands of dollars a month to spend on “social media experts” who will go over their pages and tell them what improvements to make.

In this case, you need to develop an action plan. This is actually the most simple part of the operation. You will plan what you should change about your social media presence and the steps that you will execute in order to get there. It may take a bit of time, so there’s no sense in rushing it at this point. Once you have everything planned out, it will be time to execute. Actually do the changes that you’ve planned out and carry out any improvements that you feel are necessary in order for your Facebook page to turn into something that is interesting to your users and actually profitable for your company.

The first step of the plan involves identifying the issues that are causing poor results. We’re going to present you a list of things that may cause your fans to be “less than enthusiastic” about your social media presence. We will also give you some ways that you can employ to change all of that and turn things around once and for all. Consistently applying these changes will get you what you were hoping for: a Facebook page this is more “alive”, that has fans which participate in the discussion, like your posts, add content and share some of the content that you’ve put up.

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Make Your Employees Involved In Social Media

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Make Your Employees Involved In Social Media


When companies decide to be present on a social media site, one of the most important decisions they need to make is who will be responsible for determining which content gets posted on the company’s social media accounts. Now if you have a very small business with just 2 or 3 employees, this isn’t too hard to figure out. But if your business is slightly larger, you may be wondering as to whether it would be useful to get everyone’s input, or just let a small social media team handle everything.

 

Having everyone involved doesn’t mean that everyone, from the CEO to the janitor, will have the authority to post things online on behalf of your company. If you’ve followed the news in the past few months, there have been a few controversial issues where offensive Tweets were sent out or inaccurate product information was posted, causing confusion and dissatisfaction among consumers.

 

You should have a select group of trusted people who will be responsible for maintaining the social media accounts and have access to make posts. However, it doesn’t mean that only these people will have a hand at coming up with some content. Check with several people in your company to get their ideas on what you should post. For example, if you recently got a lot of emails from customers that are waiting to receive a product whose shipment was delayed by a few days, you could make a post on your Facebook and Twitter pages giving everyone an update on when it’s expected to ship.

 

If you have an employee that is an expert at something that could be useful to post on your page, such as infographics or short videos, you can ask them for ideas on what they think would be useful to post and have them create the content.

 

Encourage your employees to regularly check out your social media page and to pay attention to it. This can be extremely helpful. If there is a mistake or inaccuracy, you will have a higher chance of rectifying it, as perhaps you and the social media management team may not notice it right away. One of your employees may also notice a trend related to posts made by your followers on social media. This will help you take a more closer look at it and see if there’s anything you can improve.

 

Another good reason as to why your employees should pay attention to social media is that it may get you some insight on what is happening with your competitors and in your line of business in general. Encourage your staff to look through related social media pages to see what’s happening, but to do it in a way that doesn’t interfere with their normal duties. They may be able to find some useful information that you might have otherwise missed.

 

So in the end, while you should be careful as to who has actual access to your accounts and can make posts, don’t be afraid to let all of your workers give ideas and suggestions on what you should do with social media.

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More Online Reputation Tips

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More Online Reputation Tips


Building and maintaining a good online reputation for your company isn’t too difficult. It mainly revolves around using all of the available channels to make sure that positive information about your business and products appears in search results when someone looks up your company name on Google. Here is some more information on what you can do to make this all happen:

 

  • Update Your Site and Social Media on a Regular Basis

 

This is not only good for SEO, but will also help when potential customers research your company. Even if there isn’t anything new going on, you can always update your social media accounts by referring to your current product selection or promotions. This shows users that you’re actively involved in your business.

 

  • Link Your Business to Your Personal Social Media Accounts

 

People also want to know who is behind the company they’re dealing with, especially if they’re going to make a large purchase with you. When you post press releases or articles to directories, include some information about yourself and your role in the company. Also, add your company to your personal profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. This makes it easier to see who is in charge of your business.

 

  • Get Your Products Reviewed by Experts

 

Having your products talked about in a positive way by industry experts, especially those who have a large following and are well respected for their reviews, is definitely something that can help you with your online reputation. It may not always be easy, especially if you’ve just started out, but if you know someone who does YouTube video reviews or who writes about certain products on his blog, having him review something that you sell will help reassure people that your products are of high quality.

 

  • Encourage Your Buyers to Leave Reviews

 

Link to reviews of your business and products on other sites. Encourage those who have done business with you to leave comments and reviews. You can also have a review section on each of your product pages, but having comments on external sites will be a lot more useful in gaining the confidence of buyers.

 

  • Monitor Your Reputation Actively

 

There are plenty of online services that allow you to get regular updates regarding what is said about your business online. Or, you could simply do a Google search yourself from time to time. Doing so will allow you to see how you’re doing and address any possible problems and complaints before they become problematic.

 

  • Be Easily Reachable

 

Ensure that your customers have ways to contact you should there be something wrong with a purchase they’ve made from you. Respond to their inquiries in a rapid and professional way. Take care to resolve any problem, no matter how small the amount involved is or whether you feel that it’s the buyer’s fault. This will reduce the chance of them complaining about the whole situation to other people online and will give you the chance to have a satisfied customer instead of a disgruntled one.

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Common Social Media Security Issues

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Common Social Media Security Issues


Social media is great for both marketers and consumers, as it allows them to share information rapidly in the online world. But there are also a few security vulnerabilities that networks need to address quickly and users need to be aware of.

 

Ever been in a Facebook group and seen a “spammy” type post made by a member that seemed completely unrelated to the topic? Usually, these are advertisements for clothing and accessories. Sometimes, hacked accounts are used to post spam either manually or more often through the help of automated tools. Sometimes, rogue apps are used which will then make posts on the user’s behalf to their friends walls as well as to groups that they belong to.

 

Facebook isn’t the only site that has had problems. In June, a security expert has reported a XSS (cross site scripting) vulnerability on the popular social blogging service called Tumblr. It allowed a malicious user to insert code into a post that would then execute scripts or HTML when loaded by another user. This made it possible to load external sites without the user clicking on them, facilitating spam type posts, or allowing for the delivery of malware. Tumblr has since addressed the issue and closed the security hole.

 

Facebook has taken steps to step up its security and prevent common types of spam, as evidenced by them removing millions of fake accounts a few weeks ago. Action to remove some of the rogue apps has also been taken, helping make the social network a safer place. However, these security threats aren’t expected to be completely gone anytime soon.

 

There are things that users need to be aware of to protect themselves. The first thing is that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. There is NO app which lets you see who visited your profile, there has never been, nor will they probably ever be one. Therefore, if you install an app that claims to do this on your Facebook profile, it is a rogue app that will simply end up spamming your and your friends news feeds with unwanted advertisements. Also, there are no giveaways of high priced products. Apple will not give you a free iPhone just because you installed a certain app on your profile. You will also not receive free Beats by Dr. Dre headphones simply because you liked a certain page, but you’ll simply end up receiving spam.

 

Keeping your PC secure is also another way to counter many threats like cross site scripting. As much of the malicious code is executed by Java, disabling it in your browser add ons is a good idea. If you ever need to visit a legitimate site that has a Java applet (these are getting rare anyways), you can manually re-enable it at that time. Installing an anti-malware program like AVG Free that scans all web sites that you visit is also a good idea to stay safe online.

 

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Who Uses Which Social Networking Site?

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Who Uses Which Social Networking Site?


One of the basics of a successful online advertising campaign is that you have to target the right people. Social media sites are rapidly becoming a part of the marketing channels used by both small and large businesses. Many advertisers would like to have a more accurate picture of what people use which social network. A survey recently done by the Pew Research Center has given a bit of insight on this topic, which could help marketers choose which social network they will prioritize in their marketing campaigns:

 

LinkedIn

 

The “business” social network, it is reported that 20% of all internet users surveyed use it. The majority of users are college graduates or higher and have a higher than average annual income. In fact, 58% of LinkedIn users report having an annual income of $50 000 per year or higher. With LinkedIn, the higher the annual income of an individual, the most likely they are to have an account on the social network. This isn’t too surprising, as it is a site used by professionals such as lawyers, accountants and business managers.

 

Pineterest

 

A relatively new site that is already showing some potential, despite a bit of controversy about them removing affiliate links and replacing them with their own. Usage is more popular among the younger crowd of 18-29 year olds. The majority of Pinterest users have attended some college or are college graduates. One thing that is interesting about Pinterest is that it’s a lot more popular with women than with men. In fact, the study shows that 20% of women who use the internet also visit Pinterest on a regular basis, compared to just 5% of men. This would make it an option worth looking at for marketers who sell products that are mainly targeted at a female audience.

 

Facebook

 

The most popular social network to date, which has a variety of internet users on it. 67% of internet users report having a Facebook account. Slightly more popular among women with 70% using it, as opposed to 63% of men.

 

Another interesting element of Facebook is the age distribution. 83% of internet users between 18 and 29 years of age report having an account on Facebook, 72% of 30-49 year olds to, 56% of 50-64 year olds and 40% of those aged 65 and over have one. Out of all the social networking services, Facebook is the one that is the most popular among the older crowd.

 

Regarding annual income, the demographic that uses Facebook the most (75%) are those with an annual income between $30 000 and $50 000 per year.

 

While these figures are interesting for marketers as they give a bit of insight on who uses each social network, they are obviously not the only thing that marketers should look at when they plan an advertising campaign. In order to be successful, marketers need to design their ads well, plus run some tests to see which ad copies are able to generate the most responses from users.

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Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon

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Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon


When advertising via social networking sites, targeting is the key, just like with any other marketing method. You want your ads to be seen by the right demographics, people whose profile and interests will make them more likely to become paying customers of yours. One of the most common issues with advertising on the social networking giant Facebook is that advertisers can’t target specific users with their ads.

 

But there are reports that this could change, maybe in the next few months. Facebook advertisers could have the opportunity to target users that are already their customers, or who have given them their information in some way, such as by signing up for their email list. The company is currently testing ways for advertisers to target Facebook users specifically by their user ID, email or phone number.

 

However, the information comes from a user who reported seeing a “custom audiences” tab in the Facebook advertising control panel, but then the tab was soon gone. It looks like a temporary bug allowed that user to see a feature that wasn’t intended to be operational yet. While this, in itself, is not surprising and has happened with many other websites, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook will actually roll out this change. No official statements have been made by the company at this time. Furthermore, having the ability to target specific users that are on social media by using their personal information is likely to raise a few eyebrows among consumer and privacy advocates, many of whom already see social media as a serious concern for individual privacy.

 

This, however, may be resolved in a simple way. Facebook could make a setting that would allow users to opt out of being specifically targeted by marketers while they browse the social network. The feature could be left on by default and users who would see this as an intrusion on their privacy or who just don’t like being marketed to on social media could disable it if they wish.

 

Targeting your existing clients by social media also isn’t as bad as some other marketing methods, particularly those in use before the internet became popular. It’s actually quite common for many large companies to sell their user information to telemarketers as well as direct (postal) mail companies and while there is a possibility to opt out, the information is usually written somewhere in fine print on the subscription form or contract.

 

In any case, targeting your existing clients and people who have expressed an interest in your business is a good way to put your online presence to good use. This can be done in various ways, not just by social media. Among the most common ways to do this already is sending marketing emails to them, physical mailings like pamphlets and catalogs, or text messages on their mobile phones. Facebook’s move will just create a new opportunity for marketers to perfect something that many of them have already been doing for quite some time now.

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Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes

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Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes


The amount of likes that a Facebook page receives is definitely the biggest way to determine its popularity with its targeted audience. There are plenty of ways to get more Facebook likes on your page, such as by including social media buttons on your main websites and blog, or including a link to your Facebook fan pages with the emails that you send. But there has been some controversy surrounding Facebook likes recently, which affected some corporate, as well as political pages.

 

The issue of fake Facebook likes has existed for quite a long time, but it seems that it’s only recently that it was given a good amount of attention by the social network. Facebook has released an update on their blog on August 31st saying that they are taking action to remove likes that are deemed to be fake. However, the numbers don’t seem to be too dramatic. The update states that less than 1% of the likes for any particular page will be affected.

 

This includes likes that were purchased, generated by malware, as well as those that were generated by users who were deceived into liking a page. The latter category is one that has been often discussed in online marketing circles. Certain video sharing sites were using scripts that would force a user to like the page before they could have access to the videos. This goes against the basic concept of the Facebook likes, which are meant to be given only once a user has seen a certain page and found the content to be worthy of being included on their page and shared with their friends. Other ways of deceiving users was creating fake contests or giveaways, where users were promised non existent prizes if they liked a certain page. Of course, the prizes never came and very often the pages were then used to send spam messages onto the users news feeds.

 

Many online marketing experts aren’t too surprised by this recent move by Facebook. It comes a few weeks after many major advertisers have questioned whether advertising on Facebook truly brings them any benefits for their business or brand. There has also been the issue of fake accounts being used to like various pages, or friend random people only to send them spam messages. It appears that Facebook is simply trying to clean up its service by removing elements that create a bad experience for the user, in addition to lowering the perceived value of the social network to its advertisers.

 

But this recent action isn’t really likely to have any impact on most people who use Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategy. You should just stay away from any services that promise to give you thousands of likes from “real” users in exchange for payment. Very often, these likes are generated by malicious means and even if the users were real people, chances are that they wouldn’t have any actual interest in your page.

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012: Part 2

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012: Part 2


Yesterday, we’ve seen some changes that Facebook has made or is planning to make in 2012. But there are a few more. It is important that marketers remain vigilant to any changes that the social network makes. This even holds true for those who don’t rely too heavily on Facebook for their advertising, as new changes could bring increased opportunities for them and they may want to make social media a bigger part of their overall marketing strategy. Here are a few more of these 2012 changes:

 

Unpublished Page Posts. One of the most common complaints among Facebook marketers is targeting, or rather lack thereof. While Facebook has some good analytics tools that let you see who subscribes to your page, one thing that has been criticized about the site is that it didn’t provide many options to target specific groups of individuals with your posts. Everyone saw the same content, period. But with Unpublished Page Posts, this is slowly changing. Marketers are now able to target specific fan segments. When the option gets used, the post will not appear on the Timeline of the marketer. Rather, it will be sent directly to the targeted users news feeds. This makes sending relevant content to specific subsets of fans a lot easier and has the opportunity to increase conversion and click through rates.

 

Specific Permission Levels for Facebook Page Admins. In order to give businesses more tools for the management of their Facebook pages, different permission levels for page admins have been launched in May. The current permission levels are Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. This change makes it easier for larger organizations to manage their presence on the social networking sites by assigning different roles and privileges to different people.

 

Better Facebook Integration in Bing Search Results. While Google is the undisputed champion of the search engine world, Bing is a close second. Anyone serious about building their online presence and getting maximum results from their marketing efforts can’t ignore this. Bing has recently added a social media sidebar which pulls data from the biggest social networks, allowing more integration between traditional SERPs and social data. If a user is logged in to a social networking account such as Facebook, they will get social posts in search results, plus have the ability to share search results directly from the side bar with their Facebook friends.

 

Addition of Trending Articles. Users will now see relevant news articles in their Facebook news feeds. The order in which the articles appear will vary according to how much their friends have interacted with the news content. If a user has a lot of friends who have liked or simply read a news article, then there is a higher chance that it will be featured prominently in their own news feed. This is obviously welcome by many marketers who use news marketing as part of their overall strategy.

 

These are some of the biggest changes that have been made by Facebook in 2012. As usual, things can change quickly, so marketers should stay on top of social media news to see what is going on with Facebook and other social networks.

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012


This year, Facebook has made a great deal of changes to the way its social networking site works. Many of these changes have a good impact on those who use the site for marketing purposes. While the social network itself may have evolved, the main principles behind social media marketing seem to remain unchanged for now. It’s just that it’s now easier and more convenient for marketers to connect with their audience and share information. Here are some of the most noticeable changes we’ve seen and some that we’re expecting.

 

Timeline for marketers. The adoption of the timeline design for profiles has been met with quite a lot of controversy when it was announced in 2011. Some users didn’t mind it, while many others resisted the change believing that the old design was better. But just like many other Facebook changes, people have eventually come to get used to it and accepted it. The Timeline is responsible for changing the way in which people interact with the social network. It has also had some positive effects on businesses that use the site for marketing. Some studies suggest that since the Timeline was introduced, brands receive over 40 percent more engagement for each post that they make.

 

The “Want” Button. Currently, we have the ever present “Like” button on Facebook. But there are many rumors that are now circulating in online marketing circles that Facebook may be planning to launch a “Want” button. As some of you may have guessed by now, this type of feature would be most beneficial for e-commerce site owners. Having a Want button can be useful when it comes to seeing just how many people are interested in what you have to offer them. If it was available when you launch new products and inform your Facebook fans, the Want button could generate a lot more interest for your new additions. However, it should be known that this feature is, for now, little more than a rumor. It is not yet known when, if at all, Facebook will make it available and whether this feature will be available to all marketers on the site, or only to a select group at the beginning. Perhaps marketers would have to pay to get the ability to have a Want button? But the real answers might be coming soon, perhaps in a few months.

 

Scheduled Page Posts. This isn’t anything revolutionary, but it does make things more convenient for marketers. You may be planning to release a new product soon and want the Facebook page post to be displayed as soon as it becomes available. Now with the ability to schedule your posts, you can opt to have them displayed at a pre determined date and time. That way, you will never be late in making your announcements to your fans.

 

There are still a few more changes we will look at. Check back tomorrow for some more information about them.

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Reports of Deliberate Click Fraud on Facebook Ads Getting Attention

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Reports of Deliberate Click Fraud on Facebook Ads Getting Attention


Yesterday, we’ve taken a simple look at what invalid clicks are and some rather innocent ways in which they could be generated. But what about the more serious cases, which would be downright click fraud on Facebook? The issue has received a lot of attention, as Facebook’s stock seemed to sink and a few high profile advertisers have openly criticized the social networking giant’s advertising platform. Some have even gone as far as saying that they won’t use Facebook Ads anymore and will be looking for other ways to generate traffic to their website.

 

Deliberate click form can also come in many forms. The most simple one is simply paying a user to click on ads, like some of the “paid to click” sites do. They would usually pay people (usually $0.01 per click, even less) to click on ads that are posted on certain sites.

 

But this could also be the action of a competitor that deliberately wants to push you out of the game by using up your advertising budget. If you’re a small business and receive several dozens invalid clicks that way, this will undoubtedly leave you with a very bad user experience at Facebook Ads.

 

Clicks coming from automated systems, commonly referred to as bots, have been recognized as an issue among Facebook advertisers. Now bots aren’t exclusively used to commit click fraud and could have plenty of genuine uses. Their main purpose is to crawl thousands of websites in order to search fro information or to collect (scrape) data, which would later then be republished on other websites. But when a bot visits a site, then there is of course the very real chance that it would end up clicking on an ad. Even though Facebook prohibits the use of bots on their site, this doesn’t mean that some of the more “blackhat” marketers don’t use them. If you’ve seen the reports on the millions of fake Facebook accounts that are active, you should know that many of these accounts aren’t simply someone with too much time on their hands creating a separate persona so they could troll or annoy other users. Many of these are used for the purpose of running automated harvesting software, deliberately inflating the number of “likes” a page has, or posting spam comments and sending out spam messages to users.

 

Now what has Facebook done to address the problem that invalid clicks have and their potential to have a negative effect on the company as a whole? Unfortunately, a lot of marketers that use the site’s advertising services would say “not enough”. Tomorrow we will lean a bit more in details about what some advertisers are complaining about, as well as what Facebook has said in an effort to retain many of their advertisers who spend money with them and essentially keep the site running for everyone. You will be shown some ways you may be able to better protect yourself, as well as what’s in store for the future of Facebook advertising.

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Facebook May Expand the Reach of its Advertising Network

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Facebook May Expand the Reach of its Advertising Network


When a social networking site has close to a billion users and has truly become a household name, many would wonder: what’s next for the company? Will it seek to expand past simply being a social networking website? Based on some recent information from online news sources, it may appear that Facebook may be trying to expand its presence in the online advertising market.

Advertising is what keeps Facebook running as a business. This is the main way that the company makes its money. So it’s only natural that Facebook would want their ads to be displayed in more places, generating more exposure for the advertisers, who can then turn these views into traffic to their websites or Facebook pages, and hopefully, conversions. Traditionally, advertising on Facebook has only been displayed on the social networking site itself. While in the last few weeks, there has been an increase in discussion over how Facebook is changing the way the ads appear, for example through sponsored stories, there is one thing that remained constant. Facebook ads would only be displayed to Facebook users that were connected to the site.

But there is news that Facebook has made a deal with Zynga where Facebook ads are also going to be displayed on their website. Zynga is a popular creator of Facebook apps and games, which are used by a great number of Facebook users. It it therefore logical that Facebook would start expanding their reach in the world of online ads through them.

There is some speculation as to whether the ads would soon start appearing on other websites too. According to more official information obtained from Facebook, they don’t plan on showing ads on other websites for the time being. However, this is something that may of course, change in the future.

Displaying ads on other sites isn’t really all that difficult. There are already millions of websites that have the Facebook Connect integration set up, so serving ads on these sites isn’t too much of a challenge. This gives Facebook a rather larger amount of sites that could be publishers of their ads. If this happens, this would mean that their advertising platform would work in a similar way to Google Adsense. The webmaster that publishes the ads on their site would be paid a certain amount per click or per thousand ad impressions. Advertisers would still pay as usual to have their ads displayed, but then they could select where they would want them to appear, giving them the choice of only making them viewable on Facebook itself, through the content network of other websites, or through just a few websites that were chosen by the advertiser.

For now, the only thing that is official and proven is the ad partnership between Zynga and Facebook. Whether these ads will expand to other websites is still a matter of speculation. But we must remember that the infrastructure for them is already really well laid out, plus interest from advertisers is likely to be quite high as well.

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Social Networks are Also a Customer Care Tool

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Social Networks are Also a Customer Care Tool


When we talk about social media from an internet marketer or business owner’s perspective, it is expected that topics about advertising, sales, promotion and marketing would be at the forefront. And yes, this is logical and there is nothing wrong with it. After all, the main reason why business owners are on Facebook, for example, is to promote their business and not waste their time playing Farmville or sharing pictures of funny kittens.

 

But a social media page can be a whole lot more than just a channel that can be used to get more sales. It can also be a very efficient customer service tool for many businesses. The problem is that not all businesses seem to realize this. A study conducted recently shows some disparities among industries related to who uses social networks to respond to customer inquiries, comments and complaints on social media. Telecommunications firms, such as large cell phone and internet providers, had relatively high response rates, meaning that they took the time to respond to users who posted something on the page of their company on Facebook, with response rates around 60%. Consumer goods and electronics companies didn’t fare as well, having an average response of 20%. Ironically enough, media companies, whose business is all about sharing information, only responded to public posts about 5% of the time.

 

No matter what industry you are in, responding to your users on social media is important, especially if a user expresses a concern that needs attention, or asks a question about your company or its products. Social media is not just a sales channel, but also one where you can interact with customers, potential customers and the general public at a customer service level. Doing it is actually quite simple. You can respond to the post if appropriate, provide a link to the answer on your website, or contact the user by private message in order to discuss things privately if it involves something that is specific to their case. Avoid standard, boilerplate responses, however, as they give a “robotic” feeling to those who see them. Therefore, instead of saying “please contact our customer care department at 1-877-YOUR NUMBER”, you can post “We have sent you a message to better address this matter. Bob Parker, Social Media Department, ACME Corporation”.

 

Failing to properly deal with customers who interact with you on social media can give the wrong impression of your business and potentially damage your reputation, as it can make it look like you’re only interested in using the internet to get sales, but not to actually help your customers when they need you. While you may provide customer support by various channels already, such as telephone, live chat, email, etc. you will need to see social media as an important extension of your service department. If your business is relatively large, you can assign a team of employees whose job is to monitor your social media pages for any feedback from consumers, then respond to them and escalate internally as necessary.

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