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4 Tips to Make Your Content Marketing Stand out

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 2, 2017

Woman hand holding a white spech bubble with a illustration on blue background. This illustration has a yellow crown and content word into window computer.

Every B2B company needs a solid content strategy, including a social media strategy. This is the age of what social media-marketing expert Mark Schaefer refers to as content shock — where there is so much content that it overwhelms readers.

How can you stand out in this veritable sea of content that has flooded the internet? Is it even possible? The content marketing gurus at Hubspot and BuzzSumo have joined forces to conduct research into what works and what doesn’t in B2B content.

1. Size Doesn’t Matter

For years in B2B blogging, it was thought that long-form posts performed better — and while that might be true in some aspects, social media isn’t one of them. Long form posts did not receive any more shares than short-form.

2. LinkedIn Has Proven Its B2B Social Value

B2B content dominates the LinkedIn playing field — with an average of 25.7 shares, compared to 9.8 shares for B2C content. With all the tools that LinkedIn provides that are geared towards business and thought leadership, it really does make a perfect home for your B2B company’s content.

3. Don’t Count Facebook Out Yet

Facebook currently has 1.71 billion active users every month. With such a huge audience potential, how can you pass up this social network?

4. People in B2B Companies Want Content That Will Help Them Succeed

Focus on posts that will help your reader succeed. Whether it’s a numbered list or a how-to article, make it engaging and geared toward reaching one of a reader’s goals such as gaining more customers, increasing office efficiency, or succeeding in a leadership role.

Don’t go it alone! Contact us for help with your content marketing.

Source: business2community

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New RESULTS! Book Delivers Solutions to Drive Business Success

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 22, 2015

#RESULTS!

Check out my new book, which was written to help business owners achieve lasting, high impact RESULTS! in their businesses.

Are you ready to see RESULTS! in your business?

If you believe, as I do, that our thoughts create our reality, then you want to read my latest book. I’ve partnered with 16 other smart-cookie business professionals to participate in an anthology book project called RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business.

The book is designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners gain the information they need to have a successful business and see RESULTS! All of the expert authors have been through the same struggles as you but have come out on top with thriving, successful businesses and now we want to share that information with you!

In my section, Build a Better Marketing Plan, I zero in on the five simple rules for building a marketing plan and the seven marketing plan must-haves.

As my friend and client Don McDermott told me, “If I have a marketing plan in place, I don’t have to think, I just have to DO.”

Other chapters in the book will help you focus on
• Seven steps to living as a confident entrepreneur
• How to transform your leadership to grow your business
• Power dressing techniques so that you can look as smart as you are
• How a virtual assistant can benefit your business
• And much more!

RESULTS! is available in both Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1512138010.

You can also follow my RESULTS! book journey on Facebook.

Follow the whole RESULTS! gang on Twitter – track us with the hashtag #RESULTS!

Leave a comment and let me know how you are getting RESULTS!

Posted in Book marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, Email marketing, Entrepreneur, Facebook, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, small business, Traditional marketing, Using books to market your firm, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Test Your Social Media IQ!

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 27, 2014

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Now that it’s summertime, we thought it might be fun to have a quick quiz about social media. Let us know in the comments section how you score!

1. Who is the founder of Facebook?

a. Al Gore      b. Mark Zuckerburg      c. Bill Gates       d. Steve Jobs

 

2. Which social media uses 140 characters?

a. Facebook      b. Google+      c. Twitter      d. InstaSelfie

 

3. What should you NOT do on a social media site?

a. Comment on and “LIKE” others’ posts

b. Post inappropriate photos of yourself or others.

c. Provide interesting content such as quizzes, news or links

 

4. Which social media channel reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network?

a. Houzz      b. Instagram      c. Twitter      d. YouTube

 

5. This is the world’s largest professional social network and is a fantastic place to find a job or to recruit.

a. LinkedIn      b. Facebook       c. Twitter       d. Pinterest

 

6. Which of these statements is NOT TRUE?

a.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

b.  Houzz provides architects & contractors with the opportunity to showcase their work to home owners and design enthusiasts.

c.  A new member joins LinkedIn every second.

d.  Pinterest is predominately used by men looking for recipes and wedding dresses.

 

7. This social media network has features such as Pages, Profiles, Circles, Community, and Hangouts, that let you interact with customers and friends. It can also raise your Website in Google’s rankings.

a. Pinterest      b. Google+       c. LinkedIn      d. Facebook

 

Answers:  1. b    2. c    3. b    4. d    5. a    6. d

If You Got:     You’re:

6-7 correct     A Social Media Whiz

4-5 correct     Smarter than a 5th Grader

2-3 correct     A Social Media Beginner

0-1 correct     At the Starting Gate

 

Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Consulting Firms Are Tweeting, Using Social Media

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 22, 2013

consultants and social media

Twitter and Facebook aren’t a waste of time for consultants, according to recent studies

The recent Institute of Management Consultants buzz about consulting firms and social media was about how consultants are using Twitter and Facebook in their practices. Here’s the scoop as reported by IMC in its C2M Connections e-newsletter:

More Tweets and Retweets Required for Consulting Firms, Finds New Report

A new report from White Space examines top consulting firms use of Twitter to determine how consultants can best make use of the social media platform. White Space followed some 60 Twitter accounts belonging to consultancies including Accenture, Deloitte, and KPMG for five months and discovered that while the large consultancies had the most active accounts, sheer tweet volume did not determine whether an account was successful or not. Follower engagement, determined by the number of retweets compared to the number of followers, was actually the highest among the sector-specific accounts, such as @IBMbigdata.

The report ultimately recommends that consultants focus on growing the number of their tweets that get retweeted, rather than simply growing their user base or tweeting frequently, and as such focus on developing sector-specific material that can be disseminated through Twitter.

“For consulting firms Twitter offers a chance not only to get your content into the hands of people who want it, but to gain an understanding about what engages people and what doesn’t,” says Source senior research manager Rachel Ainsworth. From “More Tweets and Retweets Required for Consulting Firms, Finds New Report”  – Source for Consulting (07/29/13).

How Social Makes Professional Services Teams More Successful

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook can cause a loss of productivity in the workplace and some companies have even banned their use, but business use of social media tools also has the potential to improve workplace communication and collaboration, creating a more productive environment for professional services firms.

Storing discussions in feeds and on profiles or within groups allows any employee to review the complete history at any time. Social media is also a great improvement over email, which limits conversations to the individuals directly connected to the conversation. Email is useful for communicating with people within one’s existing network, but social media offers “ambient awareness” or feedback from less-connected people in the company. Conversation streams can include knowledge and documents with easy access and search capabilities. Employees can “follow” documents customers or projects, keeping knowledge in context and allowing teams to collaborate more effectively. From “How Social Makes Professional Services Teams More Successful”  Consulting Magazine (07/13) Ashton, Debbie

Read more about how professional service firms can use social media to market their firms.

Posted in Consulting, Facebook, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tips for Building Your Email Subscriber List

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 18, 2012

Grow an email marketing subscriber list responsibly

Follow these tips and grow your email marketing subscriber list responsibly.

In 5 Email Marketing Traps to Avoid, I talked about the five ways you can mess up your email marketing. But what are some of the steps you need to take to get it right?

The first thing you need to do is to grow your email subscriber list. There are many ways to collect subscribers, and you’ll want to be creative in building your list. But, as I pointed out in 5 Traps, not every email address that comes across your desk represents someone asking to be subscribed to your list.

The folks at AWeber.com offer these tips for growing your list:

Be sure you have specific permission. Make sure that whether you are adding subscribers or they are adding themselves, it is quite clear to them that they’re giving you permission for you to send them email marketing messages.

Set up a website form. This allows people who visit your website to enter their email addresses to get the specific information that you’re going to be sending.

Talk up your emails. If you’re at a networking meeting or giving a speech, mention your email campaign and why it’d be useful to the person or group you’re speaking to. You might say, for example, “A great way to learn more about this service is my email newsletter. I send my clients and associates monthly messages with expert advice and special prices. Would you also like to receive them?” If there are particular incentives for signing up (e.g., special prices for subscribers), mention them also.

Set up a fishbowl.  If you’re working a trade show or have a store front, set up a fishbowl to collect business cards for people to subscribe to your newsletter. You can sweeten the offer, for example, by stating that each month one new subscriber will win a free lunch or t-shirt. Act promptly with these addresses. The longer you wait to start delivering value to them through your messages, the less likely they are to remember who you are, and to stay on your list.

Ask your social media followers. Ask the people who follow your company on Facebook, for example, if they’d like to get your email newsletter, and direct them to a form on your website to sign up. You can also mention your newsletter on your blog.

Run ads in print publications. Choose a publication with readership that fits your business’ niche, rather than a general interest publication. Run an ad that uses a few enticing words to hook the reader so that they want to know more. Instruct the reader to sign up for your email campaign and direct them to the form on your website.

Use confirmed opt-in. This protects your sender reputation and ensures that only people who want to receive your information are subscribed to your list.

These are two practices that you’ll definitely want to avoid, says AWeber:

Buying a list. Emailing to a list of “business opportunity seekers,” “fresh opt-in leads,” or any other type of purchased list is out-and-out spamming. Trying to send messages to addresses you acquired this way will get your email marketing account closed faster than you can say “and we won’t give you a refund, either,” says AWeber. (Note: this is true for most other legitimate email service providers.)

Ripping off an attendance list. Whether it’s from a trade show, networking meeting or conference, this is another big NO-NO. If people haven’t requested information from you, don’t add them to your list, regardless of where you met them.

For more help with your email marketing, register for a complementary marketing assessment from the experts at Advantage Marketing Consulting Services.

Tell us! What are some tactics you’ve used to build an effective email subscriber list?

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Email marketing, Facebook, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Social Media’s Dark Side: Phishing and Scams

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 2, 2011

Aujas, an Advantage Marketing client, is an information risk management firm knowledgeable about all things cyber-security related. I recently asked Karl Kispert, Aujas VP for Business Development, how social media users can protect themselves from scammers, especially on Facebook and LinkedIn. Here’s what Karl and his expert team had to say.

social media and phishing

Scammers and hackers are targeting social media. Your company and its employees have to do their part to fight them.

The buzz about social media has been increasing recently. There are more than 500 million active users on Facebook, with 50% of  them logging on at least once a day from their office, home, coffee-shop, school, or from smart phones. Social media has emerged as an effective marketing tool to engage with a mass audience and many companies have an active presence across LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. As Natalie Petouhoff, Senior
Researcher with Forrester Research, Inc., said, “Social media isn’t a choice anymore – it is a business transformation tool.”

But as fun and engaging as social media is, it has a dark side. Hackers and scammers are exploiting it to create new ways to infect computers and networks and to trick unsuspecting users into revealing their personal or financial information.

How do scammers pull this off? They go phishing. A scammer will hack into a Facebook or LinkedIn user’s account and send out messages to friends or connections, unbeknownst to the user. These messages look genuine but are carefully crafted by scammers to trick recipients and exploit their emotions.

Messages with links to breaking news, celebrity stories, or even adorable puppy videos can all be engineered to make the user click through. Clicking on a link about Kansas tornado victims, for example, would take the user to a site that asks for credit card information for a donation. This information is then collected and exploited by the scammer.

A user may also see messages like these on their LinkedIn home page or Facebook wall:

Tornado victims need your help, please donate http://ntbnking.lnkd.it/jpn/donation

I bumped into some of your old friends the other day; they wanted me to send you this – http://facebooklink

By clicking on the links, malware or a virus gets downloaded and the user’s system is compromised.

Yikes. If we can’t trust messages from our friends and connections or even what’s written on our own wall or home page, are we crazy to use social media? Fortunately, education and awareness can help fight phishing attacks and scams and keep us all using social media safely.

Here’s what companies can do to fight phishing attacks:

  1. Establish a social media strategy. Clearly document and enforce what is allowed and not allowed to be discussed and
    disclosed on social networking sites.
  2. Conduct social media awareness programs which should include the rewards and risks of social media. Such training should
    also cover how to identify malicious websites and differentiate between original and fraudulent websites.

Here’s what employees can do to avoid becoming the prey of phishing attacks:

  1. Never click on a link or a bookmark which is associated with financial transactions or asks for any sensitive information; instead always manually type the URL in the address bar.
  2. Don’t click on links which ask to download ActiveX or software on your system. These could be Trojan/malware which later becomes the control center to remotely control your system and others in the network.
  3. Ensure that the site is authentic and using secure layer (https) before providing any sensitive information about yourself or your organization.
  4. Report suspected links to your internal security team and the social networking site so that they can work with the hosting provider to bring down the phish website.

Social networking phishing attacks are on the rise, according to the latest Anti-Phishing Q2 2010 Report. Both companies and employees have to play their part to counter the phishing risks of social media.

Karl Kispert is Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Aujas for North America. He can be reached at 201 633 4745 or karl.kispert@aujas.com. Learn more about phishing and cyber-security at www.aujasus.com.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Facebook, Marketing, social media and phishing | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Quick Start Social Media Coaching for Executives, Professionals and Small Business Owners

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 12, 2011

social media coaching

1-on-1 coaching can help you come up to speed quickly on social media

Are you new to social media and not sure where you should start or how social media can help you achieve your business or professional objectives?

Try some one-on-one coaching. It can help you come up to speed quickly and use social media tools more effectively.

Advantage Marketing offers Quick Start Social Media Coaching for executives, professionals and small business owners.

“Busy executives often don’t know where to start with social media – it can seem overwhelming because there are so many different platforms,” Loraine Kasprzak, Advantage Marketing Managing Director, notes. “Quick Start Social Media Coaching simplifies social media and help execs use these tools to further their business and professional goals.”

The Quick Start individualized coaching sessions cover LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, the three social media platforms most commonly used by business professionals and B2B marketers. “We work with our coaching clients until they understand the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ and feel comfortable using these tools,” says Loraine. She has personally trained many executives and small business owners on social media tools and strategies.

With the Advantage Marketing Quick Start Social Media Coaching, business executives and professionals can

  • Learn LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter basics
  • Discover how to set up and optimize their social media profiles
  • Start building their network of connections
  • Learn how to interact with their network effectively
  • Find out how using social media can support their business and professional objectives

Advantage Marketing is offering special pricing for a limited time to introduce this new service. For more information or to register for one-on-one sessions, contact us via email or call 908.233.6265.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social media coaching, Twitter | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

All or Nothing at All

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 21, 2011

Facebook for business

Companies that are successful on Facebook make an effort to communicate frequently with fans -- turning casual followers into brand advocates.

Why your commitment to Facebook makes all the difference

By Christian DeGobbi

I believe Frank Sinatra put it perfectly.  In life, whether it be personally or professionally, either you give it all you got or don’t bother.  To quote the master crooner, “There ain’t no in-between.”  When it comes to Facebook, this could not be more true.

The companies who are successful with Facebook today have lots of “friends” because their pages are fun and informative places to visit.  They are full of great content, have engaging pictures and videos, post frequent news and comments, and make an effort to communicate with their fans on a regular basis – a critical step in turning casual followers into a brand advocates.

Savvy marketing managers and companies understand that Facebook is quickly changing from a secondary to a primary source of interaction with customers, leapfrogging even the company website.  In fact, I recently read that some companies’ Facebook sites are so successful that they generate more monthly traffic than their websites!

But what about the not-so-successful companies?  For example, those that have a Facebook page but neglect to keep it current, vibrant and engaging.  Aren’t they really doing their brand image more harm than good?  Would you start painting your house then, halfway through, just stop and not finish the job?  It probably would have looked better had you never started.  That’s what it’s like with Facebook.  Many companies, both large and small, start a Facebook page because they feel they have to, because, “Hey, everyone else is doing it!”  Then, with no plan in place, it falls by the wayside and leaves visitors with a bad taste in their mouths.  Big mistake!

You don’t need to hire a dedicated social media staff to run a successful Facebook page but you must have a practical strategy in place. To be successful, you must, at a minimum:

  • Define your audience
    • Your Facebook audience may be different than your Twitter audience or the individuals who visit your website.  Know your audience.  Know what they like.
  • Assign a person or team for managing/updating Facebook
    • Determine and define everyone’s roles before creating your Facebook page.
  • Dedicate time every day to managing/updating Facebook
    • Anywhere between a ½ hour to an hour a day can help keep your Facebook page up-to-date and relevant.
  • Intrigue your audience with engaging content
    • Create a publishing calendar of the content (reports, whitepapers, videos, etc.) you plan to (and know you can!) create to avoid prolonged content gaps.  Set deadlines to help you stick with it.
  • Engage your followers
    • Make it a point to join some of the conversations taking place on your site.  Be mindful to use a friendly, approachable tone and don’t come across too pushy, like all you are interested in is pushing the person through the sales cycle.

Some smaller B2B companies that I see leveraging Facebook very well are Landmark Creations, Idea Paint, and Unified360.  They have a great mix of interesting content, timely posts, informational videos, engaging pictures and interact with their followers.

Social media, especially Facebook, is very easy to get sucked into today.  It’s advantageous to have a great Facebook site for your business but, like getting a dog, you must be prepared for all the responsibilities that come with it, or risk putting off your target audience.  Do it right or hold off until you have a plan you know you can execute.  Because when it comes to social media – “There ain’t no in-between.”

What’s next?

Continue the discussion. What are you doing to market your B2B company on Facebook? Please share your tips and comments below.

Connect with the Author. Christian DeGobbi is currently the Marketing Manager, Americas for Dow Jones Indexes. His marketing career started in media planning for large, big brands at top NYC advertising agencies.  For the past ten years, Christian has worked in the B2B client-side marketing space.  He also enjoys being an involved member of the American Marketing Association’s New Jersey Chapter. Christian invites you to reach out to him on Twitter (@cdegobbi) and LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/communicatingchristian).

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Posted in Business, Facebook, Marketing, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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