Sam Harrelson



Sam Harrelson

Do Facebook Ads Really Work?

Within the advertising industry, the debate about whether advertising works on Facebook is not new. A survey last year showed over 60 percent of small business owners felt advertising on Facebook was ineffective. The lawsuit takes it a step further, saying Facebook is misleading advertisers.

Source: Does Facebook Really Work? People Question Effectiveness Of Ads : NPR

Like anything else, you do need some expertise to make Facebook or Instagram or Snap or Google or Pinterest ads work. We are finishing a period where these advertising companies have held that “ANYONE CAN DO IT! IT’S SO EASY! JUST SIGN UP AND TELL US WHO YOU WANT TO TARGET!” with regards to their ads and effectiveness.

But that’s simply not true. I could probably re-roof our home. But I’m not going to spend the time, effort, and money trying to do that job myself. I’m going to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

Same with social media advertising and marketing. That’s how I pay our mortgage (and for our new roof) every month!




2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner

“Nearly all marketers (83%+) who’ve been employing social media marketing for 1 year or longer report it generates exposure for their businesses.”

I’m skeptical of these sorts of reports generally, but SME does a good job of presenting digestible data. There are certainly some good takeaways here for businesses of all sizes, nonprofits, and churches looking to do more with their social media profiles.

The PDF download is free.

In our tenth-annual social media study, more than 5,700 marketers reveal where they’ll focus their social media efforts.

Source: 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report : Social Media Examiner




Your logo and Instagram content

Good advice to consider here, particularly for nonprofits and churches on slimmer marketing budgets looking to make the most impact possible on social media…

What about content that doesn’t show a clear logo? What about companies with unbranded or non-logoed products? We’ve seen that a huge percentage of the content shared and posted on Pinterest is logo-free. It’s important to go beyond the logo to get the whole story of an image—how brand content is shared over time, who has shared that content and who has influence in getting it shared

via Brands Must Look Beyond the Logo to See the Big Picture – Adweek




Pinterest Suggestions from Sony

Interestingly enough, Sony has been a great study for how businesses (large and small) can leverage Pinterest to drive traffic and revenue back to a site.

Sony has done a great job of not just community evangelization and using Pinterest as a place to engage current and potential customers, but they have also successfully cross promoted their own account there with promotional emails to existing newsletter subscribers.

The one thing many companies, especially in the performance marketing industry, look over when creating social media campaigns is the need to promote accounts via something like an existing newsletter subscriber base. By combining those two, there’s a great potential left on the table for many companies…

Pinterest Suggestions from Sony

1. Send a dedicated Pinterest email to showcase your boards and encourage following

2. Add the Pin It button next to product shots in emails to get people pinning

3. Create unique boards that appeal to different groups of people

via Sony: Making email more interesting with Pinterest | Pinterest for Business.




Twitter Learns from Pinterest

While tools like Storify have been doing something similar to this, Twitter’s newly unveiled custom timelines feature could be incredibly popular (and valuable for your business):

Starting today, we are introducing the ability to create custom timelines in TweetDeck. Custom timelines, which were just announced, are a new type of timeline that you control by selecting the Tweets you want to include.

via Twitter Announces Custom Timelines For Hashtags Or Topics On Tweetdeck, Launching API Too.

For instance, here’s a quick curated timeline I just put together:

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+”://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Why are these important and not just another random Twitter feature that only a few power users will use?

Think of this as the ability to “pin” Tweets into curated lists as you would do with images around certain topics on Pinterest. While you can do something like that by favoriting tweets (something I love to do), being able to assemble tweets in a non-timed based manner and more focused on certain hashtags or topics is exactly what Twitter needed to compete with other social services.

It looks like Twitter learned a great deal from Pinterest here and this is going to be popular with live sports events and reality shows like The Voice (pictured above). Your business could benefit.




Pinterest Gets Analytics

Pinterest has announced their iteration of web analytics for bloggers, businesses and groups with a verified website in the profile of the popular sharing service:

Introducing Pinterest Web Analytics – Pinterest Blog: “Bloggers, businesses, and organizations often ask us, “what are people pinning from my websites?” These website owners help create the content on Pinterest and we wanted to help them understand which pieces of content people find most interesting. Today, we’re pleased to announce Pinterest Web Analytics, a first step towards doing just that. Web Analytics gives site owners insights into how people are interacting with pins that originate from their websites.”

Getting your website verified by Pinterest is a pretty painless and straightforward process involving dropping some code into the header of your site.

Most interesting is the ability to see stats on not just your pins but also repins as well as impressions and clicks. This should make many of the marketers and businesses that have been eyeing Pinterest but not sold on the platform because lack of analytics happy.

This isn’t a good thing for sites such as PinReach that have sprung up to fulfill the need for analytics and insight into Pinterest trends. However, much like Twitter’s once flourishing API coral reef (still a great post six years later), these sites can become interesting platforms to dig deeper or look at other types of social engagement outside of what Pinterest itself offers.

Pinterest is definitely upping the social media involvement ante with businesses as it continues to scale its user base and explore areas of monetization and ad serving in a different path than either Twitter or Facebook.

Instead, look to LinkedIn and Twitter for further innovation in the social networking monetization space.




Spreading Too Thin on Social Sites

Spreading videos you’ve already made (and the ones you haven’t made yet) to social channels is one of the common sense things that many marketers don’t do well.

On top of that, making sure to do more than just link or embed your videos on sites as if you’re simply broadcasting is something most marketers just simply ignore.

Yes, spread your videos around but don’t just dilute your message online by blasting your posts or videos or podcasts everywhere… just as when you are learning in school, it’s better to go deeper than wider when applying social media strategies. Don’t have time for LinkedIn? Don’t post there. Think Twitter is silly? Don’t tweet. Have no clue why Pinterest is a big deal? Don’t pin.

Find the balance between spreading your content (posts, video, audio, pics etc) but don’t spread yourself too thin on sites that you’re not authentically using and engaging…

Leverage Your Existing Videos on Your Social Media Sites | SoMedia Video Marketing Blog: “LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Google+ are all great places to post your videos—in fact I think LinkedIn and Google+ are going to be big destinations for online business video in the near future—which is the key point here: once you’ve created a video, you need to ensure you leverage it beyond your website. Don’t just hide it on your website, consider all the places where your target audience is online, stake your claim, and post the video there.”

via Tris Hussey on Twitter




Social Media Marketing Sizes Cheat Sheet

We use this as our internal “cheat sheet” for social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ at Harrelson Agency for finding the right size for images and texts.

It’s a great quick reference to help our clients get the job done.

You can grab a copy from Scribd below or use this Dropbox link for a view or download.

Enjoy!

Social Media Marketing Sizes Cheat Sheethttp://www.scribd.com/embeds/118366124/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-27uvd00byzynodbr39xn(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();




What is the Job of Social Logins on Your Site?

I wish Craig would have included his sources for which research he cites here…

Should You Use Social Login’s?: “Wondering  which social logins are the most popular option among users? Well, according to research, 42 percent of social logins use Facebook while the remaining alternatives are fairly equally distributed among Yahoo, Paypal, Google and others. If you can only select one form of social login…make it Facebook.”

Regardless, if you’re going to use social plugins for commenting, subscriptions, engagement, sharing etc on your site, I would hesitate to decide on just one to elevate unless you do your own careful research and heuristics on your actual site(s).

For instance, I have sites that receive the majority of their “social” traffic from Facebook and I have sites that receive virtually all of their social traffic from sites like Reddit and Twitter.

All traffic is not good traffic. Having passive visitors from Facebook that have nothing to do with performance marketing is grand, but doesn’t do much for the bandwidth costs of this site. Similarly, passive Twitter or search traffic that arrives at one of my niche book sites doesn’t do much for me (beyond pageview ego petting) compared to the Facebook or Amazon search traffic that supports and livens those sites.

So, as always, remember that your site is doing a job for people. Figure out what that job is for people and offer them the service that you would want if you were hiring your site to do a job for your mother. Limit their choices, walk them through the process, do friendly follow up and make them want to refer you and come back (as Jangro reminds us, make them yours).

Check your stats and see where the bulk of that traffic might be coming from and why and then decide if you want to elevate a social login (which you definitely should) service on your site.




More on Like-Jacking and Quality Traffic

Last week I posted about the rise of “Like-Jacking” on Facebook and why digital literacy is so important. The WSJ covers the issue this morning as well…

Spam Finds a New Target – WSJ.com: “A common social-spam attack on Facebook, known as “like-jacking,” involves duping users into clicking on an image that looks as if a friend has clicked the “Like” button, recommending it.”

When I first got my start in the online marketing world, I worked at an email marketing firm that helped spark the “Free iPod” phenomenon in exchange for just an email address and zip code. It was amazingly profitable and I soon learned why. People want freebies.

However, the quality of traffic was terrible and the lists were sold and resold so many times that any value they might have had were soon distilled into the ether.

The same holds true for Facebook Likes and retweets today and the growing realization that all traffic is not good traffic (especially traffic derived from passive social traffic that is unqualified and not valuable).