Category Archives: Social Media

What Marketers Can Learn from the Top 5 Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016

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Top 5 Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016 - Eminent SEO

Just a little over year ago, Facebook Live went viral.

The service allows users to broadcast video from their phone where it can be viewed and commented on in real time by friends on Facebook. After the live recording is complete, the video can be viewed, liked and commented on – just like regular videos posted on the platform.

When Facebook Live initially came out in August 2015, it was limited to use by celebrities. Then in January 2016, Facebook started making the service available to all users. At first, it was mostly utilized by large media outlets.

In April 2016, BuzzFeed hosted the first Facebook Live video that went viral, which answers that burning question that keeps us all up at night: How many rubber bands does it take to make a watermelon explode? (If you need to know the answer, or just want to see a watermelon blow up, you can view the video here.)

While the exploding watermelon video garnered a respectable 11-plus million views, it was soon surpassed by Candace Payne’s “Chewbacca Mom” video in May 2016, which marked the first viral video by an everyday user. Soon, other videos followed – some silly, some serious – garnering millions of views in the U.S. and worldwide.

In honor of the first anniversary of Facebook Live going viral, let’s examine the top five viral Facebook Live videos of the past year.

The Top Five Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016

In order of views, here are the top five Facebook Live videos of last year.

1. Candace Payne: Chewbacca Mom

Chewbacca Mom Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: Candace Payne

Live Date: 5/19/2016

Views: 166 million

The video in a nutshell: Sitting in her car at a Kohl’s parking lot, Candace shows off the purchase she just made: a Star Wars Chewbacca mask. She demonstrates the sound effects of the mask, which she finds absolutely hilarious, and her humor is contagious.

What we can learn: Authentic silliness is still a top driver in viral videos. Others could have demonstrated this same product and it might be interesting for about 2 seconds, but Candace’s genuine humor and her complete openness about what she’s thinking and feeling comes through so strongly that you can’t help but laugh along with her, even as your logical mind does an eye roll at the silliness of it all.

In fact, taking such a trivial thing and making it a high point of one’s day is what makes it so charming. Candace’s comment with the video says, “It’s the simple joys in life…” This pretty much sums up the appeal of this video. In a world full very serious happenings, there is a certain satisfaction in sharing the little things that make people smile.

2. Ted Yoder: Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on Hammered Dulcimer

Tears For Fears Hammered Dulcimer Facebook Video - ESEO

Facebook Video: Ted Yoder

Live Date: 8/24/2016

Views: 94 million

The video in a nutshell: Musician Ted Yoder plays the classic ‘80s Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on hammered dulcimer, live in his backyard with family and friends looking on. If you’ve never heard of that instrument before, you’re probably not alone.

Maybe some of the appeal of the video is the novelty of the instrument, but it’s also an outstanding performance. And for the encore performance, you get to meet his family’s pet raccoon.

What we can learn: Extraordinary talent will never go out of style. Combine that with a great song, a few eclectic features – the instrument, the raccoon – and a casual, friendly vibe, and it’s easy to see why this video is a hit: It’s got several things going for it.

Like the “Chewbacca Mom” video, this oozes authenticity. This speaks to why marketers struggle to intentionally create viral videos: What elevates something from moderately interesting to worthy of being shared is often the open and authentic nature of the event, which is extremely difficult to manufacture.

3. BuzzFeed: Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election

BuzzFeed 2020 Presidential Countdown Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: BuzzFeed

Live Date: 11/9/2016

Views: 55 million

The video in a nutshell: For those who woke up the day after the U.S. presidential election wondering, “How soon until we get a do-over?” BuzzFeed was kind enough to provide the answer in the form of a video.

The streaming video showed a (then) live countdown of the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until the next presidential election.

What we can learn: Humor and empathy in a simple visual form is a powerful combination. There was a lot of talk on social media the day after about the surprising and controversial results of the election, but this video managed to say what some were feeling without saying anything.

4. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: People Lining Up to Hug Police Officers in Dallas

Dallas Police Officers Hugs Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: Jennifer Brett/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Live Date: 7/8/2016

Views: 38 million

The video in a nutshell: In the wake of an ambush attack on Dallas police officers that left five dead and nine injured, citizens turned out the next day to give hugs to Dallas police officers. Yes, the event happened in Dallas, but it was Atlanta’s most-recognized news outlet that garnered the most views on Facebook Live that day.

What we can learn: When emotions are running high, simple scenes like this one can become symbolic of what millions of people are thinking and feeling. Unlike the more lighthearted videos featured previously, this video sparked more opposing viewpoints in the comments.

5. NBC News: Election Results Electoral Map

Race To 270 Presidential Election - ESEO

Facebook Video: NBC News

Live Date: 11/8/2016

Views: 36 million

The video in a nutshell: This 4-hour video showed a map of the U.S. and was continually updated on election night as the voting results came in.

What we can learn: Being in the right place, at the right time, with the right information matters. At the time this video aired, the election was the biggest story in the country and millions of people wanted live, up-to-the-moment information on the results. The downside, however, was that the video became irrelevant as soon as the election concluded.

Some Facebook Live Videos Have More Longevity than Others

Facebook Live Video Longevity - Eminent SEO

It’s interesting to note that the first three videos on this list have continued to gain millions more views over time, whereas the last two are not generating many new views.

As you can see in the graphic immediately above, here’s the viewer count of each of the aforementioned Facebook Live videos on Dec. 8, 2016, and then compared to April 27, 2017:

1) Candace Payne: Chewbacca Mom: 162 million views then (Dec. 8) – now 166 million

2) Ted Yoder: Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on Hammered Dulcimer: 85 million then – now 94 million

3) BuzzFeed: Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election: 51 million then – Now 55 million

4) Atlanta Journal-Constitution: People Lining Up to Hug Dallas Police Officers: 38 million then – still 38 million

5) NBC News: Election Results Electoral Map: 36 million then – still 36 million

The last two videos on the list were based on events that were very relevant in the moment, but then become old news.

The funny and entertaining videos, however, continue to gain additional views as they are discovered and passed around by latecomers to the craze.

Interestingly, the “Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election” video continues to gain views, perhaps providing an emotional outlet to those who are eager for the next presidential election. This reveals an important difference between the countdown video and the electoral college video: While the latter only gave us information we wanted in the moment, the former taps into an emotion that continues to be relevant long after the event that triggered it.

Summary: Evergreen Viral Video Traits

These five videos demonstrate six key traits that we see over and over again in viral videos.

  1. Authenticity and vulnerability
  2. Humor
  3. Uniqueness
  4. Talent
  5. Emotional empathy
  6. Relevancy in the moment

While it’s extremely difficult to intentionally produce a video that goes viral, marketers can hone the skill of identifying situations and moments when an opportunity exists to share something with these traits.

Showing up every day and engaging with what people are saying, and then using those interactions to understand how they’re feeling and thinking, is what builds a marketer’s instincts for what will be popular.

But, of course, engaging online on a regular basis can be time consuming, and many businesses don’t have the resources in house to keep up with it like they should. At Eminent SEO, we manage the daily social media engagement for our clients, interacting regularly with users online, and developing strategies based on popular demand.

Learn About Our Social Media Services

Sara Korn

Finding creative ways to give both readers and clients what they want is why I love being a writer! As a Content Strategist at Eminent SEO, I listen to clients and put myself in the shoes of their customers to create compelling marketing messages that drive engagement.

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Why Well-Written Social Media Copy Makes a Difference

Why Well-Written Social Media Copy Makes Difference - Eminent SEO

To succeed in the social media sphere, businesses must populate their various accounts with consistently strong writing (in addition to strong imagery). It might surprise you to learn, however, that not all social media managers deem themselves writers.

The good news is that writing social media copy isn’t complex. Nevertheless, learning how to write for social media is worth it. Here are some tips on how to write better content for social media – and why it matters.

Why Writing Well Matters

Writing For Facebook & LinkedIn - Eminent SEOEach social media post communicates a business’ brand to its clients. A well-written post paints a positive and polished image of a business, communicating to users that this business has something valuable to say and/or offer.

Meanwhile, a social post that is unfocused or disorganized reflects poorly on a business, hurting any rapport the company had built with existing or potential customers. Poorly written content doesn’t do a business justice and can undermine an organization’s success. Therefore, well-written social media posts are important.

Conciseness

A successful social media writer is informative yet concise. A large amount of value has to be communicated in as few words as possible. A strong social media post compels the reader’s attention with carefully calculated word choice. In short, writing well for the internet involves learning the right style, which we’ll get to later.

Consistency

Social media writing must be consistent. A Facebook page must share the same message a connected Twitter page does. Businesses should give an even level of attention to all social media accounts (unless one platform is clearly fostering better results). If a business is raving about a 50 percent off deal on all products on Twitter but crickets are chirping on its Facebook page, then there is inconsistent communication. The only exception is if the company is pushing a platform-specific offer.

Tailoring the Message to the Platform

On the other hand, consistency in content does not mean universal writing styles for all social media websites. A Facebook post has a 63,206-character limit while Twitter allows no more than 140. A LinkedIn post is intended to be formal and informative, while a tweet’s purpose is to be eye-catching and clever.

The same style and word choice of writing will not work for all social networks, but there must be common ground regarding communicated content over all platforms. This makes mastering the art of social media copywriting all the more challenging.

How Long Can the Social Media Copy Be?

This is the wrong question. Instead of asking how long a social media post can be, you should ask how long the post should be. A tweet can be up to 140 characters, but it shouldn’t be your business’s standard to run every tweet right up until the limit.

Finding the ideal character count for a specific Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn post may sound impossible, but thankfully, researchers have done the heavy lifting to produce ideal word count figures. Here are the findings:

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Character Post Limits - Eminent SEO

  • Twitter: Post limit: 140 characters. Ideal post length: 71–100 characters. Keep in mind that including any link removes 24 characters. Also, many social media experts recommend using 1–2 hashtags per tweet.
  • Facebook: Post limit: 63,206 characters. Ideal post length: 40 characters. The 60,000+ character limit includes the content that stays hidden unless the user clicks “Read More.” In reality, the character limit before the “Read More” link shows up is only 400.
  • LinkedIn: Post limit: 600 characters. Ideal post length: 25 words. As mentioned earlier, it’s recommended to keep your LinkedIn copy more straightforward and professional than on other platforms.

How Should Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Posts Be Written?

Each social media network is unique. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn posts have different end goals and different audiences they attempt to reach, and keywords can be specially utilized for each. Therefore, your social media copy should be tailored to fit these expectations.

Here is how the different social media networks operate, and how you can make the best use of keywords on each.

Writing for Twitter

Twitter is essentially a news platform camouflaged as social networking. There is a heavy emphasis on retweeting and content circulation. Twitter is the epitome of something “going viral.” A business that intends to share blog posts or promote website content should find Twitter to be a valuable tool.

As a rule of thumb, resharing article headlines as Twitter post copy should be used in moderation. It is best to tailor the social copy to the content an article is conveying. This entails giving a synopsis of the story or a unique insight, rather than a regurgitation of the article’s headline. In general, try to write complete sentences and clear thoughts on Twitter.

Using Twitter Hashtags and Emoji

Getting Your Hashtag On - Eminent SEO

It is a well-known rule to include hashtags at the end of a post. This will ensure they receive extra attention than they would otherwise. A healthy hashtag limit is 2–3 per post, so do not overuse them. Focus on using important keywords as your hashtags. With a high enough volume of sharing, the keywords can become successful.

In the same way hashtags should not be overused, neither should emoji. However, these icons can be beneficial addition to tweet copy when used economically because they add character to the content.

Including URLs

URLs are helpful to add to tweets. Adding them about 25 percent of the way into the tweet is better than including it at the tail end, according to research. This requires formulating a short introduction, embedding the URL, and then adding a longer explanation.

Writing for Facebook

Laptop Writing For Social Media - Eminent SEOFacebook distributes the most website referral traffic. The audience’s expectation of reading a   Facebook post is for both news and entertainment. Going forward, Facebook will continue to place a greater emphasis on video content.

Keywords are difficult to track through Facebook, but not impossible. You can use keywords in your Facebook status updates, and then click the “See All” option near “Insights.” This should help you quantify the number of users your keywords are reaching, and how viral these terms are.

Contrary to popular opinion, Facebook posts should be short: 40 characters short, believe it or not. Facebook also lowers promotion-heavy posts in its feed. This means posts that include phrases such as, “Act Now!” or, “Purchase Now!” should be avoided because Facebook’s algorithm will flag it. The tone of a Facebook blurb for a blog post or article should be concise, witty and conversational.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-centric site, so a company’s content needs to appeal to this mindset. LinkedIn is the site of choice for professional content and business article sharing. As a side note, LinkedIn created LinkedIn Pulse in 2015, which is a content publishing and distribution feature.

LinkedIn writing is clear, concise and respectful. The most important rule for LinkedIn writing is remembering that a professional audience is reading the post. Avoid confusing language, get straight to the point and maintain a professional voice.

For keywords, the most important places to use them are in your location, your professional headline (120 available characters), your personalized URL, your summary of experience, and your overall profile summary. Use these spaces to advertise yourself and your business for best results.

Social Media Copy Can Make or Break Your Business

Stellar social media copy should be a weapon in every business’ arsenal. The written word powers social media (although images and video help, too). Guiding this power effectively through deft writing skills and audience reconnaissance leads to success in the social media realm.

Eminent SEO can help give your business’s social media efforts a boost – either through consulting or even taking control of your many social accounts, ensuring that each receives plenty of enticing, head-turning content every month. Click to learn more about our Social Media Marketing Services, or simply call 800.871.4130 today.

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Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Social Media Takeover: How the Wrong Social Media Strategy Can Drain Your Marketing Budget

Wrong Social Media Strategy Can Cost You Thousands - Eminent SEO

When we’re living in an era when you can legitimately put a profession such as “Instagram Model” on a resúmé, you know just how powerful a tool social media can be. A once-lonely and overlooked high school girl can instantly turn famous by clicking, posting and creating a massive following. Just like that, she’s a business.

Well, it doesn’t quite work the same if your goal is to grow your business, put money in the bank, maintain a reputation and expand. What too many businesses don’t understand is how the wrong social media strategy can cost them thousands of potential dollars.

So, Where’s the Disconnect Here?

The internet age is actually still in its infancy, but it’s growing and maturing at lightning speed. It’s seemingly impossible to keep up with the amount of information that is constantly generated, no matter how valuable. There’s simply too much.

Additionally, there is a general naivety and lack of awareness about the power of social media and exactly how to use it to generate revenue. Many business owners don’t even know that an actual strategy is needed in social media to accomplish their business goals.

Every click, like, share, comment or request is all potential dollars for your growing business. Using the right social media platform and reaching out to your niche audience are what most businesses fail to comprehend. Instead, they use the wrong social media platform and cater to the wrong audience.

Your goal is to engage with your audience frequently enough to build the type of relationship that will foster loyalty and support your business.

It’s Always Best to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Money Down The Drain - Eminent SEOSocial media is a game and a precise strategy needs to be involved. There are rules to play by if you want to win. It’s not good enough to just show up on the sidelines and expect to get a trophy. You have to get in there, know your opponent, and then play better and harder.

Wasting your time Instagramming when you should be Facebooking can cost you labor dollars and decrease your online exposure – and eventually your ROI. This is why narrowing down your niche audience is so important. Snapchat is used by a much different generation and demographic than Facebook or even Instagram, and you certainly don’t want to waste your time and efforts on the wrong platform.

Don’t Be Afraid to Pull the Trigger!

Now let’s take a closer look at what evaluating a social media strategy looks like for an agency. Let’s say a client was a trendy new yoga studio located just outside of a major city. The social media agency may start with posting content on general health, wellness, the benefits of yoga, etc. to multiple social platforms. The marketers begin to notice that there are very few “likes,” comments and share on all of their posts.

The agency may start to realize that most social media platforms are image-driven, so it begins to repost the same content and add an image. This simple addition generates a significant amount of interest and response from the client’s audience, and then interaction with followers becomes more frequent.

Well, that’s great, but there are still one or two platforms (let’s say Snapchat and Tumblr) that are still not generating as much “buzz” as Facebook and Instagram. At this point, it may be better to ditch those two platforms and pour all social media marketing dollars into the ones remaining.

Now would be a great time to reevaluate the client’s target audience and the overall social strategy. The agency may conclude that there is an older demographic interested in the studio from a few clues:

  1. They are getting most of their responses from Facebook and Instagram.
  2. The studio is located outside of the city, which means the audience is most likely made up of people who are settling down and have families.
  3. Through geo-fencing strategies, this demographic has been targeted and has been receiving ads and promotions.

That’s still not the end of the agency’s marketing efforts. The marketers can now get even more detailed in their approach, and they can better specify exactly which kind of images appeal to the client’s target demographic.

The agency realizes that this “older” Facebook and Instagram crowd may be intimidated by images of yogis bending and twisting like a professional contortionist, so it decides to only use images that a healthy person at any age can easily do. This will show that the yoga studio welcomes all levels and ages of health and wellness. Even a small tweak such as this will boost audience interaction even more, which can quickly translate to direct membership sales for the studio.

The Moral of the Story:

Agencies must be quick to adjust, evaluate and reevaluate, and they can never slip into a place of complacency when strategizing for a business. They must be prepared to ditch any platform that is not producing results, based on the initial goal, and move forward with the others quickly.

But What if You’re Not the Young Instagram Model or the Stay-At-Home Mom Starting Her Own Business?

Social Media Thumbs Up Bar Chart - Eminent SEOA cheeseburger affects an Olympic marathoner differently than someone having a triple bypass. Posting frequency works very much the same. While some individual social media users can post multiple pictures and content all throughout the day, a thriving business using this tactic will quickly be considered spam. In order to capitalize on your platform and not chase away followers, it’s important to follow the rules of engagement.

Your main goal should be to increase followers and keep them engaged with your content. If you “overshare” and flood their timelines, you easily run the risk of getting unfollowed – or those who still follow you will quickly become overwhelmed by your content.

Building your business using social media is a marathon, not a sprint. The more consistent you are at posting on the correct platform, the more traffic you’ll see, and the more likes and shares you’ll receive. Additionally, your brand will make a name for itself and the money will flow – if you stay committed and consistent.

Seems Like a Full-Time Job in Itself, Huh?

Well, you can certainly take advantage of social media dashboards like Hootsuite or Buffer that make creating and posting content much easier. They allow you to create multiple social media streams, post to all of them at the same time, and even schedule out posts in advance. Again, consistency is key! Using these dashboards will allow you to account for human error, forgetfulness and even laziness all with a simple click. These social tools are all about convenience.

Don’t miss out on the chance to generate interaction and engagement with your followers because you didn’t stick with it. Social media is about investing time and constantly doing research in order to reap the rewards.

Don’t Forget to Track Your Progress!

How do you know you’re losing weight without a scale? Just like someone trying to drop weight can’t gauge their progress without a scale, a business cannot assess its progress without tracking it. This means recording the number of likes on a post, the comments left, the number of shares, etc. They all matter.

There’s always room for growth and development, so if one strategy or platform doesn’t work, no need to worry. Just switch up your game until you find your sweet spot. Again, repeat business and a strong brand reputation requires customer loyalty, so it’s important to quickly change and adapt to what your audience wants to hear or learn.

Can You Track Sales Through Social Media?

Now, social media isn’t the easiest way to track precise sales, but it’s possible to get an approximation.

Buffer is an excellent resource to help you calculate tangible goals and project the outcome of your social media campaigns. You can see just how much money you will be able to generate and can soon watch a “click-click” turn into a “cha-ching!”

Knowing is half the battle. When you know your goal and how it translates to revenue, you are able to strategize in the most effective way for your business.

Getting Help so You Don’t Have the Wrong Social Media Strategy

Social media is the way businesses market now. Buying a local ad is a waste of money if you know how to work your social media and maximize your efforts. Not jumping on board and becoming educated on all the tricks can cost your business some serious change, and who can afford that?

It’s all about finding the best strategy for your business and then adjusting it and making it even better as you ramp your efforts up. Eminent SEO is a leading industry professional here to guide you and perform market research on your behalf to quickly decrease your costs and increase your profit!

If you are overwhelmed right now, don’t be. That’s why we’re here! As the internet continues to develop, the type of resources at our disposal will expand, including ones that will help us streamline your efforts. The trick is to stay abreast of your competition and put out more useful content that drives consumers to your website.

Eminent SEO is here to guide you and help you filter through steps to save you time and frustration. We can remove all of the guesswork and tell you which social platforms are working best and what kind of online engagement can be expected. Click to learn more about our Social Media Marketing Services, or call 800.871.4130 to get started now.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Boost Your Social Media Marketing Efforts with These Online Visual Tools

Online Storytelling Tools - Eminent SEO

As 2016 approaches, you’re probably looking for fresh ways to deliver compelling content to online users, particularly those in the social media realm. Rather than trying to get people to focus on run-of-the-mill blog posts and straightforward service and product pages, why not focus on what you can do for them, not what they can do for you?

With that in mind, what steps can you take to better inform and even entertain your current audience? How can you make that audience grow, not only on your website, but on social media? What tools or practices can you employ to make your content stand out from the competition?

We’re going to tell you about three online tools you can use to help you answer the preceding questions. Not only are each of the tools listed below fairly easy to use, but two out of the three of them are free. One is fairly new to the scene, but all the companies behind all three tools happened to make moves within the last couple of years that helped them reach a wider audience.

The best part about each of the tools on the following list is that there’s a storytelling component to each of them. Telling stories is a tried-and-true way of capturing people’s attention. As far as storytelling online is concerned in the age of short attention spans, this time-tested method can help keep eyes on your content longer. Using the online tools below will help you churn out great content that’s a little different than the norm, yet readily shareable on social media.

Without further ado, let’s get into the three tools (in no particular order) that can help you boost your social media marketing efforts and overall online engagement in the coming year.

Storify

This online curation service is probably the most recognizable name on the list. It debuted in 2010 and was free for everybody to use. A business plan debuted in 2013, boasting additional features not found in the free version. You’ve probably seen Storify stories embedded on media sites like Yahoo and BBC, as the features are very useful for journalists trying to aggregate content posted to social media.

Storify lets you easily pull from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud and more in order to create one chronological story. You can write some text in between some of the social posts to give more context, but usually these stories are pretty light on copy, taking the best from social media and other online platforms. The stories are easily embeddable on your website, and your creations can get some extra views through custom social sharing features and on the platform itself, which functions as its own social network.

Even if you’re not in the news business, if you ever see a news story, event or trending social media topic that relates (even faintly) to your industry, that’s the perfect time to take to Storify. There you can grab social posts that either 1) best recap the online conversation, or 2) best illustrate whatever point you’d like to make. This can be a perfect way for your company to share your expertise on the trending subject and add value to the conversation. Your completed story will be perfect for sharing to social media and even embedding on your site.

When shared to Twitter, Storify stories make for one of the most interactive types of tweets imaginable.

If you go with the Storify Enterprise plan, you’ll have additional features at your disposal such as real-time story updates (perfect for live blogging) and the ability to blend an embedded story into your website’s format and color scheme. Overall, though, Storify is easy for any user to pick up and use for free.

ThingLink

This tool is the only one of the three on this list where your business is going to have to pay right off the bat, unless you’re counting the free 14-day trial. ThingLink lets you add interactive elements to photos and videos like never before. The company was founded in 2008, but arguably rose to prominence after receiving $2 million in venture capital funding in 2013.

In short, ThingLink allows you to put hot spots (or rich media tags) on a photo or video, which can bring up videos, product pages or stories (text or audio) that relate to that specific part of the image. Think of it like creating your own Pop Up Video. With ThingLink, a single image or video is just a stepping stone to a vast amount of content – as much as you choose.

Businesses that are naturally very visual-based have found many effective uses for ThingLink. Other companies have used the service to build landing pages, and even homepages, with a large photo that can take the user to various parts of the site. A spruced-up image or video through ThingLink makes for enticing content to tout on social media, bringing more eyes to the completed piece. Some images you can even share and allow outside users to tag parts of the picture and add content as they see fit.

If your business doesn’t do a lot of video or original photography, you still might try out the free trial on ThingLink and see what kind of feedback you get on a finished piece. If you see a strong ROI in that time frame, it may be worth your time to spring for a business subscription so you can work on bigger and better video and image projects.

Apester

Last but not least on this list is Apester, which has less to do with storytelling, on the surface, than the other two tools, but does allows you to churn out some visually impressive content. With Apester, you can create a slick, media-rich poll, survey or personality test to engage users and better understand your audience. Apester, a relatively young company that was formerly known as Qmerce, reached a milestone of $5 million in funding earlier this year.

Apester describes itself as a digital storytelling platform, especially when users take advantage of the service’s video quiz feature. Rather than having users passively watch a video, you can now create stopping points with Apester and ask the viewer questions – such as what the next lyric might be, if they’re watching a music video.

For other business purposes, if you have an educational video about a topic in your industry, you could use Apester to create places to, as educators would say, “check for understanding” about something the viewer should have learned from your video. The Weather Channel used Apester to quiz viewers of this informational video on extreme weather driving. After a user has voted or answered a question in an Apester-powered video or poll, they can share the content with their followers on social media.

If your company doesn’t do too much with video, the most practical use of Apester would be to create polls or surveys for your website. British media company UNILAD tends to use Apester polls at the bottom of many of their online news stories. For your business, you could embed a poll even on a services page of your website to see if visitors are understanding the content or to ask them what their most-pressing question or concern on the topic is. Well-worded polls can help you get to know get to know your audience better, which can help you market smarter to them going forward.

Did we mention the tool is free? You can use it for creating video advertisements, too. So, go ahead and sign up for Apester and start cranking out as much content as you’d like in ways that are going to boost your business.

In Conclusion

Don’t just give your audience the same ol’ same ol’ in 2016. Bring content to life by trying the aforementioned online tools, as well as any others out there that you think will help your company in some form or fashion. Now’s not the time to let your content stay idle and one-dimensional online. Let’s step our collective game up and deliver appealing (and informative) visual content to social media and other online users in the new year.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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How To Use Twitter For Your Business Without Sounding Spammy

This entry was posted in Social Media and tagged , , on by .

twitter businessYou’ve wanted to use Twitter for your company, or maybe you’ve already established an account, but if you’re a small- or medium-sized business, you’re probably having trouble gaining interaction or any ROI on the social media platform.

Heck, even many large corporations have trouble getting many Twitter users to care about what they’re tweeting. But if you are trying to use Twitter to generate sales, leads, or interest in your brand, there is some light at the end of the tunnel: Research shows there are reasons why your company should be active on Twitter, and that the proper strategy can help you succeed on the platform.

Why Should My Business Be On Twitter?

You might think of LinkedIn as the place to put on your proverbial sport coat and start making a sales pitch, but a recent Forbes study found there’s a better place to do it. Twitter has emerged as the No. 1 platform for sales prospecting, edging out LinkedIn and Facebook, respectively, according to Forbes’ research. Jill Rowley, a startup adviser, told Forbes she learns more about a buyer on Twitter than LinkedIn – whom they follow, who follows them and what they tweet about and retweet.

How A Business Should Tweet

First and foremost, businesses should aim to be engaging on Twitter and ready to interact with any user who shows genuine interest. Small Business Trends advises companies to be personable on the micro-blogging platform. For example, if one of your colleagues is celebrating a birthday, or if your team is gathered at a recognizable venue, a tweet or two with photos of the event goes a long way in peeling back the curtain to your company and showing Twitter users you’re relatable.

However, don’t be too personal on your Twitter timeline. The Twitterverse is sort of a buttoned-down place where business can be conducted, but sharing a little TMI will almost always have an adverse effect.

As far as volume of tweets, a new Hootsuite blog post recommended not to tweet too much, and not to tweet too little. Posting several tweets subsequently that don’t build on each other is a great way to turn some of your followers off. Conversely, tweeting too little will make users bored with your brand and will reflect how little commitment you have to the platform.

It is okay to send the same tweet more than once, particularly if you have an ongoing campaign you’re trying to draw attention to, but tweak the copy or attach a different picture so it looks different each time, and don’t post the same idea more than once or twice day. Also, make sure to post a variety of tweets in between the ongoing message you’re trying to deliver. And for the best times to tweet, a Hootsuite blog post last year said many studies point to 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m., but it may be beneficial for your company to post in the evening, as well. Just consider whether your business goes for a national or local audience, and if it’s the latter.

What A Business Should Tweet

Your business Twitter account should reflect your expertise in your field. Apart from the tips and industry knowledge you possess that can be shared on the platform, feel free to share links to recent publications on topics related to your field. Your Twitter followers will appreciate the insight, even if it didn’t come from in house.

A recent Twitter blog post recommended adding value to the products you offer, such as how to use the items in ways consumers probably never thought of before. Also, invite Twitter followers into a community; tell them what you tweet about, what customers you serve and what kind of incentives they might expect. That leads us to highlighting exclusive prizes and giveaways. There’s no greater way to draw in some potential customers than to tweet about giveaways, promotions, deals and contests you’re running. Additionally, remember to include a call to action in several of your tweets. Simply saying “follow us” and including a compelling reason why can go a long way.

And most of all, remember: photos, photos, photos. Try to include photos in as many tweets as possible. Mashable reported in 2013 that tweets with photos that can be instantly seen in a user’s newsfeed (e.g. not Instagram links) garner 94 percent more retweets than text-only posts. Food photos tend to do well, as do pictures of recognizable landmarks or destinations. Memes are also acceptable to include in your tweets, provided you can make a relevant connection and not choose something that might offend your followers. As long as you have rights to whichever photos you want to tweet, go ahead and post them and make sure the text of each tweet logically ties into the image.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t sound like a soulless robot in your tweets, and be engaging on the platform and ready to react to your followers or what other leaders in your industry have to say. If you’re mentioned in a tweet or asked a question, be sure to respond to it! Also, try to follow back anyone who has just followed you, as long as their account looks legitimate.

Not every tweet from your business’ account has to make a sales pitch, but such posts will be more effective as long as you are engaging and expanding your audience with a steady stream of compelling content and commentary.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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How to Use Social Media and Email Marketing to Influence Repeat Business

repeat businessThe probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.” (Source)

So, now that opens up the question of why businesses only want their marketing budget spent on acquiring NEW customers. Why not focus a portion of your marketing spend to nurture your existing customers? Every business should focus at least a portion of their marketing budget to have former/existing customers become second, third, or even ongoing buyers of their product or service.

Email marketing and social media work together to create effective return customers when done right. If you have already accumulated a good amount of customers over the years and kept their information – you have the ability to reach out to those same customers in the hopes that they will buy from you again.. Staying in front of your customers is extremely important and showing them appreciation for being a customer is equally important. Here’s how to utilize these two marketing techniques to increase those repeat customers:

Stay in Front of Your Customers with Social Media

Social media can be a great way to connect with your audience and customers on a regular basis. By telling your story and giving out exclusive offers you will keep your audience, as well as past customers, influenced by your brand. Here’s how to have your customers think of your business first when they need a product or service you offer again:

Make Sure Your Customers Know You Have a Social Presence

To do this, you can put social links in your email signature. Maybe even send out a welcome email or regular newsletter to encourage them to follow your business on social media. A little blurb about exclusive deals and offers isn’t a bad idea here.

Establish Trust with Your Social Followers

You don’t want to spam your audience with a million offers a week. You want to strategically build trust which then helps build your overall brand. Building trust can be done by sharing company achievements/awards, employee stories and pictures, and useful information for your customers, such as industry news.

Promote Your Lead Generating Resources

This means landing pages that will capture customer data. If you see the same customer wanting to learn more information, they may be interested in purchasing a second time. Encourage this by sending them a follow up email asking them if they need any help. Don’t forget to thank them again for being a valued customer.

Nurture Customers with Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective techniques for generating repeat business with an extremely high ROI. According to Experian, for every $1 spent approximately $44.25 is the average return on investment. Talk about generating repeat business on a budget! Definitely doable with email marketing.

Email marketing is the gateway to nurturing those past customers into becoming on-going or repeat customers with personalization techniques. Personalizing your emails makes customers feel all warm and fuzzy inside because they feel they’re personally valued. Win, Win

Create Separate Email List for Previous Customers

The best way to mass-target your former customers is by separating out your email lists. This way you can personalize your emails and specifically thank former clients for being a customer! While thanking them, link to some featured products or services. You want to push for that second purchase and remind them why they chose to purchase from you in the first place.

Try to Accumulate Customer Data

I know it can be hard to do this part, but try. If you have information such as product purchase date, birthdays, etc. you can send anniversary style emails, such as the anniversary of when they first purchased from you. Did you follow up and ask for a review or testimonials? This is a great time to do so to get some useful feedback. Also, birthdays are a great time to email your customer and send a Happy Birthday card with a special discount. This will get them into your store and they may possibly order more products from you with their exclusive discount code.

Personalize Your Subject Lines

If you’re targeting a former customer, personalize it in the subject line with their name. This increases the chances of your email being opened by roughly 22%. Or, use other compelling text, such as “We Miss You, So We Have a Special Offer for You!” This can be tested, just try various compelling subject lines and track which ones get the best open rates.

Monitor the Behavior of Your Customer Email List Carefully

In order for you to understand what type of content is valuable to your customers, you should be monitoring their behavior through your email campaign tools and your website analytics. Is the content you’re sending them providing them value? In order to tell, look and see if they’ve clicked on links to specific landing pages in your analytics. How long did they stay on that page? What’s the bounce rate look like? Those are some valuable key performance indicators that will help you to know if your content is gaining the attention of your users.

Another key indicator you can use is the data of your past customers, for example look to see when the last time they purchased from you was. For past customers that haven’t purchased from you in over 3 months, send them an email blast with an exclusive offer. Monitor the conversion rates for this to see if your offer was valuable. If so, make this a primary campaign you can utilize every 3 months for past customers to get them back in the door.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, both social media and email marketing are great ways to generate repeat business. You need the social media to stay in front of your customers, but you need the email marketing to nurture those customers and turn them into repeat customers. Building a trusted relationship is the goal with both marketing techniques. Former customers trust your business more when they have a memorable experience and feel valued. On-going customer communication also encourages your former or current customers to become public supporters of your brand and recommend your product or service to their friends on social media – opening even more doors for an expanding customer base.

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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How to Master Pinterest for SEO

This entry was posted in SEO, Social Media and tagged , , on by .

pinterest seo47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest. (source)

Pinterest has been used for marketing since day one, basically. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this as a marketer or business owner? It opens up so many more opportunities for your website to be visible to new consumers, and potentially influence consumers in your niche.

In this segment, we want to talk about how you can use Pinterest specifically to boost your traffic and SEO. Utilizing these tips will help increase the amount of natural links pointing to your site and help your business Pinterest boards get more visibility.

Think of Pinterest as a Search Engine

With 70 million users, Pinterest is thought of as another search engine for those looking for inspiration and ideas. Don’t be blind to the opportunities that this can potentially bring your business. Users would rather search on Pinterest’s search engine for items such as: DIY, recipes, travel, etc. versus Google because they are looking for that visual inspiration. And what better catches someone’s eye than visuals? See for yourself:

Searching “places to see in Italy” on Google:

google search

You see there’s a lot going on here and you get a little bit of everything. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but check out what you get from Pinterest.

Searching “places to see in Italy” on Pinterest:

pinterest search

It really gives you that beautiful, inspiring photos that are attention grabbing.

Needless to say, users are using Pinterest to search for all kinds of inspiration and ideas, not just travel and recipes. Users trust Pinterest as a source for when they are purchasing products and services. When you think of Pinterest as another search engine to optimize for, it can really enhance your SEO because repins are qualified as natural backlinks to your website.

Make Sure Your Pinterest Business Profile is Optimized for Search Engines

Optimization is important because it lets search engines, such as Google, know that you’re business is directly verified with your Pinterest account. If your Pinterest account takes off, you want it to show in the search results when people search for your brand and related brand keywords, right?

Make Sure Your Profile is Verified

First thing you need to do to optimize is you need to make sure your website is verified with your Pinterest profile. Here’s the steps on how to verify your business account and website.

Make Your Boards Visible to Search Engines

There’s a setting where you can either hide or make your Pinterest boards visible in the search results. You want to make sure your boards are visible. This will open up opportunities for your boards to show up in the search results when they are related to specific key phrases in your niche. You can find this in the settings and make sure it’s set to No.pinterest search privacy

Optimized About Description

Just like most other social networks, Pinterest allows you to have a small description of what your business is what who you are. This has a 200 character limit, so make sure you utilize this section to include focus keywords that represent your business. Also, make sure this information is always accurate.

Create Boards & Pins That Are Keyword-Friendly

Board names, pins, and board descriptions should contain focus keywords. Don’t stuff your keywords if it doesn’t make sense that would look spammy. In my opinion, the more simple, the better. People don’t read, they’re looking for keywords on Pinterest. Make it easy for end user to scan and find what they want.

Board Names Contain Focus Keywords

When creating Pinterest boards, you want to make sure the names are closely related to focus keywords you are also targeting for SEO. You don’t want to limit your boards to ONLY keywords, I’m just saying you need to include your keywords within your boards along with other related topics. Check out Mashable’s Pinterest:

Pinterest boards

They keep it straight to the point with the names of their boards, which are also focus keywords related to what they represent as a brand.

Board Descriptions Contain Focus Keywords

Each board allows you space for a brief description of what that board includes. In your description, include your focus keyword for that board in the description. Think like your consumer and how they would be searching for items or services related to your board. Include that in your description.

Pins Should Contain Keywords and Hashtags

Each individual pin should represent something related to your business. This opens up opportunity to use your keywords in the descriptions. Especially when directly pinning your blog posts and other web pages, you want to make sure you utilize the description to have focus keywords. Don’t neglect the use of hashtags either, this will give your pin more opportunities to show in the Pinterest search results when users are searching that keyword.

Pin Your Website Content

This may seem pretty obvious, but so many forget to pin their blog posts and landing pages. Pinterest is full of blog posts and people are using it as a resource to gain knowledge and educate themselves in different niches.

Every time a blog post is written on your site, it should include an image that directly represents what the blog is about, then pinned on your company’s Pinterest board that’s related to the post. This opens up so many opportunities for your content to rank high and here’s why:

Repins Are Considered Natural Nofollow Backlinks

This is a great technique for SEO because again, repins = backlinks. Even though these backlinks are nofollow, Google will still consider them a natural backlink which is needed in your backlink profile. Every time your pin is repined onto other boards, it creates a separate link. Each link will point to your website because your content is the source.

Increased Social Signals

Another SEO benefit, is the fact that this will increase the amount of social signals for your content. Since search engines are using social signals to rank content higher, you want to make sure your content is maximizing this opportunity for going viral. The more repins and other social shares your content has, the higher it will show in search results because search engines feel that your content serves value to others.

Utilize Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest analytics

If you have a verified website on your Pinterest account, you will have access to view analytics. You want to closely watch these metrics to make adjustments to current content marketing efforts. The metrics Pinterest supplies you with are: pins from your website, repins from your website, website visitors, reach, most repined content, and most clicked content.

To analyze this data, look at the content that’s providing the most clicks to your website and most repins. This is a strong indication that this type of content, is providing your website with the most visibility. Customize your content marketing strategy to include more content that’s related. Track it. Did it provide you with the same range of results? If so, it should be included in your on-going content marketing campaign.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you understand what it takes to master Pinterest for SEO, start fulfilling! Pinterest and the content marketing side of SEO go hand in hand and should not be neglected in your overall SEO strategy. Follow this rule: Create, Test, Measure. Create your content, test it by sharing it on Pinterest, and measure the results with Pinterest analytics.

Do you need expert SEO advice? We can help. We provide results driven solutions for marketing and SEO. Give us a call today to speak with one of our specialists: (800) 871.4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Social Media Is Going To Help Accelerate Your Business Priorities

This entry was posted in Social Media and tagged on by .

Stop talking about social media if you want to get bigger budgets and teams. It’s about a  digital experience with a brand, company and/or personality. Social media isn’t just a form of marketing, it’s essentially an extension of a business strategy.

Think about your constraints and business objectives – This is how Social media is going to help accelerate those business priorities. social conversation

Social Media has to be an enabler of the business case. Make the business case- rather than saying, “That’s what everyone’s doing”. Brian Solis, a prominent digital analyst in the industry stresses for us to “stop talking about social media and start thinking about how social media becomes a means of triggering meaningful activities or outcomes that align with business priorities or objectives and customer expectations.”

How many times have you approached an executive in your company and stressed the importance of getting your company “more social media dollars?” And what’s the bet your executive had an instant response of, “No.” Chances are, your basis for the argument of, “everyone’s doing it” won’t go far.

Scrap your Social Media Strategies – and reapply business objectives around them and then you will learn to improve the business overall. You will then see your roll to be that more valuable when you are more business and customer focused on the digital experience.

Some Basics to Get Your Company Started:

Listen

How are YOUR customers using the different social platforms. Just because there’s a new kid or social platform on the block, that doesn’t mean you need to be on it too. If it makes sense then yes, by all means join the conversation, otherwise prioritize strategic goals where your social engagement can have the most impact, and then expand out.

Brand

You’re now personalizing your brand/corporation through a social voice, thus creating opportunities that will bring exposure to your company.

Engage

Ready to form a relationship? At this stage, you are now serving as a direct lifeline; utilizing  social platforms as digital tools to participate in conversations to build up communities and provide direct support through engagement. This is your persona, one on one communication with your consumers.

Analyze

It’s important to understand what’s actually working and quite frankly what’s failing. If utilized appropriately, social media should improve web traffic and you should be able to understand your ROI when you apply your business objectives around the digital and social strategy. Learn that things may have to be altered, content might have to change direction and that some relationships have break-ups (loss of fans)- Pay attention and alter your strategy accordingly.

What has social media done for your company? We’d love to hear what platforms have worked for you! And if you’re still a rusty and could use some help, feel free to shoot us an email and one of our social media strategists will get back to you stat! hello@eminentseo.com

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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3 Ways Social Media Impacts SEO

SEO and Social are Married NowYou know that everything on the web is social.  The phrase “let’s get social” appears on just about everyone’s website.  But, until the last couple years or so, social media had very little, if any, impact on your search rankings.  It still had value, no doubt, as companies able to garner huge followings were able to drive followers to their websites and increase brand awareness and sales, among other things.

But now, social has a lot to do with your search engine optimization strategy.  We’ll show 3 concrete ways in which it does.

Examples of how Social Media directly impacts SEO

Personalized Results

If there’s one big trend on the web, it’s relevancy, and personalized search is always more relevant to the searcher.  You see that icon with the circle around it?  If you search in Google and see that icon, it means it’s a personal search result you’re more likely to see when signed in to Google.

 Jenny Stradling Personalized Result

When you sign in to Google, it examines people who are in your Google+ circles, and whenever you type in a search term, you’re more likely to see a result from someone in your circles than any other search result.  For now, Google only does this for its own social network, but other social media websites are lobbying to be included.

This is also true for Bing. Because Bing is integrated with Facebook, when you are signed in to Facebook and you search Bing, guess what shows up? Social Results:

Bing Social Results

Follower Count/Social Shares

Google takes these two important metrics into account when deciding which content is more authoritative.  Follower count isn’t emphasized nearly as much as the number of social shares (retweets, Facebook shares, LinkedIn shares etc…) because it can be easily manipulated, but both metrics play a role in determining your search engine rankings.

Think of it this way:  say your content gets 100 social shares on average each time you promote it on a social network, but say your competitor’s only gets 5.  All other factors being equal, who’s more likely the trustworthy source of information?

Searching Directly on Social Sites

Facebook recently introduced its new “Graph Search.”  It’s slightly different from Google in that it searches your friends, places, interest, and photos to help you immediately find an answer to your question, rather than providing a link to a website.  Practically speaking, you might use Graph Search to look for “Chinese restaurants.”  Then, you can see which of your friends went to a Chinese restaurant near you.

Which are you more likely to trust:  a highly rated restaurant that people you don’t know on Google say is popular, or a Chinese restaurant your best friend recommends, whose tastes you know you like?

And the interesting part is SEO has almost no place in this type of search.

Build Your Social Media Following!

The most important takeaway from all of this is that being active on social media is essential to your search visibility now, and in the future.  At a basic level, develop a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest, and give away interesting content you think will benefit your target audience.  It takes a ton of hard work to build and maintain your social media profiles, but it definitely helps increase your marketing ROI.  If managing your social media accounts is too much for you, remember you can always contact Eminent SEO for help. We offer a full array of social media services from banner designs to fully managed solutions.

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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The Ultimate Infographic to Monitoring Your Online Reputation

audience

Did you know that 61% of businesses are monitoring their online reputation on a regular basis; Are you? Trackur paired up with Avalaunch Media to bring us this insightful infographic on the steps in tracking your businesses reputation as well as an individuals reputation on the web.

Unless you live in a dark hole somewhere, you must understand nowadays the importance of an online reputation. Online reputation management and monitoring helps companies: develop and maintain their brand, increase the visibility, and build trust across their consumers and audience. Take a peep at the awesome infographic designed by Avalaunch Media and get started in taking the active steps to maintain your online reputation now- Or better yet, reach out to our social media team to get started with a plan of action to clean up, develop and build your online reputation.

Ultimate Guide to Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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