47 Social Media Statistics to Bookmark for 2017

Right when you think you’re getting a grasp on your demographics, buyer habits and trends on social media, something new changes and turns your data into old news. That’s why it’s absolutely critical for any marketer to stay up to date on the newest social media statistics.

Don’t believe us?

Statista recorded new Twitter users grew by 43 million year over year in 2014, but only by 9 million in 2016. On the other hand, new Instagram users increased by 150 million year over year in 2014 and has since successfully grown by 100 million new users each year.

While those social media statistics might not be that shocking, it does show how the landscape of the industry can drastically change in a just a few years. To help you out with your current marketing and social efforts, we’re going to get you up to date on the newest stats and trends within the social media world.

Here’ are the 47 most essential social media statistics for 2017 and beyond (Click below to jump to each section):

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Instagram Statistics

Instagram’s growth and recurring success shows why it’s one of the most powerful social media networks. Since the beginning of 2016, Instagram has released a new feed algorithm, 60-second videos, a complete redesign and logo, videos in explore, Instagram Stories, stickers and hit the 600 million user benchmark. Not bad for a year’s work, right?

However, there’s some helpful data that can show you how the networks is doing today–not in 2014 or 2015.

  1. Instagram posts using at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than posts excluding them.
  2. Within 10 hours of an Instagram post, users receive 50% of their total comments.
  3. Of the top brands using Instagram, 60% use the same filter for all content.
  4. More than 91% of Instagram posts are photos.
  5. 35% of Instagram users check Instagram multiple times a day and 51% open the app daily.
  6. Gender comparisons show online females are 38% more likely to use Instagram over men (26%).
  7. The majority of Instagram users fall between 18-29 years old, which equates to roughly 60% of adults on the internet.
  8. Nearly a fourth of social media influencers believe Instagram is the top avenue for influencer marketing strategies.
  9. Instagram drives the most engagement per post compared to any social network–84 times more than Twitter, 54 times more than Pinterest and 10 times more than Facebook.
  10. Instagram added 100 million users in roughly six months during 2016. This coincided with the launch of Instagram Stories.
Instagram users tech crunch graphic

Facebook Statistics

Facebook isn’t going anywhere, but some statistics are changing yearly. In fact, the Sprout Social Q1 2017 Index discovered Facebook still sees the most interactions and is the preferred network among millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. Even Instagram’s massive increase in users falls to the power of Facebook.

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  1. Facebook still reigns as the most popular social media network with 79% of internet users in the US logging on the site.
  2. 68% of US adults between the ages 18-29 are on Facebook.
  3. Daily Facebook visitors grew by 6% year over year from 2015 to 2016 to equal more than 1.6 billion users.
  4. More than 33,000 chatbots are active on Facebook.
  5. 100 million hours of video is viewed daily on Facebook.
  6. There are more than 50 million businesses using a Facebook Business Page.

Twitter Statistics

Twitter continually gets pushed aside from its competitor, Instagram. However, more businesses are turning to Twitter for faster customer service actions. Advertisers certainly aren’t moving away from the platform as well. It’s still important to know your essential Twitter statistics in 2017.

  1. Mobile accounts for 86% of Twitter’s ad revenue.
  2. Twitter is accessed through a mobile device by 82% of its monthly active users.
  3. 47% of marketers agreed Twitter was the best social media channel for customer engagement.
twitter daily usage graphic
  1. 81% of millennials view their Twitter account on a daily basis.
  2. Tweet with images are 150% more likely to get Retweets than text-only Tweets.

LinkedIn Statistics

As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn continues to grow. With LinkedIn demographics vastly different than most other networks, it’s important to know what’s going on with the channel. More businesses are starting to use LinkedIn as a marketing channel and some of these stats will show why.

pew research statistics
  1. LinkedIn posts with images receive 200% more engagement than text-only posts.
  2. 98% of LinkedIn posts with images earn more comments than text-only posts.
  3. There are more than 450 million LinkedIn user accounts.
  4. The typical LinkedIn user only uses the network for an average of 17 minutes per month.
  5. 18% of LinkedIn users only log in once a day.
  6. Monthly premium accounts make up 39% of total LinkedIn users.
  7. 94% B2B organizations rely on LinkedIn for content marketing and distribution.

Social Media Advertising Statistics

With algorithms and altered social media feeds, organic engagement is getting much harder for businesses to earn. The push toward social media advertising is no longer an option for most businesses. Here are some social media advertising statistics to be aware of in 2017.

tv ad vs social ad spend emarketer
  1. Mobile accounts for nearly 80% of time spent on social media networks.
  2. Mobile devices account for more than half of all YouTube views.
  3. Ad spend on social media has outgrown TV ad spend for the first time.
marketing sherpa graphic on purchasing decisions
  1. 50% of millennials use the internet to research products before purchasing.
  2. 73.4% of users follow a brand because they’re interested in the product or service.
  3. 46% will unfollow a brand on social for posting too many promotional messages.
  4. 7 in 10 Gen Xers are more likely to make purchases from brands they follow on social.
  5. Instagram saw $595 million in mobile ad revenue in 2016.
  6. Facebook ad revenue increased by 59% year over year in Q3 2016.
  7. There are more than 2 million businesses advertising on Facebook.
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Social Media Engagement Statistics

When discussing social media engagement, it’s critical for businesses to think about its customers. More than ever, users demand brand interactions and if the company doesn’t respond on social, it’s easy to lose customers. That’s why engaging, conversing and contacting customers via social media can have tremendous payoffs.

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  1. In 2012, the average internet user had three social media accounts–now the average is closer to seven accounts.
  2. 97% of adults between the ages 16-64 say they logged onto at least one social network in the past month.
  3. 30% of millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month.
  4. Social media and messaging accounts for roughly 1 in every 3 minutes users spend on the internet.
  5. 89% of social media messages to brands go ignored.
  6. The average response time for a brand to reply on social media to a user is 10 hours, while the average user will only wait 4 hours.
  7. The top choice for a customer care channel is social media.
sprout social index 2017 generations following brands on social
  1. Millennials and Gen Xers are twice as likely to follow brands on social than baby boomers.
  2. 32% of Gen Xers interact with brands at least once a month, which is higher than millennials (30%) and baby boomers (14%).

This post 47 Social Media Statistics to Bookmark for 2017 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

How to Refine Your Facebook Audience for Better Ad Targeting

Do you want to improve your Facebook ad targeting? Interested in learning more about the audiences you’re already reaching? Refining your Facebook audience options will help you reach the right audience without wasting ad spend. In this article, you’ll discover how to build three valuable Facebook custom audience segments and analyze them with Audience Insights. […]

This post How to Refine Your Facebook Audience for Better Ad Targeting first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How Facebook Messenger Bots Can Impact Your Business

If Facebook Messenger isn’t high on your list of marketing assets, it may be time to reconsider that decision, and here’s why: its adoption rate. One billion people have adopted Facebook Messenger as their primary communication channel. That’s not how many people downloaded the app; it’s the number of people who regularly use Messenger to talk to friends, family members and now even businesses.

Back in April, Mark Zuckerberg announced the Messenger Platform, a new service that enables businesses to build custom bots and as a result, form deeper and more contextual interactions with customers. It’s a new opportunity to reach a massive user base with sales, marketing and customer support messaging. Since the launch, more than 11,000 bots have been added.

From how to build your own bot to who’s using them successfully, here’s everything you need to know about Facebook Messenger bots.

Facebook Messenger Bots

What Is a Facebook Messenger Bot?

Facebook Messenger Bots are live-messaging tools used through Facebook’s Messenger platform to help answer or provide information through automation. The term “bot” refers to a general piece of software that automates a task. In the case of Messenger, you’re automating conversation. These conversations can range from sharing weather updates to confirming reservations to sending receipts from a recent purchase.

There are three main capabilities at the core of bots for Messenger:

  1. Send/Receive API: This includes the ability to send and receive text, images and rich bubbles with CTAs.
  2. Generic message templates: Rather than rely on programming language, people can tap buttons and other visuals to interact with your bot.
  3. Welcome screen + Null state CTAs: Facebook is giving you the tools, but the experience is yours to customize. It starts with a welcome screen, your Messenger greeting and a call to action to “Get Started.”

Another key feature of bots for Messenger is natural language assistance. Through the use of a Wit.ai Bot Engine, bots are able to turn natural language into actionable data. This means you can create conversational bots capable of understanding natural language. The new Wit.ai AP, which is still in early beta, can predict the next actions your bot should perform.

Create Your Messenger Strategy

Before you decide to create a bot, you need to define the experience you want to create for your customers. What are your social media goals? Are you creating a bot for utility or simply for entertainment? Understanding what you hope to accomplish will help you create the best experience for people interacting with your bot.

The next thing to consider is what you want people to do. What actions do you want users to take? Is it a simple process or are there multiple tasks you want them to complete? Think of how these things are done outside of Messenger first and then use that information to design your interactions within Messenger.

As always, the engagement doesn’t have to stop when the action is complete. Consider different ways you can keep the interaction going. Just be sure to limit your focus to a couple key areas. Trying to do too much can create confusion and dilute the experience.

Once you’ve considered all of these questions and you’re ready to begin building your bot, visit developers.facebook.com/products/messenger/ and click “Start Building.”

Promote Your Facebook Messenger Bot

The conversations will take place in Messenger, but that doesn’t mean customers who find you on other parts of the web will miss out. Facebook has created a variety of ways for people to discover your bot.

Web Plugins

Facebook Messenger Bot Plugins

Plugins are a great way to build awareness and let people know you’re on Messenger. Facebook offers two plugins you can add to your website or emails.

The first bot, “Send to Messenger,” lets you initiate a conversation in Messenger with the person who clicked. This gives people the option to receive information from you. It works well with bots that deal with transactional notifications like receipts or shipping alerts.

The second one, “Message Us,” takes the person who clicked directly to Messenger and allows them to start a conversation with you by sending the first message. Make sure you’re prepared to introduce yourself when someone reaches out.

The plugins work on both desktop and mobile web. On desktop the person will be sent to messenger.com and on mobile they’ll be sent to the native Messenger app. You may also want to add some text near the plugin that explains what will happen when it’s clicked. This will help set expectations about the experience.

Customer Matching

Facebook Messenger Customer Matching

This feature allows you to reach people in Messenger if you have their phone number and their consent to be contacted by you. Any conversation initiated this way will be received as a Message Request. This allows people to be reached by the bots they want to interact with.

Codes & Links

cnn code example

Messenger codes and links can be placed anywhere on your site to invite people to start a conversation with you. With Messenger codes, people use the camera on their phone to scan the image and find you on Messenger. Messenger links are short URLs people can click to instantly start a conversation with you.

Introduce Your Messenger Experience

Messenger bots are still fairly new, so not all of your customers will be familiar with how to use them or what to expect out of the interaction. Once you’re discovered, there are three tools built into Messenger that help you explain what the experience includes, how it works and why people should use it.

Messenger Greeting

Bot Greeting

This is what people see the first time they find you on Messenger. Greetings are considered an introduction and summary. Use this as a chance to add some context to your bot. What’s its main functionality? This shouldn’t be used as your bot’s instruction manual because your greeting disappears once someone taps “Get Started” or sends you a message. Plus, there’s a 160 character limit so keep it welcoming and concise.

Get Started Button

Get Started Button

Located just below your Messenger Greeting is the “Get Started” button. This serves as a call-to-action. Once tapped or clicked, your bot receives a signal that can be used to send a personalized welcome message back. This is when your greeting disappears and the interaction officially begins.

Even if people don’t know what to say in their first message, the “Get Started” button helps to initiate an interaction. The first message sent from your bot, the welcome message, can help prompt them further.

Welcome Message

Welcome Message

The welcome message is the first message people receive when they interact with you for the first time. This is your chance to get more specific about the experience, clarify your functionality and set expectations. You definitely want to craft this message carefully as it should encourage a response.

One simple step you can take to increase chances of a response is to address people by name. Make the message feel personal. You can also use buttons to add structure to your message and highlight specific actions people can take. This is an easy way to add calls-to-action to your message and help people complete tasks or get more information.

Bot buttons

It’s recommended that these buttons begin with a verb and are limited to one to three words. This will help people quickly understand the action they’re taking and what will happen as a result.

These three elements aren’t static. As your Messenger experience changes, so too should your greeting and welcome message. If you’re not getting a lot of responses, review these assets and make sure the information is still accurate, relevant and most of all helpful.

3 Examples of Branded Facebook Messenger Bots

Dozens of businesses committed to release their own branded bots and some already saw a positive impact on their bottom line. But as you move forward with your plans, remember this isn’t about you. It’s about creating a unique experience for your customers. Here are three excellent examples of how brands are providing value to customers through Messenger bots:

Hipmunk

Hipmunk Messenger Bot

The popular travel search engine Hipmunk promises to answer travel questions and provide recommendations to travelers through its Messenger chatbot. In its welcome message, customers can choose from travel advice, search flights and search hotels.

When actually interacting with the bot, users can enter vague statements such as, “I’d like to go on a beach vacation in August,” or more specific searches like “Nonstop flights from ORD to LAX 8/15-8/17.”

Whole Foods Market

FB Messenger Whole Foods

The Whole Foods chatbot lets users search its database of recipes—a smart choice for a grocery chain. The bot kicks off the conversation by explaining how it works. You can either search for something specific or browse through its recipe database by type of dish, cuisine or special dietary restriction.

What makes the experience even more fun is customers can mix and match text and emojis. You can enter a word using text or simply select the emoji that matches the food item you’re searching for.

The company plans to add more features, including the ability to link the chatbot to your Whole Foods account, save recipes for later and sign up for coupons.

1-800-Flowers

Flowers Messenger Bot

As one of the first bots available on the Messenger Platform, 1-800-Flowers enables customers to order flowers or speak with a support specialist. If choosing to order, customers are asked to provide the delivery address and are then given a carousel of arrangements to choose from.

Chris McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers, explained the response from customers has been positive. In a conversation with Digiday, McCann said more than 70% of the company’s bot orders have been from new customers.

Should You Create a Facebook Messenger Bot?

As a marketer, it’s tempting to want to try out the newest tools, but you have to ask yourself a few questions before diving in.

  1. Are your customers using Messenger? First you need to determine if your audience has a strong presence on Facebook. If not, then the chances they’re using Messenger is slim and any effort to develop a bot would be wasted.
  2. Do you have a use case? Your Messenger bot needs a purpose. Wanting to create a presence for your business in Messenger isn’t a strong enough reason. You have to think about your customers and whether or not it’ll provide value for them. Keep in mind this isn’t another version of your website. You need to think about how people use mobile, and if the type of interactions your customers want to have with you are a good fit for a mobile platform.
  3. Do you have time to support it? Your relationship with your Messenger bot doesn’t end once it’s built. You need to devote time to promoting it and monitoring the customer experience. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on incoming questions for anything your bot can’t answer.

Additionally, automating aspects of your social media strategy can be helpful, but it should never replace the human element from your outreach. Automation should enhance your strategy, not take over. If you develop a customer care bot for Messenger, don’t rely solely on that to ensure the happiness of your customers. Make sure you have a hands-on approach and use a social media management tool like Sprout Social to keep you organized.

This post How Facebook Messenger Bots Can Impact Your Business originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Answered: What Tools Do I Need to Run an Ecommerce Business?

To run an ecommerce business, you need the right tools.

The more technical term for this set of tools is your “technology stack.”

In these short interviews Ezra Firestone, an ecommerce marketer with over a decade of experience and multiple 7-figure ecommerce businesses, shares the tools you’ll need to run your technology business.

(Related: How a Multi-Million Dollar Ecommerce Brand Uses Video, Facebook, and Pinterest to Close More Sales)

Watch as Ezra gives his expertise on…

  • How to use Live Chat effectively if your company doesn’t have the resources to man it.
  • The platform Ezra uses for one click upsells.
  • The role of email and what it should mirror to positively impact your sales.

…and more!

Let’s start with…

Ezra Firestone on Platforms, Help Desk, and Live Chat

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Video Transcript:

Russ Henneberry: Now, I know you don’t like to brag about yourself, but I want to give you a chance to just take a second here. Tell us what you’re working on. I know you’re working on some big stuff. Let everyone know that this guy knows what he’s talking about.

 

Ezra Firestone: Yeah, and, in this industry, the way that people know you’re credible is if you’re actually doing it. So, we have a brand called BOOM by Cindy Joseph. It’ll do between 20 and 25 million in revenue this year. I’ve got another couple brands that’ll do a couple million, so I’m actually out there every day. My team is 40 people. I’m doing this stuff, and similar to what you guys do at DigitalMarketer, we found it to be really enjoyable and profitable to share what we’re doing. Lately, what we’ve started doing is building software. It’s really hard if you’re an ecommerce business owner to get your technology stack correct.

 

Russ Henneberry: Right.

 

Ezra Firestone: There are just so many things going. So, we’ve started to build things for our own business and share that with the community as well.

 

Russ Henneberry: Well, let’s jump into that. The technology stack is something that confuses people, especially when they’re getting started. Or maybe they did get started and they’re like, “Wow, I’m kind of outgrowing the technology stack I’m on.” So, what are you recommending right now especially in terms of the ecommerce platform?

 

Ezra Firestone: Yeah. Well, I think the only platform to use at this point is Shopify. Now when I got into the game, there was osCommerce, X-Cart, Zen Cart, Magento, Yahoo Store. It was all the platforms. Now, they’re like legacy platforms, right?

 

Russ Henneberry: Right.

 

Ezra Firestone: The way the electrical grid in the United States is built compared to some other countries who built it after—it’s really outdated and not done super well. There are just things that people learned and did better. So, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion—those were the three platforms that came after the legacy group and made things better. Over the last couple of years, Shopify has really won that race. Their user interface is really simple. The payment integration is really simple. What makes them the best is that they have the most users. Having the most users means all the developers who develop cool stuff, like my company, want to do it for the platform that has the most users. So, because they have the most users, they end up getting the most integrations and third party apps. They’ve really, really won this race.

 

Russ Henneberry: Yeah, it’s kind of like with us on the content side—I’m on the content side—with WordPress. You just had this giant base and everybody’s developing around it. WordPress is just the clear winner.

 

Ezra Firestone: There’s nothing like it, you know?

 

Russ Henneberry: All right, so what about the help desk? So, I’ve heard you say a lot of times customer service is important. You’ve got to pay attention to it. What are you recommending right now with the help desk?

 

(Related: 10 Best Survey Questions to Ask Your Customers)

 

Ezra Firestone: Okay, so help desk is kind of tough, right? There’s one out there now called Help Scout. That’s like what everyone’s using. That’s the new version. There are some old legacy platforms like Zendesk and things like that. We are still on Zendesk. The reason we’re still on Zendesk is because Help Scout, which is the one everyone’s using now, doesn’t have all the integrations Zendesk has. Zendesk is a little complicated and it’s not as pretty to use, it’s not as easy to use, but it has the most integrations. For example, if someone Facebook messages me, if someone calls me, if someone emails me, if someone live-chats me­—any one of those inbound communication channels—it all goes to this one platform at Zendesk.

 

Russ Henneberry: They all create a ticket.

 

Ezra Firestone: They all create a ticket.

 

Russ Henneberry: Everything creates a ticket.

 

Ezra Firestone: Not only that, when someone calls. My customer supporting agents, they have headsets. They log into Zendesk and they say I’m online. The call doesn’t come on a phone, it comes through the voiceover IP. They just see it coming in. They click accept and they’re connected. Everything is in this one place. There’s not really any other customer support system that I know of that’s as easy to use and affordable for small business owners. There’s stuff out there, you know, there’s Desk.com. There’s a bunch of stuff, but it’s not affordable the way Zendesk is.

 

Russ Henneberry: Right. So as far as Desk.com, all that stuff—it’s just too enterprised. What about live chat? I know every site I’ve been that you own, I see live chat enabled. How important is live chat and what are you recommending right now?

 

Ezra Firestone: People expect to be able to talk to a human being. When it comes to retail today, they expect that they can get somebody in some kind of digital communication before they make a purchase decision. So, live chat’s huge. I will say that for many years, we didn’t have the staff necessary. We didn’t have the money to have someone on live chat. So, what we did was we had a little chat box that said, “Hey, chat with us.” And when you popped it up, it said, “Hey, submit your message here. We’ll get back to you in 24 hours.” So that’s a way you can have live chat without actually having someone on. Again, there’s a new live chat out there called Intercom.io. It’s cool. The interface is cool. You can do a lot of stuff with it. You can push messages. It’s amazing. But it still does not have the ease of integration like a legacy chat platform. I use a legacy chat platform called Olark. I’ve been using Olark chat since 2007.

 

(Related: Facebook Messenger Ads: How to Use Them in Your Business)

 

Russ Henneberry: Yeah.

 

Ezra Firestone: That’s how long I’ve been using them. However, I do suspect that at some point, we will switch to Intercom. I do suspect that, at some point, we will switch to Help Scout. So, I think we’re going to make that jump the same way we jumped from Magento to Shopify. But we’re not quite there yet. It’s going to be a couple years.

 

Next, Ezra and I talked about the tool he uses to build high-converting landing pages…

(NOTE: Want a step-by-step process and all the tools you’ll need to make more sales and profit from your ecommerce store? Become a Certified Ecommerce Marketing Specialist and build out your ecommerce ecosystem today. Learn more now.)

Zipify: High-Converting Landing Pages and the One Click Upsell

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Video Transcript:

Russ Henneberry: Just like in anything in digital marketing, landing pages are super important. You’ve got to be able to build beautiful landing pages. High-converting landing pages. What do you have in the landing page department?

 

(Related: Episode 41: 9 Ways to Increase Landing Page Conversion Rate)

 

Ezra Firestone: Thank you for asking. My company, Zipify, produced an application called Zipify Pages. It’s a drag and drop sales funnel builder and landing page builder. If you’ve got a landing page that you want to send to someone after they buy, a post-purchase landing page or we use one called an incentivize video review generator and what that is, is like someone buys from us. We want to get a video testimonial from them. We’ve got a specific email and landing page that we send them.

 

The problem is that with Shopify, it’s a wonderful platform, but you still need a designer and a developer to build stuff, or you did before we built this landing page builder. We built this thing for ourselves because even with a development team and a designer and a copywriter, it was taking us like a month to produce a landing page. We’ve got a plug and play landing page built in for Shopify. Now if you’re not on Shopify, if you’re using a Magento or a BigCommerce or something like that, then you’re going to want to use a WordPress based landing page builder. Something like ClickFunnels or Leadpages.

 

The reason we don’t like to use those is, number one, they weren’t built for ecommerce. The pages are not really designed for ecommerce and having to track across platforms because if you’re using one of those it has to be on WordPress, so it’s going to be like blog.yourstore.com, then you need to set up the analytics to track across the platform. It’s just like a bunch of extra steps. I think, obviously, that my tool is the best. There’s nothing else out there at the moment and I think it is an important part of your business, having direct response pages.

 

Russ Henneberry: If you’ve been hanging around DigitalMarketer long enough you know how important we consider the upsell to be, right? You’ve got somebody that purchased something, why not try to sell them something else, right there in that session. Your application company’s also handling one click upsells as well, aren’t they?

 

Ezra Firestone: I think that for ecommerce business owners, they don’t quite yet get digital marketing the way that you guys do, the way that information marketers do. It’s just not really, I don’t know why, but none of the platforms allow you to do it natively. Not Shopify, not Magento, not BigCommerce. No sort of scale ecommerce platform that has a bunch of people allows you to do one-click upsells natively. I’ve got to imagine that at some point, they’re going to have to.

 

Russ Henneberry: Before we move on, what is a one-click upsell? What does that mean that I can one click and upsell? Why is that important?

 

Ezra Firestone: Here’s what I mean. Someone buys something from you. Okay, they go to your store. They find your product. They like it. They add it to their cart and they buy it. Most people, just say, “Hey, thanks so much. Great doing business with you. It’s going to come.” They send them to a thank you page. A one-click upsell is a page, or a series of pages, before that final Thank You page that makes additional offers, based on what they bought initially, where they can add to their order with one click. No credit card information, nothing. If they buy a watch, you can say, “Hey, would you like an extra watch band?” One click. Add it to my order. It’s extremely powerful and, as you know, you guys talk about it a lot, lifetime customer value and average order value are huge. The more that you make per order, the more you can afford to spend on advertising to acquire customers.

 

Russ Henneberry: Right, and you guys we’ll link up some things below this video, whether you’re on YouTube or on our site, we’ll have some things about more about optimizing for average order value, but where can they find out more about Zipify and Zipify’s applications?

 

(Related: Want to Double Sales? Pull One of These 4 Levers)

 

Ezra Firestone: You can go to Zipify.com. We’ve got all kinds of cool stuff. Check it out. I think you’ll like it.

 

And then how do you promote your ecommerce business?

Email.

Thirty-three percent of Ezra’s sales are a direct result of email.

In the video below, I asked him about…

Email and Ecommerce

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Video Transcript:

Russ Henneberry: Another super important part of your technology stack for ecommerce, email. What do you recommend these days?

 

(Related: The Ultimate Guide To eCommerce Email Marketing (Online Retailers, This One’s For You…))

 

Ezra Firestone: We talk about what good email does, right? Good email communicates with each individual user based on their behavior. That’s how you do email well is you’re not just broadcasting everyone the same stuff. You’re communicating with people based on how they’ve engaged with you. The key is to have an email service provider that integrates with your ecommerce store in such a way that you can tell what each user has done and communicate with them appropriately.

 

Hey, they visited this page and not this page, put them on this email list. Hey, they bought this and not this, put them on this email list. In my opinion, the best one for Shopify is Klaviyo.

 

Russ Henneberry: Klaviyo.

 

Ezra Firestone: They’re so good because all of the behavioral data points, what people bought, what pages they visited, where they’ve been on the site, what they didn’t buy, it’s all appended to their profile and you can very easily build automations based on what they’ve done.

 

Now, there are other good email service providers out there. ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, MailChimp, Infusionsoft. None of them allow you to as easily sort of integrate that behavioral data into the ability to communicate with them.

 

Russ Henneberry: I know from going through your ecommerce certification at DigitalMarketer, you use a lot of email. Talk about the opportunity in email. I mean, I know you’re excited about Facebook, right? You’re spending 75 cents out of every dollar on Facebook advertising, but how important is email and what role does that play?

 

Ezra Firestone: Thirty-three percent of our total sales, of that $20 million dollars, comes from email.

 

Russ Henneberry: Email.

 

Ezra Firestone: Email’s incredible. We’re always trying to get leads. Anytime someone makes it to our platform, we are trying to acquire a lead. Look, you’re in the business of building groups of people, and you know the way you build groups of people? Facebook. Right? You get them on a retargeting list so that you’ve pixeled them. You guys talk extensively about this, or you get them on an email list. Those are really the only two ways you can build a group of people to communicate with. You know, and so we’ve talked a lot about using advertising to communicate with people at different stages of the funnel. Email should mirror advertising. You should be having emails that go out to people at different temperatures, the same way you have ads. Those are your two communication devices. It’s imperative.

 

(NOTE: Want a step-by-step process and all the tools you’ll need to make more sales and profit from your ecommerce store? Become a Certified Ecommerce Marketing Specialist and build out your ecommerce ecosystem today. Learn more now.)

The post Answered: What Tools Do I Need to Run an Ecommerce Business? appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

How to Measure Your Facebook ROI

Facebook has become an integral part of the marketing process. More than 1.71 billion people visit it on a monthly basis, making it the third most visited website globally. Every business has at least contemplated establishing a Facebook presence. For some, the social network might not be the right fit, but for millions of others, it’s a must.

But unless you’re tracking what you’re doing, how much money you’re spending and what results you’re getting, it’s difficult to determine whether or not your Facebook ROI is actually working. Return on investment (ROI) plays a big role in your decision to not only bring Facebook into your marketing strategy, but to keep it there.

The problem with Facebook ROI is it’s different from traditional online marketing. It can be hard to see the value of your post getting shared compared to clicks on an ad. But just because it’s not obvious, that doesn’t mean your efforts on the platform aren’t paying off.

What Is Facebook ROI?

Facebook ROI is what your company gets back from the time, money and other resources you’ve put toward social media marketing on the platform. ROI isn’t the same for everyone. How it’s defined for you will differ between other companies based on your specific business goals.

Before you can begin tracking Facebook ROI, you need to establish social media goals. These should be quantifiable, meaning it’s something you can attach a number to. For deeper insight on social media ROI and goal setting, check out our Ultimate Guide to Measuring Social Media ROI.

On Facebook, ROI is more than just reach or impressions. It can be measured in a number of ways. For instance, if you’re running Facebook Ads, you could see direct returns generated from ad clicks. If you’re not using ads, you could still see returns in the form of leads, customer testimonials and referral traffic.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are becoming a major part of marketers’ strategies. Of the 50 million businesses with active Facebook Pages, 3 million are active advertisers—a 50% increase from last year. But are they seeing any return? Let’s look at a case study from Jon Loomer.

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Over the course of 30 days, Loomer spent $297.96 on Facebook Ads that returned $10,510.50 in direct revenue. He divided his attention (and his budget) among three core groups: fans, non-fans and anyone who visited his website.

Loomer had the most success with the ads targeting fans. He spent $207 on six campaigns that returned 129 conversions, directly resulting in $9,481.50 in revenue—that’s a 45.9 times ROI. When targeting non-fans, Loomer saw no conversions at all—a stark difference from the previous group. For the third group, Loomer utilized FBX to target users who visited his website. He spent $39.19 and received 14 conversions, resulting in a 26.3 times ROI.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll see the same results. The outcome of your Facebook Ads campaign will depend heavily on the product you’re promoting, the audience you’re targeting and the quality of the ads you’ve created. But what we can take away from Loomer’s experience is this:

  • It’s worth putting in the time to build a relevant and engaged audience.
  • Find your balance. When targeting non-fans, Loomer created 14 variations of Facebook Ads before giving up. Don’t over do it by constantly bombarding an audience with ads. Know when to push forward with new content and when to bow out.

Facebook Shares

You may think that when it comes to ROI that Facebook Likes are more valuable than shares, but it’s actually quite the opposite. And in a way, shares can be even more valuable to a brand’s ROI than Facebook Ads.

shares vs likes

A like represents support. It’s a user’s way of saying “I approve of/believe in this” or “I understand”. It’s an act of solidarity, not growth. On the other hand, shares extend your reach to individuals you may not have targeted. It’s almost an endorsement. By clicking share, they’ve established a connection between themselves, the content, the company that published it and their network.

Now we know we said that reach and impressions don’t equal ROI, but they certainly play into it. How? It comes down to trust. Two posts about the same product appear in a user’s News Feed. One is an advertisement from the brand and the other is a post from the brand that has been shared by one of the user’s friends. Which one do you think is more likely to resonate with the user? If you chose the latter, you’re correct!

According to data from Forrester Research, 70% of U.S. online adults trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family. And while 46% trust online reviews written by other customers, only 10% trust online ads and company written messages. This means that a post from a friend about Warby Parker’s exceptional products could be more convincing (and result in more conversions) than if Warby Parker were to run an ad about its product line.

Facebook Shares:Testimonials

Facebook shares not only lead to organic customer testimonials, but more leads as well. With that said, it doesn’t mean you should suddenly start asking fans to share all of your Facebook posts or tag your brand in their posts. Let shares and mentions happen organically. This way the language associated with the plug will feel natural and authentic, and friends of that individual won’t feel like they’re reading a sales pitch.

Referral Traffic

Social referrals—links shared on social networks—have become a huge source of incoming traffic for websites and online publishers. For a long time, Google was the major driver of referral traffic, but in 2015, Facebook overtook the search giant by a significant amount.

According to Parse.ly, Facebook accounted for roughly 43% of traffic to its network of media sites—compared to Google at 38%. Now this may change month to month, but it certainly demonstrates the power of the social network.

Your goal is to get people to engage with your content on Facebook, but it’s not uncommon to see marketers send people off site. Especially when promoting a product or event that might need more context. With back-to-school season upon us, let’s look at how JCPenny handled promoting its sale.

For starters, the brand used a video to draw in viewers—a smart move considering 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook. It’s a great way to capture the attention of your audience.

The video highlights all the new outfits and accessories students can choose from. Rather than post a link to its homepage and assume viewers will find the sale items, JCPenny posted a link that takes viewers directly to the sale page.

If you are going to send people off site, it’s best to do it through a landing page where people can get the most relevant information related to your Facebook post or ad. If directed to your homepage, it’s up to the individual to correctly navigate your site and find the details related to what was advertised. By reducing the amount of work on the part of the viewer, you’re increasing your chances of a sale.

Even if you’re not promoting a sale, Facebook posts can prove valuable for boosting traffic to your website. The key to driving more views to your on-site content is value. Lowe’s recently killed it with this step-by-step guide to building a backyard fire pit. You can’t expect someone to click through to your website if you’re not offering them valuable content.

You can elevate this tactic by showcasing one of your customers who successfully completed something using one of your products, like Sephora did here:

How to Track Facebook ROI

When it comes to tracking Facebook Likes and shares, it’s easy to monitor these metrics through Facebook’s Page Insights. Here you’ll be able to measure your reach, engagement—including post clicks, Likes, comments and shares—and ad spend (if applicable) for each post you’ve published.

While Facebook Page Insights lets you see which posts are receiving the most clicks, the easiest way to track referral traffic from Facebook to your website is through Google Analytics. Even if you’re a complete novice when it comes to Google Analytics, it’s a piece of cake as tracking traffic from social networks is done automatically through its Social Reports tool.

Google Analytics Social media Referrals

Using Sprout Social to Track Facebook ROI

The key to tracking Facebook ROI is to consistently monitor and analyze your success metrics. With Sprout Social, we let you do that all in one place instead of having to log in and out of multiple platforms.

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Using Sprout’s Facebook analytics, you can easily identify your best content and better understand how it’s being shared across the social network. Not only that, but you can also get post-level insights, including the number of Likes, comments and shares your posts are receiving, as well as its reach and how many users you’ve engaged.

Most of the time, ROI is apparent to members of the marketing team because they see everything as it’s happening. Co-workers outside of the department, especially members of the executive team, might need a little more convincing. When it comes to sharing this data with the rest of your team, Sprout’s reports make Facebook analytics digestible and ready to present.

More Than Growing Numbers

Without measuring your Facebook ROI, you won’t know where you can improve your efforts, whether the platform is bringing in revenue for your business or how specific changes impact your goals. No part of your social media strategy should be implemented blindly. Facebook ROI isn’t always tangible, but tracking it is possible.

Yes, the goals you establish and the metrics you use to define and track Facebook ROI should be measurable, but that doesn’t mean the focus of your marketing strategy should strictly be growing your numbers. When you start focusing more on increasing numbers than building a community, you do more harm than good to your bottom line.

Remember, designing content with the sole purpose of getting Likes, shares and clicks won’t mean much if the people who are Liking, sharing and clicking have no intention of becoming your customer. Build a community of engaged customers and design content with them in mind.

Use a social media management tool like Sprout Social to monitor engagement and track how your content is performing. Base your decisions on those analytics, and use them to make well-informed decisions about your strategy and improving your Facebook ROI.

This post How to Measure Your Facebook ROI originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Want More Social Media Traffic? Follow this 6-Step Blog Content Distribution Plan

Congrats!

You just wrote a brand spanking new blog post! And it’s a doozy!

Now what?

What processes are in place to distribute this wonderful new resource on social media to maximize its impact? And, more importantly, what processes are in place to get LONG TERM impact out of this wonderful new resource?

The truth is that most blog posts have the lifespan of a mayfly.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

With the 6-step social sharing process I’m covering in this case study—your blog post will live a long and fruitful life.  😉

Our process not only notifies social connections as soon as a post is published, our strategy ensures that the post will continue to cycle through our social feeds days, weeks, and months after it’s been published.

We’ve got an infographic version of this post as well as a text version and video! You can download a PDF version of the infographic here, check out the video at the end of this post!

View the text steps of this article by clicking on one of the links below to view the explanation for that step:

Let’s start with the infographic… (Click the image to enlarge or download the PDF version)

And here is the text version…

Step 1: Splinter

As you know

Product Splintering is the process of breaking off bits and pieces of your core product and selling them a la carte.

But splintering isn’t only for core products—the same process can be applied to any piece of content you create.

When your piece of content is published and ready for sharing, you have all the source material needed to splinter shareable content for social media posts.

Look to splinter the following from your blog post…

  • headlines
  • quotes
  • images
  • questions
  • statistics

(It’s not necessary to use all 5 for every post, but if the opportunity presents itself, take it.)

For example, this is a recent article (written by CRO expert Justin Rondeau) with the headline “[Checklist] 5 Image Elements Worth Testing on Your Landing Page“…

Here are 4 splinters we pulled from this blog post for use on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc:

  1. [Checklist] 5 Image Elements Worth Testing On Your Landing Page >> LINK
  2. “An image is only as powerful as the value it communicates.” – Justin Rondeau >> LINK
  3. Is Justin Rondeau spitting in the face of best practices? Find out now >> LINK
  4. The elements on your website need to do 3 things. What are they? >> LINK

Ok, now that we have some text content to share on social media, it’s time for…

Step 2: Visualize

If you don’t know, now you know—visual content is necessary to drive engagement and clicks on social media (Buffer saw an increase of 18% in clicks, 89% in favorites, 150% in retweets using images!).

We’d be leaving a lot of distribution reach on the table if we didn’t incorporate images into our social strategy.

The feature image (which appears at the top of our blog posts) is always the first guaranteed visual asset to share on social media channels.

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But one image isn’t enough. Create a visual asset for every possible splinter.

We use quote images on sites like Facebook and Twitter…

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We created our own branded quote boxes for organic content distribution (and gave you the templates to make some of your own), but don’t think you’re hindered by a lack of graphic designer or templates.

Canva.com is one of our favorite tools for creating images you can share on social networks. Check out this same quote from above created using all standard options from Canva

The beauty here is that we’re able to share content and engage with our audience… all for free.

If you plan to use the “Boost Post” function in Facebook to throw some paid traffic at your post, create the images with the 20% text rule in mind.  You can check your text % using this tool.

Ok, now we have our visuals locked and loaded.  Time for…

Step 3: Broadcast

Now that you have your splinters and visual assets, you need to create your social sharing links, and share the post on social platforms.

How to Create Your Social Sharing Links

You cannot optimize what you don’t measure, right?

UTM parameters are simply tags you add to a URL — when your link is clicked, the tags are sent back to Google Analytics and tracked.

Creating UTM parameters to track your post performance will give you great insight to how your post performs with different audiences and the journey they take once they read your post.

These are the UTM parameters we use on every post we share—you’ll notice there’s a different UTM link for each platform and distribution method.

For example, here are the UTM parameters for Twitter organic traffic…

Twitter Organic

http://www.digitalmarketer.com/example-post/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=add-slug-here&utm_campaign=organic-content-distribution

  • utm_source= the social network (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc)
  • utm_medium= the distribution method (is this organic/free distribution or paid?)
  • utm_content= We add the “slug” or extension here to differentiate the performance from post to post
  • utm_campaign= This is the largest bucket and remains constant for all organic and paid traffic respectively

The slug is the extension on the post…

URL Slug

So, for example, this is what some of our other UTM links look like…

Facebook Organic

http://www.digitalmarketer.com/example-post/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=add-slug-here&utm_campaign=organic-content-distribution

LinkedIn Organic

http://www.digitalmarketer.com/example-post/?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=add-slug-here&utm_campaign=organic-content-distribution

Facebook Promoted (These are the links we use when we use ads to send traffic to our content)…

http://www.digitalmarketer.com/example-post/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=promoted-posts&utm_content=add-slug-here&utm_campaign=Facebook-Boosted-Content

Using UTM parameters allows us to track the performance of our campaigns in Google Analytics…

organic-content-distribution

To build links with UTM parameters, use Google’s URL builder tool.

Once we have all our tracking links created, we put them through…

Bit.ly

Once each link is set up with its UTM parameters, they can be posted into Bit.ly to make shortened sharing links. These don’t give us the same information that Google Analytics will, but they’re a speedier method for regularly tracking performance based on clicks and sharing—more on that in just a minute.

Label your links by platform to make it easier when scanning through bit.ly’s reporting…

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Create a document (whether it be a Word document, Google Sheet, or—DM’s personal favorite—a .txt doc) easily referenced and keep all of your content links in it.

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Broadcasting on Facebook

When we have all social sharing links ready, we broadcast our content.

We create our Facebook content copy based on the benefits and point of the article, and we close with a hook or curiosity based question. Maintain a consistent personality and tone on your pages—where possible.

If you’re usually fun and address them with banter, appeal to them with your content the same way.

If you’re usually more serious and to the point, don’t waste their time being wordy—give them the goods straight up.

During your first broadcasting of the content, utilize the feature image:

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Do you have other pages or handles?  If so, share wherever it is appropriate.

For example, we utilize the Ryan Deiss Facebook page and Twitter account to distribute DigitalMarketer’s content. He’s a personality associated with our brand and it makes sense for him to distribute our content to his followers.

We create different sets of copy for the DigitalMarketer and Ryan Deiss page, even if it’s just a small variation, so that people don’t become accustomed to just scrolling by one of our updates because they think they’ve seen what we have to say in an update from the other page.

socialize-blog-post-img12

For the second broadcast, we use a different visual asset to distribute the content.

When sharing for a second time, make sure to change copy to remove any “today’s” or “new on the blog” and condense copy to make for a shorter, more direct post.

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(NOTE: If you’re a DigitalMarketer Lab member, you can learn more about how we do Social Media Scheduling on this Office Hours call.)

Broadcasting on Twitter

We use Hootsuite Pro as one of our social media management systems so that our entire content team can be logged into all social accounts, publishing, monitoring, and networking throughout the day.

(We don’t use Hootsuite to broadcast to our Facebook pages because we’ve found that there’s much more control for specific time scheduling, monitoring, and formatting directly on the Facebook platform.)

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On the day of publishing, we create 3 tweets that will be published every couple hours:

  1. Headline >> LINK
  2. Quote >> LINK
  3. Question the post answers >> LINKS

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Tweets are scheduled to publish from the DigitalMarketer account and Ryan Deiss account at different times. We currently only schedule the headline tweet to go out from Ryan, and once #2 and #3 publish from DM, we retweet them from his account.

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Broadcasting on LinkedIn

The beauty of LinkedIn is that posts shared on LinkedIn have a habit of continuing to be shared long after after they’re posted (even if they’re not using the link you provided). When you share with your connections, you’re sharing with a smaller audience of people that have already indicated they’re interested in your happenings.

We also tag the author in our LinkedIn status update to give them the nudge to share it on their stream as well. It’s a free and low-effort way of saying, “Here’s what I’ve been up to, here’s the content I just created.”

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But how do you keep your content on your audience’s mind once you’ve broadcasted it the first time? We’ll be talking automated scheduling in just a bit.

For now, you need a good way to people’s attention with your post, especially if they’re mentioned in it…

(NOTE: Struggling to create shareable content quickly? Use the Perfect Blog Post Template. We call it the “Content Aggregator” and we use to it create viral blog posts fast, without ever having to “write” a single line of text. Get the scoop here.)

Step 4: Tag

When we’re broadcasting a post, we tag people and brands wherever it makes sense.

For example, Justin Rondeau doesn’t have a Facebook fan page, so we didn’t tag him there – however, he has a Twitter account so we tag him in the tweets, giving him an opportunity to retweet and share the link.

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But check out another post by Justin that gave us ample opportunity to tag others — and without having to ask them to contribute anything!

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We were able to tag the owners of these blogs (and automate this distribution so that we’re driving traffic to the post, while continuing to drive traffic the owners’ blogs).

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Step 5: Monitor

Most of the social media action will occur in the first 48-72 hours.

This is where Bit.ly comes in.

Monitoring campaigns (using UTM parameters) are the key to tracking long term performance, but Bit.ly is our favorite tool for immediate performance tracking.

  • Who’s clicking?
  • Where are they clicking?
  • Who’s sharing?
  • Where are they sharing?
  • Which broadcast performed the best?
  • Which platform performed the best?

Bit.ly tells us all of that.

During the initial 24-48 hours broadcasting of links, you can use Bit.ly….

  • To see how many people are clicking your link from each platform.
  • To see what time your post performed best.

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  • To figure out where in the world your content is reaching (and % of clicks they contribute to the total) — you want your content to broadcast when the people who are reading it are awake and active.

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  • To see which of your tweets performed best (helping you determine which copy speaks well to your audience and giving you ideas to test).

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  • And to see which platform it performed best on.

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However, Bit.ly is only good for short term tracking here. People tend to click Bit.ly to read posts, but then share the post with either a basic URL, or directly from a sharing plugin — especially on LinkedIn.

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So while it’s good to track who’s clicking your link on different platforms, don’t count your post as a loss if you don’t see tons of clicks on your shortened link.

Engagement

After the first 24 hours a post has been broadcast, one of the best ways to increase engagement is to check and regulate comments. Whether that be…

  • On your blog post on your site.

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  • Comments on the Facebook posts you broadcasted the post on.
  • Tweets sent out SHARING your post.

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  • Tweets sent in reply to your post.
  • Comments on your LinkedIn update.

Tweets have a short lifespan, once you’ve published them, they’re already being buried by someone else’s content. The perks of retweeting someone who shared your content, or replying back to them, is that it puts your content in front of your audience with the added social proof that other people in your audience like the content you’ve been sharing.

Finally, we take Step 6 — the step that ties all your efforts together and ensures that your content stays alive and kickin’ for days, weeks, months (and sometimes YEARS) to come.

Step 6: Schedule

This is the behavior of a normal piece of content on social media…

Big spike… then vanishes from the face of the social Earth.  :)

That’s why long term automated distribution (scheduling) is necessary.

This what a piece of content looks like in a 6 month snapshot with scheduling and automation built into it.

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Scheduling your content into a social media management tool results in perpetual sharing and content distribution with no action needed from you after loading it into your library.

We use MeetEdgar for our scheduling and automation across Twitter and LinkedIn. We’re able to make categories, and choose what time content publishes using those categories — the library will randomize itself and post content in rotation so that you’er not bombarding people with the same tweets day after day.

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When you’re broadcasting your content, you have everything you need to schedule your content. After we’ve loaded our three tweets into Hootsuite the first day our content is published, we take those same splinters and immediately load them into MeetEdgar.

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The other feature that’s really helpful is similar to what Bit.ly does in short term monitoring. Using MeetEdgar, we can track tweets performance over time.

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This tells us when copy is getting fatigued and if we should update it—it’s also where quote images come into play. Content blurbs get tiring and are easily ignored. Image based tweets will keep your followers on their toes and clicking your content.

And that’s that! Use this 6-step distribution system to keep your content in front of your audience and give your content everlasting longevity—and don’t forget to swipe the infographic for easy reference!

Want lifelong longevity for your content, but reading isn’t your thing? Get a quick run through of our 6-Step Distribution Plan in this video:

 

(NOTE: Struggling to create shareable content quickly? Use the Perfect Blog Post Template. We call it the “Content Aggregator” and we use to it create viral blog posts fast, without ever having to “write” a single line of text. Get the scoop here.)

 

The post Want More Social Media Traffic? Follow this 6-Step Blog Content Distribution Plan appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

How to Start Your Facebook Business Page: A Complete Guide

With more than 50 million businesses on Facebook, the social network has become one of the staple channels to further market your brand. Even though so many brands have a strong presence on Facebook, several more are trying to get started off on the right foot.

To be successful on the social network, it all starts with your Facebook Business page. Whether you’re looking or just created a Facebook Business page, there are important steps to follow before to ensure you have an active and engaged audience.

But before we get too far, let’s take a look at what actually makes up a Facebook Business page:

What Defines a Facebook Business Page?

A Facebook Business page is one-stop destination for customers who search for you on the social network. Whether you’re a local or enterprise business, your Facebook Business page should work similarly in vein to your company’s website.

sprout facebook business page example

Here you can provide contact information, store hours, calls-to-action linking to landing pages, visual content, events, updates and much more. While you likely understand why a Facebook Business page is important, it’s also critical to know how to build one from scratch.

Facebook Management Learn More Banner

How to Build a Facebook Business Page from Scratch

Building a Facebook Business page begins with detailing what type of company you’re presenting. If you’ve already created a Facebook Business page, feel free to skip down down to the next section.

Jump to How to Further Build Your Facebook Page.

For the rest of us just getting started, you need to select the type of business page you’ll be creating on the Create a Page site. Simply select which category speaks best to your type of brand.

facebook business page start up

Each category has a laundry list of unique subcategories to further detail your brand. It’s important to know some categories have specific features. For example, if you want to collect Facebook reviews from customers, choose the Local Business or Place category. On the other hand, if you want check-ins but no reviews, select the Company, Organization or Institution category.

differences between facebook pages

Once you choose your subcategory, enter your business or brand’s name and click “Get Started.” Facebook will then ask you to set up your Page’s additional details. Enter a description of your business, your website, custom URL and a profile photo.

  • Pro Tip: Keep your custom URL short and representative of your brand. Avoid numbers, special characters and other things that would make your business hard to search for on Facebook.
facebook page set up

You will also have the opportunity to add your Facebook Page to your list of favorites (shown in the left sidebar menu when viewing your Facebook News Feed) and choose your preferred Facebook Page audience.

facebook setup for audience

From this point, you can start to add more information about your business. One of the worst things you can do as a business is stop and leave an unfinished Facebook Business Page. While you think it might not hurt to leave up an unattended or half-filled Page, it actually does damage to your credibility.

Show your audience your authenticity and passion by going the extra mile and follow these steps to fill out everything in your profile:

1. Add Your Profile & Cover Photos

Adding an image to your Facebook Business page is easy. Simply follow the same steps you would with your personal account. However, make sure you know the right specs and image size guidelines for your profile and cover photos.

facebook cover and profile image

To ensure you have the right dimensions, use our free social media image resizing tool, Landscape. With this tool, you can easily resize your images to fit perfectly on each social network.

Don’t post blurry or pixelated profile and cover photos. Use Landscape for free today.

landscape facebook banner

2. Choose a Call-to-Action

Facebook allows you to add a call-to-action button on your Business Page to link visitors to your your website or landing pages. Once you click “Add Button,” you then select one of these options from the drop down:

  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Send Message
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video
  • Send Email
call to action selection

Here you also enter your direct link and choose if you want to send users to your app. You have the option to set up iOS and Android directions to send visitors to your app or website (depending on which device they’re using).

  • Pro Tip: Always set up your Facebook Business Page to be mobile friendly. Ensure everyone can easily send an email or contact you through their smartphone or tablet.

3. Update Your About Section

One of the most important sections of your Facebook Business Page is the About section. Update this area and make sure to add your website (if you didn’t in the original creation), a description, your hours of operation (if necessary), address, a phone number and email.

This is the minimum you should do with your about section, but make sure everyone can find the majority of information about your business in this section since it will be one of the most visited areas.

social media examiner example

Social Media Examiner does a great job at fully explaining their business model, upbringing and accomplishments in the About section. Check out your competitors to see how they’re putting this information together if you’re still struggling. Just remember not to copy their exact style and wording. Being original on social has its benefits.

4. Edit Page Settings

Next you’ll want to edit your Page settings. Make sure your Page Visibility is set to Page Published before you promote it. Here you can also select whether or not users can send you private messages through Facebook Messages.

business page settings

For most businesses, it’s smart to enable this connection as some users might be prevented from making public complaints on your Facebook Page. Always keep open lines of communication wherever possible on your channels to seem more humanistic.

If there are other Facebook Pages you would like linked to your new Facebook Page, go to the Featured section to add them. This is also where you can link to your personal profile as a featured Page owner if you wish to do so.

Facebook Management Try Free Banner

5. Start Posting Introductory Updates

As users begin to visit your Facebook Business Page, you want to have a good introduction. Start planning your initial posts and get users to Like your Page for more content. Once you have your introductory posts out, it’s time to start a schedule.

It’s smart to post on Facebook at least once or twice a day to keep your Page active. You can easily schedule your content with Sprout Social’s publishing tools. Here, you can schedule multiple Facebook posts for the week so you can get your content planning finished in a more timely fashion.

social media publishing example

Always remember to keep your Facebook Business Page active. The last thing you want is to seem like you’ve abandoned ship. People want to contact your brand on social media, so make sure your Facebook is up to date and continually publishing new content.

How to Further Build Your Facebook Page

Now that you know the initial steps to set up your Facebook Business Page, you need to know how to effectively promote it. Your Facebook Page can be a major source for new customers to find out about your company for the first time or to learn more.

Learning how to market your Facebook Business Page will make you more present in the eyes of your audience. However, you have to know the basics to building an audience and keeping them around.

To be truly successful on Facebook, here are a few tips to further build your Page and grow your presence:

Set Goals for Your Facebook Audience

Growing your Facebook audience is no easy task. While it only takes a second to Like a Page, getting people to trust your brand is a whole other story. That’s why you need to have a goal in place to build your audience.

One of the best ways to get people to follow or Like your page is by being a trusted resource for content. According to the 2016 Sprout Social Q3 Index, 86% of users want to and actually do follow brands on social media.

Annoying actions brands take on social media

On the other hand, the same report found 57% of users get annoyed when a brand is too promotional on social media. This means you have to find a balance with your audience. To get started, post three to five pieces of content on Facebook before you start adding people.

You don’t want new users coming to a barely filled-out space where it will be easy to leave. Instead, with a healthy start of content, you’ll show people you’re already getting started with content.

But How Do You Grow Your Audience?

When you have a Facebook Business Page with plenty of content, images and other media, start by inviting the people you know. Invite co-workers, old colleagues and even your own Facebook friends to start following you.

people search example

Next you’ll want to follow the thought-leaders in your field. Simply search topics in your industry and select “People” to see who are thought-leaders and experts. Don’t hesitate with who you’re asking to Like your Page. Send Facebook invites to every thought leader in your field. You’re more than likely to get a good amount to follow you back.

Once you begin to add industry leaders, others will start to follow who they follow. This is how you begin your audience building. Try to set goals with how many new followers you want to get in your first week, first month and first quarter. Set goals and make sure you stick to them. If you continue to publish great content, your audience will only grow.

Actively Engage With Your Audience

Did you know that roughly 89% of social messages to brands go ignored? To add to it, one in three people said they’ll go to a competitor if they don’t receive a response from your brand on social.

That might be a tough pill to swallow for some brands, but the need for engagement is real. You have to be present on social media and be willing to engage. This doesn’t mean you have to answer to every single question posted to your timeline.

facebook integrations collaborate manage

But there is a need to sift through responses and know when it’s important to engage with your audience. Luckily, Sprout Social has in-depth social media engagement tools to track, monitor and help you engage with your audience.

Don’t let important messages slip by you and run the risk of losing business. Actively engage with your audience even if they’re not reaching out to you. When you start your Facebook Business Page, it might be quiet for a few weeks. However, you can do more to find people talking about your brand or your industry.

Get involved with discussions and be active in your industry. Customers will see and respect that effort from your brand.

Plan Your Facebook Content

Like we mentioned before, you have to plan out your initial Facebook posts to get people to engage with your business Page. An empty social media profile is sad and will immediately push new users away from your Facebook Page.

But you have to go beyond the initial three to five pieces of content and start planning your content for weeks and months at a time. Start building out content ideas early so you have plenty of posts for the future. To get started, try posting content such as:

  • Facebook Contests: Contests are a great way to help build your audience from the ground up and to get your brand name out there. However, avoid giving away products or services that have nothing to do with your industry. Otherwise, you’ll have a lot of immediate engagement, but nothing that lasts.
  • Video Updates: With a Facebook feature video, you give customers coming to your site a highly-engaging visual piece of content to discover. Even if you don’t have a robust video team within your company, you can follow some simple steps to get social media video content to your audience.
  • User-Generated Content: UGC is perfect for businesses just starting off on Facebook. Ask for users to provide content they think would fit perfectly on your Page. You not only get their audience to your Page, but you also build trust and influencer relationships with others.
  • Facebook Posts with Photos: A study from eMarketer discovered Facebook posts with an accompanying image drive 75% more engagement than standard text-only posts. Facebook feeds are cluttered with visuals, so make sure your posts stand out among the rest.

Measure Your Facebook Efforts

After you fully set up your Facebook Business Page and create engaging content, you might wonder how your efforts have paid off. By using Facebook analytics tools, you can measure the effectiveness of your content, engagement and how many follower you’ve gained overtime.

Facebook Pages Report by Sprout Social

Measuring your Facebook is critical to knowing what works and what doesn’t. It’s not as simple as seeing 10 more Likes on a post than your other content. Instead, you have to dive deeper into your Facebook analytics. With Sprout, you can see telling metrics like:

  • Post Engagements
  • Organic Likes
  • Unlikes
  • Links Clicked
  • Page Impressions
  • Video Performance

While this is just a sample of the metrics you can measure with Sprout, having this data allows you to reconfigure and structure your Facebook marketing strategy. It all starts with a successful Facebook Business Page and having the analytics to back up your decision-making can help you improve your efforts.

facebook top performing posts

Start Promoting Your Facebook Page

Now that you have some insights into how to make a Page, what content you need and how to measure your efforts, you have to get started! Facebook Business Pages take a bit of effort, but having robust third-party tools like Sprout can help simplify your efforts.

Let us know in the comments below what you think goes into a great business Page!

This post How to Start Your Facebook Business Page: A Complete Guide originally appeared on Sprout Social.

6 Essential Strategies to Build a Thriving Customer Community

When I joined the DigitalMarketer team two years ago, I didn’t know much about community management.

To be fair, neither did DigitalMarketer.

Don’t get me wrong. From the very beginning, DigitalMarketer’s #1 core value has been to love, protect, and respect our customers. But as for community management as a core discipline, there was ample room to build out strategies and processes.

As in, there weren’t ANY strategies or processes.

My interview went along the lines of, “You seem nice. Your new job is to answer people’s questions on Facebook.”

We’ve come A LONG WAY since my interview and now manage a closed community of 10,227 members (as of this posting).

Today, I’m sharing with you a collection of my published strategies on the DigitalMarketer blog (there’s even more to learn in our Certification and we’re about to expand it with an update!) that are essential in understanding what community management is—much more complex than just being present for your customers—and how you can build and grow your own thriving customer communities.

Let’s dive in! Before you can install a community into your business, you need to know…

Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager: Which Hire is Right for Your Business?

ManagerBlog

Anyone interested in building communities (or hiring a community manager) should know exactly what we mean when we say community.

It’s not a social media channel and it’s not a marketing audience—it’s a different animal entirely.

This post debunks the common misconception that community managers are basically social media managers, and breaks down the differences between the two.

How to Build and Manage a Private Facebook Group 

comm

No matter what platform your community is housed, there are some fundamental strategies you can implement to build up your tribe.

In this post, I share some ideas on how to make your community stronger, such as creating exclusivity and implementing moderation strategies.

Social Listening: How to Create Feedback Loops Between Your Company and Your Community

LoopsBlog

Communities are wonderful opportunities to keep your finger on the pulse of how your customers are experiencing your brand, products, and services.

This post outlines how I implement social listening strategies in our community—and how to keep other team members in the loop while ensuring our customers feel valued and heard.

(NOTE: Want a step-by-step plan for measuring, growing and monetizing your social media and community? Learn more about DigitalMarketer’s Social & Community Mastery Specialist training and certification program today.)

How 3 Unforgivable Community Management Mistakes Cost Pokémon GO Millions in Active Users

PokemonBlog

What do you do when your community takes to the social web to complain about your brand? What’s the process when someone is unhappy with your product and starts venting on Twitter? If they had a bad experience and post it on your Facebook page?

Handling it the wrong way can cost you, as Pokémon GO experienced during Summer 2016.

This post outlines the 3-Step Social Customer Service Plan our team uses daily to handle customer care issues that find their way to public online spaces and helps us avoid major community crises.

 

[CASE STUDY] How DigitalMarketer Activated 44% of Previously Silent Community Members in 5 Days

CommunityBlog9_8_v2

A positive community experience and culture is ESSENTIAL to reaping the business benefits of a tribe of customers.

This case study outlines a community strategy I implemented last year—a theme week geared toward our silent members—that focused on introducing community culture and inspired a significant number of new participants in our Facebook group.

Measure the Growth, Activity, and Experience of Your Community (Correctly) with These 4 Metrics

CommunityBlog_Updated

“Community” can be an emotional, touchy-feely, ethereal kind of word.

Because it can seem like a vague concept, many people struggle with how to measure a community’s success—especially that “warm and fuzzy” feeling of being part of a group.

The good news is there are ways to measure if your community is growing and healthy, and if your members are feeling that emotional connection to your tribe.

A customer community is one of the best investments you can make for your business, and it can only thrive when you have the proper strategies in place. Put these to work and connect with me inside of DM Engage as a DigitalMarketer Lab member to let me know how your community responds!

(NOTE: Want a step-by-step plan for measuring, growing and monetizing your social media and community? Learn more about DigitalMarketer’s Social & Community Mastery Specialist training and certification program today.)

The post 6 Essential Strategies to Build a Thriving Customer Community appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

How to Create Effective Facebook Lead Generation Ads

What if there was a powerful way to boost your Facebook marketing efforts? What if you could offer your followers gated content to encourage signups and generate leads all from within Facebook?

You can do this and more with Facebook Lead Generation Ads.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is a marketing process where you capture interest in your products and services. It is a way to take a target audience from an introduction to your products and services, and guide them through your sales funnel.

For any business to survive and thrive it needs customers. Buyers are the heart of your business and lead generation is a way for you to engage more of them. A lead is someone who has already shown interest in your company. This means that they are already warmed up to you a bit. No cold calls here.

facebook lead generation

The first step of any relationship is the initial attraction. With online marketing, that attraction is likely due to your social media profiles and the content you put out. Once you’ve sparked the initial attraction, leads can then be converted into a customer.

Facebook lead generation ads are a way for you as an advertiser or business owner to collect information from your potential customers and “warm” them up.

Why Facebook Advertising?

The lead generation options are numerous, so why Facebook?

Facebook has over 1.7 billion monthly active users. That is a huge opportunity for you to share your business and services. Whatever business you are in, it is likely that all or at least a large portion of your audience is using the network.

Aside from having a huge, engaged audience, Facebook also makes lead generation super easy for you and your potential customers. You have an advertising dashboard and plenty of resources to get help when needed. Your followers can opt-in to your offers without ever leaving the platform. Facebook will also populate the user’s info for them, making filling out the forms effortless.

Let’s have a closer look.

Facebook Lead Generation Ads: 101

Facebook will give you design recommendations to help you get started creating your ads. You’ll be required to link to your company’s privacy policy when creating your ad, so be sure to have that prepared. This policy makes sure that you know you are not allowed to sell customer’s information and informs you on question restrictions.

You will also need a Facebook Fan Page to begin creating lead generation ads. A Facebook Fan Page is different from your personal profile. Learn the difference here.

Creating an Effective Ad

An effective Facebook lead generation ad will have these elements:

  • An engaging and relevant image: 1,200 x 628 pixels
  • Irresistible headline: 25 characters in length
  • Text explaining your offer: 90 characters
  • Description for news feed: 30 characters (make them count)
  • A clear call to action: what you want viewers to do

To view the anatomy of a great Facebook ad, see Facebook Ad Examples That Convert.

Setting up Ads

To begin setting up your ad in Facebook, head over to the Facebook Ads Manager. From here you can choose your marketing objective which in this case is lead generation.

facebook lead generation

Enter a campaign name and click continue. From here you will have the opportunity to select what fan page you want to use for the ad and define your audience. You will need to accept Facebook’s terms for each page you choose.

Facebook has a handy meter to let you know if your audience is specific enough or too broad.

Facebook Ads Audience

You can also choose if you would like your ad to appear on mobile, desktop or both. Set your budget, schedule and add an ad set name.

Continue to the next screen and choose between a single photo or video, or multiple. The multiple option is great if you have a series of products or want to tell a story with your images.

Facebook Ads Format

Then all you need to do is add your text, call-to-action and create your lead form.

create facebook lead generation form

Facebook allows you to ask for a variety of information. Keep in mind the more information you ask for the less likely people will be to complete the entire form. For example, Neil Patel tested this theory by removing one field from his opt-in form and saw an increase in conversions by 26%.

facebook lead form questions

You can also ask your own questions if you want more in-depth responses. This is a good option for businesses using Facebook lead generation ads for sales. For instance, a roofing company might want to know the details of a project.

Facebook Lead Form Ask Questions

Once you complete your form, Click “Review Order” to make sure your ad will appear as you wish and be sure to proofread your text. Simply click “Place Order” once you are ready to publish your ad.

Why Your Facebook Ads Could Fail

Facebook makes running ads a fairly straightforward process and you can always contact customer service if you have questions. Aside from the technical side of ads, there are some broader reasons your ad campaign could fail:

1. Not Knowing Your Target Audience

Your ad is destined to fail if you do not know your target audience. If the visuals and text of your ad appeals to women in their 30s, but your products are aimed at men in their 50s, it is just not going to work. You need to know your audience and what they want in order to create an offer that is appealing to them.

2. Not Having a Strong Offer

This goes with knowing your audience. If you offer a lengthy PDF in exchange for signups when your audience really only watches video, you are not going to generate the leads you desire. Check your site’s analytics and look over your most popular posts. What type of content is your audience responding to? Create your offer and ad accordingly.

In this Facebook lead generation ad, Salesforce did a great job creating an offer for businesses that currently aren’t using a CRM.

Salesforce Facebook Lead Generation Ad

3. Not Setting the Right Budget

Facebook advertising is often a very cost-effective way to market. But your return on investment will depend on many factors. Knowing your audience and presenting a strong offer will go a long way in helping you reach your goals. Your ad budget will depend on your goals, but $10 a day is a good starting point to test. Continue to test and adjust to get the most out of your ads. Remember, it is not a failure if you are learning along the way.

How To Make Your Ads Succeed

Now that you know how your ads could fail, how can you make them succeed? There are no guarantees but here are some things that can help:

Customer Relationship Management System

What are you going to do with those leads once you capture them? The point of capturing leads is to grow your business and sell more products and services. Not to just hold a bunch of names captive on a list.

Having a customer relationship management (CRM) system in place will help you nurture and follow-up with the leads that you capture. There are many options available online. Do some research to find one that fits your needs and budget. Facebook allows you to download your leads, but some CRMs are integrated.

Sprout has social CRM features to help you keep the conversation going with your leads on social media.

Social CRM

Follow-up or Your Autoresponder

Hopefully Facebook will start making it easy to directly import your leads into your autoresponder. But you may have to do this manually for now.

Before you capture leads and add them to your autoresponder, you need to come up with a follow-up plan. Make your follow-up series relevant to the ad you sent out. If you offered a discount make sure your list receives it. Draw people deeper into your company.

Use in Combination With Inbound Marketing

An effective marketing strategy uses a combination of tactics. Make sure you are posting consistently on your social media channels, creating valuable content, and nurturing your list. Use Facebook lead generation as one aspect of your overall marketing strategy. If your leads never hear from you or see you active across platforms, they are not likely to stay with you.

From understanding how Facebook lead generation works, to learning how to create your ads and avoid the pitfalls, we have covered a lot. If you are just starting out, learn what you can and take it step by step. But do not be afraid to jump in and try out Facebook’s advertising features. Often the best way to learn is to do.

This post How to Create Effective Facebook Lead Generation Ads originally appeared on Sprout Social.

How to Verify a Facebook Page for a Local Business

Is your local business on Facebook? Wondering how to make your Facebook page official? Verifying a local business page adds a layer of legitimacy to your presence and can help customers feel more confident when they engage with you on Facebook. In this article, you’ll discover how to get your local Facebook page verified. Benefits […]

This post How to Verify a Facebook Page for a Local Business first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle