Fingermarketing Blog

Why Using Hashtags on Facebook is Good for your Business

Jun 26

Facebook hashtagsLast week, Facebook introduced the clickable hashtag concept to its customers. If you are familiar with Twitter, you will know that people and businesses use the hashtag to join the conversation, reach people and customers and get updates on specific topics.

How do hashtags work?

If you type a # before a word, it becomes a hashtag. So when you post with a hashtag, anyone who has seen the post can click on the hashtag and see other posts that use the same hashtag.

If you are worried about privacy, don’t worry Facebook has you covered.  The hashtags correspond to users’ privacy settings. Putting a #hashtag in a post that is only visible to your friends won’t allow it to show up for anyone other than your friends.

How is this valuable for a business?

If you are a florist in Vancouver and post with the tag #FloristinVancouver, you can use this to find pages that you might want to add or add a new friend who shares similar interests and vice versa. This is HUGE!

Previously hashtags were only limited to Twitter and Instagram. Now, with a hash tag you have access to Twitter, Instagram and the billion plus users on Facebook. Your hashtags will reach a more broader audience.

Remember not to overuse them. Use them to find customers: for example if you sell copper bracelets, you can monitor Facebook conversation by searching #copperbracelets to see who’s talking about them and target them with an ad… The possibilities are endless!

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Facebook Has Finally Launched the Clickable #Hashtag

Jun 17

Last week Facebook launched the clickable hashtag on its social media platform similar to Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tublr.  According to Facebook,  “When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.”

Hashtags on a post will enable you to:

  • Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar, eg #SocialMedia
  • Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and then search the results
  • Click on the visible hashtags from other services like Twitter or Instagram

Here are some tips that will help you use hashtags in your Facebook marketing:

  • If you use hashtags, integrate them into your campaigns across all media from Google Plus to Twitter, Instagram and of course Facebook.
  • If you are using hashtags for a marketing campaign make sure that they are unique so the conversation is not drowned out by another conversation.
  • Only use the hashtags you know that are used in relation to your brand as part of your online reputation monitoring and customer service programme.
  • Don’t hijack a hashtag – there are too many examples of Twitter hashtags that have gone wrong where a brand inappropriately uses a hashtag especially when related to disasters.
  • Promote your campaign hashtag across all media – both online and offline.

Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.

They are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations. When used correctly they can be a very powerful marketing tool.

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Got Online Critics? You’re lucky!

May 27

online commentsMany businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of social media networks such as Facebook, as powerful marketing tools. At the same time some are deliberately staying away for fear of customer complaints broadcasted over the Internet for all to see.

You just have to visit some company Facebook pages such as UPS, American Airlines, banks, phone companies and you will read complaints that will raise your eyebrows! A vast majority of the complaints  facing these companies are handled diligently, nearly always with a resolution in sight.

So why do these companies put up with such abuse? Because they know it is good for business! They know that customers who have taken the time and effort to post are asking for permission to continue as customers.  Most of them can be appeased with a solution or reply.

The real problem is with the customers who just disappear. They cannot be rescued as easily because they are unknown and their complaints are not heard.

Social media has plunged us into a new era of customer service, where transparency is the name of the game, and companies are now making it their business to know.  A disgruntled customer who gets a favorable response to his/her complaint can become a life long customer and an ardent advocate of the company.

You can invite your customers to share their opinions with you or you can watch them slip away to your competitors. Which do you think is better for business?

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Does Your Business Benefit From A Mobile Website?

May 20

mobilephone searchMany businesses still do not have a mobile optimized website. Having said that, a mobile optimized website is more important for certain types of businesses. Which types of businesses?

First, let’s look at the different types of Internet activities people do on their smartphones. Activities like email usage, social networking, playing games, maps and music have been excluded because smartphone users prefer to use apps for this.

#1 Most Important Activity – Look for a local business or service – 94%

With nearly all smartphone users looking for local businesses or services, it’s the most popular Internet activity performed. According to Google, 1 in 3 searches on a smartphone have local intent.

“Local intent” means Google believes the searcher’s intentions are to make a purchase offline. Take for example a search for “florist”, which implies the person will drive to the business and purchase flowers. This would be local intent, even though the search term didn’t include a geographic constraint like “Los Angeles florist.”

Below is a list of local businesses and services mobile phone users are searching for:

54% – Retailer

51% – Restaurant

31% – Travel Info (car rentals, hotels)

18% – Apartments / housing info

17% – Car related (gas station, repairs, parts)

15% – Beauty & personal (salon, spas)

#2 Most Important Activity – Help with shopping – 79%

With so many mobile users relying on their smartphones to help with shopping, it’s changing the way people shop. According to Google, 15% of all shopping related searches now come from mobiles.

Below is a list of how smart phones are helping people shop:

70% – Shopping in store

67% – Research then buy in store

54% – Search for a retailer

52% – Contact a retailer

49% – Compare prices while in store

#3 Most Important Activity – Manage finances and bills – 77%

A growing number of mobile users manage finances and bills with their smartphone. Mobile apps are popular, but smartphone users still prefer mobile websites for personal banking.

How is a smartphone used with finance related activities?

67% – Reviewing bank account information

51% – Doing an actual bank transaction

43% – Budgeting and chequebook balancing

24% – Stocks and securities research

#4 Most Important Activity – Keeping informed with news – 53%

Whether it is standing in line, riding the bus or sitting at the coffee shop more than half of smartphone users look for news to keep informed.

68% – Reading the news

41% – Reading or posting to blogs

15% – Reading magazine websites

#5 Most Important Activity – Purchase products – 35%

Mobile shopping is becoming increasingly popular. The only barriers are technology. This will soon change.

What are people buying on their mobile phones?

45% – Electronics

45% – Clothing or apparel

34% – Travel

26% – Books, magazines and newspapers

26% – Beauty and cosmetic items

24% – Jewelry and watches

20% – Computers and office equipment

From all this data, one can safely conclude that as a retailer, if you have not joined the mobile bandwagon, you are losing out.

With change comes opportunity, and the shift to mobile is the biggest change since the Internet revolution. Some businesses can afford to wait, while others need to get going now.

Which businesses need to make mobile a priority?

  • Local businesses
  • Retailers (and etailers)
  • Financial service providers and finance related websites
  • News providers, blogs and magazines
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Car rental agencies

 

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Customers Are Taking Social Networks Seriously. As A Business Are You?

May 6

Once upon a time, if a customer had a complaint, he/she would email or call Customer Service and the conversation stayed private. Today, Social Media networks such as Facebook and Twitter can make a customer complaint can go viral if not addressed in time.

customer engagementThis can also work on the positive side. If a customer shares a positive experience with his/her social media network, the effect can elevate the brand from an obscure to ‘superstar’ status. And it’s not just the networking effect; studies show that consumers who engage with companies over social media, spend an average of 20-40% more money with those companies than other customers.

While consumers are increasingly turning to social media outlets for engaging with companies and brands they do business with, most businesses are ill-equipped to respond and engage with customers. A lot of them do not even have a Social Media strategy. Proof of this can be shown by the fact that on average, less than 5% of questions asked on business Facebook pages are answered!

Businesses are gradually learning about the importance and marketing strength of Social Media networks, but are not learning how to work with them effectively once they have joined. This can be counter-productive because customers are increasingly treating their online social networks as a trusted resource for both researching products and obtaining customer service.

It behooves the company to find ways to successfully engage with customers on this critical channel. Consumers and businesses don’t care who is in charge of the Twitter or Facebook  presence… if they have a concern they want to voice it and have it handled properly.  A strategy to effectively and efficiently utilize Social Media may be very challenging, but a lack of it may be damaging.

 

 

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Posting Photos on Facebook? Here’s How to Get More Engagement.

Apr 18

getting more engagement on FacebookIt’s a fact – posting pictures on Facebook gets more coverage. Today, the majority of content posted on Facebook is pictures. Are you posting correctly? Do you have a posting strategy? Did you know that you can use your photo updates to get more engagement in the form of likes, shares and comments?

 

Here are a few ways to help your posts get more reach and virality and at the same time get more people to learn about your brand:

 

Make your posts humorous. Your products and services may have little to do with humor, but if you can pick a funny picture that will draw attention to your post in the news feed, you will definitely get a like or a share.

 

Be aware of current events. Using news or a topic to relate to your brand is a very effective way of reminding your fans about your brand. Connect with a holiday, sporting / cultural event or a breaking news story.

 

Relate to personal experiences. Think about it, Facebook fans are ordinary people just like you and me with similar tastes and habits. If you post images that your fans can relate to, they are more likely to respond and or engage.

 

Ask for shares and likes.  Always keep the text that accompanies the image as short as possible and ask your fans to share or like the post if they feel the same. Long-winded posts that take a long time to read will most likely get ignored.

 

Let the fans see your company’s culture. Put a face to your business. Display photos of your staff members, your premises, interactions with customers etc. Photos that show what happens behind the scenes are a good way to enhance brand credibility.

 

Encourage comments. Comments on a post will enable virality, so ensure you ask the correct question to receive a comment. Questions on photos will attract more attention and push fans to answer it. Make the question simple requiring an easy answer.

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Some Great Ways to Use Visuals To Enhance Your Social Media Marketing

Mar 24

share quotesIt’s a fact – social media is getting more visual. Facebook’s own research shows that photo albums increase engagement by 180%, images increase engagement by 120% and videos increase engagement by 100%.

Here are some tips to help you with your visual strategy:

1) Add text to your photos. By adding text to a photo, you can get your message across even faster. And these messages are more likely to be shared by others on social media

2) Use images to make your content easier to read. Always vary the type of content you share on social media, and always use photos and other forms of visual content to keep your readers interested.

3) Use “How-to” images when possible. Images are an effective way of showing your audience a step-by-step guide on how to carry out specific tasks. Users respond well when you show them how to carry out a task that may otherwise seem complex to them.

4) Use info graphics when possible. Users love to read and share these visual representations of information, data or knowledge.

5) Sometimes it’s better to show just the facts. Some information can be conveyed more easily with just a simple chart or graph that will drive home the facts, instead of a complicated diagram.

6) Always keep your landing pages simple. The visual may be part of your message and if there is a lot of clutter and many images on your landing page, your message will get diluted and confusing to your audience.

7) Make sure there is at least 1 Pinnable image. Pinterest is a great way to have your posts shared with an even wider audience.

8) Use quotes whenever possible. In the past year, the sharing of quotes on social sites has increased considerably. Quotes have a way of generating a sense of authority and make readers take notice of a statement that could easily get forgotten.

9) Use a review as an image. Take a screenshot of a favorable review by a customer and include it as an image on your social site.  It will certainly help your business when it is shared.

There are a number of other tips and tricks you can use that are not included in this post. The important thing is that you must start using visuals in your blog posts. Use a variety of visual content to strengthen your visual social media marketing strategy.

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Some Great Tips For Creating Viral Pinterest Posts

Mar 9

Pinterest and blog postsPinterest is huge social media channel and everyone now knows about its explosive growth. If you blog for business and want to see your blog posts get pinned on Pinterest and get some serious exposure, consider some of these tips below:

  • Use text on your photos, or create a title graphic. There are thousands of images on Pinterest, and people scan through a lot of thumbnails. If you want your image to get easily identified and make it more “pinnable”, place some text on it. Just make sure that if you are using stock photography, the site allows the image to be pinned to Pinterest.
  • Add a “Pin it” button beneath the photo you want pinned, and write an attractive tag for the caption. When people are viewing your images, they do not have Pinterest on their mind. By adding a pin button beneath the images, you are reminding them to pin the content and at the same time giving them permission to pin.
    Also by adding the “Pin it” button on the post, you are customizing it. Don’t forget to include key words and hash tags to make your content more searchable.
  • Make your post easy to read. Always write your post in a list or bullet format, it will be easy to read and people will pin it.
  • Make your post timely. If you post about cooking Christmas Turkeys in June, it will not generate much interest. But if this is done closer to Christmas, the post will get much more attention. If you are strategic about your  post’s timeliness , they will be rewarded with lots of attention.
  • Remind people of the post  after the initial “peak’ period. The general rule-of-thumb regarding posts and Pinterest is that posts gain the most traction on Pinterest, in the first 72 hours of being live on your blog. Of course, additional pins can be gained after this period, but you have to work a little harder.
    Share evergreen posts on your social media channels on a continual basis. This will keep the traffic consistent to the posts and perhaps gain more pins in the long run.
  • Use social media to get your posts out on a consistent basis over a period of time. If you have a post that is very topical e.g. Valentines Day gifts, you should be posting on Facebook and Twitter multiple times, especially if you want it to become prominent on Pinterest.
    If you continuously tweet the post, you will eventually get more pins to Pinterest, and if you have affiliate links on your post, sales should increase. Be careful to be creative with your tweets and post at different times of the day, with other unrelated content.
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Looks like Pinterest is Becoming as Popular as Twitter

Feb 23

pinterest vs twitterA recent report released by the Pew Research Centre  shows that users are pinning as much as they are tweeting. Twitter attracted 16% of social media users and Pinterest followed closely at 15%. Facebook reigned supreme.

Visual media is becoming more and more attractive in the social space, and Pinterest’s meteoric rise is proof of that. Each network offers distinct services and draws specific audience groups.

Pinterest is more popular amongst women, adults under 50 and whites. Women are five times more likely to be pinning than men. Pinterest is equally popular with different age demographics.  People use it for a totally different reason than they tweet. It’s eye candy, and fulfills a need to be visually stimulated.

Twitter users on the other hand tend to be urban residents, and its power as a communication medium is becoming more prevalent.

It is interesting to note that although Pinterest is catching up in popularity, the percentage of internet users on Twitter doubled in the past 2 years.

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How to Keep Your Fans Coming Back Once They have Liked Your Page.

Feb 10

Facebook LikeEveryone wants to boast that they have thousands of “Likes” to their Facebook page. But what is the point if you have all those thousands of likes and they only visit your page once to give you the like?  (Only 6-7% of fans comeback after liking the page) Wouldn’t you rather have a fewer likes with fans who are engaged, commenting and telling their friends and family about your products and services.

A like is the beginning  – it is the first step that the visitor has made in engaging with your brand. What happens next – whether the visitor will return, is entirely up to you. Here are a few tips to keep the fans coming back:

1) Have a plan in place. Set your realistic goals and objectives for your page, with a plan to get there. An editorial calendar with key topic ideas will help you stay organized and help you achieve your goals.

2) Understand your audience. The more you understand and know your community, the better. Leverage the information obtained from the insights panel on your page,  about what gets you the most reach, engagement and virility.

3) Engage with good content. You need to engage with your audience from the start. Have educational content, videos, links to relevant sites and email opt-ins ready. Directly engage using polls, contests, questions etc. Respond quickly to people who comment.

4)  Integrate your brand into your page. Your Facebook page represents you brand. This should be very clear to anyone visiting it.  Make your graphics bold and innovative.

5) Create an experience.  People want to be inspired, entertained and educated. You want the visitor to think “wow this page is really cool and fun. I must make sure I bookmark it and return”.

6) Vary your content. Your visitors will be visiting at different times of the day, in different moods and seeking different content. Include a variety of different content and information. By varying the types of content posted, you will increase the chances of engagement and action by your audience.

7) Don’t put your page on auto pilot. Never fill your page with automated rss feeds, auto Twitter tweets and networked blog posts. This can make your page look like spam to a user who doesn’t know you.

8) Create a custom welcome tab. With Facebook official pages you can select a tab as a default landing tab for people who have never been to your page and clicked “like” before.  Maximize this tab. Include a video, information on who you are and what you can do for your audience.  Include an email opt-in.

At the end of the day the chase for more Facebook “likes” is not dissimilar to obtaining more email subscribers that is now so “90′s” but we are now on a social web that is dominated by Facebook. Ignore it, and you will lose out.

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