Category Archives: Business

Facebook Messenger Begins Testing For Business Ads

Facebook is well known for keeping in touch with family and friends and for sharing funny videos. The test to integrate ads into Facebook’s Messenger has begun. The company has said that it will launch its characteristics as a small test in Thailand and Australia, which will for the first time allow businesses to have their ads placed on the Messenger home screen. This style of advertising entails a large thumbnail image followed by a text and a link of the same. These ads will appear below recent conversations.

 

The link will be able to direct users on taking different actions like clicking to learn more about the service or the business in question. This action is similar to the way that Facebook business pages today can directs users to start a chat.

 

Currently, the ads sit on a huge space on the home screen, which is below your favorites and up above the section that shows which friends are online. This feature about the Messenger makes it less user-friendly since you will have to scroll way past the large ads which you may not be interested in.

 

Facebook has, however, promised that the ads will not appear in conversations not unless the user clicks on the ad itself or chooses to start a chat with the brand being advertised. This will make it more convenient for its users.

 

Generally, businesses have been waiting for this moment for a long time when they can use the Messenger platform to reach to their customers and increase their sales easily, gain brand awareness and increase interaction with customers. It is clearly an exciting feature for them as it will lead to growth for their respective businesses.

Be A Good Social Media Listener

Social media is about more than just musing on the day’s events or staying in touch with friends and family. Social media is also about marketing. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms open portals for effectively engaging with audiences who could turn out to be consumers.

 

Business-minded people are known for their ability to think things through. Yet, many entrepreneurs simply create a presence on social media that never really maximizes its potential. Posting material online creates a number of interactive advertisements. Presence does not automatically equate with impact. People looking over the content on a social media page might not really be motivated to react. A disconnect between promotional material and consumer won’t set the stage for success. Social listening, however, just might.

 

Social listening refers to reading what people are writing and posting on a social media page. The insights delivered by what people reveal in posts are worth a lot. Those running social media sites become far too focused on their own work they never review the responses being given. Even if they do review what others are saying, they do not fully intake the commentary. Such an oversight would be a disastrous result for any business.

 

Businesses will invest quite a bit of money into producing generic surveys and questionnaires. The value of these market research tools is well-established. Even though social media commentary provides much more insight into the consumer’s mind, the commentary is not always thoroughly reviewed.

 

When customers are speaking, listen. They have much to tell.

 

Facebook Ventures Into The Business Of Streaming Content

Streaming media is the wave of the future. Broadcast and cable television may both end up on the proverbial ropes in only a few short years. Facebook sees the direction things are going, which is why the social media powerhouse is planning on purchasing live and pre-recorded programming for an exclusive video feed. Facebook wants to tap into the success found in YouTube and NetFlix’s company coffers.

 

Facebook has a massive collection of members. Minimal video capabilities are available on the Facebook platform. Expanding the video content would be really easy. Why Facebook had not already launched such a venture is a mystery. The social media company is not really late to the game. The networks and cable channels, however, seem to have gotten a late jump with streaming content. Even though certain channels do stream content, the channels are not primarily known for such programming distribution. As a result, the maximum levels of audiences are not gained.

 

Facebook already has a tremendous audience. A mere announcement in the news feeds of the social network would capture the attention of millions within hours. Monetizing the video feed wouldn’t be difficult al all. Facebook is not exactly going to find attracting advertisers to the programming feeds to be difficult.

 

Audiences are slowly drifting away from traditional cable and broadcast television for a simple reason. A more convenient alternative exists. On-demand streaming is much more easily accessible. The audio and video quality on stream feeds is outstanding. In addition to seeing content on Facebook, look for video programming to appear on various startup websites and social media communities in the coming years. Apple is one major company to announce plans to release original programming on iTunes. Really, the march to a new platform for entertainment and informational programming is coming.

 

Financial Advisors are Creating Business Opportunities With Social Media

In 2016, Putnam Investments conducted a survey of 1,000 financial advisors about their sentiments on the use of social media. The survey revealed that 85 percent of financial advisors have a social media presence, and that 80 percent of them found new clients in 2016 through this communications and marketing channel.

 

The Putnam survey makes it clear to financial advisors that they should be using social media in 2017. This is not an option; it is a must since prospective clients are using social media, and many existing clients would probably enjoy getting communications from their financial advisors in this regard.

 

Before financial advisors set out to do business in social media, they should keep in mind that their line of work requires them to be very compliant with certain codes of rules, regulations and ethics. The first step is to become familiar with social media policies set forth by their employers. Once these policies are known and understood, financial advisors must define their target audiences. It is worth mentioning that advisors who specialize in specific audiences such as IT professionals or affluent families tend to do better.

 

It is also important for financial advisors to define a personal brand that will appeal to prospective and existing clients. This personal brand can be crafted through hobbies, activities and interests; however, topics related to politics and religion should be largely avoided.

 

Marketing on multiple social networks is not necessary. LinkedIn is mandatory for financial advisors; other networks should be added with the audience in mind. Twitter, for example, is a good choice for IT professionals while Instagram is better for those who work in the fashion, culinary and hospitality industries.

 

Finally, financial advisors should not use social media as a very large echo chamber. If they follow others, they must engage with them with active dialogue.

 

Why Businesses are Flocking to Social Media

An estimated 81% of small and medium-sized companies are using social media to improve sales and marketing. The world of social media is more than chatting with friends, sharing with family and playing colorful apps. Businesses utilize social media to their immediate advantage because it helps to bring about an increase in client flow (source). Paying for sponsored or paid posts will ensure your company’s advertisements are on their front page. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have created a platform where companies can come to flourish over time.

 

For business owners, it is imperative to join forces with social media to increase marketing potential. In this day and age, owning a website is virtually useless if you don’t have a social media page to back you up. A Facebook or Twitter page engages your clientele, allowing them to provide you with valuable feedback in the form of reviews, comments and messages. This constructive feedback can help transform and improve your company to fit the needs of your customers.

 

Creating a business page on some of the more popular social media websites is often free, unless you plan on doing some advertising. These sites charge a relatively substantial fee if you wish to publicize your account on their main page. However, considering millions of people utilize social media on a daily basis, the price you pay for front-page advertising can be highly advantageous. Keeping your page updated regularly is vital to the overall success and longevity of your position on sites like Facebook and Twitter. If your page is not kept updated, this causes it to rank lower on search engine results, preventing clients from finding you. Keeping the page up-to-date also ensures better customer support, as you will be able to answer inquiries as soon as you receive them.

 

Social Media Campaigns That Made Tons Of Money

The Coca Cola Remove Labels was a social media campaign that was spread around Youtube in 2015 in the UAE. The commercial featured a heavy metal rock star, a tattooed scientist and other interesting characters dining at a dinner table. The message of the commercial was to label food products, but not people.

 

The Scoot social matrix was a social media campaign by Singapore Airlines on Youtube and Facebook. They researched the demographics of different types of travelers in Australia and made videos advertising certain niche destinations. The campaign was a success and their flight sales were boosted by over 157 percent.

 

The Toy Testers campaign was promoted by Tesco in the United Kingdom. They promoted their toy selection in their videos during the holiday season. The series of videos successfully raised their toy sales during the holiday season.

 

The UK Bank made multiple videos that were spread via social media. The videos explained the various financial products that the bank had to offer and why they were a better choice over the competition. The bank boosted their overall sales for that year.

 

The UAE financial institution, Emirates NBD, made Facebook campaigns promoting saving for newly married couples. They spread image manipulation applications that showed what couples may look like in 30 years. The company had a significant increase in sales after their campaign.

 

Pepsi launched the Longthroat campaign in Nigeria through social media sites. The campaign took the term longthroat, which means the longing for success in the country, and related it to their new long bottle shape. The campaign boosted sales by more than 60 percent.

Social Media No-Nos For Business Owners

These days, most people are using social media to promote their business. While social media can help you boost your business, you may be doing things that are hurting your business. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is setting up a page and not putting anything on it.

 

Inconsistent posting is another mistake that business owners make. It will be easier for your audience to find and follow you if you have a regular posting schedule. Posting another user’s content without permission is something else that you should not do. Make sure that you respond to comments in a timely manner. You show your customers that their input matters when you respond to them.

 

You want to publish more than just your promotions and sales. It is estimated that 57.5 percent of people are turned off by promotions on social media. Your social media page should focus on building the trust of your customers.

 

You should not treat your business page the same way that you treat your personal page. Buying fake followers is another bad idea. You also want to avoid using too many hashtags. If the hashtags are irrelevant, then this can also work against you. Additionally, you should not auto direct-message your followers on Twitter. Most people do not like to be spammed. Send someone a personal note if you want to thank them.

 

Creating Personalized Experiences Gets Easier

For social media-reliant businesses, getting an edge with online customers is imperative. One of the leaders in the field of personalized marketing technologies is Dynamic Yield. TechCrunch reports that the organization received $22 million in series C funding. The company already works with high caliber clients like Rolling Stone magazine, Sephora and Under Armour. What makes the technology so compelling, and relevant, is its ability to place multiple tools at marketers’ fingertips. Dynamic Yield’s suite includes the ability to run A/B tests, and to pull personalized data information from mobile apps, web and online advertising. This information is then used to create personalized ad campaigns.

 

Researchers have found that certain images work better for female customers versus male customers and this kind of information can help marketers create banners and imagery that best appeals to their target demographic. Studies have shown that personalized marketing campaigns improve a company’s ROI.

 

Dynamic Yield is not the only company looking to data mining technologies to leverage ad campaign creationa, but so far it is the biggest and one of the best funded. Small business owners looking to create personalized experiences for their customers might not be in the position to make use of Dynamic Yield’s platform but can turn to free tools like Optimizely or Hubspot, which are highly flexible. Although these platforms and services don’t offer the same level of detail that Dynamic Yield promises, they are free. Free makes for a good return on investment, no matter your business’ size.

 

German Government Seeks to Fine Away Fake News on Social Media

Germany’s coalition is seeking to legislate the trend of proliferating lies and propaganda through social media. Should the measure, planned for a vote in early 2017, pass, the government would fine Facebook and other major social media platforms up to €500,000.

 

Social Democratic Party chair Thomas Opperman commented that each major platform would be required to build a legal protection office within its country. The office would also necessitate accessibility every hour of every day. He went on to state that should Facebook fail to remove the offensive message after 24 hours, then individual fines would be issued. Additionally, the subject of any fake news could seek a correction to be published at the same degree of importance.

 

In light of its commitment to outsource fact checking efforts, Facebook commented that it took the proliferation of false information seriously. Representatives for the media platform went on to say that they were working with politicians and experts to refine the process and that Facebook already offered several new applications to combat false information.

 

Other German politicians have commented that, being outside the umbrella of free speech, defamation and malicious gossip should be thoroughly prosecuted. Germany’s libel laws can incarcerate perpetrators for up to half a decade. Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, has called for stronger legislation that would allow the entire EU to fine offenders. Germany’s worries over false news may be partly driven by fears that it could detrimentally affect its upcoming election similarly to the United States.

 

Social Media Business Etiquette for 2017

Predictions are being made about the significant role that social media will continue to play within the enterprise world in 2017, and many analysts are urging business owners to learn from mistakes made in 2016 to ensure they never happen again.

 

The most obvious example of the need for proper social media etiquette is the Twitter account of President-elect Donald Trump, who is infamous for being combative, quirky and less than refined when posting new updates. Such was the case on December 17, when he sent an early morning tweet that embarrassingly misspelled “unprecedented” as “unpresidented.”

 

According to a December article published by CIO.com, business owners will have to be extra careful about their use of social media in 2017. Proper spelling and grammar is just one of the important rules in this regard; other rules worth mentioning include:

 

– Establishing social media accounts that are never used. Business owners should not place their companies on social media unless they can commit to being active.

 

– Using content created by others without their permission. This does not include sharing updates originally posted by those who are in the same social circles; it refers to copyrighted content.

 

– Treating social media accounts like echo chambers. This means ignoring direct messages and not responding to comments. If a retailer only posts advertisements and promotions, followers will quickly ignore the company.

 

– Not adhering to a plan or editorial calendar. Social media should be approached with a strategy that has been formulated according to market conditions, industry and consumer profile.