Posts Tagged ‘social marketing’

Aug 29

social mentions data activity hub google analyticsToday, any comprehensive digital marketing strategy must include social marketing. Everyone is constantly connected, either through their phones, at home, even surfing their social networks at work. They could be talking about your brand (positively or negatively)! Many organizations benefit greatly from social marketing and word-of-mouth marketing. It’s free, and the potential to go “viral” can boost brand awareness or even sales exponentially. Also, monitoring the sentiment around your brand can also help you catch any negative sentiment, ultimately allowing to to prevent or fix any potential reputation dings.

While there are a plethora of social marketing analytics tools out there, it would be nice to integrate this measurement with your main analytics tool, and get all digital data in one place. Google Analytics thinks so too.

Data Hub Activity – Social Marketing in Google Analytics

Now, when a link to your site is posted on particular social sites, you can view that data in Google Analytics in the “Data Hub Activity” report. See what type of buzz your brand is getting, and even respond to positive comments or fix negative issues.

In the current interface, go to Traffic Sources > Social > Data Hub Activity


View the count of your mentions over specific date-ranges. Even filter by specific social network through the drop down below the chart:


See the actual context and activity around someone linking to your site and even go directly to the conversation by clicking on More -> View Activity. This will take you to the actual social network and the conversation it is referencing.


Also, for Google+, there is a cool item called “View Ripple”, where you can see a visual representation of the virality of your post share.



Data Hub Partners: Social Networks Included

While unfortunately, some of the more popular social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, etc., aren’t participating in Google’s Social Data Hub, but there are quite a few notable ones that shouldn’t be ignored. Especially when aggregated my provide a significant number of mentions that can still boost your brand.

  • Allvoices
  • Delicious
  • Diigo
  • Disqus
  • Echo
  • Google Groups
  • Google+
  • Hatena
  • Livefyre
  • Meetup
  • Pocket
  • Reddit
  • SodaHead
  • Stack Overflow
  • Typepad
  • VKontakte
  • Yaplog

Including Other URLs Your Brand Owns

Your main website my not be the only site you have. People might not necessarily be sharing links to your website, they may share links to one of your subdomains or even your other social network company pages. For example, someone may post your Youtube Channel on Google+ or your Facebook page on Reddit.

You can manually tell Google Analytics to include these URLs along with your website, so that if people post about them they’ll begin to show upon your Data Hub reports.

(NOTE: You’re NOT adding social networks as new partners, i.e. if you add, you will NOT see Facebook posts in your report. You will see if people post ABOUT these urls on the listed Data Hub Partners social networks).

This can be done from the Admin section in GA. Under the “Property” column, select “Social Settings”. Enter in all of your additional pages.


WARNING: If you enter in any urls, then ONLY the sites listed will be displayed. You are essentially reprogramming this report. For example, if you enter your YouTube page only, then ONLY links to your YouTube page will show up — links to your website will no longer be watched for by Google Analytics. Thus, make sure to enter ALL urls you’d like to see, including all subdomains, and both www and non-www versions of each site.

Here’s Google’s wording:

Also note that if you just put in “” instead of “<your_user_name>”, then you can get junk that is not linking to your user page.

You won’t see every single post that links to “” but you will get some amount of entirely irrelevant posts.

Here’s a real example of what can happen in an account that has been mis-configured in this way:


This cool feature in Google Analytics gives you yet another perspective and insight to your online presence. To see the full social picture, you can (and we encourage you to) leverage niche third party tools for platforms that are not participating in the data hub. But with few steps of configuration, rich social content and interactions are at your fingertips within your GA reports.

Help us test our Data Hub Activity by sharing this blog post and commenting below! :)

Aug 01

Tracking links posted to social networks in Google Analytics is pretty simple and standard, but we still hear clients asking how to do it. So we thought we would do a small refresher.

Watch our video on how to track social campaigns!

social network logosAny current digital marketing plan should include social marketing. With smartphones, everyone has instant anytime access to social networks, and they’re listening to their friends talk about your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing is more likely to convert by 4 times and also has the ability to go viral, which can exponentially increase brand awareness as well as generate leads. And for the most part, Social Marketing is free, if done right.

  • But how do you track how well your social networks are doing?
  • If you are spending ads to promote your posts, how do you track if visitors are clicking on your links and converting?
  • What are social visitors doing on your website?
  • Which social network is the most effective?

Google Analytics helps you slice and dice your traffic to answer these questions, if only you could somehow filter your data for these social networks.

You can!

Here are 3 easy steps:

Step 1) Create Google Analytics campaigns for each of your social networks.

There are 3 utms you will need to pass to Google Analytics to create a campaign (for each network). This will allow you to segment the data for these campaigns based on this criteria. (For more information on Url Tagging, see our past post).

  • utm_campaign
  • utm_medium
  • utm_source

Let’s say you were promoting a blog post. Here’s what we would define the utm parameters as…

  • ?utm_campaign=blog
  • ?utm_medium=social
  • ?utm_source=facebook

For “campaign”, you will need to name it based on your campaign, so for a blog post, we named it “blog”. You can see for “medium” we put “social” since that’s where it’s coming from (vs email, organic search, referral site, etc), and for “source” we put the name of the social network.

Step 2) Pass the utm parameters to the url you want to promote, then post the corresponding url to each social network.

To create the utm tagged urls, here are some tools we use:

Once your urls are tagged properly (and preferrably shortened), post each corresponding url (with its corresponding source) to your social networks. When people see it and click on it in their feed, the url they visit will be tagged.



Step 3) Segment your reports for these campaigns and slice and dice your data!

Now that you’ve passed these utms, you can segment your Google Analytics reports based on these filters.
First thing I like to do is segment for just the campaign. So I set up a custom advanced segment for that. In our case, we named it “blog”.


Now Google Analytics will only show data for links that you’ve tagged with this specific campaign.

Then, we can go into the advanced filter of any report, and filter for where the “medium” = “social”


And now you can see data based on just your social posting! Look for a particular day where you blasted the that post, see what social network gave you the most traffic, which visitors triggered events and goals, etc.!


You can now more accurately attribute ROI, so you can do it again, again, and again!

Feb 12

Allaedin Ezzedin Top 5 Percent LinkedInOkay.  I have to say if I were wearing my ego (bragging) hat, and if no one in our office had a higher number of LinkedIn profile views than mine (ahem… Feras Alhlou), I might be more excited about the latest brilliant LinkedIn marketing email blast. Recently, they sent a blast about their 200 million members milestone.

While I appreciate the fact that my LinkedIn friends made the effort to update me about the state of their network in 2012, the message I got today about my profile, Allaedin Ezzedin, being “one of the top 5% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012” is more misleading than informing.

Here’s why.

As an analyst…

As an analyst scrutinizing the data, the first question that came to my mind was, “I wonder how many of these profile viewers were…

  • …random profile stalkers?”
  • …job recruiters?”
  • …peers from the Analytics community (that is you if you are reading my post now)?”
  • …prospects who are considering hiring my firm; E-Nor?”
  • …existing clients?”
  • …blog readers?”
  • …Jasmines searching for Aladdin?” :)

target audience is worth more than profile viewers

The number LinkedIn provided doesn’t explain any of this!  In the analytics world, we call this metric “page views”, which we give an extremely low value in understanding user behavior and engagement. It doesn’t tell you “who” is viewing your page or “why” they are viewing it, which is the real actionable insight you need.

Segmentation is always essential. Each one of us has different social networking goals, objectives, and interests. Someone using social media for branding has a different target audience than someone who is searching for a job or someone who is using social media to advocate their ideologies or methodologies.

Need Help With Google Analytics? Click Here

As a marketer…

Now, as a marketer, my first reaction to the email campaign was, “Wow, no one is viewing profiles on LinkedIn!” If my profile, which is getting an average of X views per month, made it to the top 5%, then how many views are the bottom 95% profiles getting? Also, if most LinkedIn users are not socially active, then what is real value of LinkedIn as a marketing tool? What does 200 Million users mean to me? How will the new numbers impact my social marketing strategy? Shall I continue to invest on my paid campaigns in LinkedIn? Are my potential prospects on LinkedIn? Are they active? How can I increase engagement with my personal or corporate profiles? What metrics should I track in LinkedIn?

If there is one thing we learn from the latest LinkedIn email campaign is not to run after bold numbers and to have a clear objective for every marketing channel we invest in. Don’t be fooled by the marketing numbers because most of the time they are tweaked/formatted to serve marketing interests, not yours.


1) Disclaimer: I love LinkedIn, as it is by far my number one social network of choice when it comes to connecting to my professional circles (ex-classmates, ex-workers, the analytics community, volunteering community, partners, clients, vendors, etc.).  My critique here is solely limited to their latest marketing email blast.

2) For my friends who didn’t make it to the top 1%, 5%, or 10% profiles, I would say don’t sweat it. Your profile’s success is about how far you are from reaching 100% of your target audiences, not just any audience! :)

3) Let’s all hope that next year, the annual update from LinkedIn looks something like this…

linkedin 2013 suggested email campaign

Nov 09

Facebook Ads Webinar ScreenshotSecond webinar in a series of marketing tips from Facebook.  There’s some great information here, not only great practices to follow, but we’re listening to the “horses mouth”, so they could answer any questions about the interface.   If you are a Facebook Fan Page admin/owner looking to beef up the activity on your page,  I strongly recommend attending them – click here for more info on the Facebook Marketing Bootcamp .
This particular one was on Facebook Ad’s.    As Facebook’s bread and butter, sure – this is where they make their money from you, but the system works – getting you large groups of laser targeted audiences due to their ability to segment their 800 million users by interest!

Here are some notes on how to use Facebook Ads to effectively market your business or Facebook Fan pages:

Use Facebook ads to drive fans to your page and even more than that, use them to reach friends of those fans.

-800 Million active users on Facebook – scale of TV, precision of direct marketing, as well as ability to harness power of connections between friends.

-There are 4 ad formats:

  • Standard Ads
  • Application Ads (app)
  • Like Ads (FB Pages)
  • Event Ads

-The last 3 include a powerful tool – social context (meaning they can display “[Your Friend] likes this”, which is more likely to inspire “trust” and thus, better chances at click-through).

Important Steps:

1) Make sure you’re targeting efficiently.

Understand your audience. Ex. Are you a brick-and-mortar store? Then a good question would be “Where is my audience located?”

Other things to consider: Demographic targeting?  Does a specific gender come to my store?  What’s their education?

More precise targeting: Likes and interest?  Ex. Are you a restaurant?  Then try touch people who like a certain type of food.


2) Design an engaging ad.

Make sure to get the “creative” right!  This could be the difference between someone clicking on your ad, or not.

Succinct copy!  Be short and clear, but compelling.

Use an image that is eye-popping.

Make sure to have engaging content – Promos (“Free Download!”).  Questions (“Do you like pizza?”)

Your ad should be action-oriented – explicitly tell them what you want them to do.  ” ‘LIKE’ our page!”


3) Setting correct budget and bid – you can only reach certain people with a certain budget.

Lower bids get lower chances of ad’s being run.  Bid a good number and if your ad is doing well, bid on the high end.


4) Analyzing and Optimizing

Test multiple versions. Multiple text, headers, images, etc.  Choose the most optimized.

“Page Post Ads” – if you have a good post with good comments – you can create ads out of those to reach people it normally wouldnt.   Links, events, questions, photos, videos, etc.   Target posts.

Define strategy.  Do you want to drive sales? Or get more fans?

More best practices to drive traffic to your page:

Select to run a “Page Post Ad” – sometimes you have a great post on your page and you want more than just your fans to see it.   Facebook Ads allows you to run this.

Choose a image that’s engaging – human interactions are usually more successful.

Ad copy needs to be engaging – asking a question, promoting a discount

Create a sense of URGENCY – let them know when promo is ending.


Questions from the Audience:

I set up campaign, but I have very few impressions?  What do I do?

Make sure to set bid high so it’s competitive.


Can I give access to someone else to manage my ads without giving them access to my profile?

Go to Ads manager and you can add verified users to see ads.


How often should you check the results of your ads?

Every couple days.  Make changes based on results of engagement.

A good indicator that your ad is working is if you hit your budget everyday.  If not, you may have to up your bid.


What does “Targeting by broad category” mean?

Broad category are common categories.  Ex.  Broad category are “pets”.  Precise interest are “dogs”.


Is it better to have broad or precise targeting? 

Depends on your own goals.  If you want people with likes or interest similar, go with broad targeting.  But if you’re advertising a product that is specific, then go with precise interest.  You may want to add several price interests.


If I don’t bid high enough, possible my ad wont show?

Yes.  You need to bid high enough.


How long would you run an ad before adjusting it?

Every couple days.  At least every 10 to 12 days to make sure your ad isn’t going stale.


Nov 02
Facebook Marketing Bootcamp Logo We usually look to different industry experts for their experience and insights on Facebook Marketing, so it’s nice to finally get best practices directly from Facebook.  Since it’s their product, they can validate what practices really do work and what are meant to be used with their system (though, of course, we can’t forget there’s a definite “sales” element involved in them trying to get us to try their Facebook Ads :) ).  The Facebook Marketing Bootcamp is providing free webinars over the next coming weeks.   Register and you get a free $25 coupon for Facebook Ads, so you might want to register here.Today’s webinar was the first in the series and it was titled “How Your Business Will Be Better In A Connected World”.  It gave a general overview on how Facebook can benefit your business and what technology Facebook has to offer.

Here are some summary notes:

Our lives our made of connections to things we care about: people, songs, hobbies, sports, places – this makes us who we are.

Technology (such as Facebook) brings us closer – transforms how we connect and share our lives – on an ongoing basis.

Benefits to businesses?  They can connect to friends’ friends – through word of mouth.


  • Word of mouth is twice as likely to cause engagement, 4 times as likely to cause purchase.
  • 800 Million on Facebook
  • 350 use mobile
  • 2 billion posts/day
  • 500 million log in
  • 250 million photos uploaded

Conversations and sharing are happening in a way never done before

It’s up to you to build essential connections – not just count clicks.  Our job to spark conversations, inspire sharing.

How to Grow Your Business


  • Upload photos and info to express your business
  • Engage – this is how you let people know and communicate with your audience – ask questions, exclusive offers.
  • FB recommends to connecting to at least 10% of your base – statistically, these are your influencers.
  • Updates, photos, events, etc – posts go to their newsfeeds


  • Simple to reach your fans and their friends per ads.
  • Utilize Facebook Ads, sponsored stories.  Granular targeting – by interests, local reach.

Sponsored Stories – shows your target audience how their friends interact with businesses.

  • Take actions already happening with your page and make it visible by friends’ friends.
  • Ads manager – you can turn on sponsored stories
  • You want them to always be running – you can boost your reach

Social Plug-ins

  • Simple line of code and you can integrate your site with Facebook and its social capabilities
  • Have to ask yourself though, “Is it good for my kind of site”
  • American Eagle added a “like” button so people can share with their friends.

1-800-Flowers – make sure everything they do is social.  Contests, promos, etc.  Starts every campaign with the question “Is it Social?”

It allows you to communicate with customers on a consistent basis.  Facebook page allows you to blast message to fans already interested.

Increase Facebook fan base by “marrying” offline and online together – in store signs, receipts, etc.  Add “Facebook” info to your offline literature.

Success Stories

How consistent should we post?  There’s no exact science, it’s on a page by page basis.    But there are a couple rules of thumb:

  • Post at least once a week
  • Set up a post calendar – post certain types of content on certain days to keep users engaged.
  • Most effective? It will vary between business to business, but mix it up.
  • Put questions in your posts to get feedback.
  • Utilize photo/video to grab attention.
  • Over time, you will see what kinds of posts gets you the most amount of feedback.

Aug 25

Social Media 3d MenI attended what apparently was a Guinness World Record setting webinar – “The Science of Social Media” conducted by Dan Zarrella from Hubspot.  30k people registered for the event and I believe 5k attended.  Here are the recording and slides in case you are interested in viewing it yourself.

What was great about this webinar was that while Social Media workshops give you the typical tips (referred to as “Rainbows” & “Unicorns” by Dan) like “engage your members” or “love your fans”,  Dan actually had data supporting his claims and recommendations and data even disproving some common myths.  While he does bring up a lot of “correlations” and not so much “causations” (so we cant really say that implementing his tips will directly result in, say, more exposure or reach) they are still important points to consider.

Some Key Points:

  • Myth: Ideas spread because they are good.  Some ideas are bad and they spread (Rebecca Black’s “Friday” being an example) and some are good but go no where (can’t think of any examples here ;) ).  There are other factors involved in spreading an idea, which he gets into later when he talks about “contagiousness”.
  • Myth: Viral growth is an exponential pyramid.  According to Dan’s data on examples of viral growth, an idea may start slow, but there are usually key moments where an idea is exposed by the right people or “influencers”, resulting in it going viral.  Then, the idea eventually dies out.   This is opposed to the typical “first day one person shares to 2 people, second day those people share” pyramid.
  • Contagiousness.  In order for an idea to be contagious, the following 3 pillars need to be established:  EXPOSURE + ATTENTION + MOTIVATION

Formula for Contagiousness

It’s really important to have as much exposure as possible, a large REACH – followers, email subscribers, Facebook likes, etc.  If you don’t, it’s important to do your best to connect with an influencer who does (but here’s an instance of chicken and egg, because he states to increase your chances of getting an influencer to follow you, you need to increase your followers).

  • Myth: Engaging in the conversation builds reach.  He’s not saying engagement isn’t important – this builds rapport, customer loyalty, etc.  However, it doesn’t directly increase reach.   According to his data, twitter accounts with over 1 million followers were less conversational than accounts with less.  (I would question if these accounts were conversational before they got too big to respond to their followers, or even feel the need to respond).
  • Valuable content!  According to his data, accounts that pushed valuable content and links had more followers than conversational accounts.
  • Myth: Don’t call yourself a guru.  While it may seem pretentious, there is a correlation between accounts that make claims authoritative claims and having more followers.  He recommends to use authoritative titles like “Official”, “Expert”, “Author”, “Founder”, etc.  I have to admit, when I read a Twitter bio, I am usually duped by titles like this, only to be surprised when I found the “CEO and founder of x company” has only 10 followers.  While the pretentiousness here correlates with having more followers,  constantly emphasizing your authority in your content may result in the opposite.
  • Positivity.  Positive users have more followers than those that are always negative.  People come on Social Networks to be happy.



The human brain takes in so much information per second but can only process so much.   Thus, it is wired to filter what’s important to it.  That’s how a lot of advertising or ideas get ignored.  You need to have an idea or service that triggers followers to put you in the “relevant” category and avoid being filtered.

  • More tweets per hour = lower CTR.  Don’t crowd yourself out.  Tweet maybe once an hour, give it time to breathe and allow people to read it.  If you tweet too much too close together, that’s one way to get ignored.
  • Myth: Friday, Sat, Sunday are bad days to publish.  Since less people are publishing these days, theres less garbage to filter from.  Emails have higher CTRs on Sat and Sun.  Facebook sharing have more shares on Sat/Sun.
  • Experiment. Don’t take anyone’s word for it – always experiment to see what works for you.



This is the difficult part.  While one may be interested in viewing your post, to be really contagious, your idea/post needs to be interesting enough to motivate it being shared.

  • Information Voids.  Find out what people want or are looking for, and create content that answers those questions.  You can search for questions on twitter.
  • New Information.  People want to share what’s interesting and new, not something that has been shared 1000 times and that everyone already knows.
  • Simple language.  Write simply and plainly as not to lose readers.   Writing less and being more engaging is actually harder than writing more.
  • Request explicitly to share.  Data suggests that actually asking readers to retweet, repost, or share makes your post 4 times more likely to be shared.  Sometimes, your readers may not actually think to share, and simply asking them will trigger that since they already have rapport with you.

Aug 11

Facebook encourages marketers to have a “business” page, also known as a “fan” page (which is different than a regular Facebook profile – create one here). While there are great marketing benefits in having this kind of presence on Facebook, there unfortunately are some limits versus having a normal profile or even a group page. We definitely recommend having a Facebook page and working it properly by creating consistent engaging content will significantly enhance your business, just so you know what you can and can’t do, here’s a list of some basic pros and cons:


Tabs – Facebook pages give you the ability to add and customize tabs, which are like extra pages or menu items. These tabs take basic html, so they are extremely flexible, just as almost any general page on the web. This is very useful if you want to provide information that doesn’t necessarily fit within the default Facebook functions/media. For example, you can have forms, links to your latest products/downloads, videos, banners, etc. These tabs also allow you to also create optimized landing tabs that you can design solely for conversion of a certain promotion. For example, “Click here for you’re your chance to win a free ipod!” Here’s an article on how to add custom tabs to your Facebook page.

Custom tab on facebook

Apps – There are some cool apps available only to Facebook pages, such as e-commerce apps that allow you to sell on Facebook, Youtube apps to display videos, “Bandpage” apps for musicians to display their music, etc. You can even hire developers to create completely custom applications for your company. Unfortunately, Facebook has closed the app directory, so you will need to search for any existing apps. One wayto find existing apps that might be great for your page is to go to pages similar to yours and see what apps they are using.

Search Engine Optimization – Facebook pages have great SEO, so even if you end up doing nothing with your page, it’s still a good idea just to have that presence. When creating a Facebook page, make sure to fill in all pertinent information – give it a good Title, About Us, basic info, local info and addresses, etc. Make everything as keyword-rich as possible because this is what will be read by Google and may index above even your website. Also, even when searching within Facebook, it’s a lot easier to find your needle in a smaller haystack of businesses than it is to find it in 750 million profiles.

facebook seo

Inbound Fans Only – While I list this as a con later, what you have here by default, is the members of your page are only quality leads. In outbound marketing, cold prospects may or may not be someone interested. Example, in Myspace, business pages had the luxury of sending friend requests. However, you’d find that members would just except them, either without thinking or just for the sake of increasing their friend count. This is opposed to now your members who had to consciously subscribe to you. Members like this will more likely have open ears to what you have to say.

AdsFacebook’s ads system is such a robust system because of its precision targeting. Profiles not only filling out their interest, but choosing already existing pages allows Facebook to pool everyone together based on interest, resulting in highly targeted, quality segments. With a page, you now have access to the most targeted market there is for your business – members of your page! Who else would want to purchase your product more than those who consciously joined your page because they were interested in you?

Aside from this, you may one day need to reach another market through Facebook ads. For example, you may be a musician similar to Justin Bieber and you’d like to market your music to his millions of fans. You can now target that pool of prospects and combine it with other similar pools to create significantly large, targeted audience that is likely to be interested in your page or product.

Sponsored Story’s – Someone says something good about your page – here is the key to viral and social marketing, the power and trust of word-of-mouth. Now, having a page allows you to extend that reach further – you can pay for “sponsored stories”, similar to an ad, you can increase the reach of that word-of-mouth and give it more weight to those that may not have necessarily seen or paid attention to the glowing review.

Insight – A huge benefit for having a Facebook page is Facebook’s built in analytics system that measures engagement to your page. You’ll be able to track, for example, how many likes you get a day. What posts are the most engaging? Has your engagement dropped from last month? Did a campaign increase engagement? By how much? Facebook’s API allows access to their data and can be used for different types of analytics integration, including Google Analytics Social Engagement measurement. Though the system can be improved (there are limits on what you can segment. Also, the definition of metrics like “likes” are too ambiguous – do you mean I got 10 likes to posts today or 10 likes to my page?), this is great for a general idea of what activity is happening on your page.

facebook insights

Cons (Limits of Fan Pages)

Inbound Fans Only?! While this is great from a consumer’s perspective – limiting spam requests – for marketers, it’s …well … limiting. Your market has to come to you. Similar to the “Opt In” vs. “Opt Out” email subscription discussion, while “Opt In” will get you more qualified leads and less unsubscribes, it also means you have to be a lot more creative in enticing prospects to sign up. You have a similar challenge here – businesses now have to come up with engaging content and promotions to make it of value for users to “Like” their page. While this has its benefits, it doesn’t make life any easier for increasing your membership.

Wall Updates don’t reach all your fans. With Facebook’s new EdgeRank algorithm, only posts relevant to users will appear in their feed (based on how often they interact with you page, how much engagement your posts get, etc.). It becomes the chicken-and-egg – no one will see your post if it’s not attention worthy, but then how can it get attention if no one sees it?! If your page is new or took a break for a little while, and people stopped visiting, your 1000+ fans you worked so hard to acquire may not even see any of your wall updates.

“Updates” page don’t trigger a “red” notification. There is a way to send notification-type messages called “updates” via your page. However, these do not trigger an update like regular Facebook inbox messages do. The fall into an “others” bucket, and may not be read right away, or if you’re like me, I don’t even read the “others” bucket at all. While this was meant to reduce spam interaction by putting all the “business” type messages in one bucket, I would even argue that this is more detrimental to consumers. They willingly wanted to get updates from these pages, and because of this, they may miss things they were interested in.

facebook red notifications

Unable to invite members to an event. While you can create an event under your page, you are unable to send invites to members of the page (though you can send invites to friends of your profile to that event). That means it will not show up in your members’ profiles under events (unless they willingly make the effort to find your event and attend). Thus, if your guests aren’t engaged with your page, very few may notice the event.

Unable to message event guests. If you do manage to get guests to your event, if the event was created under your page, the “Message Guests” feature will not be an available function. Instead, “Update Fans of Your page” is available, which means you can send a non-notification updates about your event, but to all your page members, not event guests.

message guests in facebook

While having consistently engaging content on your page is the standard way to engage your members and will eventually increase your membership, sometimes, you need a boost! The limits on Facebook page functions sometimes hinder this. In our next post, we’ll go through some “guerilla” viral tactics that use functions (events and messaging) that are available to your profile, your friends’ profiles, and your page, to maximize notification and engagement.


Aug 04

One of the unique features of Google+ is the ability to edit comments and posts. In Facebook, if you misspell a word in your comment or status update, the only way to fix it is to delete the entire post and rewrite it.


With the “edit” feature in Google+, it does not matter how many errors you make, because you always have the ability to go back and correct them.


There exists the ability to edit/change thoughts on a conversation after comments have already been posted. This could possibly lead to misleading situations.

Take the following scenario: I start a discussion on a certain topic and after people have engaged in the conversation I change the existing subject all together and without notifying the participants.

Here is a Google+ update I posted today to my work circle:

After I got few answers to my question, I changed the question to how I like to see it :)

In reality this change of context does not happen in human interactions without the awareness of all participants…unless you were interviewed by an unfair news station and when later watching your interview you realize that it was butchered and only passages were aired taking everything out of context.

Request to the Google+ team:

To be fair and accurate to all participants and readers, comments should always be attached to the original topic they’ve posted under/replied to; whether they were a reply to an original post or to someone’s comment. Once a preceding piece was edited all those who commented should be notified of the change and have the ability to approve, delete or change their reply based on the alteration to the original topic.

Related Posts

May 04

I just attended this webinar hosted by HubSpot, called, How to Benefit from Facebook 2011 Updates. They began by introducing the new features that were added on Facebook in 2011, then went straight into question and answer session. Advertising on Facebook has been around for sometime now but people are finally starting to figure out how it works and how to put it to good use to help benefit their businesses.

What’s New on Facebook

  • Send Button – it’s a selective Like button. It counts in the Like total on your page as well, and can be delivered as a Facebook Message or on a group wall.
  • Deals is still in test mode and is only available in 5 cities. But the point is that it will get groups of friends to discover the business by sending out deals with no upfront costs.

What benefits can I get from using iFrames on my page?

iFrames are frames that allow a visual HTML Browser window to be split into segments. Ultimately by introducing iFrames into Facebook pages, companies are now able to brand their pages.

  • Now you can use styles on Facebook as you use it on your website, this is great for branding your company.
  • You can also track page views using Google Analytics
  • Google Website Optimizer – is now available to be used on the tab pages.
  • Links can open within the iFrame as if you are on your website. For example, you can have a whole cart process within an iFrame and NOT leave Facebook at ALL.
  • If you want to know how to set up an iFrame on your Facebook check out Hubspot’s blog post on “How to Set up a Facebook Custom iFrame Landing Page Application.” You can also download for FREE “The Facebook Marketing Update – Spring 2011” E-Book which includes a step by step process of setting up iFrames for your custom facebook pages.

Can you use photos and videos as marketing?

  • Photos and videos are much more visible on the news feed because they take up space, so this would be a smart technique to attract attention from your fans.
  • Also, keep in mind that videos are much more engaging than pictures because fans will more likely click play and tune in than Like an image.
  • Tip: Turn images into Call to Actions to see what kind of interaction you may receive.
  • And now with Google Website Optimizer, you can test videos and photos to see what interests people more.

What to do about Negative comments?

  • Don’t ignore negative comments, that will only make things worse.
  • Address the comment and take it offline.
  • Suggestion: Have a customer care person who is not the same person updating the facebook page to address negative feedback to try to assess and fix the issue.

When is the best time to post?

  • It depends on your audience, no one set rule for everyone, it just depends on the kind of site you have. Keep in mind, if they are across the world, they won’t necessarily see the post because of the time difference. By the time people get to the post it may be buried, so if your target base is in another country across the world, make sure to post in their waking hours.
  • Keep involved but don’t over do it.

Which brand is doing Facebook advertising best?

  • Audi – more engaging than Justin Bieber – they have 3.5 Million fans. This is because there is a lot of interaction and discussion. By answering comments and engaging users, they have gained a heavy fan base.
  • Mail Chimp also has a lot of interaction and comments. They have a human element by commenting, it’s not just a faceless brand.
  • Retail sites are hard to get engagements but Sephora does it well
    • Fans talk to each other about products and advice on which product works best.

The webinar was based off of the FREE HubSpot E-book, “The Facebook Marketing Update – Spring 2011

Follow @HubSpot‘s hashtag #FB2011 to see what others are tweeting about today’s webinar!

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Apr 26

I’m a big fan of our local farmers’ market. The market offers a huge variety of fresh locally grown produce, dairy products, flowers, fresh baked goods, honey and more.

While most of the products offered in the farmers’ market are available in grocery stores in a more presentable way and even at cheaper prices sometimes, people love to shop at the farmers’ market for the social aspect. My family and I love to go there to meet our community and to support our local farmers and vendors.

My kids go around and try every sample, my wife talks to different vendors about their products and recipes and I network with my friends and neighbors.

The farmers’ market provides a unique environment hardly found in grocery stores. (I’m not suggesting that either business model is more important; both serve consumers differently.)

The uniqueness of farmers’ markets in enhancing social interaction is similar to expanding social media sites, as compared to regular brand websites, in the online sphere.

Unfortunately, most businesses have not grasped the idea of social networking! Many still deal with social media as another advertisement platform rather than a unique interactive platform. Businesses/organizations treat social media pages as an extension to their main website rather a completely different platform of communication with clients.

Businesses need to know that by participating in social media that they are no longer the hosts but visitors; audiences are now leading the conversation. Businesses need to respect the evolving culture and ethics of social media and adapt to the language and habits of their audience. This shift in mindset might sound scary but I strongly encourage businesses to better engage their audience.

In the past, businesses were limited in online marketing by the number of visitors vising their sites. Today, the game has changed and the number of potential audiences can be multiplied if businesses adapt and follow the new rules of social media.

What internet users think of social media
First, we need to understand what internet users think of social media. According to a study done in 2011 by the IBM Institute for Business Value, 70 percent of consumers go to social media sites to “connect with network of friends and family” while only 23 percent noted that they go to social media sites to “interact with brands.”

What marketers should think of social media
In my humble opinion, online marketers should ask themselves: How can I make the 70% of consumers who go to social media sites to connect with their networks see the real value of my product/service and talk about it?

Achieving an effective social media presence:

Because there is no one solution, each company must apply the strategies that best optimize their business model. Here are some general best practices for how to go social and reach larger audiences:

  1. Strategy

  2. Create a concrete plan for going social. This includes:
    - Defining your business and social objectives
    - Defining your target audience
    - Deciding on the relevant social content [not just “offers”] and needs of the community
    - Defining the engagement elements
    - Deciding on the committed financial and human resources

  3. Selecting the right social media platform

  4. Once you successfully outline your social strategy and the value it will add to your potential target audience, select the most appropriate social media technology to help achieve your social goals.

    A big mistake many companies make in the selection process is starting their campaign via Facebook and/orTwitter. Remember, although very popular, these are not the only social platforms available on the web. Because of the huge success these two platforms for personal accounts, many businesses assume it will be just as successful for their business needs!

    Let us take the “Google Analytics” as a brand example and attempt to measure how people talk about the brand in the social media. While there may be thousands of Facebook users who use Google Analytics on their personal and corporate sites, it is less likely that these users discuss web analytics when logging into Facebook pages. Instead, LinkedIn might be the more appropriate platform for Google to invest their social media efforts in for this specific product.

    Here are some media platforms to consider: Blogs, Photo Sharing [Flicker, Picasa], Video Sharing [YouTube, Vimeo], Podcasts, Social Networking [Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn], Wikis.

  5. Give to get

  6. Social media is for social interaction and with that interaction, users expect to get something in return [new friends, news, knowledge, entertainment, reviews,..], just like my family and I hope to get at our local farmers’ market :)

    Companies need to think of different ways to add value to their audience’s experience by interacting with them through social media before expecting anything in return.

  7. Overcome your fears

  8. We all have a fear of being publicly criticized especially because social media provides a platform for unhappy customers to easily express their opinion. While to some extent I share this concern, we must realize that our brand lies in the hands of consumers as social media slowly takes control over information circulation.

    Businesses need to take an active role in shaping the image of their brands by carefully listening to and participating in the conversation about their brands. These conversations will help businesses improve their products and services and provide more relevant solutions to the world.

    One of the best recent examples of participatory branding is by Domino’s Pizza. The company dedicated an entire campaign to address their shortcomings by seeking customers feedback.

    The “Pizza Turnaround” campaign used social media, along with other means, to deliver a clear message to their customers: we’re listening to you. In response, consumers were very honest and didn’t hesitate to express their opinion about Domino’s Pizza (some blunt critiques included: “pizza crust to me is like cardboard”, “totally void of flavor” and “the sauce tastes like ketchup”)

    Domino’s has since been improving their recipes. Though I have never had a slice, and thus cannot confirm or deny their claim, I am impressed by their courageous and frank approach.

  9. Dedicate resources

  10. First you need executive buy-in; successful social media marketing requires integrating social media with the culture of the organization. Without the buy-in of the leadership of the organization, it is very hard for marketers to get the human and financial resources to truly go social.

    In the 2008 presidential race, we witnessed an unprecedented social media movement. Because of the clear vision and understanding of Obama and his team, the digital campaign team was empowered and well equipped to utilize social media tools and reach a large segment of society who would have been hard to reach otherwise.

    The Obama administration continues to pay attention to social media by dedicating valuable resources to social campaigns. This can be seen in their consistent communication with the public through weekly addresses on YouTube, administration updates on Twitter, events photos on Flicker and supporter recruitment on Facebook. Obama even formally announced his re-election in an online video!

    Ironically, while writing this post, I received a tweet reminding me about the live Facebook town hall with President Obama. (Yes, I was listening to Mr. President while writing this post :)

  11. Fan participation

  12. As businesses/organizations evolve their social media efforts and their social media fan base increases, businesses/organizations need to facilitate and encourage fan participation in marketing campaign creation. If fans feel they are trusted and given ownership of these social platforms, they can be very helpful in achieving the businesses’ social media goals.

    In July 2010, Old Spice came up with a very creative idea to market their new brand of shower gel. They created 180 personalized videos, released them over 3 days, in which they responded directly to fan and celebrity comments.

    Regardless of whether Old Spice sales increased, the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign was the biggest social media buzz ever created for a brand. The company credits this success to audience participation and involvement. The graph below shows the rise in Google searches for “Old Spice” during and after the campaign, which confirms the success of the campaign in increasing interest around the brand.

Finally: Measure and optimize

Like any other campaign, you need to know how social media campaigns are helping in achieving your business goals. Number of fans, followers, and visitors don’t tell much, if any. You need a more robust mechanism to measure the involvement of targeted users with your brand, product or service.

Here are few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) just to give you an idea in what to look for:

  • Volume of social media mentions
  • Visitor loyalty
  • Sales/conversion by social campaign
  • Improved search engine ranking
  • Number of advocates
  • Number of customer service issues solved by social interactions
  • Number of reviews and feedback

Go social!

Share with us your own best practices and thoughts by dropping a comment below or connecting with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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