Posts tagged social media advertising
Google My Business - The "Other" Social Media Outlet?

With the big news that Google is shutting down Google+ over the next few months, it seems like Businesses are back to using giants Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. While Google+ never really took off in the first place, many businesses are left wondering how (and if) this change will impact their business.

First things first, Google+ and Google My Business are 2 separate entities. Google+ was Google’s answer to the social media craze, thinking it would become a place for individuals to interact within “circles” of friends and colleagues. This is was they are beginning to phase out.

Google My Business, instead, is essentially a free directory listing where Google allows you to post information about your business, pictures and social media updates, as well as receive reviews from other Google users. The benefits of this platform are tremendous and those include:

  • In-depth insights into how many people viewed, clicked on, or called your business from this listing.

  • Easy "click-to-call" capabilities for smart phones. Meaning if someone Googles you on their phone a button will appear where they can call you in one click.

  • Integration with Google maps to easily show where you are located on a map when searching from a desktop, and one click access to directions when searching on a phone or tablet. 

Businesses with a Google My Business account also get several benefits in search. These range from showing up, essentially immediately, on the first page in search (on the right hand side map search section), as well as the added SEO benefits of linking your website directly with a Google property.

Now here comes the confusing part. There are 2 ways you can sign up - as a "Brand" page or as a "Location". A lot of businesses lean towards the "Brand" option as they may service multiple locations or may not be location specific. Here's the problem with just doing a "Brand" page. You don't get all the added benefits that I listed above. You are only going to show up in that Google Search Map section if you sign up as a location and verify it.

Once it's verified and running, it's important to keep you profile up-to-date with the correct information. Check in about once per month and make any changes to your contact info, hours or description as needed.

In addition, Google My Business, offers you the ability to post updates that live on your page for 7 days. These are great places to post events, sales, new content, or anything else you’d like to have Google Searchers see while viewing your profile.

So fear not business friends, while Google+ is leaving us (RIP), there are still some great options to take advantage of when it comes to promoting your business on the search platform.

How to Leverage Social Media Backlinks for SEO

Depending on who you follow, you may hear conflicting opinions on the importance of social media backlinks and how it plays into SEO. Some marketers believe it has no impact, and other’s believe it is imperative to an SEO strategy. So, where do I stand in all of this? I’d say, decidedly in the middle. Let me explain.

Back in 2014 Matt Cutts of Google, came out and said that social signals and activity, like those from Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram, have no impact on Google Search Rankings. They said they will cull them as individual results, but they do not impact the website they are linked to.

Going even further, it’s been confirmed that a link on Facebook is labelled as a “no follow” link, which in SEO terms means that it doesn’t carry any juice. That means that any links you build on your Facebook Business Profile, or in any groups, will have ZERO impact on your off-page SEO rankings.

So, that leaves a lot us wondering, why would we even bother? With Facebook greatly reducing organic reach, why would we push a social strategy that doesn’t even help with SEO? Well, let’s break it down a little.

Referral and Direct Traffic

One of the things social media is great for, is for increasing both your referral or direct traffic. While a link on social profile may not count towards your overall backlink count, the traffic that comes from them does. One of Google’s ranking factors is how much traffic your website receives, with the importance of direct traffic outweigh that of referral (although both are important!).

In addition, Facebook and other social media sites tend to have excellent domain authority, meaning that the traffic coming from them is usually higher quality, another factor in Google rankings. Driving more traffic to your blog posts or general website pages through your social profiles is a great, and efficient way, to increase your rankings.

Outside of placing links in your posts, think about ways you can drive direct traffic through your social profile. Adding a URL to your cover photo or on your profile that a user can copy and paste into their browser can help in this respect.

Where to Place Links

Now that we know that including links in your social media can have an impact on your SEO (even though it’s not the traditional one you think of), let’s break down where you should be placing those links for maximum impact.

  • Social Posts - This one may seem obvious, but every time you post a piece of blog content or refer to your products or services, make sure you post a link for your audience to follow.

  • Your Social Profile - Almost all social media platforms let you add a link to your website under your “profile” or “about” section. Make sure you utilize this real estate by linking back to yours.

  • In Your Groups Description - with the decrease in organic reach for business pages, a lot of business owners have turned to creating Groups where they can interact with their audience. Don’t forget to put your logo inside your groups description for members to find it!

  • Your Page Button - on Facebook in particular, you have an option to add a link under your cover photo with a call to action. Make sure this link goes back to your page with an appealing CTA.

  • Cover Photo - When crafting your cover photo image, think about adding some text and printing your URL on there. Make sure it’s short and easy for a visitor to copy into a browser bar.

Facebook for Business in 2019

Even if you’ve pushed against it, all business owners have somehow been exposed to Facebook and it’s power to advertise and promote your business. You’ve probably also heard about the massive changes that the New Year seems to bring to the platform and how businesses can take advantage of it.

2018 was the year brought the massive news feed changes. It reduced businesses organic reach and shifted all of our focus pretty heavily towards advertising. As soon as we started to adjust to that, Facebook got hit with some pretty serious data protection claims, which has now changed the game in what information advertisers can access and how they can target their ads to potential customers.

So, as we enter 2019, this leaves us scratching our heads, wondering, “What is happening?” What are the next big changes coming up to Facebook in 2019, and what does that mean for us as businesses?

Well, in order to answer that question, I turned to someone a little smarter than me… Google. After doing some research (and combining it with what I’ve seen for myself and my own clients), I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. Ad pricing will rise - As organic reach continues to shrink, and the demand for ad space on the platform continues to rise, it’s just a classic supply and demand issue. Ad costs will go up, and it’s going to become more and more expensive for businesses to break through and show up in the newsfeed.

  2. Facebook/Instagram Stories - While Facebook stories haven’t taken off like Instagram ones have, the ability to shop right inside, and offer full screen video and still advertisements, it’s no wonder they have caught the attention of advertisers. Think about how you can utilize these, especially if you’ve found your newsfeed ads losing steam.

  3. Video, Video, Video - We seem to say it in everything we write and it couldn’t be more true on Facebook. Video is continuing to take over, and with new video creation tools offered right inside the ads manager, it’s becoming easier for smaller businesses to take advantage of it.

  4. Look-a-like Audiences 2.0 - That’s right, while you may not be able to target based on off-platform behavior yourself anymore, the new Look-a-like Audiences will help you better identify your own audience, and find those who are similar in values and behavior.

Want to see some of the other things that may be important when it comes to Facebook in 2019? Check out this article I found to read more, and happy Facebooking!

Want more trainings and classes on growing your business online in 2019? Check out The Digital Marketing Hub!

Do You IGTV?

In case you haven't heard, last week Instagram announced it's brand new app, IGTV (short for Instagram Television). What is it? It's a stand alone app (yes you have to download it from the App Store.) that allows users to create long form videos that can range anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 hour. 

That's right! You're not limited to the 15 second snippets inside Instagram Stories, or the 60 seconds on your feed any more! It allows creators to make vertical form videos (think no more having to rotate your phone sideways to watch videos) that tell longer stories, showcase their talents or business, and save those memories to their channel for people to continue going back to (long after your Instagram Story has expired). 

So, how can a business, like yours, utilize IGTV? Let's talk about what you can use it for.

1. Welcome/About Videos - Need some more space to talk about you and your business? In IGTV you can create long form videos that showcase your products/services, walk a potential client or customer through what they can expect if they work with you, or give a full view of what a day in the life is like for your business.

2. Training Videos - Facebook (and particularly Facebook Live) has been notorious for capturing the "training" video market. Now, educators have another platform to give step-by-steps, offer tips and tricks, and give insider advice.

3. Dive deeper into products - Create showcases around physical products and really get a chance to showcase all the in's and out's. Walk potential customers through membership sites or courses, giving them an inside view of what they're about to purchase.

I know it can be daunting to take on ANOTHER social media platform, but look at this one as an extension of what you're already doing. Video, and digital TV, is the way people are continuing to consume more and more information, and jumping on this trend early can put you ahead of the crowd.

Are you ready for all this?

Oooohhh I'm SUPER excited about some of the AMAZING content I just launched for June!

What's got me so pumped? Let me break it down for you...

The June Masterclass is all about the #1 way to reach your target market.

With all this  noise around GDPR, it has people wondering. Is email marketing even worth it? Spoiler alert: YES! Check out the latest Masterclass to learn my best practices, favorite email platforms (some are FREE), and best ways to grow your email list with engaged followers

This Month's "Ask Hubble" Podcast is all about some social media hacks.

Hacks you say? That's right, I've got a guest on with me and we're diving into how you can still get around the new Facebook algorithm to get some real organic views (YUP! It's still possible!), AND talk about how you can use Google+ to get some real website traffic.

Oh, and our Guest Expert Training is giving you the exact steps she used to go from $0 to $10K months in less than half a year.

Oh yeah... We've got online growth expert Melodi Maxton spilling some MAJOR secrets on how she organically grew her business WITHOUT a following, social media presence or website. Interested to find out how she did it?  

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training on how you can make passive revenue WITHOUT creating your own online course or product)  is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

So head on over and get instant access to all of this PLUS some amazing past trainings inside The Hub!

Ms. Digital Diva: How to Take Advantage of Live Streaming for Your Small Business

Today, Hub Digital is super excited to have Ms. Digital Diva (aka Sara), a tech and digital blogger, join the blog and breaking down live streaming. Check out some of her great advice on how you can successfully utilize live streaming to promote your business, and then head on over to her blog, Ms. Digital Diva, for even more great information!

There’s a charming women’s clothing boutique a few blocks from my home that’s become a huge hit since moving into the neighborhood, and one thing that’s helped their business bloom is the owner’s social media expertise. On top of the basic social media presence, she also makes great use of Facebook’s live stream feature. On more than one occasion, I myself have gone into her store and picked something up after seeing it in one of her live videos.

If you’re intimidated by live streaming, don’t be! It’s not complicated, and with a little bit of practice you’ll have the hang of it in no time. Below you’ll find a few tips to help you get started.

Choose a Platform

Before doing anything else, you’ll have to choose the platform from which you’re going to live stream. The best platforms that don’t require an additional app to do this are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Facebook and YouTube can be accessed from mobile and desktop, but Instagram can only be viewed on mobile devices. Live streams on Facebook and YouTube are converted to regular video and remain on the app after you’re done recording, but Instagram live videos disappear forever afterward. For these reasons, and because you likely already have a Facebook page set up for your business, Facebook Live is probably your best bet. 

Test in Private Mode

Prior to launching your first live video, start with some test videos (you can change your privacy settings on Facebook so only you can view them) to check your lighting and sound and practice setting up your recording device on a stable surface. If you’re planning on filming vertically, make sure the platform you’re recording on won’t format your video with two black bars on either side of the video. If it does, try recording horizontally instead. Don’t feel like you need to make this look like a professional production; your goal should actually be the opposite. You want to appear as authentic and genuine as possible while avoiding glaring errors. 

Before you broadcast, send an invitation to your customers via email, your website, and/or your social media networks, and include a caption on your video describing what you’re doing.

Choose your content!

Now for the most important part: content! There are endless possibilities to the routes you could take with your videos. The boutique I mentioned earlier likes to make live videos as soon as they get new merchandise to show it off, sometimes letting their employees model the clothing, and they also pop on to announce when they’re having a sale. 

You could consider doing something similar if it would transfer well to your company. Otherwise, you could give viewers a tour of your workplace, make a live tutorial on how to use your products, hold a prize drawing, interview one of your employees, or just allow your customers a peek into the inner workings of your business. Be creative and brainstorm what your customers might like to see. 

Be personable, introduce yourself, answer and ask questions, engage in any conversation happening in the comments, and include a call to action before ending the broadcast. You want to shoot for at least 10 minutes, but try not to go any longer than about an hour. 

Once you’ve stopped recording, analyze your results. If you find them to be unsatisfactory, try broadcasting on a different day or at a different time or adjusting other factors like video length or including other people on camera with you. 

Live streaming is a great free way to connect with your customers and personify your business. Don’t let it go to waste!

The Money Making Social Media Platform You're Missing Out On

What money making social media platform are you most likely missing out on? HINT: It's NOT Facebook!

Local businesses especially, are missing out on one of the most influential, cost effective and money driving platforms out there. What is that platform? Pinterest! Now, before you shut it down, hear me out. In this recent Facebook Live I broke down WHY Pinterest is for you, no matter what your industry is. 

Some Stats About Pinterest:

Pinterest Demographics:

  1. Pinterest has 175 million monthly active users
  2. 2 Million Pinterest users save pins daily
  3. 81% of Pinterest users are Females
  4. Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram
  5. Median age of Pinterest user is 40
  6. Half on Pinterest users HHI is $50K or greater
  7. 10% of Pinterest users HHI is $125K or greater

Pinterest Facts:

  1. 87% of Pinners have purchases a product because of Pinterest
  2. 72% of Pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline
  3. 93% of active Pinners said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases
  4. More than 14 million articles are pinned each day
Budgeting for Advertising - How Much Should You Spend?
How much you should budget to spend on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and GoogleAdwaords.

Whenever we bring up the topic of digital advertising we always get the same question, over and over again. How much does it cost? This is a tough one to answer. Knowing how much to spend on your digital advertising is really dependent upon your business, time of year, and frankly, what you have to spend. The great thing about digital? Even the smallest budgets can succeed online, which is especially helpful for small businesses that are priced out of the more traditional options, like newspaper and TV.  We've pulled together some basic guidelines on what you should be prepared to spend if you really want to start seeing your online ads make a difference for you. Again, remember these are just general guidelines and should be adjusted to fit what you find works best for your individual business (testing is always important).

Facebook
The big kahuna. The main one. The platform everyone wants to be on. With an estimated 33.76 BILLION (that's right, billion with a "B") expected to be spent on Facebook ads in 2017, both local and national advertisers alike know that this is the place to be. However, with so many options available it can be hard to know exactly what you should be spending on each of the different types of campaigns.

  • Like Campaigns - While guaranteed to get you likes, it can be a little hard to know if the people liking your page are truly interested in your business. Keep these budgets small, starting around $50 for a 3 or 4 day run. See how they perform and go through the list of who liked your page to see if any seem "off" or "spammy". Then wait a few weeks to see if engagement has gone up or these new likes are paying off.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $50, Expected Cost Per Like: $1

  • Boosted Post - Again, jury is out on whether these are effective or not so keep the boosted posts to only those things that are truly important. Limited your boosting to your own fan base can be beneficial to ensure you reach all the fans that you just can't get to relying on organic reach alone. Save targeting people outside of that existing fan base (those that already like your page) for a more traditional FB advertisment.

Total Spent Per Boosted Post: $10-$30

  • Advertisement - For more traditional advertisements (whether they be static image or video ads) start small here and gradually increase your budget over the course of a few days. Studies show that throwing large amounts of money at your ad off the bat actually ends up costing you MORE per lead in the long run. Another benefit of this strategy is that you can test different ads and target groups slowly with less money and then increase spend on those that you find are working for you. Plan on hitting a target of at least $30 to $40 per day (this can go up to hundreds of dollars per day if your budget allows) and being about to sustain that for a minimum of 5-7 days to really see ad impacts.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign. 
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Instagram
Another Facebook owned platform, Instagram is quickly being indoctrinated into the FB advertising fold. While they haven't touched algorithms around what's appearing in Instagram newsfeeds (yet), it's getting harder and harder to reach new users and followers without the use of ads. If you're adding Instagram ads on to Facebook ads (which you can do right through the Facebook Ads Manager), plan on following a similar budget and strategy as your Facebook ads.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign.
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Pinterest
Ahh Pinterest! The underappreciated and underutilized advertising platform, for small businesses especially. With the common misconception that Pinterest advertising is way too expensive and out of reach, not enough small business are jumping on this bandwagon. But we're here to tell you, it's WAY more affordable than you think! There hasn't been any evidence of needing to "start small" in Pinterest like you do in Facebook, but if it's your first time running ads on the platform it's always better to try testing with a smaller budget first to see if it's something that works for you. Plan on about $20-$30 per day (but feel free to go up from there) and about $100 - $500 per campaign. 

Total Spent Per Campaign: $100 - $500, Expected Cost Per Click: $.25-$1

Google Adwords
Once the king of all online advertising, competition is fierce. Google is THE search engine with the majority of searches done within it, it's no wonder advertisers are clamoring to get their brand in on it. However, with this one we like to say, “buyer beware!". While it can be effective, it's taking increasingly more and more money to outbid competition. In addition, users are getting very savvy to knowing what are "ads" and what is real, organic content. Latest studies show that about 60-70% of people searching tend to skip past the ads altogether and jump right to organic search. Good news? 30-40% of people are still clicking so there is still value in the platform, just be prepared to expand your budget.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $500 - $5,000, Expected Cost Per Click: $2-$15+

Are You Where Your Audience Is?
Know the best social media outlets your small business should be on from Hub Digital.

No seriously, understanding human behavior, or more specifically your audience’s content consumption habits, is key to creating consistent quality content that will keep your current clients, prospects and brand ambassadors engaged.  We know you’ve already clearly identified your audience and we know you’re totally committed to producing really great organic content for your social posts, blogs, email campaigns, newsletters, videos, white papers, articles or other information but really identifying how your audience is consuming that information is key to your integrated marketing campaigns and efforts being effective.  We don’t want you to just feel like a hamster spinning on a wheel after all!   We often refer to ourselves as ‘Professional Spaghetti Throwers’ because we are constantly throwing spaghetti against the wall and quantifying what is sticking, what isn’t, what we should shelf, trash or invest more time, money and energy into.  We do this within our own business and for all of our clients every day, every week, every month…it is SO important to really understand which efforts are creating a positive ROI - makes sense, right? 

We often get that glazed over eye, deer in the headlights, reaction when first discussing social media campaigns with prospective clients or when giving a presentation or workshop because so many of you feel overwhelmed enough already with the amount of work it takes to run your business and the thought of adding social media with all those different platforms can make your head spin.  But, it is often not as complex as most think.  No, really.  Oftentimes, it’s really a matter of identifying which platforms make the most sense for your business to reach your audience.  

As an example…

Let’s say you’re a realtor. You’re going to want to have a professional logo and a solid web presence that clearly represents your differentiator and unique value proposition, a Facebook page, a comprehensive personal LinkedIn profile and a company profile.  All of these will of course be streamlined with a clean consistent style and with tons of relevant engaging content.  Are you still with us?  Once you’ve mastered these basics, which we’ll refer to here as the super important foundation, (which is often the hardest part to build) the rest is fun! …Well, for us it’s fun, let’s just hope it’s not painful for you! Now you’re ready to add some more floors to that solid foundation.  

Instagram: What about Instagram?  We’re guessing you’ve got some pretty nice listings and/or you’ve sold some pretty nice properties to some happy clients?  Take pictures when you’re working and post away!  You’ll need to continue to follow a fairly consistent style or theme.  Here are some great tips

Snapchat: Okay, we know your 13 year old uses Snapchat – you must be thinking we’re crazy.  Why on earth would we be suggesting you should use it for your business?  Here’s an eye-opening article by Gary Vaynerchuk that’ll back up our suggestion and prove that we’re not going cuckoo!  It all goes back to understanding your audience, so this platform may or may not be a good idea.  If you’re selling some stylish condos in an highly sought after area that is super popular to 20 and 30 somethings, Snapchat is a great idea, but if you’re selling retirement properties…probably not so much!

Pinterest: Women are BIG decision makers and major players in the consumer real estate market so chances are Pinterest is a no brainer for the realtors out there.  Here is a great article that talks specifically to that. 

We didn’t touch on video in this blog but let’s just say if content is king then video content is the king’s KING!  Video is consumed more and more and if done right, you can’t go wrong with video content.  

We’ll be following up next week with a very beefy blog all about video content and best practices for using it in your integrated marketing strategy.  Until then, happy content creating!

How To Optimize Your Facebook Ads
Learn Hub Digital's quick tips on how to optimize your facebook ads.

Ok, so if you've had anything to do with Facebook in the past decade (that's right, Facebook has been around now for over 10 years!), you've noticed that it's gone through some major changes. What once was a mecca for small business owners who were looking for organic reach and inexpensive advertising, has now become a frustrating place of lost content just floating around with no one paying attention to it.

Algorithm changes over the past few years has significantly decreased the organic reach of business pages. It's gotten to the point now, where on average a business owner can expect that only 2% of the people who like their page will organically see what they've posted. As someone who spends a significant amount of time researching, creating and editing content to send out to the masses, that is a bummer. There's nothing worse than knowing you have something really important to say, without an audience to say it to.

Well, once you've mourned the loss of your organic reach (because trust us, it's not coming back), it's time to buck up and make the best of it. Despite some challenges, there ARE ways you can get great reach on the social media platform at a lower cost than other outlets, and those are Facebook ads. Trying them out? Below we're breaking down just a few tips to help you optimize your ads to ensure they're working the best for you.

1. Spend some time researching your audience and target them. When you're looking to target your ad don't just go by geographic area. Take some time to do some research on some of your existing audience's interests and likes. On Facebook you can target by general interests, things they've looked at on the web, and even other complimentary Facebook pages they've liked. Spending some time playing with the interest categories available for targeting can make a HUGE difference in your ad performance.

2. Pick the ultimate pic.  Ahh the ad image. This is always the most difficult (for many people) when designing an ad. The image is the first thing people will see when scrolling through their newsfeed so you want to make sure it not only makes sense with your content, but that it's attention grabbing as well. Find something with bright colors, interesting designs or a little bit of humor to ensure maximum results. And be sure to keep text to a minimum! While Facebook has loosened up a little on their restrictions, it will cost you more to run an ad with text in the image than one that doesn't have any. And be sure to keep it in the 1200 x 628 wide format so it fits the space nicely.

3. Start small with the budget. A lot of times people think the more money you throw behind an ad the better. However, recent studies have shown that dramatically increasing your budget will actually cause your Cost Per Click (CPC) to go up dramatically as well! Start your budget smaller (about $5 per day) and test it out over the course of a few days to see how it's working for you. Don't like what's happening? Go back and edit the image, text or both until you find the right mix. Happy with the results? Slowly increase your budget (No more that $5 per day) over time to increase the reach without increasing the CPC.