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Drive More Traffic – AND REVENUE – with Social Media

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Erin Peters

Last week, I had a friend who posted some amazing underwater shots and images taken from his surfing expedition in Costa Rica. It spurred a string of admirable comments asking how he took the pictures and what equipment he used.

“Amazing shot, dude! Who took that?!”Social Media Business

After all, he’s no professional photographer.  My surf buddy then linked to the GoPro Hero3+ and explained some of its awesome features, like the waterproof case and the ability to take pictures up to 30 frames per second.

I shared his pictures with my friends. And from there, one of my friends shared my post and linked to the mighty camera’s webpage with the comment: “Want.”

Not only did this spark a positive discussion for the product, two purchases were made within the next week from friends who saw the post and decided to do the research.  These two friends didn’t know my surf buddy, but were connected twice removed, in a six degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way.

This is the power of social media.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get these people to want to share your brand?

This Kevin Bacon social power is undeniable and far reaching.  Facebook is one of the most popular with 1.19 billion monthly active users as of September 2013. Potential customers are monitoring mentions and conversations of your brand. And they are doing more of the work of generating traffic than ever before.

“It’s an unpredictable social game—stories I think people will share languish, and stories I wouldn’t personally share flourish. In fact, some of HyperVocal’s most shared stories didn’t even start on our own Facebook page, they just started bouncing around Facebook without our push.” Slade Sohmer, editor-in-chief, HyperVocal

According to the 2013 State of Digital Marketing report Webmarketing123, more marketers at both B2C and B2B companies report they are not only generating awareness and leads from social media campaigns, but that those leads are converting into customers.Why does social media matter for business?

However, there’s been some concern over the latest Facebook algorithm update in regards to how much of our message is actually getting seen.  In an effort to combat ‘spammy’ posts, Facebook made the News Feed alteration. Also meant to avoid duplicate content and to match members’ actions and preferences, this update reinforces the need for high quality and original content.

Facebook updated the algorithm to surface more “high quality” content from news organizations. Facebook is a constantly shifting target, the only thing constant about Facebook is change.

Today’s Facebook is more book, than face.

I’m not going to stop writing it. Focus on content and support with images!

Their change is in response to user feedback in hopes to minimize the “spammy” company content. “Like-baiting” is one such spammy method that was found as being 15% less relevant that stories that achieve the same type of engagement organically.

Many complained that we missed seeing our friends’ posts and that they were getting buried by random company advertisements.

“Like-baiting” is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive.

From Facebook:

The improvement we are making today better detects these stories and helps ensure that they are not shown more prominently in News Feed than more relevant stories from friends and other Pages. This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares.

Facebook is also measuring “spammy links”, those links that may try to trick people into clicking through to a website with only ads or content/images that are continuously sent. Much like Google wants to give you the best possible website (content), Facebook is aiming to deliver quality content/images and more of what people want to see on the social network.

This isn’t necessarily all bad news. And what’s better? There is now a strong “Reddit” effect on Facebook regarding organic sharing on personal pages. If your content is good, the rest will take care of itself.

What can you do to increase your social currency?

1.  Showcase your product doing something out-of-the-ordinary, unexpected, or extreme.

By finding your product’s inner remarkability and by making people appear to be insiders, you may be able to use social to your advantage and generate what every company loves – buzz.

Snapple, the soft drink company, rolled out with an ingenious marketing strategy of inserting remarkable facts under their bottle caps. The facts are so unbelievable that the first thing many people do is share them with a friend.

2.    I’ll say it again: deliver quality content (and imagery!).

If we’re doing our job to deliver compelling content, we shouldn’t have to beg people to share content.” Micah Grimes, social media editor, ABC News

Impressions are earned through social media when search engines recognize the content is shared and highly relevant to a keyword.

People love to share their opinions with others. It’s the reason social networks have exploded these past few years. The more you post quality content, engage and share on social media, the better your search results will be.

And it can help you build a larger, more loyal customer base.

Work it. Own it.

You don’t have to be Kevin Bacon to get your story out or find new customers.

People are talking about your products whether you realize it or not.  Don’t just be part of the conversation.  Own a part of the conversation and develop brand advocates.

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