You may or may not have heard of Klout before. If you ask Klout what
"it" is, Klout will tell you that it is a way to measure online
influence from social networks. Klout uses information from your
connected Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Google+ accounts
to determine how much you influence your followers. They are working to
incorporate other social media sites soon. Klout doesn't measure how
much YOU put out in the world. It watches how often your followers and
friends are interacting with your posts and re-posting your information.
In other words, are you in a town hall meeting with lots of
interactions or is your voice echoing in an empty cave?
To help encourage activity, Klout also allows users to give each other a "+K" in certain topics, which range from social media to food. It easily allows each user to Tweet or post their praise on Facebook, and then allows the recipient of the +K to publicly thank Klout and the person who gave them points -- free advertising and pats on the back for all involved. The average Klout user has a "score" of 20 (the range is 0-100). Singer Justin Bieber has a Klout score of 100 and is categorized as a "celebrity." President Barack Obama has a Klout score of 86, a score still high enough to be a "celebrity." Social Sonar's Director of Social Media, Lori Myers, has a score of 60 and is categorized as a "broadcaster."
How does Klout determine its scores? As mentioned before, Klout tracks when your posts are re-shared, re-tweeted, "liked," commented upon, etc. The spread is your Klout score. Your "true reach" is the number of people you are actually influencing, both in your immediate network and in other people's networks as they share your original post(s). It is important because Klout is able to weed out spam accounts who may be following you but are not actually interacting with you. "Amplification" indicates how much you influence people. It measures the probability that your posts are being re-shared. Your "network impact" measures the influence of your entire network. It essentially determines whether you are interacting with other influential people or just regular ol' Joes.
What does all of this mean? For now, not much. While Klout is worth keeping an eye on, getting into the Klout game means committing time to actively work your profiles to make sure you are an influencer in your topic(s). Especially as Klout adds more social media sites and works out a few bugs, it may be important in the (near) future to help businesses be more influential in their field and connect with others who are also influencers.
How about you? Are you or your business on Klout? What is your score and how important do you feel like it is for your business?
A web analytics company, comScore, just released a report called "It's a
Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where
It's Headed." Here are some of the highlights, which you can use to help plan where you should spend time promoting your business.
~ Social networking sites have a combined 1.2 billion users, which is 82% of the world's population
~ Nearly 80% of adults over the age of 55 are now connected on social media sites (the fastest rising group)
~ Women between the ages of 15 and 24 spend the most time on social media sites (approximately 8.6 hours per week; 1.1 hours more than their male counterparts)
~ Nearly 1/3 of the U.S. with mobile phones (aged 13 and over) are accessing social media sites on their phone (that number goes up to 64% for those with smart phones with almost 40% doing so every single day)
~ Facebook alone reaches more than half of the world (55%)
~ Facebook accounts for approximately 3 in every 4 minutes of time spent on social networking sites (and 1 in every 7 minutes spent online)
~ Twitter reaches 1 in 10 Internet users worldwide (and has grown 59% in the last year)
~ Google+ is up to 65 million users worldwide, although many still continue to doubt its staying power
Although this report generalizes the world's social media use, you may better know where your customers are "hanging out" on the Internet. Perhaps simply asking them which site is their favorite will help you determine which social media sites are worth your time.
Which sites are you currently using for your business?
Christmas is literally upon us. Here are some simple tips to keep the
holiday spirit in your store to make 2012 your best year yet.
1. Remember to use social media sites to have a conversation with your customer. You can offer discounts and deals but you should also converse with your fans and followers. Responding to questions and comments builds a relationship and your brand.
2. Build your empire by asking your current customers to bring their friends into the fold. You can offer discounts to those who invite their friends to your business. You can run a contest to see who can bring in the most new fans. Or you can simply ask people to suggest your business to their friends if they are happy with your customer service. However, you do it, word-of-mouth marketing is one of your best bets for building your customer base.
3. Offer your own deals. The jury is still out on discount websites like Groupon and Living Social. Customers, of course, love the great deals but businesses lose a lot of money, and often have few return customers. By offering your own discounts and deals through your social media profiles, website and newsletter, you are catering to your own customer-base and rewarding them for their loyalty.
4. Connect your brick-and-mortar store to your online profiles. You should advertise in-store which social media sites you are using. You should have links on your website, but you should also have in-store signs, which let your customers know where they can find you in the virtual world.
5. Encourage check-ins. Offer discounts for checking-in to your store on Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla or other apps that allow customers to announce to their friends that they are in your store. Facebook now groups certain posts together, so if multiple customers are checking-in, their friends on Facebook will see that your store is a popular place.
Remember a social business is a happy business. Social Sonar wishes every a very safe and Happy Holiday Season. We look forward to entering 2012 with you and watching each and every one of your businesses grow.
Twitter can be a powerful tool for building your business. Just ask Lady Gaga - she currently has the highest number of Twitter followers in the world.
Here are some quick tips to get the rest of us started without recording an album.
There are many theories about the best way to get people to follow you. However, the easiest way is to follow them first. One in four people you follow will generally follow you back. If you search for terms that are relevant to your business, you can find potential followers ripe for the picking! You can also check out your competitors and follow some of their followers. You can avoid "spam bots" by not following people who have no tweets, or x-rated photos and links on their profiles.
Most people on Twitter do not want to see a steady stream of "canned" tweets. Although it is fine to Tweet links, you should also ask questions and have conversations with your followers. It will make you seem more like a "real" person. Don't be afraid to re-tweet great content. Just because you didn't write it, doesn't mean you can't share it.
There are multiple theories about this topic as well, but most estimates range from two to five tweets per day. The content should be varied. Maybe one or two tweets about your company. You can also tweet about the industry. Some can be re-tweets. You should also be tweeting at optimal times. If you are tweeting at 3 a.m., most of your audience may be in bed, and your message will be lost in the timeline by the time they are awake and checking Twitter.
Hashtags (# -- the pound sign) help mark certain keywords for tracking on Twitter. Often people and programs search for hashtagged words to re-tweet or gather related stories. Learning to properly mark your keywords with hashtags can help you gather followers who are interested in what you are tweeting about.
Twitter automatically shortens the links you include in your tweets now, but if you want to track clicks, you can use bit.ly. It's a free service which shortens your links so that you can use more of your 140 characters for content. It also tracks the number of people clicking and sharing your links.
Twitter can definitely open your business up to a whole new audience. Just use this guide to get you started. You'll be off and running in no time with the Twitter world at your fingertips!
One important way to help build your brand is to raise your ranking in search engines. Almost five billion inquiries are processed on major search engines every single day. Search engine optimization (SEO) is about getting your business to the top of those lists. By cross-promoting Facebook posts, likes and tweets, you will link your social media optimization (SMO) to your SEO program. Therefore, by communicating with your customers on social media sites, you may actually raise your SEO rankings.
Webmarketing123 suggests mapping out your plan as follows:
1. Diagram: Choose your social networks.
2. Test: Figure out which types of campaigns work best with your audience.
3. Strategize: Decide which content you will promote.
4. Implement: Launch your campaign and grow your audience.
5. Monitor: Track growth.
6. Measure: Measure return on engagement (ROE) across periods of time.
7. Optimize: Develop fresh content and schedule posts and tweets to encourage customer interaction.
Your ultimate goal is to drive more traffic to your website, which raises your SEO rankings and makes it easier for customers to find you. You also want to boost the number of "likes" on Facebook and increase re-tweets or replies. Both people and search engines like fresh, keyword-rich content. By keeping Facebook and Twitter updated with engaging and interesting content, you are improving your rankings.
Close the circle by adding share buttons on your website. This makes it simple for customers on your website to "like" or tweet about new content. You should also cross-promote your blog on Facebook and Twitter. Learn how to use keywords and hashtags on Twitter, so that search engines will add them to the search results page, which will help drive more traffic to your website.
You can the measure your ROE by monitoring traffic on Google Analytics, measuring your buzz on Facebook and growing your followship on Twitter. "In social media, your ROI is your ROE."
The social media/SMO/SEO/ROE/ROI world can be very confusing. If you would like us to explain how social media can help improve your business, please let us know!
Social media isn't just for raising awareness about your business. You can also use it to promote events at your store or do fundraising. We would like to share two stories about how social media helped increased awareness of recent fundraising events.
First up is Jimmy. He works at the Rainbow Community Center, focusing on HIV awareness and education. For 2011, he set a pretty high fundraising goal for the San Francisco AIDS Walk. Here is how he used social media websites to make it happen.
Every year I participate in the San Francisco AIDS Walk. I host several fundraising events in the Bay Area and have been a top fundraiser for several years. But it wasn't until I joined the social networking world that my fundraising went to the next level. I set a huge goal this past year: $5,000. Using a group on Facebook, daily Twitter posts, a YouTube video and asking my friends and family to share, all three helped me not only reach my goal... but beat it! I was able to raise $8,000 in only 4 months. Social networking has really changed the way I promote my cause and provide outreach to my community. Without these social outlets, I would never have been able to reach my goal and help fight this epidemic.
What Jimmy doesn’t mention is that he also promised his loyal followers that he would do the 6.2 mile walk in six-inch red heels if he hit his goal. He kept his promise. Check out his photo at mile one.
Next is Dan. He has a pretty amazing story and it is best told in his own words.
In memory of my brother Mike, who died of AIDS in 1995, I decided to participate in the 2011 AIDS LifeCycle bike ride, a seven day, 545-mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, raising money for AIDS and HIV services and prevention. Each rider is required to raise $3,000, a feat in itself.
My main goal was to gain awareness for AIDS prevention -- raising money was not the driving force behind my decision to take this ride. I was at a loss for how to raise this large sum of money because I did not want to ask people for money in a bad economy. I decided to make a video telling "my story" of my brother dying of AIDS. At the end of the video I would simply ask the viewer to send me just one dollar. Who could say no to one dollar? If I could just get three thousand people to watch my video then I would accomplish my main goal of awareness having three thousand people hear "my story," and hopefully raise three thousand dollars.
I posted the video on YouTube and shared it often on my Facebook page. I also asked all my Facebook friends to please watch and share my video on their Facebook page too. I hoped for the best, but figured I would more than likely be writing a check from my own personal bank account for $2,000 (or more) to reach my goal and participate in the ride.
Within twenty minutes of the posting of my video on the Internet I had raised $500. What a shock! Had underestimated the power of social media? Within three weeks I had already raised $5,000 and the money kept coming in. By the time of the actual bike ride event arrived I had raised a whopping $18,800. My video has been viewed more than 5,824 times on YouTube and was re-posted on Facebook more than 1,000 times. All goals were exceeded thanks to the Internet.
However, this incredible fundraising didn't happen without hard work on my part and with a lot of help from my friends. I constantly kept on top of the video, posting it on Facebook often, sharing the address with anyone who would listen, and asking friends to ask their friends to post it.
My video was posted on Facebook by my friends who in turn asked their friends to post it, and so on. The local news media saw the video and the next thing I knew my video and story was on a major Bay Area TV newscast, the local newspaper and the front page of Yahoo! News for three days! The post office box was full of envelopes from all over the country, including envelopes from as far away as France and England.
Facebook and YouTube were the force behind my success in raising this huge amount of money for the AIDS Life Cycle Bike ride. Social media should never be underestimated.
Here is a photo of Dan with actress Sue Sylvester on the day they left on the ride.
We want to thank Jimmy and Dan for sharing their stories with us. They are a testament to the power of social media. Using these websites to promote your events and fundraising efforts can prove successful for you too. If you need help, just ask us how!
Currently, when you are on your fan page, the Insights are available on the left side of the page, under your profile photo (you can view old insights on the right hand of your page). You can view insights on your page or export it to view elsewhere. Choose your data type, date range and file format. You are then off to the races.
There will be four numbers at the top of your page. First will be the total number of people who have "liked" your page. Second, Facebook lists the number of friends your fans have. This is the potential reach you would have if you used Ads or Sponsored Stories to reach just the friends of your fans. Third number is "people are talking about this." It is the number of people who have created a story about your page in the last week. The final number is the total reach. This is the total number of people who have seen any content associated with your page (including Ads or Sponsored Stories) within the last week.
To better explain "people are talking about this," Facebook says that it includes anyone who has liked your page, commented/liked/shared your page post, answered a Question you asked, responded to an event you posted, mentioned your page, tagged your page in a photo, or checked-in/recommended your page. The more people talking about your page, the further your reach on Facebook. The only two numbers visible to your fans are "total likes" and "people talking about this."
The best way to get people talking about your page is to make sure you have interesting and engaging content. Post photos. Ask questions. The more people engage on your page, the more others will see that interaction and may then join the conversation.
Facebook further analyzes each individual post on your page by breaking down the reach (number of people who have seen the post), engaged users (the number of people who have clicked on your post), talking about this (the number of people who have liked/commented/re-posted your content), and virality (number of people who have created a story from your post as a percentage of the number of people who have seen it). Understanding which posts are most engaging to your specific customer base can help you choose future posts. You can click on any of the posts to get a Reach graph. This will show you the number of people who saw the post on their page organically, the number who saw it due to a paid Ad, and the number who saw it posted from a story published by another friend (viral post).
Facebook also offers the Engaged Users graph and Talking About This graph to further decide which posts are most interesting to your fans.
You can click the Fans tab to learn more about your current fan base: the country and city in which they reside, their gender, age and language. You can also learn the number of new likes or unlikes, and the "like" sources. Did your new fan see you on someone else's page? Did they click on a Sponsored Story or Facebook Ad? Did another fan write a Recommendation for you? You can also see other fan pages who have liked your page and whether fans liked your page through a social plug-in on an external site.
The Reach tab also gives you additional information about the people you are reaching and how you are reaching them. The Frequency graph shoes the number of people who have seen content about your page in the last week. The Talking About This tab is just one more way to break down information so you can understand who is talking about your page.
Facebook has an almost endless number of potential fans and customers. This may seem like a lot of information to process but the end result is simple: Post interesting content and the fans will come.
Sponsored Stories allow you to publicize through a Facebook Ad, your fans' interactions with your page. So if Jon Smith "likes" your fan page, you can place a Sponsored Stories ad and it will appear on the right hand side of Facebook page for all of Jon Smith's friends to see. Bonus if Jon Smith has 5,000 friends. As most of us know, Facebook often limits and decides the content that shows up in your fans' news feed. This means that if your fans aren't interacting with your page on a regular basis, they may not be seeing your posts. The Sponsored Story puts your business squarely where you want it to be: Back on your fans' profiles.
There are four different kinds of Sponsored Stories.
The first is the "page like." It requires little effort on your part (it literally just publicizes that 'so-and-so "likes" your fan page') and will be published only to friends of the person used for that ad.
Next is "app interactions." It allows you to publicize app interactions, such as events, and will be visible to friends of the person who initially posted through the app.
Then we have "place check-ins." It allows you to publicize when a popular fan "checks-in" to your store location. It will be visible only to friends of the fan used for the story.
Last is "page posts." It also requires little effort from you and posts only to the person used in the ad. However, it will usually be a longer ad, allowing you to publicize positive comments left on your page. It will be published to everyone who has "liked" your page.
Sponsored Stories are a simple way to use Facebook Ads to market to the friends of your current fans/customers. As we said before, Facebook claims that if a user sees a friend's name in an ad on Facebook, they are 68% more likely to remember the ad and twice as likely to remember the brand. So, let your fans sell your product for you by using Sponsored Stories!
Facebook Ads allow the business owner to target potential customers, using key words and zip codes. You can even target only your current fan base and their friends. This allows you to spend your marketing dollars on potential customers who might have a higher interest in your business based on their location and listed interests on Facebook. According to Facebook, if a user sees a friend's name in an ad on Facebook, they are 68% more likely to remember the ad and twice as likely to remember the brand.
First you need to identify your goals. Decide whether you want more fans on your page, to increase brand recognition, offer a discount or drive more business to your website. Facebook suggests that each ad campaign focus on one goal at a time.
Then you need to decide who you are trying to reach with your ad. Who shops in your store? Where are your customers located? Are they a certain age range or do they share an interest? You can create different ads to effectively market to all different types of customers.
Facebook makes it very easy to create your ad. You design your ad using a recent post already on your fan page. You then choose your target audience using key words and location. Choose your budget. Then submit your ad. It is usually approved by Facebook and is up and running fairly quickly.
The most confusing part of budgeting for your ad is the bidding option you choose. Should you choose Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Thousand Impression (CPM)? Cost Per Click is pricing where you pay for each person who clicks on your ad. This is best chosen when you want to drive specific action on your website or Facebook page. Cost Per Thousand Impression is where you pay based on the number of people who view your ad, regardless of whether they click on it. It is best used if you want to raise general awareness of your business within the targeted audience. Facebook suggests a bid price based on your targeting options. You may choose your own pricing options, but if you find that your ad is not being shown (Facebook will send you reminder e-mails letting you know that your ad is not active), then you will need to increase your bid.
You can control the cost of your ads by choosing a daily budget or lifetime budget. So, if you don't want to spend more than $25 per day on an ad campaign (or $100 for the lifetime of an ad), your ad will be shown to the target audience only until you hit your budget. Then the ad will be removed from circulation. You can change your budget at any time.
You can monitor the performance of your ad through Ads Manager. It will show you graphs and statistics for the lifetime for your ad campaign(s). We suggest you check your statistics often to make sure your ads are working for your business.
Facebook Ads are one of the many tools Facebook offers to help promote your business. While you should not feel like it is necessary to spend money with Facebook to gain new customers, it might be a tool to try at least once to see if it is something that will work for you.