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“We are spending our budget smarter with better results for all of our websites because of Nina Hale Inc.’s technical, SEO and PPC expertise. Our programs continue to achieve greater success each month we work with them.” — Heather Hayes, Interactive Marketing Supervisor, Stratasys

Blog Archive

Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Update, This Time Punishing “Like-Baiting”

Friday, April 11th, 2014


It seems almost monthly now that Facebook makes some sort of tweak to its News Feed, with new rationale to improve the relevancy and quality of the content its users see. Now, Facebook is trying to alleviate “like-baiting” organic content from brand pages, which they consider to be in the realm of “spam.” While the continual algorithm tweaks are starting to blur together, this one in particular is certainly worth taking note of. Until now, this (directing likes, shares and comments) was seen as a general best practice among social media marketers, and even validated by data from 3rd party social analytics companies and studies on “effective” posting strategies; the general idea is that users respond to “direct” calls-to-action. 


The Importance of Optimizing Social Media Profiles

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It’s obvious that many companies are involved with social media, but the key is making sure that social media is being done the right way.

West Elm has a nice Facebook presence

West Elm does a good job of optimizing social media profiles.

Optimizing social media profiles and engaging with your audience are the main components in successfully handling your social sites. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram seem to continually be the most visually growing social sites, so it’s important to lay out the best way to optimize those sites in order to target the right audience. Aside from including your company’s name, number, website, location and links to other social sites, here are a few ways to better optimize your individual sites and create more engagement within them:

1) Facebook: The more content the better! Always include visuals and video. Make sure that keyword rich titles and descriptions are matching the visuals and videos being uploaded in order to create consistency. Building more engagement with Q/A status and commenting back on comments and reviews are the best ways to show your audience that their engagement matters (remember to tag their names so they receive a notification of your company’s efforts to respond to them).

Twitter is a great way to keep in touch with customers

Here’s a recent tweet from West Elm

2) Twitter: Stay engaged and put out weekly content! It’s important to engage with your Twitter followers by responding to them and even re-tweeting every now and then, but it’s also important to put out content. Featuring products, specials (depending on your company), and tips can be a great way to link back to your official company site or your other company social profiles.

3) Pinterest: More comments, likes and re-pins! More engagement within Pinterest is the best way to showcase your visual products and link back to your company’s official site. Keyword rich titles and descriptions are also important in optimizing your visuals. YouTube videos can also be embedded within Pinterest; it’s a good idea to use the same videos that are uploaded to your Facebook page for consistency!

West Elm is engaging with Pinterest users

West Elm engages with Pinterest users by liking other pins.

4) Instagram: This quickly growing visual site is a GREAT way to showcase your company and give followers an inside look. Getting involved with photo contests and weekly hashtags are great ways to engage with Instagram users and create awareness of your brand. Using consistent keyword hashtags when uploading photos is a good way to keep followers engaged in what is to come next.

West Elm is active with Instagram

West Elm displays “behind the scenes” images on Instagram.

The key to success here is content and consistency. Optimizing social media profiles is a great way to drive traffic to your website, create brand awareness and form loyal bonds with customers. It’s also very important to stay engaged with your audience in order to see successful results.

Happy posting, tweeting, pinning and Instagraming!

Facebook’s playing favorites to big budget brands

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Earlier this week, a “secret Facebook marketing tool” was revealed to be an option for big budget brands, or “priority accounts.”  Regarded the Brand Affinity tool, the concept is basically a new data offering that allows advertisers the ability to reach audiences beyond the basic demographics and interest categories currently available to everyone. 

Right now, advertisers can, for examples, target women in Minnesota between 25 and 50, interested in traveling, or anyone in the U.S. who has recently moved, gotten engaged, or are expecting a baby. While the interest categories are constantly expanding, what hasn’t been possible is to target users who, using Adweek’s example, like Coca-Cola and also American Idol, which it sponsors.

The unnamed sources “familiar with” this magical tool have said that so far, it’s being used on a one-off basis for brands with big bucks. Furthermore, these users have had to visit a Facebook office in order to be granted access.

After Adweek initially published their article about the feature, and before too many people could start to blog and tweet about Facebook selling users’ information to anyone willing to pay enough, the social giant released the following statement:

“To help marketers build better campaigns, Facebook offers aggregated insights to managed clients that help them understand trends about their fan bases. These tools do not provide marketers with any data about their competitors’ fan bases. As always, Facebook does not share user-specific data with advertisers.”

In other words, yes, this is happening. However, they say they’re not actually giving the information to the brands, but are instead providing trends and likely steering these big budget advertisers in specific directions, which to me, seems just about the same as giving them the information, minus the transparency, assurance and control for said brands.

The whole thing, while inevitable, brings up a lot of questions. For one, is this fair to all the other advertisers? If you don’t have X million to spend, you’re out the option to target people who like Gap and also Adele?

Another, probably more obvious question is, is this even necessary? Given the roll-out of Facebook Exchange for retargeting and Custom Audience segmentation, as well as the Precise Interest targeting options, couldn’t brands target users based on their own research and consumer insights already at their disposal? Of course, Facebook wants to make things seemingly easier, for the brands that can afford it, that is. 







Condensing Avinash Kaushik

Monday, September 24th, 2012

I just spent some of the morning reading the newest post on Avinash Kaushik’s blog Occam’s Razor. Avinash is the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, and while he doesn’t post frequently, it is always interesting and thought provoking.

Today he wrote about how to measure Facebook advertising results and how to prove the value of Facebook to upper management. I won’t lie to you – it’s a LONG post. Avinash doesn’t  maintain a blog as much as he writes novellas.

I’ll try to summarize his wonderful post today in hopes that you will go to his site to read more.

1. Facebook is huge and young, and not many people know how to use it

2. Facebook can be used effectively and well beyond the general “show an ad to an audience” formula

3. Questions raised: Why is it so hard to measure/prove the value of Facebook, especially to upper management?

4. Measurement isn’t the only problem, it’s what you do with the information.

5. The path to analytics enlightenment (does not apply to Facebook)

  • obsess about the wrong things (impressions)
  • bounce rates, page views, time on site
  • macro and micro conversion rates, visitor loyalty
  • multi-channel analytics, offline value, etc

6. Most ads on FB are to drive likes and engage a temporary audience, not traffic to website

  • this is the main difference between Google/Bing/AOL and FB; you are spending money to build an audience on FB in the hopes that they will like you enough to recommend you to a friend and buy something down the road.
  • You now measure the effectiveness of building an audience (# of likes and everything else happening on FB)
  • If you are trying to measure bottom line metrics like conversion rates, you are missing the point of FB

7. You must convice management that FB is a value

8. Avinash will hate you if you measure likes to show value. Report instead on metrics that show interaction – Engaged Users and Virality)

9. FB offers a treasure trove of data, most of it needs deeper analysis to be useful

10. Run controlled experiments to get enhanced understanding of impact of FB

11. Create products that easily drive social activity

12. Social media success doesn’t guarantee business success

Again, this is a very condensed verison of a very awesome post from Avinash. Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing! 

 He has evangelist in his title for a reason.


Targeting Expecting Parents on Facebook

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Facebook announced the other day that users are now able to choose to add “expecting a baby” as a life event on their timeline.

This raises a ton of questions, of course, and as a marketer, my first question is “which of our clients can benefit from this”?! Of course we have several that will shortly get a nice email from us detailing strategy for approaching (carefully) expecting mothers on Facebook. 

There are no doubt some glitches to be found in the system.  It IS Facebook afterall. 


One glitch was found by our very own Peter Quale, who tested this himself by announcing that he is expecting…in 15 months.


So while it is great that you can choose to tell Facebook about your gestation period, it begs the question – why are we helping Facebook do their jobs? If they were smart, they would already know these things. Take Target as an example. Remember the kerfuffle that this NYTimes article created when it came out in February?

In this case one pitfall of marketing to expecting mothers was clearly identified when Target sent coupons for maternity clothing to the home of a pregnant teenage girl. Her father was justifiably upset because he had no idea.

We need to be cautious when going down this path. Some people may be upset about getting an ad for Pampers, but then again, they don’t have to share this information, right?

Other expecting parents may really enjoy being exposed to new brands and shopping for products they don’t even know they need. Like a modern crib! Or baby portraits! Or personalized children’s books!

My one concern is the exact timing of these ads. Right now I can’t find where to drill down to target mothers expecting in 6 months, or 3 months by using the due date; a feature that will need to be added to really appeal to a wider variety of advertisers.