Online Search Ads: Worth It or Worthless?
It turns out online advertising suffers the same problems as other kinds of advertising: reliably separating correlation from causation, as in, Would that purchase have happened anyway, or did our online ad trigger the behavior? A 2013 study by a group of economists working with eBay's internal research lab concluded that, at least for large, well-known brands, search ads are probably not worth the money. It may be that search ads for smaller company's products and services are more effective. A problem for them, of course, is that their ads normally don't rank as high as those from major brands with massive PPC budgets, so they won't be seen nearly as often. Jordan Weissman, writing on Slate, puts the study in perspective. So, caveat emptor all around. (Google, are you listening?)
Twitter: Have You Tried It for "List"-ening?
So you're using Twitter to communicate with the world, tweeting about your brand and products, and engaging with your customers. Have you tried using Twitter as a "listening post" to learn about your industry, local market, and competitors? Twitter provides an easy way to collect tweets from a focused group of its users: Lists, which allows you to create a list based on industry, geographical location, or on keyword searches to see tweets on what you're interested in - without the noise. Jennifer Bourne, writing on Social Media Today, explains how.
Clean Up Your Twitter Feed
Feeling over-Twittered? Following a lot of people and brands on Twitter is nice for them, but it may not be the best thing for you. After all, Twitter has a rule that if you're following 2,000 people, you can't follow any more until your ratio of followers-to-followed comes back into balance. Do you really need to see all those tweets from celebrities, athletes, bands, TV shows, and news sites? You might be ready to tune up your Twitter life, lose some of the deadwood, and be ready to follow somebody new. Don't forget to check out the Twitter List feature, either (see above). It's a great way to see Tweets from people and brands you're interested in but don't want to follow. James Calder, writing on Social Media Today, explains.
Making Friends with Bloggers
Bloggers, for better and worse, are key influencers in many industries today. Your brand has a story to tell, and bloggers need stories to tell day in and day out if they're going to attract traffic. While they may not be as obviously important as traditional trade journalists in many niches, bloggers definitely have audiences, drive sales, and help (or hurt) brands. Learn how to identify the bloggers in your industry, how to get to know them personally, and how to work with them in this article by Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.
Making Friends with Social Media Comments
Many social media marketers worry about how to handle online comments, positive or negative. While comments must be handled carefully, they're not something to be afraid of. In fact, customer engagement is the key to successful social media marketing. Here are 10 great tips for managing comments on your social media channels, from Courtney Hunt, founder of the Denovati Group. Three examples from her blog:
A targeted, quarterly magazine that takes CEO's, VPs and Sales Executives to the cutting edge of franchise development.