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Scott Gerber | April 07, 2014 | Mashable

Facebook-2

Facebook has been changing the game for advertisers since its inception a decade ago. And with its new video advertising platform, there are now even more ways to reach your target audience. But how should you use the tool to generate the most successful results? To find out, I asked a panel of eight entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what tricks they have for getting the most out of it (without alienating users). Their responses are below:

1. Stay Focused

Be clear about what you are trying to accomplish and don’t kid yourself about your time-limited ability to communicate and compel. Don’t take a “spray-and-pray” approach and hope that you will convince people to take action by overwhelming them. Start with a short list of what you need to accomplish. Then cut it in half and then execute off of that painfully narrowed list. If you aren’t upset about how short the list is, then you probably aren’t focused enough.

- Seth Talbott, Preferling

2. Watch Without Sound

Facebook’s new video advertising platform will automatically play videos in a user’s news feed without sound, rather than having a user click or tap to play a video. If a user does click or tap the video, Facebook plays the video in full screen with sound. This feature is important to note. Talking head videos won’t fly very well with Facebook users. To take full advantage of this new advertising tactic, make sure the video effectively achieves your advertising objective without sound.

- Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Company  Read the rest of this entry »

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Drew Hendricks | February 25, 2014 | Forbes

social media revolutionIt’s hard to imagine a life before social media, even though sites like Facebook and Twitter have been around for less than a decade. As businesses look back over that decade, they can easily see how these sites are changing the way they do everything. Professionals use these sites to network, interact with customers, and bring team members together.

Yet social media has the ability to divide industries, with outdated companies falling behind their competitors. Social media can be a distraction, zapping worker productivity throughout the day, but it can also be a way to open up opportunities that would never have existed. It will become clearer that social media is an essential part of doing business today.

CEOs Must Evolve

Despite the fact that a 2013 study showed more than 80 percent of those surveyed feel it is vital for CEOs to interact on social media, there are still numerous CEOs who decline to participate. These CEOs are busy meeting face to face with potential clients and networking in the community. Meanwhile, their younger counterparts are checking for mutual connections on LinkedIn LNKD +3.49% and crunching numbers to determine the success of their Twitter campaigns.

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Paul Chaney | April 3, 2014 | Practical Ecommerce

social media advertisingSocial media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ can be high efficiency platforms that serve as a hub for all your social media engagement activities.

Video and photo sharing sites such as YouTube, Flickr, and Instagram can be repositories to archive content that is distributed through other channels. Blogs can become niche-market penetration tools to reach individual audience segments.

That said, social media should not be viewed as a standalone channel that is separate from other marketing initiatives. Instead, view it as a “multiplier” that integrates with and enhances existing marketing communication strategies.

In other words, rather than create social media campaigns, make all of your marketing campaigns social.

Here are eight ways to integrate social media with other forms of marketing.

1. Create a Twitter
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Channel for Customer Service

Rather than think of Twitter as a single channel that combines product promotion, brand monitoring, content marketing, and customer interaction, make it one part of your customer service matrix by creating a separate account for the sole purpose of responding to customer queries, feedback and concerns.

This approach, popular among larger companies like Comcast and Network Solutions, is one that smaller businesses can easily emulate.

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Mark Beebe

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 10.17.31 AMDid you know that Walt Disney Pictures spends 600 million on media marketing each year? This is NOT Walt Disney but the motion picture studio. However, it has garnered them 1.84M Twitter Followers and 13M Facebook Likes which kills everyone including Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Studios, 20th Century, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate. Disney beats out everyone so bad that the closest group is Universal studios at 2.7M Facebook Likes.

Do consumers believe in the Disney Brand that much? Let’s see how Disney got there:

They have Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Jennifer Lawrence.
Hits like Iron Man 3 ($1.22B worldwide sales) Frozen (958M worldwide)
They made 3 Billion dollars international and 4.73 Billion with 2013 worldwide gross
They actually had the fewest Oscar Nominations next to Lionsgate. But again, people and fans really love this Brand, so what made them so popular? Well the obvious reasons is that they are associated with DisneyWorld and Disneyland and the trillions of dollars invested into building that brand over the last 50 years. However, when I sat down and tried to figure this out, another obvious choice came out.

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Mike Smith | March 11, 201 | Web Design Ledger

Marketing TipsFocus on generating leads rather than closing sales
At any one time there are only about three percent of your audience who are ready to buy right now. If your marketing is trying to close the sale, you’ll be missing the other 97 percent who’ll be ready later.

By focusing on generating leads, you’re able to engage with a much larger audience. You’ll be appealing to anyone who has an interest in the benefits of your product or service, whether it’s now or later. You can start to build a relationship with them now, even if they aren’t ready to buy immediately.

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Stevens & Tate

LeadingAge North CarolinaWHO: LeadingAge North Carolina members and affiliates—a regional chapter of the national association of not-for-profit organizations committed to expanding the possibilities for aging care through education, advocacy, networking, and shared services

WHERE: Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes; Myrtle Beach, SC

WHEN: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 from 3:15-4:15pm

DETAILS: Stevens & Tate’s Internet Marketing Director Nicole Wagner presenting an educational session at the LeadingAge North Carolina 2014 Annual Conference & Trade Show: “Embrace the Conversation: Strategies & Tactics

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for Using Search & Social”

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Michael Adams | February 20, 2013 | Web Design Ledger

Want a better website and don’t know where to start? Or, do you think your website changes are out of your control?

Many website owners think a better website means a complete overhaul – a brand new website. In some cases that may be true, but in my experience a couple tweaks can make the difference between bland and beautiful.

There are hundreds of things you could be doing. But, I want to take you beyond just spell-checking your site for errors.

Here are 16 ideas you can put into action right now:

1. Condense your menu

Do you have twelve items under one heading on your navigation bar? If so, you might want to look at tidying up. A cleaner navigation makes things easier to find. When things are easier to find, it creates a better experience for your site’s visitors. Plus, they’ll be less likely to hit the back button because they won’t be frustrated trying to find what they need.

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