Facebook Post Targeting is Big News For Businesses, Organizations and Campaigns

This is pretty significant.  When I used to manage campaigns and now as a consultant, you focus efforst and apply targeting to ensure your message is being delivered to the most receptive potential resource because you had limited resources.  Rather than taking a shot in the dark, you targeted your efforts in hopes of maximizing your results. Facebook has now taken steps to make that possible in your social media efforts: Community managers can now create and serve content that will appear in the individual Newsfeeds of a more narrowly-selected subset of its fan base. New targeting options include gender, relationship status, education, workplace, language and geography.   With Facebook’s former language and geo targeting, targeted posts only appeared to people who fell within that range of the target, and no one else was allowed to see the post. Now, targeted posts can be seen by all users on the Page in the Timeline (so don’t go overboard with too many posts at once), but only reach targeted users in their own Newsfeed. They tell us what it really means: This update gives marketers the ability to boost social engagement by crafting more detailed and sophisticated content calendars that are tailored to the nuances of their brand’s audience. With more sophisticated content strategies will come greater engagement, as marketers will be hyper-relevant to the behaviors and preferences of various consumer groups. It will be interesting to see how digital marketers incorporate this new feature into their strategy. Facebook says that it is just beginning to roll out the enhanced post targeting, so we'll have to see what they come up with next while figuring out how to best utilize this option.

Telling Your Story By Telling Stories

I really enjoyed this section of the 5 steps for social media successes by Jeff Bullasabout telling your story by telling stories: Stories resonate and help us relate to others. We remember vivid details of stories told when we were kids. The most influential speakers tell memorable stories that stir multiple emotions. The most successful advertising campaigns use storytelling to make a lasting impact. The best media coverage is created by compelling stories. When crafting your Social Media Messaging, you might find that a story you think is no big deal will be enjoyed by your audience. Build your company’s brand by telling multiple stories that become your key message points, convey your real story and create the image you deserve. Tell your company’s story in a way that focuses on your key target audiences. Make it about them and their wants and needs. Instead of neglecting your Social Media Messaging with copy that might be ignored, tell interesting, real life stories that people will want to read and hear. Then, Social Media can be your conduit to tell your story. They give plenty of good advice, but you should ask yourself whether you are telling stories. The point is, content is still king and the way you tell your story will help determine the success or failure of any social media marketing plans.

Are You Giving Reporters What They Want

Ragan Comunications had an interesting posthighlighting a recent survey providing some numbers to back up the feeling that reporters want more than just a press release when being pitched a story by your business, organization or campaign: An infographic from the PRESSfeed 2012 Online Newsroom Survey highlights some large discrepancies between what journalists want from press releases and what PR pros think they want. For example, 75 percent of journalists say they want access to video in a press release, but only 43 percent of PR pros think videos are important to journalists. Even fewer (32 percent) have a video gallery in their newsroom. Also, adding images, graphics and video to a press release can increase views by as much as 77 percent, but more than half (54 percent) of PR pros don't have the resources to produce them. Those are some pretty staggering statistics, but that last note is even more interesting. PR pros will need to adjust to the changing times and provide reporters what they are looking for in order to get the cover they way. From the chart below, it looks like they have alot of work to do in order to understand what today's journalists are looking for.

Using Images In Email Marketing

Images have the power to tell a story that words cannot begin to convey. ClickZ has begun a series examining consumer email behavior and in this installment, they look at utilizing images in your email marketing. They offer this analysis with statistics: Since most email clients turn images off by default, I'm often asked about the use of images in email messages. Because we live in such a visual world, where images and videos are seemingly everywhere, consumers are expecting to see images in your email creative. Moreover, with the popularity of reading email on mobile devices that are fully equipped to render HYML, the audience who requires text-only emails is shrinking. It's important to have a properly formatted email creative with a compelling template, as this will assist in driving audience engagement and potentially advocacy. Given that images are turned off, my firm set out to measure how many consumers actually turn them back on. We found that: Fifty-five percent of consumers stated that they turn on the images in the emails that they receive, which rivals the 57 percent of consumers that state they check their primary personal email account on their mobile devices. Far fewer consumers add sender addresses to their address book, which in most email clients will enable image rendering by default. Sixteen percent of consumers stated that they added an email marketer's email address to their address book. It's good to know that some people don't block the wonderful visuals you are trying to provide, but you should also be prepared for those that do. The article goes on to discuss some best practices for including images in your email marketing campaign further. This will ensure that the people you are trying to communicate with actually see what you are trying to convey.

Becoming Trusted and Credible Through Blogging

In 2005, I helped found BlueJersey.com, a progressive political blog covering New Jersey politics. Frankly, my family supported me but didn't really understand what I was doing or why I was blogging.  They thought I was giving away my writing and ideas for free. I always explained how I believed it would demonstrate my knowledge, help legitimize me and ultimately be beneficial. With the rise of Twitter and Facebook, I began to help publicize my writing to larger audiences and still my family questioned. They didn't doubt me, but still couldn't see the method to my madness. Slowly, they began to see the light as I began speaking about social media, appearing in and on traditional media because of my work with new media, was hired for jobs because of my new media knowledge and then was named by the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza as one of the best NJ political tweeters. I had been a paid political operative for years, however it was writing for free by blogging that truly raised my profile to the point where I became the communications director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. Along the same lines of my story, Jeff Bullas looked at how blogging can make you credible and offered this assessment: Blogging doesn’t make you an expert but just through the sheer committment, research involved and the passion required to write often and regularly, that the expert label perceived or real starts to  shine through. It is said that to become an expert it takes 10,00o hours of practice to be at the top of your game, whether you be a musician or surgeon.   Blogging gets you noticed  and positions you as a thought leader and consequently as potential customers read your blog posts and observe your committment and passion they brand you as an expert. The next logical step is that they trust you and want to buy from you. I only wish I could have explained it that well when my family questioned. Blogging got me noticed and because I earned people's trust, I was considered credible. Trust is essential to communicating because lack of trust leads to immediate questions of credibility and accuracy. I utilized my blogging to gain this trust and credibility, making contacts with traditional media to improve the work I was able to do. I never claimed to be a reporter, in fact constantly credited reporters and talked about how I wouldn't be able to blog well without them. But I did manage to make myself a credible source of information about news and politics in New Jersey by simply composing my thoughts in the form of blog posts and then distributing them on social media platforms. Anybody can do it, you just have to take the time and make the investment.