Saturday, March 1, 2014

Social media marketing tips for small businesses

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Social media has given individuals and businesses the avenue to relay information at a pace faster than that of traditional media. Small businesses have realized that social networks help them compete with the industry’s big players. In fact, it is estimated that about 90 percent of small businesses have made their presence through social networks. Effectively using this presence, however, is a different matter altogether.

Here are a couple of tips for small businesses that would help in their social media marketing plans this 2014:

Learn about social media analytics

Social networks have come up with useful information for businesses. Social media analytics give companies demographic information about their market: age, gender, market region, etc. Marketers can now also determine which topics and conversations pique the interests of their intended audience from the messages they post online.

Small businesses should use all available data and research to come up with better marketing strategies and keep up with rapid changes in consumer behavior.


Know your weapon

Brands already know that different strategies yield different ROIs. In the same vein, they need to recognize that different social platforms yield different results. Marketers who have already profiled their market need to equate this with the right social networking site.

For example, in VisionCritical’s research, electronic gadgets and tools marketed on Facebook and Twitter yielded 25 percent and 34 percent purchases respectively. However, crafts and DIY home décor did not enjoy the same success in these sites. Crafts and DIY home décor had 21 percent and 18 percent buying hits when featured on Pinterest instead.

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John Bohan founded Socialtyze, the world’s first social intelligence engine that helps brands profile their market. Visit this Google + page to get more updates on social media marketing.

Friday, January 10, 2014

REPOST: The Best Laid Plans Of Online Marketing

Are you facing an online marketing melt down? Read this article.

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Winston Churchill famously said about the former German Empire, “They are constantly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” This is a good phrase for marketing mavens and PR princes to remember. Even the best-laid plans of advertising agencies and online marketers gang aft agley, (often go wrong) as Scots put it.

While there is no fool-proof way to guarantee a stunning success for every single marketing campaign, there are ways and means of ensuring that, no matter what the initial outcome may be — you can confidently haul your butt out of the bear trap before it springs shut and you and your company/brand are left without a leg to stand on or a tuchas to sit on for that matter.

We’ll use the analogy of a computer virus, or bug that begins to destroy the health of your cherished PC. What do you do when such a cyber creature gets into your hard drive?

According to Ahmit Mehta at PC Health Boost, “when a bad bug hits your PC you’ll want an expert to come in and fix registry errors, file association and font entries, among other things.”

Since many people are actually emotionally tied to their PCs, it’s not a good idea for them to work on fixing it themselves, unless they’ve been technically trained to do so. I say that from experience as one who tried to fix his own beloved PC.

And just as an infected PC needs professional care, so too can your dead-in-the-water advertising and/or marketing campaign can benefit from the disinterested perspective of a third party review.

If your company/brand has spent tens of thousands of dollars on an online advertising campaign , and the results have not resulted in much traffic or the conversion of traffic into paying customers, you are in deep trouble, my friend, and you will soon know it, either by the statistics you are forced to look at, or by the ferocious baying for blood of your boss.

Not often I get to use gang aft agley, tuchas and baying in the same article.

But I digress.

No matter how you discover the disaster, your next step as a marketing, advertising and publicity professional is to stop the hemorrhaging and find a way to salvage the company’s investment. As in the eradication of a computer virus, don’t play the blame game; at this point, with the money swirling around the toilet bowl ready to sink and be lost forever, it isn’t important to point fingers; what is important is to calmly and quickly make lemonade out of the sour citrus that you’ve been handed.

Go back and look at your strategy for this particular campaign — assuming you had one of course.

In their article from this past November 7 Reasons Why Your Online Marketing Is Failing, SEO firm Dejan SEO lays out some of the reasons your online campaign is not performing up to expectations. Among the 7 reasons they list include:

  • You Let SEO Overshadow Quality Content
  • “Don’t forgo your creativity entirely for the sake of your obsession with keywords.”
  • Your Marketing Teams Do Not Collaborate
  • “Online marketing demands that there is constant interaction between different teams and departments, such as SEO, PR and Marketing.” You are not alone

Many of the best and brightest in the PR/Marketing game have had to face disasters, and have been able to land on their feet, like a cat. For example Mervyn LeRoy, a famous Hollywood publicity director, was tasked with the seemingly impossible job of turning Jane Russell’s first big-budget movie “The Outlaw” into a family-friendly film because the studio was going bankrupt trying to sell it as a sexy western, which is what it was (and still is).

But this was back in 1943, when moral standards were a little higher than they are today.

Movie theaters were pulling the film and sending it back to the studio, saying “thanks, but no thanks – send us something the whole family can watch, not this smut.” LeRoy pruned some of the most egregious scenes from the film and then repackaged it as a morality play, where the bad girl (Russell) gets her just desserts and the good girl (Mimi Aguglia) is rewarded for her virtue. Marketed THAT way, the film became a blockbuster and saved the studio’s hide.

So the next time you’re faced with a marketing melt-down, just remember your PC and/or Jane Russell, and the servicing it takes to pull the rabbit of success out of the hat of disaster.

John Bohan is currently the general manager of SocialTyze, an Internet firm that helps brands empower their consumers by providing in-depth information. To know more about his expertise, visit this Facebook page.

Monday, December 23, 2013

REPOST: 8 Ways to be a Better Facebook Page Administrator

Be a better Facebook page administrator by reading this article from

The success of a Facebook Page lies in the hands of its admins. Facebook Page admins are the people who are in direct contact with a Page’s fans and are in charge of promoting the brand to the online world. Whether your Page has one or many admins there are a few best practices you need to know about in order to ensure that your Page is as engaging and successful as it can be.
Here are 8 things you need to know in order to be a super effective admin:
1. The benefits of a business Page versus a personal profile
Although it’s been possible since March of 2012, many Facebook users still don’t know that a Facebook profile can easily be converted into a Page. Facebook calls the process a “Profile to Business Page Migration” and you can learn more about it here.  Facebook Pages offer unique tools and features for organizations, businesses, brands and “public figures.” Facebook defines a public figure as an individual who may be a celebrity, writer, musician or may be just a self-employed business consultant or other “personal” brand. If you are using Facebook as a business tool, you want to set up a Page because it gives you access to many powerful marketing tools, including ads and apps. It is also a violation of Facebook’s terms to use a personal account to represent something other than yourself (for example, to use a profile to represent your business).  
2.  What’s what in the Admin Panel
The admin panel appears above the Timeline when you navigate to a business Page as  an admin. Below is a quick breakdown of what’s available in the admin panel.

1. Manage Page info, Edit Page settings and Admin rolls, View Activity Log and Banned users, toggle account use
2. Invite Friends, Share Page, Promote Page
3. Quick glance at post reach
4. Respond and engage with followers via messages
5. Quick glance at Like count/new fans
6. View detailed analytics on Page by date, posts, etc.
7. Create Ads
8. Cover photo
9. Profile Picture
10. Give basic details and links for your company
11. Custom app thumbnail
12. Click to expand custom apps menu
3. Why it’s important to choose a Page name that represents your brand
Pages have the option to change their Page name as many times as they’d like if they have fewer than 200 likes. If your Page has more than 200 likes, you can only change your Page name once so you want to make sure to choose a name you want to keep.  If your business has a long name you may want to consider a shortened version for your Facebook Page. If you have multiple locations, you may choose to put your location in your Page name so fans can differentiate between locations. Only admins who are Manager or Content Creators can change the name of a Page.
4. Why it’s a good idea to assign admin roles and establish rules
Facebook allows five different administrator roles: Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. Each role has different capabilities – only Managers are allowed to change each admin’s role. Facebook makes all admins managers by default. To prevent conflict amongst your employees, and before you assign your Facebook Page’s admin roles, establish some company-wide guidelines. Some best practices:
- Have a Facebook training session once a quarter
- Define the voice of your Page
- Keep a shareable document (e.g., a Google doc) that outlines company social media policies
- Keep admins to a minimum
- Keep communications between admins open
5. How to customize Your Status Updates
Facebook provides many features that allow Page admins to customize status updates so Pages can draw more attention to their Timeline content. Below are nine functions of a status update that businesses can use when posting.
- Pin a post
- Highlight a post
- Target a post
- Add location to your post
- Schedule a post
- Boost a post
- Create an offer
- Create an event or milestone for your Page
- Host a Timeline promotion
6. What makes a great status update
When it comes to posting a Status Update on Facebook, wording is everything. You might be sharing something valuable, but if your Status Update isn’t worded the right way, it won’t get the views, Likes and shares it deserves. Here are seven things to consider when crafting that perfect status update:
- Share a tip
- Post the most interesting fact related to your content (and link to the rest)
- Engage
- Stay positive
- Host a Timeline contest or promotion
- Include images
- Make images mobile friendly
7. How to use third-party app providers
Installing apps on your Facebook Page can make the Page powerful and engaging. You can use apps to host contests, feature forms, newsletter signups, menus and much more. But unless you know computer coding and can build your own apps, you’ll need to work with a third-party app provider. There are lots of third-party app providers to choose from but here’s what to keep in mind when you’re looking for one:
- The apps should be flexible
- The price should be right
- The apps should be embeddable or have “anywhere” capabilities
- The apps must have mobile capabilities
- The apps should use “fan-gating” to earn new fans
8. How to make the most of your cover photo
The cover photo is the focal point of a business’s Timeline profile. It sets the tone of a Page and stands as a visual message alert for whatever it is you want Timeline visitors to know about your brand, or your client’s brand, first.
Among the many ways to make the most of the cover photo real estate: get into the holiday spirit (whether it’s Christmas or the 4th of July), direct fans to a specific app, showcase new products, promote a Facebook exclusive or fan-only incentive, create a sense of urgency, establish authority and promote your other social networks.
These are just a few of the many ways Page administrators can ensure they’re doing the best job possible when it comes to managing a Facebook Page. Facebook admins can also check out thisFacebook Maintenance Manual for detailed descriptions of these tips and some additional best practices for maintaining a successful Facebook presence.

This John Bohan blog site offers various articles about social media.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

REPOST: The 7 Best Uses for Tumblr

Do you have a Tumblr or thinking of creating an account? This article from might help you decide as it gives the seven (7) best uses of Tumblr including finding friends and building your porfolio.


 offers a large degree of flexibility. There are many different ways to use the social blogging platform. Some log on to Tumblr to socialize with others, to highlight their artistic endeavors or to document their adventures abroad.

There is, of course, no one way to use Tumblr. Because the platform is open to different kinds of posts and interactions, the opportunities and flexibility are endless. Here are seven of the many ways people use Tumblr on a daily basis.

1. Finding Friends

tumblr friendsImage: Tumblr, Chibird
Typically when a user first signs up for a social media site, he knows someone who already has an account. However, with Tumblr, there is no need to know anyone on the site before getting started. In fact, some people sign up because they don't know anyone on the platform; therefore, they feel more freedom to post without fear of acquaintances reading along.
On Tumblr, you can follow any user who hasn't blocked you, so it's easy to find people with shared interests. Not everyone is open to making friends on the site, but many Tumblr users wish to interact with new people.
To gauge whether others are open for communication, or to signal that you are, post on a blog's front page, where it reads "My Ask Box is Open." This means the user is open to communication, either to talk about shared interests or if anyone needs advice or a heart-to-heart conversation.
(While there are many amazing Tumblr users who want to interact, always remember to remain safe and avoid giving out personal information online.)

2. Interacting With Friends

Not all users come to the site to kindle friendships. In fact, some join the site because their friends already have accounts. The Tumblr Dashboard makes it easy to share different types of content and communicate with small friend groups, without everyone seeing the activity, unlike many interactions on Facebook or Twitter. Some groups of friends use a specific hashtag, which they add to posts to track activity. Others mention the group or its members by name in the commentary of the post.
Tumblr allows friends to share content with everyone, but since multiple accounts can control a shared, private blog, they can also add content and leave notices there without other users having access to it.

3. Portfolio

art portfolio on tumblr
Image: Tumblr, Laura Spicer Illustration
Tumblr's straightforward UI, coupled with its flexible themes, makes it a great place to display your work in a digital portfolio. While the reblogging and sharing features are always available, plenty of users access the site simply to present their work and follow fellow artists. While the format might seem ideal for showing off visual artwork, like painting or sculptures, Tumblr can also become an interactive writing portfolio, for example, with specific tags to help employers or fans find pieces.
Tumblr is also a great place for web comics. Users get the latest updates right on their Dashboards, rather than having to visit a site every day. Web comic artists can also use Tumblr to post contests, extra artwork and sketches, interacting with fans and even their own works of art.

4. Photo Blogging

While some people post a variety of multimedia, some blogs are dedicated to posting only one type of format, such as photos. In fact, photography blogs are some of the most popular on site:Humans of New York, Black Blog and Always, Paige are a few. They can focus on any number of subjects: people, landscapes, wildlife, food.
Other types of photography blogs feature visual diaries of people's lives, photo challenges or design/modeling blogs.
A Tumblr phenomenon, some users narrow their blogs to specific subjects by labeling them "porn," for example, a "food porn" blog may feature images of beautiful food. The term often means the images are beautifully shot and enticing in some way.

5. Travel Blogging

Not all blogs require an open monologue about your personal life or interests. Many people who go abroad, especially students, create travel blogs to document their journeys in photos and text. It's a great way to record memories and share adventures with your friends back home. These tend to be more personal, so typical posts range from homesickness to excitement about trying new foods and activities.
Tumblr also hosts professional travelers who capture beautiful photographs: Exquisite Planetand Traveling Colors are two examples.
Travel and location tags are also effective ways to scope out fun places and good eats before going on your own vacation.

6. Business Blog

adidas tumblr
Image: Tumblr, Adidas
Creating a brand presence on social media is important, because consumer interaction is crucial. While Tumblr isn't an intuitive place to market products, it can help sales and develop rapport with potential customers. Many users who see a product they think is cool will reblog it so others can see it.
Companies like Adidas, J.Crew and Target are making use of the reblog feature to tote products. Even Etsy brands that feature handcrafted products use Tumblr as free publicity. Several TV shows also have Tumblrs, such as Once Upon a Time and Psych, to interact with fan communities and post extra material from the show, much like they do on other social media sites. News organizations and radio stations, such as The Daily Beast, LIFE and NPR, maintain Tumblrs to keep followers updated and engaged.

7. Hobby Blogging

You'll find hobby enthusiasts of all types on Tumblr. Some blog about artistic endeavors, such as knitting, sewing, cosplay, video games, 8-bit design, model-building, fashion design, tattoo design, nail art, photography and more. Don't forget cooking, decorating, working out, role-playing, playing music, dancing and writing, just to name a few.
Many Tumblr communities that don't fall into the hobby category are still worth mentioning. There are fandom blogs for particular TV shows, movies, podcasts, books and other media, as well as bandoms for musical groups and genres. Parenting, health, beard and facial grooming, makeup and comedy all represent communities on the blogging platform, and they're only a fraction of the many that exist on the site.
Essentially, if you're interested in a subject or activity, a community on Tumblr probably shares your passion.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Image: Mashable composite. iStock, franckreporter, Tumblr
John Bohan is one of the pioneers in the Internet marketing industry. For more about him and social media, visit this blog site

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Unlearning social media marketing techniques

…or at least what used to be the popular ones.

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In the not-so-distant past, social media marketers turned to Facebook for the banner ads. Buying search engine positions was also another common strategy. These were marketing tools that drove hits from Internet users. Hits were the prized currency.

But netizens’ discriminating tastes are ever changing. According to Jim Tobin, President of Ignite Social Media and author of the book Earn It, Don’t Buy It, merely buying social exposure is no longer enough. Brands need to utilize social engagement to bring in the results. 

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In his book, Tobin states that more than 99 percent of users no longer click on banner ads. In fact, there is already an observed waning of interest from Facebook users. People have now gone on to other sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and other applications.

Twitter owned 2012, as the social network welcomed migrants from other platforms. Teenagers contributed most to the microblogging platform’s growth with a representation of 26 percent, up 12 percent from 2011. Facebook is now considered as “old school” as Friendster and Myspace. 

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Sincere engagement means sharing ideas with and among customers. After all, it’s “the principle underlying ‘viral marketing.’” But while engaging customers still costs money, brand loyalty has always been THE top benefit.

John Bohan
is an Internet advertising expert and founder of SocialTyze. Read more updates about the business applications of social media in this LinkedIn account.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving through social media

In an era of selfies, food photos and self-rants, there can still be a lot of room for sincere social interaction.

A new research conducted by Marketwired shows gratitude can be shared across segments of netizens from around the world. In fact, the company tallied mentions of “thankful,” “thanks,” and “thank yous” to more than a billion.

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“I found that the number of times ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’ were mentioned this year was quite large,” according to Sheldon Levine, director of community at Sysomos. “It actually works out to those words appearing in social channels well over 2 million times a day.” 

A big chunk of grateful words was floated on Twitter.  In general, most users were thankful for “life,” with “friends” besting “family” and “work” rounding out the top fourth topic.

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“Marketwired calculated 951,770,752 tweets, including messages of gratitude, this year. That compares favorably to 48,093,584 mentions in forum posts; 10,236,979 words of thanks in blog posts; and 4,372,346 mentions in online news articles.”

What was pleasantly surprising for Levine was that people were most thankful for “life.” He surmised that the respondents were making reference to the life they lead.  While a number of people’s posts would focus on disappointments – like heartaches and the occasional rant over the boss – “life” topping the list is reflective of the fact that more people are generally happy with what they have. 

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John Bohan is the founder and general manager of SocialTyze, an Internet firm that specializes in social marketing solutions.  Read more information on social media in this Google+ page.