Archives for ROI

Facebook Ad ROI: Fact or Fiction?

Many businesses wonder if they should do Facebook ads.  Ad click-through rates are notoriously low; not just on Facebook, but all over the internet. Facebook gave themselves an edge through their targeting. You could really specify who saw your ad, and that would increase the likelihood that users would click it.  But the tool was still limited on ROI.

Your Ad Here

Facebook has unrolled some new metrics for ads that will give a much better report on what your conversions really are.

The old ads told you:

  • how many impressions your ad received
  • How many clicks it received
  • The click through rate (CTR)
  • The social CTR- which means the CTR for people who had friends who were fans of the page. The element of social proof tends to give a higher CTR than ads without social proof.

The new ads tell you:

  • Reach- the number of unique users who view the ad.
  • Frequency – the number of times a single user views an ad.
  • Social Reach – the number of people who saw the ad with a friend’s picture or name connected to the ad.
  • Connections- social actions taken by a user within 24 hours of seeing an ad. This means Liking a page, installing an application or RSVP’ing for an event.
  • Audience Funnel- showing you how many users within the ad’s targeting have seen the ad, and how many times. This will help you to know if it is time to change the ad’s creative content.
  • Clicks & Connections: shows you the link between the people seeing the ad and how many people are clicking it. This is designed to help you know if you are actually targeting the right users – those that convert.

The new metrics allow you to really ensure your ads are targeted properly and getting you the best results.  They will allow you to know what your ROI is, beyond someone clicking the link.  This will make determining the ROI of your ads much easier. It will also help you make your ads a lot more effective.

My Twitter Real Estate Value?

The idea of Twitter real estate has never been more salient as it is right now.  Twitter real estate is the space you have to customize your Twitter profile page.  It is the space you have to be able to individualize, personalize, identify, set yourself apart, and express yourself.  It is your space to work on your branding. Until a week ago, Twitter real estate had a pretty high value.  When you wanted to see someone’s profile, you clicked their avatar and it took you to their page.  On that page you would see the custom design of their choice.  This could sway you into following them.  It might send you to their website. Or it might simply give you a better idea of who they are as a person.

The New Twitter has reduced your available real estate to about 100 pixels, or 1.389 inches wide.  Yeah, not very wide. Actually it is less than half of what it was.  Before you had about 225 px, safely, to design and add content.

Now principles of real estate, if less land is available then the more it is worth?  The New Twitter figured out how to squash that too.

Now, not only is there less space, but they reduced the likelihood that anyone will even see your 1.389 inches of custom background.  How?  Good question!

New Twitter has reduced your visibility a few ways. One way is to see a custom background you have to have your browser window completely open (up to 1080px). According to Banyan Branch, your custom profile will only be visible to about 5% of internet users.  So assuming you have cleared that initial visibility hurdle, New Twitter gave us another one.  Though this is nice for usability, it is not so nice for showing off your design work.  Now, when you click on someones Twitter handle or their avatar, instead of going to their profile page, it opens up an abbreviated profile on the right.  This abbreviated profile does not show your custom backgroud.

So unless someone goes to your actual Twitter URL (ie. http://www.twitter.com/twitterusername) then they will not see your profile, and even then they only have a 5% chance.

Should you have a custom background? Yes.  The audience has been narrowed but not eliminated.

Project Junkie pt. 2: Productivity Checklist

Matt Mansfield wrote a great post about being a project junkie. He admitted his project addiction and bravely took credit for it and all the professional chaos it can cause. It is my turn.

I too am a project junkie. I get excited about things and then just dive in feet first. But as a business owner you cannot always do that. You have to be smart about your projects.

Since I am in Project Junkie recovery, every time I start feeling that excitement about the next best thing, the newest and most exciting project on the horizon, I take a moment and got through a productivity check list:

1. Will it make me money now?
2. Can I afford to not make money now?
3. Have I taken care of my clients first?
4. Have I taken care of my existing business responsibilities?

Once I have answered these questions, I am ready for the next part of my checklist. (See Project Junkie Part 3 posting on Thursday Sept. 23, 2010 …aka. tomorrow).

Spam May be good for Breakfast but Not for your Business

The different social networks fill various needs for its users. Linked In is better for B2B and professional networking. Facebook is your social circle online. Twitter is everything from friends to business to news. If you are trying to build your business, or your online reputation, then you are most likely on most of these social networks. Now that you are there, how do you get people to visit your blog, your site, buy your product, vote for you, donate money, etc. In essence how do they become clients?

The biggest mistake people make is spam. We have all seen the people who get out there and talk about their product…all day…all the time…incessantly…ad nauseum. If you want to be ignored, do this. You will be hidden on Facebook and no one will read your tweets.

If you want people to become clients, then you need to become friends first. You need to become a real person online.

  • Be the person who shares information.
  • Be the person who says good morning and wishes people happy birthday.
  • Be the person who re-tweets other peoples blog posts.
  • Be the person who offers good advice, for free, for no other reason other than you can.

Now you are dynamic. You are interesting. You are a source of information and you are someone people will look to. In the midst of all this good will, tell people about your business. Ask them for their support. Pepper your own goals into your relationship development. Your friends will respond to your requests. They will read your posts, they will go to your site, they will give you their support. They will do this because you are multi-faceted and not all about yourself. They will do this because you have build real relationships with them.

Grow your buiness slowly: Patience is a Virtue

I want to be patient NOW
How virtuous do I need to be?

When you are growing your business, you receive tons of advice. One of my favorite pieces of advice is “Be patient”. I know that if I am working hard and putting my efforts into developing my business that it will grow. The more people I interact with the more connections I will make and the more opportunities will come my way. I get it.

However, when they tell you that patience is a virtue my immediate response is:

How virtuous do I need to be?

Intellectually we can all know that apparent over night successes are not actually overnight. They are the result of a lot of hard work. Often when we see someone who starts a business and then 3 months later they are making hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is natural to compare our 8 months or a year or 2 years of business and wonder why we didn’t experience this level of success. What did I do wrong? The answer could be really simple. You did nothing wrong.

When you see someone’s overnight success, what you don’t see is all the other businesses that came before that. The months and years that they put into other ventures that were not as successful. Internalizing that previous experience allowed them to be successful now. But their history plays as important a role as the significance of their current venture.

It is hard not to get impatient, but sometimes we have to take the advice we give others. Learn from our mistakes. Learn from our successes. Take the time to focus your energies and do what you need to do. Know that nothing happens over night, it only seems that way when you are on the outside looking in.

When you ask yourself “How virtuous do you need to be?” Only as long as it takes to be the next overnight success.

How badly do you want to succeed?

How badly do you want to succeed?

Many of us are entrepreneurs, self starters, business owners, self-employed, freelancers, independent contract, enterprisers, linchpins, and go getters.

Some of us have business degrees. Some have MBA’s. Some of us have worked in an industry for 20 years and are finally making our own path. Some of us have never worked for someone else. Some of us have been idea generators our whole life. Some of us just have a talent.

All of us have drive.

All of us want to succeed.

Whether you came to your venture through twists and turns in your career, through layoffs, through frustration with the daily grind, through inspiration, through a desire to be your own boss, or through the natural development of your professional career, you are here. You are a leader. You are a thinker. You are a driver. Now what?

There are days that I wake up and feel like I am not making the kind of progress I want to see in my business. There are days that I feel like what I am doing is not good enough, or it is not the right thing, or there isn’t enough time in the day/week/month, or if I only had ________ fill in the blank.

We all have days like that. We all question our efforts. We all have times when we feel defeated. When you wake up and feel the weight of your venture pressing on your shoulders, take a minute. Take an hour. Take a little time, get a cup of coffee, sit down and relax. Ok, done? Now get the hell up and tell yourself to get over it!

You will never progress forward if you indulge in self-defeat. A friend once told me that all feelings are valid. Take a moment to experience them and then let them go. That last part is really important, LET THEM GO!!

We all have failures. Warning cliché coming: You learn more from failure than you do from success.

Of course, who wants to spend all their time learning?

We all have frustrations. We all make decisions that are not right, or not the best, or not ideal. That is ok. Keep moving.

Feeling overwhelmed? Embracing that will not get your to-do list done. Pick something and start doing it.

Get focused. Get motivated. Get inspired.

I watched a wonderful motivational speech by Eric Thomas. In it he said:

“When you get to the point when you want to be successful as badly as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”

… I am breathing. Time for step 2.

Blog Radio

Lauren on Blog Radio: Build Your Career with Passion

I will be on Dennis Charles blog radio show on Monday August 9th at 11 am EST.  Dennis hosts a great show called Build Your Career with Passion.  He has lots of interesting and informative guests who provide a lot of great information about building your career and your business.  Linda Lopeke from SmartStart was recently interviewed on his show.  You can listen to her interview here.

I will be talking about social media and TEQ, technological emotional quotient.  TEQ is the practice of emotional intelligence in your virtual relationships.  Because virtual relationships do not have the benefit of human interactions, we miss a lot of the normal conversational cues that let us know what someone means or how they are feeling.  TEQ is the practice of integrating a new set of emotional intelligence that ensures deeper, more substantive, and productive virtual relationships.

So now I get to be a part of the interesting and informative!  How exciting. So come and listen to me on the radio…and lets how that my general sense of elocution does not go totally out the window. =)

Listen to me on blog radio Monday August 9th at 11 am EST.  Click here!

NFO is the new SEO

NFO

NFO is the new SEO

If you want your business to be successful, if you want your profile to grow, if you want your blogs to be read, they have to be seen.  It is fairly simple. If no one see’s your post, then you might as well have not made it.

We all like to think that our friends will pay attention to anything we post.  Well, not to burst your “sense-of-importance” bubble, but that is probably not true.  Lets face it, we pay attention to every post of only a handful of our friends, the rest we glance at. If someone has posted something interesting or eye catching then we might take a second look.  If Sally talking about her never-ending summer cold, or Joseph is posting pics from his latest BBQ, they probably don’t really care if you see it or not. They are just sharing bits and pieces of their lives.  However, if you are a business or a public figure, you want your posts to be seen, and to be read, and even commented on.  You want to make sure you are appearing in your friends newsfeed. Otherwise, what are you doing?

NFO is the new SEO. News Feed Optimization is the new “art” of newsfeed ranking.  Just like the search engines, Facebook has an algorithm that decides what goes on your newsfeed.  For the tech-geek in us all, the algorithm is called EdgeRank.  If you like Latin and algebra, then here is what it looks like:

Ʃuewede
e=edge
ue – affinity score between viewing user and edge creator
we – weight for this edge type (create, comment, like, tag, etc.)
de – time decay factro based on how long ago the edge was created

(formula for EdgeRank from <a href=“http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/22/facebook-edgerank/”>TechCrunch</a>)

In case you don’t speak formulaic math, this means that your post is weighted by your “affinity score” multiplied your the type of content multiplied by the amount of time that has passed since you posted.  Your “affinity score” is essentially your level of engagement.  If you comment, tag, post, and generally interact with people you will have a higher affinity score.  Yet another reason why automatic posting is not always a good idea.

The type of content, or weight, has a big impact.  Multimedia content has a higher Edge factor than just an update.  However, if you only post links, videos and pics, you will not dominate the news feed.  The formula takes balance into account.  The formula wants a well rounded social media interaction.

In addition to multimedia content weight takes general interactions into account.  If you tag someone in your post, add an @ before their name, you will rank higher.  The more people like your post or comment on your post, the better your rank. Though a comment is better than a like.

If you want to be seen then you must engage and engage dynamically.  You must update your status, tag your friends, post pics and videos and interact with your friends comments.  The formula wants to make sure that well rounded and equally interactive people get the most Facebook “face” time.

Though Facebook is not replacing search engines, it is becoming a source of information from breaking news to public opinion and shopping.  It is the best word of mouth. Not only can you hear about how your friends liked something, but you can hear from their friends and so on.  In the constantly changing content of the newsfeed, gaining visibility is vital to your social media success. News Feed Optimization may become more mportant to your social media strategy than search engine optimization (SEO) is to you web strategy.

…oh yeah, and if you use the word ice cream or sex in your post, you will get a better rank.

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Follow me on Twitter @laurencubed and on Facebook

Build it and the still may not come: It’s been a week, why am I not making money?

It’s been a week, why am I not making money?

Ah, immediate gratification.  Who doesn’t want it?  Who doesn’t want success and money and love and a fit body and that dream vacation NOW?  I want it now.  I don’t want to wait. I am tired of ……waiting.

I recently had someone say to me, well my page has been up for a while and it just isn’t paying for itself.  I said, well, it has only been up for one week. It might take a little longer than that.

In the age of immediate gratification a week can seem like a while.

The perception was that the page was not successful because it was not making money and didn’t have 10,000 fans after what seemed to be a long time.  The reality was that after 1 week the page had 200 fans that were interested and ready to engage. From a social media standpoint, the page was doing well. But from an instant gratification point-of-view, the page was failing miserably.

The problem with instant gratification is just that, instant.  The joy is short lived.  You just started a twitter account?  Sure you can have 5,000 followers by the end of the week.  How elated do you feel?  How exciting to have so many people interested in you.  But wait, are they interested in you or are they just numbers?  Artificially inflating your numbers might be exciting at first, but when you realize that they mean nothing the excitement quickly becomes disappointment.

The disappointment will continue to grow because after the first instant gratification, you want another one, then another. Hoping that the next will the one to really give you what you are wanting, a relevant content driven page/site that has high interaction and is nicely monetized. It is the date that promises a kiss at the end of the night and delivers a wave from the car.

When we build a website, blog, twitter or Facebook page, we all want to see thousands of people flocking to it.  We all think that our content is incredible, our graphics inspiring and our message revolutionary.  Ok, even if you do not have delusions of grander, you obviously believe that you are offering something of value that people ought to be rushing to see.

The truth is, overnight success if never overnight.  What seems like an instant to an outside observer is often months, or years, of hard work.  Thankfully, through social media, years can be shortened to months and months can be shortened to weeks.  But the truth remains that overnight success is never actually overnight.  You have spent the time to develop your idea and your content, now you need to invest the same energy in developing your relationships.  To use more catch phrases, if you want to host the conversation you have to join the conversation.

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Follow me on Twitter @laurencubed and on Facebook

Build it and they still may not come: You “liked” my blog but did you read it?

Blogging is one of the best ways to speak in depth about your area of expertise.  It is a way your audience can get to know you and your brilliance!  But if no one is reading your blog then your brilliance is wasted. Marketing is only successful if you are able to reach your audience.  A blog written in the woods with no one to read it makes no sound.

This is the first of the “Build it and they still may not come” blog series.  Our guest blogger, Marina is the President of Miia Communications, a company that professionally writes for people and business.  She understands that good communication is just as important as a good product.

You “liked” my blog but did you read it?

By, Marina (www.MiiaWeb.com, @MiiaWeb)

People are lazy when it comes to reading, and that’s a fact. Trying to get someone to read a paragraph of information is like trying to feed your child broccoli and Brussels sprouts. They might, or might not eat it. If you have a blog that has long entries, big, fancy words, there is a chance that people won’t read it.

I have been always told to write at a 6th grade level. Which means that people should be able to understand your writing at a middle school grade level.

Here are five (5) tips on how to make sure your blog is read:

1.Write brief entries
If your blog entries run on for half a page, chances are your readers will give up reading half way through. You want to state your main point at the beginning of the paragraph and then move on to explanation. If anything, at least the readers will get a gist of what you’re trying to say. Blog entries should be just a few paragraphs long.

2.Use plain English
Avoid using words such as “comprehend”, instead say “understand”. Instead of saying “consume”, say “use”. This will help the reader follow the text better without stopping to define the words first. Remember the tip that I mentioned earlier about writing at a 6th grade level? Yeah, that’s what I mean. If you have ever taken Shakespeare in high school, you know how frustrating it can be to read words that you’re not familiar with. Just think of that next time you blog.

3.Video blogs

A video blog will have a greater impact than a written one. Again, people don’t like to read, either because they don’t have the patience or the time, or both! Having a video blog makes it more interactive. Plus, your readers can view your blog and see the “face” behind the written text, which is always a good thing – makes your blog more credible. Video blogging is a great way to get your reader’s attention; people would rather watch a video than READ! Do a search online and you will find quite a few video blogging services.

4.Use numbers
People like to see stats; they like to see numbers. Instead of saying “How to build a website”, you can say “Top 20 tips on getting your site up”. Use statistics where you can, saying “10 million jobs were lost”, or “There are 20 million videos uploaded to YouTube”. You get the idea…

5.Offer something for free
We all like freebies, right? You don’t always have to write your blog articles about business topics. Sometimes it’s fun to get creative and step out of the “formal business” zone. Depending on your company, think of giving away something free. You can have sweepstakes and giveaways and let readers participate for a chance to win. For example, you can tell readers that if they share your blog link with 10 friends, they will be entered for a chance to win so and so, just be creative.

Happy blogging!

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Follow me on Twitter @laurencubed and on Facebook
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