Friday, March 22, 2013

Social Media: The Best Times to Post and Why

By Liz Jenei

Social Media has become an everyday norm. With platforms being flooded with millions of people live tweeting through their favorite TV shows, and posting pictures of what they had for lunch, it is critical to time your business content sharing for maximum views and engagement.

Almost a half of the country lives in the EST Time Zone, with the next largest group of people living on Central time. It is important to keep this in mind when applying these suggested times written throughout the post.

Twitter

MediaBistro published a study that indicates the best time to post on Twitter as 1 p.m.

According to by Dan Zarrella, the author of “The Social Media Marketing Book,” surrounding social media behavior data, Twitter has the highest level of re-tweets from 2-5 p.m., and more people use Twitter towards the end of the week than on a Monday. Surprisingly, more people read their Twitter feeds on the weekends than they do on a Monday or a Thursday. Want to post something on a Friday?  Posting before 3 p.m. is crucial because after that, Twitter traffic dips very low.

By using a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite you can compose and schedule tweets to be sent out over time. This allows you to tweet over the weekend without having to work on the weekend. But if you’re going to schedule your tweets, be sure to monitor in real time. You also want to ensure that what you have scheduled to post is innocuous – especially in the event of major breaking news that could taint the perception of others as to why you posted such a thing at that moment. There have been many faux pas posts that were scheduled and then posted at inopportune moments.

LinkedIn

The Houston Chronicle states the best time to post on LinkedIn is in the evening.

“Early evening, starting between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. is another great time of the day to publish content to LinkedIn, because you are catching users at the end of their work day.”

Zarrella says the best days to post are Tuesday through Thursday. Saturdays and Sundays are often high traffic days for LinkedIn, but not as popular as mid-week posts. 

Facebook

The problem with Facebook is that if you flood your friends’ or followers’ feeds too much, they will delete or unfollow you. It is easier to flood friends’ feeds on Facebook than it is on Twitter. Keeping this in mind, it is best to share Facebook links and posts every other day as opposed to daily. 

According to a blog post written by Mashable regarding the best time to post on Facebook:

“Links sent between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. get the most traction, with Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. being the best time to post on Facebook all week.”

Email

5-7 a.m. seems to be the time for the most open rates for emails sent and once a month corporate email frequency gets the highest click-thru-rates, says Zarrella.

People pay the most attention to emails sent on the weekends, but people are also inclined to unsubscribe more on a Saturday or Sunday than a weekday. 

Blog Posts and Google+

Blog posts and Google+ seem to have their highest traffic at 10 a.m. with the optimal time for engagement being between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.  Men are reported to read blogs in the evening and experts warn that Google+ engagement drops significantly between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Comments spike on Saturdays and Sundays (probably because people have more time to comment) but blog views take an overall dip on Saturdays.

Pinterest and Instagram

A study conducted in 2012 and published by MediaBistro indicates that the best time to post on Pinterest is 11 p.m.

Statigram gives us the ability to determine the times and days that our Instragram photos get the most likes. The rates of usage appear to change depending on the audience targeted. Keep in mind, however, that Instagram is less of a corporate business tool than a photo social media sharing tool.

Many marketers use Instagram as an easy way to cross promote images on Facebook, Twitter and other social sharing sites – since it can serve as a one-stop shop.

When it comes to social media, every platform is slightly different as are the audiences who use those platforms and those that you target.  By making the most of user engagement statistics, you can enhance your social networking presence and engage more strategically. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Smile: They Can Hear You!

by Rose Strong

Furia Rubel Communications is all about getting a message out.  In our efforts to do this we use a combination of integrated marketing strategies and tactics including social media, website optimization, video sharing, public relations, business development and many electronic methods for getting a client’s point across to the right audience. However, the telephone is often the first line of interaction we or any business may have with their clients, prospects and partners.
 
Before the term arborist came into fashion, my father was a tree surgeon. While I was growing up, he had his own business. During my formative years we lived in a home where we had two telephones, a house line and a business line. This was before there were multiline phones for home use. Each phone had a different ring and to make sure answering was speedy, we had one of each on the two floors of our home and a business phone line in our barn.

From a very young age, I was taught proper phone etiquette and how to professionally answer a call. It was drilled into my sister and me that we were the gatekeepers for our father’s business, so there was no tolerance for being anything other than pleasant and courteous on the telephone. In drafting this post, I found a resource from Lehigh University’s Library & Technology Services which is a great reference and includes many of the same things I learned from my parents regarding proper phone etiquette . The resource also details proper decorum when using voice mail.

With an upbringing like this, I have little patience for someone at the other end of the phone to sound anything other than polite and interested. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need chipper or grossly over-the-top, sickeningly cheerful, but keep the monotone sound, sighing and irritation as if I’m a huge bother  for another time, perhaps when the boss calls.

This early training provided needed skills when I entered the ranks of the employed as a teenager and worked in a flower shop while studying floriculture and horticulture in high school. It was retail sales and just as this blog explains: every customer was your best customer, so make them feel that way.

In a career change about 15 years ago, I began working for a national health insurance company as a customer service professional. Notice the title doesn’t say representative. We were, of course representing the company whose phones we were answering, but they wanted us to see ourselves as professionals. The “we”’ I speak of is the class of 19 who participated in a three-month training program together before being set loose in the tank with the piranhas. Besides learning the details of health insurance, the company’s computer systems and how to actually work the telephones, our class was taught how to answer the phones properly.

Of course we had a script, but one of the things they strongly impressed upon us was to smile while talking, it could be heard by the caller and the simple act could make an otherwise difficult call turn into a pleasant experience. Dealing with health issues and money is volatile, so any trick to tame a dragon was worth it. And after seven years at the job, it was true. I’m not advocating a full-on open-face grin, but just upturned lips can help you sound happy, interested and helpful, which is what the person on the other end wants to hear after often going through a circle of automated menus. Knowing they’ve reached someone who cares often soothes the savage beast.

Marketing and communications often starts with the ring of a telephone. A company can market with all sorts of online promotions today with sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, website and branding campaigns and email marketing, but if you don’t give that old-fashioned customer service during the first few moments of that initial phone call, you’ve lost them. So, put a smile in your voice, callers can hear it and it really does make all the difference.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Optimizing Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for Mobile with AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

By Laura Powers

Google recently announced their intention to combine AdWords desktop and mobile search through AdWords enhanced campaigns. This means that one search advertisement and keyword bid will be shown on both desktop and mobile, allowing businesses to streamline their ad campaigns to target audiences.

With these changes, every Google paid advertisement has the potential to be viewed on a mobile device. All signs point to a steady increase in mobile device usage among internet users. Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure that marketing campaigns and online initiatives are optimized for mobile where appropriate.

Measuring and tracking marcom initiatives is always critical. With this shift in AdWords, a phone based call-to-action in tandem with a URL based call-to-action is imperative. By inserting unique phone numbers as well as unique URLs that are trackable, AdWord campaign performance can be measured and leads can be examined. Campaigns can then be systematically evaluated over time for effectiveness.

Furia Rubel typically recommends the Marchex platform for phone number consolidation and tracking. As Marchex users, our clients are able to delegate separate phone numbers for Adword campaigns, print advertisement campaigns, company websites and other marketing initiatives. Phone calls are a natural response to an online ad displayed on a mobile phone. Optimizing AdWord campaigns with unique phone numbers, as well as URLs, will be a necessity for search engine marketing as we move through 2013 and beyond.

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