Adapting Facebook Strategy for 2018 and Beyond


Adapting Facebook Strategy for 2018 and Beyond

by: Leah Harrington


Facebook’s one popular social platform:

  • Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerbuerg reported in August that over 2 billion people log into Facebook every month to connect with friends and family.
  • According to Sprout Social, Facebook is one of the most obvious options for social research.
  • Around 76% of adults online use Facebook, and since the rise of Facebook Live, the platform has seen a 700% growth in video views.

With this significant growth in Facebook users, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for local businesses, and even big brands, to be seen on Facebook. The growth makes it harder than ever to achieve an organic, natural reach – even from people who already follow and like your page.

Facebook has announced several algorithm changes over the past year.  One major shift includes the favoring friends and family posts and the lessening display of business posts. This shift distances businesses from their consumers. If these trends continue, organic reach from Facebook pages will dwindle.



How do you adapt your social strategy in 2018 and beyond?

  1. Change is here whether you like it or not.

Facebook marketers must accept that the platform has changed and is going to continue to evolve. Your business needs to continue adapting with the change and rather than resisting it. Facebook is becoming a pay-to-play network, you must let the new changes  factor into your 2018 strategy. Boosting posts and advertising is the key.

  1. Cut back on organic posts and spend your time elsewhere.

If pay-to-play is the name of the game on Facebook, why spend time creating content that no one is going to see? Share your very best content, and better yet, promote it. Following this strategy shift allows you to choose the right people to see your content because, after-all,  you’ve curated just for them. Don’t forget about boosting posts, either. Even a few dollars per day can improve your reach.

  1. Static images will be lost in a video-consumed newsfeed.

Facebook has become one of the most visual platforms on the web. Video is growing like wildfire, and it’s time to capitalize on it. There tools on Facebook that allows you to create stunning slideshows or apply to images. Facebook live is another effective tool that can reach your audience if you use it properly. Highlight exciting real-time events or promotions; give the audience what they want.

  1. Listen to what the analytics are telling you.

When your Facebook page only gains 100 likes in a year or engagement rate of <1% per post, something’s got to give. It’s time to overhaul your content engagement strategy. What posts get the most engagement? What posts get the most reactions? Listen to how your audience reacts and engages with your content, and use that information to your advantage. By using ads, you’ll actually get more organic reach from your content. How? People share ads, meaning your content is exposed to a larger audience.

  1. Turn your Facebook visitors into leads, better yet, customers.

If you didn’t get the memo before now, this Inc. article  drives our point home: “Facebook has 1.39 billion mobile visitors every month and half a billion of its users only access the network via mobile. So capturing leads from mobile Facebook users is a huge opportunity.” Ads allow your consumer to contact you in ONE click. Yes, you are one-click away from adding to your bottom line. Mobile changes the game to marketing funnels. They see an ad, and the lead is captured. Say goodbye to the dated marketing funnel thanks to Facebook.

The best part about adapting your strategy is that the consumers are already spending a ridiculous amount of time on the Facebook platform; you just have to get in-front of them. Even the infamous, Larry Kim, Founder and CEO of Mobile Monkey, says: “Facebook is too huge for a business of any size to ignore”. If you haven’t already made the switch from organic reach to promoting your best content, it is time to realign your social media strategy.



For more information on this topic contact accountmanagers@localsearchmasters.com.

Organic Content in 2018: Dead or Still Thriving?


Organic Content in 2018: Dead or Still Thriving?

by: Cortney Stephens


As many of you have probably heard, Facebook is administering a new test in a few select countries where the Facebook news feed will be split into two separate feeds: one feed being an explore feed and the other being the news feed. The ‘new’ news feed will be limited to original posts from ‘friends’ while the explore feed will show pages that were shared by friends as well as sponsored posts. The explore feed will exhibit most of the changes with “sponsored posts,” which give businesses the ability to pay for promotion space on the feed.

The question is, do these changes mean that marketers have to scrape their organic content strategy? Jill Sherman at Adweek believes that Facebook’s updates will encourage marketers to update their strategies rather than getting rid of them. Facebook strives to provide users with the most relevant and interesting content (hence relevance scores and negative/positive feedback). For some time, reach and scale has been an ineffective tactic for marketers. But that’s old news. With the updated platform, Facebook allows marketers to revise their strategies and develops more efficient marketing tactics. Sherman recommends focusing your organic strategy on discovery and relevance rather than reach, which means interacting with trending topics or capitalizing on social discovery. Facebook search will still remain through these updates so when individuals search for your brand, the first thing that appears are the most recent organic posts, not promoted posts.


Founder and CEO at Mobile Monkey, Larry Kim disagrees with Sherman. Kim believes that the news feed changes will be inconsequential to large unicorn corporations, but they will dramatically affect small businesses and startups due to their limited advertising budgets. Businesses with limited marketing budgets will have three choices according to Kim: reevaluate how to use Facebook for engaging with the customers and see if other platforms allow the same capabilities, create new marketing strategies based on circumventing the negatives associated with Facebook’s updates, or choose to redirect their funds to other social media platforms in hopes of making similar, valuable connections.

As marketers, we have all heard that Facebook is slowly turning into a pay-to-play platform. Facebook will continue to change their platform, and the beneficiaries will be the ones who are putting the money into the platform, not those who choose to only use the platform organically. Your business is more than likely creating awesome but also not-so-awesome content to ensure that your page stays relevant on Facebook. In reality, you may be wasting your time creating these daily posts that are not being seen by your target audience. If this is the case, why not focus on creating awesome content only and promoting it? This ensures that people will see your engaging content, and the hard work you put into creating it doesn’t go unseen. Encompass these promoted posts into your overall marketing strategy, and create more opportunities to see a return on your advertising spend. In the end, the only way to tell if your organic content is dead or still thriving is to test both organic and paid content to see which strategy is more successful for you and your business.



For more information on this topic contact accountmanagers@localsearchmasters.com.

LSMinute – Booking Buttons Available in Google My Business

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • LinkedIn announced a closed beta for testing video ads as Sponsored Content. This comes a few months after they enable native videos in the LinkedIn News Feed. It is expected to roll out to all advertisers by the first half of 2018.

What This Means For You

  • This will be a great tool for B2B businesses whose targeted audience actively uses LinkedIn. For example, franchisors should strongly consider implementing a LinkedIn video advertising strategy if they are looking to expand their franchise development marketing strategy in 2018.
Next Steps
  • B2B businesses should begin planning video advertising campaigns for LinkedIn’s platform sooner rather than later. That way you hit the ground running when the feature officially rolls out.


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What Happened?

What This Means For You
  • This can expedite the booking process of your typical user since they no longer need to visit your website to schedule an appointment. HOWEVER, depending on your platform, you may be subject to a fee every time someone books an appointment. For example, MINDBODY applies a 10 percent marketing network fee to each purchase made through their booking button on Google.
Next Steps
  • If your business uses one of the listed platforms, you should investigate the costs and benefits of implementing a similar ‘Book Now’ button into your Google My Business listing(s) .


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What Happened? 

  • Our web development, digital advertising, and software integration work helped our team win multiple recognitions the past few months, including ‘Best Small PPC Agency’ (agencies with a pay-per-click department of less than 25 people) at the 2017 US Search Awards.
What This Means For You
  • Our achievements wouldn’t be possible without the support of brands we’re fortunate enough to partner with. It’s a pleasure working with you all, and we thank you for your business!

Next Steps
  • We’ll strive to produce even better results for next year’s award season.


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“We enjoy partnering with Local Search Masters. Their team provides exceptional customer service, and their dashboard software makes it easy to understand which customers originated from our website and which originated from digital advertising campaigns. They’re continually working to improve upon their results; their steadfast mentality is most appreciated.”

Chip Miller – CEO – Brain Balance Achievement Centers


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We won gold twice at the 2017 MarCom Awards: once for a ‘Grand Opening’ landing page template and again for a ‘Special Offer’ template. The MarCom Awards has recognized companies’ excellence in marketing and communication for over a decade. For more information about our landing pages, contact us today.

LSMinute – LinkedIn Video Ads – Google Partners Summit 2017

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Users can record video directly from the LinkedIn app, or select video from their mobile galleries. Audience insights for uploaded videos include companies, locations, and titles of viewers. LinkedIn isn’t currently serving video ads, but they will sooner than later.
What This Means For You
  • It’s easier to upload and share videos on LinkedIn, the highest ranking platform in digital trust, which is important given the rise of fake news. If you’re a franchise development executive, LinkedIn videos are a great way to promote your opportunity to franchisee candidates.
Next Steps
  • Think about some ways that your business can take advantage of this new LinkedIn video feature, your account manager will do the same! We’ll let you know when LinkedIn video ads become available.


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What Happened?

What This Means For You
  • This should reiterate the value of working with an established SEO agency; there are multiple elements to an effective search engine optimization strategy that puts your business ahead of the competition.
Next Steps
  • Remember to keep your account manager abreast of stuff your business participates in (ex: sponsoring an event or local sports team) so they can help you acquire new backlinks (an important SEO ranking factor). Need a refresher on what backlinks are and how to obtain a few  “low hanging fruit” backlink opportunities, watch this video we filmed at Google HQ!


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What Happened? 

  • We earned the opportunity to attend the Google Partners Summit in NYC last month. What made it even better was Google picking up our travel tab because we won the Google Premier Partner Award for ‘Growing Businesses Online!’
What This Means For You
  • We’ll apply learnings from the Summit into our clients’ Google ad campaigns. For example: location extensions, which have been available for search and display campaigns for awhile, are coming to YouTube. That means address/map location, hour, photos, call buttons and other information will soon be available for YouTube ads.

Next Steps
  • Nothing is needed on your end at the moment. Just know we’re working diligently to set your web presence up to succeed in the ever-evolving digital landscape.


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“Prior to using this tool, I was tracking our prospects with a color coded spreadsheet to see where our lead generation was coming from. I absolutely love the dashboard.  It’s very easy to use and the content it generates for you is super helpful in tracking where your dollars should be spent.  Not only can see where your leads are coming from, you can see the money it’s generating for your business!  Your Account Manager can also see this and give you their expert opinion as to what should be the focus of your media spend.” – John Reber, GM, TITLE Boxing Club – Rockville


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Local Search Masters’ SEO and Google Advertising work with a 120+ location franchise brand is a finalist for the ‘Best Local Search Marketing Initiative – SEM’ award at the 2017 Landy Awards (the “Golden Globes” of search engine marketing). Last month, our web development work earned the ‘Small Business Standard of Excellence’ Award at the at the 2017 WebAwards.

Why UTM Codes are Important




A UTM code is a simple code that you can attach to a custom URL in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you. The wonderful thing about UTM codes is that you can change the code whenever you’d like to adjust the medium, the month you may be running something, or any other factors you need tweaked. See example below. 


“http://localsearchmasters.com/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Franchise_Ad_Sept”


If you’re spending a lot of time in social media, you might be publishing hundreds of new links per day. UTM codes help you track the performance of each of those links so you can see where your traffic is coming from.


UTM codes should be able to help you answer these questions about your web traffic:

  1. Where is the traffic coming from?
  2. How is it getting to you?
  3. Why is it coming to you?

In order for you to answer those questions, you’ll need to determine what elements (UTM Parameters) you will use. At the very least, you’ll need to include the following elements in every tagged URL.

* Source
*Medium
*Content (optional)
*Campaign


The UTM parameters, in turn, tell Google Analytics how to sort your incoming traffic. There are many ways to segment this traffic in analytics. LSM recommends going to Acquisition → Campaigns → All campaigns


*For additional information on UTM codes contact us today.

LSMinute – LSM Wins Advertising Award From Google

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • We were named WINNER of the ‘Growing Businesses Online Award’ in North America at the 2017 Google Premier Partner Awards, which recognizes the top-performing Google Premier Partner in North America for their contributions to digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth.
What This Means For You
  • Thought you might like knowing that Google thinks we’re doing an excellent job at marketing of our clients’ businesses on their search engine and display network.
Next Steps
  • We now have a chance to represent the Americas in the Global Premier Partner Awards held in New York City on September 28th. After that, onto the 2017 Facebook Awards!


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What Happened?

  • First, Facebook introduced ways for retailers to push people from Facebook into their physical locations. Now, they’re testing an option for advertisers to target people who visited their real-world locations with ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook’s Audience Network.
What This Means For You
  • In addition to serving ads on Facebook and Instagram to people who’ve physically visited your stores, this new feature helps businesses convert existing customer bases into audiences to target on Facebook. For example, a kids clothing store creates a custom audience of people who visited one of its locations in the past month, and filter that list with other Facebook targeting options like “parents with early school age children” to run campaigns that promote back to school shopping with an exclusive discount code for each audience. Pretty cool stuff!
Next Steps
  • We’ve been one of the Facebook Agency Partners testing the new feature out this summer.  We’ll be sure to connect with our clients about how to best utilize this new feature during monthly strategy sessions with their LSM account manager.


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What Happened? 

  • Earlier this summer, Google released the Google For Jobs initiative. As part of this initiative, they introduced a new feature in Search that will let people search LinkedIn, Monster, Facebook, and more sites all at once.
What This Means For You
  • As an employer, you’ll gain access to several free benefits with Google For Jobs. Any work you’ve done across internet job boards now improves your chances of earning a prominent place in the search results!

Next Steps
  • Ensure your job postings are optimized. A well-optimized job posting will not only increase the chances of your job opportunity being discovered on Google, it will motivate more applicants to contact you about the position!


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Facebook made another case study about our ability to conduct effective Facebook ad campaigns (they even highlighted it in their global newsletter!). In this instance, we created conversion-optimized ads for Current Meditation to encourage people to sign up for their free trial class, resulting in 5X more memberships compared to click-optimized ads.

LSMinute – Facebook Ads Are Becoming More Expensive

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned advertisers that Facebook is quickly running out of ad space. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for ads, this just means you’ll have to pay more for meaningful impressions. This same thing happened with Google in 2009.
What This Means For You
  • For those of you running Facebook ads, you’ll likely need to increase your budget in order maintain current levels of success. For those not running Facebook ads, you should strongly consider them in the future since they make sense for a majority of businesses (as long as you know how to run a campaign well).
Next Steps
  • Expect your account manager to connect with you and discuss Facebook advertising for your respective business in more depth over your next few monthly strategy sessions.


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What Happened?

  • A recent study from eMarketer showed approximately 78% of total digital display ad budget (about $33 billion) is spent on programmatic ads. For those who don’t know what programmatic advertising is: essentially, it’s using artificial intelligence and real-time bidding to automate the decision-making process of media buying.
What This Means For You
  • Consider focusing more of your ad spend in programmatic digital display ads.  For a list of benefits of programmatic advertising, check out this link.
Next Steps
  • If you’re already using LSM to manage your programmatic ad campaigns, terrific. If not, your account manager will be in touch about testing out programmatic ad campaigns in the future (depending on your specific goals of course).


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What Happened? 

What This Means For You
  • If you’re a Director of Marketing, CMO or CEO overseeing your brand’s online marketing strategy, consider attending this annual conference. You’ll network with peers and learn about new marketing tactics/trends that make sense for your business to pilot.
Next Steps
  • Visit this site and check out the conference’s agenda and speakers in more depth. If you plan on attending, let us know and we’ll take you out to dinner!


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Facebook made another case study about our ability to conduct effective ad campaigns. In this example, we worked with Amazing Lash Studio to promote the grand opening of their new location in Eastvale. Our work increased sales by 35%, decreased cost per lead by 10% and resulted in a 4.8X return on ad spend. That makes us feel like dancing!

LSMinute – Instagram Rolls Out “Stories” Ads to All Businesses

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Businesses now have the ability to advertise in Instagram’s Stories section. If you don’t know what Instagram Stories are, you can learn more about them here. Basically, they’re photos or videos you can post that will disappear after 24 hours; you’ll see Stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed.
What This Means For You
  • More than 150 million Instagrammers watch and create Stories daily, and now your business has that chance to get in front of these folks on a regular basis with full-screen ads, meaning nothing can distract viewers from your sponsored content.
Next Steps
  • Read this article on why you should use Instagram Stories for your business. It should inspire you to allocate some precious marketing dollars toward a test campaign or two… or two hundred.
  • Let your account manager know if you’re interested in running ads on Instagram Stories and they’ll help you set them up.


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What Happened?

  • Facebook has rolled out Messenger Day which, in short, does most everything that someone can do on Snapchat. If it’s essentially a copy of Snapchat’s feature, then why is it an advantage for Facebook? The answer: Facebook’s massive user base (79% of internet users in the US have a Facebook account).
What This Means For You
  • Nothing just yet, but soon enough they’ll open up Messenger Day to businesses, which will provide you with the opportunity to post a “day” from Messenger into your Facebook Business page for all your fans to see.
Next Steps
  • Start thinking about what kinds of temporary, visual content (photos & short videos) your business can create and share via your Facebook Business Page. Your account manager will be thinking about this as well!


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What Happened? 

What This Means For You
  • Your “view” on social media trends, demographics and buyer habits is likely out-of-date, which could mean your idea of a quality social marketing campaign is stale too.
Next Steps
  • Read through these 47 social media statistics and then ask yourself “am I taking full advantage of social media marketing for my business?” Then, share your thoughts with your account manager, who already has an opinion on this matter.


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For the fifth time in six years, Local Search Masters was recognized by the Business Journal’s Best in Business Awards in the 26-100 employee category. Winners were selected by a panel of judges who looked at a variety of criteria such as profitability, community involvement, and workplace environment. We’d rather be six for six, but we’re okay with our .833 “batting average” that’ll earn us a spot on the All-Star team every season!

LSMinute – Digital Drives Trillions in Offline Retail Spending

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • According to Forrester, $1.26 trillion of local retail sales were affected in some way by digital media in 2016. By 2021, Forrester’s expects that mobile devices alone will influence $1.4 trillion in local sales. Sweet sassy molassy!
What This Means For You
  • It’s likely that your digital marketing endeavors are providing a better ROI than you think, it’s just challenging to track the true ROI generated from your digital marketing campaigns.
Next Steps
  • You know what makes true ROI lead tracking less challenging? Using Local Search Masters’ new, proprietary lead attribution technology that allows you to understand the specific ROI of different advertising campaigns, factoring in lifetime customer value through CRM integrations. Contact your account manager to learn more.


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What Happened?

  • According to Search Engine Land, online ads are performing better now than they were last year. Overall click volume rose 15 percent and impressions rose 19 percent. Also, mobile devices continue to become the dominant source of impressions, clicks, and conversions.
What This Means For You
Next Steps
  • Your account manager will continue providing recommendations on where and when you should allocate your online ad budget, so be sure and attend your monthly strategy sessions!


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What Happened? 

  • You can now log into your LSM dashboard and view the results generated from your Google My Business profile such as website clicks, phone calls, direction requests, map views, branded queries and non-branded queries.
What This Means For You
  • Some people never actually go to your website, they contact your business directly through your Google My Business listing. This has made it challenging for businesses to quantify the amount of business generated from their web presence. Access to this data helps resolve this issue.
  • It’ll help you understand the ROI generated from traditional marketing efforts. For example, you run a TV or radio ad over a two week period: you can see how that ad impacted the number of times people searched for your business over that two-three week period, and use that information to better determine the success of that ad.
Next Steps
  • Feel free to log into your dashboard and check it out for yourself. Otherwise, expect your account manager to discuss the results generated from your Google My Business listing during your next strategy session!


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Facebook decided to make a case study about our work with Heartland Dental, a dental support organization that provides non-clinical services to 740+ dental offices in the US. We increased their online leads by 460 percent and decreased cost per lead by 56 percent. Facebook liked our work so much that we’ll be featured again in Q2!

LSMinute – A Simpler Way to Monitor Social Interactions

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger merged into one inbox. Facebook pages now have access to all of their interactions in one convenient place. Whether you get a page comment, a Facebook message or an Instagram message, they all will appear in one location.
What This Means For You
  • As business owners, you are now able to provide a more personalized service. As messages and comments come thru the inbox, you can tap to view the responder’s location and profile information to better meet their needs.
Next Steps
  • This updated inbox feature will be rolling out in the Facebook pages app in the coming weeks. Until then, please reach out to your Local Search Masters account manager to learn more about our premium social media option which includes monitoring and responding to your social inbox.


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What Happened?

  • Google’s new pilot feature in Google My Business will give companies the ability to communicate via live chat with customers directly from the Google search results.
What This Means For You
  • While this is a pilot feature that’s still in earlier stages, the business implications for this could be huge. This feature offers customers another way to communicate with you. Responding to customers can provide you with another opportunity to answer a question, tell your story, and ultimately drive more sales.
Next Steps
  • If you’ve received an email from Google inviting you to participate in the pilot, follow these instructions to start messaging with customers. Let your LSM account manager know too!
  • If you have not received an email from Google, sit tight and stay tuned. Google is testing the feature now and will soon begin to roll this out to more businesses.


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What Happened? 

  • In 2016, mobile overtook desktop as the primary device used to access websites. Suffice it to say, mobile has well and truly arrived.
What This Means For You
  • Having a mobile-friendly site is incredibly important. According to Google:
    • People are five times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly
    • Over half of mobile users leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
  • The takeaway: if your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you stand to lose out on a lot of new business.
Next Steps
  • Use this test and/or this test to see how mobile friendly your website is.
  • Perform a mobile usability report of your website, which will detect problems for visitors on mobile devices.
  • Connect with your LSM account manager to see what strategies can help make your site more mobile-friendly in 2017.


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Local Search Masters‘ search engine marketing specialist Zach Schimenz was recognized as a finalist for the ‘Young Search Professional’ award at the 2016 US Search Awards. Celebrating its fourth year, the US Search Awards mark the largest celebration of search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising in the United States, attracting hundreds of entries from leading search and digital agencies and professionals. “It’s an honor being nominated for this award, which is a reflection of not only my work, but also the excellent work of the team around me,” says Schimenz. In other words, teamwork makes the dream work!

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