So, you’re one of the seemingly millions of brands out there using Facebook to lure people over to your website. Chances are you’ve viewed recent reports about Facebook’s surprisingly low activity rates (“Only 1% of people who like a Facebook page ever go back to that page”) as vindication of what you’ve always suspected: marketing on Facebook just doesn’t work.

You’re not alone. The following are the 10 top reasons brands fail to tap into the real potential of Facebook. (Hint: zero of them are Facebook’s fault.)

1.     Failure to make a great first impression

Most fans won’t ever come back to a brand’s page unless they feel they have good reason to. This is not totally different from how they interact with their friends’ pages, when you think about it. Unless the new friend has great content to go back to, there’s not much of a reason to go directly to their page very often, if at all.

2.     Poor text and visuals

A successful Facebook page must have concise, engaging text that’s relevant to both the brand and the fans’ interests. Overly long, humdrum copy will fail to capture fans’ attention. Crisp, eye-catching, high-resolution visuals (photos, videos, illustrations) that clearly speak to those things visitors like about the brand in the first place will draw them in for more.

3.     Stagnant page content

If fans stop by more than once only to find the same old Facebook page, they might assume the page is outdated — or worse, abandoned. It’s important for marketers to give fans new ways to connect and advance their relationship with the brand or product being promoted. Keep to a consistent schedule with fresh content and ever-improving offers, and be sure to test what works with your audience.

4.     Inconsistent or lazy branding

If there’s no stylistic connection between a company’s Facebook page and its main website, visitors may not trust that the page is legit. Brands often spend a disproportionate amount of time, money and effort on website branding efforts, in comparison to the relative pittance reserved for complementary Facebook efforts. Keep branding consistent across all channels, so that visitors know exactly where they’re going and whom they’re dealing with.

5.     Confusing calls to action

Once fans arrive at a brand’s Facebook page, they should have a clear idea of what to do and what’s available to them. Offers and calls-to-action should be prominently displayed, and any associated instructions should be easy to follow. Be aware, however, that Facebook has guidelines concerning calls-to-actions, offers and anything else resembling blatant advertising on company pages, so it’s important to make sure you’re current on usage guidelines.

6.     Too many clicks

People are impatient—and want immediate gratification—especially on Facebook. If you have to use forms to give visitors access to the content they want, they’re likely to click away. Make sure the desired destination can be reached in the fewest amount of clicks possible. Also, if you have to use a form to capture data, keep it short and simple.

7.     Mysterious visitors

All fans are not alike – so why treat them all the same? With the right tools, marketers can compile profiles using Facebook data authorized by the user (age, gender, location, name, relationship status, etc.) as well as previous site behaviors to get a better sense of the type of people they’re reaching on Facebook. Those profiles can then be used to present offers, content and/or experiences that are the most effective in attracting fans, “Likes,” website traffic or any other relevant conversion metrics.

8.     Preconceived notions

As excited as marketers may get about shiny new objects—especially social media objects—they‘re often reluctant to spend the time and money to truly develop new efforts for them. Why not step out of your comfort zone and try to develop specific content based on customer segments? An even crazier idea—consider developing Facebook-specific campaigns rather than repurposing ones created with a different platform in mind.

9.     Ineffective plugin use

If Facebook plugins aren’t integrated into the main company website, a great deal of potential traffic—and revenue—is being lost. Plugin tools turn consumers into brand advocates, making it easy to share site information with Facebook friends. Let visitors like or share website pages back to their Facebook profile with one click. Better yet, provide personalized suggestions to your website visitors, based on what other people are sharing as well as their own click behavior.

10.   Sticking to stand-alone metrics

Getting just one side of the story isn’t enough. Marketing programs need to be set up so that Facebook stats and user profiles are fully integrated with all other online and offline ecommerce channels’ information to create rich, detailed and fully comprehensive user profiles. Profile reports should be updated on a regular basis, so the most recent user information is always available.

With the proper attention to detail and willingness to dedicate the same energy to Facebook efforts as they do to other initiatives, online marketers will no doubt find that their 1% conversion rate is something they can control—and that it’s not Facebook’s fault their customers aren’t more Paul Dunay for Social Media Today

Reading time: 4 min

It’s high time businesses look beyond Facebook like and the number of Twitter followers as their primary determinant of success. Social listening in itself is an element of social media that shouldn’t be over looked due to its importance. As it stands, social listening is one of the most important elements of any social media strategy. Social listening helps you in making critical marketing/product decisions. How are your potential customers currently behaving? The Infographic below gives you a clue by highlighting two steps businesses can follow to listen and also act on the information gotten during the listening process.

Reading time: 1 min

Have you ever tried to Google your name ? (business or individual) If not, I recommend you do it now and focus on the first 10 – 20 results you get. If you’re not satisfied with what you’re getting, don’t worry. I was in your shoes few years ago but I got Google to change what it’s saying about me. I’ll share 3 main things I did to change what Google says about me and how you can too.

  1. Start a BLOG: The most important thing I did was to grab a domain name in my full name. The idea behind this is that the first thing that comes to people’s mind is your full name or at least the alias you’re known as. Once you have a blog in that same name and get dirty with SEO; that should be the first thing Google will say about you when people ask Google. (“Oh, I know him/her…this is his website, do you mind visiting?”). On your blog, it’s wise to have a page to brag about yourself, you know. I’m talking about your “about me” page. From there, people can discover more about you than Google has to say.
  2. I recommend you get yourself a space on the major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others using your real name or a well known aliasSocial Media Platforms: If you tried Googling your name, you must have discovered that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ranked higher than other sites (that’s if you used your real name on both platforms). So, your next task is to get serious on these platforms. I recommend you get yourself a space on the major social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others using your real name or a well known alias. Since people are likely to click on your social profiles directly from Google, it’s important you ensure you have good content there too. Imagine your potential employer Googling you and landing on your Facebook wall, I’m pretty sure you won’t want him to see those drunk pictures you posted few weeks back. Hey, I’m not preaching Gospel here – this is strictly for the serious-minded.
  3. Write for the web: When I Google myself, I still find an article I wrote for Self Growth about four years ago ranking higher than others. The www is content driven. Every post is an additional page on the internet. Why not get yourself as much as possible. One, you’ll be helping others and making the Internet better. Two, you’re adding more to your brand. Take for instance, if you’re an accountant, you’ll want to share your accounting views with the world. So, when people come searching for you on Google, your articles talk about you. My friends call me the tech guy not because I told them so but because they stumble themselves on some of my articles when searching for help on some tech stuffs. Cool, isn’t it? I rode on that. Don’t limit articles to your blog. Write guest posts for others frequently. You can write for reputable blogs in your industry and ensure they link back to your blog. This will increase your blog’s ranking

The above is not limited to Google but other search engines too.

If you follow the above steps, you’ll begin to see the changes in no time.

Reading time: 2 min

Social Recruiting is NOT a completely new concept in the global Human Resources space but in Nigeria it may be NEW!

Social media has become an indispensable tool for companies leveraging it to generate sales, increase brand awareness and build communities around their brands. It offers companies a way to connect and engage with consumers, but that’s not all.

Today, staffing and corporate recruiters are now leveraging social media to post job vacancies and recruit (attract, source, engage and hire) talent, but it’s still new for a lot of organizations (corporate Nigeria inclusive). Is there any real reason why Social Recruiting must be embraced by Corporate Nigeria? To answer this simple question, the following 3 reasons would suffice:

Reason 1: Social Recruiting is the future of Recruiting – According to the JOBVITE 2012 Social Recruiting survey results, “Social media has quickly become a dominant force for companies to find and hire quality talent. Because it allows employers to tap extended networks for candidates that would not be found otherwise, social recruiting offers tremendous value to companies of all sizes. It has become an essential avenue for recruiters to successfully compete in the war for talent.” It is worthy of note that most of the beneficiary of Social Recruiting today are mainly Europe and the United States. Hence, the need for Africa or at best Nigeria to join the trend. Read my earlier post here.

Reason 2: The Nigerian ‘Social Population’ speaks for itself. As at the time of writing this post – there are over 152 Million LinkedIn members, with Africa having over 5 Million LinkedIn members and Nigeria with over 840 Thousand LinkedIn members; Facebook users crossed the 1 Billion mark few days ago, with Nigeria accounting for 5 Million of this number as at June 2012; there are over 140 Million active users on Twitter, with Nigeria been the third tweeting nation in Africa (by a survey carried out by a Kenya-based agency, read it here).  These figures are huge and must be harnessed via Social Recruiting.

Reason 3: Social Recruiting is efficient and cost-effective compared to traditional recruiting approach. So you know joining most social networking sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) is FREE. Once employers and job seekers join social networking sites, the opportunity to assess talent communities become available. Overall, social recruiting strategies enable more effective networking between candidates and employers, and they provide effective engagement opportunities to attract and retain both passive and active job seekers at a significantly lower cost compared to traditional techniques. We would explore this area in the days ahead.

Till next time, we are all work in progress…

Reading time: 2 min

Sometimes ago, I got a Direct Message on twitter that looks similar to the one below:

…do you know any great developer in Lagos?

I thought about who I could recommend but I was just blank despite tons of developers around me. After few minutes of deep thinking, I remembered someone whose bio reads:

I’m a software engineer, a philosopher, and also an activist. I’m a very interesting person to meet also.

The first part was all I needed. Then my recommendation went his direction. You see, it’s funny that I can recommend a twitter follower I have never seen in real life. It felt strange at first but I quickly remembered this is the digital age. I may not have met him in the real world, but I’ve e-met him 

An elevator bio, as short as it is, works wonders (permit my churchy language). In recent times, I have had to go through the bio of several people both on Twitter and Facebook and all I can do is shake my head. Here are some for your perusal:

  • “I am Me”
  • Working on it. Check back
  • “Jesus’ child”
  • “Why do you want to know? #FollowBack Team”

In my opinion, the bio section on all social avenues is the place to begin your Social Media journey. It’s just like meeting someone for the first time, the first thing I believe you want to know is “Who are you”, or “what do you do”, depending on the situation. The same applies on Social Media platforms, only that your profile speaks for you. You see, don’t just assume your friends know who you are. These days, tweets fly beyond your immediately followers via Retweets and posts go beyond your immediately self via likes, reshare and tagging. So, you never can tell who will click on your profile.

Among other things, you will have to master the art of writing a short bio (elevator pitch). Here are three quick ideas you can explore while drafting your bios:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. What Have you done?

If you can provide the above in less 160 characters or less, you rock!

Here are real samples you can use as a guide:

  • “African. Social Entrepreneur. ICT for Development (ICT4D) Consultant.”Gbenga Sesan
  • “A style and fashion enterpreneur, the brand curator of the FACUADE brand; building a local brand with global reckoning.”Tosin Olukuade

“Digital Storyteller | Advocate of Social Marketing and Nation Branding | Designer of social change projects | Creator of The 419Positive Project”Rosemary Ajayi

Reading time: 2 min

I am certain that you must have heard about the Moscow Rules or probably seen some merchandise of sort bearing the inscription. This is an informal name for some set of rules said to have been developed during the Cold War to be used by spies and others working in Moscow. Two unique features of these rules are the simplicity and the common sense it depicts.

The short list as shown in the International Spy Museum summarized them in just 10 rules:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Never go against your gut.
  • Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
  • Don’t look back; you are never completely alone.
  • Go with the flow, blend in.
  • Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.
  • Lull them into a sense of complacency.
  • Don’t harass the opposition.
  • Pick the time and place for action.
  • Keep your options open.

The way and manner by which you brand yourself or your organization on any of the Social Media platforms is known as Social Media Marketing.

Let us now focus on one rule at a time and draw the similarities and hopefully the simplicity and common sense inherent in the rule will effortlessly be utilized in the quest of efficient and effective Social Media Marketing.

 We will work with the first five rules ONLY!

  • Assume nothing: In Social media marketing, do not assume that folks will naturally wish to connect and identify with your brand. You have the responsibility to subtly and continuously guide them to becoming acquainted with your brand.
  • Never go against your gut: In Randy Olson’s “four organs” model, the gut is ones intuition and humor, and as such plays a huge role in decision-making. Most times, if something does not feel right, then it is just because it is not right. In pushing your brand to the consciousness of your prospects and clients, your intuition should play a huge role on what you should push out their and what you should not.
  • In social media marketing, your mission is to brand yourself positively.Everyone is potentially under opposition control: In social media marketing, your mission is to brand yourself positively. Often time, this could be tricky as you may encounter criticism of some sort. Fact is that majority of these criticism may just be plain malicious. The good news is that when handled adequately you may find out that there is solution to the favela that is inherent in the favela itself.
  • Don’t look back; you are never completely alone: The exact opposite of looking back is looking forward. In your social media marketing quest, always be forward oriented. Ensure to be up to date with newer and better technology that is constantly evolving. Learn and unlearn where necessary. You are never completely alone in this. You may not need to reinvent the wheel. There abound loads of online resources that you may just embrace and adapt to your situation.
  • Go with the flow, blend in: This is where closely monitoring your competitors comes into play. What are their experiences are their lessons to learn or advantages that you can adapt into your brand? What are they trying to do, and what are the challenges they currently face? These can give you loads of ideas on how you can blend in.

Reading time: 2 min

We studied job seekers who successfully found a job within 3 months. Here’s a sneak peek at how

they used LinkedIn, and how you can too:

1. Add new skills to your profile 

Add relevant skills to your profile so recruiters looking for candidates with your background can find you.

2. Follow companies you’re interested in Stay up-to-date with the latest news, be well informed in conversations and interviews, and learn about new job opportunities.

3. Add a professional profile photo

Doing so puts a face to a name and helps project a friendly and approachable image.

4. Keep adding new connections 

Grow your network to be more visible, get your foot in the door at new companies, and expose yourself to new job opportunities.

5. Join LinkedIn Groups for your industry

Network, ask questions, and look out for job openings posted by fellow group members.

6. Get endorsed for your skills 

This helps you show – and not just tell employers – that you have what it takes to get the job done.

7. Broaden your professional horizons

Take 10 minutes each day to read the hottest news in your industry, and insights from thought leaders. LinkedIn Pulse delivers relevant articles directly to your newsfeed.

Reading time: 1 min

 It can never be overstated that people converge on social networking sites with the major aim of building relationship and sharing aspects of their lives and careers for other people to see. For businesses, social media offer opportunities to share content and information. From images, to videos and audio files, there is almost no limit to the information we can share using popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, Linked in and other pseudo-social sites like Instagram.

Social networking helps build instant virtual communities and creates relationships that are continually renewed after every visit.

Defining and Polishing your brand

The brand is the most important step any individual, group of people or corporate entity must shape and understand before relaying the message. It is defining yourself, what you have to offer and who is in need of whatever services you have on offer. For instance, a lifestyle magazine website would have to define what sort of website it is and the kind of articles, information and everything else it would share on its site.

 Evaluate your content

Now that you have understood you brand and what it is you offer. It is time to take a closer look at your content to determine if it is useful or compelling to the audience you have targeted. It is imperative therefore that the contents of your site appeal to your audience in a way that they would find useful and persuasive enough to bring them back after the first visit. Google analytics is a very useful tool in helping you understand the nature of your content.

Sharpening the message for your audience

Social networks are notorious for their short-term attention span. On Twitter, where the average user  follows about 400 accounts, your tweet is competing with tens, hundreds and possibly thousands of other tweets per minute! This means, you have to grab their attention really fast with the words that strike the right note. You have to perfect the art of the tease that would hook your audience.  Some of the organizations to have perfected the art of the attention grabbing updates are news organizations like CNN, Huffington Post. In Nigeria, this process has been replicated by news organizations including already established print media giants like Thisday, Vanguard and Punch and TV stations like Channels TV who currently enjoy massive traffic to their websites in hundreds of thousands as a direct result of their social media activity.

Schedule for regular updates

It is crucial to schedule your posts, updates or tweets to deliver regularly to your social audience. Scheduling services for social networking sites have become an indispensable tool in getting out information that leads to traffic for your website. Twitter seems to have the largest selection of scheduling applications and tools and include Tweetdeck, Tweetadder and many more. To cover a wider range of social networks, sites like Hootsuite are indispensable because they cove r other social networks like Linked In, Google plus, Facebook and many others.

Be Social/ Interact!

You have to constantly remember, it is a social network and the whole point of being on one is to interact, have relationships, share! Share! Share! This means that posting links, teasers and updates are not enough, you have to be part of the conversation, it is personal, keep it conversational in a way that does not go against your brand.

Use buttons on your website

You should include buttons that direct to your social network account. This way, your readers can follow you instantly and receive regular updates that dire ct them back to your site from your posts or updates.

Email signature

In your email signature, include links to your social network profiles from Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Google + and any others.  It generally increases your profile and trust-worthiness in the eyes of the receiver that you are constantly available and it is possible to reach you on different relevant portals

What do you think? What other ways can be used to drive social media traffic to a website? Please share!

Reading time: 3 min

Beautiful, just beautiful, this x lookbookoutlet store amazing soft fabric dress is smooth stretch jersey and is floor length with an extreme thigh slit from mid-upper thigh to the floor. The Lattice lace top, overs a plunge v-neckline giving this dress the most beautiful and enchanting look ever. The lattice lace up dress is a bodycon fit, almost snug to the skin, combined with its long sleeves make this a sure crowd pleaser. Great for clubbing, dinner out and high end parties. This dress is designed for ultimate wear; it’s the new go to dress if you want to make people envious! The best part of this dress is it can be tossed in the machine after you wear it! The material Viscose and Elastane make this a unique fitting dress, showing all the right angles of your body. Glide along as you walk, combined with heels, light jewelry and a clutch to match you will knock everyone out!

Reading time: 1 min

With over a billion people on Facebook, harnessing its power will go a long way toward defining your social recruiting strategy.

Recently, Jerome Ternynck, CEO & Founder of SmartRecruiters presented a webinar titled “Hiring on Facebook” where he highlighted the six pillars of Hiring on Facebook, they are namely:

1. Facebook Profile.  

2. Apply with Facebook.

3. Social Referrals.

4. Facebook Careers Tab.

5. Facebook Ads.

6. Graph Search.

Read below the slides of Hiring on Facebook as presented during the webinar.

Happy reading

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