The Rise Of The Social Influencers Or The Digital Form Of Word-Of-Mouth

featured-imageSocial media and free publishing platforms have made it easy for anyone to voice their opinion about any subject and build an audience of followers by becoming a blogger. This growing trend gave birth to what we now call “influencers”, the go-to opinion leaders that every brand is seeking to collaborate with.

In the following article, we discuss the advantages that influencers have over brands, and how to choose the right influencer for your campaign.


Influencers promote authenticity

People turn to blogs before making a purchase decision, because they can trust bloggers more than they trust the brand itself. After all, unlike a brand, a blogger is an unbiased human being who will give his honest opinion without coming across as too promotional.

Influencers share more content

Social influencers are effective at starting, sharing and spreading online conversations that brands need be part of in order to understand their consumers. Partnering with a social influencer allows a brand to broaden its reach and access larger online communities.

Influencers reach more targeted audiences

Anyone with knowledge in a particular area can develop a blog and become the trusted reference for people who are interested in the same topics. This has led to an availability of different influencers covering most of the industries such as fashion, technology, health and food, who in turn were able to recruit relevant audiences. Resorting to an influencer’s outreach means higher chances of reaching the right audience.

 It’s great for SEO

In a nutshell, Google likes it when people mention your brand on social media; so expanding your content to be published on the sites of influencers – which in turn will be shared by the audience of said influencers – will translate into a higher search engine ranking.

Although partnering with social influencers sounds like the perfect deal, it is a wasted investment if you are not working with the right ones. So take the necessary time to understand your target audience, the social networks you’re looking to reach them on and the structure behind what makes an influencer campaign successful.

5 Social Media Trends To Keep In Mind For 2017

featured-imageDigital marketing in general, and social media in particular, has been evolving rapidly and becoming crucial to any brand looking to stand out and be noticed amid the crowd.

“Social media is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. It’s becoming the way entire bicycles are built.” – Ryan Lilly, author.

Social media’s evolution has been growing exponentially and it’s important to keep up with the trends, which is why we have put together a list of things to look out for when working on your 2017 digital strategy.

Live video

The rise of Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook Live has changed the way we share our stories and offered a real way to engage with an audience in real-time. While this trend is still in its early stages, market research studies have found that more and more viewers are moving from TV to social, which will push broadcast stations to consider developing a solid digital livestreaming strategy for the years to come. Brands will have to bring out their A game to stand out in this area and attain high exposure; and the competition has already started to get hot and heavy. Take a look at Paco Rabanne’s interactive Facebook Live game for example:

Video Content

If you haven’t included video in your digital strategy yet, now is the time to do so. Video content has proven to be a successful component in any digital marketing strategy due to its interactive nature. Not only does video allow you to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty, it also leads to positive ROI compared to regular social media posts and blog posts.

Expiring Content

Snapchat has paved the way and raised the bar for the expiring content trend, which led most of its competitors to “borrow” this feature. Consumers are attracted to the idea of having exclusive access to disappearing content, and a limited timeframe in which they consume this content. It will be interesting to see how creative brands can get in adopting this tactic in 2017!

User Generated Content

One of the most important things for a brand to do is to keep its content as human and personalized as possible to build trust with fans. And what better way to do that than to let your community do your work for you? Your fans will get their 15 minutes of fame, and you will collect content for your digital strategy at zero cost, all the while increasing engagement on your social networks. Sounds like the perfect win-win situation, doesn’t it?

Mobile First

This may not come as a surprise to many, especially when mobile traffic is greatly exceeding desktop traffic, with more than 90% of consumers owning a smartphone. It’s important to take mobile into consideration when working on your content, and optimize it for mobile, especially when it comes to having a responsive website that Google considers “mobile friendly”.

A new era begins for Facebook

As Facebook F8, the company’s annual developers’ conference, comes to an end, it’s time for us to go over the major changes the social network is bringing to the table.

Messenger as a platform

Arguably the most important and most discussed new feature announced at F8 was Messenger. It has gone from app to platform, allowing developers to integrate their own application inside it. Do you see the three little dots next to the microphone? Tap them and you’ll discover an array of GIF makers, voice modifiers and a lot more fun things to play around with, but the best is yet to come as non-featured apps will soon make their way into you smartphone.

Messenger for businesses

While we’re on Messenger, there is now a new feature dedicated to businesses that will allow direct interaction between brands and customers. When a user gets to the checkout page of a website, he will be prompted to use Messenger to fulfill his purchase, allowing the customer service to use the messaging platform to confirm orders, track deliveries and provide direct support.

360 Video

With the release of Oculus VR approaching, Facebook is preparing its social platform to embrace the change. It will soon support a new format: 360 videos. It will allow users to virtually navigate around a room or given space within their news feed.

Parse gets involved in the internet of things

About two years ago, Facebook bought Parse, a mobile app development platform. This year, Parse will release new tools to help developers make apps that interact with connected objects without having to worry about the backend too much. The SDKs will handle app analytics, sending push notifications to people at the right time, and collecting crash data.

Embeddable videos

Facebook is going all out on video, and for a good reason: the platform generates 3Bn views daily. In a grand face-punch to YouTube, the social platform will now allow users to embed videos anywhere with a single line of code. This is a powerful move that will drastically increase the number of views and definitely impact videos advertising on the long run.

App analytics

Facebook wants you to know your users better. It probably also wants to benefit from the data your app can generate. Regardless, the company has developed a tool that allows developers to gather behavioral analytics, measure how people use their app and improve their marketing campaigns.

Facebook Sponsored Stories to Be Eliminated in April 2014

FacebookAccording to a blog post, Facebook will be retiring Sponsored Story ads starting April 9, so you better hurry up if you’re looking to invest in one!

Sponsored stories appear when a user’s Facebook friend engages with a sponsored Page, app or event. For example, if one of your Facebook friends Liked a Brand Page, and that page has chosen to promote that engagement, a Sponsored Story would appear on your News Feed.

By April 9, Sponsored Stories will not be up for purchase for Advertisers and existing Sponsored Stories will turn into other format of ads. In example, a Sponsored Story highlighting a page Like will just turn into a Page Like ad and the “social context” component of Sponsored Story ads where a single or multiple friends of yours are featured in the ad, will simply become commonplace in all of Facebook’s advertisements. The social context will become a greater part of the Facebook’s advertising strategy in June.

A  Facebook spokesperson explains:

“As announced in June of last year, we’re bringing the best of sponsored stories – social context – to all ads. Since this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a standalone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see.”

Choose A Hashtag

The Hashtag (#), originally created by Twitter users to categorize tweets and mark keywords and topics, has become a very precious asset in modern marketing campaigns.

Brands who haven’t invested the time to think about their hashtag(s) and their proper use get anticipated results, however those who take their hashtag(s) seriously will harvest the benefits on Twitter.

The micro blogging platform has created a step-by-step infographic that helps you choose your hashtag(s) and guides you through launching your campaign.

Choose a hashtag

Choose a hashtag – click to enlarge

Basics first! Why are you using a hashtag? Keep in mind that for your audience to easily remember it, a hashtag should be notable.

Integrating a hashtag in media is a way to make sure it becomes memorable.

Whether it’s on TV, flyers or though direct mail, integrated hashtags have the best chance of making it to the top of the consumer’s mind.

There is no absolute need for a new hashtag to be created. If people are already engaging in a relevant conversation, half the work has been done. All brands have to do is join in with significance.

After choosing or creating a hashtag, Twitter’s “Choosing A #” will walk you through the next stages to take in order to amplify your message.

Optimizing Facebook Pages for Facebook Search Graph

Facebook Search GraphFacebook Graph Search is here. Is your page ready for it? To make sure that you benefit from it, you need to check the following:

1. Your Category and About Section

Choose your category carefully as this could make it or break it for you and make sure that you fill your “About” section thoroughly with relevant keywords.

2. Claim your Place and Encourage Check-ins

If you do not claim a Place as your own, check-ins will not be useful. When someone attempts to check into your business, Facebook will display you Page if it’s set up as a Place.If you have a Place Page, you want to push for people to check-in. Although the number of check-ins does not always guarantee a better ranking of search results,you will come up in searches when people filter by their friends if many of them check-in at your place.

3. Encourage Tagging and Liking of Photos

People can search and filter photos of friends they like. They may see a photo of their friend at your location or tagged by your Page. All of this activity helps your Page and your business to remain in people’s minds more often.

Facebook Graph Search will continue to evolve as it goes through beta, but you can start encouraging interactions such as check-ins and tagging to help your Page show up more prominently as people search. Remember that it’s still important to post regularly, produce content that initiates high engagement levels, focus on keyword-rich status updates and connect with people through the news feed, since not everyone will use Graph Search.

The New Facebook API: Graph Search

The new Facebook API: Graph SearchUsers of Facebook will soon have a new search tool at their disposal: Graph Search feature will let those on Facebook go through photos, people, places, and business pages. You will be soon able to ask questions like: “What are the sushi restaurants that my friends like in Kaslik?”

Apparently, what people search for the most on Facebook are people, brands and business pages. Graph Search is different in the sense that it improves results by putting together diverse elements.

After the Facebook’s statement that it would make it easier to source for data and photos, worries were raised concerning privacy. The company made sure to address those worries, saying that Graph Search will respect privacy settings. People won’t be able to look for those who have blocked them; they will be able to look up information and photos that have been shared with them.

Zuckerberg wants people to use Facebook in order to discover places where they could go eat, or things that they could go do and have been working in-house on this API for the last couple of years. It is now available for some English speaking users in beta version.

For him, this new feature will form the “Third Pillar” of the ecosystem, after the being able to see what’s going around in the News Feed and what’s going on in ones’ life on the Timeline.

Some people have raised other concerns. Graph Search could be used for less noble reasons. For example one could look up: “People who like child pornography” and do whatever with this information.

How will you be using Graph Search when it goes public?

6 Tips for Writing a Facebook Post with the Perfect Call to Action

Writing a Facebook Post

Reaching potential customers while retaining current ones requires much more than just creating a Facebook profile. Constant work and improvement are necessary in order to build a community.

In this particular article inspired from a recent post on social media today, you will get a few tips on techniques and practices to help you keep your community interested and engaged.

  1. Formulate your ideas into questions: Ask short and specific questions that target your audiences’ needs, interests and wants. They will be more likely to respond to your question than to comment on your sentence. Also, don’t forget to provide feedback on their answers!
  2. Use the 2nd person singular pronoun and verbs such as “feel”, “want”, “enjoy”, “appreciate” and “give” to engage the readers
  3. Provide a Link: Direct your fans to other pages especially when your post is related to specific products. It can push them to purchase it directly online.
  4. Use images and visuals: You can ask questions that relate to an image or provide information through visuals. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
  5. Include small quizzes, true or false and fill in the blanks. Fans will enjoy competing over the right answer.
  6. Keep it positive: Fans should feel excited and pleased when they read your posts. They will also be more likely to share positive feelings!

Feel inspired? Go update your Facebook page! I am sure you now have plenty of ideas! Need training, don’t hesitate to contact Eastline Marketing.

Blocking Social Media at Work

A common practice among many employers/organizations in the MENA region (as well as all over the world) is to block access to social media networking sites. Even with the emergence of the importance of having access to Social Media networks (SMN) in the workplace, for various reasons, some employers don’t seem to be quite convinced yet of the benefits. Yes, there are quite a few.

The major thing it says to an employee when a company bans the use of SMN and free Internet surfing is that they, in fact, think of you as a child, or an idiot, or both perhaps. Not an adult that is there to perform his or her job because you are fully capable of doing so, without having a chaperone holding your hand. With the rampant use of all sorts of smart phones nowadays, anyone can check their Facebook and other Social Networks on their BB’s, IPhones and other devices. It must be said though that in some cases, some employees do ‘use and abuse’ said privilege. However, in most cases the pros outweigh the cons.

Studies have been done showing that when employees take a break from work, surf the net, and spend a few minutes on FB or twitter, their morale and self esteem actually increases. Also, as far as marketing for your company goes, Social Media is proven to be one of the most effective means of doing just that, for a much cheaper rate than other marketing means. There is no better way to learn the ins and outs of Social Media Marketing than to actually use it on a daily basis, whether on a personal or professional basis.

Blocking these Social Networks may mean missing many opportunities for lots of productive and collaborative work in these organizations. There is always a small percentage of people that will waste way too much time on these platforms doing nothing productive, but there are way more people that can actually benefit from having free access to them. Don’t you think?

Blogs and Advertising

For many of us, the idea of just sitting back, writing down your thoughts and ideas, and making enough money to sustain yourself doing that is the ultimate dream. This is what many bloggers out there are doing, and quite successfully.

Some of you will simply be looking for a couple of hundred extra dollars a month to pay internet bills or otherwise, while others will be looking to make thousands of dollars a month doing something that they love and are passionate about.

Blogs like Lifehacker and Mashable have succeeded in profiting from having advertisers use their platform. They make millions of dollars per year through banner advertising. Certainly, that means they must be doing something right.

Potential advertisers can easily access an advertising page on these sites, giving them traffic information, statistics, as well as their media kits and rate cards. There is a lot to learn from big sites like those, using what we learn to our advantage in our own ‘little’ blogs.

In addition, it is particularly clever that they both use Social Media to promote their posts and articles, through their Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. The more people that read their posts, and share them through Social Media networks, the more traffic they get, and thus, the more appealing to potential advertisers. That is also a lesson to learn.

This all brings up a few curious questions though, such as:

  • What makes a blog successful in your opinion?
  • Is it writing about a topic that interests you, or a topic that interests the majority of the people online, and then ‘pretending’ it interests you to get more readers and followers?

Share your views!