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  • Emily Post Meets the Facebook Post: Business Etiquette for Facebook (Source: Wikimedia CC)

    "Literally." "Like." "Epic." 

    Are you word nerds out there squirming yet? 

    Everyone (like, literally everyone) can think of a misused or overused word that drives them crazy. For us here at Geek, it might be the word "legit." (As in, "That taco place was really good, like, totally legit," or, "Last night's show was legit.") 

    It's in moments like these where we think back to our favorite line from The Princess Bride.

    One genuinely legitimate way to use the word "legit," however, is when you're talking about your business' Facebook page. When users look up a business online, there's a good chance that they're using this social media site to find information.

    That being said, having a Facebook page makes your business more legit and gives you a chance to interact with your consumers while expressing your product or service's usefulness. 

    Here are our top 6 "dos" and "don'ts" when managing your professional Facebook page:

    1. Don't put a profile where a page belongs. 

    Yes, perhaps this is level one Facebook knowledge, but make sure that you know the difference between the two: Profiles are for people and pages are for businesses. Make you sure you're following this distinction to get the most out of your Facebook use. 

  • Dollar Shave Club Call to Action FacebookDecember has been a great month for digital marketers. While Twitter has been getting a substantial amount of press for its new Twitter Cards marketing platform, Facebook introduced another great prospect for digital marketers earlier this month.

    Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Facebook's newest phenomenon - Call-to-Action buttons.

    This feature, detailed in Hubspot, will serve to drive more traffic from your Facebook page directly to your website.

    This feature will be unveiled for worldwide use in 2015, so if you don't yet see this feature in your Page yet, never fear. It's coming.

    What a "Call-to-Action" Button is, and How it Works

    The Call-to-Action button Facebook is introducing takes its form in one of 7 pre-made options:

    1. "Sign up"
    2. "Shop now"
    3. Facebook Search Changes Open Doors For Small Business MarketersRemember when Facebook introduced Graph Search? It has already been two years since we saw the launch of this enhancement, which turned Facebook users' searches from "Chicago" to the more specific (and more useful) "Friends who live in Chicago, Illinois" option.

      Now, Facebook has given us another great search tool, which replaces their former integration with Bing search engine. The results appear to optimize personalized search results, taking Graph Search to a whole other level - one that small businesses can use to their advantage.

      Here's what we know so far, courtesy of the Walker Sands blog.

      Encouraging News for Brands

      Changes in Facebook's algorithm last year left small brands struggling to reach fans. Organic reach was suddenly reduced to near zero without using a paid strategy. With this new search strategy, however, it looks like smaller businesses may have fighting chance.

      Facebook users can now search specific posts that have been shared by friends and Facebook pages you're a fan of.

      What does this mean, exactly? I'll give you one word that you've undoubtedly heard in your marketing career before: keywords.

      Creating Keyword-Boosted Content

      If you run a dog walking business, your new search strategy will include creating posts and content with keywords around dog walking, your service location, pet care, and more. You can use an extensive keyword strategy like this one to help identify keywords you'll want to pump up your posts and content with.

      Story-Based, Shareable Content

    4. Facebook Penalizing Business Page Text UpdatesFacebook made an announcement this past Tuesday unveiling some small, but rather significant changes to how text and link statuses get ranked in the News Feed.

      The announcement explains that Facebook users typically don't like to interact with text statuses from companies as much as they do with their friend's updates, so they decided to demote the importance of text updates from companies on the News Feed.

      Additionally, this change will have two other big ramifications for Facebook businesses, according to Hubspot:

      1. Other types of status will also become more (or less) effective

      If some statuses get demoted in their magic Facebook ranking, others must rise to take their place.  We assume this means that ads, personal updates, and link-share status updates will climb the ladder of salience.  Facebook was rather vague with this comment, so we're simply speculating.  Time will tell.

      2. Links that fall under the "link-share" subgrouping will get promoted further

      Links can be shared in one of two ways on Facebook.

      a) The first looks like this, where the link is part of the text of the status itself (not considered a "link-share")

    5. Five Easy Ideas for Adding Video to Your Social Marketing (Source: Pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

      Have you noticed just how ubiquitous video has become? Scroll through your Twitter or Facebook feeds and you’re likely to see videos start and stop every few seconds from every source imaginable – maybe they’re being Vined or live-broadcast by your friends, maybe they’re commercials for a brand you “like”, maybe they’re must-see clips of last night’s Daily Show antics.

      Social video is here to stay, and we’ve got the stats to prove it.

      In 2015, online video streaming counted for 50% of mobile traffic. 78% of people watch videos online every week, and 55% of people watch videos online every single day. That’s a massive pool of consumers hungry for content, and it’s a niche that’s proving very beneficial for marketers: 67% of businesses find video content at least “somewhat successful”, and 18% have found video marketing “very successful”. Videos have proven to decrease bounce rate, increase brand recognition, and even improve email opens.

      It’s not too late to fold video content into your brand’s social media and digital marketing strategy. Here are five video ideas to get you started…

      Take Your Viewers Behind the Scenes

    6. Five Easy Ways to Diversify Your Content Marketing Right Now

      Creating original content is the rigid, indispensable backbone to any successful digital marketing campaign. It’s the must-have element that funnels coal to power the social media furnace, that gives the tenuous elements of SEO something to hang from, that turns your email newsletters into clickable little Christmas presents glowing in an inbox.

      Look, we realize we just mixed a lot of metaphors. But that’s also kind of the point! While your brand should be generating and sharing compelling content, what specifically qualifies as “great content” has never been more free or open to interpretation. And that’s a very, very good thing.

      While blogging will always be number one in our book, it’s not the end-all or be-all anymore. As marketers and designers and engineers – hell, as poets and artists and daredevils and mavericksthere’s never been more opportunity to experiment with fun, engaging new ways of reaching your audience and guiding them through your conversion funnel.

    7. Friendster, We Hardly Knew Ya: These Social Networks Never Caught On

      We think all the time about the future of social media here. But in order to know where our favorite marketing platforms and services – including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram – are going, it’s important to take a look back at the past.

      And when it comes to social media, that past looks a lot like a graveyard, littered with the skeletons of social sites and apps that tried – and failed – to make a digital splash.

      What can we learn from these failed experiments? What were they, where did they go wrong, and could our favorite social networks ever go the same way? Let’s take a look at five famous social media flops:

      Friendster

    8. Getting Started With Facebook Ads

      Sure, you use Facebook for fun and for your business. But have you started using it for advertising?

      In addition to being a hugely popular social networking site, Facebook is a remarkable advertising platform that offers you the unique opportunity to closely target your ideal audience. And what’s more, Facebook ads have a proven history of success, with 70% of businesses reporting a 3X or better ROI on their campaigns.

      Ready to use Facebook ads? Here’s what you need to know to get started:

      How Do I Find My Audience?

    9. Getting to the Bottom of Your Social Media Analytics (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

      Social media is one of the most effective ways of creating your brand’s narrative, driving referral traffic, and spreading the good word about your one-of-a-kind business. But how are you measuring your success?

      We hear all sorts of claims about the effectiveness of digital marketing, but it’s important to always keep track of your successes and failures. Email marketing, SEO, social media – all of these are vital (and interconnected) tools for your business, but each needs to be measured, tested, and analyzed in different ways.

      Fortunately, many social media platforms – most notably Facebook and Twitter – have their own built-in analytics tools. Using these free native tools are a great way to test and improve the quality of your social media marketing, helping you to answer questions like…

      What Types of Content Does My Audience Like?

    10. Going It Alone on Inbound Marketing? Here's What You're Missing (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

      At this point, inbound marketing isn’t a buzzword or a flashy fad, but a way of life for companies looking to attract new business and retain existing customers online.

      Inbound marketing – a strategy that is driven by the creation of unique and high quality brand-specific content – is one of the single most effective forms of marketing ever devised, and it has done wonders for huge national brands and small local businesses alike.

      You may have heard some remarkable success stories and stats yourself by now - that inbound marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, yet generates more than three times as many leads; that brands using content marketing generate six times more conversions than brands without; that content marketing users experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-users.

    11. Group Messaging on TwitterTwitter recently launched an update to its direct messaging (DM) feature to allow for group messaging with multiple users at once. We can now message up to 20 users in one message, which seems to pale in comparison to Facebook Messenger's 250 user limit, but it is a step forward nonetheless.

      Here's how you can use this new function to create a group message from scratch, add new member to a pre-existing group message, and how to share tweets directly within a message (as recently detailed by Hubspot).

      Twitter Group Messaging - An Overview

      Group messaging allows for private conversations on a public forum, which Product Director Jinen Kamdar reiterated the importance of on Twitter's official blog, saying:

      Private conversations on Twitter are a great complement to the largely public experience on the platform. You might prefer to read (or watch) tweets but converse about them privately.

      Creating group messages takes this concept to a whole new level. Here are the details:

    12. Here's How to B2B Can Benefit From Content Marketing

      Some in the marketing industry tend to think of content marketing as a tactic solely useful for business-to-consumer (B2C) focused brands. In our experience, though, the tools of content marketing – including content generation, social media, and email marketing – are all vital for business-to-business (B2B) companies, as well.  

      The bottom line? Whether your brand bakes and ships cookies or offers corporate training seminars, you should be emphasizing content marketing to add value and extend your message in 2016 and beyond. 

      Content marketing isn’t just for kids; it’s not always about the flashiest new multimedia format or the buzziest new social platform. Instead, content marketing is all about spreading information and creating genuine value for your brand by introducing your product or service to serious, interested leads.

      The difference between content marketing for B2C and B2B? Audience.

    13. How Are We Using All of Our Screens?

      There are more choices than ever when it comes to digital media consumption. Whereas just a few years ago audiences were bound to desktops and laptops, today there is a glut of options, ranging from smartphones to tablets to “smart” TVs.

      Have you ever wondered just how users are putting all of these devices to use? Us too! Fortunately, the mavericks at Gryffin Media and TollFreeForwarding recently got to the bottom of it, exploring screen usage in an amazing infographic, dubbed “The Multiscreen World.”

      So what are some key things to take away from their findings? Here are some of the most interesting trends and habits from the infographic:

      Smartphones Are Our Default Devices

    14. How Blogging Drives Customers to Your Website (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)
      Do you want to truly drive traffic to your website?
      Read on...

      You can't read an article, a post, or a tweet from a digital marketing firm or an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) outfit without reading a mention of "blogging". Sure, it's a buzzword.

      We made it up about nine or ten years ago. It's a concatenation of "web logging". In its original form, blogging essentially functioned as an online journal; today, it refers to a variety of multimedia content curated and kept in the same place. 

      Whether you're creating an up-to-date journal for your company, keeping your content fresh with regularly posted information about your offerings, or actively writing creative posts in the form of listicles, quizzes, or infographics, it all effectively works the same way. And it has been recognized as one of the top ways to bring in customers for businesses of all sizes. Why, you ask?

      It comes down to the fundamentals of SEO:

    15. How Chance the Rapper Became a One-Man Digital Marketing Machine

      “79th, 79th, I don't believe in science, I believe in signs;
      Don't believe in signing, I seen dollar signs”
      - Chance the Rapper, “How Great”

      He was named Chicagoan of the Year. He’s won a Grammy without ever selling a physical copy of his album. He’s encouraging young people to create art and go into politics. He’s starring in an upcoming horror adventure movie.

      He’s Chancellor Bennett – that’s Chance the Rapper to you and me – and he’s a one man media mogul, single-handedly revolutionizing not just what music sounds like, but the ways in which we access and enjoy it in our digital world. On the side, he’s also a fashion icon, a renaissance man, and Chicago’s favorite son.

      One last thing? He’s also a one-man digital marketing machine, putting content marketing, branding, and social media to work to find the sorts of success that plenty in our industry only ever dream about.

    16. How Content Marketing Can Help You Build Your Personal Brand

      Social media has created an amazing opportunity to connect with our friends, our family – and, above all, our professional networks.

      While we all know that LinkedIn is a vital tool for fostering and maintaining business connections, each and every social network you use is creating an extension of, and an outlet for, your unique brand. Why not get as much value out of those social platforms as possible?

      How do you do it? Think like a content marketer. Here are three ways that content marketing can help you build and promote your personal brand online:

      1.) Tell a Story

    17. How Do I Get More Website Traffic? (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

      How did businesses attract customers before the internet? Paper flyers? Television ads? Word of mouth? All of those methods of advertising are still in play, and still do wonders for brands of all shapes and sizes.

      But the reality of today’s marketplace is that every business needs to be online. We’ve said this again and again. For one thing, your prospective customers are already socializing, searching, and shopping on the internet; it only makes sense to direct your efforts toward reaching your next clients where they’re already spending their time – on Google results pages, on review aggregators like Yelp, and across social media platforms.

      What’s more, there is plenty of evidence that investing in digital marketing actually generates significantly higher ROI than other methods. It can be relatively inexpensive to get started with many of the essential elements that make up a digital marketing campaign; once you have a foot in the door, the tools available on search engines and social networks are some of the most sophisticated ever created, allowing you to specifically target and convert the users most likely to work with your brand.

    18. When it comes to social media, there are plenty of things that you might already believe to be true. But are your assumptions on track, or are you missing the mark?

      To help gauge our social media knowledge – and check out whether common social media myths are true or false – the Geek team likes to turn to studies from the Pew Research Center.

      Focusing on social media usage and habits, the research compiled regularly by Pew is essential for understanding the far-flung impacts of social media on our culture, particularly when it comes to looking at the past, present, and future of marketing.

      Curious about how, when, and why audiences are using social media today? Here’s how the numbers broke down among our four favorite social media platforms:

      Facebook

      As of 2017, 68% of all American adults are Facebook users, making it the most popular social media site by far.

    19. How Facebook Ads REALLY Work

      We’ve all been there, at one time or another. You’re scrolling down your Facebook feed, for your business or just for pleasure, when suddenly you spot an ad.

      But this isn’t just any ad: It’s a picture of the exact model of microwave you were just scoping out on Amazon. It’s a deal on the clothing brand you recently Googled, maybe after hearing an ad in a podcast. It’s a commercial for the movie you were just thinking of going to see on Friday night.

      In today’s social media marketplace, Facebook acts like a sort of digital flea market – one where every shop owner already knows exactly what you’re looking for, and has their display set up accordingly.

      And these ads are having a big impact on how you make purchases, whether you click on them or not. According to a Facebook/Datalogix study, as reported by Slate, 70% of businesses advertising through Facebook saw a 3X or better return on their investment (meaning that the business earned three times the money that they spent on the ad campaign).

      How exactly does this work? Let’s explore some of the methods Facebook and its ad clients are using to market directly to you:

      Remarketing

    20. Maybe you’ve head the famous Shakespeare quote that “brevity is the soul of wit.”

      Maybe you’ve heard that, and then responded with “cram it, English major, just tell me how many characters I can put in this blog headline!”

      We get it. When it comes to creating content for your digital marketing channels, including blogs and social media, finding the perfect length seems hugely important – and yet it’s also one of the trickiest things to get right.

      That’s where the Geek team would love to help! Below, we’ve got your go-to guide for making sure that your content marketing elements measure up. Curious about character limits on social media? Looking for the ideal length for an SEO-focused blog post? Read on…

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).