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COMSTRAT 310 Syllabus - Fall 2017

COMSTRAT 310 - DIGITAL CONTENT PROMOTION (3 CREDITS) Instructor:  Brett Atwood                                EMAIL:    batwood@wsu.ed...

WEEKS 13 & 14: Building Twitter Pages/Learning Google AdWords & Facebook Ads/Design & Campaign Considerations for Mobile & Tablet Platforms

SUMMARY:

For these weeks, we will:
  • Create official Facebook and Twitter campaign accounts for your brand (if you have not done so already)
  • Learn about best practices in building an official Facebook and Google AdWords campaign.
  • Learn about "responsive" design and how to optimize your campaign website for mobile smartphones.
HOMEWORK:
  • Continue to work on your Social Media Marketing Plan, due Thursday, Nov. 30.
  • Start posting Facebook and Twitter updates frequently (several times a week) and attempt to build a larger follower/fan count by outreach to friends and family, as well as activity on like-minded social media pages. 
    • You should try to have at least 30 Facebook followers by the end of the semester.
    • You should try to have at least 10 Facebook and Twitter posts by the end of the semester.
  • Optimize your Wix-created website for mobile devices using the mobile editor built into the Wix.com edit tool. Your final campaign site will be evaluated for how it appears on both desktop and mobile devices beginning Thursday, Nov. 30. 
  • Begin the take-home final exam, due no later than the end of the day on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is an influential Web ad service that enables you to target specific audiences inside the popular social network. The video below shows the power of targeted messaging through the Facebook Ads platform.



CASE STUDIES FOR FACEBOOK ADS

Facebook has a page filled with case studies that you can explore to see how both small and large companies are using the Facebook Ads platform to expand their reach and build their business.
Here are some video tutorials that walk you through the basics of creating a Facebook ad and then identifying your target audience and budget in the Facebook Ads creation tool. (Note: The specific menu options may have changes since these screencasts were originally recorded - but they are still useful as they show a general walk-through of the Facebook Ads creation process).

Creating your ad 

 

Defining your target audience and budget 



Facebook Advertising can be displayed as a traditional ad on the right hand side of the news feed or in the news feed itself.
  • News Feed
    • These ads will appear in the center of the news feed along posts from friends and followed pages. This "native ad" blends in seamlessly with the general news feed content. You can even pay for placement of a recent Facebook post so that it appears in the news feed for targeted recipients -- even if they don't yet "like" your page.
  • Right Side Column
    • These ads appear on the righthand column adjacent to your news feed. The size of these ads is considerably smaller than a News Feed ad.
Read the full FAQ for more info on these and other options. (Note: An alternate FAQ is also available for some Facebook users that may have a different Facebook Ads interface).

Related Links:
THE DOWNSIDE OF FACEBOOK ADVERTISING?

There is some debate about the effectiveness of Facebook Advertising. This video shows one ex-advertiser's experience with "Facebook fraud" and fake Like followers after a recent campaign:


Introduction to Google AdWords

OVERVIEW: WHAT IS GOOGLE ADWORDS VS. GOOGLE ADSENSE?

Many people confuse Google AdWords with a related program called Google AdSense. They are actually not the same thing!


Google AdWords is an advertising service that enables you to create your own ads to appear on relevant Google search results pages, as well as on other AdWords-enabled websites. Thus, companies that want to promote their services would use AdWords to advertise for acquisition of new customers.

Google AdSense is a different program that enables content creators to monetize their sites via displayed ads. So, if you are a content creator or publisher, you would likely want to participate in the AdSense program to make some money!

For this class, we will focus primarily on Google AdWords -- since that is the program most likely to be of use to aspiring professional PR and advertising students.

WHY ADWORDS?

With Google AdWords, you can create ads that are eligible to appear on Google within the search results. Your ads are also eligible to appear on some AdWords partner sites.

Unlike some traditional forms of advertising, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad! Thus, your ad will generate lots of impressions - but your ad costs are linked to the "click-through rate" (CTR), which is what ultimately matters in driving traffic to your site.

How do you determine what each ad will cost?

In many cases, you will bid on "keywords" that are matched to the types of search engine queries that people make. There are branded and non-branded searches.

What is the difference between branded and non-branded searches?

BRANDED SEARCHES: If the customer already knows your brand name, they will likely type that into the search engine or they may already know the website address and go directly to your site. If they type your brand name into the search engine, this is known as a "branded search."

A good starting point is to do a general search for your brand on Google. Does your brand show up? If so, how high does it rank? Be aware that people might misspell your brand name -- do typos and variations of your brand also show up prominently?

Branded searches include any searches that originate with an attempt to search for your brand -- including typos and variations.

For example, branded searches for the 3D virtual world Second Life would include "Second Life," "2nd Life," "Second Life game" and even typos (e.g. "Secund Life").

NON-BRANDED SEARCHES: What about searches that happen when people don't already know your brand name? Maybe your potential customers are looking for a type of product or service, but are completely unaware that you even exist! A "non-branded search" encompasses searches for general descriptors and phrases that relate to your brand without actually including your brand name.

For example, popular non-branded searches for Second Life might include "virtual world," "3D virtual game," "avatar game" and "virtual life."

How does Google AdWords work?

Non-branded searches present a huge opportunity to acquire new customers and/or website visitors! You can use Google AdWords to place "bids" on ad placement on searches for both branded and non-branded searches. However, chances are pretty good that other companies are also targeting non-branded searches - so the prices may vary dramatically for your ads based on how in demand your keywords and phrases are. You have lots of options on how to bid and spend your money. You can use AdWords to pay a higher amount for prioritized placement among ads -- or distribute your costs more evenly so that your campaign budget lasts longer.

Here is a video that further summarizes how Google AdWords works:



One thing to note is that Google rewards you for relevancy over the long-term. To deter companies from bidding on popular phrases that have nothing to do with their brand or service, Google will actually factor in the accuracy of your ad copy and keyword bids into its algorithm that determines where your ad is placed. Thus, you don't want to "spam" or "bait and switch" potential customers with ads that are irrelevant to their searches.

Will my ads only be displayed on the search results pages on Google?

Not necessarily. You have the option to place an ad only on Google's search pages and/or the Display Network of partner sites. If you choose to include the Display Network, your ad can appear across the Internet on numerous sites that match the theme or topic of your campaign. These ads can include images, interactivity and even video.



For Display Ads, you can either import in your compliant ad or build a new Display Ad right inside the Google AdWords Display Ads tool. Click the image below to see a screenshot of what the Display Ad builder looks like.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8xuvg1bmloaexwx/Display-Ad-Builder.jpg
























How do I get started with AdWords?

Looking to get started using Google AdWords?

Sign up for your free account. Although you don't necessarily need this for class, here is a link for a free $75 (when you spend $25) in starter advertising for first-time Google AdWords users.

Once you are logged in, you can start to write your ad copy and then use the ad creation tool to identify the keywords that you want to bid on. You can also target your ad for placement in particular geographic regions and other variables.


How Do You Measure Success in Google AdWords?



Here are some additional links and resources:
Other Useful Tools:
  • Go to these various AdWords tools to see several free utilities that can help you shape your ad
    • Use the Display Planner to help research your competition and to shape your online ad buying strategy
    • Use the Keyword Planner to find new keyword and ad group ideas, get performance estimates for them to find the bid and budget that are right for you, and then add them to your campaign.
    • To preview what ads are already displaying for a particular keyword, use the Ad Preview Tool

YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics is an analytics tool that enables you to view detailed statistics about the videos you upload.



With YouTube Analytics, you can view data that tracks:
  • Popularity and Number of Views
  • Demographics
  • Community Engagement
  • Discovery
  • Audience Attention
Did you know that you can pay to promote your videos using YouTube's "Promoted Videos" feature?

MORE YOUTUBE RESOURCES:

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights allow any admin of an official Facebook page to learn more about fans and followers including demographics and engagement patterns.

The social media giant recently overhauled and expanded this important metrics platform to include richer and enhanced data streams that provide better insight to your Facebook followers.



Twitter Analytics

Are you familiar with Twitter Analytics?

With Twitter Analytics, you can learn more about the performance of your Tweet activity, as well as your followers. 
TWEET ACTIVITY DASHBOARD

The Tweet Activity Dashboard helps your learn more about your followers, including:
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Affinity for other Twitter brands/influencers
  • Top Interests
  • Timeline Activity Summaries (No. of Faves, No. of Retweets, and Replies)
To access your Tweet Activity Dashboard, visit http://analytics.twitter.com. (Note: In some cases, you may be prompted to set up an account with Twitter Ads in order to activate these analytics. This might involve associating a credit card with your account, but you won't be charged unless you actually place a paid Twitter Ad campaign).

ABOUT TWITTER CARDS

Twitter recently expanded the original analytics dashboard to also include a new Twitter Card dashboard that can be used by advertisers who wish to pay for media-rich campaigns on Twitter.

"Twitter Cards," which add a media-rich content area that extends beyond the typical 140-character Tweet. With a Twitter Card, you can add videos and other media experiences directly into your Tweets.
One important thing to note is that you can't begin to use Twitter Cards until you first "validate" your site with Twitter. This involves adding approved "metatag" code to your site. If this is of interest, instructions for adding metatags on Wix are here:
Once installed, Twitter Card activity will be tracked in the new Twitter Analytics dashboard. You can use the dashboard to learn more about making your Tweets successful.


WEEKS 10, 11 & 12: SEO Basics and Social Media Marketing Plans

SUMMARY:

Over the next three weeks, we will:
  • Continue to work on our primary Wix-based campaign website
  • Learn ways to improve search engine rankings of content for our media campaigns via Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Learn about social media marketing plans and begin work on the creation of one with the goal of driving traffic and awareness to our campaign website.
HOMEWORK:
  • Begin to work on your Social Media Marketing Plan (final version due near the end of the semester)
  • Continue to work on and revise your campaign website, including modifications to help optimize your content for search engine indexing and rankings.
  • Each team should run an audit on their site, when it is ready using the Wix SEO Wiz tool.

Creating a Facebook Fan Page

Now that you have your new Web destination site, you'll also want to begin to nurture a strong community of followers and fans via social networking platforms, such as Facebook. Each team may want to designate a social media stakeholder for this responsibility or you might want to share those responsibilities.

CREATING A FACEBOOK FAN PAGE

1. Your designated social media editor should log in to Facebook and then visit this link to set up your fan page.

2. You'll want to classify your page by Category. Although the choice is yours, you might look at the options under Brand, Product, or Organizations. There are several choices that might be appropriate for your project there.

3. You will also get a chance to "name" your page. Make sure it matches your branded Web property!

4. When ready, check the confirmation box and digitally "sign" the form and select "Create Page."

5. Now you can customize your page. You might want to populate the page with your custom logo, profile information and even any of the many Facebook Apps.

Key Image Specifications for Facebook Timeline:
  • Profile Photo: 180 x 180
  • Cover Photo: 851 x 315
    • Should not include price/purchase info or "calls to action"
    • Need a cover photo? Find a free cover photo for your Timeline at one of these sites:
6. Once your page is ready, you can choose to take it public.

7. Ready to add a Like button to your new Facebook fan site on your Wix page? Use these instructions.

8. Use the Facebook Fan site to send alerts and updates about additions to your site. You might also promote it to friends and interested, related communities via Facebook and other social network sites.

9. After you are done inserting the Facebook Like button, you might want to explore some of the other easy-to-use apps on the Wix App Market that you can add to your Wix.com site, including embedding of a Google Calendar, Polldaddy surveys, live chat and more. Check out a list of them all here.

Best Practices in Facebook Page Management

Facebook has an official guide to Best Practices with some great tips. However, here are even more best practices in communicating with your followers on Facebook:
  1. Be conversational in your voice/tone with your followers. In many cases, it is best to use a casual tone that people can relate to. While it is important to stay "on message" and not offer personal and polarizing opinions, many social media managers infuse humor and personality into their posts to capture the attention of their followers.
  2. Ask questions to inspire conversations. When you ask a question of your followers, you are likely to inspire engagement with you on Facebook. Be sure to answer back and/or respond to any conversation that unfolds!
  3. Respond to Facebook comments, when appropriate. Many companies make the mistake of using Facebook as a one-way channel to deliver company news and updates. However, these organizations are missing the point of Facebook -- it is a media outlet that is best suited for social conversations that are not one-sided! Don't be afraid to respond to your followers. Most will appreciate that you acknowledge their opinions. 
  4. Don't feed the trolls! Some conversations can lead into a never-ending cycle of negativity. If the exchange is less about intelligent conversation and more like a rant, it might be best to be reserved in how (and if) you respond. In extreme cases, companies will block or ban followers that are not willing to engage in reasonable conversation.
  5. Share photos and videos. Visual media is more likely to grab the attention of your followers than simple text. This also means that you should consider changing out your Timeline cover photo often, as well. It also means that you should pay closer attention to the thumbnails that are generated when you link to other content.
  6. Consider exclusive content. Is there any insider information that you can reward your loyal followers with? Inspire more loyalty among your fans and followers with exclusive extras, insider tips and tricks and/or behind-the-scenes photos.
  7. Use post targeting. Some updates are only likely to appeal to a portion of your followers. For example, a particular post might only be aimed at customers in a particular geographic region. If so, you can use the "Add Targeting" option to limit who sees your latest post.
  8. Post useful info - not spam! Don't "hard sell" your followers -- they will likely view any blatant commercial posts as "spam" (which can lead to a decline in "likes" of your page). Consider your readers and what they will find interesting and/or useful. Many organizations use Facebook to establish credibility and authenticity with their fans. For example, a restaurant might post interesting recipes or food preparation tips. These posts might occasionally be accompanied with a gentle nudge to readers about your services -- but it is never a blatant commercial plug.
  9. Don't post more than two times a day. For commercial products, less is more. If you post too often, you run the risk of being perceived as spam. However, media and news properties are different. If your brand is centered around the idea of delivering news and/or information, then these non-commercial updates are more likely to be welcomed and perceived as useful to your audience. For example, CNN posts breaking news several times a day -- all of which is expected by those followers. 
  10. Use the "pin" and "star" features. You can now "pin" a post to the top of your Timeline for up to 7 days Use the "star" feature on any post to expand its width to two columns
  11. BONUS TIP: Use the call-to-action button, if appropriate. Facebook recently introduced a new call-to-action button that you can add to the top of your page. This enables visitors to click through to complete an action. Options include "Book Now," "Contact Us," "Use App," "Play Game," "Shop Now," "Sign Up," and "Watch Video."
There are numerous other tips to consider, too. Take a look at these articles from various social media experts about best practices in Facebook engagement:

Creating your Own Twitter Brand Page

Are you ready to set up your own Twitter page for your brand? It's easy! Register your brand username (or any name that is as close to your brand name as possible) and then look for the following options to help customize your Twitter account:
  • Change your Design via Settings > Design
  • Recommended dimensions for the small Profile Photo are 400 x 400
  • Bio should be no more than 160 characters
  • Recommended dimensions for the larger Profile Cover Photo are 1500 x 500 

Ten Tweets Project

What will your ten first "Tweets" be on Twitter?

Using Google Documents, collaborate with your team to identify a strategy for the timing and content of your first 10 "Tweets."

Things to consider:
  • How will you use Twitter?
  • Will you use a "hard sell" vs. "soft sell"?
  • How often should you Tweet?
  • Are there other brands or influencers you should follow?
  • How is your brand messaging represented in the Tweets that you use?
  • What is the voice/tone that you should use?
A WORD ABOUT LINK SHORTENING

Since every character on your Tweet is precious, many people turn to "link shorteners" (such as bit.ly) to help them truncate a longer website link into a shorter URL.

Note that Twitter automatically includes link shortening via its own t.co service -- but external link shorteners are also frequently used as they may offer enhanced services, such as website link tracking to provide useful data on "who clicked" your link.

Managing your Social Media Channels: TweetDeck and HootSuite

Managing multiple social media channels can be a pain. That's why there are services that you can use to help you monitor and maintain your social media channels in one centralized spot.

HOOTSUITE
HootSuite is a social media management service that helps you stay on top of multiple social networks -- all from one centralized "dashboard." You can use HootSuite to schedule messages and tweets, as well as to track mentions of your brand/organization. You can also gain a richer understanding of social media traffic trends and developments that help you follow newsworthy developments related to your organization.

HootSuite offers a free version that you can use to get started -- but professional organizations will likely want to investigate upgrading to the premium paid versions (to unlock useful extras and features).

Check out HootSuite to get started.

TWEETDECK

Another great social media management tool is TweetDeck, which is an app that allows you to better organize and monitor your Twitter feeds. Use TweetDeck to arrange your feeds with customizable columns with useful filters, including hashtags and relevant keywords. You can also use TweetDeck to advance schedule your Tweets.

Check out TweetDeck to get started.