I’m so excited about how our Facebook Advertising campaigns have been going! I really think Facebook Ads represents the greatest opportunity for generating targeted traffic to your site or Facebook Fan Page of anything that has come along since pay-per-click search advertising on Google and Yahoo. Facebook really represents the next wave of almost limitless ad inventory for national advertisers, affiliate marketers, and small businesses due to their staggering reach. Really anyone can promote anything at all through Facebook Ads and get their ads in front of a very targeted audience.

The main reason Facebook is such a great advertising platform is the targeting is so good. For example, if you are selling baby toys, you can target only women, between the ages of 25-40, that are fans of Toys R Us, Huggies, or another “interest” that would imply they have small children. Another example might be you are trying to acquire targeted fans for your Facebook fan page which is a bar or nightclub, so you can target men and women, between the ages of 21-35, that live in particular zip codes surrounding the location of the bar or club, which is great for local businesses because you know your ads will only be seen in a local area. Another really cool aspect is that you can see exactly how many possible people your ads will be exposed to when choosing your targeting options. With the ability to target “likes” and “interests” of people on Facebook there really is a limitless amount of ad inventory you can go after to see if it converts into sales or leads for you.

Facebook Ads gives you the opportunity to try various images, titles, and descriptions, which means you have to continuously “tweak” you ads to get the highest click-through (CTR) and conversion rate for your ad dollars. That’s the nice thing actually, you can try various ad elements to get your best possible combination of all three elements. You should definitely use some kind of tracking system of some sort to measure the return-on-investment (ROI) of your various campaigns and ads themselves.

Facebook Ad campaigns can be run on either a cost-per-click (CPC) or a cost-per-impression (CPM – per 1000 ad impressions). CPC is a flat cost-per-click for everyone that actually clicks on your ad or “likes” your fan page. Cost-per-impression will charge you a certain amount for every thousand ad impressions you receive, which can actually work out better than a CPC in some instances. What’s nice is they show you what your campaign is working out to on a CPC and CPM basis so you can see which you want to run on.

While targeted pay-per-click search traffic from Google and Yahoo is still the best way to send relevant paid traffic your site, Facebook Advertising is the next huge wave of online ad inventory that can be leveraged to drive in customers and fans. If you aren’t using this platform you absolutely should. If you are interested in have a good, competent outsourced social media company handle it for you email: evan at experienceadvertising.com. Thanks and happy advertising!

Twitter for Corporate PR

May 18, 2010 by

The great thing about twitter is that you can use it to connect with pretty much anyone at any level in any company. It is also used by writers, editors, journalists, bloggers and media types of all persuasions. It is also easy for anyone to pick up, so you can get started today, and if you cannot then find someone who can help.

Everyone has their favourite publications that they like to read: find out which publications your audiences like to read. How would you do that? Ask them, survey your customers and suppliers: you can do this formally or just by casually asking them in conversation.

Research those publications for the edits and contributors and find them on twitter. Listed to the conversations which they are engaged in and see if you can contribute something of value within those conversations and make additions. Then when the topic of conversation comes around to an area which you can really contribute something of value add that, ideally with a link to a blog post or video or some other point of content that you have which shows a source of interest.

You can also ask those writers what they are writing about at the moment, and if they are looking for other elements to contribute to what they are researching or looking to research in future weeks and months.

Trend spotting: we all have our pet fads and things we really like and are interested in at the moment or on an ongoing theme. Reading someone’s twitter stream will provide you with that insight. See if you can spot which journalist or blogger has what pet project. Make a hobby of it and then when you have something of interest to say on that topic tweet it to them and see if they pick it up.

Online as in the real world, some people are much more open to being approached and talking to new people then others are. Find those that communicate only with their friends and those who like to communicate with a wider audience. It is those people you want to connect with.

Looking for corporate Social Media Management? Check out Experience Advertising for effective, pro-active social media management for your company.

Are you are looking to establish and build a winning presence in the social space for your company, but don’t have the time or know-how? You should check out Interactive Agency Experience Advertising. They take a very pro-active approach to building out each company’s social media presence with good content, as well as handle it in a very professional way. They offer proactive, effective social media management services for both large and small companies. Here is a break-down of the affiliate management services they offer:

- Complete set-up on 20+ major social networks including Twitter and Facebook Fan Page
- Completely takeover and manage existing social networking accounts
- Daily unique content updates to social networking accounts (including: tips, great articles, company news, promotions, surveys)
- Friendly interactions with Followers and Fans on behalf of the company
- Alerting company when there is a customer service question or issue to be handled
- Running creative, exciting contest and promotions to user-base
- Establishing Blog and Social bookmarking articles and content from company website
- Strategizing with company to better integrate and promote social networking to customers and visitors
- Implement revenue generating and customer retention strategies

If you are looking to ramp up and grow your social media strategy for your company be sure to check them out.

These days, it seems like everyone’s either talking about how social media is the next big thing in affiliate marketing, or they’re talking about how social media just doesn’t work for traditional affiliate promotions. As a result, most of us have probably given it a try at some point. Maybe we throw together a couple of Squidoo lenses, maybe we dabble at Yahoo! Answers, or maybe we submit a few things to Digg and see if anything sticks. Regardless, most of us don’t have a clear plan and we’re not giving much thought to how social media might be different from normal ad-driven traffic.

First off, let me say this – you definitely can get affiliate sales by brute force on social media. If you blindly spam enough people and get them to your landing page, someone is bound to buy. To succeed without getting yourself banned on a daily basis, though, you’ll need a different strategy.

Frequently, you’ll hear guys like Gary Vaynerchuk and Chris Brogan talking about how the key to social media success is building relationships and fostering trust. That’s great for them, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that strategy.

The problem with relationship building is that it’s very time consuming. Those guys are heavily invested in a single area of expertise, so it makes a lot of sense for them to go all out with relationship building. What if you want to drive leads to a health insurance offer, though? Do you really want to spend months or years getting to know people and convincing them that you’re an expert? Do people even want to build relationships with an “insurance shopping expert”?

Luckily, there is another way to do things. Let’s take a moment to think about the typical mindset of someone visiting a social media site. Most of the time, they’re focused on either entertainment or getting some kind of specific information. Although people know that ads are a “necessary evil”, they generally don’t take kindly to blatantly commercial messages intruding on the areas of sites that are perceived as being ad-free (namely, in the user-generated portions of the content).

If someone is looking for tips on losing weight, they don’t want to see an shallow answer that refers them to a landing page for acai berry supplements. If they see a link labeled “The Best Way to Lower Your Auto Insurance”, they don’t want to be directed to a page for insurance quotes. If you take that approach, your accounts are going to get flagged, your content will get thumbed down or buried, and you’re probably going to spend more time trying to make sure your contributions stay up than doing anything else.

None of that means that it’s impossible to submit advertisements to social media and get the support of the community, though. What you need to do is find a way to make your message valuable to the user while still maintaining the commercial thrust. A couple of examples that you can run with or build on today:

Auto Insurance – Instead of sending users to an auto insurance landing page, make a list of auto insurance companies you work with and then do a little research about each one. Which states do they work with? What kinds of discounts do they offer? Who offers online bill-pay? Write it up as a one-page guide and then insert your affiliate link beside each company.

If you use promote insurance quote services, do the same kind of thing. Call them up and find out who they offer quotes for, what kind of privacy protection is in place, how long they’ve been in business, etc. You’re delivering real value and you’re going to be much more likely to gain the trust of your users this way.

Weight Loss Supplements – Yes, there are honest ways to promote them. Skip the flogs and instead try piecing together a brief 3 or 4 week action plan that your visitors could use. Make sure it combines exercise and healthy meals along with the supplement you hope to promote, and be sure to make it clear that you’re just a fitness enthusiast – not a doctor, trainer, or nutritionist. Sure, not many people are likely to follow through with your plan – but that doesn’t mean they won’t like the idea of taking the supplement to boost their usual regimen of Diet Coke, Doritos, and couch-warming.

Dating – Pick your niche and then thoroughly investigate the alternatives. Instead of pretending to be a real girl or just pushing users to the landing page, try creating a page that talks seriously about the benefits. I’m not saying you should make a review page – in fact, it’s best not to pass judgment unless it’s to say which ones are best for different types of people. Talk about privacy options, the number of people in different age groups, and the overall feel of the site. Is one better for older daters while another caters to the college and early 20-something crowd?

You could also take the approach of making a quiz that determines which dating site is best for you based on your personality. That way, it’s not only fun but it has some viral potential when people post the results to their profiles, too.

Basically, the idea here is to create the kind of page you’d want to browse. You don’t have to fill a site with 80 articles to add value when it comes to social media – a single page that fills someone’s need will do the trick.

Everyone knows social media is on fire right now, but how leverage it for affiliate marketing seems to be up in the air. There are so many social networks out there it’s hard to know where to start. Using an effective social media strategy for promoting your own sites is a great way to increase traffic and build followers and friends. By building up your friends and followers on social media networks you will have more people to broadcast your messages to and more people to interact with. Once you starting building up your friends and followers you are well on your way to promoting via social media. Another thing you can do is add “follow me on Twitter” logos and icons to your websites/blogs, so people will do so. You can also add it to your email signature to futher build your friends and followers. If you would like to read a more in-depth social media guide for affiliate marketing click here.

Hey everyone! I wanted to let everyone know about our LinkedIn affiliate group. Our group is the largest strictly affiliate-focused group on LinkedIn with over 2600 members and growing larger by the day. The LinkedIn Affiliate group is a place you can network with other affiliate marketing professionals, learning new things, share knowledge, and other great features. We would love to have you as a group member if you are looking for a good affiliate-oriented social networking group. We look forward to hearing from you!

Guest Blog Post by: Jennifer Crego

Social media is making the affiliate marketing industry a small world after all. Being responsible for the Affiliate Program for GiftTree.com, communicating with the affiliates in our program, as well as potential affiliates, is at the top of my priority list. Connecting with people within the affiliate marketing industry is key, and I have found social media helps me accomplish this.

Everyone is busy, often doing more with less these days. Affiliates are no exception. They are continuously hit from both sides, as shoppers and merchants vie for their attention. That’s why I network with affiliates where they are already spending their time – Twitter, LinkedIn, Affiliate Forums, and the growing Cost Per News Social Network.

These social sites help me connect without getting in the way. You have to admit, 140 characters forces a person to be succinct. I am able to suggest products, mention top performing links, and just simply check in. GiftTree has received rave reviews from affiliates who are thrilled that we communicate with them through Twitter. That tells me we’re on the right track.

Other social networks, like the Cost Per News Social Network allow me to meet new people who are in the industry. I can discuss a variety of affiliate marketing topics and learn from veterans who know the tried and true, along with new marketers who bring fresh ideas to the table.

I confess, I don’t utilize LinkedIn as much as I could. I use it a lot, but the network has so much to offer to those who take advantage, more than people generally realize. LinkedIn seems to be where everything comes together for me. It’s no surprise that many of the people I communicate with on other sites can also be found in my connections and in the same groups that I participate in.

So does affiliate marketing and social media mix? For GiftTree, and for me personally, the answer is a robust, “Yes!” I’d like to hear which social networking sites other people like to visit to connect with others in the affiliate marketing field.

Follow Jennifer Crego, Director of Business Development at GiftTree.com on Twitter. Follow GiftTree on Twitter.

I’m still dubious of the term “social media” (or marketer for that matter), but here’s an interesting piece with a variety of voices from Tamar Weinberg…

The Definition of Social Media Marketing: How to Find the Best Social Media Consultant » techipedia | tamar weinberg: “With many individuals finding great success with social media (and as an aside, a basic understanding of search engine optimization), they immediately consider themselves social media marketers and consultants (as well as seasoned SEOs) and offer to sell their promotional services. What skills, though, do successful social media marketers have that put these individuals above the average (or addicted) social media user, and better yet, above the traditional marketer? I asked several social media consultants, bloggers, marketers, search engine optimizers, and social media addicts about what they considered to be essential skills and characteristics of the most efficient and results-driven social media consultants. In the many paragraphs that follow, learn from many of the experts and hear what they consider success when using social media to engage with consumers about products and services.”

After my whuffie post last week, I had a number of people ask me how to keep track of their social reputation beyond just doing Google searches on yourself or your company’s name.

First of all (and perhaps most importantly), you have to get an RSS reader (aka feed reader). You don’t have the time yada yada yada, but if you care about your online reputation or who is mentioning you or your company, then you certainly have the time. If you’re on Windows, grab FeedDemon (free). If you’re on a Mac, use NetNewsWire (free). If you’re on Linux, grab Liferea from the depositories. If you want to live “in the cloud” and use a web app, you can’t go wrong with Google Reader.

Got one? OK, next step… actually find places that have the data your’e looking for. Here’s how I do it for myself, CostPerNews, my podcast and Motive Interactive:

1. In your feed reader of choice, create a folder called “Vanity Searches” or “Social Graph.”

2. Grab the “Google Alerts” for all of the terms you need to watch. This is social reputation 101 and chances are you have heard of Google Alerts. However, it’s amazing to me how many online marketers don’t use the service. You can get email. This is delivered by email instead of RSS as well.

3. Google Blog Alerts works similarly to Google Alerts but is a little more comprehensive. There’s some redundancy with Alerts, but it’s still worth watching.

4. Another oldie but goodie is Technorati. While not always up to date or accurate, there’s still some value in watching your brand there. Just put in whatever term or name your watching in the search bar on the upper right and grab the feed on the results page by clicking the RSS button.

– Now that we’ve gotten the foundation out the way, let’s go to the good stuff –

5. Here’s an excellent “Yahoo Pipe” for keywords that monitors news sources from multiple sites such as Digg, Technorati, Yahoo News, PRWeb, and Google News. Just put in whatever term you’re looking to watch, hit “Run Pipe” and then click the RSS button beside “More Options” on the right. This is probably my favorite way to track things on the web.

6. The grandaddy of all Yahoo Pipes for vanity searching is the Social Media Firehose. Works the same way as the keyword pipe above but gives a wide blast of data. It’s valuable, but you have to weed through a lot of duplications. Still recommend.

7. While you’re at Yahoo Pipes, grab the “Twitter Reply Sniffer.” Basically, this is a way for you to stay aware of anyone that @’s you in Twitter (you’re not on Twitter? Geez). Put in the terms or names you’d like to keep track of and you’ll get a custom URL. You then have the option to receive new alerts via Google, email, phone or RSS. Click on that orange RSS button called “more options” over on the right and add it to your “Social Graph” folder in your feed reader when the prompt comes up. Presto.

8. If your company might have some mentions on YouTube, you can track user tags and mentions using this YouTube tag Pipe. Not useful for everyone, but still good to have in the old feed reader.

9. Along those same lines, you can’t go wrong with Summize. Instead of just monitoring @’s on Twitter, Summize notifies you anytime a term you specify is mentioned. Grab the RSS feed on the right and add it into your feed reader. Highly valuable.

10. FriendFeed is becoming a great way to keep track of how others perceive you in the social media space because it is one big aggregation ball of goo. However, you can make some sense of out that with FriendFeed’s nifty search feature. Just put in whatever you’re keeping track of and grab the RSS from the page (should be in the URL address bar). Add that to your feed reader for sure.

If you follow those 10 steps, you should have a pretty good grip on what people are saying about you on the social web from Twitter to FriendFeed to blogs to Digg to YouTube. My “social graph” folder in my feed reader is increasingly becoming the first place I go in the mornings for news just to see if there’s anything going on that I’ve missed or to see if there are any conversations I can have with fans, friends, foes or potential evangelists.

Hope this helps!

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So even though I now work at Motive Interactive, I think this is a great promotion by the ShareASale team. Nicely done and I’d wager that you will definitely be copied on the idea!

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I’m doing a solo presentation on the Sunday of Affiliate Summit East in Boston about how to use “social” media in the context affiliate marketing.

My opening line is “you probably know of and maybe use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, FriendFeed, Google Reader and Ning, but you are probably using them wrong if you’re connecting them with your affiliate program…”

I’ve got a rough sketch of how the rest of the hour will go, but I’d like to make sure I cover the bases you’d like covered. So, comment (or email, call, twitter, etc) below and let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like to hear about using social media in an affiliate program.

Affiliate Summit East 2008 Agenda: “Leveraging Social Media
Location: Harborview Ballroom 1
Time: 1:30pm-2:30pm

(This Session is Open to Full Conference Pass Holders Only)
This session helps affiliate marketers, networks and merchants recognize the power of adapting and adopting social media platforms into their programs for increased traffic, conversions and profit.

* Sam Harrelson, Director of Performance Marketing, Motive Interactive”

For instance, I’ve got close to 2,500 people following me on Twitter and the platform provides a nice stream of passive and active traffic (when Twitter is up). However, I don’t just throw affiliate or even site links up to get that traffic. There are very specific and practical steps that you can take to be a productive part of a community like Twitter and still derive benefits.

So, let me know what you’d like to hear…

ShareASale Twitters

May 2, 2008 by

ShareASale has been a long time supporter of Twitter, but they are stepping it up with a new official account:

ShareASale Blog: “2.  Follow us on ‘Twitter’.  I have recently created a ‘ShareASale’ specific entry which is www.twitter.com/shareasale.  Also, feel free to follow me personally – I talk about ShareASale stuff as well as other things going on.  www.twitter.com/brianlittleton”

There’s a reason that ShareASale consistently ranks at the top of affiliates’ and publishers’ “Best Network” rankings when you consider how much they not only embrace but also take seriously mediums such as blogging or Twitter.

Other networks could learn a great deal from them or from @zappos or the growing myriad of advertisers finding a welcoming community on Twitter.’

Great job, ShareASale.