Facebook Releases ‘Topics to Watch’ Insights Feature

Facebook Topics to Watch is a new Facebook Insights feature that is designed to highlight 6 topics each month that have seen an overall increase in conversation on Facebook over the last year. In addition, the social media new feature will also show who is talking about a topic and what else they’re talking about at the same time. I’ve got to say, that could get interesting from both a personal and business standpoint. Will it help us find the next big thing to talk about?

The Topics to Watch According to Facebook

Check out this closer look at the topics for March that Facebook released as examples. Facebook Topics to Watch will be a monthly report. The topics seem a little out there, but apparently that’s the whole point. Facebook is seeking to diversify the topics being discussed on its platform by finding the trending topics and including them in Facebook Insights so we can all join the conversation.

The example report is concise and easy to read in an infographic type format. The topics are presented straightforwardly along with the following other Facebook analytics:

  • Associated topics
  • Conversation volume
  • Who’s driving the conversation

So far, the who’s who is gender-based, but I expect that will soon be changing to something a little more insightful. This is definitely a Facebook new feature that I plan to keep an eye on.

Will Facebook Topics to Watch Keep Us Ahead of Big Trends?

It remains to be seen since Facebook Topics to Watch is so new, but it very well could give us an insight into which topics will become trends next. That is huge for marketers because it allows us to take advantage of the buzz as it is building and arriving, not when it’s half way gone. Think how powerful it would be if you could discuss all of the trending topics just as they were gaining momentum in the marketplace.

Still, it remains to be seen how useful the report will be since the first set of topics are a things like Buddha’s Hand, Cortado, and Kalamkari. These are all new terms for me. Who knew Buddha’s Hand was an exotic fruit? However, for niche marketers, it could prove to bery lucrative from time to time. Kalamkari? Why they are hand painted or block printed textiles of course, and just in case you were wondering, a Cortado is an espresso drink of some sort. Whatever the case, Facebook is saying the report is 80% accurate so far.

How to Access Facebook Topics to Watch

For now, the infographic turned report turned latest hot social media new feature is a part of Facebook IQ. You should be able to readily access the trending topics and more from http://insights.fb.com/. If you haven’t already, you may want to consider signing up with your email to receive regular updates from Facebook IQ. You can never go wrong in your business by knowing the latest Facebook news. You may even find some other Facebook Insights you’d like to stay on top of.

Wrap Up

I think this latest trending topics offering from Facebook is quite interesting. Even though with this first example, most of the topics seem a big useless and off the wall, I expect to see some really hot topics coming down the line. Surely if Kalamkari can be a trending topic, so can a few aspects of Internet marketing! That’s what I’m looking for with this Facebook new feature.

How would you be able to use something like this in your business? What topics would you like to see come out of the woodwork? Did you find other features in Facebook Insights or Facebook IQ that are useful? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!



Why Facebook Messenger New Group Calling Feature Helps Success Rate Of Your Facebook Ads

Facebook Messenger is stepping up with a challenge to Skype, Slack, and other platforms by offering group calling. The uniqueness of Facebook in the realm of popularity across the globe and their traffic volume allow them to do this better than anyone else so far. The benefits are many and there is one secret weapon if you do any advertising on Facebook. Let’s get into the details.

Group Calls on Facebook Messenger

I can’t believe the range of services Facebook has come to provide and most of them are free of charge. They really do run neck and neck with Google in that capacity. If you told me 10 years ago there would be a FREE and high quality way to conduct group calls over the Internet in a decade, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. An infrastructure like that would cost millions, yet here we are.

You can jump on a call with up to 50 people on Facebook Messenger. They can be friends, family, colleagues, or whoever. In seconds, you could be carrying on a conversation with people all over the world. That is huge for any business and used to be a costly endeavor. Social media giant, Facebook, now let’s you get it done. You can call from your office or from mobile devices on your daily commute.

How To Make Group Calls on Facebook Messenger

You might be wondering how it works. Obviously, you need a Facebook account and Facebook Messenger on your device. You’re ready to rock with these steps:

  1. Tap the phone icon.
  2. Select the people you want in the call. They will all receive a Facebook Messenger call simultaneously.
  3. If you miss the call, tap the phone icon to join.
  4. If someone else is missing from the call, tap the phone icon and select them from the list.

That’s a lot easier than the last corporate system I used for video calling. By the way, video calling isn’t available yet on Facebook Messenger. It’s just been released for voice calls so far, but you can still do video calling with one person at a time.

About That Facebook Advertising Secret Weapon

I’m sure you’re eager to learn what Facebook Messenger has to do with Facebook ads. It’s staggering to think that Facebook Messenger is being used by 900 million people each month. That is beyond an authoritative amount of communication. There’s a way to put that to work for you and your business. One billion messages are passing between people and businesses on Facebook. To help you take advantage, Facebook has put together the following features:

  • Usernames – To help people find your business on Facebook Messenger and make your name memorable. If your page already has a vanity URL, that is your username.
  • Messenger Links and Messenger Code – Facebook Messenger links are short links: m.me/yourusername that allow customers to connect with you directly. Messenger Codes are codes that can be scanned with your phone camera to open a conversation on Facebook Messenger.
  • Facebook Messenger Greetings – Furthermore you can set up a custom greeting in Facebook Messenger to greet your customers utilizing these great features to contact your business.

The clencher and secret weapon is that businesses can use Facebook Messenger Links and Codes in their Facebook ads. That is crazy powerful just in case you needed yet another reason to consider Facebook ads.

Speaking of that…

4 Reasons to Use Facebook Ads Besides Facebook Messenger

  1. Facebook is where your customers hang. There’s a reason why Facebook is on top of the world right now. Pretty much everyone is on Facebook.
  2. Facebook’s targeting is second to none. You can really drill down to what color hair you want your audience to have, okay, maybe not quite that far.
  3. Warm leads. Once your audience finds you on Facebook, they are pretty warm and looking for what you have to offer.
  4. Reach people on mobile. 87% of Facebook’s monthly traffic comes from mobile users. Need I say more?

Wrap Up

This whole Facebook Messenger Group Calling is a big piece of Facebook News to say the least. Skype who? Anyway, I suggest you get in there and start using these great social media updates for your business. I’d love to hear in the comments how it’s going. Post your usernames!




How to Win at the Game of SEO

SEO strategy is like a long game of chess. To win, you must have a thorough understanding of the rules, a strategy, and know how to get the job done. Chess may be called the “game of kings”, but you don’t have to be a master to win and search engine optimization is the same way.

Developing a Long-Term SEO Strategy

SEO Strategist – First of all, there needs to be one person with an overall view of your SEO strategy as a whole. This way, you don’t have a bunch of different people all doing the same thing. If your company is large, have one person manage and delegate tasks to execute your SEO strategies.

Keep your eye on the big picture. – Just like in chess, you need to be able to look ahead several moves and anticipate what your opponents are doing. This is how you give your website that extra SEO boost from time to time. Remember, don’t do anything stupid. If it seems risky, it probably is.

Optimize for humans, not search engines. – We call it search engine optimization, but we build websites for people, right? If you keep that in mind, you’ll do fine.

Build and maintain your reputation. – Reputation is as important online as it is in the real world. One of your SEO strategies should be reputation management or you’re doing it wrong!

Be an authority! – I talk about authority a lot because it’s important. If you have no authority, everything you do will fall flat. Your SEO strategy is no different. Fill your site with helpful content and aim to be the go-to place in your industry. Having an authoritative website will make your search engine optimization a much simpler task and you will be hard to beat in the long run.

 Playbook to Win the SEO Game

The SEO game is totally winnable, and I’m sharing this playbook:

  • Play 1 – Use social media. Can you imagine a growing list of mobile-optimized websites where you can list your business and share content in all different formats totally free? It already exists! At the bare minimum, your business should be active on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Play 2 – Be an authority! – I hope I don’t sound like a broken record. Listen, you’re not going to jump online and build an authority site in a week. That’s why I put this under the long-term SEO strategies as well. While you can’t build it short-term, you need to start with this goal in mind right out of the gate.
  • Play 3 – Pull in links from authority sites. – This is a slow and steady process. Have you ever been on an authority site and come across a dead link? That’s one way to edge your way in if you have an article that fits the link and topic. If you don’t, you might want to consider creating one just for the purpose of nabbing that link real estate. Guest posting is another good way to grab those authority back links and boost SEO.
  • Play 4 – Be human. – No one wants to visit a site built for robots. I’ve seen sites online that were optimized for search engine bots. They are a mess of keywords that form articles that make no sense. They are loaded down with junk links. That’s no way to live in the search engine optimization space just to make a quick buck off some ads. In fact, it won’t work. Google will slap you with a penalty so fast, you won’t recover.
  • Play 5 – Plan for the long-term. – Even if you website is something you are just trying, build and optimize it for the long-term. If you don’t, when your business takes off, you’ll have a huge mess to clean up later.

Action Steps to Boost SEO Today

I like to include little quick start guides with posts like this that give you action steps so you can get started right away:

  1. Remove clutter from your website. Sleek and clean is a great first step to search engine optimization.
  2. Structure your content. Have H1 titles, H2 subtitles, format your copy in digestible chunks, and include links that support your content.
  3. Use keywords in all the right places including your titles and tags.
  4. Create great content. You can’t have solid SEO strategies without it.

Wrap Up

Just like chess, SEO is a game you can win. Just make sure you are using the best SEO strategies for the long haul that present you as an authority in your industry!


Local Search vs. Organic Search: How to Spot the Differences

Local search versus organic search is an ongoing question, especially for those new to Internet marketing and the online space. For a lot of people, search engine optimization is like a maze they have to get through before it begins to generate traffic for them. Spotting the difference between local and organic search is pretty obvious once you know what you’re looking for.

The Main Difference

The main difference between organic and local search is the location element. Local search is reserved for exactly that, local businesses and locations, while organic search is for a wider national or even global audience. For example. Vick-Strizheus.com is global, so you won’t find any tags or other information that optimize this site for local. For the most part, local SEO is for physical locations for goods and services.

The Advantage of Local Search Versus Organic Search

The cool thing about local search is that your business has the ability to be front and center with other local businesses and it’s a level playing field as of this writing. I did find out recently that Google is testing ads for the Local Listings Pack (the three listings under the map in search results), but it’s not official yet.

The main advantage to local optimization is that local businesses with trusted websites can rank quite well without a lot of hassle. Organic sites don’t appear in the Google Local Listings Pack, so the competition is stripped down to just your local competitors.

More Differences Between Local and Organic Search

There are several difference between local and organic search since there are 2 distinct approaches to optimizing for each. So, aside from location:

  • SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) Position – Local and organic SEO may not achieve the same SERPs position. Even though you may be on the first page for local search doesn’t mean you will rank on the first for organic
  • Backlinks versus Citations – For organic search, backlinks are wanted to achieve a better ranking. You want other relevant authority pages to link to your website. For local, you build citations in lieu of backlinks. Citations are local listings for your business on sites like Yelp, YellowPages, Foursquare, etc.
  • The Approach – Organic SEO requires on and off page search engine optimization efforts to achieve success. It is a ton of work. However, local SEO doesn’t really start on your website, but with a Google My Business listing. From there, it’s all about citations and reviews

Which Is Best For Your Business

You may want to concentrate on one, the other, or both. It depends on the reach your business has. Let me break it down for you like this:

Organic – best for businesses with multiple locations, a national or global reach. For example, Ace Hardware needs organic SEO, but Bob’s Hardware of Kalamazoo needs local.

Local – best for businesses that operate a physical location. For example, your local boutiques, plumbers, restaurants, etc. need local SEO.

Both – Some situations do call for both. For example, if you run a graphic design agency, you want to be searchable by your local community as well as across the globe since your products are mostly digital. Another example would be a chain store like Walmart. They need to appear in the local results as well as organic.

Wrap Up

Local search versus organic search can be confusing. I hope this post will help clear it up for you. A word of caution, watch out for local companies trying to sell you search engine optimization services. Do your due diligence before you hire someone. Search engine optimization can be tedious and just as it has the power to make your business, it can also break it if some shady SEO company builds spammy links or something else Google might frown upon.

Reading a few articles like this one and this one can help you know enough to not get ripped off. Let me hear what you’ve learned in the comments!

How to Create Engaging Content for Your Business

One of the biggest challenges in working online is to consistently create engaging content for your target audience. It is a full-time job all by itself and fits neatly under the umbrella of your content marketing success. Let’s get into some tips on how you can drive content engagement for your brand or business starting today.

Creating Engaging Content for Business

This is easier said than done. Content does a lot more than drive content engagement. It also builds trust and loyalty for you business in the marketplace. Having authoritative content for business can really take you to a higher level online, not to mention what it does for your credibility. Try these action steps to create engaging content:

  1. Create the right goals. While engagement is a worthy goal, it shouldn’t be your main goal.
  2. Do it better than your competition. You can use Google to do a site:search and then use Open Site Explorer to find your competitors’ best content and see who is linking to it. Then create better content and ask the same brands to link to your content as well.
  3. Build brand trust with good representation on and offline.
  4. Share valuable information from your brand and other non-competing brands.
  5. Highlight experts in your company and bring them to the forefront.
  6. Market your content using social media.

Using Social Media to Increase Content Engagement

Social media is like a car that drives you content where you want it to go. No matter what kind of content you create, you can distribute it using various social media channels and reach a wider audience than if you just released the info on your blog and left it to the organic search results.

You can actually use social media to drive content engagement without a lot of hassle. In fact, here it is broken down in 4 simple steps:

  1. Think outside the box. Be innovative in your approach. Every new, shiny thing out there was discovered through out of the box thinking.
  2. Customize your pages and profiles. Make sure you fill out all of the information and upload the necessary graphics.
  3. Be congruent to your brand. Don’t represent completely different ideas from your brand intent.
  4. Stay relevant. Make sure you spend a little time each day reading and studying the latest news in your industry.

Content Marketing Success in a Boring Industry

Maybe your business isn’t that exciting. Do you run a funeral home? Oh, you drive a sewage truck? Man, that is tough! So how can you find content marketing success? I feel your pain. I’m glad I’m not in your shoes, but that doesn’t mean there is not a solution for you to increase content engagement. Check this out:

  • Focus on the issues your customers face. All of the content you create should solve a problem or answer a question for your audience
  • Know your target audience. Acknowledge the types of content that perform the best and make more of that. Don’t neglect list building!
  • Be consistent. If you decide to blog once a week, then get that new blog out once a week without fail
  • Experiment. Try all different types of content and see what performs the best. Grant it, video might be a bit of a challenge, but if you’re creative, you will find a way

The more content you create and drill it down to what is working to increase content engagement, the less boring your subject matter will seem.

Wrap Up

Creating engaging content for business doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some action steps to get you started quickly:

  1. Set goals.
  2. Fulfill your goals consistently.
  3. Analyze what is working and what’s not.
  4. Create more of what’s working.
  5. Rinse.
  6. Repeat.

Don’t make it harder than it is. If you set aside a couple hours to brainstorm content for business and include a few team members, this would quickly become a non-problem in your business. Comment below and let me know what kind of strategies you’re using to drive content engagement in your corner of the web.