Facebook tracking pixels are a must if you sell either a product or service online. Once you set them up you can optimise your ads to be shown to people who take a specific action on your website. For example did they add something to a shopping basket? Did they sign up for your newsletter?
They are however quite hard to set up as you need to add the tracking code to a specific page on your website. If you are using WordPress and self hosting your website this weeks cool tool ‘Facebook Pixel Conversions for WordPress’ makes it easy to add this code.
What is a tracking pixel?
There are two types of Facebook tracking pixel:
Facebook website audience pixel
This is an easy pixel to install, you just add the code to the <head></head> section of your website and Facebook will start tracking the people who visit your website so that you can target an advert at them. You can add this to WordPress by editing the ‘header’ file. You do not require the plugin for this sort of pixel.
Facebook conversion tracking pixel
Here’s a video I made earlier in the year showing you how to create a tracking pixel
This is the most valuable pixel. This is the one that will drive conversions via ads to your site. Sadly it’s slightly harder to install, the code needs to be added to an individual post or page of your site and there is only one ‘header’ file.
How to install Facebook Conversion Tracking Pixels to WordPress
What page should you install your Facebook tracking pixel to?
When you set up a Facebook ad using your Tracking pixel it will be optimised to be shown to people who have in the past taken a specific action when following a pixel.
You can set up a pixel for the following goals:
Key Page Views
Adds To Cart
Other Website Conversions
If you want to measure the success of your pixel accurately you will need to install the pixel on the correct page. For example if your goal is ‘Leads’ and you want people to fill out a specific form on your page you should install the pixel to the ‘Thank you’ page that people reach after completing the form.
Have you used Facebook tracking pixels? Have you seen success? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Wouldn’t it be great if our customers created content for us? Most small businesses struggle to find the time and expertise to constantly create their own quality content. There are a few tactics you can use to plug the gap.
1. You can curate content from other sources that would appeal to your audience.
2. You can persuade your customers to share their own content.
Today I’m going to look at some techniques businesses use to get their customers sharing their own photos. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these or something else.
1. Run a contest
Before you run a contest on social media that requires people to create content for you you must have an active audience. If you do this could be a really good way to get more customer generated content. It can be hard to get the first few entries for a photo or video contest but once the first few are in you will find that others follow.
Pet Sitters Ireland (a client) are currently running a contest to appeal to their pet loving audience. ‘The Nose Of Tralee’ is a parody of the famous ‘Rose Of Tralee’ and asks people to enter their pets in the Ireland wide contest.
Paritcipants can encourage their friends to vote for their pet and a judging panel of expert will help choose the finalists.
This gives Pet Sitters a whole wealth of content to share. Their photo album ‘2014 Nose Of Tralee Competition‘ is updated twice a week with the latest entries. This makes for highly shareable content.
On Twitter the Eden Project encourage sharing by asking people to tag their photos with the #edenphotocomp. You will see signs displaying the hashtag when you visit. They re-share their favourite pics and there are monthly winners.
2. Reward fans
It’s not always necessary to run a contest to get fans sharing. Dublin Zoo encourage people to share their visitor images on the page. These images are added to a photo album that is shared regularly. They also use them for ‘caption this’ and other content.
Those who share the photos are delighted and as you can see from the number of shares on this photo album others are sharing too.
3. Are your fans sharing already
The Glasnevin Museum twitter feed is full of images from people who have visited the museum or the cemetery. Some of them are directed at the @GlasnevinMuseum Twitter account but others just mention Glasnevin in the text of the Tweet.
Whoever is behind the Twitter account using a Twitter search tool to find mentions of the town and local area.
Here’s how you can use Twitter search or Topsy to do this
Hashtags are huge on Instagram, users will add multiple tags. If you find that your customers are already sharing images on Instagram or Facebook give them a tag they can add. This is particularly useful if you are running an event.
Below you can see the #BlogAwardsIE tag was used extensively on Instagram at last years Blog Awards Ireland event. You can expect to see many more this year as Instagram gains popularity.
If you are running an event it’s a good idea to show a live stream of images as they are uploaded to Instagram and Twitter. I’ve been looking at Eventstagram, an app that allows you to easily display your live stream and am hoping to trial it at this years Blog Awards event.
When people see images appearing on the screen they will be keen to see their own work up there too.
5. Be photogenic
Is there something on your premises that people will want their photograph taken with? Maybe you have a quirky mural, an odd prop, an old street sign? Encourage those who visit to pose for a photo with your oddity, print them out and make a photo wall of them to encourage more to take part. You will soon find that people will come looking for the photo op when they visit.
The 1888 hotel in Sydney have taken this one step further with their ‘Instagram hotel’. Not only is it designed to be extrememly photogenic but they have a ‘Selfie’ space where residents can pose inside a frame for the perfect Insta selfie.
There’s always a dilemma when you leave the office for your holidays. You have finished off all the client work, set up your auto responder, changed your answer phone messages but what should you do with your social media and blog?
In the past I’ve scheduled blog posts to publish whilst I’ve been gone, I’ve even written posts whilst away. This time I decided that I’d take a blogging holiday.
I’ve been working hard on improving my blog all year and it’s been working. I’ve got lots of new readers and they do convert but I felt I needed time out. How could my blog be better? Maybe taking a break would show me?
Here’s what I learned from my 28 days of blog free holiday:
Review the frequency of blog posts
If I was going to schedule posts in advance for my holiday I’d have to be careful. I couldn’t write any ‘how to’ posts or even commentary. In the ever changing world of social media what I write today could be totally irrelevant next week. The sort of posts I could have scheduled would be curated posts, best of posts, fluffy posts. The problem with these is that they’d lack quality.
That old cliche is true. Quality is more important than quantity. At my prime I write four blog posts a week and although I strive for quality in each one there is no doubt that I won’t achieve it every time. It’s too heavy a schedule to allow me to give my clients the attention they deserve and write really great content.
Takeaway – Review the frequency of posting and strive for better quality posts.
Variety of content
Out of the four blog posts I write a week three are text based. One is a video. Variety of content is important. Not everyone can digest a large amount of text, video is often a better way to show people how to do things than a written tutorial.
This year I’ve also been looking at podcasting. Audio can help you reach people who may not usually digest your content. The nice thing about podcasting is that people can listen on the go or whilst doing other tasks. Podcasting is definitely finding it’s way to the top of my agenda.
Takeaway – Look at making one of my written blog posts a video post and one a podcast post.
Finding a niche
People tend to associate me with Facebook. I do love working on Facebook, it has so many quirks and tricks that I find it an interesting network to write about. It’s great to be considered as knowledgable on this topic but I don’t really want it to be my niche. I like to work with businesses cross platform. I’ve always seen my niche as working with Small Businesses on social media marketing.
Is small business a strong enough niche? I’ve learned I need to work harder at applying my posts specifically to small businesses. I need to tailor my social media marketing more towards this audience.
Takeaway – Make sure every post is targeted at a small business audience.
Use social media like others do
This is the most valuable lesson I have learned. I think it’s important for social media marketers to take a step back and use social networks like everyone else from time to time. It is only when we look at our Facebook or Twitter feed as a user rather than a marketer that we understand how they really work. Taking time out from marketing helps you do this.
Here’s an example:
When I was in Southend On Sea for the night a RNLI helicopter was circling over the pier. I did what any curious tweeter would do and typed #Southend and ‘Southend’ into the Twitter search box to see if I could find out what was going on. I didn’t find out what the helicopter was doing, I did find a restaurant that was actively tweeting about it’s food and re-sharing complimentary tweets from customers. This isn’t a tactic I’d have recommended restaurants to do in the past but it did make me want to visit. Time for me to rethink some Twitter tactics.
Takeaway – Take my marketing hat off every weekend and use social networks as a user.
I had ideas
Pretty much 24 hours a day 7 days a week I’m focussed on my work. My head is full of ideas and tasks and campaigns. This leaves little room for creativity. Taking a step back left my mind free to wander and think about other things. This meant I had new ideas and sitting down in front of my computer this morning I was fresh and ready to try something new.
Takeaway – Strive for better work life balance.
I missed important stuff
Some of the things that happened whilst I was away:
Twitter animated Gifs
Facebook psychological test
Facebook sidebar ads improved
I’m sure there is more so do let me know if there’s something I should know about that I didn’t pick up from my feeds this morning.
**UPDATE** There have been some serious issues reported using Gramblr for loading photos to Instagram including breaking your use of hashtags on Instagram. There are some good alternatives listed in the comments below**
If you aren’t using Instagram yet it’s worth taking a look. But what if all your photos are on your computer, what if you use an SLR to take your pictures rather than your phone? How can you post them to your Instagram account? In this post I’m going to show you two step guide using two cool tools to post Instagram photos via your computer.
1. Crops and adds filters to your photos so they look right for Instagram
2. Upload your photo to Instagram via the web
#1 Cropping and adding filters
Instagram is all about the filters. There have been and are lots of other mobile apps that offer cool filters for your photos, but the retro style that these filters add has become a signature of Instagram. A photo without a filter just doesn’t look Instagrammy.
I’ve talked about PicMonkey (affiliate link) before and it’s perfect for adding effects to your photos on the web.
Here’s how it works:
Upload your image and make it square:
Visit the PicMonkey (affiliate) website and sign up for an account
Click ‘Edit’ from the top menu bar
Select an image from your computer and upload it
Click ‘Crop’ from the side bar menu
From the drop down menu select ‘Square’
Pull out the edges of the selection area to select the area of your photo you want to use.
When you are happy with the selection click ‘Apply
Resize your image:
Click ‘Crop’ again
Change the proportions in the boxes to 650 x 650 and check the ‘Scale photo’ box
Pull the edges of the selection box out until it reaches the edges of your photo
Click on the magic wand icon on the left hand toolbar
Select a filter from the menu
When you are happy with your creation click ‘Save’ at the top of the screen to save to your computer.
#2 Upload your photo to Instagram
Although you can view your Instagram photos on the web you can’t as yet upload to the app this way. Gramblr is a tool that allows you to do this.
Last October Twitter made one of the biggest changes to it’s service. After years of being a text only service they allowed images to appear in the stream.
At first I was concerned that it would slow the load time of the app. Luckily this doesn’t seemed to have happened. I was also worried that we’d see a flood of Facebook style memes but it seems the people I follow don’t share many of those either. In general it has made the Twitter experience better. I used to have to click to see a photo. You might not think this is a big deal you might think but psychologically I was making a commitment by clicking.
Now the images slow me down, as I scroll through my feed the photos catch my eye and attract me to specific tweets. They have become a hugely powerful part of what Twitter is.
In this post I’ll look at images on Twitter, when we should share them, what size they should be and we’ll look at some examples of what I think works well.
When to share an image
Photos have power but only when they are good. If you are thinking of putting a text quote on a blank background and sharing it stop now. You are just creating a tweet in a really long winded way. A good image on Twitter should be enough to slow down someone scrolling through the stream and at best make them click either to see more of the photo or the link that accompanies it.
1. Images with links
If you have written a blog post or article try sharing a strong image with it. This should be an attention grabbing picture. Take a look at this one from Lifehacker. It’s colourful, it catches the eye and the text really makes me want to click the link to find out the solution.
2. Share a moment from your day
When we follow brands on Twitter we often forget there are humans behind the logos. If you have to use your branding for your avatar you can still show your personality and images can be a great way to do this. I love this picture from Designist, it shows me a bit of the personality behind the logo.
Conferences are great places to meet new people and connect with people on Twitter. I’ve met lots of business contacts after tweeting with them at conferences. I’m never at a loss for someone to have coffee with.
It’s a good idea to share relevant snippets of information that you pick up at conferences with your followers but now we can share pictures from the day too. If you are doing this think about how you can make your photo unique. Don’t let your image get lost in a sea of similar images from other attendees. Can you get an angle that no one else can? Perhaps it’s the food, an interesting installation or a selfie with one of the speakers. As we have learnt from Ellen at the Oscars, a selfie taken at the right time and place can be hugely popular.
Eye catching images will stand out in the search results from the conference hash tags and people will begin to recognise your name before you even tweet them.
This image from Documentally seemed to be shared from a post conference dinner.
4. Because you just took a great photograph
If you are somewhere beautiful or if you just nailed it and happened to get a great shot share it. It’s not always going to be appropriate for your business but like the ice cream shot above it’s a good way to let people know there is a person behind the brand.
5. To demonstrate a point
I saw the photograph below in my Twitter stream today. Initially I was expecting a link to accompany it but it really isn’t neccessary. This is an example of when a picture really does tell a thousand words.
What size should your image be?
If you want your picture to show in full in the Twitter stream you need to create an image that has a 2:1 ratio. That means it should be twice as long as it is deep. The optimum size for an image you upload to Twitter is 1024×512 pixels. It displays as 440×220 pixels in the feed. You can use PicMonkey (affiliate link) to scale your images to the right size or create images that are the right size.
If you upload an image that doesn’t fit the ratio it will be cropped in the feed. Twitter will still show the full picture when someone expands the tweet or clicks on it.
Take a look at this image shared by Monster Energy. The image that displays in the feed gives no hint of what is really happening in the photo.
How does Twitter choose what part of the image to show
If you have an image that doesn’t fit the correct ratio Twitter crops it in the feed. We don’t really know exactly how Twitter chooses what part of your image to show, there is no obvious trait. Sometimes Twitter will show the bottom, sometimes the middle sometimes the top of an image. It is thought that Twitter chooses the most interesting part of the image. As we can see from the example above it doesn’t always get this right.
Sharing from Instagram
There are a few reasons why sharing from Instagram doesn’t work well on Twitter
1. You have to leave the Twitter website to view the Instagram photo. This is prohibitive particularly for mobile users who may not have a strong wifi or 3G signal.
2. We tend to add loads of hashtags to our Instagram photos. This doesn’t work well on Twitter. Autoshares from Instagram tend to look like an unreadable list of tags and don’t inspire a click through.
If you want to share your Instagram photos on Twitter there is a work around that will share your image in the feed.
Using IFTTT create a recipe that will share your picture as a Twitpic on Twitter every time you share an image on Instagram with a specific hashtag. Viewable in the stream. If you use this recipe make sure that you are including Twitter friendly text in the description.
Are you using images as part of your Twitter strategy? What sort of photos are working best for you? Do you find they result in more clicks to your blog posts or RT’s. I’d love to hear your experiences. Leave me a comment below.
Have you ever wanted to add your logo to an image but discovered there’s a horrible background you can’t get rid of? Have you wanted to use a photo of yourself against a different background, a beach or a Christmas scene for example? Maybe you’ve spent ages on photoshop trying to cut out items to do just that.
This weeks cool tool Clipping Magic is a really quick and easy way to remove image backgrounds for use it in conjunction with any other image. There is a small charge to download images (Starting at $2.99 for 15 images) but the amount of time and effort it will save you is well worth it.
Once you have finished editing click the download button. This will bring you to the subscription page. Although you have to subscribe for a month you can downgrade as soon as you’ve used your credits to avoid extra charges.
Once you have subscribed you can download the image and this is where it gets clever. Clipping magic will bring you to a download page for your image. It doesn’t matter how many times you download it, it will always count as just one download. There is a link that allows you to share the download page with others. This could be useful if you want to run a campaign where people add your logo to their avatar or photo as part of a contest. It’s also a handy way to share the image with other people on your team.
Now you can use a tool like PicMonkey to add your cut out to another background.
I really like the simplicity of this tool, it’s well worth the $2.99 and I know I’ll be saving myself loads of time in the future using it.
Some of the most shareable images on Pinterest are instructographics. These are the long thin images that take you step by step through a task. They are great for gardening tips, cooking tips and even social media tips.
The good news is, they are really easy to create. In this video tutorial I show you how to make one in less than four minutes with PicMonkey (affiliate link).
Before you start you will need:
A set of images showing each step in the process
A header image for your graphic telling people what you are demonstrating
A copy of your logo (not shown in video)
Save all these files to your computer and visit the PicMonkey site (affiliate link) and you are ready to follow my tutorial.
Here’s one I made earlier. This is a very basic instructographic, spend a bit more time and you can get creative and make something much prettier.
If you give it a go let me know and leave me a link to your work in the comments section.
Images are a vital part of any social media strategy. An eye catching photograph or graphic can attract people to your content. Traditionally we used images on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest but now Twitter is just as important. The addition of images in the newsfeed is putting a new focus on photographs and graphics.
It’s important to create attractive images that stand out. One tactic that has worked really well is to add text to your photos. A clever caption or a quote can transform the meaning of your pictures and make them shareable.
This weeks cool tool Word Swag helps you create really pretty captions that will help your images pop. At the moment it is only available for iPhone (sorry Android fans) and costs €2.69.
Click on either the camera icon to take a photo or the library icon to choose an image
You can select a template image from the wordswag library or a photo from your camera roll
In the example I have chosen an image from my camera roll
Choose to either square crop your image or use it as it is. If you are planning on sharing the image on Instagram it’s a good idea to use square crop. It can take a few seconds for your new cropped image to appear.
Now it’s time to have fun with your photo and start adding text
From the menu at the bottom of the screen you can choose a style for your text. Choose a broad style and then click the numbers underneath to see variations on that style. You can also use the dice to cycle through styles at random.
Click on the colour pallet to change the colours in the text. The ‘Invert’ button will make your text transparent and mask the foreground. This is a pretty cool way of framing your image.
Double tap on the text to add your caption.
You can access a library of quotes and phrases by clicking options on the left hand side or you can create your own caption by clicking ‘custom’ (recommended).
Once you have finished with your caption click ‘Save & Close’
You may want to adjust your text style and colour again to fit your caption. Once you have finished click ‘done’. This saves your work to your camera roll and gives you the option to share directly to social media services.
I love this cool tool and have been busy creating captioned images. I particularly like the option to share directly to Instagram.
In part three we will discuss how you can measure your results.
Now that you have planned that strategy and thought about the content you will post it is important to monitor your success.
You need to do this on an ongoing basis. If you wait until the end of a campaign you may have missed some key signals on how your strategy is working. I recommend doing a weekly audit to start with and then pushing this out to bi-weekly or monthly once you are further into your plan.
Keeping a keen eye on your Facebook strategy results allows you to adjust your strategy as you discover what is and isn’t working. In today’s post I’m going to look at how to measure success dependent on your business goals.
We’ll look at:
Are you reaching the right people
How to measure growth in interactions
How to find your best posts
Tracking traffic to your website with Google analytics
Whisper codes and Facebook ‘Offers’
Before we start you need to go back to the beginning and look at what goals you set for your strategy. Here is how to measure success depending on the goals you set.
1. Increase audience size
Was your goal to build your community? If so this is one of the easiest statistics to measure. Make a note of how many Likes your page has when you start and monitor the growth over the duration of your campaign.
It’s also important to ensure that you are attracting the right people. You may well achieve your goal in audience size but you need to check that your audience is relevant.
You can discover this via Facebook insights.
On your Facebook insights tab click ‘People’. Here you are able to view demographic data about your audience. You can see what percentage of your Likers are Male or Female, what age group they fit into and where they live.
Going beyond page Likers you can see this same information about the people that your page posts have reached and the people who interact with you.
2. Brand awareness
Is your brand getting noticed on Facebook? One good way to measure this is to measure the number of interactions you get on posts and the amount of people that are talking about your page (PTAT). You can do this manually but it takes time, particularly if you are getting a lot of interaction.
Quintlyis a really useful tool for monitoring growth in interaction and PTAT. You will need to set it up prior to starting your campaign so that it can start gathering data.
In the graph below you can see statistics about interaction and PTAT both for Spiderworking.com and We Teach Social. As you can see Spiderworking had a peak but is now tailing of (due to me posting less) and We Teach Social is seeing a small but steady increase.
Fanpage Karma is a nice tool that shows you all sorts of inside data on your page. One of it’s best features helps you to find out what posts are performing best.
It will show you a list of your top performing posts and your weakest posts. This should help you define what posts work best for your audience.
You also have the ability to tag your posts according to type, style, tone of voice and desired action. By doing this you will be able to see what types of posts consistantly perform best for you.
3. Traffic To Website
This is an easy statistic for you to measure. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, and if you don’t you really should install it, you can see exactly how much traffic is coming from Facebook.
Click on ‘Aquisition’ on the left hand side ‘social’ and ‘Network referrals’ to see how many people have arrived on your site via Facebook.
Google URL Builder
The only catch here is that you will only see the total number of referrals that come to your site via Facebook not the number that come from your page or your ads. For a more detailed analysis you can use Google URL builder. This adds some tracking info to the links you post to Facebook allowing you to identify exactly how many click throughs come from those links. Click here to read more about how it works.
If you shorten your links using Bitly before you post them to Facebook you are able to access information about how many times those links have been clicked and by who. This is a particularly useful tool to use if you don’t have analytics installed or if you are driving traffic to a website other than your own. Click here to read more about how it works.
If your goal was to get more leads you first need to decide what a lead is. Is it an email address? A website enquiry? A phone number?
If you want to collect email addresses you can count how many you collect from competitions or other promotions you do on Facebook. You can do the same for phone numbers
If you want people to complete a form on your website use Google analytics to track those who visit your site from Facebook
Keep a record of how many of these leads convert to see how effective your lead capturing contests and promotions are.
Facebook offers have passed their prime but they are still available. Click the ‘Offer’ icon on your status update box to set up an offer. This is a paid option but you will be able to measure it’s success when people avail of the offer.
Share a word or a phrase on Facebook and encourage your customers to say it when they drop in to the store or order from you on the phone. If you are an online store you can set it up as a discount code on your website. When customers use this code give them a discount or something extra with their purchase. This is a great way to know that people are finding out about you or paying attention to your posts on Facebook.
Keep a record of all these statistics so that you can measure progression over time.
These are just a few ways you can measure the success of your Facebook strategies. How do you do it? Leave me a comment below.