Facebook profits from mobile advertising


Watch: As Facebook reports a rise in mobile advertising revenue, analysts say Asia offers the firm plenty of room to grow further.

There have been doubts over Facebook’s ability to sell adverts on mobile devices, not least due to their small screen size. Investors had feared that its growth may be hurt as a result.

However, Facebook said 30% of its $1.25bn (£803m) advertising revenue in the first quarter came from mobile.

It reported a net profit of $219m for the January to March quarter.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in the first few months of the year,” said Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

But increased spending on infrastructure, together with the fact the firm now employs more people than it did a year ago, contributed to a 60% jump in costs and expenses to $1.1bn in the quarter.

‘They are delivering’

Ever since its launch, Facebook has enjoyed tremendous growth and has gone on to dominate the social networking sector.

However, an increasing number of users are accessing the site on their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs.

The screens of these gadgets are much smaller compared with traditional PCs or laptops. That had led to concerns that Facebook may find it tough to sell advertising space on these and turn its online dominance into profits.

These concerns have hurt the firm’s share price ever since its high profile initial public offering (IPO) last year.

However, analysts said the latest numbers indicate that the firm is keeping up with changing patterns.

“They are making the transition to mobile faster than anyone anticipated,” said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne Agee. “It seems like they are delivering.”

According to Facebook, it generated mobile advertising revenue of almost $375m, during the period, up from nearly $330m in the previous three months and approximately $150m in the three months to 30 September 2012.

‘In full force’

Facebook also reported an increase in users who access Facebook every day, these, on average, rose 8% from December to 655 million in March.

That had been another area of concern for investors, amid talk of so-called “Facebook fatigue” among users.

Analysts said the numbers indicated that the site continued to remain popular.

“The network remains in full force,” said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner. “You have to give them a lot of credit.”

                                     Facebook logo on Nasdaq board
Facebook now has 1.11 billion monthly active users

For its part, Facebook has taken various steps in recent months to make sure it keeps its dominant place in the sector.

It has overhauled its newsfeed and search feature, and launched Facebook Home, an app for Android phones.

The app, which effectively replaces the phone’s home screen with a Facebook feed and chat options, has received mixed reviews from users.

Some analysts said that the firm had managed to fend off competition in the sector.

“There is always going to be something new in social,” said Nate Elliot of Forrester Research.

“The question is how much of it is a threat to Facebook? All Facebook can do is keep those users coming back and make money off those users.

“And Facebook seems to be doing both of those things reasonably well.”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22376553

10 top tips for small business success on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the definitive social network for small business. More than four million professionals in the UK and more than half a million groups have been created. Someone joins LinkedIn every second.

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Here are 10 tips for making the most of LinkedIn for your business

1. Find new customers

LinkedIn is a great way to find new customers. Improve your chances of finding them by asking your customers to write you a recommendation, which will be broadcast to all of their connections and yours.

2. Stay connected to those who like you the most

LinkedIn is all about business intent. Way more so than any other network, where perhaps sharing is the biggest motivator. LinkedIn can be your place to get deals done.

3. Sync your other social networks with LinkedIn

You can easily sync your Twitter with LinkedIn so that you don’t have to go to two places and make the update. Think before you do though. If you use your Twitter purely for talking about your personal likes and loves consider whether your business network wants to share in that on LinkedIn.

4. Seek out suppliers

You can find people and businesses you might otherwise have had trouble tracking down through LinkedIn. Search for a company or see which companies your connections are recommending – you could strike gold here.

5. Find out which of your contacts are on LinkedIn and invite them

By simply downloading your email contacts you can upload them all to LinkedIn via a CSV or excel file. It’s a really quick and easy way to connect with your contacts. Don’t forget to add your LinkedIn handle to your email as well – that way you’re promoting your social profile day-in-day-out.

6. Make use of groups or start one

You can glean a lot of industry knowledge from joining LinkedIn groups. Just search the directory to find subjects of interest in your industry. You could start one yourself and become the thought leader of a given subject. There are a surprising number of businesses who’ve got a lot done this way.

7. Get answers you can trust

Use the direct mail function to email someone directly with a question or a post your question to a group. You can guarantee that someone else will have a question too and help you with the answers you’re looking for. You may even win new business this way. If you help someone with a good answer to a tough question, who knows, they may select you for the services you offer.

8. Be wise

LinkedIn’s premise is that you connect with people you’ve done business with, so don’t go spamming people you’ve never met with requests to connect – this can backfire on you and may even see you given a warning. You can connect with people you don’t know though by asking to connect with them via a group you’re both a part of. They can only say no.

9. Blog

If you write a great blog you’ll want to share this on LinkedIn – there are lots of professionals ready and willing to engage with your content if it’s good.

10. Keep an eye on the competition

Use LinkedIn to see what the competition is up – who they were connecting with, what groups they were creating and contributing to. It’s a brilliant way to see what’s happening in your industry. If you’re not into sharing or the fear of the competition finding out what you’re up to is scary just suck it up – you’ll only get left behind. You could even look to hire new people via LinkedIn. Their profile is there for all to see.

How do you use LinkedIn for your business?

Source: http://howdoyoudo-marketing.co.uk/2010/11/10-top-tips-for-small-business-success-on-linkedin/

The value of social media to small businesses

Social media offers massive opportunities to engage with customers, get more word of mouth, interact with a larger audience, present the ‘human’ side of your business, and get noticed online.

Social networking can be valuable to businesses

In today’s world of online social circles it’s hard to imagine any business not joining the universal scramble for a free soapbox to a wider audience. Yet many small businesses don’t see how they can benefit from social media. Not everyone has had their eyes opened by the massive opportunities for engagement and new business that tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook – along with the various blogging platforms present.

3 reasons why small businesses should consider social media

  1. Word of mouth is the most powerful force of discovery, and social media is nothing more than word of mouth amplified.
  2. Engage with a larger audience – As a business owner you can be guaranteed a large portion of your customers – and potential customers – are likely to spend a lot of time on social sites. Here is an opportunity for you to engage with a large audience and present the ‘human’ side of your business.
  3. You don’t have to be big to be noticed  – Most areas of social media require the investment of time and not money, making it a level playing field to be noticed.

What is the starting point?

  • Get a website. The first very important step is to get an online presence, your ‘store front’. Once you have a website (or even a blog) created then you are ready to get started with social media. The costs of getting a website up and running have come down dramatically recently and small businesses have a number of options available. Whichever solution you choose, make sure you can easily and cheaply make changes to your site as you have more content and news to share.
  • Spend time on social sites – Once you have a business website then your next step is to spend time on a number of social sites. Spend some time listening, before you start talking and don’t forget that business owners are consumers too, so look at how other businesses are doing it. Educate yourself on social media, and then decide what you want. Jump in, experiment and learn.
  • Link to your website – Think of social media as a party, a big conversation and one that you can be part of. Link your online presence (or website) from all sites you engage in back to one common place – which would be your website – or store front. So for example all those links on your Twitter and Facebook profile should take people to one place.
  • Define a strategy – Strategy is a heavy and can be an expensive word. First of all make sure you have your website done, then think about how you want to use it, to which audiences, with which messages. Having a plan will give you short cuts and cut out a lot of effort later.

Key questions to ask yourself

    • How much time can you invest?
    • Do you have the resources to invest in social media (for example an employee)?

What are your business objectives?

  • Are you looking to make more direct sales, solicit feedback or raise awareness?
  • Do you have the resources to dedicate to blogging?

Common mistakes

Small business owners often make these mistakes when embarking into social media for the first time. You can learn from their mistakes so you don’t have to make them again.

    • A dead blog – or one that isn’t maintained – is counter productive. Commit to finding time to put relevant and engaging content together for your blog before starting, and don’t start one if you don’t think you can commit to it.

Starting and not keeping going – if you start to get feedback and you’re not monitoring it or responding, it won’t look good.

  • Familiarise yourself with the unwritten rules that often exist on social/community sites. For example, don’t go to Twitter and update it but only to advertise your business and not add any additional value.
  • Patience is very important as social media is about building relationships, and this takes time. These relationships build up slowly and so the more effort you invest the more rewards you’ll reap.

The relevance of blogging

  • Being human – Having a blog gives you the chance to present the human side of your business and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
  • Search engine ranking – Content is crucial when it comes to your business being discovered on the web. Your business has a higher chance of being found by search engines through rich, good content.
  • More engagement with customers – The use of images and video when creating your content also to helps keep it rich – and is ideal for search engine optimisation.
  • Easy to publish content – A blog can be a fantastic platform to easily create excellent content.

Which social media sites and tools are right for my business?

Start with the big ones, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Flickr and Reviews/ testimonials sites.

Measuring the effectiveness of my social media

  • Monitor all your feedback.
  • Look at the stats on your website and see which social media sites are sending traffic to you.
  • If you analyse the results of your activities you can tweak and improve them.
  • There’s nothing wrong with asking for feedback and get your customers to engage with the sites you have a presence on.

Golden rules for businesses using social media

  • Measure and monitor your feedback, don’t let it drift.
  • Be genuine, truthful and transparent. The great thing about social media is that word of mouth spreads quickly.
  • Never impersonate, just be yourself and represent your business.

 

Source: http://marketing.yell.com/web-design/the-value-of-social-media-to-small-businesses/

5 LinkedIn Profile Writing Tips

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The job seeking marketplace has changed significantly, especially as you consider how technology has developed and just how many actual candidates are searching for employment. Seeing as I often instruct and write on resume-related topics, it seems only fair that I also mention LinkedIn. Today, while it might go without saying that in order for you to get the job of your dreams your resume needs to be seriously top notch, the same can be said about your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters are commonly taking to searching for candidates via this social network, and sometimes this is the first place these professionals go to post new opportunities and connect with job seekers. If you are in the middle of a job search, you can’t afford not to have consistency across these two platforms—namely your hard copy resume and what a potential employer might read about you on LinkedIn.

How Do I Create a LinkedIn Profile Worth Reading?

Just as there are rules for resume writing, the same is true with LinkedIn profile creation. As you begin to contemplate your LinkedIn profile, consider these tips.

  1. List every job you have held. While it’s true that it’s okay to be selective on your resume, the exact opposite is the case on LinkedIn. Why, you ask? Because recruiters will often search for a candidate based on where they have worked in the past. If this isn’t included on your profile, you won’t be found. Therefore, while you may have shortened your hard copy resume so that you do not present a veritable tome to a potential employer, expand upon your past on your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Write about all of your past positions. While this might seem like a serious time commitment, going back and rehashing all of the professional details from every job you have held, this is absolutely necessary when completing a LinkedIn profile. The reason for this is because what you write will contain keywords that will help you be found. Plus, just like on a resume, someone who is viewing and considering your profile wants to know your past successes and accomplishments.
  3. Fill in the section that outlines “specialties.” This is a keyword-focused area of LinkedIn and it’s incredibly important when you consider how a recruiter searches on the platform. Think about this area carefully and how it applies to your career. Do your due diligence in filling in as many competencies and proficiencies as possible. In order to do this correctly, it’s best if you take a bit of time and look for commonly used words and phrases that relate to your industry.
  4. Effectively edit your sub-header. When you first begin on LinkedIn, you will likely enter your current job first. Therefore, LinkedIn will place this directly underneath your name on the profile. So, unless your job title is really impressive, you need to edit it so it attracts attention. For instance, “John Doe, Sales Representative for ABC Company” is not overly striking, but “John Doe, Revenue Generating Extraordinaire and Consultative Sales Expert” could raise some eyebrows and communicate what you might be able to bring to a company.
  5. Create a personal URL. LinkedIn will automatically generate a seemingly generic URL for your profile when you start your account. This is bound to look something like: http://www.linkedin.com/johnd8976890. This URL is designed so a visitor can access your profile directly without searching for you and it is also a Web address that many job seekers choose to put on their hard copy resume. Ultimately, you can change and personalize this URL so you can both simplify it and stand out. For instance: www.linkedin.com/amandaclarkgrammarchic. Not only is this a direct match, but it also includes my company’s name, which is how many people search for me. So from an external Web standpoint, my LinkedIn profile is likely to be found on a regular search. LinkedIn, as a social network, ranks really well on the search engines, so doing this can help ensure that you are on page one of Google for your name.

In today’s digital age, it’s fine to have a great resume that you email or hand directly to a potential employer, but you also must make sure that your online profile is doing its job as well and presenting you in an attractive light.
Source : http://www.business2community.com/linkedin/5-linkedin-profile-writing-tips-0379108#Qpkzu8vj6Q2U5CAk.99

Choosing the Best Social Media

It seems as if a new social platform pops up every week, and as a small business owner, it can feel overwhelming. So how can you establish yourself on social media when users are bouncing from one network to the other, and the next hot network may have no reliable messaging for your business?

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First, take a deep breath. Second, there are a lot of social platforms and many audiences, but not every one may be right for you. Before diving head-first into the social sphere, you should know what each is used for and whether it’s useful for you. This is especially true if you’re spending your valuable time managing these accounts yourself.

Here is a breakdown of the seven major social media sites and how they can be beneficial to small businesses.

1. Twitter

Twitter is a great platform for projecting what your company is doing and accessing a large audience. Branding a business requires a lot of time and money, but creating a consistent voice with your tweets is an easy way to get started.

If you already have a blog, which almost every small businesses should, syncing it with Twitter lets you seamlessly publish any major company news to both simultaneously. There are dozens of in-house apps on every blogging platform that make this easy to do.

But Twitter is not just a megaphone for your company, it’s also a great way to engage with thousands of customers. Use social tools, such asTweetDeck or HootSuite, to effectively receive feedback from your followers in an organized manner.

2. Facebook

Facebook and Twitter are useful for similar reasons. Both allow you to connect with your audience, start a conversation and update with company news. Why should a business juggle both accounts?

Facebook’s advantage is that the conversation is gathered all in one place. Customers want the opportunity to feel a part of the company they care about, and Facebook allows them to do just that.

Keep in mind that Facebook is much more visual than Twitter, so it’s best to include more than short bursts of text. Post colorful photos, insightful videos or something interesting that’s relevant to your company, valuable for customers and beautiful on your Facebook Timeline.

3. Pinterest

Because the platform is still fairly new, most brands still aren’t sure what to make of Pinterest. But as traffic and engagement are spiking, early adopters have a great opportunity to make their mark on the site before a lot of major brands hop on.

We’ve already seen some pretty creative initiatives from major brands, but even if you don’t have room in your budget for a contest, there are still great ways to benefit.

Pinterest is a social discovery network, but it’s not a platform for self-promotion. Rather than broadcasting what the company is doing, small business owners can crowdsource and create highly visual pinboards for inspiration. Collecting images, logos and websites with good design and clever copywriting will inspire your brand and team, but also show followers that you have an eye for good taste.

4. Foursquare

Location-based social media services might not be best for every brand. First of all, it requires a person to physically check in somewhere that represents your brand, for example a store or an event. If your company is virtual, there’s really no need (unless you’re having an event).

Foursquare is great for restaurants, retail stores and venues, because it allows customers to post reviews and leave tips. Because these tips are from regular customers, newcomers will feel that they’re receiving authentic information that you simply can’t provide as the owner.

Because Foursquare is partnered with Scoutmob and American Express, brands can use these apps to reward customers with discounts for checking in to an establishment. It’s a small bit of courtesy that helps bring happy customers back.

5. YouTube

Don’t let the cat videos fool you, YouTube is a valuable resource for small businesses. Today, technology has made it easy for anyone to create a video without spending a ton on production. Even a smartphone is capable of creating something worthwhile for your audience.

A mountain of content is uploaded every day to YouTube, which can seem intimidating when you’re trying to be heard. The bright side is that you also have access to that content. If you want to know how to do something, there are millions of tutorials on YouTube to help you learn.

But as a leader of your business, you also have something to give the millions of viewers and uploaders. And with the right strategy and engaging content, you can reach a large audience easily.

That being said, don’t expect your videos to go viral every time (or even at all). Instead, focus on creating content that’s thorough and insightful. Some ways to utilize YouTube for marketing include tutorials, interviews with relevant professionals or video blogging about a new product or event.

6. LinkedIn

We all know that LinkedIn is a great resource for finding a job, but there are a lot of great ways that brands can utilize the network for marketing and networking.

The advantage of Linkedin is that you can filter companies through size, industry and geography. By fully completing your company page, it will show up in the search results of potential customers.

While Facebook and Twitter are great resources for feedback from customers, LinkedIn is where you can partake in conversations with like-minded professionals. In addition to networking offline, small business owners should consider joining groups and participating in Q&A forums that are useful to your industry.

7. Google+

Many small businesses join Google+ for SEO purposes and syndication with other Google applications, like AdSense or Gmail.

It’s also a great platform to expand content distribution—many business owners claim it’s easy to gather an audience.

The audience for Google+ is highly engaged, meaning that like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a great tool for conversation. What Google+ has that the others don’t is the Hangout feature. Here businesses can talk about products or ideas face-to-face with consumers, through videochat.

Taken from: http://www.openforum.com/articles/choosing-the-best-social-media/

10 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

As business owners venture in to the scary world of managing their own Social Media campaigns, many are driving blind. A little bit of education goes a long way and we suggest following these 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Business Owners to get started. There are endless ways to drive traffic to a website, increase brand awareness around the web, and engage with potential clients through Social Media Marketing. The ability to reach people in real time and target a relevant audience has never been easier.

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10. Serve the community

Don’t always be looking to serve yourself and your business, provide your following with something that helps them that may not necessarily help you. Becoming a resource is the greatest step you can take to becoming trusted within your community. Spend time researching the other areas that your target market are interested in and provide helpful links and information.

9. Pass traffic to your website

From everywhere possible! Your main social Media Marketing goal should be passing traffic to your website. Remember that your own website is still your greatest sales tool. It has all your information and has the ability to keep people interested. Link from all YouTube videos, Flickr photos, business profiles, and anywhere else you can possibly imagine.

8. Use tools

There are a ton of third party tools for Social Networking websites, use them. They will help you stay organized and save time. Some of my favorites are:

  • ReFollow for Twitter
  • Flickr Uploadr
  • StumbleUpon Toolbar

7. Find niche networks within your industry

There are Social Networks popping up everywhere. Many are specifically targeted to a particular niche. Find Social Networks within your niche and use them. The traffic may not be as high as Facebook and Twitter, but you can easily become a leader within smaller Networks.

6. Write, write, write

Set up a blog. Write until you can’t write anymore. Hire a writer. Do something, anything to keep your content fresh and your readers interested. Don’t just write for your blog, submit articles to sites like Squidoo, Associated Content, InfoBarrel, and HubPages.

5. Promote everywhere

Once you have finished writing, promote it everywhere. Pass traffic through all of your Social Networking accounts, submit your articles to Digg, Reddit, Mixx, etc. Promote everything you do on every single avenue possible. You never know which site could make your article a hit. Whether you get a ton of Retweets, hit the front page of Digg, or get lot’s of Stumbles… if you’re writing something of value, it will catch on somewhere.

4. Learn from your community

Use the people in your community as you wish them to use you. Learn from them. Whether you’re at the top end of your community or just started your business you can learn something from anyone. Research like minded people and businesses to always stay on top of your game.

3. Provide something of value

What do you offer that other don’t? If you don’t know the answer to that question you better find something fast. You can provide Twitter only specials, discounts to Facebook Fans, the next xx people to retweet get something free.

2. Interact with your audience

Spend time talking to people in your community. Reply to Tweets, comment on Facebook posts, engage your audience from your own posts. Host polls, reply to the comments on your blog. If you disagree, be polite. Do not come off as arrogant or as a know-it-all. Be respectful and always answer in a timely fashion when contacted. Word of mouth is still a great way to drum up business, being prompt and a resource can get your respect and respect gets you referrals.

1. Be everywhere

I recently heard someone say “Oh no, I don’t have Facebook, I just used LinkedIn”. While LinkedIn appears to working very well for this person, why cut yourself off from any potential source of clientele? Find and use every single option available, some work better than others within certain industries, but all can provide the option to interact with potential customers and give the option to refer people to your website.

Taken from: http://www.stikkymedia.com/blog/10-social-media-marketing-tips-business-owners

Essential social media advice for B2B companies

Here are some things the B2B world can learn from B2C social media best practices:

Devise a clear strategy before you dive in (and update yours if you’re already in the water). 

It’s not enough for a business to just “be there” when it comes to social media, and that applies to consumer brands and B2B companies. There have to be good reasons for you to engage in the media you’re using.

Ask yourself these questions, and perhaps even poll your customers or members to get clear answers:

• Is my intended audience already on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn? This question will become especially relevant when you’re deciding which social media channels your company should use. Chances are your customer base is using LinkedIn, so that should be a no-brainer. It gets a little trickier with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It’s even trickier to determine whether your customer base will want to find you in emerging social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.

• How is my audience using different social media channels? This takes the previous question a step further. Your customer base may be using Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends and family, but are they also using it for networking or professional reasons? If your customers are on Facebook, but most are not using it to connect with companies for business purposes, that social media avenue may not be a priority. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be there; it’s only to say that you should prioritize the spaces your customers are using for professional reasons.

• What are my benchmarks for success in social media? We establish our benchmarks by taking a look first at how like-minded organizations are succeeding in social media. If we’re trailblazing, our goals will be less number-based and more anecdotally focused. We’ll want to listen first and make adjustments as we go. Eventually, our benchmark may be that our Facebook page is the first point of contact for the majority of our consumers—whether they’re inquiring about products or reaching out for customer-service purposes.

• Do we have the ability to effectively measure our success in the social space?If you don’t have the metrics to tell you how you’re performing against the benchmarks you’ve set for success, it will be difficult to justify increased spending on social media. You should measure more than just “likes” and “follows” month over month; you should be measuring engagement.

Don’t sound so corporate. 

It’s easy to tell social media managers to develop a distinctive voice in social media, but it’s tough to make it happen—especially when you’re writing for B2B. Inherently, these companies are less likely to have an overarching voice to rely on.

If you’re managing the social media presence for, say, Frosted Flakes, you have a built-in voice: Everything’s “grrrrrreat!” There are also layers of legal approval that you have to maneuver before a post goes up, so it’s likely that any semblance of voice could be lost in that process.

Don’t let it discourage you. If your company doesn’t have an agreed-upon voice, make it your own. Be conversational, but most of all be brief.

I’ve seen so many B2B organizations that feel every post needs to be a paragraph long. In my experience working with B2C brands, I consistently see that the more concise posts consistently garner higher engagement rates.

It sounds basic, but always respond to anyone who posts on your wall. We make this a point with our B2C brands, and B2Bs should be doing the same—even if it’s just to say “thanks for posting.”

Taken from: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/Essential_social_media_advice_for_B2B_companies_10819.aspx