Understanding Facebook ads, Part II

How-To, Pivot Insights Apr 09, 2014 No Comments

Guest post by Chelsea Barrett, Social Media Assistant

It can be difficult to understand the complex factors that make up Facebook ads. In my last post, I went over the different kind of Facebook ads and how to choose the ad best suited to your goals. In this post, I’ll discuss tips for managing your Facebook budget and what it means to bid for likes, clicks or impressions.

Managing your Facebook ad budget

There are several factors within your control that influence how much you will spend on your ad placement.

Campaign and Budget

By setting a budget and schedule, you can limit the amount of money that Facebook can use for ad placement so that you do not exceed your budget.

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Understanding Facebook ads, Part I

How-To, Pivot Insights Apr 02, 2014 No Comments

Guest post by Chelsea Barrett, Social Media Assistant

Even when you understand the basics of setting up an ad for Facebook, it can still be difficult to fully grasp the complex combination of factors (bids, marketplace competition, target audience, performance history, etc.) that determine who sees your ad.

To help you better understand the process, I’ll walk you through the different kinds of Facebook ads and how to choose the ads best suited to your desired results and target audience.

What kind of ads best fit your business plan?

Page Post Engagement

These ads “boost” your posts so more people see them. By increasing your posts’ visibility, these ads should help increase its likes, comments, shares, video plays and photo views.

Who is it for?
“Page Post Engagement” ads work well for businesses that place a lot of emphasis on Facebook and engage with most consumers/audiences over social media.

If using this type of ad, it is important that you remain consistent and relevant with your posts so that your audience has content to engage with.

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Getting the most out of your relationship with the media

How-To, Pivot Insights Feb 26, 2014 No Comments

Improve your relationship with the mediaA good working relationship between a public relations rep and a news reporter is often the difference between worthwhile coverage for your company and none at all.

And while what’s important to cover isn’t always agreed upon, any savvy PR rep knows the value of a harmonious relationship with the news media—particularly when the pool of reporters covering each story is often the same.

As a former reporter, I’ve been a part of some great (and not-so-great) working relationships with many PR reps. I’d like to offer the following tips if you’re looking to maintain an affable relationship with your local news media.

1. Don’t assume the worst.

I can’t count the numbers of times I asked what I thought was an innocuous question about a company, only to be approached with suspicion. Ask yourself this: Is the company you represent currently embroiled in a scandal? No? Then don’t play defense. Approaching every media inquiry with suspicion looks, well, suspicious. Reporters aren’t always looking for the most salacious angle they can find—in fact, most of the time, they are just trying to do their job professionally and accurately.

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What Google Hummingbird means for your SEO strategy

How-To, Pivot Insights Jan 29, 2014 1 Comment

Google HummingbirdLast fall brought the release of Google’s new search engine algorithm, Hummingbird.

Essentially, the Hummingbird algorithm helps Google better understand conversational search queries. While before, Google’s search engine focused on finding matches for key words, it is now equipped to process the meaning behind the words, as well as the context in which the query is made: Who is searching, where they’re searching from, when the search is happening, etc.

Up until now, Google had trained us to search in a very particular way – we had to pose questions in short “keyword” phrases, see what results came up, and potentially reword those key phrases over and over until we found, by trial and error, what we were looking for – something that has been undoubtedly frustrating to anyone who has ever surfed the web (i.e. everyone). Effectively searching for the information you need has become a desirable skill.

The Google Hummingbird update will ideally release us from the tedious trial-and-error search query, while also allowing us to pose questions the way we would in a conversation. No more caveman-esque fragments; you can now type complete sentences into your search bar.

This approach will be particularly helpful as voice searches via phones and tablets grow in popularity – if you’re speaking aloud, you’re much more likely to speak naturally than if you’re typing on a keyboard.

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How to customize your WordPress login screen

How-To, Pivot Insights Jan 17, 2014 1 Comment

Customize Your WordPress Login Here at Pivot, we highly value WordPress as an effective and intuitive tool for designing websites. Our clients can easily make changes to their sites — update pages, write blog posts, edit comments, etc. — without touching any code at all.

This saves them a lot of time and frustration, and keeps us designers from having to fix the code if they make a mistake. On top of that, customizing your design is much simpler than building a website from scratch. WordPress is a win-win for both the client and designer.

As with any site where you need an account, WordPress always has a login screen. This appears for anyone who wants to edit the website. The login page has a simple gray background with the WordPress logo.

If you build a website for your own personal use, this may not matter at all. But when you’re designing for a client who wants to make changes down the road, you might want something more personalized. The standard WordPress-themed page could be confusing for the client, making them think they’re in the wrong place. Customize WordPress’s login page to help them feel more comfortable and to create a more professional look.

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Brand basics: Be relevant, different and simple

How-To, Pivot Insights Jan 08, 2014 No Comments

Effective brand strategy In a recent meeting with a client, we were discussing the brand strategy: what the client stood for, why it mattered to their customers, and how to keep the messaging uncluttered so it connected with the intended audience. One of the senior managers remarked, “I’m not sure I follow what a brand is.”

What is a brand? It is something that lives in your prospect or customer’s head. It’s a promise that links a product or service to a potential consumer. It includes words, images, emotions or a combination of these elements to generate associations that help shortcut decisions to select or support your product, service or cause.

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Building awareness campaigns to change behavior

How-To, Pivot Insights Dec 11, 2013 No Comments
Boulder Crosswalk Safety Campaign

2013 “Heads Up” crosswalk safety assembly at Eisenhower Elementary.

Pivot recently completed another season of crosswalk safety education in five Boulder-area elementary schools. Funded by a Safe Routes to School Grant, the focus of the campaign, called Heads Up Boulder, is to teach and remind children – and the rest of us – how to cross the street safely, especially at the crosswalk. The campaign kicked off in the spring of 2012, and will continue twice annually until the spring of 2015.

Creating an effective awareness campaign requires strong visuals, hands-on activities and recurring reminders about your message. During the Heads Up Boulder campaign, for example, participating schools kick off the crosswalk safety program with a school assembly performed by five actors and the safety mascot, C.W., with his long neck and “Heads Up” hat. The assembly closes with a memorable and catchy rap:

“Stop and wait, activate, check the street, then use your feet.”

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Think before you speak: The importance of media training

How-To, Pivot Insights Nov 27, 2013 No Comments

media trainingCEOs, executive directors, and anyone else who speaks on behalf of their company can benefit from media training. Media training is largely undervalued, viewed by many as an expendable expense. Yet, if you don’t understand the basic rules of media relations, you risk misrepresenting your company.

Preparing a written statement for either a newspaper or social media platform, such as Twitter or Facebook, is considerably easier than preparing for a radio or television spot. Writing affords you the time to carefully craft your response, think about the ramifications of your words and bounce your ideas off your coworkers. Missteps occur when an individual fails to do these things, as exemplified by the recent problematic Home Depot tweet.

Radio and television don’t afford you the same luxuries the written word does. Yet, the same thoughtfulness needs to go into your interview, so you need to adequately prepare. If you fail to choose your words wisely when talking to the media, you can create a communications crisis for your company.
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Meet the Press: 6 tips for working with the media

How-To, Pivot Insights Nov 13, 2013 No Comments

working with the mediaWorking with the media can be beneficial to your organization and yourself. Even with such a diversity of communication channels available today, it’s likely your target audience—the people who you want to educate and persuade about your products and services—consume information that originates from a media source.

While most folks are petrified of talking with the media, it’s really not that bad. They are people, with many similar interests as you, and they are typically open to hearing what you have to say if it can help them to better inform their readers. But don’t wing it. In fact, no matter how experienced you are working with the media, don’t forget it is a professional encounter and you should prepare like you would for any client meeting.

Here are six tips for working with the media:

1. Be brief

Did you know a common questioning technique for journalists is to stay quiet after you answer? The awkward silence prompts most interview subjects to fill the void, and that’s when they get gold. Instead, answer the question and wait for the next. Take your time, compose your thoughts, and then speak.
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How to keep users on your website

How-To, Pivot Insights Oct 16, 2013 No Comments

Writing (successful) content for the web differs from writing for print publications. To keep users on your website and ensure their return, here’s what you should know:

Web users SKIM!

Just think about how you navigate the Internet and this should come as no surprise. The Internet is full of a ridiculous amount of information—reading all of it is impossible!

It’s like sifting through thousands of books at the library. Of course you’re not going to read every book on the shelf. You’re looking for material on specific subjects. And you want to find the most helpful material on those subjects.

Internet users scan pages for keywords and phrases to find the specific information they’re looking for. So when they visit your page, they look for clues that your page has what they want. If they can’t easily find these clues, they’ll leave.
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