ClearVerve Marketing, LLC

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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Where does your content marketing go?


Last week, I made a presentation at Social Media University Milwaukee, speaking about how to determine the best way to mix online and offline marketing tactics. As part of the presentation, I shared this graphic from our Content Marketing Survey:

What does this graphic show us? First of all, more people post content to their Facebook page than they do to their own websites. I can’t give you a scientific answer that explains why this happens, but anecdotally, I can tell you that many people have websites that are fairly difficult to maintain. If that sounds a lot like you, look for a better solution when you update your website. Be sure to ask every  provider  consider  to show you how the content management system you’ll be using will work. Make sure it is flexible and easy to use.

What else do we see? Email is not dead. Direct mail is not dead. Print newsletters are not dead! Don’t give up on more traditional marketing tactics. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work to publish both a print newsletter and an enewsletter, but it can be done. Many people receive so much email that sending something on paper is actually a very simple way to break through all the clutter. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute reports that many marketers say that live, in person events are still among the most successful content marketing tactics.

Want to see what else we learned? Get the whole ebook here.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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10 ways to create engaging Facebook posts

Friday, March 14, 2014 — 


We blog. We tweet. We post. We wonder…actually our clients have wondered what they can do to increase engagement and improve the chances of their corporate pages being shown in the Facebook news feed? Here’s a listicle that will help.

1. Use engaging copy, images and videos

  • Photos and videos get more attention and help your message stand out.
  • Lifestyle images like the ones you see from your friends on Facebook are always engaging. Try sharing images of your products or photos of your customers enjoying your services.
  • Try to keep your posts between 100 and 250 characters to get more engagement. Shorter, succinct posts are better received.

2. Create a two-way conversation

  • Take a poll. Ask a question. Ask your audience to share their thoughts and feedback on your product and services. This is another way to listen to your customers and improve your business.
  • Posting content that shows you took their feedback into consideration can build customer loyalty and show you value their ideas.

3. Share exclusive discounts and promotions

  • Offer special deals or perks to your customers to keep them interested and to drive online sales. Include call to actions with links to the most relevant page on your website.
  • To improve engagement with your promotions, include clear calls to action, redemption details, and when the promotion ends to add a sense of urgency.

4. Provide access to exclusive information

Reward people who are connected to your page and drive loyalty and online sales by providing them with exclusive information. Make them feel special by sharing exclusive product news, contests and events.

5. Be timely

  • Your audience will be more likely to engage with posts when they’re related to subjects that are top of mind, like current events or the holidays.
  • Timeliness is also important when replying to comments on your posts. The faster you reply, the more likely fans will engage with you in the future.

 6. Plan your conversational calendar

  • The easiest way to stay in regular contact with fans is by creating a conversational calendar with ideas about what to talk about each week or month.
  • A content calendar will not only help you post regularly, but will ensure your content is well planned, interesting, and that you don’t miss major business events and news. Find a frequency that works for you and your audience.
  • And don’t always post about how great your product is.

7. Schedule your posts

  • To better manage your time, you can schedule your posts in advance and plan for upcoming holiday events and specials.
  • To schedule your Facebook posts, simply click the clock icon on the lower left-hand corner of your page’s sharing tool.
  • Schedule your posts when most of your customers are online. You can find out this info by visiting your Page Insights and going to the posts tab.
  • After you’ve scheduled a post, you can manage your scheduled posts by going to the top of your page and choosing Edit Page and then selecting Use Activity Log.

8. Target your posts

If your posts are meant for specific groups of people, you can target your post in your page’s sharing tool by clicking on the target icon at the bottom left corner and selecting Add Targeting. You can target your post based upon gender, relationship status, educational status, interests, age, location and language.

9. Use link posts to drive people to your website

  • Link posts have a larger, clickable area that helps drive people to your website.
  • In your page’s sharing tool, enter the offsite URL, then click Enter.
  • The title, description and image are taken from your URL, but you can still customize the text and image of the post. Be sure to select compelling imagery that will blend into the news feed experience.

10. Review the performance of your posts

Check your Page Insights regularly to understand what’s working to keep your posts relevant and engaging. Page Insights will help you understand your audience and what types of content interests them.

Jackie Costa is the director of content marketing at Clear Verve. She works with clients to communication more clearly and create smarter, better, channel-appropriate content. Listen for her on Twitter as @JackieMCosta.

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What content is right for you?


Content marketing has become the newest gotta have it thing in marketing. And just like many marketers were told to “get us up on Facebook” for no other reason than someone had heard of this new Facebook thing and it sounded cool, content generation is now a jump in with both feet and no thought thing.

But the problem is that creating all this content is WORK. A lot of work. And there are a ton of platforms you can use. For example:

  • You can write a whitepaper and post it to your website, or create a microsite, or post it to Facebook, or Tweet it, write a press release about it, or…
  • Work with a videographer create a video and post it in a bunch of places (see above)
  • You can create a short-form video, such as a Vine, for your website, YouTube, or Facebook
  • Try uploading a presentation or e-book to Slideshare
  • Write and post information to your LinkedIn account
  • Create your own magazine on Flipboard
  • Tweet
  • Blog
  • Set up a Facebook page or a Google + profile
  • Maintain an online press room
  • Publish an e-newsletter
  • Don’t forget about Instagram, Pinterest, and a thousand other platforms I can’t think of off the top of my head
  • And on and on and on…

Who has time for all this? Even large companies struggle to keep up with it all. And there’s nothing worse than setting up an online profile and then abandoning it. In fact, a recent study showed that 70 percent of buyers are relying on content more than they did just a year ago to make buying decisions.

So take your time. Think about what you actually can do. Pat yourself on the back for what you accomplish. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities, but remember that just because something exists, that doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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Five ways to measure Facebook page influence

Thursday, November 29, 2012 — 


Measuring the impact of your social media effort was all the talk @prsmsummit this past October. If Facebook is an important and indispensable part of your social media strategy, which I’m sure it is, you should be measuring its influence with Facebook Insights, the analytics system tied to every Facebook page.

Facebook Insights make measuring your page’s engagement relatively easy. Here are five important metrics you can look at when tracking Facebook traffic. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the basics of this tool by checking out this KISSmetics blog post.

1. Demographics. The overall number of “likes” or fans on your page is easy to track, but it’s what’s underneath that number where you’ll uncover some great nuggets of useful marketing information. Is your page dominated by a female presence? What age groups tend to follow your page? These numbers are important when planning content.

2. Geography. Where are your fans from? Of course, your page will be “liked” by some people not affiliated with you or your industry, but if too many of your fans are from France or Australia, for example, (or for many Clear Verve clients, are out-of-state) your page is likely not hitting its geographic target.

3. Reach. Facebook measures anyone who has seen content associated with your page. This means your page can be seen by friends of fans and that it has a reach much bigger than you’d expect. You can discover how many unique people have seen content from your page. I bet you’ll be surprised at the size of the number.

4. Talking About Your Page. Facebook tracks people who have created a “story” about your page. A “story” includes liking your page, posting to your wall, commenting or liking a post, sharing a post, answering a question, etc. This is how your page continues to grow and become known. You want people to talk about your page!

5. Content. Of course you can regularly repurpose content from your website for use on your Facebook page but it’s better to develop a strategic content plan. This becomes easier to do when you know what content appeals to your audience. You can find this out by measuring your content. What are the most popular types of posts? Photos? Videos? Maybe it’s individual posts about a certain topic. Whatever it is, watch them carefully and use Facebook Insights to see how they perform. Some marketers are now paying to promote the kinds of posts that elicit the most response.

As marketing professionals, it’s important for us to measure the results of our work. Google offers its metrics mechanisms and with Insights, so does Facebook. You should use these tools to evaluate your efforts and explain why your investment in social media is important for building awareness of your brand.

Jackie Costa, the director of content marketing at Clear Verve, works with clients to create and distribute smarter, better marketing communications materials. Listen for her on Twitter @JackieMCosta.

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Red Bull: When sponsorship makes sense


Felix Baumgartner jumped from a balloon at the edge of space yesterday (October 14, 2012) for a world record breaking fall from over 128,000 feet above the earth. If you haven’t seen the video, it gets your heart racing just seeing what he saw as he stepped off the platform.


While Felix’s adventure has and will bring him personal fame and fortune for years to come, he is not the only one who will benefit from his bravery (foolishness?). His sponsor, Red Bull, helped him prepare for the jump for the last five years and has gained just as much notoriety for their sponsorship as he has for the act itself. After all, eight million people watched a livestream video of the jump, and the photo of when he touched down and knelt to the ground got over 200,000 Likes in under 45 minutes.

Check out the home page of the Red Bull website, where they promote their involvement with the stunt. It’s filled with information about the jump. It doesn’t even mention their product. Not every company could get away with this, but I’m sure their website didn’t always look like this. Back when nobody knew what Red Bull was, I’ll bet they explained their product. But over the years, they’ve sponsored lots of stunts. It fits perfectly with their product and has created an image of the company and the type of person who drinks Red Bull. Several years ago, I watched a stunt with my husband where some guy attempted to jump to the top of the fake Arc de’ Triomphe in Las Vegas. Or maybe it was the real Arc. I don’t remember the guy’s name or everything about the stunt, but I do remember that Red Bull was the sponsor.

Sponsorships can be a great thing for any business, if they’re strategic. You need to know what your business stands for and find ways to maximize that message through your sponsorships. So many businesses dispense their sponsorship dollars randomly and then wonder why these dollars don’t produce any impact. Treat your sponsorships as a marketing expense, not just a charitable gift and you could reap the benefits too.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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A new social media planning tool


I recently spoke at an event for the Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee.  The event, called Social Media for Nonprofits, featured Wayne Breitbarth, LinkedIn expert, and me; and although it was targeted at the nonprofit community in Milwaukee, much of what we spoke about can be useful to for-profit businesses.

My presentation focused on the results of our recent Social Media Survey of Nonprofits ( get the results here) , specifically what nonprofits value about social media, and the challenges nonprofits face in implementing social media tools for their organizations. Because the Business Journal was kind enough to ask me to speak at this event, I wanted to be sure to deliver some high quality content for them. The result of my prep for this event is a new tool we hope you’ll find useful in planning your social media strategy. We call it the Ongoing Social Media Strategy Wheel.

One of the biggest challenges faced by nonprofit is getting others involved in the effort, either from a participation standpoint or from an implementation standpoint. This is partially because most nonprofits (64%) do not have a social media policy guiding the people charged with implementing social media. If your organization doesn’t have a social media policy, be sure to download our template so you can fix this!  A social media policy can help make it “safe” to build a team of people to get the work done, rather than relying on a single person (who often has other work to do).

The other challenge is finding time to plan a strategy. Although most of us would never think of spending advertising dollars without a plan or hiring a receptionist and not training that person on how to answer the phone, many people don’t think anything of just jumping into social media without a plan of action.  We hope our new document, the Ongoing Social Media Strategy Wheel, helps address the planning issue. When we created it, we wanted to be sure we recognized the following things:

  • Most organizations are already using social media in some way. It would be stupid for me to lead you through the perfect planning process for people that are not yet involved in social media. That process won’t work if you’re already participating because you can’t stop and undo what you’ve already done just to make a plan.
  • Planning is not a one time activity. You have to constantly reassess where you are at, look for new ideas, and pay attention to what is going on in the world.
  • The world doesn’t stop while you plan. You can’t take a vacation from interacting with your social media contacts while you think. You have to think and act at the same time.

The ongoing social media strategy wheel attempts to show this by using continuous circles. The inner circle illustrates the planning and reflection activities that most people forget. These activities are conducted internally and aren’t seen by the public, but they are very important because performing these activities will increase the effectiveness of the woare the public sees. The outer circle illustrates the activities that most people see. Both wheels are rotating constantly and at the same time.

We hope that this new document will help you continuously refine your communications on social media.

If you want to see the rest of the presentation from the Social Media for Nonprofits event (the ideas work for for-profits too), you can view it here:

Social Media for Nonprofits

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve

Thoughts on the PR & Social Media Summit

Friday, October 14, 2011 — 


I don’t think I realized the brilliance of the PR & Social Media Summit presented in Milwaukee until the next day, when I found myself missing the energy of the conference. Being a part of a community on several different levels was extremely enriching.

We all got to take a day to navigate the social media landscape as a group, with very few outside disturbances. This was my first conference with a smart phone and tweet screens and I really enjoyed it for two main reasons:

1) It was great to SEE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WERE THINKING as the presentations were taking place (even in the other session) and even see how people outside of the summit were responding.

2) I really enjoyed the FREEDOM to feel like I could be on a phone or computer without insulting people around me for once. We are taught from a young age that paying attention means looking at the speaker, actively listening and nodding (not off to sleep, obviously). But multi-listening opened things up in an amazing social media savvy way!

2.25) It was my birthday and somebody not at the summit figured out they could wish me a big screen happy birthday tweet all the way from Africa.

Being in sessions with people who were into social media (or wanted to learn more about social media) was helpful, and the summit set us all up to communicate successfully. Presenters wanted to interact with both in-person and Twitter questions/comments, and audience members shared information about social media tools, planning, influencing influencers, videos and driving engagement as fast as they learned it.

Did you attend # PRSMS in Milwaukee? If so did you feel this same connectedness? Or have you attended another conference where you felt similarly? I know that one day later, I was still inclined to tweet about what I was experiencing to others and missed being in that type of environment.

BONUS! Some one-liner takeaways that I found quality enough to write down on actual paper:

• Seek what people are seeking, not what they already have. (@georgegsmithjr)
• Social media is less about the moment more about the movement (@georgegsmithjr)
• Technology changes but remember it’s about consumer’s behavior and how they interact with the changing technology that matters (@georgegsmithjr)
• Liking something means something in the real world, but not on Facebook (@augieray)
• ROI tools are different for everyone depending on what you’re trying to accomplish (@sarameaney)
• Foster a narrative with your consumers (@alkrueger)
• You can’t influence an influencer unless you ARE an influencer (@the_spinmd)
• People don’t sign up on Facebook to be marketed to (@the_spinmd)
• “The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.” – Abe Lincoln, re one’s character (@JennyMcTighe)

Erica Gordon is a Marketing Associate at Clear Verve and also works part-time at a Milwaukee area nonprofit. Follow Erica on Twitter: @erica_g.

Facebook vs. Twitter ?

Friday, July 29, 2011 — 


I came across a great infographic yesterday that illustrates the 2010 demographics of Facebook and Twitter. There is a lot of information in these two pie charts. Here is what I found most interesting:

Number of users
• Facebook – 500 million
• Twitter – 108 million
Clearly, Facebook is this winner here. And with the ability for advertisers to target their messages by location, age, gender, and interests, Facebook offers a lot more opportunities for businesses to promote themselves.

Usage patterns
• 41% of Facebook users log in every day
• 27% of Twitter users log in every day
If you are marketing a business, this is an important distinction because you will either need to adjust the frequency of your posts depending on the network or adjust your expectations regarding the timeline of your campaign.

It is also worth noting that only 12% of people who log in update their status on Facebook, while 52% of Twitter users update their status every time they log in. While this statistic can mean a number of things, I think it shows that Facebook users are more consumers of content, while Twitter users are more generators of content. Facebook users may be more likely to be receptive to your messages, provided they are appropriate for the social network setting, while Twitter users may be too busy talking about themselves to care about anyone else. Or not. The statistics are true, the rest is just a hypothesis from me.

Age of users
• Facebook – approximately 60% of users are ages 13 – 34
• Twitter – approximately 60% of users are ages 26 – 44
Twitter users are also more educated. 76% of Twitter users are in college or are college graduates. Only 50% of Facebook users are either in college or are college graduates. This might make you think that if you are targeting educated individuals, you should choose Twitter. Don’t be so hasty! It is important to convert these percentages into a head count. 50% of Facebook users = 250 million users. 76% of Twitter users = 80.5 million.

I hope you will take a minute to look at the infographic. What does it tell you? We’d love to get your insights!

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

The UNfollow challenge – did you miss me?

Thursday, July 14, 2011 — 


As an organization or business, we all want people to like us. That’s a gimme.

And now in the social media world, it’s become the norm to want people to like us and follow us. But what if we start challenging people to UNlike us? Or UNfollow us?

By doing this, we are showing a sense of confidence that we know you really like us. Right now, all people see is “Follow us!” “Like us!” “Join us!” “If you do this for us, we’ll give you this!” So do something different. Posing this UNfollow challenge does make people take extra steps, but it will engage them to think about if they really need you.

Should you expect some people not to come back if they unfollow you? Of course! Should you worry? Of course not!

They way I see it there are five possible reactions to the challenge. People will:

1)  Do nothing but respect what you’re doing (and what you do) even more
2) Do nothing because they’re not engaged
3) Accept the challenge and come back to you
4) Accept the challenge and not come back because they decide they don’t            really need you
5) Accept the challenge and not come back because they think you’re crazy           and tell their friends

Only one of these reactions is not good for you, and even then it’s not that bad. Which one do you think it is?

I’ll wait.




(insert your own waiting music here)



Number two (although I could be guilted into admitting other ones are also not great, depending on your situation). Why is only number two not good? If you don’t have people actively engaged in what you are all about, they’re just a number to you. And that’s not the kind of audience anybody craves. Creating a community with 100 engaged audience members is far better than 2,000 people who couldn’t care less!

What do you think? Does this have the potential to massively backfire? Explode into flames? Or is this something that you would consider trying? I’d love to hear what you think! Or unread what you just read, I challenge you! ;)

Erica Gordon is a Marketing Associate at Clear Verve and also works part-time at a Milwaukee area nonprofit. Follow Erica on Twitter:  @erica_g.

I don’t have time to blog!


This is a very busy week at Clear Verve. In the last two weeks, we landed three new clients, and just this week picked up projects from some former clients. While we are most certainly GRATEFUL for the additional work and glad to see our former clients call us when they have needs, we have a lot to do. On top of the increased workload, Susan is on vacation, and we are moving the office to a larger location at the end of next week. I’ve been working at home nearly every night just to keep up. In fact, I’m typing this as I sit in the bleachers during my kids’ swim lessons so I can get it done.

So, why am I taking the time to write this blog? There are a couple reasons. First, blogging is good for our company. Continually adding to our website via our blog is good for SEO and helps keep our Linkedin profiles and our Facebook page up to date. Also, we think it’s important to practice what we preach. Because we focus on working with professional service providers and not for profits, we are always talking to our clients about content marketing and sharing their knowledge. We tell them that blogs, newsletters, and social media are ideal ways to help them showcase their expertise and their personalities. We bug them (in a friendly way of course) to provide us with information we can use to generate content for them or to generate the content themselves. So if we expect them to do it, we should also be doing it. Otherwise, we’d be like the shoemaker’s kid with no shoes.

I hope that when your business gets busy, you can also remember to take time – even if it’s just a few minutes each day – to do something that helps your business grow. Small actions over time add up to great things. Don’t wait – the time to grow your business is NOW.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.