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It was only a matter of time before Twitter unveiled an advertising platform to its users. So far, however, the results have been extremely underwhelming.

At the present, your Twitter ad campaign will be run like a poorly run AdWords campaign. This is due to the fact that there just aren’t enough tools and metrics made available to run it properly. Twitter can’t tell you who exactly saw your ad or who exactly converted because of it. Instead, you get the total number of impressions and how many new followers you have because of the ad. And, perhaps they didn’t think this all the way through, but you also get to see exactly how much money the ad cost you right next to the embarrassing lack of metrics.

The rumor is that Twitter ads has already advanced past this early stage and some of the big money marketers are getting to experience that next level first and there’s no doubt that Twitter will improve its advertising platform until it is on par with Facebook. For now, however, there’s no reason to spend any of your budget on Twitter ads.

Jason Yormak did start a campaign with Twitter ads. You can see his results at Business2Community.

Can Facebook ads help business to business sales? Adam Proehl of Business2Community says ‘of course!’

There’s bound to be some opposition from those established in B2B marketing, but consider some of Proehl’s main points. Though users aren’t going to Facebook to look for what your business is offering, that doesn’t mean they can’t find your business that way. Because, regardless of why they’re there, all of your potential customers are likely visiting Facebook.

Plus, through remarketing, you can gain an additional way to reach users who visited your website and left without a conversion. At worst, you continue to make potential consumers aware of your brand and what you offer.

So, don’t think of Facebook as direct marketing, necessarily. But, do consider it helpful to your business.

Google AdWords allows you to automate a great deal of your campaign management. One particularly helpful aspect to automate is keyword bidding. Joel Chudleigh has a great rundown at Business2Community of how to set rules in AdWords to ideally bid for and pause keywords, but I’ll give you a quick summary.

When setting your rules, simply consider what an optimal keyword performance for your campaign is. A keyword that gains clicks but no conversions would likely need to be paused, so set a rule that does so after a certain number of clicks without conversions.

What’s an acceptable average cost per conversion? Set up a rule that bids up any keyword that exceeds that average. You can also bid down keywords that are out of your price range and in less than optimal position.

I think the key here is to put some real thought into setting your rules and make sure to keep checking on the campaign’s progress, even after automation.

At the core of most articles on social media is the question of how to turn Facebook fans or Twitter followers into an increase in revenue. There are many theories and plenty of suggestions out there from a variety of experts, but possibly the most effective is also the most obvious. Simply interact with your fans.

What a consumer is essentially saying when they become a fan of your company’s Facebook page or follow your Twitter feed is that they want to have a relationship with your business. They want to be a part of your conversation and they want to hear what you have to say. All you have to do is to give them what they want.

There are plenty of strategies aimed at increasing your social media audience. Promotions will draw in consumers, but they won’t stick around if they don’t continue to gain from the relationship. You should use social media to give fans something they wouldn’t get by simply visiting your physical business. Deals, inside information, pictures or videos or even just interesting or entertaining anecdotes. Let them into your business enough to make them feel comfortable enough to continue visiting it. More than comfortable, they’ll develop a sense of loyalty.

This type of social media relationship cultivation will not only supply you with an army of loyal customers, but it will also help you add to your audience as word spreads about your social media prowess.

Ernan Roman has an excellent example of how to use social media at Business2Community. He highlights Starbucks’ efforts to build great relationships with their customers.

As with any business, you not only need to keep up with current trends and updates in online marketing, but you also need to be looking ahead to attempt to predict some of the changes ahead.

To help with this task, Business2Community presents their predictions for the 2013 landscape of social media and search engine marketing. If you’ve stayed current with the trends of the past year, there aren’t any big surprises here. But, it’s nice to see a succinct list of things to keep an eye out for in the coming year.

Google launched AdWords Express more than a year ago as a simple, no frills alternative for small business owners. Nearly all the bells and whistles have been taken out so users need only set a monthly budget and create an ad, then let Google automate the rest of the process.

Recently, Google has been pushing hard for more business owners to use AdWords Express and has even been offering free ad credits for signing up, as I mentioned last week.

Business2Community has a more in-depth article about the getting started with AdWords Express if you’re interested. But while a dumbed down version of AdWords seems like a time-saver, it also is robbing you of potential value from your online advertising. Without the ability to tweak and track your ads, you are putting a lot of faith in Google to run your campaigns properly. Sure, that saves you from putting time and money into your advertising budget, but it could also cost you sales and conversions.

To perform well in online marketing, you have to use Google. AdWords is far and away the best option available and you’re handicapping your efforts if you’re not using it. Unfortunately, Google understands this fact also. This means that as more and more advertisers rely on AdWords, Google can bleed more and more money from their budgets.

Joel Chudleigh has an in-depth look at the various ways Google encourages you to spend more for online advertising at Business2Community, but I’ll give you a quick synopsis.

Basically, Google has been able to develop innovative new ways for your ad to get noticed and ways for you to track how well your campaigns are performing, but has included in this innovations an urging to spend more to get more. This is not an indictment of Google, but rather a statement of fact.

Of course Google will readily show you click-through and conversion rates of ads that display at the top of search results as compared to your ads because they want you to bid up to capture those top spots. That’s just one example of AdWords’ service subtly prompting you to feed more into your ad budget.

Google has cleverly created a competitive landscape for advertisers where the highest bid receives the most views and clicks. For advertisers, there’s no choice but to play along.

On Twitter, the use of hashtags has seemingly evolved from a good way to group content of a similar category together, to a messy way to group content or a good way to make a joke. Either way, that’s probably not how hashtags were intended.

Katie Rose, of Business2Community, seems to take particular offense to this “hashtag abuse”. There can be some value in using hashtags more properly, however.

The best nugget I gleaned from the above article is that, if you want your audience to congregate together, show them the way. Whether from your site, a YouTube video or even from your physical business place, suggest a hashtag for users to use when talking about you and your business. Otherwise, you never know all the various combinations people will create for essentially the same thing.

This makes it much easier for users to use hashtags, rather than Twitter’s search function.

Google reps have said that a good click-through-rate for AdWords is between two and five percent. There’s been no official suggestion for an acceptable conversion rate, however. Business2Community recently set out to remedy that oversight by conducting a thorough study of AdWords.

The first problem with such a study is how loosely defined ‘conversion’ is. Not all businesses require a sale to consider a successful conversion. In general, the average search network conversion rate for AdWords in this year’s third quarter was 5.63%. For the Google Display Network, that number dips slightly to 4.68%.

But to truly be able to gauge how well your business is performing with AdWords, you’ll need to look at the industry specific numbers. Follow the link to find the top 10 advertising industries broken down into their specific conversion rates and cost per conversion.

These are not official numbers from Google, but you can consider these a barometer for how well you’re utilizing AdWords.

If you’re a college student, you’re using some form of social media. I say that with the utmost confidence because you’re reading this, so you know how to use the Internet.

However, the way you use social media should change the closer you get to graduation. Your profile can’t all be about last night’s kegger or foam party. Employers are not as impressed as they should be by that.

So, follow these 10 tips, as initially suggested by Meagan Cook at Business2Community.

1. Be you

I’m not suggesting you abandon all fun aspects of your life in order to showcase your employable attributes. You still need to come across as a real, multi-dimensional person. Just don’t eliminate yourself from contention for a job with questionable statements or pictures.

2. Connect with the pros

Just because you’re still in school doesn’t mean you can’t connect with those working in your desired field. Use Twitter to retweet them or ask them questions. Use LinkedIn to network with them and get career advice. The more familiar they are with your name and background, the better chance they’ll think of you after graduation.

3. Hunt for jobs

Follow recruiters on Twitter and respond to possible opportunities. Even if you aren’t quite qualified, you can ask for any similar internship or entry-level openings.

4. Ask questions

You can strike up a conversation with those already working in your industry by asking them about what you’re learning. You’re not trying to argue with them, but you’re also not a ‘yes man’. Have an intelligent discussion.

5. Speak English

Or, more accurately, don’t speak in text lingo. It doesn’t paint you as an intelligent, employable person. Typing out full words and correct spelling may be hard, but it’s way easier than unemployment.

6.  It’s not always about you

Sure, you are hoping your social media presence helps you get a job. But, you can’t always talk about your accomplishments. Give credit to others when applicable. It makes you seem less selfish, more well-rounded and increases your chance to get mentioned by others.

7. Show-off

When you have a chance, showcase your expertise in proper forums. Establish yourself as a knowledgable, credible source.

8. Don’t work blue

You don’t have to pretend you’re in church all the time, but there’s no need for explitives in social media. You’ve got time to think of something more clever and something that employers won’t object to.

9. Plant seeds

The earlier you start the process, the better off you’ll be. You want to be able to allow the process to work, not rush it along. Gradually build yourself up and establish a presence in your field.

10. Stay in the discussion

Even if you aren’t knowledgable about a specific subject, you can still be a part of the conversation. Showing a readiness to learn is important so ask questions.