Archive | July, 2015

3 Social Media Marketing Basics To Review Constantly

27 Jul

What are you doing to keep your social media activity fresh, ethical and successful?

I assume you want to make the most of your social media marketing. In order to do so, you have to be constantly in tune with the advancements made on the different social platforms. You also need to return to the basics for a refresher from time to time.

This article addresses 3 social media marketing basics, which you should return to regularly as a way to ensure a successful approach to your social strategy and implementation.

 

You’d be surprised, but this category is a great challenge for some social users. Sometimes, businesses aren’t aware or have forgotten the ethics and etiquette of social media activity. It can be even harder when these rules change over time.

Here are a few of the rules and guidelines you should keep in mind when you act on social media:

  • Don’t just broadcast your own materials and promotion. Instead, share relevant content from other sources along with your own.
  • Consistently interact with those who communicate with you. Social media automation can be a blessing and a curse, so don’t use it for 100% of your activity.
  • Never link multiple social accounts together to share the same content on all platforms. Instead, create content that fits with the different platform designs.

Custom Platform Preferences

All social media platforms are designed in a unique way, and as a result, you should create custom content for each of them.

For example:

  • Twitter limits the length of your content to 140 characters, and hashtags are very popular.
  • Facebook allows for longer post content, and although it has hashtags available, they are not as widely used as Twitter.

What works for one platform may not work for another. Keep in mind that the platform(s) you’re using has features available for you that can help you reach your target audience, but confusing the different social media can not only limit your reach. It can potentially push your audience away.

Target Audience Preferences

The last category I have for you is especially important for your business. If you don’t research your target audience and their preferences, you won’t be able to reach them with your social media marketing activity.

Some of the things you should understand are:

  • Who are your ideal customers based on the products or services you offer?
  • Where are they most active on social media?
  • What are their needs and interests, which you can address?

To effectively reach your target audience, you need to create social media personas for them. You can find out more about this in the article below. When you have these personas set up, you’ll have a better chance at developing a higher success rate and ROI from your social media activity.

Summary

These are 3 social media marketing basics you need to review frequently and update accordingly. When you do, you increase your chances of an increased success rate or ROI on social media.

Are you having trouble seeing the benefits of social media marketing? Try improving upon these basics. You’ll never see an improvement if you maintain your status quo, so use these tips to build a better, stronger social media marketing strategy.

 

Questions you Should be Asking Your Social Media Manager!

20 Jul

It’s not easy being social.

While 92 percent of social media marketers say that social media marketing is important for their businesses, more than half struggle to measure ROI and effectively manage multiple social media campaigns, reports HubSpot.

Sound like your business?

Sure, setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account is pretty straightforward. But before you know it, you’re spending all your time responding to customer complaints and failing to strategically use these channels to achieve marketing goals.

Even the best time-saving apps, scheduling tools, and college interns can take your business’s social media marketing efforts only so far.

If you want to get serious about social media marketing, you need to partner with an agency that offers social media advertising services. But just because you’ve picked an agency partner doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing. Many small businesses find the subsequent onboarding period to be just as challenging, too.

The first three months of working with a social media marketing partner are critical for future success.

Small businesses need an agency marketing partner who understands how to help create the best possible social media marketing operation so you can efficiently and cost-effectively scale your efforts. And agencies need small businesses to understand that even with the most aggressive strategy, results won’t happen overnight.

Set appropriate expectations with your marketing partner from the beginning by asking these three key questions:

1. How Long Does it Take to Go Live?

Of all the questions to ask, this one is the most important.

The last thing your business should do is commit to partnering with an agency that’s going to spend the next four months putting together a social media campaign while you’re paying an arm and a leg for the agency’s premium advice. Onboarding doesn’t happen overnight. Your current digital marketing team will need to work in lockstep with the agency’s team to transition roles and adjust to new responsibilities.

But if the onboarding process becomes drawn out and takes longer than expected, you’ll incur extra charges with no leads to show for this investment.

Worse, there’s a risk for hidden and unexpected costs.

If you’re launching a new product in six weeks, for example, be sure that it’s sufficient time for the agency you hire to put together a social media marketing campaign in conjunction with the product’s launch.

2. What is the Average Payback Period that Clients See Working with You?

There are no guarantees in the wild and wooly world of social media marketing. What works for one business does not always translate well to another company. That said, you still want to hire an agency with a solid track record of success.

The right social media marketing company will not only create fantastic content at scale to support your business, but also drive top-line business results like brand lift, improved customer relationships, or more qualified leads.

Return on investment can vary based on your business’s goals (e.g., building brand awareness vs. lead generation). Ask to see examples of other campaigns for businesses with goals similar to yours and discuss the timeline for implementing programs and measuring success.

For how long did these programs run? At what point did clients start seeing a significant uptick in brand awareness or lead generation? How sustainable was this increase?

By spending as little as six hours per week on social media marketing, over 66 percent of marketers report lead generation benefits. A social media marketing agency should deliver much stronger results. Otherwise, what’s the point of paying them?

3. How Does Your Platform Measure Social Media Marketing Success?

The key word here is “how” not “can”. Virtually every social media agency claims they can measure campaign success. Far too many agencies, however, rely on metrics like increased site traffic or more social shares.

According to HubSpot, 96 percent of social media managers measure number of fans and followers, 89 percent measure traffic, 84 percent measure mentions, 55 percent track share of voice, and 51 percent track sentiment.

While it’s great for an agency to show that folks are sharing your content, that’s not the same as delivering in-depth engagement insights. Examples of critical insight metrics include attention time, topic resonance, and A/B headline testing. Don’t pay an agency to measure what you can do yourself.

Instead, be sure it offers metrics that pinpoint the key reasons why certain social media content pieces are more successful than others – and then has a clear feedback loop for adjusting content in accordance with performance.

Bottom Line

Social media marketing is as much an art as it is a science. Even the most experienced, creative and innovative agency can’t guarantee all its marketing campaigns will be a success — and that’s okay. That said, you don’t want to waste valuable funds hiring an agency whose marketing approach doesn’t mesh with yours.

Doing your homework in advance will ensure your expectations are aligned with what your agency actually offers.

A Couple Tips to Master Social Media Marketing

13 Jul

According to a new study, one in six marriages that began in the last three years has resulted from an interaction that started online. At the same time, Nielsen also reports that four out of every five corporations in America are now leveraging social media to help expand their client base and build relationships with customers.

It’s no secret that social media is here to stay and that its stake in the success or failure of a business is growing larger everyday. If you’re looking to ramp up your own presence and quickly master the art of social media marketing for business, follow these tips:

Learn Management Software

There’s an almost limitless supply of social media management apps and tools out there to choose from. Hootsuite and Buffer are good beginner apps that cover the vast majority of social accounts and are easy to navigate, while tools like Narrow.io and Twibble serve more specific functions. The right combination of tools will vary based on your organization’s needs and objectives.

Once you choose a social media management software program, take the time to really learn the ins and outs of it. Most people simply use these tools to schedule posts and glance at their feeds, but new features and updates are being added every day that go far beyond the basic functions. If you want to master social media marketing, you’ll want to use these to their fullest extent.

Automate Everything

You have better things to do than execute the same repetitive tasks over and over again. When it comes to social media marketing, automation is everything. Here’s a short list of some of the tasks you can automate now and no longer waste your time on:

  • Following people back when they follow you
  • Retweeting interesting messages on Twitter
  • Mentioning other users in your messages
  • Responding to direct messages
  • Automating posts from another expert’s website
  • Posting to LinkedIn Twitter, or Facebook from another network

The bottom line is this: the more you automate, the more time you have to manage other aspects of your business or create great content for your posts. Simply put, it’s a must do for active business owners.

A word of caution: automation is necessary, but being human is still important. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you have your systems and processes automated, you don’t have to actually authentically participate or engage with people in real-time anymore. Strive to automate while still keeping things personal.

A Few Tips for Social Media Marketing Success!

6 Jul

Often you will find yourself wondering why your social media marketing strategies are bringing you back to square one. You are not seeing an increase in the amount of conversions and you are definitely not getting your business noticed the way you wanted. When you look around at other brands, you see a large fan following, numerous conversions and high engagement overall. So, you think to yourself why you’re not getting what you expected out of your own marketing strategy.

Well, there are a few secret ingredients that complete a social media marketing strategy and give it that extra zing. Here are a few out-of-the-box tactics you can adopt to give your marketing strategy a little boost.

Post content after business hours

You might think that posting your content during regular office hours might attract more eyeballs, but that is not necessarily the case. During office hours, your target audience might be busy with their daily tasks and might not be able to spare a glance at their social media pages. However, people are more likely to browse through their social media accounts after working hours. It is during this time, that your content will get noticed and shared.

Publish meaningful content

Publishing consistently good content will place your brand in a positive light, and your audience will want to willingly visit your page for the posts that you share. By publishing fresh content regularly, you can keep your social media pages active. It can be difficult to come up with relevant and valuable content all the time, and if you think you have hit a roadblock in terms of content, try out a content discovery tool which can make finding content simple.

Don’t try to sell in every post

The content you choose to post on your social media pages should vary from post to post. Avoid marketing your product in every single post. Instead, share informative posts with your audience. People enjoy reading humorous posts that are informative but are presented in a funnier way.

Give your audience a break from the formal marketing posts, and publish videos, audio clips, infographics, or relevant memes. Your audience will definitely want to come back for more.

Reward loyal customers

Take an in-depth look at your social media pages, and pick out customers who are constantly engaging with your brand – giving suggestions, providing feedback and participating in discussions. Choose a loyal customer at random, and reward them for their loyalty and support. It will pay off in the long run as it will lead to people appreciating your brand, and will also help bring in new customers.

Run contests and giveaways

There are many brands out there that are using this tactic to their utmost advantage. Running contests, giveaways or asking questions will give your audience an opportunity to interact with you, and it will also give you a chance to show that you are listening to what your customers have to say.

By getting your audience to share their opinions and suggestions, you are showing that you value their opinions, and welcome their suggestions for your brand. Your audience will also feel wanted and appreciated.

Use promotional words

Words like “free”, “offers” and “sale” tend to attract attention immediately. Use these words in your posts whenever possible, but make sure it fits the context. Incorporate these words in the post creatively, and add an image along with the post so that these posts are easily noticeable.

For social media marketing strategies to work to your advantage, they need to be refurbished from time to time. Instead of applying the usual run-of-the-mill tactics, try out something fresh every time. This will energize your marketing strategy and give your audience something to look forward each time they visit your social media pages.