Archive | March, 2016

How to Build and Strengthen B2B Relationships with Social Media Marketing

28 Mar

You know social media is a great tool for growing your business and connecting with customers, but social media can be a great way to establish or strengthen your business to business relationships as well.

I feel a lot is said about social media and marketing to consumers, but what about the relationships you have with other businesses? Wether you have a company you partner with for your printing needs, or a few sponsors for an event, business to business relationships are just as important as relationships you build with your customers. Social media is a great tool to help you show love and strengthen B2B relationships. Leveraging these relationships online can help you build a stronger network with partners that share your content, which can lead to more business for you (and them). Don’t you love when everyone wins?

Here are a few simple ways you can strengthen B2B relationships with social media:

Connect with and follow any (existing or potential) partners or event sponsors.

Find the companies, businesses and people you collaborate with, follow their social media accounts and interact with posts. If they have employees or members that are active online you can follow them also. Same goes for people you’d like to work with. Find them, interact, and introduce yourself!

Share content that your partners publish.

If you’ve collaborated (or want to collaborate) with a specific person or brand, they most likely have content that is geared towards your audience. Share their relevant posts with your network. This will break up your own content, and hopefully they’ll take notice and share some of your content too.

Use Twitter Lists.

Twitter Lists are great for interacting without having to follow users. When you add someone to a list they get a notification letting them know what list they’ve been added to. Lists will only display tweets from the users you’ve added to them and other Twitter users can follow your lists. I love using lists for events – particularly lists of event speakers and sponsors. I’d then let followers know to follow the list – which gives them a nice compilation of tweets from list members. Lists can be used to showcase reporters who work with your publication, a restaurant may showcase other local businesses (name the list something like “We Love Our Neighbors”), you can even compile a favorite resource or publication list to drive engagement and catch someone’s attention.

Exchange Posts/Collaborate on Content.

This works well when you have event sponsors – simply ask the person in charge if you can exchange some social media posts leading to content regarding your event for a post about them on your social channels. Take this a step further and collaborate with your event sponsors on content you can both promote. This exposes both sides to fresh eyes, and strengthens the relationship

Create Content Based on Your Partners/Event Sponsors.

Announce your new collab, create an image with a quote from a reporter on your team, any content related to the person, business, or brand you’ve partnered with (and tag them correctly so that they see it). Create something that shows your partner you value them (yes, we are still talking about social media marketing here). The point is your collaborator will most likely share something that’s about them.

Social media is all about building relationships and B2B brands should take the opportunity to interact with one another, reach their niches, and showcase their collaborative efforts – potentially exposing them fresh eyes and opening doors to new partnerships. As you can see, building and strengthening B2B relationships with social media can be fairly simple if you’re willing to put in time to interacting

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Some Useful Tips to Increase the Efficiency of Your Social Media Campaign

21 Mar

It might appear surprising that most social media strategies fail despite being crafted by experts. But on a second thought it doesn’t look surprising because success in social media optimization/marketing depends on connecting the dots, which most entrepreneurs fail to perform.

A strategy is nothing if not implemented in the correct way. The implementation part is really hard, and the marketer needs to realize that. Understanding social media platforms, getting familiar with the tools, tracking consumer behaviors are all important. But the defining characteristic of a comprehensive strategy is it ties all these together.

If a marketer identifies the reasons behind the failure of a particular strategy, then he becomes better equipped at the time of crafting a new strategy. In this article, we’ll discuss why most social media strategies fail.

Misunderstanding of social media

Many marketers have a misunderstanding of social media. Such misconceptions need to be shrugged off. Noted social media strategists said social media is an effective tool for marketing but if not used in the right manner, then it won’t work. The very first priority of a marketer is to identify his target market and focus on it. If the marketer fails to identify the target market, then the result will be devastating for his campaign. He’d end up shelling out money, but won’t see any positive result.

Lack of engaging content

What does the phrase “engaging content” really mean? Content that only triggers engagement doesn’t qualify as engaging content, engaging content is something that assures conversion through engagement. There’s hardly any point uploading a beautiful image on a social site if the image lacks information and doesn’t invoke the users to click on the call-to-action button. It’s nothing but a misconception that adding images and videos automatically make the content engaging. Even text content can be engaging if it can balance information and engagement.

Make them listen without shouting

As a marketer, you need to make users listen to you. The mistake committed by most marketers is they shout and users end up pissed with the earsplitting sound of the shout. Marketers should never push a product or a service; instead they should take time understanding the psyche of an ordinary user and design the product or service accordingly. Then, the marketer doesn’t need to disturb the user, rather, the user will become interested to the product. Seasoned marketers know the subtle ways of promotion, which successfully convey a message to users without disturbing them.

Evaluating a strategy

To measure the success of a social media campaign, a marketer first needs to define what success stands for in this context, and how to measure it. The success of a branding strategy cannot be quantified, and so it cannot be measured in the conventional way. To measure a social media strategy’s success, the marketer needs to repeat applying it. Oftentimes, it becomes difficult to spot the actual cause that is fetching success, more so because additional factors often accompany it. The strategy being repeatedly applied helps a marketer gain insight on the strategy’s usefulness.

Being one of the crowd

You need to do something different in order to entice your users. There are hundreds of social media marketing agencies, and they all promise the same things, better visibility, and better engagement. But how many of them live up to what they promise? A few, too few to be correct.

To gain success, you need to stand different from the crowd. Being one of the crowds implies you have something entirely run-of-the-mill on your offering. Why would a brand hire you when it knows you are going to offer him a solution that thousand others can offer too? So take time and strategize how you are going to stand different.

Lack of consistency

A campaign needs to be consistent in order to be useful. If a social media fan-page posts an update today and then after a week, then clearly it lacks consistency. Such a campaign can never be successful. Being a social media marketer, you need to be consistent, otherwise your campaign will fall flat.

The tips above can help you craft a social marketing strategy that is effective and useful. Just be consistent and see your campaign is bringing you desired result.

When it comes to social media marketing, engagement is key

14 Mar

Facebook dominates the social universe with more than 4.5 billion likes every day and 890 million individuals logged in daily. Every minute 300 new profiles are created with the average amount of time spent on Facebook each month per person is 6.35 hours.

If you currently have a Facebook business page are you getting engagement? If someone has liked your page they may never return to that page or seek you out again. The key factor to social media marketing success is engagement. What does successful engagement look like? It is comments, likes and shares of your posts, taking quizzes, entering contests, redeeming offers and writing reviews. Facebook shares more than how many fans you have on your page, but also if consumers have checked in at your business and how many people are talking about your business. This information can be viewed by clicking on the number of fans on your page.

So how do you create engagement on social media? Post content that is relevant, timely and interesting. Infodocket states that the average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes. This means you have a short time period to make an impression. Post information of value to your fan base and their friends. Educate your audience on something they may value. For example, if a boutique posted tips and photos on how to look trimmer wearing the latest fashion trend or how to get five different outfits with the combination of four articles of clothing they may increase engagement as well as drive sales. It’s also okay to share or repost content, but users will have more trust and engagement with original content posted by the business. Posting photos and video also increases engagement. Social drives equal amounts of online and in-store purchases. Almost 43 percent of social users have purchased a product after sharing or liking it on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

The following are more tips for social success:

Become a fan of your competitors and be aware of what they are doing to increase engagement, sales and their fan base.

Respond quickly to posts or reviews on your page. Facebook monitors this and highlights how responsive you are on your fan page. Post frequently, but not multiple posts within a short time period. Social users scroll their home page checking in on the occurrences of the day and may be turned off by too many posts from one source or business in a short period of time. The opposite can happen as well, if a potential new fan visits your page and there has been no activity for weeks or even months they most likely will not click the “like” button.

Make sure your page is updated with accurate business hours, location, website link and other relevant information that a fan may want to know about your business before visiting.

According to State of Inbound Marketing 2012, 42 percent of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business. Pages organically reach about six percent of their fans on average in this crowded space. To improve your visibility with your fan base you can boost or sponsor your posts to increase of your content. Facebook is also an excellent target marketing tool with 94 percent accuracy to help increase your fan base and engagement.

If your business does not have a Facebook page you could still have engagement on an unclaimed page. It is important to be aware of what people are saying about your business good and bad. Look for your business on Facebook, you might be surprised on what you discover. At the very least, claim your page so someone else does not and make sure you are an administrator on the page. You can assign someone else to manage the page for you, but it is important to have a strategy on what type of content is posted, how to respond to both positive and negative engagement and how to increase your fan base.

Once you feel you have a strategy on Facebook you may want to experiment with other social platforms based on your target audience like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest.

Why You Need to Humanize Your Social Media Marketing

7 Mar

The social media marketing landscape is constantly evolving with new networks, widgets, and tools. The way marketers approach social media strategically, however, hasn’t changed much.

The problems that social media marketers face have been around a long time.

If you take a step back and look at the entire situation, you’ll see that you have all sorts of problems in social media marketing. Organic reach is the proverbial needle in a haystack, paid social media costs go up double digits every quarter, brand trust is low, and vanity social metrics don’t show business impact.

Most of all, you need to humanize your social media. Realize that for every piece of content you post, humans are on the other end. When you start talking about customer engagement and relationships, what does that mean and what is the value?

Most of your valuable engagement comes from 2-5% of your social media communities. Identify, foster, and amplify the best of those relationships to build a community that drives social word-of-mouth.

The Issue With Your Social Media Marketing

You’ve spent years and/or dollars growing your social media community, only to be told recently that you can’t reach your audience just by putting content out. If you want to reach them, you have to pay. And the rate you pay keeps going up and up; there’s limited real estate on your valued individual feed that advertisers desperately want.

Even if you’ve decided to pay the skyrocketing rate, your customers still don’t trust your ad. They trust it about 25% of the time—almost 4X less than a recommendation from another person in their social circles.

Moreover, no matter what size of organization you’re in, you need to understand the effect of your social media efforts. You can’t put Facebook Likes in a balance sheet.

You need to get a grip on these problems.

Humanizing Social Media Marketing

Many other steps are a valuable part of your marketing mix. Producing quality content, having an authentic voice, and even using paid media each has a notable role. But it’s time to adjust your thinking to humanizing social media marketing. Because the humans—your fans and customers—involved in social media can drive sustainable, measurable effects to every element of your business.

These statistics illustrate the point:

  • People trust brand advocates and referrals 92% of the time compared to ads.
  • People only trust the emails they sign up for 50% of the time.
  • People act on a recommendation 8-10X more than they do on an ad.
  • An empowered advocate’s “cannonball effect” sends waves eight layers deep. For example, one advocate can generate 40,000+ social word-of-mouth impressions.
  • Because of the trust that generates action of social brand advocacy, the value of a social word-of-mouth impression is worth 5-250X more than a paid impression. If you do the math, a social brand advocacy community of 25 people can generate the business impact of 25 million paid-media impressions.

When you think of humanizing your social media marketing, the first concepts to consider are engagement, relationship, and trust.

If you asked 100 social media marketers what engagement means, you would get 100 different answers. But think about it in human terms…

What does “being engaged in a conversation” mean? Engagement isn’t silently pushing a “like” button; it means being involved in the conversation, such as making mentions, sharing content, and checking in.

When looking for your best potential social brand enthusiasts and advocates, finding people who are engaged in that way is the best start.

Moreover, when you think about relationships in human terms, you quickly realize you can’t just broadcast content, call it authentic, and have it create engagement. A relationship is a two-way experience. You have to get to know each other gradually, and you pay attention to the people who pay attention to you.

Think about how many times you tried a new restaurant, switched insurance companies, or booked a hotel just because somebody you trust provided a recommendation that influenced your decision somewhere in your purchase journey.

Now, if you, as a brand, can get the people you’re in relationships with to tell their friends about your brand, you grow social word-of-mouth that gets people past the moment of trust.

The Benefits of Focusing on Relationships

When you look at the challenge of organic reach coupled with the lack of brand trust, building trusted becomes a priority.

You still have to create great content that is shareable, but if you can foster relationships with 1-4% of constantly engaged people and amplify their voices, you end up with a significant win.

When you build social word-of-mouth, people downstream do more than just look at content; they join your communities, sign up for your emails, and take advantage of offers shared by advocates.

You don’t need to think of targets and campaigns and all things militarized… You take a little time to grow a community of advocates sharing your brand message and how the brand fits into their lives.

The obvious question is what’s in it for brand advocates? The answer: it’s the insider connection. Brand advocates enjoy being involved in a community of people with similar interests and insights with their favorite brands in a two-way relationship. (Note: There isn’t mention of compensation; we’re talking real brand advocacy).

Show these advocates content others can’t see, ask their opinions about new products and ads, and let them chat with people inside the company they couldn’t access otherwise. Making your brand advocates feel special and keeping them engaged goes much farther than reloading the ad campaign shotgun.