Archive | April, 2016

Solving the Most Common Social Media Marketing Challenges

25 Apr

Today, there are 2.307 billion active social media users around the world. That’s nearly one-third of our planet’s total population of 7.125 billion!

As social media marketing professionals, we’re lucky to reach even .000001% of that population with any one of our posts. This can feel a bit underwhelming for businesses and marketers looking to demonstrate the true value and ROI of social media.

Everywhere we look it appears that brands and companies have it all figured out on social media. With each new post to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter comes thousands of likes, comments, and shares.

Even Grumpy Cat has earned more than $100 million dollars since 2012!

This leaves the rest of us wondering, “What are we not doing right on social media?”

  1. Authentic connection with the audience

We’ve been seeing a massive shift in what it means to be effective on social media over the last few years. One challenge that marketers are facing in this new era of social media marketing is connecting with audiences on an individual and personal level.

Connecting with your audience helps to humanize your brand and build real, authentic relationships.

Solving this challenge:

Connect with your audience by utilizing free or low-cost brand monitoring tools such as Respond, Mention, or TweetDeck and respond to every single comment on Twitter.

Monitor all additional social media channels and respond to each comment in an authentic way. You can do this by asking questions, linking to other blog posts, providing insights, or offering help with a problem.

You may also consider creating and growing a niche forum or group on Facebook or LinkedIn, or even creating your own dedicated community site similar to inbound.org or GrowthHackers – this gives you the opportunity to engage with users as well as let them indulge their passions and connect with like-minded people.

  1. Creating a social media marketing strategy

You may know what you want to accomplish and why, but without a social media marketing strategy, you won’t have a specific plan on how to get there.

Think of your social media plan as a roadmap to your goals – Sure, you can stop off and check out landmarks along the way (experimentation), but you’ll want to return to the road that gets you to your destination in the shortest time and distance (goals).

Solving this challenge:  Creating a solid social media marketing strategy doesn’t have to take weeks to put together. For me, it helps to have 3 key things written down on paper:

 

Why we’re on social: Simply being active of social media channels for the sake of being there is one of the quickest ways to burn valuable time and resources. First, answer the question of ‘why’ your business is on social and what you would like to accomplish.

How we’re going to succeed: Next is to ask the question of how. This can be specific social channels, paid advertising budget, video or image creation, partnering with influencers.

How we’ll measure success: Key Metrics, Goals or OKRs that you would like to accomplish broken down into days, weeks, months, and the year. Breaking it down like this will allow you to focus on day-to-day activities while also keeping the big picture in mind.

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Top Social Media Marketing Trends to Help Marketers Dominate In 2016

18 Apr

Want to change the way you leverage social media for digital success this year? It’s time to evaluate your social media strategies, and differentiate great tactics from ones that have under-delivered. This evaluation is really important to come out with a unique social media strategy to rock the markets in 2016. There are a bunch of opportunities which can let you shine on the social media front. So let’s have a look at highly effective social media trends that will help you dominate the market in 2016.

Social Commerce

Facebook and Pinterest, the two most renowned social media brands have adopted the concept of social commerce. With the “buy” button offered by both of these platforms, advertisers can sell their products through social media. In a sponsored post on Facebook and Pinterest by any advertiser, people are able to see a “buy” button. So people interested in any of the advertised product can simply buy them through social media platforms. This trend is fresh and expected to be adopted by all the social media platforms by the end of 2016. This feature can really bring great conversions to the brands and transform social media platforms into commerce magnets.

Videos Marketing

In 2015, content was the king of social media and digital marketing strategies. But with the New Year rollicking ahead, video content is expected to witness substantial growth. To utilize the video trend perfectly in your marketing strategies, various types of videos can be used, for instance, explainer videos, educational videos and entertainment videos. It is up to you how you decide to put your social marketing ideas in videos and then present those to your audience. Relevant video content is a perfect attention grabber & will definitely help you shine through social media in 2016.

Automation of Social Media Marketing

Marketing Automation is another important trend evolving in social media landscapes. This term refers to software that let marketers advertise on several social media channels simultaneously. Marketing automation eliminates the need of repeating same marketing message over multiple social media channels. This saves your time and efforts while also offering your business some solid exposure on multiple social media channels. Hence, brace up to introduce some automation to your social media marketing strategy.

Social Media Search

Now it is time for every business to get engaged in placing itself within the scope of social media search along search engines. Search engine results are more focused on textual content whereas people are more interested in finding pictorial results, videos and trusted reviews. So to meet their needs, users prefer social searches. Hence in order to grab more and more eyeballs, it has become important for businesses to acknowledge its importance and start working in the right direction to ride on the social search wave.

Digital Marketing

In spite of mushrooming of dozens of supposed growth hacking marketing landscapes, organic content continues to be counted as a priority for any web network looking to build strong presence over the web. Therefore, ensure you don’t fall back on SEO, after all, it is the vehicle that can take your website to places. Social content is becoming the first choice of search engines and thus social media posts, profiles, reviews etc. are getting more visibility on search results. Notice how while searching anything on Google you can observe several tweets or Facebook posts placed highly on the search result pages. Be prepared to see more social media platforms popping up on search engine results due to the freshness of content posted.

Mobile Friendliness

The evolution of smartphone, android and smart technologies have made mobile phones the primary usage device for almost all consumers of web content. Users are engrossed in indulging in social media platforms through their mobile devices. Stats unleashed at the end of 2015 showcase how desktop traffic has been overtaken by mobile traffic. And in 2016 it is fair enough to assume a greater surge in the numbers. No wonders, marketers consider it a must for to have a site or app compatible with mobile devices.

Customer Reviews

For a business, a customer’s review is an important asset because it arms the company with the capability to attract another prospect without investing any marketing or advertisement dollars. So it is important to keep track of your customers through various social media channels and encourage them to leave reviews for your product/services. Trusted reviews in turn enhance the credibility of a business, as people looking for any product or service never forget to take cues from existing reviews.

These are the critical social media trends that every CMO or digital marketing manager would do well to keep a track of.

 

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4 Ways to Use Social Media Beyond Marketing

11 Apr

Social media is much more than a marketing tool. Businesses are beginning to realize the power of integrating social media teams (and their insights) into other parts of the business. Why? Because as social media marketers, we are one of the first points of contact with customers both directly and indirectly. We have an front row to candid, public conversations and troves of audience data that can be used to create a better experience for the customer.

Here are 4 ways to use social media beyond marketing

Product Development

If your business is based on a physical product, take into account any positive or negative comments to help you develop your next crowd pleaser. Which leads me to…

Feedback

Feedback on anything. Ask your customers questions about what they didn’t like, what they want to see, where you can improve and create surveys related to your product. Your audience is a gold mine of information, all you have to do is ask!

Extend the Life of Content

Social media is a perfect way to extent the life of evergreen content, or give you ideas to refresh old pieces. Use networks like Twitter to link back to older content pieces that provide info that is still relevant (remember to switch up the messaging!). You can also fill content gaps with older content. Take a look at the social chatter happening in your audience – you may have an old piece that may just need a few statistics updates and new graphics to share.

Testing & Borrowing Content for Offline Initiatives

If your company put together a great video, or created an infographic that got a lot of buzz, use it offline! Test commercials on YouTube or Facebook, include online testimonials in brochures,use that popular infographic for conference materials. Not all digital content will cross over – but looking at what you already have could make your job a little easier.

I have been working in the social media marketing field for over 7 years and it’s been so amazing to watch the industry expand! Are there any ways you’ve used social media beyond marketing?

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

4 Apr

The social media strategy you use can determine the success or failure of an online marketing campaign. Many social media managers and website owners don’t do proper research. They are often wasting valuable resources working on social media activities that don’t produce any reward, such as click-through traffic or engagement.

There are parts of a social media strategy you probably haven’t considered or forgotten that will make you much more effective on social media platforms. Sometimes even the most basic tactics have the greatest results.

Here are 5 reminders on how to boost engagement for your social media strategy.

Demographics

Analyzing and testing your blog’s demographics is critical to determining with platforms you should invest your time on. You have to know your audience and be certain that the social media site you use has a high number of individuals you wish to target with your advertising campaign. For example, Pinterest has a large percentage of female members. If you specialize in men’s products, advertising on Pinterest may not be ideal.

However, if you are insistent on leveraging Pinterest, then publishing Pins that angle your product as something women can buy for the men in their lives might increase interaction and sharing. The demographics of the most popular social media websites should be known before starting any advertising campaign online.

Timing

Good timing is everything in life, and this has become especially true for social media. As social websites have matured, dozens of research studies have been conducted to better understand this powerful traffic source.

For example, companies now know which days and times people are more active. For Twitter, we learned that a few hashtags is ideal; a dozen is overkill. For Pinterest, case studies show that users increase in the late hours of the evening, meaning B2C brands can post during the day on Twitter and LinkedIn, update Facebook after work hours, and finish the day with Pins.

Ultimately, all this data means bloggers should know the best times to post on social media to reach as wide an audience as possible. If you don’t know when these websites are at their busiest, your social media activities could be a waste of time. This time could be better spent working on some other aspects of your business, such as actually making money.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

The largest organizations in the world spend millions of dollars testing and tracking their marketing activities. Monitor the activities of these organizations and you will soon find out what currently works and doesn’t. If there are large organizations operating in your niche, what you learn from them will be even more valuable when you implement your social media strategy.

The simplest way to achieve this is by targeting the larger brands fans and followers. If users are interested in a brand and you are confident they should be interested in yours, try to lure them to your social properties as well. Afterwards, review the other brands’ updates and see what types of posts earned the most shares, and try to take the next step in creating something even better than their content. If your competitor posted the “10 Best Gifts For Your Wife This Christmas”, push yourself to develop the “50 Best Gifts…”.

Number of Updates per Day

Deciding how many updates to publish each day is a dilemma for many website owners and social media managers. Although most studies show that Facebook users can endure about 3 updates per day before getting tired of a brand, the main thing is to provide high quality content when social media websites are at their busiest. If you’re in an evergreen niche, you can also schedule your updates for the busiest times on the main social media websites, many days or weeks in advance, but always remember to take advantage of hot trends when they come up.

Targeting Specific Groups

A lot of time and effort can be wasted focusing on social media tasks that don’t engage with your target audience. Becoming more specific and locating social media users who are interested in what you have to offer avoids a lot of this wasted time and effort. It also increases your conversion rates because you’re interacting with less people, but those people are more interested in what you have to offer.

This tactic really requires a brand to hone in on the ideal consumer.

Final Word

Social media has the potential to change the fortunes of any business. Unlike Google’s algorithm, where your traffic can be taken away overnight with a penalty, social media is something of a great “equalizer” among brands. If you have something unique, you can be a near-overnight sensation. However, many individuals and organizations don’t take the time to carefully research and create a proper social media strategy. Although the above five suggestions are earth-shattering breakthroughs, as we said earlier, sometimes a “back to basics” strategy is all you need to help you create a more targeted, efficient strategy for your business.