Archive | October, 2016

How Social Media Nurturing Gets You More Results

31 Oct

Social media nurturing has to be a requirement for all businesses. Businesses have turned social media automation into something that seems to resemble broadcast radio by posting large volumes of tweets and updates occurs fast with automation tools. Now imagine every business, regardless of their industry, doing the exact same thing.

Automated postings have inundated social communities to a point that no one is listening anymore.

Unfortunately, businesses have over-used social media automation tools to be the end of their marketing efforts. They are seeking efficient (not necessarily effective) ways of getting their message out as fast and as low cost as possible. Low cost to these businesses includes low to no labor. These quick tactics are not effective and do more harm than good.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how effective is broadcasting your message in bulk? How effective is it to wait for people to come to you? With every business broadcasting to the social communities, how likely is it for someone to listen on the other end? It is more likely people have become numb to the broadcasts.

4 DON’Ts of Social Media Automation

The reliance on social media automation tools can put a business at risk of ruining their social community presence. First, we must recognize social media marketing to be about relationship marketing. If the audience doesn’t recognize there is a real human being behind the business account, they are not likely to stay engaged.

  1. Don’t make auto Direct Messages part of your social media strategy.
  2. Don’t treat scheduled messages as a one size fits all tactic.
  3. Don’t forget to analyze your scheduled messages for results.
  4. Don’t forget to read the articles you’re sharing for quality.

Over-reliance on marketing automation tools will create the opposite effect over time. Consider balance between using marketing automation tools and your time.

Getting Past The Noise

Nurturing your social media activities does not mean you need to drop your social media automation. Rather, nurturing is about augmenting the automation with real relationship marketing.

There are two simple points to understand when it comes to nurturing your social media marketing activities.

  1. Pick one quality post and nurture that post for one week and only one week. This one post will be more effective than 10 broadcasts from social automation.
  2. Nurturing is about bringing people in your conversations. Waiting for someone to maybe like or comment on your post is not going to do the trick. The difference is active social media marketing versus passive social media marketing.

The nurturing process is about spending 15 minutes or less each day. Imagine putting on a reporter hat on and interviewing those who you have selected to bring into your conversation. You are soliciting for their help, opinion, knowledge, experience, and expertise. You’ll see how much people would like to share their thoughts. This process does need you to keep asking questions to keep the conversation alive.

Your Social Nurturing Activities

The list of activities to nurture your social media marketing is not that long and completed in 15 minutes. The activities below are best suited for LinkedIn. The concepts are similar in other social communities:

  1. Select a post you would like to nurture on a Monday.
  2. Add a comment to your post followed by a question and tag three people in your connected network.
  3. Tagging means you are going to add their First and Last name to the post. In LinkedIn, as you type a name, the people in your network will appear in a pop-up menu for easy selection.
  4. The people you have tagged will receive an email telling them to visit your post to include their comments.
  5. Come back to your nurtured post in 24 hours.
  6. If no one has responded, don’t give up. Add another comment and tag three different people.
  7. If you received a response, Like that person’s response and comment about what they said to keep the conversation going.
  8. In your next comment add three more people.
  9. You can like your own comments and your post to give it added exposure.
  10. The more activity on this post they more likely that others will see the post and join the conversation.

Does it help to know your network? Yes. Start with people you know will engage with you. Later start tagging people who have a high volume of connections. Each time others comment on your post, their entire network sees their activity. This means they see your post too. This is how viral marketing gets going.

Depending upon the success of a post you may decide to sponsor the post for even more exposure. Planning this up front will be helpful since you need to start this type of conversation from your company page.

In LinkedIn, you may wish to start a post and nurture the conversation in the Pulse Post section. This opens the conversation up to the entire LinkedIn network. In Pulse Posts other people can see your posts without a connection to you. Since the Pulse Posts are open to the public, Google will see your activity, too. This improves your chances of showing in search results.

Social Relationships Take Time

Nurturing your social media activities is helpful to present your knowledge and authority on a subject to your network. I would recommend visiting the profiles of those who have commented on your posts. You can then Like their activities along with commenting on one of their posts without solicitation by them.

You are now showing respect for their efforts and your relationship marketing is well underway. This has a much better possibility to become real revenue generating business!

How to Hire a Freelancer for Social Media Marketing

24 Oct

Advertising on Facebook and other social media sites requires time and expertise. But ecommerce merchants often lack one or the other; they sometimes struggle with optimizing paid social media campaigns.

The answer for many merchants is to hire a specialized freelancer. Marketplaces, such as Upwork, Outsourcely, and Guru, are good places to start. All have tools that allow you to search for the skills you’re looking for — such as “Facebook ads.”

You’ll likely see a list of freelancers with titles such as “Facebook Ads Master,” and descriptions of “All I do is Facebook ads. In fact, I love Facebook ads.” Each freelancer also provides his or her hourly rate, as well as other skills, such as email marketing.

Searching freelance marketplaces for “Facebook ads” will likely produce a list of candidates, such as this example from Upwork.

Moreover, most freelance marketplaces have a five-star rating system. Almost every project from every freelancer is rated in this manner. In my experience, if a freelancer doesn’t have mostly four or five stars, he isn’t worth your time.

Posting a Job

The first step in finding a suitable candidate is to create a post, on the marketplace, that lists what you need and how you want to pay: a lump sum or an hourly rate. For a larger project, such as setting up a Facebook ads account, I prefer paying a lump sum. That way I can budget for a one-time setup, a creative stockpile, and an initial strategy.

In fact, it’s nearly always best, in my experience, to hire freelance social media expertise with a lump-sum payment. Hourly engagements can sometimes lead to cost overruns or misunderstandings on the engagement’s scope.

The process of posting a job on a freelance marketplace is straightforward. For this example, I’ll use Upwork.

Create an account at Upwork and click “Post a Job” in the upper menu. This will take you to the job creation page. Start by giving your job a name, and then a description. Provide as much detail as possible — the success of the job depends on detailed communication as it lets the freelancer knows what she’s getting into.

Create an account at Upwork and click “Post a Job.” This will take you to the job creation page.

Then, attach any relevant files, such as non-sensitive business packets and style guides. Choose the project type, how your project is described, and the number of freelancers you’ve used previously and what they’ve done. Choose, also, the number of social media sites you’ll be targeting, which, for this example, is just Facebook.

Next comes a few more details, such as additional specifications for the job, your experience working with freelancers, the skills they need, and the price you will pay. Select, too, an experience level: Intermediate to Expert is best, though Intermediate will likely cover your needs.

Also, choose how you want to advertise your job. You can expose it to all freelancers on Upwork or, alternatively, you can just enter the name of specific people, and only they will be able to see the job. If you open it to all Upworkers, add further “Preferred Qualifications” to help narrow down the field.

Finally, you can ask a few questions that anyone applying will have to answer, such as “Do you have any experience with my industry” or “What do you find most frustrating with Facebook ads?” These questions will help you learn more about the freelancer, to make sure he has the expertise for your job.

Questions and Milestones

Once you’ve found a freelancer and have agreed on the cost, schedule a telephone call to get the project started. Remember, it’s your project. Ask questions, recognizing that you’ve hired an expert.

Most marketplace platforms let you set up milestones for each major step of the engagement. For a Facebook ads account, as an example, consider milestones of:

  • Account set up;
  • Ads created;
  • Conversion tracking added;
  • Account launched.

Beyond the milestones, keep tabs on your project. Establish a schedule of check-ins, such as every Wednesday at 5 p.m., but don’t send daily emails asking about the status. Send additional information to your freelancer if it’s beneficial and give feedback when necessary.

Of course, you can always save the hassle and work with a VA/Freelancer agency like Sala Social Marketing.  We have over 18 years experience in the field with many happy clients!

4 Social-Media Mistakes Your Business Can’t Afford to Make

17 Oct

Social media marketing is something you need to be doing. It’s too effective when it comes to growing your business to ignore it. As more businesses make it a larger component of its marketing strategies, I see more mistakes being made.

Here are four mistakes you don’t want to make on social media.

1. You’re not interacting with followers.

Guess what the number one line of communication is for customer service? Social media.

The majority of consumers are constantly plugged into social media, which is the reason social media is a major customer support tool. I see a lot of businesses that understand this, but its social media feed is just a long list of support replies.

Since your followers are plugged in around the clock, use it as an opportunity to create raving fans of your business. Every business is going to have a different audience and target market, so you need to think of content that your followers would be likely to engage with.

For example, if your audience is millennials, memes might be a good play. Memes spark engagement, like comments and social shares, generating buzz about your business. Remember, your social media posts don’t have to be traditional advertisements to convert followers into customers.

2. You’re overly promotional.

Continuing where the previous point left off, don’t post ad after ad, and expect your followers to stick around.

An offer here and there is fine, but if your followers feel that all of your posts are glorified advertisements, they will find other accounts to follow and leave you behind. They don’t need you. You need them.

3. You don’t include calls-to-action (CTAs).

Collecting followers alone isn’t going to magically translate into increased sales and revenue. Every social media profile gives you a place to put your website link, yet so many businesses miss out on an opportunity to collect leads, or push traffic directly to an offer because it simply puts its website’s homepage URL in these sections.

Don’t do that. Instead, put a link to your newsletter offer, downloadable whitepaper or a direct-to-purchase offer. Most clicks originating from social media and hitting your homepage are wasted clicks. Nobody has time to try to find offers. Send them directly to your offers, and this will greatly increase your conversion rates.

You should also mix in some CTAs in your posts. CTAs don’t have to be promotional.

Let’s assume you created a very informative infographic for your blog and want to drive traffic to it. Most businesses would just post the URL on social media and hope people will check it out. By including a strong CTA, such as, “You have to check out this cool infographic we just did — especially point No. 3,” will drive significantly more traffic than just listing the post title and a link.

4. You spread yourself too thin.

You have to accept the fact that you more than likely can’t be active on all social media channels, unless you have a dedicated social media team or outsource your social media to a digital agency.

It will benefit you much more if you are great on three social media outlets, rather than mediocre on more. Pick the social networks that your business thrives on, and focus on making your impact even bigger.

With just a small handful of social networks to worry about, it makes answering messages and engaging with your followers much more manageable. The faster you can reply and the more you can engage, the stronger that connection will become. Social media is a great tool to build relationships that create life-long brand supporters.

Instagram Marketing: How to Build a Large Instagram Following!

10 Oct

As we all know, Instagram is a social platform where you get to showcase your pictures and your videos publicly or privately to your followers. But is this all you can do on Instagram?

Of course not.

Thousands of successful Instagram entrepreneurs are springing up every day after they discovered the power of Instagram marketing. Instagram marketing has proven to be a great way to engage and build a massive audience for your products or services.

But, how long does it take to build a large Instagram follower base?

The answer depends on your level of commitment to marketing your brand on Instagram.

These are some of the tips you can use to build your follower base:

#1. Creating a worthwhile profile

Instagram gives you the chance to tell your followers about yourself, who you are and what you do. If you want them to know other things you do on your website, then share them the link to your website.

You have to briefly describe what you want them to see on the site when they visit there. You keep them excited and eager to visit your page with a short brief summary of what you want them to see. Ensure you are specific and brief about your profile.

#2. Use pictures and videos to engage your audience

Mixing videos and pictures when telling your stories will make you feed more interesting and engaging. Upload clear pictures and videos with high visual quality to boost your followers’ interest in what you are presenting to them.

Research shows that images and videos with clearer views have more people looking at your profile.

There are certain settings on your phone that help you get a square picture to upload or you download apps that gives square images so you don’t crop out and loose the quality of the image or video.

#3.Use relevant hashtags

There are several hashtags such as #fashion for posts based on fashion, #sports for posts based on sports, #writing tips, #freelancer etc. depending on the kind of business you are engaged in.

You have to make use of catchy and trending hashtags such as #just fun, #beverage or you specify the product or brand name such as #hp, #Nike, #adidas.

When people search for these hashtags, your post comes up with lots of other posts with the hashtag which is more reason why you need a high quality visual for your posts to remain catchy to users that go through the posts with that hashtag.

Most artists tag top celebrities whenever they post their services on their Instagram page so they can help them in reposting. The rule of thumb is to add hashtags after your first comment but not before.

You can get people to invite their friends to like your post; you can make it a tag and win affair so you can build a massive followership through that.

You can create an online contest on Instagram such as reposting your videos and the one with the highest number of likes wins a prize. You can also make them feel special by appreciating them in every form, with bonuses or uploading their picture.

Snapchat adopts Facebook-style ad targeting like email, mobile device matching

3 Oct

Snapchat is rolling out new ad targeting options that challenge its anti-creepy advertising stance and could be used to execute the type of retargeting that Snapchat really doesn’t like.

Snapchat is beginning to let brands aim their ads at the mobile app’s daily audience of 150 million, based on those people’s email addresses and the unique advertising identifiers attached to their phones, as well as to people who share characteristics with that defined audience. And more old-school advertisers will now be able to target ads based on content-based audience categories, like people who are into gaming, music, sports, beauty or technology.

The three new ad targeting options — Snap Audience Match, Lookalikes and Snapchat Lifestyle Categories — will be available for anywhere its vertical video Snap Ads can run, such as in between people’s Stories, within Live Stories or within Discover channels. But advertisers will not be able to use them to target their sponsored lens or sponsored geofilter campaigns. And while most brands should now be able to use the customer-matching and lookalike-targeting options, the ability to target audiences based on the categories of content they check out won’t be broadly available until later this fall.

If you’re someone who uses Snapchat but doesn’t want brands to be able to advertise to you based on your email address and the mobile advertising ID attached to your smartphone, you’re in a tough position. Snapchat plans to add a way for people to opt out of that type of targeting, but it’s unclear how soon that will be made available, while brands are already able to target their ads that way. Until then, the only ways to evade this level of targeting are either to constantly go into your phone’s settings menu to reset the advertising ID and change the email address tied to your Snapchat account or to stop using Snapchat until the opt-out is made available.

That Snapchat is adopting this more data-intensive ad targeting shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to people (at least not to those who caught Snapchat’s policy changes earlier this year). Sure, Snapchat has often implied that it thinks targeted ads are creepy ads. But that was before the money started rolling in. The more targeted an ad can be — especially if it can be targeted based on solid data like someone’s email address — the more money advertisers are willing to pay for that ad.

Snapchat would probably describe its ad-targeting options as not creepy because it’s not — or at least not right now — adopting the type of targeting that tracks what people do outside of Snapchat and targets them with ads on Snapchat based on that activity. But that doesn’t mean advertisers couldn’t execute that type of retargeting on Snapchat thanks to the new options.

For example, if someone visits a retailer’s site while logged in using the same email address that’s attached to their Snapchat account, that retailer could log what products that person checks out but doesn’t buy, add them to a list of other logged-in visitors who checked out those products, and then buy ads on Snapchat targeting those email addresses with ads that feature those products. It’s not an easy way to retarget people or one that has Snapchat directly facilitating the retargeting by putting a tag on advertisers’ sites to automatically track that behavior on their behalf. But it’s still retargeting, and it wasn’t possible on Snapchat before the new email-matching targeting option was introduced.

This isn’t Snapchat’s first foray into ad targeting. Brands have already been able to aim ads based on their desired audience’s age, gender, location, what mobile device or operating system they’re using, who their wireless carrier is and which Discover channel(s) or Live Story they’re checking out. But those were much more basic targeting options compared to what Snapchat’s rolling out now.

But Snapchat isn’t rolling out anything new to the industry. The company is following the ad-targeting playbook popularized by, if not written by, Facebook and already adopted by other major ad-supported digital platforms like Google, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. By now, this is what companies that have large numbers of authenticated users do in order to compete for brands’ ad budgets.

“In the early days of Internet advertising, marketers relied on things like targeting to help differentiate ad products that weren’t very engaging,” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said in a company video released in June 2015 that touted its vertical video ads to marketers.

With its innovative ad formats like vertical video ads and sponsored filters and lenses, Snapchat has differentiated itself. With its new targeting options, it’s simply following suit.