Archive | August, 2017

5 Ways To Future Proof Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

27 Aug

Before Facebook, there was Friendster, while before YouTube there was ShareYourWorld. And do you remember when the iPhone was first introduced and MySpace was all the rage? That was a mere 10 years ago.

In the span of a decade, our modern culture and lifestyle have changed unimaginably. Computers and laptops have already been replaced by smartphones as the prime device to access the internet and everything seems to revolve around social media platforms. And while change is positive such uncertainty can lead to lower market investments.

Knowing that SMM is a crucial part of online presence, most business owners and marketers alike are often torn on the matter. Do you put all your money on a horse that might not race tomorrow?

Instagram’s ER is rising while Twitter’s user base growth has stalled, but just a year ago things were the other way around. Plus, who’s to say that in a year’s time we will still be using those exact platforms?

What if Google finally succeeds and makes the best next social media network or better yet, what if a super app replaces every platform we use with a clean and easy to understand userinterface?

Analysts worldwide are working on answering these questions regarding probability. We are also doing our best to keep you up to date with the latest developments on each social platform. But even with all the data, it’s just hard to predict what will happen next. This is especially in the fast-paced tech savvy world we live in.

All being said, how do you future-proof your social media marketing strategy? There isn’t an exact set of steps you can take to do so, but we think that we do have some great tips and tricks to share with you. Let’s discuss!

#1. Focus on Quality Content

First and foremost, it should be noted that machine learning is quickly changing the landscape of software services. Today AI algorithms help Google choose the top ranking websites and YouTube to show you recommended videos.

Facebook, on the other hand, has been using AI for face recognition for years now. While it’s hard to predict where AI will take us tomorrow and whether or not other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter will heavily rely on it, one thing is clear. AI in the future will have the power to understand the difference between bad content and good content.

Of course, this falls slightly on the speculation side of things, but it is nonetheless extremely plausible. Considering the fact that all social media platforms want to do is increase their user base and engagement to attract more people, the focus on quality should be a top priority.

While retweeting one hundred posts per day might boost the engagement rates of your posts a tiny bit, a sophisticated AI bot in the future can see your account as a spam-related bot-controlled profile that is not worth promoting.

It’s the same with Instagram. If the platform implements a similar solution to DeepMind’s image recognition technology, imagine the hit your brand will get if you are trying to promote cats, but only have photos of dogs. Or, a more natural example, if your brand is about fitness trackers, yet you only have photos of girls doing yoga.

All being said, it’s difficult to predict how AI will change the algorithms social media platforms use to promote their content. Nevertheless, to increase your chances of future proofing your SMM strategy, your best bet would be to focus on quality content that adds value to the industry you are trying to excel at or to your brand.

#2 Focus on People and Natural Engagement

Paid advertising can greatly boost your content in the short-term. But if you want to future-proof your strategy, you should focus primarily on increasing your reach naturally. Instead of looking at just the numbers, make sure that you build an audience.

You don’t want to have numbers on a page that say “followers,” only to realize that those people won’t follow you anywhere. Instead, build an engaged audience that is influenced by your decisions. That way you will ensure that even if a new platform pops up, you will have a new following ready to come and support you on that new platform.

Of course, focusing on natural engagement and an honest and active audience can also help you retain your position within a social network. This means that even if there is a major update in how the algorithm works on a given platform, as long as your core audience is engaged with your content you won’t have to be that worried about the new changes.

#3 – Backup Your Data

One of the most important steps to take towards future proofing your SMM strategies is to create a habit of constantly backing up your data. While most of the content you have will probably be related to current events, you never know when you might be able to recycle some of it. Especially if a new platform comes around, having content ready to go will give you a huge boost going forward.

But even if this doesn’t happen, having all the content you’ve posted on a network backed up is a must for every social media marketer and/or manager. Whether for future proofing purposes or for general safety and security reasons, knowing that you have a local backup of your content in case of failure can save you a lot of stress and trouble in the unfortunate event of your account being hacked, the platform you are using breaking down, or if a new platform appears.

When backing up, make sure to categorize everything in a neat manner. Especially if you are running multiple accounts and profiles, keeping things organized can save you a lot of time and effort.

Make sure to keep the original content files, but also keep an edited version. Don’t forget to save up the text and hashtags of your posts even if you are keeping track of your hashtag usage somewhere else.

#4 – Focus Only on Long-Term Growth Strategies

For a social media marketer, short term boosts are a great way to entice the client and further build upon your own ambition and motivation towards success. But going back to the first and second tips, unless you focus on quality content and building an audience, you might fall short if a major change occurs.

Take for example the major keyword density shift by Google from a few years back. To make a long story short, when creating websites, people realized that if you have an exact number of keywords within a website, it is more likely to show up in the first results of Google. This resulted in an avalanche of websites exploiting keyword stuffing and hidden keyword techniques to appear on the front page. But when Google took note of that, they quickly removed such pages from the search results and changed their algorithm. Even though related to website SEO and not social media marketing, it is nonetheless a great example of why exploits for short term boosts might harm your strategy in the long run.

Short-term exploits and content boosts might be something that everyone around you is doing. But if you wait just a short while longer, focus on the quality and your audience, you will see that a long-term strategy is always the better option. This is especially true if we are talking about future proofing your SMM strategy.

#5 – Keep Up to Date with Everything SMM Related

Last but not least, make sure to always keep up to date with the latest developments in the SMM industry. Social media and internet-based services as a whole change almost each and every day.

With that in mind, the best thing you can do to ensure the future success of your SMM strategies is to constantly be up to date with what’s happening today and what might happen tomorrow.

What’s more, keep track of your own personal data and the data you have of your competitors. Draw your own conclusion from the analysis and share your thoughts within the industry.

Everyone might be saying that a platform is going down, but if you are seeing a huge growth on your own account and your competitor profiles, it might be nothing of a shift rather than a demise of a platform.

Furthermore, knowing that the owners of the social media platforms themselves are aware of the numbers and want to see better engagement and a growth in their user base, consider what their future plans might be and be prepared.

For example, if news breaks out that Facebook’s engagement rate is way way down, be aware that Facebook is probably going to make major changes in the way their algorithms work.

 

Advertisements

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Marketing

20 Aug

In our contemporary world, the power of social media couldn’t be stressed more. According to reliable sources, there are over 80% of Americans that have Facebook profiles. In fact, it’s even more difficult to identify people that aren´t active on social media platforms than find people who are.

Popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, have done exceptionally well to connect lives. And, unlike the days of yesteryears, people in the 21st Century are no longer swayed or attracted by non-traditional marketing methods. They are more interested in what´s trending on the internet. Hence, if you run a business, it’s imperative for you to market your brand through social media platforms. And, to do that, you must integrate social sharing widgets into your websites to ensure that the visitors can share the products and services they prefer.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

You can derive numerous benefits from social media marketing

  • You can do social media marketing all by yourself. Social media marketing is advantageous because you get to market your brand as you please. You spearhead your campaigns and get to only share your content, services, products, with platforms and sites that are relevant, in turn, enabling you to reach your desired customer base and target audience.  
  • Through social media optimization, you can easily gain more relevant backlinks—links that are created through posting, bookmarking, sharing and tagging etc. If your site is loaded with backlinks, your site will rank high on the Google search engine results.
  • Social media marketing plays an instrumental role in helping improve brand image. Social media platforms help people and users know about the products, services, events, brands etc. Basically, these days, it’s the most effective form of marketing.
  • Social media marketing doesn´t cost a pretty penny. In fact, in most cases, it doesn´t require investment at all. And, if we need to compare it to non-traditional marketing methods, it simply provides a better return on investment. Social media marketing helps your site gain traffic and visitors from a wide range of sources, completely eliminating the sole dependence on search engines.
  • Since people are online on social media platforms for long periods, they do come across services, content and products that they like. And, when they something of interest, they share the information with their friends, relatives and family members, in turn, inadvertently, advertising for you. We don´t know other forms of marketing strategies that can obtain such results.
  • Social media optimization also plays an instrumental role in helping increase relevant links; search engines love links that are created through tagging, sharing, bookmarking, and posting. The more backlinks you have, the more the chances of your site ranking high in search engines.

Why Should You Let A Pro Handle Your Social Media Marketing

This is easy.  You have a business to run and can’t focus on all the details that social media marketing requires.

It’s of serious importance for you to optimize your presence on social media. This will help you communicate better with your customers and visitors. It works similarly to a communication platform. Now, what’s the benefit of being able to communicate directly with your customers and visitors? Well, if there’s direct communication, you will be able to respond to their suggestions, questions, and complaints in a short period of time. In addition to that, you will also be able to tell them about the upgrades in your products and services. If you respond to your customers quicker, it will help improve your brand value and let the customers know that you only have business in mind! Strong online presence will only help your business build a better relationship with the customers. You will be able to provide products and services that meet their requirements.

This mode of communication will ultimately strengthen your relationship with your customers and it will help you cater to the needs and requirements of your customers as well.  If not done well, it could cost you in sales and potential customers.

Contact Sala Social Marketing today to discuss how we can help manage your social media marketing!

Salesforce Brings AI to Social Media Marketing

14 Aug

Social Studio allows marketers to engage with customers on social media by publishing posts and tracking consumer sentiment across social platforms.

With the addition of Einstein Vision, Salesforce’s clients will be able to track image-based social media posts. Einstein Vision for Social Studio is currently available for Twitter and will soon be available for other social platforms.

“What marketers have been telling us is that social has really turned into a visual medium,” Salesforce’s Robert Begg was quoted as saying to ZDNet.

“On Twitter if you open up a list or a feed, a good percentage are image based. Marketers need tools that help them figure that out in a way that’s more automated than having every human being going through all those images.”

Get Social Media Marketing Going!

7 Aug

Social media marketing is not a new thing for marketers, with most brands having already making use of it to connect with customers. The fact remains that customers are out there online, connecting with brands through likes and tweets, and businesses which do not master social media marketing are sure to miss out on a marketing opportunity. Even those who kick-start social media marketing campaigns, often in the initial excitement of driving this new marketing channel, are either unprepared, or go overboard. This makes their social media strategy collapse even before it takes off. It is important to be well versed with the fundamentals of this strategy. Here is a look at the basics of social media marketing:

  1. Listen to customers: Marketers often tend to push content, without taking a pause to listen to what customers have to say. Social media is a powerful two-way communication platform, and provides marketers the chance to get to know their current and potential customers better, by interacting with them. They can then curate content and products /services to surpass their needs. But only if they tune into the customers’ needs, wants and aspirations.
  2. Focus: The key to success of content marketing is keeping focus at all times. Which means marketers need to refrain from being all over the place, both in channel and content. Select your high-return channels wisely. For example, it does not make sense for a B2B business to market on Facebook.
  3. Create quality content: We have all heard the age-old adage that “content is king”, but in the highly dynamic and overcrowded social media world, “content is the emperor”! The quality of content will differentiate the brand, and create a “pull” for followers to get converted to customers. This is better than having 10,000 followers that do not take any actions after visiting the page.
  4. Be patient: Social media marketing is a marathon and marketers must have loads of patient to make it work. It works on the principle of incremental interactions, where the more you share, and the longer you share for, the higher is the chance of it creating leads and paying off for the long term.
  5. Bank on compounding: Social media essentially works through shares and reshares. For example, if a marketer shares a tweet, others who find it relevant will retweet it to others who may continue doing so! This creates a compounded growth effect, where a single tweet can reach hundreds in minutes. These in turn are included by Google in its searches, enhancing the brand visibility significantly. It is important to understand this, and include re-shares, re-tweets in your social media marketing implementation.
  6. Use Influencers: Influencers are usually people with strong following in a particular domain. Marketers must tap into their wide networks and following, to push their messaging. For example, a producer of outdoor travel gear can tie up with the likes of wildlifer, David Attenborough as a channel to share information. Influencers can help enhance marketing reach and create lasting impressions due to their elevated status.
  7. Be Available: Many marketers often push content, only to disappear when customers reach out or respond. Make it a point to be available to the audience, through comments, replies and even following up with personal connects like calls, if needed. Being visible and accessible are the key success factors for a social media strategy to work well.
  8. Be reciprocative: This means that marketers must not just look out for themselves on these social public forums. Others won’s share your content or talk about you if you do not do the same for them. It is therefore critical to dedicate time to sharing about others in the same or related fields. For example, a manufacturer of apparel can gain traction by sharing the content of a fashion designer.

Mastering social media marketing takes time and lot of investment. The returns are not immediate, but being on social media these days is not an option, but a mandate. Marketers must constantly upgrade themselves on the latest trends in social media marketing, and give their best to make this influential communication channel work.