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How to Ace Social Media Marketing with Limited Resources

15 Oct

Social media today drives the life of the internet savvy. Naturally, it is the preferred channel for businesses to reach out to consumers, generate brand buzz, and achieve business goals. Businesses big or small, all have social profiles and are working towards making their presence felt on social mediaHere are some tips on how to crush social media marketing while optimizing limited resources.

Social Media marketing becomes more difficult if you are on a shoestring budget. But if you are thinking about it – you are on the right track. Let’s find out how you can optimize and effectively utilize your limited resources for an effective social media marketing strategy.

Survey Before You Start

You have to be economical, which means you cannot splurge to experiment widely and see what works. So, start small. Conduct a simple survey to understand who your potential customers are, where they are spending most of their time, and what kind of content they like to engage with.

You cannot target everyone, but narrowing down your options will help you use your resources more concretely and effectively.

To get the most out of the process, follow the process outlined below:

Identify the right audience: Use surveys and gather feedback to understand what your customers want, which target audience is most likely to find value in your business, and what their preferences are.

Determine the right content: Audience analysis helps you determine the type of content your target audience would prefer consuming. Would they prefer quizzes? How about story form content? Which contest are they more likely to enjoy: the one that gives them free passes to a book launch or the one with a discount coupon on their favorite sports gear? Pick the content that fits your brand persona. For example, does your product need demonstrations? Video content might be the answer for you.

Ascertain the right social channels: Once you have identified whom you are targeting, you can figure out which social channels they use the most. If you are in the travel industry, Instagram and Facebook may be the best channels for getting engagement. You need not spread your eggs across all baskets, a strong presence and a focused approach on a couple of channels will be more effective.

  • An ideal channel would be:
  • Aligned with your business
  • The preferred channel for your audience
  • Well suited to your content

Set Your Social Media Goals

It is essential to have realistic expectations from your social media campaigns. You should have clear, attainable and measurable goals like:

  • Creating brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Boosting engagement
  • Customer service

If you have identified your goals, you would be able to align your business decisions with them. Remember, social media is most apt for creating brand awareness and establishing brand relevance.

Plan Your Strategy

Once you have set your goals, you should devise a strategy to achieve it. You could be on a low budget, have a small team, have basic tools at your disposal, and little experience. But if you are creative and systematic, things will fall into place.

  • Create customer profiles based on your surveys.
  • Create your brand persona by creating a brand personality by crafting your voice and tone.
  • Devise a posting strategy to determine the number of posts per day, the type of posts, time of updates, etc. Of course, it won’t be fixed, but there should be a pattern which your audience can identify with.
  • Relevant Value Proposition: Tell your prospects what’s in it for them. It makes you stand out from the competition if the customer feels you are offering some value to her.
  • Analyze Content Performance: Test what content performs the best, and the one that is lagging. Is it the content or the content format that is making the difference? Is the audience moving towards videos rather than blog posts? Do they prefer educational content over a story form? Measure and tweak your content strategy accordingly.
  • Use Videos: Marketers swear by videos as they are more appealing, grab attention, are easier to recall, and communicate more information in less time. Include videos for demos, tutorials, how-tos, customer experiences, etc.
  • Go Interactive: Interactive content is more engaging and informative for customers and helps you capture more data and relevant data.

Hire a Good Resource

If you can possibly make room to invest in professional help, do so. This will speed up the process, and you may end up saving resources.

  • Hire agencies that have proven experience, and that can give you a head-start. There are many small but creative agencies, which will not charge the earth but will help catapult your social presence, hence delivering ROI. However, stay clear from those who promise big numbers in a short time.
  • Influencers are a great way to reach out to your target audience. You need not chase big names. Try teaming up with local influencers. They may fit your budget and have a niche following which is well suited for your targeted strategy.

Use Social Media Marketing Tools

There are plenty of content creation and social media marketing tools that are free and easy to use. These tools can help you design, curate content, automate, track and analyze performance.

Social media marketing cannot be ignored as traditional channels are losing their steam. Whether you are a big brand or a small but nimble upstart, you need to leverage social media to reach out to your target audience. Allocating time, budgets, and teams becomes tricky for businesses with limited resources, but if you have clear goals and a focused approach you can establish an effective social media presence that will keep giving you dividends.

Using social media to jump-start your content marketing strategy

6 Mar

Content marketing and social media seem like they were made for each other. There are currently over 2 billion social media users worldwide. Quality content is what makes social media tick. Unfortunately, most brands have a social media voice that is mostly detached from their content marketing strategy.

If content marketing is a high priority for you, squeezing the last drop out of social media is critical. Ultimately, the goal is to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible, and for that, social media is perhaps the best way to expand your reach and generate more traffic.

That said, it’s much more than just a tool to help gain exposure. Along with a myriad of business benefits, it serves as a direct channel for your brand where you can incorporate offers, live updates and customer service.

The key to using social media to boost awareness for your website is by engaging viewers with useful, relevant material — when they need it, as opposed to when you create it. This task is a lot harder than it seems.

Keep in mind, the stream of information on social media moves very, very quickly. The last thing you want is for your message to get buried and lost before anyone has had a chance to see it.

Let’s take a look at how you can take your content marketing efforts to the next level.

Social monitoring leads to better content

The best social media marketers don’t start by posting. They start by listening. Social monitoring (or listening) is a great way to gauge how your target audience feels about a particular subject or industry.

Did you know that Facebook users collectively generate around 3.2 billion likes and comments every day? Monitoring what people are liking and commenting on is crucial to finding out what’s currently trending.

Sure, manually checking up on your industry across all the social media platforms can be tedious. Luckily, plenty of tools are out there that enable you to track what the masses are saying so that you can learn about their interests, perceptions and concerns.

Brandwatch is one that will give you data-driven insights as to what your customers and influencers in your industry are talking about — including the competition. Identifying the most pressing questions or concerns can help gear your messaging to popular demand.

With that knowledge, you can create content that provides true value to your target audience. For instance, if you run an industry blog, you can use these social insights to determine relevant topics to write about and to create catchy headlines to draw in visitors.

BuzzFeed is the quintessential example of this. Their casual, yet informative platform is constantly producing high-quality content that touches on an array of relevant topics in the field of news, entertainment and general interest. As of this writing, they’ve had over 550 million global visits in the last 30 days.

To use social monitoring to find topics to gear your content toward, you’ll want to brainstorm a list of key terms and phrases relevant to your brand and industry. This will work to pinpoint the interests of your target community so you can design content to fit their needs.

Content built around these terms can then go to multiple channels in multiple formats and eventually be routed back to social media for sharing.

While your usual social media management tools like Hootsuite and Twitter’s own TweetDeck offer good collaboration opportunities for the purpose of posting and scheduling, companies with cross-channel marketing departments can look toward objective-focused task management tools. WorkZone or Brightpod, for instance, can help you manage interdepartmental communications or track the effectiveness of integrated marketing campaigns.

Social sharing means more eyeballs

The ultimate purpose of content creation is to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. The beauty of social media is that once your content is out there, there are few limits to where it can reach.

Encouraging users to share content can be done in many ways. First off, the overall look of a piece matters a lot. As a general rule of thumb, think visually with each post. Visual content gets more views, clicks, shares and likes than text-based material. For instance, on Facebook and Twitter, photos get 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments and 84 percent more click-throughs.

If you produce blog content, you need to go beyond just placing “easy-to-find” social share buttons all over your page. Try things like Click to Tweet in your next article. Choose the tweet the way you’d choose a headline; embed things like interesting quotes, facts or images within your content in a compelling way so the reader is inclined to post it.

Content is meant to be shared. Social media is the perfect vehicle to get your material noticed with a chance to go viral.

Make influencers your workhorses

Finding the perfect influencer on social media can be a game-changer that skyrockets your content marketing efforts. The right influencer can generate more than double the sales of paid advertising and increase client retention.

A simple retweet or share by an individual with a large social following can do wonders for your content as it is exposed to a vastly wider audience than usual. Why do you think companies pay celebrities tons of money to tweet about brands or products? The math goes beyond just how many followers they have. It’s about the level of engagement they have with their fans.

One of my favorite influencer marketing campaigns was Adidas’s #MyNeoShoot, where they recruited Selena Gomez to promote their Neo line. Gomez invited users to take pictures of themselves and apply to be the next Adidas model. By the time the campaign ended, Adidas had gained 12,000 entries, 71,000 brand mentions and 41,000 new Instagram followers.

Locating influencers on social media can take a bit of digging. Look into your industry and identify the key figures. This could be anyone like a blogger, a journalist, a political figure, or even another business owner.

Tools like Klout allow you to measure influencer scores to determine the best ones to pursue in your field. While you shouldn’t take such scores by their face value, they offer a good place to start your identification and outreach process.

Forming a relationship with a good influencer could be the best business move you ever make.

Conclusion

Social media should be a cornerstone of your content marketing strategy. Chances are, you’re already spending hours of your time researching and crafting awesome content. All of your hard work deserves to get as much attention as possible.

Tweaking your social media presence with a purpose is the key to effectively distributing your content and increasing the reach of your brand messaging.

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.

Unparalleled Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Businesses

1 Aug

Social media entered the scene very quickly and as such some people might still believe that it is a marketing tool that will quickly pass in interest or importance. To some businesses, social media marketing is a waste of time with no practical benefits, while others see the immense marketing value that it can bring to a business.

When carried out correctly, social media marketing has been proven to be incredibly profitable, bringing in more traffic to a website and turning visitors into leads. Provided you tailor each post with care and precision, you can truly experience its many benefits.

These include:

Improved Brand Recognition

Having a number of active social media platforms is a great opportunity to project your brand’s voice and content. Having a solid social media presence therefore makes you familiar to current clients while increasing your accessibility to new clients. A new client who just happens to stumble upon your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram page (& take an interest in it), might feel more strongly affiliated with your brand which in turn could inspire them to invest in your brand.

Improved Brand Loyalty

Brands that are present on social media have also been proven to enjoy higher brand loyalty from their customers, as those customers are better connected to the brand on a more personal level. For instance, a brand that regularly posts a variety of content, from images of the office to inspiring videos and quotes, will be more likely to remain in the minds of current and potential clients which could easily evoke into a sale.

Better Conversion Opportunities

Everything you post on your social media platforms, from images, links to blog posts and videos, is your chance to reach out to someone and inspire them to visit your website, which could ultimate lead to a conversion. Using social media is a great opportunity to encourage more conversions.

Higher Inbound Traffic

Every social media platform you add to your current repertoire is another opportunity to increase inbound traffic to your site.

Without having a social media presence, your inbound traffic is restricted to those who are already familiar with your brand or those who are searching for keywords you already rank for. Alternatively, a social media presence allows you to reach out a different market segment and provide a fantastic opportunity for new people to visit your site.

Lower Marketing Costs

Social media marketing need not occupy a great deal of your time. Just one hour per day spent on crafting posts can bring you improved results, and this is not a lot to ask for something as powerful as social media!

As you can see, social media marketing has the power to bring countless benefits to your business, including more customers, stronger traffic and higher conversions. Does your brand have a strong social media presence?

10 tips for social media marketing success for business

25 Jul

The internet has become the most powerful medium today. With the launch of the hand-held gadgets like the smartphones and the tablets, the effect of social media campaign has become even more viral.

Businesses which need brand promotion and social advertising are harnessing the massive potential of social media on the web for their enhancement in business communication. Here are 10 points that will give you useful social media marketing tips for your business.

Observe first before anything

Before you produce any action or speech, you should first observe. Go through the online content of your target customer. Try to take part in the online discussions and get to know what matters to them the most. And which are the right social media platforms where your target audience hang out. This will help you in producing impactful social media marketing plan and effective content.

Be focused on approach

If you are more focused on using social media for business then analyzing the social media sites for your business and social networking approach, will pay you higher dividends.

This will render a strong image to your brand. Going wayward will not help. A broader approach will only mess up things for you. Concrete on specific media plan and use the right tools for social marketing as per your content requirements.

Make quality connects

Quality any day is more welcome than quantity. Try to make effective contacts that can make a real fan base of yours. They will help you by reading, commenting and sharing your content matter. The quality sharing of your content can create a bigger customer base for you. The connectivity should continue to build the brand loyalty.

Keep your patience

Keeping one’s patience is one of the basics of social media marketing for getting effectual results. If you have to reap the benefits of this mode of marketing, you need to wait. You cannot have the desired results overnight. Being committed in the long run will pay off for you.

Ensure quality content

Another very vital point in social media marketing rules is the creation of quality social media content. It should be eye-catchy and unique. Once it catches the imagination of the audience, they will pause, go through and further share the content matter with the insertion of personal comments. These can help your page with higher rankings through search engines on the net.

Connect with opinion makers

Do some research on the internet and identify the influencers who can make a difference to your business. They may be having an excellent fan base. Try to connect with them first and nurture a relationship. Try to supply them with interesting information which they can pass on to their contacts and you can discover a huge range of new probable customers.

Add value to communication

If you want social marketing ROI to be promising, try out some tactics. Do not go for the blunt promotion of your brand. Your content should add value to the readers. Try to create more meaningful and impacting content.

Don’t forget to acknowledge

Remember to acknowledge who contact you directly. This will help in nurturing the relationship. The person will also feel encouraged to maintain the connectivity with you in the future. After all, marketing is touching of human emotions.

Maintain your connectivity

After the uploading of your social media content, be present to your target audience for communication. Your absence from the arena may spell doom for your business prospects as you may be outrightly rejected.

Be reciprocal

Reciprocation will pay back in social media marketing. If you spend some time on the social media, go through the content matter of others and make comments and share them, they will do the same with your content.

If you can follow the above –mentioned guidelines you can be certain about making a mark in the social media market with your valuable content matter.

4 Benefits Of Outsourcing Social Media Marketing Tasks

18 Jul

Thinking of outsourcing social media marketing activities to get a grip on ever-evolving platforms, algorithms, and audiences?

You’re not alone. SocialFresh says that only 57% of social marketers, at brands, are doing all their social advertising in-house.

And with most companies looking to ramp up efforts on social media this year, there’s more evidence that businesses may need to consider outsourcing social media marketing tasks.

A recent survey by American Express noted that:

“…four in ten business owners (43 percent) say they plan to increase their company’s focus on social media over the next year.”

Social media marketing is outsourced for a few reasons — let’s look at why and how and see if the benefits make sense for your business or team.

Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: The Why

In an effort to work smarter and not harder, companies are pushing internal teams to focus on what they’re good at and hiring outside for the skills that are missing.

This is especially true with social media marketing because:

  • It’s expensive to hire top-tiered, experienced roles
  • The tasks for social media roles are time-consuming
  • Strategies and tactics change rapidly
  • The skills needed are often considered “specialty skills” (like advertising or audience development)

Combine the above with lack of time, resources, or know-how and you can see how internal teams are overburdened with executing social media duties.

Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: The How

How do companies choose social media agencies to help achieve social media marketing success? Shopping, of course!

Outsourcing social media marketing to a well-qualified team takes a little homework.

We suggest the following six steps to find an agency that will fit your needs:

  1. Know thyself first. 1) WHY do you want to use social media? 2) WHAT problems are you trying to solve; WHAT goals are you trying to accomplish? 3) HOW do you define success (which leads to WHICH KPIs and metrics will measure success)? 4) WHO is responsible or in charge of social media internally? 5) HOW much are you willing to spend?
  2. ASK. From questions about their experience to their client base, to the skill-set of their team and core competencies, ensure your agency isn’t a jack of all trades and master of none. What platforms or abilities do they focus on? How is their team certified to professionally manage your work?
  3. Understand. What deliverables (reports, stats, etc.) will be provided and at what frequency?
  4. Obtain. Get recommendations from outside vendors or consultants, as well as past and current clients.
  5. Make sense of the scope of work, terms and conditions, and negotiate from there.
  6. Be curious. Ask questions and remain an active partner in the development and execution of your social media marketing strategy.

By doing your homework, asking questions, and checking references, you can drastically reduce the risk of hiring an agency and outsourcing social media marketing duties.

Outsourcing Social Media Marketing: The Benefits

1) COSTS

Compared to hiring an employee (who requires payroll taxes, sick & vacation time, benefits, training, overhead costs, etc.) hiring an agency can be much more cost effective. With B Squared Media, and probably most other agencies, you’re getting a whole team of people rather than just one employee (who probably doesn’t work after hours, weekends or holidays).

Other costs to consider for savings are:

  • Ad buying
  • Software
  • Photography

2) TRIED-AND-TRUE SYSTEMS

The right social media marketing agency will have systems in place that can immediately improve efficiency.

A huge benefit to outsourcing social media marketing means your new partners have already researched the best processes and workflows for scalable results.

Here at B Squared, for instance, you don’t need to rely on vague indicators of success. Our system pulls from thousands of data points and relies on only the most useful metrics, allowing us to work with you to make pinpoint adjustments and always continue to improve.

3) TIME SAVED ( = MONEY EARNED)

The biggest pain point we hear is, “I don’t have the time.” And trust me when I say, social media strategies and executing related tactics is a full-time job.

Too many businesses spend huge amounts of time and money on social media without the assurance of results. When you outsource your social media efforts, it’s not your job to dabble and see what works; it’s the agency’s responsibility.

Your partner should not only figure out the most efficient strategies for performance, they should implement and manage those strategies for you.

Not to mention, as algorithms change (like Facebook’s latest blow to brands) and demand a new game plan, your internal team can focus on driving the business forward while your agency tests new workarounds.

4) SPECIALTY SKILL SETS

A social media manager needs an incredible amount of skills to be successful.

Some of those skills may be considered “special” skills, like:

  • Audience development
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Advertising certifications (example: Google AdWords certified)
  • Content curation
  • Analytics & pattern recognition (beneficial for finding our clients’ “seesaw metrics“)
  • Visual thinking

A good agency will have employees who possess these special skills. And again, you’re saving time by allowing the agency to implement their system for finding and hiring these skilled workers.

Is Outsourcing Right For You?

Outsourcing social media marketing strategies and tactics can be a daunting decision for any company.

But if you do your homework and find the right fit, you can reap the benefits of putting your organization in expert hands.

Do you think outsourcing social media marketing tasks to an outside team is a good idea? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

4 Changes to Make to Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

11 Jul

Social media marketing is highly popular for both small and large businesses nowadays for a reason. Not only is it effective, but it’s also incredibly affordable when compared to many other advertising methods, even those that don’t have nearly as much of a reach. However, there is a chance that you are making a few mistakes with your social media marketing campaign. Consider making these changes so that you can see an improvement with your campaign.

  1. Find Out Where Your Customers Are And Target That Channel

You don’t have to be on every single social media channel out there and sometimes it’s best to focus your attention on one particular medium – at least in the beginning. Do your research, identify your customers, find out where they hang out the most, and start right there. Once you have established yourself on 1 or 2 channels, you can diversify and promote your brand across various other channels too. Similarly, if a platform just isn’t working for you – despite your best efforts – it may be best to dedicate the bulk of your time and resources to the channel that is working.

  1. Communicate More

One of the main joys of social media is the fact that it allows you to connect with your audience. If you aren’t taking advantage of this, now is the time to do so. Make an effort to respond to comments more frequently; it’s a great way to find out what your customer base wants and to build strong relationships with your readers. Literally have a conversation with them, retweet them, like and comment on their posts, and directly ask them to interact with your content.

  1. Don’t Be So Promotional

Take a look at all of your recent social media posts. If they all seem promotional, it’s time to change your strategy. Obviously, you’ll want to promote some of your products and services, but some of your posts should be educational, humorous or otherwise appealing for your customers.

  1. Always Be Human

There’s nothing worse than a social media channel that looks like its being operated by an autobot. The key word is in the name – it is ‘social’ media, after all. Make sure that your interactions on accounts such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, are personable and genuine. Say hello to people in the morning, update them on your work day and share stories that will be of interest to your target audience. Yes, you should advertise your brand/product – but this is an essential part of doing that.

Customers (both existing and potential) want to know that when they are asking a question, complaining or praising, that a real person is on the other end interacting with them. Your social media channels should always feel like they’re being operated by an interesting, intelligent, and funny human being. Be real.

As you can see, there are a few social media marketing changes that you may need to make to your campaign.