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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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.

Social Media Marketing Essential, But Difficult, For Marketers

20 Jun

According to the 8th annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner, summarized by Marketing Charts, 9 in 10 marketers say that social media is important to their business, with the most commonly cited benefits being increased exposure and traffic. Based on a survey of more than 5,000 marketers, the study offers insights into the directions social media marketing will take in the near future.

Social Media Marketing, Platform Trends (65% Market B2C; 35% B2B)
Social Media

% Planning Increased Efforts

% With No Plans


































Source: Social Media Examiner, June 2016


Social media does present some difficulties for respondents. For example, respondents were more likely to agree (40%) than disagree (33%) that social media marketing has become more difficult in the past year. While two-thirds analyze their social media activities, just 41% agree that they’re able to measure the ROI of those activities, a figure that hasn’t improved in recent years. But, only 46% agree that their Facebook marketing is effective, with more than one-third unsure.

A quick summary of primary findings from the Social Media Examiner Industry Report, shows that:

  • Video has become essential : A significant 60% of marketers use video in their marketing and 73% plan on increasing their use of video
  • Live video is hot : A significant 50% of marketers plan on using live video services such as Facebook Live and Periscope, and 50% want to learn more about live video
  • Facebook and YouTube hold the top spots for future plans : At least 63% of marketers plan on increasing their use of these social networks
  • Snapchat is on a growth trajectory : Only 5% of marketers are using Snapchat, yet 16% plan on increasing their Snapchat activities and 28% of marketers want to learn more about Snapchat
  • Facebook is the most important social network for marketers by a long shot!  When asked to select their most important platform, 55% of marketers chose Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 18%. Plus, 67% of marketers plan on increasing their Facebook marketing activities
  • Many marketers are unsure about their Facebook marketing : A significant 40% of marketers don’t know if Facebook traffic has declined in the last 12 months and 35% aren’t sure if their Facebook marketing is effective
  • Facebook ads dominate : A surprising 86% of social marketers regularly use Facebook ads, while only 18% use Twitter ads
  • Tactics and engagement are top areas marketers want to master : At least 90% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media

Social channel use and importance varies among B2C and B2B marketers. B2B marketers continue to favor LinkedIn to a greater degree than B2C marketers (86% and 58% using, respectively), with B2B marketers also much more likely to be using Slideshare (21% vs. 6%), says the report. B2C marketers are more apt to be using Facebook (96% vs. 88%), Instagram (51% vs. 33%), and Pinterest (45% vs. 34%).

Those differences show up in marketers’ most important platforms, also. About 2 in 3 B2C marketers name Facebook their most important platform, with Twitter trailing distantly in second (11% share). Among B2B marketers, 40% cite LinkedIn as their most important platform, narrowly ahead of Facebook (37%), with Twitter third.

Despite already being the platform with the broadest adoption among marketers, Facebook (67%) emerges as the one for which the largest share will increase their efforts, says the report. Likely a reflection of its status as the most important platform overall, with B2C marketers (70%) being more likely than their B2B counterparts (61%) to see increased Facebook efforts on the horizon.

Beyond Facebook, 63% of respondents plan to increase their use of YouTube, with Twitter (61%) and LinkedIn (61%) close behind in terms of planned increases. Meanwhile, B2B marketers are more likely to be upping their LinkedIn efforts than B2C marketers (76% and 52%, respectively).

Results for other platforms likewise reveal differences in B2C and B2B marketers’ plans:

  • More than 6 in 10 B2C marketers look set to increase their Instagram activities, compared to fewer than half (48%) of B2B marketers
  • Pinterest is also an avenue for increased efforts more for B2C (47%) than B2B (35%) marketers
  • B2B marketers (33%) are more than twice as likely as B2C marketers (15%) to put more effort into SlideShare.

While only 5% of respondents say they’re currently using Snapchat, 16% expect to grow their activities, more than double the proportion in last year’s survey. Also, 28% want to learn more about Snapchat this year, up from 19% last year, evidence of some growth but marketers are not adopting the platform at quite the same rate as youth. When asked how they respond to new social networks, 51% said they are skeptical and wait and see what happens, says the report.

Currently, there is one and only one leader in paid social media: Facebook. In fact, almost 9 in 10 respondents said they regularly use Facebook ads. Only 39%, are using Google ads, then:

  • Twitter ads (18%)
  • LinkedIn ads (17%)
  • Pinterest ads (15%)

Signs point to Facebook maintaining its dominance in social advertising, says the report. However, it is the only platform in which a majority of respondents expect to increase their paid social media use. By comparison, fewer than 4 in 10 plan to make more use of Google ads.

Social Media Marketing-Paid Advertising Trends
Social Media Ads

% Planning Increased Efforts

% With No Plans to Utilize






















Source: Social Media Examiner, June 2016

Turning to social media content types, 74% of marketers identified visual content as their most commonly used, followed by blogging (68%) and videos (60%). Blogging and visual content were essentially tied in terms of the most important content types, though with differences by target audience. Those marketing to businesses name blogging their most important content type, while for B2C marketers visual content is the most important.

When it comes to the near future, though, video gains ground. Almost 3 in 4 plan to increase their use of video content in the near future, just ahead of the 71% planning the same for visual content and leading all content types.

Finally, says the report, while only about 1 in 7 marketers are currently using live video, 39% plan to soon increase their live video efforts, and only 49% say they have no plans to utilize live video.

Social Media Marketing – Content Trends

% Planning Increased Efforts

% With No Plans To Utilize










Live Video






Source: Social Media Examiner, June 2016




4 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy That PAYS

30 May

Some trends are so hot that they take off right from the starting gate, dragging us along with them. Social media is just such a trend. In fact, social media is more than a trend as it is here to stay.

But because social media has grown so fast, most marketers have been forced to learn how to use it “on the job.” Is it worth it – the learning curve? According to the 78 percent of salespeople who regularly outsell their competitors by effectively using a social media strategy, it sure is!

In this post, learn how to develop a social media strategy that pays.

Social + Media = Sales

There are two key aspects to understanding, how social media is designed to work.

It is social. The social aspect is about developing ongoing authentic relationships with people.

It is informational. The media aspect is about using web tools to share accurate, useful information.

When you develop a social media marketing strategy that is both highly social and highly informational, it becomes easier to cultivate relationships that in time can lead to sales.

Nurture Your Leads

Because social media is actually attempting to replace face-to-face human contact with posts, pictures, stats and charts, this isn’t a medium where you can expect to “just click” with a prospect, make a sale and be on to the next sales call 5 minutes later.

Rather, you will need to be patient as you nurture relationships with prospects with an eye towards making a sale or gaining a referral for the future.

In other words, you can’t rush the sales pitch via social media – not if you want to make the sale!

Know Which Channel to Use for What

Different social media channels can be more effective for different purposes.

For example, 80 percent of social media users state they prefer to make contact with companies and brands via Facebook as opposed to other social channels.

With Twitter, longer tweets produce more link click-through than their shorter counterparts.

And a full 43 percent of salespeople have used LinkedIn successfully to find new clients (for Twitter, the same holds true for 36 percent of salespeople).

So here, it is critical to study each channel and play to its strengths when you are nurturing leads with the aim to generate sales.

Use Landing Pages Effectively

Where many talented and otherwise well-educated social media marketers still mess up is during the phase when the prospect is redirected from the social media channel to the business’s website.

You want to design a landing page that has two options: buy or leave. This simplifies the prospect’s options without sacrificing the still-developing relationship.

The Bottom Line

By understanding how social media is set up to work, what each channel’s unique strengths are and how to use landing pages to play to those strengths, you can join the growing ranks of businesses successfully using social media to sell products and services, generate referrals and cultivate customer loyalty over the long-term.

A Reminder: Social Media is Not a “Marketing Tool”!

23 May

There’s no let up: the “10 ways to get 20,000 Instagram followers” articles are replacing the same ones for Twitter, advocating similar techniques. A whole new batch of small business owners and marketers are being instructed in the magic arts of marketing domination via social media.

Those techniques are mostly variations on a theme, involving a combination of (at the simplest end) buying followers, and (at the more labour intensive, and masquerading as a genuine marketing skill end) following large numbers of more-or-less-carefully targeted users in the hope that they’ll follow you back. Usually not just following them, either – often you’ll be told to Like or Favourite multiple images or posts, or comment in some generic way to suggest a real interest in that user.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of marketers are arriving on all these platforms. Whilst growth has slowed a little on Facebook, Instagram is definitely flavour of the month (year, probably!) among businesses wanting to be part of its relatively responsive and active community.

And even though we absolutely think that businesses should be part of these communities, we can’t help wondering whether their presence is a benefit overall. Because the problem with “techniques” like those I mentioned above, is that it’s all fake. You don’t actually Like those images, or have any interest in what that user is going to publish in the future. You don’t care about the answer to the superficial questions you ask. It’s all about getting attention.

Now multiply that by hundreds and thousands of others all doing the same thing, and throw in the spammy “follower collector” individual users too, and what you end up with is an entire ecosystem of users who couldn’t care less about anything being said or done on the platform, so long as their web stats go up.

In case we really need a reminder, this is NOT what social media is about. It’s not what made it exciting when it first arrives, and it isn’t what keeps people coming back.

When we see how many businesses are working this way on Twitter and Instagram, we feel genuinely sorry for those marketers who are slaving away, day after day, clicking through user lists in a desperate bid to get their numbers up. Once that’s done, often by gaining reciprocal followers from other marketers doing the same thing, both of them are in the miserable position of trying to get genuine engagement from the other…see how this goes? It’s futile, exhausting, and massively dilutes the value of the social media site.

Back to reality

The cure for this is really pretty simple: stop looking at Social Media as a “tool”. It’s not. It’s a channel to allow other people to find and interact with you, and the thing about other people is that they’re unpredictable. No matter how much you’d love a 200% increase in followers / web visits / whatever, you can’t force it to happen.

If you step away from that perspective, and shift your focus to other things, it’ll be more enjoyable for everyone concerned. So, here are the top activities those businesses should do in the time liberated from hours of mindless clicking:

One: RESPOND. Look out for mentions of your business or brand, and be appreciative. Deal really thoroughly with questions, don’t just refer users to your website. Celebrate user generated content that’s relevant to what you do.

Two: CREATE. Be as creative and critical as you can of what you’re adding to the huge pool of content already out there. Make it worthwhile. The best possible images, the most thoughtful features. Share as much of the “behind the scenes” of your business as you can.

If you need a third activity, and want to get back into the numbers comfort zone a little, EVALUATE. There’s nothing wrong with spending some time analysing what type of content (articles, videos, images) and what topics, seem to please your audience most. That’s really part of being responsive.

But quit the manipulative stuff. In the long run, it won’t work. And in the short term, it’ll make your job tiresome as hell.