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Build Your Brand With Facebook Business Marketing

13 Nov

Facebook is a wonderful way to grow your brand, create brand awareness and attract and engage with customers, but if your primary reason for creating a Facebook business page is because other companies have one, you need to stop and think more strategically. Marketing on Facebook is a completely different entity compared to a general Facebook profile. Learn how to make the most out of Facebook for your business with these helpful tips.

Keep Your Facebook Business Page Updated

You may think people don’t pay attention to your Facebook business page’s description or category, but that’s not the case. Providing essential business information on your page and using brand keywords will not only make it look professional but will help customers know they found the right business page. Make sure business hours, location and logos are in sync with other marketing material — any discrepancies will create confusion.

Make Your Page Worth Their Like Or Follow

This may sound odd, but a page like is no longer the golden nugget it used to be. Once Facebook incorporated its new news feed algorithm in 2013, Facebook likes lost value. Page likes may inflate your vanity stats, but it doesn’t mean your content will reach more people. Make your content valuable to Facebook fans by offering exclusive deals, giveaways and contests. Make your fans feel like they’re going to miss out on something great if they don’t like or follow your page.

Incorporating Facebook Live into your marketing strategy is a great way to boost the appeal of your page. This is a great opportunity to provide exclusive content, engagement with fans and consumers, behind-the-scenes footage, product launches and more.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook has incorporated many functions to help brands get sales, including a “Shop Now” button. The challenge is, your sale conversions may be low depending on your brand. Not everybody that clicks on your ad will make a purchase. That would be nice, but you have to be realistic in your expectations

Optimize your sales funnel by testing different ads and layouts, but don’t overlook the fact that prospecting customers want to buy immediately. Don’t have them go through hoops to get the product they want. The easier the process, the more likely a sale will be completed.

A better ROI can be achieved by promoting products that you already know sells. Did you promote a product that performed well in email marketing or a website promotion? Transfer that product to Facebook and target your core audience and those with similar interests or behaviors. Not only will this help increase sales, it can also bring in new customers.

Does Your Brand Have A Personality?

People want to connect to a brand but more so on a personal level. Your goal should be to create a community where people can learn, engage and share your brand. If you’re too corporate and salesy, there will be a disconnect. If your brand allows you to be whimsical, give it a try. Consumers are marketed to on a daily basis and can only consume so much of the advertising thrown their way. Give their eyes a break from sales pitches. Incorporate fun consumable branded content like memes, GIFs and short videos.

Quality Over Quantity

Your Facebook business page’s reach has declined over the last week. You may be tempted to boost it by increasing the number of posts on your page. This may temporarily increase your reach, but are you posting quality content or are you posting content for the sake of numbers?

Based on our findings, the most common reason for fans to unlike a brand’s page is because they post uninteresting content; the second most common reason is that they share too much content. Many businesses feel they have to post obsessively on their Facebook business page to be seen by consumers. The average user spends nearly an hour on Facebook. Combine that with the unknown amount of content from their friends and other pages they follow decreases the visibility of your posts exponentially.

Make sure your content is interesting, informative and shareable. If your posts lack quality, your fans will not like, comment or share which will organically increase your reach. When people engage with quality content, this tells Facebook your content is valuable and will more likely be seen by more people.

Experiment with posts and determine your brand’s sweet spot. Once you figure out what your audience responds well to, work around that content to achieve quality numbers.

Facebook is one of the most popular social networks around the world. There is no one-size-fits-all method for businesses, but grasping the core of Facebook for business is a great foundation for developing an effective and powerful Facebook presence.

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Beyond Google and Facebook: 4 Reasons to Look at Other Online Marketing Channels

2 Jan

As people search for brands across multiple channels, the complexity of targeting right customers with right messages is greater than ever before. Digital advertisers have relied on web cookies since the last two decades, but with the advent of smart mobility, this old strategy won’t work. Brands need to connect with consumers directly and then measure every campaign outcome, to appeal to different platforms.

While Google is still the search engine leader, Bing is surging ahead in grabbing search engine market share, while Yahoo! Is trying to recover lost ground with its new services. In social media marketing, it is essential that businesses think beyond Facebook for better results too, as other social sites are making headway in various demographics.

Analysts believe that advertisers should apply sound marketing strategies on sites other than Google and Facebook, since people-based marketing is quickly moving beyond what these tech giants have created. Leveraging Facebook and Google’s success, one can find that by relying on “people-based” solutions, advertisers can devise ads for real people and not some stored cookies.

Advertisers will now dive deeply in addressable media, to utilize people-based targeting outside Facebook across multiple publisher sites. Top digital marketers, including GSK, Nestle and Reebok, have expressed the need to spend on addressable advertising and work beyond closed ecosystems, without limiting their presence.

Here are four reasons why marketers should look for alternative online marketing channels:

Google has introduced high cost-per-clicks on paid search

In terms of costs involved, some courses are expensive to market on Google Paid Search. Google CPCs increased by 23 percent year-over-year while Bing saw a jump of 15 percent in the same period. But Google costs have been way higher than Bing costs. Google Paid Search needs better cost per conversion ratio, too, and Bing is definitely a worthy option.

Bing’s Search market share has risen considerably

As mentioned earlier, Bing has increased its limited market share considerably. The most recent comScore Search Share report revealed that Bing boosted its market share in U.S. to more than 21 percent, last December. Google has garnered about 64 percent of the market in the same period. This means that marketers need to address the void, and pay attention to Bing for a rounded view of the process.

Paid social sites are providing better opportunities

Paid social marketing is touted as a highly cost-effective way to drive awareness about new ideas and offerings. Other social networks besides Facebook, like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, deserve equal importance nowadays since they offer cost-effective options to derive leads. These “awareness” platforms are now “ROI” platforms, owing to their reach and demographic targeting abilities. Social media functions work very well for sponsored ads, and organic social media marketing also boosts the overall value of paid marketing.

The digital ecosystem binds all elements

The digital world includes several components that interact with one another, so marketing across multiple avenues within the online ecosystem should be a topmost priority for marketers today. For example, display marketing has been a major factor in the rise of paid and organic search traffic to a variety of websites. Twitter has a strong business following because of its real-time messaging ability.

It is time to go beyond the oft-used channels and use those best practices on other chosen platforms. One can adopt the ‘custom audience’ approaches that have helped in Facebook and Google marketing for even better ROI.

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Your Small Business is Making

3 Dec

Social media can be a beast to tackle. You need to find a strategy that works, constantly source content, engage with your audience, respond to comments, and then tie in a soft, sweet sell somewhere in-between. Even international brands with entire teams dedicated to social media struggle, so don’t feel bad if your small business is, too. Here are some of the common mistakes small businesses make with their social media marketing, and what might be hindering your success.

1. Trying to be too social.
Have you ever come across a brand’s Twitter page only to discover they haven’t tweeted since 2009? My first thought is something must be wrong, and the brand immediately loses value in my mind. Don’t chip away at your customer’s image of you by spreading your social presence too thin. There are a lot of social media networks out there, but that doesn’t mean your small business has a place on all of them. It’s much more effective for you to focus on the platforms that are most relevant to your audience and have the best conversions. That might be Twitter and Facebook, or Pinterest and Instagram – it all depends on your industry and where your target demographic is hanging out. It’s a much better strategy to have a thriving presence on two networks than a lackluster presence on four. Your audience will eventually get bored with you, and your pages could actually hinder business rather than help it.

2. Not engaging with your audience.
Social media is not an auditorium where you stand on the stage and get to shout out information as you please to a silent audience. It’s two friends grabbing coffee. It’s your family sitting around the table at Sunday dinner. It’s a place to exchange ideas, ask questions, learn more and share. If you’re not making the effort to be as interested in your audience as you want them to be interested in your business, you will never be able to build successful online relationships with your customers. This is especially true since more than 67 percent of consumers will go on social media for customer service – and they expect responses fast. More than 50 percent of Facebook users want to hear back within one day, and on Twitter than timeframe drops to two hours. Leaving your audience hanging on social media could lose you business.

3. Ignoring reviews.
Let me piggyback on that last mistake and also add that you should be engaging with your enemies too. Don’t ignore negative online reviews. Look at them as an opportunity to turn the situation into a positive one, and show a disgruntled customer that you care. Many “faceless” businesses have a reputation of being cold and self-serving. Social media allows you to disrupt this image and show your human side. Not only could your interactions rectify the issue at hand, but remember that your response will also be seen by current and potential customers on your page. How you handle the situation could shed a positive light on you, while ignoring bad reviews might paint you guilty as charged.

4. Overselling.
The end goal with using social media should always be to convert your audience, but that shouldn’t be blatantly obvious. If anything, users escape on social media in an attempt to distance themselves from the traditional streams of advertising that follow them. They choose social media for the rawness, the interactions and the content. Don’t be one of the small businesses that forget that and go for a hard sell. Sell through content, which could be blog posts that direct traffic to your site or videos that provide a valuable lesson or tutorial. Seventy-six percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing with the goal of sales and customer retention. Avoid overselling and save your pitches for when you can offer your audience access to special sales, promos or discounts.

5. Underestimating the work.
If you’re trying to run your business and manage your social media accounts, you’re doing too much. You will never be able to allocate the time required for success, except at the expense of your business’ growth. Hire an in-house professional to carry out your social media marketing or outsource to a management reputable digital marketing agency. You want your social media to flourish, but you never want to neglect your responsibilities as a business owner.

Why Your Facebook Ads May Not Be Converting

15 Nov

You’ve spent hours optimizing your Facebook Ads.

You’re getting a higher click-through-rate and lower CPM costs than you’ve ever had.

But no one is converting on your landing page.

So what’s the problem?

In this article I’ll dissect the top 3 reasons why people click on your Facebook Ads, but don’t convert. And how to fix each problem.

Let’s begin.

1. Your Landing Page doesn’t use the same image/copy as your Ad

When a person clicks on your Ad, they have a general expectation of what they’re going to see when they are directed to your landing page. This expectation stems ENTIRELY from what you show them in the Ad. So if the Ad you show them on Facebook looks completely different than your landing page, you’re going to confuse people – confusion leads to drop-offs and a low conversion rate.

There are two things that you need to match up between your Facebook Ad and your landing page to minimize confusion as much as possible: imagery and copy.

Imagery

More than anything, I recommend using the same image on your landing page as you do in your Facebook Ad – just a larger version, of course. This can cause some issues for certain images, as the max pixel size of a right-side Facebook Ad is 100 x 72 px, while you’ll probably use dimensions upwards of 400 px for the image on your landing page. So you need to find an image that works in both sizes.

One other important piece to note is the color of the Ad image. Do your best to use the same color template in both the Ad and your landing page. This will make your landing page seem like a direct extension of your Ad, which will decrease confusion and mistrust in your visitors, causing them to convert more.

Copy

Now, to perfect the transition from Ad to landing page, it’s vital to use the same copy on both. Your Facebook Ad, especially if in the right-side column, will require much shorter text than you can utilize on your landing page. So for the Facebook Ad headline, I would recommend using a shortened version of the main title on your landing page.

One element of the copy that NEEDS to match between the Ad and the landing page is the call-to-action. If your Ad’s call-to-action is “Get the Free Ebook”, it should be the exact same on the landing page.

2. Your Landing Page Is Taking Too long to Load

Just as the copy and imagery of your landing page are important, the speed at which it loads is just as important. The longer it takes your landing page to load, the lower your conversion rate will be. That’s a fact. Studies by Amazon have shown that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year. For Google, slowing its search results by just four tenths of a second they could lose 8 million searches per day.

These examples magnify the results of slow webpages quite a bit – but even if your business is much smaller than Amazon and Google, slow load speeds on your landing pages will hurt you a lot.

To alleviate this pain, let’s take a look at a few things that may be causing your page to load slowly and how to alleviate them.

Tips to Decrease the Load Time of your Landing Pages

Decrease the number of images: Images are incredibly “heavy” (meaning they take a long time to load). Whereas text and the page’s background color are extremely light. So if you see that you are using a lot of images to help explain the points of your landing page, try to replace them as much as possible with description text. And if you need them to stand out, use a different font or background color instead of an image.

Lower the file sizes of your images: When you’ve narrowed down the number of images to an absolute minimum, you can look at decreasing their file sizes. This can be done in two ways, either by decreasing the dimensions of the image or decreasing the quality.

Move all Javascript below the tag: If you have any pop-up windows, analytics tracking codes or fancy animations on your landing page, then you have Javascript. Similar to images, Javascript is heavy. So what can you do to alleviate the load? Move it to the very bottom of the landing page, below the tag. This will allow your server to load the visual elements of your landing page first, so visitors can quickly begin viewing the page, while the tracking codes and pop-ups, that users either don’t interact with or interact with after reading the page, load in the background.

3. Too Many Form Fields

A large form can be daunting to even the most interested person. Especially if the form fields in it ask them questions that they need to think about before answering. Asking a person for their first name is one thing, but asking for their favorite brand of running shoes will require them to stop and think. This is exactly what you DON’T want to make a person do. act with.

So what is the right amount of form fields to have?

Well, that depends on the requirements of your sales or marketing teams. If your sales team absolutely needs to know certain things, such as industry and marketing budget to accurately prepare for a product demonstration, then you need to ask for it. Or if your marketing team’s email marketing automation campaigns need to have personalized merge tags for the company name and address, then you need to ask for it.

Just don’t add in anything that doesn’t NEED to be there. When someone on your team asks for a field to be added to your form, make sure it is 100% necessary before you add it. Unless you’re going to use it in an automated email, you don’t need to ask for a person’s last name. Unless your sales team plans to call every lead that you get from your landing pages, you don’t need to ask for a phone number.

It’s important to realize that not every form on every landing page needs to ask the same things. Only some fields are relevant. This depends a lot on where this batch of leads is in the sales cycle. If it will be the first time they are interacting with your company, and they just want to download an ebook you’re offering, you don’t need to care about any sales information. Because at this point they are unlikely to respond well to any kind of sales call or message from your company. So you can save those fields for future landing pages.

 

How Social Media Nurturing Gets You More Results

31 Oct

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

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

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

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

4 DON’Ts of Social Media Automation

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

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

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

Getting Past The Noise

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

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

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

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

Your Social Nurturing Activities

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

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

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

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

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

Social Relationships Take Time

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

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

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.

6 Huge B2B Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

19 Sep

There are many ways marketers can use social media, and we often see a lot of great examples of social media marketing from products or national brands and local businesses that really thrive on generating brand loyalty and involvement from their customers.

But what if your product or service is something with a long sales cycle rather than a sought-after consumer product, or if your target audience is composed of IT managers or CFOs rather than moms or college students? You can still reach key B2B stakeholders through social media marketing. But without the right strategies and tactics in place to reach these buyers on the right platforms, your social media efforts can end up hurting, rather than helping, your business.

Here are some of the biggest social media marketing mistakes to avoid – and what to do instead.

1. Dedicating Resources to the Wrong Platforms

Regardless of your business size or industry, building a robust social media presence is vital – but it doesn’t have to be everything to everyone. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts, but you can’t just guess at which ones those are. Not knowing where to start your social media strategy might be the result of a bigger underlying problem: not knowing your target audience. So, take some steps to figure out who your current buyers are and what your audience really looks like.

If you’re not exactly sure of the answers, or want to focus the majority of your efforts on a single platform, start with Facebook. It is the most widely used social media site by far, with 1.65 billon active users, and 66% of users logging on daily. So, chances are, your target prospects at least have a personal Facebook profile and are spending time there regularly. In fact, Facebook users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on the site. And, research shows thatpopular days and times for Facebook are Wednesday-Friday afternoons before four p.m., prime time for B2B organizations to reach out to their target audience.

2. Having a Narrow Definition of Social Media Marketing

Many businesses may think social media marketing just means having a claimed and active business page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels. But this narrow view of social media marketing overlooks a wide variety of channels and strategies that can expand a business’ reach, create communities, and drive engagement.

Here are a few social media tactics that your B2B organization can benefit from:

  • Use LinkedIn Showcase pages to highlight top products or solutions and drive traffic directly to that page
  • Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to generate engagement from an active user community
  • Leverage external social communities and online forums to drive user conversations and answer technical questions
  • Have a robust and active Glassdoor profile that reinforces your company’s brand and message
  • Publish product, customer, and community videos on an optimized YouTube page

3. Having a One-and-Done Content Strategy

What do all social media platforms have in common? They’re all content driven. But many B2B organizations don’t have a sustainable content strategy to fuel continuous interest and engagement on social media. On Twitter, your content typically only lives for about 20 minutes; on Facebook, a few hours. But, too often, businesses are struggling to create and share new content multiple times a day to post on these sites.

To achieve a repeatable content strategy that saves you time and effort, here are a few tips for generating and repurposing content for your social media marketing efforts:

  • Tap into internal experts: Don’t just leave the content creation up to your marketing team or agency, which could eat up a lot of your team’s time. Expand your content creation capabilities by leveraging subject matter experts from all areas of the business to contribute new perspectives on your industry. We frequently rely on product managers, service delivery experts, and even executive leadership team members to provide insight into the industry and provide fresh voices to our prospects and clients.
  • Share all the content from or about your business: Whether it’s a simple post on your company blog, an article for a third-party publication, a product video on YouTube, a press release, an interview or Q&A, or something else: promote all of your content across your social sites.
  • Repurpose and reshare: Social media content is not a one-and-done exercise. Developed an infographic? Turn it into a Slideshare or a video. Have a series of blog posts? Combine them into a guide or ebook. You can also leverage evergreen blog concepts that are more than a few months old, develop a fresh title or take, rewrite the content and structure, create a new post with fresh imagery, and BAM! Then, share it repeatedly. One thing my team at ReachLocal likes to do is to write a series of unique social media posts for a single piece of content like a webinar, blog post, or e-book so that we can share it across social media multiple times with different, clickable headlines. This also enables us to test how different messages and titles perform. You can also mix up your social media shares of a single piece of content by including a different image with each new social share, so it looks unique in the social feed. Make sure you spread these social posts out over a few days (or a few hours on Twitter) so you’re not spamming your audience.
  • Write clickable headlines: This is so important, I had to include it twice. Especially with the amount of competition on social media sites like Facebook, and the volume of organic views declining, it’s more important than ever to stand out on the News Feed. But how do you create clickable headlines? Start by brainstorming interesting titles with your internal team or agency, look at formats of engaging headlines from other brands and publications that are driving high social engagement, and test different topics and formats with your own audience. This also means you’ll need to review the performance of your social media posts and use the data to inform new headline styles, topics, and content.
  • Always use images: People like images. They like them so much that Instagram just reached 500 million users – more than Twitter. No matter what content you’re sharing or where you’re sharing it, make sure it’s visually appealing. Remember that your content is competing with family photos, infographics, memes, videos, ads, and more – so it has to make an impression. For limited budgets, you can use royalty-free images and stock photos to liven up your social media posts. If you have an in-house design team or agency, ask them to create a library of images that you can edit and use across your social posts. If you’re short on time, posting an info-image that features a stat, quote, fact, or tip is a quick way to drive engagement and interest from prospects and customers on social media.
  • Encourage employee participation: Finally, develop an employee advocacy program in your organization to encourage employees to share and amplify your content. This can be extremely valuable to expand your reach and engagement beyond your own fans and followers and enables employees to be active on social media without having to create their own content.

4. Avoiding New Content Formats (like Video)

Does your business only post 1-sentence status updates to your social media channels or link to curated content? You may not have experience creating live videos, presentations, or Buzzfeed-style articles, so you use this as an excuse not to try your hand at these tactics, but adding them to your toolkit can help you engage more of your audience on social media.

Here are a few ways to reach and appeal to your target buyers with new formats:

  • Create engaging videos: Not only do 87% of marketers already use video content, but it’s also one of the most liked and engaged-with forms of content on social media. So think about putting together some videos about your business, products, or services. Some of our top videos include Q&As, short webinars, product overviews, and client case studies.
  • Try your hand at live video: When it comes to social media, sometimes what works best isn’t the high-budget, edited video. Especially if you are short on time or lack video-editing capabilities. Chewbacca mom skyrocketed to viral stardom with a Facebook live video shot on a smartphone. While she’s not a B2B marketer, the lesson learned here is that sometimes a simple, emotional video is more. Facebook Live has already generated 8 billion video views per day, and on the heels of this, Twitter announced live streaming platform Periscope would be integrated directly into its timeline. Try creating a live video for your brand when you know your target viewers are most likely online the most, like weekday afternoons for Facebook.
  • Publish directly on social sites: In addition to creating content on your blog or website and amplifying it on your social channels, think about publishing new content directly on social sites themselves. LinkedIn,Facebook Instant Articles, and Slideshare are just a few examples of native content mediums that grow your brand’s reach and engagement on individual social media sites. If you decide to repurpose existing content for these publishers, take some time to make it unique for each platform and format by changing up the text and images – this also helps original to avoid SEO conflicts and site penalties.
  • Build relationships with influencers: When it comes to B2B social media marketing, some of your biggest lift can come from other people in your industry. Forming relationships and earning interest from top influencers can result in published content about your business (either content that you write or content that’s written about you), shared or retweeted content, positive brand mentions, and more. All of this can add to your social media inventory and propel your business into social media success.

5. Not Paying to Play

So, you’re regularly publishing content on social media – but you’re not really moving the needle. Do you still refuse to consider that today, a successful social media strategy involves paid content and advertising?

To reach both your existing fans and followers and new audiences within your target market, you need to invest in advertising or sponsored content on a variety of social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all offer native advertising solutions, and Instagram ads can be delivered through the Facebook power editor. But, not all of these sites will be lucrative in the B2B market. For the sake of this post, we’ll continue to focus on Facebook for B2B marketing, although depending on your industry, you may want to test the effectiveness of Twitter or LinkedIn advertising solutions.

Facebook offers two paths for promoting your content: boosting posts or running targeted advertising. Both can effective but have different results for your business.

  • Know your goal: If you’re relying heavily on content marketing in your organization, you can reach a broader audience by boosting a popular post from your Facebook page. You should only pay to promote pieces of content that already have a good amount of reach and engagement, since the traffic you generate organically is a good indicator of whether or not your content will continue to perform well when you promote it. If your goal, however, is to drive a true conversion, such as a website download, a call, a contact form inquiry, or an online purchase – you’ll want to create an ad to promote your offer on Facebook that uses the right call to action to encourage viewers to take a specific action.
  • Use the right targeting: Whether you’re boosting an organic post or creating an ad, Facebook provides an abundance of audience targeting options to help you reach and engage just the right users. For B2B businesses and brands, it’s in your interest to identify and build a target audience similar to people who already like, engage with, and buy from you. There are a few ways you can create a niche target audience on Facebook:
    • Upload an existing customer or prospecting list (Excel or CSV file)
    • Create a lookalike audience with traits similar to your current customers
    • Target specific employers, job titles, industries, and business locations
    • Select demographics like gender, age, and income
    • Specify employer and/or job title
  • Keep your budget in check: Even as a B2B business, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on Facebook. You can start with a small budget and build on it if you see good results from your efforts. Keep in mind that the narrower the audience you target with an ad, the more it will cost you. If you’re not entirely sure who you’re trying to reach and are comfortable casting a wider net, start with a broader audience, and use Facebook’s optimization technology to help your ad reach the most engaged users.

6. Keeping your Social Media Separate from SEO

One important result of social media that many B2B leaders often miss is the organic traffic and leads you can capture outside of the social media site itself. In fact, robust, optimized, and active social media profiles for your business or product are likely to show up in natural search results, especially for searches for your business name, so failing to integrate these efforts could have a negative impact on your business.

In addition to your social media pages, individual posts and content like videos, images, tweets, and articles can also populate in SERPs for your business name or keyword searches. Interested prospects may find and check out your social media pages, company profiles, and more when researching your company, so it’s important that they are up to date and portray a positive view of your business. This also means ensuring you’re also taking note of comments, mentions, and reviews on social media and responding accordingly.

Go Forth & Be Social!

The most important thing to remember is no matter what you’re doing on social, be active. One of the top mistakes B2B businesses make is simply failing to be social. Because social media is so fluid, you have a lot of opportunities to try new strategies, test tactics, ask for feedback, and be more agile than you can with some other marketing methods. Even if you think you’re just selling boring software, social media can your chance to dedicate some of your most creative minds, time, and budget to your efforts.