Archive | Snapchat RSS feed for this section

After Facebook and Snapchat, What’s Next for Social Media Marketing?

4 Jun

We’re in an interesting time, to say the least, for social media marketing.

Today, for most large brands, small businesses and creators, it’s hard to stand out from the digital noise on social media without investing large sums of money into advertising and content that includes investing in resources (people) for graphic design and video production.

In spite of the social media landscape continuously evolving through algorithm changes and Snapchat’s recent redesign, which has made it harder for users to get views on their content in both cases, there’s still value to be had from a sales and marketing standpoint if businesses go back to the basics of 1-to-1 marketing and accept the reality that organic reach is depressed without ad spend.

Is Snapchat for business dead?

For the greater part of two years, Instagram has made significant improvements to its platform that have resulted in a mass movement of marketers and creators who once believed that Snapchat would, in fact, be the next Facebook over to Instagram. A recent poll in the Social Media Masterminds group on Facebook indicated that less than 10 percent of professionals are using Snapchat in their business. While Snapchat is not dead completely, the potential reach isn’t there for most businesses unless their target demographic is between the ages of 13 and 24 years old.

Facebook ads

Whether you’re a florist, a local gardener or a dry-cleaning company, the easiest way to reach local buyers in your city or town is through Facebook ads. Personally, I work with real estate agents and I often recommend setting aside a minimum Facebook ad budget of $300 per month or $10 per day to get their content in front of the right audience versus posting their content to an unknown user base. With such a small percentage of page fans seeing your content these days, running Facebook ads is not an option – it’s a requirement.

Chatbots and AI

Bots are a practical tool for businesses that can’t invest in hiring a dedicated community or social media manager. Within your own Facebook page you can set up a Messenger bot assistant within a couple of minutes (for free) whereby anytime someone clicks on the “Send Message” button on your page she will receive an auto-reply message whereby you can let your visitor know that you’re currently away but to leave you a message and you will get in touch ASAP.

Advertisements

6 Social Media Trends That Will Dominate Summer 2018 Marketing

7 May

Keeping up with social media seems like an impossible task some days. No sooner do you perfect your marketing on a platform than a new one springs up or begins to rise in popularity.

On top of that, the makeup of your Internet audience is constantly changing and shifting.

The best way to figure out how to plan your summer social media marketing campaign is to look at upcoming trends.

1. Event Tie-Ins

One way to up the presence of your brand on social media is to figure out which summer events you can relate to your industry.

One of the easiest ways to tie into summer activities is to first look at major holidays — Memorial Day and Fourth of July, for example. Next, look at major national and global events, such as the Summer Olympics or big festivals.

Then, you can piggyback off the marketing for these events by tying into a hashtag or running specials of your own during the same timeframe. Expect to see summer marketing tie into various summer events, both in the specials offered and hashtags used. For example, the brand Omeka uses hashtags such as #summer2018 on their Instagram page along with images of sandals and baseball caps to pull in new customers.

2. Local Trends

In recent years, businesses have come to recognize the value of local SEO. Tie into local events to gain more traffic to your site.

For example, if there is a popular festival in your area, can you rent a small booth and then share images on social media of the event? Perhaps there is a famous artist headed to your area for a concert, and you name a sandwich in your restaurant after him. Figure out how to reach people on a local level and drive them to your brick-and-mortar stores.

Summer equals beautiful weather, and people are excited to get outdoors and experience life. For summer 2018, this means a lot of different events. As a business owner, take advantage of local events by creating a Snapchat geofilter and including your snaps at events to engage current customers and connect new ones. One example of this is Churchill Downs adding snaps to their Snapchat story about the Kentucky Derby. Anyone who searches for the word “derby” sees these snaps.

3. Strong Images

Even though big, beautiful images are not a new trend, they are worth mentioning because they are such a vital part of any social media marketing campaign.

Across the board, social media posts with images tend to get shared more often than other types of posts without images. On Twitter, a post with an image is about 150% more likely to be retweeted.

Because summer is about cooking outdoors and hanging out with friends, expect to see more food images in the summer of 2018. For example, Food Lion shares recipes on their website and then uploads similar posts with strong images on their Instagram account.

4. GIFs and Emoji 

Millennials, in particular, prefer emoji, GIFs, and stickers over words and relate to them better. If you want to reach people in this age range, expressing yourself on social media with these icons is a smart move.

Expect to see brands tie images into their posts in new ways. Instead of lengthy posts, you might just see a happy-face emoji combined with a symbol for money to symbolize a store that’s having a flash sale, for example.

Summer means the kids are out of school and looking for engaging brands in the summer of 2018, and brands are looking to engage them. Vodafone clearly sees generation Z and millennials as key to growing their mobile carrier service globally, as evidenced by their Instagram posts including plenty of GIFs.

5. Social Causes

Some companies have jumped onto social causes and are engaging in marketing strategies with a cause. For example, Adidas used Lean In to help promote gender pay equality with their #20PercentCounts campaign.

The campaign encourages employers to look at pay levels within their companies and to close the gap so pay is equal based on experience rather than gender. Summer brings time with family and awareness of the struggles family members face, so expect to see more companies adopting causes in the summer of 2018 and beyond. Marks and Spencer adopted the cause of breast cancer, and they share similar images on their Instagram account along with pink-themed photos.

6. Lightheartedness

There are a lot of serious issues in the world, but when summer hits, people want to have fun and enjoy the warmer weather. Lightheartedness seems to be well received on most social media platforms and was trending in the first quarter of 2018, which can be expected to continue into summer. After all, summer is about cooking out in your backyard or going on a boating adventure with friends. Summer equals fun, so expect to see fun posts from brands in the summer of 2018. Budweiser taps into this trend with their Snapchat posts that feature elements such as festival food and a bottle of their beer.

Social media trends for summer 2018

Each new season brings new challenges and new trends in social media marketing.

These six trends are an excellent source of ideas for your social media marketing calendar, but don’t overlook the value of staying up to date on current hashtags and trending topics online.

The key to a successful social marketing season is looking at the big picture and not being afraid to try new ideas.

3 Basic Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2018

15 Jan

Most companies have social media marketing teams, strategies, and eventual goals. Yet, many don’t understand how these best tie in to existing business goals.

Any company that uses the Internet to drive business will engage in social media marketing. However, many businesses incorporated social media after their businesses reputation and goals were established. This can force a business to reconsider their overall business strategy.

Avoid this in 2018 by dodging these three basic social media marketing mistakes.

1. Social Media Should be a Marketing Focus, not an Add-on

According to Emarketer, almost 90% of U.S. companies are using social media marketing in their business strategies. Despite that, most companies use social media platforms as an add-on to existing marketing strategies. Instead of crafting a strategy for social media marketing in general and for each platform individually, companies often use social media merely as a new medium to spread an existing marketing message.

Many companies then work in reverse to link relevant social strategies to business strategies. This allows them to prove the ROI of the marketing plan with greater clarity.

Nevertheless, a CMO survey shows that nearly half of these businesses’ marketing teams are incapable of detailing the specific returns of their social media marketing investment.

Another way marketers lose focus is by getting trapped in the social-media gratification loop. On a given platform, marketers look to gather large numbers of likes, comments, followers, and shares. These numbers look great during presentations, but what do they actually mean? If you can’t quantify the value of a high number of followers, chances are your social media goals aren’t correlating to specific business goals. In order to understand the ROI of every social media marketing strategy, you have to be sure to connect overarching business strategies to social media marketing strategies from the very beginning.

2. Your Business Needs the Right Tools to Manage and Apply Social Media

Depending on the size and scale of your business, it’s important to create a social media presence across the entire company. These days, each department will need to be aware of social media and its ability to expand the scope of any sector. In order to keep standards across departments, you might even need a dedicated social media management team.

As we’ve included in pretty much every digital marketing post we’ve ever made, you must use a robust analytics platform to gauge, study, and improve your marketing strategies. Google Analytics, for example, can give you web traffic numbers broken down by age and geographical demographics, time of day, conversion statistics, bounce rate, and types of devices used to access your page.

This information gives you the ability to see what’s working and what’s not. It will tell you what domains and social media platforms are bringing you the most intention–a telltale sign of where you need to invest more time and effort.

3. Don’t Just Focus on the top Social Media Platforms

Another common mistake social media marketers make is limiting the brand’s social media real estate to only the most widely used platforms. While having a presence on many social media platforms increases authority, perception of authority, and overall marketing success, only two-thirds of the top companies are using YouTube. The numbers are even lower for fast-growing platforms like Instagram (under 50%). These numbers are from 2016, but from the chart below you can see that not much has changed since then.

Failing to represent your company on every available social media platform could potentially cause you to miss out on business opportunities. Consider this: if your business wants to increase its marketing reach to the Millennial generation, but it’s not using Snapchat, it’s missing the mark.

What social media marketing strategies has your business implemented? Have you ever had to restart a marketing campaign to better understand ROI?

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.

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

3 Oct

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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