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The Best Online Resources for Learning Social Media Marketing

19 Mar

Social media forced digital marketing to evolve. Consumers now learn about the latest products and services from their social feeds. However, not all social networks are created equal. For example, an ad that performs well on Twitter may perform horribly on Facebook. That’s why it’s important to understand how each platform works in order to curate advertising content on each site.

Fortunately, learning the ropes of social media marketing doesn’t require a business degree. Instead, this is a trade you can learn entirely online. Here are a few online resources to kick-start your learning efforts.

From the masterminds behind LinkedIn, Lynda compiles video courses from expert teachers that can be viewed on any device. Membership begins at $19.99 a month, which gains you unlimited access to all of the site’s content. This site offers a range of courses from the basics, such as Facebook for Business, to more niche and advanced topics, like Social Media for Government and Corporate Video Weekly. Fortunately, you may already be eligible for a free membership, especially if you’re a solopreneur starting out. Check with your local library to see if they offer a free membership with your library card.

edX – which also runs – is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider. Many of the courses are self-paced but follow a more traditional classroom feel compared to a DIY approach. However, even classes with a start and end date allow folks to access and interact with content after the course has ended. Notable courses include Reputation Management in a Digital World by Curtin University (self-paced) and Social Media Marketing by Boston University (which begins on April 18, 2018). Membership is free.

Coursera has also compiled many MOOCs from top universities, such as Yale University and Stanford. Membership is free, but some courses require payment. There is also the option to pay for a certification, indicating you’ve successfully completed a course.

Similar to Lynda, Udemy instructors are industry leaders rather than established academics. Although with Udemy you pay for each course individually rather than with a monthly membership, there are more timely, specialized selections to choose from, such as Facebook Ads and Facebook Marketing Mystery Guide 2018 and Instagram Marketing 2018: A Step-By-Step for 10,000 Followers. Plus, many courses are under $20.

Unlike the other sites mentioned above, Skillshare is creator-focused. In other words, anyone can submit a course to Skillshare. As a result, the content is much more personalized. For instance, Brian Peters, the digital marketing strategist at Buffer, offers his own Introduction to Social Media Strategy course. Membership to Skillshare is free, but access to certain content requires a Premium membership, which costs $15 a month.


The Top Ten Social Media Tools Business Owners MUST be Using!

5 Mar

With today’s society becoming more connected and more reliant on the internet, business ties are increasing being forged online rather than in a boardroom. Nowadays, most brands have at least one online presence, and most have several.

Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are the new homes of conducting business, creating consumer bases and advertising products. However, the overwhelming presence of businesses on these platforms creates a good deal of pressure for companies trying to beat out their nearest competitors.

Fortunately, marketing teams don’t have to go it alone in their efforts to raise their brand to the top. A number of third-party apps exist that can enhance certain features of these social platforms and make social media marketing a more lucrative and intuitive experience. Here are 25 social media resources designed to help marketers advertise their brands more effectively.

1. SocialDrift

Used by McDonalds, Sprint and major industry influencers with millions of followers, SocialDrift is an Instagram marketer’s best friend. The platform automates Instagram interactions, which help to organically increase follower count. Users just need to provide SocialDrift with information about ideal Instagram followers, and the platform will use machine learning to engage users through likes, comments and follows. Because of this engagement, users will frequently follow accounts in return.

In time, SocialDrift can dramatically increase the number of high-quality Instagram followers through the platform’s Instagram bot, named Securebot.

2. Buffer

Buffer offers a swift solution for businesses swamped by the multiple social media accounts they must manage. The application innovates marketing by allowing individuals and businesses to queue posts for their various accounts. Buffer works for several third-party extensions, in addition to the regular line-up of social platforms.

Furthermore, the app boasts many powerful tools like photo editing, group collaboration and detailed data analytics about social media performance. Essentially, Buffer can take a jumble of social media accounts, organize them and in the process make marketing more manageable.

3. Sendible

Are you a team managing social media for a lot of different clients? Sendible is the tool for you. Sendible has unique inboxes for each brand, accessible by any member of your team, so communication is streamlined. They also offer a content engine that suggests new material based on the topics of your profiles and followers. In addition, calendars are fully interactive. Who said teamwork has to be hard?

4. MavSocial

MavSocial is a management tool that focuses on graphics and videos for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr. You can schedule or preview content to any or all of those platforms. And if you’ve run out of content, simply reschedule. MavSocial also has features for engagement analytics, collaboration, galleries, image database and campaign creation. Choose from their 5 plans to get what works best for you.


Snapchat’s introduction of Stories in 2013 has rapidly spread the feature across social media, with many other platforms joining the trend to reap some of its benefits. Storyheap is tailored for the Story feature, allowing brands to manage their Story straight from the web.

In addition, Storyheap offers in-depth analytics about the current and projected popularity of a brand’s Story. For now, the app is limited to Snapchat and Instagram, but support for other platforms is in the works.

6. Unsplash

Having high-quality content and images is crucial; after all, nothing drives away a follower like poor quality. Unsplash is a database of gorgeous, high-resolution, watermark-free images that are free for use. You can use the search engine, or browse collections like “Still Life” or “Photos for Parent Bloggers.”

Once you find an image you want to use, you can either download it or save it in your own collection for future use. Unsplash allows anyone to have high-quality, high-resolution images.

7. Canva

Photo and video are highly influential on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Consequently, marketing teams are often pressured to produce beautiful visuals and graphics to get attention and increase brand visibility.

Canva contains plenty of design tools, tutorials, templates and more, so users have the materials to create almost anything they can conceive. With Canva, marketing teams with limited experience can still generate stunning content and gather a larger following.


Marketers may often feel at a loss when it comes to conjuring up fresh content, but third-party algorithms can always be of assistance. combines detailed data analytics with refined publishing and scheduling tools to ensure brands can consistently provide interesting content.

With compatibility across more than 20 platforms, the app monitors discussion of the brand, analyzes social media decisions and offers suggestions to increase audience engagement. acts as a social media multi-tool for businesses trying to revamp their marketing strategy.

9. Grytics

While many of the resources in this list work on multiple platforms, others excel with one. Grytics, with its focus on Facebook Groups, is one such application.

The app gathers a wealth of information from the posts and members of specific groups. It then displays these statistics for businesses to manage these groups or tailor their strategies to better suit audience interests. Businesses using Grytics can successfully get the most out of any associated Facebook Groups.

10. Yotpo

On Instagram, consumers freely post pictures of brands and products they’ve engaged with. Wouldn’t it be useful for marketers to be able to easily share these images of consumers using their products and following their brands?

Yotpo makes this a reality. Its Social Curation feature collects posts relevant to a brand and helps these businesses contact users for permission to use their posts in advertising. In addition, Yotpo implements a Shop Now feature in Instagram, letting users buy products seen in their feed. Yotpo helps businesses make their Instagram accounts more marketable to consumers.

11. Agorapulse

On the surface, AgoraPulse is a feature-heavy social media management app. Offering content scheduling and message tracking, the app greatly increases the efficiency for any business active on social media. However, its in-depth analytics and report-creation features make AgoraPulse even more effective.

Whether businesses need to measure their performance or just want to discuss their social media traffic with one another, AgoraPulse offers more than enough tools.

12. BuzzSumo

With social media attracting so much traffic from marketing teams and consumers alike, it would be helpful for marketers to be able to see how much attention certain topics and types of content are getting without wading through piles of data. BuzzSumo’s data analytics allows its users to do that, with minimal hassle.

BuzzSumo’s search bar takes in search words and returns a list of relevant links on the internet and social media. With so much easily accessible information, marketers can quickly determine the popularity of different types of content and adapt their marketing strategies.

13. Oktopost

Most businesses using third-party applications to enhance their marketing are seeking a comprehensive boost to all their platforms. Oktopost’s features make this possible.

With powerful data analytics, post scheduling, content curation and discussion tracking, the application allows businesses to increase their productivity, while at the same time pinpointing any glaring weaknesses. Oktopost is an invaluable resource for businesses trying to increase their social media performance.

14. Quuu

Completely automated social media marketing is swiftly becoming a reality. However, there’s still a place for hand-picked curations, which can resonate more with living, breathing consumers. Quu offers that experience.

Businesses using Quuu first select their interests from over 300 categories. Then Quuu sends users a list of recommendations for types of content to post in order to represent those interests. At that point, businesses can either manually post content or let Quuu take the wheel. Importantly, all the content suggested by Quuu is hand-reviewed, meaning it has a better chance of connecting with humans.


Most of the platforms in this list offer similar tools, like post scheduling and data analytics; however, apps like IFTTT operate entirely differently. Running through platform-specific applets instead of catch-all features, IFTTT offers a much more specialized approach to marketing.

The app divides its applications into features specific to platforms like Google, iOS, photography and more. Simply selecting a few of these applets automates their processes, freeing up precious time for businesses. These features include automatically saving attachments to Google Drive, backing up texts and sending notifications for person-specific emails. With IFTTT’s applets, marketing teams can increase their productivity and give themselves more time to create advertisements.

16. Qwaya

For many businesses, revenue flows through more routes than just product sales and business deals. Several companies rely heavily on ad revenue, and Qwaya makes the process of managing advertisements much more intuitive.

The app allows businesses to schedule and queue certain ads, while at the same time restricting certain content. It also supports user collaboration, so ad performance can easily be discussed and adapted. For businesses advertising on Facebook and Instagram, Qwaya is an immensely powerful resource.

17. MeetEdgar

Content scheduling is one of the most popular tools in this list. While marketing teams may be relieved to schedule their posts weeks in advance, MeetEdgar adds an extra step.

Instead of using one-time updates, the app automatically reshares certain posts over time, eliminating the need for long lists of posts. In addition, MeetEdgar boasts direct video uploads and an unlimited library of updates, and allows users to choose which posts are and aren’t reposted over time.

18. TweetDeck

Platform-specific tools have the power to revolutionize vanilla applications and make them into far more productive tools of trade. TweetDeck is one powerful enhancement to Twitter.

The app allows businesses to schedule, monitor and queue up Tweets remotely. The app ensures that marketers can discuss certain content and analyze audience tastes to release Tweets best suited to their followers’ interests. TweetDeck can make Twitter an even more lucrative platform for businesses.

19. Rival IQ

Rival IQ is first and foremost a data analytics tool. Its data-analyzing software collects relevant bits of information on a business’s social media activity and automatically generates in-depth displays. For example, the app shows audience growth, interactions, changes between time periods, similar statistics for close competitors and the topics most popular with the existing audience.

Rival IQ’s tracking features go far beyond these, but even a fraction of its functions would prove useful to businesses trying to gauge their overall social media performance.

20. Animoto

The big social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat – all share an affinity for video. In social media marketing, photo and video are the primary modes of communication, and businesses that can’t create stimulating visual content are at a serious disadvantage.

Animoto makes this a non-issue. With loads of photo- and video-editing tools, Animoto allows even inexperienced marketers to create eye-catching and stimulating content for their audience.

21 Socedo

Socedo revolves around the concept of “social intent data.” The term denotes actions that signify what people are interested in. Socedo gathers all this data to better understand lucrative trends and prescribe helpful marketing suggestions to businesses.

Boasting features like audience discovery and engagement, the app gives businesses a way to connect to people who might be interested in their brand. Socedo guarantees audience growth and increased brand visibility for businesses using the application.

22. Narrow

Narrow connects businesses to users who may be interested in their content, based on their previous actions on the social platform.

Offering detailed data analytics and an audience research tool, the app allows businesses to tailor their marketing strategy to attract a larger following. With Narrow, marketing teams can easily increase their audience on Twitter.

23. Grum

Grum is an application specifically created for Instagram. The application contains specialized features for making Instagram more effective as a marketing tool.

With tools like content scheduling, remote management and multiple account support, the app packs a ton of features onto basic vanilla Instagram. With Grum, businesses and marketing teams can increase their Instagram performance and free up more time to create fresh content.

24. Post Planner

The hardest part of managing social media accounts is consistently coming up with interesting content to share. Post Planner provides a solution.

The app essentially analyzes audience interests with a variety of algorithms to recommend topics to post about. In addition, the app includes an intuitive post-scheduling tool to guarantee that the most effective content is posted at the right times. Post Planner allows marketing teams to post as efficiently as possible.

25. WordSwag

Sometimes the simpler an application, the more impactful it is. WordSwag is a prime example. The app boasts just one feature – adding customized text to photos. It allows customization of color and font, and has resulted in thousands of fascinating images. Businesses that require a minimalist but powerful graphic-design app need look no further than WordSwag.

Seven Considerations for Your New Business’s Social Media Strategy

26 Feb

So you started a new business. Congratulations!

Now comes the hard work: marketing and promotion.

You know you need to be on social media, but you have no idea where to start. With so many platforms, and so little time, what’s an entrepreneur to do?

First of all, everyone is on Facebook, so you definitely need to have a presence there. But what about Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, Reddit, Periscope? And those are just the first platforms that come to mind…

Don’t get overwhelmed. The following seven considerations will help you determine which social media channels you should focus on.

1. Your Customers

A smart part of any marketing strategy is developing buyer personas. You’ll use them to inform all of your marketing efforts, including social media.

Imagine your ideal customers. What are their basic demographics (age, gender, salary, location)? Now, find social networks that match those demographics.

Some networks have a distinct gender preference. Women strongly favor Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, but there are twice as many men on Reddit.

As for age, seniors (people 70 and older) are the fastest-growing demographic on social media, and there are even dedicated networks for them, including Stitch for those age 50 and above. Seniors show a strong preference for YouTube, too, with over half of Baby Boomers and seniors watching online video.

On the other end of the spectrum, Snapchat, Instagram, and Reddit all have much younger viewers: 90% of Instagrammers and 86% of Snapchatters are under age 35, and 64% of Redditors are under age 30.

2. Your Industry

Some industries are better suited to certain social media platforms than others. That’s not to say your Web hosting brand can’t break through as the next big Instagram star, but leaning into the networks where your industry already does well makes things easier for you as you start out.

For example, if you’re in the fashion industry, you’d want to focus on Pinterest and Instagram over LinkedIn. But if you’re in the tech B2B vertical, LinkedIn would be the right choice. All local businesses of any industry need to fully complete their Google+ profiles and encourage regular Google+ reviews for SEO purposes.

What about B2B versus B2C? According to a 2016 industry report by Social Media Examiner, B2B marketers heavily favor LinkedIn and SlideShare. B2C marketers, on the other hand, prefer Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

3. Your Company

What makes your brand unique? You may be able to use that differentiation in the social network of your choice.

If you have a big personality, consider streaming live via Facebook Live or Snapchat.

Do you regularly attend tradeshows? Twitter and Instagram are huge hashtag hubs during such events, which can help your content get discovered.

Find your “thing.” You might post photos on Instagram of quirky places people can use your product, or you can create a weekly video series where you share tips based on the service you offer.

4. Your Competition

No matter how unique your business is, you’ll always have competition.

Fortunately, having competition isn’t all that bad: If you pay attention to what the competition is doing, you’ll glean insights into what works and what doesn’t. Have you ever seen something flop… and then decided you could make it better? That may have been what motivated you to start your business in the first place!

For your social media strategy, look at your competition’s social accounts. Focus only on the companies doing well and those that you admire. The ones that aren’t successful aren’t worth copying and could even lead you in the wrong direction (they’ll be the ones over-indexing on Reddit and Snapchat even though they work exclusively with adults age 45+).

Take note of which platforms your competitors use and what kind of content tends to encourage engagement for them. Consider how you can apply that information to your brand.

5. Your Product or Service

Certain products and services perform better than others on various social media channels.

Do you run an e-commerce site? Pinterest users spend 50% more than those on other social networks and are likelier to click through to your website to purchase.

Work in the beauty industry or spend a lot of face time with your customers? Instagram pictures showing faces get 38% more likes than those without.

Cars and apparel enjoy an outsized presence on Instagram, whereas consumer products don’t do well on LinkedIn.

6. Your Goals

What are your primary goals for social media? Do you want to nurture leads, grow your referral traffic, foster customer loyalty, build brand awareness, or achieve something else entirely?

Certain social channels will serve your goals better than others. For example, Instagram doesn’t allow links in posts (unless you’re a paid advertiser), so the platform is better suited to brand awareness and customer loyalty. You’ll certainly gain visibility through hashtagging your posts, and you’ll foster customer happiness by sharing exclusive promo codes, but you won’t drive traffic to and conversions on your website.

Focusing on SEO? Use YouTube. Videos hosted there are more likely to show up in Google’s search results. You can also upload transcripts and include annotations to make them even more searchable and to drive site traffic.

Whichever goal you choose, ensure you can measure your progress, whether that’s by number of leads, traffic volume, or number of likes or other engagement action.

7. Your Content

Finally, what kind of content will you be sharing on social media?

If your business is highly visual and you plan to produce lots of video or image content, focus on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, or possibly Snapchat, depending on the ages of your target audience (see consideration No. 1). Facebook Live is a particularly nice option if live content makes sense for your business.

If you’ll be creating lots of written content, including blog posts, case studies, and whitepapers, make sure to share them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

If you don’t have time to blog yet, you can still find a voice by curating others’ content and retweeting on Twitter. You can also comment in discussion boards, including Reddit and LinkedIn Groups.

Will you be creating brand experiences or fun content for brand awareness? Instagram and Snapchat are perfect for that purpose. And don’t forget to promote any upcoming events on Facebook!

Bonus Tip

Regardless of which platforms you choose to focus on right now, at a minimum you should create a profile for your company on all the major social networks. As your business and your team grow, you’ll have more time to dedicate to different platforms.

Plus, it’s just plain smart to own your brand name online. Signing up on all the major platforms prevents a troll from registering your brand name, forcing you to do business under @company_name1 instead of the objectively more professional @companyname.

Top Social Media Marketing Hacks for 2018

19 Feb

With statistics suggesting that more than 65 million businesses have a Facebook business page and there beingover 3.03 billion active Social Media users, both businesses and consumers benefit.

Social Media Marketing is unceasingly proving to be successful and it has given traditional advertising a run for its money — thanks to the advanced metrics in this domain that now help marketers understand their audience’s preferences and purchasing behavior a lot better.

Modern marketing teams can never ignore the power of social. Given the evolving industry innovations and changing consumer habits, what should marketers keep in mind?

1. Video will be everything

With there being an increasing desire to focus on churning out engaging content using interactive methods, video is slated to be the next big thing for digital campaigns. With a growing mobile user base and lowered attention spans, one of the most effective ways to win at the social media game is with captivating videos.

That brings in a question: How can B2B marketers ensure that their videos are a hit with viewers? Just creating video content is not enough. Focusing on creating video content that resonates with audiences is more important.

2. Meaningful messaging

Facebook’s recent newsfeed policy tweaks suggest that there will be a shift in the digital marketer’s mindset too. Why would a leading social media platform that earned an impressive revenue through ads revise their ad feeds? Maybe this decision also suggests the changing needs of a typical consumer.

The social media connect over the years has allowed brands and customers to have more interactive and meaningful exchanges. Consumers want more of this. Superficial messaging that simply sounds good won’t cut it anymore.

Remember, for 2018, content is not just king. Context is!

3. Hyper-personalization

Hyper-personalization is where the big money in digital marketing is at. With more and more consumers using customization as a tactic to win and retain customers, it will be more important than ever to center strategies around this. As tools and technology evolve, and as the consumer mindset changes, it is important for businesses to use these markers as insights to build a far more capable social media strategy.


5 Best Practices for Effective Social Media Marketing in 2018

12 Feb

Think for a moment; can you ignore social media in today’s marketing? Of course not. Nobody can afford to lose a borderless market that is bigger than China and India combined.

Owing to the same, companies are enthusiastically investing resources in social media marketing. In fact, social media is no more about branding or reputation only, the number of companies using it for business development has increased significantly. In 2015, 63% of the US companies were using social networks for lead generation and the percentage is expected to cross 90 percent by 2018.

However, there is another side of the story as well. Not every business is happy with the ROI offered by social networks.

According to a digital media survey, the brand’s (average) engagement rate on different social networks is very disturbing. It’s 0.007% on Facebook, 0.003% on Twitter, and 4.21% on Instagram.

Since ‘engagement’ is the prime objective of social media marketing, such lackluster response should be a big concern for marketers. However, changes to the algorithms and soaring usage of big data for social media marketing essentially means that marketers will have found out new and innovative ways to market their business as the organic reach of their posts will shrink with every passing day.

This article is aimed at helping you set the right tone for your social media marketing in 2018, and help you be more effective at engagement.

1. Set SMART Goals:

The starting point of any campaign should be your goals. Most of the digital marketers fail to determine their channel-specific goals and the vast majority wants to achieve “a set of goals” by single investments, which leads to failure. You should not plan to achieve leads, traffic, engagement, likes, shares, and follows from a single campaign; otherwise, the metrics will be too annoying.

If you set SMART goals, and clearly run a campaign against a particular one, success is a sure result. 92% of marketers believe that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses whereas 84% think it has directly impacted their web traffic. Therefore, you should set a clear goal of your campaign – say clicks or leads – and calculate results for the same.

2. Avoid Verbosity

They say: brevity is the soul of wit. Twitter’s popularity lies in its brevity and 140 character’s limitation. A study suggests that Facebook posts with less than 250 characters get 60 percent more engagement than the longer ones. Similarly, Tweets with 110 or fewer characters get 17% more engagement.

What does that mean?

In 2018, the scarcest of all resources is ‘time’. People do not have time to read your articles; they want brief, to-the-point, and striking content. If you have an idea for longer posts, don’t put in status; instead, go for a blog or LinkedIn Pulse.

3. Invest in Creative Contents

One key success principle for social media success is to have a good content mix. A balanced content mix ensures that people do not get bored of your similar posts. In this regards, it is a very good idea to make a content calendar with a focus on designing a decent content mix.

Never ignore the power of visual content. According to Social Media Examiner Study, 61% of marketers plan to increase their usage of live video, and 69 percent of them are eager to explore videos and creative contents. In 2017, the number of marketing professionals including live video into their marketing strategy increased by 14 percent – and the trend is expected growth further.

Also, never ignore the power of decent and branded images as tweets with images receive 150% more retweets. Brand’s engagement rate on Instagram is highest: 4.21 percent and the reason is visual content.

4. Brace for Algorithmic Changes

Facebook has recently changed their algorithms and marketers should be worried about it. As a result, the organic reach of the pages will go further down. This simply means: there are no more free lunches (read exposure) anymore. Even in the advertisement domain, the platforms will be very strict now on. Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, social networks are under pressure to ensure their platforms are safe and not prone to misuse by advertisers.

While this tighter scrutiny will be there at least for the near future, we advise marketers to be creative, in order to be discovered. In the face of barriers discussed, the best way to get exposure on social media is creating and sharing high-quality and personalized content that is relevant to your audience.

5. Never Ignore Ethics

Ethical principles should be your guiding principle. One of the reasons why people leave paying attention to your calls is ‘alleged deception’. A key element of social media marketing is being honest with your audience. In a previous post, I had explained 7 fundamental ethics of social media marketing, which every marketer should keep in sight.

If your focus is on the long-term relationship, make sure you don’t deceive your audience in any way. Be professional while responding to negative comments and critical feedback; they play a vital role in improvement.

Finally, when you are planning for social media marketing in 2018, make sure to document your strategy. A documented strategy with key stats, KPIs, content calendar and guidelines leads to good results. We hope the listed suggestions help you improve social ROI and attract the desired exposure.

5 Crucial Components of an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy in 2018

5 Feb

The social networking landscape is shifting dramatically in 2018. From Facebook’s updated news feed focus to YouTube’s updated influencer marketing rules, brands hoping to capitalize on social media marketing for brand growth need to be aware of changes in the social media sector. Failure to have an updated social media marketing strategy for 2018 could mean your company is losing out on opportunities for revenue generation and brand reputation development. If you are ready to take a long, hard look at your company’s social media marketing strategy (you do have one, right?), following are five crucial factors you should include in your updated outreach efforts.

1) Conversation is critical for effective social media marketing in 2018. With platforms like Facebook placing increasing importance on engagement and time-on-site ratings, it is brands focusing on consumer conversations who will be the big winners in social media outreach this year.

2) Encouraging and motivational content will be crucial for audience acquisition in 2018. Gone are the days of filling your followers news feeds with informational content about your business or your latest product/service release. If you don’t already have someone on your team creating uplifting social media images, now is the time to start. The more uplifting and universal your visual marketing images, the greater your chances are of social shares. Be sure to share your own images on multiple social networking platforms including Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

3) For maximum social networking ROI, start thinking of your business as a media company. Regardless of your business’ niche, you must be willing to think in terms of audience acquisition, branding opportunities, return-on-investment ratings, and format optimization. The sooner you adjust your brand’s outlook on social media marketing, the sooner you can reap the rewards for your company.

4) Maximize your social networking efforts by performing ongoing analysis on platform to target audience metrics. Understand which platforms offer the highest engagement rates and which platforms deliver the highest revenue generation opportunities for your business. When your social media marketing team has a clear understanding of the benefits of each network for your brand, they can develop an outreach strategy that helps your business achieve your desired KPIs (key performance indicators).

5) Social intelligence is critical for effective social media marketing in 2018. Integrating social intelligence tools ( into your networking strategy is no longer optional. If your brand isn’t putting social intelligence to work for your company, you are at a serious disadvantage to other savvier competitors.

Focus on incorporating these five factors into your 2018 social media marketing strategy and you will see increased ROI for your investment of time. No longer is it enough to be active on social media platforms for brand growth; you must be strategic in your approach to customer acquisition and brand development. Discuss these business growth tips with your team and develop a plan-of-action to integrate these critical factors into your 2018 growth initiatives.

4 Ways to Apply Data Science to Social Media Marketing in 2018

29 Jan

Harvard Business Review famously described data science as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” in 2012, causing a massive explosion in opportunities in this space. Today, data science has spread its hold over the digital marketing landscape.

Particularly for social media marketing, data science promises a lot. From advanced analysis of social media activity on branded content campaigns to create insightful user personas via social media listening, to complex data patterns made easy to understand via visualizations, to overcoming the perennial problem of ad fraud in advertising ecosystems, data science has potential applications that significantly improve social media for brands.

In this article, I’ll cover four ways in which brands can leverage data science for better social media marketing results in 2018.

It’s disappointingly common for people to use data science when they actually mean data analysis or analytics, and that’s not exactly right. Data science is not even business intelligence. It’s way broader in scope, and it involves exploration of multisource data to understand unseen underlying pattern that bring out important insights and relationships, which can be expressed through visualizations.

Moving beyond word clouds with data-science-powered tools

Word clouds have been trusted tools for social media marketers to analyze social conversations and understand what’s being discussed.

Although brands could often stumble upon an important pattern, word clouds are, in reality, pretty blunt tools. Unless you have a high volume of activity, word clouds can be misrepresentative, requiring marketers to carefully guard against irrelevant words.

Thankfully, marketers have access to tools that leverage the power of data science along with natural language processing algorithms in order to contextualize word usage and deliver meaningful insights.

BuzzGraphs, for instance, show you how words are linked, and which words are most frequently used. Entity analysis also helps, associating words and small word groups with their semantic types, such as a brand, a person, a website, etc. Deep diving into BuzzGraphs and entity analysis is possible in order to gather more insight.

Data science for community groupings

Social media marketing campaign results need to be measured and improved continually. Targeting strongly connected groups, naturally, amplifies campaign effectiveness.

First, identify topic areas that receive good responses as a starting point for your community grouping campaign.

Data science has tremendous applications here. Based on the frequency of keywords observed, marketers can identify the most commonly discussed topics in social conversations. The topics can then be analyzed across social platforms to classify them.

In 2015, research journals published a lot of content about the use of machine learning in social media message classification. Today, marketers can use tools to execute the same.

Next, leverage cluster analysis to identify how people participating, for instance, in a Twitter conversation are associated with each other. Such analysis can then group people together, separating weakly connected groups.

Visualizations for greater insights

Social media explosion has been one of the reasons why the volume of global data is surging every year. Each regular social media user’s timeline is potentially the story of his or her life. Visualizations make it practical for marketers to understand these stories and generate insights that can massively improve social media marketing.

Social graph visualizations, for instance, showcase the social dynamics playing out around us. SociLab, for example, lets you visualize your LinkedIn network and evaluate its “quality.”

Complex relationship patterns and social groupings can become clearer than ever through visualizations. Data-science-powered social media tools help you by creating visualizations such as scatter plots to present correlations, pie charts to show proportions, line graphs to show trends and tables to show exact values. Hootsuite Analytics, for instance, can take your social media metrics and transform them into visualizations that make them much more insightful.

Advanced persona research backed by social media listening

Customer personas are much more effective than broad demographic descriptors. Personas are meant to humanize, although they’ve traditionally been filled with marketing jargon that eventually kills the effectiveness of targeting campaigns.

Data-science-backed tools can transform how brands conduct market research using social media data. Social media listening platforms can allow marketers access to global conversations, bringing together large data volumes, capturing customer opinions and trends and feeding the data to a brand’s specific market research campaign:

  • Begin with social media listening for researching a central topic.
  • From the general data, build maps of the most crucial consumer conversations.
  • Export the data to a spreadsheet and clean it.
  • Develop a listening dashboard to monitor discussions.
  • Study the natural language of the market and build it into your customer personas, helping copywriters create social content that converts more often.

Data is being called the fuel of the present and future. Your social media analytics need to hit overdrive, powered by data science. Trust the methods explained in this guide to get started.