Social media marketing is no longer a trend: it is a permanent business platform that is developing a completely new field in marketing and technology. It is perhaps one of the most innovative fields to let your brand really flow. A lot of people are impressed on how much social media brings the brand and the customer close because they are actually interacting on a one on one level because no other platform can offer that on a similar scale. However, this is exactly what makes it more complex and difficult. Social media marketing requires a lot of strategy building, a lot of planning and a lot of technical expertise to come up with something different.
There are so many written and unwritten rules of social media marketing, mainly because there are so many channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You are not just running an ad campaign; you are building a link or a bridge to your customer. This is why to properly integrate your strategy and campaign along all platforms; you need a social media manager.
The role of the social media manager is simply to manage all of your campaigns along all platforms on a daily basis. Only active business pages and profiles on social media successfully are able to generate traffic and business for their brands and hence a social media manager makes sure all of your activities are up and running all the time. Some of the main duties of a social media manager include:
In short, with a social media manager never let your virtual presence become outdated and played out. Many Facebook Marketing Companies hire a team of social media managers just for Facebook because that platform alone is too large for one to handle. What a Social Media Manager ensures is that he focuses on each and every aspect of the brand needs because at the end, personalization is everything here. He is supposed to know your needs and strategise accordingly. Thus, employ the expertise of a social media manager and enjoy the perks of a swollen pool of customers in a brief period of time.
Social media marketing is now on of the most important platforms for businesses to grow. Social media presence especially on Facebook is now directly linked by Google and other search engines to your rank formula. This means if you don’t have a good social media presence you can say goodbye to your number one ranking on any search engine.
Business pages on social media have now become a reference directory for customers. Just like in the old days people picked up the phone book or the yellow pages to refer to the best business in need, today people log online and look for businesses on Facebook. It has become more visible to them because a Social Media Business Page is not just an ad space on the internet; it gives a glimpse of where the person is going and what they are going for. If they don’t like your Facebook Page they will not like your store and they will not come.
Similarly Twitter and YouTube are just as good with constant reviews of your business being uploaded by opinion leaders. It’s all good for business. However Facebook business pages are more significant. They generate traffic for your business and most of all they constantly remind people of your business.
A good and successful Facebook Page is always active, always having new interesting and relative posts that remind people why you like this particular brand and why you need to visit them soon.
A lot of Facebook applications for your business page have also made it very interesting for customers and clients to constantly remain on your Facebook page. Boutiques are using applications to virtually put on the dress on your photo, giving women the pleasure of actually seeing themselves in new clothes and making them want to buy them. Restaurants are running active auctions on their Facebook page to sell off discounted meals to the highest bidder. Electronic stores are running games and contests to win exciting prizes.
Clearly Facebook business page is more than just a promotional platform, it is the very tool businesses are using to link and build relationships with their customers and remind them why they choose to be loyal. This is a very basic social media strategy that all businesses are always looking to build. For the clients, Facebook business pages are easy to build but difficult to establish and keep active. It is essential to keep the page active to keep on reminding the customers that you are still offering the services lest they turn to your competitors in the market.
Ever heard of Twitter Vine and wondering how it could actually benefit your business? If you’re always on the lookout for the latest in great social media marketing and video marketing solutions, you’ve most probably had! You can think of Vine Twitter as a mobile application that enables its users to take extremely short and looping 6 second videos that they can share with their Twitter and Facebook contacts. It’s similar to Instagram except that you are dealing with videos and not pictures.
1. Social media engagement and branding
Vine can act as an excellent supplement to your video marketing campaign and boost engagement in social networks. You can do this simply asking prospects what they think about your products or services and the things that they are looking forward to. For instance, if your business is all about selling books you can ask prospects to share which books are their favorites and with Twitter Vine, you can give them visual suggestions on books that they may like and get them to purchase those books from you.
What’s more is that you can use Vine to get your social media fans and followers to advertise your products or services for you. Mobile devices are extremely popular now days and all you have to do is ask them to create a short video of your services in action or how much they are enjoying a certain product of yours. You can then acknowledge your fans and attach the video to your business hash tag on Twitter.
2. Exhibit your portfolio and get your fans and followers excited about a new product or service
Why settle having your business portfolio on your website when you have it on video and share it on Vine Twitter? It is how even small-scale businesses can benefit from Vine. Show off your product packaging and samples to gain some momentum for your business.
As a video marketing strategy, Vine can provide much needed visual inspiration for businesses to create excitement among social media fans and followers whenever they have an upcoming product on the Pipeline. Businesses can use Vine to reveal new products or show case teasers that their target audience can all look forward to.
3. Share a trivia and relevant information or celebrate holidays
Keep in mind – not everything has to be about business! It will only make your business appear uninteresting. You can share trivia and news relevant to your business that your prospects may be interested in. It’s always a good way of generating valuable social media engagement!
Also you might want to make sure your business branding keeps up with all the significant holidays throughout the year and Vine can certainly help you easily do just that by sharing short holiday-themed 6 second promotional videos. Fans and followers enthusiastic about getting into the holiday spirit are bound to appreciate it and favor your business over others that are unmindful of it.
4. Give fans and followers the “Inside Look”
Twitter Vine give businesses ample opportunity to leverage the human element in their video marketing and social media marketing campaign. Once can’t think of a better way of doing that other than giving people the inside look at your office or store with a short video showing what an amazing place it is and how happy your customers and employees are during their downtimes.
5. Educate and impress prospects
Vine is a good way to educate your fans and followers with fascinating and relevant facts about your business. For example, if your business deals in pet trade you can exhibit some of the animals you have for sale along with some interesting information about them on a short vine Video
6. Share your story
You can use Vine for a quick and innovative solution in summing up your business from day one until the present! It’s a great way to share your history with fans and followers throughout the years and inspire consumer confidence! One great idea is to feature older versions of your products up to the most current ones.
7. Contest, promotions and presentations
It can be difficult for businesses to generate excitement among fans and followers during a certain promotion or contest. In many cases, these people simply don’t know your product or service well enough to want or need it. That can all change with Twitter Vine as it’s a great way to quickly show off your products and invite people to participate in contests to win prizes like exclusive content and product samples.
Vine can also be a great boost to your presentations such as webinars and podcasts! All there is to do is take a short video relevant to your presentations.
Wondering how you can get started on Twitter Vine?
It’s easy and can be done in 5 simple steps:
There you have it – some great ways your business can greatly benefit from Vine. In what other ways can Twitter Vine help you with your business?
Marketing and graphic design has increasingly become more intertwined as social media engagement starts to lean more towards more visual social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest. These networks encourage their users to use and share visual content. Engagement in social media marketing can be considered as one of the top goals for business online for 2013. People often prefer that you visually show them the value that your business offers instead of just reading about it!
Let’s go ahead and check out some great ways in which visuals can be used to improve engagement throughout your social media strategy
Simplifying complex ideas
Visual content can be described as a universal language and one that can be used to effectively simplify a complicated subject or idea. Most people just don’t have the time and patience to go through complicated and long case studies. Charts and other infographic content are a lot better when it comes to helping people comprehend and make use of your content. In order to achieve better engagement with prospects, your visual content must be fairly easy and convenient to access on social networks.
Indeed visual content can help you effectively engage and communicate with prospects in a captivating and more interesting manner. One type of visual content that could effectively improve engagement in social media platforms are “infographics”. If you’ve been in pursuit of social media engagement for quite some time, you’ve probably witnessed the potential that infographic offers as a social media marketing resource.
The great thing about visual content is that it’s not only easy for your prospects to comprehend but it’s also a lot more shareable! Images, graphics, pictures and videos can be easily shared via social networks without the need for summaries or translations. One can swiftly and effectively communicate ideas or feelings which can be used to ensure that prospects understand where your business is coming from and encourage them to further share your visual content.
A recent study reveals that more than 40 percent of prospects are likely to engage and express interest on a business that capitalizes on visual content for their social media strategy. That’s hardly surprising considering that visual content fare a lot better in attracting and engaging customers compared to simple text. If you want to boost social media engagement, the best thing that you can do is draw in users with visual content and encourage them to share it further down their network of influence.
You can always ask your target audience to come up with visual content on behalf of your business and share it for you. As a matter of fact, it’s an excellent way of reaching out to them and promoting your business at the same time. You may want to consider organizing visual competitions for instance to supplement you social media marketing campaign through social networks like Instagram and Pinterest.
Now whatever social media platform you choose to opt into, simply encouraging users to exhibit visual content is a sure-fire way of improving engagement in social networks. Crowd sourcing visual content is about the same as inconspicuously asking prospects to engage with your business without looking desperate of course.
Visual content can give you the stimulation that businesses often so desperately need to get good engagement out of the social media platforms that they are working on. Of course you will also need to ensure that you are offering a good product or service backed with reliable customer service otherwise all your efforts in promoting your business aren’t going to matter squat.
The key take away here is that if you are in need of effective ways to engage your prospects in social networks, visual content is the magnet you need to draw in more people towards your business. So how much social media engagement are you getting out of your visual content lately?
No business wants to keep on wasting precious time and resources on a social media marketing strategy that’s just not providing the results they need. However, how would you know the right time to actually call it quits or are you simply not trying hard enough? No doubt you’ve heard so called experts say it all too many times that your business needs to be on as many social networks as possible which is just wrong!
Now it’s certainly true that online businesses need to try out a number of social platforms but that’s just so you can figures which ones actually suits your business needs best. You also have to ensure that you are keeping track of results and that it actually delivers the results needed. Whether you are wondering if a particular social network is really worth your while or perhaps you are thinking of pulling the plug, there are a couple of things you need to consider.
Think about it – how would you know for sure if all your efforts on certain social networks is actually worth it if you don’t have any fixed goals and metrics in mind? What results do you really want to get out of it? Knowing all of these things mean the difference between a business that is clueless about how they are doing and one that is out to provide concrete proof of success in their business efforts.
Here are a couple of goals and metrics that businesses need to keep in mind before deciding to pull the plug on a certain social marketing platform:
Now keep in mind that social networks and the results that they provide as a marketing resource tend to differ. Set your metrics and goals accordingly – what works for one business may not necessarily work on yours and all that businesses can do is determine which shoe fits.
Which social media platform is right for you?
Let’s say that you’ve ultimately decided that a certain social network isn’t really worth your while especially if you are not seeing good results for quite some time. Don’t be so quick to turn off the lights on a social network though without giving it a fair amount of experimentation.
Experiment with various types of content to see what actually works. Again social media platforms are different and results are bound to vary from one network to another. For instance you could get a lot of traffic from Facebook but not much conversions or lower traffic on LinkedIn but better and more qualified leads. It’s up to you to determine what social media strategy works best for your business!
So there you have it – a couple of important things to consider before ultimately turning off the lights on a social network. You don’t have to be on every social network – just a few ones that suits your strategies best and you could focus on. Just as it is with a lot of things in life, its important not to give up too easily but knowing the right time to cut your losses and knowing that a certain social network just isn’t for you is just as important!
Did you ever have to drop a social media network from your online marketing strategy and how did you come to such a decision?
As you may already know, social media represents one of the best ways to promote one’s business online. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and even less popular ones like Quora can be used to promote content and generate precious leads and traffic for your business. Unfortunately few people out there ever make the most of what it really has to offer. Is your business making good use of some of the best social marketing tools and resources out there?
Now it may surprise you but social media can actually be used throughout one’s sales and marketing cycle as well as enabling businesses to effectively seal more deals. More importantly, these networks are expected to roll out more features that can be used by businesses to effectively boost sales and profit. Let’s go ahead and check out some of these great tools and features for closing more sales for any kind of business online
This popular social media network is a gold mine for businesses looking to connect with as many prospects as possible and easily keep track of recent trends about their target market. The “Twitter List” can be a valuable tool for tracking leads from a single location especially subjects that interests them the most. As you may already know, it certainly helps when a salesperson already knows and understands their prospects prior to making any sales pitch.
Wondering where to actually get to your Twitter List? Just go to the Twitter Homepage and click on the “machine” icon which will reveal a drop-down lists. It’s here that you can view and manage your list. If it’s your first time using such a feature, you will have to create your list first by searching for potential leads via social networks
Wouldn’t it be great if you are able to start a conversation with a prospect and know that the two of you already have one thing in common such as shared interest, groups and industry? Well that’s just what LinkedIn’s “In Common With” feature enables you to do! It allows businesses to quickly establish common ground with leads. You can then use shared experiences and interests to more effectively engage prospects making it more likely for businesses to “seal the deal”.
Are you clueless about where to find such a feature on LinkedIn? Simply hover over the right side of your prospect’s profile on LinkedIn and scroll down until you see the details of your similarities. Pay attention to these details when trying to drive sales conversations.
Another great social marketing tool that you’ll find on LinkedIn is the “How You’re Connected” feature which can provide details about how you are connected with a prospect and the connections that you happen to have in common with. Use this feature to get a good introduction to a new prospect or lead – people are often more open and willing to listen if they know that you share a connection that they trust!
The “Skills & Expertise” feature is also one other feature that businesses can use from LinkedIn social networks. What can we say – LinkedIn is a great social marketing tool! It’s an area that lets you specify your niche and specialty giving prospects a good idea of what your business is all about. You can find this nifty feature under the Experience field on your LinkedIn profile.
Quora is another valuable social media marketing tool particularly for businesses that require a heap of information about their prospects prior to making any kind of sales pitch. As you may already know, Quora is a “question and answer” social network and potential leads on site will have the questions that they’ve posted recently on site available for review as well as the topics that they are most interested and knowledgeable in.
Thanks to Quora, businesses can practically present solutions to issues their prospects may be having prior to giving any kind of mention about it! More importantly as a social marketing tool, it provides an excellent opportunity to build a good reputation and business credibility by being an active user on site catering and addressing questions relevant to your business.
Last but not least is HootSuite which is a great social marketing tool for monitoring what we call “hash tags” on Twitter. It’s the same idea with coming up with a list of prospects to manage and monitor. This tool makes it simple to keep track of hash tags on Twitters along with phrases relevant to your business.
HootSuite and similar tools can help you keep an eye on issues your prospects may be having and gain valuable insights on what they think about your business versus the competition. So how do you use HootSuite to further your social media marketing goals? Just go to the HootSuite Streams page and select the “Add Stream” option. You can then put in a maximum of 3 keywords, phrases or hash tags that you wish to keep an eye on.
The tool offers a unique advantage for leveraging key strengths and deal with any weaknesses that your business may have in advance. Engage prospects in intelligent conversations perhaps by offering helpful advice on something that is of interest to them or simply encourage them to warm up to you at the very least.
So what other social media marketing tools had you found useful for your business?
What do we mean by integrating content marketing with social media and why do it at all? Well if you are on the lookout for some great solutions for attracting traffic and new prospects as well as ultimately turning them into buyers and avid customers, its certainly an area that no business can afford to overlook. In a good content strategy, today’s social networks can actually prove invaluable. All you really have to do is bridge the gap that many businesses online often have between their content and social media.
So how do we do we go about bridging the gap between content marketing and social media? Well there are a couple of things about your social strategy and content marketing strategy that you need to assess and look into:
Attracting prospects – if you are a buyer or customer in need of a certain product or service on the market, the first question that you probably have in your mind is what solutions can you actually opt into? Awareness should then be the initial focus of your business and that your products or services can actually address the needs of your prospects!
Now what does all these actually have to do with content and social marketing? Well according to various search engine marketing studies done by Google, people now days are looking up more sources online (10 on average) prior to making a significant decision of buying or investing in something. Success is certainly within reach of businesses engaging and keeping in touch of prospects via social networks and pointing them to various sources prospects may need to come to a decision
So how are businesses supposed to do all that? Well there are certainly a number of ways.
Converting to Sales – now another question that consumers often have in mind is what products or services are actually right for them? Success in content strategy today requires that you make and publish content that presents proof on what your business actually has to offer. Your prospects may have had their eyes on other businesses similar to yours and you have to make an effort to be seen as the one offering the best value.
So how do you offer such a proof and actually get your business to stand out as the one offering a better value than your competitors? While it may seem like an overly difficult feat to pull off – it actually doesn’t have to be! A short video demonstration of your products or one that explains the services that your business renders will often suffice and significantly improve results for your content marketing and social media strategy.
You may also want to think about doing and presenting case studies as a part of your content strategy as it is also good proof that your business has what it takes to deliver the results that your prospects need.
Simply put, traffic alone is not enough to succeed in search engine marketing now days. You need a content strategy that offers proof and then promoting that proof through social networks. One more thing – never “bad-mouth” nor directly say anything negative about your close competitors just to make your business look good. It will only make your business appear arrogant and unprofessional. Leave it to your prospects to decide which solutions are right for them.
Content marketing and social marketing is a match made in heaven for businesses looking draw in more traffic and better sales online. For businesses to effectively attract traffic and turn them into an actual sale, one’s content strategy and social media strategy should be an integrated as a seamless part of an online marketing campaign. Whether you like it or not, a significant part of your prospects will keep on using social network. All that a successful businesse can do is adapt!
How well have you integrated your content marketing with your social media strategy?
Many businesses are now using social media as one of their primary marketing tools, and as a great way of interacting with their customers and keeping them happy and excited about the brand. Not to mention, that it’s free advertising (always great for your ROI and bottom line).
The big question is, how do you keep your audience engaged once you have them? We have compiled several great ideas to help you do just that.
One major mistake businesses make is using their social media platform to sell, sell, sell! The thing is, most customers who visit your social media are not coming there to have more advertising pushed at them; they are coming to interact with you. So, interact with them. Address their concerns, respond to their Tweets and posts, and listen to what they have to say. Social media is just as much their platform as it is yours.
Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something. You can effectively accomplish this by soliciting your audiences input. Make them feel like their opinion matters. One good example would be to run a poll on what your next product flavor should be, and then create it (often this is called a “fan vote”).
Don’t just limit yourself to responding to their complaints. Go the extra mile to ask for their opinion. Not only will it make them feel like they have a voice and that their opinion matters, it might even give you good insight into the directions your business needs to take. People that feel like they have a voice with a company are more likely to stick with that company to see their ideas implemented. This is a great way to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.
Inevitably, you will get people who are only there to spew bile and negativity. Don’t put up with this! It does a disservice to other visitors and tarnishes your image. If a user continues this behavior, then block them! Other visitors are not coming to your social media to read a bunch of hateful rhetoric. Then, let everyone know exactly why you took the post down and be clear that such behavior will not be tolerated.
It is surprising how many businesses extensively plan their advertising campaigns, yet use their social media platforms on the fly. Remember that social media is not only advertising, it is unique in that it is interactive advertising. So, give it the same attention to detail that you would with any of your other advertising endeavors. Don’t forget to collect appropriate data and use it to modify your plan as appropriate. Social media is a valuable marketing tool, but you get out of it exactly what you put into it.
More and more, social media is growing to dominate the Internet landscape. Spearheaded by Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram, users have embraced the call of social media in numbers like never before. Businesses that do not embrace this trend will likely fall behind their competition, and do serious damage to their profits and customer base.
Don’t believe it? Check out these statistics and trends from 2012, and see what we think it means for 2013.
Facebook is everywhere, and for good reason. This social network has more users and market share than any other. In 2012, the number of Monthly active Facebook users topped 850 million, and more than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways, from social sharing buttons, to widgets, to linking to their business’s Facebook page. On top of that, growth in non-western counties rose 41% in 2012. A Business2Community study has shown that 80% of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook.
In 2013, it is expected that these growth rates will continue to rise. Facebook has gradually become a fixture of global society, and users have come to expect that businesses will embrace this. The facts bear this out, as 77% of Business to Consumer companies and 43% of Business to Business companies acquired customers from Facebook. Failing to embrace this platform will mean lost customers, plain and simple.
Nowadays, it seems like everybody Tweets. You see them on television shows, radio programs, on websites, and basically everywhere. In 2012, 1 million new accounts were added to Twitter every day, and 32% of all internet users are using Twitter. Companies are using Twitter for marketing more and more as well, as 34% of marketers have claimed to generate leads using Twitter. This is cost-effective for their bottom line, as well, as sending out marketing tweets is free!
Of course, in 2013, these trends show no sign of slowing down. Businesses need to capitalize on these trends, or risk alienating their customers. One of the biggest complaints in 2012 that users had was that 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. Savvy businesses will interact with their customers in 2013, and gain customer trust and loyalty for doing so.
Google has leveraged its brand name and authority to promote their own social network, Google +, and Internet users are responding. This is likely due to the amount of interconnectivity with its other services. There were 625,000 new users on Google + every day in 2012, and this trend is expected to continue. Businesses have also embraced Google +, with 40% of marketers using it, and 67% planning to increase their Google + activities.
With Google’s power in the internet industry, this trend is expected to grow. It is unclear if Google + will grow to overtake Facebook, but it is quickly becoming too large to ignore.
Of course, there are numerous other social networks, both mainstream and niche, that have significant amount of users. However, the time has come where business owners can no longer ignore the big three and expect to remain in business for long. Make 2013 your year to focus on Social Media, and position your company to take advantage of what is no longer a fad, but a growing way of life for nearly a billion people.
After the shake-ups that rocked the online business world in 2012 (Panda and Penguin anyone?), savvy business owners are looking ahead to 2013 with an eye towards taking advantage of the next major developments. What’s the sticking point? No one’s sure just what they’re going to be!
Don’t worry; we’re here to help you out with that. We’ve done the research, polished up our crystal ball, and brewed the tea leaves. So without further ado, here are our predictions for top 3 things internet business owners need to know for 2013.
No, really. They will. Google and their guru Matt Cutts have focused almost completely on shutting down what they deem to be “black hat” SEO practices. This was the reason, of course, for the Panda and Penguin updates. And they’re not done yet.
Savvy business owners will take a long hard look at their website’s SEO portfolio. After all, even solid and established online businesses were hit hard by these updates. Are there questionable backlinks that you paid for years ago and have forgotten about? Get rid of them! If you’re really serious about it, hire a solid SEO firm to evaluate your entire website and bring it up to code. While it may be a significant expense up front, it will cost you less in the long run than losing customers because you were suddenly dropped to page 5 of the search results.
The uptrend of internet users who do their online shopping through their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) has been continuing for several years, and is expected to achieve parity with desktops and laptops in just a few years.
Savvy business owners should make sure that their website is mobile-friendly, whether that includes adaptive website templates, or redirections to mobile-specific sites. In addition, many businesses are turning to mobile apps as a way to make their services more convenient for their customers, and to subtly deter them from browsing the competition.
A successful “social” website is one that integrates social media for the convenience or engagement of their visitors. This can range from allowing users to login using their Facebook account, to adding Twitter widgets on the page itself, to the ubiquitous social sharing buttons.
Savvy business owners cannot deny the impact of social media on the internet landscape, and move to embrace it within their website. Social media use is growing, and social media integration is not coming to be expected by website visitors. So any business that doesn’t embrace this concept is likely to lose customers in the coming year to those who do.
Now that you’re forewarned, get out there and gird your website for another year of the battle for internet dominance. Embrace these ideas, and watch your profits rise!