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Optimize your Social Media Strategy in a Week

Social media is big and continues to grow and evolve. According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business and reach their business goals. Converting followers into paying customers is the ultimate goal of every business. To achieve that goal, you need to have a good social media strategy in place. If you manage your business’ social media marketing, read on.

Here are some tactics you can implement to help you get started on improving your social media strategy.

Choose your Image Wisely

Visual is king in digital marketing. Thanks to the availability of camera phones and social networks emphasizing visual elements, the ease of taking and uploading photos has increased dramatically.

Marketers who use visual content get more followers, more leads and more customer engagement. But to get that attention, you need to connect with the person on the other side of the screen. Choose images that appeal to your target audience, but make sure that it also fits your brand’s voice, style and mood.

In today’s mobile-driven world, producing content on a regular basis is a must in order to maintain a strong online presence. But with so many creative minds joining the social media sphere and great blogs emerging on almost a daily basis, capturing the attention of your target audience has become extremely difficult.

How do you cut through the noise and stand out in the online world? Visual content can help. Don’t believe us? Studies show that content with relevant images get 94% more views, likes and comments as compared to those without.

digital marketing and your business

How to Create Awesome Visual Content for Social Media

Customize stock photos

Stock photos have been tremendously helpful for those who don’t have a sizeable design budget and those who need them fast. But in order to stay with your brand and visual identity guidelines, it is important that you customize these photos. Plus, you wouldn’t want your audience to see the exact same photo in other sites, right? Tweak and customize stock photos to make them your own.

Use online editing tools

Creating visual content can be challenging. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert in photo editing to create great images. There are several online editing tools like Canva, Picmonkey and RelayThat that can help you create stunning visual content that looks like it came from a professional graphic designer.

Add a call-to-action

Ideally, great visual content should eye-catching and entice people to take action. Now that you have successfully captured people’s attention, let them know what you want them to do. Do you want them to share, like or comment on your post? Or do you want them to click through your content? You can either add a call-to-action on the image, in the description or both.

Be consistent

Colors can help make your visual content pop. It can help you capture the attention of your target audience and provide amazing results. But it is also important to stay consistent with the type of visual element you use like colors.

Choose 2 to 4 colors and stick to them when creating visual content. Use it in your logo, texts, images etc. Remember, having a consistent color palette is a must.

Focus on Platforms Where Your Customers Are

 

In order to build an online presence, you first need to define your business’ personality. Ask yourself how you want people to envision you. Also, define a consistent brand voice to drive consistency in your content creation efforts. Even if people view your content on different channels, you want to make sure that they could identify the content as coming from your brand.

When you are defining your brand, pay close attention to the types of people you hope to attract. Where are you going to find them?

Just like everyone else, most small business owners are pressured to have a presence on every social media platform. The problem is that a hot, new social media tool hits the scene almost every few months, making it extremely difficult to manage all those social accounts.

To make the most out of your social media marketing efforts, you need to focus on platforms where your customers are. Fish where the fishes are. Don’t waste your time, energy and resources fishing in an empty pond.

social media management focus on one network

It is okay to not have an account on every social media channel.

In fact, we recommend only focusing your attention on the one of two networks that your tribe is using. Master these and then, if you wish, you can begin using and focusing on additional networks. My strategy if you don’t have a team to back you up is to choose one social media network and stick to it. Really focus your efforts on growing engagement, your network, and traffic to your site.

A lot of business owners feel like they need to do EVERYTHING, but this can get overwhelming quickly. It can turn your best intentions into a quick hatred of all things social media.

By choosing one network and mastering that, you can always expand later.

So how do you choose which network to grow? Think about where your target market hangs out. B2B businesses often choose LinkedIn, but Pinterest could also be a great avenue for growing your online traffic.

Having huge networks is great, but you also want to make sure they are made of the right type of people who will potentially buy from you in the future. Focusing on one network can help you see these results more quickly.

Get the Attention of Influencers

An influencer is someone who carries influence over others. In the new world of digital relationships, people are receptive of recommendations from people they trust and respect. In fact, one study revealed that 40% of consumers had made a purchase because of an influencer’s recommendation; while 49% seek purchase guidance from an influencer.

One of the easiest ways to get an influencer’s attention is to share their content. Go ahead and share those contents without asking anything in return. Link out shamelessly and unceasingly. When you do, they are likely to take notice.

Another great way to capture the attention of influencers is through guest blogging.

Guest blogging is where you partner with another website and write an article specifically to publish on their blog. This tactic is an incredible way to increase your exposure to a new network of individuals. In order to leverage each guest blog post, however, you need to give readers a reason to head on back to your website. This is where the content upgrade comes in.

A content upgrade is a downloadable resource from your website that complements your guest post article. This could be a checklist, eBook, PDF, template, or whitepaper/case study. The important thing is to capture the individuals name and email address when you offer them their freebie.

Our strategy is to link your by-line or author bio in your guest blog post to a landing page on your website that discusses the content upgrade and includes a form to capture their name and email address.

social media marketing and your business

What Tools Can You Use to Manage Your Social Media

Aside from your website, social media provides an effective way to increase your web presence. It provides a way to generate PR for your company, build your brand and drive traffic to your website. You need to be active on social media if you are serious about achieving these goals. After all, you can’t expect any results if your page is inactive. The problem is that, social media marketing takes time.

If you are a business owner, you can’t afford to spend all day hopping from network to network, managing your social media accounts, planning future posts and checking analytics.

Are you looking for a better way to manage your social media posts?

Here are 4 social media tools to add to your arsenal.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most robust social media management tools around, and social media managers swear by it. The tool has a feature called Autoschedule. If you have multiple accounts, you can use this feature to manage your posts and make sure that they don’t appear on different channels all at the same time. It also shares your updates at the best possible time of the day to give them the greatest chance of being seen. Hootsuite also allows you to monitor and analyze your performance on your main social networks.

Buffer

Buffer allows you to easily distribute your content across multiple accounts. Just drop your updates to your Buffer queue and you don’t have to worry about when it will be posted. These posts will be posted for you well spaced out throughout the day.

Buffer also allows users to schedule up to 10 updates at once. The paid version, on the other hand, allows unlimited scheduling.

SocialOomph

Twitter has become one of the must-have marketing channels for any business. If you are interested in automating your Twitter marketing, SocialOomph is the best tool for you. It has a feature called Twitter unlimited, which allows you to manage your Twitter followers and direct messages box from within the app. The free level also allows you to work on up to 5 Twitter accounts. It helps you track keywords and schedule tweets.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social allows you to manage all your relationships, interactions and customer support from a single dashboard. This tool also analyzes your audience to determine the optimal times to deliver content. Because it’s not free, this is recommended for larger businesses that are looking for an all-in-one solution to manage their social media presence.

Social Media Strategy | Manage Social Media Accounts | See a Difference in Social Media Networks | How to Optimize Social Media

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Tips for Writing Better Social Media Posts

Most businesses use social media to promote their products and services and build a relationship with their target audience. What you share on social media can have an impact on your online marketing results, but knowing how to properly write content that your audience will love and share will help elevate your social media game.

Now, it’s time to get writing. Implement these tips when writing social media content to help boost engagement and make your posts stand out from the rest.

Use high quality photos

Make the most out of every post by adding an eye-catching photo to it. Studies suggest that social media posts with photos get an 87% interaction rate from users. Remember, the more likes, comments and shares you have on a post, the greater the reach. Make sure that the photo you’re using is compatible with your content. Use different types of photos and messages to see which ones your audience responds to.

Craft share-worthy posts

According to studies, 1.3 million pieces of content are posted on social media every minute. Because of this, social media posts have very short lifespan. Unless your content is interesting enough, these posts won’t be seen by your followers.

Create posts that are worth passing along. You already know who your target audience is and what topics they are interested in. The most share-worthy posts usually fall under these categories – entertainment, assistance, analysis, and information.

Use as few words as possible

Writing social media post is a lot harder than it looks. This is especially true in social media platforms like Twitter, since you’re only allowed to use 140 characters. But did you know that Tweets with 70 to 100 characters get the most retweets?

Although Facebook has a limit of 477 characters before it will show “read more” or “see more”, experts suggest writing shorter posts. In fact, they believe that 40 is the magic number to keep in mind when creating Facebook posts. 40 characters is not much at all, but these posts receive 86% higher engagement than others. That said, you need to choose your words wisely. Make every word count.

How to Write Better Social Media Posts | Social Media Best Practices | Writing your Social Media Posts | Content strategy for social media

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Social Media Audit

When was the last time you took an audit of your social media presence? Did it include analyzing your competition? Performing a social media audit can help you to see where you are at, project where you are headed, and see how you can improve your presence. The goal of an audit to to make sure you are still working towards your larger goals and figuring out how you can tweak the daily management of your accounts to align more closely with your vision.

On your own accounts:

  • Make a list of all of your accounts
  • Check the About description and information. Is it missing anything? Has anything been changed?
  • Grab your network size numbers. Have the numbers grown in size since the last time you performed an audit?
  • Dissect the user comments and engagement. Are you getting more engagement? Is the engagement positive? Who makes up your network on each account?

In a social media audit you should ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Where is my audience?
  2. Where is my audience active?
  3. Where is my audience searching?
  4. What niche social media sites are right for me?

Examine your social media profiles

Locate and document all your social media profiles, official and unofficial

  • “Why are we using this social account?”
  • “Why do we want to use it?”
  • “What are our goals for this social media platform?”
  • “Are our target markets using it?”
  • If you no longer have a good reason to use the account or you find that your target market is elsewhere, don’t hesitate to cut ties and focus your effort where it is better spent
  • Check for completion of all details on these profiles and for consistency in imagery and message
  • Follow up on your goals and compare performance today to performance one and two years ago

Next, take a look at your competition:

  • How frequently are they posting?
  • What is their network size?
  • Are they growing faster or slower than you?
  • What is the level of engagement with their fans?
  • Does anything stand out that they are doing well?
  • What can you learn from each account?

Examine those who do it well…

Find 4 to 8 niche influencers and examine how they manage their brand on social media. Observe the imagery and branding on each of their profiles and then:

Measure key metrics like followers and engagement

  • Branding: How does their overall look promote the brand? Can visitors get an accurate sense of their personality or culture? How have they chosen to use images in header and avatar?
  • Popularity: How many followers/likes does the page have?
  • Frequency: How often do they post? What do they do on weekends?
  • Engagement: What is the number of people talking about the brand compared to the number of fans?
  • Types of posts: What topics do they frequently discuss? What types of posts do they use: photos, questions, videos, chats, text? What is engagement like for each of these post types?

Where is my audience active & where are they searching:

Every minute, people are conducting millions of queries on Google, Twitter, and Facebook. If you are active on these social media platforms, then you have a chance at appearing in social media search results.

Any Niche sites? Just because 1 business gets leads from a site, doesn’t mean you will.

Social media audit - the number one thing you should do to measure success. When was the last time you took an audit of your social media presence? Did it include analyzing your competition? Performing a social media audit can help you to see where you are at, project where you are headed, and see how you can improve your presence. The goal of an audit to to make sure you are still working towards your larger goals and figuring out how you can tweak the daily management of your accounts to align more closely with your vision.

 

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Buying Fake Followers Can Ruin Your Business

Getting thousands of fans and followers on social media requires a lot of time and effort. For some, it may take several months. For others, however, a year would pass by and their follower count is still less than 500. But if someone offered to help boost your follower count by 10,000 in exchange of $20, would you grab the offer? It’s cheap! It can be tempting to buy fake followers, but please resist the urge to do so.

Having more followers can make you look popular, but it can negatively affect your business in a variety of ways. Here’s how buying fake followers can ruin your business.

It can ruin your reputation

Having more followers may help you feel good about yourself. It also makes you look popular in the eyes of potential and current customers. However, seeing your follower count jump from 100 to 10,000 in a matter of days will make people suspicious. Your credibility can be seriously compromised by buying fake followers.

It prevents you from reaching your audience

Social media provides a great opportunity for you to engage with your fans and followers and build a relationship with them. Since most of the followers you buy are bots, they won’t contribute to your engagement.

If you are using Facebook as your main social channel, then having fake followers will work against you. You see, Facebook has a fancy algorithm in which pages will only reach a certain percentage of their followers. If you have 10,000 fans and only 50 of them share, like or comment on your post, they’ll conclude that you are producing low quality content. As a result, people will be seeing your posts less frequently. Building a large number of followers who won’t be able to see your posts is a waste of time and money.

It hinders you from analyzing your true fan base

To help you create an effective social media marketing campaign, you will need to analyze the behavior of your target audience. Which type of content do they engage with the most? Which topics are they most interested in? How old are your fans? Where do they live? The answers to these questions will help you plan future content.

If majority of your followers aren’t real people, then it will prevent you from understanding your real fans and build a better marketing strategy.

 

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Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Nearly every brand use social media to engage with their audience and build brand awareness. It has become an important and necessary tactic in online marketing. While social media plays a huge role in a business’ success, committing some mistakes may produce the opposite effect.

Here are 4 mistakes that will kill your social media marketing campaign.

Talking too much about your brand

Most business owners use social media to increase brand awareness. After all, it’s a great place to promote your products and let people know about what’s happening about your business. While it’s fine to do this from time to time, please refrain from bombarding your fans and followers with too much information about your business.

Use social media to engage with your fans and followers. It should be a two-way communication. Share some tips, ask questions, encourage them to share their experience with your business etc. Your audience will also appreciate it if you share content that are informative, funny or interesting.

Creating accounts on too many platforms

We all know that social media platforms allow you to reach new people. But given the number of social channels available today, you may find it hard to manage all of these accounts at the same time. To maximize your social media efforts, we recommend that you focus on platforms where your target audience are. It is better to have a good presence on 2 social channels than a lacklustre presence on 5.

If your target audience are teens to young adults, consider focusing your efforts on Instagram and Snapchat. If you are looking to engage with business professionals, LinkedIn is the best option for you.

Ignoring reviews

Most people like to share their feedbacks on social media. If it’s a good feedback, then it would be really helpful for your business. If it’s a negative feedback, it may or it may not hurt your business. It actually depends on how you handle it.

When faced with a negative feedback, it is best to respond to it and ask the person to discuss matters privately. This will give people the impression that you care about your customers. When done right, you can rectify the issue at hand and turn the situation into a positive one. Never ignore negative reviews. Rather, use it as a way to improve your services.

Very little interaction

As a small business owner, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. But in order to see positive results from you social media marketing campaign, make sure you stay active. While we’re not suggesting that you should stay online 24/7, try to allot at least 2 to 3 hours of your day responding to comments, answering messages and interacting with people. If you don’t engage with them, then they’ll forget about you eventually.

Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign. Nearly every brand use social media to engage with their audience and build brand awareness. It has become an important and necessary tactic in online marketing. While social media plays a huge role in a business’ success, committing some mistakes may produce the opposite effect. Here are 4 mistakes that will kill your social media marketing campaign.

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Your Social Media Framework

Without a structure, it can be difficult to come up with topics for social media posts. We often see business floundering as they try to come up with posts each day or don’t realize there are tools to schedule out their posts so one day a month they post 5-10 items.

Being consistent on social media is one of the most important things that you need to be on social media. This includes both posting at consistent intervals and being consistent in your tone, messaging, and imagery. Your tribe will begin to understand what your business is like through this consistent message. Even if you post only one time per week or one time per month, at least you have that steady flow of information going out online.

To help you create your posting schedule, here are some sample topics you can include, as well as a weekly overview of how your posts can be organized.

Sample Social Media Topics:

  • Quotes
  • Product/Services Overview
  • Testimonials
  • Blog Posts
  • Industry Articles
  • Local Events/Activities
  • Related Topics
  • Day in the Life of Images/Stories
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • How tos
  • User generated
  • Podcasts
  • Livestreams
  • Ebooks
  • Guides
  • Share a Post
  • Questions
  • Surveys

The next step is organizing these so you again have consistency and can optimize your time and resources. For example, your blog posts will get the most traction if you always update them on the same day. This means they should consistently be shared on the same day.

Example Social Media Calendar

 

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Reasons Why Social Media Should Be Your Secret Weapon

Technology has transformed how entrepreneurs connect with their clients, customers and stay on top of the industry. Generally speaking, most businesses use social media to promote their business and boost their sales. Some even use it to make a difference and allow their business to grow.

Now, entrepreneurs have to understand that this social media craze is not just a fad. As a matter of fact, it can be considered as a secret weapon if you know how to implement it correctly. Here are a few reasons why you should get on board.

Keep your customers up to date

You may be able to send out promotional emails, display ads on newspapers or even nab radio and television spots in order to let your customers know about timely announcements, but if you wish to do it quickly, you can always turn on social media.

If you are to think, your social media followers are the same people who have indicated a willingness to be kept informed on all the events and promotions that your business will hold.

Customer service

Living in the digital age, we have reached the point where the use of social media for customer service is not only suggested, it is required.

Social media serves as a helpful and interactive platform that allows businesses to connect with their customers and respond to their concerns and questions in a timely manner. According to a survey, which was conducted by the Social Habit, 42% of the respondents who attempt to contact a company through social media expect a response within an hour; while 32% of which expects a response within 30 minutes.

Humanize your brand

Of course, people are only interested to do business with people. The goal of social media is to allow your personality to shine beyond your company’s logo.

By maintaining an active presence on social media, you are giving your consumers a chance to get to know you and your brand better. This type of behavior invites loyalty, garner authentic relationships and increase trust.

Reasons why Social Media should be your secret weapon: Technology has transformed how entrepreneurs connect with their clients, customers and stay on top of the industry. Generally speaking, most businesses use social media to promote their business and boost their sales. Some even use it to make a difference and allow their business to grow. Now, entrepreneurs have to understand that this social media craze is not just a fad. As a matter of fact, it can be considered as a secret weapon if you know how to implement it correctly. Here are a few reasons why you should get on board.

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Finding Your Target Market Online

As a marketing professional, it is imperative to be able to find our client’s prospects online. Our clients often ask us how we make sure that the folks we are targeting fit their ideal customer persona, so I assume this is a common question for business owners. I wanted to lay out the steps we take so you can follow them for your own business.

Though many of us have accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, SnapChat, Tumblr, etc, we can assume there are only one or two networks where we focus most of our online activity. Luckily, numerous agencies share data freely about the types of individuals that are found on each network and network growth over time.

For example, take a look at this chart from Smart Insights. 16-34 year olds dominate most networks, but if your market is 55-64 year olds (green marker), I would highly consider targeting LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. SnapChat wouldn’t be a valuable network for this age group.

social media demographics

Additionally, though it is common to hear that Facebook is on its way out, this is still the largest network of users. Twitter on the other hand has remained fairly stagnant over the past few years.

Data like this may sway where you want to put your attention on social media.

Exercise:
Write a description of your ideal customer. How old are they, what job do they hold, what do they do in their free time?

Look at the statistics of the social media networks, is there somewhere this person is most likely to be found (and active)?

Now work backwards. Make a list of each social media network. What type of customer have you had that would use this network? Now write what type of post they would be interested in seeing on that network (yes, you should tailor your social media posts to the market they are getting in front of)

Beyond data, our team also analyses what works for your competition. We often hear a client raving about how well Business X uses Facebook, for example, but when we actually take a look, their posts aren’t receiving any traction or they only are posting once per month. This leads to a conversation about what our client’s are viewing as a success.

By “spying” on competition, you can learn what has worked well, what seems to be a waste of time, and they types of graphics and posts your target market is used to seeing on each social media network.

Exercise:
Brainstorm a list of your competitors and other businesses that sell to your target market. Then find them on social media. Gather notes on their network size, average number of likes, shares, RT’s, and comments on their posts, the topics they post about, and if there is one network that seems to garner most of their attention. You can also use Fanpage Karma – http://www.fanpagekarma.com/ – to gather insights.

You don’t need to necessarily present this research in any specific way unless you are proposing it to a board or others at your organization. I use this research as a gut check and to establish expectations for clients. I do believe that if you are 100% devoted to a particular network, you can find results, so don’t necessarily cross off SnapChat, for example, if your competition hasn’t jumped on board yet.

My recommendation is to use this research from “spying” on your competition to gain a better understanding of the online landscape within your industry.

Know Yourself

Lastly, take a moment to reflect on your own interests. We’ve already looked at the overall trends for social media networks and seeing how your competition uses social media, but how do YOU use and interact with social media. Is there one network you absolutely love?

No matter what the research says, if you are passionate about a specific social media network, start there. Even though there are few 65+ individuals using SnapChat, you can still work to capture a portion of these individuals if you commit to working SnapChat.

If you are just jumping in, take a moment to consider where you would like to spend your time marketing your business. Use this as a starting point. You can always add more social media networks once you are confident in the process of marketing your business online.

Finding Your Target Market Online

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3 Types of Visual Content That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate

Finding ways to attract and encourage people to keep coming back to your site is no easy feat. If you are looking for ways to generate a stream of targeted traffic that converts, we recommend that you incorporate visual content into your digital marketing campaign.

Visual content is one of the most powerful online marketing tools. They are easy to consume and understand. On top of that, they also increase engagement, brand awareness and earn more new business.

Here are 3 types of visual content that will increase your conversion rate:

Infographics

We live in an era where an average person has an attention span of about 8 seconds. People want to get the information they want fast. Otherwise, they’ll move on swiftly to the next site. Infographics can help you reach your audience and grab their attention, mostly because you make things easier for them.

People love infographics. They are filled with valuable information, but are presented in a user-friendly layout. It requires less time to read, absorb and get the gist of information.

Images

Every day, the average consumer is exposed to a large volume of advertising messages. As such, it can be easy for your content to get lost in the jungle. Providing your text content with an appealing image can help you cut through the noise.

Photos are a great way to showcase your products and services. Take some photos of behind the scenes of your brand. Take some snaps shots of your team members, as well as the process that goes into creating your product. You may also include some photos of happy customers who have recently purchased your products or availed your services.

Videos

Studies suggest that posts with videos attract 300% more inbound links than text-only posts. But in order to set yourself apart in the digital era, you need to make sure that your video is of the highest caliber.

A great video serves as an extra clout for your campaign. It is useful for presenting common problems and then showing people how your products can solve that problem. Also, it is imperative that the videos are congruent with the overall style and ethos of your brand.

3 Types of Visual Content That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate

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How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

If you’re the content person for your brand, you’re probably busy creating pieces of content that aims to give out information about your products or services. You may also be focused in writing content that tell about your brand’s story. Amidst the churning out of content, have you ever stopped to think about why people choose to buy from your company? The answer is simple. It’s because they trust your company.

Whether you’re creating content for your clients, existing customers or new prospects, it is important to keep in mind that the real purpose of content marketing is to build greater levels of trust with your audience. Trust and credibility are important to win the loyalty of your customers.

Use these tips to create content that will help you enter your customer’s world and become an important part of it:

Put people first

In order to build trust and enhance your influence, you need to remember who you’re writing for. The content you create should be relevant to the people you are trying to communicate with. Know their demographics, determine your niche focus and stick with it.

Deliver high quality and relevant content to your audience on a regular basis. Overtime, people will see your brand as a trusted authority. They’ll keep coming back for more once they see you as a trustworthy source.

Be consistent

People don’t have an idea how reliable you are unless they start working with you. But by observing your activities and posting schedule, they can decide whether or not they can rely on you.

Choose your social media channels carefully and commit to being there regularly. Also, make it habit to post new content on your blog and update your site from time to time. By turning up regularly and publishing high quality and relevant contents on a regular basis, you will start to earn the confidence of your marketplace.

Interact with your audience

Newsletters, social media updates and blog posts are a great way for your audience to stay up-to-date with your business. But it’s not supposed to be a one-way communication. Find ways to interact with your audience online.

You can ask questions, encourage them to send photos of them with your products, share their stories etc. Don’t forget to respond to mentions on social media and reply to comments on your blog. Through this strategy, you’ll be able to build a relationship with your target audience. Through this relationship, they will come to trust you.

How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Credibility

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