In today’s world, digital marketers need to keep up with many different contributing factors to a successful social media strategy.
In this Q&A, we caught up with three expert speakers scheduled to present at who each talked about a different area strategists should master. First, we all know video is a powerful tool for engagement, but live video is an even more powerful and authentic tool to draw in an audience. Second, we get into insourcing vs. outsourcing social media and when companies should do each. Third, we dive into how companies can prepare for an inevitable social media crisis ahead of time.
Each speaker will be part of the track at SMMW, which is sponsored by . You can hear more insights from them by attending their sessions mentioned below.
Carmen Shirkey Collins, Social Media Lead of Cisco’s talent brand (@WeAreCisco)
Carmen is an award winning social media enthusiast with ten years experience. She has managed Cisco’s talent brand social media team for over three years with the aim of helping the company acquire and retain top talent.
Carmen will be part of a panel of social media experts for the How Brands Are Succeeding With Live Video session.
Q: How big of an effect has video had on businesses using social media?
A: Brands that understand that social is mobile do well. You need content that draws the attention of people who are on their mobile device because most people are. If you post a 5 minute video, no one will watch it. Brands that do short snippets of video see success.
Q: How is live video a helpful tool for businesses compared to pre-recorded videos?
A: Live video is more authentic. Anything can happen when you’re live and that’s what makes it real. It makes it more personable and relatable.
At Cisco, we’re cultivating our employees to be camera correspondents on live video. They show their personality, interview each other and talk about what life at Cisco is like. No one cares what a brand says. They care what people say, so we ask our employees to be our influencers, and it really does work for us.
Q: How difficult is it to implement a video into your social media strategy?
A: Anyone with any budget can do video. You have to think about who your audience is and how you want to do it. Know your audience, what your message is, how to say it, and have goals to show success. If your goal is awareness, it’s different metrics than click throughs.
Brooke B. Sellas, CEO and Founder of B Squared Media, LLC.
Brooke runs a social media and digital marketing agency, which she founded six years ago. Her company specializes in “done-for-you” social media management where customers outsource their social media presence. The agency will develop, implement and run a customized social media strategy based on clients’ specific needs.
Brooke will be part of a panel of speakers during a session titled, Organization for Social Success: Insource? OutSource? No Source? Panelists will debate whether organizations should outsource their social media presence or keep it in house.
Q: What is your side of the debate during your session at SMMW?
A: My view is very different because my business offers outsourcing. I believe social media should be in house because no one knows your brand or your company better than you do. But I think there will always be a need for people like us. The average social media manager in the U.S. is making $96,000 a year. Not everyone can budget for that. You also have to get them to work Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. That won’t always happen, so there will always be a need for outsourcing.
Q: What’s a common mistake you see social media marketers make today, and what should they be doing instead?
A: A lot of mistakes are around . To make your KPIs, you have to know what your goals are. Don’t just go by basic metrics. Not everyone cares about their number of followers. If your goal is 10,000 followers, that’s great, but what if those followers aren’t meeting your other goals?
One of our clients is in a very niche market, so they don’t have a ton of followers on social media. But what they do have is a very high click through rate, and that’s important to us.
Q: What’s a life lesson you learned early in your career that really helped you professionally?
A: For me, business growth is truly somewhere in between company culture and ruthless efficiency. You need to have processes that are shareable and transferable on the efficiency-side, but you also need people who understand the company mission. Somewhere in between is the perfect formula for growth.
As for social media, think conversation and not campaign. If people picked up on that, they would do a lot better on social.
Fiona Birch, Founder & Chief Digital Strategist of Pro Athlete Online
Fiona is a social media expert that specializes in risk management. Her company helps teams, coaches, and athletes of all levels build a resilient brand on social media in order to withstand future crises and create opportunities.
She will be speaking at the How to Protect Your Reputation by Building a Resilient Brand session.
Q: What is social media risk and how do you help people handle it?
A: It’s about bad situations that happen to you and having a strong enough brand reputation that you can weather an inevitable crisis. I get people to understand they are going to have a situation at some point. What are you doing now to prepare for it?
I’ve worked a lot on social media risk, and my company often does get brought in after the fact. But it’s about building something that withstands those situations before they happen. We look at what’s good to do and what’s bad to do. You should never be in crisis mode.
Q: What’s a best practice you suggest to people to better prepare themselves for social media crisis?
A: Show people the real you so they’ll accept all of you. If people feel like you are being yourself and they know who you are, even if you’re arrogant, they’ll still think you’re sincere. Always be honest and truthful because you need to deal with perceptions.
Q: What are some examples of crises people need help with?
A: NFL player Laremy Tunsil went through a crisis right before the draft when a video posted on his Twitter account of him smoking marijuana. He needed to protect his password ahead of time.
Look at people like Logan Paul. He apologized and did a fantastic job, but that’s after the fact. What do you do to build a resilient brand ahead of time?
Venus Williams was in a car accident and someone died because of it. If she was drunk driving or had a history of it, you’d say, “here we go again.” There would be assumptions. But she’s been very open, so she didn’t get that type of reaction. People said, “hey, hang on. There must be something more here.”
Q: What’s a life lesson you learned early in your career that really helped you professionally?
A: Someone told me about 20 years ago to show those around you that you are a thinker and not just a doer. If you are asked to do a lesser jobs, show the thinking behind what you are doing. You’ll get viewed differently. But at any stage, show you are a thinker, and you’ll get more professional respect.
Make sure you catch these speakers at their sessions during the Corporate Social track at SMMW, sponsored by GaggleAMP. Feel free to come by our booth to learn how you can use GaggleAMP for free for a year!
A while ago I wrote an article about how „brands“ relate to „sales“ in social media marketing. But talking to some entrepreneurs and business owners about social media marketing I realized that there is a gap in the conception of social media marketing and sales.
Either people want to do direct sales like a social media post „here is my product, buy it“ and then measure how much money they made from it– or they do not understand why they need social media marketing at all – because the relationship between social media marketing and „sales“ is not clear.
People who do not instantly see the benefits of social media marketing have a hard time to understand why it is good for their business to invest in building an audience, to increase brand awareness, and to build trust with their audience. And I admit that I often struggle to explain the benefits of social media marketing to people who are not aware of the benefits of social media for their brand.
Because sales is a process and not an event.
Understanding the benefits of NOT selling in social media is based on understanding the complete process of „sales“.
For lack of understanding the sales process, I often see business owners turning to advertising – and lose a ton of money with it. Because even with Facebook advertising it rarely is as simple as having an ad saying „buy my product“.
Advertising promises an easy relationship between „invest x$ and get yy$ out of it“. But the hard truth is that this equation will often not yield the best results if you try to use it as a short cut instead of seeing the advertising as part of the complete sales process.
A buying decision rarely comes on the spur of the moment (if it is not us women buying a pair of shoes).
Whether you generate awareness via social media marketing or ads – the conversion rate will suck if you fail to build relationships and trust.
Most buying decisions take time to mature.
Selling starts with interest, maybe even need. But the buying decision comes later:
after some comparison with other offers
after gathering more information on the offering party
often it needs a reminder that there is an offer
trust helps immensely
and other factors like scarcity, endorsements or customer reviews increase your chances
And that is what a good sales process takes into account. And that is also where social media marketing may go a long way towards not feeling and tasting like sales at all.
A good sales process takes control of the branding, trust building and maturing! And social media marketing can play an important role in the sales process – but it is only one step in the process.
The Social Media Sales Process
Image Source: Slideshare of Carla Gates
Let me tell you a secret: All our great blog posts are part of our sales process. Do you feel sold to when you consume them? I hope not.
We try to be helpfull with the content we provide. The salesy blog posts are rare on our blog. We only do them when we have are launching a new offer. The aim of the blog is to provide value – but one reason that we do it is because these posts „sell“. They are part of the sales process. And we have to make a living, too.
Social Media Channels
The same goes for our social media channels. You will have a hard time finding sales speak on our Twitter or Facebook accounts. It may be one in a couple of hundreds of tweets where we directly speak about one of our products. And you will never hear us shouting out post after post about buying our stuff.
That is simply not how selling with social media works.
Still, our social media channels are part of our sales funnel as well. We use them to generate traffic to our blog posts by sharing links to the blog posts. And hopefully, you „like“ what you get on the social media channels, because that is what we aim at. We earn your attention on our social media channels by providing value and information that you WANT TO HAVE.
And that is how it should be: If you don’t provide value on your social media accounts, why should people follow you on social media and listen to you?
But, if social media marketing is about providing value, where do you make sales?
Creating content, posting on social media, generating traffic to the content: it is all part of the sales process. Getting people to your website is a very important step in this process.
And now, when you have people on your website it is up to you how to pursue: You can either let them see your products directly on your website, or you can keep providing value and tighten the relationship.
Nurturing and Building Trust
The first time a visitor comes to your website is often not the point where you can turn him/her into a customer. Even on your website, your sales process is not over. You want to make sure that you can keep in touch with your visitors and nurture the relationship. A first time visitor will often not trust you enough to buy – so make him come back and keep building the trust until the time is right to close the deal.
Image Source: LinkedIn Pulse
Taking Control Of your Lead Nurturing
Some lead nurturing and trust building can be done with social media if you provide enough value. If people listen to you on social media and get a ton of value out of following you, they will start trusting you. But „reach“ comes into the game here: No social media post will reach all people from your audience and it is extremely hard (or rather almost impossible) to control who sees your social media updates and who does not.
So you have two options here: either you repeat your (sales) message on your social channels until you most likely reached everyone from your audience – and risk destroying your hard earned reputation as being valuable instead of promotional. Or you take your sales efforts to another channel, where you have more control over who and how many people from your audience see your sales message and only repeat the message to the part of your audience that you want to repeat it to.
That is where your email list comes into the sales game. And your email list is where most of your sales will happen.
Building an Email List
A simple signup form is the first step towards turning your social media audience into email subscribers. The shared content will bring your social media audience to your content and there you can ask them to subscribe.
The advantage of email subscribers over social media audience is that you have a lot more control over them: You can see who opened your emails, who clicked on links you shared. You can also see who already got a sales message and who did not. You have control over your sales message and who you reach.
Social Media Marketing is a small part of the process
But the part is important. Social Media marketing is where you can scale this sales process as social media allows you to reach a huge amount of people and build an audience without necessarily spending more money on reaching this audience.
And the secret to social media marketing success is to let it be part of the sales process without making it taste and smell like sales. Promotional messages and sales speak rarely spread like wildfire – value does. And that is why being valuable can tremendously increase your sales!
At this point, almost every business understands the value social media brings to their business. Whether it is brand visibility, web traffic, or lead generation, social is typically a main strategy that is included in marketing and sales.
With the growth and importance of social media over the years, another important strategy that complements marketing is employee advocacy. The concept is simply getting employees of any department to advocate and share the brand messages to their social networks.
Getting more than your marketing or sales departments active on social leads to exponential brand growth and a way to tap into new markets or more prospects at a quicker more effective rate.
A Nielsen study showed that 84% of people trust recommendations from friends, family, colleagues over other forms of marketing. Just one stat that shows why getting employees involved in sharing content and your brand online makes sense.
Yet, even if your company makes it easier for employees to get involved and share with employee advocacy software, many still feel intimidated or not comfortable with getting involved.
It can be a natural feeling and totally understandable. In order to prepare employees better for social media marketing, you’ll need to follow a few of the tips below.
Don’t block social media from employees
Although a pretty obvious point, surprisingly there are still a lot of companies that block access to social media sites (besides those working in marketing) for fear of distractions or lack of productivity.
Certainly, social media can be a time suck or time waster. But if your goal or interest in getting your brand messages to further audiences, blocking is absolutely not a good option.
As a manager or executive, it’s easy to get concerned that employees will just ignore their work and get lost in their social media accounts.
However, according to a survey by Microsoft, 46 percent of workers say their productivity has improved because of social media and social tools. Additionally, 37 percent wish their organization’s management would embrace social media tools in the workplace in order to increase productivity.
Research by the University of California, Irvine team mentioned in this Forbes article found occasionally visiting social media sites can work as a mood booster and can give your workforce a “mental palate cleanser.”
Have a simple and accessible social media policy
Of course, there could be some employees that stray and spend maybe a bit too much time on social media while at work. However, to defer that, it’s important a clear and easily accessible social media policy is in place.
Employees and new hires should have a clear indication of what is allowed and that it is encouraged. It should be simple in language and be extremely easy to access at any time.
Another reason employees may be hesitant is that they are potentially afraid of any repercussions of sharing or stepping over anyone’s toes by what they share on social. A policy will make it clear and should help put employees at …read more
My biggest pet peeve is when I follow someone on Twitter, and almost immediately my inbox goes off, and a canned message appears thanking me for following said person.
Automated direct messages come across as impersonal, annoying and lazy. You don’t want your organization to be any of those things.
If you want to reach out to a new Twitter follower, be sincere about it. Try using this template to start:
“Hi, [Username]. We noticed that you just started following us on Twitter. We wanted to say thank you. If you need anything, reach out and let us know.”
11. Use GIFs Wisely
The latest “thing” that companies are creating to get people to interact with them is to write a random relatable quote and slap a GIF on it.
While that may have worked the first five times, now every company out there is trying it and when you’re already trying to stand out in a crowded feed, following what everyone else is doing will get you nowhere.
If your team decides that GIFs will be a part of your Twitter strategy do the following:
Decide what types of posts need to have a GIF.
What types of GIFs are appropriate for your organization to use.
How often your teams can use GIFs per day.
When using a GIF is appropriate.
12. Post At The Best Times On Twitter
The lifespan of a tweet is about 18 minutes. That means you have an 18-minute window to gather the most views on your content. How do you do that?
You want to post at the times when your followers are on.
Here is when to tweet in general to increase retweets and click-throughs:
Around 5–6 p.m.
13. Use Twitter Lists To Help Curate Content
Want to know one of the hacks to keeping up a steady stream of Twitter content? Curate content from your Twitter lists.
A Twitter list is a list of users that a person has added into a specific group that will generate a feed of content from only those selected accounts.
These are great for when you’re following a bunch of thought leaders in your industry and need some awesome content to share in a hurry.
If you want to learn how to create a Twitter list check out this video:
Once you’ve created your lists you can scroll through those select feeds and begin to curate content. However, don’t just read a headline and add the article or video to your publishing schedule.
Follow these three steps before you add any content to your publishing schedule:
Read the entire article. A headline does not tell you all the information that is included in the content. Take the time to actually read the content before you share it.
Check to make sure that the information referenced is coming from a reliable source. It’s easy to skim content and share it but if they information that you share with your followers isn’t accurate it can damage your own creditability, so share wisely.
Give credit to the content owners. No one likes having their worked swiped from them so be sure to give credit where credit is due.
14. Use Images To Grab People’s Attention On Twitter
Adding images and graphics to your tweets will get you 18% more clicks.
When tweeting a link to your latest blog post, use one of the images from the post to help drive more clicks on the shared link. The image should relate directly to the subject of your blog post, which should help incentivize people to click.
Here are some general guidelines for using images on Twitter:
Make sure you use images in every tweet.
Stick to using images that are 440 x 220px
Google+ Marketing Tips That Will Help You Get More Done
15. Create Headlines For Your Posts
The more users notice your Google+ posts, the more likely they are to engage.
Not only does adding a headline help your post stand out, but Google uses the first words of your Google + post to help it stand out in the Google searches.
Adding the right headline can help your post stand out in search results, and can greatly influence the number of people who both notice and click through to your content. –Cyrus Shepard, formerly of Moz
Here is an example of a Google+ headline:
16. Use Big Images To Capture Your Audience’s Attention
Over at Quicksprout, Neil Patel said this about images:
The bigger, the better! Take advantage of the technology in web design and monitors and use big and bold images.
That’s one great thing about Google +. You can take advantage of those big pictures.
Here are a couple of general tips for using images effectively on Google+:
Use images with the .png format rather than the .jpg format to make sure you have high clarity.
Stick to using images that are 426 x 255px.
17. Post At The Best Times On Google+
You are completely missing out on traffic to your content if you aren’t posting at the best times for click-throughs.
Here is when to post on Google+ for more click-throughs:
18. Use Communities To Build Traffic
Blogger Tips Tricks said, “Google Plus has highly active, close-knit communities which can give you massive exposure. Some of these groups have more than 100K members and have high chances of getting significant traffic if you post valuable posts.”
So, if you aren’t on Google+ Communities with a significant amount of members, you’re missing out.
This thorough step-by-step video will help when looking for Google+ Communities:
19. Create Circles With Your Connections
Creating Circles with other people is a super easy way to grow your Google+ following base and bring traffic to your content. You can create circles for your work, groups you are a part of, location, industry, and even for your niche.
Say you want to add someone to a circle. Press follow:
You’ll be able to pick which circle you want to add them to:
Having connections in your circles will help you grow traffic by creating relationships.
20. Create Collections To Help People Find Your Content Easier
Having collections makes it easy to organize all your content. You can share your collections publicly, or you can keep them private.
When you create your first few collections, you’ll see this:
Click Create a collection. Name your collection here.
After naming your collection, press Create:
Then you will be brought here:
When you click on the pen icon, you will be able to write up your collection post, add a link, image, and even a video.
Collections give your audience an excellent way to find more content on the topics they love.
Instagram Marketing Tips To Boost Your Strategy
21. Switch Over to a Business Profile
If your organization’s Instagram profile isn’t a business profile yet, you are missing out on potential data.
Instagram business profiles allow your team to optimize your profile, add contact information and your website into the bio section making it much easier for your audience to interact and connect with you.
To switch over to a business profile, click the setting on your Instagram page:
Scroll down to Switch to Business Profile:
Flip the switch, and you’re done.
DID YOU KNOW: Once you have an account set up, you can schedule all your Instagram posts using CoSchedule? See how here.
22. Keep Your Photos Styled Within One Color Scheme
Keep your Instagram profile uniform by keeping your photos within one color scheme. Not only does keeping them in this palette make it easier for fans to recognize your photos it creates a more cohesive profile.
From my own experiences, I can tell you that your photo IS important but so is the look of your Instagram feed as a whole. Creating a cohesive feed helps bring the tone of your brand across without having to say a word (literally).
How do you know what type of color scheme to use?
Use the color scheme that is consistent with your brand. That means that you can pull colors from your logo or other branding materials.
You may need to pull out your branding book or talk with your designers to find out what those colors are.
If you don’t have your branding developed yet think about the tone that you want your brand to convey. If you’re a fashion and style brand use bold bright colors like Instagram user @rclayton:
Her fashion-forward feed is full of bright, electric colors that complement bold fashion choices. Together those colors convey a sense of confidence which is on point with her personal brand.
Recommended Reading:How to Build Social Media Branding Guidelines to Make Your Brand Memorable
23. Choose One Filter and Stick With It
Like we’ve already mentioned, consistency in your content is key to a successful Instagram feed. Another way to keep your feed consistent is picking one filter and sticking with it.
If you have a design team at your disposal, you may not even need a filter.
If you do decide to choose a filter the first thing that you need to do is determine the aesthetic of your brand.
Do you want your photos to have more of a grunge feel or a light and airy feel?
Using your branding guide, look for the keywords that describe your brand.
Bundle them into a group of three and experiment with different filters to find the one that you and your team believe best convey’s the intended aesthetic.
24. Include an Optimal Number of Hashtags
Hashtags are a big part of Instagram’s posts because it allows photos and video content to become searchable on the channel.
Unlike Twitter, your Instagram post has a lot more room to breath, but that doesn’t mean you should go hashtag happy on every post.
Too much of something is not always a good thing.
Our research found that 11 is the optimum number of hashtags that you should add to a post to help encourage people to interact with it:
If you’re struggling to figure out what types of hashtags to add to your post try a different mix of industry, branded and trending (when applicable) hashtags.
25. Experiment With Your Posting Times
Ask anyone about the best times to post on Instagram, and you’ll probably get a variety of answers from 2 in the morning to later in the evening around 5 pm.
What if we told you it was all of them? Active hours for your audience will vary so experiment with your posting times to see when you can garner the most reactions.
Our research suggests trying:
2 am. (Unless you like sleep in which case, sleep).
Between 8 am and 9 am.
After 5 pm.
Recommended Reading:What 20 Studies Say About the Best Times to Post on Social Media
26. Utilize The Multi-Image Feature To Stand Out In A Crowd
As of February 2017, Instagram added: “Instagram Albums” or the ability to upload more than one photo to a post. Why is adding more than one photo such a game changer?
It allows your team to expand on your initial post to tell a more extensive story.
DID YOU KNOW: You can schedule multi-image posts in CoSchedule? Learn how here.
A few examples that you could utilize Instagram Albums for are:
New Product Launches
Instead of trying to choose one perfect photo to showcase a new product now you can show multiple angles and even use cases.
Check out this example from Nike:
A post shared by nike (@nike) on
Using Instagram Albums can be a great way to recap an event your organization hosted or attended.
Homecoming events are a great thing to recap in an album. Check out this example from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.:
A post shared by Concordia College (@concordia_mn) on
27. Utilize Instagram Stories To Stand Out In The App
Instagram Stories is the Snapchat copycat that launched on the platform a little more than a year ago. These short ten second videos are broadcasted right to the top of your fan’s feed like this:
Instagram Stories can be used in a variety of different ways like:
Showing behind the scenes content.
Showcasing culture moments for your organization.
Live demonstrations of how to use your product.
The best part is that Instagram Stories go straight to the top of the app and you can add as many photos and videos as you want without having to worry about spamming your followers.
Here’s a quick video that shows you how to use Instagram Stories:
Pinterest Marketing Tips To Get Sh*t Done
28. Pin At The Best Times
Like Twitter, Pinterest is overflowing with content. That constant stream of content can make it hard to stand out which is why posting your pins at the right time will help them gain traction.
Our research has shown that the following times are the optimum periods to publish pins:
From 8–11 p.m. (There is a 9 p.m. peak!)
Around 2–4 a.m. and from 2–4 p.m.
And last but not least 1–3 p.m.
29. Use Long Visuals On Pinterest To Capture Your Audience’s Attention
The most successful image size for Pinterest images and graphics are long visuals.
Here are a few tips for visuals on Pinterest:
Make sure you link to content on your blog or website so you can convert the traffic.
Stick to using images that are 600 x 1102px.
Make sure that the content you add to the pin is easy to read and digest. These need to be skimmable images after all.
30. Use Keywords In Your Pin Descriptions
Pinterest is a heavy keyword site meaning that if you target keywords in your pin descriptions, your pin will surface when that particular keyword is searched.
To start, consult your SEO content strategy. If you’ve centered your content around keywords that your audience is looking for you should already know the keywords to add to your content.
Pull the top ten keywords that your audience searches for and start to create content descriptions with those keywords.
It’s easier to think of your pin descriptions as mini meta-descriptions. In our research, we found that descriptions that were about 215 characters performed best:
31. Pay Attention To What Is Trending On Pinterest To Bring In Traffic
Utilizing trending topics on Pinterest can help give your pins a little extra boost.
Click on the icon next to the search bar.
Then trending topics will populate in the bar below:
Although trending topics can be a great way to give your pins an extra boost, don’t throw your pins into a trending topic unless it makes sense for it to be there.
Let’s face it; it would be weird if your blog infographic showed up in a list of maternity photos.
32. Link Your Pins Back To Your Website
Linking your pins back to your website is important because without that backlink your audience can’t find you. Sure they could Google you, but people are lazy (myself included). Make it easy to find you.
You can check your Pins to make sure they lead back to a website page by hovering over your Pin.
Scroll down to Website:
If the website link is blank, you need to place a URL link there. Press Save.
This might seem like a small, time-consuming step, but it’s important to do a comprehensive sweep through your pinned content to make sure your pins are directing traffic to your blog or content elsewhere on the web.
33. Promote Your Pins
Let’s say your content is producing a ton of traffic and more than half is coming from Pinterest. Wouldn’t you want to boost that pin to gain even more traffic?
Promoted pins are easy to use. To promote a pin go to the left-hand side of your Pinterest profile and click Ads. You can select a variety of different ads depending on what you want your end goal to be:
For this example, we’re going to promote a pin that increases traffic. Click Create Campaign:
From there Pinterest will walk you through how to set up a pin including creating a target audience, choosing target keywords, setting ad spend and more:
Finally, you’ll select your pin, and your campaign will start running. Easy right?
34. Design Infographics That People Want To Read
Infographics are the heart and soul of Pinterest. They’re visually stimulating and highly informative which makes them a sharing goldmine. But, only if they’re done correctly.
There are seven steps that you need to follow in order to create Pinterest-worthy infographics:
Maximize Your Presence With These LinkedIn Marketing Tips
35. Make A Great First Impression With A Completed LinkedIn Profile
Your business wants to make a substantial first impression on LinkedIn. People are searching for a solution, and they shouldn’t have to go through the extra work of having to click to your website to find out more about you.
So what does a completed profile look like?
A Concise About Us Description
Your “About Us” description needs to be concise enough to skim but thorough enough to answer the question “What do you do and what can you do for me?”
List Need To Know Company Details
The next and last part of your bio should include details like where your company is located, a web address and specialties that your organization works in:
36. Build Traffic By Creating Your Own LinkedIn Group
Creating a group is another way to build traffic on LinkedIn. To form your group, you must:
Choose a niche and specialty category that you’d like to focus on.
Write up your group description. Be sure to include the name of your target market and your group’s category.
Monitor and manage your group.
You want your group to be a clean atmosphere for people in your industry to come and chat about what you all enjoy.
That means keeping a steady stream of content so be prepared to throw in articles, white papers, podcast links and more those first few weeks to keep the discussion going.
Beware of people who are sharing their content merely to get a few extra page views. If the content is relevant to the discussion, by all means, leave it in. However, you don’t want other group members to get spammed by content so monitor your page daily if you can.
37. Always Share Engaging Content To Build Trust
There are a bunch of things that go into writing engaging messages.
Make sure you have these in mind when you’re writing:
Write about something your audience will enjoy.
Get to the point.
Share your content often.
When you share content filled with actionable and helpful information you are building trust with your audience.
…the next step is to stay top of mind by sharing great content that delivers on-going value to your audience. –JoAnne Funch
38. Capture The Attention Of Your Audience With Images
According to Neil Patel, attaching images to your content adds 98 comments.
By capturing the attention of your audience, you’re able to hook them into your content and engage with them.
Here are LinkedIn’s golden image rules:
Do your images have a personal touch?
Make sure your images are 531 px wide.
39. Post At The Best Times On LinkedIn
We’ve found that LinkedIn posts receive the bulk of their likes, comments and reach potential within 2 hours of it’s posting. To maximize that potential you need to post when your audience is online.
When to post on LinkedIn for the most click-throughs:
40. Publish Content On LinkedIn Pulse To Get More Eyes On Your Content
Publish posts to LinkedIn Pulse by pressing Publish a post. (You may republish things you’ve published elsewhere as long as it is your original content that you own the rights to.)
Add a headline:
Once you publish your post, it will appear as a long-form post.
Sharing posts on LinkedIn will help build you engage with your audience and direct traffic back to your blog by including a strong CTA.
After you finish writing your post, put your bio at the bottom and link back to your website.
Now You’re Ready To Build Traffic With Social Media Marketing Tips
You now know the social media marketing tips it takes to build traffic to your blog, website, and social media profiles.
If you can take one of these 40 social media marketing tips and put it into practice, you’ve got what it takes to conquer the world when it comes to marketing on social media.
This post was originally written by Devin Joubert and published on July 25, 2016. It was updated with new information and republished by Breonna Bergstrom on Dec. 12, 2017.]
Social media is a critical channel for businesses looking to distribute branded content to their market. It puts companies in front of marketing qualified prospects who may not yet have thought to conduct a basic Google keyword search leading them to your website. Social media is a powerful channel you can leverage in order to connect with and build your target audience.
Reach is the first hurdle in marketing. It represents the starting line of a prospect’s journey down a path that ultimately leads to an exchange with your company. Reach is the combination of followers and their level of engagement, and it is tied inextricably to the content published through your social channels.
What types of content are you integrating into your social media marketing plan this year? While they may be well-written and aesthetically pleasing, if you don’t optimize them according to your marketing goals, they run the risk of being reduced to a costly cluster of ineffective posts.
I am excited to join Scoop.it and Boulder SEO on Wednesday, March 9th at 11:00 am PST (2:00 pm EST) for a complimentary webinar where we will be presenting tips for being more successful with content marketing, search engine optimization and social media for inbound marketing. Registration is open now on a first come, first serve basis.
Digital marketing experts Chris Raulf and Julie Gauthier join me in presenting how to create and promote buyer-person targeted content that will boost organic search traffic and generate more leads.
This post will cover some of the presentation’s highlights, so you can be confident it’s worth carving out 45 minutes from your busy schedule to make it a priority.
The value of social media marketing
Social media is more than a distribution platform for content. When you are a results-driven marketer, it can be easy to forget this. Social media allows us to better hear what others in the market are saying, and it provides further validation for our business through social proof. It also affords us the ability to initiate digital relationships and nurture them into highly valuable personal ones.
Setting goals and assigning time to social media marketing produces a powerful soft-ROI that is proven to grow over time. B2B companies with a good strategy and training in place can see direct ROI from prospecting on LinkedIn. For most marketers, however, the days of instant ROI are waning fast. Practices that support long-term goals can help companies to dominate their markets years from now.
People are motivated to follow and endorse companies across social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram because they perceive value in the business and want to capture some of it. This behavior is shared by potential and current customers alike.
While followership on Facebook doesn’t hold much weight for organic reach, it is a strong testament to the power of social proof. It should also be noted that Facebook’s advertising model is powerful when properly leveraged.
Organic status updates on social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn are seen by the followers of B2B companies, whose reactive social activity is in turn seen by their own connections and followers whenever they like or share a status update.
A strategic plan of action is necessary in order to steadily grow your followership, and the associated activities vary across each social platform. Your goal should be to see a steady increase quarter over quarter, and year over year across your chosen social networks. Speed of action breeds momentum.
A good place to start when examining your followership is your customer base or end-users. Are you connected with them on LinkedIn? Do you have a custom audience for advertising built within Facebook? Have you added them to a Twitter list?
You can’t invite people to a party and not deliver on the promise of a good time. People are less inclined to attend if they sense it will be a dud. If it ends up being anticlimactic and not what they expected, there’s a good chance they will lose interest and disengage. They may even leave the party entirely if it’s not what they thought they signed up for in the first place.
Engagement is a key indicator of influence.
The way we typically want our followers to engage is through our own branded content. At least that’s what all us fancy marketers push. At the same time, constantly tooting one’s own horn is widely regarded as business-centric and not putting the customer first. Who wants to attend a party with a self-centered host?
The ideal mix of content you should strive to achieve is comprised of both in-house and 3rd party content that accomplishes two things:
It fits the best practices of the particular social channel
It achieves your company’s marketing goals
While it may take some time to find the right balance of type and frequency, a regular review of analytics will steer you the right direction.
Why 3rd party content
Do not underestimate the power of 3rd party content in your social media. Just because your company didn’t produce it, doesn’t mean you can’t wield it to extend awareness for your brand.
Businesses of all sizes are faced with the challenge of efficiently distributing their content. The key factors to engaging a prospect are timeliness and relevance. Effectively influencing them requires delivery of top quality content. When you curate content or share 3rd party content, you can focus on solving the first problem without the hefty cost of producing the content.
Curated content turns your social profiles into a hub of information for your vertical. Who says your content has to stay strictly within the swim lanes of your products or services? Your prospects and customers have a lot of other things happening in their lives outside of your industry.
I’m not suggesting your content dive into entirely unrelated pools, but consider the greatest problems and opportunities of your customers that are in some way tied to your company’s offering or solution. What can you share on Twitter that might help your ideal customer in that moment and endear you to them?
Leveraging 3rd party content
For inbound marketing, it may seem counter-intuitive to direct someone away from your website. However, we know from widely-accepted human psychological theories that being overbearing or clingy doesn’t always incite greater love or connection. In fact, many times this can elicit the opposite effect. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
However, let’s not push anyone too far away by constantly redirecting them. Using 3rd party content, here are some effective tactical approaches that will ultimately generate the referral traffic we desire:
Tracked URLs: We all have our go-to pieces of content that others may have written but that we enjoy sharing with others. I’ve cited a couple in this very post. For sales people, it is an excellent tool for building rapport with prospects. But it’s important to understand the influence of sharing over time. A tracked URL provides you with reliable data on how much your customers value that information. Using SaaS like Bit.ly you can monitor trends and test engagement strategies for additional insight on content you may want to produce more of in the future.
Time is the biggest caveat in social media marketing. Curation tools like Scoop.it help you quickly find what you want, reduce tedious activities, and measure performance. If you want to generate more ROI on social media marketing, I highly recommend putting in the time to execute the work manually. Use a tool that is equipped to help you reach your desired goal.
Some of you may already know our story. In 2010 Jonathan and I founded a publishing platform called exploreB2B. To be honest we did not know anything about social media marketing but we had to make it work. Naturally, we tried a lot of things. Some failed, some worked (kind of) and some turned out to be marketing super power.
And all of these experiences brought us where we are today. We had to learn, make mistakes and figure things out – to become the marketers we are today.
Here are 9 mistakes I made along the way – and what you can learn from them. Get a Free and In-Depth 6-Day Email Course On Social Media Marketing and Traffic Generation from The Social Ms
1. Trying to be everywhere at once
When we started out we had no clue. No idea about the specifics of the various social networks and no clue which ones would work best for us. As a result, we had the feeling we would have to be everywhere and got totally frustrated because nothing really worked.
A much better way to start with social media marketing is to choose one or two social networks and get it right there. Figure out how to grow followers, engage with your audience and turn the audience into traffic. Leads and sales. Only then when you know how to do it, you will get more efficient and you can use that free time to start another social network.
When you are new to social media things will take you longer than the experts you weill realize that you need time to get things right and time to monitor and learn. Take the time you need and get it right.
Otherwise, you may well be active everywhere but not see any results at all.
2. Trusting all „Influencer“ advice
When you are new to the game, everybody seems to know more than you do. And you get a ton of advice. Since you do not know better often you trust the advice without questioning it.
We heard: Just tweet great content and you will gain followers. That resulted in a couple of hundred followers after two years on Twitter and no measurable traffic and not even speaking about leads or signups. Only when we started being more active to get our accounts in front of an audience with guest posting and mentioning the accounts in the author bio and the follow-unfollow routine did we see a steady growth in followers, traffic, and signups.
We heard: Never use Twitter direct messages for marketing – and yet Twitter direct messages proved to be the best marketing channel for us.
We learned the hard way: if you want to market via Twitter and you are just starting out, you need to actively get your Twitter account in front of your target audience.
And we also learned: Consider the advice that you get but also make your own assumptions and experiments, measure your results and learn from them. Your situation may be totally different, your audience may have different preferences.What works for others may totally fail for you.
3. Underestimating the power of content
It took us almost 2 years to understand the importance of content for social media marketing success and use it to our advantage. We stumbled around social media tweeting some news here and sharing a chance article there. No wonder we struggled to build a following – where was the value our followers could get from following us?
Only when we started to produce our own content and understood the concept of providing value on the social accounts things changed. We had more great information to share and keep our accounts active and we found that more and more people actually listened to us.
4. Confuse content with targeted content
In the beginning, we shared what we liked – we still do and there is nothing wrong with this: as long as what you like is also what your target group is interested in.
Our mix of great content from various niches could never give us the results we sought. Our social accounts lacked consistency and failed to inspire engagement. The followers we may have attracted with the content we shared today totally lost interest because tomorrow’s content was not of interest for them.
The content you share is the first step to targeting the right people. Only if your social media accounts provide value to your target group, will you be able to attract a crowd of people that will listen to you, engage with your content and eventually turn into leads and customers.
It is not only important to share content – it is targeted content that makes the difference.
5. Underestimate the importance of targeting
When we started, I was not aware of the various aspects that influence your targeting. I already mentioned the importance of sharing targeted content. But there is so much more to targeting in social media.
My guess is that everybody paying for ads is by now aware that he/she is going to pay empty money for ads if the ad targeting is off.
But did you know that the topic of a guest post can easily make the difference between success and failure? Did you carefully craft all your social media bios to show what you are about? Do you monitor conversations on a specific topic and join in when you have something to say? Do you follow select people from your niche and connect with influencers?
I did not and oh boy did I miss out!
6. Mistaking email marketing with buying spots on newsletters
For years, there has been advice floating around: „Email marketing is dead“ and at the same time I heard „the money is in the list.“ The truth is email marketing is not dead and not even dying – but to make money from a list you have to earn it.
What we did not fully understand was the difference between building your own trusting audience of newsletter subscribers and buying a list or a spot on a newsletter.
From today’s point of view, I rate using a list that is not your own somewhere between a waste of money and outright spam. The power of the email list is that you can gather a crowd of people that listen to you because they want to. No bought crowd will ever give you the same benefit – or do you still believe buying Twitter followers will get you anywhere?
7. Neglecting the power of your email list
That said, we totally underestimated the power of our own subscriber list. We were by far too afraid that some people would unsubscribe if we send too many newsletters and failed to nurture the subscribers we had in the best way we could.
Building your own email list and nurturing these subscribers into a trusting audience and eventually turn them into leads and customers should be one of the most important marketing strategies of any young business.
And we totally failed to see that at first.
8. Little things can make a huge difference
I admit, when I was new to the game, I was happy to get the big picture. And I totally failed to notice what a game changer a small thing could be.
Every sophisticated online marketer could tell you a story of at least one case where a tiny change like the color of a „Buy“ button or the wording in the call-to-action made all the difference.
I had to learn that on my own. One of the most important examples from my past that comes to my mind is the landing page of our former publishing platform exploreB2B. We tested a lot of things for that landing page. And the simple change of an image on that landing page led to so much better conversion rates it was eye-opening.
9. Marketing is a process and not a decision
When we first founded our startup back in 2010 we had to think about marketing. Neither of us had any considerable experience in marketing but we were willing to learn – and we thought we could hire an expert.
What we learned was: You do not make a decision THAT and HOW you are going to market a new business online. There is not one answer that you can figure out before you start. We wasted heaps of time on planning things from which we simply could not know how they would turn out.
Marketing is not something you start and it all falls magically into place. Modern marketing is most of the time a process of having an idea, trying it our, measuring the results, interpreting them and making a decision on necessary changes or how to scale the thing.
Marketing is never static it is always moving forward.
What you can learn from my social media marketing mistakes
I am telling you about these mistakes to show you that no one is born a marketer. Most of the marketing experts and influencers today have started out just like you and me: with no clue but a willingness to learn.
Growing into a marketing hero is at least as much about persistence and willingness to learn as it is about intelligence and creativity. Much of marketing success is based on processes others already discovered and adjusting them to your own situation.
Don’t be afraid of mistakes
Sure, you do not want to run around and drive your business to the company cemetery. But one marketing mistake rarely is the reason for something this grave to happen. On your marketing journey, you will try a lot of things that will not work out as you thought they would. It is the way you cope and the ability to adjust to the new situation that decides over success and failure.
Get a Free and In-Depth 6-Day Email Course On Social Media Marketing and Traffic Generation from The Social Ms
In marketing, most of the time the worst thing you can do is to do nothing.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started!
Are you making mistakes (honestly, everybody makes mistakes)? Do you need help with figuring out what you can do better or where you are totally wrong? We created our 90 min Consulting calls for exactly this situation: When you need an expert answer to a burning question that can change everything. These calls are meant to offer you the help you need but not rip you off with a full blown strategy project you cannot afford.
Here is what Sabrina wrote us after a consulting call with us:
“I know I said it during our call but I can’t tell you enough how FANTASTIC you both are.
…I was so impressed with your tailored approach and your kindness and the completely actionable plan you gave me. I must have written 10 pages of notes this morning on our call!”
If you have a burning question or problem that needs a solution fast, check out the consulting calls – we would love to help you!
Officials have put Lincolnton High School on lockdown after they were alerted to a threat on the social media app Snapchat that said there would be a shooting at the school.The message threatened a shooting at 2:30 p.m.School officials said doors and windows are locked while school resource officers and local police investigate.
We’ve come a long way since the great social media marketing boom of the late 2000s. New platforms have emerged and established ones have lost favor or reinvented themselves along the way. It’s a whole new world out there.
Facebook is still dominant, but the platform is unveiling some of its most sweeping changes in years. Vine might be gone (or is it?), but Twitter continues to make major moves by way of live video. Snapchat is on the precipice of its own redesign, and the list goes on.
To help marketers navigate the ever-changing social media landscape, we partnered with our friends at Buffer to produce a new report: The State of Social Media 2018. The goal of the project is to shed light on recent movements in the social space, providing actionable insights that you can use this year and beyond.
The data we captured explores topics such as how businesses are utilizing specific platforms today, the rise of paid social media, how social content strategy has changed, and how marketers can measure social media efficacy. You can download the full report here.
3 Key social media takeaways to guide your marketing in 2018
1. There are huge opportunities in the messaging space (only 20 percent of marketers have used messaging apps for marketing)
Messaging platforms have grown at an incredible rate over the last couple of years. And there are now more people using the top four social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn)1.
Despite this incredible growth, our State of Social 2018 survey found that just 20 percent of businesses have invested in marketing through messenger platforms:
After seeing such high user growth for the past few years, companies like Facebook will begin to focus on how they can monetize chat apps which will open up new advertising opportunities for marketers.
Right now, marketers still appear to be investing more time and resources into social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but as organic reach continues to decline (more on this below), we’ll see a greater number of marketers experiment with messaging apps as a way to connect with their audience.
2. Companies that invest in social media ads are more than twice as likely to say social media marketing is “very effective” for their business
When we asked respondents how effective social media marketing has been for their business 45 percent said “somewhat effective” and a further 29 percent believed that social media marketing had been “very effective”.
However, when we split these results based on whether or not the respondents had invested in ads, we found that businesses that have invested in social media ads are more than twice as likely to report that social media marketing is “very effective”.
Whereas businesses that have not invested in ads are more than twice as likely to report that the effectiveness of social media marketing for their business is “uncertain” or “very ineffective”.
3. Engagement is the #1 way to measure ROI from social media advertising
When we asked respondents how they measure the ROI of their social media advertising campaigns, 42 percent said engagement, followed by leads (17 percent) and sales (15 percent):
When we broke down the data by business size, engagement was still the #1 way both small and large businesses measure ROI from social media advertising:
This appears to be the continuation of a trend we noted in 2017, where social media is becoming more about engagement than driving traffic or making direct sales.
How marketers are using social media platforms: 7 insights you need to know
1. Facebook is still the leading platform for marketers (96 percent of businesses use Facebook)
Facebook is the leading platform for marketers with 96 percent saying their business is actively using it. Twitter was close behind with 89 percent of respondents saying they use the platform for their business.
2. Facebook organic reach continues to decline (only 21 percent of respondents haven’t noticed a decline in the past 12 months)
Facebook is constantly tweaking its News Feed algorithm and it appears that organic reach has once again declined over the past 12 months with just 21 percent of people “disagreeing” or “strongly disagreeing” with the below statement:
3. Video is a top priority for 2018 (85 percent of businesses would like to create more video content)
Video has been booming across social channels for the past couple of years and 85 percent of businesses are keen to create more video in 2018:
When we asked what’s currently holding businesses back from creating more video content lack of time and budget were the two main blockers:
4. Facebook is dominating the paid advertising space (94 percent of marketers have used Facebook Ads)
Facebook is the most popular platform for paid ads (94 percent), followed by Instagram (44 percent), with LinkedIn and Twitter tied in third place (26 percent):
Looking ahead, 67 percent of businesses are looking to increase their social media advertising budget in 2018:
5. Images are the most shared type of content (95 percent of businesses post images to social channels)
Ninty-five percent of respondents said their business posts images, with links (85 percent) being the second most shared content type:
6. The rise of stories (68 percent of marketers are planning on creating more stories in 2018)
Last year, only 29 percent of State of Social respondents had created stories on Instagram or Snapchat. This year 42 percent have created stories on Instagram (just 11 percent had created stories on Snapchat):
Further to this, 68 percent of respondents plan to create more stories content in 2018:
7. Live video hasn’t yet caught on (only 31 percent of marketers have broadcast live video)
In our last State of Social report, 26 percent of marketers said they had created live video content. In 2017, 31 percent of marketers said they had broadcast live content—just a 5 percent increase:
For those who have created live video, Facebook was the number one platform of choice, ahead of Instagram and Periscope (Twitter):
Live video could still present a huge opportunity in 2018, though. Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, recently revealed that live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. This could be especially valuable for Page owners as Facebook is making changes to their News Feed algorithm to give people more opportunities to interact with the people they care about.
The data: Who took part in the survey?
For this report, we surveyed over 1,700 marketers from businesses of all sizes. The majority of respondents work at companies who focus on both B2B and B2C customers (43 percent), while 33 percent work at purely B2B companies and 25 percent at B2C companies. 49 percent of our respondents work at businesses with 1-10 employees. At the other end of the scale, 7 percent of respondents work at companies with over 200 employees.
Just under half (49 percent) of the people who took our survey work at companies with fewer than 10 full-time staff. A further 21 percent work at companies with between 11-50 full-time team members. Here’s the full breakdown:
49 percent: Fewer than 10 people
13 percent: 11-25 people
8 percent: 26-50 people
8 percent: 1,001+ people
7 percent: 51-100 people
6 percent: 101-200 people
5 percent: 201-500 people
4 percent: 501-1,000 people
Marketing team size
The majority of respondents in our survey work closely with a small number of colleagues in their marketing teams or act as the sole marketer at their company:
41 percent of respondents were the only marketer at their company38 percent of people worked in marketing teams of between 2-5 colleagues11 percent of people work in marketing teams larger than 11 people9 percent of people work in marketing teams of between 6-10
Twenty-three percent of those who took the survey work at organizations in the marketing, PR, and advertising space. Other industries include: Media and Publishing (11 percent); Non-Profit (10 percent); Education (8 percent); Consumer Products (8 percent); IT & Services (6 percent); Software (5 percent); E-commerce (3 percent); Medical & Healthcare (3 percent); Financial (3 percent); Travel & Tourism (2 percent); Financial Services (2 percent); Government (2 percent); Law & Legal Services (1 percent); Other (15 percent).
Over to you
Thanks so much for checking out our State of Social 2018 report. We hope you enjoyed the data and discovered some useful takeaways for your business.
P.S. We’ve made the data open and available to anyone in this Google Sheet (feel free to make a copy and interrogate in any way you’d like – we’d love to hear what you might find). You can also download a copy of all the State of Social 2018 charts here.
Feature image via Jaelynn Castillo.
Explore these themes and more in-depth at SMWNYC, to be held April 24-27, 2018. To take advantage of the 30% off early bird discount, register by Jan. 19.
The post The State of Social 2018 Report: Your Guide to the Latest Social Media Marketing Research appeared first on Social Media Week.
What Your Business Needs in Social Media Marketing in Snohomish
Posted on December 13, 2017
Deciding where to budget your advertising and marketing dollars can be challenging, and marketing experts know that there is not “one” single marketing strategy that will meet all your advertising needs. The key is successful integration of numerous techniques that will draw business to you, create brand awareness and develop loyal customers from passive online viewers. is an essential aspect of this overall plan.
Proven marketing tactics will connect your brand precisely with customers and engage them on a personal level. Content development focuses on interesting, relevant and enlightening information that readers want to share across multiple social media platforms.
Engage an experienced marketing team who will utilize social media to:
Develop an inimitable, data-driven social media proposal.
Simultaneously manage social media on a variety of platforms.
Monitor all interaction with regard to your company on social media.
Analyze and report on social media analytics to see what works, what doesn’t and what may need to be adjusted.
Oversee customer satisfaction, support and retention through careful examination of customer responses.
Top Marketing Agency has an experienced team of specialists who know what consumers want in social media and other forms of advertising and are successful in developing a comprehensive plan for your business, no matter what industry you belong to or the size of your company. We have strategies for all budgets and all business goals. Call us at (206)279-3440 to schedule a personal consultation with our marketers to discuss your ambitions for a successful campaign in . You will not be disappointed with the results.