The 3 C’s of Social Media Marketing

By Mike Ryan

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Is yours one of the 65% of companies that rank generating leads as their biggest marketing challenge? If so, you may already be aware that one third of the global population uses social media on a regular basis. But did you also know that when combined with direct mail, social media marketing can open the portal to a powerful promotional strategy?

Data and insights gathered from social media activity are ideal for bringing a laser-sharp focus to the messaging and targeting of your direct mail materials. And in true symbiotic fashion, direct mail has proven itself adept at grabbing consumer attention, and driving more traffic to company websites and social media platforms.

Print and digital promotions are exponentially stronger when they’re used together. If you want to make a unique and unforgettable impression on customers old and new, consider leveraging the combined efforts of a direct mail and social media campaign to:

  • ross-promote your marketing content,
  • nurture and grow meaningful client connections, and
  • dramatically increase conversion opportunities

Research suggests that spending as little as an hour a day on your social media networking will guide your business toward a noticeable improvement in lead generation.

So, what are you waiting for?

The three C’s of social media marketing make it clear that you really have nothing to lose – and everything to gain – by establishing an active, and lucrative, online/offline presence.

1. C is for Content

Being seen and listened to is everything when it comes to making an impact on your customers, and attracting new business. Social media is the perfect platform for posting the share-worthy content that can ensure your brand’s voice is heard.

When you create, and distribute content that social media followers find useful, entertaining, or insightful, your business becomes:

  • more welcoming to new prospects, and
  • more familiar to your current clientele

Remember: the better your content, the more interest your products and services are likely to generate. And that’s a direct line to collecting more leads, and inspiring more conversions.

Postcard-mailers play an important role in driving customers toward your social media content. In fact, some studies have suggested that more than half of consumers engage socially with a business in response to receiving their direct mail communications.

A great deal of your marketing success hinges on sending the right message, to the right person. By taking the time to understand which content – both written and visual – attracts positive attention on your social accounts, you’ll be better positioned to create direct mail materials that resonate with your audience.

2. C is for Connecting

The word social inherently implies community. And the millions of people who actively use social media platforms like Facebook (1.79 billion world-wide as of 2016) do so because they appreciate being part of a network that allows them to connect with others.

Research indicates that there’s every reason to believe that connecting with your customers through various social media channels will lead to greater brand loyalty. Meanwhile, paying attention to social media analytics can improve your client relations both online and off. It …read more

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Source

https://seoland.in/the-3-cs-of-social-media-marketing/

The Transition from Print Media to Social Media Marketing

How many of you remember what marketing was like before all the TV commercials, the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram posts etc?

I’m sure it took a few seconds to recollect your thoughts. If you do, then you’re one of the few lucky (or rather unlucky) ones to have witnessed the social media revolution and how it enabled business owners and retailers to take their marketing campaigns to the next level.

So, What Is Marketing?

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

There are both internal and external marketing factors which interact with one another in any campaign and impact the overall success. These are

  • Pricing
  • Product/Service offered
  • Place (a.k.a. distribution)
  • Promotion

Moreover, in order to satisfy predefined organisational objectives and stay ahead of the competition, organisations should anticipate certain wants and needs of its customers and satisfy them better than anyone else in the market.

How Marketing Evolved Over The Years

Digital marketing has invaded every aspect of our lives. But it developed rather recently. Before all the flashy TV commercials and social media ads, there was a different system in existence.

From the 15th till the 20th century, print media– comprising of newspapers, magazines, and billboards – was the primary channel of advertising.

The first half of the 20th century saw the emergence of new mediums of advertising viz. radio, television and telephones. The second half of the 20th century saw TV ad revenue surpassing radio and magazine ad sales and telemarketing emerging as the most common marketing tactic.

By the end of the 20th century, newspaper ad revenue was in billions as print advertising was made easier owing to the emergence of personal computers and desktops. During the same time, mobile phones gained popularity thereby making SMS marketing possible.

This period also saw the first automated large-scale commercial use of spam e-mails for promotional purposes. Soon, search engines launched by Yahoo (1995), Ask.com (1997) and Google & MSN (1998) gained popularity as the term “search engine optimization” emerged.

The Internet Revolution

In 2000, the internet bubble popped and the features of the digital world, which were only available to a select few users became available to the general public and tech related growth saw an increase of almost 500% on the NASDAQ index.

Following this, greater emphasis has been placed on easy information sharing & transfer, user-centric design and collaboration thus enabling brands and retailers to engage with the customer in new ways ultimately leading to the origin of the term “Social Media Marketing”.

The Birth, Growth And Expansion Of Social Media

Some milestones in history when it comes to social media are –

  • 1997Six Degrees (The world’s first social media site)
  • 2002LinkedIn
  • 2003Myspace
  • 2004Facebook
  • 2005YouTube
  • 2006Twitter

Contrary to popular belief, the idea of social media did not originate with Facebook. The idea came to light in the 1970s when e-mails were first used for marketing purposes. The world’s first social media site, called as “Six Degrees” was launched in 1997 and enabled the users to upload their profile and become friends with other users. The networking sites developed in the 2000s made us look at social networking from a different angle and changed the way we approached marketing forever.

Most people are accustomed to traditional forms of marketing because of their longevity and were a little apprehensive about fully embracing the idea of digital marketing. But since traditional marketing only allowed business owners and organizations to target a small audience, they eventually took to the internet for promoting themselves.

As social media channels allowed for easy interaction with the audience and gave users the power to choose how they wished to receive promotional content, the number of active monthly users grew rapidly.  These channels eventually brought people from different geographical regions to one common platform for sharing and exchanging data with one another.

Another reason why social media witnessed a tremendous expansion in a relatively short time span is because it proved to be cheaper as compared to traditional marketing and offered a better ROI to investors.

As of 2017, a total of $41 billion have been spent on social media marketing. Some other interesting facts about social media are –

  • Number of internet users in the world – 3.8 billion
  • Active social media users – 3.02 billion
  • Facebook user base – 2.04 billion
  • YouTube user base – 1.5 billion
  • WhatsApp user base – 1.2 billion

The Downside To Traditional Marketing

There were some inherent shortcomings of traditional marketing which were soon compensated by SMM thus making marketing feasible for all types of businesses, irrespective of their allocated marketing budget. Some of them were –

Little to no interaction with your audience

In the case of print media, there was negligible contact between the editor and his audience. Print media was more of a one-way communication, where the content creator was acting like an information provider, trying to build a brand reputation.

Very costly

Generally, the cost varies from publication to publication and on the size of your order (flyers, newspaper ads, radio commercial, handouts etc). Depending on the complexity of your requirements, design and the set-up process, the cost may skyrocket thereby making such advertisements costly for small businesses and startups.

Results cannot be measured

While there are a plethora of tools available online to measure and monitor the various metrics (volume, reach, amplification, retweets, comments, replies, shares) of SMM campaigns, the same cannot be said about traditional techniques. This ultimately makes it difficult to track the progress and calculate the ROI of a print media campaign.

Difficult to receive feedback from the customers

As there are a select few channels of communication between the author and his audience, it is difficult to provide channels for receiving regular and consistent feedback from the readers to measure where the author can improve his work or get access to better sources for future articles.

High bounce rates and poor conversion ratio

With traditional marketing mediums, a common problem was the high bounce rates. Unimpressive conversion ratios further added to the worries of marketers, further making marketing a challenge for them. The conversion was unpredictable as there was no way of measuring how many users noticed the advertisements and wished to engage in business activities with the brand.

Benefits Of Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Now that we’ve talked about the shortcomings and drawbacks of traditional marketing techniques, let’s talk about the advantages of SMM over other forms of marketing.

It is easier to know your audience

SMM has made it fairly easy to know details about your audience by making use of the different tools available in the market. Moreover, multiple social media login and sharing options have made it possible to collect data from different social profiles of users to have a better understanding of their buying behavior thus allowing you to develop targeted ads.

 Audience targeting made possible

As gathering information about users has been made easy, we can now quickly know about the likes, dislikes, interests, and hobbies of users with just a few clicks. This allows you to devise marketing campaigns specifically tailored for your target audience to ensure high conversion rates as your ads will be inclined to the users’ interests.

Increased exposure

As compared to print media, where your reach is limited by geographical or monetary restrictions, SMM allows you to reach out to almost everyone with an internet connection. The best example of a platform with worldwide exposure is Facebook, which has managed to bring more than 2 billion users together, allowing them to share content with one another.

Cost efficient

We already know that distribution of print media is a costly affair and somewhere down the line, you will face financial troubles. But with SMM, the scenario is different as you only need an internet connection to publish and share data as most social media sites do not charge the users any money for sharing content. Also, ad and PPC campaigns cost a lot less than splurging on traditional marketing channels.

Developing a solid fan base of loyal customers

SMM has enabled brands to publish content created by them across different channels and interact with their customers and fans on a regular basis. The customers follow accounts of their favorite brands to get the latest updates and receive promotional news and coupons.

 Establishing authority in the online domain

When brands post the latest news, updates and industry insights across different social media channels frequently and before anyone else, the users start seeing the brand’s accounts as the “go-to” destination for latest factually correct news. This gives credibility to the brand and helps establish a commanding authority in their respective domains. A good online reputation also helps directs traffic and increase a brand’s sales.

Quick feedback and customer service

Feeling neglected and disrespected is one of the primary reasons why customers switch brands while making transactions. SMM has revolutionized customer support as a user can connect with the staff at any time of the day from anywhere. Brands can now offer personalized support to their customers and improve customer retention rates by making their customers feel valued.

Community building

This has to be one of the most pristine advantages of SMM over traditional marketing. It fosters a sense of belonging when following social media accounts of various brands and increases the overall engagement offered to users. A solid community also acts as social proof while pitching to other users. Eventually, the community becomes self-sustaining and doesn’t require much effort from the moderator/admin for initiating posts and other activities.

Sharing (content) is much faster

Sharing print media content with others was a challenging task as one had to physically take the piece of content to show others or send it via post to their friends and (or) families thus spending unnecessarily for the purpose of sharing.

Since social media channels do not charge the users any fee for posting and sharing content, SMM is favorable to users and retailers with a tight budget. Cross-channel posting has even made it easier to reach out to different audiences and direct traffic to your website with just a few clicks.

 Easy measurement of ROI

SMM has allowed for easy measurement of ROI for all your campaigns by giving solid figures of different metrics such as customer acquisition, lead generation, clicks, revenue, contest entries, etc. depending on your goals and helps you choose the best platform for maximum ROI. Based on these results, you can then make the required changes and improvise your approach towards targeting your customers.

Social Media Marketing Has Become A “Need”

Considering the benefits of SMM over the traditional approach, it was just a matter of time before people all over the world got involved with SMM. The “Social Media Revolution” which print media brands feared was right around the corner and it soon became unavoidable.

Currently, 93% of marketers use social media for their business and this number continues to grow slowly. The increasing number of active monthly users of different social networks and the amount of time spent daily by an average person on such sites has made SMM not just the best way to reach out to customers, but also a “necessity” as many claim that print media is slowly losing its significance. Moreover, in the world of e-commerce, where almost all the users are a few clicks away, you need to come up with new and creative ways to attract your audience and work towards keeping them engaged with your brand.

Social media also plays a crucial role in helping users research, discover and share information about brands, products and services. Studies have shown that 60% of all users looking for products/services through several online sources came to know about a particular brand or service provider through social networking sites.

We all know that in today’s digital world, where information is readily available to the customers (thanks to Google), it is important to focus on your brand’s presence and maintain & build an online reputation which is inclined with the interests of your customers.

The one thing brands owe SMM is that personalized customer support can be provided to the customers at all times. Nowadays, instead of being put on hold or chatting with the customer care executives for long hours, users can simply post a complaint on the social media pages of a brand/service provider and receive quick reverts, which make the customer feel valued and cared for ultimately compelling him/her to continue doing business with the brand.

Referral traffic has emerged as one of the most credible sources of business for brands has been made possible by SMM as word-of-mouth references make it easy for users to trust the experiences and reviews of their friends and colleagues.

The Situation Today

In simple terms, the situation today is such that a person sitting in Guatemala, a Central American country (for those like me who are not too strong on world Geography) can read the reviews/ideas of someone halfway across the world in India or shop from the website of leading Italian fashion brands such as Gucci, Prada, Armani etc.

But on a serious note, with 94% of all marketers are using SMM in some form or the other, social media advertising is steadily growing at a rate of 20% annually and the total spending will cross the $50 Bn mark by 2019.

Another trend gaining popularity is the desire of users to act as brand ambassadors and advocate for their favorite brands through social media. Capitalising on this opportunity, brands are aggressively recruiting their fans, account followers and other users to spread recommendations and reviews about their products and services. Consumers who do write, share and comment on product reviews online claim that they share their experiences to tell others about how well a company did their job and to receive loyalty rewards by the company.

Social media users are also showing a keen interest in cooperating and working together with their favorite brands. 60% of 18-34-year-olds say that they will happily work with brands and want to give recommendations to improve and customize the product.

Brands have even started offering incentives for the users to refer the brand to new users. It is a mutually beneficial relationship as the brand gathers a large presence and the customers are offered cheaper prices for the products/services offered.

In Conclusion

Gone are those days when marketing was all about hard selling and improving the sales figures. SMM has started focusing on building relationships with users (potential customers) and helping them solve their problems. The number of relationships you build is directly proportional to the trust your customers will place in you.

SMM has achieved this by keeping all channels of communication between the customer and the brand open & accessible 24×7, something print media could never achieve in all its years of existence.

Though SMM has completely revolutionised marketing, some retailers continue to use traditional methods and are yet to fully accept the paradigm shift to the digital world. Though it is tough to say whether traditional methods will survive the change, we can be sure that SMM is here to stay and will encapsulate the world in the coming years.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

Source

https://inc42.com/resources/print-media-to-social-media/

6 Social Media Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

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Even with the high usage of social media these days, there are still a lot of questions being raised about it. The most common one is probably about the whole purpose of it. And you’ve probably asked this misguided question yourself. Hey, this is not a blame game, there are no wrong questions. It’s just that purpose and benefits are plenty and pretty much obvious. The real question, however, should be about how to achieve and use their purpose for success. If you already haven’t given a thought of attending to social media, you definitely should.

If you don’t have the time or resources to manage social media, you could always use a social media management tool like DrumUp to simplify the process.

Yeah, But Why?

If you’re a small business it’s alright to ponder the question. But given the popularity of social media and taking into consideration of how everything is online these days it should be a no brainer. Sure, you may have a successful business without having to use social media. But, what lies beyond is just so good to miss.

This is another big topic to write on, but just for a little heads up, you’ll seriously improve your image, start creating meaningful relationships that can turn into business success stories as quick as that. Everything you do online and on social media makes you so much faster and ahead of the others than in real life.

Of course, there are a number of strategies and tips you can use for your social media marketing activities. However, a whole lot of those online are for businesses that already undertook certain activities and have been present on socials for some time now. This doesn’t mean they are forbidden to use.

However, if you’re a small business looking to get your piece of a pie in a relatively small time frame I recommend concentrating on these six:

#1 – The magic number three

Social media presence is a must for any business these days, but the only way you will benefit from social media is to actually use it. Use it in a smart way, that is. That’s why picking 3 channels and turning your focus to them rather than handling 5-6 at the same time with less focus might be a great thing to do.

The reason is simple, you’re merely experimenting for now and are just making your entrance. If you attend to every social network out there, you’re just going to get lost. No matter how tempted you may be, in this case, less is definitely more.
For all of you who are at a starting point, it’s even better to go with just one social network and you can gradually work your way up. Starting with the one you’re most familiar with may be the best option.

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And even if you have a lot envisioned and are can’t wait to put all the content you prepared for your social media three channels are really enough. You can even diversify your channels and see how that goes which brings me to the next point.

#2 – Divide and conquer

You can pick the kind of content goes on each social network. What this gives you is a place for every of your diverse ideas. This way you won’t create a clutter that in the end just confuses your audience and sends a wrong message out.

For example, share all your articles and interesting reads on Facebook with a video and photography or a video of everyday office life every now and then while Twitter can be used for discussion provoking content or vice-versa. There are plenty of options and you can always think of what suits the best for you.

The idea is to use every social platform for one main activity. For the latter mentioned magic number three this is what it could look like:

  • Facebook – mostly sharing your own blogs and promo, activities in groups
  • Instagram – everyday happenings at the office and creativity
  • Twitter – short updates, article sharing, networking with other businesses and your followers

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This will also give the focus channel for each and every follower from your target audience. We’re not saying that manipulation is what you’re seeking to use here. It’s just a good way to imagine each channel to be a group that will reflect a certain part of interest for your audience.

#3 – Sharing is caring

Of course, social media is here to promote yourself and share your own updates but it’s also great for networking and building relationships – both with your customers and other small businesses. Your social feed should include sharing articles from other sites as well as yours, and communication with other businesses.

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You should always care more about the value of the information you’re sharing rather than the source. This will keep your audience engaged and sooner or later will create some serious business contacts. Remember to stay relevant and consistent to your core work and content that goes with it, rather than losing yourself and your brand identity in the stream of non-relatable information. Consider yourself to be a grand promoter of a thing you believe in and you’re bound to make that social master level in no time.

#4 – Why so serious?

Marketing is definitely a serious business, but social media is fun (most of the time). It’s actually a big combination of both. You should be mindful about what your headlines and content are and at the same time be fun-loving and goofy. Sharing and posting some funny updates like gifs, memes and especially emojis and using them is a great way to get attention and to spread a word. They are also a great way to encourage activity and engagement on your socials as people just love tagging and sharing fun things with their friends.

Be brave about your fun side and throw in some jokes when engaging with the audience. People just love this and a good joke won’t hurt anybody. Many brands have already made a social media success through this kind of activity. Be careful, however, your jokes should be finely tempered and well intentioned at all times.

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Wendy has become an absolute hit.

It just adds to exposing your brand as a tangible and being down-to-earth, rather than having that strictly corporate and business note. You’ll definitely strike a chord with people and they’ll love you more for it. It’s all about your audience having that emotional connection with you, and happiness and fun times are the strongest ones.

#5 – Make a claim – Kick-start a discussion

Don’t forget about the “social” part of social media – engaging your followers in discussions about current topics is one of the most powerful things you can do on your socials. Always seek opinions for your own products/services or even on the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Or make a connection between the two, and compare. Now, that’s where the imagination and creativity will come in handy. Using them will just spark endless comment notifications. There are lots of examples out there and you don’t have to be as extravagant. But doing something unusual and creative with which your audience can relate will come a long way.

Things just don’t stop there as that number of comment you just got isn’t only a pretty accomplishment on your page. Lots of possibilities come from this kind of activity. My favorite one is that it’s an awesome way to use those conversations as future content ideas. What’s more rewarding than using the voice of your audience in creating that new content piece? It just strengthens the connection and roots your brand closer to their heart.

#6 – Don’t forget about “media”

Just like the social part, keep the “media” one in your plans as well. People just love multimedia, visuals, videos, gifs – you name it. Add images and videos to your daily social media schedule. If it’s funny or interesting then it’s shareable, if it’s shareable then it will attract more and more people. You should always have fresh materials in stock if you decide to use this kind of activity as people will start to expect them. Especially if they’re catchy and good.

Consider the use of live videos as well. These are just great, and again go a level deeper into connecting with the audience. It’s sharing a piece of your daily life and this is what counts and shows openness to hang and have a good time. After all, 69% of the online present companies invest in their video content so you might consider getting in on the ride. Remember to keep them interesting and not to do them for the sake of it as this will only get the people bored instead of eagerly awaiting your next creative piece.

#7 – Bonus tip

Don’t forget or ignore the fact that the advertising through social channels is a must these days. Not just because of the lower price than through the Google Adwords, but also the fact that there are numerous options to segment and reach to your target audience.
For example, the image below shows just the top level of segmentation criteria available on Facebook Ads platform.

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Many marketers would highly recommend using ads on at least one of social channels (for example Facebook as it’s the biggest one).

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Advertising on social media has become so popular that most of the businesses are now using it. The idea behind it should not be aggressive selling, but doing same things you’re already doing with existing fans and audience. Except now you’re not targeting just your existing audience, but the one you’ve segmented and consider possible future customers. This is where the magic happens. You’re getting a percentage of genuinely interested and attracted people who’ll love to see what you have to offer and this is where you are using your social media’s full potential.

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Martina Stričak is a co-founder of Diversis Digital and Point Visible. She is a digital marketing addict with years of experience, who also enjoys graphic design, both @work and in her free time. And yes, she loves to travel. To travel a lot.

6 Incredibly Simple Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

The Holy Trinity: Inbound, PPC and Social Media Marketing

Reading Time: 3 very important minutes

Marketing has come a long way since the “old days” of cold pitching, interruptive messaging and “hard-sell” persuasion techniques. Or has it? There’s little doubt that a softer approach to lead generation and pulling in the crowds has proven its powers, but does, inbound marketing rule the roost?

There’s no question that inbound is well-worth the effort and investment: it brings in the highest quality prospects, pays out the best returns and is important for supporting long-lasting growth. However, it’s not meant to be a stand-alone strategy. Content might be King, but it should be working together with the Queen (social marketing) and the Prince (PPC) as a family to bring about a fully-effective B2B marketing strategy.

“Content may be king, but the details are in the pawns.” for

Many people tend to consider inbound marketing, PPC and social marketing as three distinct and separate approaches. However, done right, PPC for B2Bcan actually be used to support both your inbound and social marketing efforts: where inbound helps build a compelling content strategy; organic social media distributes the content to drive leads and PPC takes care of fast lead generation when time is short and budgets are available.

In this marketing trinity (inbound, PPC and social media marketing), each of the components are vital for supporting the others.
Here are some examples of how the different components can work together:

 Inbound Marketing & PPC

 1. Content is essential for boosting PPC advertising – Your PPC won’t be effective without solid content (eg. an eBook or whitepaper) to incentivize people into providing you with their details. Once they have downloaded your content offer, leads need to be nurtured through emails and additional content to guide them further down the marketing funnel until they become marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

2. Paid promotion helps amplify content exposure – No matter how amazing your content may be, at the end of the day there’s only so much traffic you can receive from organic sources. In such cases, you’ll need to spend money on paid channels to help boost your exposure.

“The question is never Inbound vs. PPC. They are not excluding each other. PPC is another channel to reach targeted audiences. If you’re not tapping it, you’re making a conscious decision to not use all the channels at your disposal.” – Peep Laja

PPC & Social Media Marketing

With so many companies using inbound marketing strategies these days, the social arena is getting more and more crowded. According to a report, 83% of B2B marketers use social media for marketing – so it’s hardly surprising that it’s getting harder to make yourself heard over all the social noise.

This is where having a targeted PPC campaign can help boost your social media efforts, allow you to pinpoint the exact audience you’re looking for and get your best content in front of them.

By combining these two components, you’ll be able to optimize your marketing efforts for maximum achievement, bringing together the brand awareness of social media and the immediate call-to-action of PPC.

Social Media Marketing & Inbound Marketing

It’s not easy for marketers to gain their customers’ trust – as evidenced in this report from Nielsen, which found that 83% of consumers would rather trust peer recommendations over advertising. Not only that, there are also obstacles that hinder social reach (such as the rise of ad blocking, and the constantly-changing algorithms for content discovery and consumption).

So what’s a marketer to do in order to get past these roadblocks? The answer: leverage the power of influencer marketing to enhance your inbound strategy.

By identifying and engaging with relevant influencers in your niche, you’ll be able to benefit from their authority, and take full advantage of their established network of loyal followers to grab attention, build trust, and expand your brand.

You can easily track down popular influencers in your industry using tools like BuzzSumo, or by engaging with them on social channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Use relevant keywords or phrases (or hashtags on Twitter) to help you search for them, then reach out and start connecting.

 The Trinity Bonus: Inbound Marketing, PPC & SEO

 Let’s not forget about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – an inbound marketer’s best friend. A large part of content marketing relies heavily on research and correct implementation to help maximize traffic and conversion opportunities.

 “Given that content marketing isn’t just about producing content, but about earning traffic to it as well, SEO should be a cornerstone of any content marketer’s repertoire.”Rand Fishkin

 SEO is not a good to have; it’s a must have. Without SEO, you’re basically invisible – which is why it’s imperative for inbound marketers to stay on top of SEO best practices and let it guide their content strategy.

 To further amplify your results, you’ll also want to add PPC into the mix. By combining PPC data with SEO’s organic user engagement metrics (like average session duration, bounce rate, pages per session, etc.), you’ll be able to gain some unique insight into user behavior and interaction, which will help indicate whether your content marketing strategy is working.

 For instance, if your visitors aren’t spending much time on your site and the bounce rate is high, it likely means that you need to revisit your content and make it more relevant and compelling.

 The Triad Of Marketing Success

 Inbound, PPC and social media marketing – each of these strategies are powerful in their own rights, but they’re even better when working as a team. Put together, they can really help give you a leg up over the competition in terms of helping you generate the traffic, reach and engagement that you need. Ultimately, marketers and their bosses want to see leads and there is no better cocktail to do that with than the 3 components together.

If you’d like to learn more about PPC for B2B and how it can benefit your inbound and social marketing efforts, download a free copy of our PPC for B2B eBook today.

Source

https://blog.marketingenvy.com/inbound-ppc-and-social-media-marketing

The Evolution of Social Media Marketing

The Evolution of Social Media Marketing

One of the most amazing things about social media marketing is how much it has evolved in such a quick timeframe. Something that barely existed a decade ago has become an inescapable necessity. One of the easiest ways to track this evolution is through the metrics used to measure marketing success over the years.

A decade ago, social media was largely uncharted territory—essentially free digital real estate for anyone to claim. Businesses that were on social media had a focus on narrow KPIs, such as obtaining more followers and growing their network, or simply just keeping their online profiles up-to-date.

As social media channels grew and increased in variety, content marketing gained more popularity amongst online marketing professionals. The social media strategy of businesses started to move from “vanity metrics” as marketers felt the pressure to demonstrate an ROI for their online efforts. Content marketing, such as blog posts and other content forms, were used to entice people back to the company website, where they could be turned into leads and sales. This meant the metric of choice was conversions, and the focus was more on sales.

The next big evolution in social media marketing happened in the last few years. As both small and large businesses joined in on social media, a new strategy emerged. In this new way of thinking, how many followers you have, and overall conversion numbers are still important, but our measurements go even further. In addition to those numbers we now look at true engagement on social media– how many people are interacting with the different elements created by your social media strategy (often in the form of actual conversations). This evolution was driven by three important changes in how we interacted with social media.

1. Both technology and customer expectations have advanced: Ten years ago, social media was less mobile—people needed to access their social media accounts via awkward feature phones or regular computers. Times have changed. According to Pew Research, only 35% of Americans owned smartphones in 2011, and that number has now risen to 77%. Customer expectations have advanced in tandem with the technology, with 42% of customers who complain on social media expecting a response within an hour. Has your social media strategy kept pace with your audience’s expectations?

2. The customer’s voice is now as loud (or louder) than your company’s voice: In the early days of social media, companies were the broadcasters and customers were the audience. Now, the customer has a voice as loud as yours, and what used to be your audience has become your conversation partners. With the changes in algorithms on channels such as Facebook, your announcements get downgraded in visibility, but your conversations with your audience are still included in their message alerts (and the feeds of all their friends and followers). Basically, friendly is the new social media strategy.

3. Data caught up with hunches: Many people had hunches about the value of customers, but you can now prove that engaged customers are worth significantly more to your company over time than your unengaged ones. Data and numbers are the heart of any good social media strategy. It turns out that being friendly and conversational is an amazing marketing tactic, as it builds engagement in your audience.

The impact of true engagement on social media is priceless. Your customers and leads help you find other customers and leads—growing your audience and your revenues. Are you ready to start measuring how engaged your customers really are? 

Source

https://blog.gaggleamp.com/the-evolution-of-social-media-marketing

Social Media Marketing Tactics

Are you building your business online and not getting the traction you want? Are you ready to take social media to the next level? With over 80% of small and medium sized businesses on social media, how do you set yours apart? How do you get your target audience to ignore your competition and come knocking at your door?

In this blog post, I’ll show you a couple tactics to boost your online presence.

Let’s jump right in

1. Create a buyer persona

I can not emphasize how important this is. This is the first and most crucial step to getting the most out of your social media marketing. Creating a buyer persona helps you define who you are posting your content for, the type of content to post and what social platforms to use.

Thankfully, most social platforms have analytics to check the demography of people who have interacted with posts. This is a good place to start to build a basic profile of your buyer persona.

Ask yourself what their struggles, goals, and frustrations are to get a better profile.

2. Create relevant content

Do a bit of research on what your audience is interested in. Check your competitor’s posts and create content around ones that have the highest interaction. Check forums such as Quora or Nairaland and search for popular questions related to your industry. Look for common themes in these questions and provide a response on your social media to these questions.

3. Refine content across platforms

Every social media platform has a different methods of appealing to customers. To get the most of your efforts, change the style of the message for the different platform you post on.

For Facebook, write a short message about the post and include a link. Twitter posts should be short with a few relevant hashtags and a link shortened with bit.ly or t.co. Instagram posts should be images of high quality with a description and a couple of hashtags.

Try not to be spammy with the hashtags though.

4. Outsource the work

Creating content and maintaining a solid social media takes a lot of effort and time which you may not have because it isn’t your job. For every hour you spend working on your online presence, you could have used it to do something more worthwhile to your business.

You can outsource the research, content creation and any activity that is done daily and takes up a lot of time.

5. Share photos of people behind the business

People will relate more to your business when you post pictures of what is going on behind the scenes of your business. This makes you seem humane and approachable.

Post photos of your daily working environment, a recent retreat or an employee’s birthday. Avoid posting pictures that might be too showy or fake because your followers might be able to read the wrong meaning into it. You can also include videos of employees sharing their thoughts on your business or brand.

6. Use analytics to track your progress

All social media platforms today have analytics to help you track how followers engage with your posts. Still with platforms with the highest engagement. Do not waste time on posting on media with low engagement.

7. Experiment to optimize your profile

Test different methods to see what your audience engages with most and create content that works best. You can also play around with your profile image and cover photo. Put up photos that represent your brand. Your cover photo can be a call to action to a landing page or your website.

You can also experiment and perfect on the best times to post. For Twitter, you can use Tweriod to find out when your followers are online the most. Using those times, you can schedule posts using Hootsuite or any scheduling tool of your choice. This simple technique will increase the effectiveness of your posts.

8. Run giveaways

Who doesn’t love free stuff right? If you have a little money to give out, you can hold a competition with the price being a product or service you offer. Avoid cash or gift prizes that are not related to your niche because it might attract the wrong crowd.

You can even make one of the winners a brand ambassador like most Nigerian celebrities do these days to promote their music.

9. Develop a brand voice

Make a list of characteristics you want to potray through your posts and share it with everyone on your social team so the voice doesn’t change. Develop a voice that speaks directly to your target audience so they can feel at home with your posts.

10. Offer “open office hours” to attend to people

By offering regular time to live chat with your audience either by video or chat, you provide value to them. Set a consistent time to interact with them, preferably through live video. Use this time to answer questions they may have, explain previous articles and blog posts etc.

You can also use Twitter Chats or Ask Me Anything.

11. Offer special deals to followers

This is best if you own an ecommerce site. Create coupon codes and share them regularly so that your fans can follow your updates. Whenever you have an exclusive deal, announce it first on social media.

You can also use special deals to drive traffic to your website. You can even exchange the coupon code for their personal information so you can retarget them later.

12. Carry out customer survey

Survey your customers to learn what they want and understand what they’re looking for. You can send an email to your client list asking them if they are satisfied with your products or what their struggles are at the moment.

You can send out a more detailed survey using Google form or Typeform to get more in-depth knowledge of their needs.

13. Repeat good content

The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of the effort you put in. Using analytics you can see posts that have the highest engagement and produce similar content.

Look for patterns in the posts and create more content around the ones your followers resonate to more.
You can also update and repost older posts your followers loved. By doing this you can even engage new readers with content that have proven successful in the past.

14. Live video

According to Facebook, viewers watch live video 3x longer than normal video. Facebook places live videos at the top of your subscribers’ news feed. Make sure you have an agenda before you start a live video.
You can use live video to live stream an event for people who can’t make it. Use it to answer some questions or offer advice.

On Instagram and Facebook, you can respond to comments in real time which make the session more engaging.

15. Create a posting calendar

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to post inconsistently. Experiment with various times and create a calendar around the time most people engage with your post. Use your analytics to monitor your posts.

Don’t be afraid to post at night especially if your target market is workers who do not have time to check their social media during the day.

16. Use Hashtags

This is probably not new to you at this moment. Hashtags aren’t going anywhere. Do some research to find out the most relevant to your brand or your post.

A tool called Hashtagify is the most advanced Twitter Hashtags search engine. It allows you to find the best hashtags to reach your audience — and it is completely free.

Conclusion

Do not spread yourself too thin by being on all social media platforms. Use the one you get the most engagement and sales out of. Always use analytics to find out which tactics and post have the most impact on your followers.

Which tactics will you start using from today? Mention them in the comment section and if this post was helpful, spread the love by sharing it with those who you think can benefit from it.


Also published on Medium.

FTC Steps Up Scrutiny of Social Media Marketing

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