Over the last decade or so, there has been an explosion of growth in the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as other platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. There is no denying that this is the era of social media and for the foreseeable future, the need for businesses to incorporate social media into their marketing efforts will only become stronger. After all, the rising stats of the social networks speak for themselves.
1. Facebook has over 1.19 billion active users monthly. Basically, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest.
2. 1 in 5 young adults aged between 18 and 25 uses Twitter. The social network is currently adding 300K users per day.
3. YouTube reaches more US adults aged between 18 and 34 than any cable network.
4. LinkedIn saw a 105% growth between 2011 and 2013.
5. 72% of online adults are social networking site users
In layman’s terms, whether you run a small, mid-size or enterprise level company, the statistics above clearly demonstrate that your customers are online. They are on the social networks looking for information and entertainment and interacting with friends, colleagues and brands. If you don’t leverage these opportunities for responsive communication and interacting with customers on a huge scale including those who are right down the street from you, make no mistake that your competitor will be doing just that.
Not to mention that social media can be a springboard for marketing success through other channels too because it takes your existing brand and solidifies it. It captures your company’s voice and propels it far and wide into the world opening up opportunities in other inbound marketing channels including but not limited to SEO, branding and public relations. Through social media, you can:
- Build relationships with customers. These will then serve as the foundation upon which other aspects of your business will flourish including advocacy and loyalty.
- Get feedback – on the social networks, information is shared at the speed of light so if you know how to take cues from your audience, social media can become an invaluable tool to gather insights and feedback.
- And finally, when integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts including branding and PR, social media can help you create a scalable experience for your customers, which will, in turn, amplify and solidify your work.
So as a business, having a successful social media presence can have a far-reaching impact. But how do you know if you’re doing it right and your social media marketing efforts are paying off?
This is where social media metrics and ROI come into play!
The Importance of Social Media ROI
There is a bunch of reason why online marketing appeals to many businesses and one of them is the fact that you can measure nearly everything you do. Once you collect the data you need, you can derive actionable takeaways. The challenge it seems is to remember that measuring and collecting data is only effective if you know what to measure and why. The point is to measure any return on your investment (ROI). Read more
To understand copywriting for social media, perhaps you first need to understand what copywriting is and more importantly, how it differs from content marketing, with which, it is often associated, interchangeably used or confused for. In truth, copywriting and content marketing are not at all synonymous with one another but businesses do have to get both concepts home and right to bring in new customers and at the same time, enjoy success.
Basically, content marketing is a strategy of producing and publishing information with a marketing purpose. The content builds trust and authority among potential customers and drives sales without resorting to actual “hard sell” tactics. In contrast, copywriting, which is used for landing pages, sales pages, and infomercials is producing content striking and compelling enough to make readers take a specific action whether you want them to make a purchase, opt in for an e-mail newsletter or go in store to check out a new product.
Now in social media, copywriting has a very special place. Why? Because whether we are talking about Facebook wall posts, Twitter messages or YouTube video descriptions, you only have so many characters in which to fit your message and the message needs to be powerful enough to make people on the social networks either
3. Or Respond
4. Or any combination thereof
Also you need to account for the fact that in social media, communication is now two-way or more. Gone are the days when you could get away with business messages like “ Product X rocks. Get it and it will be your best buy this year and your best friend for as long as you live!” Remember that on social media sites, your customers get to respond to what you post and if you post a message like the one above, you’ll probably end up getting a “Bullshit!” thrown your way. Your message needs to be more human and should resonate with your target audience.
About Effective Copywriting for Social Media
If none of your Facebook fans and Twitter followers are clicking on your links and no one is commenting on your posts and/or sharing them, chances are, your copy sucks. It could be something else but for sure the first thing you need to re-evaluate is your copywriting. Probably a few tweaks are in order! To get more attention on social media:
1. Every Product has a Unique Personality, Fully Understand What you’re Selling
For any copywriting project, the first task is to know exactly what you’re selling. Know your product inside out because your unique selling proposition is what will differentiate you from your competitors and the crowd on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
2. Focus on the Benefits of your Product just a Little More than on the Features
Because of the distinction between the purpose of content marketing and copywriting, when you’re crafting a copy to post on social media about your business or product, highlight the benefits of it in terms of the needs, wants and emotions of your readers. Such a message will resonate with readers more and impact them. Read more
If you want to generate more traffic to your website and get more attention and higher rankings in the SERPs for your content, sometimes it takes more than creating quality content and hitting the publish button. One thing that is starting to have a huge and significant impact on these goals is social media. After all, Facebook has over 1.3 billion users, and a few hundred million people are spread across other popular social networks like Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and lately Instagram.
As such, if you want to reach and impact more people, increasing the number of social shares for your content is definitely something worth considering. Think about it: If you create and publish a post that gets 500 Facebook likes, 400 tweets and 200 +1s and you do this consistently, how much traffic to your website does this translate to and how much of a bump those posts will get up the SERPs?
The question is, how can you get people to share your content across the social media sites? Let’s look at 4 ways in which you can do this.
4 Ways to Get More Shares across Social Media
1. Make it Easy for People to Share your Content
If you want more social shares for your content, make your social sharing buttons obvious by placing them in prime real estate. For example, you can use a dynamic and customizable vertical box that contains buttons and/or links to the popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Reddit and which scrolls up and down a post to match the scrolling of readers. Alternatively, social sharing buttons at the end of posts is also very effective.
2. Encourage your Readers to Share your Content
Here is the deal: Most people, when they read something online, won’t immediately think “I want to share this”. You have to spell it out for them. Sometimes a few simple words strung together like “Please RT” can generate 3 times or 4 times as many retweets as you would get without such a call to action, a fact demonstrated to best effect by the studies and experiments outlined by Dan Zarrella in this post on copyblogger.com.
As it stands now, YouTube has over 1 billion users.
- Everyday people spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube
- Every year, the number of hours people spend on the website increases by 50%
- Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube
- The video-sharing website is available in 61 different languages and localized in 75 countries
With stats like these, it makes sense why many businesses and marketers are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon in an attempt to harness some of the benefits of having a presence on a platform, which is as much a community site as a search engine. And while each channel on YouTube has its own approach to publishing, some of the most important actions when uploading a video on the website can be grouped into a simple checklist.
After all, making a video and uploading it to YouTube is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in optimizing the content and engaging with the community to make sure your video reaches the widest audience possible.
The checklist to upload a video on YouTube and successfully promote it is as follows:
This includes proper formatting, writing the metadata and creating an eye-catching and more importantly, a high-resolution thumbnail.
Any video you upload on YouTube should be properly annotated with a subscribe button, community CTAs and/or links to related content. Consider adding the video to a relevant playlist.
3. Engage & Outreach
To increase the reach and impact of your content, post it on Google+. You can also reach out to relevant blogs and/or online communities or you can engage with people in the comments section of social media sites and other online spaces.
Optimizing and Promoting a Video for Maximum Reach & Impact
So you created a video that’s creative, insightful and spot-on in terms of what your YouTube audience wants. Now what? The inclination is to sit back with some popcorn and watch the view count rise. If you do that, you will end up sorely disappointed because creating a great video is only half the battle. YouTube is home to a ton of great content. To really get your video out there, you need to optimize it. To that end:
Take a second and imagine that you are in front of your target audience. You have a very short span of time to keep their attention. This is a situation similar to speed dating, except that you have to send your message to everyone at once and try to win as many people as possible on your side, because right after you are done, your main competitor will try to attract them.
From the moment visitors land on your website, they are found in a similar situation and that’s why you will hear many internet marketing experts repeating the words of Bill Gates – Content is King. However, the creation of content that will attract exactly the groups of people who need to view those messages has never been more demanding.
Competition is forcing content creators to come up with new stuff all the time. This means that in order to run a successful website you have to come up with some great blog ideas and content. A brief search on the Internet can make you feel like all the ideas in every possible industry has been exploited…but that’s not true!
The reasoning behind this conclusion is simple – there are still many question-and-answer websites that are very popular. People have questions and they can’t find answers in the articles found on the Internet.
A good example is Quora. Quora is actually an online collection of user created questions and answers that can be edited and organized by each user. Their main goal is to become the best possible source for anyone who has an issue or question and that each question becomes a collection of the best answers to that question. The users themselves vote for the best answer and in this way they rank the best answers.
Using Quora to Generate Blog Ideas & Content
Thanks to the system used by Quora you can easily find hot topics. The questions that have many answers are usually ranked higher and they are also ranked by the views. What makes Quora different from other similar services is the fact that people are looking for some specific answers that can usually be answered by experts, scientists and people who have a lot of experience in those fields.
1. Since the questions are grouped by areas, you should focus on the questions related to your niche. You will find many interesting questions and even more interesting answers that should be enough to construct a skeleton for your blog post or simply give you an idea for a topic that you can develop. You can use the questions to generate headlines, but you should never copy/paste those questions or the answers because this is bad for SEO.
Everyone knows the deal when it comes to the critical role content plays in inbound marketing. You need content to:
- Drive sales without resorting to hard-sell tactics
- Build trust and authority among your buyers
- Build a loyal community around your brand and
- Become recognized as a thought leader in a specific industry
The challenges marketers face in regard to producing quality content are numerous. In particular, it’s easier said than done to produce enough content and to produce content that’s interesting and valuable enough to get read. But some of us do our due diligence and devote time, resources and energy to create unique and engaging content.
And it pays to do so because if you get the hang of creating content that sparks discussion, goes viral and drives business, you’ve essentially ticked all the boxes when it comes to the aforementioned goals and benefits of producing and publishing content.
But the web does not only consist of honest people. Instead of investing the time and energy it takes to create good content that people would want to consume, some opt for the easy way out, which is, stealing. That simple! They steal your content and use it to grow their business. After all, your content sits in plain sight on your website. In truth, at any moment, anyone in the world, with just a few keystrokes namely CTRL + C and CTRL + V, can steal your content and paste it onto their own website, sometimes verbatim, claiming it as their own.
Plagiarism is today a serious plague on the web and one that should not be taken lightly. But how can you protect your website against theft?
We’ve got some ideas!
What Copyscape Recommends
According to Copyscape, if you want to fight and prevent plagiarism, there are three things you can do.
- You can use a plagiarism warning banner on your website to deter content thieves from stealing your work
- You can assert ownership over your work by using copyright notices on each page
- You can use Copysentry to automatically monitor copies of your work over the web
What DMCA Recommends
In addition to Copyscape, DMCA also recommends certain steps to fight plagiarism and to prevent your content from becoming easy targets. To protect your website against content theft:
- Consider naming, dating and titling all the content you publish on your website within the code itself
- Place a DMCA Protection Badge on website pages. This extra layer of protection can go a long way in deterring thefts and safeguarding your rights against plagiarists
- And finally, to protect the non-written content on your website, watermark your graphics, images and photos. For this purpose, DMCA’s watermarking service is very practical
In the last 10 years, social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, have seen an explosion of growth, both in terms of the number of users and popularity. Facebook, for instance, has 1.39 billion monthly active users and an average of 890 million daily active users while 89% of 18-29 year olds are on at least one social network. Clearly we live in an era where social media is a predominant way for people to interact and communicate online. For businesses, this rise in social media spells two things – opportunity and responsibility.
Indeed, social media is an opportunity and not only because of the audience on the different platforms but also the sheer amount of data that customers make readily available to marketers. The question is: Are you listening? After all, the magic of social media lies in its application in growing long lasting and scalable relationships with your customer base. Therein also lies the pitfall of the social networks. You have an online responsibility towards your customers. At the end of the day, social media can make or break your business.
Some social media practices that could hurt your business include:
1. You’re Publishing the Wrong Kinds of Content
Marketers often make the mistake of using the social networks for the sole purpose of pushing promotional content and updates. The problem with this lies in the fact that social media is all about building trust, engagement and community. There is a time and place for promotional messages but you also have to add value to the conversations and interactions you have online by sharing content meant to indulge or help your customers.
For instance, not every post you make on social media has to come from an original idea of yours. Sometimes responding to what others are saying and bouncing your ideas off them could be as plausible a way of getting yourself heard as any. Then there are other types of content such as non-promotional company information, for example if your employees are taking part in some volunteer work or if you have a job opening for job seekers.
2. You’re Publishing too Much Content too Often
How often should you post on the social networks? That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Sadly though, there is no right answer to this. There is no best practice set in stone because the social networks, for example Twitter and Facebook are very different from one another. One thing that’s true for all the social media sites is that updates and posts don’t last long and users move on to more recent items quickly. The other consideration is the type of organization you are. A media publication, for instance, can get away with many updates a day whereas a online shoe store sending out updates at such a frequency will exhaust and consequently turn off users. One thing you absolutely don’t want to do is talk just for the sake of it. Content you post on social media should add value to the community around your brand or business.
Founded in March 2006 and launched in July that same year, Twitter has a short history of 8 years and in that time, the online social networking service went from 5,000 tweets a day in the year following its launch to 500,000,000 tweets a day as of 2013. This corresponds to an average of 6,000 tweets every second and a total of 200 billion tweets a year. As of December 2014, Twitter also boasts of 500 million users, of which an estimated 284 million are active users. Clearly, Twitter is one of the biggest social networks today and as a business, it makes sense to be on Twitter and of course promote the sharing and widespread distribution of your content by optimizing your website and blog to be more Twitter friendly.
But what makes a blog Twitter friendly? The truth is, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, everyone in the digital marketing world understands the value of marketing on Twitter but not everyone understands what it takes to encourage sharing on the social network. In essence, making a blog more Twitter friendly is a two-part process and each process, in turn, involves a number of steps.
- The first process is creating content that will do well on Twitter.
- The second process is fine-tuning the technical aspects of your individual blog posts and the business blog in general for better results on the social network.
Let’s take a look at the steps to create a business blog more prone to widespread distribution and sharing.
1. People on Twitter like Statistics and ‘Snackable Content’
The average adult has an attention span of 8 seconds. This is a number down from 12 seconds in 2000. Obviously, as the years go by, we are not getting more patient. Quite the opposite actually!
Correspondingly, in the content-saturated and distraction-rich world of social media and by extension, Twitter, marketers have a need to grab the attention of consumers quickly, giving rise to the concept of snackable content. When you create content, make it a part of the process to include snackable bits and pieces of information easy to share on social media and ergo Twitter. In particular, you can choose to add things like statistics or compelling quotes in the body and these can serve as useful resources for easy Twitter sharing and content distribution.
A useful plugin to easily create tweetable content and promote sharing on Twitter is Click to Tweet. Use it to highlight snackable parts of your blog posts and make it practical for readers to automatically add the message to their Twitter status box.
2. Use Quality Visual Content
According to findings by Jeff Bullas, adding images to blog posts increases its total number of views and engagement and a blog’s overall number of readers, subscribers, followers, and leads. In essence, visual content serves to break up written content and make it easier for readers to go through the whole post without bouncing. Now, if you are optimizing your blog for Twitter, adding visual elements to your posts should be more strategic with at least one image featured prominently, either as the header of the piece or as one of the first images and adjusted to the right image ratio for sharing on Twitter. The ideal image dimension for Twitter posts is 1024px by 512px.
Launched on October 06, 2010 and named iPhone App of the Year by Apple the following year on December 09, 2011, after 4 short years, Instagram announced in December that it is now a global community of more than 300 million users sharing over 70 million photos and videos each day. From the beginning, as a photo-sharing and video-sharing social service, Instagram has been focused on 2 things: simplicity and inspiring creativity.
As Instagram grows bigger, it remains a fast, beautiful and most importantly a fun-filled way for people to share their lives with friends and followers. For businesses and brands, the large and growing audience on Instagram is a compelling reason to join the service. It’s additionally a beautiful platform for storytelling and to share engaging content.
But what happens if you join the service and after amassing a few dozen followers, your account’s growth rate slows down and eventually stops. If you have, give or take, a total of 100 followers, your images will get maybe a dozen likes at most. It’s not significant enough to gain any traction.
The key to a successful Instagram account then would be to learn absolutely everything there is to know how the social service, in particular things like what causes Instagramers to like images, what makes them become followers and how to increase the visibility and impact of your images. So let’s discuss the science of Instagram and how to get more followers and likes on the service.
1. Connect your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Accounts
Perhaps the easiest way to grow your Instagram account is to connect it to your Facebook, Twitter and other social accounts so that any content you post on the photo-sharing service also gets posted across the other social platforms. This increases the reach and impact of your brand as friends and followers noticing your captivating imagery and rich visual storytelling will, most probably, start following you on Instagram as well. Note that if you choose to connect your social accounts, there is no rule against posting a status asking your friends and followers to follow you on Instagram as well.
2. Use Popular Tags
The most used hashtags on Instagram are as follows:
Like is the case on Twitter and a few other social networking services, using the right hashtags with your images and videos on Instagram is a great way to find new followers. The key is to be as specific and relevant as possible to help you connect with other like-minded people. After tagging your content, take a moment to look at pictures and videos other people shared using the same tags. You may come across some popular hashtags you hadn’t thought of originally.
Many organizations are realizing the important role that social media plays in the marketplace today and as such, have started using it as part of their marketing and advertising strategy. While large corporations may have plenty of funds to allocate towards advertising on social platforms, many companies are not seeing the expected rate of return on their hefty social advertising investments.
A lot of business managers have approached social media by marketing their organizations to consumers as a business, as opposed to just simply interacting with consumers as if they were real people. Social networks are meant to be “social”. People want people talking to them; not a faceless corp.
Some organizations have fallen into the trap of talking “at” their consumer base on social platforms in an effort to reach their bottom line, instead of talking “with” their consumer base to genuinely learn more about them. As a result, many organizations are experiencing a lack of interest and interaction, from consumers on social media despite having large followings on many social platforms.
Here are 3 steps business managers can use to begin genuine interaction with consumers to stimulate interest and interaction on social media:
1. Avoid Using Social Media Simply to get More Customers into your Sales Funnel
While every organization is in business to grow its consumer base and generate sales, business managers must realize and remember that business is not always about the bottom line. There are times when business is about setting a good example and being a leader in the marketplace. One way that organizations can lead by example and demonstrate leadership is by giving back to the very community that helps the organization generate revenues.
Businesses can interact with its consumer base across many different social platforms to generate ideas for social causes that its consumers find important and worthy of attention. When consumers see that an organization, particularly a large organization, is ready to listen to them, they are more likely to get involved with the brand socially (translation: More likes, comments, and shares!).