It’s always a tat bit irritating when businesses on Facebook freak out about the number of fans they have. What’s with the obsession with numbers anyway? Why are businesses always looking for ways to get people to ‘like’ them? You would think, with all that’s written about social media marketing over the web, people would get it by now that increasing their number of fans on Facebook is not really the point of being on the social site. It’s more about creating engaging content and having a workable marketing strategy. If you focus on these two things, the fans will inevitably follow. You will never be successful on Facebook if you don’t focus on the right things.
Your Facebook Reach
Your Facebook reach is the number of people who see the posts you make on the social site. It is NOT an indicator of how many people actually read what you share. It simply measures how many people scroll over your posts in their news feeds.
Clearly, Facebook reach is a metric that’s not very useful as an indicator of your performance on the social site. As a marketer, there is no harm if you choose to monitor your Facebook reach. It is an important social media metrics but don’t get warped by it.
On any given day, assume that 50% of your fans get on Facebook and an average user spends 30-60 minutes on the social site. A Facebook post, as you probably already know has an average lifetime value of 2.5 hours. This gives a post an average reach of 10-15% no matter how many fans you have.
Your Facebook Relevance
So we’ve seen what Facebook reach is. Now let’s talk about relevance. Your Facebook relevance is a measure of authority and trust. In effect, it measures how the information you share on the social site spreads. It measures the sharing of content by our audience.
If you are using Facebook marketing to target a particular audience, relevance can help you save money on your advertising expenses. This is because you will only be targeting a relevant audience and target customers. Rationally speaking, if you can select the people you reach out to, why target the whole world? Focus your energies on people who are likely to convert into buying customers.
So based on what you’ve read so far, if you had to pick one thing to focus on, reach or relevance, which one would you pick?
I say, be greedy! It’s okay to want both. And together we’ll see how you can get away with it.
1. Engage! Fans will Follow
Any business investing in social media marketing would need a fair number of fans on Facebook. If you are looking to increase your Facebook reach, forget about buying Facebook fans and focus on creating quality and engaging content for your fans. If you have any idea what Facebook EdgeRank is, you would know why engagement is important on social sites like Facebook. Briefly, the more your fans engage with your posts, the greater the reach and visibility of the posts.
In functionality, Twitter is a real-time information network. It connects users to a wide array of stories, ideas and opinions. At core, Twitter is a collection of small bursts of information. These are called Tweets. A Tweet is a 140-character long single unit of information. For people who are adept at using Facebook, this might seem like a really restricting factor but don’t let the small size fool you. If you know how to use the 140-character space, in a single Tweet, you can share a lot: photos, videos, a whole story.
For businesses, Twitter opens a whole new dimension for brand promotion. Connecting businesses and customers in real time, Twitter is an incredible tool for brand promotion and quickly sharing information about products and services with people. Twitter can also be used to gather industry intelligence and build connections with potential customers and industry influencers.
Using Twitter for Brand Promotion
1. Build a Presence for Your Brand
Your Twitter marketing experience depends on two factors: your Twitter account and your Twitter profile. Without these two things, it’s going to be hard to tell your story. Remember to build your Twitter presence so it has the same look and feel as the other online marketing tools you use. This makes it easier for people to relate to your brand.
– Choose a proper account username: This is the name that will appear next to all your Tweets.
– Choose a proper profile image: Twitter allows for two images that you can use to tell your business story. The Twitter profile picture is a square photo; The Twitter profile header is similar to the Facebook cover photo. You can also tamper with your Twitter background.
– Complete your Twitter profile: This includes details about your location, your website and your biography. Every piece of information you provide brings you one step closer to a stronger foundation.
2. Start Following
When you are done setting up your account and filling in your profile information, the next thing to do is to start following relevant people. When you “Follow” a user on Twitter, you essentially subscribe to everything they share. So follow people wisely.
Note: Twitter has rules concerning aggressive following. If you are new on Twitter, the instinct is to follow as many people as possible but remember to take it slow. Also, your Twitter experience will largely depend on the people you follow so make the right choices.
3. Start Talking
Twitter shares many features with the other social sites but it is also unique in many ways. For instance, talking on Twitter is different. It is more fast-paced, more hectic.
To find your footing in the Twitter world, give yourself some time. Test the waters and observe what other people are doing. Jump in only when you know what you should talk about.
A Tweet can be:
– A public Tweet
– A message to someone, so an @reply Tweet
– A mention
– A direct message (DM)
– A reTweet (RT)
In October 2012, Pinterest introduced business accounts. This was in response to the growing number of businesses and brands on the social network. The launch was structured in such a way that businesses could either transform their existing personal accounts into business accounts or equally possible, start from scratch.
According to GianFulgoni, chairman and co-founder of comScore Inc.,
1. Pinterest is the fastest growing stand-alone site to reach 10 million visitors.
2. The average Pinterest user spends more than an hour on the site each month
3. With Pinterest, it’s easy to generate virality.
4. 2/3 of Pinterest visitors are women.
5. Pinterest offers many monetization opportunities.
6. The social site influences shopping decision-making.
If you haven’t incorporated Pinterest into your social marketing strategy, it’s time!
8 Recommendations to Expand your Pinterest Presence
1. It’s Not About Marketing, it’s About Building a Community
Pinterest is a social site like any other including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The key to success is to build a community around your brand and your biggest pinners. Recognize and reward your loyal pinners whether it’s in the form of a discount or some behind-the-scene action like running a pre-sale for your loyal pinners. Adding a human touch to your Pinterest marketing strategy will help your presence on the social site.
2. Don’t be Selfish
If you are creating a community around your brand, in addition to working within that community, also participate in the Pinterest community sharing content by other people, following them and repinning their images. When you engage with other Pinterest users, you will get a better understanding of what makes them tick and subsequently this psychological insight can help you attract the same people to your boards.
3. Don’t Limit Yourself to Pre-Existing Boards
Pinterest allows users to create specialized boards so think of themes, events or trends and design boards that tell a story. For example, a wedding board or a holiday to the Bahamas board that groups related items into a picture timeline.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Pinterest Boards From Other Websites
Pinterest enjoys a good amount of traffic but traffic to your boards won’t happen on its own. You will need to insert Pin It buttons on your website, on your business blog, on your Facebook page, Twitter account and Gooogle+ profile. Just make it as easy as possible for your customers to repin your images.
5. Keep Your Images Fabulous
Pinterest is visual. On Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, written content is big but on Pinterest, it’s all about images. They tell your story. They represent your brand. So keep them fabulous. Therefore,
– Avoid pixelated images
– Make sure your images are the right size
– Don’t upload images from Google
– Include descriptions
– Combine text and images for do-it-yourself guides
– Use abbreviated infographics on Pinterest and lead Pinterest users to the full image on your site
Conferences and other live industry events such as conventions and tradeshows have always been incredible marketing opportunities for businesses. They are perfect venues for networking and lead generation. In recent years, the rise of the social networks, in particular Twitter, has added a new dimension to networking. With Twitter, marketers can now connect with countless other attendees. This is made possible by live tweeting.
Live tweeting is an art in itself. It should not be taken lightly for it is not a networking opportunity without pitfalls. There are hazards and to ensure that knowingly or unknowingly you don’t commit Twitter blunders, below are some things worth considering for tweeting at live conferences and conventions.
Best Practices for Tweeting at Tradeshows and Live Conferences
1. Assign the Right People to the Right Jobs
Prior to the actual event, plan who will be in charge of updating your different social accounts including Twitter and who will be tweeting from their own personal accounts. It helps to have at least two people managing the brand’s official Twitter account: one to cover your own booth and the other to cover the informational sessions. This will enable you to build connections and create engagement from multiple vantage points. It will also enable you and your team members to capture unexpected moments as and when they occur; the essence of being omnipresent.
2. Tone it Down a Little about Your Own Booth
Yes, people want to know what’s happening with your booth, where it is and what your giveaways are but too much information too frequent can cause disinterest. Keep tweets about your booth to one or two a day. The last thing you want to do is to monopolize the event’s hashtag stream.
If you don’t have anything interesting going on, don’t attract traffic to your booth. Instead share photos and video of some behind-the-scene action or of people who visit your booth. If you have an interesting giveaway then it’s justified to tweet about it and draw attention to your booth.
3. Engage with the Other Event Attendees
Like you would notice if you follow any event hashtag stream, in any live conference or convention, the bulk of networking and lead generation happens, not at your booth but at the informational sessions. Keynote discussions and presentations are then often tweeted by the event attendees. If you were at the informational sessions, jump into discussions as they take place and feel free to share your expert opinions and thoughts.
4. Retweeting is Allowed
At a live event, you can tweet about what’s happening carefully using your 140-character tweet to give out maximum value and information or you can retweet others. They are basically doing the same thing too. This will save you the hassle of hanging on to every word spoken at the informational sessions, carefully working your tweet and then posting it.
To tap into other people’s tweets, in addition to the official event hashtag stream, prearrange saved searches for speaker names.
Almost every other day, it seems like one social network or another is redesigning itself. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a lot for marketers to assimilate. The latest one from Facebook is clickable hashtags.
Facebook announced earlier in June that the social site will be rolling out Facebook hashtags after all. To many social media marketers, this comes as no surprise. There has been a lot of speculation about this happening for quite some time now but finally it’s official.
For social media marketers, the launch of Facebook hashtags means that from here on, you will be able to integrate your marketing efforts across all the social sites including Twitter, Instagram and more, strengthening your social media branding. Furthermore, Facebook announced that down the road, there is a possibility that Facebook hashtags will be linked to paid ads, a significant step towards real time marketing.
About Hashtags and their Functionality
Hashtags, like you would know if you are on any of the following social sites: Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, are used to turn phrases into clickable links. This helps people find posts that they are interested in. To create a hashtag, all you have to do is add“#“ alongside a phrase written as a single word (no spaces). For example #EqualityForAll or #PeopleLikeUs
When a hashtag is clicked, the user is redirected to a feed of posts that share the same hashtag. From there on, you can potentially join any public conversation, enabling Facebook users to link their posts to a larger topic already popular on Facebook.
With Facebook hashtags, you can now:
– Search the social site for a specific conversation
– Follow an event or a personality just like it is possible on Twitter
– See posts that originate from other applications, for example Instagram
– Click on hashtags in the status updates of your friends and other Facebook pages
At the end of the day, Facebook hashtags is yet another way for Facebook to encourage engagement on the social site and create more monetization opportunities. Thanks to this new Facebook feature, your status updates about a particular topic can now go viral without the help of your friends.
Indeed, up until now, how successful you were at Facebook marketing heavily depended on the number of Facebook friends and fans you had but now there is no limit to how many people you can reach. We are talking about tens of thousands of people here.
Hashtag Tips for Facebook Marketers
If you’ve been using Twitter as part and parcel of your social media marketing strategy, you are probably very familiar with how hashtags work. Now Facebook hashtags is adding another dimension to the concept allowing marketers to effectively unify their message across the different social sites. This is an incredible opportunity that businesses now have to increase engagement and the discoverability of their promotions, events and content.
You are probably thinking: What can I possibly learn from celebrities about brand management? What can one learn from following celebrities on the social sites? Where they are having dinner tonight? The hottest spa in Miami? The latest fashion trends straight off the Chanel runway?
Actually, there is more!
Do you remember the days when people used to wait for months for a music album to be released? You remember how, back in the days, the only time it was possible to get a glimpse of a celebrity is on TV or in a magazine? Well these days, all of that changed, hasn’t it? Celebrities are now on the social sites and very accessible to their fans via platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
From announcing an upcoming vacation in London to taking a relationship public to announcing the death of a dear one, celebrities share everything on the social sites and followers have real-time and first hand access to photos, videos and tweets from their favorite celebrities.
Did it ever happen to you that someday you log on Twitter and you see a picture of your favorite celebrity and you think to yourself: What was he/she thinking putting up an obscene picture like that? The next day you see the same picture splashed all over the mainstream newspapers. Clearly, when it comes to managing a brand online, there are things that one can learn from the way celebrities manage their social media accounts.
If you are stumped as to what you should manage your brand online, a good place to start is to monitor the social channels of your favorite celebrities. Observe how they bring their social accounts to life, what they share on the social sites, how they connect with people and the mistakes they make.
What Online Businesses can Learn from Celebrities about Brand Management
1. Backstage Access
One the reasons why fans love following their favorite celebrities on the social sites like Instagram is that they get a glimpse of their inside world: Who they hang out with, where they go on vacation, unseen pictures and videos.
The social sites provide a kind of real-time access to movie stars, athletes and popular singers making them more real, more human and more relatable. The content that fans read and share are coming directly from the people they idolize, not the mainstream media.
The takeaway: In addition to offering coupons and discounts to people who “like” your brand, also give away some insider information about your business on the social sites to make your followers relate to you more. People like to feel connected and in sync with their favorite brands.
One of the useful things about social media is that is allows for a two-way communication channel between businesses and their audience. Currently, many companies and brands are substituting their traditional marketing techniques with social media. The companies with the most successful social media engagement plans have a few things in common:
- The communication channel is designed with intent and purpose
- Conversations are monitored
- Content is developed based on demographic data
What is a Social Engagement Strategy?
It is pretty obvious that social media has radically changed the way people perceive everything in life. For a business to thrive, a social media engagement strategy is essential. A social engagement strategy is not very different from having a content strategy. It can actually be seen as an extension of the latter focusing primarily on how information is shared to promote communication and interaction rather than what information is shared. Basically it’s all about how you say something instead of what you say. When it comes to social media marketing, a content strategy without a social engagement plan is the equivalent of holding a press conference but not allowing Q&A.
The Essential Components of a Successful Social Engagement Plan
On the social sites, in particular Facebook, Twitter and Google+, most people will return to your company page if they feel the place is inviting, friendly and has an appealing vibe. If you want your page to do well, you want to build a community and set a positive tone for your company profile. Remember that sites like Facebook and Twitter were created so people could connect with friends and other people so stay open, fun, enthusiastic and most importantly unique.
For social media success, you want to encourage fan participation as much as possible. This is very closely related to the example used above. You can’t hold a press conference and withhold Q&A. On the social sites, the single most important purpose of your business updates should be to encourage fan participation. Don’t embark on a journey of self-promotion. Ask questions, take an interest in the opinion of your audience and share the content of your fans and followers.
Ah. Social media. It’s an unavoidable topic nowadays. Actually, I will go as far as saying that it’s probably time for you to dump your favorite Internet marketing blog and/or forum if there is no section dedicated to social media on there!
While social media is not THE future of marketing, it certainly forms a big (huge?) part of it. It is not a coincidence that big corporations who do not appear to need any more attention at all are jumping on social media. Think Coca-Cola. Who doesn’t know it? Who doesn’t drink it? And yet, the expensive suits working there decided that it’s important for them to generate over 60 million Likes on their page. Same with Red Bull; they sent a guy (Felix Baumgartner) to space and had him literally jump back to Earth. And yet, they are still very active on their social pages.
In this article, I will dissect the strategies of 5 brands that got their social media marketing right. They have distinctly different strategies, which is why I picked them for this post.
If you have “Liked” them on Facebook, you know how big of a hit their ‘Daily Twist’ campaign was. For those who don’t know, Oreo turned 100 years old last year. To celebrate, they posted pictures and statuses on a daily basis for 100 days.
Their posts were highly relevant to big events that happened in the past, only that they were “Oreo-based”. It would be unreasonable for me to expect you to visualize that sentence, so let me illustrate it below with 4 of their genius images:
The amount of work involved, the commitment, the consistency, all of it paid off in the form of thousands of Likes and comments. This led to more people liking the brand and in the end I suppose buying more Oreos. I know for a fact these pictured are super appetizing.
When the company does not send people to space, it interacts with its fans and followers.
While some of us were busy complaining about the new Facebook Timeline, Red Bull decided to celebrate it by creating a game around it! It was called the “Red Bull Scavenger hunt”.
Basically, the aim was to answer questions that the admin asked, based on clues within the Facebook page. This led to an avalanche of comments and likes. Not only that, but it also allowed Red Bull to re-use (and revive) their old content.
You may be asking yourself how in the world can a mustard brand have an active social media presence. Well, Grey Poupon found a way.
We can deny it all we want, but we all have a sense of “self-worth” attached to our social profiles. This self-worth is what Grey Poupon is leveraging on.
It created “The Society of Good Taste” which very basically evaluates you. It even fetches information from your profile and shares to give you a rise in score!
This year and possibly for the many years to come, social media is going to be playing a major role in SEO. It follows that as a business, shares, retweets and +1s are trophies you should be amassing. It is not enough to be on the social sites Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Because social signals are now valid ranking factors, you should be getting people to subscribe, follow and have your posts come up on their screen on an everyday basis.
So how do you get people to like you in social media? How do you set fire to your social media presence? It’s a simple 4-part process.
Transparency is becoming increasingly important in social media. You see, over time, people on the social sites have become quite adept at being able to tell fake personas from real and authentic people. People on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, they don’t want to engage with big corporate logos, they want to talk to and listen to real people.
In social media, transparency can mean different things to different people. Transparency can mean letting your personality shine. It can mean engaging with people. It can mean being funny and exciting. At the end of the day, what you need to remember is this: behind the company name, you are real people.
On the social sites, perhaps the easiest way to show transparency is to tell your story. No matter what niche you are in, every brand has a story. Putting your story out there can show humility, it can be a way to admitting to your past mistakes or it can be a way to tell people why you are better at what you do than others.
If your brand is new and it hasn’t been around for that long, don’t feel dejected. It simply means that you are now telling your story. Share some juicy ”behind the scenes” details or things that are not working out too well for you. People are bound to feel invested.
In social media, the most important thing is to let your audience know that you are there and you are listening. The best way to do this is to engage with your fans and followers. For people on Facebook and Twitter, there is perhaps no bigger turn-off than shooting a post or a tweet at a brand and come up empty. This essentially translates to you don’t care. On the other hand, if a post or tweet about your brand elicits a response from you, this can go a long way in making your brand totally sexy to the people on the social sites.
Today customer service is an essential part of social media. All work and no personal engagement is going to burn out the excitement about your brand in your social community.
The leading social media networks today are Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Of course there are other sites that fall under the category of prominent social networks including YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. In a few select niches, these sites may even be preferred but when it comes to the current Internet era and the near obsession of people with social media, it is a no-brainer which social networking platforms top the list.
With that said, as a user of social media for marketing, you probably have an account with either one of the 3 sites. There is even more chance that you have an account with 2 of them or all 3. You would certainly not be the only one.
Perhaps the popularity of these 3 sites can be explained by the fact that unlike the long gone social sites Friendster and MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ managed to tick all the boxes becoming the standard against which all other social sites are compared.
When it comes to social networking, the tricky thing is to keep up with all of the social networks and avoid rookie mistakes. In theory, this might not seem so challenging. Many people think of social networking as a fun part of the job but with so many social profiles and a different audience on each one, maintaining a relevant and successful presence on the social networks can become a chore.
So how to do social media marketing like the pros?
1. You Need an Overarching End Goal
On the social media platforms, your activities should be coordinated to suit your larger marketing strategy. Each individual status, infographic, video or picture should build off each other to give you a better return on your investment.
When you have an overarching goal, it also simplifies the day-to-day process of small decision-making. Suppose you have two infographics and you are unsure about which one to share with your followers or fans. If you have an end goal, this will act as a useful anchor and help you bring order from disorder.
So for successful social media marketing, design your marketing campaigns so they build on each other. This succession of small decisions put together will help you gain momentum on the social sites. This will be a much better use of your time than simply updating your status or curating content from other sources because you only want to maintain a presence of the social sites, whether or not this leads to something useful.