Social is easy – if you great content and the means to distribute it. As a marketer, however, your attention is split between various tasks at hand. It isn’t easy to give social media marketing the undivided attention it needs to get your approach to it right. Sometimes you overlook a tactic that is clearly working, or fail to optimize one that you are working with. Here is a list of six ignored tactics to increase your social media reach.
1. Create a social media sharing contest
You could use social media contests to engage and reward people who have been following you for a while. They also work in acquiring new interest for your pages, and increasing reach for the content you include as part of the contests. By powerfully branding your contest you can also increase your brand awareness on social media. One easy way to increase reach for a new product or service is by involving it in a social media sharing contest.The ideal goal here would be to get people to participate and share/bring in other participants. To do that, you have to ensure that the reward is exciting, and that the contest involves something that your audience is likely to do. The simpler you make it, the more likely your audience is to participate. Ensure that the platform or app you use to conduct the contest is user-friendly and prompts your audience to share something that furthers the reach of your contest.You could begin with the simplest contest idea you have in mind – like, share or comment to participate. Analyze the participation on that contest and slowly work your way up to more demanding activities with subsequent contests. Fully make use of the data you pull from contests, because they tell you important things about your content, your audience and your brand’s presence on social media.
2. Build a targeted social media following
If you want better engagement on your social media pages, you need a targeted social media following. Followers on your page who don’t add value to your brand or business are simply a number. While large numbers are indicative of popularity, low engagement numbers affect your brand’s search engine efforts. Irrelevant followers can also damage your brand’s identity if they decide to include you in less than desirable content.To build a targeted social media following, you first need clarity on your target audience persona(s). Define your demographic, identify what makes them tick and what their concerns are. Go to where they are located on the internet/social media and bring them to your social media pages – with the right content and follow-back links.A good way to do this is through the influencers in your niche. Follow their followers, who are highly likely to be part of your target audience. While following these people, scan through their social media descriptions and match their interests to your ideal target personas. Also judge by their following/followers ratio to see if they are likely to follow you back. Another method of building a targeted following is by sharing content specific to your industry.
3. Leverage keywords that are likely to drive traffic to your social pages
You can optimize your search for social media, just as your do for other search engines. If people are searching for something on Google, the same trends are likely to follow on social media.When was the last time you analyzed the performance of your content you put out there on your social platforms? If you have noticed, some keywords may work for you better than others, on different social media platforms. Monitor them and apply them to every post that you share on your social media pages. Here are a few words that generally perform betteron different social media platforms.
Twitter: free, top, how to, blog, 10, great, media, follow
Facebook: comment, post, discount, when, where, take, deals, amuses
LinkedIn: researched, developed, created, won, improved, under budget
Search trends generally don’t undergo drastic changes, but subtler ones that are also observable in your audience’s language. By optimizing your content to reflect the subtle changes, you can consistently build and grow the traffic moving to your social pages. One of the easiest ways to do this is by referring to what is working for your competition, on a regular basis. By using this tactic you can avoid doing the leg-work yourself and feed off what your competition is doing. The only catch is the choice you make for the topic mining. Choose one of the giants, a company that you know does its research before implementing a content strategy. You could of course go by the popularity of any post that you see is working. But when committing to a strategy in advance, follow only the best in your niche, or a large company targeting the same audience as you are, but with a slightly different product/service.
4. Build a peer/employee advocate network
Why add shares when you can multiply them? By building relationships with peers and advocates on social media, you can increase your reach up to 300X times (where X is the number of advocates you create and 300 is an approximate average follower count each of them has on all social media platforms). Imagine what would happen if your employees fill the variable X. The larger an organization is, the more they have to benefit from employee advocacy. When building a peer/employee advocate network, you have to be considerate. This relationship works like any other, there has to be give and take. You could reciprocate your peers’ sharing efforts by helping them promote some of their content. With employees, you could help them build their authority on social media while helping you push out your content. You can also create an advocacy program and reward your best advocates.
5. Post more often and on a calculated schedule
At any given time, your social media reach is limited to your audience’s real-time activity and the position of your content in their feeds. Sometimes, your audience may not even get to see the content you have created, stunting your content performance. You may have to schedule your content multiple times to reach most of your social media followers. A good frequency of posting is clearly necessary to engage and grow your social media following.
It is a good idea to focus your posting to fit the period when your followers are most active on each social media platform. People generally use Facebook and Twitter in the afternoons while LinkedIn usage happens in the mornings. But is isn’t enough to rely on generic research. You should optimize posting times to fit your social media followers’ activity. You could do this by setting up a simple experiment. Take one piece of content and schedule it to be posted on different days and at different times on each day. You could choose four-time intervals to test (early morning, mid-morning, afternoon and evening) and see the exact time when your content performs the best. You should do this on each social media platform you intend to be active on. Once you have your results, you can plan a content posting schedule to make the best of high engagement time intervals.
6. Interact with your social media audience
There is no point building a social media audience if you don’t interact with them. To build strong and lasting relationships you’re your audience, you have to care. You have to pay attention to the people who make your social media audience. People appreciate if you take the time to respond to them or to initiate conversations with them, it makes them feel special and gives them the impression that they will be cared for by your brand. How do you expect to turn your social media audience into customers without engagement and conversation? It is easier to manage your social media mentions when you have an app to help. Social media listening apps can monitor certain keywords, related to your brand, and give you real-time alerts when a mention has been made. Some of them also let you delegate tasks to a team to make your response streamlined and efficient.
The key to succeeding on social media is a good content strategy and effective reach. To optimize both for your brand, it is important to be observant of everything you put on social media and how it is received. Focus on the tactics that work better than the others, and ignore the ones that don’t.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
Social selling, or selling your products and services through social media, can be a tricky balancing act for B2B concepts. Sales and marketing teams must toe the line between persuasiveness and pushiness, and a little bit of social media know-how can facilitate enhanced positive interactions with potential clients.
After all, statistics point to social selling as one of the most effective tools in sales and marketing. Nearly 75% of buyers consult social media before making a purchase decision, and 77% of buyers don’t talk to a salesperson until performing independent research. Here are four ways to master B2B social selling for your company.
Develop a strategy and choose your network
Before heading to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, take some time to develop a strategy. What are your goals? Which social media channels does your brand perform best with, and which channels are your customers using?
In general, avoid Facebook and Twitter for B2B selling; users on these social networks are likely entertaining themselves, catching up on news or interacting with friends and family. They are more likely to view a sales pitch as an invasion of privacy and an annoyance than on LinkedIn, where the audience is much more professional. However, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+ and other platforms can still serve a purpose: They are important components to creating a comprehensive brand identity. And while Facebook, Twitter and other platforms certainly have more users, LinkedIn’s more targeted audience is more engaged with professional products and services, which serves sales and marketing teams well. Once you have a plan in place, you’re ready to proceed.
Use existing material to build brand equity
Chances are your business already has some valuable collateral that can aid in creating a conversation with a potential buyer. Think blogs, bylines, case studies, trade-show collateral, guest writing opportunities and other industry activities that will be noticed.
This is also a great time to repurpose any press coverage your brand has earned with decision-maker contacts for your targeted prospective customers. The truth is that most buyers do their research beforehand, so presenting your brand as favorably as possible is critical to the due-diligence process.
Be prompt, not pushy with your follow-up
According to Social Times, more than half of consumers expect brands to respond to an inquiry or message within an hour. While this might hold true for consumer-focused brands that do the majority of their customer interactions via social media, B2B brands can afford to show a little more restraint in social media conversations. Certainly, respond in an appropriate amount of time, but don’t be too eager: Your products and services are valuable and should be seen as such.
In all interactions, make sure your messages are clear, friendly, spelled and formatted correctly, and ensure that your tone is personable yet professional. This is the opportunity for a first impression you won’t be able to make again.
Utilize the power of your prospects’ networks
You’ve done all the right things—respectful, timely follow-up, well-crafted messages, supplementary material and more—but the potential client still isn’t biting. There could be many reasons for this—budgetary limitations, corporate hoops to jump through, general bureaucracy—but it’s still important to keep up a good relationship with your potential client because while they might not be looking to buy, someone they know in the industry could be.
Craft a follow-up message to send on to leads when big internal news hits, simply informing them of positive news and gauging their interest, because circumstances change. If at first your prospect doesn’t respond, don’t be afraid to follow up with another note. This is true social networking! Clearly, social media influences B2B sales interactions greatly. However, it does take a practiced hand to close deals, requiring a more nuanced understanding of social selling and the social media channels involved. Use these tips to take your selling to the next level.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
Local marketing will be pivotal for brands in 2017 — but local affiliates are missing out on major opportunities to reach consumers.
Even as local businesses understand the value of tailoring their marketing efforts to their community, it appears that a profound disconnect still exists: Less than 8 percent use mobile, targeted search, or display advertising to reach local consumers — and 56 percent haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing, according to Brand Muscle’s State Of The Local Marketing Report.
The study indicates that local marketing will be pivotal for brands in 2017 — and beyond. Below, three takeaways that businesses can implement to ensure that their local efforts payoff:
Claim those listings: Brands that don’t manage their listings on the local level are likely to see inaccuracies in their data, whether than means in incorrect address listing or out-of-date hours. This leads to customer frustrations when a location they expect to be able to visit has closed or relocated — and businesses can’t afford that negative experience.
Set a social strategy that includes local advertising: “That’s not to say that local businesses need to be active on every social media outlet but approaching platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Snapchat with an open and creative mind presents clear opportunities for brands to execute hyper-local, targeted marketing that helps local affiliates establish a viable social media presence.” Social media posts — and ads — should be tied to concrete locations and local events/promotions.
Make 2017 the year of integrated marketing: Online and offline are essentially equal in customers’ minds; they shop and purchase however best suits them in the moment, meaning it’s more critical than ever that brands build integrated marketing efforts that work on the national and local levels. Understanding which tactics generate the best results for affiliates so you can align co-op funds and co-branded materials to support these efforts represents a major opportunity to optimize local marketing, The report concludes. “Campaigns that have historically been seen as seasonal, one-off efforts should be packaged to accommodate an increasingly fragmented media
landscape, while also taking advantage of new targeting capabilities available in our mobile-first digital world.”
FDMC Social & Digital Media
“Ahhh, those were the days!” or “I remember back when I used to….”
Remember when dad would get up early, throw on the robe, and go outside to grab the newspaper? Or when mom would meticulously cut out coupons for the next trip to the grocery store? For many people, that was as ordinary as using sugar substitutes for our home brewed coffee. But for most of us, those days are long gone. Mocha lattes, Groupon deals and of course smart phones are the latest fads. “Traditional marketing is dying, and Millennials are responsible.”
Today's world is governed more than ever by rapidly advancing technology, and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight. Long gone are the ways of the 70's, 80's and 90's when the preferred sales method was silly cookie cutter advertising patterns that most everyone adhered to as a marketer, with surprising results that made it worthwhile. Resistance is...sadly futile. Or is it? Maybe it's time we stop resisting and start embracing the fast-approaching challenges of making our businesses profitable in the future. Traditional marketing is dying, and Millennials are responsible.
While pondering your next marketing strategy, keep this in mind: The millennial generation (also known as Generation Y, born in the early 1980's to around 2000) is now the largest population in the United States, representing more than one quarter of the total population, as this number suggests. It's still close (about 83.1 million to the baby boomers 75.4 million), but time itself will widen that number as the older demographic rides off into the proverbial sunset.
What Causes Traditional Marketing to Fail With Millennials?
Millennials have a general disdain for TV and radio ads that were the industry standard for marketing before the millennium. Most people have learned to tune out a lot of the constant bombardment of advertising that our society has inundated us with. But their generation has developed a nearly flawless ability to completely tune out not only the sales efforts of traditional marketing, but also the world around them. As a father of a millennial, I’ve seen first- hand how little attention they pay to ads (and to me on occasion, a frustration I know is not solely mine) that might get my own attention. We’ve all seen faces completely buried in a cell phone, oblivious to everything.
So of course we now know that over 85% of millennials have smart phones. We need to engage them where they are most likely to be. It should be noted that people of all ages spend plenty of time on their phone these days, but millennials tend towards much greater time blocks of cell phone usage. Another notable difference in this demographic is that millennials are much more socially liberal than previous generations. From topics such as gay marriage or marijuana usage, to the unique Democratic and Republican candidates we’ve seen gain tremendous popularity in today’s politics, millennials are more active and perhaps even more outspoken about societal issues and the future of our country. If you thought they were different, you’re right, but not exactly in the ways you may have thought.
Your business’s biggest problem is obscurity. If people don't know you, they won't do business with you. Your product could be amazing, your customer service could make clients shiver with glee, but if they don’t know you exist, you’ve got no chance of helping them. Zero.
Social media is one of the most effective tools out there for generating that awareness and catapulting your way out of obscurity. These amazing, free channels of communication are available for all of us to use, and most of us squander these opportunities day in and day out. For shame.
I know you’re not satisfied with the level of traction you’re earning on social media. I’m always looking for those unique opportunities to skyrocket my clients’ social media followings and get more attention for their brands.
If you’re not satisfied with the level of attention you’re getting on social media, then it’s time to do something about it. Here are some reasons why you may not be getting the traction you want on social media.
You’re not posting often enough.
When drafting a social media posting schedule, remember that you’re not looking to check off boxes, you’re looking to get attention for yourself and your brand.
There are plenty of social media scheduling guides out there, but really there is no right answer to the frequency question. The bottom line is this: the more you post, the more opportunities you have to engage with your fans.
I can say with almost 100 percent certainty that you’re not posting often enough. I used to tweet one or two times a day and got good engagement. I will, at times, post more depending on the topics of discussions.
You’re posting at the wrong times.
If you like posting on social media at 2 a.m., but your audience doesn’t check their phone until lunch, then your posts will go largely unnoticed. Similarly, if you post on LinkedIn at the same times that you post on Facebook or Instagram, don’t be surprised if you get wildly different rates of engagement. Different platforms have different users and different behavioral patterns.
Using a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite is extremely helpful for testing out different types of content at various posting times. Feel free to inform your decisions based on existing data, but understand that what works for others may not necessarily work for you. As you continue to test, eventually you’ll notice patterns and identify the dead zones and which times are the magic moments when your fan base is really buzzing.
And remember, the more you post, the more opportunities you have to get that buzz you’re after. If you post once per day, you have just one opportunity to capture the attention of your audience. If you post 10 times per day, that’s 10 times the opportunity to test your content and cast a wider net.
You’re not memorable.
Memorability can come from a number of things. Consistency is certainly up there -- the more often you see or hear something, the more memorable it is. I know Geico can save me 15 percent or more on car insurance because it’s been drilled into my psyche.
On average, it takes 5 to 8 impressions to remember a brand. Now just imagine how many more times it will take if you look and sound like everyone else.
So focus on standing out. Share your story and be personable. Look for ways to delight your fans, compliment people, collaborate and make your audience feel positive emotions when they see your name. All of that work will ensure that the next time they think of your industry, they’ll make the connection -- ding -- and think of you too.
You’ve put all your eggs in one basket.
You’ve done loads of demographics research. You know for sure which social media platforms your target audience is on and which they’re not. So you sign up confidently for one or two platforms and poo-poo the others. I’ve made this mistake before and I’ll tell you right now -- you won’t know for certain where your audience will be most engaged until you test your theory out.
My initial research found Twitter to be my best bet, so I began to make my home there. It’s working well, but over the last year, as I’ve tracked the engagement metrics on my blogs and I discovered that my website is where I get the majority of my traction. that’s where my articles get shared the most. Go figure. Try your content out on different platforms to find the communities that are most engaged with your content.
You’re expecting people to come to you.
You see people with amazing follower-to-following ratios on Twitter and figure you’ll get there if you just start sharing some great content, but that’s not how it works. Building an online audience is a grind.
When you’re looking to grow your business, you don’t just turn the lights on and wait for customers to come to you. You go after them. You experiment with marketing and advertising. You seek out PR opportunities. You set up a sales funnel and work your tail off getting referrals.
Growing your online audience is the same way. You may need to follow hundreds of people in order to get the valuable attention of a select few. You’ll want to engage with your biggest fans and figure out who your key influencers are. And yes, you’ll want to occasionally set up those paid campaigns to help supplement your organic efforts.
You’re not adding any value.
Take a hard look at the content you’re sharing on social media. Are you just posting news articles from the same publication with no commentary? Are you adding anything original to the conversation? If you’re not giving people a reason to share your content, they won’t. There is far too much competition on social media for you to stand out by being forgettable and unoriginal.
Sharing your own original content is a great way to provide unique value. So too is sharing a carefully selected mix of external news articles, blog posts, pictures, and videos. Make your news feed visually appealing, share a variety of content and give your audience something valuable to come back to day after day.
You’re hot and you’re cold. One day you’ll post on social media, the next day you’ll respond to a comment and then you’ll forget for three weeks straight.
At its core, social media is a way of engaging and interacting with other people. And just like any other form of communication, if it’s clear that you don’t really care about your audience, they’re not going to stick around for long.
If customers have a problem and they can’t get a hold of you via social media, they’re much more likely to leave a negative review. So make yourself a consistent schedule for posting updates and checking your notifications, and stick to it!
You’re forgetting visual content.
There’s an incredible amount of data out there on the power of visual media in encouraging engagement online. Tweets with images get 150 percent more retweets than tweets without images. Content with relevant visual content get 94% more tweets than content without. YouTube has the longest session time of any social platform, averaging 40 minutes on mobile per user.
If you’re not taking advantage of videos, pictures, graphics and gifs, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Make it your mission to make your social content as visually appealing as possible. It will look great and you’ll earn the engagement metrics to make it worth your while.
You’re just focusing on yourself.
If you share content that is interesting to you, but not to your audience, then you’re just being plain selfish. Nobody wants to engage with a page of spam, random thoughts or advertisements. Social media users want to be educated and entertained. They want value, not ads. Instead of focusing on what you want -- more sales or a larger audience -- focus on what your audience wants -- more value. Make the answers to those questions your driving thesis behind your social media activity. Do your absolute best to provide as much value as possible for your target audience, and you’ll reap the reward.
FDMC Social & Digital Media