So Christmas is just around the corner, it’s time to get into the festive spirit, and that includes your social media strategy.
MDG Advertising share 7 ideas for festive social media posts in this infographic.
So Christmas is just around the corner, it’s time to get into the festive spirit, and that includes your social media strategy.
MDG Advertising share 7 ideas for festive social media posts in this infographic.
Do you want to target a specific age group with your social media marketing strategy? Want to know where each generation is more likely to “hang out”?
WebPageFX share their tips for marketing to specific age groups in this infographic.
So you’re a small business owner, you want to build an online presence, but you’re wondering where you should start?
Your online strategy should begin with and centre around a small business website. I know what you’re thinking – “You would say that, you own a web design company” – that’s true, but you will find it very hard to achieve real success online without one.
Trellis agree too, a website is the first item on their list of essential small business promotion tactics below.
Unless you are a really into social media, it’s easy get to get tunnel vision and just focus on the two main channels, Facebook and Twitter. Both are great ways to promote your work and reach out to customers but there are other channels that can be useful for photographers. Here’s a quick reminder of other social media services to consider.
While you may associate Instagram with lots of ‘retro’ photos of people’s morning cappuccino, Instagram is actually about sharing and enjoying photography. So it’s a perfect way to get your work out there.
If somebody likes one of your images they are likely to talk about it and share with their friends – and because Instagram is all about images, you don’t have to compete with all the other trivia that people see in their Facebook newsfeeds. Share new images on Instagram every time you have done a shoot and link it back to your main website or other online platforms.
Common sense suggests it’s best to post images around late afternoon/evening in the territories you want to target, or at the weekends, but with the rise of smartphones, people are now on Instagram all the time. Use Iconosquare to find out when your account is most active, and other important information.
It’s easy to forget about Google + and dismiss it as a wannabe Facebook, but it’s becoming more and more important as an image-sharing platform. Being active on Google + and posting good content on there can also help improve your Google rankings, for free.
Research has suggested that most people look at their Google + accounts in the mornings, before the beginning of the work day, but you can post anytime. It’s worth being on Google + just to raise your presence on the Google search engine, and again it’s free.
Pinterest may not be for everyone, but it’s useful for wedding and portrait photographers as there seems to be a lot of brides on there, looking for ideas for the big day.
As with Facebook, there is a lot of other information to contend with – everything from recipes to random pictures to clothes patterns – so you need to be posting quality images to make sure you get people’s attention.
It’s important you provide full contact information with your ‘pins’ so potential customers can easily get in touch. Tumblr is another good way to post portfolios of work, though it seems to be slightly waning in popularity.
It’s worth putting regular work on there though, as research also shows that people spend more time on Tumblr than they do on Facebook.
If you’re a commercial photographer, don’t forget LinkedIn. It’s a great way to keep in touch with business contacts and make new ones, and photography-related jobs are regularly posted on there. You will need to pay for a professional account, but if you only get one job a year off LinkedIn, it should soon pay for itself.
Image centric social networks are rapidly gaining market share due to their high engagement levels.
Pinterest has become the social media network to watch after growing over 4,000% in the last 6 months.
At an average of 88.3 minutes per visitor it ranks third on engagement behind Facebook and Tumblr and well ahead of LinkedIn (16 minutes) and Google Plus (5.1 minutes).
Pinterest is a social network with a simple premise: Users share photos that they find online by “pinning” them, the equivalent of “liking” a status on Facebook or giving a +1 on Google. Users have to download a toolbar that can be used to pin items from any Web site. The photo and information then appear on your Pinterest board, and users who follow you can see your collection of photos and even re-pin them if they like them. The simplicity of this system does not lend itself to obvious marketing strategies, but there are a number of ways that you can use this growing social network to promote your business:
The most obvious way to use Pinterest for your business is to pin your own products to share with other users. There are a few ways that you can leverage this strategy for the most benefit. Since you can create several boards, it is best to group your pins into product categories for specific customers, such as items for moms, kids, artists, and others. Doing so creates a virtual product catalog of interest to these consumers or for gift ideas for these groups. You can also create a “best of” board, showing off your most popular products.
When you create an entry for your pins, you can add a price tag. When you select this option, you can then add a link, pointing back to your Web site. Items added in this way are automatically included in the “gifts” section on Pinterest, which is a virtual catalog of gift ideas. Be sure to select your best photos for pinning, and include an evocative description.
Not every business sells products. Pinterest is still a useful marketing tool for these businesses. If you provide a service, you can create a kind of visual resume with Pinterest. For example, if you design Web sites, you can pin a screenshot of a home page. If you are a graphic designer, you can pin samples of your work. If you offer other services, such as consulting or writing work, you can use Pinterest to share photos that inspire or that share a message about your work. For example, financial consultants could pin to photos that represent client goals, such as financial independence or financing education. Non-profit groups can share photos of the clients they are helping.
When you pin your products, you have an opportunity to maximize your SEO strategy and to drive trafic back to your site. You create quality backlinks whenever you or other users link to your products. When you write descriptions, you can use your targeted keywords, which will attract your target customers and encourage them to visit your site. You can share your pins on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, encouraging more links to your products. All of these efforts will help to drive more traffic to your site and to increase your search-engine ranking.
Savvy social-networking users can easily identify a profile that is designed primarily to market products and services, and they are likely to avoid these profiles. Offer other users more reasons to visit your profile by offering them added value. Pin to other products and services that will benefit them, but that also complement your own products and services. For example, if you create custom wedding gowns, you can link to other bridal accessories or to beautiful wholesale fabrics. If you are a Web designer, you can link to useful tech gadgets.
Encourage users to interact with you on Pinterest and to visit your Web site by offering exclusive content. You can hold contests by asking users to re-pin your items for each “entry.” The more items are re-pinned, the more buzz you will build around your products and your site. You can also offer exclusive discounts or other promotions by using a QR code or other tactics.
Pinterest is a social network, so take the time to form relationships with other users and to build a community around your brand. When you see that users have re-pinned your items, comment and thank them. Follow other users, and this will encourage them to follow you in return. Ask for customer feedback by encouraging them to re-pin their favorite products in your catalog. The more you can do to encourage customer interaction, the better relationship you will have with them.
With the number of Pinterest users growing rapidly — as much as 4,000 percent in the last six months — the site is quickly becoming a dominant player in the social-networking field. Finding ways to leverage this site to promote your business is important to your overall marketing strategy.
Last year, marketers and businesspeople around the world saw a huge change in the way people use the internet. Most notably, in May 2015, we saw that more people were using their mobile devices to search for things online than on their desktop computers.
But these changes aren’t happening at the same rate everywhere in the world. In Iceland, Monaco, and Ukraine, the majority of internet users are using desktop to surf the web. On the other end of the spectrum, most internet users in many Southeast Asian countries are relying on their mobile devices for internet.
Which devices are folks using to search the internet around the world? What do social sharing behaviors look like by device? What are some notable global social media trends?
To help us understand how internet behavior has been shifting on a global scale in the past year, the folks at AddThis looked at more than one trillion global pageviews from more than two billion internet users around the world. They used that data to create the infographic below. Check it out.
Simply too many brands use social media as a free advertising platform where they can sell, sell, sell. While the drive to push sales on whatever platform available is admirable, social media (as most of us have realized by now) plays by different rules. It’s not like broadcast television, where you buy spots on primetime, talk about your brand, and see sales walking in the door.
Social media instead demands a symbiotic relationship between brands and their fans
You will only drive results from social media when your fans truly like you, identify with the values you project, and derive value from the content you publish.
Here we shall discuss a few ways to move your business beyond “sales” mode into to true “relationship” mode.
When you work on shaping a distinct brand identity to influence your audience via social media, you first need to know what they think about you now. You need to know how aware they are of your brand, its offerings, whether they perceive your brand positively or negatively, how your competitors fare in the same space, and so on. This allows you to make more informed decisions, as opposed to shots in the dark.
A tool like Mention offers you the ability to listen in on conversations about your brand and its related keywords across the web. Using Mention, not only do you get to hear in real time what’s being said about you online, you even get to participate in these conversations directly.
An interesting feature of Mention is that it allows the right people to engage with an audience in discussions that are taking place somewhere else. For example, a technical question on Quora can be answered directly from within the tool by your product manager, while a promotion-related query on Facebook can be tackled by your marketing manager simultaneously.
Mention allows you to track and analyze your brand’s position over time, helping you judge the effectiveness of your social media efforts.
Another powerful tool is Talkwalker, which corrals all online activity surrounding your brand in a single, searchable place. Choose your search terms (your company name, your industry niche, potential content topics, etc.), and watch related posts appear alongside easy-to-understand engagement data. You can even sort results by engagement statistics or tweak your search terms to monitor your competitors’ activities.
Talkwalker also provides handy “hashtag cloud” visualizations, which illustrate activity surrounding related hashtags. Whether the hashtag is an official part of your campaign or fan-generated, you’ll be able to track its use over time and any positive or negative sentiment attached to it.
Posting content on a regular basis is critical to showing up on users’ cluttered social media feeds. A post or two a day may seem relatively easy to do, but will have pretty much no impact on your fans. The odds of your lone post showing up versus thousands of others put up by friends, family, and other brands fighting for your users’ attention are pitiably low.
While Facebook is getting all the negative publicity for low (or no) exposure, the problem is especially compounded when it comes to Twitter. How many 140 character bursts do you need to get your followers to react? How do you manage to craft and publish multiple “interesting” or “engagement-inducing” tweets every single day?
Enter Tweet Jukebox. All you need to do is divvy up your content into different “jukeboxes” or categories. Tweet Jukebox then uses this content to automatically post tweets as per a schedule you decide. You can store thousands of records per jukebox, ensuring that you never run out of things to tweet
The best part is, when a user mentions your brand online in a tweet, you can thank every single one of them (automatically).
As you can see in the screenshot above, Tweet Jukebox comes with a free built-in Jukebox with quotes that can be directly posted on Twitter at the click of a “Tweet it Now” button. They also have an interesting “Jukebox Store”—a little like the iTunes store—where they feature hundreds of Jukeboxes that users can download and use for free. The service even allows users to create their very own content, store them in Jukeboxes, and share them with the Tweet Jukebox community.
Still short of content? Tweet Jukebox also goes back to older tweets and reposts them with a fresh twist. So much for social media being a time hog. With the chore of posting and scheduling multiple times a day taken care of, you can now focus on the more important task of creating and curating great content that your users will love.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the channels you monitor and fill in a single day, Sprout Social offers a solution. This social media management tool’s standout feature is its single, streamlined feed—a blessing for any manager who’s tired of juggling multiple tabs and menus. From your dashboard, you can auto-schedule posts across all major social platforms. Free social ROI reports help take the mystery out of how those posts performed.
Talking up your brand on social media is good, but getting important people talking about it piques your audience’s interest and takes your brand visibility (and eventually acceptance) to a new level. Advertising professionals have known for decades what social media marketers are only just realizing: A celebrity endorsement is social media gold for your brand.
HARO is one such tool that will help put your brand on the New York Times front page (It could happen!) without you spending a penny on any of it. HARO (or Help A Reporter Out) connects journalists in need of interesting new content with content experts who need a platform to publish their stuff. This synergetic equation means that you can offer interesting and novel content that features your brand to reporters looking for their latest scoop.
HARO sends you alerts about journalists in need of “sources” or content experts in specific areas, and you can reach out to the ones that match your skill sets. The credibility of the journalist in question automatically lends credibility to your product and gives your brand an opportunity to be featured on respected platforms that it may not have been able to get on otherwise.
Getting face to face or screen to screen with users in real time is an option that no marketing platform other than social media offers. Then why relegate the critical function of CRM to traditional channels like the phone or email? Companies that have invested in CRM via social media regularly reap the benefits of instant and engaging conversations with customers instead of plain old complaint resolutions. You should, too.
Nimble is a social CRM tool that allows you to offer customer care over social media platforms with ease. Nimble does a bunch of things exceedingly well. It builds detailed customer profiles by collating data from various sources: Outlook, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
It tracks step by step every interaction you’ve ever had with each user, thus offering a clear portrait of every customer. This rich customer data helps you respond to them in a more meaningful way, on the platform they are most comfortable with.
Conversations across platforms all come to one location, creating a unified inbox from where you can respond to every customer input instantaneously.
Every seasoned salesman knows that it’s not rock bottom prices but the strength of relationships that they build with clients that will see them through. Use social media as a tool to build relationships instead of hard selling to them with every post.
Your salespeople are online, and so are their prospects and customers. They make up the millions of people who are on social media on a daily basis. How can your sales team reach out to people in their pipeline?
This infographic breaks down 12 different popular social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as well as sites you may not be as familiar with, like Meerkat and Vimeo. For example, Facebook is ideal for building a community around your brand, and the majority of its users are college graduates or people who have some college education. And a site some salespeople may neglect is YouTube. It has over 1 billion users, and the site—even just the mobile site—reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network.
YouTube and Facebook each offer unique ways to connect with prospects and customers online, and with stats on those two sites, as well as information on ten more sites, your salespeople can reach out more effectively.
Check out the infographic below to learn more on how social media can help drive sales.
While social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are great for sharing content, some businesses can benefit more by showing their visual sides on Pinterest.
The visual bookmarking site first began as a tool used mainly by women, but all that has changed. Now, both young and old, suburbanites and city-dwellers, males and females can all be found browsing boards and adding pins.
Today, more than 30 percent of Pinterest users are men, and 45 percent of all users are from outside the U.S. They’re not just pinning recipes and gowns anymore, either.
Below are cool things to do on Pinterest for business that will ensure your business is discovered by millions of Pinterest users who are looking to buy, plan, and do almost anything.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people miss this critical step. As a business, you need to sign-up for a Pinterest for Business account. Verifying your business website lets your users know that your account is official.
To verify your website, go to Pinterest settings and click “confirm website.” Check out these steps if you need help. Once your business is verified, you will be given full access to Pinterest business analytics, rich pins and promoted posts.
The best part about verifying your Pinterest for Business account is that when someone shares anything from your website, the pin automatically gets tagged with your logo. This is just a simple step that will see users market your products for you.
One easy way of letting your prospective customers know about your presence and products on the social bookmarking site is to add a Pinterest button. The site has a variety of choices available on their Goodies page; find one that appeals to you.
Adding a Pin It button encourages your readers and customers to pin your products on Pinterest and this increases your business visibility.
Many Pinterest users search the platform for information and as a result, pins that provide the most relevant and valuable information perform better on the site. Businesses should include more information on their products so as to gain more exposure for their brand and ultimately drive sales.
Keep in mind that many people now browse on a mobile device and for Pinterest users using Android phones or iPhone they will only be able to see up to four lines of text for your description. Therefore, it is important that you write strong captions that will get their attention.
Your followers have a wide variety of interests, so why only present them with a few subjects? Pin a variety of subjects and not just what you have on your business. Pinterest did this with its Things to Try in 2015 post. They encouraged Pinners to create their own boards and share across other social media sites such as Facebook.
Did you know that more than 80 percent of all Pinterest pins are re-pinned? Before you re-pin, you first need to find out what appeals to your audience. What moves them? What interests them? What do they want to learn more about?
Find and re-pin pins with the desired topics and you will be seen as an expert in your industry.
While pinning others’ pins, it is important that you also pin some of your original content. Always remember, you want your users to find out more about your business, services and products.
Your followers want to see your original content and this could include new ideas, services and innovations that relate to your business.
For good return on investment, consistently pin content that links back to your email opt-in page, website or blog, and to your online catalog or product page. It’s a total buzz kill when someone clicks on your pin only to find that it’s a dead end.
Remember to include your service or product price when pinning as it makes it easy for users to immediately tell how much something costs. You could take this further by using Rich Pins that allow for inclusion of extra info like availability of the item or changes in price.
If you, for instance, reduce the price of a product, Pinterest automatically emails anyone who had pinned the products, letting him or her know of the cut. This, in turn, directs more visits to your Pinterest account, blog or website, and may even end up in some purchases. You will have to add some code to your website for this function and Pinterest has all the details to help you.
Pinterest upgraded its Pins last year, providing its users with Buyable Pins. The “Buy It” pins appear next to the “Pin It” button and once you click it you will be checked out. Checkout happens within the social bookmarking site or within the Pinterest app for mobile shoppers. Pinterest does not take any commissions from the sales.
To be able to fully harness the marketing power of Pinterest, you need to stop looking at it only as a place for competition but also as a place where you can grow together with other sellers. Join forces and audiences by creating group boards. This allows multiple sellers to contribute content so users are always assured of fresh, interesting pins.
Create your own group board or join existing ones that are already doing well. Find boards that attract your target customers and then reach out to the owner and ask if you can contribute.
Did you know that Pinterest drives more traffic than Reddit, LinkedIn and Twitter combined? Do you know how much traffic your blog or website gets from it? Pinterest Analytics can tell you. You can also easily tell the pins and boards that are getting the most attention from the clicks and re-pins they are getting.
What does 2016 have in store for your social media marketing strategy? Want to know the trends that you may need to integrate into your plans this year?
Social media platforms are fast changing and ever evolving places. Keeping up with those changes not only helps you stay better educated, but it also ensures your business stays at the forefront of your customers minds.
What changes will happen in 2016 though? CJG Digital Marketing share their predictions in the infographic below.