How to Pick the Right Social Platform to Grow Your Sales

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.

https://www.salesforce.com/ca/blog/2016/02/social-platform-to-grow-sales.html

The Future of Social Media: 8 Trends That Will Take Charge in 2016

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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.

The Future of Social Media 8 Trends That Will Take Charge in 2016http://blog.red-website-design.co.uk/2016/01/11/the-future-of-social-media-8-trends-that-will-take-charge-in-2016/

5 Simple Social Media Techniques to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

social-media-439155_1280Are you looking for ways to make the most of your social media efforts? Want some simple techniques to drive more referral traffic?

We all know Facebook is naff for organic reach, but with Twitter recently removing the share count from their social buttons, organic Twitter traffic for some has started already to decline too. It’s clearly becoming harder to generate free traffic from social sites.

How do you reverse the trend? Your Personal Marketer share their top 5 tips in the infographic below.

5 Simple Social Media Techniques to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

http://blog.red-website-design.co.uk/2015/12/16/5-simple-social-media-techniques-to-drive-more-traffic-to-your-website/

The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites

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Social media is one of the best ways to amplify the great content you’re creating. But it isn’t enough to just post content to social whenever you feel like it. Some times are better than others.

So … When’s the best time to post content to social media?

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer. Different businesses may find different days and times work best for them. In fact, timing often depends on the platform you’re using, how your target audience interacts with that platform, the region(s) you’re targeting, the content of your post (e.g. funny or serious), and your goals (e.g. clicks versus shares).

That being said, there is ample data out there on optimal times to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. In the infographic below, we’ve pulled together data and research collected by the folks at CoSchedule from a variety of sources, including QuickSprout, SurePayroll, The Huffington Post, Buffer, TrackMaven, Fast Company, and KISSmetrics.

Think of this data as a general guideline, and use it to help you find the optimal posting times for your business.

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http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-times-post-pin-tweet-social-media-infographic

How to Use Instagram Photos to Boost Your Email Engagement


Marketers love email marketing. And marketers love Instagram. But very rarely do they bring these two loves together: Curalate found that only 14% of marketers are using social media images in their email marketing efforts, and marketers leverage Instagram content less than 3% of the time. 


One online retailer recently experimented with using Instagram images to drive impressions and purchases from its email marketing campaigns, and the combination led to a 7X increase in engagement on the site.

Read more about how Instagram images are currently being used in marketing to discover the opportunities of using visuals in your email marketing campaigns.

 

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-email-marketing-engagement

The Rise of Social Commerce


HELLO (1)


Social networks have come a long way from the simple days of connecting and communicating with friends. Over the past few years we have watched the likes of Twitter and Facebook develop into content promotion platforms as marketers, advertisers and brands push to drive users to conversions through engaging and clever content.

This has always been a process that involved the user clicking through to an external site to complete the action, but that has always left marketers asking themselves one of the most frustrating questions: how do we truly measure ROI on social? Well this seemingly unanswerable question may be about to be answered as social networks have begun to fully immerse themselves in social media, all with the help of a simple ‘buy’ button and here we have the rise of social commerce.


What is “social commerce”?


The term ‘social commerce’ is one that we’re increasingly seeing as social networks take on the role of selling for your favourite brands. Acting in the same style as an ecommerce site, social channels take on the role of placing orders and processing payments, cutting out the need for users to click through to an external site to complete the transaction.

Barely a week goes by without an update from one of the social giants in an arms race to reach social commerce success, so we’ve rounded up the latest.

Facebook


Facebook broke social media records and caused quite a stir this year by generating higher referral traffic for content publishers than Google for the first time. It’s no secret that Facebook is becoming quite the social media powerhouse with competitive ad rates and deals with the world’s biggest media publishers, but now it is about to introduce shoppable pages thanks to collaboration with Shopify. The term ‘Facebook Commerce’ has even begun to pop up. Watch this space as your Facebook feed begins to emerge with product pages from all your favourite brands. But does the word ‘intrusive’ spring to mind? There are already rumblings of discontent.

Twitter


It’s not been the best year for Twitter, with a drop in share price and the failure to gain the mass increases in users its competitors have enjoyed. This is not exactly encouraging to brands looking to invest in the social channel as part of their marketing strategy. Whilst Twitter is working and trialling a ‘buy’ button, it has also rolled out ‘product collections’ with description, price and the option to buy, book or visit the site for more information.

This is currently being trialled on a small number of accounts. These lack on-site checkout but do show what other users are tweeting about them and therefore help provide reviews for users. However, this format seems slightly out of place on Twitter, a place where users come to keep up to date with what is going on around the world or share what they ate for dinner – not buy a pair of trainers.

KD 8   Twitter
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Pinterest


Back in 2012, Bizrate announced that 70% of users out of their respondent online shopper survey used Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy, while only 17% used Facebook to seek inspiration. Since then, 

Pinterest V Facebook

Pinterest has introduced pins. The network has the advantage of being a visually strong network where users come to seek ideas for anything from cooking to fashion to home décor. Providing the option to purchase what they have been looking at gives Pinterest the edge other social networks don’t have when it comes to social commerce. It isn’t a case of products being pushed at them, it’s a case of users having the ability to buy what they’ve already been seeking, thus making it feel much less intrusive, and probably even useful (at least until brands start spamming the service). Could this be a more successful story than Facebook and Twitter?

Instagram


Instagram is the dark horse in the social commerce race. With no option to post links with images, the only form of ecommerce functionality was brands resorting to ‘like to buy’ style sites outside of Instagram. This made Instagram seem an unlikely form for revenue generation for brands. However with the introduction of a call to action button in ads, Instagram has upped the stakes in social commerce success. In September 2015 Instagram hit 400 million users, surpassing Twitter’s 300 million user base, and is predicted to power ad revenues to $1.48 billion in 2016 and $2.81 billion by 2017. With the option to ‘shop now’, ‘install now’, ’sign up’ and ‘learn more’, Instagram is one to watch, particularly as all users have no choice but to experience these ads on their feed. Currently there is no in-app checkout like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are aiming to achieve.

Would you buy from social media? We found out


Social networks’ primary function is to provide a method of communication, but does this mean users will want to purchase during social hours? The likes of Facebook are constantly transforming ways in which adverts can reach its users; there is even talk of adverts in messenger from brand to consumer. But this could become too invasive for users.

However, even if social commerce is a hit, it doesn’t mean it will be the same rule for all social channels. As highlighted, Pinterest provides directly what users want to see. The blend of commerce will appear natural within the existing format, just with the addition of a buy button. Whereas with Facebook, the pushing of products on a network primarily used for socialising with friends could run the risk of coming across as intrusive.

Pinterest V Facebook

PushON ran a social survey questioning whether users would be happy to buy from social media, and there will be an in-depth post on the subject shortly. However, an early result suggested that 17% of respondents felt social media marketing is intrusive and social media should just be place for them to socialise with friends.

Trust in brands also plays a huge role in users’ confidence in social media. 50% of our respondents admitted they would feel more confident buying from a brand’s site than on social media. One respondent explained that they didn’t believe a social network could provide enough information around a product to encourage the purchasing decision that an ecommerce site could. This is an interesting point. High street apparel may succeed due to needing minimum information, but larger purchases such as technology, home furnishings and holidays require vast amounts of information and planning before the consumer makes the decision of purchase. Can the likes of Facebook or Twitter really help drive those big decisions or will it just be too much distance between brand and consumer?

One to Watch


These days so much goes into ecommerce success for retailers. From flowing and creative websites to well designed and produced supporting content around services or products teamed with a strong marketing campaign. By social networks stepping in as ecommerce platforms, is it drawing brands too far away from the purchase process for customers?

The same applies to customers. Will they trust social networks when shopping for brands, or is it a case of social networks immersing into an area consumers aren’t ready for? Social commerce will definitely be one to rise, but could it fall?

http://www.pushon.co.uk/blog/the-rise-of-social-commerce/
 

How to Promote Your Blog: The Definitive Blog Post Promotion Checklist

Are you looking for ways to promote your blog? Want to attract more readers and generate more social shares and links?

From guest posting and social media to industry specific forums and manual blogger outreach there are loads of ways to get more eyeballs on your blog posts. Take the time to research your industry and establish the best people to contact.

For guidance Blogging Wizard have shared their blog promotion ideas in the infographic below.

How to Promote Your Blog The Definitive Blog Post Promotion Checklist


How Social Media Impacts SEO and Your Websites Ranking on Google

Social media should play an important part of any successful SEO and content marketing campaign. Without social media we’d lose 80% of our blog traffic and no doubt a huge chunk of our backlinks would never have been earned.

To see how social media can work for your business take a look at this infographic by Submit Edge which highlights how social media can aid outreach and looks at how social signals impact rankings themselves.

How Social Media and SEO Impact Your Websites Ranking on Google


Why You Need A Social Media Marketing Strategy & How To Start One

Start Social Media Marketing Strategy

So, you’re about to take the plunge into blogging, but you have no idea where to start.

That’s okay because I’m sure you already know that blogging can:
  • Generate a huge audience (and if you’re a well-known person, this can be immediate)
  • Make you some serious money if you know how
  • Turn a blogger into an influencer with a little bit of hard work and a great networking community
But, how can you achieve this with your new blog? With so many blogs around, you have little chance of getting noticed.

What’s the solution? Well, a perfectly defined social media plan and strategy is just what you need.

This post will walk you through why you need a social media marketing strategy and how to start one for your blog.

Is Adopting Social Media That Important?

Yes, it is.

Social media platforms have revolutionized marketing and blogging. Google too has adopted “Search Plus Your World” signaling how social platforms are crucial.

So, if you think you only need SEO to generate traffic, you’re dead wrong. Traffic via search engines isn’t the only way to generate a huge audience. Bloggers today are also leveraging social media for their targeted traffic.

With so many people today using smartphones and tablets, the digital world is everywhere. And with more people being online, social media has skyrocketed as a main form of communication for users.

Social Media Isn’t Just a Fad

With the popular social sites being mobile-friendly, this makes it easy to view your Facebook page, scroll through tweets and check out a pin from Pinterest – while you are out and about.

All these reasons suggest that engagement across social networks is never going to end; rather, users will keep on Instagramming, Tweeting or Liking – or doing whatever the next big social media platform will decide.

Hubspot claims that social media marketing is not just any fad, and if you want to be a part of the blogging world, you better be on social media. Almost every successful blogger is using social media platforms to reach a target audience.

So, as a newbie, you need to be on social media to get exposure, promote your blog and generate traffic.

Social Media is Easy and Inexpensive

As a new person to blogging, you may think you need a big budget to get your blog up and running. But, your social media marketing strategy doesn’t have to be expensive.

What’s great about social media is it’s easy to set up and once you’re on various social media platforms, you’ll find you can reach a wide audience without spending much on analytics.

Social media is here to stay and it’s not a passing phase.

So, now that you know how important social media marketing is, let’s uncover how to strategize a social media marketing plan step by step.


Part I: Setting Up Your Blog

 

1. Add Social Engagement Elements to Your Blog


Have you ever come across a great post and want to leave a comment or contact the blogger, but you look around and find there’s no comment box or link on the blog?

If you’re new to blogging, the best thing you can do is make yourself available. Readers want to have the option of engaging on your blog. They also want to know that they can quickly contact you.

So, make it easy for your readers to get to know you. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Add a Contact page to your website with ways to contact you (phone number, social profiles, email)
  • Add Follow buttons on your site to make it easy for people to find you
  • Make sure to enable comments on your blog. While you may get some negative feedback, don’t let that stop you from developing a relationship with your readers.

 

2. Add Share Buttons


You know you have great content on your blog. Heck, I’m sure you’re convinced you wrote a killer blog post. But, no one is reading it and the only people going to your blog are your best friend and brother.

Why is no one talking about your epic blog post? It’s because you forgot to provide a way to share it with their friends and followers.

Having sharing buttons on your blog, placed above and below each blog post makes it super simple and super easy for people to click and share.

Here are some great social media plugins to try on your blog:

  • Ultimate social media and share icons
  • Floating social bar
  • Super socializer
  • Shareaholic

 

Part II: Developing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy


Your blog is up and running.

You have engaging and easy-to-read blog posts that are ready to be shared across social media.

To get your content on social media where people are talking about it and to have engaging comments on your posts, follow these seven tips.

3. Automate Your Posts


It takes a lot of time to promote your blog post on social media. If you really want to leverage social media for traffic, you’re going to have to promote it on all the popular social media platforms.

Instead of manually tweeting or pinning each new post you write, why not use a social media tool to make your life a little easier? Here are some applications to automate your posts on social media:

  • HootSuite
  • Buffer
  • Socialoomph
  • Sproutsocial

 

4. Engage with Those Who Share Posts


The actual strength of social media lies in the engagement with your readers. If you’re not social on social media, then it’s pointless to be on Twitter or Facebook. This is a great platform to really get to know your target audience.

What did they like about your content? What would they like to read more of?

The power of using various social platforms can be leveraged to create maximum benefit only if you engage with your readers and especially with those that share your posts.

If you’re using HootSuite, there is a search box where you can paste the URL of your blog post and it will list tweets about your blog post shares. Just start out by re-tweeting those tweets and posts to start building relationships.

Google+ and Facebook allow searching options using your blog titles to find out who is sharing your posts.
So, connect with people on social media and keep them engaged. This can generate traffic on your blog when you reciprocate by acknowledging people’s tweet and tweeting their posts as well.

5. Know the Right Time to Share Posts


You can hit the social media jackpot if you correctly time when you share your posts.

For example, Google+ users are most active in the morning, while Twitter users seem to prefer afternoon. Combined with the social automation tools mentioned earlier, you can time your shares perfectly giving you huge competitive advantage over some of your less-savvy competitors.

You can also check trending topics and using those hashtags across Facebook and Twitter. This will present you with optimal times to share relatable content that users are currently talking about.

6. Plan Future Posts


Almost every social networking platform provides analytics. You can find many free analytics tools to help you with this.

Using a social media analytic tool can help with getting ideas about future posts that perform best across networks and help you elevate your social media marketing plan. This will help you in:

  • Writing your next post
  • Providing topics for your content calendar
  • Understanding trends across networks

You can also get new and exciting content ideas by analyzing the comments on your blog posts. Check out what people are saying on your posts, or keep a close tab on what people discuss across your social networks.

You may find that people want to know a specific answer, so use this information to write your next blog post. After all, you are writing for your audience, and understanding what type of information they are seeking can help you in creating content specifically for them.

7. Connect with Influencers


Social platforms allow connecting with anyone from any location. So, why not follow expert bloggers in your niche? These influencers have the ability to help boost your blog to more traffic and social shares.

You can also learn from these influential bloggers by seeing how they use social media to their advantage. Maybe you noticed that they spark engagement by posing a question to their followers every morning. This is something you can do in your social media marketing strategy.

8. Be Socially Responsible


It’s a great feeling to write a blog post. You want to share it all over social media and tell everyone about it. But, don’t get in the habit of spamming timelines and flooding them with links to your posts 24/7. Try not to tag people with your post without appropriate context.

For example, if you write a post and very briefly mention Jon Morrow’s name and then tag him with a link to your post, this would be considered inappropriate. Only include influencers or other people in your social media status if it relates to your post.

For example, if you wrote about them extensively in your post, or if it’s something you know they want to read about then go ahead and tag or @mention their name.

The best thing to do is just be social. Comment on other people’s posts, share other people’s content and engage with your readers.

9. Have Useful Content


All the effort you put in to marketing your blog will be useless if your content is not original, useful and engaging.

People want to read your experiences, opinions, thoughts, and advice. When you provide this type of content, people will come back to read more and share it on their social media channels.

How do you make your content useful?

  • Have supportive information by providing internal and external links in your blog post.
  • Be honest. Tell people your failures and what you are doing to start over, whether it’s trying to monetize your blog or trying to score that next job interview.
  • Tell a story by using facts and stats that back up what you are trying to say in your blog post.

Are You Ready to Start Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Starting a blog is exciting. You have the potential to create great content that people want to learn about. With the right social media plan, you can find your target audience and tailor your content to them.

Take the time to learn as much as your can about social media to leverage it for your blogging success. These tips should help you start your social media strategy and get your blog noticed.

So, tell me, which tip do you find the most useful in having a strong social media plan?


4 Visual Marketing Ideas to Boost Twitter Engagement

4 Visual Marketing Ideas to Boost Twitter Engagement


Are you using images within your social media updates? Would you like to know how to increase engagement by using visual marketing?

There’s no doubt about it, visual media has changed the way we create, share and consume online content. No matter the social network, graphics have inundated our online lives.

While Twitter might have been slow to the visual party, marketers were quick to embrace the trend.

Especially as the data began to roll in. Not only do studies show that visual marketing captures attention, but it also drives traffic and boosts awareness.

In an A/B test by Hubspot, it was found that tweets with images  receive 150% more retweets, 18% more click-throughs, and 89% more favorites.

Those are startling statistics and proof that visual marketing is not just a trend, but also a verifiable movement.

So, how can you incorporate graphics to better position your tweets to stand out in the stream?

Below are four ways you can effectively add visual content to your Twitter marketing!

Visual Marketing Ideas to Boost Twitter Engagement

 

  1. Add a Clear Call to Action


What makes people take action? Clearly articulating what step you’d like them to take. Whether it’s a click, retweet, sign up or comment, never leave that action to chance.

Just as in traditional marketing, you can’t assume your Twitter followers know how they’re supposed to interact or engage with your business.

Are you sharing a graphic with a link to your latest blog post? Maybe it’s an announcement about an upcoming product launch. Whatever the case, show (and tell) what the next step is.

As an example, you’re sharing an invitation to an upcoming webinar. Simply tweeting an image without a clear call to action is a missed opportunity.

Instead, add a teaser in your tweet with a call to action (CTA) in your graphic.

It might look something like this:

Here’s another example from IGN. This simple tweet clearly shows the objective; tease Game of Thrones fans with a glimpse into what is and what isn’t coming their way in 2015.

As you can see, adding a call to action along an appealing image is an excellent way to get people to take that next step.

The key is to offer something of substantial value and then follow through with content on the other side of the link.

Otherwise, you will be labeled a spammy marketer and no one wants to own that title.

  2. Tell Your Company Story


Let’s face it, Twitter users move quickly. If you don’t find a way to capture their attention, your content is quickly lost.

Telling your unique story is one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded Twitter stream.

Here are a few ways to share your story on Twitter:
  • Understand your competitive advantage and leverage that within Tweet graphics. Share what you do, how you do it and what sets you apart.
  • Explain your “Why.” Why did you start the business, why are you passionate about the people you serve and why is your product/service right for consumers?
  • Express your business’s personality through informative, educational and entertaining tweets. A company who consistently excels at this is Oreo. Their sense of humor shines through and has allowed them to cut through the clutter and gain a loyal Twitter following.

 

3. Incorporate Video into Your Tweets


Adding videos is another effective way to create interaction and drive engagement. Ileane Smith breaks down the formula to a captivating video tweet.
    • Create an eye-catching custom thumbnail
    • Share advice and solve the problems of your target audience
    • Keep it topical, informative and educational
Another example comes from Hootsuite. They expertly used video to tie their most recent blog post in to one of the most quoted movie moments of all time.

What can you learn from their use of video? Keep it simple. An engaging video does not have to be long or complicated; it just needs to resonate with your followers.

  4. Brand Your Business

 

tweet images

Simply Measured recently revealed how the Top 100 brands are using Twitter. Within their findings are many takeaways for small businesses. The biggest uptick was in their use of visual marketing. In fact, tweets with photos made up 45% of their sent tweets, but actually accounted for 51% of all engagement. That’s over half of all engagement combined.

It’s evident they see the value in images. From Disney to Kohl’s, brands are finding success in transitioning their voice and style to a captive online audience. Want to know how you can use this concept in your business? Just take a look at Moz and how they have incorporated all aspects of their business into Twitter graphics. Whether it’s the Moz blog or a Mozinar, you know exactly what you’re getting based on the visual accompanying their tweet.

Final Thoughts


Adding images into your Twitter marketing mix does not have to be time consuming to be effective.

Take a look at your current content. What is evergreen and what could be repurposed?

Share tips from past articles or quotes from a presentation. Then batch create several images at a time and schedule tweets into Sprout Social, Hootsuite or your Twitter tool of choice.

Twitter visual marketing can be highly effective in boosting awareness and increasing interaction, engagement and shares.

http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/4-visual-marketing-ideas-boost-twitter-engagement-17523/