The writing was all over the wall and it was inevitable that social would truly turn into a marketing machine. I remember the days when I had my own social network for motorcycle enthusiasts, motorsport companies desired to be there because it was their target market all in one place. So why wouldn’t they want to pay to be there to advertise their products? But, today social networks aren’t that niche specific anymore because it’s just easier to be where the majority of your “friends” are and to just just create groups or hashtags of shared interest.
With social networks having member numbers the size of countries this obviously is the targeted area for brands and small companies. But, this also forces them to have to be more creative and truly think outside the box in regards to strategy. Below I took some snippets from Online Social media that really provided some great imagery breakdown of trends to look for in 2014. Like I said the writing was on the wall with Social Business, all that hard work of building your Facebook fans, especially your going to have to pay to play. According to the data below 82% of people don’t believe Facebook ads to be true, so it’s going to come down to what you’re trying to accomplish and being really creative and setting defined KPI’s. This will also force business to take a hard look at all their other social networks such as, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest for new exciting ways to engage their audiences. Bottom line is that this year it’s time to really use your Social CRM!
Ahh tax season is in the air, smells horrible to me but Uncle Sam needs his money! On a brighter note this may be a perfect time to run an audit on social media strategy and profiles. Things are constantly changing in the Social world and it is very realistic that what was working 4 months ago just might be obsolete today. So running a social media audit should not be happening once a year it should be happening quarterly if not more frequently.
So what does a Social Media audit consist of?
As you’re going through your list check the networks and do some competitive research on each one. For example look at your competitors Facebook page and see if anything has changed in their strategy. Are you seeing more engagement? Has there been a huge spike in fans? Are they running contests? These are all important things to look at, because this could be an indicator that you may need to get more aggressive especially since page post views have plummeted since October. Continue to use the same technique of research down your check list and don’t forget to make notes!
After you’ve done your competitor research take a look at all of your profiles.
Are they up to date? For example did you add a new location, or has your company offerings changed? Do you have a new logo or new website design? If so you want may want to have that looking consistent across the board.
Syndication- This is important if you are syndicating social feeds throughout your network make sure they’re all working correctly. For example If you have tweets being syndicate to google Plus make sure they are being deciphered correctly. Sometimes characters from Twitter come over looking like code. When looking at syndication this is also a great time explore new sources. There are so many great social management tools out there today. Some of my top favorites are Buffer, IFTT, and of course Hootsuite. Some are better at one thing than the other so you may want to try to mix it up.
Lastly take a look at your social media content strategy. If you find that your social media content calendar is slightly boring incorporate some fun contest ideas. Social contest can really boost engagement and turn a boring social party into a blast again.
If you haven’t done a social media audit in a while this may be very time consuming at first. But remember to do these as often as you can so everything is always up to date. Especially in regards to the competitor research you should do this monthly because you may find a promotion or type of posting that received tons of engagement or vice a versa, you could take this a learn what the mistakes were and make it better.
You’ve probably read numerous publications and have seen so many stats that have been telling you that teens are leaving Facebook. If you’re a brand that carries a product for this hardcore demographic then those stats probably freaked you out a little bit.
But, hopefully you’ve had SME’s or really awesome “in the know” agency partners that have brought clarity to this nonsense.
Truth of the matter is teens didn’t run away screaming like Facebook hosted the infection that begun the zombie apocalypse or anything like that, they simply gravitated to more visually stimulating networks that don’t call for much dialogue such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine and not to mention where parents might be scarce.
According to the stats on the left young audiences still make up the majority share demographic for Facebook and is projected to hold that title through 2017. In reality they haven’t left Facebook now has to share the space with fast growing social networks that are catering to the youth slightly better.
Harvard studies have showed the shift in personalities and communication skills that the internet and social networks created. We’re demanding information fast and the instant gratification of receiving it. Also the satisfaction of narcissistic behavior can be satisfied faster with networks like Instagram, Vine, or Snapchat.
Knowing this information brands just need to get more creative and do some more fact finding and become power users of these networks themselves. Really try to understand how the younger audience is utilizing them. Understand the psychology of this younger generation and cater to the “it’s all about me” mentality. How can your brand make it about these users? Nowadays everyone wants to be an internet superstar why not showcase and share some of what your young audience is doing with your brand.
Don’t be afraid to jump in conversations about it. For example PS4 is doing a great job of interacting with their fans and showcasing them with their Greatness Awaits campaign. Telling fans to take stills of their awesome gameplay moments and having the opportunity to get showcased on the Playstation website for people to vote is how it should be done. When it comes to social networks don’t get discouraged or worked up thinking the end is near once you feel you’ve “gotten” a network down. Just be adaptable and ready for change are bring it on!
Social content strategy is a pretty common place marketing term. It’s important to think about this because you can really drive business results and audience value with a well constructed compelling content strategy. Easy said right? I know a lot of small businesses that may look a deer in headlights right about now, but when it comes to creating a social content strategy it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Below are 3 steps to getting started.
Sure content is king, but not all content is created equal. Think about what your objective is in your strategy, how are you going to inspire engagement, are you raising awareness, are you trying to convert leads. Also consider your brands goals whether it is to gain awareness on your products or services, or to maybe learn something about your target market or existing customers. Once you have answers to these questions you can start digging into your existing content library. Use things such as testimonials, launches, customer pics, blog posts etc. Be sure to have social measurements in place as well because you want to be able to see how your audience is reacting to your content.
Don’t have blinders on by only caring about your content. Part of having a social presence is being able to share great content with your fans and that means anything meaningful to your brand. This could be industry specific press releases, conversation in your industry, or news from business partners or vendors.
3. Be Engaging
So often it seems like people forget that social media is about being social! Social media has given brands the opportunity to be real people instead of that cold brick and mortar location. Interact with your audience. If your small business follow a hashtag and create conversation around it. Follow threads and discussion from industry thought leaders or partners.
By, Tanesha White
Posted in Uncategorized
Last year I have to say was definitely the year of SMO (social media optimization) acceptance. No longer were companies questioning whether or not to get involved in social media or to really get serious in beefing up their digital departments. It was the year of really diving into the social ocean and taking it on full speed ahead. Remember the time when we were really trying to figure out SEO? Businesses now understand it’s about pleasing Google and all the other search engines to lead consumers to their websites. With SEO still being a big part of the digital pie businesses are understanding that SMO is about the people. And these people are turning to new media to see how others are interacting with their brands and services.
The questions of 2007-10 is social media a waste of time, are now irrelevant. Looking at the snippet of the Infographic I posted below you can truly see how social media has been adopted into our everyday lives.
What will you be doing new this year?
Source of Infographic: Search Engine Journal
It happens ever so often that I see a complaint in my news feed about annoying sponsored ads. I get it, what was once just a social space to be only taken up by your friends, family, and not real friends has slowly been hijacked by big Brands and local businesses. In order for social networks to be able to offer us free usage they need to make money some how right? So let’s not be too picky.
I realize that there is a rat race of data collection going on, one of the biggest things Facebook is honing in on is location based data building. I wasn’t surprised to see that they partnered up with IT powerhouse Cisco, to offer Facebook login for businesses that have Cisco wifi. Genius right?
Then of course today we see that Instagram is rolling out sponsored ads on our activity walls. Sure it will be slowly fed to us by only brands who have a big following in the network, but soon it will be open to the localized level I imagine just like Facebook, and Twitter.
To keep your sanity with all the sponsored ads everywhere keep in mind they most are based off of your behavior and habits. (I say most, because there still is a good share of badly targeted marketing out there).Remember the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise? Below is the advertising seen, which I absolutely love because advertising keeps evolving and the way that we marketers get creative to target consumers is exciting but, eye scans? I could actually see that.
My point is, knowing that most online marketing is based off your behavior follow these 4 steps below to ensure a better user experience.
1. Do a sweep of all your social networks that you’ve provided information to such as interests, and hobbies. If your interests have changed then update them. Be honest about what you like.
2. Only “like” brands, companies, pictures, etc…. that you actually do like. Kinda makes sense right?
3. To stop unrelated banner ads from following you around the internet limit the use of family or friends using your computer under your user name. Create and use a guest account.
4. It doesn’t hurt to clean your cache every once in a while:-)
Your Digital Diva
When it comes to social media small businesses really have an advantage. Sure big brands get the amplification and viral juice from their national/global visibility, but when you get down to the localized brick and mortar businesses that’s where you can take advantage of personalization and real relationships.
In this infographic below, courtesy of Michael Nelson, “The Cogent Coach”, displays how small businesses can leverage social media other than for marketing usage.
I came across this infographic on Business 2 Business Community that shares some interesting comparisons between local business and national brand usage of social network use to reach customers. The fact that Facebook is the only network where local businesses have reached the same adoption as national brands isn’t that surprising. Businesses “get” Facebook they understand that it’s just part of our lifestyles, so it just makes sense to be there.
Other networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Google plus, etc… really requires more strategic direction for local businesses to really leverage these non Facebook networks. Local businesses will adopt using these networks once more understanding on how consumers are using them. If you aren’t working with an experienced agency, as a small business owner you need to join these networks and actually participate to see how they are being used. Make them apart of your lifestyle and then think of ways that you can incorporate them in your business.
Just last month flickr drops them from their platform, and Facebook is rumored to activate them. So what is it with #hashtags? This widely used symbol was once the pathway to hopefully finding a customer service representative, to helping organize groups in IRC networks, then eventually going mainstream in Twitter is all the buzz right now. So I thought this infographic created by Online Digital was perfect this week.