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Social Media Automation And Why You Need To Consider It More Seriously

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Most marketers feel 24 hours a day is not enough for them.

Their to do list keeps getting longer and longer and their stress levels are rising. Something needs to get pushed back. Social media is on the chopping block. Even though you know it has long term benefits, right now it feels like a pretty low priority. No one will notice if you don’t send out a Tweet today, right?

Wrong. Social media marketing is really one of the most fundamental aspects in content marketing and distribution. Pausing the social media efforts is not the answer.

What if there was a way to have an even bigger impact on social media than you are having right now, and do it in less time?

Social media automation might be the right answer for your problem.

There are three benefits social media automation can offer:

1. Maintain consistent content

Consistency is key to building a strong following on social media. Businesses often create accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, but have trouble achieving consistency. A survey conducted with 900 social media users identified consistency as one of the most important factors that determines whether people continue to follow a brand.

Businesses that are strapped for time or do not have sufficient manpower to assign a dedicated team for social media management tend to drop off the social media radar. As a result, they reap little or no benefits from marketing on social media.

2. Get control over your strategy

Automation tools give you more control over your social accounts and helps you post more content. Depending on the tool you choose to use, you can control the kind of content that is shared, the time at which it is posted, and also the frequency of posting. Moreover, you can monitor the level of engagement you’re receiving and modify your strategy to get more Likes, Shares or Retweets.

Since social media automation tools help you develop insight into the nature and extent of readership (or viewership) you’ll also be able to share content in a more targeted manner. More importantly, automation helps you deal with volume – it allows you to post more content on multiple accounts, more frequently, with more ease.

3. Give back your time

The biggest incentive of using social media automation is the amount of time it helps you free up. Rather than spending hours on end trying to find content that might just get shared and bring your website a few visitors, use tools to identify trending topics and discover relevant content. Using a centralised dashboard to schedule content in advance also saves you the trouble of having to log into each account individually and post the content manually.

However, keep in mind that saving time does not mean spending no time at all on your social media accounts. While you can automate some of the tasks associated with social media management, you’ll still have to keep a tab on all your accounts and respond to comments and mentions.

Remember that one of the objectives of using social media marketing is to make your brand more relatable. This can only be achieved by communicating with your audience.

Key points to remember

  • Social media automation is a good idea, particularly for businesses with multiple accounts
  • Automation helps you achieve consistency in your social media marketing efforts
  • It gives you greater control over the content you share, and how you share it
  • It helps you save time, which you can then use to grow your business
  • Post schedules must be flexible and ad-hoc posts are important, especially if they’re time-sensitive
  • Posting content at a time when your audience is online increases the likelihood of it being viewed and shared
  • Analytics help you understand what works and what doesn’t for your business

Marketing Strategy: Maximising Social Media Usage To Get More Customers (Infographic)

71% of customers are likely to recommend the brand after receiving a quick response on the social media. Moreover, 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow.

Social media is a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes and shapes to interact with potential customers in a way they never have before. Take a look at the infographic below and learn how you can improve your social media strategy to help potential prospects become loyal customers.

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12 Excellent Tips To Boost Your Pins On Pinterest (Infographic)

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With more than 1 billion boards comprised of 50 billion pins, Pinterest is where some 80 million consumers go to imagine, organise and execute inspirational ideas.

The following infographic illustrates 12 simple tips to help increase awareness around, drive engagement with and maximise the impact of your pins.

Here are some points of consideration:

  • High quality photos. Pinterest users are much more likely to take action on a pin they find aesthetically pleasing. In other words, bring your A game. Share crystalline photos hat capture product details -and customers.
  • Write detailed descriptions. Pinterest provides enough room for up to 500 characters. Don’t be shy. Caption accordingly, using key terms that will make you more discoverable in search.
  • Use vertical Pins. Crop your pins based on this knowledge, and always optimise for mobile screens.
  • Out with the old. Promoted pins are a great way to get noticed on Pinterest, but bear in mind that traditional ad creative (e.g banners) wont work. Instead, share content that feels native to the Pinterest environment.
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Sensis Social Media Report (May 2015)

As customers become fragmented in the way they engage with both traditional and social media, it’s apparent businesses must adapt their online presence to establish and nurture new communities and connect with them in authentic ways.

The following Sensis Social Media Report provides not only a view on the past trends but also dives into how customers and businesses are engaging with social channels. The report maps out the rapid changes that are taking place online. It is a vital tool for all business owners, whether they are looking to establish their online presence or improve the present profile. Take a look at it.

Twitter Has Released The New Display For Its Search Result Page

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Twitter is rolling out a new search results page on the website, which features a cleaner interface that makes it easier for users to discover content.

The microblogging service company began testing the new search result layout back in April, which features a menu bar at the top of the page that enables users to filter search results for top content, real-time tweets, accounts, images and videos.

On the other side, users can leverage the “more options” tab on the menu bar to refine results even further, with options like “from everyone,” “from everywhere,” “news” and “advanced search.”

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It is important to note that the search landing page and default “top” filter showcase a variety of content to make the discovery process easier. This content including tweets, accounts and images associated with the search term. Moreover, Twitter now highlights the search term in a bold color (which varies based on each users’ settings) at the very top of the page.

Five Best Tips For Better Hashtag Marketing

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Hashtag is a very unique feature found in almost any major social media channels. However, you will gain nothing but annoyed followers if you use it haphazardly.

Although Twitter is the social network credited for launching the hashtag as we know it today, nearly every social network has begun supporting its functionality. This provides brands with robust marketing opportunities, as they can use hashtags to increase visibility and boost participation for branded social campaigns. The challenge, however, is finding the right hashtags to leverage for a brand’s social initiatives.

1. Go Local

For local businesses beginning to dabble in the hashtag waters, one of the best ways to increase visibility for relevant audiences is by leveraging location-based hashtags.

Whole Foods, for instance, manages a variety of accounts to cater its content for local audiences, including its Whole Foods Chicago handle that publishes tweets for its five Chicago locations. To further target its Chicago audiences, however, the retailer uses neighborhood-specific hashtags when tweeting content for a particular store. In the example below, for instance, Whole Foods uses the “#LincolnPark” hashtag as a way to let its followers know its tweet is for a specific Whole Foods location, and to increase its visibility for people living in the Lincoln Park neighborhood that may be searching the hashtag on Twitter to find local events and news.

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2. Join the Conversation

While using local hashtags can help brands target a narrower and more relevant audience, brands can also participate in common hashtags to increase their reach. Fortunately, social networks like Facebook and Twitter feature “trending” sections where brands can find popular hashtags and topics. By joining in the conversation, brands have the ability to increase their visibility across the social Web.

For instance, DiGiorno, the pizza company regularly participates in trending hashtags on Twitter to increase its visibility. On May 4th, for instance, DiGiorno participated in the “#MayThe4thBeWithYou” hashtag with a silly, nonsensical tweet. Although the company didn’t use this hashtag to promote a specific product or promotion, it still did a good job at generating brand awareness by simply participating in the conversation. In fact, DiGiorno’s silly tweet resulted in 185 favorites and 179 retweets.

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3. Create a Unique Campaign

Brands can also use hashtags to drive the virality of marketing campaigns. For example, some social marketing platforms enable users to create hashtag contests on social networks like Instagram and Twitter that enable consumers to enter by using specific, branded hashtag. Doing this increases the brand’s visibility on the social Web because every time a fan enters the contest, their post (and the branded hashtag) is shared with all of their followers.

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For instance, a Piqora case study for Dylan’s Candy Bar shows that the retailer leveraged Piqora to launch an Instagram photo contest. Through the contest, Dylan’s Candy Bar required participants to follow its band on Instagram, submit a photo of their “kissy face” and use the hashtag “#thesweetestkiss.” This contest resulted in an increase in followers for Dylan’s Candy Bars as well as more than two million impressions from just 75 photos, which shows the virality of user-generated content on Instagram.

4. Utilise Emojis

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Like it or not, emojis have become the universal language, as Instagram has incorporated emojis in the hashtag preference. While  this feature is not yet available on other social networks, brands can leverage this feature on the image-based social network to increase visibility across the globe. That said, it is important to note that emoji hashtags could become very diluted on the social network, as they provide a universal way for people across the world to express themselves.

5. Monitor The Results

To ensure your hashtag efforts are really paying off, the most important thing you can do is to monitor the social media initiatives via analytic tools. Some social marketing tools enable brands to not only monitor their performance, but also trending topics and hashtags on social networks. This insight can help brands optimise your strategies and tailor your posts to be more relevant for your target audience.

Five Most Successful Publishers On Instagram

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Digital is a visual medium.

It means that most web users choose enjoying a story made up almost entirely of images or photos rather than reading giant blocks of text. As you might imagine, this presents something of a problem to publishers more comfortable telling stories with words. Today, there is no bigger social media channel that can compete Instagram as the massively popular social network where even big-time media players like The New York Times and BuzzFeed still have relatively small followings. Still, some media companies are getting it right. Here are the five best publishers on Instagram and what we can learn from them.

1. National Geographic

Though it was founded all the way back in 1888, National Geographic has successfully keeping up with the times. Currently, NatGeo’s Instagram account is the most-followed non-celebrity account on social media, a testament to the striking photos it publishes each day to its 18 million followers.

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What’s most impressive about what NatGeo does on Instagram is the way it manages to tell entire stories inside the confines of the platform. As we know, Instagram, unlike referral machines like Facebook and Twitter, is designed to keep people on the platform rather than presenting them with links.

By combining an interesting photo from an exotic place with a paragraph of text putting it in context, National Geographic is able to give followers the experience of a complete, satisfying story in the span of about 30 seconds. In the process, it builds the brand as a top-class visual storyteller and whets our appetites to learn even more about the story on its other platforms.

2. Vogue

This venerable style publication’s Instagram feed is a perfect extension of the high-end brand Vogue has built. The feed gives readers behind-the-scenes access to the fashion world’s biggest events and most influential people. Recently, the company gave its 4 million followers a glimpse of candid moments from this year’s Met Gala.

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By looking at Vogue‘s Instagram account, you can see a great example of a publisher brand that knows what its readers love about it and has found a way to transpose it to a new medium. Vogue is also smart about repurposing photos from articles on its site as a way of driving people to the original story.

 3. Mashable

Perhaps this is an old cliché, but social media really is a great way to connect with people one-to-one. In this way, Mashable has done a great job using its Instagram account to build its community of readers, one user at a time. The site has grown to 121,000 followers from a quarter of that size a year ago. It has been able to bring people into the fold by regramming photos that readers label with the special hashtag #MashPics and by sharing photos related to its big stories.

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Mashable also updates the link in its profile page so that people who click wind up on the story discussed in the publication’s most recent Instagram photo. By doing this, it is able to bridge the gap between its website and its Instagram channel in a relatively unobtrusive way.

4. ESPN

The Worldwide Leader’s Instagram tone is decidedly playful, with its 1.9 million followers receiving a steady diet of memes, selfies, and animal photos mixed in with more serious news content.

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Because social media is less formal than television or print, it’s a great place for publisher brands to let their hair down and have some fun. Take, for instance, this awesome photo ESPN just posted of the Pope hanging out with the Harlem Globetrotters.

 5. New York Magazine

As far as I’m concerned, basically everything New York magazine does is good as hell, and its Instagram account is no different. New York mag perfectly leverages its place as a New York City taste-maker by posting artfully composed photos of the hippest food and drink in town. The account is also very smart about promoting its other products, namely the print magazine and the various events it puts on. It does this by mixing in photos and straight-up ads for its events with excerpts from the magazine and photos teasing its big stories.

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For both marketers and publishers, New York mag’s use of the platform is a healthy reminder that Instagram is an owned channel that should be used, at least in part, to promote the other parts of the business.

Social Media Budgeting Tips In 2015 (Infographic)

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 In the digital marketing world, you only get what you pay for. This statement is true in every sense.

Sadly, most businesses are hesitate to put some cold cash to social media, despite the successful result it’s offered. However, there are a number of ways to stretch each dollar you stake and improve returns. In the following infographic, you will learn some expert advice to make online marketing just a little bit more affordable. The data offered in the infographic below is asked more than 5,000 full-time marketers about their priorities, channels, strategies and metrics for 2015, thus make it reliable.

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The Best Paid Social Media: Facebook, Twitter Or LinkedIn? (Infographic)

With the rise of premium feature in the various social media platforms, it’s essential to know which platform suits your audience habits and your own business goals.

Take a look at three of the biggest players in social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), to see what their key similarities and differences are. This way, you can choose which one is best for your brand and business.

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Top Social Media Management Tools In 2015

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Managing a brand’s social profiles can be time-consuming, not only because usually brands have a presence on multiple social media channels, but also because social updates need to be posted regularly to maintain the brand’s social visibility and keep good relationship with online customers.

Fortunately, there are numerous social media management tools available to help Internet professionals become more efficient in their social media initiatives. The challenge, however, is that the Web moves fast, and social acquisitions make headlines nearly every week – which makes it difficult for busy professionals to keep up. For instance, popular social media management tool Wildfire was acquired by Google in 2012 and subsequently shut down in 2014. Additionally, social marketing company awe.sm was acquired and is now part of Unified’s product offerings, which is a real-time social marketing company. These are just two of the many acquisitions that made headlines in the social space.

To help ease the research process for professionals looking for a social media management tool, The Website Marketing Group has put together a big list of top tools that haven’t been acquired. Let’s start our list with:

1. Hootsuite

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Hootsuite has been at the top of the social media management space for a while now, and for good reason. Not only does the company offer a platform that enables users to schedule and manage posts across social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but it also can be leveraged to monitor social conversations and analyse a brand’s social performance. In addition, Hootsuite offers collaboration features that are ideal for teams, as well as offers an App Directory that Web pros can leverage to add extensions to their Hootsuite dashboard.

2. Sprout Social

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With Sprout Social, brands can draft, schedule, queue and post messages to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. The platform also enables users to shorten links, attach images and target specific audiences. Plus, Sprout Social offers a variety of other handy tools, such as “ViralPost,” which analyses followers’ engagement patterns to determine the best time to publish content, as well as tracking and measurement features that provide brands with important insights. Users can also assign and manage tasks for their team members.

3. Buffer

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Buffer offers solutions for individuals and businesses. With the company’s business solution, users are able to schedule posts ahead of time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The company offers analytics so users can determine the impact of their social initiatives, as well as a RSS feed integration and the ability to schedule an unlimited number of posts. The company’s business plans start at $50 a month for five team members and up to 25 connected social accounts and range to $250 a month for 25 team members and up to 150 connected social accounts.

4. TweetDeck

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TweetDeck is a little different than the aforementioned solutions, as users are only allowed to schedule and manage Twitter accounts and not profiles from other social networks. That said, the platform is still very beneficial as users can organise and build custom timelines, track topics and hashtags and share accounts with their teams without sharing private passwords.

5. Sprinklr

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Sprinklr’s social media management platform enables users to publish and monitor content on a variety of social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more. Through the platform, brands can ensure consistent brand voice and messaging across networks, as well as manage deployment and sharing via Sprinklr’s editorial calendar. It is also important to note that Sprinklr offers a variety of other products, including social listening, advertising and analytics.

6. SocialBro

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SocialBro is designed specifically for Twitter. Through the platform, users can target their audience, discover the best time to tweet and engage with their followers, analyse their performance on the social network and manage their campaigns. The platform offers a variety of other handy tools too, such as the DM Campaigns tool that is designed to help businesses better target their audience, as well as the Mention Helper that helps users add multiple Twitter handles to a Tweet with just a click.

7. Komfo

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With Komfo’s social media marketing suite, brands can advertise, monitor analytics, listen to their audience across networks and publish content across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram. In fact, brands can even target fans based on things like language and country through Komfo’s dashboard. The platform also enables users to set up alerts via SMS and email so they can be notified if any audience issues arise on social channels.

8. Viralheat

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Viralheat is a pretty solid social media management platform, enabling users to monitor social conversations, analyse trends and key insights, as well as schedule and publish content across social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Youtube, Google+, Tumblr and Foursquare. The platform is also great for brands with social teams, as it offers workflow management tools that enable users to set individual permissions and assign specific tasks to employees.