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Four Great Social Media Tips For SMEs

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All startup owners know that building online business isn’t as easy as it seems.

Having a great service or product and the support of the community is great, but if you’re looking to grow your customer base to mid-size level, you’ll have to do more than market within the community. Many small businesses don’t put much effort into marketing beyond their local region, but those that seek to grow must widen the scope of their self promotion. Growth is impossible without attracting more customers from surrounding areas as well as in your local community.

In order to reach more customers, social media marketing is key. If you build a stronger online presence and show increasing value for your customer base, you’ll draw more potential consumers and improve your bottom line. Here’s four fabulous tips on how to utilise social media to fulfill your marketing needs.

1. Market for Your Niche

Every niche uses marketing a little differently to appeal to its particular audience. There’s no point in wasting money on consumers who aren’t interested in purchasing your product or service.

So spend time identifying your target audience and the kind of content that appears to be going viral in your niche. For example, if you’re using social media to market a real estate investment, you’ll want to focus on the target audience of millennials (ages 18-35) who make up the primary population of renters.

You’d also be smart to place an emphasis on such tools as a regularly updated blog, powerful graphic imagery, and regular engagement that make renters and potential tenants feel like they’re part of a community.

2. Be Consistent and Share a Lot

The consistency and frequency of social media posts and comments can be a major factor in a successful social campaign. Ideally, you’ll post a few times per day or at least several times a week.

Most small businesses don’t recognize the profound impact of sharing content frequently, so they’ll post once a month … or even less. But those who understand what it takes to grow a business recognize that social sites are becoming the go-to stop for consumers that seek information about a business.

Sites that remain up to date with high-quality content and posts tend to enjoy more engagement and customers. When a company neglects its social media pages, it comes across as indifferent to potential buyers.

3. Spread the Good Word

There’s no better method for getting the word out about a new product or service than through social media. It can build relationships with customers and make them feel like they’re an essential part of new production and the future of your company.

In addition, traffic on social media opens the door for word-of-mouth marketing, which has proved to be the best marketing tactic today. Research shows that 74 percent of consumers identify word of mouth as a major influence in their purchasing decisions and 68 percent of consumers will trust opinions about a brand or product from others, even if they don’t know them personally.

4. Invite Two-Way Communication

Social media is like a window into the souls of your customers. Though not everyone posts his or her life story on social pages, a lot of customers have documented their lives online.

This makes it easy for companies to glean information about interests and feedback from their audience base. Customers can also ask questions and leave comments when they wish to communicate with the company.

The flipside is the ability for companies to talk back, and share their own thoughts, questions, and ideas so customers can get to know the firm better. It’s easy to keep up the conversation because response times are instantaneous.

When companies keep lines of communication open on a steady basis, it creates goodwill between the business and its customers, and encourages loyalty and growth with every comment.
Social media works well for every business as long as you’re willing to give it a try. Small businesses that are most engaged and in-tune with their social media pages tend to see the most growth over the long run.

Now You Can Have Your Own “Promoted Stickers” On Twitter

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Back in June, Twitter introduced their new ‘Stickers’ tool, which enables users to attach customizable, emoji-like pictures to their photos.

At the time, we noted that the wording of Twitter’s announcement suggested that they would look to use these new tools as an advertising option at some stage. As it turns out, that evolution wasn’t far off – today, Twitter’s announced that:

“…brands can create and promote custom stickers for anyone on Twitter to use. A brand’s stickers will be featured in the #Stickers library and offer a form of creative expression that makes a person’s photos more fun and engaging.”

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As shown in the sequence above, Pepsi will be the launch partner for Promoted Stickers, sharing “some 50 custom stickers across 10 markets as part of their “PepsiMoji” campaign”.

According to Twitter:

“Brands can design four or eight stickers — like accessories and other props — for users to add to their own photos. Photos with a brand’s stickers are shared with all of a user’s followers, allowing brands to be featured by their fans in a truly authentic way. #Stickers act as a visual hashtag, meaning that photos with your brand’s sticker will be connected and discoverable to anyone who taps your brand’s sticker. This allows a brand to see and engage with the people who are using their stickers in creative ways.”

The search element of the new option is particularly interesting – when Stickers were first announced, the hashtag-style search by sticker function seemed like an interesting add-on, but in a brand context it makes much more sense.

Now, like branded hashtags, marketers will be able to search for mentions by sticker, which is a great way to keep track of where and how the tools are being used.

Branded stickers are Twitter’s own play on sponsored creation tools, a trend spearheaded by Snapchat. Unlike traditional, and often disruptive, ad content, sponsored creation tools aim to make it fun for users to share brand messages with their networks – Snapchat’s most notably done this with Lenses.

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By providing an entertaining and engaging option that people actually want to use, you can expand the reach of your campaign organically, which, if done well, can greatly expand the reach of your message.

However, the tricky part, of course, lies in that first element – such campaigns need to be fun and engaging, people need to want to use your branded content tools. And while it’s easy to see why Snapchat’s lenses have been popular (who wouldn’t want to see what they’d look like as a taco?), Twitter stickers seem less compelling – an interestingly, Twitter’s provided no stats on the current use of Stickers in their announcement, aside from this note:

“Since [stickers were launched], millions of photos have been Tweeted using #Stickers in creative and dynamic ways across sports, news, and entertainment.”

But then again, stickers have stemmed from emoji, and emoji use on Twitter has been huge – more than 110 billion emoji have been tweeted since 2014, a usage rate the prompted the switch from ‘star’ to ‘heart’ as the favorite icon.

And really, with the capacity to track sticker use, it won’t be long before we have stats on this front – doing a quick search of my own, most of the new Pepsi stickers don’t seem to be in high rotation as yet, though this one looks particularly popular (and note the brand mention in the search screen, right beneath the image itself).

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It is kinda’ interesting to be able to search by sticker, and I suspect it won’t take long for Twitter to add sticker-tracking capacity into Tweetdeck to help brands keep tabs on them. No doubt too, given you can already use emoji as an ad targeting option on the platform, Twitter will also enable brands to hone in on people who use their stickers to reach them with ads.

Promoted Stickers are now available globally to select marketers with a managed account – no mention of how much campaigns cost at this stage.

Combining Email and Social Media To Create A Powerful Marketing Strategy (Infographic)

Not many marketers are aware that email and social media can be combined to create a strong marketing plan. 

The growing number of marketing channels and their effectiveness divides opinions among marketers. The sexiness of social media and the proven power of email often mean the two channels are seen to be in competition. So, what if you could unite the two by combining your strategies?

With today’s infographic, we will try to help you understanding how social and email can help each other out, enabling you to better your brand exposure and results. Take a look at it for more details.

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Infographic credit: Dotmailer

Instagram Will Have The “Save Draft” Feature Soon

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Any Instagram user knows that creating a beautiful post is time consuming. There are settings to adjust, filters to choose — not to mention the caption, which can make or break the whole post.

Now, it appears Instagram may soon have a way to save posts for later. The app is currently testing a new drafts feature that allows you to save your progress mid-post — edits and all — to finish later.

The test, which users have reported seeing for at least a couple of days, will prompt you to save a photo that’s been edited after you hit the back button mid-post. Saved drafts will appear separate from your other photos the next time you open the app to post a photo or video.

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The test appears to be fairly widespread, with a number of Twitter users reporting they have seen the change. It also has the distinction of being a new Instagram feature that is widely well-received.

Instagram won’t say if it has plans to make the feature official yet. “We’re always testing new ways to improve the Instagram experience”. However, given how useful the feature is, you shouldn’t be surprised if it makes its way to the app in a future update.

10 Amazing Ideas to Improve Your Social Media Presence

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New technologies on an expanding internet market present big opportunity to start your online business.

The competition is sometimes harsh, but the benefits are great. To succeed online, you only need a vision, skills, and will to make your dreams come true. Easier said than done, you might think, and you’re completely right. Making a name for yourself on the internet is as hard as any other offline career and it requires real devotion.

Still, there are always some fresh ideas to help you along the way and show you the right direction.

Here are some ideas on how to start your online business and boost your online visibility:

1. Blog

Blogging is a great way to introduce yourself online and establish your internet persona. Opening a blog is relatively easy and it costs only five minutes to get your own domain on WordPress.com, and the good news is, you can blog about almost anything.

The more difficult part, however, is to find the audience which will appreciate and follow your posts. Here are some tips how to make an impact with your blog.

2. Write Relevant Content

We said that you can blog on almost everything, but the relevant content is what wins you an audience. Before anything else, do a little research, explore the ongoing trends and what kind of content is attracting attention.

This does not necessarily mean you have to write about it, but it will give you a good overview of what’s going on.

3. SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a well-known term in the world of digital marketing, but you probably wonder what this has to do with your efforts to establish online presence. To put it simply, SEO is the process of getting traffic from organic (not paid) search through search engines.

SEO also boosts your content’s performance in search rankings and thus helps drive traffic to your blog.

One of the most effective SEO techniques is the use of keywords. To get more information we suggest reading this article.

4. Live Broadcasting With Periscope

Periscope is a massively popular live broadcasting app which lets you connect with a worldwide audience. This can be a very direct and quick way of introducing yourself online and finding an audience.

As with other methods, you will have to invest an effort into attracting the right audience, in the end, this can be very rewarding.

Some tips to follow.

  • Your first broadcasts should not be too long. Your first task is to capture the attention of your viewers. Take care of the timing.
  • A catchy title is extremely important. When users scroll through streams, they will see the title of the broadcast and your name. So you understand that the title should be the best possible.
  • Share your broadcast on social networks. It makes it easier to find.
  • Interact with viewers. People watching your stream are able to comment and like the broadcast. This is your big chance to win your audience. Interact with viewers and respond to comments.

5. Social Media Presence

Social media is the key to establishing and maintaining your online presence. Millions of people use social media to look for information, share their experiences, advertise and much more.

Big brands and companies are using social media for marketing and constantly work to reach new audience.

You should also use the power of social media to your advantage.

6. Post Videos on YouTube

YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing site. Thousands of videos are posted every minute. In fact, YouTube is a major source of income for many people who use videos to advertise products of services or promote their own brand.

Posting videos to YouTube is simple, but the trick is to get viewers, of course. What you can do:

  • Build a list of subscribers who will follow your YouTube channel.
  • Post links in the video description to promote your content (don’t do this too aggressively though).
  • Post helpful videos. For example, you can post ‘How To’ tutorials or give some other helpful information to your viewers. They will appreciate it, so there is more chance you will gather your audience.

7. Open a Page on Facebook

A specific promotion page on Facebook is a good and reliable method to attract attention. The key to getting more likes and followers it to be consistent.

You can get a lot of organic traffic simply by being persistent and posting on a daily basis.

8. Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags are used to index keyword and topics. The option was created so that people are able to easily and quickly find the content they are interested in.

A clever use of hashtags can improve your standing on Twitter and attract followers for your page.

You must know exactly what you want to achieve and be consistent.

9. Always Be Original

The problem with most content online is that it generally lacks originality. People like new things, they want to read, see and hear something new.

You need to be unique and not follow others. Whether you’re a student searching for internship to make awesome career and you need to establish online visibility to beef up credentials, or simply want internet fame, you have to come up with something special to win an audience.

Here are some ideas for a more original content.

  • Talk about Yourself
    Everyone is different. We have different views, characters, and experiences. Let it be your inspiration. People are more likely to relate to personal content, so don’t be reluctant to share your ideas and experiences.
  • Post Interesting Stories
    People also like exciting, unique stories. If you lack inspiration, try to use something from your, or a life of someone you know. Or simply give your imagination free rein and share your thoughts and emotions.

10. Challenge Conventional Thinking

Sometimes you need to stir things up a bit. Challenge conventional thinking, examine a story from a different point of view and give your own perspective.

Don’t be afraid to break up with clichés and stereotypes. People will appreciate if you show a unique point of view and are more likely to come back for more.

Gaining and Engaging With Your Followers (Infographic)

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Getting a lot of followers is one of the most favorable things that every social media marketers want.

However, it is a good idea to pursue quality over quantity. Gaining plenty of followers might be ideal, but engaging with them is essential as well. All of the real followers are potential clients and prospects, so you have to treat them respectfully. Take a look at the today’s infographic for numerous tips on how to gain more followers while keep the level of engagement high.

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Infographic credit: StudentExperts.com

Handling The Different Types of Comment in Social Media (Infographic)

Social media comments are often rude. However, taking care of them is not a difficult task at all.

As your audience grows, so will the inflow of comments. Brands have come to realize that the larger your presence, the more people that look at your content with a critical eye. No matter your overall goals for social media, you must be ready to answer the individuals who respond to your posts. Below are some ways to handle the comments that may come your way.

Take a look at the following infographic for more information.

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Infographic credit: Salesforce

6 Ways To Integrate Social Media To Your Website

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Having a strong presence on social media is a must for almost all types of businesses.

It has been widely known that social media channels provide brands with the ability to communicate directly with consumers and countless opportunities for creating a strong customer community. Still, while leveraging social media for their marketing, many companies fail to make the most from their social channels on company websites.

That’s why you should ensure that your website and social channels are perfectly blended and offer a seamless experience to your target audience. This is the single most effective strategy to building a strong online presence. In today’s post, we will share six devastatingly simple tips to help you integrate social media into your website and capitalize on the marketing potential of your channels.

1. Create custom social media buttons

It’s essential to add links to your social media profiles on your website – that’s how users can quickly navigate to their favorite network and like your page, contact you, find out more about your business or simply share your content.

The trick is to avoid incorporating standard Facebook, Twitter or YouTube logos and placing them in an accidental corner of your website. What you should do is customize these buttons to reflect your brand. Use your color scheme and place social media buttons right next to the product image. They’ll be slightly faded and won’t distract users from the product itself.

Having such custom social buttons is a great idea – and you can find some unique styles available for free on Google search.

2. Include social login

As many as 73% of users prefer to log in with social login instead of registering with their email. If you want to improve user experience on your website, include social login and you’re bound to increase the number of registration conversions and their retention.

It’s quite simple – with social login, you’re making it much easier to register and users are more likely to complete the entire process. Naturally, it’s worth to gain as many followers as possible – gather their data and analyze it to ensure that your marketing campaigns are well-targeted and get you closer to your critical goals.

3. Feature Instagram photos

If you’ve got lots of great visuals posted on Instagram, why not brag a little and share them on your website as well? By embedding Instagram photos on your blog, you’ll be able to gain new followers from the audience visiting your website. Clicking on the three dots on the bottom right corner of your photo you’ll get the embed code for your Instagram image – it couldn’t be simpler!

4. Offer social proof

Integrating social proof to your website is an excellent strategy for building trust in your brand. Consumers tend to trust social proof just as they trust social recommendations, so make sure that social widgets are integrated in the right places to boost your sales.

You can use Facebook’s widgets, for instance the “Like Box” in this way. Showing how many people liked your content, you’ll present yourself to visitors as a credible source. Also, if they see that their friends liked your page, they’re more likely to see you as a legitimate brand and click ‘Like it’ themselves. It’s a win-win situation.

5. Take a close look at terms and conditions

Since the way you use social media on your website reflects your professionalism, you need to be extra careful and make sure that you follow the terms and conditions stated on every platform. Did you know that Google+ can’t be used for contest posts? Facebook forbids the use of personal pages in order o promote brands. If you’ve violated the terms and conditions of a social network in the past, just delete these pages and never link to them again.

6. Design your website to be social

Design your website to add more value to social media user experience. Remember to place social icons on every page and in the same location. Sometimes it makes sense to include a social feed throughout your website, other times it is more beneficial to create one separate page and devote it to social media by pulling content from different channels.

How you integrate social media on your website depends on your critical website objectives and on the significance of social to your general marketing strategy. Use these tips to create a seamless experience that accurately reflects your brand in every online space.

How to Persuade Your Prospects with Real-Time Personalisation (Infographic)

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Personalisation can be an amazing and powerful marketing tool.

In the new era of social media communications where spams and computer-generated content, the opportunities for personalised messaging is greater than ever.

All the major platforms are now working to facilitate greater personal connection and relevance – one of the biggest drivers of Facebook’s new Bots for Messenger platform is that it will enable brands to maintain more personal, specialised connections with each member of their audience.

To better highlight the benefits of personalisation, take a look at the infographic for some of the key statistics and opportunities around personalised outreach.

Here are some of the important notes:

  • 40% of consumers spend more from a personalised website experience
  • Google ‘near me’ searches have increased 2.4x year-over-year
  • Businesses sending mobile offers using real-time data are seeing 7x higher conversion rates

There are more data points and ideas highlighted in the graphic below – worth considering in your marketing plan.

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Infographic credit: VMob and Microsoft

10 Skills You Need To Know To Become A Savvy Social MEdia Expert

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To become a Social Media Expert, you require a multiple skillsets.

To learn the needed skills, you have to understand the unique concepts and intricacies of being on social media. As a starting point, this includes being able to maneuver with ease through Twitter, Facebook, etc. Below are ten crucial skillsets that you need to take into account when considering a career in social media:

1. Being a Goal Setter and Staying on Time

As is the case with any job or career path you take, learning how to manage your time is essential and is the key to attracting more clients or being recruited by a widely sought after firm. Taking on the role of “expert”, coupled with the responsibility of setting goals can lead to wildly successful execution. The aim and mission should be to help companies collect as many leads/visitors as possible and turn them into loyal clients.

2. Numbers and Figures Are Relevant

If there is one thing to bear in mind, it’s the fact that numbers are everything. Score checking and keeping an eye on the number of likes, shares, followers, subscribers, and top comments are top priorities. Without these statistics, strategies can’t be revised for maximum effectiveness.

3. Reputation Matters

Buying likes, followers, and comments has never been more rampant and prevalent than it has been the past couple of years. The more likes, comments and followers a product/website gets, the better reputation a website has. Unfortunately, all too often, people take the immediate gratification shortcut of buying a reputation by paying people to participate on social media. As industry veterans know, these sorts of methods experience short lived success for the client, they harm the reputation of the social media provider. Being a true Social Media Expert requires a remarkable reputation in order to attract and retain top quality and high profile clients. The higher the reputation, the more the social media consultant’s advice is respected and implemented.

4. Content is a Cornerstone

High Quality content is one of the cornerstones or top priorities in any social media marketing campaign. Ensure your website contains expertly written web page and blog content. It is a strength of character to know when to pass elements of the marketing strategy onto the relevant experts. It is often a good idea to pass the content requirements onto content writing specialists to ensure this essential building block achieves the desired goals.

5. Social Media Platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat are currently the most popular platforms on the internet. However, there are a plethora of other platforms available online. There is often pressure for a social media expert to make sure that the business has an online presence across all social networks. Instead, it is far more important and effective to research which platforms are most relevant to the business and target those.

6. SEO in Marketing Campaigns

A campaign is just one element of the greater digital media marketing campaign. SEO is just as important, if not more important than any other element in the digital marketing strategy. The social media consultant is not expected to be a SEO expert, but is still expected to have a decent amount of proficiency in the area. It is important to understand the role on-page and off-page SEO plays in the entire marketing campaign, as well as know who to hand off the SEO to. This understanding and synchronicity set the stage for powerful digital marketing synergy.

7. Technology

Social media marketing has emerged because of the innovation of technology. The expert should be able navigate around all aspects of current technology. Knowing what devices and platforms users utilize is important when crafting content so it lives up to its design potential.

8. Automation

Learn the art of automation to make your work easier and to increase your levels of productivity, thereby increasing your reputation as a knowledgeable and hard-working expert in your field. Automation is essential, especially when following up on tasks, replying to messages, and retweeting posts. There are several workflow and management programs available to help you automate these simple tasks.

9. Mistakes, Creativity and Social Media

We are all human, which means we all have the potential to make mistakes; which we often do. As mentioned earlier, everyone has a reputation to live up to. This is why whether or not you should admit to making mistakes on social media is a hotly contested topic. It is important to be able to work out or discern what is appropriate to admit on these platforms. Be prepared for these situations by having a process in place as to who will be involved in responding to these unfortunate scenarios.

10. Quantity versus Quality

No matter how many people tell you to focus more on quantity over quality; this isn’t how drawing attention works. For someone who wants to build a good reputation in online marketing, quality matters far more than quantity. According to experts, it is far more important for businesses to establish a community around their brand and develop important relationships with their customers.