The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing Strategy

Welcome to the opportunity land of mass media marketing outreach. Thanks to Mr. Zuckerberg and the creators of all social media platforms alike, the world of online marketing has evolved and transformed significantly over the past decade.

Shares, likes, tweets and pins have become much more than casual interactions between millennials. In the online advertising space, we have moved far beyond cliché sales pitches or scripted commercials and moved into the era of social media marketing.

Social media has enabled an open and transparent conversation between business and consumer.

Why Businesses Need Social Media Marketing?

Today, social media has become one of the most important channels of outreach for businesses to harvest branding, marketing, and customer relationship building. With the right planning, strategies, and tools, social media can help businesses acquire and retain customers in a cost-effective way.

To fully reap the benefits of social media marketing, a feasible strategy in alignment with your overall marketing plan needs to be in place. The core of good social media practice is to regularly share insightful and useful information.

Capture and engage new and returning traffic to your business by keeping the interactions going between brands and audience. Utilize social platforms for more than just a channel to output the latest promotions. There are valuable opportunities to receive feedbacks from end users and improve business strategies in the long run.

5. Increase Content Sharing

One of the best tips we can give about winning followers is to consistently and frequently share quality content. Shares can be anything; a new product debut, an important update, or just something funny.

Periodically post articles, videos, infographics, or exclusive offers from your website onto Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Employ good posting practice by share relevant, engaging, and worthy pieces that add value to your social profiles.

If you need help on how to use, manage and advertise on different social networks, get access to tutorials taught by industry experts. Lynda, LinkedIn’s largest online educational platform offers hundreds of training courses on everything you need to know about social media marketing.

 

3 Ways to Improve Social Media Content Sharing

  • Promote messages with emotional connections. You need a message that speaks the mind of your audience. When people feel gravitated towards your message, they will share it because it represents their own ideas closely.
  • Create content that fires up a common passion. For example, motivational messages that promote a mutual drive or a goal can receive great responses. Create content that makes your followers feel personally passionate about can increase post sharing.
  • Reiterate brand value through social networks and constantly reminds followers of your great brand image. If your organization is involved in charitable events or events for a cost, promote them on social networks. Let people know about your involvement and contributions to create a better society. It helps your business gain more followers who believe in the same cost.

6. Customize Social Media Strategies

There is no one size fit all solution in online marketing or social media practice. What and how you share should be customized to fit the social platform you are on in order to capture maximum benefits.

For example, longer sentences and oversized images might not work its charm on Twitter as they may on Facebook. Image rich content may receive a better response on Pinterest. Statistical facts may obtain remarkable performance on LinkedIn.

Don’t be afraid of trial and error. Test out different content strategies on various platforms. Utilize data from analytics reports to seek out better approaches to social media sharing.

3 Examples of What You Can Customize on Different Social Networks

• Facebook: More than two-third of Facebook users are on mobile devices. So choose images that are mobile friendly and easy to look at on small devices. For instance, a picture with a clear theme may work better than a lengthy infographic covered in text.

• Twitter: According to Twitter, tweets with images receive 35% more retweets comparing to text-only tweets. It’s a good idea to make the message brief and include an image for better engagement. Twitter is a great network to frequently share quick updates about real-time news and statistics.

• Pinterest: Infographics works well on Pinterest. They can be displayed and viewed properly in Pins and allow you to include long descriptions. Use keyword-optimize Pinterest posts to maximize search exposure within the platform.

7. Plan Strategic Post Timing

When and how often you make posts on social platforms impact the overall success of social campaigns. This is where the analytics data comes in handy.

Make good use of analytic reports from Google Analytics and Bing Ads to identify the peak hours which your customers are online and browsing. Plan posts around their “active” schedules to increase exposure.

Depending on your industry, spamming your Facebook account with 10 posts in a half hour period is not always a smart move. If you are a publishing media, it may make sense to publish more often with rotating topics and categories. If you are a restaurant promoting your new menu, plan location-enabled photos around peak activity hours may help to increase local traffic. Pace your posts and let statistics show you what works for your business.

 

3 Tips to Help You Schedule Social Media Posts

  • Your own data is everything when it comes to post scheduling. You may find many versions of “best time to post on Facebook” from the internet. While their research is accurate when it comes to their own customers, but that does not exactly reflect the peak times of your customer’s activity hours. It is most effective to track your own data through Google Analytics and Social media tools to obtain the most accurate information on user activities and plan out posts accordingly.
  • Powerful social platform analytics such as Facebook Insights and Pinterest Analytics are readily available within your social media accounts. They provide real-time data and break down user engagement by demographics. These in-platform analytics tools offer additional layers of data for even more precise targeting.
  • Tailor post timing for different social networks. You may start off posting with identical timings across the board for every platform. As you accumulate more data, it is a good idea to consistently reevaluate and identify the best strategy for each social network. Keep refining your strategies to maximize results.

8. Capture Business Opportunities

Consistently engage followers with product updates, promotions, and rewards. Running a good promotion on your Social Media page is a good way to stimulate interest with customers and great for capturing new opportunities.

Get creative with your social media campaigns. Put up interesting videos, new product demos, or run a contest with a prize. Post coupon codes, blast email campaigns with exclusive offers, and announce sales across platforms.

There are endless ways to present promotions to your customers. Keep followers interested and give them a good reason to pay another visit.

 

3 Ways to Gain More Business Opportunities from Social Media Posts

  • Link directly from your webpages to social media posts. One of the most important marketing objectives of utilizing social media is to direct traffic back to your website. Install protocols such as Open Graph Meta tag for Facebook and Twitter Cards to enable rich object posting. Make posts more intuitive and appealing improves the user experience.
  • Focus on creating customer loyalty. One of the best investments you can make in marketing is to turn casual visitors into loyal customers. Building a strong brand image and creating trust amongst your followers are key to creating loyal customers. Develop a social presence around these key objectives can further elevate your brand value.
  • Optimize marketing goals with analytics. Data is perhaps the most important component of any online marketing campaign. Make use of analytics data about your customer’s preferences and browsing trends when planning social media posts. Choose your content with winning subjects and post around user activity peak times.
  • Utilize social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Sproutsocial to schedule posts, manage inbox and consolidate social media marketing on different networks into one easy to use platform.

Keep on Sharing

Social Media is making a significant contribution to businesses by opening up a whole new marketing channel. Social media platforms have created a stage of equal opportunities for companies large or small.

Successful social media marketing for business starts with winning the hearts of followers and creating the best user experiences.

Today, the gap between brands’ marketing effort and audience reach has become smaller. Businesses are competing to come up with fresh and innovative campaign ideas on their social media pages.

A new sense of community has emerged from the widespread of hashtags and shares. More and more businesses are gearing their focus toward nurturing user experience through social media communications. Through our guidelines on social media for business, we discussed the fundamentals of how business can benefit from social media marketing.

Here we will dive into proactive social media strategies to help your business gain more social influence.

How to Gain More Followers through Our Social Media Marketing Strategy

There are many creative things you can do to get people interested in you. We have summed up the top 21 social media marketing strategies to help you win more followers. Here’s what to do:

7. Host Contest with Prizes

Running a contest is a great way to gain followers through incentive offering. With contests, you have the added value of user contribution and engagement. Impressionable events also strengthen a company’s branding effort.

In addition to asking for a follow, you may ask participants to share their user experience and provide feedback to improve your business. For example, ask followers to share their opinions on new product or service.

Nevertheless, it is a win-win situation. You receive more traction on social media and make the fans happy by giving back.

8. Take Advantage of Current Events and Holidays

E-commerce widely adopts this strategy. It pays off to ride the waves of festivity because it boosts sales and brings in new customers.

In fact, many businesses and their social media pages benefit from the hype of holiday celebration or trending topics. It is the best opportunity to create a viral post and expand your fan base.

Make every Christmas sale, Halloween photo, or witty statement a conversation starter on Facebook or Twitter. Tag the related event or holiday to receive extra exposure. Remember to keep these social campaigns creative and relatable to your audience.

9. Promote Website Content

Content is the strength and core of any marketing campaign. That is especially true for social media marketing because good content creates conversation and generates conversion.

The success of a social media post is measured by its ability to capture interest in its rather short lifespan. However, once you have successfully captured interest, the goal is to turn it into a conversion. Lead the post engagement back to your website by promoting content from your website.

Make sure the landing page to that social post contains relevant, informative and valuable content. It should provide visitors with more opportunities to understand your product, service, and brand.

The more value visitors see in your business, the more likely they will give you a follow. Learn more about how to optimize content for better website conversion.

10. Share Trending Topics

When you observe past social media posts, you may notice that some topics generated much more response than others. Don’t you wish that you always know which topics make viral posts?

No need to ask the magic ball, social media tools like Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, and Buzzsumo can help you out. These tools identify top trending topics within your own posts and within the niche. You are automatically notified when a topic is gaining unusual momentum, so you can be the first to respond and share the news. In addition, these tools offer advanced analytics to help you better research, create and analyze marketing campaigns.

As your business gain more authority on social media, you become the trend leader within the industry. In turn, your content receives more shares, and more people will start following you.

11. Share Peer Content

This is another effective technique to network your way to more followers. Share, comment and like posts from other authoritative leaders in your industry.

Include your own thoughts when reposting or referencing someone else’s content on your own profile. Share engaging posts from other brands that benefit your followers.

Don’t forget to give full credit to the author. You can observe a higher chance of receiving a share or like back when you express genuine interest in other people’s work.

12. Present Memorable Images

According to online marketing expert Jeff Bullas, articles with images receive 94% more views than text-only articles. When there are millions of social media exchanges daily, you want to make sure that your messages get across before they drown in the abysmal sea of shares and tweets.

Add attention-grabbing images to bring more traffic to your posts. Design tools such as Adobe Photoshop or any other image editor can make photos look and display better. Great visuals enhance user experience, and people are more likely to share these attractive and interesting images.

13. Add Charts and Infographics

Charts and Infographics are great visual aids to present ideas more expressively. You can convert any text or data content into easy-to-understand graphic presentations.

Infographics and charts do well on Pinterest and Google Plus, so they work especially well in gaining followers on these two platforms. Make sure the visual elements are appealing, and pay attention to the format, color, and font size when you design.

You may opt to use premade templates to easily build and customized charts and infographics. Tools like Infogr.am or Easel.ly can help you save time and money. They have thousands of themes available for easy drag-and-drop designing. You can even customize elements to match your brand’s look and feel.

Both Infogr.am and Easel.ly offer free accounts. You can upgrade to a fee-based subscription to access even more features.

14. Include Engaging Videos

According to Adobe, 51.9% marketing professionals worldwide says video is the content with the best ROI (Return on Investment). In addition, Retailers observes a 40% increase in purchase as a result of having videos.

Today, videos have become many marketers’ prime choice of product or service demos. Videos are stimulating ways to show and tell content.

With today’s technology, you can easily produce quality short films straight from a smartphone. An easy way to start is to first create a YouTube or Vimeo account. Third party video hosts save you bandwidth and have little effect on pagespeed (SEM article about speed test). Upload all of your videos and embed them into your website, then share it on social networks.

You can even make animated films with tools like Animaker. The cloud-based animation tool creates animated infographics, presentations and short films. It provides a library of effects, props and characters or you can upload your own assets. Brand it with your company logo and contact information for effective call-to-action. Try it for free:

Take advantage of Facebook’s auto-play function to run videos as they appear on a user’s screen. You can win more followers with content that deliver an engaging user experience.

If you are making promotional videos, it is a good idea to keep them short and to the point. Experts suggest that the ideal time frame for a promotional video should be less than 2 to 3 minutes. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of adults is about 8.25 seconds. So don’t lose your audience before they’d gotten to the “promotional” part.

15. Make Use of Call-to-Action

Call-to-action is the ultimate component that makes conversion happen. It can be in the forms of text links, buttons, or URL embedded images that direct users to perform an action.

This action can be anything. Such as to make a purchase, to subscribe, to take a survey, to visit a particular webpage, or to participate in a poll.

One of the best strategies to get more followers with call-to-action is to make your content one-click sharable. Apps like SumoMe or AddThis can be easily plugged into almost any CMS (Content Management System). The best part of all, both are free to use. They allow social media icons to toggle on webpages, so visitors can quickly share articles onto their social media pages with a single click.

16. Update the Cover Page

The often neglected cover page image is actually a good way to improve branding. More than often it is amongst the first things visitors see when they come to your social media page.

According to Xerox, the world’s leading printing solution, color can improve brand recognition and gain leadership by up to 80%, and makes an impression that is 39% more memorable. So don’t just stick any picture on the cover page to fill up space. Use colorful and captivating images that represent your brand to get noticed.

In addition, cover pages are great opportunities for marketing. Many brands take advantage of their cover page photo space and use it as an effective advertising medium.

Change up the covers on Facebook and LinkedIn to show your latest promotions. It is the perfect top-position spot to show off your brand’s personality and stand out from the competition. When you get more attention, you can attract more followers.

17. Run Email Campaigns

When you are sending off email blasts to customers, remember to promote your social media profiles in these messages. This is another great way to encourage customers already on your existing communication list to follow you on social media.

These email communications can be weekly campaigns, thank you emails, and even auto responses.

Make it easy for people to follow you. Put the social links in visible places, or make them into call-to-action buttons. Make it even more motivating for viewers to follow you by throwing in an incentive. For example, you can make an exclusive email campaign to “take 10% off when you like us on Facebook!”

18. Retarget Warm Leads

There must be customers, friends or colleagues that are familiar with your business but are not one of your followers. For example, those in your immediate circle, vendors, people you met at networking events.

Send them an invitation to reconnect on social media. Include your company page in the message and ask people to follow you.

Better yet, run a retargeting campaign on Facebook to specifically target visitors who have visited your website but have yet to follow you. Targeting warm leads can give you a better chance at converting them into followers.

You need to have Facebook custom audience set up first before you can create this campaign. So when visitors come to your website with your custom audience code, they will be added into the “Custom Audience” category. Go to Facebook Ad Manager and select this “Custom Audience” in the Audience option to start your retargeting campaign.

19. Find Your Best Time to Post on Social Media

Is Friday better than Wednesday to make a post? Should you post at 8am, not 8pm? There is no guarantee on when to post on social media that will make it go viral.

However, there are things you can do to predict the best post timing that generates more response. The key is to find out the best timing from data – your own data, because it is different for every business and industry.

Post scheduling is a great function that allows you to choose the date and time you publish posts. Facebook has this handy function built in and is free to use. It is an easy and convenient way to publish your posts so you never miss the peak activity hours again.

Use analytics from Facebook Insights along with Google AdWords or Bing Ads to identify the prime hours with the most active users. Target your posts at the right time can bring more opportunities to gain followers.

Use social media management tools such as Sproutsocial or Hootsuite to sync all your social media marketing into one platform. You can schedule posts, respond to inquiries, and get in-depth analytics all from one place. It helps to cut through all the tedious and repetitive steps and can really save you time.

20. Invest In Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is available on most social media networks. Social platforms have become the gold-mine marketing spaces for businesses because of their invaluable user database.

For example, Facebook alone is the second most visited website right behind Google. It has 1.09 billion daily active users as of Spring 2016. It aggregates a massive amount of user information such as demographic, interest, behaviors and preferences. These comprehensive user data help brands to target ads with more precision while better control their marketing budget.

Paid social media advertising does a wonderful job at raising brand awareness and gaining new followers. When you run ads on social media, first set a feasible budget and start with one or two networks to test out your market.

Try Facebook boost to promote one of your most popular posts. You can target an audience based on interest. Then expand that group with Facebook’s Lookalike audience function to include a bigger market share with similar criteria as your original selection.

Social media adverting can effectively target prospects and quickly grow your follower base. Learn more about social media advertising strategies.

21. Bring on the Power of Hashtags

Hashtags was first introduced in 2007. It then became an evolutionary way to connect social media searches and communications.

Brands innovatively utilize it to create successful marketing campaigns. When used appropriately, the little “#” (pound) symbol can make a big impact at a rather small cost.

One thing to note: #HashtagAbuse #isnot #suchAGreatIdea! #IfyouknowWhatImean?!

How 7 Most Influential Social Media Networks Use Hashtags:

  • Twitter is the early adopter of #hashtag, and probably does the most daily exchanges of the little “#” within its Twitter Stream. Hashtags in Twitter works like keywords. They are searchable within the community for related topics.
  • Facebook links hashtag to users’ posts as their privacy setting allows. Facebook also has a “Trending” section within its Newsfeed featuring the most discussed topics.
  • LinkedIn made an announcement that as of July 29th, 2013, they are no longer supporting the LinkedIn Signal feature. It originally allowed users to search for news, status updates and hashtag phrases from the network. The retirement of LinkedIn Signal was the official drop for hashtag use from LinkedIn.
  • Instagram is another hashtag heavy social network. It categorizes photos according to hashtags added by users. This makes photo searches within Instagram easy like a piece of cake.
  • Pinterest is unlike most popular social media websites.The hashtag in Pinterest does not direct users to search results that are exclusive to the tagged phrase. Only the hashtags contained in a Pin description can be clicked on and redirected to a general search result. It may return any variations of phrases related to the hashtagged phrase.
  • Google+ automatically hashtags relevant or content worthy keywords as determined by Google+. However, you may remove any tag or include your own.
  • YouTube uses tagged phrases to yield search results of videos. This is widely adopted by commenters, and is a useful tool to instantly search for mentioned videos.

Social Media Marketing Strategies that Works for Your Business, Website, or Blog

There are many tried and true ideas out there for social media marketing and the best plan for your business still comes from what is receptive to your customers. As internet and technology bring us closer, social media forever changed the way people connect with each other and with the world.

Now every business has the opportunity to expand outside of its physical location and possibly reach any part of the globe. There are many opportunities out there and always room for growth, so don’t worry if your campaigns are not perfect on the first day of launch. As you continue to nurture your fan base, your ROI goals will begin to experience steady progress over time.

Social Media Advertising Strategies to Quickly Scale Your Business

Social media has evolved from a trend to almost an unwritten necessity for businesses over the past years. Brands worldwide are adopting social media advertising as a quintessential online marketing strategy.

Social network’s powerful analytic tools can assist marketers to precisely target interest and accurately benchmark ad performance. So how do companies make the most out of social advertising to scale their businesses? We will explore the key benefits and strategies of social media advertising to help you gain more business opportunities online.

What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising focuses on the paid aspect of social media marketing. While every social network is unique, advertising on the major social platforms has inevitable common grounds.

So let’s explore these advertising strategies and how to use them to strengthen your overall social media marketing effort.

4. Personalize Messages

Target personalized communications toward different groups of audience. You can make very specific audience selections within platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn ads.

Cater customized messages to selective viewers can really enhance the user experience. For example, if your website sells cookies, tailor ad message to various groups of customers based on their preferences. Make an ad for those who like chocolate cookies, and do another version for the sugar cookie fans.

Make good use of analytics such as Facebook Insights. It provides information-rich data that can target ads to the right niche.

You can also make things easier by using an all-in-one social media management tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial. They deliver an extra layer of in-depth analytics to help you gain more understanding of user behaviors. They are also great for finding trending topics.

5. Adopt Direct e-Commerce

Facebook is taking an innovative step since 2015 to introduce the call-to-action “buy” button (currently in beta testing). This means e-commerce stores are able to utilize social networks to make sales directly to consumers without even leaving the platform.

This is a big bonus for online stores and a whole new experience for shoppers. Businesses are able to roll out ads that allow users to purchase right on the spot.

It cuts through the long checkout funnels of traditional e-commerce stores. Instead, you can make a sale in just a few clicks. Along with well strategized Facebook ads and post promotions, you’ve got yourself a fully equipped marketing channel to make the conversion happen faster.

If you are using an online e-commerce website builder and management tool like Shopify and BigCommerce, there are a variety of social media extensions you can utilize. For example, like, share, add, Twitter widget, Facebook Connect, and Facebook Store Application. Users can access your products directly from Facebook and other supported social media platforms. Shopify also rolled out the “buy” button to allow direct purchase on Facebook.

In addition, e-commerce builders allow users to construct and manage their e-commerce stores without having extensive knowledge in coding or web development. Both Shopify and BigCommerce provide complete setup help as well as 24/7 customer support to back up your business.

6. Design to Serve Mobile Ads

Today, everywhere you turn, you see people on their mobile phones. As smartphones continue to advance in technology, we can do almost everything business or leisure related on our phones.

That includes checking social media activities. Brands are finding new ways and capturing opportunities to better market to the massive mobile user segment on social media.

Facebook’s latest statistics reveals 989 million mobile daily active users as of 2016.Twitter reports 83% of their 310 million monthly active users are on mobile devices.

Mobile advertising has become a big online marketing focus for businesses all over the world. Many platforms such as Facebook provide options for advertisers to target users on mobile only.

You can create ad copies that are specifically optimized for mobile viewing. In addition, proper mobile tracking is also in place when you run ads on mobile.

So how do you create eye-catching mobile ad messages that convert? You need the following essential ingredients.

4 Tips to Create Social Media Advertisements that Drives Conversion

  • Deliver short, personalized, and to the point messages
  • Include clear images that look presentable on mobile screens
  • Try interactive elements such as videos, they are great attention grabbers
  • Integrate website analytics with social media analytics to a better target audience

7. Continue to A/B Test Ad Features

A/B testing is vital to any online advertising. It allows you to find out what version of an ad component or message creates the most conversions. You know how easy it is to burn through that marketing budget.

So whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to social media advertising, A/B testing can help you improve ad strategies and keep cost down.

A/B testing helps marketers to better understand their customers and how to best market to them. Conduct A/B Testing on selective niche audience. You can start by making 2 copies of the same ad in social media such as Facebook. Change one element in one of the ad copies, and always test one component at a time.

For instance, you can offer the discount as “$10 dollars off” and “20% off”. Keep everything else identical in the ad copies, and test the response rate of each ad.

Once you have identified which pricing strategy works best, move on to the next element until you have perfected the campaign. Ad features such as image selection, verbiage choice, or even colors are all good test subjects that can potentially affect the campaign results.

One Last Thought on Social Media Marketing Strategies

The core of any successful advertising comes down to audience engagement with your marketing message. Make social media marketing part of your marketing strategy will improve the overall presence of your business online.