The Importance of Social Media for Your Brand

The Importance of Social Media for Your Brand

There are now many facets to marketing your business online and one strategy that continues to grow is social media. More people than ever are joining social media sites and the amount of people using them daily is only expected to keep growing. Social media is not just a place for friends to connect anymore, it represents a huge opportunity for businesses to build their brand and reach a bigger audience.

Because social media has become so important for businesses, ignoring sites like Facebook and Twitter is not really an option anymore if you want to stay competitive in your industry. If people on these sites are more familiar with your competitors because of their social media marketing tactics then you are probably missing out on a lot of key demographics. Marketing on social media is not just a matter of moving with new trends, it is simply a means to communicate in the place where your target audience hangs out.

Engaging with Your Audience

Social media is a very useful marketing tool because it allows you to actually interact with your audience, gauge their interest in your products and your content while also letting you tailor your marketing strategies to what they want to see. Using social media can also help you provide better customer service to your audience which can build up your reputation and create loyal followers. Building up a positive image of your brand on social media can make your overall marketing strategy much easier.

One of the biggest reasons to get your brand active on social media is that your customers will expect you to be available on these sites so that they can learn more about your company. They also expect you to answer their questions and listen to their feedback. There are now millions of businesses using social media sites and not having your brand available on sites like Facebook could mean missing out on a huge audience.

Using Social Media for Ad Campaigns

A major benefit of getting your brand on social media is that you can create tailored and highly focused ad campaigns to market to specific groups. Most social media platforms offer their own paid advertising service such as Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. These ad services are becoming more important to businesses as they experience a significant boost whenever they launch a social media campaign.

Social media ads make sense for businesses because they are much cheaper than more traditional advertising methods such as tv, radio and print media. You are also able to create your own free promotional posts for organic growth as often as you want. In other words, you can run social media ad campaigns periodically but post regular content on the site to save money.

What makes these ad campaigns especially desirable for businesses is the chance to tailor them to a specific audience through targeted reach strategies. You can show the ad to only certain demographics in order to increase conversions and get a better return. Other types of advertising can be wasteful because they are created for everyone and are often just a shot in the dark in terms of gaining people’s interest.

Another reason social media ad campaigns are helpful is that they provide real time analysis of how your campaigns are performing. You can gauge how much your audience is view and interacting with your ads to make sure you are getting a positive response. You will be able to constantly keep track of how well your ad is doing and find ways to tailor it so that you eventually get the type of results that you are looking for.

Building Brand Awareness

Even if you aren’t using social media ad campaigns very often, simply being involved on social media will help you build brand awareness. Most business leaders agree that social media has a definite impact on people’s familiarity and image of a brand. With social media you are in control of your brand image, can communicate with people and get direct feedback on how people see your brand.

You can use social media to start to build a more loyal following of people who know and love your brand. They might share your content with friends and mention you online so that your positive reputation continues to build. The more that you engage in conversations with people and share valuable content, the more you will be able to build up your brand awareness.

If you haven’t spend much time on social media, it is never too late to start working on your site and launching ad campaigns to get the ball rolling. Once you create a social media strategy you will be able to tailor your content based on your immediate results. The more time you spend on your social media platforms the more you will experience the benefits.

5 Steps to Social Media Domination

5 Steps to Social Media Domination

When it comes to marketing on social media, some companies may not know where to begin and how to get more people involved with their sites. Having an effective social media strategy means understanding what works on certain platforms and what doesn’t.

Performing well on social media does not necessarily mean hitting it hard with a lot of aggressive marketing and posting. It means tailoring your content to reach a target audience and being consistent in your efforts to voice your brand and get people involved. Following up each campaign by studying analytics and constantly fine tuning your techniques can also make a big different in the impact you have on social media.

Here are 5 ways that you can boost your social media strategy:

  1. Focus on the Right Platforms

There are more options than ever for social media channels where marketing can work but you need to make sure that they make sense for your particular brand. Instead of setting up a profile on every social media site you can find, instead look at the demographics of who hangs out on certain channels and consider whether it would benefit you to be there. If you’re not sure you can start with the basics such as Facebook marketing and Twitter posts and then decide if you want to expand to options like Pinterest or Snapchat.

Remember that more social media profiles does not always equal better when it comes to market. Focusing your energy on just a few sites and getting high engagement rates is more useful in the long run than balancing several that aren’t performing as well.

  1. Find Your Audience

While more general social media marketing campaigns may seem like they have broad appeal, it is actually more effective to create custom campaigns that target specific groups. For each campaign you create you can think about your ideal customer based on their age, gender, occupation, interests and other traits to really narrow down the market.

Social media lends itself to this kind of focused marketing because people make this information readily available on their profiles. Tools like Facebook Ads allow you to create custom advertisements that will be shown to the type of audience you choose.

  1. Work on a Content Calendar

As important as what you post is also when and how often you post. Adding content too often can deter people from following you because they will be overwhelmed with too much information. Too little content could mean that people forget about your company and engage more with something else.

It can be helpful to schedule your posts so that you can keep track of the frequency of what you’re posting and don’t end up alienating followers in any way.

  1. Boosting Engagement

One of the crucial aspects of social media marketing is not just creating content but making sure that people interact and engage with it as much as possible. Try to take time to respond to followers and answer their questions or get them involved through tactics such as photo contests. The more you engage with them the more likely they are to remain interested in your brand.

  1. Use Analytics to Your Advantage

In order to understand what works and what doesn’t on your social media page you need to measure engagement and make use of the analytics the site offers. You should always track your social media ROI to determine if your campaigns were successful. Measuring results often allows you to constantly tailor your marketing efforts so that you know what strategies are working as you go.

4 Common Social Media Marketing Myths

4 Common Social Media Marketing Myths

The way that people use social media and the way that businesses market on different platforms continues to evolve and change every year. Brands that are new to social media marketing may have trouble figuring out what their best strategy or approach should be. There are a number of myths and misconceptions that can hinder your ability to be successful on social media.

Understanding these common marketing myths can help you learn more about how to use social media to your advantage.

  1. You Need to Market on Every Social Media Platform

There are social media apps that come and go with their popularity but businesses might feel pressure that they need to be using every new platform available. Some companies might make the extra effort to engage with people on as many social networks as they can but in a lot of cases it may not be necessary. Expending extra energy on a platform that doesn’t suit your brand or where your target audience doesn’t hang out won’t make sense in the long run.

Instead of spreading yourself too thin and diluting your presence online it is a better strategy to focus on platforms where you will get the best results. Even if you are only on a few major platforms it won’t matter as long as you are able to target your audience and reach them directly through those networks. You can also think about which options help to showcase what your brand is about and represent your product or service most effectively.

As long as you focus your attention on a few platforms and are able to generate the results that you want from them there is no reason to add new social media sites to your marketing strategy.

  1. Your Audience Will Come Naturally

Some companies may feel frustrated when they aren’t able to get the type of results they want simply from posting high quality content. People in marketing may believe that as long as you are creating the right material that people want to see then the audience will naturally follow. Unfortunately this is not always the case especially for startups or lesser known brands that are struggling to find their audience.

Even with good content you might need the initially push from paid ads and promotional campaigns to get people to see your brand. Once people are more aware of your company you might see more organic growth through sharing among the audience members. The best strategy however is to start out with some sponsored ads until you see the kind of results you are looking for from social media.

  1. You Need a lot of Followers to Be Successful

While it is always good to have a large amount of followers, it doesn’t always mean that you are getting the kind of interaction that you want from them. Many of your followers may not even be reading your posts or engaging with them which makes the number less meaningful. For smaller companies, the goal is not always just to increase the number of followers but rather to increase engagement.

The number of followers you have can be a good metric for knowing how many people know about your brand and like you enough to subscribe to your posts. When it comes to the audience members that actually are making purchases and getting involved with your brand, that usually is based on engagement. Your success on social media can be determined by how many meaningful interactions you have with your audience and not just the size of the audience itself.

You can start to measure the impact that your ads or regular posts have on social media by looking at engagement data such as likes, comments and shares. Keeping track of these can give you a better idea of your success on social media.

  1. Social Media Strategy is Separate from Other Marketing

Although in some ways social media marketing can stand on its own as an independent strategy, it actually works best when it is used in conjunction with other tactics. It is a good idea to connect your social media strategy with your content marketing, SEO, influencer marketing and personal branding. Even if you have figured how to target your audience and know the best times to post you also need the right kind of content to encourage engagement

Your other marketing strategies draw support and power from your efforts on social media and vice versa. Even if your social media strategy is going well you will need to continue your other marketing efforts and combine them for the best results.

Once you break through these myths about social media marketing you might have a better idea of how to make the most out of all of your advertising and promotional strategies online.

Social Media Tactics For Your Business

Social Media Tactics For Your Business

Mastering Social Media is no easy feat. Its relatively new when looking at the history of the web, but we can learn a thing or two from the pros when it comes to connecting with your audience on a deeper level, and making Social Media work for your business. It’s all about your approach. If you’re a business struggling to make the most of social media, we’ve gathered some pro tips to simplify your efforts.

First off, it’s vital to be different. There are tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of companies just like yours. With that kind of competition, try telling out-of-the-box stories. Create content that aligns with your value proposition. Even if your industry is not traditionally “exciting”, there’s always a chance to spice things up a bit with intriguing blog posts, fun explainer videos, unique narratives and more.

If there’s one thing to acknowledge in the millennial generation, it’s that attention spans are at an all-time low. According to global studies, 50% of users only stay on sites for a maximum of 10 seconds. Hence the call for short but sweet micro-content. Less text, more visuals. Less detail, more vibrancy, color and design. Use simple words that get straight to the point, and ALWAYS use a POWERFUL call-to-action.

Another concept making waves in the world of social media is the ability to connect in real-time through live video. Periscope and Facebook are at the top of the global list. Live videos allow you to hold “in-the-moment” Q&As, show your customers what your business looks like during work hours, and most importantly, ignite more loyalty – giving you the chance to amplify your personality.

Social media marketing isn’t easy for businesses, but if you’ve got patience and a knack for keeping up with the times, it’ll be much easier than you think. Engage, engage, engage, and make sure your efforts always align with the heart of your proposition. Good luck – and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at any time for more advice!

Is Twitter Still Effective for Marketing My Business?

Is Twitter Still Effective for Marketing My Business?

We are living in an online world, where Social Media is king. There are ongoing debates as to who is the strongest of them all, and one of the main conversations revolves around twitter. Countless businesses still use the platform to market their businesses. While some have enjoyed success, a lot have also moved on to platforms that provide ‘better’ marketing results such as Facebook. Every company differs.

Twitter is a fantastic way of getting short and sweet messages out to the public – be it colleagues or customers. Yes, Twitter can be a great marketing tool. But it can also be your worst enemy. Let’s say you sell cars, and your customer isn’t happy. He tweets about it, and the whole world sees it thanks to the reality of hashtags. If you’re going to be active on Twitter for your business, make sure you know how to keep your customers smiling.

On a more positive note, Twitter is ideal for use as a media outlet – such as posting news or updates. It’s vitally important, however, to use “Twitter Etiquette”. The easiest way to adhere to this is to write a quick, catchy sentence about your latest news/product, leaving a link to a longer article should the readers wish to continue.

Massive companies such as Dell regularly post promotions on Twitter – with great success. Twitter is mainly about instant conversation and breaking news, not lengthy status updates or rants. Make it conversational and personalized. People look to TV for ads. Not to Twitter, which is essentially all about conversation. It’s a chance for your customers to tag you and communicate with you directly, developing a stronger bond – and more powerful marketing efforts.

If you’re not tweeting yet, or are worried about the platform’s worth, there’s still plenty of merit in it. Just always be cautious, do your homework, and you’ll be fine! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at any time to find out more hints and tips with evolving Social Media trends.

12 Benefits of Social Media For Your Business

12 Benefits of Social Media For Your BusinessFacebook was launched in 2004. Since then, it has grown to 1.7 billion users in 2016, making it larger than the population of any country on earth. Clearly, social media has taken the world by storm. At first, “friends” used social media to connect with each other and share free, personal content. However, it didn’t take long for companies to realize the potential the medium has for bringing their message to millions of potential customers. Here are the reasons you should consider using social media as part of your marketing strategy.

1. Drives Traffic
Content that goes “viral” can be seen by thousands of people almost instantly. This level of publicity can attract a lot of attention that you can use to promote your company. It is now easier than ever for people all over the world to see your content and spread your messages to each other.

2. Allows Relationship Building
Unlike many traditional forms of advertising, social media marketing is not one-sided, but interactive. Tweets and status updates from your customer base allow you to become “friends” with your supporters, knowing about their lives, and being able to tailor your message to something that will appeal to them. People will begin to view your company less as a faceless corporation, and more like a group of people with a vision with which they can connect.

3. Customizable and Targeted
With social media, you can create content targeted towards a particular audience, showing a chosen niche group content designed to appeal to them. Facebook in particular offers opportunities to customize your advertising like never before, so you can specifically choose to broadcast your message to people likely to respond positively.

4. People are More Respective
For many people, “advertising” has a negative reputation as something unwanted or manipulative. Therefore, the most effective marketing shouldn’t feel like you are actively trying to sell something. Most users view Facebook, Twiter, and Instagram as ways to connect with people, and are thus less likely to reject your message as marketing, and therefore more likely to connect with it.

5. Instant Response to Problems
Not only are you able to send messages, but you are able to receive them as well. If there is a problem with your company or product, social media can be a convenient way for the message to get back to you. If you are able to deal with the problem in a timely and satisfying manner, your professionalism will be on display, in a way bound to increase your brand’s reputation.

6. Fast And Responsive Content
The ideal social media content is short and punchy, and can be created and shared in a manner of minutes. An effectively created and placed post may be looked at by hundreds or thousands of people minutes after it is posting, allowing for instantaneous feedback. You don’t have to wait for a publisher or television studio to put your advertisement out there, because social media content can be seen right away, at your control.

7. A Large (Mostly) Level Playing Field
If you are a small business with a low amount of capital to invest in advertising, you are not at a significant disadvantage competing against larger internationally-known corporations. If you are able to create clever, creative, attention-grabbing, and useful information, and post it in strategic you can generate a very high level of web traffic and online sales.

8. Expand Your Customer Base
There are lots people out there who may be interested in what your business has to offer, but may not know you exist. There are many different ways social media enlarge your business by creating awareness. Twitter can connect you with people using keywords that might indicate interest in your products, Facebook allows you to join groups related to your customer base or industry, and Quora can help you answer industry-relevant questions and show off your expertise. All of these can be important avenues for disclosing your business.

9. Costs Very Little
Setting up a social media account is free with an email address, meaning that you can start creating content and sharing it with the world for free, generating interest and awareness in your products without spending any capital. Even if you do hire an online firm to manage your social media output, you are likely to see a huge return on your investment. For example, using Google Adwords will cost you $1-2 per click, whereas a targeted Facebook or Pinterest post can cost as little as $0.12 for each person who checks you out.

10. Fun and Creative
Social media is designed to be fun. You are able to interact with people directly. Displaying a creative and playful side can both make your message more likely to be shared, and be a joy to be a part of. You can host a twitter chat to celebrate a new product launch, create a meme to communicate an idea, or share a poll with your fans.

11. Know Your Competitors
Other people and companies have social media pages as well. Often, these can be very important sources of information about what trends they may be up to, or actions you can respond to or follow.

12. Know Your Customers
People use social media to share about themselves. If somebody publically declares they are a fan of your company, they are telling you important information about themselves. This can help you think about what they like, dislike, believe, and value, in a way that can strengthen how you communicate with them.

The Power of Social Media in the 2012 Summer Olympics

Last night’s Summer Olympics closing ceremony was a wonderful way to close out the historic sporting events. The United States had the most wins with a total of 104 medals – while China and Great Britain were close behind.

Throughout the games and even throughout the closing ceremony, it was hard to escape the power of social media. Let’s take a look at some ways this is changing the way the games are presented and watched nowadays:

Consumption – There’s no doubt about it, fans and athletes alike love social media. It’s estimated that there were over 50 million tweets related to the Olympics. Rabid Ryan Lochte fans celebrated with the signature #JEAH hashtag, while gymnast Gabby Douglas gained over half a million new Twitter followers in just under 2 weeks. This year’s games were unlike any other because social media really has provided a channel for fans all over the world to be more connected to each other and their favorite athletes. Wonder if ancient Greek athletes could ever imagine something like this!

Criticism – NBC was continuously bashed throughout the Olympics for their lackluster coverage of events. Check out the #NBCfail hashtag to see a sample of what fans are saying. Early on, Twitter suspended (and quickly unsuspended) the account of a journalist that tweeted the “private” email address of a network executive and urged fans to email him. Fans have proven to be extremely vocal and big networks can now instantaneously see what consumers are criticizing them for.

Consequences – A Greek and Swiss athlete were suspended from their respective teams for racist tweets. Imagine all the hard work and not being able to participate because of a tasteless remark. Of course, these remarks and “jokes” go against everything that the Olympic spirit stands for. The debate is whether athletes should be suspended for such behavior or if social media usage should be restricted/controlled in the first place. Racism and ignorance has and will always exist. But the immediacy of social media is changing how we see it because it makes that hatred more tangible and permanent.

The next Summer Olympics is set to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Until then social media consumption will only grow. Companies should to keep their eyes on what their next move is in order to effectively capitalize on all the potential. And athletes must think more carefully to what they broadcast to the world. The question is, what will they learn until then?

Would You Pay With a Tweet?

Would you post a Tweet in exchange for a whitepaper, ebook, song or any other digital good? That’s the exact idea behind Pay With a Tweet. With this “social payment” system, consumers “purchase” by tweeting about a certain “product”. By doing so, they create more buzz surround their purchase amongst their personal social network. If others are interested, they will do the same and further spread the promotion of your business. It’s a win/win situation for both parties!

So, does this really work and why would people click links anyway? A recent article by Dan Zarrella shows that accounts that tweet a lot of links are correlated with a high number of followers. And more links = more chances of clicks, which will help bring you more traffic. It’s no wonder that viral marketing comes to mind with this type of promotion. People will go click-happy over free things, especially if what you’re selling is good.

How exactly? The band, The Teenagers, have used this to start their own viral promotion of a new single by asking fans to pay with a tweet. Who doesn’t like free music?! But this service is also works outside the entertainment industry. Besides selling content, you can also get creative, as the site suggests: trial runs of your service, a sneak peak of an ad, or even samples your portfolio.

Pay With a Tweet also works with Facebook so you can pay with a Facebook update. What do you think and have you tried this free service yet?

Twitter’s New Photo Search

Picture this: you’re out with your friends or at an event – how often do you pull out your phone to take a picture and share it with your social network(s)? If you’re like a majority of mobile users, the chances are that you do this a lot!

Twitter recently unveiled a new search feature that emphasizes tagged photos. Although Twitter’s search result algorithm is less complex than Google’s, this puts them one step closer to pulling more relevant search results and showcasing the most popular ones. In the world of social photo sharing, this will bring users closer than ever to each other, as well as their favorite brands.

As Twitter puts it: if a picture is worth a thousand words, a hashtag can be worth a thousand pictures! What does this mean for your business? First off, I think it’s another great opportunity to share and be creative. Instead of just replying to hashtags with more hashtags or words, you can now incorporate a visual element and who doesn’t appreciate that? This opens a new element when it comes to learning about your customers, your industry, and your own promotions (hello, photo contests). This new feature can help your business be more sociable. Because whether you like it or not, social media can’t be treated like any other form of internet advertising. It all boils down to the social aspect of a community.

Check out the video for a detailed look at Twitter’s new search feature.

How Do You Retweet?

Twitter RetweetRetweeting is a great way to share a interesting facts, shocking statements and little nuggets of wisdom. Even though there are countless types of messages to Retweet, there are two basic ways to do so. Twitter has an official Retweet button but some users still prefer the “old” style, by manually typing a RT in front of a tweet.

But does it really matter how you choose to Retweet things and here’s a better question, “Do Retweets make a difference in your social marketing campaigns?”

Manual RT Versus the Button

RT: When I mean the “old” style of Retweeting, that means copy and pasting a message after adding “RT @user” to the front of your message. This method allows you to answer questions, fix spelling mistakes and add whatever comments you’d like. Pros include customization, searchability (your RTs will show up when searched for), your username will be included in the message as others you want to credit. The downside is that makes your message more limited and can be more time consuming.

Official RT Button: If you use Twitter’s official button, your account will show up along all the other users who have Retweeted the same message. In a way, I feel that this is similar to ‘Liking’ a Facebook update. Your RT will not be counted as an individual message but rather, it will give that post more prominence. Highly Retweeted messages show up near the top of Twitter search results and that’s a good thing.

Why Does Retweeting Matter?

Either way you do it, Retweeting is an important part of the social aspect of Twitter. What makes a RT so important is the potential to reach a greater audience that what your account has alone. If one friend Retweets it, their friends will also be exposed and so on.

Remember, the timeline for a Tweet is very short lived and the message brief (140 characters). That’s why the most powerful tweets will be interesting, useful and/or also contain relevant keywords. So that when they do get Retweeted, that Tweet-juice will be counted in your favor SEO-wise.