Okay, time for a pop quiz:
- Which content marketing tactic can hold an audience’s attention for a half hour or more at a time?
- Which tactic inspires an audience to subscribe to your content and make a regular appointment to consume it?
- Name the tactic can help boost thought leadership, raise awareness and engage influencers in your industry?
- Do you know which tactic is in the title of this blog post?
While there are many great marketing tactics which go beyond the written word, the answer, of course, is podcasting. These long-form audio programs first emerged in the early 2000s. Back then, they were a niche format for hobbyists and tech nerds (like me). But the rise of the smartphone brought podcasts to the masses. Now, there are hundreds of hours of programming available on every conceivable subject, in every genre from real crime to horror to musical. But we haven’t hit content shock for podcasts — it’s still a growing market.
If your business is looking to boost thought leadership and reach a new audience, now is the perfect time to add a podcast to your content marketing mix. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
What Is a Podcast, Anyway?
There’s a wide variety of types of podcast out there, so it can seem tricky to find a definition that covers everything. Some are live interviews or panel discussions; others are entirely scripted, and audio plays production; and, as it turns out, a few are cryptic monologues about a bizarre southwestern town. But they all share two attributes:
- There are multiple recordings for each title
- They’re organized in an RSS feed where you can subscribe.
Whatever genre the audio is, whatever platforms it’s available on, as long as you have multiple recordings brought together by an RSS feed, you have a podcast.
Why Should Businesses Care about Podcasts?
The way that people consume podcasts makes them an ideal channel for your high-quality content. People tend to listen while working out, driving, cooking dinner — in other words, podcasts fill sizable chunks of otherwise idle time. You wouldn’t expect someone to read your white paper or eBook during their morning commute, but they might settle in with your latest episode.
The demographics for podcast listeners are attractive for B2B marketers, too. Edison Research’s Podcast Consumer 2017 report found that:
- 24% of people ages 18-54 listen to podcasts monthly
- Podcast listeners are nearly evenly split between men and women
- Podcast listeners tend to be affluent, educated consumers
- In the 25-54 demographic, monthly listening has grown year over year for the past four years
In other words, your target audience is likely spending a significant amount of time listening to podcasts already. And those who already listen to at least one podcast are likely to be on the lookout for more.
What Goals Does A Podcast Serve?
Podcasts work best for the attract and engage phases of the customer journey. You can use your podcast to build brand awareness and establish thought leadership in your industry. Thoughtful, valuable content can help your brand stand out from the competition, and encourage listeners to make a relationship with the brand.
The most successful podcasts tend to be in the Q&A or panel discussion style. Hosts can welcome new guests each week to share their insight. This type of format is perfect for influencer marketing: You can boost your internal subject matter experts, form relationships with influencers in the industry, even feature your potential prospects.
Since podcasts have a low barrier of entry, they are an excellent way to reach a niche audience, too. Podcasts succeed because they do what all great content does: deliver valuable information to a specific audience in an entertaining format.
It’s never been easier to launch a podcast. Got your first podcast created? Now what? Here is a list of places you can post your podcast to – some free – and some not.
Cast Your Pods to the Wind
Podcasts are a rare type of content marketing: Interest in them is steadily growing, people go out of their way to seek out new content, and they’re relatively cheap and easy to produce. B2B marketers are continually challenged to deliver the right content to people in the correct format to earn their attention. If your target audience has a morning commute, a workout schedule, or other quiet time to fill, your podcast may be just what they’re waiting for.
What magical formula are they using to get Instagram engagement? Is there a secret code you’re missing out on? Are they really that much better at Instagram marketing than you? You want to crack their Instagram strategy and make it work for you, but you’re not sure where to start.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are 12 things your competitors do to increase Instagram engagement, that you might be overlooking.
1. Actually Engage
We’re starting this list off easy. To drive more engagement from your followers, you need to interact with them. Social media isn’t a one-way street. If you want to build an engaged audience, you need to acknowledge your followers. Remember, every comment you get means someone took the time to stop, look at your post and share their thoughts. After all that, why wouldn’t you respond?
If you want to build up engagement, know that it takes time and you need to start conversations on posts other than your own. Asking questions, responding to comments and replying to Stories are some of the few ways you can engage more with your audience.
As your account starts to grow and you get more comments, you might not be able to respond to everyone. But that doesn’t mean you should give up entirely.
You can still Like comments or try to reply to as many as you can. Ted Chin creates captivating edited images and videos. Despite having hundreds of comments on each post, he still takes the time to engage with his followers as much as possible through quick replies and plenty of emojis.
The takeaway is whether you get three comments per post or 300, take the time to reply, and you’ll have a much easier time getting Instagram engagement.
2. Duplicate Your Best-Performing Posts
What works for you might not work for someone else. Take a look at your past months’ best-performing posts. Is there a common theme among your top performers? Perhaps the photos are bright and have blue tones. Or maybe the camera angle is from the side instead of above.
Camber Coffee is a coffee roaster. But every few posts, they share something unrelated to coffee such as landscape shots or nature-related photos. This might seem like an odd strategy for a food and drink company, but they’ve consistently posted like this long enough that it’s become part of their brand.
3. Post Instagram Stories With Call-to-Action
With verified Instagram accounts, you might have the opportunity to add links in your Instagram Stories. If you don’t have the option yet, you can always refer to the link in your bio or a different CTA.
Creating CTAs in your Stories prompts your fans to take notice of the product and gives them the opportunity to learn more. It increases engagement on your Stories and potentially increases clicks to your website.
Anthropologie uploaded images designed explicitly for the Stories format and themed it around pants. Each product had a See More link at the bottom that people could instantly go to for purchase.
More laid back in their approach, Framebridge used Stories to promote a blog post. It was linked for each part of the Story.
Furthermore, the Stories were timed with an Instagram post that also featured Pepper.
4. Promote Across Networks
It goes without saying that the audience for your Facebook Page might not be the same as the audience on your Instagram account. Chances are that some of your Facebook audience is on Instagram, but they don’t know that you exist there yet. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle some cross-network promotional posts to encourage more followers.
Dwell used a Facebook post to not just promote a home tour, but also to mention that more details could be found in their Instagram Stories. Instead of the usual “Follow our Instagram account!”, they offered something more enticing for their audience. For their existing Instagram fans, the live tour was still exciting content.
5. Be Strategic With Instagram Ads
When Facebook added Instagram to their Ads Manager, new targeting possibilities opened up. Sure, you can boost a post or promote your account, but you could also be more nuanced and strategic about it.
Take advantage of the customization by using retargeting. For instance, if you visit a shoe company like Toms and begin to interact with their posts, it’s possible that you’ll start to see other shoe companies being advertised to you.
After clicking on a few shoe ads, we found the above being advertised to us without ever engaging directly with the company.
Custom audiences can come from many sources. But to start, you can use:
- Your newsletter lists
- People who have visited your store
- Those who purchased from your website
- People who’ve engaged with your Facebook or Instagram accounts
From there, utilizing the lookalike audience feature, you can find even more people similar to any of the above audiences.
Getting familiar with all the Instagram advertising options can put you ahead of your competitors. And with retargeting, you can improve conversions and lower your ad costs.
6. Incorporate Videos
Grab someone’s attention with auto-playing videos and boost the post with ad dollars. Mediakix found that sponsored videos received three times more engagement than photos. So if you’re not using Instagram videos yet, it’s time to get started.
Instead of using a photo of someone texting, SFMOMA used a fun video to show off a new project. The video prompted over 24k views and 98 comments, most of which were people tagging friends.
Salt & Straw used a video to give a behind-the-scenes look at a new ice cream flavor. With over 262k views and 88 comments, it was a successful way to promote a new product and build engagement.
7. Partner with Creatives
Much like an influencer marketing program, partnering with creatives for your product or services lineup can give both parties a larger audience. It can be something as small as swag or as large as a mural in your cafe.
Away partnered with photographer Gray Malin for a limited-edition set of luggage colors. The luggage lining used is one of his photographs. Naturally, the product promotion involved Instagram posts, dedicated hashtags, and in-store signage.
When you partner up with a person or brand that has an active audience, some of their Instagram engagement tends to rub off on your own company. Their audience will visit your page to comment and like the posts that feature the influencer.
8. Give Sneak Peeks & Hints
Followers love being let in on a secret. Even if they’re public posts, giving sneak peeks and hints of new releases makes the audience think they’re part of a special group. It entices them to guess at what’s going on and encourages them to revisit the profile to see if something has been announced.
Elle-May gave her followers a preview of a new women’s section in the 1924us store. The previews resulted in dozens of comments from her followers and less than a week later, multiple items were already sold out.
9. Write Witty Captions
Along with an eye-catching photo, creating a witty or uniquely branded voice on Instagram can help you stand out from everyone else. Create a company voice that people want to hear from and you’ll find that they can’t help but strike up conversations with you.
Here’s an example of how Max Milla used the caption to play on the location name. It’s fun, short and engaging.
10. Time Your Posts
Find out when the best time to post is for you. You want to post when most of your followers are online and engaging on the app. Even with the best photo and wittiest caption, you could still miss out on engagement if you’re posting at the wrong hour.
We did some research into the best times to post on social media, and here’s what we found for Instagram.
Instagram business accounts offer analytics that tells you when your followers are most active.
Use this information to schedule out your posts so you can spend your time engaging.
11. Encourage Customer & Employee Posts
Utilize branded hashtags to help you organize user-generated content. If you engage on these hashtags and incorporate a UGC strategy, more people will take notice and begin using the hashtags, too.
Your employees can also be your strongest advocates. Their accounts give a more personal, unfiltered perspective of the company. Remember, people like feeling as if they’re in a secret club. If you reshare from your employees, you’re offering perspectives that your brand normally wouldn’t offer.
Bon Appetit frequently reposts from their readers and their staffers. Each has their own hashtags: #BAstaff and #bareaders. The hashtags give their audience a quick guide on who originally posted the content and encourages a community vibe in their page.
12. Analyze Your Competitors
Here’s something you might not have thought about. But there’s a good chance your competitors are analyzing your brand and others in your industry. So why not do the same? Don’t feel like manually gathering up a bunch of data about your competitors one by one?
If they’re doing something interesting on their page, perhaps you could try it out on yours if it fits within your brand.
Should You Buy Instagram Engagement?
When you’re at a point of desperation and just can’t seem to get anything going, you might get tempted to buy Instagram engagement to give the appearance that you have an active following. You probably already know our response to this, but you should never buy Instagram likes or engagement of any kind.
On the surface, they probably seem like helpful engagement tools, but the reality is they do more harm than good. For one, you’re deceiving your real audience which is never a good idea. On top of that, Instagram has been cracking down on accounts that rely on bots and automation. For instance, your posts might not show up for the hashtags you use or worse case scenario, you could get banned altogether.
Leave the fake engagement alone and focus on building a real audience if you want long-term success.
Which Instagram Engagement Metrics Should You Measure?
By liking posts and leaving thoughtful comments—not self-promotional, but substantive—brands can use Instagram to cultivate a stronger community and drive brand awareness. Users can quantify and qualify their engagement efforts using Instagram’s data.
Give Your Instagram Engagement a Boost
Getting Instagram engagement is more important than ever. Engagement is one of the metrics Instagram uses to determine where your content shows up in your followers’ feeds. When your followers consistently comment and like your posts, Instagram sees it as a sign that they want to see more of your content. As a result, your posts will become prioritized in their feed.
So if you want to get more eyes on your content and build your audience, use the tips above to get more engagement on Instagram.
Luce Media has extensive experience in all things related to Instagram – creative posts, Instagram Stories, Instagram Ads, and analytics. Contact us today for a Free analysis on your Instagram efforts and how they may be improved.
This post first appeared on Sprout Social at this location – https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-engagement/
For numerous businesses, social media is a noisy and jam-packed place to try and build brand awareness. And the idea of social media management is overwhelming for some small businesses and organizations because there’s simply too much that goes into learning how to use social media to drive new business or product sales. Trust us, it is a business that is constantly changing and keeping up with those changes is often critical to success. To be successful your eye must always be focused on social media engagement.
Whеn it comes tо figuring out if what your business is doing on social media is working or not, you must set up reporting tools to track your ѕосiаl mеdiа ROI. Rеturn оn invеѕtmеnt iѕ mеаѕurеd in mаnу wауѕ. Uѕuаllу it can be dеtеrminеd thrоugh fасtоrѕ thаt аrе fаirlу straightforward аnd quantifiable.
Tracking your investment in social media is often less of a dollar figure, аnd mоrе оf a human rеѕоurсе invеѕtmеnt. Sоmеоnе (or a company like Luce Media ) hаѕ to create content, роѕt it, update it, оrgаnizе thе соntеѕtѕ, givеаwауѕ, etc. They nееd to respond tо inquiries on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, аnd еntеr into the diѕсuѕѕiоnѕ on оthеr соmраniеѕ’ ѕitеѕ.
Creating an effective social media strategy truly is a challenge that most businesses face today. The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to find out what’s really going on with the content and information your business posts to various social media platforms.
Measuring your strategy is simply proof that your social media efforts are working. You need to know that you’re efforts are working and that potential customers or clients are responding to those efforts. The best way to find that out is by assessing your efforts.
By now you likely know there are all types of ways to measure what you are doing in social media. You can track the number of followers on Instagram, the number of comments on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, etc. But as a business, these social media platforms open up a wealth of data on who is watching your activity on their social platform, what the demographic makeup of your followers are and all kinds of information about what interests them.
Are you using the right social media metrics and analytics tools to monitor, assess and improve your social media performance? What analytics are you measuring and what should you be measuring in your social media tracking?
Monitoring your social media analytics can make the difference between the success or failure of your social media presence. And while there are dozens of different metrics that can be measured in social media – the most important metric to track for any business is ENGAGEMENT.
The engagement rate for social media is typically defined as the total number of interactions with your content divided by the total number of impressions it receives. While this KPI (A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives and a key factor in social media engagement) can help you determine at a high-level if people engage with your social content, it won’t tell you if they do so in ways that are meaningful and profitable for your business. What counts as a meaningful social interaction varies from industry to industry, and even from company to company.
A report from Thunderhead said only one in four businesses feel confident in their ability to create strong, customer engagement. If you fall into that category, don’t worry–we won’t tell. Instead, let’s make sure you’re comfortable with how to engage and build your brand on social.
What is Social Media Engagement? How Do You Improve Engagement?
Social media engagement is essentially like a long-term relationship. You can imagine a committed and lengthy relationship takes dedication, readiness to adapt, the ability to think about the future and ensure the other party involved is happy for years to come.
Try not to think of social media engagement as just a single interaction with one of your customers. As Thunderhead shows, you’re creating an open line of communication over a period of time. While the term “customer relationship” may come to mind, engagement is different and on its own level.
Providing More to Social Customer Care
When we think about social media engagement, it’s about how you use networks like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to build a great customer experience. You want to be there for your patrons through thick and thin.
As soon as customers decide to engage with your business on social media, they’re essentially putting trust into your brand to solve their problem.
As the clothing store Tarnish successfully showcases, reaching out to your customers when they have specific questions increases brand loyalty and even sparks the chance of a future purchase. All it takes is a bit of timely communication.
In the past, customers had to go to great lengths to get ahold of the brand to be heard. While the days of “we’re sorry–all of our customer service representatives are currently busy” still exists, businesses are getting better at making those troublesome interactions a thing of the past by enhancing engagement through social media.
Sprout Social discovered social media is the most preferred channel for customers to engage with brands. This means one way to dramatically improve engagement is to ensure every potential or current customer conversation ends with satisfaction or resolve.
3 Basic Steps to Improve Engagement
Improving engagement isn’t necessarily rocket science, but it does take effort. Try not to think of social business or social branding as something new. This type of marketing has been around for decades.
Now there’s a massive audience out there ready to be targeted, dissected and reached through social media engagement. The important thing is to know how to approach your audience, which is why we’re providing five tips to improve your social media engagement.
1. Start the Conversation
Like we mentioned before, try to think about social media engagement as a long-term relationship. Every great relationship needs someone to initiate the conversation to get things going. And if you are running a business, it has to be your brand.
As with any relationship it takes time to get to know each other. In this case, you are introducing yourself to the other person. You know what your intent is – to get a conversation going back and forth so that you can show them why your business, product or service is valuable. So don’t expect them to react immediately and begin conversing. It takes time to build relationships and until they get to know your brand….they may say little or nothing at all. Just continue to deliver information that is useful and valuable. Soon the relationship will begin to grow.
However, it’s not always that easy to get a group together to converse. If you have issues with getting engagement from content, try hosting Q&As or Twitter Chats. But try joining a few first. Use your brand’s social accounts to join conversations within your field. Be active with questions and provide industry knowledge to users.
You’ll be shocked at how quickly users will follow you. When people understand there’s a human behind the brand, their trust level increases. To build brand awareness, it’s all about trust and engagement.
Pro Tip: Be careful with your early conversations. Don’t promote right off the bat or else you’ll find little interactions and participation. Provide something of value like your industry insights or previous experience.
2. Promote Your Brand Enthusiasts
Another way to show you’re willing to get the conversation going is by promoting your brand enthusiasts’ content. For example, if you’re on Instagram, you could ask for customers to @mention you or use a branded hashtag to show off a new product or service.
Vans regularly uses its branded hashtag #myvans to get customers involved and to post their own content with the hashtag. Try to get your customers to help by encouraging them to submit pictures of them using your product or service. When you post user-generated content, you’re essentially showcasing your customers and to further your social engagement. This also helps push others who are on the fence to interact with your brand by giving an avenue to communicate. It essentially becomes a type of product endorsement or review for you. Almost always, it is a strong, positive endorsement.
Pro Tip: Make sure you are completely transparent with your intentions and how you plan to use customers’ content if you do so. Try using social media contests to give away t-shirts, swag gift packs or your actual product. Encourage your audience to share your material and to use specific hashtags.
3. Hashtags are critical to finding new customers.
A hashtag is a label for content. It helps others who are interested in a certain topic, quickly find content on that same topic.
A hashtag looks something like this: #SmallBusinessSaturday or #ContentMarketing
Why do you want people to use a certain hashtag? It’s all about tracking.
You can use hashtags on platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Anyone sharing content on a relevant topic can add the hashtag label to their message. People on social media frequently search for specific words that are used as Hashtags. So, by using the right hashtag, you increase the chance of a prospect or potential customer discovering your business.
Keep hashtags as short as possible. It’s best if a hashtag is an understandable word, phrase or abbreviation.
If you are a business that is posting to social media in an attempt to grow, you must track how often and how much your audience is engaging with your posts. Sinсе mоѕt buѕinеѕѕ оwnеrѕ dоn’t ѕtudу thе impact оf thеir ѕосiаl mеdiа campaigns, thеу hаvе nо idеа thаt they mау be wаѕting a lоt оf time and effort on асtivitiеѕ thаt аrе nоt рауing оff.
If you have hired a social media company that is NOT providing you with this information on a monthly basis, then you should consider finding one that does. Luce Media ALWAYS provides clients with monthly reports that focus on social media engagement.
Once you have a reporting strategy in place, start building ways to engage with your audience and watch those numbers climb.
Hiring a knowledgeable marketing agency like Luce Media allows business owners to focus on running operations and increasing the bottom line, not messing around with Facebook, Twitter or trying to build out a website. In the end, the bigger question maybe isn’t can I afford an experienced marketing agency, but rather how much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do these marketing services in-house. For a FREE analysis of your current efforts in social media, please click here now.
The explosion of social media has driven companies to put a big focus on social media marketing over the past few years. As a small to medium sized business owner, you’ve probably thought or had a discussion in your company at one point or another and said, “we need a social media presence.” The next discussion may center around which person in my business is the best at Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. Soon, you have put up a dozen posts and not one person has responded to what you are posting.
Where once, legacy tactics such as yellow page advertisements or print ads drove traffic to your front door, modern consumers armed with mobile technology expect real time access to information and make buying decisions in a matter of a few keystrokes on their devices.
This means that companies need to ensure that their branding messages are well executed, easily found on the web by sites that attract attention and convert eyeballs into real leads.
If you’re an SME (small to medium enterprise) looking to increase exposure and drive traffic to your website or premises, here are a few things you need to know about working with a digital and social media company.
There are literally billions of people worldwide using social media on a regular basis. Its benefits as a marketing tool are indisputable.
Businesses who take advantage of this can interact with and attract new customers if they are active and take part in social conversations.
In general, the more regularly you can post to your social media channels, the higher engagement and ROI you’ll see. This could mean dedicating around an hour each day to monitoring your social channels, posting relevant content, participating in conversations and growing your following in the process. And there are many times when you do that for several months and the Facebook and Instagrams of the world suddenly change their algorithms……and the rules change.
According to the 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 64 per cent of marketing teams report spending six or more hours each week on social media.
That’s why outsourcing your social media management to a knowledgeable third-party is so important – it can take one key business-building task off your plate.
Here are just a few tasks a social media marketing company could take care of above and beyond simply posting messages:
- Social media strategy – including posting frequency, types of content, keyword research, influencer research etc;
- Set-up and branding of new or existing social profiles – consistent branding and voice across all your channels is crucial;
- Sharing and commenting on third-party posts that are relevant to your brand;
- Engaging in conversations with other users – be it existing or potential customers;
- Social media monitoring – keeping an eye out for mentions of your company and interacting with those posts;
- Social customer service – responding to questions or complaints from users;
- Following relevant industry influencers or potential business customers/clients;
- Content marketing – helping to develop your own original images, memes, articles, blogs and resources that can be promoted on social media;
- Newsletter marketing – a round-up of your company news and most popular social posts and interactions.
While that list is probably incomplete, it is just a sample of some things a well round digital and social media company can do for your business or enterprise. Ask yourself if you have the time and/or inclination to learn all of these individual elements yourself. So, often you are left with a choice: either hire an employee or hire an outside agency. In many instances, business owners lean towards hiring an employee because that has been the de-facto process in the past to solve an immediate need. Additionally business owners may have the perception that an outside agency is far more expensive than hiring in-house staff. The problem with this rationale is that most of the time, owners don’t have a true basis for comparison.
Let’s take a closer look and see what really happens when you compare the two. Disclosures: We used the job position of Marketing Manager for the comparison. Many marketing professionals specialize in one area of marketing, like a social media marketing manager, and may not have the experience that a marketing manager could have. All the salary data is based on the National Average salary for a Marketing Manager in the USA, and was taken from Salary.com.
While the numbers are averages and should be adjusted based on your needs, location of business, etc. The numbers in the following Infographic should give you a better understanding of the approximate costs of hiring each one.
Essentially, the budget needed to hire the right person, purchase all the right marketing tools and implement a digital and social media strategy designed to meet your business goals, become too cost prohibitive when trying to assemble an internal team.
Hiring an knowledgeable marketing agency like Luce Media allows business owners to focus on running operations and increasing the bottom line, not messing around with Facebook, Twitter or trying to build out a website. In the end, the bigger question maybe isn’t can I afford an experienced marketing agency, but rather how much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do these marketing services in-house.
Some business owners still believe that social media is merely gossiping and hanging out on Facebook. Once again, social media for business has nothing to do with simply hanging out on social media. But using social media marketing gives even small businesses real marketing advantages and opportunities.
In 2018, not using social media as a marketing tool is like saying you still rely on yellow page ads. It doesn’t work that way any more. Yet some people are stubborn and ask: Why is using social media good for me? Why do I need that again? Here are some of the most compelling reasons why:
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING DRIVES TARGETED TRAFFIC
Creating a new page on your business website is like taking a really great selfie. You want the world to see it, but you don’t want to beg for attention (or worse, pay for it). That’s why for selfies and landing pages, well-placed social media posts can make all the difference.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOOSTS SEO
Search engine crawlers know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored. A killer content strategy for SEO is the most important part of earning top spots in search engine rankings, but driving traffic to your optimized pages will cause them to climb much faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Don’t forget that Google considers your social activity to be a top ranking signal.
SOCIAL MEDIA LEADS TO RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
Part of what makes Twitter and Instagram marketing so cool is the interaction you can have with your consumers; you can read their tweets and status updates to get real-time insights into their daily. What products are they buying and why? What are they doing on the weekend? What kind of posts do they love to share, and from which brands?
Using social media as a tool for connecting with complementary, non-competing businesses, thought leaders and influencers in your industry, as well as journalists who cover your industry, is another benefit. You never know what a simple retweet or comment can lead to. Compliments work especially well.
SOCIAL MEDIA USERS ARE RECEPTIVE TO MESSAGES
People view Twitter and Facebook as social networks, not marketing machines. As a result, they’re less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say. This translates to serious web traffic when you link to your site and posts that market themselves as your friends and followers share what you’ve posted.
SOCIAL MEDIA ALLOWS FOR RETARGETING ADS
One of the reasons using social media is important is because of the highly customizable nature of social media ads. Facebook ads, for example, allow you to target users by things like location, education level, industry and even purchase history and the pages they’ve liked.
SOCIAL MEDIA GETS EVENTS NOTICED
Whether your business is sponsoring a local charity fundraiser or attending a major international trade-show, there’s no better way to leverage your presence than using social media.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING BUILDS BRAND LOYALTY
Brands using social media have more engaged and loyal customers. When you’re engaging and interacting on social media (not just tossing your posts out onto the web hoping someone will stumble upon them) you become less like a big corporation and more approachable to potential consumers.
MOST LIKELY YOUR COMPETITORS ARE SOCIAL
According to AdWeek, 91% of retail brands are using more than one social media platform. This is something you need to keep in mind, because it’s much harder and more expensive to catch up than it is to get in on the game ahead of your competitors.
If your competitors get to your potential customers first, they’ll earn their loyalty and you’ll have a hard time winning them back. If you’re active and engaging on a variety of social platforms, you can gain those friends and followers first and your competition will be playing catch up to you.
SOCIAL MEDIA LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD
Some brands may have bigger marketing budgets than others, but all businesses start off on pretty equal footing when it comes to using social media for marketing. Nobody knows you, and you are trying to get noticed. The businesses and brands that thrive are those with the most clever, attention grabbing tactics and the most relevant and informative content.
In short, they’re providing value to their target audience while also showing personality and being entertaining. If you really want to get lots of traffic and increase your online presence, you will have to outwit, outdo and outsmart your competition while offering superior products and customer service.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INCREASES SALES
According to MarketingTech, 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. Or that 84% of CEOs and VPs say using social media helps make purchasing decisions.
Using social media as a marketing tool doesn’t just keep your brand in front of potential consumers; it also gives you the opportunity to provide them with incentives to purchase. Share coupon codes, with a unique code for each social channel – you may be surprised at which social network drives the most sales.
FIND NEW CUSTOMERS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
If you set up streams to follow keywords in Twitter (Hootsuite makes this simple), you can find people looking for the products you sell and direct them to your site. Using Twitter for social media marketing is great that way; telling consumers wanting your products how to get them is just an @yourbusiness away.
NEW CUSTOMERS FIND YOU THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
If you are using LinkedIn or Facebook marketing you most likely belong to groups related to your products, industry and target audience. By posting in these groups you can help influence potential customers to check out your site. Answering questions on platforms like Quora is another strategy.
According to WordStream, the average cost per click on Google Adwords is between $1 and $2. Depending on the keyword targeted you can actually end up paying $65 or more for a single click. And that’s real money for any business that we know!
At the same time, you can send traffic through Facebook and Pinterest for as little as $0.12 per click. Why pay up to ten or twenty times as much for each visit when using social media is so much more cost-effective?
Simply put, using social media as a marketing tool is part of doing business in 2018. If your business isn’t already active on social networking sites, now is the time to start.
Let Luce Media provide a FREE Digital and Social Media analysis of your efforts.
This information was originally posted here.
Optimized and socialized online content is essential for reaching information-hungry, multi-tasking audiences that are bombarded with new messages every day. For brands to be prominent on the search and social web for their customers, they’ll need to understand the best of each discipline and how to put them together.
Search engine optimization can deliver content-rich answers to buyers at the point they need it the most, and social media can provide the means to build relationships and engage. Both rely on great online content to achieve success.
While many marketers will debate what comes first (online content vs. social media vs. Search Engine Optimization) the handiest approach is to use the tactics necessary for your target audience in order to “be the best answer” wherever prospects are looking.
But here’s the thing: Google is a battleground for SEOs. Those who have adapted successfully and have real, on-the-ground experience can become some of the most valuable marketers you will ever find. Your most valuable hires (whether a marketer or an agency) will be both creative and analytical. Look for lateral thinkers — those who solve complex marketing problems through non-traditional, indirect and/or creative means. Those search engine optimizers still stuck on content marketing as “more fuel for keywords” and social media as “link building” should be avoided.
Goals and accountability are essential for an optimized and socialized online content marketing program to succeed. For an integrated approach, here are three of your most important considerations to ensure content performs for customers and your brand — and issues your in-house marketers and agencies should be able to speak about fluently:
1. Attract: How will the particular content object attract exposure? Will your content perform as part of an ongoing narrative? Will it be a part of a sequence? Will it be connected to other content objects through links, repurposing, or curation? Where content is promoted on social networks will matter for attraction as much as what phrases and questions are used for search engine optimization.
2. Engage: How will the content object be meaningful to the readers such that they interact, react, and respond to it? What context needs to exist for the content to be so relevant that it inspires action? Social media and search both play a role in developing the context for engagement. When they interact with what they find, does the customer think, “Yes, that’s exactly what I was looking for,” or something else?
3. Convert: How will the optimized content object persuade the reader to take the next step? Each content object can play a role in guiding the reader from one stage to the next in a brand and customer relationship. From awareness to purchase to advocacy, conversions are happening at each stage — whether it’s sharing socially, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a white paper, signing up for a webinar, filling out an inquiry form, or making a referral.
Within your content plan, think about how you can make these actions easy and intentional for the target customer. An optimized content plan means being accountable to discovery, how it’s best consumed and what messages will inspire action.
Remember, content is the reason search began in the first place. Ensure your team takes an integrated approach to incorporating search and social media with your content marketing programs — and that both your internal team and agency are accountable for attraction, engagement and conversion. With that focus on accountability, the investment you make in high quality, optimized and socialized content will pay returns over and over.
This article originally appeared in Chief Content Officer. (http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/06/online-content-social-search-optimization/)
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If you are like most small business owners, undoubtedly you have a very busy schedule. There always seems to be a never-ending list of things to do that will help provide success for your company. One of the many items on the list is probably or should be, to spend time and attention to your small businesses’ social media presence. In today’s fast-paced world, social media is of utmost importance to the success of small businesses. Today’s Social Channels are Sales Channels.
There are several things that you can do to improve your presence in the social media outlets that you have chosen for your small business. Below are a few ideas you should review to ensure your business is maximizing what it already has in the social space
- Choose your Social Media Outlets Carefully, Depending on your Audience.
When you are running your own small business, you don’t have a lot of spare time; however, it is important to make some time to attend to your company’s marketing efforts and that often means your social media platforms. The trick is to choose which platforms you use very carefully. Research suggests that the majority of people who enjoy social media use Facebook. Others enjoy Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and the like. It can be overwhelming to try to post on every social media site, and statistically, it probably does not make sense for you to do so. Therefore, choose 2-3 networks that you believe will reach your loyal customers effectively, and devote time and attention to your social media presence on those platforms.
- Decide Your Small Businesses’ Plan and Goals Prior to Posting.
Put some serious thought into what you would like to highlight in your social media posts. It may be wise to write up a long-term plan for a monthly, quarterly, or yearly calendar. People receive plenty of “junk mail” through emails or on social media sites, so it is a good idea to avoid posting “fluff” items that don’t really have a lot of meaning or purpose. Choose topics that your customers will find useful in their daily lives. Also, choose topics that you are very familiar with and ones that you are passionate about. Stay true and honest to your small business in your social media posts, and aim for posting snippets of value for your customers. This is incredibly important so I will say it again – bring VALUE to your audience and then start building a relationship with them. They will greatly appreciate it, and in turn, will continue to follow your posts regularly.
- Commit to Staying-on-Top of your Social Media Posts.
Social media provides a two-way street between a small business and its’ customers; therefore, you need to commit to staying current with your posts and reply to customers, as needed. It is important to respond to any unanswered questions, as well as thanking your customers for positive comments. Conversing with people online should be done in the same way you do it in person. Be genuine. This shows that your company is interested in their customer’s opinions, as well as setting a good example for other clients who may be watching.
- Keep your Posts Consistent and Clear.
You may decide to choose one staff member or a team of members that have the responsibility of operating your social media platforms. By appointing one person or small group of people this task, your posts have a better chance of remaining clear and consistent on a regular basis. Even though you may have multiple people that can contribute to social media ideas or posts, it is a good idea to have one person act as the “poster”, the editor, the monitor, and the responder, should the need to respond arise. Choosing social media posts can be very challenging and stimulating, so it’s a positive thing to have ideas from several different sources. Several people can provide input in all of these areas, but by using one responsible person for the final social media product, it will be simpler to have the same “voice” throughout multiple posts.
- Post on Social Media on a Regular Basis
It is a wise idea to post on your social media platforms on a very regular basis. You can either achieve this by creating a calendar and following through with that designated schedule, or you can use one of the many sources available that will automatically post things for you. There are software programs available that can be used to post snippets automatically, once you create all of the settings. You might also decide to outsource the project of providing a social media presence for your small business.
If you own a small business, then having a social media presence is vital to the success of your company in today’s society. People are so interconnected via social media platforms these days, that, as a small business owner, you should really be a part of this connection. Social media sites are not just for promoting your small business, but they also provide a place for you to give valuable information to your audience and share the knowledge and expertise that you have acquired over the years. Use this outlet wisely, and chances are that social media will not just benefit your small business, but will prove beneficial to everyone who sees your posts.
There are a couple areas that will give you free information on how you are currently performing in digital and social media marketing. One tool allows you to see how visible your company is online, in searches and on multiple platforms. Click here to add your business and zip code and get your free report. The second free service is a topline review of your current social media efforts. To get that review, click here and schedule an appointment.
Using Instagram for business is an effective way to help connect to current and potential clients, reinforce your brand, and expand your reach as a business. With over 200 million monthly active users, and over 1.6 billion likes happening on the app every day, that’s a whole world of social engagement to explore. Brands that generate the active social engagement you want, who boast followers over 100K, see a growth in sales and business operations as a whole on an average of about 163% in a two-year span of time, according to a Simply Measured research study. With numbers like these, it’s only logical that you want to take a closer look at how Instagram can be used to help grow your business.
Here is an infographic that outlines 8 best practices for startups and small to medium-sized businesses when it comes to using Instagram for Business.
Show Your Products
Instagram allows you to spread high-quality photography or video of your products and services freely. You are your own filter, and it doesn’t cost you anything to post. Using hashtags and as many as 30 keywords per post, you can target specific markets, regions, trends, lines of business, groups of products, or even advocacy networks, with each post you generate. This means connecting more people to your product than ever, and faster than ever, because people naturally process visual images 60,000 times faster than words on a screen. Connection happens fast.
Show How It’s Made
In the same vein, Instagram allows you to provide a personalized insight into how a product is made. Give a face and a name to the woman who knitted the hat, the artist who curated the design, or the managers that facilitated the shipping of materials. This openness helps to humanize your brand, and creates a genuine connection between you, your process, and your product to potential clients.
Go Behind the Scenes
The Instagram Story feature is perfect for giving the most intimate expression of what your business is like behind the scenes. You can give glimpses of a company dinner, the excitement of an expo event, or even a sneak peak of a new product launch—without the need for such high-definition, permanent images that you’ll want on your business’ Instagram page. The Story feature is liberating, in that it allows you to tell the full behind the scenes story of your company, but without interrupting your branding or marketing strategies for specific Instagram posts.
Show What Your Products Can Do
Take your products for a test run, and document it for the whole of Instagram to see. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to promote a more obscure good or service, or help in a product launch. Quell customer skepticism with video footage or before-and-after shots. These can be great for convincing potential clients that what you have to offer is truly worth it. Today’s younger market is full of skepticism, but Instagram transparency helps bridge that gap and create trust.
Show Off the Office & Employees
You are more than just a fancy font and a logo. Your business is made up of individuals, each with their own excellent personalities, each contributing something a little different to the overall goals of your business. Real faces and real stories are what genuinely connect with customers, and social media is no exception to this rule. Keyword marketing gets you connected, but letting people see who your team members really are, understanding what they do, and hearing how much they love their office space can inspire a sense of genuine loyalty and trust in your brand. This means they’ll better trust the goods and services that you can provide.
Take Your Customers with You
Is your team taking a business trip? Perhaps part of your team is traveling to a different city to do some collaborating? No matter where your next big event or corporate retreat is, let your customers in on the scope of what you do by including that in your Instagram’s storytelling. This is another instance where utilizing the Instagram Story feature can really come in handy. Let a specific employee take over the Instagram feed, give some insight into their personal experience working under your brand, and present a more relatable and engaging narrative to your customers.
Quotes & Inspiration
Brand loyalty comes from more than just an understanding of a product or service. Clients and customers in our current age expect a level or moral acuity from the businesses that they regularly patron. If you want deep customer loyalty, one of the foundations of that can be expressive encouragement, positivity, and advice related to your business or service on Instagram. Clients are far more willing to follow and engage with your business Instagram if you have some variety in your posts. Sharing your latest fall fashion items on sale is certainly a must, but customers prefer to have the line blur between a sales pitch and a personality pitch, because they want to like you for who you are just as much as what you can do for them.
Instagram is the best social media platform for hosting raffles, giveaways and competitions with the online community. It works far better than Twitter or Facebook simply because the platform is both image-driven and keyword-driven, and engagement rates are 15% higher on Instagram than Facebook, and 20% higher compared to Twitter, according to a 2015 study by Simply Measured. Images hook potential customers far better than words. In addition, the keyword-based nature of the Instagram platform, combined with a liberated character usage, makes it an easier platform to use when trying to use keyword marketing to target specific subgenres of potential clients to enter your giveaway. These competitions are an incredibly effective tool in spreading your brand by word-of-mouth. It’s as simple as requiring one of the rules of entry to be tagging three friends in the comments section of a post. If only fifty people enter your giveaway, then that’s at least 150 new people who have viewed your Instagram page and become aware of your brand. These numbers can easily multiply into brand loyalty, purchases, and better long-term growth.
Around 70% of brands are using Instagram already to promote their products and services to a highly active online community. In order to ensure the healthiest growth and future for your company, you’ll want to make sure that you’re one of them. It might be time to reach out for expert help in how to maximize social media engagement in growing your business fast, and lastingly.
Lucé Media is a digital and social media marketing company in McKinney, TX and Frisco, TX and Plano, TX and Allen, TX that works with small to medium-sized businesses. Whatever social media platform you need, we are strategists with deep experience that can help you. Please contact us here and we will get right back to you.
By now the power of social media is well known within the business world. The ability to connect directly to an audience in such a personal way has been an incredible advancement for companies of all sizes, whether they work on a local, national or even international basis. Social media platforms provide a window into the life of the consumer, showing the needs, wants, praises and complaints that before could only be gleaned through stodgy and expensive survey campaigns. Not to mention the helpful details that can be mined through demographic and ad insights alone.
Looking at the statistics regarding social media as it stands today, we can see just how influential these platforms truly are:
- 85% of consumers within the United States are regular social media users, with 58% of those using social media to connect to brands. (MarketingSherpa)
- 71% of consumers who are satisfied with social media based customer support, or who have a positive social media experience with a brand, will recommend that brand to others. They will also spend on average 21% more. (Ambassador)
- 57% of consumers say that seeing positive reviews of a business online is a strong influence on them choosing that brand. (DMN)
- One in three consumers actively seek out brands on social media. (Global Web Index)
The Importance of Social Media for Startup Marketing
As a startup, particularly if you are limited in your capital or could be described as a bootstrap company, you have a unique challenge awaiting you. No matter how good your product, it won’t go anywhere without the ability to reach the intended audience it was made for. That is just step one. If you can’t convince that audience once you’ve connected with them that your brand can stack up against the big guys, or against the other startups already established in the industry, you won’t move the needle.
Social media is an effective, affordable and powerful tool that will give you everything you need to push your brand into the spotlight. As you achieve growth milestones it also gives you a platform to further hone your engagement and continue that upward trajectory.
Here are the ten reasons why social media is your startup marketing plan’s greatest weapon.
1 – Increasing Your Exposure
Exposure is not in and of itself the goal of social media use, as it isn’t how many followers you have but what you do with them. However, this is the first step in making a successful social media marketing campaign. You want to build the numbers to get your brand’s message out into the social sphere.
2 – Increasing Your Traffic
Generating traffic is the top reason for most marketers to utilize social media. Thankfully this is a major function of every platform. Regular social media use posted to redirect people to your website is a guaranteed traffic driver.
3 – Establishing Brand Recognition
Half of being successful as a startup is being noticed. Brand recognition ensures that your reputation is preceding you. It shows that you are sticking out in your audience’s mind, rather than getting lost in the sea of faces that is the online marketplace.
4 – Generating Leads
Lead generation is one of the most tedious and difficult aspects of promotion for any marketer. The constant grind can be wearing, but social media makes it easier. You have a pool of potential leads just waiting for you to reach out.
5 – Upping Your Search Ranking
Google prioritizes social searches on their engine, particularly Twitter. You can use that to your advantage by working to make your social profiles as SEO friendly as your website, as well as posting regularly to bring your social profiles to the top of search results.
6 – Gaining Insight Into the Marketplace
When using social research, you can begin to develop better insights into the marketplace at any given moment. Seeing the purchasing habits of your audience is one benefit, though watching the competition can be equally as effective in helping you better develop your own brand strategies.
7 – Building Business-Boosting Relationships
B2C isn’t the only direction you can take your social efforts. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and many other platforms give you a launching point for establishing new relationships and partnerships that can be beneficial for your startup.
8 – Improving Sales Figures
Direct sales has been an iffy use for social media since Facebook tried to create storefronts on business pages. But even if in-page checkouts fail to bring exciting results, social media is a great tool for driving conversions by pushing consumers to your site.
9 – Reducing Marketing Costs
Startups have to budget with great care and there are a lot of balls to juggle. Social media is a cheap (in many ways free) marketing tool, with decent advertising options that can work within your business’s means.
10 – Gaining Brand Loyalty
Perhaps the most important part of a startup marketing plan is building brand loyalty. You want to bring your audience back again and again, which is easy if you engage them properly.
Are you looking to improve your social media marketing and digital marketing strategies? The experts at Lucé Media are ready to help your business move into the next phase. We do content marketing in McKinney, TX and Frisco, TX and Plano, TX and Allen, TX.