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Tag : competitive analysis social media

Don’t Wait To Make Your Social Media Marketing Plan

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2Aug

The world of social media is not the place to be unprepared. Yes, the time may come when you have to publish a post on the fly as a situation unfolds, but for the most part, you should have a solid strategy at your content’s core. Planning is what separates success stories and failures when marketers try to tackle the internet.

In the first part of this series, we emphasized the importance of tweaking your approach and assessing what works for your brand. The same ideas apply when trying to devise a plan, only now we are applying them. Here are the six major steps you need to complete.

  • Think of strategizing like a treasure map to your goal. What is the bounty lying under the X that marks the spot? Better customer relations? A wider audience? The ability to promote our company’s events? All of the above? You will need to keep your goals in mind with every step you take.
  • Know your target market. Who is your ideal customer? Every product, whether the seller wants to admit it or not, caters to a particular type of person. To take an advantage of this step, you should create  buyer profiles. Who is your ideal customer? A female in her mid 30s, middle class, who enjoys cycling? Perhaps it’s a senior male who just retired from a long and lucrative banking career? It might seem unnecessary to add the small details, but trust us, these buyer profiles will help you sharpen your content.
  • It’s suggested to have your posts ready to go for the upcoming week. Even if you want to post about subjects that are happening “in the moment”, you can add more in later.
  • Study the calendar. Plan out holiday greetings and upcoming events such as Motivational Monday, Wisdom Wednesday, Friday Feeling, and other daily and trending topics. This all should be supplemented with hashtags or keywords. With this in mind, keep an eye out for fads, pop culture happenings, and news events. Be sure to stay relevant!
  • O.A.R. What is OAR? Observe, Analyse, and Research! After your posts hit the Wild Wild Web, take time out to see how each post performed. Did people click the link? How many comments did it receive? Was it a total dud? You can use analytic tools such as Hootsuite to figure out what your audience is being more receptive to at this time. Be sure to do this on a regimented schedule, because we often see patterns change.
  • There’s nothing wrong with a little spying. Check out what your competitors are doing online. What type of posts is work for them? Obviously, you should never just copy someone’s content, yet you may be struck with inspiration when you see what other professionals share. 

    Now, it’s time to plan! Gather up your social media team and lay out the groundwork for an effective strategy. Stay goal-oriented, knowledgeable about current events, and study which posts work and which didn’t. There are many accounts at the brink of failing that were able to recover by preparing. Alternatively, there have also been successful social media accounts who plummeted due to poor management. As you can see, preparation is key to reaping social media’s rewards.

How do you plan social media planning? Comment below! Be sure to watch out for the third part in this series about how to effectively succeed at social media marketing  and what to avoid!

 

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4 Steps to Keep ALL Your Social Media Accounts Consistent

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11Jun

To really make it in the social media universe, you need to establish yourself on the most popular platforms. Becoming a user of many accounts is a great idea, but easier said than done. To truly take care of social media, your business will need one of the following:

      Facebook

      Twitter

      LinkedIn

      Instagram

      Twitter

–       YouTube

Google+, Snapchat, Periscope, and more are helpful additions, but when you’re starting out, I’d try to tackle social media’s “Big 6” first. Take our word for it- it’ll be more work than you think. At first glance, you’ll want each of these accounts to be as unique as a snowflake. Well, first of all, you’ll turn social media into a round-the-clock gig if you do that. Second of all, your branding will become an absolute mess. While you want each post to be consistent, you don’t want each account to be unrecognizable from each other. Here are some of the best ways to keep your many profiles consistent with branding.

Pictures– Even if you have a large portfolio of headshots, and many versions of your logo, you need to stick with one for your profiles. You don’t want people guessing if it really is you. They want something familiar when trying to follow you!

Adapted Updates- When you’re writing your posts, you’ll typically want to make two versions. One will be for your Facebook, Google+, etc. The second one will be to conform to Twitter’s 140 character limit. For the Twitter version, you’ll also be able to mention other Twitter accounts with their twitter handle. For example, you can say “Congrats @JasonTodd for closing on your new house!”

Long Forms- When you’ve written an article based around your profession, you can share it on Facebook’s Notes feature, LinkedIn, and of course post it to your own blog. Social media is an exception to the “duplicate content” rule for websites. People who use social media tend to understand that these posts are yours and you should spread it through all avenues.

Keeping Info Straight- Have multiple website domains? What about phone numbers? Social media isn’t the place for inconsistencies. You want to keep things clear and concise for your followers. Don’t make it so they have to guess what phone number to call.

You want your social media to be unique, but you don’t want it to be a “mishmash” of content. Keep things correct, clear, and constant so your customers and followers will know what they’re dealing with!

What are your thoughts on keeping things straight? Comment below!

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The 6 Step Facebook Advertising Formula: The Fast Track to Facebook Engagement

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8Sep

Facebook Advertising has really exploded over the past few months in terms of visibility.  Now it seems that you can’t even make a post to your Facebook Page without being asked if you would like to “Boost” it or promote it in some way, shape, or fashion using Facebook Advertising.

While you may be thinking – enough Facebook – what I would suggest is that you overcome this adverse reaction to advertising on social media and begin to embrace it.  Once you are able to just understand the hard fact that advertising is something that is a crucial aspect of your overall campaign, the more successful you will become on Facebook.

One of the biggest barriers to entry for any online advertising model is the ease of use.  Once we veer off the usual path (profiles and timelines) and go into the weird wild world of Facebook Advertising many people instantly get a bit scattered.  I understand.  But this is part of the learning curve.

This curve has recently been flattened a bit as Facebook has made their advertising interface VERY friendly and easy to use.  So if you are interested in advertising on Facebook, here is the 6 Step Formula that you need to follow to quickly and effectively setup your ads.

Step 1: Choose Your Objective
I’ve written about Facebook Advertising Objectives before.  There are 10 choices that offer you different paths down the advertising setup model.  Which ever you choose, you will still have to complete the following steps. In this step, decide what you want your Facebook Advertisement to do!

Step 2: Who Do You Want Your Ads to Reach?
Now let’s get down to demographics.  WOW is all I have to say.  Facebook allows you to go as niche or as broad as you would like to.  But to move through this step quickly you will need to know the following:
*Geographic location you want to target
*Age
*Gender
*Languages
*Interests of your target audience for the advertisement
*Behaviors of your target audience for the advertisement
*FB Connections you would like to include/exclude

Step 3: Budget
Now you need to setup how much you want to spend.  If this is your first add I always suggest a Lifetime Budget of $50 for a 2 week or 1 month period.  This way you can monitor your success closely in a more manageable way.

Step 4: Scheduling
When do you want your ads to run?  All the time?  Perhaps you have done research and found when your target audience is on Facebook the most.  Then you can customize your ad schedule so that your ads only run at those times.

Step 5: Visuals
Facebook gives you the opportunity of adding 6 different pictures to your advertisement.  I would suggest having these ready to go before even starting your Facebook Advertising journey.  Just remember that images with text that takes up more than 20% of the image may not be approved.  So be careful with text in your ad!

Step 6: Adding Text
This is where you can add your call to action for your Facebook Advertisement. Depending on what your target is, you get the opportunity to say more or less.  At the low end you have to make your impact in around 90 characters or so, thus you need to be crafty in creating your ad copy.

And there you go!  You click “Place Order” and your ad will be sent to the Facebook Advertising review board who will then approve or deny your ad.  If denied, you will be notified why and given an opportunity to go in and make edits, not start all over (which is handy).

My tip here is that the more in-tune you are with your marketing strategy and your target audience, the easier this whole process will be. Otherwise there will be lots of guess work for you to complete.  So look at the list above and come up with your ideas for each point and THEN log into Facebook and start setting up your brand new Facebook Advertisement!

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Step-By-Step: How to Do a Competitive Analysis on Social Media

24Jun

One of the things I tell prospective clients, as well as those interested in exploring the value of social media marketing for their company, is that one of the most important reasons to become involved with the social media world is to keep, or gain, a competitive edge over your competition.

I’ve spoken before about the importance of claiming your social media real estate and monitoring your brand and brand sentiment on social media, but another item that I want to share with you is how to do a competitive analysis for your company on social media.

While this seems like a daunting task, or even a time waster for some, what this will enable you to do is to gain lots of intel into how your direct competitors are using social media and where you need to be in order to gain the advantage.

Just think about it.  If your major competitors are at a trade show, odds are that you will be as well.  If your major competitors are placing advertising in a popular trade magazine, odds are that you will be using this vehicle to promote as well.  Depending on your industry the list can go many different ways.  But one of the rules of business is that if you want to gain a competitive advantage, then you must be highly visible in as many places as your target market resides.

What I want to show you here is how to develop a step by step competitive analysis using social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  As each of these sites have different functions and terminology, I want to provide an overview that you will be able to apply to each site.

Step 1: Compile a List of Competitors.  First, create a short list which includes direct competitors of various size.  This will help you understand how each segment of your competition is using social media to their advantage.  Create this list within an Excel spreadsheet for ease of use and reference.

Step 2: Locate and Record Their Social Media Locations.  On your spreadsheet, create columns for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other relevant social media sites to your industry (such as Pinterest and YouTube).  Then go through each competitor and find their page on each site.  Copy and paste the hyperlink to each profile in the spreadsheet accordingly.

Step 3:  Record Their Network Numbers.  On your spreadsheet, go through each social media profile and record their numbers (Likes, Follows) so that you can track growth.  For example, if a company has 50 Likes and week after week it stays at 50, their marketing is not bringing in new people.

Step 4: Look at Their Insights.  Facebook and LinkedIn currently have this capability where you can click on “Insights” and see the demographics of the people connected to said profile.  This can be useful in seeing if your competitors social strategy is effective.

Step 5:  Track Updates Versus Engagement.  Take a look at their updates and see what they are posting.  Then take a look at how many comments, likes or shares they are receiving with each post.  This will show you how engaged their audience is.  My only caveat to this is if your industry involves lots of privacy issues – transparent engagement may not be the top factor I would consider during the analysis.

Step 6:  How Are They Branding Themselves?  Look at the combination of their imagery, logos, descriptions and updates to track how they are branding themselves.  Does it look slick and professional?  Does it stay true to the company message?

Step 7:  Time for Overall Analysis.  Now that you have gone through and looked at the major points of the profile, compare where your competitors are with where you are.  How do you stack up against your competition?  Are there any tips that you can take from their strategy that you can apply to your own?  What are they doing right?  What are they doing wrong? While you go through the profiles, make sure to jot down notes in your spreadsheet for things that you want to keep an eye on.  This helps to remember important items on the fly.

Now, how often should you do this?  I would suggest a minimum of once a month.  This will keep you fresh and up-to-date with your competitors strategy and success rate on social media.

This simple 7 step process will not only help you come to terms with how your competition is using social media, it will also show you how valuable it is going to be for your company moving forward.  If you are not on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – your competition will be.  And if you are not there to steer the conversation about your company, products and services, who is going to do it?

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