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Tag : Content Curation

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 Approaches To Educate Your Social Media Audience

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28Jul

A lot of people use social media for entertainment. It’s not hard to find funny pictures, videos, or lighthearted stories all over the internet. But there are still many of us with a thirst for knowledge.  Where do we turn?  Social media.

One of the most significant ways businesses can engage with customers is educating them with important facts and news about their industry. By providing informative content for your followers and fans, you will present yourself and your business in a more professional manner . This is beneficial whether you work for a B2B business or B2C. No matter if your intentions are to connect with customers on Facebook or to network on LinkedIn, educational content is a must. This may be some of the most substantial and rewarding content you send out to cyber space, so it’s important to execute it correctly.

How can you construct educational content within the constraints of social media?

You don’t need to be a professor to figure it out. There’s no reason to be intimidated about writing more in-depth and sophisticated writing, but you cannot go into it blind. Here are the top 4 ways to turn your social media accounts into digital classrooms:

Blogs- If you are reading this, you most likely know the effectivity of a blog. Long form writing is the traditional “go to” for educating your audience. Obviously, we have pursued knowledge through reading since our earliest of years, and blogging is the next step in text-based learning. This is also one of the earliest forms of internet-based communication and still holds strong now in 2016.

Podcasts- Also known as audio blogs, podcasts are once again spiking in popularity. Nowadays, you can easily create your own digital radio show and relay your message. Whether it is yourself or a hired narrator doing the talking, you can educate your audience in a wide variety of subjects. Podcasters also have the ability to make notes so listeners have access to relevant links and information. Think of it as your audience’s homework.

Live Video- With the rise of platforms such as Snapchat, Periscope, and Facebook Live, we are given the opportunity to address the world’s masses instantly. With live video we can make seminars, presentations, and product unveilings as well as covering live events. We have seen many businesses already beginning to incorporate live video into their social media strategy and its potential is just beginning to be revealed.

Quick Videos- If you have found a home on Instagram or other platforms that allow for short videos, you can utilize third-party apps such as Ripl to add information accompanied with fun animations. These are popular on Facebook and Twitter as well and can catch your audience’s attention quickly.

No matter what avenue you choose to make educational posts, be sure to advertise them heavily on all your accounts, especially if you have created a blog or podcast on your website. After all, you need to spread the wealth of knowledge as quickly as possible!

What ways do you promote educational content? Comment below!

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Is Your Social Media Marketing Social?

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16Jul

For decades, marketing was a fairly straightforward job. Regardless of the medium, the goal was to present the client’s product or service in the most positive light possible so customers would buy, buy, buy. There was no mistaking that all the content produced was advertising, commercials, and sales. Now, however, social media has changed everything. Perhaps it’s that the general populace has become keen on what marketers are trying to accomplish or perhaps it’s the technology that we currently use. Regardless, social media marketing requires a different type of approach, one of humanity and warmth.

The whole premise of social media marketing is to have have instant access to a company’s representative. That’s right, a live, human representative. The same should go for your content. It needs to have that human spark to it. How exactly does one go about reclaiming the humanity in an industry that was once very shallow? Here are some of the best ways to keep your social media content down to Earth:

  • Respond quickly. When a customer contacts you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or one of the other websites we all know and love, you need to respond the same way you would if it was one of your friends asking you a question, which is quickly! The days of being put on hold are coming to an end and the best social media marketers keep their response times low.
  • In addition to responding quickly, your tone should be organic. You should have a natural, friendly feel to everything you write and depending on your industry, you should add some personality to each post.
  • Raise engagement. How do you strike up a conversation in real life? With questions, statements, and general icebreakers. Social media is no different. Present content that will get the dialogue going. Ask a question in the form of a poll, quiz, or just a simple inquiry into your customers’ thoughts. Then, when you respond, try to act in a professional, yet comfortable nature.
  • Share! On your personal page, what do you do if you see something that your friends will enjoy? Well if you are a good friend, you share it. Your business page should be the same. If you see content out in the wild landscape of the internet that pertains to your customer base, try to share it often. This will bring a lot of attention to your pages as well.

Making sure that there is a conversation and human tone to your social media content will satisfy customers and have more followers show up. It is helpful to always examine how you are writing and to make sure it doesn’t seem too robotic.

Share your thoughts on humanity’s role in social media  below!

 

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Avoid These 3 Blogging Mistakes

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28Jun

When you begin your blogging adventure, you will find that like all forms of writing, it takes time to master. Do not give up! If you find yourself with a small audience (or none at all) there may be some room for improvement. Like social media, it will not happen overnight. Be patient with yourself, but stay consistent. Yet as you try to improve your content, there will be a few pitfalls to steer clear from. Here are the top three blogger crimes to be vigilant of:

  1. Overly-Promotional Posts- Let’s face it. If your audience wants to read a piece of advertising, they will pick up a brochure. You do not want your articles and subject matter to be all promotional material. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, you are missing the point of a blog. It isn’t about posting ads. It is rather supposed to be a professional piece of writing that entices your target audience and hopefully invokes engagement along the way. Second of all, nobody is going to read your posts if they read like an infomercial. As a concept, a blog has a certain reputation to uphold and if readers discover that your writing is just ads, they will back out quickly. Lastly, you are going to come off as pompous. If all you talk about is your own product, then perhaps you need to conduct more research into your industry.
  2. Grammar and Spelling Errors- Nothing looks more unprofessional than a glaring typo on a blog. You want to be sure to skim over your work multiple times. Also, a second pair of eyes such as a proofreader is a priceless member of a writing team. Try to have the piece as perfect as possible before sending it out to the scrutinizing world wide web. In addition to grammar and spelling, fact check. You will cause a firestorm of criticism if you post half-truths or unreliable information. Be sure to be as professional as possible and do your research.
  3. Inconsistent Publishing- Because a blog places your most recent posts “above the fold” on the screen, an old date will stick out like a sore thumb. People like reliable and consistently new content on their favorite blogs, so be sure to deliver and often.

There are several faux pas to avoid, but these three big baddies should never be done on a professional blog. If you steer clear of “salesy” posts, grammar and spelling errors, and big time gaps between posts, your blog will be better for it and you will have internet success.

What other blogging mistakes can you think of? Comment below!

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Anybody Out There?! Understand your Followers

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28Jun

Those who are involved in the world of social media marketing could learn a great deal from a certain advertising star. Have you ever heard of Old Spice? If not, it’s a company that makes toiletries that are geared towards men. It’s been around since 1934 and as such, they’ve had some time to think about their intended audience. For a whole generation, it became the man’s fragrance. However, because of that, once “the greatest generation” that fought in WW2 and came home to reshape America began to enter their golden years, their iconic brand started to “get old” with it. People began to peg the brand with senior men and as such, their young customers started to dwindle. They needed a way to reinvigorate themselves to become popular again with the young crowd. They broadened their product line with multiple fragrances, body washes, and deodorants. Yet what really put Old Spice back into the hands of young twenty-somethings was their marketing campaign. They enlisted Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa, two celebrities know for their “manliness”, to endorse the product. Yet they did much more than that. They blew it up!

Their television commercials, which ended up being viral phenomenons, showed the men in such ridiculous poses in often psychedelic settings, that people had to pay attention. They looked absolutely crazy, entitling the campaign “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”. Yet what was even crazier was that it worked, and then some. See, they didn’t just tap into a younger market, they infiltrated them because they utilized what the youth liked best- quirky, off the wall humor and viral marketing. They knew who they wanted to get and they assimilated the tone of the brand.

Now, we’re not saying you need to hire Terry Crews and put him on a unicorn while holding your product—although that would probably work. But you do need to know who your audience is, and what they want to watch. Like Old Spice, you need to understand how your audience thinks and what they like to watch. That’s the thing- it went beyond a commercial. People actually searched for these advertisements for entertainment value. Now, it’s your turn. Your content needs to go beyond pushy sales. That’s a surefire way to lose followers. You’re going to want to understand the following things to succeed:

  • WHO your intended audience is. Whether it’s an age, gender, style, or profession, you obviously have some type of target you’re aiming at.
  • WHAT content they want to consume. Does your audience like cute puppy videos? What about something more substantial like a sale? Figure out the type of things they want to have in their news feeds.
  • WHERE they’re at. Facebook is a go to. But younger audiences are flocking to Instagram and Snapchat. Professionals hang out over in LinkedIn. There’s those three guys who still linger in Google+ territory if you’re interested.
  • HOW they talk. This is where Old Spice really hits the mark. They knew who they wanted and they analyzed their tones. Witty, sarcastic, funny, and, to be frank, not all that interested in the complexity of the product. Figure out how your audience talks. Perhaps they like a more serious tone. Maybe they only like shop talk.

Before even clicking that “Sign Up” button on a social media site, you need to answer these questions. Chances are, you already know the answers to them and you’ll be able to translate your pre-existing business tactics onto the web.

What do you think about the tone of audiences? Let’s hear your thoughts!

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4 Social Media Marketing Misconceptions

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25Jun

There has been a lot said about our industry. Social media marketing is gaining speed and now even the tech-illiterate know a little bit about it, or so they think. We have dealt with various communication platforms since the Internet started taking flight, and we are finally seeing its effectivity everywhere!. It’s always interesting to see what people who aren’t heavily involved think about social media. One of our favorite stories is about a friend’s grandmother who thought that Facebook was only for gossip, since she was only exposed to people talking about others on the popular website. Like everything else in our lives, there are preconceived notions about social media. The marketing side of things is no different. Eager entrepreneurs and business owners see the reach that the internet offers and want to jump right in. Often times, however, they may not fully understand what they are getting into. So, let’s set some things straight.

Social Media Marketing Isn’t Free. Sure, signing up for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram is free, but once you are ready to dig a little deeper, it will cost you. These platforms and all others like them thrive on advertising revenue, and they sure know how to make their money. Less and less is becoming free, so be sure to save at least 9% of your marketing budget for tools such as Facebook advertising and Twitter Cards.

Don’t expect immediate ROI. It is a businessperson’s instinct to try to analyze a marketing technique’s return on investment. Social media marketing doesn’t work like that. It is more about communication with one’s customer base as well as showing an interest in the global community. Yes, it will most definitely bring life to your business and customers will notice you more than ever, but not in a traditional sense. There is a large subjective element to this type of marketing.

You will not go viral overnight. Social media marketing takes time. Users do not typically soar to Internet stardom extremely quickly. Your internet presence needs to build up over time. You need to be patient and consistent.

Social Media is not a “once and done” type thing. Social media takes effort. You do not just create a page and let things alone. You need to post often- at least once a day for Facebook, and multiple times for Twitter. Social media marketing is an investment in time as well as assets. However, it is absolutely worth it.

As you can see, this new marketing strategy takes some time and effort that social media managers work at great lengths to perfect. However, if you have patience and determination, you will see wonderful rewards.

What other misconceptions do you know about? Comment below!

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Learn How to Share: Sources, Subjects, and More

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23Jun

The internet is a busy and crowded place, stuffed to the brim with relevant content. Every industry has a whole world of knowledge to discover, which is available on the web. Some of it is credible, some of it is junk. It is important to do your research into what your posting and who wrote it.

As we have mentioned before in previous blogs, it is important to mix relevant content into your social media updates to balance out promotional posts. But what exactly should you share? News articles that are directly related to your field of expertise can be great tools for engagement. However, you will want to be sure that you actually agree with what the article says and what the author stands for.

Each industry has their own well-known experts, as well as blogs and news sources that are considered credible. Depending on the field that you work in, you will be able to find many articles that you can share. Of course, there are big news sources like CNN, MSNBC, and The Huffington Post  that are renowned amongst all walks of life that you can rely on for quality content. If you find yourself on a lesser-known website, be sure to scan the page for any offensive imagery or copy. Some blogs will have a mess of sketchy ads strewn about the layout, sometimes hosting spam-like material. Advertisement is a necessary evil to make the internet keep chugging ahead, but you don’t want your readers to see inappropriate content. Speaking of advertising, you should check to see if your competitors are advertising on the website. This is especially true if it is a niche news source that covers topics specific to your industry. You don’t want sharing content to backfire!

Where do you find these kinds of articles? You can search your traditional search engines like Google and Bing, however that is going to deliver you a ton of links to weed through. It is suggested to look through social media itself to find articles that are being talked about. This will help you pick the popular subjects, but you will also have access to recently published news. You will want to check the dates of the material you are sharing. If the post is from months or even years ago, the information could be outdated or irrelevant. You want to present yourself as a “mover and shaker” in your field and that means keeping in-tuned with what is happening now.

Sharing engaging and interesting content is essential to your social media activity. You want to seem involved in the community you are trying to tap into. By giving extra publicity to these sources, your name will also pop up in unexpected ways as users search for the subject matter and author. So, start sharing!

How do you find relevant and credible sources? Comment below!

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