Ever wish you had the best minds in social media marketing on speed dial?
That you could call Jeff Bullas or Mark Schaefer and pick their brains about the newest trends, tips and tools in social media?
I have the next best thing, whether you want to improve your social media marketing, bring your brand to YouTube or Snapchat, or stay up to date with the newest social media marketing tips and tools.
I asked 61 of the top social media marketing professionals to give me their top social media tip and boy did they comply! These are people who have written books on social media, who teach it in top universities, and who manage social media for some of the world’s biggest brands. And now you can benefit from their amazing knowledge in one, easy to read post.
So bookmark this page, you are going to want to return here later! If you are more visually inclined you can check out this awesome (if I do say so myself) SlideShare:
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Staying productive while using any social network can be a challenge.
But, oddly enough what’s made the biggest impact on my productivity, especially on Twitter, is one understated feature within Sprout Social.
I juggle a bunch of accounts for the different projects I’m involved with, so I often find myself sifting through hundreds and hundreds of mentions in a single sitting.
Most tools provide a single stream so, if you jump on another task and come back, it can take a while for you to figure out exactly where you’d got to. This ruins your flow and wastes time.
Sprout Social has an inbox that adds a small ‘tick as complete’ button next to each social media mention – you can then hide all the mentions you’ve checked/replied to and work your way through.
Not many other tools have this feature, and for your needs, this tool may be completely overkill.
But, if you find yourself sifting through a lot of social mentions, make sure the tool you use makes it easy to work through them – a ‘mark as complete’ button is ideal.
I’d estimate that this little button saves me around an hour each week.
I hope more developers of social media tools add this feature – it’s a big time saver.
As the Social Media Manager for Smart Blogger, I schedule five Tweets and three Facebook status updates to publish every weekday (one post for each social media network and the remaining, from other blogs), and I want to curate these as efficiently as possible. For the past year, I’ve used the free version of two social media tools, Feedly and Buffer, to accomplish this. Within Feedly, I organize blog feeds by category/niche, making it easy to select high-quality posts that tickle our audience’s interests across a fair distribution of topics. Then, I drop my selection in Buffer to share at predetermined times. Once I’ve shared a post, I “hide” it in my Feedly feed, so I only see current posts I haven’t shared each time I log in.
My biggest tip with social is to seek out building real friendships with people. I use a variety of social networks to build connections. The first step is to connect through text and interact. If the person shows interest in me or what I have to say, then I end up sending them a direct message. (I only take this extra step when I’m not overloaded with client work though.) So let’s say that I connected with them on Twitter, I’ll @reply them and let them know that I sent them a direct message. In that direct message, I let them know my Skype ID and that I have a Skype group that would fit what interests them. I make sure that the Skype group is specifically targeted to what they are interested in.
If the person is a blogger or a writer, I’ll add them to a group where people talk about that there. If the person is an SEO, they can get added to another group. I explain to them how to turn off notifications on Skype so that it doesn’t distract them from their work flow. I also don’t create a whole bunch of rules because that intimidates people and stifles the interaction.
The great thing about Skype groups is that talking to them in audio or video is just one click away. Relationships can be built much faster if you talk to people and give them something valuable. Connecting them with other like-minded individuals who can help them in real time with whatever problem that they’re going through is a great thing to have, especially when you work from home.
You can also throw a link to group video chats into the Skype group. For example, if you start a Rabbit, Firetalk or a private Google Plus hangout, you just throw the link into the group and people can come in a network with each other. The same strategy can be applied to Facebook groups. The essence is that one’s main focus should be helping one another in a selfless way and the community will grow.
Many leaders let their strategic marketing department maintain their social media accounts. I understand why; it’s both time-consuming and hard to have a decent online presence. What you say and how you say it matter more than ever. Outsourcing your voice means that you are building a non-authentic online profile, and you may not even remember what ’you’ said in ‘your’ posts when someone else writes it for you.
The world doesn’t need more leaders who write thought leadership content with the help of an assistant. The internet is full of false information already.
Instead, why not be strategic with your writing and the photos you share. Use a writing app on your smartphone and connect it to your computer, then you can write anywhere. Get help from a proof-reader if you are not sure about grammar and typos. Plan ahead and write a list of potential topics you can write about.
Be yourself and share your personal stories and experience; never outsource your voice.
I am fairly platform agnostic if I’m completely honest but there is one rule that you can apply to any and all platforms that will always work for any personal or corporate brand – and this is to build relationship all the while remembering that relationship is a long term game. All too often businesses are looking to grow – not engage, to sell, not serve and to acquire (new customers) instead of nurture (loyal ones). Build strong relationships and you build a strong brand.
If you are just getting started, here are the two things I advise. For starters, don’t re-invent the wheel. Check out what your competitors are doing and start by mimicking them. You don’t want to fully copy them, but you do want to get a sense of tone, publishing frequency, etc. from them.
Also, only take on as many social networks as you can handle. Just because your competitor is active on seven social networks doesn’t mean you have to be. They may have a dedicated social media team in-house or outsourced, while you just have yourself or someone who does social media as your business’s overall marketing strategy.
If you don’t have the time or the energy or the desire to be on a lot of networks, focus on the top one: Facebook. Then, if you feel you can do more, expand yourself from there.
My #1 tip, regardless of network, is to have a real contribution to make.
Too many people focus in on tactical elements.
That’s like running a TV network that specializes in knowing about the cameras.
People tune in to be entertained, educated and enlightened.
If you can do that, people will take notice.
My top social media tip is to actually be social. Talk with people, not at them and most important is to respond when asked something, even if that’s a +1, like or quick comment. Although this seems obvious, it is missed by most brands and social media users.
For better clarity – picture you go to a party. You see a guy in the corner loudly announcing his latest product for sale. You ask him a question and he just ignores you. A few moments later he interrupts you as you are talking to someone else, to tell you about the benefits of his product. As you walk to the other side of the room, you hear him now loudly announcing how there is a coupon for the product.
Picture another person at the party who is asking you questions, listening and responding to your answers. After some time with them, they mention briefly that what they do can help solve an issue you said you were having. Which one are you more likely to buy from, support and talk to?
Social media is no different than social real life situation at times, so try and keep the “social” part in mind.
Gleam.io is a great tool you can use for social media competitions. The tool allows you to set up a widget which gets competition entrants to take specific actions in return for a competition entry. For example, follow you on social media, share your social media content, sign up to your newsletter, take a survey, download an app, etc. The options are endless.
Once the competition is up, share it on social media and use targeted Facebook Ads to get some traction. For example, we set up regular competitions for one of our clients who sell kitchen gadgets. We targeted the competition Ads to people who are interested in cooking, recipes, kitchen gadgets, online shopping etc. The competitions get 10,000+ entries every single week!
A lot of social media tips are about automation. And, while that’s great for certain strategies, sometimes it can be useful to take a more manual approach to social media engagement. For example, if your blog is about a very specific niche, you can use Facebook or Twitter’s search function to find people who are having problems or looking for answers. You then direct them to genuine solutions and tools on your website, or just answer the question right there on social media. In the past I have won big contacts this way, and also gained a lot of loyal email subscribers. If you’re starting out (or more experienced and dealing with high dollar products) it can be a very interesting exercise in brand exposure, loyalty, and reach.
Measure everything you can on a daily, weekly and monthly time frame. Measuring daily allows you to catch something before it grows into a bigger problem. Measuring weekly allows you to course correct quicker. Measuring monthly gives you the bigger picture month over month to see progress.
I’ve been circling around some advice I’ve heard in pieces over the years that I think can help anyone with any project, business or even relationship. That is to clearly define and continually remind yourself of your intention. Why are you doing this? Why are you blogging? Is it to express yourself? Build an audience? Make money? If you can distill it down to one reason — one intention — then you have a guide to answering all the other questions. So the best tip I can give you is to understand your intention first. The rest will become clear from there.
Collect leads, not just likes and followers. That means I don’t have one favorite social network, per se. At ShortStack, we always advise our users to create campaigns such as contests, promotions, newsletter signups, etc., that will bring in email addresses — otherwise known as leads! — you can use for future marketing efforts. Then use all of your favorite social media networks to promote those campaigns.
There are a lot of ideas out there about what marketing and branding really mean and how to “properly” use social platforms. However, you’ll make the right decisions as long as engagement, conversation, and improved relationships (which lead to trust, loyalty and advocacy) are your major goals.
Here is one specific tip… Syndicate, syndicate, syndicate… share your content via all social channels always including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn, which also makes it easy for others to share. And don’t be afraid to do it more than once periodically sharing old posts via your social channels, especially those that were well received. Also let others freely repost your content with a link back to the original post.
Website / Twitter
My top tip for all social media sites is to engage my biggest fans.
On my favorite social network known as Twitter I respond to most folks who retweet my blog posts, other blog posts, images and text tweets, thanking them for the RTs, and I ask a question here and there too. Questions are wonderful bond-builders.
Give your energy to the folks who give you the most love.
Then, these folks keep giving you love *and* promote you to their like-minded friends on Twitter. Said like-minded friends will dig your message. This is how to grow a rabidly loyal tribe.
When you focus virtually all of your energies to showing love to people who showed you love, you’ll have more targeted Twitter followers to show love to.
This technique is incredibly easy to follow because it involves hitting the @reply button and saying, “Hey Ryan, really appreciate the tweet”, but it appears difficult to most tweeters because most tweeters carry the energy of lack in regards to their social media campaigns, fearing loss, not ever feeling like they have enough followers or retweets, or whatever.
Why do so few folks on Twitter engage individuals, 1 on 1, to build massively loyal followings, like Gary Vaynerchuk? Deep down they’re heavily attached to outcomes (“getting more followers, RTs, etc”) and that heavy fear-based energy, until they address it, creates the ideas of: “it’s hard work to engage 1-to-1”, “it’s a waste of time”, “it’s a grind”, “nobody makes money thru twitter”, “the engagement rates on twitter stink”, etc.
I’ve lived in places like Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica for months and years at a time (in Istanbul, Turkey for the month as I write these words) thru my blogging and social media successes and can say that engaging people 1 to 1 on Twitter is the prime reason I’ve lived a neat life and going thru periods of *not* engaging folks 1 on 1 on Twitter and thru social media sites has been one of my biggest, most damaging mistakes, during those periods.
Show love. 1 to 1. Ease your social media struggles. Dissolve your twitter pain.
You will always get the collective Love on social sites that you dole out, 1 to 1, persistently.
Guys like Gary Vaynerchuk became online – and offline – legends 1 personalized engagement at a time.
Social media is good for getting sharing, your content to move and grow brand awareness but many marketers forget to convert them into leads. That starts with email subscribers.
So to grow my list with Twitter I setup a recurring tweet with a tool called SocialOomph. This tweet is sent every 4 hours with a link to a landing page and it is a call to action to download a free ebook.
This runs on autopilot and so far that tactic alone has grown my email list by over 10,000 in less than 12 months.
My biggest twitter tip is don’t use auto dms. Automation has its place but twitter is all about building relationships so engage! Behind every Twitter handle is a human being!
I use Twitter as traffic driver to my website where I attempt to convert visitors. I use Social Quant to build my followers and Edgar to distribute content on a consistent basis. One important aspect is to continuously deliver the ever green content which is a continuous source of traffic to my site.
Twitter is all about real-time. It connects you with what people are saying and what’s going on in the news. My favorite way to use Twitter is what I call Newsjacking — the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow business.
My favorite social network right now is Twitter because of the long journey that resulted in my success on that platform. What I don’t see enough people doing on Twitter is taking time to interact with their followers. People look at the word social media but only think about the media and exposure part.
Social media is a social platform, and we have to recognize that. Time and time again, I have gotten into long conversations with people on Twitter that lasted 5-10 tweets back and forth. The final result of some of those conversations is that people ended up buying my books and training courses.
I don’t have conversations for the shear reason of getting sales. I have them for the sake of being helpful and showing appreciation when someone shares one of my blog posts, but I end up getting sales because of those conversations. Great things happen to nice people.
For many, Twitter seems to have fallen out of fashion but it should not be overlooked from a brand-building perspective for three reasons.
First, it has 325 million active users. That’s huge. And it’s highly favored by professional people from all walks of life. A significant potential audience.
Second, there is no better way to build your own community because there are so many tools out there to help you discover and nurture relevant new connections.
Finally, Twitter is unparalleled as a place to discover news and information relevant to you and your career. If you spend some time exploring Twitter and the thought leadership you can find in relation to your business, there is no question you could build a competitive advantage.
My first piece of advice is broad, but extremely important: if you want to build a meaningful social media presence, the kind that drives traffic, leads, sales, then you need to be present.
Some of my favorite Twitter power users seem to ‘always be there‘ – it almost seems like they don’t do anything but Twitter day in and out. That’s how good and responsive they are. And that’s why they are Twitter POWER users.
Of course, nothing else is further from the truth: these folks have successful businesses to run, and Twitter is but a small part of their daily routine. They ‘do it all’ on Twitter because they’ve established a good Twitter routine. You can read more about their routines and how to establish yours in How to Manage Twitter Like a Pro [Your Daily Twitter Routine].
On a more practical note, here’s my personal Twitter Traffic Hack to combat the problem of Twitter visibility: Tweet in Blocks.
My tweet blocks are sets of 3-4 tweets that help you stand out in your followers’ busy timelines.
How to ROCK Twitter
Here’s my 7 step formula for any entrepreneur to drive massive traffic to their brand with Twitter marketing:
1) Get More Twitter Followers: In order for Twitter to send you continual traffic to your business, you need to have a plan to not only get more Twitter followers consistently, but relevant Twitter followers. The best way to do this is having a following strategy. You can obviously use Social Quant to do this for you or you can do it for free yourself.
Think of a few Twitter handles that have a large audience similar to the one you want. This could be bloggers, podcasters, competitors, tools, publications or influencers. Once you identify who they are, actively follow those who are engaging with those people. Roughly 10% should follow you back. Make sure that you aren’t doing this aggressively, because Twitter does have limits on how many you follow a day and also make sure you’re unfollowing those that don’t follow you back.
2) Set up a great Twitter cover that has a brief message of exactly who you are as a business. What’s the itch you scratch? Treat your Twitter cover like a billboard on the highway, very brief on words, but clear on message. You can use a tool like Canva to create an awesome Twitter cover for free.
3) Put up a good profile image of who you are. Sure you’ve spent a ton of time on a logo, but a personal image will do better.
4) Write an amazing bio of what it is you do and who you are. Keep it fun and don’t put any hashtags in your bio, unless they’re unique only to your business.
5) Make sure you have a link under your bio to somewhere on your business website. Either the homepage or an offer you have.
6) Pin a Tweet to your Twitter profile. If you set everything up well above and have a following strategy, most people will look at your profile to see if they should follow you back. By pinning a tweet, you can talk to their pain point and have a guide or offer as the first Tweet they see. This will get you amazing traffic if done well. If you don’t know how to pin a Tweet, this is a step-by-step how to.
7) Share content that is great frequently. The top 20% of people who get the majority of traffic from Twitter are tweeting over 80 times a day. This might seem like a lot (it is), but it can be automated easily.
These 7 tips are just the beginning of Twitter marketing, but alone can send you massive brand awareness, traffic and sales. Further strategies can also help multiply the benefits of Twitter, but this will get you started fast to start reaping the rewards.
Use Twitter Video Replies to Build Relationships
OK, so Twitter isn’t the cool kid on the block anymore, but we still think it is a great platform to use due to its openness… you can easily connect with whoever you like. However, you have to get smart with how you reach out. In a sea of automated links being posted, the person or business that can break through the noise on Twitter is going to win.
The best way we’ve found to do this… the video reply. When tweeting somebody, instead of sticking to the 140 characters, hit the camera icon and record a short video (at the time of writing you are allowed up to 30 seconds).
Not only will you build relationships quicker by literally putting a face to your Tweets, but you’ll STAND OUT in the crowd because not many people are actually doing this YET on Twitter.
Here’s a great way to gain more, highly engaged followers on Twitter by utilising Twitter chats…
Find popular chats in your niche with this tool.
Using digital marketing topics as an example: get involved in a popular chat like #semrushchat or #bufferchat (not half-heartedly – go the full mile!) and then immediately afterwards, search Twitter like this:
OR you can use a tool like Tchat to find the hashtag participants.
Go through every single participant and hold CTRL (PC) as you click each profile.
Follow every person and also send them varied tweets saying something like, “Great to see you on #semrushchat just now, [name]. Following you!”
This not only builds strong lifelong connections – but also 1) gains further exposure for the hashtag and 2) helps you get noticed even more by others searching the tag.
Website / Twitter
How Local Businesses Can Thrive with Facebook Marketing:
Own a fashion boutique, have a dental practice, or own a car dealership? Want to know how to fast track the success of your business… and at the lowest cost?
Here’s 3 Tips for Local Businesses to Dominate Their Market using Facebook.
1.) Create Sharable Content: The first step to multiplying your customer base with Facebook is deciding what you want people to say about your business when you’re not around. Once you’ve defined your brand, use Facebook as a tool to evoke emotion with people who are searching for what you have to offer. Every time you create a post, think is this something that people will want to share.
2.) Make sure to engage with your Fan Base: The key to success with local businesses to getting people to connect with you. Make sure that they see what’s happening every day in your business, how you’re building stronger communities, the amazing experiences that your customers are having with your business. Then make sure that you show up to respond to their comments and answer their questions.
3.) Never just boost a post: Make sure that once you are running ads that they’re being seen by those who YOU choose to see them. Think past website visitors, fans of other Facebook pages who have a similar audience and a Facebook lookalike audience of your existing customers. Then test your ads with your different audiences to determine which ones convert the most!
Invest in premium Facebook live video tools
Facebook Live video (and any form of livestreaming) are no longer optional. Rather, they are becoming a requirement for businesses to get the word out to customers and fans. That can actually be a good thing too.
Instead of sharing a photo or text post, you can incorporate Facebook live video as well. This gives you another format to use to communicate with your audience. For example, instead of just sharing a link to a a blog post, you can use Facebook Live video to announce your latest blog post. Beforehand, create a unique Bitly URL for your article. During your broadcast, you can talk about your latest piece of content and then share your unique URL. Because Bitly URL’s can be tracked, you can use this as an opportunity to see how many people clicked through and where that audience is from. This can help guide future content you share over Facebook Live video.
Most importantly though, when you are using Facebook Live video, be sure you invest in premium live video tools. This is because if you want to keep your audience engaged, they need good quality video and audio. Otherwise, if they have a hard time following your video because they can’t hear or see you very well, they are unlikely to return.
What is great about using premium tools is that with a small investment, they can help make your content look and sound more professional. If you plan to join Periscope, conduct other video interviews or create YouTube videos, the tools can be re-purposed and help improve your videos there as well.
As livestreaming becomes more widely adopted, you will be setup for success, not just on Facebook Live, but on other social media channels as well.
Social Media marketing is much harder today than it was even just 2 years ago because it’s getting so much more noisy than ever and changes to newsfeed algorithms limit organic visibility of brand pages on Facebook. So my tip is to use Facebook and Twitter ads to increase visibility of your posts. It’s not free, but you can be very picky, using remarketing, custom audiences (emails and phone numbers), and combinations of demographics, behaviors and interests to create smaller, super-targeted audience lists which you can reach relatively cheaply.
“Start using Facebook Live video.”
Organic reach for a Facebook page these days is tough, especially in the B2B sector. However, all is not lost: we’ve leveraged Groups (both public and private,) Events, and Facebook Live to draw attention to our annual conference. All three currently show up in our audience’s notifications, which is the next best thing to being found in the newsfeed.
I use virtually every social network so that I can be as well-versed as possible on how different businesses can leverage different platforms. That said, it’s clear that for most businesses, Facebook remains the most important social network. So with that in mind, here’s my top tip for businesses who want to reach more people on the world’s most popular network.
Make sure that all of your Facebook posts are either Images or Video. Facebook will provide those shares with the highest possible reach, making them more visible and engaging for your fans.
This includes links to your content – always share those links as an Image post where you put a description and link in the caption. And in between shares of your content, share images that your audience will simply Like and comment on, like quote graphics. Within a few weeks, you’ll begin to see far higher Reach for all of your shares.
Website / Twitter
Don’t think of YouTube as a video hosting website. It’s a social media platform, with a community of people, and a “culture” that you need to understand before uploading videos to it. Watch what other people on YouTube are doing and find a way to authentically incorporate yourself and/or your company into the mix.
You’ll notice that many of the most popular channels have a regular host in their videos – it’s a very personality driven type of platform where people come to expect to see the same people on channel that they’re subscribed to, delivering the same type of content each time.
Uploading different types of content like a TV commercial, a comedic sketch, and an animated infographic for example, will only confuse your audience and cause them to stop watching and/or unsubscribe. Consistency is key as is understanding that video doesn’t work the same on YouTube as it does on TV or on other social media platforms for that matter.
Check out successful YouTube channels, pay attention to the same types of things that they’re all doing, and then incorporate those things into your content for your best chance at having success as well!
My favourite YouTube marketing tip is pre-roll ads, but using remarketing lists.
Unfortunately a lot of brands go straight for the kill with pre-roll, and so can give them a bad name, but done right pre-roll can deliver cheap clicks and conversions.
If you take the educational approach first, then you increase your chances of success considerably. The context of your video becomes helpful and advisory, not pushy or an interruption.
Let’s use an example – you’re selling remote control drones online.
Instead of showing a video selling the latest drone, instead show them a hands-on comparison of the product. You’d perhaps include a quick money saving maintenance tip too. You could support this with a link through to further content on your website that describes different price ranges, with pros and cons.
Essentially something of high value that the viewer can use or put in to action today, or that makes them rethink their position, choice or pending purchase decision.
So, based on which information they view and click, you would create remarketing lists to market the appropriate product that they have shown interest in.
To really warm traffic up, you can draw this process out for longer period and over numerous pieces of content, but often a simple 2-step approach is enough to get results.
YouTube is full of noise and consistent posting will help you to rise above it. Start your campaign by developing a list of 100 potential video titles. This way you’ll never have to wonder what video you’re going to shoot next. Try to create titles that answer questions your audience is already asking on Google. Use the phrase “how to” and “what is” in as many titles as you can to rank higher in search.
Website / Twitter
My favorite social media platform is Instagram but with only one clickable link, it can frustrate marketers. Use effective calls-to-action in your post captions to drive people to that link! You should also use custom bit.ly or other trackable links to monitor your conversions. Google Analytics doesn’t accurately capture Instagram traffic to your website, so using these bit.ly links for your campaigns and referrals ensures you accurately track your traffic from Instagram – it’s probably a lot more than you think!
If you want to organically grow engaged followers on Instagram, do more of the following:
- Post motivating, inspiring, eye-catching content on a consistent basis.
- Reveal a little more about yourself and your team – take people behind the scenes
- Show tips and how-tos
- Post video and use “Instagram Stories” to expand on your posts and give context.
- Develop a hashtag strategy that’s not just popular posts, but a mix of niche or industry related posts that your target audience are using.
And don’t (please don’t) use auto-comments and auto-likes. It’s not only inauthentic and bot-like but puts your account at risk, as most of the tools that do this are working outside of Instagram’s guidelines. So be authentic and comment in real-time!
Your Instagram bio is the first thing people see when they click onto your account. An optimized account can help convert strangers visiting your profile to become customers. My three simple tips for improving your Instagram Bio are:
1. Put your job title or most searched industry keyword in your sub-headline
2. Describe what you do with personality – use emoji and have fun with it!
3. Include a call to action. Tell visitors to your bio what you want them to do such as to click a URL
Instagram is by far my favourite platform as it’s so visual and it’s a great place for brands to stand out in an unobtrusive way.
To be able to increase your conversions using this platform, I would first suggest to come up with a consistent theme that your followers will be able to relate to. It really depends on the product or service you sell, but typically the most successful posts include quotes, inspiring images, and plenty of relevant hashtags. Find out who your Instagram audience is and create a consistent theme with them in mind.
Next, I’d create a piece of content (such as an ebook, whitepaper, webinar etc) that your Instagram audience would be interested in viewing. It has to be highly-valuable, it should be set up on a dedicated landing page, and ‘gated’ so that visitors have to give you their email address to be able to download it. You should then include the link to that landing page within you bio on Instagram.
Finally, and this is important, you need to make sure that you are posting high quality images. One of my favourite apps to use is Canva, as it’s super easy to create professional looking images for free.
To grow your follower base or increase conversions — no matter what platform you’re on — always utilize influencers within your niche to connect with your audience. Influencers are trusted for their insights and product recommendations. You can use the link in bio on Instagram or write out your website on Snapchat to drive users to the content you are looking to optimize. You can find Influencers through research or working with third party platforms to find the right match for your social initiatives. Make sure to have a strategy in place for your goals with influencer activations and the ROI you would like to achieve with this type of outreach.
Instagram Marketing: We’ve all heard the recent announcement of Instagram stories competing head on with Snapchat. It’s a marketers dream. If you’ve built a following on Instagram in the past, leverage Instagram stories as a mechanism for connecting with your audience in a more personal way. In addition, don’t overlook the opportunity to upload content directly to stories by pulling down on your camera and upload vertical visuals that drive your followers to read your content or check out your latest product.
Website / Pinterest
If you have a website page, landing page, or blog post that converts well, create multiple images to pin. Try to stick with a similar style to what is already on that page so there isn’t too much of a disconnect, but having several images on Pinterest is going to drive more eyeballs to your content! Besides, it gives you a great way to test what works best for your audience.
Got a Pin you want to go viral? Here’s an easy trick: embed the Pin in your blog sidebar.
I tried this with my “Social Media Sizes Cheat Sheet.” In just a few months, that specific Pin has gotten nearly 2,000 repins.
It’s easy to do. Just find your Pin on Pinterest and click the 3 dots at top right. Select “Embed.”
Pinterest serves you up the code to paste into a sidebar widget on your blog. You get a choice of 3 sizes, and whether or not you want the Pin Description to show. Medium fit perfectly in my sidebar!
When your content gets a lot of repins, Pinterest sees you as a quality resource, and boosts the appearance of all your content in its Smart Feed. Double win!
So pick your most valuable Pin and give it a try.
The personal/business objectives of Pinterest can be very polarized compared to other platforms, but they also share a lot of similarities. From a personal perspective, Pinterest is a great tool to gather your thoughts, visualize your goals, and share together.
Brands struggle with the medium, because unlike some other platforms, it really takes an in-depth knowledge of your brand personality beyond just the face value. I would urge brands to think of themselves as a person, not the person sitting in the office who has been assigned to manage the account, but the REAL personality behind the brand.
What would that person pin on their own boards? Fantasy vacations, favorite smoothie recipes, or pics to help them plan their upcoming wedding decorations? Think about those big picture buckets and map them out, as a part of your strategy. Add those to the obvious boards that are relevant to your industry, whether it’s infographics about trends in technology or beautiful pictures that you link back to relevant content about plant-based protein on your website.
Pinterest can be an unbelievable driver of traffic for brands, and it can be an exceptional overall branding tool for businesses and personal brands. The biggest surprise I’ve had with Pinterest has been how great of a relationship-building tool it can be. I started a collaborative plant-based blogger board to help connect me with the influencers that I was working with, help them share their recent recipes with me so I can help cross-promote them, and just generally build a community.
The board has grown really quickly! In fact, it has gathered 20,000 pins in less than a year. It was a creative way that I found to use technology to connect me with people in my industry and helped to not only build relationships, but also showcase myself as more of a thought leader in the space. Along with that, it’s helped to drive the number of people following my account and given me a great way to reach out to new people that I might like to work with in the future.
I think collaboration boards are great for a lot of reasons, and I’ve seen many creative applications for them along with brand partnerships and places for office productivity and brainstorming. Number one thing with Pinterest is to go into it with a passion for discovering more about your personality, share what is beautiful and aspirational, and promote your brand very occasionally only to the point that you would on other networks (5-10% of the time), and see if it works for you. I think you’ll find very quickly if it’s a fit for you or your brand.
Pinterest is all about quality images! Always include an attractive vertical image when creating your own content. Add text to your images to grab attention. Put your website URL on the image, so that people can still get back to the source if the link is modified when repinned. Make sure to repin quality pins from other people.
My biggest Pinterest marketing tip it to test to see what is working for YOU! There are tons of great Pinterest experts out there with lots of smart, actionable tips, but that doesn’t always mean what is working for them is going to produce results for you. Try different strategies and pay attention to see what works best with your followers and customers. Note your repin and click through rates to create more of what is successful even if it is not in line with the latest Pinterest theories. Always be willing to abandon expert advice in favor of strategies that produce results for you.
To grow your following on Pinterest (and grow it FAST) the key is to pin a lot. Shoot for 10-15 pins a day, if possible, and spread those pins throughout the day. Buffer is a great tool for scheduling pins, if you don’t want to do that much pinning manually.
Don’t shy away from Pinterest. It works for B2C, B2B, visual, and non-visual businesses. Plus, it’s pretty.
There’s a lot that businesses have to decipher if Pinterest is even right for their business.
TIP: You have to figure out from the very beginning what keywords you want to rank high on in Pinterest’s search engine. Don’t even think about pinning if you haven’t figured this out yet.
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Whenever advertising on LinkedIn, I recommend breaking up audiences into micro-segments (between 20-50k in size). Oftentimes that means breaking them up by levels of seniority (Manager, Director, VP, etc) or locations (US, Europe, etc), or some other logical segmentation. It creates more work The result of this is more management overhead as it’s more ads to create, but the upside is worth it. Not only will you be generating leads, but you’ll be able to compare the results of your ads (engagement rate and cost per conversion) among your audiences. You’ll glean insights like which level within the organization your offer/content most resonate with or what ad copy most engages with which geography.
Be aware, though, as with all social media advertising, the more specifically you target, the higher you’ll have to bid. You may raise your CPCs by $.20-.40, but the learnings are well worth it in my opinion!
With more than 450,000,000 registered members, LinkedIn is the largest professional social media network in the world. The platform is primarily known for its B2B lead generation value, finding new talent or landing a new job, but did you know that LinkedIn is an amazing tool when it comes to increasing your visibility on Google and other search engines?
Let me give you an example: If you do a Google search for SEO agency Boulder, one of my target SEO keywords, you should see the organic listing for the Boulder SEO Marketing LinkedIn company page.
Let me give you another example: Do a Google search for SEO training Denver, another one of my target SEO keywords, and you should see the organic listing for my LinkedIn Showcase page called Search Engine Optimization Training on page number one of Google.
So make sure you treat and optimize your LinkedIn company and Showcase pages as you would with any page on your website. There’s a lot more to it, but make sure to optimize each page for 3-4 target SEO keywords. Add the most important keyword early on in the description. Start to point links from other social media platforms, you website etc. to the respective LinkedIn pages. Promote and talk about the pages in tweets, Facebook status updates, etc. Read this article for additional tips and best practices and most important, have fun with it!
Know the Theme of Your Story
My top LinkedIn marketing tip is to always be mindful that people use LinkedIn to discover not just what we do, but who we are and how we uniquely do it. The only way to achieve that distinction is with a story that is consistently on purpose or theme.
It’s not just the story we tell, but what others are saying about us. LinkedIn pays attention to our commitment to the network. It knows what we are sharing and when, and whether or not there is engagement with it, and with whom.
To make LinkedIn work for us we have to be clear about our purpose and how it can add value to the network. If we can consistently accomplish that with all of our actions and the stories we tell on LinkedIn, it’s likely our methods for getting results will influence others.
My top tip for using LinkedIn effectively is “Don’t collect connections, build relationships”.
What this means is that rather than just accepting a connection request and forgetting about it, take a few minutes to look at their profile and then send them a meaningful and personalized reply/welcome message.
This starts conversations and leads to relationship building, which is the point of LinkedIn. You need to build a relationship with your connections before you can move the relationship offline and ultimately have a sales conversation.
The Slideshare audience is massive so it presents an opportunity to reach far more prospects interested in tapping into your knowledge and expertise. However, like any network or community you get out of it what you put into it. So a “one and done” approach is unlikely to give you the results you seek.
Get in the habit of repurposing your content there in the form of fun, informative, visually interesting slide decks on a regular basis. Have at least one slide link to your website or blog. Over time, you’ll gain traction, build a following, and earn traffic. Also, if your decks are great, you’ll find readers will embed them in their content, which helps to increase your reach even more.
The #1 tip I can give anyone in any niche on LinkedIn is to create what I call a “client-facing” profile.
Meaning that instead of having it read like a virtual résumé, where you write about yourself in the third person like you’re a professional athlete, you need to repurpose your entire profile to appeal to your target audience or clients.
Use this template for the first sentence of your LInkedIn Summary:
WHAT I DO: I help [My Target Audience] achieve [Their Goal] by providing [My Product or Service].
If you start that quickly and clearly, people know immediately what you do and how you can (or cannot) help them solve one of their biggest business problems.
I have an entire copy-and-paste template you can utilize for your LinkedIn Summary that follows the same concept.
The main idea is this – instead of talking about yourself, your work history, etc., talk about what how your product or service helps a specific type of audience achieve their goals or desired outcomes.
With LinkedIn, the riches are in the niches, so the more specific you can get, the better!
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Snapchat made no sense to me 2 years ago but in those 2 years I’ve studied the brand social landscape and listened to the community and now believe that Snapchat is the social platform of TODAY… it’s not a facebook replacement it doesn’t provide the same value as other marketing or social networks but why would it… the value, the engagement the SOCIAL mindset that lives within Snapchat doesn’t allow for it…
All I ask is to take an open mind approach to this report and Snapchat…. don’t think how will this replace something else rather…
Then think about what value can I bring my community, how will this help me tell my story and ultimately how will this help my business…
YOUR STORIES SHOULD HAVE A BEGINNING MIDDLE AND END:
The majority of your story feed is comprised of selfies, snaps of food, concert snaps, and other mundane pics, so it’s no surprise that a story that operates as a narrative might stand out. The one thing that snapchat influencers who have cultivated a following have in common is that they are stringing together snaps to tell a story- a story with a beginning, middle, and end. There’s a story behind everything you do, your followers are just waiting to hear it. Begin by setting up what you’re doing in your story: where are you going? with who? why? what’s the objective?
Now dive into the narrative. Don’t just tell us what you’re doing, show us! It’s no secret that snapchat has its limitations, but to become an influencer you have to think creatively outside of these boundaries. For example, incorporate layers; you don’t have to be an artist to try your hand at snap art. Play music to add a soundtrack to your life. Fast forward, slo-motion, throw some filters on that nude.. I mean snap! **darn autocorrect**
Accomplish your goal, or fail trying (which is always funny), and then wrap your story up with a summary or a visual punch.
Tell a story that is authentic to you and organic to the app. There’s a story waiting to be told behind even the most monotonous of tasks, make snapchat your tool for telling it.
Show don’t preach. Your snap friends are along for the ride and would rather learn from your experiences than sermons.
If you are a digital marketing or social media professional, a business owner or blogger and want to get more out of your Snapchat efforts then take my advice and get front of screen.
Personalization: It’s vital that you get front of screen to allow your fans to get to know you some more. Personalization is hot right now in social media as we try to avoid ‘salesy’ copy and call to actions. Simply be yourself and shine on Snapchat. But have a plan. Firstly, write down the mission statement of your Snapchat account. ‘How am I going to use Snapchat to engage my community and what value am I going to deliver?’ So it could be: ‘I am going to Snap daily tips to share my knowledge and expertise and help teach my fans some more about cooking vegan food.’
Storytelling: Everyone loves a story. And this is a tactic that you should be using in your Snapchat marketing efforts. A story is made up of a beginning, a middle and an end, so use this format for your 10-second video snaps. Of course you can create more than three Snaps for your Snapchat story. But consider plot, character and moral of the story when sending out your snaps. Practice makes perfect with this approach!
Creativity: Make use of Snapchat’s filters, stickers, text, digital pencil and emojis to add creativity to your snaps. These features make your Snaps much more engaging and add to the story – where you are (geo-filter), how you feel (emoji) what you are doing (sticker) and a link (text) to a website.
Snapchat’s lack of an internal discovery feature makes finding new, relevant content a challenge. The most effective way I’ve found to build an engaged, valuable audience is through collaboration with other users. Identify individuals whose audience might also be interested in your content, and develop a relationship with them by watching, commenting on and supporting their content. When you have established a strong relationship, consider the idea of a “SnapSwap,” where you and your friend trade accounts for a set amount of time. This will open your messaging up to a whole new audience, and provide fresh and interesting content for your friends. Be sure to promote the swap using your other social media channels to maximize the impact, and be effusively grateful before, during and after the swap. Learn more about my SnapSwaps project here.
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing or you won’t stand out.
My #1 Snapchat tip: Be a real human being on Snapchat. When you log on to Snapchat, do your best to be the exact same human being that you are day in and day out with the other people in your life. You don’t need to craft a separate public identity in order to be liked on Snapchat, and in fact, people will like and respect you more if you are 100% your normal self on camera. It can be awkward to ‘act natural’ when you have a phone in your face—it certainly takes some practice getting used to it. But when you can have a real, authentic conversation with your audience and you’re not putting up a front or trying to be who they think you should be, people will respond enthusiastically. Social media has allowed us to have a window into other people’s lives, and as such we’ve become increasingly discerning about who is being real and who isn’t. Even if you being you is not always pretty or attractive or positive, your audience will respond far better if present your actual life online than if you try to make it all seem like it’s sunshine and roses all the time.
Create a consistent posting schedule and advertise it. Let your audience know when you’re on Snapchat and what they can expect to see on those day and times. This will help to focus your creative energy on useful Snapchat activities rather than wonder what story you’ll post today. I’ve seen my retention rate improve from 65% to 95% simply by letting my friends know what I’m going to post and when I’m going to post it.