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6 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Drastically Improve Your Efforts in 2014

January 09, 2014
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Social Media

Did you know social media is the number one daily activity among Americans, topping time spent on email and Google?

According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business.

Social media is BIG and only getting bigger. If you are not marketing on it, you are likely missing a large chunk of your target consumers.

As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on. It is now inexcusable for any business that wants to thrive to not be tweeting!

And now we are being exposed to more and more social advertisements. As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know.

But before diving into paid ads it is important to build out your social channels with rockstar content, quality customer service, and eye-catching visuals. Once you optimize your social channels for success, you will not only gain loyal brand promoters, but you will begin capturing leads and converting visitors into customers.

For those of you who have let your social channels develop cobwebs and cockroaches over the past year, here are six social media strategies to take control of your social channels and give them a much needed facelift in the New Year.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #1: Create a Game Plan & Stick to It

If you have no execution strategy, your content is likely going to fall through the cracks. Set a limit on how many tweets you have to publish per day. This number can be adjusted as needed, but having a number you have to hit, even something as small as four tweets per day, gives you a benchmark and a goal at the very least.

TIP: Investigate how often your competitors are posting and conduct industry research to see the ideal amount of content to publish per day on each channel. You want to be active, but not overly active. 

Compile all content in an easy-to-read editorial calendar. Google Excel Docs is a good place to start. Set up a weekly, shareable publishing calendar, then separate by social channel, and provide columns for co-workers within your content team to provide their feedback before posting. Plan ahead, but continue making additions as necessary, for example if a great PR hit is published cover this in a timely manner even it was not on your original posting schedule.

social media strategy

Look into social media management platforms, like Hootsuite, Buffer, and TweetDeck, to help schedule posts ahead of time, monitor and manage your social feeds, and access performance analytics.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #2: Treat each channel as an individual entity

Each social channel needs to be treated as a separate entity. There can be content that is spread across all channels – for example if your business was recently acquired by a global company, this is likely news you want to share across the board, but you should adjust your strategy depending on the audience for that channel.

For example, LinkedIn tends to have a more business-focused audience looking for in-depth, educational content, compared to Instagram, which is likely to have an audience looking for engaging visual content. Pay attention to your follower demographic on each channel to publish content that appeals to them.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #3: Go above & beyond in customer service

If a visitor tweets at your handle or posts on your Facebook page and never receives a response, trust is lost. Due to your lack of communication, the dissatisfied potential lead is now turning to your competitors to seek answers to their questions. On the other hand, when you deliver a thoughtful response in a timely manner that visitor is flattered and intrigued by your brand. It’s humanizing to take the time respond to a personal inquiry, and it builds your authority.

Alexa, a friend of mine who formerly resided in NYC, commented on a picture on Instagram posted by her favorite city dive bar. The social media manager quickly responded by offering her a free T-shirt for the positive feedback. A few weeks, when later Alexa drove six hours from Boston to collect her free shirt (and visit a few friends), the bartender realized, “Wow! Social media does work!” She has in turn become a free promoter for the bar, and encourages her large network that still resides in New York to check out her former go-to spot – essentially free PR for this small, neighborhood bar. And this is one minuscule example – if you haven’t heard the Morton’s Steakhouse story about delivering a joking tweeter a free steak at the airport, I suggest you use this as a prime example of BOMB customer service that led to a ridiculous amount of free press.

Negative feedback needs to be addressed as well, preferably with patience and respect. But think of your social channels as an opportunity to display how awesome you treat your customers.

Take these four steps to boost the happiness of your Twitterbirds:

  • Assign a first responder to post and monitor each channel your brand has a profile on.
  • Create a troubleshooting library of common bugs or complaints that arise, and how to handle these issues. This will ensure the issue is addressed properly and in a timely manner. (NOTE: If the issue needs further investigation or requires confidential information, have the user email support, send a private message, or call your help line.)
  • Be creative – use giveaways, personality, and a sense of humor to engage followers and convert them into free brand promoters.
  • DO NOT IGNORE any comment posted to your account on social, whether stellar or critical. No need to create brand detractors!

Social Media Marketing Strategy #4: Embrace mishaps

We are humans, so mistakes are unavoidable. This is especially true when it comes to the fast-paced world of social media. Rather than flat out ignoring these hiccups, embrace them. I am not saying that when a comma is missed in a tweet you should announce this small grammar error, but DO NOT delete the tweet. It has already been published, and followers are more likely to notice if you are continuously re-posting. For larger mistakes, like a product error or multiple overcharges to customer credit cards, you’ll want to proactively respond in an apologetic, actionable manner, and send out content from your social accounts apologizing and addressing how the error is being handled so customers are aware.

social media marketing strategies

But what happens if a BIG, truly embarrassing mistake is made? Personally, I love how Pamela Vaughan, a HubSpot employee, handled her baby bump mishap. Pamela accidently posted a picture of her growing pregnant belly to HubSpot’s company Twitter account, which has close to 350,000 followers. Instead of crawling into a hole of embarrassment, Pamela embraced her faux-pas and created this awesome blog post. The post has received a lot of love, with several shares and comments mostly showing respect for HubSpot’s human element – a key that makes them one of the most loved marketing companies out there.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #5: Track & Talk!

Tracking is often perceived as tedious and time-consuming. It can be, but it only needs to take a few hours each month. Set aside time to review metrics that are important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably the first day of the month). Here are some stats to focus on: number of posts, follower growth, clicks to your site/products, pageviews, post likes or shares, impressions, etc. Look at each channel separately, and compare to your largest competitors to get a sense on how you’re matching up (or how you’re CRUSHING them!). 

If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free social media tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform.

Share your results and set monthly strategy meetings with your different marketing forces within your company to plan for the future. Working collaboratively and taking a step back to brainstorm and reevaluate your strategy can drastically improve your social efforts. Also leverage other departments within your business. Various teams like client services and sales might have stellar ideas for social since they are the people who communicate with prospects and customers on a daily basis.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #6: Stay active on Google+

Many of you may be raising an eyebrow, but Google+, often viewed as the Facebook wannabe, is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s only becoming more and more important for businesses to actively engage and grow their circles on this platform. When you search on Google you will notice that Google+ is everywhere. If your business is actively posting on Google+, you will receive essentially free ad space when users search for you on Google.

Google+ Marketing Strategies

Notice when I do a search for Salesforce not only does their Google+ follower number display, but there’s a call-to-action to follow their brand, as well as recent posts on their Google+ page, on the right side of the SERP.

According to a Moz.com survey, leading marketers believe the number of Google +1’s plays the second largest part in determining search engine rankings. This isn’t proven to be true, but clearly marketers are seeing that Google+ is affecting the visibility of their content on Google.

Google+ is also integrated with YouTube, so users are unable to comment on the platform without being opted into Google+. Essentially Google is making having a Google+ account pretty much essential.

What will you do to improve your social media marketing plan in 2014?

Comments

Loved the post Margot. Tons of useful tips.

Margot da Cunha (not verified)
Jan 09, 2014

Thank you Nico! I'm happy you enjoyed it.

Anonymous (not verified)
Aug 01, 2014

Hi Margot, great post:)  A very helpful list of ways to market any business that is starting out, we already use most of whats on the list and
they do work, some better then others. It all depends on how much time you put in to promote your site.And I have my site the  tradesystemsreview.com I've been using social media to traffic. :)

Thanks for sharing this informative post Margot.. I came here with empty mind but now i have so many tips and tabs open in browser  :).wish me luck for a better strategy.

Hi Margot, Great post! The tips are really handy. We deal with a lot of small business who many may not have heard off so we try our best to implement what you have mentioned above however it is quite difficult to get noticed. Do you think that advertising is essential first off to even build up that audience? I struggle and although I think Twitter appears faster in growth than Facebook-  I am struggling to see how a new business could make a mark without paying up? ~ Maria 

Glad to hear from you. I do agree in your article. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

 I think social advertisements is the best stratey to improve our efforts and increase our productivity.Bloggers are the main part of our promotions.Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Nice post  Margot ! SEO and Social Media has certainly grown together, in which both practices are able to benefit businesses worldwide to be more visible to their target audience.

Good Post Margot! It is always better to plan the strategy before implementing the steps for it. The devised option is always noteworthy and applicable when it comes to showcase your product out to the world in the public. Always after the thought of setting the big business, the next thought which emerges is, how to bring the business to successful grounds, how to make everyone aware about the products and services. Thanks so much for these great posts and helpful insights.

Google+ Authorship is surely the thing to be taken into consideration for 2014, but I was just wondering how are the other social profile authorship impacting at present. Do profiles of Gravatar, about.me, companypond.com still have some impact?

 

Excellent post! Thanks for sharing these list of social media tools. Recently I am doing social medial marketing; hope these tools help me to do better. 

Apr 30, 2014

I am  usining Facebook page and tritter account as tools for social media promotions.Indeed they have proven a steady flow of traffic for my website.It have also no doubt increased my sales by 17%

I really enjoyed this article, I am currently beginning to undertake a social media strategy for a medium sized Financial Planning firm (who is run by old blokes who arent comfortable with this kind of stuff). Thank you for providing great guidance, this article is a great resource. If you have any further tips or related articles I'de be glad to hear more from you.

May 26, 2014

Great Content...

I am a beginner in this field and it has surely helped me. I think it's time for me to take Google+ more serioulsy.

Thanks for sharing :)

Jun 03, 2014

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

SEO and SMO are greatly used in digital marketing to increase traffic on your site and increase back links.

The key is like you also said stay active and persistent. Social media is huge source of traffic and potential customers if you know how to use it.

Social media marketing is now a major player in brand recognition, user experience, and search engine rankings. Social signals like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are the main objective to emphasis on if you want to improve the brand and the ranking for your website.  You might have seen overwhelming things happening for other businesses through social media, but you just aren’t certain how to get it to work for you.Social media marketing is now a major player in brand recognition, user experience, and search engine rankings. Social signals like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are the main objective to emphasis on if you want to improve the brand and the ranking for your website.  You might have seen overwhelming things happening for other businesses through social media, but you just aren’t certain how to get it to work for you.

Its a very informative post Margot!!! In todays date social media marketing is full time job and it requires more than the random postings about your great sale, latest product. It is a time to choose your best social media matches and give them the attention they deserve. It is all about quality, not quantity. It is necessary to build social media into your business plan. Implement social media into it and set goals for different time periods.

I agree with this article, Social Media is big and if you are not taking advantage of it, you are losing out on a lot of targeted traffic! Great post! 

Jun 19, 2014

Well explained article :)

Jul 12, 2014

Your are doing great job. Thanks

Thanks Margot for the great post.  Some fantastic tips; I'm sure to benefit by doing this.

David Baker

These are good social media strategies for any company to follow. Its takes a consistent social media strategy to make an impact.

Jul 24, 2014



    Congratulations on having 1 of the most sophisticated blogs I've come throughout in some time!  Its just incredible how much you can take away from something simply because of how visually beautiful it's.  You've put with each other a great blog space --great graphics, videos, layout.  This is absolutely a must-see we blog!

 

Marissa Davidson (not verified)
Jul 25, 2014

Likely to happened, Social Media has been a way to established a great relationship between people and communities. It improves human relations beyond digital control. Also, provides better marketing opportunities for businesses. Great post! These can be useful tips and strategies.

djohn4204 (not verified)
Jul 29, 2014

Thanks, for sharing the valuabe  social media marketing strategies.

social media marketing is now a days become a brand for search engine rankings.

social media like:- facebook ,twitter, youtube and linkedin etc.

Mark Smith (not verified)
Aug 16, 2014

Nicely said. In order to induce high rankings in search engines and find favorable traffic for your web site, then sensible SEO is what you would like. sensible or effective SEO may be a a part of a marketing plan that produces your sensible content be found by those who have an interest in what your web site has got to supply.

Great explanation. Thanks for sharing.

Can you exmplan me different between facebook and twitter using of marketing method. I know the important of both one but i don't have ideas witch one is most important and help me for index my landing pages quickly. I know after comming of Google plus some changes have been shown in your other channel like you can watch online facebook cricket games etc. 

I am so happy to read this. It is really difficult to get this kind of with useful information. Keep up the interesting work!

Susan Cheah (not verified)
Oct 01, 2014

As internet marketing campaigns become more complicated and time intensive, with google algorithm changes rapidly, more companies are turning to professional PPC (pay per click) management companies for help. 

Loved to read helpful set of tools which in turn makes social media campaign more productive,Now a days social media 

can't be ignore along with SEO site can't be pushed higher on search engines.many thanks for the help

 

 

Nice article by  Margot daCunha.

I am also agree with your point that  mostly marketers use

social media to promote their business  as it is very beneficial. I hope that your all the

Social media marketing strategies gonnna help me alot.

Thanks for posting

 

Thanks for sharing, Great Insights on social media marketing and the ways to boost engagement on your Blog.

Oct 26, 2014

Some great information here. The use of social media for advertising and marketing can be a tricky business and aludes a lot of people.
It's certainly a lot harder than just posting and promoting all the time

Marketing standards has already been on the upside for making promotion activities successful,Social media is a

worthy platform if handled in  a intelligent way for betterment,The scope of targeting respective audience in SMM is

too much ,You just need to be specific to your ideas and resources.

Thanks for a great resource

Oct 30, 2014

Great article! Very helpful especially to newbies! I have started using social media as a way of promoting my business. I'm glad your post adds my knowleadge. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Nov 07, 2014

Google+ and google maps keep me on the first page of google.

Nov 11, 2014

Being on top of social media is crucial, however do you have any recommendations on how to do that while trying to run a busy business, but that is still cost effective.

 

Stay active and increase your engagement with your users.Always try to increase your conversation as longer as you can so that you can build trust over your potential audience.Thanks for sharing this Margot.

Nov 23, 2014

Hey..!! Great article. Informative and interesting to read. Thanks.

Hello margot,

Thanks for sharing this great post. I read your full blog and your tips, all are awesome.

Dec 01, 2014

Good pointers! There is so much to learn here, especially for those who are still new to the whole online marketing idea. Great!

Dec 05, 2014

Hi Margot, I have read this post and just want to say another awesome post I have found on this blog. Very nice and informative tips you have shared with us. Social media marketing is now going to be very interesting and popular type of marketing. These tips will help me out in that context. Thanks!

Nice list, right that before starting any marketing it is necessary to make plan first of all and decide that for which product or service you want to make online presence.

Nathan Brook (not verified)
Jan 21, 2014

Thanks for a great post. Clear thinking and well written. I totally agree. Social media and Search will combine and reinforce online reputation.

Jan 21, 2014

Great read and very insightful! Thanks.

Thanks for the post!  

I enjoyed reading it.  Interactions with customers and being active to have constantly new and relevant content are very important! 

 

Nice post, All strategies are valuable and I liked #3 most.

Jan 26, 2014

I have been using social media for quite some time. I know that Facebook and Twitter are the most popular, and the standards in Social Media. What I have found, however, that when I market on some of the lesser known social media sites, like Plurk and Tumbler, I have better results. I especially have good results with Stumbleupon.

Jan 31, 2014

Such an informative post. Must say you have got great knowledge. Seems like you have done an in depth analysis. Appreciate your effort.

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