Social Media

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

By Margot da Cunha January 09, 2014 Posted In: Social Media Comments: 57

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 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 efforts in 2014?

How to create a vanity url




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Comments

Thursday January 09, 2014

Nico Lauria (not verified) Said:

Loved the post Margot. Tons of useful tips.

Thursday January 09, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

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

Friday March 21, 2014

Rupal Sathavara (not verified) Said:

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.

Monday April 14, 2014

Dwana Rist (not verified) Said:

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?

 

Tuesday April 01, 2014

GTM Plan (not verified) Said:

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.

Thursday February 20, 2014

Web Design Birmingham (not verified) Said:

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 

Wednesday February 12, 2014

Sharon Stone (not verified) Said:

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.

Thursday February 06, 2014

George (not verified) Said:

Thanks for your post. As adopting the social media resourses to promote the business grab a huge amount of audiences and stick to continue connetions in these social media is more than important than bulding connections.

Thursday February 06, 2014

Michael Bian (not verified) Said:

i really enjoyed reading this post! great work indeed.

Saturday February 01, 2014

Ally (not verified) Said:

Great post -- thanks! Very helpful!

Friday January 31, 2014

Asmara Prana (not verified) Said:

Thanks for reminding and giving advice on how to manage social media. I think social media getting more more important and as blogger needs to incorporate it in part of our promotion.

Friday January 31, 2014

Hines (not verified) Said:

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

Sunday January 26, 2014

Chester (not verified) Said:

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.

Saturday January 25, 2014

Bala Murugan (not verified) Said:

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

Wednesday January 22, 2014

LeadGenix (not verified) Said:

Thanks for the post!  

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

 

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Jane (not verified) Said:

Great read and very insightful! Thanks.

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Nathan Brook (not verified) Said:

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

Friday March 14, 2014

Marry John (not verified) Said:

 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.

Tuesday March 04, 2014

Bethany Downes (not verified) Said:

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

Tuesday January 28, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

No problem! Great to hear you enjoyed it.

Tuesday January 28, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thank you Jane!

Tuesday January 28, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Hi Chester,

It's interesting to hear Stumbleupon and Tumbler have been most successful for you. I think it can drastically vary based on the industry and type of audience you're targeting, but exploring the more niche networks can definitely be a great strategy. 

Tuesday January 28, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thank you Bala!

Tuesday February 11, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

No problem Asmara! Yes, using social channels to promote your blog is absolutely crucial. Aside from sharing, you can also leverage your blog posts to engage with influencers, customers, and leads.

Tuesday February 11, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thank you Hines! So glad you found the post useful. 

Tuesday February 11, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thanks Ally!

Tuesday February 11, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

George - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Friday March 21, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Hi Bethany,

I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed the post! Thanks for reading.

Friday March 21, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Social advertising is typically well-worth the investment if done right. It's crucial to stay on top of any alogrithm updates or changes in the platforms, but I definitely agree that it is a great route to go!

Friday March 21, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Sharon - that is so great to hear! So pleased that you found the post useful. Best of luck!

Thursday January 09, 2014

philomarketer (not verified) Said:

If I've picked up anything about the greased-lightning world of social media marketing - other than that AutoCorrect is a fickle friend at best - it's your point #4. It is very important to recognize that there will be punches, and rolling with them is usually the best tactic.

One of the wonderful things about social media (and other online fora) is that they usually place business accounts and personal accounts on a level; there aren't special privileges or powers that cushion professional PR mistakes. And everybody knows it. Which means that, once an item is posted, you can safely consider it a permanent fixture of your brand. Trying to backstep and deny often just throws stains on that fixture instead of removing it. Instead, it's an opportunity to make followers laugh with you instead of at you.

I think you and your department handled the situation with great humor and grace!

Philip (Marketing manager, Wixiyizi.com)

Friday January 10, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thank you for the note Philip! I could not agree more. Pamela did a wonderful job rolling with the punches and turning what could have been an embarrassing situation into a beneficial one - a great example for social marketers to take note of. 

Thursday January 09, 2014

philomarketer (not verified) Said:

Oops - I was thinking of Pamela Vaughan in that last bit there. My mistake! The sentiment stands, even if the pronoun doesn't. :)

Philip

Friday January 10, 2014

zectorweb (not verified) Said:

Thanks for sharing this post in the blog. The strategies you have published surely will help.Trends wil more change this year. After the new updates it lot more depend on fresh and quality content. Video, Graphics are more important than the garbage link building. Social Media and Content marketing is now essential for every website.

Friday January 10, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it - as trends continue to change and evolve, I believe a strong presence on social media will only become more and more valuable in the growth on ones business, and quality content definitely goes hand in hand with this. 

Friday January 10, 2014

Henry Smith (not verified) Said:

Whatever social media marketing strategy you opt for, put stress on content. Without content you can not win the long term race

Friday January 10, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Henry - I could not agree more! 

Friday January 10, 2014

Adam Methew (not verified) Said:

Great post. well conceptualized and informative. Very helpful for social media marketers.

Friday January 10, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thank you Adam! So happy to hear you enjoyed it. 

Friday January 10, 2014

Endorsebug (not verified) Said:

This is a great article Margot. One thing I will do in 2014 is begin stortytelling to engage my customers. I will also inlcude different contests to get audiences excited. I think the future is bright for social media marketing as long as it does seem overbearing to the users.

Friday January 10, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thank you! That's a great idea - contests are an excellent way to grow your channels and engage followers. 

Friday January 10, 2014

Serge (not verified) Said:

Nice tips gathered together!
As for me, I believe that 2014 is going to be exactly the Google+' year. So
the social media strategy should stick to it. Moreover, if our social media isn't synchronized with G+ yet and if there 
is more attention paid to other networks like Twitter or LinkedIn, it's just the time to get them all equal at least.

Monday January 13, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thanks for the note Serge! I agree - being active on Google+ is essential in 2014, and marketers should take not ang get up to speed.

Saturday January 11, 2014

dialuz (not verified) Said:

i agree with your points.These 6 starageics are to improve your in 2014 year.Thank you

Monday January 13, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

I'm glad you found the article useful!

Monday January 13, 2014

Dinesh Ramakrishnan (not verified) Said:

Enjoyed while reading this post!! Improving our marketing strategy on Google+ is really tough. But if the content is so attractive to the readers, we can stand for long term in social media.

Monday January 13, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Hi Dinesh, so glad you enjoyed the post. Quality content is definitely key to attracting readers and followers on Google+. 

Monday January 13, 2014

thesocialammo (not verified) Said:

Thanks for information this post in the blog. The strategies you have published surely will help.

Monday January 13, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

No problem! Happy to hear you found the post useful. 

Wednesday January 15, 2014

Amit Chitara (not verified) Said:

I firmly agree on the strategies which you mentioned in your article. And I have witnessed that staying active on Google Plus is really very benificial for SERPs.

Wednesday January 15, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Thank you Amit - it's great to hear you're finding Google+ beneficial since a lot of businesses are still unaware of the importance of having an active presence on the network is.

Thursday January 16, 2014

Kyle (not verified) Said:

Thanks so much for these great posts and the helpful insights!

Monday January 20, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it.

Thursday January 16, 2014

Sukhpreet Kaur (not verified) Said:

Good post, Margot. Marketing thrugh social media is surely beneficia. These strategies will help us in our marketing efforts too.

Monday January 20, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

You are very welcome Sukhpreet, and best of luck with your social marketing efforts! 

Sunday January 19, 2014

Josh (not verified) Said:

Thanks for sharing this Margot! This will come very handy :)

Well there are also social exchange sites which can help a lot to gain popularity and traffic to social page sites as well.

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.

Regards,

Josh

Monday January 20, 2014

Margot da Cunha (not verified) Said:

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the feedback! I agree - staying active is key.

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