What is the Best Strategy for Social Media Marketing for Beginners?

 

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I came across the question mentioned above on Quora. The question got me to thinking about how someone new to social media marketing can leverage the dynamic social media landscape. Of course, there is no way one to utilize social media, but here is a 10-step approach, which I think can help a beginner get started.

  1. Define Your Goals: Think about what is your goal. Ask yourself if your goal is to create brand awareness or brand education, or is it building your thought leadership?
  2. Identify Appropriate Social Media Channels: Seriously, you don’t have to be on every social media channel. Instead, make a smart choice, and choose the ones that best suit your goal, business, and industry. Consider analyzing your industry and competitors to understand where your audience is and which channels are critical for your business.
  3. Develop KPIs: Think about how you would measure success. Some metrics that you can look at include follower growth, fans, impressions, engagements, reach, page views, retweets, likes, video views, etc.
  4. Create a Content Calendar: Keep it simple. Utilize Google Sheets, or even Excel to create and maintain a calendar. The idea is to stay organized and ensure a regular flow of content and map your content strategy to your overall business objectives. As your team grows, you can invest in more sophisticated content planning tools such as DivvyHQ.
  5. Sign up for Social Media Management Tools: There are many social media management tools such as Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Buffer, Zoho Social that can automate the scheduling process for you. Some of them also have free plans. Check out this link for ideas around free tools: The 7 Best Free Social Media Management Tools in 2019 
  6. Think about Graphics: There is a lot of research out there that shows how important graphics are to build and engage your audience. The good thing is there are tools like Canva that allow you to create excellent graphics for free.
  7. Video is the King: Add videos to your social media strategy. Utilize features such as LinkedIn Live or native videos, Facebook Live videos, or IGTV on Instagram. You can also explore tools like Adobe Spark Post that allow you to convert a photo into video, and are reasonably intuitive.
  8. Create Ephemeral Content: Stories are everywhere and a great way to engage with your audience. You can utilize stories to create buzz around a product launch or to provide a sneak peek of an event or for recruiting purposes. The possibilities are endless.
  9. Make Content Shareable: Add social media buttons to your website to make sharing your content fast and easy for your visitors.
  10. Incorporate social listening: This is becoming increasingly important. Be attentive to what your audience is saying about you and your brand. Most social media management tools listed above offer listening capabilities.

What are some of the other strategies that you think can help beginners get started? Please share in the comments section.

What’s Social Listening? Why is it Important for your Brand?

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In the world of social media conversations are extremely important, but what is even more important is “listening” to those conversations, and finding out how people (your audience) actually think about your brand, your industry, your competitors online. Simply put this is “social listening.”

Sprout Social defines social listening as “the process of tracking conversations around specific topics, keywords, phrases, brands or industries, and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.”

What makes social listening crucial is the limited attention span of your audience. You want to know what content/ product resonates with your audience or what are their pain points, and plug those insights into your overall marketing or business development strategy.

How you can use social listening in your marketing strategy?

Social listening and monitoring can be utilized in many different ways depending on your industry and specific company goals. For example, I work for a global law firm, where we utilize these insights for reputation management and PR purposes.

Social listening can be utilized for the following:

  • Finding actionable insights and tracking the overall health of their brand
  • Creating customized content for your audience
  • Identifying key influencers/brand advocates in their space
  • Finding opportunities to enhance customer experience,
  • Staying on top of trending trends in their industry
  • Understanding how your brand is being perceived in comparison with your competitors

How social listening and monitoring differ and complement from each other?

Social listening differs from social monitoring, in the sense that it goes beyond numbers such as the number of mentions or engagements. Social Listening is more about studying your social media channels to track the overall trends surrounding your brand, competitors, product or industry at large.

However, social media monitoring and social media listening go hand in hand. For example, if you gathered an aggregate of mentions or hashtags that people are using to talk about your brand over a period of time, and used it to create customized content for your audience, then you have transitioned into social listening from social monitoring.

As social media monitoring and listening become increasingly important, it is critical for social media marketers to have the right tools that can help them stay on top of things. I found this great article on Hootsuite that provides a list of tools for social media monitoring. If you haven’t already invested in a tool yet, check out this list here.

 

How Starts-Ups Can Use Instagram’s IGTV?

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By now you must have heard of IGTV—Instagram’s newly launched feature that now allows you to create a long form, full-screen vertical videos. Your video on IGTV can be 60 minutes long!

Many big brands quickly embraced this new feature. Here is an interesting article discussing how big brands are utilizing IGTV.

Much like the bigger brands, I think small business owners and starts up can create wonders with this new feature. Here’s how start-ups can use IGTV:

Tell Your Story: If you are a start-up that has been in business for a few years, you can tell your brand story with IGTV. Perhaps, on a milestone anniversary of your business, film a video showing the journey of your brand and thanking customers for their loyalty. This will show customer appreciation and encourage engagement with new clients, validate your legacy and showcase the evolution of your brand.

Flaunt Your Company Culture: If you are going on a team outing, company retreat, or engaging in a community service activity, flaunt it! You can film a 2-5 minute video showing all the fun you did at this outing or film a video showing how your employees spent a day volunteering. This can be a great way of building brand image, attracting new customers, and potentially even new talent to your company. After all, company culture these days is key to attracting and retaining talent.

Behind the Scenes: Take your customers on a workplace tour and show them who you are and what you do. This will let your customers see the human side of your business and may encourage engagement, and potentially lead to new business opportunities.

How-to-videos: Given you can make an hour-long video on IGTV, you can create product demos or how-to-tutorials providing your customers step-by-step instructions on how to use your products. It is likely your customers will be more willing to watch a video than read a product guide.

Success Stories: Lastly, let your customer sing your praises. Film a customer success story with IGTV to show how you helped them in achieving their goals.

Possibilities with IGTV are endless. In nutshell, start-ups can use IGTV for brand awareness, brand building, customer engagement and much more.

As you dig into this feature, here are a few more articles that might be worth a read!

https://www.zesty.io/en-us/mindshare/marketing-trends/instagram-tv-and-what-it-means-for-marketing/

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/instagram-igtv-3-ways-businesses-can-use-the-new-service/

https://www.socialinsider.io/blog/how-brands-are-using-igtv/#igtvandbrands

How to Create Effective Tweets?

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Social media and content marketers are often faced with the challenge of creating engaging content. I personally find the brevity of character space on Twitter exciting. Along the way, I have learned a few things about writing good tweets.

  •  Have Awesome Content: I know this is cliched but content really is the king. Before you post your tweet, think about your audience and what would resonate with them. It might be a good idea to utilize a social listening tool and monitor what keywords and hashtags your audience is associating with your brand. Most social media management tools such as Sprout Social offer listening capabilities.
  • Have Great Visuals: The most retweeted content contains photos and videos. Visuals speak a powerful language so add some inspiring, funny and newsworthy images, Gifs or videos. Resize photos to optimize for Twitter. Landscape by Sprout Social is a great tool that let’s you resize for profile photo, header photo, in-stream tall, in-stream wide.There are other tools such as Canva and Stencil that can help you create great templates and designs for your Tweets and social media channels in general.
  • Set the Clock: Most activity on Twitter happens in real time. Therefore, it is important to post time-sensitive tweets, particular in events of breaking news. Think how an upcoming NFL game or Super Bowl or Oscars is relevant to your business and engage in a meaningful conversation with your audience.
  • Use Hashtags: Hashtags (#) are a great way of increasing the visibility of your Tweets in Twitter search results. Basically, a Twitter hashtag ties different conversations on the same topic from different users into one stream. However, be careful not to overuse hashtags and beware of using irrelevant hashtags. Here are a few guidelines that Twitter provides on how to use hashtags.
  • Engage with your Audience: Regularly monitor your feed, and reply to queries or grievances of your audience. Again, utilize a social media management tool that can help you track what your audiences are saying about your brand.

I found this video a few years ago. If you still new to Twitter, this might be useful. Check it out here.

Now Go Ahead and TWEET.

 

Seeking Knowledge About Facebook Marketing? You Need To Read This Article! — Marketing Secrets

There are no miracle methods you will gather a profitable following on Facebook. TIP! You will win kudos from your customers when you take the time to reply to their wall comments or questions. Monitor your wall daily and make sure to respond to people within 12 hours. Facebook needs to be thought of as […]

via Seeking Knowledge About Facebook Marketing? You Need To Read This Article! — Marketing Secrets