8 Social Media Best Practices You Should Incorporate Into Your Campaign

If you’ve tried your hand at managing various social media accounts for your business, then you know that your workload can add up quickly! And it would be a little relief if you had some advice on social media best practices to help you out.

Between posting content, running ads, and responding to messages in real-time (not just on one platform but on 3 or 4!), managing social media can become a full-time job. Thankfully we offer social media management services to help you out there.

The two biggest problems that most businesses face are that they either don’t have enough time to manage their social media. Or if they do, they don’t have the knowledge or experience to manage it well and use social media best practices.

Social media management can sometimes appear easy to take on at first due to the easy user experience on any given platform. But handling social media for a businessis a lot different and more intricate than it is for a personal account.

All of the sudden, followers and engagement become more than a vanity metric: they’re opportunities for leads and sales.

Engagement is now crucial for you to capitalize on for the growth of your company. Posting everyday is no longer just a fun hobby but a necessity to keep your followers engaged and invested in your brand.

Plus, many users who have never used social media for business probably don’t know this, but most all social media platforms have a backend user experience specifically for businesses.

These platforms such as Facebook Ads Manager, Twitter Analytics & Ads, Instagram Business profiles and others can take a while to get really experienced at. But they are essential to growing your business social media accounts!

So how do you implement social media best practices with all of your accounts? Which tools and strategies are a waste of time, and which are truly effective?

We’re going to answer this question and more. Because today we’re covering the 8 social media best practices you should incorporate into your campaigns.

  1. Conversion Ads
    If you have any sort of checkout process set up on your site, or if you capture leads of any kind on your site, you’ll want to invest in conversion ads.

We talk more about conversion ads in depth in this blog. But we’ll cover the basics here too because it’s one of the absolute top social media best practices!

Many advertisers make the mistake of running Website Traffic Ads. You may be wondering how it’s a “mistake” if you’re directing users to your website, but you have to take Facebook’s algorithm into account.

If you run a Website Traffic Campaign, then Facebook is going to show the ad to users within your target audience who are likely to click, and that’s it – not actually convert.

Do 3,000 link clicks to your site matter if none of them convert? No, of course not.

Even if you change the optimization from link clicks to landing page views (which is supposed to show the ad to people who are likely to click and wait for the page to load), you’re still not optimizing for conversions.

A conversion ad is presented to people within your target audience who are likely to click and convert! And at the end of the day, that’s what we value the most right?

Optimizing for conversions within your ad campaign is definitely one of our recommended social media best practices you want to follow for success.

Like we mentioned previously, a conversion ad campaign is best when you want to track sales or lead form completions on your site. This can include anything from avast ecommerce store to a simple contact form.

You’ll need to install a conversion tracking pixel in order to run conversion ads. And that can take a little extra setup, but it’s well worth it!

Outside of laser-targeting people who are already likely to convert, the second major benefit to a conversion campaign is its trackability. You can track everything from video views to engagement to clicks and finally sales. And you can create filtered, funneled audiences based off of this information.

Having this data allows you to send specific ads to specific audiences and continue moving them down the sales funnel until they’re a closed customer.

Unlike older, more traditional forms of advertising such as billboards or even TV commercials, a social media conversion campaign gives you the ability to follow your customer’s journey and see if your marketing efforts directly paid off or not!

  1. Posting Daily
    This is one of the biggest social media best practices: post content daily.

Social media is a 24/7 arena, and users are always hungry for new content! If you’re not posting new content on all of your social media platforms every day, then you risk the chance of losing both engagement and followers.

Not only does it stunt your potential for engagement from your current audience, but you’ll probably see fewer new followers come in as a result as well.

In the few brief seconds that someone makes a decision to follow your social media account or not, one of the first things they’re going to look at is how active the account is.

If the last time you posted was 3 days ago (let alone 2 weeks ago or more), you’re losing a good percentage of potential followers. So don’t miss out on a single opportunity! Post daily.

Another way to follow social media best practices and ensure your accounts look active is with any real-time updates. This will look different across different social media platforms, but this could include publishing Instagram Stories, live-tweeting, or live-streaming on Facebook, for example.

As you publish daily, be sure to keep up with real-time events and holidays also to reinforce your relevancy and up-to-date branding as a business!

In addition to the obvious, bigger holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July etc., be sure to pay attention to any smaller holidays that are relevant to your business.

For instance, if you run a dog-walking business, then you’ll want to capitalize on National Dog Day (which is August 26, for those wondering). This drive-in theater chose to capitalize on the holiday and target their dog loving customers.

Not only will this help gain traction with your specific audience, but it will make your account appear current and active which is a must!

  1. Boosting Posts
    Now that we’ve discussed how important it is to post daily, let’s make sure your audience is seeing those posts!

Did you know less than 10% of your Facebook followers see your posts organically in their News Feed? The same general rule applies to Instagram and Twitter as well, but Facebook in particular is a very “pay-to-play” platform.

It’s hard to follow social media best practices if your audience isn’t even seeing your content.

So how do you ensure that your audience sees your fantastic daily posts? Boost them! (Or promote them as it’s called on Twitter).

Boosting a post is the equivalent to sponsoring it; you’re putting ad dollars behind it to give it more reach. Within the ad platform, you can select the audience you want to serve the post to. This can either strictly consist of your Facebook following, new people who haven’t liked your page yet, or both!

Either way, boosted posts optimize for post engagement, giving you the most bang for your buck in terms of reach, comments, likes, and shares on your daily content.

  1. Using the right creatives
    Using the right creative is essential when looking at social media best practices. Did you know that people respond best to visuals because they remember 80% of what they see?

So be sure your brand is making a good impression with your visuals! It’s super important to make sure all of your visuals are fresh, high-resolution, bright, “non-stock-image-y” looking photos.

This is especially important on Instagram given its visual nature and grid profile look.

Outside of the look of the visuals, you want to make sure they’re sized properly! Different platforms, types of posts and paid posts all have different size requirements.

For instance, an Instagram post could be 800×800, whereas a LinkedIn post needs be 1200×627. It’s super important to pay attention to the size because poor sizing could lead to a high-resolution photo appearing pixelated.

Not to mention, any sort of errors that appear in your social media (whether it be the wrong photo sizing or a grammar error) can lead to a lack of trust in your brand from your followers. And a lack of trust can eventually make you lose out on potential sales- and we don’t want that!

In addition to your posts and organic content, you’ll want to be specific with your ad creatives as well. Facebook and Instagram both have the 20% text rule for any ad creatives (including boosted posts).

This means there can be no more than 20% text on the ad image or video thumbnail, otherwise, the ad will not run!

Since boosted posts are considered advertisements, you’ll want to try and think about your content in advance; if you plan on boosting a post, make sure the image with that post isn’t covered in text.

The last thing to remember when it comes to using strong creatives is to use videos- especially with ads! Videos outperform static images 9 times out of 10 on social media, and they’re great at getting a point across in a matter of seconds. Be sure your videos tell the same message with and without sound though. Because most people watch videos on mobile and often have the sound turned off.

  1. Growing Followers (Organically and Paid)
    It doesn’t matter how much you invest in your content and ads if nobody is seeing them! Growing your followers is crucial to growing your brand awareness and potential customer base.

So how do you do it? Well, there’s two ways: organically and with paid ads.

As we mentioned earlier, Facebook is a pay-to-play platform. Unless you’re a famously well-known brand, like Nike for example, it’s nearly impossible to dramatically grow your Facebook followers without the use of ads.

Facebook has the Page Like ad campaign that gives your target audience the chance to like your business page from that ad. At that point, they will see a percentage of your posts moving forward.

That is just about the only way to significantly grow your following on Facebook, but thankfully this is not the case on other “organic” platforms as we call them!

On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you can grow your followers without having to necessarily pay for them.

Performs mass following strategies to gain targeted followers for our clients, and we also utilize the help of hashtags.

Hashtags are public searchable words or phrases (that do not include spaces or punctuation), and when you use them in your posts, your post will then show up for that hashtag. The more hashtags you use, the more routes people have to find your post, and therefore your account!

Using hashtags increases follower interaction because you are able to reach more people. Be careful though! There is a such thing as too many hashtags depending on what your audience likes to see. Find that sweet spot.

  1. Initiating Conversation With Intentional Engagement
    This social media best practice sort of ties in with #5 as well, but we’ve given it its own bullet point because we think it’s that important: initiate conversation with your target audience.

By nature, social media is an intimate space. It gives you a direct peek into people’s lives and behind the scenes of businesses- so don’t be afraid to be personable in the way you communicate with users.

The same way that users can use hashtags to find your posts, you can use hashtags to find theirs.

For instance, if you run a car wash, try searching hashtags around #carwash and see what you find! Finding tweets from people that say “Man I sure could use a #carwash!” gives you the perfect opportunity to reply to their tweet, and start making a sale.

There are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of businesses in the world; make yours stand out by “listening” to your customers online. Show your customer base that you care and that your ultimate goal is to solve their needs.

Liking your customer base’s content, commenting @ them and overall engaging with them increases their trust in your brand, boosts your brand awareness, and brings you one step closer to increasing your revenue.

  1. Monitor Daily
    The more you begin to grow your followers and engagement, the more regularly you’ll need to check your account.

Responding to comments and messages in real time is key to ensuring good customer service and building trust in your brand.

Facebook even keeps track of your response time for you on the admin level of business pages. Users can see this status as well.

You can even set up automated messages that trigger when your page receives a message.

Even if it’s something as simple as, “Hello and thank you for messaging us! A team member will get back to your shortly,” that allows your response rate to stay immediate 100% of the time, and it gives the user instant reassurance that they will be responded to.

In your monitoring, you’ll also want to make sure you respond not only to the positive comments, but to the negative comments too. This is an integral part of reputation management for your business.

Complaints can definitely appear in your social media comments or reviews, so you want to make sure you handle them in a timely and professional manner so as to keep your brand in good standing.

You’ll also want to check for spam or vulgar comments. Negative or spammy-looking comments that have nothing to do with your business can and should be deleted as soon as possible so as to keep your page clean and free of them.

Outside of your organic content and pages, the last thing you’ll want to monitor are your ads.

  1. Retargeting
    Retargeting may be the last point on this list of social media best practices, but it’s by far one of the most important.

It’s extremely rare that customers make a purchase or form completion upon the very first time of hearing about your company.

It’s important to have several touch points with the customer in order to warm them up to your brand and turn them into a closed customer. In order to do this, you’ll need to retarget them.

And the good news is you can retarget just about everything we’ve talked about so far! Remember earlier when we said you can create specific audiences based on engagement, video views and more? This is where that comes in handy.

For instance, you can create an audience of people who have engaged with your ads, or watched a video, and exclude people who have already converted to make sure you’re bringing in new customers.

But that’s not say that you can’t retarget existing customers as well- go for it! Retargeting your existing customer base is an easy way to make repeat customers out of them.

Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic Using These Strategies

There are countless ways to increase social media traffic. But just because a method works, doesn’t mean it’s cost-effective. If it doesn’t give you the right ROI, it doesn’t make sense for your business.

You can waste a lot of time and money chasing online strategies and trying so-called “secret” tactics that simply cost too much for too little.

Then there are techniques that are proven. When done right, they increase social media traffic. They help you meet revenue goals. They don’t burden you with acquisition costs that aren’t sustainable.

This is the kind of strategy your small business needs. Here’s how to get this done.

Get It Now with Facebook Traffic Campaigns

Are you having trouble getting noticed on social media? It’s frustrating. If you don’t have followers, almost no one sees your content. If no one sees your content, it’s hard to gain any momentum.

Social media traffic campaigns are the answer. You could spend several months very slowly increasing impressions and gaining followers. But time is money.

Getting that traffic now is worth the cost if you’re attracting high-quality traffic. That’s traffic that engages and re-engages. It includes a high percentage of people who becomes followers, subscribers, customers or whatever your goals might be.

How to Use Traffic Campaigns to Get High-Quality Social Media Traffic

You need social media traffic. And acquisition costs are generally justifiable if you set up your campaigns correctly. Creating highly targeted ads helps you do it.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to show your ads or boosted posts to a very select audience.

Determine Your Audience

Start by considering who your audience is. If you’re an established business, use data collected about existing customers. Build one or several buyer personas. These include:

  • Interests
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Buying behavior
  • Basic demographics – (Income, Education, Age, Gender, Location)

Next, look at your options in Facebook. If you don’t find a specific trait, consider how other traits may relate to it.

You have so many options here. Target by things like:

  • Ages of their children and/or Parenting style
  • Political affiliation
  • Industry
  • A Specific Employer
  • Entertainment of choice
  • Health habits
  • And much more

You can even target based upon their upcoming events.

You’ll notice that your ad’s reach goes down as you become more selective. It feels like you’re intentionally losing potential traffic. Don’t you want to reach as many people as possible?

Yes. You do. Target to spend wisely. Reach more of the right people with the right message. That’s what targeting is all about.

Trying to reach too many people who aren’t the “right people” causes you to overspend on accidental clicks. People thought you were something else. They will never come back.

Retargeting Audiences

In addition to targeting using Facebook data, you can also use your own data. Create custom audiences by uploading your contact list. Facebook can show the ad to your contacts. The vast majority of them are on Facebook.

Or you can ask Facebook to send the ad to people who’ve already visited your page, liked it, followed you, etc.

Why are you targeting people who already know about you? The answer is very simple.

It takes 7-13 touch points before someone becomes invested in your brand. They see you in searches, on social media and other locations. These touch points add up more quickly when you retarget this traffic.

An Adobe study showed that attracting traffic that has already visited can increase click-through by 400% and revenues by 200%.

If you have a contact list, this is a very effective strategy.

Create Look-Alikes

With look-alike audiences, Facebook combines your data with theirs. It shows the ad to people who have similarities to the people on the list.

If you have a high-quality contact list, the people in your contact list are your target. Facebook helps you find more people like them.

Create Your Ad

Traffic campaign ads most often show up within news feeds rather than in an ad space. This makes them feel organic. You look like a friend sharing something.

Consider this when creating the ad. It should encourage people to click. But the less it “feels” like an ad, the better. Instead, make it about the content. That’s why people click in social media.

Get that traffic first. Then focus on conversions through your website. Facebook is a huge driver of online sales. 52% of online purchases can be attributed back to a Facebook ad.

This traffic is valuable. It’s worth it play the long-game by increasing traffic first.

Analyze and Adapt

Some ads will be more effective than others. Listen to what the numbers are telling you. That’s the key to social media advertising.

Streamline Sharing and Visiting Links

Make it a no-brainer to visit your site and share your content with others. Capture that magical moment when a post, email, blog, video or other content form evokes an emotion. This emotion drives a person to click a link and/or share something with others.

But this moment is fleeting. People get quickly distracted. If they have to take a round-about to share something or visit, they won’t do it. It’s important to add share buttons and links in an effective way.

Share Buttons

Make those share buttons highly visible and easy to use with logos that social media users instantly recognize.

Ensure that those social media buttons look great on mobile and don’t distract by covering up text or overpowering the screen.

As much as 62% of social media time is now spent on mobile devices.

Clickable Links

Provide a clickable link. Whether they click a short-link, naked link (the link in its original form), text link or image, quickly take them where you’d like them to go.

Have Clickable Images

42% of images in content aren’t linked to anything. And yet, people naturally click images to go to the place you’ve invited them.

An unclickable image in an email leads to a momentary point of confusion. However brief, this misstep can sidetrack the clicker.

In a simple piece of content like an email, link that image to the same location the CTA goes.

Create Visible CTA Buttons

88% of people are more likely to take an action if you clearly tell them what you’d like them to do. That’s what a CTA is all about. It’s how you get more traffic to your website and social media accounts.

Make links obvious with a clear call to action button when the platform allows. Use active language rather than passive. Even though “click here” is technically an active CTA, it has a passive feel to people. It gives them no incentive to click.

Opt for CTA’s like:

  • Get the eBook
  • Enter to Win
  • Start Getting Results
  • Increase Sales 714%

In each case, these very active CTAs convey an immediate benefit for clicking.

Create a Sharing Cycle

Integrate social sharing into every marketing channel you use:

  • Website
  • Emails
  • Apps
  • Other Social Platforms

Maximize every marketing channel to drive traffic to another channel. Get compound interest out of sharing by creating a share cycle. The cycle looks something like this.

Each touch point leads the person to take an action that increases traffic on another channel. But this isn’t just low-quality traffic.

This is engaged traffic. They’re taking part in the cycle that you’ve created.

Because of it, they’re exposed to more branded touch points.

It keeps you top of mind. You have more opportunities to turn this engagement into revenues based upon your business model.

But be careful with this strategy. Be honest with yourself about your capacity and budget. It’s possible to spread yourself too thin trying to be everywhere. It can make your brand seem very insignificant in each location.

Start by adding the buttons and links where you already have touch points like blogs, newsletters, etc. Grow from there.

Start Guest Posting

Guest posting on reputable sites your target visits and trusts is a great way to drive social media traffic.

This website has already done the work by increasing their own traffic. Using this bypass gives you a traffic infusion you’d have to work months or sometimes years to achieve through other methods.

Like all of these strategies, there are some best practices to follow to get the most social media traffic and website traffic out of the arrangement. Here’s how it’s done.

Set Some Criteria

There are endless places you could put a “guest post” or something like it. Get clear about what kind of site you want to post on. Here are 5 things to be on the lookout for:

  1. The site should get decent traffic. By publishing on this site, you are more or less guaranteed to get a lot of traffic to that post. Can’t tell if it’s getting traffic? There are tools that will estimate a website’s traffic since you don’t have access to the real numbers. Similar Web will give you a snapshot of the site traffic and then link you to more details about what channels the traffic comes from.
  2. People should be engaging with the site. The brand has a social media presence. People are liking, sharing, and commenting.
  3. The site is reputable. A credible site doesn’t have a lot of spammy links from other sites or use unscrupulous techniques to get social media traffic or website traffic. It isn’t overrun with ads. You can use the free tool Moz Site Explorer to get an estimate of how authoritative Google considers the website to be.
  4. Think relevant. If you’re a local business, local non-competitors in your industry and local news sources are the best places to guest post. Schools, local event sites, etc are other great places to be. Whichever you choose, make sure the site and guest post are clearly relevant to your brand.
  5. The guest post can fit naturally. A natural post that subtly promotes your brand is key. Direct promotion is generally forbidden in guest posts. But your post does demonstrate your expertise on a topic. Showing your expertise on another site is the primary way guest posting drives social media traffic. They just discovered you because you’re present somewhere they go.

Be Clear About What You Want

If it’s not fully laid out in the guest post instructions, always make sure that the site allows you to list at least one social media account in your on-page bio. Use this space to briefly tell a reader who you are and give your credentials. Give them a reason to follow.

To get more out of each guest post, see if the site is agreeable to one “do follow link” in the post. This link will be directed toward your website. Links from high authority, relevant websites can increase your own website’s authority in the eyes of Google.

As you collect more of these links, it improves visibility and in turn website traffic from searches. This is a major part of SEO, which we’ll discuss a little later.

And finally, know that they probably won’t pay you for the guest post. The links are considered payment. If you chose the site wisely, they’re more than payment enough.

Be Wary of Unethical Activities

The links to your website and social media have value to you. Because of this, some sites will ask for $50-$1000 to publish your guest post. It doesn’t sound like much if you know you’ll get a lot of traffic. But this can indicate that the site is not selective with who they allow to post.

They may be “in it for the money” alone. You want to be on sites where people care about customer experience.

A site that’s only focused on money could be taking steps that cause that site to be penalized by Google down the road. That would hurt your website. Google recommends that you never pay for the right to guest post.

Your authoritative post should be payment enough. But this is a decision you’ll need to consider on a site by site basis.

Take Rejection in Stride

A selective process increases the value of a guest post to you. It’s also frustrating. Don’t be too upset if a website doesn’t want your guest post. Just move on. It can be modified and published elsewhere.

Always review what’s on a site and what they’re looking for. Reduce chances of getting rejected. And working with a reputable digital marketing company also reduces rejection risk.

They’ve developed partnerships with many businesses and websites to give client’s more guest posting opportunities. Given the legwork necessary to network with sites and get posts published, this is money well-spent.

Know What the Competition’s Doing

It’s simple. But it’s not easy… as the saying goes. You post great stuff on social media. People like and share it. You get more social media traffic.

If it doesn’t seem to be working like it should, you’ve likely forgotten a very important part of any marketing strategy … What’s the competition doing?

Your social media competitors aren’t only directly competing for your customer. They’re also competing for their time.

To increase social media traffic, you need a good idea of what you’re up against. Ask some important questions. Get data-driven answers.

Where Is your Target Spending Their Time?

If your target is spending time somewhere in your industry with a non-direct competitor, try networking with this brand to increase your own traffic.

If it is a direct competitor, learn what you can. Then either differentiate to establish your uniqueness. Or do what they do better. In the real world, you’re often doing a bit of both.

Who Is Visible for the Keywords/Hashtags You Use?

These are other profiles a person may click on in your space. This knowledge influences how you target and who you target. If a certain hashtag is too competitive, supplement it with a similar, less competitive one.

What’s the Data Telling Me?

Paid analytics tools will give you a more thorough picture of the competitive landscape. But you can do a lot manually if you have extra time on your hands.

Pull real data to better understand competitor strategies and develop your own.

Be a Magnet for the Right Audience

Driving social media traffic is all about creating a magnet that draws in your target audience. But there’s no one way to become a magnet. It takes research and planning as well as consistent implementation and analytics.

Start with researching who your audience is. Create written customer personas. Create and curate content for these avatars of your real customers. As you design content, keep this person in mind.

Pay attention to who’s interacting and how they’re interacting. As you do, you’ll learn how to create a stronger magnet.

Engage with Existing Followers

You may or may not have much to work with yet. Maybe you only have 100 followers on Facebook. Or you’re only getting 10 website visits a day.

When you have such small numbers, you may place all of your focus on acquiring new and more and better. But in the process, you ignore what you already have.

When existing social media traffic is engaged by a brand, they multiply, become more loyal, and often become paying customers.

Here are some of the top ways to engage.

Make It Interactive

Run contests, quizzes and surveys. These more interactive elements of social media work double-duty. They engage existing traffic and bring in new traffic. As you get more interactions and followers, you can even reward your fans with more to keep them loyal and engaged.

Respond to Comments

If people are taking time to comment, nurture that interaction. Not only will it mean something to the user. It shows that you’re engaged. More people will want to join the conversation.

Share Consistently

Get on a schedule. Your regulars should have an idea about when you update your blog and how often. They need to see content from you every day. At least half of this content should be created by you.

The other half can be curated. But when curating, always keep your goals in mind.

Create Inspiring Visuals

People are 40x more likely to share social media posts that have visuals like graphics, images, gifs, and videos.

Put some thought into the visuals that accompany your post. Add visuals that will amaze even the best photographers.

What feelings do those images stimulate? Do they draw attention? Do people want to click? If not, work on improving how you create visuals to meet your traffic goals.

Invest in SEO

SEO isn’t a gimmick. It’s a long-term strategy that makes your website as visible as possible. To see your traffic double, then triple and on and on, invest in smart SEO strategies that increase your visibility over time.

SEO includes what you do to your website like making it mobile-friendly, user-friendly and fast. It also includes how you engage people through content, funnels, CTAs, interactive elements and your navigation system.

The more flawless you can make the user experience, the better chance you’ll have of ranking high in search results in Google and other search engines.

SEO also includes the many things you do off the site like researching what the competition is doing. Which keywords are best to target? What kind of content should you be creating?

Social media and guest posting are a huge part of this “off-page” SEO. They help drive initial traffic to the website to show Google that you deserve higher ranking.

Google pays attention to how this traffic interacts with your website. How many people visit and whether they stay and click on other things tells them how authoritative you are among your audience.

That’s just one more reason that the quality of your traffic matters. You drive a 100,000 new visitors to your site. But only 1,000 were actually a good fit for your brand. It looks like you’re not providing a great experience and increases your bounce rate.

That’s reflected in how much traffic search engines send you.

Pay Attention to the Analytics

It’s worth stating again in a broader context. Pay attention to your numbers. Decide what to measure and how to measure it. Set clear, measurable goals and benchmarks. Through them, you can evaluate if what you’re doing is working.

Social media’s own analytics tools are free to use, such as Instagram Insights or Facebook Ads Manager.

Google Analytics helps you understand how people interact once they’re on your site. You might also invest in paid tools that give you further insight.

Get more traffic. See that traffic builds over time by watching how people interact with your posts and ad campaigns.

You’ll want to measure and set goals for the following on social media:

  • Impressions
  • Net follower increase
  • Mentions — 96% of people talking about brands, don’t follow the brand. Mentions give you a much better idea of your brand awareness and reach.
  • Shares & Comments
  • Click-through-rate — How many people are clicking on your links. Most of these drive traffic to your website.

On your website, you need to know things like:

  • How many new/return visitors?
  • What’s your bounce rate? — People leaving your site without clicking
  • What’s your dwell time? How long do people stay during a visit?
  • Which pages are getting the most traffic?
  • Where is traffic coming from? Google Analytics tells you which social media and other websites send traffic your way.
  • What keywords are driving the most traffic? Using Google Search Console, another free Analytics software from Google, you can find out more about how keywords drive traffic.
  • Are people visiting key pages like sales pages or other conversion pages?
  • How do people navigate through the website?

How To Make Money With Instagram Without Investing A Dime

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram; All social platforms we cannot live without today. With all new features, the possibilities are infinite. We are increasingly sharing more and more different channels. In recent years, a occupations are born: social media influencers. You can make money with Instagram and other social media platforms. The concept of influencers is more and more common. Become an influencer and you can earn money with social media!

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo application that allows you to create and edit photos as well. You have your own Instagram page where all your photos are stored and ‘exhibited’. Join friends and family, as well as other people around the world to see their pictures. You will see them autmaticly in your timeline. Besides being able to follow others you can also BE followed, and that’s where you can earn money.

With more than 600 million users per month is Instagram one of the most popular social networks in the world. This means there are hundreds of million people waiting for you to share your story. Your story can make you a fortune.

It’s all about the money

You do not necessarily have to be a celebrity to make money with Instagram. Of course, it’s easy if you are a celebrity because you probably already have a lot of followers.

If you’re not a celebrity, make sure you get noticed. Show who you are and what you want! It can be difficult to be distinctive. There are so many great accounts that deliver unique content.

But if you know a niche, you have a good chance you could succeed.

It’s about followers, so it’s important to do something not everybody else is doing. Why do people just want to follow you and not the other? What do you offer? What do you show? Find your niche!

Example: There are many accounts with beautiful travel photos. You do not get this impression by marking your photos or by standing on the image yourself, but to find something that differentiates you. For example, think of the couple that placed the now-known #FollowMeTo series.

Or … Jack Morris

Jack Morris has never completed his studies. For several years he made carpets clean as a profession. In 2012 he decided that it was enough. He started a world trip with just a backpack and a blog, Do You Travel. A year ago, he met Lauren Bullen, an Australian 24-year-old beauty in Fiji.

In October of the same year he bought a house in Bali, where he now lives together with Lauren Bullen and from whom where they have already visited more than 20 countries. They earn money through their blogs, but mostly through their photos on Instagram. If they can make money with Instagram, so can you.

Jack Morris already has over 2 million followers at Instagram. Lauren Bullen herself has 1.4 million followers. Instagram is therefore a true gold mine for both. A picture will raise at least $ 3,000. The most Lauren received for a photo was $ 7,500, Jack $ 9,000. The couple also did a 3 day trip for a telecom company, 2 days of film and 5 pictures on Instagram:$ 35,000.

How to distinguish yourself at Instagram

You can also distinguish yourself by choosing a particular style. For example, show luxury travel photos, or go for Local Travel Photos where you go for pictures of the population etc. This is the same as for fashion accounts. There are so many accounts that you need to do something to address. Also choose a theme, handle a style or make certain items come back.

Create a connection with your Instagram followers

Socialize on Instagram. It’s a social network.

Follow accounts that inspire you or treat the same topics. Post comments or questions below posts to increase your visibility. Do not do this 20x a day. You want other accounts to follow you back and not ignore you because you’re annoying.

Also, respond to the comments people place under your own posts. That’s what people like.

Provide interaction, by asking a question or telling a nice story. You can write a piece of text in the caption of your image. For example, tell your followers why you made this photo, where it was created, or tell an anecdote that fits the image. Engage your followers with your post. This way you increase the interaction (likes, comments) and appear faster in your followers’ timeline.

Make sure people see your name and meet you. Create brand awareness. Leave comments, so you will be attracted to the audience you like to attract. Do not overdo this, you do not want people to find you annoying. Be social, make friends.

The photos

The quality of your photos is also becoming increasingly important. Not only in sharpness but also in professionalism. Consider shooting from the right angle and with the right exposure. The editing of the picture is also important. You’ll soon see if anyone uses the default Instagram filters or has really started working with other editing apps or programs. Make sure that you do not use too many different effects and filters on your grid. Choose up to one or two, so make sure all your photos match.

On Instagram, you can add tags and hash tags, make use of it. It does not make sense to place 30+ hashtags, it’s about using the right tags. Take accounts that inspire you and think that the audience they have is also right for you.

Instagram algorithm

Consistancy is key to Instagram. Especially in the beginning, if you are busy building a loyal backbone, it’s important that you do something online every day. Plan for example 1 day a week on which you shoot all your photos. Planning is important. This way you can work structured and have more rest in your mind because you do not have to make and edit a picture for Instagram daily.

Last year, Instagram introduced a new algorithm, which means that posts do not appear chronologically more in timelines, so your followers may not see all your messages. They see the messages in their timeline of the accounts where they interact most. In order to be seen and attacked by your followers, it is best to place a couple of hours in the Instagram three times a day. When you do not get 3x a day, make sure you place a minimum of 1x a day. When you get 3x a day, make sure you do not place to much.

Before the changing algorithm, you needed followers to earn money, now the reactions and likes have become more important. You now have a lot more to an account with a few thousand followers where the engagement is high than an account with 10,000 followers and zero engagement. So do not put money in buying followers, but spend time socializing with your followers, they will make money with instagram for you.

How to make money with sponsors on Instagram

Have you created a nice account and are you happy with the number of followers, likes, and comments? Then you can make money with Instagram now.

Being approached by companies

Companies can approach you to promote certain products and services for them. You can also approach these companies yourself. How many followers, likes, and comments on your posts you need for it depends on several factors. Think about the subject of your account or the number of likes compared to the number of followers you have. Assume that a few thousand followers will help to make it easier for a sponsor to join.

Make sure companies can approach you for a deal. Instagram gives you the space to tell something about yourself or your account in your profile (bio). This is also the only option Instagram offers you to refer to a website if you have one. Do not forget to put your contact information down here.

If you are approached, you can expect both a fee in the form of money or goods. The more followers, likes and reactions you have, the more often you get your money as a fee and you can ask for higher amounts.

Approaching businesses themselves

If you are not approached by companies, but if you have a faithful backdrop on Instagram, you can always choose to contact companies themselves. Keep in mind that it’s important that the company actually fits your account and followers, otherwise the interaction with your sponsored mail will be low. Also, make sure that your followers often match or respond to your posts. For example, you can propose a company to promote their product in return for $ 0.25 per match and $ 1 per response. There are no rules about the amounts you can ask for. It all depends on your number of followers, likes and reactions. Negotiate!

Make sure not every message you post is sponsored. And make sure you’re behind your sponsored message. You do not want to tell your followers no nonsense or muddle bad products. If you do this, this may be at the expense of your number of followers and likes. So keep your followers in mind when you close a sponsorship deal. In addition, be transparent and say when a message is sponsored.

How do you earn money with your Instagram pictures?

Do you make the most beautiful pictures of good quality? These can also be sold on stock photo websites. Your photos can then be used by companies for example. Take a look at websites like Twenty20, Mobile Prints or Foab for the possibilities.

How do you earn money with affiliate marketing on Instagram?

Affiliate Marketing gives you a fee for promoting products or services for businesses. By signing in to an affiliate network you will get access to affiliate links (Daisycon). An affiliate network is, as it were, an intermediary and ensures that you get paid when someone clicks your link. This link places you in Instagram on your bio. I advise you to use the Bitly to make the link a shortened URL so that your link does not look spammy.

Example: You have an Instagram account about yoga. You can then put a photo with a yogamat that you use and you are very satisfied with. In the description you describe the benefits of this mat and say that the link to buy it in your bio is. The affiliate link places you in your bio, which people can click on. You will then receive a fee for anyone who buys a yogamat via your link.

Importantly, you do not place affiliate links continuously because your followers do not like this. Also place an affiliate link only if you are completely behind the product. You do not want to sell your loyal follower, whatever you would not buy. Then you lose guaranteed followers.

How do you earn money from your website, products or services at Instagram?

If you have a good Instagram account, you can also choose to market your own products or to link a blog to your Instagram account. You can also promote your own website through Instagram.

Example 1: You have an Instagram account about science fiction books. On your website you can publish a blog about your favorite books. Then you place an image of yourself on Instagram on which you are reading a book. In the description you say you have made a list of your favorite books and you would like to share this with your followers. Tell them that they can click on your link in your bio to read your blog. This way they will be on your website. For example, in the article on your website you can find affiliate links that people can click on, making you money.

Example 2: You are a personal trainer and you have an Instagram account about fitness. You put a picture of your sixpack with the text below: Do you want a sixpack? I can help you with my training schedule. Click on the link in my bio to make an appointment / for the video training (just what you want).

You can ask your followers to click on the link in your bio to read a particular article, to purchase your product / service, or to subscribe to your newsletter. Do not promote your own products or website time after time. Your followers do not want to be thrown into it, believe me.

Creating a well-running Instagram account to earn money takes time and energy, but it is certainly not impossible.

In summary: Make money with Instagram in 5 steps

How are you successful at Instagram? If you are prepared to put time and energy in your account then there are enough opportunities to earn money.

  1. Get followers and get interaction

To attract advertisers, you will need to have sufficient loyal followers.

  • Make your profile current
  • Post regularly
  • Good pictures
  • Use the good hashtags
  • Interact
  1. Become an ambassador of a brand or organization

If you notice Instagram and have a large number of followers, then companies are interested in seeing you as a representative of their brand. It can be about products, clothes, travel, food and thousands of other things.

  1. Affiliate Marketing

Instagram is also very suitable for affiliate marketing. You promote products or services and pay per sale a percentage or amount. For this you make messages inspired by the product. In addition, you choose quality images that accurately depict the product. You can add or embed the affiliate link to your profile in your posting.

  1. Sell your photos

If you are a good photographer, you can sell your photos profitable. There are a number of other ways you can also sell your photos profitable. Instagram is also a great way to get attention to your photos. Always add a watermark so it’s clear that you’re the creator.

  1. Promote your business, products or services

To bring your products and services to the attention of you, use a number of different ways to engage and bind people. Encourage your customers to share photos of your product on Instagram and put the original images on your account.

 

Why Bloggers Need A Social Media Analytics Tool

Social media analytics tools are not just for major corporations. Bloggers need to measure their social media influence using a social media analytics tool as well.

A good social media marketing campaign consists of more than just posting your articles on social media. You will need to engage with the audience by responding to comments and sharing their content for example. Then you’ll need to track your progress and perfect your tactics.

Why Social Media Is So Important

Promoting your content effectively on  social media can give you a major edge over your competitors. Why? It is believed that Google gives extra weight to urls that have been well received on social media.

It makes logical sense that Google would favor blog posts with many shares or retweets. If people are “voting” for an article that much, it must be good.

It’s even better if influencers in your niche are sharing it with their followers. It gives your article and Google takes note of that.

Another reason social media is so important is because of the sheer amount of a traffic you can get.

Just one article going viral can lead to thousands of visits. It’s then up to you to sell something or get them to join your mailing list.

Why You Need An Analytics Tool

In all likelihood, you already use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to gain insight into your website’s performance and the behaviors of your visitors.

However, there is one major difference. As the name implies, a social media analytics tool is specifically designed for the most popular social media networks, including Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. It can provide you with valuable information associated with all of your social media accounts in a sleek, easy to understand package in one centralized location.

Identify Your Best Content

Whether you’re writing on your blog or composing a small tweet, you should understand the importance of your content. The quality of your content will play a major role in determining how successful your social media campaign is.

Weak, unattractive content will be ignored by the masses, while eye-catching content will encourage engagement and will be much more likely to spread like wildfire. This is where a good social media analytics tool will prove to be exceptionally helpful.

Such tools give you the ability to quickly gauge the effectiveness of your content, regardless of its form. How much attention did your photograph receive? Was your link shared and visited by a large number of individuals?

By accessing the tool’s dashboard, you will be able to find out immediately. And, this will help you set up the most effective social media campaign by only using content that will be engaging.

Choosing The Right Social Media Analytics Tool

The major social networks already have a dashboard to view your stats. Sure, you can use them, since you already have an account there. However, it’s much better to have a centralized location where you can access all of your stats in one place.

Here are the analytics tools offered by the social media companies themselves:

Twitter Analytics

Accessing Twitter analytics is simple enough, just go to: https://analytics.twitter.com/. From there, you can see how well your tweets have performed over time.  You can see things such as retweets, mentions and clicks out to your links.

Facebook Insights

When you create a page on Facebook, you automatically get access to Facebook Insights. From here you can see stats on individual posts, your fan count and your reach.

Pinterest Analytics

In order to use their own analytics dashboard, you first have to convert your page from a personal account into a business account. Don’t worry, it’s free and only increases functionality.

The dashboard shows you insights such as pin impressions and repin data. Plus there’s information on your profile such as the average daily impressions your Pinterest profile receives over time.

By analyzing this information you can see which pins perform best. This will give you an idea on what type of images work best with Pinterest and what types of content resonate best with your audience.

LinkedIn Analytics

The data that LinkedIn provides is similar to that of Facebook Insights. There’s information over the posts you publish as well as your profile visits. You can see things like engagement, which includes clicks, likes, comments and share counts.

Instagram Insights

You’ll have access to Instagram Insights with a business profile on Instagram. In order to convert your IG profile into a business one, use the app to visit your profile, then click on the graph icon that’s located in the upper right hand corner.

From within this analytics tool you’ll see all of the data of your profile including post data and stories data. Plus you’ll see information on your followers such as which days and times they are most active.

Google Plus Influence

The analytics offered by Google+ is the weakest of them all. They only offer basic insights such as how many views and comments your posts have attained.

Premium Social Media Analytics Tools

There are plenty of free and paid options, but for now we’re going to stick with the free ones. Almost all of these have an option to upgrade your account to gain more functionality. However, for a new blogger, the free programs are all you need.

Here are my favorite social media analytics tools:

Buffer

Buffer aims to make managing social media easier by not only giving you access to the performance of your accounts, but Buffer also lets you schedule posts as well.

By creating a schedule on Buffer, you can automate your social media posts and track them at the same time.

With the free plan, you get 1 social account per network: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+ (no Pinterest on the free plan). You can schedule only up to 10 posts total in advance.

Their cheapest plan is a reasonable $10 per month and with that, you get 10 social media accounts and you can schedule up to 100 posts in advance.

The reason I prefer Buffer as my favorite social media analytics tool is because they are integrated into every part of my digital life. They have a browser extension, an app and of course their website where I can manage my scheduled content. Then, I can also track how well each post performs and see how many clicks I receive.

With campaign tracking enabled in Buffer, I can then see how much traffic Buffer has helped me generated right from my Google Analytics dashboard.

Cyfe

With Cyfe, you can add different social media profiles to your main Cyfe dashboard. The main benefit of Cyfe is their dashboard display so you can see all of your stats at a glance. After connecting your accounts, you’ll see a beautiful display of graphs that show you how you are trending on all your accounts.

With the free account, you can add 5 profiles. With a paid account, you can have multiple dashboards, each with as many insights as you wish. This way, you can have an entire dashboard page devoted to Facebook, for example, showing different widgets so you can gain a better understanding of how well you’re performing with that network.

Social Media: The Ultimate Guide to Profits

The term ecommerce is no longer a phenomena. In fact, it’s the now the norm and almost expected for brick-and-mortar stores to also have the ecommerce option for customers to purchase goods online. Will selling on social media soon become the norm too or is it just a fad?

We’re here to tell you that selling on social media is most definitely not a fad and is absolutely here to stay…and grow! Now you may be thinking “I have an online store. I thought that was enough.” And you very well may be right. Depending on your industry, selling online through Shopify, BigCommerce, or Lemonstand may be enough for right now, but if you want to stay ahead of your competition and keep up with changing consumer preferences. Then you need to take your digital selling a step further and start selling on social media.

You want to make it as convenient as possible for consumers to purchase your products. How do you do that? You position yourself where they are most of the time – browsing and conversing on social media platforms. The average American spends around 2 hours per day on social media. Think about how many more minutes they would spend on social media if they could browse your products on Facebook without ever leaving the app.

But what apps are they spending their 2 hours on? Well, there’s no clear answer here because there are so many popular social media applications. The average person has five social media accounts that they use frequently. How are you, as a business, supposed to know where to sell your products? How often should you promote them? Who should you promote your products to? We’re answering all of these questions for you today. Just keep reading, and you’ll learn all the tricks of the trade to selling on social media.

What Exactly Is Social Selling?

Selling on social media, otherwise known as social selling, is when businesses choose to upload their products to a social platform. They then use that platform as a means to reach their audience and sell to them through social media versus a web page. Selling on social media is gaining steam, and it’s doing it fast! Everything in the digital marketing world grows at lightning speed, so don’t let this one pass you by.

The Rise of Selling on Social Media

74% of consumers say they rely on social media for information to help them in future purchases. Additionally, 43% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after learning about it on social media. With these kinds of statistics, you can’t afford not to be on social media or not to advertise on social media. And you especially can’t afford to lose out on the opportunity of selling on social media.

Recent studies have found that business who practice social selling generally see a $5 return for every $1 invested.

As a business you can’t just make a social media profile and wait for people to come. This isn’t like fishing on a Sunday afternoon at your grandpa’s pond. You’re swimming with big fish in the sea, so you have to make an effort with your social media account. The best way to do that is through social selling. So let’s get started in learning how to do that.

Choosing the Right Platform

When it comes to selling on social media, you have a number of platforms you can choose from. But how do you know which one is right for your business? Should you be selling on more than one platform? What about all of them? Choosing the right platform to sell on is similar to choosing the right platform to use as your social media outlet.

Take a look at the platforms that you have business accounts with right now. Is it just Facebook? Great! Then sell on Facebook. Are you on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? Then take a look at your metrics from each. Which one are you receiving the most engagement on? That’s a great indication of which platform would bring you the most revenue when is comes to product sales.

You may also take your audience demographics into consideration. If your target audience is comprised of mostly millennials, then you may want to sell on Facebook and Instagram rather than Twitter and LinkedIn.

Facebook

It probably comes as no surprise to you that Facebook is easily our top choice platform for social selling. Let’s review all the features Facebook offers you as a business when it comes to selling on social media. We’ll also discuss which industries might have the most success selling on Facebook as well as some tips that are specific to selling on Facebook’s platform.

Product catalog

One feature offered by Facebook that other social media platforms do not have is the Product Catalog. With the feature you can link your inventory in your ecommerce store to your Facebook business profile and begin selling those same products directly on Facebook! Your online store and Facebook talk to each other as purchases are made, so your inventory is always correct and you have more revenue in your pocket!

You can link the items in your Product Catalog directly to your Facebook ads, so you can reach your customers in a highly targeted way – making them more likely to make a purchase. You can also use your catalog when remarketing to customers using Facebook’s dynamic ads.

If they already visited your website and looked at an item but abandoned it, just use the Product Catalog to show that item to them again in ad form. Remind them what they are missing out on!

That’s how social selling works!

Best industries for Facebook

Facebook has a lot of features that make it a compatible platform for virtually any business in any industry. But in our past experience our clients in the following industries have seen the greatest success with selling on social media via Facebook:

  • Clothing & Apparel
  • Consumer packaged goods
  • Gift products
  • Home furnishings
  • Beauty products
  • Fitness companies

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Facebook

  1. Less is sometimes more. When selling on Facebook, you’ll always have the most success when you boost posts or run ads for your products. However, it’s important to remember not to overwhelm users or they may be likely to unfollow/block you.

Instead, put a frequency cap on your ads so you limit the number of times a user sees your ad.

  1. Get personal with it. Believe it or not, users actually prefer this. They rather see a specific ad for a product they would actually like than see a bunch of ads for items they don’t want cluttering up their news feed.

Promote products that are personalized or tailored to your target customer, and your sales are sure to increase.

Instagram

Instagram was the first 100% visual and mobile platform. Snapchat is the second to join that category, but we will discuss that platform later. Instagram now has close to 1 billion users, and over 80% of them actually use the app to make purchases or to look at products they plan to purchase in the near future.

But how do they make those purchases? Through a fairly new feature called shoppable posts that Instagram introduced testing in late 2016 and officially launched globally in 2018.

Shoppable Posts

When selling on Instagram, you can also connect your product catalog like you can on Facebook since the platforms are linked together. But the user experience for the customer is different. There’s no pro to using shoppable posts on Instagram over the Facebook Product Catalog. It’s just simply a user preference. So it’s important to really know your target audience when choose which social media platform to sell on.

You will know when you see a shoppable post on Instagram because it will have a small shopping bag icon. When a user taps one of these posts, he/she will then see the name of the item and the price. Tap it again, and you’ll get even more info. Then if you like what you see, you can make a purchase right there in the Instagram app!

Best industries for IG

Because Instagram shares a lot of the same features that Facebook does, the industries that will see success selling on social media via Instagram are about the same. However, industries that have more “Instagram worthy” products will see the most success. Retail apparel companies by far take the cake when it comes to selling on Instagram.

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Instagram

  1. Professional, high quality images. Instagram is a visual based platform. The image of your product is what people see first. Then they see the copy, so make sure your images are top notch.

Remember, you are trying to sell this product through a screen. The best way to do that? High resolution imagery that shows off your product in the best way possible.

  1. Make the customer think they need it. How do you do that? It’s simple. Lifestyle photography.

An image of someone actually using or wearing your product will generate double if not triple the sales than just a stand alone product image with a plain background. You have to show the user how much better their life will be after they purchase your product.

Pinterest

If you’re active on Pinterest, or also known as an avid pinner, then you know that Pinterest has its own social media lingo. Which also means it has its own way of social selling. Previously when users, or pinners, saw items on Pinterest that they wanted to purchase, they had to go on a scavenger hunt to find the product – sometimes with no such luck finding it. Pinterest solved this problem, and businesses cheered!

Buyable Pins

If pinners see a pin with a price in blue, then that means that product shown in the pin can be purchased. This is known as a buyable pin.

Your business can take advantage of buyable pins simply by connecting Pinterest to your ecommerce platform. Pinterest links to some of the well known platforms like Shopify, Magento, or BigCommerce. Every time you add a new product, you just check Pinterest when making the product visible online, and it automatically becomes a buyable pin. No additional work needed on your part.

If you have buyable pins, then pinners can also go directly to your profile to find and shop your pins that are eligible for purchase.

Best industries for Pinterest

Selling on Pinterest sounds cool, right? It’s easy enough and you think you can do it. Well I’m sure you’re right, and I have all the confidence in you. But do you run a business whose products are searched by pinners? Any business that falls into the category of approved industries can sell on Pinterest, but if you fall into any of the below categories, you will see the most success selling on Pinterest.

  • Home Decor or Renovations
  • Gardening or Landscaping
  • Clothing
  • Makeup
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Travel
  • Food and Drink
  • Health and Self-Improvement

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Pinterest

  1. Demographics. Pinterest users are approximately 42% female and 13% male. The age range among users is fairly evenly distributed, but with the majority still being in the millennial generation.

Keep these demographics in mind when crafting your visuals and copy.m

  1. It’s important to note that pins do not disappear. In fact, they stay around for quite some time after you’ve posted them because most pins are repins from other users. An item you pinned two years ago could very much still be circulating.
  2. Keyword targeting. Pinterest has a feature that other social media platforms do not when it comes to ad targeting. You can actually target keywords that your customers would search for to find your products. If you’re familiar with Google ads, it’s a similar setup.

Snapchat

Snapchat is probably the most social and least salesy of our list of platforms where you can sell on social media. However because of that, it’s also the place where your ads can look less like ads and more like regular snaps. This can work to your advantage.

As a video based platform, creating ads for selling on Snapchat can be a little more difficult, but worth the promotion it gets you. Although you cannot directly sell within in the all mobile Snapchat app, you can link to your site where users can makes purchases, place orders, register for events, and more!

Best industries for Snapchat

Selling on Snapchat is still very new, but the winners in this field are starting to shine. Any business that is able to give a fun “behind the scenes” look into what they do or how they make their products will do best selling on this platform. This would typically include:

  • Retail apparel stores
  • Restaurants
  • Events
  • Tech gadgets
  • Travel companies

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Snapchat

  1. Stay active! Snapchat is fast paced platform where constant and prompt communication is key to keeping a consumer’s attention. Your snaps only last a few seconds, which means your communication timeline with them is short. This can make for a fast conversion and speed up your sales funnel process.

But this time factor also means you can lose a customer quickly. As long as you keep constant communication through the sale of the product, then you should have no problem selling on Snapchat.

  1. Provide an experience. You have video at your fingertips to really show your potential customers what they could be missing out on – whether it’s a new dress, a piece of home entertainment, or tickets to the next music festival.

Give them a glimpse (in just 10 seconds) of their next purchase and how great it will be!

  1. Keep it short and sweet. As we mentioned before, Snapchat is fast-paced platform. Everything is supposed to be done “in a snap”. So don’t make any of your advertisements too long. Whether you’re promoting on a filtered ad or on your story, keep your snaps short (just a few seconds) and your stories short as well (no more than 10 snaps). This will ensure you keep users interested and coming back for more rather than dreading seeing your long snaps – or worse, unfollowing you.
  2. Save money. Snapchat ads can be expensive for some small business owners, so try this alternative instead!

Purchase a much less expensive geofilter that customers can use when they are at your event or in your store. Most Snapchat users love to put geofilters on their snaps so all their friends know where they are. They are doing the promotion for you, and all you had to do was design the geofilter.

Benefits to Selling on Social Media

The more places you are, the more exposure your brand will have. It’s just that simple. Look at the websites that receive a lot of traffic. They probably have extensive menus with a lot of pages, hundreds of blog posts and products. That’s because the more options you offer to consumers, the more consumers you will attract. Which brings us to benefit number one.

#1 More Consumers

When you attract more customers, you are giving yourself the opportunity to sell to that many more people than before. People don’t like to be inconvenienced by anything. Sure, they are on the internet everyday, but if they don’t have to leave their Facebook app to go to your online store, then you automatically just became their first choice in online shopping, aka social selling.

#2 More Revenue

With more places to purchase comes more sales revenue! Think of it this way: if you only had one brick and mortar store and then expanded to 5 you would make more money getting different customers from different parts of town. Selling on social media through multiple platforms gives you access to literally billions of potential customers.

#3 Increased Visibility & Awareness

Even if you don’t have purchases the first day you start selling on social media and running ads, you’re still growing your business. You’re building brand awarenessacross multiple channels and getting your business name further than it was before.

#4 More Engagement

By selling on social media, you are able to establish a relationship with your customers and offer a better shopping experience. Customers can ask you questions and you can answer them in real time just as you would if they were shopping in your store. The whole reason social media was established was to help people be more social in a different medium, so why not use it for its intended purpose?

Social Selling Don’ts to Avoid

  1. Don’t assume. That you’re going to sell out of your inventory on day 1 of promotion. Yes, social selling is a fast way for small businesses to reach customers across the nation or even the world. But it’s important to remember that social selling is still a new concept that not all users are comfortable with yet. That’s why it’s so important to have good quality images, product descriptions, and an easy check out process.
  2. Don’t just sell. Your brand needs to have a personality behind it. You want people to know more about your business than just it’s products. Be sure that you have consistency within your posts on your content calendar and stay engaged with your followers.
  3. Don’t ignore comments. People are definitely going to have questions about your products. Who wouldn’t? They are buying something they can’t feel, smell, etc. If they have questions, then answer them as timely as possible. The greater engagement you have with your potential customers, the more likely they will be to purchase from you.

The more you sell, the more questions you will receive. This can be difficult to manage. Consider hiring a social media marketing company to do your daily monitoring for you so you can focus on other areas of your business.

6 reasons why you need a social media strategy

A social media strategy defines how your organisation will use social media to achieve its communications aims and the supporting platform and tools it will use to achieve this. At a basic level it’s a simple statement of intent, outlining the goals and measurable objectives for using social media, and the target outcomes you want to achieve. It does this in the context of the overall business and comms plan so that social media isn’t in a silo but working in parallel with other channels. It isn’t a detailed plan of action – you’ll also need a plan but without a clear strategy, how do you prioritise the activities for a plan? Think strategy first, plan second.

Even if you’re not actively involved in social media, other businesses are, including your competitors and most likely a significant proportion of your customers. Failing to understand that this is where many people hold conversations means you’re not part of the discussion, and you can’t influence what happens.

If you don’t know what’s being said, how can you effectively manage your brand reputation online? And how can you ensure that your key messages are being heard by the people you most want to talk to?

Understand how to best use social media in your marketing strategy as an individual or as a business.

Here are six key reasons why your organisation needs a coherent social media strategy and plan.

  1. The social web still is growing fast

The latest research on social media usage shows that there are two key factors driving the social web according to a Global Web Index study:

  • Mobile – people accessing the internet via mobile increased by 60.3% to 818.4m between 2012 and 2014
  • Older user adoption – on Twitter the 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic with 79% growth rate since 2012; the fastest growing demographic on Facebook and Google+ is the 45-54 year age bracket.

Improved mobile connectivity globally has increased ‘on the go’ social activity, from catching up on friends’ updates to sharing content and watching a video. Social media usage research in the US from Ruder Finn measures the reasons why people go online and socialising is one of the key drivers:

As people spend more time on social media, consuming more content than ever before, you might think that the space is saturated so getting involved isn’t justifiable.

Creating a targeted social media strategy will help you focus on using relevant platforms to connect with existing and new customers and avoid simply adding to the noise.

  1. Purchasing decisions are influenced by social media

If the first era of social was audience building and engagement, the current era is focused on commerce and personalization. All major platforms have heavily invested in their advertising solutions to lure marketers with the promise of improved APIs and smart targeting, including the ability to upload email lists to run personalised remarketing campaigns.

For example, through the Facebook API marketers can:

  • Manage audience data for custom audience targeting
  • Create campaigns and ads
  • Build custom dashboards and run analytics
  • Manage campaign assets: pages, accounts etc.
  • Research from Crowdtap revealed that 64% of 3,000 people surveyed use social to find inspiration for shopping (up 51% vs. prior year). This is driven by retailers targeting consumers with personalised offers and deals on social networks.

Nearly half (46%) of social media users are already using social platforms while thinking about making a purchase. 40% of users are actively deciding what to buy based on what they have seen on social media platforms, including reviews and recommendations, and this is only set to grow.

Peer recommendation has the most influence on holiday gift purchases, more than blogger or celebrity endorsement. Given the importance of peak trading to the overall sales target, you need to plan how to encourage people to share and talk about your products.

There are subtle differences between the role each social network plays in the purchase cycle. For example, Pinterest is a great place for people to find inspiration and works well as a visual product storyboard. Facebook is well suited to people looking to share content and find promotions.

Without a clear strategy, how do you know what role these networks can and should play in your customers’ buying cycles? How do you know you’re not losing out on potential sales, or trying to sell to people who aren’t looking to be sold to?

  1. Lack of strategy hands the advantage to competitors

It’s uncommon to find an organisation without a social presence and increasingly companies are developing clear social strategies aligned with business goals.

A marketer with a strategy has a framework through which to plan, prioritise, execute, measure and optimise. This typically will lead to better results because the activity has direction, even if the direction needs to evolve and change as the marketer learns from real data.

If you invest in a social presence without a clear strategy, you won’t know whether or not your campaigns are successful. For example, if you simply post content to appear active, how do you know that content is contributing to the business positively? What if it’s actually putting people off your brand?

I once sat in a meeting where a marketing exec reported on social performance and was delighted that a tweet got more than 100 RTs over the weekend. The team decided this was a success. However, on closer inspection, the tweet included a poorly chosen hashtag and the hashtag’s and this generated the RT activity. Unfortunately, the core hashtag users weren’t relevant and certainly not a target audience.

Why did this happen?

There was no plan or guidelines in place for the marketing team to know what to post, when, how, to whom and why. For example, no research done on hashtags to define which conversations the company should and could be a meaningful part of.

With no structured approach to communication and measurement, you risk wasting resource on undirected activity. Meanwhile, savvier competitors will be working smarter at engaging customers based on clear goals, objectives and targets so performance is being measured, rather than results reported.

  1. Your customers are active on social media

Mobile, social and the underlying technology have combined to provide an environment in which people can access, use and share information on their terms. Friends of mine rarely read blogs or emails; they use Facebook as their content stream. The disintermediation of content means that you have to understand the role social plays in customer communication.

Even though it’s only a subset of your total audience, it’s likely that some of your customers will want to get information from you via a social network. A good example is the rise of Twitter for customer service, with brands like BT embracing it as an effective customer enquiry and problem resolution channel. That doesn’t mean ignore traditional forms of customer service, it means updating your customer service framework to factor in social interactions.

This is why you need a strategy. Deciding how to connect with a customer is not a tactical decision, it requires strategic thinking. Social needs to align with the other communication channels so its role is defined and understood, and there are processes and tools in place to cope with demand. If you let a social marketing team simply get on with it, without the strategic vision above it, you risk inefficiency and inaccuracy. That said, Jay Baer does advise to not ‘bite off more you can chew’ in your social strategy – he says to keep the scope narrow in this article on social media strategy in 7 Steps.

  1. There are key influencers in every social network

Don’t underestimate the power of peer and/or influencer recommendation.

For years retailers have known that customer ratings and reviews can increase conversion rates through the power of peer influence; feedback from another customer is typically seen as trustworthy. Expert endorsement also increases brand credibility. For example, in highly specialised tech markets like audio visual, the experts’ opinions are highly sought after and can make or break products.

Social media channels have influencers, from the obvious celebrities to self-made social stars like video bloggers. High street retailers often employ trending influencers to amplify their marketing messages. For example, Topshop worked with five rising Instagram stars to help shoot its London Fashion Week show.

If you’re not part of their world, you’re not relevant. You risk losing mindshare to more socially aware competitors who are willing to be bold and innovative in their marketing campaigns. And if none of the key social influencers for your target audience are interested in your company and its products, it’s much harder to get your message across to the end customer.

  1. Reputations can be enhanced or destroyed on social networks

There are good things that we can attribute to social media, primarily in terms of providing a voice to people and groups who previously struggled to be heard and of making information transparent and portable. However, it also amplifies the voice of discontent and vitriol is not uncommon. Jumping on angry bandwagons is also something that social seems to fuel periodically.

The example below is from a genuine marketing campaign that the Aldi social team launched but it attracted a lot of negative tweets and trolling.

What will you do if the world decides you’re enemy #1 and attacks you on Twitter?

How will you respond to an avalanche of negative tweets?

There are high profile examples of companies facing a social media backlash and struggling to respond effectively. Even those with a social media strategy that includes crisis response find it hard. So how much damage could be done to your organisation if you don’t even have a strategy? It’s a risk you shouldn’t take.

Selling on Social Media: The Ultimate Guide to Profits

The term ecommerce is no longer a phenomena. In fact, it’s the now the norm and almost expected for brick-and-mortar stores to also have the ecommerce option for customers to purchase goods online. Will selling on social media soon become the norm too or is it just a fad?

We’re here to tell you that selling on social media is most definitely not a fad and is absolutely here to stay…and grow! Now you may be thinking “I have an online store. I thought that was enough.” And you very well may be right. Depending on your industry, selling online through Shopify, BigCommerce, or Lemonstand may be enough for right now, but if you want to stay ahead of your competition and keep up with changing consumer preferences. Then you need to take your digital selling a step further and start selling on social media.

You want to make it as convenient as possible for consumers to purchase your products. How do you do that? You position yourself where they are most of the time – browsing and conversing on social media platforms. The average American spends around 2 hours per day on social media. Think about how many more minutes they would spend on social media if they could browse your products on Facebook without ever leaving the app.

But what apps are they spending their 2 hours on? Well, there’s no clear answer here because there are so many popular social media applications. The average person has five social media accounts that they use frequently. How are you, as a business, supposed to know where to sell your products? How often should you promote them? Who should you promote your products to? We’re answering all of these questions for you today. Just keep reading, and you’ll learn all the tricks of the trade to selling on social media.

What Exactly Is Social Selling?

Selling on social media, otherwise known as social selling, is when businesses choose to upload their products to a social platform. They then use that platform as a means to reach their audience and sell to them through social media versus a web page. Selling on social media is gaining steam, and it’s doing it fast! Everything in the digital marketing world grows at lightning speed, so don’t let this one pass you by.

The Rise of Selling on Social Media

74% of consumers say they rely on social media for information to help them in future purchases. Additionally, 43% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after learning about it on social media. With these kinds of statistics, you can’t afford not to be on social media or not to advertise on social media. And you especially can’t afford to lose out on the opportunity of selling on social media.

Recent studies have found that business who practice social selling generally see a $5 return for every $1 invested.

As a business you can’t just make a social media profile and wait for people to come. This isn’t like fishing on a Sunday afternoon at your grandpa’s pond. You’re swimming with big fish in the sea, so you have to make an effort with your social media account. The best way to do that is through social selling. So let’s get started in learning how to do that.

Choosing the Right Platform

When it comes to selling on social media, you have a number of platforms you can choose from. But how do you know which one is right for your business? Should you be selling on more than one platform? What about all of them? Choosing the right platform to sell on is similar to choosing the right platform to use as your social media outlet.

Take a look at the platforms that you have business accounts with right now. Is it just Facebook? Great! Then sell on Facebook. Are you on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? Then take a look at your metrics from each. Which one are you receiving the most engagement on? That’s a great indication of which platform would bring you the most revenue when is comes to product sales.

You may also take your audience demographics into consideration. If your target audience is comprised of mostly millennials, then you may want to sell on Facebook and Instagram rather than Twitter and LinkedIn.

Facebook

It probably comes as no surprise to you that Facebook is easily our top choice platform for social selling. Let’s review all the features Facebook offers you as a business when it comes to selling on social media. We’ll also discuss which industries might have the most success selling on Facebook as well as some tips that are specific to selling on Facebook’s platform.

Product catalog

One feature offered by Facebook that other social media platforms do not have is the Product Catalog. With the feature you can link your inventory in your ecommerce store to your Facebook business profile and begin selling those same products directly on Facebook! Your online store and Facebook talk to each other as purchases are made, so your inventory is always correct and you have more revenue in your pocket!

You can link the items in your Product Catalog directly to your Facebook ads, so you can reach your customers in a highly targeted way – making them more likely to make a purchase. You can also use your catalog when remarketing to customers using Facebook’s dynamic ads.

If they already visited your website and looked at an item but abandoned it, just use the Product Catalog to show that item to them again in ad form. Remind them what they are missing out on!

That’s how social selling works!

Best industries for Facebook

Facebook has a lot of features that make it a compatible platform for virtually any business in any industry. But in our past experience our clients in the following industries have seen the greatest success with selling on social media via Facebook:

  • Clothing & Apparel
  • Consumer packaged goods
  • Gift products
  • Home furnishings
  • Beauty products
  • Fitness companies

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Facebook

  1. Less is sometimes more.When selling on Facebook, you’ll always have the most success when you boost posts or run ads for your products. However, it’s important to remember not to overwhelm users or they may be likely to unfollow/block you.

Instead, put a frequency cap on your ads so you limit the number of times a user sees your ad.

  1. Get personal with it.Believe it or not, users actually prefer this. They rather see a specific ad for a product they would actually like than see a bunch of ads for items they don’t want cluttering up their news feed.

Promote products that are personalized or tailored to your target customer, and your sales are sure to increase.

Instagram

Instagram was the first 100% visual and mobile platform. Snapchat is the second to join that category, but we will discuss that platform later. Instagram now has close to 1 billion users, and over 80% of them actually use the app to make purchases or to look at products they plan to purchase in the near future.

But how do they make those purchases? Through a fairly new feature called shoppable posts that Instagram introduced testing in late 2016 and officially launched globally in 2018.

Shoppable Posts

When selling on Instagram, you can also connect your product catalog like you can on Facebook since the platforms are linked together. But the user experience for the customer is different. There’s no pro to using shoppable posts on Instagram over the Facebook Product Catalog. It’s just simply a user preference. So it’s important to really know your target audience when choose which social media platform to sell on.

You will know when you see a shoppable post on Instagram because it will have a small shopping bag icon. When a user taps one of these posts, he/she will then see the name of the item and the price. Tap it again, and you’ll get even more info. Then if you like what you see, you can make a purchase right there in the Instagram app!

Best industries for IG

Because Instagram shares a lot of the same features that Facebook does, the industries that will see success selling on social media via Instagram are about the same. However, industries that have more “Instagram worthy” products will see the most success. Retail apparel companies by far take the cake when it comes to selling on Instagram.

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Instagram

  1. Professional, high quality images.Instagram is a visual based platform. The image of your product is what people see first. Then they see the copy, so make sure your images are top notch.

Remember, you are trying to sell this product through a screen. The best way to do that? High resolution imagery that shows off your product in the best way possible.

  1. Make the customer think they need it.How do you do that? It’s simple. Lifestyle photography.

An image of someone actually using or wearing your product will generate double if not triple the sales than just a stand alone product image with a plain background. You have to show the user how much better their life will be after they purchase your product.

Pinterest

If you’re active on Pinterest, or also known as an avid pinner, then you know that Pinterest has its own social media lingo. Which also means it has its own way of social selling. Previously when users, or pinners, saw items on Pinterest that they wanted to purchase, they had to go on a scavenger hunt to find the product – sometimes with no such luck finding it. Pinterest solved this problem, and businesses cheered!

Buyable Pins

If pinners see a pin with a price in blue, then that means that product shown in the pin can be purchased. This is known as a buyable pin.

Your business can take advantage of buyable pins simply by connecting Pinterest to your ecommerce platform. Pinterest links to some of the well known platforms like Shopify, Magento, or BigCommerce. Every time you add a new product, you just check Pinterest when making the product visible online, and it automatically becomes a buyable pin. No additional work needed on your part.

If you have buyable pins, then pinners can also go directly to your profile to find and shop your pins that are eligible for purchase.

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Best industries for Pinterest

Selling on Pinterest sounds cool, right? It’s easy enough and you think you can do it. Well I’m sure you’re right, and I have all the confidence in you. But do you run a business whose products are searched by pinners? Any business that falls into the category of approved industries can sell on Pinterest, but if you fall into any of the below categories, you will see the most success selling on Pinterest.

  • Home Decor or Renovations
  • Gardening or Landscaping
  • Clothing
  • Makeup
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Travel
  • Food and Drink
  • Health and Self-Improvement

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Pinterest

  1. Pinterest users are approximately 42% female and 13% male. The age range among users is fairly evenly distributed, but with the majority still being in the millennial generation.

Keep these demographics in mind when crafting your visuals and copy.m

  1. It’s important to note that pins do not disappear.In fact, they stay around for quite some time after you’ve posted them because most pins are repins from other users. An item you pinned two years ago could very much still be circulating.
  2. Keyword targeting.Pinterest has a feature that other social media platforms do not when it comes to ad targeting. You can actually target keywords that your customers would search for to find your products. If you’re familiar with Google ads, it’s a similar setup.

Snapchat

Snapchat is probably the most social and least salesy of our list of platforms where you can sell on social media. However because of that, it’s also the place where your ads can look less like ads and more like regular snaps. This can work to your advantage.

As a video based platform, creating ads for selling on Snapchat can be a little more difficult, but worth the promotion it gets you. Although you cannot directly sell within in the all mobile Snapchat app, you can link to your site where users can makes purchases, place orders, register for events, and more!

Best industries for Snapchat

Selling on Snapchat is still very new, but the winners in this field are starting to shine. Any business that is able to give a fun “behind the scenes” look into what they do or how they make their products will do best selling on this platform. This would typically include:

  • Retail apparel stores
  • Restaurants
  • Events
  • Tech gadgets
  • Travel companies

Tips for Selling on Social Media via Snapchat

  1. Stay active!Snapchat is fast paced platform where constant and prompt communication is key to keeping a consumer’s attention. Your snaps only last a few seconds, which means your communication timeline with them is short. This can make for a fast conversion and speed up your sales funnel process.

But this time factor also means you can lose a customer quickly. As long as you keep constant communication through the sale of the product, then you should have no problem selling on Snapchat.

  1. Provide an experience. You have video at your fingertips to really show your potential customers what they could be missing out on – whether it’s a new dress, a piece of home entertainment, or tickets to the next music festival.

Give them a glimpse (in just 10 seconds) of their next purchase and how great it will be!

  1. Keep it short and sweet.As we mentioned before, Snapchat is fast-paced platform. Everything is supposed to be done “in a snap”. So don’t make any of your advertisements too long. Whether you’re promoting on a filtered ad or on your story, keep your snaps short (just a few seconds) and your stories short as well (no more than 10 snaps). This will ensure you keep users interested and coming back for more rather than dreading seeing your long snaps – or worse, unfollowing you.
  2. Save money.Snapchat ads can be expensive for some small business owners, so try this alternative instead!

Purchase a much less expensive geofilter that customers can use when they are at your event or in your store. Most Snapchat users love to put geofilters on their snaps so all their friends know where they are. They are doing the promotion for you, and all you had to do was design the geofilter.

Benefits to Selling on Social Media

The more places you are, the more exposure your brand will have. It’s just that simple. Look at the websites that receive a lot of traffic. They probably have extensive menus with a lot of pages, hundreds of blog posts and products. That’s because the more options you offer to consumers, the more consumers you will attract. Which brings us to benefit number one.

1 More Consumers

When you attract more customers, you are giving yourself the opportunity to sell to that many more people than before. People don’t like to be inconvenienced by anything. Sure, they are on the internet everyday, but if they don’t have to leave their Facebook app to go to your online store, then you automatically just became their first choice in online shopping, aka social selling.

2 More Revenue

With more places to purchase comes more sales revenue! Think of it this way: if you only had one brick and mortar store and then expanded to 5 you would make more money getting different customers from different parts of town. Selling on social media through multiple platforms gives you access to literally billions of potential customers.

3 Increased Visibility & Awareness

Even if you don’t have purchases the first day you start selling on social media and running ads, you’re still growing your business. You’re building brand awarenessacross multiple channels and getting your business name further than it was before.

4 More Engagement

By selling on social media, you are able to establish a relationship with your customers and offer a better shopping experience. Customers can ask you questions and you can answer them in real time just as you would if they were shopping in your store. The whole reason social media was established was to help people be more social in a different medium, so why not use it for its intended purpose?

Social Selling Don’ts to Avoid

  1. Don’t assume.That you’re going to sell out of your inventory on day 1 of promotion. Yes, social selling is a fast way for small businesses to reach customers across the nation or even the world. But it’s important to remember that social selling is still a new concept that not all users are comfortable with yet. That’s why it’s so important to have good quality images, product descriptions, and an easy check out process.
  2. Don’t just sell. Your brand needs to have a personality behind it. You want people to know more about your business than just it’s products. Be sure that you have consistency within your posts on your content calendarand stay engaged with your followers.
  3. Don’t ignore comments.People are definitely going to have questions about your products. Who wouldn’t? They are buying something they can’t feel, smell, etc. If they have questions, then answer them as timely as possible. The greater engagement you have with your potential customers, the more likely they will be to purchase from you.

The more you sell, the more questions you will receive. This can be difficult to manage. Consider hiring a social media marketing company to do your daily monitoring for you so you can focus on other areas of your business.

 

 

Social Media – 10 trends to track in 2018

Social Media. Whether you want to admit it or not, social media is slowly creeping more and more into our lives. It’s hitting us with pictures and stories and live streams and carefully crafted videos. More and more people are ditching the traditional career path to become content creators, lifestyle influencers, and bloggers. But how can you stand out when the market is completely over-saturated? Users scroll through thousands of posts a day, meaning your chances of grabbing their attention decreases exponentially. So how can your brand break tradition and get ahead of the curve? Here are the top ten trends business marketing will see in the social media marketplace in 2018.

 Influencer Marketing:

Let’s start with one of the biggest trends of the last few years, influencer marketing. Google and Yelp are actively soliciting influencers to post reviews and additional information on their channels of content distribution. But it is way bigger than that. Becoming an influencer is one of the trendiest titles a social media savant can have.

Most tend to revolve around the health and beauty sectors of social media, ranging from fashion icons and beauty gurus to fitness phenoms and holistic healers. With the surge of “fake news” it’s hard to know what products truly work and which ones are scams. Audiences feel lost and confused with so many similar products on the market and no longer know whom to trust.

There are hundreds of detox teas, protein powders, teeth whiteners, vitamin supplements and a million other products aimed at convincing you they are necessary for you to be the best you possible. But which ones truly work? And which ones won’t be a waste of money to experiment with?

Authenticity is the buzzword of the year. Consumers want vulnerability and sincerity. No longer can a brand work with any old influencer who has over 10,000 Instagram followers. The 2018 market needs more. Brands should seek out true experts in their products field. They should also be thoughtful about who they want to work with, be associated with, and be represented by.

Trend Tip: Lose influencers who gained fame by being on a reality TV show. Set clear expectations and standards to find the most suitable influencer for your brand.  True, you need to remember to choose someone that will help deliver a return on investment, but that needs to balance with someone whose opinions can truly be trusted.

User-Created Content:

On the same thought wave, it is still really hard to trust influencers, as they are paid to endorse certain products. Or they simply get those products and other goodies from the brand for free in hopes of a positive review. Good news is, most social media platforms are requiring users to specify if a brand is sponsoring a specific post. Another good piece of news is that a numerous amount of influencers only promote the products they actually love and use themselves. Still, the authenticity is questionable. Which is why you will start seeing brands use user-created posts in their own feeds.

We, as humans, trust the people we know and care about – friends, family, colleagues, associates, etc. We give their opinions much higher value over influencers and celebrities, sometimes, even more, value than our own thoughts and opinions. Because it’s clear we trust each other, brands are going to start leveraging user-created content more heavily in their social media strategies.

Trend Tip: Spend time actually diving into the feeds of your followers. Hashtags exist for a reason. Use them to your advantage. Find posts that fit the aesthetic and message of your brand and begin to filter those posts into your social campaigns. Giving users credit for their own posts not only boosts your brand but also boosts customer morale and enthusiasm over your brand.

Personalized Content:

Millennials. They’re all anyone ever talks about. According to some, their love of avocado toast and lattes is ruining the economy.  They’re considered the laziest generation due to their unemployment statistics and high financial debts. On the flip side, they are considered the most stressed, depressed, and anxiety-ridden compared to any other age demographic. But no matter how you feel about them, one thing is very clear; they are a huge target audience with a force that can’t be ignored.

Millennials are most known for being independent, unique, creative, and no longer willing to abide by precedents set before them. They want products and companies that stand for change and no longer stand for ineffective traditions of the past. Millennials want to relate, trust and value the companies and products on which they spend their money. And they aren’t alone. More and more, people are choosing to vote with their dollar, only investing in the brands they feel are the best representations of themselves. No one wants to feel alone or isolated. By creating relatable content, users are more likely to consume, share, and recommend a brand’s products.

Trend Tip: Define your buyer market and create customer avatars. Step into the shoes of your consumers to see if they will find value in what you are trying to sell. Think about age, gender, education level, geography, etc.  The more personalized content is, the more engaged your audience will be.

A Shift to Generation Z:

 Behind Millennials are Generation Z. Born after 1995, by the year 2020, those in Gen Z will account for one-third of the entire US population.  There are a few major differences between Gen Z and Millennials which includes the following: Less focus, faster information processing, and shorter attention spans for those in Gen Z. With that in mind, Gen Z is actually better multi-taskers, doing different kinds of work on different devices, often with some kind of distraction playing in the background. Millennials will barter and use coupons, whereas Gen Z is speculated to enter the workforce after high school, rather than getting into debt with higher education. This will only encourage the rise of entrepreneurship.

Currently, the oldest members of Gen Z are in their late teens. Most have started working and creating their own disposable income. By focusing on them now, brands have the opportunity to create lifelong customers, but only if they do it right.

Trend Tip:  Like we said before, authenticity is everything – especially to Gen Z. Use social media platforms not only to promote your brand but to also give some behind the scenes look into your brand. Choose an influencer that’s not only relatable to this generation but also create quality products worth promoting. Lastly, words don’t mean anything to Gen Z. They’re a generation that prefers images over text and action over words. To create good press and positive buzz you have to do good, buzz-worthy social work outside of the brand.

Ephemeral Content:

Snapchat was the true trending start in ephemeral content (ephemeral meaning short-lived). At most, these posts live for 24 hours and then disappear from their respective platforms. Millennials and Gen Z eat ephemeral content up, especially when it’s used in a more vulnerable way.

While it seems hypocritical for a marketer to focus on content that disappears, ephemeral content has its advantages. Like we already said multiple times, authenticity is everything. Ephemeral content is seen as the most authentic content in social media. Secondly, with users knowing the content is short-lived, it makes them both process and act on information quicker than a normal lasting post. It sponsors impulse buying and pushes the use of mobile marketing campaigns.

Trend Tip:  One of the best ways to use ephemeral content is to use it in a behind the scenes kind of way. Say you’re a food blogger, creating your recipe and posting it on your Snapchat/Instagram story shows your followers step by step how to make dishes like you. That act then connects your follower to you on a more personal level. You become approachable and relatable. No longer are they aspiring to cook like you from afar, now they actually have the chance. The same goes for any other kind of market brand. Retailers can get behind the scenes shots on photo shoots or commercials. Corporations can now show the public the humanitarian work they do out of the office. Also remember to link your social media accounts, as it is a way to drastically improve your Facebook presence.

Bonus Tip: Be vulnerable and show the times things don’t go as planned – recipes that failed, bloopers, etc. Showing failures doesn’t make you weak. It makes your company that much stronger. It reminds your audience that you are human too and shows you in a more empathetic light.

Stories, Livestreams, and Hangouts Oh My:

Continuing on the ephemeral content theme, the easiest ways to incorporate it into your marketing strategy is through Facebook Live and Snapchat/Instagram Stories. Remember how we said Snapchat, which has been around for 6 years now, started the trend of ephemeral content? Well, Instagram launched the story feature a little over a year ago, yet it already has around 200 million monthly users – 50 million more than Snapchat. It’s been predicted that by the end of 2018 that half of all Instagram users will be using the feature on a regular basis. That’s roughly 400 million users.

Live streaming has the same platform as stories except for one major factor. You guessed it; it’s in the moment, live action content. Brands can’t get much more real or authentic than this. No Photoshop or editing here. While livestreams started out as a fun trick, it’s now being demanded by consumers. Why? Because digital hangouts are extremely popular among Gen Z. Platforms that combine messaging, video chat, and conference calling are gaining more and more traction each day. No longer do young consumers want to go to a park and hang out. Now, they have the option of hanging out with people anywhere in the world in their own digital world.

Trend Tip: Facebook has been working on their own version of a digital hangout called Facebook Spaces. Since they own Oculus, the virtual reality headset guru, we can only guess at the features this new project will create. Just know, it’s going to start a revolution in how we interact with one another.

Video:

 Video is livestreams older, more refined brother. It has been growing rapidly in popularity in recent years. It is an important aspect of new social algorithms, making it extremely valuable to any brand. Video attracts higher engagement among consumers including shares, retweets, comments, likes, reactions, etc. Good news is that there are numerous ways to include video into your social media strategy.

Trend Tip: Did you know that viewers retain 95% of a message seen in a video vs. 10% retention when seen in a text format? Did you also know that the first three seconds of your video is the most crucial in engaging your audience? It’s estimated that video will account for 80% of all Internet consumer traffic by the year 2019.  Now is a better time than ever to embrace it.

Shifting to Mobile:

 Everyone is constantly on their phones. We use them for everything. We browse through Instagram on the elevator and check Facebook while waiting for friends. We Snapchat as we wait in line to order food and check our LinkedIn on our lunch break. In a time when we are the most social and connected than we have ever been, that connection is stemming from our phones, not in the traditional face to face sense.

The biggest social media apps are mobile based. Let’s start with Snapchat. A user can only use the app on their smartphone. The company has a website, but the website acts as a way to enhance the app. A user can create and buy specific geofilters, codes, and ads. Instagram.com acts as a browser navigation tool. Users have to use the smartphone app in order to post and create/view stories. The Facebook mobile app is the top app of the year. Traffic on the actual Facebook site has been steadily decreasing in the last few years.

The future is mobile. Computers and laptops are getting smaller, while phones are getting bigger. They hold an unbelievable amount of storage and have made life more convenient than ever. We use it as a GPS, for dinner recommendations and reservations, for dating, uploading résumés, and creating portfolios. There are few things we aren’t able to perform on it yet.  Brands need to start creating content specifically for mobile devices or they are going to get left behind.

Trend Tip: Snapchat is making it easier and easier to create mobile content. By going to their website and clicking on their Ad tab, you are redirected to the company’s “For Business” site. It teaches you how to reach unique audiences, how to grow your business, and how to track real time results. To quote the company itself, “Our ad products are fun and effective, for every objective.” Check it out for yourself!

Messaging Centers and Chatbots:

As previously stated, virtual hangouts are becoming ever popular. The ability to chat with someone live is a great way to get consumers interested in your products and services. Many consumers believe that communication is key to the buying process. If they are able to speak with someone directly about purchasing a product, it assures them they will be able to communicate about any possible mishap with the problem later on. By using chatbots, companies can both increase speed in which they communicate with their customers but can solve more issues in different areas as well. It’s projected that up to 20% of business content could be machine-generated by 2018. A number of brands are testing the use and development of chatbots every day – ranging from solving customer issues to ordering Chinese takeout online.

Trend Tip: Now is a better time than ever to introduce chatbots into your business. Millennials are the most adaptive when it comes to interacting with chatbots, with 71% wanting to try a chatbot experience from major brands. But remember, Millennials aren’t the only group who will be using your chatbot. Create your character first and give users a reason to use the bot. Give your chatbot feelings and remember to create an experience first, not code. Lastly, remember the bots won’t be perfect, failures can happen to both bots and humans.

Augmented Reality:

The future is officially here. Phones are now featuring processors advanced enough to allow users to enjoy augmented reality experiences within apps. Before long, social media platforms are going to integrate these features as well. Snapchat is already ahead of the curve since launching their AR feature which projects users Bitmoji’s into the real world. IKEA recently followed suit by launching their “Place” app, which allows users to preview furniture in their homes before buying.

Trend Tip: Don’t just implement AR for the sake of adding AR. Make sure the experience adds value for your users. Let AR work with your social media marketing strategy and don’t forget to dream big, as this feature will continue to develop in the coming years.

Whatever strategies you choose to expand your social media marketing with, make sure you have a strong supporting strategy in place already. These trends won’t save a poorly thought out plan – they’ll only enhance a strong one.

Do you agree with these projected trends? Do you think there are other areas of more importance for marketers to focus on? Let us know. If you like this post please share it on your newsfeed on your favorite social media outlet.

 

Social Media Analytics for Better Business Decisions

Every business which desires to get good ROI from their Social Media Marketing campaigns should invest in top quality SMA tools.

Every minute thousands of users log onto various Social Medial platforms to create plethora of data. Businesses a decade ago would not have considered his kind of content being of any major use for their sales or brand building. But now there is a potential customer in every social media user and analysing the customer data they produce will help the businesses filer them.

If I were to explain social media analysis in simple terms, we can call it ‘social listening’ where you listen to what people are talking about your brand, your product, your industry and your location. A common term social media experts usually use in this context is ‘social mentions’ which is nothing but the conversations and interactions that occur on social media regarding a particular keyword.

Businesses spend good amount money and efforts to produce profound content of different types. Each of these is aimed to build a brand or enhance sales directly and indirectly in a specific manner. But if they are left unmonitored or untracked, a business or an Social Media Marketing expert will never be able to learn from them. If your social media strategy begins with good content, it should always conclude with comprehensive analysis.

Depending on your brand, the audience you are catering to and the social media channels you are most active on, analysis will vary. Although some leading social channels provide free analysis of your activities, it may not be sufficient. Every business which desires to get good ROI from their SMM campaigns should invest in top quality SMA tools and if need be, have a data scientist to analyse the numbers.

What comes out of this effort will be a compact and comprehensive insight that is of great value to you. Incorporating this data into the system can become the base for many of your planning, introspection and decision making regarding social media marketing.

 

Manifold benefits of Social media Analysis:

  1. When you put top class SMA tools to work, the data that you receive will be fresh. For every interaction you have or every campaign you run, you get quality feedback as and when it happens. His can be very helpful in bringing about enhancements as the campaign progresses.
  2. It is humanly very tiring to keep track of every notification that you receive and monitor every social mention that of some interest to you. But when the tools are employed, you get a detailed picture. The numbers help you to visualise how you as a brand are performing on the social landscape.
  3. Social media is all about your fans, followers and audience. The customer data they produce is organic, original and of high value to you. Following their conversations closely will help you to understand what people are saying about your product or offer or campaign, their likes and dislikes and the suggestions they have for you.
  4. Once you invest heavily in a campaign, you need factual evidence to bring about any changes or enhancements. The SMA tools provide you that data which can back your decisions. When the analysis is taken further, you can even prove that the changes you brought about have resulted in better brand performance.
  5. Monitoring social mentions and social listening will always keep you one step ahead of your conversation. When there are several others making a mark in a particular industry, you need to create a unique image for yourself if you want to have a huge fan base.
  6. What better way to know how successful a particular campaign has been than to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Tracking a set of mentions will figuratively show you how people are praising you, appreciating you, recommending you to their circles and creating new fan base for you. When these praise spikes appear, be quick and generous in expressing your gratitude.
  7. If these one thing about social media that marketers need to watch out for, it is negative remarks. With real time analysis, respond to these negative sparks immediately and get on the solution path. Find out why that particular fan or group is upset and rectifying the concern, turn them into happy fans.
  8. Not all businesses but ecommerce and service oriented businesses need to interact more and more with their fans if they are to convert them into sales. Social media analysiswill help you figure out the right time and days when people are most active and give you a definite window where you can be available for them.
  9. One of the greatest advantages of using SMA tools is that you can design future plans that are highly target oriented. Everything from your content, visual media and activities can be tweaked according to the insight you receive which is again derived from the people for whom you are creating the campaigns. SO when you provide what your audience are appreciating with a personal touch of your brand, the success rate will be very high.
  10. With the comprehensive analytics you are giving your employees some core data to work on. When human creative thinking is applied to machine learning, they can come up with spectacular ideas. Your data analysts will have their jobs enhanced as they become brain behind understanding the numbers and implementing them into strategy to derive noteworthy success.
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Don’t Ignore These Social Media Optimization Platforms

We all know how important Social Media Optimization is. We don’t just do it for building your fan base and generating more traffic from Social Media Channels, we also do that for ranking higher on Search Engines. Yes! Your Social Media activities, engagements and followers affect your rankings on Search Engine Result Page.

 

Now, let’s talk about what you can do to improve your Social Media presence.

Start With Facebook, Twitter and Google+

If your Business has not made any move on Social Media Channels, you should start with Facebook, Twitter and Google+. More so if you have a tight budget.

If you can only take care of one Social Media Channel, use Facebook. Facebook is the most populated Social Media Platform with over one billion active users. Engaging just a few percentage of them will boost your Search Engine Ranking like a rocket.

Twitter is also included in one of the Google’s Ranking Factors. It’s not as strong as Facebook and Google+, but you should still use it to build your strength. Twitter is also a great platform as in it allows you to reach out to anyone very easily.

When it comes to twitter, aim to send maximum of 12 tweets per day. If sending 12 tweets per day sounds a little overwhelming to you, you can take the help of some Social Media Optimization Tools to manage your Tweets throughout the day.

You may be wondering why I included Google+ in the list since there aren’t much people active on it. Well, maybe hypothetically, but I can’t stress enough on the fact that Google gives you an undue advantage in Google Search Engine Ranking Page if you are active on Google+.

Being one of the top Search Engine Optimization Company, we know how much Google+ has been reported as one of the strongest ranking factors for many years now.

Other Social Networks for Better Social Media Optimization

Ones you think your Business is doing well on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and you are ready to invent more time and money on other Social Media Channels, consider the following platforms:

LinkedIn- If you’re into B2B industry, LinkedIn is an excellent platform to build lasting networks and relationships. Aim to join Groups and Discussions relevant to your business. Go on and post relevant news about your industry. You will end up building a positive Brand Image.

Instagram- If you are in Fashion, Food or any other industry which are image extensive, then Instagram is a must have platform for your Business. In fact, Instagram restricts the number of links you can post and that’s why the links from your Instagram Profile are very powerful.

Pinterest- What’s great about Pinterest is that there are more number of Female users than Male users on this Social Media platform. So, if your Target Market includes Females, you should definitely build your presence on Pinterest. It’s also an excellent platform to include in your Social Media Optimization campaigns.

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