Are you marketing via social media yet?

Or did you try it and give up?

This month we’re going to cover the basics of social media marketing for one simple reason – it’s an excellent way to grow your business.

From getting seen, growing your list, selling products and hooking up with JV partners, social media has something for every marketer. It’s simply a matter of learning ropes, jumping in, and finding out what works for you.

Let’s get started.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing takes place when someone shares content on social media networks to promote a brand and accomplish marketing goals.

It might involve posting short texts, pictures or videos that bring publicity and attract potential customers to the business or products themselves.

How Do You Achieve Success With Social Media?

  • Provide good quality content that attracts viewers.
  • Focus more on listening than talking. See what people have to say and join their conversations with your helpful comments.
  • Be a specialist. People will trust you and believe you if they see you as an expert in your niche.
  • Don’t be repetitive. If you post the same product night and day, people will grow bored with it and stop following you.
  • Be funny and useful. Social media users love funny and expect useful. If you can provide at least one of these two items, you’ll be fine.
  • Publish regularly. Providing content on a regular basis means people don’t forget you.
  • Make friends with online influencers in your field. If they happen to share your content, you can significantly broaden your field of prospects.
  • Answer comments about your products, even if they’re negative. Don’t argue, don’t lose your temper, and remain professional at all times.

What Are The Major Social Media Networks?

Digg
This is a news aggregator with a curated front page that selects stories specifically for the Internet audience. Use it to get business news that directly impacts your business. Digg also supports sharing of content to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook
This is by far the most popular social media website, boasting more than 2 billion active monthly users. This platform is particularly great for small business that are looking to advertise products or events.

Foursquare
Foursquare is a location “check-in” service that allows customers to tell everyone they are in a certain place of business. This is a must use platform for all small local businesses.

Instagram
Here you can highlight your products and services in a visual way. Use the platform as a push tool to other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

LinkedIn
This is your online resume. List your business history, core objectives and skill as well as recommendations from customers. An excellent LinkedIn profile could win you incredible business offers.

Meetup
With millions of users, Meetup is a powerful local networking and organizing tool for individuals and small businesses.

Periscope
This is a live video streaming app. Use it to advertise your products, announce new products or as a means to collect feedback from viewers.

Pinterest
Pinterest is an interesting visual sharing platform with 100 million users. Pin clickable images that lead back to your website.

Quora
This popular question and answer platform allows you to shine as an expert in your field. Offer consistent, credible answers backed by fact and you’ll see an influx of traffic to your website.

Snapchat
Snapchat is an image processing application where you can share promo codes, demo your products or even partner with influencers as a strategy to increasing your brand awareness.

Tumblr
Tumblr allows you to post videos, photos, chats, audio messages and quotes. You can also reblog your favorite posts.

Twitter
This is where you have the greatest chance of your posts going viral. You can use the platform to post your business updates, recent news and more. Hashtags play an important role in building your posts momentum so ensure you use relevant hashtags.

WhatsApp
This instant messaging client can work as a customer service tool. Use it to quickly pass on internal communication or create a group as a way to advertise your products or services.

Yelp
Yelp is the king of reviews with more than 140 million active users.

YouTube
The second largest search engine and owned by Google. SEO is the word to remember, since your videos could appear on Google’s top search results. You can also use it also as a feedback platform.

What Are Some Of The Top Social Media Tools For Marketers?

Here are several of the best third-party apps that enhance certain features of social platforms and make social media a more lucrative experience.

Agorapulse – content scheduling and message tracking, along with in-depth analytics and report-creation features.

Animoto – allows even inexperienced marketers to create eye-catching and stimulating video content for their audience.

Buffer – lets you que posts for various accounts

BuzzSumo – allows marketers to quickly determine the popularity of different types of content and adapt their marketing strategies.

Canva – for visuals and graphics, Canva contains plenty of design tools, tutorials, templates and more, so users have the materials to create almost anything they can conceive.

Grytics – gathers a wealth of information from the posts and members of specific groups in Facebook. It then displays these statistics for businesses to manage these groups or tailor their strategies to better suit audience interests.

MavSocial – management tool that focuses on graphics and videos for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr.

nTuitive.social – combines detailed data analytics with refined publishing and scheduling tools to ensure brands can consistently provide interesting content.

Oktopost – powerful data analytics, post scheduling, content curation and discussion tracking, the application allows businesses to increase their productivity, while at the same time pinpointing any glaring weaknesses.

Quuu – hand-picked curations based on interests in 300 categories.

Sendible – great for teams managing social media for a lot of different clients.

Storyheap – tailored for the Story feature, allowing brands to manage their Story straight from the web.

SocialDrift– an Instagram marketer’s best friend. The platform automates Instagram interactions, which help to organically increase follower count.

TweetDeck – allows businesses to schedule, monitor and queue up Tweets remotely. The app ensures that marketers can discuss certain content and analyze audience tastes to release Tweets best suited to their followers’ interests.

Unsplash – a database of gorgeous, high-resolution, watermark-free images that are free for use.

Yotpo – collects posts relevant to a brand and helps these businesses contact users for permission to use their posts in advertising.

 

What Is the Future of Social Media Marketing?

In one word: Video.

Video marketing is the future of social media marketing. Both online marketers and local businesses are quickly moving into video because it’s what people want. Video marketing is interesting, easier to remember, conveys so much more than written words, and stands out to users when scrolling through an endless news feed.

How big is the digital video marketing industry?

A recent study by mobile video platform company Magisto revealed that the digital video marketing industry has grown to $135 billion dollars in 2017.

This is by far the number one upward trend in social media, and video marketing will grow even more in years to come.

How many small businesses are utilizing video marketing within social media?

Young Entrepreneurs Forum estimated in 2015 that 90% of small businesses were still NOT using video marketing.

This stat has got to have doubled by now, but that still means that approximately 70-80% of small businesses aren’t using video in their social media strategy.

Any business that does use video will automatically stand out from all those who don’t, so it’s still wide open. More to the point, if you’re not using video, you will get left in the dust by your competition.

How fast is Video Marketing Growing?

  • Mark Zuckerberg expects that Facebook will be primarily video content by 2021
  • Based on traffic, YouTube is the #2 website online
  • More than half of all video viewing takes place on mobile which makes sense. The majority of people interact on social media from their mobile devices. This makes it incredibly important to optimize social media posts, blogs, and company websites for mobile consumption.

Share Videos Organically and Promote Them

If your business has a large following on social media, then posting your video content organically may be a good tactic.

But organic reach from social posting is becoming far less significant. Roughly 5-15% of a business page’s social following ACTUALLY sees the post.

It can be well-worth it to promote your videos on social media.

To quote social media expert, Jamie Turner…

“Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money”

You spend time and money creating great videos, so why not invest in promoting them.

This is what successful marketers do.

Every platform has its own advantages, and only some of them will be right for your business.

But guaranteed, if your platforms use video, then you need to use video. Go ahead and promote those videos and get them seen.

Video Marketing Stats

500,000,000 people watch Facebook videos every day.

1/3 of the time people spend online is devoted to watching videos.

2017 – 74% of all internet traffic is video.

2018 – 80% of all internet traffic will come from video.

2021 – 13% of all internet traffic will consist of LIVE video.

Mentioning the word “video” in the subject line of your email increases the open rate by 19%.

Video on landing pages is capable of increasing conversions by 80%.

82% of Twitter uses watch video content on Twitter.

85% of the U.S. internet audience watches videos online.

92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others.

90% of Twitter video views happen on a mobile device.

10 million videos are watched on Snapchat per day.

51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.

Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.

Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs.

What are Some of The Top Social Media Marketing Tips?

  • Use a good social sharing plugin such as social warfare to get website visitors to share your content. This can easily double the number of shares you get.
  • Use a visual storytelling tool such as Easil to create visual content you can use to promote your core content.
  • Don’t be afraid to pay for social advertising – it can be a good investment.
  • Even if your products aren’t visual in nature, try Pinterest. Use your own photos or a paid Shutterstock account, and place your call to action on each one. A free trial works really well.
  • Make video a part of your content strategy. It gets maximum engagement on Facebook and it’s easy to create videos using Facebook’s own advertising tools.
  • Once your social media marketing gains traction, managing your accounts is going to take up too much time – unless you use a tool with a unified social inbox. Sendible works well for this, and you can see who you’ve replied to and who you need to reply to. And don’t forget the archive button, it’s a huge timesaver.
  • Stick to the fundamentals of advertising. You don’t need to know any magic formulas to make it work.
  • Use ad targeting to send your ideal prospects from social platforms to your landing page.
  • Don’t just act authentic, BE authentic. Followers and advocates are attracted to REAL and can sniff out fake in a heartbeat.
  • Focus on relationships. Remember, social media is about people. Offer value inspiration and knowledge to help others achieve their goals.
  • Try newsjacking – injecting your ideas into a breaking new story to generate media coverage, get sales leads and grow your business.
  • Begin with strategy. Ask yourself why are you in this business? Who is your product or service for? And how does your product or service solve your ideal client’s problem? Now that you know this, you can build a strategy for your social media marketing.
  • Use GIFs. As of May, 2018, you can now use GIFs in Facebook ads. Wordstream reports they tried it, and on the first day the ad with the GIF outperformed any other live Facebook ad they were running.

How Can I Learn Social Media Marketing?

You’ll want to get up to date and stay up to date by reading the blogs of the experts in the field. Here’s a few to get you started…

Hubspot Marketing Blog – breaking news and actionable how-to guides on every social network

Scott Monty – read his social media articles.

Social Media Examiner – one of the top blogs for social media

Social Media Explorer – a strategic services agency and a blog with some of the best social media and marketing experts.

You also might want to take courses through one of the learning sites such as Udemy. Or check out your local college – many of them offer courses on social media marketing.

Just realize that social media evolves so fast, no course is likely to be totally up to date. But you can learn the basics for a good foundation and worry about the little, ever-changing details later.

Finally, the last way to learn social media marketing is to jump in headfirst.

Pick a platform – your choice – and Google it. Read up on it for 2 days straight. Learn all you can in that time, and then get started by completing your business profile for the platform and getting started.

There’s nothing like on the job training for learning how to do something.

Two Final Things

Have fun. If you’re having fun, your followers are having fun.

And always, always, always think before you post. Examples abound of people and businesses who didn’t think before posting.

The backlash to a post deemed inappropriate can be swift and stunning.

You do not want to be THAT person.

You want to be the marketer making friends, contacts and new customers while providing extraordinary service, information and help.

THAT’s who YOU want to be.

  
 

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