How Complete are your Social Media Strategies?

When crafting new social media strategies, is it really possible to create the perfect social post?

This does not seem possible at times because just when we feel like we’ve got the process nailed down, some social guru tells us that it is wrong. Does this mean we should stop listening to experts?

Maybe it’s better to evaluate what is working for your blog and for your audience. After all, no two of them are ever the same with the exact same interests and desires. I find that being both consistent and persistent is the best answer.

Social Media Consistency

To me, being consistent on social media means a couple of things.

The first is demonstrating a common brand across all of your social media channels. Your readers should see and recognize the same logo and color scheme on every single one of your channels.

You have to realize how hard it is to achieve online branding in the first place. It is quite foolish to put a ton of effort on your Fan page and even pay for some ads there to brand yourself, and then undo that branding with a crappy looking YouTube Channel.

These inconsistent social accounts will end up confusing your viewers and make them weary of your brand.

The second thing about consistency is having a consistent mission and tagline. Do not overlook these items because they are really important. If your missions contradict each other on two different social media channels, it also makes readers uneasy.

Social Media Persistence

Persistence with your social media strategies simply means that put out routine content to your readers. This is very important in building a readership because your audience needs to be able to count on you posting routinely.

Remember this, there are thousands of marketers out there in your niche that are always looking for RSS feeds from blogs that produce lots of routine content. They take these feeds and use them to load up their secondary blogs and Web 2.0 properties with content in their market.

Think about this. These are free back links from marketers in your niche that are located on Web 2.0 properties – that Google loves. This is only one of the many benefits from using social media strategies that creates persistent posts.

 

A 23 Step Social Media Marketing Checklist for 2019 [Infographic]

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/a-23-step-social-media-marketing-checklist-for-2019-infographic/545167/Last year, the team from SEMrush published a helpful checklist for effective social media management, and they’ve updated the listing for 2019, adding in relevant, up-to-date information to help keep you on the right track. The listing breaks the essential tasks down into daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly notes – check out the full infographic below for more detail. A 23 Step Social Media Marketing Checklist for 2019 [Infographic] | Social Media Today

The Ultimate Social Checklist: 7 Steps to Follow for Every Post

https://neilpatel.com/blog/ultimate-social-checklist/To help you make the most of each and every post you create, here is a 7-step checklist you can follow. Maintaining a consistent posting schedule is important if you want to stay visible and relevant on social platforms. This is why we see companies in just about every industry taking advantage of popular weekly hashtags like #MotivationMonday or #ThrowbackThursday. The Ultimate Social Checklist: 7 Steps to Follow for Every Post

 

 

4 Ways to Engage Others on Social Media

4 Ways to Engage Others on Social MediaAs much as we (rightly) praise Google for having transformed our lives for the better, sometimes we all want answers that go beyond the right search query.  Sometimes we want to reach out to someONE rather than someTHING.

But engaging in a conversation requires trust.  And just as no newsletter sign-up form or invitation should be without trust-building assurances and privacy statements, no social media invitation or landing page should be without its own persuasive and trust-building cues.

#1:  Provide Visual Indications of Connection and Instantaneity

Take a look at this eBags “Steal of the Day” offer, as taken by Rishi Rawat.

Notice that eBags not only points out how many bags are left, but how many shoppers are also being offered this deal right NOW as you are looking at the purse yourself. Is this really social media?

No, but it does show how instantaneity brings the human element into an otherwise “sterile” e-commerce experience.

Similarly below, on the Windows social media landing page, the ability to see the current forum comments and questions is powerfully persuasive.  The combination of transparency and perceived instantaneity create the desire to dive into the “conversational stream” that we see passing before us.

Notice that the Twelpforce box is below the fold on the social media landing page and there are no cues of:

  • Instantaneity or connection. We don’t see the stream of tweeted questions, nor do we see a McDonald’s-like counter of number of customers served/helped.
  • “People” behind the tweeted answers.
  • A high signal-to-noise ratio—no displayed answers to show that the responses are better than trusting to Google, FAQ pages, or scrolling through the forums.

#2:  Show Signs of the Real Person Behind the Technology

If you look back to the Microsoft social media landing page, you’ll see that pictures are attached to all of the displayed tweets.  That cues us to emotionally attach the “real people” warmth to the streaming tweets and comments.  Remember, social media is about connecting with people.  So include as many “real people” cues as possible.  Common ways to do this include:

 

  • Attaching pictures to blog comments.  Almost nothing says “real person” more than an actual headshot.  Seeing a face humanizes the person behind the comment.
  • Pictures attached to testimonials.  In the same way that handwriting personalizes a note, a picture of the customer can personalize the testimonial.
  • Voice attached to testimonials.  There’s so much information attached to inflection, emphasis, tonal quality, and so on.  We just feel we can spot sincerity when we hear it—and that works to your advantage when you’ve got sincere customers willing to record a testimonial.
  • Video testimonials. This is the best of both worlds: you get voice and pictures!
  • Providing live chat with someone specific. Try changing the picture within the live chat icon according to which operator is “at bat.”  Everyone likes to know whom they’re talking with.  When you provide an actual picture, you give visitors more confidence to initiate a conversation.
  • Providing a group shot of your customer service or social media team.  Sometimes providing a picture of the individual service tech isn’t feasible, but providing a group shot is.  Best Buy could certainly do this and it would sync nicely with their current “Ask a Blue Shirt” TV commercials.
  • Making sure your corporate social media initiatives have a personality behind them.  Bureaucracies don’t have authentic personalities. If projecting your authentic self is crucial to social media success, then a corporate-looking social media landing page is probably doomed from the start.

#3:  Show You Deliver Value

While social media holds out the promise of human contact and intelligent response, it also presents the risk of the knucklehead factor.  No-one wants to open themselves up to spam, troll-like responses, and a customer service rep whose only knowledge of the problem stems from the flow chart in front of him.

To engage more visitors with your social media efforts, you will need to include cues that indicate you provide value—many more intelligent insights, answers, and offers than selfish promotions and corporate PR-speak.

If Best Buy displayed the responses to tweeted questions, this would allow them to demonstrate the quality of their answers and a high signal-to-noise ratio.  Similarly, allowing transparency on Twitter streams, Facebook updates, and so on can allow the wary to see for themselves what kind of signal you’re sending.  This obviously overlaps a bit with the connectivity and instantaneity cues discussed earlier.

Showing your social media team’s pictures indicates that you hold them in high regard, which equates to a higher likelihood of intelligent answers, tweets, blog posts, and so forth.

#4: Use a Strong Call to Action

Social media doesn’t eliminate the need for traditional usability and conversion best practices.  Visually prominent and clear calls to action will continue to outperform subtle text-based links.  Compare the “See this Steal” and “Join the Conversation” buttons in the first two examples with Best Buy’s “Visit ____” text-based links.  Which is more inviting to you?

As with almost everything on the Internet, it always pays to test—both through user testing and A/B or multivariate testing.  As my good friend and mentor Bryan Eisenberg would say, “Always Be Testing.”

Smart Social Media Monitoring

Smart Social Media MonitoringIf you have been involved in internet marketing at all over the last few years, then you have undoubtedly heard the term social media monitoring. We all know that it just makes sense to listen first to a conversation before jumping into it with your two cents worth. Smart social media monitoring is the very same thing when you get right down to it.

Yet there are lots of brand and niche marketers out there who apparently are not aware of this analogy. They don’t seem to realize exactly this monitoring is – much less what smart social media monitoring is.

Social Media Monitoring is Really Just Listening

Whenever we listen to conversations online, we can do this without ears. We can now use search engine technology and also certain social media tools to scan the web as we seek out documents that have our chosen keywords. When these documents are made available, we can observe where individuals have talked about and mentioned your product, your brand, your services, or anything else you selected.

What this method does is alert you as to which blogs and websites are attracting the people who are talking about you or mentioning your products and services. You have to realize that these conversations are taking place with or without your knowing about it.

Lots of Social Media Monitoring Costs Nothing

The quickest and simplest way to begin monitoring the social media channels is by signing up for the free tools and services. You can get Google Alerts search for your chosen keywords or key phrases just like you’d do during regular searches, and then it will notify you anytime something is found on the Internet for your search terms. You can also subscribe to email updates for your search results or even add those to your current RSS subscriptions.

And then there is Twitter when you can for mentions about your brand and services. This will give you a real-time look at any ongoing conversations.

Paid Social Media Monitoring Also Work Very Well

As with other things in life, the biggest drawback to using free monitoring tools is all the manual work you’ll need to do in order to get the benefit. There are several paid monitoring services that will quickly and easily collect all those mentions and conversations and put them into a well-organized report. They will provide various graphs and charts for quick analysis.

One huge advantage to many of these paid services is the ability they have to assess sentiment and also the conversational tone by using high tech algorithms which evaluate natural language. So what happens is whenever you log on to your service, you see information that might tell you that there were 225 conversations that mentioned your brand over the past week, and out of those conversation, 87% were positive, 8% were negative and the remaining 5% were neutral.

Build your Business with Smart Monitoring

You should not consider smart media monitoring as being limited to mitigating online adversaries. The fact is that when you take the time to analyze the conversations going on about not only your company, but you can also monitor your entire market – including your competitors. This will give you an amazing market advantage and will even drive your business and will it grow bigger and bigger.

5 Basic Types of Social Media Headlines

Basic Types of Social Media HeadlinesWhenever we sit down to create a nice piece of content, we learned in a previous post that we really need to pay attention to our headlines – especially when we share that content on our accounts from Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.

But did you know that there are five (5) basic types of social media headlines. So let is look more deeply at these different kinds of headlines:

  1. News Headlines — This is especially true when we are reporting a piece of popular breaking Your objective is to generate some buzz around some juicy gossip, and let your readers know what is going on at the moment. The fact is that breaking news travels across social media even faster than traditional news channels. In fact, news on social sites makes news agencies appear slow and dated. However, the biggest drawback of sharing this type of content is that it is not evergreen. In most cases, the peak of traffic received from a breaking news post occurs on the day you share it.
  2. Setting Goal Headlines—This kind of headline is one that provides a better or new way to accomplish a goal, and to become even be more wealthy, more powerful, more attractive, and so forth. Look at the covers of magazines at any newsstand for lots of examples of this type of headline. Magazines writers are masters of this.
  3. Solving Problem Headlines—The other side of the goal headlines is the trusty problem headline. Many marketers believe that fear sells much better than positive messages – most newspapers editors will wholeheartedly agree.
  4. How-to Headlines—This is where you share an effective tutorial, technique, formula or recipe that accomplishes something very beneficial. It is very similar to the goal headline, but is more specific in providing actual steps in creating something.
  5. Entertainment Headlines—Social media is slammed full of great entertainment. There we can funny videos, adorable pictures, gut splitting jokes or even links to failure events called “fails”. This kind of coffee break material is what really built up social media to what it is today.

If you look for a common denominator in all of these basic types of social media headlines, you will notice that they generate some sort of emotional response. And they end up triggering an emotional reaction in viewers. We must never forget that we wish to induce an action of some sort from our readers. This action could be anything from giving an “up” vote on your Reddit channel to purchasing a new online marketing course priced at $2000.

Emotional Response Triggers

For gaining maximum attention of your readers and getting them take some kind of action, you must understand their emotional triggers and hot buttons. For instance, would you know how to get them cry, laugh, or even scream at their computer screens? Here are actually some emotional triggers straight from Hollywood, which are designed to emotionally affect your audience.

  1. Boost and Slam—What are the absolute worst/best/most/least of all? Compare them and then contrast them.
  2. Laugh, Snigger, Cry—Learning to jerk on the heartstrings of your readers will always be effective. This particularly true whenever you combine cheer, weep, and snigger.
  3. Anger and Outrage—Listen to talk hosts on TV or radio who have mastered the use of this trigger.
  4. Fear, Scams, and Pending Disasters—Generate some disgust and fears – then get some clicks.
  5. Sexy and Attractive—Sex always sells and always will.
  6. Us versus Them—Get your audience polarized and then get attention. Politics and religion are always good ways to get it going.
  7. Shock—Take your readers by surprise and present things that are outrageous.
  8. Curiosity—This is the process of getting readers to feel that they must read your content.
  9. Caught in the Act—Readers adore stories when elite people get nailed and caught doing something that is morally wrong or a crime – especially when the action goes against what that person stood for in public.
  10. Contrary and Contentious—Post challenges to ideas that have been accepted for generations. Attack deep-seated assumptions. Slay some sacred cows in the beliefs of others.

When you combine several of these emotional triggers along with one of these five (5) basic types of social media headlines, you will increase your chances of creating a partially viral post on social media.

Why We Need Social Media Strategies

social media strategiesEver wondered why we even need social media strategies? If you truly desire to connect with your audience and find out exactly how they feel about your brand, then a social media strategy is certainly going to help. If you are attempting to alter public perceptions about your business, or want improve or enhance your customer service, then a social media strategy is going to really help.

Finding the Big Dogs

If you desire to discover who all the advocates and influencers are and you want to have them broadcast your message for you, then your social media strategies are what is going to identify all those primary figures in your niche and show you who to connect with. And as a sole individual, you will certainly want to be formulating strategies that will help you attain your networking goals.

When using social media strategies for your business, you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to find out more from the people around you and learn new stuff from your social media network. When you use the proper social networks, you are often able to discover what you have been missing in your career.

Using Great Software

Many times, when you get to use social media software, you will be able to enjoy a boost in productivity while getting reductions in costs. Lots of companies spend huge amounts of money on various collaboration software, and then they fail to use these investments wisely. This is because there are still a lot of data being stored in very large storage area networks, which are basically dead data.

Without having the ability to search this data effectively within the company, and without any updates, or audit notifications and even user interaction, this mountain of data will age and becomes obsolete and then it will die. When there is no software to provide sensible collaboration and interaction in a secure fashion within companies, this data just rots on the vine.

There have been several articles and online discussions in regards to social media and social networking along with the many possible opportunities they could be bringing to companies. There are countless benefits for those corporations who choose to utilize this kind of communication. Certainly some social media strategies would be very useful.

One of the main rules of social media networking is that it is really about giving instead of receiving. You give to the greater quantity of knowledge when you submit your perspective, advice, know-how, or links to combine with other streams of knowledge. And there’s all kinds of ways that someone could share this knowledge. There are just too many available tools in the social media arena. Among these are blogs, moblogs, tagging, wikis, bookmarking, tweets, podcasts, vlogs, videoblogging, video sharing, and even virtual worlds.

There are actually many steps to ponder if you want to be successful with your social networking. And these steps are not intended to be used independently in order to experience success with them.

Digital engagement is what will let us collectively solve specific problems, connect with our customers, listen to their feedback, and to recruit advocates to be brand evangelists. When you know all the challenges that you are hoping to overcome, it will help you to get your successful social media strategies on the path.

Creating Social Media Headlines That Readers Love

creating social media headlinesHow much time do you spending creating social media headlines? You should probably spend more …

As online marketers, many of us struggle in getting the clicks and the bookmarks we need on our posts and our articles? It could be that there is something that we could improve when it comes to your content and this might be where we are coming up short. In fact, the very best online writers are making the same mistake as well – so we shouldn’t feel bad.

Marketers Overlook the Obvious

This particular factor in our writing will actually require some extra effort to get it right, and yet it’s extremely so apparent that it gets overlooked. But if we think for just a minute and ask ourselves what our viewers see first see when they read our social media posts.

That’s right, you guessed correctly. It is our headlines.

If we fail to write a compelling headline, then there is no way that we are going to attract the attention of new readers, and our blog posts will not circulate as quickly either.

But if we take the take to craft a great headline that kicks ass, then we are going to get many more clicks, lots more bookmarks, and our dedicated readers will be eager to share our content with all of their friends and loved ones.

Writing Compelling Headlines

Here is a drill for you. Go back and read the headline of your most recent article which you felt that you wrote very well. In fact, why not read several of them? And then evaluate them based on the following criterion.

  • Does the headline grab your attention?This is the very first element when it comes to creating a headline for our awesome posts and articles. Our headlines have to grab the attention of potential readers among all the noise that our society cranks out on a nonstop basis.
  • Will the headline attract the right audience?The fact is that we humans are mostly driven by our own self-interests and our minds are programmed to scan information for messages that pertain to us specifically. Therefore, our headlines must target the group of people that we desire to read our content. It is okay if others want to read it as well, but we must ensure that our target audience has an interest in reading it.
  • Is your headline specific? When we write specific headlines, they have proven to be more effective in getting the attention of others. Not only that, they are notorious for building instant belief and trust in readers because they demonstrate knowledge about the topic. Vague and generic headlines tend to be more untrustworthy. So instead of saying “enjoy profitable results”, we should say “how I got an 87.2% boost in profits with this simple method.”
  • Does your headline illicit curiosity in your potential reader?Have you determined ahead of time exactly what is going to get readers to take notice but also to take action as well? When you have figured this out, then you need to weave this into your new headline. This will give readers a very reason to read beyond the headline and consume your entire blog post, and it all begins with generating curiosity. What is effective is generating a sense of feeling incomplete within potential readers, and they must read the post to get answers.
  • Does your headline promise powerful benefits?All great headlines points out the big benefits of reading the article. There must be a big payoff in the end. Readers have to discover exactly what they stand to gain from your information.

Summary

Creating social media headlines that readers love is a skill that every online content writer needs to develop. It will pay off handsomely in the long run.

How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Business

How to Use Social Media to Boost Your BusinessMany marketers and business owners these days are asking how to use social media?

Traditional businesses are beginning to discover that their livelihood depends on how quick they embrace the new social media marketing model. They are discovering that their competitors who have adopted social marketing strategies and starting to leave them behind, so now they wonder how to use social media.

Many of them lack the budget to hire a social media manager to do this for them, so they are forced to do it with in-house personnel. And now they are scrambling to get up and running on the big platforms.

The good news is that you get up and running in about a week if you do it right. Let us look at the steps needed to start using social media.

Steps for Using Social Media from Scratch

Craft your Message

I don’t care how long you have been in business; you need to spend a few hours crafting the main message of your business. You really need for this to be crystal clear to everyone.

State out in a brief sentence or two what you mission is, and also create a tagline or slogan that is catchy.

Get a Logo Design

If you already have one, that’s great – just make sure you have an electronic copy in a jpg format. If not, then you can go on Fiverr and get one done very quickly and very inexpensively. Make sure you log reflects who you are and try to include your tagline on it as well.

Start Creating Profiles on the Major Social Sites

Go to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn and create profiles on all of those sites for your company. Ensure that you include your business bio, your mission statement, your tagline and your logo. Finally, include a link to your company website.

Begin Posting Content

Hopefully, you have a person or two who is going to take charge of your social media posting schedule. Basically, you should start off crafting and posting two kinds of content.

The first type of content pertains to helpful tips about your market that your audience would benefit from – these are “value posts”.  And the second type of post is the ones you post about your company and your products. These are called “marketing posts”.

As you start out, you only need to post on your social networking accounts about 4-5 times every week. When your audience grows, you should post 2-3 times every single day. Make sure each post has an image because posts with images get about 5 times more engagement than those without them.

Also, post 2-3 “value posts” for every “marketing post”. Be willing to give away great value to your online audience. Follow and befriend a dozen or so new people in your market on a daily basis. After your account is about a month old, you can start following about 70-80 new people every day. Unfollow people after about a week if they don’t follow you back.

Summary

If you follow the plan listed above, then now you know how to use social media. Now your business should have a great social media presence online – and it costs you nothing. From this point, you should create a budget for advertising on social media as well as it is extremely targeted.

4 Steps to Easy Social Media Marketing for Modern Times

easy social media marketingEasy social media marketing is now available to all. This is what lots traditional online marketers have yet to learn. Many are not even aware of this fact. The social media methods that are being used today are not the same methods that were even being done a few years ago.

This is because of the changing and improving platforms and new technologies, and also because of our access to endless streams of information. Also, consumers are much more informed today than they ever have been.

Maturation of Social Media Marketing

So here we are at the point where the use of social media for marketing has matured beyond belief. The question is how many of us have matured along with it?

The answer is probably not many. Recent research has indicated that around 98% of consumer brands are still using social media for just broadcasting to their customers – without actually engaging with them. When you think about it, this is actually going against the notion that social marketing works two ways.

4 Modern Marketing Steps

If your business hasn’t caught up with times, then keep reading to get yourself up to date. This is actually a good time to consider how social media help your business even more. Let us look at four things you can do to start using social in a more effective way.

1) Do more than listen

A few years ago, marketing gurus were telling us to start “listening” to the conversations on social media. This was supposed to be a big game changer.

The idea now is to start going beyond listening and engaging as well. Do not stop at listening – take the extra and interact with your potential audience.

2) Scale up that engagement

We you think about it, trying to listen and engage on every social media channel could be very hard. The good news is that there are several tools out there that will help you cover all your social media channels. This is a great example of easy social media marketing methods.

3) Accelerate awareness of your brand

The biggest advantage of using social media for marketing is the power it gives you. Marketers today can literally define their audience to every little detail and social media will serve up that precise advertising to them. When you define your customer avatar, then you just need to ratchet up your campaigns.

4) Uniting your audience and technology methods

Becoming a great social media marketer means finding that perfect balance between using your technologies and exerting a human touch. You really can’t put the primary focus on one or the other and go to the next level. You have to leverage the power of each of these approaches.

Putting it all Together

The goals of marketers are comprised of three things. They need to get new customers, they need to serve their existing customers, and they to grow loyal customers. Social media will help businesses achieve these important goals. When you can embrace its power, then you will experience easy social media marketing.