It’s #NationalSomethingDay – It Can Spice Up Your Social Media Marketing

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Today is #NationalSomethingDay.  It can spice up your social media marketing.  Are you posting or tweeting about it?  It seems that every day when I go on Twitter, it is #NationalSomethingDay.  In fact, often its more than one thing on any given day.  Yesterday it was #NationalLipstickDay, #NationalCheesecakeDay and #NationalChicekenWingsDay. Coming up on Sunday, August 2nd 2015 is #NationalFriendshipDay.  Seems we cannot go one day of the year without celebrating something and I’m okay with that. When it was #NationalHotdogday I excitedly text my partner so that he could go grab his $1 Chili Cheese Dog at Sonic. After all, junk food isn’t unhealthy if its a national celebration day, right?

I bring this up because one of the things I hear so often from my clients is that they simply don’t know what to post on their social media sites or they always post about their particular business.  For example, if you are a retail store you are always posting about your own specials, discounts, etc.  If you’re an attorney, everything is about legal issues and can get pretty dry.  If you’re a chiropractor its about the body and health.  Great info but most of us zone out when we see the same type of posts on a businesses page.  It’s hard enough to get your posts seen on Facebook these days.  These celebratory days should be a part of your social media marketing.

When you recognize a #NationalSomethingDay and add it to your social media posts you are bringing in a lighter, more fun element. You are mixing it up and that is okay.  Would the chiropractor or nutritionist post about #NationalHotdogDay?  Maybe not but certainly everyone can find something to say about #NationalFriendshipDay.  The All American #NationalIcecreamDay provided a host of local and national ice cream establishments that were giving away a favorite summertime dessert to celebrate the day. That would be something fun to inform your followers.

On Twitter, these #NationalSomethingDay trending conversations give you a way to enter the conversation.  Don’t sell, just tweet something like your favorite ice cream flavor and ask what other people’s favorite is.  On Facebook, talk about an experience related to whatever the #NationalSomethingDay is commemorating. Remember, you may be posting as your business but everyone knows there’s people behind the business – make it personal sometimes.  People want to KNOW whom they are doing business with.  People want to LAUGH and feel an affinity with those organizations they patronize.

Pinterest and Instagram offer an explosion of pictures and you can use these #NationalSomethingDay to reach out on those very visual platforms.  Not every business will be on these platforms but for those using them, have some fun.

The only platform I would recommend not engaging in #NationalSomethingDay would be LinkedIn. Too many people are using LinkedIn as they would Facebook and frankly, it is diluting the professionalism of LinkedIn and the meaningfulness of what is posted there. Unless its #NationalBossesDay or #NationalAssistantsDay, keep it off your LinkedIn profile.

Twitter is a great place to find out these #NationalSomethingDays and then I will Google them to see what articles come up to Tweet, Post or simply get some additional info.  In researching for this article, I also discovered the National Calendar Day website. Now that’s a gold mine of information for us all to get our share of food, fun and friendship days.  Use these celebratory days to spice up and change up your social media marketing.

Happy #NationalSomethingDay celebrating!

 

 

This article was written by Debbie Harris from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


6 Social Media Strategies for Engaging Customers

Have you felt your social media posts stagnate? Perhaps you are embarking on your company’s social media journey for the first time. Properly engaging your followers can be tough for businesses, especially established companies. Part of the issue is knowing how to walk the line between maintaining your professionalism while engaging on a personal level. You have to decide where on this line you walk before building your social media strategy.

Riot Games is a major video game company that errs on the side of professionalism. They routinely hold art and animation contests, then proudly display the best works on their website. The personal aspect they tackle through their forums, where moderators are allowed some freedom to flex their personalities.

On the flip side, some of the biggest corporations tell jokes and reach out to individuals to create a unique, laid back relationship with their demographic. Take Newcastle Brown Ale, which routinely lampshades its own marketing efforts:

newcastle1

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The examples in this post are just neat ways companies develop a personality. There is no tried and true method. You just need to be yourself. Still, we offer these tips on how to reach out and nab your target demographic:

Provide industry tips. A great social media tactic for businesses is to throw out a Tweet or Facebook post with a random factoid or tidbit. A car manufacturer may give tips on staying safe on slick roads during December, while a clothing designer might gush what designs are trending. This establishes you as a company that knows the market, knows the trends, and in some cases is defining the current trend. This is a nice move that boosts professionalism.

Get personal. The Skittles Twitter account is known for being pretty laid back. They often post random quips using puns, play on words, and sometimes just randomness to poke fun at big business.

skittles

The Applebee’s Twitter is a long string of the music currently playing on their Pandora radio. A music playlist is a professional idea. It does not necessarily engage the audience, but it gives people a reason to follow an account. DiGiorno, on the other hand, throws professionalism into the air and dives straight for their target customers. Their account reminds me of a first-year college student:

digiorno

All of these accounts work well for their demographics. Skittles can be as silly as they want since the William Wrigley Jr. Company just sells candy. Applebee’s, a family restaurant, needs to market very differently than DiGiorno. Do you think they were successful at capturing the spirit of their demographics?

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Join the chatter. The worst thing you can do is fail to respond in a timely manner to your company’s social media accounts. Getting direct attention from a company quickly builds loyalty in your customers, even in a hastily-written tweet:

sainsbury

Or this blatant and hilarious reference to hipsters:

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Even worse is failing to provide a quick response to criticism, constructive or otherwise. Taco Bell is another company known for acting laid back online, but their tweets are professional when confronted with an issue:

taco bell

Engaging customers directly on social media allows you to throw off the professionalism a tad more. Think of mirroring techniques in sales.

Nurture free publicists. Your strongest advocates are your greatest ally. I remember in college when a Chipotle opened forty minutes away from my school. Every Sunday, five of my friends would drive an hour and a half for burritos. They posted about Chipotle at least three times a week. Those were true loyalists.

There are people out there who absolutely love your brand. Already in the habit of posting every detail of their lives, it just takes a couple of direct interactions before you are a part of their daily broadcast.

Take some time and really scour your social media accounts and relevant hashtags. Some people style themselves as amateur critics of your industry. For instance, painters and home remodelers may often tweet about certain lines of paint they love (or hate!). Out of the active “product testers” out there, some have huge followings. 67% of people are more likely to buy products from brands they follow, while 79% are more likely to recommend your company to someone else.

Use multimedia. Videos and links are highly sharable, often retweeted, and consumed at a staggering rate. Tweets are engaged twice as often when it contains an image link versus one that does not. Hashtags also double the amount, but research shows using less hashtags are better. Facebook posts with photos are definitely more appealing because they are immediately viewable.

You are not limited to images. Infographics are great when you are running an information-heavy new campaign. Facts are easier to memorize when reading infographics and people are more likely to pay attention all the way to the end. Think new product launches or PR campaigns. Videos excel at delivering product information, how-to videos, and more. Home Depot has a video page devoted to showing their customers how to use their products. They opt for professionalism in most of their social media accounts. They stay relevant by providing information their customers will find useful or interesting.

Stay consistent. The most important rule that overrides everything else is you must have a consistent personality across all of your accounts. Nothing will destroy the illusion of your personality faster than shifting attitudes, wording, and tone of voice.

There are demographic considerations at play when choosing a personality. Ask yourself these questions, choose a path, and make sure you stick with it.

  • Does your language portray your product and demographic?
  • If your brand was a person, how old would they be?
  • Does the brand identify strongly with gender or should it remain neutral?
  • Do your accounts talk in a certain dialect, use specific jargon, or identify with certain jokes?

 

This article was written by Jeremy Jusek from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


The 6 Rules of Hashtags

Let’s face it, hashtags are great. They can help you to get your message in front of people who have no connection with you, but are interested in the same subject area and are following that subject. They search the subject, your post appears. And they are used across all of the major social networks…brilliant!

But like any good thing, it doesn’t work all the time. There are some important unwritten rules which surround hashtags. It’s about time the rules were written down to allow everyone to make the most of this great feature.

Quality over quantity

There are social media accounts which use a lot of hashtags – too many! If you have ever tried to read one of these messages, you will know how difficult they are to understand. Not only that, but, to me at least, they look a little bit desperate. So, pick one hashtag that is the most relevant for the message as a whole and focus on that – too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

Be careful starting your own

Let’s remember what hashtags are all about. They are about connecting with people who are following a subject, but don’t have a link with you – it’s all about increasing your reach. So if you are starting your own hashtag, who is going to be following it as a subject? Unless you are very very influential (thanks for reading Kanye, but this doesn’t apply to you mate), you should use a hashtag which is already well established.

Make them relevant

If you follow hashtags, and you really should, you will normally find some interesting content and people, then you will be aware of hashtag spamming. This is where someone will post a message using a (normally trending) hashtag that has no connection whatsoever to their content. This is not only annoying, it is spamming and to be avoided at all costs!

Read them carefully….very carefully

If you are using a hashtag which is a couple of words squeezed into one, then you need to look at the hashtag very closely. The most innocent and well intentioned hashtags can have very embarrassing side affects – remember Susan Boyle’s new album launch? Maybe not, but you do probably remember #susanalbumparty – read it again….see what I mean? You can capitalise to make the hashtag more clear but if there is a hidden message, change the hashtag entirely!

Keep them snappy

Hashtags are often a source of humour, and that means that some of them can get pretty long. But hashtags that are too long are difficult to read, so if you are using it for your business, keep the length reasonable – and remember that you are hoping to engage someone new with it, and the longer your hashtag is, the less likely someone will be following it. You don’t want them losing their impact
#becauseyourhashtagisjusttoobloodylonglol

Think longer term

Although it depends on the number of followers that you have, the life span of a tweet is only minutes – a maximum of 15 but it could be even shorter than that. So if you are doing some research into hashtags then you want your work to last a bit longer than that right? Make the hashtag a longer term part of your marketing plan – use it on other marketing tools like your website and printed media.

Do you use hashtags and had success with them? Or is there a hashtag rule that your live by that isn’t on this list? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

 

This article was written by Justin Wilson from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


How These 5 New Facebook Video Updates Will Affect Your Marketing

As we all know by now, Facebook is betting big on video, and video advertisers love it. The rate of new video features, both for users and advertisers are at the moment quite staggering. It feels like not a week goes by before another feature is announced. And with new features comes new possibilities for marketers and advertisers. Staying on top of the different tools and options is crucial for the marketer who wants to up their video marketing game. Here are a brief rundown of the latest new Facebook newsfeed updates regarding video features, and what it means for you as a marketer, brand or advertiser.


New Feed Ranking Factors – More Video Abound

Facebook has tweaked its news feed algorithm to include more than just engagement actions on videos. Previously only engagement (liking, sharing, commenting, etc.) with a post would indicate that a video was “liked” by its viewers. Now Facebook has decided that other factors like how long people watch a video, choosing to turn on sound or making the video full screen are also factors that deem the video to be good and worthy of further spread. Liking a video is not longer the only thing that will boost a video’s spread.

What does it mean for marketers?

A potential higher organic boost if people are watching your videos but not liking or engaging with them.


New Video Ad Pricing

What a “view” on Facebook is worth have been discussed by marketers ever since Facebook introduced video ads on its platform. Up until now Facebook has deemed a view to be anytime a video is autoplayed to a user in their newsfeed. Thus a Facebook user could have gotten a video served to them, quickly scrolled past it, but it would still have been counted as a “view” for Facebook, and more crucially, the advertiser who’d have to pay for it. It seems like Facebook have reacted to angry marketers and advertisers and are set to change the policy. In the future, a view is registered only when a video is watched for 10 seconds or longer (which would incidentally be charged at a higher rate). More at The Wall Street Journal.

What does it mean for marketers?

Better knowledge of what you’re paying for and less wasted advertising money (presumably).

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More Video Ad Metrics!

A very welcome to the Facebook Page Insights is the new Video tab that is being rolled out globally over the coming few weeks. This further emphasizes the importance Facebook put on video, and will make it easier for marketers to evaluate the performance of their videos. In the video tab, page owners will have access to the following insights:

  • Views and 30-second views at a Page level
  • Top videos within a certain date range
  • Metrics for videos shared from other Pages

Instead of being limited to only seeing the statistics of a single video, page owners can now access all their videos at the aggregate level, and compare it over time. The new metrics are a gold mine for a video marketer, so head over to Facebook to read the full breakdown, and explore it when you get it.

What does it mean for marketers?

Better understanding on which of your video work and which doesn’t. Ditch that excel spreadsheet and compare your videos performance directly from your Facebook page. Comparing video distribution of Organic vs. Paid, Auto-Played vs. Clicked-to-Play, and Unique vs. Repeat — gives a unique insight into the viewing behavior of your page’s audience.


“Floating” Video Player

This new feature lets you detach a video from the newsfeed, and keep it anywhere in your browser while you continue scrolling. The feature that can be seen as a bit gimmicky is quietly being tested by Facebook on various Facebook accounts, but if deployed to all Facebook accounts is sure to bump up the viewing numbers.

Gif courtesy of The Verge - http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2015/07/07/watch-out-youtube/

Gif courtesy of The Verge – http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2015/07/07/watch-out-youtube/

What does it mean for marketers?

Higher chances that people watch your full video, which brings us to the next point…

Facebook Opens The Door To Sharing Ad Revenue With Content Creators

Facebook is finally starting to get its feet wet in the ad revenue sharing world, something that has been dominated by YouTube for a long time. For now, only big publishers and brands like NBA, Fox Sports and Funny or Die will get a piece of the pie but surely this is just a step on the way before Facebook takes on YouTube for real? Coupled with the big sharing capabilities, a full ad revenue split could entice all content creators to put their videos on YouTube.

What does it mean for marketers?

More videos on Facebook = more ad capabilities. Everything Facebook does to increase video usage on Facebook should be seen as a positive for video marketers.


Conclusion

Facebook is innovating its video products at a staggering rate, to the excitement of video marketers everywhere. Are you putting more money into distributing your brand’s videos on Facebook? Do you think these 5 Facebook newsfeed updates will affect your marketing game? Let us know in the comments.

Want to create amazing videos for your products, sales, listings or business? Try out Shakr now, it’s free and will take you less than 15 minutes to create a professional looking video for your business. Use Facebook’s hyper surgical targeting capabilities to reach your preferred audience.

 

This article was written by Anton Eliasson from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


The Perfect Marriage Of Content And Social Media: How To Make It Work For Your Business

While some webmasters may bemoan the impact of Google content marketing drive and supporting algorithms, there is no doubt that this has improved the quality of content on the World Wide Web. After all, it was less than a decade ago that link builders prioritised quality over quantity, achieving a high search engine result for their clients based on volume rather than detail.

The days of investing just £6 and linking to more than 600 connected domains are thankfully over, however, meaning that webmasters and marketers are now required to create insightful, relevant and ultimately engaging content. This should be considered as a chore or a negative development, as along with the development of social media it has created a unique opportunity for businesses to establish themselves and thought and industry leaders in 2015.

Combining Content with Social Media to Good effect

This marriage of form and medium has not only offered brands access to a targeted, global market, but it has also provided them with guidelines for how to effectively engage readers. With this in mind, consider the following steps towards combining content with social media to good effect: –

Develop a Relevant Content Strategy

As logic would suggest, this process starts with the development of a relevant and advanced content strategy. This must be tailored to suit the needs of your industry and readers, so that your written copy serves as an entry point into a relationship with individual consumers. Your strategy must also cover both internal and external content, including copy that is created for diverse platforms such as your blog, individual landing pages and even micro-blogging mediums such as Twitter.

While this should be the goal of your content strategy, however, its implementation relies on a detailed easy to understand tone of voice. Exclusive to your brand, this should create a set of guidelines that can shape and underpin all written content, whether you are writing a 2000 word blog post or an update for your Twitter account. This helps you to deliver a consistent and effective message regardless of the platform, which in turn is crucial if you are to establish yourself as a thought and industry leader.

Prioritise Quality over Quantity when It Comes to Link Building

While your branded tone of voice should also dictate the nature of any external link building, there are also other factors that need consideration when cultivating a natural link profile. The first step is to prioritise quality over quantity when looking to build links, as you strive to identify clean and powerful host domains that are relevant to your niche. So long as use purposeful link building tool such as BuzzStream and Majestic SEO to inform your selection and refine all content to suit the destination website, you can develop a natural and productive profile.

Anchor text is also an important consideration, as the use of heavily optimised text or branded keywords will also prove damaging over time. Where possible, you should create content that includes natural anchor text, which adds value to the article and links back to an informative, relevant source. This negates much of the risk associated with link building in the modern age, and ensures that your external content can be used to its full effect.

Share Your Content Across a Tailored and Integrated Social Media Platform

Once your content strategy has begun to produce informative internal and external content, you will need to share this across your social media network. This is not simply a case of promoting your work across a generic selection of websites, as the range and quality of social media outlets has evolved considerably in the last five years. Even relatively new resources such as Snapchat have grown at a considerable rate since their inception, achieving in excess of 100 million active monthly users and developing a range of business applications.

Not only have these new additions added depth and diversity to the market, but they have also created an opportunity for business-owners to target specific demographics with their content. By understanding the membership demographics associated with niche sites such as Pinterest and LinkedIn, you can create accounts on the social media outlets that are most relevant to your brand. With market leading outlets such as Twitter and Facebook at the head of your integrated profile, you can optimise your reach, increase the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaigns and create measurable results and ROI.

 

This article was written by Laura Cole from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.