Did you know social media is the number one daily activity among Americans, topping time spent on email and Google?
As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless.
But before diving into paid ads it is important to build out your social channels with rockstar content, quality customer service, and eye-catching visuals. For those of you who have let your social channels develop cobwebs and cockroaches over the past year, here are six social media strategies to take control of your social channels and give them a much needed facelift in the New Year.
If you have no execution strategy, your content is likely going to fall through the cracks. TIP: Investigate how often your competitors are posting and conduct industry research to see the ideal amount of content to publish per day on each channel. Look into social media management platforms, like Hootsuite, Buffer, and TweetDeck, to help schedule posts ahead of time, monitor and manage your social feeds, and access performance analytics.
For example, LinkedIn tends to have a more business-focused audience looking for in-depth, educational content, compared to Instagram, which is likely to have an audience looking for engaging visual content. If a visitor tweets at your handle or posts on your Facebook page and never receives a response, trust is lost.
Alexa, a friend of mine who formerly resided in NYC, commented on a picture on Instagram posted by her favorite city dive bar.
Create a troubleshooting library of common bugs or complaints that arise, and how to handle these issues.
Be creative – use giveaways, personality, and a sense of humor to engage followers and convert them into free brand promoters. If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. Share your results and set monthly strategy meetings with your different marketing forces within your company to plan for the future. Many of you may be raising an eyebrow, but Google+, often viewed as the Facebook wannabe, is not going away anytime soon. Notice when I do a search for Salesforce not only does their Google+ follower number display, but there’s a call-to-action to follow their brand, as well as recent posts on their Google+ page, on the right side of the SERP. Google+ is also integrated with YouTube, so users are unable to comment on the platform without being opted into Google+.
When I go into a pitch there are so many things to teach, so many routes that lead into others, so many platforms to walk the client through, and worse still, half of them still can't see past Facebook. So suddenly it becomes your role to sell social media as a whole, which you thought they had already come to terms with because they brought you here to pitch a strategy to them.
You give the earned media spiel, run quickly through some case studies that you kept in your pocket just in case to demonstrate how social media better engages customers, rallies customers, improves employee productivity and brand perception, lowers R&D spend, lowers marketing budgets, lowers product development costs, lowers PR rates. You know that others have been successful at social media marketing, but there are so many moving parts that creating a plan of your own can be daunting.A If you are brand new to social media and looking for a straightforward way to start,A follow the advice below. ResearchA and know your audience.A What topics and interests are they are most social about?
Post content that is relevantA to newsworthy topics and events.A As soon as breaking news comes out about anything related to your brand or industry, you should share your opinion and become part of the conversation. Schedule metrics reporting.A Reporting metrics can occur weekly, monthly, or bimonthly depending on your goals and desired outcomes.
Once you’ve conducted research, it is time to start outlining strategies and developing your plan. With the many tasks involved with running a successful business, social media can fall by the wayside. After you create your social pages, be sure to include links on your website and invite all of your customers and friends to join your pages.
I find in my marketing practice, social media intimidates many small businesses.  If you approach it like any other form of marketing and develop a plan, it can become a very useful and effective tool which complements your traditional marketing strategies.  Good luck! Guest Author: Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications. These six steps are spot on — a good road map to do a deeper dive into creating your strategy. Nice to see this so cleanly laid out; a straightforward and clear outline; well done, and thanks! Jeff thanks for the easy to understand post I am happy if you provide any good social media calendar template which is easy to understand and work with. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here, in case you have missed any of the parts so far.
Now I would like to address the integration of your website to the wider social web and how you can use this.
As you build your presence on Social Media, you should enable these platforms to post to Facebook so that you are able to automate and share your information on Facebook as you create it else where.
This is a relatively new platform, only launched in June 2011.  Despite this the take up has been very impressive and the fact that it is part of the Google Product Suite makes it an essential part of your Social Media Engagement strategy. From a search point of view, Google Plus activity is now included in the Google Search results so from a findability perspective, Google Plus is again an essential component.

One way to do this is to take the customer questions list your prepared earlier and create some short (3 minute) “How to” videos for your viewers to learn from.  These videos can be connected to Twitter, appear on your Facebook page and be embedded in your blog.
It is important to ensure that you properly title the videos, provide a good description with links, use annotations and captions, as well as tags.  These are important because the search engines, primarily Google (who owns YouTube) cannot search on the content in the video itself but relies on the data you surround the video with to understand what it is about.
In your messages you can include links to websites, photos, videos and blog posts.  In fact just about anything that appears on the web.
By connecting Twitter to some of your other Social Media presences, you can let your followers know when you post somthing or update something else where.
LinkedIn integrates well with Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and is therefore another platform which can capture and share your activity elsewhere on the internet.  It makes you therefore an easy person to find which from an engagement perspective is an excellent thing. On your own site, once you have your potential customer engaged there, you control the whole environment.  Your visitor will not be bombarded with spurious advertising, unless you expose them to it and you will not be competing for their attention from content generated by others. In this final section, I would like to address the subject of selling on the internet and cover how you can use your website to make money, directly and indirectly, from your site’s visitors. The nature of your products and service and the scale of your business will dictate the tactics you use and this requires a more in depth look and approach. If you have partners with whom you cooperate, you can set up affiliate relationships with them which will enable you to earn a commission if you send traffic from your site to their site and the visitor subsequently buys something on their site. You should not worry about selling something to these visitors straight away.  Building online trust is a process that takes time and taking a too aggressive stance too early can be self defeating.
Lets set up a 30 minute no obligation call to discuss where you are and what you are doing.  This will help me to understand what you need and how I can help you. Grab My Free Report - My Ultimate Course Creation Resource Guide, including my $60 Lighting Set Up! Former British Army Officer, Udemy Instructor, Podcaster and Public Speaker, specialising in Business, Online Marketing and Online Learning. If you are not marketing on it, you are likely missing a large chunk of your target consumers.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on.
As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. Once you optimize your social channels for success, you will not only gain loyal brand promoters, but you will begin capturing leads and converting visitors into customers. There can be content that is spread across all channels – for example if your business was recently acquired by a global company, this is likely news you want to share across the board, but you should adjust your strategy depending on the audience for that channel. Pay attention to your follower demographic on each channel to publish content that appeals to them. Due to your lack of communication, the dissatisfied potential lead is now turning to your competitors to seek answers to their questions. The social media manager quickly responded by offering her a free T-shirt for the positive feedback. But think of your social channels as an opportunity to display how awesome you treat your customers.
Working collaboratively and taking a step back to brainstorm and reevaluate your strategy can drastically improve your social efforts.
In fact, it’s only becoming more and more important for businesses to actively engage and grow their circles on this platform. This isn’t proven to be true, but clearly marketers are seeing that Google+ is affecting the visibility of their content on Google. But it does show to what degree social media marketing's become -- what's the word they used? Let me clarify: they don't know what any of this other stuff is, but they somehow always "know" that they "need" Facebook. However, with earned media such as getting blogger reviews of your product or service, this one can be a harder sell. If you don’t, it will be obvious to your fans and target market that you are disorganized. The playbook should detail your KPIs, audience profiles, brand personas, campaign concepts, promotional events, contests, content themes, crisis management plan, etc. Take 30-60 minutes to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, Pinterest pins, andA other social media content.
CRM (customer relationship management) is aA fundamental to social media marketing success. Before your business embarks on a social media campaign, it is a good practice to identify a person or multiple people who will be in charge of monitoring and posting content. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.
Some are long-term and some are just beginning, but they are what make us connect as human beings. Now-a-days most of people have been connected to social media so we need to carefully promote our product. My only suggested addition would be to make sure to meet regularly with other groups within your organization to integrate your social efforts with campaigns that may already be running or planned so you can add mileage to other efforts and kill two birds with one stone where possible.

It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. This number can be adjusted as needed, but having a number you have to hit, even something as small as four tweets per day, gives you a benchmark and a goal at the very least. Set up a weekly, shareable publishing calendar, then separate by social channel, and provide columns for co-workers within your content team to provide their feedback before posting.
On the other hand, when you deliver a thoughtful response in a timely manner that visitor is flattered and intrigued by your brand. A few weeks, when later Alexa drove six hours from Boston to collect her free shirt (and visit a few friends), the bartender realized, “Wow!
Pamela accidently posted a picture of her growing pregnant belly to HubSpot’s company Twitter account, which has close to 350,000 followers. Set aside time to review metrics that are important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably the first day of the month). Then you leap to the addendum slides explaining what those other things are, their figures, their respective growth trajectories, and why they're relevant to the market in question, but already that's another conversation so loaded with information that you know -- while talking -- that none of this will be retained.
It depends on the product and liability of giving it away, but I feel that there are two next steps in getting acceptance that our digital marketing work is valuable, albeit not easily measurable.1. In addition to damaging your brand, you’ll risk losing sales by sending your audience to your competitors.
Wal-Mart addresses it and directs the person to a site where they can make suggestions on how the company can improve. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know. Plan ahead, but continue making additions as necessary, for example if a great PR hit is published cover this in a timely manner even it was not on your original posting schedule.
It’s humanizing to take the time respond to a personal inquiry, and it builds your authority.
Social media does work!” She has in turn become a free promoter for the bar, and encourages her large network that still resides in New York to check out her former go-to spot – essentially free PR for this small, neighborhood bar.
I am not saying that when a comma is missed in a tweet you should announce this small grammar error, but DO NOT delete the tweet. Instead of crawling into a hole of embarrassment, Pamela embraced her faux-pas and created this awesome blog post. Various teams like client services and sales might have stellar ideas for social since they are the people who communicate with prospects and customers on a daily basis. If your business is actively posting on Google+, you will receive essentially free ad space when users search for you on Google. You get into the work of rehashing the pitch, elaborating your spin on the pitch, identifying certain existing challenges between Consumer and Corporate.
Then some smartaleck in the back of the room opens his laptop, checks out Pinterest, runs a search for his brand and -- hey presto!
You pass around a David Armano illustration of how a company can move slowly in the direction of transcendence. See the connection between everything on that messy chart and understand that not only the big three (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) matter. And this is one minuscule example – if you haven’t heard the Morton’s Steakhouse story about delivering a joking tweeter a free steak at the airport, I suggest you use this as a prime example of BOMB customer service that led to a ridiculous amount of free press. It has already been published, and followers are more likely to notice if you are continuously re-posting. The post has received a lot of love, with several shares and comments mostly showing respect for HubSpot’s human element – a key that makes them one of the most loved marketing companies out there.
Look at each channel separately, and compare to your largest competitors to get a sense on how you’re matching up (or how you’re CRUSHING them!).
Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform. At this point you're not sure what kind of answer they're looking for because you're pretty sure you covered everything in the whole universe excepting particle physics, was anybody taking notes? For larger mistakes, like a product error or multiple overcharges to customer credit cards, you’ll want to proactively respond in an apologetic, actionable manner, and send out content from your social accounts apologizing and addressing how the error is being handled so customers are aware. They will be manned by a dedicated person(s) trained in crisis management, who knows the company well and ideally comes from inside it.
You're starting to talk in circles, little cliches, and the heads of marketing are giving each other knowing looks. Realize that traditional advertising feels safe because it is familiar, but much of that is not measurable or reliably measurable, e.g.

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