6 Tips to Help You Rise Above the Noise in Social Media

6 Tips to Help You Rise Above the Noise in Social Media

As someone that works in social media, we often hear how “noisy” it is.

Naturally what follows next is people wondering how to cut through that, how to get heard in a social media atmosphere that more people are delving into each day with their own messaging.

Personally, I don’t find social media to be noisy – if you’re analyzing your data and joining the communities you truly fit into, as well as spending the most time in the communities where you want to be heard, you won’t find it noisy at all.

But for many startup companies, the “noise” they experience can be overwhelming. Brands and people often come to social media with no concrete plan or strategy, and that’s when I recognize noise. That’s when social media turns from a WE activity, to a ME activity.

Here are some tips I’ve found to help combat some of that and work towards joining a community where you can be heard, as well as hearing others:

1. ABT (Always Be Testing)

Your analytics are a goldmine of information. Paying attention to them will teach you when your target audience is online, what posts you put out get the most attention, and what topics your community responds best to. You can use that information to then tailor your content to fit into what your audience and community wants more of, which will in turn help them see you as a key resource, garner you more attention an reputation.

2. Let Go Of The Ego

Remember, a group of like-minded goal oriented people will always accomplish more than the one person that thinks they know it all and can do it alone.

Grow your community by being the same person online as you are when you meet people offline.

You don’t walk up to potential friends and introduce yourself, then go on to pitch them on what you do for a living and how they can buy in, they’d get bored and walk away. Rather, you introduce yourself to people and ask questions about them, try to get to know them, see what they are interested in and where you have things in common.

3. Focus on the Consumer

This is a bit of a follow up to #2. When people feel that they’re important to you, they pay more attention to you.

Thank people for posts or sharing your posts. Ask questions that help you get to know people better, and when you are asked questions, answer them honestly, and as you. We all know there are faces behind each brand, let your personality come out from behind the brand as well.

Allow yourself to be the fun, engaging and relatable person you are offline, online.

4. Do More Than Just Listen

Active social listening is one of the most important items in any social media plan – but you have to do more than simply listen and place people into little persona boxes. You have to have open two-way, mutually beneficial conversations.

This is the only way to truly get to know people – find out what’s important to them and the ways you can help make their lives better.

You already know you’ve got the best product/brand/service in the market – how can you let your communities know that as well, without directly telling them?

5. Add Visuals

Look at your own timeline and take some time to scroll through. What catches your eye? The miles and miles of text, or a picture or video that pops out?

I’m willing to put my money on the visuals.

Use one-of-a-kind photos (best if you take them yourself!) that represent you or your brand and intersperse them with your text.

6. Be Consistent

Keep your core values top of mind through all content mediums and platforms. Each time someone has a touchpoint with you or your brand, they should be able to recognize it as the same from another medium, without thought.

Consistency also leads to reliability, and reliability leads to trust. And trustworthy people and brands always stand out.

When you’re able to put all or some of these items together, you can better create a top-notch user experience for your communities, consumers and potential consumers. People will begin to see you as helpful, responsive, as someone who cares about their needs.

When you speak to people as they like to be spoken to you’ll have no problem conquering the noise on social media.

Original Post

4 Overlooked Social Media Tips for Improved Website Traffic

4 Overlooked Social Media Tips for Improved Website Traffic

Social media is everywhere! You can barely go one week without seeing a new update to a social media platform in the news. It’s time to harness the power of social media and drive traffic to your small business website. There are numerous platforms to choose from, and knowing which social media sites are best suited for your target audience is the first step in embracing social media marketing. There’s no need to have a presence on every platform. Remember, quality far outweighs quantity and this goes for social media accounts alike.

Once your social media profiles are live, there are four overlooked methods that take your efforts to the next level and boost your website traffic

Optimize for Each Platform

Whether you’re using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, double check that what your posting fits the platform requirements. Twitter is known for its character limits, while using hashtags on Facebook is less effective than on other social media sites. Understanding the nuances across the platforms means you can post the best content in the most engaging and effective way.

Followers blow past images that are off-center or are too grainy, and will stop reading a post if the text is cut off. Below are general guidelines for maximizing your marketing efforts on specific social media sites:

  • Facebook – A friendly tone goes a long way. Users see Facebook as a place to connect with family and friends. Meet their expectations by using a tone that matches their other interactions on the platform. Unsure how friendly to be? Write like you’re speaking to a friend, while including links to your website, blog or article, and a high quality image.
  • Twitter – Use succinct language in your text and be sure to add 2-3 hashtags for extra reach. Shorten URL links with bitly to preserve your precious character count and drive website traffic. Images go a long way for engagement, so incorporate relevant visuals when appropriate.
  • Instagram – More than Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is all about the visual component. Stylized images are what Instagram is built upon. Choose specific filters for your business, and stick to them so you create a consistent look across your profile. From there, the best captions are conversational and intriguing, and the most successful posts have between 10-12 hashtags. There’s an excellent trick for hiding hashtags so your posts don’t seem cluttered, but still add your content to the selected hashtags. Get the full tutorial here.

By using images and text that fits each platform’s requirements, click through rates and engagement goes up. These small adjustments can yield serious impact on your website’s traffic.

Use the Right Hashtags

Hashtags are more than just clever quips on social media; they serve a real purpose in cataloging relevant content. They act as a free way for small businesses to build brand awareness, authority, and swim in the same pond as larger companies.

Do some research to find which hashtags are being used most frequently in your industry and across hashtag influencers. Incorporate consistent hashtags into your social media posts, so your content is continually added to these repositories. This way, when someone searches a hashtag, your content, both old and new, show up. When your content includes URL links to your small business website or blog, people can choose to learn more and explore your online presence.

Tag Followers

As you monitor your social profiles, search for great user generated content. Ask your followers if you can repost to your page and tag them in your posts. This creates goodwill with your fans by showcasing their picture or post, and reminds them that there is a human behind a brand.

Beyond cultivating an excellent customer experience, by tagging a follower in your post, it automatically increases the organic reach of your post. All of the tagged person’s followers can see your post. It expands your social presence without spending a cent. As we’ve mentioned before, having a URL in the post gives new prospects the opportunity to follow your social accounts, visit your website, and learn about your business.

Be a Conversationalist

When it comes down to it, people engage with businesses when they feel there is a person behind the scenes. Cultivate a social community of dialogue by posing questions to your social accounts, actively responding to comments, and having fun!

While posting product updates and service news is useful, sprinkle in some light-hearted and charming content into your social media marketing. Ask users to caption your photo or for their favorite holiday tradition. This encourages ongoing conversation and draws followers in. By establishing a trustworthy and relatable brand, people will begin to visit your website more frequently to find out more about this awesome business.

Website traffic can come from so many sources. Control as much as possible by infusing your social media marketing with these four tips. Give these tricks a try today!

Original Post: http://www.pagemodo.com/blog/4-overlooked-social-media-tips-for-improved-website-traffic/

How to Improve Your Social Engagement Without Ads

How to Improve Your Social Engagement Without Ads

Social media can be a hugely powerful tool for businesses to reach customers, but many businesses struggle to really connect with customers on those platforms due to limited participation. For that reason, social media engagement is an important metric for any business with an online marketing strategy.

If you think that you need a huge advertising budget in order to improve social engagement, you’re mistaken. This article will focus on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, and will explain how to get more engagement based on methods that have been proven, statistically, to work. It will cover what types of posts you should create for each site, when to post to be most visible, and how to increase visibility without spending a fortune on paid ads.

Create Posts Specific to the Platform

There isn’t one type of social media post that works best with every platform. On Twitter, you want to create short, pithy posts and interesting headlines. For Facebook, images and media tend to do well, increasing engagement by as much as 85%. Your long-form pieces will likely fit in better on LinkedIn.

What this means is that you need to create posts that are specific to each platform your business uses, rather than just copying or recycling the same posts on every platform. (That can get repetitive for people who follow you on more than one social platform.) In addition, creating posts that are optimized for each platform can increase the likelihood that people see your posts and actually respond or interact with them in some way.

images-on-social-media-boost-engagement-001

Ask Questions

On many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, asking questions can be a great way to increase engagement. A simple question that starts conversations or gathers customer feedback gives customers a reason to interact with you. According to JDR Group, Facebook posts that include questions get around twice as many comments as other posts.

When you use this tactic, be specific about how customers should respond, even if it seems obvious. On Twitter, you could say, “Tweet in your responses,” while you might say, “Snap me back,” on Snapchat. At the very least, this lets people know that you actually want responses and aren’t asking a rhetorical question.

Include Calls to Action

Along those same lines, be specific about other calls to action. Increasing social media engagement doesn’t just mean getting people to respond to your posts. Encourage engagement through other actions, such as liking your Facebook posts, retweeting your content on Twitter, and repinning your images on Pinterest.

Customers don’t always need specific calls to action in order to take part in those activities. However, including them sometimes helps improve those engagement numbers. For example, if you share a recipe or tutorial on Pinterest and you want people to repin it, you could say, “Repin to save this post for later.” This may get customers to think about situations where they could use that information in the future, which increases the likelihood they will repin the content.

Time Posts Carefully

Timing plays a big part in improving social engagement. Think about it: If you only post content at night when your target audience is asleep, they aren’t likely to see it. Your fans miss the opportunity to engage with your brand. Each social platform and target market has different preferences and best practices when it comes to timing. Experiment with different posting schedules to see what works best for your particular business.

In general, think about when members of your target audiences are using those platforms. If you target professionals on Facebook, you may need to post when they’re home from work for the day. However, if your target is made up of stay-at-home parents, then midday could be a great time to post. According to Social Media London, on average, afternoon tends to be a good time to post content if you want to get shares and clicks.

Measure to See What Works

When it comes to timing, posting content, and even the platforms you use, it’s important that you keep an eye on what works and then make adjustments. Most social platforms have a dashboard with metrics where you can view engagement statistics such as responses, favourites, and re-posts. You can also go through your posts to find out which ones performed better than others.

Keep an eye on trends that may impact how you post in the future. For example, if you notice that your photo posts on Facebook get more engagement than those without photos, increase your photo use in the future. If you find that you get more responses when you tweet in the morning rather than the afternoon, schedule more Twitter posts during those times.

5-important-social-media-metrics-for-engagement-002

Respond to Followers

When people do engage with your social media content, it can be helpful (or even necessary) for you to respond in some way. You don’t have to send a personal thank you message to everyone who likes your Facebook posts or favourites your tweets, but answering questions or thanking people for sharing your content can go a long way.

Personalised responses to your followers’ posts on social media can make them feel more connected to your brand — they’ll appreciate an actual person (not an automated reply) engaging with them online. These responses can also just keep conversations going, which can increase engagement for your social media efforts in both the short and long term.

Most importantly, when customers or potential customers ask questions or offer feedback to companies on social media, they often expect a response. Ignoring or forgetting to answer their posts can do harm to your online reputation.

Engage With Others

You don’t have to wait for people to respond to or interact with your posts in order for you to engage with them on social media. You can jumpstart your social media conversations by replying to posts.

There are several ways to do this:

  • Find members of your target audience or industry influencers to follow on social media, and then interact with their posts on occasion, especially when they’re relevant to your business or offerings.
  • Repost content from others in your industry when you think it will be helpful or interesting to your followers.
  • Create posts and mention or tag relevant people in the posts.

However you go about it, starting conversations and engaging with others online can help increase the number of active fans who will interact with your content.

start-or-join-conversations-on-social-media-003

Provide Incentives

Contests and giveaways are fun incentives that drive social media engagement and can help you improve your engagement. Your content and process should vary based on the platform, but the general idea is to give people an incentive to interact with your content in some way. Contests often result in a quick spike in engagement, according to Jellyfish; however, when done right, they can lead to more long-term engagement as well.

On Twitter, a simple offer of a free product to one person who retweets a particular tweet on a given day will help your content get shared and will get people involved with your content. On Instagram, ask people to share an image of them using your product —have them tag your account so you can track the entrants.

Contests lend themselves to certain platforms better than others, and some sites, like Facebook, have specific rules about hosting contests or giveaways. Read the rules and create a simple process for tracking and rewarding those who enter.

Give It Time

Improving social engagement isn’t something that happens overnight, though conversations and contests can certainly help. However, if you want to build lasting and consistent engagement, as well as relationships with your fans, you need to work on these things over a long period of time.

Today, in the age of the customer, be dedicated to putting in the time and effort in order to get great results on social media. Even paid ads won’t see great results if you don’t back up those ads with quality content and consistent engagement.

Follow these tips. You may see slow growth, but you need to give it some time for your strategy to work. Ads can give your social media efforts a boost in the short term, but you don’t need to spend your whole marketing budget just for a short-lived spike in numbers. Consistency and patience go a long way in making sure your social media engagement grows as it should. With continued effort and an understanding of the Internet of Things (and how an interconnected lifestyle may be the future of buying habits, even for something as simple as lightbulbs), your social media campaigns could eventually be the pinnacle of your marketing efforts.

Original Post: https://www.salesforce.com/uk/blog/2016/12/how-to-improve-your-social-engagement-without-ads.html