Social media is vital for the proper development of your business. This is why it’s so important to ensure you don’t make any social media marketing mistakes when it comes to growing your business. A study published back in 2011 showed the world how any businesses can make use of social media marketing. If the study seems a little outdated and you’re questioning its validity, make sure you also check out an analysis.
But how do you go about starting to work on your marketing strategy for social media platforms? As it is with most things in life, it’s best to first see what social media marketing mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Making your audience wait is one of the biggest social media marketing mistakes you can make!
If you own a business you probably already know how important customer satisfaction is, especially when they contact you in regards to something they need. Placing them on hold, even for only a minute or two, just won’t cut it. Addressing their needs in a speedy manner is the way to go. Same thing goes for social media.
If your audience needs their questions answered in the comments section, then you need to respond as soon as possible.
2. Not keeping an eye on your competition
You might assume your rivals haven’t taken an interest in social media, but this assumption is a mistake. Statistics show that not only do most businesses make use of social media, but consumers actually expect and want them to.
Seeing what your competition is doing on the web can teach you a lot. It can even show you how to avoid certain social media marketing mistakes. See how they interact with their audience and what promotions and special deals they offer their followers. Don’t plagiarize their strategies.
3. Focusing too much on the negative aspect
Let’s face it: social media websites can be a tough place, especially for newcomers. Be prepared to receive your fair share of negative feedback, whether it’s justly deserved or just mean-spirited. Don’t take things too seriously and don’t stoop to the agitators’ level because it will only show your audience you aren’t professional and don’t know how to take criticism.
The more professionally its handled, the more impressed your audience will be. Being professional in response to a negative comment reassures your audience that you have the ability to address and resolve any issue in the professional realm. It builds trust and can actually end up being advantageous for your reputation…if you handle it admirably.
4. Lack of creativity
This can be a serious problem for a lot of online business owners. Using bland, stale content will eventually lead to making other social media marketing mistakes. Creating quality content might take time and effort, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Try using humor or adding shock value to increase traffic and engage your audience.
Increasing your readership doesn’t have to cost you money
If you aren’t too keen on spending a lot of money on content creation services, then you can always do it on your own.
Put some time aside each day to learn something useful and you’ll be writing quality content in no time.
You Gotta See This.
Social video is hotter than the bulb in your grandfather’s Super 8 projector. Social media reaches over a third of the entire global population-this reach is enormous. The chances of your target audience not being part of a social media network are getting smaller every day.
Late 2013 and the first part of 2014 have been huge for the mobile online experience. Here’s a quick overview of the tipping points that mobile online experience has reached during what has to be an historic seven-month period starting with October 2013.
- October 2013 – Consumers spend more of their online time with mobile devices than with desktop or laptop devices
- February 2014 – Consumers spend more time on the internet with smartphones than with desktop and laptop devices
- April 2014 – In the United States, consumers spend more time watching video on their mobile devices than on their desktop and laptop devices. Additionally, for the first time ever, consumers spend more time with their smartphones than with television.
It doesn’t seem to matter who or what the competition is. Mobile is winning against all contenders.
The research firm, eMarketer. Inc breaks it down like this. Of the 55 minutes per day that consumers spend watching video on internet devices, 33 minutes are spent on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and 22 minutes on desktops and laptops. This includes both short-form (YouTube-style clips) and long-form (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) videos, but here’s the real deal: these statistics also include consumers who don’t watch any videos online on either mobile devices, desktops, or laptops.
What all this means is that the writing is no longer on the wall; it’s in someone’s hand on the tiny screen of a device that seems to have an almost infinite capacity to captivate our attention.
The Social Media Melting Pot
There are plenty of places to meet and interact online. There are collaboration communities (think Wikipedia), blogging and microblogging (think Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter, etc.), content communities (think Pinterest, Youtube, Vimeo, or Daily Motion), networking communities (think Meetup or Facebook), video-game worlds (think World of Warcraft), virtual social worlds (think Second Life).
To make matters muddier, they all have elements from all the others and many can probably be categorized in multiple ways. Beyond the ones outlined above, there are forums and communities for every special interest group you can imagine: from writers, to physicians, to just about any profession that has more than ten people. Just defining social media is a mind-numbing challenge. Wrapping your arms around the whole animal is impossible. Think about that fable you heard when you were a kid, about the blind man describing the elephant.
When a problem gets this big and complex, it’s time to go back to basics. Before you can get to the four Ps of marketing, you’ve got to know two things. Who is your customer and where can your reach them?
Social media is such a diverse environment that you don’t want to even think about trying to cover the whole thing. Your customers are going to be hanging out in some places more than others. Investing in a deep understanding of your customers, where they hang out and what their habits are, especially with respect to their online practices, will save you big bucks in the long run.
In this day and age, “social” means one thing: sharing.
Just making it up as we go
Social media is a massive social experiment. No one knows where it is going or even what it will look like a year from now on. We are only just now starting to see some of the positive aspects and more than a few negative effects of social media. The social media world offers us the same things you can certainly find anywhere else: change and uncertainty. For the time being, anything you do, involving social media, from a marketing point of view, will be an experiment.
The potential it has is bigger than anything most of us can imagine. And, costs to test the waters are declining.
Share and Share-alike
One way of figuring out where all this is heading is understanding the sharing economy and how to make it work for you. The sharing economy doesn’t just apply to AirBnB, Uber, and Lyft. Over 90% of online video users share videos they have seen. Over 90%. That’s almost everyone. This is just good old fashioned word-of-mouth. Back to basics. It’s just that the word gets out and around a lot faster than it used to. Take advantage of this. Create something worth sharing.
Marketing or entertainment?
If it doesn’t get my attention, it doesn’t matter what the message is. Get my attention and I don’t care what you call it. Make it memorable enough and interesting enough and I’ll share it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 60-second ad or a two-minute infomercial. If it is interesting enough and memorable enough, I’ll share it. Period.
And, this, dear marketer, is really what you are looking for. The medium really is the message.
The one success metric that matters
Imagine someone in your target audience–give them a name, a title, an address; create an avatar. Now imagine that individual watching your video on their phone and turning to one of their friends and saying just four words. But these four words are not just any four words, they are the holy grail of mobile/social marketing. The words you want to hear? “You gotta see this.” That’s the only metric of success that matters. Except, of course, that you must keep doing it.
The Eyeballs are The Way
The battle for hearts and minds is, first and foremost, a fight for the eyeballs. You’ve got to be where the eyeballs are. You can’t follow the eyeballs, because if you do, you’ll be too late. You’ve got to anticipate where the eyeballs will be and be there when they get where they are going. This means making your best guess and taking your best shot. This is one thing about the marketing game that has never changed.
One thing is clear. If you want a force multiplier for your marketing efforts, you want your audience saying just four words after they see your video; “You Gotta See This.”
Times are changing and so does advertising, or at least this is what we think. Indeed, we evolve because of technology, but our habits stay the same.
In other words, do you remember the classical way merchants used to promote stuff? By word of mouth? Well, this is still happening. They are calling it influencer marketing strategy now, but it is based on the same principle.
What are Influencers?
These guys and gals are those regular people, like you and I but who have something to say. To be more explicit: influencers are the ones who are constantly active on social media, posting about different topics or different news wordy subjects.
Usually, they have a blog and a bunch of people who are regularly engaging with them through likes, shares, and comments. Of course, I forgot to mention that they are either early adopters or niche promoters. In some cases, influencers can even become trendsetters.
Why Do You Need Them?
How many times has a friend or a relative or someone else convinced you to buy a product just because they recommend it to you? Well, if you think about it, this happens only when you trust that person’s taste, or you look up to them. The same thing’s going on in an influencer marketing strategy.
Today, social media users have developed a personal ad block. Whenever they skim through their news feed, they get past the sponsored content, stories, or tweets. No need to mention that they are deaf to commercials and blind when it comes to billboards.
But if they read a blog post or a status from someone whose opinion matters, they might spend a couple of minutes skimming the text, and if they enjoyed the review, might as well purchase the item, out of curiosity or because they trust that person.
Why Does This Work?
Because it is more personal! It’s much easier to relate to influencers because they are average people.
And because we don’t like to hear anyone bragging about themselves and, of course, we wouldn’t believe that person, but if we had a mutual close connection, like a friend, and he would say nice things about someone, we might give them the benefit of the doubt. Because, in fact, it’s someone else’s opinion, so it’s fine.
Influencers are slightly the same thing, but they connect the brand with the audience.
Where to Find Influencers
Mostly on social media: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Tumblr. You might notice them by the huge amount of engagement they have.
But, before you jump head first into the water, you might want to think about a few details in picking the right people for your influencer marketing strategy.
Your Audience vs. Their Audience
Let’s talk a little about your brand. What are you selling? What are you producing?
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you make crackers. Deliciously guilty crackers appreciated by foodies and amateurs.
And you’re thinking about an influencer, therefore, you go on whatever social media site, and you pick the first one you see who has incredible engagement and you ask them to write about your product.
But they say no or might bring out some reasons like “but my audience doesn’t enjoy…you know, food. They’re more with…fashion?”
Ouch. What do you do? First, relax. Second, research, research, research.
You can use BuzzSumo. On BuzzSumo, it’s easy to identify content influential people are sharing. You click on the “Influencers” tab at the top, and you just type a topic, like crackers.
And ba da boom, you find your influencers.
Also, you can always go on TagBoard and research by hashtags. You can see the influential score directly on Twitter, for instance, with the Klout Chrome extension. So many possibilities!
If tagboard and researching hashtags or influencers sounds complicated, we’ve created a short training program that will make it seem like a piece of cake. You’ll get all the details you need to use hashtags and the power of influencers in your marketing strategy.
What Defines an Influencer for Your Brand
As KISSmetrics stated, the three things you need to research before choosing your influencers are:
Context: Every influencer has its niche. The whole point is to find the one who would consume/buy your product. That being said, don’t aim for an influencer whose niche is IT to sell your crackers. Or salads.
Reach: well, they can share the same context with your product, but if only a couple of close friends like and read their posts, it’s pretty useless.
Actionability: You found the perfect influencers. Now, they should be able to cause action in their followers. Usually, this should be easy, and as second nature to them, but it’s not always happening. And at least not to everyone. And no, forcing them to do constant promotion won’t work. After all, it’s still possible to unfollow someone.
You Found Them! What’s Your Next Step in the Influencer Marketing Strategy?
Organize your strategy. One crucial aspect to any great Influencer Marketing Strategy is to stay in touch with your bloggers and social media partners. That’s why finding a good CRM (Client Relationship Manager ) that can help you with this aspect is necessary.
That’s why we created a Video tutorial of Streak CRM to help you better organize your Influencer Marketing Strategy.
Spread the love. Answer on time to the mentions, replies, and questions, and share blog posts and videos of who is promoting your product.
Create discounts and encourage users to photograph themselves while/after/when using the products. This is how your awareness will grow.
And never forget to repay your influencers, either by shout out, sending free products, or financially.
How much traffic do you really get to your site? Is it close to 10.000?
Finding the right influencers and reaching out to them might do wonders for the traffic and social signals you get to your articles.
If you want to see more ideas that will help you go from just a few unique to 10.000 unique visitors, join this course. It’s the best one we’ve done so far, and we’ve applied it time and time again.
Today, it’s a silly thing not to have at least one social media account for your brand. Billions of users use social media every single day.
If you clicked on this article, then I’m going to assume that your business is on social media. Since I’m also a mind-reader, I know that you’re here because you want to find out more about social media giveaways.
Did you know that the top reason why people choose to follow brands on social media is for promotions and discounts?
Yes, I know, such a shocker! But don’t get this all wrong. People still want to find out the latest information about your product and services or contact you for customer service on social media.
Bearing that in mind, I want to go back in time a little bit.
I created my Facebook account in 2010. Back then, only a handful of big brands were on Facebook (I’m only talking about their presence on the Romanian market, not worldwide). What they did to acquire thousands of likes is they organized different contests and giveaways.
I participated in a couple of contests and even won some stuff (go me!). I almost never participate in social media contests, because they’re usually the ones where you have to like/share/comment. I’m not a fan of those. Those contests, however, were kind of interesting and creative. Even though they didn’t rely on the like and share method, they were still quite successful.
Now back to our days.
Social media giveaways are used quite often as a strategy. Almost every big, medium and small company out there has organized one until one.
Let’s take a quick look to see why companies host giveaways on their social media profiles and what are their benefits.
Why Companies Organize Social Media Giveaways
- Exposure. Businesses that are just starting out or those that want to increase their following will do a giveaway so that more people will find out about them. It’s really easy to increase your exposure this way because people love free stuff, especially if it’s your products or services. They will act as a very attractive incentive in exchange for them following you on social media.
- Engagement. One problem with social media today is that people follow so many brands today that it’s hard to keep up with them and react to what they post. I actually find myself guilty of this. I scroll on my Facebook feed; I read certain posts, but then, even if I liked a post or thought it was funny, I only react in my mind. Sounds weird, but many of you are probably doing the same thing. A giveaway can entice people to engage again with a certain brand. After all, the point of being on social media is opening a dialogue and not a monolog.
- Understanding the audience. By asking a simple question for the giveaway, you can find out so many things about the people that follow your company on social media. It can be anything from their habits when it comes to your products, or what type of services they use most often from the ones you provide. The possibilities are endless here. It’s just a matter of figuring out what kind of information would be useful to you.
- Free content. I’ve seen many creative giveaways out there, many of which were harnessing the power of user-generated content. Here’s how this works. If you sell cereal, you can ask your followers to submit a picture with their breakfast for a chance to win a yearly supply of your products. The guideline or the theme for the pictures can be to contain cereal. Just like that, you’ll have plenty of images for your upcoming posts that you can use (with the users’ approval, of course).
- Grow your email list. Your weekly or monthly newsletter may be fascinating, but it doesn’t matter if no one is reading it. Email marketing is still, until this day, the most successful communication channel. To get the most out of it, you need a big email list. By running a giveaway and asking the participants to enter by simply entering their name and email address, you got this problem solved. However, don’t use this opportunity to spam them.
- Promote a new product/service. This is one of the best ways to promote a new product or service. It is, of course, if it’s also the prize for the giveaway. Considering it is, people will be excited to be the first to try out your new stuff, and it will also create a lot of buzz.
These are the main reasons why companies do social media giveaways and also why you should too.
Next, we’ll discuss every step you need to consider when organizing a giveaway on social media.
Implementing a social media giveaway 101
1. Why are you doing it?
Do you want to gain more followers, do you want more engagement, or to obtain email addresses? Whatever the case may be, you need to address this question before you start planning anything.
Why? Because the answer to this question will determine the way, you create the strategy behind the giveaway.
2. Determine the type of giveaway
There are two types you can do:
- A contest. The winner will be chosen based on criteria that were established beforehand. If you want to organize a contest, then you’ll have to figure out if you want to have a jury or if it’s going to be you the one to select the winner. Either way, the person or the group of individuals that get to make this call have to be experts in the particular industry.
- A sweepstake. This is where the winners will be randomly selected with a tool like random.org. No one can interfere with the results. It’s just pure luck.
3. Where you’ll run it?
Even though you’ll promote the giveaway basically on all your channels, you still have to decide what is the main channel for running it. It can be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These are the most popular social media channels for giveaways.
The choice for the platform will be connected to the objectives you set in the first place. For example, if your goal is to increase your Instagram followers, then that is where you will run the giveaway.
4. What’s the prize?
Whatever you do, please don’t give away an iPad or an iPhone, unless you’re Apple. Assuming the social media team from Apple is not reading this post, I will give you some tips when it comes to choosing the prize(s) for the giveaway.
First of all, the prize has to be relatable to the profile of your company and your audience. Let’s say that you’re a skincare company. Depending on what is your objective, you can give away:
- The new products you’re launching
- A goodie bag that contains products worth $1,000
- A facial treatment at a luxury SPA
- Product supplies for an entire year
And the list can go on and on. If you have a bigger budget, you can, of course, have a more impressive prize, such as a trip to a dreamy destination.
5. Make it simple to enter
That being said, make sure that you explain very clearly for everyone how they can enter and what they need to do. For example, if they have to submit a photo, list every step they need to complete.
If it’s the case, create an entry form that will require for the participants to enter as little information as possible. Don’t ask for unnecessary information, like address or occupation, unless you need it for the giveaway.
Remember: even if the prize is extremely attractive, people may not be as eager to enter if the entering process looks like too much trouble.
6. Decide how long it will last
When you’re going to announce your giveaway, specify very clearly how long it will last.
If it’s a big giveaway, it’s usually recommended to run it for approximately four weeks. If it’s longer than that, then people will forget about it. You can make it shorter as well. However, try to run it for at least two weeks.
7. The concept
For the giveaway to make sense to your audience and other people as well, it’s critical to link it to a future event. For example, it can be a back to school themed one, a giveaway for Thanksgiving, Halloween, or Christmas.
The idea has to be very clear and concise, and the content you’ll create around it have to make the connection to the event you’ll link it to.
No one likes rules, but we have to respect them.
Every social media platform has its set of rules, so after you’ve decided where to run the giveaway, make sure to read and apply them.
Also, when you announce it, you’ll have to display the rules on social media. Even though not many people will read them, it’s necessary for legal purposes. If you have the possibility, I would recommend asking an attorney to help you with this.
If you want to find out more about this topic, here’s an excellent article that was written by Sara Hawkins from SocialMedia Examiner.
This is the most important step for your giveaway. You now what they say: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it actually make a sound?
That’s how it is with social media giveaways. Don’t keep it a secret. After all, you want as many people as possible to participate in it, right?
The first step is to use all of your communication channels to get the word out. This means email lists, all of your social media channels, website (pop-ups, blog), plus others that would greatly depend on the type of business you’re running.
It can be anything from in-app notifications to messages on mobile phones. Make a list with every channel you use, so that you don’t forget anything. Then, the next step is to create content for all of them. Articles, posts, videos, infographics, images – the wider the variety, the better.
It’s not enough to post the message announcing the giveaway only once. Remind people about it every single day, but don’t be spammy about it. Only one message per day will do the trick and even once every couple of days.
Promoting the giveaway on your communication channels is not enough, however.
You need to use influencers, partners, and sponsors for this. The chances are that if people see your giveaway being shared by someone else, they will be more likely to enter. Brand advocates are also a great fit for your promotion activities.
The last idea for promoting your giveaway is to submit it to giveaway sites. Here are the best ones:
These websites have hundreds of thousands of visitors every single day, so the visibility for your giveaway will be maximum.
10. Track and analyze
Don’t wait until the giveaway is over to track and analyze what has happened during that period.
Make a habit of tracking the results every five days or so. That way, if you don’t have that many entries or if people don’t seem that interested in your giveaway, you will be able to analyze what’s wrong and adjust it.
At the end of the giveaway, you’ll also need to assess the results to see whether organizing it was worth it or not.
11. Don’t forget about the participants that didn’t win
If you want to make your giveaway extra special, you can surprise all of your participants with something they wouldn’t expect. After the contest is over and the winner has been announced, you can contact the other participants, thank them for entering and offering them a discount for your products/services.
If you don’t want this to be a surprise, you can announce it for the giveaway. That way, every participant will now that even if they don’t win the big prize, they still get something.
Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now
(For some reason, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’s song Give It Away has popped into my mind.)
I’m pretty sure that if I scroll for a few minutes on my Facebook feed, I will find at least one post about a giveaway that’s happening right now.
Now multiply this by the number of social media channels that exist nowadays. You’ll see that social media giveaways have become hugely popular because they actually bring results.
You can see results as well if you decide to implement a giveaway. I do hope that the steps I presented above will help you get most of it.
If you have further questions on this topic, feel free to post them in the comment section below. And if you decide indeed to run a giveaway on social media, I look forward to hearing from you about the results you’ve got.
Rocking Social Media tools, like Facebook & Twitter, are rapidly becoming a part of the corporate landscape
Brands are finding that social media still gives them an edge when they provide unexpected services through Twitter, Facebook and other sites. But what happens when everyone’s receiving customer service through a social site? Can we continue to be heard as customers, or will our “Twitter wait time” be equal to what it is on the phone these days?
Here’s how some companies are rocking social media in unexpected ways and engaging customers.
Social Media and the Monkey See – Monkey Do Effect
Monkeys are known for copying what they see others do. Social media is the antagonist for every single thing that trends. People see other people talking, ‘liking,’ and sharing, so they do it, too. This is what starts trends, builds momentum, and establishes authority.
It is true that the key to content marketing is engagement. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms are an essential tool for new start-ups. When others see your name on various platforms, you become ‘top of mind’ and your products become a topic of curiosity and discussion. If you follow these aspects, you should be able to generate buzz and excitement for your start-up.
It’s a psychological fact that human touch is vital for growth and survival. Business sustainability is no different. Knowing, seeing, and feeling a human presence behind all the state of the art technologies that many start-ups utilize is still essential. This is because the key to content marketing is engagement. Incorporating a human touch behind your new brand enables your future customers to relate to you.
You cannot effectively engage with computers. Human engagement holds one powerful tool that technology cannot touch…EMPATHY. Engaging with clients and leads through social media drives home the fact that your start-up was built to specifically meet their needs, solve their problems, and grow their business. Promoting a human touch to your new brand commands a real time presence behind the name.
Rapport Meets Authority
Engagement leads to building relationships. Start-ups need to build a rapport with people. It’s essential to share your knowledge and how you can help people with their business through various platforms so that you begin to attract the audience your business caters to. When you engage your audience and provide them with solutions that will benefit them, you’re establishing your authority. Social media outlets are the fastest, most powerful way to establish your authority.
The key, however, is establishing a relationship with personalities and authorities who agree and thus confirm your authority. This means looking for ways to help people without blatantly promoting your products or bragging. People are drawn to entrepreneurs who are knowledgeable, but humble at the same time. If your focus is on helping people, instead of helping yourself, the impression you leave is one of authority and authenticity.
Authenticity and Vulnerability
People who need their oil changed don’t take their cars to a dentist. Social media enables your new start-up to reach the audience it needs to grow. You do this by stating clearly who you are and what you do. This way, you attract the right target audience. Be honest and vulnerable. Tell stories of your struggles, triumphs, and failures so that people relate to you. You probably started your start-up because you know you have a product or idea that can make a difference. Explain your ‘why’. Demonstrate your passion because passion generates excitement and hope.
Likeability Establishes Trust
How you interact on social media either leads people to like you or to turn away from you. New start-ups have to put themselves out there and prove that they want to make a difference, and that what they do does, in fact, help people. You don’t have to do this by disagreeing with other authorities or by insulting their products. Develop a format of adding to what they’ve already proven and marketed. Speak of their developments with respect and humbly add your knowledge in with theirs.
What you’re doing is gaining the attention and respect of authorities who are already established as well as building trust with anyone who reads. When you’re well liked, your posts are shared more. Your articles have comments because people are engaged in your content. You have their attention. You also have social proof of your knowledge. LinkedIn alone, with the use of their ‘endorsements’, provides substantial social proof that you are who and what you say you are.
Calls to Action
Thus far, you’ve shown your ‘human’ side, engaged with like-minded personalities, related and helped solve others’ struggles, been vulnerable in sharing your mission and your passion, and built respect and trust with influencers. You’re now in the position to begin initiating calls to action. Content marketing is all about the call to action but they’re only effective if your audience has trust and respect for you.
If you don’t ask, they’re highly likely not to act. So continue building rapport, helping and being vulnerable, but weave in calls to action for sharing your content, signing up for your mailing list, and for purchasing your products. When you’re established and trusted, the calls to action are pretty much what seals the deal of conversion.
Social media is the beginning, middle, and end of all start-ups. People must see active accounts because if others are engaging, they’re ten times more likely to engage with you, too. It truly is the ‘Monkey See – Monkey Do Effect’. Start-ups can use monkeys to their advantage.
Does your start-up need help implementing the ‘Monkey See – Monkey Do Effect’? Squirrels can help, and in the case of social media, they’re the monkey’s best friend.
Contact us today with any questions you may have. We’re here to help your start-up get the start it deserves.