Social Media

Three Viral and Trend Social Marketing Tips

You’ve most likely heard of the fidget spinner, the hover board, or even the selfie stick. These are all examples of the most viral products that have hit social media. Today we are sitting down with social media titan, Wayne Andrew Reilly.

Wayne has created some of the biggest challenges and videos across social media, and now manages well over 110 million followers on various platforms. He created the “don’t judge challenge” that had a trending hashtag with over 650 thousand posts, over one billion views, and talked about worldwide.

If that’s not impressive enough, he has a combined total of 150 million views on videos he has created and has built millions of followers for some of the big influencers you see today. Wayne has been discreet about his work but has agreed to share some insights with me as he gears up for the launch of his social growth company, “5th Wonder Entertainment”.  

1. Learning how to control the power of meme marketing.

Meme marketing is a tool very few people leverage and very few know how to capitalize on. As an example, the fidget spinner’s blow up was the meme behind it and how people could make fun of the product and a relatable manner.

This increased the overall share-ability of the content which increased the amount of eyeballs and…you guessed it…customers.  Anyone can create a meme of their own by monitoring public trends and using a free tool like Canva.

Example:

source: r/dankmemes

Learning how to tap in the aspect of meme marketing could mean big numbers in the way of organic reach and people advertising your product for free.

2. Creating viral content to go with your product.

As mentioned above, staying updated on the current trends of social media is a big aspect in going viral, creating old viral content that has oversaturated the markets and releasing content people have already seen is not the key to viral marketing. You must think of fresh new ideas that would tap into all ages and all aspects of niche categories.

Before you post something you have to think, “would I share this with my friends?” or “does this captivate my audience in a way that they will watch the entire video?” The most important part of any content you will ever create is the first five seconds of a video, in that five seconds you have a window from people scrolling down the feed to watch and gain their attention.

You have to give them a reason to watch your entire video, whether it be big bold text, or a really loud presentation of the video before hand. If you learn these tactics this could mean the difference of 20 thousand views or 20 million views and a potential for your content to be posted on all sorts of other pages. 

3. Learn what is trending and learn how to capitalize on it.

Leveraging trending content is one of the biggest ways to tap into a massive group of new audience to bring you an exponential amounts of views. One example is “yanny and laurel,” a trend that is blowing up the internet across all social platforms.

If you learn how to twist and create a piece of content that can compete with the trend you can place yourself in the wave of the trend, getting the viewers that are watching these pieces of content and putting your video in the category of the trend.

The most important aspect of this is YOU MUST THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX! Give them a point of view that they haven’t seen yet and urge them to share it with their friends. 

Learning these concepts will make you very successful in the world of social media marketing. This is no way, shape or form an easy task and you should never treat this as easy money or easy numbers. Every person that likes, comments, or shares, is a person behind that keyboard or phone. Reaching them and making an impact throughout their day to remember your product and not just another commercial that they skip on a youtube video is key.

Organic reach is the most important thing to have when marketing – learning to build and capitalize on that is the difference between spending $500 and spending $50,000. These are tips gathered throughout years of hard work and dedication to the new wave of marketing.

Failing on creating something viral does not mean it didn’t work, it just means you must change the way you are going about reaching the people you want to target and you are not understanding what your core audience wants. Give the people what they want and you will be very successful in this game. 

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4 Ways to Co-create Value Through Social Media

4 Ways to Co-create Value Through Social Media

Have you considered getting your customers involved in the creation of new products and services? Are you curious about how customer involvement can benefit your business? This form of collaboration is known as co-creation, a concept that has received a great deal of attention from academics and marketing practitioners alike. Successful co-creation can produce higher quality work done at a greater value—customer satisfaction guaranteed.

Co-creation is customers’ active participation in creating new products and services. In fact, many leading brands have taken to co-creation in recent years. A study conducted by Standard and Poor’s 500 Index shows that companies investing in co-creation are more likely to be more profitable.

Social media is one of the best ways to attract customers to co-create. Through social media, you can engage, interact, and collaborate with customers.

Here are 4 tips to help you leverage social media as a means of increasing your business’s online presence, and helping you create products that your customers are more likely to purchase. 

#1: Empower your customers to develop products that sell.

Some global brands are already taking co-creation very seriously in terms of product development. For example, Starbucks was among the early adopters of social media engagement, and the company recently launched a platform called www.mystarbucksidea.com.

The platform is designed to engage customers and encourage them to offer their feedback and ideas regarding the Starbucks experience. In just one year, Starbucks received more than 88,000 ideas from customers, and the company has been awarded by Forrester Groundswell for its innovative use of branded social communities.

Each time Starbucks takes a photo; the company shares the image on key platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. When companies engage with customers where they are the most likely to engage, there will be more opportunities to co-create. Through the My Starbucks Idea project, the company gives customers and suppliers a voice in shaping the business model, not to mention a say in the creation of new products.

How it helps your business:

When your customers have a stake in your product pipeline, it helps you boost sales and build loyalty. Customers who collaborate with you feel more invested in your company, and are more likely to buy your products—especially when they’ve contributed. By collecting customer input, you access information on trends and customer needs that you would otherwise have had to purchase through costly data mining and focus groups.

#2: Transform customers into partners to build brand loyalty.

The conventional wisdom is that co-creation helps companies stay competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. Coca-Cola leverages co-creation with social media to stay relevant by customizing its products. The company made a splash when it placed customer names alongside its famous logo, allowing people to “share a Coke” with the important people in their lives.

The “Share a Coke” initiative has proven one of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent years, with an impressive social media legacy. The numbers tell the whole story: Over a thousand names on Coke bottles, 988 million Twitter impressions, 235,000 tweets from fans using the #ShareCoke hashtag, more than 150 personalized bottles sold and over 730,000 glass bottles personalized through the Coca-Cola e-commerce store. 

How it helps your business:

Initiatives like the “Share a Coke” campaign create a buzz that leads to increased brand loyalty. After all, people feel they have more of a stake in a company that is willing to put customers’ names on its product packaging. These forms of publicity come at little or no additional packaging costs. For companies, other low-cost tactics that build brand loyalty include re-tweeting customer content and putting customers in the spotlight on social media.

#3: Innovate with customers to streamline development.

By treating customers like partners, companies can promote innovation, new product development and new ideas through mutual collaboration. At Procter & Gamble, Connect + Develop is an open innovation platform that empowers partners and stakeholders to offer product development suggestions, in addition to new ideas in general. P&G estimates that 20 percent of its ideas, products, and technologies originally came from sources outside the company. Today, however, that figure—and P&G’s target—is closer to 50 percent.

How it helps your business:

By tapping stakeholders, P&G has reduced research and development costs, as well as product development costs. P&G’s example suggests that, for most companies, the invent-it-ourselves model is a sure path to diminishing returns. In fact, engaging customers can streamline the costly research and development process, and ultimately save money in the long run.

#4: Improve the customer experience to elevate brand reputation.

Social media has removed many of the communication barriers that customers faced in the past. Consequently, it offers more opportunities for interactions that produce deeper relationships, which is precisely why co-creation leads to enhanced brand management and better customer value.

Value, moreover, develops from past experiences, because customers have become very active players in the market. As such, brands can improve the customer experience by building strong relationships by way of direct customer and stakeholder interaction.

Dell, for example, uses co-creation to improve the customer experience through its collaborative platform IdeaStorm. Through IdeaStorm, Dell has gathered more than 10,000 ideas from customers—and some of these ideas have been implemented in order to improve customer service.

Social media, correspondingly, has facilitated the ongoing conversation between brands and customers. In fact, it is estimated that Dell has engaged in over two billion conversations with customers via social media channels and its collaborative platform. As a result, the company launched the Social Media Listening Command Centre, which aims to improve customer service and technical support by engaging with customers. 

How it helps your business:

Customer experience is a critical component of brand reputation. Websites like Yelp have made customer experiences available to the public with just a few clicks. Dell, furthermore, demonstrates that firms can use co-creation to improve transparency, engagement and customer service. Improving the customer service experience will guarantee that your brand receives a boost in both status and reputation.

Conclusion

A study conducted by Forrester Research shows that more than 60% of online consumers in the U.S. are willing to co-create, helping companies design new products and improve their services. Customers are especially willing to take this leap in communities that emphasize collaboration.

Ideally, co-creation not only creates value for customers, but it also elevates brand reputation, builds brand loyalty and increases sales. 

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3 Reasons Startups Should Focus on Reputation Management

Do you know what your customers post about your startup on the internet?

You should.

Because what people write and post about your startup online has a direct impact on your startup.

Reputation management is the process of shaping public perception of your brand by influencing online information. In simple words, how you manage your startup’s reputation on the internet is reputation management.

When you respond to a customer complaint on Twitter — you’re involved in managing your brand’s reputation.

See how JetBlue is assisting one of its customers on Twitter.

It’s not just they replied — but they replied quickly. This shows how concerned JetBlue is about its customers. The reply feels like they are “feeling” what their customer is feeling and actually trying to help them.

That’s how you manage your reputation online by turning unfavorable mentions into opportunities and creating positive favorable reviews and content — and feelings.

For instance, you can ask existing customers to share your product with their friends on social networks or you can ask your customers to leave a review about your business or you can contact an angry customer who posted a thread in a forum about your product.

There are so many ways businesses handle reputation online.

But the question is:

Why should your startup focus on reputation management specifically?

Why not improve customer services or initiate a marketing campaign to improve brand awareness?

Why reputation management?

Here are a few reasons to invest and focus specifically on reputation management.

1. Generate sales

What’s the biggest challenge that your startup is facing right now?

If your answer is generating more sales, you need reputation management to drive sales.

This is the most powerful reason why your startup should focus on reputation management without a second thought. Nothing is more important than generating sales and getting new clients, right?

Research shows that 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a brand and these online reviews impact 68 percent of purchasing decisions.

Imagine if a potential buyer runs a query about your startup in Google and he sees no results or he gets to see all negative reviews?

That’s where reputation management rescues your startup.

It doesn’t hurt asking your customers to post a review on a review website, Google Maps, or any website so that your target audience will be able to find reviews about your startup easily.

This doesn’t end here.

You have to manage and respond to all the negative reviews as well. If a customer posted a negative review, reach out to him, and offer help and try getting the issue solved.

This will send positive signals to potential customers about your startup — that your company cares and will never leave customers to deal with issues all alone. Your company is there to help.

2. Better customer services.

When Buffer was down for several hours, “the Leo” personally responded to customer tweets.

Reputation management can make your customers fall in love with your brand. It makes your customers happy. What happens when your customers get happy?

A single happy customer brings as much as 9 referrals on average.

When 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, your startup shouldn’t ignore reputation management. If you’re not serious about rep management, your customers will keep posting complaints on social networks without getting any reply from you.

So your startup should have at least one team member who should be responsible for managing customer queries on third-party websites and social networks.

It isn’t all about responding to customer queries when it comes to improving customer services — but you should have a powerful in-house maintenance system that will help you make your responses meaningful.

If your website is down for maintenance and your support team has no clue about it, the responses won’t sync — which will send a negative signal to your customers.

You need to track maintenance operations and it should be integrated with your CRM. Statistics show that 53 percent of businesses use CMMS to track maintenance operations while 52 percent use in-house spreadsheets.

Depending on the nature of your business, you can choose a relevant maintenance tracking strategy to keep your customer support, rep management, and sales team synchronized.

3. Increase in revenue.

Yes, reputation management has a significant impact on your startup’s revenue. According to Moz, when a potential customer finds a negative article about a business in Google search, the business risk losing 22 percent of business while 2 negative articles on the first page risk losing 44 percent of customers.

Some 74 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business. Every one-star increase in Yelp rating means 9 percent increase in business revenue.

The equation is simple.

When people see something negative about your business on the internet, they won’t buy from you and when they will see something positive, they will trust you.

Your job is to influence negative articles and bad reviews about your startup in a way that these negatives become your startup’s positive points.

There are several ways to influence or manage negative reviews and/or content.

  1. Join the conversation.
  2. Highlight your startup’s positive aspects.
  3. Contact the customer who posted the article/review and offer help.

See how the Virgin Mobile is actively involved in social listening where customer didn’t mention Virgin Mobile but they responded back on the same day and converted a complaint into a positive review.

Here is the deal:

You need to constantly scan for all the negative reviews because a lot of customers won’t mention you on Twitter or tag you on Facebook. This is one easy way to deal with negative reviews.

You cannot get rid of all the negative reviews about your startup so you should focus on what you can control: The positive reviews and favorable content.

Encourage your existing customers to share your content with their friends on their social networks and ask them to leave a review. You can reach out to highly engaged and satisfied customers through email and ask them to share their views in the form of a review or a short excerpt.

You should make sure that there isn’t any negative article about your startup on Google’s first page. If you cannot remove the one negative review that’s already posted — you should seek help from your engaged customers for help. These customers can add positive engagement or articles and try pushing the negative comment past the first page.

This is one easy rule to increase revenue without messing with a marketing campaign.

Conclusion

If your startup can generate more sales, increase its revenue, and improve customer services with reputation management, that is a pretty good deal.

The best thing about reputation management is that it will make your startup trustworthy and credible with the passage of time. The more time you invest in rep management, the better it is for your company.

Even if you don’t get to see any results instantly — don’t stop taking care of and watching over your site. This little extra time is a long-term strategy that will definitely pay for itself.

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Jeremy Webb3 Reasons Startups Should Focus on Reputation Management
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3 Reasons Startups Should Focus on Reputation Management

Do you know what your customers post about your startup on the internet?

You should.

Because what people write and post about your startup online has a direct impact on your startup.

Reputation management is the process of shaping public perception of your brand by influencing online information. In simple words, how you manage your startup’s reputation on the internet is reputation management.

When you respond to a customer complaint on Twitter — you’re involved in managing your brand’s reputation.

See how JetBlue is assisting one of its customers on Twitter.

It’s not just they replied — but they replied quickly. This shows how concerned JetBlue is about its customers. The reply feels like they are “feeling” what their customer is feeling and actually trying to help them.

That’s how you manage your reputation online by turning unfavorable mentions into opportunities and creating positive favorable reviews and content — and feelings.

For instance, you can ask existing customers to share your product with their friends on social networks or you can ask your customers to leave a review about your business or you can contact an angry customer who posted a thread in a forum about your product.

There are so many ways businesses handle reputation online.

But the question is:

Why should your startup focus on reputation management specifically?

Why not improve customer services or initiate a marketing campaign to improve brand awareness?

Why reputation management?

Here are a few reasons to invest and focus specifically on reputation management.

1. Generate sales

What’s the biggest challenge that your startup is facing right now?

If your answer is generating more sales, you need reputation management to drive sales.

This is the most powerful reason why your startup should focus on reputation management without a second thought. Nothing is more important than generating sales and getting new clients, right?

Research shows that 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a brand and these online reviews impact 68 percent of purchasing decisions.

Imagine if a potential buyer runs a query about your startup in Google and he sees no results or he gets to see all negative reviews?

That’s where reputation management rescues your startup.

It doesn’t hurt asking your customers to post a review on a review website, Google Maps, or any website so that your target audience will be able to find reviews about your startup easily.

This doesn’t end here.

You have to manage and respond to all the negative reviews as well. If a customer posted a negative review, reach out to him, and offer help and try getting the issue solved.

This will send positive signals to potential customers about your startup — that your company cares and will never leave customers to deal with issues all alone. Your company is there to help.

2. Better customer services.

When Buffer was down for several hours, “the Leo” personally responded to customer tweets.

Reputation management can make your customers fall in love with your brand. It makes your customers happy. What happens when your customers get happy?

A single happy customer brings as much as 9 referrals on average.

When 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, your startup shouldn’t ignore reputation management. If you’re not serious about rep management, your customers will keep posting complaints on social networks without getting any reply from you.

So your startup should have at least one team member who should be responsible for managing customer queries on third-party websites and social networks.

It isn’t all about responding to customer queries when it comes to improving customer services — but you should have a powerful in-house maintenance system that will help you make your responses meaningful.

If your website is down for maintenance and your support team has no clue about it, the responses won’t sync — which will send a negative signal to your customers.

You need to track maintenance operations and it should be integrated with your CRM. Statistics show that 53 percent of businesses use CMMS to track maintenance operations while 52 percent use in-house spreadsheets.

Depending on the nature of your business, you can choose a relevant maintenance tracking strategy to keep your customer support, rep management, and sales team synchronized.

3. Increase in revenue.

Yes, reputation management has a significant impact on your startup’s revenue. According to Moz, when a potential customer finds a negative article about a business in Google search, the business risk losing 22 percent of business while 2 negative articles on the first page risk losing 44 percent of customers.

Some 74 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business. Every one-star increase in Yelp rating means 9 percent increase in business revenue.

The equation is simple.

When people see something negative about your business on the internet, they won’t buy from you and when they will see something positive, they will trust you.

Your job is to influence negative articles and bad reviews about your startup in a way that these negatives become your startup’s positive points.

There are several ways to influence or manage negative reviews and/or content.

  1. Join the conversation.
  2. Highlight your startup’s positive aspects.
  3. Contact the customer who posted the article/review and offer help.

See how the Virgin Mobile is actively involved in social listening where customer didn’t mention Virgin Mobile but they responded back on the same day and converted a complaint into a positive review.

Here is the deal:

You need to constantly scan for all the negative reviews because a lot of customers won’t mention you on Twitter or tag you on Facebook. This is one easy way to deal with negative reviews.

You cannot get rid of all the negative reviews about your startup so you should focus on what you can control: The positive reviews and favorable content.

Encourage your existing customers to share your content with their friends on their social networks and ask them to leave a review. You can reach out to highly engaged and satisfied customers through email and ask them to share their views in the form of a review or a short excerpt.

You should make sure that there isn’t any negative article about your startup on Google’s first page. If you cannot remove the one negative review that’s already posted — you should seek help from your engaged customers for help. These customers can add positive engagement or articles and try pushing the negative comment past the first page.

This is one easy rule to increase revenue without messing with a marketing campaign.

Conclusion

If your startup can generate more sales, increase its revenue, and improve customer services with reputation management, that is a pretty good deal.

The best thing about reputation management is that it will make your startup trustworthy and credible with the passage of time. The more time you invest in rep management, the better it is for your company.

Even if you don’t get to see any results instantly — don’t stop taking care of and watching over your site. This little extra time is a long-term strategy that will definitely pay for itself.

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Jeremy Webb3 Reasons Startups Should Focus on Reputation Management
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Surprising Ways To Spruce Up The Classroom Experience Using Instagram

Social media has taken the world by storm over the recent years. From business to education its impact on the modern day world is all pervasive and it has indeed been a boon to every sector it has touched. Education has benefited immensely from the active as well as passive influences of social media.

As you read each of these areas — picture how you can teach your team something valuable in your new startup or your company? How can you provide the context of culture to your employees, teach the new innovation of your product or service, and even how you can teach your employees to teach each other?

Today social media can be actually utilized in the classroom to make education easier for students. Here is how popular social media platform, Instagram can be used to boost the learning experience of a class.

Creating attractive visual aids.

This is of extreme use, especially when it comes to the younger crowd. It can help the educators create stunning visual aids. It is a common knowledge that people, especially children are attracted to bright colors, interesting visuals[1] and exciting action. It also helps them process, comprehend and retain the information better. Instagram can be put to use in making exciting visuals and picture stories for classroom teaching. Better visual aids can go a long way in helping students understand and work on their lessons.

Building study circles.

With the help of Instagram educational institutions can create vibrant communities and study circles to help students aid each other in their education. Not only does this foster a sense of belonging, it also teaches students important values such as team spirit and sharing. It also makes the process of sharing of information easier and faster.

With the help of Instagram students can now share all the pertinent notes, discussions and reading recommendations on their subject in real time. This is excellent in helping students prepare for their academics.

Information at the tip of fingertips.

With the use of proper hashtags students can upload and access any information they want at any hour of the day. This makes all the necessary information available to the students at the tip of their fingers whenever they want. This eliminates the need for stressing out over odd hours because the student cannot access the essential information or help until office hours resume.

This is particularly helpful for those students who are night owls are preferring to do their preparation late at nights

Fosters bonding among students and team members.

Given that the real purpose of social media is to engage in bonding and development of kinship among people, Instagram can be utilized to foster bonding among students. In this world where bullying and harassment taking lives is the harsh reality plaguing the society and mental health[2] issues are taking a toll on people’s lives, a sense of bonding is of utmost help. 

While students are spending their time chasing grades, with the help of Instagram they can make friends as well and improve their grades together. It gives every person a platform to reach out to someone and connect. This can turn complete strangers into friends and make the journey easier.

Fun activities.

Instagram gives the students the opportunity of engaging in fun co-curricular activities. For example, students can be asked to create imaginary Instagram stories for scientific or historical figures or fictional characters they have come across in their syllabus. This gives a boost to their creativity while teaching them their subject matter in a fun and interesting way. This makes education way more engaging and encourages the students to handle their syllabus in a more efficient and interesting manner.

Engaging in scientific curiosity

Scientific minds can make use of Instagram to spread their love of science from their classrooms and labs itself. While some can choose to Instagram picture of their stunning experiments and scientific creations, others can exhibit their group achievements and show the world the excitement that science holds.

Moreover, an entire class of students can compare the results of their experiments, be it the germination of a seed or a resistance test on an electrical circuit. While this may induce a healthy competition, it is also unadulterated excitement.

Inspire the love for creation.

To fill the lack of a traditional muse, Instagram might be just the right inspiration that can push students to fall in love with creation. A photo series can not only speak volumes, it can also inspire people to create their own work of art, poetry, writing and so much more. This can be especially instrumental in the education of special children to induce better expression.

Attracting students.

Not only does Instagram makes classroom education much more interesting, it is also a great opportunity to reach out to people outside the class too. It provides a vivid idea of the student life and classroom teaching of the particular subject and the university.

This can be instrumental in aiding students applying for college[3] to choose the right university as they can easily get a glimpse of the life. This helps an educational institution attract the right students depending on the kind of environment they have to offer. 

Instagram is a powerful social media platform and its multi-faceted utility is yet to be explored well enough in the sphere of education. With its aid it is possible to improve the entire scenario of education as well as making it more enjoyable for students as well as teachers.

As more and more educational institutions are beginning to harness the power of social media we see a wave of change in the entire scope of education around the world.

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How to Build a Social Media Strategy for Your Startup

Do you own a startup? Do you want to make it successful?

“Running A Business Is Easy.” — Nobody ever said this.

You have created a great product or service, but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is to convince people why should they care about your business and tell them what it can do for them. According to this report, “Generating relevant traffic and leads are the top marketing challenges for a business.”

Social Media

Social media can be your secret weapon to increase brand awareness and lead generation for your startup. The best part? It’s cost-effective mean of marketing. It’s not a channel that you SHOULD use, it has become a channel that you MUST use. It’s the most popular and effective medium to connect with your target audience and get your brand in front of them.

“Almost all the businesses and startups have social media profiles, then why do most of them fail?” I hear you ask.

You’re right, startups have social media pages, but the most common mistake they make is: NOT having a social media strategy. Only a correct plan and strategy can help you to improve brand awareness, customer acquisition, and lead generation.

71 percent of customers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Don’t worry! In this article, you’ll find five proven ways to build a social media strategy for your startup.

1. Build (or improve) Social Media Profiles

As I mentioned, social media has immense power to attract people, generate new leads and increase revenue. But it only works when you do it right, otherwise you’ll struggle to get desired results. What to do then?

Before creating a social media strategy establish your mission, objectives and goals that you need to achieve. Now check which social media platforms meet your objectives. You don’t have to be on every social network because each platform has its own audience and USP. Build yourself a strong social media page with each platform your enter. Make your social media page with complete business information and proper image sizes. Here’s a guide for social media image sizes.

It’s Time To Improve And Update Them.

Do you have existing social media accounts? It’s time to improve and update them. Take a look at your social media statistics and demographics to understand your audience’s behavior and how it’s working. Choose the platform that meets your needs.

Julia C. Campbell as a voice for social media updates and improvements put it best here:

“Pick one network and do it well first. Choose one that you like to use personally and are comfortable using. Master it.”

Facebook’s Audience Insights tool allows you to check comprehensive demographics information.

Image via my personal Facebook account

2. Create a Content Strategy

You must create a content strategy and distribution plan before starting posts on your company’s social media accounts. Without a definite direction, you’ll be distracted. A clear definition of your desired state is going to allow you to use gap analysis to create a laser-focused action plan that is going to take you to your destination.

Here are some questions to get started:

  • Who’s your target audience for a particular content?

  • What types of content do you need to publish on social media?

  • What’s the frequency of your content?

  • What’s your plan to promote it?

First, answer these questions. Build a strategy and share the content your audience will enjoy. “I don’t know what to post on social media,” I hear you say.

A Few Ideas

If you have a startup for a marketing tool, start sharing content about marketing in form of blog content, videos, infographics, podcasts, presentations, etc. You can also share “Motivational Monday” images. Share inside photos of your office culture, this will give your followers insight into your company.

I recommend you to share relevant content from other sources regularly.

Always be consistent with your content. Follow the most popular 80-20 rule. 80 percent of your content should be informative and the other 20 percent can be promotional.

Piktochart regularly shares graphics on their Twitter page.

3. Engage with your audience

Social media is for conversations. Engaging your audience on this channel can help you to build a community of fans for your brand. It can also help create fruitful relationships with your customers.

First, you need to post interesting content that encourages people to take an action. It could be a Twitter poll, a funny graphic, a video, or a product photo that encourages your audience to tag their friends.

How do you feel when people engage with your posts and comments? It feels awesome, right?

It gives you an opportunity to make a conversation and understand your audience. Here are some ways that you can consider:

  • Respond to these interactions appropriate and answer their queries.

  • Take the conversation further by asking a question.

  • There’s a negative comment. Don’t rush, respond positively and try to resolve the issue.

  • Run contests, ask people to take a specific action, and offer incentives.

When you respond to customers, they’ll more likely to purchase from you and will share a positive experience with more people.

Check out this Facebook Post of Modcloth. They did a great job here:

4. Go Live!

It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re, startups always look for a cost-effective social media marketing strategy. We live in the fast food world where people need everything instant. Facebook live is a great medium to produce instant content. You MUST include live video in your content plan.

Live Video

It’s a fresh and unique way to provide appealing content to your audience. Popular brands already suing Facebook Live across the globe. Livestream discovered 80 percent consumers would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog and 82 percent prefer live video from a brand to social posts.

Use Live videos to ask questions, company culture, event, or product launch. It drives real-time engagement. Encourage your audience to comment and respond to their questions. Don’t forget to calling out their names. It makes people feel special to hear their names in your live video.

Here’s an example: Embed Code

<iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftarget%2Fvideos%2F10154487189168120%2F&show_text=0&width=560″ width=”560″ height=”315″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true” allowFullScreen=”true”></iframe>

5. Use Email to Support your Social Media

Do you think email and social media as a competing channels? You’re making a BIG mistake. Smart businessmen take these two channels as a team player to fulfil their purpose. Be a smart marketer and use the power of email to support your social media marketing.

Jay Baer put it best at MarketingSherpa Email Summit:

“Email and social media have an important part to play in the conversation between company and consumer. They are strategically, operationally and tactically aligned — or if they aren’t, they should be.”

Don’t forget to place social media follow button in your email campaigns and make it shareable. This act will help you to generate more reach and fans. Where you need to place the buttons in email: Above the fold OR below the fold?

I recommend you to Run an A/B test – Place the buttons above the fold in email A and below the fold in email B. And see the results.

In one study, marketers were asked: “Which marketing channels does your organization integrate with your email program?”

You can also send a dedicated email campaign to your subscribers and ask them to follow you. See how crocs does a great job:

I hope these five social media strategies will help you to grow your startup. Do you want to share something? Please drop your views here.

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Digital Marketing Your Startup: Dealing With Small Marketing Budgets

Startups need some form of digital marketing in order to be as successful as possible. The problem that many people encounter is that of making the budget for a marketing campaign. All marketing departments are going to tell you the budget they need which will always be higher than what they actually need.

The fact is that many startups do not have a massive budget to work with but the marketers can have a huge impact. Those without a huge budget have some of the most creative and engaging campaigns due to having solve problems instead of throwing money at them. The following are tips to dealing with marketing online even with a small budget.

Free Social Media Marketing Should Be Done

Social media being a free platform to promote content, sales, and interact with customer is the first step of marketing online. The fact that these are free and you can start building a presence immediately is important. Do not simply fill up your feed with different products now being offered.

Interact with those in your business space and search hashtags on Twitter to see if you can answer any questions about your area of expertise. This can be a form of customer service as people reach out via social quite a bit, showing that you will respond/care about comments helps build customer loyalty.

Outsourcing Can Be An Answer

A startup is going to have limits on hiring and other limitations as far as staffing/budget. Outsourcing digital marketing to a company that already has contacts in your industry can be the most budget friendly option. Those companies that have started influencer marketing platforms can allow you to see the reach that your marketing budget can have.

Small and medium influencers are making huge leaps for many companies as they tend to be a well-trusted endorser in comparison to celebrities. Look up reviews of the company you will outsource to as some companies rely on the client not knowing much about digital marketing so they can overcharge and under deliver.

Create Content To Engage

Digital marketing is driven by engaging and informative content so creating another generic clickbait list simply is not going to cut it. Consumers are exposed to so much content daily that they have become picky with what they will spend their time reading or viewing.

Finding a person to create content can be done through a freelancer platform like that of Upwork or People Per Hour. This will give you the ability to test a writer out instead of bringing on a writer in-house who will cost more with lower quality work.

Try different forms of content to see which converts in the most leads or traffic. Podcasts and video are extremely popular as some people simply do not have time to read longer articles.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is continuing to boom especially with the moderately popular influencers. Being able to connect these influencers can be extremely difficult. Finding the influencers that help clients convert on sales or traffic is the main objective.

In a post by Seedingup about influencer marketing notes that age plays a huge role in the impact influencer marketing has with the data “The age-group 14 – to 29-years old can be reached particularly well with influencer marketing campaigns on social media channels, because more than a third of this target group has already purchased a product promoted by influencers.

Within this young target group, 18 – to 23-year-olds are most receptive to product plugs by influencers, resulting in purchases by 39 percent of this age group. 30 – to 49-year-olds are less inclined to buy based on an influencer marketing campaign, with only seven percent of this group making a purchase. Finding the right influencer can lead your brand to huge profits in a mutually beneficial business relationship with said influencer.”

Content marketing drives digital marketing so having a great content writer for blog posts and social media is incredibly important. A person with writing and marketing background can be a Swiss Army Knife of production for a small company which can take it to the next level.

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5 Ways Companies Can Adapt To New Facebook Changes In 2018

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, updated his news feed with some changes that they were going to implement in 2018. There was abrupt commotion during this time with both negative and positive reactions that left many online publishers perplexed and confused.

Gain a cutting edge.

If you’re part of a company who advertises on Facebook regularly, this will help you stay ahead of the curve in 2018. If you’re new to advertising on Facebook, this will give you the springboard needed to have the cutting edge.

Leverage quality over quantity.

One of the problems we’re facing as a digital community is the influx of too much content. Zuckerberg stated this in one of his recent Facebook posts. Too much content is not a good thing because it can often confuse and drown people without them taking specific action.

Information overload takes over which can lead to spinning in circles. Everyone wants to live the digital dream and the good life, yet they aren’t pushing out high-quality content. They are aiming for bulk which isn’t the best direction to take.

High quality content is still going to be the top-shelf idea.

Stay ahead of the crowd by putting high-quality content on all your channels, and not Facebook alone. The more interactive and engaging your content is, the better. This makes people stick around longer which increases the chances of your audience completing your objective. Create high quality and planned content that speaks directly to your customer’s desires and passions. Use high-quality cameras, lighting, and personalities to broaden your reach. Then reproduce them on all your social media channels.

Create support groups

One of the other points that Zuckerberg made was that they were going to start decreasing the amount of content shown by brands, businesses, and media. Facebook is going to start showing more of content from your friends, family, and groups. Every niche and industry you can think of has a Facebook group already made.

Create a Facebook group that is niche specific to your industry and allow people to join and comment. Hire moderators to keep the group spam free and post content inside daily. This is now your own online real estate you get to utilize.

Don’t stop advertising

While all these new Facebook updates are changing, that doesn’t mean that what you’re currently doing has to stop. Continue advertising on Facebook and learn to observe the reports and analytics that Facebook’s advertising platform will give you. Then adapt to the responses that you will receive. Facebook, as well as many other channels, will continue to change to meet the needs of their users.

We should follow suit. You should also be creating audiences according to who have seen your content. Focus on creating video ads that match your customer’s pain points and desires, and retarget those who have seen more than 50 percent of your videos with a retargeting ad that gets them to make a purchase or complete a step in the buying cycle.​

Use other advertising outlets

You can’t rely on only one traffic source. Having this mindset can be detrimental to any business. The reason you want to avoid relying on one traffic source is because that traffic source might disappear one day. With that said, Facebook is a great place to advertise seeing there are more than 2 billion active users every month.

But it’s not the only place. There are many places that will allow you to advertise and you’re customers are already in those places. Youtube is a great place to advertise because it is runner-up to Facebook with over 1 billion active users monthly.

Video will account for 80 percent of consumer internet traffic by 2020. Use research platforms like SimilarWeb to find out more about your customer’s online habits and find out where they spend most of their time. Enter in your competition’s website URL to find out where they are getting their traffic and business from and start using the same outlets.

Focus on customer experience

Zuckerberg also mentioned that people on Facebook react and engage more to live videos than regular videos. Customer experience is key to the growth of any company or organization. You can’t grow a company that isn’t serving the needs and desires of its community. Start by creating more live content on your Facebook profile, pages, and groups.

Get more rankings and reviews on your Facebook pages to rank them organically. Invite your customers to use the check-in feature on Facebook and leave comments. Last but the most important, get video testimonials of all your customers and place them on all social media platforms and your website.

Have them introduce themselves, mention your company, and give a specific example of their experience after working with you. Have them explain the benefits of what they received and feelings they had before, during and after your services or using your products. ​

Facebook publishers have expected this change to happen. The organic reach has decreased to as little as 2 percent for some businesses. It’s becoming a game of pay-to-play. Staying ahead of the game and up-to-date with the changes will benefit you and your company greatly.

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How Being Socially and Environmentally Friendly As a Business Can Be Leveraged

The number of companies that have started to value their impact over profits is growing. This is a huge change from past generations when profits were all that mattered even if it came at the expense of the environment.

Technology has made it possible for things to be shared all over the world in a matter of minutes. This has caused many companies to take a step back to look at how their tactics of making money impact their public perception.

In many cases corporations have done better while being more socially or environmentally friendly as people make their money do the talking. The following are advantages a business can have by being socially or environmentally friendly.

Incredible PR Move

People are much more informed about how businesses operate now than they were in the past. Companies that were using underpaid labor overseas have seen drops in sales once revealed. With smartphone technology the treatment of employees as well as the environment has improved.

Announcing the different social or environmental initiatives the company is taking part is can help improve customer loyalty. Companies that produce something of high quality but also are conscious of the waste they produce should be promoted.

A section in a monthly newsletter about the green initiative might not seem like much but those that care deeply about the environment will take notice.

Listing Your Business as a B Corp

A benefit corporation identity or B Corp simply means that the business goal is to benefit the public in some way. The regular business model is to increase profits year after year. A great B Corp example Giving Assistant listed quotes in their announcement that are values of other B Corporations and are below.

“Businesses should compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.”

“All business ought to be conducted as if people and places matter.”

“World business leaders must realize that everyone is dependent on each other for the well-being of our global community and natural resources.”

“A company’s products can and should benefit society in their production, practices, and profit.”

As anyone can see these are not the traditional value statements of businesses. A B Corp also allows a company a form of trust from the public as their final goal is not to profit as much off of the public as possible.

Another great benefit of becoming a benefit corporation is that of attracting top talent. Many of those in the job market are willing to take a lower salary in order to make a real difference. Being able to help the public instead of the bank account of investors in the corporation help reduce stress that usually is present at regular corporations.

Social Media Justice Warriors Will Leave You Alone

The rise of social media allowed people to voice their opinions about things that they might not have any idea about. One of these persistent people with a gripe with a company might point out all of the things that they might not like.

This could be production tactics or even something like how much you pay employees. Taking the green route or one that stresses helping people socially will keep their keyboard warriors away. Make sure that you have an employee that embodies your corporate values working the social media accounts.

People can say hurtful things but the last thing that you want is an employee losing their temper which will reflect poorly on the company.

Doing business the correct way might not always be the best for profits but in the long run will be beneficial to the company. Take a few hours to look at processes to see where you can reduce waste. Often times this is a quick fix that will have little to no impact on production. ​

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5 Free Ways Startups Can Promote Content And Boost Reach

If content is King, then promotion brings Glory. But not all content creators of early-stage startups are able to embrace glory. What is the reason? Organic reach is depleting day by day on social media. And most startups at their early stages don’t have a budget to spend on paid promotion.

What is the solution? 

In today’s post, I will discuss five free ways how startups can promote their content to reach more people. After reading this post, you will be able to maximize the success of your content marketing by reaching a large number of people.

Without further ado, let us dive in:

1. Answering On Quora

This ever-popular question and answer site claims to have 190 million unique monthly visitors. The beauty of this platform is that people question and answer on almost every topic under the sun. To promote your content on Quora, the first thing you need to do is to find questions relevant to your topic. This you can easily do by searching through Quora search box. 

Once you find topics relevant to your content, dig deeper the topics to locate the questions of which answers your content offer. After you get the questions, write short answers and provide links to your content. If people like your short answers, they will come to your content for more information. 

2. Including Influencers

Including influencers in your content is a good way to get more eyes at your content. How does it work? The process is simple and has the following steps:

●     Ask influencers in your industry for a relevant quote for your content.

●     Include the quote in content and let the influencers know about it.

●     When the influencers share the content, you will reach more people. 

What benefits will you get when influencers share your content?

Needless to say, influencers have loyal followers who interact with the content influencers share. You will certainly reach more people if your content is shared by influencers.

3. Sharing on Communities

Sharing content on communities like Growth Hackers and inbound.org can attract more eyeballs to your content. However, just sharing links on these communities will not help get more readers. You need to be active in these communities: share, like, and comment on other’s content to build rapport there. Only then, people will engage with your content.

Here is a list of few free communities where you can share your content:

●     Growthhacker.com

●     Inbound.org

●     Scoop.it

●     Flipboard.com

●     Reditt.com

●     Facebook groups

●     LinkedIn groups

Your success on these communities depends on how well you engage with others’ content. So be active if you want more people to read your content.

4. Syndicating Content

Content syndication is publishing your content on other websites to reach a broader audience. It is one of the most effective ways to get more readers. However, you should not forget to mention the website where the content was first published.

Medium and LinkedIn are popular platforms where you can syndicate your content. Also, you can target any leading website in your industry to request for content syndication. But you should propose value that content will bring to the readers of that website. 

5. Sharing Creatively on Social Media 

Though organic social media reach is dying, you can still reach a large audience if you use social media creatively.

Here are some ways to maximize your reach on social media:

●     Share your content multiple times with different snippets

●     Tag people you have quoted in your content

●     Use relevant hashtag

●     Tag people who share the same content as yours and ask their opinion

●     Use images, memes, and animated GIFs to increase shares and likes

The secret to harnessing the power of social media, in today’s time of dying organic social media reach, is to get your content shared by as many people as you can. The more people share your content, the better reach you will have.

Final Thought

As a content marketer who has successfully created content marketing strategies for many brands, I believe that you should spend 50 percent of your energy on content creation and the rest 50 percent, on content promotion.

Answering on Quora, including influencers in content, sharing content on communities, syndicating content and sharing content on social media creatively are some proven ways to take your content in front of a mass.

What about you? Do you want to share any other free way to promote content? Leave it in the comment section. I would love to know about it.

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