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Category: Social Media Marketing

employee advocacy

Employee Advocacy: Word of Mouth Marketing

Social media is a new form of word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing can be very powerful, so it makes sense to have your employees advocating on behalf of the company via social media. According to an article by Fast Company, leads through employee social networks convert seven times more often than any other leads.

People trust people more than they do brands. This is why employee advocacy makes sense.Click To Tweet

Employee advocacy also allows you to improve your reach. By asking your employees to share your messages, you can instantly boost your audience by leveraging their networks. Employee advocacy happens when employees share content on social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc;.

Before you dive in, here are a few things to consider:

Establish Guidelines

Set up company guidelines for what your team should and shouldn’t share on social media. Provide a brief training and best practices for sharing messages online.

Define Your Goals

What are you trying to accomplish? Is it brand awareness? Are you trying to direct traffic to your website? You can’t manage what you can’t measure.  Set goals and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will show when or if you’ve reached your goals. Determine what the value of your followers and likes really means and find ways to measure those results. 

Offer Incentives

Offer incentives to encourage employees to take the time to promote your company on social media. In turn, ensure those active employees are sharing messaging that is in alignment with your marketing goals. Offer incentives for sales leads that come through employee social media accounts.

Make Workplace Culture A Priority

Strong workplace cultures attract and keep talented people, and directly improve the bottom line. People will want to advocate for the company if they feel good about being there, and believe in the product or service. Workplace culture directly effects performance. It is improved and cultivated by strong relationships.

In addition,

Establish a company culture that is social media friendlyClick To Tweet Don’t be afraid to share suggested messages from your marketing or social media teams, inspiring employees to create their own with their own voice and style.

Track Progress

Employee advocacy can be a little scary letting employees post on their own on social media accounts. However, authenticity is very effective, so you want it to truly be genuine to be effective. As long as employees have an understanding of guidelines and policy, employees should know how to represent appropriately, but monitoring will be important to make sure employees aren’t posting anything inappropriate and inflammatory. Track progress to gauge which employee posts are most successful at accomplishing goals and recognize those employees who do it well.

Social media marketing takes time, effort and strategy to see results. With patience and analyzing your efforts, you are on your way to reaching your goals.

 

social media goals

8 Social Media Goals To Grow Your Business

Social media marketing is absolutely pointless without a plan. Part of having a plan includes setting goals, and setting goals that are measurable. Since social media is one aspect of your overall marketing strategy, it can work well to connect your social media goals with your marketing goals.

Setting clear measurable goals helps you refine your messaging and spend your money effectively.Click To Tweet

Below are eight social media goals and metrics that you could apply to your business and align with your overall marketing goals.

Increase Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is just that. How well are people aware of your brand? It’s the likelihood that consumers recognize the existence of your service or product. Brand awareness is particularly important when you’re starting out and to help differentiate from similar products and services from competitors.

Metrics:

  • Follower count on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc;.
  • Reach of your social media posts
  • Number of mentions, shares and retweets

Website Traffic

An important social media goal is to drive traffic to your website.

Your social media activity should be ultimately leading traffic to your site.Click To Tweet This is where you want people to go to learn more about your business, read your latest blog post or make a purchase.

Metrics:

  • Referral traffic from social media
  • Share of overall traffic
  • Bounce rate of social media traffic
  • Clicks on your social media posts

Sales

You’re in business to make money, right? So, having a goal of growing revenue is natural. While social media is not about a sales pitch, you’re trying to build relationships that lead to business. So, ultimately making a sales, or obtaining a new client is the ultimate goal.

Metrics:

  • Signups
  • Social advertising revenue

Lead Generation

Lead generation can come from many sources. It can come from those who sign up for your newsletter, or fill out your content form. Providing valuable content to capture leads is key.

Metrics:

  • Downloads of your content
  • Clicks on your social media posts
  • Newsletter sign ups
  • Conversion rates of social media leads

Increase Engagement

Creating quality, relevant content will help boost your engagement. It’s the best way to help you stand out in a noisy, crowded online world.

Metrics:

  • Likes hares, replies, mentions
  • Number of comment on social posts

Community Growth

An important purpose for having an online presence is to build an online community for your business.

Community building is an investment in your company,Click To Tweet in your knowledge base, and your website. Pretty much every effort you put into the goal of building an online community increases your company’s value. It allows you to grow closer to them, listen to feedback, and gain a better understanding of what their needs and wants are.

Metrics:

  • Number of posts, likes and comments in Facebook groups
  • Number of Tweet chat participants

Publicity

You can use social media to get mentions in the press and online publications, blogs and articles.

Metrics:

  • Potential reach, shares and mentions
  • Influencers talking about and sharing your content
  • The number of people seeking your expertise with industry related questions

Research

Use can use social media to gain intelligence about your company, product or service, competitors or industry. Listening to online conversations about certain topics your customers might be talking about, helps you gather competitive intelligence that can inform your decision making and improve your services.

Metrics:

  • Number of conversations with customers on social media
  • Suggestions or feedback.

Setting social media goals to align with your marketing goals helps you stay focused on your business growth and increase your chances for success. What are your business goals and how are you measuring them? Please comment below.

instagram tips

Use These Instagram Tips To Grow Your Audience

The key to success with Instagram is knowing your audience and giving the people what they want. I’ve put together a list of Instagram tips and important stats to help you shine on Instagram!  Whatever your business might be, whether you have a product or service, these tips can help to maximize your success.

There are three key areas to focus with Instagram marketing: Increasing your followers, increasing your engagement and understanding Instagram users.

GROW YOUR FOLLOWERS

Connect Your Instagram Account With Facebook

Here’s what I know. It’s a lot easier to get people to follow you who already know you than those who don’t. Build your network with who you know. This is why I didn’t dive into Periscope when Facebook Live became a thing. I’ve already built an audience on Facebook that I can broadcast to. Now, if I ever want to try to reach a brand new audience? I can always go to Periscope.

You Must Have A Hashtag Strategy

Some Instagram tips are non-negotiable. Like this one. If you hate using hashtags, you better learn to love them if you want to build your Instagram following. It’s part of the culture. It’s how to find things and how to be found. If you don’t know what to use, a simple google search will do. Don’t over do it. You can use up to 30, but that’s probably not necessary. What is necessary, is using hashtags that are relevant to your post.

If you want to use a dozen hashtags but you think it looks too spammy, simply post your photo or video with a caption, and then use the first comment to add your hashtags. It just looks neater.

Be Consistent

This is a social media golden rule. Simply decide on how often you’re going to post and stick to it. You don’t have to post several times a day or even every day. But you do need to be consistent.

Don’t Just Lead, Follow!

If you want followers, you have to follow others too. Don’t but one of those people who wants to do all the broadcasting. You don’t have to follow everyone, but how will you get to know people if you don’t follow them?

ENGAGE

Post High-Quality Photos

Instagram marketing is visual marketing. Visual marketing has to look good. REALLY good. The better it looks the more you stand out. Most smart phone cameras can do the trick. Just be sure to use good spacing and lighting. Always choose your best photos.

Make Your Photos Stand Out

Make your photos POP with image-editing apps. There are many apps that help take your photos from good to GREAT. Here are some of my favorites.

Sharing Is Caring

If you want friends, you have to be a friend. Treat others like you would want to be treated. Cliché? Well, cliché’ or not, these things apply. Liking, commenting and sharing go a long way.

Search Hashtags

Some Instagram tips are often overlooked. This is one of them. Searching hashtags is how you discover new friends and followers. Search hashtags and genuinely engage. Sometimes I like to search hashtags of apps that I use for photo editing. I love searching high quality photos and sharing my own.

 

WHO ARE INSTAGRAMMERS?

If you want to be successful on Instagram, you need to understand your audience. Understanding your audience means understanding who they are.

Now that you’ve got the Instagram tips you need for growth and engagement, let’s examine Instagram users a little closer. Take a look at the infographic below and understand Instagrammers a little better by getting Instagram by the numbers:

(Infographic by: https://getyounity.com/)

Instagram by the Numbers

What Instagram tips can you add? Please share in the comments below and do connect with me on Instagram: @socialwithsara

instagram marketing

4 Instagram Marketing Tips To Get You More Reach

Instagram launched on the scene in 2010 and never looked back. The social network continues to be wildly popular with increasing growth now boasting over 500 million users.

Experience tells us that platform growth brings about change. Instagram is no different. This year, Instagram announced many changes from the ability to switch between accounts with ease to a completely new algorithm. Add to that Instagram advertising and the soon to come business accounts, and Instagram is not going to be the same.

Whether you’re a newbie to the social network or you’re already there, and want to maintain or have success, you can benefit from these Instagram marketing tips to maximize your efforts and extend your reach.

HAVE A HASHTAG STRATEGY

One thing I notice about successful Instagram accounts is that they’ve mastered the hashtag.Click To Tweet

On Instagram, you have a 30 hashtag limit. While that sounds ridiculous for some platforms, it’s perfectly fine here and should be a major part of your Instagram marketing strategy. Why? Because people search hashtags on Instagram. If you want your niche specific content to be seen, you need to use the hashtags associated with your content. These hashtags will help you reach your intended audience.

Content hashtags are hashtags you use in your posts. They help improve the SEO of your posts. They get your updates seen by your consumers who are searching for and/or using those hashtags

Some of the content hashtags I use are #socialmedia, #marketing or #Snapchat, #Instagram or #SMM (social media marketing.) Because I use certain groups of hashtags often according to my content, I have them saved in bundles. I keep them in my notes app to copy and paste easily.

TRACK YOUR LINK

Using Bitly or another URL shortener will allow you to be able to see how many people are clicking on the link you’re allowed in your Instagram bio and optimize it’s use. You can check the metrics on Instagram marketing with this technique. The metrics will help you determine if you’re reaching your audience and which content does it best.

If you’ve published a new blog post or you’re running a promotion or new campaign, use that link to announce it and have a call to action in your caption with a “click the link in our bio” to drive people to your link.

BE CRYSTAL CLEAR

With Instagram marketing, your images need to stand out. Make them look their very best with the maximum resolution. Use this guide:

Square images: 2048 x 2048

Portrait images: 1638 x 2048

Landscape: images: 2048 x 1536

ALWAYS PRACTICE BEST PRACTICES

Maximizing success requires best practices. Sprout Social offers a solid infographic outline 7 Instagram Best Practices:

Understanding your audience and brand are essential to promoting, advertising and even engaging on Instagram. Again, you can’t walk into your strategy blindly, so first try to ask questions that define you and your audience. These questions can include:

  • What does our audience like most about our brand?
  • Who are we trying to ultimately reach?
  • Are our competitors successful on Instagram?
  • What marketing strategies have worked in the past?
  • What do customers expect with our brand? Is that good enough?

Check out the Infographic here:

7 Best Instagram Practices To Build Your Audience

instagram marketing
Photo by Sprout Social

 

3 Game Changing Facebook Updates You Need To Know

Facebook updates are still a big deal. The social media giant that is Facebook continues to be a force in the digital media world. According to Statista, Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts and currently sits at 1.59 billion monthly active users. Eighth-ranked photo-sharing app Instagram had over 400 million monthly active accounts.

Facebook is easy for most anyone to understand how to use, and a Facebook business page is pretty much mandatory for most businesses. Even if you do quickly realize you’ll need to get in the advertising game, you’ll want to have a presence.

I used to think Facebook wasn’t important to my web traffic, but it continues to be the #1 referral source for my website.Click To Tweet

Recently, 3 new Facebook updates were introduced that you’ll want to take note of.

Not only is Facebook a force simply because of it’s size, but also because it continues to add features to compete with other social networks. Which brings me to my first update.

FACEBOOK SLIDESHOW

Videos are a popular and engaging form of content. So it’s no wonder that tech giants are launching their own versions of automatic video. Apple has “Memories” which will debut on the iOS 10 Photos, Google already has a Movies assistant with it’s Google Photos product. And now, Facebook is rolling out Slideshow to all iOS users around the world.

Following up with the increasingly popular Facebook Live feature, Facebook is tackling another social media trend: creating stories.Click To Tweet

You may have noticed some components of Facebook testing out some of it’s features already. If you’ve taken photos recently on your phone and are about to post a status, Facebook will suggest creating a slideshow with those recent photos and videos. Each Slideshow is automatically composed with themed music and transitions. Facebook has seen a decline in personal content sharing.

I believe with the addition of Facebook Live and Facebook Slideshow, they are hoping to encourage users to share more of their personal photos and videos again. Stringing together a series of photos and videos brings to mind the concept of Snapchat stories. Much like Facebook Live vs Periscope, Facebook continues to introduce features that seem to not only address trends, but will also keep users on the Facebook site as opposed to other platforms.

FACEBOOK FAVORS FRIENDS

Facebook announced that it is limiting the amount of content from Pages. The News Feed will feature more posts from friends and family instead of posts from brands.

According to Adam Mosseri, VP for product management at Facebook: “Maintaining a relevant and interesting Newsfeed is important to satisfying users.”

This adjustment addresses feedback from users who complained status updates from friends and family do not appear on their News Feed.

“Stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first, and don’t miss important stuff from their friends”, he added. “One of our most important jobs is getting this ranking right”

What does this mean for brands? “We anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages,” Lars Backstrom, engineering director at Facebook, wrote in a separate post about the change.

The takeaway?

Since you don’t own these platforms, you are at their mercy. This is why your own website and blog are important. As far as what to do on Facebook, I think the change simply means discovering and creating the type of content that users will want to see and engage with in addition to investing in Facebook advertising.

FACEBOOK UPDATES THE PAGE

I first heard about a change to the Pages layout from Heidi Osburn Garland of Guild West Agency when she posted a screenshot of her Page with the new layout:

GUILD WEST AGENCY FACEBOOK PAGE SCREENSHOT

facebook updates

When I commented, she posted a screenshot of my page:

facebook update

 

 

 

 

 

Now, while I’m still not seeing this change,  clearly it is being rolled out.

What I notice first of all is that the avatar is no longer taking up space on the cover photo. Neither is the business name. Also, a change that I had already begun seeing on Facebook, instead of the category of your business, say for example, “Wills and Estates” it shows the name of your “handle” or username such as @tgqlaw. This is also no longer on the cover photo, but beneath your avatar which is situated on the top left corner of the page.

Heidi does a great job of discussing what’s new with the latest Facebook update to Pages. Some of the noted changes:

  • Profile picture no longer takes up valuable real estate covering the cover image.
  • Page Name under the profile picture.
  • Page name and the profile picture no longer take up valuable space on the cover photo.
  • The CTA is much larger than before and it’s on the right-hand side.
  • Tabs are back on the left side of the page, under the profile picture.

Read more about what’s new in her post, “New Facebook Page Layout – Is it a Flashback, But Better?”

What do you think about the look of the new layout?

Share your thoughts on the new layout and other Facebook updates in the comments below. I’m curious to know what you think.

social media marketing

Social Media Marketing: What To Do, What Not To Do

Social Media Marketing is not so new anymore. It’s no longer a consideration but an integral part of one’s overall marketing strategy. Even with that being the case, it’s still new to many people. It’s new for those who are just starting a business or career, and it’s new for those who are late to the game.

Recently I had the honor of presenting on social media marketing at ICLE’s Probate & Estate Planning Institute with Terrence Quinn, Estate Planning Attorney. Terrence was presenting, “Marketing Matters” which discussed how to market your law practice. He brought me along to discuss social media. I thought it would be fun to discuss the Do’s and Don’ts.

Whether you’re late to the game or just new to business, you need to know a few rules. What better way to illustrate some of the most important rules than with a few “do’s and don’ts?” Here are 5 that I outlined at the presentation that I feel are key for starting off right and positioning yourself for many wins.

Let’s count them down!

5. DO SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERTISE

The content you share should help make your audience a more informed consumer.Click To Tweet Your content should be valuable and relevant. Offer tips, industry news and recommendations. Social media marketing can help to brand you as an expert in your field, and a thought leader. Take for example, my client, Attorney Terrence Quinn. When  Michigan’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act was announced, Terrence immediately wrote an article explaining what it meant and what you need to do. This is how you join in on a conversation that is relevant to your audience and establish yourself as an expert.

4. DON’T DO ALL THE TALKING

My friend Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media always says, “Think Conversation.” Not only should you be sharing relevant content but you should be having conversations. Take the time to comment on posts, reply, retweet, ask questions and share. Be present even if it’s just a short time but be consistent. Conversations build relationships. Relationships lead to business.

3. DO NETWORK LIKE YOU WOULD OFFLINE

Or, like you SHOULD offline. When you’re at networking events you’re looking to make connections. You don’t just walk up to people and start talking about yourself and your business. That is so not social. Think about how you feel at networking events and what you do or don’t like when you’re networking.

2. DON’T THINK OF IT AS A SALES OPPORTUNITY

Some professionals, like lawyers, are restricted from soliciting business under the Rules of Professional Conduct. GREAT! That’s doing it wrong anyway. People like a soft sell on social media. They like to do business with people they like and trust. This is achieved by developing relationships. Gain their confidence by providing value. Most people are tuned into WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? Focus on making your audience more informed and having conversations.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Have you ever heard the saying you can do anything but not everything? This is true with social media marketing.Click To Tweet Do what makes sense for your business. Know your target market and where they are hanging out online. By all means, don’t try to wing it. You need a plan. Plan where, and plan how by doing your research. You could simply survey your customers or clients as one way of learning more about your target market and what their habits are.

On the flip side of research, do know that your audience is doing their research. It’s called Google. When they search, are they finding you or are they finding your competition? If they’re finding you what are they finding?

Keep these important rules in mind when beginning your social media marketing journey. Set yourself up for success.