Imagining the Future Social media has brought people together in ways that were unimaginable just a decade or so ago, enabling us to forge or rekindle personal connections while presenting affordable possibilities to expand branding, credibility, and influence on a global level. Many businesses—large and small—are still catching up with technology, looking for ways to leverage these new opportunities and develop strategies to harness social media’s potential to achieve their marketing goals. It’s a safe bet that social media platforms will continue to innovate and evolve. The companies poised to make the most of those changes will be ones with flexible strategies that can adapt as tools and user behaviour shifts. Five-year plans are meaningless in the face of disruptive technology that is far from technological maturity. If you want to make the most of social media, you’re going to need to learn to go with the flow. No one can predict the next social media breakthrough. Yet it’s possible to make some educated guesses based on emerging trends and technology. These shifts may have negligible impact on the way some businesses use social media and present enormous opportunities for others. It will be up to you to watch for new platforms and capabilities and see the possibilities they offer yet here , this book has already brought all readers to the Forefront of Social Media Advancement .
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Making Business Of Social Media | Disclaimer:
Table of Contents
Making Business of Social Media
Every effort has been made to be accurate in this publication. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation. We do our best to provide the best information on the subject, but just reading it does not guarantee success. You will need to apply every step of the process in order to get the results you are looking for.
This publication is not intended for use as a source of any legal, medical or accounting advice. The information contained in this guide may be subject to laws in the United States and other jurisdictions. We suggest carefully reading the necessary terms of the services/products used before applying it to any activity which is, or may be, regulated. We do not assume any responsibility for what you choose to do with this information. Use your own judgment.
Any perceived slight of specific people or organizations, and any resemblance to characters living, dead or otherwise, real or fictitious, is purely unintentional.
Some examples of past results are used in this publication; they are intended to be for example purposes only and do not guarantee you will get the same results. Your results may differ from ours. Your results from the use of this information will depend on you, your skills and effort, and other different unpredictable factors.
It is important for you to clearly understand that all marketing activities carry the possibility of loss of investment for testing purposes. Use this information wisely and at your own risk.
Copyright © 2018 Raymond Wayne
Making Business Of Social Media
Chapter1 What Is Social Media Engagement And Why Is It Important?
Chapter2 How to Improve Social Media Engagement for Business
Chapter3 Social Media Marketing Strategies
Chapter4 Creating A Social Media Plan and Platform
Chapter5 Building Credibility And Gathering Your Tribe
Chapter6 The Mighty Three : Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn
Chapter7 Navigating the Google Empire
Chapter 8 Blogging , Pinterest , Tumblr And Instagram
Chapter 9 Twitter ,Pinterest, Instagram , LinkedIn and GooglePlus
Chapter 10 What Impacts Social Media Engagement the Most
Chapter 11 Use Videos to Increase Social Media Engagement
Chapter 12 Metrics for Measuring Social Media Engagement
Chapter 13 Maximizing Interest Site , Meetup ,Reddit And Forums
Chapter 14 Internet Radio and Podcasting
Chapter 15 Kickstarter ,Patreon And Gofundme
Chapter 16 Social Amplification and Gamification
Chapter 17 Why You Still Need A Website and A Newsletter
Chapter 18 Social Media , Branding ,And Influence
Chapter 19 Going Global Staying Local
Chapter 20 Conclusion
The world of social media offers marketers a fantastic opportunity to connect with people that have an interest in their niche and drive traffic to their website to make sales and generate leads. But you need to use social media platforms properly to get the best out of them. Gone are the days where you can just post links to your site and get visitors.
It is all about engagement. If you can get your audience to engage with you then they will trust you more and you will be able to build a great relationship with them. So in this guide we will show you many different ways that you can increase your engagement on the most popular social platforms.
Be sure to read this guide from start to finish so that you can motivate yourself to take action and implement the ideas presented in your social media campaigns. When you drive up your social media engagement word will spread quickly and your fan base will grow exponentially.
We have included secrets from top marketers on how to increase your engagement on social media here. You will need to put in a bit of effort but if you follow the advice given then you should succeed.
What You Will Learn
Here is what you will learn in this social media engagement guide:
• What is social media engagement and why is it important?
• Avoid these social media engagement mistakes
• How create social media platform and improve social media engagement
• Improving social media engagement on Facebook
• Leveraging Facebook Live for engagement
• Improving social media engagement on Twitter
• Improving social media engagement on Pinterest
• Improving social media engagement on Instagram
• Improving social media engagement on LinkedIn
• Improving social media engagement on Google Plus
• What impacts social media engagement the most?
• How to start a social media conversation to drive interaction
• Use videos to increase social media engagement
• Metrics for measuring social media engagement
• Use these social media engagement tools and save your time
Further in depth knowledge into video marketing, social live video and why it is a big deal for today business using live streaming option and also an insight of crowdfunding technology and how it affects the social media arena
So let’s get on with it shall we?
What Is Social Media Engagement And Why Is It Important?
Why are so many businesses and individuals concerned about their social media engagement these days? Well it is because it is all about how well they are communicating with their audience using the different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Social media engagement is all about participation and involvement. You need to think of it as building a long term relationship with your audience. It will require your dedication and you need to think through your social media interactions. You want your audience to be happy and trust you.
Too many businesses do not think through their social media strategies. They just post anything and hope that it sticks. This will fail miserably as you always have to consider the needs of your audience.
What Constitutes Social Media Engagement?
It is all about responses to what you post on social media. If someone “likes” your post then they have engaged. If a person comments on a post then they have engaged as well. Engagement is also sharing content, clicking on a link or opening a picture or video.
There are other forms of engagement that are relative to specific platforms. For example on Google + there are +1’s. On Twitter there are re-tweets. On Pinterest there are pins and re-pins. The commonality in all of this is that someone has responded to content that you have posted.
There are lots of tools out there that will help you to measure social media engagement. Most of the larger platforms will be able to provide metrics to you that show how your audience is engaging. Facebook is particularly good at this.
Responding to Customer Needs
When you want to achieve a high level of social media engagement you need to be prepared to respond swiftly to the needs of your audience. If someone asks a question about your products and services then you need to respond fast. Responding a few days later is not good enough.
This means that you will need someone to be monitoring the social platforms that you are active on most of the time. Are you committed to doing that? Yes there will be a cost but if you execute your social media strategy properly then you should see very healthy long term results.
Social Media is the Platform of choice for Customers
When stuff happens to people they share it on social media – good or bad. A survey in 2016 by Sprout Social concluded that social media was the number one choice for customer care. It achieved 34.5% of the votes with a live chat service on a company website down in second spot with 24.7%.
Email came in third at 19.4%, then came a 1-800 number phone scenario at 16.1% and finally there was the physical store at just 5.3%. So it is essential that you stand behind your social media presence and deal with customer care promptly. If you don’t then word will spread very quickly that you don’t care.
Don’t Ignore Social Media Messages
A lot of people ignore messages from their audience that they receive on social media. In fact in another Sprout Social survey ignored social messages topped 89%. Despite this alarming figure, the customers believed that they should receive a response from companies on social media within a four hour period.
Another survey uncovered that that 42% of people that complained to brands on social media felt that a response within an hour was acceptable. This is more evidence that you need to be committed to not only providing a social media presence for your audience, but you must monitor it and respond quickly.
Be Committed to Social Media Engagement
So you need to do everything that you can to improve your social media engagement. You owe it to your audience to provide them with interesting content and then respond to them when they need you. You will miss out on a huge section of your audience if you are not prepared to do this.
Avoid These Social Media Engagement Mistakes
If you have little experience with social media management then it is possible that you will make one or more of the many common mistakes that happen a lot. There are many social media mistakes that you can make and in this article we will discuss the ones that have the most negative consequences.
Not having a Plan
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. This is one of the truest quotes in the history of mankind. Does it apply to social media? You had better believe that it does. Do not just sign up for all of the popular social media networks and just post anything. Think about how you will connect with the community you are going to develop.
Your plan needs to identify which social media platforms are right for you. The chances are that they will not all be right and if you are on every major platform then management of content and engagement becomes a real headache. Develop a content strategy for social and stick to your schedule.
Be Careful of Automation
Nobody is expecting you to site in front of your computer all day and watch every social platform. The automation tools available work very well but you do not want to rely on them too much. Why? Because you can end up looking like a robot and nobody likes a robot on social media. If anyone actually responds to your automated shares they will soon give up on you if you do not respond back.
Just Sharing your own Content
We have all met people that do nothing except talk about themselves all day. After a while it really grates doesn’t it and you will do everything that you can to avoid this person. So why do so many people make this mistake on social media?
When you post just your own stuff and just tell people how great your business is you will turn away people in droves. You will be “unfollowed” by a lot of people and the whole experience will be a waste of time and effort.
Treat your community right and they will treat you right. Get them talking and share information of value to them. If you like something that someone else has posted then share that with your followers.
Don’t be Inconsistent with your Social Media activity
When you first get involved with social media you are likely to be enthusiastic and want to post tons of content on the first day. But how about the rest of the week? One day you upload a great video to Facebook and it achieves a very high level of engagement. There are many comments from your followers and you are very happy.
Then you disappear for a few days and questions remain unanswered. Do you think that people will be happy with this? The certainly won’t and if they get the impression that you are inconsistent they will stop looking out for your content.
Do you have any Personality?
Social media is “social” and people want to see stuff that will make them think, make them laugh, improve their lives and so on. It is very important that you are personable on the social networks. You need to make sure that you are sincere, friendly and approachable about anything.
Listen when People speak
Social media platforms are a great place to get feedback. Sometimes it is not always going to be a love-in and there will be users that are disappointed for whatever reason. It is easy to respond to compliments and you must do that by thanking people and including their username.
Handling negative comments needs a different approach. First thank the person for bringing the issue to your attention and then tell them you will look into it (if that is appropriate). If you make this kind of commitment be sure to investigate, and get back to the user as soon as possible. Never ignore feedback.
Don’t be a Spammer
People hate spam on social media so do not send out one promotional post after another that is full of links to your offers. Your followers, who will quickly become ex-followers, will hate you. Build relationships with people first and never bombard your network with spam.
Chapter 2 :
How To Improve Social Media Engagement
It is in your interest to improve your social media engagement. You will need to think this through carefully but it is not too difficult. Businesses have been communicating with their customers for many years so don’t think that you have to try and come up with something groundbreaking.
The potential to attract the right audience and engage with them is enormous with social media. All it takes is the right approach and you will be on to a winner. Follow the advice in this article and you will not go far wrong.
You Have to Initiate the Conversation
In any relationship, someone needs to initiate the conversation. With social media this needs to be you. You are trying to build a long term relationship with your audience so you have to take the lead and get things moving.
Starting a good conversation begins by knowing what your audience is looking for. You need to post content that people want and then encourage them to respond to that content. You may not realize it but there are conversations about your industry going on all of the time. You need to join in and show that you are a leader.
One of the best ways to achieve social media engagement is to talk to groups of your audience. So why not host a question and answer session or initiate Twitter Chats? To gain some experience first you can join in on others group sessions in your industry preferably. If there are none in your industry (pretty unlikely) then find something else that interests you.
When you pass on your knowledge of your industry to people they will really appreciate it. They will ask further questions so you must respond quickly to these. A two way dialog is the ideal scenario for engagement.
People want to know that there are real people behind brands. If you show this then a greater trust will develop and you will gain many followers. Trust is an essential element of social media engagement.
When you are first starting out avoid just promoting your products and services. Go for value first and then build from there. Tell a good story about your industry that people can relate to. Start the conversation flowing.
Use Topical Subjects and Current Events
Keep your finger on the pulse of what is trending. There is always something going viral so think about how you can use this to tie in your brand. Check the news as well for different angles there. If something significant has happened (it does most days) then use this to your advantage.
You can use a news item or sporting event to wish someone well. This is normally always popular. On Mother’s Day wish all of the mothers out there peace and harmony for example. You need to use your head here. Don’t get involved in political debates or opinions about religion. You never know who you might offend with this.
Respond to Comments Promptly
There are numerous examples on social media of where it has taken businesses a long time to respond to customer comments. This is something that you must avoid. You may not think that a day is a long time for a response but the person leaving the comment sure will. It will just seem to them that you are not interested in your customers and you don’t care.
When you do respond to a comment make sure that you do it with sincerity. Yes and No answers are not a good idea. If you need to investigate something to provide an answer then tell your customer that and leave a holding reply. Don’t just leave them hanging. If others see positive interactions from you with customers you will gain more.
A lot of businesses will make a number of posts at the beginning and then do nothing. This is like telling your customers you have nothing to say to them and nothing new to offer. People will feel that you do not want to communicate with them and this is not a perception that you want.
Make a commitment to be active on social media. Plan a schedule for posting something every day in advance. Use social media to your advantage and get as many new views to your page as possible with the addition of new content.
Chapter 3 :
Social Media Marketing Strategies
Social Media is fantastic to reach large audiences but the competition is high. You need to find ways to get noticed, build your online brand, attract customers, and increase your sales. With the use of social media, you will have that much-needed leverage to stay in the game and flourish in the online world.
You can develop your business using social media, that’s for sure, if you choose the right business and you do it properly.
Your Social Media Marketing Strategy must start with planning and continue with being active on the social networks that matter to your business. Don’t let your prospects and current customers forget about you. One way to continue reminding them that you’re still around is to make some noise on your social pages.
If you are a business owner, you must have a basic knowledge of what social media marketing is all about. I am not saying to be an expert, but just to understand what you need to make it work for you. Learn how you can to connect with your target market through social media, to create excellent content that moves people to act, and to build relationships.
Social Media Marketing is about communicating with your audience, informing them about your business but also about the things they need or want to learn about.
Social Media works perfectly to generate traffic, find leads, receive customer feedback, and provide excellent customer service, but you will get results only if you engage with your audience.
Why You Need a Social Media Marketing Strategy
When it comes to reaching a wider target audience, Social Media is the best marketing channel.
In general terms, you can use social media to
Increase Brand awareness
Increase the public’s awareness about your products and services
Interact, socialize, and build a stronger relationship with your clients
Gain new customers while retaining existing ones too
Provide customer support
Here are some other reasons why you must use social media.
Establish your company’s identify. You can use this to make your brand, as well as your products or services, more recognizable to the public. With social media, you can create the buzz for your business and attract new customers.
Get more exposure when other people share / retweet your posts.
Find out what other people are saying about your company, products, and services. You will be able to improve your products and make them better fitted to your customers’ needs. Also, you will be able to answer to their queries in a professional, timely and interactive manner.
Better SEO ranking. Apparently, Google is now paying more attention to websites with a good social media reputation and fresh content (blog – type websites).
Social Media Marketing must be executed with a strategy that includes your main goal and how you measure it.
This should include how frequently you are going to produce content, who is your audience, what the voice of the business will be, and what response you expect to get from your audience.
Social Media is not about hard selling, but about building relationships. Do not overdo your sales pitch. Instead, try to gain your audience’s trust.
Monitor and update your social media accounts regularly to make sure you won’t neglect any queries, comments, or complaints. If you are on social media, you must be able to keep an eye on your notifications constantly.
Social Media Marketing can be used for long term. You can maximize its potentials if you get help from a social media community on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, who shares the same interests as you do. You can start by inviting your current customers and business partners to join in.
Blogging is a proven effective tool in Social Media Marketing. Your blog should be your home base for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. You must post fresh content, that you can then share it on social media. In this way, every new post will bring traffic to your blog and new potential sales.
If you’re on social media, be prepared to interact with followers. This means starting conversations, responding to questions, and being friends with your audience. Build relationships.
Do not abuse the social media sites as your avenue for selling. Focus more on engaging with your followers instead of bombarding them with calls to action to do something for you. If you self-promote too often, many of them will unfollow you.
Whatever social media outlet becomes popular over the years, one thing is for sure – Social Media Marketing will always be useful to businesses and marketers.
6 Steps to Create A Social Media Strategy
Now that you know what the trends are for 2017, you understood way you need a Social Media Strategy, now let’s create one.
It’s easy to do, there are just Six Steps to follow.
Step 1 - Identify your Audience
First, you have to understand who are your customers, what are their needs and where are they searching for information. This will help you tailor your messages to the right audience.
It is essential to have a clear vision of who you are talking to and what will resonate with them.
Once you know this, then you will be able to choose the right social media to target your potential customers.
“Buyer Personas“ are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of different groups.
The strongest “buyer personas” are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).
There are many templates on the internet, but I personally like HubSpot’s “buyer personas” template.
Steps 2 – Evaluate Your Social Media Presence
Before going into activities, you must assess your current social media presence.
What social networks do you use now, how many followers do you have, who is following you, what content do you share and what’s your engagement. Create a spreadsheet will all this information so you can have a clear picture of your business on social media before starting your strategy.
Understand who are your competitors. Without this information you won’t know if you do better than them or worse.
Make sure your company’s branding is reflected on social media too. You don’t want to transmit a wrong signal, you want people to be able to follow you everywhere on social media because of you, your business, your services. You must have a recognisable brand. Use the company’s colours and make sure you include professional photos for profiles and cover photos.
What sort of messages do you want to deliver on each social network? This may differ – for example on Twitter you need to prepare many interesting news, Facebook users want quality vs quantity and they started to like photos and videos (see Facebook Live), for LinkedIn you need well researched articles and with regards to Instagram you may decide to use this network only to share your company’s values in photos and quotes... Many businesses do this.
Steps 3 – What’s Your Mission?
Identify your main goal.
What’s your mission?
What’s the purpose of creating this Social Media Strategy?
What do you want to achieve?
What message do you want to transmit?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself in order to identify your main goal.
Do you want to use Social Media to educate business owners and traditional marketers about Digital Marketing, with focus on Social Media (like in my case)?
Write it down. It will be easier for you to create a strategy if you know what your main goal is.
Steps 4 – Create SMART Social Media Objectives
Any project starts with clear objects and there is no exception for social media.
Start by writing down at least three social media objectives that relate to your business objectives.
Your objective must be S.M.A.R.T.
A - ATTAINABLE
R - RELEVANT
T – TIME-SPECIFIC
Here is an example of a SMART objective:
For Twitter – we will share eight tweets daily, two of them about our company and the others relevant news from the industry. We target at least 10 retweets and 5 likes. The Social Media Manager will be responsible for this and he will use HootSuite (just an example) to curate content and schedule the tweets.
Steps 5 – Develop Your Content Strategy
Now that you know who is your audience, you understood your social media presence and you know what are your objectives, think about what sort of content are you going to write to meet your objectives.
Your Content Strategy should include:
Types of content you will post and promote
Frequency of sharing
Target audience for each type of content
Content execution plan
Content promotion plan
Create an Editorial Calendar, ideally monthly, to have a clear view of the type of content you should write.
Your Editorial Calendar should include simple information about:
Title or description of the content
Links to supporting documents, like content briefs
Author or writer
Channels you will promote it on
Step 6 – Track, Analyse, Optimise
Check your Analytics often to see how well your campaign is performing. Each social network has its own Analytics / Insights tab where you can check how well your audience is receiving your posts.
Use a social media management tool to make your job easier. I mentioned a few options in my blog post Top 5 The Best Social Media Management Applications.
By all means, if anything goes wrong you can tweak your Social Media Strategy as you go along.
Chapter 4 :
Creating A Social Media Plan and Platform
In order to be successful on social media, you’ll need both a plan and a platform.
Your plan is your strategy, laying out a roadmap that helps you determine what you want to say and to whom, what you hope to get out of building relationships, how you are going to measure success, and what actions you intend to take to achieve your goals.
Your platform is the foundation from which you build your online credibility. Your platform establishes and reinforces your expertise. It’s the cumulative impact of all of your content and social media interactions, which support (or diminish) your brand and extend (or negate) your influence.
Ideally—and with careful thought and preparation—your plan and platform work together in harmony, supporting and strengthening each other, constantly adapting and changing to meet shifts in consumer taste and technological advances.
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