Best. Statistic. Ever. Makes me feel better about flying, but sorry for those designing banner ads.

They say that a kitten dies every time someone uses a bullet point in a presentation, so I shudder to think what’s going to happen the next time someone clicks on a banner.

Banner ads. The ugly stepchild of online marketing. Just trying to hang out in the top-right corner, minding their own business. They never asked to be overused. They never asked to be animated GIFs. But they certainly didn’t want to be ignored.

Yet, here we are, about to discuss how little action they get, and how they’re being usurped by another form of advertising. Poor little rectangular bastards. 75,000 wasted pixels in an otherwise useful area of your page. Destined to be thrown on the marketing scrap heap, never to be seen again…

Scratch that. Banners aren’t going anywhere. Yes they’re annoying. Yes they are essentially useless. But they’re here to stay, in all their 300x250px glory. They just have to compete with what’re known as ‘Native Ads’, which, as we’ll learn, have some significant advantages.

What’s a native ad? In 197 characters or less.

Native ads are contextual paid ads that appear in your content stream, designed to augment the user experience by providing semantically relevant supporting content, without breaking the flow of information.

But placing ads in content is bad, right?

It certainly is. The typical method for injecting ads is to use interruption marketing tactics to plant banners and text ads directly into the middle of a piece of content, forcing you to look at them in order to experience the whole article. People – me included – despise these ads. They provide no contextual benefit and diminish the value of the content they appear in. You can probably blame Google for this, as most of the bad behavior seems to have been built around the mass adoption of AdSense as an advertising platform.

There’s a reason for the epidemic known as banner blindness. People never liked banners and decided unconsciously to tune them out, focusing instead on the real content on the page. If you infer the same reaction to ads placed inside your content, you can imagine how unpleasant and interrupted the content consumption experience would be.

However, done correctly, ads inside content can be effective. This is where native ads come in.

So how are native ads different?

To extend the definition of native ads a bit. You can think of them as sponsored content designed to “blur the distinction between editorial and advertising in the eyes of the consumer”, according to Pilgrim Advertising. What this means, is that despite the ads being paid for, they are placed more carefully, with a heightened level of knowledge about where and how they are being used. The result is that they appear more like ‘useful supporting content that just happens to be paid for’. Read more about native ads.

The benefits of native ads

The infographic below was created based on a study to compare differences in behavior and perception between native ads and banner ads. Using eye tracking tools and surveys, the following insights were uncovered:

Native ads are more visually engaging: Native ads in the study were looked at 52% more frequently than banner ads.

Native ads drive higher brand lift: They registered a 9% lift for brand affinity and an 18% lift for purchase intent, compared to banner ads.

Native ads are more likely to be shared: 32% of respondents said they would share the ad content with a friend, compared to 19% for banner ads.

Native ads are consumed in the same way as the content they appear in: Consumers actually registered that they looked at the native ads slightly more than the content itself.

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When running a giveaway, either through your own website or through a 3rd party, you need to have a set of predetermined goals in mind so that you have a clear roadmap to success. Here are 8 tips to help you get the most out of running a giveaway.

1. Set Goals to Determine an ROI

First and foremost, what are you looking to get out of running a giveaway? Do you want more exposure for your brand, more sales, more likes on Facebook, or followers on Twitter? You must go into your promotion with predetermined goals, so that when it ends you are able to measure its success. I see way too many companies running giveaways with no predetermined goals in mind. When all is said and done, they end up feeling like they got nothing out of it, aside from it being some “fun” marketing ploy.

To set goals and track them, you can do something as simple as opening an excel spreadsheet before you run the giveaway, creating a list of the goals you want to set.

2) Sales? Probably not…

When running a giveaway, it is important to understand that you most likely won’t see sales pouring in. You may get a few sales, but don’t make sales your number one goal when running a giveaway. I’ve worked with many companies that measure the success of their giveaway based on the number of sales they received. If they did not get as many as they were hoping for, they are usually unhappy and feel as if their money was not well spent.

The problem with this train of thought is that no marketing tactic can ever really guarantee sales; giveaways are fantastic for lead generation, where you foster a relationship with your new customers, leveraging them for sales at a later time. Running a giveaway is just another marketing tactic and there will always be a cost associated with it.

If you have ever used Google Adwords or Facebook Ads you know that you have to spend a good chunk of change to get enough people to click through to your website. Even after they click, it is still JUST a click – nothing more. Your job isn’t done even after you have paid for a click; you still need to make sure those people are able to make it through your sales funnel to make a purchase. The same goes for a giveaway: you need to make sure that you have structured it correctly so that you are able to reach your goals, whether that is to capture leads, get more likes, followers, etc.

But of course, if you’re really itching to get more sales out of a giveaway, then…

3) Offer a Discount 

Providing entrants with a discount that they can redeem for products/services on your site is a great way to increase sales. Most companies either run a giveaway, or just offer a coupon, but from my experience, combining the two is more powerful.

Offering a coupon without a giveaway means that the coupon is out in the wild for anyone to see and use. People may see the coupon and say “Sweet! I’ve been wanting to buy something from them, now is the time!” Then, they get distracted. A few days go by and they completely forget about using your coupon to make a purchase. In fact, they don’t purchase at all. Unfortunately, you have no idea who this person is, or how to reach them.

However, when running a giveaway, you can offer a discount once the user has entered. This means that you have captured them as a lead, usually by collecting their email address, and you can effectively re-market to them to remind them about the coupon if they don’t end up making a purchase. A good rule of thumb is to provide a coupon for the duration of the giveaway and have it expire a week after the giveaway ends. This will encourage people that didn’t win to make an impulse purchase.

4) Interact on Facebook

Interacting with your current and new users on Facebook is especially important during a giveaway. Remember, these platforms are not meant to be used as a one-way form of communication; do less pushing, and more pulling. When you get those 500 new facebook fans, your first post shouldn’t be “HEY NEW FANS BUY OUR PRODUCTS NOW!”

Instead, engage and build a relationship with them. Much like going on a first date, you want to make a good impression in order to keep them as a fan and to eventually convert them into a customer.

For example, let’s say you run a company that sells mattresses — start out with something like “Welcome to all of our new fans. Are there any problems that you have with your current mattress that keep you up at night? Let us know, and we’ll see if our certified mattress experts can help find a solution to your problem.”

This opens the floodgates for your fans to start leaving comments talking about their sleeping problems as a result of their mattress. You then chime in and respond directly to each customer, helping to find a solution to their problem. Remember, building the relationship with them first is the key to turning them into customers who are likely to buy from you in the future.

5) Interact on Twitter

The same goes for Twitter – use it as a platform to interact with your new users, not as a platform to constantly push out tweets about your products.

Another great way to take advantage of Twitter is by using Twitter Search. This allows you to search for any keyword or phrase that people are currently tweeting. So, if you run a mattress company, you can run a search for “I hate my bed’, and you will see results from people that have recently tweeted that phrase. You can then reach out to them, let them know about your mattress giveaway, and start building a relationship by asking why they hate their mattress and what you can do to help.

6) Promote to Your Own Audience

This one is simple and should be a no-brainer. Promote your giveaway to your email list and to your audience on social media. Put a graphic on the homepage of your website linking to the giveaway.

What is the point of running a giveaway if your current audience doesn’t know about it? Sure, you may just want to bring in new people for your giveaway, but you would be foolish to ignore the fact that your current audience could bring in more of their own friends and family which you would be missing out on.

7) Promote on Giveaway Directories

Adding your giveaway to a directory can bring in a lot of traffic, but keep in mind that it is mostly non-targeted traffic and sweepstakers just looking for freebies. However, if your goal is to get as much traffic and as many leads as possible, you’ll want to submit to these sites.

Here is a great list of giveaway directories to submit your giveaway to.

8) Utilize Facebook Comments 

Utilizing the Facebook commenting system in your giveaway is a great way to continue the conversation and bring in more people. Many 3rd party giveaway tools have Facebook comments built right in, but if you’re building a custom giveaway page, use the Facebook comments plugin.

If you structure your giveaway correctly, you should be able to ask users a question that they can reply to using Facebook comments. For example, if you’re giving away a mattress you can ask: “Which mattress would you choose from our selection if you win?”

This simple question will drum up hundreds of comments because it encourages people to browse your website to find the mattress they want.

Another great thing about Facebook comments is that when you reply to people your comment will show up with your company name. Don’t forget, when a user leaves a comment, Facebook usually displays that in the newsfeed for their friends to see, which brings in more people.

Recap

  • Set goals to determine an ROI. Do not go in blind hoping for the best when running a giveaway.
  • You most likely won’t get many sales from a giveaway, if any at all. You should be capturing leads and interacting with your new fans to convert them into future customers.
  • Discounts when combined with a giveaway can help to drive sales.
  • Promote the giveaway to your current audience, and if you’re looking to get as many leads as possible, submit to giveaway directories.
  • Use Facebook, Facebook comments, and Twitter properly to increase engagement and interaction with your audience. Remember, less pushing more pulling.
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Reading time: 7 min

Today, more companies are gradually accepting to get social. However, many of these companies have decided to change the meaning of getting social. This is what it means to many companies: Open a Facebook page, Create an account on twitter; Post a few updates within one week on both platforms and Leave it dead.

Funny thing is the CEOs of these companies sometimes get out a press release for creating a Facebook account. Some others go ahead to include it in the end of the year report. Yet, these profiles remain dead.

Before drafting this post, I perused the profiles of some of these big companies. Dead! Dead! Dead! If you’re a manager reading this or you work in one of those companies with dead profiles, here are three ways to get your profiles back alive:

  • Outsource: Since, tweeting and posting on Facebook is a pain in the ass for bosses, a good option will be to entrust that responsibility to a reputable social media agency. They’ll help with online PRs and establish an effective social media presence for you. While this does not come free, the rewards cannot be over-emphasized.
  • Hire an Intern: There are now numerous communications undergraduates looking for companies for their industrial attachment, get one of them to manage your social media profiles. There are even graduates who are passionate about social media and are desperately looking for companies to learn (as an unpaid intern). Hire one of these people and guide them in the management of your profiles. As social media transcends just tweeting endlessly, these people can perform critical analysis and supply you with social data that can make your company more effective in serving your customers. They can also help respond to complaints from your followers/fans.
  • Schedule up front: Your company doesn’t consider social media a good idea to spend your marketing budget on? At the same time you don’t consider hiring an intern a good idea? Then you’ve got to get your hands dirty. To make it easy, most of these social media platforms have schedule features (or third party apps). Schedule updates over a long period of time when you’re less busy and let the app do the rest for you at needed times. At least, it’s better than leaving the profiles dead. The downside of scheduling is there’s usually no-one respond to customer’s queries especially those generated from a particular update.

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Chad Chalifoux is a software engineer that has been working on providing better means of enterprise social networks for various companies over the years. When he isn’t surfing through social media coding or the web, he’s usually catching a few real waves.

We’ve all heard the words social network before, explaining what Facebook, Google+ and other social media platforms were. But the introduction of enterprise social networks is a completely different area, focused around the simple concept of collaboration and communication through a specific business circle. Sure, businesses have been doing this for a while with email or even chatting in a break room, but the type of powerful communication offered through various collaboration applications can change the way a company can function and grow.

But first, when it comes down to it, what is an enterprise social network?

Social Communication

Although there can be a single definition to what an enterprise social network is, many of them function in different ways or with different components, which means while they all fall under the same umbrella term, they actually are varied in quite major degrees. One enterprise social network is LinkedIn, which focuses on providing communication to various companies within the same professional category and is particularly useful for hiring. But then you have another network like Yammer, which is more of a private network directed around a specific company, and then there is even the in between with Google+ providing circles and registration with domain addresses so that you can have a private communication application for just your business while still outreaching to areas outside of the business.

Regardless of the application though, all enterprise social networks work at one simple component and that is to spread communication within and without any company, to a degree this also means things like twitter and Facebook can be used as a business social network, but more often as a means of marketing which is not the true purpose of Enterprise social networks. It is all about proper communication to help grow and develop the company though collaboration of employees.

In Actual Practice

Most people don’t quite recognize the concept of what this kind of communication actually means for a business. In fact many people just think of it as more ways for employees to just do things they weren’t supposed to. But when you have so many employees working around forty hours of their week do you know what they have a tendency of talking about? Work; it is a considerable amount of their life and so it is bound to be something talked about, especially when you promote that work should be discussed. This allows ideas to crop up regularly and be improved upon which provides a company with a means of actual adaptation. Staying stagnant with everything can lead to a poor means of business practice.

The Technology behind Social Networking

We always see regular updates an improvements to sites like Facebook (often met with dread but then forgotten in time), so it shouldn’t be surprising that social intranet software is constantly being improved upon with the main focuses being a means of instant and direct communication to many people or only one person at once and a means of sharing documentation across the web or on a server that is not location specific. Everything else after that tends to come as extra additional things that are worked on to improve those two mentalities.

The original designs for these enterprise social networks simply just took key components that social media sites used like following and walls, but before long components from other programs were adapted like the file sharing, so that these enterprise social networks could become the only required software for employee collaboration.

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You’ll have heard by now that the Facebook threaded comments feature recently started rolling out, allowing users to reply to specific comments in a thread. However, we would advise caution before deciding to opt in.

How does ‘Facebook threaded comments’ work?

Each comment on an original story or post will contain a “reply” button beneath it, beside the usual “like” button. If a user replies to a comment, their reply will appear beneath the comment, indented slightly. Or, if someone has already replied to the comment, beneath the previous reply. Comments will also be ranked, based on the amount of interaction they receive.

When will it be available?

Although threaded and ranked comments are not yet available on mobile, on 25 March the option to adopt this system rolled out to page owners with over 10,000 followers.  Facebook plans to turn it on for all pages and 10,000+ follower Profiles by default by 10 July 2013

What’s the problem?

We blogged on this when it was in test back in November last year, and (while lauding the beneficial effect this will have on engagement, quality and intelligent conversation) even at that point we were wondering what impact this may have on those who use third party tools to manage their pages.  The majority of larger Facebook pages will be using third party tools to monitor and manage their pages, and this change will have a significant impact.

If you use a tool, don’t start threaded comments yet.

It has now been confirmed that Facebook has not yet released the API to its trusted third party tool developers, and the advice from the company is that you should NOT take up the offer until Facebook has had a chance to integrate it into its systems.

While some tool providers are concerned about the changes rendering their services inoperable, others are more relaxed and say that the biggest issue would be that any replies by the page made via third party tools would potentially result in comments not being threaded – which may be perceived negatively by fans who won’t appreciate why you can’t/aren’t responding in-line.

From Conversocial: “We’re keen to implement this feature as soon as we can, but currently Facebook has not given any developer access to this feature through the API and as such we are unable to implement this feature right now. Facebook is however working to release this to developers ASAP and we are keen to build in this feature very quickly. In the meantime, we recommend you do not enable this feature on your page as replies will not be threaded just yet!”

In an email from Saleforce Marketing Cloud to its clients: “Facebook developers have not yet released the API for this feature, which is necessary for ConversationBuddy™ to interoperate with this new feature.  For this reason, Facebook Account Representatives are recommending that customers of third party partners (such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud) do not enable this feature at this time because it may render ConversationBuddy inoperable or may have other adverse impacts on such services. As a strategic Facebook partner, we at Salesforce Marketing Cloud echo this recommendation, and advise that you delay enabling this feature until we have completed and deployed the Replies integration into ConversationBuddy.”

Facebook is due to release the API to third party tool developers within the next six weeks, so we would recommend that you don’t take up the offer until you have had confirmation from your tool provider that it has integrated the changes.

What if my page is managed directly, without a tool?

If you have a large enough fanbase to receive the offer from Facebook, using threaded comments should help to improve the conversation quality and relationship you have with users on your page (see our previous post for more details, and this good analysis by Lauren Friedman from Adobe Social).

However, we’re beginning to receive reports that the experience of trying to manage threaded comments using only Facebook’s native tools is proving frustrating as new content (good, bad or spam) is very hard to find.  No longer do posts appear in the order they were posted.  As the comments are now sorted by popularity, moderators have to review every single comments on every post every time they look at the page.  This is obviously not workable.  Additionally – as we predicted in November – some community managers are already seeing evidence of on-page bullying as users are able to respond directly to each other and pile into a popular discussion: the Facebook equivalent of a rugby scrum.

Are you using threaded comments?  How are you finding it? We’re looking forward to finding out more about the nitty-gritty of moderating threaded comments  – what happens when you delete a comment at the top of a thread, for example? Let us know what you think of the new system in comments below (threaded, of course!).

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Our Monday contributor, @AdoptATweep is set to host “an innovative event aimed at empowering people to create brands that will attract attention on Twitter.” If you stay in Abuja, Nigeria or will be in the city on Saturday, 15th of December, 2012, this is an event you don’t want to miss.

See below for details:

The #AdoptATweep event has just one curriculum tagged “10 simple ways to explode on Twitter”

Date: 15th December, 2012.

Time: 2pm to 6pm.

Fee: 0.00NGN.

Venue: Sofa Leather Lounge, #81 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja

.

To participate:

Send an e/mail with the subject #AdoptATweep to adoptatweep@gmail.com

Indicate your name, Twitter handle, Mobile Number, Date of birth and form of identification. #AdoptATweep

E.G: Opara Emmanuel, @NewMediaNaija, 2348093413213, 26th December and Driver’s License. #AdoptATweep

If you are unable to attend, you can always nominate a maximum of 10 persons to attend the event.

The venue remains Sofa Leather Lounge, #81 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.

It is located on the same street as Amigos Supermarket, Celebration Stores (White House) and Ascon Filling Station.

You may kindly tweet at them via @SofaLounge81 to show appreciation to them. They offered us the venue and facilities at absolutely no cost.

If you desire any further detail, feel free to tweet at me via @AdoptATweep and ensure to use the hashtag #AdoptATweep or just call 08093413213 for immediate response.

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In the past 3 months, I have had numerous conversations with a couple of social media managers and just ‘normal’ folks trying to achieve one or two results with social media. It’s been funny, really. First, these calls often reveal to me that many people still haven’t gotten a hang of this social media wave and that there are too many myths and misconceptions about the social web.

First and most frequent subject of discussion is the link between result and the means to the end. It usually starts with “…we need to get xyz through Twitter, where do we start from”, or “we just want to increase talkability on social media”. Some even say “we have an event next month, and we want to create awareness about it, so people can register”, some others then say, “we just launched our blog and want to get 70,000 views per day…”. Several others.

After giving several suggestion and alternative routes to the means, I then move to the part that scare most away – money. So, let’s talk about it here.

While creating social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook etc.) may be free, generating big kick-ass results is not necessarily free. Delete necessary. It’s actually not free. So, the first myth you need to get off your head is that social media is actually free in its entirety. Next is to get the bug on your boss or client.

While managers are beginning to realize the importance of social media to their business, many are still not making enough provisions for it in their budget. Typically, they just ask a random staff who’s fairly good with internet stuffs to create their profile and start posting stuffs. Then, they follow that up by setting an unrealistic goal and baseless KPIs to measure performance. This is where I get phone calls. After two months of ‘posting everything’, target is not achieved. The accidental social media manager then becomes discouraged, overwhelmed and frustrated – “but I am doing everything”.

His boss wants to be on every blog, every Google search page, everyone’s Facebook timelines like Jumia, Konga and several other examples of ‘successful’ ad campaigns. They want to generate buzz on Twitter like Osun State did for Opon Imo (the tablet recently launched) and the likes. As great as this intentions are, bosses and clients often forget one thing. Money.

My response is simple. Get your boss to support you with a decent budget to drive the results he desires. For every ad you see on a blog, someone is paying the bill. Google is not a charity organization. Facebook is a public company with shareholders waiting for dividends and bonuses; then institutional investors expecting a heavy ROI at the end of the year. The only way they can achieve that is by charging you a premium (ad revenue) for the wider reach you desire.

In some cases, you need to pay local influencers and opinion leaders to help drive your agenda on social media. These guys have put in huge efforts (perhaps, when you were busy arguing whether Facebook and Twitter are here to stay or not) to build their following. So, you expect them to talk about your business (that earns you profit. Not them) all day without receiving something in exchange? You’ve got to be kidding. Maybe if it’s a social initiative.

I’ve not even talked about the advanced tools you may need to pay for at some point. All these and many more all prove that social media is not free.

Here’s the bottom-line, when next your boss or client (for agencies) gives you that ‘big target’, ask him to put his money where his “heart” is. Simple. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of things that can be done without money, but for those who desire to generate the impact the big brands are generating, you’ve got to be good at spending. Period!

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Reading time: 3 min

Twitter is a social site used today by tens of thousands of businesses for micro-blogging. It is the preferred place on the web where big enterprise organizations as well as smaller brands post short updates, to be precise, an update less than 140 character long. For many businesses, Twitter is a hybrid from the cross of an instant messaging service and a chat room. It is in principle an open forum but as a Twitter user, you can restrict the people with whom you connect. For any business, Twitter is an incredible marketing and PR tool.

With that said, if you’ve decided to finally join the Twitter bandwagon to increase the reach and impact of your business, you are going to need some guidance. Out there, on a social site like Twitter with a current estimate of over 500 million registered users, it is easy for businesses to get lost never to be found by potential customers. So what should you do? What should your Twitter marketing strategy look like?

To help you get started with marketing on Twitter, below is an 8-step approach to successful micro-blogging.

So here we go! Buckle up and let’s get started!

1.      Choose carefully who to follow on Twitter

On Twitter, what you will come across in terms of updates and knowledge is going to directly depend on the people you follow. Your learning curve will therefore depend on those initial choices you’ll make picking out the Twitter accounts worth following. In the beginning, the temptation to follow just about anyone is going to be strong and you will have to resist it.  Always remember that your incoming stream should stay relevant.

2.      Organize the Twitter accounts you follow

So you are on Twitter and you’ve managed to find some influential Twitter accounts worth following. It might be a good idea to actually organize your incoming stream into lists using Twitter tools including Tweetdeck and Hootsuite . This helps you keep tract of those topics that you particularly care about.

3.      Don’t think twice about blocking irrelevant accounts

Like on the social media giant Facebook, Twitter offers its registered users the possibility to block other Twitter accounts. One of the mistakes that many businesses make is that they opt for ignoring the spammy accounts that follow them but on Twitter, you are judged based on your followers. So if you have spammy accounts following you, don’t think twice. Block them.

4.      Don’t make retweeting people a point of pride

On Twitter, businesses often make it a point not to retweet other people’s updates. This is not the right approach. As a matter of fact, you should be retweeting people you wish to build a rapport with.  If you come across something useful or interesting, share the good stuff. What’s the harm in that?

5.      Always find new people to follow

Setting up a Twitter account and following a few people in the first couple of weeks followed by the occasional update and retweet is not the right approach to micro-blogging. Always make it a point to find new and relevant Twitter accounts to follow. One of the best ways to do this is to find the time and research the Twitter streams of the people you follow. The site’s Advanced Search function might also be helpful.

6.      Streamline the things you share on Twitter

To most businesses, social media marketing is a joke but it’s not. You see, having a Facebook account with hundreds of fans or a Twitter account with hundreds of followers is not really the goal you want to set for your marketing strategy. What you should be doing is engaging your audience and finding the triggers that will convert potential customers into buyers. So don’t share just about anything you find on the web because you can’t be bothered to come up with good stuff. Invest in the content you share. Sure sometimes you can curate content from the web if you are blank on what to share with your followers but stay relevant.

7.      Use the weapons in your arsenal, for example ‘Favorite’

Did you know that each time you favorite someone’s content or Twitter update they get notified about it? Use this to your advantage. That right there is an incredible tool you have to dangle your name in front of people you respect and wish to connect with.

8.      Learn the semantics of the micro-blogging site

If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter for long enough, you would know that people on a social site tend to speak a language characteristic to that particular social network. Learn the secret language of Twitter. Of course you can refer to the Twitter Glossary but more importantly you want to pay attention to how other people are using the social site.Source: Social Media Today

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Reading time: 4 min

Social marketing is a must for all of us – and such has been the case for several years now. That being said, we are all involved in marketing through sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But successfully gaining conversion can be challenging through social media interactions. Fortunately, the reason for your lack of sales may simply stem from an omission or oversight. You may be missing a simple, but crucial best practice relating to social marketing.

Here’s a look at seven things that you should be doing when reaching out to customers through social media.

Don’t forget to check in

Even if you are spacing your updates over days or weeks as part of your overall strategy, you still need to check in on your social marketing outlets from time to time. Left unattended, social posts can become harbors for bad comments, or worse, ignored. You’ll want to stay up-to-date by logging into all outlets at least once a day. This will help you to gauge the effectives of your content as well as respond to any concerns in near real-time.

Timing is everything

The timing of your social marketing posts is crucial to their effectiveness.  The growing consensus is that there is a perfect time to post media relating to every given niche. For those in the automotive arena, for example, it’s a weekend game. Clothing? Thursday is said to be your best bet.

Whatever your niche, getting the timing right, especially when it comes to sending out updates, means not only taking industry stats into consideration, but your own unique business demands as well. The more data you can examine around your topic, the better.

Keep the conversation going

Stimulating and engaging posts will go a long way toward drumming up all-important interest in your business. Sharing blogs post, asking thoughtful questions, as well as outright seeking feedback in a public setting are all good ideas for urging interaction through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Pictures, as they say, are worth thousands in words. Use pictures and they can lead to strings of conversations. Whatever you are doing, adding interactive or conversation-causing content is a must-have for any successful social marketing plan.

Speak to your audience

Going hand-in-hand with the need to start a conversation is the need to address any customer concerns, regardless of scale, through social media. Customers may use your Facebook wall to ask a serious question about a product or service. You’ll want to be genuine, caring, and appreciative to each and every one of them. You definitely want to make sure that all such issues are addressed, after all, your followers are watching.

Search for your brand

Chances are, people are already talking about your brand. Be sure to search for relevant terms and hash tags that might be associated with your company. This will help you understand what is being said – and how your business is being received – through channels that you might not otherwise be aware of.  You can learn from the conversation and even join in if you feel it will help you connect with a new faction of potential customers.

Follow others to gain customers

One great way to put your business on the peripheral of untapped clients is to follow popular industry figures. This is especially true in the early stages of introducing your brand through social marketing. If you become a follower, or like, a key player in your industry, your interactions with them will be seen by their larger fan base if properly orchestrated. You can imagine the ensuing benefit of this phenomenon. This is the “networking” part of social media and it’s something you don’t want to overlook.

Analyze, analyze, analyze

Simply put, there’s much to be learned from social media analysis. Data gained through social marketing interactions is prized information that can help you adapt your future strategy. From social media interactions you can learn what people respond to, where they drop off, and what their buying patterns are. Armed with information, you can put forth better, more result-oriented content in the future.

Final Thoughts

Social marketing is where it’s at now, more than ever. You undoubtedly know that you should be doing it, and you probably are. But if you’re missing on any of the above, you’re potentially missing out on sales opportunities as a matter of course.  By adhering to the above seven principles, you’ll be covered when it comes to social media. Sales are what you can expect when you have all your social marketing efforts firing on all cylinders all the time, just like we’ve covered.Source: Smedio

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