Social Media Marketing – How We Got Here and Where We’re Going

Social-Media-Marketing-Trends

I remember my father telling me where he was on the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  And someday, I will be telling my child about the first time a hashtag was ever used (legend has it was August 2007).  Maybe not as monumental as say, landing on the moon, but still, the hashtag has also brought a multitude of people together.

There was a time when social media marketing was seen as just a fad, something that was too irrelevant to invest in.  Nowadays, it’s no longer a question.  If you have no social media presence online, then you are at a serious disadvantage against your competition.  Social media marketing has come a long way, but looking back it mostly seems like an inevitable part of our lives.

social media marketing_cropped_0_0_0_0How Social Media all Began

In the beginning there was Myspace.  Myspace capitalized on the growing popularity of sites like Friendster and Hi5 and was especially popular among a younger audience.  In 2007 Myspace reached a peak value of $12 billion.  From there Facebook grabbed the torch and ran with it.  By 2009 tens of millions of dollars were pouring into the company from rich Silicon Valley investors.  The launch of Facebook Platform made it possible for third-party developers to create apps specific to Facebook.  Twitter also began to explode in popularity around the same time, and enjoyed the same boost once it created its own open API similar to Facebook.

Mobile-based platforms also approach social networking in an entirely different fashion than their Web-based counterparts. Rather than offering a comprehensive social networking experience like the now-defunct Myspace and the struggling Google+, they instead specialize in a specific kind of interaction service that involves the sharing of public images (Instagram), the private sharing of images sharing (Snapchat), nightlife (Foursquare), and location-based matchmaking (Tinder). People essentially use the various services in conjunction with other platforms to build a comprehensive, digital identity.

3885f5cBest Marketing Practices

It makes sense then that marketing and advertising on social media has become more and more popular.  The number one rule of marketing is to go where the people are, and right now the people are online and interacting with each other through these various channels.  Once you understand what each social media site specializes in, then you are able to begin creating customer personas to target your efforts toward.  The most important things you want to consider are:

  • Demographic information (age, gender, location, income)
  • Values and ideals
  • Likes, wants, and goals
  • Pain points, frustrations, and informational needs
  • The time of day your customers are most active online (what does their day/week/month look like?)

From politics, to sports, from big business to small, just about every enterprise can benefit from a strong presence on social media.  The opportunity to engage directly with your audience has many benefits.  It shows the personality of your company in a way that your static website wouldn’t be able to.  Social media is where the best brands talk with you daily – not at you. Social media works, because people trust family, friends and online communities.   You have to develop this same sort of trust from your audience in order to gain their following.

Social media also provides a perfect opportunity to engage yourself in the local community, sending local-specific authority signals to major search engines. Google also tends to favor popular social media updates in the top sections of its SERPs.  The more active you are with social media, the more traffic you will see eventually funneling into your site.

SocialMedia_Subpage_BannerHow to Know It’s Working

With any business project you need a way of judging the success and failures of your efforts.  With social media marketing there are numerous tools online to help you perform an audit of your outreach.  Here are a few that relate to the major channels of social media:

Facebook Audience Insights:  You can use the analytics from this to analyze the demographics of your audience, and see what age group, location and gender types are paying attention to you online.  By monitoring your views and likes you will see what posts worked better than others.  Advertising to a target market on Facebook is nothing new – Facebook has allowed filtering for ads for a while. But targeting a specific product to a list you already have is a new way to use Audience Insights.

Twitter Analytics: Using this free service you are able to see for each tweet how much engagement occurred, including how many times a tweet was favorited, re-tweeted or mentioned.  In addition to showing this information for individual tweets, Twitter gives a bar graph that reveals how many impressions an account received over a 28-day period to allow users to see when activity peaked.

ViralWoot: This Pinterest tool helps with much beyond analytics. You can schedule pins, promote pins, and gain new followers all through Viralwoot. The analytics on the free plan shows you your new followers, new repins, and new likes, and paid users have the option to receive pin alerts when content from your website gets pinned.

Iconosquare:  A complete Instagram management tool, Iconosquare includes a user-friendly Instagram analytics section that shows big-picture views of posts, likes, comments, and followers, as well as breakdowns for the last seven days or last month, plus scores for love (the likes on your photos), talk (the comments on your photos), and reach (how many likes come from outside your followers).

It’s important to remember there is no one strategy that should apply to each media site as a whole.  They should be all viewed as unique opportunities.  Certain audiences convene in different places and in different ways.  Social media has evolved rapidly within the last ten years.  Who’s to say what it will look like in another ten, but as long as there are people using the internet for sharing and communicating, social media will continue to have a huge role in our day to day lives.  Marketing through social media is now more important than ever.

 

Useful Tips for Growing Your Twitter Audience

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There is no denying the power of social media; it has elevated people and businesses to new heights. While in the past people used to depend on mainstream media for information, it is now easier and much faster to receive the latest news and any other information on social media. Twitter in particular, has an appeal that keeps growing every day. The number of retweets, hashtags and shared links continue to fuel the growth of this important social media platform. Many people and businesses are keen on increasing their influence by gaining more followers on their twitter account. For anyone looking to build a Twitter audience of people who are keen to read their tweets, there are a few things one can do that can increase the size of the audience.

Target-AudienceTarget Audience

Identify the audience and tweet for them. For a person to continue reading your tweets and following you, they need to be convinced that you are offering them value. It is possible to keep them engaged by tweeting messages that resonate with them. This is possible if you take time to understand your audience in regards to their needs, aspirations and what makes them happy. Your tweets should then address matters that affect your audience directly.

One of the best strategies for growing a Twitter audience is to find an audience that already exists and then connecting with them. If you happen to pass your message in a new and fresh way, you are likely to get their attention and they will undoubtedly follow you.

Increase your Connections

With Twitter being a social media platform, it is important to connect as much as possible. You need to work on increasing your connections in order to expose yourself to a wider audience. Part of creating the connections should include linking your Twitter to other social media such as Facebook, Linkedin, You Tube and any other platform that you can expect to find more people interested in your message.

exclusive-rubber-stamp-vector-1116511Give your Audience Exclusive Information

People love being the first to receive breaking news or any information that is not yet in the public limelight. If you are in a position to give people some exclusive news, you will increase your audience. If whatever you tell people turns out to be true all the time, you will build credibility and they will turn to you for the latest news in your chosen field.

 

Join Conversations and Engage your Audience

People are social beings and they appreciate it if someone shows genuine interest in them. If you want to keep your audience growing, you need to be involved in the affairs of your followers. You can do this by direct engagement such as commenting and retweeting their tweets and also by being concerned about matters that are important to the people who make up your audience.

Twitter-ShoutsMeasure and Analyze the Effects of your Tweets

The only way you can tell how well you are doing is by measuring the effect of your tweets. Only then can you identify the type of tweets that get you results. Based on that information, you can tweet more of the messages that work.

Increasing your audience on Twitter is not a difficult task if you are clear on how you will go about it.