The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Finding Your Audience In Social Media

targeting-shutterstock Social media marketing platforms are constantly evolving, so newcomers are at a disadvantage compared to those who've been around the social media block over the last decade. There are more platforms to learn, more features to leverage, and larger audiences to engage. For small or new businesses venturing into social media marketing for the first time, focusing on the fundamentals is key. In this two-part series, we'll do just that.  Read on for a guide to getting started, including defining your target market and choosing the right channels to reach them. Step 1: Defining Your Target Mar [...]


Optimize LinkedIn Like A Pro To Boost Your Personal Brand

LinkedIn-Connections As a professional marketer, you have a story to tell about your background and experience, your skills and interests, and what you can add to the conversation in your area of expertise. Together, these pieces of the story paint a picture of your personal brand -- a brand you create and grow over time as you move forward in your career whether you lead companies or join them. Today, one of the most viable places to tell that story online is LinkedIn. With more than 259 million members, professionals of all levels are connecting, sharing content and finding new business opportunities each day [...]


Your Guide To All Things Hashtag Analytics & Optimization

Diet Coke #ShowYourHeart Campaign Hashtags. You've heard people talk about them, you've seen them on Twitter, but have you added them to your marketing toolbox? If not, let me show you how you can use hashtags to turbocharge your marketing efforts. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA[/youtube] #Origins The present use of hashtags dates back to 1988, when early internet users began including them in messages on the popular chat platform IRC. They were used to group messages, images and videos into categories. Hashtags reappeared on Twitter in 2007 when Nate Ritter used the hashtag #sandiegofire at the e [...]


VIDEO + SLIDESHOW: Why “Going Viral” Means More Than Getting Pageviews

gone-viral-featured Most people don't know the true definition of virality, how to measure it or how to recognize it. Getting a piece of content to "go viral" does NOT simply equate to getting lots of page views on that piece. Content aggregator Upworthy's mission is to "spread meaningful content far and wide" but that success doesn't just 'happen' without a content promotion strategy. In this presentation, Upworthy's Editorial Director explains the main components of virality, providing a formula for how to optimize your content and the simple math for how to measure viral success. From the Marketing La [...]


How Even Time-Challenged SMBs Can Upkeep Social Channels

shutterstock_alarmclock Many small business marketers avoid social media marketing because of the expectation that it will take too much time. However, we've seen clients benefit from as little as two hours a month on social media. Such benefits include: Facilitating communication with clients, vendors, job seekers and customers Increasing organic visibility by getting more content out on the web Helping to populate SERPs with positive listings when prospective customers research your company by name (and many do!) Building brand awareness Increasing incoming links to your site from social venue connectio [...]


How To Use LinkedIn Company Pages For Search, Social & Reputation Management

Use LinkedIn Signal We social media marketers frequently preach that simply having a profile on social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn is not enough to be successful. While this is true -- and I highly encourage my clients to maintain active pages for their businesses on social networking sites -- it's also worth discussing the inherent value in simply being present. I used to think LinkedIn was only useful to job seekers and head hunters. So naïve. I also used to deny the fact that LinkedIn was a form of social media. Silly girl. For any business, LinkedIn provides a mountain of opportunity for maximizing a [...]


How To Get Started Using Twitter For Business

Twitter For Business What's Twitter for business? No, it's not about buying Twitter ads for your business. Rather, it's about how a business can use Twitter as a means to create conversations about its company, brand and products. This topic -- "Twitter for Business" -- was the title of a great session I attended at Marketing Land's SMX West conference this week. It was geared toward the community manager at a company charged with making Twitter work for business reasons. The session was presented by Ric Dragon, CEO of Dragon Search and the author of Social Marketology, a hands-on guide that aims to [...]


How To Market On Pinterest And Instagram — Even If You Don’t Have A Branded Account

pinterest-explore-interests Looking for ways to boost your organization's social media engagement in 2014? As a marketer, you're tasked with the slippery job of putting together content strategies in an environment that's constantly changing, thanks to social media's seemingly infinite capacity for rolling out new channels and products. Who could blame you for focusing on the one or two networks where your brand already has a presence? Companies that don't yet have profiles on Pinterest or Instagram tend to overlook these platforms when it comes to planning their marketing campaigns. After all, most social prog [...]


How To Create Case Studies To Improve Your Social Media

social-media-attention-featured At the time, it was the largest potential business contract of my life -- my budding marketing agency had the opportunity to provide services to one of the most significant cultural institutions in the world. The inevitable question was posed: "Can you provide us with some case studies?" My reply: "I'll get back to you." Back at the shop, all hands were on deck as we scurried around, creating just the right case studies to send to the prospective client. We wanted studies which showed that yes, we'd worked with cultural non-profits, and that yes, we'd done projects very similar in sco [...]


How To Be The #1 Trending Hashtag On Twitter: Lessons From Nat Geo’s #KillingKennedy Campaign

nat-geo-twitter-featured The National Geographic Channel regularly uses both organic and paid campaigns to engage audiences on Twitter. For its film, Killing Kennedy, timed to premier the week before the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, Nat Geo wanted to make a big impact on Twitter to build excitement and drive viewership. Armed with Twitter-savvy celebrities and a wealth of visual assets, the team employed Twitter TV ad targeting for the first time to reach beyond its follower base of just over 520 thousand followers. Nat Geo and its agency Mediahub/Mullen encouraged the cast -- including stars Ro [...]


How To Use Brand Ambassadors To Drive Social Media Success

social-media-conversation-featured Whether you're the CMO of a Fortune 500 company or the webmaster of your burgeoning startup's website, social media efforts will be critical to your business in 2014. Increasingly, marketers are tasked with launching ever more interactive (and expensive) social media campaigns -- but CMOs are still challenged to provide more than the most basic ROI metrics about these efforts. Marc Fischman, co-founder of social media tools firm Hyperactivate, is of the opinion that providing measurements for social media promotions will be the focus of all marketers in the coming year, because marketing [...]


How To Be Eternally Indispensable In Your Social Media Job

social-media-marketer-costume Now that there's only a smidgen left of 2013, it's fair to say that the year wasn't a giant win for social media marketers -- at least in terms of public perception. Up until recently, brands have been clamoring to shore up a social media staff and extol the business-saving virtues of Twitter, Facebook and the like. But this year brought a slight change of heart. In 2013, we were too whiny. We were, um, less than bright (actual phrasing NSFW, as is that link). No one believed we had real jobs. Entire accounts were created only to mock us. The social media editor fell. The social media [...]


Social Media Checklist For New Websites & Businesses

social media As a startup company or small business, it is no longer an option to ignore social media as a means of communication, promotion and possibly even recruitment or revenue. That's true for any business new to the internet, as well. However, diving head-first into an ever-expanding realm of social media networks can feel overwhelming at best. Each platform has not only a unique audience of users, but also its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to usernames, imagery and usage. Below is a step-by-step guide to establishing business accounts on the top eight social networks. As time and personnel [...]


R.I.P. EdgeRank: How To Optimize For Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm

facebook-newsfeed-featured As you may have heard, Facebook EdgeRank is no more. A Facebook insider confirmed that the term [EdgeRank] is no longer being used internally (and hasn't been for over two years) and noted that there are currently over 100,000 factors that go into what a user sees on their News Feed when users log into Facebook. While Facebook has not explicitly told us what these factors are, they have shed some light on  the process involved in developing their most recent ranking algorithm update. The company surveyed thousands of users, asking questions to help determine what exactly makes a "high-qua [...]


The Definitive Guide To Facebook Image Optimization For Articles & Web Content

Facebook Logo One thing is certain, images are crucial in social medial success -- especially with Facebook. Thanks to new changes, having the proper image display alongside your linked content has never been easier to control. Link images have been consuming more real estate in News Feed and large, vivid images not only help engagement, but also boost distribution.   To help you pull the in the perfect image we talked to Vojin Katic, Facebook Software Engineer, to collect thoughts on best practices and the future for images in articles. Here is our guide on how to optimize article images fo [...]


5 Steps For Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page

[caption id="attachment_165070" align="alignright" width="224"] Image via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] With 3 million company pages and 225 million members, LinkedIn has grown over the last 10 years to become the place where professionals network and do business online. LinkedIn is truly growing beyond just a search and social media platform. The content marketing explosion has meant that influencers are sharing and engaging via content and not just looking for jobs. In previous posts, I have talked about how search and social are closely aligned, and how content is the catalyst that [...]


How To Make The Most Of The Google+ Design Changes

Kia Google Plus cover photo Google announced at Google I/O this month that it's introducing a number of changes to Google+, which mainly affect the site design as well as usability. The two most noticeable changes were probably the cover photo for pages and profiles, which has been enlarged greatly, and the redesigned gchat, which Google has rebranded as Google Hangout (to tie in with the existing Google Hangout video chat). The revised chat layout, which feels a lot more modern than the existing gchat, is also now being slowly rolled out for users to use in Gmail. User profiles in Google Hangout directly link to [...]


The Minimalist’s Guide To Social Media Metrics

The buzz around startup culture lately is all about "minimum viable product." It's the idea of creating a product as quickly as possible — in its most minimum viable form — so you can then make it better by adapting it to what your customers really want. It makes sense as a way to build things, but I think it has other implications, too. What if "minimally viable" was the way we looked at social media metrics, as well? After all, one of the biggest challenges we face in social media marketing is that there are hundreds of different elements we could measure. Sometimes it seems like w [...]


How To Organize A Social Media Content Strategy

How to Organize a Social Media Content Strategy Crafting a content strategy for social media is just as important as developing a strategy for what is published on the company blog and website. Social media is one of the main megaphones that a company uses to create its overall online presence, which in turn shapes brand recognition and sentiment. Social media has developed to the point that it is now more than putting a message out online and hoping for the best. Because the users are smarter and have made social media a part of their lives, it is up to companies to make the most out of every post and update they publish. Social med [...]


How To Create & Use Facebook Custom Audiences

Finding offline customers online is one of the Holy Grails of online marketing, and that's what Facebook’s “Custom Audiences” advertising product is designed to do. As Facebook puts it, “Custom audiences let marketers find their offline audiences among Facebook users.” The feature allows you to match phone numbers, email address, or user IDs gathered offline to actual Facebook users. That contact information might come from customer loyalty programs, applications on Facebook, prospective customers or elsewhere. Any contact list that you have is usable. Custom Audiences is the s [...]


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