In the trigger 6, we moved to social media marketing theme, which I find personally very interesting since my work is very related to it. Facebook and its new streaming feature was given as an example. After a long discussion we decided the learning objectives to be:
- What are the most interesting social media platforms?
- How can companies utilize social media marketing?
- How to integrate social media to companies marketing strategies and how can you monitor them?
I’m working among social media influencer marketing at the moment, and I personally find Instagram and Snapchat as the most interesting platforms for companies to do marketing now.
1. The most famous other social media channels that companies can use in their advantage are:
Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.Less famous platforms that help companies to network are mentioned below. Based on the article I found these are the ones every modern marketer should know. I’m personally quite unfamiliar with these:
- Blab: Allows you to broadcast your content to your followers and, better still, allows you to invite them into the video conversation. This two-way dialogue is what makes blab a game changer in the industry. Strengths: The two-way capabilities make blab stand out in a crowded field. Weaknesses: It has a small (but growing) user base.
- hi5: Is a social networking platform that skews a little younger than LinkedIn. Members can play games, watch videos, flirt, give gifts or just hang out. Strengths: It’s a great alternative to MySpace and/or Facebook for the younger crowd. Weaknesses: It may not be the best social networking platform for business.
- Meerkat: This live streaming social media platform is perfect for people who want to share videos of the special moments in their lives. Perfect for business, social networking, or for close friends, this mobile-only social network is growing quickly and rapidly.
- MyLife: A clean, simple site that helps people connect with family, friends and other relationships. Over 750 million profiles. Strengths: The easy-to-use interface is one of the site’s great strengths. Perfect if you’re looking for an engaging, simple way to connect with old friends. Weaknesses: Not as widely adopted as some other sites.
- Ning: This site connects groups of people who are passionate about particular interests, topics or hobbies. Co-Founded by Marc Andreessen, who helped launch Netscape. Strengths: Great for connecting with others who are interested in your area of expertise. Weaknesses: The user interface is so simple and uncluttered that getting started can be confusing. But once you’ve figured it out, it can be a good tool.
- Periscope: Like its close relative Meerkat, this new video sharing platform is taking the world by storm. Are you interested in using live video to share parts of your life with the world around you? If so, then Periscope is for you.
- Plaxo: Currently hosts address books for more than 40 million people. Helps people stay in touch with “Pulse,” which is a dashboard that lets you see what the people you know are sharing all over the web. Strengths: Graphical user interface makes it easy-to-use. Weaknesses: It’s not as widely-adopted as some other platforms such as LinkedIn.
- XING: XING has more than 8 million subscribers worldwide. It has over 34,000 specialized groups and over 150,000 live networking events each year. Strengths: XING adds new developments to their platform on a regular basis. Weaknesses: Not as widely-adopted as some other platforms such as LinkedIn.
There are different platforms that are more famous and useful when it comes to promotions. The most famous ones are:
- Bing: Bing, Google and Yahoo aren’t technically social media platforms, but they are tools that can be used to promote your product or service, so we’re including all three in this overview.
- Blogging Platforms: These are tools that are used to create blogs. Some of them, like Blogger, Tumblr, Vox or Xanga are straightforward platforms that are great for people who want to do a simple blog about their vacation, their company or their family reunion. If you’re ready to create a more robust blog that adds a lot of SEO value for your website, you’ll want to use Joomla, Drupal, Typepad or WordPress. These are the blogging platforms used by serious bloggers.
- Discussion Boards and Forums: Are you interested in creating an online forum where members of your community can engage with each other and offer each other advice? Then a discussion board or forum is for you. The best-known platforms for forums include Lefora, Zoho, Drupal, PhpBB,Vanila, JavaBB and vBulletin. Strengths: Forums are a great way to build a relationship with customers and prospects. Weaknesses: They require regular, ongoing time and energy to keep them running properly.
- Google: Google is technically not a social media platform, but can be used as a social tool to drive visits to your well-optimized website.
- Email Marketing Platforms: Email can often get overlooked in the world of social media, but if you define social media as tools that help you have a dialogue with your customers and prospects, then email falls into the social media category. Popular email marketing tools include AWeber (affiliate link), Constant Contact, iContact, Marketing Cloud and others.
- Flickr: This is a photo-sharing site that can be used to build awareness and drive traffic to your product pages. If you’re selling hunting rifles or tennis rackets or widgets, you’ll want to use Flickr to a) build awareness for your product and b) drive people from Flickr to your website.
- Howcast: Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a website where you could watch “How To” videos on the topic of your choice? Well, there is and it’s called Howcast. It’s an extremely worthy-competitor to YouTube.
- iTunes: This is not the only podcasting site, but it’s the best-known and most popular. If you’re doing interviews with industry experts or if you’re creating mini-radio shows, iTunes is the place to be.
- MySpace: They arguably started this whole social media thing to begin with. Today, MySpace is primarily used as a congregation point for younger people interested in pop culture.
- Vimeo: Think of Vimeo as a high-end YouTube. It’s perfect for people interested in sharing their videos with a community of positive, encouraging creative professionals.
- Yahoo: Like Google and Bing, this is not technically a social media platform. But it is a tool that ultimately can drive traffic to your website.
- YouTube: Of course, YouTube is one of the better-known platforms used to promote businesses. The key to YouTube is to keep the videos short and sweet. Make sure they solve the “what’s in it for me” equation. YouTube is perfect for “How To” videos, but it’s not a good place to upload the CEOs annual speech to shareholders.
Top 50 social media platforms.
2. Social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. No matter what you sell and who you sell it to, using social media as a marketing tool can help you grow your brand and pad your wallet.
I found a good article from entrepreneur.com about the 10 laws of social media marketing that companies should follow. It’s always vital that marketers understand social media marketing fundamentals when they are planning to execute a social media marketing strategy.
1. The Law of Listening
Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. You should read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.
2. The Law of Focus
It’s better to specialize than to be a jack-of-all-trades. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people.
3. The Law of Quality
Quality trumps quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.
4. The Law of Patience
Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.
5. The Law of Compounding
If you publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.
This sharing and discussing of your content opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find it in keyword searches. Those entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.
6. The Law of Influence
Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.
If you get on their radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information, they might share your content with their own followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience.
7. The Law of Value
If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
8. The Law of Acknowledgment
You wouldn’t ignore someone who reaches out to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.
9. The Law of Accessibility
Don’t publish your content and then disappear. Be available to your audience. That means you need to consistently publish content and participate in conversations. Followers online can be fickle and they won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for weeks or months.
10. The Law of Reciprocity
You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. So, a portion of the time you spend on social media should be focused on sharing and talking about content published by others.
You should also embrace the visuals since images get more engagement. Branded images are good idea and featured content. Headlines also matter so you should create better titles that help your posts to be more promotable in social media or then create a new title specifically for sharing your content in social media. You should also customise for the specific platform you are using. For example, if you shared a link via Facebook, you have the opportunity to create a post that will truly stand out amongst the rest; all you need is an attention-grabbing headline, a clean, relevant image that piques interest (which might be different from the featured image used in your content), and a short, compelling description.
Other important points in utilizing social media marketing include: Sharing at the right time, not being afraid to post multiple times, asking questions, sharing at the right platform, maximising your brands advocates, leveraging communities and experimenting with content creator communities.
Sources: http://www.contentfac.com/9-reasons-social-media-marketing-should-top-your-to-do-list/ & https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218160 & http://www.curata.com/blog/11-effective-ways-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-content/ & http://www.curata.com/blog/11-effective-ways-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-content/ & https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-use-social-media-fmcg-marketing-lei-sang
3. It is important to have a specific social media marketing plan. A social media marketing plan is the summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks. This plan should comprise an audit of where your accounts are today, goals for where you want them to be in the near future, and all the tools you want to use to get there.
Article by hootsuite.com suggests 6 steps in creating a social media plan. The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to establish the objectives and goals that you hope to achieve. Having these objectives also allows you to quickly react when social media campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Without goals, you have no means of gauging success or proving your social media return on investment (ROI). These goals should be aligned with your broader marketing strategy, so that your social media efforts drive toward your business objectives. If your social media marketing strategy is shown to support business goals, you’re more likely to get executive buy-in and investment.
Step 2: Conduct a social media audit
The second step is creating a social media audit. Prior to creating your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your current social media use and how it’s working. This means figuring out who is currently connecting with you via social, which social media sites your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to your competitors’.
Step 3: Create or improve your social accounts
The third step is creating your own social media accounts. Once you’ve finished with your social media audit, it’s time to hone your online presence. Choose which networks best meet your social media goals. If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network you focus on, build them from the ground up with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it’s time to update and refine them to get the best possible results.
Step 4: Get social media inspiration from industry leaders, competitors, clients
Consumers can offer social media inspiration, not only through the content that they share but in the way that they phrase their messages. See how your target audience writes Tweets, and strive to mimic that style. Also learn their habits—when they share and why—and use that as a basis for your social media marketing plan.
Suggestion of sources of inspiration in different areas of social media marketing:
- Content marketing: Unbounce, Virgin
- Social media customer service: Tangerine, Warby Parker
- Social media advertising: AirBnB, the American Red Cross
- Facebook strategy: Coca-Cola, Walmart
- Google+ strategy: Cadbury, National Geographic
- Twitter strategy: Charmin, Oreo
- Instagram strategy: Herschel Supply Co., General Electric
Step 5: Create a content plan and editorial calendar
Having great content to share will be essential to succeeding at social media. Your social media marketing plan should include a content marketing plan, comprised of strategies for content creation and content curation, as well as an editorial calendar.
Your content marketing plan should answer the following questions:
- What types of content you intend to post and promote on social media
- How often you will post content
- Target audience for each type of content
- Who will create the content
- How you will promote the content
Step 6: Test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan
To find out what adjustments need to be made to your social media marketing strategy, you should constantly be testing. Build testing capabilities into every action you take on social networks. For example, you could:
- Track the number of clicks your links get on a particular platform using URL shorteners and UTM codes
- Use Hootsuite’s social media analytics to track the success and reach of social campaigns
- Track page visits driven by social media with Google Analytics
Record and analyze your successes and failures, and then adjust your social media marketing plan in response.