Social Media Marketing

B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies

3 EFFECTIVE LINKEDIN MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR B2B BUSINESS

3 EFFECTIVE LINKEDIN MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR B2B BUSINESS 900 600 Kari Switala
B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies are a lot like fishing.
Lake of the Woods

I just had the opportunity to go ice fishing for the first time up at Lake of the Woods in Baudette, MN. Which, if you’re wondering, is located near the border of Minnesota and Canada. In fact, we could see Canada just across the Rainy River from our cabin. 

To say that I was a bit apprehensive about this trip would be a major understatement. I didn’t know what to expect, but the idea of sitting in an ice house on a frozen lake for 9 hours a day when it was 20 below zero was a bit daunting, especially since the longest I’d ever fished before that was about 30 minutes (most of which was spent holding a fishing rod in between my knees while I read my book and sipped my wine). I likened this experience to what our clients must feel when thinking about marketing their business on LinkedIn or using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. They’re unsure how much time it will take, when they’ll actually see the results, and if it will be worth it. Are you seeing the parallels between my ice fishing experience and LinkedIn marketing yet?

B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies

B2B LinkedIn Marketing Strategies
Kevin reels in a whopper!

In this article, I’m going to share my top 3 LinkedIn marketing strategies for B2B businesses. I’ve utilized these strategies successfully over the past 10 years, and they have made LinkedIn our #2 source for new clients (our #1 source is client referrals). Please note: Implementing these strategies will not likely generate a ton of new leads overnight. Much like ice fishing (or fishing in general) it takes time and patience to reel in the big ones…or at least get a bite.

#1. Create a LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy

To create a LinkedIn content marketing strategy you have to determine WHO your target market is—who you’d like to attract. Think about this in fishing terms (wow…I feel like I’m starting to portray myself as a fishing expert—fear not, I’m still a novice who cannot yet bait her own hook): If you want to attract a certain species of fish you have to use the right bait to lure them in. Knowing who your target audience is will help you determine what kind of content they might be interested in or find helpful and relevant. 

Once you know your target audience and what types of content they might find interesting, I suggest putting together a simple Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet to lay out your posts and make sure you have a good mix of content. Here’s an example of what that might look like if you’re posting 3x a week:

Monday – Post an inspirational or uplifting quote/graphic or a funny Monday 

meme. (BTW…Canva is a great tool to help you quickly and easily design appealing social media graphics.)

Wednesday – Post a link to a recent blog article you wrote or a link to an 

educational article that’s relevant to your industry/business.

Friday – Ask your audience a question and engage them in conversation.

Time Saving Tip: Block 30-45 minutes on your calendar each month to brainstorm post ideas and plug them into your spreadsheet. It will save you a ton of time and make it easier for you to find content because you’re in the zone. 

#2. Look at Who’s Viewing Your LinkedIn Profile

That’s better. 😀

Can you imagine baiting your hook (or if you’re me, having someone else bait your hook), then putting your line in the water and leaving it there without ever adjusting it or checking to see if your bait is still there? If that’s how you fish, you’re probably not going to catch much. The same is true with LinkedIn. If you just set it and forget it you’re likely going to miss out on some key opportunities. 

To ensure you’re getting the best ROI on your LinkedIn marketing, I’d recommend picking one day each week to check who’s viewing your profile. If you don’t know how to do this, here is a resource. (Note: With LinkedIn Basic you can only see the last five people who viewed your account in the last 90 days. If you want to up your game consider upgrading to a LinkedIn Premium account). When you check to see who’s viewing your profile there are a couple of key things to look for:

  • Are there people viewing your profile who you aren’t currently connected to but might be good prospects or referral partners? If so, send them a personalized connection request (without letting them know you saw that they viewed your profile—that can feel a bit creepy). Your message might look something like this: “Hey John, I saw your profile on LinkedIn and was really impressed with your work in ____ industry. I’d love to connect and learn more about your business.” The same can be done for referral or strategic partners—just be sure to change up your messaging. 
  • Do you see a trend in who’s viewing your profile? This can help you determine if your posts are attracting the right people or not. For example, if I’m marketing to manufacturing companies and I have mostly dentists viewing my profile…that’s a problem. 

#3. Look for New Connections & Send Personalized Connection Requests Every Week

Lake of the Woods is 344,000 acres with over 65,000 miles of shoreline and 14,500 islands. I can attest to the size of this lake. It took us over 45 minutes once we got on the lake to drive to our fishing spot. (I really, really wanted to drive, but apparently our driver thought I might be an insurance risk—maybe next year.) Just imagine how many fish and fish species must be in a lake this size. The opportunities to catch fish are endless, but you’ve got to actually fish in order to catch anything. The same is true for LinkedIn B2B marketing strategies. If you only have 50-100 connections and you’re not continually adding new connections you’ll be fishing in a small pond vs. a 344,000-acre lake. 

So why is it important to add new connections on LinkedIn? 

  • The more people you are connected to the greater exposure and opportunities you have.
  • If someone searches for your industry or type of company on LinkedIn you’ll only appear in that search if you are a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection or if you’re in a group with that person.

Who should you connect with on LinkedIn?

  • Clients
  • Strategic partners—professionals you do business with who tend to refer business to you on a regular basis
  • Prospects
  • Members of organizations or associations you are members of
  • Key influencers in your industry

How do you make new connections on LinkedIn?

  • Start by crafting a personalized connection request. What do you know about the person and their experience? Do you have something in common with them you can reference? Why do you want to connect with them? 

Timesaving Tip: If you want to send connection requests to a certain type of prospect or members of an organization you belong to, consider creating a personalized connection request that applies to that group that you can simply copy and paste.

Soapbox Moment: The #1 thing you should avoid AT ALL COSTS is sending sales-y messages to a connection after they accept your connection request. It’s the fastest way to lose credibility and trust with your new connection. It’s like asking a blind date to marry you after your first date. Instead, think about how you could nurture that relationship. If we use the dating/marriage analogy, nurturing the relationship might be doing something thoughtful for the person. Maybe sending flowers or a text to thank them for a nice evening.

Nurture your business relationship

This can be done in a few ways:

  • Send new connections a link to a blog you just wrote or to a helpful resource.
  • Ask them to look at the people you’re connected to and see if there’s anyone they’d like an introduction to.
  • Ask them questions about their business to get to know them better, like “Who’s your target market?”

I hope you found these B2B LinkedIn marketing strategies helpful. Just like fishing, you really need to focus on your long game. If you expect to catch a 27-inch walleye on your first cast, you’re likely going to be disappointed. Marketing on LinkedIn takes time, but if you incorporate these three strategies and do them consistently you will reel in the big one. After 15 hours on the ice, I reeled in a 27-inch walleye. It was the biggest one our group caught in two days of fishing! 

If you need help with your LinkedIn profile, developing your LinkedIn content strategy or generating leads on LinkedIn, we’d love to chat with you. Simply click here to schedule an exploratory call with me!

USING LINKEDIN TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

USING LINKEDIN TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS 900 600 Amy Judge

LinkedIn is today’s yellow brick road to business growth. 61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions. If you want to grow your business, you have to go where the right people are. If you’re not on LinkedIn or you’re not maximizing its capabilities, you’re missing out on tremendous growth potential. LinkedIn is complex and multifaceted and it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are seven tips to get you started!

Tip #1: Keep your profile fresh and vibrant

You want your LinkedIn profile to stand out from the crowd. This means weaving in your unique voice and personality. Because ultimately, people do business with people, an authentic voice will grow your connections and increase your sales opportunities much more than a generic, lackluster profile.

Also, your LinkedIn profile is not a “one and done” deal. Keep your content fresh! Did you recently acquire a certification or receive an award? Add it to your Licenses & Certifications or Accomplishments section. Did you switch job positions? Update your title in the Intro section. Did you switch companies? For the love of all that’s good and holy, update your employer in the Intro section as well. Too many LinkedIn profiles have about as much pizzazz as the 90’s sport jacket that’s collecting dust in the back of your closet – they stink and they’re totally irrelevant. Case in point? I recently wished someone a happy work anniversary only to find out they left that company three years ago but never updated their profile to reflect the change. Let’s just say that when I think of industry leaders, they don’t come to mind.

Does your LinkedIn profile need a refresh? Check out our LinkedIn Tune-Up Package here!

Tip #2: Clearly define your target audience

The idea behind LinkedIn is to connect with people who might be interested now or in the future in what you have to offer, provide them with value and when they’re ready, embrace them as customers who eventually go on to promote your brand. In other words, it all begins with an on-point audience. Take the time to nail down your audience so you can call out their specific job titles in the About section for more effective lead generation.

Tip #3: Prioritize SEO

With over 675 million LinkedIn users, the potential for connecting with prospects is virtually limitless. However, because of the vast potential, you’re a needle in a haystack without an SEO strategy. Identify and incorporate keywords into the About section that accurately reflect who you are and what you do.

You can also boost SEO by keeping your content fresh and relevant. For example, how is your business navigating COVID-19? If you released a COVID positioning statement on your website, link to it on your LinkedIn profile. How does the Black Lives Matter movement intersect the way you do business? If you create a LinkedIn post on the subject, link to it on your website. Links help boost SEO rankings and increase your searchability. Also, encourage your team to share content from other team members to widen the sphere of influence for each post and ultimately, direct traffic back to your company website. Note: The more frequently you share engaging content, the higher your page will appear in search results.

Tip #4: Provide value…not a sales pitch!

No one wants to be sold, especially on LinkedIn, so if you’re into the hard sell, LinkedIn isn’t your jam. LinkedIn users value thought leadership and innovative ideas so share the valuable content they’re looking for and likely to reshare on their profiles. This helps you grow your reputation as an industry leader and helps you develop an even more solid web of on-point connections.

Tip #5: Weave in rich media

Did you know that rich media boosts social media engagement by over 600%?! In light of this startling statistic, it would be foolish not to leverage this tool to expand your LinkedIn connections and grow your business. And you don’t have to be a graphic designer or an IT nerd to implement it. Rich media can be as simple as a photo collage or a short video. Up for a larger feat? Upload a PowerPoint or host a live video educating your audience on a relevant topic that provides value and demonstrates your expertise.

Hot Tip #6: Build campaigns

One great way to attract attention to your brand is through an ad campaign. Utilizing LinkedIn’s built-in Campaign Manager is an easy way to create an ad that highlights your brand’s offerings. Choose an add with rich media content to pack an even bigger punch!

Want to take your LinkedIn lead generation to the next level? At Wild Fig, we offer a LinkedIn Lead Generator Program that makes it easy to attract warm leads, increase your sales and grow your business. Learn more here!

Tip #7: Track your analytics

There are an abundance of ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Analyzing your analytics makes it easy to see how your profile is performing so you can put your efforts into the content that will give you the greatest return. Want to know how your connections are responding to your updates? Do you know what the demographics of your profile visitors look like? Access your analytics through your LinkedIn admin center or admin widget or through your analytics module.

Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. Contact us on our website or set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here!

LinkedIn Lead Generation

15 COMPELLING CONTENT IDEAS TO BOOST YOUR BUSINESS ON LINKEDIN

15 COMPELLING CONTENT IDEAS TO BOOST YOUR BUSINESS ON LINKEDIN 900 600 Kari Switala

LinkedIn is the top professional networking site in the world, with 675 million monthly users worldwide. But with 30 million companies posting on the site, how do you make your business stand out? To get you on the right track, we’ve compiled a list of content ideas to help boost your business on LinkedIn and get you noticed by the audience that matters most to you.

  1. Blog Posts

Blog posts are a great way to offer useful information to your followers about a variety of topics and position your business as a thought leader in your industry. There are a few ways to share blog posts on LinkedIn:

Native Blog Posts

  • Create them directly on the site via LinkedIn’s native publishing platform. Long-form blog content (around 2,000 words) tends to perform better than shorter articles when using this method.
  • Share the link to an article on your company’s website as a status update. But don’t just share the URL – include a few lines of “teaser” text to draw your audience in and encourage them to click the link. A particularly compelling excerpt from the blog itself can pique your audience’s interest and make them want to read more.
  • Have individuals from your company republish blog posts from your website onto their personal feeds via LinkedIn’s publishing platform (also known as syndication). If you do this, publish the blog to your website first and include a link to the original blog in the syndicated post.
  1. Third-party Content

Another way to build your reputation for being a source of valuable content for your audience is to share relevant third-party articles. This type of post won’t point people to your website or brand, but if your audience sees you as an informational source they will be more likely to click on your original content. A few tips for sharing third-party content:

  • Don’t just share a link – add your own thoughts and opinions to your post to reinforce your position as a thought leader on the topic.
  • Use hashtags to make you more visible among other relevant trending topics and steer more viewers to your post (and therefore to your company).
  • Shorten long URLs using a site like bitly so the link doesn’t take up too many of the 1,300 characters LinkedIn allows for a post. Use those characters to share your thoughts on the article.
  1. Video

Video is much more attention-grabbing than text or photos, and is more likely to engage your followers. Consider creating videos to share tips and tricks, highlight new products or services, celebrate company wins, answer FAQs, share statistics, or announce upcoming events. When you post a video:

  • Keep it short – definitely below 5 minutes, but the shorter the better.
  • Use subtitles – about 97 percent of viewers watch video without sound!
  • Include a Call To Action (CTA) to give viewers next steps to connect with you.
  • Add a text introduction to your post.
  1. Text-only Posts

On the other end of the spectrum, there are times when a text-only post is the best option. If the text you are sharing is especially engaging, images and video can distract from it. Text-only posts can break through an image-heavy newsfeed and come across as especially authentic or intimate. This can boost engagement and make your followers feel more connected to you. If you are sharing something genuine that touches on topics your audience relates to, an occasional text-only post can be the way to go.

  1. Statistics and Infographics

People love statistics – especially when they’re presented in a format they can easily share. A branded infographic offers relevant information in a quickly digestible, highly shareable format. People also love trivia, so creating interesting statistic-based content that is also fun, such as a list of “Did You Knows?”, can really draw people in and boost your engagement.

  1. Product Launches or Feature Enhancements

Keep your audience up-to-date on the latest happenings in your business by announcing new products or upgraded services. You can also use this opportunity to educate your audience about how to best take advantage of these new features and how their businesses can benefit from them. Consider doing some kind of online-only giveaway or discount alongside the launch to grab the attention of your followers.

  1. Celebrate Company Milestones

People want to do business with people, not faceless companies. Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your company by:

  • Celebrating employee anniversaries
  • Sharing big wins or goals you’ve reached
  • Highlighting other company celebrations and milestones
  • Expressing your gratitude for the support of your customers

Sharing these things publicly makes your audience feel more connected to you, and therefore more likely to engage with you both online and in person.

  1. Highlight Company Leaders

Similarly, highlight your top employees as thought leaders in your industry by sharing how they have helped move the company forward, innovations they have implemented, certifications they have earned, articles they have written, and goals they have helped the company reach. It’s another way to give your followers a peek inside your company culture and boost their confidence in your business.

  1. Promote Events

Promoting upcoming events does two things for you: it boosts your event registration and shows your audience that you have something new to offer them or reminds them of services you offer that they may have forgotten about. It’s another way of encouraging your followers to learn from and connect with you.

  1. Promote an eBook or Guide

If you have a downloadable eBook, guide, or other resource available on your website, LinkedIn is the perfect place to promote it. Include an image of the cover page and a few statistics, quotes or tips pulled from the eBook as a preview of the valuable information it includes. And don’t forget to post a link to the website where users can download the resource.

  1. Original Research or Case Studies

Original research or case studies are invaluable information to share with your audience. More than anything else, these things will cement your company’s reputation as a thought leader in your industry by demonstrating your expertise and showing how you have helped solve a problem. Focus on the problem and on how your solution can be applied in practice.

  1. “How To” Posts

“How To…” or “Top X Ways To…” posts are internet gold. As far as LinkedIn publishing metrics go, this type of post performs better than all others across the board. And for good reason – who doesn’t love a quick and easy list of ways to learn something new or do something better? Don’t be shy about sharing your expertise with your audience – they’ll love it!

  1. Job Postings

LinkedIn is made for networking, and everyone knows that the best way to find a great job is to know someone who knows someone. This is the perfect place to get the word out about open positions and encourage prospective candidates to connect with you. And as a secondary perk, job postings show that your business is vibrant and growing!

  1. Tell a Story

Whether you’re telling the story of how your company began, how your product or service can solve a problem, or a company success story (or even a failure story!), sharing stories with your audience helps to create meaningful connections. Give people the opportunity to celebrate your triumphs and empathize with your failures – it will humanize your company and cause readers to form an emotional connection with your business.

  1. Ask or Answer a Question

Pose questions to your audience to encourage comments, start conversations, and gather ideas for future blog posts, videos, or other online content. Or, flip it around and do a series of posts (text or video, or a combination of the two) where you answer Frequently Asked Questions.

Bonus Tips: No matter what kind of posts you choose to do, make sure to always:

  • Post Consistently. Choose a posting schedule that works for you – whether it’s once a day or a few times a week doesn’t matter as much as being consistent.
  • Write Strong Headlines. Use your limited character allowance well by starting off with an engaging first sentence. An intriguing, relevant headline is a crucial part of drawing your audience in.
  • Always Include a CTA. It doesn’t matter how great your content is if you don’t use a clear Call To Action. Direct readers to take the next step – contact you, read an article on your website, comment on your post, etc.

Up your LinkedIn game by adopting some of these ideas. You don’t have to do everything at once – start by including one or two new types of posts on your content schedule, and add more from there. Offering more diverse, compelling content is guaranteed to draw your audience in and boost your engagement.

Do you want help implementing a LinkedIn Strategy for your business? We’d love to help! Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. Contact us on our website or set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here!

Cultivating Your Customer Relationships Using Social Media

Cultivating Your Customer Relationships Using Social Media 900 600 Amy Judge

Every business owner’s dream is to have a brand so rock solid that their customers largely do the marketing for them. Think about Colgate vs. Crest. For the most part, Americans choose one or the other and base their decision on what they have always used. But is one toothpaste truly better than the other? Who knows and, quite frankly, who cares. You’re going to buy the one you feel more connected with. Now, while you may not have millions of dollars to sink into innovation and advertising, don’t get discouraged! Small businesses have a tool at their disposal that’s more engaging than has ever existed, and it’s largely free! Social media.

It seems social media is never going to go away. I know, I know. You’re quitting Facebook. And you mean it this time. But before you delete your online life, consider this: there are more than 1.86 billion active users on Facebook right now. And that’s from Forbes.com, so it has to be true. Social media should be an integral part of your marketing strategy because you can connect, engage, and build a loyal base by reaching multiple people at once. Not to mention your ROI! Social media platforms now have built in tracking so you can see which advertising efforts work and which ones don’t. You can’t do that with traditional forms of advertising, which tend to cost thousands of dollars. So, now that I’ve convinced you to keep your business on social media, let’s go over some steps on how to use these nifty tools.

Solve a burning problem
This is how you initially get people engaged. Check out Gekks no show socks as an example. When their sponsored content promised to solve every problem I’ve ever had with trying to achieve the sockless look, I had to find out more. I went to their website, ordered their product, and can’t stop telling people about them.

Stay engaged
Always invite your audience to like or follow your business’s page. Even though they may love your product, there’s still a chance they haven’t followed you online yet. I literally just liked the Gekk’s Facebook page and have been using their product for a couple of years. Also, don’t ignore your audience. Make up contests, provide special offers, and communicate with your customers.

Practice your customer service
Your social media platform is an excellent way to consistently thank your customers. 10% off is a thank you gift I have a hard time passing up! Additionally, when a fusspot begins to speak up, you can immediately and publicly offer a solution. Think of how that will make your company look to potential customers. People who haven’t done business with you yet will go in knowing the type of customer service they can expect from you. That’s a unique opportunity to start a business relationship with a high level of trust.

Cultivating your customers on social media doesn’t have to be challenging. In fact, it should feel natural because your audience wants to work with someone authentic. All of these hints will strengthen brand loyalty, but the bond with your customers will be even stronger when they feel like they know the person behind the product.

The majority of our customer base here at Wild Fig Marketing is made up of small businesses. So we understand the challenge of wearing too many hats and having a full plate. Managing your social media platforms is important, but it also takes time. If you find social media consistently moves down on your priority list, consider contacting us to see how we can help. And we would be remiss if I didn’t ask you to follow us on Facebook.

What We Can Learn From a Few Real-Life Horrifying Marketing Mistakes

What We Can Learn From a Few Real-Life Horrifying Marketing Mistakes 900 500 WildFigAdmin

We love to herald social media as a highly-accessible and effective platform on which to market our businesses and target our campaigns and indeed it is! However, we must acknowledge the other side of the social media marketing coin. Because of its accessibility and visibility both from a business and consumer standpoint we are faced with the grave possibility of inadvertently sabotaging the reputation of our business while actually working to propel its success. Let’s take a look at two large scale social media disasters from 2017 – what went wrong in each situation and how we can learn from each of them to protect the reputation and integrity of our own businesses.

Dove’s Bottle Blunder
Earlier this spring, Dove piggybacked on its “Real Beauty” slogan and released a campaign called “Real Beauty Bottles”. Real Beauty Bottles consisted of 7 uniquely-shaped bottles of identical body wash intending to celebrate the beauty of women’s many body shapes. Unfortunately, however, the way the campaign was received was nothing to celebrate. Social media exploded with backlash against the campaign, accusing Dove of reinforcing women’s negative body image issues and pigeonholing women into identifying which awkwardly-designed body wash bottle best represents her individual shape.

View Campaign

What can we learn from Dove’s campaign disaster?
It is crucial to really know your audience, handle hot button issues with the utmost caution and have a process in place for screening your campaign prior to launching it – double and triple checking for hidden implications or any potential for misinterpretation.

As we see with Dove, entire campaigns can miss the mark and tarnish or ruin our brand image. Perhaps the greater threat of self-sabotage lies, however, in the daily host of emails we send off to our subscribers and our tweets/posts on our social media accounts.

Adidas’ Shortsighted Word Choice
Adidas gets the credit for a recent, epic email fail. This past April Adidas sent out an email to the Boston Marathon finishers with the subject line, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” This shortsighted word choice mortified an entire nation that still vividly recalls the horror of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the backlash on Twitter was swift and harsh. Fortunately, Adidas issued an equally swift and heartfelt apology – owning up their blunder with humility.

What can we learn from Adidas’s email fiasco?
Maintain an awareness of the context in which you are communicating your message. Also, be sure to have someone in your office proofread all material that is sent out or posted on social media – an easy precaution up front that can help you avoid a social media faux pas which could harm your brand image and affect your customer base. Finally – own your mistakes – we all make them! How you navigate marketing blunders can not only help you save face but enrich the integrity of your business and your brand.

If you would like help formulating a marketing strategy tailored to your business goals contact one of our marketing experts to set up your free 15 minute exploratory call to see how we can help you maximize reach and avoid the faux pas.

Harnessing The Power of a Social Media Calendar

Harnessing The Power of a Social Media Calendar 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Social media may be the biggest player in today’s business world. It’s certainly the most disruptive, as the landscape continues to evolve.

We recently talked about choosing the best social media platforms for your business. Once you’ve selected those platforms, you need to participate on them. You can fly by the seat of your pants, posting and sharing when you have extra time or inspiration, but then you risk struggling for ideas and not meeting your frequency and engagement goals.

A far better strategy: plan out your social media; do as much as you can ahead of time; and schedule it automatically. A social media calendar is an essential tool for mastering your social media presence.

SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR VS. EDITORIAL CALENDAR

As you learn more about the social media calendar, you’ll also come across the term “editorial calendar.” These are separate but overlapping functions. An editorial calendar lays out the topics you plan to cover for a month, a quarter, or a year. For example, search for “editorial calendar Forbes” and you’ll learn that in June 2017 they focus on women, in February 2017 they focus on retirement, and so on. Depending on your business, you may want to establish an editorial calendar so your content will reflect cohesive themes. An editorial calendar is potentially a resource to feed your social media calendar.

BENEFITS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR

Your social media calendar is a slightly different beast, however. The goal of your social media calendar is to plan your content, shares, posts and platforms to make sure you’re covering all your channels, optimizing your content, and batching the work involved to be more efficient.

The benefits of performing social media based on strategy and a calculated schedule are vast:

  • Advance preparation ensures you don’t miss crucial announcements, holidays or events. Whether it’s a product launch, World Diabetes Day or a local marathon, these hooks make excellent foundations for content.
  • It’s easier to generate ideas when you devote specific focus to social media. Taking the time to brainstorm multiple topics for blog posts, tweets or Facebook posts means you always have a list of ideas in your back pocket when you need them. It’s often the case that during that the act of writing a blog is when you come up with ideas for other blogs, for example.
  • You can coordinate your campaigns across multiple channels. The richest source for your social media is your own content, so while posting a blog is good, it’s crucial to share it across multiple platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram–depending on the content and the industry. Failing to do this cross posting is a huge lost opportunity, and sharing according to a schedule ensures you don’t overlook it or overdo it.
  • When you plan ahead, you can conform to a predictable balance of content and platforms, allowing you to evaluate the performance of each.
  • Consistent posting is essential to readership and SEO success.
  • Pre-scheduling as much social media as possible is essential for saving time. Tools allow you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts and more in advance, so you can do a week’s worth or a month’s worth all at once.
    It saves time to batch the writing of content. For example, once you settle into the right headspace for writing blogs, you may be able to write an entire month’s worth of blog posts in one day.

If you need some help with social media, contact us to schedule a marketing strategy session with one of our team members, which will include our insights into social media and guidance so you can master that side of your promotions. In the meantime, check out this blog post on how to choose the best social media platforms for your business and download this this handy Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you pick the best platform for your business.

 

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms For Your Business

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms For Your Business 900 600 Amy Judge

We’re in a social media revolution, and there’s no telling what the future will bring.

Think back to 2006, when both Facebook and Twitter were launched: over the past 11 years, they’ve had a phenomenal and unexpected impact on marketing and commerce. New platforms are introduced every year: some will evolve into “the next Instagram” and others will fail to take off.

You know a strong presence in social media is essential today, but the sheer quantity of platforms is so overwhelming that paralysis sometimes sets in.

Here’s some good news: experts agree that the best strategy is to pick two or three platforms and devote your digital strategy to mastering them and attaining a strong presence. It’s not realistic to achieve mastery of multiple platforms–the bandwidth and resources requires are too great. The prevailing wisdom is to craft a social media presence that’s deep and thorough on the few platforms which are best suited to your needs, rather than to generate a shallow and ineffective presence on many.

So how do you choose the right platforms for your business? Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each platform: B2B vs. B2C, highly visual vs. service oriented, brief vs. in-depth.

Also, consider your goals. Forbes.com offers these top ten benefits of social media marketing: http://bit.ly/2wgqGUX

  1. Increased brand recognition
  2. Improved brand loyalty
  3. More opportunities to convert
  4. Higher conversion rates
  5. Higher brand authority
  6. Increased inbound traffic
  7. Decreased marketing costs
  8. Better search engine rankings
  9. Richer customer experiences
  10. Improved customer insights

While all of those goals are worthy, you’ve got to prioritize. A younger company in a competitive field may prioritize increased search engine rankings, whereas a high-touch business like a restaurant or tour company may consider richer customer experiences or improved customer insights more important.

Where will you get the most traffic? It’s tempting to pursue the platforms with the highest numbers. According to Wikipedia, as of April 2017 these were the top five, based on active use accounts:

  1. Facebook: 1,968,000,000 users
  2. WhatsApp: 1,200,000,000 users
  3. YouTube: 1,000,000,000 users
  4. Facebook Messenger: 1,000,000,000 users
  5. WeChat: 889,000,000 users

However, what’s more important than total users is demographics. Where are your customers hanging out? Research the demographics of the platforms you’re considering. Only 9% of Facebook users are between 18-24, so that’s not the platform for you if your audience is young. Snapchat, however, is a perfect target for young consumers: 60% of users are under 24 and 100 million users consume 30 minutes of content daily. LinkedIn is an excellent platform if you’re offering B2B products or services: with its business-focused membership, sharing content here is a great way to establish credibility.

Because the best platform depends so much on what type of business you’re in, your customers, and your marketing goals, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It pays to research the characteristics of various platforms, and study what the competition is doing. Search online for inspiration in “social media success-story” articles and case studies.

If you need some help with social media, contact us to schedule a marketing strategy session with one of our team members, which will include our insights into social media and guidance so you can master that side of your promotions. In the meantime, check out this handy Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you pick the best platform for your business.

Don’t Overlook the Power of the Hashtag #

Don’t Overlook the Power of the Hashtag # 900 600 Amy Judge

Hashtags. Introduced in 2007 by an unassuming Twitter user and initially reserved for social media platforms hashtags are now prevalent even in colloquial speech. #crazyright. Most of us have a general idea of what they are but how many of us know how to leverage them appropriately to drive the content marketing reach of our business?

With numerous social media platforms and hundreds of millions of new posts per day the quantity of social media content and the rate at which it is growing is virtually incomprehensible. For example, Twitter grows by 500 million tweets per day and Instagram grows by 60 million posts per day. This does not include Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ and the like. So how does a consumer find specific content related to their particular subject of interest? Or how does a business reach a potential client with pertinent marketing? Think of hashtags like keywords that link related content. Hashtags provide a pathway through which to help a consumer categorize and sort content, similar to the now-antiquated library card catalog. For your business this means that hashtags provide the ability to drive a tremendous amount of organic traffic to your content with a miniscule amount effort – #brilliant.

Alright. We’ve established the value of leveraging the almighty hashtag to optimize your content marketing reach. Now let’s take a look at 5 practical tips for incorporating them into your social media marketing:

  • Create a custom hashtag for your business to help create brand awareness and drive social engagement within your follower database. Think both catchy and relevant. Just make sure that your custom hashtag isn’t already widely-used for an unrelated topic!
  • Implement your custom hashtag as well as other relevant hashtags to promote events or campaigns within your business. Hashtags are an incredibly efficient vehicle through which to generate interest and engage an on point audience with your marketing endeavors.
  • Educate yourself on which hashtags are currently trending and ride those waves. Hashtagify.me is one resource that will keep you up to date on trending hashtags. Incorporating trending hashtags will maximize your brand’s visibility.
  • Research each of your preferred social media platforms with regard to hashtag rules, etiquette and statistics. It’s important to recognize for example that Twitter only accommodates 140 characters and 2 hashtags per tweet and incorporating 1-2 hashtags per tweet generates 2X more engagement with that post. Conversely, Facebook doesn’t limit the number of hashtags a user is allowed and their character limit on status updates is a whopping 63,206!
  • Test out hashtags. See what generates engagement from an on point audience and what doesn’t. Then make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal impact.

Don’t overlook this effective little symbol.

Hashtags are a powerful tool in your marketing tool box. Careful research and implementation of hashtags on the social media marketing front will undoubtedly drive the content marketing reach of your business and propel you towards achieving your goals. Contact us for ways we can help generate strategic, engaging content to capture more leads while letting you focus on what you do best. To learn more, schedule a complimentary, 15-minute exploratory call with our team: calendly.com/wildfig/15min.