Social Media Marketing

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Four Hashtag Tips for Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

It’s important to make sure you have the right hashtag and engagement tactics in place when thinking about your Instagram marketing strategy.

 

TIP ONE – Know your audience’s hashtag habits

Think about your target audience, what they engage with and where they are. Say for example you’re a business in Melbourne. Watching out for hashtags such as #Melbourne, #Melbournefinds and others, and engaging with users–where relevant–and their content can help you start building relationships, and increasing visibility of your brand.

 

TIP TWO – Develop a list of killer hashtags

Research a few of the most important hashtags and incorporate them into your Instagram marketing strategy.

 

There are a few ways to approach this. You can start by conducting a search on Instagram around the keywords, check out content published by others to see what they’re using, and even use Google searches to locate popular hashtags. Whichever the case you opt for, find hashtags that are relevant, have generally high engagement, and include a couple of more niche hashtags where possible.

 

TIP THREE – Engage with users and content

As mentioned above, it’s important to engage with users’ content and accounts, and please, where possible, be real. We’ve all seen those users who get a bot and just comment on everyone’s post ‘cool’, ‘we like this’ or some other random nonsensical comment. If you like a post, tell them why. Give them thought and in return you will be remembered.

 

OK! You get that and a doing it. But why’s it not working?

 

Well, engagement is a constant activity. So you’re going to need to be active at any moment you can. Perhaps look at getting a couple of people to help if you’re short of time.

 

 

TIP FOUR – Don’t be a spammer

The cautious factor to consider in your Instagram marketing strategy is to watch out for looking too spammy.

 

Being overly active on content that isn’t relevant to you or your brand can be detrimental. Remember, Instagram is a platform that many users love because they can be easily found and achieve instant lik-ification a.k.a. the social like/love. And in an effort to seek this gratification, users will opt for any keyword that is likely going to get it.

 

Need help with your Instagram game? Get in touch for a chat. We’ll help you hashtag your way to customers in no time.

User generated content image on social media marketing

How to win with user generated content as part of your restaurant social media marketing strategy

User generated content is the ultimate weapon when it comes to social media marketing, and it turns out it’s even better when it comes to restaurant social media marketing. Who else to create content and talk about your brand than the people dining in your restaurant, right?

 

Last year I was engaged by a client in the Mornington Peninsula to manage their social media marketing and help launch their new restaurant. Timelines were tight, they didn’t even want a full strategy designed. What they did have though was a great Chef, location, and brand. From there, the rest was on me. But how was I going to help launch this great new restaurant with no social presence?

 

It was a tough question but I had an idea. To incorporate user generated content as part of our social media marketing strategy. Almost 12 months on and the business has grown from strength to strength, is constantly busy and now has a social media following in excess of 3,000 people. But today I’m going to teach you the three key tactics I implemented to do help them launch their restaurant and keep growing.

 

#1 Target Facebook and Instagram users who upload photos

According to a Neilsen 2012 survey, 92% of people trust people they know than any other form of advertising. So a big part of our social marketing strategy was to harness this insight and drive online recommendations through content sharing. But we didn’t have a big budget or following.

 

So we set up Facebook campaigns targeting people who liked to upload photos and enjoyed eating out. The results soon started to flow on. We saw it start small with 16 pieces of user generated content uploaded in the first month to Instagram alone. This number may seem somewhat small, but when you consider that on average Instagram users have at least 319 friends (Sensis Social Media Report, 2017), that means we’ve potentially reached over 5,000 people. All of which would be seen as peer recommendations. And the more we focused on this part of the strategy the better the results.

 

Soon we started see content uploaded from users who had 1,000s of followers.

 

User generated content on Instagram

 

#2 Ask for permission to use their content

Whilst people are tagging us, mentioning how great our food was and how much they enjoyed coming in. We couldn’t exactly just take their content. It’s just not right. So we asked for their permission to use it.

 

There’s not much to this one really. But it is absolutely important to do. I’ve seen situations where someone didn’t know their content was being used and then saw it advertised. Let’s just say, it didn’t end well.

 

Permission to use user generated content

Handling user generated content rights.

 

#3 Learn what customers think about your brand and play the positive

UGC reveals a lot about your brand, products and services. The way they use it, who they use it with, and even what they hate about it. When we started seeing photos posted about the restaurant, we noticed a trend. There were a couple of groups who liked our product most.

 

We had one who seemed to be very social and loved going out with friends, another who loved working out but enjoyed a good feed, and another who really enjoyed going out with their family.

 

Focusing on these three groups, we built out content and advertising that worked alongside the restaurant’s social media marketing strategy. Helping us start to build a cult-like following.

 

That’s it! Three easy to implement tactics that if you’re a restaurant owner, you can implement too. Well actually, you could really take this model and implement as any business owner.

Don’t have time, or want to see what could be done for your business? Get in touch for a free consultation today.

Looking for the best social media marketing agency?

Looking for the best social media marketing agency?

If you’re looking for the best social media marketing agency to suit your business, you likely already understand the value of social media marketing and what it can deliver. The next step in your journey however is finding the right fit.

 

There are plenty of options out there when it comes to social media marketing these days, whether it’s hiring a freelancer, employing a dedicated Social Media Manager or simply finding a marketing agency.

 

The benefit of the latter is that with an agency comes expertise, resource, creativity and of course, a broad view of the marketing space. However, it also tends to come at a high cost. AND, like a barber telling you they know how to repair a badly damaged haircut or colour, they may not be able to get the job done exactly as it needs.

 

SO, what should you be looking for out of your social media marketing agency?

 

Ability to turn business goals into social media marketing objectives

 

The social media marketing agency will be able to help you translate your business goals into a social sense. They understand how each platform works, both from an organic and a paid perspective, and will use it to bake a healthy strategy that attracts sales leads, drives event registration or increases online purchases. It’s important for them to build these social marketing goals as it will ensure your business goals are also met.

 

Knowledge of social media marketing tactics, tools and platforms

 

The best social media marketing agencies will inspire you with the creative flair and their ability to utilise social media tools and platforms. This will include various content formats and ad variations such as Facebook Canvas and Instagram Stories. By doing this, they are helping your business leverage the algorithm-favoured tactics as they happen.

 

Understand your target audience

 

Social media is a great tool for marketing, but an even better tools for research. Social media users commenting, engaging, sharing and even watching content can provide some of the greatest value to businesses. It can help you understand your customers, what they are interested in, how they use the product and how best to market to them. The best social media marketing agencies will be able to test, track, and report on all of this. Providing your business with social capital for future marketing campaigns, product updates and more. Make sure that when engaging an agency you ask how they can help you do this.

 

 

Where do you find a social media marketing agency?

 

There are many social media marketing agencies across Australia. Some will manage their customers respective of the area they are based, whether that be Melbourne, Perth, Sydney or Brisbane, and you can generally find them with ease using a simple Google search.

Luckily however, social media is a truly digital platform, meaning your business could hire a social media marketing agency from anywhere across Australia. So take your time, find an agency that can cater your specific business needs. After all, there’s always Skype, Google Hangouts and other ways of staying connected.

 

 

Conclusion

 

There are many options when it comes to social media marketing agencies, but if you’re looking to find the best one, it’s important that you have a conversation with them. Find out how they think they can translate your business needs into social media marketing objectives, pay attention to the tactics they think could be explored and tested, and make sure you ask how they will report on activity and gain insights that can help your business grow and achieve your goals.

 

 

Four social media marketing trends we’ll see in 2017

Every New Year brings with it predictions of the next big thing, emerging trends from the past year and fresh ideas to engage your audience and fine tune your social media marketing strategy. Below I’ve brought together four trends which I believe will influence your social media strategy in 2017.

 

  1. An increase in paid social media advertising

Algorithms used by social media platforms limit the percentage of your audience seeing any particular post. Expanding your audience and promoting your brand through paid social media advertising can have one of the highest advertising returns on investment. With paid social media advertising, you have the option to target your potential customers via interests, location, and even engagement.

July last year Facebook CFO, Dave Wehner, confirmed, in sorts, to Recode that the platform was running out of ad space and would need to look at new ways of growing their ads business. Welcome to 2017 and already Facebook have spoken about ads in Messenger and Groups, but what this all means is that the channel is maxing out, so in order to show your ads, you’re going to start paying more. Luckily, analytics provide easy ways to track and measure your return on advertising investment, and improve efficiencies.

 

Pro tip

No matter which social media channels you are using to engage your audience, quality content and strong calls to action are still required for a successful paid advertising campaign. While paid advertising will increase your reach and get you in front of prospects, only strong posts will engage and guide them through your sales funnel.

 

  1. Content will get more audience-centric

Creating and sharing content that your audience wants to read and can relate to is essential for successful content marketing, and social media content is no different.

In order to create relevant content, you need to know your audience. What will they engage with? What will they respond to? Audiences, from prospects to regular customers, want to read content that holds value for them.

How many emails and articles have you started reading and not completed because they didn’t give you value? With so much information from so many sources, your audience needs a reason to read your content, more than a reason not to.

In 2017, social media marketing will be upping their game. We’re going to see more audience-centric social strategies that are highly targeted, think micro-influencers, niche community initiatives and content based on user activity.

 

  1. Video will continue to rise, but virtual reality will come to the table

Video was one of the big growth areas across social media in 2016. This trend is set to continue with video, and particularly live stream such as Facebook Live, gaining in popularity and use. Facebook’s news feed algorithm was adjusted in 2016 to favour live video, so this medium is a great way to get in front of your Facebook audience.

2016 also saw the rise of augmented reality, with the remarkable success of Pokémon Go and the increase in 360 degree video. With Facebook showing continued investment in virtual reality, brands like Johnnie Walker exploring the edges of VR with their ‘Consequences of Drunk Driving’ campaign, and VR social networks like vTime on the rise, this is certainly a trend to watch in 2017, and could be the next step in immersing your audience in brand experiences.

 

  1. Social begins to lead the omnichannel strategy

Your social channels are frequently where prospects first engage with your brand. Providing an omnichannel experience, with a seamless transition across all your communication and engagement channels through your sales funnel, will provide an optimal experience for your prospects and customers. After all, the buying process has already begun and almost complete by the time the ‘sales’ team is contacted. So rather than waiting for your customer, social allows you to find them and engage them during the self-education stage.

 

Pro tip

Ensuring consistent branding, language and message is key to developing an omnichannel strategy. Your social media strategy should easily slot into your overall brand and specific product marketing strategies.

 

Social media marketing is a continually evolving environment. Staying on top of trends and understanding which trends will resonate with your audience is essential to a successful social media campaign. Taking advantage of emerging trends relevant to your audience will position you as a leader in your niche, building your brand’s reputation and creating a loyal following who will happily share your content, helping you reach, engage with fans, friends and customers

Three Social Media Management Tools for Instagram Marketing

Ready to blow your Instagram marketing out of the park with video-style content?

Want to make sure your Instagram feed looks top-notch?

In this article you’ll learn about three social media management tools to boost your Instagram marketing endeavours.

Right now I could quite easily go into the usual spill every other social media publication tells you, such as use Hootsuite for social media management, Canva for design, and don’t forget Buffer for scheduling, but I’m not going to. I’m going to share the three tools I LOVE using for Instagram.

 

    1. Ripl

Ripl is a relatively new app that’s basically the Canva equivalent for video. It lets you easily overlay fonts, logos and other pictures and add cool transitions.

 

Image of the Ripl app

Animate your social media

 

The simplicity of this platform is unbelievable and whilst there is a free version, the premium version at $9.99 US p/month is great value for video lovers.  Afterall, video is the new black.

 

 

  1. Later

 

Later is the perfect partner for any social media strategy incorporating Instagram. Now true, scheduling is very similar to Hootsuite, in that it doesn’t auto-publish, but it does give you the power to see what it will look like on Instagram before it’s published.

Image of the Later app

Schedule & manage your Instagram posts

This is perfect for the Instagram oriented business who has a keen eye for details and a nack for visual content marketing. The free version will let you schedule up to 30 Instagram posts per month and 50 Twitter, whilst managing one account on each. It also gives you the ability to search and repost content you find.

 

  1. Crowdfire

 

Crowdfire is a social media engagement app for Instagram and Twitter, and boy do I wish Facebook had a similar partner – shout out if you’ve found one, I’ll bake you a lemon cheesecake.

An image of the Crowdfire app

Manage your social media following from one site

The handy app lets you see who followed and unfollowed you, find inactive followers, relevant users (Twitter only), and see who are your biggest admirers.

 

The Nutshell

 

There are plenty social media management tools out there to help you, no matter what your social media marketing objective is. These three tools combined will help you build a visually appealing Instagram feed that is truly your brand, and help you find and connect with people who matter.

 

Man using social media app on mobile phone, text overlayed, 6 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

6 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

If you’re wondering what benefits your business could experience by using social media marketing, you’ve come to the right place! Social media marketing is becoming an important channel in many integrated marketing campaigns and I’m going to tell you the top six reasons why.

Increased Brand Recognition

Every piece of content you share via your social media channels helps you project your business’ brand and visibility. From the image you choose to the way you write copy, your social media activity is helping customers understand your brand and whom they are purchasing from. What’s more, it’s also making you more recognisable to potential and existing customers.

Take for example your Facebook page, if you share a piece of content that resonates with your existing audience and they like, comment or share it, it’s likely one of their friends with similar thoughts is going to see your content and form an idea of your brand.

More Opportunities to Convert

Every time you share a piece of content on social media, you are creating another opportunity to increase revenue. When you build an active and engaged audience, each piece of quality content you share is likely to be seen by them, and give you access to new and existing customers ready to interact with your business. Not all interactions are going to lead to a sale, but they will develop the relationship you share with your audience.

Increased Inbound Traffic

There are many ways to increase traffic to your business and/or site. Whether you choose to use ads or simply share content, the choice is yours, but each time you use social media you are turning on the green light. Think of it this way: when you develop content for your site, it has to wait for visitors to find it based on keywords you rank for. However, social media gives you the power to ensure it’s seen, and creates another path back to your business or site.

Decreased Marketing Cost

There are two ways you can reduce marketing costs using social media. The first has already been mentioned, but in a nutshell, sharing content with an engaged audience will likely result in more individuals seeing your content, with no other cost than the time it takes to develop it; and high quality content can deliver significantly higher reach at practically no cost to your business.

The other way to reduce marketing costs is through social media ads. They come in various formats and differ slightly from platform to platform, however whether you choose to acquire followers or drive website clicks, the objective you choose is what you will be charged for. Even if you only want to spend $500, but with that want to achieve 1000 website clicks, you can quite easily achieve this with the right ads.

Better Search Engine Rankings

Every business wants to improve their search ranking; it’s the best way to capture customers when they are in the ‘ready to buy’ stage. Now your social media pages can also influence this. Google and other search engine results may be calculating their rankings based of your social media presence, because like the big brands, your business appears active and credible.

Improved Customer Insights

Understanding your customers is one of the most important parts to social media marketing. Luckily there are many tools that can help you do this, most of which come from the platforms themselves. Take Facebook for example, you can find out the typical age and gender of your customers, but you can also find out their typical activity and more. Embedding Facebook pixels on your site can also reveal data about visitors, helping develop more insightful and effective marketing activities.

Whilst I have listed six benefits of social media marketing, there are many available for businesses, it’s just a matter of understanding your business and its objectives. If you’d like to talk about how I can help you business, get in touch today.

Image of social media advertising icons with title.

Three Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Did you know Facebook ads first appeared three months after the social platform launched in February 2004? Pretty crazy, right?! Facebook advertising has been around for more than 10 years now, and whilst the ad formats have certainly changed, the value they offer business hasn’t.

 

It’s true, there are many benefits social media advertising offers and one of the key tools of seeing these is the development of social media objectives, but today I wanted to highlight three that I feel work for any business, no matter what your objective may be.

 

I’d also like to mention that although I will be referencing Facebook primarily, this information applies to platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn too.

 

Reach People Interested In Your Products and Services

Marketing has changed since the days of running an offer and advertising it to everyone and anyone in the hopes that you’ll land a customer. Social media’s plethora of data capturing allows businesses to target users who are highly relevant to them. You have the potential to target people who are in the location your business operates, have an interest relating to your business, have been to your website, or even Facebook users who seem similar to your current audience base.

Think about it. Would you like to only be paying for reaching customers relevant to your business?

 

Lower Cost, Higher Return

Refined reach and ad targeting means less wastage. This one is pretty straightforward, but basically, you’re only paying to reach people interested in your business’s product and/or services. What’s more, you can optimise the ad targeting to bid for actions you want. Want to drive people to your website? Use the website clicks ad format and Facebook will optimise the ads so that it serves the ad to users who are likely to click and fall within your targeting.

Would you rather be paying for only the results you want?

 

Remarketing the Customer Life Cycle

This final overlooked and highly valuable benefit I want to mention is one that not a lot of small to medium sized businesses use. It uses HTML coding to track users who visit certain pages on your site and allows you to market to those users again. Say someone has purchased a product, you could target them with an ad that encourages them to revisit your store; or perhaps they didn’t quite make the thank you page, why not target them with an ad to complete the purchase?! Either way you’re now making your social marketing work.

 

Now that we’ve covered these three benefits of social media marketing, would you like to discuss how social media can benefit your business in more depth? Get in touch today.

 

 

 

 

Measuring Social Media Success In The Beauty Industry

So you’re using social media for your beauty business, but you’re not quite getting the results you want? Not to worry! Social media provides many tools, platforms and strategies to help you succeed.

Firstly I need to let you know that social media is not going to take you from 0 – 100 in the click of switch, nor is it going to viral when you want it to. In fact, some of the most viral pieces of content happened without that being the objective. Social media takes time to foster a community of devoted fans interested in your business, and the truth is, this is where true success lay.

Achieving results however is another thing, and the main item I want to discuss with you today.

Setting Objectives

Results are going to vary business to business, which is why it’s important for you to understand what yours are. You might be a new business in the area looking to raise awareness; an established business looking to retain customers; or, you may be looking to fill seats; you might even have multiple objectives – which is ok, but you need to set these.

Your turn: Write down at least one to two objectives you want to achieve for your business through social media.

Measuring Success

Next you’ll want to a measurement in place. Depending on the ad type, you’ll have various pieces of data at your hands and you can benchmark – set a comparison – in multiple ways. You may choose your own success in the past, a member of the industries results, or you may choose to use someone’s within another industry. To get you started in this process, I have listed some of the results I have achieved in the beauty industry:

Website Clicks                       $0.43 – $0.59 per click

Page Likes                              $0.55 – $1.09 per page like

Cost Per Engagement           $0.10 – $0.65 per engagement

Reach                                      $2.38 – $3.77 per thousand

Your turn: Either use the benchmarks you already have or the ones I have provided above and establish yours.

Your objectives and benchmarks should look something like this now:  I want to drive 100 people to my website over the month of January at a cost of $0.50 per click.

Optimisation

The fantastic thing with any form of digital advertising is, more times than not, you have the ability to monitor and optimise performance in real-time. This means you can view which ads are performing best and optimise accordingly. Your optimisation might be a change of image, text, both, bidding mechanism or targeting. I’ll be going into optimisation in more detail next week, including taking a look at some of the best strategies being used today. So stay tuned.

Now that you have your objectives, measurements, benchmarks, and understand a bit about optimisation, I encourage you to monitor your ad and content performance over the next month and make optimisations until you achieve your set goal.

Have a questions about using social media for your business, comment below or send an email through the contact us section and I’ll get in touch.

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Twitter’s New Conversational Ad Format

Today Twitter announced the introduction their new ‘conversational ad‘, available in beta to select advertisers around the globe, the new ad format will include clear call to actions to encourage use of branded hashtags.

The new ad format will include CTA buttons below creative with customisable hashtags, allowing brands to drive greater share of voice and ultimately, better results for their Twitter campaign.

When a consumer selects a CTA, a Tweet will be pre-populated with a branded message and the hashtag/s, the Tweets can then be personalised, and the consumer will receive a branded thank you message.

Currently the new format is only available in beta to select advertisers globally, however some companies including Samsung Electronics Canada, and Lifetime in the states, have been granted access with both brands quoting their excitement in testing this new format.

In my opinion, I think this is a great move for Twitter and combining this with their Twitter trends ad format, you’ll have a recipe for branded hashtag success on the platform. The only thing you need now… strong, compelling creative!

Oscar-worthy content. How to get your business seen.

Thinking up great pieces of content for your business’s social media page can easily run dry. You’ve done how-to pieces, product features, and promotions. Now it is all seeming the same and not delivering results.

Quite often small to medium sized businesses will start using social media and almost as quick as they start, stop. Unless you are a business with a lot of money to spend on advertising, seeing results takes time. We can thank this in part to the platforms themselves. Take for example Facebook, last year Facebook decided to reduce organic reach – the amount of people who will see your post without paying – down from around 10% – 1-2%. This caused large debate among social media professionals, wondering how they would ever get their content seen. Luckily, Facebook works on a relevancy-like algorithm, delivering content to fans more likely to engage with it. Other factors also come into the equation, like what is currently happening on social media.

One of the most common and often successful ways is to jump on the bandwagon of what’s happening right now. The most current example would be the Oscars. Plenty of people across the globe and in your networks are talking about the Oscars – who won an award, what was Neil Patrick Harris doing in his underwear, and who was best dressed. For businesses wanting to be seen, this presents a great opportunity to show your brand’s character. Whether it’s positioning your brand’s values with Patricia Arquette’s women’s equality speech, or showing your customers ‘how to get the look’. One brand that understands topical conversations is Apple, who released their new iPad ad only a few hours before the ceremony. The ad itself is done with a ‘film-making’ appeal, perfect for the Oscars and has already gained a lot of attention.

So how do you jump on the bandwagon? Look at events coming up and plan it in your diary or content calendar, then think of how your brand fits into the conversation likely to take place on social. It doesn’t have to be sales-based – though if you want to, do – it could simply be recognising a local star or business, or aligning your businesses values with the events and conversations happening. Either way, if you make it relevant enough to the topical conversation, you’ll have more content and reach more people.

For more information on creating an engaged community and increasing reach, check out my article here.

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