Everybody loves an underdog. David versus Goliath… Your local bookstore versus Amazon… Marty’s Fish, Milk & Bait versus WalMart. All these battles, famous or not, tug at our heart strings. Trouble is, if you’re a small business owner, you know you need to do more than just tug at heart strings to make your business work. You need to actually get people in the door. You need to get them to buy things. Then you need them to come back.
Social media has long been hailed as a marketing equalizer. In many ways, it is. It’s free to create an account and free to post and to build your following (Facebook changes aside). But it’s time to get more specific about how to use social as a marketing equalizer. So here are 9 techniques SMBs can use to beat big corporations on social media.
I’ve identified two reasons to expand your content marketing team that can really help you increase your content production and your content reach: extend the party committee so others can write and curate with you, and/or leverage your co-workers’ social audience.
As a marketer, you’re probably already familiar with the importance of conducting regular content audits on your site. This tool is hugely important when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing campaigns and making sure the content you’ve created is helping you meet your goals.
That said, it can be harder to apply these same principles to your social media campaigns measure the impact they’re having on your business’s bottom line. Sure, you can track the number of “likes” your Facebook posts receive or the number of followers you have on Twitter. But the thing is, surface-level metrics like these don’t have a direct impact on your revenue or profits.
Twitter has become a very busy place. As we’re collectively following more and more people, our Twitter timelines become more and more crowded. The consequence: less organic reach, lower engagement.
Last year, observing the same phenomenon, I wrote that social media publishing had to dramatically change to keep yielding results for professionals and marketers. This post, which followed Facebook’s own admission that organic reach was declining for pages, was one of the most resounding ones on our blog with many of our readers confirming this trend through their own experience. Our recommendation back then was simple: use a content hub for all your content – not just your blogs and created content but also your curated content. Bring your social traffic to it so that you can have engagement on your own turf and drive conversions.
This is still the best thing you can do to align your social media and your content marketing efforts and get results. But today, we’re adding a new way to drive engagement up by making sharing your curated content as an image effortless.
It’s 2015: you’ve probably sent a Tweet in your lifetime. You know all about Snapchat, and you’ve even lost a few hours to Instagram. But does that make you a social media guru? Of course not—unless you consider your 13-year-old niece a guru.
So how are you expected to out social-media half the U.S. teen population, and create a winning strategy you can be really proud of?
“A few years ago, blogging and social media were separate. Blogging was long-form, serious, and crafted. Social media was short-form, personal, and spontaneous. Some people predicted that social media would replace blogging because of declining attention spans. Now blogging and social media not only amicably coexist; they complement each other. The trick is to use a blog to enrich your social media with long-form posts and to use social media to promote your blog.”
Last year, one of our most successful blog post was titled: “Social Media Publishing Is Dead (as we know it)“. Its premise was that because of declining organic reach for brands and pages on Facebook (that the company was open about and that in fact is impacting all other social networks), social media could no longer be considered as a standalone publishing activity.
What do we mean by that?
Historically, many brands and companies have considered their Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ pages as some form of web pages they could maintain by publishing content to it and generate engagement, independently of their main website. Community Managers who were independent from Content Strategists were managing these pages with different objectives than the ones being defined for the company’s Content Strategy.
This doesn’t work any more as many now agree, including Guy Kawasaki, the well-known evangelist and author of the Art of Social Media.
I tend to find inspiration in strange places. Last week, I was listening to a podcast with a few of my favorite stand-up comedians expecting nothing more than a few chuckles. Interestingly, they began talking about what it’s like to be a comedian in the age of the Internet and the pressure to “keep their personal brands alive” and “stay relevant” with fresh jokes on a more consistent basis than they can write.
As comedians, these two were put off by the notion that everything online these days is about marketing, whether it be your product, yourself, or even your jokes. One of the quotes that specifically inspired me went something like this: “Everything online is marketing these days. Why can’t we just make good stuff and then people who like it will watch it?”
Every day, there are more than 500 million tweets sent out onto Twitter. Approximately 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month. On a social networking website that has loads of traffic, how do you attract attention?
In this talk, Mark Burgess brings to our attention how employees, through social media, are changing how companies market to, and engage with, customers and prospects. With the transparency and opportunity for personal connections that social media offers, pushing fabricated, unauthentic sales pitches doesn’t work anymore. Instead, we are witnessing the rise of the social employee who creates a win/win proposition by leveraging their personal brands to build trust and increase the digital “surface area” of the brands for which they work. The result is nothing short of a revolution.
– engaging because they won’t do it if it’s not impacting,
– rewarding because that’s what’s in it for them.
Aggregating, promoting and spreading that knowledge through collaborative content hubs like the ones Scoop.it Enterprise offers that show the collective curation work of your brand’s employees is one of the most efficient ways to promote your brand: by promoting them.
Social Media engagement does not only happen on the social network itself.
Ask yourself the question: what’s better for you? That someone likes one of your picture on Facebook or that she subscribes to your blog’s newsletter?
Social media needs to be part of an overall sales and marketing strategy that includes your website, not something that is isolated from everything else you do to promote your business. It isn’t a one hit wonder that will magically drive people to your business.
Sue Cockburn makes a great point on SocialMediaToday; and one that I’ve often seen underestimated: just like in ancient Rome, all your social media roads should lead to the center of your online presence, aka your website (as a matter of fact, I was highlighting it myself in a talk last week).
As she pointed out, one of the reasons for this is certainly the hype on social media (and its apparent simplicity).
With the Scoop.it team, we’ve been trying to identify the other reasons explaining that by observing many companies – small or large – implementing their content strategy:
– small businesses are often finding it difficult to…