Social Media Marketing Trends You Should Not Ignore

The success of social media marketing lies in the right mix of fruitful strategies. The wrong combination will simply reduce the traffic from targeted customers rather than attract them. If you devise your social media strategies such as social media optimization on the basis of current trends, you can increase profits and use social networking sites effectively for marketing. Here are the recent trends highlighted in an article published by Forbes based on the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

Low Usage of Social Bookmarking Sites

According to the research reports, the use of social bookmarking sites has decreased to 10 percent from 26 percent in 2011. This considerable drop of usage clearly indicates the fall of bookmarking sites. Even though the sites including Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Pinterest are still popular among marketers, majority of sites (e.g. DIGG, Friendfeed) are almost dying. Therefore, it is not a good practice to trust a bookmarking site blindly for marketing purposes in the current scenario. Instead, check for the sites that are most popular and perform the bookmarking very cautiously.

Decline of Daily Deal Sites

Daily deal features or simply daily offerings of deals are regarded as a powerful way to attract a large number of targeted customers at a time. The research report says that around 80 percent of marketers are not interested in using the most popular daily deal sites including Groupon or Living Social for their campaigns in the near future.

Now people concentrate more on the considerable amount of returns that they receive from their purchases over time. Hence, it is advisable to use social networking sites for long term marketing goals rather than daily goals.

Top Sites for Social Media Campaigns

Marketers who use social media for marketing will obviously carry out social media campaigns (using social networking sites for promotion) for their products or services to attract targeted customers. The campaigns will be successful only if the relevant site is popular among the customers.

The research report indicates that marketers who spend more than 40 hours a week for social media marketing carry out their campaigns more intensely through Google+, You Tube, Pinterest and Instagram compared to those who spend six hours or less a week on social media marketing. Also, around 92 percent of marketers who have five or more years of experience prefer LinkedIn than 70 percent of marketers having less than five years of experience. Forum marketing has also decreased to 16 percent this year from 24 percent in 2011.

Around 67 percent of marketers are planning to increase campaigns through Twitter even though it is a slight decrease from 69 percent last year. Young marketers, more than older ones prefer photo sharing sites including Instagram for launching campaigns. 62% chose blogging as most suitable platform to master, which is the highest one followed by Google + (61%) and Facebook (59%).

Trends of B2C and B2B Marketers

Business to Consumer (B2C) Marketers use Facebook at a higher rate of 67% than other platforms. In the case of Business to Business (B2B) marketers, both Facebook and LinkedIn have equal majority of 29% each. Given below is the pie chart showing usage statistics for each platform with regard to B2C and B2B marketers.

B2B marketers use a more diverse array of platforms compared to B2C marketers. Both of them do not completely utilize blogging and have minimal You Tube usage.

If you are a B2B or B2C marketer, try to encourage blogs as they are regarded as the most popular social media platform. YouTube being the second largest search engine, you can enjoy the benefits it offers by posting low-cost videos. Orabrush (B2C Company) and Blentec (B2B Company) have become strong brands by making use of low cost YouTube videos.

As B2B marketers increasingly use LinkedIn, they have an opportunity to utilize SlideShare (owned by LinkedIn). This social media entity can be used for generating leads for B2B organizations.

Fewer Check-ins Online

As per the research reports, there is a decrease in the usage of geo-location services including Foursquare from 17% in 2011 to 11% this year. These services allow check-in to your locations automatically online. The decline in these kinds of services indicates that people are now concerned more about privacy and safety. Marketers can tackle this situation by introducing contests and rewards. This will encourage people to check-in more.

If you are still following the old strategy for social media marketing, then it is the time to develop new strategies based on all these current trends. It is better to entrust this tedious task to a reputable social media marketing company that offers reliable social media marketing services rather than try implementing the strategies on your own.

3 Mistakes in Social Media Marketing That May Come Back to Haunt You

Picture this.

You order an item online and it takes way more time to arrive than it should. Plus, a few items are missing in the package. Frustrated, you take to the vendor’s Facebook channel to voice your concerns and expect to be compensated.

And despite repeated prodding, there is complete radio silence at the other end.

The experience didn’t feel good did it? You think maybe this business doesn’t care about you – how you trusted it to give you a good experience and it shattered this trust instead. So you do what any frustrated individual would – you vow never to order anything from here again and hit the “unlike” button.

For social media strategists, there is a lesson to be learned here. A social media marketing strategy can eventually falter with a few unlikes and negative comments.

As a business owner, social media gives you limited chances to make a good impression. How you take advantage of these chances might make your business or break it.

The proof is in these stats:

• 71% of users who have a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it – Ambassador

• According to a study, hardly 20% of social media posts hardly generate any emotional reaction on social media – Havas Media

• 42% of Twitter users expect to be expect a business to respond to their inquiries within an hour – Ambassador

As a social media marketer, the best way to improve your social media strategy is to first find why it falters in the first place. Here are some mistakes that you might have overlooked:

1 – Being careless with negative feedback

If you have ever dealt with a salesperson, you wouldn’t expect him to become defensive when you have a complaint or be careless about your concerns.

So why would your followers on social media?

Keep in mind, whenever anyone says something negative about you on social media, the rest of your followers can see them. And they will be as interested to see how you respond.

For businesses, this is a nail-biting scenario. But it is totally avoidable. Here is how:

Put someone competent behind the wheel: Experienced professionals like social media experts will take an unbiased approach to the negativity and know that being careless about it serves no purpose.

For example, they know that being unresponsive to comments like “your service sucks! I want my money back” doesn’t really help anyone. A well worded reply on the other hand, helps both your reputation and appeases rising tempers.

To illustrate, your reply should go something like, “We are sorry that you had a bad experience. Can you tell us exactly what happened so we can make amends?” This way, you are more likely to ease frustrated customers.

Become alert to mentions by using online tools: It’s easy to forget about something you don’t encounter every day. Comments on social media are the same. You can’t track every one of them. No one inboxes them to you and there is no guarantee that followers will tag you.

To keep track of all comments, you can use tools like Google Alerts which notify you when anyone uses your keywords on their social media fields.

2 – Using social media management tools to schedule same posts on all platforms

Social media management tools allow marketers to post the same content on several social media platforms at once. Many businesses use it to schedule posts. And it has worked for them too, freeing up the time they need to focus on other tasks.

But oftentimes, people use these tools as a shortcut to schedule same posts on several platforms. It’s a lazy tactic and shows that you don’t care how your content is received by audiences.

Keep in mind, what works on Facebook or Twitter won’t necessarily work on LinkedIn. Every social media platform was created with specific target audiences in mind. A 140 character tweet, for example, won’t sit well with LinkedIn audiences who expect more comprehensive posts.

Use tools to schedule optimized posts

To make the most of social sharing tools, improve your social media strategy first. Take the time to learn about the unique capabilities of each platform. Limit yourself to two or three platforms if that is what it takes. For example, posts that are rich in imagery are more successful on Google+.

Hootsuite and HubSpot are two of the many social media management tools that you can use to automate posts and even see which channels are driving the most engagement. In addition to automated content sharing, these platforms also offer free online social marketing training courses that can help you make the most of each platform like optimizing your posts for different social media channels.

3 – Skimping on social share buttons

Business owners usually reserve their best content for their websites. Content like informative blogs, for example, establish them as experts in their niches.

It also give visitors a chance to stay longer on these websites. Perhaps they would like to look around to see what else is on offer?

Unfortunately, you could feature content that everyone would love to share – but if visitors don’t have any way to share it, it isn’t going to get the exposure you are looking for.

To make this work for you:

Make your social sharing work on mobile: Statistics show that over 15% of tweet mentions are from the tweet buttons that are embedded on your site. This also proves to show that people share a lot on mobile devices.

Tools to create social share buttons for WordPress: You can use online tools to create customized social share buttons for different audiences.

When selecting appropriate plugins, a good rule of thumb is to select those that allow you more freedom in the type of social share buttons you can create for different platforms.

For example, to improve engagement with mobile audiences you can tell your developers to download WordPress plugin tools like Simple Share Buttons Adder to create customized share buttons for your web or mobile audience and add them to all of your social media posts. Another plugin tool is Addthis.

Have a social budget: If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Tools like Simple Share Button Adder are free to download and use. But if you really want to make your share buttons shine, it’s best to have a budget for it and use it to purchase their pro or premium packages. These offer more customization options and retail for around $10 to $100 dollars.

Select shareable content wisely: If you want to take advantage of social media, your content must be something that people would want to share. Image rich posts, for example, are shared a lot more than text-based content.

To illustrate, consider infographics. Studies show that infographics are shared and “liked” on social media 3 times more than any other type of content.

Wrapping Up

Use tools to keep yourself alert to negative comments and rely on professional help. Avoid taking the lazy way out by ditching the auto posting strategy. Pay attention to the type of content you post, how your followers share content on your social platforms of choice and optimize it for mobile to expand your reach.

It’s a mistake to regard social as a quick and easy solution to market your brand. It takes time, effort and patience. Learning about the mistakes and pitfalls can help you avoid them.

THe Difference Between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing

It utilizes an assortment of digital channels like SEO (search engine optimization), social media and PPC (pay per click) to entice audiences towards a prospective brand. Digital marketing uses internet as the core medium of promotion which can be accessed using electronic gadgets like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Internet marketing techniques such as search engine marketing (SEM), e-mails form an integral part of digital marketing. Moreover, it also includes non-internet channels like short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), callbacks, etc. All these different channels form an integrated part of digital marketing. Digital marketing is considered a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it targets a smaller and more concentrated group and works on forming loyal customers and creating conversions.

SMO or (SMM), on the other hand, is a branch or subset of digital marketing that excels at promotion using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and so forth. It makes the use of social media for the purpose of marketing. Social media relies heavily on the interaction of the users, sharing information and forming a community of sorts and hence has a ‘social’ element to it. It utilizes the creation of artistic content which is presented accordingly to lure the audience towards your products or services and create a brand following.

According to Zephoria Digital Marketing Consultants, there are over 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. This means that statistically Facebook is too big to ignore and hence, should be a vital part of your social media marketing strategies. Online video consumption on such platforms has been on a steady rise and is the next big thing in terms of marketing strategies. SMM is also a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it relates to segregated groups formed over common interests on social media platforms.

Companies looking to address their marketing needs need to choose between a digital marketing agency or a specialist agency. If you are looking for someone to plan out your entire marketing strategy, then a digital marketing agency would be a good choice. However, if you are looking for someone to only handle the social media aspect of your strategy, then you are better off working with a specialist agency.

With the extreme popularity of digital media, people are more willing to incorporate digital marketing into their everyday lifestyle. As per the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, Internet ad revenues in the United States reached a staggering $27.5 billion in the first half of 2015.This has opened up several job opportunities world over. There is a high demand; however, we experience a dearth in the skilled workforce as people are still coming to terms with the rapid evolution of digital media.

To meet the increasing demands of talented individuals, there are several online courses in digital marketing available. A quick Google search on this topic will enlist a host of institutes that offer the mentioned lessons. The courses run for a number of days where all the related topics under the umbrella of digital marketing are addressed. Students gain valuable insights into the subject that enables them to carve a niche for themselves.

The digital marketing course includes basic understanding of marketing and advertising concepts and fundamental knowledge of statistical and analytical tools. They are also given comprehensive information about email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, mobile marketing, online video among others.

Social media marketing courses include an in-depth understanding of the principles of social media, major social media sites, social media strategy and measuring social media. It offers a look into the strengths and weaknesses of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and delves deeper into the newest trends surfacing on social media.Social media is an indispensable part of digital media strategy. SM platforms are leveraged for the purpose of branding of a product or service as it provides a more interactive medium open for a two-way conversation. Digital marketing is more relevant in terms of creating brand awareness, marketing or reputation management. Although they have different online applications, they serve the larger purpose of brand advancement and customer conversion into leads and sales. Consumers have become more brand conscious with active participation and most spoilt for choice with the plethora of options available online. Their share in the overall marketing strategy has grown manifold rendering traditional strategy techniques obsolete. The rate at which digital media is advancing, it won’t be far fetched to imagine a future where virtual reality has transpired to every aspect of our existence.