With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time for small businesses to think of special ways to liven up their social media marketing strategy. Of course, there will be a lot of businesses that roll out big deals and special offers to celebrate the season. However, even if a company only has smaller surprises in mind for their customers and clients – or no surprises at all – there are still a number of ways to enjoy the festivities and fun of the season and to boost your own social media profile on sites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn.
Promote a Festive Atmosphere
One thing to remember when it comes to marketing tips for the holiday season is to keep things festive and fun. Even if your social media site tends toward the informative for the rest of the year, the holiday season can be a great time to liven up your message and approach while still maintaining your image.
Choosing fun seasonal image, updating your profile image often, and hiring a designer to give your business logo a fun holiday twist are all great ways to add some holiday flair to your social media marketing approach during the holiday season.
Don’t Roll Out Holiday Deals All at Once
It can be tempting to unleash all your holiday promotions and deals all at once, especially when you are excited about what you have to offer. However, it can be wise to hold back. Just as part of the fun leading up to Christmas is the anticipation of the event, with presents waiting wrapped under the tree and advent calendars waiting to be opened day by day, unrolling great deals and offers in the days leading up to Christmas can be a fun treat for your followers. Additionally, having a regular schedule of promotions rolling out will encourage your followers to visit again and again.
Consider Holiday Themed Content and Media
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s likely that you can somehow tie it back to the holiday season. Use your specialised knowledge to offer people tips on having a happier, more festive, and safer holiday season. Whether you offer healthy eating tips for holiday treats, advice on getting proper exercise during all the holiday hustle and bustle, or style tips for holiday parties, your followers will be sure to enjoy the content that you have to offer during the holiday season.
Plan Ahead and Give Yourself Time Off
Everybody deserves a break, especially during the holidays. However, that doesn’t mean you want your social media pages running on empty. Remember to plan and prepare content, posts, images, and quizzes well in advance to update periodically to your social media accounts. This can ensure your social media continues to work for you, even when you’re enjoying the holiday festivities with your family and friends.
When it comes to social media, many marketers tend to focus their attention on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. While it’s no secret that these sites have some of the biggest traffic on the Internet, an increasing number of marketers are realizing the power and potential that is being made available to them through Pinterest.
There are two big reasons that Pinterest is becoming increasingly important to marketers. The first is that Pinterest is relatively simple to use. Pins are simple, easy for users to digest, and can get a marketer’s point across quickly and effectively. Secondly, Pinterest has already proven time and time again to be incredibly effective. Pinterest referral traffic has seen incredible gains, and it has surpassed many other social media sites including Twitter and LinkedIn.
With Pinterest proving its importance – and its effectiveness – now is the time for marketers to start utilizing this site and driving up traffic to their pins. But how can this be accomplished?
Make Your Boards and Pins Easy to Find
Don’t assume that people are going to be searching for your boards and pins by your company name. One simple but effective way to ensure that Pinterest users are able to find your boards and pins is to include descriptive terms in your profile name. Likewise, when choosing the names for your boards, think of keywords that users might be searching for. Remember that the closer a keyword is to the beginning of a board name, the faster it will show up in user searches for boards. This is a simple but effective way to ensure that traffic is being directed your way.
Additionally, be sure that you are doing the same with your pins. Remember that you can perform searches yourself to see which keywords pop up most frequently during searches. This can help you choose keywords that will optmize traffic toward your pins and give you the traffic you need to make marketing on Pinterest as successful as possible.
Stay Active On Your Pinterest Account
It’s true of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so not surprisingly it’s true of Pinterest as well. Remaining active on your account by pinning frequently, creating new boards, and by re-pinning older pins when relevant will ensure continued success while using Pinterest. Active participation is key in optimizing your success in Pinterest, whether it’s simply ensuring that you have a constant stream of new information hitting your boards or participating in the Pinterest Group Boards.
Pinterest is still relatively new in the social media marketing game. However, it has proven itself to be a strong contender already. As the site begins to implement new features, its ability to help in one’s marketing efforts will likely continue to grow. Those who build their boards now are already one step ahead as Pinterest races to become one of the top social media sites on the Internet.
Attracting people and getting them to follow your page can be difficult, and requires creative thinking. Engaging those who are already fans of your page can be even more of a challenge. While Facebook is a great way to connect with the fans of your brand, it can also be difficult to engage them and get them to actively participate by liking, commenting on, and sharing your updates.
Getting your fans to actively engage has numerous benefits. If you notice that your engagement has been on the decline, even if you are using all the appropriate methods to generate audience particpation, then it might be time to spice things up and make your page more exciting. There are many things that you can do to generate engagement on your page.
Use Balanced, Engaging Content
Some people like pictures. Others like informative blog posts, or videos. Some people prefer deep, insightful pieces of content, while others prefer short bites of content that they can digest in just a few minutes. Its impossible to please everybody all of the time. However, a successful marketer knows that it’s entirely possible to please everybody at least part of the time. Balance your content, providing a variety of different types of media.
Consider Using Quizzes and Games as Content
Quizzes and games are a great way to generate engagement. However, if you choose to design a quiz or a game, do so in a way that will encourage people to share and discuss it on your page. For example, a women’s shoe store might link to a quiz to help women find their perfect pair of winter boots based on several style questions. Those who take the quiz can then be encouraged to talk about their results with a question such as, “Did our style experts get it right?”
Use Emoticons and Internet Slang When Appropriate
For some marketers, using emoticons and Internet slang goes against a lot of what they were taught. However, it can be a highly effective way of appealing to your audience and encouraging their engagement. A smiley emoticon, or the use of a heart in place of the word “love” is a simple choice that can make a post feel much more enthusiastic. Likewise, using phrases like “Because” (Check out these Boots. Because Style) can make people feel better connected to your brand.
Just be sure you know when to use this type of Internet slang and when it’s best to speak a little more formally. Additionally, be sure that the slang you use suits your brand and appeals to your customer base. While it can attract users who are more familiar with Internet slang and emoticons it can turn away those who aren’t.
Above all, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Try to keep in mind the things that are more likely to make you click on a page. By paying attention to these things, it’s possible to vastly improve the engagement on your Facebook page.
Using social networks to connect is crucial to the modern day business. Virtually everybody on the marketing scene knows how important having an account on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be when it comes to attracting to and connecting with new fans and followers.
However, it can also be a boon to businesses to think outside of the box and consider connecting through specialised social networking sites. Almost every hobby or industry has its own social networking site, from those involved with the fine arts to those involved in engineering. Social networking sites oriented toward these professions are much smaller, more intimate and, more importantly for marketers, come with the guarantee that most – if not all – of those connecting through the site are interested in the product or service a business or individual is providing.
Finding & Choosing A Specialised Social Networking Site
Finding a social networking site dedicated to a particular area of interest is as simple as performing quality research on Google. Once the site itself has been found, it’s time to do a little research to determine whether or not that site is a good fit for your marketing needs. If possible, determine how many people have accounts on the site. Then, do a little digging to determine how many of those individuals are active users. Finally, be sure that the site is up-to-date and that is hasn’t diminished in popularity. It is best to choose an up-and-coming social networking site rather than one that has already seen its glory days.
Become An Active User
One thing to remember when connecting to potential fans and followers through a specialised social networking site is that your regular marketing tactics might not work. Usually you are speaking to other individuals within an industry who might have more experience than the average computer user. Because of this, it is important to think about what you can offer than even those within the same industry cannot.
Share content that can help others within the industry. Interact with others by offering helpful advice, tips, and tricks when needed. Collaborate, and use the insight of others on the site to generate new ideas and to get a better idea of where the industry is headed.
Also remember that the networking you do on a specialised social media site can be good for generating ideas and content for your other social media sites. It is likely that being on a specialised, niche social networking site will help you gain access to valuable feedback on your content and your marketing approach, which can be applicable to your entire Internet marketing strategy.
You’ve likely put a lot of thought into the company social media accounts, blogs, and other content sharing mediums. However, have you ever thought about what your employees are doing – and what they could be doing? An increasing number of businesses are doing just that, and for many there have been some big benefits.
There are many reasons to encourage employees to get connected and to engage in the marketing process. One of the biggest is the fact that there is power in numbers, and you are more likely to reach a wider audience with several social media accounts connected to your brand as opposed to just one. Additionally, knowing that the employees support their brand and are proud to stand behind it can go a long way toward building an audience’s trust. However, there are some things to consider if you do plan to get your employees connected with your marketing strategy.
Consider Your Employees’ Talents – And Use Them
You hired your employees for a reason. They possess a unique set of skills and specialised knowledge. So why not allow them to share their skills and knowledge with your fans? It’s likely that they have a better insight on certain aspects of your company than even you do, and that’s something that can attract a lot of followers. When encouraging your employees to engage in social media, also encourage them to share their insights, skills, knowledge, and talent with their followers.
Build an Employee Network
When your employees go online, help them to build an online network of social media sites and accounts. Additionally, inform them of the importance of sharing information and updates from their fellow employees, as well as content from your company’s main social media account. That can go a long way toward “getting the word out” when it comes to your company and can help encourage audience engagement.
Be Aware of Potential Pitfalls and Know How to Prevent Them
Anytime you put social media in the hands of your employees, you are potentially setting yourself up for marketing pitfalls. This is especially true if your employees are not themselves social media or marketing experts. Combat this by teaching your employees the basics of using social media for marketing purposes and by giving them some basic guidelines for the use of their company account.
Do remember that because they are not official company accounts, your employees should feel free to be more casual with their social media usage. One of the best ways to encourage them to keep up with their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn is to ensure that they are having fun with it.
The concept of content marketing has generated a lot of buzz, and for good reason. It is a great way to ensure that you are generating a lot of traffic to your site and to keep your customers and clients engaged when done properly. However, without going about your content marketing in the proper way, it’s easy to put in a lot of effort for very little payback. Whether you have just implemented a content marketing strategy or are attempting to determine why your ongoing strategy has seen few results, there are many things you can look at to guage the effectiveness of your approach.
Be Sure To Have A Strategy
Having quality content is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. While it may seem obvious, many organizations neglect how important it is to have an all-encompassing content marketing strategy. This process should start with developing a clear set of goals as well as standards that you want your organization to meet. Follow this process up by documenting this strategy. Everybody who is involved in the content creation process should read this document so that they are completely on board with the strategy as well as its goals.
Determine Who Is Overseeing Your Content Marketing Strategy
Having a diverse range of talent is good for your content. However, without a singular viewpoint overseeing your content marketing strategy, your overall approach could potentially suffer. Determine who is in charge of the content marketing, and ensure that they are in charge of seeing that all content marketing goals are executed thoroughly.
Pay Attention To The Tactics You Are Using
Effective content marketing relies on the use of several different tactics. In general, the more tactics you use, the more likely you are to succeed in your content marketing strategy. It can be a bit intimidating to think about using a wide variety of social media tactics, especially if not all of them are free. Because of this, a good place to start is with social media sites, email campaigns, and blogs that are free, or close to free. From there you can implement more tactics into your content marketing strategy as the need demands and as your business’s budget allows.
And last but not least, it is important to remember that spreading your content marketing strategy out to several different tactics is only effective if you are producing enough content to keep up with the demand all of these tactics require. Ensure that new content is being produced and released on a regular basis, that it is timely and relevant, and that it fits within your marketing strategy. While there are no guarantees, research has shown that those who follow these basic strategies have a much higher success rate than those who do not.
It can be tempting to engage with every social media platform when you’re looking to connect with customers. After all, social media gives you a way to instantly connect with customers, to provide them with information on your brand, and potentially to develop lasting relationships that lead to dedicated customers. However, before signing up for every social media site on the Internet, you should put on the brakes. It has been proven time and again that it is much better to have only three or four social media sites as a part of your marketing arsenal.
There are a number of reasons for this, primary among them being that by engaging with every site on offer you may be spreading your marketing message too thin. It is better to take the time on the few sites that you are signed up for to utilise quality, thoughtful content. By using only a handful of social media sites, you are also allowing yourself and your marketing staff a better opportunity to become acquainted with the finer details of marketing on those platforms, whether you choose Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social media site at your disposal.
Determine Where Your Audience Is to Choose the Right Social Media Sites
Choosing to limit the amount of marketing you do on social media sites does come with a small price. Fortunately, that price is easily paid with just a little bit of extra attention to where you decide to direct your energies. The temptation is obviously to hit every social media site in order to ensure you reach the broadest number of consumers possible. However, it is better to take a targeted approach – therefore, it is a good idea to determine where your target audience spends most of their time online.
Each social media site has its own target demographic. While Google+ and LinkedIn have largely attracted a professional audience, social media sites such as Pinterest tend to attract those with a love for fashion, culture, fine dining, and other hobbies. Understanding who your audience is can help guide you toward choosing the social media site, or sites, that will work best for your needs.
Connect Your Social Media Sites to Build a Social Network
One of the great benefits of choosing just a few social media sites for your marketing needs is it makes it easier to connect them. Connecting your various social media accounts can offer you a lot of benefits, the biggest among them being that you are able to attract your audience from one site to another, which can help to build up your online network.
Many social media sites have built-in functions that allow you to connect them, such as Facebook and Twitter or Google+ and YouTube. Others may take a little bit of experimentation in order to connect. However, doing so may be one of the best things that you can do to ensure that your audience is waiting and ready for your message.
It can be difficult to give up control. You want your content to be factually correct, knowledgeable, and interesting to a number of individuals, from potential customers to other industry pros. So why choose to outsource? It is true that in most cases, the person writing your content will by and large not have the same experience as you do in your field, and that can be an intimidating prospect. However, just because someone is not an expert in their field does not mean they cannot create quality, inviting content for your marketing needs. In fact, it is often the content team’s lack of expertise that makes them capable of producing quality content. Unlike industry professionals, who may have a difficult time getting out of the “expert” mindset to break a topic down into layman’s terms, content writers are capable of bridging the gap between expert and interested reader. That in turn makes for more interesting, and ultimately more accessible, content for your marketing needs.
Bridging The Gap Between Expert & Audience
When choosing to outsource your content, it is important to decide early on just how technical your approach will be. Part of this process is identifying your target audience. Ask yourself what your audience is already likely to know, and what they may be interested in learning about. Determine where your knowledge can meet the needs of your target audience. From there, you can work with your content writer or team to come up with the approach that will work best for your – and your audience’s – needs.
The team in charge of producing your content will ensure that what you know is delivered in a way that is accessible to the audience. One of the big benefits of outsourcing when taking this approach is that someone else is in charge of determining how that message is delivered, leaving you to focus your energies on the message itself.
Let Your Content Creation Team Utilise Your Skills
While the talent in charge of your content are not experts, you are. By making yourself and your knowledge accessible to them, you can come up with a winning content marketing approach. One of the most rewarding things about this give-and-take, as many who choose to outsource find, is that the content creation team often acts as the audience surrogate. They can see things that you can’t when it comes to your marketing approach, which can make them an even more valuable asset beyond the creation of your content.
By letting them ask questions and make use of your knowledge, you may be able to uncover new areas where your expertise may be of use. This can lead to even more engaging and innovative content.
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Coming up with monthly, weekly, and even daily topics can be difficult when you’re generating content for your business. However, it’s important not to become discouraged if the ideas do not seem to be flowing. Having fresh, original, and inviting content on your blog and your website is one of the best ways to ensure that you are driving potential new customers to your site. The more engaging that content is, the better your results will be.
However, if you have been running a blog for a while and are having difficulty coming up with new blog topics, it can be a little bit difficult to take a step back and reassess what you are doing, and where you are headed with your content. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reinvigorate yourself as a blogger and begin generating new topics.
Reassess Your Blog’s Goals
If you are having a difficult time coming up with topics, the problem might not be a lack of creativity. Losing sight of your goal as a blogger can be a big misstep, and many people may not even realise that they have lost this. If you cannot adequately answer the question, “What is my blog’s purpose?” beyond vague answers such as, “Increase traffic to my site,” then it is time to rethink what your purpose for maintaining the blog really is. Once you have a clearer goal in mind, then it is likely you will start to find ideas for the blog once more.
Look At What You’ve Done In The Past
Many bloggers and content creators get caught up in a rush of excitement when starting a new project, only to fall into a creative slump later on down the line. Sometimes all it takes to bring back that creativity is to look back at the work you did in the past. Not only will it help reinvigorate excitement for the project, but it can remind you of topics you wanted to write but never got around to, topic ideas that did not fit at that time, or topics that you did not feel skilled enough to knowledgeable enough to write about in the past.
Expand On Your Ideas
When a blog is still relatively new, bloggers tend to focus on the big picture and the basics rather than on the finer details. That can be a great way to invite a more casual readership to a blog when it is still new, and can build you a strong reader base. Bloggers who feel as if they have “writer’s block” may need to go back and look at old topics to see where they can expand on their ideas. A subtopic in one blog may become the basis for an entirely new blog.
Once you have been blogging for a while, you have a wealth of information – created by you – at your fingertips to help you get over writer’s block. Use this information and you may be surprised by just how quickly the ideas are flowing again.