In this day and age, technology is on our hands all the time. The prevailing trend of smartphones enables audiences to be connected to the internet almost the entire day. The presence on social networking websites has increased. This concludes that it is likely that these people are more exposed to social media marketing than print or television.
Here are a few marketing facts you would want be aware of to acknowledge why it’s the right time to start investing in social media marketing.

1. TV is still the most popular medium around the globe when it comes to advertising. When asked about the preference, 55% of the people said that they prefer receiving advertising through TV, 35% were in favor of social media, followed by a 10% to print. This shows that web advertising is quite far from replacing the Televisions but it has outweighed the popularity of print among the youth. People are more likely to resonate well with the TVCs given the catchy jingles, tag lines and presence of favorite celebrities. These factors contribute in making the ad memorable; research suggested that the respondents remembered an ad from TV rather than any other medium, with one exception who answered in favor of billboards. However, internet marketing was rated as one of the cheapest forms of marketing.

2. Social Media advertising is fast emerging as an important media choice among customers. From the audiences’ perspective, companies should start advertising on web for both products and services. Conversely, social media advertising is better for high-tech and high involvement products and services. All fast moving consumer goods are suited for advertising on web. The general consensus is that advertising on these platforms may play an important role in the advertising mix and should be pursued by all companies. In addition to a recent survey, 88% of businesses that invested in social media marketing found it to be bringing about good returns.

3. The behavior and attitude of people towards social media marketing was also judged to a certain extent. Most people regard social media advertising as annoying and distracting but as depicted, 70% of them also said that web advertising is often eye-catching and attention drawing. There is a direct relation between the two responses; popping ads on websites and promotion posts on social media do divert a user’s attention and may cause disruptions in the ongoing online activity. This is why it should be ensured that these advertisements catch the consumer’s attention, but do not disrupt their daily routines by popping up repeatedly.

4. As far as persuasiveness is concerned, most people agree that social media advertising is persuasive while only a few disagree. Thus, it is important to have a proper social media strategy in place before investing in this form of marketing.

1. Evaluate Content and Improve it

A common mistake a lot of beginning social media marketers make is that they emphasize heavily on posting content and less on analyzing the content. To ensure your target market or followers increase on social media platforms, it is highly crucial to analyze the content that is posted and take it in the direction readers like.

For example, if you run a social media page of weight loss supplements and you realize that people tend to like content related to men’s physique more and less of women’s physique, simply increase the type of content your users like. Though, how is that possible? Well, there are several softwares such as the social media dashboard to help analyze content so that social media marketers can further improve their content.

2. Make use of videos and images:

Theory suggests that people tend to remember images and videos more than they remember words. Maybe this is why we have a great number of visually appealing ads and billboards full of images. Hence, the social media gurus recommend that markers make use of images and videos on their social media platforms as much as they can. Images and videos can not only help businesses get their word across in a more visually appealing way, but they can also help businesses be remembered more often.

3. Become a Resource:

A lot of marketers make the mistake of not getting back to their followers. Though, it is highly advised that businesses make themselves the ultimate resource for people. Building trust and rapport ultimately leads to greater sales.
Lynette Young, a content strategist quotes “For example, let’s say you spend a great deal of time interacting on Facebook and Twitter, but you’re not seeing a lot of results. Meanwhile, your email marketing campaigns are intermittent at best, although you know the results are there for the taking.Even if you have a good idea of where you’re spending the bulk of your time, you may often feel there simply aren’t enough hours in your day. Getting a handle on time management is a huge challenge for business owners.”

In the increasingly digital age that we find ourselves in today, the social media has established itself as one of the main players as technology moves forward. Most people today know all too well the importance of social media for businesses. Be it consumers or business owners, both parties understand that without a proper social media presence, success can be hard to achieve. The sheer impact of the social media on consumer behavior can be gauged from the fact that in the US, 78% of all consumer decisions are impacted, directly or indirectly, by posts businesses make on the social media.

Aaron Lee, famous marketer, quotes “These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.”

However, as many business owners have found out for themselves, social media success can be elusive without a proper honed strategy. Here are some of the mistakes commonly made when devising a social media marketing strategy.

  1. Diving into Every Platform:

One of the greatest advantages of the social media is the sheer number of platforms it possesses. Marketers can choose from Blog posts to Video Marketing, depending on their target market. However, while having a large number of platforms is a massive plus, all too often, business owners tend to try and use all platforms at once. This then leads to a waste of resources as no single platform is fully utilized, and its potential realized. Therefore, the key here is to consider your target market and the platform it uses, and then work on that platform. Later on, when you believe that the platform you chose has been utilized by up to 100%, go for a different platform and work on that.

  1. Build Relationships, Not Sales Pitches:

While we understand it is sales that is the ultimate goal of every business, using the social media as a means of online salesmanship can backfire in no time at all. The social media is hot right now as it allows business owners to build relationships with their audience online. Therefore, instead of putting forward sales pitches, focus on interacting with your audience and dealing with them in a personalized manner. Once you have built some relationships, you will find out that sales follow automatically.

In this day and age, never once do you see a hand without some sort of technology. Be it looking for cinema tickets, to good sales on clothes, to the best fridge deal to get, the first and foremost thing done is a consultation from your phone/laptop! This is what makes social media marketing so effective in terms of the vastness it reaches and that is why it is crucial to make sure your message makes an impact on the consumer! Here are a few ways to go about this:

  1. Re-read your advertisement message at least thrice to be sure you’re not giving any mixed messages or inviting any negative feedback from your target market.
  2. Use Facebook to create a page which invites discussion and detailed critique/feedback from people so that you have a clear idea about the consumers demand and want to see in your product/service. You could also use this as an effective communication between you and the audience, where you ask questions and answer questions.
  3. Be consistent when portraying yourself. Transparency and authenticity is crucial when displaying your image to the world, so that everyone has a clear vision about who you are and what you have to offer. Mixed messages may cause confusion, scepticism and eventually, thrown off potential customers.
  4. Don’t be too straightforward and blunt when selling yourself. No customer likes that. Use other methods of selling yourself, like active involvement with societies. Other ways could be exhibitions, talk shows, etc.
  5. Never ever compromise on moral values. Never lie or cheat or deceive your customer. The result will be a bad image of your company spread through the word of mouth or other social mediums.
  6. Always remember that it is okay to mess up. There is no reason to panic.
  7. Always have a back-up plan. Be prepared for the worst so that you can control the damage caused before it spreads further.
  8. Never ever underestimate the power of an unsatisfied customer on the social media platform. Deal with every customer with a lot of patience and care so that they don’t rant about your attitude on public forums.
  9. In order to create a long-lasting impact, be creative. Break the clutter and make sure everyone remembers you for the different idea you brought, amidst the same old monotony in the air.

In this day and age, never once do you see a hand without some sort of technology. Be it looking for cinema tickets, good sales on clothes, to the best fridge deal to get, the first and foremost thing done is a consultation from your phone/laptop! This is what makes social media marketing so effective in terms of the vastness it reaches and that is why it is crucial to make sure your message makes an impact on the consumer!

Here are a few ways to be successful with social media marketing.

  1. Re-read your advertisement message at least thrice in order to make sure you’re not giving any mixed messages or inviting any negative feedback from your target market.
  2. Use Facebook to create a page which invites discussion and detailed critique/feedback from people so that you have a clear idea about the consumers demand and what people think about your product/service. You could also use this as an effective communication between you and the audience, where you ask questions and answer them.
  3. Be consistent when portraying yourself. Transparency and authenticity is crucial when displaying your image to the world so that everyone has a clear vision about who you are and what you have to offer. Mixed messages may cause confusion, scepticism and eventually loss of potential customers.
  4. Don’t be too straightforward and blunt when selling yourself. No customer likes that. Use other methods of selling yourself, like active involvement with societies or through media channels. Other ways could be exhibitions, talk shows, etc.
  5. Never ever compromise on moral values. Never lie or cheat or deceive your customer. The result will be a bad image of your company spread through the word of mouth or other social mediums.
  6. Always remember that it is okay to mess up. There is no reason to panic.
  7. Always have a back-up plan. Be prepared for the worst so that you can control the damage caused before it spreads further.
  8. Never ever underestimate the power of an unsatisfied customer on the social media platform. Deal with every customer with a lot of patience and care, so that they don’t rant about your attitude on public forums.
  9. In order to create a long-lasting impact, be creative. Break the clutter and make sure everyone remembers you for the different idea you brought, amidst the same old monotony in the air.

In 2015, it has gotten almost impossible for businesses to survive and thrive in the competitive landscape without investing in social media marketing. While individuals tend to get tied up in busy lifestyles, almost everyone is active on some social media platform or the other.

Sean Gardner, social media planner and influencer, quotes “Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence”

Hence, businesses of all sizes have taken the social media by storm and invest in this form of marketing. However, a common mistake which businesses tend to make is that they fail to create a social media marketing plan before actually executing one. For every like, share, or comment a business wishes to achieve via social media marketing, it is essential for the business to have an ultimate purpose in mind.

Therefore, without further ado, here are the 2 golden steps of creating a successful social media marketing plan.

  1. Create goals:

Before executing any social media marketing activity, it is essential for the business to create an objective or goal. An objective or goal should be determined beforehand so that the business can ultimately measure its success too.

Individuals make a common mistake of executing social media marketing activities without having any goal in place. A business should know the ultimate purpose of marketing. Is it to Increase sales or the business just wants to enhance its brand recognition?

  1. Follow industry leaders

Marketing is an art which not everyone can easily plan and execute. While some take marketing as a highly subjective topic, others tend to outsource it. Though, when it comes to social media marketing, majority of individuals running small businesses tend to control their own marketing activities. This is where following industry leaders comes in.

Aaron lee quotes in his book: “These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.”

Although designing and executing social media planning can be difficult, following influencers and leaders need not be so hard. Following leaders can eventually help avoid common pitfalls and ensure a more risk free strategy.

 

The dynamics of social media for an online retailer is slightly more intense than any other class of organization. The competition and information saturation in retail circles is much more intense than elsewhere. Most retailers have to employ multiple social media marketing strategies and techniques to stay on top of their games. It seems that the ultimate goal of online retail sites is to generate more traffic. This goal is achieved by investing in a highly charged and competitive social media team and dashboard.

A few contemporary trends in online retail marketing are being observed are listed below

  1. Regular Content:

The metaphor, “You snooze, you lose” has never been more apt for any marketing plan. As mentioned before, retailers have to be regular, agile, and incredibly conscientious about the content they are delivering to the audience. In order to boost traffic, and site-views, experts recommend daily updates on websites as well as social platforms.

According to Mark Hayes, (blogger and expert for Shopify.com);

“Studies have shown that different audiences react to different posting frequencies, so make sure you are testing the optimal frequency with your own audience or look at the engagement levels in comparison to posting frequencies of your competitors for some guidelines. The minimum should be once a day on Facebook and 4-6 times a day on Twitter. “

  1. Multiple Platforms:

For retailers like Urban Outfitters, Levi’s, and Mango, it becomes important to tap into all the different social media platforms that are popular with their target audiences. The instant connectivity that social media apps and smartphones have introduced into our business scenario makes it easier than ever for the business to reach out to customers.

The other side of the coin here is the crucial fact that more social platforms means a more segregated and dissented audience, resulting in the need for more specialized content.

  1. Investing in Info-graphics:

Perhaps one of the best things you can do to help boost traffic and SEO, is to invest in a quality Infographic. This rising trend can create a lot of back-links, which can be monumentally advantageous to website traffic.

  1. Social reviews make it count:

Apps and websites such as Yotpo are the saviors of retail marketing. They allow users and customers to automatically help in generating product reviews. With a quality Dashboard for social media, all these reviews can be easily directed into live twitter feeds/facebook posts which help attract new customers.

Social media marketing has undoubtedly changed the marketing dynamics around the globe. Social media marketing not only allows companies to reach out to their customers personally, but also ensures that even the smallest of businesses can afford to market their businesses some way or the other. According to a recent study undergone by Hubspot, 92% of individuals who made use of social media marketing actually found it to be highly effective. In addition, 80% of those individuals also admitted that social media marketing actually helped increase traffic in one way or the other.
Here’s a quick look at the core benefits of social media marketing:

1. Increase Sales

Normally, with social media marketing, businesses successfully manage to attract customers to their social media page or group. Hence, with an increased traffic on a page or group, businesses can easily direct the traffic to its website and create a sales funnel. Thus, this ultimately leads to increased traffic to the website as well as increased conversions to sales.

2. Increase Brand Loyalty:

Social media marketing tends to increase brand loyalty due to the personal touch it adds. According to a study published by the Texas Tech University, social media marketing is one of the top forms of marketing for enhancing brand loyalty. The study concluded “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.”

3. Increases Brand Awareness:

Due to the high level of attendance of individuals on social media, social media marketing tends to increase brand recognition. When on a social media platform, an individual tends to browse through several amounts of data. Thus, in a bid to enjoy the benefits of social media, an individual also unconsciously sees several advertisements and saves the messages in the unconscious mind. This ultimately enhances brand recognition and increases brand awareness as well.

Hence, due to the power of social media marketing, it is essential that businesses today do not neglect it. However, although social media marketing does come with its share of benefits, managing this form of marketing can be a tough task for starters. Therefore, it is advised that businesses avoid common pitfalls and make use of social media dashboards to successfully market their businesses and run successful social media marketing campaigns with ease.

A decade or so ago, the social media was something that barely a handful of people knew about, let alone understood. Fast forward 10 years however, and things have changed so dramatically that it seems almost ridiculous to think that the concept of social media only came into existence in the recent past. The rapid rise to fame that the social media has had has meant that the concept has impacted almost all corners of life. Now, even businesses find it hard to function without a proper social media outlet.

Today, the social media is one of the most, if not the most, powerful marketing tools available to businesses. Use it correctly and the platform can provide you with unprecedented levels of exposure. However, use it without a proper end goal in mind and things can backfire quite dramatically, resulting in not only a waste of resources, but also in huge PR disasters as well.

Fortunately, with the tips given below, you can get a sound idea on how to direct your own social media strategy:

  1. Keep the End-Result in Mind:

In order to make sure that you achieve what you set out to do with your social media marketing strategy, it is of paramount importance that you keep that end-goal in mind all the way through. Although different businesses have different end goals depending on their requirements, there are some common goals that almost all businesses have in general. Some of these are:

  • To increase sales.
  • To increase exposure.
  • To increase traffic to your webpage.
  • To build customer loyalty.
  • To increase customer retention rates.
  1. Customize your Efforts:

The greatest advantage that the social media has over all other marketing channels is the former’s ability to deliver customized and tailor-made messages. Therefore, for you as a marketer, it is important that you specify your target market and then deliver that audience with customized messages. This can be achieved by creating a detailed persona of your ideal customer. The persona will include details such as the age group, income, marital status, and their gender. Once you have the persona in mind, proceed to connecting with people who fall under in the categories mentioned above by delivering them with customized with messages.

Hence, unlike the days gone by, marketing can be personalized in today’s time and age. Thus, it is of great importance that businesses always keep the end goal in mind and develop a sound strategy respectfully.

 

Social media marketing campaign strategies vary and fluctuate not just yearly, but also according to each company or brand’s image and objectives. It becomes important for marketers to keep tabs on what is important for their own entities, but at the same time know what is essential for them. More importantly, it is important to know the hot and trending topics in the dynamic world of online marketing.

Social media trends for the past year have shifted towards a more video-geared approach. It was also spotted that users are sharing and watching videos on other networks more than actual video-based sites such as YouTube or Dailymotion.

Another campaign trend for brands, particularly fashion brands, is the infusion of customer involvement and personalized attention on social platforms for followers, and industry influencers. Thus, it naturally becomes hard to choose the best social media campaigns, because it’s hard to lump all different industries and markets into one sphere. However, judging from what’s truly trending in 2015, here’s a look at the top 4 campaigns of the year.

  1. Nestle Internship Vine:

Nestle collaborated with twitter and came up with an innovative hiring proposition. Namely, a six-second resume. The applicants were simply required to submit a six-second vine which detailed why they should be chosen for this job. The ongoing campaign garnered loads of attention on the social media platforms.

  1. Burberry Tweetcam during Fashion Walk:

Burberry has always been very conscious about fan involvement and personal attention on social media. This happens to be one of the reasons for their extremely loyal fan-base. For this year’s autumn show, they introduced a special feature, which allowed viewers to post photos which they took themselves with a “tweet-cam”. This increased viewership of the event tenfold.

  1. Obama-Buzzfeed Video:

President Barack Obama’s buzz feed video has been watched more than 50 million times on Facebook. The hilarious video detailing “Things everybody does but doesn’t talk about” went viral immediately after release. The purpose of the video was to get people to visit the US Healthcare website. The targeted audience was reached humorously and successfully.

  1. April fool Pranks:

April fool pranks have been a yearly source of fun and innovation for even serious brands. While most of these campaigns likely become too clichéd, or tacky to be taken seriously, a few companies truly manage to hit the nail in the head; for example, this year’s pranks by the LEGO company, and Honda’s “Fit-Kit campaign, 2015” truly made their marks.

According to social media coach, Cendrine Marrouat:

“Humor may be a great tool, but it only works if it fits your brand’s personality and is relevant to your usual messages. And while risks are often involved, don’t forget that your audience is anything but uniform. There are different ages, cultures, and backgrounds to take into account…”