Monday, 30 November 2015

Social Media Marketing Trends Dominating

Would it surprise you to learn that some experts believe Google GOOGL +0.26%+ is on its way out, that MySpace is making a last-ditch attempt to re-engage users, social media marketing plan template or that Foursquare is in the middle of a radical overhaul?Late last year, I made some predictions for social media trends in my article, The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014. In this article, I’m going to examine where things are now that we’re around the mid-way point of 2014, and assess how my predictions have fared so far. Join us at Entrepreneur magazine's Growth Conference, Dec. 15 in Long Beach, Calif. for a day of fresh ideas, business mentoring and networking. Register here for exclusive pricing, available only for a limited time.Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.It's vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and perhaps most importantly your bottom line. Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives. It’s better to specialize than to be a jack-of-all-trades. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people.
Quality trumps quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. social media marketing world While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.If you publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.This sharing and discussing of your content opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find it in keyword searches. Those entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.If you get on their radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information, they might share your content with their own followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience.If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
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Investment in Social Media will Become a Necessity, not a Luxury

With 92% of business owners recently indicating that social media is important to their business (up from 86% in 2013), this prediction appears to be on track. social media marketing tips Businesses are continuing to re-allocate budgets away from traditional methods of advertising towards social media and other inbound marketing strategies.A major concern among business owners remains measuring the ROI for their social media efforts. Other issues that may be hindering the effectiveness of social media for some businesses include a lack of education and trained personnel – making it difficult to efficiently carry out day-to-day social media tasks (never mind strategizing or tying social media into wider business goals). Pinterest is very visually oriented (every post has to be an image or video), and like Facebook, it is also fairly low-maintenance as far as post frequency is concerned. However, keeping your boards organized and search-friendly can be time-consuming.You wouldn’t ignore someone who reaches out to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.Don’t publish your content and then disappear. Be available to your audience. That means you need to consistently publish content and participate in conversations. Followers online can be fickle and they won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for weeks or months.You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. So, a portion of the time you spend on social media should be focused on sharing and talking about content published by others.
Companies continue to find creative ways to use image-centric networks to reach new, younger audiences: for instance, Mashable recently announced that MTV would be using its Snapchat account to announce the nominees for the Video Music Awards. social media marketing tools According to Global Web Index data, while Facebook still remains the clear winner in terms of its user base, among social networking sites Instagram experienced the biggest rise in active user numbers between quarter 2 and quarter 4 of 2013; it will be interesting to see if this trend has continued into the first 2 quarters of 2014 and beyond.With hundreds of active social networks, it can be tough to know where you should start when it comes to marketing a business or building an online community. To help you get a better understanding of each network, and how you can use them for your business, we put together a quick rundown on some of the top sites and services for your to build out your social media marketing strategy. Facebook recently reported 1.49 monthly billion users with Asia accounting for 28%, Europe for 24%, USA and Canada for 17% and the rest of the world for 30% of those users.Long-form content – with no character or word limit – gets the most Facebook shares and likes, so start writing! Encourage your fans to post reviews or stories about their experiences with your site on your brand page. Facebook is also a great platform to offer insider tips, troubleshooting ideas, meetup and event invites, and promotional offers. Facebook is the largest platform for sharing worldwide, and when it comes to brands, users can share products and content that resonates with them. The social media platform also offers brand pages where users can interact with and review brands based on their experiences.

Google+ will Become a Major Factor

With just over half of marketers using the platform, and 61% of businesses planning on increasing their Google+ activities this year, Google+ is clearly still top of mind for marketers. marketing social mediaBut while more and more business owners believe that an investment in Google+ is a necessity, many are still struggling with making the platform work for their business.With Google announcing earlier this year that social signals are not part of their ranking algorithm, some business owners are wondering whether an investment in Google+ is as valuable as previously thought. Add to this the recent decision to remove Authorship photos from the search results, and it’s not surprising that some marketers are confused about how Google+ is different or better than Facebook or Twitter . With the head of Google+ social efforts Vic Gundotra suddenly leaving the company in April, and reports of Google+ being ‘walking dead’, the future of the platform is unclear. For now, business owners should continue to focus on using the platform as a way to connect with prospects, but perhaps more importantly as a primary method of establishing Author Rank and authority for their content. For more on this, see my post Is Google+ Really Walking Dead?Image-centric social networks like Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat may not be serious competition for Facebook, but they continue to draw in a loyal user-base, and that may ultimately be the key to their success.Pinterest, for instance, is experiencing some pretty astounding retention rates: according to recent research by RJ Metrics, while 2014 has seen a drop in male pinning activity, women actually appear to pin more the longer they’re on the platform. Robert J. Moore of RJ Metrics writes, “While the average female user posts 42 pins in year 1, by year 4 she is up to 152! If you set out to build a habit-forming product, that is exactly the type of trend you’re looking for.”
As of Q2 2015, Twitter reported 304 million active monthly users with a majority of those users prevailing from Asia, benefits of social media marketing North America and Western Europe.Twitter was made for short commentary – 140 characters or less – and users can use it to talk about and interact with brands about their products or services.Encourage your users to tweet out a pre-written tweet about your brand letting others know why they love it, or create a hashtag to help start a conversation. Be sure to retweet others to show appreciation and respond if asked a question or tagged in a tweet. If appropriate, brands can post about what’s trending to increase visibility. The rule of thumb for Twitter is not to just talk about yourself, but to start and continue a conversation.YouTube claims to have over one billion users worldwide with 70% of visitors coming from outside the U.S. and is broadcast in 54 languages.YouTube offers users the opportunity to watch videos for free, or create and upload their own. Videos are easy to comment on, rate, and share on social media and blogs.Create videos and upload them! YouTube is a great platform for creating longer videos (as opposed to other video services such as Vine), like product overviews, tutorials, interviews, and more. People who are active on YouTube are looking to watch creative, fun and informative videos, so you have more flexibility on this medium – think outside the box to help engage their attention!Pinterest has 72.8 million users, 85% of which are female in the U.S., however, in Britain it skews more even, with 56% of its users being male.Users pin products and content they like from the Internet so they can come back to it later. They can also organize their pins into boards around a topic or theme.

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