Archive for social networking

How to Save Time with Free Social Media Tools

Social Media Marketing is time-consuming. There’s some upfront “sweat equity” that you have to put in on research, setting up, creating content and building a following. Once the following is built, then you can manage your social media in 30 minutes a day! Yes, it can be done. Here are the free social media marketing tools that I use to both keep myself sane and save a ton of time!

You should have watched all the network videos first.

Time-Saving Social Media Marketing Tools:

Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/BootCampSocialMediaTools.pdf

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Video: How to Use Hashtags to Effectively Market Your Business

Hashtags are everywhere! Even on LinkedIn! Use them consistently to brand your social media posts. This video will show you how. I also cover them in the Twitter class.

How to Use Hashtags to Market Your Business in Social Media:


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Hashtags.pdf

 

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How to Effectively Market Your Business on the New LinkedIn

LinkedIn is your virtual Rolodex! It’s networking at the chamber of commerce on steroids. If you’re B2B, LinkedIn should be your primary network. If you’re B2C, it helps with credibility and LinkedIn users are consumers, too! This series of classes includes the new layout, where they moved things around, new features and should you go premium or not.

Marketing Your Business on the New LinkedIn Part 1:

Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/LinkedIn101March2017.pdf

LinkedIn Part 2 – Company pages, groups & more!


Class notes 2: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/LinkedIn102March2017.pdf

A tour of the new LinkedIn:

With LinkedIn’s recent platform update, they moved things around, made it easier to connect with people, added new features and took some away. Take this tour so you won’t waste time looking for what you need to do to effectively promote your business with LinkedIn. A must for B2B businesses.

Hashtags now Work on LinkedIn!

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Video: How to Effectively Market Your Business On Pinterest

Pinterest is THE social media network if you’re trying to reach the consumer with products or services. Though it is more B2C than B2B, Pinterest is more powerful than Instagram when it comes to SEO because when someone pins a picture or video from your site, it takes the link with it. Thus, it helps tremendously with search engine optimization.

 


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Pinterest-1.pdf

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What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media Following

If you’re just starting out with marketing your business on social media or if you’ve had your accounts setup but haven’t been using them, you need to spend some time up front building your social media following.

Here are the steps you need to take to build your social media following:

  1. Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookGet to know your Target Market Niche(s): You must identify your target market personas first. This is a crucial step. For instance, you talk to someone under 40 differently than you would to someone over 40. (Related Content: How to Reach the Generations on Social Media)
  2. Do some research on the social networks and your target: Find out:
    • Which networks do they frequent the most?
    • What are their buying habits?
    • What’s the best strategy to get their attention?
  3. Develop a Strategic Plan where you indicate:
    • What are your goals, metrics and objectives?
    • What type of content are you going to create (blog, video, pictures, podcasts) and the type of content are you going to share from trusted industry sources? You can’t just share your stuff.
    • Create specific strategies for each of the social media networks:
      • If you’re B2B, your primary network will be LinkedIn.
      • If you’re B2C, your primary networks will be Facebook and Pinterest.
      • Secondary networks for both would be Google+ and Twitter (for exposure and SEO).
      • Don’t ignore Facebook and Pinterest if you’re B2B – it still helps with reaching people. And if you’re B2C, don’t ignore LinkedIn – it gives you credibility and LI users are consumers, too! These are tertiary networks.
  4. What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media FollowingPut together a tactical plan: You’re going to spend more time up front building a following in your PRIMARY NETWORKS.
    • B2B:
      • 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn
      • Blog 2 times a week on your website
      • Blog once a week on LinkedIn
    • B2C:
      • 15 minutes a day on Facebook
      • 15 minutes a day on Pinterest
      • Blog 2-3 times a week on your website
    • Both: Automate content posting using free tools like HootSuite, Buffer or Dlvr.it to Google+ and Twitter. This could be your re-shared blog posts as well as other related and relevant content of interest to your target market from trusted sources. Use Feedly.com to organize your blog subscriptions.
  5. Search for your target market and follow them on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. When you follow someone, they’ll be notified and hopefully, if you’re sharing good content, they’ll want to follow you back. On Twitter, thank people for following you. (That’s the only network where that’s part of its culture.) This should take about 30 minutes a day between all the networks.
  6. Search for and connect with your target market and referral sources on LinkedIn
  7. Share good, relevant content on Facebook. Unfortunately, you can’t search and contact people on Facebook as your business. However, you can start with your own friends and invite them to like our page.
  8. Have both share and follow buttons on your website. Make it easy for people to follow you on the networks and make it easy for them to share your content with their friends. You need to have both social media share and follow buttons on your website

I didn’t mention Instagram, but you should consider it if you’re more B2C and you want to reach the under 40 crowd. Instagram just hit 700 Million monthly active users. Your strategy here will be branded pictures and short videos. SnapChat is for an even younger crowd, under 25. Similar to Instagram, use branded graphics and short videos.

Once you’ve built your social media following, then you are in management, monitoring and maintenance mode. If you’ve mastered the tools, organized your content and got a gist of how each network works, you can manage your social media in 30 minutes a day.

Here are some follower goals for each of the networks for your first month:

  • Facebook: 30 likes so you can start seeing your insights then, 100 so you can start monitoring your competition in “Pages to Watch”
  • LinkedIn: 50 personal connections; 10 followers on your business page
  • Twitter: 100 followers – then you can start getting analytics
  • Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and SnapChate: 10 followers each

At the end of each month, you must review your analytics and insights.

  • Analytics & PlanningOn your website – make sure Google Analytics is setup:
    • Number of visitors and page views
    • Time spent on your site
    • Bounce rate
    • Referral sources: Besides the search engines, which social media networks brought in the most visitors to your site?
    • Conversion rates: How many visitors converted to leads because they clicked on your call-to-action?
  • On each of the social media networks:
    • Number of followers: Have you reached your goal?
    • Most popular posts: Create more of those.
    • Best time to post: When are the majority of your fans and followers online to get the most reach?
    • Follower demographics: Does this match your target market personas?
    • Engagement rate: likes, shares, comments, clicks

Then adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly for the next month.

You are probably thinking, “How do I learn HOW to do all this?”

Never fear! Your Social Savvy Solution is HERE!

I’ve got all the classes online from the how-to basics in the Master Class (boot camp) to intermediate (tools & strategy) to advanced (analytics and insights – measuring what’s working and not working). It’s setup in a logical progression with easy-to-follow video classes and demonstration videos so you learn how to do everything the right way.

You learn best practices, the culture of the major networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube), search engine optimization, blogging and content marketing. Each video is from 15 to 45 minutes long. They’re up 24/,7 so you can watch them at your own time and at your own speed.

All for only $20/m. Full-access to all the videos. Once you get through the basics, you can pick and choose which ones you want to focus on. I upload new, updated videos each month following all the changes and new features from the networks. Cancel at any time. Anywhere else you’ll pay from $25 – $80/m. Why am I less expensive?

My goal is to help the small business owner, like yourself, become social savvy enough to effectively market your business online.

What are you waiting for? Click here to get started now!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

Spring Social Media JumpStart Package: $3500 for doing the “heavy lifting” up-front work. Includes:

  1. Research and planning ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  2. Social Media Setups ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  3. JumpStart Follower Builder (1 month)
  4. 1 month free online video classes (a $20 value)

Click here for details on the all the services.

Let me do the time-consuming up-front work while you learn how to do it yourself. At the end of the JumpStart, I hand over the reigns. You have 1 month of full-access to all the classes. After that, it’s $20/month for updated videos. (This stuff is constantly changing!)

Billed upfront via Square in 3 payments ($500, 500 and 2500). You can start the online classes with your first payment. Contact me for details. 

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How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social Media [Infographic]

I asked a new client, “Who’s you’re target market?” He replied, “Everyone!” Yikes! Unfortunately, not like back in the day of the Yellow Pages, you can’t place an ad or two in the local paper or the YP and expect to get results. Each social media network has its own audience — a distinct user base. Understanding the different generations and how they use social media, is crucial for effective marketing.

The particular client I mentioned wants to reach a broad audience of different age groups and occupations. Which is fine, however, you market to someone under 40 (Gen Z & Millennials) differently than you would to someone over 40 (Gen X & Baby Boomers) – and on different social networks.

In a nutshell, here’s how, when and where to reach each of the generations: Use Snapchat to reach the under 21 crowd.

Gen Z (<21):

SnapChat and Facebook – the prefer to see real people (authenticity) in marketing rather than celebrities. (Go figure.) Use short, positive content – mostly videos. Best time is early morning and late afternoon.

Use Instagram to reach MillennialsMillennials (22 – 40):

Facebook (their primary news source), Instagram (for the younger half), LinkedIn and Tumblr (Yes, Tumblr is still around!) They’ll skip video ads as soon as they can. 87% own smartphones and will turn to social media when making purchasing decisions. Post relevant, credible content, that they care about.

Gen X (41 – 52):

Use Pinterest to reach Gen XersFacebook (They spend almost 7 hours on there a week!), Pinterest and YouTube. Reach them between 9pm and midnight. They are more brand-loyal than other age groups. Gen Xers have the 2nd largest disposable income and they go for nostalgia and comfort. Use videos and visual content with straight-forward clicks to website. Moreover, they prefer to use a computer rather than a mobile device.

Baby Boomers (53 – 71):

Everyone's on Facebook! These folks prefer email to communicate, yet, they spend 11 hours or more on Facebook each week! They’ll respond to quizzes and polls more so than the other generations. They are vocal and opinionated and prefer slower, informational video content.

 

What stands out to me, besides the fact that they ALL USE FACEBOOK, is that missing from here are Twitter and Google+. That calls for another blog post!

However, not everyone falls perfectly into each of these groups. Individual preferences will differ. That’s why you need to clearly define your target markets’ personas, taking into consideration their habits and preferences first (Get a FREE Workbook!).

This infographic from CitiPostMail, breaks down the generations, which social network they prefer and what type of message will catch their attention:

(Note: There is a discrepancy in the age brackets.)

How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social Media

So, now that you have an idea where your target market hangs out, your next step is to learn everything you can about Facebook and the networks that they prefer. Best place to start is right here in your Social Savvy Solution Online Training Center. Here you’ll find, easy-to-follow videos covering all you need to know about each of the major social media networks, their culture and differences, along with strategies for each of them. Also included are videos on how to use hashtags and how to see what’s working and not working. All for just $20/m! Yes, you can, if you commit yourself, watch all the videos in one month then cancel if you wish.

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

This  infographic How to Market to Different Generations on Social Media appeared first on Top Dog Social Media.

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Top 10 Best Social Media News for the Week of Jan. 6

So how’s the first week of 2017 been treating you? I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be assisting 2 new start-up businesses do market and keyword, research, strategic and tactical planning, setting up their social media platforms and building their following. You’ll hear more about them down the line as I record myself doing a lot of the work so you can learn how to do it yourselves! And that’s what this is all about!

Empowering You to Become Social Savvy!

Here again are this week’s Must-Read, Social Media News You Can Use!

      1. Marketing automation for the little guy is helping to power the new economy – Marketing automation has become very affordable. I use MailChimp (ad link) and it works like a charm for me. The marketing automation feature is only $30 a month. It’s pretty basic and for those of you starting out and trying to grow your email list, you can’t beat the price! However, you have to have an enticing offer so that a visitor will give you their email address. That’s a conversion.

        Related: 3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces Results


      2. 6 Tactics for Turning Your Website into a Lead Generating Machine – This one goes with the one above. Isn’t that the goal of your website to generate good, quality leads?
      3. Mixed Signals on Social Commerce – I wrote about this in my 2017 outlook for social media piece. 1 in 5 Internet users have actually bought something directly from social media. That’s impulse buying!
      4. 9 Ways to Sell on Social Media – Back when social media began, we were told not to “sell” on social. Social media was supposed to drive traffic to the website and that’s where they convert. Conversely, the social media networks are now making it easier to sell on social.
        Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
      5. Top LinkedIn Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers – Many B2C marketers ignore LinkedIn. Nonetheless, according to the demographics, LinkedIn users have buying power.
      6. Will StumbleUpon Help in Improving the Website Traffic – Some of you may not have even heard of StumbledUpon, but it is a free tool to help with search engine ranking.
      7. Does Content Actually Bring in Customers? – I know some of you are still not convinced that blogging and producing useful content for your target market(s) actually works. Maybe seeing it on Entrepreneur Magazine will persuade you to take it seriously.
        Blogger and copywriter service
      8. Here’s the First Periscope Live 360° Video Taken Underwater – I wrote about 360° video in the 2017 Content Marketing outlook piece. Here’s another cool example. What you can do with this is only limited by your creativity.
      9. 21 Tips on Running a Great Social Media Contest – Contests are a great way to get exposure, grow a following and drive traffic to your website.
      10. Consumer Trust Is Evolving in the Digital Age – People buy from whom they know and trust. Embracing this fact is crucial to marketing success. Interesting data on generational breakdowns regarding the sources they trust. Furthermore, understanding how people in different age brackets use online media is important.
        What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics

Never give up on a dream

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Your 2017 Success Plan: 10 Social Media Truths You Need to Know

I covered SEO and Content Marketing for 2017. Here we go with Social Media Marketing. Think about this: 10 years ago, in 2006, when Facebook, Twitter even companies like HubSpot were in their infancy, who could have imagined that 10 years later, 2.3 billion people would be active in social media? (See more stats in #10 below.)

If you’ve been ignoring, afraid of, or otherwise not doing any social media marketing, well, continue ignoring it at your peril. Yep. If you want to succeed in 2017; because you want new business; if you want exposure, you need to embrace social media marketing.

“You need to invest in other marketing skills and put as much effort and investments in them.” ~Derek Iwasiuk in Addicted2Success

Here’s what’s going to be HUGE in 2017 in Social Media Marketing

1. Facebook Video

Facebook Live Video part of Content Marketing for 2017 SuccessIn 2016, Facebook introduced Facebook Live Streaming Video. You can broadcast from your personal Facebook page as well as from your business page.

“Facebook’s been refining their focus on video for some time, and you can expect this to continue into next year.” ~Social Media Today

Live and Native Videos get more exposure on Facebook than plain posts. A Native Video is one of your videos uploaded directly into Facebook not just a YouTube or Vimeo link shared on your page.

What You Need to Do: If you remember anything from this post it’s VIDEO FIRST on Facebook!

2. Facebook Search

Imagine this: 2 billion searches daily! And they are constantly changing their algorithm in order to “improve” search. Facebook is getting like Google. They want the most relevant content to come up when someone searches for something. On Facebook, that can be posts, pages, videos, people, shopping, places, groups, apps, anything!

So, it’s crucial that you rewrite your Facebook business page descriptions and make them keyword-centric. Create unique keyword-rich using descriptive content. This also applies if you are an ecommerce site.

“Ignore Facebook at your peril — even if you’re B2B!” ~ Brian Sutter, Forbes

What You Need to Do: Apply the same keyword research you did for your website to your Facebook page. Fill in ALL the boxes.

3. Facebook “Seeking Recommendations”

“Whether traveling to a new place, looking for a hair salon, or searching for the perfect place to eat, people already turn to their friends, family, and local Groups on Facebook for advice. We’re rolling out a new tool that makes it easier to get and organize all those recommendations in one place.” ~ Facebook

Finding local events is going to be part of this service. So, if you have an event, set it up on Facebook from your business page. Make sure your graphic is of good quality and you have the description with all the relevant keywords. They’ll be rolling out a new version of the event dashboard in the next few weeks. (“Rolling out” means that not everyone sees the new format at once.)

What You Need to Do: Make sure your Facebook business pages are setup nicely with good graphics and a call-to-action.

If someone is recommending your services or products, you don’t want to miss out on a potential customer because you’ve been neglecting your Facebook page!

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?

4. 360° Video on Facebook

Talk about changing perspective! How cool is this!

What You Need to Do: Investigate to see what’s involved with producing 360° video.

Get started with this article from Search Engine Journal.

4. Social Customer ServiceSocial Media Terms Glossary & Online Marketnig Lingo Guide Free ebook

Enough on Facebook! No, back up. The new Facebook business page design makes it easy for a visitor to message you from Facebook. If you have a fast response time – that is, within hours, not days, you’ll get a badge to display on your page showing you have a quick response time.

Twitter is another one. When people are not happy with customer service, they’ll tweet out their frustrations. It’s up to you to be monitoring any mentions or hashtags and respond quickly. Do not do automated responses. Recently, a certain insurance company was trending on Twitter (thousands of people were talking about it) and one person mentioned @Geico. Well, Geico’s automated response system replied to their tweet, with “We’re here to help! Let us know what we can do for you!”. The funny thing is, they were just mentioning it. They weren’t complaining. Instead, Geico, should have picked up on what was going on and used it to their benefit. What happened was, that lots of people were retweeting that tweet and making fun of Geico’s auto response. Not good.

Social Customer Service is expected by consumers however, not many companies are using it.

It’s all about building relationships. Of course, relationships can’t be built if you automate EVERYTHING!

What You Need to Do: Make sure you check your social media at least once a day and monitor your mentions.

5. Twitter will Become more Powerful

News no longer breaks, it tweets.

And our incoming president, Donald Trump knows it. Like him or not, he knows the power of Twitter. He’d rather tweet out an announcement before informing the crowd of reporters waiting in the lobby of Trump Tower. Donald Trump Tweets Secretary of State pickTweets come up in Google search. Because Twitter goes so fast — like a never-ending news ticker — you can easily share 10-20 posts a day. Use a tools like HootSuite (ad link), Buffer or TweetDeck to schedule content out. However, when sharing pictures, make them “native” on Twitter by uploading them directly on Twitter proper or using TweetDeck.

What You Need to Do: Learn Twitter’s Culture so you can use the Tool Properly and Effectively.

6. You’re Going to Have to Pay to Play

Facebook boost post paid advertisingFurthermore, online ads will be more expensive. In other words, your $25 a week will buy you less reach and keyword bids will be higher in pay-per-click (PPC). My advice still is NOT pay for advertising until you’ve tried doing it “organically” (not paid) for 3-6 months. Although, you can continue to avoid paid advertising, but more than likely, your competition hasn’t. You’re going to have to pay to get extra exposure — especially on Facebook. That’s how Facebook makes money. They fix their algorithm (search engine) to show less from business pages that don’t pay. Nevertheless, there are still ways to get exposure on Facebook without paying and it’s with videos. (See #1 above).

What You Need to Do: Familiarize yourself with the Best Practices of PPC and paid online advertising.

Now, I specialize in non-paid, organic social media and SEO marketing. That being said, if you’re thinking of doing paid advertising, here are a few articles to guide you…

7. Social Conversions

Get Your Social Media Startup Pack now!Get them while they’re hot to buy! Those impulse buyers. They see something they like and have to have it now! Social conversions is a feature that many of the social networks are offering. Pinterest has it down with their Promoted Pins. You pin something from your shopping cart and people can purchase it without leaving Pinterest. The idea is to avoid a shopper having second thoughts or being distracted when they go to your online ecommerce site to purchase something.

Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram are all working on providing this service. It’s part of PPC or “pay-to-play” that I wrote about above. The networks are attempting to make it easy to pull in your ecommerce products into their systems, but it may take a little programming on your part. Moreover, ecommerce sites like Shopify and Etsy have tutorials on how to integrate your store in the social networks.

By the same token, on the non-paid side, the new redesign of Facebook’s business pages improved on the call-to-action (CTA) button. Make sure you’ve got yours leading the visitor to the right place to get the most conversions.

What You Need to Do: Familiarize yourself and keep up with the latest new ecommerce in social media features.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

8. Email Matching with Paid Social Media Advertising

Another feature that the social networks are offering is “Email Matching”. You upload your customer email list to the network and when someone on your list logs on, they’ll see your ads.

What You Need to Do: Again, do your research. Learn before spending money.

9. Big Data, Analytics and Insights

Going along with all this advertising comes tracking what’s working and not working. Enter Analytics! Analytics aren’t as scary as they seem and you don’t need to hire an analyst to understand them or to get valuable information from them. Besides Google Analytics, each of the networks has insights and analytics available even if you don’t pay for advertising.

You must check these at least once a month so you can judge which posts were effective and what isn’t bringing you business or doing what you expected. [Related: Determine Your Key Metrics Before You Start]

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookAll the networks also use the data garnered from users to help you find your target market niche. Additionally, they assist you in targeting your perfect customer. That’s why you need to Define Your Target Market first and then do some research on them. For instance, if you’re on Snapchat trying to reach Baby Boomers, you’re not going to be successful. If you want to reach 12-24 year-olds, then yes, Snapchat is a tool for you.

What You Need to Do: Get into the habit of checking your analytics at the end of each month.

10. Social Media Statistics You Can’t Ignore

In conclusion, here are 10 of 2016’s Big Data stats that should open your eyes to the power of social media marketing.

  1. Close to 2 billion people are active mobile social users (Vendasta). This means that people take their social media with them wherever they go. They access it at all times of the day. This is why it is so important that your website is optimized for mobile (and I wrote about this in the 2017 SEO post) so when a mobile user goes from your social media page to your site, it’s a smooth transition to a conversion.
  2. 84% of Internet users are on Facebook (Vendasta). Even if you’re a B2B business, you can generate leads on Facebook. That’s where the people are! That being said, with more and more businesses, both B2C and B2B, marketing on Facebook, it behooves you to have a distinct strategy to reach your specific target market. Without a good strategic plan, you’ll be wasting time, effort and money and not getting the results you want.
  3. Over 40% of Twitter‘s 317 million active users learn about products and services via Twitter (Vendasta). I recommend using Twitter daily for brand exposure and SEO. (See #5 above)
  4. 7 out of 10 professionals describe LinkedIn as a trustworthy source of professional content (SmallBizTrends). In addition, 50 percent of B2B buyers use LinkedIn when making purchasing decisions. Even for B2C businesses, both your personal profile and company pages on LinkedIn boost credibility. In case you didn’t know, Microsoft bought LinkedIn so look for some big changes to the platform in 2017.
  5. There are 540 million active users on Google+, 62% of them are B2B marketers (Vendasta). Believe it or not, there are active users on Google+. The power of G+ is that everything posted “public” gets indexed in the search engine.
  6. 60% of millennials have an account on Instagram and they hit 500 million active users in 2016 (Vendasta). They grew by 100 million in one year. Facebook owns Instagram and they’re only going to be making it a better user experience.
  7. Pinterest has more than 150 million monthly active users (HootSuite). 60% of pinners are under 40 years old. Though the majority of Pinterest users are women, the male population on Pinterest has increased by 120% in the past year. (Must be all the DIY stuff!)
  8. 50% of young adults in the US watch videos on Snapchat (Vendasta). They hit 200 million users in 2016. 60% of millennials in America use Snapchat. If you’re trying to reach the younger market, you need to consider Snapchat.
  9. There are 900 million unique visitorss to YouTube every month (Vendasta). They are the most visited online platform with 8 out of 10 Internet users visiting YouTube monthly.
  10. Almost 90 percent of marketers say their social media marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75 percent say they’ve increased traffic. (SmallBizTrends)

What You Need to Do: Stop procrastinating and get your social media act together NOW!

Free Phone Consult & Social Media Audit

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Last Year’s Social Media Marketing Predicted Trends: What Came True?

Don’t you just love December? It’s the time when all the experts, gurus, geniuses, pundits, authorities and mavens write their recaps of the year’s social media marketing news and trends. They then come out and predict what’s coming in the new year. I’ve been collecting blog posts and articles from all the “experts” out there and will be curating them into my 2017 predictions which I’ll launch next week.

Here I dug up my 2016 Social Media Marketing Trend Predictions for 2016 and we’ll see what came to pass and what didn’t happen.

Facebook

Let’s start with Big Daddy, Facebook. They were supposedly going to offer options for publishers to monetize content. That didn’t happen. At least not that I noticed. They did, however, focus on Messenger, adding advertising options and more features. They have enhanced their Business Directory, internal search algorithm and Places Directory.

What no one saw coming was Facebook Live Streaming Video. That has turned online marketing on its ear. Now any user can broadcast themselves from their personal profile and any business can broadcast from their business page – LIVE! And it’s FREE! Though apps like Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Meerkat offered live video streaming, it took Big Daddy, Facebook making this feature available to its nearly 2 billion users to really make live video a major trend. I’ll cover the future of this in the 2017 predictions post.

Twitter

Though I didn’t have any specific 2016 predictions for Twitter, 2016 has been Twitter’s year and we can thank Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Imagine that President-Elect Trump would rather tweet out his latest news of a cabinet appointee than tell the reporters waiting in the lobby of Trump Tower. Donald Trump Tweets Secretary of State pick

Twitter is merging its Periscope live streaming into their mainline app. Yay! One less app to deal with. Twitter also improved their analytics and advertising audience targeting to compete with Facebook. They also tweaked their platform so you can easily add pictures and links without them taking up valuable 140-character space.

Google+

As predicted, Google+ is not dead, nor is it dying. It’s still Google’s social network that they use to measure what people find popular. They launched the new layout and format focusing on Collections (which are like Pinterest Boards – though not as easy to use) and Communities (which are like LinkedIn and Facebook groups – though not as popular). And of course, Google+ is still a network created by developers without taking the end user into consideration. What used to take 1 or 2 clicks in the old version, now takes 3, 4 maybe even 5 clicks. HOWEVER, Google+’s main benefit is its connection to the Google search engine. Anything posted public is indexed in the search engine. Even doing some micro-blogging on G+ helps with SEO (search engine optimization).

LinkedIn

The professional networking powerhouse, LinkedIn, is on its way to joining Microsoft’s family. They did make changes to LinkedIn Pulse – where they incorporated Pulse articles into the user’s newsfeed. If they’re following a company or a user, they’ll see the articles. They did start calling them “articles” rather than “posts” which was confusing. LinkedIn is actually encouraging people to contact connections for sales by merging what used to be “InMail” — their internal email system — with their text messaging platform. They launched their Profinder, where freelancers can list themselves and receive RFPs (requests for proposals). Access Profinder from the “Interests” menu.

LinkedIn Profinder

Most of the rest of the social media marketing predictions for 2016, I wrote about last year still hold true. Except for the demise of Blab and the slow death of Periscope, with both Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram adding the live streaming video features, anyone can be a broadcaster. We’re still waiting for YouTube Live. Interesting how Google, who was the first to come out with live streaming in Google+ Hangouts is the one that’s now lagging behind Facebook and Twitter with making it simple and user-friendly. IMHO, the Google developers need to stop thinking like developers and starting thinking like the end user.

One thing still holds true, Social Media Marketing is constantly changing!

Stick with Me and I’ll Continue to be Your Guide!

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

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Q&A: Do I Have to Follow Back Everyone Who Follows Me on Social Media?

Someone asked, “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?” It depends. I explain in this video:

Below is the full transcript of “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?”:

Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?Someone asked, “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?” It depends. Let me explain. On Facebook, a business can’t follow a person. They can thank a person for liking their page — especially if they’re trying to get the first 30 or 100 likes. You get added features at those benchmarks. On LinkedIn, you connect with people who would be potential clients and/or referral sources and you don’t have to accept every invitation to connect. Twitter is the only network with a culture where people expect to be thanked for following you, retweeting – that is sharing a tweet with their followers — or mentioning – aka a “shout out”. You don’t have to follow everyone back. Here’s how you can judge who to follow or who to ignore on Twitter.

Are they in your industry or a related industry? Look to see how many tweets they’ve made and how many followers they have. Are they sharing content that is of value to you or your target market? You also want to follow influencers and newsmakers — the folks with a lot of followers and are actively tweeting.

Look at when they joined Twitter and when they last tweeted. They could be a newbie. If you like what they’re posting, by all means, follow them back. Basically, everyone starts off as a newbie – following a lot of people to get noticed; then as you share good, quality content, you become a relationship builder with more or less an even follower to following ratio. And that’s the idea — you want build relationships.

You eventually become a newsmaker. OK, you might not get to the millions of followers like Forbes has, but you’ll have more followers than you are following. At this point, you can be choosier as to who you follow back.

Beware of the fake accounts. They usually are an egghead – they haven’t uploaded a picture or logo; they may have many followers, but a couple of tweets. You can just ignore these folks. There are also the ones that want to sell you something. You don’t need to thank these either or follow them back, unless you may be interested in what they’re selling.

You may encounter information gatherers. These folks follow a lot of people, but they don’t tweet much and they don’t have nearly as many followers as the number of people they are following.
Basically, if they’re not tweeting – and tweeting recently and a least something daily, they’re not worth following. Which brings me to the point that, if you’re not tweeting regularly, you’re not worth following!

What about Instagram? Well, same thing applies. Do you like what they’re posting? If so, then follow them back. On Instagram, you can only like or comment on a picture or a story that someone shared. On both Twitter and Instagram, you an always unfollow someone if you don’t like what they’re posting.

Hey, and if you have a burning social media, SEO or content marketing question, please either comment below or shoot me an email! Thanks for watching & my goal is to help you get social savvy!

If you still don’t get how all this works, check out the Social Media Marketing Resources at Your Social Savvy Solution!

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