Social Media Marketing

How to Stay Current with Social Media Trends

May 17th, 2017

social media trends

Social Media is always changing, so how can you stay on top of its trends? Keeping up within ever-changing online landscapes require the development of continuous learning and adaptation skills. Even the most experienced Social Media experts need to refine their skill set. They continue to update their strategies, to learn and practice new techniques, and become aware of and master the latest changes to new and existing Social Media platforms.

Why You Should Stay Current

It’s important to understand why you should keep up with Social Media trends. We’ll begin by highlighting some of benefits to having a Social Media mastery.

Being aware of and how to utilize the latest updates and trends from top platforms to benefit your website can keep you competitive and assist your business to get the greatest return on investment from every Marketing dollar.

For example, your brand could benefit from understanding and utilizing trends such as updates to:

  • Images/memes
  • Hashtags
  • Verbiage

How You Should Stay Current

Get Familiar

This might seem obvious, but your first step to understanding Social Media’s value to businesses is by using it yourself. You’ll soon see the user’s point of view, which can be beneficial when promoting your own content. Is there something that really annoys you about objectivity of the steady content barrage on Facebook or Twitter? You can now keep that in mind regarding content for your business to have a better chance of reaching your intended audience.

Alerts

Like to be the first to know? You’ll appreciate breaking news stories! Set up tracking alerts for popular hashtags and news trends. This can be done via:

  • Twitter
  • Google Alerts
  • Instagram Explore Tab

For example, a major trending campaign like #ShareACoke can be followed and benchmarked for additional insight on how long-term campaigns affect user engagement. Utilize a/b testing to establish the most effective components for your own marketing campaign(s).

Subscribe to Trustworthy Blogs and Publications

The digital world moves extremely fast and places a premium on accessing the right information as quickly as possible. It’s best to get your information from trustworthy blogs and publications, such as:

  • AWG Blog
  • Social Media Today
  • Social Media Examiner
  • Post Planner
  • Content Marketing Institute

Analyze Your Own Social Media Metrics

Utilize Social Media analytics for personal performance (use in addition to algorithm changes/updates and trending practices). This can also provide valuable insight as to how these new rules and updates apply to and/or affect your brand. The correct informational context is crucial, so it’s best to have an established method to understand and to deploy your data across all channels.

Social Media is an excellent tool for reaching your intended audience and for increasing your brand’s digital presence. If you’re not happy with the way your Social Media efforts are propelling your business forward, take advantage of a FREE Social Media Analysis from Active Web Group. Our experts will find ways to improve your strategy, boost efficiency, and increase revenue.

FREE Social Media Analysis

Tips for Creating Effective Social Media Ads

April 6th, 2017

Effective Social Media AdsIt’s important for businesses to promote themselves, whether through brand awareness, sales, content marketing or other effective methods. While many companies understand that it’s important to advertise, they might not understand what this strategy fully entails, and possibly miss performing important steps in the process toward achieving their goals. Currently, many companies are utilizing social media to further their brand, but by not having a clear idea of what they are trying to accomplish or how to go about it, time and money are likely being wasted. Below, Active Web Group’s Social Media professionals provide valuable insights to illustrate the right way to approach advertising on the Social Media platforms. Not only will this knowledge save time and money, but effective Social Media advertising will also accomplish your business’ primary goal- to further your brand.

Here’s Where Many Companies Go Wrong.

Can Your Business Relate?

Lacking a Clear Goal

It is pointless and a waste of money to advertise just for the sake of advertising. An effective ad always has a clear message, promoting awareness and/or persuasive action. Without a measurable goal, the ad’s quality will suffer, as will the metrics, which are key elements in successful long-term campaigns (explained below).

Overcomplicating the Message

When advertising on social media, understanding the consumer’s perspective is key. Like many other digital marketing efforts, social media provides a platform for users to find and digest information quickly because everything is instant. Most online visitors will have diminished attention spans so the message has to be made in five seconds or less, the time a visitor makes the decision to stay on a site or to leave. Therefore it’s absolutely essential to convey your message as quickly and simply as possible.

Social media users scroll their timelines in search of content from those feeds that they subscribe to (friends, family, entertainment, news, etc.) because these outlets are what pique their interests. These consumers are not, however, present for the sake of viewing your ad(s) so make sure your ad grabs attention, conveys a message, and either leaves a lasting impression, or drives an action (depending on the type of ad).

Not Testing

No ad is perfect, and it’s virtually impossible for someone to create a highly successful ad the first time around. No matter how successful or experienced the content developers may be,, it’s vital to test different ideas and versions of each idea for optimal results. It might sound like a lot of work, but something as simple as changing one word can make the difference between success and failure.

Not Adapting to Data

Beyond their initial intention, ads may offer secondary benefit as they also provide or collect valuable information that can be used for your on-going marketing efforts. Based on the results, you can alter your content for consistent improvement. This could have to do with simple factors such as:

  • Timing
  • Design
  • Verbiage
  • Calls-to-Action
  • Among many, many others

Ineffective Targeting

Effective targeting might seem obvious, but many businesses neglect just how important this step is. Estimating your target audience is not enough, extensive research is imperative. If your ad misses its mark, you will waste valuable time and money.

Why Advertise on Social Media?

There are risks to consider when using any media outlet. Social Media success requires an initial understanding of who is the ad’s target audience. For many (including professionals), targeting is the largest hurdle to overcome when creating a series of advertisements. Social Media (Facebook specifically) can make this highly critical step much easier by allowing the advertiser to target by demographic features such including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Religion
  • Political Views
  • Leisurely Interests

With such specific fields and advanced algorithms at their disposal, Facebook is able to leverage information and accurately present your ad to prospects most likely to be interested in its content. Other than the specific fields of measures, Facebook also targets prospects more efficiently as you’re able to choose different ads, based on your goals.Facebook also captures advanced and ultra-specific analytics that help measure results with precise detail. This ensures little to no ad-spend is wasted in the process. Can billboards or television ads promise the same results?

Types of Ads

Facebook

Awareness

These are great for gaining traction and exposure for your brand, which is ideal for newer pages. Awareness ads work best when reaching a local public, rather than focusing more on demographics, which eventually becomes inevitable. Awareness ads consist of:

  • Brand Awareness

Promotes your content to increase your brand’s message, which is ideal for leaving an impression on potential customers

  • Reach

Maximizes impressions/exposure – the broader the message, the better results you will receive

Consideration

Consideration ads are typically used more for better-established pages. Running ads of this caliber are most advantageous when your brand has a defined Content Marketing Strategy and Buyer Personas established. Consideration ads consist of:

  • Traffic

Excellent for driving to a non-Facebook destination, such as your website

  • Engagement

Very broad when discussing social media in general, so Facebook took the liberty of breaking down this ad-type into 3 sub-categories

  • Post Engagement

Increases post likes/comments/shares – great method for creating viral content

  • Page Likes

Promotes your page to those likely interested – very important for starting your page

  • Event Responses

Promotes an event – good for targeting local

  • App Installs

Promotes your app

  • Video Views

Promotes video content

  • Lead Generation

Generate leads – perfect for businesses looking to gather information and encourage signups.

Facebook has also added a great new feature that allows you to split test your ads. Take advantage by making subtle changes such as copy, colors, calls-to-action, etc. to determine the most effective ad for your objective.

Conversion

Conversion ads help achieve the bottom line, which for many businesses is sales. Conversion ads consist of:

  • Conversions

After installing a tracking pixel, content is promoted and follows users, giving more insight as to how they responded to your ad beyond just conversions

  • Product Catalog Sales

Creates ads featuring products from your catalog

  • Store Visits

Promotes awareness for brick-and-mortars with store directions

Instagram

Since Facebook purchased Instagram, you can link accounts and run similar ads on each platform simultaneously. Only interested in Instagram advertising? You can remove Facebook from the placement section of your ad to run your ad on Instagram only.

Twitter

Website Clicks or Conversions

Promotes tweets where advertiser pays per link click – Ideal for driving website traffic and sales

Followers

Increases followers – great for new pages

Awareness

Increases awareness for your brand’s message – advertiser pays per impression

Tweet Engagement

Promotes content to users most likely to engage – ideal for increasing quality prospects

LinkedIn

Sponsored Content

Helps build brand awareness; best suited for B2B or recruiting efforts

InMail

Target prospects and sends personalized messages

Text Ads

Drives traffic to your website for increased conversions

Ads Aren’t Enough!

While advertising on social media is undoubtedly important, we must include that advertising is only one piece of the puzzle. In conjunction with a well-executed branding and content strategy, ads can boost reach, engagement and sales, but only if the aforementioned as been completed.

Organic Content

A steady balance of organic content maintains the attention of your audience and shows your brand is up-to-date. Ads are typically meant to boost the effect of your organic content as well as increase sales and website exposure. The larger you organic reach is, the farther your free daily organic content will extend your brand.

The 80/20 rule is a system of guidelines to follow in which 80% of the content you post is informative such as blogs, news about your company, branded content, relevant articles, etc. while the other 20% is content relating to leads and sales. If your promotional content is too heavy, your audience might be turned off to the idea of your brand, as they want to be taught and entertained, rather than sold.

Audiences

One HUGE misconception businesses have on follower counts occurs within the numbers. People assume success has been achieved when they see a large number of followers or subscribers, but fail to consider the value of each individual follower. Not all followers are created equal!
500 quality followers who will engage and eventually purchase is far more valuable than 5000 followers who are only following for a follow-back. If a follower isn’t paying attention to your content or buying, then they aren’t valuable. When assessing the importance of followers, consider why you have a social media presence in the first place.

Active Web Group is a full-service digital marketing agency that uses social media to produce success by connecting brands with their intended audiences. Looking to increase your social media presence and revenue? Get a FREE Social Media Marketing Analysis Now or contact Active Web Group at (800)978-3417 today!

Facebook Advertising Update

February 15th, 2017

Facebook Advertising UpdateSoon, brands will have another powerful social media tool to increase awareness, their customer base, as well as its loyalty. Facebook is gradually releasing Page Engagement Custom Audiences (PECA) – which will allow brands to more fully utilize post engagement to increase key performance indicators. When the PECA rollout is complete, brands will be able to target their audiences to the degree that they can direct their promotions to those who have proven interest in their content. This should assist brands to create more effective campaigns for increased conversions since their prospect base will be known to have interest in the brand’s goods and services.

An Engagement Custom Audience is a new segmentation group of users who have engaged with previous content on Facebook. When utilized, advertisers will be able to create an audience which consists only of users who have visited a brand’s page, engaged with previous organic or paid posts, or directly interacted with the brand..

How Brands Will Capitalize

This is BIG news, as this new segmentation feature will allow for brands to advertise more efficiently on Facebook. The ability to target users who have already engaged with previous posts (implying some interest in a brand) will give brands the chance to experiment with a wider array of content to fish for more engagements. Facebook’s version of Social Remarketing is creating more opportunities for brands!

This will not only benefit brands, but users as well. The ability to advertise more efficiently means that ads will be more relevant, thereby increasing the overall user experience. This expanded capability will also give brands a better indication of ad performance, considering their ads will be seen by users who have historically responded. This is one of many ways that Facebook will be incorporating personalization tactics for their users.

Are your social media ads converting as they should be? Find out with a FREE confidential consultation with Active Web Group! We’re a full service digital marketing agency, providing social media strategy and execution for businesses of all sizes and industries! We also offer responsive web design, SEO, email marketing, PPC and other services to help your business succeed! For more information, or to arrange a confidential consultation, please reach us at (800) 978-3417.

How to Use Social Media for Advertising

January 12th, 2016

Social media is how users share everything from delivering important world news to funny cat pictures. It also affects how users make purchasing decisions. Just as consumers once relied on print ads and televisions spots, social media is where customers are getting information about products. Due to this shift, brands have to think about how social media can be leveraged for advertising.

How to Create Your Social Media Tone of Voice

November 20th, 2015

From multi-million dollar corporations to budding non-for-profits, organizations on every corner of the business spectrum need to have an understanding of the tone of voice they will use on social platforms before ever creating their first company profile.

8 Tips to Help Your Social Media Grow

May 29th, 2015

No matter what stage you are with business, there’s always a new way to develop your social media. Those in the USA spend an average of 2.7 hours a day on their social media accounts and you want to make sure you’re getting proper publicity (wearesocial.net). Some ways you can do this are by keeping your accounts updated, using unique hashtags and personally connecting with your audience.

Boosting Facebook Page Likes for Your Business

February 20th, 2015

Companies of all types and sizes use Facebook ads as one of their primary means of advertising to help meet all sorts of business goals, such as increased website visits, email signups, event attendance and ultimately, sales conversions. Page Admins have the ability to deliver timely and relevant offers, promotions and messages to specific demographics based on key parameters to target consumers who are interested in their products or services right at their fingertips.

Strategies to Build Your Brand on Social Media

November 13th, 2014

Four out of five Smartphone users reach for their devices and log onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram within minutes of waking. Therefore, building brand awareness via Social Media continues to be a top priority for savvy digital marketers.

Does My Business Need a Twitter Account

March 17th, 2014

Does your business need a Twitter account? Can you use your personal Twitter account to promote your business, or should you keep the separate? What are best practices for trying to grow a Twitter account, get the most out of it, and what mistakes do you want avoid making on your Twitter account? In this post we'll take a look at those questions and more.

Do I Need a Facebook Account For My Business?

February 27th, 2014

Does your business need a Facebook page, can you use your personal account, and what are some of the best practices for companies and small businesses who are trying to get involved in social media? In this post we'll take a look at those questions and more.

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