Picking and Prioritizing your Social Media Platforms

Social Media picture

Don’t let your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to “show up” day after day with fresh content. Instead of spreading yourself thin across 5 different sites, focus on 1-2 primary accounts.

Incorporating social scheduling and automation saves time and energy. Picking and prioritizing your social platforms based on your audience location. Repurpose content so your not always trying to “reinvent the wheel.” Build your presence and following on those accounts as much as possible. If you don’t have Fortune 500 type social media resources, just pick and focus on 1 platform.

Once you get the hang of it (content creation, social scheduling) branch out and add another platform. You can always outsource the work to a freelancer. When you outsource anything, one of the greatest outcomes is gaining expertise that isn’t currently available to you. This is especially true when you’re considering outsourcing social media marketing & management.

Small Business: Instagram Should Not Be Ignored in 2021

I shared the above graph way back in 2017. Instagram has become a critical platform for product marketing, particularly small business. The Instagram platform is evolving and raising the bar. Forward to today and the 2023 forecast below:

Instagram is a great way to tell a story and find customers. Once you’ve got a story going, an audience will grow organically (as pictured above). A key ingredient with Instagram is using # Hashtags to get your business found by customers. Hashtag marketing makes your posts searchable and gets your business found by local & national customers (especially relevant on Instagram where you can post 10+ Hashtags per post). Growing a dedicated following on Instagram won’t happen overnight. But the bright side is that Instagram users are very active and love to engage. The option to switch to an Instagram business account and use Instagram tools for checking insights and running advertisements has been life changing for small business (SMB).

With Instagram ads, you can reach new customers and extend your reach with customizable, trackable advertisements. You can target specific demographics, link to your website and collect valuable user data that can help inform your other social media marketing campaigns. Instagram is the ideal choice for SMB‘s. You can engage with your customers, advertise your products and build awareness for your brand of service!

Social Media Outreach in 2021

From a product or services firm perspective: Pick two or three social media platforms and concentrate on mastering those (if resources allow). If resources are limited, concentrate on Facebook and Twitter first. Determine which serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.

First things first. Establish Trust. People naturally look to other people as a guide for their own behavior. Don’t get spammy with your posts or tweets. Post social media content that is quality and  compelling (always include an image). Encourage free exchange. Be open to change and continuous learning. Social proof (trust) typically rises exponentially, and it will become a self-perpetuating force.

Remember to establish reasonable goals once you start gaining momentum. Listen to your customers or fans (followers). Always gain feedback and adjust accordingly (iterate). Figure out what to measure when putting together goals. Example: do you measure “followers” or “likes” “retweets” or “retention” or “sales”?

Your goals should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each platform. Take a look at your outreach strategy and review the reasons your business is implementing a social media marketing outreach plan. What do you want out of your social activities? Are you trying to drive visitors to your website, your blog, via Twitter or your Facebook page? Are your competitors on social media? Focusing on your ultimate goal will guide your next steps: what you do (what other channels you will use going forward), when you do it (what schedule you will aim for? Night or Daytime according to your demographic), and what content to share. Be vigilant and always participate every day (even if you have to schedule and automate it). Social Media marketing is a slow process that will pay off dividends in the future!

Pinterest Marketing for Small Business in 2021

Pinterest has seen a huge growth of users in 2020-2021. Pinterest can help certain small business increase their referral traffic from visually rich content which gets published on the site. With the launch of Pinterest for Business Pages, small business brands must take advantage of the platform. Pinterest for Business Pages is essentially its version of Facebook Pages for business. It’s important to note there are personal and business accounts on Pinterest.

The Pinterest business account gives you access to Pinterest’s Built-In Analytics Dashboard as well as the ability to advertise: Promoted Pins, Buyable Pins. Your Pins are optimized for business: Rich Pins and Pin Statistics for each Pin and a business account will get access to new features before a personal account. A Pinterest personal account is ideal if you want to find things. With a personal account, you can still upload your own pins, but you won’t be able to see the statistics on the things you pin.

The good news is that Pinterest is offering the option to either create a new business profile, or convert your existing personal one. This is done through the Pinterest Business Center, where you simply create a new account or click to convert your existing one.

Pinning strategies include “Repinning”, which is a great way of building up new followers, but to be truly influential, you need to pin your own content regularly and before everyone else. Pinterest is a very visual site, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t pin videos on your boards. It’s good to mix up your content a little and provide these links, just to see how exactly your followers react to it.

While your descriptions can go up to 500 characters, the chances of people reading the entire description (unless it’s a competition) is slim. This is especially true when you consider that only a small portion of that description will be visible when you’re browsing boards. It’s best to keep descriptions short and sweet so that both the image and text is easily visible.

Why is Pinterest getting so popular amongst small business brands and Marketing SEO?

According to data released by SimilarWeb also found that Pinterest receives 58.78% of direct desktop traffic and 37.98% from the organic search. They also got 1.4% traffic from referring sites like Amazon and Etsy. Most consumers using Pinterest head straight to the site when looking for inspiration or products to buy, with few visitors from Social, Mail, or Display Advertising.

Finally, and very important! Make sure to verify your website with Pinterest which enables you to become visible in search results (SERPs). To do this, simply add a HTML tag from Pinterest to the header of your website. You have to add an HTML tag to your website’s source code so Pinterest can confirm that you own the website you want to claim. By claiming your website, you get access to analytics for the Pins you publish from your site, the analytics on Pins that other people create from your site and let people know where they can find more of your content. Simple.

Social Media Analytics for Financial Advisors in 2021

Data analytics have always been a Financial Advisor’s best friend. Social Media analytics tracks your online campaign’s progress, helps you better allocate your time, and you get to see a bigger part of the whole picture. The core of social media analytics is the actual gathering and analyzing of marketing and audience (persona) data upon which you’ll base business decisions.

Social Media analytics are a treasure trove of “potential” client acquisition insights you can’t find anywhere else. Analytic tools such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Hubspot, Sprout Social, TapInfluence, Keyhole measure exactly the Social Media marketing campaign’s ROI. The takeaway from all of these tools? It’s the difference between running data-driven campaigns that result in a positive ROI versus just winging it. If your not measuring your Social Media efforts, your wasting valuable marketing time.

Data-driven Social Media insights lead to Financial Advisor prospecting ideas that lead to more efficient prospecting activities.

Which Social Media Can Help SEO in 2021?

SEO is especially important in the inbound marketing world, which relies on potential customers finding you through their own research process — a process that often involves organic search. Social platforms have built-in search functions, and search engines like Google + Bing are starting to take your social presence (use of “social signals”) into account when delivering results

Adding a social media presence to your SEO / traffic strategy is key now. However, the relationship between Social Media and SEO is complicated. As a general rule, the more social media signals you generate, the “better” your prospects of ranking higher. Make sure your business has a Facebook page, Twitter account, and a LinkedIn page. Be consistent with all of them when posting content. Use the same announcements, content, pictures, branding, description, etc. Also, make sure your website is more shareable. Rock-on!

Financial Advisors: 6 critical metrics to measure business blog performance in 2021

  1. Measure Visitors. Traffic measures the number of people who visit your blog.
  2. Measure Leads. Measuring “leads” can be as easy as a vistor filling out a contact form. Set up a goal in Google Analytics. Goals in Google Analytics measure actions you want visitors to take after reading one of your blog posts. That might be signing up for your newsletter, or filling out a content form. Looking at how many people subscribe to your blog or newsletter provides a solid indicator of the quality of your content.
  3. Measure Social Media Shares, retweets, likes or clicks. Social media can be a key driver of short-term traffic. Keeping an eye on your social analytics can help you understand spikes in your shares and the impact of your shared blog content on your overall engagement rate.
  4. Average length of stay. The average length of stay on the blog post’s web page is a metric that gives you an indication of how compelling your blogging is to the reader.
  5. Page views per visit. Page views per visit is a metric that quantifies your success at encouraging multiple interactions.
  6. Inbound links. You need to get well respected, “authoritative” domains linking to your content. More inbound links occur when another website links back to your site. Inbound links is an indicator that your site has high-quality content, making these links one of the most important elements in search engine optimization (SEO).

8 Tips That Make Your Company’s Twitter Dominate in 2021

Pick of Twitter app

When creating a company business Twitter account, make sure you cover the “basics” first. A great Twitter profile design will help set you apart from your competitors and make your brand look unique.

  1. Create a likeable and catchy Twitter handle. Your Twitter handle can be another step in the perfect profile design, matching the personality you’re attempting to convey with your profile. Choose something that doesn’t utilize numbers or underscores, if possible, to help make your handle stand out as unique. It could be your company name (if not chosen already) or your product or services specialization (niche).
  2. Use high quality (hi-resolution) images that grab a visitor’s attention. Use a eye catching profile company logo and don’t forget the background header image. Check your file type. Twitter supports JPEG, GIF, and PNG file formats. Maximum file size for profile photos is 2MB. Recommended dimensions for profile images are 400×400 pixels. Recommended dimensions for header images are 1500×500 pixels. Maximum file size for profile photos is 2MB. Check the dimensions. Recommended dimensions for profile images are 400×400 pixels. Recommended dimensions for header images are 1500×500 pixels.
  3. Include website link in your bio. This is crucial as visitors will look and click on your bio. You want them to click back to your website!
  4. Once your Twitter profile is dialed-in, it’s time to start posting! Pin Your Favorite, Most Creative Tweet to the Top of Your Profile. An excellent feature on Twitter is the ability to pin a tweet to the top of your profile. Pin a post that promotes your business and service. Make it catchy and link to your website original content or landing page.
  5. Follow accounts (influencers) that related to your Product or Service or specialization. This has proven to be the most important factor to grow your network on Twitter. Naturally, as you start taking notice in others tweets, they will start retweeting you too. Retweet (RT) are crucial in promoting your content. Retweeting provides an enormous potential for viral marketing. Numerous studies suggest the average Twitter user retweets only one in 300-400 URL’s. One can measure how much influence user (person A) has one user (person B) by counting the number of times B retweeted A. Getting retweet is important on a few different levels
      • People are actually reading your tweets and think that some of them are actually valuable enough to retweet to their followers.
      • The act of someone retweeting your tweet generates traffic back to your profile or the URL you listed. This can be valuable traffic generator if your URL is pointing back to a webpage that sells products or services (think branding). When you get a retweet, the potential of reaching larger audiences suddenly opens up for your business. Basically, the amplify effect of retweets, has the potential to make your business content posts go viral on Twitter.

        Use Twitter’s Referral Traffic to Convert Prospects into Clients

      • People want to be retweeted! Having retweets and other interaction in your tweet stream makes you a much more attractive person/entity to follow than someone whose tweets one-way.
      • Retweets (RT) help build trust. Period. If you retweet valuable posts, your followers will trust you more than ever. But be careful, At the same time, ineffective retweeting can wreck your personal brand reputation.

6. Focused on your product or service niche. Start tweeting about topics that are tightly interconnected with your products’ or service focus. The major benefit of doing this is that as you become known as an expert voice in your space. Also, pay attention to the average “Social Media Post Lifespan for 2021.”

7. Get creative with your Tweets and always use images within the post. Think carefully about the wording of tweets posted. Tweeting something different than the headlines of posts that everyone else is tweeting about can help you to stand out. Try rewriting post headlines or adding your thoughts next to them. Another way to do this is to find a quote from a post you enjoyed and turn that into your headline for the tweet. Doing this can spice up your tweets and shows your followers that you are truly engaged with the content you are tweeting about.

8. Use a good social media management platform to manage Twitter postings. A couple of good examples are TweetDeck or HootSuite. These tools let you simultaneously manage all your social media accounts from a single interface. Although it excels with Twitter, you can also effectively manage your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram profiles.

 

How to Measure (ROI) Social Media Campaigns in 2021

Picture of Analysts

Before starting any Social Media effort you must DEFINE your goals and targets (KPIs). A lot of these KPIs you can track from a CRM like HootSuite, HubSpot, Salesforce, or Sprout Social.

Basic Social Media Campaign KPI’s (Tangible) measurements:

  1. Product sales or qualified leads. New customers acquired. Not included: “converted leads” which are the responsibility of the sales organization or account manager.
  2. Increased revenue, and/or market share.
  3. Content Post CTR (Click-through rate) through Social Media platform.
  4. Site traffic (clicks back to website from a Social platform) or “sessions” by Social Media source

These are just a few basic metrics that you can use to measure your Social Media campaigns. So how do you measure the ever important “non-tangible” Social Media ROI?

  1. The quality of “buzz” or change in sentiment. Think Twitter buzz or the quality/quantity of blog feedback/comments. Develop an in-house engagement metric.
  2. Amount of relevant people handling digital content.
  3. Amount of “followers” or new members after a social media campaign. Not everyone’s social media goals is to sell product. Could be a branding goal or a service type goal.
  4. ReTweets
  5. Impressions
  6. Likes
  7. Connections

In the end, Social Media campaign goals must lead to increased revenue, SEO rankings (Google, and Bing are using “social signals” to help them rank), leads, branding/loyalty, or better service. It’s easy to present the tangible information to your boss or client. Make sure the non-tangible information is measured as well.

Why Small Business (SMB) Needs To Get On Facebook in 2021

If you are a small business (SMB) and you don’t have a Facebook business page, its time to create one as your losing out on possible new customers, leads and clients! Having a Facebook business page makes it easier for people to discover and interact with your brand online. I posted an article way back in 2015 on “Facebook Ad Tips” which I plan on updating soon. 

A great article resource on “How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 7 Easy Steps” is over here on Hootsuite.

Below are some compelling statistics on why every small business (SMB) should at least have a basic business page on Facebook.

Facebook has 2.74 billion monthly active users

Facebook is the world’s third-most visited website

Facebook users spend 34 minutes per day using the platform

42% of businesses on Facebook are based in the suburbs

18.3% of U.S. adults made a purchase through Facebook in the last year

⅔ of Facebook users visit a local business Page at least once a week