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Social media influencers fight back the Coronavirus disruption

May 1, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • With sponsor deals shutting down, trips cancelled and events postponed, the Coronavirus has given influencer marketing a huge hit.
  • Travel influencers suffered while fitness influencers thrived in a world of social distancing.
  • Twitch, which is a top live streaming platform, saw a 10% rise in viewership.
  • Be it self-help or DIY tutorials, social media figures are finding new ways to help their followers. 
  • As audiences trusting influencers more than faceless brands, they’re collaborating to raise funds from people affected by the coronavirus pandemic as well as to pay tribute to doctors who are on the front-line.
  • Social media personalities are proving themselves to be flexible enough to create content that still resonates with a quarantined population. Dive in for more details.

No one predicted that a virus that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan would take the world into its grip. All around the world, life is on standstill and most economic and social activities have come to a halt.  

Influencer marketing is among many industries that have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. With sponsor deals shutting down, trips cancelled and events postponed—the once-booming influencer industry is going through a curious time.

In December of last year, Business Insider estimated that brands will invest up to $ 15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. Among other things, this estimate was based on the fact that influencers proved themselves to be highly effective promotional tools. Individuals with a significant following on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook became important voices for brands that were seeking to spread their word.   

But under the current crisis, influencers are not seeing money flowing into their bank accounts.  

Travel influencers, the worst hit 

Travelling from country to country and getting paid to do so is a dream life for many. But those who have been living this dream have been struck by a harsh reality. With countries suspending air travel and companies reluctant to invest in anything new, business isn’t exactly booming for vloggers and influencers who made a living travelling around the world.  

Source: Zornitsa Shahanska’s Instagram 

Zornitsa Shahanska, whose Instagram page usually features captivating images of fashion and travel is feeling the impact of the pandemic. Speaking to the Wired, she exclaimed,

“In the travel sector, the future seems uncertain.”

The influencer further informed that most of her trips and contracts have been either cancelled or postponed indefinitely.  

Travellers who are shut off from beautiful tourists hotspot that previously dominated their Instagram feed are the worst hit in the influencer community.  

Fitness influencers are thriving 

People who made arguments against lockdowns felt they would devastate every section of the economy. While this is proving to be true for many industries, some businesses are thriving in a socially distant world. 

Fitness creators are seeing spikes in traffic to their pages. Videos of home workouts have already garnered millions of views on Youtube. With gyms closed, people are flocking to fitness influencers on sites like Instagram and Youtube so they might stay fit during the pandemic.  

Source: YouTube

Since fitness influencers often promote their own programs rather than relying on advertisements for revenue, they are surprisingly safe from the adverse effect on the lockdowns. 

Live streaming is extremely popular 

Influencers have always used live streams to interact with their followers in real-time and generate community engagement. Social isolation has made this form of content even more popular as people are seeking connections digitally.  

Twitch, which is a top live streaming platform, saw a 10% rise in viewership during the weekend of March 14th. A similar rise was seen on Instagram as celebrities and influencers conducted live sessions. Musicians, in particular, are using Instagram to perform virtual concerts, raising relief money for charity.  

Live streams are currently the only source of back-and-forth conversations between influencers and those who enjoy their content.  

A new kind of content is in demand 

Brands realize that these are sensitive times. Any campaign that comes off as tone-deaf and opportunistic would be a PR disaster that will haunt them for a time to come. This is why businesses are turning towards influencers for more purpose-driven campaigns.  

With audiences trusting influencers more than faceless brands, they are more effective in promoting philanthropic messages. Brands and influencers are working together to raise funds from people affected by the coronavirus pandemic as well as to pay tribute to doctors who are on the front-line.

Governments and private institutions alike are enlisting influencers to promote social distancing and other precautionary measures.  

Many brands are taking the page out of Ford’s book which was quick to replace its scheduled March Madness ads with car payment relief programs. Gestures like these might be the only way brands will be able to win hearts and continue to earn goodwill in this uncertain period.  

Meanwhile, influencers themselves are shifting towards more solution-based content. Be it self-help or DIY tutorials, social media figures are finding new ways to help their followers.  

Though Ad revenue is down, engagement has spiked 

While campaigns are currently on a pause, influencers are reporting more engagement than ever before. Social media usage has increased exponentially with people staying indoors resulting in a dramatic traffic increase for many influencers.  

Apps like FacebookInstagram, and TikTok serve as distractions for individuals who are practising social distancing. In the early days, the same platform saw decreased engagement with Twitter dominating the online world. However, people are back on their favourite social media sites and are showing great interest in organic and non-sponsored content. 

Marketing firm Influence Central conducted a survey involving 389 digital creators. All of these individuals reported an increase in engagement on different social media outlets. The report analyzed the period when states and local governments first gave out the stay-at-home orders.  

Content creators are adapting to the new normal 

Influencers put in a great effort to have a carefully curated feed. Generally, their social media depicts a dream lifestyle that prominently features designer dresses, fancy meals, and breathtaking scenery from exotic locations.  

But given that people are not interested in this content at the moment, influencers are thinking out of the box. Instead of stylish halter tops from famous retailers, they can be seen in more casual clothing.  

Some have taken this opportunity to discuss issues like mental health and anxiety. Others are going down the memory lane, posting images from events they attended or locations they visited years before the pandemic gripped the world.  

Time are tough but there’s influencing to be done 

For influencers, the primary source of income exists via brand partnership and affiliate revenue they earn through tools like exclusive digital coupon codes. Currently, both of these revenue streams are under threat. 

But rest assured, influencers aren’t going anywhere and neither are the millions of their loyal followers. While the circumstances have changed around their work, what hasn’t changed is the power influencers wield over big sections of the internet.  

Social media personalities are proving themselves to be flexible enough to create content that still resonates with a quarantined population. Companies are taking note of this as many brands are still going ahead with their scheduled campaigns. 

Inevitably, when things go back to normal, brands would need these important voices to amplify their message on the digital realm. 

Evelyn Johnson is a full-time cat lady and a part-time blogger. I write about money-saving, technology, social issues and pretty much anything that’s in the now. She can be found on Twitter @EvelynJohns0n.

The post Social media influencers fight back the Coronavirus disruption appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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April 2020 Updates to Paid Media Platforms

May 1, 2020 No Comments

In this monthly post, we bring you the latest from all of the major ad platforms.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Social media insights in a time of social distancing: The relationship between paid and non-paid social

April 19, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • A brand awareness campaign that includes paid search can result in more organic search traffic with an increase in branded search terms.
  • With a large number of the world’s population now confined at home, people have turned to social media as an outlet to remain connected with family, friends, and work. This online behaviour is the intersection of paid, earned, shared, and owned marketing, or the PESO model.
  • So, what happens when a company decides to increase or decrease their paid social media campaigns at a time when so many people have turned to social networks for connection, resources, and to just pass the time?
  • JUST Media produced the following analytical findings across their accounts to help other marketers ensure their brand’s message is reaching the right audiences, their brightest minds, Jennifer LoMonaco and John Smith take you through the finest insights.

Marketing does not work in silos, and neither does life. 

A brand awareness campaign that includes paid search can result in more organic search traffic with an increase in branded search terms. A newsworthy event can result in additional organic searches or views on social networks, such as what we’re currently seeing. 

With a large number of the world’s population now confined at home, people have turned to social media as an outlet to remain connected with family, friends, and work. This online behaviour is the intersection of Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned marketing, or the PESO model.

So, what happens when a company decides to increase or decrease their paid social media campaigns at a time when so many people have turned to social networks for connection, resources, and to just pass the time?

At JUST Media, we run media planning and buying for some of the world’s most powerful enterprise technologies. We produced the following analytical findings across our accounts in an effort to help other marketers ensure their brand’s message is reaching the right audiences. 

Company A, shown below, had a paid social campaign running in 2020 and saw a positive trend with social traffic and engagement with an improvement in Cost per Engagement (one of their KPIs).

social media insights

And, an uptick in click-through rate.

As the global pandemic spread and events were cancelled, schools and businesses closed, and shelter-in-place orders enacted, paid social was paused the week of 3/17/2020. In the chart below showing organic social traffic (measured in 1000’s), the 2020 graph has outpaced the 2019 graph all year. It isn’t until after the paid social budget was paused that we see the 2020 organic social traffic line dip below the 2019 line. 

You might wonder, though, how much of that is due to cutting the social budget vs. the overall global uncertainty with COVID 19. Let’s compare it to Company B, which left its paid social budget unchanged. This chart shows organic social traffic during the same time period as Company A, but notice the strong 2020 trend line that is outpacing 2019. There is no indication that 2020 cannot continue to outpace 2019.

social media insights chart

Finally, let’s look at another example where Company C decided to boost its paid social media presence in 2020. Cost per click and (CPC) and cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) both saw efficiency with the higher budget.

chart showing higher budget

Not only are the pre-click metrics showing improvement, but organic social traffic also shows an uptick. 

Notice that 2020 and 2019 organic social traffic is pretty close together until the 2nd and 3rd week of March when we start to see some distance where 2020 rises and maintains above 2019. It raises the floor and gets a larger return for the investment.

To further show the effect of paid social with organic social, let’s look in more detail at the last six weeks. The week of March 8 when so many companies implemented a mandatory work-from-home policy, there was some pull-back in the social strategy. The following week when the focus returned, organic social traffic rebounded to similar levels.

Beyond the traffic volume that social networks can provide is the engagement on these platforms by its users who are liking, sharing, and commenting on posts and ads. This engagement provides the opportunity for companies to interact with their customers at a time when face-to-face contact is not possible beyond a video conference call. Companies can also guide the conversation and initiate messaging with their customers. This is known as community management, and it can be powerful in an overall social strategy.

What we are seeing right now with clients who are active on social platforms is an increase in engagement. This means an increase in the opportunity for companies to interact with their clients at a time when businesses are closed, face time is diminished, and customers have an increased need in having their concerns and worries calmed.

Companies who have chosen to decrease their paid social presence or pause it together are likely not only seeing a drop in their paid social traffic, but also their organic social traffic, and if they are also not involved in a community management strategy, they are potentially missing a key opportunity to interact with their customers. Those companies that are maintaining their social presence through paid campaigns and community management will likely be better positioned for an upswing in the coming weeks and months when the world begins to emerge from the current situation.

Note: This is not a sponsored feature.

Jennifer LoMonaco is Director of Data and Analytics and John Smith is a Data Engineer at JUST Media.

The post Social media insights in a time of social distancing: The relationship between paid and non-paid social appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Media software maker Plex launches new subscriber-only apps for music and server management

April 17, 2020 No Comments

Media software maker Plex has released two new projects today from its internal R&D group, Plex Labs. One is an updated take on the classic Winamp player it calls Plexamp, and another is a dedicated app for Plex server administration. The projects are meant to appeal largely to Plex power users who take full advantage of Plex’s software suite, which has grown over time from being only a home media solution to a one-stop shop for everything from live TV to streaming audio.

The first of the new apps, Plexamp, is actually a revamp of the first Plex Labs project released. In December 2017, Plex introduced its own music player, whose name Plexamp was a nod to the Winamp player it aimed to replace. The project, like others from Plex Labs, was built by Plex employees in their spare time.

The goal with the original Plexamp was to offer a small desktop player that could handle any music format. The app let you use media keys for playing, pausing and skipping tracks and it worked offline when the Plex server ran on your laptop. It also offered visualizations to accompany your music that pulled from the album art.

While the original app ran on Mac or Windows, the new release works across five platforms, now including iOS, Android and Linux.

The app itself has been completely redone, as well — rewritten from scratch, in fact. And it’s tied to Plex’s subscription service, Plex Pass — meaning you’ll need to be a paying customer to use it.

The company explains the original version of Plexamp had issues around portability and licensing; it didn’t have an easy way to add functionality; and it was built with React, which tied it to the web.

To create the new Plexamp (version 3.0), Plex built an audio player library called TREBLE on top of a low-level commercial audio engine. TREBLE has been shipping in Plex’s commercial applications, but this release brings it to Plexamp. The addition helped make the app portable across almost all desktop and mobile platforms, as was it being rewritten in React Native.

The new app provides features Plex Pass music listeners want, like gapless playback, high-quality resampling, Sweet Fades (Plex’s “smart” alternative to crossfades) soft transitions and pre-caching. Plex also added a few more effects, including one for voice boosting spoken word audio and another for silence compression.

But the app really sells itself to longtime Plex users, as Plexamp lets you go back to see your own “top personal charts” for what you’ve listened to the most in years past. (Sort of like a Plex version of Apple Music’s Replay playlists).

Plexamp 3.0 also introduces a feature that lets you build your own mixes by picking a set of artists. Plus it offers a more expansive list of stations, supports offline listening and improves its search functionality.

The new Recent Searches area, for example, will save your search results from across servers, as well as TIDAL and podcasts. And a new Recent Plays feature shows you the music you consciously chose to play, again including across all servers and TIDAL.

There are some little touches, too, that show the personal care that went into the app’s design — like the way Plexamp uses album art and a process called “UltraBlur” to give each artist and alum page its own look. Or how there are options for light and dark — and lighter and darker — themes.

The other big new release from Plex Labs is the new Plex Dash app.

This mobile and tablet app lets you keep a close eye on your personal media server, including a way to see all playbacks even across multiple servers, plus other administrative features.

With Plex Dash, you can edit your artwork, scan for new media, fix incorrect matches, check on server resource usage, tweak library settings and view server logs live.

Plex suggests you it run on the iPad you have mounted in the wall — like in your fancy media room, I guess — but for us poorer folks, it runs on your smartphone, too.

It’s a power user tool, but one that will be welcomed for those fully immersed in a Plex-run home media setup. (And also a good way to respond to criticism that Plex is too focused today on its streaming and TV options, and not its core home media software customer base.)

Like Plexamp, the new Plex Dash requires a Plex Pass subscription and runs on iOS and Android.

The apps launched today are notable as they’re the first to arrive from Plex Labs since the original release of Plexamp in 2017 and because they require a subscription in order to work.

Plex at the end of 2019 said it had 15 million registered households using its service. Though the service is profitable, only a small percentage are paid subscribers. New apps with extra features, then, could convince more Plex users to upgrade.

Mobile – TechCrunch


What Nonprofits Taught Me About Social Media Marketing (and how it applies to COVID-19)

April 5, 2020 No Comments

The coronavirus has caused either a spike or downfall for companies across the world. Here are 6 strategies on how to use social media marketing during a crisis.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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A Quick Look at Walmart Media and Spiceworks

March 18, 2020 No Comments

Digital Marketing is ever-changing. New platforms, networks, and services pop up every month. Keep up-to-date with PPC Hero.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Five social media trends that are shaping 2020

March 11, 2020 No Comments

Every year the social media marketing community turns into fortune tellers — we collectively try to predict what trends, features, and innovations will take place in the upcoming year. Of course, trying to predict social media trends is much more trustworthy than fortune-telling even if you’re using astrology as a framework for that. 

Most social media predictions stand on the existing trends and research, which makes them highly likely to actually be accurate. It’s a common truth that social media platforms are constantly changing, they come up with new features, change algorithms, review their respective policies, and it all affects the way we do marketing on social. But it’s not like these changes come out of nowhere — they are all the results of social media company’s vision and business model or external circumstances. 

To identify trends that will dominate social media this year we need to consider all of these internal and external circumstances. And that’s exactly what I did to make up this list of five major trends that will be prominent in 2020. In addition to simply describing what to expect in 2020, I also give some recommendations on how to use these trends to your brand’s advantage.

1. Let data analysis lead your strategy

Social media trends using data for social listening

 

Source: Screenshot from social listening tool, Awario

Knowledge is power, and social media companies want to empower their users and brands, or rather attract more investments. That’s why they are giving social media managers more and more access to insights and data analytics. Facebook is constantly expanding Creator Studio’s and Facebook Insights’ functionality, Twitter is adding more insights to Media Studio, and Pinterest is adding Pinterest Trends to inform brands on user behavior. 

This year we are likely to see more ways to access user trends on different platforms and tap into this data for marketing and social media research. At the same time, due to trend number three on this list, brands might have to change the way they used to do social media marketing, especially with targeted advertising. There are ethical and unethical ways to use data, and the upcoming year will probably be the time to rethink these terms. That may encourage brands to get more involved in the research of the publicly available data with the help of social listening, for example.

How to be on-trend

  • Make sure your social media strategy is based on insights gained through data research, not a blind guess. Use the insights provided by platforms like Facebook and Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics, and so on to find what content performs best, when you should post, and what resonates with your audience. Your KPIs should respond to your goals – if you are raising brand awareness, pay attention to the number of followers, if you’re focusing on community building, keep track of the engagement metrics. 
  • Collect and analyze publicly available data, this is the most ethical way to conduct marketing research without invading anyone’s privacy. Social monitoring and listening tools such as Awario or Brandwatch break down the sentiment, reach, demographics, and user behavior trends behind any phenomenon you want to research on social media. 

2. Make your communication more private

Making social media more private

In 2019 Mark Zuckerberg claimed that “the future is private”. This was a surprising turn of events for the company which started out as a service to meet people and connect strangers. Facebook’s CEO announced that from now own the platform will prioritize ways to build and sustain smaller communities and tet-a-tet communication meaning more focus on Groups and Messenger as well as WhatsApp. And it’s not just Facebook, social media apps have been introducing more privacy-driven features lately including Instagram’s “Close Friends” list, various updates to DMs functionality for Twitter and Instagram, more ways for brands to manage social messaging. With the upcoming redesign of Facebook feed (expected to be fully rolled out in Q1 and the new ability to limit replies to your tweets, it’s obvious that 2020 will be the year of private social media. 

The turn to private communication is, of course, motivated by user behavior. People simply got much more into messaging their friends and interacting in small interest-based communities. Social media companies took notice of that and are now giving people what they want. However, taking into consideration how many privacy scandals we had in the last couple of years, it’s easy to imagine that the turn to privacy was also prompted by the intent to improve ones’ reputation, especially when we are talking about Facebook. 

How to be on-trend

  • If you don’t have a Facebook group for your customers yet, it’s high time you start one. 
  • Use the “Close Friends” list on your Instagram account to share exclusive content with your most engaged followers. 
  • Go beyond the big three by looking into smaller communities on Reddit and Quora for better opportunities to engage with the audience.

3. Take up more social responsibility

Taking up more social responsibility will be a social media trend

Source: Twitter

This will probably be the most prominent theme in the news coverage of social media companies for 2020. Once again, it’s not a new trend — the pressure to sort out the issues with spamming, misinformation, manipulation of the algorithm, and the social media impact on users’ mental health has been there for a while. 

In 2020 we can expect more regulations on ads, more sophisticated algorithms for discovering spammers and bots, and more ways for users to control what they are seeing on the timeline. In 2019 we saw some actions taken not just by the platforms themselves but also by the state — there were several court cases around creating fake engagement and selling followers and likes that could become precedents for creating legislation around this matter. 

Both Facebook and Twitter CEOs publicly stated that the ultimate framework for dealing with misleading ads and handling users’ data should come from the governmental actors and independent expert committees, not the social media companies. California Consumer Privacy Act is the first attempt at such legislation. This will certainly affect the way brands advertise on social and conduct marketing research (see trend number one).

Social media companies also face a bigger challenge – how to avoid locking people in their own social media bubbles and creating echo-chambers that skew their view of the world? Admittedly, this is a broader challenge for our society in general. However, we can’t ignore the fact that social media contributes to exacerbating the political and social divide between people, and it might be the time for platforms to rethink the core functionality and algorithms behind them.

Another area where social media companies are encouraged to take on more responsibility is mental health. By now it is obvious (and confirmed by research) that social media can have a negative effect on users’ self-esteem and mental health, especially among teenagers, and social media companies need to take notice of that. Some platforms have already made steps in the right direction by informing users about how much time they are spending on the app. The next big change will concern vanity metrics (see below). In 2020, it’s expected that there will be more platform regulations that aim to protect users from abuse and bullying and more ways for users to filter the information they don’t want to consume.

How to be on-trend

  • Make sure your ads comply with the platform regulations.
  • Discard sketchy growth hacks such as buying followers or using third-party tools for follow-unfollow tactics in favor of genuine engagement and community building.
  • To make interactions with your audience actually genuine, understand when those interactions are welcome. The best way to start engaging with people on the internet is by commenting and replying to their public posts: and of course, your comments should be meaningful and relevant. You can find people and posts to engage through social media monitoring — simply monitor keywords and phrases appropriate for your niche.
  • Use social listening, competitor and hashtag research to find accounts related to your niche and engage them in the comments. Offer your expertise or start conversations discussing relevant topics. 

4. Focus less on vanity metrics

Less focus on vanity metrics
This trend is partly related to the previous one. In 2019, we saw several experiments around hiding vanity metrics, mainly like count, on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter’s CEO has also been vocal about his desire to move away from vanity metrics. Moreover, both Instagram and Twitter have slightly tweaked their design to put less emphasis on the number of followers an account has. The rejection of like count is probably motivated both by moral and practical reasons, comparing your number of likes to someone else’s is proven to damage one’s self-esteem.

Hiding vanity metrics from anyone could eliminate the pressure of competition people feel and make social media less stressful. Instagram has also revealed that during the tests they discovered that discarding like count leads to more content on the platform and that’s what any social media company wants. 

That’s the logical outcome of the previous point, if people feel less pressure to get the most likes, they will feel more at ease with posting. All in all, prepare to say goodbye to like counts in 2020.

How to be on-trend

  • For social media managers, discarding vanity metrics means new ways of doing competitor and influencer research. You can use Facebook’s native functionality (Brand Collabs Manager, Insights) or social media analytics tools to compare your brand with your competitors or find and evaluate influencers relevant to your niche. 
  • Track the number of followers, engagement rate, and ads placed on Facebook through “Pages to Watch” and “Ad Library”.
  • Use social listening to compare your social media Share of Voice with your competitors.

Share of voice of top 10 UK universities calculated

Source: Screenshot from social listening tool, Awario

5. Try TikTok

Social media trends - try TikTok advertising

In 2019 TikTok became one of the most downloaded apps in the app store. The swift rise of the social media app drew a lot of attention from social media marketers, and will surely draw even more attention this year. The greatest thing about TikTok is its feed algorithm which allows you to reach a significant number of users right from the get-go, without having to gain followers for a long time. 

The platform is tailored for viral content: easy sharing, trends, and challenges enable you to easily create videos with a huge potential reach. Moreover, the platform is constantly developing its business capabilities, just recently TikTok rolled out the ability to run ads on the platform for everyone. 

TikTok is the app to keep an eye on, as it is one of the fastest-growing social media networks, it surely has bigger plans for the upcoming year.

How to be on-trend

  • If you’re not TikTok yet, create an account right now.
  • See what trends could be useful for your industry, check out what your competitors are doing, examine the latest trends. A lot of TikTok’s content is focused on viral songs, dance challenges, and certain editing techniques. So you should research those if you want to create popular content.
  • Try advertising on TikTok! TikTok Ads is not the only way to promote your product, you can also partner up with TikTok creators to reach new audiences.  

In conclusion

Social media trends don’t just pop out of nowhere and it’s not difficult to predict what will happen in the upcoming year. However, knowing something is only half the battle — you need to actually adjust your social media strategy to the ever-changing circumstances to get the best results. 

In this article, I tried to demonstrate the broader trends but also shared actionable tips to implement in your work. Some of the trends that will play out in 2020 may seem like an impediment for social media marketers, you can’t use targeting, you can’t see how many likes an influencer gets, and people are getting harder to reach since they are all hanging out in private communities. But it’s actually a chance for building genuine and trusting relationships with your audience — and you can do it by using these trends to your advantage.

Aleh is the Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario. He can be found on Twitter at @ab80.

The post Five social media trends that are shaping 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Four powerful tools to optimize your social media conversions

February 7, 2020 No Comments

I think you’ll agree with us when we say, “It’s really hard to get conversions from social media channels.” Hours of creation and curation later, all we get are a few likes or just basic inquiries. But what if we told you that getting leads from social media isn’t quite a very hard nut to crack?

In fact, by using the below-mentioned tools we managed to get 89 new enquires in the past week alone. That’s a 594% staggering increase from the 12-13 leads that managed to squiggle through previously.

Sounds unbelievable?

Well, our magic potion is certainly a mix of a few tricks and tools that helped us to achieve this feat. But most importantly, it is the result of months of trials, tests, and efforts of keeping the social community engaged through frequent posting and analyzing.

What exactly are social media conversions?

Conversions from social media could be anything – from gaining new subscribers to your mailing list, more app downloads, website visits, to closing sales through your social channels. These conversions are an important part of digital marketing services and strategy.

The question now is, how do you, as a marketer gain meaningful conversions from your social media channels?

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our most trusted social media tools for marketing that helped us gain an edge over our competitors:

1. Ace your social game with Agorapulse

Agorapulse is a social community and moderation tool that helps businesses manage all their social network profiles. Furthermore, it helps you gather critical data like statistics and reporting to help you gain high-quality insights, devise and execute effective social media campaigns.

It is the ultimate social media tool as you can connect it to every social account that you run. Plus it also provides a CRM platform making it efficient for sales-oriented tasks.

Agorapulse features

Social inbox

One amazing feature in Agorapulse is its ‘Social Inbox’. If you are the kind of brand that likes to stay connected with your customers and monitor each brand mention, then Agorapulse is the tool for you. All your social media notifications will appear in the social inbox, so you can take action and reply to comments and mentions directly from this social inbox.

Social listening

As a social listening tool, Agorapulse can also find mentions of your brand on social media, where you haven’t been tagged. This generally helps you to identify negative reviews and smell a crisis before the disaster strikes. You can also set up custom searches for whatever query or keyword you like.

Content scheduling and queueing

Scheduling is easier too with categories. With the Chrome plugin, you can schedule content on the go.

Agorapulse for social media conversions

Source: Agorapulse

Audience analysis

As a B2B company, it is important to know if your clients are interested in your brand’s social content. Agorapulse lets you see your most engaged followers, who are more likely to become customers or clients in the near future.

Analytics and reporting

Agorapulse stands out for its in-depth analytics reports. These reports help in measuring your social media ROI to see if your efforts on social media are paying off. Compare your page’s performance to those of your competitors, to know where you are lacking.

Pricing

Agorapulse, beyond the trial period, is a paid tool. But if you are serious about getting leads and conversions on social media, it is definitely one that we recommend spending on. Agorapulse plans come in four different pricing ranges.

  • Medium- $ 99/mo
    Best for small businesses
  • Large-$ 199/mo
    Best for agencies
  • Extra Large-$ 299/mo
    Best for larger organizations
  • Enterprise-$ 499/mo
    Best for large teams with many profiles

Clients

Agorapulse remains the favorite social management tool for big names like Ogilvy, Disney, Dove, and Yves Saint Laurent.

2. Understand your social media audience with Socialbakers

Socialbakers is a tool that can manage and measure everything from social media to your audiences in one place. It helps you discover your customer personas, what content resonates with them and which influencers do they like.

One of the more important things with social media is to understand the kind of content that resonates with your audience. Getting to know what your followers like and engage with, helps you in creating more relevant posts and content for the future. After all, content is created with the latent aim of getting customers in the long run.

Enter Socialbakers – an all in one analytical tool that helps you get the most of your data.

Socialbakers features

Creating detailed reports

Social media managers often tend to struggle with making customized performance reports to review their efforts on social media. With social bakers, you can get a complete analytical report scheduled to your inbox at set intervals of time. Save it as a presentation or excel sheet or PDF to peruse when required.

Socialbakers to understand social media audience

Source: Socialbakers

Competitor analysis

The multi compare feature in Socialbakers allows you to pit yourself against 10 other similar brands from your industry, so you can identify where you stand. By recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, you can create a better content strategy.

Social engagement

Discover what content is clicking with your audience, to do more of what’s working and engaging the viewers. Monitor your social media performance over different platforms to see which social channel is doing best.

Know your most engaged audience

Also, Socialbaker’s the ‘Response Time Evolution’ feature lets you determine the highest engagement time frame, you can mark the exact hour at which your posts should go out to get more responses.

Pricing

Socialbakers has two pricing plans that are determined by the number of profiles you wish to manage with it.

  • 10 profiles- $ 19/mo
  • 20 profiles-  $ 38/mo

Clients

Socialbakers is the tool of choice for brands like Sony, Samsung, Nat Geo, Vodafone, Walmart, and more.

3. Integrate apps, save time, and do more sales with Zapier

Zapier is an online automation tool that connects two or more apps. It automates simple repetitive tasks eliminating the need for coding and human intervention.

Zapier automation helps you manage your social media and spend time engaging in meaningful customer conversations.

Zapier features

Automate repetitive tasks

Zapier helps you by creating time-saving zaps or workflows that are fully automated.  It is a personal assistant that does little tasks for you.

Crossposting

Crossposting across different social media platforms is easy with Zapier. That means if you post a new picture on Instagram, and want the same to be posted on your Facebook account, you don’t need to do it manually each time.

Zapier to integrate apps and sales

Source: Zapier

Many people face issues crossposting their Instagram content on Twitter. The pictures appear as links, which need to be clicked and can be viewed only on the native platform. Zapier allows you to create image tweets from Instagram that can be directly viewed on Twitter.

Ongoing sync among apps

As social media managers usually suffer from a lack of time, they look to automate simple tasks, these tasks could be anything from posting the same content on different platforms, posting blog links to social media channels, saving interested leads and sign-up form data to a Google sheet, and more.

Zapier eases the burden by automating all these processes.

Zap templates

The best part about Zapier is that there are already hundreds of zap recipes created for you to use. If you are unsure, you can even customize a zap, by specifying a trigger and the resultant action.

Pricing

Zapier is a free tool for up to 100 tasks a month, and single-step Zaps, but if you want advanced features, and more zaps then there are four paid upgrades.

  • Starter- $ 25/mo
    Multi-step Zaps

    • Professional- $ 61/mo
      Advanced tools and unlimited Zaps
  • Team- $ 374/mo
    Collaborate with team
  • Company- $ 749/mo
    Enterprise-Grade Features

Clients

Zapier is trusted by teams large and small. Popular users include BuzzFeed, Spotify, Adobe and Fox network.

4. Get high-quality B2B leads with Lusha

Lusha is primarily an email and phone number tracker. It is GDPR compliant and helps you get the contact information of B2B leads you’re interested in. Interestingly, you can even integrate Lusha with your salesforce to capture leads, contacts, and other sales front data.

Lusha features

Email and phone number finder

We tried using Lusha on our Linkedin profile and got some amazing results. Apart from people who regularly interact with our content on Linked in, we delved deeper and found contacts of people that we were interested to sell our services to. We primarily targeted CEOs, Marketing Managers, and key decision-makers.

Data import

With a warm list of qualified leads, we were able to create smart email campaigns. Also, using the phone numbers that we got through Lusha, we were able to pitch our services over sales calls.

Lusha for social media data and sales

Source: Lusha

The plugin works on LinkedIn, Gmail, and Salesforce platforms. Generally, contact information is hidden on LinkedIn, and to contact someone, you’ll have to send a message or an In-mail. With the click of a single button, Lusha shows you the personal email, work email, and phone numbers of the person you want to get in contact with.

Pricing

The free plan gives you five credits. That means you can view the contact information of five different profiles. However, if you wish to export contacts, and save them to your CRM, you have to purchase a paid plan. Lusha prices its plans on the basis of the number of Lusha credits. There are 3 pricing packages to choose from.

  • Professional – $ 75/mo
  • Premium – $ 149/mo
  • Enterprise – Price upon consultation

Lusha empowers some of the world’s best companies. These include Google, Uber, Dropbox, Facebook, Microsoft and more.

Takeaways

Social media traffic has a low conversion rate of only 0.71% when compared to search campaigns and email marketing. However, given that we put in smart work and regularly monitor our efforts, we can milk in more leads than usual. What’s really important to note is the knowledge of each social medium and how audiences behave on different social platforms.

With the above mentioned social media tools for marketing, your social media team is better equipped for conversions. If you’re still unsure about your social media conversion strategy, you can avail digital marketing services of an experienced agency.

Shaista Mujeeb is a Copywriter at Wolftain Agency.

The post Four powerful tools to optimize your social media conversions appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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PPC Hero Summit Features Emerging Female Speakers in Paid Media

February 2, 2020 No Comments

At the 2020 PPC Hero Summit, you’ll see emerging female speakers in paid media, like Mary Hartman, Dani Gonzales, Kamlyn Spivey, and Lara Lowery. Learn more about their sessions.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


12 Unique social media marketing methods that work wonders

January 24, 2020 No Comments

It’s a fact. Today, every business needs a strong social media presence. No matter whether you run a small local shop or a multinational company, social media should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. 

Not only a social media platform helps you connect with your target audience, increase awareness about your brand, but it also boosts your leads and sales to a great extent.

Since around 2.96 billion people use social media platforms worldwide, it’s no passing trend. According to Statista.com, by 2021, this number is going to reach 3.09 billionSo, if you’re not using this fantastic tool yet, you’re surely missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity.

Source: Hootsuite

Undoubtedly, social media is one of the ideal platforms to market your business. However, due to increased competition and the rise of social media algorithms, the entire landscape of social media has changed. If you really want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to look for unique social media marketing ideas that can spice up your social media campaigns.

In this post, we will make you familiar with some creative social media marketing ideas. However, before that, let’s have a quick look at some social media statistics that is important for you to know.     

  • 95% of adults (aged between18 to 34) are most likely to follow a brand through social networking. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • Around 63% of customers expect businesses to offer customer support via social media channels. (Source: Smart Insights)
  • 42% of the world’s population has an account on one or more social media platforms. (Source: Statista)

Tips to boost your social media marketing strategy

1. Layout your goals

Having a solid marketing goal is essential for every business. However, if you don’t know what you want to achieve, how are you supposed to attain it? 

Before you jumpstart your social media marketing, make clear goals and objectives that will align with your marketing efforts. It is advisable to write down your goal. A study reveals you’re more likely to be successful if you write your goals.

To layout your goals, you can:

  • Use number (such as reach 10,000 Facebook followers)
  • Set a deadline
  • Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based (SMART)    

2. Learn about your audience

To create a successful social media strategy, you must have adequate knowledge of your audience. You should be able to know their needs, wants, and desires. Below are a few tactics that can help you better understand your audience.

  • Survey your audience to know their pain points better
  • Take a look at their demographics
  • Participate in conversations on forums used by your target audience
  • Respond to comments on your social media channels.
  • Get feedback

When you exactly know who your target audience is, you can better help them.

3. Produce diversified content for different social media platforms

For most businesses, it is easy to post pictures to Instagram and short tweets to Twitter. However, on most social media platforms, you can display different kinds of content, including video, photos, infographics, blog posts, and more. It is essential because if you keep producing the same content time and again, it may bore your audience, and that can keep you from reaching your goals. By providing diversified content, you also determine the best content types for your target audience.         

Social media marketing stats

Source: SmartInsights

4. Don’t ignore video content

Video marketing is one of those social media marketing trends that has been continuously growing. In 2018, 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on different devices. It shows that video is an excellent medium to promote your business.

There is no doubt about it that millions of hours of video content watched every year on different social media platforms. However, your videos must be watched by the right people. After all, there is no use in a video going viral if viewers do not belong to your market. 

Try to target the right people so that they can take the actions you want them to take after watching your videos. For the same, you must define your target audience before planning your marketing strategies. Some of the tools you can use to identify your audience include Google Analytics – Audience Tab, Keyword Planner, Facebook Business Page Insights.

Narrow down your audience based on their gender, interests, age, occupation, knowledge level, or location. Also, create a quality video with tools like Magisto that precisely explains your product or services and answers most of the queries of your audience and prospects. 

Don’t forget, high production values, smart use of keywords, and timing of your videos matter a lot in the success of your video marketing. Also, track your results from time to time and customize your tactics based on those results. 

5. Try sharing user-generated content from your fans and followers

When you share user-generated content on your social media profiles, it gives your followers a fresh perspective on your brand and helps you build stronger relationships. 

Even a survey reveals that people trust content from an average person more than they do from businesses.

You may ask your buyers to share their experiences with your products and services so that you can use that content on your social media profiles. 

For example, if you run a furniture store, you can ask your buyers to share the picture of how they position your furniture at their homes. After that, you can share those pictures within your social profiles with the profile link of the buyers to give other prospects an idea about how they can use your products. It will surely boost the interest of other potential buyers in your brand.      

6. Give education

No matter what your goals are, you must provide education about your products or services to your customers. Providing education is one of the best ways to build relationships with your target audience. When you give your audience practical advice or valuable information, they look to you as an authority and become your loyal customers. Social media is a great platform where you can educate your followers about your business without any hindrance. As per your convenience, you may provide educational resources such as blog posts, white papers, webinars, and more. 

7. Less promotion and more storytelling

When you take an educational approach, you do more teaching than selling. Storytelling is also educational in nature. Nevertheless, the power of storytelling lies not in teaching people things they weren’t aware of, but in showcasing relevant characters and situations evoking emotional responses. These responses stimulate action more effectively than the content involves self-promotion on social media.

8. Try influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is an ideal way to promote your products via social media platforms. When you collaborate with an influential person not only it boosts brand awareness but also builds trust. Perhaps this is the reason, around 2/3 of retailers in North America use some form of influencer marketing.

Source: MediaKix

Always choose a social media influencers whose vision matches with your own. Below are a few tips for selecting the perfect influencer for your brand.

  • Examine the engagement metrics and other insights of your potential influencer
  • Take out some time to invest in social listening so that you can find an influencer who is relevant to your business
  • Take a look at their skills. Since influencer marketing is more than just likes, communication, and engagement, an influencer must have some technical knowledge. It will be a bonus if your potential influencer is skilled in graphic design, crisis management, and other practical experience. 

9. Make use of VPN (Virtual Private Network)

If you think VPN is a tool to hide your IP address only, you’re mistaken. VPN is not just a security tool that ensures your privacy on a public network; it’s much more than that. 

Most new businesses are not aware that a VPN can help them understand their competition. From launching marketing campaigns to monitoring PPC adverts to evaluating search engine rankings, there are plenty of places where VPN is helpful. 

Since in this post, we’re discussing social media platforms, let’s find out how can VPN help you with YouTube advertising.Using VPN helps social media marketing

Source: Statista

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that YouTube is the most popular video platform of the time. According to Alexa, YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine worldwide, behind Google. There are numerous benefits to advertising on YouTube. One of the most significant advantages is that it provides a broader reach to your business.

If you have an audience in different regions, states, or countries, you will need to know what works best in that particular region. Well, VPN can help you with this situation. Using a VPN, you can get your location to the region or area your target audience is. Thus you learn about your audience – their issues and needs. Based on that information, you can understand your customer’s persona, what they are looking for, and create marketing strategies accordingly.

Nowadays, several VPN providers available in the market, but not all are equals in terms of quality and customer support. It is advisable to look for the best VPN only. Read reviews of different providers before making your final decision.     

10. Take advantage of the enthusiasm of loyal customers

Your loyal customers have the potential to become brand advocates. They can boost awareness of your brand by providing social proof that helps prospects to build trust in your business much more quickly.

Social media is a great tool to motivate your loyal customers to become brand advocates. Below are a few tips that you can put into practice.

  • Ask your followers for reviews on social networks such as Facebook and Google
  • Take interview of your satisfied customers and share their stories on Facebook and Instagram
  • Support the submission of positive user-generated content and use them in your different social media campaigns.
  • Hold contests and give discounts. It would motivate people to spread the word about your business on different social media platforms.

11. Increase humanization

We all respond strongly to people in comparison to robots. By humanizing your brand on social media platforms, you can boost your marketing strategy. Perhaps, you interact with your followers by responding to your comments and user-generated content. However, it is not enough. To stay ahead of your competition, you must highlight your team members and their stories, and connect each of your social media marketing efforts back to your unique brand story.

Try to infuse humor in your posts. However, it does not mean you can go with anything. Keep a balance of fun and information. 

12. Use of chatbots for social media marketing

Over the years, chatbots have come a long way. Today’s bots are more smart and useful. They are capable of providing initial customer service, automating a function, and boosting user experience. 

Even people have started liking bots. A survey conducted by HubSpot concluded that 47% of respondents were open to buying products using a chatbot. It would not be wrong to say that chatbots have become more widespread on social media.

You can synchronize your chatbot with multiple platforms. For example, you can offer a chatbot on your Facebook Messenger, and it can also be used through Twitter direct messages. It will ensure a consistent experience across your social media profiles. 

Chatbots can be used to start conversations, encourage sales, answer questions, and offer individual customer support. 

Final thoughts

Social media has turned into an essential part of the marketing strategy for any business. And why not? It is a great way to reach a wide audience, demonstrate your expertise, show your authenticity, encourage engagement, and offer responsive and quick support. 

Although social media marketing takes a lot of hard work, its benefits are difficult to ignore. If you’re not taking it seriously, you will miss out on leads, customers, and ultimately sales.

Don’t forget, social media platforms are created for conversing with others. You won’t see the desired results until you don’t make your audience a top priority. Moreover, each social media platform is different, so you must know what kind of content works best on them. We hope the methods mentioned above will help you take your social media marketing to the next level. 

The post 12 Unique social media marketing methods that work wonders appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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