Social Strategy Archives | Social Pop Creative
Social Pop Creative is a boutique digital marketing for small to medium sized business. Social Pop is a one-stop-shop for custom branding packages, graphic design, web design, content strategy, paid marketing tactics, SEO, and social media management.
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I was inspired this week by an article I read that said, social media shouldn’t be left to the millennials. While I one hundred percent agree with that statement it’s a battle I’ve seen since I started managing Brian Tracy’s social media presence all the way back in 2008.

Social media for brands didn’t really become a thing until Tony Hsieh used Twitter as a customer support avenue. After that, it took off. As social media evolved, I was right there in the trenches creating strategies & implementing new and exciting marketing campaigns through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

As companies started to come around to the fact that they needed a social media manager or someone to run their social accounts, their desired social media manager didn’t exist. Some companies wanted someone with 5-7 years of experience yet, social for brands hand’t been popular for more than a handful of years. Other companies were only willing to hire recent grads and wrongly assumed that a certain person of a certain age would just know the right thing to do on social media (and hey, they wanted that cheap labor. Not everyone knows how to quantify the ROI of a Facebook account).

Social media is fickle, turns on a dime and unless you know what you are trying to achieve on your social media channels just throwing a young college grad or “millennial” in to do the work won’t yield any returns.

I have now been managing social for small brands, major brands, and even individuals, for just about 8 years. Each type of account has varied goals and different needs. Each audience to be reached is unique and accepts marketing their own way. Don’t send a millennial in to manage your social media accounts. Just because someone can use it, doesn’t mean they know how to grow a following, engage with your customers or truly connect to the lifeblood of your business.

Social media, it’s what we do around here. We bust our butts to bring the best social campaigns and content marketing strategies to our clients. In fact, we have been working so hard over the last year that our own website and social pages have been neglected. Some of you may be thinking, “Shame on you, that’s your business card!”, but isn’t this a case of the cobbler’s children without shoes? We think so. Simply put, one doesn’t always benefit from the product of their trade.

It’s hard to run a business. And it’s really hard when funding has dried up or wasn’t an option in the first place. The bottom line is, well, the bottom line and in an attempt to keep costs low and profits high, it’s easy to let your web site, social accounts and overall web presence fade. We know first hand and we are guilty of this very action.

To stick with the shoe theme here, when you’re bootstrapping your business, how do you prioritize the needs of your clients and the needs of your business, all while maintaining that highly sought after work-life balance? And further, should you really consider bootstrapping your business?

We’re looking to you. How do you keep your web presence fresh, in any industry, when you have limited resources, and time is dedicated to other tasks?

We were recently approached by a bay area tech company and asked for a social media strategy. There was no further information given, other than they wanted a strategy that they could implement. We didn’t know who would be targeted on social networks, who would own the strategy and most importantly why they wanted to have a social media strategy in the first place. After we asked some basic questions to get a feel for the company, we sent them packing with some homework.

We see this a lot, many companies will come to us looking for all the social media answers, which we tend to have, but developing a strategy is highly personalized and there is not a one-size fits all option. When we work with clients to develop a customized social media strategy, it is imperative that we get to know the company inside and out. We implement a preliminary assessment of existing social accounts and work closely with the parties participating in the execution of said social media strategy.

If your company is thinking of implementing or re-vamping your social media strategy, here is a list of all the things you should consider right off the bat. Once you have answered the following questions, you can bring this to us (or another strategist, we guess) and we will be able to help you hit the ground running!

Step one: Define goals! Do you want more followers, more likes on posts, more business? Defining goals for social will determine the right strategy for your brand

Step Two: Determine Budget & Time Investment. This should be easy once you determined what the goals are. Social media costs can vary, places to invest:

  1. social media manager
  2. Facebook ads (only if you want to get more likes. clicks to your site via facebook ads are costly and have a lower conversion rate than “like” ads)
  3. Content creation
  4. social media monitoring tools
  5. TIME – this can be a full time job for one person, but realistically the time investment will depend on goals.

Step Three: Identify your in-house resources. These are free pieces of content and share worthy items you can easily access and post on your accounts.

  1. Blog
  2. Press releases
  3. Testimonials
  4. White papers
  5. Case studies
  6. Articles

Step Four: Identify outside resources. These resources also provide free content that relates to your industry. You know this, but providing outside information actually strengthens your brands credibility online.

  1. News outlets
  2. Bloggers
  3. Experts in the space

Step Five: Determine best platforms to deliver your message.

Most powerful social platforms for your business:

  1. Twitter
  2. Linkedin
  3. Facebook
  4. Google plus

Worth spending time on these if you are a consumer facing business:

  1. Pinterest
  2. Instagram

Wherever your careers have taken you, it’s safe to assume we’ve all had our fair share of horror stories dealing with customers. Sometimes, the toughest part about handling a difficult customer is remaining professional and keeping your cool. That’s why we’re here to remind you the proper way to react in that dreaded situation. Point blank, the customer is always right.

Their Problem is Your Priority

Attending to an unhappy customer may not be at the top of your to-do list, but just make sure the customer knows they are now number one. Whether or not you know how to fix the problem, assure the customer you will do your best to solve it. Once the customer sees your interest for their issue, they will automatically be calmed knowing you’re taking charge.

Be Sympathetic

Angry customers are great at throwing temper tantrums and aren’t always thinking rationally. That’s why in this situation you must kill them with kindness. By using phrases such as: “I’m so sorry you had to deal with this” or “Thank you for your honesty, I will fix this right away”. Comforting them with apologetic and soft words will make it harder for them to be angry at your sincerity and prove that your company has great customer service.

You’re customer is ALWAYS right

 You might be 100% right in this situation, but we beg you to think again. You’re customer didn’t come to you to be told they’re wrong, especially, when they’re not the happiest with your business. Never be defensive and remember to always be sympathetic – you undoubtedly have been on the other side of this spectrum, so treat your customers as you wish to be treated. (sound familiar?) To save your butt and some bad reviews, let them enjoy being right and have them walk away happier than when they came in.

 Don’t Forget About Reviews

Positive reviews are key to helping your business survive. Bad reviews spread like wildfire the second it’s announced, that’s why you need to try your best to fix the problem before your customer leaves more upset. Even if an unsatisfied customer doesn’t take the time to write a bad review, good old fashion word-of-mouth is still very much alive and you can bet they will be telling their friends about their experience and likely not recommending your business. Although it’s inevitable, not everyonecan be pleased, you don’t need negative feedback that easily could have been solved by following any one of these steps.

Without Customers, You Don’t Have a Business

That’s the reality – if you don’t have customers, new and repeat, your business will fail. Customers now are more powerful than ever. They can leave reviews on a variety of sites, share their expereince on any of the multiple social networks they belong to and leave feedback in forums, comments and many other very visible and public places online. Keep your customers happy and offer excellent customer service. A little bit goes a long weay here, responding to a negative review, offering compensation, and doing whatever it takes to turn an unhappy customer into happy one can save your business and prevent the loss of customers.

Yesterday we addressed the question, “does my brand need a blog” and to the dismay of many readers the simple answer is yes. Yes, yes, yes, and we will say it one hundred times over. Blogging should be considered the most valuable tool in your content marketing arsenal, for many reasons. Just in case you still aren’t sure after yesterday’s post, here are ten more reasons why your business should be blogging.

  1. Blogging Keeps you Relevant – Mostly, your blog will show that you are an expert in your space. Regularly posting about the latest and greatest in your industry will prove that you are in the know and a trustworthy source. Additionally, this is your opportunity to show off and showcase your company/brand’s expertise.
  2. Attract Regular Visitors – Being relevant will keep your audience coming back for more information that they find valuable. Blogging can be used to provide solutions, inspire and help others, and deliver entertainment. Once you have determined your audience, in your content marketing strategy, your content can be targeted towards that audience which will keep them coming back for more.
  3. Blogging Builds Trust & Credibility – To keep your readers coming back, they need to trust that you are a valid source of information.Consistencies in your blog posts help build trust amongst your audience. If you are just starting out remember that accurate information and regular engagement can boost the trust level of your followers.
  4. Creates a Voice for Your Company – Not only does blogging give you a voice and platform; it’s an opportunity to give your brand a personality or breathe some life into your business. Your brand’s voice on your blog gives you the ability command authority and thrive in an online community.
  5.  Image Control & Reputation Management – your brand is everything, be present online when you need to set the record straight or when letting people know who you are as a company. Telling your story in a blog is an excellent way to communicate with your users online and ensure your fans of who you are.
  6. Interact with Readers and Fans – An informal blog, well maintained is an ideal method of communicating with your customers. Allow current and potential new users get to know your brand and learn about your products or services offered, your accomplishments, and the future direction of your company. Blog comments and open ended questions to users encourage your community to interact and build a relationship with your brand online.
  7. Images Can Be Incorporated – It’s no secret that images really add a wow-factor to anything online these days, and with the meteoric growth of Pinterest, adding images to your blog solely for image bookmarking purposes, will increase visitor counts almost instantly!
  8. Cost Effective Marketing Tool – Blogging can cost your brand almost nothing! If you are personally blogging for your brand or have your existing work force taking turns, this is essentially free marketing. If you are considering outsourcing this service, remember all the benefits of just one post (see 1-10).
  9. Free Market Research – Market research, not often discussed here, is an important tool for marketing. Blogging opens up conversations with your users, which allows you to ask questions, get feedback and deliver a truly better product or service.
  10. You Website Becomes Dynamic – Rather than the rare or infrequent content updates, a blog keeps new information on your site. New information will attract search engines and notify them that your site is one to track. Additionally this is just another reason to get your customers and fans coming back.

Frequently asked is the question, “Does my business really need a blog?”, as if the thought of pouring effort into content is literally, physically painful. To this question, we answer, “Absolutely, yes!” Every business and brand should invest time into a blog. Creating content for your brand can dramatically impact your business, attract new customers, and create a community around valuable content. If you’re not blogging for your brand or business, consider these 5 reasons why you must get started.

  1. Blogging is the Root of Content Marketing – Surely your content marketing strategy is not without a plan for blogging. If it is, now is time to re-evaluate. Blogging is where all of your content will stem from. Blog posts lead to social media posts, which in turn leads to increased viewership and brand building. Content is king (we know, like a broken record!) and there is nothing more valuable to your brands content marketing strategy than a blog.
  2. Your Most Valuable tool – Consider your company blog as one of the most valuable tools in your marketing arsenal. If blogging doesn’t fit into your busy schedule remember there are many options, get creative and hire a freelancer, consider guest posts or take advantage of your existing sales or marketing team. *Tip – Don’t hire an intern to create content for your blog. Leave this to the professionals!
  3. Blogging Fuels SEO – SEO, a buzzword that continually seems to mystify business owners. Simply put, blogging adds relevant and valuable content that search engines can see. With each blog post, another page on your website has been indexed; indicating that your website is active. Each new page is an opportunity to show up in a search result naturally leading to an increase in traffic.
  4. Builds Content for Social Media – Similar to SEO, blogging and distributing your content throughout your social networks increases your chances of being discovered. Blog posts added to your social networks have another opportunity to be shared, giving your brand the opportunity to be exposed to new audiences. Additionally, content from your blog allows your social media presence to keep going and strengthens your social reach.
  5. Blogging Gives Your Brand a Voice – From reputation management, to breathing personality into your brand, blogging is the ideal platform to do all of these things. On your blog give your company a personality. Your readers will be able to relate and it keeps things fresh and interesting. Additionally this builds trust with your readers, inspires engagement and opens two-way communication. Build your content and make it fun for your writers and readers.

We could go on and on about why you need to be blogging for your business. In fact, we think we will! Stay tuned for part two of this article; 10 Reasons Your Business should Blog.

 

5 reasons Facebook is still for marketers: Last week we spent much of our time going over Pinterest for business and how when properly executed, is a powerful tool and necessary aspect of your social marketing strategy. Today we’re going to switch gears and focusing on Facebook.

The past couple of months Facebook has been in the spotlight and under scrutiny for secret social studies and most recently, the controversial policies surrounding the Facebook messenger app. In the social media world there is an ever-growing conversation about the effectiveness and frequency your brands posts that are actually seen by fans and followers. Finally, just recently Facebook announced a ban on fan-gating on your brand’s social media page. All the seemingly negative press and chatter may make one question, “Is Facebook still relevant and should it be part of my social media strategy?” To answer simply, yes, Facebook is still relevant and is still an excellent to for marketers. While we understand that there is some serious skepticism surrounding the actual usefulness of this social network, here are five reasons why Facebook is still very much a tool that brands and social marketers should be actively using.

  1. Likes Still Matter: Currently organic reach is at a low point on Facebook which inherently suggests that the value of a like has been diminished. While this may be true for brands semi-actively posting on the social network, there are still many brands that are reaching a lot of people for free. Additionally creating a fan base on Facebook puts your brand in front of the right audience. Statistically Facebook fans convert, so having a targeted group of Facebook fans can only benefit you.
  2. Facebook Ads Work: While increasingly more competitive and seriously more costly than what they used to be, Facebook ads are always an effective tool for social marketers. With the Power Editor, strategically timing, targeting and promoting your posts and ads sets your marketing campaigns up for success. It all boils down to how well you narrow down demographics to meet marketing objectives
  3. Content is Still King: It’s been said over and over again, content is king. This is a true statement, not just on your website, but on your Facebook page and across all other social media outlets. Your existing fans won’t need an incentive to like your page because they already like what you are offering. When it comes to grabbing the attention of potential new followers, your brand should deliver informative and engaging content that gets them hooked and want to become your fan. When your brand is consistently broadcasting superior content your current fans will engage and new fans will come.
  4. The Numbers are Still There: Facebook is still the most popular and widely used social network. With over 1 billion monthly active users and 800 million monthly users there are plenty of people who can potentially see your brand. The numbers alone indicate that Facebook is alive and well as a social network and as a relevant part of your brands social marketing strategy.
  5. You can Track, Test and Measure: Still not sure if Facebook is an absolute necessity for your brand? Keeping track of all your Facebook efforts will help you determine if they are actually paying. On a daily basis keep track of page likes, use Google analytics to view referrals from Facebook, and use Facebook insights to determine the success of paid campaigns. With an endless amount of tracking and Facebook monitoring tools, you will easily be able to determine the importance of Facebook in your social marketing strategy.

While not new the the Pinterest world, it seems that many site owners are either choosing not to use the almighty Rich Pins, or just don’t know about them altogether. What is a “Rich Pin” you ask, simply put; Rich Pins are enhanced to make pins more useful. These super pins allow users to view more information than in traditional pins. Additional content is highlighted and can be seen right in the Pinterest feed, below the image. The added value increases a pin’s relevance to a pinner’s search, making Rich Pins an incredibly powerful tool for business.

The information provided to rich pins on Pinterest allow for:

  •  Automatic updates when anything changes. Whenever you make a change on your website this information is readily available on your pin, with no extra work on your part!
  • More information right on the pin. Visible to user’s right in their newsfeed, Pinterest perusers can get even more detailed info instantly.
  •  Increased traffic to your pins and website. The additional information included in Rich Pins more accurately direct users to the source of the pin.
  • Potential boost in sales. When there are price changes made to an item, each pinner who has pinned that item will receive a price drop notification directly to their inbox from Pinterest, at absolutely no cost to you.

Rich Pins fall into five different types: movie, recipe, article, product, and place.

Place Pins – include a map, address and phone number.

Article Pins – consist of the headline, author, and story description.

Product Pins – contain real time pricing, availability, and where to buy.

Recipe Pins – display all ingredients, cooking times, and serving info.

Movie Pins – showcase ratings, cast members, and viewer reviews.

Given that Rich Pins can greatly increase the value of your Pinterest efforts it seems only logical to include them in your brand’s Pinterest strategy. If your site is centered around recipes, e-commerce, movies, travel, or articles; which pretty much covers the bulk of categories, then Rich Pins are an absolute must for your brand. Learn how to add Rich Pins to enhance your Pinterest Strategy.

Not only is visibility on Pinterest a must for every business, but because 69% of all Pinterest users log in with the intent to buy, you need to be there! While your business may not directly sell to consumers, the image bookmarking site is an exceptional way to effectively and affordably get in front of 70 million unique visitors every month. Pinterest draws a fun audience, encourages creativity, and at its core, is a powerful visual marketing tool. Crafting a killer Pinterest strategy will help you reach your goals and deliver a well-crafted, consistent message to users. These 8 simple tips will help you develop the right marketing strategy for your business.

  • Define your Pinterest goals – Ask yourself what this marketing should accomplish. And  have realistic expectations, Pinterest is a powerful tool when used smartly. Do you want to:
    • Drive more traffic to your site or blog
    • Increase sales
    • Build brand awareness
    • Acquire new customers or grow user base
  • Is your business visual? Retail, cooking and home décor are naturally image heavy businesses, if your industry is not considered traditionally visual, it’s important to determine how you can add shareable pictures and content. Natural areas to add images include:
    • Blog
    • Shop
    • Infographics
    • Office
  • Determine your target audience – You know who your customers are already, reach potential new customers by specific targeting. Know your audience and their:
    • Needs
    • Interests
    • Values
    • Etc.
  • Content is King – As the old saying goes. What you put on Pinterest will determine the success of your marketing efforts on the social platform. It is imperative to:
    • Create your own unique content
    • Share other’s content
    • Perfect images
    • Strategically title, describe and hashtag images
  • Engaging and shareable content – Some images just perform better than others, for example images with multiple bold colors are pinned more often than their monochromatic counterparts. Do your research to learn what your audience is currently pinning.
  • Timing is everything – Users tend to be active all day, but pinning significantly increases in the evening, reaching peak pinning time at 10:00PM. To reach your target audience spread your pins out throughout the day and into the evening.
  • Monitor your efforts – Pinterest offers free analytics to businesses to monitor their success. When paired with an additional tool like, Google analytics, tracking your efforts will give your clear visibility into your progress and success.
  • Stay active – Once you have your strategy in place and you are ready to hit the ground running, start pinning and don’t stop! Keep your pins up and pin regularly to increase visibility to your audience and expand your reach. Within a month or two you will be able to see the results.

 

Pinterest, often seen as a virtual scrapbook for women is so much more and can greatly enhance the digital presence of any business. Pinterest has beautified image bookmarking and turned it into an explosively popular social experience. If you haven’t already added Pinterest to your brand marketing strategy, now is the time.

Based solely on numbers, this is why your brand needs to be there:

  • 70 Million monthly users (79% of which are women)
  • Users average 98 minutes on Pinterest, monthly
  • Over 9 Million users have connected their Pinterest accounts to Facebook, increasing social visibility
  • 21% of Pinterest users are male and this number continues to grow

As one of the top digital traffic referrers, Pinterest aids in customer acquisitions, sales and increased traffic to web destinations. Driving 12-14 times more traffic than Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest allows content to stay visible for days and even weeks. This increased content visibility naturally increases a brands presence, which is a drastic contrast to the mere seconds content is visible on the latter social sites.

Pinterest is for every business:

Common misperception amongst business owners is that Pinterest is useful solely for retail, weddings, or recipes. While those categories are dominant, many others are popular such as; fitness, technology, travel, events, and DIY everything. The beauty of Pinterest is that you can search and find just about anything by quickly scanning through images and short descriptions.

It’s all in the strategy:

Savvy Business owners and social marketers know that a well thought out Pinterest strategy will increase visibility and breed a loyal following of future customers and users. With the successful launch of Pinterest for Business and Pinterest Insights, businesses can effectively manage their account and monitor how other pinners are engaging with their content. When used in conjunction with other analytics tools, such as Google analytics, businesses gain complete visibility into their Pinterest strategy and effectiveness of their efforts.

What are you waiting for?

Based on this information, it is obvious that Pinterest is an ever-growing community that offers serious benefits to businesses of all kinds. Weather you run a personal blog, tech based b2b or e-commerce b2c business; it is increasingly more important that your brand have a presence in this community. With the right tools and an expert strategy Pinterest can take your business to the next level.