Social Archives - Search Engine Watch https://www.searchenginewatch.com/category/social/ Mon, 14 Jun 2021 11:02:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.3.2 Quora and Reddit: Powerhouses for SEO and marketing in 2021 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/06/11/quora-and-reddit-powerhouses-for-seo-and-marketing-in-2021/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/06/11/quora-and-reddit-powerhouses-for-seo-and-marketing-in-2021/?noamp=mobile#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 15:24:17 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=143348 If you're avoiding these platforms, your search strategy is incomplete

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30-second summary:

  • Reddit is the seventh most popular website in the US while Quora has a DR of 91
  • These factors make for great opportunities to build your brand’s online presence and enhance your E-A-T standing
  • This comprehensive guide helps you take advantage of Quora and Reddit marketing

Get ready to take advantage of the resources that two-third of marketers and SEO specialists miss out on. We’re talking about Quora and Reddit Marketing and you’re about to know how they can bring tons of value to your business.

Raising brand awareness, driving traffic, and diversifying your link profile with useful backlinks – all that is more than feasible with the right, out-of-the-box approach.

Let’s dive right in and take a look at the pros, cons, and everything in-between concerning the promotion of your website on Reddit and Quora.

Content created in partnership with Crowdo.

What makes these two solid platforms for SEO and marketing?

According to Alexa, Reddit is the seventh most popular website in the US, surpassing even Wikipedia. It’s a community-based platform with 130K+ niche-based subreddits brimming with highly active users.

Reddit and Quora DR

Although different from Reddit in terms of structure, Quora is equally worthy of marketers’ attention. It’s a Q&A platform with a DR of 91, making it a highly trustworthy resource, frequently shown in SERP.

Both platforms have strict moderation and high content standards, which means no spamming or self-promotion is allowed. Google is known to favor links from clean unspammed resources, which is why backlinks from either of these platforms will be useful for your backlink portfolio.

Apart from that, expanding your brand’s online presence is crucial for the EAT Google algorithm. This is aimed to provide users with relevant, and useful information.

This is where Quora answers and Reddit comments and posts come into play. Submitting helpful and informative answers can get you far in your promotion strategy, but let’s first start with some theory.

Are backlinks from Reddit and Quora useful for SEO?

Many SEO specialists don’t consider Quora and Reddit viable sources for link-building because the backlinks coming from these platforms are nofollow.

Taking into account the myth about the uselessness of nofollow links – nofollow translates into no-good for them.

This misconception is easy to clear up:

  1. Your backlink profile looks suspicious to Google and other search engines if it contains dofollow links exclusively. Diluting it with good nofollow links allows creating an organic-looking and diversified link profile.
  2. Google perceives nofollow links as “hints,” which means they still have a positive effect on your promotion. Even Google’s John Mueller confirmed it, just take a look at the tweet below.

John Mu on backlink building on Quora

How to get the most out of Quora: A step-by-step guide

1. Create a well-thought-out user profile

A thorough and properly formatted user profile is essential for Quora. Your profile should look trustworthy for your answers to be considered valuable and included in the feed. Here are some points you need to include:

  • Fill out the “About me” section with information about you and your occupation. Don’t shy away from going into details if it can truly benefit your credibility as an expert. But keep in mind that only 50-character-worth of text, including your name, will be shown above your answers. So make sure you make them count.
  • List your fields of expertise by choosing them from the “Knows About” section. Expert replies are deemed more valuable by the Quora algorithm, which in turn increases the chance that your answers will get into the feed and won’t be collapsed.
  • Link your social media accounts in the Settings section. Verified social media accounts add trustworthiness and make it easier to connect with you.
  • Add credentials

You can either copy them from your LinkedIn profile or fill them out and add some more info. “Credentials” is the part of your profile where you can add links to your portfolio, info about previous companies you worked for, your educational background – anything that can make people believe that you are indeed an expert in your field.

  • Upload a clear and friendly photo of yourself

Profiles with a photo instill more trust and are more relatable for other users. Try to avoid funky pictures or graphics.

Building a profile on Quora

2. Find suitable, niche-related questions

Now that your profile is all set up and looks good, it’s time to get down to business and find relevant questions to showcase the expertise and skills you’ve mentioned.

Start with outlining some keywords, relevant to your niche. You can either do it yourself or you can use a keywords generator tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs.

You can either choose questions with the most views because they’re shown in the feed and get a lot of attention or go for unanswered questions and score a higher chance to get in the top spot.

Finding Q&As in Quora

3. Write informative, source-rich, helpful answers

Your answers on Quora should be informative and answer the question directly – include statistics, references, graphics, and other media that can help illustrate your points and give a better insight into the topic you’re covering.

The Quora algorithm filters out irrelevant answers and collapses them. The more expert and in-depth your answer is, the higher the chance that it gets shown in the feed and won’t get collapsed.

As for the length of the answer – short answers usually don’t look authoritative and insightful. The optimal length of your answer should be between 1500 – 2000 characters, at least that’s what we think at Crowdo.

4. Format your answers in an appealing way

Formatting your answer is essential for making it look professional and easy to understand. No matter how much effort you’ve poured into your answer and prior research – if you submit a wall of text, it won’t do.

Answers like these don’t get enough upvotes and are mostly ignored by the viewers. Use all formatting means necessary to make your answer as appealing as possible: bullet points, appropriate headings, quotes – all of it will help your text look clear, engaging, and comprehensible.

5. If you use someone else’s content – indicate the source

Plagiarism is a big no-no on Quora, and it might get you banned. If you use someone else’s content to emphasize/illustrate/prove your point – always indicate the source.

6. Link to your website naturally

Although Quora allows self-promotion, it doesn’t mean that you can blatantly abuse it. Clickbait titles are frowned upon on Quora, and the same goes for obvious begging for clicks, like “Check out my awesome website!”.

The link to your website must be organically inserted in the text and correspond to the context.

For instance, you can present it as something that provides additional in-depth information: “This detailed overview of best digital marketing practices might come in handy to you.”

7. Use authoritative sources to enrich and add authority to your answer

Answers with a single link to your website look suspiciously promotional and don’t instill trust. Try including other topic-related, helpful links from reputable and authoritative sources like Wikipedia, Reddit, YouTube, or others.

It will add a professional touch to your answer and increase its value for the reader.

Using authoritative sources

How to avoid collapsed answers?

Sometimes, even if you followed the Quora guidelines to the letter, your answer might get collapsed.

collapsed answers

The reasons may vary, from an error in the algorithm that can be corrected by writing a support ticket to a mistake on your part. Let’s take a peek at the most common reasons why answers get collapsed:

Your user profile is lacking trustworthiness

If you haven’t indicated your field of expertise, skipped the credentials and bio description, the Quora algorithm may deem you unfit to answer certain questions due to the lack of trustworthiness of your profile.

Your answers aren’t helpful to the author of the question

Make sure you clearly state the answer to the question.

Posting long text walls containing no definitive answer and brimming with irrelevant links helps no one.

You’re overlinking

A common mistake among those who only start working with Quora is to write as many replies as possible and cram all the links they can think of in their answers.

You have to establish yourself as a trustworthy contributor first, show your expertise and only then strategically insert links into your replies. Start with writing 20+ helpful and informative answers without any links.

Your answers are lacking interaction from other users

If the Quora algorithm detects that your answers have no comments or upvotes, it may deem them unworthy of showing and collapse them.

The ideal way would be to try to benefit the readers as much as possible and get this social traction organically.

The rather “grey” way would be to use other Quora profiles to upvote your answer and increase the view count.

The approach you choose is completely up to you.

Product/service promotion on Reddit: All about Reddiquette and Karma

Being a community-based platform, Reddit pushes you to come to the audience and pour actual value into the content you generate and share. On Reddit, you must be a part of the community if you want to succeed.

Before submitting anything, you need to “get the feel” of what every community is about and tailor the content you contribute to be in line with the customs of each and every subreddit.

Reddiquette

An excellent way to start your marketing campaign on Reddit is to learn its basic rules, aka Reddiquette. Let’s take a quick look at the main ones:

  • Don’t rush to submit – Easy does it

Reddit algorithm and moderators take into account your profile’s age and authority, aka Karma (more on this later). If you rush to post right after you registered and haven’t even researched the subreddit you’d like to post on – it’s a sure bet that your post will be removed.

  • Never beg for upvotes

Upvotes and downvotes are used on Reddit to show appreciation or displeasure with posts or comments. Submissions with the highest upvote score rise to the top and may even reach the front page – the holy grail of Reddit. Begging for upvotes is rightfully considered to be a “big no”.

  • Don’t rely on reposting

Reposting is a common bane on Reddit and involves sharing the content of any type, pictures, gifs, videos previously shared by the original poster on another subreddit. In other words, it’s stealing to get upvotes.

In a few cases, the content is reposted to multiple subreddits if it’s extremely important for all, and the more people see it, the better. But in the vast majority of cases, it’s a dishonest way of obtaining Karma points.

  • Don’t spam with useless comments

Comments in threads are a perfect place to help the OP (original poster), give advice, joke around, provide some tips. Users share links and provide valuable insights here.

You can use the comment section to your advantage and write helpful answers with a link to your website.

However…sometimes people just share the link. Comments like these are immensely annoying and bring no value to the discussion. They are typically removed by moderators and will likely lead to a shadowban (more on that in a bit).

Karma

Karma is a Redditor’s score determined by the number of upvotes against downvotes their posts and comments received. In other words, Karma is essentially the reflection of the user’s reputation and a trustworthiness indicator.

Some subreddits don’t allow submitting content if one’s Karma score is low. That’s why it’s crucial to spend some time surfing the subreddits, understanding the rules, types of content welcomed in each of your target communities, and contributing helpful and interesting content.

It’s a common mistake among new users to rush into posting with no Karma and include links on top of that. If you do that, there’s a very high chance that your post won’t pass the moderation and will be deleted.

And here comes the shadowbanning that we mentioned earlier.  It implies that the posts you submit are visible only to you. Shadowban is used to filter out promotional posts and comments that are made solely for self-advertising purposes.

Marketing on Reddit: Some ground rules

Keep in mind that each subreddit is a close-knit community protective of its habits, rules, and culture. The one thing communities have in common is the absolute hatred towards those whose sole purpose is self-promotion.

Imagine it as a gathering of friends discussing things they like, and that one guy suddenly starts to preach about some irrelevant business and its benefits. It’ll obviously annoy everyone and get your profile banned.

Let’s take a look at how to approach marketing on Reddit the right way:

  • Grow your Karma by submitting useful content

Learn the ins and outs of every subreddit and contribute content people of the subreddit like to see. The more engaging, useful content you post, the more Karma you’ll generate.

The sure-bet subreddits to grow your Karma are r/aww – for cute pics of animals (no one downvotes these), r/AskReddit – where you can ask literally about anything and everything, or r/explainlikeimfive/ – a helpful and friendly community that rarely downvotes even the most absurd questions.

Remember that your submission history is visible to everyone, and some Redditors make it their point to go through the entire submission history of the person to see if there’s a hint of them being an advertiser.

  • Once again, don’t go crazy with placing links

It’s not a commonly known fact, but only one in ten of your submissions can contain a link to look natural and be accepted – the rest should be contributed without any links, be it posts or comments.

This ratio is directed at making you contribute more than you take, keeping the benefit of the community above all else. If you exceed this ratio, you’ll be immediately suspected of self-promotion and get a shadowban.

Long story short, be a friendly neighbor and not a salesperson.

Avoid excessive linking

Conclusion

Marketing on Quora and Reddit takes a lot of time and effort, but the benefits for SEO (in terms of increased traffic to your website and backlink portfolio diversification), brand awareness, and ultimately sales boost are equally impressive.

Given the extent of work, competence, and resources needed for successful marketing on these platforms, even experienced marketers leave this task to experienced professionals like Crowdo, who offer a standalone Quora and Reddit Promotion Service.

That being said, hopefully, you’ve just discovered two unexplored marketing channels and got a hint of how to approach them wisely!

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Cross-channel marketing: why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Google basket https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/03/26/cross-channel-marketing-why-you-shouldnt-put-all-your-eggs-in-the-google-basket/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/03/26/cross-channel-marketing-why-you-shouldnt-put-all-your-eggs-in-the-google-basket/?noamp=mobile#respond Fri, 26 Mar 2021 13:31:09 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=143218 Why do so many businesses stick to the ‘big guns’ when allocating spend? Adzooma CEO Rob Wass and Cambridge University’s Akanshaa Khare joined forces to challenge this notion

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30-second summary:

  • Very few SMBs use multiple channels for their online advertising
  • Facebook is the most effective channel based on the cost for CPM and CPC
  • It’s important to remember that every business is unique when it comes to deciding on budget allocation

For any business in the software as a service (SaaS) space, data analysis and science are crucial to ensure they keep pushing ahead to reveal those insights that can really make a difference. With this in mind, the Cambridge MBA team looked to leverage Adzooma’s extensive data to identify new ways for SMBs to maximize their ad spend with cross-channel marketing.

For the team at Cambridge University, this was an exciting opportunity to produce some truly unique insights, given that even the big players such as Google and Microsoft only have data that pertains to their individual channels.  The project promised to provide a much broader view and deliver some new insights thanks to the access to anonymized data from thousands of accounts across the three big platforms via Adzooma.

A cross-channel approach

The findings immediately identified that very few SMB customers use multiple channels (Facebook, Google, and Microsoft).

Although this wasn’t part of the main project, it was a really interesting piece of analysis and it’s something we’ve stressed the importance of a lot. Most people just stick to Google, for example, as that’s where they think they should be but that’s not always the best case for everyone’s business, and being seen across multiple touchpoints – or at least trying out multiple channels – can be crucial to digital marketing success.

Our analysis found Facebook to be the most conducive channel for SMBs based on cost (CPM, CPC) as well as return (impressions, clicks), however, it was Microsoft that came out on top for reaching a more professional and affluent audience.

The research highlighted the importance of pre-determining your specific target audience. Hence, when it comes to choosing the channel – or channels – for your business it’s really worth thinking about what you are trying to achieve with your ad spend and who you’re truly trying to reach.

What are you really trying to achieve?

Right at the offset, it’s important to think about your end goal and ask yourself who are the customers you are looking to target and what is the most efficient way to get to them.

Existing research told us that for SMBs acquiring new customers was the most chased goal on the customer journey followed by ‘generating awareness’, ‘generating leads’, and ‘retaining customers’.

Taking this into account, the Cambridge team found that merging the traditional sales funnel with the customer lifecycle model would be the best way for an SMB to manage its overall marketing goals.

Overlapping resolution methodology then allowed the team to determine the impact of cost on different marketing channels. This way, SMBs would be able to effectively determine which platform is best to use when similarities occur.

We found through the research that it was the choice of the channel itself that had the most significant impact on both CPM and CPC. Having determined a connection between channel and cost KPIs, further research was conducted to find out the average CPM and CPC across Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Ads.

While it was Facebook that was the most cost-effective channel on average for SMBs overall, the recommendations were that businesses should still look at the click-through rates of other channels to determine whether other factors such as industry or geography could make a significant difference.

If you’re choosing between Google and Microsoft, the results suggest using Google due to its high reach and low cost, however, Microsoft could also be useful, particularly as it offers high-level targeting and demographics that can be suitable for specific business types.

What is your ad saying?

Another factor that perhaps many businesses don’t consider when deciding on a platform is the sentiment of their messaging.

When analyzing the data this was another area where the research team saw differentiation depending on the channel where the advert appeared.

cross-channel marketing and advertising CTR stats

Microsoft proved to be the most popular platform when it came to a positive sentiment with a CTR of 4.2 percent, compared to 3.6 percent for neutral and 3.3 percent for negative sentiment.

Interestingly, the opposite was true for Google ads where negative sentiment proved most popular with users, gaining a CTR rate of 6.5 percent compared to 5.7 percent for neutral and negative messaging.

Again, it highlights how important it is to take that time to tweak your ads for testing purposes and learn what works best for your target customers so you can capitalize on your spends.

Every business is unique

It’s no secret that the one size fits all approach doesn’t necessarily work. All businesses are different and therefore their ad spend and utilization will of course differ.

Some people, as we all do, want to go with the stats and what has proven to have worked historically for businesses, and whilst that can be taken into account, that’s not to stay that it will work for every business. Therefore, it’s always important to remember to take the time to consider where you are spending and who you are trying to reach.

Plus, it is worth remembering that although GoogleFacebook, and Microsoft Ads are the most popular online advertising platforms, there are alternative (and less expensive) places to list your ads including Reddit, Amazon, and industry-specific sites such as Capterra. Despite having fewer users, these are still effective as it’s often easier to reach your exact target audience and could work as an addition to your primary platform.

Looking ahead

We hope that through this research we’ve provoked SMBs to think carefully about their target audience and specific objectives prior to ad spend allocation.  What we’ve showcased here is that the advertising platforms explored within this study work effectively in their own right depending on the end goal and we hope these insights will enable SMBs to achieve greater overall results.

These learnings help determine how cross-channel partnerships can be best leveraged for SMB customers. As Facebook seems to be the most used channel by 70 percent of SMBs, and data analysis suggests it is optimal in terms of cost and return, the data will be used to scale Facebook features and opportunities. A lot of the learnings we unearthed from this study will also go directly into the core technology of the Adzooma product.

Rob Wass is Co-founder and CEO of Adzooma.

Akanshaa Khare is currently pursuing an MBA at Cambridge University and has five years of Product Management experience and three years of Consulting experience, helping consulting firms such as BCG and ZS Associates.

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Pinterest SEO guide: Eight tips for search-friendly pins https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/01/26/pinterest-seo-guide-eight-tips-for-search-friendly-pins/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/01/26/pinterest-seo-guide-eight-tips-for-search-friendly-pins/?noamp=mobile#respond Tue, 26 Jan 2021 11:30:58 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142869 Looking to increase your Pinterest traffic? Follow this guide to optimize your account, pins, and boards for SEO.

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30-second summary:

  • Every pin has the potential to be discovered by thousands of users creating a chain reaction of activity.
  • Google loves Pinterest and places its pages on the top positions, including SERP features and Google Image search.
  • Linking your Pinterest account and website together is an important step towards better SEO performance.
  • Using the Pinterest Analytics dashboard will help you understand your performance.
  • Research your niche keywords to optimize pins and boards for the relevant key phrases.
  • Follow other related accounts and optimize your publication time to improve engagement.

Pinterest has recently become the third-largest social network in the U.S. With its popularity on the rise, it now has over 440 million monthly active users, who have pinned more than 240 billion posts to date. Keeping that in mind, one can’t help but wonder what the reason for its success is. 

What makes it stand out from the rest of the photo-sharing sites is the focus on the discovery and curation of not just yours, but also someone else’s content. Each Pin has the potential to be re-pinned by other users and then discovered by their followers, creating a chain reaction of activity.

Furthermore, lots of businesses use Pinterest as their product catalog. About 90% of weekly Pinners make purchase decisions on Pinterest, turning it into a great platform for businesses to market their products. 

So, Pinterest has tons of users and they have money to spend. How do you take advantage of that? Well, one way to make sure your Pins are popular with other users is to treat Pinterest as a search engine, which it kind of is. Optimize your Pins for discovery, follow best SEO practices, and your visibility is guaranteed to go up.

The icing on the cake here is Google’s preferential treatment of Pinterest. Unlike Facebook or Instagram posts, your Pins have a chance of appearing in traditional search results. Usually, Google directs users to Pinterest in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, when they are just searching for ideas:

Pinterest SEO guide

As you can see in the screenshot above, the first page of search results is practically littered with Pinterest pages. And if you switch to image search, then Google is even more likely to include Pinterest content:

Content listed from Pinterest

But first, let’s focus on Pinterest itself and see how you can improve your chances of being discovered by other Pinners:

Tip #1: Create a business account

Start with getting a free business account. If you don’t already use Pinterest, you need to create it from scratch. If you already have a personal account, you can either create a linked business account or convert your personal account into a business one.  

Conveniently, having a business account implies having a number of useful features that cannot be accessed with a regular account: 

Header

For starters, you have a header that can be full of either your latest Pins or the ones that have been recently saved by other users. Alternatively, you can pick any board that you like.

This kind of interface visually displays what your account is for. It is a quick way to draw people’s attention and help them understand what kind of products or services you provide.

Pinterest analytics

On top of that, you can check Pinterest analytics by clicking the Analytics button:

Pinterest analytics set up

Pinterest Analytics shows who sees your Pins, the number of views you get, what content your followers or other users click on and save the most, and lots of other important data. All of these features are essential to help you understand your performance on Pinterest.

Pinterest ads

You also have the option of using paid ads. In fact, there are different types of them. For instance, Promoted Pins that can be found in the home feed and the search results of your target audience. Or One-tap Pins that, when tapped, instead of taking users to your profile first, take them directly to your website. 

Website claim

You can claim your website and social accounts. Thanks to this perk, all of your Pins are shown with your name and profile picture. Even the ones shared by other people. It’s a great way to increase your discoverability and ranking in general.

Here is what a claimed business account looks like:

Claim your website on Pinterest to being optimization

And here is what a regular account looks like:

Regular Pinterest account example

Tip #2: Optimize your profile

Pay attention to your profile as well. Both your name and bio are of high importance when it comes to looking trustworthy and reliable. You can edit it in the Settings section: 

Edit your business profile in Pinterest for SEO

Name

There are two names that you need to create on Pinterest: your display name and your username. Your display name is what other users see on Pinterest, while your username is more like a unique ID used mainly for your URL.

For your display name, the main goal is to represent your brand and be easily found in search results. Add some keywords to provide a clear understanding of your content:

Add keywords for a better understanding of your account name

Bio

This is where you state the purpose of your account loud and clear. Make sure to feature relevant keywords in the first part of your bio. Add some personality or a call-to-action in the second. That can contribute to your profile’s searchability and users’ engagement. 

Tip #3: Prepare your website

Linking your Pinterest account and website together is another important step towards better SEO performance.

Pinterest tags

Basically, Pinterest tags are pieces of code you put on the pages of your website. They allow you to check what type of Pinterest content delivers the most traffic. This data is collected and sent back to your Pinterest account, where you can examine it and adjust your strategy accordingly.

You can use Pinterest tags to see what people do on your site after interacting with your Pins. What type of content attracts more viewers, makes them interested in your services, or urges them to purchase your products. At the same time, you can find out what type of content needs optimization or is of no use at all. 

Save button

With the help of the Save button on your site pages, your customers can save things from your website to Pinterest. This way your content can be spotted by a far greater number of people.

Here is an example of a website offering the Pinterest Save button:

Pinterest Save button

Tip #4: Find relevant keywords

Pinterest itself can help you find the right keywords. Similar to Google, it has an advanced suggestion system, always offering similar posts and ways to improve your search queries. 

For instance, if you search for evergreen plants, Pinterest will offer you a whole range of popular query modifiers. Adding them to your Pin’s description can increase their relevance:

Add descriptions to improve search relevance

If you are into a more advanced quest for keywords, you can use SEO tools that can help you build a high-potential keyword list. 

Tip #5: Optimize your boards

Keywords are also essential when you create boards for your profile. Make them SEO-friendly and add some searchable terms when naming them. In the screenshot below, you can see a perfect example of boards with strategic keywords:

Optimize your boards

Give some consideration to your board’s description as well. Try to make it detailed, coherent, and entertaining. Including keywords here is also to your advantage:

Add a cover photo to your Pinterest account

Another thing that can improve the discoverability of your profile is adding an eye-catching and memorable cover photo. It can take the visibility of your board to a whole other level.

Finally, make sure to categorize all of your Pins appropriately. They need to reflect the name and aim of the board. This way Pinterest can spread them most effectively. 

Tip #6: Optimize your pins

Obviously, your pins have to be awesome and trendy and all that. But there are also some technical opportunities that may push your pins even further and make them a bit more search-friendly.

Perfect aspect ratio

Since not all types of Pins display fully in search results, pay attention to their ratio. Pinterest diminishes the role of super-long images, so they don’t perform well in search results. And when uploading videos, avoid horizontal dimensions. 

A ratio of 2:3 — or 600:900 pixels — is your best option for images, while 1:1, 9:16, 4:5, 2:3 ratios are optimal for videos. Square ones are especially handy when you post videos from your Facebook or Instagram.

Rich Pins

One more tool in your collection is a unique opportunity to use Rich Pins. They automatically sync information from your website to Pinterest. In other words, they simply update each time something changes on your website. 

Pinterest offers three types of Rich Pins: product, recipe, and article. There is a slight difference between them, but the main thing is that Rich Pins allow for extra bits of information to be added to your post, like in this example of a recipe pin:

Use rich pins to specify your content type

You can add a title, cook time, serving size, ratings, and a list of ingredients. Recipe Rich Pins also let you specify that, for example, your recipe is vegan and gluten-free. 

Tip #7: Encourage engagement

Try to get more engagement on Pinterest. The more engagement you get the more likely your Pins are to be recommended to other users.

Follow other profiles

Follow profiles similar to yours. This way you can get into their followers’ recommendations. Alternatively, there is a point in following influencers and celebrities that fit in well with your brand or business. High-traffic accounts like theirs can also contribute to your visibility.

Choose the best time to post

The faster users see your post and react to it, the bigger chances are for your posts to be noticed by Pinterest and boosted in search results. 

According to a study by CoSchedule, Pinterest users are more likely to scroll their feed during their free time or in the evening. But, of course, it depends on the type of your content and your followers’ goals. Whether they use Pinterest for work tasks, to unwind, or for shopping. 

Connect your social accounts to Pinterest

Instead of building your follower base from scratch, connect all of your social accounts to your Pinterest profile. This way you are likely to get new followers faster and distribute your content across other platforms as well.

Communicate with your followers

Don’t forget to reply to comments and answer your followers’ questions. It’s one more way to create a solid customer base.

Tip #8: Check Pinterest analytics

If you need to make your account and its content better, Pinterest is always there for you. It has a great number of metrics, which you can use to improve your Pin performance, reach the right audience, increase your sales, and much more. 

For instance, Saves can show the number of times people saved your Pin to their boards. As well as Clicks that point out which of your linked Pins are clicked more often. These metrics can help you understand what kind of content gets more attention and, consequently, might be more profitable. 

Impressions are also essential for your SEO campaign. They give you the total number of times your Pins were shown in search results, someone’s feed, and through boards. With their assistance, you are able to spot popular and engaging content and concentrate on adapting your SEO strategy based on this data.

Keeping a close eye on such metrics is the best way to find new optimization opportunities not only on Pinterest. They come in handy when you want to improve your SEO performance where you need it most. In this article, you can find more useful tips about essential metrics to watch when doing SEO.

Final thoughts

With Pinterest being on the rise, you should make full use of it. Not only is it a great assistant with lots of helpful features and a prominent number of monthly active users, but it’s also a way to look at your online performance from another angle – to make it more efficient, adjust your SEO campaign, attract new customers, and boost your popularity. You can do all of this while creating thumb-stopping and eye-catching content through Pinterest SEO.

Aleh Barysevich is Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario.

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B2B lead generation using Instagram Stories: Six tips with examples https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/01/22/b2b-lead-generation-using-instagram-stories-six-tips-with-examples/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/01/22/b2b-lead-generation-using-instagram-stories-six-tips-with-examples/?noamp=mobile#respond Fri, 22 Jan 2021 10:18:28 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142835 Instagram Stories can be a great platform to generate more B2B leads. Read on to learn how you can use it to grow your business. Examples from Salesforce, Oracle, Slack, and more included.

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30-second summary:

  • For B2B marketers, Instagram Stories may not seem the most obvious medium for content creation, but it can be a very effective one.
  • B2B brands are able to generate 20x more engagement on Instagram compared to LinkedIn.
  • Digital Marketing Strategist, Sumeet Anand details on six ways B2B marketers can use Instagram Stories for lead generation with examples from Salesforce, Oracle, Hubspot, Slack, and more.

Instagram is the hottest new social media channel for B2B marketing. In fact, a study found that B2B brands are able to generate 20x more engagement on Instagram compared to LinkedIn. Sounds great, right? One of the best parts about Instagram is it gives you the ability to publish Stories along with posts. Over 500 million Instagram users view and post Instagram Stories on the app every day. With such popularity, it’s evident that users like this feature to view content. What’s more, is that one in three of the most viewed Instagram Stories is from businesses.

For B2B marketers, it may not seem the most obvious medium for content creation, but it can be a very effective one. For the uninitiated, Instagram Stories disappear in 24 hours. Think of it as a dashboard where you can add GIFs, photos, and videos that add brand and business value.

While your content doesn’t stay on the platform for long, it gets displayed prominently at the top of the users’ feed amplifying the chances of viewing and engaging with your brand.

Instagram Stories are very versatile. You can use them to promote your latest products or simply share an inspirational quote. That’s one of the biggest “whys?” Instagram Stories can be a great tool for marketing. If you are not using them to promote your brand, it’s time to get started now.

How to use Instagram Stories to generate more B2B leads

In this section, let’s discuss different ways in which you can leverage Instagram Stories for B2B lead generation

To give you a better understanding of its practical usage, we’ve also included real-life examples from B2B companies.

1. Publish share-worthy content

The first part of the B2B marketing funnel is about creating brand awareness. You don’t directly try to sell your services or products to a cold lead. The first step to get them interested is to initiate a conversation about your niche or industry.

That’s where Instagram Stories come into the picture. You can publish share-worthy content that educates your audience or is interesting. If you have your own blog, you can also promote your latest posts in your Instagram Stories.

Salesforce uses this strategy to promote their posts and engage prospective leads. As you can see in the screenshot below, Instagram users can swipe to get redirected to their blog. 

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Salesforce story

Source: Instagram

There’s all about getting more website traffic.

But what about lead generation?

On the website, there is a prominent CTA at the end of the blog post. So, Salesforce uses Instagram Stories to get more leads indirectly. It’s a quick entry into the sales funnel.

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Salesforce example

Source: Salesforce

The actual process of lead generation and conversion happens on the website.

In other words, Instagram Stories provides a great window of opportunity for you to boost your traffic and get more leads.

Don’t miss out. 

Not just blog posts, you can also share other resources like case studies, podcast episodes, and webinars via Instagram Stories. Since Stories stay on your profile for only 24 hours, they are great for such short-term promotional activities. 

The best part?

Instagram provides different Stickers that you can use to make the promotion more exciting. For instance, Vancouver-based software company, Unbounce used the countdown Sticker to create buzz about their new report.

Publish sharable content - example

Source: Instagram

To get users interested, they also provide a sneak peek into the findings in the next series of Stories. 

Here is a screenshot:

Publish share worthy content

Source: Instagram

You can use a specialized Instagram Story maker tool with templates to make visually appealing designs without spending too much time or effort.

2. Conduct an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session

B2B buyers value brands that are transparent with them. 

If you are willing to share knowledge and provide them guidance, you can expect them to tune in. In an effort to build an authentic relationship with your prospects, you can host an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session.

It can help you build brand awareness and boost your lead generation efforts. In addition to this, it can also establish your brand as a leader in your industry.

To get the maximum leads, you can invite an influencer or an expert. When they host an AMA on your Instagram Stories, you can attract their followers as well.This way, you can boost your reach and get more leads.

Don’t have the budget for it? There is still a way around it. Take inspiration from HubSpot’s Instagram Stories. 

They conducted AMA sessions with their employees, including social media video editor, blogging manager, email and growth manager, and others. Each of them shared what they do and shared tips for others.

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - AMA sessions

Source: Instagram

This is also a great strategy to get more engagement. 

And anyone who has an understanding of the B2B marketing funnel knows that it paves the way for conversion.

3. Showcase your latest products

If you’re launching a new product or are adding new features to your product, announce it via an Instagram Story. It can help you create some buzz and inform your audience about what’s on offer. 

Furthermore, you can actually demonstrate what users can do with the new product or feature. Such content can be educational as well as entertaining.

Social media management tool, Buffer used this strategy to promote their new app, Remix. Here is a screenshot from their Instagram profile:

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Showcase products

Source: Instagram

As you can see, they have introduced the app casually. In a series of Stories that follow it, they have explained via images and videos how users it works. 

They demonstrate how users can share content posted on one social media platform to another one seamlessly with the app. Through such engaging Stories, they provide a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to use the app. 

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Showcase latest products

Source: Instagram

Wondering how it is a great strategy to drive leads?

After all, they aren’t driving any website traffic. For that matter, they don’t even have a powerful call-to-action phrase on these Instagram Stories. There isn’t a special offer included either.

So, how is this strategy relevant for B2B lead generation?

As it turns out, providing exposure to your products and services is a top-of-the-marketing funnel. When people know more about your services and products, they are likely to check out your site. This, in turn, can get them to opt-in, and finally make a purchase.

The point being, it can help you with lead nurturing. In a nutshell, it is a baby step in the right direction.

4. Conduct quizzes

Another cool way to engage your audience and get them interested is to host quizzes and polls in Instagram Stories. Using the Quiz and Polls Sticker in Stories, you can find out what your audience is looking for.

For those who are in the brand awareness stage of the marketing funnel, it can be a great way to lead them onto the next stage. 

It can get them to engage with you.

For this, it is a good idea to ask questions that are broadly related to your niche or target audience. 

For example, US-based computer technology company, Oracle offers cloud applications. They also have special products related to Java. To spread awareness about them, they created the following quiz:

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Conduct quizzes Oracle

Source: Medium

As you can see, they are trying to define the scope of their target audience in a very organic manner. Since it is provided in the form of a question, there is some participation required from the reader. This, in turn, makes it more engaging. 

In addition to this, you can also use the “Question” sticker in Instagram Stories to ask for feedback. Video marketing software company, Wistia, asked their followers what would make it easy for them to create videos.

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Conduct quizzes

Source: Instagram

They even received multiple replies from their audience which they showcased on their Stories. 

Here is a screenshot:

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Conduct quizzes example

Source: Instagram

All in all, it shows how they are willing to lend a listening ear. At the same time, they get engagement and can also attract more leads.

5. Showcase customer feedback

One of the biggest concerns for B2B buyers is whether their purchase will be worth the money they are investing. 

It’s a valid concern. 

Since they are investing a lot of money, it’s understandable that they want to be sure about it. As a B2B marketer, it is your job to win their trust and showcase the value that you can provide them.

In all of this, where do Instagram Stories come into the picture?

It’s simple — They provide you a great platform to provide social proof to your audience. You can showcase testimonials on Instagram Stories.

Positive reviews or words of affirmation from past customers can go a long way in getting more leads and conversions.

Email marketing software program GetResponse showcased testimonials on their Stories. To make sure that it stays on their profile, they saved it as a “Highlight.”

Here is a screenshot of one such testimonial: 

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Showcase customer feedback

Source: Instagram

In the long-term, this strategy can help you build your credibility and win more customers. The best part is you don’t need to put in a lot of effort to share testimonials via Stories. 

In the above example from getResponse, they have used text. But you can experiment and share audio and video testimonials as well.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. 

Business communication platform, Slack takes this a step further. In the Highlight, “Slack Stories” on their profile, they share testimonials as well as links to case studies to showcase how their platform is making a difference to businesses.

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Customer feedback

Source: Instagram

6. Show your support for a social cause

Marketing doesn’t have to solely be about showcasing your products. It’s also about showcasing your brand values. Don’t shy away from taking a stand on a social issue that aligns with what your brand and audience believe in. In fact, during the 2020 holiday season, Mastercard shared that 75% of consumers intend to prefer shopping from businesses that share their personal values.

There are two benefits to this. It showcases that your brand has a human side to it, has personality, and cares about social causes.

Social media management solution, Sprout Social published a series of Instagram Stories on their platform supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement. 

They even shared resources for anyone who wanted to reach out for help. 

B2B lead generation tips through Instagram Stories - Support a social cause

Source: SproutSocial

Bonus tip: Track insights from your Instagram Stories

For lead generation, it is recommended that you experiment with different types of Instagram Stories. Quizzes, AMA sessions, polls, and more — give it all a try! To find out what resonates with your audience, make it a point to regularly check insights for your Instagram Stories.

To view the stats for a Story that is live on your Instagram profile, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to the published Story
  • Swipe up to see insights for your Instagram Story
  • Tap on the icon that looks like a chart.

Instagram Stories - Insights

Source: Embedsocial

Instagram also allows you to view insights for your previously published Stories. 

For this, you can follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Go to your Instagram profile
  • Click on the menu icon given in the top right corner
  • Tap on the icon for the Insights menu

Insights from Instagram Stories

Source: Instagram

Checking the insights for Instagram Stories can help you determine the kind of content that is doing well on your profile. Based on that, you can come up with more Instagram Stories and refine your marketing efforts.

Conclusion

Instagram Stories offer a lot of opportunities for B2B marketers to build brand awareness and generate leads. Not all of the above-mentioned strategies may help you get leads directly, but they can help you move prospective leads along the funnel. 

For the best results, you should use a mix of these strategies. Also, keep in mind that social media marketing requires patience. So, do not expect immediate results! It’s one of the B2B trends to watch out for.

Do you have any questions about generating B2B leads using Instagram Stories? Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section. 

Sumeet Anand is a Digital Marketing Expert, who specializes in SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing. You can find him on Twitter @Sumeetanand143 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Five strategies to promote your business using LinkedIn Stories https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/31/five-strategies-to-promote-your-business-using-linkedin-stories/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/31/five-strategies-to-promote-your-business-using-linkedin-stories/?noamp=mobile#respond Thu, 31 Dec 2020 13:35:11 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142684 How to promote your business using LinkedIn stories.

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30-second summary:

  • LinkedIn Stories feature allows you to create a video that runs no longer than 20 seconds and host it on your profile.
  • The format will help kickstart conversations and nurture the relationships that are core to everything that happens on LinkedIn.
  • These are a good way for brands to share a behind-the-scenes peek into their business’ professional moments.
  • The feature is expected to promote business content in an area whose netizens are purely composed of professionals, thus helping users build relationships with followers.
  • The feature has been rolled out in select countries, with plans to introduce it to a new country every week or so.

Did you know that more than 500 million people watch an Instagram Story every day, and over one-third of those videos are business-related? In a fresh respite for professionals and businesses who would until now take recourse to Instagram to publicize their business, LinkedIn stories have arrived to help professionals share their on-the-fly moments. Much like Instagram Stories, the LinkedIn Stories feature allows you to create a video that runs no longer than 20 seconds and host it on your profile. Once the “story” has been uploaded, it will be accessible by people for an entire day before it goes away.

According to LinkedIn, the feature was a long time coming. Pete Davies, the head of Consumer Products at LinkedIn, was quoted remarking about the usefulness of the feature as “…stories spread for a good reason: they offer a lightweight, fun way to share an update without it having to be perfect or attached to your profile forever.”

But, first things first. Should you even use Instagram stories? More importantly, what are they, and are they any different than the mainstream story feature from other popular social networking platforms?

In a word, yes. Through LinkedIn Stories, you will have a great opportunity to demonstrate your brand from a different angle and interact with your audience in a way they’re familiar with. 

What are LinkedIn Stories?

The LinkedIn Stories feature is a format that allows you to display and share specific content with your audience through an image slideshow or 20-second that is available for 24 hours before it is automatically gone. The video or the image slideshow disappears after a full day since it was posted.

This feature is, in essence, the same as the ones that exist on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, and has more or less the same functions. Users can add stickers, ask questions (AMA), place text overlays, use @mention to credit, or introduce other LinkedIn accounts.

Thus far, the LinkedIn Stories feature has been rolled out in select members and pages in the countries of the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, and Australia. Although, if you are itching to have a go at LinkedIn Stories, sit tight. According to LinkedIn, the feature will be rolled out to one new country every few weeks.

LinkedIn Stories example

However, the talking point here really is LinkedIn’s shift stories and how emblematic it is of social media’s evolution since the inception of a certain Facebook called centralized news feed in 2006. Today, stories have become the norm, and profile users opt to share their “in the moment” experience rather than devoting themselves to a binding feed post.

stat on Instagram stories

Source: Later.com

This aligns with the fad observed with Instagram over the course of the last few years, with an increasing number of people posting more stories and fewer feeds. This was confirmed by a recent study by Later, where influencers were found to now post 33% fewer feeds than they used to in 2016.

So, what meaning does this hold for businesses?

Put simply, this feature will offer a novel, temporary way to share information with your professionally-associated followers (LinkedIn connects). And while it might feel challenging to carve a name for your brand in a bustling online space, there are a host of elements you can peruse to morph a seemingly daunting prospect into a creative new opportunity to further your business objectives.

Benefits of LinkedIn Stories

We already know that, while belonging to different channels, the stories feature is essentially the same as the last one’s. What distinguishes LinkedIn stories the primary difference (and draw) of LinkedIn Stories is the business context.

Now, rather than using the feature to share lifestyle tips with relatives and friends, brands and marketers may share their stories with peers and future prospects. This material may be highly promotional.

Studies show that stories are gradually turning into the new favorite and preferred way to access material on social media channels. However, that is not to suggest that stories will fully replace the LinkedIn feed post. But, providing the stories features offers users the ability to broaden the scope of their LinkedIn content and reach a wider target audience.

This highly offbeat style of material promotion also enables LinkedIn users to provide a deeper insight into the people behind the business. This is especially helpful for company owners, entrepreneurs, and businessmen who want to capitalize on that trust factor with prospective customers and future clients.

LinkedIn Stories offer the most powerful opportunity for interaction. In a recent study, it was revealed that as many as 25% of Instagrammers swipe up when they come across a branded post. With LinkedIn Stories, the same feature and thought process will be replicated on a channel that is completely dedicated to business networking.

However, it’s important to note that while your stories might not directly result in a sale, you are promoting your brand and creating an air of awareness about it. What’s infinitely more exciting is that this promotion will make you come across people that you can talk to directly to open the doors to better opportunities.

Take Instagram, for instance. As many as 50% of businesses over the world make at least one story every month that promotes their brand or product. And this is where the low hanging fruit becomes apparent. Armed with the right strategy, you can make use of a fantastic opportunity in the form of LinkedIn Stories to generate a buzz around your brand.

Five strategies to promote your business through LinkedIn Stories

At first sight, the stories feature, regardless of the channel it belongs to, seems like something that is entirely dedicated to the consumer: they are informal and sate the hankering for instant gratification. But, if you were to look at it a little closer, you would see how this feature can help B2B companies connect with each other on a deeper level to build engaging relationships.

If you are already familiar with the inner workings of the stories feature on other networking platforms, you won’t find it difficult to shift base to LinkedIn Stories for business-related purposes after it has been made available to everyone. Listed below are five ways you can use it for your business when the time comes.

1. Share real-time activities

LinkedIn Stories have a limited life span, making them ideal for communicating less refined, off-the-cuff material right in real-time.

Sharing real-time event updates is also a great strategy, mostly because events are a significant source of leads for many businesses, and 85% of them consider interpersonal meetings central to their marketing plan. LinkedIn Stories let your followers view excerpts of events from a first-person perspective.

From enterprise-wide announcements to award ceremonies, sharing snippets of events in the form of live stories is a tremendously useful way to showcase the goings-on at your company.

This is also an incredible way to generate an extra buzz around your brand. Consider requesting event coordinators and speakers to share short sounds of information about a new product or feature or possibly even feature a BTS look of any extra details in store!

2. Share customer testimonial stories

Irrespective of the generation you are from, the odds are that you trust people’s advice more than any other form of content marketing. This is what makes testimonials and user reviews such a powerful tool for marketing.

With the millennial generation soon climbing up the organizational ladder and becoming decision-makers, they will be searching for goods and services that have demonstrated that they can make professional work easier. They will look for vendors that have the products with the features that they desire, so filming your satisfied customers and posting a short clip on LinkedIn in the form of a story might just be the perfect way to catch their attention.

3. Share business tips and updates

Stories are the perfect way to generate demand. Your most loyal supporters are going to see your story. If you post something about your brand, tease the new features of a product, or make something exclusively available on LinkedIn, they will share it with others. Talk about word of mouth!

4. Share trending news or announcements

If you are among the privileged few brands who have gotten to use the LinkedIn Stories feature first, the chances are that you will get a massive amount of additional airtime with your LinkedIn followers.

Keeping that in mind, it may be a sensible move to use this new forum to post all your essential brand news.

5. Host corporate Q&As

Much like Instagram Stories, the stories feature on LinkedIn is the perfect way to show what goes on behind the scenes and gives you the chance to share the more humane side of your business.

By hosting a pep talk or a Q&A session on LinkedIn stories, you can show the people that make up your brand. Not only is it another great way to share your brand story, but it is also helpful when it comes to creating brand loyalty.

In order to gain more questions for your Q&A session, you can request your followers to submit questions to you in advance. This can be done either through direct messaging or via a conventional LinkedIn feed post.

The do(s) and don’t(s) of LinkedIn Stories

Begin your story strategy with a positive growth mindset. LinkedIn Stories are not simply a means of communicating; they present a powerful tool for promoting interaction, learning about your audience, and improving the business.

Do spend time building a strategy

Consider how short bits of information better suit the brand’s wider content marketing strategy.

Which kind of subjects and press do your followers enjoy? Do you produce new content only for stories or reuse them from other platforms?

Don’t spend time behind perfecting every story

Note that stories are only available for 24 hours after you publish them. Moreover, stories that appear too organized and designed sort of miss the mark. Stories are supposed to feel random, so try to have the same mentality as you do when you post Instagram or Facebook stories.

Do relate to followers

People desire real connections from businesses. Let your brand persona shine a little and share more about yourself. It’s the perfect way to strengthen your brand’s mission, vision, and values.

Don’t be too casual

It’s really easy to let go and get caught up in the moment, which could prompt you to post something regretful when you know it’s going to disappear in 24 hours. Consider creating some boundaries for your stories dedicated to your brand.

Conclusion

If you’re communicating job openings or are releasing a commodity, capitalizing on this latest platform to reach out to a wider audience is certainly a smart move. If Instagram Stories are anything to go by, the first adopters of this feature will put themselves ahead in the race to improved brand awareness.

Aayush Gupta is Sr. Manager, Brand & Marketing at Uplers. He likes to stay on his toes when it comes to marketing and doing things worth risk-taking. He loves traveling and exploring local cuisines. In his free time reading books with coffee is all he wants.

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Social media analytics 101: The data that matters most https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/30/social-media-analytics-101-the-data-that-matters-most/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/30/social-media-analytics-101-the-data-that-matters-most/?noamp=mobile#respond Wed, 30 Dec 2020 14:01:21 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142675 What stats should be analyzed first? What metrics to choose? How to analyze the collected data? This article covers social media analytics step by step, giving you the ultimate guide to follow.

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30-second summary:

  • Marketing decisions should be backed by data about consumers, their behavior, and conversions.
  • Marketing and namely social media analytics provide numerous categories to analyze, so it is easy to get lost.
  • In the article, Aleh Barysevich defines major points for a social media marketer to analyze strategy success or failure.
  • Important data points for analysis: profiles, target audience, competitors, and web traffic from social media.
  • Social listening data provide even more data about the target audience.

Knowledge is power — this saying is even more relevant in our age of information. Anyone who works in marketing holds this belief to some extent. In the ideal world, every marketing decision you take is supported by knowledge, that is, the data you have about consumers, their behavior, and so on.

Of course, as marketers, we don’t always have access to this knowledge. Some of us are luckier than others, and I’d say that social media marketers are the luckiest: they probably get the most data on their customers, their own performance, and marketing possibilities. However, there’s a downside. Social media analytics is such a vast area that it’s incredibly easy to get lost.

Social networks provide you with a thousand different categories to choose from when it comes to analyzing your successes and failures. But your own social media stats are only a part of the story: your competitors and most importantly your clients are also on social media and it would be foolish to ignore all the information they can give you.

Thus, we end up in a situation when you have to prepare a monthly (quarterly/yearly/campaign) report but you are not quite sure what data you should highlight. That’s why this article exists!

We will go through the most important data points for four categories, which you should consider with social media analytics: your profiles, your target audience, your competitors, and the web traffic you get from social media. Let’s begin with the most obvious one: your own page.

Social media analytics: Your social media profiles

In most cases, your own pages and posts are the first thing you are going to track.

For starters, these insights are built in the functionality of social media platforms so you have them right at hand. Secondly, these insights lead to immediate action: since you manage your pages and posts, you can introduce changes to your social media strategy as soon as you notice that something is working (or isn’t working).

Facebook offers more than 150 data points, and the rest of the social networks are not far behind. How do you choose which metrics to track?

Well, every monitoring activity you do should depend on your goals. Are you trying to grow your audience? Track followers and likes. Are you doubling down on video content in order to raise conversions? Check watch time. At the same time, there are some metrics that are considered essential to monitor for any social media manager. They will give you a general understanding of how successful your social media strategy is. What are they?

1. Number of followers (subscribers, likes)

As I mentioned above, the number of followers is the telltale sign of how fast your audience is growing. Every time someone follows you it means that they want to keep an eye on your long-term. But the number of followers is not the only sign of the size of your audience.

Some platforms have several metrics to evaluate the size of your audience, for instance, Likes and Followers on Facebook. Likes, besides expressing the desire to follow your updates consistently, also show the support for your brand. Keep these differences between followers, subscribers, likes, supporters, etc. in mind when you are doing social media analytics: even though they all represent the magnitude of your audience, they can mean different things.

Typically, this metric is available right on your profile. If you want to see how it changed over time, check your Insights or Analytics.

2. Reach

Another important metric to help you evaluate the size of your audience is reach, which is conceptually close to impressions or views. Reach shows how many people were reached by your posts, and views and impressions show how many times the posts were seen, thus, the number of impressions will always be higher than reach.

If the number of followers/subscribers shows how many people want to stay up to date with your news, i.e. your loyal audience so to say,  reach shows your potential audience, i.e. how many people could be interested in your brand. Since most social media algorithms work in such a way that users generally see the content they might potentially like, social media almost eliminates the possibility of reaching a completely wrong audience.

Reach and impressions are usually represented in two ways: you can see the overall reach of your content for a certain time period, and reach for each of the posts. This may differ from platform to platform, but all the major ones: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn allow you to check stats for individual posts as well for the profile in general.

3. Engagement

Engagement is represented by several metrics, most commonly, reactions (likes), comments, and shares. They all are indicative of different grades of approval from your audience.

Reactions show that people agree with your post, comments indicate the desire to start a conversation, and shares show that your post was so good that people want others to see that as well.

One more metric which you’ll see when checking your engagement stats are clicks, that is, how many people clicked on the links you shared. This is the metric that’s more relevant to traffic so we will discuss it in the respective part of the article.

If you need an outline of the most important metrics to follow, check out this template I designed to track your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram stats. The different tabs are necessary to track your metrics in relation to some basis: initial numbers or the average number. Download it, add metrics that are important for you, and start tracking your social media performance!

Social media analytics: Your target audience

Many social media managers stop at tracking their profiles’ stats, but it’s only one part of the social media analytics. The other big part of social media analytics is analyzing social listening data. If your number of followers, engagement, and reach say more about your social media strategy, social listening data is what you analyze to find out more about your target audience.

Admittedly, tracking social listening data is a bit less accessible than tracking your own metrics. This process requires a social listening tool: however, there are a lot of social listening tools for different needs and budgets.

Depending on the social listening tools, you’ll get a lot of insights including demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data. Some social listening insights are directly tied to major business KPIs. I’ve decided to highlight the main points you need to cover.

1. Number of mentions and reach

Social listening is the process of gathering mentions of your keywords online. Those keywords may be different: traditionally brands monitor their brand names, names of their products, campaigns, their industry, and so on.

The first metric to pay attention to is the number of mentions. This is pretty straightforward —this stat shows how many times your keyword was mentioned in the selected time period. Depending on what you’re tracking, this metric can show you brand awareness, the popularity of certain products, or your target audience’s demands.

Another metric that is vital to evaluating your brand awareness is reach. In social listening, reach shows how many people saw your brand mentioned on social media. The higher the number of mentions is, the higher the reach is.

However, there’s one caveat. If your brand gets mentioned once by a popular social media user, you’ll reach more people than if it’s mentioned 10 times by someone with 20 followers. That’s why reach doesn’t always correlate with the number of mentions.

2. Demographics: Gender, location, language

Social listening tools don’t just collect and count the mentions of your keywords, they are able to tell you who the people who use these keywords are. For example, you can find out that your brand is popular among Australian men, or that in Texas it’s much more popular among the Spanish-speaking population than among English-speaking people.

All these insights can lead you to game-changing marketing decisions so don’t ignore them.

social media analytics 101 - demographics

3. Sentiment

Most social listening tools are able to analyze the sentiment of the mentions and show you the overall sentiment around your brand, products, CEO, etc. Moreover, you can see the sentiment change over time and identify potential crises right away.

social media analytics 101 - sentiment analysis

As soon as you see that there is a sudden surge in negative mentions, you can pinpoint the reason behind this surge and nip the crisis in the bud.

4. Influencers

When we talked about reach, I mentioned that popular accounts have more weight when it comes to brand awareness. That’s why it’s important to keep track of them as well!

Most social listening tools are able to recognize influential accounts that are talking about your keywords. They even rank them according to how much reach they can bring you. By identifying these accounts for each major social media network, you’re able to enrich your influencer marketing strategy.

Social listening tools allow you to skip the tedious process of designing a report since most of them already offer different types of reports to export and share with your colleagues. The tool I’m using offers three types of reports: the general report of your monitoring topic, comparison of several topics, and influencers. Each report is fully customizable, so you can choose to highlight the metrics you need and discard those that you don’t need.

Social media analytics: Competitors

Competitor analysis is a wide topic that includes a lot of aspects: business strategy, products, hiring strategy, marketing, SEO, advertising, and so on. Social media is just a part of this topic, but it doesn’t make it any less important.

Of course, you won’t be able to get as detailed information on your competitors as you have for your own social media profiles, but there are still ways to analyze their social media strategy. First of all, track their stats that are available to you: number of followers and likes. You can also write down the engagement (reactions, comments, and shares) for their posts to count average engagement — that is, of course if they don’t post too often.

Secondly, there are other ways to benchmark your own pages against theirs. For example, Facebook allows you to select several competitors and you will get their monthly growth stats in your Insights. Moreover, some social media tools let you analyze pages simply by putting in their @ — you can use them to get the basic data of your competitors’ pages, see how fast they are growing, how often they post, and so on.

As for their target audience, this is even easier. All you need to do is create a monitoring topic for their brand just like you did for yours and then compare the two (or more) topics — that way you’ll see the difference in your brand awareness levels, what parts of the market you cover vs them and more.

As you can see, you are covering the same points for your competitors as you did for your own brand. The insights you get from competitor analysis on social media may inspire you to change and improve your social media strategy.

Social media analytics: Traffic to websites

Social media platforms are giving brands more and more ways to sell their products right on the platforms. However, most companies are still defining conversion on social media as somebody clicking the link in their post and purchasing a product or service. That’s why monitoring your social media traffic is extremely important. It’s also usually the most convincing argument for extending your budget/hiring new team members when talking to your boss.

To track social media traffic you need to gather data related to social media analytics AND website analytics.

1. Traffic from your pages (link clicks)

Remember I mentioned link clicks when we talked about engagement? Now is their time to shine.

Most social media platforms provide you with overall link clicks for the chosen period of time. Some platforms, for example, LinkedIn, even show you link clicks for each post. This is extremely useful since you can immediately see what call to action works better, what design encourages more people to click, and so on.

2. Traffic from social media

Google Analytics also shows you all the traffic you get from social media pages: this includes your posts, links in your bio, buttons on your profiles that take users to your website, and links to your website shared by other people.

To check this stat, go to Google Analytics – Sources – Social media. Here you can see which social media networks bring you traffic, where this traffic is landing, how much of the traffic leads to conversion, etc.

Closing note

And that’s it! The four pillars of social media analytics covered in one guide. Logically, nobody expects you to present all this data in your monthly reports — at least, most clients don’t. But, you need to keep an eye on these four areas to have a good understanding of your social media strategy, see what’s working and what doesn’t, and perfect it along the way.

Aleh Barysevich is Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario.

The post Social media analytics 101: The data that matters most appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Need to step up your social media marketing? Follow this recipe https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/30/need-to-step-up-your-social-media-marketing-follow-this-recipe/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/30/need-to-step-up-your-social-media-marketing-follow-this-recipe/?noamp=mobile#respond Wed, 30 Dec 2020 12:51:07 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142670 Boosting your social media advertising means capturing the right audiences at the right times. 3 essential ingredients for better sponsored post engagement.

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30-second summary:

  • Brands face increasing challenges to capture audiences’ attention with paid posts as users learn to scroll past sponsored content.
  • Advertising spending has dropped during the pandemic, meaning there’s less competitive noise and no better time to shine.
  • Marketer Mike Monroe shares the three most important drivers of increased engagement with sponsored posts on social media.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, navigating social media marketing was like trying to make your way through a bustling metropolis. It was noisy, full of ads, and generally oversaturated. After a while, all the scrolling turned into a fuzzy blur.

It has become increasingly challenging for brands to capture audiences’ attention with paid posts. People are scrutinizing big tech and its seductive algorithms. Labels are getting larger. As a result, users on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter learned to scroll past anything labeled #sponsored. They want to see entertainment, not advertisements.

But now, there’s no better time to shine. Advertising spending has significantly decreased due to COVID-19, which means that the volume has been turned down. Companies have a better chance of standing out now if they follow Seth Godin’s theory and put a Purple Cow — or a remarkable, buzzworthy, unique element — into their social media marketing. It’s the perfect time to capture new attention by creating memorable content on Instagram, Facebook, and beyond. By creating unique ads that are worth looking at during a marketing lull, brands can stand out and snag the attention of target audiences.

Find an opening for your brand

It’s not easy to create sizzle on social, though. Many companies have tried and failed to gain traction with paid media. Sometimes the problem is the sponsored ads look like they’ve been made by people who’ve never tweeted or snapped in their lives. Other times, the error is lacking a clear objective or trying to attract the wrong audiences. For instance, Generation Z won’t scroll Facebook, and Generation X isn’t that interested in TikTok.

However, it can be done. Instagram says that 6 out of 10 users discover new products through its channel, and Twitter ads can net up to a 3% engagement rate. Habits and behaviors are up for grabs right now as people define their new normals, so brands that zig while their competitors’ zag will dominate popular platforms. The trick is figuring out how your company fits into the narrative.

At Vector Marketing, we experienced a huge spike in brand awareness thanks to a deceptively simple TikTok video featuring our product, a clay Baby Yoda head, and annoying background music. The video was our first big hit, and it helped us grow our account significantly in terms of followers and views. Why did the video amass so much engagement? It tapped into a few key internet trends: TikTok was hot, Baby Yoda was popular, and #oddlysatisfying videos were taking off. By merging those phenomena, we struck pay dirt.

How to increase sponsored post engagement

Write the right message for the right person at the right time. That’s the recipe. If you’re struggling with sponsored posts, check the recipe, and see whether your social media marketing efforts include all three ingredients:

1. The right message

What’s your plan? You need to know why you’re saying something before you say it. Think about the purpose your paid ad will serve and position it accordingly. For instance, if your goal is lead generation, make sure you have a hook, an educational element, and a call to action. If you’re aiming for brand awareness, then make engaging content the premium. Remember not to assume that your images, copy, and other creatives are good but instead to A/B test them and learn what really engages your audience. It’s crucial because more than half of all online brand discovery happens in public social feeds. Remember: The more people who see or click your ad, the larger the ROI will be.

2. The right person

Your social media audience serves as the judge, jury, and executioner. If you think your content is trendy and users aren’t biting, then you need to redefine what you consider to be trendy. Your perception is not as important as the audience’s perception. Let’s say that you just created a post for Millennials talking about Baby Yoda. It’s still relevant, but Millennials and Gen Xers have moved on (as they quickly do). You need to meet your target audience where they are, so look into the demographic data of the social platforms you’re courting and plan accordingly.

3. The right time

Identify the perfect moment to post by matching your content to the zeitgeist. If it’s autumn and you own a laundromat, you might ask followers, “You should never wash your jersey during football season. True or false?” While their answers will likely be interesting, they don’t really matter. What does matter is that you capitalized on a trend and met consumers when they were ready to engage.

Capturing the attention of social media users is tough, but it can be done. Just stay attuned to what’s happening, remember the recipe’s three ingredients, and be ready to see that engagement increase.

Mike Monroe is Digital Strategy Manager at Vector Marketing.

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How C-suite derives business value from social media: Q&A with Hootsuite’s VP of Corporate Marketing, Henk Campher https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/22/how-c-suite-derives-business-value-from-social-media-qa-with-hootsuites-vp-of-corporate-marketing-henk-campher/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/22/how-c-suite-derives-business-value-from-social-media-qa-with-hootsuites-vp-of-corporate-marketing-henk-campher/?noamp=mobile#respond Tue, 22 Dec 2020 15:06:51 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142613 An insightful conversation on social media 2020, the increased consumer appetite, shifting behaviors, and the value it has created for brands right from the marketer to the board room.

The post How C-suite derives business value from social media: Q&A with Hootsuite’s VP of Corporate Marketing, Henk Campher appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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30-second summary:

  • The pandemic drove people inside their homes and onto social media like never before.
  • Hootsuite has closely been monitoring the changing behaviors of consumers online since the beginning of 2020.
  • We caught up with Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact at Hootsuite, to help you derive a cream level perspective for your digital strategies.
  • Know how CMOs can find value in SMM efforts, conduct market analysis, and run social media campaigns that actually succeed in the eyes of top management.

From learning banana bread recipes to connecting with loved ones, hunting jobs, and now shopping holiday gifts, the pandemic drove people inside their homes and onto social media like never before. 2020 has shown us how people have resorted to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn. While Hootsuite has closely been monitoring the changing behaviors of consumers online, we caught up with Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact at Hootsuite, to help you derive a cream level perspective for your digital strategies.

Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact at Hootsuite - Q&AQ. Paid ads have their own cons like reduced page reach, how do you maintain an upward graph for organic page reach and boost relationships, engagement, and direct sales?

Henk Campher: Never take a one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing, especially with organic content. To reach a large audience, organic posts need to be optimized. To do this, you need to understand the platform and audience you are optimizing for. Start by focusing on the platforms that make the most sense for your business. For example, if you’re a B2B company, you may find the most value on LinkedIn or Twitter whereas a B2C company may gravitate towards Snapchat, Instagram, or TikTok to reach a younger crowd. 

If you want organic content to perform well on social media, create engaging and personalized content that is fitting for the platform you are using. Give people a reason to follow and engage with your social posts. To better understand what content resonates with your audience, start by using social listening tools—at Hootsuite, we integrate directly with Brandwatch so our customers can navigate social intelligence capabilities directly from their dashboard.

Case study:

Securian Financial, a Hootsuite financial services customer, was able to leverage social listening to determine that their key demographics shifted away from complaining about quarantine to sharing positive content around being connected. What arose was Life Balance Remix, a UGC campaign encouraging people to share content that highlighted their “new normal” and garnered thousands of participants with over 2.5 million campaign impressions across Twitter and Instagram. 

Beyond creating the right content for the right platform, it’s essential to connect with people. Show your audience the human side of your brand. You can do this by lifting up your employees on social media and sharing their stories or connecting with the wider community through an employee advocacy tool, like Hootsuite’s Amplify tool. If you want to boost engagement on posts, ask your audience relevant and interesting questions. This is also a great opportunity to learn about what interests them. If you focus on value and creating the right content, you’ll be able to successfully develop relationships with your audience, boost engagement, and drive sales.

Q. What are the top social media metrics that can help CMOs see direct value in marketers’ social media marketing efforts?

Henk Campher: For both B2C and B2B brands, the key to successful social measurement is to keep your metrics simple. Trust classic cross-platform metrics like return-on-ad spend and lifetime value, as these measures also tie directly to your organization’s business goals. Once you choose the content you think will resonate with your audience, test your ideas to identify which posts generate the most engagement, shares, and impressions, and do this for each social platform. Continue to test, learn, and optimize. But when it comes to measuring your efforts on social, it is important to keep your business objectives in mind and develop KPIs that match the overall goals and expectations of your organization. Metrics such as impressions and reach should be analyzed consciously.

If your goal is to build brand awareness, focus on overall engagement and how long visitors are staying on your website. This will help evaluate if your content isn’t just “content-for-content-sake” but is actually resonating with your audience and driving conversions. 

Q. What are the typical touchpoints/aspects marketers must include in their social media campaigns to reflect value for the brand and meet CMO expectations?

Henk Campher: One of the most important aspects of a social media campaign is social listening. A robust social listening tool allows you access to real-time insights into consumer sentiment, shifting trends, and competitive intelligence. These insights are key to helping a brand better understand how consumers feel about a campaign and what they want from your brand.  

The best social media campaigns also have specific goals in mind and are purpose-driven. You must understand the customer segment you’re trying to reach through a specific campaign. To achieve this, create profiles or personas for your core constituencies that integrate data and insights from marketing channels (including social) and CRM. Understanding how, where, and when to engage with your constituents requires a clear picture of their motivations and their needs.

Another important aspect is social data integration. Our ‘Social Transformation Report uncovered that only 10% of marketers feel they have mature practices around integrating social data into enterprise systems like Adobe, Microsoft, Marketo, or Salesforce. However, according to our ‘2021 Social Trends Report, 85% of organizations that integrate social data into their other systems have the confidence to accurately quantify the ROI of social media. While data integration is a complex process, a much more accessible entry point that can help marketers better connect social engagement to customer identity and measurable ROI is integrating paid and organic social media activity.  We found that mature organizations with completely integrated paid and organic social strategies are 32% more confident in quantifying the ROI of social media. 

Q. How important is it for any brand to have involvement in social matters and social investments?

Henk Campher: The most successful brands this year didn’t put themselves front and center of the conversation—they decided to listen instead. After taking the time to listen, brands must find creative and empathetic ways of adding value to the conversation instead of trying to lead it. Brands should stay true to their identities and their audience by asking:

  • “What is my role?”
  • “What conversations make sense for me to weigh in on and why?”
  • “How can social media contribute to my business objectives?”

Having a voice in important conversations is powerful for a brand. However, if a brand is posting about topics that don’t align with the brand’s personality and identity, customers will notice. As a wealth of different conversations are taking place across social media at all times, it’s important to create a blueprint for how to comment on a conversation, if at all. 

Q. What methods can CMOs implement to use social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for effective market analysis?

Henk Campher: There are various tried-and-true methods CMOs can implement when using social media platforms for market analysis. Before you begin your analysis, always have a clear goal in mind. It’s important to look at what exactly you want to analyze whether it’s your brand, product, or competitors. Doing a quantitative content analysis by assessing the engagement rate of your social posts can give companies an idea of if a message or product is resonating with your followers. Social listening is another incredibly powerful tool for analysis. Through social listening, you can zero in on how people are talking about your brand.  It’s also important to not be shy. Be empowered as a brand to implement tactics like polls and surveys on social to get in touch with customers and glean informative insights into how your audience is thinking about your brand. 

Q. How would you push an online event that involves employee referral on social media for a maximum turnaround?

Henk Campher: Develop an effective social media strategy in advance and provide your employees with the right resources and tools to promote the event. You can do this by crafting the content and social platform guidelines in advance so it is easy for employees to spread the word on social media. At Hootsuite our Amplify tool allows brands to extend their social reach and increase employee engagement. Using platforms that are suited for employee advocacy will garner the most successful results. 

Q. What are your expert tips on the most effective ways to run a social media campaign, especially during the holiday season 2020?

Henk Campher: The holidays are a great opportunity for brands to increase engagement and drive sales on social media. Here are my four tips to create an effective social media campaign and stand out from the competition: 

  1. Tweak your social media posting schedule to accommodate changing workdays or times. B2B businesses often have higher engagement rates during the day, as employees are leaving early and working less in the evening. B2C companies generally have a better reach when it’s not during typical work hours. 
  2. Continue to curate content over the holidays, even if there might be a downturn of activity on social channels across the board. If you go quiet on social, your customers will notice. 
  3. Maintain community engagement as relationships, connections and engagement are key to any successful social media campaign. Always respond to customer issues or comments promptly.
  4. The holidays are a great time to showcase the ‘human’ side of your business. Take advantage of platforms like Instagram to showcase the company, employees, and interact with the community at large. 

Q. What are the most common mistakes you see brands making in their social media pushes?

Henk Campher: The most common mistake brands make is thinking of social media merely as a broadcast medium. With nearly three billion people on Facebook every month, more than one million on Instagram, and hundreds of millions more on Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat, it’s tempting to think that way. While social media started with organic posts and later turned to paid social advertising, brands should never lose sight of social media’s core value: establishing and maintaining relationships. Take the time to invest in relationship building, as this helps brands build strong bonds with their audiences and boost customer loyalty, which ultimately benefits their business. Rather than pump out promotional content, take the time to establish your brand’s personality, and connect with customers by taking on an empathetic “human-first” approach.

How is your brand making the most of social media marketing this holiday season? Are there challenges you’re facing with regards to creating value from a board room perspective? Feel free to share your thoughts on our interview, drop a comment!

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Social media techniques to integrate into your digital PR strategy https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/04/social-media-techniques-to-integrate-into-your-digital-pr-strategy/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/12/04/social-media-techniques-to-integrate-into-your-digital-pr-strategy/?noamp=mobile#respond Fri, 04 Dec 2020 18:56:04 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142512 Pitching digital marketing content doesn’t have to be dry and robotic. Establishing a connection on social media can be the first step to establishing a life-long professional relationship.

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30-second summary:

  • Social media can provide a personable avenue for starting a connection.
  • Keeping connections on social media and emails consistent allows for a solid flow through the construction of a relationship.
  • Compliments and details are valuable if used in the correct context in conjunction with a relevant pitch.
  • Media Relations Lead Nicole Franco shares personalization tips and tricks on sending both professional and personalized media pitches.

Marketers who strive to build backlinks and brand awareness often engage in digital PR. 

But creating amazing content and then pitching that content to writers is not an easy earned media strategy. The outreach alone can cause many marketers to struggle and eventually give up on the tactic.

However, although easier said than done, appealing to the writer away from a regular pitch email can set any market apart from the wave of emails a journalist receives daily

Read on to discover several ways to not only compose an exceptional media relations email but also how-to create organic, personalized relationships with writers by utilizing social media.

Technique #1: Complimenting via Instagram

One natural way to start a relationship with an editor or journalist is to start the connection via Instagram. 

First, add them and maybe like their most recent post. Read the situation, maybe leave a witty comment or compliment on a relevant post relating to the content of a potential pitch. 

After a minor connection has been made, send them a message or email regarding their Instagram post while mentioning your content and ideas for a collaboration. 

Below is an example of a potential way to reach out to an editor. Keep in mind the content you are pitching and if it’s a serious topic. Editors covering lifestyle topics would be keener on receiving these kinds of requests. 

1. Instagram DM

digital PR outreach using social media - 2 Twitter 1

Pitch email

digital PR outreach using social media - Instagram email pitch

Keeping in mind the kind of journalist you are reaching out to is important. In the example above, the writer had posted about Disney and had consistently covered witty travel content. 

Analyzing their coverage and writing style can provide valuable insight into how to properly reach out. Also, noting something that happens in everyday life or mentioning some seasonal holiday plans are great examples of how to personalize a pitch. In the example above, I chose to connect about Halloween costumes via Instagram. 

Technique #2: Asking for contact info via Twitter

Similar to Instagram, a great way to connect with journalists is by starting a conversation on Twitter. Instead of liking a photo or leaving a compliment, try retweeting or liking a relatable post. 

Twitter DMs are also a great way to ask a publisher for their preferred form of contact. Many publishers have open DMs and are willing to accept a news tip right in their Twitter inbox!

Twitter DM

digital PR outreach using social media - 2 Twitter

Pitch email

digital PR outreach using social media - 3 get acquainted on LinkedIn 1

Pitch Response

Twitter pitch response

One of the most important things to note when reaching out on social media is making sure the content you’re pitching is relevant. This connection worked because the marketer did their research and took the writer’s beat into consideration and referenced a recent article they had covered in the pitch email.

If your content is not relevant or doesn’t align with the writer’s coverage, don’t expect a response. 

Technique #3: Get acquainted on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is considered by some to be the most formal way to go. But in order to send a message via LinkedIn, you must be connected to the person, making this a longer connection process. 

When reaching out on LinkedIn, it’s important to note that witty or informal comments might not be taken well on this platform. Keep in mind LinkedIn is used in regards to making professional connections, so keep a PR message short, concise, and professional. 

LinkedIn DMs

digital PR outreach using social media - 3 get acquainted on LinkedIn 1

In both examples, the message was to mention their beat and simply ask for an email to best contact them at.  Although it seems simple, the writer will expect your email in their inbox and most likely remember your name. Additionally, as mentioned above, personalize your subject line so the writer knows exactly which email is yours. I’ve provided an example below. 

Pitch Email

digital PR outreach using social media - 3 get acquainted on LinkedIn - Email

Aside from just asking for an email, try and connect with them by starting a conversation about the college they went to or an experience they had. Any fellow Gator is always welcome in my inbox!

Technique #4: Reference social to get relatable

Although we are reaching out to journalists in hopes of creating a professional relationship, appealing to their personal likes can go a long way. One way to do so is by reading their bios on their social media or personal website. Some might be writing a book or might express something they really enjoy. 

Do those things relate to you as well? If so, let them know! Yes, the human on the other side of the email loves coffee or dogs just as much as you; who knew?

Pitch email

Pitch response

digital PR outreach using social media - 5 reference social

Some say people love dogs more than humans, and this pitch is no exception. Here I decided to take a leap and mention the journalists’ pup in their email. I included a picture of their own pup, mentioned their dog in my email subject line, and shared similar experiences. 

Although this may not always be successful, in this case, it was because of the marketer’s research and analysis. Again, always do your research. Most journalists already mention how they would like to be pitched in places like Muckrack, their personal website, and just by reading their articles (example included below). Marketers can get a feel about how to personalize an email.

digital PR outreach using social media - example

Final tips and tricks for your digital PR strategy

Some things to remember when starting a connection on social media: always do the research, don’t be too invasive and keep it simple. None of us need an elaborate summary of what we tweeted in the summer of 2016. Keep it short, sweet, and relevant.

Consequently, all journalists are different. Although some prefer basic intros, using some sort of external connection can increase a marketer’s chance of building a long-lasting connection. 

Whether it’s referencing dog pictures from Twitter or referencing a line from a recent article they wrote, paying attention to those minor details may be the difference between an email ignored and a new digital PR connection. 

So when in doubt, turn to social. Happy pitching!

Nicole Franco is a Media Relations Lead at Fractl. She’s an extrovert with a passion for building connections with entrepreneurs and working with aspiring businesses to tell their stories. Aside from loving content development; traveling, volunteering, and seeking adventure is what she lives for.

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How social media influence 71% consumer buying decisions https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/11/20/how-social-media-influence-71-consumer-buying-decisions/ https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/11/20/how-social-media-influence-71-consumer-buying-decisions/?noamp=mobile#respond Fri, 20 Nov 2020 11:08:05 +0000 https://www.searchenginewatch.com/?p=142413 What’s the impact of social media on consumer buying decisions? How does social media buying look today? How can it change in the future? Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario, Aleh Barysevich answers all these questions.

The post How social media influence 71% consumer buying decisions appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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30-second summary:

  • Due to the rise of online shopping and the amount of time people spend on social media, social media impacts consumer buying decisions.
  • Consumers who are influenced by social media are four times more likely to spend more on purchases.
  • There are four ways in which social media has a direct influence on purchase decisions.
  • Social media and online shopping shortened the customer journey.
  • Social media amplified the impact of social proof or word-of-mouth.
  • Social media influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience.
  • Stories and ephemeral content are a new way to connect to your audience.
  • Every social media platform is different and can be useful for different goals.

A large share of purchases are made online nowadays and in 2020 this number has grown significantly thanks to the lockdown. As the number of internet users increases and tech companies develop more ways to integrate the online world into shopping, online retail is expected to grow exponentially. Logically, many consumer buying decisions are made online as well, and where do people spend most of their online time — on social media.

According to GlobalWebIndex, 54% of social media users use social media to research products and 71% are more likely to purchase products and services based on social media referrals. I bet you yourself made a purchase decision based on what you saw in your feed at least once, be it a post from a friend or an ad that convinced you.

It’s hard to say exactly how much social media influences customers, not just what they buy, but their consumer habits in general. Social networks changed the way we promote products and even gave us new ways to advertise. Let’s talk about some factors that impact customers nowadays.

How social media influences consumer buying decisions

1. The shortened customer journey

The first thing that you notice when it comes to customers on social media is the shortened customer journey. It used to be that people found out about a product, saw an ad on TV multiple times, and next week they may have gone shopping and finally bought the product. Now, this process can take minutes.

Modern customer journey

According to the Deloitte report, 29% of social media users are more likely to make a purchase on the same day of using social media. That means that once they see a product, they simply click on the link and buy it: there’s no need to wait before they go shopping. Moreover, the same report states that consumers who are influenced by social media are four times more likely to spend more on purchases.

The customer journey is not just shorter but it’s also more complicated now. Social media has made product research more accessible to users. For example, if your customer sees a product on Instagram, they can immediately search the hashtag to look up other reviews and decide whether they should buy it or not. As a result, customers spend more time on research and check more sources for reviews.

62% of customers say they share bad customer experiences with other people. Thus it’s extremely important to keep an eye on your online reputation and seek out reviews on social media. Remember that every review on social media is important — and that fits nicely with my next point.

2. The influence of social proof

Admittedly, social proof is not a new concept: man is a social animal, and we’ve been giving each other recommendations for centuries. The thing is, these recommendations and anti-recommendations can now be heard by hundreds of people.

Recommendations - How social media influences consumer buying decisions

Every time you tweet or post about this amazing cafe or the shampoo that did wonders to your hair, your social media followers see it and might be moved to try it as well. The same goes for negative opinions and rants. As per Forbes, 81% of consumers’ purchasing choices are influenced by their friends’ posts on social media.

Moreover, people proactively ask for recommendations on social media (and brands unfortunately often ignore them). According to this study by Awario, only 9% of brand conversations are answers to customer questions, however, depending on the industry, there can be more than 100 people asking for recommendations on social media in one month.

As I mentioned above, social proof mostly impacts your friends and the people you know. But more and more people on social media don’t just follow their friends — they also follow influencers. That’s where influencer marketing comes into play.

3. The power of influencers on consumer buying decisions

Influencers are the social media users that have a robust loyal audience that often shares the same interests. Their opinions are naturally seen by a bigger number of people, people that trust them.

According to a study by the Influencer Marketing Hub, almost 50% of Twitter users have made purchases as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.

Influencer marketing - How social media influences consumer buying decisions

Micro-Influencers are especially effective in persuading their audience since they are usually experts in some niche and specific topic, which makes them a natural source of recommendations for this topic. If you’re selling a niche product, finding social media influencers in your niche — Instagram bloggers, vloggers, TikTokers, or Facebook group admins — is a great way to reach your audience.

Gen Z and Millenials are more likely to be influenced, with 84% of millennials saying user-generated content from strangers has at least some influence on how they spend their money.

The influence of Stories on consumer buying decisions

Ephemeral content is a relatively recent trend but it’s already winning over social media users and brands alike. Snapchat was the first to use Stories as a format, but it’s Instagram that popularized it and now boasts more than 500 million daily active users.

Instagram Stories - How social media influences consumer buying decisions

The content shared via Instagram Stories is typically more raw and unfiltered, which allows brands to create a more genuine image. It enables companies to take people behind the scenes and show how they operate, their work culture, and the team behind the products. All this helps to foster an authentic connection to a brand.

So these are the features exclusive to social media that shape customer behavior today. But as you probably know, every social media platform is a little different. Oftentimes, brands wonder which social media platform they should focus on. Let’s go through a list of most popular platforms and see what differentiates them from one another.

Most popular social media platforms

1. Facebook

Facebook remains the biggest social media platform in the world (with almost 1.7 billion users), even though it had its fair share of scandals and controversies in recent years.

The sheer size of the network means that you’ll be able to reach more people on there but be careful — Facebook is not as popular as it used to be. Edison Research’s Infinite Dial study from early 2019 showed that 62% of U.S. 12–34 year-olds are Facebook users, down from 67% in 2018 and 79% in 2017. This decrease is particularly notable as 35–54 and 55+ age group usage has been constant or even increased.

Still, Facebook accounts for 50% of total social referrals and a further 64% of overall social revenue, shows Business Insider.

In 2015, Facebook was responsible for influencing more than half, 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases, shows DigitasLBi Commerce.

Lately, the company has been trying to fix its reputation by introducing more control over advertising and data management.

2. Instagram

Instagram is an amazing platform for brands since it gives you so many opportunities to show off your product: photos, videos, Stories, galleries, filters, and more. It now boasts more than one billion monthly active users.

What’s great about the platform is that it’s popular among all generations in all countries. 80% of Instagram users follow a business account. 73% of U.S. teens say Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them with new products or promotions.

Moreover, the platform itself facilitates shopping by adding shopping tags and checkout options to the posts. 130 million Instagram accounts tap on a shopping post to learn more about products every month.

3. TikTok

Although TikTok is a relatively new platform, its rapid growth made it an important source of brand awareness for social media users, especially Gen Z.

TikTok now has 800 million active users worldwide, and 41 percent of these users are aged between 16 and 24. So, if you want to reach a younger audience, TikTok is the place to be.

TikTok’s algorithm is also amazing for niche and specific products since it curates your feed based on your interests. It makes your job of finding new followers easier — the algorithm will push your content into the feeds of your potential audience.

Moreover, TikTok recently launched new ways to advertise on the app, giving brands more opportunities to attract customers.

4. Twitter

According to Hubspot, Twitter is a source of product discoveries for many people.

Twitter's Recommendations impact on consumer buying decisions

Because of its quick nature and ability to connect to basically anyone, it’s a perfect place to ask for recommendations. SproutSocial shows that 53% of consumers recommend businesses or products in tweets while a further 48% follow through to purchase those products or services.

5. YouTube

There’s a debate on whether YouTube is actually a social media platform or more of a streaming platform or content platform. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most popular platforms out there.

YouTube stats on consumption

More and more people are looking up product reviews on the platform. Keep in mind that 80% of people who said that they watched a YouTube video related to a product they want to buy said that they did so at the beginning of their buying process.

If you’re ready to invest your time in creating content for YouTube, it can be a highly rewarding task. Just look at the BonAppetit channel that belongs to the magazine of the same name. It has almost 6 million subscribers and more than 1,3 billion views when the total circulation for the magazine doesn’t exceed 1,600,000 copies in a year.

Conclusion

As you see, the data and our daily experience on the Internet show that it’s hard to argue that social media influence purchase decisions. The impact of social media on customer purchase decisions can be explained by many factors: social proof, the penetration of social media, and the availability of online retail.

However, it’s getting more and more difficult to make your brand stand out on social media. Focusing on the right platform, building creative social media marketing campaigns, and using up-to-date technologies will help you with that.

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