Thursday, January 16, 2014

Social Media Marketing Strategies and Tools for 2014

Social Media Marketing Strategies and Tools for 2014
The New Year has arrived, and that’s your cue to start looking at fresh ways of doing things, including how you use social media.

Several years ago, social media might have primarily been a way for friends to stay in touch with one another, but now it has evolved in a big way, especially in terms of marketing techniques and tools used to spread your message to the masses. Keep reading to find out some of the coolest strategies and solutions to help you make the most of social media this year.

Use an Editorial Calendar

Gone are the days when you can just post something randomly to your social media feeds and hope people read it. Social media has become big business, and if you don’t take care to work out a game plan, competitors will more than likely leave you in the dust. For help, think about using an editorial calendar to keep track of when you’ll post things and why.

A calendar is also good for helping you note which posts have the greatest impact across a particular span of time. Regardless of whether you’re working with a team of hundreds during your social media efforts or just doing things on your own, an editorial calendar could help you stay on top.

Keep Track of What’s Being Said and Where

Customer service has been a top priority of leading companies for decades. If anything has changed about that reality in the age of social media, is it’s more important than ever to know what people are saying about your brand and be able to respond quickly.

Sometimes, doing that is as simple as creating a few Google alerts. However, any type of warning system you devise will never take the place of being present and watching discussions unfold in real time. Of course, it’s important to handle the situation efficiently when a customer is not happy, but it’s also a good idea to go above and beyond with every customer you serve.

This is why location tracking is important as well. Geographic data is easily accessible in Google Analytics and similar tracking software. If we notice a trend, say, 50% increase in visits from a particular state, we can cater content to them. For example, Pool Guard USA has a location that caters to searchers. This is better for users coming from Arizona because the page affirms their search is what they were looking for.

If you notice someone repeatedly saying positive things about you across social media channels, consider taking the opportunity to give a gesture of appreciation, even if it’s something as basic as a free T-shirt. When people are very unhappy, or conversely extremely pleased with service received, they’ll be more apt to jump on social media profiles and chronicle what happened.

By staying in tune, you have the power to influence what they say when it comes to your company.

Get Inspired By Feedly

When the Google Hummingbird algorithm came out, it reaffirmed suspicions that relevant content is more likely to succeed, especially because people sharing interesting things with others is what drives social media. Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s hot by using a cool website called Feedly. It allows you to get a glimpse at what’s being covered by news websites, blogs and even video content.

By using it to brainstorm, you could find it’s easier to stay ahead of the curve in terms of figuring out what kinds of breaking news will make the biggest impression on your followers.

Take a Look at Twitter Trends

Although it’s easy enough to keep track of whether your followers are growing at a pace you expect, consider looking deeper by using a free tool called Twitter Counter. This tool outlines your current performance and offers predictions for the future – which can be especially helpful if you’re deciding whether it’s time to ramp up your Twitter presence or scale back.

Twitter trends can even inspire cross-network content. For example:

mr rooter funny image - content on time

In this example from Mr. Rooter's Google Plus we'll notice the timely nature of a Santa/Christmas related content (the date is December 19). It's also a good example of a business posting fun content - not just bland marketing or propaganda.

Don’t Overlook Facebook

There has been talk about how young people are leaving Facebook, either because they’ve found something else to occupy their attention, or perhaps due to problems with cyber bullying. Despite all those stories, there are just as many discussing how the website is still prominent.

There’s nothing wrong with expanding your horizons for 2014, but don’t do so at the expense of putting Facebook on the back burner. At the very least, you can use Facebook as a guide to show you what works and what doesn’t in the realm of social media.

In 2013, Facebook famously made several changes to things like layout and privacy settings. Stay informed about which changes are most readily received, and use that insight to guide what you do, whether or not your focus is primarily on Facebook.

21 unwritten rules of social media to create a solid foundation for your marketing campaigns

21 unwritten rules for effective social media marketing strategies - infographic
infographic by socialmetricspro

25 Outstanding Social Media Tools

25 Outstanding Social Media Tools - infographic

infographic source: socialmediastrategiessummit

The tips and tools you’ve just read should make it much easier to harness the power of social media in a way that takes trends into account. Many people use the first quarter of the year to look back at their lives and see what needs to be changed. Get inspired by that approach and take a closer look at how people see your product or service across social media channels. This may not change your life, but it could certainly affect your livelihood.


Featured Image courtesy of Flickr.