Making the Case for Social Media

There’s no debating it: Social media, and the digital medium as a whole, has emerged as a substitute to traditional advertising practices for brands of all sizes.

 

Add in the growing number of those cutting the cord and you have even more incentive to advertise predominantly online.

 

Almost all major brands have realized this, resulting in portions of their marketing budgets from common mediums, such as television and radio, being deviated to build a social media presence.

 

Smaller brands have also taken advantage of the medium’s cost-effective advertising, but have seen their reach taper off in recent years due to heavy spending from larger brands:

 

"The State of Retailing Online 2016, an annual study conducted by NRF and Forrester Research, found that 92 percent of retailers are investing in social media marketing to some degree and looking for ways to update content to stay on trends.

About 55 percent of retailers surveyed also said they are increasing their online merchandising budgets, a portion of which is clearly earmarked for social media activities that engage consumers to promote two way interactions."

 

Regardless, social media’s ubiquitous platform provides small and medium-sized businesses with exposure they would have never dreamed of. In a survey of over 7,500 local businesses that purchased local ads in 2016, Borell, the organization behind the survey, found that "local businesses have ramped up their use of social media to help drive business and generate new customers."

 

As much as it seems that every person you know has a social media account, you may be surprised to learn that social media is only gaining users. While Twitter is pulling up the rear with only a 3.15% increase between the 3rd quarters of 2015 and ’16, Facebook experienced a 13.6% increase in the same period and LinkedIn a 15.2% increase.

 

Instagram witnessed a 20% increase between September 2015 and June 2016. All of this may seem like a boom, but it also muddies up the landscape because there are so many platforms to post on. It’s up to the brand to do the research on where the audience is.

 

Unsurprisingly, "Facebook was the number one choice for local advertisers with 96% responding they have  Facebook page. Twitter was a distant second at 51%, and LinkedIn came in at 41%."

 

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It can be daunting to a newbie. You need to ask yourself a few questions before stepping up to the task:

 

Which social media platform is best for me work on?

 

How much money should I invest?

 

What type of posts should I make?

 

How often should I post?

 

The greatest issue with starting out on social media is the idea that it’s easy. Failure and frustration is a common characteristic among new businesses starting out on social media because they believe it’s as simple as making a sales-y pitch, attaching an image, and sending the post out.

 

It doesn’t work like that, at least not anymore. Strategies need to be put in place. Budgets need to be created. Research into best practices needs to be done. Basically, an entire comprehensive rundown of your social media plans should be resolved before you even begin posting.

 

Now, does this mean you should keep a rigid schedule? No. While you should have prepared copy to pitch your product, you should also have a free-flowing schedule that allows for transparency into your business.

 

Or, to make things even easier, a brand can simply hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in social media strategy, copywriting, implementation, and moderation.

 

Social media is simply too valuable a resource to waste. Without the proper funds and research invested, an inexperienced brand is doomed.

 

Experts in the field are a necessity; an expert at crafting concise copy that delivers an impactful message, an expert at graphic design that can create appealing images; an expert at website design that can make a landing page that converts; an expert at moderation that knows just what to say to disgruntled commenters; and an expert at SEO that can identify the right keywords, among others.

 

It takes a village to raise a brand on social media. Going at it alone and without the tools and people necessary to help it succeed are only going to hamper your efforts.

 

Interested in raising your social media standing or looking to start out? Visit our Facebook for more info, email us at ask@one12th.io or visit: https://one12th.io/contact-modern/


Mythbusters: 10 Social Media Myths Busted

Brace yourselves. We're about to alter your mindset on what running a social media account is all about.

 

Are you strapped in? Good. Let's get started.

 

1 . More Impressions are a Good Thing!

 

No, no they are not. Sure you're getting more people to see your page, but they may not care at all because of how you're targeting them.

 

If you run an account for weddings and you target men and women of all ages, you're going to get more impressions but you're also going to dilute your click-through rate. Basically, you're wasting money on targeting people who never had an interest in your product in the first place.

 

Focus your targeting on who is most likely to buy your product, therefore your results look better and your engagement is higher

 

2. If I'm Getting Likes, My Page is Doing Great!

 

With all of the insights and reporting material we have at our disposal, surface stats like post likes are hardly a reliable gauge as to how your page is performing.

 

For example, one of the pages we run received hundreds of likes on the regular, but when I did a deeper dive, I noticed that the link clicks were low in comparison. Because I looked further into the issue, I adjusted my content strategy, and posts are now receiving far more link clicks.

 

Had I just looked at the surface stats, I would have assumed my posts were performing well above my expectations. Those numbers may be appealing for outsiders, but, as the insider, you need to see if there's more to it.

 

3. I Can Engage with Commenters with Automated Messages

 

I've been seeing this more often and I don't like it.

 

People want to talk to a human when they're dealing with customer service. If they want the same "We apologize for the inconvenience" message, then they'd call the company itself and deal with pushing buttons and waiting just to talk to someone.

 

Social media is meant to eliminate the disconnect between the customer and the brand. If somebody is writing the posts and setting the targeting criteria, then surely there is somebody who can also moderate comments.

 

This is your opportunity to establish a stronger relationship with your fanbase and institute greater loyalty to your brand. Don't waste it by being another extension of an already disconnected customer service.

 

4. I Don't Have to Invest that Much Money in My Posts

 

This isn't the early days of social media where a small investment (or even no investment at all) will vault your page to a dizzying reach. With so many companies now throwing their hat into the ring and allocating more money to social media, the competition has become too great for small and medium-sized businesses.

 

Fortunately, it still doesn't take that much money--Usually around $5--to get a reach over 1,000 people.

 

However, it will be interesting to see how this changes over time as social media becomes more and more of a ground for advertising campaign efforts from the world's most powerful businesses.

 

5. Buying Fans/Followers Will Make My Page Look Better!

 

This is related to the second point where we busted the myth that it's better to have more impressions. While showing off to potential new fans that you already have a solid foundation of fans, it's going to look suspicious when your page with 25,000 Likes is only getting 4 engagements on every post.

 

And why would you sow distrust before your new fans even have the chance to get to know you? If you’re misleading and feigning positive results through your social media page, it’s more than likely that your potential customers would believe the same of your business practices.

 

It’s easy to get exposed too, especially with Facebook cracking down on pages guilty of buying fake fans, as well as the literal sweatshops that create all of these fake pages.

 

Rather than spending, and essentially wasting, your money on fake fans, why not invest that money in a marketing agency that would build organic growth through legal, reputable means?

 

6. I Don't Have to Immediately Respond to my Fans 

 

Thanks to the advent of social media advertising, the gulf between buyer and seller has never been smaller. This development has essentially made it impossible to exonerate a brand from answering its customers, because of the consequences of a comment going unanswered.

 

There’s nothing preventing a disgruntled customer from going on your official page and leaving a nasty comment about the service or product you provided not living up to their expectations. This is a pivotal point in the buyer-seller relationship, because you can either a) address the comment and attempt to resolve it, or b) ignore and hope it goes away.

 

And maybe they will go away. Or maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll keep posting about your lack of concern. Maybe they’ll start commenting on every post you make, putting it out there for everyone to see. Maybe other people will see it and they’ll have a poor impression of how you treat your customers.

 

Maybe they’ll share it to their personal Facebook for their friends and family to see. Maybe the complaint you refused to comment on was so bad that it goes viral and gets shared hundreds of times. Maybe it eventually ends up in the hands of a news network that condemns your business as a company that doesn’t care about its customers for thousands to see.

 

All because you couldn’t even bother to respond to that person’s complaint.

 

Outrage culture has led to many people looking at themselves as crusaders of justice. One wrong move against a person who’s that incensed could mean the closing of your doors for good.

 

So in the future, just answer your customers. Even if they’re not satisfied with your response, the fact that you tried can at least show that you care.

 

7. The Type of Posts I Make Don't Matter

 

I can attest to this from personal experience.

 

An account we ran here was generating a heavy amount of surface engagement, in terms of reactions, likes and shares, but when we went to look at the amount of clicks it received, they were virtually nonexistent. Clearly, our message wasn’t getting across as we intended.

 

Making the posts so well that hundreds of people would like and comment on them was encouraging, but what was the point if we weren’t converting? All we had to show for our efforts were some nice social media numbers.

 

So we decided to switch up the type of posts we make. Rather than just making posts that featured copy leading to a link and an image, we made posts that would have copy, a headline, and a description.

 

Although this limited what type of image we could use, there was a clearer direction in what we wanted our audience to do: Click through to the next page.

 

The result? While there was a clear decrease in overall engagements, there was a HUGE, immediate uptick in link clicks!

 

Feel free to experiment with the types of posts you make. It’s highly likely that you’re not going to nail it at first, so have some fun with it and try new, innovative ideas that could give you the results you’re looking for.

 

8. I Need to Join All the Social Media Networks

 

No, you only need to post on the platforms you feel would be most responsive to the product or service you are offering.

 

Identifying your audience is critical to the success of your brand, especially when it comes down to where you’re going to post. For example, if you have a millennial audience, you’re more likely to advertise and post on outlets like Snapchat and Instagram, as opposed to somewhere like Google + or LinkedIn.

 

Say you’re more B2B. Are you going to want to target high-level executives through Snapchat, where 60% of users are between 13-24 years old? Or are you going to target LinkedIn, where 27% of users are between 30-49 and 24% are between 50 and 64?

 

A lot of brands, even the bigger ones, will try to advertise through new channels where the audience is unlikely to be receptive. It’s a waste of time, money and effort that could be invested in platforms where the audience is established and known

 

9. I'll Just Ignore or Delete Negative Feedback

 

 

This goes back to the aforementioned point about not acknowledging comments left by disgruntled customers.

 

In case it needs further reiteration, though, allow me to remind you that neglecting and tuning out the concerns of your audience is poor business. But you didn’t need me to tell you that, right? You know that in the real world if you just ignore a customer’s complaints, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

 

Every comment should be addressed and every customer should feel valued. Deleting a post might make the post go away, but the anger and resentment from the commenter is still there. It’s unhealthy, and could spread to other customers that feel you would treat them in a similar way if they were not happy with your service or product.

 

10. I'm Not Going to Waste Time Looking at Stats

 

Then you’re going to have a bad time running your social media page.

 

Almost every social media outlet has an extensive platform for tracking metrics, far beyond the scope of surface engagements, such as likes, comments and shares. Those types of metrics only tell a story that your fans can see. What they can’t see are the stats that should be most important to you.

 

You know, stats like link clicks. As I mentioned before about the type of posts to use, your other metrics could be suffering if you’re focusing solely on one aspect that may have little to do with the success of your brand’s online influence.

 

Before you launch into posting or advertising, make sure to pinpoint the metric you think would generate what you’re most likely to gain, whether it be awareness, a product launch, engagement, or conversions.

 

A wealth of important metrics and stats are at your disposal. Use them! Social media is an investment that should be treated similarly to if you were going to run advertisements on the radio, on TV, or on a billboard.

 

We here at One Twelfth are heavy employers of metrics as indicators of success and they’ve yet to let us down. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you avoid these 10 pitfalls.


15 Social Media Mistakes That Can Damage Your Brand

Achieving social media success can be difficult. Failing at social media, on the other hand, is extremely easy.

 

Social media success is achieved through understanding what your audience wants and pressing the right buttons and saying the right things that convince them to interact and engage with your brand.

 

Social media failure is achieved through so many different avenues that we had to devote a blog of 15 different examples to address it and how to avoid it.

 

Paying Attention to Surface Stats

 

Your audience see the amount of likes, comments and shares a Facebook post gets or the amount of retweets and likes a tweet gets, but you have the tools to see well beyond that.

 

With Facebook Insights alone, you can see how many clicks, both link and photo, a post gets. Go a little further and use Facebook Business Manager and the amount of metrics at your fingertips are borderline limitless.

 

Say you post a video for an advertisement. Did you know metrics are available not only to see how many views that video receives, but to see how long users were watching it? You can actually see the percentage of the video users watched before clicking away.

 

Facebook, Google and Twitter all have extremely advanced analytic platforms that enable account managers to discover what works and what doesn't. And the best part? It's all free!

 

Posting too Much

 

You want to remind your audience of all the incentives your product or service offers, but you can't overdo it. By posting too much you clutter up news feeds and annoy your fans to the point of not only hiding your posts, but unliking or unfollowing, as well.

 

Posting too Little

 

Post too little, however, and you run the risk of having your audience forget you even exist!

 

Not Engaging with Customers

 

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Besides being able to consistently get your brand's name out there, the greatest incentive of owning a social media page is the connection you can make with your customers.

 

Unlike the past where customer service was just a one-on-one conversation, social media is essentially a one-on-the entire internet conversation. When a user leaves a comment on a post or on your page, everybody can see it, including those negative comments that are the bane of every social media manager's existence.

 

Comments, good or bad (but especially bad), need to be addressed, otherwise you're showing your audience that you don't care about their comments or are trying to purposely avoid them. That may not be your intention, but it's what your audience sees.

 

Take the time to address the comments, questions and concerns of your fans.

 

Using Poor Images

 

Shutterstock has plenty of clear (although sometimes way too stock photo-y) pictures to choose from with a subscription, as do many other stock image sites, such as istockphoto and BigStockPhoto.

 

Using an image that's either resized incorrectly, poorly photoshopped, blurry or irrelevant to the content damages the integrity of your brand's social media standing. It's unappealing to your audience and will definitely have as much of an affect on any potential new customers.

 

Just imagine going to a brand's website and seeing it's poorly designed. Would you navigate through it or stray away from the eyesore that it is?

 

Irrelevant Posting

 

Your audience liked your page because of your brand. They don't want to see viral videos or dank memes you thought were funny. They have other avenues they can go down for that sort of entertainment.

 

Stick to what's relevant and post content that's meaningful to your audience, who made a conscious decision to like your page because they're dedicated and loyal to your brand.

 

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Poor Grammar

 

It's a bad look on your brand that you don't even have the attention to detail to correct any grammatical errors in what usually is a succinct piece of copy.

 

It's grating and disrupts your reader's flow when they stumble upon a misspelled word or error in syntax. If they're that interested in what you have to say, they'll go over and try to read it again, but the damage has already been done and their brand-focused mindset has already been broken.

 

But the worst part of all of it? It's easily avoidable. With every piece of copy you create, take the time to read it and re-read it over again. Every writer initially makes errors because they're more focused on creating content. Once you finish creating the copy, put on your editor cap and correct any mistakes you may have made.

 

Not Doing your Research

 

Nobody likes getting called out for being wrong, so here's two ways to avoid being wrong on social media:

 

  1. Don't say it if you're not sure.
  2. Do your research to make sure you're right

 

If you're worried that a commenter is going to comment with "Well, actually.....", then refrain from making the post without doing the research into the content to confirm it.

 

No/Poor Communication with Client

 

One of the greatest reasons for the failing of an account on social media is the lack of communication between the account manager and the client.

 

If you're a digital marketing agency and not an in-house social media copywriter, communication between you and the client is especially important. There need to be weekly updates of possible themes going forward, content the client wants to produce, and images from the client at the worksite to provide the writer with transparency for the reader.

 

Otherwise, one day the client is going to be disappointed with the results of your page because you're not producing the content they want you to produce. Had there been a direct line of communication between both parties, there wouldn't be any disappointment because the client likely would have reviewed the content and themes before it had been posted.

 

Not Planning your Posts

 

Whenever you have to rush something, it's almost certain you're going to overlook small details that are going to compromise the final product.

 

The same applies to creating your social media content. Here's a tip that I personally use: Create the next month's worth of content in the week leading up to it. That way you have enough time to create general content, as well as specific content for holidays you can identify.

 

You're not going to be able to plan every post because of the opportunities presented by trending hashtags. But control what you can, otherwise you're going to be rushing, and inevitably, negatively affecting the quality of your posts.

 

Not Having a Clear Tone and Voice

 

As the social media manager, you give your brand a consistent voice in the digital world. Get to know your audience, the brand's past, the copy on its website and the overall message it's projecting.

 

Consistency is key when applying a personality to your brand. If you want your brand to have a serious tone, then maintain it. The same applies if you want a tone that's playful or has a tinge of both.

 

Stay on message and stay on point.

 

Pandering to Milennials

 

Accounts that try to use memes or popular catchphrases from Twitter to get their message across, I have a message directly from the milennial you are targeting:

 

Memes are not funny when brands use them.

We know what you're doing.

You are making us cringe.

 

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It's just a lame, transparent attempt to pander to the younger generation that speaks in memes. Sure some kids will fall for it and you'll get your retweets and like, but at the cost of your dignity and the plentiful replies calling you out on it? It's just not worth it.

 

Focusing Only on Sales

 

Not every post has to be a sales pitch. In fact, some of your best posts, especially in terms of engagement, will be posts that pose a question to your fans.

 

Ask your fans about what they like about your product, if they have a specific product they like, how long they've been a fan of your product, etc. I remember doing a post like this for a big client that's been selling two-way radios for decades and receiving a ton of comments when asked what their first two-way radio was.

 

Not only is it a great way to generate engagement, it's an extremely effective way to crowdsource and know a little more about your audience.

 

Trying to do too Much

 

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Don't dilute your product because you're trying to expand your reach. Spending too much time trying to make things work on a channel where your product isn't receiving much attention can negatively affect the work you're posting on a channel where success is a constant.

 

Some channels just aren't effective platforms for certain products. If you're highly technical and promoting mainly business services, LinkedIn would be your preferred outlet as opposed to a channel more focused on engagement like Twitter.

 

Not Knowing your Audience

 

You'll usually be able to pinpoint the demographic of your audience just from the type of product or service you're selling, but it's still valuable to the direction of your content to get a complete picture.

 

If you use Facebook, this information is available simply by going into your Insights and going to 'People'. From there, you'll have easy access to the age, gender and location of your audience.

 

Sure we could have guessed that the majority of our audience would have been women in the age group where most couples get married, but isn't it reassuring to know that the information is at your disposal?

 

This information, like most of the metrics that can indicate paths to success and failure, is all available, often for free.

 

Use it and avoid the mistakes that have plagued many community managers of years' past.


How to Approach Social Media in 2016

The time to start planning out your social media plans for 2016 begins right now!

 

Social media success doesn't have to take long. It only takes one campaign with enough funds, incentives for its audience and creativity to vault your small or medium-sized business's account from a middling page with a few hundred fans to a booming page with thousands.

 

Of course, there is some give to the take. As stated before, you're going to have to spend some money, so organic content won't cut it anymore. If you're serious about establishing your position on social media, then get serious and devote some of your marketing budget to implementing a quality campaign.

 

You can handle that part. Meanwhile, we handled all of the research that's meant to help you, dear loyal reader, set up the foundation for 2016 and to build from there.

 

1. Have a Platform for Research 

 

If you're not complementing your content with research, then I regret to inform you that you're doing digital marketing all wrong.

 

Using an analytical platform that allows you to implement your campaign for further insight and research is imperative to improvements that can be made in the future. Without statistical evidence, you're left on an island as to what direction you go next either during the duration or the completion of a campaign.

 

Eye tests won't tell the whole story. Simply looking at the amount of likes, comments or shares barely even scratches the surface when there are countless other metrics used to measure campaign success and failure. You can have a bunch of likes or retweets, but it won't matter if nobody is clicking on what you're selling, which you can easily find through click-through rate (CTR) as a part of the platforms that are specifically designed to help you.

 

Google AdWords is an excellent example of this. Not only does it allow you to launch a campaign on one of the most popular search engines, processing more than 40,000 search queries every second on average, but it also allows you to monitor each individual post, or campaign as a whole, through statistical analysis.

 

2. Get in Touch with the Key Demographics

 

"The North American Consumer Payments Survey....also found that Millenials and respondents with household incomes of at least $150,000 lead the charge, with 13% of milennials and 19% of high-income consumers using digital currencies. Retailers will have to adapt to the preferences of these two demographic groups that often lead trends."

While that quote focuses on preferred payment methods (which we'll address later), it's also indicative of who we should be paying attention to as digital marketers.

 

Naturally, there are going to be exceptions. If you run an account geared towards arthritis pain relief, you're probably going to want to appeal to an older demographic. For the majority of accounts, however, you will likely need to create content that's geared towards the all-too-important milennial demographic.

 

Media and companies bow down and listen closely to what the young, impressionable generation desires, which is why you see a number of obnoxious Twitter accounts (Looking at you, Burger King and Denny's) using terms like "on fleek" or "squad" as a part of their flavor-of-the-month phrases to appeal to the kids.

 

Struggling to speak in their vernacular like you're a musty politician wanting to "kick-it" and "hang-out" (I literally used quotes with my fingers as I wrote those) is a strategy that you fortunately don't have to employ. There are other ways to reach that key audience without alienating the older portion of your audience or using dank memes that will result in commenters telling you to deactivate your account or calling you out on your transparent pandering.

 

Their results are hollow, either retweeted by high schoolers who speak in memes or anybody else that realizes the obvious marketing ploy Burger King is trying to pull.

 

Trust me, the younger generation isn't as dumb as Burger King and Denny's want you to think. There are ways to speak to them without trying too hard to seem "hip" (There go the quotes again).

 

3. Versatility in your Content

 

Posting on social media isn't nearly what it used to be. We are far from the era where you can post organic content, reach thousands, and get excellent results, sometimes without even paying a cent. Because of the growth of social media, especially as an advertising platform, bigger companies have made it impossible for any sort of organic content to thrive.

 

There's just too much money being thrown into marketing departments towards social media now. Because either larger marketing agencies, or in-house agencies for large companies, are investing more of their budget into developing campaigns, a lot of money is now being thrown into social media, which is diverting more attention towards paid media, rather than organic as it was previously.

 

So, how do you compete if you're a smaller company? By researching and locating the popular trends that users are paying attention to, which you can, once again, discover through statistical analysis and research.

 

For you, you're going to have to spend money. It's inevitable now. Social media is now on the same advertising plane as television, radio, and print. You pay to advertise there, so you're going to have to pay to advertise on social media.

 

The easiest way to generate attention to your account will be through giveaways, discounts and offers. A majority of your followers are following you solely because they're interested in your next sale, so keep them loyal and hungry for your products or services by staging a giveaway.

 

You could even have fun with the giveaway. Don't just make it a "Comment here and you're automatically entered". Make it a 'Caption Contest' or a 'Fill-in-the-Blank' contest that will entice your audience into engaging. This strategy creates a greater sense of community, boosts your engagement numbers, and is guaranteed to bring in new eyes.

 

If you have the funds, though, make a shift towards videos, which have quickly become one of the most widely-used mediums for promotion:

 

"Facebook revealed that the number of videos posted to the platform per person in the U.S. has increased by 94 percent over the last year."

If you're going to employ this strategy, you have to go all-out, less you accidentally create the next viral sensation that has more people laughing at it than with it. Spend the money on a quality camera, spend the time to write out a quality script, and spend the patience on making something creative that's going to be attention-grabbing.

 

I highly recommend Samsung's Facebook page for video inspiration. They do an excellent job at making short, creative videos that usually focus on one feature at a time of a product they're selling.

 

4. Discover New Social Media Accounts

 

While milennials say Facebook is making a comeback, it's evident that there are other platforms out there that are bursting at the seams. Twitter is becoming more engaging and universal by adding polls and hearts for likes instead of stars for favorites, LinkedIn is becoming more user-friendly for analytics and blog posting, and Instagram is starting to adjust to being an advertising platform.

 

But there are two platforms in particular that I wrote about a few months back that are also establishing their footing among some of the current top social media platforms.

 

One of those is Periscope, a video-based platform that allows users to live-stream where they are to anyone who wants to watch. The basis for Periscope preys on the curiosity of others, who wish to receive an insider look behind-the-scenes of daily activities we're interested in.

 

In the first ten days of its launch, Periscope had already acquired 1 million users.

 

Periscope's potential is limitless and could affect the way we take in events. At the moment, it's just a behind-the-scenes incentive, but it has the potential to be used as a live, streaming platform to watch concerts or sporting events. It wouldn't surprise me at all if attendees are one day banned from using it at those events, and the platform is put in the hands of those associated with the event to give an extra inside look.

 

The other platform is Pinterest, or what should it be known as: Your Company's Best Friend.

 

Because what Pinterest does that no other platform allows is essentially free advertising. Without even having to setup a website, you can put your entire product line on your Pinterest page, even using Pin-boards to categorize and separate them, and organize all of it so that the user never even has to leave the page.

 

They can find everything they want just by looking at your Pinterest page, which is absolutely and completely free to set up.

 

And the best part? There is no social media platform that bounces more users to your company's website than Pinterest:

 

"Pinterest users were bouncing from Pinterest to company websites at a rate almost seven times higher than they were in 2011. In fact, the Shareaholic study reports that 5% of all traffic to the 300,000 websites came from Pinterest."

 

And the even better part? It's growing:

 

"The number of Pinterest users more than doubled in the second half in 2014...in the last six months of 2014, active users increased by 111%, and members increased by 57%."

 

My advice is to start taking advantage of this now, before Pinterest finds a way to monetize this for their gain, instead of it being all for you.

 

5. Creative New Ways of Payment (Loyalty Programs)

 

Over the past few weeks, I've been doing research and writing blogs into the new-age phenomenon known as mobile payments.

 

Stick around for this lesson because mobile payments aren't going to fade. In fact, if the countless hours of research into it indicate anything, it's that mobile payments are going to become advanced to the point that your smartphone will replace paper and plastic currency.

 

Retail, and this applies to social media, is all about the customer experience and making everything more accessible so that their process between discovery of the product and payment of the product is streamlined. Obviously, there needs to be an incentive for the customer, besides receiving the product.

 

This is where loyalty reward programs come into the picture. These incentives, such as frequent flyer miles or 'Buy 12 burritos and your 13th is free', have been around for awhile, but only now is it becoming technologically advanced to the point that it provides instant gratification to the customer.

 

Considering social media is focusing more on becoming a platform for advertising, you need to make the adjustment to making your page more user-friendly when it comes to making a purchase. Facebook already has features such as a 'Call-to-Action' button that directs your straight to the company page, as well as an 'Offers' tab, but there needs to be more in it for the user.

 

Enhancing the customer experience allows you to create greater engagement and have them coming back for more, in order to continue redeeming their loyalty rewards.

 

Before the ball drops for 2016, start considering ways to improve your followers and fans' experience straight from your social media page. Create an incentive, such as referring to our social media page gives you a 5% discount, that will leave users no choice but to return to your social media page for further deals.


What are the Social Media Specifications for Ads?

When it comes to the ever-changing landscape of social media platforms, and their ever-changing character counts and specifications, writing copy feels like the easiest part of creating an ad.

 

Since there has been a recent influx of social media ads for me to write, the frustration from these platforms that won't stop changing their minds has motivated me to provide my readers with character counts they can trust and base their work off of.

 

Remember, all of these character counts include the link! A link takes up 22 characters, so LinkedIn's copy max of 150 characters is actually 128 on account of the link that you might include. The same rules apply for the copy of a promoted tweet.

 

LinkedIn

 

Promoted Post (Image)

Copy Max: 150 characters

 

Promoted Post (Link)

Headline Max: 70

Copy Max: 150

Description Max: 150

 

Sponsored inMAIL

Sender Name: 25

Subject Line: 30

Description: 35

Body: 1000

Button: 25

 

Twitter

 

Website Card

Headline Max: 70

Copy Max: 116

 

Promoted Tweet (Gallery)

Copy Max: 94

Description Max: 200

 

Promoted Tweet (Image)

Copy: 140

 

Promoted Tweet (Gif)

Copy Max: 94

 

Lead Gen 

Copy: 116

CTA: 20

Post Submit Message: 200

Description: 50

 

Promoted Video

Copy: 116

Title: 70

Description: 200

 

Conversational 

Copy: 116

 

Autoplay Video

Copy: 116

 

Facebook

 

Promoted Post (Image)

Copy Max: 150

 

Promoted Post (Link)

Headline Max: 25

Copy Max: 150

Description Max: 150

 

Promoted Post (Image)

Copy Max: 150

 

Lead Gen Posts

Copy Max: 150

Headline: 25

Description: 150

 

Video Post Link

Copy: 150

 

Carousel Post

Copy: 90

Headline: 40

Description: 20

 

Canvas Post

Copy: 90

 

Slideshow Post

Copy: 150

 

App Install Post

Copy: 120

 

Instagram

 

Link post

Copy for caption: 125

 

Video Post

Copy: 125

Hope this helps! Happy social media-ing!


How Often Should you Post on Social Media?

Dear reader, we have reached quite the dilemma with one of our social media accounts.

 

Post frequency is an interesting variable when it comes to the success of a social media page. If you post too little, your followers, as well as potential followers, may not see you in the clutter of timelines and news feeds. But if you post too much, your followers may get annoyed and begin unliking or unfollowing your page because you are the clutter on timelines and news feeds.

 

The predicament we ran into with this account that we manage was the heavy flow of considerations we received. Because this company is popular, we receive inquiries from many sectors and divisions of the company, as well as those they partner and work with, there is a demand for posts to be put out as promotional tools.

 

Our strategy upon taking over the account was to only make two posts per day for each channel; one post would be product-centric, the other would be thought leadership, which were basically posts focused on the company itself and even testimonials about products. We believed going in that two posts per day would be the ideal middle-ground between too little and too many posts.

 

Even this blog, and extremely helpful infographic, by Buffer can attest to our belief:

 

"You can post twice per day before likes and comments begin to drop off. When a brand posts twice a day, those posts only receive 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post. The drop-off continues as more posts are made in the day."

 

And to further back up this point, here's further support:

 

"SocialBakers looked at several major brands' posting habits on Facebook and found that on average they posted 1 time per day. It was also found that posting 3 or more posts per day negatively affected engagement and led to loss of page likes."

 

Both studies say the same thing: 2 posts per day is ideal and anything over that is overkill that could cause you to lose fans.

 

So weren't we surprised when we found out that posting up to 8 times per day actually had no negative effect? In fact, it may have been positive if anything!

 

Based off over three months of post uploading, we found that the day we posted an average of 6 times (Thursday) received a staggering engagement rate of 3.84% and a CTR of 1.78%. On Monday, when we were making 8 posts per day, our CTR was an unbelievable 2.88%!

 

Unfortunately, because we posted so much on each day, there is no control day where we only posted an average of one or two times. However, on Friday's where the average amount of posts we made per day was 4, the CTR of 0.22% was the lowest throughout the week. Out of five weekdays, the three highest CTR's belonged to the days with the most post uploads per day.

 

So, what's the deal? How is it that we beat the odds and managed to receive such high ER's and CTR's, while steadily growing our page likes, despite posting a ridiculous amount per day? Even if there were people unliking our page daily, it never exceeded the amount of people that did like our page.

 

One idea is that although the company was well-known, it didn't reflect that on their social media channels. Their Facebook page, in fact, only had 11,918 when we took over at the end of March, and has 17,461 now. Posting between 5-8 times per day improved our awareness to those that may not have realized the account existed, due to previous inconsistencies with the posting before our takeover.

 

Perhaps our audience was loyal to a fault. That no matter how many times we posted, they would continue to indulge and engage in our posts because the brand name is recognizable and users of it feel like they're a part of a community. This is a theory because of how well our engagement posts performed when we asked our audience to tell us about the first product they ever bought from us, their greatest memory using one, etc.

 

Or, and I like this theory best, our copy and imagery was done so well that our audience was excited to see our multiple posts per day to like and view.

 

Or maybe we were just an outlier. Even though posting frequency wasn't a detriment to us, we can't say the same for any pages you wish to create because every brand's audience is unique and is going to react differently. In fact, most of the best Facebook accounts, such as Samsung Mobile, post only once per day.

 

We advise anybody who is creating their social media strategy to follow our original plan: Two posts per day, both focused on the company but conveying different messages. It's a proven method that has worked for social media's top performers and it's supported by research across thousands of pages that all employ similar, successful strategies.


The Most Important Social Media Stat You'll Need

Stats, stats, and more stats! With all the stats available, it's become almost impossible to not succeed at social media if you're checking the numbers and trends.

 

There's a gift and a curse with the new wave of competition crashing over the established brands thriving on social media with little investment. The curse, of course, is that organic reach is plummeting and it's now a necessity to invest in your marketing budget if you want your brand noticed.

 

The gift, however, is that Facebook has embraced its newfound identity as an advertising platform. This has led to Facebook providing page administrators with a multitude of stats they can use to identify trends that go below the surface stats, such as likes, comments, and shares.

 

Facebook and Twitter are especially adept at this. The two channels provide admins with exact times and dates of posts, which posts are being hidden by users, total organic and paid reach, and even tracking the times and weekdays most users visit the page.

 

All these insights are available at your disposal. Even better, social media channels will actually list each post's performance in a neat and tidy Excel sheet that you can export and analyze!

 

ZOMG SO MUCH INFO
ZOMG SO MUCH INFO

 

Perhaps all this info is too much and a tad overwhelming for social media rookies? Well, let me introduce you to a stat that's extremely effective, useful AND easy to decipher.

 

Engagement Rate=Engagements/Impressions

 

Facebook insights will actually provide you with this in their Insights, but you have to export data to uncover the exact number of impressions and engagements a post receives.

 

Decoding your engagement rate on Instagram is slightly different. Simply divide the number of likes and comments on a post by your follower count. So if a page has 2,500 likes and a post receives 78 combined likes and comments, the engagement rate would be slightly over 3%.

 

Measuring a channel like Snapchat isn't as easy, "as there are no native brand tools yet", but helpful metrics are available. The platform allows users to see total unique views, total story completions, and, interestingly enough, how many screenshots are taken of your snaps.

 

While engagement rate for Snapchat doesn't exist, the next best thing is completion rate. This metric allows users to establish "the percentage of people that started viewing that story compared to how many of them saw the last part of a story."

 

So, why should marketers place engagement rate on a higher pedestal? For one, it allows you to properly analyze and compare the performance of posts from different channels.

 

We'll use an account we run as an example where we post to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All three channels are going to have a wide gap in the amount of impressions and engagements they receive on account of the numbers of followers they have.

 

With engagement rate, however, we can effectively identify which posts are successful on certain channels and eliminate the followers factor.

 

Since we can record an engagement rate, we can compare the responses and trends of Facebook (17K followers), Twitter (10k followers), and LinkedIn (over 70k followers), and see which channel our posts are the most engaging. Now we can carefully craft posts for each channel to get the response, because of the varying attention spans of their appropriate audiences and which type of posts they respond to best.

 

Those are stats that surface numbers can't provide. If you were to simply look at the numbers, you would assume our posts just happen to be wildly successful on LinkedIn, on account of the 20K-plus impressions we receive on each post, compared to the hundreds of impressions we receive on the same Facebook and Twitter posts.

 

Thanks to engagement rate, we can see that people are more likely to engage with our brand on the other channels.

 

Engagement rate certainly isn't the only below-the-surface stat you can utilize. Click-through rate (Clicks divided by impressions) is another excellent formula that allows you to see which links are being clicked on the most, as well as which posts are driving people to click and which channels are clicking the most per impression.

 

Go the extra mile when it comes to social media analyzation. The stats that can take your brand to the next level are waiting and available for your use right now!


5 Mistakes to Avoid as a Social Media Manager

There's a lot more to this social media game than you may realize.

 

Being a social media manager takes the full cooperation of all parties involved and the necessity of communication between them, as well. Running a social media page, no matter the channel, requires a great deal of patience, experimentation with content and posting times, and taking on multiple perspectives depending on how many accounts you run.

 

Take note of the misconceptions you'll soon encounter in our latest blog as they are commonly seen and experienced by novice social media managers who think social media is as easy as post-click-results. With these five tips, you avoid the mistakes that so many others have experiencing, including the accounts you run that are on your back for not having everything you post immediately going viral.

 

1. Not Checking the Numbers

 

Numbers can't lie, check the scoreboard.

 

There are plenty of tools, some even for free, at your fingertips that can divulge a wealth of information about your social media standing. You can check out all of the tools we utilize at One Twelfth here.

 

For social media, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all provide comprehensive listings of your posts and how they performed.

 

Facebook and Twitter even go as far as to provide you with demographics of your audience, as well as the ability to export your page data and post data. You can select any range of dates and analyze how your page or your posts performed, namely with stats, such as post clicks, that go below the surface of simply likes, comments and shares.

 

All of these tools are at your disposal for free and are designed to help you get a better understanding of your audience so you can appeal to them better in future posts. With stats, you learn what types of posts work and what day and time they work best.

 

Without them, the already unpredictable guessing game of social media becomes even more of a crapshoot.

 

2. Not Knowing your Audience

 

Once again, tools, such as Facebook insights, easily allow you to get a glimpse at your fanbase.

 

We observed the demographics of a diaper rash cream's demographics and reached these conclusions, simply from a page of Facebook Insights:

 

  • Our fanbase mainly are women
  • Our fanbase is located in Miami
  • Our fanbase is between mid-20's and middle-aged

 

Those three points tell us the type of posts we need to make and the perspective we need to have. Create content that would be geared towards them. If they don't work at first, keep experimenting with different forms of copy and imagery. Social media, even if you invest and do your research, is unpredictable and it could take some time to find that desired sweet spot.

 

Just keep experimenting, stay consistent, and have perspective.

 

3. Lack of Creativity

 

Have perspective when you're creating your posts, and ask yourself these three questions.

 

"Would I click on this?"

 

"If I was scrolling through my feed, would this make me stop and at least absorb the information I'm seeing?"

 

"Is this interesting enough for my audience to click on?"

 

Being a social media content creator is about having a keen, diverse perspective that taps into the mindsets of the audience you're trying to reach. If you run a page that sells baby products, think of what a new mom would want to see. If you run a page that sells two-way radios in bulk, think of what a public safety agency or factory manager would want to see.

 

4. Lack of Boosting

 

Imagine you're in front of a crowd of 42 million people and they're all yelling at the same time. They're all trying to say their own unique quip or sales-pitch, but you can't make out what any individual is saying.

 

This is what Facebook is like when you don't invest. You are competing with 41,999,999 other Facebook pages for the attention of users. They may be selling different things than what you're selling, but they're all still in the same boat as you: Vying for attention with a limited voice.

 

Many businesses go into social media assuming it's just a cheap, easy way of advertising. 'Make a post about your business and wait for the likes and praise to roll in' is the common belief of social media rookies. But if it were that easy, then everyone would have thousands and thousands of likes and would be flourishing, despite the fact that they're competing with over 40 million other pages for attention.

 

Just as you would with your business that you want to succeed, invest. It doesn't take much. You can shell out a little more for ads on the right column or news feed that will last a few days, but you could also invest as little as $1 into a single post.

 

The investment may not even be that much, but you get to target a specific interest (Rather than just shooting your post out for anyone to read, you can target it to your audience, who are more likely to actually read and digest it) and reach at least a couple hundred people.

 

Treat social media as a serious part of your business and you'll find yourself investing because it's the smart thing to do.

 

5. No Planning

 

Bouncing off the previous point of taking social media a lot more seriously than you would think, treat growing your social media influence as you would starting your business.

 

What does every business need to start out with? An idea and a solid foundation with a plan they could execute on.

 

If you're going to make posts for your brand's page, do you want to think of something new every day and have to rush it out before it's too late? Or would it be wiser to take a day or two to think about two weeks' worth of posts?

 

Further building on this point, you would be able to plan for upcoming holidays, as well as the more 'quirky' ones, rather than creating one the day before or even the day of.

 

If you want to go even further, and this is what we do at One Twelfth, you can create themes for each day. For the Motorola Solutions account we ran, we used Thursday for the usual #TBT, but also used Friday for User Engagement posts because of the stats we analyzed.

 

Because we had so many verticals and products to promote with that account, we had to find a way to create some sort of even distribution, with a greater emphasis placed on the verticals that would receive the most attention (Once again, something we learned from our research into the numbers).

 

Our idea was to give each vertical a day of the week. Since we had too many verticals, we would alternate verticals. For instance, we would have the Law Enforcement and Utilities verticals on Tuesday, with Law Enforcement one week and then Utilities the next.

 

Without a researched plan, we would never have been able to execute on giving each vertical the attention it needed, instead of distributing an allotted date to each one. This was also a wise thing to do because it made it a lot easier to track what posts and verticals worked, as well as what time and day of the week they worked on best.


4 Tips to Get your Brand off the Ground on Social Media

The toughest part to any journey is starting out. Social media, especially, may be one of the most difficult treks to make if you're a small business owner looking to create a solid fanbase.

 

It's difficult because there are so many pages like you attempting to do the same thing. Did you know that there are over a billion active Facebook users? Did you know that there were 42 million pages, as of mid-2012? One can only wonder how large that number is now, considering there are so many businesses seeing the potential merits and rewards of being prominent and influential on social media.

 

At One Twelfth, all of the accounts we run could be categorized as either a small business, a company looking to make their presence felt in America, or a niche market. It wasn't easy, but these accounts have made progress on account of our patience, as well as experimenting with what types of posts were successful.

 

But that's no reason to be discouraged. All you need is patience and these four tips that are guaranteed to improve your brand on social media.

 

1. Identify your audience

 

There's no point in posting if you don't even know who you're posting for. This is the exact reason why you should be adamant against buying your likes and followers. Those false fans might make your page look more attractive at first with a few thousand likes on the page, but your engagement numbers will be disappointing once you notice your fanbase has absolutely no interest in what you're posting.

 

The key to building anything, whether it's a business or a home or a relationship, is a solid foundation. Your real fans, the people who are aware of your product or service and use it, need to be your foundation. Once you establish that, you can use word-of-mouth, attention-getting events, and a consistent presence to build up your fanbase.

 

It's more rewarding to have an honest 1,000 fans than 10,000 fans that have no idea what you're selling. The likes and comments and shares will come. It takes patience to build up a small business on social media, what with so many other pages attempting to garner attention from you.

 

Which is why the following point is so important in directing that attention to your site:

 

2. Stage an attention-getting event

 

According to socialmediastratgiessummit.com, here are the top five reasons why people follow brands on Facebook:

 

5. Ability to offer feedback

 

4. Entertaining content

 

3. Product assistance and customer service

 

2. To stay in the know

 

1. Promotions and discounts

 

For further reinforcement, a study, done by Get Satisfaction in 2011, revealed that 37% of the likes on a Facebook/MySpace page and 44% of followers on a brand's Twitter did so because of special offers and deals. Taking second place, for both sites, were that they were current customers. Entertaining content finished third.

 

Can you blame them? Think about why you would follow a brand. Is it simply because you like the brand, or because they give stuff away? Everybody loves a giveaway, and you should, too, if you're the one running the page. Because not only are you showing your appreciation to your current fanbase, but you're only attracting new potential customers because of your willingness to take a loss and depart with one of your products.

 

It doesn't have to be much, either. In my latest blog, I learned that a single penny was the difference in an entire page's fanbase favoring one product over another:

 

“When Ariely offered buyers a choice between a Lindt ‘Lindor Truffle’ for 15 cents — about half of its usual cost — and a Hershey Kiss for 1 penny, 73% chose the Lindt because of its apparent value. But when the price of both items was lowered by just one cent to 14 cents and free respectively, 69% of shoppers took the free Hershey Kiss.”

 

It doesn't take much to convince your followers that you're generous. It doesn't have to be a once-a-week thing or even a monthly thing, just enough that will keep your audience at the edge of their seats and waiting for more.

 

Plus, using buzzwords like 'Free', 'New', or 'Guaranteed' are huge if you're holding a sale or trying to attract some attention for a specific product or service.

 

3. Engage and interact

 

People use social media not just for your giveaways and discounts, but because it's the best form of customer service ever created.

 

Think about it. Where else can you get a direct link between you and, for example, Reeses' Chocolate? Before social media, you'd have to call, wait for who-knows-how-long, and then hopefully speak to a human representative that will likely give you a generic company response.

 

Now with social media, you can inquire of anything you want of your favorite company and, if the page is run correctly, should merit a response from them.

 

Community managers, engaging and interacting with your followers is the best way of creating transparency. There is no way of telling your fanbase that there's a human behind the account and the computer screen than directly answering the compliments, complaints, and questions of fans. It just shows that you're going the extra mile, that you care, and that you're willing to take the time out of your day to help that individual.

 

One thing I will say is to not answer a customer with a generic, fill-in-the-blank response. If they wanted that, they could have called the company and received the same response. Take the time to show each and every one of your fans that you care. It will pay off.

 

4. Have perspective

 

There is nothing more important running an social media account than having perspective.

 

By perspective, I mean you yourself sitting at your computer, going through Facebook or Twitter, noticing things that catch your attention, and then quickly asking yourself, "Why did I like this post or tweet more than any other?"

 

You're no different than your followers. They, too, scroll through mostly filler until they come across something that's eye-catching and makes them stop for a few seconds. Social media is just another cog in our increasingly fast-paced world. You only have a second or two to make your point. Whether it's with a catchy headline or an interesting photo, your impact has to be immediate and swift.

 

That usually means not creating long-winded posts with paragraph-long posts. The most effective posts are usually the ones with the shortest description and an attractive image that momentarily grabs your attention. Those are the posts that will make people stop and stare.

 

There's so much information flying at you at every second that it takes a special kind of post to make you actually stop scrolling. Use perspective to think about what catches your eye (perhaps it's a specific word or picture) and then apply it to your own page.


One Twelfth's 5 Social Media Insights for the Week

At One Twelfth, Inc., we do a lot of work on social media for a variety of accounts, ranging from diaper rash cream to exotic swimwear to an engineering scholarship.

 

Because they're not established brands known throughout the world, we have to work from the ground up to make these accounts get noticed by their intended audience. Obviously, there's a need for experimentation with all of these accounts. Companies with established brands can write just about anything and get a few hundred or thousand likes.

 

We work for our likes and comments and shares around these parts. Lately, we've been making some significant breakthroughs in the arduous process that is getting your audience to notice your page, on a consistent basis, through all of the other pages that are clamoring for the same attention.

 

The past two weeks have been huge for us, and we're going to pass along what we've learned to you with five insights we picked up from our research:

 

1. Extreme close-ups!

 

I've mentioned this many times in the past, but allow me to continue reiterating how important images are on social media until you can't stand to hear me say it anymore.

 

However, it's not just any image you should use. Anybody can post an image and call it a day, but there also needs to be the added element of how the picture should be taken.

 

You want to evoke emotions from your audience. You don't want to prey on them, which is exactly what brands who profit off of tragedy have the lack of humility to pull off, but you want your audience to feel good. If you run an account focused on food, post pictures that will give your audience a sudden craving.

 

2. Switch up your strategy on different platforms

 

This should be obvious, but your approach on outlets such as Facebook should be different than your posts on LinkedIn or Twitter. Posting the same content is fine, but your approach should change with the platforms you use.

 

For example, you should be following your Twitter accounts at all times. Twitter is so great when it comes to customer service because it allows users to quickly shoot off a 140-characters-or-less text to you, without it possibly being jumbled, such as on a Facebook status where it can get muddled with a bunch of other comments about completely different things.

 

Plus, Twitter also offers account managers to use Tweetdeck, which allows you to type in a keyword associated with your product or service, and then observe who is talking about it.

 

On our Tweetdeck for an engineering account, we have verticals open for anyone who uses keywords such as 'engineering', as well as those that talk directly about our company. When we see something relatable to our work, we engage with that user and hopefully pick up a new follower, or assist an old follower, in the process.

 

3. Using memes correctly

 

As someone who spends entirely too much of his time on the internet, I have become all too familiar with the art form that are memes.

 

Memes are fun and easy to use on social media, but there's a fine line between showing off your internet savvy and pandering to what you believe is the audience of the internet. If you don't use memes correctly, such as what Fiat is doing with their obnoxious ad campaigns, people will notice and will be turned off your obvious pandering for profit.

 

Here's how to do memes right:

 

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-5-38-03-pm

 

Simple, to the point, and doesn't come off as desperate or forced at all. The results were some of our best numbers in the history of the account, with 64 likes and 18 shares.

 

4. Always check the numbers

 

Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media platforms provide you with the option to look at your post activity for a reason. Numbers never lie, and they paint a picture of which posts work and which ones don't, among so many other variables you can look into to see how your page is performing.

 

By checking out the insights on Facebook, you can easily uncover at what time your reach is at its best, what day, and even the demographics of your audience, including the gender, age, and where they are Facebooking from.

 

Don't allow advantages like stats to go to waste, while you sit in the dark and wonder why certain posts are working and others aren't. The simple answer could only be a few clicks and a few minutes of research away.

 

5. Keep experimenting

 

For the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with a variety of posts to see which would work on this account we run.

 

The message here is to always experiment. If a type of post isn't working, don't stick with it for too long. Your audience isn't responding because they're just not interested in what you're posting. But every audience has to respond to something, otherwise they wouldn't follow you.

 

Falling short of running a contest, which is a guarantee to boost your engagement, experiment will all types of content until you find something that sticks.