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.


The Future of Digital Marketing, Pt 1: Snapchat

Snapchat is the next big thing in the world of communication, and the opportunities couldn't be more exciting.

 

The concept for Snapchat is not an isolated event; rather it is the next step in solving an age-old dilemma.

 

From the very first attempts of trade with faraway lands, innovators have been trying to artificially replicate natural face-to-face communication without the luxury of being face-to-face.

 

Writing letters got your point across, but at the cost of lengthy, sometimes doomed, travels. Nowadays, a letter takes less than a second to be delivered. To put that into perspective, the average person has hundreds of conversations begin and end in the time it would take to deliver a ‘text’ across the Atlantic 250 years ago.

 

250 years and several groundbreaking innovations later, we have closed the gap even further. In fact, there’s hardly any gap at all. We have come to the point where a dialogue’s clarity from Miami to New York has no qualitative difference than a conversation across your kitchen table.

 

The next step in this evolution is Snapchat, the digital mouthpiece of the millennial.

 

Snapchat’s goal is to relieve you of the stress that comes with maintaining a presence on social media. It gives users the ability to wipe away the past. The message you send your friend over Snapchat will last only for a few moments, before *POOF* it’s gone forever.

 

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It was created as a safe space. Users can share quirky, funny and embarrassing pictures with friends without having to worry about a future employer or University recruiter getting the wrong idea. Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, put it best:

 

"Snapchat isn't about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It's about communicating with the full range of human emotion—not just what appears to be pretty or perfect."

 

 

In an effort to monetize their growing business, Snapchat began charging users to re-watch snaps in 2015. They quickly shifted their focus to advertisements, which have become a huge success.

 

Here are a few examples of their efforts:

 

  • Snapchat Discover was created so that companies such as CNN, ESPN, Buzzfeed, and People Magazine would be able to share articles and videos with users. Snapchat receives a flat fee plus 30% of ad revenue.

 

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  • Snapchat has a Live feature in which users share snaps of a certain event. Snapchat has established million dollar deals with sports organizations such as Wimbledon and the NFL to feature their events live.

 

  • Snapchat Geofilter is an optional filter for snaps, where companies can sponsor a filter for users in a specific area or day. Nationwide-sponsored geofilters reached 40%-60% of domestic Snapchat users.

 

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  • Sponsored lenses make advertising a fun experience rather than a mandatory chore.

 

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  • Implementing vertical video advertisements, requiring users to swipe up rather than click.

 

  • Vertical ads are watched to their completion 9X more than horizontal advertisements.

 

By the numbers: Snapchat’s remarkable goal

 

Just how much has Snapchat grown over the years as a result of these efforts? Check it out:

 

 

  • Snapchat has 46 million users in the United States and is projected to have 58.6 million by the end of 2016. To put that in perspective, imagine a company that somehow got the entire population of California and Florida to log into their app every day to send and receive pictures...Oh wait.

 

  • Of the 46 million American users, over 20 million are in the 18-24 age bracket. Think of it like this: There are more 18-24-year-olds on Snapchat than 18-24-year-olds enrolled in college!

 

 

Use Snapchat to promote your brand:

 

  • Let your customers get access behind the scenes. The NBA, UFC, and NFL have popularly used it on game day to pump up fans.

 

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  • Comedians, actors, and celebrities can give their fans a behind the scenes look into their lives by utilizing the Story feature.

 

  • Attract people to your brand with entertaining stories. Sour Patch Kid’s Snapchat paid a famous YouTube prankster Logan Paul to take control of their account. Consider the platform's main demographics before you hire someone to take control.

 

  • Use lenses to spread word about your business. Check out Gatorade’s campaign during the Super Bowl to give the fans the experience of a virtual “Gatorade shower”:

 

 

 

 

  • Sponsor a filter to bring attention to your brand. Marvel, for example, paid for exclusivity on filters for one day leading up to the release of X-Men Apocalypse.

 

  • Generate a buzz within your audience by staging contests. For example, a photography company would give away free classes for the best photo of a sunset submitted by one of their fans.

 

  • Have a back-and-forth with customers and get feedback on new and innovative products.

 

Snapchat for the future:

 

Because technology is advancing at an exponential rate, it’s become a lot of fun to make predictions. Here are some of mine:

 

  • Live features restricted to a neighborhood or city to spread the word of a local promotion or event.

 

  • Geotags will notify you of a sale or limited-time offer going on nearby.

 

  • Stores will have different brand products (hats, shirts, outfits, etc.) as filters in their respective stores to digitize your shopping experience.

 

  • Obtain proof of a small-scale advertisement. For example: Wear a brand shirt in a public place, Snapchat it to the brand's Snapchat and get rewarded for sharing the brand to the public.

 

  • Products will have barcodes to scan on Snapchat, which will give you a digital version of it as a filter.

 

By Joshua Gilinski

 

This is part 1 of our 4-part series on the Future of Digital Marketing. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our 4-part series: Virtual + Augmented Reality


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.


Hashtag Etiquette

People think that using "Hashtags" is very simple and everybody can do it. Yes, everybody can do it but that does not mean they are doing it right, specially if it's part of your social media strategy.

 

Here's some hashtag etiquette:

 

1) 2 to 3 hashtags in a post is an acceptable range. It is wrong to think that the more hashtags the better. Using more will make your post look crowded and almost like spam.

 

Example of a DON'T: I love Miami #beach #miami #fun #sun #sand #sky #clouds #summer #dog #shells

 

2) Use only related and relevant hashtags. It is very common for people to write random hashtags! It is totally wrong. Hashtags are part of your post so include them, don't confuse readers. Having unrelated "#" won't help you achieve what you are trying to communicate the world.

 

Example of a DON'T: I love Miami #igers #oscars2014 #leodicaprio #hair #PicOfTheDay

 

3) You don't need to hashtag every word or every other word! Just use "#" for relevant keywords.

 

Example of a DON'T: I #love Miami #so very #much. #I miss #all my #friends.

 

4) Don't say the word "Hashtag" please. It is not necessary (Watch Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon "Hashtag")

 

 

5) Avoid long hashtags. Keep it short and simple.

 

Example of a DON'T #ILoveMiamiBeachAndIMissMyFriends #IWantToGoBackToTheSand

 

6) Don't use spaces. If you want to write a SHORT hashtag (2-3 words) do not separate them, use capitals at the beginning of each word instead. It won't affect the search.

 

Example of a DO: #HelloMiami #ILoveYou #FunNight

 

7) No commas, period, exclamation points, question marks, apostrophes, asterisks, etc.

 

Example of a DON'T #ILoveMiami! #:) #Hello*

 

8 ) Do not hashtag the same word twice in a post. It won't make a difference.

 

Example of a DON'T: Hello #Miami I always wanted to come to #Miami during winter time. There is nothing like #Miami

 

Websites and the hashtag purposes

 

Each website uses "Hashtags" for different purposes.

 

1)   Twitter: Mainly use "#" to denote specific topics of conversations.

 

2)   Facebook: Clicking a hashtag on FB will take u to a list of posts containing the same hashtag. Not limited to the people you know.

 

3)   Instagram & Vine: Use hashtags to complement photos and help you discover new accounts or followers. Example #tbt to post retro pics. Tip: Accompany each pic or video with at least one hash tag to maximize shareability.

 

4)   Google+: When clicking a # on Google+, the search will include the original hashtag as well as posts with similar tags and keywords. It also gives you the option to search within Facebook or Twitter.

 

5)   Tumblr: Tumblr posts have a special tag section where you can enter tags. It organizes posts by topic. Hashtags included on the main body are not transformed to a link.

 

6)   Pinterest: It is used to mark and search for content. Clicking a "#" in a pin to navigate results that contain the exact hashtag plus pins with the same word or phrase in the description.

 

Related Blog  “Hashtag you’re it! An inference into the reason of its purpose

 

This website gives you the highest trend on Hashtag popularity.

Hashtag's gone wrong!