Sunday, 1 May 2016

How To Find The Right Influencers on Twitter

Influencer marketing isn’t complex. It’s applying the age old concept of having a brand ambassador on a micro level to your digital marketing. However, what's complex is finding the right influencers to target. In the age of content marketing, influencer-driven recommendations encourage purchases. Studies by McKinseyAugure, and many others agree. In this article, we take a look at how a marketer can find and engage with the right influencers.


For starters, you can find influencers by simply analyzing your Twitter or Facebook to see who engages with your content frequently and then assess mileage your brand would get out of a personal recommendation from them. While this can be a makeshift way of finding influencers, for larger brands that are serious about social media, a data-driven approach is essential.  
Unmetric Analyze allows you to sift through your hottest influencers so you can find the apt people to engage and boost your content with. Here is where and how you access that data on Unmetric Analyze.

Step 1. Head over to the Analyze Tab

Once you’ve logged into the Unmetric Analyze app, on the left top corner, click on the drop-down list and choose Twitter. Once the Twitter dashboard opens, click on the Analyze option.


If you already have brands chosen, click on the brand you want to find influencers for. If not click on the add brand button and with a simple search, add the brands you like.


Step 2. Under Account, click on Influencers   

Once you go to your brand’s Analyze page, in the left menu, under Account, you’ll see a menu option for Influencers. Click on it and this will open your list of influencers.


You can find the most important and largest Twitter accounts that have Mentioned or Retweeted you in the past. You can even click on the tweet number to see which tweet this was. This isn’t just a list of influencers that your brand can leverage, but since they’ve already engaged with your brand in the past, these are a list of qualified influencers that are more likely to endorse your brand message.

Step 3. Sift through & rearrange the results

Influencers are two types - those with the larger fan following, and those that might have a smaller following but are more frequent in sharing your content. Based on your campaign goals, using Unmetric, you can sort the influencer list by number of Followers or Tweets


What’s more? You can even export the data for easier access.


You can also change the time period to find seasonal influencers/ influencers that have endorsed your previous campaigns. Or you can even view your competitor brands' influencers and leverage that list to maximize on reach. And there you go! In just a few simple steps you can find a list of qualified influencers using Unmetric Analyze.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps

Facebook's actively encouraging its users to create more video content on its service, but creating compelling video content - whether live or pre-recorded - is perceived as a challenge by many business owners, especially SMBs, who typically lack marketing resources or access to agency talent.
Fortunately, Facebook has a tool called “Your Business Story” that lets SMBs create videos highlighting their unique selling propositions in a simple and effective way. The tool's easy to use, and the results  - while hardly Hollywood-grade - are attractive enough to convey an effective message.
We did a quick test of “Your Business Story” to see how much time was required to crank out a simple “Business Story” video. Fifteen minutes after we started, the video was on our Page, performing as well  - in fact better -– than much of the other content there.
Interested in doing the same? Just perform the following 6 steps:


Facebook will prompt you to log on if you’re not logged on already. You need to be an authorized Administrator for a Facebook page in order to proceed further. If you’re an Admin for more than one page, choose the page you want to create this business video for.
How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps | Social Media Today


Facebook “Business Story” videos are simple sequences that dissolve between images you upload. The tool lets you easily select and sequence your photos so that they provide the movement required to tell a story. If you haven’t yet uploaded 8 photos, Facebook will prompt you to do so.
Confirm your photo selections and proceed to the next page.
How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps | Social Media Today


Facebook only gives you 90 characters to express your business saga, so you’ll need to think carefully about a short statement that describes your business. Your 90 character statement will appear after Facebook’s canned text (“We’re in the business of…”), so choose a statement that makes sense in this context. Once you’re happy with this text, choose “Confirm Your Story.”
How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps | Social Media Today


You’re not going to find a lot of musical choices here, nor do you have any options to upload your own sound track. Your selections are limited to “rock”, “synth”, “electronica”, and “percussion", and all of the offered tracks sound pretty innocuous (which was probably Facebook’s intent). Still, they’re pretty adequate, especially for SMBs who don’t want to make profound statements.
How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps | Social Media Today


Facebook wants you to agree to some additional, boilerplate language beyond its standard TOS. These added terms grant it a worldwide, non-exclusive right to display your video around the world. Unless you have an objection to these terms, click “I Agree” and you’re done.
How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps | Social Media Today
Step 6: Wait about 10 minutes
Facebook processes these videos very quickly: our test video was live on the intended page within about 10 minutes. The video, when it appears, will be formatted in a square (1:1) aspect ratio – which is quickly becoming the standard aspect ratio for social video. You’ll also notice that Facebook has added a gentle, Ken Burns-like “zoom out” effect to your image sequence.
How to Create a Facebook Business Video in 6 Easy Steps | Social Media Today
Facebook’s Business video tool won’t please you if your business requires sophisticated video effects or custom audio. But for many SMBs – especially those who want to cultivate a homegrown, “authentic” feel, the attractive, albeit low-tech results are probably more than adequate. Yes, the music is a tad cheesy, but no more so than what you’d hear over the PA of a typical retail store. Best of all – and it’s an important consideration for budg­et-challenged SMBS – not a dime needs to be spent on production (provided that you have at least 8 good-looking photos). And equally important, you can be up and running in less than a quarter of an hour.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Working For You?

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Working For You?
Do you know why landing pages are such a crucial element to the success of an online business? A landing page, if crafted well, is a targeted message designed to educate a specific subset of your audience, and lead them further into your sales funnel.
You see, the best landing pages are completely in control of both the experience once you're there, and how you got there to begin with. Whether through a targeted ad or selective keyword usage, the landing page author had youin mind when the page was written, making it an effective tool for communication and persuasion.
Your LinkedIn profile is just another landing page.
Over the past 90 days, my LinkedIn profile has been viewed over 700 times, which ranks me in the top 6% of my peers, and these views have led to many more connections and interest in my business and activities.
Optimizing my profile has partly led to getting more views from interested peers and prospects, but it also helps to make that profile more effective in delivering the kind of message I want those viewers to see.
You see, unlike a lot of people using LinkedIn, I'm notlooking for a job. I already have a job. In fact, I have my own business, The Social Media Hat, and I'm the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. What I'm using LinkedIn for is networking with peers and connecting with prospects, which means my LinkedIn profile needs to do a better job of talking to thosepeople.
What do I mean by that?
Well, take your Experience section for example. this is the area within your LinkedIn profile where you talk about all your past jobs and positions. It's great, and it's interesting, and it's likely totally irrelevant to someone who might be interested in contracting your services or buying one of your products. They don't care who you were working for in 1995... they want to see that you have the skills and expertise to help them with their problems. Today.
Clearly, my past IT experience has little relevance to my current services.
So at a high level, that means we need to look at our profile as a prospect might, and make sure that we're doing as good a job as possible in talking directly to them.
Like I said before, think of your LinkedIn profile as just another landing page within your overall Marketing strategy. With, of course, a few unique strengths and challenges.
On the plus side, a great LinkedIn profile will stand out and rank well within LinkedIn for those who may be searching within the platform for someone with your skill set. This goes back to what I mentioned before... if you want hundreds of people viewing your profile every month, for the kinds of services and topics you're interested in, you're going to have to talk about those things on your profile, just like you'd optimize your website for your targeted keyword phrases.
If someone's looking within LinkedIn for a "Hootsuite Consultant" I want to make sure it's my profile that comes up as near the top as possible (and it's currently #1 for that phrase).
On the negative side, we're clearly constrained within the limitations imposed by LinkedIn. You can't put a call to action button in the sidebar, or change the color scheme to more closely match your branding. We have to work with what we're given.
And that's why I put together The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile. If you haven't read it and want the best possible LinkedIn profile possible, check it out. It walks you step-by-step how to optimize that profile, specifically for people who are looking to make sales, not get hired. And it gives you several different ways in which you can customize your profile so that it becomes a real asset to you and your business. There's also a checklist for you so that you can more easily go through all of the LinkedIn Profile Optimization steps.
So head over to The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile and bookmark it. Plan to spend a few hours initially getting your profile up to snuff, and then come back to the checklist once a month or so, just to get some reminders on how to keep your profile fresh. And plus, as LinkedIn changes or other techniques are discovered, the guide will be updated accordingly.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Great Debate: Does Social Media Engagement Matter?

Engagement has been a major piece of social marketing ever since we were tallying Likes, comments, and shares manually. It’s a staple because it’s a constant. It’s been what we could measure since social was new, so it became the baseline for our entire measurement practice.
But CMOs and business leaders don’t care about engagement. They care about overall results. Are we limiting ourselves as marketers by focusing so intently on it?
When I was a kid, I was an outfielder on our little league team. One weekend when our catcher was on vacation, our coach told me to gear up because I’d be playing catcher that day.
“But coach,” I protested. “I’m an outfielder!”
“No, you’re not,” he said. “You’re a baseball player.”
Turns out, I was way better as a catcher than I was as an outfielder, which I’d have never known if I hadn’t been forced out of my comfort zone. In the end, baseball wasn’t really my game at all so I became a sports writer instead, but the metaphor still works so stop judging me.

Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone

Social marketing is around the same age I was when I had that conversation with my coach.
We’ve gotten complacent with the role social plays, but only because we haven’t tried anything else, and today, I’d like to challenge you to think bigger. What other positions can social play?
Marketing is only successful when each channel fills a specific role, but when all channels share a common goal.
In baseball, the team in the field has a finite number of players, and a shared goal of getting three outs before the other team can score. There are dozens and dozens of ways to stop them from scoring, but only one end goal: a goose egg on the scoreboard. You do this by placing the players in strategic places that maximize your ability to reach that goal.
As a social marketer, do you know what your team’s end-goal is? Because this is where you need to start. Once you have that locked in, you can zero in on the ways to get there.

What Position Does Social Play on Your Team?

First of all, I apologize for the continued baseball metaphor…I’m really sticking with this one.
It’s important to identify where social can make the biggest impact for your team. How does your social media program support broader marketing goals, and how does it move potential customers from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next?
Social Metrics Map
The above map is something you’ll see constantly if you read the Simply Measured blog, and that’s because it’s central to our philosophy both as marketers, and also as an analytics software company.
Social media can drive engagement, but it can also drive awareness, sales, retention, and advocacy. It all depends on your industry, social strategy, and end goals.
By mapping your goals back to your KPIs, you may realize that engagement isn’t a proxy for success, and you may decide it is. Either way, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish before you can measure your progress.

The Case for Engagement

While the debate rages on over engagement, one thing is for sure; no other marketing channel has a metric like engagement. This is one of social media’s great powers.
Engagement gives us a stronger link to which content works, which resonates with our potential customers, and which doesn’t. While engagement may not correlate to conversions and direct ROI, it can provide support along the way.

When Is Engagement Valuable?

As you saw in the social metrics map above, engagement is valuable as a KPI in a couple of ways. Let’s stay within the context of the buyer’s journey:
  1. In the awareness phase, where impressions and reach are critical to spreading your message to potential buyers, engagement works as a secondary KPI, enabling greater reach.
  2. In the consideration phase, engagement is incredibly valuable. This is why so many brands use social for this purpose. When you want your audience to start thinking about your product as an option, social is a great way to get your message in front of them in an organic way. Engagement is the best KPI here because it lets you know that tactic is working, and you’re convincing people to take an action (even if it’s passive, like a “Like”) with your branded content.
  3. In the adoption phase, where the focus is on keeping customers, and keeping them happy. Social media can be a great tool to do this, by interacting in a more casual setting than the aisles of your store, chat window of your ecommerce site, or via email. Engagement with customers allows you to understand how happy they are, or how likely they are to churn and never buy from you again.
  4. In the advocacy phase, earned engagement can be a KPI you focus on. By identifying the earned mentions your brand is generating, you can measure and improve brand perception and affinity.
So, while engagement can’t be your sole metric, it can be valuable in many ways.
To go back to the baseball metaphor, if the goal is to stop a run from scoring, not every player will get the third out. Some may stop a base runner from stealing second, or hold the runner at third on a pop fly.
Social media is complex, and our activities as marketers can holistically support any stage of the buyer’s journey, as long as we have them playing the right position.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Is Snapchat Right For Your Business?

One of the biggest trends in social media right now is Snapchat. Everyone is talking about it. A lot of people are using it. You may even have an account or be using it for personal use. But how do you know if Snapchat is right for your business?
Well, in this blog post, I’ve got you covered! I’ve scoured my sources for the best details and information to both help you determine if Snapchat is right for you and also how to use it effectively if you decide to use it for your business.
Now, I should add a disclaimer her that I am NOT an active Snapchat user. I don’t even have a Snapchat account. And that’s for a variety of reasons. I may get an account in the future. I don’t know. But, I do know how social media works and I know how to find the best info to get you on the right path. So, here are links, information, and details to help you decide for yourself.
Now, of course, a lot of other people are using Snapchat. While the platform’s founder says he isn’t counting the number of monthly active users, he’s counting daily active users and puts that number at 100 million – a day! And he claims 65% of those users are posting photos or videos to their accounts. Those users are posting an average of 9000 posts per second!! That is a lot of content, and a lot of engagement.
So, who are all these people using Snapchat? Studies have shown that 73% of millennials (those aged 18-34) are using this platform. Yes, the demographic is heavily canted towards those 25 and younger. But, of course, as popularity grows, so do the demographics. You can expect to see a shift to more “adults” using the platform in the coming months and years.
One of the biggest distinguishing features about Snapchat is that the content is designed to self-destruct. Whether after viewing or after a certain time period, the post will no longer be available to view. Of course, the marketer in you is probably wondering how on Earth this is a viable marketing tool since we want all our content to last forever 😉 But we’ll get to that in just a minute…
As Snapchat has advanced, however (and recently released version 2.0), the disappearing content is no longer the big deal that distinguishes it from all other platforms. Instead, it’s becoming a platform that allows for all types of communication – from messages of any length, to audio, to video, to photos, to live chat, and more.
If you’re ready to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon, here is what you need to know to get started.

Setting Up Your Snapchat Account

If you are new to Snapchat and want to set up an account and get started, you can check out Snapchat’s own site for the best starting point. Choose the topic of choice from the left side menu to walk you through everything from setting up a new account to the intricacies of the platform.
In all my research, I found some really good articles that help give you insights into how to use the platform. I recommend you check these out if you’re new to Snapchat or want to figure out more about the platform:
I totally recommend you read those articles. But, for a quick synopsis of some key things to consider about setting up your account, here are my thoughts:
You cannot change your username after you set it. And if you delete your account, your username will not be available again. So make sure you pick the right username! If you’re going to use your account for business, don’t set up Snapchat with your personal name or some other weird username. Think strategically here!
It’s easy to add friends with multiple ways to connect with users. Of course, you’ve probably seen the yellow ghost cutout avatar all over social media. These are each user’s unique snapcode. When you’re in Snapchat, you can quickly scan someone’s snapcode and add them to your contacts – easy peasy! But a recommendation on this – be careful when uploading this snapcode to other platforms as your profile photo. If the platform crops your avatar to a circle (ie. Instagram), then it may (most likely will) cut off part of your snapcode, rendering it useless to you.
That being said, it’s not as easy to grow your audience on Snapchat as it is on other platforms. Due to the nature of the platform and the search functionality, people likely won’t find you unless they know about you. So make sure you capitalize on your existing audiences on other social media platforms, your email list, and other communities and let them know you’re now on Snapchat.
You can have individual snaps (photos or videos) or you can create stories (a series of snaps stitched together). You can add filters or text to your posts for a whole level of personalization you won’t find anywhere else. But this also makes it much more casual.
People on Snapchat are not there to linger. They’re easily bored and need constant activity. Don’t let your photos sit for more than a couple seconds and keep videos (cut off at 10 seconds) to something punchy and active. When stitching stories together, keep it quick and moving purposely.
Because the platform is so “hurried”, there is less of an expectation for perfect photos or well-formatted videos. It’s expected to be raw, real, and authentic. That being said, you still want to put your best foot forward. Try to get the best lighting, make sure your camera lens is clean, pick attractive backgrounds, and think about what else is in the frame. And, keep in mind, Instagram users used to be all about the “real” and now it’s all edited and leaning towards perfection, so chances are Snapchat will get to that point sometime too.
Yes, Snapchat is different from any other platform. Some people find it very difficult to grasp or understand or use conveniently. But, for those who do like it, they love it, and the features and use become natural to them. But because this platform is so different, this will also affect how you use it for business. So, I’ve rounded up my best advice for using this platform for your business.

Using Snapchat for Business

Now that you know what the platform is about, and how it works, the question is, how can you use it for your business? And should you?
Of course, you know I’m not about to tell you here and now if you should or shouldn’t use it. That’s not something I can determine without working with you directly. But here is some guidance…
Your audience may (or may not) be on Snapchat. The platform is growing and depending on your target audience, they may already be here. If they’re not, they may be soon. Much like we’ve seen with the growth on Instagram, just because they aren’t here now, doesn’t mean they won’t be in a few months or year. And getting in now, establishing a presence, and getting comfortable with the platform will make it much easier when your audience does get more active on this platform. There’s no time like the present!
And, because the platform is new and marketers haven’t “figured it out” yet (ie. how to game it to splash their message all over the place), if you can get on there, and use it appropriately to build your community, you will have a serious leg up on your competition.
Yes, at some point, we can all assume that this platform will go the way of every other platform, and introduce broadly accessible ad placement and revenue generating tactics (right now, the minimum ad budget on the platform is $100,000). So, having the audience and presence in place now will provide you with advantages when that time comes.
Of course, it’s hard for me to say you “have” to be here, even if your target audience is millennials. I don’t say you “have” to be anywhere (except maybe Facebook, but that’s another conversation). But if your target audience is active on Snapchat, it might be worth investigating.
Because of the unique engagement on this platform and the variety of communication methods, this can be a hard platform to navigate as a business. It’s not marketing as you are accustomed to and it’s unlike anything you will experience on other platforms. So you’ll have to think differently – and think about community building, not marketing.
You need to consider the atmosphere on Snapchat. People are having FUN. Goofing around, doing silly faces, making fun of themselves (have you seen some of these filters?!). So going on there all stiff, uber professional, or depressing or serious, is NOT going to connect with this audience. Take into account the platform and the best messages you can share in this context.
You also need to be prepared for engagement. Yes, people will respond and chat with you after you post. So be ready for them! Anticipate responses, questions, and reactions. And be available! Do NOT post and disappear.
Of course, as I always preach, you need a strategy! Do not go jumping on Snapchat, uploading a bunch of content, and wonder what might happen. No. Take the time to research the platform. Then determine how you will use it. How will it enhance your business? How often will you post? What will you post? Why are you posting? What are your expectations? All that good stuff and more needs to be determined BEFORE you start throwing stuff out there.
You should consider adding branded elements to your content. Think about color schemes, product placement, keywords in your videos, and other ways to make your brand stand out. Build all of this into your strategy so that there is cohesion no matter what you post.
Speaking of what to post, here are some ways you can use Snapchat in your business:
  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Ask questions of your audience
  • Offer a regular series to answer popular questions or address a current issue
  • Go behind-the-scenes of your business
  • Share insights into a live event
  • Create tutorials or tips
  • Share how-to content
  • Build anticipation for a new product or launch
  • Showcase your employees and/or their personalities
  • Share your thoughts and feedback on any topic related to your business
  • Host a contest
  • Exclusive discounts or promotions
  • Flash sales
You can (and should) branch into offering discounts or promotions, but understand that this platform isn’t all that easy to use this tactic. Whether requiring your audience to take a screenshot or remembering a code, you can get them to interact with a promotion but it requires more work on their end. So make the campaign worth it to see best results.
Think about your call-to-action. Like anywhere else, giving people a clear, direct message on what you want them to do is paramount to building the success of your business through Snapchat.
There aren’t any great metrics for you to measure the “success” of your campaigns or activity. You can see how many people viewed your stories, and how many took a screenshot, so you have those basic metrics. You can also measure the fall off rates in your stories (from one snap to the next) so you can see what’s working and/or where you’re losing people. This can help you to create better content and stories in the future, improving your interactions with your audience.
But you can’t see how many are following you, or compare following counts and vanity metrics like we see on every other platform. Is this good or bad? You can decide! But when you aren’t focusing on the vanity metric of followers, you can focus on creating the best content for your brand.
 As you can see, there is a lot to understand and a lot to adapt to if you plan to use Snapchat. Can it work? Sure! Plenty of businesses are using it successfully. But you will need to establish what “success” looks like to your business and have a healthy understanding of how you want to build your community through this platform. Explaining this concept to board members, owners, or clients may not be the easiest thing. Give it time and build it at a pace that works for everyone.
Are you using Snapchat? How are you measuring success and do you feel it’s working for your business? Join in the conversation in the comments below!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Solving the 10 Most Common Social Media Marketing Challenges

Today, there are 2.307 billion active social media users around the world. That’s nearly one-third of our planet’s total population of 7.125 billion!
As social media marketing professionals, we’re lucky to reach even .000001% of that population with any one of our posts. This can feel a bit underwhelming for businesses and marketers looking to demonstrate the true value and ROI of social media.
Everywhere we look it appears that brands and companies have it all figured outon social media. With each new post to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter comes thousands of likes, comments, and shares.
Even Grumpy Cat has earned more than $100 million dollars since 2012!
This leaves the rest of us wondering, “What are we not doing right on social media?”
We’ve experimented, made mistakes, and even learned a little bit in the process. From that, we’ve put together a playbook on solving the 10 most common social media marketing challenges.
social media challenges, social media
Let’s jump in!

1. Authentic connection with the audience

We’ve been seeing a massive shift in what it means to be effective on social media over the last few years. One challenge that marketers are facing in this new era of social media marketing is connecting with audiences on an individual and personal level.
Connecting with your audience helps to humanize your brand and build real, authentic relationships.

Solving this challenge: 

Connect with your audience by utilizing free or low-cost brand monitoring tools such as RespondMention, or TweetDeck and respond to every single comment on Twitter.
Monitor all additional social media channels and respond to each comment in an authentic way. You can do this by asking questions, linking to other blog posts, providing insights, or offering help with a problem.
You may also consider creating and growing a niche forum or group on Facebook or LinkedIn, or even creating your own dedicated community site similar to or GrowthHackers – this gives you the opportunity to engage with users as well as let them indulge their passions and connect with like-minded people., Inbound marketing, brand monitoring, brands, social media, marketing

2. Creating a social media marketing strategy

You may know what you want to accomplish and why, but without a social media marketing strategy, you won’t have a specific plan on how to get there.
Think of your social media plan as a roadmap to your goals – Sure, you can stop off and check out landmarks along the way (experimentation), but you’ll want to return to the road that gets you to your destination in the shortest time and distance (goals).

Solving this challenge: 

Creating a solid social media marketing strategy doesn’t have to take weeks to put together. For me, it helps to have 3 key things written down on paper:
  • Why we’re on social: Simply being active of social media channels for the sake of being there is one of the quickest ways to burn valuable time and resources. First, answer the question of ‘why’  your business is on social and what you would like to accomplish.
  • How we’re going to succeed: Next is to ask the question of how. This can be specific social channels, paid advertising budget, video or image creation, partnering with influencers.
  • How we’ll measure success: Key Metrics, Goals or OKRs that you would like to accomplish broken down into days, weeks, months, and the year. Breaking it down like this will allow you to focus on day-to-day activities while also keeping the big picture in mind.
Social media marketing, social media plan, social media strategy, social media roadmap

3. A dramatic drop in organic reach

What worked in 2012 when organic reach on social was booming vs. what’s working now with the decline of organic reach has many social media managers scrambling to find tactics that work, including myself.
If growing your organic reach doesn’t seem to be working, there may be another solution.Organic Reach, Facebook, Facebook ReachSolving this challenge: 
Marketers can overcome this obstacle by looking at the decline of organic reach as an opportunity in disguise. That opportunity is paid social media advertising.
Even if you only have $5 to spend on boosting a Facebook post or promoting a Tweet, putting a few dollars behind the content you’ve worked hard to create will effectively get that content in front of hundreds potential customers. Look for posts with high engagement but low reach as a good barometer for potential success.
Use a combination of Facebook Audience Insights and Twitter Audience Insights to learn about your audience and create personas. Once you have an idea of who they are, use those insights to create highly-targeted ads that will resonate with users.

4. Coming up with consistently good content

We completely understand. Managing social media is extremely time-consuming, and can become a full-time job. Which is why staying creative and original is one of the toughest social media marketing challenges to overcome.
The social media manager checklist seems to go on forever: curate, create, schedule, monitor, respond, update, and reuse content across several different social profiles.
That’s why it’s important for social media marketers to find little hacks to optimize their time.

Solving this challenge: 

Besides basic content curation and idea generation tactics like monitoring Facebook pages or scouring Buzzsumo and Quora for content, there are other less time-consuming tactics you can experiment with today.
Openness & Transparency: Some of our most popular content and social media posts are ones that feature an inside look into Buffer’s culture.
People love knowing that there is a “real person” behind the social media profile and by giving them a look into your company or brand you will evoke real human interaction.
Original graphics: We’ve also generated some excellent buzz by creating original graphics in Pablo or Canva and posting them to our social channels. This image, for example, received more than 100 retweets on our Twitter account in less than an hour.
To create it, we pulled stats from around the web and put them into a simple graphic, which only took about 30 minutes to create.
Startup Marketing, Marketing Channels, startups, marketing

5. Content quantity over quality

For some brands, the way to cut through all of the noise on social media is to simply post more. While this tactic may work for some, for many it has the tendency to irritate followers.
The Next Web posts 30-40 times per day on Facebook due to the high amount of new content they’re putting out online. But many businesses who are creating less content may struggle to show value from more frequent posting.

Solving this challenge: 

An excellent way to think about the quantity vs. quality is to treat every piece of content—every tweet, every Facebook post, every CTA, every press outreach email—with the utmost care, as Leo explains in our Buffer marketing manifesto.
People will naturally follow your brand over time from posting great content, not posting more content.
Marketers can benefit from embracing the “everything matters” mentality when generating content for their blog, graphics for social media, and forums for connecting.

6. Getting content to a large social audience

Now that you have all of this great content for your blog and social media channels, people will surely follow, right?
As marketers know, this isn’t always the case. Promoting content, partnering with brands and influencers, and capturing audiences’ attention is a whole new social media challenge in itself.
The encouraging news is that if your content is enjoyed by a few people on your blog, then the chances are that people on social media will enjoy it as well. The challenge is getting it to those people.

Solving this challenge:

Just like in investing, the “Compound Effect” is a powerful idea that works with social media promotion as well.
Let’s say every one person on Twitter has 100 friends that follow them, and those 100 friends have 100 friends that follow them. Even if only 5% of the total friends share your content, that’s still a massive amount of shares and impressions.
The key is not to sit back and hope that people share your content, but toactively seek out people that you know will benefit from it. A few ideas to get you started:
  • Email your friends, family, and coworkers
  • Direct message influencers–in a genuine way–on social media
  • Join LinkedIn groups or online forums in your niche market
  • Syndicate your content (A complete guide from Neil Patel)
  • Republish content to Medium
  • Ask questions and respond to comments on Quora
Promoting Content, social compound effect, social media, marketing

7. Finding ways to encourage sharing on social

One thing that is particularly challenging on social media is finding ways to avoid what I like to call a “creative rut.” A creative rut is when social media managers find a tactic that works a few times and then continually go back to them over and over, even though the results may be even or declining.
Only posting blog links on Facebook, quotes on Instagram, or links to your own articles on Twitter are examples of content that is good, but could maybe use a creative boost.

Solving this challenge: 

Think “share first” by getting inside the mind of your audience. Before posting ask, “Is this something that I would like, comment on, read, or share on social media?” If the answer is “no” that may be a sign to look for other types of content.
The New York Times once published an excellent study on the psychology of sharing. It boiled down to the fact that sharing on social media is all about relationships. The study indicated that 49% of respondents said they share to bring valuable and entertaining content to others.
Jeff Bullas shared an excellent list of 10 ways to create contagious content with some fun ideas including:
  • Telling Great Stories
  • Making Your Audience Look Smart & Classy
  • Using Emotional Appeal
Social Media, Emotional Appeal, Social, Marketing

8. Using data to back intuition

How many of us wing it when tracking data in order to guide our social media strategy? I know I’ve been guilty of this a few times!
Previously, social media data was hard to access, difficult to understand, and seemingly useless. But these days, there are so many amazing tools out there that accessing data is a must-do for marketers looking to take their social to the next level.

Solving this challenge: 

Start by creating a simple Excel spreadsheet with each of the social media channels that you’re managing on the left and the most important stats you would like to track across the top.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the sheet I use: (Download the full Social Media Metrics Dashboard):
social media data, social tracking, social media
Tracking metrics week-to-week and month-to-month helps me to visualize if my intuition is working. That way I can quickly implement experiments, track the data, and pivot to another tactic if things aren’t on the rise.
Check out the entire Buffer Social Media Strategy to see how we pulled the data from each network so that you can start tracking your own.

9. Creating quality visuals and graphics

Visuals and graphics are the second most important factor for success on social media right behind the quality content. But creating quality visuals and graphics are another challenge on their own, regarding skill level and time it takes to create them.
Seeing as how visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, there’s never been a better time to invest in visuals of your own.

Solving this challenge:

Two of our favorite go-to sources of great visuals are high-quality stock photos and original images created by our team.
For high-quality stock photos, we’ve put together a massive list of 53+ free image sources. For original images, we suggest either Pablo or Canva. Each is fun, easy to use, and allow marketers to customize each image size based on the targeted social media channel.
A few design rules of thumb:
  • Avoid overused stock photos
  • Ensure each image is properly sized for specific networks
  • Use best-practices with text overlay
  • Design with consistent brand colors, palettes, and logos
Visual Content, visuals, graphics, social media

10. Focusing on the things that matter most

A common thought in the social media sphere is that there’s a silver bullet of growth and engagement. The truth is that it takes a lot of work to create a community of engaged followers and brand advocates.
Growth and engagement are a result of a variety of factors, but figuring out which activities to focus on is an important challenge in social media marketing.

Solving this challenge:

When putting first things first, it’s helpful for me to refer to Brian Balfour’sGrowth Machine. Brian points out that a lot of marketers focus on tactics first, rather than creating a growth process.
Tactics first is putting the cart before the horse.  You need a process that will help you build a scalable, predictable, and repeatable growth machine.
 Brian Balfour
The most important part is having one growth process and sticking to it no matter what.
Know your channels, your audience, and your market inside and out and make strategic experiment decisions based on those learnings. Doing so will help to focus on the things that matter most.
Growth Machine, Brian Balfour Growth Machine, Brian Balfour, social media growth

Over to you!

Thanks for reading! What challenges do you often face when it comes to social media? We’d love to hear from you below!