Competitive Benchmarking on Social Media

What can you learn from your competitors social media strategy - competitive benchmarking

 

What can you learn from your competitor’s social media strategy?

 

It’s a fact – everyone is scared of their competitors. Whether you voice it out or not, it happens to all of us, especially when it comes to business. You always want to do better than your competitors – better sales, better customer service, better quality products, services and better marketing. Even if you’re not scared, your competitors and other industry top leaders are a huge asset, and many brands & agencies are not taking advantage of the example some competitors set.

When you’re thinking of ways to do better, to optimize your social media strategy, to impress your clients or to finally create that one post that goes viral, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Someone is already doing better than you, so go ahead: be bold and spy a little – there are endless opportunities out there, ready to be discovered.

This is why competitive benchmarking, or monitoring your direct competitors to set up goals and guidelines for your performance and growth, is an important aspect of any business, especially when it comes to social media. You have direct access to all public social media profiles & pages. And with the right tools, you can even analyse those pages and get some extremely useful insights from them.

Monitoring and analysing your competitors’ social media can be taxing and time-consuming if you don’t know the right resources. There are many social media analysis tools out there that can help you with such research so that you don’t waste too much time and effort evaluating everything manually yourself. So, instead of going through each brand and each one of their social media channel, page by page, you should use a tool which will give you clear, summarized reports for each brand you insert.

You want to be able to optimize your social media strategy and beat the competition, and learning about your competitors’ strategy is the way to do it.

 

The social metrics your clients & boss want to see, but don’t know to ask for

 

Who

Competitor Report - who's the real social media competitor

 

Who are the real competitors? The ones on social media might actually differ from the ones in real life. By comparing your social media performance to that of your competitors and other similar brands might reveal some surprising companies you weren’t even considering as competitors before. Some small brands with a strong social media presence and community can easily take on bigger industry leaders when it comes to growth and engagement. Watch out!

 

Where

 

Which social media networks do your competitors use, and how are they helping them? They might be using Twitter and Facebook and be successful at that, while ignoring LinkedIn and Google+. Finding this out will help you to see if their chosen networks have been working for them and if so, how well has their presence been established on these networks. Are they strong somewhere you’re not present? Consider adding more social media channels to your strategy, if it seems that there’s a lot of conversation and many engaged followers you’re missing out on.

 

What

Best performing posts - tips

Learning how your competitors position themselves is important because this is what guides the voice and tone they use. Are they formal, cheeky or fun? Do they sometimes make fun of themselves? Has one of their posts gone viral? Sometimes the best tips are right in front of our eyes. Don’t be shy and take inspiration from the ideas that have worked for your competition. Use them as a guideline for some new content, but just make sure not to copy.

 

When

Comparison - best time to publish - Social media report by Allin1Social

 

Monitoring your competitors also means you know when they are posting, and which times are best in terms of engagement. You can actually find out detailed insights when and how often other brands publish posts, on which days of the week or hours of the day, and how you compare against them. Is there a day when others have a high peak on engagement? Should you try starting to compete for that attention? All these insights can inspire you into changing your own publishing routine and could increase your engagement.

 

How

 

Many of the insights are extremely useful, whether you’re just trying to find a way to improve your own social media strategy, to get inspiration for new content ideas, or if you’re conducting a more thorough social media analysis. A competitor overview often surprises clients when you’re pitching for new business opportunities, or just want to impress the brands you’re managing their social media for. Competitor monitoring can offer endless business development opportunities – it’s up to you to start tracking and to utilize the information in the best possible way!

 

What else have you learned from your competitors? Which tools have you found helpful? We’d love to hear from you!

You can try Allin1Social’s Benchmark Reports right away, by signing up!

5 Struggles When Managing Multiple Social Media Clients

Manage multiple social media clients like a pro

 

Social media management is messy. When you manage social media for several brands and clients, things get even messier – so many channels, accounts, platforms, posts, image specs and length restrictions to keep in mind.

One of the key skills that agencies and social media professionals managing multiple client’s social presence are required to have is time management. Allocating time for each client’s social activities is essential, so each account gets the attention it deserves. However, you also need to be careful when switching from one client to another: each one has a different audience, tone of voice and identity. Getting confused and mixing things up in the process could be extremely dangerous, both for you and for the client.

Everyone has their own way to organize their day and mind around the thousands of tasks to do, but here’s a checklist with some useful tips on how to handle the main struggles – assuming you have your strategy & content calendar all figured out already, of course.

Main struggles when managing multiple social media clients – and how to handle them like a pro

 

1. Time-consuming and messy reporting & analytics

Most social media agencies are expected to send weekly, monthly and yearly reports to their clients. When reporting, it’s important to break down the data and stats in a way that your clients can understand them easily. One client may prefer beautiful graphs, while another wants clean excels with just numbers. Stats may include clicks, followers, traffic, engagement rate, ROI, etc. But most of all, they should focus on real results and highlight the results that are important to your clients based on what theirs goals and objectives are. Your reports should also highlight growth by comparing current status to a previous period.

Reporting for multiple clients that have multiple channels can take up a huge chunk of your time. Using each social media channel’s own reporting is time-consuming, and the reports show very different metrics and look completely different too. That’s why you should invest in a good social media reporting tool that helps by dividing your clients into separate accounts and views, and lets you manage multiple channels on one single dashboard. This way also reporting can be easily automated and done simultaneously for several channels, and sent to your clients for a review in no time.

Competitor report - engagement - Allin1Social

Professional reports look good and can be customized with e.g. your client’s logo & and the desired metrics. This means you don’t need to manually work with Excel and PowerPoint to unify the files you’ll send out to the client. Click, click, download and forward – it doesn’t get much easier than that.

 

2.Lack of Social Media Policy

Do your best to avoid common mistakes  that sometimes happen when brands  work with external partners and social media agencies: slow response time, inaccurate information when replying to questions and comments and inappropriate messaging are just a few of them.

Establishing a protocol as to how fast to respond, when you will respond to a message or comment directly and when you should ask for approval first, etc. will help to avoid these blunders. A good social media management platform will have a social media team feature, which allows you to get notifications for comments, assign tasks, add notes and set access levels so that the social media team leader stays in control on everything that’s being published – this way all issues should be easily avoided completely.

 

3. Little communication with the client

Keeping updated or communicating regularly with each of your clients helps you learn about the latest news and happenings in their businesses. These could include upcoming events, new product launches, change of target audience, new goals and anything in between.  In turn, it helps you adjust your strategy and stay relevant. It’s also good to keep an open relationship with your client that goes beyond just social media reporting. After all, we’re all human and a genuine relationship will benefit both parties in many ways, from direct feedback to a more honest communication and a better business relationship.

 

4. Multiple everything means messy organization

So many brands and clients, all with different channels and login passwords, can cause a real digital chaos if you don’t stay organized.  Social media management platforms let you log into multiple channels at once, and help even further by dividing your clients into separate accounts and views, so that you can effectively manage multiple channels on one single dashboard. On top of that, you also get a lot of other useful features like analytics, post scheduling and reporting, which enhances your efficiency even further. This is not just ideal, but an obligatory tool for agencies managing multiple clients. The only way to stay in control, is to create organization with a help of a dashboard divided by client, channels and social media team. Tame that chaos!

Social Media Team Settings

 

5. Losing the brand voice

Once you’ve identified your client’s brand voice, make sure to stay consistent across all channels and campaigns. Not only that, but you also have to maintain a consistent brand image including tone of voice, images and hashtags. Make a mental note every time you switch over from one client to another – you need to adapt a different brand identity and think and act like the brand you’re talking about every time you switch over. Double-check every word and image before hitting that “publish” button. The little details can end up making the difference.

 

 

Overall, it comes down to being organized and working as efficiently as possible with the help of a good social media tool, and in maintaining a good, open relationship with all your clients. That’s all social media and communication are about, don’t you think?

 

How are you handling multiple clients’ social media management? Do you have some other struggles you keep encountering daily?

Best of Social Media Marketing in December 2015

The Best of Social Media Marketing in December 2015

Yet another month (and a whole year!) full of social media marketing news and campaigns is over. Here’s a look at the best of December, before switching focus on to 2016.

 

Social Media Marketing News to Read

 

Twitter is Testing a Non-chronological Timeline

Twitter’s strong point has always been its short updates, always in a reversed chronological order, so that it’s easy for people to read the latest news and messages from the accounts they choose to follow. The platform is, however, now trying out a way to bring the most relevant posts to people’s timelines first. This means moving away from the chronological order, and taking inspiration from Facebook’s “Top Stories” organization style. Some Twitter users seem upset, while others feel that they are finally getting some clarity to the chaos that following several hundreds of accounts can cause to a timeline.  Read the article

 

Linkedin Completely Renewed its Mobile App

To borrow the words of the official announcement: “Our New Linkedin App is here! Making it easier than ever to stay in touch with the people and information you need to be successful”. It’s a pretty bold statement to make, but maybe it’s true? The whole app has been entirely re-built. It should now be easier to start conversations with people (forget having to send an email), navigate between groups and to keep your professional brand updated. We’re sure that LinkedIn hasn’t shown it’s full potential yet, when it comes to marketing opportunities and social selling, so this is an important step forward.  Read the article

 

Infographic: 2016 Social Media Trends

We’ve already talked about the biggest digital marketing trends according to top social media influencers, but as we know, the predictions are as many as are the marketers writing them. Here’s an interesting infographic showing five social media trends for the new year, put together by CJG Digital Marketing. What do you think, who’s nailed the most important trends for 2016?  Read the article

 

Social Media Campaigns to be Inspired by

 

 

5 Brands that Used the Force of Star Wars on Twitter – Different brands 

The world seemed to go crazy a few weeks ago, when the new Star Wars Movie premiered. Many brands tried to get their share of the buzz by using the theme in their advertising and communication. Some did well, some not so much. Here’s a great list of five brands that used Twitter to share their Star Wars themed ideas.  See the campaigns

 

Burger King’s New Burger Doesn’t Fit in One Social Platform –  Buzzman, France

Yet another innovative and fun multi-channel campaign from the French agency, Buzzman.  They found a clever way to utilize all Burger King’s social media channels to highlight the big size of the new burger the company launched in France. The burgers are so long, that they just don’t fit in one single social media platform, but the ads take you through all of them to get the full picture. See the campaign

 

The 30 Most Brilliant Social Media Campaigns of 2015 – Different brands

Social Media offers so many opportunities for brands that it might get confusing to choose what to do next. It’s always a good idea to look around for some inspiration and new ideas. Here’s a great overview of some of the best social media campaigns of 2015. Be inspired!  See the campaigns

 

What were you inspired by last month or last year overall? We’d love to hear your favorites from the digital world.

Read more about the Best of Social Media Marketing in November 2015 here.

Avoid these Holiday Marketing Mistakes

[Download the complete Social Media Guide in the end of the article: What NOT to do this year – Avoid these social media strategy mistakes on Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day]

Holiday Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

 

Holiday Social Media Marketing is hectic. We haven’t even gotten over Thanksgiving and Black Friday yet, but must be looking ahead for the next holidays already. How about Christmas & New Year’s marketing strategy? Let alone Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year.

One thing we should all do, is to really look back at the previous performance and learn from our past mistakes. What was our worst performing post last year? Which social media channel created least engagement?

There are some holiday marketing mistakes every social media manager should avoid this year, in order to have a well-performing, optimized strategy.

 

Make sure NOT to make these social media strategy mistakes:

 

Forget targeting

 

Don’t forget to pay attention to targeting: Christmas is not celebrated in many parts of the world, so specific holiday posts should only be published in the correct target areas. Remember to provide other relevant content for the non-festive areas as well.

Use Audience insights to define your audience segments and target your posts accordingly. Are your biggest audience segments in South America or Europe? Women or men? Create different tips for different audiences to maximize engagement.

 

Ignore your mobile pages

 

Do not skip optimizing for mobile. A large percentage of people  browse via mobile and tablets, especially during the holiday rush. Check to make sure your conversion scripts are properly tracked and your mobile landing pages and images are visualised correctly.

 

Use the same images on every channel

 

Staying visual and including images is essential for any social media channel now, even Twitter. Stay professional and make sure you images are correctly sized for different channels to avoid blurry pictures or weird cuts.

Check this Infographic to see the correct image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin and YouTube. Use Canva or another free design tool to create beautiful and original visuals for your posts.

 

 

Optimize your Holiday Marketing this year and use the tips on our Social Media Guide, prepared by real digital experts, to make sure you won’t make the typical social media strategy mistakes over the holidays.

Holiday Checklist for Social Media Managers

Download the Complete Free Holiday Guide for Social Media Marketers, including a real checklist and a holiday calendar with content & strategy tips to guarantee a successful holiday period.

Holiday marketing, if done well, can maximize your results!

Download the guide

How to nail a Social Media Pitch

Nailing a Social Media Sales Pitch

 

First things first: there really isn’t a 100% correct way of nailing a social media sales pitch. Every prospective client who wants to work with you is different, and the best way to approach them and convince them you’re perfect for the job, is never the same.

Of course, we at Allin1Social understand that, which is why we’re giving you some of our best tips on what to do to nail that social media sales pitch, and how we can help you do that.

 

1. UNDERSTAND YOUR PROSPECTIVE CLIENT & THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA

 

It is always important to understand your prospective client and what they are like with social media. By this, we mean getting down to the basics. What does your prospective client understand about social media? Do they know the differences between Pinterest and Instagram? Are they just following the crowd or have they tried to do something original with their own social media channels?

From there, you’ll understand why they chose the channels they did, the reasons behind their current social media goals and what they were have been trying to achieve through social media.

This will help inform your research and create a better insight into what you can offer to your prospective client. You should also review what they are trying to do with their website, so that you understand more about them and are prepared to share your findings and your recommendations on what their goals should be. So take your time going through their website and social media channels – this is a crucial step in getting your facts right to be able to start working towards a digital strategy that’s based on real data.

 

2. CONDUCT A 360° SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYSIS 

 

Social Media Comparison Report - content type - Allin1Social

By 360, we truly mean 360! You will need to do an all-round social media situational analysis for your prospective client in order to get a complete understanding of them and their social media. Yes, this calls for in-depth social media research.

Gathering such research is, without a doubt, time-consuming but there are many tools out there that can help you with this. Our expertise in social media reporting means we know what you are looking for when it comes to an all-in-one social media analysis. We built our reporting platform to ensure you get a full social media performance analysis at the click of your fingers, or mouse.

(To know more, check out the different types of reports and benchmark analyses Allin1Social can help you with.)

 

Why do you need such research?

 

Competitor report - engagement - Allin1Social

 

You want to ensure that you know what your prospective client’s social media performance is like right now, and more importantly, what their competitors are doing. How does your prospective client benchmark against their competitors? Who has the best strategy? What is working for them and what is not? Where are your clients posting and when? What are they doing differently than the rest of the industry?

Knowing what your client does and what your client’s competitors do is important to understand what their target audience wants, so that you can understand how to get more customer engagement, which can ultimately translate into more sales.

 

How to get all the facts & stats?

 

You might be surprised to see how many statistics and insights your prospective client, and maybe even you, never knew about. Instead of spending hours on different social media channels, a social media reporting platform can make your life a whole lot easier because you can get all the reports you want at the click of a mouse. You can find out the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ of all social media actions of your prospective client, and their competitors. This will help you to draw insights that you can then present, all of which are backed up with proper social media analytics so you can prove your point.

Industry comparison - engagement - Allin1Social

 

The main point is to wow your prospective client at your social media sales pitch by showing them how well you know their industry, their positioning against their competitors and their own performance statistics.

This is the moment to really win them over and to prove that you’ve done your homework; that you know a lot about your prospective client and their social media presence and perfomance, and that you are a dedicated collaborator and contributor even before you nail the job.

 

3. USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTISE TO PLAN A WINNING STRATEGY

 

Now that you understand your prospective client and their social media, and you have done your 360 social media situational analysis, it’s time to get cracking on what recommendations you can give and the strategy and campaigns you can plan.

These recommendations can make or break your pitch presentation, simply because once you wow them with research and figures, you need to continue that wow by showing them why you are the expert they should work with. Most of the time, your prospective client may not be an expert in social media. This is where you come in: to tell them what they are missing out on and what they can do better. It could be anything from the voice of their social media posts to joining some new social media channels they might have not considered before (Pinterest? Snapchat? Or if they’re targeting Chinese customers in particular, maybe WeChat?).

But most of all, you need to create a creative, well-planned strategy /campaign – whatever it is you are pitching for. Use the detailed insights you have in your advantage. You now know what has been working well for the prospective client in the past, and what not. This information will help you plan a rocking strategy to present.

Comparison - best time to publish - Social media report by Allin1Social

Have a think about how you can best use your expertise to enhance what the prospective client has been doing after all the research that you have done. You want to include all of this in your pitch, and you also want to assure your prospective client that you have social media monitoring built into the strategy you’re planning, and that you have chosen the right tools to help you.

 

4. NOW GO ROCK THAT SOCIAL MEDIA PITCH! 

 

So you’ve done your research, created your strategy and slides and you know the data you have to present. Next, take a deep breath and go ROCK that social media pitch. The amount of detailed data that you have, if you did your research well, is going to blow your prospective client’s mind and get you the job. Good luck!

Social Media Marketing Trends in 2016

2016 Social Media Marketing Trends (1)

 

Biggest Digital Marketing Trends in 2016  according to Top Social Media Influencers

 

2016 is right around the corner and marketing managers are busy finishing up their marketing strategies and plans for the new year.

Or  wait, you’re not sure what to focus on yet? No worries. Allin1Social made a bit of research and interviewed some of the top social media influencers to learn what they think will be the biggest marketing trends for next year.

One thing is obvious: Live video and other visual messaging will have the spotlight in 2016.  Without further ado..

 

The predictions for Social Media Marketing Trends in 2016, according to the top influencers of the social media industry

 

Jenn Herman - Jenn's trends (1)

 

Jenn Herman

Social Media Marketing Expert

Live Streaming

 

“I honestly believe we’ll see an even bigger transition to live streaming tools like Periscope and Blab in 2016. But beyond just the live streaming feature, people will gravitate towards the tools that promote community development and unique ways to connect with their audiences. More and more, people are expecting responsiveness and transparency from companies of all sizes and it will be tools like these that will facilitate this in 2016.”

www.jennstrends.com

 

Dustin W. Stout

 

Dustin W. Stout

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Designer

Visual Content

 

“One of the biggest social media marketing trends I see coming in 2016 is an evolution of visual content. For years now I’ve been teaching people the importance of using visuals in their digital marketing and it’s finally gotten to a point of saturation. Visual content is everywhere. So now it’s not just a matter of having visual content integrated into your digital marketing efforts, but having GOOD, EYE-CATCHING visuals. You will need to have visual content that immediately stands out amongst the rest. The best way to do this?

– Animated GIFs

– Auto-play video

Facebook has seen hugely positive results with auto-play videos and more recently Twitter has as well. And while GIFs have been the norm on sites such as Google+, Tumblr and Twitter it would seem that Facebook is finally catching up and realizing how powerful a moving visual can be.  Movement captures the eye right away and will be one way savvy social media marketers will capture more attention in 2016.”

http://dustn.tv

 

Andrea Vahl

 

Andrea Vahl

Social Media Coach, Speaker & Strategist

Streaming Video

 

“The biggest trend for 2016 will be live streaming video.  Platforms like Blab, Periscope and Meerkat are pushing this new swing towards live streaming and it’s been growing steadily in the later part of 2015.  The content is interactive and fun.  Facebook will probably open up their Live Streaming video to more users to keep pace.  I’ve been really enjoying the new Blab platform and I think even more developers will come into this space to bring different ways to use live streaming socially.  Exciting times!”

www.andreavahl.com

 

Ian Cleary - RazorSocial

 

Ian Cleary

Social Media Tool Expert

Social Selling

 

“Next year, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms will have a ‘buy’ button. It may be suited more towards low-value transactions but it makes perfect sense. Imagine a friend sharing a review of a book (shared as a Twitter card that contains the image of the book, summary of the review, etc.). You see it, you click ‘buy’ and purchase the book without leaving Twitter. You’re on LinkedIn and you’re impressed with a consultant. You click a ‘hire me now’ button and transact within LinkedIn. It’s coming.

But what’s also coming is that social media and content marketing people will understand the importance of building sales funnels. Internet marketers know how to build online sales funnels. Traditional social media and content marketers don’t. If you don’t have the software, you’ll need the skills. You can sell on social media. There will be more selling on social media.”

www.razorsocial.com 

 

Melissa Lee - 77Agency

Melissa Lee

Head of Product at 77Agency

Native Advertising

 

“Content marketing is making a comeback – and this time in synergy with native advertising. David Ogilvy emphasized its importance from way back in the 60s, but somehow along the way it got sidelined whilst marketers were more keen on quicker wins that came from direct ads. It is no surprise that today, 70% of individuals want to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising. Also, the average time spent on a native ad is 3.2s vs 0.9s on display banner ads. The increasing effectiveness and growth of promoted posts, tweets and pins from social networks also means that consumers will have higher expectations for quality content in non-intrusive seamless browsing experiences.”

www.77agency.com

 

 

Seems like 2016 will be the year of video and live streaming, and most of all, the big coming of social selling.

Make sure you have your social media strategy ready, and don’t forget to include the possible trends in your plan to stay on top of the latest updates of the industry.

What do you think about these predictions? Do you have something you would add to the list?

Secret Routines of a Successful Social Media Manager

Secret Routines of a Successful Social Media Manager

 

Follow these 12 routines to effectively manage your social media every day

 

Businesses are spending more and more time and money on their social marketing activities – and as cliché as it sounds, time is money.

The responsibilities of social media managers are expanding with every new social media channel and activity that comes along. The daily tasks range from complex ones like researching for new topics, creating content and checking statistics for reporting, to easy ones like publishing posts and replying to questions and comments.

Besides, how much time you spend on social media depends on whether you’re doing it full time or part-time.  But whatever your role might be, the goal is to minimize the time spent and to maximize your outcomes, by doing more of what is more important and spending less time on the things that can be automated.

To keep up with your workload and to efficiently keep all your different social media channels up-to-date, your daily routine should include some or all of these tasks to guarantee effective social media management.

 

1.     Identify Your MITs

 

Your MITs – Most Important Tasks – are tasks that, if you focus on them, will bring you the most outcomes. You should figure out which specific tasks and which social platforms are working well for you, and focus your biggest efforts on them. One way to do this is to look at your social media statistics and Google Analytics to identify what type of posts and which channels are bringing you the most traffic, best engagement and most qualified leads. These are the channels and activities you should put most effort in also in the future to increase your ROI.

Which brings us onto the next point…

 

2.     ‘Eat that Frog’ First

 

Being able to focus on your MITs will lead to a more productive daily routine and a less busy working schedule. And tackling those tasks the first thing in the morning, or as time management experts put it, ‘eating the frog’ first, will boost your productivity even further.

Did you know that the inspiration for the ‘eat that frog’ mantra is a quote by Mark Twain, “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

 

3.     Stay Up-to-date

 

No other industry than social media is changing daily – there’s always a new trend, a best practice or a tool to learn about. To avoid spending hours of your day reading articles, news and browsing through blogs, subscribe to a few good industry newsletters and have all the most important news delivered directly to your inbox. Start from our list of  Top 10 Social Media Blogs Allin1Social recommends to follow daily.

 

4.     Optimize your Posts

 

To make your social media marketing more impactful, you have to make the posts you publish each day count. And for that, it’s important to know to tell your story, or craft your messages in a way to increase your engagement and reach.

Social media experts swear that including visual content in your posts boosts engagement. You can also run contents, or offer giveaways to engage even more people. Keeping your goal in mind and adding personalized content to the mix are other keys to increase engagement and make your social initiatives more effective.

Also, don’t forget to check your stats. When you learn what types of posts have been performing well in the past and on which channel, you can focus on them also in the future and increase your engagement even further. Link posts for Facebook and Image posts for Twitter? Ok, let’s include that in the content plan!

 

5.     Plan and Schedule

 

Once you know how to craft your social media messages, planning ahead is essential. To do this, you need to know:

  • How often and at what time of the week and day you want to post on each of your social channels
  • What type of content you plan to publish: Images, videos, photos, links, infographics, etc.
  • In which proportions you intend to publish which type of content, whether that’s your own content, curated content, contests, offers, etc.

To make this possible, keep up with your social media performance statistics and reports to know what works and what needs to be improved. In addition to that, by becoming aware of what time of the day your followers are most active, you can use a social media tool to schedule your content to be always posted at the right time of the day.

Usually, social media managers’ planning goes a week, a month or even more ahead of time. This allows you to align your social media marketing with upcoming events, product launches, or other big happenings in your business or organization. When the main content is scheduled well ahead of time, it also frees you to focus on more urgent tasks like replying to comments on a daily basis.

 

6.     Reach Out to New Followers

 

Actively searching for and interacting with new people helps you grow your community. By searching for discussions about your topic, industry or competitors on different platforms, you can join the conversation. All this helps you nurture relationships, build connections and establish your brand as an influencer and thought leader of your industry. Establish a goal of following 5 new pages or profiles a day on each of your social media channels, and liking or commenting on 5 posts or articles every time – it’s a small effort for you, but will make a huge difference in your community growth.

In addition to that, for example on Twitter, you can use the search feature to find lists of people relevant to your industry that you can connect with by following them or interacting with them.

 

7.     Engage and Interact

 

On top of reaching out to new people, a period of time during some part of your daily social media routine should be dedicated to interacting with your followers.

Responding to your fans on your own social pages makes it easier for you to infuse your personality into your social media presence.

By answering questions, sharing followers’ content, following back, liking, commenting, etc. you’ll also increase interactions, network and build relationships with your followers, which in turn helps you humanize the brand and show that you care about your community, instead of just pushing promotions and using social media as a one-way sales channel.

 

8.     Measure Your Results

 

As already mentioned in various points, another thing you must include in your daily social media routine is checking your stats and comparing them to your goals.

This may include using UTM parameters in your link URLs to track clicks, checking your analytics in your social accounts, setting up unique landing pages, or using Google Analytics to track referral traffic, landing page traffic, conversions and so on.

But first of all, you should use a social media platform to get detailed performance statistics for all your social media channels easily and accurately. Getting your performance analytics separately for each channels could end up taking most of your day. With a social media management tool it’s quick and easy, because all your channels and reports are just a few clicks away, all in one platform.

You can measure the effectiveness of your social media endeavors by looking at metrics such as:

  • Leads and conversion rate
  • ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Traffic
  • Engagement (shares, likes, comments, +1’s, retweets, etc.)
  • Number of followers

Apart from pure numbers, also look for the more intangible performance. What type of content creates the most engagement? Do you have potential influencers among your followers that you could contact and hire as brand ambassadors? What day of the week or time of the day is best for publishing? Use all these insights to improve your strategy in the future.

 

9.     Monitor Your Brand

 

Monitoring mentions of your brand including your brand name, website, products, social profiles, hashtags, or anything related to your business, is a key social media activity. Pure knowledge is power, but you can also act upon your findings  or respond appropriately by joining the conversation.

Automating the task by using Google Alerts or other social monitoring tools is an efficient way to see who is mentioning you on different social media platforms.

This should be a part of your daily routine because not only is it a way for reputation management by letting you listen to both negative and positive sentiment about your brand. But it also allows you not to miss any opportunities to connect and communicate with those that are already talking about your brand outside your own channels.

 

10.    Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

 

With competitor analysis, you can get insights into your competitors’ social media strategies: what’s working, or not working for them, and what are they doing differently from you. That will help you learn from them and get new ideas to incorporate into your own strategy.

If you take a peek at your competitors’ social channels, or better yet, run some competitor analyses for their channels, you’ll be able to see what they’re doing and when.

To avoid spending too much time on this task, use keyword monitoring & competition benchmark reports to automate the task. You’ll be surprised how easily you can reveal your competitors’ strategy, best content and untapped opportunities for you to take advantage of.

 

11.    Quench Your Thirst

 

Now you may be thinking this should be a bonus tip. But drinking water (besides all its benefits) has an impact on your level of productivity.

A study by the University of East London shows that drinking a glass of water can make your brain 14% faster. So, next time you get to the office, make sure you grab a glass of water on your desk. Whenever you feel like you’re having a hard time staying concentrated, drink a glass of water, roll your shoulders and start again.

 

12.    Unplug

 

No, don’t quit what you’re doing and go on a week-long vacation. But take a 10-minute break every 50 minutes of work. On top of that, relax and celebrate your accomplishment after finishing a task. This will also have an indirect effect on your work. After a short break, it’s easier for you to focus on a task and finish it on time.

 

Depending on your goals, some of these tasks might be more important to you than the others. But to handle all social media management tasks effectively, you should go through this list daily. It will quickly become a routine you don’t need to put effort in anymore.

By planning ahead, figuring out your key activities and automating some tasks, you can get the most out of your daily social media routine and increase your productivity at work.

Have you tried any of these tasks? Which tasks have you found to be the most important to you?

3 Essential Steps for a Winning Holiday Marketing Strategy

 [Download the complete Social Media Guide in the end of the article: Holiday Checklist – Get ready for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday ]

Holiday Content Ideas

 

Optimize your Social Media Strategy for Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday

 

Is your Social Media Strategy ready and optimized for the coming holidays?

Let’s not even start talking about Christmas yet – before that we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Also, Google reported that one in four American shoppers bought a Christmas gift before Halloween last year. And some 48 percent of shoppers had done the majority of Christmas shopping before Cyber Monday. Since more early shoppers would be browsing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and blogs before and during this time, you need to make sure you have the right content ready to stand out from the clutter.

Here’s a list of things to check to make sure you’re taking full advantage of this festive period. You can still maximize your results (grow your email list, increase sales, improve engagement – what ever your objective is) and impress your boss before the end of the year!

 

1. Base your decisions on real data

Check your holiday season posts from last year, and compare them with those of your competition, to see what performed well, which kind of content was the most engaging and what resulted in most click-throughs. Did your competitors publish something different from you? Use all these insights to optimize your content for this season, avoiding the mistakes from the past.

 

2. Plan your content calendar

Determine key moments during your social media strategy, schedule and create your page posts in advance, so you can relax and be sure your content is being published while you eat another slice of turkey.  This is the biggest shopping period of the whole year, also for Christmas shopping, so optimize your content to take advantage of the rush. Check your content calendar and schedule posts well in advance. It’s impossible to predict last-minute trends, but try to keep your posts relevant and interesting without falling into classic clichés.

 

3. Define your strategy

 

Holiday Marketing Calendar November 2015

 

– Start promoting Thanksgiving decorations, trip offers and other relevant products & services related to your business right away.

 

– Create buzz for your Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday promotions well in advance. Target carefully with keywords and audience targeting.

 

– Christmas shopping posts are never too early. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales actually mark the highest peak for Christmas shopping. Start giving out gift ideas and “last-minute” tips already. It’s always last-minute when it comes to Christmas.

 

– Women shop for gifts earlier than men, so focus on gift ideas for him in the beginning, and gift ideas for her as the festivities come closer…

 

Not sure what to post on your social media channels? Take inspiration from these content ideas:

 

Don’t forget Linkedin:

Engage with your employees and company followers. Encourage your employees to share your post. They are your best brand ambassadors after all, and LinkedIn is a great social media channel to start talking about their work life as well. Share your holiday post also on relevant discussion groups to spark a conversation.

 

Idea for Instagram:

Make a countdown to Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday (why not all?) with daily prizes. This works for other channels too of course. Create anticipation, excitement and have your followers return every day by launching a daily promo.

 

Help holiday planners on Pinterest:

Special promotions? Holiday destinations? Thanksgiving recipes? Home decoration tips? Pinterest is buzzing in this time of the year more than ever. Get into the holiday traffic and create boards that are relevant to your brand and useful to holiday planners.

 

Organize a Facebook contest:

Facebook is a great place to engage with your community in various ways. Organizing a content takes only a few minutes, and the possibilities are endless. A promo a day? Vote for the next banner image? Share your image to win a prize?

 

Host a Twitter chat:

Start a conversation about a relevant topic and invite your community or clients to participate. Retweet your favourite opinions and show that you care about your community.

 

Create a holiday #hashtag:

Create a hashtag for the holidays that you can use throughout the whole holiday frenzy. This way it will be easy for your followers to engage with your brand on all the channels, and monitoring your performance later on will be easier than ever.

 

 

Get serious about Holiday Marketing and use the tips on our Social Media Checklist, prepared by real digital experts, to make sure your strategy is optimized for the festive period.Holiday Guide for Marketers

Download the Complete Free Holiday Guide for Social Media Marketers, including a real checklist and a holiday calendar with content & strategy tips to guarantee a successful end of the year.

You can still improve your ROI and impress your boss – the holidays are the best period for that!

 

Download the guide

 

8 Best Practices for Successful Instagram Marketing

8 Best Practices for Successful Instagram Marketing

 

Beyond just being another social media platform, Instagram is a phenomenon that took the internet by storm, growing from zero to 100 million users in just a few years from its launch.

Perhaps its wide user-base and big potentials for marketing are what makes it appealing for more and more brands to build presence on the network. Yet, despite the competition, it’s never too late to join and master how to use the platform in a way to stand out from the competition.

Once you decide to create a presence on Instagram, it’s important to know how to make the most of the tools and features available on the platform to effectively build more brand awareness and community engagement. Use these Instagram marketing best practices to maximize your results.

 

  1. Determine if Instagram is right for your brand

Retail, fast food and construction are some of the top-ranked industries on Instagram in terms of engagement. But just because your brand is not in retail, doesn’t mean you can’t use Instagram for successful brand marketing. Many supposedly ‘boring’ brands are effectively using Instagram to boost their brand awareness and engagement. Just look at Intel and American Express, both top brands on Instagram, engaging their followers by creating behind-the-scene images, sneak peeks and employee and user submitted photos and videos.

 

Intel Instagram American Express Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some companies, even B2B,  also use Instagram to show the daily office life and to introduce their employees in order to give a “human touch” for their rather professional brand.

In addition to that, 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. If your main target audience falls within that age group, it’s already a big enough reason for you to build an Instagram presence. Define your audience and decide whether Instagram is the right platform for you –if your main audience is not there,  can you use it to engage with new potential target audiences?

 

  1. Create content that resonates with your audience

Brands that are successful in making social media marketing work for them, do so because they focus on their followers. They are aware that it’s not about their products, but about what their audience wants. Entertain and engage with your followers by telling your stories in ways that you can entertain and engage with your community while communicating about your brand and products at the same time. Imagine what kind of pictures you like to see while browsing through your Instagram feed. Your picture can show an everyday situation, but your product can be a part of the picture – often a subtle presence is enough.

This applies even more on a photo-sharing network. Determining what your audience wants and letting them connect with your brand at a personal level pays off in the long-run.

 

  1. Leverage user-generated content

Getting followers to submit photos is a creative way to boost engagement, to get “free” content  and to create social proof. Your followers can share photos or videos of them using your products, receiving a giveaway from you, sharing their experiences with your products, etc. Find the best way that suits your brand. Top brands are having success in encouraging their fans to submit content with a specific hashtag, by giving them credits or rewarding them. Often being featured on the brand page, or receiving a like from the brand is a big enough reward for many.

 

  1. Understand how linking works in Instagram

Note that on Instagram, links are not clickable except on your profile page. Whether you want to link to your site, pages, a contest, or a giveaway, your best option is to include a call to action in your posts, images or captions. Create compelling post captions with a call to action for your followers to click on the actual link on your profile bio.

 

  1. Include Hashtags, always

This should be obvious – hashtags matter on Instagram more than anywhere else. Use them! Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement. Including hashtags in your posts also helps you get found by your target audience; especially with the updated ‘Search & Explore’ feature on Instagram that has made it easier for users to explore images with specific hashtags.

 

  1. Cross-promote

Instagram lets you publish content on other social media sites with a click of the mouse. But aside from that, you can integrate your Instagram marketing within a cross-platform strategy and use Instagram in conjunction with your other social media accounts to publish content.

This helps you not only to get more eyes on your content, but also to use the integrated power of your presence on each social media site to your advantage. For example, include a call-to-action on your Instagram posts for your followers to check out your free offer on Facebook or a contest on Snapchat.

Instagram notifications

 

  1. Ask your followers to turn on notifications

Instagram released a feature earlier this year, which allows users to be notified whenever a brand or a person they follow publishes something.  This is a great opportunity for marketers to make sure their top followers never miss a post. Don’t be afraid to be direct and invite your followers to click and turn on notifications.

 

  1. Analyze your performance and use the insights to do better

Monitor your performance and use analytics to define your strong and weak points as well as to optimize your strategy. Instagram doesn’t provide statistics yet, so you need to use a social media platform to get performance data on your Instagram presence: track your most engaging hashtags, your filters that are gaining more likes, the best time of the week or the day to publish, the potential influencers within your followers and optimize your strategy based on these insights to improve your performance.

Instagram Report - Allin1Social

What ideas have you used and worked for you? Have you created your Instagram performance Report with Allin1Social already?

Do you have some marketing tips to add to the list? Share your knowledge on the comment box!

How to boost your blog’s SEO

How to boost your blog's SEO

 

I am truly pleased to have the opportunity to write a post as a guest blogger on the completely renovated Allin1social’s blog. And I wanted to share a really simple blog SEO technique: how to boost SEO by commenting on blogs.

Here’s the thing: when it comes to SEO it seems we are always searching new and avant-garde techniques to help us improve our site’s ranking and organic positioning. But sometimes SEO can be easier than we think it is, and to do things naturally can really make a difference.

Commenting on other blog posts can be a powerful SEO strategy. In fact, Google’s Web Spam leader Matt Cutts has always made clear that as long as commenting on blogs isn’t the only technique we use for link building purposes, but a normal way of natural positioning as bloggers, it is indeed an acceptable alternative for improving SEO.

Don’t worry about calling Google’s attention: this SEO strategy of commenting on other blogs posts won’t cost you a penalty if done following Google Webmaster guidelines. According to them, it is completely ok to comment on relevant blogs and posts related to ours. Besides, it is allowed to post a link to our own blog, if the linked post provides valuable information to the one we’re commenting on. Here’s a piece of advice: when commenting on other blogs, do not leave keywords. That could be considered by Googlebot as spam and a black hat SEO technique and it is worth a penalty. So as long as you comment on blogs posts in a natural way, this is a great and easy way to improve our personal branding and blog positioning.

Watch out though. If your SEO technique is only based on commenting on other blogs, but no one is commenting on yours… Start getting worried: Google may figure out your intentions and SEO strategy.

 

How to comment on blogs to improve SEO

 

1. Search for blogs in your niche. In my case, my niche is clear: digital, ecommerce and social media blogs. And because I started this SEO technique without any strategy, but just in a natural way to interact with other bloggers, Google hasn’t penalized my site at all. Then I realised how powerful this SEO technique can be. Focus on finding similar blogs to yours and comment only on those posts you can add valuable opinions and information on, by leaving a link to one of your related posts. My recommendation is to start commenting on other blogs to give your personal and professional opinion about an issue you master. Improve your personal branding by helping out or even by asking questions if you have doubts, to make your own blog better. Sometimes you might leave a link, sometimes you won’t need it. Your niche’s colleagues will already know you and visit your blog naturally. That’s the point, not just trick Google to position your blog higher.

 

2. Search for higher authority blogs. Let’s take a step forward. Once you have been naturally commenting on blogs related to the topics you write about, let’s do it also on those blogs that already have a higher authority for Google. Thinking just in terms of SEO, it is much better to comment on blogs with higher authority and higher position on Google than in blogs that are smaller than yours. So go for those and think big! That external link from the comment to any of your blog posts will boost your SEO.

 

3. Search for your niche’s lists. In addition to improving your blog SEO by commenting on other blogs, this technique will also give you good reputation among other bloggers within your field. Listing blogs or specific posts to read, Twitter users to follow or experts on certain topics, is a very successful post type bloggers like to write no matter the niche. We all love these sorts of posts and we all know how good they work for readers and how shareable they are. So be sure your strategy of commenting on blogs is also focused on becoming part of these lists.

 

4. Use commenting as a social network. Never be a spammer on other blogs, but always give your opinion or recognition when a post is good or even mistaken. Comment on blogs with a reason. And as social media is a great source for networking, commenting on blogs can also be a great way to interact and share opinions. For example Disqus can be considered as so – it is also a commenting tool for blogs.

 

5. Don’t over-do it or Google will know. As simple as it is. Google is a super intelligent engine that can find out your black hat intentions even before you, so be careful and use these techniques in a natural way. Try not to annoy Google.

 

Now that you know this, don’t you think this is a great chance to start boosting your blog SEO and leave a comment below? Do you normally use this technique as part of your SEO strategy? Does it work for you or has Google penalized your site? Let’s start a conversation about it!

 

Cristina Hontanilla is a digital journalist and marketer specialized in online communication and content creation for social media. She helps B2B companies and SMEs to gain awareness through attractive and useful content on social media and other media. You can read more on her blog ecommerceymarketing.es and follow her current project on digital-spa.co.uk. Digital Spa helps non-Spanish companies to get the first-in-class bilingual digital freelancers to reach the Hispanic world.

This is the very first Guest Post of our new Allin1Social Guest Blogger Series. We want to start a real conversation about the different aspects of social media marketing and give the voice to new and growing social media bloggers.

The stage is yours! If you would like to write an article and be part of the conversation, just send us a request by using the Guest Blogger form on the right side banner. Read more about our Guest blogging guidelines here. Let’s talk about social media marketing!