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62 tips for your social media marketing toolbox

62 tips for your social media marketing toolbox

Social media marketing is moving away from its exciting adolescent phase to a more mature grownup status. The dreaded phrase “what is the return on investment” is now seen as a conversation that needs to happen. Learning to use social media effectively is now essential and required if you aren’t going to be disrupted by your competitors and fast growing start-ups.

What are some of the basics that the top social media marketing professionals implement that are essential to long term success? I have broken them down by social network.

1. Blog

A blog or website should be the centre of your digital asset portfolio. You own it and it needs to be a constant publishing platform for your brand and business. Don’t let Facebook have all your images, videos and contagious multimedia content. A blog with optimised articles and media will build and boost your search engine rankings.

So what are some essentials?

1. Design and launch your blog on your own domain (not on Tumblr, Blogger, or any easy to use but hard to escape network).
2. Self hosted.
3. Use a search engine optimised software platform like WordPress.
4. Persistent publishing.
5. Well structured writing.
6. Easy to read.
7. Include highly visible sharing buttons for the important social networks. These include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
8. Add subscribing icons which allows people to subscribe to your social media networks including ‘Liking’ you on Facebook, and following you on Twitter without leaving your site.

2. Facebook

Facebook cannot be ignored as it is the de-facto social network with nearly one in two people that use the internet as members.

Here are some tips for those who don’t know where to start.

1. Design and apply custom tab Facebook apps to your page (such as ShortStack) for increasing likes, engagement, and calls to action.
2. Listen to your audience.
3. Update often.
4. Use strong visuals and multimedia.
5. Link to your core website asset.
6. Make sure your ‘About You’ is clear and part of your Facebook profile.
7. Use non photoshopped images from mobiles rather than glossy glamour shots.

3. Twitter

Twitter is the unfiltered ‘Wild West’ of the social media ‘in’ group, and is often underestimated as a medium for connecting with focused target groups and distributing your content at velocity. It is just as essential as Facebook in your tactical social media toolbox, and it may be the easiest to automate and achieve some scale.

So what are some key tactics?

1. Use compelling headlines.
2. Tweet often.
3. Automate where appropriate (Socialoomph, Twitterfeed, etc).
4. Share industry influencer’s content often.
5. Link back to your website/blog.
6. Engage with your followers.

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the white collar professionals playground, and if you work in any knowledge industry you need to be participating hereMore formal than Facebook, however LinkedIn has become increasingly important as a place to share your content and engage with industry groups on a global scale.

1. Link to your three top online properties in your profile.
2. Update your profile regularly.
3. Participate in groups.
4. Upload links to content to LinkedIn from your core online assets (Website/Blog/Slideshare/Media).
5. Publish your new content consistently on LinkedIn (such as blog posts, videos and Slideshare presentations).
6. Include video in your LinkedIn profile.

5. Google+

Google+ is now the second largest social network behind Facebook, and is considered by Google as core to its platforms such as Gmail, YouTube, Blogger, Picasa, and even its search engine algorithms. It weaves social signals such as Tweets, +1’s and other social media interactions into rankings results on its search engine.

It is a major social media player that is too big to ignore.

1. Use the strong branding capabilities and real estate that Google+ provides.
2. Participate in “Hangouts”.
3. Use large high definition images (it’s a very visual platform).
4. Use Google+ Ripples to monitor the effectiveness of your content updates.
5. Share your best content on Google+.
6. Add Google+ share and follow buttons on your blog/website.
7. Segment followers with the “Circle” feature.

6. YouTube

YouTube can be effective for B2B companies (with ‘How to’ instructional videos), as well as for consumer related brands (e.g. Old Spice’s viral videos). What many people don’t realise is that YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google and is vital for visibility on the social web.

Here are some tips essential to YouTube social media marketing.

1. If you are an online store, create short YouTube videos to display your product. Research shows that this can increase conversions by 10-30%.
2. Create ‘How To’ videos that explain insights into using your product.
3. Optimise for search when creating your YouTube videos. This includes writing a headline for YouTube that includes keywords that are important for your industry. Also add a description, categories, and tags that allow Google to find and know what your video is about. Even include a link to your website/blog that enables people to find out who your business and brand are all about.
4. Embed them in your blog posts and website to give them more exposure.
5. Tweet your YouTube videos on a regular basis.

7. Pinterest

So why should you be interested in Pinterest. Recent data shows that it has now become the 4th largest referral network after passing Yahoo, and now only sits behind Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Pinterest is a visual social network that is proving to be a driver of significant traffic for image rich eCommerce sites. Walmart is considering plans to include trending pins as one of the signals it listens to in its own eCommerce search engine as signalling buyer intent. Here’s some tips on using Pinterest.

1. Align: Position your brand to align with popular, timely and topical conversations. For example. if you’re a shoe company, pin trendy shoes, News Year’s Eve shoes (timely), or ‘prom shoes’ (topical).
2. Optimise: Google LOVES Pinterest! Focus on the keywords that matter most for your brand, align this with what you know about how your audience searches (and what they are searching for), and incorporate them into your board titles and pin descriptions.
3. Engage: Pinterest is a social community that requires two-way engagement. ‘Repin’, ‘Like’, or comment on pins and boards of others. Interact with your followers and take the time to participate.
4. Organise: Sort your boards well. Also, while keywords are important, have a little fun with how you name your boards. Finally, be sure to set the board  cover image to a pin that best conveys the topic of that board.
5. Diversify: Pinterest is a great opportunity to reach all the segments of your audience. Create boards and pin items that appeal to every segment of your consumer base!
6. Integrate: Be sure that the content on your website is easy to share. Incorporate the ‘Pin It’ button into your social sharing lineup.
7. Evaluate: Measure your success. What boards and pins are seeing the most ‘Likes’?

8. Instagram

Instagram received fame when it was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, despite the fact is was making a loss and only had 16 employees. This social media app that started life as a mobile app without even a website makes sharing images to Facebook and Twitter from your smart phone simple and fun.

1. Arrange a feed for your Instagram photos into your interactive website, eCommerce site or blog.
2. Share your Instagram photos across your key social media networks of Twitter and Facebook. It also supports Flickr, Tumblr and even Foursquare.
3. Make it fun. Want to see how Jamie Oliver does it so well.
4. Use Instagram to increase engagement on Facebook by asking open ended questions when posting a photo. This can be as simple as ‘What do you think about this Instagram Photo of the Day?’
5. Reveal ‘behind the scenes’ photos that humanise your brand.

9. Vine

Viddy and the video feature on Instagram thinks that 15 seconds is the right length for a video short message, while Vine has chosen 6 seconds. Maybe there is some science behind both but let’s look at some possible ideas for marketing with a short video.

Here are 6 ideas to get you started.

1. The brand elevator pitch: Want people to understand what your brand is all about? The elevator pitch is where you wrap it up in one or two sentences. 6 seconds is maybe enough. How could you make it visual and viral?
2. Product demonstration: 1-2 minute video reviews of products in your online store are now maybe too long. Why not experiment with 6 seconds?
3. Launching a new product or service: Explain your new product in 6 seconds if you can. Maybe your messaging will get better as you learn to communicate the key features and not the unnecessary.
4. Give your brand a personality: Social media allows (and wants) you to give your brand a personality. Use Vine to make it real and authentic. Make it quirky or innovative. Many brands want an image that goes beyond bland.
5. Marketing a promotion: Use a 6 second Vine video to market a new promotion. How long do you need to communicate something new? Remember the power of simple.
6. Announcing a special offer or discount: 50% off. How long does it take to announce that special offer for your clothing store? Make it visual, aural, and shareable.

10. Slideshare

Slideshare is the YouTube of PowerPoint presentations. It is visual and underestimated by many marketers. If you are an author, a B2B marketer, or work in a knowledge industry then it should be in your social media toolbox.

Here’s how can you use Slideshare to market your business.

1. Upload your PowerPoint presentations onto Slideshare.
2. Share them on other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Don’t expect people to stumble across them.
3. Turn your blog posts into a visual presentation and load them up to Slideshare.
4. Re-purpose your PowerPoint’s into a blog article and embed your presentations in that post.
5. Use Slideshare to capture inquiries as the paid Pro version allows you to create a lead form that is embedded in your PowerPoint.

What about you?

What tools, tips and tactics have worked for you? What has been most effective? Are you on all of these 10 social media channels? Which ones are your favourites? What social media marketing do you want to learn more about?

Look forward to your feedback, insights and stories in the comments below.

More reading:

37 tools and resources for blogging and social media marketing 
Social media marketing: What is the ROI?
7 digital trends to include in your marketing plan
21 social media facts, figures and statistics for 2013
6 things you didn’t know about Twitter
10 essential personal branding tips for Twitter
The dawn of the ‘Contsumer’: Are you prepared?
Twitter for business: 18 things you should NOT do

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