5 Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies That You Should Implement In 2017

There was a time when social media was seen as a passing fad by many. It was being used by kids and businesses didn’t see any real benefits from it.

However, the skeptics turned out to be wrong with the passage of time.

We don’t need to tell how big social media is.

The sector has grown rapidly than the internet itself.

Since opening their doors on September 26, 2006, Facebook crossed 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March 2017.

Currently, there are 3 billion internet users and around 2 billion of them are active on social media.

Approximately seven out of ten people in the US use social media to connect with one another, share information, engage and also to entertain themselves.

You can check out a recent compilation of the latest social media stats of consumer adoption and usage by Smart Insights.

 

Needless to say, if you’re not using social media to market your business, you’ll have to learn it or face the risk of losing it in the long run.

Still not convinced?

Here are some things social media can do for your business:

  • Tell prospects about your services and goods
  • Promote your business and brand
  • Attract new customers
  • Get customer feedback
  • Foster relationships with your customer base

 

Now without further emphasizing on the importance of social media, let’s see how you can leverage on this sector to grow your business this 2017 right from scratch.

5 Social Media Marketing Strategies That You Should Follow Now

  1. Set Your Goals And Objectives

The first step of any successful social media marketing strategy involves establishing your goals and objectives. Moving forward without really knowing what you want can be the perfect recipe for disaster.

Closely peruse your company’s overall requirements and find out how you can use social media to your advantage.

You may come up with many personalized goals; however, there are some common elements that you need to include in your strategy.

These include increasing brand awareness, finding prospects, retaining old customers and trimming marketing expenses.

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Source: Shutterstock

It’s best to focus on two primary goals and two secondary goals. Refrain from having too many goals as it can distract you from achieving none.

Along with goals, you need to have specific parameters in mind that define your goals clearly. For instance, if your primary goal is to generate leads and sales, you need to figure out the number of leads and sales you require even before the goal becomes a success.

An easy way to determine your objectives is to adopt the S-M-A-R-T approach. Your objectives have to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

In the example above, if your goal is to generate leads and sales, have a specific marketing objective. You may want to boost your leads by 50%.

Remember to choose objectives that you can achieve.

  1. Create A Brand And Remain Consistent Across Every Social Channel You Use

What’s your feeling when you find different descriptions of the same business on various social networks?

You’d certainly get confused and reluctant to get involved with such a business.

Humans love consistency, and if your social media profiles remain consistent across various channels, you’ll build positive relations with your visitors. They’ll know what to expect irrespective of the social network.

It’s been seen that 60% of internet users in the US expect consistency when dealing with online stores.

It’s best to use the same professional picture on your social networks and even on your blogs.

But that’s not all since your profile picture is just the beginning. Consistency has to come with your brand’s color, imagery, voice and overall outlook. Try to express your brand’s value and remain consistent and authentic in your communication across all your social networks.

Here are four aspects you need to ponder on when deciding on your brand’s voice.

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Source:socialmediaexplorer.com

After you nail down these aspects, all your conversations on social channels will flow smoothly.

The result………

Your audience will not only connect with you but eagerly wait for your updates.

Personal, casual, witty and funny conversational language work well on social channels too.

Mark Manson, for instance, gives a raw, personal and funny tone to social media as shown below.

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You may love to read Buffer’s voice and tone guide, which they religiously stick to in all their communications.

 

  1. Automate Like A Ninja

Find engaging third-party content pieces and share them on your social channels. Let the engagements come in. Next, drop your promotional product updates.

Automating repetitive tasks can free a lot of time, which can be used to work on other high-level marketing strategies.

However, simply pushing out content will not give you 100% benefits of your social media marketing efforts.

Envision yourself meeting a person for the first time. What would be your reaction if the person simply shoves a sales pitch in your face? And what about a person who continuously blabbers about the great things he can do?

You’ll immediately have a bad impression about that person and maybe avoid him next time.

The same thing happens on social media. You can share your updates and blog posts, but always ask for feedbacks and encourage people to discuss more on your posts.

And yes, don’t forget to entertain them.

It’s also a great idea to share pictures from your daily life or special events.

If you are a company, you can share pictures of your employees.

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Whenever possible, open up and show your real side to your audience.

  1. Create A Content Calendar And Post Frequently

After creating your Facebook page, you invite a couple of friends and other followers from different social media sites to like your page.

Then, you vanish for a month. This is a normal activity for new businesses on social media. However, if you want to get great results from your social media marketing strategy and build a lasting relationship with your audience, you have to post on a regular basis.

Build a content calendar and prioritize posting engaging and interesting content.

HubSpot’s Social Media Content Calendar Template can easily help you plan your content.

Here’s a simple schedule you can follow in your initial days.

  • LinkdedIn: Once per week
  • Instagram: Once per day
  • Twitter: Three times a day
  • Facebook: A handful of updates per day but don’t overdo.

The timely post made by Oreo, during the Super Bowl, earned them millions of followers and helped in creating a robust brand.

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An interesting thing to note is that they had planned for this tweet 18 months before.

  1. Research Your Competitors

Researching your competitors not only apprises you of their activity but also helps you to integrate their tactics into your own social media marketing efforts.

Create a list of at least 5 major competitors. Find out the social sites they use and study their content strategy. Look at their posting frequency and the number of fans and followers. Also, examine the type of content they post and its context (humorous, promotional etc) and the way they respond to their readers.

This will give you a clear idea on how you stack up against each other. It’ll also help you revise your goals, objectives and marketing strategies.

There’s No Such Thing As A Totally Free Lunch

According to Amy Vernon, co-founder of Predictable.ly, any effort on social media marketing takes time and that’s where the budget issue creeps in. She says that if you lack funds but have enough time, you should do the work yourself. However, if there are time constraints, hire someone to get the job done, she further adds. The assumption that creating a social media account is absolutely free and doesn’t cost you a dime is a myth.

Final Thoughts

Social media marketing is a terrific way to build your brand. People socialize every day on the internet and are eager to discover new brands. You just have to put in a lot of sweat and remain consistent. However, the benefits you reap will be worth your time.

What are your experiences of creating a brand using social media marketing?

 

 

Email Marketing 101: How To Grow Your Email List

Why You Need to Up Your Email Marketing

The power of an email goes without saying. I check my email as soon as I wake up in the morning. I am addicted to joining mailing lists. I jump at the sound of a new email notification.  And, with 24% of Americans saying they check their email “way too much” and 40% of individuals forcing themselves to go onto email detoxes, I am not alone in this.

To get you on to the email marketing game, here are the statistics, the benefits and a guide to growing your mailing list to help you build a profitable email marketing campaign:

  • The ROI of Email Marketing is King of the Marketing World

With an impressive 3800% ROI, email marketing is the BEST mover of sales. You earn $38
for every $1 invested into email marketing. 

  • You Can Get Personal

Unlike any other content marketing methods, email marketing can get personal. When a subscriber signs up, they give you their name. Their name is key to getting that all important relationship. 74% of marketers claim the use of a name increases customer engagement.

You can use their name in subject lines and in the main body of your email. And, it works! Using a name in a subject line increases click through rates by 14% and boosts conversions by 10%.

  • The Engagement Rules the Roost

According to Forrester, only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts whereas 90% of emails will get delivered to a recipient’s inbox. And, the same adults who are liking your Facebook page are twice as likely to engage with your emails than on social media.

How to Grow Your Mailing List

1. Sign Up to an Email System like MailChimp

A mailing system like MailChimp allows you to send thousands of emails at a click of a button. It allows you to schedule them, make them look pretty and organize your subscribers at the click of a few buttons.

If you’re new to email marketing, MailChimp is the place to be. In addition to being a super easy-to-use platform, here’s are a few reasons why you’ll dig it:

  • MailChimp is completely FREE for users who has less than 2,000 subscribers making it more perfect for those who have a limited budget or are just starting out.
  • MailChimp is an incredibly popular platform so it can be easily integrated with lots of software & plugins.
  • Due to its popularity… you’ll find advice & tutorials on everything!
  • It has a very user-friendly, easy to follow interface as well as a drag + drop email template editor…perfect for email marketing beginners!

2. Use Plugins That’ll Grow Your Mailing List

You’ve more than likely been on a website that has a pop-up or a text box in a sidebar asking you to be a member of a mailing list. Here are a few plugins we recommend using:

Activate a List Building Plugin on Your Website like SumoMe

The only way to grow your mailing list is by making your readers aware of your mailing list. SumoMe can help boost your daily signups by up to 20%.  It can help you design pop-ups + sign up boxes to embed into your content.

Invest in Lead Generation Software like LeadPages

If you have a little bit more budget…LeadPages will help you increase mailing list sign-ups – tenfold! It helps you design an opt-in page for your mailing list allowing you to lay out the benefits of joining your list and look uber attractive. Offering a free 30-day detox guide as a lead magnet/free gift for joining your list? Setting up a landing page with LeadPages can help you show off the value of your free gift.

3. Offer a Lead Magnet or ‘Content Upgrade’ on Your Website

People aren’t interested in joining a mailing list unless it benefits them.

So giving away free content is the fastest way to grow your mailing list and make you a trustable source.

Take some time to brainstorm, create and design content that’ll get your audience signing up to your list.

Think about your typical customer or ideal customer.

What advice do they usually ask for? What information will be valuable?

Find out right from the horses mouth by asking your mailing list to email you with questions, looking at popular blog posts on businesses like yours, seeing what topics are hot in forums and Facebook groups and posting on your on your Facebook and Twitter pages and asking your audience to comment what they’d like to know.

Use this information to help you curate your content. Here are a few super effective, tried and tested freebie content ideas:

  • An eCourse. Offer a chain of emails as your content bribe. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, offer a 20 day fitness challenge where you send out 20 unique emails with different workouts to get their body into shape.
  • An eBook. Design a PDF that shares information that’ll help your reader. Here are a few examples: smoothie recipes, marketing guides, makeup tutorials, web design guides etc.

4. Create A Custom Newsletter Confirmation Page

Once your new subscriber has signed up…your next point of engagement is your confirmation page. Your newsletter confirmation page is your perfect opportunity to show off your expertise and already written content. Make sure you include:

  • A little thank you.
  • An explanation of what to expect from your emails.
  • Feature about + testimonial pages so users can get to know you and trust what you do.
  • Link to popular content on your website.

5. Brainstorm and Plan Content for Your Future Emails

An engaged audience is an audience that is likely to grow into loyal clients. So it’s important to connect with your subscribers.

The first thing to master is the subject line. It needs to be short, catchy, relevant and personal. The second this is the content. According to HubSpot, 65% of users like emails that contain mostly images. To ensure your emails connect with your readers make sure you break up your text into small sections, use more visual material than text, attractive use of your brand’s colours and interesting content (see below).

  • Send Out Free Worksheets, Guides + eBooks.

    We LOVE free stuff. Especially when the free stuff is valuable and helps us improve. The free content will help you start a relationship with your audience, show off your expertise and prime your readers for an offering of paid products/services.
  • Recap of Recent Blog Posts + News.

    Not all of your readers will check your website on a regular basis. Showing off your most recent content in a recap email will keep your readers updated + help get your audience onto your website.
  • Share Details About a Future Service/Product.

    72% of people prefer promo material in their inbox compared to 17% on social media.

    Launching a new service or product? Get your readers in the know by sharing what it involves, the benefits, discounts + any testimonials you’ve already gathered pre-launch.
  • Send Exclusive Content that’s Only Available to Subscribers

    Show the value of being a member of your mailing list by sharing MORE than a reader of your website will see. Ideas include sending out a recipe, tips for success and a link to a secret blog post. You can check out our 30 Engaging Blog Post Ideas to help you brainstorm content! 

What’s more – you can gain access to a wealth of analytics. Every time you send out an email you’ll be able to see the click through rates, what links have been clicked, the amount of people who unsubscribed, see what works best and monitor what content is popular. And this important data is what’ll help you refine your email marketing content for future emails.

Email Marketing 101: How to Use MailChimp to Send Your First Email Newsletter

How to Use Mailchimp to send your first email newsletter

For every $1 you invest into email marketing, you earn $38. With such a staggering return on investment, a strategized email marketing campaign can bring in a hella amount of sales. To get the ball rolling, head over to MailChimp right away to register for your free account and then we can get your first newsletter on the go! If you are wondering why we’re recommending using MailChimp to send out your email newsletters, check out the benefits below:

  • You can use MailChimp for FREE if you have less than 2,000 subscribers.
  • MailChimp is a widely used mailing system you’re not short of software and plugins that’s compatible with MailChimp. 
  • And, as it is so popular, if you’re stuck with something, you can easily find advice & tutorials on absolutely everything!
  • It’s also amazing for those of us who aren’t so design savvy. MailChimp allows us to easily put together a beautiful email using the email text editor and add in images and columns using the drag + drop template.

So get yourself signed up for your free account, make yourself a drink and follow this MailChimp tutorial to get your email marketing campaign into full swing! By the end of this blog post, you will know:

  • How to create a ‘list’ of subscribers.
  • How to create a subscription form for your website.
  • What to include in your welcome email.
  • How to design and send your first newsletter.
  • Why you need to include a mailing address & how to change it.

1. Create Your First ‘List’ of Subscribers

First thing’s first, you need to create a list to start collecting email addresses. A ‘List’ is the area where your subscribers name and email address are stored. You can have as many or as little lists as you like for example, you could create a list solely for those who have downloaded a content freebie from your website and/or dedicate a list to your current clients.

To create a list, go to ‘Lists’, then press ‘Create List’ and then enter your list details (see below). In the “from” email and “from” name – you may want to fill in your contact email address and a recognizable name such as your URL or business name.

You may or may not be aware that it’s a legal requirement to include your address in every email you send out. If you have a business address this is easy. If not – you’re not going to be comfortable with showing your home address, so you may want to consider getting a PO Box.

2. Design Your Subscription From For Your Website

Creating a subscription form that suits your website’s style and brand colors is easy on MailChimp. You can quickly put together a form without the need to learn code by using the easy-to-use form customizer.

Follow these steps to get your sign-up form up and running – believe us – you can literally have one designed and set up in just a few minutes!

Click ‘Sign Up Forms’ and then ‘General Forms’.

You’ll then be taken to a ‘Create Forms’ page. Select ‘Sign up form’ from the drop-down menu under the ‘Forms and response emails’ heading.

Now to build your form. The key is to keep things as simple as possible. On the ‘Build It’ tab you can select what fields you’d like to use. Make it as user-friendly as possible by keeping the fields to a minimum. This will avoid people closing the signup form. Only use ‘first name’, ‘email address’ and at the most ‘last name’. You can remove a field by hovering your cursor over each text box.

Add a message by clicking the ‘click to edit the message’ box. Here you can add a branded image and a persuasive message to get people signing up to your newsletter (see print screen below).

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As activation is required – mention in your content by asking your subscriber to check their junk email if their activation email doesn’t show up in their inbox.

To get as many subscribers as possible, you’ll need a lead magnet. Giving away content is one of the best ways to do this. So put some time aside to brainstorm and create a free download to offer to your potential email subscribers (you can find lots of advice on building your subscribers in our blog post – How to Grow Your Mailing List).

MailChimp makes the designing part easy. Click ‘Design It’ to choose your color scheme (our tip here is to stick with your branding colors).

Don’t forget to save the link of your sign up form. This’ll help you promote your email newsletter or lead magnet. And – you’ll be able to promote your URL on social media and on your blog.

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3. Create Your Welcome Email

You can create your ‘Welcome Email’ by clicking ‘Lists’, then select your list, click ‘Signup Form’, then ‘General Forms’, then find ‘Final “welcome” email’ from the drop down menu and tick the ‘Send a final welcome email’ option. Scroll down and you’ll find yourself on a page featuring the welcome email editor like below:

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Now you can design your welcome email. In the same way you created your sign-up form, you can upload your banner logo/image, edit the color and add a thank you message.

If you’re adding a lead magnet to your welcome email (which we highly recommend) this is where you’ll add the URL so your new subscriber can download their freebie.

To get a unique URL for your lead magnet, save your free download as a PDF, upload to your media library on your website, once the PDF has saved, you will find the URL in the file details AND this is the URL you will add to your welcome email.

The welcome email automatically has the title ‘subscription confirmed’ but you can edit this to sound interesting.

4. How to Design & Send Your First Newsletter

Now you’re ready to design your first newsletter!

Click ‘Campaigns’, then ‘Create Campaigns’, click ‘Regular Campaign’, select your list, press next, add an interesting subject line and edit some other settings if you’d like.

Now to select a template. Depending on what you’re including in this newsletter, you can pick a template that’ll be best suited to your content. See an extremely simple email example below:

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If you’re linking to your most recent blog posts, selecting a design where you can add images for each post with the option to write a caption underneath. If you’re using this email to promote a new service or product a design with a 1 column for a top paragraph and 2 to 3 columns below to lay out the benefits of your product may work well.

Next you can type in your text, drag and drop in your images, edit the header text and add URLs for your social media profiles. You can select your colors and fonts for your page, preheader, header, body and footer on the ‘Design’ tab.

Once you’re happy with your email or ‘Campaign’ (in MailChimp lingo), you can click ‘Next’ to save your template. The next page will give you the option to send out the email straight away or schedule it to go out on a particular date or time.

Now you have created one template, you can create multiple email templates to serve a range of purposes; promoting discount codes, special offers, new products, latest content, advice and a recap of your recent blog posts.

TA-DA! Your first email newsletter is finished! How easy was that?! Now you’ve gotten to grips with MailChimp, you can now plan your email marketing strategy to get your sales booming! If you have any questions, please leave us a comment below.