Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the art of attracting, engaging and inspiring communities on social networks to discover, consume, share and act on brand social content.

 

92% of companies today consider social media important for their business but keeping up with the latest best practices, social media platforms and changes in the industry can be a challenge for brand marketers. Recognized as a top social media blog by Social Media Examiner and many others, TopRank solves that challenge by sharing social media marketing best practices, industry news, interviews, book reviews and liveblogging of presentations at industry conferences.

 

Browse our social media marketing articles to find the answers to your most pressing social media questions.

 

Michael Bak

TopRank Marketing’s Online Advertising Predictions for 2016

2016-Online-Advertising-Predictions

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to begin thinking about what is on the digital marketing horizon in the coming year. Marketers with budgets large and small are often unsure of which investments will reap the biggest benefits.

To help inform you of the options available, we’ll be publishing a series of prediction posts for different areas of digital marketing. Starting off the series is this post, stock full of paid advertising predictions for the coming year. Below you’ll find insight into some of the key topics and trends that are building steam at TopRank Marketing and will only continue to increase in 2016.

Social Advertising

Ashley Zeckman

4 B2B Social Media Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn From Their B2C Counterparts

Ashley Zeckman     B2B Marketing, Social Media

b2b-social-media-marketing

When social media first launched, many companies were skeptical that these new platforms could be used to support their business initiatives. Today, if you hear of a company that is not on social media, you find yourself wondering “What are they thinking?”.

According to NewsCred, 87% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute content. However, many B2B brands are still trailing behind their B2C counterparts when it comes to social media strategy and results.

There is no denying that social media can be used to build brand affinity and increase engagement for B2B companies. Below are a few lessons and examples that B2B companies can learn from successful B2C companies to increase their “likeability” on social networks. You’ll also find a few B2B companies that are already proving it’s possible.

Joel Carlson

6 of The Top B2C Brands That Are Rocking Instagram

Top-B2C-Bands-on-Instagram

What were you doing 5 years ago? In October of 2010, the mobile app Instagram launched onto the scene, and the mobile marketing world hasn’t been the same since. Sure Facebook has over 1 Billion users and Instagram has 400 Million active users, but its engagement is deafening, and unlike Pinterest, the ratio for men to women users is fairly balanced, with men at 51% and women at 49%, another win!

So who’s creating power ballads with their Instagram accounts in the B2C world? Let’s take a look at brands that are not only well known and easily recognized, but that are also able to successfully convey their strength and reputation in a photographic way.

#1 – Nike

Followers: 28.2 million

Nike Instagram

Leila De La Fuente

Navigating Online Advertising: 6 Tips on Finding the Right Channels For Your Business

Leila De La Fuente     Digital Marketing, Social Media Advertising

Navigating-the-Realm-of-Paid-Advertising

As the year winds down, most companies are putting the finishing touches on budgets and strategies for 2016. As a digital marketing agency, consulting with clients on matters like this is a huge part of our business. When the fiscal year winds down for most companies, we always see an influx in companies looking for consultation on where to spend their remaining marketing dollars.

“We’ve got X budget, which paid channel should we invest in?”

The answer is – there is no perfect answer. It depends heavily on the target audience and what goal you’re looking to achieve: impressions, clicks, downloads, online sales, etc. To help you determine which paid channels will work best for you business, we’ve created a snapshot of some of the options that are available today.

Ashley Zeckman

How B2B Marketers Can Use Facebook to Drive Engagement & Generate Leads

Ashley Zeckman     B2B Marketing, Facebook

Andrea-Vahl

Time and time again, B2B marketers have heard, “Facebook doesn’t work for B2B”. That statement could not be further from the truth. What B2B marketers should ask themselves is; am I truly engaging my Facebook audience by sharing things they want to see and interact with?

Facebook can be an incredibly powerful tool, if used correctly. In fact SteamFeed found that 60% of all social media traffic to B2B websites comes from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. So, there is proof that Facebook for B2B marketers works, but now it’s time to figure out how to create better engagement and make more meaningful connections.

Last week at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Andrea Vahl took the stage and shared some fantastic insights into how B2B brands can improve visibility, track leads and improve Facebook Ad targeting. Below are some of her best insights.

Debbie Friez

3 Ways to Measure the Value of Your Social Media Marketing Program

Debbie Friez     Online Marketing, Social Media

social-media-measurement

Inherently knowing that there is value in social media marketing and being equipped to show value are two different things.

Social media provides a unique and often-challenging opportunity to connect one-on-one with customers, prospects and fans of your business. However, only 42% of marketers feel that they are able to accurately measure the value of their social media efforts.

“Social media enables relationships to be built regardless of traditional barriers like distance or language. For brands, this provides a forum to listen and learn – and if you’re smart, take action based off of what you learn,” says Alison Herzog, Marketing Director, Global Social Business & Digital Strategy at Dell, (a TopRank Marketing client).

Ashley Zeckman

4 Time Management Tips for Social Media Managers

Ashley Zeckman     Social Media

social media time management tips

It seems that a social media manager’s job is never done. It doesn’t matter what time of day or day of week you’re in, there’s always more to do. Social media moves at an astronomical pace, and it can be hard to keep up.

In fact, research has found that the top two barriers impeding adoption of social business within organizations are lack of overall strategy and competing priorities.

Raise your hand if the scenario below sounds familiar:

A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager

6am – 12pm

  • Check company social media notifications before you even roll out of bed.
  • Quickly respond to any messages or tweets
  • Sneakily check for brand mentions as you’re stuck in traffic
Lee Odden

Updated! A Master List of Social Media Marketing Management Tools

Lee Odden     Social Media

Social Media Marketing Management Tools

Tools make reaching social media marketing goals possible. Whether you’re a soloprenuer or a multinational enterprise, it’s nearly impossible to manage a social media marketing program without using 3rd party tools.

During your journey through the 3D chess of social media tool options, you’ll have many decisions to make: Which tool should you start with? Should you use specialized or multi-purpose tools? What features distinguish basic from intermediate to advanced and when should you upgrade?

With the help of Emeric Ernoult (CEO of AgoraPulse, which is included in the list), we’ve updated our list of social media marketing management tools to help lead you in the direction of answering those questions. The list below contains information on 22 of the best social media marketing management tools, platforms and services to help manage and scale your online marketing efforts on the social web.

Ashley Zeckman

Social Media Marketing for Business: Expectation Vs. Reality

Social-Media-Expectations-vs-Reality-Header-Image

When a fast food chain releases a new menu item, there is typically a lot of hype and promotion around the product. These efforts can lead to certain expectations of what consumers can expect when purchasing the item.

Sometimes reality meets the expectation, but more often than not, it doesn’t.

Anytime you explore new opportunities within digital marketing, it can lead way to a certain set of expectations for performance, audience reaction and a host of other variables.

While the reality may not always meet the expectation, there are many benefits to incorporating social media into your digital marketing routine. According to Social Media Examiner’s latest report, these benefits include:

  • Increased exposure
  • Increase in website traffic
  • Development of loyal fans
Emily Bacheller

9 Step Social Media Audit for Improving LinkedIn Business Page Results

Emily Bacheller     LinkedIn, Online Marketing

LinkedIn Company Page

It’s undeniable that LinkedIn is leading the pack for professional social networks. In fact, more than half of all of the business in the world have created a business page on LinkedIn. With over 4 million business pages on LinkedIn, the competition for the attention of potential clients and job seekers is at an all-time high.

One way to take a critical look at your LinkedIn business page is to conduct a social media audit and identify areas for improvement. Understanding the elements that will help you build trust with your audience and provide a seamless brand experience for visitors navigating between your website and LinkedIn business page are incredibly important in creating a cohesive strategy.

Lee Odden

Where Social Media and SEO Fit in Today’s Content Marketing Mix

Search Social Content Marketing

Whether your role is in search, social media, marketing communications or PR, the importance of content marketing is unmistakable.

Brand content budgets and participation are up with the vast majority of B2C and B2B marketers now using content marketing. The industry is coming together on best practices and organizations are evolving their structures to include roles like Chief Content Officer and Brand Journalist.

While there is growing synergy between search, social media and content marketing, they don’t often function collaboratively in organizations. There are also some misconceptions about what content marketing really is.

This post will dig in to some of the realities of incorporating an integrated approach that leverages the best of search, social media and content marketing, while dispelling some of the myths that keep integrated efforts apart.

Michael Bak

Best Practices for Incorporating Sponsored Posts & Ads In Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

POT-OF-GOLD

For many B2B marketers, LinkedIn can prove to be a figurative and literal pot of gold. While there’s no majestic rainbow to show you the way, I can show you how to incorporate social media advertising as part of your LinkedIn Marketing strategy.

A few years ago, HubSpot surveyed B2B organizations and found that 65% of them reported that they have acquired a customer by using LinkedIn and its paid advertising features.

Many organizations have found LinkedIn users to be incredibly receptive to seeing ads and sponsored updates within their feeds. Because LinkedIn is professionally focused by nature, users expect to be having conversations about business.

The best practices below provide some helpful insights into LinkedIn paid advertising basics and can help drive the performance of your campaigns.