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.

 

Caitlin Burgess

9 Awesome Tools To Up Your Instagram Marketing Game

Caitlin Burgess on Apr 14th, 2016     Social Media

instagram-marketing-tools

Instagram has come quite a long way in its short life. From being loved as the land of sepia selfies and delicious foodie pics, Instagram is now a major social network with more than 400 million monthly active users.

According to a 2015 report, Instagram is the most important social network to American teenagers. But Instagram isn’t just for teens. Brands are also embracing it as a valuable engagement and marketing tool. In fact, 85% of top brands are using Instagram, according to a report by Simply Measured.

But the question for many brands is: How can I get the most out of my Instagram efforts?

Well, one way is embracing tools that help you easily and regularly post, engage, sell, manage accounts and measure results.

Ashley Zeckman

Marketers Unite: Join us for April’s Mega Social Media Marketing Conference #SMMW16

Ashley Zeckman on Apr 7th, 2016     Social Media, Social Media Marketing World

smmw16-preview

Social media marketing is no longer seen as the passing fad it once was. In fact, brands have invested billions of dollars trying to build a social community that would ideally build awareness, engage potential customers and eventually lead to sales.

However, to this day over 65% of marketers are still challenged to assess the effectiveness of their social media activities and 62% are still struggling to design an effective social media strategy (eMarketer).

It’s clear that while there is opportunity with social media marketing, there is still much to be learned. Later this month some of the TopRank Marketing team will be attending Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. This conference is the largest of its kind and will not disappoint social media marketers looking for a way to improve effectiveness and create a more effective social media strategy.

Below are just a portion of the sessions that we are most excited to attend and cover at the upcoming conference. Let’s dive in!

Joshua Nite

How Best-in-Class Brands do B2B Social Media Strategy [Report]

Joshua Nite on Apr 5th, 2016     Digital Marketing, Social Media

b2b-social-media-strategy

Social media is a mainstay of B2C marketing, but it’s hard to imagine B2B brands rocking the most popular platforms today. How can you promote sophisticated financial instruments, cloud software, or heavy machinery on Instagram? It brings to mind an image of, say, a construction crane on the beach, with the caption “Sipping margaritas and loving life! #CraneLife #Blessed #WokeUpLikeThis #NoFilter.” That’s not the way to promote a no-nonsense, professional B2B brand, surely.

Despite the cognitive dissonance, brands with a solid B2B social media strategy are finding and engaging an audience across social media. As the leading professional network, LinkedIn is a major part of that strategy, of course. Increasingly, though, brands are finding their niche on the more casual, less business-oriented sites like Instagram, Facebook, and even Pinterest.

Ashley Zeckman

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW

Ashley Zeckman     Social Media, Social Media Advertising

7-weird-social-media-marketing-habits

We all have bad habits. Whether it’s biting our nails, constantly driving like we’re on a racetrack or something you’d rather not admit to, we’ve all got them. Some are easy to break while others quickly find their way back into our lives. The same can be said for social media marketing habits. Once you get in a routine, it can be hard to break habits that are helping, but may possibly be hurting your brand.

Within social media marketing there is a lot of opportunity for brands to create great experiences for their communities, create brand affinity and influence purchasing decisions. A recent study found that 84% of CEOs and VPs say that they use social media to make purchasing decisions.

Caitlin Burgess

How Social Media Can Drive Success on Your Content Marketing Roadtrip

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Social Media

road-trip-social-media-content-marketing

 

I think most marketers would agree that social media and content marketing compliment each other nicely. Need proof? Recent research has found that 93% of B2B marketers list social media as one of their top five content marketing tactics.

I like to think of social media as the vehicle that drives your content where you want it to go. But as social media continues to evolve, it’s important to remember that we’re not driving down a one-way street. Social media presents more opportunities than just a dissemination platform. It can also be used as a means for engaging your online community, publishing and targeting specific content and building brand awareness.

Ashley Zeckman

Social Media Images Part 2: Creating Brand Recognition & Learning From Inspiring Brand Examples

Ashley Zeckman     Online Marketing, Social Media

social-media-brand-recognition

Each day customers are becoming increasingly self-directed, and are using search engines, content assets and social media to help guide purchasing decisions. Need proof? The average person now spends approximately 8 hours each day consuming some sort of media.

There is an enormous amount of opportunity for brands today to incorporate strong visuals as part of their overall digital marketing strategy. One of the biggest opportunities is on social networks.

Recent research has found that people only retain 20% of text that is read without visuals. What that should tell you is that in order to help your prospective and customers retain information, you MUST include compelling imagery.

In Social Media Images Part 1 we discussed the proper image sizing, best practices and tools. In part 2 we will explore inspirational brand examples and tips for uncovering imagery.

Joel Carlson

Social Media Images Part 1: Sizes, Best Practices and Tools

images-social-media

When battling other businesses for your customers attention on social media, you have to stand out in order to get noticed. That can mean being disruptive, going against standard marketing practices, or doing something unique that draws the attention of your customers away from the “noise” of social media. One way to accomplish that goal is to harness the power and creativity of images.

Images can make a big impact on getting noticed in a customer’s social media feed. Research has found that 90% of the information that the brain processes is visual, and the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than anything that’s read. What that means to marketers using social media is when someone is looking at their feed and scrolling through all of the posts, they are processing the images faster than the text.

Joshua Nite

No Joke: These 5 Comedy Principles Can Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Joshua Nite     Social Media

improv-comedy-social-media-marketing

A social media marketer walks into a bar. “I’ll have a Facebook martini,” she says.

“What’s a Facebook martini?” the bartender replies.

“It’s like a regular martini, but if I want to drink more than 2% of it I have to pay extra,” she says.

[Cue Laugh Track]

Okay, so maybe comedy about social media marketing isn’t a great idea. But comedy and social media have a lot in common. They’re both fast-paced, harder than they look, and unpredictable. And at the heart of it, both are about telling a compelling story and making a human connection.

I’m somewhat new to marketing, but have been in comedy—improv, standup, and storytelling—for over a decade. Much of what I learned entertaining audiences makes perfect sense for social media marketing. Here are five comedic principles you can apply to make sure your marketing efforts leave your audience wanting more.

Ashley Zeckman

How to Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates to Jumpstart Content Promotion in 2016

Ashley Zeckman     LinkedIn, Online Marketing

linkedin

2015 was the year that content marketing exploded. Brands have become publishers and are all competing in the same arena to provide a quantity of quality content for their audience. In the coming year, content capabilities and demands will only increase.

It’s time that marketers think beyond creation, and take advantage of the tools available for content amplification, promotion and measurement. With over 4million business pages housed on their platform, there is no denying that LinkedIn is a powerhouse for amplifying and boosting great content.

Today, LinkedIn released their newest guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Posts. This guide was composed by scouring LinkedIn to find the best examples of business sponsored content. In order to  take the leap into investing in sponsoring content, you first have to make sure that you have something worth promoting. Below are a handful of examples of businesses using great content on LinkedIn to capture the attention of their audience.

Ashley Zeckman

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Predictions

Ashley Zeckman     Online Marketing, Social Media

2016-Social-Media-Marketing-Predictions

This year was a rollercoaster for social media marketers.

Let’s take a look at what changed in 2015 alone:

  • Facebook Pages took a big hit on organic views. In order to increase reach to just your existing audience, it is now a pay to play model.
  • Meerkat, Periscope and Blab all launched this year, making real-time video streaming and interaction a reality.
  • Twitter announced late this year that share counts would no longer be available through 3rd party applications, forcing marketers to find other ways to determine how much love their Twitter content was really getting.
Joshua Nite

Back to the Lab: Our Top 5 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2015

Joshua Nite     Online Marketing, Social Media

Top-Social-Media-Marketing-Posts-of-2015

Marketing is a science as much as an art, and the TopRank Online Marketing blog is an ongoing experiment. We’re constantly going back to the lab to try new approaches, research new topics, and refine our writing skills. As 2015 draws to a close, we’re taking a look at our most popular posts to see which ones you thought were the most shareworthy.

Social media marketing was a big topic for marketers this year. Facebook changed its algorithm to limit organic reach to as little as two percent. Twitter removed share counts from its API, taking away a powerful tool for marketers to provide social proof to their audience.