5 Interesting Insights from Buffer’s The State of Social 2016 Report

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What does the social media landscape look like in 2017? What networks are going to help me drive awareness, conversation and conversions? What types of content will have the most impact on my audience? Is Snapchat a good investment?

As we near the end of 2016, these are likely just a few of the questions being asked by marketers everywhere. While I’d love to say there’s a magical crystal ball with all the answers out there, we all know that nothing is permanent or sure-fire when it comes to social media. But we do have some data and insights that can help.

In it’s The State of Social 2016 report, Buffer surveyed more than 1,200 B2B and B2C marketers to better understand how they’re currently using social media and where they plan to go in 2017. Those who participated work for companies of all sizes and across a variety of industries.

What Social Media Marketers Need to Know About Facebook Live

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In the age of Netflix and DVRs, it’s weirdly ironic to watch the growing popularity of live video for social media marketing. Sure, most of it is recorded so you can access it later, but it has far more in common with the nightly news than with modern on-demand, personalized content.

It turns out, there’s something about watching an event unfold live that’s hard to replicate. To be there as it’s happening, in the moment with a group of friends and strangers, sharing a singular experience. It’s powerful. And it never really went out of style—it just took a while for technology to create a compelling modern version.

A Fresh Start: Learn How to Put Your Social Media Strategy on A Paleo Diet

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From the rise of Snapchat to the debut of Instagram stories to changes in Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, the social media landscape is constantly changing—giving us marketers more than enough “new” to snack on each week.

But sometimes we bite off a little more than we can chew, thinking that a healthy social media strategy needs to incorporate a little bit of everything in order to drive growth and engagement—and ultimately ROI.

However, according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 92% of marketers said they’re unable to say which social media tactics are the most effective. So, stretching your strategy to include every platform and tactic may not be the best way to drive the results you’re looking for.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

How To Tap Into the Social Media Power of Employees for Content Amplification

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Social media has evolved significantly in the past six years. At the beginning, businesses focused solely on just having a presence on social media. Then, brands beginning honing in on social listening and figuring out the “science” of a good social media campaign.

Marketers then realized that social media was a great tool not only to engage their audience, but a prime opportunity to amplify their content and draw even more people in to consume, engage with and share that content. Recent studies have found that social networking accounts for 30% of all time spent online.

5 Step Algorithm Hack to Achieve Greater Social Visibility from Erin Monday #CMWorld

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I would consider myself an excellent Googler. As a consumer and a digital marketer, I have believed that you can find almost anything with a few quick keystrokes into the search engine.

However, recently I found myself querying “healthy smoothie recipes”. Millions of results, but the first page of results were mostly mass produced round ups, not what I was looking for. I opened Instagram on my phone and searched again “healthy smoothie recipes”.  Bingo. Hundreds of beautiful foodie images appeared. I become a follower, consumer of content and a prospect of at least 5 new brands.

User behavior, like mine, is evolving. Whether social media provides better results or is just more convenient because you’re already on the app, more people are using social media to research and discover than ever before. According to Twitter, there are 19 billion searches on Twitter every month.

Social Media Marketing for Business: Expectation Vs. Reality

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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

The Digital Marketer’s Mobile Optimization Checklist

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Every good marketer knows that one of the key elements to success is making it as easy as possible for your audience to consume and share information. Part of creating ease of use is keeping in mind where and how your audience is spending their time.

What degree of success do you think a marketer would have if they were to plaster flyers at every Red Robin around the country, when the vast majority of their customers eat at In-N-Out in California?

So now we’re all hungry, but what does this have to do with mobile optimization? I hate to be the one to tell you, but mobile internet usage is something we need to be strategizing for now, not in the future.

5 Ways to Woo Your B2B Social Media Audience & 3 Brands That Are Doing it Well

 

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Have you ever been in a relationship where one partner wanted more, and the other was hesitant to take the next step?

Many B2B marketers are facing a similar roadblock. They’re ready to ask social media followers to “marry” them, but some of those followers are beginning to question why they liked the brand in the first place.

A recent study found that only 20% of CMOs are using social media for engagement. Two thirds of CMOs also report that they’re not ready to cope with social media.