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.

 

Debbie Friez

A Taste of Social and Influencer Marketing: What B2B Can Learn from B2C #SMBMSP

Debbie Friez on Dec 3rd, 2018     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Social Media

B2B Influencer Marketing Takeways from B2C Influencers

B2C brands pioneered the use of influential voices to boost their brand appeal, sales, and campaigns. And as more and more B2B brands and marketers dive into the world of influencer marketing, the question is: How can we leverage the knowledge, insights and tips B2C marketers have to share for our marketing efforts?

Last week, a panel of foodie influencers and bloggers provided some insights that can help answer that question. My TopRank Marketing colleague Jack Fitzpatrick and I attended Social Media Breakfast – Minneapolis St. Paul’s (SMBMSP) panel moderated by Michele Phillips, a food blogger, writer, photographer and content creator, which included food personality Lindsay Greene, tweeting BBQ enthusiast The Product Poet, and Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS founder Golnaz Yamoutpour.

Nick Nelson

Tapping Key Takeaways from Recent Research on Fortune 500 Social Media Usage

Nick Nelson on Nov 20th, 2018     Content Marketing, Social Media

The State of Social Media Marketing for Fortune 500 Companies

Blogs are booming. Instagram interest is on the rise. Facebook is forever fashionable. And LinkedIn continues to lead the pack.

These all reflect trends found among Fortune 500 companies on social media, according to recent research from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research.

We scoured UMass Dartmouth’s research in search of key takeaways and surprising tidbits that would intrigue and inspire B2B and B2C brands large and small. Here’s what you need to know about how the world’s largest corporations are tackling social media, plus some helpful resources to help give your social media marketing efforts a boost.

Nick Nelson

Twitter Has Renewed its Live Video Push & Here’s What You Need to Know

Nick Nelson on Oct 17th, 2018     Social Media, Twitter, Video

Once a pioneer in bringing live video to the social media world, Twitter fell behind the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and others as this format rose to mainstream prominence. However, the platform’s recent move to make live video more easily discoverable shows Twitter is recommitting to video.

But the question is: Can Twitter recapture the magnetic energy of live video?

When I attended Jane Weedon’s keynote speech at Content Marketing World last month, I was deeply struck by this remark from Twitch’s Director of Business Development:

“Authentic and real-time video can be better than immaculately produced when it comes to engaging an audience.”

Her company’s model serves as proof of this assertion. Twitch welcomed more than 15 million daily visitors last year, and continues to see explosive growth, largely because of this dynamic.

Nick Nelson

What You Need to Know About Instagram Stories for B2B Marketing

Nick Nelson on Oct 9th, 2018     Social Media

Instagram Stories for B2B Marketing

Why would B2B brands be interested in using Instagram Stories as a marketing channel?

It starts with a very simple premise: B2B customers are people, and people use Instagram, which eclipsed 1 billion active monthly users over the summer. And when it comes to the platform’s “Stories” format, it surpassed the similarly oriented Snapchat in users within a year of its 2016 launch.

Instagram Active Users

Of course, the issue here is more one of context. Can business-focused content really succeed on a social network that slants so strongly toward casual, leisure surfing?

As we’ll see, B2B companies are showing that yes, it can. And there’s plenty of opportunity to take it a step further.

Nick Nelson

Will Twitter Succeed in Defeating Trolls? The Stakes for Marketers

Nick Nelson on Aug 20th, 2018     Social Media, Twitter

“I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic?”

I can guarantee this will be the first and last time I ever open a blog post with lyrics from Britney Spears, but the pop star’s 2003 tribute to perilous romance seems to perfectly encapsulate my relationship with Twitter — and I know I’m not alone.

via GIPHY

I love Twitter. It’s easily my favorite social network. I’ve been active on it for almost a decade, and during that time I’ve had countless enlightening conversations (mostly about baseball and marketing), become friends with people I never would’ve encountered otherwise, and wasted more time than I’d like to admit scrolling mindlessly through my feed.

Anne Leuman

The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes

Anne Leuman on Aug 15th, 2018     Facebook, Online Marketing

Latest Facebook Updates 2018

From the Russian ad debacle to the Cambridge Analytica scandal to suffering a major stock price blow just a few short weeks ago, Facebook has been making less-than-stellar headlines the past few months. Users are concerned about their privacy and how their data is being used—and brands and marketers are wondering whether the platform will continue to be a viable advertising and engagement platform.

In an attempt to rebuild trust, ensure better data protection and transparency, the social network is doubling down, again, on their commitment to improving the user experience and creating a fun, respectful community.

Anne Leuman

Best Practices for Choosing Effective and Captivating Social Media Visuals

Anne Leuman on Jul 30th, 2018     Social Media

Best Practices for Selecting Social Media Visuals

For both B2B and B2C brands, social media marketing has become an age-old tactic by now. And it’s no surprise. Despite working 8 hours a day and sleeping (hopefully) 8 hours, the average person still spends nearly two hours each day on social media, according to a study by Mediakix.

But the social media landscape is changing—alot. Organic reach on Facebook is declining with changes to the Newsfeed, some of which are still rolling out. Twitter is struggling to retain their active users. Instagram is experimenting with long-form video content. LinkedIn is also investing in more video.

Given these changes and regular updates, the best practices for each platform are constantly evolving. But what’s one thing that isn’t poised to change anytime soon? The importance of using eye-catching, compelling visual content to draw people in.

Nick Nelson

The Future of Connection on Facebook: How Stories May Change the Marketing Game

Nick Nelson on Jul 18th, 2018     Facebook, Social Media

How Facebook Stories Will Change Social Media Marketing

“You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount.”

This scathing remark, delivered by actor Jesse Eisenberg while portraying Mark Zuckerberg amidst a heated deposition in the 2010 film The Social Network, has a certain pertinence today with regards to the company Zuckerberg founded back in 2004.

As Facebook’s news feed algorithm becomes increasingly restricting for brands and publishers, many of us are finding it difficult to capture even the minimum amount of our audience’s attention on the platform.

The search for elusive reach on the world’s largest social media channel has led some marketers to explore Facebook Groups as a way to stay visible with users. But it appears the more critical frontier may be Facebook Stories, a feature that is rapidly on the rise and — according to the company’s own top execs — represents the future of connection on Facebook.

Nick Nelson

The Power of Social Media Polls: The Drill-Down on 3 Platforms + 5 General Best Practices

Nick Nelson on Jul 9th, 2018     Social Media

The Power of Social Media Polls for Marketing

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, all the way back to 2007.

The world was a different place. Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (ella, ella) dominated the Billboard Charts. Scorsese’s masterpiece The Departed won Best Picture. Facebook was only a year removed from opening its membership to the general public, and Twitter was a fledgling startup, still looking to gain traction.

But even then, online polls were already emerging as an intriguing tool for digital marketers. On this blog, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden penned a post about the relatively nascent tactic, which could be utilized through a modest WordPress plugin.

“If you want to know what your users are thinking,” Lee wrote. “Just ask them.”

Nick Nelson

The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group?

Nick Nelson     Facebook, Social Media

Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group

Despite its recent bubble of controversy, marketers still view Facebook as the prime destination for social media marketing.

The newly released Sprout Social Index 2018 reaffirms this, with 97% of social marketers saying they use the platform.

However, while almost everyone is incorporating Facebook into their strategies, not so many express confidence that it’s making the desired impact. Last month’s 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report showed only 49% reporting a belief that their Facebook marketing is effective.

With algorithmic changes deprioritizing publisher content on Facebook feeds, and thus suppressing organic reach for brands, marketers are feeling the crunch. As I wrote here recently, “Facebook’s gargantuan active user base is impossible to ignore. We just need to get creative in finding ways to connect with people there.”

Caitlin Burgess

Digital Marketing Spotlight: An Interview With Ursula Ringham, Head of Global Influencer Marketing, SAP

Influencer Marketing Interview Ursula Ringham

They say curiosity killed the cat, but in Ursula Ringham’s case, curiosity is her special gift—both personally and professionally.

“I’m a fiercely curious person who loves storytelling,” Ursula told me. “I guess it’s my hidden talent; I can strike up a conversation with a stranger and get them to tell me their full life story. I’ll talk to anyone. I want to know people and how they think.”

Her curiosity and “love of story” have guided her throughout her marketing career—from early positions at Adobe and Apple to self-publishing a thriller novel to her latest role as Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP*.

“I’m no millennial, but I have the millennial mindset,” she says. “You have to go after what you want. You can’t let fear decide your future. And I know if I put my mind to something, I can do it.”

Nick Nelson

From Messenger Bots to the Growth of ‘Gram, Social Media Examiner’s Annual Report Reveals Trends to Watch

Nick Nelson     Social Media

2018 Social Media Marketing Trends from Social Media Examiner Report

Engagement is down. Trust is dwindling. And the most popular social media marketing platform is now riddled with uncertainty.

For marketers, the social space has never felt more daunting or perplexing. Luckily, Social Media Examiner recently released its 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the latest annual snapshot of where things currently stand in this critical frontier.

While the report doesn’t answer all our questions, it does offer some helpful clarity and context.

We’ve gone through Social Media Examiner’s in-depth report, which gathered input from more than 5,700 respondents, and distilled some of the most noteworthy nuggets for marketers to noodle on and insights on how you can improve your efforts.

Here’s what you need to know about the state of social media marketing in 2018.