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.

 

Joshua Nite

5 Questions to Answer BEFORE You Develop a Social Media Strategy

Joshua Nite     Online Marketing, Social Media

Last weekend I decided to build something. So I went to Home Depot and asked a nice man in an orange apron to tell me what supplies I needed. “Okay, what are you building?” he asked.

“Oh, you know, something…maybe out of wood? Perhaps a birdhouse, or some furniture, or a planter,” I replied. “Don’t worry; I have lots of tools and I’ve seen other people build things, so I’m ready to go. Just tell me what I need to buy.”

“I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” he replied.

Okay, so none of the above happened (call it poetic license). It’s a ridiculous scenario, right? Who would start building something without knowing what they needed, why they were building it, and what the finished product would be?

Caitlin Burgess

Will More Tweet Space Equal More Value for Your Twitter Audience?

Caitlin Burgess     Social Media, Twitter

Last month, Twitter made big headlines after announcing it was in the midst of testing 280-character tweets as a way to give users more room to “express” themselves. The announcement came a little more than a year after Twitter stopped including links and photos in character counts.

“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean),” the company said in a press release on its blog. “Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”

Alexis Hall

Everything You Need to Build a LinkedIn Marketing Tactical Plan

Alexis Hall     LinkedIn, MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Over the last five years, we’ve seen an evolution in the way B2B marketers are talking about and using social media. We’ve evolved from asking “Should we be doing it?” to “Is what we are doing worth it?” to now “How do I make this really effective channel even more effective?”.

According to a recent study from Oktopost, 79% of B2B marketers believe social media is an effective marketing channel (Oktopost). And for many B2B marketers, LinkedIn is THE social media channel. In fact 43% of marketers say they’ve sourced a customer from LinkedIn (Hubspot).

But could we be doing better? Can we use LinkedIn more effectively?

Debbie Friez

Break All the Social Rules: Advice from Spredfast VP of Strategy Spike Jones

Debbie Friez     MIMA Seminars, Social Media

In this era of social media, brands need to look at their social outreach in a different light. Which means that sometimes, you have to break the social media rules. Spike Jones, Vice President Strategy at Spredfast outlined a new type of social success at the September Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) event.

As Spike shared in his presentation:

“When it comes to social media, sometimes you need to follow the breadcrumbs.”

Why? Because you never know who you might find. Below are some of the top insights and takeaways from Spike’s presentation.

It’s not about the brand.

As marketers, we are often taught to include our brand’s logo, messaging tagline and any other branding we might have on everything we produce and influence.

Caitlin Burgess

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Social Media Marketing Goals

Caitlin Burgess     Social Media

In today’s digital landscape, chances are social media is a vital piece of your marketing mix. After all, people live on social platforms these days and projections show that worldwide social media users will surpass 3 billion by 2021.

But as brands and marketers fight for visibility in crowded, “algorithm-enhanced” news feeds, how many of you are actually reaching your strategic social media marketing objectives? Better yet, how many of you can say you have well-defined, relevant and measurable goals outlined within your social strategy?

As a marketer, you know there can be no strategy without goals. Goals are the foundation of your strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next. But how do you define those goals?

Caitlin Burgess

Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview with Social Customer Care Wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, B2C Marketing, Social Media

Behind the Marketing Curtain with Dan Gingiss

Social media marketing has become an important part of any brand’s digital marketing mix, helping brands of all sizes foster customer connections and engagement. But as more consumers use social media to “ring the bell” and gain access to the person who can help solve their problems, many find the social bell is out of order when it comes to customer service.

For social media wiz Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s Corporation’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, customer service is arguably one of the most important pieces of social media marketing.

“Social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage,” Dan told me in a recent interview.

Debbie Friez

How to Tame the Wild Wild West of Social Media Reputation

Debbie Friez     Digital Summit, Social Media

In the Wild, Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation, employees create social accounts without governance. But, are they on brand?

At the Digital Summit Minneapolis, #DSMPLS, Casey Hall,Thomson Reuters, shared a process for taming the horses and adding governance to the stable.

The Audit

Start by searching your company name and all variations of it, says Hall. You can use a simple spreadsheet or a database to keep track of the channel name, followers, last activity, link and log if there were any brand issues.

Once you have found all the rogue channels, you need to determine if it is a relevant channel or if it needs to move to the takedown.

Joshua Nite

Does Snark = Sales? What Consumers REALLY Want from Brands on Social Media

Joshua Nite     Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media

Social media marketers, do you feel a brief pang of envy when a brand gets sassy on Twitter or Facebook? Do you wish you had the brand identity and/or corporate backing to smack down a troll, a la Wendy’s?

Me too. It’s only natural. Even in a profession as inherently creative as marketing, some of us can fly our freak flags higher than others. If you’re working in financial services, or healthcare, or any number of staid verticals, odds are you have to keep your sarcasm in check.

We may never get the sweet satisfaction of seeing a tweet full of biting wit go viral. But we have to keep perspective. Are we here to get featured on Buzzfeed, or to generate revenue? Does the snark really translate to sales?

Emily Hinderaker

Back to Basics: 5 Tips for Becoming a More Effective Community Manager

Emily Hinderaker     Social Media

Your main goal as a community manager is to advocate your brand on social networks, find and engage potential customers in an online community and deepen the customer’s relationship with the brand. Sounds easy, right?

Wrong. Community management is challenging. Customer expectations are becoming increasingly more demanding, and the customer now has more control over brand reputation than ever before. While this is a real challenge, there is also a huge opportunity for brand messaging that delivers clear, consistent and valuable content to the customer community. As a community manager, it’s important to not only link the customer community to the brand, but also to instill the brand goals and objectives throughout the community.

Caitlin Burgess

Digital Advertising Tips: 5 Scenarios Perfect for Pay-to-Play Tactics

In today’s competitive and content-saturated digital landscape, it’s no secret that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect, engage and inspire action from our audiences using only “free” or organic marketing tactics.

As a result, digital advertising, often dubbed “pay-to-play” by marketers, is steadily on the rise. In fact, last fall, eMarketer forecasted that digital advertising spend would surpass TV ad spending for the first time in history by the end of 2016. And that trend is definitely expected to continue.

However, despite rising ad spend, consumers are actively avoiding our ads, according to a 2016 HubSpot Research report. For example, four out of five consumers reported that they closed a browser or exited a website because of an autoplaying ad or a pop up.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Citrix’s Justin Levy Takes a Dive into Top Social Media Opportunities

The lines between long-form content and social media marketing are becoming blurrier each day. Social networks now allow for native video viewing, live video and even some long-form content. They have essentially become their own content platforms competing with blogs and brand websites.

Facebook alone is on pace to hit approximately 2 billion users this year and other social networks are growing at a rapid pace as well.

To better understand the role that social media marketing plays in today’s digital world, I decided to pick the brain of one of today’s top social media leaders, Justin Levy. Justin is the Director of Social Marketing at Citrix and in addition to being an incredibly talented marketer, he’s very open to sharing what he knows to help other marketers learn and grow.

Will Peterson

You Know Influencers: 5 Tips to Unlock Powerful Employee Advocacy

Will Peterson     Online Marketing, Social Media

[Editor’s Note: I am pleased to introduce you to Will Peterson, another new contributor on TopRankBlog.com. Will is an Account Manager that services many of our B2B Enterprise clients. Welcome Will!]

Don’t look now, but you’re surrounded by influencers. You may not realize it, and they may not realize it themselves, but you and everyone you work with carry an immense amount of potential influence. Read on to discover how to uncover a powerful hidden force that can add significant value to everything from your company’s social media presence all the way down to its bottom line.