How to Run a Successful Social Media Contest

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Contests are a great way for businesses to increase engagement and gain leads. Hosting one on social media is even better. With so many ways to engage, share, and make your contest viral, social media is the perfect place to host your next contest. Follow the tips below and you will be on your way to a successful social media contest!

Choose a Primary Network to Host the Contest With

It’s important to avoid confusion as much as possible when hosting a contest on social media. One way to avoid chaos and having to answer several of the same questions is by hosting the contest on one social network. Promoting the contest across all networks is recommended, and necessary for a successful contest, as long as it doesn’t require users to enter on each network. Additional entires for sharing on additional networks is a plus, but shouldn’t be one of the required steps.

I like to host contests for my clients on their Facebook page using third party apps. Facebook is usually a client’s most engaged social network and has great options for paid promotion. Once the contest is setup and paid promotion has begun on Facebook, I’ll share the contest and it’s details on the client’s other networks: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. The other networks help spread the word while increasing entries using their other fanbase.

Choose What Part of the Contest to Share on Which Network

As we discussed above, just because a contest is hosted on one network, doesn’t mean it can’t be shared on others. For example, Pinterest and Instagram are the best networks to share captivating contest images with short image descriptions, usually informing users how to enter and what the prize is. Use image tools like Picmonkey to easily add text over contest images, either explaining steps, the contest title/prize, or how to enter.

Twitter is a great opportunity to share a quick update on how many entries you’ve received so far and how many days left to enter. A contest hashtag is a must. Each tweet, and pretty much every social post, has to include the contest hashtag so users can easily follow along.

Regardless of where you are sharing details, make sure to maintain branding and similarity in all of the images and copy you use. With so many contests posted daily on social networks, you want your contest to stand out from the rest, while being known with it’s brand.

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Choose a Third Party App

A third party app is going to be the easiest, and smoothest, way to run a contest on social media. Create different contest tabs on a client’s Facebook Page using tools like Woobox and Rafflecopter. You can also direct traffic from social networks to a specific landing page using a third party app that collects and organizes entries. Some apps will even choose the winner for you by the amount of entry points per person or at random. These third party apps are some of the most commonly contest apps: Woobox, Rafflecopter, Votigo, Wildfire App, PromoSimple and Giveaway Tool.

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Create Simple Steps to Follow

The steps to a contest give direction and fluidity to how a person can enter. A photo or video contest will have minimal steps:

  1. Take a photo/video
  2. Hashtag it #contesthashtag
  3. Share it!

Having too many steps in a contest immediately discourages users and shouts “Too much work!”. The least amount of steps you have to enter a contest, the more entries it will receive. Over and over again I’ll see contests on Instagram that have too many steps, or overly complicated steps, for a social network that strives on the two simple acts of “tapping” and “tagging”.

  1. Like these 5 Instagram users
  2. Re-post this image
  3. Hashtag #awesomecontest on the images
  4. Tag 4 friends you want to bring with you

Simplify and clarify your steps. It will increase the contest and brand visibility while gaining more entries than you know what to do with. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Clarify Any Required Rules and Legalities

Rules are different then steps, and very important to contests and their host. Rules set boundaries that protect the company throwing the contest, as well as give users a full understanding of what to expect. The rules to a contest should also be simple and easily understood.

To protect yourself, and the client, you’ll want to include a set of legalities in the rules section. Depending upon the clientele and type of contest it may be beneficial to work with a lawyer to develop the official contests’ rules and regulations. The NBA did a great job, most likely with paid legal guidance, to develop this set of contest rules for the Warriors contest. #Curry

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Image Source: Total Pro Sports

Obey The Social Network’s Rules

Each social network has their own rules to obey. Facebook is a big one. It’s terms are fairly lengthy, and were recently updated in January. Scroll down to “Section E” to read all of Facebook’s requirements for Promotions, also known as contests or sweepstakes. Other than lawfully being responsible, you must include the official rules, eligibility requirements, and any necessary regulatory approvals if your contest is hosted on Facebook. You also want to release Facebook by each entrant or participant and clarify that Facebook is in no way sponsoring, endorsing, administrating, or caring about your contest.

Other than the basic legality rules, any Facebook Page can host a contest. You just can’t ask for the contest to be shared by users on their personal Timelines for entries. For example, this step would be violating Facebook’s rules:

#4: Share this post on 5 of your friend’s Facebook Timeline for an additional 2 points.

Decide How You’re Going to Choose a Winner Ahead of Time

Running a social media contest can be a little hectic and unorganized at first. Part of creating a seamless experience is by planning everything ahead of time. Deciding who’s going to choose a winner is one of those important steps to conquer prior to the launch. Is the agency going to pick a winner or is the client? Do you want your boss to have a say in it, or just the marketing team? Make it clear in the beginning so once the contest is over the designated person can quickly choose and announce a winner.

Generate Leads From the Contest

Most contests should have some sort of form or required information to submit as part of the rule. This is a great way to add to your contact list and generate leads. These entries may turn into potential customers next week, in a month, or even a year from now, all from one contest ran on social media.

Does Your Demographic Want to Win the Contest?

The main reason for hosting a contest is to get new leads, drive traffic, and increase engagement. In order to achieve those goals, you need to make sure you’re offering something your demographic actually wants.

2269_Selfie_Comp_SliderImage Source: Anaya

If your client sells shoes and they host a contest offering a $50 giftcard to Victoria’s Secrets, what are they telling their audience? Not only are they pushing them to go to another store, but a store that doesn’t even sell shoes (well, mostly). The prize needs to have a direct correlation with the brand.

A pair of shoes valued at $50 or a choice of one of the newest sandals from the summer collection would be a more effective prize. Each entry received means that person actually wants to win a new pair of your client’s shoes, they like them. This data can help you launch products in the future based on which contest prizes were the most successful, by which prizes received the most entries.

Tips For Hosting a Contest on Facebook

  • Use Facebook Ads. Advertising on Facebook is just about the only way to get your audience to see your posts, especially when it comes to contests on Facebook. Promoted Posts are a great way to increase the contest’s visibility, as well as engagement. Create several posts introducing the contest, and then promote these posts using Facebook Ads to encourage users to enter. Website Clicks is another great Facebook Ad that will push traffic from Facebook to the contest landing page.
  • Share entries on the Facebook Page. If you or your client is having an image or video based contest you can share the images and videos you receive on Facebook. This will encourage other users to enter by giving them an idea of what people have done so far, as well as inspire new ideas for entry.

Tips For Hosting a Contest on Instagram

  • Encourage hashtags and reposts. The best way to get engagement with a contest on Instagram is by having user engagement. Creating a contest-specific hashtag will give users a feed to follow and track the progress of entries. Reposts increase your potential entry base, while automatically adding additional eyes on the brand.
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  • Time the Contest Perfectly. Create your contest around upcoming events, holidays, and/or seasons. This adds a fun and unique way to add relevance to a contest and even more hashtags to choose from on Instagram.

Tips For Hosting a Contest on Pinterest

  • Send Pinners for a whirl. Work with sponsors of the contest or local business partners to spread the word about the contest by making their Pinterest page one of the steps to enter. This will send users on a hunt from Pinterest page to Pinterest page, meeting allied businesses and Pinners along the way.
  • Create a New Pinterest Board for Entries. Encourage users to make their own board sharing images that represent the contest, while using the hashtag on each pin. This alerts their followers of a new board, increasing visibility, and adds additional pins to the hashtag.

Tips For Hosting a Contest on Twitter

  • #Contest. Including #contest or #sweepstakes in your contest tweets will improve it’s visibility tremendously. People who regularly enter in #contests check the contest hashtag frequently, scrolling through the feed until they find a contest or prize that relates to them.
  • Track the Engagement. Using social media monitoring tools like Sprout Social or SocialBro track how many @ mentions, favorites, retweets, and favorites each contest tweet receives.

Have you hosted a contest on social media before? What were your results like? Comment below!

Join Dr. Pete and Cindy Krum in Our Google Hangout

Dr-peteOn June 24th at 2pm EST AuthorityLabs will be hosting a Google HoA and our guests will be Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz and Cindy Krum from Mobile Moxie. Pete is the Marketing Scientist at Moz. He is well known in the SEO industry as the guy to go to when the SERPs are changing to get answers. In fact, see his post today The Colossus Update: Waking The Giant.

cindy-krumCindy is perhaps the top expert in mobile marketing today. People travel far and wide to hear her speak on the subject. Cindy’s insights in this hangout, combined with Pete’s, will be valuable to any business today. We are going to be discussing changes in the SERPs, what businesses need to do to remain competitive in search and more.

Add this event to your calendar and RSVP here. We will be doing some Q&A and will be choosing questions from comments left here, on the Google event page and Twitter.

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8 Reasons Your Agency Needs AuthorityLabs

We all know the life and needs of agencies are different than those of in-house marketers. Providing successful marketing to several clients, versus just one business, can be a heavy burden. Although tools are essential for both types of marketers, certain tools benefit certain marketers better than others. AuthorityLabs is a great example of a tool that not only an SEO can benefit from, but an entire agency. SEO tools like AuthorityLabs help agencies monitor multiple client’s rankings, while sharing data as a team to meet client goals.

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1. Monitor Your Client’s SEO

From harsh penalties to simple errors, SEO can change quickly. Agencies have to constantly monitor these changes and stay up to date on their client’s ranking behaviors. If an agency slips and misses an important update, a drop in rankings is the first thing a client will notice.

“How come I’m not showing up on page one when I search ‘my business’ in Google?”

AuthorityLabs makes monitoring client’s rankings manageable by homing all of the SEO tools you need under one roof. Dissect analytics and stay on track of local rankings and (not provided) keywords, all while sharing SEO data with clients and the team.

2. Track and Analyze Client’s Competitors

Clients want real data, especially when it comes to data about their competitors. Using AuthorityLabs, analyze different competitors patterns and keywords to see what kind of opportunities your client may be missing out on. You can also track competitors by comparing a client’s domain against theirs using the same sets of keywords. Once competitors are added into the system, group and sync domains to get a side by side comparison of your client’s rankings and their demographics.

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3. Brand Your Analytics

When using third-parties for data and analytics, converting results into your own agencies branding can be difficult. Luckily, AuthorityLabs is 100% white label, meaning you can customize reports with an agency’s logo and branding. This gives clients a comforting feeling knowing all of the data is coming from the agency they hired, as well as trust the data from AuthorityLabs. You can also invite clients to login with their own login access so they can see the specific reports and ranking data.

4. Avoid Additional User Costs

Have a large agency? No need to fear additional user costs! Most companies have a user limit included with the original cost. Any extra users (usually any amount over one user) results in an additional charge for licenses or logins. For larger agencies, this means an affordable tool can become unaffordable quickly.

Authority Labs understands the needs of agencies and therefore doesn’t charge extra for additional user accounts. The seo and social team can both login to AuthorityLabs at no additional cost, as well as give multiple people and clients access to ranking reports.

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5. Track Mobile Rankings

Whether you need to compare a client’s mobile rankings with their desktop rankings, or just want to stay on top of the overall #mobilegeddon impact, AuthorityLabs gives agencies a safe place to track all rankings.

The best part of AuthorityLabs’ mobile tracking is the ability to compare a client’s mobile website rankings side-by-side with their desktop and local rankings. The side-by-side feature gives agencies a complete understanding of how a client’s website is seen by viewers when their searching from their phones in a specific zip or postal code.

mobile-rankings

6. Schedule Weekly or Monthly Reporting 

AuthorityLabs was created to save time. Anyone who manually runs reports knows how tedious and time consuming it can be, especially for multiple clients. Prioritize your day by creating automated data exports for your clients, producing weekly and monthly ranking reports. In addition to scheduled reporting, agencies can keep track of current rankings, changes in ranking, historical rankings, download PDF reports, use a public link feature, instant CSV exports of single domains, or use the rank tracking API. Reporting for multiple clients has never been easier.

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7. Track Results by Location

If a client’s campaign is targeting a given country, city, or zip code, you’ll need more than just basic rank tracking. AuthorityLabs gives agencies the ability to track domains in every country and language offered by Google, Yahoo! and Bing. City and zip code level tracking becomes more important as engines geotarget search results based on a searcher’s locale. When adding domains to track, you can choose a city or zip code to find out how Google presents your client’s site to searchers in each specific location.
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8. Unlock Now Provided Keywords

Finally crack analytics and discover what those mysterious Now Provided keywords are. Those keywords are essential for bidding and offer numerous opportunities for rank improvement. Several keyword targeting opportunities went missing after “not provided” was rolled out and popular keywords were no longer displayed in analytics. With the Now Provided tool from AuthorityLabs, you can show clients which keywords are driving traffic and better optimize campaigns.

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Take a Tour With Us

Haunted houses, the statues of Rome, and the Great Wall of China all make great tours. But, what’s even better? Our Authority Labs guided tour! Although this tour’s only spooky visitors is it’s tracking data, all of your ranking questions will be answered, and we hope, your SEO dreams will come true.

Want info about pricing and more detail? Contact us! We’d be happy to assist your agency with all of it’s SERP needs.

Crucial Things Internet Marketers Need to Remember Part 3: Content Marketers

content-marketing

Content is queen, and always will be. So, how do we survive it’s evolution over time? How can content marketers be ahead of the game, while maintaining sanity and avoiding writers block? Each content marketer needs to have a solid strategy and set of rules to go by. Yet, according to Forbes only 32 percent of content marketers actually believe they’re executing an effective strategy. Let’s change that percentage and better content marketing for all with these helpful reminders and rules to live by.

Rethink What Content Really Is

The idea of content marketing is much larger than blog posts and email newsletters. Infographics, videos, memes, and visual imagery has expanded the variety of content that marketers have to work with. Depending upon the audience and goals, different content will help you reach different goals. For example, infographics can help with link building and memes can help with engagement. Avoid sticking with just one content type and expand your content horizons.

Content-Marketing-Social-Media-SEO-The-3-Things-You-Need-To-Boost-Your-Website-Infographic-Insights-FeaturedImage Source: SEO Resource Guide

Understand The Difference Between Semantic Search and Keyword Stuffing

What the heck is semantic search? Techopedia has a fancy definition for the term:

Semantic Search is a data searching technique in a which a search query aims to not only find keywords, but to determine the intent and contextual meaning of the the words a person is using for search.

In basic terms, this means understanding what a person is actually searching for, despite their spelling errors and misplaced commas. It’s giving a user search results that they were looking for, but didn’t know exactly how to ask.

Keyword stuffing on the other hand is an effort to match these semantic search terms and place such terms inside content, whether or not it makes sense to do so. Google refers to this as an attempt to manipulate a site’s rankings. To make matters even worse, keyword stuffing creates a negative user experience, ultimately hindering the content and it’s chances of being shared.

Somewhere in the middle between semantic search and keyword stuffing is a happy place for content marketers. Create content that people are searching for, without irrelevant keyword stuffing. Naturally write content that converts by answering questions that are already being asked.

Optimize Content

If you’re blog/website is WordPress based, there are several different plug-ins to assist with optimizing each page, especially each blog post. With over 3,500 reviews and a 4.7 rating, SEO Yoast is a great plug-in to help add SEO to your content. Giving bots the information they need you can add keywords, title tags, image descriptions, metas, and more. For basic content optimization, follow these steps:

  • Insert your keyword in the heading and subhead. The content’s heading needs to be captivating, as well as include a primary keyword, informing both the reader and Google what the content is about. Don’t forget your header tags!
  • Include meta tags and descriptions. In 150-160 characters, summarize what the content is about, including your primary keyword. This is your opportunity to entice readers to click on your link in search engines, giving searchers a solid reason to click on your link.
    <head>
    <meta name=”description” content=”This is an example of a meta description. This will often show up in search results.”>
    </head>
  • A/B test different headlines. Some headlines perform better than others and the best ones are the hardest to create. The recipe to a perfect headline is hidden somewhere deep in the Caribbean, only a small few of us will actually ever find it. Draft 2-3 different headlines that captivate, and summarize, and test them with your audience.

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  • Grammar nazis are everywhere. Writing in a hurry, it can be easy to forget an apostrophe here or an oxford comma there. Take your time to know your grammar and it’s proper punctuation. Reread your content until you’re blue in the face, and then pass it along to someone else for proof reading. Your coworkers won’t mind.
  • Bullet points are your friend. We no longer have time to read lengthy paragraphs and run-on sentences. Summarize your main points using bullets to help keep the reader’s attention, while giving them the most important information.
  • No One Likes a Lengthy Marvin. If your analytics tells you people are spending anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes on your 1,500 word blog post, it’s safe to assume you’re post is too long. Create your post lengths to satisfy your readers, not bore them with wordy content.

Sharing is Caring

Content doesn’t sell itself. Some of your best sharing assets are sitting next to you. Encourage coworkers and employees to share their own content, as well as each others, on their social media accounts. Using your employees and coworkers to leverage sharing can help increase virality, views, and ultimately website clicks.

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Image Source: Buffer Social

What Makes Great Content

Great content is difficult to come by nowadays. Just about anyone has the ability to create a social media page or website and start publishing content. What separates the good from the bad?

  • Do the readers have a reason to share? Sharing is caring, especially with content. No one creates content with intentions for it to just sit in the cyberworld, seen by no eyes or bots. Content marketers put so much of their heart and soul into developing great content. They want it to be read by many, and hopefully influence impactful decisions. In order for that to happen, you must give readers what they want, thought-provoking content they can share with friends, family and coworkers.
  • Are you answering anyone’s questions? People want answers, that’s why we search online, call a friend, or ask a family member when we have a question we don’t know the answer to. Not only do we crave other people’s opinions, but insist on their explanations and expertise. A retail associate at H&M has a better chance of answering a question about what kind of bathing suit to buy this summer, over asking the department manager at Home Depot. Emphasize your specific expertise through publishing thought-provoking content. Research what kind of questions are being asked and answer them, using your own experience, knowledge, and research.
  • Does your content tell a story, or give an explanation? How-tos make great content pieces and are easily shared. Step 1, step 2, and step 3 are all vital steps to painting your cabinet with chevron stripes, but what story can you add with the steps? Do chevron stripes remind you of your Grandpa’s old convertible that had red apple stripes alongside the bed? Readers want a story to be relatable and humanized, as much as they want the steps.

Write To Your Demographic, Not For

Only 13% of adults are reading at a proficient reading level. If you’re a high level writer, kudos, and your readers may be closer to a third grade reading level (sad, but true), are you reaching them? Adjust your content to suit their needs and understanding. Use Readability-Score to discover how complex your content is and if your readers will be able to comprehend the message.

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Tools Are Your Friend

Content marketing tools like Quora and AuthorityLab’s now provided tool help inspire new ideas for content topics. Other tools like Buffer, MailChimp, and PRWeb help deliver your content to the right people. Manage all of your content marketing efforts with platforms like Trello, Wunderlist, and Evernote. Polish it off with writing tools Contently and Writers Access and be on your way to producing top notch content.

How do you stay a successful content marketer? Comment your best practices and favorite content marketing tools below!

Check out part 1 and 2 of this series:

Tweets in Mobile Search

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As of May 19th, the first tweets in Google search results since the new agreement between Twitter and the search giant began displaying in mobile searches. The first iteration of the roll-out is only for mobile and is currently limited to the US. Google indicates that Twitter content will eventually be available in desktop searches and worldwide as the year continues.

In an article for this publication back in late April, I highlighted how digital marketers might take advantage of these ongoing developments. While most of the strategies and tactics still hold, I need to address one item and take a look at what the opportunities provided by the current display of Tweets in the Google SERPs.

Since we weren’t certain at the time of publication about how Google might present tweets, I suggested the following:

There are several things to consider in order to optimize branded tweets showing up in results for search queries. First, your branded avatar may or may not show up as part of the search results. Don’t count on brand recognition based on the visual. Make sure that your Twitter handle is clearly identifiable. This is sometimes a challenge given the character limits of Twitter usernames, but it’s incredibly important that you find a way to easily identify your brand by your handle alone. This not only impacts your brand’s tweets, but also any relevant tweets that mention your brand’s handle. Make sure that when others tweet about you that anyone viewing that tweet will know it was your brand mentioned.

The rationale behind an easily identifiable Twitter handle is still important, but we can now delve into how avatars, photos, and other rich media play a roll in Twitter search results.The primo search placement is Tweets in the media rich carousel near the top of mobile search results. Like this result for a search on my Android phone for Matt Cutts.

Search for Matt Cutts
As you can see, we get Matt’s name, his Twitter handle, his avatar, and a feature of an image he had recently shared at the time of this search query. Not all searches trigger a rich media result like this, however. Nor do they show up in the same ranking position for every search.

Google search for Danny Sullivan & Marty Weintraub

While searches for Danny Sullivan and Marty Weintraub both triggered carousel results, we got Danny’s personal account and Marty’s company account. Neither of the results ranking at the very top of the SERPs. The only top of the list result I could trigger for people in our industry was for myself. Please note here the importance of a clearly identifiable twitter handle, since the featured tweet in this result mentions @authoritylabs.

Search for Michelle Stinson Ross

As you can see, I did these searches while logged into my Google account. I suspect that the sorting of results has something to do with that. But that continues to make your Google+ connections to your community an important factor, especially in mobile search results. Searches for publications also resulted in a mixed bag for me.

Search for AuthorityLabs and Search Engine Journal

Here AuthorityLabs and Search Engine Journal did NOT trigger the carousel, just a mention of the branded twitter accounts. Here I can point out that we do get the proper name and the Twitter handle but no avatar or actual tweets. The search for Search Engine Land did trigger the carousel, but there were no photos in their twitter stream at the time of my query.

Search for Search Engine Land

As you can see, the images generated in the higher ranking G+ results are more eye-catching than the Tweets featured in the carousel.

Depending on the popularity of a topic a hashtag search might trigger the carousel, but for the industry hashtags I tried, Google mobile search gave me a basic link to tweets about the #LocalSEO and #MobileSEO tags.

#localseo & #mobileseo
Although these results are only available in mobile search and are difficult to predict how exactly your brand’s Twitter content might show up in a Google search, it is still in your brand’s best interest to keep the possible variations in mind when posting to Twitter. Branding of both your account name and handle are still important, especially if the search does not trigger the media rich carousel.Making use of native Twitter images and video certainly makes carousel results stand out from the rest of the mobile results on the page. The eye-catching images are likely to lead to more clicks and engagement.

Although markups within your site that generate automatic media rich Twitter cards in Twitter are extremely valuable to engagement on Twitter, I did not see any signs of Google pulling the additional media all the way through to the carousel results. This means that you might have to adjust how often you share an image along with a link, rather than relying on the Twitter cards generated by the markups on your site. Some testing will be in order to determine when and how often to forego some clickthrough on tweets linking to your site in order to draw in a new audience from Google search.

As with any new marketing feature, I recommend that you test, test, measure, and then test some more.

Crucial Things Internet Marketers Need to Remember Part Two: Social Media

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Social media is everything. An obsessive habit, a communication portal for businesses and customers, a gateway to increasing links and online purchases, a consistent lead producer, and so much more. Social media marketers are well aware of this and the heavy burdens that come with managing company social profiles.

Not only is a brand exposed to the possibility of bashing, but several crises now exist due to social media and the demand for presence. Through all the chaos of managing a company’s brand online, there are many rewards: engagement with new fans, the first sale from Facebook, content shared virally on Twitter, etc.

facebook-fake-likeImage Source: Dazeinfo.com

Business 2 Community organized an impressive list of online marketing statistics last December. Of the many, these social stats sum up the struggle, benefits, and why social media is such a vital part of online marketing.

  • “Interesting content” is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media. (NewsCred)
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases. (Jeff Bullas)
  • 63% of millennials say they stay updated on brands using social networks and 51% say social opinions influence their purchase decisions; and 46% rely on social when making online purchases. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
  • 34% of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads. (Jeff Bullas)

You can keep afloat through the social media updates, crises, and changes with these tips:

Optimize Social Profiles

As much as this should be a given, it’s so easily forgotten. Each social network offers different opportunities to optimize a company profile. Twitter allows hashtags in the description and tracks keywords to filter specific search results for accounts, photos, videos, and more. Facebook gives you plenty of opportunity to properly insert business information with specific hours, categories, address, short/long descriptions, etc. Don’t miss out on opportunities to connect locally and with potential new clients by forgetting to optimize your company’s social pages.

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Optimizing Tips

  • Verify your Pinterest profile by verifying your website. There are two different ways to verify, with an HTML tag or a meta on the website. Once verified, a bright red check mark appears next to the website, giving users a more comforting feel that this is indeed the real Kim Kardashian Pinterest page.
  • Optimize Twitter images. Twitter automatically reduces images to 440 x 220 pixels. If the large image you were planning to attach with a tweet won’t be attractive that small, choose a different image that will appeal to Tweeters and the pixel requirements.

Pay Attention to Analytics

Almost every social network is now providing it’s own analytics for businesses. This leaves very little reasoning to why you’re still posting at 12:15pm everyday when Facebook has data to prove your fans are engaging best at 6:30pm. Scheduling tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Followerwonk also provide great analytics that further help analyze what fans are engaging best with.

2015-05-21_12-58-42Analytics Tips

  • Perform weekly social media reports that analyze each social network’s progress. The report should track how many fans/followers, increase/decrease of engagement, published posts, link clicks, etc.
  • Analyze goals with results. If the goal of a company Facebook page was initially to address concerns with products and act as a customer service funnel, then analyze how often the page is receiving such engagement. Is it the type of engagement you expected? Are you responding accordingly and in a timely manner?

Time is Always of the Essence

On Monday I spent about 10 minutes writing a complaint on a company’s Facebook page regarding an experience I just had. As someone who manages several company social pages, I know the quickest way to get a response from a company is when a complaint is right smack on a client’s Facebook page, just waiting for comments from others to add on.

It’s been four days now and still no response. This is a very big, corporate company with locations internationally and a large social team who’s been posting new posts since my complaint was posted. As a user, and former customer, I’m now even more upset. Imagine how your clients and customers feel when you don’t message them back on Twitter in a timely matter.

Urgency Tips:

  • Respond to engagement within 24 hours. If the engagement is negative, respond as soon as possible to help resolve the situation.
  • Create notifications to notify you each time engagement is received. Connect the notifications to the email address you check most, and push notifications through your cell, as well.

Reach Your Demographic

There’s nothing worse for a user than wanting to like and engage with your brand, but being turned off by your irrelevant posts. If your audience is primarily made up of millennials, use fun, high contrast imagery that they’re attracted to. Whereas if you’re trying to sell life insurance policies to 50+ year old couples you’ll want to use stock images of people in their 40s.

Conduct research, and then do more research, about what your demographic likes and what your competition is doing. Checking with your competitors who have similar demographics will inspire you with new ideas and avoid the trial and error of what works and what doesn’t.

Demographic Tips:

  • Understand what your demographic likes. Clearly you’ve done enough research to define your demographic that you should know what kind of things your demographic enjoys. Incorporate your company with those types of interests to appeal to them with similar types of posts, images, and content.
  • Pinterest isn’t the perfect social network for every company. Just as LinkedIn is great for scouting potential employees and leads, Pinterest is perfect for eCommerce, fashion, and restaurants. Have a brand presence on all social networks, but concentrate your main efforts on the networks your audience will engage with most.

Humanize the Tone and Message

This isn’t 2025; we’re not all robots. Let’s communicate to our customers on social like we do in person, using real dialogue. Phrases like, “Call Today!” and “Get Yours Now!” are typical calls to action that bombard customers with an unrelatable sales feel. Sales-speak can be great when spoken correctly, but isn’t always appropriate for social media. Converse with fans and produce thought-provoking engagement they want to interact with.

social-media_brand_voiceImage Source: Social Media Explorer

Humanizing Tips:

  • Define the tone. Does your brand want to be playful, sarcastic, arrogant or persuasive? Choose a tone and stick with it when posting on social. Followers will respect the consistency of your tone, even if it doesn’t 100% match their own.
  • Define the voice. A company’s voice is different than it’s tone. The voice is the more definitive style of the brand, whereas the tone is that extra spice you add to your already spicy burrito.

Handle Social Media Crises With a Stiff Drink

No one ever said managing social media pages would be easy. When a crisis hits, and they will, break open that bottle of whiskey that’s been collecting dust and get your typing fingers ready. You’ll have a lot of communicating to do.

e9c3bbab3cc8320eb25d3d2334d07d13Image Source: Pinterest

Crises Tips

  • Know the difference between a standard consumer complaint and a social media crisis. When a group of fans who dislike your company create multiple social pages to badmouth and spread lies on Facebook, using your logo, that’s a crisis.
  • Attack where the attack began. If the issue began on Twitter and quickly spread to Facebook and Tumblr, respond appropriately to the Tweeters, then the Facebookers, and Tumblrs. Your sincere apology needs to be seen where the comment was first made.
  • Avoid an automated response. Copy and paste is not the answer to social media crisis. A real person needs to respond from the company and address concerns, either leaving their actual name as a signature or “Management”. Come up with a solution to the problem and respond uniquely to each comment.

Have a tip you can’t live without for social media management? Comment below and share your best strategies and ideas for surviving social media!

Check out Part One of this series: Crucial Reminders For Internet Marketers Part One: SEOs