I thought so.
JenningsWire queried social media experts and those who use social media to market their businesses, brands and/or books to find out what they found worked in 2012 and what did not work for them. Why not use their feedback to help you determine your plan for 2013?
Most experts agree that time is of the essence. Right now, social media is a huge component of our new reality in branding, marketing your business and/or your books and attracting new clients. Who you are ‘online’ matters.
Here we go with our author and expert round-up of what worked and what did not work, socially media speaking, in 2103
A picture is worth a thousand words . . .
Worked: Sharing pictures was huge in 2012. Not only did Pinterest break records with their growth but Facebook fans and Twitter followers too saw huge increases in response to photos. On Facebook, pictures are the most widely shared, liked and commented status updates, far surpassing video, links and text posts. Smart marketers share branded pictures with text embedded in the picture linking to their website or social media page so that when the picture is shared they benefit from that traffic.
Did not work: Hard Selling. The best social media marketing campaigns weren’t focused on hard sales – they were focused on making fans and followers feel special by giving them special deals, discounts and first access to products that no one else knew about. If you can make your social media followers feel like they’re first-in-line for all the new stuff and they’re getting better deals than everyone else, they’ll share your deals with their followers, causing your marketing campaigns to go viral.
Submitted by Tom Corson-Knowles, the international best-selling author of Facebook For Business Owners who blogs regularly about social media and marketing your business. You can connect with Tom on Twitter and Facebook
For us, the marketing strategy that worked the best in 2012 was definitely building and expanding Google+ accounts for our clients. Although Google+ doesn’t have the popularity of Facebook or Twitter, having a well-balanced and fully filled out account turned out to make a huge difference to filters on search engines. By using social networking to build our clients circles of friends and followers, we have not only gotten word about their products and services out through our own updates, but helped them achieve a better rank on multiple search engines as well.
Submitted by Kate Dinkel, Internet Marketing Manager, CyberMark International
Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, based in Minneapolis, MN, Jayme Pretzloff, oversees all digital initiatives including SEO, social media and web development. Jayme has been involved in social media marketing for the past six years in various capacities including management and consulting for small businesses. Jayme offers his opinion on Facebook’s promoted posts. Here is his take:
Worked: Facebook’s promoted posts worked wonders in 2012 to increase our brand’s reach, and will continue to do so in 2013. Facebook’s promoted posts are a great way to reach your potential customers and clients. Ever since Facebook changed their EdgeRank to allow only about 10% of your page’s followers to see your posts, using promoted posts has become more and more important. We have seen huge spikes in engagement with our fans by using promoted posts. The best way to combat EdgeRank is to tackle it head on!
Asking social media pros for tips, implementing them consistently
Author and Executive Coach, Elizabeth Lions, author of Recession Proof Yourself and I Quit! Working For You Isn’t Working For Me, wanted to use social media exposure for her soon to be released second book. Elizabeth asked her expert social media marketing friend to give her some pointers and she was on her way. This is how it worked out for Elizabeth. She says:
1) Consistency. I posted 3-5 x a day on relevant topic for my readers
2) I don’t make it all about me and my work. I make it all about them. For example, I post on the same sort of key words – unemployment, job seeking and economy.
3) I paid attention to KLOUT and my score. It went up and showed I was consistently posting the same message.
4) Once a week, I post on someplace I’m speaking or my blog.
Did not work:
1) Irrelevant, off the cuff odd posts – like what I had for lunch or an offbeat article.
2) Looking for ROI – social media doesn’t work like that. You just have to keep showing up and putting it out there.
3) Being all about yourself. Readers are there for you because of what you give to them.
Sharing links of other businesses that can help your clients
Tiffany Silverberg, Writer and Editor for professionals and entrepreneurs says this about what worked and did not work for her:
Worked: What works best in social media, as in all tactics to drive sales, is conversation – getting to know the client and providing real life, accessible solutions. Sharing links of other shops and companies that can help a potential customer will engender them to your brand and make you seem generous. Being up to date on the latest products and features and sharing truly helpful hints will give your social media traction.
Did not work: What doesn’t work is pushing straight sales. It never works. Post after post of links to yourself feels slimy and will get you unfollowed every time.
Showcasing your socially relevant commentary, reaching out to reporters via tweets, infographics
In-house SEO & Social Media Expert, Victor Pan, for WordStream, a startup that does Search Marketing software shares the social media marketing ideas and strategies that worked for him in 2012 and the strategy that is no longer working.
Worked: Preparing and delivering content related to an upcoming news commentary. Reporters are always on the look-out for authoritative sources. The timeliness of the content your share also helps the spread of your idea.
Worked: Reaching out to reporters with a Tweet of your newest research related to their news beat. It shows them that you’ve done your homework. It also helps get your voice out there from the clutter known as email.
Worked: Using images and videos remotely related to promotional blog posts on Facebook and G+. Rich media is more effective in getting customers to react. Words are easily lost in the clutter of a newsfeed.
Worked: Creating an authoritative bio page to drive quotes, shares, and mentions. Some people love to fact check before they share. Make it easier for them to share your ideas by establishing yourself as a thought leader. Example: Linking your name to an author biography like this one for Larry Kim.
Worked: What worked: Adding the Pinterest button for a page hosting infographics. Infographics are crying to be shared on Pinterest. They’re visual in nature, so they’re also extremely natural in Pinterest. We got over 1,000 Pins we would’ve missed for this one Infographic.
Did not work: Using targeted anchor text links on press releases to build authority for specific web pages. Google discounts links from press releases as was recently discussed in Google’s product forums. People who read press releases don’t browse on links the way people who read articles on Wikipedia do.
Newsjacking, twitter chats, live tweeting and blogging at events, YouTube TV show
Worked: Newsjacking. Newsjacking (done correctly) is a great way to jump into topical conversations and relate them back to your brand.
Worked: Participating in Twitter chats. I participated in #brandchat and #cmgrchat (community manager chat) on Twitter on a regular basis. I participated using my personal Twitter account (rather than the company’s) to put a face on the interactions (do you see a theme here?). It helped me network with others in the industry, gain insight into others’ strategies, share insights to build myself and my company as thought leaders and also widened the networks for both me personally as well as iAcquire. Those I actually tweeted with during these chats were valuable connections – whose content I gladly shared & will continue to share and who also share my & my company’s content.
Worked: Putting offline interactions online. We worked hard this year to bring offline online. We live-tweeted and live blogged several major conferences – but we also took this a step further. We created a Lunch Break YouTube talk show that brought in industry luminaries to answer questions users submitted via Twitter as well as discuss trending topics in the industries. This created desirable sharable content that our audience also was invested in creating.
Using tumblr to promote giveaways
Worked: Most tumblr users reblog, rather than create original content. When there’s something in it for the end-user (product giveaway, etc.) the reblogs flow like crazy. Notifying prominent tumblr blogs and telling them “I think your followers would enjoy this giveaway” is a great way to create a viral storm of traffic to your brand. Just make sure to use an image as the post (tumblr is very visual)
Strategy tip submitted by Dennis Duty, Full Service Internet Marketing Consultant of DennisDuty.com
What’s not working? Turning social media into measurable ROI
Did not work: What’s not working is turning likes, connections, follows and recommendations into dollars. And this continues to be a struggle. Companies know they should be involved in social media, but the vast majority are unable to measure the financial return on the time invested into building and maintaining their social media presence.
Strategy tip submitted by Scott Seroka, Principal and Certified Brand Strategist at Seroka, a Brand Development and Strategic Communications firm in Milwaukee, WI.
Using social media to connect with clients, but not sell to clients
Creative Director of Goldstein Media, a social media marketing, Seth Goldstein Website: GoldsteinMedia.com says that:
Worked: What worked in 2012 was quite clear, using Social Media as a way to connect to your clients, customers and potential customers. Using networks such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Linkedin to share information, respond to complaints, comments, compliments from clients was a major win in 2012. What didn’t work in 2012 was the over spamming of networks and groups with promotional messages for products and services. No one wants to be sold to, they want to feel like they are being helped and assisted.
Worked: Targeted advertising on Facebook worked wonders! At AMRAP Nutrition, this was the primary marketing method of reaching a niche group of people, quickly. We saw tremendous success which helped us to grow to over 43,000 fans and far surpass our sales expectations when we launched our first product in October.
Strategy tip submitted by Ron Slavick, CEO of AMRAPUSA.com
Note from Annie: The way I approach doing a lot of things in a little time is this: I look at what our team has accomplished over the entire week. If you look at what you accomplish each day it can seem overwhelming and overwhelm does not feel good so a person can wind up doing nothing. But if you treat each week as a “day”, you can mark your progress by what you accomplish over a nice chunk of time, rather than day-to-day.
For example, to me, one week is just one long day with breaks in between. It’s not what we accomplish in a certain 8 hour period, but what we accomplish over the 40 hours. And at the end of the week we have a lot to show for ourselves, without the day-to-day pressure. At the end of the month, WOW, and at the end of a year… well you know what I mean.
I would also say to develop an urgency mindset but also one that says something like this, I am better off today then I was yesterday social media-wise. This allows you to just keep going. I would also recommend that you hire someone for a few hours a day or a couple of days to do your routine social media upkeep (or even get an intern from your local college), while you focus on learning the next big social media strategy, many of which were presented above. I say delegate the work you know how to do in your sleep and focus on learning and creating your next level.
Here’s to your great social media marketing success in 2013!
All heart, Annie (Creator of JenningsWire)
More posts from Annie here!