6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Social Media Marketing Goals

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?

The truth is there’s a lot to consider such as your industry, overall business objectives, budget and resources. With that said, whether you need to start from scratch or it’s time to give your goals a refresh, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself along the way:

#1 – How does social media map to my overall marketing objectives?

Your social media marketing efforts are an integral part of your entire marketing strategy. As such, the goals you set should absolutely support what you’re trying to achieve at a high level. It’s as simple as that.


Your #socialmedia goals should absolutely map to your overall #marketing objectives.
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#2 – Who is my social audience?

You know that the foundation of any marketing initiative is understanding your audience’s pain points, motivations, interests and needs. But those defining characteristics may manifest themselves a bit differently on social media. After all, social media is a personal outlet for many, so their motivations for engaging with a brand may be different than if they received an email from you or found you via search.

As a result, in order to define your social media objectives, you need to understand why your audience is on social media and what they care about most on those platforms.

#3 – How does my audience differ across social channels?

Every social media channel offers something a little unique, which means your audience may differ from channel to channel. As a result, your goals—as well as your strategy to reach those goals—should reflect that.

#4 – What does my audience expect from me?

Let’s face it. The goals you set are going to be rooted in some type of audience action. But to inspire that action, you need to think about what your audience’s expectations are and how you’ll meet them. Is it quick and empathetic customer service? Conversation? Entertainment? Helpful information and resources?

#5 – What do I really want from my social media efforts?

Brand awareness and audience engagement are typically the top goals of any social media marketing strategy. But challenge yourself to go deeper as you define your goals. For example, if community engagement is a top priority, what does that actually look like to you? Is it likes, shares, comments, reviews, website traffic or a combination of them all?


As your define your #socialmedia goals, challenge yourself to go deeper & deeper.
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#6 – Are my goals measurable?

At the end of the day, your goals have to be measurable. How else are you going to know if you’ve actually achieved what you set out to do?

In Need of More Social Media Marketing Inspiration?

Then check out these helpful resources:

  • Does Snark = Sales? What Consumers REALLY Want from Brands on Social Media
  • 3 Important Ways Social Media Can Boost Your SEO
  • 7 Examples of eCommerce Brands Rocking Social Media Marketing

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3 Successful Ways to Promote Your Business on Social Media

Looking for new ways to put your brand in front of social media users? Wondering what’s working for others? It’s possible to keep your social posts focused on your brand and avoid seeming self-centered and overly promotional. In this article, you’ll discover three ways to talk about your brand on social more often without turning […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

24 Hot Tools and Apps for Social Media Marketers

Want to try some new social media marketing tools? Wondering which apps can enhance your social media audio, video, and images? In this article, you’ll discover 24 useful social media tools. #1: Narro Narro is an app that converts text articles into audio files so you can listen on the go. To convert a text article […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Digital Marketing News: VR is Growing, AI is Watching & 3 Billion are on Social Media

Global Social Media User Base Reaches 3 Billion
A new report compiled by HootSuite and We Are Social found that the total number of social media users has now exceeded 3 billion, accounting for about 40 percent of the global population. Truly an incredible number, and one that speaks to the contemporary ubiquity of these networks. Mashable

AI is Analyzing You on Social Media for Marketing Research
With so many people using social media, there are no shortage of habits and behaviors to monitor and aggregate. AI marketing solutions company Ayzenberg is using machine-learning algorithms to analyze social speech and create actionable data for segmenting and profiling customers. The Next Web

AR and VR Revenue Projected at $ 215 Billion by 2021
Although everyone is still trying to figure out the best ways to utilize augmented and virtual reality, there is no question these technologies are gaining serious traction. The latest forecast from IDC suggests that spending on AR and VR products and services will reach $ 11 billion this year, with revenues expected to surpass $ 215 billion by 2021. As Jamiroquai once told us: the future’s made of virtual insanity. Media Post

Snapchat Takes a Page from Facebook Ads’ Power Editor
Hoping to make itself a more attractive destination for advertisers, Snapchat is beefing up its Ads Manager functionality with a new “Advanced Mode” that brings in new targeting, testing, and tweaking features. We’ll see if it helps turn around the company’s sluggish stock performance. TechCrunch

LinkedIn Expands Marketing Program, with Eye on Targeting, Measurement
In efforts to help marketers better measure and increase ROI, LinkedIn is expanding and diversifying its Marketing Partners Program, which originally launched three years ago. The program helps business users connect with LinkedIn-approved third-party technology partners. The three new categories added are marketing analytics, audience management, and media buying. Newly introduced partners include HootSuite and Marketo. Marketing Dive

People Take More Time to Read Emails on Mobile Than Desktop
It probably doesn’t shock you that more people now read emails on their mobile devices than desktop. But this nugget may come as a surprise: recipients spend more time reading emails on mobile, and are more likely to go through the entire message instead of quickly exiting. This runs contrary to conventional thinking that smartphone users are apt to skim-and-skip emails. Marketers, take note. Marketing Charts

Brands Use Instagram Stories More Than Twice as Often as Snapchat
Snapchat is the most popular platform for taking a picture of yourself with a glittery unicorn filter, but its business utility remains dubious. This is evidenced by the fact that, per business intelligence firm L2, brands are using Instagram Stories far more often. “As Instagram becomes the mainstream choice for brand Stories, Snapchat risks being niche-ified,” L2 suggested in its report. AdWeek

Linqia Unveils ‘First’ Platform for Predicting Influencer Engagement
More interesting news out of Silicon Valley: Linqia is releasing an updated version of its flagship platform, which the company is dubbing as the first to predictively analyze influencer performance. The company claims its tool will deliver better than 90 percent accuracy in forecasting influencer campaign engagement metrics. MarTech Today

40 Facts About How the Psychology of Color Can Boost Your Website Conversions [Infographic]
How can you boost website conversions? By changing up your color pallette, according to this infographic via the review site Skilled. Dig into the data for some intriguing insights on the psychology of color and how it affects decision-making. MarketingProfs

What were your top digital marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more top digital marketing news! As always, if you need more in the meantime follow @toprank on Twitter or subscribe to the TopRank Marketing blog for daily insights to your inbox.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: VR is Growing, AI is Watching & 3 Billion are on Social Media | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Growing Social Media Examiner: The Bumpy Road of Pursuit

Ever wonder how Social Media Examiner started? Are you curious about the obstacles we faced in building a sizable media entity? Sit back and learn the story that led millions of people to us. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Taming the Wild Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation #DSMPLS

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.

The Takedown

If possible, find the employee and ask them to take down the account. If that is not possible, try messaging the account. Hall found many times the person who owned the channel would take down the channel before they had any more correspondence.

If needed, you can try to recover the password by submitting a ticket to the platform, and if the account was started with an official corporate email, it is often recoverable. Hall recommended contacting their representative at the channel helped expedite the takedown.

Best Practices

Give people training and they be open to following the rules says Hall. Thomson Reuters created a Digital Oversight Committee to review best practices and provide training.  The oversight committee included representatives from –

  • Social leads
  • Creative
  • Brand
  • Legal/Privacy
  • Digital Leads
  • Communications

Get the Tools

Find a tool to allow the enterprise organization to manage their social channels. They now have creative services department create and allow access to others. Rogue accounts will still happen, but less often.

Governance

The key providing governance to employees. Hall says you need to empower your oversight committee to provide guidance and governance to the organization. At Thomson Reuters, anyone who wants to start a new channel needs to fill-out an application on why and what KPIs they will report. Sometimes, the committee will recommend partnering with a channel that is already in place, which provides new content for that channel.

The oversight committee monitors the use of the channels, and if there is inactivity, they will cull the channel.

Finally, Hall reminds us to continue monitoring. New accounts and channels will continue to appear. But, if you continue to be diligent and monitor, the horses will not get out of stable, again.

Want More From #DSMPLS?

You can follow us on @toprank for live tweets from the conference and visit toprankblog.com for additional coverage.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Taming the Wild Wild West of Social Media Digital Reputation #DSMPLS | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Our New Podcast: Social Media Marketing Talk Show

Have you noticed the social networks seem to change every week? How can anyone possibly keep up, right? We have a great new (and free) solution for you–the busy marketer. I’m excited to announce the new Social Media Marketing Talk Show audio podcast. Each week your friends at Social Media Examiner bring you: #1 News: […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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

The good folks at Sprout Social just released their Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index, and they’re taking aim at precisely that question. People like brands with “personality,” sure. But what do consumers really want from brands on social media? And how should those preferences inform your social media marketing strategy? Let’s run the numbers.

#1: Funny Is Good, But It Isn’t Everything  

Infusing a little humor into a brand is a good way to express personality. It lets people know that there are actual human beings behind the brand, seeking to entertain just as much as they inform.

As a once and future comedy writer, I’m an advocate for humor in marketing. But we should make sure the humor is not all that we’re bringing to the table.

Sprout Social found that while 3 in 4 consumers appreciate humor from brands, being funny was 4th on the list of what consumers really want from brands on social media:

Social Media Marketing Consumer Preferences

The far-and-away winners are honest, friendly, and helpful. If you have these three covered, then you can add in the humor. On the other hand, if you’re not honest, friendly, or helpful, no level of funniness will make up for the lack.

It’s also worth noting how far down the list “trendy” and “snarky” are. There’s no shortage of brands trying to be edgy and au courant. But it looks like less than half of consumers want their brand to be the quip-slinging cool kid from a 90’s sitcom.

The bottom line: Humor is a welcome trait for a brand, but mean-spirited or edgy humor is likely to turn customers off (even if it lands you an AdWeek shoutout). And if you’re not being honest and helping people, no amount of humor can save you.

#2: Consider the Platform

Just as your brand has its own identity, every social network has a unique identity. Facebook is a casual place to post cute pictures and start political arguments. Twitter is an even more casual place to start extremely character-limited political arguments. LinkedIn is more buttoned-down and professional, with only occasional political arguments.

Your audience on each platform has a unique set of expectations, based not just on your brand, but on the platform itself.

How Platform Changes Social Media Marketing Preferences

People like personality on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but not so much on LinkedIn. So it’s important to adjust your messaging for each.

Most of us are scheduling social media messages with a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, and it’s easy to blast a single message across platforms. But don’t do that. Take a few minutes to craft unique messages for each channel, keeping audience expectation in mind. That bit of extra effort will help make your posts more engaging, and keep your most dedicated audience from seeing the same message multiple times.

#3: Know Your Audience

Social media is not a homogenous audience that’s the same for every brand. It’s a platform for connecting with your particular most-valued consumers. How your brand approaches social media, then, should be a byproduct of how your audience wants to interact with your brand. These preferences can vary widely across demographics.

For example, 74% of Gen X and Baby Boomers said they found it annoying when a brand uses slang. But only 59% of Millennials shared that sentiment. Millennials are also far more tolerant of brands making fun of competing brands:

What Consumers Find Annoying on Social Media

How your brand should express personality on social media is dependent on your target audience. If your demographic still uses words like “hip” and “groovy,” it’s probably not hip or groovy for your brand to use them. However, if your target audience thinks things are “totes adorbs” and “can’t even,” you stand a better chance of connecting with slang.

It’s vital to find the intersection of your brand personality with your audience preferences, and let that drive how you present the brand on social.

#4: Bring Value to Drive Sales

To quote my personal hero, Captain Obvious, “the purpose of social media marketing is ultimately to drive sales.” If going viral with a funny tweet contributes to the bottom line, that’s a tactic worth pursuing. The research shows, though, that most people aren’t following brands just for laughs:

Brand Actions that Prompt Social Media Sales

When it comes to driving sales, humor is 5th on the list. Being responsive, offering promotions, and providing educational content are all more likely to inspire a purchase decision.

What do people really want from brands on social? The same thing they want from brands everywhere else. First, people want to be heard, to engage in a productive dialog. Second, they want to be offered something of value, whether it’s a deal on your solution or simply valuable information. When people are looking for help, you have to bring more than jokes to the table.

Check out the full Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index for more insights.

Helping People Is the Top Priority

Giving your brand a winning personality is great. It makes creating and consuming your content more fun. But personality should be the seasoning for your social media marketing, not the main course. Start with being helpful, being honest, and providing something of value in exchange for your audience’s time. Then add a little sprinkle of personality on top, like so:

See? You can be helpful and funny at the same time.

Need help maintaining your social media presence? Let us handle your social media marketing.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Does Snark = Sales? What Consumers REALLY Want from Brands on Social Media | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Marshall McLuhan Google doodle pays tribute to ‘The medium is the message’ media theorist

In his 1962 book “Understanding Media,” McLuhan argued that the way people receive information is more important than the information being received. The post Marshall McLuhan Google doodle pays tribute to ‘The medium is the message’ media theorist appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Digital Marketing News: Email Marketing Facts, Gen Z Media Usage & Snap Publisher Tool

119 Facts About Email Marketing [Infographic] Discover 119 facts you didn’t know about email marketing including, why email marketing works, biggest email trends for 2017, most common types of emails, most used email marketing tactics, segmentation and personalization, mobile email statistics and more. (MarketingProfs) Gen Z is The Largest, Most Diverse Group of Media Users, According to a New Report From Nielsen A new report from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report for the first quarter of 2017 highlights how unique and diverse Gen Z is in media consumption. This report shows a device ownership and other technology breakdown by generation, and why Gen Z is more able to adapt to new technologies than other generations. (AdWeek) Snap Inc. Launches ‘Snap Publisher’ Ad Creation Tool Snap Inc. recently launched a new self-serve ad tool to encourage more advertising spend, which is now global, instead of limited to certain regions. A new creation platform was also announced to launch soon called Snap Publisher. This new platform offers templates to create ads and simply upload your brand logo, tagline, content and video. (Social Media Today) Ask A Question, Get an Answer in Google Analytics If you know what data you need, and want it quickly, just ask Google Analytics and get your answer. This new voice feature uses the same natural language processing technology as other Google products like Android and Search, and will be available in English to all Google Analytics users over the next few weeks. (Google Analytics Solutions Blog) Work Smarter and Stay Connected with the New LinkedIn App for Windows 10 The new LinkedIn app for Windows 10 gives LinkedIn members more options for how they connect with their professional network. The app is for desktop users and includes many features to make it easier to connect and full control to customize your experience while using the app. (LinkedIn Official Blog) Google News Feed Now With Machine Learning & Follow Buttons Google Search is now making it easier to discover, explore and stay connected to what matters most to you. You can follow topics based on search queries that helps Google understand what you’re interested in, and your news feed will be based on your interactions with Google. (Search Engine Roundtable) Facebook Always Wins: Data Shows Publishers Are Buying Far More Facebook Traffic Publishers are buying more traffic from the platform despite declining organic reach and monetization issues. The average number of paid monthly impressions from Facebook over the last 18 months has doubled, and publishers are using Facebook to distribute content profitably to achieve their business goals. (DigiDay) Google Expands Home Service Ads to More Markets, More Business Categories Google’s Home Services ad product is now available for more business categories in more cities than before. As a customer of this service, your ads can be featured at the top of SERPs with added trust and prestige due to the strict qualifying criteria that advertisers must meet to publish their ads. (Search Engine Journal) What were your top online marketing news stories this week? We’ll be back next week with more news! Need more in the meantime? Follow @toprank on Twitter.

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