5 Ways to Kill It on Google+

Over the past few years, new information and analytics have determined that creating a presence on Google+ is a smart move for any business wanting to grow and engage with fans online. Whether you already play in this space or not, here are the top 5 ways to be successful on Google+:

1. Try embedding Google+ posts directly onto a site. 

Everyone is familiar with embedding a tweet or Facebook post onto a website, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can also link your content from Google+. Although it’s a tad more difficult to do than other social platforms, click the arrow button in the right hand corner of a post and click “Embed post” from the drop down. The code comes in two parts — one that is added within a HTML template, the other that can be used anywhere!

How to Embed a Google+ Post

2. Use a catchy headliner.

What’s great about Google+ posts, is that each one is similar to a blog post. There is ample room to write copy, editing options to make your content count — and the ability to add a captivating headline. Because the headline is pulled into the title tag of the Google+ post and because this is what shows up in Google search results, having a good headline is very important for SEO purposes.

3. Know what and when to post.

Thanks to a lot of great research by the folks at Quick Sprout, there are five types of content that are inherently preferred by Google+ users including, questions, quotes, video, animated GIFs and of course, images. Animated GIFs often garner the most +1s, while questions get the most comments from users.

Top 5 Pieces of Content on Google+

4. Use Google+ hashtags in every post.

Thankfully, Google+ makes it super simple to add hashtags to your posts — and even goes so far as to recommend which ones to use. Put 2-5 appropriate hashtags directly in the copy or include it at the end of a post. Either way, keep an eye out for trending hashtags in order for your business to stay relevant and to create more engagement with conversations that are already taking place online.

How to use hashtags within Google+5. Know how to use Google+ circles effectively.

Google+ circles gives businesses the chance to interact with a targeted group of users or on a larger scale, community groups. Because circles are manually created, your business is can market to a list of top followers or to an entire group, depending on your strategy. Continue to build relationships with your circles to increase engagement and better determine what content is sticking and what is not.

Google+ Circles

Is your biz on Google+? If so, what do you do on the platform to be successful?

— Samantha

 

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3 Quick Tips to Be Successful on Tumblr

1. Be Authentic. Although this is nothing new, it is a good reminder for brands who try to push to many brand-centric messages to their fans. Instead, try to be real with people!

2. Test and Learn. Another important piece of all social and digital marketing, but one that is not implemented as much as it should be. Don’t fall in love with one idea — or get upset when something doesn’t work out as planned. Be flexible, learn & move forward.

3. Focus on Images. Although having great copy is always a must, making sure your images are just as amazing is important as well. Make your creative interesting, unique and eye-catching to get people to truly engage with you brand.

–Samantha

3 Tips to Improve Content Marketing & Search Engine Rankings (B2B)

When it comes to B2B (business to business) companies, here are a few tip to improve how you market content & more successfully turn up higher in search.

1. Create a corporate blog. A blog will not only add a personal touch to your company’s website, but it’ll be a great source of content that will ultimately help search rankings. Because blogs are indexed more frequently by search engines, especially when websites change, meaning that you’ll have a higher chance of showing up in a search, especially when new content is being added to the blog on a regular basis.

2. Make your content longer & higher quality. Some researchers have found that content longer than 1500 words will get more engagement on social media sites, including articles and blog posts. Content between 2000-2500 words often rank on the first page of a Google search. Although length can prove successful, make sure your content is of a higher quality and not spammy or worthless to your readers.

3. Long-tail keywords make it easy to rank higher. Why? People are used to searching, which has added to an increase of long-tail searches by 70% in the last decade. Having said this, people are also used to typing in longer phrases or complete statements when searching.

When it comes to your B2B website, make sure the content includes long-tail keywords to make sure that your site will rank higher when someone searches for that particular phrase. Thanks to content marketing, including more long-tail keywords will be easier and feel more organic when writing blog posts, including case studies and more!

— Samantha

Content Marketing, SEO

Valentine’s Day Conversations on Social Media

Happy Valentine’s Day from Sike Social!

To celebrate, in true social media fashion, we’re bringing you a recent infographic from Radian6. Below, you’ll see that love was in the air as over 8 million mentions of the special day were immortalized on various social platforms from February 1st – 12th. Thanks to some great social listening, we can confirm that everyone loves to talk about… LOVE!

Enjoy the day!

– Samantha

SalesForce Valentine's Day Infographic

2014 Online Marketing Infographic

You’ve heard it a million times. In order to be successful in today’s day in age, businesses must make a play on social. In 2014, the majority of brands are online, so it’s only makes sense to research and find out how to beat the competition with a solid social marketing strategy. Here’s a great infographic from the InfoGraphic Design Team of the 2014 online marketing trends:

2014 Online Marketing Trends— Samantha

 

The 2014 State of Digital Marketing (Infographic)

What are many marketers planning for 2014? A team at webmarketing123 surveyed 500+ digital marketers about their top goals and challenges when it comes to social media.

This infographic is especially interesting because 41% of B2B marketers noted that generating leads is their biggest goal in 2014, while a close 40% percent of B2C marketers say driving sales is what they hope to focus on. What surprised us the most was that only 25% of digital marketers are planning to invest their budget online in 2014 — much lower than we’d expect. Having said that, measuring ROI is still an issue for many marketers and will continue to be so into the future — a big factor that’s inhibiting many companies from investing in a strong digital/social strategy.

With the continued growth of social media, we’re hoping that more and more brands will become better educated of the benefits of a digital marketing strategy in terms of building an engaging community vs. measuring a direct ROI. Time will tell what will bring in the new year, but we’re excited to see what’s to come!

— Samantha

2014 DMR Infographic

Best Buy, Walmart Dominate Black Friday Social Efforts

Black Friday is only one day away and if you’ve been anywhere near a computer or TV, you know how hard retailers are marketing their holiday sales. As Social Media Today recently reported, Shareablee (a social business intelligence platform) discovered the top brands that are engaging the best online. What makes brands successful? Being innovative, creative and developing unique content that is highly sharable to expand reach.

Twitter: BestBuy wins with the most engaged followers

According to Shareablee, BestBuy followers represented 30% of all the RTs related to Black Friday, followed by Nordstrom with 9% and Ebay and Target with 8%.  As many social experts will note, a RT is a great way to measure word of mouth marketing because if one is willing to RT your company’s content, they are most likely interested enough to share it with their own communities.

Shareablee Most Engaged Audience

Facebook: Walmart dominates with the most engaged fans

When it comes to one of the best metrics to measure engagement on Facebook, shares take the cake. Similar to a RT, a share is a direct action that typically means a fan cares enough about the brand’s content so much so that they’re willing to repost it. In the first half of November 2013, Walmart fans at 27% shared 3 times as much content than other brands, followed by QVC at 9% and Macy’s and Nordstrom at 8%.

Shareablee Most Engaged Audience

For those brands that don’t show as much success, we agree with Shareablee that there’s still a chance to increase engagement before the big shopping day arrives. Brands need to keep content short, CTAs (call to actions) clear and creative as interesting as possible to rise above the noise. If this is possible, such businesses will have the best chance at converting engagement into future sales.

— Samantha & Mike

4 Crazy Social Media Stats That Could Change Everything

Thanks to a great article on FastCompany.com, here are four interesting social media stats that could ultimately end up changing your current view of the digital space. We chose our favorites, but you can check out the rest here.

#1: About 25% of smartphone owners between 18-44 years old, say they can’t remember the last time their phone was NOT next to them.

This fact means that users are rarely disconnected with the internet, and subsequently social media platforms. With the opportunity to interrupt the lives of your users all day, everyday, your brand should reconsider developing a highly successful mobile marketing strategy to fully reach the highest number of fans possible.

Smart Phone Statistic

#2: 189 million Facebook fans, only use the platform on their smartphone and create 30% of all Facebook’s ad revenue.

Similar to statistic #1, not only do you need to have a mobile strategy, but your brand needs to completely understand how content is showing up on mobile devices before posting. This includes making sure sharing capabilities are easy for users and creative is the right quality to be engaged with whether on a desktop or a smartphone.

Mobile Fans

#3. Social media has become the number one activity on the internet.

Because social media is the most popular activity for people of all ages, this industry and outlet as a whole, carry more weight today than in past years. No longer is using social media simply a fad, but people are now forming habits around it and new social platforms pop up every week. If this stat doesn’t push you to create a digital strategy for your business, you might want to give it a bit more thought.

#4: The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is between 55-64 years old.

This particular bracket on Twitter has grown 79% since 2012, while the 45-54 age bracket is the fastest growing on Facebook and Google+. These numbers are evidence that social media is no longer just for teens and young adults. If you have customers in these older brackets, you should have a social marketing strategy that engages with these users, instead of ignoring them completely by focusing on younger demographics. Be sure to understand your brand’s demographic before creating a posting/tweeting strategy.

— Samantha

5 Ways to Make Successful Social Content

Create Successful Social ContentLet us break it down for you: Here are 5 ways to make successful content on social media. Although we could come up with a handful more, we think these will help your company get on track — fast.

1. Create reasonable social goals. Goals are important for any marketing strategy to be able to measure success — and discover areas for improvement. Coming up with goals that are attainable is a totally different story, so make sure yours are possible to reach!

We suggest coming up with goals (regarding analytical data) for each piece of content created. Start with X number of Likes on Facebook, increase number of RTs on Twitter by X amount, have X number of people share your piece of content per day/week, increase engagement on social platforms by X amount over the next month, etc.

2. Get to know your audience. Fully knowing who you’re talking to is key to creating the best content to promote your brand. Start by completing research on your target audience and determining what they find interesting and sharable.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, enter the conversation that your fan base is already having. Track hashtags, search keywords and truly practice “social listening.” With this data, you can more appropriately create content that will inherently fall into place with what your audience is currently interested in. Therefore, your brand will be pushing creative that feels natural and approachable.

3. Make valuable content. After you determine what makes your audience passionate, come up with content that is useful and/or taps into people’s emotions. By providing content that adds to a fans life, such as helpful tip or funny joke, your fan will not only share it, but they will most likely come back for more. Don’t forget to switch it up! Try images, videos, true or false questions, fill in the blank, etc. to keep your audience engaged.

Manage a restaurant? Try sharing an easy, delicious recipe that your fans will want to try. Run a cleaning business? Try giving your fans a useful, unique tip for picking up around the house. Own a baby clothing company? Tap into the funny moments when raising a child to evoke emotions that most parents may feel.

4. Be consistent. You’ll hear us talking about consistency a lot. Why? Because creating consistent content better defines who you are as a brand within the social space and keeps your fans loyal and interested (versus disloyal and confused).

If you use Instagram to create your imagery, make sure that you stick with similar filters for each post or tweet. Do you speak to your fans with a specific tone of voice? Make sure that you define it completely and continue to use it across all platforms.

5. Keep your content easy to share. We all want our content to go “viral,” but the first step is making sure that content is easily sharable. Make sure social buttons are visible on your website, blog, etc. — especially above the page break on a website. If posting or tweeting, your copy should be short and concise so people are more inclined to share on their wall or with a friend.

Lastly, remember to brand your images. When your logo is on your creative, your brand will be shared when your content is shared. Note: keep your logo/branding small, so people are more inclined to share the piece of content and don’t feel as if they’re simply promoting your brand.

Got more tips? Share them with us below!

— Samantha

Where Sports Fans Engage on Social Media

Sports fans

Big sports fan? Ever talk about the game on FB or Twitter? You’re certainly not alone.

Catalyst’s annual fan engagement study studies sports fans to better determine where they play on social media — and where marketers can better reach them! In Catalyst’s recent study, the team surveyed 2,100 sports fans (16 and 64 years old) who follow the NFL, NBA, MLB, college football, college basketball and soccer.

A few top points are highlighted below, but check out the full infographic below

  • Surprisingly, only 57% of fans surveyed “liked” a brand/sport team page to show their support — versus 61% who “liked” a page for a coupon or discount.
  • Although more fans are on Facebook in general, Twitter is the most popular platform on a game day.
  • Post game, Instagram rises in popularity, when fans are most likely sharing images from the game or viewing party.

Catalyst Sport Infographic

 

— Samantha