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

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

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

DO’s & DON’Ts for Community Managers

Community managers have created a true strategy for word-of-mouth marketing, but there are certainly rules to this type of work. Those that follow them can successfully grow their brand. Those that don’t, can wind up in a boatload of customer service trouble — and much faster than you think thanks to socially savvy consumers.

Originally, community management was done by young interns, who did not have the full ability to run a brand online. A study completed by Social Fresh in 2013 stated that the average age of community managers has increased to those in their 30s. Additionally, the pay has increased to an average of $60k which competes with many mid-level jobs within the marketing industry. (See below for a infographic from Social Fresh for more details!)

Having said this, the last few years of experience have evolved community managers into a true voice behind a company. With every post and tweet, they represent the business and should embody its exact personality and tone. When one has this much power and those on the outskirts are watching, it’s imperative that a CM’s actions 100% reflect the brand’s messaging and beliefs to create a seamless extension of the business throughout the online space.

Community managers must be creative, flexible and willing to go above and beyond. Most importantly, CMs must be consistent. And because they’re “virtually visible,” they automatically gain more responsibility. Everyone (customers, competitors, etc.) online can see their responses 24/7.

Here are some general DOs & DON’Ts for community managers:

DOs:

  • Be an expert of your company (or product).
  • Monitor, consistently.
  • Encourage engagement by genuinely interacting with fans.
  • Respond in a timely manner.
  • Be a friendly, approachable personality!
  • Listen to your fans and build relationships.
  • Don’t be afraid to take some conversations offline to better help a fan.
  • Truly resolve issues with the greater team to build a loyal community.
  • Thank your fans and show appreciation!

DON’Ts:

  • Be rude, sarcastic or defensive.
  • Delete comments, posts, tweets, etc.
  • Ignore people who are asking for help or answers!
  • Be ambiguous with your responses to fans.
  • Respond too quickly to those who may detract from your brand.
  • Use your social presence to blatantly ‘push’ products or services.

Comment below to add any DO’s & DON’Ts that I may have missed!

— Samantha

Community Manager Report 2013

Top Social Platforms Among Teens

We recently brought you an article on a 13-year-old claiming that none of the kids her age used Facebook. It got us wondering: If teens don’t use Facebook, what are they using? According to this chart by Statista, Facebook is still the top dog when it comes to teens, despite what our friendly 13-year-old said.

2013_08_16_Social_Teens-1People say that Facebook is losing its younger audience, but looking at numbers like this, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The drop from #1 Facebook to #2 Twitter, is huge. Sure, this data is looking at 2011 to 2012, and the numbers from 2012 to 2013 may be slightly different, but Facebook has a long way to fall before we start talking about any other platforms taking over.

We do agree that many teens are converting to the latest and greatest platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, but Facebook has such a lead over other competitors that something drastic will have to happen before we ever see a new #1. The ability for one platform to cater to teens and adults alike is no easy task. Teens will always try and distance themselves from their parents and social media is no different. We agree that teens seem to be trending away from Facebook, but we also believe Facebook is here to stay. Even though teen usage numbers may decrease, we don’t think it will be by much or for very long. Ultimately, we would not be surprised to see them figure out a way to bring those teen users back, stronger than ever.

-Mike & Samantha