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

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

Most Relevant Factors in Search Marketing

Simply put: If a customer cannot find your company online, they’ll probably head to your competitor.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, plays an integral part in increasing an online presence for a business. It’s the process of garnering traffic from free and organic listings on search engines including Google, Yahoo and bing and giving certain content higher ranking to those that are most relevant to users.

A 2013 study completed by Searchmetrics uncovered the best and most relevant factors in search marketing. Based on the numbers, it’s clear that a higher ranking eCommerce site will increase sales. About 33% of traffic floats to the top listing in Google’s organic search results, while 18% of traffic goes to a second spot, etc. The key takeaway? If a company’s website doesn’t show up on the first page of a customer’s search results, a business will risk great revenue decreases.

Other factors in the report that increase SEO include backlinks, on-page technology and great content. The factor that got our attention? “Social signals continue to correlate very well with better rankings.” After the past year, Searchmetrics found that there’s a direct correlation of URLs that garner large numbers of social engagement and those that are highlighted in the top of search results. The more you tweet/post/comment, the better your SEO!

Great news for us digital marketers where likes, shares, comments and tweets are pushed on the regular. Although we’re always trying to find new and better ways spread the news about a business, it’s nice to know that our efforts on social are actually making an impact.

Here’s to a better relationship between social media and search!

— Samantha & Mike

Ranking Factors 2013

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

Engagement Valued More Than Sales

For those who choose to venture into the social unknown, there are certain goals and expectations that must be established before seeing success. Although a true return on investment (ROI) has never been easy to measure, many other obtainable outcomes can be considered to help push a brand into the mainstream, including engagement.

According to a 2013 survey of US marketing professionals done by Pivot Conference, the top goals of social media marketing (SMM) for brands included brand lift and consumer engagement. These numbers are up in comparison to last year, when positive sentiment ranked higher on the list. Having said that, many marketing professionals are beginning to understand that it’s less about the positive reaction from fans and more about keeping consistent engagement numbers high with Likes, RTs and Sharing. The more a consumer interacts with a brand (whether positively, negatively or neutral), the more likely the brand will stay top of mind for them.

Pivot Conference

From the survey, the most interesting decrease lies with how marketers currently view the importance of sales. Although in past years this goal ranked highest, brands now understand that a direct relationship between SMM and sales is hard to quantify. As a result, companies must find different ways to reach their fan base that will guarantee such an activity will eventually lead them down the purchase funnel. Although round-about, many social media platforms demand engagement before sales.

Those brands that still place too high of an importance on sales may demonstrate that they don’t fully understand how to amplify themselves successfully within the digital space and the online social media space in general.  No matter how you go about it, engagement and brand awareness are vital to keeping a brand’s messaging above the clutter of mainstream marketing — way before one can even begin shopping!

Pivot Conference

Overall, it’s apparent that the social media industry is constantly evolving. Such an evolution has forced marketers to reevaluate their current strategies, especially to include more importance on brand awareness and lift. Although many of these newer social media marketing ideas go against the grain of traditional marketing, we’re interested to see when SMM will be fully accepted and what impact it will have in future business and sales.

What are the top goals of social media for your business?

— Samantha & Mike

The Most Engaged Brands on Twitter

You have heard it before and you will hear it again, an engaged brand is a successful brand. Out of all the social media options out there, Twitter has become one of the go-to platforms for customer engagement. Twitter is a fantastic channel for brands to create a conversation with their fans. Of course, a large number of fans and an increased tweet frequency has a lot to do with the success of a brand, but as we can see from the infographic created by Nestivity below, it is not a direct correlation. Having 10 million followers sounds like an impressive number, and it is, but if that following isn’t engaged, it doesn’t really mean anything.

A few of the more interesting facts we gathered from this infographic are:

  • More followers did not correlate into a more engaged brand
  • A higher tweet frequency also did not correlate into a more engaged brand
  • Tweets sent between 2pm and 5pm generated the most engagement
  • 76% of shared tweets contained a photo

Remember, engagement is king. Take notes from the top brands on this list and try implementing similar tactics into your own Twitter campaign.

Nestivity_TOP25_Infographic_Final

 

-Mike & Samantha

Winter is Coming…

With all the different social media platforms out there, it may be hard to keep track of who is playing nice with who. HootSuite did a great job of detailing all social platform relationships in a way we can relate, Game of Thrones style. Check out this creative graphic below:

GoT-social-infographic-final-Mike

Facebook Graph Search Brings New Privacy Concerns

Are you one of the 13 million Facebook users who have not touched their privacy settings? Many people may not be concerned over their privacy settings on Facebook, but with Graph Search rolling out to the masses soon, your personal information security will be at an all time low. If allowing strangers to see your personal information online doesn’t scare you, the fact that 91% of employers admit to using social network sites to screen potential employees might. With everything from your vacation pictures to banking information being stored online these days, security is becoming more and more crucial. Be smart and take the time to understand the security settings, not only on Facebook, but all of your other online accounts. The hassle of reading the fine print now is nothing compared to something like identity fraud later.

Check out this infographic to learn a little more about the privacy trends on Facebook:

1304_Marketo_FB_Privacy.lh-01-Mike

Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife and Hide Your Tweets, They’re Hacking Everybody Out Here

The big news in social media yesterday was the hacking of the AP’s twitter. A hacker group known as the Syrian Electronic Army is taking credit for hijacking the AP’s twitter account Tuesday morning and falsely tweeting that there was an explosion at the White House and the President was injured. Moments after the tweet, the Dow Jones flash crashed 143 points. Luckily the AP corrected their tweet quickly and the Dow was able to readjust without major incident. Even though there were no major repercussions from this hacked tweet, it is making everyone, from Wall Street to Twitter, rethink social media security.

Wall Street is surprisingly intertwined with social media. They have computer programs and algorithms that scan major news headlines and can auto-trade based on the news, this is how 1 tweet from a respected source can cause such an immediate threat to our economy. Twitter has become such an important factor on Wall Street that this month Bloomberg announced they will be adding the service to their trading terminals. This is HUGE news for Twitter, anyone familiar with Wall Street and trading knows, Bloomberg has such a gigantic influence on the industry that whatever service or practice they introduce becomes the standard.

It seems that there have been an increasing number of Twitter hacks of large brands recently. One of note was the Burger King hack back in February. Here is an infographic of the stats from that day:

BKhack-copyLooking at these impressive stats, it is easy to see how much damage a hacked Twitter account can cause. In light of all these recent hacks, Twitter has announced they will be introducing a two-step verification system, which will help prevent fraud by requiring the user to input two pieces of personal information to verify their identity. With our increasing dependence on Twitter for the latest news, we feel that this new security measure is a must. If Twitter cannot remain a reliable source, there will be serious repercussions in the near future.

We have also included the below infographic on some of the more notable Twitter hacks in recent memory. Although this information is a bit dated, it is very interesting to see what 140 characters can do.

twitter-infographic-Mike