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Getting Started

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing | Sprout Social
  2. Social Media Advertising Strategies
  3. Your Guide To Social Media Marketing
  4. Choosing Your Social Networks

Tutorials are very popular. There are massive amounts of posts and tweets being thrown at a single user at any given time. So, it is important that your posts not only get noticed, but you make them count and they make users want to read them. Post videos, pictures, or links in every single post. Have you come across an article users may find interesting? Link to the article!

Do you have information about your sale? This is all fine and dandy, but is that where you want their interaction to stop? You would just be missing out on opportunities for valuable feedback. Users feel more comfortable masked behind the veil of the Internet. So, take advantage of this! Finish your post with an open ended question or an invitation to comment. There is a reason the public is so willing to comment. Once they feel threatened, they will stop trusting the source. Now, you are ready to start analyzing your hard earned results.

Obviously, many others out there dread the idea of having to deal with such tedious chores. There are many easy and intuitive solutions for checking up on all your social media endeavors. So many, that it could drive you crazy trying to find the right one. With a little research though, you can find a perfect match for your business. Do you want a quick fix? Do you not want to deal with research? The chances are whatever one you pick will probably suffice. Heed my advice, save yourself a future headache and take the time to research and find one that fits your needs.

Do you not even want to take the time to operate a search engine? Personally, I have the most experience with HootSuite. It provides the basics, and provides them in a user-friendly interface. Different companies have different needs. So, instead of providing a list of recommended programs to use, here are things you can look for in each program. Do a little research, maybe some trial and error, and find one that works for you. Right off the bat, you can narrow your search by only considering applications with multiple data sources, or considering those with only one data source.

If you are only using one social media site, you may want to consider a specialized program for that site. If you are like most successful companies, however, you will probably want a single program to support all of your different social networks. Whether your focus is developing your brand awareness, or increasing your sales, there are specialized programs for managing and monitoring these tasks. There are more goals that can be monitored through these applications than you can shake a stick at! Keyword tracking, article tracking, tracking your competition, uploading content, and so much more can be accomplished.

Heck, you could write a whole book about the possibilities and still only cover a fraction of them. Your best bet here is to look at the features section of the program and decide for yourself what it is that you need. Will you be using your system to monitor your posts, track your data, or streamline content distribution? Make sure that when you do choose your program, you are fully aware of what it was designed to do. Nothing would be more tedious than trying to upload content quickly and having to go through a separate interface of data and statistics each time.

10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Just as there are a variety of goals and actions, there are varieties of services catering to specific audiences. Focusing on business to business communications? Get a business to business focused application! More focus put on consumer interaction? Get a business to consumer application. There are hybrid applications available as well. If you can, do the research. Look into these topics, and make an educated decision which will end up saving you lots of time and money.

Once you have your software picked out, get it set up and running for your campaign. Get your analytics set up and get familiar with them. Measure and monitor your activities. Follow the chapter on Calculating Return on Investment, and this will be a breeze. Analyze the data and look at where you need improvement in your company.

Treat this as you would any other implementation within your company. There you have it, a simple strategy to effective social media campaigning. For example, Facebook enables thumbnails and previews of video and images, instead of just providing a link.

It is important to make use of these benefits. Your followers are being bombarded by an enormous amount of posts every day. It would be all too easy for them to pass by your update without even a second thought. So, make sure all your posts have something eye catching and relevant attached to them. You have to draw attention, and provide incentive for people to like, repost, or engage in your post. If properly utilized, this is the bread and butter of Facebook, and the reason it is so popular.

Unless you are freelance or an individual, you should be using this space to maximize recognition. What better way to do that than with your logo? The profile picture will be the image posted next to your company name in the search results. Simple and effective images that are clear, concise, and easy to see are the best to aim for.

Once a user clicks through to view your page, they are brought to a page with everything available posts, pictures, comments, followers, etc. Take a look at a page of any business on Facebook. Whether they have used it or not, there is a large space at the top of the screen. This space is reserved for your cover photo.

This is your ultimate opportunity to convey your branding message. So take the time, and develop the message that you want to convey with this image. Some companies, like Apple, use this section to showcase new products, usually with a stunning image of one of their products or services. Other companies often use this space to promote their newest slogan. The image is versatile, and should be used as such. Most successful Facebook campaigns will change their cover photo semi-regularly. Contain pricing or promotional information.

Reference features of the site. Have a call to action ie. Treat Facebook as you would any other medium of publication. Only use content you retain commercial rights to, and be sure you are not using false advertising or misleading content. Please remember that I should in no way be considered a legal consultant. Please refer to a professional for matters in relation to the legalities of conduct. This information is merely speculation based on the guidelines provided by Facebook.

Your timeline sets up all of your posts chronologically. Your newest posts are listed on the front page, and previous posts are archived by date. They are ready to be viewed and searched with a single click. At the top of your timeline is a space for a pinned post. You may select one of your posts to be placed at the top of the page, and have it stay there, for about a week. There is a very convenient section with current posts from followers who have mentioned your brand.

Use this section to communicate back with them.

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing | Sprout Social

This is where much of your customer service value comes from when using Facebook. Never before have you been able to communicate with customers in an open forum, and in real time. You can provide immediate responses to resolve issues, or calm an upset customer. Yes, all businesses deal with the negative comments, but they will also get to experience the positive ones. It is important to address these comments, rather than deleting them. My reputation is on the line! As it is all in real time, there is a chance someone else will see the post before it gets deleted.

If customers find out you are deleting negative posts, it would be all too easy for them to call you out on it publicly. Instead, address the post in a sensible manner. Customers expect this, but what they also expect is for the situation to be handled properly. This place is disgusting and I will never eat there again! You could delete the post, ignore it, OR you could respond with an appropriate apology. Simply, think of this as an opportunity for customer engagement. Were you able to speak with a supervisor? Did you try and talk to a manager?

There are a couple differences though. The first response takes responsibility, and makes it seem as though you try to keep these situations from happening. Asking the customer if they tried to speak with someone makes them feel as if you are trying to pawn the blame to them, but asking if they were able to speak with someone creates the idea that you care about whether they got the problem resolved.

It takes them off the defensive, and allows them to give you further feedback. This feedback will provide more opportunities to engage the customer. We would like to see you again, and would love to hear from you! It also makes the commenter seem irrational, and nullifies their complaint. While this was not our goal, it is an added perk…. Sometimes, it can be easy to feel a personal connection with some of your followers. It is important to avoid becoming too personal. Remember, the feeling of security the Internet provides users when commenting and posting is invaluable.

Do not alienate your consumer, and they will stay receptive. Always keep in mind that you are a business. If a customer were to walk in your door, how would you ideally treat them? The use of the Internet actually makes this easier for you. A negative comment may infuriate you, but take the time to calm down, and you can avoid any harsh language.

Think of the number of times you have had to deal with an irritating customer. Did you say things you wish you would have said differently? Say things which you needed to find justification for in your head later? Take the time to calm down before you administer a response, and remember that you are a business, and you should be fine. This is strictly user generated, but it is a very nice bonus to your branding potential. Using characters or less to convey your message to an expansive audience. On the bright side, most log in multiple times a day.

It is this structure that makes it different from other social media sites. It is also because of this that content and scheduling are very important. Finding what time your users are logging in, and more importantly taking action, is crucial to your Twitter success. Some companies will launch 24 hour campaigns, and while this may appeal to some of the international audiences, it is not our goal.

When your other users log on, the last thing you want to do is have massive amounts of tweets for them to pour through. So, take some time, implement some trial and error, keep track of the number of retweets, keep track of the number of mentions, and analyze the data to find the times throughout the day which your audience is most active and receptive. Focus your efforts on these times, and occasionally post outside of these parameters. Outside of social media scheduling, which is pretty universal through all social media mediums, my experience with Twitter is limited.

Surprisingly, I have the least amount of experience with this out of all the social media outlets discussed. Due to this, I have called in the help of a friend of mine, Mark Johnson. Mark is a social media veteran. He has run multiple Twitter campaigns for various companies, including work with the Formica group. He has incorporated different utilities within his campaigns with great success. Common utilities include Slide Share, YouTube, and other media venues. I held an interview with Mark regarding one his most recent campaigns. It was a 24 hour campaign, but it showcases many of the important aspects of twitter.

It yielded impressive results. This campaign reached over , impressions, and made impressions with more than 20, unique users. The following is an excerpt from the interview, with some text amended for formatting:. Social media is a hot topic and it seems these hashtags are followed by a lot of people looking for online content through Twitter. I only use hashtags that are relevant to the link within a specific tweet, otherwise you lose credibility with your followers on the value of reading your tweets.

Carving out a niche in the online community based on your background and expertise is a good way to attract relevant followers. I make sure that these links provide relevant topical content to engage my followers a click beyond reading my tweets. Alright, content is king as we all have heard, but what about your distribution schedule? I scheduled 8 tweets a day spaced 3 hours apart as an experiment. The first night, I was surprised to see how many click-throughs came from the United Kingdom because of this 24 hour approach. This pattern continued each night of the campaign. The pattern was an exciting discovery, but I assumed it would be repeatable for English speaking countries only.

Wow that is a great discovery! Any other surprising results from this campaign? Prior to this campaign I had only achieved 50 or more views per tweet for links to design content in the Google 3D Warehouse. I was delighted to accomplish this with SlideShare as the destination. My conclusion is that relevancy of tweets is only part of the equation. The other part of the success in reaching 50 click-throughs per tweet is leveraging a large, engaged community. So what, in your opinion, is more important when using Twitter — the number of impressions, or high conversions?

Twitter is all about numbers as well as content. So I think conversions trump impressions. So, with engagement being so important, how often do you engage with the community? During a campaign, I watch retweets and mentions closely. I reply to every single one of them! It shows that I appreciate their engagement and they often become a closer follower for having made a connection.

It also helps drive impressions without all the tweets originating from me. It seems less self-serving in this way. For example, one of my tweets across both of my Twitter handles creates 7, impressions. A retweet from someone with 1, followers is terrific, for a total of 8, impressions. But if I thank them for the retweet and include the link, that becomes 15, impressions.

As Mark helped us to illustrate, providing content is still the most important factor of a social media campaign, but numbers do help. He also made it a point to acknowledge the use of links in every post to drive opportunity. Pinterest is a hot topic for many companies, and for good reason. Pinterest is a device which allows for the boutique and small shops to get their products seen.

Your product must do the talking for you. You only get one sentence or so to communicate with the public, and to tell them exactly what your product is. From there, it is in their hands. It is up to them to pin, comment, or spread the word about your product. Pinterest is different from the other social media cannons. With Pinterest, you can load up a product, but the public has to light the fuse. This may not be as daunting as it seems. So by all means, give them a reason to. If you are confident in your product, load it up. Be aware though, there is a self-governing aspect to Pinterest.

While other sites may promote mass amounts of uploading, Pinterest focuses on quality uploads. A heap of garbage is rarely interesting to talk about, and is always more of a nuisance than a pleasure. Say your company is just posting products and pages that would promote the business. Is anyone else interested in promoting your business?

They are driven by what they get out of the product. Pinterest revolves around re-pins and discussions. No one in the mass market is going to re-pin your post, just to promote your business. They are going to pin and discuss because THEY benefit from it in some way, not you.

This is a harsh reality, and can be hard to adjust to for anybody. I mean, after all, we are only joining this community to promote ourselves, right? Now, you think you are ready to post. You have the next big hit. This thing is going to get famous! At least, you think. How can you make sure things go exactly as they are planned in your head?

They want no they NEED to be able to get enough information to persuade them to pin something on their board. This way, they can look into it more when they get around to it. So many items are pinned because they seem interesting, and pinning is so easy to do. This leads to many spur-ofthe-moment pins.

Use this to your advantage. Make the product look as appealing as possible. First and foremost, the image. Whether it is stunning, captivating, thought provoking, or humorous, it needs to be able to grab attention, and grab it fast. Your run-of-the-mill stock photography image may not cut it this time. Think about posting about a vacation getaway spot. Now, imagine how many of these are already visually stunning. Now, think about how your mind reacts to the image. Yes, you want to be there… But, where is there?

Why is it any different than the oodles of other pictures of similar places?

Table of Contents

You need to put the viewer there, but you need to do it without letting them get distracted by anything else. Try taking the photo from one of the balconies overlooking the majestic pool, peering out over the silhouettes of palm trees, and into the majestic beauty of the crystal clear ocean at sunset. You have just taken the viewer off every beach in the world, and placed them into YOUR condo.

You will still be competing with every other beach side getaway, but now your viewer can feel its difference. Yes, the viewer wants to be those people, but is their mind on the experience they could be getting? No, their mind is on the people what they are wearing, who they are, what they do…anything about them.

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This makes a very fine line to be walked. When you use a picture of something like a purse, you want your viewer to imagine themselves wearing the purse, right? So what better way to do that than showing them someone like them, wearing the purse? You want the purse speaking for itself. The viewer will automatically begin thinking of their outfits, and their wardrobe, things they could match with the purse.

By placing someone else in the picture, you are only enabling them to look at the person, and notice other things about them. Maybe they really like their shoes, or their outfit… These are all just opportunities you are giving a potential user to look at things which are not your product! Simply put, describe the product. Give them the information they need, and move on. You can have a little fun with it, but always remember: This is the ocean view from one of the many bayside balconies at ABC resort.

Imagine yourself, basking in warm glow the sun with an ice cold tropical drink, overlooking the ocean every night. Okay, I may have fibbed slightly. Instead, spreading the word about your brand comes from taking part in group discussions. There are often groups and posts generating conversations on Pinterest. This is your opportunity to shine, but it is not your time to advertise! Your goal in these groups is to communicate. Answer questions and make valuable comments. The better you answer and the higher quality of comments you make, the more you are seen as an expert, or a go-to person on the matter.

With this, comes visibility. If you advertise yourself, it will discourage buyers. Keep in mind the basic mentality of the Pinterest user. They are not there because they want to hear what you have to say about your product. They are there because they want to find something of value to them. If you make yourself visible and valuable, they will find you. Make yourself visible and worthless, and they will avoid you like the plague. LinkedIn may be a slower growing form of social media, but this does not take away from its power as a business-building tool.

Instead of filling their ranks with every person they can, the focus of LinkedIn is to provide a purely professional tool for companies and individuals. The ability to post pictures and videos is limited, but it is made up in the aptitude of profile completion. The typical LinkedIn profile offers much more information on the individual, the company, or the organization. With just a glance you can find contact information, testimonials, referrals, references, and more.

Utilizing these tools helps you to become a powerhouse business at any level. A complete profile is the easiest way to let people know who you are, what you do, or what you will be doing. The user is not looking for all the information about your business. They are looking for a reason to further research your company. You have other ways to provide all of that extra information. This is not the place for employee or team photos. Those are fun, but ineffective in this market. This is an opportunity to create brand awareness. Get your logo recognized and in the mind of users. Here is your opportunity to really pack a punch with your words.

After noticing your logo, maybe even prior to that, this will be the first thing your prospect sees. If you had a few sentences to really let your customer know who you are, and what you stand for, what would you say? A common mistake is to create a generically powerful statement. Yes, you may have powerful words, but do those words really describe your company? At ABC company, we take your business seriously. We are a dedicated group, working together to create a solution for your product or service.

Social Media Advertising Strategies

We take pride in our work, and pride in our clients. When you want to captivate and pull your audience, you can count on us! So serious in fact, that we assure you, our experienced senior staff will be directly involved in your project. Are you looking for increased awareness, compelling graphics, or iconic logo design? The difference the latter provides descriptive ways your company provides superior service. It targets specific issues someone may have. If you are looking for someone to design your logo, who would you be more inclined to go to? Many companies will provide a lengthy description with a list of achievements, products, or successes.

Yes, these are nice — and should be showcased, but there is a place for that. This is not that place. You want to be brief, and to the point. As with all webpages, readers skim, and pick out select pieces of information to read. Again, your purpose is to give them enough information to satisfy curiosity, and then push them to do the research.

Provide a link to your website, or tell them where they can get more information on what you have outlined. Keep it short and sweet. You want to showcase your products and what they can do, and I get that. Tell the customer what the product can do for them and be done with it. As outlined in the overall social media strategy in chapter 3, posts should be limited to big events, product launches, or other important notifications. There should always be a call to action, or something for the reader to interact with.

So you have your information all locked in and are waiting for users to come to your page. There is plenty you have to do that can benefit your business! Use LinkedIn to better your connections. Use the search function to find suppliers, distributors, or retailers who can help your business. The site provides you with the perfect means for finding companies that can streamline your operations.

Find local distributors, communicate and build a relationship with them. Find out where you can get pricing and product listings. Perhaps you can save some cash by switching! Need to shop around for a copywriter, graphic designer, marketing director, etc.? Post your need, search for copywriters. The site puts the ball in your court. Your competitors are posting statistics, events, expansions, and inside information on their public profile?!

Your Guide To Social Media Marketing

Why not use this to your advantage? Who knows what you might stumble upon! This could be your opportunity to step up and take the bigger piece of the pie first! How can you use the video to get that larger market share? So, the question we have to address can YouTube compete with the other forms of social media?

YouTube can be used as a branding mechanism, or it can be used as a buffer for marketing efforts in place. Either way, it should not be the primary utility in the campaign. As a branding mechanism, their video sharing service can top the charts. A successful viral video holds the capacity to obtain millions of views in a very short period of time.

Many campaigns use multiple appeals in their videos, but many are successful just using one, and using it well. Having two separate campaigns — one featuring Isaiah Mustafa, and the other featuring Terry Crews — Old Spice uses outlandish humor to create appeal. Whether you agree with the campaign or not, it was the fastest growing campaign of all time. How did it do this? Well, they did it by creating the right blend of excitement, emotional appeal, and striking information. There is no algorithm or formula to let us know just how to create an insanely successful viral video.

One thing is certain though; using YouTube links in your social media posts, and embedding videos on your website does increase both click-through and conversion rates. This section is not about what content you should be putting in your video, but rather, how to communicate with your audience to create the most successful campaign you can for your video. Do you have a product page you wish was converting more sales? Embed a YouTube video showcasing the product, or maybe a demonstration of how to use it.

After all, the point of Internet copy is to be short and to the point. You can also use YouTube to promote your television ads, or create new ones to put solely on the site. Create a video, and viola! You now have a FREE medium for exposing that video. In our analysis of YouTube content, I have included some ways to make sure your videos get seen. The bold faced lettering above the video, and the words used in the hyperlink; the title is going to be the first thing anybody sees.

So, you want it to be good…. It will dictate your click-throughs on searches, and act as the primary descriptor for your content. Of course you need it to be good! Make it effective, and relevant. The words under the video. As you could have guessed, the description is used to describe the video. Explain the contents, provide further information, or provide a call to action. The script does not need to be as compelling as the title in most scenarios; the user can gather much of the effect through the video. Thousands of Tweets are sent out every second, so capturing the attention of your followers can be difficult.

Twitter is an amazing resource for content discovery. Twitter makes it easy to share content with the masses, which makes it perfect for marketers.

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  • The other way businesses and social media marketers use Twitter is for communication. Instead of sending out thousands of paper surveys or forcing customers to complete online forms, you can head to Twitter to see how customers feel about your brand. It's the top network for social customer service because users can communicate in real time.

    You can Tweet your blog posts, articles from around the web, industry news and more. You can also share content that promotes your business, but do it sparingly. If you're lost on what to share, take a look at your competitors. What type of content do they share? Use that as a starting point to build your own strategy. Also keep in mind a majority of your Tweets should be conversational rather than broadcasts. The most effective way to grow your Twitter account is to engage with others.

    Since Twitter moves quickly, you need to Tweet consistently or your followers will forget about you. This means you need to Tweet multiple times throughout the day to increase your visibility. Whenever you share a link to your blog post, a featured image will be included in the Tweet to make it stand out. Use your social media dashboard to schedule Tweets ahead of time. This will allow you to Tweet outside of regular business hours and keep your timeline active throughout the day. Twitter is all about communication. Reply, like and Retweet other people as often as possible.

    Engaging will put you on users' radar who otherwise wouldn't have any idea who you are. Whenever you like, mention, Retweet or reply to someone, they receive a notification. Nobody wants to follow dull accounts. Entertaining Tweets entice people to keep following you.

    Choosing Your Social Networks

    Growing your Twitter audience revolves around your ability to engage and share great content. There are no tricks or gimmicks, but these tactics will get you on the right track:. The purpose of your profile is to showcase what your business is all about. Fill out your profile completely including an enticing bio that tells people what your business does. Most of these accounts are celebrities or not specific to your industry. Instead of limiting yourself to these, look up influencers within your industry and follow them. Twitter chats are organized group conversations where a host asks a series of questions to participants.

    Twitter chats are a great way to network with new people because everyone is there to engage. You can also stand out by hosting your own Twitter chat. Find two or three active Twitter chats and participate in them this week. If you have the budget, create your first Twitter Ad and run it for at least one week. A good way to grow your Twitter audience is through mentions from other accounts.

    You can get mentions by building relationships and networking, as well as guest blogging on other sites. Find blogs within your industry with an active Twitter following, reach out to them and try to land at least one guest post for the month. Hashtags make it easier for people to discover your Tweets when searching for specific topics or keywords. Make a list of the top hashtags in your industry and schedule at least two Tweets a day that incorporate them.

    Limit yourself to one hashtag per Tweet. The number of visitors your website receives from Twitter. You can track this in Google Analytics. Instead of fighting to get your message seen, you have the ability to choose the audience you want your sponsored Tweets to be displayed to. But if you're not careful, your campaigns can quickly become a money pit. Follow these tips to run a successful campaign on Twitter Ads:. Facebook is the largest social network, so it makes sense that over 50 million businesses have signed up. Most brands made the initial step of setting up an account, but with shrinking organic reach and a tricky algorithm, many are fighting to stand out and make Facebook work for them.

    The way businesses use Facebook has changed over the years as new features have been released. Aside from sharing articles, Facebook is great for lead generation through ads and video marketing. Community building is also an important aspect of social media marketing. Facebook Groups are a great way to get started with this. You can make interest groups for your industry, or brand specific groups like our SproutChat Facebook group. Remember that it's critical to know how your audience uses Facebook. Most people use it as a way to interact with friends and family.

    A lot of interesting and entertaining content is shared on Facebook as a result. Creating Facebook-specific content is a great way to improve your chances of success. Due to Facebook's algorithm, it's difficult to get a lot of organic engagement from simply posting to your timeline. To do this, the posts you share on Facebook should be "viral" in nature. For instance, list posts, DIY tips and how-to articles tend to perform well.

    When you're coming up with content ideas for your blog, think of topics you would share on your personal Facebook page and incorporate them into your schedule. Facebook Insights gives you valuable data about who your audience is, what content they're engaging with and how your page is performing. Facebook video has exploded recently. Users have watched over million hours of video on Facebook.

    Videos even outperform photos on the social network. If you want to capture the attention of Facebook users, start using videos. Everyone knows Facebook's organic reach is down. This is a quick tactic most brands completely overlook because it's not as common as Twitter's mention feature.

    However, you can tag people and pages on Facebook. They'll receive a notification and may come and engage on your post. Choose a week to share blog posts from sites in your niche industry with a Facebook presence. Tag their Facebook page in your status update by typing and the page's username on Facebook. You can also tag Facebook Groups or individuals. Who says you can only post to your own page? Facebook allows brands to comment and reply on other posts, which is an awesome way to engage and spread awareness for your company.

    Instead of leaving generic comments like "cool," take a couple of minutes to write a genuine comment that adds to the conversation. Most marketers are aware of Facebook's great ad targeting, but did you know you can also target your organic posts as well? In Facebook unveiled a new call-to-action button for businesses. The button appears on your timeline and you can choose from seven different messages such as "Contact Us" or "Sign Up.

    If you're one of them, add a Facebook CTA button to your page. The number of times posts from your page are displayed, regardless of whether or not they were clicked. Facebook has the most robust advertising platform of any social network. It offers advanced targeting, retargeting, custom audience building and much more. The affordable prices make it perfect for companies of any size from small businesses to agencies or enterprise.

    Improve your chances of success with these tips for Facebook Ads. LinkedIn is known as the social network for business. If you're in the B2B space, LinkedIn is a must. Since LinkedIn's audience and purpose is fairly different from most social networks, the way businesses approach it needs to be different as well. The way you use LinkedIn will depend on your goals. For instance, many companies use it purely for sales, while others rely on it for social recruiting or content curation.

    Other companies use it as a branding platform. With LinkedIn groups and Pulse , brands have a great opportunity to showcase executives and team members as thought leaders and authorities in their industry. Since the audience on LinkedIn sways toward professionals, the content you share should match. Generally people are on LinkedIn like to see industry related articles, job opportunities or content related to their own groups. The content you share will depend on your goals and how you plan to use LinkedIn. The more industry-specific you can get, the better.

    Here are some examples of the type of content you should post on LinkedIn depending on your goals:. Some brands neglect LinkedIn publishing because they're more concerned about distributing content on Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand, LinkedIn requires just as much attention as any other platform. An easy way to make sure you don't overlook LinkedIn is to use Sprout's social media scheduler to publish content across multiple networks. Over the past few years, LinkedIn evolved into a great publishing platform. Specifically, LinkedIn wants to see original long-form content through Pulse.

    Pulse is a great way to grow your thought leadership and reach a new audience. Use a mix of paid and organic marketing tactics to capture more leads and expand your network. Publishing from your business page is helpful, but if you want to get even better results get your sales team active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is all about building a strong network, and that's much easier to do as an individual than a business. Have them setup profiles and send an invite to prospects, leads and clients to connect with them.

    Commit to publishing one long-form article a week to LinkedIn Pulse for at least two months. This will give you time to start building authority and get an idea of how often you should publish long term. If you're getting great results from posting once a week, then you might want to keep it up. If not, you can tone it down and publish once or twice a month. Just make sure whatever you publish is high quality. Joining existing groups is a great way to start making connections to get the ball rolling for your LinkedIn marketing strategy.

    To take things to the next level, you should create your own group for your brand. This will be a community for your customers, leads and prospects. One of the benefits of having your own group is the ability to send group announcements once per week.

    Group members will receive a notification on LinkedIn as well as an email. It's like having a mini email list in LinkedIn. One of the key advantages is targeting people by job title. This improves your chances of bypassing gatekeepers and getting in front of decision makers. You can even target employees of a specific company, which is great if you already have a new client in mind you want to work with. Take advantage of everything LinkedIn Ads have to offer. Although it's missing some features such as clickable links in posts, it has the highest engagement of any social media platform.

    If Instagram isn't a part of your social media marketing strategy, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity. One of Instagram's key differentiators is its focus on keeping users within the app. Other networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest rely heavily on users curating content from blogs and other websites.

    With Instagram the bulk of the content lives within the app. Therefore most marketers use Instagram for branding and as an additional platform for content creation. Instagram is the perfect network for content that showcases your brand identity. When someone looks at your Instagram profile, they should get an idea of your company culture and your brand stance. Post pictures of company outings, work being done and other "behind the curtain" content that help customers feel a connection to your brand. People don't go to Instagram to read articles.

    They use the app to be entertained and pass the time. The challenge is determining what qualifies as entertaining. Take a look at what your competitors post to get an idea of what resonates with your audience. Every post shouldn't be about your products, services or brand. It sounds counterproductive, but the reality is people don't want to only see your business. Share user-generated content, images about trending topics and other images or videos unrelated to your company.

    Instagram Videos generate more comments than images. Integrate more videos and Instagram Stories into your marketing strategy to drive engagement and connect with your audience. Creativity will set your brand apart on Instagram. As Instagram continues to become more competitive, you need to think outside the box to stand out. Hashtags are one of the quickest ways to get more exposure for your Instagram posts. But you have to use the right ones. Think of keywords related to your business, and see how many times the hashtag for it is mentioned by searching Instagram.

    You can also look at the hashtags your competitors are using to find more ideas. Put the top hashtags in a file you can access on your phone or computer. When you have a relevant post, you can quickly copy the hashtags over into your caption. A lot of brands treat their Instagram bio as an afterthought. They'll type up a quick sentence, link to their website's home page and move on.

    Your bio should accurately explain who you are and what you do, personify your brand and target your ideal followers. How to Write Instagram Bios for Businesses. Get on the radar of established brands and influencers on Instagram by sharing regramming their content and tagging them. When you tag other brands in your captions or comments, they'll receive a notification showing them they were mentioned and who mentioned them. Sometimes they may be tempted to to visit your account, especially if you're consistently tagging them in your posts.

    Make a list of influencers in your industry and come up with post ideas that will allow you to mention them. A popular option is to make a quote image of something they said and credit them in your caption. How much traffic is coming from your Instagram posts or profile. You can find this in Google Analytics. Instagram's advertising platform Ads on Instagram works through Facebook Ads.

    That means you have access to many of the same amazing features you have with Facebook such as advanced targeting and analytics. However, keep in mind Ads on Instagram is still fairly new so users are still getting acclimated to seeing sponsored posts in their feed. Still, the native look and feel of Instagram ads makes them far less intrusive and disruptive than traditional ads.

    Before Instagram and Snapchat dominated the visual social network space, Pinterest was the go-to platform for sharing images. Pinterest is a great option for certain industries. Since its main demographic is women between the ages , companies in the fashion, retail, DIY and other visually-driven industries have seen great success. Pinterest added several features to make it easier for online retailers to showcase their products. As a result, the process of going from viewing a pin to making a purchase is more efficient.

    In addition to driving sales, marketers also use Pinterest for content promotion. Pinterest's grid layout allows you to create eye-catching images to promote each piece of content on your site. Combining Pinterest's highly engaged audience with a great featured image is an excellent way to get new traffic to your site. You can add text description to your pins, but your main focus should be on your visuals. That means creating custom graphics using tools like Canva and Landscape.

    If you take a look at Pinterest, you'll notice a few popular trends such as overlaying text on images and using high-quality photographs. If you sell physical goods, pin pictures of them being used instead of just a generic product shot. Your images will be competing with dozens of others that are displayed on a user's feed or search results. That doesn't mean every image you pin should be faceless, but get a healthy mix of photos with and without them. Use it as an opportunity to pin product photos or custom graphics. A Georgia Tech University study researched the most commonly used words on Pinterest.

    Rich Pins are extra details added within your pins to give more insight. There are six types of Rich Pins you can use: Use them to encourage users to take action on your pins. Most brands don't create enough boards. The idea of having 20 boards may seem crazy at first, but it can actually help you grow your following. According to research from the University of Minnesota on what makes a Pinterest user popular, the number of boards was ranked as the third most important feature.

    Using Pinterest to curate images from around the web or Re-pinning content from other users is a very popular tactic. It helps your brand fill up your boards and allows you to post more frequently. However, pinning original content can help you stand out and get more Re-pins for your own Pinterest page. You can make boards public so other users can pin on them as well. Invite bloggers or other businesses in your industry to contribute to a collaborative board to get more exposure and network. Only do this for a select few boards though. The majority of your Pinterest boards should be open just to you.

    Pinterest is an ideal platform to promote your content. If you have a blog post you think will resonate well with Pinterest users, create a custom image to promote it. Write out a brief description, engaging headline and pin it. Pinterest contests allow you to quickly grow your following. You can ask participants to create a board and pin images with your contest hashtag.

    Or you can create a group board with pins from all the participants. Pinterest's search feature is more robust than most social networks. Treat your pins like you would treat a blog post you want to rank for in Google. Come up with a keyword you want to target and include it in the description and title of your pin. Marketers are still figuring out the best use for the video sharing network, but there's more than enough reason to make it a priority in your social media marketing strategy.

    One of the challenges of Snapchat is the temporary nature of the content. After a day, your Snapchat stories are removed from the app unless you save them elsewhere. Snapchat is primarily used for branding purposes. Since the network is entirely mobile and visually based, you don't have some of the perks of other networks. For example, you can't link back to your site or share full articles. The main feature of Snapchat for business is stories. This allows you to string multiple Snaps together and create a "story.

    There are plenty of options for what content to share on Snapchat. Some brands like to give a behind the scenes look at life at the company. Others share coupons and flash sales to take advantage of the temporary nature of the app. Snapchat is for entertainment. Mentioning products or promotions is fine, but you have to do it in a way that's not a blatant advertisement.

    Otherwise people won't stay engaged. Part of the beauty of Snapchat is it allows you to capture moments as they happen. Instead of trying to plan everything in advance, be on the lookout for candid moments worth snapping. If you want to keep people consistently engaged with your brand on Snapchat, come up with storylines for your stories rather than just combining several random photos and videos.

    Your followers will have an urge to see what happens next. Story replies allow users to directly reply to one of your brand's stories by swiping up on their screen. Unlike many social networks, the top Snapchat accounts aren't businesses and celebrities. The most followed accounts are often social media stars and everyday people that create entertaining stories.

    Top brands and agencies realize this and are using it to their advantage. You can do the same by linking up with influencers with a large following and letting them take over your Snapchat account for a day. Their followers will rush to your account to see what's being snapped, which can quickly grow your audience.

    How to Creatively Use Snapchat for Business. Since Snapchat content has an expiration date, it's the perfect channel to offer limited time offers and deals. Occasionally, make a snap offering an exclusive discount for your Snapchat followers. The key is to only promote it on Snapchat so it entices customers to follow you there. If you want to track your historical data, you'll have to do it manually.