Top Social Media Tips To Guide You In 2015 And Beyond!

Social media has come a long way. Back then, the idea of creating sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are vague at best. Nowadays however, social media plays a huge role in our personal and professional lives. For Social-Mediaaverage folks, these networks present an easy and fun way to keep in touch with people who’re important to them. And for businesses, these platforms serve as distribution channels, which allow their marketing message to find the right audience and build relationships.

Before 2014 ends, here are some valuable tips that can help you get more out of your social media campaigns. It’s more than just getting Likes and publishing as often as you could. If you want you and your business to rock the world of social media, here are the tips to get you started.

Pick The Right Platform For Your Message & Business

Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ might be dominating the social media scene, but there are hundreds of platforms out there. So the question is: How’re you supposed to pick between Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites? This is where good old competitor research comes into play. Look at your top 5 to 10 competitors and keep a close eye on the social media channels they’re in.

It also helps to consider the nature of your business and its products / services. If you’re in the real estate industry (which relies a lot on photos of properties), it might make sense to include image-based social media / blogging sites like Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest in your campaign. If you are within the tech industry, experience has shown that techy folks (likely customers) spend a lot of time on Google+ and you’d want to focus on that platform. On the other hand, if you’re a B2B enterprise, targeting LinkedIn and Facebook might lead to awesome boosts in traffic and conversion rates.

Oh! And one last bit of advice, do NOT pick more than 5 social media networks / sites to establish your presence on. It’s just not practical and possible (especially if you’re a startup or an SMB), and spreading yourself too thinly won’t bring the desired results.

Know When To Post

Not all audiences / markets are created equally…and this is true when it comes to social media activity. If you’re a B2B sales consulting firm and your target audience are those in the higher ups, you want to post at a time during the day when executives, CEOs, etc. are active and receptive (during office hours or lunch break). If your business is within the PC gaming industry and your target market is comprised of males aged 24 to 40+ years old, it might make sense to post after office hours when your target audience is most likely at home and relaxing.

Again, you should know when the best days and times are to post for your industry and demographics. This is a very important step and there’s no other way to do it than to research and analyze your figures.

Use Images A LOT!

A picture paints a thousand words…so use it to your advantage! There’s a reason why infographics, 7-second digestible videos, and image-based sites are becoming more and more popular. Images are easier to understand or digest compared to a massive block of text. Don’t be boring – use images a lot in your social media pages.

Now, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can just use whatever image you deem fit. A research has shown that the quality and resolution of the image you use can make or break your conversion rates.

According to the report, consumers react negatively to stock images…especially those that they’ve seen before. Low quality / low resolution images also turned away potential customers and prospects. The participants said they felt that if the company can’t even find a decent image to use in their pages, they have no business providing a product or service. If you’re going to use images, make sure they are unique and of high quality!

NEVER Sync Business Social Media With Your Personal Phone!

People are always online, which means managing and overseeing social media for a business can turn into a 24/7 project. And when you’re occupied by one thing 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, stress and burnout follows. Do NOT let business social media take control of your personal life.

One thing you should always remember is to NOT sync your personal phone with your company’s social media accounts. Taking work home – when you’re supposed to spend time with your kids and pamper yourself – is never a healthy thing to do.

Use Social Media For Relationship Building

It’s very easy to see why businesses are on social media. It helps them improve sales by building better relationships with their customers and partners. I want you to read the previous sentence closely…the real purpose of social media is to build relationships and the increased sales and conversion rates are just bonuses.

This is very important as I’ve seen numerous businesses treat social media like a sales platform when it isn’t. By doing so, you could easily turn off your target audience. So instead, use social media to build relationships and to provide free education and entertainment to your target market.

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Pinsights

Virality on Pinterest: Strategies of the Most Successful Retail Brands

Study Overview
Using our database of millions of pins from Pinterest, we analyzed the pinning strategies and follower engagement of 22 retail brands (including Etsy, Whole Foods, and Kate Spade), each of which has more than 10,000 Pinterest followers.

Methodology

We selected 22 Pinterest accounts for this report according the following criteria:

  • Ecommerce-enabled sites (excluding the Pinterest accounts of magazines, blogs, and individual users)
  • Official retailer brand Pinterest account
  • At least 10,000 account followers
  • First account pin on Pinterest at least 60 days ago
  • At least 100 pins in the last 60 days

We refer to these retail brand Pinterest accounts as “brands”.  Using the Pinsights database of millions of Pinterest user actions, we analyzed the performance of these brands. All data is for sixty days ending June 19, 2012 unless otherwise specified.

A caveat: we are not saying that these brands attracted more than 10,000 followers because they achieved the metrics included in our study. However it is useful and valuable to understand how retail brands with large followings manage their Pinterest accounts.

Summary of Findings
  • Pins from sources other than a brand’s website are 50% more “viral”(1) than images from the brand’s website.  Repins of images from other websites are twice as viral as pins and repins to a brand’s own website.
  • Brands achieve the highest virality by consistently pinning engaging content, not through “hits”.  Only 3% of pins receive more than 10 repins per 1,000 followers. Unlike many internet phenomena in which 10% of items generate 90% of results, the top 10% of pins generate less than 40% of repins.
  • Successful brands employ a variety of pinning strategies — “Mavens”, “Connectors”, and “Showcasers”(2) — but Mavens have 30% to 60% higher levels of follower engagement.
Detailed Findings

Brands in this study have an average of about 30,000 account followers. Account followers range from about 11,000 (Victoria’s Secret) to almost 100,000 (Etsy).

Account Followers

We examined “virality”, the number of repins per 1,000 followers(1). In the table below, we broke down pins into two categories. From left to right are “Pins” (i.e., original pins made by the brand) vs. “Repins” (images pinned by another Pinterest user that is repinned by the brand).  On the vertical axis we have “Own Website” (the company website of the brand) and “Other Websites”. Looking at the data, we found that original pins from other sources are 50% more viral than pins from a brand’s website.  We also found that, at a virality rate of 3.7, repinned images from other websites are twice as viral as pins from a brand’s own website. Likewise, pins to own websites have the lowest virality.

Looking pins grouped by virality “bin”(3), we found that 40% of brand pins have less than 1 repin per 1,000 followers. About three-quarters of pins have less than 3 repins per 1,000 followers. Only 3% of pins have more than 10 repins per 1,000 followers.

social-network_110002956-012814-intPin Virality Distribution

Repins per 1,000 Followers

Often when looking at distributions of internet data — product sales, search query frequencies, etc — we see highly skewed distributions in which 10% of the items can generate 90% of the results. That turned out not to be true in this case. In the chart below, we found that the top 1% of pins (ranked by virality) generate only 7% of repins, while the top 10% of pins generate less than 40% of repins. So for these brands, pinning is not really a “hits” business.

Percent of Repins Generated by Top Percent of Pins

Taking a slightly different cut of the data, we grouped brands by high virality vs. average to low virality for their accounts overall. We found that high virality brands have more pins with 2 to 10 repins per 1,000 followers. We find that brands achieve the highest overall virality by pinning consistently engaging content, not through “hits”.

Differences in Brand Virality

We found that brands employ a variety of pinning strategies. We grouped the brands along two dimensions: the proportion of original pins vs. repins and the proportion of source content from their company website vs. other source websites. Borrowing heavily from Malcolm Gladwell (2), we assigned each brand to one of the following groups:

  • Mavens: brands that find and pin images from sources other than their company websites (e.g., Kate Spade)
  • Connectors: brands that mostly repin pins from sources other than their company websites (e.g., West Elm)
  • Showcasers: brands that mostly pin original pins from their own websites (e.g., Williams-Sonoma)

We then arrayed the brands on a 2×2 grid to illustrate their pinning strategies as shown in the chart below.

We then examined the average brand virality for each of the strategies and found that Mavens have the highest average virality:

  • 30% higher virality than Connectors
  • 60% higher virality than Showcasers

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