How Do You Select A Social Media Agency?

Social Media Agency

When To Select A Social Media Agency

One of the questions that we get asked a lot is when is the should I use a social media agency for social versus when should I do it in-house with the people that I have?

It’s a great question and I turned to social media expert Amanda Fountain to answer that question. This is what she had to say:

Hiring A Social Media Agency

One of the reasons why a company would consider using a social media agency is to develop a social media strategy.

A social media strategy is one of the key building blocks to being successful on social media. A strategy identifies who your target audience is. What social networks they are on? What messaging they respond too? What types of messaging they do not respond too?

A second reason to engage with a social media agency is to produce more content.

A third reason is to listen and engage with your audiences on social media. Listening is an overlooked aspect of a successful social media strategy. The bigger you are as a company, the more risk you have of missing conversations about your brand if you don’t have someone monitoring and listening all the time.

“By providing great customer service through social comments, you not only retain existing customers but also win new ones.”

Handling Your Social Media In-house

When does handling your social media accounts in-house work best? If you know that your audience is not really active on social, that it is not where you want to talk to your audience then having internal resources handling your social media accounts make sense.

In this scenario, your in-house person just focused on posting content and responding to whatever comments are left.

Agency + In-House Model

The obvious best model is when you have a social media agency partner and someone -in house that’s your social media expert.

You have your in-house person who can lead what needs to happen, can share all that in-marketing insight from the other pieces that are going on, and help with the execution pieces of it.

Your agency partner then becomes your strategist, your person that’s there to tell you what’s happening, tell you what’s going on, counsel you to make changes or consider new things. To push you in new ways that if you’re in the trenches day to day, it’s not always easy to see those things.

So that’s a good model, having a social media agency partner who can be your strategist, and then the in-house person that can oversee implementation and execution of your social medium campaigns.

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How To Improve The Performance Of Your Business Facebook Page

How To Improve The Performance Of Your Facebook Business Page

A recent article by Neil Patel on quicksprout.com titled How to Steal Your Competitor’s Facebook Fans highlighted one of my favorite Facebook analytics tools, Fan Page Karma .

Fan Page Karma allows you to analyze any Facebook business page as well as compare any two Facebook business pages head-to-head. The software offers tremendous insight into what is working and what is not working with a company’s social media marketing strategy.

When we first meet with clients to talk about their current Facebook business social media strategy they usually have two main concerns:

The first step in analyzing the performance of a Facebook business page is to compare it to a competitor’s. When we do that with Fan Page Karma, this is the type of data that we get:

Facebook Page Competitive Analysis

What I like about the data from Fan Page Karma is that it gives me a high level view about what is working and what is not. What is the growth rate of the fans? Are they engaged with the content? Is the company interactive with fans or are the interactions one-way?

From those results, I can dive further into a more in-depth review. For example, one of the things we analyze is the type of posts that clients make on Facebook?

Facebook Page Content Analysis

For example, the data tells me that the client (bottom right) mainly posts pictures on Facebook, while its competitors post a lot more links and status updates.

So what type of content is right? To answer that question you need to know what type of content has the highest level of engagement.

Facebook Engagement

This is a familiar four-section quadrant with the upper right quadrant being the most desirable one. From looking at the engagement level it is clear that pictures (red) do provide the highest engagement levels while video (green) and links (yellow) have the lowest level of fan engagement.

Based on this data, one of the recommendations to our client was to continue posting pictures and to cut back on posting videos and links as their fans were not as engaged with that content.

To find out more about how you can produce more engaging content on Facebook, contact us today.

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How Many Social Media Platforms Should You Focus On?

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How Many Social Media Platforms Should You Focus On?

One of the challenges that a lot of B2B companies struggle with is what how should they handle social media? Should they be on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat? Do they need to be on TikTok?

Do they need to be on all of these platforms, or should they just focus on one and just do a really good job on there?

To answer these questions I turned to social media expert Amanda Fountain and this is what she had to say.

What Are Your Social Media Resources?

What you are asking is actually two questions rolled into one because what you are really asking is what are your resources and where is your audience?

Social media can open a lot of doors for businesses, but if you don’t have the right resources, it just becomes harder. Harder to manage, harder to see results, harder to feel good about what you’re doing on it. Harder to see results if it’s not overwhelmingly good.

And that’s usually what happens, when you have limited resources, you do the best you can, but it’s not great.

It’s just the best that you can possibly do. And that can hurt. Which is a weird thing to think about, but it can hurt if it’s not great for social. Because there’s so much that’s happening, that your stuff has to stand out.

When I say great, I don’t mean like the highest quality videos are the highest quality graphics, it’s just great content that is really
well tailored for your audience.

That’s the ‘great’ that you’re looking for. It doesn’t have to be highly produced content, it just has to be really well tailored for your audience.

Social Media Logos

Where Is Your Audience On Social Media?

The second part of your question is where is your audience? If you know that you have limited resources and you know that your audience is most active on Twitter, for example, spend your time there.

This is a much better strategic approach, to find where your audience is, and put your time and effort there, rather than trying to separate your time across every single platform.

Maybe claim profiles and have a regular cadence for occasionally posting on other places, but put your time and efforts to where your audience is.

And then the next phase of that is if you can get a good cadence of producing content that your audience likes and engages with, then you can look to expand your social media presence to the platforms where your audience will be.

One of the things I always think about is who is my next audience, right? Because people grow up in their careers.

The people who are decision makers now, are maybe not, maybe not big Instagram users, but the people who are in their twenties and thirties who have them, will eventually be a decision maker

It’s a platform they’re used to using and seeing. So you can’t ignore it forever, but think about when you need to start kind of getting in front of them.

That’s why it’s more important to have a regular cadence, even if it’s only occasional, in order to be in front of those other audiences.

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Social Media as Distribution Channels For B2B

b2b content marketing usage

Social Media as Distribution Channels For B2B

I was reading the 2020 Content Marketing Trends Report and it reinforced my belief that social media is an increasingly important distribution channel for B2B marketers.

When asked what social media platform they use to distribute content on, 96% say that LinkedIn is their primary distribution channel followed by Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Interestingly, for all the buzz about Medium (6%), Periscope (6%), and SnapChat (5%), these channels are still heavily underutilized by B2B marketers.

b2b content marketing usage

When it comes to the effectiveness of those social media channels, Once again, B2B marketers rated LinkedIn most effective (64% last year vs. 66% this year). The effectiveness ratings of YouTube and Instagram also increased slightly, and Twitter’s rating stayed the same.

effectivness of social networks

B2B marketers are also using paid promotion to amplify their message across social media channels using tactics like promoted posts or social ads. The one amplification tactic that is growing in popularity is content discovery tools which increased from 36% of marketers using it last year to 45% this year.

social media amplification

Social media marketing is changing and evolving for B2B marketers. Does your strategy need to be updated or refreshed? Is yes, then contact us today!

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Instagram Tactics: Most Brands On Instagram Post Content Daily

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Instagram Tactics: Most Brands On Instagram Post Content Less Than Daily

Some interesting data from the 2019 Social Media Benchmark Report about how often brands are publishing content across social networks.

While brands publish the most often on Facebook (0.97 posts per day) compared to Instagram (0.7 posts per day), and Twitter (.86 posts per day).

social media stats 2019
social media stats 2019

It is Instagram however, where brands are seeing the most engagement at they are seeing the most engagement at 1.60%.

Higher Ed dramatically outperformed other industries on Instagram again, while brands in other industries saw a slight drop: last year’s median engagement rate was 1.73%.

What is Working On Instagram?

More isn’t necessarily better on Instagram (or anywhere else, really): with the exception of Sports. Teams, the industries with the highest per-post engagement rates post less often.

instagram posts vs engagement

It's All About The Pictures

Sports Teams are seeing great engagement on Instagram, and are taking more advantage of highengaging carousels than many other industries this year.

Instagram Use By Sports Teams

Eight Steps To Creating The Best Instagram Post In 2020

How To Create An Effective Instagram Strategy

Instagram Takeaways

Some takeaways from the the Social Media Benchmark Report that you can use to grow your social media presence on Instagram. 

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How to Amplify Your Content in Four Steps

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How to Amplify Your Content in Four Steps

The Content Marketing Institute estimates that 83% of all marketers are utilizing some sort of content marketing strategy.

With so many brands producing blogs, videos, and whitepapers every day, companies can no longer rely on just developing compelling content to get their message out, which is why so many marketers are turning to content amplification—a strategy that focuses on increasing brand visibility across multiple channels.

One of the best ways for you to amplify your content is through paid social content amplification. With the average life of a Tweet on Twitter being four minutes, and the average Facebook update being seen by less than 5% of your fans, paid social amplification is a necessity. 

Paid social amplification keeps your content from getting lost in the social media void, so your content can get more exposure with your fans AND your potential fans.

Four of the best ways to use paid content amplification:

1. Social Media Ads

Unlike PPC ads (see below), social ads give you the option to hyper-target with ads featuring specific attributes of your target audience. You can target consumers who have certain likes and interests as well as consumers who fit within traditional demographics (age, gender, location, etc.). And, if you rotate your ads every couple of days, users won’t get ad fatigue, which means—they won’t stop clicking.

2. Paid Content Discovery

While Social Ads allow you to focus on your target audience, paid content discovery is a way to expose your content to a wider audience. Companies provide services that promote your content on sites such as CNN, Slate and ESPN, allowing you the potential to reach hundreds or thousands of people who you wouldn’t have reached on your own.

3. Pay Per Click

Traditional pay per click (PPC) advertising is another way to promote your content to new consumers and obtain a higher reach.

The data from PPC analytics, as well as social ads and paid content discovery, will help you understand what your ideal audience is looking for and give you the data to enhance your content marketing efforts.

4. Retargeting

Most marketers spend all their time and effort (and money) on bringing a visitor to their website once, but they fail to focus on making that visitor a returning visitor. That is where retargeting comes in. In its simplest form, retargeting is the paid strategy of bringing visitors back to your website.

Retargeting allows you to focus on people who have already shown interest in your content and/or business. Your goal is to bring them back to your site through social or banner ads. This is a strategy that should be a part of every content marketing plan. The goal of content marketing is to keep consumers coming back to your website and retargeting does just that.

Braveheart Digital has been working with companies since 2001 to develop and execute online marketing strategies that help companies achieve their goals. Contact us today to see how we can help you drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website through content marketing amplification.

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Definitive Guide To Building Your Brand Presence on Facebook

Facebook Advertising

Definitive Guide To Building Your Brand Presence on Facebook

Facebook dominates social media, and that’s why both B2B and B2C companies must have a strong Facebook presence to overcome competition. An effective Facebook presence strengthens your brand by providing value and/or entertainment to your audience through posts, tabs, and other shared content.

To get the most out of your company’s Facebook account, pay attention to the following:

Facebook Brand Page

Your Facebook page is the central hub of your brand. Creating a Facebook page for your company has many benefits; it makes your business discoverable in Facebook search, allows you to connect one-on-one with your followers, helps you reach a wider range of prospective customers and gives you deeper insight into your audience.

L.L. Bean’s corporate Facebook page connects with customers via cool photos, videos, and tips for outdoor adventures. The screenshot below shows how L.L. Bean also dedicates tabs to its “Free Shipping” policy, a “Base Camp” where customers can post photos using specific hashtags, and a “Join the Conversation” tab where you can sign up for L.L. Bean’s mailing list or follow its other social media accounts.

LL Bean Facebook Page

As L.L. Bean’s page demonstrates, your Facebook page is an extension of your business, and Facebook offers many methods of customization to properly represent that business.

In building your brand presence on Facebook, consider the following five tools:

Facebook Page Cover Photo

The cover photo backdrops your logo and rests at the top of your company profile page. The cover photo tends to change seasonally or promotionally to reflect relevant company updates and also allows you to creatively express your brand. Because of its large size, cover photos offer brands more real estate to work with, with a photo that can include brand messaging, campaign promotions, product images, and an endless list of options.

One of the best corporate cover photos is this one from Starbucks, which showcases products in-house in a warm, inviting way:

Starbucks Facebook Page

Facebook Profile Photo

This image stamping the bottom left corner of your cover photo is how Facebook users identify your company. It’s a small thumbnail that is attached to almost any action that you make across the platform. From posting in a group to posting on your own timeline, this image appears next to all of your posts as the HubSpot example illustrates below:

Facebook Hubspot Page

Facebook Page About Section

The about section is a tab in the navigation bar that resides under your profile photo and cover photo.

This section includes two elements. The first is your page information, which is your opportunity to share details about your company. This section includes sharing information—like a description, products, and links to other social media properties and your main website. See image below:

Facebook Page About Us Section

Facebook Page Milestones Section

The second element (refer to image below) is what Facebook calls “Milestones,” which lets you commemorate and share important events in the history of your brand with your followers, allowing your customers to experience your triumphs right along with you!

Facebook Page Milestones Section

Facebook Page Timeline Section

Your Facebook page allows you the ability to post updates for your followers. Posting on Facebook is a key way to build followers and fuel your paid advertising efforts.

These posts can be comprised of text, images, links, non-native video (like a YouTube link), native video (a video posted specifically and originally on the Facebook platform), slide decks, and photo albums.

The image below is from the Facebook page for Sugarbush Ski Resort in VT after the first sizeable snowfall of the season. From the Sugarbush example, you can see how the resort is keeping up with its followers in real time with information (a snowstorm) relevant to the resort’s services.

Sugarbush Facebook Page

Building Your Fan Base On Facebook

For marketers, building your fan base is a key activity to achieve through social networks. There are
a variety of techniques that you can use to build fan followings, and we’ll explore them in this section.

Creating regular posts is an integral part of building and maintaining your Facebook page audience. You want your audience to seek out your posts, and that’s why it’s important that your content is entertaining, engaging, and informative.

Concurrently, it’s important to post the type of content that appeals to your target audience at optimum times.

When To Post On Facebook

No two days are the same. According to directom.com, you should avoid posting content on Tuesdays. Other days have varied favorable windows.

For example—for Monday postings, you’ll want to post between 11:50AM-12:10PM. Wednesdays are different. The window is a little longer, between 11:30AM-12:30PM.

Interestingly, as the week progresses, the publishing window increases. Thursday, anytime after 3:00PM is a favorable time, and on Friday, the range falls between 3:00-6:00PM.

Weekends tend to be underutilized by many brands, but the secret to weekend success is to publish lighter stuff or upcoming social events.

What To Post On Facebook

Over the last 18 months, the content that got the most reach, shares, and engagement on Facebook were photos—with a staggering 204.5% more engagement than regular updates via text.

But a quick check on your Facebook feed shows a saturation of photos and memes, and as a result, reach and engagement of photos is decreasing.

Instead, the three types of content I expect to perform better in 2020 are:

Is your business established on Facebook yet? Are you effectively utilizing the social network to work for you? Don’t miss out on Facebook opportunities. Contact us today to increase your sales, reach, and more via the top social network!

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Definitive Guide To Building Your Brand Presence on Twitter

Twitter Advertising

Definitive Guide To Building Your Brand Presence on Twitter

For many businesses, Twitter is an underutilized asset. Companies lacking strategic, lead-generating plans for Twitter miss the opportunity to access a huge user base and to showcase themselves in a socially savvy and relevant way.

Users who elect to follow your company on Twitter demonstrate an active interest in your brand, what your company does, has to say, and what it will continue to do. To retain this high level of user engagement, it’s necessary to maintain an active brand presence on Twitter with:

The Appropriate Twitter Handle

The Twitter handle is the name that users will use to address and talk about your company. When a user directly tweets your company, they attach your handle to an “@” symbol and send it your way. Encourage users to contact you more frequently and talk more about your company with a short handle that doesn’t use too much of the capped 140 characters of a tweet.

A Succinct and Informative Bio

In 160 characters, succinctly describe your company, its products and services, and its relevance. Would a potential client find your company’s bio interesting, informative, or purely self-promotional? As an example, Virgin America uses its bio to link to its blog and website and provides a link to fliers who want to complain about services (potentially avoiding publicly tweeted complaints):

An Evocative Photo

This image shows Twitter followers who you are. For brands this is often a logo. This image sits next to your tweets so other users can visually identify you as the source. Profile Picture Size: Recommended dimensions are 400×400 pixels. See Oreo below.

Oreo

Header Image

This is a background photo that sits behind your profile photo. Most images are resized to automatically fit the dimensions, but Twitter also offers the image parameters on their website. This is the opportunity for you to be creative and share an image that expresses your brand, campaign, or any other relevant visuals in a larger format.

The Patagonia header for example is publicizing a campaign they currently have running. Note the use of the hashtag #KeepJumboWild in the header. Profile Header Size: recommended dimensions are 1500×500 pixels

Jumbo Wild Twitter

Build Your Following

Building your following on Twitter is one of the key activities to driving success on this social network. There are a variety of techniques marketers can use to build their following, and here are 7 tips to make your tweets more searchable, shareable, and readable on Twitter:

Use Hashtags (#)

These symbols have become synonymous with Twitter and are used to tag tweets by topic.

The hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and easily participate in it. For example, Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee) built a whole campaign in 2015 around the hashtag #AskGaryVee:

Ask Gary Vee Twitter hashtag

Use @Mentions

@mentions are a way for you to engage other Twitter users in your tweet. If you’re posting a tweet that you think is relevant to specific followers or thought leaders, tag them at the end of your tweet with a @mention as this will call their attention to your tweet and possibly the attention of their followers.

For example, Zack Wenger put together this video that featured Mark Cuban. Wenger only has 1,000 followers, but by mentioning @mcuban in his tweet, he brought it to Cuban’s attention. Cuban retweeted it, making his own 4.3m followers aware of it, not just Wenger’s 1,000.

Mark Cuban Twitter

Your social presence should help connect you with your target audience in a thoughtful and meaningful way—i.e. share content and craft messages of value, like Darren Rowse’s post below:

Twitter Example

When leveraging Twitter to update the marketplace on company news and disseminate brand messaging, your social presence could be negatively impacted if used only as an advertising tool.

Quality, Not Quantity

When it comes to followers, companies often get caught up in the numbers game. But it’s important to remember that the quality of followers is just as—if not more—important as quantity.

Columbia Business School Professor Olivier Toubia sums this point up nicely in a conversation with Business News Daily:

“You could have a company with 10,000 followers, but half of them are not even real or not even relevant to your company. This will make your CEO feel good because they feel they have a big footprint on social media, but there isn’t really a lot of impact because they either aren’t real people or they are people who don’t care about your company.”
Professor Olivier Toubia
Columbia Business School
This is especially relevant for B2B companies offering niche services to a specific subset of clientele.

Repurpose

Twitter is a perfect medium to re-share content. As Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Marketingland said:
Twitter is the “live TV of social media…which means that if you’re not tuned in to catch a particular tweet live, then you’ve missed it.”
Danny Sullivan

Let’s say you share an article on a Monday morning. Consider sharing it again on Tuesday afternoon prefacing the new tweet with a qualifier like, “in case you missed it.”

What are you missing on Twitter? Do you have a large following truly interested in your posts? Are you succinctly expressing relevant and engaging text? And is the platform connecting you with your fans and connecting them with your goals?

Let us help you use Twitter to your advantage. Contact us today to effectively tweet for more quality followers, greater sales, and greater visibility!

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