State of Marketing: Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media Marketing Tactics

State of Marketing: Social Media Marketing Strategy


Social Media is the #1 channel used in marketing in 2021. Social media use overall is at an all time high. In November of 2020, the Baby Shark Dance video (you know the song — do do doo doo do do … sorry in advance for getting that stuck in your head) became the most viewed video on YouTube with over 7 billion views.

8 in 10 companies are investing in social media marketing in 2021 according to the Hubspot State of Marketing 2021 Report.

Over the past year, companies have had to rethink their entire strategy — many hired chief customer officers to support the customer experience. Marketing and leadership teams turned the mic over to their customers, listening to how prospects and clients feel about their interactions with the brand.

In 2021, the primary tactic for social media marketing is social listening. By establishing a direct relationship with your social media audience, you’ll learn exactly how to support, engage with, and convert them into loyal brand advocates.
Social Media Marketing Tactics
Social Media Platforms

Braveheart Social Media Process

Successful social media marketing has matured from simply getting “likes” to acquiring new customers and increasing sales from existing ones. Four out of five marketers today view social media networks as critical distribution channels for their content.

We develop strategies that put your content on the platforms that your customers use. 

If you are looking to grow your following on social media and turn those followers into customers, contact us about our social media marketing services.

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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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SEO v PPC: Which Is The Best Driver Of Website Traffic?

SEO vs PPC - What is the best tactic for you?

SEO v PPC: Which Is The Best Driver Of Website Traffic?

When it comes to driving traffic to your website, there are really only two options: pay-per-click (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO).

While there are other online marketing channels (social, email, and display), SEO and PPC are likelier to drive large numbers of highly qualified visitors to your website. Of SEO and PPC, which is better?

The answer is dependent on your goals.

Short Term Goals: PPC

PPC is perfect for short-term testing or particular events as you can create an ad campaign in minutes and literally begin driving traffic to your website immediately. SEO, on the other hand, often takes at least 90 days to improve website traffic.

Long Term Goals: SEO

No digital marketing channel generates long-term traffic, leads, and sales better than SEO.

Search engine optimization is the best source of sustainable traffic to your website because it delivers (1) high-quality traffic with intent to buy and (2) increases ROI over time.

SEO vs PPC - What is the best tactic for you?

The latter benefit is key as to why SEO is a better long-term investment than PPC. According to a Covario study, last year advertisers paid 23% more per click than they did the previous year. The data shows that the cost to acquire each new visitor or customer via PPC is increasing and will continue to do so.

Higher PPC costs result in a lower ROI. We hear this from companies every day. PPC is not a sustainable traffic source in the long term because of the escalating cost per click. With SEO, ROI improves over time. Time and monetary investment does not increase from month-to-month but traffic, leads, and customers do.

SEO’s ability to drive traffic at a decreasing cost per visitor long-term makes it a much more valuable marketing channel than PPC. Studies demonstrate that, on average, SEO is 12% of a typical marketing budget and generates 14% of leads. PPC, on the other hand, is 8% of the marketing budget but only generates 6% of leads.

Marketing Spend closely tracks led generation rates

Long-term ROI is not the only thing that makes SEO so attractive to marketers. The fact that users trust organic listings more than they trust PPC also makes SEO more enticing. High search rankings imply industry authority and leadership, making searchers likelier to trust and click the website. In this way, SEO drives more high quality traffic.

When asked for the average percentage of leads converted to sales by marketing channel, marketers sighted SEO as the most effective marketing channel, with PPC coming in 5th place.

If your marketing goal is short-term, then PPC is a great source of immediate traffic, but if you want a traffic source that consistently drives high quality traffic long-term then SEO is the answer for you.

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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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Want More Live Conversions From Your Google Ads?

Google Ads Call Tracking

Want More Live Conversions From Your Google Ads?

Years ago I was talking with a client about a new campaign we were launching. I asked him how he would measure success. He pointed to the telephone and said “that will ring more often!”

Fast forward to today, business owners still want their marketing efforts to make the phone ring. Nearly half of all marketers say that driving phone calls from paid search ads is their top priority. Today Google Ads allows us to build “connect to call” features right into your ads. These ads are perfect to make it easier for potential customers to reach you. Would you like to get started? Let’s Start Strong together! Start Strong is our new Economic Recovery program to maximize and optimize your marketing efforts.

What is Google Connect To Call?

Google’s Connect To Call feature (also called Google Ads Call Tracking) allows you to track the number of prospective customers called your business after seeing or clicking one of your paid ads. Paid ads include Google search ads, Google call only ads and Google My Business listings.

 Why implement Google Ads Call Tracking in your ads?

Did you know that 43% of all search-related conversions happen over the phone? And that 65% of businesses find their most valuable customers are calling them because they are ready to do business?

People actively searching for your products and services are doing their research. When they are ready to buy, they are ready to talk. You can make it easier to start the conversation using Google Ads Call Tracking features.

What are the benefits of Google Ads Call Tracking?

In addition to providing you with a reliable, accurate and quantifiable way to track the effectiveness of offline conversions and phone conversations, Call Tracking also gives you actionable insights and comprehensive reporting on the true return of PPC investment – leads.

Google Ads Call Tracking allows us to:

Types of phone call conversions you can track

There are three types of phone call conversions you can track via Google Ads:

What’s possible for your business if the phones ring more often now? Would you like to get started? Let’s Start Strong together! Start Strong is our new Economic Recovery program to maximize and optimize your marketing efforts. Let’s have a conversation!

Not sure if you are ready to advertise yet? Then check out our post on 4 Reasons Why You Should Be Advertising Right Now.

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