Category Archives: Social Media

How can you identify and leverage social media influencers for brand awareness?

Social-media-for-BrandingThe evolution of digital marketing has given rise to many new different concepts that are being increasingly used by individuals and brands to create awareness. One of them is the social media influencer. While this did not exist till about five years back, as of today, more and more brands are using influencers to build relationships with their customers.

So who are these social influencers?

Social influencers are social media users who, other than having a huge following, also have an established credibility with their audience. They have the power to influence others with their authenticity and trustworthiness. An influencer is neither a brand evangelist nor a brand advocate (although that can also be arranged for a fee). There are more like cheerleaders who extend the message in their immediate circle.

While many social influencers tend to have a large number of followers, at the end what really matters, is how many of them will mention, respond to or share an influencer’s posts. These influencers use different channels to reach their audience and they could be anything from blogs to the various social media networks.

How does one to identify social influencers?

Though the social influencer is a fairly new phenomenon, many bigwigs of the industry believe that this is nothing but the ancient “word of mouth” marketing that relies on technology to accelerate it. Leveraging the best influencers will not only help you reach their audience, but the audience’s network too.

Influencers with a huge number of active followers can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your product pages. There is a relationship component in influencer marketing as the audiences that you are looking to influence listen to the particular person because of the trust factor. Hence, when you are looking to identify a social influencer for your brand, you should keep the following “must-have” points in mind:

  • Relevancy to the audience: Look for influencers that produce niche content and are relevant to your brand contextually.
  • Authentic: Audiences trust influencers because they are authentic with their information. He or she must not be posting sponsored content as they will dilute the purpose.
  • Active and makes frequent posts: There is a direct correlation between the frequency of posts and the return of the customer. The more the influencer posts, the more your brand name will spread.
  • Huge reach: Don’t look at reaching a target audience; instead opt for someone who has a wide range of audiences that can be influenced.

Why is social influencing marketing important today?

A report by The Guardian states that 69% of the customers will use the Internet as their main source of information within the next five years. Also, a recent study by McKinsey found that online word of mouth advertising drives twice as many sales as paid advertising leading to a 37% higher retention rate.

If we are to go by these studies, it is pretty much clear that the best way to drive sales is to identify social influencers aligned to your brand and leverage their voices to communicate your brand’s message.

According to another study, 88% of buyers consider online reviews very important when making a purchase. The millennials, who represent an enormous segment of the purchasing population, rely on a brand’s story more than other buyers when making purchasing decisions. Also, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. It’s time that you started using social influencers more than you did!

How to engage influencers?

To get social influencers to help you, you have to again build a relationship with them and it has to be done subtly. Building relationships take time but once the connection is created, activating influencers becomes a lot more seamless and effective. After connecting with time, give them engagement. Interact with them on different platforms through the content they are sharing and also participate in the conversation they start. Apart from participating in their posts and conversations, you can also grab their attention through: media kits, contests, shareable content, hashtags, and with creative contents like infographics, videos etc. This can grow into a mutually beneficial relationship.

How do you leverage the services of influencers?

There are various ways that you can make the most of social influencers. Listed below are a few of them:

  • Create an experience: For the influencer to talk about your product it can’t just be a review, it has to be an experience that he or she can feel and enough to share it forward with their audiences.
  • Customize the campaign: Each campaign has to be customized to fit the social influencer that can be steered by the influencer in a way native to his or her audience.
  • Track the progress: You must track and monitor the progress so that if required you can tweak the campaign in between to suit the required results.

At Unspun we help customers identify the social influencers who meet their requirements and in the process help with influencer marketing.

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Strategize and choose the right Digital Media Marketing Channels with these Handy tips

B9-digital-marketing-chartDigital media marketing isn’t as straight cut as traditional marketing hence, you need to identify the right channels that work for you and then put your money in it. What works for a competitor might not work for you so conduct a proper research of the available tools and channels for your brand and product before you create your strategy. It is very important for a brand to assert a strong online presence to make a mark. With the help of social media marketing, your brand will be able to reach a wide audience but how will you know which channels work the best for you? It will mostly depend on your business and the kind of people you’re targeting.

Familiarize yourself with some of the popular channels on digital marketing before creating your strategy:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing includes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
  • Content marketing
  • PR on digital media marketing

Once you get to know how each of these channels work, you can formulate your plan of action keeping the following points in mind:

  • Define your business or company goals: Take a close look at your company’s needs and then you can decide on how you want to use the social media to help achieve them. While there are many goals that might traverse between personal and actual business goals, the common ones are – brand awareness, customer retention, sales & lead generation and reduce cost. Concentrate on the more important and primary ones and go ahead then proceed.
  • Budget: Off late, brands have been allocating a greater part of their marketing budget to social media marketing. When deciding the budget, keep in mind the following things: fees for digital marketing crew, paid advertising, content creation services fee, fees for graphic artists, photographers and videographers…depending on the kind of posts you want. It makes sense to first have the strategy in place and then plan the budget.
  • Define your marketing objectives: Marketing objectives help you measure the success of your strategy within a specific period of time. The objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Ensure that your objectives are in line with the company’s overall vision and have a deadline.
  • Target audience: Before you choose to use the channels for social media marketing, you need to know where your audiences/customers are and where the competitors stand. Research the demographics of the main social media channels listed above to know where your customers are. After studying the demographics closely, choose the channels that best suit the target audience interests and online behaviour. Most social media channels will give you a broken down report of the users so go through it carefully and also keep an eye on industry reports and surveys.
  • Choose the right channels: As mentioned in the previous point, different social media channels can provide you with reports on demographics of the users. Depending on these, choose the channels where you find the customers you are targeting instead of wasting time on all the different channels. Many brands create accounts in multiple channels that don’t really help. For example, if the data tells you that your prospects spend 40% of their online time on Facebook and 20% on Twitter, you know which primary and secondary social networks you should focus on.
  • Create content strategy: It won’t be wrong to say that social media marketing is content driven. The best marketing strategy will not work if not supported by great content. The three main components for any successful social media content strategy are: type of content, time of posting and frequency of posting. The posts you make on different channels are form and context dependent. The tone and voice of the posts should be in sync with that of your brand.
  • Assign specific roles to people: To avoid confusion and waste of time, to increase productivity, avoid confusion and overlapping of duties assign specific jobs to the staff. Once the roles have been decided upon and assigned, it’s time to execute. You can plan the marketing activities on a weekly basis that is less confusing or on a daily basis, avoid monthly basis as it is too long a time and things might change in between.

Now that you have got your tips handy, go ahead and choose your channels and strategize your activities. We at Unspun have experts working closely with clients on a daily basis helping them formulate their plans.

Nine Effective ways of using Social Media to get people to attend your Events

Using-Social-Media-to-Promote-Events-infographicThe success of an event depends on the number of people who turn up for it. One of the key elements of event management is to get people to attend an event. That is not always an easy thing since there are always so many other options to take up the audience’s interest. But, there are events held often and they are successful too…so how do events become successful, i.e. how do people get guests to attend their events? Of course, publicizing and talking about it so much that it creates an interest amongst them and, social media plays a crucial role when it comes to creating that buzz. In this blog we’ll get to know about the different ways that social media can be used effectively to get people to attend your events.

  1. List out the social media channels: Social media is an umbrella under which different channels exist and operate. First identify the channels that you want to use to promote your events in. The most commonly used channels are: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. These channels have become powerful tools of communication because they allow you to contact and get feedback from people in real time from across the world. Once, you have listed the channels you wish to use, it makes sense to integrate them because it gets easier to navigate and market your event.
  2. Create events page: One of the basic rules of getting people to attend your event is to create an event in the social media channels. Facebook and LinkedIn have the option to create events and you can post those links on Twitter. On Pinterest you can pin the event while Youtube can have a video promoting the same.
  3. Use social media to compliment your traditional methods: Social media marketing cannot be a replacement for the traditional methods instead it goes on to add value to the existing ways. So, when you are sending out your weekly or monthly newsletters, make sure that you include the link to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn event link.
  4. Create a viral video: Videos work great when promoting an event as a lot of today’s communication involves the visual medium. If you create a video that goes viral and gets people talking, then half your battle is won. It will not only engage people but will also raise the curiosity levels. But make sure that it is short and sweet.
  5. Use infographics: Infographics are the next big thing in the world of communication and are being used by every brand, big or small. They are a fun and interesting way of sharing information and are easily consumed by the audience since the data shared is in a very easy format. Create infographics promoting your events and post it in the different social media channels that you chose to use.
  6. Create hashtag: Today’s insta generation is a big fan of hashtags and they work great when you try to create a buzz about anything under the sun! The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet and helps to categorize messages that help people interested in a particular topic to easily identify and converse about it. So create a hashtag that will be short, easy, catchy and unique. Create it early when you start promoting the event and use it till the end.
  7. Share event links on different groups: Facebook has different social groups ranging from professional, to party to city specific. You can become a part of these groups and then promote your event on their page by posting the link to the event.
  8. Engage audiences: While promoting events in social media channels in the ways mentioned above is a must, unless you win audience’s attention, your event will not be a success. So what will you do to win their attention? Audiences attention are drawn only when there something to engage them. Get your potential attendees early on by enabling some kind of feedback related to the event. You can also have contests that can have passes to the event as a prize. Engage them by inviting suggestions on the planning of the event.
  9. Share takeways of the event: Once an event is over, you don’t have to stop talking about it! Instead, you can use it to create hype for the next one. You can share takeways of the event in the form of pictures, thank you notes, lessons learnt, asking for feedback and also by sharing your future goals. You can even write a blog about the same and share it with audiences.

The key is to experiment with different ways and identify in the process which one works best for you. What works for others might not work for you and vice versa, you won’t know until you try. Once you identify what works best, you can keep at it to drive home the point.

Our experts at Unspun offer creative ways of social media marketing depending on the clients’ requirements.

Six Effective ways to use Social Media for Brand Strengthening

brands_and_social_media1Social media serves as a great platform to not only market one’s brand but also to strengthen the brand image and reach. It is one of the most widely used mediums today as the reach is humongous and advertisers and marketers swear by the results of social media. It can be used for building both personal as well as an organization’s brand. But not everything can bring you results; there are a few effective ways that the use of social media can be leveraged. They are stated as follows:

  • Choose the right channels to market your product: Social media is a huge space that needs to be explored bit by bit. But the best thing about it is that it is compartmentalized better thanks to the different channels that exist. So you can make your pick from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on. You can use either one channel or a combination of them but you need to first identify which will work for you the best. Facebook is perhaps the only channel that works for all kinds of brands because it is used by people from all walks of life. Pinterest though used mostly by women for fashion purpose also has pins related to infographics and the likes. LinkedIn on the other hand is a great channel for B2B branding.
  • Leveraging social media visually: Social media relies heavily on visual appeal. According to a study by a research firm, images on Facebook constitute 93% of the most engaging posts compared to status updates, links, and even video. So you can imagine how influencing visuals can be and hence you need to use it very carefully. Colours catch the eye very frequently so when you’re using social media for your brand’s marketing make sure that the colours are appealing. Choose two to four colours to use consistently throughout all of your social media posts and marketing. Use fonts that suit your brand’s personality and use images that convey the right message. It is also great to have a particular template for your social media posts as it will maintain uniformity and also help people identify easily with your brand.
  • Share content that people can identify with: Let’s just be clear about the fact that content on social media should be easily consumed by the audience and for that the content should be easy on the eye. Each of the posts should support your brand and though be easily understood, should also make a statement strong enough for people to identify with the brand. Use a lot of images and infographics as they register with the users easily. Brand building though on Twitter is tough, has a greater impact.
  • Take help of people who have a strong follower base: If you are a relatively new brand, it will take time for you to garner followers. So, for immediate results you can use the help of someone who has a lot of followers in the social media channels to market your product. But will they do it so easily for you? Not really! What do you do in that case? When posting content mention their names or references that will make them share your post or tag them in posts that you think will be relevant. Apart from that you can also email them. You have to pursue them consistently to share your content but will be worth the effort!
  • Create social media campaigns: Social media campaigns work very effectively when it comes to brand creation and strengthening especially when you offer incentives to the audiences. To engage an audience you need to think from their perspective and answer the question – “What’s in it for me?” and then create campaigns around it. Organize contests and so on where the audience stands to earn something in return after participating that is how most brands reach maximum audiences.
  • Promote content through social media channels: One of the most widely used strategies to build a strong brand in social media is the paid campaigns. Big brands are hiring agencies for the same and running contests and campaigns designed by these agencies to create a better brand.

These are a few steps that you can take to build a stringer brand on social media. You should make it a priority to share fresh and identifiable content on social media which will help you win followers and in the process increase your brand reach.

But it will not work unless you have an effective social media strategy in place and that is where Unspun can step in and help you. We specialize in all of the above areas and more.

Marketing & Social Media Trends of 2014

It’s that time of the year again – when we look back over all that has transpired in the year that has passed by and predict how that’s going to impact the one that’s coming up.

2014 has been a fruitful year as social media has continued its conquest of the Internet realm. Let’s take a look at the Marketing and Social Media trends that dominated the year.

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1. Go Mobile, or Go Home

Mobile marketing was one of the most prominent social media marketing trends for 2014. In fact, the results of a study indicate that almost 40 percent of time spent online is through some type of mobile device. Experts predict that mobile usage will increase in 2015. Next year, when selecting your digital platforms and marketing solutions, invest in those that are mobile friendly, responsive and adaptive.

2. Increased Social Media Marketing Budgets

The results of a survey indicate that about 46 percent of business leaders plan to increase their social media budgets in 2014.  Companies that want to keep up with their competition will stop treating social media as a group effort, and start hiring qualified social media specialists.

 3. #Hashtags, #Hashtags Everywhere

Once limited to Twitter, hashtags have become the norm on Facebook, Google Plus, and even television shows. In case you didn’t know, a hashtag is a pound sign that precedes word or group of words, and creates a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. In a sense, hashtags represent a new form of SEO.

4. Lights, Camera, Video Marketing

More than 50 percent of all online traffic is now video-based, and your potential customers are embracing it with open arms. Even authors are using book trailers to promote their work. For best results, keep your video catchy, short and simple because you are demanding attention from a world full of people with increasingly shorter attention spans.

5. Google+

While there was scepticism surrounding Google+ in the past, make no mistake–the social network is here to stay. Google+ recently celebrated its third birthday, and more people than ever before are using the website–approximately 300 million every month. In turn, the social networking platform is growing in prominence. It’s up to marketers to make Google Plus work with their current strategy.

6. The Rise of Images for Information

The rise of the infographic may have been surprising to some, but its benefits are hard to deny. As you look to generate messages that resonate with your customers, incorporate infographics into your overall marketing strategy. Share them on your social networking sites, where you can reach thousands of people across the Web. You may be surprised at how quick people are to share infographics, which often provide educational value that anyone can understand.

Every day, it seems like there’s a new social networking trend to take advantage of, and the platforms themselves are constantly changing. For this reason, it’s becoming even more important for marketers to take the time to research trends and execute tactics to keep up with the competition. These trends can give you a place to start as you revamp your social media marketing plan.

Social Media Tools That Help Marketers Save Time

New-Social-Media-ToolsToo many tweets, too little time! Facebook, or Google + or the analytics dashboard? Oh, the report is still pending!

Can you connect to any of these sentences? If you did, then this blog post is just for you.

Being savvy business managers and owners, we are always on the lookout for ways to manage our time around all the social media scheduling and posting that’s our bread & butter. Unless we have been totally unplugged from the physical world for the past 5 years, it’s surely obvious that Social Media Marketing has quickly become the go-to solution to help businesses find and engage with customers via an effective social media manager.

Social media management tools can help us get (and stay) in control of our marketing efforts, and hence, save a lot of time. Here’s a list of the top ones, and an explanation of each to show what they do and which ones may be a good fit.

HootSuite

A built in analytics system, post-scheduling, and being able to monitor keywords puts HootSuite at the top of the popularity polls for sure.  In addition to this social media manager’s tons of settings and features, the key social network integrations include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ Pages, plus a suite of social content apps for YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr and more.

SproutSocial

Sprout Social is a social media management tool created to help businesses find new customers & grow their social media presence. It is also a Social CRM for Businesses. You can monitor all your clients’ social media profiles. It is affordable and is worth the monthly subscription for many people. Having integrated with Google Analytics, it boasts of one of the best social media analytics.

SocialOomph

Manage your social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter as well as your blogs with SocialOomph. There are different tools that will let you manage multiple Twitter profiles and you can configure lots of features such as Auto Direct Message, Auto Follow and Auto unfollow.Social Oomph’s Twitter auto unfollow tool will come in handy to help clean up your newsfeed.

SpredFast

For those who are driven by data and like to measure analytics, SpredFast is the answer. It is an Enterprise Social Media Software with a social CRM dashboard. This tool measures the data of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube accounts to determine the amount of folks we are reaching and whether the target audience is actually interested in what you’re posting.

 Crowdbooster

This tool is good when a little direction is needed because it actually makes recommendations for us! It provides the data to determine how successful our social media marketing campaigns are and even sends email alerts that summarizes the collected data and provides recommendations or actions helpful to us.

Sendible

This is a helpful tool that lets us monitor comments, both positive and negative about our company or brand. It also lets us engage with new and potential customers, track our email campaigns, and respond to what folks have to say about our company online.

As savvy business owners and managers, it’s a no brainer to take advantage of these handy social media management software tools that help us save time and free up a few brain cells for other ventures. Let the social media auto-pilot begin!

Social Media Stats do the Talking in 2014

2014socmedia-statsGlobal Web Index is one of the most trusted sources of information on social media growth and trends. According to recent figures, Instagram, Reddit and Linkedin are the fastest growing social platforms. The most popular social networks are Facebook, Youtube and Google Plus. Social networks are now at a stage of maturity where they give opportunities to reach all age and gender groups. The exceptions to this are Instagram and Tumblr which are clearly popular with younger age groups. Overall, consumers now spend an average of 10.7 hours a day with all forms of media and 5.6 hours of that on digital.

Social media marketing budgets will double over the next 5 years. 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013. 43% of all marketers found a customer via Linkedin. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t. Videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%. Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%.

The statistics speak for themselves. Social media marketing is one of the important ways to generate leads and get new customers. Content marketing also forms an important part of this pie. Companies that do not get on to the social media bandwagon are clearly going to lose and lag behind.

Startups would do well to adopt social media in their marketing strategies. It is inexpensive and effective. The digital landscape is constantly evolving and we need to keep an eye on trends and stats to leverage the information to develop effective online marketing strategies.