Here are the several Famous Social Media Marketing Channels that used in 2019 for branding and marketing.
Now that you have a clear understanding of how Facebook and Twitter operate, let’s move on to LinkedIn. It is a platform whose aim is to “connect the world’s professionals and enable them to be more productive and successful.”
This section will equip you with all the know-how you need to:
• Create an engaging LinkedIn profile.
• Use the platform effectively by participating in groups and engaging with other companies’ pages.
• Advertise job vacancies and career opportunities in your organization.
Believe it or not, LinkedIn is a year older than Facebook—it was born back in 2003. And it has grown quite a bit over the past 13 years, with 347 million active users and two new sign-ups every second. The platform has a massive reach, across more than 200 countries and territories.
So who uses LinkedIn? Well, lots of people, really—more than 3 million companies have LinkedIn company pages and 94 percent of recruiters use it to vet prospective employees and their résumés. Although it is, in essence, a social networking platform, it has a more professional, industry-focused approach than the likes of Facebook or Twitter.
Creating Your Profile
You can boost your company’s credibility by encouraging all employees to set up a professional LinkedIn profile. It humanizes your brand, and by showing off the individual skilled workers involved in its day-to-day running, it helps people to get to know you better.
When creating your own profile, you need to fill in sections about your work history, education, and relevant education to give people a taste of who you are. The next step is to write a LinkedIn summary, which will appear above all of the other sections and is what most people will see first. This is the area where users can really sell themselves, and to do that effectively, sentences should be SMART.
Rich links, images, presentations, and even videos can be contained within every LinkedIn profile. Each section can be linked back to a reference or can include an image or video. These make profiles come alive, and if managed effectively, can really help you to stand out from the crowd.
With LinkedIn, there is no place to hide—your skills, that is. They are displayed prominently in your profile once you, your friends, and your colleagues add them. And since it is only polite to pay it forward, you can endorse your connections in return. Simply go to their profiles, see which skills you want to endorse, and then click (you guessed it) Endorse. No rocket science required.
Another way you can boost credibility is by including personal recommendations. The rule of thumb when it comes to LinkedIn recommendations is that both users must be connected. One will send a recommendation to another through the platform, which will automatically be added to their LinkedIn profile after it has been approved.
When building your profile, take the time to utilize your connections—because the more skills endorsed and testimonials received, the juicier your profile will be. Also, make sure to update skills and endorsements as you increase your connections so you are seen in the most professional light possible.
Building Your Network
LinkedIn can be a very lonely place if you are not engaging and connecting with others. Take the leap and approach as many people as possible, including:
• Email contacts
This is no time to play coy. You should follow as many contacts and influencers within your marketplace as you can. There are leaders across a whole range of industries on LinkedIn, including Richard Branson and Barack Obama, who both write for the site regularly.
By following specific companies and publications such as Business Insider, you will be notified in your LinkedIn stream whenever they post new content—that way you can stay up-to-date and not miss anything important.
You can chase all the people you like, but how do you let other people to find you? Connectivity plays a massive role within LinkedIn communities and so you need to put yourself out there. Having a vanity URL makes it easier for people to find you.
Company pages are similar to Facebook business pages; while LinkedIn profile pages represent individuals, its company pages allow fans to connect with brands.
So what does it take to start a company page? First of all, more than five people within your company must have a LinkedIn profile that states that they work for you. You can then use your company’s email address to apply for a LinkedIn company page.
Next, it is time to populate your page with as much relevant detail as possible, such as:
• Your location
• Your URL
• How many employees you have
• The main industry your company is in
• The year it was founded
• Whether it is a privately held or public liability company
Finally, add your logo and branding to the page. It is a really visual way for people to see what your company is about.
Company pages can also contain videos, images, employee testimonials, and employer information—all of which play a part in selling your business as a great place to work! Subpages of company pages are called showcase pages.
They are designed to grow a specific community around a particular product or division of a business.
Another type of LinkedIn page that offers branding opportunities is the career page.
When recruiting your own staff it is useful to have a LinkedIn career page, as you can showcase your personality, highlight available jobs, and include some of your employees (plus their testimonials, if you like). However, if you do not have a LinkedIn Recruiter account, this option is pretty expensive (around $6,000 per person every year).
Is LinkedIn Right for You?
Most likely, yes. LinkedIn lets you showcase your strengths while connecting with like-minded business owners and industry leaders outside of your everyday life. There is always more we can learn—and LinkedIn is a great place to do it.
Both personal and company pages can be brilliant marketing tools for your business, as long as they are managed in an effective and engaging manner. As with all of the channels that this blog has discussed, you get out of it what you put in!
You now know how to utilize some of the biggest social media networks to help grow both your online presence and your business. Keep focused on stage 2 of the process, it’s important to master!
Next up is an introduction to a platform managed by one of the biggest Internet companies in the world—Google. You will gain a key understanding of Google+ so that you can:
• Know what Circles are and how you can use them to connect with other users.
• Understand the benefits that Hangouts can have for your business.
• Create an engaging Google+ business page and track its results.
Google+ is a social networking service with 1 billion registered users and 540 active monthly users. It combines lots of Google’s products, including YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, Maps, Android, and Google My Business. If you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google+ account, which may come as a surprise to you!
Your account can be as public or as private as you want. You can choose to display or hide your email, add or remove your phone number, and even limit who can see certain posts and photos.
In this way, it is a lot less public than Twitter or Facebook, which may or may not appeal to you. However, just like those guys, Google+ allows users to use social plug-ins to share content in a more public way. These plug-ins are imported into a website, and people can +1 your content (which is Google lingo for “like”). When using Google Plus, your first sentence must be a very gripping teaser, which means it should be 60 characters or fewer.
You can create a Google+ page for your business by going to https://business.google.com/create
Remember, you will need a Gmail account first—visit www.google.com to sign up for one. You can then create circles and build communities by connecting through your email and with other people on Google+.
Google+ is connected to everything else in the world of Google, so you can instantly see the origin of all your social traffic.
On Google Analytics you can see social reports for your website, which means you can measure how Google+ has contributed to social sharing and conversations. This is a really cool tool that is completely unique to Google+.
That is the lowdown on Google+. Although maybe less known or used than other channels, it is a simple yet effective and highly visual marketing tool with a massive global reach. It is not one to be ignored.
Across all of these social media channels, the importance of video has remained consistent. Video offers brands a new way of connecting with followers. Coming up, you will see how you can maximize your reach on the big daddy of video platforms—YouTube.
Video has more power than any other form of media when it comes to engaging users. In the video-sharing world, the YouTube platform remains king.
• Discover what it means to say “lights, camera, action” to your business and get ready to:
• Understand how YouTube works and what some of its key features are.
• Effectively set up and promote your own channel.
• Know the types of video you can use and how to promote them across the web.
The following stats from YouTube are truly mind-boggling:
• YouTube now has more than a billion unique users every single month.
• YouTube now claims over 400 hours of content uploaded every single minute.
• The number of hours people spend watching videos (aka watch time) on YouTube is up 60 percent y/y.
• More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the three major U.S. television networks have created in 60 years!
• YouTube is localized in 74 countries, across 61 languages.
So if you were thinking that YouTube was just a bunch of cat videos, think again!
Setting Up Your Channel
If you already have a Google account, you automatically have access to a YouTube account—you just need to link the two. YouTube channels should look clear and uncomplicated, and cover photos act as great branding for your channel in the same way they do for other social media platforms.
Once you have set up an account, you can access features and buttons such as Like, Subscribe, Watch Later, and Watch History.
There are a wide variety of features within YouTube, all making it possible to interact with different communities across the site and to hear what they are saying about brands, competition, and the industry in general. These include:
Comments. You have the option to have a comments section enabled for every video uploaded onto YouTube. People can also give a video a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, which was unique to YouTube for a long time, as the only site that let users not like content online. Be aware that the Thumbs Down button leaves your brand vulnerable and could negatively affect your business.
Subscribe button. This can be placed directly into a YouTube video and is a great way of encouraging engagement.
Types of Video
Screen recordings are pretty popular with brands. These are captured by using low-cost tools such as Camtasia Studio or ScreenFlow, and such recordings are perfect for product demonstrations.
A webinar is another great way for businesses to interact with audiences. It might be a 20-minute video showcasing a product or a snappy piece with five useful tips and tricks. There are lots of webinar tools out there. So get creating, get a recording, and get broadcasting live to your subscribers. You can then store your webinar on your YouTube channel for people to watch later.
If you prefer to stream your content live, you can use Hangouts On Air (introduced in the previous section). After YouTube users have watched it live it is automatically recorded and uploaded to YouTube for people to watch after the event. The most popular types of video on YouTube are computer screen recording, webinars, live video, and recorded video.
Creating and Sharing Content
YouTube content can be created in many different ways. You can bring in the big guns by using professional tools like Final Cut and PowerDirector. However, these require skill, training, and resources (particularly time and money)—and even though the outcome is high-quality videos that look really professional, these videos only make up a small portion of the content on YouTube.
If you are just starting out and do not have a very generous fairy godmother or access to high-quality recording equipment, you will probably want to consider other options—for instance, flash tools like Animoto to compile images, videos, and music. And of course, you can always film videos from your trusty phone; in fact, a smartphone video is the most popular format on YouTube.
Mobile journalism (mojo) is the new buzzword when it comes to creating content. Long gone are the days of shaky handheld videos (unless that is the style you want!).
A smartphone lens is probably just as good as that of some professional cameras. Also, free editing tools (such as iMovie on the iPhone or YouTube Editor) can be used to edit footage quickly and easily. Making the most out of these free tools when starting out is a great way of keeping costs to a minimum. There are lots of mobile videos, audio recording, and editing tools available for both iPhone and Android—simply find out which one works best for you.
Once your content is live, there are a couple of ways it can be shared from YouTube to other social platforms. Users can click the Share button when watching your video, and that will produce a direct link. Alternatively, they can click the Embed button to generate a piece of HTML code, which can then be imported into a website. The YouTube video will sit live on the webpage and visitors can play it without having to leave the site.
Keep your eyes and ears open to see if anyone is vlogging (video blogging) about your business—then you can share their videos, too. Simply type your product or service into YouTube Search to see if you have made it into the grapevine. As with all social media channels, you should embrace every opportunity you can to share the fact that people are talking about you!
Making It Work for You
The world of video sharing can seem pretty overwhelming to those who have never dabbled in it before—so here are a few pearls of wisdom to remember:
Promote your business channel to your customers by embedding videos across your website. Show them you are tech and media savvy.
Subscribe to relevant YouTube channels. It is a good way of keeping tabs on the competition.
Post regular and engaging video updates. Three-year-old content will not cut it.
Share product demonstrations, including helpful hints and tips. Because sharing is caring.
Now that you know how to create profiles and channels across the major social media platforms, let’s take a look at the world of blogging.
There are millions of weblogs (blogs) online right now that cover a wide range of subjects—from travel to baking to the glamorous world of stain removal, this is an integral channel of stage 2.
Whatever your business, you can benefit greatly by creating a blog. This section will help you get started by:
Recognizing that blogs provide strong SEO benefits and give credibility to your business.
Understanding best blogging practices.
Seeing how blogs can be shared on social media platforms to increase awareness.
Blogs in Brief
A blog is a piece of content hosted and shared on a website. It should be updated regularly to include the latest news, trends, and events. Blogs give businesses credibility, as well as a voice in the market, and well-written blogs will keep visitors coming to a website even when other content or offers have not changed.
The most popular blogging platform is WordPress—it is used around the world and is known for its safety, ease of use, and customizable options. Another platform that has really caught on is Tumblr. This microblogging platform and social networking website allow users to post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos—all from their browsers.
There are many different styles of blogging—some people prefer one that is chatty and informal, others one that is downright nuts. Blogging is a very open and creative form of social media, however, certain guidelines should be followed to ensure your content is engaging and professional:
Your posts should be anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 words long. The actual length will be dependent on topic and audience, but any fewer than 1,000 may fall short of Google’s algorithm and reduce your chances of showing up in the first pages of search results. For example Office com setup
Include at least one to two images per post to make the most eye-catching.
Ask open questions at the end of each post to encourage engagement.
Pack a punch—your content should be easy to consume and organized with the help of lists, bullet points, and headers.
Keep a conversational tone and avoid industry jargon at all costs.
Include links within your posts: Backlinking to a particular resource is a great way of adding credibility to your blog.
Be consistent and make sure your content is strong, all of the time. Once you build momentum, keep going—post regularly and don’t leave weeks between posts.
Add relevant tags and keywords to your posts to optimize them for search engines. If your posts are about mobile marketing, make sure to add some tags around mobile!
For inspiration, check out the popular blogging website BuzzFeed. Most of its articles utilize listicles, which are lists that grab your attention right away. The headlines of these lists might be “37 ways to embarrass your dog” or “15 epic cat fails.” Given headlines like these, people expect really funny and engaging content—and they get it too, making BuzzFeed one of the most visited websites out there.
This is a really effective way of ensuring that your business stays on top of the industry. You can contribute to a community that is interested in a particular topic, allowing you to become a source of great content for people in that industry. In other words, you can show off.
Once you have started blogging, you can gain traction by asking for your blog to be hosted by another, a more popular blog that is relevant to your audience. In doing this, you can showcase your blogging skills and get off the ground more quickly than if you were to fly solo.
Promoting Your Blog
Blogging is a powerful way of keeping your brand in front of existing connections, but it also helps you to reach new audiences around the world. You should spread the word about your blog on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, making use of these wonderfully connected social media platforms that have been discussed in the previous sections.
All of this cross-platform sharing will increase your blog’s visibility online, which in turn will increase marketability. And digital marketers love a bit of marketability. Remember to add your blog’s RSS feed to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. Doing so means that every time you post a new blog and hit Publish, the new entry will automatically filter out to these sites—you can choose to write your own description too.
Just as with all the channels covered so far, social plug-ins are a handy way of encouraging people to share your content across the web when users are not on your site. The WordPress plug-in Disqus, which enables people to promote their blogs on their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles, is a powerful tool when it comes to spreading the word about new posts.
Does blogging require time? Yes. Does it require effort? Definitely. But it is also a great way for companies to get their message out into the public sphere and to connect with a new audience. It’s a channel that needs dedication and patience to build up, but it is certainly something worth doing.
YouTube needs no introduction—along with Facebook it is one Internet success story that everyone has heard of. If Facebook is the homecoming queen, YouTube is its date at the prom! As the way we consume information evolves, people are becoming accustomed to using video rather than text—so if you are not already on the video bandwagon, you should be. YouTube is owned by Google and it uses the Google AdWords platform, so in order to use it successfully, you will need to be registered with Google and comfortable with Google AdWords.
There are three main types of ads available: those that appear in search results, those that appear before videos, and those that appear alongside videos. Take a look at these images to get an idea of where the ads would be placed.
Option 1: In Search Results
Note the highlighted videos. These are ads that appear first because an advertiser has paid for them to appear before organic search results.
Each ad has its own benefits but the only way to figure out which method works best for you and what will bring the best ROI is to test and test again!
Pinterest is an image-driven social networking site with over 72 million active users—and growing. In fact, it is the fastest-growing social network platform. It has a female-dominated user base, so although the male user base is growing, it is definitely worth considering if your audience is primarily female. Interestingly, 80 percent of Pinterest usage takes place via cell phone. It is also a popular platform amongst people in their 40s and over because unlike Facebook it is more about sharing ideas than revealing personal information. In this way, it is very good for driving targeted traffic. If that isn’t enough, this reason might convince you to adopt Pinterest into your social media campaign—out of all the other social media sites that are being used, Pinterest has the highest ratio of buyers.
Let’s think of Pinterest as the homecoming queen’s best friend—the nice, organized one who decorated the gym for the prom. Pinterest is a hobby and ideas platform, which can certainly be used to business advantage. In fact, there is a conversion function on Pinterest to turn a regular Pinterest account into a business account. (If you don’t already have an account, you can go straight to setting up a business account.)
A Pinterest business account’s analytics page displays the average daily impressions, average viewers, and average monthly views. It also gives a breakdown of each pin you put up: How many impressions it got, the number of re-pins, the number of people who clicked, and how many people liked it.
Signing Up for a Pinterest Business Account
This process, starts on the left-hand side of the page, in the Help People Discover box, with the Install Pin It button (when an image has a Pin It option, anyone can pin that image to a board on their Pinterest accounts). Next, it asks you to Spread the Word by installing the Follow Me button. Then you need to verify your website to Track What Works so you can start to track how many clicks you are getting directly from Pinterest users. To do this, you will receive a piece of code to insert into your website.
So you have got the pins but where to pin them? On a board of course! One of the nice things about Pinterest is that it harks back to the good old days of pinning a postcard or shopping list to a corkboard in your kitchen. With Pinterest, however, you don’t have to place your bathroom conversion ideas with your inspirations for wedding dresses —you can create a variety of different boards based on different topics.
As far as your business account in concerned, keep it simple, to begin with—but set up at least three boards, one about your business, one about humor, one about your niche in general and what’s going on in your business. Keep in mind that the highest number of posts that are shared relates to cats, followed by posts about dogs. So if you can relate your business to cats or dogs in a clever way, do it! Guaranteed engagement.
Pinterest has recently launched its advertising campaign to allow people to spend money and promote their pins.
Because the initiative is so new, you will be asked to join the waitlist before you can begin to advertise. Getting on the list is a good thing: Anything like this that’s still in its infancy provides a great opportunity to strike while the iron is hot and get ahead before everyone else.
Once you join the waitlist you will be asked how much you want to spend on marketing each month, but there are only two options: less than $20,000 or more than $20,000. It might seem crazy, but choose the more than $20,000 option, because Pinterest will approve your account much sooner. You don’t have to spend that much but you can begin to experiment with different advertising methods to see which ones work best. Don’t forget the cats.
Instagram is owned by Facebook—it’s Facebook’s little hipster sister! It really is geared to young, trendy people for whom their cell phones are extra limbs, so it’s no surprise that it is primarily cell phone–based—the screen is being viewed from a cell phone. Among the 300 million active monthly users, the average user uses Instagram to showcase his beautiful life; businesses are now using Instagram to display products for these users online or in-store purchases.
Engagement is sought with multiple hashtags that are relevant to your brand and those that are being searched for a lot, so it is a very good way to raise brand awareness and to build customer loyalty.
Instagram’s ad format is relatively new and you will need to use the Power Editor tool to create any sort of ad. Ads follow the same structure as Facebook or Twitter sponsored posts, in that they appear on users’ Instagram feed and are marked with the sponsored tag. Carousel ads are also an option—they follow the same structure as a regular sponsored post but multiple images will roll by.
Snapchat is aimed at a young audience, from 13- to 18-year-olds, and there are over 100 million monthly active users, which is a huge number considered how targeted the demographic is. If you are targeting people in this age cohort you should strongly consider this platform. No matter what your company or business does, every teenager grow up. By targeting members of the Snapchat generation early, they may become longer-term customers.
The unique aspect of Snapchat is that you can share a photo with somebody else and it disappears within 10 seconds or so. Now if this sounds as though advertising opportunities are extremely limited, the newly introduced My Story page has increased Snapchat’s use and has made it far more accessible for brands. The My Story feature allows users to create a narrative 24 hours long by stitching together a vast range of disappearing photos and videos. It’s a lot of work, but the Snapchat audience fully embraces it.
Advertising with Snapchat is currently only available for large-budget, single-day takeover ads, but it is worth taking a look at the Taco Bell account to get an idea of what can be done with Snapchat advertising. With over 200,000 friends on Snapchat and as pioneers in using “My Story” to advertise, the fast-food company knows what it’s doing and it does it very well.
Compared with the main cast members—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn— social media platforms YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat are still supporting characters. But supporting characters often drive a storyline. In the same way, deciding which platforms to utilize depends on your overall strategy and choosing a channel that is relevant to your audience.