The social media landscape is constantly evolving. New social networks are popping up all the time and existing networks are regularly adding new features. The way people use the different social sites on an everyday basis continues to change as well.
For brands, this definitely makes social media marketing a challenge. You have to stay abreast of changes and be ready to roll with the punches. As social usage evolves, so must your social marketing strategy.
In today’s post, we’ll give you some tips to help you focus your brand’s efforts based on current social media marketing trends.
The Most Important Social Sites For Brands
Facebook, once the end-all, be-all of social media, is no longer the center of the social marketing universe. In fact, a number of other social networks have actually proven more valuable in terms of helping brands engage new customers and drive website traffic—especially in the B2B realm.
Based on our experience, here are the two social sites that have become the most important for brands. If you’re only going to focus your organization’s social media time on a couple of sites, make them these two. Here are a few reasons why and some suggestions for using these two social sites for maximum success.
TWITTER: The Bird’s The Word For Business
Twitter is the top destination for brands on social media. At least, brands actively engaged in content marketing. The format of Twitter (short posts of 140 characters or less) makes the site ideal for sharing links and—once you start getting regular retweets—you can drive a lot of traffic to your content that way. Essentially, Twitter serves as your organization’s news feed, where people can quickly pick up and share what they find useful.
Twitter truly exists “in the now”. Users catch posts as they pop up rather than looking at an organization’s page as a whole. This means you can post as much as you want on Twitter and catch different people at different times. Posts either fade away or gain new and continual life through retweeting. Because of the retweet and share factor, Twitter is a great place to connect with potential partners or customers exploring the same topics as you.
Ultimately, Twitter can help carve out your area of expertise and draw people interested in your subject matter. Twitter is the social site where most businesses should focus the majority of social media marketing time. Try upping your Twitter posting and sharing time by an hour each day. You’ll see a significant increase in Twitter-driven traffic to your website or blog.
Quick Twitter Tips
- Follow people and organizations based on location or topic
- Post 3 times an hour throughout the day
- Use hashtags (but don’t overuse them)
- Make retweets at least half of your post output
- Share more outside links than your own
- Make sure you check the content you share first to ensure its value
- Respond to all messages and thank people for retweets
GOOGLE+: Search Giant Gaining Social Steam
Google Plus has come a long way in the past year. What was once a network that left people wondering where it fell in the social spectrum has finally found its footing. It’s ideal for brands (especially B2B brands) and a great place to engage people by topic (which Facebook is not). Essentially, Google Plus has become the Facebook replacement for brands. Instead of Facebook and Twitter, you want to make sure your brand has Twitter and G+ pages.
While Google+ can be a little complex to figure out at first (it takes some playing around), it includes a lot of cool features. Basically, it combines the best elements of Facebook and Pinterest. And it lets you do a number of things you can’t do on Facebook—like edit and add text to images, or even edit posts after their posted (to correct those pesky spelling errors). Most importantly, Google+ offers a much more hospitable environment for brands to interact with businesses and customers.
Though it’s mostly speculation, many SEO experts also believe posting on G+ can help enhance your Google search engine results. Content posted on G+ may gain more weight with the Web’s most popular search engine. We can personally attest that eleventy’s website search engine traffic has increased since we started posting more and gaining followers on Google Plus. Expect Google+ to grow and expand greatly in the next couple years. Get on board now to be ahead of the pack.
Quick Google+ Tips
- Post at least once per day
- Follow people in your target audience
- Join communities related to your service/area of expertise
- Respond to all comments
- Consider starting your own Google+ Community
- Make sure to add G+ sharing and +1 buttons on your site and blog
Tweak Your Social Strategy Based On Results
Of course, all this is not to say you should focus only on Twitter and Google Plus. You want a well-rounded social media presence for your business or nonprofit. If nothing else, having profiles and regularly posting on all the major networks will help people to find your organization. But to drive more traffic and reach the right people, Twitter and G+ are where you may want to focus more of your efforts.
Twitter and G+ are best for showing your professional area of expertise or promoting your content marketing. If you are a B2B company, these social networks—along with LinkedIn—are where you should be spending at least 75% of your social media marketing time. On the other hand, if you’re looking to promote products or advertise deals, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram would be the social networks where you want to focus the majority of your time.
The key is to continually monitor your social strategy—who it’s engaging, how much traffic its bringing to your website or blog—and adjust it accordingly. If you begin to see better results from G+ than Facebook, try focusing more of your time and effort there. Use the opportunity the Web and social media afford to try different things—different networks, different types of posts—and go with what gets you the best results.