Monday, 29 February 2016

21 Ideas on How to Promote Your Blog

How to Implement Social Customer Care Across Networks

Social Customer Care Across Networks.001

Across social channels, 7 in 8 messages to brands go unanswered within 72 hours. This is a giant missed opportunity for businesses to respond to customer inquiries, solve challenges and develop long-term relationships.

To provide noteworthy 24/7 customer service, brands need to offer world-class assistance on multiple social channels, not just one. Customer care across networks will help generate awareness and increase social media engagement—concurrently supporting your existing marketing and PR efforts.

Start adapting an overarching approach to social customer service by understanding where to invest and what tools each network offers.

Where Is Your Audience?

Your social customer care efforts are only beneficial if your team is present on the channels where your audience is most active. Demographics play a large role in understanding where your audience is most engaged. Before investing, consult existing data to determine where your efforts will have the most impact.

Use social listening to understand what types of conversations are happening on each network. Examine your website analytics to see which social platforms are driving the most traffic to your web properties. Analyze the networks that are bringing the most engaged traffic by noting page visits and time on site.

Inform Your Audience

Most consumers recognize Twitter and Facebook as hubs for social customer service. This is why brands have invested heavily in both platforms, with many companies creating dedicated Twitter support handles. Stand out among competitors by replying to customer messages wherever those messages are.

Inform your audience that you will be using a specific network to field social customer service messages by announcing this change in the bio of your account. Post information on how customers can connect and when they can expect a response.

Take Advantage of Network Features

It is important to understand the features on each social network that lend themselves to facilitating customer care. Sure, answering a sensitive complaint on Instagram with a comment that leads people to a company email works—but did you know that the network allows brands to discuss in-depth issues via private message?

Identify the features on each channel that can assist with lengthier discussions between consumers and your customer service team.


The Instagram Direct feature allows a customer and brand to communicate through text paired with an image or video. Users can send private messages to one another with or without following each other. Once the recipient accepts the message, the Instagram users can communicate with each other freely by using text, photos or videos.

This feature is similar to messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Your brand should use Instagram Direct as a more personal communication channel. Create custom photos for Instagram Direct, and use them as templates to answer frequently asked questions.

As with any other network, your brand should always be monitoring and responding to comments on Instagram posts. Rebdolls, an online fashion retailer, posts its latest arrivals on the social network. The brand uses the channel to respond to inquiries and seamlessly direct shoppers to its website.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 11.10.40 AM

Taking the time out to respond to followers on Instagram increases brand engagement and encourages others to ask questions and comment on posts. Responding with a strong, distinct brand voice helps Rebdolls stand out among competitors and remain top of mind for consumers.


Video is a powerful medium to deliver social customer care. Since the majority of questions asked on social media are repetitive, video can help scale the process. Save time by leveraging members of your customer service team to produce videos that address frequently asked questions.

Putting your employees in front of your YouTube audience will add depth to your brand and increase engagement. Since 2012, Warby Parker has been creating YouTube video responses to common questions and then sharing these videos on Twitter.

Many of Warby Parker’s videos mention a specific customer by name and are conversational, helpful and concise. Other videos are more highly produced and geared toward a more general, customer audience.


While Snapchat isn’t commonly used as a customer service tool, it has the potential to be one. The network’s recent extension of its chat feature, known as Story Replies, is an untapped opportunity for brands to directly connect with followers and privately answer customer service questions.

To use Story Replies, a user swipes up on a brand’s Story and initiates a private chat. The brand receives a notification of a new chat along with the Snap the chat is referencing. Brands who are willing to enable Story Replies can benefit from a direct dialogue with followers and begin using Snapchat as a customer service tool.

A multichannel approach to customer service on social can help your enterprise stand out for all of the right reasons. Spearhead your approach on the channels where your audience is most active by using feature sets that aren’t commonly explored but have immense potential.

This post How to Implement Social Customer Care Across Networks originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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5 Creative Ways to Grow Your Email List


Want to grow your email list? Got a blog? New tools and placement options have made it easier than ever to create an offer that compels blog visitors to share their email address with you. In this article you’ll discover five unique ways to grow your email list from your blog readers. #1: Put Your [...]

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How to Use Facebook Ad Bidding


Do you use Facebook ads? Have you tried ad bidding? Understanding how to use Facebook ad bidding will help you reach your campaign goals for less money. In this article you’ll discover how to use Facebook ad bidding with your Facebook ad campaigns. Facebook Ad Bidding The bidding options for Facebook ads have changed slightly. [...]

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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Brand Engagement Strategies From Entertainment’s Best & Brightest

Facebook Reactions: What Marketers Need to Know


Have you seen the new Facebook reactions? Wondering how they’ll affect your Facebook page? Facebook reactions let Facebook users go beyond liking a post by allowing them to choose from six emojis that show different emotions. In this article I’ll explore how Facebook reactions work, and how your Facebook page can get the most from them. Facebook Reactions for [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Facebook Launches Canvas: This Week in Social Media


Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Facebook Launches Canvas: Facebook Canvas offers “a new post-click, full-screen, immersive mobile ad experience on Facebook that loads [...]

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How to Use Facebook Canvas: What Marketers Need to Know


Have you heard of Facebook’s new mobile ad experience, Facebook Canvas? Want to learn how to create Facebook Canvas ads? Facebook Canvas lets marketers combine images, video, text, and call-to-action buttons in a single, fully immersive mobile ad experience. In this article you’ll discover how to create a Facebook Canvas ad. Inspiration for Your First [...]

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Friday, 26 February 2016

#SproutChat Recap: Best Practices for Using Twitter Search Operators


Twitter Search Operators are a great way for social media mangers to proactively grow their communities. Whether it’s a misspelling of your organization’s name or a conversation with a competitor, Twitter Search Operators can lead you to prospective customers who aren’t directly interacting with your brand.

This week during #SproutChat, we discussed the benefits of using social over a traditional search engine and learned how our community is currently using Twitter Search Operators. Find the highlights from our conversation below and catch a full recap on Storify.

Take Advantage of Key Terms and Phrases

Setting up your search operators can be a daunting and somewhat confusing task. If you’re unsure how to structure a search, check out our Twitter Search Operators cheatsheets to native Twitter and Sprout specific search operators. It may take a bit of creativity and some trial and error, but understanding and implementing key terms and phrases will reveal opportunities to connect with consumers you would have otherwise never encountered.

Research Competitors & Prepare to Swoop In

One of the best things about Twitter is that it’s a public forum. As long as a user’s Tweets aren’t private, anyone can view their updates and conversations. Brands can easily keep tabs on the conversations competitors are having with customers. Smart social media managers are listening closely and identifying opportunities to naturally jump in and offer an alternative solution.

While swooping in on a competitor’s Twitter interaction can be effective, it needs to be tactful. An unhappy customer doesn’t want to be sold to after a bad experience. Treat these conversations carefully and build a relationship before pushing your organization’s product or service.

Real-Time Results

From Moments to trend monitoring, Twitter often provides the most up-to-date information on what’s happening in news and pop culture. Using Twitter management tools can help you stay informed and on top of trends. For conversations occurring around niche subjects or events, more advanced search operators will yield the most accurate results. Searching on Twitter as opposed to a search engine eliminates a lot of noise and more quickly directs you to the conversations you’re looking for.

Join us at 2 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 2, 2016 as we discuss Snapchat marketing strategies with Sprout Social All Star, Chris Mikulin.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Best Practices for Using Twitter Search Operators originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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16 Twitter Tools for Social Media Marketers


Do you use Twitter in your social media marketing? Want to be more efficient and productive on the platform? To talk about a wide range of Twitter tools for social media marketers, I interview Ian Anderson Gray. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. [...]

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

4 Little-Known Tools to Curate and Publish Content


Is curated content part of your social media marketing? Looking for new ways to collect and share curated content? New tools are changing the way marketers compile and deliver handpicked content to their social media audiences. In this article you’ll discover four unique ways to curate social media content on Medium, Twitter, SlideShare, and your [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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How to Create a Snapchat Geofilter for Your Event


Have you heard of Snapchat geofilters? Want to use them to promote an event or your business? Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters let you design custom filters people can use on their snaps based on a custom location you define. In this article I’ll explain how to create two types of Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters and explore several [...]

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How to Create Achievable Social Media Goals

how to create achievable social media goals

How can you tell if your social media marketing efforts are working? That single question has plagued businesses for years, and stopped them from engaging in social media altogether.

However, in 2016, you no longer have the excuse of limited tools to track your social media marketing efforts on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. With all of the resources available that allow you to measure your campaigns, you have the ability to see exactly what’s working and how much social media is paying off for your business. Once you have something to measure, the next question is what are your social media goals?

Goal Setting 101

Read any blog post or book on goal setting, and you’ll most likely see SMART goals mentioned. SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear, simple and defined.
  • Measurable: Attach a metric to your goal so you can measure your progress. For example, it could be reach, new website visitors or leads.
  • Achievable: Will you actually be able to achieve this goal? Make sure you’re being reasonable with your expectations.
  • Realistic: You should have the resources and desire to achieve your goals. For instance, it’s possible to double your social media traffic within 60 days. But do you have the time, resources or drive it will take to meet that goal?
  • Time sensitive: Your social media goals should have a time frame. The trick here is setting a timetable that’s reachable, but not so far out that there is no pressure to achieve it. Setting a time frame of 12 months to increase your social media reach by 10% is too easy. A good starting point for most social media goals is around 3-6 months.

The purpose of the SMART approach is to help you avoid the pitfalls that stop people from achieving their goals. Marketing Land provides this worksheet to help you manage your goals.

smart goals graph

SMART goals are particularly effective for social media marketing because most companies are too vague about what they want to achieve. It’s common to hear goals like “get more likes” or “increase our followers.” The SMART approach turns those goals into “boost our total number of Facebook followers by 15% in two months through participating in Facebook groups.”

Now that we know the different pieces of what goes into a social media goal, let’s walk through the process of actually creating one.

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Not everyone wants to use social media for the same reason. Some businesses use it to generate leads, others are active on social to strengthen their brand. You may even have different objectives for each of your social media platforms. Start by defining what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with social media (your objective), then you’ll be able to create goals that will help you attain it. Your objective might be a bit more vague than your SMART goals, but that’s okay.

Here’s what this entire process looks like:

  1. Define the objective you’re trying to achieve with social media marketing. “Grow your brand’s voice on Twitter”
  2. Create goals to help you achieve your objective. “Increase total engagement (replies, Retweets and likes) by 25% in six months”
  3. Write down the steps you need to take to accomplish each goal. “Participate in at least five Twitter chats per month”

Using this systematized technique gives you a framework for what you want to achieve, why you’re doing it and how you’re going to achieve it. Going in blindly without a strategy makes it nearly impossible to track your progress since you’re not working toward anything in particular. Don’t make the mistake of using social media just because all the experts say you should. Put a purpose behind your efforts and you’ll get better results.

How to Choose Your Goals

You’ve determined what the objective is, now you just have to figure out what goals you’re going to set to get there. If you’ve already setup profiles and dabbled in social media marketing before, you can start by analyzing where your current status.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you have a large number of followers, but you’re not getting the social media engagement you’d like, your focus would be generating more activity. Maybe you’ve joined several Facebook groups but haven’t been active in them. In that case, your goals could center around being more efficient with Facebook groups.

Taking stock of your current position or performing a social media audit will allow you to look back at what you’ve accomplished and help you set goals to get better results.

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas or starting from scratch, here are some tips to help you set social media goals based on your objective:

  • Branding: If your objective is anything brand related such as improving brand consistency or reaching a new demographic, then your goals may revolve around:
    • Content
    • Outreach
    • Followers
  • Customer service: When you’re aiming to use social media as a customer service platform and to communicate with clients, set goals with these elements in mind:
    • Response rate
    • Engagement
    • Support tickets
  • Lead generation: A lot of businesses use social media as a way to generate new leads. Setting goals involving these metrics can help you create better goals:
    • Web traffic
    • ROI
    • Interactions

As you can see, there is a lot of flexibility when you’re setting social media goals. The key is to customize them to fit your business. Just remember to keep your goals SMART.

Pick Your Metrics

The “M” in SMART goals is arguably the most important part. Measuring a goal lets you quantify your progress. Setting a goal to “get more likes” isn’t effective because once you’ve received one new like, you’ve technically achieved your goal. To make a goal measurable, you need to attach a metric to it.

The metrics you use will depend on your goals. When you choose a social media metric to follow, remember that it needs to be something you can track. Here are some examples:

  • Facebook
    • Page likes
    • Post reach
    • Engagement
    • Page impressions
    • Shares

Facebook Analytics

  • Twitter
    • Engagement (replies, Retweets and likes)
    • Organic impressions
    • Followers
    • Messages sent
    • Response rate & time
    • Mentions
    • Profile visits
    • Tweets linking to you

Twitter Analytics

  • LinkedIn
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Interactions
    • Followers
    • Engagement

LinkedIn Analytics

  • Pinterest
    • Impressions
    • Viewers
    • Average Repins per Pin
    • Pin reach

Pinterest Analytics

  • Instagram
    • Followers
    • Engagement (likes and comments)
    • Engagements per follower
    • Engagements per media
    • Clicks to website

Instagram Analytics

How to Achieve Your Goals

You know what you want to accomplish and the specific metrics you’re going to use to track your progress. The next step is to create a plan to ensure you reach your goals. Your plan should include:

  • The daily, weekly and monthly tasks you need to complete.
  • Milestones you want to meet while trying to achieve your goals.
  • Who is involved for each step.

The daily, weekly and monthly tasks you want to complete will be the meat and potatoes of your plan. Setting goals is useless if you don’t have a plan in place to reach them. These tasks outline the work that needs to be done in order to reach your goal. For instance, if your goal is to increase your number of followers by 15%, your plan should detail how you’re going to get these followers. If your goal is to decrease your average customer service response time to under 60 minutes, your plan must describe the policies and procedures you’re going to put in place to make it happen.

Failing to write down the steps you need to take to reach your social media goals is like going grocery shopping without knowing what you’re going to be cooking throughout the week. You’ll end up getting things you probably don’t even need. Without outlining the steps you need to take to reach your social media goals, you could easily wind up wasting time doing meaningless tasks that won’t get you to your end goal. And the larger your social media team, the more important it becomes to have your tasks clearly defined.

Creating milestones is great for morale and also to make sure you’re progressing on schedule. Your milestones need to be realistic and specific, just like your SMART goals.

For instance, if your goal is to get 6,000 new Instagram followers within six months, that breaks down to an average of 1,000 new followers each month. You could set milestones to have 2,000 new followers by the second month and 4,000 by the fourth month. If the second month comes around and you only have 500 new followers, you can reassess your goal and make the necessary adjustments.

How to Track Your Goals

The final piece of the puzzle is tracking your progress. Most social media goals can be tracked using a combination of:

  • Sprout Social: Great for tracking a wide range of metrics like engagement, audience growth and more.

Sprout Social Social Media Analytics

  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics makes it easy to track your traffic from social media, create campaigns and figure out your ROI. It’s also helpful for tracking metrics for social media sites that don’t give you a great amount of data like Snapchat or Instagram.

Google Analytics Social Media Analytics

  • Individual social media platforms: Certain platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will give you further insight and metrics that will be helpful depending on your goals.

Twitter Analytics

Are You Reaching Your Social Media Goals?

Setting goals for social media marketing isn’t only about hitting milestones and completing objectives. It helps you become more efficient and cut out anything that’s not giving you results. As a business, a lot of the decisions you make will be based on your ROI. Creating goals and attaching metrics to them allows you to see your social media ROI so you can make better choices for your company.

Make sure you have the right social media analytics tools so you can evaluate and truly assess your incoming statistics. Having a tool to measure your goals makes the process much easier to control and inspect.

What are your social media goals for 2016? And what metrics are you using to track them? Let us know in the comments!

This post How to Create Achievable Social Media Goals originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Facebook Marketing 201: Increase Your Facebook Reach

Facebook Amplify Your Reach-01

As social media marketers, it’s easy to consume yourself with the number of Likes, comments and shares each post receives. But your analysis shouldn’t end there. While important in their own right, each of those small actions play a much bigger role: they directly influence how your content is distributed on Facebook.

With its importance is heavily debated, Facebook reach is one of those metrics that marketers need to understand. Whether you question its validity or swear by it, you need to know what Facebook reach all about.

What Is Facebook Reach?

Simply put, Facebook reach is the number of unique people who see your content on the social network. It’s a measurement of your brand’s effective audience. Not all of your fans will see every single post you publish. And not everyone who sees your updates will be fans of your Page.

Facebook reach falls into three different categories:

  1. Organic: This represents the number of unique people who saw your content—for free—in News Feed by posting to your Page.
  2. Paid: This is the number of unique people who saw your paid content—such as a Facebook Ad.
  3. Viral: The number of unique people who saw your post or Page mentioned in a story published by a friend. These stories include actions such as Liking, sharing or commenting.

For this article, we’re going to focus on organic reach, but you should always approach your Facebook marketing strategy holistically. This means that viral and paid reach (if applicable) should be among the metrics you track regularly. For more ideas on which metrics you should be tracking, check out our Social Media Metrics guide.

Is Organic Reach Dying?

The simple answer is sort of, but not for the reasons you might think. It’s not that organic reach is dying, but rather the News Feed is evolving with Facebook’s ever-growing user base.

A 2014 study by EdgeRank Checker found a 9.4% drop in organic reach between February 2012 and March 2014. A slightly more recent study by Social@Ogilvy found that Pages with more than 500,000 Likes, the percentage of organic reach had dropped to 2%.

The good news is that people are Liking more Pages. As of April 2014, the total number of Pages Liked by the average user grew by more than 50%. The bad news is that with each new Page Like, it gets more difficult for posts to gain traction in News Feed.


On average, there are 1,500 stories that can appear in someone’s News Feed each time they log onto the platform. If someone has a lot of Page Likes, that number increases to 15,000 potential stories. As a result, competition for exposure increases.

Rather than display all 1,500 potential stories, News Feed is designed to show individuals the content that’s most relevant to them. Out of those potential stories, approximately 300 of them are actually displayed. News Feed ranks each possible story using EdgeRank.

Facebook Reach & EdgeRank

Many factors influence your organic reach, but Facebook’s EdgeRank plays the biggest role. EdgeRank is the algorithm Facebook uses to determine which updates are displayed in a user’s News Feed. So even though you’re sharing updates publicly, Facebook ultimately determines who will see them.

Facebook EdgeRank

But it’s not like the platform just pulls names out of a hat at random; there’s a method to the EdgeRank madness. Facebook looks at thousands of personalized factors when determining what’s shown in users’ News Feeds. Here are just a few of them:

  • When was the post was published? Is it trending?
  • The number of Likes, comments and shares the post has. Are other people engaging with it?
  • How often has the user interacted with the Page posting the update. What’s the connection between the two?
  • Past user interaction with the same post type. What’s the user’s behavior around text-based posts vs. photos?

Everything from the type of story you publish to how close someone is to your brand to how old your post is can impact where your content falls in a user’s News Feed.

On top of that, users are now able to control what they see on News Feed to an extent. By updating their preferences, people can prioritize whose posts they’ll see first. For example, if someone is growing tired of self-promoting brand posts—something that Facebook now penalizes (more on that later)—they can choose to have updates from friends appear higher up on their News Feed.

Additionally, over the years, Facebook has gotten better at showing more high-quality content by cleaning up News Feed spam such as Like-baiting content.

Facebook Like-Baiting

You’ll find a much more detailed look at EdgeRank and its history, in our guide to the Facebook News Feed algorithm.

What Can You Do About It?

Unfortunately there isn’t a magical solution to organic reach. You’ll never be able to reach every single one of your followers with all your updates. But you can optimize your content strategy so there’s potential for your updates to reach more people.

Work on Relationship Building

Remember earlier we said that Facebook looks at the connection between a user and the content publisher? In order for that to increase you need to build relationships with your followers. Don’t just publish content and walk away. Create conversations around the things that you post and respond to users when they comment.

Dove Facebook Reach

Dove goes above and beyond when it comes to relationship building. Not only does the brand publish content that elicits emotion, but it takes the time to respond to almost everyone who leaves a comment. Talk about dedication.

Publish With Purpose

You should never publish content just for the sake of updating your Timeline—this applies to any social network, not only Facebook. Instead you should focus on creating content that fulfills your business objectives. The updates you post need to add value in some way, whether they’re educational, entertaining or conversational.


At Sprout, we focus on sharing content that educates and empowers our fans. That’s why we offer the best Facebook management tools to help your business schedule, publish, collaborate and analyze everything you’re doing on the social network.

It’s Not Always About You

Facebook is an incredible marketing and sales tool, but not everything you do on the platform needs to revolve around selling. In 2014, users told Facebook they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages, and less promotional content.

According to that survey, these are the traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:

  • Posts solely pushing people to buy a product or install an app.
  • Posts pushing people to enter promotions or sweepstakes with no real context.
  • Posts reusing the same exact content from ads.

Your Facebook Page is about your business and your products, but don’t forget about the 80/20 rule—80% of your updates should be social in nature. And if keeping fans happy isn’t incentive enough, Facebook began displaying less of this type of content in News Feeds in January 2015.

Overly promotional posts aren’t good for Facebook reach. Think about why people are coming to your Facebook Page and how they’re using it, then use that information to inspire your content strategy.

Optimize Your Audience

One way to improve your reach is to ensure your posts reach the right people. What’s the point of having 5,000 people see your update if only 1,000 of them find it relevant?

By targeting your organic posts, you can deliver updates to people based on their gender, age, education, location and interests. Your targeted posts will still appear on your Page for all to see. The targeting parameters you set will only filter the post in News Feed.

To take advantage of Facebook’s Audience Optimization, you must have the option turned on in Settings.

Facebook Organic Targeting Settings

Once enabled, you’ll see a compass-like icon added to the compose box of your Facebook Page. From there you can create your preferred audience (based on interest) or limit who can see the post (based on demographic data).

Facebook Organic Targeting

These are just a handful of the different tactics you can employ to improve your Facebook reach. Remember that doing so isn’t about gimmicks—people see through those. In order to be successful, you have to make a permanent change in the way you approach your content strategy. Organic content absolutely has value on Facebook, and Pages that publish great content will continue reaching people in News Feed.

Facebook won’t stop evolving, and neither should your content strategy. The best way to get the most out of your organic content is to dig into your insights. See how your metrics are aligning with your business objectives and make well-informed decisions about how to move forward based on that data.

Do you have any strategies you believe help your Facebook reach? Feel free to leave a comment below!

This post Facebook Marketing 201: Increase Your Facebook Reach originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Easily Manage Multiple Twitter Accounts


Are you managing multiple Twitter accounts? Wondering how to streamline your Twitter marketing? TweetDeck lets you engage, monitor and schedule tweets for multiple accounts from a single customizable dashboard. In this article you’ll discover how to manage multiple Twitter accounts with TweetDeck. #1: Connect Your Twitter Accounts The first step is to set up your TweetDeck account. If your [...]

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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

How to Increase Your Online Presence in 30 Minutes a Day

how to increase your online presence

Working on your online presence has much in common with training your body–a short, daily workout brings more results than a long training session once every two weeks.

The secret of success is consistency, so try to devote at least 30 minutes every day to working on your online presence. In this article, I will also share plenty of tools that can save you a lot of time.

So, let’s take a look at the daily workout:

daily workout list for building an online presence

1. Track Brand Mentions

Spend some time with social media monitoring by tracking who mentions your brand and where. Be sure to:

  • Set up alerts in multiple tools. This is so you can check everything right in your inbox. BuzzSumo is a great tool for this purpose, though the free version has limited functionality. If you do not have a budget for tools, you can use Talkwalker Alerts, which is free.
  • Thank people for their mentions. Reach out to bloggers that have helped you spread the word about your business. The people who mention you are your potential brand loyalists and advocates. In the end, it’s simply good manners to respond and thank someone for their referral.
  • Here are three pre-made templates for saying thank you:

    thank you examples

    You can also find more templates in my “Ultimate Guide To Building Your Twitter Presence.”

  • Respond to negative mentions. If you stumble upon negative feedback or complaints, this is a chance to turn a negative impression about your company into a positive one. By promptly and appropriately reacting to negative mentions, offering solutions or at least apologizing, you can gain more trust and respect.

2. Analyze Your Competitors

You can quickly and easily analyze your competitors with the free report by SimilarWeb. Type in any domain, and the tool will provide you with loads of insights about its traffic, including main sources, geo-parameters and a lot more.

semrush quick domain overview

The next step is to see how your competitors are doing on social media. With the SEMrush Social Media tool, you can compare the size of your audience with your competitors and also see their levels of activity and social media engagement.

Here, I’ve analyzed airplane companies, and whereas British Airways has the biggest audience, a company I should really follow is Lufthansa, because this company engages their audience a lot more.

compare social media presence example

The report I really love in this tool is the Activity report. It allows you to filter social media posts by comments and track messages that resonated with your audience the most. In my opinion, comments are a lot more telling than a “like” or a “share’ in terms of engagement.

check what their audience talks about semrush example

3. Analyze Your Current Online Presence

After analyzing your competitors, it’s time to look at your own online presence.

  • Check your content’s performance. With Google Analytics, you can find out the most effective channels with the Acquisition report and determine your most popular content with the Behavior report. Obviously, this content is worth further sharing.
  • Check the site speed. If your website takes too much time to load, your bounce rates will skyrocket. So check your website speed from time to time.
  • Check you social media activity. For general analysis, we use Sprout Social’s Group Report, which provides awesome insights in a very detailed and visually appealing format. As for Twitter, it is very easy to keep track of your activity with SumAll’s Daily Email report. And to track your Facebook page, you can use LikeAlyzer (this tool is also good for competitor analysis). Along with analysis of your page, it provides actionable tips and advice.

facebook page analysis example

4. Grow Your Audience

After you’ve tracked your brand mentions and analyzed your and your competitors’ performance, it’s time to work on growing your audience.

The easiest way to do this is to use Twitter lists. For example, I could just open the Social Media list compiled by Lee Odden and subscribe to the whole list with one click or select specific members manually.

semrush subscriber list example

Let’s take a look at some tools that might help you as well.

  • Crowdfire is an awesome free tool for use with Twitter and Instagram. It allows you to follow and unfollow up to 100 people daily. You can also copy followers from similar accounts or your competitors’. Another option is to search for relevant keywords and add new followers who mention them in their bio.
  • Sprout Social’s Discovery tool is what we use for Twitter. I follow people we’ve had conversations with and who have mentioned us in their Tweets.
  • Followerwonk allows you to analyze profiles, search for relevant people by keyword, and follow or unfollow people you’ve found. My favorite feature is the ability to export into Excel, but this is only available with a paid subscription. This feature allows you to export a list of all of your followers into a spreadsheet and filter by last Tweet, or the amount of followers or keywords in their bio. This is incredibly useful for inviting your followers to your upcoming marketing events, such as webinars. You can also see who hasn’t followed you and try to engage with them.
  • Klear and BuzzSumo are really great for finding and connecting with influencers. LinkedIn search really helps as well. Once you’ve connected with the person on LinkedIn, check the Contact Info tab and take the conversation to your mailbox. People are more likely to check their email than LinkedIn.

linkedin connection guide examples

Here are some quick templates for connecting with bloggers, speakers or with anyone who is going to attend to the same conference as you.

5. Share Useful & Relevant Content

After completing the previous steps, now it’s time to share some content with your audience.

Pick Out Content to Share

Check out what is trending and relevant in your niche. You can use the Trending tab in BuzzSumo, or create alerts for the most popular keywords to see any new articles that your audience might like.

buzzsumo shared content example

Use your branded keyword alerts to share the content where you were mentioned. You can also share posts from your blog, news and online events announcements.

Compose a Great Tweet

In this example, I decided to share a recent post by my colleague Anastasia. I used her pre-made tweet, added an image, tagged people who were mentioned in the post and included a few hashtags. Why is this Tweet just good and not great? How can we make it better?

anatomy of a good tweet

Always add your own opinions. Share your thoughts, what you liked or disliked about the content and what you’ve tried or will try after reading this post. Add your personal experience because in the end, that’s what makes a social media social.

how to make tweets better example

Schedule Your Content

If you want to share content multiple times, it’s super easy with Sprout Social and its handy Publishing Calendar, which allows you to schedule your sharing.

sprout social publishing scheduled messages screen

Not every post comes with a catchy image, but you can create a quick image yourself using Canva, or Pixabay images. If the content is good, but you don’t really like the headline, enter the main keyword into Portent’s Content Idea Generator and hit the “Refresh” button until you get what you like.

You can also take one of these headline templates and quickly adjust it to suit your own topic by filling in the blanks:

semrush headlines templete

6. Engage With Your Audience

The last exercise in our daily workout is engaging with your audience and beyond. It helps to create templates beforehand so you don’t have to come up with a new phrase each time.

Here are some examples:

  • Thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated!
  • We appreciate all your patience and support while we deal with this issue!
  • Glad you liked the article! Thanks for sharing!
  • Our apologies for the inconvenience! We’re doing everything we can to fix the issue!
  • Happy to hear you’re using _______! Let us know your thoughts!

After engaging with people who already mentioned you, search for problems you can solve. On Twitter, that can be easily done using Twitter Advanced Search. Just type in your area of expertise, set the language (and/or set the geo-location) and indicate that you’re looking for Tweets with question marks.

twitter advance search example

That’s it, our 30-minute workout is over! Start with these simple steps, and your online authority and visibility will gradually increase, plus you’ll set a firm foundation for more complicated and time-consuming activities.

This post How to Increase Your Online Presence in 30 Minutes a Day originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Turning Social Data Into Actionable Business Results

Market Research.001

Traditional market research is often conducted through surveys, polls and focus groups. These techniques are proven, viable solutions for gaining new consumer data. While effective, these methods are often time consuming and costly. Within the social space, traditional research tactics can be applied in quick, scalable and cost-effective ways.

Implement social data at your organization by solidifying what growth opportunities, consumer behaviors or questions you’d like to identify and solve. Collect informed analytics by having a clear understanding of what tools are available and what strategies tend to be most effective.

How Social Data Is Commonly Used

Below are some of the most common ways that traditional market research is used to better inform businesses decisions. The same tactics can be applied in social:

  • Competitive research on specific industries and companies
  • Feedback on existing products and product categories
  • Insights into how customers are using a product
  • Information on product-use patterns
  • Learnings on the interests and preferences of a target audience
  • Responses to new product development
  • Detecting consumer challenges
  • Identifying potential new customers and their needs

Social Research Tools 101

Once you’ve determined your goals and desired outcomes, it’s important to ensure you have the right methodology and tools in place. There are three main types of social research tools available. Understanding the benefits and differences between each is important in creating your strategy, collecting social data and measuring results.

  • Competitive analysis tools benchmark what competitors within a specific industry are doing based on how consumers are responding on social.
  • Social media analytics tools use a business’ own proprietary data to analyze how its social accounts are performing and what its audience is doing.
  • Social listening tools allow an organization to gather data and survey public conversations happening on social media at scale.

Test popular tools within each category to determine which best fits your needs, budget and timeframe.

Actionable Social Data Strategies

study by KPMG International on collecting actionable data and analytics revealed that 26% of companies struggle to identify what data to collect. The same study said that 42% of organizations find it challenging to incorporate data technology into existing business models.

Avoid these common roadblocks and ensure you’re measuring the right metrics by selecting the proper social research tools, outlining specific objectives and (most importantly) pulling key stakeholders in early. As you begin to strategize against your goals, consider the following use cases.

Inform Product Launches


Social is an accessible way for brands to engage consumers in new product launches. Boeing implemented this tactic by holding a contest to name the company’s 787 Dreamliner airplane. After holding countless internal workshops, the company decided to ask its customers for their input. Boeing launched and let brand enthusiasts vote between a shortlist of four options. The brand promoted the contest on its social channels. Nearly half a million entries from over 160 countries were received.

Gary Wicks, the Senior Manager of Digital Strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, spoke with SimpliFlying about the company’s campaign and how it helped shape the brand’s ongoing social strategy.

“The airplane itself was pretty much born online,” Wicks told SimpliFlying. “We took advantage of the technology out there and tried to engage a broad audience with the introduction of a revolutionary product.”

Boeing capitalized off the success of its crowdsourcing website and continued to build momentum around the new airplane launch with exclusive digital and social content. The company launched an online application that gave aviation and brand enthusiasts the chance to design their own 747-8 Livery. A worldwide #DreamTour of the new plane was also promoted on the brand’s Twitter.

“What we try to do in the social channels is position the company as a forward-thinking, thought-leading driver in this industry,” Wicks added. “I don’t think there’s a more efficient tool to do that.”

Through digital and social channels, Boeing received free and useful product feedback while growing its customer base.

Test Revised Brand Messaging

Social-ad spending is predicted to reach roughly $14 billion in 2018. As targeting improves, social provides brands with a relatively cost-effective way to test and learn at scale. Before introducing new creative or launching a costly advertising campaign, brands can turn to social for reactions to revised brand messaging.

These real-time insights can include click-through data and specific information on what aspects of the campaign consumers are positively or negatively responding to. This can help a brand better understand its positioning and give marketing teams the chance to revise and improve a campaign before its official launch.

Apply Customer Feedback to Product Changes

Product updates and changes often evoke strong positive or negative feelings from consumers. Social listening allows a brand to monitor the long-term effects of a company and its product decisions. Analyzing the conversations surrounding new product developments can provide your business with actionable feedback.

ConAgra Foods used social listening to reverse a misstep that affected its bottom line. In spring of 2013, in an effort to cut costs, the food company gradually discontinued easy-to-open pop-top lids from all of its Chef Boyardee canned pastas.

One reason the brand’s core consumer enjoys canned pasta is that it’s convenient. Removing the pop-top lids required consumers to use a can opener, taking away the product’s ease. This small change made brand loyalists very unhappy, so they promptly took to social media to share these feelings.

Consumer sentiments and sales were declining. Through social listening, ConAgra was able to identify its mistake and quickly addressed the problem. Within six months, pop-top lids were back on grocery store shelfs.

To reintroduce pop-top lids, ConAgra launched an intricate social campaign. Before implementing the changes, the brand polled its social community and asked fans to choose the labeling for the comeback cans. When pop-top lids were back on shelves, a series of cheeky videos developed in partnership with Second City Communications were shared on social to announce the comeback.

Customers responded positively and were impressed that one of their favorite brands used the crisis as an opportunity to listen, acknowledge and react to their concerns.

Identify Opportunities to Innovate

Searching and monitoring topics and keywords related to consumer challenges and industry trends can help your brand identify opportunities to develop new products and content. This is what L’Oréal did when the brand tapped into search and YouTube data to launch and support a new product. The beauty company noticed an increase in searches for “ombre hair color.” After watching user-generated videos to better understand the trend and its consumers’ needs, L’Oréal identified how it could join the conversation.

The beauty brand launched an at home, ombre hair-coloring kit and supported its product launch with consumer-focused content that addressed the target’s common questions and needs.

Since over 50% of consumers who purchased ombre hair-coloring products were new to the category, L’Oréal’s ombre kit and supplementary content drove a strong ROI for the brand.

These are just a few of the ways that social data can help inform and support large and small business decisions. When paired with additional, cross-functional organizational efforts, social has the ability to impact your bottom line, increase brand loyalty and save your business time and money.

This post Turning Social Data Into Actionable Business Results originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Get Started on the Most Popular Social Media Networks


Are you starting a new social media presence? Do you know what to share on each platform? In this article, you’ll discover tips to guide your posting on six social media networks. #1: Start a Conversation on Facebook People typically use Facebook to catch up on news and chat with friends. If you want to [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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How to Use Flex Targeting to Optimize Your Facebook Ads


Do you want to improve your Facebook ad performance? Have you heard of flex targeting? Flex targeting lets you serve Facebook ads to people who share a highly customized combination of interests, behaviors, and demographics. In this article you’ll discover how to use flex targeting with your Facebook ads. Why Flex Targeting? Flex targeting allows you to significantly scale up conversions [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Monday, 22 February 2016

28 Social Media Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

Social Media Stats-01

Social media is a much more analytical channel than some may think, and there are a ton of statistics you should keep in mind as a marketer. These social media statistics can help you benchmark how well you’re performing compared to others online and certain stats can show you where you should spend additional time.

This article will compile engagement statistics, like how quickly you should respond to fans, as well as demographic statistics from the social sites themselves to help you decide where to establish a presence.

Social Media Engagement Statistics

At Sprout Social, we’ve always believed that engaging with your current and prospective customers is one of the best things you can do on social media. With that in mind we’ve built and maintained our own industry report called The Sprout Social Index which looks at social media engagement data. Here’s a quick look at some of the social media stats from our Index:

1. Messages Sent to Brands Are Way Up

Sprout Social’s social media industry report is always being updated and we’ve consistently seen the number of messages sent to brands on social media increase. From an average of 1,790 incoming messages in Q3 of 2013 to 2,742 in Q4 of 2015.

2. Messages Requiring a Response Are Up

Not only have the number of messages sent to brands increased, so too have the number of messages that actually require a response. In Q3 of 2013, only 15% of social messages sent to brands required a response, but in recent quarters, that number has hovered around 43%. You can see these first two statistics broken down by various industry below.


3. Brand’s Can’t Keep Up with Inbound Messages

Even though the number of messages being sent to brands requiring a response has increased, the rate at which brands respond actually dropped. In Q4 of 2013, 14% of messages received a response across industries. Today, the response rate has fallen to less than 11%.

4. Social Media Response Time is Down

The rate at which brands respond to inbound messages has decreased, but fortunately, the time it takes companies to respond to those messages has also decreased. In Q4 of 2013, you had to wait about 13 hours until you received a response from a brand on social. These days that number has fallen to 11 hours.

5. Brands Send More Promotions Than Replies

Weak response rates and slow response times make much more sense when you consider brands have been using social media more as a promotional channel than a customer engagement platform. In fact, on average, brands send about 3.2 promotional messages for every customer reply.

messages sent

6. Small Businesses Average More Messages per Employee

Organizations with 0–200 employees, though likely without all of the resources of their larger counterparts, are actually much more efficient at managing social media. While small businesses receive an average of 10 messages per employee, they actually answer more of those messages with a response rate of 10.7%.

engagement rates for business sizes

7. Medium Businesses Average 6 Messages per Employee

Businesses with 201–1,000 employees average six messages per employee and respond to 10.1% of those messages.

8. Large Businesses Average 0.5 Messages per Employee

Businesses with 1,000+ employees receive an average of 0.5 messages per employee and respond to 10.6% of all incoming social messages.

9. Instagram Messages up 115%

Instagram is seeing immense growth in popularity and customers use it like any other networks to reach out to the brands they want to start a conversation with. In fact, last quarter, brands received 115% more messages from their audience on Instagram, but they only increased the messages they sent by 28%.


10. Response Rate on Twitter Is 12.9%

When it comes to the specific major networks, you’re much more likely to receive a response in a timely fashion if you reach out to brands on Twitter. Twitter’s response rates is 12.9%, which is 36% better than they are on Facebook.

facebook and twitter response rates

11. Response Rate on Facebook Is 8.9%

Though response rates aren’t as high on Facebook, that doesn’t means brands aren’t utilizing the network. In fact, since Q4 of 2014, brands have increased the amount of messages they’re sending on Facebook by nearly 90%.

Pull Your Own Engagement Data

If you’re curious to see how your engagement compares to those above, try starting a free trial of Sprout Social. We’re extremely proud of our own Engagement Report and there is so much that you can learn from the data.

Right off of the bat, you’ll haave a high level look at how you compare to other companies in terms of response rate and response time.

engagement report

You can also take a more granular look at your response time and response time by day of the week, and even by hour of the day.

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While diving deeper into your social media presence is key, sometimes you want to take a step back and look at the overall trends. You can do this with Sprout too by looking at your average engagement rate and time over custom time periods.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 9.16.48 AM

We’ll jump into more key social media stats, but if you’re curious to see how well you’re engaging, and to use a tool to continue to improve that engagement, check out Sprout Social free today.

Social Media Usage Statistics

This next section looks at a number of social stats from the networks themselves, detailing things like the amount of users on their platform and where those users are located. Keep these numbers in mind when you’re deciding which social media networks are most valuable for your time.

Instagram Statistics

12. Instagram has 400 Million Monthly Active Users

Instagram has seen amazing growth since its launch in October of 2010. The image sharing site now boasts over 400 million monthly active users, surpassing Twitter and approaching LinkedIn. It’s pretty clear that companies looking to create a strong social presence must look to Instagram, if not just as a test.

13. 75% of Instagram Users Are Outside of the US

While the percentage of users outside of the US is slightly lower than most of the other networks, Instagram still has plenty of opportunity to grow all over the world. This could also spell good news for companies whose core markets are in the US.

14. 80 Million Instagram Photos Shared Per Day

There are an average of 80 million photos shared every single day. Start taking and submitting your own photos to Instagram to make sure you’re getting your share. If you’re not sure how to get started, check out this free Instagram Webinar with Peg Fitzpatrick.

Peg Header PDF

15. 40 Billion on Photos Have Been Shared on Instagram

While the site averages 80 million new photos every day, in the lifetime of the website, there have been over 40 billion photos shared.

Facebook Statistics

16. 1.04 Billion Daily Active Users on Facebook

With more than 1 billion daily active users, Facebook is the world’s largest social media network. So even if you have one of the most niche products on the market, you’ll likely find your customers on the network.

17. 1.59 Billion Monthly Active Users on Facebook

When you expand the scope, there are 1.59 billion monthly active Facebook users. At the time of writing this article, that’s near 22% of the world’s population.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 9.40.18 AM

18. 934 Million Mobile Daily Active Users on Facebook

One of the most impressive aspects of Facebook’s user-base is the amount that they access Facebook via their mobile devices. Out of the 1.04 billion people using Facebook every day, 934 million of them access in on their mobile device.

19. 1.44 Billion Mobile Monthly Active Users on Facebook

Of the 1.59 billion people using Facebook on a monthly basis, there are 1.44 billion doing so on their mobile devices.

20. 83.6% of Daily Active Users Are Outside of the US and Canada

Of the 1.59 billion people using Facebook every single day, 83.6% of those are doing so from outside of the US and Canada.

Twitter Statistics

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 10.05.05 AM

21. 320 Million Monthly Active Users on Twitter

Twitter has 320 million active users, which is a bit behind Instagram and Facebook. Though the numbers aren’t as robust, Twitter users appear to generate more content, creating around 500 million Tweets per day.

21. 80% of Active Twitter Users Are on Mobile

Similar to the amount of folks using Facebook on the move, 80% of Twitter users are active on mobile, which poses a great opportunity for companies with a solid mobile experience.

22. 79% of Twitter Accounts Are Outside of the US

Twitter seems to have more users based in the US than Facebook, with only 79% of them accessing their accounts outside of the US.

LinkedIn Statistics

23. LinkedIn Has Over 400 Million Registered Members in Over 200 Countries

The social network for professionals boasts a robust group of users with 400 million registered members in more 200 countries.

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24. More Than 2 People Sign up for LinkedIn Every Second

Not only is the network big–it’s growing. According to the company’s page, more than two people sign up for LinkedIn every second.

25. LinkedIn Has More Than 40 Million Students & Recent Grads

The LinkedIn network isn’t just vast, it’s comprised of professionals. Over 40 million students and recent grads use the site, which makes sense as they may be the most in need of jobs.

YouTube Statistics

26. YouTube Has Over 1 Billion Users
The video sharing giant that is YouTube boasts over 1 billion users, which is a massive audience. As video content becomes more prevalent, it’s important to remember YouTube as a site to share your content.

27. People Watch Hundreds of Millions of Hours on YouTube Daily

Not only have people flocked to YouTube in numbers, but they also consume an incredible amount of content from the site. Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube.

28. 80% of YouTube Views Are From Outside the US

Just like most other social networks, YouTube has a big audience outside of the US. In fact, 80% of YouTube views actually come from outside of the U.S.

Now that you have a better idea of how often you should spend time engaging on social, and on what networks you should work toward establishing a better presence, use that information to turn social media into channel you can use to stay ahead of your competition!

This post 28 Social Media Statistics Every Marketer Should Know originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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