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Engagement Tactics for Social Media

Social Media Marketing, an Incredible Power in the World of Online Marketing

August 13, 2012






Social media has become an incredible power in the world of online marketing. And why not? With an estimated 65% of Americans reporting that they utilize social media sites, these types of networking hubs have become the perfect place to reach out to any type of audience you wish to target.

Social media sites also allow businesses, big and small, to show a more personal side of their brand. These sites open up different avenues to creatively reach current and potential customers. Many brands put their own videos, photos, articles and even coupons on their social media sites to encourage engagement and boost sales.



However, each of these sites feature different ways to reach out to a broad audience. In order to properly utilize this area of SEO, social media marketing must be approached in a smart and strategic way. Some of the top social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Depending on the type of business you run and the overall goal you have for your social media campaign, not all of these sites may perfectly help you convey your business message and overall philosophy. Below are some brief outlines of what types of marketing campaigns each of these sites works best for, followed by some helpful tips to boost engagement on each specific social media site.

Facebook
Facebook is a social networking site that allows companies to create "Pages" to represent their brand. With the semi-recent transition to the timeline format, Facebook brand pages read almost like a yearbook of accomplishments for the company. Facebook is ideal for companies that are looking to create a more personal and open relationship with their clients. Many companies post photos and videos of new products, employee events and updates to their store. Facebook also allows brands to host contests and conduct polls.

Tips for Engagement
  1. Post at the Right Time of Day – Studies have shown that more people are active on Facebook during the weekdays. Many studies have also shown that posting between 11am-4pm EST is the most effective.
  2. Ask a Question – Status updates that ask for the opinion of your fans typically illicit more likes and comments. People like to share their thoughts and feel that they have an influence on the brands they love.
  3. Utilize Visuals, but Keep it Simple – It's important to not just make posts that are purely words. Relevant photos, videos, and other graphics have been shown to increase fan engagement. But it is important to keep these posts simple. Fans tend to become less engaged if you post multiple photos in a row, so choose wisely, and give your fans time to enjoy each unique post.
Twitter
Twitter is a 140-character playroom for celebrities, brands, politicians and many others to express their thoughts and promote ideas in a quick and simple way. Twitter gives you the ability to design a personal page with a photo, 140-character biography and complete control over the background wallpaper. Twitter's simplicity is why so many people use it to quickly catch up on news from friends, their favorite companies and even their horoscope. Twitter is ideal for companies that wish to share quick links back to their website or blog, promotions, and reach particular groups or people through the use of hashtags and direct messaging.

Tips for Engagement
  1. Pay Attention to Hashtag Trends - When you are exploring your Twitter homepage, pay special attention to the lower left hand corner of the page. There you will see a small list of terms marked with a "#" and labeled "Trending Now." These terms are called "hashtags" and they are used to group together tweets sent out on the same topic. Be sure to pay attention to these and when you see any that pertain to your business, include them in a Tweet with a link back to your website.
  2. "RT to Support!" – The "Retweet" is a great way to increase engagement and gain more followers. When someone "retweets" something you post, it becomes visible to all of his or her followers, and it can continue to move from there. Adding "RT to Support" or some other variation like #RT or #Retweet will help encourage others to retweet your post and therefore lead to more retweets and visibility for your brand.
Google+
Google+ is an interesting combination of professional and playful. In some ways, it works like Facebook, allowing you to provide status updates and post on your friends' pages. However, it has some other features unique to Google+ that allow it to be used as a purely professional resource as well. With Google+ you can separate people into different groups making it easy to create targeted messages based on who you want to see them. Google+ is best for companies that wish to target different types of people and also for those looking for a social networking site that combines playful and professional.

Tips for Engagement
  1. Use the "Circle" Feature – This feature allows you to group people on your friends list and send specific marketing messages to them.
  2. Comment Often – Be sure to engage with others. When someone shares an article pertinent to your industry, thank him or her and share the link on your own page. Hopefully they will return the favor.
  3. Be Sure to Checkout Hangouts – Different brands will host video chats or "live-streaming hangouts" to help connect better with fans. Attend often and consider hosting your own.
By utilizing these social media sites for the correct purpose and in the right way, you can significantly impact your online marketing goals. Knowing the direction to go in will help you work smarter, not harder and put you far ahead of the competition.



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