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January 24, 2014

Strategies to Dominate Social Media in 2014

Social media is now the single most popular activity on the web. According to a Fast Company article on social media marketing, 93 percent of marketers use the top platforms to reach their intended audiences. Chances are, you’re one of these marketers or entrepreneurs.

Social media is just like any other aspect of the web; dynamic, multifaceted, and extremely fast paced. While some trends, like rockstar content creation, are evergreen and always in fashion, other strategies come and go as fast as a 140 character Twitter tweet.

Want to be on the cutting edge of social media strategies this year? Then start adapting the ideas below, if you aren’t already. Coupled with stellar customer service efforts and that aforementioned killer content, these marketing tips can help you get ahead of the social media curve in 2014.

Play Up Your Snafus

Acting graceful under fire is one of the single most effective ways to engender more brand loyalty. Acting defensive and angry is a surefire way to go down in flames. Social media gaffs happen – and if they happen to you, don a sense of humor and call out the elephant in the room. It just may have a wonderfully positive effect.

Use this tactic only when appropriate, however; it’s astounding the number of companies that still try to use humor at times that are simply not laughable. Most mistakes are benign though – like posting an incorrect price, date, or otherwise erroneous missive. If this happens to you, make lemonade; call out the blunder with bravery and aplomb, and your customers will take notice in a good way.

Tie-In Campaigns to Current Events

Social media campaigns that directly reference hot trending topics are genius, and growing in effectiveness. Holidays have always been an easy seasonal target, but expand this view point by weaving in current events with your marketing messages. This takes craftiness and fast-action, however; and please, choose your events wisely. They need to have some reference to your business or industry, and for heaven’s sake, please don’t use public tragedies to try and get more Likes or retweets. MSN, I’m talking to you – this company has been guilty of using celebrity deaths to try and garner more social media fandom. The moral here: use the latest world news to guide your campaigns, but by all means, keep it classy.

Become Obsessive about Quality

The adage that more is more is no longer remotely applicable in the social space. Firing off a dozen tweets a day that are vaguely interesting or self-serving is hardly a tactic that will win over your audience. Instead, be passionate about premium content.

Premium missives equal updates and campaigns that are unique, interesting, current, and truly of value to your audience. You already know not to incessantly post about your company as a sole tactic; incorporate a dedication to high quality content into everything you post, and your numbers will reflect this commitment.

Integrate Real-Time Social Apps into Your Sites

Don’t just think of social media advertising as something you do in your social channels. Adding real time twitter feeds and Facebook stats into your own content brings a myriad of benefits. It keeps your customers current on your latest news, it entices them to join the conversation, and it keeps search engines happy via fresh and dynamic content. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but comb through the huge library of corporate sites out there and you’ll see the majority are still missing the boat on social integration.

Be Daring and Be Creative

You aren’t going to create a blazing social media campaign by playing it safe. The beauty of internet marketing is the real-time opportunities to test ideas, assess successes and failures, and to switch things up whenever we deem it necessary.

Never rest on your laurels and play it safe. What worked for you last month will likely not continue to produce the same results; if you aren’t willing to spend time being creative and exploring multiple channels, you aren’t likely to see the results you seek.

Remember that content is your best friend in the social space, and this should guide the bulk of your unique marketing angles. Write, shoot, or produce stellar content (blogs, videos, audio content, etc.) and let those pieces guide your updates and tweets. Statistics continue to prove that social sends with images, links, videos, and audio links have astronomically higher response rates. Make sure you are creating stellar content, and using it to your highest advantage in the social scene.

Make Friends with Your Metrics

Finally, if you’re not obsessively tracking your social metrics, you’re missing the truth about your campaigns. Modern tracking solutions are epically detailed these days, and many help to summarize and analyze complex data in a palatable, easy to digest fashion. These numbers are your friends, no matter what they are communicating. It’s no longer a luxury to simply launch social missives and casually watch the results. You need to be granular about analyzing data, and spend time each month digesting the reports. Without this due diligence to the details, you risk repeating mistakes and missing the signs of a big win or epic fail.

What modern marketing tactics do you swear by in the social space? Share your wisdom below!


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Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

15 Responses to “Strategies to Dominate Social Media in 2014

    avatar David John says:

    Great article! Thank you!
    Recently I turned to anonymous social media like duvamis.com
    I find it very interesting to communicate with people I don’t know at all…or at least I don’t know if I know them. Do you think there is future for such anonymous networks?

    Hi David,

    Great question, and a worthy article topic for sure. I do think there’s a future for the anonymous networks, especially with all the privacy scares these days. It’s very intriguing with obvious pros and cons – might just have to explore this more soon, thank you for the inspiration!
    Tina

    avatar Brytol says:

    I think facebook will lose some customers

    This is a great article. We started really “feeding” our social media and keeping it fresh. After a few months, we had 250 more followers on Facebook and a great amount of attention (positive comments, shares, etc) for our posts there. Google+ was my surprise sleeper as once I started tweaking our content to be more of interest to attorneys than potential customers, we actually started getting quite a few referrals from there based on Google+ relationships. You just have to watch your traffic and remember the particular interest of people on the social platform you are using.

    avatar Jeff says:

    I find my social site meter always changing but after reading this piece I find it empty in real advice. This article does not deal with free seo and marketing tactics.

    avatar Jerry says:

    We started out with Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, StumbleUpon and even Pinterest for our company. We no longer bother with Stumbleupon or Pinterest and, while we still use Twitter and LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook are the only ones we really maintain anymore. Do we see business from them? I don’t know, but it does serve to keep our name fresh, plus Google loves you when you use Google+!

    avatar Alan Gray says:

    Each platform has its own pros and cons, plus its own requirements for the audience/community there. It takes time and effort to realise that and then it takes time and effort to tailor your messages and interaction. Even when you do that, some things can fall flat.

    Tina, you are right about things changing fast. Sometimes a thing that works once or twice may not work again. The key is interesting content in the right format and engagement with people, especially influencers and people who share.

    It hasn’t driven a ton of traffic or customers but Google+ has definitely been our best performer when it comes to influencing search results. Also works wonders for getting client content indexed in a snap. The Moz tools do a nice job of making it easy to track and monitor your social media accounts.

    avatar SAK says:

    Put your Follow, Like and +1 Link after your Post on top of your site,

    And Sharing Button just in the end after each post,

    Use 4-5 Mandatory Social Profile a must for every one

    TOP Profile: Twitter, FB, Pinterest, Stumbleupon

    Also in Footer

    After your each post use Addthis(Tweet, Like/Share FB, Pin it, Stumble it, Digg it etc)

    Thanks

    avatar nancy says:

    Great strategies, I really enjoyed reading this article. It is much better to focus on one or 2 social media sites and generate as much traffic and followers from them as possible, rather than trying several social media sites at once and losing momentum fast.

    avatar ace luv says:

    Making quality blogs and videos and sharing them in social media can improve visits to anyones websites and offers!

    avatar Ty Whalin says:

    Great input and article. Personally I focus on just the major players in the social game. The others do not generate any traffic or any at all. Building on a solid foundation of connections and good old fashioned marketing works well.

    avatar Gracious Store says:

    Though I have account in many of the social network I still do not believe that any of them is a good marketing platforms, because every marketer is on the same network trying to draw the attention of potential customers (non-marketers) who are sick and tired of all the advertising and the noise of marketers, so there response is to turn deaf ear and blind eyes to brands even if they follow them on twitter or like them in face book, they often do not translate into real customers

    avatar Ritesh Reet says:

    Good Article, I agree to be friends with our own metrics.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Excellent tips, I will use this on my blog. Thanks 🙂

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