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November 26, 2014

The Ultimate Guide For A Successful Social Media Visibility

Image courtesy of (jscreationzs)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The rise of social media in the digital marketing scene is indeed fast and growing. You have to be socially persuasive. Are you keeping up with it so far? Or are your efforts lost in the realm of social feeds that populate the Internet? If you are a dedicated social media manager, a marketer or even a blogger, then more or less you’ve experienced the downfall that I’m talking about. Don’t beat yourself up. Chances are you just need to revisit your marketing strategies. Elevate what is working and dump what is impeding social traction — be visible again.

If you are visible already, does it matter how high you are in the visibility scale? Yes, it does. The higher your social media interaction is, the better the chance that your digital marketing efforts will prosper.

In the search for a better solution, you’ve probably come across many tips and hacks to improve your social media presence but these set of ideas are definitely on top of the list.

Twitter
Twitter lets you bask in your two minutes of fame but how can you make that happen two to three times a day, every day of the week?

Tip 1 — Short and Engaging Tweets

A tweet has little window to be prominent in the timeline — eight seconds to be exact. Make every word count. The rule of thumb is to use 120 characters (out of the 140) or less to make room for retweets.

Tip 2 — Watch your Timing

Your tweets may be engaging, but ifnone of your target readers get to digest them, you’ve already lost the game. Make use of the new Twitter analytics feature to check what time the majority of your fanbase is online.

Tip 3 — Mix up the Content

Experiment on sharing different types of content: quotes, photos, gifs, vines, YouTube videos. Include photographs that relate to your content. Don’t just tweet, also retweet what others are sharing.

Tip 4 — Use Twitter Lists

This can help you track and identify followers that have interacted with you before, also making it easier to target your tweets. Create separate lists for different groups of people you want to follow. It’s easier to approach and relate to people once you see how different mindsets work.

Tip 5 —Engage
This is the most crucial of all tips. Discuss and join trends. Send “thank you” tweets, reply to shoutouts and if possible, whether they’re a fan or an influencer, mention them.

Facebook

This is one of the biggest networks for people across different countries to connect and share content. For brands, it’s the perfect venue to deliver news, promote deals, and hold online contests.

Tip 1 — Be a Page That Seeks Attention
But not in an annoying way. Ask questions. Create polls. Run online contests occasionally. Make the page available for check-ins.

Tip 2 — Use Hashtags in Moderation
The use of Hashtags in Facebook should be handled with care. Not like Instagram (See tip 3 below), where they’re considered “inside winks,” two to three hashtags will do. Just make sure you choose them wisely.

Tip 3 — Customize Link Posts
The Facebook experience has improved with its inclusion of customizable link posts. A URL you attach to a status can be replaced to produce a more visually-oriented post. It shows a default title, subtitle, and a thumbnail image. All of which you can optimize and change with better captions and images.

Tip 4 — Encourage Photo Tagging
Posting a photo and letting people know that they can tag themselves is another way to gain exposure. Just make sure you post photos that would be relevant and interesting to your fans. Examples are products you sell, services you offer or upcoming promotions.

Tip 5 — Track Your Facebook Page Insights
Keep a closer look at your posts’ performance through the network’s own built-in analytics tool, Facebook Insights. Check your page’s Insights tab and familiarize yourself with the terms. It may be difficult at first but once you get into it, you’ll be able to pull useful information.

Google+
Google+ continues to prove it’s a solid contender among the social networking sites today. It has become apparent that brands who join this community not only reach a wider audience but become an authority in their respective niches.

Tip 1 — Use Citations and Attributions
Don’t just share your own content. Share other people’s content, too. And when you do, let them know. Include them in the posts or comments. It’s a simple and effective way to start a conversation. If you’re lucky enough, that brand or person’s public circle will join and interact with yours too.

Tip 2 — Know “What’s Hot?”
This is a feed of popular posts on Google+. Find a post that’s related to your niche and leave a comment. This leaves you a bigger chance of meeting influencers and opportunity gain a wider reach.

Tip 3 — Comment
Build your credibility by leaving out comments and joining community conversations. Let them know that you know what you’re talking about and solidify your expertise.

Tip 4 — Allow your Page to be Available for Direct Connect

Take advantage of the fact that Google+ posts from business are included in its organic search results.

Tip 5 — Optimize your Circles
Be strategic in sharing different types of content. Make sure the most interested people will get hold of the information.

Instagram
There’s nothing more captivating and engaging than a good picture. No wonder Instagram is booming! A social study by Forrester even confirmed that it gets more engagement than Facebook or Twitter.

Tip 1 —Have Fun and Be Natural
Every photo is an extension of who you are. The content you share should represent an authentic view of your business or lifestyle. The beauty of Instagram is the ability to catch a moment and share it as soon as possible. No “major photoshop edits,” just grainy, hazy, au naturale shots.

Tip 2 — Watermarks are your DNA
Include your brand logo or your Instagram/website name as the picture’s watermark. This ensures that whoever shares your photo will also be passing on information that would trace back to your account.

Tip 3 — Dress up Your Post with Hashtags

Using hashtags more than five times is never frowned upon on Instagram. And yes, you may use your Twitter Hashtags here.

Tip 4 — Acknowledge your Fans
One of the most valuable types of content is user-generated content. Highlight users who patronize your brand and you’re much more likely to create a bigger following. GoPro’s marketing scheme in Instagram is a good example for this.

Tip 5 — Ask Questions
Instagram is much more of a conversational tool than Pinterest. Encourage comments, questions, and feedback.

Pinterest
Pinterest focuses on the discovery and curation of content. It’s also a social photo-sharing platform like Instagram. But leveraging your brand requires a different approach.

Tip 1 — Pin the Right Way
Follow the proper pinning etiquette. Apart from your own photos, you may want other users to grab and pin your photos. You can make this happen but be sure that the provided links go back to the page where the original picture is.

Tip 2 — “Pin It” for Later Links

Use your Pinterest account to bookmark blog content on any platform. After publishing a post, pin an image found in the article, get the URL of the pin. Use that same image when posting. Include both links to the blog (for those who want to read now) and the pin (for a “pin it” for later alternative). This way you help others bookmark your own content as well as welcome them to your Pinterest account.

Tip 3 — Forget the Hard Sell
Pinterest already expressed that its site is not for marketing and selling goods. Reach out to the community by posting pictures of you or the brand you’re handling working close in the local scene. Don’t bombard pinners with prompts to buy your product. Instead, you may want to attach the status of the product (price and availability) to a compelling image.

Tip 4 — Use “Pinterest-Worthy” Images
For Pinterest, you may want to use more slick and polished photos. Instagram’s vibe consists of using filters and blur tools. While the Pinosphere caters to users who are looking for inspiration. Take beautiful pictures and create or choose a quote to go with each.

Tip 5 — Look For Popular Group Boards

This is a great way to get repins, followers, and traffic since you’ll be able to reach more people. But since there’s no search feature yet, try using PinGroupie, a tool that finds group boards. It’s free and easy to use.

*One more thing you could do is to turn off the Search Privacy options within the Account Settings.

See this table for a brief comparison of Instagram and Pinterest:

instagram_pinterest
Photo from ConstantContact.com via Pinterest

Throwing Social Media In The Digital Marketing Mix

Each social media platform has something different to offer. It’s important that you find which works for you best and make good use of it. The one presented above already highlighted what can be specifically used in a platform. But there are tips to improve visibility that could cover almost all platforms.

Here are Key Takeaways that could further aid your social media efforts:

General Tip 1 — Arm Yourself With a Kickass Content Plan

This includes identifying who you’ll post for, what their ages are, and what time they’re online. It’s also important that you mix up the content you’ll share. Balance it out with humor and light-hearted inspiring posts.

General Tip 2 — Maximize and Optimize Resources
Make sure that your profile in every social platform account is its best version. Is the image clear? Is the cover photo eye catching? Are the details complete? Remember that every little detail matters. Let your digital assets do the talking and selling for you. The social platforms mentioned above all have special features. Use them to your advantage. If you keep a website, include widgets and badges of your social platform.

General Tip 3 — Engage
Build networks through adding, following, circling other people, and finding time to comment on their content. Join communities in Google+ and check out other boards on Pinterest. Engagement is the core of social media. Give voice to your brand. And make sure your market can identify with it.

General Tip 4 — Cross Promote
Don’t marinate on one kind of social media platform but don’t create accounts on numerous platforms just for the heck of it. Choose those that you believe suits you best. Once you’re set up, inform your fans of your new account.

General Tip 5 — Use Tools
It will make your life easier. There are plenty of tools (even free!) out there. Tweetdeck, BufferApp, Social Sprout, Feedly, and more. It’s good to find an app that you could use for content curation, publishing and monitoring posts, especially if you’re handling many accounts.

How about you? What tips can you share for better social media visibility?


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Kimberly Grimms is a futurist who spends most of her time monitoring social behavior in search for new consumer trends. She uses the information to create viral and useful content as part of the new media strategy. She's interested with technology, market behavior, new media, environment, sustainability, futuristic scenarios and businesses. Follow her on Twitter.

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