Tips & Insights how to get the best out of Social Media

Video is ubiquitous on social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter; video is even coming to LinkedIn for its users soon.

Video content has become a critical component of marketing strategies, but how are customers accessing it? More importantly, is it still growing in popularity among consumers?

According to new data from Nielsen, video remains a hot form of content. About half of Americans now claim that they watch short-form videos, such as user-generated content and TV clips. Some consumers are also willing to pay for video content — approximately 41 percent of people claim they have purchased a digital video at some point over the past 12 months.

And how are they finding this content? Through several channels, including social media, according to the Nielsen statistics. Nearly 29 percent of consumers claim that they discover new videos through social media. The statistic is even higher for teens/millennials, with 45 percent stating they find videos on these platforms.

Whether you are targeting younger customers or you simply want to improve your video marketing strategy, there are a few tips you can take into account. First, experiment with video length. Short videos may be the answer for some businesses, but depending on your target audience, you could benefit from a longer video that packs more information for decision-makers.

Next, familiarize yourself with the tone of the social platforms you are using. For instance, consumers who use Pinterest or YouTube may be more inclined to click on video content that is positioned as “how-to” or instructional in some way — this type of content is a hallmark on these particular social networks. On the other hand, you may want to focus more on visuals if you are posting to a platform, such as Instagram.

Finally, don’t forget about the basics of good video content. A video should tell a story and reflect how a product or service can solve consumers’ pain points. Content should be shareable, rather than “salesy” or pushy, when it is published on social media. Allowing the values of your brand to do the talking can help you woo customers and improve your ROI.

Tips and insights for how to best use Twitter and Facebook for your local business.

Many businesses use Twitter and Facebook for local marketing purposes, but how much success are they seeing on these platforms? As it turns out, Twitter is proving to be a larger generator of ROI.

Local marketing magazine Street Fight recently surveyed 250 local marketing managers and decision-makers in Q2 2017 to gauge their use of these social media networks. They found that when it comes to raising brand awareness, 28 percent of enterprise marketers see success with Twitter. This is compared to just slightly more than 20 percent of Facebook users.

Twitter marketers also appeared to have more success with new customer acquisition vs. Facebook marketers, as well as conversions and sales. However, the researchers note that overall, the totals are still small in terms of achievement. For example, just 19 percent of all enterprise marketers (including both Twitter and Facebook users) are reaching their brand awareness objectives. Only 16 percent are achieving their new customer acquisition goals.

“Despite its promise of measurability — especially in comparison with traditional media like print and broadcast — multi-location brands still struggle with marketing efficiency and effectiveness,” concludes David Card, Street Fight’s director of research.

So how can you improve your local outreach via social media?

To start, you can begin by getting active in their digital communities. This means replying to comments in local social media groups and posting for engagement. Doing so can help marketers build a reputation for their business.

Keeping quality (vs. quantity) in mind when posting can also make a noticeable difference. Over time, you can build lasting relationships with your customers and grow your target audience. This may ultimately translate into a boost in your bottom line.

Adweek’s Dan Tynan looks at how LinkedIn has managed to become a highly-valued site for advertisers looking to market to an fairly exclusive audience.

Ever since Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion in December of 2016, the tech world has been buzzing about just what Microsoft had planned for the business platform, which lost $166 million the year before the sale.

It’s lost on nobody that LinkedIn’s data is harvested from generally wealthier professionals than other social sites, however, and its data runs exceedingly deep considering how much information the average user shares. The idea that LinkedIn could be an attractive social media site for marketers used to be what Tynan calls “a running joke,” but things have changed over the last seven months.

Then again this is not the same old LinkedIn. The site has been streamlined into a more accessible beast, a genuine social media site for business professionals. Spam has been reduced by 70 percent, native video is just rolling out on the site, more marketing and advertising tools have been added, and LinkedIn has redefined itself into what Tynan calls a “polite social network.” And for b2b marketers, it is at the top of the heap.

“LinkedIn is the Facebook for b-to-b marketers,” says Brandwatch CEO Will McInnes. “If you are an Apple, a Cisco or an IBM, LinkedIn is a great place to market your products.”

Unlike Facebook however, LinkedIn currently lacks the fake news, vicious arguments, and degenerated discourse that has plagued Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. It appeals to grown-ups who want to discuss grown-up things. “People are more careful about what they say on LinkedIn, because it’s essentially their default resume,” says M. Scott Havens, global head of digital for Bloomberg Media. “We see a much cleaner conversation that’s supportive, positive and actually useful.”

However, Dell’s director of global social business, Alison Herzog, worries that LinkedIn’s recent changes are more about playing catch-up with the larger social networks, and less about genuine innovation. She says there’s still much room for improvement in the way LinkedIn shares its all-important data with the big brands.

“Maybe we’ve just gotten spoiled with Facebook. But when you’re a big brand and you’re spending a lot of money, you expect more,” Herzog says.

Latest News in Social Media

Instagram is testing a feature that lets users share Stories directly to Facebook. Facebook first cloned Snapchat’s Stories a year ago to create Instagram Stories, and then added the feature to more of its apps. Stories was added to Facebook in January, to WhatsApp in February, and to Facebook Messenger in March. The feature has been popular on Instagram and WhatsApp, but less so on Facebook’s main app. The sharing feature might help engage some of Instagram Stories 250 million daily users with Facebook Stories.

LinkedIn launched a new Audience Network that allows advertisers to place their sponsored content on third-party apps and mobile sites. The network will cover tens of thousands of sites and apps and also feature ad exchanges like MoPub, Sharethrough, Google Ad Exchange, and Rubicon. The network was beta tested early this year with more than 6,000 advertisers who had 3–13 percent more unique clicks. Facebook and Google already have similar advertising networks.

Social analytics firm Netbase has released its Brand Passion report, which includes a list of social media users’ 100 most beloved brands.The list was compiled by scanning English-language social media posts between May 2016 and July 2017. Netbase looked for brands that generated positive consumer emotions and were mentioned in social media in association with words like “love,” “superb,” “world-class,” and “adored.” It turns out that, of the top 100 most “passionately regarded” brands, 63 percent are based in the US and 12 percent are based in Japan. And 75 percent of the brands most often associated with these positive expressions hail from four sectors: ecommerce, entertainment, technology, and social media itself. The number one company on Netbase’s “love list” is Facebook.

WhatsApp is going to start charging businesses for access to the messaging platform. The founders of WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $22 billion, have always insisted that the app will never include advertising. Facebook’s other messaging app Messenger does rely on advertising, but WhatsApp revenues will instead be generated by new features that help connect businesses and consumers. WhatsApp COO Matt Idema did not rule out the possibility of including ads in the future.

Facebook has created a data map of the entire human population of Earth. The map, which identifies the location of 7.5 billion human beings spread out over the globe down to within 15 feet, is the product of combining census data with information gleaned from satellites. Facebook’s self-developed mapping technology can also locate any man-made structures anywhere on the planet to a resolution of five meters. The map was generated so that Facebook can determine a sense of the distribution of humans around the planet, and decide how to best supply internet service to “unconnected or underconnected” areas, according to Janna Lewis, Facebook’s head of strategic innovation partnerships and sourcing.

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