Social

Is Social Media Scheduling With MeetEdgar the Right Solution for You?

Is Social Media Scheduling With MeetEdgar the Right Solution for You?

Social media platforms have grown in number and sophistication over the years; despite early concerns about longevity, many major players have stuck around for a long time. In fact, social media use and engagement has grown or remained consistent throughout the whole of 2016. Facebook in particular dominates the world of social media although other platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have a loyal user base. Business owners and other social media professionals have long sought ways to improve social media saturation in order to communicate with an already-engaged user base and to gain greater market share through messaging targeted to highly specific demographics.

As widespread as social media use is, leveraging its immense power to your brand’s advantage can be surprisingly difficult. Social media managers have to think many weeks into the future in order to craft messaging relevant to time-sensitive concerns while also promoting evergreen content that will drive traffic to your website. MeetEdgar is a social media management solution that lets users schedule updates and posts to occur on a schedule that suits their needs. Automating routine update tasks has considerable appeal, but is MeetEdgar really the right choice for every organization?

Pros and Cons

MeetEdgar Scheduling

The primary advantage of MeetEdgar is the ability to enter social media updates one time and then schedule them to occur as often as you like. This is great for alerting account follows to a sale section of an online catalog, for instance. Regular updates capture attention and will show up on more of subscribers’ feeds, especially if users choose to promote their posts. The prospect of doing the work once and getting repeated returns is perhaps this platform’s biggest selling point.

Writing several updates is actually the easiest part of using MeetEdgar. The difficulty comes when developing a schedule for deploying these updates. Although there is data showing a sweet spot for engagement with Facebook posts, there is no way to be certain if this model is ideal for any given company. Determining the ideal time between scheduled posts is likely to require some data analysis; while MeetEdgar can provide users with some helpful statistics, advanced social media skills are required to identify the optimal engagement strategy for a brand.

Clearly, MeetEdgar has some immensely valuable services to offer users. For instance:

  • Time and money can be saved by doing social media work once and then enjoying the benefits many times over.
  • Automating posts allows employees to optimize their workflow.
  • Independent business owners can schedule updates to occur even when they are out of the office.
  • Engagement is tracked, including clickthrough rate.

MeetEdgar certainly rewards people who are capable of crunching the numbers required to find the perfect schedule for automatic updates, but a lot of valuable data is available at-a-glance. Posting frequently will dramatically increase the chance that branded posts will be seen on Facebook or Twitter feeds. Even if the perfect schedule seems elusive, users can start to see positive results simply by increasing account activity and fine-tuning their chosen engagement strategy.

Ease of Use

MeetEdgar Analytics

At its heart, MeetEdgar is a fairly simple tool – it allows users to schedule and track social media posts. This helps businesses achieve social media engagement goals, including driving increased website traffic and number of sales. Although it lacks the refined statistical analysis possible by other social media management solutions, few small companies really need that much data to meet their goals; MeetEdgar’s price point is also a lot more small-business friendly.

This platform’s simplicity is reflected in its user interface. The user has immediate access to a library where the posts they create can be stored. Store messages appropriate for various sales events, website updates, and seasonal information; all posts can be sorted into categories for easy organization. Messages to be scheduled are simply selected; new messages can be composed on the spot.

Once messages have been selected, they can be scheduled for posting. Users can select what kind of posts they want to occur and at what time. For instance, a social media manager might want a regularly scheduled update from the “store catalog” collection of posts to occur on a Monday morning; this can easily accomplished. The user-friendly interface makes setting up many different schedules a quick and straightforward task.

Users can also choose which social media platform MeetEdgar uses. This makes cross-platform updating a snap; MeetEdgar can accommodate posting on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with multiple options. The data generated from posting on different platforms lets users see contrasting styles of engagement; this will help users further refine their social media strategies.

In Conclusion

MeetEdgar certainly fills a niche in the world of social media engagement – it provides cost-competitive social media solutions that are easily scalable for small businesses, individual brands, and companies in the early stages of growth. Bigger interfaces might certainly offer more comprehensive tools but the ease of use and no-commitment monthly billing makes MeetEdgar an ideal complement to existing SEO strategies.

3 Things that will Boost Your Social Media Engagement

3 Things that will Boost Your Social Media Engagement

Today, there are 2.2 billion social media users worldwide. With technologies continually on the rise to make social media available and more accessible to everyone, this number of social media users is expected to expand by leaps and bounds each year.

This is why marketers of all business scales are now looking at social networks as avenues for efficient promotion. Getting your brand on social media is a profitable move in itself. But did you know that your social media ROI entails so much more than posting about your brand & its wonderful offers?

You read that right. It takes more than talking. You need to engage with your audience. In fact, social media professionals are giving greater weight to engagements over following size.

If you are anxious about actually using social media right, here are 3 social media marketing tips you can readily apply to your campaigns to boost social engagements.

Focus On Social Monitoring

Social monitoring provides you an insight to your market – their concerns, preferences, and their thoughts about your brand. While it is good to give your customers an area to voice how they feel about your company, its products or services, social monitoring gives you so much more.

Social monitoring allows you to find feedback, both good and bad, about your brand when people are not that keen about writing you a review. Social media is also a good platform to find targeted individuals who are yet to discover your brand. Another thing about social monitoring is that it allows you to come up with social posts that your audience will actually consume.

The first step to employing this powerful social media practice is to get settled on a goal. Here are a few you might be interested in:

  • Gain useful feedback, whether it is something good or bad about your brand.
  • Identify if you are getting your expected number or percentage of people from your target market.
  • Monitor the market for what they want to be able to come up with an offer to assist the market with
  • Monitor to be able to attend to their needs, avoid unnecessary complaints that can ruin your brand and accept suggestions.
  • Monitor to know when to promote your brand.
  • Monitor to know where you have chances to get referrals
  • Monitor the Advertising cost by industry

Keep Tabs on Your Social Inboxes

In a social inbox, you will be able to see your public mentions, comments, message replies and shares. Just make sure that your inbox settings play accordingly to what you want to see. At some point, we keep on neglecting this as receiving a bunch of notification gets too annoying and overwhelming. Listed below are some of the things that are important for you to see.

  • Customize your social media settings:
  • Set to see: mentions private messages, connection or friend requests, likes, comment replies and shares.
  • Set to off: Their updates, events and anything that is not related or is fully connected to you.

Social engagement does not end on comments and likes on your posts. Under this umbrella is your brand’s efficiency at providing replies to messages sent to your social inboxes. You see, it has become more convenient for users to hit you up on social media through instant messaging than to ring your 1-800.

No wonder, emerging social networks such are designed to provide one-on-one messaging features to their users. At the same time, the older ones are continually coming up with ways to improve their instant messaging features.

Be Visual

Visual content is more engaging than plain text ones. People only remember 20% of what they read while with visuals, anything that the eyes sees are being processed 60,000 times much faster in the brain.

People consider good design as a major criterion in discerning the credibility of a company. This means that visual materials are more favored than other forms of content. Here are three of the advantages to look forward to with visual content in social media as shared by Huffington Post.

Visual drive results in social media:

  • Infographics help grow business by 72%
  • Posts with images attracts 3 times more than plain text content/photos.
  • 27% of people buy products when seen it in Pinterest.

These may all appear too simple and easy but it will take time and most of your patience before we achieve results. Take a moment to observe, experiment and conduct trials to guarantee the success of your campaigns. Social media can give you a heap of benefits but it can also break your business in an instant. It is necessary to be cautious while we follow trends and give essentials to the public.

Facebook Updates 20% Image Ad Text Policy

We wanted to share an update with you regarding Facebook’s 20% text policy. As of this week, Facebook will allow ads that exceed 20% text overlay to run on the platform.

What It Is:

Ads that were previously not approved for promotion due to exceeding the 20% text policy will now run on the platform, but with less or no delivery. The delivery of ads will be based on the amount of text present on the image. If ads are at risk of lower delivery, advertisers will be clearly warned across ad interfaces. Warnings will be delivered based on the below criteria:

Facebook Text Policy

Why This Matters:

Continue to Abide by Best Practices

Ensure the continued creation of quality content that fits seamlessly in the native feed as the 20% text policy exists to safeguard the quality of the user experience.

Increased Transparency

Instead of simply rejecting creative, Facebook will provide more insight into the “why” by warning advertisers that the quality of their creative will effect reach.

Expect Higher Costs

Lower reach will result in higher costs on content that exceeds 20% text.

Changes to the App Rating on App Cards for Twitter

Changes to the App Rating on App Cards for Twitter

The Twitter team just let us know that starting this month, App Cards will only display the app’s average rating if the app has a star rating of 3.5 or above. This change is in effect for Android and is slated to roll out on iOS towards the end of the month.

If the average rating is above 3.5 stars, the App Card will show the rating and the app category.

If the average rating is below 3.5 stars, the App Card will show the app category and the App Store or Google Play designation.

Why is Twitter doing this?

This was a heavily requested feature from mobile app advertisers. The change enables advertisers with a lower app rating to highlight other pertinent information like their app store category instead.

When is this happening?

You will see the new rating logic as of November 16 on Android. We expect to roll this out in the next few weeks for iOS.

Will this change be true across all of our app cards and placements?

Twitter has made this change across all Image App Cards and Video App Cards, in all placements, including the app carousel. The rating logic for Basic App Cards will not be updated, so they will continue to display all app ratings, both high and low.

What happens in cases where there is no app category available?

For apps with a high rating (3.5 stars or above) and no app category available, then the app store platform (App Store or Google Play) will display.

For apps with a low rating (below 3.5 stars) and no app category available, then the app store platform (App Store or Google Play) will display in row 2. In these cases, there will be no content shown on row 3.

Twitter Confirms Deal to Share “Fire Hose” of Tweets with Google

Twitter Confirms Deal to Share “Fire Hose” of Tweets with Google

Twitter is set to begin sharing its full stream of tweets with Google, CEO Dick Costolo announced during an earnings call on February 5. The stream, referred to as the “fire hose”, will provide the search engine with access to data from over 284 million users, according to a Bloomberg Business report.

Google currently crawls Twitter for updates relevant to search queries, but with over 6,000 tweets posted per minute, it is impossible for the search engine to to pull them all. This new deal gives Google direct access to the fire hose–their entire stream of tweets–which allows Google to index tweets right as they are posted.

A New Deal: What does the Firehose Mean for Search?

While Google’s immediate indexing of live tweets is reminiscent of their experiment with Real Time Search, this new deal is quite different than the previous agreement between Twitter and Google. From December 2009 to July 2011, Twitter shared tweets with Google, and that data was largely the foundation of Google Real Time Search: an entire section of search results comprised of live social media updates that refreshed in real time.

This feature died quickly after the deal between Google and Twitter expired, and there was never any attempt to revive it–most likely so Google could avoid providing search results based on information they couldn’t depend on. Since then, tweets have appeared in search results, though not in real time, and they are usually only the most popular or authoritative tweets.

There are still very few details as to how this new deal will work, though it is likely that tweets will appear much as they currently do, with relevant posts integrated into search results. Only now, Google will have a more comprehensive collection of data to crawl. There is not likely to be a separate section of the search results for tweets, and even more unlikely that tweets will be given preference in rankings. However, while there will not be a real time section for tweets, the tweets that appear in a search result are likely to be the most current updates.

For Google, this deal is an important step in further tailoring search results to user’s individual queries. Tweets contain highly specific and timely content, so enhancing search results by providing access to real-time tweets diversifies the content users are exposed to, and potentially creates a much more relevant, useful search experience.

Search Meets Social: Twitter Recognizes the Value of SEO

Even before the deal with Google, Twitter began making an effort to drive more organic traffic to the site. Just last year, the company announced that they’d renewed their focus on SEO, making hashtag pages crawlable by search engines to allow searches for popular hashtags to rank. As a result, the number of logged-out users or non-users visiting the site increased to 75 million per month–ten times more than their previous 7.5 million per month. With this kind of organic traffic accounting for such a massive growth in monthly visits, the next logical step was for Twitter to make all its content available to Google–not just its hashtag pages.

This deal represents that increasing emphasis on non-user generated traffic. “We’ve got the opportunity now to drive a lot of attention to and aggregate eyeballs, if you will, to these logged-out experiences, topics and events that we plan on delivering on the front page of Twitter,” Costolo said during the earnings call. “And that’s one of the reasons this makes a lot of sense for us now.”

Essentially, Twitter is recognizing the value of organic traffic driven by people who are not logged-in, but visit the site to view new and relevant content. Ensuring that tweets from the fire hose appear in search results means that Twitter can easily distribute more content to a wider audience, and possibly tap into an entire market of potential users.

JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth tells Bloomberg Business, “the deal means more opportunities for Twitter to convert, and possibly monetize, logged-out users…it will also increase the frequency that people with Twitter accounts check the site.” While it does not appear that Google is paying for tweets, Twitter may still receive a data-licensing revenue–and the revenue generated by advertisements placed in front of a wider network of users means the deal can prove lucrative for the company.

The fire hose is not yet available to Google, but all speculation points to the likelihood that the deal will go into effect within the first half of 2015. Both companies have remained fairly tight-lipped about the specifics of the deal, but details will most likely be revealed in the coming months. There isn’t any direct action SEOs need to take right now with regards to their social strategy, but as more details emerge, we’ll provide more insight into ensuring that your tweets rank.

Google Authorship: Humanizing Your Content to Increase Rankings

Google Authorship: Humanizing Your Content to Increase Rankings

Though Google+ has grown rapidly since its launch in 2011–reaching 540 million active users this past October–Facebook remains the world’s largest social network (Google+ is the second). Nonetheless, the relevance of Google+ as an engaging social platform, and its importance to web marketers as a Google-owned property, cannot be debated. Described by Google itself as a “social layer”, the purpose of the tool is to act as an interlay, allowing users to interact socially with google-enhanced websites and services.

One way that Google is doing this is through Google Authorship, which Forbes is calling one of the Top 7 SEO Trends Dominating 2014. Google Authorship is an important factor in the Google algorithm that aims to surface quality content in search rankings based, in part, on who authored it. Content is no longer enough to help a website rank for search terms. Google’s algorithm is continually evolving to highlight websites with content that is authoritative, engaging, diverse, and, just as importantly, written by an expert in the field.

With more and more businesses implementing Google Authorship in their marketing strategy, it is important to know the basics so you can determine if it is relevant to your business. Chances are, it is.

What is Google Authorship?

Google+ and Google Authorship go hand-in-hand. The wide integration of Google+ profiles into Google’s other properties, including its search engine (and, consequently, search results), has essentially humanized, or socialized, the way we search. According to The Huffington Post, Google Authorship was created “with the goal of allowing writers to claim their content, as well as allowing search engine users to find more content written by the same writer.” This allows users to see the face behind the content they’re reading, and adds to the trustworthiness of the website. If a user can see that one person is writing on the same topic across different sites, it establishes that person’s reputation as an expert in the space.

Authorship does not only allow users to find content created by a reputable writer; it also allows Google to do the same. The concept was implemented to reduce spam and improve the quality of content, and, by extension, of search results. As the algorithm evolved to incorporate social media more actively into search results, Google+ became an important tool for sites to improve their rankings. That is exactly how Authorship works: by creating a solid Google+, writers can link their profiles to the content they create, allowing Google, and the user, to infer authority through their social presence.

With Google+ allowing authors to “claim their content”, how do businesses ensure that their content is written by an authority figure? While not every business is in the position to source expensive content externally from prominent figures in their space, Forbes suggests “designating a person within your organization to take ownership of contributing great content to leading online publications…to become your true thought leader.”

What Author Rank Means for Your Page Rank

Google Authorship implies that eventually Author Rank will become as much, if not more, relevant than page rank. As an author’s web presence becomes more prominent through the sheer amount of content they have authored, and the number of sites to which they contribute linked to on their Google+, they become an authority. Ultimately, their rank will factor into search results. It is even speculated that websites that have not implemented Google Authorship will eventually be phased out of search results entirely (though that is just speculation at this point).

An excellent infographic by Internet Marketing Inc. (included below) highlights the importance of Author Rank. Author Rank is directly impacted by the writer’s social activity on Google+ and other social media platforms. The amount of engagement on Google+, including frequency of posts, number of connections, the number of shares and +1’s their posts receive, and comments all factor in. And since Author Rank is tied directly to the writer’s content, not the site on which it is posted, Google’s continued emphasis on Authorship means that the value lies in the writer, not necessarily in the site. Your page rank will always matter, but you will benefit directly from the writer’s Author Rank.

Because the content matters as much as the page on which it is hosted, Internet Marketing Inc. recommends guest posting as a way to improve Author Rank, in addition to active social engagement. Linking a writer’s Google+ to their content means that a snippet of their profile, including their picture, is included in search results. It has been proven that Authorship can increase click-through rates by 30% to 150%, all by humanizing your content. A friendly face can do wonders for the trustworthiness of your site, and the frequency of clicks.

Check out The Huffington Post’s Complete Guide to Google Authorship for a thorough breakdown of how to effectively set up a Google+ profile, and scroll down for the full infographic from Internet Marketing Inc.

Facts Behind Google Author Rank & Authorship [Infographic]

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Is Facebook Limiting Your Page’s Reach? What to Know About How Facebook Controls What Your Audience Sees

Is Facebook Limiting Your Page’s Reach? What to Know About How Facebook Controls What Your Audience Sees

Facebook Limits Organic ReachHow would you adapt your social media marketing strategy if only one to three percent of your Facebook audience saw your page’s posts? If you’re a brand with a larger following—say 100,000 Facebook fans—that leaves you with a relatively sizeable audience of 1,000 to 3,000 people.But assuming your page’s fans are in the thousands, or even tens of thousands, that means only a few dozen to a few hundred people see your posts.

While this may seem a grim exaggeration of the limits Facebook places on a brand page’s organic reach, reports say we may not be too far away from this. Valleywag recently published an article contending, “A source professionally familiar with Facebook’s marketing strategy, who requested to remain anonymous, tells [us] that the social network is “in the process of” slashing “organic page reach” down to 1 or 2 percent.”

Facebook has always limited organic reach, last disclosing in 2012 that pages only reach 16% of their audience on average.  But Time reports that as of February, pages now reach about six percent. An analysis of over 100 brand pages put forth by Social@Oligavy, Facebook Zero: Considering Life After the Demise of Organic Reach, shows the steady decline of organic reach from approximately 12% in October 2013 to roughly six percent in February 2014. Are we nearing the drastic one to three percent reach predicted by Valleywag?

To Pay or Not to Pay: Is Facebook Pushing Us Towards Paid Advertisements?

Many argue Facebook is trying to push companies towards buying ads and paying for distribution of content on what is otherwise a free platform.  Ad Age was one of the first to report on the sharp decline back in December, a month after Facebook announced the drop-off. According to Ad Age, “In the document, titled ‘Generating business results on Facebook,’ the paragraph in which the impending drop-off in organic reach is revealed concludes with an ad pitch; marketers are told they should consider paid distribution “to maximize delivery of your message in news feed.’”

Paid advertisement is not a foreign concept to marketers. While the emergence of Facebook Pages seemed to provide a free avenue for building an audience of potential customers, social media was always meant to be just one component of a well-rounded marketing strategy. If anything, this shift is a reminder that Facebook fans are not a network for free content distribution as much as a targeted audience for more effective advertising.

As both Time and Ad Age say, the best way for distributing content will always be paid advertisement. Experts have also weighed in, embracing the necessity to temper organic reach with a paid strategy. John Clark, Fuze SEO, Inc.’s founder, recently told lonelybrad, “Previous to the change, we used to have a set budget to help promote specific posts for campaigns, events, etc. Now, we are giving everything we post an incremental dollar amount — at this point in time that amount happens to be $50/post. We have found this approach to be successful in helping to get initial shares, likes and lifting the content out of the abyss…we are actually seeing improved organic reach even after the funds are depleted.”

Why now? Opponents maintain Facebook is merely seeking to increase. However, it’s easy to understand how Facebook would be motivated to improve user experience. As the sheer volume of content available to users continues to increase, brands are in competition for limited space on peoples’ Newsfeeds. This can lead to an abundance of spam content—memes, duplicate posts, “like-baiting”—all vying for fans’ attention.

Facebook continually updates its algorithm specifically to penalize spam posts, to ensure users see only relevant content on their Newsfeed. Whether or not the company is trying to increase ad revenue, they are encouraging pages to post high-quality content that engages fans.

Work With What You Have: How to Engage Your (Limited) Audience

Paying to promote your page is becoming more of an inevitability, but what about those six percent of fans you can still reach organically? How can you get the most out of your organic reach?

  1.  Make Every Post MeaningfulIf only a fraction of your audience sees your posts, every post must have an impact. The Social@Oligavy report offers some valuable insight into the type of content you should share. News, current events, and trending stories are encouraged by Facebook, as these establish the quality of a page’s content. “This model establishes the value of brands acting as publishers,” says the report.Not only will sharing quality, timely stories maximize your reach, but it establishes your brand as a trusted source of information in the eyes of your fans.
  2. Engage Your AudienceYour fans shouldn’t just see your posts—they should interact with them. While Facebook is penalizing posts that solicit “likes”, you can still encourage people to engage with you. Treat each post as a catalyst for conversation. If you post a news story, share your brand’s thoughts and pose insightful questions that foster discussion.Social Media Explorer suggests encouraging people to share your stories. Your posts become theirs, and as a story shows up in their newsfeed, it reaches their friends as well. Their share becomes a recommendation, an endorsement of your brand that gets your page in front of even more people.
  3. Encourage People to Visit Your PageEven if you reached 100% of your audience, posts only live in their Newsfeed for a limited amount of time. The best way to ensure people see your posts is to encourage them to visit your page. You can share content in a series of posts (such as a developing news story) that encourages visitors to check your page again for the next post. When promoting your page outside of Facebook, as opposed to using a widget for people to “like” your page, share a link to your page so they have to visit it directly to become a fan.
  4. Balance Your Marketing Strategy
    One of the most important things to remember is that organic marketing should only be a part of your overall strategy on Facebook. If you want to increase your reach, you will eventually need to bite the bullet and pay for advertising. Paid and organic reach complement one another, and a well-rounded approach ensures every avenue is covered. Shift Communications offers some useful tips on budgeting your paid advertisements on Facebook.
The Ten Best Practices of Social Media Professionals

The Ten Best Practices of Social Media Professionals

Every modern marketer knows that a social media presence is key to reaching new customers and maintaining relationships, but too many brands are baffled by how to make the platforms work to their benefit. Here, we outline the best practices of social media professionals everywhere and offer a glimpse at a few strategies you can use to take your efforts to the next level:

1. Being social is the primary goal

While it’s easy to get caught up in the soapboxing nature of social media, the key to winning in this space is to create quality interactions. Ultimately, your social campaigns aren’t about you; they’re about your followers and subscribers. Use the Honeycomb Framework of Social Media as a basis for engaging with your brand’s champions, asking relevant questions and creating a sense of curiosity in each of your outlets. The goal is to drive engagement and repeat visits, and nothing does that more than a fresh, interesting conversation.

2. A consistent voice makes all the difference

We’ve seen it dozens of times: Companies take to the social sphere with a voice that bears little resemblance to their brand image. While it’s certainly okay to be slightly more casual than you’d be in a company report, don’t make the mistake of changing your tone so drastically that it sends your followers’ heads spinning. Your demographic flocks to you for a reason, and they want to feel that your social presence is an extension of your established brand voice. When a law firm suddenly shares 20 Grumpy Cat photos or a local pub posts nothing but severe tirades, it doesn’t create a sense of dimension; it raises eyebrows and smashes your credibility. Strive for a tone that matches your website, and enlist the help of an experienced copywriter if you need some extra guidance.

3. Transparency is the word of the day

Social users don’t want to feel as if they’ve hit an impenetrable fortress when they visit your pages. Let your followers and subscribers know a little more about your brand and its vision by sharing behind-the-scenes videos, introducing your team and answering any key questions. If you’re able to do so without wading into tricky legal territory, you could even offer users a peek at previously unseen processes like brainstorming meetings and business events.

4. Each outlet requires fresh thinking

Repeat after us: Facebook isn’t Twitter, and Instagram isn’t Pinterest. What works for one outlet won’t necessarily work for the other, and social media professionals know that driving engagement in each sphere is all about knowing how users interact with them. Consider these guidelines as you create stories for individual platforms:

  • Twitter is about timely tidbits that are short and sweet. Use this platform to discuss breaking developments, release time-sensitive information, and engage with other brands and users in a quick, informal way.
  • Facebook is equally good for time-sensitive information, but it’s more suited than Twitter to in-depth conversations and evergreen content. What’s more, the user base skews slightly older here, so make Facebook your focus if your demographic reaches heavily into the over-40 crowd.
  • Pinterest makes the biggest splash with women, but its rules are completely different than nearly every other platform. Long pieces of text are generally unwelcome, and engagement is based entirely on the quality and uniqueness of images you share. Dive into it only if you run a heavily visual business — or have an art director on staff who can create an image-centric tone — and don’t pin only your own pictures. That’s a big no-no among the Pinterest set.
  • Similar to Pinterest, Instagram is a largely visual medium. Unlike Pinterest, it’s entirely based on images you’ve taken. Use this for behind-the-scenes photos and casual shots targeted toward a younger demographic.
  • LinkedIn is the business side of social. Though it’s still on its way up in terms of active sharing, this is a great place to discuss company news, post relevant industry articles and engage with other professionals.

5. Brand boasting is a slippery slope

Though it’s okay to crow about your company’s accomplishments from time to time, steer clear of constant updates to that effect. There’s a large difference between brand awareness and brand boasting; where the former helps bring your company name and vision to the front of the conversation, the latter comes off as hollow and egotistical. Think of it like this: Would you want to be cornered at a party by an acquaintance who talked for hours about his accomplishments but never once asked how you were doing? Social media is that party. Don’t be that guy.

6. Content is more important than keywords (and hashtags)

Content managers routinely toe the line between search optimization and quality information, and no place highlights the importance of that balance like the social media sphere. While well-placed keywords and hashtags can help your brand hit crucial awareness, the tactics are also slightly more transparent — and the users much savvier — on these platforms. If you plan to lace your posts with attention-getting keys and tags, make sure you’re providing inarguably solid content. A tweet packed with hashtags may show up in search results, but few users will engage with such blatant self-promotion.

7. Collaboration isn’t a dirty word

Yes, social media is a popularity contest. No, you don’t have to go it alone. Some of the world’s best online marketers turn to collaborations to bring new users into their social folds. Fashion companies team up with popular bloggers, restaurants hold hands with food providers, and instrument stores pair with local musicians.

One of our favorite examples of this strategy, however, comes from an off-the-cuff moment involving Kit Kat and Oreo. In response to a tweet by a user who followed both brands, Kit Kat challenged Oreo to an online game of tic-tac-toe to see which company could win her affections. Though Oreo declined the actual game, they responded with a playful image and the hashtag #GiveOreoABreak. Talk about social prowess.

8. Guidelines leave nothing to chance

It’s an undeniable fact: Most of us have experience with social media. How we interact with our friends on private pages, however, varies greatly from how a brand should position itself across the space. Before beginning any social campaign, create a list of voice, tone and conduct guidelines and disperse them to each person involved in your business. This allows everyone to stay on the same page in terms of what to post and when to post it, and it eliminates the possibility of any one person throwing your brand into a public relations tailspin with a poorly worded tweet. You can even create a list of rules regarding what’s acceptable to share personally; if you don’t want employees discussing the brand in a negative way on their private pages, put it in writing.

9. Measuring is winning

If you’re not measuring the impact of your social efforts, you’re merely acting on blind assumptions. Dozens of new technologies exist to monitor everything from Web-wide conversations to promotional effectiveness, and the world’s top brands use these tools to target their content and future campaigns. Simply Measured and Social Bakers measure social results, Group High and Klout help you identify influencers, and Brandwatch and Social Mention keep an eye on who’s talking about you and where they’re having the conversations. Invest in any of these options, and you’ll shine a light on where your brand is most — and least — effective.

10. Feedback allows you to grow

Too many companies shy away from social media for fear of negative opinions, but the ability to monitor less-than-stellar feedback is actually one of social’s biggest benefits. After all, focus groups only tell you so much; by watching what customers say when they’re not being asked the questions by a company representative, you’ll get invaluable insight on how your business could better serve your audience.

It’s also a fantastic opportunity to right any wrongs. If a user posts about a disappointing experience, for example, you can easily respond with an apology and the offer of additional services. That sort of transparency is what social is all about — and it’s the best way to win at digital marketing.