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Social media moves fast—what’s cool on Monday might be passé by Wednesday afternoon. So here’s a list of things you should avoid doing on social to keep your channels 💯—people still say keep it 💯, right?

Bonus: Download our free guide that shows you how to 10X your social media performance and beat your competitors. No fluff or tired tactics—features the tools, daily routines, and advanced techniques used by three world-class industry experts.

1. Using too many hashtags

Because hashtags will make your content more easily discoverable on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, social media users sometimes use them excessively.

Why you should stop doing this: Too many hashtags can make you look spammy or desperate if you’re using ones that aren’t relevant to your post. Even if you gain followers, it’s often the wrong kind of follower—like bots or people only interested in being followed back.

What you can do instead: Focus instead on being deliberate when it comes to choosing hashtags. A good rule of thumb: don’t have more hashtags than words. Have your followers focus on what you’re saying instead what you’re hashtagging.

For more on how to properly use hashtags on social media, read our post on The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Use Hashtags.

2. Trying to jump on every trend

Brands often jump on trending topics and popular memes to force themselves into a conversation or appear in-the-know..

Why you should stop doing this: Just because there’s buzz around a topic, that doesn’t mean people want to hear from you on the topic. If it’s not relevant to your brand and target audience, your efforts will fall flat and you might turn people off.

What you can do instead: Make sure your brand can actually add value to the conversation and to your audience. Ask yourself: Is what you’re sharing really relevant to your brand and audience? If not, you shouldn’t post it.

3. Publishing the same message across all platforms

We get it, social marketers are busy and need to save time wherever they can. But don’t do push out the exact same message on every channel.

Why you should stop doing this: Not every platform supports the same kind of content—Twitter supports hashtags but LinkedIn does not. And of course, different audiences live on different social networks.

Even for your fans that are following you on multiple networks—imagine how strange it is to see the same message over and over again?

What you can do instead: At Hootsuite, our social team uses a distributed content strategy, which is about creating unique content for each platform. This ensures we are delivering the kind of content that resonates with a specific audience to ensure maximum engagement.

It’s easy to get stuck when creating social media content—here’s our post on Not Sure What to Post on Social Media? 10 Content Ideas That Work for a tune-up.

4. Not responding to and engaging your audience

Too many businesses are still using social strictly as a promotion tool. That’s not what it’s about.

Why you should stop doing this: Social media is a two-way conversation. It’s not the place to broadcast how great your business is—at least not all the time. Social networking platforms are place for people to meet and interact with your brand.

What you can do instead: When planning your social media posting schedule, don’t forget to include time for engagement. Ask your followers questions, encourage them to share feedback, and always facilitate discussion about your business, products, and what you’re sharing on social media.

And if you’re already asking the right questions, make sure you’re doing a proper follow-up:

As seen above, a good example of engagement are Twitter polls. They’re easy to create and are a surefire way to increase engagement with your followers. Read how it’s done in Using Twitter Polls to Boost Audience Engagement.

5. Keeping your social media accounts private

In the past, businesses might have done this simply to secure a branded handle. But if you have the account, you should use it.

Why you should stop doing it: A private social media account can convey many things—laziness? Hiding something? Or, you don’t think social media is worth the investment?

Just because a user isn’t following you on social media, that doesn’t mean they’re not searching you up on Google to see what your social media activity is all about.

What you can do instead: Use it or lose it. Social media is a great way to grow and engage your audience..

And if a particular social media channel isn’t ready to be launched, but you’d like to secure a handle, post an update stating you’ll be online sometime soon. A simple, “Thank you for following us! We’re working on some updates for you!” says a lot more than a closed-off account.

6. Sending automated thank-you messages

There was a time when an automated message was a nice and easy way to make your followers feel special.

Why you should stop doing this: An automated message can come off as impersonal—it’s like being subscribed to a broadcast messaging list nobody asked for.

Plus, nobody likes talking to a robot. If they did, why hire someone to manage your brand’s social media handle?

What you can do instead: Take some extra time to dig a little deeper into your new follower’s social media profile. See if you share anything in common or if there’s something to connect with.

Just look at our blog writer Dara Fontein’s Twitter profile—you might send her a message with a cat GIF or meme (spoiler alert: she told us she’d welcome it too).

Or you might even go the extra mile and find out from Fontein’s Instagram profile that she has a social media account dedicated to her cat, Gloria, and mention it to her in a message.

Like we said, people are on social media to interact. Consider doing some added research and including it in your DM when reaching out to a new follower.

Do social media the right way using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can easily schedule and publish all of your social media posts, engage with your followers, and track the success of your efforts.

Learn More

The post 6 Things You Need to Stop Doing on Social Right Now appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.


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Are you working with social media influencers? Wondering how to track the results of your influencer campaigns? In this article, you’ll discover how to determine the effectiveness of your influencer campaigns based on marketing goals. #1: Establish Campaign Reach via Followers, Post Impressions, and Referral Traffic Reach is an essential ROI element for any influencer […]

This post How to Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns: 5 Analytical Approaches first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


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With more than 166 million daily active users watching 10 billion videos per day, Snapchat has a highly engaged audience that’s simply too big to ignore.

In this complete guide to Snapchat advertising, we’ll look at some key ways to use Snapchat ads to connect with fans and build your brand on this powerful network

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to easily create and use a custom Snapchat geofilter to promote your business for as little as $5.

Why advertise on Snapchat?

Snapchat is a particularly important platform for brands whose target market aligns with Snapchat’s core demographics.

Consultancy Millward Brown found that 88 percent of the users who saw Snapchat ads from a campaign for men’s deodorant fit into the target 13- to 34-year-old demographic. That should come as no surprise as 86 percent of U.S. Snapchat users fall into that age category. The network reaches 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States every single day.

And research conducted by MediaScience found that Snapchat video ads delivered more than two times the lift in purchase intent compared with TV and other popular social platforms.

The various Snapchat ad formats allow brands to place their messaging in Discover content or in between Snapchat Stories. (If you’re not sure of the difference, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat.) Interactive options like Sponsored Lenses and Geofilters become a seamless part of the Snapchat user experience, encouraging users to share branded content with their friends, and even across other social channels.

If your ads have a great audio track, there’s one additional reason to advertise on this particular network: 60 percent of video ads on Snapchat are watched with the sound on. That’s an especially impressive figure when you consider that 85 percent of videos on Facebook are watched on mute.

Types of Snapchat ads

Snap Ads

A Snap Ad is a (maximum) 10-second video ad that includes the option to provide more information to users who swipe up from the ad.

The additional information can be more in-depth content, such as longer videos (up to 10 minutes) or articles. Or it can be used as a way for Snapchatters to interact with your brand (or even buy) directly via an app install page or mobile website that users access without leaving the Snapchat app.

Snap ads can appear in between Stories from a user’s friends, or within premium content that appears within Discover, including Our Stories, Publisher Stories and Shows.

Snapchat also offers “sequenced messaging,” a bundle of 10-second Snapchat ad video segments that run back-to-back within Discover to mimic a longer video.

Sponsored Lenses

From puppy dog ears to rainbow barf, Lenses are a big part of what makes Snapchat so fun. And one-third of Snapchat’s daily users play with Lenses every day.
Sponsored Lenses show up alongside all the other Lenses in the menu, making it easy for users to share and post with.

Sponsored Geofilters

A Geofilter is a graphic overlay that Snapchatters can place on their Snaps. As the name implies, Geofilters are usually tied to a specific geographic location, ranging from individual store to an entire country.

On average, Snapchatters view 1 billion filters every day, and a national Sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40 to 60 percent of Snapchatters in the United States. That’s a lot of opportunities to reach your audience.

On-Demand Geofilters

On-Demand Geofilters are the entry-level Snapchat ads option, allowing any business to get started with Snapchat advertising for as little as $5.

They’re just like Sponsored Geofilters, but available for areas as small as half a city block and time commitments as short as one hour—perfect for a small business or a special event.

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to easily create and use a custom Snapchat geofilter to promote your business for as little as $5.

Snap to Unlock

This Snapchat ad uses Snapcodes on physical media such as billboards, receipts, and even coffee cups to entice users to interact with brands by accessing “secret” features within the app. Taking a picture of the Snapcode or scanning it with the Snapchat app unlocks a Sponsored Geofilter or Lens for a set period of time.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Universal Pictures Girl on the Train Snapcode

Have you seen the mysterious billboards for The Girl on the Train in subway stations across the country? This first-to-market contextual activation for Universal Pictures unlocks custom geotagged Snapchat filters. This campaign is a prime example into Kinetic's "active journey” approach, where we leverage our knowledge of spaces and smart environments to offer location-based services that contextually activate moving audiences through mobile and social in order to create value for consumers to connect and act.#contexthacker

Posted by Kinetic USA on Friday, October 7, 2016

How to advertise on Snapchat

Self-serve Snapchat ads

On-demand Geofilters

For this advertising option, you can upload a custom Geofilter, or use Snapchat’s templates to create one in only a few clicks.

For detailed step-by-step instructions, see our post How to Create a Custom Geofilter on Snapchat.

Cost: On-demand Geofilter Snapchat ads cost as little as $5, with the price increasing based on how much territory you include and how long you make the Geofilter available. We found that a two-day Geofilter cost about $13 if we restricted it to the immediate area around our office, $45 if we expanded it to our full city block, and nearly $3,000 if we expanded the area to the maximum 5 million square feet (about 70 city blocks).

Bonus: Cities, universities, and other public locations can create free community Geofilters. Brand logos are not allowed, but this is a great opportunity for cities to highlight the work of local artists.

Take a look at this Geofilter in Houston created by local graffiti artist Gonzo247 (notably share on social media by DJ Khaled).

@djkhaled posting that #houston snap! #snapchat

A post shared by gonzo247 (@gonzo247) on May 6, 2016 at 2:25pm PDT

Snapchat Ads Manager

Of course, on-demand Geofilters are no longer the only self-serve option for brands. In June 2017, the social app launched a new platform that allows businesses to buy video Snap ads without going through Snapchat or one of its ads partners.

The new Ad Manager allows Snap advertisers to create, optimize, and manage campaigns. It offers the option to choose an objective, maintain a creative library and edit target audiences, among other features.


Ad Manager is much more accessible than previous advertising options on the platform (apart from on-demand Geofilters). Businesses simply have to sign up to use Ad Manager and the tool itself is free to use (apart from any advertising costs, of course). The tool also offers the ability to pay with a credit card.

And there’s more in the form of three additional new tools for advertisers. The mobile dashboard lets advertisers preview ads, track performance, edit and pause campaigns, and receive notifications about key metrics.

Business Manager, on the other hand, lets brands configure roles and permissions for ad team members, manage different accounts, and change billing contacts.
And finally, Snap Publisher gives advertisers the opportunity to import existing brand assets to use in Snapchat ads, convert horizontal videos into vertical ones to make them a better fit for Snapchat’s mobile format, use templates for different campaign objectives, add motion to static images, A/B test ads, and purchase ads through Ad Manager in a single click.

Snapchat ads placed through Snapchat or a Partner

If your approach to advertising is a bit less DIY and a bit more leave-it-to-the-professionals, Snapchat has advertising options for you too. There are two primary methods to choose from.

1. Work directly with Snapchat

When you work directly with Snapchat to create ads, you get access to the same creative team that designs the brand’s consumer products. You can connect with Snapchat’s ad team on their website.

2. Work with Snapchat Partners

Snapchat works with two types of partners, both of which can help brands develop Snapchat ads and place them on the network. Ads Partners develop Sponsored Geofilters and Lenses, while Creative Partners develop ad campaigns. Snapchat also has a few select Certified Partners who have received additional training and take precedence in referrals.

Cost: They aren’t cheap. Adweek reported that Sponsored Lenses cost between $600,000 and $750,000 per day in the summer of 2016. The average price has since dropped to around $330,000. Meanwhile, Snap Ads video offering range from about $40 to $60 per thousand impressions—on par with a TV ad. AdAge reported that Snapchat also recently introduced “goal-based bidding,” where advertisers can pay per swipe rather than just per view.

Snapchat ad targeting

Snapchat offers over 300 preset audiences, based on things like what Snapchatters care about, buy, and watch as well as where they go.

Advertisers can break audiences down further by age, location, device, household income, parental status, and more.

In addition to targeting by age (for instance, to ensure 13-year-olds don’t see beer ads), Snapchat also offers comprehensive targeting options:

  • Snap Audience Match: Targets Snapchatters based on email addresses and mobile device IDs
  • Snapchat Lifestyle Categories: Targets Snapchatters based on the categories of content they engage with on Snapchat
  • Lookalikes: Targets Snapchatters similar to a brand’s existing customers

These targeting options are available for Snap Ads. This includes those created using the self-serve Ad Manager tool as well as ones purchased through Snapchat or its partners. Geofilters can be targeted by geographic area (“geofence”) only.

Snapchat has also partnered with Oracle Data Cloud to target Snapchat ads using Oracle’s approximately 100 audience segments based on purchasing behaviors both on- and offline.

Snapchat ad tips and examples

Snapchat is a highly engaging, vertical format which means that ads created for this platform may differ somewhat from those your business runs on other social networks.

As with anything, be sure to test, test, test to find out works best for your audience. Play with things like timing, ad type, and video format. Don’t be afraid to try live vs. animated videos, GIF-style clips, stills, or even cinemagraphs.

Make the content fun and interactive

Snapchat is an interactive medium, where users are accustomed to engaging with filters and Lenses to create fun, shareable Snaps. Snapchat ads that embrace this playful feel give your creative the best chance of resonating with Snapchatters.

When Universal Studios brought its launch campaign for The Secret life of Pets to Snapchat, the studio created a Snap Ad that allowed users to swipe up to create a Petmoji using a movie-branded tool. Snapchatters spent an average of 72 seconds interacting with the movie’s content and characters through the ad and the Petmoji creation tool.

Gatorade took things even further to create an old-school 8-bit game featuring Serena Williams as she worked towards her record 23rd Grand Slam win. Snapchatters accessed the game by swiping up on a Snap Ad and spent an average of more than three minutes (196 seconds, to be precise) interacting with the game.

Go for highly shareable filters and lenses

Give Snapchatters the chance to create a fun, souped-up selfie with a Sponsored Lens, and chances are they’ll post it to their Story and maybe even share it to other social networks, like Twitter or Instagram. That means they’re doing your Snapchat advertising work for you, expanding the reach of your branded content while encouraging friends and followers to seek out your Snapchat account so they can play with the Lens themselves.

When 20th Century Fox launched X-Men: Apocalypse, they replaced all the Snapchat Lenses for a day with X-Men Lenses that let Snapchatters turn themselves into X-Men characters. Users spent an average of 109 seconds playing with the Lenses.

Kraft added a fun twist to its Sponsored Lens by adding a score count tallying how many falling macaroni noodles users could virtually catch in their mouths while using the Lens. Since everyone likes to show off a high score, it was a natural way to boost shares. Snapchatters spent an average of 20 seconds playing with the Lens, which reached nearly 20 million users in 24 hours.

Keep it short and snappy to hook viewers quickly

While Snapchat’s video ads can be up to 10 seconds each, the app itself recommends keeping duration closer to the five or six second mark. The company also suggests providing an offer message within the second or third second of the ad’s runtime.

With these shorter timeframes in mind, Snapchat also recommends establishing a “brand moment” before the two-second mark to maximize awareness. But they caution against opening ads with a solid frame featuring a logo or product shot. Instead, it’s best to open ads with dynamic footage to catch viewer attention right from the get-go.

If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit your advertising budget to Snapchat, but you want to start marketing on the network, check out our posts on the basic and advanced tactics of Snapchat marketing for some organic Snapchat marketing ideas.

Hootsuite’s on Snapchat! Click this link on mobile to go directly to Hootsuite’s profile or scan the Snapcode below to add Hootsuite as a Friend on Snapchat.


With files from Kendall Walters.

The post Snapchat Ads: The Complete Guide for Business appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.


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When Instagram ads was added to Facebook’s ad offering, many people assumed that the two placements would be nearly identical in terms of best practices, cost, and engagement rates. Not true.

Though Facebook and Instagram ads have coalesced well in one ad system, it’s still crucial to consider them as two very unique platforms.

They are similar, but they’re far from identical, and for brands who are used to Facebook ads—this is what you need to know before you run an Instagram ad campaign.

1. There are two types of Instagram ads

There are two types of Instagram ads: ads that will appear in the mobile feed, and story ads.

Mobile feed ads will appear in users’ Instagram feeds, much like Facebook’s regular News Feed ads. Like Facebook’s News Feed posts, they can consist of several different types of ad formats—including a single image, a video, or carousel ads that use both— and they can be saved like normal posts. Unlike the organic posts surrounding them, these ads will let you add clickable CTAs that take users to the destination of your choice.

We don’t yet have a Facebook equivalent for story ads. They’re part of Instagram’s Snapchat-like feature, and play in between organic content from users your viewer follows. They’ll take up a users’ entire screen (requiring content with a 9:16 image ratio), but they’re shorter than regular videos, and once they’re gone users can’t scroll back.

They’re good for building brand awareness and sending traffic to your site.

2. Both types of ads are mobile-only

While you can access Instagram from your desktop, ads are only shown to mobile users. This makes sense, since Instagram was designed as a mobile app.

Advertising must plan their Instagram campaigns accordingly. A “buy now” ad that takes users through a complicated checkout process might not perform well as an ad with a simple conversion path—like an app download or website visit.

3. There are a number of ad formats to choose from

Instagram’s mobile feed ads aren’t limited to a single image (though these can be extremely effective). You ad could include:

  • A single image
  • A single video
  • A carousel ad, with a minimum of two images or videos that users can scroll through
  • A slideshow ad, which is a looping video ad that contains up to 10 images

4. Maximum video lengths are shorter than facebook’s

Instagram video length requirements are different than what Facebook marketers are used to. Mobile feed ads must be kept under 60 seconds long, and story ads must be kept under 15 seconds long.

If you’re running a campaign with placements for both Instagram and Facebook, keep this in mind: Facebook allows videos to go long past the 60 seconds, so you’ll either need to run separate ads or cut the video down to meet Instagram’s specifications.

5. You don’t need to use hashtags

Because you pay for them, Instagram ads are guaranteed to be delivered to your target audience. And that means you don’t need to use hashtags to boost the visibility and discoverability of your content.

So go ahead and unclutter your Instagram captions and leave hashtags out.

6. Instagram ads might cost more than Facebook ads

According to a recent test and detailed analysis by AdEspresso, Instagram ads often cost more than both Facebook and audience network placements.

In AdEspresso’s test, the average cost-per-click (CPC) of an Instagram ad was around $0.70.

It’s also worth noting that the CPC is noticeably different due to several factors: female audiences have higher CPCs than male audiences, weekends have higher CPCs than week days, and apple devices have higher CPCs than android devices. See the full report here.

7. High engagement means Instagram ads are worth the cost

Though Instagram ads may cost more than other platforms and placement options within the Facebook ads system, the high engagement makes them undeniably worth it.

Instagram’s organic content consistently has some of the highest engagement rates amongst all social media platforms, so it’s not much of a surprise than their ads do as well.

Several studies back this up. Forrester’s independent research of Instagram ads concluded that users are 58 times more likely to engage with branded content on Instagram than on Facebook, and 120 times more likely to do so than on Twitter. It’s also worth noting that visitors stay on a site 192 seconds longer when they come from an Instagram ad. Even if they cost more, I think most businesses would agree that paying more for good quality leads is worth it.

Get the most out of your Instagram ad budget with AdEspresso by Hootsuite. The powerful tool makes it easy to create, manage, and optimize your Instagram ad campaigns.

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The post 7 Things to Know Before Running an Ad Campaign on Instagram appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.


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Do you have a group on Facebook? Are you taking advantage of Facebook’s group management tools? In this article, you’ll discover how Facebook group admin tools can help you create a stronger, more engaged Facebook community. #1: Turn on Notifications You can receive two types of notifications from your Facebook group: notifications about posts (discussions) […]

This post How to Manage Facebook Groups: 8 Management Tools first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


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Like getting fit and learning a language, chances of improving one’s social media presence are vastly increased by having goals.

Social media goals can help determine voice, content, and the channels you use. They can also help determine the time, money, and effort you spend on those channels.

Without goals, you won’t know if your efforts are paying off. Also, you’ll have less incentive to do better. And you’ll have nothing to show your boss when he or she asks what your social media ROI (return on investment) is.

Social media goals should contribute to overall business goals—that’s the key to securing executive buy-in and budget for your strategy. Choosing the right social media goals can mean the difference between wasting time and making a real impact on your business.

Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence with Hootsuite.

Setting the right social media goals: A step-by-step guide

1. Determine your objective

There’s a difference between social media goals and social media objectives.

An objective, which comes before goals, represent what social media will help your organization achieve. This might be business conversions, brand awareness, customer experience, online reputation management, etc.

Once an objective is established, your social media goals represent how and when you’re going to achieve it. Goals are all about specifics.

2. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework

When it comes to setting social media goals, we recommend using the S.M.A.R.T goal framework—goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Let’s take a look at each of the five qualities and how they build on one another.

  • Specific

Increasing your social media reach, for example, is a great goal. But what does that mean, exactly? Do you want 50 followers, 500, or 5,000? And on which social network? If the goal is too vague, you’ll never really know what you’re working towards. By having goals that are clear, specific, and not open to interpretation, you’ll save on time and effort, and get closer to your ultimate destination.

  • Measurable

If you can’t measure what you’re hoping to achieve, your goal isn’t specific enough and it likely isn’t really contributing to your business. You need to be able to concretely identify your progress and see whether your efforts are working or not.

Maybe you want to use social as a channel for customer service. How do you know how well it’s working? An increase in tweets? Decreased phone queries and emails over the span of a few months? When it comes to success, the numbers matter. Don’t just know you were successful—know how successful you were.

  • Attainable

Have your social accounts contributed to this particular metric in the past? Use that information to set goals that are within your reach. If you’ve been able to reach a previously stated goals on, say, Facebook, you know it can be done.

By using previously attained goals, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward on social and be comfortable, rather than look awkward while scrambling to attain a poorly chosen mark.

We’d never try to talk someone out of punching above their weight. After all, that’s where life’s big wins happen. But short of winning the go-viral lottery, aiming for 300 retweets a week when you have a 500 Twitter followers just isn’t going to happen in even the best of circumstances. Keep your goals challenging, but realistic.

  • Relevant

Want to use social media to build your mailing list? Then social channels are a tremendous way to accumulate qualified leads. But if that’s your goal, it makes more sense to focus on using social media to drive traffic to your website than, say, staying on top of your Instagram mentions. Make sure your goal is relevant to your business’s success.

  • Timely

Commit to a time frame to reach your goals. By giving yourself a deadline, you’ll be less inclined to procrastinate. It will keep you accountable.

S.M.A.R.T. goal example:

So, if one of your business goals is to drive more product sales—and you are using Instagram to showcase your products—then a simple, S.M.A.R.T. social media goal might look like this:

“We will grow our Instagram following by 50 new followers per week.”

That is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Remember, S.M.A.R.T. goals are only truly smart if they exhibit all five characteristics. If you’re missing the timeliness factor, for example, it’s impossible to determine how successful a social campaign or strategy really was.

3. Conduct a social media audit

Setting the social media goals and objectives is the first step toward crafting a winning social media marketing plan. Next comes an audit of your existing social channels. This will help you establish baseline targets, and then set appropriate goals for improvement.

To help you with this, we’ve put together a 6-step guide to conducting a social media audit, which includes two templates to make your life even easier.

After the audit is complete, you might want to revise your S.M.A.R.T. goals based on past performance. Perhaps what you thought was attainable, looks like a bit more of a stretch. Or too easy.

4. Choose the right metrics to measure success

Metrics represent how you’re going to determine whether you’re achieving your social media goals and objectives.

Metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and followers are often referred to as “vanity” metrics, but it’s important not to dismiss them entirely. They help measure yourself against competitors, and determine what type of content is resonating with your audience. They only become vanity metrics when they have no relation to your business objectives.

The trick is to track metrics that clearly demonstrate how social media is contributing to business results. These could include:

  • Reach
  • Audience engagement
  • Site traffic
  • Leads generated
  • Sign-ups and conversions
  • Revenue generated

When deciding what metrics to measure, ask yourself:

  • Does it align with my objectives?
  • Does it help me make decisions?
  • Do I have the capacity to measure it effectively?

And try going beyond vanity metrics and look deeper at the data. For example, when tracking traffic from social channels, examine not just volume but also conversion rates. You may only get 20 percent of your traffic from one social channel. But a closer analysis might reveal that this traffic drives repeat purchases, increases new email sign-ups, and is a significant driver of blog traffic.

In contrast, other social channels drive higher traffic but most of those visitors leave shortly after they arrive.

It’s quite possible that you are expending more effort on a platform where your target audience is less inclined to interact. If interaction is key—and, in most social media plans, it should be—you might want to change tactics. It’s better to use fewer channels well than to stretch yourself thin trying to maintain a presence on every social network.

For specific suggestions on what metrics to track, check out our post 7 Social Media Metrics that Really Matter—and How to Track Them.

After determining your objective, setting social media goals to support it, and tracking performance, you’re well on the way to proving (and improving) social ROI.

Use Hootsuite to achieve your social media goals across all platforms. From one dashboard you can easily schedule and publish posts, interact with your audience, monitor conversations around your brand, and measure performance with real-time analytics.

Learn More

With files from Andrew Pressault and Sarah Dawley.

The post How to Set Social Media Goals—And Reach Them appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.


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Facebook ads are one of the most popular pay-per-click (PPC) ad platforms, and for good reason. Facebook’s audience is large and diverse, ad engagement is fairly high overall, and the targeting options are impressive—with plenty of room for creativity.

It’s easy for businesses to get caught in the trap of getting comfortable with a single ad format that works well for them. They stick to the single-image newsfeed post, and occasionally switch up the image or text. If you’re looking to grow your business, however, you’d benefit most from using several different types of Facebook ads to do so.

Different ad formats and ad types offer different benefits, and in this post we’re going to look at four that businesses shouldn’t overlook.

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

1. Video Ads

Video ads can convey a large amount of information in a way that is quick, concise, and engaging. Which would you rather do: watch a one-minute video, or read a minute’s worth of plain text?

If you’re like 59 percent of executives and 80 percent of consumers, you’d rather watch the video.

Video ads are great for building brand awareness. An introduction video that’s designed to appeal to customers in the discovery stage of the digital sales funnel can be one of the best ways to grab attention.

There’s no pressure to convert the audience right away either. All you need them to do is watch the video. Later on, you can run a retargeting ad from the audience that watched the video up to a certain point, and show them an offer ad or lead ad.

2. Lead ads

Lead ads are one of our favorite Facebook ad features. They started out as mobile-only placements, but now are available for desktop placements, too. When users click on a lead ad, a lead form will pop up. Facebook automatically fills in as much information for the user as possible (often with name, email address, and potentially phone number), making it exceptionally easy for users to convert on both mobile and desktop.

Lead Ads are ideal for pushing users into the consideration stage. They allow you to gain a lead’s contact information so you can then nurture them with email campaigns and retargeted Facebook ads.

Lead Ads can only be created from the “Lead Generation” objective. They’re most effective with an audience that is somewhat familiar with you, so using them as part of a retargeting campaign for an audience of past site visitors or those who watched your video are a good way to go. This will keep your relevance score and CTR high, and CPA as low as possible.

For more on this check out our post Using Facebook Lead Ads to Grow Your Business—7 Smart Ideas.

3. Offer Ads

Offer ads, in my opinion, are underused. I’ve only seen three or four in my newsfeed ever. But they can be incredibly effective when used in the right circumstances.
When shown to audiences who are tiptoeing between the consideration and purchase stages, offers might be the best nudge towards conversion. Offer ads can be used to convert tentative buyers, as well as to promote and push sales of new products. You can create offers for everything from free shipping on your first purchase to a deluxe sample of a new product with each order.

Offers are a feature that must be enabled. They can be found under the Ad Set category when creating your Facebook ads.

You can customize your offer extensively, including:

  • Coming up with any offer you’d like
  • Setting end dates and times that the offer can be used
  • Enabling the offer for online only, or for online and in-store redemption
  • Whether you want individualized or group promo codes (with individualized codes being easier to track and control)
  • Disabling sharing buttons
  • Adding terms and conditions

4. Carousel ads

Carousel ads can be useful at all stages of the digital sales funnel, with a number of different use cases. They can be used on both Facebook and Instagram ads, containing both images and videos (though videos will be square instead of landscape or portrait views). They have significantly higher CTRs, and often at much lower CPAs than most other ad formats.

When shown to audiences towards the beginning of the digital sales funnel, carousel ads should focus on showing off different products, or features that makes your products and services unique. This allows you to get your message across to users quickly, showing them why your brand is superior and generating demand for your product.

When you’re using carousel ads to increase conversions among warmer audiences, you have several options. You can still use the carousel ads to highlight features that make your product superior—this will still be effective.

You can also use retargeting to show a combination of products that will be most relevant to users based on their past purchase history. Did they buy an iPhone? Show them the iPhone otterbox case, the earbuds, the workout belt, and a screen protector. By showing complementary products, you can both drive further purchases and increase the average purchase value.

While many focus on the extensive targeting features Facebook ad offers as the platform’s biggest asset—which in many ways it is—the diverse ad formats and placements should also be taken into account. Brands and businesses can appeal to audience members in different stages of the digital sales funnel with the most effective messages and mediums possible, using ads types that are best suited for each individual goal. By getting creative and using a combination of different ad types and placements, businesses will be able to grow their businesses more efficiently through Facebook Ads.

Get the most out of your Facebook ad budget with AdEspresso by Hootsuite. The powerful tool makes it easy to create, manage, and optimize Facebook ad campaigns.

Learn More

The post 4 Types of Facebook Ads You Should Use to Grow Your Business appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.


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Are you a blogger, video creator, or podcaster? Are you wondering how creators are making money? Look no further. In the first study of its kind, Social Media Examiner commissioned a comprehensive study of more than 4,300 creators. In this report, you’ll discover: The most common ways creators monetize their work. What produces the most […]

This post Creator Monetization Report 2017: How Bloggers, Video Creators, and Podcasters Make Money first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore LinkedIn Audience Network with Viveka von Rosen, the Facebook Instant Articles and AMP WordPress […]

This post LinkedIn Audience Network and Facebook Instant Articles WordPress Updates first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


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Well, is it? Is article writing taking over from SEO, or search engine optimization, as a means of getting you free traffic? There are no longer any doubts that Google loves content distributed on article directories, and that their so-called duplicate content penalty appears to be applied more leniently to articles published on multiple directories than to website content.

Before discussing that, lets get one fact put right immediately. Traffic gained from SEO optimization of your website is not free, and neither is traffic gained from intelligent use of article marketing, and writing articles in such a way as to persuade readers to visit your website. Each of these cost you a lot in time or payment for the software needed to do it properly. The alternative is to have others do it for you.

For some reason, professional search engine optimization services are much more expensive than professional article ghostwriting, even though the latter can get you more traffic than the SEO expert. Why is this, and how can I justify saying that? Here are some reasons why many believe article writing to be taking over from SEO optimization as the main means of getting traffic to your website.

  1. Articles can target web pages more effectively than SEO. Sure, each page should have its individual optimization, and it will help to improve your search engine results position (SERPS). However, an article that is published in hundreds of directories and ezines can get you far greater exposure through:
  2. a) Readers using the article directory to find out more about their niche. In spite of disbelievers, many people read the articles that are published on article directories. b) Those who like your article so much that they copy it and paste it on their own website. To do this legally, they have to retain your authors resource in which you advertise your website and product. c) Google and other search engines will list your article if it deems it relevant to a search being carried out. You have a better chance of your article being listed from a directory page than from one on your own website due to the generally higher PageRank of such directories. d) People read articles and web content on other web pages, which includes a, b and c above.
  3. People are increasingly looking for information online. Although it could be argued that the internet has always been a source of information, as an increasing number of people are stopping work, voluntary or enforced, in todays economic situation, they are looking to the web to provide them with a means of supplementing their income.
  4. An increasing number of people are teaching themselves to write, and those that cannot are offering work to freelance writers and article ghost writers. Consequently, content is become increasing more expert and believable, and good website content is expected rather than sought after. Blogs are becoming as important as web pages, and content published on social bookmarking and social networking sites is also being increasingly shared across the web.
  5. Finally, but by no means the only other reason why article writing has become so important to webmasters seeking to improve the flow of traffic to their websites, is the increase in domains being registered. The more domains there are online, then the more competition there is, and hence the more important the quality of content and also the way that content is promoted and accessed by those looking for it.

If you dont know how to promote your website through writing articles, or using article marketing in a truly professional fashion, then you will fall behind your competitors. It is essential that you understand what SEO is, and how article marketing can be used to write articles and distribute them as they have to be for maximum impact.

Without this expert knowledge you will be left behind in the technological revolution that the internet and World Wide Web have become, and remain in the hinterland of marketing. There are many ways in which you can learn how to use these modern advertising tools to your advantage, and he who does so best will be the most successful.

Is article writing taking over from SEO? You bet it is!

Marketing Booker – Digital Marketing