Social Media Marketing Tips | How to Effectively Use Social Media

Whether you are a new brand or one that has been around for quite some time, there is no denying that social media is the new platform for building your reputation. In this day and age, social media marketing has taken over the world of advertising. Social media marketing is one of the keys to a successful marketing plan. Not only does social media provide you with the opportunity to engage with your audience, but it also helps your audience learn more about who you are. Social media marketing can be difficult because it is constantly changing, but keep reading to find out our 8 social media marketing tips to help you dominate the internet and become a social media superstar.

social media marketing tips

Social Media Marketing Tips | How to Effectively Use Social Media to Grow Your Brand

Why Use Social Media?

There are a lot of benefits to using social media as part of your marketing strategy. To start off, social media is a great platform for conducting research on your competitors. Because a good amount of today’s marketing is conducted online, social media platforms make research easier than ever. Research is one of the many advantages of implementing a social media marketing strategy. Therefore, many of our social media marketing tips will be based on the data that you have collected.

Another benefit of social media marketing is the ability to reach your audience and establish your presence. In the world of social media, followers and likes are everything. Utilizing social media provides you with easy access to data on what your audience wants. With social media platforms, your audience can easily provide you with feedback on what they like or don’t like. Likewise, since globalism has become a large part of today’s society, having an online presence will also help you reach an international audience, making it easy to build connections with both potential partnerships as well as connecting with customers all across the country. Are you ready to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy? Here are eight social media marketing tips to help you.

8 Social Media Marketing Tips

1. Choose the Right Platform For Your Brand: There are a variety of social media platforms and each one has its unique purpose. In order to create a successful social media marketing strategy, choose the right platform for your brand. To do this, think about your audience and your brand. Who is your targeted audience? What platform are they engaging in? What is your brand? What content do you produce?

Social Media Marketing Tips

Image courtesy of Marketing Insider Group

2. Know Your Audience: Social media marketing is all about showing your audience what your brand is about as well as engaging with them. However, before you can do that, you need to know who your audience is. Whether that means who you are trying to target or who are actually interested in your brand, make sure that you do research to understand how to best market to those demographics. For example, marketing to millennials will require producing a variety of content depending on what type of millennial you are marketing to. Does your audience like a specific style of photos? Are they more interested in seeing reviews of your products versus simply posting articles related to your industry? Understanding your audience is key to producing great content that will generate views and engagements.

3. Incorporate Media in Your Content: Incorporating media (e.g. photos, memes, gifs, and videos) into your content has been proven to generate engagements for your brand. In fact, Rendrfx reports that “75% of online video viewers have interacted with video content.” Media content has high engagement rates because it allows the audience to learn more about you. It adds personality and creativity into your content. Video marketing is a great marketing strategy to implement for your social media presence, so be sure to incorporate it into your social media marketing plan.

4. Take Advantage of Social Media Tools and Software: There are a variety of apps and software that will help make managing your social media platform easier. From helping you manage your engagements, to helping you schedule your content or even providing you with metrics, take advantage of social media tools and software to help make life easier.

5. Pay Attention to Your Analytics: Social media analytics and metrics are important components to boosting your social media marketing skills! Pay attention to your analytics to identify where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

6. Engage, Engage, Engage: In order to increase your engagement, you need to engage with your audience! Comment or like the posts that your audience provides you to show them that you acknowledge their presence. You should strive to attract active and loyal followers who will produce brand loyalty and conversions. Active followers are the best because they have the ability to help provide you with free marketing through shares. Some examples of how you can engage with your audience include hosting giveaways and creating custom hashtags or geofilters for your audience to use.

7. Connect With Influencers: Influencers such as bloggers and YouTubers are the new form of celebrity sponsorships. Connecting with these influencers serve as a great strategy for boosting your range of followers. Influencers are individuals in your industry who have a lot of power with the audience. Therefore, connecting with influencers will help promote your brand.

8. Consider Collaborations and Partnerships: Partner with companies and other brands that your audience is also interested in to extend your reach. For example, collaborations with influencers can provide your brand with PR that will help convert their followers into yours. Consider making influencers your brand ambassadors to increase your online presence.

Social media marketing is a great tool for establishing your presence as a brand. What are your tips for a successful social media marketing?

Why Your Site Needs an SEO Audit

It’s about time you have yourself your good ol’ fashioned audit. No, I’m not talking about an audit in a traditional sense, so you can stop burning those receipts and allocating your funds into those secret bank accounts, I’m talking about an SEO audit for your website. Before we get into things, however, I’ll give you a brief rundown of what an audit is, and what it will do. An SEO audit essentially combs your site to find areas where you can improve your onsite and offsite SEO. You’ll be to identify broken links, pages that aren’t optimized, and duplicate content among other things. While everyone should perform an SEO audit every now and then no matter how successful your site is, below are a few warning signs that you should perform an SEO audit ASAP.

5 Reasons You Need An SEO Audit

SEO audit

1. Broken Links

If you notice, or if your audience is noticing a lot of broken links, it might be time for an SEO audit. Broken links are a nuisance for visitors of your site, and they can often deter viewers from staying on your site. Essentially, broken links can decrease your conversion and lose you a lot of money if you let them get out of hand. An SEO audit will essentially find all of these broken links so you can repair them as soon as possible.

2. Algorithm Update

These updates are constantly occurring, which changes the things that you need to rank well on a SERP. Things you may have done in the past could be hurting your website after an update. When there’s been a massive change in search engine algorithms, it’s time to perform an SEO audit. This will enable you to maximize the compatibility of your site’s current SEO with that of any new algorithms. These algorithms occur pretty frequently, so make sure you’re checking in for any major updates that could hurt your site.

3. Visitors Are Down

Many website owners will notice that their traffic amount and conversion has decreased recently and immediately assume that it’s a marketing or advertising issue. However, it might be the way your website is optimized, so an SEO audit can make sure that you’re not spending money trying to fix the wrong problem. There are a few reasons that traffic could be decreased. You might need to reoptimize your pages. The way we search for things and what devices we use to search for them are constantly changing, so make sure that you’re optimizing your pages by using SEO best practices.

4. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can strongly hurt your SEO rankings. While we hope you at least know that you shouldn’t be copying the same content onto multiple pages, there are still a few ways that you might be duplicating content without meaning to. If you have a product or service on your site that is on multiple pages, the descriptions of the content might be flagged as duplicate content. Although it can be a pain, make sure the content of your pages is at least slightly unique. One other aspect of duplicate content that many won’t realize is not using canonical tags for their site. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or duplicate content appearing on multiple URLs. This is to prevent Google from viewing pages starting with “http,” “https,” and other URL starters as different pages with the same content.

5. Outdated Content

One final reason that you might need an SEO audit is to identify outdated content. Not only can you identify content that needs to be updated, you can even use an SEO audit to identify content that might be worth repurposing as a guest blog on another site, or a more extensive article on your own site. Either way, breathing new life into your content can go a long way.

Need some an advice on an SEO audit? Shoot us an email or a message on Facebook!

The Best Marketing Traits You Should Look For

Here at Track5Media, we have a pretty tight knit group of marketers. While we may all have different backgrounds (none of us even majored in marketing) and areas of expertise, we’ve still managed to launch successful marketing campaigns as well as provide stellar marketing content for our audience. One of the things I often think about is actually why I was hired. After all, I initially came from a journalism background and picked up a minor in marketing late into my college career. However, the more I worked here and interacted with my team, I began to pick out the various traits that we all shared, and with the help of my marketing team, I think I can give you a few traits you should have as a marketer looking for a job, or a few traits to look for as someone looking to grow your marketing team. Below are just a few of the best marketing traits that a good marketer should have.

The Best Marketing Traits

Persistence

As a marketer, I’ve learned one of the best traits to have is persistence. Not every piece of marketing content is going to go viral. In fact, it’s very rare that your article or video you create will break the Internet. However, staying persistent and creating solid content continuously will steadily grow your following. It might take a few shots before you can hit your target audience, so make sure that you’re looking for someone who won’t get discouraged and is willing to change up tactics if one marketing outlet isn’t working.

Outgoing

I never fancied myself as an outgoing person, but as a marketing professional, I quickly learned how crucial it is to be able to approach someone and make them want to hear what you have to say. Whether it’s through email, phone, or face to face, having a positive and approachable demeanor is one of the best marketing traits to have. The good news is I don’t believe an outgoing personality is innate. People who were originally shy or introverted can learn to be outgoing or extroverted. I’m living proof of that. Even if a candidate seems like she or he is a little timid during the interview process, keep in mind that the potential may still be there, so don’t count out a shy interviewee just yet.

Writing Prowess

I think one of the biggest reasons I was hired despite having little marketing experience was my ability to write. As a marketer, a good portion of your duties will be to produce stellar content. Luckily through my journalism background, I was able to produce content that was both engaging and well written. Over at Track5Media, the majority of our new hires for marketing will be asked to provide writing samples as well as submit a sample blog so we can assess his or her writing skills. Those looking to hire new marketers should greatly consider writing as one the best market traits you should look for. You can often teach someone more about marketing, but it’s a lot more difficult to teach someone how to write well this late into their career.

They “Get” Social Media

You can’t be a marketer without knowing a thing or two about social media marketing, so it’s no surprise that one of the best marketing traits you should look for in a new hire is whether or not they are adept at social media. Marketing via social media is different than your traditional online marketing, so make sure when you’re interviewing candidates, that you ask them about whether or not they are able to market using social media. Have them write sample tweets or Facebook posts to see if they understand how to reach an audience via social media.

Initiative

Finally, one of the best marketing traits is initiative. In an industry that is constantly changing, successful marketing professionals have an initiative that drives them forward. They are constantly one step ahead of Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapshot. It does neither a company nor a marketer any good to sit on their haunches and wait for the big guys to make their moves in this industry. And in most cases, waiting for the big guys to make their moves will not only hurt your brand but probably penalize it in ways that are sometimes hard to correct. No one wants to have their website hit with a huge algorithm and disappear from the search engines, so finding marketers that have this desired trait is exactly what companies should be doing. But, initiative isn’t always easy to come by. It takes research, planning, and a lot of guts (and sometimes failures) to truly be a forward thinker. However, those marketers that manage to have this trait are those that are the most successful.

Duplicate Content VS Copied Content

Just this past week, Google introduced the new 2017 Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines. Big deal right? We know about SEO and organic search and using keywords, what else is there to know? Actually, there is one piece of key info that has many SEO nerds talking. We finally can tell the difference between duplicate content and copied content. The new guidelines actually fail to even mention the term “duplicate content” and with a little research, we can finally bust the myth of the duplicate content penalty.

Duplicate Content

Prior to these guidelines, it was widely believed that duplicate content was a major red flag when Google was crawling your site. Pages with similar or identical texts were seen as grounds for penalization, so many SEO experts urged users to stay away from duplicate content. However, this put many websites in a strange situation. In some cases, it makes sense to have multiple pages of similar or exact content (think job boards or travel sites). Tweaking a few words just for the sake of avoiding penalty seemed like a very time-consuming task. To add more confusion, Google released a variety of buzzwords like “thin content” and “boilerplate content” that made it even more difficult to pin down a clear definition and guideline.

Copied Content

Similar to duplicate content, copied content is widely known to be a reason to penalize sites. Copied content is any content that is copied from another domain. According to the guidelines, this is considered copied content:

  • Content copied exactly from an identifiable source. Sometimes an entire page is copied, and sometimes just parts of the page are copied. Sometimes multiple pages are copied and then pasted together into a single page. Text that has been copied exactly is usually the easiest type of copied content to identify.
  • Content which is copied, but changed slightly from the original. This type of copying makes it difficult to find the exact matching original source. Sometimes just a few words are changed, or whole sentences are changed, or a “find and replace” modification is made, where one word is replaced with another throughout the text. These types of changes are deliberately done to make it difficult to find the original source of the content. We call this kind of content “copied with minimal alteration.”
  • Content copied from a changing source, such as a search results page or news feed. You often will not be able to find an exact matching original source if it is a copy of “dynamic” content (content which changes frequently). However, we will still consider this to be copied content. Important: The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source. (Search Guidelines)

New Guideline

Under the new guideline, as long as your site is the original source of the content, you will be able to have the same content on multiple pages without being penalized. While you still don’t want to have the same content across your entire site, this busts the myths that duplicate content can lead to heavy penalties. For SEO experts, this might finally settle a long-time debate and provide more clarity for all who are engaging in online marketing.

Spreading the Love: 5 Link Building Tactics

It’s almost that time of year again. Cupid’s little baby body will be slinging arrows left and right as the romantic side in many of us begins to emerge. I personally enjoy Valentine’s Day, and maybe I sound too optimistic, or too much like a hippie, but there’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing people display their love for one another. As a marketer, there’s a great way that you can spread some love this Valentine’s Day (and no I don’t mean sending a creepy bouquet of flowers to your office crush). I’m talking about link building.

link building

This SEO tactic is a great way to drive traffic to your site, build relationships with peers, and generate a higher ranking for specific keywords on the SERP. There are a variety of ways to not only build links, but to build relationships as well, so here are just a few ways you can spread the link love this Valentine’s Day.

5 Important Link Building Tactics

link building techniques

These are just a few of the many link building techniques.

1.     Guest Posting

Guest posting is a great way to share your knowledge with peers, while still garnering traffic back to your own site. However, it’s important to know the site you’re writing for, the audience, as well as how to pitch a guest post idea. Make sure that before you start pitching, you have a list of websites that already welcome guest posting. Then, you can either write a piece, and then pitch that to possible websites, or, you can suggest a guest blog topic to see if that’s something they would like covered.

Once accepted, make sure to write an awesome blog post that’s informative and entertaining, and use infographics and other images when necessary. The most important thing to include is links within the text that will direct readers back to your site. Hopefully, the owner of the website will also to include a photo of yourself along with a short bio that will also direct them back towards your site. Not only are you getting a link, but you’re spreading the love by giving free, informative content that will be beneficial for everyone.

2.    Expert Roundups

This link building technique will allow you to put together content with contributions from a variety of different experts in your field. This expert roundup will begin with a topic question, and below the different experts will weigh in on the topic. There are a variety of benefits from this type of link building including the fact that others will be writing the content for you. Your experts can insert links back to their site, and hopefully, they will post a link to your expert roundup. This is a great way to spread the love so you’re both gaining link juice, as well as more viewers on your site.

3.     Broken Links

Another easy way to spread some digital marketing love this Valentine’s Day is to discover broken links. Many websites aren’t aware that they may have links that do not work. An easy way to help them out is to crawl the website using a program that will detect these broken links. Then, you can reach out via email to inform the Webmaster of the broken links and possibly suggest one of your own. This is a great way to help others while hopefully gaining a link in the process.

4.     Resource Pages

Depending on the topic of your website, resource pages can be a great way to build links while providing information to those that need it. For example, if your site primarily focuses on providing information for models, it might be a good idea to look at the resource pages of modeling directories to see if your website would fit. Many schools or other companies will have a review process to go through possible websites to post, and once reviewed, you’ll have a shiny new link to help boost your traffic and page rank. Not only that, you’ll also be providing important information for those who need it.

5.     Infographics

Infographics are another great link building technique that allows other sites to post valuable information while still giving credit and a link back to your site. A quality infographic can do wonders for your link building initiative. The more the graphic is shared, the more traffic you will see driven to your site. Make sure you’re pitching this to the right websites so you can provide the best information possible to your audience.

The Great Impression: Rise of the Ad Blocker (Part III)

This is final part of a 3-part blog series regarding the ad tech industry and the fight that has ensued between two sides: consumer, and publisher/advertiser. If you haven’t already, you should read part 1 and part 2 first. We are all affected by the amount of ads we see on the web, so whether you are a consumer, publisher, or advertiser, please feel free to join the discussion, share your online ad experiences, and offer insight as to how you think the ad blocking war can end with a win for both sides.

The first part of this blog series set the scene of the digital ad war, looked at the rise of online ad blocking, and the financial implications for publishers. The second installment focused solely on the arguments of online content consumers. This third and final installment will explore how the digital ad industry has gotten to this point and steps that need to be taken to fix it.

How did we get here?

How have we gotten to a point so far in this advertising black hole that suggesting bare minimums, like asking ad networks to implement encryption standards is too much? Well Julie Brill, departing FTC commissioner of 6 years, who spoke harshly against the ad tech industry in an article with Ad Age, might have the answer.Julie Brill quote

Do Not Track

Not only does she think that the ad tech industry could do better, she believes that the breakdown of the 2013 Do-Not-Track Standards is partly to blame for this rise of ad blocking. The Do Not Track (DNT) system was meant to allow consumers to opt out of invasive tracking and flag their browsers.

The ad industry fought this hard and eventually eliminated the DNT system by just ignoring the browser flags completely. With the unrestricted use of third party trackers, which collect information about web visitors for large data brokers like Experian, the ad industry saw unprecedented levels of growth with their new ability to monetize advertising profiles for web users.

This has left consumers upset with the amount of annoying, intrusive, and dangerous ads that make their web experience horrible. Brill stated, “We’ve seen an incredible rise in consumers taking matters into their own hands, which is precisely what I said would happen back then.”

What is the solution to ad blockers?

People who would reconsider installing an ad blocker

People who would reconsider installing an ad blocker, courtesy of Teads Research

Ad blockers may be the cause of publisher headaches lately, but there is hope for the future of advertising. According to an ad blocking report released by Teads.tv in January of this year, 84 percent of people would reconsider installing ad blockers if they were given a choice during the ad experience. And there’s the fact that ad blockers actually consume more page views than average internet users according to the comScore and Sourcepoint report. This surely exhibits that users want to read the content provided; they just want a positive, non-intrusive experience while doing so.

In the very near future, there might not be an easy solution, or “quick fix”. But the first steps consist of advertisers producing better, relevant, and helpful ads that are not annoying to consumers. If you don’t love auto play or video ads that block your screen that you can’t skip, you can be almost certain that your consumer doesn’t want them either. No one, advertiser or consumer, wants to spend time on a website where they are fighting advertisements for their entire site visit.

Publishers need to be willing to dedicate resources to deliver their ads using encrypted HTTPS connections and fully vet their third-party ad providers. Consumers will be more apt to stop using ad blockers if they know that publishers can be trusted to deliver safe, quality ads.

In the near future, we may see an online advertising landscape where users will choose to offer direct payment for content, or enjoy free content supported by relevant, better-developed ads.

In the near future, we may see an online advertising landscape where users will choose to offer direct payment for content, or enjoy free content supported by relevant, better-developed ads.

Ending the digital ad war

The ad tech industry can continue to fervently remind consumers that their advertisements, good or bad, fund this ‘free’ content, but until we see publishers and advertisers exercise more control over the quantity of ads, increase the quality of the ads, and demonstrate that they prioritize the consumer web experience over ad impressions, it is extremely unlikely that we will see consumers change the way they feel about ads.

The internet has long been a place where consumers go to find more choice and decreased costs. If the ad tech industry collapses, not only will we lose free content from news publishers, we will see a price rise of products and services across the internet. If sites can no longer subsidize the price of their products with advertising, the consumer will end up paying the difference.

If both sides don’t find a way for everyone to win this digital war, it may not only be the end of the ad tech industry—it could be the decline of the internet as we know it.

Facebook Will Now Support GIFs!

The moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. No…it’s not exactly the invention of a hoverboard like Marty McFly rocked in Back to the Future II & III–and it’s DEFINITELY not a cure for cancer–or even male pattern baldness. But, it’s still one small step for mankind and one huge leap for our Facebook feeds as we know it.

What Gives Lead Generation a Bad Name?

I’ve been in the market for a new car the past few weeks. So naturally, the first thing I did was head online to start my search. One of the first places I headed online was Cars.com. If you haven’t heard of that website before, maybe you’re an inchworm or a snail because surely you’ve been living under a rock the past 10 years. Anyway, I used the site to browse for the EXACT car I was looking for down to the last detail; make, model, price range, color, etc. The only aspect of the search I failed to double-check was location. I filled out a lead generation form for a vehicle WAY too far away that I couldn’t even consider looking at it or buying it. But, everyday I got so many phone calls that I was going bonkers. Even when I explained my situation to the person on the other line, the phone callers still persisted. It was downright annoying. This, my friends, is one of the reasons lead generation sites get such a mixed-view reputation. Everyone wants to find easy results online, but no one wants to be harassed with phone calls and emails.

“Humanizing” Your Marketing Efforts for 2015

This new year will continue the pattern we are seeing of businesses wanting to reach consumers on a more personal scale. More than ever, marketers are striving to understand their target audiences and focus on them on a more individualized level. The biggest challenge is perfecting our strategies to reach them and maintain these relationships. Millenials continue to be the biggest priority for gaining and holding the attention of, but also, they are some of the most selective consumers. Companies are striving to find the best strategies for holding on to their dynamic presence in 2015.

Making Social Media Marketing Festive for the Holidays

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the malls,

older shoppers still were buying socks, iPads, and popcorn balls.

But, more often these days, people buy things alone,

Amazon is much easier–right from their phone.