What Does A Social Media Manager Do

1- What does a Social Media Manager do vs. a Community Manager?

As we said in the beginning, the SM Manager has a role that mainly involves the “macro” social media decisions. The one-on-one with users, is somewhat typical of the Community Manager. So, I managed to filter certain tasks that were being mixed up, and I came up with the following list that describes the tasks that go with the SM Mger rather than the CM.

Responsibilities: SM Manager / Strategist:

 

    • Know or be familiar with the industry in which the company or business is in.

 

    • Design a social media strategy that’s in line with the brand identity, the company’s audience, and goals.

 

    • Administer and control budgets for different strategic actions.

 

    • Define strategies to build/enhance the follower/fan base and to develop channels that strengthen engagement.

 

    • In coordination with the marketing team, define promotion campaigns, competitions, paid-advertising, events, and product launches, in order to implement them on various platforms that have been decided to be used.

 

    • Define content strategy, communication style, and control the execution of calendar content.

 

    • Define and segment the user or “marketing persona” who the communication and actions will be directed towards.

 

    • Define and control: social media KPIs, conversions and ROI objectives (always in coordination with the sales and marketing department of the company).

 

    • Select what tools and apps will be used to perform tasks.

 

    • Design a plan to tackle a social media reputation crisis .

 

    • Define an SEO strategy.

 

    • Guide research for market and industry insights in order to apply different strategies.

 

    • Study and analyze the results of reports provided by the Community Manager to detect both threats and opportunities, as well as to measure the effectiveness of various actions. Based on this, make decisions concerning each of the above aspects, in order to make improvements, changes, or a change of strategic direction, etc.

 

    • Work closely with the client and the various departments of the company, to discuss the results and propose strategic improvements: Public Relations, Marketing, Product, Sales, Directory.

 

    • Work on the development of strategic alliances within the social media industry for future actions that can strengthen the growth of communities and the brand.

So far, this is what we can say are the characteristics of an SMM, which leaves in general terms, the mission of building, managing and administering a community in the various social media platforms for the Community Manager, along with the aim of establishing and sustaining a lasting and reciprocal relationship with it. Inspired by  the Manifesto of Community Managers created by Tim McDonald and colleagues, I created the following list.

Responsibilities: Community Manager:

 

 

    • “Represent the spirit” of the brand or company, and be it’s number one advocate.

 

    • Create pages on social media platforms that were selected in the strategy. Optimize them as defined by the brand image of the company.

 

    • Create, recognize, find, and cure valuable content to the community and that follows the “editorial” line proposed by the strategy. In this case it may be necessary to work with a graphic designer to optimize the content.

 

    • Update pages: manage scheduling, Scheduling and publishing posts , tweets, using tools such as Postcron.

 

    • Listen to users and respond to their comments and inquiries, to make them feel valuable. -Customer service-
    • Identify, cultivate, and strengthen relationships with brand influencers, so that they become followers and advocates of it.

 

    • Moderate activity and conversations on the platform.

 

    • Create a space for communication , participation and collaboration.

 

    • Implement actions such as competitions that are defined by the SMM.

 

      • Monitor trends in social media to stay updated across different platforms, not only with the content that’s already been created or cured.
      • Identify needs and preferences of users

 

    • Constantly control basic indicators such as likes, clicks, reach, participation , number of comments.

 

    • Be the voice of the community and provide the company and SMM with insights and opportunities for improvements obtained by the opinions and behavior of the community.

 

    • Give daily feedback about the activity on the platforms and review metrics with the Social Media Manager

 

    • Collect the results of different reports obtained from the analytical and monitoring tools and prepare reports for analysis by the various departments and especially by the SMM.

Something is probably escaping me, but this is the result of filtering a bit of both profiles.  Surely, many are concluding that you do both jobs, SMM as well as the CM. But at least now, you can distinguish which tasks correspond with each position 

2- What knowledge or skill set should each position have?

 

Skill Set Community Manager:

 

    • Design, Photoshop, Text Editing, Power Point and Excel skills

 

    • Excellent written and oral communication skills

 

    • Knowledge of HTML and web site management

 

    • Familiarity with web analytics platforms and monitoring

 

    • Knowledge of measurement tools and ability to respond

 

    • Familiarity with managing blogs, discussion forums, ratings, and reviews.

 

    • Ability to manage MACs just as well as PCs

 

Skill Set Social Media Strategist/Manager:

    • Knowledge of Marketing, Management, Branding, and Content Development

 

    • Familiarity with web analytics systems, business analytics, and social metrics.

 

    • Familiarity with the different systems of advertising campaigns and paid promotion throughout various social media platforms

 

    • Knowledge of various ROI analysis systems, conversions, and social media KPIs

 

    • Knowledge of different techniques for developing strategies sush as “Search Engine Marketing ” and SEO

 

    • Knowledge of techniques and methodologies in order to guide research

 

    • Photoshop, Text Editors, Power Point, and Excel skills

 

    • Excellent written and oral communication skills

 

    • HTML, site development and blogging experience

As you’ll see, several skills are shared by both roles, but the focus is distinct. If you’d like to review some examples of job ads on Linkedin, here are the links:

Social Media Manager
Social Media Strategist
Community Manager

3- ¿What qualities and/or profile should a community/social media manager have?

 

Beyond the tasks, it’s important to know what personal characteristics the person should have, as they will be interacting with the community and/or planning the development strategy. Here we’ve put together a summary of the skills that for the most part required for this position:

    • Passionate about the work
    • Analytical capacity
    • Creativity
    • Ability to communicate effectively on and off-line: with users, customers, and various departments
    • Ability to sell an idea or strategy
    • Dedication
    • Organization
    • Adaptability: must be on the community’s side one minute and in another minute have to think like the CEO
    • Be thorough and observant in order to detect threats, opportunities, and trends
    • Have discretion and good judgment in order to analyze and react to comments, feedback, crisis situations, or even to select or cure content.
    • Proactive, efficient and independent
    • Empathy: know the characteristics of the users and have the ability to understand what they need and their point of view in order to engage in conversation one by one.
    • Teamwork.

 

4- How can you be a more productive community/social media manager?

Without a doubt, one of the keys to being more productive is using tools and apps that help you avoid getting wrapped up in tasks that are definitely important and necessary, but also repetitive and can be easily and safely be automated. Therefore, I bring you a few excellent choices to begin optimizing your performance:

1 – Postcron: with this tool you can manage multiple accounts on Facebook and Twitter, as well as plan posts, then schedule and automatically publish them. Now that the images are the protagonists on social networks, Postcron offers a feature called“Multiupload”, which allows for the scheduling of more than 300 pictures in just seconds, including a description or phrase that shows up with the post. So, you just put together a file with all photos or images, select those that interest you, upload, and in an instant, you have scheduled posts for a month or more! The Bulk-Scheduling allows you to use a spreadsheet to create and schedule over 300 posts or tweets with images, links, or text only. In a few minutes, the information is uploaded, scheduled and programmed. Also, Postcron not only allows you to manage content on different platforms, but now also facilitates obtaining content, whether to take it as inspiration or to cure it and then re-publish it. We all get a little exhausted with creativity sometimes, but we can’t stop updating accounts. So, with this new tool you can get Recommended Content based on your preferences, industry, and influencers. Thus, you can insert your own content and cured content so that you always provide your communities with quality material. Be sure to read this article which will show you “step by step” how to use this feature.

2- Topsy y Socialmention: two examples of tools you can use to check references and trends across Twitter and the web. Ideal for brand monitoring.

3- Quintly – Spring Metrics – SocialBakers: are specialized analytical platforms that provide reports of conversations, performance, campaigns, keywords, landing pages, SEO, and email campaigns, among other virtues.

4- Storify – Contentgems – Curalate: are just some tools through which you can also find and cure content for social networks.

In addition to tools, you’ll also need to organize the content: if you adminster a blog, remember to put together a content calendar, it’s the key to ensuring it’s success, and who it will reach. Be sure to check out this article, where we show you how to create one.

Just like we included in the job description of #communitysocialmediamanager, creating pages and constantly optimizing them requires knowing the dimensions of the images used for each platform, either for the cover photo, the profile picture, or even where it is placed in the timeline or content news section. Be sure to check the complete guide to the dimensions on social networks updated in 2014.

4- Tips from other community/social media managers on how to be a better community/social media managers.

I don’t know if you know yet, but very recently, the Community Manager “Round Table” was created. It has annual conferences where representatives from the offices of SMM and CM meet to discuss the past, present and future of these roles just as much as the field of social media. In one such event, some outstanding CMs and SMMs were asked to write one piece of advice they would give to another colleague who is just getting started. Responses were collected, the most repeated were filtered, and coincidences were sought. In conclusion the following 13 items were presented:

1. Always be planning/updating your strategy while keeping in mind where your community will be a year from now.
2. Get out from behind your keyboard every so often. Talk with your members (live or on the phone).
3. Don’t take yourself (or others) too seriously – people are weird.
4. Review, admit failure, adjust.
5. Go slow. Crawl, walk, run. Don’t assume they understand.
6. Have a good sense of HUMOR!!
7. Make collaboration a verb, not a noun. It’s more than a destination, it’s a mindset.
8. Just breathe!

 

9. Your data will set you free. Embrace it!
10. Governance is not a dirty word.
11. Don’t do it alone. Find allies, advocates and volunteers to help.
12. Be patient and persistent.
13. Research other communities “doing it right” for some inspiration.

Some statistics:

For those of you that need some “numerical/statistical Love” in addition to the tips Take a look at an excellent infographic of 9clouds that poses the situation of the social media field for the upcoming year. It includes some data that can help you polish planned strategies for this year:

 

 

 

To recap….

So, we can conclude that even though in real life there is hardly a pragmatic division of these roles, we could say that in theory, the task of the Social Media Manager is directly related to the strategic decision making: from the selection of the platforms which will have presence, communication style and what type of content is shared, what steps will be taken in a reputation crisis, to the analysis of results to redirect the current strategy or not.

The Community Manager, on the other hand, is the representative of the brand and is the person who approaches the community. It’s also the user representative for the company and who can provide insights and opinions they gets from the users. Of course, the larger the size of the company and the budget available for the field of social networks, the greater the chances that different people and teams can take on these different roles.

18 social media marketing tips for anyone using social media for business

Social Media Marketing Tip #1: Create a social media marketing plan before you begin

Similarly to the way you do everything else in the world of business, you must make a plan before executing. Same goes for social media. Creating a social media marketing plan will set you up for success, and will allow you to avoid any social media mistakes. Learn how to create a social media marketing plan and watch your social media game flourish.

Social Media Marketing Tip # 2: Do a social media audit of your social media presence

Before creating a new social media profile, run a social media audit of your current social media presence. Social media audits are useful to keep all your social media ducks in a row, such as social profiles and passwords.  To help you conduct one, use our social media audit template to get you started.

Social Media Marketing Tip #3: Your social media strategy must include social media engagement

Skimping out on social media engagement in your social media strategy can pose a huge threat to your company’s social media presence. The 3 steps to doing social media engagement right are being proactive, always listening, and being engaging. Learn more in this blog post.

Social Media Marketing Tip #4: Know when to outsource your social media management

Whether or not you should keep your social media management internal or outsourced is a decision many business, big or small, encounters. It takes time to weigh the pros and cons of the decision to give up the keys to your social media accounts. To learn about the kind of things you should consider, here’s a blog post that talks about the pros and cons of outsourcing your social media management.

Social Media Marketing Tip #5: Increase your website traffic with social media

Every (smart) business has a website, but not every business gets the desired amount of traffic to their website. Using social media to drive traffic to your website ranges from the basic tactics everyone should be using, to more sophisticated methods that take a little more time to master. If used strategically, these 5 tips found in our blog post that talks about how to increase website traffic with social media marketing will help you reach your website traffic goals.

Social Media Marketing Tip #6: Social media monitoring is your biggest missed opportunity

When it comes to social media, people have all the power to say whatever they want about your company and brand. What they are saying can be positive or negative. Regardless of how or why they give you feedback, not monitoring your social media audience is a missed opportunity. There are 3 ways to get the most out of social media monitoring, and this blog post explains them and more.

Social Media Marketing Tip #7: All Businesses Should Be On LinkedIn

You’ve probably heard this many times already, but I want to stress it once more: LinkedIn is no longer optional for any business, big or small. This social networks provides you with credibility, a large network of professionals, sales opportunities, and a marketing platform for your business. Educate yourself on the 4 reasons why your business should be on LinkedIn in this blog post.

Social Media Marketing Tip #8: Learn how to schedule tweets so you can save time

Social media tools like Hootsuite take the stress out of managing multiple Twitter accounts by providing you the ability to schedule Tweets ahead of time. There are 3 ways you can use Hootsuite to schedule Tweets and this blog post goes over how to schedule Tweets with Hootsuite.

Social Media Marketing Tip #9: Avoid social media strategy mistakes at all cost

Knowing what to include in your social media strategy is key to your social media success. But do you know what not to do on social media? There are many common social media tactics that can be damaging to your social media presence and this blog post touches on the social media mistakes you should put on your ‘what to avoid list.

Social Media Marketing Tip #10: Tell all social media skeptics that social media is beneficial to their business

There are many who support the use of social media for business, but there are still skeptics out there who don’t see or understand the benefits of social media for their business. This blog post uncovers 10 benefits of social media for business that will make any social media skeptic think twice about not using social media.

Social Media Marketing Tip #11: Target your audience better with the use of social media statistics

Social media statistics allow marketers who use social media for business to guide their social media strategies. With so many studies being done on social media, it would be a shame not to take advantage of these very informative numbers. This blog post puts together a healthy selection of social media statistics that every social media manager should know.

Social Media Marketing Tip #12: Use Hootsuite’s content management tools to manage and share your content

Even with a social media content calendar in place, content management can be tricky—especially if you’re juggling several social channels. Picking out the right piece of content to share out to your social media audience can be a daunting task for any social media manager. Learn 4 content management tips you can do with Hootsuite in this blog post.

Social Media Marketing Tip #13: Know which social media metric you should use to prove social media ROI

Every article you read online about social media analytics seem to discuss a new social media metric you should be tracking. Identify which social media metric(s) suitsyour business’s unique needs in this blog post—it goes over examples of social media goals and which social media metrics you should measure to report on those goals.

Social Media Marketing Tip #14: Use URL shorteners to track and measure engagements on your URLs

Tracking retweets and likes is no longer enough to give you sufficient data about engagement. Remember that link you included in your post to drive people back to your website? Well, when you use URL shorteners, you’re provided with a trackable URL, so you can measure the success of that social media post in driving traffic to your website. Learn about what are URL shorteners and get answers to frequently asked questions about them in this blog post about URL shorteners.

Social Media Marketing Tip #15: Learn the do’s and don’ts of using hashtags

You’ve probably seen people use a hashtag with every word in their Tweet, or dedicate a separate Instagram comment to include hashtags. But that doesn’t mean that’s the right way to use hashtags. Educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts of how to use hashtags in this blog post that goes over the fundamentals of hashtags.

Social Media Marketing Tip #16: Use a social media content calendar to keep your social content organized

Getting organized and figuring out a social media content schedule is imperative to your social media success. By using a social media content calendar you’re able to figure out a social media content schedule that works for your business. Not sure where to start when it comes to creating a content calendar? This blog post goes overhow to create a social media content calendar and the benefits of having one for your business.

Social Media Marketing Tip #17: Increase your social media reach with social media advertising

Using social media advertising to expand your social media reach is an opportunity that any business should take. Investing in social media ads should be an integral part of your social media strategy. However, knowing how to use social media ads effectively is something everyone should take the time to learn before investing a hefty budget into advertising. This beginner’s guide to social media advertising will provide you insight into the different advertising opportunities available on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon.

Social Media Marketing Tip #18: Social media templates will provide you guidance

If you’ve made it down to this last tip, congrats! We’ve talked about various social media marketing tips; now, to provide you with a final takeaway, download these 6 social media templates to help boost your social media presence and save you valuable time and effort.

5 Social Media Tips To Try Right Now

5 Social Media Tips To Try Right Now:

5. You don’t have to be first, but you can’t be last. Popular Sciences social media editor, Jason Lederman, stressed this during his presentation on “What to Do With All that Data.” What that means is that your social brand needs to be out in front of trending news, especially ones that connect with your audience. And while you don’t have to be first to market, you need to be in the conversation when it matters.

4. Use organic reach on Facebook as a tool to determine what content resonates with your audience best, and where to spend your money on paid reach. This was a sentiment echoed by Deborah Kadetsky, VP of strategy and analytics at SheKnows, as well as Jess Bahr, lead senior strategist, ad operations, atSocialFlow. Although Facebook’s algorithms may be confusing, they are extremely good at determining what content your audience wants to see.

3. Determine the right content for the right platform. By now this may seem obvious, but many publishers still aren’t committing to this idea. Victoria Fine, director of audience development and engagement at Slate, stressed that how packaging content from platform-to-platform needs a defined strategy.

2. Tweet all the time! According to Erika Owen, engagement editor at Travel & Leisure, there is no limit to the amount of tweets your brand can push out in a given day. The Twitter feed is not necessarily ephemeral, but the lifespan of your tweets is short and chances are you won't create follower fatigue. 

1. Keep it light on Instagram. Elisa Benson, social media director of Cosmopolitan, Redbook and Seventeensays that “Funny is the new pretty” when it comes to Instagram. In other words, humor goes a long way and helps create deeper engagements—specifically commenting. Benson stressed that for her brands, comments are the ultimate engagement metric.

11 Unusual Social Media Tips to Drive Branding, Clicks and Conversions

Effective social-media marketing helps build successful businesses. Arecent study by Shareaholic, which tracked 300,000 websites over four months, suggested that social-media referrals now lead to 30 percent of websites’ overall traffic.

If your business website falls below this benchmark, you may want to consider if your social-media strategy is working. Then again, if your site receives more visits from social media than that rate, you might still want to know what more can you do.

Here are a few strategies to boost social-media marketing to positively impact business growth and sales:

Related: Don't Just Have Social-Media Conversations, Design Them

1. Create custom-formatted tweets. Most tweets can become lost in live feeds that seem to stream on with no end, but custom formatting tweets is sure to catch a reader’s attention. Line breaks or a unique font color add welcome change to the monotony of short-form messaging. To have a tweet from your business stand out even more, include arefreshing emoji or a fun symbol, which you can copy and paste from services such as iEmoji.com.

2. Write longer posts. Though Twitter won’t budge on its 140-character limit, Google Plus is a platform that encourages conversation that can begin with a longer post. For example, a July 7 post by Mike Alton, a St. Louis., Mo., consultant received dozens of comments and more than a hundred +1s.

3. Build Facebook Groups. As organic reach for the Facebook pages of companies continues to diminish, entrepreneurs, marketers and publishers should instead consider creating and managing Facebook Groups. The advantage is that members can opt in to receive direct notifications about updates.

4. Insert embedded call to actions. Add a bit of spice to common Facebook posts and generate even more customer leads. To add call-to-action buttons that drive clicks and traffic, follow Econsultancy’s super simple tutorial.

Related: Want Your Employees to Share Company Social Media Posts? This One-Click Tool Makes It Easy.

5. Market across many social platforms. Convert Facebook fans into Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections into contacts that circle your profile on Google Plus. Then by regularly sharing on every social network, you (and your company) will forever be top of mind among your followers.

6. Facilitate meaningful connections. Your clients, customers and users are incredible people, and when you identify like-minded folk, encourage them to interact with one another, over and over again. You will birth relationships that will always reference you as a common interest, reinforcing their love for your company's brand.

Related: A (Good) Picture Is Worth a Thousand (Text-Only) Posts

7. Crowdsource user-generated content and showcase powerful visuals. Leverage platforms such as Pixlee to surface and distribute moments that demonstrate the true meaning of your company's brand to customers.

8. Be a little weird. Playing it safe guarantees nothing. Instead, take afew calculated risks that may prompt your audience (and their friends, fans and followers) to admire your company's authenticity and laugh, smile and share.

9. Stand behind your actions. The best entrepreneurs know when to fire a bad customer and can do so without regret. Last year Liberty Bottleworks boldly responded to a wildly upset customer with whatAdweek described as a “polite but eviscerating reply.” Because the company was forward, honest and entirely reasonable, it won massive support from social-media users and gained many new paying clients.

Related: A Guide to Perfect Social Media Posts (Infographic)

10. Put a positive spin on things. Rather than joining angry mobs, say something positive and uplifting about important issues that your audience cares about. Social-media users are more likely to follow you if you share happier updates. Emotions are contagious and people enjoy optimism.

11. Provide a bit of structureWhen requesting replies, nudge your followers into a certain mind-set. An open-ended question without any guidance on your part may result in only a handful of canned replies. By suggesting a certain format for responses, you'll see how creative the responses from your followers will become, and if you’re lucky, they’ll also be thinking about you and your company.

Bonus tip: A celebrity takeover. For those businesses that have the networking capabilities (or the necessary financial resources) to recruit a celebrity for the task, a social-media account takeover can build up a lot of buzz for a company. Just be sure to be careful about the talent selected for the job and clear about posting guidelines.

Ten ways to use social media to improve your customer service

Hearing what customers say about you on social media can be an invaluable tool, but how can you make the most of customer feedback?

  1. Connect with your customers. You may already have a Facebook orTwitter profile for your personal usep; create a social networking profile for your business to connect directly with your customers.
  2. Get blogging. Use a blog platform such as Wordpress to update clients and suppliers with news from your business. Comment on other people’s blogs or start a discussion thread in an online networking forum.
  3. Encourage feedback. Encouraging and acting on feedback allows you to tailor your product or service to your customers’ needs. Use www.twtpoll.com to create a poll for your Twitter followers, or ask friends, followers and customers to offer feedback on your product or service.
  4. Respond to the feedback. Note down feedback from all social media accounts. Log suggestions separately from complaints. Complaints are your priority, so set up a policy to deal with them swiftly and efficiently. Use suggestions to generate ideas to improve your product or service.
  5. Monitor feedback online. You must remain aware of what people are saying about your business elsewhere on the internet. Use search engines or tools such as Google Analytics to find reviews of your business.
  6. Keep an eye on the competition. Many sectors have consumer review sites where customers are encouraged to share their experiences. Scan these regularly to see what customers are saying about you and your competitors. If all your rivals seem to have special offers, it might be worth considering launching one, or you could miss out on custom.
  7. Deal with negative feedback promptly. The more engaged you are, the less likely you are to have an online PR disaster. Investigate any complaints thoroughly and contact the customer directly to apologise or offer a solution if it is your fault.
  8. Note what your customers want. If similar queries come up regularly, look at how they can be avoided by changing your processes. If this is not possible, add an FAQ section to your website to answer regular queries.
  9. Change your customer service. Ensure that the person responsible for your customer service has access to your social media profiles. Pass good feedback on to the relevant team members.
  10. Communicate changes to your employees. Train staff to use social media, and set out a clear policy for anyone using your Facebook or Twitter accounts.

8 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Social Media Reach

1. Optimize Your Social Presence: First and foremost, you must make sure your presence is optimized. Make sure the bios/profiles for your social media accounts are complete and that they include clear and concise descriptions of your business, your company logo, and your website URL. And now that social media updates are included in search results, be sure you're also optimizing your tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn company status updates with keywords appropriate for your business, which could help you get found in search.

2. Promote Your Social Presence Everywhere: And by everywhere, we mean everywhere -- on various pages of your website, on your blog, on signage in your storefront if you're a local business, in print advertising, on your business cards, in your email marketing messages. Many social media sites now have official 'follow' buttons you can include on your website and blog. If not, you can create your own button and link it to your social media account. Twitter, for example, offers an official follow button that enables your site visitors to become a Twitter follower with just one click!

3. Share Useful, Valuable Content: It's not just enough to promote your presence. You need to make your presence is something that's worth following in the first place. Make sure your tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates consist of valuable, useful, and engaging content. Avoid product-focused content, and instead, make your social updates consist of educational content that has the potential to attract more fans and followers. People follow brands in social media because they're looking for something useful, not because they want to know about how great your products and services are.

4. Add Social Sharing Buttons to All Your Content: Just as you should be promoting your social presence in as many places as possible, you should also be enabling your site visitors and email subscribers to share your content with their personal networks as easily as possible. Add social sharing buttons (e.g. "Share on Facebook" "Tweet This," etc.) to all of your content -- on individual blog articles, in email messages, on landing pages for ebook and webinar downloads, within the pages of your ebooks, etc. By evangelizing your audience to share your content, you'll have better potential to reach a broader audience that extends beyong your direct network of fans and followers. And if those people like the content that their friends are sharing with them, they may be inclined to become direct followers of you, too!

5. Find, Follow, and Build Relationships With People In Your Industry: Use tools like Tweet Grader, Twitter Search, and Twellow to identify other Twitter users in your industry. Start following them, participating in discussions, and engaging in conversations. Find and follow other influential bloggers and retweet their content. Follow back anyone who follows you. Participate in Twitter chats and hashtag conversations like #FollowFriday (#FF). Start following some of the people your followers (and the people you're following) are following, too! 

6. Interact With Fans and Followers: Just as you should be regularly sharing educational, insightful content, you should also be monitoring your presence and interacting with your fans and followers. Ask questions, be engaging, and participate in discussions to create a presence worth following.

7. Create a Custom Facebook Welcome Page: Follow this quick tutorial to create a custom Facebook landing page tab to welcome first-time visitors of your Facebook page. Set the page as your 'Default landing Tab' (you can do this when you're editing your page under 'Manage Permissions'), and use the tab to encourage new visitors to 'like' you right off the bat! (Note: With HubSpot, you can take this one step further by installing HubSpot's Welcome App, which also presents visitors with a form that can convert them into leads directly within Facebook.)

 

8. Offer Incentives for New Fans/Followers: Make it so your social media presence is a must-follow. Research shows that 58% of Facebook users expect exclusive offers from business pages, so consider offering exclusive promotions and offers available only to your social media followers. Create a Facebook contest and make it a requirement for users to 'like' you in order to be eligible. Create an offer available only to Twitter followers that can't be obtained elsewhere. Make it so that users need to follow you in order to receive specific perks.

Building your social media reach will take some time, but if you are committed to the steps above, we guarantee you'll start seeing results. How else would you recommend increasing your social media reach?

7 Ways To Boost Your Social Media Engagement

Did you know that there are over 1.82 billion social network users worldwide? That number is expected to increase to approximately 2.33 by 2017. Needless to say, being active on social media is an essential part of your marketing plan. But, how can you reach your audience more effectively than your competitors?

While creating quality content is a must, you also need to engage your audience. Again, this should be obvious. But, it can be a problem is you’re on a tight budget. That’s why I’ve compiled the following seven ways to boost your social media engagement for free.

1. Make Use of Free Social Media Listening/Monitoring Tools

You’ve probably heard this before, and you’ll most likely hear it again, but your online reputation can make or break your brand. But, how can you know what people are saying about your brand? By using tools that monitor and listen to your social media activity.

If you believe that you’ll have to dish out some of your hard earned cash for these tools, then you may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of free tools that can accomplish this task. Here are a few tools that have free versions that should do the job:

 

2. Be Visual

Social media and visual content go hand-in-hand. In fact, using images or graphics has some serious benefits for social media. Research has discovered that images can result in an 85% interaction rate on Facebook and increased retweets by 35%.

While creating an item like an infographic can be cost you a pretty penny, you can always share a relevant infographic or chart that your audience will enjoy and share. There are also plenty of other free and creative options for adding images to your social media account that include:

  • A behind the scenes shot of a new product

  • Highlighting team members

  • Old photos of team members, such as when they were children, or previous brand logos

  • Asking followers to add a caption to an image

  • Asking followers to share your image in action

  • Holding a photo contest

  • Sharing images from an industry event

  • Create a collage through tools like FotorPhotovisiPicasaBeFunkyRibbet or my personal favorite Canva.

  • Create cool and easy infographics with Piktochart.  Easy way for me to crank out a bunch for cheap.

3. Include Games, Contests and Giveaways

There’s no doubt that you’ve heard about the power of contests and giveaways. What’s great about these tactics is that it boosts engagement on the social media platform of your choice because people usually like receiving a prize of recognition. For example, you could ask followers to fill-out an entry form, like your page or share their favorite story about your brand for a chance to win a free product or subscription from your brand. Jay Baer from Convince and Concert hasthirteen ingredients for the perfect social media contest.  Giving away something is key.

Besides contests and giveaways, you can also use games to get your audience more active. In fact, you could even utilize some classic and easy-to-play games like Mad Libs, Hangman or Boggle.  Hootsuite suggests games like “What’s Your Best Guess?,” “Ask The Next Friend,” or asking “If your life/business was a (movie/book/song), which one would it be?” are all easy-to-implement games that will generate buzz around your social media account.

4. Ask, And You Shall Receive

Asking your followers and audience questions is another way to get them active on social media. You could ask them to provide advice, content ideas, what they would like to see from your brand in the future or just a general question like “What are plans for the weekend?”

Another idea would be to hold a frequent Q&A on Google Hangouts, Twitter, Reddit, etc. It gives fans the opportunity to ask you questions about products, services, etc. and become a valued member of your community. Just be cautious of trolls that will try to destroy your brand and always take the high road if you are getting asked sensitive questions. If you’re brand isn’t controversial, however, you should have no problem during a Q&A session. If you want to prevent a disaster, check out these 13 Twitter Q&A fails.

5. Link and Participate

Whether you’re a guest blogger like me or in an industry thats leading money, linking to other sites can be a major assist for your social media networks. Be doing so you’ll be able to gain more links to your site or social media account, increases brand awareness, connects you with industry leaders and can establish you as industry leader.  It’s a sharing economy, make sure you share legit information that your readers love.

If you’re interested in guest blogging, Jayson DeMers put together an outstanding guide on how to build your business through guest blogging.

Other ways to improve your credibility and network with industry leaders or targeted audience members is to answer questions on Quora or LinkedIn.

6. Repurpose Your Content

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are just four of the numerous social media networks out there. Furthermore, they all serve different demographics and have different features. Because of this, you should repurpose your content to fit the preferences of the specific social media audience you want to reach. For example, you could create a how-to-list for LinkedIn and convert that into an image to share on Facebook or Pinterest. You could even just update or republish one of your most popular articles. The idea is that you can use the same idea and amazing content to reach different audience across various mediums.

HubSpot has a helpful article that can get you started on rehashing your content.

7. Show Your Personality

Your followers and audience want to see that there’s actually a person or people behind the logo. But, how can you achieve that? For starters, you can share some personal information like your favorite hobby or book with your followers. You could also share recommendations on blog posts or products that you find informative. You could even tell your followers about what your typical day is like.

Social media can be amazing to gain traction to their business in a location where customers are currently on.  Don’t abuse social media by posting too much about your business!  Remember, social media is about other people.  Don’t be the guy at the part that only talks about himself.  Nobody likes that guy.  Don’t be that way on social media.  It’s about being an expert and helping others find useful information.

10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.

It's vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and -- perhaps most importantly -- your bottom line.

1. The Law of Listening
Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.

2. The Law of Focus
It’s better to specialize than to be a jack-of-all-trades. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people.

3. The Law of Quality
Quality trumps quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.

4. The Law of Patience
Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.

5. The Law of Compounding
If you publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.

This sharing and discussing of your content opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find it in keyword searches. Those entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.

6. The Law of Influence
Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.

If you get on their radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information, they might share your content with their own followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience.

7. The Law of Value
If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouthmarketing for your business.

8. The Law of Acknowledgment
You wouldn’t ignore someone who reaches out to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.

9. The Law of Accessibility
Don’t publis

Top 10 Instagram Tricks and Tips

Instagram smashed through the 200 million user mark in March, so it doesn't seem to be suffering too badly from the surfeit of competitors taking it on. Whether you're an Instagram newbie or an old-timer on the network, these 10 tips should give you a few fresh ideas about how you can get the most out of the app.

1. Save your originals

The photos Instagram uploads to its network and shares with the world are 612 x 612 pixels in size. If you want to access a higher resolution version (for uploading to your website perhaps) then you can find these on your phone or tablet.

On Android, full-size pictures are automatically saved in an Instagram folder in the gallery; on iOS, they are added to your camera roll. In both cases, make sure the Save Original Photosoption is activated on the settings page (it's turned on by default). Note that the maximum resolution that Instagram will save pictures at is 2048 x 2048 pixels, irrespective of your device's capabilities.

2. Embed your photos on the Web

Just taken an Instagram shot that's so inspiring you want to share it on your blog? Find the post via Instagram on the Web, click the menu button (three horizontal dots) and choose View Photo Page, then open the menu button again and select the Embed option. The code that appears can be pasted anywhere else on the Web to showcase the picture, and you can embed images from other Instagram streams just as easily as your own. Each embed comes with a link back to the photo on the Web, and it only works with public Instagram accounts—content set as private cannot be shared.

3. Take time with your edits

Did you notice the more sophisticated editing tools that Instagram added last month? Not only can you adjust the strength of each filter for the first time (press again on the selected filter name to see a slider), you can also access a host of extra options too.

Use the Shadows option if part of your picture is a little too dark, or open up the Saturation slider if you want to turn the strength of the image's colors up or down a notch. A gray line appears underneath edits that you've already applied, so you can easily retrace your steps if you want to go back to the original settings.

4. Save your favorites to Dropbox

We make no secret of our admiration of IFTTT, the online app that pulls together all kinds of services and tools. There are many different ways you can use Instagram with IFTTT, from sending your pictures to Twitter to keeping track of images at a certain location.

Add Dropbox into the mix and you can build a recipe that saves all the Instagram pictures you favorite to your hard drive, which is a great way of building up a collection of the best snaps you come across on the network. The 640 x 640 public version of each image is the one saved to your Dropbox account.

5. Manage your photo map

Every time you share a photo to Instagram, you have the opportunity to add it to your photo map. As we've explained before, you should always be wary when sharing the location of your pictures, but the feature can be useful for grouping images together or charting the progress of a particular trip. To review the pictures you've tagged with a location, tap the map marker symbol on your profile page—the subsequent screen shows where your photos are pinned and enables you to remove the attached location information, should you want to. Remember that public geotagged photos will appear on that location's page within the Instagram app.

6. Pick your hashtags carefully

Think twice about why you're hashtagging your pictures: is it to get them seen by more people or to add them to the mix at a public event? Pick hashtags that are too common and they'll get lost in the flood, so keep them relevant and use them sparingly. It's also worth browsing through related hashtags already being used on Instagram to see if there are niche hashtags or even official hashtag streams relevant to your images that you didn't know about. Be specific, be relevant and be observant is the advice from Instagram staff when it comes to using hashtags.

7. Make more of your profile

Your profile is the first page that strangers see when they're checking out your Instagram feed, so make sure you give them a few good reasons to tap the Follow button (if indeed you want any more followers). Say something about yourself, what you do, and the types of photos you'll be sharing (as it may not be obvious from the first few pictures in your feed). Make use of the website field to direct visitors to your full portfolio, your Twitter feed or anywhere else that's going to help convince someone that you're worth a follow. You'll be Insta-famous in no time... probably.

8. Share more widely

Instagram can plug into plenty of other social media services, so make use of these links and share your photo-taking abilities with all those people who don't have Instagram installed. At the same time, you should avoid spamming your friends across multiple social networks too often—you can turn the sharing options on or off for each individual photo, once you've established the connections.

Unfortunately, Instagram pictures are no longer shared as native images on Twitter, but you can use this IFTTT recipe as a workaround. Facebook integration is very straightforward, as you would expect, with linked pictures duplicated in an Instagram Photos album.

9. Learn from the pros

Mix up your contacts list by adding in a few Instagram experts and professionals alongside all of your family, friends, and favorite celebrities. You'll soon pick up ideas for how to use lighting, scenery and the various filters available in the app just by studying the work of the experts. Try road tripper Foster Huntington (909,995 followers), the National Geographic's Ira Block(52,072 followers) or CNN journalist Jethro Mullen (900,800 followers at the time of writing) for starters. Keep your eye on the Instagram blog too, where staff members and expert users sometimes share tips on getting the best pictures you can (such as this post on macro shots).

10. Add extra apps

As Instagram is able to load in photos from your phone or tablet as well as take them with its own camera, you can add some third-party apps to the mix. Plenty of apps (such as Diptic for iOS or Photo Grid for Android) will let you create photo collages within one Instagram image, while dedicated camera tools (like Camera+ or Camera Zoom FX) can really take your snaps to the next level before you even open Instagram.

You can invest in some extra hardware too, to get more out of your phone's camera lens—everything from fish eye attachments to tripods can help improve the quality of your Instagramming.

Any other handy Instagram tips we missed? Include them below!