Managing Social Media Over The Holidays

It’s easy to get caught up in all the festivities and neglect your social media over the Christmas holidays. But that would be a shame, because if your audiences think you’ve disappeared your brand will suffer. You don’t have to be always available, but it pays to focus on some key aspects of strategy for the holiday period.

KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE UP TO DATE

Businesses are increasingly using social media to advertise, including current offers, events, and, most importantly, their opening hours. In the holiday season, many businesses open and close at different times than they do normally. Keep Christmas opening hours on your profile’s ‘About’ page, and since Twitter and Instagram have tiny bios, consider changing links to point to a blog post that documents the new hours. Share this on all platforms with the times listed so people don’t miss out on it.

SCHEDULE, OR ELSE

Over the Christmas holiday, everyone wants a little time off, even if only for a few hours: this includes those who run social media accounts. But nobody wants ‘dead air’ on their feeds, either. Scheduling content can help with this. There are a number of apps and services online that can help you do this effectively and efficiently.

The run-up to Christmas can also present challenges, as many businesses are busier than usual, resulting in feeds being neglected and followers becoming bored. Keep the accounts active by scheduling a few posts a week. This will provide customers with the content they enjoy.

CHRISTMAS COMPETITIONS

Competitions can generate a great deal of engagement and interest through social media. The rest of your social content could even convert those who simply follow to join in. This is why you should hold a couple of Christmas-themed competitions.

A caption contest is an easy way to engage your followers. Simply upload a Christmas-themed photo to your feed, and the best caption from your followers wins a prize. Obviously, make it a seasonal prize. You could also host a competition in honor of the 12 days of Christmas. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to avoid seeing any ‘12 Days’ competitions at this time of year.

HASHTAGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Locowise has always emphasized the importance of hashtags. Particularly if you run a business, it can be difficult to stand out on a social media page. During the holiday season, hashtags are even more important.

Don’t forget to do it right, though. Focus on hashtags that have a lot of traction online, so that you can be part of the momentum. Watch out for trending hashtags that get a lot of engagement. And make sure you develop your own hashtags that your audiences can get behind.

THE LOOK

You can make sure your social media accounts look impressive to make effective use of social media. During the festive season, update your profile and cover photos. People will be more inclined to follow you during the festive season if you have a look and feel that gets them in the mood.

GIVE AUDIENCES AN OFFER

We mentioned discounts and offers in one of the other tips as a way to get your brand noticed while reaching out to your followers and converting them into consumers.

Offers can be shared via a simple post or, for a more intense impact, their details can be revealed exclusively via your ‘stories’ on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. In order to monitor conversions on each network, tailor your discount codes according to the platform.

SUPPORT CHARITIES

Christmas is not only the time to receive gifts, but it is also the time to give gifts as well. There is something very special about Christmas, when people remember to give to those who perhaps will not be enjoying large amounts of food and fun at the time.

What this means for brands is that you need to highlight the efforts you are making to help others at Christmas through featuring the charities you are working with. This way, not only are you doing good at a time of year when people really need help, but you are also showing the human side to your brand, which helps to strengthen the relationship you have with your audiences.

Social media marketing: predictions for 2021

The rest of the social media marketing year looks pretty exciting, to say the least. Post-Covid, we can look forward to social media marketing becoming innovative and fun. At the same time, we can see some trends maturing and proving to be the established ways of doing things. 

We thought we would take a look at some of the predictions we feel are important for social media marketing for the rest of this year.

First up, useful social media marketing

Quality is the one thing that can guarantee the longevity of your approach, as well as the effectiveness of it. However, Covid has provided the world of social media marketing with a little quirk that could have huge potential for brands.

During Covid, many brands had their content literally delivered from home, or at least home offices. There wasn’t always an opportunity to create content with the usual high budget production values, and this was not a problem. 

As long as you were able to create content that produced immediate value, you were onto a winner. And that is what many brands that did well in the first half of 2021 achieved. They kept the ‘usefulness’ of their content at the forefront. This way, they kept giving the audience what they wanted. And yes, production value is now coming in second place to usefulness. 

And ‘snackable’ media too

Content has gone through many changes over the past few years. Right at the very start of things, when blogging was taking off, people were developing huge posts that would take an hour to read. 

This is no longer the case. Attention spans are very short now, and people just won’t react in the same way to long pieces of content that take up too much of their time. Instead, they need ‘snackable’ content.

This kind of content is stuff they can digest quickly (hence the name). So brands that are focused on creating infographics rather than blog posts are producing snackable content. If they are tweeting high value stuff, it’s snackable. Put all of that against a  long-form blog post and you have the way forward. Keep it short and incredibly valuable and you have content that will gain attention on social media.

The era of live streams in social media marketing

Covid had another effect on social media marketing, as a number of brands found that it was a good idea to create a live stream that helped their audiences. This could have been a Q&A session (or the ubiquitous ‘ask me anything’) or a simple product demonstration.

Brands also found that company news could be launched effectively through a live stream. Basically, live streaming is now an established and powerful source of engagement, especially if you have the audience involved. 

This will not change. In fact, we can see it becoming a huge part of what successful brands do as 2021 comes to a close and beyond.

Social media marketing does online shopping

For obvious reasons, online shopping really took off during the pandemic, and this has had a knock-on effect for brands.

With social media, you will have noticed that the big platforms like Facebook and Instagram have made it incredibly easy to buy products on their apps. This is because these platforms noted that online shopping has real convenience at its core, and if it is done well, people will leap at the chance to buy. 

This doesn’t leave smaller brands out of the loop. Companies can simply use these platforms to sell their own products and reap the benefits. Our point is simple. Expect social media channels to basically become e commerce portals as well as social spaces. In the run up to Christmas, this will become very apparent.

TikTok is offering support for brands

TikTok For Business: TikTok Creates New Platform For Brands

TikTok continues to dominate the social media stage, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Monetisation is now very much a reality on the platform, and the company has just pushed that particular boat out a little further, in an attempt to make TikTok easier for business. 

TikTok has just published a brand new platform, which brands and marketers can use to optimise their efforts around reach and engagement. It’s pretty comprehensive stuff too, and is clearly part of the push towards making TikTok a strong competitor to other video platforms such as Reels.

The concept behind the new support push is brand-building. TikTok has quickly become a place where people can build brands around themselves, while brands can get in on the action too. So the new platform gives plenty of advice on TikTok for business, including creative elements, which means that there is real value here. Knowing how creative can really push branding, and knowing how to do it right, can be something that brings huge benefit.

Each element of the platform has a quick overview of the area it is covering. You also get some great case studies, which serve to illustrate how that particular area is best approached. For example, the creative section has case studies on creators who are branding with high quality creative content. And it offers lots of guidance on how to make a success of the creative elements you have in your own TikTok for business projects.

OBJECTIVES

It was pleasing to see how TikTok has taken the elements and then drilled down to some considerable depth. For example, when covering Ads Manager, it discusses key objectives a brand may have (reach for conversions for example) and how best to manage a campaign around those objectives.

It’s hard not to feel impressed by what is going on here. If you click on ‘get discovered’, you are immediately taken to a place where some great case studies come up (for example, how Lancaster University developed engagement for an online event) as well as some excellent tips on how to get discovered on TikTok. 

The downloadable guide in this area claims that the tips it offers are those strategies and techniques used by 61% of the most successful brands on TikTok. So you’re looking at tips that have been proven to work in TikTok for business.

Regarding sound, TikTok readily admits that sound is the biggest part of the platform’s experience. So it offers tips and ideas around the bpm chosen music tracks should have, so that brands can optimise the impact of their music. 

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

TikTok is very much  a powerful platform now, but the Holy Grail is brands feeling comfortable and confident on the platform. If it can crack that, it will have the ability to monetise quicker and more effectively than anything Facebook is working on (namely, Reels via Instagram). The easier it makes video creation and branding for companies, the more they will take up space in TikTok and stay to create more content and more revenue for TikTok.

From 2018 to 2020, there was a 210% increase in usage of TikTok. This trend looks set to continue, and if more and more brands are setting down roots on the platform, it can only mean more usage and brands feeling comfortable with advertising. Popularity is everything in social media. If TikTok continues to be more popular than others, it may well win the race towards astronomical revenue. 

If brands think it’s popular, it can only get bigger. That’s why the new platform has been created. It is super helpful, and can really make a difference to a brand’s success on TikTok.

LinkedIn Marketing: LinkedIn Shares Top Voices for 2020

LinkedIn marketing keeps surprising us. It has still stayed relevant and important over the past few years, even as younger, hipper platforms go from strength to strength and capture the attention of the media. LinkedIn is becoming more accessible while still maintaining it’s professional image. It’s doing well.

Owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn has steadfastly refused to shrug off it’s professional feel. And it has a lot of input and content from some very influential people. It has also just released its ‘Top Voices’ list for 2020. These are the users who are, essentially making huge strides in influence on the platform. It’s a huge list, broken down into industries and regions. We thought we would take a look at it and see if the list itself could teach marketers any lessons about how to generate and grow influence on the platform.

SO WHAT IS IT?

LinkedIn has basically taken a look at itself and worked out which users are the ‘movers and shakers’ on the platform. These people have been picked to be part of the ‘Top Voices’ list because they satisfy the following criteria and types of behaviour:

1. Engagement, including reactions and shares as well as comments across all of the content that the Top Voice shares

2. Posting cadence. You may not find any ‘20 posts an hour’ people here on the list, but you will find people who post regularly and reliably

3. Follower growth. This is a key indicator of influence in LinkedIn marketing, and an obvious marker for Top Voices

There is obviously a deeper process at play here. LinkedIn says it then takes a look at the body of work for the year. How is the member using the platform? Are they staying away from self-promotion? Perhaps one of the biggest indicators is that self-promotion thing. LinkedIn marketing has been plagued in recent times by users who simply don’t get the platform. These users spend most of their time populating their account with brazen self-promotion. LinkedIn thinks it’s Top Voices simply shouldn’t do that.

As a final point, LinkedIn says it was looking for people who were reflecting the world in the last twelve months.

SO WHO IS ON THE LIST?

It’s difficult to gain a full understanding of the complete roster without seeing it for yourself. It covers a huge variety of industries though, which means that the insights delivered by the Voices can cover marketing and branding in a wide range of contexts.

That’s useful. But the real meat comes with diving in deep and digesting the content the Voices share. Spending just a few minutes on the Top Voices in your industry really shows how they have developed a voice, a style and an approach to the content that they know their audiences need.

We’ve taken a good long look at the list and all of the people we have seen so far, while accomplished, are certainly not stars in the media. They’ve just put the time in to serve their audience and make sure that they give value.

SO WHAT CAN WE LEARN ABOUT LINKEDIN MARKETING?

Stick at it, basically. From the point of view of maintaining LinkedIn marketing, the idea seems to be that brands (personal and otherwise)would do well to be consistent in posting. It has to be a regular thing.

On top of that, honesty and authenticity is key. LinkedIn (and it’s audience) appreciates not being sold to. The more human a brand can be, the better. And the more involved in a conversation, the better.

Finally, and perhaps this is the trickiest part, if a brand wanted to gain even a small part of the influence these users have, it’s important to focus on the world around you. A Top Voice Does not exist in a bubble. A Top Voice user is as likely to be talking about Covid, the weather or the last muffin they ate as they are their latest product.

And that’s something for all brands to work on.

I only use one platform when managing my LinkedIn marketing. And I started for free. Dux-Soup makes it ridiculously easy to find new leads on LinkedIn. I’m an affiliate, but only recommend what I use myself.

What Is The Best Way To Use LinkedIn For Business? Using Search For Prospecting

If you’re literally just starting out with using LinkedIn, then please go straight to my beginner guide, which is right here. It is a great place to start, and gives you all you need to get going with the platform. To get going to the next level and focus on what is the best way to use LinkedIn for business, read on.

What is the best way to use LinkedIn for business?

LinkedIn has more than 700 million members, forming the world’s largest professional network. That is a vast pool of potential leads and shouldn’t be overlooked.

In order to use LinkedIn correctly, it’s important to keep in mind that the more connections you have on the first level, the larger your network will be on second and third levels. 

One of the most powerful features of the LinkedIn platform is its search capability which, once you master it, will make your outreach programs and LinkedIn lead generation efforts much more efficient.

Using LinkedIn filters, Boolean expressions, and Dux-Soup’s Regex options to identify the best prospects for your business is an effective way of generating the right prospects from your LinkedIn list.

What is the best way to use LinkedIn filters for business?

First, use the Search bar on your LinkedIn profile homepage to look for potential candidates. Type in the title of the person you’d like to target, or the industry in which they work.

This is when you can start testing LinkedIn to see if it is right for you. It will surprise you how many people you’ll be able to target in nearly every industry, from larger ones like construction and health care to more niche topics like cooking. 

Afterwards, you will want to apply a filter to the results, for example, clicking “People”. You can choose another option, but when you’re looking for individual prospects, “People” is best.