by Jit Salunke
Social media marketers had a good ride in 2014. Rise of new social networks, growing role of visual content, changing trends in social media and higher engagement, all indicates of better times in 2015.
As we are entering into a new year with a good holiday break, it might be a good time to reflect on all those initiatives you wanted to launch, but just couldn’t.
We tried to find out what can be the good resolutions for the marketers, to make to make sure they stay on top of their game, and not just follow the herd when it comes to social media marketing.
Hope you find these resolution ideas useful. We have also tried to curate guides for these resolutions.
1. Blogger Outreach
Image credit: Ingenuitydigital
Blogger outreach is basically connecting with other bloggers, who blog about your niche. You can connect with bloggers for various reasons, like offering to do a guest post on their blog or inviting them to do a guest post on your business blog. You can even connect to request them to write about your business either in exchange of free subscription or a small fee. They might even do it for free if they find your product interesting.
If you are a bit established in business, there are high chances that quite a few bloggers must have written about you. A simple Google search of your brand name, will show which bloggers have written about you. You can reach out to them to keep them updated about your product and also offer free trials whenever possible.
There is only so much you can do on your own. Be it content production or promotion, blogger outreach can help you build great connections, which are mutually beneficial to, both the blogger and you.
Do you know that close to 38% of the bloggers mostly blog about the product they love or hate. Source
And such bloggers have a strong influence on their readership. Even if the readership is not huge, mention of your business on their blog can get you significant new customers.
Personally what worked for me was to pick 10 bloggers, and send them an email offering a free pro subscription of a new Viraltag app to try out. I reached out to them and I have already established an early relationship with 6 of them and 4 are already interested to try and write about the new app.
You can probably do that too. Pick 10 influential bloggers and reach out to them. Once you know the nuances, you can scale this process. Trust me, good bloggers have the potential to bring droves of traffic and customers for your business.
Ian Clary of Razor Social has written an awesome Guide on Blogger Outreach.
2. Build a community
Image Credit: Sheroes
Community is a group of people sharing common interest. Your customers are connected to each other via one common interest, and that is your business. E.g. in case of Viraltag, it would be social media marketing and visual content.
Each one of the customer can get immense value for them as well as your business if you engage and nurture them together.
Just like the bloggers, your customers also have their own network. When you engage your customers via your community building efforts on Social media, everyone in their network gets aware of you. Even your customers get to connect with like minded people. I have been able to make a lot of good connections by being part of Growthhackers.
Companies like Moz, Hubspot, Buffer & Qualaroo have built amazing communities around their brand, which has been instrumental in the growth of each one.
To build a community you can do lot of things. All you have to see what can is of value to your audience. Here are a few examples:
1. Buffer engages its community via creating useful content on its blog and also through an initiative called buffer chat on Twitter.
2. Lot of communities carry out AMA(Ask Me Anything) by inviting experts to answer questions of community member. Here is AMA by inbound.org with Avinash Kaushik, Google evangelist. It is one of the most popular post of all time on Inbound.org with 267 votes and 256 comments. Any typical popular post on Inbound gets 25 votes and 10 odd comments.
3. You can even carry out interview series on a topic of interest for your audience. I carried out a similar initiative at Stunning, startup focussed on reducing customer churn. We interviewed founders of startups, who managed to keep very low churn rate and those interviews brought Stunning lot of attention as well customers as well.
Mackweb has created an amazing guide on building online communities.
3. Launch unique campaigns
Most of the times, in a hurry, we tend to follow what has worked really well for rest of the marketers. But by the time we try something which is already proven, law of shitty click-throughs comes in to effect and damage the prospect of getting good response for your full proof initiative.
Try to see how you can launch unique campaigns for your audience, which they can find extremely useful or interesting. Taking inspiration from the other areas can also help.
Advantages of launching unique campaigns:
a. You get the first mover advantage and incredible advantage over typical campaigns
b. People love sharing unique stuff
c. Bloggers love mentioning such stuff whenever appropriate.
Here are a few ideas:
I. Offer something for free
If you create visuals, I don’t have to tell you what Unsplash is. The founders of Crew decided to put up the spare professional photos on a website, so anyone can download it free for personal or commercial use. And then started uploading 10 free photos every 10 days.
The site was absolutely a massive hit with more than 5 million visitors, and brought lot of customers to Crew.
Do you think you can offer something useful to your audience.
II. Turn a something boring update in an offbeat one
What could be so interesting about funding news, right? But Moz was able to pull off something amazing. When they raised $18million dollars, instead of doing a traditional PR news, they created funny memes like below, which went viral in a startup community and social media
Adding a bit of fun into your social updates, or sharing some never known info, can be refreshing for your audience.
III. Try something bold
Xola which is basically an AirBnb for adventure activities. To grab attention of adventure seekers and activity provides, Sam from Xola decided to do something which has been rarely done before, descending in to a volcano. The video amassed 3.5 million views till now. Not just that, this received a lot of positive press for Xola.
Well you don’t have to jump in to a Volcano, but see if there are things in your business area which could be considered as bold if you do it.
4. Move beyond the obvious social networks
Recently, I wrote an article on best social networks in 2015. Since almost every marketer is on the big social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it becomes more challenging to make your presence felt.
And it is hard to ignore the emergence of other social networks, which have been growing faster than big players. In fact, Instagram just surpassed Twitter in terms of numbers of active users. Instagram’s feat is nothing short of amazing, if we consid it enjoys 120 times more engagement per follower as compared to that of Twitter.
Marketers should focus on more niche networks as well as emerging ones we covered in the post. Because starting early on such social networks gives you an edge over other marketers when very few businesses have considered such networks as an option for marketing.
Also by focussing on niche social networks, you can create content which is way more relevant for users of that social networks. Also you can bring the same extent of focus in your entire social media strategy as well.
Here are a few examples:
i. Chris Ozer was just an amateur photographer when he stumbled upon Instagram 4 years ago. While doing his 9 to 5 job, he started posting photos on Instagram, and soon found lot of followers on the site and also few paid gigs. With this success on Instagram, a little known social network at that time, Chris learned the art of professional photography, quit the job and started focussing on photography full time. Now, Chris has big clients like Facebook and Samsung under his portfolio and stunning 555k followers on Instagram.
All this because he was able to pick an emerging social network very early and use it for his advantage.
ii. A popular online magazine, Thisiswhyiambroke.com, had a modest traffic until someone mentioned it in a comment of a popular post on Reddit. That one comment brought thousands new visitors, lot of new mention on various sites and set the site on a course to million visitors a month.
On an average social media marketers work on 8 different initiatives. This could be daunting if you are doing all the things by yourself.
So having a set of people with certain skills, to whom you can delegate the tasks, can be extremely helpful to keep the momentum. If you run a small business and can’t hire full time employees, you can still hire people on contract.
There is also a bit of concern on the quality of the work as well as budget constraints. But with a bit of efforts, you can definitely find good people under your budget on sites like Freelancer, oDesk, Peopleperhour, etc.
I have been trying to delegate some of the tasks like research, re-purposing content and proof-reading. After couple of hiccups, it seems to be working well for me. I plan to ram up the delegation in 2015, to make sure I spend my time on the things that matter for the growth of Viraltag.
The trick is, delegate just one task at a time and not give away bunch of them. This is bit slower process but works quite well.
Hope you find these resolutions, and our tips on how to complete those, useful. Do you have any resolutions in mind you plan to complete? Do let us know in comments. We would love to hear on that.