The Future of Social Media Marketing

Transcript for The Future of Social Media Marketing

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[01:22] Thanks for joining the webinar today. For a quick look, we’re just going to start chatting a little bit about the future of social media marketing and what was went over in a recent conference that Edgar attended in San Diego called Social Media Marketing World. As marketers, as we all kind of know we’re incredibly lucky to have these platforms to get our message and story out to our audience. While it can be frustrating at times not knowing what’s going on on specific networks, and what their ecosystem is going to be changing, and what it’s all about.

[01:48] One thing we really want to stress that you keep in mind is that anything in anywhere, that social networks do take their platforms, and their algorithms towards, will always be with the intent to serve up really relevant content to the audience. It’s really in their best interest in order to keep people within their platforms, we want to make sure that we’re always going to be giving that content to the social networks that will provide your audience with value, not only that promotional content. That’s going to provide them with all of the great, great things you have to offer. We’ll be chatting a lot about content marketing today, as well.

[02:22] These changes that social media sites are making these days aren’t really aimed at hurting you as the marketer. Rather, they’re aimed at making sure we keep social social. The main theme we’re going to chat about today is what really centers around this idea that social networks should be where you’re able to find personal and professional connections with your followers. If you really take it back to the basics, and you focus on relating to your audience in a human way, you can control your message more authentically. You can curate real experiences for your followers and that’s really what’s going to take you over to the win and be able to create that tribe, to create that really great brand advocates, who are going to follow you no matter what direction you do take your business.

[03:04] Again, these algorithms that we’ll be chatting about today for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, they really are centered around making sure that users are coming back into those platforms, and it’s really just this idea that each day about 14 times a day, or what your followers are going to be logging into Facebook and Twitter of. That’s 14 chances that you can serve up your content to them. They’re spending about 50 minutes on social media every day. While that seems like a lot when we’re thinking about it in these bigger chunks, they’re typically broken down into smaller one minute increment segments. The more you can get your punchy content out there and in front of them when they’re just scrolling through quickly to kind of grab their attention and stop them, the more likely it is you’ll find success with all that great work you’re doing on your posts.

[03:48] To maintain that value, they’re really going to be encouraging what we call engagement on your post these days. We’ll dive right in now and start talking a little bit about what we call the relatability factor. We talk a lot here in Edgar, about this no like and trust factor. This is just the idea that whether social media marketing can do outside of traditional marketing is to really increase people’s awareness of your brand. It’s going to make them feel like they know you, they like you, and most importantly, they trust what you’re doing. This idea really comes from people by from people, not brands. It’s hard to trust a brand or a logo. What this is all boiling down to is that you need to filter each post that you’re creating through this relatability lens.

[04:32] Something that can help hugely in this and that can make you a little uncomfortable as you’re getting started, but I’m going to really push you to try, is to add yourself into everything you’re doing on social. Whether it’s telling personal stories about why you’re passionate about the work you do, or about your family, or anything that can really help humanize you, and humanize the person behind the brand, the people behind your business. This is really going to help increase that trust factor and really help increase people relating to you, and wanting to keep following you. You have to give them that incentive to make sure they’re hitting that follow first button on Facebook, or make sure that they’re always going to be served up content that’s going to provide them with something to keep them coming back.

[05:13] Think of things that we like to do. We’d like to think of what do you know? What are your passions that you’re authentically going to be able to speak towards? If you are having troubles coming up with this type of information, reach out to the people who know you best, and get their opinion. You can see here, this is one of our posts here at Meet Edgar, and this is part of our team. We put our faces out there all the time letting you know that we are caring passionately, collaborating on this tool in order to help you as a small business marketer. Having this human connection behind it and people who really care can go a really long way in making our brand’s strength quite strong on social media. Definitely pushing yourself to making sure that relatability is first and foremost that lens that you’re filtering all your posts through.

[05:57] Along with relatability comes service. If you’re struggling to come up with that content that is relatable again, thinking about these things, that the people who know you best think of you as an expert as, when they’re going to come to you as advice, your followers will also want to get that advice from you. Other things you can do to get this sort of service oriented mindset going is think of five things that really have nothing to do with the work or product you’re creating, and sharing these on social media can be huge. Again, just to get that relatability factor going, so you can then sprinkle in your promotional posts along the way. Some things we like to think about are how can you share the story of your day to connect with people not only in your work, but how have you gone about and gone throughout your day in order to structure it so that you can be more successful in your business? So that you can be more successful in your marketing? Sharing and documenting this rather than curating this sort of specialized holier than thou sort of post can go a long way. If you’re able to take that curation and documentation to a human level, that’s when your followers are really going to start to appreciate you and connect with you, and ultimately make sure that they’re becoming those awesome brand advocates. And always remembering, people go to social media to escape and to find solutions, and to be inspired. When you are making your posts, making sure that they are not only providing that really great content in order to let them know about your business, in order to provide them value, but think of ways you can inspire people. To get them to smile, to get them to have that emotion throughout the day.

[07:28] Using these questions like, ” Who is this post serving? Does it sound like me? Are you going that extra mile to get that brand voice out there?” But, not only for your brand, also for your personal brand. Adding your personal self into every single post that you’re doing is a huge, huge way to connect with your followers. Thinking about your posts not only as providing that text content, but that visual content. It’s basically like a billboard for your business in a lot of ways. One way you’re able to answer these questions is not only thinking about who you’re serving, but thinking about what people want to see on social media. When people think about branding, they’re going to consider visual components like their colors, and fonts and logos.

[08:10] But, they don’t stop there. You want to also make sure that you’re telling a story through this. Creating captions for your followers to see this and making sure you’re keeping those consistent brand colors. You can see here on this slide we do have this awesome little Meet Edgar with our own little Meet Edgar logo on the bottom left hand corner, but this isn’t something that we’re necessarily making as a promotional post on social media. This is providing value. It’s a tip we’ve learned.

[08:35] It’s research that we’ve done, and creating this really great visual content not only gets the content’s message out there, but when you see this quickly you know that it’s from Edgar without having to take that extra couple of seconds to look at who it’s coming from in your feed. Think of ways you can keep that consistency not only in the visual content, but also in your text content in order to get that quick recognition and increase that all important no like and trust factor with each post you’re putting out there.

[09:01] Once your posts are nice and relatable, and you’re really getting that great content that’s serving your community out there, we really want to make sure that you’re next thinking of is how to connect in this niche that you’ve created. Niches are so, so important on social media just because of where it’s going is not only just getting more and more followers, it’s getting engagement with your posts. The more engagement that you’re going to see is going to come from those people who are going to be advocates for you, who are really interested in the specifics that you’re doing. You’re not going to please everyone. Think about things you can do to say, “Hey, this is who we’re good for,” and not being afraid to say, “This is who our product, or our service, or our blog is not going to be good for, not add value for,” is just as important. Knowing your exact audience and knowing that niche is going to help you in a long way to filter that content through there.

[09:56] Some other things we really like to point out is, it is a privilege to be able to post on these social networks. They don’t have to open this up to marketers, so you don’t just get likes for being on there. You get likes for good content, you get likes for listening to your audience, for making sure that you’re really getting your ear to the ground in knowing your community. Your community is going to be able to tell you on social media more than any other marketing what they want to see from your product and if they feel like you’re on their team, that’s going to go a long way in helping to build that bond with them. Be helpful, connect with your audience, use Edgar to schedule those awesome Tweets, those awesome posts in order to get your content out there, get those questions out there.

[10:34] But don’t forget to visit the network itself every once in a while, engage, and be helpful. One thing we like to say here at Edgar, conversations are conversions. If you’re building those really strong relationships and having those conversations with your followers, you’ll see and reap the benefits in those conversions in those click-through rates. Take the time to really make sure that you’re sitting down every once in awhile, blocking it out, and getting to know your members. Thinking about how you can fit this product into their journey, not just what your journey is for them.

[11:06] The reason that a lot of these books, and movies, and all these enduring forms of entertainment are so long lasting, is because they really have something that goes a long way, which is storytelling. What comes up often in these more famous movies and books, again, that are going to last awhile is what we call the Hero’s Journey. They’re introducing a person, and they’re introducing a hero. They let know the backstory of who that person is, what their struggle is, and again, this goes back to social media so, so well. You can tell the backstory of how you started your business, why you’re passionate about it, to get that really strong focus on this Hero’s Journey. Then, what your followers are supposed to think about your brand and how your brand can help them in their own journey, can go a long way in this idea of this storytelling that really connects people emotionally more than just logically, which again is going to reap huge benefits when you are going to be marketing on social media.

[12:03] Going on with this theme of storytelling, when you’re constructing posts whether they’re paid or organic, we want to really make sure that you’re going to try to filter this through the lens of having people have experiences with your brand, not just marketing a product. What this means is it goes back to this idea that people are driven by their emotions and driven by wanting experiences more than just wanting a product. Thinking about Meet Edgar. If we’re just going to serve you up promotional posts saying, “Hey, we’re just an automation service, here you go.” That doesn’t actually create the experience of how this is going to fit in with your day.

[12:36] You want to make sure that it’s going to be really relatable to people to be able to have them log in, to be able to have them see themselves within your story. As you are starting to load up your libraries and starting to think about your goals for this coming spring, think again about how these experiences are fitting into people’s day. So when they see your posts, they’re like, “Oh wow, this could fit into my day. This would help increase X, Y, Z,” and make it more about talking with your community, rather than talking at your community.

[13:06] On the other side of this, remember people are also really excited to tell their own stories. Again, loading up your library with different questions. Ask about their travel experiences or books they like to see. You’ll see huge benefits of people replying to you, which won’t only give you the huge benefit of engagement on your post, making that algorithms pick that up more, it’ll also give you a lot of relevant information about who your audience is, about when they’re online the most, if you post a question in the morning versus afternoon. Compare the answers that you get. Compare when your audience is actually going to be engaging and taking the time on social media, rather than just passively scrolling through. Use this to really inform your schedule going forward as well.

[13:51] The last tone check that I’d really like to suggest here is that how you’re going to share these posts should be thought of as if you’re at a dinner party. You’re at an event, and you’re just talking really casually and conversationally with people. This is the type of language and tone that works so, so well for social media marketing. It’s going to really have that why should you care, because you’re connecting on a human level, and people care about other people. Filter it through thinking about you’re out to dinner with your best friends, how would you tell this story to them, how would you present your product to them? Try doing that in your updates as well. People are going to join groups and join discussions around things that they’re really passionate about. Use things like your Facebook analytics and your Twitter analytics to find out what other things your community likes. There’s a ton of ways in the audience tabs there where you’re able to see their TV interests, their sports interests, things that might not seem really relatable to you. But if you’re able to add these little kind of things into your actual posts that are presenting the content about your product, it’s going to go a long way in helping you get that conversational tone, and really help connect with your audience on a stronger level. To recap here. We’re going to think of this as a small engaged audience is far more valuable than having millions of followers who don’t really care and scroll past everything that you’re posting. Businesses can still find a lot of success on Facebook, connecting with a small targeted audience. You want to make sure that you’re always providing value, and the type of content that you’re putting out there is really focused at your ideal customer. That comes from niching it down. As you get that overarching theme of what your blog is about or what your product is about, think about how you can take that one step further, and how you can really connect with the smallest, smallest subset of who is going to get the most value out of this. You’ll probably see those posts get the most engagement, because those are going to be your strongest followers.

[15:45] We’re always of course, looking for ways to increase our following. But every change that we’re seeing happen on social media these days, whether it’s that Facebook apocalypse with their algorithm changes a couple months ago, or these recent Twitter changes, are so focused on making sure that you’re audience is always going to be connecting in an authentic way. Forget about just presenting the facts, and think about how you can join in the discussion with your audience. Target your audience and what their interests are to get them speaking to you, and start to listen to what they’re saying, so you can really again, make sure that you’re presenting this information in a way that creates engagement.

[16:26] If you’re having trouble finding out how to niche it down, how to get this content to be really relatable, start by doing simple things like looking at the camera roll on your phone, or asking your friends and family what they would come to you for advice with. What excites you throughout your day? What are you photographing? These things are a really great way to get your personality into your brand more in an authentic way. It’s not going to be something that people want to see fake curation on social anymore. They want to know about your brand and who you are. Again, people are buying from people not brands. Use these things and don’t be afraid to experiment with them, and adding that into your posts on a regular basis.

[17:07] Always, always, always keep seeking ways to be helpful. You want to be informative, and you want to be entertaining on social media. Of course those things are going to give you huge, huge benefits. But, you also want to make sure that you’re doing exercises like writing a list what you are a really great master in, so that you can help share this knowledge with your community. Some suggestions if you’re just getting started with this, or if you’re starting to build this audience up, is to search different hashtags that are trending or different relevant discussions that are going on on these social networks, to try to get your voice in there. Do you have a different opinion than what’s being talked about by other brands who are doing similar things to you, or other blogs? That’s what again, is going to help you niche it down and really help to get that core audience. If you’re also doing this to start out in building your social following like these other brands that are talking about similar things to you, and they’re typically the ones who are also going to start to join in on the conversation.

Megan: 18:03 Getting these warm leads in, making sure that they’re really getting engagement early, will go a long way in getting your posts to be served up as well. We really cannot stress enough how you should be asking for opinions from your followers, or thinking about the status updates that are going to spark engagement in real time. Making sure that you know when your questions are going to post, so maybe an hour later you can pop on and answer people for that. These real time signals are important for the visibility of your content of course, because again, these algorithms are looking for more importantly than anything these days, comments and shares, not just passive likes on your posts. Posts that attract likes, comment, shares, of course have better visibility, of course going to be more relevant, but stay authentic when you do this.

[18:47] Facebook’s algorithm also identifies if you’re trying to gain the system, if you’re putting out click bait articles, if you’re asking for shares on stuff that isn’t necessarily going to be shared organically by people. Keep it simple. Keep it in those basics of just connecting and producing content that people are going to want to do this authentically with. It takes a while to build these touchpoints with your community. But the more relational you can be with your audience, the better. No matter how these social networks are changing, if you’ve built up strong relations with your customers, with your followers, with your audience, nothing can take that away no matter what changes are coming from the social networks.

[19:28] Once you have these great relationships established with the audience, we do also want to take a second to chat about testimonials and why they’re so important in social media marketing. Again, it’s not you talking at your audience, it’s you talking with your audience that’s really going to help you get that strong, strong connection, and get those posts that are going to convert people, get those click-through rates up. Testimonials are going to be adding your users, adding your followers into the conversation more than anything. We never want to just ask things from our community. But if you’re producing that really great content, and you’re getting it out to your followers, they’re going to be more than happy to help you and your brand.

[20:06] We’d love to give some tips here when you’re asking for testimonials and how to add them in. Of course, making sure that you’re getting all of the information on the pain points your product or blog helps to solve. But we do want you to go in with these emotional questions more than anything. Build these relationships, and getting these strong testimonials. Asking questions like, “How did it feel before you purchased this or subscribed to our newsletter? What did it feel like when you pulled out your credit card at that moment?” Think about all these things that people might have these stop-gaps when they are either trying to sign up for your service, or trying to sign up for your newsletter.

[20:41] If you can get other people saying what it felt like if they had these same nervous emotions at those times, and then having this follow-up. How did it feel in your life now that you have our service? These are going to be the testimonials that are going to drive people more than anything, rather than just asking people, “Hey, what do you think?” And adding that to your Edgar Library. Really make sure that you’re engaging and taking the time to ask people more about how they feel about your product, and that’ll move the rest of your followers quite a bit more.

[21:10] Next, video. Video is going to be key these days. If you look at what’s going on in the social media landscape, it’s definitely still evolving, and there’s so many ways to get started with video. But we definitely suggest doing this right away. If you look at things like Facebook Watch, or how Twitter is upping the length of their videos. Stuff like this is important to see, and to understand what Facebook and Twitter are doing, are probably also in their algorithms. They of course, keep this close to home, and don’t necessarily tell us. But the more experience that you have putting that out there, the more likely you’ll see these statistics that Facebook Live gets about six times more views than passive videos, stuff like that. Making sure that you’re really engaging, and really taking an eye and a peek at what social networks are really evolving towards.

[21:56] You know one thing that I also like to say here is that online marketing experts, people like Amy Porterfield, who is so, so strong in webinars and video content in general, all that she likes to say, is that it’s all about being brave enough to get over the fear of video for when you’re getting started. Your why has to matter way more than your insecurities. Why are you doing this? You’re doing this to add value to your followers’ lives. If you’re keeping that in mind, it’ll get rid of all of that fear, and you can just go for it. Again, social media and the brands that are really being rewarded with video, aren’t necessarily those who are producing the highest quality content. There the ones who are documenting their day, giving those awesome behind the scene looks at their offices, stuff like that.

[22:42] Experiment. See what happens when you do something as simple as taking it on your iPhone and posting it up there. It doesn’t have to be something that’s going to be a huge, huge investment for you. Again, Facebook is introducing a new app, Facebook Watch soon. To compete with these other video services, paying attention to this can be huge for your marketing. One of the best things about video is that it’s the most authentic form. You can’t fake being behind the camera, your face is right there, you’re getting out to your audience, and there’s no way to hide. This really goes a long way in building that trust factor for people knowing who you are, and making sure that they’re knowing they can trust the brand and the content that you’re putting out there.

[23:21] If you’re struggling for ideas on what to say in your videos, doing things like answering FAQs that come into your support box every single day on a video, won’t only help your support team, it’ll also provide that awesome value for your followers. Can you make an announcement about something that’s going on in your business? That’s a really huge thing on video. They want to hear it right from your mouth. They don’t want to sit there and read it. That can be way more captivating for people. Consider going live and uploading a video on the same day every week to introduce your blog posts.

[23:53] We’ve seen great success doing that here at Edgar, and it’s made sure that people not only see our founder’s face a lot more, but she’s also able to get that conversational tone that we strive for so much in our blog posts out there, and get that relevant content in front of you. Remember, that the future of what Facebook is going to favor, is what you should focus on. Every signal is pointing towards video. So making sure that you’re utilizing the awesome features that Edgar has here, and uploading videos, and sending them out on a weekly basis to see that really great engagement increase.

[24:28] There’s many, many changes going on on Facebook obviously. We’ve chat a little bit about those now. We’ll switch gears and go to Twitter. There’s so many changes going on with Twitter with their newest release on their terms and services, stuff like that. But we also want to make sure that you’re realizing this doesn’t mean that it’s over for marketing on Twitter either. When you’re considering, and constructing and building your tweets, remember that these same rules still apply. The main difference is that Twitter is going to be something that’s a little more focused on live posting. They really want to get that human to human connection, and not just something that’s a stream of sharing links.

[25:03] How can you add value into the tweet itself? You have 280 characters these days, so you can make things like lists, you can pull out pull-quotes from your blog posts. You have all of these awesome headlines that you’ve brainstormed for every article that you’re writing. Pull those out and add them to your actual tweet, rather than just sharing the link, and you’ll see really great benefit of people being able to discuss more, and not having to leave Twitter to actually get the value. Test that out. Make sure that you’re utilizing that great, great 280 character feature to add things like emojis in.

[25:35] Again, we talk a lot here on this webinar series about how emotions drive the purchase power of people, how they drive the brand aspect of people relating to you more. It’s not just emotions like being happy or sad. Spark people’s curiosity, spark people’s ways of engaging with your posts in ways that they’re really forced to retweet them, because they feel something so strongly about it. Think how you can add anything from emojis, from emotional words, stuff like that right into the tweet. You’ll see better click-through rates to your blog posts or to your landing page. Twitter, definitely a more timely network, even with the algorithm, Twitter’s still the best place to find out what’s happening right now. Facebook is probably more about what’s happening this week, what’s not going to be just as relevant.

[26:24] The main thing when you’re adding tweets to your library is to really think about what’s happening now in the world, how can this relate right now? Twitter’s algorithm will really serve those up quite a bit better. This goes back to searching those hashtags, to searching those trending topics, which you can actually do right on Twitter in their analytic site. Taking some time to do that, especially as Edgar starts to roll out some new awesome features in order to automate tweets, but not have them repeat to stay in compliance with Twitter’s new terms and services. You’ll start to see those roll out soon, which will be awesome. But think about ways again, that you can add in these relevant hashtags, but still get that automation going.

[27:05] Newer posts obviously get the most leverage on Twitter, more so than any other network. Making sure that you’re taking some time to know when your audience is online. Think about your own behavior on Twitter. If you’re walking in your followers’ shoes, you’re probably checking Twitter on similar times. Doing things like experimenting with posting off the hour. If people are just leaving a meeting or ending a TV show, they might be checking Twitter more often then. Doing it three to five minutes past the hour or past the half hour, might have that timeliness of your tweet pop up, so people are able to see it much more. Thinking about people’s interests. Twitter has a lot of data on your users, so not being afraid to pop in there. For social media marketers, this is so powerful, and it means that you have the tools to grow a relevant audience. Going back to niching down your content, going back to really making sure that your content is relevant for your engaged small tribe, rather than just trying to get a huge following who isn’t necessarily going to be just as engaged.

[28:06] Twitter analytics again, gives you that breakdown. For instance, we know here at Edgar that our audience likes tech news, that it’s mostly going to be driven towards people who are social media marketers in general. We also know things like our audience prefers comedy TV shows to sports. Doing things like adding in these little memes or tweets, that are going to be more related to those softer things that we know about our audience, can go a long way in helping to get that engagement. We do have a couple of webinars on the analytics in general. If you need any of those at all, definitely email support@meetedgar.com, and we’re happy to send those your way.

[28:43] Engagement, Twitter, just as important as Facebook is going to be, making sure that people are no longer just scrolling through and clicking through, but actually engaging. The most engaged tweets are the ones that users see, the content that’s coming up with a lot of comments, with a lot of retweets. It’s especially important for early on, because once a comment is there, it’s going to extend the tweet’s lifetime. If your tweet doesn’t get much engagement within the first couple hours, it’s probably not going to be shown to as many people. Don’t be afraid to ask for this engagement, especially on Twitter.

[29:15] You can use really authentic tactics for this. If you wanted to do a giveaway, and ask people to retweet if you want to be entered in a fun giveaway to get a sticker from your brand, even something as simple as that. If you’ve built a really strong following, people will definitely want to get that from you and share your content. You can even do something as funny as saying, “Retweet if you like pancakes,” with a funny name. Stuff that doesn’t necessarily go a long way to building people actually getting those numbers to your site. But this goes a long, long way in getting your relevant content out to their audience, which again, is that really important free social media marketing and brand ambassadors that we’re looking for.

[29:56] To end here, beyond just your posts being share-worthy and newsworthy, and making sure that they’re educational, and making sure that they’re going to really make your community compelled to share them. Social media is not just a business experience. It’s really an emotional experience. Remember as you’re working on these fast changing industries, the basics will always matter the most. If you’re nurturing your followers, as you would your family and friends, people are on social media to be there, to connect in this authentic way. Make sure your tone and conversation is always going towards that. Provide them with what they need, and they’ll listen, and be able to stay relevant on your social channels with you.

[30:39] Thanks so much for joining the webinar today. As always, please feel free to ask questions. Email us at support@meetedgar.com. Let us know if you do have any topics you’re interested in learning about in the future. As we always like to say, we are definitely in this experiment together, so check out our social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See what we’re experimenting with and doing, and let us know what’s going on. We always love to chat with the community, whether it’s on social or go ahead and emailing support@meetedgar.com. Thanks so much for joining, and let us know what else we can do to help.

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