How to Use Social Media Data to Focus Your Guest Blogging Efforts

How to Use Social Media Data to Focus Your Guest Blogging Efforts

One of the best ways to utilize content marketing is via guest-posting – rather than having to rely on only building your own audience and presence, you can utilize the reach of existing publications to boost awareness and amplify your messaging. But in order for this to be effective, you need to target the right publications – there’s no point getting a post on a site that none of your focus market are reading, as it won’t be effective in driving direct sales.

So how can you hone in on the right publications and ensure your guest-blogging efforts are being seen by the people you most want to reach?

Here’s a simple way to zero-in your guest-blogging efforts by using Twitter – or more operatively, Moz’s Followerwonk, which utilizes Twitter data.

How to Use Social Media Data to Focus Your Guest Blogging Efforts | Social Media TodayFor those unaware, Followerwonk is a Twitter analysis tool – it’s free to use in basic mode, but the advanced version costs $29 per month. You may not want to spring for the paid version straight up, but Followerwonk is a hugely effective tool, and provides a heap of great data for the price.

One of the functionalities within Followerwonk is ‘Compare users’, in which you can analyze the audience of up to three Twitter profiles at a time. Using this, you can get an idea of who these people follow – and importantly for our purposes here, who they follow in-common, highlighting the key publications of focus for these users.

So let’s say you’ve identified the key people you want to reach – maybe they’re people in your local area, people with a specific job title or keyword in their bio, or who work for a certain company (or companies). More likely it’ll be a combination of several of these factors – you can use Twitter’s search functions to locate these key targets or use a tool like BuzzSumo which can help you identify key people of interest, including influencers, based on keywords (and note, Followerwonk offers its own Twitter bio search functionality).

Identifying influencers can be a great way to boost your brand exposure – if you can get your content in front of these potential amplifiers, that increases the chances that they’ll also share your content, provided it aligns with their interests.

List the Twitter profiles of all your key target people, then head over to Followerwonk’s Compare tool and enter the first three in.

What you’ll get is a Venn diagram like this:

How to Use Social Media Data to Focus Your Guest Blogging Efforts | Social Media TodaySome interesting stats, but the only element we’re really interested in is the ‘Followed by all three’ listing, which you can see at the bottom right, alongside the graphic. Click on it, and you’ll get a listing like this:

How to Use Social Media Data to Focus Your Guest Blogging Efforts | Social Media TodayThese are the profiles followed by all three of our targets, and as you can see, some of these are online publications which accept guest posts. If we want to get in front these people, getting our guest blogs on these sources will increase the chances doing so.

Go through the list of profiles followed by all three, identify publications (and check if they accept guest blogs) and note them down, then compare the next three users on your list in the same way. How long this will take is obviously relative to how many targets you identify, but Followerwonk’s compare process is fairly quick, making it easier to action.

After you’ve gone through all your targets in this way, you’ll be able to identify the most followed in-common sources among them. These are the key sources you should target with your guest-blogging outreach, as you already know that they’re followed by the people you want to reach, and are thus more likely to be read by these users.

This helps hone your focus more than simply aiming for blogs and publications in your niche. And while a user following a publication on Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a key news source for them, by establishing the most followed sources amongst the majority of your target group, your chances of exposure are greatly increased, as opposed to simply selecting the sources you suspect are most relevant and going with that.

This is also an effective way to identify influencers – if all of your target audience follows certain, specific people, those are the ones whose opinions are most likely relevant. Influence can be difficult to nail down in social, as each influencer measurement source has its own calculations on what influence is, often largely dependent on overall follower counts and website domain authority, both of which can be gamed. By pin-pointing the voices that are most followed amongst your, specific, target market, you’re more likely to identify the right voices, the ones you need to focus on to influence opinion.

Of course, this is dependent on how much of your audience is active on Twitter, and how active they are, but either way, it’s a worthwhile experiment to see what sources you identify – it might help you uncover an unlikely source you hadn’t previously considered.

On top of this, Followerwonk offers a range of data tools which are also worth a look. There was a time last year when it seemed like Followerwonk was going to be shut down, which would be disappointing considering the range of data it provides. If you’ve not used Followerwonk before, it’s definitely worth checking out. 

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4 Easy to Follow Lead-Generation Strategies for Instagram

4 Easy to Follow Lead-Generation Strategies for Instagram

Instagram used to be known for its artsy filters and #FoodPorn pictures, but today, with more than 700 million members (and growing fast), the social network has matured into a multi-purpose platform, and one which can help drive leads (and sales) for companies in both the B2B and B2C industries.

If you’re curious about how to generate high quality leads from Instagram, here are some easy to replicate strategies and tips.

1. Take The Link in Bio Approach

Instagram does one major thing differently than Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest: the social network doesn’t allow you to link back to your site with each post (unless you’re running an Instagram ad campaign, which we’ll talk about in the next tip). As such, there’s no way to drive direct traffic to a specific web page.

With one exception.

When setting up your Instagram profile there is a space in your bio to include a link.

4 Easy to Follow Lead-Generation Strategies for Instagram | Social Media TodayWhen you publish an update with the intent to drive traffic back to your site in order to generate leads, sales or registrations, you can refer people back to your profile link by using the common “link in bio” reference.

4 Easy to Follow Lead-Generation Strategies for Instagram | Social Media Today

While this approach isn’t as streamlined as enabling your followers to simply click the post, like they can on Facebook, it’s the best option that Instagram provides free of charge (at least for now).

If you really want to make driving traffic back to your site easy, keep reading to learn about Instagram ads.

2. Boost Your Results With Instagram Ads

One of the fastest and easiest ways to begin generating leads with Instagram is by launching an Instagram ad campaign.

This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of Instagram followers but want to start generating leads quickly. It’s also perfect for brands who do have a lot of followers and want to make it easy for those users to get to their site, since each ad is clickable.

4 Easy to Follow Lead-Generation Strategies for Instagram | Social Media TodayWith an Instagram ad campaign you can precisely target the type of user that would make for an ideal lead. Some popular targeting options include: job title, industry, interests/hobbies and geo location.

If you’re already familiar with running Facebook ad campaigns, then launching an Instagram ad campaign will be second nature. Facebook owns Instagram and the two social networks share the same ad building dashboard.

You can easily use the same target audiences you’ve built for your Facebook ads on Instagram . If you don’t yet have Facebook ads running, once you’ve launched your Instagram ad campaign, Facebook would make sense as the next logical site on which to run your ad content.

Both Facebook and Instagram require no minimum budget so you can literally get started with $5.

3. “Tag a Friend in Comments” Can Work Wonders 

One of the best ways to generate new leads through Instagram is by asking your existing target audience to “refer a friend.”

In the “old days” the best way to refer a friend was through email, but today you can refer a friend by tagging them in the comments of an Instagram post.

When one of your followers tags a friend in your Instagram comments it immediately notifies the friend, who’s then linked back to your post. From there the friend can learn more about your company and what you stand for.

As long as you’ve linked back to your site in your profile, that friend can then make their way over to your site and become a lead. Even if they don’t visit your site right away, if your content is compelling they’ll probably follow your Instagram account, which gives you the opportunity to market to them in the future.

This is one of the tactics we used at Foundr Mag to grow our Instagram account from 0 to 500,000 followers in just six months. We now have over 1 million Instagram followers.

4. Run a contest with a super cool prize

Another exciting way to generate leads quickly is by running a high value contest with a super cool prize.

For example, Sally Hansen ran a contest for their Instagram followers in which the winner received a trip to NYC and a photo shoot with Teen Vogue magazine.

4 Easy to Follow Lead-Generation Strategies for Instagram | Social Media Today

To enter the contest their followers had to click the link in Sally Hansen’s bio which directed users to a specific page with contest details. Once on the web page, followers could enter the contest, shop for their favorite nail polishes and sign up for the newsletter.

You don’t need to offer a prize on the same grandiose level as a trip to NYC and a magazine photoshoot, however your prize should be something that gets people excited. Perhaps it’s a $1,000 prize pack, or gift card for your site, or similar.

The idea is that it should be something that really compels people to enter. As you can imagine, if Sally Hansen offered one free nail polish to the winner, the contest would have generated way fewer entries and leads.

Getting Started

Now that you know some simple-to-execute strategies for generating leads from Instagram, it’s time to put these ideas to work.

While you may need some time to put together the creative for your Instagram ad campaign or a truly cool contest, you can begin generating leads today with the “link in bio” or “tag a friend” strategies. Good luck and have fun.

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5 Ways Top Marketers are Driving Social Media ROI

5 Ways Top Marketers are Driving Social Media ROI

5 Ways Top Marketers are Driving Social Media ROI | Social Media TodayWe’re all too well aware of how social media has changed the marketing landscape over the past decade. People can now interact with brands in multiple ways, across multiple devices, and through multiple channels.

But while the social media transformation – and larger digital one – has added new opportunities for brands, it has also created unrivaled complexity and increased demand for attribution and measurement.

As a result of these changes, marketers need to adjust the way they approach social media and measurement. Here are some of the ways that top marketers are embracing change to drive results and return on social media investment.

1. A growth mindset

To start, success – and ultimately social media ROI – isn’t driven by ingenious revelations or the latest technology; it’s driven by mindset. Top marketers realize that constant change, evolution, and a vision are needed to generate results.

A growth mindset requires the desire to always want more, not settle, find ways to optimize, and continually advance – along with a willingness to embrace the constantly evolving social media landscape and use it to their advantage.

Desire and drive can’t be taught, but a growth mindset can be honed to help marketers identify real opportunities and innovate for marketing growth.

2. A documented strategy

A growth mindset is a driving force behind results, but it alone cannot generate success.

Consequently, a written and established strategic framework – that establishes what success looks like, competitive white space, key audiences, opportunities for growth, and a plan for how to reach these – is essential.

As the Content Marketing Institute notes in its 2016 B2C content marketing trends study:

“In general, compared with B2C marketers who have a verbal-only strategy, B2C marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy get better results with the tactics, social media platforms, and paid advertising methods they use.”

Those who are effective at generating social media ROI understand the need to have such a structure in place to align and guide decisions and tactics.

3. Always experimenting

Experimentation is the foundation of growth and driving results. As Sean Ellis has said:

“If you’re not running experiments, you’re probably not growing.”

Additionally, “top marketers are more than twice as likely to conduct strategic experiments than the mainstream,” a joint Econsultancy and Google study recently found.

Simply, a culture of testing and experimentation helps social media marketers answer strategic questions, enact relevant optimization, and find new opportunities.

Building an agile culture and process that’s flexible to strategic experimentation allows for constant testing – small bets that can be replicated and implemented iteratively if effective – which is the basis for developing actionable insights and driving success.

4. Not losing sight of business goals

The top marketers show ROI on their social media efforts by first understanding what really matters and what feeds results, which means they know how social media contributes to overall business objectives.

When developing a social media strategy, the top marketers establish bottom line goals that contribute to and align with overall business goals.

After these objectives are established, the key social media results or marketing objectives that ladder up to the business objectives provide the numeric goals to drive toward and inform social media marketing tactics.

Popularized by Google, this style of measurement and goal setting is known as OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), and is a structure I regularly employ.

Due to such a structure, social media ROI can be determined and allows the top marketers to understand which social media tactics, channels, and campaigns are driving the greatest business impact.

Referencing the Econsultancy and Google study again, “95% of the study’s respondents agree that to truly matter, marketing analytics’ KPIs must be tied to broader business goals.”

Ultimately though, the top marketers know the difference between their marketing and business objectives and metrics, how the groups are connected, and never lose focus of needing to drive real business outcomes.

5. Making measurement essential

Along with a documented strategy, top marketers establish a consistent measurement and reporting system. All of the aforementioned components aren’t possible without having access to the associated data that’s needed.

Furthermore, the top social media marketers make reporting consistent to isolate trends, opportunities, and optimizations. They also put a premium on data and measurement by maintaining such a structure and seeing it as the center of everything they do.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Social Tools & Best Practices.

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