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phone showing social media strategy

Devising a proper and effective social media marketing strategy can make a massive difference to return on investment from your social media efforts. Every post should be well thought out and aligned with your brand and goals. Here is how you can devise a proper strategy and how we can help you stay at the top of your game.

Set goals and measure them

It may sound basic, but if you don’t have any goals, you won’t be able to track what you are achieving. Establish your objectives and set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based Goals. If you follow this framework, you’ll find tracking your own progress far easier. Use data from Analytics to see where you were when you started so you can monitor how far you’ve come.

Learn your audience

If you want to engage with your audience, you have to understand their social media needs. By tailoring your posts to mirror what your audience are engaging with, you will get better results. Don’t just guess. Use analytics to see where your audience comes from, what their interests are and how they interact with your brand. Studies have shown that when this data is used properly, it results in a 40% lower cost per referral.

Research your competition

Having an insight into what your competition is doing well can work wonders for your own social strategy. You can find opportunities by analysing competitors. If your main competitor is marketing heavily on Facebook but not on Instagram, you can use this as a chance to build a fan base on that platform.

Find inspiration

For the best content plans, you need inspiration. Have a look at your favourite accounts and see how they are delivering their content. Ask your followers what they like seeing and what they’d like to see more of. Informing your followers about events in your area or industry news will help you to appear as an expert in your field and gain more of a following.

Create a content calendar and schedule posts in

Creating a content calendar not only makes your content varied but ensures that you post regularly at the times that your followers will engage. Make sure you schedule in your posts, so you don’t have to dwell on whether you’ll remember to post.

Here at Cloud9, our team of social media experts can help you devise the perfect content strategy for your business. We have a range of social media packages tailored to suit our different client needs. Book a free consultation today!

Social Media Influencers

Influencer marketing, a spin-off from celebrity endorsement, is on the rise. More and more companies are realizing its power and seeing a massive return on investment. Here’s our guide to why it’s effective and the best way to go about using influencers.

What is it?

An influencer is someone, usually with a high social media following, who has the ability to influence the purchasing decisions of others. They have a following in a particular niche and actively engage with their audience. You can use different types of influencers depending on your business needs and budget. Micro Influencers have between 2,000 and 100,000 followers but can produce significate results.

Measure

While the amount of followers plays a large part in how much influence someone will have, engagement is something that shouldn’t be ignored. Someone with 20,000 followers is likely to get more engagement than someone with 200 followers, but the idea is to be able to reach real people. Followers have to be earned not purchased, and, while bots and unqualified followers will have an impact on initial social media credibility, it is important to measure engagement. High engagement levels mean maximum results.

Get the right influencers for your product or service

There are thousands of influencers out there so how do you know which one is right for you? You need to look at how aligned a bloggers content is with your messaging. Even though they may have thousands of followers, and high engagement levels, if they are not relevant to your business, then the results will be less desirable. You want to choose an influencer who can naturally incorporate your brand into their own style. Working with an influencer who is passionate about your product or service will reflect in their posts. Find someone who you feel fits in with your brand voice.

Where can you find them

There are many sites to find influencers: Upluence, AspireIQ and Hypr are just a few. Make sure you look at metrics. These sites will show you a break down of their analytics so you can get an indication of how much of a return on investment you will receive.

The gift that keeps on giving

The beauty of influencer marketing is that it doesn’t stop with that post. Unlike other forms of marketing, posts about your product can come up months after the post. You will get the most results at the time of posting but it is not uncommon to see a second ‘spike’ especially if it is connected to an event.

Here at Cloud9 Marketing, we can help you with all your social media needs. Contact us for help on how you can use an influencer to promote your brand.

The Instagram Story feature lets you share photos and videos with your followers for 24 hours. Although stories, filters, effects and tags may feel trivial and just another thing for you to remember in your marketing strategy, Instagram stories create easy and fast content with many benefits. Allowing you to show off your business’ personality and drive authentic customer engagements, here’s why the Insta story is an integral tool in your marketing strategy.

Tell a great story

Instagram stories are like your own personal TV channel. They’re designed for mobile users to quickly flick through, making them great for businesses who want to spark engaging, casual conversations with their customers. Your business can combine stories and live videos to open up to your followers and reveal what goes on behind the scenes.

Create easy content

What’s great about stories is that there is no set rule for how often you should post. Similar to Snapchat stories, Instagram stories are designed for continuous watching, meaning the more content you put out, the better! Plus, unlike regular Instagram posts, Insta stories are all about being in the now. Instead of curating the perfect picture and caption, you can use your story to humanize your brand and give it some personality.

Take creative risks

The temporary nature of stories makes them perfect for creative risks. You can be spontaneous and test out new content, safe in the knowledge that users are much more forgiving when it comes to stories. By testing and experimenting with new ideas, you can learn what your audience responds best to, and adapt successful stories into permanent posts.

Drive traffic and engagement

Instagram stories make it easy for you to connect with your audience. Not only can they respond to your stories with direct messages, but the poll feature allows you to hear the collective voice of your customers. You can also link to other Instagram profiles and add links to each story through the swipe up feature. This allows you to direct your audience’s attention towards specific blog posts, products, or news articles.

Boost organic reach

Due to the change in algorithm, Instagram sorts your feed by what it thinks you will like the most. Usually accounts with active stories tend to show up higher in the search results. To boost your organic reach and increase your visibility, you’ll need to post regularly to make sure that you’re staying in current feeds. You can also add hashtags and locations that will increase your reach and enable your account to pop up in different search related results.

Like any social media platform, it can take a bit of finessing to master Instagram and use it most efficiently. But don’t let that put you off! With the help of Cloud9 Marketing, we can manage your social media to boost your brand awareness, improve online credibility, and increase sales and/or customer acquisition. Please get in contact to put us to the test!

So you’ve launched your website and opened your doors, but what’s next? To fully target your ideal demographic and start bringing in consistent sales, you’ll need to start marketing your business on social media. But even something as simple as choosing a social platform can be harder than you’d think…

In order to maximise your results, you need to make sure you choose a platform suitable to your business goals. Many small businesses make the mistake of tackling every social platform channel at once. However, we recommend starting with the most popular platform, and leaving the more experimental campaigns for later on.  Let’s take a look at some of the most major social platforms, and see how they are suited to your audience, preferences, and other demographics.

Facebook

Facebook is the universal social media network, with more than 2 billion monthly users. With over a quarter of the world’s population scrolling through their news feeds, you have an unparalleled opportunity to reach virtually anyone, anywhere. However, because it’s so vast, you’ll need to be strategic when it comes to generating engaging paid and organic content. You’re up against a lot of competition, so post content that sets you apart from other similar companies.

One great advantage of Facebook is that it has a very low cost of advertising, with many advertisers saying they spend less than $1 per lead. For more information, here’s how you can optimize your Facebook Business page for success.

Instagram

As the fastest growing social channel, brands are rushing to Instagram to showcase their business to a largely younger audience. With over 800 million monthly active users, Instagram commands a 2000% better engagement rate than Twitter, and 58% better than Facebook.

Instagram is great for small businesses who want to turn heads with visually interesting products or services, like real estate businesses, local restaurants, and retail stores. Features like Instagram Stories and Instagram Live make it easy to connect with your consumers, as you can humanize your brand and build trust with your customers through these more candid moments.

LinkedIn

With a community of over 450 million professionals that love to engage with other brands, LinkedIn is the typical choice for B2B businesses whose main goal is lead generation. Allowing you to access a whole new demographic you may not have been able to find on other platforms, LinkedIn offers a targeting unparalleled in the realm of digital advertising. However, while the temptation may be to develop as many connections as possible, fewer, more personal connections can often provide greater value.

Youtube

This one may seem unexpected, but as the world’s largest video site (and second largest search engine), Youtube is definitely something you should eventually turn your efforts towards.

Video is now surpassing text as the best medium to engage with your online target audience, as it commands more attention and evokes emotion faster than written content. While it requires a bit more effort than other platforms, it’s really not as difficult as it seems. Weekly content doesn’t need to be completely entertainment orientated, as how-to demonstrations and interviews do just as well. Once you establish yourself on the video sharing site, it also makes it very easy collaborate and build credible connections with other relevant local businesses and influencers.

With a bit of practice, social media marketing is an art form that you can master. However, we know that posting consistent content across your social media channels is not the easiest thing to do when running a small business. If you need any help getting started, Cloud9 Marketing can create and manage your social media campaigns with effective strategies that drive quality engagement. To see if our social media management works for you, please get in contact! We’d love to help.

facebook-algorithm

As a marketer, the importance of Facebook is undeniable; however, the application of it can be hair-pulling at best and down-right tantrum producing at worst. What makes one post the talk of the town, and the next one an utter flop perplexes even the most skilled marketers at times. The magic behind the Russian roulette of Facebook posts is the almighty powerful Facebook algorithm. An algorithm is a formula or set of steps used for solving a particular problem. Facebook uses its algorithm to sort, sift and make sense of the huge number of posts that are created each day to ensure the user experience is one that is useful and enjoyable.

Facebook’s algorithm ranks posts using the following four steps:

Inventory- What posts are available at the current time to show

Signals- Looking at available data called signals, Facebook ranks the content. Data is pulled from who posted the story, the current time, what device it was posted with and how much time is spent reading a particular post.

Predictions- Using these signals, Facebook makes predictions based on what you will do with the post (how likely you are to comment, like or share).

Score- Facebook assigns each post a score based on all of these things, this score dictates the posts that are displayed in a newsfeed.

As a marketer managing client’s Facebook accounts, yielding top results for clients is a priority. Maximizing Facebook reach and enhancing engagement are important metrics that clients expect in the age of social media. Facebook will look for the following characteristics when assigning a relevance score to a post:

  • Who posted the story, how often they post and is there any negative feedback on the page or author?
  • How engaging the post is, how much time is spent on the content, and how many tags, comments and shares does it have?
  • The completeness of the page profile
  • Who generated the post, a friend or a business page?
  • How informative is the post?

All of these things impact the probability of a post being seen; the more engagement, the quality of the user, how useful and informative the post is, and how close the post creator is to the user will dictate relevance score and likeness to be seen by a given Facebook user. Friends and family posts are favoured over business page posts.

What Facebook likes

Creating content that is relevant, valuable and interesting is key to appearing organically in news feeds. Ensuring posts are informative, promote engagement, are positive in nature and are free of errors is important. It is proven that pages with a consistent posting schedule outperform ones that post randomly and sporadically.

Here are some things that the Facebook algorithm favours:

  • Posts with lots of likes, comments and shares (even better if it’s in a short period of time)
  • Posts with engagement from close friends
  • Posts that have other pages tagged
  • Posts with an active and engaged audience, creating a brand ambassador program or influencer marketing program is ideal for this
  • Links in posts
  • Users tend to prefer status updates, photos and videos the most
  • Videos uploaded to Facebook that get a large number of views or longer viewing session rank well (according to a 2016 Quintly study videos received a 109.67 percent higher interaction rate and 477.76 percent higher share rate).
  • Posts mentioning a trending topic
  • Posts from pages with complete profile information

What Facebook doesn’t like

Just as the Facebook algorithm favours certain types of posts, it also penalizes posts that don’t conform with its overarching values and mission. The following posts types and actions will negatively effect relevancy score and ensure your posts are at the end of the browsing queue.

  • Posts that are clickbait (click a link to take to another website)
  • Like-baiting, trying to get likes without providing useful content
  • Posts with spammy links
  • Repeated posts
  • Text-only posts or status updates
  • Posts that are hidden by users or are reported
  • Posts that ask for engagement (likes, shares, comments)
  • Over promotional posts

Recent Algorithm changes

Facebook is consistently updating its algorithms to ensure the user experience is high and to evolve with the changing landscape of social media. Here are some recent changes in 2017 that affect what people see and how they engage with Facebook content:

August 2017

  • Pages sharing false news can no longer run Facebook ads
  • Posts that pretend to be videos will be demoted
  • Posts with slow loading links will be shown less

May 2017

  • Posts with click-bate headlines will rank lower
  • Posts that link to low- quality websites will rank lower

January 2017

  • Authentic and timely posts will receive a better
  • Long engaging videos will rank better than short engaging videos

Staying up to date with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm is imperative to ensuring you are delivering the best results to your clients. By ensuring content is relevant, timely, informative and engaging, utilizing videos and having a solid page presence and well functioning website are all fundamentals to hitting home runs on Facebook. Cloud9 Marketing are experts in Whistler BC on everything social media, any questions about Facebook algorithms or to see our social media management packages, make sure to contact us.

facebook-business-page

Do you have a Facebook Page for your business? If so, are you optimizing it for success, or simply having it there because someone told you that you should? It doesn’t matter the type of business, every business should have a Facebook presence and a Facebook Business Page is the place to start. Here we will cover 7 ways to optimize your Facebook Business Page for success. With these 7 things in place, you will be properly established and ready to reap the benefits of a rock-solid online presence.

1. Use a Business Page, not a Personal Page

 

We often get asked if a personal page will do the trick, instead of a Facebook Business Page. In short, no. Although you may have a heap of followers on your personal page, a personal page simply doesn’t have the same functionalities and capabilities of a business page. The advertising, re-targeting and insight functions of a business page are instrumental in getting the most out of Facebook for your business. Invite your friends over to your business page, and begin building a following from there.

2. Make sure all of your information is complete

 

Your business page profile allows plenty of space to provide information about your business to fans and potential clients. Make sure to complete all relevant information such as general business info, contact info, your business story and hours of operation. Encourage clients and customers to leave reviews and create specific events and offers related to your business.

3. Have on-brand graphics

 

A Facebook Business Page is a great place to establish brand awareness and credibility. Use the space Facebook gives in the header and profile area to showcase elements of your brand and logo, and promote any events or offers. Often we see businesses using the prime header real estate with a photo, although this is visually appealing and better than nothing, use this space to draw people in, and promote what’s happening in your business right now.

4. Leverage Facebook ads

 

Facebook ads are the number one tool in your Facebook Business Page to drive traffic to your website, generate leads and convert sales. The sophisticated and easy to use ads platform allows you to indicate your advertising objective and build an ad campaign around your goals. Targeting capability allows you to target ads to specific areas, demographics, interest groups and more. You can also create custom audiences based on followers of specific pages, previous website visitors of your site, and email lists.

5. Be proactive with comments and engagements on your page

 

A Facebook Business Page should never remain idle. Make sure to be proactive with page engagements. Not only will this help your reach (how many people see your posts), it also shows good customer service. You can set up notifications so every time someone sends a message, comments, likes or reacts to a post, you will be notified and can act promptly.

6. Monitor the success of your Facebook efforts

 

Facebook Business Page has some great insights allowing you to track the performance of each post. You will be able to see the reach, post clicks and engagement for each post as well as monitor the pages of your competition to see how they are comparing with your page in terms of key metrics.

7. Be consistent

 

The key to success with your Facebook Business Page is consistence. By creating a social media content schedule you can know what you will be posting and when, and can schedule the majority of your posts in advance so it doesn’t take too much time away from your core business activities.

Not interested in managing your own social media presence? That’s ok too. We help businesses small and large implement results-driven social media strategies across industries. Ask us about our social media packages and how we can help you with your online marketing efforts.