Social Media Marketing

5 Things Budding Marketers Need To Know About Social Media

Looking to get a job in digital marketing? Alongside SEO and content creation, all budding marketeers should know about social media. And no, your common-or-garden Facebook habit doesn’t qualify you to manage a company’s online image.

Here are five need-to-knows to help you on your way.

1. Length

Social Media MarketingThe length of your posts is vitally important to their uptake. Studies suggest the following optimum lengths for blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn:

– Blog

Headline: 8–12 words/under 70 characters.

Blog Post: 1,600 words.

Title Tag: 70 characters max

Meta Description: 155 characters max

– Facebook

Status update: 40 characters.

Video: 30–45 seconds.

– Twitter

Tweet: 100 characters without a link; 120 characters with a link.

Hashtag: Fewer than 11 characters.

– LinkedIn

Image Caption: Cuts off in users’ feeds after three lines, so under that.

2. Time

Ever put out a photo on Facebook hoping for likes, only to receive far fewer than expected? Your chosen timeslot may be the issue. Optimising the timings of your updates is crucial to achieving the results you want on social media.

On Facebook, studies show that the best times for posting are 9 AM, 1 PM for shares and 3 for clicks, with engagement slumping between Mondays and Wednesdays. So post between 12 and 1 on weekends, between 1 and 4 Thursday-Friday and at 3 pm Wednesdays.

Followerwonk is a useful tool for determining your Twitter followers’ most active periods. If you’re working with LinkedIn, your optimum times are Tuesday-Thursday at non-work hours – that is, 7.30-8.30 AM, 12 PM and 5-6 PM.

Pay attention to your Facebook and Twitter analytics pages. What’s true for others may not be so for you. Identify your peak traffic periods and watch the likes roll in.

3. Hashtags and mentions

Hashtags and mentions are essential for placing your Twitter and Facebook accounts within a wider context of discussion and interaction. Use one or two hashtags per tweet – not too many. You can find good ideas for tags using the sidebar on the Twitter homepage or a site like Hashtagify.me. Aides like Keyhole are great for finding related keywords for a particular hashtag.

Be sure to tag/mention any users related to your content. Not only does it maximise your audience but it’s common courtesy. And please use capitals in your hashtags! ‘HowToTweet’ is so much easier to read than ‘howtotweet’.

4. Get visual

No matter what your mama tells you, appearance is important. Strong branding across your channels can help to build trust with your audience – some great examples can be found on the Nike facebook page, or on the Oink Money website. Posts that include photos statistically get more likes, shares and retweets. So lob an image onto your post next time you get social media-happy.

On Facebook, a quality photo of 1200×1200 pixels is recommended, but you can realistically get away with most images. That is, so long as they’re copyright-free – never post an image that doesn’t come from a copyright-free provider such as Pixabay.

Finally, remember to remove links from Facebook updates before posting. Facebook generates previews of all links below the post, which users can click on appropriately. Including the URL itself in the body of the post looks ugly, unnecessary and unprofessional.

5. Automate… with caveats

At first glance, post automation using a specialised platform such as Hootsuite seems like a dream come true. You can put together post streams hours-days-weeks into the future, as well as manage multiple media platforms all from one easy-to-use interface. However, there are dangers to this method. Pre-scheduled posts are easy to forget about, and if the relevant circumstances change – as they did in this awful example – then the post can quickly become a source of embarrassment.

Only ever schedule harmless info that would continue in case of disaster.

Hootsuite has some great guidelines on scheduling best practices. Schedule posts with decent gaps between, and remember to make them sound human – you are, after all, not a machine, even if you’re using one.

Finally, don’t forget to analyse your automated messages after they’re posted. There’s no point drawing numbers from one type of post but not another; you should be seeking to optimise your auto-scheduled activity just as much as your real-time updates.

Social media marketing is a complex maze to navigate, full of traps and pitfalls where you least expect them. Stay on top of these common wisdoms and you’ll be fine.

3 Ideas and Inspirations for Business Startups

So you’ve made up your mind that you want to start a small business. You’re thinking of a startup. The problem is you don’t know exactly what you want to put up. Too many ideas are running through your mind, and you’re too confused to choose just one. Or maybe your ideas aren’t that feasible?  Maybe you just need to find some inspiration. Here are three that may help you come up with good ideas for a startup.

1. A gift-giving website

People love giving gifts to the special persons in their life. So the idea of a gift-giving business is a feasible one. You can start by setting up an app or a website that allows consumers to choose different kinds of gifts, including personalized items, and their chosen gift will then be delivered to the recipient’s address. Although some gift-giving apps and websites already exist, they’re not yet that plenty. And you can always add a unique touch to yours, you know!

2. A food truck.

Why will this work? Because it’s food, we’re talking about! People will always patronize food-related businesses. Your first step, however, is to find a superb cook (or chef) who can make palate-pleasing and unforgettable culinary creations. Then find a nice truck and an area that can easily attract people, and you’re halfway there! Your food truck can cater to a particular food type, like burgers or bacon dishes, or you can go general and serve whatever you wish to. It’s all up to you – and your cook, of course!

3. A salon that’s “for kids only.”

There’s a kid-friendly salon, and then there’s a salon for kids. Choose the latter because it’s not an untested niche, but it’s not that popular (yet) either. Your kids’ salon can have special cartoon-inspired chairs, a big TV that shows cartoon shows & movies, and even a small bar where kids can order snacks and drinks. You can even add a play area for kids who need to wait for their turn.  If you’re able to pull this off, a lot of parents will be happy

3 Easy Tips for Those Planning to Launch a Startup

Planning to launch a startup? It may not be easy, and there will be a lot of challenges along the way, but if you’re determined to make things happen, you can and you will. Also, there are also tips that you can follow to make the process a little easier for you. Here are three that you should consider

1. Focus on something that people actually like or care about.

If you’re in the conceptualization stage, be sure that you know what your focus is. You may already have a product in mind, so your next step is to find ways that will allow you to provide useful service to your potential customers or market. In other words, highlight the qualities of your product that you know people will like or care about. Focus on something that is useful for the people. This is one of the best ways to make your startup attractive to consumers. Once you capture a particular niche, you have a good chance of attracting more consumers. Of course, it pays if you really like what you are doing and what you are creating.

2. Beware of blind optimism.

It’s all right to be optimistic because this is what will drive you to work hard and to achieve your goals. This is what will give you the confidence to pursue your plans and to turn your visions into reality. However, there should be a limit to the level of optimism you display. Avoid becoming too optimistic that you become blinded by reality. In other words, do not keep on saying we can do this, we can achieve this, or we will succeed if things are a bit hazy or unstable. Be a good leader and tell your team the truth so that you can work your way through it. Beware of blind optimism. Accept your limitations so that you won’t bring your team and your business down.

3. Do not multi-task.

Yes, the startup was your idea, and you helped set the ball in motion. But this does not mean that you should do everything. If your expertise is IT, stick with tasks that are related to this area. If you have excellent marketing skills, then, by all means, formulate the marketing strategies of your startup. If you do not know how to handle money, give the job to someone else. Do not own everything because, remember, you are a team. Work with your team.

4 Startups That Make a Difference

The year 2016 gave us a lot of interesting new business concepts. These were mostly provided to us by startup leaders, a niche that seems to always be on-the-move, with developments practically every week. As such, 2016 saw the rise of many startups, four of which are featured and discussed here.

  1. Juno

Entrepreneur Talmon Marco, who founded and later on sold Viber, created Juno as an alternative to Uber. It has been branded as being an “anti-Uber startup” mainly because of the way it treats its drivers. Marco’s startup wonder gives its drivers more profit because the company gets only a small part of each driver’s earnings. Even if it is not yet as popular as Uber, it is already getting a lot of media coverage because of this friendlier driver treatment. At present, Juno is trying to raise funds as it continues to be in beta mode, particularly in the City of New York.

  1. Winnie

This startup knows what parents need, especially those with highly active toddlers! Winnie somewhat combines the best features of Yelp and Foursquare and then adds interesting bits and pieces that make it distinct. First off, it’s for parents. Second, it does not only give you details of restaurants, but it can also help you locate places like a nursing station for breastfeeding mothers and a changing room or table for babies and toddlers. Third, it allows parents to share their experiences.

  1. Lola

This one is for travelers and adventurers looking for a more convenient way of planning and booking trips. Created by Kayak co-founder Paul English, Lola is actually a chat app that uses AI technology and with the help of a staff of experienced consultants, provides travelers all the information and assistance they need when planning trips. If you want to try the app, check out www.lolatravel.com. Enjoy!

  1. Zipline

Nope, this is not the adrenaline-pumping adventure ride you are all familiar with. Zipline is actually a startup that intends to use drones to send blood and medicine to remote places in Rwanda. The drone is capable of bringing around 3lbs of blood or medicine. The group partnered with the Rwandan government and the first delivery was made in October 2016.