by Tyler Ludwig / Interactive Marketing Manager, Rio SEO

What the #Hashtag?

Thinking back to the dawn of SMS it seems funny to think that in a few years our world would be run by acronyms, photo apps, short videos, and even vanishing photos. (Remember all your Mom’s photo books?)

Over the past couple years the Internet and social media have continued to mold how we, social human beings, consume content through businesses and friends. Content marketing has grown into the epicenter of how marketers and brands can directly impact the thoughts and actions of users to buy, sign up, or further share their content.

SMX Social 2013 provided great tips on how the future of consumer engagement marketing depends on the convergence of new age #social marketing strategies and what tools you can use to measure your social campaigns.

Social channels: What networks should my brand be using?

The great thing about social media is that there is a network literally for every niche known to man, or so I think. But when it comes to your brand, it is key to understand where your target audience is most active so ultimately you can convert on all those tweets or vines.

With more than a 1.19 billion (KineticSocial) active monthly users on Facebook, it would seem like a great bet to jump right in to the globe’s largest social network, right? Not so fast. The social eco-system is all about what you’re selling and, much like traditional Cost-per-Click (CPC) advertising is trying to hone in on the most successful set of possible buyers.

Some great stats offered at SMX Social from Dan Mathis included:

  • More than 60 percent of teenagers cite Tumblr as their favorite social media site, ahead of Facebook (55%) and Twitter (22%)
  • Reddit has 81.4 million unique visitors, which includes 6% of U.S. adults on a regular basis
  • BuzzFeed is the dominant publisher for Facebook engagement. Hint: They work with brands to market content.

smx social 2013
Having a difficult time deciding which network(s) work best for your target audience? A quick tip is to promote across the major networks and then monitor the analytics data for referrals and conversions via social networks.

Found my audience, now what? Steps to getting your visitors engaged.

Finding the right audience can be tricky, but keeping them engaged with your content is the nest step in the path to social ROI. Steve Hammer delivered a clear-cut strategy for delivering what online users want:

  • Create great content!
    • Is your content innovative or interesting?
  • Promote your content!
    • Are you a social influencer? Probably not L
  • Measure ROI and profits!
    • Learn and refine your processes.

This might sound rudimentary to some, but the key is that most marketers don’t know what promoting your content really means. Is it telling friends on Twitter? Is it asking for some high rollers to come in and share your content?

Ultimately, it is that most brands need some help through social advertising. Using tools such as Outbrain can land your content on sites likes! With a tool like Outbrain, a marketer has the potential to expand the reach beyond a solid 1,000 followers on Twitter to a much larger audience across any network for a small price.

So be proud of your content and promote, promote, promote!
smx social 2013

So I have all my content and promotion in place…time to measure the impact!

In a matter of years, social media marketing has transformed beyond just a simple college network to a multimedia powerhouse streaming billions of dollars into brands and local retailers. Since it is so vast, however, measuring the impact in real numbers can seem impossible. Luckily, SMX Social speaker Ben Straley, vice president of social technologies at Rio SEO, addressed important questions and initial steps to follow:

  • What is your goal?
    • Get people to buy SOON
    • Get people to buy NOW
  • How do we know it works?
    • Targeted reach
    • Engagement
    • Conversions
    • Revenue
  • What can we do with these metrics?
    • Build detailed user personas influencer profiles
    • Optimize our content topics and types
    • Drive content for different contexts and devices

smx social 2013

The scope of any content marketing strategy using social media is only as good as the methods by which you measure them. To combat the endless turmoil of what tools might be best, a helpful tip is to base metrics on what you can attribute to real ROI.

Is it conversions via social sharing across networks? Then you might try the Rio SEO social platform or Tynt. If you want to dig up some data dirt on Twitter users, then check out Followerwonk and Social Crawlytics.

SMX Social 2013 was a great learning experience for building out future social campaigns and strategies. From discovering new social influencers to engaging with my current brand advocates, it was all about messaging and adding personality to your content.