5 Social Media Networks Beyond Facebook and Twitter

With engaged user bases and proprietary first-party data, social
networks can be great traffic sources for marketers. Around 88% users use
Facebook to advertise and around 30% in Twitter. But there are other social
network platforms. Platforms such as Quora, Pinterest, Snapchat are used by
fewer than 10% of marketers despite being popular with users. In fact, Reddit
is the sixth most-visited global website, doesn’t break the top eight.

Advertisers don’t want to test other platforms when Facebook &
Twitter deliver enough scale. But testing ads on multiple platforms is
important to an efficient social media marketing strategy. Smaller, less
competitive social platforms might offer lower advertising costs, and depending
on your industry, more specialized platforms might allow you to target
particular audiences in the right mindset to engage with your ads. By trying
new platforms, you can find new audiences, explore new ad mediums, and maybe even
find some success.

Here are five additional social networks that you should try
advertising on, with advice on how to tackle them.

 Pinterest

Pinterest is ideal for B2C brands
with lifestyle products that can be clearly expressed in a picture. You can
sell the products using imagery. Last year, Pinterest reported 250 million
users and more than 175 billion pins. The platform also shared that Pinterest
users find Pinterest ads 1.4 times more relevant than ads they see on other
social media networks—which is reason enough to start advertising on the
platform.

Pinterest Ads

Pinterest offers Promoted Pins,
which are standard pins advertisers can promote in a user’s feed (the ads are
simple, with an image, short text, and an off-site link). These ads blend in
well and are not obtrusive to the Pinterest experience. When creating a Pinterest
ad, use a vertical image at least 600 pixels wide, and remember that people use
Pinterest to discover new ideas and projects. If you can create a
visually-appealing ad that provides a promise of improvement to the user’s
life, you’ll do well on Pinterest.

Snapchat

Snapchat is also a B2C platform for brands. If your B2C business has a younger demographic, you need to consider testing out Snapchat ads. Snapchat provides a great opportunity to connect with a younger audience (among those 18 to 24, 78% use Snapchat).

Snapchat Ads

Snapchat has multiple ad types, including their Sponsored Filters, which are branded filters people can overlay on their photos. Snapchat’s Story Ads live in the Discover tab amongst organic stories from celebrities and media sites. Here, you have just an image and 34 characters to entice people to click, which prompts them to watch at least three video Snaps you upload. Snapchat also offers Snap Ads, which are slightly-obtrusive ads that appear in between Snaps in someone’s Snap Story (these can be static or video).

LinkedIn

Advertising in LinkedIn is mostly of B2B. If B2B is your
audience then you should definitely be testing ads there. But B2C advertisers
can still get success at LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is an extensive platform to target
people with their professional credentials.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn has three main ad units, all native: Sponsored
Content, Sponsored InMail, and Sponsored Job Results. The latter two will
appeal mainly to sales and hiring teams, respectively, while Sponsored Content
is used by marketers to reach people as they browse their LinkedIn
feeds. LinkedIn ads look exactly like organic posts, even showing who
of your contacts follows the sponsoring companies.

The ads themselves tend to promote content like an eBook or
blog article, although on desktop you’ll also see commercial-quality
auto-playing videos. Does this mean you shouldn’t try sending users to a
product page? Not at all, but keep in mind users are likely to be in an
analytical work mindset, versus a buying one, making LinkedIn more of a
top-of-funnel traffic source versus direct response.

Quora

Advertising on Qoura might seem
like a waste of time. But this Q&A platform has over 300 million unique
visitors each month. With its wide variety of topics, Quora applicable to
pretty much every marketer—all you have to do is find your audience and
set up your ads.

Quora Ads

Quora’s self-serve portal has
two major ad units: 1. Promoted Answers, where a specific answer gets promoted
in a user’s home feed (but not within the question itself), and 2. Image/text
ads that appear within answer results.

With Quora you can hyper-target your audience. Beyond
the pre-defined Topic and Interest Targeting options (there are literally
thousands), as well as their recently-released keyword targeting, you can
target specific questions. The interface even shows you the expected
weekly views of each question. A successful Quora campaign will involve upfront
research around relevant questions. Consider this missed opportunity: For
the question of “What are the best running shoes?” there’s not a single
footwear advertiser. It would not cost much for a brand like Adidas or New
Balance to pay to appear in the first result.


Online-reputation-management

Reputation Management- A tool required to keep your reputation intact

What is Reputation Management?

Reputation Management is a procedure of managing an organisation’s or a business’s reputation in the market. This type of management process requires both online and offline routes. Online through SEO and social media and offline through public relations and market study.

In today’s digital world, each and every human being as well as company is dependent on the internet in almost every aspect. A company’s website is the first search option for the public to research and gain knowledge about the different products or services that a company is offering. From there, the public can view the products, their contents, their reviews, and can also give their opinion on the brands and merchandises.

Is Reputation Management necessary?

Obviously, it is very important for an organisation to have its own reputation management system. The people always search for a company’s brands if their products have more positive reviews than negative reviews. Reviews are the main criteria for a company to be known as a reputed one. Every company nowadays competes with each other to gain reputation by offering quality products/services.

If public give negative reviews/opinions about a company, it is considered as a drawback for the organisation which in the long run would defame its good reputation. So, by managing properly its stature, a company can retain its old customers and also attract new customers towards it.

Online Reputation Management:

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the process of using the internet to craft strategies that can have an influence on the people’s perspective for an organisation. It provides the company with the netizen’s valuable opinion about it and its services and products.

Reputation Management involves the monitoring of the reputation of a company’s brand or a business on the internet especially social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This is used to address the content of a brand that can cause potential damage to its stature and using customer feedback to try to solve problems before they harm the reputation of the company. The main part of this type of management involves suppressing negative reviews and highlighting the positive ones. Also read it in latest bengali news site.

Role of Public relations in Reputation Management:

The Public Relations (PR) market in the world has a great opportunity to get involved and become the controllers of the reputation management. PR is a marketing strategy that is now used by all organisations to attract investors and talents and to help maintain its good reputation in the eye of customers.

Reputation management in

  • New organisation- A newly formed company should be aware of the pros and cons ( if any) of reputation management and make sure that its reputation continues to grow in the market.
  • Old organisation- In case of an old company, it should know how to maintain its reputation in the market and also make sure that the reputation gained from the 1st day of the company is not wasted. This can be done by following the right procedure of reputation management.

 


Thinking about Digital Marketing from Business Objectives

The digital marketing bandwagon comes with endless opportunities for businesses. But the sad part is that more than 80% of the campaigns fail miserably straining relations between the service providers and the clients. While digital marketing campaigns can give a significant impetus to your business, it can be successful only when there is a thoughtful approach put into it. Now, there are two parties associated with a digital marketing campaign – the service providers (who put in their expertise) and the clients (who possess business domain knowledge). When the skills of both these parties meet, the result would be a result oriented digital marketing campaign.

For an example, IIHM Kolkata is known for "hotel management college in Kolkata", they do PPC and facebook campaign also.

Measuring the Business goals is the most important

The smooth flow and functionality of a digital marketing campaign depend a lot on the in-house talents possessed by the service provider, but the client plays an important before the inception of the campaign. As a business owner, you have to get the business goals you want to attain with the campaign all straight before it gets going. Most of the time the immediate answer would be high conversion rates and great ROI! But that is an overhead view of the business goals. You have to think deeper than that. You have to assess the potential of services and products and UVP (Unique Value Proposition) of your business. Once you do that with minuteness new scopes would open up. Best digital marketing campaigns do not use an overall approach, they target with pinpoint accuracy. And that is what you have to aim for, with the help of service providers. Pull up some statistical data about the growth rate of your sector, emerging trends in the industry and your specific positioning in the sector.

How to mold the campaign with findings?

Once you have done the due research, you would be in a better position to define the business goals and what you want to attain with the digital marketing campaign. Below are some tips you can implement in your digital marketing campaigns:

  • Make it Seasonal: If your core offering is selling air conditioning units or repairing them, then there is no point of starting a campaign in the middle of the winter season. If you make such a fallacy, all the efforts will go down the drain. No one really looks for servicing or purchase choices for air conditioning units when it is chilly outside. So, all your ads and content marketing will go unnoticed, and by the time summer season arrives you would already have left hope of getting high ROI from the campaign. If your research data shows that your particular type of product or service gets high sales during a particular time of the year, use that data and kick start your campaign during the high potential season.
  • Make it Regional: If your services are available in a particular geographical area, why are you spending extra on setting a nationwide campaign? Suppose, you offer cab services within a certain state, there is no point in targeting the entire nation and trying to reach out to each and every person typing for cab services. You should stay restricted within the key cities within the state. While many business owners feel that digital marketing campaigns should reach their business out to every Internet surfer, you are deviating from the main goal which is to get conversions. Conversions would only come when you are able to reach out to people who need your type of services. So, think again before you start the campaign.
  • Give it an Occasional touch: So, you want to run a digital marketing campaign for your restaurant chain. Christmas and New Year would be the ripe time for your business. But there are other competitors who are attracting crowds while your restaurant is not getting enough sales. Well, the digital marketing campaign can help you set the record straight. Throw in some exciting offers, great deals, and discounts. Let the experienced digital marketing professionals reach such offers to the prospective customer base. When a person planning to visit any restaurant on such occasions gets added incentives (in the form of discounts) they will choose you over the counterparts. That is a great way to leverage sales.

So, now you know how you can utilize the digital marketing campaigns to drive high sales. Use it and reap the benefits.


9 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Websites Of Their Own

Recently I went to a popular but small book publisher in Kolkata’s famous College Street area to try and sell the owner a website. The owner was a friend of mine. I chatted briefly with him, discussed about the troubles he faces to get new customers, the marketing strategies taken for distributing books and so on. He was generous enough and allowed me to run through the basic benefits of having a website giving me his full attention. Figuring I am close to finalizing this deal, I finally said, "Do you think a website for your business is something you'd be interested in hearing more about?"

He replied, “I have a very small publishing house and I work with a few staffs. It is already a headache for me to keep track of everything and everybody working here. Moreover, I sell books through my distributors. They take care of my customers’ demands and I supply the books accordingly. Why should I need a website? A website means extra costs to me which I cannot bear right now. I am not tech savvy either. I won’t be able to maintain it. And we've never felt the need of advertising about our publishing house. Every year I put up a stall in the Kolkata Book Fair. It is enough advertising for my brand. I do fair business there and rest of the year it goes pretty well. Will a website bring more people in here? Well then, no thanks, I don’t need one." He firmly believes his business does not need a website.

Over a decade’s service to small and medium business owners in India and outside, helping them build and run their websites, I am amazed to see how many of them still do not want to have any website or online exposure of their own. After a few more similar experiences I clearly understood the questions and concerns small business owners pose about getting a website. I have tried to address to these queries as much as possible during my interactions with potential customers and here are some small business website myths revealed:

Q1. Do I really need a web site for my company?

Whether your company needs a website or not depends on your decision only. Website is not an advertisement. It is a multi-functional communication tool. For a well-organized business with local clientele, where a backlog of customers is waiting to be serviced you may not need a website. But if you want to communicate effectively with a broader range of clients, attract new customers, explore new markets and take significant market share from your competitors — then you definitely need a website.

Q2. I cater to a very small segment of the society. My customers know me and I know them. That’s enough for me. Why should I need so much exposure?

Well, as I mentioned before, if your business is localized, well organized and there are lots of customers waiting to be served, then you might not need a website for further branding at all. However, a simple business page (say Google+ page) in a social media platform might help you to retain existing customer base and gain future customers.

Q3. Is it very costly to build a website?

Not at all. Earlier website designing and development costs were high, because everything had to be custom made. However, due to introduction of Wordpress and other such CMS and CRM based free website designing platforms, designing, development and maintenance costs have gone down significantly over the past few years.

Q4. I already have a free web page on some other free portal. Why do I need another exposure at a cost?

A webpage in someone else’s domain is not a website. It does not provide you with full functionalities and are often not good for customer interaction or customer management.  However, this kind of listing services enhances and empowers your new website.

Q5. I don't sell any products online. Do I still need a website?

If you sell something special that people are looking for then a large portion of people (perhaps a market unknown to you thus far) will search the Internet, because it's fast, easy, global and private. A web site will put you in the running with others on the Internet.

Q6. I am not tech savvy either. I won’t be able to maintain a website.

Don’t worry.Your web developer can help you with the designing, development, maintenance, changes and updates, which are generally simple and costs are within your budget.

Q7. Many of our customers aren't computer users. They like face to face interaction with a personal touch.

Time is changing as is the ways of finding new products and services by people all over the world. Your existing customers may not be tech savvy right now, but they will become eventually. What about the future potential customers who are already using smart phones and tablets to find their required products and services? The percentage of rural population using mobile phones to access internet is also increasing in our country. So why wait long. A website will keep you in sync with this growing trend.

Q8. I am already spending thousands in advertising. Why should I go for an additional cost for setting up a website?

A website is not an advertising investment. It compliments and empowers your online advertising efforts.

Alternatively, I’ve decided to put together a list of 9 major reasons why a small business needs a website:

1. Keep up with the competition

Modern tech savvy consumers use internet to search for products and services they need before they make a final purchase. Most of them would assume you have a website and they will search for one in your name only to find you do not have one. The result is obvious. All those consumers will turn on to your competitors’ websites. You lose potential customers. Hence, even if you have a small business, a professional looking site will actually help gain credibility and a slight advantage over your competitors who do not have one yet. In particular, home based businesses benefit from having an online presence as they do not have a proper store front to promote their products and services. So to keep up with your competitors you must have a website. 

2. Build your brand

Online reviews (like Google reviews), your interactions with other customers, your social media presence, the frequency and quality of your posts in blogs help to build a potential customer's trust in your company or product.

3. 24x7x365 accessibility to information

The never-sleeping-always-wake internet gives your business portal 24-hour virtual showroom which would not have been possible in case of a brick-and-mortar establishment. When you set up a website for your business, you are not only reaching out to your existing customers but also gaining potential customers allowing them to have unlimited access to your product/service information, reviews, new line of products and services that you are going to offer, etc at any time of the day and from anywhere.

4. Showcase your works

A website acts like an online brochure or catalogue of your business. Showcase your work, products by including a portfolio or image gallery, testimonials and all those that tell about your business worldwide. 

5. Target a wider market  

You can make avail your services and products globally as your website will provide an alternative location to sell them. 

6. Cost effective sales and marketing tool

Your website can serve as a “marketing and sales” machine for your company. It allows for a wider, more cost-effective distribution of your business and brand as opposed to traditional marketing techniques, which usually included printing and mailing costs. Well written and compelling sales copies on your site attract ideal clients and compel them to use your products or services. Traditional advertisements are a revolving cost to a company. You can buy an ad space in a newsprint or roadside billboard for a specific period of time, spend huge amount of money to design and print them, put them up and then after a few days the ad is gone. You may or may not get the expected amount of return on your investment. A website, on the other hand, comes with several features of online promotion that you can control and use continually and accordingly. Compared to print ads and billboard advertisement, costs of designing a website and running it is quite low. Also its potentiality to reach out to a wide range of niche customers is better than the traditional ways. Hence websites are a very cost effective method for promoting your brand and business.

7. Time saving technology

Providing information to your customers is time consuming as it involves phone calls, face to face interaction, designing and printing a brochure and distributing it, etc. It is lot easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material. Thus making it an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer.

8. Improved customer services

Nowadays websites are built with CRM (customer relationship management) capabilities to help manage your existing as also new customers. Appointment booking system, customer contact list, email marketing, custom enquiry forms and SMS alerts are certain CRM tools that significantly improve your ability to stay connected and engaged with your customers.

9. Lead generation

Lead generation is crucial in case of online sales and marketing. Adding freebies like free downloads of forms, brochures, e-books, etc. and other valuable resources in exchange for opt-ins to your website can help you gain new leads from prospective customers searching for your products and services.

The internet is in fact has become the basis of business activities over the past few years. There have been significant increases in traffic and business generation after the introduction of ecommerce. People are always opting for the easiest, cheapest and quickest means to reach out to others. Imagine you are going for a long hike and at night you are looking for a roadside motel. What will you do? You will simply take out your smart phone and Google to see whether there is a motel located near you. If the nearest motel owner has enlisted his business in the Google map then viola, he gets a needy customer in the middle of night. So, even a small business requires online presence to hook customers and retain them.

Hence the conclusion: Small businesses do need websites of their own


30 Days Social Marketing Goal in 2015 for Startups

Just few more hours and the world will welcome the new year which will be a new beginning, a new start, a new thinking, a new design, a new strategy, a new social engagement, a new way to interact, giving a new user experience.

In 2014 I landed on to many blogs and case studies related to social media marketing through which I have listed out daily activities that you can follow to achieve better result with your social media campaigns. The activities are simple to understand and perform and it's unique each day which will not help you maintaining a comparative approach but even you can explore possibilities of doing multiple tricks to engage your target market, fans and followers. I just thought if I can help out startups with this to achieve their results. You can consider these activity as a part of your 30 day social marketing activities and so calling it a challenge would be better to make it sound goal oriented.

Please note: There is no mandatory that you have to follow certain activity on a day. With the list you can just make your own list and perform. Though this post is mean for startups but companies and marketers who have failed with their social marketing can also follow it.

Check out below 1422 social  marketing goal to be achieved in a 30 day challenge:

  1. Post images of your office and employees: Posting images and pictures of your office space, department, rooms, cabins creates an impact on your physical reality and how good you are with infrastructure management. It gives them an idea about your organization's presence. Sharing such pictures in your verified Google my business page even helps you with improving a perfect google+ page setup.
  2. Run a free Q&A on "Ask me Anything" format: Run a question & answers day where you can ask your fans, customers to ask any question within your expertise area and help them with relevant answers and relevant resources too. Best is that if you have a blog post written on something than can help them with the answer then share it too in the end as an elaborative answer.
  3. Share popular stories related to your industry: Sharing topics related to you industry that is popular tends to get attention on the perception that it has already been liked by many. Share your own thoughts on it and encourage your fans to check it by mentioning important points it has.
  4. Introduce your employees with their LinkedIn profile address: Each month perform an introduction process of one of your employees where you share the details about them along with their linkedin profile address (Make sure they have a professional linkedin profile with details filled up and your company name mentioned as the latest employer). Share their qualifications, expertise areas and some recent works with their fine inputs in it.
  5. Share a video interview of an expert in your industry: On the web there are several known experts in different industry who humbly give interviews, tips, speeches about their industry latest stats, upcoming trends and have very refine analytical knowledge of the field. Talking with popular experts on the same will get easy attention. In the share do write about anything specific about the expert that you gotta reveal or know which you thing is still is unshared with the industry.
  6. Share the creative idea that led you to the foundation: Sharing the idea or thought that led you to the foundation of your company/startup is something very personal but works directly with a hit on heart way. Sharing your idea helps your fans know about your thought process and how you plan. Do mention in it what you added in your foundation that makes it unique and best will be if you can make it so convincing     that it is the need of hour.
  7. Share your company/startups story (It can be anything specific): Share about your company's/startup story that is interesting. It should be on a specific happening that is fun, or inspiring or creative.
  8. Share something funny: This is something that always gets attention and with most businesses. It again creates a different impact on your fans and customers that you being sound with humor are great people to interact with.
  9. Share content that you found interesting and mention its interesting part: Share content from any other weblog that you found to be interesting, useful. Make sure you add what inspired you or is the interesting part.
  10. Share something that has inspired you: Almost everyone likes thoughts that inspire and has a meaning. Here you can share great quotes and inspiring notes. Awesome will be if you can create few of your own.
  11. Encourage your fans to join other social platforms to explore more possibilities
  12. Share your multiple social profile links
  13. Share about an upcoming event you are planning
  14. Relate a movie scene with your next planned reactivity or marketing and share it
  15. Share your recent activities in offline market and put in your thoughts
  16. Share about your top customers
  17. Ask your audience about feedback on mention specialities and social marketing and engagement can be one of those.
  18. Perform a #shoutout and ask a customer to participate by sharing your page in their community
  19. Share an offer where your customer can be a reseller or affiliate
  20. Share something that could encourage customers talk about their personal day to day life
  21. Ask your fans to give you new ideas and ways you can improve
  22. Share with your customers some free eBook they can download to judge companies before hiring
  23. Ask fans to share their business and profile with you and offer a free promotion on your social channels
  24. Provide a customer/fan wise ideas and tips to improve their business ROI
  25. Must talk about myths in your industry
  26. Encourage your customers for video testimonials in exchange of one from you
  27. Analyze all the above process and redo what worked well
  28. Share any result with a project that your company has achieved
  29. Share a free business analysis and consultation if possible (It works awesomely)
  30. Reshare all the blog posts of the month and ask to reshare