The 3 Biggest Social Media Lessons of 2013

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A lot has shifted in the world of Social Media in 2013. Software is getting smarter, revenue models are actually working and fans are interacting at a higher rate than ever before. If you feel your small business is not up to par on social media platforms, check out these three big social media lessons from 2013.

Tweets have become GLOBAL

AP S&P chartThe overall acceptance of social media is continually growing and is showing no signs of slowing down. Twitter’s IPO in April has already created serious mass-market movement in the financial sector as well as with personal investors. Twitter has the reach now to make the Dow Jones drop 150 points (I.E. when AP’s twitter was hacked).

 Takeaway: Start Tweeting! There’s an audience out there for whatever your business is and they are waiting for interaction. Use hashtags and follow more people!

If you aren’t VISUAL, you are MISSING OUT

 The latest trends all point towards brands using more and more visual tactics to reach their audience. Video has become the new way to reach high traffic audiences with YouTube (and YouTube live), Vine, Snapchat and Instagram. Not to mention Snapchat was offered $3 Billion and turned it down this year…

 Takeaway: Take more pictures! Take more videos! Use your smart phone to create other types of content that your audience might be more apt to listen to. Don’t be afraid to get super close with some of those shots!

School’s Back in Session: Non-Profit Education Social Media Strategy

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iScream UniversitySome schools have been hesitant to jump on the social media bandwagon, but the iScream class of 2013 is ready to get schooled in social media. Educators have questioned opening the door for potentially negative conversations, but there is much more to gain than to lose with smart guidelines and strategic social media. Schools should use a social strategy for non-profit organizations to reach their audience.

Putting an editorial calendar for social media at the top of your back to school list is smart for more than a few reasons:

Social Media for Religious Groups: Growing Communities and Sharing Messages One Post at a Time

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Whether it be to increase awareness, grow membership or to share a message, social media is a helpful, cost effective tool for religious groups today. Many religious groups have already found success using social media by connecting with their members and keeping them engaged, involved and active religious advocates. So, if your congregation hasn’t already joined Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, it’s time to begin!

Mars Hill Seattle Church, for example, does a great job posting to their Facebook page to engage their audience. They also use Twitter, podcasting, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube for posting sermons, advice and announcements.

Mars Hills Church

 Temple Israel (Memphis) also reaches their congregation through Facebook posts. They post announcements, event photos,weekly updates and stories to grow connections as well as make new ones.

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Mars Hill Seattle and Temple Israel (Memphis) have large congregations and followings, but don’t let that discourage you! It’s easy for any religious organization – big or small – to use social media to join the conversation and increase membership.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Talk to your current audience

Start an open conversation about your audiences’ social media usage and what they would like to get out of your organization’s social media. Ask them what platforms they use the most, what times of day they check them and what information they feel is lacking or wish was more readily available to them on a daily basis. This will give you a great idea of where to begin. If you start off by trying to appeal to your current members, then they are more likely to share and support your social media efforts.

Networking on LinkedIn for B2B

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LinkedInIt’s no longer just about connections; LinkedIn has become the go-to social media tool for B2B communication. But is your business using LinkedIn to its full potential? LinkedIn published statistics showing that only 1% of LinkedIn users drive 26% of the site’s traffic.

 Recently, American Express took B2B social by storm, setting up conversational platforms that instituted a “pull” strategy on their target market. Creating meaningful threads of conversations around their audience, Amex was able to effectively spark continual conversation with small businesses as well as potential investors. Parts of their social media’s mix included LinkedIn discussions as well as integrating their business page on Facebook.

Why Small Businesses Get Big Benefits From Social Media

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As social media continues to change the way people communicate, it has become an increasingly important tool for small businesses. Consider these statistics:

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It is highly likely that your current and potential customers are some of these social media users. Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, it is time to start joining these platforms and growing your business through social media. Here’s why:

 1. Great Customer Service Tool

An active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn makes your brand easily accessible to consumers. People visit social media sites every day, sometimes multiple times a day, so being on these sites means they can access your brand without having to change platforms. It also means that – instead of customers having to search for the help tab on your website or call an automated customer service phone number – they can contact you by posting, tweeting or messaging you with just a few clicks. These simple ways to contact your brand gives you the opportunity to communicate with customers faster than ever before.

 

2. Allows You to Reach Potential Customers

When someone is searching for a new product or service, they are much more likely to listen to a friend’s recommendation than to a marketing campaign’s call to action. As more fans and followers begin to endorse your brand, the larger circle of potential customers you will reach.

 

3. Easy Way to Creatively Communicate With Followers

Giving your brand a digital voice is an excellent way to communicate with your audience through multiple mediums. Your business can post videos, photographs, polls and contests to  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which gives you the chance to reach fans in many different ways. As followers respond to these posts through ‘liking’ or ‘following’ your brand, you will have a better idea of which medium reaches your fans best.

 

4. Cost Effective

Social Media tools for small business are readily available and affordable. iScream Social helps you plan your social media posts with keywords and compelling content ideas. It selects topics that are specifically designed to engage and interest your target audience. It is a financially strategic way to steadily grow and interact with your fan base only a daily basis.

 

5. Simple Way to Get Feedback

60% of social media users create reviews of products and services. This means that means your social media followers are a great resource for soliciting feedback about your brand. Also, when customers ‘like,’ ‘favorite’ or ‘retweet’ your post, you have a better idea of what’s working for your brand and what isn’t. The more positive feedback you get, the better you look to current customer’s friends and family, and consequently, the more likely you are to receive new customers through social media.

Ask the experts at iScream Social how you can get your small business to the forefront of social media. Add your questions to the comment section below.