Social Media Marketing: Where to Begin?

The buzz on social media is that small businesses are succeeding more and more, thanks to websites like Facebook and Twitter. Of course, the buzz is all over because of social media websites.
There are many reasons to utilize social media for marketing, as many business owners are already aware. Beginning to advertise can be stressful enough, but finding how and where you’re going to market is another step in the direction of confusing.

To make matters worse, with all of the social media outlets available, you’re left with the mind-blowing question: where the heck do you start?
Knowing the pros and cons of the social media outlets available for marketing can help provide assistance in choosing where to begin your advertisement process.

Facebook is usually the first place to begin advertising and marketing on, because it is used so often on a daily basis by a number of users, including you.
Some of the pros for marketing on Facebook are:
  • Marketing on Facebook makes it easy to target an audience. In fact, Facebook now has ads that appear in the suggested interest of each user, so targeting is almost inevitable.
  • With the continuously growing use of apps on Facebook, choosing the right apps can help promote your business. A lot of the apps available are great for driving traffic towards your page.
  • Facebook allows users to easily access information about your business as well as its employees and owners. It can give you the option to remain personal or completely anonymous when uploading information onto your business page.
  • Commenting and sharing gives users the option to spread the word about your business or company, bringing more potential clients your way.
Cons of Facebook marketing are:
  • A lot of communication is required, especially if users are consistently sending messages to your company. Your lack of a response can make the consumer think you’re unavailable or not interested in their business.
  • It is time consuming to set up the perfect page as well as respond to all of your followers.
  • You must pay to advertise on Facebook and their advertisement prices vary.
Pinterest is another new and developing social media outlet to market through.
Some of the pros are:
  • Marketing is mainly visual. This allows the readers to get the picture rather than reading through a boatload of text.
  • The audience available to market through seems endless. There are so many different kinds of people who use Pinterest, so the ability to market to people you hadn’t intended is possible.
  • Whatever your business or company is selling or marketing can be specifically searched, making it easy to find. If the user types it in, or even a keyword attached to it, it can be found.
  • Your pins can get lost or go unseen. It’s almost like rankings on search engines. If they’re not frequently viewed or re-pinned, it’s almost like they disappear.
  • Your page requires a lot of updating because users want to see new pins from you regularly or you’re just another follower on their list of friends.
  • Liking and repining can get confusing and may not actually bring the attention your page needs.
  • The rules of Pinterest read along the lines of ‘no self-promotion’. This can make things fairly difficult.
Last, but certainly not least, is Twitter. Twitter users can be a great audience to market to.
Some of the pros are:
  • Tweets are easy to see because they immediately pop up and are not hidden by other posts or long written stories from other users.
  • Everything is straight and to the point. Whatever it is you’re trying to say, the reader will be able to digest because of the 140 character limit.
  • The Twitter world is like Pinterest: endless. There are so many users on Twitter, many of whom are willing to follow anyone because of their following count.
  • The 140 character limit can also make it difficult to get in what you need to, to persuade interest to your business.
  • Twitter is not good for visuals. Unless you’re a celebrity or close friend, clicking on links to visit the picture is almost too inconvenient.
  • Twitter must pre-approve you to promote your business. Like Pinterest, that can make things very difficult if you’re unsure of the process.


The 4 Habits of Great Content Marketers

Great content marketers aren’t born, they’re made.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Develop the following habits.

1. Follow a Routine

Routines can be a powerful tool for artists, politicians, CEOs, content marketers, and just about anyone else who is trying to build something extraordinary. There’s no blueprint for what routine is going to work for you. But if you’re embarking on a creative project, it’s in your best interest to develop one.
Have your best ideas before bed? Truman Capote embraced the fact that he was a “horizontal author” who couldn’t think unless he was “either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy.”

Everyone has different daily rituals. There’s no one-size-fits all solution. Figure out the habits that help you produce your best work, and schedule time to support those habits.

2. Read

In the world of marketing—like most worlds—knowledge is power. And we marketers operate within an environment that is constantly changing and innovating. The best way to ensure your content is contributing to the signal and not the noise is to read—about digital trends, about top campaigns, about the companies our industry leaders celebrate.
If you don’t understand what separate good content from great content, you’re not going to be very successful.

3. Embrace the Struggle

In an interview with the Paris Review E.B. White said, “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
Creating a well-oiled content marketing operation is hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The best content marketers embrace the struggle. They push through outdated processes in the name of innovation. They buckle silos. They see the chaos and miscommunication rampant within their marketing team and roll up their sleeves.

4. Don’t Assume

In 2012, Harvard Business Review published an article revealing three common assumptions marketers make when it comes to identifying what customers want:
  1. Most consumers want to have relationships with your brand.
  2. Interactions build relationships.
  3. The more interaction the better.
The findings revealed in this article proved that all three assumptions were dead wrong:
  1. People want relationships with their family and friends, not a business.
  2. Shared values build relationships, not interactions.
  3. There is no evidence to suggest the more interactions a brand has with a customer, the more likely that customer is to purchase.
It’s not the content marketer’s job to build warm and fuzzy friendships with the people they hope to do business with. It’s the content marketer’s job to figure out what their target audience needs and what questions they have. With that information, they must meet those needs and answer those questions with highly-targeted, high-quality content.

10 Benefits of Social Media for Business Every Skeptic Should Know

Sharing content with thousands of followers at once isn’t the only benefit of social media for business. Small businesses all over the world have been discovering the ways social media can contribute to success and growth in all areas of their companies. However, there are still skeptics who still don’t see or understand the benefits of social media for their business. In this post, we go over 10 benefits of social media for business that will turn skeptics, like your boss (or even yourself!), into believers.

Here are 10 benefits of social media for business

1. Social media is an easy way to learn about your audience

For businesses in any industry, the key to success is knowing your audience. Social media makes this possible, and easier to accomplish than ever. With tools like Facebook Insights in Hootsuite you can learn the dominant languages spoken among your social media audience, as well as their age and gender. This knowledge can help you cater campaigns and product offers to your target audience, which will provide you a better return on investment.

2. Social media helps target audiences more effectively

Geo-targeting is an effective way to send your message out to a specific audience or demographic based on their location. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have tools that allow you to communicate the right kind of content to your audience. For example, in Hootsuite you can target by ‘Location’, ‘Language’, ‘Age’, ‘Gender’, ‘Relationship status’, ‘Interested in’, and ‘Education’ on Facebook, and ‘Country(s)’ on Twitter. For example, if you want to send out a post to people who speak Spanish, geo-targeting is an easy and effective way to do it.

3. Social media helps find new customers and expand your audience

Social networks like Twitter allow small businesses to locate their current customers or seek out potential customers. For example, if you open a new coffee shop in the neighbourhood, you can create a geo search in Hootsuite to locate anyone tweeting about needing a morning cup of joe within your area. After locating those tweeting about coffee, you can start reaching out to them, and invite them to come try a hot bevvy at your new coffee shop.

4. Social media allows you to receive instant feedback from your customers’ perspective

Social media for business gives you instant access to positive or negative feedback, which provides you with valuable insights on the customer perspective. For example, if you launch a new product and share it on social media, you’ll instantly learn what your customers think of it. Another way to gain customer perspective with social media is by learning how they use your product; brands often base new products or services on their customers’ original ideas.

5. Improve market intelligence and get ahead of your competitors with social media

With social media monitoring you can gain key information on your competitors, therefore improving your market intelligence. This kind of intel will allow you to make strategic business decisions in order to stay ahead of your competition. For example, you can create search streams in Hootsuite to monitor mentions of your competitor’s name or product. Based on your search results, you can improve your business to offer something your competitors are missing.

6. Social media can help increase website traffic and search ranking

So you built a website for your company, now what? One of the best benefits of social media for business is using it to increase your website traffic. Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares you receive, the higher your search ranking will be. For example, if every person who follows Hootsuite on Twitter retweets this post, it’s more likely to rank higher in Google’s search engine results page for variations of “social media for business.”

7. Share content easier and faster with social media

In the past, marketers faced the challenge of ensuring their content reaches their customers in the shortest possible time. With the help of social media, sharing content got easier and faster. When you use social media for business, specifically for sharing content about your business, all you need to do is simply share it on your brand’s social network accounts. But keep in mind that getting your customers to share your content with their followers means you need to make sure your social media content aligns to your brand and interests your audience.

8. Social media helps generate leads for one third of the cost

Social media is an easy way to generate leads. For example, Hootsuite’s marketing department was built around content and social platforms, and Twitter ads has allowed us to scale, increase reach, and fuel demand generation. Hootsuite promotes two types of content via Twitter Ads: ungated content (free content requiring no email address for access) and gated content (free content requiring an email). Sharing gated content on social media is a great way for any company to generate leads.

9. Create meaningful relationships with customers through social media

Social media is great for creating meaningful relationships with your customers. For example, social media allows tourism brands to create dialogue with travellers, therefore creating relationships with customers before, during, and after they have booked a trip with the company. This kind of social media dialogue between brands and customers is something traditional advertising will never achieve.

10. Social media lets you increase brand awareness and reach with little to no budget

Social media for business has allowed companies to increase brand awareness and reach of their brand at little to no cost. The costs associated with these strategies are a lot higher with traditional advertising methods. Recently, marketing departments across companies started hiring community managers to increase brand awareness and reach through social media. Community managers foster relationships with online audiences in different regions. At Hootsuite, we have community managers for each of our three regions: APAC, EMEA, and The Americas. This helps us make sure we keep expanding the reach of our brand to those regions and maintain relationships with key stakeholders.


NEW 2014 UPDATE: Facebook Page Layout & Tabs

Tabs under your cover image have been removed in the latest Facebook layout update. It may be time to edit your landing page navigation.

To edit your App pages, go to Settings>Apps.

Added Apps
You can Edit Settings clicking on the link.
-Custom Tab Image (111x74 px)
-Custom Tab Name

APPS panel now appears on the left side under the ABOUT profile panel.
Click Manage section to move APPS layout position.
Drag to reorder.

To rearrange APPS order, click Move on top navigation bar under Cover Image.
Move>Manage Tabs
First APP will appear on top navigation bar that should be linked to a primary landing page.

Most traffic on Facebook comes from a News Feed, a post you create or ad you run - via mobile devices!

Cover Image
Your Cover Image banner should be 851x315 px. Page title text appears over the bottom of the image.
You can add a 64 px tall shadow across the bottom that will appear behind the title text.
There is about 667 px between the Profile image to the end of the Cover Image.

Embed Links
Active links can be put in 3 places.
Add links to image descriptions for your About, Image Cover and Profile photos to drive traffic to a post or page.

Your website link will not be visible in the About section for mobile devices. Include a link in the About text that will be visible for mobile users.

Third Party App Creators
Many are not viewable on mobile devices!
Use 22Social for creating Facebook Apps that are mobile friendly. First app is free, then $22/month. Get for free with 3 paying referrals.

Free Awesome image slider from

We're excited to announce the cssSlider, a pure CSS image slider. Create beautiful image sliders entirely in CSS. No jQuery, no JavaScript, no image icons, no coding!

It's amazingly fast, light, responsive, and retina-ready. Works on all modern devices and browsers. KenBurns, Slide, Fade, Zoom effects and some flat skins are available (more coming soon).

At the moment Iconion is in Free Beta status and available for Windows and Mac.

5 Ways to Increase Facebook Traffic

Here are a few tips to increase "Likes" on FB.
Giveaways don't attract users who stay.

1. Ask a question...
Builds community.
-What should I do? Preferences?
Wondering How..? Want To..?

2. Share your life...
People like to know about you.
-Who are you?
Share something unrelated to your business.
-Insert Instagram posted photo into FB.

3. Share complimentary products...
-Share a photo of a product and link to it, but not in direct competition.
-Let person know that you shared their work.

4. Behind the scenes...
-Take photos while working.
-Post to Instagram and then FB.
Shows people your process and hard work that goes into your business.
Can combine with a question.

5. Facebook Fan Special...
-Offer 5-10% off a particular item or range of items
24 Hour Special, short term with nice payoff
-Promote around other social networks to drive to FB page.

Ads on Facebook Using Page 'Likes'

Create an Ad on Facebook Fast

Here's how to quickly create on ad on Facebook.
Go to
Click on "Create an Ad" button at top right.

Advertise on Facebook:
-Page Post Engagement
for business page to run post as ad that shows in News Feed

-Clicks to Website
Insert a photo of something happy or pleasurable
-Choose Mobile News Feed
70% of FB ad traffic comes from mobile users and is cheaper
-Click Remove from Desktop News Feed
-Type in headline that is clear and descriptive
-Insert text that is conversational and explains where it goes

Target your visitors age...
-Create New Custom Audience by uploading an email list
Run split campaigns to test ads

Think of your competitors. Target and narrow.
Don't use as they are too broad

-Bid for clicks
-Pricing: Manually set maximum bid
Even bidding $1, may pay much less with good ad
(usually $.10-.30 per click)