Watch These Social Media Marketing Trends
2012 is about one fourth over and already there have been many new trends in social media marketing that offer new and interesting ways to expand brand awareness and generate sales leads.
If you read daily digital news outlet such as Mashable, WebProNews, Social Media Examiner, Social Fresh and the HubSpot Blog (to name a few) you can stay informed of marketing trends and announcements.
The frenetic pace of new social media marketing announcements is enough to make your head spin. So, I’m highlighting three recent social media marketing trends that marketers should pay attention to.
LinkedIn Company page Follow button
LinkedIn is quietly getting more social. And, in the process LinkedIn is getting more useful to marketers. Most people associate LinkedIn with connecting with people for either job recruiting or business development, or just professional networking. Few marketers leverage the LinkedIn Company page where you can post status updates from your company, list your products and services and display recommendations written by customers.
Now LinkedIn also offers a company page follow button similar to Facebook’s Like button. Consider adding the LinkedIn follow button to your website or blog to grow your company followers and keep them informed through status updates and announcements.
Facebook Timeline for pages
Facebook recently released the timeline feature for pages. All Facebook pages will be migrated to the timeline model by the end of March. It’s best to make the move before the deadline to become familiar with the new model. For a complete summary of the Facebook page timeline features and marketing opportunities visit this article.
One of the most noticeable changes in Facebook pages timeline is the new poster as shown above in the Find and Convert Facebook page. As you can see above a lot of real estate is allocated to the poster at the very top of your page. You can change your poster image as often as you want. However, Facebook rules prevent selling or advertising an offer or like-gating from your poster. The intent of your poster is to provide a unique message to create engagement with your Facebook page fans. Consider that in the past more than 90% of fans never returned to a page after liking it! You were dependent on showing up in their stream with your wall posts. Facebook wants you to promote your page with promoted stories, which amounts to advertising. This AdAge article summarizes Facebook’s goal of increasing your page reach from just 16% (on average) to as much as 75% through advertising.
Pinterest Link Building
Pinterest has taken the social media landscape by storm. Pinterest is currently mostly used by B2C brands. However, some progressive B2B brands are experimenting with Pinterest, and why not? There is one thing Pinterest does well for all brands, and that’s drive traffic and links. Pinterest also allows any brand to get creative. To find brands on Pinterest just conduct a Google search such as “U.S. Marines Pinterest.” Check out how the Marines use Pinterest below.
By pinning images to theme-centric boards that link to your blog or website, you will create links that have SEO value. Pinterest is a low risk, low resource social media outpost. It’s worth experimenting with especially if any aspect of your business is social. For example, if you’re a B2B company that holds events or attends conferences, pin pictures to Pinterest that you take at those events. Be sure to pin those pictures from your website so the linkback flows to your website or blog. If you’re a B2C company you should have a field day experimenting with Pinterest. See how Whole Foods has created several boards around themes relevant to their brand.
As we help our clients develop social media marketing strategies, we strive to filter out noise and focus on the social media trends that can have a measurable impact on desirable business results. Remember that social media marketing is a means to an end. All businesses seek to either increase brand awareness or generate sales or leads. Social media marketing strategies always need to align with specific business goals. They must also align with budget and resources. Avoid falling in love with social media “shiny objects.” Instead focus on the social media marketing trends that can measurably contribute to your business goals.
Check out this social media marketing case study to get inspired.