As more and more marketers have championed (or begrudgingly admitted) the importance of social media as part of a well-rounded marketing strategy , lots of cool tricks and tips have been published across the interwebs to help turn social media into a traffic- and lead-generating channel. But even with all that information, there is still some stuff that can't be gleaned without just taking the time to poke around in the social networks.
But when you do take the time to investigate the nooks and crannies of popular social networks ... oh man, is there some cool stuff there for marketers! This blog post is going to take you on a tour of the most popular social networks marketers are using, and show you the little features you didn't know about -- but will help you meet your monthly goals just a little bit faster and easier!
Things You Might Have Missed on Twitter
140 characters, replies, mentions, and retweets. What else is there to know about Twitter ? A lot, as it turns out! Check out some of the nooks and crannies of Twitter that you may have missed out on.
Use Advanced Search
There are many complaints about the regular Twitter search, but did you know Twitter actually has an advanced search tool ? With this feature, you can search for multiple words (and exclude words), hashtags, specific people who have tweeted, and even search by location. For marketers this is valuable to get specific data on what your audience is saying about your company, broken down by influencers, geography, and topic.
Get More Visibility for Your Tweet Replies
If someone you follow begins a tweet with an @reply to someone you do not follow, the tweet will not show up in your tweet stream ! As a marketer, you might want some of those replies you're sending to get more visibility though, right? The solution is putting a period before the @reply at the beginning of your tweet (like this: .@reply ) to make sure that any of your followers can see the reply, too.
Create Twitter Lists
Twitter lists are not utilized as much as they should be, because they are a great way to organize your users. Marketers can keep track of some of their competitors, customers, leads, and thought leaders in the industry. You can also make private lists if you don't want others to see who you are keeping track of (or in what categories they are bucketed). You should also search for some of the public lists around topics you are interested in gaining a following for. For example, HubSpot might find lists of marketing thought leaders that we can follow!
Save Those Searches
Using third party applications like HootSuite give you the opportunity to save searches, and reference them in the future almost instantaneously. For example, if you want to search for the term "#mobile" and see the results as soon as someone tweets about it, you can set up a column in HootSuite that will do just that. And while some of you may already know that, did you know that you can set up a search for multiple items. For example, you can type in "#mobile AND #marketing AND #apps" to make your search even more specific!
Things You Might Have Missed on Foursquare
There have been some recent updates to the Foursquare mobile app that give marketers a new opportunity to utilize location-based services. Let's explore those updates, along with some of the oldies-but-goodies on Foursquare.
Use Foursquare Like a Traditional Social Network
The biggest update to Foursquare is that the main page is now a newsfeed! You know, the thing you see on Twitter and Facebook, those other social networks ;-) You can comment and like other people's check-ins, and your pictures appear more prominently than before. This means marketers will now get more publicity when people check into their locations. Additionally, Foursquare will highlight brand pages that users' friends like, giving more value to those companies who are active with the app.
Create Foursquare Lists
In addition to "friending" other people on Foursquare, you can also create lists about anything you want ... from companies to follow, to places to eat, whatever! And to get yourself included more on other people's lists, be sure to update your profile, and create your own lists that others can follow. This will position your company as a Foursquare power user that others rely on, not just any ol' business.
Create Brand-Specific Foursquare Accounts
Brands also have the opportunity to create a Foursquare page. This gives companies -- especially brick-and-mortar shops -- the chance to market themselves and personally get in touch with their audience. Boloco's Foursquare page is an excellent example of a brand who stays active on Foursquare by interacting with customers, posting tips and specials, and rewarding the mayor (or person who checks in the most) at each location.
Engage in a Two-Way Conversation
With the recent updates came the ability to tweet at particular companies right from the app. It also gives you the ability to send your check-in to a friend via social media or an SMS message . It's important to make sure your company's profile(s) are up to date so people actually want to interact with you.
Use the 'Explore' Feature
The Foursquare 'Explore' feature has been updated to be even more accurate and have better search filters. As you can see below, I searched for food near East Cambridge. A ton of results come up, but it also pulls up some of the nearby restaurants that my friends have been to so I can see recommendations. For marketers, if you are able to create a presence on Foursquare through specials and tips, more people will go to your company, helping you to be higher on the list.
Things You Might Have Missed on Facebook
Facebook has been updating features and functionality left and right the past couple weeks, so it's no surprise that there are some pretty cool tricks marketers can pull if they know where to look. Well, here's where to look!
Drive Engagement to Show Up More in Newsfeeds
There is a lot of mystery behind the Facebook newsfeed. What has become clear due to their EdgeRank algorithm, however, is that the more people interact with you, the more your brand's page will show up in the newsfeeds of your fans' networks. For example, because I interact with HubSpot's content, they frequently come up on my newsfeed, and that of my friends (even if they aren't fans of HubSpot).
For marketers, it's critical to regularly post content that gets people commenting and liking -- the more you're able to elicit engagement, the greater your reach will grow as you're introduced to a wider network through your fans.
Ask a Question
Asking questions on Facebook is a valuable tool for marketers to see better fan engagement and discern their opinions on important issues, which is why Facebook provides a feature dedicated to it. Didn't know about the "Ask a Question" feature? It's right there in your status update field!
There are a few different settings for these questions, too. First, you can ask a certain group of people a particular question if you only want a particular sample. You can also allow people to submit their own answers, or close it off and only allow your own pre-set answers. This flexbility provides a lot of value for marketers trying to get a quick poll!
Don't Use Images With Spaces in the Name
The Facebook API wll not show a thumbnail picture from a link if there is a space in the file name of the image. This is important for marketers to know as including a picture with a link often encourages people to click through the link. So instead of labeling your pictures "email product screenshot," label it "email-product-screenshot" to ensure the link to your blog post about email products actually carries an image over to Facebook!
Things You Might Have Missed on YouTube
Everyone loves a video, and marketers, you can make people love them even more when you make use of some of these YouTube tips and tricks.
Use YouTube's Extensive Analytics
YouTube has a ton of beneficial analytics for marketers, including views, subscribers, demographics, and audience retention. This helps you see what video content people are interested in, and what's falling flat, especially when you look at the audience retention metric! It will even tell you when people are watching your full video, and where in the video people start to lose interest.
Insert Video Annotations
Video annotations are pop-ups that appear during your video. With them, you can give your viewer a message without interupting the video. Marketers can also take advantage of this to include a promotion or offer in the videos that doesn't rely on the viewer getting to the call-to-action at the end of your video (you know, in case they drop off before that)!
For the Sake of Views, Don't Reupload Videos!
There are a lot of edits that occur before the final video is ready. However, if you upload the video and begin to get views, you will lose those views if you reupload a new video. For marketers this is important to know because it will affect the analytics that show the success (or failure) of your video. Be careful everyone!
Edit Within YouTube for Minor Changes
A new addition to YouTube is the video editor tool . This allows you to make minor changes to your videos such as rearranging clips, changing audio, and cutting down your video. This new tool is great for marketers who need a simple, free tool to make changes instead of purchasing expensive video editing software.
Things You Might Have Missed on Instagram
Instagram is every mobile fan's favorite visual social network , so make your mobile fans happy by improving your performance using some of these golden Instagram nuggets!
Search by Hashtag
Hashtags play the same role on Instagram that they do on Twitter. If you click the hashtag on your cell phone, it will pull up all of the pictures who used the same hashtag . This makes it easy for you markters out there to take your hashtag strategy, contests, and live events to the next level via Instagram, not just Twitter and Facebook!
Tweet Other People's Images
Instagram makes it super easy to tweet pictures out directly from the app. By clicking the three dots to the right of the "Like" and "Comment" buttons, a new window pops up with a pre-written tweet. This functionality provides a great opportunity for marketers to encourage their followers to tweet out their pictures in an easy and quick way.
Get Analytics on Your Instagram Usage
Statigram is a desktop app that provides analytics for Instagram . The app gives marketers the ability to report on analytics from their brand's Instagram usage. So you can decide if, you know, Instagram actually works for your business.
Things You Might Have Missed on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is critical for all marketers, but B2B marketers, in particular. We've written a blog post that highlights 11 of the LinkedIn marketing gems we think you might be missing out on ... but since then we've thought of even more. Here they are!
Put Keywords Next to Your Name
If you want to show up for a particular search term, include it right next to your name. For example, if you want to appear when someone searches for "B2B," include it as part of your title within the 'Name' field. Similar to a search engine, LinkedIn will recognize that you have something to do with "B2B" and put you closer to the top of the list of results returned when searches are performed for the term.
Get Recommendations From Customers
On LinkedIn company pages, there is a section where companies can get recommendations from customers about their products or services. You can even get multiple recommendations about various parts of your company -- from your product, to your customer service, to your content!
Create Targeted Product Tabs
Using targeted product tabs , you can change what product page your audience sees based on their personal characteristics, like company size, job function, industry, seniority at their company, and geographic location. For example, if you want small companies to see one product page and large companies to see another, that is possible!
Use Applications to Add More to Your Page
Just like Facebook has plenty of apps to make your social experience better, LinkedIn provides applications that can let you market your company even better than you already were. For example, you could promote some of your presentations with their SlideShare app -- and you know how important sharing quality content is for your social media marketing strategy!
Things You Might Have Missed on Pinterest
While Instagram has captured the hearts of mobile users who love visual content, Pinterest has grabbed the rest of our hearts. So make the most of your Pinterest marketing ! Here's how.
Use Keywords When Pinning Pictures
When you include keywords that you want to rank for in a Pinterest search in the picture description, it will increase your chances of appearing in a user's search. This is another valuable way for marketers to get the attention of their audiences using visual content, which we all know is sometimes far more appealing than the written word. Creating boards around specific keywords can also help your rank.
Drive Traffic, not SEO
Pinterest will significantly increase traffic to your website, but it will not help your SEO. The "Pin It" buttons that come up on Pinterest always link back to your site, but they are "no-follow links," which do not send along any link juice to your website. This is important for marketers to know because when they see their website traffic increase, they may wonder what happened to SEO.
Check Your Default Settings
The default setting for Pinterest is for your page to appear in search engines. For marketers, it's important to make sure the setting is set to "Off" so you appear in the search engine results. After all, if you are putting in marketing resources to make Pinterest a success, you want it to come up in results!
What other hints and tricks do you know about these social networks that might help marketers?
Image credit: meddygarnet