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Marketing Kit 2013

Social Media

Contents Path to Social Media Success in 2013: A 12-Month Plan1 Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitter3 23 Tips for Using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for Business6 Five Ways to Engage Twitter Followers9 Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution 11

Path to Social Media Success in 2013: A 12-Month Plan

by Verónica Maria Jarski

Often, the best way to reach a huge goal is to break it down into small, less intimidating goals.   To help small businesses tackle the daunting task of developing a social media presence (without feeling overwhelmed), Intuit has created a “Path to Social Success in 2013” infographic. The 12-month plan divides the goal of achieving social success into quarters, each focusing on a specific goal: •

First quarter: Take social media inventory.

Second quarter: Work on relationships.

Third quarter: Integrate everything.

Fourth quarter: Look backward, then forward.

For each quarter, Intuit then lists big ideas for each month to reach that goal. For example, the first quarter is about taking social media inventory, so January is dedicated to assessing your social fitness; February, to revisiting your social goals; and March, to establishing ways to measure success, such as number of followers and fans, traffic to website, social mentions across platforms, share of social conversations, and social influence. Check out the following infographic (designed by Column Five) and plot your course for social media success in 2013.

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved.


Path to Social Media Success in 2013: A 12-Month Plan

Veronica Maria Jarski is a senior writer at MarketingProfs and the editor of the MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog. Reach her via

Š2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved.


Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitter As a smart marketer or business owner, you are likely aware of the benefits of blogging and publishing helpful content on a regular basis. Doing so establishes you as a thought leader, allows you to rank well for relevant search keywords, and, as a result, brings more traffic to your site, which generates more leads. The classic inbound marketing example! But how about social media, and Twitter in particular? How do you get more followers to spread your message to lots of people? Sorry to disappoint... you really don’t. Save that for the outbound. But here’s what you can do on Twitter:

Connect with and listen to your customers and prospects.

Get new ideas for blog posts, products/services, etc.

Help others, and answer their questions.

Promote others’ material/products.

Give credit to others.

Establish your Twitter account as a must-follow in the industry.

Promote your products/services. (Yes, it can be done after all! But do the other suggestions continually, at least 80% of the time.)

If you’re new to Twitter and have yet to gain a following, you can do many things today to become a “must-follow account” in the future. Here are four tactics to get you started.

by Slavik Volinsky

1. Use Twitter’s search to connect with prospects Do you ever wonder how many people talk about your services every day on Twitter? What exactly are they talking about, and what question do they ask? Finding the answer is easy; just use Twitter search. Go to, and use the following advanced search operators:

Use near:”city” to find local results (e.g., tennis near:”new york” or near:”albany, ny”).

Use within:25mi, for example, to narrow down your search range by distance, in miles, to the city you’ve selected.

Use -http (minus sign http) to make sure that none of the tweets contain links.

Use ? (question mark) to show only tweets with a question.

Use “tennis lessons” (in quotation marks) to search for an exact phrase.

Use OR to find tweets that have any of the words in your search query (e.g., why OR what OR how OR where).

Mix and match any of those search operators, and you might end up with a search query similar to the following: tennis ? -http near:”new york” within:45mi. You’ll see tweets that include the word “tennis,” have a question mark, contain no links, and come from somebody within 45 miles of New York City.

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Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitter What now? Let’s say you provide tennis lessons and do tennis partnermatching in New York. Here’s your action list:

Action: You have to be in! Standard procedure: reply to the user, follow her, and add her to the list. Attend the event, and connect with a number of potential customers.

Action: Answer the question, then follow this user and add her to the Twitter list “nyc tennis players.” You’re likely to be followed back.

2. Find content ideas for your blog via a Twitter search Delete “near” and “within” from your search, and you’ll see a much more lively list of tweets. Learn what people are asking and what kind of information will help them. Take note, and do one of the following:

Action: Follow these users and add them to the “nyc tennis players” and “nyc tennis matching” lists. If you have time, offer to play! They are potential customers of your partner-matching program, so use your time wisely. Or, simply send them to the tennis-matching part of your site (if they are able to find a partner instantly) or recommend a partner from your “nyc tennis matching” list.

Answer with a tweet or two (if it’s short enough), and open conversation.

Send links to useful articles (written by somebody else).

Send links to your blog.

If you do not currently have any blog posts related to a question, check Google’s Keyword Tool to see the estimated monthly search volume. If the topic is popular enough or is highly relevant to your business, write a new post and use the best keywords to attract more traffic! Next time anybody asks a related question, you know where to send them.

3. Be the best local resource for industry Twitter lists Action: Follow this account, add it to your list “nyc tennis influencers,” and engage! The account is likely to follow you back. You’ll get more exposure for your upcoming tweets, blog posts, announcements, etc.

Every time you spot local users talking about services/products related to your business, add them to the list. Depending on what they say, you can add them to a private list, a public list, or both. The following are four best-practices for creating Twitter lists:

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Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitter 1. Customers (private). Make sure to read that list regularly. It’s a great way to learn what customers are up to and to gain their loyalty. 2. Prospects (private). Every time somebody follows or mentions you, ask yourself if she is a right fit for your services. Is she likely to become a customer? Remember to check her location. 3. Influencers or (industry) influencers (public). This list should include journalists, popular bloggers, and celebrities within your industry. 4. Location-based lists. These are lists of locals (and not necessarily those related to your business). Add lists related to your business, products, and services. Coming back to the example of tennis lessons and the tennis partnermatching program, consider the following lists:

NYC Tennis Players

NYC Tennis Matching

Tennis Courts/Clubs in Brooklyn... or Queens, Uptown, etc.

help others; they will notice you and will want to do business with you. They’ll even start promoting your services for you. One big mistake that companies continue to make is that they “push” messages and treat Twitter as another outbound marketing channel. For instance, recently @ragusauce angered some dads by spamming them on Twitter, and when dads replied... nothing happened. That was a horrible use of Twitter: @ragusauce had a chance to open a conversation and connect to prospects. Instead, small-business owner TJ Gallivans used the opportunity in his favor, showing big brands how social media should be used. Another example is L’Oreal, which realized that it needed to participate in social media. But instead of doing just that, it created a fake blog, praising its own products. Pushing your own product is always easier than earning the attention, of course; but, needless to say, people always find out about it. To quote Gary Vaynerchuk, “People have awesome ‘bulls**t detectors.’” As you gain Twitter followers, use your opportunity to reach others wisely and genuinely— by posting relevant articles, reviews, and—following that 80/20 rule: promoting your own services at a level that’s less than 20% of your overall participation. Good luck, and share your success stories with others!

NYC Tennis Coaches

NYC Tennis Stores

Others on Twitter can access and follow your public lists, and you can refer people to the lists: They add value! It’s important to note that you can now stay on top of everything that’s going on locally. That is sure to create new connections, ideas for blog posts, or even business development deals!

Slavik Volinsky is an online marketer at AmsterdamPrinting. com, a promotional products company. Slavik blogs about inbound marketing and related fields. Follow him on Twitter via @svolinsky or subscribe to the Promo & Marketing Wall blog.

4. Become a must-follow person in your industry By monitoring what’s being said, engaging, re-tweeting, and following others, you will start gaining followers yourself. But you won’t achieve overnight success! Use Twitter to convey how passionate you are about your business and to genuinely

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved.


23 Tips for Using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for Business With the global economy still slumping, businesses and marketers are embracing new methods of social marketing as a way to spread the word in a more reliable, consistent, and cost-effective way. Are you taking advantage of all that the LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter platforms offer? Read these quick tips to double-check what you’re doing now and identify what you could do better.


by Sookie Shuen

5. Get recommendations One way to build trust is to build a list of LinkedIn recommendations, which are one of the most looked-for feature when LinkedIn users view someone’s profile for the first time. Request LinkedIn recommendations from happy customers who might be willing to provide testimonials. 6. Integrate your blog feeds into LinkedIn Sync your LinkedIn and blog RSS feed by adding the BlogLink application on LinkedIn to your profile. It will automatically take your profile’s website links and display it under the Application section.

1. Complete your personal profile Set up a full, complete personal profile. The more thorough you are, the easier it will be for people to find you via the search engines. Make sure to list your skills in your profile, complete the summary, and include a professional photo of yourself to increase your credibility. 2. Promote your LinkedIn profile In your email signature, add a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile. Print it on your business cards, too. 3. Grow and monitor your network Import your existing contacts lists from your email client to find out which of your contacts are already on LinkedIn. You should regularly scour through your email contacts for people you might want to connect with on LinkedIn. 4. Engage with your connections via LinkedIn Groups LinkedIn allows members to join up to 50 groups, which are a great way to make new connections. Seek out groups with large memberships and those related to your industry or organized around small-business concerns (if you’re a small business).

Facebook 1. Ask questions One of the easiest ways to engage with others on Facebook is to ask questions. People love to talk about themselves and offer their thoughts. The more comments and “Likes” you get on your posts, the more likely they are to appear higher in users’ feeds. Keywords such as “where,” “when,” “would,” and “should” spark the highest level of engagement on Facebook. “Would,” in particular, drives spikes in “Likes” due to fans using “Like” as a way of voting yes on a question. 2. Interact and engage When people write comments on your posts or wall, contribute to the discussion to maintain user engagement. Again, the longer a thread is, the higher it will likely rank in your fans’ Facebook news feeds. 3. Incorporate wall sapplets Instead of just posting items with text, vary the material and incorporate interactive components known as sapplets, which might include polls or coupons. They will prompt your fans

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved.


23 Tips for Using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for Business to engage with your status updates directly in the news feed, beyond standard “Likes” and comments.

encourage people to share the links with their friends, spreading word about your brand and driving engagement.

4. Incorporate relevant photos

8. Be explicit in your posts

Rather than just telling your fans about your products and services, show them. Relevant photos will attract people to your posts.

Not explicit as in XXX content or swearing, but rather explicit in the sense of telling people exactly what you want them to do. What action do you want them to take as a result of reading your post?

Most people aren’t interested in reading through long text updates, but they love immediate content such as photos. Facebook has assigned a higher weight value to photos than to other types of content, so photos will keep you in people’s news feeds.

Simply posting content that you think might generate traffic isn’t always enough. To get results, sometimes you need to tell people exactly what actions you want them to take. For example: “Click here and use our special tool to post to your wall.”

You could also post images to introduce fans to your company’s employees or show them how things work behind the scenes. 5. Comment or invite comment on current events

Twitter 1. Hashtag

Carefully, without wading into anything too controversial, try stating your position on current news or issues, or invite others to share their views. Ask people what they think about breaking news, celebrity gossip, sports, or other topics. Doing so can be an effective way to encourage fans to engage with you and take part in a discussion. 6. Incorporate videos Everyone loves interactive content, and video is one of the best ways to draw attention. And because videos can be played within the news feed, users aren’t redirected away when they start playing a clip. Make the videos short—to keep people’s attention—and set expectations within the text so your fans know what the clip is about. You could, for example, use videos to offer people a tutorial on how to best to use your products/services. 7. Include links within posts As a tool for sharing and spreading information, Facebook is an obvious place for you to post links. Encourage people to interact with your brand by posting links that users will find valuable or interesting. Doing so will in turn

You should familiarize yourself with the # symbol—and make it your friend. Put a hashtag in front of a keyword or your URL, and Twitter will convert them into searchable terms. What does this mean for you? Anyone searching for something can find all tweets containing your hashtagged word in a single location, thus making it easier for them to find your tweets even if they’re not one of your followers. Search the database for hashtagged questions pertaining to your business or topics of your expertise and connect with those followers. 2. Engage with your followers Sending out tweets but never responding to your followers will get you nowhere. Respond to those who tweet at you and answer any questions they raise. Each time you interact with your followers, make sure it’s a personalized message. No one wants to feel like they’re receiving a mass tweet. If they feel your message is sincere and they like what you have to offer, the chances of their retweeting your information is even greater, thus ultimately exposing your business to more followers.

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved.


23 Tips for Using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for Business 3. Combine your platforms Use applications like or HootSuite to syndicate your blog with your Twitter account. Every time you send out a new blog post, your followers on Twitter will be alerted, saving you the time and effort of tweeting about your new blog post. 4. Update your profile Although most of your followers are reading only your tweets and not your bio, it’s still important to have a profile in place that’s up to date and professional. Think of it as an extension of your brand. Potential new followers and customers will be checking out your profile to see what you’re about before hitting the golden “Follow” button.

and are interested in what they have to say as well. Plus, it’s a great way to expand your community of followers. 9. Customer Service Create an account for your followers to use to tweet questions about products or services to you directly. You’ll be able to interact with your consumers via this channel and provide them with something of value. *** For more on making social media marketing work better for your business, download How to Generate Leads from Social Media.

5. Use the power of lists A Twitter list is basically a compilation of followers, grouped together. You can use these lists to offer special promotions to customers—for instance, create a list of all your valued customers and tweet exclusive offers to those on the list. 6. Keep track Track your followers and identify who is really paying attention to your tweets. You can do so by tracking retweets, clicks, messages, and hashtag mentions. And, by doing so, you can identify your most loyal followers and nurture those relationships.

Sookie Shuen is community manager at inbound marketing consultancy Tomorrow People, where she handles community activities based on the Zoober Inbound Marketing methodology. She also authors the Tomorrow People blog. You can reach her via Google+ and Twitter.

7. Ask questions Get feedback from your followers by asking the right questions. Find out what you’re doing right, what you need to work on, and what they want more of. You will not only show that you’re listening but also glean valuable insights about your followers and consumers. 8. Tweet about others You don’t always need to talk about yourself and your company. Integrate others’ ideas and links into your tweets. Retweet what your followers have tweeted, share their links, and let your followers know what you find interesting about a particular tweet. Doing so lets your followers know that you’re human

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved.


Five Ways to Engage Twitter Followers by Christian Gulliksen

Take a minute to look at your Twitter profile. Do you see unimaginative variations on the same basic tweet? Have you noticed a corresponding lack of follower engagement? If so, it’s time to mix it up—and here are five ways to do it.

2. Introduce yourself Zappos never runs out of great customer service ideas. And here’s another: individual members of the online retailer’s Twitter team announce when they’ll be handling questions and comments—turning an impersonal forum into a personal concierge service.

3. Answer a common question 1. Join a conversation After Richard Marx railed against the ineptitude of a competitor airline’s service, Virgin America jumped into the conversation with a clever reference to his 1989 hit “Right Here Waiting.” Marx re-tweeted the message to over 30,000 followers.

Can you decipher all the warning lights on your car’s instrument cluster? Probably not. Would you like to know what those illuminated symbols mean? Of course. And that’s why this tweet from Volkswagen truly engages the carmaker’s followers.

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved.


Five Ways to Engage Twitter Followers

4. Announce an offer You won’t engage your followers with a steady stream of nondescript offers and links. But they’ll appreciate stylish offers like this one from Target—a pre-order opportunity that plays on a central theme in The Hunger Games.

Christian Gulliksen is a writer who has authored several of the Get to the Po!nt newsletters for MarketingProfs. A former editor at Robb Report, he has also contributed to Worth, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

5. Ask an interesting question And, finally, the most straightforward way to engage your followers: Ask a direct question. This one from Random House is interesting and invites followers to share their answers in an interactive venue.

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved. 10

Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution

by Nick Westergaard

As social media continues to evolve, one reality is coming into focus: Brands are becoming more visual. One indication is the emergence of new kids on the block, such as the image-driven social network Pinterest. Another is the recent updates to more established social platforms, such as Facebook’s Timeline. What’s clear is that brands without a solid visual vocabulary will be left behind. “Visual” can be a loaded word. When we refer to a visual brand, do we just mean a brand with a good logo? Of course not, though it would be hard to imagine a visual brand that wasn’t anchored by strong imagery. Rather, a visual brand has a strong visual identity, a clear visual vocabulary, and an eye for visual storytelling.

What does that mean? And, more important, how can you be sure that beyond simply being social your brand is ready for the visual revolution as well? Social Media Changes That Favor Visual Brands First, consider the following updates and launches of social platforms over the past year that enable brands to make a significant visual impact.

Instagram Though not making nearly as many waves as Pinterest, Instagram is quickly becoming a cult favorite. In 2011, the photo-sharing application was named the App Store’s App of the Year. Although many dismiss the mobile-only, easy-photofilter app as just a fun tool for hipsters to take funky photos, brands such as General Electric and Ben & Jerry’s are finding traction using the network as a visual storytelling platform.

Pinterest Depending on what you’ve read most recently, Pinterest is either one of the fastest-growing social networks (it grew 52% in February alone according to comScore)—or it’s just another shiny new thing. Regardless, Pinterest is a hot new platform with exceptional growth, and what makes it popular is the visual component. At its core, the network isn’t anything more than a social bookmarking system. What’s different is that it’s image-driven and visual.

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved. 11

Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution

Facebook Timeline

Twitter, Foursquare, and Google+

Boasting the world’s third largest online population, Facebook is the 600-pound gorilla in any conversation about social brands. It’s no surprise, then, that the giant just sent a wave of visual updates down the beanstalk. With Facebook’s “Timeline” update, brands can enjoy several new features that rely heavily on bold graphics and visual storytelling: the cover photo, the timeline itself, and larger images on wall posts (RIP thumbnail graphics).

Though their changes are not as substantial as those of the previously noted social platforms, other networks are also jumping on the visual bandwagon. Recent updates on Twitter allow for Twitpics to display in-stream, and Foursquare boasts larger images for posts as well. Google+ also came out of the gate featuring larger images for links and photos than other networks (such as Facebook at the time).

A Checklist for the Visual Revolution Your brand’s visuals, then, are more important than ever. As Convince & Convert’s Jay Baer noted during a recent panel at SXSW, we are moving into a time when “content creators may not even have to be writers.” What does that mean for marketers? Here’s a six-item checklist to ensure that your brand is ready for the coming visual revolution. 1. The basics still matter


Your visual vocabulary starts with a strong foundation—a solid logo and corporate identity. However, more than making sure

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved. 12

Six Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Social Media’s Visual Revolution that your letterhead and business cards match, your brand team needs to ensure that you have typography that can transcend platforms and a lexicon of app-friendly iconography as well. You also need to consider how your brand can flourish in a controlled ecosystem (e.g., your website) as well as offsite platforms (e.g., Facebook).

4. Teach storytelling Take some time to teach your team how to capture moments and tell stories visually. Consider bringing in a photographer to deliver a guest lecture for some Friday fun. 5. Understand the mechanics of ‘pinnable’ images

2. Have a plan Though this tip may apply to any new social endeavor, it rings especially true here. Too often, those with visual savvy in organizations (the creatives!) are kept out and are brought in only after the fact—to “make things look pretty.” You need to bring in those visual thinkers at the initial stages of your campaigns to help you visualize your story across social channels.

Though Pinterest can be a powerful platform for a brand, using it still requires planning. That means including large, engaging photos that stand out in a sea of boards. You also need to be cognizant of the need to stand out when coding your site to ensure that your images are “seen” by Pinterest’s bookmarklets and other pinning tools. 6. Make your past as visual as your present and future

In addition to personnel, you also need a plan for attacking various platforms. What are you pinning on Pinterest? How do you use Instagram? 3. Photography can’t be an afterthought Many organizations have a couple of trusted photographers they contact in times of need, (e.g., for events or launches). That won’t suffice any more. You need a strategy for consistently creating more interesting imagery to feed the larger spaces on Facebook’s Timeline... and for creating the slices of life for visual storytelling on Instagram. (Fun fact: New Belgium Brewing, a Colorado brewery, shares Instagram responsibilities among five photographers for greater variety in its brand story.)

In addition to covering your visual bases from now on, make sure you digitize images from your brand’s past. Tools such as Facebook’s Timeline give tools to brands for telling their stories socially. Coke and Starbucks, for example, do a great job of that on their Facebook pages. *** As the innovations outlined above remind us, the social Web is only getting more visual. A picture is, again, worth a thousand words. People can scan pictures much more quicker than they can scan thousands of words. Therefore, content in the form of images helps us feed our info-snacking culture. As brand builders, we need to make sure we are leaving appropriate visual snacks out for our audiences. Is your social brand ready to get visual?

Nick Westergaard is a brand strategist and founder of Brand Driven Social, a social media strategy, training, and management firm that helps build social brands. Twitter: @NickWestergaard

©2013 MarketingProfs • All rights reserved. 13

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