Social media is becoming more and more integrated with content marketing as the realization dawns that social media is the illuminator of your content marketing efforts. “It’s the fuel to set your content on fire.” —Jay Baer

Great content with nowhere to go isn’t going to accomplish very much for your business.

Unless you have an ongoing, consistent stream of fresh content that is pushed out to all your social media channels you should definitely take a good hard look at your social media strategies and make sure you are optimizing them.

Statistics You Need to Know

This is rather amazing, since if you’re taking the time to participate on Facebook, why would you not follow through with the conversation? Customers like businesses that are responsive to their questions and concerns. Ignoring communication is a surefire way to alienate your audience—and lose customers.

Warren Whitlock of Social Media Radio says, “You don’t reach a point where you can’t respond to people. I expect that every piece of content I put out, somebody can respond to, leave a comment or have a discussion. People want to do business with people that they know, like and trust.”

If you are posting, you should be responding to every engagement as the start of a real conversation to build a deeper relationship with your audience.

  • Pinterest is projected to account for 40% of social media driven purchases

A picture is worth a thousand words, and Pinterest is a great way to maximize your message. Creating engaging content for Pinterest will broaden your customer and prospect base as Pinterest use continues to explode across the Web. Social Media Today shares that “according to a study by Shareaholic, [Pinterest] drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, You Tube and LinkedIn combined.”

Social Media Driven PurchasesThis pie chart from Atlas Media Ink not only shows the Pinterest 40%, but Facebook at 59.9% as well (another confirmation to answer Facebook comments.)

Already the social star of 2013, Pinterest just announced they’re rolling out their first set of API endpoints with partners such as Zappos, Target, Nestle, Walmart and Hearst. And this is just the beginning.

See how other big brands like Lowe’s, Nordstrom’s, Whole Foods and Martha Stewart successfully use Pinterest in their marketing strategies: Pinterest Marketing Tips: What You Can Learn From 20 Big Brands. Now is the time to get onboard.

  • The average user spends 20 minutes per visit on Facebook.

20 minutes, although shared time, is no small thing. Social Media Today shared the correlation between engagement/likes with short posts versus long posts.

Short posts win— so get to the point! Grab attention with a compelling image, pull the reader in with interesting content, and then (referring back to point one) when they comment, you need to respond.

Keep titles below 100 characters to ensure your keywords or core message are not cut off by Facebook. Photos generate 53% more likes and 104% more comments than text-only posts, so use images in all your posts to increase the likelihood of engagement, and then say something awesome.

  • 13% of consumers follow a brand on social channels because of their content.

Social media is the perfect solution for keeping in touch with customers without being pushy. Interesting, relevant content will be read and shared as users go to their favorite social sites and you are there. Participating in the conversation and providing value that stands out from the competition will give you an edge and encourage engagement.

“Whether it’s our B2B businesses or our B2C businesses, it’s incredibly important that we continue to use the power of social networks to be competitive,” says Mike McCranie, global director of IT at Kimberly-Clark Professional.

Keep messages unique to each audience and social platform. Repeating the exact same thing across all networks is a definite “buzz kill.” Stick to your “sweet spot” (their concerns/your expertise) and share varied types of content that resonate with your audiences. Mix things up with special offers, surveys, news, tips, free downloads of information and surprising images. Always provide value and your influence will grow as customers and prospects actually look forward to your next post!

  • Twitter handles 2.1 billion search engine queries per day.

That is an incomprehensible number! As if that isn’t enough, here are some additional stats from Using Twitter for Business Marketing to get you inspired about seriously using Twitter as a key social media marketing tool.

  • Companies that use Twitter average 2x more leads than those who don’t.
  • 75% of users are more likely to purchase from a brand they follow on Twitter.
  • 42% of companies that use Twitter for marketing have acquired a customer through it.
  • Companies with 1,000+ Twitter followers get 6x more website traffic than those who don’t.
  • 42% Of Twitter users use the Social Media network to research products and services.

For a comprehensive guide to using Twitter, Copyblogger created The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Marketing that can help get you started and keep you going on the right track. In the meantime, here are some Twitter tips from experienced users:

  • Keep tweets short, around 120 to allow for easy retweets of the maximum 140 characters.
  • When sharing a quote, stat or article, be sure to include the original brand or user’s handle in the tweet. This will increase the likelihood of them seeing your tweet and retweeting it to their own audiences.
  • Tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
  • Tweets with photos receive the highest engagement.
  • Links placed earlier in a tweet receive much higher click-through rates than links placed at the end of a tweet.

  • 20% of Google searches each day have never been searched before.

Online search is not a static science. The search habits of online users are ever evolving, and Google search algorithms change accordingly. The latest Hummingbird update focuses on how people search, the exact terms they use to search and even the questions they ask. Counting simply on independent keyword searches for prospects and customers to find you is passé. Social and real engagement is more important; not by links and keywords anymore.

You need to understand the logic behind the search–the information users seek or the answers to their questions. Do your analytics homework (5 Alternative Sources to Cope With Google Analytics Keyword Not Provided) and discover the terms that are driving traffic to your website. Pinpoint questions you can answer in your content to facilitate being top of search in your industry. Valuable, relevant content will keep up with any algorithm updates, as well as making your website the end result of search queries for real information.

Encouragement to Socialize Your Business

“Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” –Lori Ruff, LinkedIn trainer

“Social media promotion is critical to online content marketing success today. No content strategy is complete without a strong social media strategy.” –Joe Pulizzi, Epic Content Marketing

“Social media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.” –Bonnie Sainsbury, Women Talking Tech

“Social media allows big companies to act small again. Social media creates kinship between companies and customers, and kinship equals purchase intent.” –Jay Baer

“The real niche behind content and the real reason why it’s so critical for brands to get their heads around this idea is that today with mobile technology, Google, the Web and social media, brands no longer control their marketing. The real marketing force is the consumers who are out there talking about your products and services to their friends.”Nate Riggs, Marketing Strategist

Join the Conversation:

  • Where have you seen the greatest success in social media customer engagement?
  • What challenges do you have with keeping a consistent flow of fresh content across your social media networks?

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