An Introduction to Creator Marketing

You already know that creating engaging content and a well-thought-out marketing strategy helps you grow your business. But one idea that might be new to you is creator marketing, a concept that is shifting how marketers collaborate and create content. When introducing a product or promoting your business, one post with a creator simply no longer suffices. Instead, a larger strategy needs to be set in place.

This article will introduce the concept of the creator economy and creator marketing. You’ll also learn more about the difference between working with a content creator and an influencer.

What is the Creator Economy?

Before we get into creator marketing, let’s look at the background on this topic. The countless social media platforms and content creators active today make up a new landscape on the Internet, which is called the creator economy

According to the marketing software company HubSpot, the creator economy is the online economy made up of content creators, which includes social media influencers, videographers, bloggers, and other digital creatives. Tools and software that help these creators grow profit from the content are also part of the creator economy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people were at home and had more time to spend time online, the number of active content creators increased. Many soon discovered this content could also generate money. It was estimated there were over 50 million content creators just two years ago. It’s likely this number is even higher today. 

Creators use social platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, just to name a few. If you’re not yet using TikTok to promote your brand, take a look at our blog article Using TikTok for Your Business.

What is Creator Marketing?

Sprout Social defines creator marketing as “when brands partner with content creators to drive awareness and engagement for specific campaigns or initiatives.” By incorporating creator marketing into your strategy, you can greatly improve your audience engagement and reach. 

Choosing to work with a content creator can help you strengthen your community or reach new followers, but not all creators are the same:

  • Content Creators: produce entertaining or educational content for digital distribution, including audio content (podcasts), written content (blogs), photos/images, and videos (YouTube videos). Content creators know how important it is to build a relationship with their audience, which is important to note when you are looking for someone to collaborate with a creator.
  • Social Media Content Creators: similar to content creators, this creator subcategory prioritizes building a relationship with audience members across all social platforms. If you are interested in marketing on various social platforms, it may be beneficial to work with a social media content creator.

One popular content creator is Yoga with Adriene. She creates yoga-workout videos and has brought yoga to many peoples’ homes, especially during the pandemic. She connects well with her following and it is apparent that she has built a strong community behind her brand.

What is the difference between a content creator and an influencer?

It’s important to note that content creators create content, blogs, photos, etc. to make money, while influencers “inspire” followers to buy or to do something. The big difference is the intention behind the content being posted.

Content creators produce high-quality content to engage with their audience through photos and videos, which can include tutorials, how-to guides, etc. Influencers share their lives and promote products, which, if purchased by their following, often bring them a percentage of sales.

Here are some example marketing goals that can help you decide if you should work with a content creator or an influencer.

  • Working with a content creator: you want high-quality content and/or want to create a unique project. You’d like to use the creator’s style to present your brand. Digital content creators are usually paid per project and they often offer you a quote based on your request. They can help you create engaging content for marketing purposes or for sale strategies.
  • Working with an influencer: you want to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness. You’d also like to promote a new product or service to a special niche group that the influencer targets. Influencers often create packages based on the promotion that you want and the reach that they have.

It’s important to note that choosing to work with a content creator vs. an influencer is not necessarily an either-or situation. It really depends on your marketing strategy and your overall goals.

As always, make sure to stay on top of trends and learn about content creators in your industry. You can find content creators or influencers that interest you by using social listening. Want to learn how? Read our How You Can Use Social Listening to Improve Your Business blog to find out.


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How You Can Use Social Listening to Improve Your Business

Building brand awareness and connecting to customers online requires a holistic approach. Practicing social listening is just as important as creating meaningful content. In this blog post, we will introduce you to this topic and give you some tips on how you can get started on improving your brand through social listening.

What is Social Listening?

According to HootSuite, “Social listening is the practice of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitor brands, and related keywords.” You can track any mentions online about your brand or business, which can give you insights into how people are reacting. It can also help you to quickly identify a crisis and react accordingly.

Social listening can help you:

  • Understand how your customers feel about your brand/business
  • Figure out what you can improve if there are complaints or other negative comments
  • Find out what competitors’ customers are talking about and discover trending topics
  • Complete all of this in real-time, so you can act fast if needed

Is Social Listening the Same as Social Monitoring?

Social monitoring, or brand monitoring, is when you get notified when your brand or business is mentioned online. This is useful for responding quickly when needed, but it doesn’t give you a whole picture of your brand or the industry you’re focused on.

Social listening is more expansive in that it gives you mentions about not only your brand but also conversations about your competitors, the industry and similar products. This is a more complete picture instead of just snippets related to your brand or business.

Through social listening, you can make better decisions about how to structure your marketing or social media strategy, since you have a clearer picture of all that surrounds your business.

Why You Should Use Social Listening for Your Business

1. Know your audience

By listening to what is being said about your brand or business online, you can better understand what customers want and how you can improve your offering/services. 

2. Respond to crisis 

If something goes terribly wrong in relation to your brand, you want to find out right away and respond quickly.

3. Build customer relationships

Social media can be a great way to talk to current or potential customers, but your goal doesn’t always have to be about selling something. Build relationships and respond to customers instead of just offering a product or service every time. Share useful information that piques interest instead of strictly pushing what you have to offer.

4. Learn more about your competitors

Social listening can keep you in the loop about what your competitors are doing and give you updates about the latest trends in your industry. This can inspire you to create new products or services.

5. Improve your social media strategy

Listening to your customers, competitors and your industry as a whole can help you create tailored content. You’ll be able to learn more about what your customers want and what content seems to resonate with them. Need help creating meaningful content for your customers? Take a look at our Content Strategies for Different Stages of the Buyer Journey article.

Tips on How You Can Start Social Listening

1. Use the right social listening tools

Depending on what you want to track, make sure to use the right tools. There are various social listening apps that can help you monitor your social channels. Make sure to do your research to choose the right one for your needs.

Buffer, Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics are just a few that are worth looking into. 

2. Create a Social Listening Strategy

You should structure your social listening and treat it as a project. Aside from monitoring tags or direct messages, monitor variations of your brand or business name, and the founder or other public figures associated with your brand.

3. Monitor your competitors

And not just the happy customers from your competitors, but keep an eye out for unhappy customers. What are they saying? How can you cater to them? You could find solutions to their problems.

We hope this introduction to social listening was helpful for you and that you can get started using these tips right away. There are so many opportunities to connect to your  existing and potential customers by using social media and the various social listening tools available.


Want to connect with your audience, and get paid for it? Make sure to read more in our article Facebook & Instagram Subscriptions Feature: How to Make the Most of It.


Facebook & Instagram Subscriptions Feature: How to Make the Most of It

In 2020, Facebook released the Subscriptions feature, which helps individuals and brands better connect and engage with their followers. Instagram followed a year later based on the same model, but so far, it’s being tested only in the United States. It’s only a matter of time until Instagram releases the feature in other countries, so learn about it now and be ready when you gain access.

In this blog post, you’ll learn more about the Subscriptions feature, and how it can help you earn a recurring monthly income from loyal followers.

Make sure to read our blog Into the Metaverse: Understanding Facebook and Instagram in the Age of Meta, to learn more about these important social platforms.

What Is the Subscriptions Feature?

By subscribing to a profile on Facebook or Instagram and paying a monthly fee, followers can access exclusive content. The content for subscribers includes stories, lives, reels, posts, group chats. Additionally, a subscriber-only purple crown badge appears when subscribed followers comment on a creator’s post or send them a direct message.

Instagram Subscriptions Features

  • Subscriber Lives: Exclusive Lives allow for greater engagement with followers.
  • Subscriber Stories: Subscribers can access exclusive stories, and can use interactive story stickers with their most engaged followers. 
  • Subscriber Badges: A special badge is present next to subscribers, so they’re easily identifiable for further engagement.
  • Subscriber Chats: Subscribers can access exclusive chats to interact with a creator (up to 30 subscribers per chat).

Additional Facebook Subscriptions Features

  • Subscriber Email Access: Subscriptions creators can download emails of new subscribers (who have agreed to share their email addresses) so they can maintain a relationship off of Facebook.
  • Creators can now use a personalized link to promote their Subscriptions to reach a wider audience and direct them to the platform.

What are the major benefits of using the Subscriptions feature as a creator?

You can build a stronger connection with your followers by earning a monthly subscription fee. Who doesn’t want that? By engaging with loyal subscribers, you can also build even stronger relationships that support your business and goals.

What’s even better is that you as a creator earn 100% of the profit from the Subscription fee, excluding taxes. But this might change. Meta noted that no fees will be collected for Facebook (and Instagram) Subscriptions until 2023 at the earliest. 

Not sure how to make your content meaningful? Make sure to read our blogs Content Strategies for Different Stages of the Buyer Journey or What You Need to Know to Personalize Your Marketing Content for a number of different tips and tricks.


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5 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z

Gen Z is entering adulthood, and their buying power will soon become the largest of any generation. But Gen Z’s habits, and especially their relationship to technology, diverge widely from Millenials, Gen X, and Boomers. What do you need to know to market to this group successfully?

Generation Z was born in the late 1990s to the early 2010s (exact years vary depending on who you ask), and is rapidly coming of age. By 2023, Gen Z will number 74 million people in the United States alone.

Ready to learn how to market to Gen Z and convert them into customers?

Follow Fundamental Best Practices First

First things first, there’s no magic formula. Not all members of Gen Z think and act the same, and pretending they do won’t help much. With inbound marketing, there’s no substitute for defining buyer personas based on your business’s target market.

When strategizing about marketing to Gen Z, create at least one buyer persona in this age group. Remember, your Gen Z persona does not represent an entire generation. They represent the interests, problems, and desires of one type of person who could become your customer. 

Also, always consider your perspective and goals as a business. If your product or service appeals primarily to retirees, for example, you may not need a Gen Z buyer persona. On the other hand, if your brand aims to solve problems for people entering adulthood, you may need several. 

Now that you’ve considered buyer personas, let’s talk strategy. We know Gen Z is diverse and has varied interests, but what collectively sets them apart from previous generations? Our top 5 tips will help get you started.

1. Strive to Entertain

Members of Gen Z are the first digital natives,” people born and raised with technology at their fingertips. In part because of this, they tend not to distinguish as much between different types of content. Consider that years ago, video advertising used to come only during scheduled commercial breaks. Gen Z’s reality is much different.

They have been bombarded with content their entire lives, with marketing messages taking many different forms. It’s necessary to stand out to get their attention. One surefire way to do this? Entertain them.

Content that grabs the viewer’s attention within the first few seconds is best. Consider video tutorials for social media, behind-the-scenes content giving an honest look into your brand, and helpful resources framed with a sense of humor.

2. Use Short-Form Video

Gen Z consumes more videos than their older counterparts, particularly short-form. Given their high usage rates of YouTube and TikTok, they often expect short videos with features such as music, visual effects, and text overlays.

Include video marketing in your strategy from the start, and keep your videos to 15 seconds or less for best results. Instagram Reels and TikTok work well for your polished videos, while Instagram stories can help create a more personal connection with your audience.

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3. Highlight Your Brand’s Values and Beliefs

On average Gen Z cares more than older generations about what businesses stand for, and how they contribute to the greater good. Before marketing to Gen Z, consider your brand’s values and vision, and think about how to communicate them to your audience. 

If you haven’t already, make the mission of your business publicly available. Better yet, incorporate your beliefs into your content strategy so viewers start to associate your brand with those values. 

As a side benefit, the more you care about the content you create, the more authentic it becomes. Gen Z views brands skeptically, looking for proof of their values in what they do, not only what they say. So stick to your mission and spread the word about how you’re trying to make positive change.

4. Create Community

Brands often fall into the trap of marketing on auto-pilot. But especially with social media marketing, don’t forget communication goes both ways. Gen Z expects to interact more than previous generations.

Consider interactive options such as polls, quizzes, and Q&A sessions. Solicit feedback and monitor comment sections for opportunities to start conversations.

Other ways to jumpstart community include influencer marketing, which can help your audience see themselves in your brand, and user-generated content, which gives your audience a stake and a feeling of belonging.

In the near future, Gen Z might help accelerate a more fundamental change in social media. Research shows they are more comfortable with community-based platforms such as Discord and Twitch over more traditional social media.

5. Consider TikTok

When it comes to which social media platforms to focus on, the old rules no longer apply. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can still give you results, but don’t stop there. 

One of the top social networks for Gen Z? TikTok. Fully 60% of TikTok’s users are in Gen Z. Known for less formal and more spontaneous content, TikTok can help your business connect with customers on a human level.

Joining a new social platform can also help refresh your brand image. Given TikTok’s emphasis on short-form video and humorous content, it’s a great place to experiment with tips 1-4 on this list.


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How to Use Social Media Scheduling Tools to Save Time and Work Smarter

You’ve created your buyer personas, decided on content pillars, and planned your calendar of social media posts. But how do you make use of social media scheduling to share your content with the world?

Sure, you can share each post in your social media calendar manually. For some posts this makes sense. 

But often there’s a better way. We recommend saving time and working smarter by scheduling some–not all–of your posts ahead of time. Here’s what you need to know about social media scheduling tools, and how to strike a balance that works for you.

Pros and Cons of Social Media Scheduling

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media scheduling. If your budget for social media is large and you have a dedicated social team, it might make sense to post manually most of the time. This gives you the flexibility to make last minute changes and reserve space for reposting trending topics of the day.

If you’re a one-person team and social media is a small part of your job, schedule away!

Regardless of the size of your team, if you’re collaborating with an influencer who is scheduling their posts, you might want to balance these with more spontaneous content.

But these are just rough guidelines, not the whole story. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of scheduling your posts.

Pros

1. Time Management: Social Media Managers are busy. Scheduling posts ahead of time can help you make the most of the work you’ve already put in, while freeing up time for other tasks. This is especially true for managers who wear multiple hats. If you need to carve out time for other work, scheduling can free up your mental space as well.

2. Posting at the Right Time: Maybe you’ve noticed your followers engage most with posts on Thursday afternoons, but you have regular meetings during that time and posting manually is a challenge. Or maybe you’re preparing a post for an audience in a different time zone, who are most active when you’re asleep. Whatever the reason, scheduling can give you better control over timing.

3. More Relevant Live Posting: If you pre-schedule posts of evergreen content, you can create more time to engage on social media in real time. Depending on your industry, this might look like sharing breaking news, live-streaming an event, or joining a trending discussion.

Cons

1. Robotic Voice: Remember that the power of social media lies in connecting people. Your customers want to feel like a real person is behind your social media, not a machine. Scheduling too many of your posts can create so much consistency that your posts feel lifeless. When you get stuck in a rut, you can lose the spontaneity and variability that give color to your content.

2. Outdated Information and Errors: The world is always changing, and sometimes changes that happen between scheduling and posting make a difference. We’ve all seen posts from brands that come out after a major news event and suddenly seem insensitive. And sometimes the start time for an event changes, or a speaker drops out.Similarly, your social content will contain errors from time to time. Maybe there’s a typo you didn’t catch or a problem with the way Facebook generates your link. Scheduling makes it more likely that errors will stay live longer before you can fix them.

3. Temptation to Overpost: With social media, more is not always better. Remember that you’re trying to connect with your buyer personas, not with as many people as possible. Take a look at your buyer personas and consider the scope of your business, as well as the time you can dedicate to social media. You don’t have to be present on every social media platform, and you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too many posts.

How to Choose Which Scheduling Tool to Use

So you’ve decided to schedule some of your posts, but how do you choose which scheduling tool to use? 

Let’s start with the in-app options. Some social platforms offer an option to schedule directly in the app. If you have a limited budget and a presence on only a small number of platforms, we recommend starting here. If your business is on Facebook and Instagram, for example, you can schedule posts for both in the Meta Business Suite. Schedule a few posts to see how it works for you, and monitor the results to make sure you’re meeting your goals.

If you have a larger budget and social media is a significant part of your marketing strategy, a third-party app will likely serve you better. Scheduling tools like HootSuite and Sprout Social offer a streamlined interface for managing content on social platforms. Importantly, they also offer analytics tools to help you make sure you’re meeting your KPIs and getting the ROI you want.

Many third-party scheduling tools offer a free version and an upgraded version for those who pay. If you pay, you can expect fewer limitations on things like the number of posts, and greater access to tools for analytics and reporting.

Finally, if you work at a larger company that uses a CRM such as HubSpot or Zoho, you may have the option for social media scheduling in the CRM. This is a great way to cut back on the number of apps you use and work more efficiently. Keep in mind, some CRM’s offer social tools only at the highest subscription level, so check your account to make sure scheduling is available for you.

Remember there are no hard and fast rules for scheduling social media posts. Consider your goals, the size of your team, and the tools available to you. Then test, evaluate, and adjust as needed.


Do you need help with your social media strategy? GoViral Digital has more than ten years’ experience in inbound marketing. Request a proposal to take your business to the next level.


Into the Metaverse: Understanding Facebook and Instagram in the Age of Meta

Social media is always evolving, and the arrival of Meta signals sweeping change and a fundamental restructuring for a very different future. As a digital marketer, what do you need to know?

What Is the Metaverse?

In October 2021 Mark Zuckerberg announced the consolidation of Facebook and related products—including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp—into a new brand called Meta. The rebranding is a nod to the metaverse, which Zuckerberg sees as the successor to today’s mobile internet.

The metaverse doesn’t have a single definition, but we can think of it in general terms as the next evolution in our digital lives. Today’s mobile internet gives us access to social media, email, internet browsers, cameras and more—all in one device we carry around with us. 

The metaverse will combine social media platforms, digital storefronts, gaming applications and more into a single digital experience: a more fully fledged digital world, perhaps accessed with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) headsets.

What will this look like exactly? No one knows for sure. In short, the metaverse is not here yet, but many of its components are. It remains to be seen how everything will come together, and it won’t happen all at once.

What Has Already Changed on Facebook and Instagram?

First things first, Facebook and Instagram are so popular that the leaders of these companies have every incentive to keep the user experience consistent. Even the most loyal users will only put up with so much change. As such, the biggest changes so far have been in branding, not function.

One change you might have noticed is increased connectivity and interoperability of Meta’s platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Regular updates to messaging tools such as Messenger and Instagram direct messaging have brought increased coordination, allowing marketers to more seamlessly manage direct messages across multiple platforms.

Another area for updates: ads management. The new Meta Advantage Suite will collect different automated ad products under one umbrella, allowing for increased efficiency in ad management. 

Meta is also boosting their metaverse platform Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality video game focused on world-building for social interaction. A new fund for creators will further incentivize  user-generated content on the platform.

Three Steps You Can Take Now to Prepare for More Changes

If you’re wondering what you need to do right now to prepare for the internet of the future, our first advice is don’t panic. These are long-term changes, some of them purely hypothetical, and even Meta sees the full introduction of the metaverse as more than ten years away.

However, there are steps you can take to improve your marketing efforts now and prepare for the future.

1. One of the goals of the metaverse is to build community. The hope is that a more fully realized digital world will encourage interaction among visitors that looks and feels more like “real life.” We recommend revisiting your buyer personas to make sure you understand what makes your potential customers tick, and keep refining your messaging to feel more natural and authentic.

2. Investigate ways to incentivize and promote user-generated content. The future of our digital lives will likely look more decentralized, with greater influence in the hands of individuals rather than platforms and other businesses.

3. As Meta continues to release updates and tweaks, take advantage of new features that make sense for your business. This could mean linking WhatsApp to your Facebook page to decrease your response time to direct messages, creating an account in Horizon Worlds just to explore, or experimenting with new enhanced product tagging on Instagram.

What Is Coming Next?

The long-term plans outlined by Meta are subject to change of course, and no one can predict exactly how the metaverse will unfold.

As we head into an uncertain future, remember that while it may not be your job to explain the technical details of the metaverse to anyone, it’s helpful to have a firm understanding of the ideas behind it. Of note: the majority of consumers, your potential customers, don’t have a strong understanding of what the metaverse is

We’re all in this together, and regardless of what we call it, we use social media to connect with others and meet potential customers where they are on the buyer’s journey. The fundamentals have not changed.


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Using TikTok for Your Business

Think TikTok is just another Gen Z app? Not anymore. TikTok has over 1 billion monthly users, and the platform’s popularity is rising fast. 

TikTok may have started as a fun place to stream silly videos, but it has quickly changed the way we share content.

Why should your business consider TikTok?

TikTok seems synonymous with dance videos, fun challenges, and crazy pranks. And that’s not wrong! But once you learn the language of the platform, you can leverage this fun and casual atmosphere to share engaging content and connect with your audience on a human level. 

Did you know that 47.4% of TikTok users are under the age of 30, and of these more than half are teenagers? So especially if your business targets a younger audience, you should get on this train.

Let’s discuss some benefits of TikTok for businesses.

Boost Brand Awareness

Want to go viral? You can create entertaining content on TikTok. The platform offers various ways to spotlight your brand: collaborating with influencers, running ads, and using features like hashtags or stickers.

Product Promotion

What sets TikTok marketing apart is that it doesn’t feel like marketing. The content created on the platform doesn’t feel as aggressive or sales-y as traditional marketing. Brands partner with creators who users trust, creating meaningful content with the intent of informing and entertaining their audience.

Expand Your Target Base

One of the easiest ways to attract more customers is to jump on the right trend at the right time on TikTok. Trending or not, authentic content that feels human builds strong relationships and brand trust with users. Plus, with millions of active users around the world, TikTok is a great place to reach a wider audience base. 

We hope the above points have convinced you of the positives of having a presence on TikTok. Now that you’ve decided to join the platform, let’s talk about some ways to get the most out of it.

Create Original Content

Scrolling endlessly through videos on TikTok is a lot of fun, but the sheer number of videos means marketers need to create original, attention grabbing content to stand out from the crowd. Easier said than done!

Here are some tips to remember:

  • No formal or scripted videos. Authenticity is the key for success on TikTok.
  • No need for a high-tech video production setup. With a quality phone camera and adequate lighting, you are good to go.
  • Share behind-the-scenes content or office culture to show the human side of your business.
  • Jump on the bandwagon with TikTok trends and challenges. There is no scarcity of new ideas for videos on the platform. Look up trending topics and join in on what’s most relevant to your audience. 

Create a New TikTok Challenge

Challenges are the soul of TikTok. Not only do challenges have the potential to go viral, but they are also highly entertaining, building buzz on and off the platform.

For example, Colgate started a challenge called #MakeMomSmile for Mother’s Day, encouraging people to share videos of how they celebrated the holiday. The hashtag received around 5.4B views on TikTok. Even other brands like New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys participated in the challenge.

Before you create a new challenge, have a clear goal in mind. Do you want to promote an event, increase brand awareness or push sales? Once you set a goal, you can prepare a plan to achieve it. 

Partnering with popular influencers will push their followers to jump on the bandwagon. Keep in mind influencer marketing can be costly, but it is highly rewarding as well. Learn all about Influencer Marketing in our Influencer Marketing guide

Promote User-Generated Content 

Brands love user-generated content (UGC). For many, sharing popular content is the easiest and most cost-effective way to grab attention. On TikTok, UGC often looks like an unboxing video or a testimonial about a product they love. With the user’s permission, brands share these videos on their accounts. 

Take a look at how Chipotle leverages UGC to keep their audience engaged.

There are many advantages of sharing UGC. Marketers don’t have to worry about constantly creating original content for their brands. Plus, users feel appreciated and recognised when you share their content, helping you delight existing customers and acquire new customers through social proof.  

 

One thing’s for sure: TikTok ain’t going anywhere. If you aren’t using it for your business, you are missing out on potential customer base and engagement. 

In the ever-changing world of social media, video is having a moment, and you don’t want to fall behind the times. So get ready to explore the world of TikTok, have fun with video content and connect with your audience on a whole new level.


Want to build a TikTok Marketing Strategy for your business? Request a proposal by contacting us.


Busting 5 Common Social Media Marketing Myths

Well, myths are common. And social media has been around long enough for marketers to have believed and shared some myths about it. 

 

There is no question that social media plays a key role in boosting the success of your business. While some myths are harmless, others have a great potential to negatively affect your success. That’s why marketers need to keep themselves updated to avoid falling for the traps. 

 

Let’s put our Mythbusters glasses on and dispel some widely believed myths about social media in this article.

Myth #1 “Our business should have an online presence on every single social media platform.”

We know you want to stay ahead of the competition, but it doesn’t mean your business needs have a presence on all networks. This notion is pretty harmful to businesses. It takes time, effort and money to maintain accounts on multiple platforms. 

Instead what you need is a meaningful presence on networks that lets you connect with your target audience and engage them. We suggest researching pros and cons of all social media platforms. Maybe even try exploring them. Surely, some of them might not be worth your time. This will help you know where to invest your time and resources to get the best results. 

Common practices for many local businesses is to have an online presence on Facebook and B2B companies usually expand to LinkedIn as well. For companies with products or services, Instagram and Pinterest are highly recommended. 

Like we said before – research and try till you find your sweet spot!

Myth #2 “Why do we need a budget for social media marketing? Isn’t it free?”

While it is free to join and post on any social media, the chances of you getting good results without spending any money are slim to none. On Facebook, the organic reach for posts is in decline, only around 5.20%. 

It is vital to have a budget for social media marketing. Boosting your posts is a surefire way of getting more attention. Running social media marketing requires an investment of resources. In addition to an online spend budget, you need to hire a strong team to build strategies according to data metrics. 

The good news is that social media still won’t burn a hole in your pocket. It is still one of the most affordable ways to boost brand awareness, lead generation and ultimately customer acquisition/retention. All this makes your investment worthwhile.

Myth #3 “More Followers = More Success”

Remember the golden rule “Quality over quantity”. It isn’t the 2010s anymore where buying followers in bulk was in trend. After all, a high follower count is worthless if your engagement is low. 

Brands that know their target audience well are more likely to gain success on social media. Social Sprout’s index data shows that 91% of consumers visit the brand’s website and 90% of consumers buy from that brand they are following on social media whereas 86% choose that brand over their competitor. 

Myth #4 “More Hashtags = Higher Reach”

We all have seen posts like, 

Our #employees had some #fun on #Friday with #IceBucketChallenge. Watch the video below. #officefun #socialmedia #officeculture #teambuilding #behndthescenes #peopleinmarketing 

All we can say is No! More hashtags don’t mean your post gets more reach. Plus, it makes you look amateurish and spammy. Research shows that if you use more than 2 hashtags on Twitter, you will see a 17% drop in engagement

Take some time out to discover relevant hashtags in the community and don’t overuse them.

Myth #5 “Social Media is merely a sales tool.”

There is a huge misconception is that social media is a marketplace for your products and services. Being overly promotional will make your followers run away. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you want to see sales content on your social media all the time? 

Marketers need to tap into social data as a valuable resource. 47% of businesses use social data as a multi-team strategy resource. It can answer questions on how to manage and expand business across every department. 

Start by focussing on areas of your business that could benefit from social data, and build your social listening strategy based on it. 

It is hard for marketers to keep track of falsehoods behind social media. We hope this article helps you bust some of those myths and push you to tap into the power of social media fearlessly. 


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Keeping Up with Instagram Updates in 2021

Instagram never stops surprising us. While the world is trying to stay positive through these challenging times, it is exciting to see how Instagram rapidly develops new features and functionalities to tackle main business issues and help users support their favourite brands.

And now, more than ever, keeping up with what’s new on Instagram can be quite a challenge. There are new Instagram features almost every week. We know it is essential to stay up to date with the latest changes on Instagram, so we put together a list of important updates announced by Instagram in 2021 so far.

More Security for Users Under 18

The world of the internet can sometimes be overwhelming for young users. Providing them with protection online is the real need of the hour. 

Here are some latest safety features for young users by Instagram:

  • Private account by default for everyone under 16

Instagram’s main priority is to stop strangers from making unwanted contact with young users. Private accounts for users under 16 is the best way to deal with it. It lets you control who can see and comment on their content, and it won’t be possible for unwanted users to see their content on Explore or Hashtags.

  • No unwanted contact

Having a private account is the first step to avoid unwanted contact. But that’s not all! Instagram goes above and beyond to ensure young users aren’t exposed to unwanted contact from adults they don’t want to hear from. 

Instagram has developed a new technology to keep “potentially suspicious behaviour” away from users under 16. Accounts belonging to adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young user is defined as potentially suspicious behaviour. 

With this technology, these accounts won’t be able to see any young users’ accounts or content in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested for You’. They won’t be able to follow them even if they find these accounts by searching their usernames. So much so that they won’t be able to see comments from young users and won’t be able to leave comments on their posts. 

We think this is one of the best features Instagram has introduced so far!

  • Advertising limitations for targeting young people

Another game-changing feature that Instagram introduced is how advertisers can target young users with ads. The platform now allows targeting ads based only on their age, gender and location, which means that advertisers no longer have the options to target based on their interests or activities. 

When these users turn 18, Instagram will inform them about the advertising policy change and the tools to control their ad experience. 

No Place for Hate Speech

Protecting its users from abusive comments and DMs has been of the biggest concerns for Instagram for a long time. It seems like Instagram is working hard to deal with the situation, and the company rolled out an excellent feature called Limits

With this feature, you can now limit or hide comments and messages from users that are not on your followers’ list or have recently started following you. The purpose of Limits is to help protect public figures from offensive comments and DMs. 

It is no ‘Breaking News’ that Instagram creators and influencers often receive hateful comments from random profiles. Since the pandemic, it only seems to have gotten worse. A step in the right direction, we say!

A New Tab - Audio

Instagram is looking to lean into video-form after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. The company announced that it is no longer a photo-sharing app and promotes users to use reels and short-video form posts. 

 

Recently, a new audio tab has appeared in the app. This tool gives users the ability to search for reels by song. Like any other music app, Instagram will provide a list of songs when users swipe and search. 

Users will then be able to see 30-second reels with the song. Users can save any music they like for later, or there is also an option “use audio” to create a reel if they wish.

Translation Features

The company announced that a new accessibility feature would be added on Instagram – Translation. This feature supports 90 languages right now, and however, it is only possible to translate written text. 

This new update will translate the text in Instagram Stories. Instagram will give you a “See Translation” option to translate the overlayed text in Stories. When the users click on it, they will be presented with a translation panel. 

Brands in global markets will love this new update as users globally don’t have to miss stories from their favourite international brands. A similar option is also available for feed, comments and profiles.

Exciting News for Businesses

Data Tracking is made easy with the latest update. Instagram expanded the data tracking period for insights from 30 days to 90 days. Companies can quickly analyse their quarterly insights on the platform to create a better strategy. Something to look forward to for small businesses!

Additionally, the company announced testing a new feature that provides businesses options to display ads in the shopping tab. The ads can vary from a single image to a carousel. 

Marketers can even use Reels as ads that look no different than any usual Reel, with a difference of ‘sponsored’ tab on it. 

Research shows that users on Instagram are looking for more video, messaging and shopping content rather than images. There is no doubt that the platform will be making many changes to entertain its users more. 


As the world of digital marketing continues to change and evolve rapidly, make sure to stay current with the latest trends and keep your marketing strategy fresh. Sign up for our newsletter below to stay in-the-know.


How to Grow Your Brand’s Following on LinkedIn

Recently, LinkedIn decided that the Stories feature is not for their platform. The announcement to shut down the feature by the end of September was made on the company’s official blog on August 30th. 

Stories were first made famous by Snapchat, and soon Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn followed suit. Stories refer to short video content that automatically gets deleted after 24 hours. LinkedIn’s decision to remove Stories came after Twitter shut down its Fleets feature in July. 

In one year, LinkedIn tried different methods to boost promoting Stories feature to all users. They even published themed Stories curated by their own teams only to fill the Stories bar for the users. However, nothing helped push users to use the feature more often. The temporary nature of the feature was the reason users kept away from it. So they decided to ditch the feature. Instead, LinkedIn plans to pivot to short-form, rich interactive videos. They are also looking for ways to bring audio to their platforms with groups or events. This will give users more ways to connect with each other.

But, does all this mean that the Stories format, in general, is not popular anymore? The answer is NO! Video is taking over other social media platforms and should be an integral part of your social media strategy. Instagram recently announced that they are not a photo-sharing app anymore. Stories are getting hugely popular on Instagram while Tiktok is gaining traction for marketers. Seems like people want certain formats on certain platforms. All in all, it was a great experiment for LinkedIn. They know that Stories is not the way to go for them, but it also led them to re-focus their vision to find a tool that their users actually want to use to promote their services or products. 

But if Stories isn’t working on LinkedIn, then how to grow your brand’s following without it? While we wait for LinkedIn to launch their short-form video format, we bring you some tips that will help gain an edge and grow your business on the platform. 

Here are some expert tips on how to grow your brand following on LinkedIn:

Boost Credibility of Your LinkedIn Page

To stand out from the rest, your LinkedIn page needs to represent your brand in the best way possible. Professionals mostly rely on LinkedIn pages for acquiring brand information and having a weak LinkedIn page instantly makes the user lose interest in your company. Some of the best practices to drive growth to your page are:

  • Fill in all Company information

Did you know that a page with complete information gets 30% more weekly views? From logo, to key terms, and a call to action (CTA), don’t miss filling out any information.

  • Encourage people to follow

Push your first-degree connections to check out your page and follow it by sending out regular invites.

  • Engage in conversation

Join conversations on LinkedIn, invite others in, go on live chats, share @mentions of your company are a few ways that allows you to build a deeper connection with your audience. 

  • Leverage on your employees content

Take advantage of your employees’ content to drive traffic to your page by adding “My Company tab”. This not only gives your brand more credibility, but also lets your employees show their voice in their own way. 

Establish Thought Leadership

Want to know the quickest way to elevate your brand image? Posting thought leadership articles! Thought leadership has evolved from being a fluff piece that fills in your social feed to an influential factor in brand reputation. Thought leadership is a powerful way to connect with your audience through a consistent voice and vision. 

You can set goals and expectations for thought leadership and through views, you can witness an instant rise in your reputation, demand generation, market consideration and engagement. Make sure to check out Edelman’s Flywheel of Thought Leadership. It will help you create a thought leadership vision that catches the eye of executives and top decision makers. 

Increase Customer Engagement

Gone are the days of your generic sales pitch! B2B customers today want the brands to connect with them on a personal level. It is vital that you understand your buyer personas, and how your product/services are going to bring their problems to an end. 

If you are still unsure about your customers’ needs, you can consider hosting a LinkedIn event or a discussion which focuses on them, instead of your product/services. Straight from the horse’s mouth!

Show your creativity to stand out

Taking a page from the B2C playbook, B2B marketing is upping the game lately.  They are leaving no stone unturned to connect with the users on an emotional level to influence their decisions. 

To make people stop scrolling, you need to be creative, interactive and eye-catching. Carousel ads and Conversion ads give you the opportunity to create engaging content while showcasing your visual storytelling skills. Recycle your content to get the most out of it. Turning articles into videos or infographics is another fool-proof way to stick out.

Make most of LinkedIn Insights

If you are a marketer, you should make LinkedIn Reporting and Analytics your new best friend! Data is the best tool that tells how to harness the power of analytics and work around your marketing strategy. It helps you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns. It leads you in the right direction for achieving the best results in the future and how to stay ahead of the pack. 

Maximise Objectives with Ads

No social media strategy is complete without ads. To reap the most benefit out of content on LinkedIn, marketers are boosting it through paid promotion. In fact, 80% of B2B marketers invest in their content marketing strategy on LinkedIn.

Adding ads to your regular marketing strategy not only brings more traffic to your page but also drives the three components of inbound marketing: attract, engage and delight. Reports suggest that ads make brands look more professional and respectable.

Marketers need to be on their toes and keep themselves updated with the latest updates on different platforms. Your social media strategy should be aligned with these changes and keep evolving. This gives us more opportunities to grow and achieve more success than ever.


As the world of digital marketing continues to change and evolve to be more video-focused, make sure to stay current with the latest trends and keep your marketing strategy fresh. Sign up for our newsletter below to stay in-the-know.