Social media is not a tool for the technically proficient. It’s a platform that people of all educations and ages engage in. But in a marketing position it is important to be a technically proficient user of it.
Many people believe that they can do social media marketing just because they know how to use social media. But they don’t know anything about how other people use social media or the internet in general. A better idea would be to examine other internet marketing tools and apply those skills to your social media marketing.
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Social Media Marketers, in this author’s opinion, should be paying the most attention to UX Designers and SEOs – that is, User Experience focused web developers and those who operate in search engine optimization. They’re designing websites for people on all platforms and have experience that caters to a huge variety of experiences and people.
Here are some things social media marketers can learn from these up and comers in the internet marketing world.
Keep in mind that social media and modern web analytics are still two newer tools we use to analyze target market behavior and conversion. Therefore, you should use web analytics, as much access you have to them, to direct your use of social media. This will help you single in your target demographics, as well as how long they stay on your website, what posts get the more clicks, etc.
SEOs use analytics all of the time in their quests for great web rankings, and they’ve put together a lot of research about what people react best to, in addition to what gets you ranked higher. You can read a lot of it on Moz.com and Search Engine Land. Use these metrics to formulate your social media presence, and use it to help you determine how you will conduct certain operations like the production of social media videos, post character lengths, whether you should use pictures or only text posts, when you should make posts, and the like.
The Landing Pages
If you’re not familiar with the term landing pages, then let’s get you educated because you need to know this! Landing pages are web pages designed specifically for calls to action. They are not findable, or should not be findable, from a site’s navigation. They are completely separate. In fact, it’s recommended that landing pages themselves don’t even have navigation bars on them.
These are the kinds of website links you should be sharing to your followers on social media. Not only do they drive traffic to your website but statistically they see a great amount of conversion. However, how you present them is another issue (see what we say about etiquette below).
It’s also worth noting that on a website’s backend, you can again use analytics to monitor your posts’ effectiveness to get people to your landing pages. You can set up Google Analytics (a website owner’s most resourceful tool for monitoring traffic, click-through, and rankings) to report your site’s traffic from social media to specific pages. You will need to set it up to do this however, which you can read about here.
Recalling the information SEOs get from analytics, your keyword usage as well as your description length is very important. Their research on this comes from the importance of Meta Descriptions. While it’s no longer thought that meta descriptions do much from an SEO perspective, they’re still highly valuable for user experience. You should take this principle and apply it to your social media posts.
For instance, you don’t want people having to “read more” on posts to your Facebook or your other social media accounts of choice. Luckily, character counts and the like have already been studied and documented. Research and use the information found by those who have gone before you to create the best user experience you can come up with.
Regarding practical advice for social media etiquette, staying informed and up-to-date with popular social media trends is important as well. Memes are honestly a great way to keep people’s attention and remain relevant, and they go beyond pictures. Recently, the NHL posted a video in which their social media operator wrote “look how good this dog is!” for an event where a dog dropped the first puck at a game. This played right into meme culture and its obsession with “good dogs,” attracting many views and showing the NHL is up with the times.
How will a user will see your posts on their phone? Is your company’s site responsive? When a link goes live on your site, how long will it take for your featured image to show up in a Facebook or Twitter post? These are things to consider.
Additionally, you need to ask yourself how long it takes a post to load based off what characteristics you give it, even on social media. Be knowledgeable about how different social media programs work from device to device, not just your website. A well rounded knowledge of social media programs’ in and outs is essential to catering your posts to your followers.
Of course, as technology progresses and social media outlets change their rules, you will have to make adjustments to your methods too. For instance, only recently did Twitter double its character length limit for tweets, bringing it from 140 characters to 280. However, sometimes social media sites make changes like this that don’t help users as much as hoped. Or maybe older devices cannot handle the changes very well, despite providers’ attempts to make such things as responsive as they can.
This is why it’s important to keep an ear to the ground: to see if utilizing such changes in certain ways may work for or against you. It takes time and experimentation to master the art of being a social media marketing guru, and nobody does it perfect. You’re using computers and complex algorithms to predict how you should interact with people but remember that people are different and can throw you a curve ball sometimes!
What’s your experience with social media marketing, responsive design, and user experience? I’d love to hear about them. Let me know in the comments!