The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Social Media Rock Star [INFOGRAPHIC]

Michael Brenner

Social media began as little more than a place to find and connect with old friends from high school, but it has grown to become a massive marketing opportunity that stretches across numerous platforms and offers a way to reach, quite literally, billions of potential customers through the World Wide Web.

Today’s major platforms offer huge potential for new customers to find and connect with your brand, and for you to promote your content and generate sales leads and new business for your company. Social media also allows you to instantly engage, interact with, and reach existing and potential customers who need immediate assistance, helping your brand to deliver a positive customer experience they will love.

So if you are just getting started with social media today, here are the tips and tricks you need to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts and to help you take your brand to the next level.

1. Facebook

Launched in 2004, Facebook has nearly 1.4 billion registered users around the world and continues to be the platform with the most engaged users. According to Pew Research Center, 70% of Facebook users log on to the site daily, and 43% do so several times a day.

Here are a few mind-blowing stats about Facebook: 1.3 million pieces of content are shared every minute. More than 49 million of posts are created every 15 minutes. Facebook adds 8 new users every second. An average Facebook user spends 21 minutes on the platform every day.

If you have just created a Facebook page for your brand, here are a few useful tips to help you get started with building your page and community:

Image sizingFor your Facebook page’s profile photo, the image should be at least 180 by 180 pixels. The final image will be displayed at 160 by 160 pixels, and the thumbnail will appear on Facebook at 32 by 32 pixels. For your cover photo, the image should be at least 399 by 160 pixels. The optimal image size should be under 100KB. If your images contain text, for best results you’ll want to use the file type PNG.

When sharing photos on your wall, the optimal size is 1200 by 900 pixels. Similarly, the image should be under 100KB and PNG file format would be the best for images with text.

Posting Days And Times

According to On Blast, the best days to post on Facebook are Thursdays and Fridays. 1 p.m. appears to bet the time with the most shares, and 3 p.m. with the most likes. The highest level of activity on Facebook is between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Sharing Tips and tricks

Share a variety of content, including videos and images, which is relevant to your audience to keep things interesting. To engage your Facebook fans, you’ll also want to share exclusive content that is not shared on other networks.

Want your audience to share your content? Just ask! While you don’t want to do this for every single post, it is okay to ask them to share your content directly from time to time, particularly any new content you have created, for example.

2. Twitter

More than 300 billion tweets have been sent since Twitter started in 2006. There are more than 241 million monthly active users on Twitter, with 184 million using mobile. 38% of Twitter users surveyed by Pew Research Center say they use Twitter on a daily basis, with 21% using the site on a weekly basis.

To get your brand started on Twitter, here are a few helpful tips:

Image sizing
For the profile photo, the recommended size is 400 by 400 pixels. If your image size is different, keep in mind that it will be cropped square and will be displayed at 200 by 200 pixels.
The optimal size for your header photo will be 1500 by 500 pixels. The maximum file size is 10MB, and the best image files are PNG, followed by JPG or GIF.In-stream preview, which lets Twitter users share and view photos in their feed without clicking or expanding the preview, is a great way to get your audience’s attention.
The optimal size for in-stream photos is 506 by 506 pixels. If you don’t resize your images, Twitter will automatically display them as 440 by 220 pixels in people’s stream. This won’t be ideal, especially if you have text in your images, or if the dominant element in your photos is cut off or not in the middle.
Posting days and times
According to On Blast, the best days to post on Twitter are Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 1 p.m. receives the most retweets, and 12 noon and 6 p.m. gets the highest click-through rate. For B2B, the highest level of activity appears to be during weekdays, and weekends and Wednesdays are best for B2C activity.

Sharing tips and tricksIf you mentioned any brands or individuals such as influencers in your content, you’ll want to @mention them when you send your tweets. They may help amplify your content via their Twitter accounts, which can help boost your reach and following.

Building relationships with your followers is key to being successful on Twitter. While sharing valuable content regularly is important, you’ll also want to take the time to engage with your followers through conversations, including thanking those who have shared your content.

3. Pinerest

While women continue to dominate this image-centric platform, its usage demographics are slowly changing. One-third of all new Pinterest users are now men. And according to Pew Research Center, 55% of all Pinterest users use the site on a daily or weekly basis, and user engagement continues to grow.

Here are some tips to get you started on Pinterest:

Image sizing

Your Pinterest profile photo is displayed at 165 by 165 pixels on the homepage. Everywhere else it is displayed at 32 by 32 pixels. As with other platforms, the maximum file size is 10MB.

Board creation is one of the most important elements of Pinterest. For every board you create, you should use attention-grabbing photos relevant to a particular board that will attract your target audience.

With board display, the optimal size for large thumbnails is 222 by 150 pixels. For smaller thumbnails, the optimal size is 55 by 55 pixels. With pin sizes, any pins displayed at 236 pixels wide the height will be scaled proportionately. For expanded pins, the minimum width is 600 pixels.

Posting days and times

According to On Blast, the best days to post are Saturdays, and the best time of the day is between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The peak time on Pinterest is 9 p.m.

Sharing tips and tricks

To build your Pinterest community and increase your reach, add Pinterest buttons to all of your images to encourage people to save and visit your Pinterest page. You’ll also want to share your images on group boards, and share more original pins than re-pins.

4. YouTube

YouTube has more than one billion users, which is almost one-third of all people on the Internet! Growth in watch time has gone up by at least 50% year over year for the past three years. For those who watch videos on YouTube, the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes, which is up more than 50% year over year.

To get your branded YouTube channel going, here are a few useful tips:

Image sizing

For your channel’s cover image, the optimal size is 2560 by 1440 pixels. For best cross-platform compatibility, your cover image should be optimized to display at the following resolutions:

  • Desktop: 2560 by 423 pixels
  • Mobile: 1564 by 423 pixels
  • Tablet: 1855 by 423 pixels
  • TV: 2560 by 1440 pixels

The optimal resolution for video uploads is 1280 by 720 pixels, and they must maintain 16:9 aspect ratio. 1280 by 720 pixels is also the minimum resolution for videos to be qualified as HD resolution. For highest-quality video uploads, they should be at 1920 by 1080 pixels.

Posting days and times

According to On Blast, the best days to post videos on YouTube are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The best time of day to post is between 12 noon and 3 p.m, and the time to avoid posting is between 5 p.m and 6 p.m. The highest engagement activity on YouTube starts on Thursdays and continues through Sundays. On weekdays, engagement rises after work at around 6 p.m.

Sharing tips and tricks

To encourage viewers to watch more videos from your YouTube channel, create “end cards” at the end of each video to point them to other video content you have uploaded. As your audience may not all be following your YouTube channel, you will want to share your videos on other social networks to make sure your audience sees them.

5. Instagram

Instagram has come a long way from its start as an iOS-only app. Now it is a massive social network with both mobile and web presence, and it is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. There are 400 million monthly active users on Instagram, with 59% of users on the platform daily and 35% using the platform several times a day.

So how do you get started on Instagram? If you have just created your brand channel, here are a few useful tips:

Image sizing

For your Instagram profile photo, the image will be displayed at 110 by 110 pixels, so this is the optimal image size for your profile photo. Since your profile photo will be cropped to square, make sure your photo maintains a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Thumbnails of photos you upload will appear on your profile page at 292 by 292 pixels. While thumbnails will display as square images, Instagram photos are no longer restricted to square only, so any aspect ratio may be uploaded.

For best-quality photos, you will want to go with images that are 1080 pixels wide. Images in your feed will be displayed at 600 pixels wide, and the height will be scaled proportionately.

Posting days and times

On Blast states that the best days to post on Instagram are Mondays. On average the highest post activity is between 3 p.m and 4 p.m. Instagram does show consistent engagement throughout the week, though there is a slight dip on Sundays.

Sharing tips and tricks

To help grow your following and engagement, collaborate and tag influencers in your posts when relevant. Encourage engagement, including asking your followers to answer questions, tag their friends and share reactions, will be the best way to grow your audience organically, along with sharing relevant and interesting content.

What other social media tips and tricks did On Blast miss? Please share yours below!

Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business? Contact me here and let’s talk about how we can help. Or follow me on LinkedInTwitter, or Facebook, and if you like what you see, subscribe here for regular updates.

Photo Source: flickr

Check out the full infographic from On Blast below.

Social Media Image Sizing Cheat Sheet

The post The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Social Media Rock Star [Infographic] appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of  The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider GroupHe has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and   a top  CMO influencer by Forbes.

Social Selling Manners And Etiquette

Arif Johari

There’s an old adage: Treat others as you want to be treated. This still applies in the digital world we find ourselves in today. Are you aggressively pursuing customers and trying to get in their news feeds? Are you growing relationships and coming alongside as an advisor and partner in the buying process?

Let’s explore the do’s and don’ts of social selling, and how to behave in the digital world.

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.“ – Damon Richards

Hunting vs. fishing

Fishing is broadcasting to a wide net. Hunting is actively listening to prospects and sharing personalized content to them—this is necessary to prove yourself a trusted advisor who’s in tune to prospects’ needs. Both of these approaches are needed because 11.4 pieces of content are consumed before making a purchase decision. By fishing, you’re elevating your company’s brand, and by hunting, you’re elevating your personal brand.

Engagement is king when it comes to relationships

Engaging people authentically is vital. The goal of making a social media post is to get engagement; therefore, you are giving prospects maximum value by doing this strategically and consistently. Engagement breeds engagement—treat others as you want to be treated.

The relationship between B2B buyer and seller have changed

Buyers expect salespeople to have expanded skill sets because 74% of buying decision is at least half-completed based on online research, before first touchpoint with a salesperson. So the information is already out there; what’s the value-add from a salesperson? Salespeople would have to position themselves as visible experts and are able to respond to questions, provide product pricing info, and provide testimonials in real-time. A salesperson’s role is to identify buying signals and help customers on all platforms, including social media.

Social selling is a long game

Building relationships depends on establishing trust and value over time. Building a good relationship means exposing yourself to buyers more than you might be used to. People do business with people they know and like!

Salespeople should treat social media like a cocktail party:

  1. Observe room
  2. Choose conversation to add value
  3. Politely add value with relevant insights

Using social listening to bolster offline relationship

Even if your prospects aren’t actively posting on social media, they still have profiles. LinkedIn users would get e-mail notification for messages sent on the platform, and users who are tagged in a status update would get a notification —so you can be noticed even when you’re not a connection! Before a call or meeting, review social media profiles for relationship-building cues (same experience, common connections, interests, etc.)—people like human connections, and personalized effort will put salespeople ahead of competitors.

Social selling has become such a hot topic that Coffee-Break with Game Changers is dedicating an entire series to exploring its various facets and promoting best practices for salespeople. To listen to other shows in this series, visit the SAP Radio area of the SAP News Center.

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Arif Johari

About Arif Johari

He is a Communications lead, Digital Marketing generalist, and Social Selling advocate. He trains marketing and sales employees to become experts in Social Selling so that they’d leverage social media as a leads-generation tool. He is responsible for executing innovative marketing strategies to increase engagement in social media, customer community, and landing pages through content, events, and A/B testing. He is passionate in making the work processes of the marketing and sales team more efficient, so that they can generate more revenue in a shorter time.

Seven Facts In Retail That Demand Change

Mark de Bruijn

Customer loyalty is no longer the powerhouse that it once was. In the digital age, consumers expect top-notch customer service, and the ability to buy what they want, anywhere, and anytime, through various channels, offline and online. With brick-and-mortar stores seeing fewer and fewer purchases while online sales continue to enjoy meteoric rises, retailers must face the music, and it’s a whole new dance card.

Omnichannel, multi-channel, seamless integration, and outstanding, personalized customer experiences are critical to a retailer surviving today.

Here are seven facts in retail that must be addressed.

1. Retailers still do not provide a seamless omnichannel experience

Only 17 percent of retailers indicate that their current omnichannel selection provides seamless integration for an optimal customer experience. Of the retailers that do offer omnichannel, many noted that each channel still provides their own customer experience, primarily due to a lack of integration in the back office. The facts are clear: A seamless omnichannel experience is essential as today’s demanding customers expect a personalized customer journey, regardless of where they interact with the brand. Retailers can only meet those expectations by integrating all channels.

2. Retailers do not have a central customer profile

Only 8 percent of retailers have a single customer profile, though the importance of a central customer profile is endorsed by virtually all retailers. Organizational silos, which cannot be accessed by the marketing department, prohibit critical access to the data necessary to compile a clear customer profile from the various details that are already being collected. By analyzing customer data, retailers can better understand customer behavior and gain valuable insights regarding how, where, and why the customer chooses their product. Based on those insights, retailers can develop business strategies and marketing campaigns.

3. Retailers have difficulty securing all contact points

The customer journey consists of a multitude of touchpoints which can be approached in a random order. That is great for the customer experience, but more contact points mean more data access points need to be secured. The more data access points there are, the greater the chance of data leaks. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compels retailers to keep their data maintenance in order based on EU law.

4. Loyalty programs are not dead, they just need restructuring

Marketers talk amongst themselves about a shift from macro to micro customer segmentation. In these discussions, they challenge the importance of loyalty programs. Surveys show, however, that customers actually do value such programs. 66 percent of customers actively participate in one or more loyalty programs. Although such loyalty programs are popular, they are in need of restructuring. By focusing these programs on individual tastes and preferences, the customers receive the unique and personal attention they enjoy so much.

5. In retail, social media is increasingly acknowledged as a review platform

Over 50 percent of consumers use social media to submit complaints to companies, or post reviews and responses. Social media is a quick and easy way to announce customer dissatisfaction to the rest of the world. Due to the increased use of social media, the time-honored principle of word-of-mouth advertising has grown into an enormously influential factor in the world of retail. For retailers, it is important to find out what customers are sharing on social media about their brand, and to try and have a positive influence on it.

6. CEOs feel the need for new KPIs that are focused on customer-centricity

Over 60% of CEOs critically assess the way their company uses data for promotional events, primarily because each department only focuses on its own KPIs. This needs to change dramatically. Instead of using the perspective of isolated company silos, KPIs must be based on a clear focus on the customer. Only then will everyone pursue the same ultimate objective: Excellent customer experiences.

7. Only a handful have an effective road map in place for the digital age

These next twelve months, organizations will focus on increasing profits, building customer trust, and providing excellent customer experiences. However, they usually lack an effective road map to achieve these objectives. In order to retain and improve customer loyalty, it is essential that these objectives remain top priority. A plan for making that happen is the basis for effective action. Technology offers a supporting tool to execute this plan.

Putting the customer on a pedestal

If the retail world is a flat landscape, the customer is the one who rises above them all. Customers like to have personal attention, anywhere, and at any time. It is up to retailers to answer that call and adapt to the digital age.

Ready to address the changes that retailers must make? Download our 2017 retail study, “Customers Are Calling The Shots” for FREE here

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Diving Deep Into Digital Experiences

Kai Goerlich

 

Google Cardboard VR goggles cost US$8
By 2019, immersive solutions
will be adopted in 20% of enterprise businesses
By 2025, the market for immersive hardware and software technology could be $182 billion
In 2017, Lowe’s launched
Holoroom How To VR DIY clinics

Link to Sources


From Dipping a Toe to Fully Immersed

The first wave of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is here,

using smartphones, glasses, and goggles to place us in the middle of 360-degree digital environments or overlay digital artifacts on the physical world. Prototypes, pilot projects, and first movers have already emerged:

  • Guiding warehouse pickers, cargo loaders, and truck drivers with AR
  • Overlaying constantly updated blueprints, measurements, and other construction data on building sites in real time with AR
  • Building 3D machine prototypes in VR for virtual testing and maintenance planning
  • Exhibiting new appliances and fixtures in a VR mockup of the customer’s home
  • Teaching medicine with AR tools that overlay diagnostics and instructions on patients’ bodies

A Vast Sea of Possibilities

Immersive technologies leapt forward in spring 2017 with the introduction of three new products:

  • Nvidia’s Project Holodeck, which generates shared photorealistic VR environments
  • A cloud-based platform for industrial AR from Lenovo New Vision AR and Wikitude
  • A workspace and headset from Meta that lets users use their hands to interact with AR artifacts

The Truly Digital Workplace

New immersive experiences won’t simply be new tools for existing tasks. They promise to create entirely new ways of working.

VR avatars that look and sound like their owners will soon be able to meet in realistic virtual meeting spaces without requiring users to leave their desks or even their homes. With enough computing power and a smart-enough AI, we could soon let VR avatars act as our proxies while we’re doing other things—and (theoretically) do it well enough that no one can tell the difference.

We’ll need a way to signal when an avatar is being human driven in real time, when it’s on autopilot, and when it’s owned by a bot.


What Is Immersion?

A completely immersive experience that’s indistinguishable from real life is impossible given the current constraints on power, throughput, and battery life.

To make current digital experiences more convincing, we’ll need interactive sensors in objects and materials, more powerful infrastructure to create realistic images, and smarter interfaces to interpret and interact with data.

When everything around us is intelligent and interactive, every environment could have an AR overlay or VR presence, with use cases ranging from gaming to firefighting.

We could see a backlash touting the superiority of the unmediated physical world—but multisensory immersive experiences that we can navigate in 360-degree space will change what we consider “real.”


Download the executive brief Diving Deep Into Digital Experiences.


Read the full article Swimming in the Immersive Digital Experience.

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Kai Goerlich

About Kai Goerlich

Kai Goerlich is the Chief Futurist at SAP Innovation Center network His specialties include Competitive Intelligence, Market Intelligence, Corporate Foresight, Trends, Futuring and ideation. Share your thoughts with Kai on Twitter @KaiGoe.heif Futu

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Blockchain: Thoughts On The "Next Big Thing"

Ross Doherty

Many people associate blockchain with bitcoin—which is, at least for today, the most common application to leverage blockchain. However, when you dig a little deeper and consider the core concepts of blockchain—distribution, consensus achieved by algorithm rather than opinion, cryptographically secure, private—you start to think about how these aspects can be applied, both technically and strategically, to solve problems simple and  complex. Blockchain is neither a product nor a system – instead, it is a concept.

Blockchain applications disrupt conventional thinking and conventional approaches regarding data processing, handling, and storage. First we had the “move to the cloud,” and many were cautious and even frightened of what it meant to move their systems, infrastructure, and data to a platform outside their organization’s four walls. Compound this with blockchain in its purest form—a distributed and possibly shared resource—and you can see why many may be reluctant.

My sentiment, however, is a little different. Creating a solid basis that harnesses the concepts of blockchain with sufficient thought leadership and knowledge-sharing, along with a pragmatic and open-minded approach to problem-solving, can lead to innovative and disruptive outcomes and solid solutions for customers. Blockchain should not be feared, but rather rationalized and demystified, with the goal of making it someday as ubiquitous as the cloud. Blockchain should not be pigeonholed into a specific industry or use case—it is much more that, and it should be much more than that.

Grounding ourselves momentarily, allow me to relay some ideas from both within the enterprise and customers regarding possible use cases for blockchain technology: From placing blockchain at the core of business networks for traceability and auditability, to a way for ordinary people to easily and cheaply post a document as part of a patent process; a way to counteract bootlegging and counterfeiting in commodity supply chain, a way to add an additional layer of security to simple email exchange; from electronic voting systems through to medial record storage. The beauty of blockchain is that its application can scale as big as your imagination allows.

Blockchain is not the staple of the corporate, nor is it limited to grand and expansive development teams—most of the technology is open source, public, and tangible to everyone. It is not an exclusive or expert concept, prohibitive in terms of cost or resource. Blockchain is a new frontier, largely unmined and full of opportunity.

In closing, I invite you to invest some time to do what I did when I first encountered the concept and needed to better understand it. Plug “Blockchain explained simply” (or words to that effect) into your preferred search engine. Find the article that best speaks to you—there are plenty online. Once you get it (and I promise you will) and experience your “eureka!” moment, start to think how blockchain and its concepts might help you solve a business or technical problem.

For more insight on blockchain, see Blockchain’s Value Underestimated, Despite The Hype.

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Ross Doherty

About Ross Doherty

Ross Doherty is a manager in the SAP Innovative Business Solutions team, based in Galway, Ireland. Ross’s team’s focus is in the domain of Business Networks and Innovation. Ross is proud to lead a talented and diverse team of pre-sales, integration, quality management, user assistance and solution architects, and to be serving SAP for almost 4 years.