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Monthly Archives: April 2020

7 lessons from Sprout Social’s year of creative testing on social media

One of the first things you learn as a marketer is that your audience is everything. It drives conversations around your brand, fuels your Read more...

This post 7 lessons from Sprout Social’s year of creative testing on social media originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Social media and government: how to keep citizens engaged

We might assume that social media and government don’t mix. The reality, though? Government agencies and officials represent some of the most engaged with Read more...

This post Social media and government: how to keep citizens engaged originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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6 Unconventional Social Channels for B2B Marketing

Hand Holding Phone At Urban Overlook

Hand Holding Phone At Urban Overlook

This just in: B2B doesn’t have to be boring! People who are on B2B buying committees like to be entertained just as much as everyone else. They use the same social media sites as B2C consumers do, too. 

Sorry to drop so many knowledge bombs in one paragraph. Take a minute to let it all sink in.

Okay, so maybe self-isolation is making me more snarky than usual. I’m glad that we don’t have to constantly explain why B2B marketing not only can be, but must be relatable and creative.

But there’s one mental obstacle most of us are still struggling with: The idea that social media marketing (outside of LinkedIn) is mostly for our B2C colleagues. We’ve accepted that we should have a Twitter account or a Facebook page, but that’s where a lot of organizations draw the line.

I get it. I’m over 40. The social apps the kids are on these days are confusing and frightening. Back in MY day, Tik Tok was a Ke$ha song, and I didn’t like it, because I was already too old to listen to Ke$ha. 

But the kids these days are rapidly becoming the adults of tomorrow. Millennials are all over 20. Gen Zers are exiting college and entering the work force. They’re the next wave of B2B decision makers, and we need to reach them on relevant channels.

Let’s take a look at some of the apps that B2B marketers may be overlooking, and evaluate whether they’re worth a shot.

Slam Dunk: Instagram

Many folks who read this will think, “Instagram is a lesser-known channel? What?” But the rest will think, “Instagram has B2B marketing on it? What?” So it’s worth an inclusion. 

Instagram has 1 billion accounts, with 500 million daily active users. Of these, 200 million visit at least one business page daily.

There are many B2B businesses that are killing it with their Instagram pages. For inspiration, check out General Electric, and my favorite, Life at IBM. While IBM has a main corporate page, this spinoff is focused on what employees do in their off time. It’s an amazing way to humanize the brand.

If you’re already on Instagram but haven’t started making Stories yet, it’s worth giving it a shot. Stories are rapidly becoming the primary way people consume content on Instagram. Creating these mini-movies is surprisingly simple, but the creator tools are also robust enough to make eye-catching content on the fly.

Life at IBM Screenshot

Proceed with Caution: Reddit

Ten years ago, Reddit was the bratty new kid on the block. Their primary goal was to promote uncensored, self-moderated content channels. That led to plenty of creativity and community-building, but also a dark side that most brands wouldn’t want to be associated with.

Recently, Reddit has rebranded as a safer place for brands to come and play. They’ve removed hateful and offensive content and are focused on more family-friendly fare. That said, there are still plenty of not-safe-for-work-or-life sub-communities (subreddits). But the site has a massive untapped audience that is generally receptive to relevant marketing. 

Reddit is unique in social networks in that you don’t post content on your personal page to generate a following. Instead, you post in specific sub-communities organized by topic. Each post lives or dies by upvotes and downvotes. You’re essentially starting from scratch with every post.

If your target audience is on Reddit, it’s worth testing the waters with a few sponsored posts. Just keep it transparent, honest and genuine: There’s a whole subreddit devoted to mocking tone-deaf marketing.

Comeback Kid: Snapchat

Snapchat was the next big thing in social media… until it wasn’t. Instagram cloned the platform’s most popular features, usage declined, and not many folks invested in their content-enabling glasses. Even though they were brightly-colored and fun.

But don’t write off Snapchat just yet. After a controversial redesign and a few missteps, the site is seeing growth again. It’s estimated that 62% of 18-29-year-olds use the app daily, for over 210 million daily active users.

A few years back, we highlighted B2B businesses that were rocking it on Snapchat. Our advice hasn’t changed much for 2020: Keep it light, keep it spontaneous, and show your followers the behind-the-scenes, human side of your company.

Brand New Throwback: Twitch

Here’s a radical new idea for content: What if your content was only available on one channel, and viewers had to tune into that channel live to watch it? And what if after you were done, the content went away unless you or the viewer decided to record it?

It may sound a lot like broadcast television, but (with the addition of some social and interactive elements) that’s essentially what Twitch is doing. The streaming platform began as a way for gamers to connect with an audience as they livestreamed gameplay videos. But the platform was useful for all kinds of creative streaming, from painting to sculpture to hilarious lectures about imaginary creatures.

Is your audience on Twitch? The demographics skew heavily in the 18-34 demographic, squarely at the intersection of Millennial and Gen Z. Though the site skews heavily male right now (82% of users identify as male), those numbers are changing as the content moves away from its gamer roots.

Brand content is sparse on Twitch now, but the platform offers compelling tools that make it easy to livestream and interact with viewers. It’s worth investigating the possibility of running podcasts or webinars on the platform, taking full advantage of Twitch’s infrastructure and interactivity.

Up-and-Comer: Tik Tok

Okay, I’m as frightened as you are, but we’ll get through it. In the early 2010s, there was an app called Vine that focused on short, mostly funny video. The site launched thousands of memes around the world, but ultimately imploded. Now TikTok is filling the void. It’s an app designed to make it easy to create and share short video, it’s exclusively mobile, and it’s beginning to expand past its young-gen-Z audience.

In less than two years, TikTok has expanded its user base 5.5x in the U.S. It currently has 26.5 million active users in the states, and 500 million worldwide, and those numbers are steadily growing.  

Where does B2B fit in on TikTok? It’s still early days for even B2C marketers on the platform, so the rules are still being written. We do know that TikTok users are looking for short, low-fi videos that entertain. Be prepared to show off your brand’s lighter side.

For inspiration, check out the Washington Post’s page. They’ve developed a quirky personality that’s a stark contrast to their more staid journalistic side. But with over 21 million likes, what they’re doing is clearly resonating with fans.

@washingtonpost????????????????????????????? Bebe - V.A.

Next Big Thing (?): Facebook VR

As I mentioned before, I’m over 40. Which means I’ve seen VR touted as the “next big thing” for 30 years now. Remember the cutting-edge VR in the 1992 cinematic masterpice Lawnmower Man?

[caption id="attachment_28313" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Screenshot from The Lawnmower Man of 1990s Computer Graphics Some of us will never forget.[/caption]

But it seems like the tech is finally catching up to the hype. And now Facebook is launching a new VR social media site, just in time to engage folks who are going stir-crazy in self isolation.  Will Horizons be the future of social media? It’s too soon to tell whether this will be a leap forward or a dead end. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on for marketers as the site enters beta testing. Facebook’s built-in audience and bottomless pockets could make social VR an actual reality.

Branch Out Your B2B

B2B marketers should be exploring any channel where their audience is. While it’s easy to feel like the more younger-skewing platforms are optional, we ignore them at our peril. Adopting — and adapting our brand persona to — these channels is a necessary step to engage the next (and current!) generation of B2B buyers.

On these channels, as in any other, the keys are authenticity, empathy, understanding what the audience wants on the channel, and respecting their desires.

Follow @toprankmarketing on Instagram for our own behind-the-scenes shenanigans.

The post 6 Unconventional Social Channels for B2B Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Screen sharing tips and best practices for remote teams

Whether you’re brand new to remote work or have been part of a remote team for awhile, conference calls, presentations and online demos are Read more...

This post Screen sharing tips and best practices for remote teams originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Best SEO Tips for Marketing During the Pandemic Plus 9 Top SEO Platforms

Black and white image of a concerned businesswoman looking out an office window.

Black and white image of a concerned businesswoman looking out an office window.

How does search engine optimization (SEO) shine during a pandemic, and how can B2B marketers make sure they’re doing all they can with the platforms and tools at their disposal?

For decades SEO platforms have been an integral part of the marketing and research efforts of growing numbers of major B2B brands — each offering a seemingly unending array of ever more helpful features, along with the data insights needed to help businesses succeed.

With 51 percent of primarily B2B global marketing professionals seeing data insights and analysis as the single most important element when implementing a marketing technology stack, SEO platforms are poised to deliver the martech information businesses are eager to get.

MarTech Chart by SmartCharts

With so many powerful SEO platforms available, how can B2B marketers best put these tools to use during our challenging days of COVID-19, when all industries are in a state of flux?

We asked some of the top SEO platforms for tips to help marketers successfully weather the pandemic — helpful advice that can serve to guide many areas of your marketing efforts during this uniquely challenging time.

Let’s jump right in and take a look at nine of the top SEO platforms including Serpstat, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, SpyFu, WooRank, Majestic, inLinks, and Searchmetrics, listed in random order.

1 — WooRank

@woorank

WooRank Image

WooRank offers a wide array of SEO and website insight tools including keyword research, site crawling and reporting, SEO monitoring, along with sales tools, a browser extension, and other utilities helpful to digital marketers in both the B2B and B2C realms.

WooRank chief executive Adam Lynch sees SEO strategy as key both for our current pandemic situation and during the months and years ahead.

“Continuing to invest in your long-term SEO strategy will help you survive our current challenges and set you up to thrive once this ends — and it will end!”, Adam said.

“In unpredictable times, people turn to search engines for answers. Whether to find an item they couldn’t find in their local store or to learn more about the developing situation, people are searching for more — and you want them to find you. If you’re a savvy marketer, you can use SEO to position yourself in a relevant and topical way to gain visibility. Not to mention, most of us involuntarily have more time on our hands these days, so it makes sense to invest more energy into a solid online marketing strategy,” Adam added.

Implementing a solid digital marketing strategy during a pandemic can be strengthened using platforms such as WooRank. It also takes focus to process both the new challenges and opportunities we’re facing, as our own CEO Lee Odden recently examined in “Four Opportunities for Focus to Improve B2B Marketing.”

[bctt tweet="“In unpredictable times, people turn to search engines for answers. Whether to find an item they couldn’t find in their local store or to learn more about the developing situation, people are searching for more.” @AdamfLynch" username="toprank"]

2 — Moz

@Moz

Moz Screenshot Image

Moz offers a variety of SEO software built for smarter marketing, including an impressive SEO tool-set encompassing site audits, rank tracking, keyword research, back-link analysis, along with tools dedicated to page authority, spam scores, and site crawl information.

Marketers hold a particularly powerful position amidst the current challenges presented by COVID-19, and Moz’ senior SEO scientist Britney Muller sees plenty of opportunities for positive action those in our industry can take.

“First ask yourself ‘What can I do to help people in need right now?’”, Britney said. “It doesn’t have to be anything big. Think small. Check on an elderly neighbor, donate a few canned goods to a local food bank, offer up an hour or two for free consulting for struggling businesses. Repositioning yourself into a help-first mindset helps to more appropriately frame how to empathetically market or share any business messaging — a.k.a.: Read the room,” Britney added.

Marketers can lead by bringing a sense of calmness to the chaos of a pandemic. “Anxiety is incredibly contagious but so is calm. When your flight has bad turbulence who do you look to for reassurance that you’re going to be okay? The flight attendants. Do they look worried? Are they calm? Marketers have incredible power to spread some calm in a chaotic world right now. Use it wisely,” Britney urged.

The SEO and other tools provided by Moz can help give your brand or campaign the data insight needed to make sure your marketing efforts are being a helpful and calming force during the challenging period we’re all now living in. Sometimes SEO tools offer a prime method to uncover information that may be going unseen on your website, as our own senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite recently explored in “5 Ways SEO Can Shine a Light on Your Unseen B2B Content.”

[bctt tweet="“Marketers have incredible power to spread some calm in a chaotic world right now. Use it wisely.” @BritneyMuller" username="toprank"]

3 — SpyFu

@spyfu

SpyFu Screenshot

SpyFu provides a slew of competitor keyword research tools that have a focus on Google AdWords SEO and pay-per-click (PPC), along with an impressive number of utilities for keyword and back-link research, historical ad data, domain comparisons, rank tracking, and more.

While digging deep into your data goes a long way towards unearthing important information about what your customers are searching for, during the pandemic we all have a rare opportunity to reach outward as well, according to SpyFu founder and chief executive Mike Roberts.

“Right now, some of the best minds in the industry are more available than they’ll be any time in the next 10 years,” Mike said.

“People that normally have a two-year waiting list have had two thirds of their customers bail.  Agencies have been hit especially hard. My suggestion – and where I’m actually putting my own money – is to reach out to the best of the best ; the quality and attention you’ll get right now will be a huge return on investment. Massive,” Mike added.

Early on in the coronavirus situation, Mike announced that certain marketers in need may be able to use SpyFu without cost, in “SpyFu is Free for Anyone Who Needs It.”

As Mike suggests, now may be a good time for reaching out in new ways, such as partnering with relevant influencers, as Lee Odden recently explored in “How Influence and SEO Can Drive Customer Experience.”

[bctt tweet="“Reach out to the best of the best ; the quality and attention you’ll get right now will be a huge return on investment.” @mrspy" username="toprank"]

4 — Majestic

@Majestic

Majestic Screenshot

Longtime industry mainstay Majestic’s platform offers abundant SEO back-link and link-building tools, rank and keyword data, metrics history, domain comparisons and a wide range of other useful information intelligence tools for marketers.

Making key adjustments to how we maneuver our business operations during the pandemic can go a long way towards our marketing and personal success, according to Majestic global brand ambassador Dixon Jones.

“Riding out this pandemic has many new challenges, but be thankful that you can work from home,” Dixon said.

“Feeling grateful for anything right now is a milestone! Do not exploit the situation, but at the same time, try not to give away the farm. Instead of contract cancellations, why not offer to pay back half of your retainer each month, within 48 hours of being paid, for the duration of the lock-down? This means you will not need to change any contracts since you are just giving the customer free money, but it tells the banks that both parties are a: Solvent enough to pay in the first place and b: Showing a willingness to continue business when things return to normal,” Dixon noted.

“Stem the immediate losses and reign in what expenses you can without cutting off your ability to run an organization. Cash is far more important than profit in the short term, but if you can, try to envisage what the ‘new normal’ will look like when this is all over and prepare for that. I expect there will be a lot fewer airlines, for example, and society may have been in lock-down long enough to have developed a new societal norm which probably means less face-to-face meetings altogether. That means that some sectors will stay shrunk, whilst others – perhaps virtual reality, or online gaming, health products, home-wares, plants and gardening may all be on the rise as we reassess life’s priorities,” Dixon added.

“On the personal front, that feeling of impending doom can often be mitigated by a cold shower every morning. I kid you not! Turning your shower to ice-cold for 30 seconds has several useful benefits, which I encourage you to look up,” Dixon concluded.

With fewer in-person meetings taking place both presently and — as Dixon mentioned — fewer also likely to be on tap in the future, the power of online collaboration tools has never been greater, as we’ve recently covered in several articles featuring our clients Slack, monday.com, and Sococo, including our senior content strategist Nick Nelson’s  “6 Tips to Keep B2B Marketing Teams in Rhythm While Working Remotely,” and my own piece, “Remote Communication Opportunities For B2B Marketers.”

[bctt tweet="“Riding out this pandemic has many new challenges, but be thankful that you can work from home.” @Dixon_Jones" username="toprank"]

5 — Serpstat

@serpstat

Serpstat Screenshot

Serpstat features a powerful selection of SEO platform tools including keyword, competitor and content marketing research, search, advertising and back-link analytics, along with historical SERP and market share data and site audit utilities, among numerous other tools.

Cooperation and thinking outside the box can be beneficial during the challenges coronavirus presents to marketers, according to Serpstat brand and community manager Maria Sereda.

“The times are hard considering the pandemic, still there are ways you may try to stay afloat,” Maria said, specifically listing:

“If you're an SEO specialist, cut your costs wherever you can, don't be afraid to ask for discounts at least temporarily, starting from office rentals and finishing with services or tools you're using. I mean it — apply to the companies and ask them directly which discounts they may offer to keep you as a client,” Maria suggested.

“Make discounts to your services to keep current customers, and offer win-win cooperation if you can exchange services. Closely monitor the situation, search for new opportunities to refocus your business, and offer services to offline companies to help them switch to online mode. Playing out of the box will help you scale new heights,” Maria added.

Thinking outside the box comes in many forms for digital marketers, as I explored in “Content Marveling: Wonder and Astonishment in Marketing” and “Dare to Be Different: 5 Fresh Examples of Innovative B2B Content Marketing.”

[bctt tweet="“The times are hard considering the pandemic, still there are ways you may try to stay afloat. Playing out of the box will help you scale new heights.” @Maria_discovery" username="toprank"]

6 — SEMrush

@semrush

SEMrush Screenshot

SEMrush includes a feature-rich set of SEO platform tools for marketers including extensive online visibility data, market analysis and keyword research utilities, brand and back-link auditing and monitoring, PPC keyword tools, along with an SEO writing assistant tool, among many other features.

Search engines have made changes during the pandemic that smart marketers will make note of, according to SEMrush head of global marketing Olga Andrienko.

"Google is adjusting their results to the change in online search behavior," Olga said.

"Hobbies, literature, pets and education are among the industries experiencing higher demand. If you're in those industries, it's time to create content for most popular queries (free tools: Google auto-suggest and Answer The Public). Also, ads are cheaper now. If you're in the niche that hasn't come to a halt, it's a great time to invest in ads. Try both search and social media. Social media ads are very cheap, audience attention is higher, and competition is lower," Olga added.

"Third, advice for industries like travel who have suffered the most: Now it's time to create content to ensure you're ready for the next season. Analyze your website and your rankings, check the health of your website, and update old content. People will travel again, and you want to be their first choice," Olga suggested.

“We know how difficult and stressful this time is for every nation,” Olga recently wrote on the firm’s blog in “Coronavirus Economic Impact: Market Winners and Losers of COVID-19.”

“Once we move past this crisis and get everyone well, we have to support one another and focus on repairing the impact on businesses worldwide,” Olga added.

[bctt tweet="“If you're in the niche that hasn't come to a halt, it's a great time to invest in ads. Try both search and social media.” @Olgandrienko" username="toprank"]

7 — Ahrefs

@ahrefs

Ahrefs Screenshot

Ahrefs provides a robust and growing collection of SEO tools for building search traffic and conducting competitor research and monitoring, plus utilities for rank-tracking, site audits, keyword and page-speed analysis, content exploration, and a slew of other marketing tools.

“Stagnation is your worst enemy — you need to stay occupied,” Nick Churick, marketing communications manager at Ahrefs, said.

“Use this time for self-development. If you're good at SEO, learn PPC and SMM. If you've never started a website personally, try launching one. If you're a link builder, master keyword research. Learn the theory of lead generation and conversion, master new tools, and dig into automations,” Nick suggested.

“So many premium courses and educational materials are being given away for free now. Take our own 'Blogging for Business' course, for example. Also, don't forget to workout at home to compensate for the lack of movement. And when we're finally through the pandemic, you will have the edge over many other online marketers,” Nick added.

As Nick mentioned, during the pandemic the firm has opened up access to some of its Ahrefs Academy online courses, including a “Blogging for Business” collection of 10 tutorials from chief marketing officer Tim Soulo.

8 — inLinks

@InLinksNet

inLinks Screenshot

Semantic SEO platform inLinks provides a fascinating array of content optimization tools along with search engine result page (SERP) analysis, user intent information, internal linking optimization, schema automation and markup, among numerous other features.

The firm’s chief executive is previously-mentioned Dixon Jones, who has been a leader in the search marketing industry since the 1990s. Dixon was recently interviewed by Barry Schwartz for Search Engine Roundtable in “Vlog #48: Dixon Jones - SEO Legend Mastering Links Tools & Now Semantic Tools.”

9 — Searchmetrics

@Searchmetrics

Searchmetrics Screenshot

Searchmetrics offers an extensive selection of SEO tools for digital marketers including features for on-demand search performance and market research, competitive search tracking, plus website auditing and internal link validation tools, among a variety of other powerful utilities.

The pandemic will bring with it new future business models, however marketers should focus primarily on the present challenges, according to Searchmetrics founder and chief innovation officer Marcus Tober.

"In crisis moments like this it is important to focus on what’s important right now and what’s important when the crisis is over," Marcus shared.

"For companies that did a good job in SEO before, they see SEO paying off more than ever when they have to cut marketing budgets. But still, there might be a good chance to win customers with low and attractive CPAs due to less advertisers. That might not be obvious, but is a chance to use the less competitive market right now," Marcus added.

"SEO should also be a focus, because when demand rises and advertising costs increase again, starting SEO is too late. As we all know, SEO takes time and patience, and engagement from multiple departments in companies.  It might even now be a great opportunity to work on technical stories or content where time for this was too precious before. In the long-run, online marketing will be strengthened from the crisis as companies need to invest more in online as risk management and the potential behavioral shift in how people seek and do business. We definitely will see new business models coming up, all enabled by the crisis," Marcus said.

Company chief executive Jordan Koene recently sat down for a podcast exploring how to manage SEO in times of crisis.

“We’re going to have to reach out to one another in different ways to educate, inform, and communicate about what is happening in search and how things are unfolding,” Jordan said during the podcast, adding “And I think that’s something that we just should be really thoughtful of and mindful of as this new world order takes place.”

[bctt tweet="“SEO should also be a focus, because when demand rises and advertising costs increase again, starting SEO is too late.” @marcustober" username="toprank"]

Expand Your B2B Marketing SEO Platform Universe

via GIPHY

Thanks to the advanced data insight and SEO features provided by Serpstat, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, SpyFu, WooRank, Majestic, inLinks, Searchmetrics and others, search strategy doesn’t have to be rocket science, even when running extremely complex research reports.

As B2B marketers operating during a pandemic, we hope you’ll take to heart the helpful insight some of the leaders at our featured platforms have kindly taken the time to share with us, and that you’ll keep them in mind when developing your own campaigns and data strategies.

Finally, to further your SEO marketing toolkit, here are four additional articles we’ve published that feature the SEO platforms we’ve examined:

The post Best SEO Tips for Marketing During the Pandemic Plus 9 Top SEO Platforms appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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5 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Messenger for Business

Do you want to improve your customer interactions on Messenger? Are you looking for creative ways to use Facebook Messenger for your business? In this article, you’ll discover five ways to use Facebook’s Messenger platform for business. Why Use Facebook Messenger in Your Marketing? Messenger marketing is simply the act of marketing to your customers […]

The post 5 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Messenger for Business appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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The Marketer and Buyer Anxiety: Three ways to counter anxiety in the purchase funnel

See examples of testimonials that can help conversion and also those that hinder it.
Learn how to identify and treat this form of customer anxiety with over-correction methods.

The post The Marketer and Buyer Anxiety: Three ways to counter anxiety in the purchase funnel appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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A closer look: What brands need to know about COVID-19

If March felt like the longest month of the year so far, you’re not the only one feeling this way. COVID-19 has dominated headlines Read more...

This post A closer look: What brands need to know about COVID-19 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Active Social Media Listening: Tips for a New Era of COVID-19

Active social media listening

Active social media listening

If you want to have a good business meeting, you want all the participants to actively listen. This requires participants go beyond hearing, and engage and analyze to form an actionable plan. It’s the same with social media listening. It requires marketers to move beyond monitoring to analyzing the full situation, which can often be a moving target.

Social media listening is an important first step when starting a new campaign or addressing a situation. When the current situation is heightened with a national emergency, marketers need to key in on their audience at a new level.

COVID-19 has changed the lives of folks around the world, including their social media habits. Facebook reports messaging increased more than 50% in March. According to Twitter, COVID-19 related Tweets are being shared every 45 milliseconds and #coronavirus is now the second most used hashtag of 2020.

In this fast changing environment marketers need to stay updated. The context of what is in the news and how it is playing on social media can directly impact your messaging from day to day. Let’s explore what social listening is, what you need to know to do it effectively, and how it can help you in this time of crisis.

What Is Social Media Listening?

Most organizations do some level of social media monitoring, where they keep track of who is mentioning the brand. But listening moves a step further, reviewing specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries. Then, that information is analyzed and reviewed for actionable insights. So, it's a two-part program:  monitoring and analysis. The analysis allows you to understand your audience better and prepare or adjust your strategy.

The Basics of Social Listening

Monitoring and listening both happen with the assistance of social listening tools or software that aggregate multiple pieces of information into one, easy to use dashboard. When setting up your social listening dashboard, think about these key areas of focus:

  • Brand reputation
    • Brand names
    • Key stakeholders
  • Competitors
  • Relevant topics
    • Industry key terms

Fine Tune Your Social Listening Data

Monitoring competitors and industry key terms may be hard for some brands to understand when it comes to relevance. This is where advanced searches and the analysis tools will help you gain context and see changes in the market. The easiest way to set-up an advanced search is to use Boolean operators in your listening tool.

“For example, find all mentions of the overarching pandemic (e.g. “covid19 OR “covid 19” OR coronavirus OR “corona virus” OR pandemic) and then use qualifying search terms, so that the results must also include words that are specifically relevant to your business,” says Lance Concannon at Meltwater Social.

There is a lot of data to be had. Consider if you are collecting up all the content and data you really want, or is there some content throwing off your insights. “The first thing to do is manually check what you’ve collected. You don’t need to look at every single datapoint, but if something’s gone wrong you’ll be able to spot it,” points out Joshua Boyd at Brandwatch.

How to Approach Social Listening in Times of Crisis

Businesses need marketers to continue to keep the business moving forward, but we do not want to come off as tone-deaf. This is where understanding your social audience is key. Monitoring rapidly developing changes in the environment and messages, will help you share appropriate messages and content.

Social listening tools move beyond the top level of monitoring and help hone your strategy with deeper insights into the sentiment, regional differences, and understanding of the conversation.

“By keeping a finger on the pulse of the conversation and applying those insights to your approach, your brand can be a considerate, organic and valuable contributor to the conversation.” says Kristin Johnson at SproutSocial.

Add a New Dashboard

During this crisis time, there might be topics, questions and concerns outside of your normal searches.

“Think about the important stakeholder groups – employees, customers, partners – and what their specific concerns might be about how COVID-19 might impact your business. Employees will obviously be worried about their jobs, and what they should do during this time. Customers will want to know if you’re still able to provide the products and services they need, and might also have questions about customer support/service during the pandemic. Partners will have concerns around their ongoing relationship with your business,” says Lance Concannon.

[bctt tweet="“Think about the important stakeholder groups – employees, customers, partners – and what their specific concerns might be about how COVID-19 might impact your business.” @concannon" username="toprank"]

You may find your current dashboards are not providing you the insight you need to follow the conversation around all the COVID-19 related posts. It might be time to contact your listening program customer service and set up specific dashboards related to the epidemic.

In a recent email from Sprinklr’s Ragy Thomas, he shared that there are a number of ways the company is working to help customers through challenges related to COVID-19.

Sprinklr is helping customers who are already using Sprinklr's Research product to create a COVID-19 listening dashboard that highlights where a brand is being mentioned across social media channels, blogs and news sites in association with COVID-19. Most importantly, the dashboard alerts brands of a potential crisis using Sprinklr Smart Alerts. Plus, Sprinklr is helping clients create presentations with live visualizations of COVID-19 listening data that can be shared with internal teams.

“Consider listening for changes in customer sentiment and behavior. Because the crisis may amplify distrust of brands”, says Laura Starita writing for Gartner. She suggests setting a voice of the customer (VoC) and listening for shifts and new references to the virus.

Evaluate and Implement

Once your monitoring is set up, you can move to the evaluation phase. Hootsuite suggests asking these key questions.

  • How are other, similar organizations responding to the emergency? And how are their customers responding to their response?
  • Do you need to craft content around your relief efforts, or new operational policies?
  • Does your customer service team need to ramp up fast?

As you review your content, consider further filtering by demographics. The current crisis is global, and you may be addressing an audience in a particular region. Keep in mind each region may be dealing with a different stage of the crisis.

Don’t Just Hear Your Audience, Listen to Them

Don’t stop there. Listening is an ongoing team effort. The learnings you find now, will help you deal with the next marketing challenge.

For more help marketing during a pandemic, see Lee Odden’s post on understanding how to use SEO to surface key topics.

The post Active Social Media Listening: Tips for a New Era of COVID-19 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Use LinkedIn Conversation Ads for Better Conversions

Wondering how to improve your marketing results on LinkedIn? Have you heard of LinkedIn Conversation Ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to use LinkedIn Conversation Ads to automate Messaging conversations that pre-qualify your leads and prospects for specific offers. What Are LinkedIn Conversation Ads? If you’re struggling to get engagement on social media, it’s […]

The post How to Use LinkedIn Conversation Ads for Better Conversions appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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