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Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2018

Hot air balloon over field of yellow flowers image.

Hot air balloon over field of yellow flowers image. Throughout 2018 social media marketing has continued to be a source of both opportunity and contention in the marketing world. We’ve done our best to keep on top of changes as they happen, while offering helpful insight and research-based strategy. We’re very fortunate to a great group of social media marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank Marketing blog, including our CEO Lee Odden, Joshua Nite, Caitlin Burgess, Anne Leuman, and Nick Nelson, among others. To help our blog community grow its social media marketing knowledge, we’re delighted to offer this list of our 10 most popular social media posts of 2018.

Our Most Popular Social Media Marketing Posts in 2018:

1. Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus — Joshua Nite

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks Report 2018
The most popular social media marketing post of 2018 is by Senior Content Marketing Manager, Joshua Nite. Through the lens of the RivalIQ 2018 social media benchmarking report, Josh delivers big with actionable insights including why influencers have the highest engagement rates on Facebook, and tells marketers how to stay on task. Check out all of Josh’s posts here.

2. 7 Examples of Brands Mastering Twitter for Social Customer Care — Caitlin Burgess

Twitter Customer Care
Our Senior Manager of Content Marketing, Caitlin Burgess, wrote the second most popular social media marketing post of the year, as she took a close look at how top brands have used Twitter to strengthen customer care programs. With helpful examples and relevant insights, Caitlin dives into some of the best customer care programs in social, and shows how they represent a customer service opportunity that deserves every marketer’s attention and action. Check out all of Caitlin’s posts here.

3. Best Practices for Choosing Effective and Captivating Social Media Visuals — Anne Leuman

Best Practices for Selecting Social Media Visuals
Content Strategist, Anne Leuman, wrote the third most popular social media marketing post of 2018 on our blog. In this piece, Anne dives into how to select the right type of visual content to share on the right platform. Anne offers up the latest social image dimensions, and looks at carousels and driving conversions with social stories. Check out all of Anne’s posts here.

4. The Future of Connection on Facebook: How Stories May Change the Marketing Game — Nick Nelson

How Facebook Stories Will Change Social Media Marketing
Our Senior Content Strategist, Nick Nelson, earned the No. 4 spot on our list of the most popular social media marketing posts of the year. Here, Nick takes an in-depth look at using Facebook for powerful brand visual storytelling. He includes helpful tips to overcome what can sometimes be elusive reach on the world’s largest social media channel. Check out all of Nick’s posts here.

5. The Power of Social Media Polls: The Drill-Down on 3 Platforms + 5 General Best Practices — Nick Nelson

The Power of Social Media Polls for Marketing
Nick also wrote our fifth most popular social post of 2018, tackling the benefits and pitfalls of social media polls, with his piece higlighting three platforms and five proven tactics. Nick also shares what kind of value polls can provide and how to get the most out of them.

6. From Messenger Bots to the Growth of ‘Gram, Social Media Examiner’s Annual Report Reveals Trends to Watch — Nick Nelson

2018 Social Media Marketing Trends from Social Media Examiner Report
Nick’s social media marketing wisdom earns him another entry on our top 10 list for 2018, with an in-depth look at Social Media Examiner’s annual report. Nick shares the most relevant and helpful insight from the report, including how Facebook is in flux, the growing power of Instagram, and how to best use measurement moving forward.

7. The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group? — Nick Nelson

Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group
With his fourth consecutive spot on our top social media marketing posts of the year list, Nick examines how brands can best utilize Facebook Groups. Nick shows why Facebook groups present a good opportunity to regain diminished reach by embracing the platform’s heightened focus on user-generated content.

8. The Latest Evolution of Facebook: The Marketing Low-Down on 5 Recent Changes — Anne Leuman

Latest Facebook Updates 2018
Anne earned a second entry on our most popular social media marketing list with her helpful piece exploring the latest round of major Facebook changes. Anne gives the low-down on five Facebook changes, tells what they mean for social media marketers, and offers up the next steps to take.

9. How to Survive the Social Media Midlife Crisis — Joshua Nite


In addition to writing our most popular social media marketing piece of 2018, Josh earned another entry on the list with this fine look at how to take our social media accounts off of autopilot and apply a mindful approach. Josh also looks at how working with influencers helps put a personal, social touch back into social media marketing.

10. Social Media Marketing Spotlight: U.S. Bank Rallies Local Allies for a Friendly, Engaging #MNNice #NiceOff — Caitlin Burgess

US Bank NiceOff
Caitlin has written another of our year’s most popular social media marketing posts, with an excellent spotlight look at Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank and its social efforts. Caitlin explores examples of how campaigns can achieve success through the use of thoughtful and engaging social strategy that is subtly brand-centric and influencer-activated. We can’t thank Josh, Caitlin, Anne, and Nick enough for writing and sharing these top ten social media marketing posts of 2018 — congratulations to you all on making the list!

Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers

Thanks to each of you who read our blog, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels. We hope you find continuing benefit from these excellent social media marketing posts from 2018. We published dozens of posts this year specifically about social media marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2019, so keep posted for a new year of the latest helpful research and insight. Please let us know which social media marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2019 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section below.

The post Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2018 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

SEO Mistake #1 - Choosing Target Keywords Based on Volume vs. Relevance

How Keywords Affect Content Marketers: Great content isn't great unless people see it. But when content marketers overemphasize high-volume keywords, they miss out on meaningful engagement.

It’s tempting to plug into your keyword research tool of choice and select keywords with the highest search volume as your focuses for new content. But if the content you’re creating doesn’t match the search intent for that high-volume keyword, it’s unlikely to perform to your expectations.

The Fix: Google it! All jokes aside, evaluating the first ten search results for your target keywords can help you understand what searchers are trying to find, and what supporting content you should provide to truly be the best answer for that query.

While you’re analyzing those top results, pay attention to key factors that will shape your content creation and promotion strategy:

  1. What type of information is NOT included in top content, but is topically related? This can help you inform how you differentiate your content.
  2. What’s the content demand for that keyword? For example, are mostly top of funnel blog posts ranking, or are you seeing mostly product or service pages?
  3. How many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to the top search results? This can help you understand how competitive the first page of results is, and whether or not ongoing link building should be part of your content promotion strategy.
  4. How long is the top-ranking content for that keyword? This will help you determine ideal content length for your own post.

SEO Mistake #2 - Targeting the Same Keyword with Multiple Pages or Posts

How Same-Topic Targeting Affects Content Marketers: Pressure to create comprehensive content on a topic can actually result in dilution within search.

The conventional wisdom that more is better doesn’t apply universally — especially when it comes to SEO-driven content. Creating multiple pieces of content that target the exact same keyword is a surefire way to stand in your own way of success. There’s enough competition out there for B2B marketers without having to compete with your own content.

For example, a B2B technology company that wants to rank for B2B software consulting should optimize their service page for that term based on what is currently being served in search results. But, if they also create a series of blogs or resources that are targeting that specific term, search engine bots will be confused about which page is the best answer for that query. This could result in none of the content appearing in the top 10 results, in favor of competing sites with a more clear ‘answer’ to that query.

The Fix: Determine which of your pages or posts is the best answer for that particular query by analyzing ranking and analytics data. Which post or page sees the greatest amount of engaged organic traffic for your target keyword, and most closely matches the associated search intent?

Once you’ve determined your target page, it’s time to evaluate the remaining content targeting that keyword. Look for opportunities to:

  1. Remove or prune low-value or outdated content. Is there a blog post full of stats from 2009 that’s hindering your priority page’s chances of ranking? It might be time to consider removing that post and implementing the proper redirects.
  2. Optimize existing content for related, but different, keyword targets. For example, if you have a priority post for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and another post that more closely relates to ‘Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, consider optimizing that post for the latter and implementing internal links back to your priority cookies post.
  3. Combine closely related content. For example, if you have several blog posts around your targeted keyword(s), consider combining those posts into a longer, more robust piece of content.

SEO Mistake #3 - Ignoring Internal Link Structure

How Internal Linking Affects Content Marketers: Links are like electricity on the web, lighting up content for people and search engines alike.

Content is discovered by links. Your site’s internal linking structure tells bots (and users) which pages are most important, and which pages are most relevant to specific keywords. If you link to several pages from the same anchor text, for example, there will be some confusion about which page is truly ‘about’ that topic. Other times, you could have pages or posts on your site that are orphaned, with no internal links directing users or bots their way. This can confuse your site users, search engine bots, and even your own team. Confusion is not a ranking factor!

The Fix: Make sure you develop and continue to update your site’s keyword map. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your page’s URL and associated target keyword(s). This keyword map will help you determine what anchor text should be used to link to your target pages.

Next, conduct a site audit to determine:

  1. If there are orphaned pages that need internal links
  2. If you are linking to multiple pages with the same keyword-rich anchor text
  3. Where there are opportunities to create additional supporting content
  4. Where you might have opportunities to reduce and prune existing supporting content

Next, you’re going to want to crawl your site to find any orphaned pages. Then, map those into your overall keyword strategy and implement internal links.

SEO Mistake #4 - Ignoring Data from Other Digital Tactics

How Marketing Data Affects Content Marketers: Inspiration often drives ideation for many content marketers, but data drives optimization for ideal content performance. Marketing performance data can provide both.

Any data you can collect about how your audience engages with your content has the potential to be an SEO gold mine. For example, analyzing the keywords from your paid search campaigns can give you insight into which keywords are your best converters, and what content best suits searchers for those terms. Social posts that get the greatest amount of engagement can tell you which topics your audience is most interested in. Ignoring data from your other marketing and sales channels means missing out on an opportunity to better engage your prospects.

The Fix: Meet with different teams or departments to find out what kind of content performs best on their channels. Look at the data each platform or channel provides and compare that with your site analytics data for a full picture. And, be sure to share your channel performance data with the rest of your marketing team. The more information available related to content and marketing performance, the better equipped you are to optimize.

SEO Mistake #5 - Giving Up

How Persistence Affects Content Marketers: Content performance in search is a long game and persistence is essential for success.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes a lack of results can feel demoralizing, but giving up is simply not an option. You wouldn’t stop building your house just because the nearest lumber yard ran out of wood, right? You’d find another lumber yard and keep plugging along.

The Fix: Take a step back. Re-evaluate the search landscape, your competitor’s organic presence, and your site’s overall health. Being able to remove yourself from the frustration can help you find opportunities you may have missed and additional whitespace to tackle.

Next, seek out advice from other SEOs. Ask questions on social media, in specific groups or forums, or send a question to your favorite SEO blog. If budget permits, enlist the help of a consultant or SEO agency that can help you break through your roadblocks.

Finally, we have two big SEO bummers that are tougher to fix, but absolutely necessary to address.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Migrating Your Site with No SEO Plan

How Migrating Without a Plan Affects Content Marketers: A bad migration can effectively undo your hard work, reducing content visibility and creating more user friction.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of SEOs cringing around the globe. A botched site migration can wreak havoc on your organic positioning and torpedo your results. It can take months, even years to recuperate organic visibility to pre-migration levels.

The Fix: Always, always consult your in-house SEO team or SEO agency when you’re considering a website migration. Before you move forward, it’s imperative you have a plan for technical, on-page, and off-page factors.

If you’ve already migrated your site and have experienced a loss of organic traffic and rankings, start with a site audit. Check for the basics, like whether or not your site is being indexed, first. Then start to evaluate technical factors like broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovering from a site migration is a challenge for even the best of SEOs, and sometimes those big challenges call for a little teamwork.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Not Optimizing for Mobile

How Not Optimizing for Mobile Affects Content Marketers: Even the greatest content can’t stand up to a bad mobile experience. Users will bounce, reducing engagement and sending negative signals to search engines.

Mobile accounts for about half of web traffic worldwide. Knowing this, in March 2018 Google started migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Providing a seamless mobile experience is no longer optional, especially when you’re living in the wild world of search.

Sites that didn’t properly prepare for this can and will likely see some declines in organic search traffic and rankings as a result. And, as more sites follow mobile best practices, more users will notice and become frustrated by poor mobile experiences. This leads to declines in other pivotal ranking factors like on-page engagement. In short, if not properly addressed, a poor mobile experience can wreak havoc on your search visibility.

The Fix: The first thing to do is to conduct a mobile audit on your site. Understanding your site’s mobile performance is step one toward making improvements. Look for things like:

  1. Mobile site speed. A couple great tools for this are Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom. These tools can tell you where to look for issues like slow-loading code, images that aren’t optimized, and other technical issues.
  2. Mobile experience. Visit your site on your phone. Ask someone who doesn’t use your site regularly to do the same. Record your experience, take notes on where you get stuck and why. Click on everything. Turn your phone into horizontal mode. Try to think of every single way a user could browse your site. And, don’t forget to try a site search on mobile.
  3. Look at mobile analytics. This will tell you key metrics like mobile bounce rate, mobile time on page and pages per session.

These steps will help you build a hypothesis to test against. Is your mobile bounce rate crazy high? Does your site take a long time to load? Is your time on page way out of line with desktop traffic? Then, use A/B testing to root out the discrepancy. Use these same metrics to test if the fix is working. Then, repeat with another element.

So, What Does This All Mean for You?

Ultimately, following SEO best practices as a content marketer can reduce performance-related headaches and set you up for long-term success.

For example, when Innovatech Labs decided it was time to make major changes to their website, they worked with our team at TopRank Marketing to implement a safe website transition strategy, minimizing their risk of reduced content visibility on Google. This assessment involved avoiding many of the big risks mentioned above, including linking, use of data and keyword research which allowed us to act quickly post-migration to combat organic traffic declines. The result? Double- and triple-digit increases in organic traffic (and increased conversions, too!).

A best-answer content strategy focused on creating content with the most relevance to their audience was the ticket to better marketing performance for a martech SaaS company. Working with the team at TopRank Marketing, long-tail and hyper-relevant keywords were researched for a comprehensive content strategy to help the brand content become the best answer for those queries. The “best answer” approach and topics were applied across organic and paid efforts. As a result, the volume of both paid and organic MQLs increased, leading to better content performance and spontaneous proclamations of love from the client’s sales team.

Fixing these big SEO mistakes aren’t only for short-term wins. Our longtime partner Antea Group USA has achieved amazing triple-digit growth over three years by avoiding these big mistakes and implementing an ongoing commitment to SEO-driven, best answer content.

As I mentioned earlier, even the most experienced content marketers can make these common SEO mistakes. But, with the right SEO strategy driven by diligent execution and monitoring of results, you can get back on track. The key is to be intentional about your site’s architecture, as well as the content you create, and to never, ever give up.

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe your team doesn’t have the resources to take on this battle alone? Check out our SEO services, tweet us your thoughts @toprank, or drop me a line in the comments. We are here to help!

The post 5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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