Pinterest

2016 Social Media in a Nutshell:
A Marketers Love Notes to Each Platform

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2016 has been yet another growing and evolving year in the world of social media. Not surprising since the field is still emerging, especially in the marketing world. While it can be exhausting to keep up with all the platforms, changes, and ideas, it’s also highly rewarding, exciting, and challenging. We have an amazing team at Thin Pig Media, and while we’re excited to see what changes come in 2017 on the business side, I wanted to do a fun year in review for the top platforms from a personal perspective.

Oh, Facebook. I think many of my marketer friends can agree, we have a love/hate relationship with you. Your constant algorithm changes and never-ending updates without notification keep us on our toes, and your glitches abound, but with your endless possibilities for reaching people, you are often a marketers dream. In 2016 you added various advertising options, new page layouts, algorithm updates, and made an obvious emphasis on live video. I’m looking forward to what 2017 brings, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot more live video.

Twitter, you lost yourself a bit this year. My once active and engaging stream just felt cluttered and empty at the same time. Cluttered with the links, self-promotion, and inspirational quotes, but empty of any meaningful conversations. Yes, you haven’t always been the most personal of social networks, but I remember being able to have a real conversation (albeit, under 140 characters) back in the day. Now, it actually seems rare to see two people tweeting back and forth to one another. You remained great for breaking news and brand customer service, which is where I have always turned for these types of updates. I hope you make an awesome comeback in 2017 because you were once my favorite social platform.

Man oh man, Instagram. You kept kicking butt and taking names in 2016. More and more people and brands turned to you for sharing memories, in both photo and now video format. You even opened up advertising, which has been very high quality thus far. Even though I wasn’t a fan of you “borrowing” Snapchat’s idea of 24-hour disappearing stories within the app, I appreciate the changes you made in 2016 like multiple account management, interest-based feed optimizations, and the save-as-draft option. Looking forward to working with you in 2017 and the changes you’ll make.

Snapchat. You became more than just a fad in 2016. Congrats. In a way, you became the Facebook of the year because not only did I start using you more and more, but so did my mom (and, we’re both not millennials.) I really hope Instagram does not knock you out because I’ll truly miss your private video message feature and your constantly changing lenses and filters. You helped keep my kids busy for many minutes when I was in a pinch, and I thank you. Cheers to 2017, and not disappearing forever.

And then there is LinkedIn. My old professional friend. At least you used to seem like a place for professionals to hang out. Now you just seem filled with click bait and men lurking on women. Okay, that doesn’t really sum up 2016 on LinkedIn, but those were the first two things that came to mind, and I’m kind of scared those might actually be spot-on in summing up LinkedIn in 2016. Am I the only one? 

And lastly, Pinterest. Well, you continued being Pinterest: full of amazing ideas that I rarely do myself. Perhaps in 2017 I’ll make a resolution to actually do 25 ideas from one of my 1.2K pins.

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While the above is just a fun (although that’s subjective!) rundown of my thoughts from 2016, I’m really looking forward to 2017 on the social media and technology fronts. My quick predictions for 2017 (because hey, if you don’t write them down, they doesn’t exist!) are:

- Live video (especially on Facebook) and video in general will grow in use.

- Virtual reality will be focused on and highly improved upon.

- Social advertising dollars will continue to skyrocket and take over traditional advertising method ad dollars

- Myspace will make a comeback (Just kidding. Wanted to make sure you’re paying attention.)

- We’ll see more influencer marketing on more platforms. Brands will turn to “gurus” and YouTube and Instagram personalities to help push their products instead of traditional celebs.

I’d love to hear your summation of each of the platforms from 2016 and you predictions for 2017. Leave a comment or tweet us @ThinPigMedia!

We hope everyone has a wonderful time ringing in 2017, and we look forward to connecting with you. Happy New Year!

The Social Media Machine: Multiple Functions, One Goal

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social media machineWhen your business is active on many different social networks, it’s easy to think of each one as a completely different venture. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you are pressed for time, you may treat all platforms equally out of expediency. Both extremes are a big mistake. The best approach to social media lies somewhere in the middle. Use each platform’s unique advantages to attract the right audience. They should all work together towards the same goal. The overarching strategy may include increased website traffic, audience growth, or filling the sales funnel. Here are three ways to keep your social media channels working together as different components of a well-oiled marketing machine:

Find the right fans

When you need to build genuine connections with your audience, it’s vital to reach out to people who will love your brand. If you learn your target demographics, rather than aimlessly searching for fans, you’ll achieve higher engagement from a smaller but more active group. Don’t waste precious resources looking for fans on Facebook if your core demographic suggests Instagram is a better platform to reach them.

Facebook’s targeted posts feature is perfect to get your content in front of the right potential consumers. When you tailor posts for a specific crowd, you’ll see higher reach and engagement. Studies have shown that geo-targeting alone can nearly triple engagement rates -- far more than the average 16% of fans. The results are a more lively audience too. Your fan base will listen, engage, and even recommend your product or services.

Show off your personality

For many, social media is a place to unwind and connect with friends and specific interests. It’s not easy to connect socially with a faceless corporate profile. It’s important to develop a consistent voice for your brand. It’s equally important to keep current with your audience’s interests, and the world at large.

Because of its immediacy and its more casual format, Twitter is one place where you can really let your brand shine. With an authentic voice and personality, your audience will grow organically and consumers will be more likely to trust you. Organic reach comes from tweeting about what’s going on right now. On the Twitter blog, successful brands saw increased reach when tweeting about real-time moments with trending hashtags. social media machine One great example is this tweet by Oreo about the black & blue dress conversation. They were able to poke fun at themselves for being hours behind on the zeitgeist, in a manner that still promoted their products in a relevant way. Keep up with the trends! Tweet with a personality that shows your audience there are real people behind your brand.

Drive Traffic HOME

The best way to turn fans into customers is to get them to your website. While you should link to your website no matter what social media platforms you use, pay extra attention to Pinterest and Facebook links.

The visual nature of Pinterest is great for merchandise. Boards can showcase your products and link back to your website. This is a great way to fill the sales funnel. Some studies have shown that Pinterest users spend more when directed to storefronts. Businesses that use Shopify, for example, see an average order value of $58.95 from Pinterest users. For comparison, the average order value across all platforms is $52.16.

Pinterest drives 10.38% of all social media referrals. It’s second only to Facebook, which drives a whopping 67.43% of referral traffic. It’s another key player in the referral game, if only because of its sheer size. The numbers don’t lie, Facebook and Pinterest help brand awareness and website traffic.

Select the best social media platforms to reach your target audience, and then kick your social media machine into high gear. All roads lead to home...or your homepage to be more precise! At Thin Pig Media, it’s our job to help you succeed across all platforms. Follow us for practical tips on Twitter @ThinPigMedia.

New Year's Resolution: Avoid Cats in 2015

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A new year, a new you? That’s what every fitness center selling memberships right now would like you to believe. It's also time to make a New Year’s resolution. This can be a reminder to break bad habits or begin good habits. Each new year is an opportunity to start fresh. To help make lasting change happen, try some of these incremental steps. No membership or activation fee required, just the determination to have your best year ever.

Healthy

new year's resolution avoid catsCATS are not good for you, it’s a proven fact. And by this we mean: Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco and Sugar. This is an easy-to-remember acronym for what you already know. TPM social media managers will never turn down a cup of coffee, but remember, ‘Moderation In All Things’ will help you sleep better at night. Small changes can be an easier lifestyle adjustment to make over drastic changes.

Besides moderation, elevation is another tactic to use with CATS. If you crave coffee or sweets and you don’t see yourself stopping anytime soon, buy the best quality you can afford. Instead of drinking a whole pot of coffee, hand craft the perfect cup. Enjoy the smell, the sight and the sound. Make it a ritual, make it meaningful. Go for quality over quantity.

Happy

new year's resolution avoid catsAs adults, we don’t often get to reflect on happiness. We schedule time to build careers and families -- happiness is an often missed by-product instead of a goal. Think back to when you were a kid and what made you happy. It may offer clues to what will make you happy now. Each day take the time to do one thing that makes you happy. Remind yourself before you go to sleep about a happy moment that occurred instead of your to-do list for tomorrow. Listen to a TED talk, create a Pinterest board or follow Instagram’s official account to help you explore the topic of happiness from a global view down to a personal perspective.

Prosperous

new year's resolution avoid catsLooking back at 2014, many of our blog topics were about productivity tools because time is precious. With the gift of more time you can be more creative and entrepreneurial with your business. Plan ahead, build and strengthen business relationships, learn what’s new in your industry...see the big picture. There are many ways to squeeze more time out of each day. Try a new app, get up earlier, delegate mundane tasks, or outsource chores like grocery shopping and cleaning. There is no magic formula, so think outside the box!

We wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year! Tweet us what you are going to do to have a great 2015 on Twitter @thinpigmedia.

*No Internet Cats were harmed in the making of this blog post. Cat memes used for illustrative purposes only, no ownership rights implied.