5 Ways to Generate Leads on Instagram

Do I Really Need Instagram?

Before we jump head first into generating leads on Instagram, let’s first talk about why Instagram matters.

“There’s already a ton of social media networks, why do we need one more?” – I hear this quite frequently. I’m sure you do as well or maybe have even said it. Heck, I may have said it a couple of times myself.

As someone who is approaching 30, I just don’t see the point in certain social media networks younger people are using like Snapchat. I used to think this way about Instagram as well.

You may have heard things about Instagram such as :

  • It’s only for the younger crowd
  • I just don’t have the time to look into it

By the end of this post, I hope to prove wrong the doubters and show you through data and examples, that not only is Instagram worth your time, it is 100% needed in your business / marketing efforts at the time of this writing into the future.

NEWS: Instagram just announced they are now allowing you to post 60 second videos. This is long enough for you to get out a full marketing message and get leads coming to you through your video marketing efforts.

Why Instagram Matters

Now, let’s take a look at some data at why Instagram is not just for the younger audiences, how your ads can work, and how it is absolutely worth your time.

Let’s first talk about the massive upsides of Instagram Marketing:

#1 : Brand Interaction – Instagram boasts the highest level of brand interaction out of every major social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as seen in the image below. The 1.53% is Instagram there in the bold.

Instagram has a 10x+ higher rate of engagement and interaction than other social media platforms meaning your marketing efforts can go 10 times as far.

This alone should convince you to get more into Instagram Marketing for your business.

brandinteraction#2 : Wide Audience – Instagram is continuing to grow leaps and bounds among many different age groups. Not just under age 28. Let’s take a look at some recent data.


5 Ways to Generate Leads on Instagram

1. Use Hashtags

This may be the most obvious way to generate leads on Instagram. You can post up to 30 hashtags per post, and the more you post and use hashtags, the more leads you will get simply.

If you use your limit on Hashtags (30), you should see 30 – 100 likes per post and a small amount of new followers. Not the greatest results, but its 100% FREE.

Here’s a list of the top Hashtags you can use for the most likes:


Here’s some examples of my own Instagram Account:

samcartREPOSTexample sample2

2. Post Daily (Twice Per Day)

Regularity is the key to any type of content or social media marketing. Instagram is no different. However, you can’t schedule content out right now, so its all manual unless you have special software like InstaMate. (Click for my full review – Coming Soon)

I suggest that you post first thing in the morning and around 5 pm. People are most active on their mobile phones before and after work. So before 9 am and after 5 pm. That’s a fact. So, post according to your main audience. For me, its usually 8 am EST and 5 pm EST since most of my audience is in the US and Canada and most of them are in EST.

3. Post Content That Makes Sense

All of your Instagram posts should flow like a timeline or a story. You shouldn’t have random things next to each other. Don’t put a picture of your dog next to a quote of Steve Jobs. Make it a story that people can follow who are new to seeing your profile.

Post content that makes sense for the time of year and the day. People will only spend a second as they glance at your posts, so make it relate to world events, trending stories, and what your target audience is interested in. Look to get ahead of trends and look for posts that can create viral growth that people will share.

4. Networking & Partnering

Its important to be active and connect with like-minded people, prospects, and customers. You can tag them in posts, message them, like and follow their profiles, and have real conversations. 

You can find great partners who will be willing to promote your profile for you. You just have to ask. Usually it goes both ways. You promote theirs as well.  You can also find profiles with tons of followers that are willing to sell you a post on their profile to drive thousands of new views to your profile. Use other people’s followers to your advantage! This may be the fastest way to grow especially if you are doing this frequently.

5. Promote a Contest / Giveaway

Since Instagram has the highest engagement, it naturally is the best place to run a contest or giveaway of your product or service or perhaps something else… like a NEW CAR! Just kidding, Oprah did that one already. (And it worked wonders for her brand with tons of free publicity.)

I recommend doing this once you built up enough followers to make it really work otherwise, you may waste your time. You don’t even need any special software or anything, just post your contest, tell them what they need to do to apply to win (such as tag 5 friends or start a hashtag trend or promote your profile on theirs, etc.) Then, you run that until you feel ready to give away the prize perhaps in a couple days or a week’s time. This should create a huge influx of new followers and excitement. Plus, your engagement of your followers will likely increase 10x at least for that week and even longer if you have great content to share and excited followers.

Watch My Full Video Insights

Recommended Tools for Instagram Marketing

Web Software:

Instamate – Create, Post, Schedule Your Instagram Accounts

Mobile Apps:

WordSwag – Create Quotes, Watermarks, and Post
Repost – Repost other Instagram Posts (Like a retweet)

Check out our full review of Instamate here:

Get Involved

Share with me your Instagram account and your results in the comments below and make sure to follow us at our Instagram : @RyanShaw.Me

Facebook’s Ad Approval Process and How it Works

Facebook's ad approval process

We get asked a lot of questions about Facebook’s Ad approval process, likely   because it seems there aren’t many reliable answers to be found. Even those experienced in running Ad campaigns sometimes face confusion when the approval process doesn’t go quite as it had in the past for them.

Some of the most frequently asked questions include how long it takes to get your ad approved, and what happens if its been “x amount of time” since submission? Is it an algorithm that approves or denies my ad, or a person? How will I know once it has been approved?

To see the answers to these, read on, my fellow Facebook marketers. Our questions are about to be answered.

How Long Does it Take To Get Your Facebook Ad Approved?

There is no exact answer for this. Sorry, I know that’s not what any of us want to hear when asking a question. But it’s true.

The most accurate answer for this question that we have is this: it depends on how busy the ad approval team is at that moment. It’s all dictated by your timing, and varies based on the time of day, the time of week, and how many ads are in line before you waiting to get approved.

The majority of submitted ads come back quickly, often within 24 hours. Most are approved within the day. Some claim to get their ads approved almost instantaneously, within ten minutes.

Weekdays and mornings seem to be among the best times to submit ads for quick approval. The Facebook team works between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm PST, so keep in mind that any ads submitted outside those hours will automatically add to your wait time, at least until the morning.

If you are still waiting on an ad to get approved and it’s been at least three days, while they could just be busy and it does sometimes take them that long, they could also have a bug in the system. At that point, deleting the ad, recreating it, and resubmitting it could be the way to go.

Who Approves the Ads?

As you may have noted from above, Facebook doesn’t have an algorithm or some sort of computer software that runs rampant on the queue of ads, approving and denying them. This is part of the reason the process can take a little while.

Actual employees, highly trained on the Ads guidelines, are the ones who go through your ads to approve them. Their entire job is to review ads, so there’s no getting anything by them.

While having employees approve ads can mean that the process can be subjective and open to human error, the chances of that happening if your ad has been rejected is unlikely. This is another question we’ve been asked.

While yes, human error does happen (nobody is perfect, we all know that), it doesn’t necessarily happen often here. The people reviewing these ads know the regulations inside and out, and reviewing ads is the entirety of their job description, not only something they do every other Tuesday and Thursday. Resubmitting a rejected ad while ignoring its corrections could potentially get it approved through someone else, but it is unlikely and not a good idea to try as you’ll likely get the same answer.

I’ve seen several sites suggest not only resubmitting an ad once, but multiple times until it gets approved. If you really believe a mistake was made, I understand resubmitting without changes just to see (though contacting Facebook for more information may be more useful). Resubmitting the same ad over and over, however, is a waste of their time and yours. Fix what they suggested needed fixing, and you’ll be good to go.

How Facebook’s Ad Approval Process Works

It’s actually a very simple, basic system. You submit your ad, it waits to be reviewed, it gets reviewed, and it is either denied or approved. Not a lot of explanation is required, but since we’ve gotten a lot of questions (and again, there’s few resources out there elaborating), here it is.

Once you submit your ad, it immediately goes into a queue of other ads waiting to be approved. This is what delays your ad from coming back to you immediately, not the actual review itself.

Those evaluating your ad simply make sure it matches up with Facebook’s ad guidelines. They aren’t trying to trip you up. It’s a simple, quick process, which is why you sometimes see ads come back almost instantaneously when you aren’t waiting.

While you’re waiting for your ad to be approved, you’ll see a “pending review” status in your ads manager. You’ll be notified the second your ad is either approved or rejected. If it has been approved, you can start running it immediately. If it hasn’t, you’ll get an explanation why not, and you can contact Facebook for more information if you are confused about the reasoning. You can then edit and resubmit your ad in hopes for approval in the next go around.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.02.14 PM

See, I told you it was simple!

How to Make Facebook’s Ad Approval Process Go Quickly

If you’re in a hurry and want your ad to get approved as quickly as possible, there’s a few things you can do to speed up the process. Sometimes they’re just backed up and it will take a little while. Sometimes it can’t be sped up. But, sometimes there’s a few practices you can utilize to try to get your ad approved faster.

  • Make sure you’re following the guidelines. I know, it sounds redundant, but a lot of ads don’t get approved because they aren’t following Facebook’s rules for advertising with them. To see how to never get your ad rejected again, you can view our blog post here.
Facebook's ad approval process
Facebook gives examples of what is and is not allowed in their guidelines.
  • Take a look at your domain name. Domain names are sometimes marked as spam, and Facebook has a quality score. Having your domain name marked as spam can keep your ads from coming back quickly, or even from getting approved.
  • If your ad is time sensitive (for example, an ad detailing a 48 hour promotion), you can either create your ads in advance and temporarily turn off the campaign, or you can create an ad that is scheduled to start at some point in the future. You can find instructions on how to do this here. While you can’t rush their approval, you can use these options to make sure your ad runs when you want—assuming you get it approved ahead of time.
  • Test your landing page carefully. Sometimes it’s better to have your ad take users to a landing page not on Facebook. Facebook has specific guidelines about landing pages, too, and the ads that are connected to them. Having a landing page they don’t approve of won’t get your ad approved quickly or at all.
  • If your ad has a new image that isn’t immediately recognizable, it tends to take longer. When you don’t use one of the many images available to you through Facebook for your ad, it can take longer for your ad to get approved, especially if the reviewer has to spend some time figuring out what they’re looking at and how it relates to your ad.

Build Trust in Your Brand Using Social Media

Building trust and rapport with customers (and potential customers) is crucial when you’re creating and reinforcing your brand. It converts visitors into new clients and existing customers into loyal ones. Social networking sites are more up close and personal by nature, and constantly updating Facebook and Twitter with blatant advertising isn’t the way to build trust in your brand. Using social media, you can take advantage of the personal touch it provides to build confidence and faith in your brand and your company, ensuring that you’re taking yourself accountable for creating a great company and fantastic products.

Good Content

This is the ubiquitous rule when it comes to any kind of marketing campaigns, especially with social networking sites, and it’s true when it comes this. Having good content is essential when you’re building your brand as well as when you’re building trust in it. Having meaningful content posted on your site will keep people checking back. The more they know about a company, the more they will likely grow to trust it, assuming you’re able to hit some other areas of this list.

Tell a Story

This applies to good content. Telling a story can help shift a perspective from statistics to examples. Most people don’t bat an eye at the statistics because all they see is numbers. With a story, however, people become quickly and deeply invested in the life of someone else; the statistics have names and faces and whole lives and families. If you walk into a jewelry store looking to have your grandmother’s diamond reset into a custom ring, you don’t want to necessarily hear that they do three custom pieces a week. You’d feel much better, however, if you saw pictures of the three carat, pear shaped diamond pendant the jeweler made from scratch the week before, especially if the happy owner was wearing it and grinning from ear to ear. Posting these pictures and the customer’s story on Facebook (maybe she just had her 30th wedding anniversary!) will give viewers confidence in your product and see that you care about your clients enough to care about their anniversary. Win-win.

Overtime, your customers will hopefully start to share their stories, likely (hopefully) posting a thank you note or a picture at the bottom of it. Other clients indirectly assuring new or potential customers that you’re company is worth doing business with is a huge asset for you. Make sure you take advantage of it, graciously thanking the customer for their post.

Be Transparent

Honesty is the best policy. Or at least, being transparent with clients is the best policy. The Internet has officially changed the world, and nothing is really private anymore. News and ideas spread faster than ever before. Even the not so important ones, like the “Had such a craving for a diet Pepsi!” tweets and status updates we’ve all seen. This, like the story telling, can help people see your brand and your company as having real people behind it. Whether this happens through story telling, apologizing for mistakes, or encouraging customers to share their experiences (thanking them for praise and offering solutions and apologies for the bad), transparency creates trust.

Perhaps the most difficult struggle with transparency comes into play with the critical remarks that surface about your product or company. You will almost certainly be criticized, whether it’s justified or not. Unhappy people are more likely to go on the Internet to speak their minds than those who are content and happy. While it’s never easy to hear negative remarks about something you’ve put your soul into, it’s better to guide that conversation towards something productive instead of snowballing into something truly harmful.

Be Involved

It’s important to show that you care about more than just selling your product. Being part of your community is crucial to building a community for your business. People like businesses that show social responsibility and give back, whether it’s time or money. It doesn’t have to be on such a monumental scale you go bankrupt, but make sure it’s an effort proportional to your business and brand. Large chains like Kay Jewelers are able do this on a massive scale (last year providing St. Jude’s with a check for 4.8 million dollars). Every time a customer makes a purchase, they are asked if they want to donate to St. Jude’s, and at several points during the year, small gifts (like stuffed animals and mothers day cards) are sold with the profits going entirely to St. Jude’s.

On the scale of a small local business, Sizzors Hair Salon in Florida hosts events like purse auctions, where women drop off their “gently loved” handbags and they are auctioned off. Drinks are provided, participating members get a discount on their next haircut, and all the proceeds go to charity. With a little effort, you’d be surprised what events or products you can dream up to help both a charity and your marketing campaign at the same time. After all, if people check in at your event or mention it, that’s free advertising.

Make sure that on Facebook, you’re not only posting pictures, thank you’s, and success stories for these efforts, but also that you’re advertising them. It can increase your success, and it can show how much effort you’re putting into helping your community. If you make it easy and beneficial to participate, everyone will be just as excited about it as you are.

Be Appreciative

Thank your users for answering questions (even if it’s a general post). Thank users for kind comments or tweets on your page. Thank coworkers or fellow experts who assisted you in any way. Thank you to everyone who came out to your event for charity. Showing gratitude and sharing credit where due is a good way to show potential clients that you value everyone who’s helped you get to where you are and everyone who is helping you now. People like to be appreciated.

Say thank you. It’s really as simple as that.

Interact With Users

Social networking sites are designed to be social. In other words, for people to interact with each other.

People don’t get on Facebook to choose where they want to buy their insurance or to find lotion. They go on social networking sites to be entertained. They want to have fun, so give them something fun! Make sure that you’re updating frequently to keep their interest, but quality is always valued over quantity. Create videos (posting them on all of your social media sites for best access) that are entertaining for people to watch. If you have apps, share them and advertise them (but not shamelessly or repeatedly). Offer information on new products in a fun, lighthearted (nonaggressive) way. Every so often, have a contest or a sweepstakes where people have the chance to win a prize if they do something in return for you. People like to be entertained, and everyone loves getting something free. When someone responds, respond back. Turn it into a conversation instead of a post. All of these methods encourage users to interact with you.

Being able to incorporate both cleverness and humor can be hugely helpful in gaining customers interest. Being able to make someone laugh helps give your brand a more personal feel, and being on social media shouldn’t overtly be strictly about business. Getting people to laugh can build relationships and rapport, which is an enormous step in getting someone to have trust in your brand.

Share Plans

Let’s say you and your significant other need a new car and have decided to go with a Prius Hybrid for the gas mileage, but your significant other shows up two days later with a Mercedes (which, yes, is a beautiful car, but not so nice on the gas). Are you going to be particularly pleased? No. No you’re not.

If your company is ready to make some changes, let the world know and be excited about them. Maybe you’re going to expand and open more stores. Maybe you’re going to start carrying a new line of products. If you share the news, customers will feel more in the loop and instead of feeling like something has been sprung on them. Sharing your news yourself also lets you guide the conversation and pick the tone you want to go with instead of letting someone else choose it for you.

Teach Instead of Sell

Social media is not the place to attempt the hard sell. You’ll get yourself unfriended, unliked, unfollowed, and blocked faster than you can ask if they’d like to go ahead and make that purchase today. Repetitively spamming followers with the “exciting opportunity” to make purchases is exactly what you don’t want to do.

By taking the time to advise and teach your followers instead of trying to sell them something, you’ll gain more of their trust. You are, after all, helping them out by giving them reliable information when someone else is just trying to get money from them. Provide links to your blog that answers questions, make how-to videos, answer questions with thought and detail, and create how-to videos. Not only does this show your interest in helping your clients, building that relationship and that trust, it also demonstrates your expertise and reaffirms your expert status in your chosen field. Having customers trust your advice because you’ve proven yourself is a massive accomplishment, so take advantage of the opportunity to do so.

Learn What Customers Want

When you have your target audience right in front of you, wouldn’t you ideally want to ask them what they’re looking for in a company and a product? I would certainly hope so, at least. Everyone loves to be asked what they want, especially if they think they might get it! This goes for products as well as content, and getting direct, honest feedback from your already interested target audience is priceless information that some companies spend exorbitant amounts of money to attempt to get. Cherish it and take advantage of it.

Ask Questions (For a Variety of Reasons)

Part of this, yes, is to learn what customers want. Just as importantly, however, asking questions openly (and often successfully) encourages other users to respond. Getting customers so engaged they actually answer your questions is a sign of interest, and getting them so engaged is opening a door to building their trust.

It’s flattering to be asked your opinion, even on a large scale, and a lot of people aren’t able to resist. Asking for feedback, asking what customers want in the future, or asking what users are doing for Christmas are all equally valid questions to ask (though some may be more beneficial to your business directly, all of them help your brand). Not only does it show that you care about your customers and what they want, it gets people talking with you instead of about you, giving you the chance to create a discussion. Again, it’s all about engaging people and interacting with them, not talking at them, and having an earnest exchange is essential to building rapport. Your company starts to be seen as people, not as a business just out for profit.

Don’t Forget About Appearance

When you go to a slow, lagging site that has “Coming Soon!” written under every thumbnail, you may lose interest and trust in the company. If they can’t keep their website up to date, how would they take care of you as a customer?!

Don’t make this mistake. Keep your pages looking clean and fresh. Keep content updated often. Customize a background and/or layout if you can, depending on the social media platform. Respond to people who have posted. Make sure your site itself is up to date, so when people inevitably follow your link on your social media back to your business’s main website, it looks clean, free of grammatical and spelling errors, and exactly like what you want your brand to be. Having a consistent and well-kept appearance is a big step in customers gaining faith in your brand.


Facebook Marketing New Approach

Facebook Marketing is a new approach of social media marketing mainly using Facebook as the primary tool of business.


Facebook marketing promotes your business in many different options on Facebook.  Managing thru different FB Ad’s software will definitely help you on your ongoing business or new business.


Benefits of Facebook Marketing.

Provide Brand Awareness

By using Facebook in marketing it promotes your product online by creating fan page, Facebook groups and using Facebook ads.


Facebook marketing also generates exposure. The share, like and comments button establish your exposure.

Customer interactions

Comment and feedback are available for you on Facebook. you will have the option to listen and interact with your target customer on how your product is generally viewed by the public.

Increase Website Traffic

Linking your website URL link or blog URL link on your post or comments on Facebook  easily drives traffic back to your website or blog that can generate sale increase.

marketing 3

Two effective combinations for Facebook Marketing

If you are planning to launch a campaign or thinking on managing your business with the help of Facebook marketing. You must try this Software and Training.

Social Lead Freak is a lead generating software that can get specific target leads.

For example:

People who like a certain product or services who lives in a specific area. Social lead freak will refine and generate your search with a hundred or thousands result of target customers.

Social Lead Freak is a Desktop Based software developed on Adobe Air so it is PC and MAC Compatible. It was born in the first quarter of 2013, at a time when social media marketing is all the rage (and set to grow well into 2014 and beyond). Its power is twofold – Facebook search enhancement, and giving you the power to tap into cutting edge Facebook technology – power editor and custom audiences.

Training for Social Lead Freak

Provides more enhance and detailed training courses for Social Lead Freak.

7 Tactics to Earn Links through Students & Universities

 Positioning yourself from competitive market, building great content, approaching a webmaster for a link– these things don’t happen in the blink of an eye.  But I’ve established an excellent way to work on link building campaigns that takes less time to get more traffic.

Getting links from university websites like .edu are always helpful and will in-turn improve the relevance and authority of your website.  And I have come up with Student blog and alumni page of University and College for building a link. These student apprehensive young minds are jumping for work experience, and link building is a relatively simple task for them where their success can be easily measured as you give them a head start in the marketing industry.

As we know, University students are Internet savvy, decent writers, and cheap in comparison to other link-building companies and consultants out there in market.  The saying “you get what you pay for” does spring to mind, but they aren’t hard to train – they’re used to learning new material.  It’s important to note that especially in this economy, university students are having a harder time finding work experience – which can work to our link-building agenda’s advantage.

All the tactics I’ve implied here includes 3 important part by saying “Gathering Prospects”, “Pithing Reason” & “Adding Value”

1.Reach out to Student Blog, Club and Organization

As we know many university offering student to create a blog on official website (.edu domain). Therefore, we can ask university/college students to create a student blog on their school’s .edu domain (which many universities offer) and post content with link back to your site. Or if they already have a blog then just ask them to post our article on the same with link.

link building student blog

Image credit: ditchthattextbook.com

Gathering Prospects

    1. Reddit: Reddit’s user base is teeming with college students. And the site has a little-known “redditors for hire” section that’s surprisingly active.

I am looking for a current US Based University student to a.) Create a blog on their schools domain, .edu or any else and b.)Post an article with a link back my client site. I will pay  some bucks per post. Get in touch with me via PM if interested

    1. By manual search using following operators.

site:edu inurl:student association
[Assignment] inurl:blog intitle:student
[Classroom network] inurl:blog intitle:student
site:edu “healthcare ” “student blogs”

    1. You can also find student club and organization by below search commend

site:edu “student keyword club”
site:edu “student groups” + “keyword”
site:edu “student organizations” + “keyword”

  1. Many universities offering “Job Board” on their university website like this where you can post your requirement and this will allow you directly engage with student.

Pitching Reason

  1. Build a link for your company on their blog/site.
  2. Share relevant knowledge which can be helpful for the student.
  3. Increase root within student network.

Adding Value

  1. Pay some money that can be used by student for their daily expenses.
  2. The student will get more traffic on their site by continues update and also their presence will be strong in the world of internet.
  3. It will help them to get a job and also they can show it to the employer.

2.Leverage Social Network

As we know people are much crazy about social media and specially student use social media for their personal engagement and also communicate with family, friend and class fellow. So this can be a good opportunity to gather a valuable link or build brand awareness for your website.

link building social network
Image credit:geniusrecruiter.com

Gathering Prospects

    1. Monitor & Engage with university official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube page and find out the opportunity where student have problem in finding solution from these pages/university.
    2. Follow, join student community, groups & pages on social media and offer them those things which were not provided by university like; assignment tips, new happening, technology updates etc.
    3. You can use few advance search commend on Google search to find successful posts on Facebook and Tumblr or other social Media channels. 

i.e[niche topic] site:facebook.com inurl: /post/
[Niche topic] site:linkedin.com  inurl:/post/
[Niche topic] site:tumblr.com inurl:/post

    1. You can find student problem or need on twitter by Advance search commend.

i.e.  https://twitter.com/search-advanced

Pitching Reason

  1. Ask them to credit us for providing help. Credit can be in terms of back Links on their website/blog or project.
  2. Can mushroom your voice within group/friends or junior. It’s kind of mouth publicity.

 Adding Value

  1. Our motto is to provide best answer and resources for required services. Or fulfill their requirement.
  2. Share best resource and content to solve student problem.
  3. Give them right path and motivate to follow that path.

3.Leverage Alumni Network

Snagging alma mater news links for your in-house experts (Alumni) is probably one of the easiest .edu links building tactics. As we know alumni have best news and knowledge about university or college.

link building alumni network
Image credit: alumni.byu.edu

Gathering Prospects

    1. Find out list of schools where your experts studied.
    2. Get in touch with their alumni association.

Note: typically there’s one at the university level (for all former students), and potentially one at the “school-level” for an alumnus of a particular discipline;
i.e. the school of humanities or the nursing school, etc…

  1. Inform them, all of the amazing things your company gurus been doing since graduating so that they can update these news on their pages/blog.
  2. You can use generic search commend to find or submit news about Alumni. This is how university display alumni profile on their university page.  They’ve not only set up a profile but also mentioned their business name with link on site.i.e.
    site:edu “submit* alumni news”
    site:edu “alumni profiles”
    site:edu “alumni profile”
    site:edu “alumni record”

Pitching Reason

  1. You can only get /ask them to place our shared link on their profile, like, share, tweet etc…
  2. Build personal relationship with university/college and brand awareness for the company.

Adding Value

  1. Share past experience with college, colleague and professor.
  2. Share corporate experience to current students.
  3. Offer job to current student.
  4. Can be on board for suggestion/advice etc.

4.Prepare long tail resource content, video and text for student

As we know that student that whenever a student needs solutions first and foremost they go to the internet and search particular topic, image, video or resources. We can store sample of these long tail content on various sites like Slideshare, box.com, YouTube etc.

link building long tail content
Image credit: strategicbit.com

Gathering Prospects

  1. You can find student requirement on social media, forum, and portal, Q & A sites. Make list of these sites and then you can target them manual or on the website itself.
  2. You can re-check if student/people already using your content, image. And ask them to give you credit as a backlink or create awareness within a group. You can search your used image by using Google Image Search or by Reverse Image Finder.

Pitching Reason

  1. Get traffic and create brand awareness
  2. The student should give credit to creator of these sites or resources
  3. Maximum student will know about the client and they can trust for buying the things.

Adding Value

  1. The student can easily find their required items or resources
  2. If a resource is good then they will get better marks

5.University Resource Page

Most universities have resource pages where they link to websites that are helpful to students and faculty. You can also approach them to list your webpage on university website.

link building university resource page
Image credit: hpmislibrary.com

Gathering Prospects

    1. You can discover a many link opportunities on housing and residence life FAQ pages for students. Additionally student may need accommodation, insurance, TV, food while moving to new place. Therefore many Universities have set up their own Resource page on university website. You can target them by asking your service offering and make sure that student should be benefited from your service.
    2. You can search by following advance search commend

site:edu “your keyword”
site:edu “your keyword” + “resources”
site:edu “your keyword” + inurl:links
site:edu “your keyword” + “other sites”
inurl:helpful-links site:edu

Pitching Reason

  1. Provide fruitful resource to student and faculty
  2. To create brand awareness within student and faculty network.
  3. Obviously you will be pitching them to get a link from listed website.

Adding Value

  1. You can offer free resources, study materials to student and assistant professor.
  2.  You can offer especial discounts, organize events etc.

6.Sponsor Webinar, Workshop, Event or Scholarship

The need to find help to fund education for students is in high demand. Arranging webinar or workshop or event on specific topic could help you to build link from university webinar or new announcement page. Another way is offering a scholarship for students and having the listing added to scholarship pages on .edu sites.

link building sponsor webinar

Gathering Prospects

    1. List out number colleges/university in your area and approach them by email, call.
    2. You can search university/college group on social media and outreach them
    3.  You can use few search operators

i.e.site:edu inurl:visiting faculty
site:edu inurl:webinar
site:edu inurl:workshop
site:edu inurl:event intitle:student
[Niche] inurl:webinar intitle:student
site:edu inurl:scholarship

Pitching Reason

  1. To get link on their website
  2. Brand awareness, knowledge sharing

Adding value

  1. Provide best knowledge
  2. Sponsor workshop if possible
  3. Provide free sample, study guide etc.

7. Create YouTube video and promote on .edu high authority domain

Gathering Prospects

    1. We can make YouTube video which especially for students or interesting subject related to student.
    2. You can find relevant prospect by search operator like;

[Marriage advice] site: youtube.com inurl: /video/ or manual search on YouTube.

Pitching Reason

  1. Now, many of .edu high domain organization they will not accept your business website link so   in that case you can use YouTube video and share that link on that domain. They accept YouTube video URL, so this way you can get the traffic from reference site to your website.

Adding Value

  1. Student blog allow YouTube video link
  2.  If video is interesting or useful then share on social site by students
  3.  Get more sharing and viewers
  4. YouTube video gets backlinks from high domain authority .edu site with dofollow backlink
  5. Rank on Google


Source: http://www.orseep.com/blog/7-tactics-to-earn-links-through-students-universities/

6 Tactics to Initiate a Conversation on Social Media

Initiate Conversation on Social Media

For a medium that is supposed to be intrinsically social, much time can be spent on social media without having meaningful conversations.

This is particularly so for businesses and brands, where many use social media platforms not necessarily to be social, but to broadcast their message.

While you certainly can publish great content, sit back and wait for your audience to spark a conversation with you, there are several methods that can be employed to more proactively initiate a conversation on social media.

1 – Leave a comment

As a business or brand, there is no reason why you can’t get involved in relevant social media communities outside of your own. Try to figure out where else your audience is spending time on the social web and get involved in those communities by leaving valuable comments and contributions.

2 – Answer a question

The openness of platforms, such as Twitter, enables you to conduct searches based on keywords, hashtags, geography, and more. Spend some time helping people by answering their questions that are relevant to your business or category.

3 – Participate in a chat

Similar to the above, find an organized chat that is relevant to your business or brand, and get involved.

4 – Pose a question

I know this is pretty 101, but make it easy for people to comment on your content by posing questions that require varying levels of thoughtfulness. This will not only encourage trepidatious commenters to socially engage with your content, but will also give more thoughtful and dedicated comments something to sink their teeth into.

5 – Create conversation-worthy content

Conversations naturally occur around certain topics depending on various trends, recent events, pop-culture, and more. If relevant to your business or brand, consider creating content that is related to topics that have a great deal of naturally occurring conversation happening about them already.

6 – Be persistent, learn and optimize

I recognize it may sound odd to think about persistence, learning and optimization as being key to initiating conversation, but the reality is that your audience has many options about where and with whom, they have conversations online. So, if your tactics to spur sociability aren’t immediately successful, try different techniques, be persistent, and continue to optimize your efforts.

Source: http://socialmediatoday.com/rgbsocial/2099441/6-tactics-initiate-conversation-social-media?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=hootsuite_tweets

Which social media road will you take?

Social media road map

By Margie Jordan

2014 social media road mapBy now you’ve heard stories about the positive impact social media marketing is having on the sales of many businesses. In fact, many marketers have acknowledged that social media is now a crucial piece of their strategy. But creating a Facebook page or Twitter account is easy; providing content that’s entertaining and useful to the reader takes a little more work.

Success with social media marketing is cumulative. Every status update, pin, post, tweet or share is a step toward building a loyal community of fans and followers, which in turn has the potential to produce an unlimited number of leads and sales.

Choose the right social network

The biggest misconception about social media marketing is that you need a presence on every platform. For the solo travelpreneur, dividing your social marketing among Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus and YouTube can be exhausting and unproductive. It is far better to choose one social network and use it purposefully and consistently. Become knowledgeable about how to post and engage with its community. When you’ve mastered it, add a second one if your schedule allows. If you’re not sure which social network to choose, here’s an overview of the big ones and their basic characteristics.


With more than a billion registered users globally, Facebook is the world’s most popular social network. Women slightly outnumber men among the Facebook population, with 35- to 64-year-olds accounting for the largest percentage of users. In a Facebook newsfeed, you’ll find everything from photos and videos to articles and status updates. It’s the one place you can connect with old classmates, start a special interest group, grow a business and share life’s most memorable moments.


Remember the old corkboards with the pushpins? If you used one back in the day, you’ll love Pinterest.

Expanding on the idea of a bulletin board, Pinterest users create boards to collect and organize the things they love. You’ll find boards dedicated to shoe fetishes, recipes, home improvement ideas, bucket-list travel and everything in between.

Pinterest users are primarily women, 25% of whom have purchased something they discovered on a Pinterest board. Adding the “Pin It” button to a browser enables users to discover and pin photos from anywhere on the Web. Pinned photos retain links to the websites on which they were found. The ability to retain the link is why businesses are actively using Pinterest. When users click on a photo pinned to a board, it redirects the user to the website where the photo was found, sending new traffic back to that website and potentially generating new sales.

Pinterest is one of the three top social networks for sending referral traffic back to your website. Facebook and Twitter round out the other two spots. The key to Pinterest is that it is very visual. If you have stunning pictures that you can link to your business, product or service, this is the platform to consider.


Twitter is a real-time information network that enables users to stay close to stories, news, articles and opinions. Status updates, called tweets, are limited to 140 characters or less. Top news stories often break on Twitter long before they’re reported anywhere else. On average, users spend 170 minutes per month browsing the feed. Twitter chats, such as Travel Weekly’s (#twchats), are conversations on Twitter scheduled at a specific date and time on a predetermined topic.

Twitter is an excellent tool that enables you to communicate with anyone who has an account. There are no restrictions like the ones you find on Facebook. For many businesses, Twitter has become a very successful customer support tool.

If you’re a budding blogger, Twitter is the ideal platform for real-time, spur-of-the-moment updates and news. And for some, it has become the preferred platform for microblogging because it amounts to short, informative information sharing.


As the world’s only professional social network, LinkedIn isn’t a place you’ll find photos of the kids. It’s all about business and making connections. LinkedIn has 259 million professionals, about half of whom check in daily. The average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes a month making new connections. That’s not a lot compared with the time spent on the other, more social networks.

LinkedIn is an underused platform with untapped potential to get you in front of the right people. The single most important factor for success with LinkedIn is a great profile that’s optimized with keywords, a well-crafted headline and summary. While there are many ways to use this network, it’s equally important that you are an active user. Participate in LinkedIn groups and in sharing useful business updates. If you want to connect to the industry or build an image as an expert in your field, LinkedIn is the platform of choice.


Any social network owned by Google is one you should pay attention to. Sharing your unique website content and blog posts on Google Plus can help improve your search engine rankings.

Explore Google Plus Communities (analogous to Facebook groups). A community is built around any topic from marketing to travel. Stephanie Lee of Host Agency Reviews has a wonderful community called Travel Agent Chatter. If you’re still wading through the waters of social media, I encourage you to join my social media community, Social Marketing for Travel Entrepreneurs.

One of the most popular features of Google Plus is Hangouts. Breathe life into your conversations with a group video call. Hang out online with up to 10 people. Share your screen, meet with clients. Be creative. Even the Dali Lama hosts Hangouts. Businesses have caught on and are finding ways to monetize Hangouts by hosting online shows and training classes. You can create separate personal and business pages. If you have a physical location, the benefits of Google Plus get even better.

While Google Plus may not be the largest social network, it’s one you should pay attention to. It has 343 million active users and is growing fast. One caveat: You’ll need a Gmail account to participate.


Share your story with photos on Instagram. Upload a photo and within a few moments, someone likes it. Instagram is dedicated solely to sharing photos and videos. To date, more than 16 billion photos have been shared (more than 35 million are “selfies”). Instagram users spend 257 minutes per month on the service. It’s very easy to use, and the free filters can help you turn any photo into an artistic masterpiece. You’ll need a visual marketing strategy to see real success here.

Brand your business with your own hashtag (#yourbusinessname) in the description. Links included in the description are not live links, but when you share Instagram photos to Facebook, the links become live on Facebook. The integration between Facebook and Instagram is superb, particularly since Facebook acquired the service. For the travelpreneur with a solid Facebook presence, this could be another platform of choice. It’s an easy way to share your travel adventures with clients and give a “wish you were here” moment to your audience.


With 1 billion users, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. A staggering 4 billion videos are viewed every single day on this service. In the past, YouTube gave weight to how many views a video had. Today, while views are important, watch-time (how long you held a viewer’s attention) is more important. The day of posting random content that has no value to the reader is over. It can hurt your rankings in search engines and in most social networks.

Putting social to use

Now that you know what the major social networks are, how do you use them? Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Each is social, and members are looking for useful content and connections. As you set your 2014 social media goals, become a story-teller. Learn how to sell by telling the story of the solution you provide. It’s an indirect sales technique that can be quite effective on social media. Where there are opportunities to advertise, such as Facebook ads and Twitter promoted posts, you’ll find increased opportunity for direct sales.

When social advertising opportunities are not available or if you don’t have an ad budget, there are four main areas that can consistently build your brand and increase your sales.

1. Expose your brand to a larger audience. One of the best uses of social media marketing is to build your following, and every major social media network does an excellent job in this regard.

Start with a brand page if it’s available. The appearance of your page should reflect the culture of your business. Develop a social media marketing strategy that includes a content calendar. What will you share? Which network will you share it on?

There’s no magic formula for the perfect time of day to post or for the number of posts you should make. Posting a few times each day ensures better post visibility. If it’s something you want the majority of your followers to see, don’t be afraid to post it more than once, keeping in mind everyone is not online at the same time.

Remember, generating sales with social media is the result of consistent effort. Don’t be afraid to tweak a strategy. Social media is always changing. Check the analytics of the social network you’re using to see if you’re reaching your intended audience and if they’re engaged. If you’re advertising, carefully watch your ad performance. Tweaking a social-network ad can mean the difference between success and money wasted.

2. Increase website traffic. The No. 1 rule of social media marketing is to get fans and followers into your database. Sales don’t occur on social media. They occur on websites and landing pages. Those are the only places over which you have complete control and are free from the marketing restrictions of social media.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube shine in this category. Social bookmarking platforms like Stumble Upon and Reddit also rank high. Website content and blog posts should be shared on Facebook and Twitter with a link back to the original post on your website.

Create a board on Pinterest specifically for your blog posts. Pin the photo from the post itself and give a snippet of the post in the description. Ask your fans and followers to share or retweet it. If you publish a newsletter, do not just share the link to the content. Instead, post a teaser of the content to come, and link to a newsletter sign-up page. Content must be relevant to the reader. When you become a problem solver, your traffic will significantly increase. More traffic equals more leads.

YouTube is a bit different. Add your website domain name in each video with video editing software or YouTube annotations. Watermark the video with your logo. When you’re recording, don’t be afraid to ask viewers to visit your website when you’re recording. Also include your website link in the description of the video. The more entertaining and useful the video is, the more likely they are to visit.

3. Increase your search engine rankings. If you want to increase your search engine rankings in Google, focus on Google’s social networks: Google Plus and YouTube. An active YouTube channel can bump up search engine rankings. Adding keywords and titles helps Google define the relevance of a video.

Google Plus is the workhorse in this category. The 1+ button is Google’s equivalent of Facebook’s Like button. When added to your website, the number of 1+’s your website content receives is highly related to where you appear in search engine rankings. In fact, 1+’s beat out every other metric known to improve search engine rankings, including Facebook shares and keyword use.

There are a few steps to seeing success with Google Plus. Create separate personal and business pages. Incorporate the 1+ button on your website and blog posts. Lastly, you’ll need to establish Google authorship, linking your Google Plus profile to the content your write. You may need the assistance of your website provider to complete the last step, but it’s well worth the effort.

4. Communicate with your existing customers. Not every social network promotes communication directly to customers.

If your 2014 goals include real-time customer support and communication, Twitter is the network that excels in this area. Customers can tweet a question, problem or accolade in 140 characters. A tweet is real-time, so there’s no lapse between its being sent and being received. This concept works better when you create a separate Twitter account dedicated exclusively to this purpose.

On the surface, Facebook does a decent job when the communication happens via a private message on your business page. However, posting on your Facebook page comes with restrictions. Every post is not seen by every fan. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine which of your fans sees your content. Those limitations don’t exist with Twitter.

The end of the year is the perfect opportunity to take a look at your social marketing strategy. Choose your social network wisely, and work it to perfection in 2014.


Source: http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Online-Travel/2014-social-media-road-map/

How to Leverage Facebook.

Content marketing is all about creating relevant and compelling content in order to change or enhance consumer behavior that’s favorable to you. And where else to better utilize this strategy than in a billion-people social hub that is Facebook? So read carefully and jot down these important tips that will surely help your brand with content marketing.

Tips on using Facebook for your content marketing strategy

  • 1. Content creation through Social Listening.

Probably the greatest thing about Facebook from a marketer’s perspective is that you don’t have to guess what your consumers are thinking since they’re going to post it anyway. So this is the best time to listen.

Tip: Find out how people relate to your brand, how they see it and use it on a daily basis, etc. by searching hashtags:


Through this method, you can gain consumer perspective and use such information to better your readability and strengthen your fan/consumer base. Check out the frequency and quality of hashtags you get from your consumers. You may also use this to check for criticisms and respond accordingly:


You can also make use of advance search queries with the inurl option for posts, e.g. site:facebook.com inurl:posts ‘coca cola’.

  • 2. Enhance social media presence through Shareable Content.

In a website which feeds on millions of information every day, it’s almost a crime to just browse and not share anything in return.

One way to entice customers is to create content that would make them want to share it with everyone else. That means creating valuable content that are thought-provoking, conversation-starters, and emotional-triggers.

Tip: Images – especially relatable ones are usually your best bet since they cross language barriers and are instant attention-grabbers. You may also use other visual content like videos, GIFs, etc.


(Starbucks brand)

This is a great strategy since you aren’t only talking to the same hundreds of people, rather, to the entire thousand (even millions):


  • 3. Project a brand persona through Personal Engagement.

People are allergic to ads, promotions – almost everything that shouts ‘BUY ME!’. As a marketer, you would want your brand to be seen as a being – a ‘friend’. Use Facebook to engage your customers and get personal.

Tip: The more you personify your brand, the more will people appreciate you and interact with you. Use your page as how a normal Facebook user would (but not entirely). Engage, show interest, be alive:


In this example, Starbucks made a collage of their customers drinking their product and used it as their cover photo. This was well-received by their fans as seen here:


Since Facebook is interactive and operates on a real-time basis, it enables a two-way communication in the fastest way possible. Take advantage of this.

Answer your customers’ comments/queries ASAP so as not to lose their interest and in the event of misinformation, immediately correct them:


  • 4. Reach your market through Targeting Options.

The beauty of Facebook is that it’s a global phenomenon. And what makes it even better is that Facebook is all-aboard the marketing ship, giving you the free hand in targeting specific demographics that comprise your consumer base and prospective buyers:


Tip: The more specific you get, the more consistent your branding will appear, allowing you to focus on those people that really matter to your brand. (Displays the ‘Suggested Likes and Interests’ once you’ve typed an entry on the ‘Precise Interests’ field)


Should you want a wider reach, you may choose the Broad Category targeting, instead:


This will bring your brand right to your target market’s doorstep. Just be cautious of appearing too much of a heartless-and-faceless ad AND of spamming their news feeds, otherwise they’ll easily dismiss you as just that – a spam. Sometimes, less is more.

  • 5.  Engage customers through Gimmicks.

Hosting contests and/or events, giving out discounts, having sales, etc. are great ways to engage your customers as well as attract prospective buyers. Facebook is where things spread like wildfire and nothing doubles that than a sale or contest online! Once you get some of your customers clicking and sharing, you want to make sure their friends would want to click and share, too.


Tip: Take advantage of the Tagging Option when posting event photos (people will love the VIP treatment) or use it as a condition to enter a contest (i.e. tag 2 of your friends and win a trip to Asia!).


These are just some of the many ways you can utilize Facebook posts for your content marketing strategy. Experiment with it, but don’t get boxed in. Making use of a work breakdown structure helps to not only to increase productivity but also to know which aspect of your content marketing strategies works and which doesn’t.

Constantly update yourself on Facebook’s feature updates, be in-the-know, and use this to your advantage. In this digital age, being present on the web isn’t enough. Learn how to leverage social media sources to your brand’s (and heart’s) content.


Source: http://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/facebook-marketing/content-marketing-with-facebook/

6 Social Media Jobs That Will Be Big In 2014.

Social media has transformed the way people socialize, network and stay in touch. We’ve seen large social networks like MySpace and Friendster come and go, and other ones like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn completely transform and redefine our online trends.

One thing is abundantly clear: social media is now necessary for global commerce, and 2014 will be the catalyst for vital social media marketing positions. Social media is more than liking or retweeting a post; it’s a new, cutting-edge marketing medium with unlimited potential. According to Constant Contact’s Small Businesses: Then and Now Survey conducted in May 2013, social media marketing has exploded, with 87 percent of small businesses using social media as a marketing tool today.

Since social media marketing requires a combination of analytical skills, good communication and performing extensive research, you can bet business, communications and English-related degrees are good candidates for 2014 social media job openings.

Explore the new frontier of marketing with these six up-and-coming social media positions:

1. Search engine optimization (SEO) specialist

Companies want to be visible to potential and current customers. To do so, SEO specialists are essential. SEO specialists wear many different hats, each of which are designed to boost website rankings within relevant search results.

This job involves analyzing websites, testing different marketing techniques and creating new quality content. SEO specialists also use social media websites to market new content. In an age where digital technology outperforms print sources, social media is a quick way to spread more than status updates and commercial information.

SEO specialist positions often require a bachelor’s degree and at least one to three years of Web experience. Knowledge in HTML, CSS and blogging is a plus.

Approximate annual salary: $69,000

2. Social media strategist

Social media strategists work on creating a public profile for companies, allowing them to interact freely with customers on social media sites. Though posts are about company services and products, these business social media accounts help develop an interactive business-customer relationship.

It’s marketing by humanizing a company through online social interactions. The more social media followers a company has, the more their products and services are recognized.

Social media strategist positions often require a bachelor’s degree and two years of previous work experience in social media marketing.

Approximate annual salary: $61,000

3. Online community manager

An online community manager is a liaison between a company and an online community (e.g., social networks, message boards and email groups). As more people come together online to share similar interests and ideals, online marketers have the perfect opportunity to target these groups and pitch their own products and services.

The online community manager’s goal is to use online communities to increase brand loyalty and Web traffic and to maximize their company’s social media marketing strategy.

It involves analytical, creative and business-oriented skills to promote a company, products and services. An online community manager never has the same job any single day; it involves adapting to new online technologies and social media tools.

This position often requires a bachelor’s degree, two years within a business setting and experience with Photoshop, video editing and website development.

Approximate annual salary: $59,000

4. Social media marketing manager

Social media marketing managers oversee the design and execution of social media marketing strategies. Their goal is to drive audience growth and bring their company and brands to the forefront.

A number of social media tools are used to analyze the best marketing tactics for each social site. Since each social networking platform works differently, content has to be adapted to maximize its effects. The social media marketing manager oversees the communications strategy for these platforms and delegates their goals and expectations to the rest of the online marketing team.

Social media marketing manager positions often require a bachelor’s degree (an MBA is sometimes preferred), a minimum of five years of digital marketing experience, excellent verbal/written communication skills and a solid understanding of social media platforms.

Approximate annual salary: $57,000

5. Social media marketing coordinator

Social media marketing coordinators write unique content and take photos and videos for the social media accounts they administer. The position involves frequent social media post updates (hours on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc.) and use of social media analysis tools.

A college degree isn’t required, but strong written/verbal skills, proficient blogging and knowledge of social media platforms and video editing are all necessities of the position.

Approximate annual salary: $47,000

6. Blogger or social media copywriter

The word “blogger” has become overly generalized as a simple hobby for some people. But for businesses and marketing firms worldwide, bloggers and social media copywriters are essential in creating an online presence. It’s a strategy of numbers, and the role of the blogger is crucial for receiving online attention.

There’s a dual function behind this position: 1) create engaging and factual online content via blog posts, social media networks, message boards etc.; and 2) attract readers and followers.

Posts often include keywords that, when clicked on, redirect readers to a specific company website or related page. Where a spammer presents irrelevant, flashy content to readers, bloggers and social media copywriters deliver valuable online information to their readers.

Bloggers and social media copywriters require exceptional written skills to deliver concise information. A college degree isn’t required, but is often preferred.

Approximate annual salary: $43,000

In 2014, prepare for a new chapter in online marketing. Social media marketing will help personalize the business experience and reach an unlimited pool of potential consumers. Since online social demands will only continue to grow and evolve, these positions will redefine marketing’s online future – and it begins here.


Source: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2014/01/13/6-social-media-jobs-that-will-be-big-in-2014/

3 Social Media Marketing Tips For 2014

2013 was truly a social year. New social platforms continue to emerge, and budgets have swelled, as more companies are beginning to embrace social media presence. A reported 78% of companies now have a dedicated social media team.

It’s safe to say that Twitter isn’t just for discussing what you had for lunch for marketing professionals, as 93% of marketers claim to use social media for business.  Twitter now boasts 232 million active users who send out 500 million tweets per day. Twitter also celebrated a successful IPO this year, as well as the launch of its video tool, Vine.

Instagram also had a big year in 2013 with the introduction of video to the platform, as well as a supported paid advertising program. The rise of popularity of the picture and video-sending platform, Snapchat, indicates that pictures and videos offer an interesting future of marketing.

Taking in the lessons and trends of 2013, here are 3 areas marketing should consider focusing social efforts on in 2014:

1) Create a budget and strategy for social media advertising.

Social advertising is also on the rise with an estimated $10.24 Billion dollars spent in 2013. More and more companies are creating strategies for advertising on social media sites as well as larger portions of their budget. Twitter and Facebook are still the leading platforms for social advertising, but LinkedIn is becoming a more popular place to advertise as well. All three platforms have a wide range of options depending on your target audience and budget.

2) Customer Experience is the name of the game in 2014.

Social media has also created the need for customer service teams to get social. More and more consumers are taking to social media to air their grievances instead of calling customer support. In fact, 42% of customers who reach out to brands via social media expect a response in less than 60 minutes.  It’s also been reported, however, that 80% of customer service inquiries posted on social media go unanswered. Because of this, it’s becoming more important for companies to create an integrated social media strategy that includes all aspects of the business, from sales to customer service. With only 17% of companies saying their social strategy is mature, it’s clear that there’s still a significant learning curve for organizations.

3) Invest in technology.

“It can’t be measured” is a mantra that won’t fly in 2014. Traditionally social marketers have reported their number one complaint is not being able to effectively report on social media ROI. With the plethora of social media tools available today, including Oracle’s SRM solution, marketers can glean all kinds of analytics, from number of mentions, to sentiment, to top influencers interacting with your content. The most important thing is to have a dedicated strategy around what you’re trying to achieve with social media, and choose the best technology that can assist you therein.

I look forward to what 2014 bring for social media marketing.