How to Set Social Media Marketing Campaign Goals


When creating a social media marketing campaign, you should keep specific goals in mind to ensure your work is as effective as possible. Here are some goals to consider and examples of companies that executed them well.

Improve Brand Awareness

Your business can improve brand awareness through social media by posting your campaigns on a variety of platforms. You can also use specific hashtags and provide followers with incentives for sharing your content and tagging their friends.

Improving your brand awareness through social doesn’t need to take a lot of time either. In fact, 91% of marketers said they noticed an increase in their brand visibility by only spending a few hours per week on social media. Once you have a plan for your campaign, you will be able to map out exactly where and when it should be posted to keep things efficient.

A great example of using social media marketing to raise brand awareness is Apple’s “Shot On iPhone” campaign. Apple’s impressive iPhone cameras allow their 90 million+ users to take pictures that look like they were taken with professional cameras. 

Taking beautiful pictures has also become increasingly important for social media users over the years, especially with photo-focused platforms such as Instagram. Apple decided to mesh these ideas together and launch the “Shot On iPhone” campaign which features iPhone photos taken by customers. 

Users take pictures with their iPhones, post them to social (typically on Instagram in this case), and use the campaign’s hashtag, #shotoniphone, which has been tagged in over 4.3 million posts thus far. Apple shares select photos on their Instagram page to their 6.8 million followers and gives participants a chance to have their photo on a billboard.

Apple’s social media marketing campaign increases brand awareness through their Instagram page, hashtag, and the requirement that people share their photos with their own followers.

Social media marketing New Zealand

Apple started the campaign, but iPhone users are the people doing the hard work. Through this campaign, the company builds a feed of the most beautiful and unique pictures that also serve as a way to improve brand awareness and market the iPhone camera feature.

Connect With Your Audience

Connecting with your audience is important in all types of marketing. In a world with growing distractions and diminishing patience, effective marketing tactics are more important than ever. The good news is that social media has made it easier to connect with potential customers anywhere around the world. 

When working on a social media marketing campaign, you want to connect with your audience both on a surface level — through a follow, comment, or a “like” — and on a deeper level — through a relatable post that gets them feeling a certain way about your brand or products.

Coca-Cola’s ”Share a Coke” social media campaign successfully connects the company with their audience on a deeper level. By selling bottles of Coke with people’s names on them, Coca-Cola personalizes the buying experience which gets customers excited about purchasing and sharing the bottles.

Whether it’s their own name or the name of a family member, friend, or co-worker, customers feel a connection to these bottles of Coke. Some of the bottles even have stickers on them that customers can peel off and wear as a name tag or give to someone else.

Coca-Cola made the campaign even more relatable by creating labels with multiple different spellings of names and including less-common names. Customers can also personalize their own bottle on the company’s website for $5. The company found a way to engage with everyone through this campaign. 


Coca-Cola also promoted a hashtag, #shareacoke, so social media users can share their pictures and videos with friends and followers. Since the campaign has gone viral, the hashtag has been used on millions of Twitter and Instagram posts. And for those who want to share a Coke, or post a picture about their own experience, there are links to more information about the campaign in the bio section of Coca-Cola’s social profiles. 

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 11.41.36 AM.png

The “Share a Coke” campaign gets people excited about a personalized bottle of Coke and makes customers feel connected to the brand on a deeper level. In turn, millions have been motivated to share pictures, videos, and stories on social media about their experiences buying and sharing a Coke.

Increase Website Traffic

Social media is a great way to boost website traffic. Simply putting your website in your profile bio helps guide users to your site where they can learn more about your company or a specific product. Customers have little patience and lose interest quickly. By including the URL in your bio, you will avoid any confusion and keep things simple for your potential customers.

Your campaign team can also respond to followers on social with URLs to specific landing pages on your website. Adding links to your website as part of a natural conversation or organic post is a great way to show them you are listening and boost website traffic.

Lastly, you can just add a website or landing page URL to your actual post on social. You will increase website traffic by providing followers with links to the resources they need to answer their questions and concerns on their own.

For example, many news stations across the country add URLs to their stories on social media. They are often seen posting an eye-catching image, video, quote, or statement along with a link to the actual story.

This works well because it increases their website traffic. If followers don’t follow the link to the station’s website, they can always click “Like”, or “Share” if they still want to interact.

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 3.15.53 PM.png

Drive Sales

Marketers want customers to get excited about their products and brand. When a business can do this successfully, they will most likely see an increase in sales. Social media campaigns are a great way to get people excited about new products because of the ability to share, use images, get the word out.

One example of this was the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino campaign. Starbucks has been known to create special “secret menu” items, and these drinks have become increasingly popular to photograph, as they often make for fun Instagram and Twitter posts. The company took advantage of this and started selling the Unicorn Frappuccino — a bright, colorful drink that was only in stock for a limited time. 

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 12.32.18 PM.png

Starbucks shared pictures of the Frappuccino all over social media and drummed up excitement around the drink. They also created a hashtag, #unicornfrappuccino, to encourage customers to share their experiences purchasing and drinking the beverage.

The $5 drink was so popular with customers that during the single week it was available in April 2017, there were over 180,000 posts on social media that featured the drink. The drink also led to an increase in same-store sales for the second quarter by 3%, and same-store sales were up 4% in March 2017.

Now that we have reviewed some of the most successful social media marketing campaigns, let’s dive into the ways you can kick start your own.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign

There are a number of ways to create a successful social media marketing campaign. Plans vary based on industry, social media platform, and campaign type. Use the following tips to create your own social media marketing campaign.

Research Your Competition

In the planning stages of your social media marketing campaign, consider your competition.

  • Which companies are similar to yours and already have successful social media accounts?

  • Which companies have campaigns that you know did well?

  • Do the companies you are reviewing typically conduct giveaways, contests, or live videos?

  • What is engagement like on their social posts?

By taking a step back and asking yourself these questions, you’ll start to understand what’s working well in your industry. You will also be able to determine how you can make your own campaign unique. 

Look for inspiration elsewhere, too. If your competition isn’t on social, you’re not a fan of their previous campaign style, or you have an exceptionally unique business, then look for other campaigns that inspire you and determine how you can apply elements such as a similar style, level of engagement, aesthetic, or a specific message to your own campaign.

Craft Your Strategy

Next, craft your campaign strategy. To determine your campaign goal, first consider your target audience.

1. Appeal to your target audience.

  • Who are you trying to reach?

  • How would you classify your target audience?

  • What are you hoping this campaign will achieve for your company and your audience?

  • How can you create continued engagement with your followers throughout your campaign?

Ensuring your content and messaging appeals to your target audience should always be your top priority. Remember this important rule throughout your social media marketing campaign. Don’t lose sight of who you are trying to connect with and why

Otherwise, your audience will likely scroll right by your social posts or lose interest in your campaign in a matter of seconds. 

Here are some ways to appeal to your target audience on social media:

Consider current trends.

What do people want to view these days? For example, Instagram stories and live streaming have become quite popular. Can you incorporate these trends into your social routine and campaign?

Be informative.

Make your audience want to stop and listen. If you don’t have information worth their time, why would they check out your post or campaign? Provide your audience with an incentive — create a giveaway that requires your audience to read your description from start to finish. In addition, you should also tell them how to participate in the giveaway and when you will announce a winner.

Create unique and compelling visual content.

Whether it’s a video on Facebook or an edited picture on Instagram, make sure your visual content is compelling and entertaining. Give your audience something they haven’t seen before.

Engage with your audience.

After posting on social media, 84% of consumers expect companies to respond within 24-hours. If your followers leave questions, comments, or concerns on your posts, you should reach back out to them. You will form a personal bond with your audience that will make them more loyal to you and your brand. You will also earn their trust more efficiently.

2. Choose your content type and format.

To determine content type, think about why you’re creating your campaign. Here are some instances in which a company might create a social media marketing campaign:

  • Holidays

  • Special occasions or milestones

  • Partnerships with other businesses

  • User-generated content promotions

  • Contests or giveaways

 Consider which content type should be used on what platform. For example, if your campaign uses a lot of still photography, then maybe Instagram is the platform for you. If you require live streaming and longer form video, Facebook might be a good option, and if you want to release shorter bursts of information, Twitter could be a good fit. Think about what each platform is best for and go from there.

3. Manage your results.

No matter why you’re creating your campaign, you’ll probably be interested in knowing your campaign’s level of success.To make any conclusions about your success, you’ll need some type of metrics to measure and monitor throughout your campaign.

A popular way to do this is through a metric tracker such as Google Analyticsor HubSpot’s social monitoring and metric tracking tool. This type of concrete data will provide you with information like the amount of overall campaign traffic, how many new followers that you attract (as well as how many followers you lose), your level of engagement, changes in website traffic, and any change in sales.

Promote Your Content

Now it’s time to start sharing your campaign and promoting your content. Consider the following techniques on how to promote and share your content.

Promote one message throughout your campaign.

You should start by promoting one message on multiple different platforms using content that fits the chosen platform. By consistently sharing the same message across your campaign, your followers will hear the same information over and over again, which will allow them to retain your message.

In fact, marketing campaigns in the past have proven that messages are most effective when repeated. Repetition will result in familiarity, which will foster trust between your audience and your message, brand, and product. Redundant messages stick.

Balance your promotional and non-promotional content.

Your followers will notice if you’re constantly pushing promotional content on them. By balancing promotional and non-promotional, your followers will perceive you as being helpful and will want to engage with you more.

This is about your followers not feeling pressured or pushed into becoming a customer. You will be most effective if you provide your followers with promotional content that is balanced out with content that they find helpful and engaging.

Ensure your content is unique to your business.

Create an aesthetic for your campaign that matches your brand. You want this to be unique — anyone that lands on your page should know that it’s yours without reading your profile handle. Being unique and authentic helps you stand out … it also gives people a reason to want to follow you over your competitors.

Engage with your audience regularly.

No matter how many followers you have, you should set aside a bit of time to answer questions, “like” comments, and respond to feedback. By taking the time to engage with your followers, you will give them a personal experience that they won’t forget. These are the types of relationships and experiences that keep followers invested in your brand.

Create a unique hashtag for your campaign.

All major social media campaigns have a hashtag that should be the same across your social platforms. Hashtags allow your team members to keep track of interactions and make it easy for your followers to engage with your campaign. Your hashtag should be unique and memorable.

For example, Snickers has a popular social media campaign, “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.” They depict people lashing out, losing their minds, and even turning into different people because they are “hangry” … or hungry-angry. These people go back to their normal selves once they eat a bite of a Snickers bar and satisfy their hunger.

Their hashtag for the campaign is #EatASnickers. It’s straightforward, simple to remember, and action-oriented. Additionally, “Eat a Snickers” is also one of their ad taglines, which contributes to the uniformity across the campaign.

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 3.22.46 PM.png

Automate your content with scheduling software.

Although creating engaging content and interacting with your followers may be time-consuming, there is a way to schedule your campaign posts ahead of time to save you from having to do it in real time.

Tools such as HootsuiteCrowdfire, and CoSchedule allow marketers to schedule posts with text, photos, videos, hashtags, and more. Some of these scheduling tools even contain analytics that help users determine which scheduled posts are doing well and which posts may need to be modified.

Use live stream to your advantage.

By 2021, live streaming is expected to become more than a $70 billion industry. With live streaming, audience members can watch content in real-time from anywhere around the world, which creates a unique and engaging experience.

Facebook Live is one of the most popular ways to stream live content, followed by other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can use live streaming to update followers on news as it happens, conduct giveaways and contests, interview guests and influencers, or simply make followers feel personally connected to your brand.

The way you promote your content is your decision, but don’t forget to test and analyze your results. This way, you will know if there are any immediate changes that can and should be modified while the campaign is live. You can also apply this information to future campaigns.


Social media has taken the world by storm. Although some trends are changing, social media is here to stay. Social media marketing campaigns are a great option for businesses that want to remain relevant and promote their content in an effective and efficient way. 

With the possibility of significant reach, ability to directly engage with followers and customers, the ease of sharing your content with thousands (or even millions) of people, and the budget-friendly nature of the work, social media marketing campaigns are appealing to both businesses and consumers alike. 

Get started creating unique and engaging content for your social followers and make an impact that drives sales and gets people pumped about your brand.

Know how. Become a globally certified Social Media Marketing Specialist in 10 weeks now with IDMNZ.

How is Digital Changing the Financial Industry?


Technology and digital services continue to ingrain themselves into more aspects of our lives, the financial sector has not been immune. New technology has given way to new services and with new services comes disruption of the old.

Whether it’s services such as PayPal or Apple-Pay; or digital banks such as HSBC’s “First Direct,” digital transformation of the financial industry is ongoing. Customers are gravitating more towards digital experiences and digital products. At the same time, providers within the industry are rethinking the playbook.

Are brick and mortar stores still viable or even necessary? How empowered is the modern financial customer? What services and products cater to an increasing desire to bank or even invest in a digital landscape?

As the digital revolution continues to impact the industry, these questions will need to be answered. 

In this article, we explore several of the key changes that are taking the financial sector by storm as well as the challenges that come along with them.

1) Fintech

Fintech is a broad, far-encompassing term which primarily refers to banks and financial institutions looking to make full use of available hardware and software capabilities; as well as referring to the systems themselves.

In the truest sense of the word, the advent of credit cards in the 1950’s or the rise of ATM’s in the 1960’s was, for their time, a version of Fintech. Today, the term would be more appropriately used for digital banking technologies such as digital banks, wallets, blockchain tech, and more.

Online budgeting tools, spending tracking, even automated chatbots for customer service are ways in which Fintech is altering the landscape of financial services.

At each level, pain points are being addressed (i.e. budgeting, customer service) in swift, efficient manners, often making use of automated technology and machine learning algorithms. In times past, a suspicious charge on your account may have elicited a phone call from a representative. Now, robocalls ( a controversial tactic) can be made automatically as the transaction itself is being conducted (and in many cases, declined).

These technologies are moving the financial services industry in new directions quickly. Banks, lenders, credit card companies, and financial planners alike are all hurrying to catch up. One thing is for certain. Fintech is here to stay, is growing rapidly, branching in numerous directions, and is not slowing down.

2) Digital Banking


It wasn’t too long ago that banks offered incentives for opening an account. Offers of tote bags and toaster ovens gave way to promises of low fees, no fees, free checking, cash back, and more. All were predicated on the notion of getting the customer through the door where the 'sale' could be made.

In today’s digital landscape, certain features are not only offered, but they’re also expected. It would be hard to conceive of a bank or credit card company without an associated mobile app for customers to use to track expenses, pay bills, and more.

Digital banking is, to quote another economics term borrowed from different circumstances, 'the new normal'. Beyond simply accessing your account online, digital banks are increasing in both legitimacy as well as availability.

Digital banks exist solely online with no (or few) brick and mortar locations. Two of the largest in the United States are Ally Bank and Simple Bank. Believe it or not, both have been around for nearly a decade. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that a major player, Chase, got involved.

Finn by Chase marks the first foray into the digital-only banking landscape by a major US provider. No doubt, competitors will be paying close attention to how it performs. There may indeed be a digital banking revolution on the horizon. Even if Finn is ultimately unsuccessful it will most certainly not be the last venture by a major financial institution into the digital-only banking sector.

Combined with the increased focus towards mobile banking, even traditional banks are re-thinking the standard brick and mortar paradigm. In a world where everything from deposits to loan applications can be accomplished through a mobile phone, is it even necessary to have a physical branch?

Paul Donofrio, CFO of Bank of America still sees a need for physical branches, even in the transformative digital age:

“We still have one million people coming to our branches every day, and they need that channel. Some need it to transact, but a lot of them come in for advice and we want them to do that. So we need a certain footprint of financial centers.”

There may still be a need for physical branches. However, the trend is certainly moving away from them. Wells Fargo is expected to close 1,000 branches by 2020. JPMorgan Chase has closed 9% of its branches since 2012 and Bank of America 15% during that same time.

3) Digital Disruptors

There is no shortage of digital disruptors in Fintech. Payment technologies such as PayPal took the industry by storm. Others, such as ApplePay and Venmo have followed suit and are increasingly shifting more transactions to a digital environment.

At the same time, providers such as Kabbage provide small business lending services through an automated lending platform. Stripe is a payment processor which allows websites to process online transactions; lowering the barrier of entry for small ecommerce stores and startups alike.

Bypassing the need for expensive processors, lengthy loan procedures, or extensive footwork; Fintech disruptors come in all shapes and sizes.

4) AI And Machine Learning

jeremy-avery-556329-unsplash (1).jpg

There can be little doubt that the world of AI and machine learning will leave an indelible mark on the financial industry. In fact, it already has. Banks and credit card companies are using complex algorithms to detect fraudulent activity.

These technologies are being pioneered by several Fintech startups, employed by large corporations, and benefitting customer service as well as experience. As mentioned earlier, suspicious activity may at one time elicited a phone call from your bank or insurance company. Now, Microsoft has introduced an AI program which can detect fraudulent activity (and take action) in less than two seconds.

Similar technologies also protect mobile banking, login credentials and more. Cybercrime may have accounted for over $600 billion in losses in 2016. As technologies become more sophisticated, so too do the methods for circumventing them.

While consumers tend to think of “Fintech” as technologies and companies that make their financial lives easier; there are also those who seek to make our financial lives safer. Over 200 cybersecurity startups received VC and corporate funding last year. This year that number should be even higher.

Fraud detection isn’t the only use for AI and machine learning. Complex algorithms created from enormous amounts of data are providing insights into consumer behavior, providing real-time investment insights, regulatory compliance, and more.

5) Blockchain


It is often associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; however, Blockchain technology offers tremendous possibilities for other areas. The ledger system of blockchain utilizes strict controls which allows for auditable data. mean controls enabling smart contracts and auditable data. 

According to IBM CEO Ginni Rometty: “Today, blockchain —the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin—might seem like a trinket for computer geeks. But once widely adopted, it will transform the world.”

Blockchain’s ledger system builds trust with users, increases transparency, and minimizes human error as well as risk. It’s no wonder that stock exchanges, AI companies, banks, and more are exploring uses for the technology.

Blockchain focused firms raised over $240 million

in venture capital money in the first six months of 2017. That number is on the rise. Blockchain and associated technologies have the power to be one of the most impactful innovations in financial services as well as logistic technologies going forward.

6) An Evolving Workforce


New technologies mean new specialties. As such, the workforce for financial institutions is evolving. According to a LinkedIn Study the top financial jobs being hired in the UK are:

  • Investment Banking Analyst

  • Software Engineer

  • Paraplanner

At the same time, more traditional jobs require different skills in order to provide for customers such as salespeople, customer service representatives, HR and project managers. Advances in technology, including AI systems, are creating an environment where these positions are in danger of becoming outdated unless new skills are developed.

As technology continues to evolve the industry, there will be an increased need for a viable workforce to meet the rising demands and challenges which develop. At the same time, transitioning towards digital services and technologies will require the right individuals to be in place in order to ensure these developments are successful.

How to Write a Prospecting Email that Gets Replies

Do you think that writing prospecting emails is difficult? It might seem like it, especially if you are not getting the type of response you are hoping for. 

When you write prospecting emails, you are not intending to be a spammer, but you might seem like you are if your email isn’t well thought out. As you write prospecting emails, put yourself in the shoes of the person who is reading it. What kind of reaction are they likely to have?

Decision makers rarely answer the phone and don’t usually get back to you if you leave a voicemail message. The point of email prospecting is simply to start a conversation and drum up leads. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, and if your response rate is low, you might be going about it the wrong way.


Possible Reasons Your Emails Are Not Getting Replies


There are many possible reasons for getting a low percentage of replies to prospecting emails. Decision makers are busy people who are typically deluged with a ton of email that they spend a lot of time trying to get through. Often they make a split second decision about each email that they receive regarding whether to read or delete it.

The first thing to keep in mind is that an email with a bad headline will probably not be opened at all. Crafting an attention-getting headline is worth spending time on.

Once the email has been opened, there are certain things that may cause it to be deleted sooner rather than later. Common prospecting email mistakes include:

  • Emails need to be short and to the point. An email that is long and rambling may seem more like an intrusion than a request for a couple of minutes of conversation or consideration.

  • The focus should be on the recipient of the email, not the person who is prospecting. If you make the email all about you, the prospect quickly loses interest.

  • Benefits of doing business with you are not emphasized. Emails should clearly state what you have to offer, then quickly turn the focus onto what it means for them.

  • Rushing through your message and not noticing spelling or grammatical errors

  • Writing a generic message that could be sent to anyone

  • Offending the prospect in some way, such as implying their website is failing or ineffective in some way

  • Weak or missing call to action

These are some of the reasons your prospects may be quick to hit the delete button, and may not have read your email at all. If this is happening to you frequently, the next thing to consider is what should always be included in prospecting emails.

What All Prospecting Emails Need to Include



If your emails are typically boring, lengthy or generic, it’s time to make a change. The focus can’t be on selling to prospects, but instead how you can be of some help to them.

All prospecting emails should start with a salutation that addresses a particular individual person rather than “To Whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” This should be followed by an engaging statement about why you are contacting them and what’s in it for them.

A clear explanation of what value that you have to offer them should be included in your email. Credibility should be established so that they understand why they should believe you or trust you. Be sure to include a clear call to action that can’t be overlooked or misunderstood.


Understand the Prospect



Prospecting emails should be personalized and targeted. A generic email sent to dozens or hundreds of prospects isn’t likely to get the kind of response you are hoping for. No matter how similar the titles of different prospects sound, they are not identical people and each requires a different approach.

Take the time to learn a little bit about who you are approaching. What does each prospect care about the most? One may be focused on driving sales, while another is trying to increase revenue and visibility.

You can gain a lot of information about what matters to a prospect by doing a search on LinkedIn. Start by looking at particular job titles and considering what that type of job entails.

From LinkedIn profiles of a particular job title, you may be able to learn more about responsibilities, goals, and priorities. Drill down into individual profiles, and try to identify pain points that you can target. What solutions can you offer to someone who is trying to increase their visibility? Is it the same solution as someone who is focused on driving sales?

Speak the Language of Your Prospects



Browsing LinkedIn profiles can give you a lot of information about a particular industry. It can also be helpful to study a company’s website and their online conversations to find out what topic they are most often talking about and what language they are using.

Spend some time reviewing websites of job leads to get a clearer idea what a particular job title entails, and where this type of role fits into a particular organization.

Listen to social media conversations involving a person you are planning to approach. Does your prospect address people in conversational tones or choose more formal or technical sounding words? What keywords are likely to catch a particular prospect’s attention?

The more you study prospects and the way they interact with others, the more you start to grasp who different prospects actually are and how you can offer solutions to relieve their pain points, challenges or struggles. With this type of detailed information, there is no chance that your emails will be generic.

Find a Newsworthy Item



Can you find something your prospect recently did that made him or her newsworthy? This could be anything from a blog post that was recently published on a major blog to a press release to a share on social media that stimulated a lot of discussion relating to the industry.

Refer to this newsworthy item in your pitch, letting your prospect know that you were interested in the discussion or the published item and that your service may be ideal to help him attain future related goals. Keep in mind that current topics will become outdated quickly, so don’t take too long to act on something that you see on the news or in social media posts.

At this point, the prospect knows you have been paying attention to him and his business and that you have some familiarity with the industry and the jargon. This allows you to make a much better first impression than someone who simply offers a service but doesn’t prove interest about the subject and the company.

Deliver Value and Prove Credibility



A prospecting email doesn’t focus on you, and it doesn’t focus on sales. Your message should sound like a trustworthy individual that can deliver value.

The more you can prove that you have done your research and know something about their company and what their needs are, the more you prove your credibility and increase your chances of receiving a response to your email.

You don’t want your email to sound like a hyped up sales message. Your focus at this stage is to sound like a trusted advisor, not a salesperson. Think about what you can do to help, not what you have to sell.

Have a Clear Call to Action



Instead of trying to sell something in your email, your goal is simply to gain the prospect’s trust and interest. One way to conclude your email is to direct them to a blog post. Ask them if they could read the post and let you know their thoughts.

This is in no way pushy. Ideally, the post that you send them to will include information that demonstrates your ability to get results.

Another call to action would be to ask them if they have tried a particular marketing strategy, and suggest that they read a post which offers more information about this different approach.

Suggesting they look into more information is not likely to be threatening to them, especially if you have taken the time to get to know them and what they might be looking for.

In your warm and friendly email, you’ve demonstrated that you have a shared interest in their industry and have information that may be helpful to them.

Approaching prospects in this way makes a lot more sense than trying to send an email blast to hundreds of different prospects that you may not actually be able to help. 

Prospecting emails are meant to help you find the right leads for your business. When you approach it the right way, you have a much better chance of getting replies.

Three Trends Defining The Future of Social Media for Business

Social media has evolved in the past decade immensely. What was once seen as a communications channel between friends is now comprised of multi-billion dollar platforms that have incredible influence on people's lives.

As we’ve seen the Facebook newsfeed go from a place consisting of college students innocently sharing their travels and adventures to almost fifteen years later where post IPO their advertising platform and media capabilities have transformed our global landscape, it’s important to think about where social media is heading and the trends that are defining this next generation of users.

Before looking towards the future, let’s take a moment to see what the social media landscape looks like currently. According to Pew Research:

  • 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds indicated that they use any form of social media. That share falls to 78% among those ages 30 to 49, to 64% among those ages 50 to 64 and to 37% among Americans 65 and older.
  • Facebook and YouTube dominate the social media landscape, as notable majorities of U.S. adults use each of these sites.
  • 35% of (Global) adults now say they use Instagram, an increase of seven percent from the 28% who said they did in 2016.
  • Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users ­– and around six-in-ten Snapchat and Instagram users – visit each site daily

The data doesn’t lie; we’re all becoming addicted to our digital identities and social media usage. As the percentage of young people using social media rates the highest, it’s key to analyzing how they are using social media as that will define the future of content creation and consumption.

Video Is Front And Center


According to Adobe, 52% of marketing professionals name video as the content with the best ROI. That percentage will only increase as video becomes essential within every aspect of content and media. 

As customers spend time watching video across all social media platforms whether that is an explainer video, product testimonials, behind-the-scenes content, or thought leadership interviews -- users are glued to videos to connect with brands and companies they have an affinity towards.

For companies, they can truly understand which channels optimize for their audience and create content off of those metrics. Additionally, the marketing team will need to figure out which channels those videos work best on. 

The strategy that works best for teams is to create long-form content and then distribute it across the appropriate social media platforms. 

Take GoPro, the company that manufactures cameras for action based lifestyles; they’ve mastered the art of branded and user-generated videos. Their YouTube channel has almost 6 million subscribers that include incredible global adventure videos in skiing, snowboarding, hiking and more all captured on their cameras. These videos can run in length from 1.5 minutes to thirty minutes alongside user-generated content, as GoPro has an emphasis on community


Aligning with their YouTube strategy, GoPro has a strong Instagram presence. With a focus on the consumer, they encourage posting user-generated Instagram Stories and tag @GoPro on accounts. Their comprehensive strategy posting quality content allows GoPro to be one of the leaders in the video content space. 

As you can see it’s imperative to post content where it plays best. In doing so, companies can capitalize on this universal ‘pivot to video’ happening and create long-term relationships with their communities.

Ephemeral Content Storytelling

With 60% of Snapchat and Instagram users returning to the site each day, that’s an attractive statistic for the case for disappearing or ephemeral content storytelling. 

This new form of storytelling has been embraced by users, influencers, and brands alike. With ephemeral content that only lasts 24 hours, this lends itself to a lot of testing and discoverability for brands to find what works for them. Consumer brands like Everlane and Away Luggage have done a fantastic job at creating consistent content on their channels to take their products around the world and showcasing them in a strategic and sophisticated way through ephemeral content storytelling. 

Everlane hired millennial filmmakers to go to an ice cave in Canada to test out the new puffer jacket. The content influencers created Instagram Stories to share how they’re still warm despite being in frigid temperatures, and in doing so, were able to promote the product in a fun, compelling style that connects with consumers.



Companies that are looking to invest in ephemeral content storytelling can look at their competitors or other brands that are producing compelling content. Each industry has companies excelling in this form of storytelling.

They can learn best practices to engage their audience in making sure that customers are viewing the entire story and interacting with the content. This can include chatting with customers in the direct message/chat features of the platforms. These chats can help bring about stronger relationships through humanizing the brand and making customers want to purchase or advocate for the brand because of their ability to make customers feel that they’re part of their community.

Additionally, the form of storytelling with these platforms differs from traditional social media. The content is less curated, and some integrations make the content more engaging including Snapchat face lenses, Instagram GIFs integrations, the ability to draw and write on the material, and much more.

Stories are overtaking regular grid activity on Instagram and platforms like LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Skype and others are integrating stories into their suite, marketers will need to learn how to execute on ephemeral content. 

Influence Marketing Is Going Strong


By 2020 influencer marketing is on target to become a 10 billion dollar industry. The rise in influencers across all social networks, but especially YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat highlight how the millennial and Gen Z generations are embracing influencers wholeheartedly. 

There are influencers in every industry that use social media storytelling to create communities. Because of this, brands can work with influencers to expand reach and bring about greater engagement. 

Influencers are incredibly skilled in content creation and understand the platforms thoroughly; making it easier for brands to let go of the reins so that influencers can produce content for any of the brands' goals and intent.

In addition, influencers have been known to develop unboxing videos on YouTube where they show off the new product, fashion and beauty hauls where influencers try on or test new products in long-form vlogs, posting lifestyle photos on their Instagram Grid highlighting the product, and Instagram or Snapchat Stories to share a uniquely immersive experience. 

With the multitude of content ideas, building relationships with influencers is vital for the future of your business and your community -- as influencer marketing is here to stay. 

Content drives our daily consumption and purchasing decisions. For marketers to succeed, they will need to understand the social media climate and trends. 

By knowing that video is becoming how people are digesting content to ephemeral content storytelling being the force towards more user growth on Snapchat and Instagram, and influencer marketing becoming a necessary tool for brands to engage communities and create valuable content, you’ll be able to produce and execute upon a comprehensive and valuable marketing strategy.


Facebook Reconsiders Plan to Group News With Political Advertisers


Facebook Inc. doesn’t know how news organizations will fit into an initiative to provide transparency for political advertising on its social network.

The company came up with a policy that puts news publishers in the same category as political publishers for the purposes of its new ad-transparency efforts. Facebook told media organizations they would have to verify their identities and have any ads promoting stories about politics placed in a public database, just like political campaigns would.

Within hours of a Bloomberg News report on the initiative and criticism from news organizations, Facebook decided to rethink its plan. It no longer has a clear solution for transparency around ads that promote news stories about politics, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The confusion at Facebook, even after making a decision, underscores how difficult it will be for the company to clean up false information and manipulation on its social network ahead of elections. Facebook has been working on ways to boost more trustworthy news on its site, without judging the content itself. Transparency in media advertising would help combat a trend of hyper-partisan pages on Facebook that post information masquerading as news, meant to go viral in a way that furthers political agendas. But putting legitimate news sites in the same category, and in the category of political content, is likely to erode trust in factual reporting, a media industry group argued.

“We’re making changes that impact political and issue ads with new labels and a searchable archive,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, said in a revised statement on Friday. “We recognize the news content about politics is different and we are working with publishers to develop the right approach.”

The social-media giant sent letters this week to members of the News Media Alliance, which include the New York Times and the Washington Post, outlining new rules that would take effect May 22. Under the guidelines, Facebook said it would disclose when news organizations pay to boost the exposure of political articles, and store the details in an archive that includes ads for politicians or political groups. The political articles promoted would include labels specifying “paid for by,” just like the political ads.

The notification prompted backlash from the News Media Alliance, which represents nearly 2,000 news organizations, arguing that their members should be left out of the database and the new rules on disclosure will ultimately elevate less-credible news sources on Facebook.

“Your plan to group quality publishers alongside political advocacy, which the ad archive will do, dangerously blurs the lines between real reporting and propaganda,” David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, said in a letter Friday addressed to Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. “This treatment of quality news as political, even in the context of marketing, is deeply problematic.”

Critics have pilloried Facebook for letting Russian operatives spread misinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign. The company has announced changes to its advertising policies that it’s said would make it harder for rogue operatives to set up fake accounts and push divisive points of view. One of the requirements includes forcing advertisers touting social or political issues to verify their identity and location.

Another change entails creating a political ad archive, showing the total amounts spent, the number of impressions and demographic information including age, location and gender of who saw them.

“Preventing misinformation and interference in elections is one of our top priorities,” Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, said in an earlier statement Friday. “All ads on politics and issues will be in a searchable archive, including news content.” She later revised her statement, removing the reference to news content.

The issue of political ads on social media has caught the attention of Congress. Senators Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, and Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, introduced the Honest Ads Act, which would subject online political ads to similar disclosure rules that now govern advertising content in other media such as TV and radio. The measure has the support of Facebook and Twitter.

The Federal Election Commission is also considering new regulations that would require disclaimers identifying the sponsors of online, mobile and other forms of digital advertising, offering alternative rules. A public hearing on the proposals is scheduled for June.

Top 20 Social Media News Sites


With the excess of information in the world, it can be hard to sift through what really matters. For you and your business, social media is one thing you should keep an eye on. Here are 20 sites that offer a variety of takes, opinions, and focuses for social media news.

 1. Social Media Today

For the PR, marketing, advertising and business professionals that need to have a thorough understanding of what is happening in social media. Topics frequently discussed: tools, platforms, people, and companies on the social media landscape.

2. Alltop

Alltop describes its services as a tool to answer the question “What’s happening?” With this media page, you can enjoy a filtered and useful list of social media news articles and blogs to avoid information overload.

3. Mashable

While not super business-oriented, Mashable is the go-to site for “how to” articles. Their social media page is no different. They can get you updated and trained on advances in social media in no time.

4. Social Times

Social Times is a good mix of “how to”, news, and opinion articles involving social media. There is also research provided on the page, giving a much more in-depth perspective than a typical online article.

5. Digital Trends

Digital Trends describes its mission as trying to help readers navigate an increasingly digital world. You can find trends and news for social media in a neatly designed platform. The site also offers technology reviews – which is becoming increasingly important as the line between tech and social media blurs.

6. Bloomberg

As you would guess from the provider, Bloomberg’s page on social media is very business-driven. You’ll see articles about IPO’s, shares, stocks, and growth. If you’re looking for pure business information, this is the place to come.

7. Open Forum

Open Forum compiles a list of articles and pieces about different topics and puts them in one place for your convenience. You can follow the page, which allows you to receive email updates whenever anything new comes up.

8. Forbes

Again, much like you would expect, the Forbes social media page is also very business-driven. Most of the articles found here are marketing and sales related. It’s also a good source to go to for updates on privacy concerns.

9. Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur webpage on social media has a strong focus on consumer targeting. They also have fun interactive polls and opinion articles that are a little different than what you are used to seeing on business sites.

10. CNN

In typical CNN fashion, their social media articles are hard news pieces. They cover a lot of privacy issues and lawsuits that involve social media sites.

11. The New York Times

News about social media, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times. One very cool feature of this site is the “timeline” aspect: you can see a chronological order of the biggest news in social media over the last few months.

12. Huffington Post

The Huffington Post page for social media news is primarily composed of lists. The page is surprisingly humorous, without a strong focus on sales or business.

13. is the place to go for social media infographics. There are a wide variety of topics on display for you to choose from. They also have a good inventory of articles that help businesses learn to leverage different social media sites.

14. Smart Brief

Smart Brief conveniently organizes the social media news by industry. If you’re interested in say, mobile app development, you can simply click and have specific news for what you’re looking for.

15. Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed is many young people’s go-to place for popular news. It can, however, be a good source for social media updates as well… if you don’t get side tracked by an article about cats on the way. Here you can find both opinion and informative articles on any number of relevant networking topics.

16. Tech News World

Focused on the tech side of social media, Tech News offers an interesting and unique take on social networking. You get less typical material and more in-depth coverage of changing technology and how it will impact social networking.

17. CMS Wire

CMS Wire is another site that follows more of a typical news article format. They have more of a focus on marketing, and some interesting takes on some businesses' social media campaigns.

18. Sprout Social

Sprout Social has more of a research report feel to its homepage. They have news such as social indexes and updated advice for those working in social media.

19. Social Media Portal

Social Media Portal compiles news articles about the top players in social media. One benefit of this site is that the articles are clearly labeled by their topics icon; if you’re looking for just Pinterest news, you don’t even have to read the titles of the other articles.

20. The Guardian

The Guardian is a great source for social media news worldwide. They don’t focus only on news from the USA. You’ll see articles from the UK, India, etc. that will give you a global perspective.

6 Digital Skills that will Future-Proof a Workforce

Once a niche skillset, digital skills are now a workplace essential.

Within Europe and across sectors, at least 80% of managers and professionals need basic digital abilities. In larger workplaces, as many as 50% are required to have specialist digital skills.

Digital technologies are now commonplace in daily life and becoming embedded into working culture. Having a workforce that knows how to use them efficiently is key to a company’s success.

But which digital skills will be essential in the coming years? Each year, new technologies are developed, many gaining media attention. With so many buzzwords to keep track of from VR to AI to cryptocurrency, how can companies know what’s prudent to invest time and money into?

1. Expert Data Analysis

In this era of big data, many companies are sitting on a mountain of untapped information about their customers, process and workforce.

As digital transformation advances, the data recorded will continue to increase. Knowing how to harness this data is crucial to understanding your business and its future. Employees who can extract, analyze and translate useful information from your company’s data set will be essential, and the skill will integrate into more and more roles within teams.

Done effectively, data analysis can give you essential business and customer insights. It can also be used to inform campaigns and content.

Currently, there are four main types of data analysis used by businesses.

  • Descriptive analytics - often combined with other analytics, this practice brings together raw data from multiple sources to give valuable insights into the past.
  • Diagnostic analytics - requires more detailed data to identify patterns and provide insights into specific problems.
  • Predictive analytics - uses the findings of descriptive and diagnostic analytics to detect tendencies, clusters and exceptions, and to predict future trends.
  • Prescriptive analytics - requires historical data plus external information, and uses machine learning, business rules and algorithms to prescribe what action to take.

The current trend, as highlighted by a recent BARC survey, is recognized by executives as the growing importance of predictive analysis and data mining. As sophisticated technologies and tools are further developed, the more important the role of the advanced analytics of predictive and prescriptive will be.

2. Advanced Social Selling

As the social media boom of the 2000s settles and matures, so have its users. This means that sales teams of the future will need to adapt too. According to today’s most successful social sellers, the trend is moving away from the cold call and the hard sell, towards value-based selling.

At the heart of value-based selling is trust. To create this, advanced social sellers need to equip themselves with content and conversation, so that they can build more meaningful relationships with their customers. 

A recent State of Sales Report by LinkedIn showed that 77% of buyers won’t engage with a seller without reading up about their company first. If you consider this with the fact that 80% of buyers reviewed 5 or more pieces of content before their purchase, it is clear that quality online content around your company and about your product will be essential for all future sales teams.

Good content can assist social sellers in starting conversations and building relationships. “Put relationships first,” advises Phil Gerbyshank to ambitious social sellers. 

It is crucial to make a connection with your audience and then maintain it by adding value in the way of sharing content. Social media is much more an opportunity to educate and become a resource for your potential customers, rather than to sell directly - that’s for further down the customer journey.

3. Mobile Expertise

Smartphones are now more common for online use than a desktop (51% vs 42%). And, with the digital native Generation Z set to make up 40% of all consumers by 2020, organizations will need to adjust their own expertise to survive in the coming years.

The rise of mobile means that businesses must adapt their strategy accordingly. This means adopting a mobile-first approach, in which comms, content and customer journey are optimized for mobile. 

Leverage mobile-optimized video communications throughout the sales process and add video-building abilities to your sales teams to better engage the next generation of consumers. This will prove essential to all communications through native apps, such as Snapchat and Instagram.

The predominance of apps also means that businesses will need to stay abreast of the trends to make sure that their app remains relevant - and more importantly - discoverable. Intelligent, AI-powered marketing platforms can translate the vast troves of daily created user data into actionable updates to how your app is marketed. 

The information is out there, future-proofing your workforce will simply be a matter of developing the right skills to be able to harness it effectively.

4. Multi-platform UX design

As more of your customer base spend time online, moving between different devices, your company’s digital presence will need to take centre stage.

The key to this is to ensure your app or website is easily navigable is at the heart of UX (user experience) design. And, with 79% of internet users admitting to searching for another site if they can’t easily use one they landed on, it’s essential to invest in this digital skill.

Importantly, websites and apps will need to be responsive to give users a consistent feel across different devices. Not doing so will create an impasse between brand and user, that will encourage consumers to look elsewhere.

Consider how to make design teams agiler. To speed up the process and to allow creativity to flow, divide up the work for different features. If individuals have more independence, they will have clear ownership of their section and are more likely to feel creatively satisfied. This agile framework will lead to more productive workers and more flexible design necessary to keep up with tomorrow’s digitization.

5. Network and information security

This skill, while on the surface seems the least glamorous, is one of the most important.

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest issues of today and will continue to be as digital transformation advances. With recent controversies about cyber security in high profile cases like Yahoo, Sage and Hilary Clinton's email, ensuring business data is kept secure has emerged as a top priority.

As security methods evolve and develop, so do the threats against it. And the more connected your workforce, the more the whole company is at risk from one employee’s oversight. Even something as simple as using social media at work can be a risk.

Having a workforce that understands the basics of online security – and the steps they can take to defend it – will keep your company, and its sensitive information, away from prying eyes and breach scandals.

6. Creative thinking

Arguably the most important digital skill for the future doesn’t relate to a specific device or software.

For 6 in 10 occupations, 30% of tasks are automatable. As technology rapidly evolves, previously revered breakthroughs are quickly forgotten, and specialized skillsets become obsolete.

Therefore the most important skill for any employee in the face of automation is creative thinking. To ensure the longevity of a workforce, they must be able to do what machines are unable to.

For example, VR and AI are fascinating developments, but may not yet be relevant for your company. It is important to invest in creative, versatile workers that are keen to learn and will be flexible through each technological advance.

As machines become more involved with daily tasks, the more we will need to have creative, versatile workers whose skills transcend what the machines can offer.

When it comes to digital transformation, it’s crucial to have a workforce that has a grasp of the complexity of the digital world, and the new stages of a customer journey. 

From making the most of big data to staying on top of how consumers are using technology are all essential skills for tomorrow’s workforce. Making sure they have the right expertise to adapt as the technology evolves will help to future-proof teams as time marches on.

State of Inbound 2017 Asia Pacific Survey Report is Here


The 2017 report by HubSpot will give you the data you need to benchmark your activities against 6,000+ respondents while also giving you insight to plan your future digital marketing and sales strategies. Here's one of the highlights:

This year we’re seeing two major shifts take place: Marketers are making the leap into visual content creation while salespeople are slowly shifting from the hard-seller stereotype to a more trusted advisor.

Learn more. Download the report now.