15 Social Media Branding Strategies to Capture and Retain Your Target Audience

Updated on March 5th, 2020.

As competitors strengthen their online profiles, the need to differentiate your brand’s identity on social media grows.

Building a recognizable brand known for its positive qualities will help gain and retain followers. Successfully executing branding strategies can help win customers, too.

But developing a powerful, branded social media presence is a challenge you can’t quickly overcome.

Consider using these 15 social media branding strategies to do the job help you achieve a strong social media brand presence.

Jump Links:

Influencer Marketing:
1. Connect with Influencers
2. Get an influencer to Takeover

Consistent Messaging
3. Optimize Your Bio and Your Profile
4. Develop Your Voice
5. Be Consistent with that Voice and Your Topics
6. Post Regularly
7. Embrace Visuals

Continuous Engagement
8. Share User Generated Content
9. Create Groups or Communities
10. Join Chats
11. Avoid Platforms Unpopular with Your Audiences
12. Promote Your Profiles Beyond Social Media
13. Offer Users More than They Expect

Ongoing Analysis
14. Monitor Constantly
15. Measure Your Efforts

Influencer Marketing

For those who’ve built a respectable social media following, many strategists consider influencer marketing a next step in building brand recognition.

By getting an influencer who closely aligns with your target image to promote your accounts, audiences should associate your brand more closely with that target image.

For example, many consumers associate Under Armour with athletic strife and excellence because Steph Curry is its biggest spokesperson.

Though your brand may not be able to contract an NBA superstar, there are almost certainly influencers in your industry who can deliver branding benefits.

To identify influencers based on the hashtags and keywords they post with, make a search for those terms:

1. Connect with Influencers

The first step in executing an influencer marketing campaign is identifying suitable influencers.

Of course, they must have large audiences. But those audiences must be engaged. Some studies show the average engagement rate on Twitter is between 1 and 2%, so anything higher is suitable for an influencer.

The next step is building a relationship with an influencer who matches your criteria.

You can start by following target influencers on their main social channels, interacting with their updates and sharing their content.

Once you’ve built some rapport, pitch a campaign that builds your brand’s image while benefiting the influencer. The next section covers an example of how to do so.

2. Get an Influencer to Take Over

Getting an influencer to run your social channels for a day entices their fans to follow you, while giving him or her another avenue to showcase wit and knowledge.

For example, comedian and diehard Boston Red Sox fan Rob Delaney ran the MLB Twitter account on May 7, 2013. The profile gained about 20,000 followers, as Delaney tweeted baseball “facts.”

Influencer Marketing - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies - Influencer Takeover for the MLB

What’s more, the takeover helped MLB build a reputation on social media that many sports organizations aim to achieve: being funny and relaxed.

Consistent Messaging

The core of brand building on social media largely involves creating themes — or, messages — and regularly demonstrating them through text and visuals.

Whereas influencer marketing campaigns may be best executed once you’ve grown a sizeable following, consistent messaging should begin when you join a social channel.

It may take trial and error to see which kinds of content best resonate with target audiences.

But once you’ve figured that out, being consistent in your messaging should reinforce your brand image.

3. Optimize Your Bio and Profile

Your social profiles should encapsulate your business and its main messages, acting as a pitch for those who visit.

Summarize the benefits of using your products or services in your profile description, including applicable keywords to make your account easier to find for audience members. You should also provide another method of contact for serious business inquiries.

Consider emulating these profile descriptions:

Profile Optimization - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

Depending on the platform, you can also alter your background, profile picture and theme colours to reflect your logo and match your website.

By doing so, consumers will begin to recognize your brand assets.

4. Develop Your Voice

Establishing a common posting tone makes your updates distinct and easily-recognizable. This can also help build a connection with your target audiences, especially if your voice is in tune with them.

Take IHOP as an example. On Twitter, the pancake house appeals to its young demographic by piggybacking off popular phrases among teens and writing without punctuation — similar to what you’d see in instant messaging.

Develop a Voice - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

If you’re unfamiliar with relevant phrases or jargon, monitor your main social channels more closely. You’ll likely identify niche terms you can use to develop your voice.

On a surface level, using a distinct voice increases IHOP’s engagement. Deeper, it encourages followers to associate IHOP with a laid-back dining atmosphere.

5. Be Consistent with that Voice and Your Topics

You must be consistent with your voice — and the topics you post about — to build an authentic connection with your target audience, influencing them to keep your brand top of mind.

Otherwise, that voice you’ve worked hard to create may seem forced and disingenuous.

Deviating from core topics can also compromise brand tone and messaging.

Going back to IHOP as an example, its social media strategists don’t post about government food sanctions. Doing so could damage how the audience perceives the restaurant.

Stick to your voice and main topics to enforce your brand’s image.

6. Post Regularly

Since social media branding centres on influencing your audience to easily recognize and remember you, irregular posting damages your efforts by keeping you off user newsfeeds.

Posting frequency depends on audience activity and how audience members engage.

For example, you may realize that tweeting in the morning earns more replies than doing so in the evening. You could also earn more engagement by posting twice a week instead of five times to a given platform.

This will take some experimentation to determine.

However, an optimal posting schedule helps keep user attention while potentially earning more followers.

7. Embrace Visuals

Images can be powerful tools to encapsulate your brand’s identity and messages, instead of seemingly-random pictures with your logo tacked on.

Visual content should reflect:

  • Themes your brand stands for
  • Your brand’s unique or differentiating values
  • The topics your audience is interested in

Take this image from Red Bull’s Instagram account as an example:

Use Visuals - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

It shows Red Bull’s connection to extreme stunts and appeals to its high-energy audience.

As well as engaging fans, visual content of this quality builds and solidifies brand identity.

Continuous Engagement

Frequently engaging fans, followers and other audience members allows you to constantly communicate and demonstrate your brand’s core values.

You can engage audiences by sharing original and third-party party content that ties into brand messages, or running contests and social events related to them.

For B2C brands, replying to users also exemplifies favourable traits such as friendliness and helpfulness, especially when answering questions and helping solve issues.

As a bonus, regular engagement helps keep your brand at the top of consumer minds. This can potentially boost sales and other meaningful actions.

8. Share User-Generated Content

Like posting testimonials on your website, sharing user-generated content that positively depicts your brand can strengthen its identity.

Consider that more than 90% of consumers trust earned media — characterized as word-of-mouth from impartial sources — more than all other types of advertising.

Take a plus-size clothing company for example.

To reap the benefits of word-of-mouth on social media, share similar user-generated content.

9. Create Groups & Communities (or Participate in Them)

Creating, or participating in, groups and communities helps overcome many networks’ low organic engagement rates.

This helps generate buzz around your brand’s content. You can reach users who are interested in your industry or offerings, avoiding crowded timelines that constantly update and bury your posts.

For instance, an analytics company may create, moderate and promote a group about data mining. Not only does this give the company another method of engaging target audiences, but it furthers branding efforts.

That’s because, in the eyes of group members, the company aligns itself with images of research and analysis.

10. Join Chats

Similar to groups and communities, Twitter chats let you directly engage members of your target market to create buzz around your brand’s ideas, opinions and content.

Use a chat’s hashtag to interact with industry players — ranging from prospects to other businesses. You’ll likely build your follower count as you answer questions and interact with fellow participants.

Twitter Chats - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

This type of direct conversation and engagement allows you to demonstrate expertise and helps build brand reputation among active industry voices.

11. Avoid Platforms Unpopular with Your Audiences

You may waste time and resources attempting to engage audiences on each major social network, as your target audiences may not be active on all of them.

LinkedIn may not be ideal for brands that target teens and young adults, whereas Snapchat likely won’t yield noticeable results for B2B companies.

What’s more, as developers create hyper-specific social media platforms, it may be advantageous to focus your efforts on ones that cater to your target audiences.

For example, many cosmetic surgery clinics favour niche forums over Google+ and LinkedIn:

Niche Platforms - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

That’s why committing to a group of social platforms — slowly expanding it when appropriate — can help focus your engagement and branding tactics.

12. Promote Your Profiles Beyond Social Media

As your profiles act as engagement and branding hubs, it’s worthwhile to promote your accounts outside of social media to grow their followings.  

You can grow your social media presences by:

  • Participating in Industry Events
    • Run a booth to promote your products. Create valuable physical content to distribute. Strike up a conversation with attendees. As more people learn about your brand, you should gain more attention on social media.

  • Including Handles in Stores and on Products
    • For businesses who drive sales through physical locations, posting images of social networks lets customers know on which platforms you’re active.

By drawing offline attention to your social media profiles, your online branding tactics are likely to reach more users.

13. Offer Users More than They Expect

The bulk of users solely expect to receive status updates, albeit ones with original content, as they follow your social accounts. But offering perks can work to strengthen brand image.

For example, send a private message to new followers that contains a free coupon. It can use your brand slogan, colours and general information, encouraging them to visit your store or website.

They’ll be exposed to more branding tactics — whether physical or online — as a result.

Perhaps most importantly, giving customers more than what they expect influences them to link your brand to a positive experience.

Ongoing Analysis

As with any marketing activity, you must regularly analyze your social media branding efforts to ensure to your tactics are working. Otherwise, you lack insight into your performance.

The worst case scenario? You devote countless hours and a sizeable part of your budget to strategies that don’t yield desirable results.

The best case scenario? Your strategies effectively establish a brand identity, yet you ignore data that can help further establish this identity at a faster rate.

These two scenarios depict why ongoing analysis is crucial to successful branding on social media.

14. Monitor Constantly

Enacting a social media monitoring strategy helps ensure you don’t miss opportunities to build brand identity.

For example, as consumers may forget to tag you or misspell your handle, you can monitor company-related keywords to pick up on their posts and strike up a conversation.

Tracking industry keywords can also uncover engagement opportunities and openings to discuss your business.

Social Media Monitoring - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies
This Twitter live-stream sample is from a Keyhole real-time tracker.

This is beneficial for both branding and public relations because it opens doors to resolve issues and answer questions, exemplifying your business’s positive characteristics.

Finding these opportunities should accelerate your social media brand-building efforts.

15. Measure Your Efforts

Measuring social statistics such as reach and engagement can help refine aspects of your branding strategy.

Assume that using specific hashtags is a key part of promoting your initiatives and products. However, you discover that few users search for — and view posts containing — these hashtags.

Likewise, checking ad performance statistics may reveal they’re not reaching target audiences.

Word of your brand may not be spreading quickly enough as a result.

By measuring these social tactics either manually or with a tool, you can determine if it’s worthwhile to alter your strategies to build brand recognition among prospects more effectively.

Final Thoughts About these Social Media Branding Strategies

It’s important for digital marketers to ensure their activities — ranging from influencer campaigns to active social media monitoring — help establish a clear brand identity.

This means you shouldn’t post for the sole intention of getting shares and winning followers. Instead, think about how your actions can support brand goals and perception.  

The shares and followers will come as you work to build a unique reputation that resonates with your target audience.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Social Media Trends to Track in 2020 and Beyond: Marketing Tools, Content, and Strategy

Predicting the future of social media trends isn’t easy, but that’s precisely what makes it so much fun! 

For example, Facebook was expected to lose its overall social media dominance. Yet, it’s 2020, and Facebook still remains the most widely used social media platform.

At Keyhole, social media is our bread and butter, and our team here works hard to stay up to date with all the key social media trends. 

We have a good idea of where social media trends are headed in 2020. And best of all…

… we don’t mind sharing our secrets.

Jump Links:

Social Media Trends:

1. Content is (Still) King
2. Visual Content Continues to Dominate
3. Influencer Marketing is Still Going Strong
4. Customer Service is More Important than Ever
5. Things Are Changing

The Top Social Media Tools to Consider in 2020:

1. Keyhole
2. Kicksta
3. Audiense
4. AgoraPulse
5. Meet Edgar

Here are the trends to keep an eye on in 2020 and some relevant social media tips and tricks to help you navigate your digital journey better. 

1. Content is (Still) King

Social media platforms continue to update their algorithms in order to show the most relevant content to social media users. 

Sure, you can pay for some extra exposure, but ads can only do so much for you. The only way you can retain visitors and turn people who stumbled upon your content into prospects is by providing them with enough value.

Here are three things to keep in mind in 2020:

1. Choose Your Platform Strategically

Choosing the right social media platform is more difficult than it seems, and more important than what you might initially think. 

It’s essential that you understand the function of each platform, so that you know which one suits you best. 

Let’s say you’re running a food blog, and your content revolves around posting recipes and food images. 

You wouldn’t choose Twitter to be your main platform now, would you? 

You’d probably opt for Instagram, as it provides a neat balance between image focus and shorter text descriptions (e.g. you could post an image of your cooked meal, and provide the recipe below). 

Suggested read: Writing Instagram Captions that Convert: Content, Formatting, and Hashtags

2. Repurpose Content… The Right Way

Besides understanding each platform and choosing the right one(s) for your brand, skip cross-posting the same content as much as you can.

Yes, you read that right!

Posting the exact same content across all the platforms you’re using makes you look lazy, non-creative and repetitive. 

We’re not saying that you can’t repurpose content (in fact, you should!), but each social media platform has its own audience, content strategy, as well as different areas of focus and specific writing styles.

Something that works well on Facebook may turn out to be a complete disaster or come across as unprofessional if you publish it on Linkedin. 

Here are some great pieces on repurposing content that might help you get started: 10 Ways To Repurpose Content For Social Media and Ins and Outs of Repurposing Content for Social Media Posts.

If you aren’t sure how to approach this, you can always hire a social media expert to guide you. 


3. Stay Consistent

Let’s not forget about consistency.

Imagine you were posting Instagram stories on a daily basis, communicated regularly with your followers, and you suddenly disappear for a month without notice to your followers, only to re-appear because you’d like to promote your newly published recipe ebook. 

News flash: you’re neither getting the recognition you want, nor stepping up your marketing trends game. 

People appreciate continual effort – that’s when you receive continuous validation.

2. Visual Content Continues to Dominate

The focus on visual content is needed now more than ever.

Using visual content improves overall marketing trends, and it can do wonders for your social media engagement. 

Don’t just take our word for it – take a minute and consider the following visual content statistics:

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. 
  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
  • Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t.
  • Pinterest generates more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.  

Convinced already? 

Visual content is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise monotonous and quantity-driven content production. 

Making visuals part of your everyday social media strategy can truly change the way customers perceive you and your brand. 

And with the availability of visual tools today, it’s easier than ever!

The downside is, with such a vast number of visual tools to choose from, it can be tricky to pick the right one. 

The best option is to use several visual strategies that fit your brand’s needs and that you feel comfortable with.

If you’re using Instagram, don’t skip IGTV; if you’re frequently posting on Facebook, don’t just post images or longer texts, post infographics as well as image quotes. Iif you’re on YouTube, go live every so often!

Suggested Read: Incorporating Memes, Emojis, and Gifs Into Your Social Strategy for Higher Engagement

Yes, users appreciate consistency and continual work and efforts, but they cherish spontaneity too! 

Visuals You Can Use on Your Social Media Platforms

  • Images (both customized and stock) 
  • Videos (both live and recorded) 
  • Screenshots
  • GIFs
  • Memes
  • Pie charts 
  • Quotes (placed on customized images)

Visual content adds value to your written content, helps increase engagement, and provides a more meaningful user experience. 

Suggested Read: 10 Mistakes in Your Visual Content Strategy [+ Tools to Fix Them!]

Incorporating visuals in your strategy can be challenging, but visuals resonate with current marketing trends and they simply are what users prefer. 

Just put yourself in their shoes for a second – would you enjoy any social media platform without  visual variety or image originality? 

People want what’s pleasing to the eye. Your task is to give them what they want. 

3. Influencer Marketing is Still Going Strong

Contrary to popular belief, influencer marketing isn’t dead. In fact, influencer marketing is expected to become a $5-$10 billion industry by 2020. Well, guess what? It’s 2020 already! 

The whole point of influencer marketing is to find influencers suitable for your brand so that they can promote it for you. And this is the key thing when starting your influential marketing campaign – to find the proper influencer(s). 

Don’t get carried away by the number of followers an influencer has, or what they’ll demand as compensation (some pay influencers, or give them a free product, others may do both).

It’s not that these things are irrelevant, it’s just that there’s much more to it. 

Suggested Read: Using Hashtags to Find Influencers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

For example, what if an influencer that you’re considering to propose a collaboration to, has been known to collaborate with competitors, or tends to promote and accept EVERYTHING that is offered to them?

Do you think this would make your brand be recognized, valued or appreciated? 

Or imagine contacting a well-known food blogger – this is obviously someone who frequently posts food images, visits different restaurants and writes reviews on different meals.

But, you’re selling athletic wear and you want to promote a healthy lifestyle and a proper, balanced diet. Do you believe this influencer is the right option for your brand? 

Suggested Read: How to Find Micro Influencers on Instagram to Boost Sales

Remember, influencers should help build trust in your brand, not ruin it.

In an era when influential recommendations are something users highly appreciate, making sure you find the right influencers is more important than ever. 

Besides this, make sure both you and your influencer are satisfied and happy with your collaboration. A successful influencer campaign is when both sides are satisfied with the cooperation. 

Marketing trends are called trends for a reason – they target current popularity, and can garner immediate success.

However, a carefully crafted influential strategy can bring you more satisfactory results in the long run than just complying with ongoing marketing trends. 

Suggested read: Instagram Influencer Marketing: A Start-to-Finish Guide

4. Customer Service is More Important than Ever

Social media platforms are indeed a place for you to promote your content and your brand. They’re also a place for you to interact with your customers and loyal followers. 

And this aspect is becoming much more important over the course of time. Plus, establishing communication with the people following you has never been easier. 

Make sure you read reviews and testimonials – see what people think of you/your brand; what they’d like to see more of, what they dislike, or what they’d expect from you in the future. 

Also, try to answer any messages you might be getting as well as comments – sound professional, yet friendly; approachable, and neutral. 

If you’re interacting one-on-one with a follower, always use their name when addressing them. People love hearing their name or reading their name.

It conveys a more personal tone, and makes it seem as though you’re paying extra attention to them. 

On the other hand, we’re aware you can’t do everything on your own. Even if you have a whole team behind you, you’d still need additional help if your business is expanding. 

Thankfully, chatbots are there to help you.

Did you know that 40% of consumers don’t care if a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they get the help they need

Source: Facebook for Business

Chatbot intelligence and algorithms are expected to grow and improve beyond what we consider imaginable.

They’re able to communicate with several people all at once, and if we’re being realistic, this isn’t something that even a whole team of customer support can surpass. 

Suggested read: Instagram Messages: How Businesses Can Engage Their Audience & Tools to Manage Your Inbox

5. Things Are Changing

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that things change. 

Fast.

And of course, in 2020 we’ll continue to see rapid change. 

So, to remain relevant, you need to embrace the unknown.

Social media platforms have a wide range of algorithms and they’re constantly upgrading, evolving and trying out new things. 

One such example is Instagram deciding to remove “likes” from its platform (they’ll remain visible for you, but others won’t be able to see them). 

Changing “the visibility of the Instagram likes” changes the overall perception of Instagram as a social media platform. This also changes how the upcoming marketing trends and strategies will resume on this platform. 

For example, up till now the relevance of posts, captions or whole accounts in general were calculated based on the number of followers and likes.

The greater the number of likes, the greater the level of validation and recognition. 

This modification changes the game now – without likes, Instagram users will have to focus on providing better content, high-quality photos as well as come up with different strategies to prove their Instagram status. 

And then there’s the rise of TikTok, the video sharing app that is quickly becoming one of the most popular apps among social media users all over the world.

Currently, TikTok’s users are mainly teens and Generation Z. However, given the app’s algorithm which doesn’t require creators to have many followers to receive lots of attention, more and more people from varying age groups are joining every day.

As the app’s popularity grows, it’s only a matter of time before brands start exploring TikTok, just like it happened with Facebook and Instagram.

This only serves to show you that you can never fully master a particular social media platform, as they’re constantly evolving. 

The greatest social media tip would be to never lose the sense of adjusting to what’s yet to come. That’s the ultimate marketing trend that never changes.

Now, let’s talk about… 

The Top Social Media Tools to Consider in 2020

Ever noticed how the appearance of new social media tools impacts which platforms we continue using, which tools we keep and which ones we completely ignore? 

As the social media world changes, the social media tools end up changing too. This in turn modifies how we perceive certain marketing trends in  general. 

Without further ado, here’s a short list of some of the most effective social media tools we suggest checking out: 

1. Keyhole

We’ve built such a comprehensive social listening and analytics tool that you’ll wish you discovered it sooner. Keyhole keeps track of the conversations on all social channels and it analyzes them. It can help you research your market, understand the impact of your campaigns and find top influencers. The best thing? A free trial. 

2. Kicksta

Best for Instagram-focused brands. It helps you build your following way faster by targeting followers of similar accounts. It also assists you in finding better partnership opportunities as well as ways to boost your sales. 

3. Audiense

A great audience segmentation tool. It analyzes and helps you to understand your audience, and enables you to create highly specific audience segments, adapt your targeting and deliver personalized messages, which is great. 

4. AgoraPulse

A great asset to your already existing social media tools. AgoraPulse helps you manage your social media presence. It gathers all your conversations in one place and helps you schedule your posts and create a winning content calendar. It allows you to create audience segments and manage your team too. 

5. Meet Edgar

A social media scheduling tool that helps you post older posts. Recycling your old killer posts increases your traffic and gets you greater exposure.

This is even more relevant if you’ve written a great piece a while ago, and in the meantime your brand has grown – it goes without saying that you’ll expose your content to more readers. 

Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list. Still, it’s a basic guide to get you started.

Final Thoughts on Social Media Trends, Tips & Tricks

People spend a great deal of time on various social media, and this is nothing new. 

Some of it is productive and with an end goal, and other times it’s just aimlessly scrolling through accounts, and randomly liking specific posts. 

Whatever their reason may be, it’s fine either way. 

What matters, however, is that now you know just the right tips and tricks to make their social media experience much more enjoyable and keep up with the ever growing competition in your industry in 2020. 


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides social media analytics and hashtag tracking for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Get started for free.

Social Listening: Best Practices For Growing Businesses

Updated on January 23rd, 2020.

More than listening to what customers are saying about your brand or industry in the social sphere, this one question is important:

What do you do with what your customers and prospects say on social media?

Jump Links:

5 Social Listening Best Practices:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate
2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation
3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In
4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool
5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

Hearing what customers say on social media is one thing, but understanding how to use their conversations to your brand’s advantage is another.

500 million tweets are sent every day. That’s ~6,000 tweets per second.

And that’s just Twitter.

A prospect could tweet something as simple as “I need a black shoe right now” and get the attention of seventy of her followers engaging with the post.

What would happen, if you as a shoe brand (for instance) chime into that conversation with a link to your black shoe — including a discount coupon?

Here are five social listening best practices that can make a huge difference in your business:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate

When you learn from people who are already doing well, you’re in essence skipping the mistakes they made before getting to where they are today. You can avoid most of mistakes they made.

On learning from competitors, PR expert Gini Dietrich says:

“Analyze your competitors’ marketing—see which efforts work well, and understand why stakeholders like them: What is their primary messaging? Why does or doesn’t it work? How do people respond to the company’s overtures online? Is word of mouth positive or negative? Why?”

Businesses perform better at social listening when they ethically learn from competitors who are already doing it right.

Piecing together their strategy is like scoring a free cheatsheet. Visit their platforms to see how they’re doing their social media — responding to feedback, joining industry conversations, and so on.

Fashion company Topshop, for example, is a good brand to learn social listening from. And of course, there are several other brands out there that are awesome at this.

While many other fashion brands only only take advantage of world-renowned events like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, Topshop takes advantage of other smaller festivals or events — especially in entertainment and fashion space.

When conversations about #EEBAFTAs (the hashtag for British Academy Film Awards) were trending on Twitter, Topshop joined in.

Tweet of Topshop during the #EEBAFTAs

Remember, this is an event many other fashion brands don’t value as much as they do more popular events. Well, Topshop decided to participate in the conversation on Twitter and their engagement rate soared; one of their tweets with the hashtag became the most popular on their timeline.

So, when looking for brands to learn your social listening strategy from, companies like Topshop are good examples to learn from. They look at other industry-related events that most of their competitors aren’t looking at and take advantage of them.

There are hundreds or even thousands of other brands you can learn from. Do your research on brands doing social listening well in your industry and see how you can learn from them.

But what if you step into a lively conversation and get a slap in the face? You need to know when to enter an ongoing conversation on social media.

2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation

Social media is built on conversations, and consumers want to be talked to, not sold to.

Social media marketing guru Carlos Gil put it more succinctly:

“Talk to your audience, make conversation, build relationships. Consumers are people and they don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged so engage them.”

But it’s not just getting into conversations with prospects that’s important, you also need to know when and when not to engage them.

Ever gotten into a conversation and then realized you shouldn’t have? Or maybe your timing was just off?

When to enter an ongoing conversation is crucial.

It determines whether or not you’ll be getting any benefits from your social listening efforts or not. It determines whether you’ll get bashed or praised for joining a conversation. Avoid regret. Pick and choose your times to engage.

Here’s a few examples of typical conversations, and how to engage them:

Customer Service Queries

Customer service related queries require your immediate response.

Customers get angry all the time for different reasons, and you want to ensure they don’t stay angry. Or they need to ask questions before buying from you.

In any case, you want to respond to customer service requests fast.

“Netflix is known for its superior online customer service. That is due in large part to a corporate culture that empowers employees to act quickly”

Rebekah Radice, Founder at RadiantLA

78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.

An Ongoing Conversation About a Government Policy

Trying to take advantage of a social media conversation about a government policy that hurts people is an example of a potentially bad time to enter a social media conversation (depending on your stance).

For instance, following a ban from the US president last year, people from Muslim-majority countries were banned from entering the US. Taxi companies weren’t happy about this, and so they all went down the JFK airport and stopped pickups from working.

Amidst this commotion, Uber saw it fit to join the conversation and advertise their service, in theory helping stranded passengers. The turn out was bad. #DeleteUber became a thing on the Internet with many users posting how they weren’t happy without Uber’s position on the ban:

#DeleteUber campaign.

If you’re not going to sympathize with people who find a particular policy disturbing, it’s best to stay away from conversations like this.

When to Keep Quiet or Simply Apologize

Sometimes it’s best to remain silent — when saying anything at all will make a situation bad on all sides. Depending on the vitriol being spread, you may just want to pretend you didn’t hear a thing.

A smart rule of thumb is to only get involved in conversations when you know you won’t get burned or miss out on significant benefits.

For example, these conversation scenarios are clear enough to know whether or not to chime in:

  • An angry customer is egging people on and you feel you might be baited into a fight – Do not chime it.
  • You feel tempted to speak ill of a competitor’s product. – Do not chime in.
  • You feel tempted to market your Spring bouquets on Christmas Day (making you look like an extraterrestial)- Do not chime in.
  • You will literally miss the party if you don’t get into a conversation on time — like tweeting about Valentine’s Day on February 15 – Chime in!
  • You won’t get burned for marketing your Valentine’s products on Valentine’s Day – Chime in!

These are just a few examples. Think up a few you want to avoid or join.

But it’s still not always this straightforward, right?

Sometimes it can get really dicey and you won’t be sure whether or how to respond to feedback in the sometimes volatile social arena. Everybody’s watching, remember?

And bad news travels fast.

For example, one Clayburn Griffin mentioned Cap ‘n Crunch on Twitter, saying…

Tweet about Cap'n Crunch by Clayburn Griffin

Cap ‘n Crunch probably wasn’t sure what the outcome of their clapback would be. But they took the risk anyway. As it turned out, it worked for them. Cap ‘n Crunch’s tweet clearly got more love than KFC’s.

Cap 'n Crunch's tweet at KFC

Should you do the same if you were in this situation?

Speaking about the reason for their clapback, Andrew Cunningham from Huge (which managed digital for Cap ‘n Crunch) said: “KFC came at us pretty hard, and at that point we had full license to zing them back.”

Sometimes it isn’t rocket science to know when to enter a conversation. Sometimes it is. A smart rule of thumb, however, would be to only respond to conversations that clearly CAN BE handled. And apologize when occasion demands.

Another good social listening practice is to have your social media team collaborate with relevant departments in your organization to provide accurate information.

3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In

Social media is clearly not a secondary channel for marketing anymore, it’s the main channel today.

And if that’s the case, then it’s worth having all relevant departments in your organization collaborating on it.

When an issue is brought up by a customer that your social media team doesn’t have enough expertise to handle, have them link up with the relevant departments that can provide apt feedback or information.

78% of customers say competent service reps play a huge role in a happy customer experience.

Service reps can’t be competent if they aren’t fed the right information by relevant departments. So departments in your organization need to collaborate with your social listening efforts.

Customers hate it when they reach out to your customer service via social media and don’t get a satisfactory response. Or when you tell them to send an email to get an issued solved. Nothing beats you giving them the right response right from social media where they contacted you.

“I have for 10 years—long before Facebook was even on the map—called myself a ‘relationship marketing specialist.’ And I love that term because to me it transcends the medium. It’s all about people doing business with people.”

Mari Smith, Top Facebook Marketing Expert.

And remember, it’s social media — everybody’s watching.

This doesn’t mean your programmers, finance people, and other staff need to abandon their roles all the time to respond to customer complaints on social. But they can play a huge role in assisting your social media managers with the relevant information they need.

An open communication line between the social media team and relevant departments can work wonders here.

That said, your entire social listening effort, however, is nothing without a good social monitoring tool.

4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool

Social media listening tools help you analyze what’s been said about your brand and industry on social media.

There are many social media monitoring tools out there, which makes choosing the right one a challenge sometimes. But you need to find the right one for your business anyway.

An inefficient social listening tool will make your social marketing efforts unnecessarily hard and frustrating.

If, for example, your tool can’t help you sort out the different sentiments in your social mentions, it’s going to be really hard to start scrolling through the many mentions you get to get the one(s) you’re looking for.

Want to monitor sentiment analysis for the hashtag you’re tracking like this? Try Keyhole.

Social conversation monitors have different capabilities. Some provide basic functions while others offer more advanced features. You want to pick the one that offers the functions that matter to your business.

5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

You need to track metrics that matter. Otherwise, it’d be all for nothing. And there are lots of things to track, but you need to spot the ones that really matter to your business.

A few things to track:

  • Sentiment: How many mentions about your brand are favourable or otherwise.
  • Popularity: How many mentions are you getting per day, week or month?
  • Influencers: Who are the influencers talking about you, how many are they and what are they saying?
  • Most engaging topics: Which topics get the most likes, replies and reposts? Knowing this will help you understand where to focus your social listening efforts.

What you do with what you’re hearing about your brand is critical in this age where it feels like social media is controlling the world. Use the strategies in this piece to make the most of what’s being said about you and your industry.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword analysis and hashtag analytics. Get started for free and conduct social listening for your brand.

5 Valuable Hashtag Marketing Strategies Proven to Engage Audiences

Hashtag Marketing Strategies to Engage Followers

Updated on October 17th, 2019.

Using hashtags effectively goes beyond casually plugging them into your tweets and posts.

On platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, calculated hashtag marketing can boost impressions, make your content more searchable and encourage users to talk about your brand.

Learning how to leverage tagged topics should be a priority for marketers.

Jump Links:

1. Brand Hashtags
2. Trending Hashtags
3. Chat Hashtags
4. Content Reflecting Hashtags
5. Call-to-Action Hashtags

Here are five hashtag marketing strategies that social media teams have successfully used to engage their target audiences:

1. Brand Hashtags

Think of a brand hashtag as your signature. Unique to your business, it should be a concise and relevant slogan you include when sharing original content.

Encourage followers to use it as well. This way, they’ll have a clear method of sharing posts with you and others interested in your company’s products or services.

The online community will also know how to find content about your brand.

Why Brand Hashtags Successfully Engage Audiences 

A brand hashtag is a way for users to let the social community know what they think about your company. Instead of just sending you a message, they’re speaking to their followers and other users who look for tagged posts.

Everyone stands to benefit, because:

  • You build a discussion around your brand, encouraging the online community to learn more about your products and services while promoting them. Ideally, consumers will also follow links you share.
  • Those using the hashtag will draw attention to their posts, possibly earning more followers.

As a bonus, you can run a promotional contest. For example, the person who creates the most-shared post using your hashtag will win a prize at the end of each month.

Everyone loves to win. Just watch engagement steadily rise.

Example: #WinnersFabFinds

Winners, a popular Canadian apparel store, uses #WinnersFabFinds across all social channels. Both catchy and unique, Winners promotes the brand hashtag both online and in-store. Another great example of effective hashtag marketing.

With more than 4,500 posts, here’s what #WinnersFabFinds looks like on Instagram:

Customers share content, while Winners gets original pictures of them enjoying products.

Measure any hashtag you want, including brand hashtags, using Keyhole.

When a high volume of users include a specific hashtag in their posts, it “trends.”

Social media platforms have different ways of displaying trending topics. For example, trending topics on Twitter displays on the top right side of the screen, and Facebook has a trending section on the top-right corner of your screen:

see what's trending on twitter

Constantly changing in real-time, a trending hashtag can last for days or mere minutes.

When you see a trend that relates to your business, don’t hesitate to engage in it with relevant content.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences

By sharing content through a trending hashtag, it’ll be seen by a group larger than your contacts and followers.

In a sense, your audience can be limitless — anyone who clicks on the trending topic can see your post. And if that post is witty, original or informative, the shares it generates will further boost impressions and comments.

Example: #CollegeIn5Words

When #CollegeIn5Words trended on Twitter, Denny’s Diner furthered its reputation as a company with a funny social media presence.

Being funny in this situation has its benefits, as Denny’s earned an enviable amount of likes and retweets. Not to mention all the replies it received, with people tagging their followers to share a laugh.

3. Chat Hashtags

Popular on Twitter, you can use chat hashtags to discuss a topic with users who are interested in the subject matter.

This is a form of hashtag marketing that calls for users to be directly engaging with a brand or an individual.

There are a plethora of industry and audience specific chat hashtags.

Chats are typically held at set times, sometimes involving one user asking questions and others giving their thoughts.

You can also start and promote your own, giving your brand more exposure. Make sure the hashtag is short – encouraging meaningful conversation is key, so it’s best not to deeply cut into Twitter’s 140-character limit.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences 

People want to talk about topics they’re passionate about, so Twitter chats can give you access to a receptive audience. With a popular chat hashtag, that audience is already established and waiting to be engaged.

What’s more, contributing to a Twitter chat can boost engagement by letting you:

  • Connect with like-minded individuals. Many people may be interested in your company, but not know about it. Using a chat hashtag is a way of informing them about your ideas, as well as your products or services.
  • Demonstrate your expertise on relevant topics. If people are invested in a certain subject, they want to know more about it. Sharing your content can spark meaningful conversations.

Example: #TMLTalk

During every Toronto Maple Leafs game, #TMLTalk is a trending topic. The team with the NHL’s largest fan base interacts with supporters using the hashtag, encouraging them to share opinions and content.

During every Toronto Maple Leafs game, #TMLTalk is a trending topic. The team with the NHL’s largest fan base interacts with supporters using the hashtag, encouraging them to share opinions and content.

Fans are passionate – giving them an online forum helps them interact with fellow enthusiasts.

Organizations such as news sites can also use the hashtag to share stories and earn clicks. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs organization gains another way to build, and communicate with, a dedicated audience.

4. Content-Reflecting Hashtags

Content-reflecting hashtags don’t have to be trending or even popular, per se. They’re not specific to your brand, either.

They’re simply tagged words that relate to a posts’ content. For example, a tweet about social media ads may contain “#digitalmarketing.” A post about a tourist attraction may include the city’s name, and so on.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences

Think of content-reflecting hashtags as a way of optimizing content for search. Audience members may stumble upon your posts when looking for the words you tag.

This is useful for companies that:

  • Sell physical products
  • Operate in a set location
  • Participate in events
  • Share posts about niche topics that don’t trend or necessarily merit a brand hashtag

Content-reflecting hashtags become valuable when consumers perform general searches to find a certain item or learn more about a given subject. Being an early result can certainly earn you a click, reply or follow.

Example: #CleanEating

#CleanEating is a popular Instagram hashtag that carries over onto Twitter and other social platforms.

For example, here’s a typical post that would be associated with the hashtag:

Although it’s dominated by pictures of home cooking, a health foods store or restaurant could certainly leverage the hashtag to potentially earn comments or clicks to their website.

If used in conjunction with a location hashtag, an in-person visit also wouldn’t be out of the question.

5. Call-to-Action Hashtags

The goal of a call-to-action (CTA) hashtag? Encourage the online community to perform a specific action involving your brand.

It’s a traditional marketing concept that’s applied to social media.

A CTA hashtag usually starts with a verb, such as “share” or “talk.” Then, it should have a few short words that give additional instruction.

For example, a mental health organization may have a hashtag called “#TalkAboutMentalHealth.”

When a CTA hashtag gains traction, you’ll see posts across social platforms involving people taking appropriate action.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences 

Social media users follow CTA hashtags because they:

  • Feel like they’re contributing to an important cause.
    • Going back to the mental health example, people would follow such a hashtag because they feel as though they’re challenging the stigma of certain illnesses.
  • Think the action is genuinely fun. Who wouldn’t want to take a silly picture or share an interesting story?
  • Earn a sense of participation. If your friends are posting with a certain hashtag, it’s natural to want to contribute.

That being said, a CTA should be doable. You likely won’t engage your audience by encouraging an action that’s almost impossible.

Example: #ShareACoke

Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaigns harnessed the power of a fun CTA and became a wildly-successful hashtag marketing initiative.

Creating cans and bottles that read “Share a Coke With …” followed by a name, the company encouraged social media users to post pictures of themselves sharing the drink with friends and family.

Generating almost 700,000 Instagram posts, here’s a look at an example:

Generating almost 700,000 Instagram posts, here’s a look at an example:

Like a brand hashtag, this particular CTA campaign benefits the company and individual users. The users get to share content with a wide audience, while Coca-Cola gets original images of satisfied customers and potentially increases sales.

These five hashtag marketing techniques are shown to boost engagement by encouraging consumer conversations, making your content more searchable, expanding your reach, and more.

Implement them in your social media marketing strategy to see how effectively they work for you.



Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools

[Updated in July 2019, for a brand new Social Media Analytics Tools comparison]

Did you miss our previous blog on the 27 Hashtag Analytics strategies? No worries, you can read it here: https://keyhole.co/blog/hashtag-analytics-27-actionable-strategies/

It can be a daunting task.

You’ve asked everyone and every query tool for the best social media analytics tools and you’re still unsure which to use. And you don’t have the time and money to waste using a tool only to find out later on that it doesn’t suit your needs. Whether you’re asking other marketers or searching on Google, it can be quite confusing — with every brand making enticing promises.

How do you know which of them would deliver on their promise? A good complete guide is a great place to look.

Here’s a guide showing you the top 25 social media analytics tools, and how they work:

Read moreTop 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

Social Media Content Distribution Tactics that Work Like Magic

I’m sorry to say this, but you’ll never stand out like a digital peacock in the social media realm — that is, if you’re oblivious about how to distribute your content effectively.

If you’re into the whole publish and pray strategy — if you can even call it one — then your content will easily be drowned out by the millions of posts published on social media daily.

For you to succeed, you need to have a carefully crafted content distribution tactic when publishing your posts in social media.

Allow me to share with you four tactics that you can use for just that.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Build strategic partnerships with influencers.

I’m not really a huge proponent of the whole, “It’s not what you know, but WHO you know that counts” rationale. However, when it comes to marketing your content on the internet, I have to admit that it’s hard to ignore this reality.

Such is especially the case when you’re operating in the social media space where a single tweet or share from an influencer, can easily skyrocket your content views and even online sales.

That being said, it’s crucial that you pair your social content distribution endeavors with influencer marketing.

To find the right influencer, you can use Keyhole.co to gain a bit more insight into the influencer that you’re thinking of partnering with.

Here are some of the data points you can learn about an influencer if you run them through Keyhole.co:

  • Average likes
  • Average retweets
  • Average number of posts
  • Average engagements
  • Their top posts based on engagements

Here’s a glimpse of how Keyhole.co looks from the inside.

Neil Patel Influencer Tracking Statistics - Name, description, handle, total posts, followers and followings, as well as metrics: Average likes, average retweets, average engagement rate

(An overview of the influencer.)

Keyhole Account Statistics, showing number of social media posts over time in a graph, layered with Average engagements over time
(The account statistics.)

Keyhole Top Posts by Engagement - chart showing the content of the top posts created by the account being tracked, together with number of likes and retweets. Content Optimization tool.
(Top posts by engagement.)

These are just some of the many things you can learn about your prospective influencer.

When you have these details, you can judge better if the person is an ideal partner to help you distribute your content through their followers or not.

2. Leverage employee advocacy.

Before anything else, let’s define the phrase “employee advocacy.”

According to Smarp.com, it is “the promotion of a company’s messages by its employees.”

Based on the definition alone, I hope you can see how this can be important for your content distribution on social media.

Let’s face it: Your target audience might not support you immediately when you reach out to them. After all, they don’t know your company through and through so it’s quite normal for them to have doubts about you.

The same can’t be said when you ask your employees for support, however. In most cases, they will welcome the idea since they are proud to be a part of your company.

That’s why employee advocacy is crucial in your social media content distribution endeavors. You’ll barely need to convince any of your employees to help you with sharing or promoting your company’s message.

The good news is, there are online platforms that can help you streamline your employee advocacy efforts.

Smarp is one of them.

You just need to create an account, do your initial setups like creating your channels and adding people to it, and you’re pretty much set to start posting.

Here’s how the platform looks from the inside.

Creating more channels button
(When creating new channels.)

Tweaking channels
(When editing/tweaking your channels.)

New subscriber
(When adding subscribers or employees to your channel.)

Add posts
(How you can add your posts.)

With the help of social advocacy platforms, it’ll be easier for you to manage your marketing efforts and even measure the results you get out of them.

3. Leverage social scheduling.

There are a plethora of benefits to be had from using social scheduling platforms when distributing your content via social media.

For one thing, it enables you to repost your content multiple times. Also, you can control when your posts are published.

Both aspects are crucial for succeeding in the social media space.

After all, your target audience is most likely flooded with truckloads of content every day, that’s why you need to repost your content multiple times.

Also, as you study your audience, you’ll realize that there are certain times in a day where they log in. As you uncover this information, you can use the social scheduling platform to schedule your posts at the most optimum time.

4. Find out where your audience is.

Before you even start distributing your social media content, you need to know where exactly to distribute them.

I mean, sure, you can certainly post all of your content in your social media pages. However, that alone won’t do you much good.

You need to go out there, look for your audience, and distribute your content in places or groups where they frequent on.

Remember, where your customers are, there you should also be. This is a timeless lesson that businesses or marketers should never forget.

To help you with finding your audience, one of the best tools you can use is Facebook Audience Insights.

From your Facebook’s personal profile, click “Ads Manager” > the burger menu on the top left part of the page > hover to “All Tools” > click “Audience Insights.”

You will then see this page.

Facebook Audience Page

After you enter your interest and hit “enter,” click the “Page Likes” tab. (For this example’s sake, I entered the keyword “pastry” in the “Interest” section.)
Image of Facebook Audience showing where to click for Page Likes

You will then be able to view the pages relevant to your niche (and their audience sizes) as you scroll down.
Image of Facebook Audience Page showing other relevant pages

At this point, you now have access to the list of niche-relevant pages where your audience is most likely hanging out online.

The only thing left for you to do is engage, build relationships, and distribute your social media content in these pages.

It’s worth pointing out that Facebook Audience Insight has several more features that you can use to help you with your content distribution. Be sure to check out the tool and experiment with it.
What’s next?
You don’t need to have decades of experience to succeed in the social media space.

Just by following the tried and tested strategies that seasoned social media marketers are using, you’d be able to formulate your very own system of distributing your content effectively (and efficiently) via social media.

If you follow the tips that we covered — or build on them — you’ll be able to get better results out of the content you’ll publish in your social media accounts.

If you have questions and ideas that you’d like to share regarding content distribution in the social media space, feel free to add them in the comments section below. Cheers!

Keyhole How to Avoid a Social Media Crisis crises 6 steps how to

6 Critical Steps to Avoid a Social Media Crisis

Social media is an enormously powerful tool for managing customer relationships, broadcasting positive brand stories and introducing new products. But while the benefits of this free, fast and intuitive marketing channel are virtually limitless, it also has some potentially serious risks.

But there’s good news; with proper planning you can avoid the most common mistakes that lead to a social media crisis.


What Causes Social Media Crises?


Common Mistakes — Just about anything can spark social media outrage and bring out the trolls, but the most common slip-ups include:

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes made by professional organizations
  • Accidentally liking an inappropriate post
  • Tweeting a personal message from a professional account
  • Unintentionally making an offensive statement

Serious Problems — Employee sabotage and hacking are much more serious offenses. While businesses can, and do, shift responsibility for the malicious post, they’re often criticised for allowing their login credentials to be compromised.

Catastrophic Events — Intentionally racist, sexist, or malicious comments made by companies or individuals ignite the worst type of social media crisis. These statements can significantly impact a brand’s revenue and reputation, and recovery could take years.

Look no further than Roseanne Barr for a trending example of how powerful one tweet can be.

In the days following her comment, Barr’s television contract was canceled, her reputation was heavily damaged, and she lost an estimated $3 million in revenue.

So, how can you avoid a social media crisis? Here are 6 steps you can take.


1. Have a Crisis Communication Plan


Image of a Man in Front of a Whiteboard with a Plan Structure

The most important steps toward preventing a social media disaster are understanding what crisis management means for your business and creating an action plan to address your risk factors.

While you can’t predict every crisis, you can train your social media team to prepare for, and effectively manage, potential problems.

Since social media is your front line of communication during a crisis, your plan should include specific guidelines to protect your brand. Most importantly, always have a second set of eyes on every post before it’s published. Companies should also train more individuals in crisis communications and social media management than you think you’ll need.


2. Monitor your Social Media for Trouble!


Identifying problems as soon as they arise is critical to crisis prevention. Unfortunately, you may never know about the biggest issues facing your company because 96% of angry customers don’t complain to brands directly. Many of these upset customers prefer posting about their poor experience on their own timeline. These “dark” complaints could go unnoticed, causing negative impact, without proper tools and training.

Social listening tools allow you to monitor keywords and indirect brand mentions as well as direct mentions. This gives your company a much more holistic view of what your customers are saying across all social platforms.

Keyhole’s Intelligent Notifications feature is an excellent example of how brands can set up alerts to detect direct and indirect (‘dark’) posts with negative sentiment.

Keyhole AI detects any tracked posts with negative sentiment made about your brand, and you automatically receive an Intelligent notification in your inbox, which allows you to react to the post before the negative sentiment escalates.

Keyhole Intelligent Notifications Dashboard With Negative Sentiment Alerts Turned On

For instance, United Airlines would have seen this tweet and its volume, the first mention of the United Flight 3411 incident, with Keyhole.

Capture-of-the-Original-Tweet-that-started-the-United-Airlines-Crisis-in-2017

This would have given the airline an ample runway to handle the crisis before it escalated.


3. Always Engage with Your Audience


Engaging-with-Facebook-Audience---Image-of-person-using-Facebook-on-phone


Social profiles are frequently viewed as sales tools instead of powerful customer service platforms for building brand loyalty and customer care. By solely pitching products rather than having meaningful conversations with your followers, you could miss opportunities to address customer experience problems early on.

According to Maritz Research, 49% of customers expect companies to respond to Twitter complaints, yet only 29% of those who complained received a reply.

Additionally, customers who complain expect a response within 4 hours, while the average brand response time exceeds 10 hours.

It’s crucial to respond quickly and professionally when negative comments about your company are discovered. Ignoring criticism, even when it isn’t posted directly to your page, sends a message to your followers that you don’t care enough about them to respond.


4. Respond to Criticism Professionally


Knowing how to properly handle criticism in a public forum is essential to protecting your reputation. A single rude response to a genuine complaint will do far more damage to your image than the original comment could.

Deleting comments and blocking users may seem like the quickest way to fix a problem, but doing so could cause your customer to become more outspoken. Instead, make an effort to understand what caused the situation and show a willingness to make things right.

Consumers typically complain on social media when their problem has not been properly resolved. You may be able to prevent your customers from complaining in public by providing a seamless resolution process on your website or over the phone.

Angry customers want to express their frustration quickly, so they usually avoid email. Adding a simple feedback button to your site may prevent them from firing off a raging tweet for all to see. Just make sure it’s easy to find and effortless to use. You could even offer visitors incentives for leaving feedback if it they’ve been poking around your site for a while.


5. Choose the Right Person to Manage Your Accounts


Hands-woman-laptop-notebook

Assigning your brand’s social media strategy to an intern or an inexperienced employee may save you money, but it could also be a recipe for disaster.

A great social media manager has a level head, is capable of handling a crisis, and is well-organized and detail-oriented. Finding someone with public relations experience adds another layer of insurance against mistakes.

Prefer to outsource the work? There are many companies specializing in managing social media accounts for businesses. This option may be the most impactful if you have room in your budget.


6. Draft an Employee Social Media Policy


Most people might think their private social profiles are safe for ranting about work stress, but negative posts can have serious consequences if customers or coworkers see them. Distribute guidelines about how to reference your brand online, but don’t scare your team away from posting. Happy employees are some of the best recruiting tools you can ask for!

Closing thoughts

The benefits of using social media intelligently will always outweigh the risks. Remember to monitor for problems, listen to your followers, react quickly and compassionately, and plan ahead, that way you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of this channel while avoiding potential crises.

How the USTA is Leveraging Social Media to Reach the Next Generation of Tennis Players

Learn 3 of the social media marketing strategies that the USTA uses to yield incredible (700% year-over-year!) growth in content engagement.

From grassroots community tennis to the US Open, the USTA strives to grow tennis at every level.

One of the driving forces in accomplishing this mission is the USTA social media team. Led by Director of Social Media & Strategy, Qianna Smith-Bruneteau, the USTA has built a social strategy that has landed their campaigns in the billion+ impression category and that leads to a consistent 700% year-over-year growth in content engagement.

More importantly, every person their content reaches is inspired by tennis-related content that is positive, motivational and inclusive.

QIanna-header

Read on to learn 3 key social media marketing strategies that Qianna’s team implements to reach their goals and guide these numbers.

 

1. Reach Generation Z & Millennials Through Youth Ambassadors

One of the ways that the USTA social team is engaging a younger audience on social media is by leveraging the power of influencers.

The team has built partnerships with 100 youth ambassadors who share their stories through social media, inspiring others in their age group to become involved in this sport and community, and driving home their mission.

“We have this incredible mission to inspire the next generation of tennis greats through our Net Generation brand. Leveraging social media, we have developed relationships with Generation Z and millennial audiences. We’ve assembled a movement of 100 ambassadors, the Net Set, age 5 to 19, who share their personal tennis journeys and stories on social media, and it’s through their lens that I see the magic and the mission of the organization unfold.”

Not to mention, their winning strategy has also won them several awards, the most recent being the 10th Annual Shorty Award for best celebrity & influencer campaign on Snapchat.

Bonus Tip:

Notice the USTA’s use of emoji CTA’s- calling for comment engagement by showing which emoji to use to show your support for USTA athletes/ partners?.

 

2. Monitor the #Conversation to Increase Engagement

Qianna’s team also maximizes overall engagement by leveraging hashtag analytics, or in other words, tracking #USOpen during the run of the event and year-round to understand how their content is being engaged.

“I never imagined during the US Open that our hashtag would enter into the billion+ impression category. Having the ability to download the content tagged with our hashtag really allowed us to identify super users and reward them with surprise and delight moments throughout the tournament.”

Hashtag Tracking - Keyword Tracking - US Open for USTA by Keyhole
Hashtag Tracking – Keyword Tracking – US Open for USTA by Keyhole

By monitoring how people are engaging with your hashtag, you can identify most engaged users and the types of content they are engaging with. You can then adjust your content strategy in real time, replicating high-engagement content and delighting your audience.

“Keyhole allows us to analyze the conversations around turnkey marketing moments, and to understand the organic/earned media associated with our brand.”

 

3. Use Competitive Benchmarking to Inform your Strategy

Competitive Benchmarking means comparing your own performance to your top competitors’ as a way to hold your metrics to a standard.

“Keyhole.co is an invaluable tool for competitive benchmarking and seeing where we stack up in the space.”

social media benchmarks - USTA for Keyhole
social media benchmarks – USTA for Keyhole

With benchmarking, Qianna and her team were able to determine that they had the most engaged hashtag, #USOpen in the Grand Slam space in 2017 (US Open, AU Open, French Open, Wimbledon), which demonstrates the value of her team’s efforts within the organization.

“On the US Open channels, we had a 700% year-over-year increase in interactions and video views across the big 5. And our USTA social media channels did the most interactions and video views, an increase of over 1,200% year-over-year when compared to the other 3 governing bodies associated with a Grand Slam.”

 

Key Takeaways

Some key takeaways:

  • Create engaging content by partnering with influencers or brand ambassadors.
  • Monitor hashtags to understand engagement and double down on top content.
  • Use competitive benchmarking to measure your results.

That’s the USTA’s winning formula ??.

“Keyhole is an incredible tool for any social media marketer. I used it when I was head of social media at Saks Fifth Avenue, and it was one of the first tools I selected at the USTA.”

Attention: These Keyword Research Tips can Skyrocket Your Website Conversions

Website getting traffic but still not getting conversions?

If you think your content’s fine, then perhaps you need to take a look at your keyword strategy?

Yes, you sometimes need to go all the way back to make sure you’re drawing in quality leads from the right channels.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most brilliant and engaging pieces of content in the world. If you targeted the wrong keywords, none of your PPC, SEO, or content marketing strategies will consistently produce profitable results.

The good news is, keyword research doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely difficult. With the right tools and tactics, you can definitely discover lucrative keyword opportunities without breaking a sweat.

In this post, we’ll show you the best ways to do keyword research so you can bag winning keyword suggestions every single time.

Let’s get started.

1. Turn Seed Keywords Into Long-Tail Keywords

Regardless of niche, keyword research always starts with a seed keyword that’s too broad and competitive to be feasible.

That’s why you need tools like Ubersuggest to expand your seed keyword into hundreds of long-tail keyword ideas. These are keywords that are at least 3 terms long and target a narrower audience.

To use Ubersuggest, simply enter your seed keyword and click “Look Up.” Don’t forget to adjust the localization of your keyword to generate suggestions that are relevant to your place of business.

Keyword-research-2-1

Within seconds, Ubersuggest will generate hundreds of long-tail keywords as well as present the metrics that can determine their profitability.

Keyword-Research-3

To keep things short, here is a brief explanation of each of the three metrics you’ll encounter in Ubersuggest results:

Search Volume
The first metric measures the average monthly searches. This can be directly used to gauge a keyword’s popularity and demand.

CPC
Short for cost per click, the CPC metric denotes the average amount that advertisers are willing to pay for PPC advertisement actions. A high CPC often signals that a particular keyword can be monetized and converts well.

Competition
Lastly, Ubersuggest measures the competitiveness level of keywords on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0. For faster results, it’s recommended that you target keywords with a competitiveness score of around 0.4 or less.

At this point, you should be able to come up with a fresh lineup of long-tail keywords (whether for PPC or SEO) based on the initial results.

But don’t get overexcited — there’s still much work to be done to make sure your keywords lead to conversions.

2. Pluck Out Commercial or Transactional Keywords

A rule of thumb when doing keyword research is to find the balance between search volume and competitiveness.

Of course, you don’t want to target keywords with barely any demand at all. You shouldn’t go with the flow and pick up a keyword that everyone else uses, either.

What you want are long-tail keywords that pertain to a user’s desire to take action.

You can do this by injecting commercial or transactional terms into your Ubersuggest keyword suggestions. Just enter terms like “buy,” “price,” “service,” “shop,” or whatever term makes sense for your seed keyword in the “Filter Results” field.

Keyword-Research-4

After applying your filters, Ubersuggest will then refine and drastically reduce the number of keyword suggestions. This makes it much easier for you to spot profitable keyword opportunities:

Keyword-research-5

3. Track Trending Keywords on Social Media

If you’re trying to build traffic through social media, then you’ll need a slightly different approach when doing keyword research.

The main issue is that social media networks use internal search engines that don’t use the same keywords as web platforms like Google. As such, you need to use a keyword tracking tool that’s specifically tailored to social media networks.

Keyhole is, without a doubt, an excellent tool for this job. It allows you to find and monitor trending keywords as well as hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram — two of the biggest social media networks in terms of user engagement.

Just like Ubersuggest, you can start using Keyhole by entering a seed keyword. This time, however, you need to specify if you want to track a hashtag, keyword, URL, social media account, or brand mention.

Keyword-research-5-1

To fine-tune your keyword tracker, click “Advanced” to reveal the filters you can use to refine results. For example, if you want to ignore posts from a direct competitor, click on “Ignore posts” and fill in the rest of the details.

Keyword-research-6

Let’s say you want to track the keywords “WordPress,” “web design,” and “blogging.”

After the initial data is produced, you should be able to see pertinent information, such as the number of posts with your keywords, their collective reach, and even the overall sentiment of users.

Keyword-research-7

Before you save your tracker, don’t forget to specify how you want to receive alerts. This will enable you to be always in tune with social media users when it comes to your target keywords.

Keyword-research-9

Remember that tracking keywords on social media can improve conversions in two ways.

Apart from letting you gauge the demand for a keyword, it will also give you opportunities to initiate and close conversions yourself whenever your brand or product gets mentioned. For this, simply, track your brand name or social media handles via Keyhole.

4. Get Suggestions from the Keyword Cloud

Once your Keyhole tracker is up and running, it’s time to snag yourself some keyword ideas.

From the main dashboard, navigate to “My Trackers” and select the tracker you want to work with.

Keyword-research-10

This will pull up real-time data based on the tracking options you’ve set earlier.

Now, to locate new keyword opportunities, scroll down to the “Related Topics” section to view the hashtag and keyword clouds. Here, you can visually observe the popularity of keywords that are related to your seed keyword:

keyword-research-11

How can social media keywords boost your conversions?

Good question.

Remember that most if not all online users only transact with brands they trust.

By participating in conversations and offering your expertise to social media users, you slowly build your brand’s authority in your niche. Of course, researching hashtags will also allow you to extend the social reach of your content whenever you share something.

To learn more how to leverage social media networks to win your audience’s trust, you can refer to more guides here.

Conclusion

Keyword research is a fundamental piece of online marketing that marketers love to overlook.

Hopefully, the guide above put keyword research in a new light. It’s not necessarily the most difficult aspect of online marketing, but it can have the biggest impact when it comes to the visibility of overall profitability of your website.

Do you have other suggestions on how marketers should perform keyword research? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Using Popular Hashtags To Grow Your Business

Do you use hashtags — catchy, attention-grabbing conversation anchors that people want to be associated with? If not, you can learn how here.


Hashtag 101– If you already know what hashtags are, skip this part and proceed to advanced hashtag uses below.

How hashtags work: When you use a #hashtag, you are adding your post to a list of all other posts that use this tag on that social platform.

For example, if you post a picture of your dog with #puppy in the caption or description, your post is now grouped with all other #puppy posts. Whenever someone searches #puppy on instagram for example, they will see all #puppy posts.

Instagram Hashtag Tracking - Puppy
Instagram Hashtag Tracking – Puppy

Popular hashtags are a major deal. They engage social media users on a higher level.

No wonder Instagram images or videos with at least one hashtag generate 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags, and tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than tweets without them.

Tweets with Hashtags Infographic
Tweets with Hashtags Infographic


Image source

This doesn’t mean hashtags are an automatic ticket to social media success, but they can and do engage people by allowing them to become part of something larger than themselves.

Hashtags impart a sense of belonging — and encapsulate people’s beliefs, cultures, and professional brands. In an article on Salesforce, expert digital marketer Ann Smarty listed three hashtags that people follow for news on social: #twitternews, #socialmedianews and #socialmedia.

When people use or follow hashtags like these on social, they get to feel they’re a part of some huge; that’s the power of hashtags.

There are two main ways to use popular hashtags to grow your business:

  • Start your own branded hashtag and make it popular. Or…
  • Latch onto already popular unbranded hashtags and exploit them to grow your business. The three hashtags I mentioned from Ann Smarty are good examples of unbranded hashtags.

I’ll be sharing how to use these two different hashtag types to grow your business in this post.

Ready?

Let’s begin with unbranded hashtags.

These are usually popular hashtags that weren’t necessarily started by your brand.

They’re often industry hashtags like #marketing, event hashtags like #SXSW or day-related hashtags like #MusicMonday or #TuesdayInspiration. These are the basics. Tagging your posts with relevant industry, event and day-related hashtags will help you be a part of key conversations for your brand.

Here are three more advanced strategies for using unbranded hashtags to grow your business:

1. Look out for CTA (Call-to-Action) hashtags

Just as its name implies, CTA hashtags encourage people to take an action. Example: #BeYourOwnBoss or #StartABusiness.

These hashtags tend to work well because they encourage people to participate in something fun or rewarding — and everyone likes fun and rewards. More importantly, they persuade people to take an action on your tweets or posts.

You want to look for popular CTA hashtags that are related to your brand or product and engage prospects with them. These hashtags are especially rampant on Instagram and Twitter.

Example: Call-to-action hashtag #tagafriend skyrocketed Twitter engagement for Chocolate Picture:

Using Hashtags - Twitter Marketing

Of course, it wasn’t just the #tagafriend hashtag that drove this level of engagement for the brand. Chocolate Picture added some other hashtags and, perhaps more importantly, asked tweeters to follow and RT to get a chance to win the contest promoted in the tweet, which contributed to the success of the tweet. (Note: while hashtag functions are available on most platforms, they are particularly effective only on Twitter and Instagram)

The CTA hashtag #tagafriend, however, encouraged people to take an action — tag their friends.

Twitter Marketing - Hashtag Marketing - Twitter Giveaway

Plus, the CTA hashtag exposed the tweet to an audience that follows the #tagafriend hashtag and who may not have heard about Chocolate Picture before.

2. Twitter trending keywords and hashtags

Twitter gets over 300 million users per month, and the platform has a section called Trending. On a smartphone, Twitter Trending can be found once you click the search tab in your Twitter app. And it’s either on the left or right side of your desktop screen.

Twitter Hashtags - Trending

These keywords and hashtags represent what people are talking about at any given time on the platform. You can see how this easily creates an opportunity for you to chip in your tweets on the matter discussed, and expose your brand to a new audience.

How you chime into these trending conversations, however, can make or break engagement for your tweet. Your tweet needs to be timely and relevant to the topic being discussed. Any irrelevant or untimely tweets will be ignored by tweeters and get buried under other tweets.

This doesn’t mean you can’t participate in conversations outside your industry; you can, but you need to ensure it’s relevant to the topic being discussed.

Example: when #FashionWeek was trending, sometime in 2013, cookie brand Oreo sent out a tweet with the hashtag:

Oreo - Trending Tweet - Hashtag Campaign
Image source

Oreo has nothing to do with fashion or Fashion Week; they’re clearly not a clothing brand, but they promoted their brand using the hashtag while making sure it’s related to the topic being discussed. Pretty clever.

Remember, Twitter trending tweets can stop trending at any time — they might be popular anywhere between minutes to a few days. You want your entry into trending conversations to be relevant and timely.

Another classic example is how duo music band Facing West took advantage of #MusicMonday on Twitter. The band used the hashtag to promote their new song on a Monday — March 5 — when the hashtag was trending:

Facing West - Twitter Hashtag Marketing Promotion

This exposed their brand and music to a new audience and enthusiasts who follow the hashtag.

Twitter users use the Twitter Trending to stay abreast of what’s hot right now. They want to be in the know and not the last person to hear about some hot news. Do your brand a huge favor by chiming in on trending conversations and taking advantage of the lively engagement there.

3. Popular niche hashtags

Hashtags are crazier on Instagram than they are on Twitter, or any other social platform for that matter.

“…consider using popular hashtags like #tbt (throwback Thursdays) or #instagood (a showcase of a user’s best photos) to attract new followers. — Bryan Kramer

Using more than two hashtags on Twitter can make your engagement rate plummet. But on Instagram, the more hashtags, the merrier your engagement.

Head of Social Strategy at Canva, Peg Fitzpatrick, recommends adding your hashtags in multiple comments under each Instagram post:

You can use up to thirty hashtags on each post. I’d recommend sticking to three or four in the comments and then adding more into a comment below. It seems strange, but this is acceptable on Instagram.

If you want to use eleven hashtags in total per post, that works best on Instagram.

Enter niche hashtags. These hashtags are often used by people who are not just in your industry, but are in the same niche with you.

For example, #foodstagram is used by everyone and every business in the food/restaurant industry on Instagram. But a niche hashtag in the same food industry would be narrower. Take #foodblogger; the hashtag is apparently used by food bloggers on the platform, not every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the industry:

Foodstagram - Instagram Hashtag

Instagrammers who are interested in seeing pictures from food bloggers — but not restaurants or random food lovers — they’ll use the #Foodblogger hashtag to narrow down their search that finds just the food bloggers they’re looking for.

Your industry hashtags are often used by everyone in the industry, so they naturally get more impressions than niche hashtags. But you want to use niche hashtags to engage with your own target customers.

To see what hashtags are relevant to your specific industry of brand, tools like Keyhole can be very helpful. You can insert a trending #hashtag or keyword into our tracker, and the Word Cloud feature within the main dashboard will show you what other hashtags or Keywords people are using along with it.

For instance, our WordCloud shows that when using #foodblogger, people also use these hashtags:

Keyhole - Related Hashtags / Keywords

Now, branded hashtags.

These are hashtags started by your company. You know, the one you can lay a 100% claim to and enjoy all the benefits.

Branded hashtags don’t have to have your brand name in them, even though they sound like they should. But they should be related to your product or campaign name — so customers can link the hashtag to your business ultimately.

And if done right, they can become very popular hashtags that will take your brand to a higher level. Here are three strategies for growing a business with branded hashtags.

1. Require customers to use your brand hashtag to qualify for entry to promos and contests

This is one of the most common hashtag marketing strategies out there. You start a contest and require target customers to use your hashtags in their posts to qualify for the contest.

It’s like you’re starting a party and you’re asking everyone to come and eat. Everyone loves free food and drinks, right? That’s the idea.

Where it gets a little difficult is coming up with the perfect hashtag that people can relate to your business. One of the most successful branded hashtag so far is #ShareACoke — though, it wasn’t exactly a contest as we’re discussing here.

Influencer Marketing - Branded Hashtags for Coca Cola

Three things make this hashtag awesome:

  • The hashtag is simple, which makes it memorable.
  • It clearly flaunts the brand’s name.
  • It’s a call-to-action (CTA) hashtag — as it encourages people to take an “fun” action, share a coke.

You can learn from this and make an effective and memorable hashtag for your business. Make it reflect your brand name clearly, make it simple and make it a CTA — you know, like #DoSomethingFun.

To get even more juice from this, you can ask contest participants to tag your business handle in their entries.

This may reduce the amount of people participating in your contest since you’ll be stressing them more by asking them to do more tasks. But you’ll be getting more bang from your investment — 54% of users surveyed by Twitter reported that they had taken action after seeing a brand mentioned in Tweets (including visiting their website, searching for the brand, or retweeting content).

In plain English, you get more ROI when users tag your brand in their entries for your contest or promos.

2. Ask event attendees to share, using your hashtag before and during the event

If you’re organizing an event, you can create a hashtag and ask your event attendees to share the post on social using your event’s hashtag. Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios says it’s best to announce your event hashatag right at the start of the event:

“Tell the audience about it before the opening keynote.”

This means that you must have planned this hashtag ahead of time — it should have been ready long before the event day. In fact, planning it out long before the D-day gives it greater chance for good publicity.

Before the popular Social Media Week starts in every country, the #SMMW18 hashtag always has enough time to get in the hands and consciousness of people. Perhaps that’s because the hashtag has been planned and publicized months or weeks before the event starts.

And it’s one of the main reasons why virtually all marketers in many countries don’t miss out when the event date finally hits.

Event Marketing - Event Hashtag - Social Media Marketing World
Image source

The beauty of this is that once multiple people start tweeting with your hashtag during an event, Twitter notices the spike for that hashtag and adds it to their Trending list — which exposes your hashtag to Twitter users who like hot news.

This means more people will be seeing your hashtagged posts. It can lead to a massive explosion and brand awareness for you. And you may also attract people who haven’t heard about you or your hashtag before. They can become curious as to who you are why you’re trending on their Twitter.

3. Get people to like your hashtagged tweets and posts

Social networks want to feed their users with the best content their platforms offer. And it’s the same for your business. You want your best content consistently visible for optimal customer engagement.

Google, YouTube, and most other platforms also operate in this way. They all have top posts in a category on their platforms so more users can find them. When your tweets or Instagram posts get significant engagement, they are ranked in the top sections of the platforms they’re on for the hashtag(s) they contain.

For example, if your your post on Instagram with #musicmonday gets healthy engagement, say 200 likes and 20 comments, it can get ranked on the top posts section of Instagram.

Music Monday Hashtag on Instagram

If you’re already a popular brand, your hashtagged posts will naturally get hundreds and thousands of Likes or Favs, retweets, and replies in no time. And this will move your posts to the top sections of social networks. And, to amplify your reach, you may use influencers.

But if your brand is not so popular yet, you need to go to a little more work. You especially need influencers who will spread the word about your brand and hashtag. Ask your network — existing followers, customers and friends — to Like your posts so they reach more people.

Conclusion

Popular hashtags are a big deal. They raise an entire village of brand advocates, like what’s happening with Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke today.

The drink company is still enjoying all the brand awareness and sales that come from the hashtag, as many of their customers are eager to take fancy pictures with a bottle of coke and share it on social using the hashtag. It’s the same for every other brand that has worked to create popular hashtags.

Businesses that latch on to unbranded hashtags they didn’t create themselves also enjoy some level of success as seen with the Oreo example above. In the end, whether you create your brand hashtag or latch on to unbranded hashtags you didn’t create, your business is bound to see an uptake in engagement and sales if you hit the right combination.

Take a chance and experiment with hashtags. Learn to capitalize on what’s trending and help your business by becoming part of the hashtag trend.

Life is short and the internet is vast.