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Marketing Superstars Report 2018: Social Media Edition

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Starting a small business comes with so many ideas and dreams.

You just know that everyone will love your product, that it’s going to change the world, and you won’t let anything stand in your way.

All you need is to get your product in front of potential customers.

You’re not there yet, but it’s cool, because you’ve got a plan—marketing. Social media marketing, to be specific.

social media marketing superstars
Chances are you’re not a social media marketer; it’s just one of the many hats you wear as a small business owner. You don’t have a Mad Men-esque team of marketing superstars ready to create industry-changing Facebook ads for you. You know your product is great and that you need a social media marketing plan to get it in front of more people.

How do you come up with that plan? What does good marketing even look like? Who are the marketing superstars you should emulate to get started on your social media marketing journey?

We can help.

We’ve done the searching for you and found ten social media marketers and influencers for each of the following six platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. Each of these marketers rocks the social media scene while providing great marketing tips and inspiration for budding marketers.

We also paired our influencer lists with suggestions for using each platform. Read on, and see what strategies you can apply to your own social media accounts!

Methodology

Social media marketers were ranked via a weighting system applied to their:

  • Audience size: When added to the rest of the ranking algorithm, audience size indicates a marketer or influencer’s content reach. If a lot of people are listening to what they’re saying, you should as well.
  • Klout score: Klout is a website that uses social media analytics to rate its users according to online social influence, giving them a value between one and 100. A higher Klout score means that what these marketing superstars are doing online is working.
  • Engagement: Calculated based on posting frequency per week. If an individual has an engagement score of 71, for example, you can expect them to post five times over a seven-day period.
  • Potential for learning: We wanted to make sure that these marketing superstars were bringing you content you could learn from. This metric measures the amount of educational content* versus personal content they posted.

Platforms listed in alphabetical order.

Facebook

Facebook has made headlines in recent weeks, but it’s still a viable marketing channel—albeit a soon-to-be more difficult to use one. When using Facebook for your marketing efforts, you’ll want to:

  • Consider running ads, while keeping your budget and returns potential in mind.
  • Engage with Facebook groups that have similar interests to what your product provides.
  • Discern a posting cadence that doesn’t annoy or underwhelm your audience. For Facebook, that’s usually once per day.

 Learn from the superstars:  Want to know how to optimize your small business’ Facebook presence? Need inspiration for ads? Find these ten marketing superstars on Facebook:

Ten ranked Facebook marketing superstars

Instagram

To Instagram or not to Instagram, that is the question posed by skilled marketers and business owners alike. If your product targets Gen Z or younger millennials, the answer is probably yes.

Keep these tricks in mind when using Instagram as a marketing platform:

  • Try to get your post’s copy to go “below the fold” (viewers have to click the “more” option to expand your caption) and spend more time on your post. Longer engagement means increased visibility per Instagram’s algorithms.
  • Hashtag it up. Aim to add ten to 15 hashtags on your post (ideally below the fold) to get the most reach out of your post.
  • Use the “stories” feature to your advantage and expand your posting abilities. You can post once a day on your small business’s Instagram page, and use the stories feature to post a narrative about any brand events or updates.

 Learn from the superstars:  The real value of Instagram for a small business happens when you cross the 10,000 follower count and obtain more functionality within the app. Until then, follow these Instagram superstars to go beyond the basics:

Ten ranked Instagram marketing superstars

LinkedIn

A lot of marketers overlook LinkedIn because they think it’s only a recruitment tool. In reality, it’s the most powerful social media platform for small-business networking out there. Follow these tips when using LinkedIn as a marketing platform:

  • Take the time to put together a professional LinkedIn profile for your business and C-class executives. You don’t want to lose business because your profile looks unpolished or unfinished.
  • Use the LinkedIn publishing tool to highlight some of your shorter editorial pieces. It’ll get your company and CEO in front of your audience more regularly than simply using profile updates. Try to post early in the morning to increase your chance of being featured by LinkedIn Pulse (their in-platform news aggregation app).
  • Don’t be afraid to use non-text media on LinkedIn. Videos are widely accepted as the future of social media marketing, and LinkedIn is adopting this trend.

 Learn from the superstars:  The value of LinkedIn lies in the networking, rather than traditional B2C marketing. Use this outlet to build relationships with other influencers, small businesses, and marketers by leveraging groups for their insights and conversations. Find these superstars on LinkedIn to see how they use the platform to increase their reach:

Ten ranked LinkedIn marketing superstars

Pinterest

This probably comes as a surprise to most businesspeople, but—depending on your industry—Pinterest is a highly viable social media marketing tool. Even tech businesses can leverage this social media site by posting pictures to this platform.

Here are a few tips on using Pinterest as a marketing tool:

  • Optimize your boards for SEO by putting keywords in your board titles.
  • Use vertical images (like infographics) to maximize screen space.
  • Don’t just pin images with no links to where the products can be found! Make it easy for potential customers to find products by adding links to the description.

 Learn from the superstars:  How do you use Pinterest to your advantage? These marketing superstars have it down:

Ten ranked Pinterest marketing superstars

Twitter

Tried and true, Twitter is often perceived as one of the easiest social media platform for small businesses to take advantage of. It’s easily accessible, and most companies are already using it to promote their products.

According to Stanton Communications, the average tweet has a lifespan of approximately 18 minutes. This means your tweets need to be great. Here are a few tips on writing memorable, engaging tweets:

  • Always use a high-quality image. Tweets with images get more engagement than tweets with just text alone.
  • Put a link to your product closer to the beginning of your tweet for a higher click-through rate.
  • You have 280 characters to make your product look good. That doesn’t mean you need to use all of them in every single tweet. Avoid being overly verbose, and vary your message length.

 Learn from the superstars:  How do you cut through the noise of nearly 6,000 tweets per second to get noticed by your target audience? Follow these ten marketing superstars on Twitter, and adopt some of their tips and tricks for your business:

Ten ranked Twitter marketing superstars

YouTube

To say that YouTube is a social media and influencer marketing powerhouse is a gross understatement. Using YouTube gives marketers the power to increase their thought leadership, advertise, and consequently make viewers buy their products.

Here are few key YouTube marketing tips:

  • First and foremost: Be engaging on camera. If you’re boring, potential clients will click out almost immediately.
  • Add an end screen to promote other video content about your product(s).
  • Watch the copyrights. If you use music that isn’t royalty-free, for example, you risk having your video removed because of violations of YouTube’s policies.

 Learn from the superstars:  While some of these Youtube marketing superstars don’t purport to be marketers, you can still learn from their consistency, video editing techniques, and audience communication styles. Here are ten influencers to subscribe to on YouTube:

Ten ranked YouTube marketing superstars

Are you ready to learn from these social media marketing superstars and boost your small business?

One thing is for sure: These social media marketing superstars are great at what they do on these platforms, and you can learn a lot from them.

Bookmark this list, so you can return to these marketers as you develop your own skills and successfully brand your small business or startup across multiple social platforms.

Here’s a quick recap of our social media marketing tips:

  • For better targeting: Pick a platform (or two) that fits your product. This could mean specializing in Pinterest over Facebook, or Instagram over YouTube. Test out multiple platforms to see which one works best for your small business.
  • For repeat visitors: Examine your posting frequency and consistency. If you plan to post once per week, then post once per week. Don’t let your audience down by disappearing for weeks at a time.
  • For more conversions: Make it easy for your social media audience to view and buy from your small business. Add links to your posts that directly lead to individualized site pages.

*Educational content is defined as a post that drives the activity of learning marketing, such as reading recommendations, tips, tricks, and discussions. It does not include quotes, personal updates, or self-promotion posts.

Looking for Social Media Monitoring software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Social Media Monitoring software solutions.

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About the Author

Tirena Dingeldein

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Tirena is a Managing Senior Analyst for Gartner Digital Markets. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Writing Intensive BS in Biology with a focus in genetics, obtained a Masters in Public Health from George Mason University, a Writing Certificate from the University of Cambridge and a Marketing Certificate from Georgetown University. Follow her on @TJDingeldein for insights on marketing, data science, and startups.

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