How To Hone Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it can be challenging to plan and execute successfully. Because there are so many different platforms with changing algorithms, it can be a challenge to make content choices that resonate with your audience. Although it may seem complex, the best practices of content creation also apply to social media. In this blog, we wanted to get back to basics, reminding you of the simple but effective way you can cut through the noise and consistently engage your audience. 


Define Your Target Audience

If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, it’s missing the mark. But the best way to determine what might increase follows, clicks, and shares is to have a solid concept of who your audience is. Your target audience is the group of people most likely to be interested in your product or service. Take a moment to clarify who that is. If you’re working with a marketing agency, they should be able to tell you who is most interested in your brand, including demographic features like geographic location, income bracket, and interests. With this information in hand, you can tailor your content more accurately to address the needs of your potential customers. 


Figure Out Where Your Audience Is 

Defining your target audience will also help you to know which social media platforms to focus on. If your audience is on TikTok, posting on LinkedIn won’t reach them. Determine the platforms your clients and customers prefer before creating content for them. Defining your target audience will also help you to know which social media platforms to focus on. If you’re feeling a little confused about how to determine this, our recent blog can help you identify which platforms are right for your business.


Create Engaging Content 

When it comes to creating engaging content, let your target audience, brand goals, messaging, and brand voice help guide you. Varying content to include infographics, photos, and videos is essential. It can be easy to get carried away, investing in content or formats that don’t resonate with your audience. Remember to engage in self-reflection to accurately assess your approach. What might grab someone’s attention? Don’t be afraid to conduct research on competitors or other accounts your audience is following. Other brands and influencers can give you creative ideas about how to effectively present your content. There are dozens of social media marketing tools that can help you organize ideas, strategize, create images, post content, and measure results. Take a look at this blog to read about the five tools we’ve come to rely on over the years.


Identify Your Benchmarks and Goals

Katie Shayotovich, one of Green Apple’s Marketing Strategists, always makes it a priority to research and identify industry benchmarks for each client she manages. 

“Looking up benchmarks for your industry can help you understand if your engagements and impressions are hitting the mark. For example, here are higher education benchmarks for 2023. These benchmarks can help a brand determine what their realistic goals should be and help strategize content ideas.”

It’s important to set goals and strategic pillars for your content, and accurate benchmarks can help you set realistic and achievable social media goals. These goals can then help you assess how content is performing. Part of your goals should also be deciding what you want prospects to do when they interact with your social media presence. Do you want to build brand awareness? Drive them to the website? Fill out a contact form? Share your content and increase your social media reach? What helps you turn a lead into a customer? The answer will be different for every organization.  


Review Analytics Monthly 

Take a step back and look at the analytics. Longitudinal data from previous months or years will equip you with meaningful insights that can guide your future content creation. Understand what performed best and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Determine how often you want to assess your reports for actionable data. We recommend reviewing reports monthly, but you can also check your analytics throughout the month as needed, especially if you notice a large spike or drop in engagement. If you’re brand new to social media reporting, this analytics template is a great starting point. But don’t get too caught up in the granular, shifting details. Instead, take a holistic viewpoint when it comes to assessing data. 

“These days, the follower count doesn’t matter as much. Growing your followers is important, but it doesn’t determine an account’s success. This is a common misconception I run across often. When reviewing analytics, your community and engagement numbers are more important and a better way to determine how engaged your audience is,” Strategist Katie Shayotovich explains.   

She also recommends conducting an in-depth quarterly digital marketing audit to identify opportunities that can keep your brand even further ahead of the curve. 


Let Us Help You With Your Social Media Strategy

Honing your social media strategy is an ongoing process that requires adaptability and a deep understanding of your audience.  If you need some guidance and support from marketing and PR experts, we’d love to help you set and reach social media goals that can move the needle on your brand recognition. Reach out any time to start the conversation. 

How Businesses Can Use TikTok for Marketing

Photo of a phone on TikTok's TikTok profile on the screen

There’s no denying that TikTok has become the social media platform that’s garnished the most attention within the past couple of years. And it looks like it will continue to be one of the B2B social media trends in 2023 that businesses should consider. Whether you personally love it or hate it, business leaders and marketers are wrestling with the question, “Does our company need to be on TikTok?” 

As with any social media platform, investing in TikTok for marketing really comes down to whether it can help you reach and cultivate relationships with your potential customers. It’s also important to note that TikTok will continue to change and evolve as more innovations roll out, so you’ll have to stay updated on the changes to this platform.

4 Ways Businesses Can Use TikTok for Marketing

As we’ve worked alongside clients to determine how they can use TikTok for marketing, we’ve found a few helpful tactics that seem to work best for businesses. If you’re looking for a way to leverage TikTok for your brand, here are a few ideas to consider based on the latest trends: 

1. Post Educational Content 

TikTok can be a great way to educate current and potential customers with helpful insights about your products, services, or industry. According to Vidyard’s 2021 Video Benchmarks report, the most common types of business videos are product demos, followed by how-tos and explainers. Because of its visual nature, TikTok provides a way for you to create informational videos at a relatively low cost. You don’t have to invest in expensive cameras or editing software if you have someone with an engaging personality who is good at keeping people’s attention and teaching your audience. 

2. Find Your Target Audience 

One of the unique features of TikTok is the subcultures and threads that have been created around specific industries and areas of interest. For example, #BookTok and #MoneyTok are two distinct subcultures that make it easy for users to connect with like-minded people who share their interests and passions. One of the best ways to reach new customers on TikTok might be to invest time in developing a presence in a particular subculture that aligns with your business or industry. 

3. Invest in Influencer Marketing 

Sometimes the best TikTok strategy isn’t creating your own content but instead partnering with influencers who have already built an audience. The platform has proven to be a creative incubator for rising thought leaders and industry influencers. If you recognize that there is potential in reaching your target audience on TikTok, but you don’t have the time or resources to launch your own channel, it’s worth exploring how to identify and connect with influencers to promote your brand.  

4. Share “Behind-the-Scenes” Content 

In addition to providing the opportunity to educate customers, TikTok is also a social media platform that can humanize your brand. While every social media platform was created to help humans connect with one another, content that businesses create for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can still feel very corporate and sterile. In many ways, TikTok opens the door to reconnecting with your audience in a way that feels authentic and not overly formal. You might consider sharing “behind the scenes” content for your brand or creating a “day in the life” video that features an employee. You can also collaborate with current customers or community members to feature their videos on your profile.

Social Media Best Practices when Using TikTok for Marketing

As with any social media platform, it’s important to understand what makes marketing on TikTok effective. Here are a few basic best practices to follow when creating videos for TikTok: 

1. Make sure your content is authentic and represents your brand.

Becoming a thought leader in your industry requires authenticity and approachability, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Humorous, light, fun content works really well on TikTok. 

2. Engage with your followers so they feel valued. 

One way to increase engagement is to interact with your audience directly on the platform. People love to feel valued and heard.

3. Use data to consistently evaluate your investment

While you may not experience instant success, it’s important to always ask yourself, “Is this helping us work towards our larger marketing goals and objectives?” Asking the right questions to evaluate your social media content is an important way to make sure you’re maximizing your ROI.  

4. Test often to see what works and what doesn’t. 

You may be surprised by which ideas work and which ones fall flat. Don’t be afraid to experiment. 

While we don’t recommend TikTok to every client, it might be the best way for your business to get outside of your comfort zone this year. Once you’re ready to dive in, don’t forget to use TikTok Analytics to evaluate the success of your social media strategy and identify the type of content that can get you the greatest results.

How and Why You Should Upgrade to Google Analytics 4

google analytics results on cell phone

Last year, Google announced the most significant change in the history of Google Analytics: Google Analytics 4 (GA4). In essence, Google has been working to improve its analytics platform to provide a more powerful marketing tool that helps businesses make better decisions. Since the announcement, we’ve been walking our clients through the changes of how and why they should upgrade to Google Analytics 4.  

We recently interviewed Digital Marketing Strategist, Amanda Bihun, to get her take on why businesses should upgrade their analytics to GA4 and how to successfully implement it. Here are a few takeaways from that conversation. 

Why You Should Upgrade to Google Analytics 4

Reason #1:  Google Analytics 4 will become the primary platform soon.

The main reason to move to GA4 is that Google is no longer updating and supporting Universal Analytics. Just a couple of weeks ago, Google announced that Universal Analytics will officially stop processing data on July 1, 2023. At that point, we will all be forced to move to GA4. However, because the two platforms do not talk to each other, waiting to make the switch will keep you from accessing any legacy or historical data. The earlier you adapt to GA4 while still using Universal Analytics, the longer you have to build up that historical data. 

Why is this historical data important? Without it, you cannot show growth or decline. Numbers don’t have as much meaning without proper context. Capturing as much historical data as possible through GA4 will provide greater insights into the way the data changes over time. 

Reason #2: Google Analytics 4 provides advanced event tracking of goals and conversions.

GA4 is much more accurate and reliable in tracking goals because they are done through Google Tag Manager. This allows users to isolate an event specifically so we can determine how successful it was. For example, if you want to know how a specific email newsletter campaign worked to drive business development leads, that will be easier to do using Google Analytics 4. In Universal Analytics, goals were more loosely defined and often counted traffic to a page that wasn’t actually a lead or conversion. 

Reason #3: Google Analytics 4 provides more detailed engagement metrics.

GA4 got rid of bounce rates and other tactics we would use to try and measure engagement. Instead, it provides a standardized way to measure engagement rates and user engagement. This is important because overall success cannot only be measured by the number of people that visit the site. We need a more comprehensive view that connects the dots between how long they stay, how many pages they visit, what type of content they are consuming, what links they’re clicking on, and which forms they’re filling out. GA4’s updated metrics provide a new line of sight into how functional and user-friendly a website is and also how many people are interacting with it.

How to Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 

Before you officially make the switch to GA4, it’s important to understand your current analytics functionality and website capabilities. For example, are you setting up a new site or one that already exists? What type of site is it? That will help you set up and configure your new GA4 properly. Once you’ve determined those questions, here are a few helpful resources: 

  1. How to set up Google Analytics 4 on a new website or app

Already familiar with Google Analytics but want to set up Google Analytics 4 on a new website or app? Then this is the article for you!

  1. How to set up Google Analytics 4 on a CMS-hosted website

If you have a CMS-hosted website (like WordPress, Squarespace, or Shopify) and want to set up GA4, then this article will guide you through the process. 

  1. How to add Google Analytics 4 to a site that already has Analytics

Does your website already have Universal Analytics, and you’re ready to begin transitioning to GA4? This article outlines how to set up Google Analytics 4 alongside Universal Analytics

Taking analytics seriously is essential for developing a data-driven approach to marketing and business. If you have any questions about Google Analytics 4 or how to use it to create a more effective website, feel free to reach out to our team at any time. 

Why is Your LinkedIn Page Underperforming? (and How to Improve It)

A man checking his social media on a tablet

While social media trends have evolved over the past few years, LinkedIn is still the essential platform for marketing and business development growth, especially for B2B brands. Every marketing department and business development professional should take time to consider how to use the platform, especially if you’re concerned that your LinkedIn page is underperforming.

There are a few good reasons why a strong LinkedIn Page is absolutely essential. According to an article from Hubspot:

  • 4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn “drive business decisions”
  • Companies that post weekly on LinkedIn see a 2x higher engagement rate
  • 40% of B2B marketers surveyed indicated LinkedIn as the most effective channel for driving high-quality leads

Improving Your LinkedIn Presence Can Go a Long Way

Investing a little attention and effort into transforming an underperforming LinkedIn profile can make a tremendous difference for your brand. Not only do the statistics prove it, we know it from our own personal experience. Last year, our team at Green Apple decided to collaborate on a strategy that would enhance
our LinkedIn company page.  

A year into our strategy, we’ve seen exponential growth:

  • Increasing our number of followers 5x in six months. 
  • Increasing our reactions by 4,872%.
  • Increasing the number of times someone shared our content  by 2,566% 

While we are constantly looking for new ways to improve our strategy, we’ve learned some valuable insights so far. Here are a few takeaways we discovered when it came to transforming an underperforming LinkedIn presence.

Common Reasons Your LinkedIn is Underperforming 

Here are a few common reasons a company might struggle to create results from their LinkedIn activity: 

  1. You haven’t identified your target audience and their daily challenges and obstacles.

One of the most common reasons a business doesn’t get a lot of traction on LinkedIn is because the content they’re creating doesn’t resonate with their audience. It’s important to consider how you want to add value to your audience when determining if you should be on any social platform — including LinkedIn. Without taking time to identify who you’re trying to reach and understand the challenges they face on a daily basis, you’ll likely waste a lot of time creating content no one cares to read. 

  1. You lack a plan that helps you create a consistent presence. 

It’s important to have a consistent presence for your brand on LinkedIn. We’ve all had the experience of stumbling upon a company LinkedIn profile that’s updated once a month or, worse, hasn’t been updated in months. Creating a LinkedIn presence but not maintaining it is often worse than not having one at all.

  1. You are taking a “hard sell” approach that isn’t working.

There are plenty of people who take a hard sell approach on LinkedIn. These are the people who are often pushy with their tactics or are only sharing sales-oriented content on their company page. While these efforts occasionally work, most of the time they do not.  As with most social networks, it’s important to embrace the motto, “always be helpful,” rather than overwhelming your followers with self-promotional content.   

  1. You are posting content, but you aren’t engaging with others.

LinkedIn serves as a platform to help business professionals connect and engage with one another. As such, it works best when you invest time interacting with others. If you’re posting regularly, but you aren’t getting the most out of your LinkedIn presence, it’s likely because you’re missing an opportunity to create more meaningful connections with your audience by engaging with their content as well. 

How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Presence to Achieve Results

If you’re looking to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level, here are a few keys we learned from our experience: 

  1. Optimize your profile

According to Hubspot, companies with an active LinkedIn page see 5x more page views than those with inactive pages. Any given LinkedIn page contains a series of subsections. Businesses should ideally fill all of these sections out completely, with the exception of the “Jobs” section if you aren’t hiring.

  1. Get your team involved in content creation.

Because LinkedIn is primarily a platform for business connections, your employees can play a critical role in broadening your reach and strengthening your network on the platform. Your LinkedIn marketing strategy should include involvement from your employees. For our team, that meant collaborating on content creation and being strategic in how we worked together to promote the posts Green Apple was sharing. Taking the time to develop a strategy for employee advocacy is an easy way for your organization to expand its reach on Linkedin. 

  1. Use a variety of videos and images to create higher visibility.

Adding custom images can get you twice as many comments on your posts. Additionally, sharing a video drives up your engagement rate by five times. Both highlight the fact that varying the type of content you post is a critical part of your LinkedIn marketing strategy.

  1. Constantly test ideas and analyze your efforts 

As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to test and optimize your efforts along the way. The native LinkedIn analytics data gives you an in-depth look at how your posts are performing. Schedule a time to check your performance data regularly and formulate strategies for improvement.

Turning Around Your Underperforming LinkedIn Page is Easier Than You Think

It doesn’t take magic to transform your LinkedIn presence. There are simple techniques you can use to optimize the power of LinkedIn. All it takes is a little attention and effort on the front end and a commitment to evaluate your efforts along the way. If you need guidance on turning LinkedIn into a lead generation tool, Green Apple can help. Let Green Apple Strategy craft an innovative approach to your social media channels so that you can start targeting and attracting new team members. Reach out to us today for a consultation.

10 Ways to Promote Your Upcoming Webinar

You have plenty of wonderful ideas and expertise to share with your audience. What better way than a webinar? The thing is, though, that a hefty amount of thought, planning, and design goes into creating a webinar. And, after all the work you’ve put into building this resource, wouldn’t it be great if someone attended? Of course, we know you want as many people as possible to see your webinar. So, we put together a list of ways that you can promote your upcoming webinar.   

1. Send an Email Blast 

First up, send an email to your newsletter subscribers. Because they already follow you, they’ll be interested to see that you’re providing them with helpful content. You can increase your chances of a successful email by adding an eye-catching subject line and segmenting your list to narrow in on those who would be most interested. In your email, make sure to include all necessary details along with a clear explanation of the benefits of attending.

2. Add a Line to Your Email Signature

Consider adding a line about your upcoming webinar to your email signature. That way, you always have a reminder there for clients and prospects. Be sure to add a link so that they can find more information! 

3. Feature it On Your Home Page

Try featuring information about your webinar on your Home page. When clients land on your site, they’re already looking for insight. Imagine how excited they’ll be to see that you’re offering to share your know-how!  

4. Create a Paid Social Campaign

Help your followers find your webinar with a paid social campaign. Before you put money behind your ad, make sure that you determine which of your social media platforms performs the best and where your audience spends the most time.

5. Write a Blog 

Writing a blog to announce your webinar and feature a high-level overview will give you a multi-purpose piece of content that you can use on your website, social media, and in your emails. It will also be great to send to those who ask for more information.

6. Add a Pop-Up to Your Website

To draw even more attention to your webinar, try adding a pop-up to your website. You can use this as an opportunity to encourage visitors to sign up or learn more. 

7. Collaborate with Influential People or Businesses in Your Industry

Many people in your industry have access to your target audience—social media personalities, podcasts, industry experts, and bloggers, just to name a few. Connect with these people to offer your insight on their next project (e.g., guesting on their podcast) to create an opportunity to plug your new webinar. Since your audiences are so similar, you’ll find that many of their followers are there for precisely this type of content.

8. Hand Out Flyers at Your Next Event

Have a trade show coming up? Design an engaging informational hand-out that you can give to attendees who may be interested. These events are also an excellent opportunity to collect email addresses from those who would like to receive more information.

9. Post Consistently On Social Media

Add a consistent routine of posting about your webinar on your social media accounts. Feature fun, informative content that lets the user know exactly what they would gain by attending.

10. Tell Everyone You Know

Word of mouth is a more effective marketing strategy than some may think. Tell everyone you know about your webinar, and be sure to send them follow-up information if they seem curious.

Need Help Building or Promoting a Webinar? 

Green Apple builds and promotes webinars for clients in various industries, and we find that it’s an incredibly robust marking tool with a high return on investment. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

Should You Use LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool?

linked in logo on an app icon
LinkedIn, like any social media platform, can be a fantastic marketing tool. The success of your tactics on this platform is, however, dependent on two things: the audience you’re trying to reach and the approach that you take in connecting with that audience. In this article, we’ll explain why LinkedIn can be a robust marketing tool and how to know if it’s right for your company.

You should use LinkedIn as a marketing tool if…

1. Your target audience uses LinkedIn. 
Before you build out your LinkedIn strategy, consider if your audience is active on this platform. The last thing you want to do is spend your precious time on something that the right people will never see. So, ask yourself if your audience is on LinkedIn daily, or at least a few times a week. If the answer is yes, then begin building. If the answer is no, identify which social media platform may be a better fit for your business and a better use of your energy.  You might be wondering what the typical LinkedIn audience looks like. LinkedIn users are usually professionals of all ages, from newly-graduated college students to c-suite executives. This audience is looking to build their personal or business success in some way by building their LinkedIn network and making a name for themselves.  Knowing this, here are a few audiences you might reach on LinkedIn: 
  • Executives who are looking for resources, advice, and tools to help their businesses scale or become stronger
  • Companies like yours that are using LinkedIn to build a strong online presence
  • Job seekers who are looking for the right position to begin or advance their career
  • Individuals who want to make professional connections and learn more about their industry
2. You want to build relationships with individual members of your audience. 
LinkedIn is more focused on individuals than it is on companies. As such, it’s a wonderful tool to help you build meaningful connections with others in your industry, as well as prospective customers or job candidates. Those LinkedIn members often have something to teach us, and we can learn about them in the process. By building these connections, you can identify who might be a good fit to join your company’s team or who might find great success using your product or service. This approach can help you identify specific targets and give your recruiting or sales team a head start.
3. You want to be viewed as a thought leader in your industry.
When you maintain an active LinkedIn profile, you build your position as a thought leader within your industry. Over time, your followers will see you as the go-to person when they want to learn more about your area of expertise. This approach elevates your personal and company brand while educating those around you. You likely will not notice an immediate return from this part of the tactic, but it’s well worth the long-term return on investment.
4. You are growing your team and are searching for a new hire.  
Over the years, LinkedIn has grown to be a robust hiring platform. Companies have an advantage when hiring via LinkedIn because, once the applications begin rolling in, they can view the applicants’ profiles. At a glance, you can see their personal description, work history, endorsements, and more. You can then reach out to the candidates who align with your position criteria and start discussing the specifics and next steps. This platform makes it easy to keep track of applications and where they are in the process.
5. You’re prepared to engage with others’ content, not just your own. 
When using LinkedIn to accomplish your business goals, it’s important that you’re prepared to engage with others’ content, too, and not just your own. Remember that you’re opening yourself and your company up to relationship building. When you’re sending out content and taking a hands-off or auto-pilot approach, you may not see the results you were hoping for. Pro tip: To engage on a deeper level with your audience, search LinkedIn for industry groups to join that align with your company and audience interests. 

Best Practices for LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn presence can achieve several of your business goals if you approach it in a strategic way. To get the most out of your efforts, it’s crucial that you keep your profile up to date and be active in posting and sharing industry-relevant content. The more active you are—with meaningful, relevant content—the faster you can build your presence and reach your target audience.  Be careful not to share content for no reason or to give generic responses to others’ content. Your audience can sense your authenticity, and they will appreciate you for putting in the time to interact.  Ready to build and strengthen your online presence? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.