Monthly Archives: July 2012

It’s Nearly Impossible To Become A Social Media Professional Part 2

Sitting here this morning working on tomorrow’s blog post for this series and there are so many circumstances I have seen or experienced over the last two months that are flooding through my mind. Trying to organize them in the best way that will add value and examples that can help you is the challenge.

In part two I want to dissect the scenario I reference in the opening post of this series. The new trend on Facebook where people are Image Tagging others. Let me be clear about what I am referring to here. I am not talking about spammers tagging you in the pic of the Nike sneaker we have all experienced. I am not referring to friends tagging you in pics because something is funny or you were at their house. I am not talking about people you engage with all the time and have a relationship with tagging you in pics that are relevant. I am specifically talking about the new trend of certain “social media” marketing types tagging large groups of others they rarely engage with and have virtually no relationship with in order to hijack the other peoples influence on Klout and/or manufacture engagement that has the appearance of effective.

The very next day this entire situation occurred, the same very inexperienced social media marketer who was replicating another name person’s activity of tagging people in images, posted a request for people to give them +K in social media strategy on Klout. Still frustrated, I commented on the Facebook status that maybe they should demonstrate the ability to develop and deploy one properly instead of asking people, and that tagging people in pics is not an effective strategy. They responded by just deleting my comment on the post and ignoring me. What’s more, the very NEXT day shared my part 1 of this series via Triberr, clearly showing they never read it.

Let’s start putting some actionable detail to things you can do to better ensure you are replicating behavior that will get you the results you need. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are deploying a watch and learn method of social media marketing.

1) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating, actually driving the results, revenue and ROI that you need to make your social media marketing effective?

2) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating, have Klout scores and followers because they are truly effective the way you need to be or because they are a celebrity or excellent at driving blog traffic?

3) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating appropriate for the market you are targeting?

4) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating actually going to speak to my target audience, or is it really more effective at connecting me with my peers and/or competitors?

I am not looking to pick a fight with any social media people out there. My intent here is to get social media agencies and marketers that desire results to actually get them and more importantly the results that are inline with their needs and goals.

What are results? Well that depends on the goal and reason for your social media marketing. For some it is revenue and sales, customers or inquiries. For others it may be customer service or tech support. Whatever the goal, be sure that the articles you are reading and the people you are mirroring actually get the results that you are attempting to achieve, rather than just Klout scores and huge followings.

Honestly, Klout scores, topics of influence and large followings are easy to get. Actual results with in a social media marketing program is not! Please remember that…

In the next post I will get into some of the things to look for in people and behavior when learning social media and how to determine whether to listen to what and who you are reading.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

Want more?

Part 1

Part 3

18 Comments

Filed under Agency, Followers, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Uncategorized

It’s Nearly Impossible To Become A Social Media Professional Part 1

Social Media marketing has many challenges. Add to those challenges a new medium that changes very quickly and is rapidly growing new users and we have something that has a huge learning curve. This blog series is going to address some of those observations and obstacles most have to making the jump from marketer to social media professional.

I have been in social media for a while now and have constantly observed the influx of newer marketers to the space, how they adapt and patterns that develop. Many fall into the trap of following many of the industry “name” people, reading blogs and books by them, as well as watching and replicating. The problem there is that many name social media people are not professionals, rather they are celebrities. There is a very big difference between the two.

This past week I finally had enough and posted on Facebook regarding a latest frustration. Here is a glimpse at the activity my post generated in only an hour over this fail.

As you can see many share my concern with the activities and self-generated misperceptions of social media experts, often misleading  people on effective uses of social media marketing. 56 likes and a ton of comments on the post told me that it was time to actually write a series that will highlight some of these problems and some recommendations people and brands can use to not fall prey -or- get trapped into emulating ineffective activity they see others doing.

Watching or reading to learn can sometimes be very effective, although it can also lead people down alleys that suck time and does not produce real results, but rather an illusion of proper results, like Klout scores, number of followers, fans, likes.

The biggest challenge a new person or brand has in being effective in social media is knowing who to listen to. Which books are correct. Which blogs to read and what activity you see others doing will get you the results you are hoping for. This problem is rapidly growing and has become a huge frustration to me on a personal level. Not because I am trying to be a know it all and think I am an expert, but because the success of my industry and the continued expansion of social media is dependent on this changing for the better.

One of the many comments that arose from this original Facebook post was:

Felipe ‘Flip’ Rodriguez So many in the #SoMe niche base their advice on what made THEM almost celebrity status, not on what will work for everyday people, or strategies for real businesses. Their advice also seems impersonal, and more geared for PR’s and advertisers than for relationship building. Which to me, means that they missed the point of SoMe completely.

This and many other comments led to me beginning this series that is designed to help individual brands and marketers, as well as social media agencies identify people and information that is appropriate to follow. More importantly it is going to also cover how to identify those people and activities that are not.

Join me on this journey to help you emulate effective activity that delivers desired results…

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

Part 2 of this series: Click Here

43 Comments

Filed under Agency, Facebook, FAIL, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Uncategorized

Hootsuite Adds Intelligence To Content Scheduling

As most social media marketing professionals know, sharing, managing scheduling relevant, valuable content for their target market is a priority. In fact, to be effective and profitable it is a requirement. But you know this, right?

Of course, I manage 95% of my daily content for Twitter, Facebook profile, Fanpage and Linkedin, etc using Bundle Post because it is the most efficient way of managing shared and our own content for the social graph. However, I do also come across content, pics or news that I want to share right then. This is where the free Hootlet browser app has been extremely efficient.

Today, Hootsuite announced new functionality that has been added to the app that brings intelligence to the feature as well. The “auto-scheduling” feature of Hootlet now will automatically determine when to schedule a post that you are going to share using the app. What this new function does is pretty cool. While on the page that you wish to share, you click the Hootlet app on your browser bar and select the accounts you wish to schedule it to be sent to. When you click the calendar button, you can turn on the auto-schedule feature that will determine the best time to send it to each of the accounts selected in a single click.

While testing, I determined that if you select to share to multiple social accounts, it individually auto-schedules each separately at the best times for each, rather than scheduling it to post to all accounts at the same time. Though Hootsuite does not give details on the intelligence algorithm used in picking times to post, my testing shows that it is looking at your already scheduled content for each social media account you select and schedules in between the already scheduled content to ensure the posts are spread out.

This new tool is a huge time saver for me and my real-time sharing since I already have 4 days of content scheduled in 20 minutes using Bundle Post and since it has 23 claims in its patent, nobody else can do what it does. The Hootlet app adds additional efficiency to my daily activities that ensures I always have the most relevant, interesting content for my target audience, while the maximum amount of time every day to engage, build relationships and drive ROI.

I highly recommend taking a look at the free Hootlet sharing app. Used together with Hootsuite’s top social media management tool and the Bundle Post content management system, it’s a power packed combination.

Here’s a quick video Hootsuite released with the announcement.

 

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

17 Comments

Filed under App, Facebook, Fanpage, Hootsuite, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized

Worse Than Annoying, Your Endless RT’s of Twitter Names Are…

Let me be very clear. You should Retweet on Twitter. You should acknowledge others by retweeting. It is appropriate to retweet a group of people when in a large conversation.

However, simply retweeting a group of twitter usernames over and over and over is pointless. Not only is it annoying to the poor souls that are caught up in such behavior, but worse than that it isn’t engagement and will do nothing to build relationships.

Friday I got into it on Twitter with someone that was doing this with the others in a large group. Usually I just ignore such behavior, however this had gone on for so long, I finally requested that they stop. My mention stream was so cluttered with the worthless activity it was becoming difficult to maintain the real conversations that I had going.

After the subsequent disagreement and unfollow of the “Social Media Innovator” that was perpetuating the endless RT’ing, I decided to do a video to demonstrate the real life equivalent of this activity to make a point. Please excuse my epic fail of forgetting to turn on the video capture during our Google Hangout, but I think not having the video has emphasized the point further.

Prepare to be annoyed. *note (the main point is made in the first 1:20 of the below video)

Wasn’t that really hard to listen to? Worse that first 1 minute of audio would clearly do nothing to build relationship between the group, had no conversation and isn’t effective.

I have said this 1000 times. The only hard fast rule in social media marketing is do not spam. All of the rest of the things I write about and suggest are simply guides to help you be effective. Having said that, sometimes the most annoying and most ineffective practices will get you unfollowed, unfriended or even blocked by many.

To be clear here, I am not referring to the RT of a follow Friday mention. However, when that follows the same pattern of RT every time someone else Retweets it, that falls under the same category as well.

A good rule of thumb on social media marketing activity is to be sure you know why you are doing what you are doing. Don’t just do things you see others doing if you do not understand the reason and benefit. This will keep you out of trouble.

I have found that it is more important in social media to know and understand what NOT to do, then it is to know what TO DO. Don’t do things that annoy others and are not effective. :-)

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

33 Comments

Filed under FAIL, Relationship, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

3 Ways A Social Media Brand Account Can Be More Human [Follow-up]

This week’s original blog post, 3 Ways A Social Media Brand Account Can Be More Human, got a lot of traction and seemed to hit home with a lot of folks. There was a ton of sharing, comments and appreciate for the insight. This is pretty common on a lot of my articles, but a few things were different and they really stood out to me. Though I don’t think I have ever done a follow up post, this one really warrants it.

This is what I found interesting…

WHO:

I tend to get a very diverse group of social media agencies, marketers and brands that read, share and engage with my content. That held true on this post as well, but I noticed that there was a much heavier response from social media agencies and strategists on this one. Though I was not surprised at this, the results I discovered somewhat shocked me.

WHAT:

Every single social media agency and consultant firm that shared, agreed and commented on my post, hailing it as very important, but weren’t even doing it themselves. Meaning, each one of them had a logo for a twitter pic, a corporate bio containing nothing human about them and most importantly they were all missing a person’s name. Really? Your not a multi-billion dollar per year, internationally known agency are you? Stop pretending to be…

Leading by example is something I hold true to. Am I perfect, no. But do I sincerely make a daily effort to do what I tell others to do? Absolutely! If you aren’t doing what you are agreeing with and telling your clients to do, well, I am not sure who you think you are kidding. Certainly not me and definitely not your clients that happen to view your account.

STANDOUT:

Out of the hundreds of agencies and consultant firms that shared and engaged on this post only ONE stood out. Like the others they were not doing what was in the post, though they shared it and commented on how important it was. But the team behind the agencies account took it further, by escalating it to the CEO via email and suggesting priority changes be made to the company brand within the social graph.

The social media team with this agency made such a fuss, I ended up getting this tweet from the CEO, along with a subsequent DM conversation and then a phone call. Impressive! They proceeded to make the changes and have already today (now yesterday afternoon) gotten back to me with feedback and clear result differences in certain metrics. You gotta love it!

More proof? Just as I had finished this post, this tweet came in from another twitter user, referencing MiaBellAgency‘s newly created avatar pic. No joke!

Here is the difference between their original brand account and after the changes. Major difference. Much more human and approachable.

Twitter Bio Before humanizing and After

Now if you are a social media agency reading this post, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of these things in your social media presence. You really need to walk the talk you present to your existing and perspective clients. If you are a small or medium sized brand or an individual social media marketer, the changes I discuss in the previous post alone will improve your results TODAY. I implore you to do it…

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

14 Comments

Filed under Agency, Community, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

3 Ways A Social Media Brand Account Can Be More Human

Last month I had a twitter conversation with a newer brand account. The conversation was around the human factor of social media marketing and how they were struggling with accomplishing this. Stating ” it is hard to be less business like and more personal”, to which I responded “hard? It’s required in Social Media”

Boiled down to it’s most basic elements, social media is two things. Value and Human. I have written about this before in a post that gets into the details of this fact and the importance of making brand accounts human.

Understanding that people make up social media, not logos or brands is important. Realizing that you’re not Starbucks or Pepsi should be a wake up call that you can’t do what they do in the social graph. People have and build relationships with other people, not logos. The more you make your account human and approachable, the further you will get with relationships and the better your results! Don’t be a stuffy robot in your social media marketing activity. Be human and approachable!

Here are my suggestions for making your social media account more human:

1) Bio/About information: Get a name, a person into the bio of your account. Twitter is far less formal than facebook, so get a person into the name field of the profile. Humanize the bio information to have some of your personality, not just information about the business.

2) Twitter Photo: Include someone’s photo in the account on Twitter. Nobody knows your company yet, so don’t try to be Starbucks. Get a photo into the account. The same goes for Linkedin. Be sure you have your photo in your account!

3) Posts: Take the time to post things that make your brand human. Talk about the weather, lunch and even weekend stuff. The more human you make your posts, the more approachable your account will be and the more relationships you will create.

Spend some time making your account about someone rather than exclusive about something. Human’s easily connect and build relationships with other humans, not logos.

**Note ** A follow up to this original post is now live – Click Here

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

23 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Fanpage, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

The Social Media Referral – 4 Selfless Suggestions

Relationships are the cornerstone to successful social media marketing. Yes, you actually have to respond, have conversations and build relationships. Shocking, I know… The second you realize that helping other people in your social media marketing program benefits you, you will start to see a dramatic change in it’s effectiveness.

One of the most effective engagement strategies is that of referrals. Referring one person to another. Introducing one brand to another individual, etc. This function within social media is often overlooked and if you’re not doing it, you are missing out.

Much of my day is spent engaging in the social graph. I meet a ton of people on a daily basis, let alone the conversations I get into with existing relationships. I spend time asking questions about people and and what they do. This is crucial for establishing and deepening relationships.

Through asking questions, reviewing bio’s and visiting people’s websites, I learn more about them. I use this information to help them connect with others that may be a good connection for them, or even need what they do. How much better can engagement be when you are helping others. This is at the core of being selfless and helpful for others.

Just this week alone, I have referred about 5 different people to other contacts or brands. They were anything from retailers that have something someone was looking for, to a startup introduction to a bay area incubator. I even had someone ask for introductions to other social media people, which I happen to know a few and was glad to rattle off a short list.

Here are four ways to be selfless and assist others:

1) Ask questions – get to know them, what they are interested in, what their needs are and what they do.

2) Review Bio’s – take the time to review what people say about themselves.

3) Visit Websites – check out their site to see what they do and therefore know who might be interested and worth and intro.

4) Converse – have conversations that build relationships. You must get to know the social connections in your community if you ever hope to help them or do business with them.

Taking the time to get to knows others and what they do, the easier relationships result. Furthering those relationships by referring your connections to others benefits you, the person you are referring and the one you are introducing.

Be selfless…

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

12 Comments

Filed under Community, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Uncategorized