Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Importance Of Posting Content Over Just RT’ing Content

Content is the starting point of everything within the social graph. Your social media marketing program should be centered around a strategy of content posting, sharing and creation as an integral component. As I have stated previously, “content leads to conversations”. Social media content is the match that lights the conversations that help you become effective, but just any content doesn’t work. In fact you must understand the different types and be effective with them all.

There are three basic types of posts within social media:

1) Your Content – Something you/your company wrote or created

2) Posted Content – Something you found online and post to your feeds

3) Shared Content – Retweeting and/or Sharing other people’s posts

Too often I find smaller brands and individual social media marketers that are incredible at sharing Facebook content posts or Retweeting on Twitter, but what they share is often targeted to their peers, or isn’t relevant and interesting to their intended audience. What’s worse is that upon reviewing their streams, it is difficult to find something they have posted and not just shared from someone else. This is less than effective for a few reasons:

1) What are you known for?

2) What are you doing to provide value?

We have found that having a consistent daily flow of relevant, valuable content for your intended audience is the single best thing you can do to get conversations started. Doing this on a consistent basis helps you be known for something or better yet, a few things. Your audience will get accustomed to the relevant content they can find in your streams at any given time and will not just see it when it passes through their stream, but will actually seek you out to get it.

“It’s hard to get conversations started without relevant content” #quote @fondalo

Like any relationship, on or offline, value must be at the core. Simply sharing or retweeting content to your community is lazy and ineffective. A strategy, proper resources and time must be put into sourcing relevant content for your audience, as well as creating content they will find valuable.

Before anyone thinks I am proposing to not share or retweet, think again. That too is important, but needs to be at measured levels that allow YOUR content posting and creation strategy to have its own voice.

Here are some tips for being effective with your posts:

1) Know your audience – What are they interested in?

2) Consistency is key – Everyday, all day, have relevant content in your feeds.

3) Be known for something – When your community thinks of you, your posts should have created a description of you or your brand in their mind.

Go forth and post relevant, valuable content!

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

17 Comments

Filed under Community, Marketing, Relationship, Retweet, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized

Solution To Facebook’s EdgeRank, Revenue And Stock Price Issues

Monday night I was climbing into bed fairly early and thinking about all of the posts and articles about Facebook and their need to drive revenue now that they are a publicly traded company. My thought process also veared to the recent firestorm and frustration surrounding Facebook’s ever-changing EdgeRank algorithm that is increasingly limiting personal and page content reach. As I continued to ponder these two connected issues I began to formulate an idea that I believe to be an effective solution to both.

An article I shared Monday from Computerworld outlines some of the changes social media is experiencing with the “pay” requirement that is creeping into the space and the frustrations that could damage the industry. Their article “Here comes the shameless social money grab” outlines why charging for social networking sites is wrong. Though not comprehensive, it does detail the huge potential backlash starting in the industry. This article was the catalyst that got me thinking on a solution.

Mark Zuckerberg, this is for you buddy. If only you would listen…

My three point Facebook plan involves core changes to EdgeRank implementation, how pages are monetized, as well as new search capabilities within Facebook. These changes are designed to improve user experience, reduce frustration, expand page capabilities and reach, as well as provide Facebook with substantial and sustainable revenue streams. Let’s jump in and review my suggested plan.

Part 1: Facebook Pages – According to Inside Facebok, there are approximately 42 million active pages on Facebook at this point. Given this valuable business use of Facebook’s network, I propose making pages a paid medium for brands at three levels. $3/mo for small, $10/mo for medium and $20/mo for large pages, depending on number of likes.

Pages represent the biggest opportunity for Facebook to enhance value to both business and consumer users of their platform and derive revenue from doing so. My proposed nominal fees for fanpages should also coincide with the removal of EdgeRank placement for these pages in users newsfeeds that have liked the page. Pages that do not subscribe to the paid platform keep EdgeRank in place, resulting in extremely limited reach to their audience.

There are numerous benefits to this aspect of my plan, but I will highlight just a few:

1) Reduction of useless and inactive pages on Facebook’s network

2) Enhanced REAL value to page owners

3) Likers get the content they have opted into without restrictions

4) Pages have more focus to attract real likes rather than fake numbers

5) Clear path to $1 Billion in annual revenue for Facebook, achieved very rapidly

6) Existing Facebook advertising revenue options still applicable, but more valuable to page owners

Part 1: EdgeRank – The EdgeRank algorithm that currently controls what content users see in their newsfeeds is a substantial barrier for Facebook’s average users experience within the platform. Part two of my plan would be to immediately remove the algorithm for personal profiles. Should a user wish to adjust their newsfeed content using existing lists they have created or purchase additional exposure, per Facebook’s recent test offering, these will remain as viable options.

Again, there are numerous benefits to removing EdgeRank for personal accounts, here are just a few:

1) User experience increases dramatically and immediately

2) Significantly more engagement and time on site will occur right away and result in more ad placement opportunities for Facebook, while not harming the personal user the way EdgeRank currently does.

Part 3: Search Enhancements – The next logical step in my plan is to modify Facebook search to mimic a Google-like web search platform for content within Facebook pages. The idea would be to allow users to search for posts that exist on all pages that is relevant to what they are looking for.

A few significant benefits:

1) Users find relevant content and new pages to like INSIDE Facebook easily

2) More users stay inside Facebook for new content discovery

3) Pages are forced to focus more on providing relevant content for their target audience

4) Facebook gets massive new Google Adwords-like revenue stream

5) Pages have additional path to target and grow likes

6) Facebook helps pages to grow from small to medium or medium to large, thus increasing revenue from Part 1 of my plan

I am not saying that I have an end all, be all solution here, but I do believe I have formulated a plan that delivers real increased value to page owners and users alike, while giving Facebook a real path to substantial revenues and ultimately a reflected stock price. As with regular and proper social media marketing, strategies based on delivering value always get the best results. My three part plan would result in value to all levels of users, pages Facebook executives and shareholders.

This is a slam dunk!

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

21 Comments

Filed under EdgeRank, Facebook, Fanpage, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized

Listen, Learn Or Lead – The Three L’s of Social Media

Based on the title of this post, you might be expecting to get some juicy insight on managing social media more effectively or new hot tips from me on social media marketing. Sorry to disappoint you, but this post is not about that. It’s about you and your skill set.

Social media marketing is far less similar to rocket science or physics, and more closely related to art. Yes, there are procedures, steps and best practices as in science, but it’s really more of an art form. As with most art, there are many different mediums, forms and audience types that are considered. Regardless of the form of art, it does require knowledge, skill and experience in order to produce significant results.

I realize I am an odd bird in the social space. I say what I mean, I am not afraid to say what many others wish they could and I have no formalized training. What I do have is experience that uniquely qualified me to jump into the space. Many of you don’t know this, but I never went to the same school two years in a row growing up. Imagine how that impacts one’s personality, ability to quick make connections and build relationships? Trust me it does.

One of my biggest flaws is that I learn the hard way. I jump off the cliff, make horrid mistakes and struggle through. My biggest redeeming quality is that I learn extremely fast. Although I would not change anything given where I am and how our company is growing, I do wish I had connected with a mentor early on in my social media career.

Because we do not have any competitors, I spend a considerable amount of time mentoring, coaching and helping others in social. Yes, I do formal consulting also, but rarely as I charge a lot for this sort of thing. A lot of my free time (which at this point I have very little) is given to others in the form of mentoring and coaching about social media marketing. Something that is so badly needed in this space. The unfortunate thing is that I have so little time anymore to do this in a one on one setting.

We frequently here the term, “knowledge is power”. This is a phrase I highly disagree with. You see, I believe that you must have the proper knowledge, that is a given, but what you do with that knowledge is where the power comes from. Or as I have said many times “Knowledge isn’t power. Using what you’ve learned IS… #quote @fondalo

So the title of this blog post – Listen, Learn Or Lead is about choices. You can read and watch. You can try to lead, or you can learn and listen, then lead. I am not talking social media monitoring or analytics here, I am referring to obtaining the knowledge, skill and experience you need to actually be successful in your social media efforts.

In an attempt to help as many as possible, we have decided to do something I have never done before. Today we are launching fondalo.com. The site provides over 12 hours of video training designed specifically for social media marketers AND social media agencies. My small contribution to educating people on the deep aspects of social media marketing that goes well beyond general blog posts and books by authors who have never really done it. We also drill deep for social media agencies, providing all of the lessons we learned when we were an agency, what to do, how to do it and most importantly, what NOT to do.

I wanted a site where I can help as many people as possible. A place where you not only get the information and training you need, but where you can ask specific questions and get the answers, as well as learn from questions others have asked. So enough about our new site, here are the points you should take away today.

Listen: Get a mentor or find trusted training sources from someone who has actually done this and achieved real results.

Learn: Social media moves at lightening speed. You can no longer waste time making mistakes that take time. Your competition is already ahead of you. Learn it right and do it right.

Lead: Once you have learned and have the knowledge, turn that into power by leading. Lead your team, your industry, your competition and thought in your space. Leadership is derived from knowledge, but also experience and real results that come from both.

Wherever or however you get the knowledge, skill and experience you need to be effective in your social media marketing strategy, be sure that the source of that information is appropriate. Be sure it comes from someone who has actually done it. But for the love of Pete, get what you need and do it now! :-)

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

7 Comments

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

Building Social Media Relationships With Influencers

A frequent question I get from my connections in the social graph is “How do I build a relationship with an influencer for my brand/product”. Though it is a common question, the answer isn’t as common.

Since I sincerely believe that social media marketing is a parallel universe to the real world, I always take a step back and consider what we do in real life. What are the steps we would take in our local offline environment to accomplish this? What adjustments can/should we make within the social sphere to help us achieve what we are wanting to do.

First, we need to understand that social media marketing is NOT about you. You have to have a mindset of giving, providing value to others and a willingness to help them succeed.

Secondly. you need to clearly define what you hope to accomplish by building the relationship with the influencer. Review your product? Have a phone call? Share your link? There are many different goals one could have for wanting to build a relationship with someone specific within social media. know what yours is.

Once you have aligned your thinking with the first and second points above, you can then follow these steps to best position yourself for a relationship:

1) Identify – Be sure that the person/brand you are targeting for the relationship makes sense. Identify the person(s) that are best suited for your brand, product or service.

2) Observe & Document – Do your research. Make sure you know what they do, their website and blog locations. Monitor their social posts and conversations and take note of who they are as a person and what drives their conversations. Pay specific attention to the human/personal topics that they engage around and document the information.

Don’t rush the observation step. Take time to understand the influencer. Rushing will usually result in missing the important subtle things that are most important! This can take a week or a month, depending on the person. Take your time…

3) Engage – Once you understand the topic drivers and personality of your influencer, begin to engage with them. Specifically comment on their posts, share their content and facilitate meaningful conversations with that person. If they have a blog, share their articles and comment on them. Look for ways you can assist them by furthering their reach, introducing them to prospects and retweet their relevant content.

*Important – A big mistake made at this stage is to do too much too quickly. Do NOT like/share bomb. (don’t like 5 posts on their wall in a row or RT their last 4 posts, etc.) This can come across as stalking or an obvious ploy. Use common sense and ramp up these activities over several weeks or months.

4) Build – Build a relationship with the influencer through more and more frequent conversations.

5) Ask/Answer – Ask open-ended questions about them, their articles and their business. The goal here is to continue to further the relationship building, but also foster a climate where the influencer begins asking YOU questions about what you do. This is the point you know you have earned the right to talk about what you do and what you would like from them.

*Important – DO NOT ask for anything at any point before this stage. You must do the work prior to requesting a call, review of your service or sharing of your content. Also, be sure that you continue steps 3, 4 and 5 on an ongoing basis. Don’t make the influencer feel as though they had a horrible one night stand and were played.

I cannot stress enough that patience in the entire process is crucial. If you follow these techniques and take it slow, you will develop influencer relationships that will bring value to them and benefit your brand.

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

34 Comments

Filed under Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter, Uncategorized