Tag Archives: Agency

The How To’s of Customer Targeting, Acquisition And Retention In Social Media

In a report released earlier this month, “Over 85% of US marketing executives cited acquiring new customers and increasing retention as the top two 2014 marketing priorities.” After reading this, I asked myself when isn’t that the top two priorities of most executives? Isn’t that why a business is marketing to begin with? But I digress…

Customer Targeting Retention & Acquisition in Social MediaThe report further outlined that Executives said that “getting or holding target customers’ attention, as well as finding their target audience online, were the top two major challenges.

I find it interesting how larger brands and agencies find these things so challenging. They have the biggest budgets, the most resources and yet still navigate the online marketing world as if it is print or television. In today’s social networking world, finding your target audience couldn’t be more simple. Holding the attention of target customers is really just as easy, if in fact you are doing it properly.

What small, local and medium businesses lack in the form of resources and budgets, they more than make up for in common sense, nimbleness and the ability to effectively execute quickly. If and only if you understand one simple truth about digital marketing in today’s world…

It’s NOT about YOU!

The reason most of the big brands see the issues outlined in this report and challenging is because most have yet to recognize this fact. Big brands often solely self promote their wares and create a persona of “too good to engage” to their audience. A quick scan of most brands social media feeds and mentions will uncover huge communities that are attempting to engage with their favorite brands and those same brands ignoring the comments, mentions and engagement by the very target customers they say they are trying to find and hold attention with. Is it really this difficult to understand?

Acquire and Retain Customers:

If your priority is to acquire and retain customers, engage them. Make them feel wanted beyond their pocketbook. If you ignore your audience, they’ll not be your audience for very long.

Get Attention:

If you want to get the attention of your target customer, create and curate content that they are interested in. It might not have anything to do with your industry, product or brand. Meet them where their interests are and make your feeds be about them, not you.

Find Your Audience:

If you want to find your target customer, simply search for the people that are your target, connect with them and show interest in who they are. There’s no place this is done any easier than Twitter. I have said many times that Twitter is the hub of social media marketing.

The Wrap Up:

In an age where Facebook organic reach is declining to ultimate zero and the need for real results from social media marketing and other online channels are increasing, marketers need to adjust their “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. SMB’s need to better recognize the opportunities readily available and gain the knowledge and executional capabilities required to capitalize on them.

Twitter is your friend, learn it and execute it well to grow your targeted community. It is one of the only social networks that enables you to easily find and connect with your target audience easily.

Facebook now requires you to pay to reach the audience you already invested heavily to grow. Recognize this and either establish a budget to do that or maintain your presence there, but get better elsewhere.

Above all, look at your social media connections as more of an intimate one-on-one relationship, rather than an audience for your advertisements. If you stop ignoring your community and respond to their mentions, seek to converse with them about what they’re doing and curate recent relevance based on their interests, you will earn their respect and gain their interest in what you do.

 

 

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Filed under Brand, Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

The Two Biggest Challenges Faced By Social Media Marketers [SURVEY REPORT]

As we continue our series from the survey we conducted on social media marketing, the question of overall challenges is the focus. We asked hundreds of social media marketers, agencies and brands what are the two biggest challenges they face with their social media marketing efforts. We were somewhat surprised by the top two answers and think you may be as well.

We asked what are: “The two biggest challenges I face with my overall social media marketing is?”

2 Biggest Social Media Challenges

 

A total of 36.5% of respondents said that Engagement and Sales/Revenue were the two biggest challenges they face with their social media marketing. We found it very interesting that some of the very things that impact both of these key result areas the most were ranked much lower. The key areas that ranked lower were Time, Relationships, Clicks, Content Curation and General Results.

Time 13.68% : Not too surprising is ranked number three is the challenge of time. We all know that social media marketing is very time and human intensive, but where you’re spending time or where you aren’t spending it, is the important part. We have found that most social media marketers spend most of their time on back office functions, not the front office functions that actually result in the two biggest challenges of Engagement and Sales/Revenue.

If your time is spent managing, scheduling, editing and hashtagging curated and marketing posts, you have less time to have conversations, build relationships and engage. These are the things that result in sales and revenue, therefore adjusting where you spend time by using the proper tools, such as Bundle Post is imperative if you wish to impact the Engagement and Revenue of your social media management.

Clicks/Traffic 12.82% :  Now this one is often a challenge to figure out for some. There are several distinct reasons or combination of reasons for this to be a challenge for a social media marketer. Sometimes it is just one of the reasons listed below, but more often than not, it is a combination of several that result in little click-through traffic coming from marketing efforts. Here are a FEW reasons why this tends to occur and questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Lack of -or- Improper Strategy – Do you truly know who your audience is and what they’re interested in?
  2. Lack of Topical Thought Leadership – Are you posting topical content that drives your audiences interest or are you mainly retweeting or sharing content others are posting?
  3. Lack of Consistency or Volume – Are you scheduling social media posts everyday, all day at the appropriate levels, or are you sporadic, inconsistent or not doing it at levels that are even being noticed?
  4. Lack of Value – Do your posts provide selfless, relevant value to your target audience on a consistent basis?
  5. Not Enough Marketing – Are you sharing 10% to 20% of your posts that market you, your company, products or services, or are you rarely even mentioning your online properties, content and landing pages?
  6. Too Much Marketing – Are you posting primarily about you, your company, products or services?

These are some of the reasons that none of your friends and followers are clicking through to your website, content or offer pages. Understanding that you have to first provide value, get into conversations and build relationships in order to get traffic and clicks is extremely important. Simple conversations create interest that can get a connection to have more interest in you or your brand. Many times those conversations cause a connection to even read your bio and click to your site contained within your profile. Get into conversations with your target audience about anything THEY are interested in and see what happens to your clicks and traffic.

General Results 5.13% : We think that Engagement and Sales/Revenue would fall under this category as well, but we did not want to assume and add it to the top two challenge numbers. We also believe that Clicks/Traffic and Relationships are also under this heading, therefore we will leave this challenge as it is.

Relationships 4.7% : Relationships in social media are created through conversations, just like in the real world. Often times the reason relationships are not being forged is due to too few conversations with the proper people. If you are finding that relationships are one of your big challenges, I suggest that you take a look at these three areas:

  1. Your Target Audience – One big mistake people make is that they build communities that are not their target audience. Often the like, friends and followers many marketers attract are that of their peers and competitors, not their prospective customers. Be sure you know who you are trying to reach and connect with them, not your peers.
  2. Your Content Strategy – Another error made on the relationship front is content strategy, especially when you are missing on number one above. If you have not clearly defined who you are trying to reach, you are definitely going to be off on the types of content you are curating and creating for your streams.
  3. Where you Spend Time – Be sure you have the proper tools and processes in place. If you’re spending time everyday curating content and not engaging with your target audience, you will be hard pressed to establish relationships easily.

Follow this formula – “Content leads to conversation, conversations build relationships and relationships result in ROI.” – Get each step down properly and you will see a massive improvement on the quantity and quality of relationships you develop within the social graph.

Content Curation 3% : The biggest shock to us was Content Curation falling to one of the lowest challenges facing the hundreds of social media agencies, brands and marketers that answered our survey. Why? Well if people truly understood this challenge and had it under control and managed properly, we would not see Engagement and Sales/Revenue as the top two challenges. Proper content curation, with the proper topics/strategy, at the appropriate volumes will spark engagement, sharing and conversations. It’s where everything starts.

Adding content creation, proper levels of marketing your products and services, along with the all important strategy work is imperative to achieving social media marketing sales, revenue and ROI. All of this must be approached at the selfless value and relationship level if you’re going to be successful.

Here are the previous Survey posts in this series:

The Top Social Media Dashboards And Tools Marketers Use [SURVEY REPORT]

The Importance And Challenges Of Social Media Content Curation [SURVEY REPORT]

Where Social Media Brands, Marketers And Agencies Spend Their Time [REPORT]

 

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Filed under Brand, Content, Curation, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Retweet, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

5 Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make Before Even Getting A Client

I love the fact that social media has grown so much and now there are so many companies taking advantage of the possibilities. I also dig that there are so many new social media agencies being started by talented individuals that have decided to turn their love of the industry into their business. But it is very important to note that understanding how to be effective marketing in social media, does’t automatically equate to being effective at running a social media agency.

As some of you know, prior to Bundle Post and becoming a social media content management software company, we were a social media agency. We made all the mistakes and figured out a lot of the challenges starting and growing a social media agency entails. I consider us very fortunate to have developed many procedures, rules and processes that I am now able to pass on to many of our software users and readers of our blog.

Social Media Agency MistakesBeyond the many business challenges of an agency, there are distinct changes to mindset and focus that many new agency start ups overlook. These subtle miscues often result in a slower path to revenue and profitability for not just the newbie, but many long time practitioners. Getting these social media marketing components in tact for your company, will help you excel your growth and results.

Five Of The Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make:

1) Priorities: When I work with social media agencies or have them go through my course, I explain that there are two priorities they should have. Unfortunately, most don’t have the two proper priorities in place. They should be:

a) Meet with and sign new clients.

b) Handle client programs perfectly.

I often find that many are doing so many other things outside of these priorities, that they end up stuck in the same place. I have also discovered that much of the time fear is the reason. Without having these priorities your agency will not grow at the level it can. Additionally, by having these as your priorities, all other issues and challenges you face will be resolved, because you will have the resources and capital to address them.

2) Wrong voice: The next three mistakes surround your agency’s own social media management. The first, “Voice” is probably the biggest mistake I see made. When I say voice, I am referring to messaging, content creation (blog posts) and content strategy. Many, and I really mean MOST social media agencies focus their voice incorrectly on their peers and competitors, rather than their prospects.

Preaching to and for the choir is not at all in line with the proper priorities set out in number one above and lead to great relationships, but not new clients and revenue. But let me be clear. I am not saying never to engage with your peers. I am saying do not fall into the trap of writing and posting content that will not attract your target audience, or spending the majority of your time engaging and building relationships with non-prospects. You would, or at least shouldn’t do that with your clients social media programs, and you shouldn’t on yours.

3) Wrong Audience: Similarly to wrong voice, building the wrong community that is not made up of primarily prospect relationships is another big mistake. Part of being a social media agency for your clients is a proven ability to not only manage their social media, but to also build a highly targeted community for them. If you can’t do this effectively for your company, there is a problem. Find and connect with your real target market and build relationships with them that result in new clients. Just as you would for YOUR clients. Spend less time growing likes and follows from your peers and competitors.

4) Wrong Focus: The third big mistake social media agencies make in the management of their own accounts is not focusing where their audience is and building communities and spending time on networks that will never return results. Again, you would not recommend building a clients community on a network that you know will not deliver results, so don’t waste valuable time doing that yourself.

Again, I am NOT saying that you should not have a presence and understand the more niche networks so you can be effective for your clients that do need to use those platforms. I am saying be wise with your time and get some focus to what you are doing and where you are spending it and with whom.

5) Website Error: Lastly, check your website with respect to Pricing and Packages. Do not have either listed on your website. Why? Do I really need to get into this? I suppose I do…

Let me give you a few important reasons, then point you to another post that covers this in detail:

a) Social media programs are not cookie cutter.

b) If you give prices to shoppers, they will shop your price, not even understanding the differences between what you do.

c) Someone will always be cheaper.

d) Don’t sell price, sell value.

Again, for more on this read this post too.

Though there are so many more mistakes I see being made by many social media agencies, it is my sincere hope that these social media management mistakes can now be avoided and you can get on with making the revenue and getting the results that are possible.

* For more on social media agencies and the proposal and sales pitch, read this 5 part series.

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

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

Key Considerations For A Social Media Agency’s Client Pricing

One of the most repeated questions I get from social media agencies, small social media consultants and virtual assistants is the question of price for social media services to clients. I have tried to stay away from writing about the topic because it is such a subjective topic. There are so many variables that go into pricing a social media program for a client and budget is only one of them!

The intent of this post is to better outline some of the key factors in determining pricing for your agency clients. I will start by discussing a highly connected issue that I am also asked on occasion. This is going to be one of my longer blog posts and for that I am sorry. I don’t like long blog posts either, but the subject matter is detailed so hang in there with me.

Connected Issue:  Should we publish our social media pricing on our website?

Absolutely NOT!  Why?  Here’s my perspective on this:

1) you already have competition, don’t make it easy on them, by giving them your prices.

2) Average users online typically shop price even though they do not understand the major differences between services being provided.

3) People do business with people they connect with. Drive your prospects to a phone call consultation. Your social media services website can’t close business for you.

4) Every social media client/business/product is different. Cookie cutter activity, strategy and pricing will not be effective.

5) Most Important: Your main competition for new clients will come from the large online social media mills. (think puppy mills) Those on or offshore providers that churn and burn poor unsuspecting souls into useless social media programs that post crap once per day on twitter and facebook for $100/mo. and will never achieve any returns. For the business owner that does not understand social media marketing best practices and relationship building, they will see your price and the mills price and not even call to get more information. In short - Effective social media management and marketing is not a price compare game…

Next lets get into those key factors you need to consider when developing pricing for a clients social media marketing program.

Key Considerations When Developing Your Social Media Pricing:

Client Size: Are you dealing with a small, medium or large client. What are the differences in community building, targeting, finding for each. What size community will that require to be effective and how much resources are needed to properly engage with that community.

Number of Social Accounts: When speaking with a client and understanding their industry, geographic and demographic market, you will need to determine what social networks they need to be engaged in. In other words, where is your clients target market spending their time in the social graph. Based on the social networks that your clients audience is engaged in, you will determine which and how many social networks they need to have a presence in. Conversely, if they already have a social media presence, take into consideration the number of accounts you will need to be posting to and managing daily for community growth and engagement.

How Niche Is Their Industry/Target Market: This is probably more overlooked in pricing than anything else in our industry. The more niche a client is, the more competitive their space is and the more unique their offering is, the more time and resources their social media marketing will require. Do not make the mistake of NOT considering this in the client pricing structure.

Content Strategy: Based on the clients business, what is the content strategy that needs to be deployed. Content type, frequency of posting, etc. This can be dramatically different from one client to the next. >>> More on Posting Frequency

Time/Resource Requirements:  In general, what are the time, personnel and tool requirements for the client. Consider the other above factors and the more or less time you will need based on this clients uniqueness.

Collaboration Needs: Another over looked component is client collaboration. Will you need to be getting content from the client daily, weekly, etc. Will they have specials that will need to be formatted and posted frequently. Will you have to be chasing the client for this content, etc. Restaurants, as an example will need to have collaboration involvement with you. They are notorious for being busy and requiring more time and attention, especially related to collaboration. >>> More on Restaurants

Are there more considerations that should be considered in your social media price? Sure, probably hundreds. I just feel that these are the key factors you should minimally take into account.

So the big question is, what should pricing be? I would say for the smaller, less complex and local clients, you should be priced between $500-$700 per month. For larger, more complex, national clients, you should be between $800-$1,500 per month. All of this depends on the key considerations we discussed above. A more regional mid-sized business or a B to B social media client might be somewhere in the middle. >>> More on Proposals

From here there is the question of setup fees, but this is an entire post in and of itself. We will address that on another blog post.

The point is, there is no one size fits all pricing structure for a social media management program, or at least I do not subscribe to that idea based on our experience. Every client and program should be different in order to maximize results. Considering the key factors of a program should improve your pricing structure and net profitability for your agency.

*MORE - For an in depth 5 Part series on how to pitch a social media management program to a prospective client, including a proposal template, Read This Series: Important Elements of A Social Media Agency Proposal – Part 1-5

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

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Filed under Agency, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Uncategorized