Tag Archives: Audience

Part 2 – 18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

More Amateur social media mistakes to avoidIn Part 1 of our series on Amateur Social Media Marketing fails, we covered some of the more common mistakes we see on a daily basis. We are continuing our series with an additional nine mistakes that you really should avoid.

Again, we want to reiterate that this post is specifically for those that are using social media for marketing. We also want to restate that there are no steadfast rules to social media marketing, just best practices.

Everything in this post is designed to educate you on things that you may want to avoid and provide you with the details as to why.

 

Here are the 9 additional amateur social media fails:

10) Inviting Followers to Connect Somewhere Else - Someone walks into your store and someone on your staff tells them, “hey, it would be great if you went to our OTHER location on 5th street.”  How well do you think that will go over with your customer? If you wouldn’t do it real life, don’t do it in social media.

Your new connection has connected with you where THEY wanted to. Make the connection valuable and interesting enough for them to WANT to visit your other connection points.

11) Not Following Others - You’re so cool that you don’t care about anyone else but yourself? #FAIL When I see a social account that has thousands of followers/friends, yet follows very few of them back, I run!

There are typically only three reasons that they do this:

a) They’ve purchased friends/followers/likes to appear important.

b) They think they are really important and it’s all about them. (they don’t care about anyone else)

c) They have no clue about social media marketing -or- relationships.

12) Mass Event Invites - So you have a new event and you want everyone to be there so you click to invite people on your friends list. STOP! It is more than acceptable to invite people to your event that you have a relationship with and/or are in the city/state of the event you are promoting, but mass inviting your entire “friends” list is a huge fail.

Would you send invitations to everyone in your address book to a local Christmas party you are holding at your home?  If you answered yes, we really need to talk…

13) Cold Facebook Page Invites - Nearly identical fail to number twelve is mass inviting people to you or your clients Facebook page. If we had a dollar for every time we had been invited to like a page for a company that is thousands of miles away from us, about a product or topic we have no interest in, or from a person that has never engaged with us in any way, we would be driving a Bentley.

Build relationships first and earn the right to pitch what you do, your other social properties and events, etc. – And for the love of everything that is Holy, target your invites to people who are geographically or demographically appropriate! (*takes deep breath)

14) Cold Group/Community Invites - Groups and communities are great for some people and niche topics, but remember that many others don’t think so. Before you invite someone to your group or community, be sure they want to be in it. Recognize that the notifications and noise that many groups generate are much more than individuals want every day. It’s not about YOU!

Build relationships with people you would like in your group and ask them if they’d like to join. Randomly inviting people to your group is such bad form and annoying to most. You’re showing your newbie again.

15) Falling Asleep - Ok, not literally, but figuratively. The best way to kill your social media engagement is to not respond when mentioned. On the same note, the slower you DO respond, the less effective you are going to be.

16) TrueTwit Validation - Probably one of the biggest Twitter newbie fails is TrueTwit. Imagine starting out a relationship with a new connection telling them that you don’t trust them and you are also too lazy to look at their bio to determine if they’re real or not. THAT’s what you are doing by using the TrueTwit app.

Read more on the fail that is TrueTwit click here

17) Klout Focused - So you got Klout game? So what… We suggest that you spend far less time focusing on your Klout score (which can easily be gamed and has no relevance to your social media marketing skill, ability or results) and focus your time on actually getting real results.

Because you have a number that makes you feel important, does not change your pocketbook. Focus on real results and the things that you should be doing to get them.

18) Cluster Posting - Since social media marketing is not your “real focus” and you’re awful busy, posting 22 pictures in a row on Instagram every morning, 14 Twitter posts that same hour and 8 Facebook posts that afternoon makes sense. At least you got your required number of posts done today, right? Not so fast.

Cluster posting as we like to call it is kind of like the person at the dinner party that never shuts up, takes over every conversation and makes everything about them. Don’t be that person. Spread your posts out across the entire day, every day. Do it consciously, with intent. You’ll lose less connections, frustrate fewer people and most importantly get way better results!

Wrapping It Up

You really need to understand the why surrounding what you are doing in your social media marketing, not just the what. Understand the effect your activity has on your connections and the things you should really avoid doing. If you are just doing something because you saw someone else do it can be a recipe for disaster.

What stood out to you in this series? Is there anything you disagree with?

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Filed under Engagement, FAIL, Followers, influence, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Strategy, Twitter

18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Part 1

Social media marketing isn’t rocket science, however there are an incredible amount of details, nuances and procedures that not only take time to understand, they’re changing on a daily basis. If you’re using social media for marketing, you are constantly bombarded with tools, activities and methods from thousands of people. Without knowing, we often replicate what we see others doing without regard for that persons experience, methodology or effectiveness.

This post is designed for anyone attempting to use social media for marketing. If you are a happy social networker that could care less about the marketing elements of this space, this is definitely not the post for you.

Amateur social media mistakes to avoidThough there are no specific “rules” to social media marketing, there are best practices, methods or procedures that are considered to be proper etiquette or conversely, actions that are just plain amateur. You are free to use social networks in any way you choose, but you need to understand that the activities you employ and the conduct you display says an awful lot about you, your experience, professionalism and real understanding of what social media marketing is.

One of the most frustrating things about some of these mistakes is that many that claim to be social media experts, consultants and coaches make them every single day. It never ceases to amaze us how when the inexperienced are leading the less experienced, a large population of ineffective marketers result.

In an effort to avoid furthering ineffective activity, we have put together a short list of amatuer mistakes that we see on a daily basis. Following are the first nine, which represent some of the most common newbie mistakes we see all too frequently.

Are you making any of these amateur social media fails?

1) Automated DM Pitch - We just met (connected) and you’re already trying to take us to bed? Date a little before doing beginner things like this.

2) Spam Tagging - Don’t tag people in posts that pitch your stuff or link them to your blog post. Just like in the real world, you need to EARN the right to share your stuff.

3) Group Tagging - I know you’re busy, but there’s nothing at all personal about tagging 12 people in a post to thank them all at once for sharing your post. This not only won’t build a relationship with any of them, it won’t make them want to share your stuff much longer if they’re simply grouped up with a bunch of others.

4) Keyword Spam Tagging - This is one of the biggest social media marketing fails of all. Searching for a specific keyword/phrase used in posts on a social network, then based on the keyword, tagging the account in your sales message.

Social media requires relationships and conversations. If you don’t know someone who is using a keyword or hashtag or have not yet built a relationship with them, it’s no different from sending cold spam emails. Don’t do it!

(BTW – we ALWAYS report and block for spam like this)

5) Automated Engagement/Responders - Social automation is required to be effective and efficient. However, automating “engagement-like” messages to your stream is simply amateur and everyone can tell it’s automated. It’s like being in the first century and screaming into a crowd that you have leprosy. Nobody wants to be around you.

6) Automated “Newspaper” Posts - Lazy much? Automating these useless things to your stream and tagging people in them provides what value?

Posting that something someone tweeted was so good you added it to your “rebel page”? Really? Why would I want it there and not shared or RT’d on the platform in which I posted it. If you think you’re doing anyone a favor, you should think again.

7) Automated “Top Influencer” Posts - This one seems to be used most by folks that have no strategy and really put little effort into their social media marketing. Tagging people who you never engage with in order to claim how cool, influential or engaging they are isn’t very helpful to anyone. In fact, everyone knows it’s automated and you never engage or do much else on social media anyway. We don’t recommend it.

8) Cryptic Bio - Imagine going to a live networking event and you meet someone for the first time. You ask them what they do and they avoid the question or give you a lot of cryptic gibberish. Trust is immediately in question and you will tend not to engage in a conversation with them much further.

Be clear and tell people who you are and what you do. This builds initial trust and will increase social selling opportunities that come to you automatically.

9) No Name In Bio - People connect with people, not small brands and logo’s they’ve never heard of. Now we know you are very proud of your company and want it to be huge like Starbucks or Pepsi, but you’re not yet. So treat your Twitter profile as if you are attending a live networking event. You wouldn’t put “ABC Company” on your name tag, would you? Tell people your name so they can connect with a human. Do it right and they’ll want to know what ABC Company does.

We continued with Part 2 of our post and you can Read Part 2 now. In the meantime, consider these 9 best practices and upgrade your executional efforts to things that will actually get real results.

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Filed under Engagement, FAIL, Followers, influence, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Strategy, Twitter

100% Year Over Year Sales Growth Exclusively Through Social Media – You Can Too!

Is it possible for a small startup company with little funding to succeed exclusively through social media marketing?

Can social media really achieve ROI (return on investment) no matter how crowded their industry space is?

The question of ROI, huge sales and revenue growth for an organization built exclusively on social media marketing as its one and only marketing channel is constantly a topic of discussion online. Many are now writing articles that suggest a change of focus toward less measurable things like branding, exposure or some other old school marketing lingo that simply replaces real results with a lot of flashy terminology.

100 percent sales, revenue and user growth The answer is a definitive YES!  You can get ROI and more than 100% sales and revenue growth each year. How do we know? We’ve done it. We would like to make it official.

Today Bundle Post is announcing that it has achieved over 100% sales, revenue and user base growth in less than 12 months!

Do you think we are a little excited? Of course we are. shouldn’t we be? We have not even done a single social or online ad whatsoever.

You can do this too!

So the question becomes, how does a social media technology startup that is self-funded and in one of the most crowded spaces online compete with companies that have millions in venture funding?

Below you will find six keys to an effective social media program. We also include links to more detail on specific items within each section. So let’s take a peek under the hood…

1) Start Early -

You can’t wait to start your social media marketing when you have your site, product or ducks all nicely in a row. You need to have built a community well before you launch your actual product or service if you are going to be effective launching it in social media. So you have to start early and build a community that knows you BEFORE you are ready to go to market.

Already launched, now what?

If you have already launched your company or service, you’ve GOT to work over time. Growing your community size is every bit important as anything else in social media. This has to be a constant and active part of what you are doing.

WHY?

You have to have a large enough audience to make social media effective. Think of radio or TV advertising. Although it is mass market, direct advertising and anything but social, it’s about the numbers. Social media marketing is about the numbers too, but not only the numbers. It’s also social. You must find your target audience and connect with them. In essence you need to take an active role in growing your audience on a daily basis and not just building your profiles and hoping they will come.

But this alone doesn’t make social media effective. It’s just a single spoke in the wheel.

2) Stay Consistent - In social media, there is nothing more important than consistency. Just like in sports, if a team is really good at something, but not consistently, they struggle to win. You need to be consistent will all of your social media components if you expect to see results.

Here are a few things to be consistent at:

  • Selfless Value – Share enough relevant, valuable content every day, all day that is interesting to your target audience.
  • Be Grateful – Thank people who share your posts. Do it always and do it quickly.

3) Strategy – You need to know exactly where you are going and how you indeed on getting there. Get this wrong and you’ll be in trouble. You need to get it right and stick to it! In social, we call that strategy.

Know these 5 things:

  • What is the specific and realistic objective of your social media program.
  • Who exactly are you trying to reach. (no time to be general. Think geographic, psychographic and demographic)
  • What are they interested in? (that’s what you need to post content about)
  • What brands/people have already built a following of your intended audience? (Follow their following)
  • How often do I plan to proactively engage with my intended audience DAILY?

4) Always Respond -

One of the biggest mistakes we see being made in social media is slow or no response from accounts. When you are mentioned, tagged or your posts are shared, you not only need to respond, but you need to do it rapidly. When someone engages with your brand or content you posted, they are there, right at that moment. Missing the opportunity to have a conversation is limited by the length of time you take to respond.

Ignoring connections that engage with your brand is a death sentence. Over time, they stop. Do this at your own peril.

5) Be Known For Something -

You don’t just DO social media and magically get results. Having an effective social media program involves really understanding your audience, the topics that interest them and the challenges they have that you help with. If you truly understand these things about your potential and current customers, you will know the topics you need to be known for posting about. This is called “thought leadership” in social media.

Beyond subject matters, be known for your engagement, gratitude and response. Better yet, follow our lead and also be known for your Customer Support. We are constantly and publicly acknowledged for our support response, willingness to help and hands on approach. Mimic this and make it not only a priority, but part of your company culture. You will thank me later.

6) Earn Relationships -

Before you start posting your marketing stuff in your feeds, be sure you have real, selfless value in them. A small percentage of what you post on a daily basis should be about you and what you do. The largest number of posts should be what we discussed in number 2 above. Curate content that is valuable to your audience and earn the right to pitch your wares by first doing that and responding to the conversations that result.

Building relationships is a process. Providing selfless value is the method. ~ @fondalo

Does this seem like a lot? Well, it is. There’s an enormous amount involved in running an effective social media marketing program. Your social media management, tools and workflow are the essential components that must work together effortlessly. For us and many other social media marketers, brands and agencies, Bundle Post is the glue that makes them all converge.

If you’d like a live demo of Bundle Post in action and a one on one social media marketing consultation, hit us up on Twitter @BundlePost

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media ROI, social media tool, Social Selling, Strategy, Tools, Twitter

Social Media: It’s Quantity AND Quality, Not Either Or

For many years I have been explaining that social media is like a freeway. The analogy here is that you must have enough cars on the road (curated posts, status updates, etc) on the freeway every day, all day, if you are going to be seen and therefore be effective. This concept is extremely important on all platforms since we know that social network users are not logged on watching their streams all day long. Whenever they log in, or step up to the side of the freeway, you want to ensure they see one of your cars flying by that is something interesting and relevant to them.

With the onset of Pay to Play, specifically on Facebook, the posting quantity element becomes even more crucial. For over two years now, we have been slowly and methodically increasing the quantity of posts we send every day and have found that there is a direct correlation with the amount of clicks, likes, comments and overall real results that this has achieved. If more people see you every day, your results will increase, as long as your posts are relevant and valuable and you don’t over do it.

social media quantity is as important as qualityWith Facebook massively constricting anything resembling organic reach for pages that are not paying to boost their posts, marketers need to increase the volume of posts they are doing to maximize the organic reach they can garner. In fact, all social media platforms are adding advertising models in order to monetize their user base. At the same time social network monetization is occurring, the volume of content being generated, posted and shared within the social graph is continually increasing at exponential levels. What that means for you is that quantity AND quality of curated and created content you post are equally important. You MUST increase the volumes you are currently posting if you are going to maintain your existing result levels, let alone increase them.

There are no surprises here. I have been saying this for years. In fact, as early as 2008, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg defined the “Zuckerberg’s Law” about content sharing. The “law” is very similar to what many in technology known as “Moore’s Law“. Zuckerberg said, “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before…”

Last week, a friend of mine sent me the following tweet:

@brianrants - Hey @fondalo, I think @jaybaer unknowingly makes the case for @BundlePost extremely well here

In Jay’s incredible presentation he asks the question if it is time to replace the rifle with the shotgun in social media marketing. Though I definitely agree that the posting volumes have to increase dramatically if you’re going to continue to be successful, I would and have always said that it has never been an either or situation. It’s BOTH!

Conclusion:

I prefer not to use the shotgun analogy as it has more of a negative connotation to most people. The implication is that of slinging mud on the wall in the hopes that something sticks. That is not what I am saying or implying whatsoever. Rather I am saying that quality, relevant and interesting content is a requirement, every bit as much as the quantity you are posting… And now that the game has changed, the quantity needs to increase to keep pace.

I am also not going to say that paying for boosted posts is out of the question. There may be a place for that for many marketers. But again, this is not an either or scenario. Volume matters…

The social media marketing game has changed and you have to change with it or be left in the dust.

Are you aware of the changes that are impacting what you were doing?

What are you doing to work with these changes in order to continue to maintain and increase your social success?

What does all of this look like for Twitter? You need to have more than 20 relevant, valuable posts per day if you want to even be seen. And that’s a MINIMUM.

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Filed under Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

The What, When and How Of Social Media Marketing Messages – Part 2

Part 2 of the Social Media Marketing Messages seriesIn our previous post we detailed the what and when elements of marketing messages within an effective social media marketing strategy. We outlined the differences between curated content and sales messages, as well as the proper ratio ranges that are generally accepted in the industry. In part 2 of our series, we will discuss how to create and manage a repository of sales messages for social media posting and efficiently implement them within your social media management.

What Is A Marketing Message Repository?

Think of a marketing message repository as a database of social media posts that are about you. They are crafted posts and links that are designed to achieve the overall goals of your social media strategy. This is something we like to call “My Content” posts.

In our previous post, we outlined some of the challenges social media marketers face related to sales messages in their streams, but what are the additional questions you should be asking yourself? Most social media professionals are either not managing a database of sales and marketing content they have available to share, or are using spreadsheets and Word documents in an attempt to do this function.

Though external documents are better than nothing, you still have many obstacles to consistency and efficiency that hinder results. Ask yourself these additional questions about the posting for your social media accounts…

1) How do you effectively manage the 80/20 ratios?

2) How do you execute the two types of message posting efficiently? Curation/Marketing

3) Is there an effective way to manage your marketing messages that will improve your social media success?

If you are like the majority of social media marketers, agencies and brands, honestly answering these questions most likely left you thinking that there is something drastically missing in your workflow. You’re definitely not alone. A social content management application that incorporates an efficient marketing message component is badly needed. Fortunately, there is one…

Bundle Post‘s patent pending system includes a marketing message repository capability unlike anything else available in the industry. The “My Content” functions provide social media marketers with numerous unique capabilities that result in a direct impact on clicks, traffic, leads and ROI.

My Content Capabilities:

Social media marketing message repository1) Segmentation Folders -

The My Content section of the Bundle Post system enables you to segment posts anyway you desire. You can create folders to house social media posts, sales messages, evergreen content, campaign posts and more. Each segmented folder can be named and designated for a specific client, product or segment to ensure you keep every aspect of marketing messages separate.

2) Repository Posts -

A system that manages your marketing message posts efficiently has many benefits. Not only do you have all potential posts in a repository of social media marketing message postsone place, you also know exactly what you have available to share with your community that promotes what you do. Within every My Content folder you make, you are able to create and save an unlimited number of social media posts.

The types of content links and sales message posts you can created and save are endless!

3) Editing -

The text and URL of every post within each segmented folder can be edited, deleted or viewed at any time, giving you complete control of your repository.

4) Tracking -

The system also tracks every time you use a specific post from a specific folder. You will always know when you last scheduled a marketing message from the system and easily select posts based on those dates for future use.

5) Scheduling -

The core Bundle Post content management system capabilities are also integrated with My Content folders. Selecting posts from your My Content folders that you want merged with a specific schedule is easy and efficient. You able to manage 80 curated posts and include 20 marketing posts from your repository folders, schedule and hashtag them all in about 20 minutes!

Efficiency Becomes Strategic – Strategic Gets Results

Efficiency combined with consistency enables you to be more strategic with your social media marketing. Whether or not you are able to strategically infuse marketing and evergreen content posts into your streams is no longer determined by available time or resources. You are never in a situation where you don’t know what you have available to post, are never unsure of when you last shared a specific post and more importantly you are consistent in these efforts.

If your workflow, systems and applications integrate into a finely tuned process, your focus becomes much more strategic in nature. When required tasks take less time and you are able to be strategic with your marketing messages and do it all consistently, the net results of your marketing efforts increase dramatically.

How dramatic?  Here’s one example -

Testimonial Case Study

 

So whether you are taking advantage of the Bundle Post social content system to strategically manage your social media marketing posts or not, having an efficient and effective workflow makes all the difference. It’s important to figure out how to be efficient and consistent with your marketing messages in your streams, so your time and energy can be diverted to strategically improving your results.

Read Part 1 of this series – Click Here

 

 

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Filed under Agency, Blog, Bundle Post, Content, content creation, Marketing, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Strategy

The What, When and How Of Social Media Marketing Messages – Part 1

Most social media professionals are aware that along with sharing curated content and posts it is also extremely important to share your created content and marketing messages at appropriate levels. Though some mistakenly post only their promotional posts, combining sales messaging content with selfless, relevant and interesting posts your audience will find valuable is an essential part of any social media strategy.

The What, when and how of posting social media sales and marketing message posts.It’s perfectly alright to promote your brand and offers within social media. In fact, if you’re using social media for marketing, that should be one of the reasons you’re there in the first place. The issue becomes when and how often you post promotional messages, not if you do.

Many industry leaders tend to state that an effective ratio of shared/curated content is best at a level of somewhere between 75% to 85% of a marketers posts. The remaining 15% to 25% can be made up of your promotional, sales messages and created content. The idea is that since this is SOCIAL media, the goal is to provide selfless value to your audience, and that is done by sharing content and posts that they find valuable, not just your posts. This practice tends to start conversations with your community members. When this value based process is repeated over time, relationships develop that make people more open to what you actually do.

One of the challenges that social media marketers, brands and agencies have related to their marketing messages is not knowing all of the content and messaging they have available to share. This obstacle is magnified due to the fact that spreadsheets and Word documents are frequently the organizational tools used for this purpose. Not only does this make it extremely inefficient, it also tends to spread out workflow across multiple people, documents and platforms. This unorganized and disjointed process often results in less than optimal results, missed opportunities and an inability to take advantage of legacy content and messaging that could be utilized with improved effect.

These human and time intensive processes are often some of the biggest obstacles social media marketers have to deal with when it comes to consistent messaging and real revenue results within their social media marketing efforts. There are some specific steps to take that will diminish these issues and they all start with ONE.

Do you know what you have to share?

Let’s be specific here. What makes up your “what you have to share”?

Examples of social media marketing, sales and/or promotional posts are things like;

  1. Your home page
  2. Secondary website pages (About us, location)
  3. Individual Product/Service pages
  4. Your main blog home page
  5. Specific legacy or evergreen blog posts
  6. Landing/Signup pages
  7. Your other social profiles
  8. Specific created graphics and pictures
  9. Email newsletter list subscription pages
  10. Your text only quotes/sales messages
  11. Etc.

What URLs do you have that contain these kinds of posting opportunities?

  1. Your Website
  2. Your YouTube Channel
  3. Your Blog
  4. Your Facebook Page
  5. Your Facebook Page images
  6. Instagram pics

The intent of marketing and promotional messages in your social stream

should be to drive traffic to your offers, content and landing pages in an attempt to either;

  1. Increase traffic
  2. Convert traffic
  3. Drive sales/leads
  4. Educate on products/services you offer
  5. Branding

As we stated previously, one of the biggest challenges facing social media marketers is efficiently and effectively managing marketing posts. This was one of the reasons that we created the Bundle Post Social Content Management System as an agency. The time-consuming and inefficient methods of managing spreadsheets and Word docs was a nightmare. Something had to change to make it more effective, less time-consuming and require less human resources.

In Part 2 we discuss how to create and manage a repository of sales messages for social media posting and efficiently implement them within your social media management. Click Here for Part 2

 

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Filed under Agency, Blog, Bundle Post, Content, content creation, Marketing, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Strategy

14 Things I’ve Learned About Content Curation In Social Media

We recently published a post called “50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing” that quickly became one of our most viewed posts of all time. It was obvious that many people appreciate a clear and concise post that lists actionable items and truths about effective social media marketing. We decided to apply the same principle to a post about content curation.

14 things I've learned about content curation in social mediaContent curation is something that has been written about quite extensively, however most people still don’t seem to understand what it is and how to be effective with it in social media. In fact many brands even ignore the importance of curation in their streams and instead continually talk about themselves.

Let’s start off by assigning a definition to content curation that is easily understood. Content Curation is the act of discovering, aggregating and posting online content that was produced by others, not yourself. Curation is typically focused on a specific topic or small number of topics that are considered relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. Though it is often misunderstood, to actually curate relevant content is to also add context, editorial comment or attribution to posts that you are sharing, content curation has become synonymous with aggregating and sharing relevant content whether or not context is added to the post.

As the founder and CEO of Bundle Post, an experienced social media marketer and previously a social media agency founder, I have a lot of time and effort invested in understanding and effectively using social content curation. Here are just a few of the things I have learned over the years that I believe you will find eye-opening and helpful.

14 (of the hundreds of things) I’ve learned about curating content in social media:

1) Knowing your audience and what they’re interested in is imperative.

2) Curating content from the same popular sources everyone else is, is not effective.

3) Curating content that is suggested from sites based on what others are already sharing is not effective. (see number 2)

4) Curating unique, recent and relevant content that is targeted toward your audience’s interest, will initiate engagement by your audience.

5) Retweeting on Twitter and Sharing posts on Facebook is not curating with a strategy, it’s executing someone else’s strategy. You need to RT and share other people’s posts, but not as your entire posting strategy.

6) Hashtagging curated posts with a strategy will grow your target audience if you do it properly.

7) Important reasons you must curate quality content posts:

  1. Provide relevant, selfless value to your community
  2. Build thought leadership on topics important to your strategy
  3. To stay top of mind with your audience
  4. To spark conversations
  5. To earn the right to share and promote your stuff

8) Developing a specific curation strategy is an important part of an overall social media strategy.

9) People are not logged in watching their streams all day, every day. Having enough relevant posts all day long is important.

10) Being consistent with your curation posting makes a huge difference in your results.

11) Proper content curation sparks conversations with your audience and that leads to relationships and ROI.

12) When a curated post receives a lot shares, likes and engagement, it is resonating with your audience. Schedule it several more times over the next week to maximize the effectiveness of that single post.

13) There is no choice between quantity and quality with content curation. It’s always BOTH.

14) Curated social media posts that often get the most shares and engagement are the ones that are by relatively unknown sources!

As you can see, effective social media curation is anything but mindless sharing. It is conscious and active and based on a deep understanding of your audience. There is a substantial difference between the end results of sharing content suggested by some algorithm, a tribe you belong to or content that is really popular as opposed to curation of unique, recent and relevant content your audience finds interesting and valuable. The thoughtful execution of a well thought out strategy is what makes content curation massively effective in the long run.

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Filed under Brand, Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Tools, Twitter

Social Media Conversations That Become Leads

Conversations within social media is what builds relationships. Those resulting relationships are what lay the foundations for real results like sales, revenue and customer acquisition. But the question I hear most often is “How do you get into conversations that become leads?”

Social media conversations that become leadsOne way to get into conversations is to simply start them with others. For brands this is an infinitely more difficult task given the resources required, the restrictions of certain social networks and simply time. This doesn’t scale well and therefore is often only a small part of a social strategy long-term. Starting conversations with your target audience is effective, but requires massive resources to pull it off with anything resembling return on investment (ROI).

Another and more frequently used approach to starting conversations is something I call luring.

I frequently use analogies to correlate social media marketing to things that most people already understand. I find that many comprehend some of the complexities of social media much better this way. So let’s look at social media engagement or social selling as fishing.

Lure, luring, fishing. Get it?

If you agree that “Content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships and relationships result in ROI“, then we can equate content to a fishing lure and getting a bite on the line as a conversation. The reason for a fishing lure is to attract and catch fish. Different sizes and types of lures are designed to attract different types and sizes of fish. Therefore the right content, created and curated (the lure) in your streams will attract a certain type of prospect and therefore increase the chances that they share, comment or like the content you post (the bite).

Furthering our analogy, if you don’t cast enough times on the day you are fishing, you greatly reduce your chances of getting any bites. Casting your lure into the lake only a few times will likely result in no fish being attracted to your lure. You have to keep casting, reeling in and casting again in order to increase the odds that a fish will even see your lure, let alone be attracted to it. This is why having enough consistent, relevant, valuable content in your streams is so important.

This gets even complex when there are numerous types of fish in the lake, but you’re only interested in catching a specific kind. Now you have to consider WHICH lures (content subject matter) are best to attract that specific type of fish and also how many times you need to be casting and reeling in your lure each and every day in order to get a bite. If you want to attract fish that have a higher propensity to engage with you from the content you post, focus on curating content that highlights the challenges that your product and service solves for your target audience.

5 Social Media Ways To Foster Conversations With The Right Audience -

  1. Enough Posts (Casting) – social network users are logging on and off, and switching from desktop to mobile all day long. If you do not have enough posts all day, every day, you’re likely to be seen less.
  2. Content Type (The Lure) – Whether you are curating or creating content, you need to ensure that what you are posting is relevant and interesting to your target audience. Know what THEY are interested in and post about those topics. This is what will get them to engage YOU.
  3. Crowded Waters – Just because an article is popular or comes from a popular site, doesn’t mean you should post it in your streams. In fact, I would say that in most cases the opposite it true. Sharing content that everyone has already seen, read and shared themselves is hardly an effective strategy. If your peers and competitors are fishing in the same cove of the lake, grab your fishing pole and fish somewhere else where this fish see less of the same lures.
  4. Create Lures – Along with posting curated content, you should also be creating content. Think of this as the experienced fly fisherman that ties their own flies. Know your intended audience (fish) and what they’re interested in and create content that connects their needs, challenges and interests with what you do, without overtly pitching your product or service.
  5. Leads – When you have a “fish on” (conversation started) don’t reel it in as fast as humanly possible. Take the time to expand the conversation around your contact without immediately moving to what you do. Building relationships over time is what gets results. Getting a bite and immediately attempting to land the fish is a great way to rip the hook out and lose the fish altogether.

At the end of the day, social media marketing lead generation is not dissimilar to the real world. Relationships take time and often require many conversations to build trust. Taking the time to earn that trust will open doors to discuss what you do with your connections and turn relationships into leads.

If you’re having the right conversations with the right connections, your conversations will become leads.

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Filed under Brand, Community, Content, content creation, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Uncategorized

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

Social Media Risk Management, Lawyers and Fear – Just Stop!

I am constantly seeing blog posts about the “risks” of social media marketing for brands. Are there risks? Of course there are risks and you need to manage them appropriately. But are there risks to waxing /buffing the floors at your restaurant, selling bikes that Understanding the real social media riskspeople will use for extreme sports and baking treats that contain peanuts? Am I being silly? Yes, I am trying to make the point that no matter what you do in today’s lack of common sense lawsuit business environment, there are risks. There will always be that one person looking for their “gettin’ paid” easy money opportunity to extort money from a business because they spilled coffee (that by the way is always hot and requires you to be careful) in their lap in a drive-through. Let’s get real shall we?

When my Twitter friend @maxnrgmike approached me about the topic and asked me to write a post about this, I had to consider it. It all started when I shared post about CEO’s and social media marketing. Mike jumped in and the thread began. Since I always try to keep my word, here we are. I am not going to get into deep statistics and “legalese”, but I am going to draw some business similarities that should get you to think and also attempt to insert some common sense into the discussion surrounding risk management and fear issues we often see in this space.

A discussion on risk management in social mediaNow, if you’re McDonald’s or Starbucks, you may have a more realistic risk management requirement for social media. You are a much bigger target, are known to many more people around the country and inherently become a “brand of opportunity” for some less than scrupulous people to go after.

But if you’re a small or medium business attending social media legal seminars and getting scared out of your pants about the “massive risks” some attorney is hammering about, can we all just chill out? Is social media marketing a bigger risk than the inherent business risk of being a medical device manufacturer, an insurance company or even a construction contractor? I think not…

Like any other business, industry or marketing effort a company uses, it comes with certain risks. The average SMB needs to put a little common sense into their social media equation, rather than listen to Lawyers that have a vested interest in being seen as educated on the topic.  By the very nature of their view on social media, an attorney dissuading you from social media marketing using fear is not going to be a very active or experienced social media user. Further more, that attorney probably doesn’t have a level of understanding of social media marketing to make them a qualified or trusted source to outline the risks for a small business beyond the completely legal aspects anyway. Just as I am biased toward social, they are going to be so against it. My knowledge of the industry easily outweighs their knowledge of only the legal side.

If that is the perspective, I have already outlined many more risky business scenarios you should be focused on instead of social media marketing.

So rather than have a discussion about legal risks, living in fear and making excuses as to why your business should not be active and effective in social media, let’s outline the compelling REAL risks you have at stake if you don’t.

Important And Real Social Media Risks:

1) Absent – Let’s be clear. You’re customers and prospects are all on social media, whether you think so or not, they are. Everyone is at some level. What’s worse is so are your competitors. Social media marketing is a marathon and your target audience is on the sidelines of the race cheering. Unfortunately for you, you’re not even running in the race, let alone own shoes or even bothered to stretch. To top it all off, your competitors ARE in the race, own running shoes and are making decent time. Your customers and prospects are connecting with your competitors, eating at their restaurants, buying their bikes and hiring them to do their remodels and you don’t even know it’s happening!

Another way you could be absent is owning running shoes, but not actually being in this social media marathon by not being active and/or you are not responding to your customers and prospects that check in to your business or mention you. Imagine the people who have had a poor experience at/with your business and are posting about it on their blog, on Facebook and other social platforms. They can’t tag your business because you don’t have social profiles, so you remain unaware this is even happening.

It used to be that a happy customer told one person and an unhappy customer told 10. With social media those numbers become multiplied by thousands. Risk you say? You might want to know about these situations. If you’re absent, you just never will and you will be left wondering why your business is failing.

2) Ineffective – You’re trying to learn and be effective in social media marketing but don’t have the knowledge, experience, time or resources to do it properly. So you end up either making huge mistakes as in number three below, or you become Absent as in number one above. Either way, you risk your competitors taking advantage of not living in fear and out running you in this distance race. If your audience is in social media already, and I argue they are, then your biggest business risk with social media is being absent or ineffective.

That means you are risking your entire business on this whole social media thing going away and your company surviving because you are just awesome like that. Might want to reconsider the real risks here.

3) Stupidity – Another real risk is that you do something stupid that alienates your business in horrific ways. Let me show you an example of such a thing. Meet Amy’s Baking Company and see how poorly run social media marketing had ZERO legal implications, but incredibly negative business results. Causing or letting a situation spin out of control on social media without the knowledge and experience to not be “stupid” is a huge risk. If you don’t know what you are doing, hire an experienced social media agency to manage it for you.

What’s a bigger risk? Being in and effective with social media marketing or going out of business because your fear got in the way and your business crashed and burned because you ignored it? Only you can decide.

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Filed under Brand, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Risk Management, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter