Tag Archives: brand

7 Traits That Define A Company’s Business Culture As Social

What defines a Social Business CultureThis last week I was involved in a few conversations that surrounded businesses that are on social media, more specifically those that either are executing it well and those that are just there. It got me thinking about the millions of brands, both large and small that have a social presence, yet clearly do not have a corporate culture of social within their organization. As I pondered this, I also thought about our organization that not only lives in social, but was born out of a social media agency and used this as our guide.

Since many large brands are now in social media and easily garner large audiences due to their prolific branding and massive advertising budgets over many decades, it is important to point out that MOST have anything but a corporate social culture. In fact many of the larger brands we all know around the world have some of the worst social media marketing execution. I am not talking about just the epic fails we read about from these massive corporations, but even their daily social media activities are a slap in the face toward what any experienced social media professional knows about this space.

For this and many other reasons, I personally avoid large brands online. I stay clear of their noise, self-promotion and other social marketing efforts. If I based my shopping on their lacklustre social media marketing and poor engagement, I would never be able to bring myself to visit many stores. But I digress.

Rather than detail all the failings of brands within social media, we decided it might be far more helpful for many small and medium brands to develop a list of traits that are displayed by brands that have created and fostered a corporate culture of social within their business. We got feedback from our awesome community as well and are including their thoughts on some of the traits.

Though this is not an exhaustive list, we believe it embodies the large bucket items that define what a social business is.

7 Traits That Define A Company’s Business Culture As Social

1) Priority Top Down – Bar far, the most important trait that establishes social into a business culture is top down leadership. When the executive team at the top make a clear commitment to social media, done properly, it becomes clear to everyone inside as well as outside that organization. Without embracing social as a corporate priority, social media departments are clearly handcuffed and it shows. Empowering teams around social from the very top of your business not only unleashes the other traits in this post to be free to execute, it mandates the traits into every member of the company.

Tangent – Just last week on a call with our CTO (Chief Technology Officer) going over our development priorities, we were discussing something an existing Bundle Post user brought up that they really needed. Our CTO said “Well that is a current customer that has a strong need, so I think that should be a priority.” Adjustments were made to the priority list accordingly because our entire leadership has a social focus.

When the leaders of an organization have a commitment to and then drive a social culture, nothing but good will result.

Tiffany Keuhl

Keri Jaehnig

Ben Risinger

2) Consistent Communication – A social business culture isn’t just ON social media, they continually communicate internally their social priorities, what those priorities mean and how they are expected to be executed.

Timothy Hughes

Nancy Kenney

Tabatha B

3) Transparency – A social business doesn’t hide their mistakes internally or externally, instead they admit to them quickly and take steps to correct them. They don’t pretend to be perfect and portray a sense of reality of their business that is human and approachable.

Brian Vickery

Bryan Kramer

4) Responsiveness – It’s true that people want to know they are being heard, but even more importantly, they want a response. Social media is social AND media combined. When a brand has a presence but doesn’t respond to the good, bad or otherwise, people feel that they are not heard. Even worse they are made to feel they and their issues don’t matter to the brand. When a brand is responsive to their customers and prospects on social media, and do it in a timely manner, the opposite impression is made. Brands that truly understand this and have a social culture in their organization build life long customers.

SherylBionic

5) Sincerity / Authenticity – It’s one thing to go through the motions, it’s another thing to actually care. When a company has fostered a culture of social in their organization, every team member has sincerity and authenticity in what they do. Customers are never left wondering if the brand cares. It shows through the way the brand conducts their social media efforts.

richtatum
RebeccaC

6) Empathy – Social businesses teach empathy within their organization. It is a priority that all levels of the organization understand the plight of their customers before and after the sale. This means that the business educates its teams on the pain points their customers have, how their products and services ease those pains, but most importantly the importance of the customer later in the relationship. Not just the ongoing revenue opportunities down the road, but the utter importance of handling that customer properly when they have a problem.

chloe

7) Customer Priority – The social business doesn’t necessarily believe that customer is always right, but the customer is definitely a priority in the business culture and it shows.

What we find so interesting about these traits is that they are the same traits that any successful business should deploy. What I mean by that is, if the social media element was removed, the leadership, customer centric empathy within all of these traits are what great businesses have been doing for decades. Instill them in your social business culture as well and the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts will breed loyalty, revenue and sales growth beyond your expectations!

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Filed under Engagement, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

America The Movie, Google And Political Agendas? Or Just How Google Works

Last week much of the internet was abuzz about Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, “America” and particularly how Google was presumably The buzz about Google's search results for the movie "America"manipulating search results to somehow harm the movies success. The situation escalated when attorneys for the movie sent a legal letter to Google demanding that search results for the new movie be properly enacted and an explanation of whether the issue was human or algorithm related.

We don’t do political here at Bundle Post, so no reference to the details of the movie and/or our personal beliefs will be included in this post, however this situation begs a different viewpoint that is not currently being defined.

There are two prominent points of view being put forward on this situation, so I think we should first outline them, then open a differing discussion about what might be really going on here.

1) Google Purposeful Manipulation – The insinuation that has driven most of the buzz on this story is that Google has some political agenda that opposes the movie and that is the reason for the search result failure.

2) A “Problem” With The Google Search Algorithm – In a statement from Google to The Hollywood Reporter they said “that it has implemented a fix for the problem, caused by confusion — Google says — with “America” being a common term. But it will still take “some time” before the fix rolls out in order to make showtimes appear.”

Are you sure about that Google?

Putting those two points aside, I think having a proper perspective here makes a lot of sense. Google is an ad platform. All of it’s sites, products and services are focused on achieving two things:

1) Data gathering of user profiles, habits and interests.

2) Delivering more targeted advertisements.

Whether you are using gmail, Google Plus, an Android device or any other Google owned product or site, the entire focus of the company is to improve these two things. It’s how Google makes money. Advertisers pay to improve their exposure on Google search, ad platforms and other owned sites.

The hard facts are this – Google has no interest in showing you the latest, relevant content for your searches. They want to show you the most popular PAGES associated with your search, which forces brands, agencies and marketers to pay to compete for the exposure of those most popular pages.

Knowing Google’s real agenda and business model, it seems that what occurred here is simply how it works for any search topic. Popular pages will get the highest SEO results and therefore the top search results. Google is a business that derives revenue from Pay Per Click advertisements on their search engine as well as on other sites and platforms. They want movie producers, venues and studios to pay to promote their wares, just as any local restaurant or national retail chain does.

I don’t believe that Google is dumb enough to put forth a blatant discriminatory political agenda that could harm their business or future revenue. However, they certainly seemed to have opened Pandora’s box with the statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter.

Did they open the door for other media companies, brands and marketers to create news and bad press for Google? Did Google offer legal grounds for others to also demand that their search results be modified or improved? I’m not sure about all that, but they are interesting questions to consider.

At the end of the day, America the movie seems to have received a lot of additional press and Google might have come off looking a little poorly. Social media has a powerful impact on these situations and this example shows just that.

What say you?

*PS – A search on Bing for “America Movie” returned the proper search results at first position. #interesting

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Filed under Brand, Content, Google, Google Plus, Marketing, Results, SEO, Social Media

75% of Social Media Marketers Want Better Tools, 88% Better Results [Report]

In the final post of our in-depth social media marketing survey, we asked hundreds of social media marketers, brands and agencies about their social media tools. Some of the results even shocked us!

Social media tool survey report shows that 75% of social media marketers want better tools! As we tried to better understand the current state of social media tools, we started this section  of survey questions with something very general. Only 38% of marketers indicated that they are 100% happy with their social media marketing tools. As the questions within this section of the survey got more and more specific, we noticed that respondents seemed to clearly define things they were not happy with, leaving us questioning whether those who said they are 100% happy, really are truly happy.

Social Media Tools Survey:

I wish my social media tools required less of my time54% responded that they desired to spend less time with the social media tools they’re using. In contrast to the 38% that said they were completely satisfied with their social media marketing tools, more than half believe that they require too much of their time. The need for tools that increase social media marketing efficiencies is clearly needed.

I wish my social media tools increased my results – As with all marketing efforts, marketers need to get a return on investment. The amount of human resources, time and expense required to be effective with social media marketing is substantial and an investment in tools should increase the net results. An enormous 79% of respondents said that they agreed or strongly agreed with this statement.

Combining the two above questions to read “Tools that improve my efficiency and results are valuable” resulted in 93% of the marketers surveyed stating that tools which accomplished both time effectiveness AND improved results were valuable to them.

I want better analytics and reporting tools – With the gluttony of social media analytics and reporting tools, it was somewhat surprising to us that a large majority of 78% of marketers stated that they wanted better tools for this function. Only 19% disagreed or were undecided. These numbers clearly show the dramatic dissatisfaction marketers have with the available reporting tools on the market. It was unclear what would constitute better for those that responded to the survey, but we suspect that it is a combination of the exorbitant cost for the more sophisticated tools and the lack of meaningful data provided by the free and less expensive ones.

I want better social media management tools75% of brands, agencies and marketers surveyed said they wanted better social media management tools. Surprised again with the discrepancy from question number one that showed 38% were 100% happy with their current tools, marketers still seem to have needs that are not being met by the main tools on the market.

I want to spend more time engaging/measuring – When asked about where marketers wished to be able to spend more time, a massive 88% said they needed to spend more time on engagement. This is no surprise to us since conversations, relationship building and interaction are the things that typically drive real results in the space. When time is diverted to other social media tasks, real results tend to drop and that is the driver for those that responded to this question.

I want better results from my social media marketing – Another massive 88% response fell on results. Marketers need tools that improve the net results of their social media efforts.

We believe this section of the study depicts an industry that is flooded with tools and applications used by marketers that are not addressing their real needs. It also appears to show that efficiency and effectiveness improvements are the main holes not being addressed by tool creators.

Brands, agencies and marketers should take a step back and evaluate the tools they are deploying to manage their social media efforts. They should look for case studies and factual information that define a specific tools value and gravitate to tools that can really deliver on the efficiency and improved metrics.

The additional posts from this series:

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Filed under Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, survey, Tools

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

Is Social Media Certification The Solution Or A BandAid For The Symptom?

Is social media certification a game-changer or something else?A few weeks ago I shared a post that claimed that social media certification was a game changer for social media professionals. The thread from the post exploded with people on both sides of the fence. The two camps seemed to line up around long-time industry professionals that were opposed to the idea and those that see it as something that is badly needed.

Here are some of the comments and views from the two sides of the debate:

The For Certification As A Solution Camp:

1) Brands need in-house employees to be trained.

2) Important for business to understand the strategic role and benefits of social media in the total marketing mix.

3)  It’s a sign the industry is getting more cred that certification is needed to separate some of the wheat from the chaff.

4)  This is an important step to corporate credibility.

5) A call for validation and certification means the industry is gaining credibility and acceptance

6) We do need something in the industry for certification and accreditation, proof of ethical standards

The Against Certification As A Solution Camp:

1) I find that most of the people teaching the courses have never worked in social media and don’t know anything about doing it successfully.

2) A certificate does not mean you are an expert any more than a college degree says you are ready for the business world.

3) Social Media changes so frequently it will be outdated before it’s even printed.

4) I have an issue with this program. Who is teaching the certificate program? IMO the best and brightest in our industry actively working to serve their clients. I do however, think we all have a responsibility within our industry to teach through internships, etc so that we continue to grow our talent pool for future hires.

5) Social media is evolving way to rapidly to have a certificate in it.

Sometimes a piece of paper does not truly reflect someone’s natural ability in social media, initiative, work experience, passion or a common sense marketing approach. Ultimately if you don’t understand the customer and their marketing goals and strategy then it’s unlikely a certificate will provide all the answers.

6) Anyone can create a certificate program on anything. Calling this a game changer only indicates how few people actually get what SM is all about.

Certifications are very important to the companies that sell them…

7) Basically what they are doing is taking money from people who are gullible enough to believe that this will all be relevant in a month or two.

My Summary On Social Media Certification:

At the end of the day, social media certification is not an entirely bad thing, nor is it anything close to a game-changer. As the industry evolves, brands and professionals will need ways to educate their teams and most don’t have internal resources for this. On the other hand, the questions surrounding who is creating and teaching the curriculum for such certifications is troublesome. If the intent of these certifications is to ensure that someone understands theory, terminology and concepts, it could be a good starting point for many. Unfortunately I fear that the ways these certifications are marketed by providers and certification holders alike, leaves much to be desired about the required knowledge and experience required to execute effective social media marketing. Brands and businesses that don’t know anything about social media marketing could be easily duped by people touting their certification with no more ability or experience in social media than my 15-year-old daughter.

What’s your view on this topic?

Reference Article: http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-certification-gamechanger-for-professionals/

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Filed under Certification, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Questioning The Status Quo Of Content Marketing, Traffic, Social Reach and SEO

When it comes to blogs, content creation and digital marketing, most content marketers are trying to achieve one main thing – TRAFFIC. You develop quality content for your audience in the hopes that you can generate new traffic and then repeat traffic that returns often. Mostly this is done through SEO, social reach and email subscriptions that connect your created content with those that find it interesting, relevant and valuable.

For the professional blogger, big brands or content sites, all of this comes together through high volumes of frequent new content, multiple authors and massive traffic. With very little budget, the average business, marketer or brand is often competing in all Status Quo of SEO and Content Marketingareas of online marketing, including social media, SEO and email subscribers in an uphill battle for eyeballs. The resulting content marketing, social media and search quandary becomes a high school-like popularity contest with few winners.

Popular content becomes the driver without regard for quality and social media becomes flooded with people sharing the same piece of marginal content. The social graph is flooded every day with shares of blogs, articles and news from the same sites and writers, which often contain tired, reused story ideas. Does this sound familiar?

Here are some questions we are asking ourselves:

  • For Social Marketers:

1) Is there a difference between recent/popular and recent/relevant content?

2) If curating recent/popular content drives more clicks and shares, does it also result in the desired engagement and relationships with your target audience?

3) Does curating the same popular content sources/authors day after day achieve real net results?

  • For Content Creators:

1) Is most popular search results benefiting the content creator as much as driving Pay Per Click competition for an advertising platform?

2) Does “tribal” sharing really achieve measurable results, clicks, views and expanded social reach of/by your intended audience?

3) Does the status quo effectively get your content in front of both your target audience and those that need it for curation?

Should the Status Quo Somehow Evolve?

As we continually ponder these questions at Bundle Post, we are also considering answers that have the opportunity to level the playing field between big brands, content sites and the average blogger, writer and brand.

  • Are there more questions we should be asking?
  1. What would it look like if content marketing, blog traffic and SEO were turned on its head to better benefit content creators, curators and the content consumer?
  2. What if there was an easier way for content creators to get their content in the hands of those that need to curate it, thereby expanding their social reach with their actual target audience?
  3. What if all the great content that is often undiscovered could better compete with the recent/popular content sites?
  4. How would content marketing, SEO and traffic evolve effectively if most recent/relevant quality content, not popularity became the bar?
  5. How can something like the Bundle Post RSS Project be used to positively impact brands, curators, consumers and social media marketers?

We are purposefully not answering some of the questions because we want to know what you think. We’d love your input and ideas.

 

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Filed under Blog, Brand, Content, Curation, Results, RSS Feed, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing