Tag Archives: brand

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

We Want To Share Your Blog Content, RSS and Expand Your Reach

Today Bundle Post begins an expansion from our unique social media content management, curation and scheduling roots, to the addition of content marketing, traffic building and extending reach for blogs and content creators. Today we are announcing the Bundle Post RSS Project that has already begun databasing, categorizing and indexing RSS feeds across the web.

Where’s yours?

Bundle Post RSS IndexFrom the beginning, the aim of Bundle Post was to make social media marketing and curation far more efficient and effective for brands, agencies and marketers. As we have continued to grow and expand our capabilities in this area, we have always realized that tackling the blog, traffic and content marketing issues were also connected digital marketing pains that bloggers, brands and marketers experience.

Starting over two years ago, we evaluated social media and content marketing challenges together and very clear and connected obstacles stood out like a sore thumb. The question of “How do I get more blog traffic?” -or- “How do I increase traffic to my content?” always comes up.

The Problems:

1) Traffic – Many struggle to get their blog and content found on search engines, that as you know prefer to display most popular content, instead of the most recent and relevant content on a topic, YOURS. Therefore you are left to hire or become expert in SEO and/or buy Search and Social Media Ads to generate traffic. Brands and content creators need a better way to have their content discovered and increase traffic to that content in new, creative and measurable ways.

2) “Tribes” – So you thought tribes might be the answer, only to realize that the mythical 6 million, trillion reach you now have with all those “celebrities” in your tribe isn’t actually resulting in anymore traffic or reach for your blog. You faithfully share the other people’s content (which may or may not be valuable to your audience or inline with your social media content strategy) only to realize that your “tribe-mates” are rarely logging in, let alone sharing your posts. You invest further time, effort and investigation reveals that the ones who actually are sharing your content aren’t really influential at all. In fact, most of their huge followings could care less about anything they share on social media and you’re left worse off then you started.

3) Monitoring – Adding to the obstacles facing bloggers and content marketers being able to effectively monitor the open web where you or your brand is being mentioned. We’ve all tried Google Alerts for this and have become painfully aware that you find more mentions from people within social media who tell you about your brand mention on a blog post, then you ever discover through Alerts. Brands and marketers need a way discover, monitor and engage with content mentions across the web that occur outside of the social graph.

We could go on and on, right?

Innovative Vision:

Bundle Post is beginning phase one of our RSS and content index project that enables site owners to add their RSS feed into our index. During this phase we will collect and database over 250,000 RSS feeds in less than 90 days, then grow that number exponentially on an ongoing basis.

From there feed owners will be allowed to validate/prove ownership of one or more RSS feeds and control the RSS description, category, keywords, tags and more in order to optimize a feed related to its content. As the project continues over the course of 2014, the Bundle Post RSS project will be releasing multiple tools for blog owners and Bundle Post users, as well as new Feed Content Optimization (FCO) and “stream” opportunities that will deliver powerful traffic, analytics and content marketing capabilities never before seen online.

Our goal with the RSS project is to improve content discovery and curation for social media marketers in killer new ways and at the same time provide bloggers and content marketers new innovative solutions for expanding their content reach both in and outside of the social graph. This is far more than a RSS directory, so jump on the train and add your RSS feed into the Bundle Post index and we’ll be in touch soon to help you validate your blog ownership in phases two and three with many more big things to come…

AddRssFeed

This is what they call BIG DATA…

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Filed under Blog, Brand, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Marketing, RSS Feed, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

78% of Local Brands Believe Social Media Essential – Only 1/3 Prioritize It

In a new study published by eMarketer states that brands believe websites, social media marketing and email are the most important digital marketing elements for effective local marketing. 78% stated that social media marketing is important or essential. Those statistics alone are quite dramatic, but if we spend some time looking into the data a bit deeper, some very revealing trends appear.

SMB Social Media ImportantThe biggest irony within the study shows that only 25% of those same respondents planned to prioritize social media marketing in their digital marketing efforts. Wait a second… 78% said it was important or essential, yet only 25% were going to prioritize it. That was astounding to read, wasn’t it?

The report goes further to explain that 80% of brands expected to maintain or increase their digital marketing spend for local marketing in the coming years.

The report does not get into the details of why the massive disparity between deeming social media marketing essential for local businesses and the lack of prioritizing it at a similar level. Being very experienced in local, national and international social media marketing, we thought we would outline some of the reasons we believe this may be the case.

Why aren’t local brands adding social media marketing as a priority, though they believe it’s essential?

1) Budget – Many of these same local brands are already tight financially. They’re often spending money on a lot of “old school” yellow page and direct mail marketing without tracking the results. Often the belief is that they need to continue doing those things or their situation will decline even more.

A thoughtful evaluation of these mediums, outdated email marketing efforts and other digital optimization requirements can show areas where costs can be reduced or eliminated and where funds can be reallocated to social media and an overall digital upgrade. In today’s world for most SMB’s, these are the things that begin to make a growth impact on their business.

2) Knowledge – If you are an SMB that realizes the importance of social media marketing, yet you don’t have the knowledge or experience to do it, that can paralyze you from taking any action, let alone making it a priority. You don’t have a strategy, plan to execute it even if you did have a strategy, or any base of knowledge that would enable you to do it effectively anyway.

Enter the consultant

3) “Consultants” – So you’re a small business owner that recognized you needed a presence on social media some time back while it was beginning to rise in the news, with users and then with big brands. You had no idea how to do it but a social media expert/consultant was doing a presentation at the local networking group meeting and you decided to pay the $100 to attend.

After listening to all the information they presented, you realized you still couldn’t do this alone and needed help, so you took the expert’s business card and called for an appointment. They pitch you on setting up your social media accounts, making a strategy, consulting and training so you could be really effective.

$800 and 6 months later you are overwhelmed, frustrated and feel like you had been mugged. You aren’t getting anywhere on real results, have spent time and money you don’t have to spare and the consultant is now offering additional training services they’d like you to invest in.

Sound familiar to anyone? I hear this every single day from unsuspecting business owners. It’s no wonder they are not making it a priority.

For a large percentage of small to medium local brands, these factors are a reality. They know their industry and business, not something new and ever-changing like social media marketing. They want and need to focus on what they know and don’t have the time, resources or ability to add another item to their plate. Most simply need a clearly defined reason as to why they need to make it a priority, coupled with a cost-effective solution that handles it for them with the least amount of time required on their part. They are willing to pay for professional help that will get results and enable them to focus on their business.

If you’re a business owner that fits into the statistics outlined in this report, I suggest that you find a social media professional that understands what is detailed here and will take the time to consult you through these points to discover cost reduction opportunities. They will also be able to propose a total social media management solution that gets results for you so you can focus on what you are good at.

Quote Business People ValueRemember this:

“Business people value their time and money above anything else in their work life. Don’t steal either of them” ~ @fondalo

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Local, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

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

This is our second blog post about the results of a large social media marketing survey we connected with hundreds social media marketers, brands and agencies.  We first wrote about the time requirements of managing and scheduling posts for social media marketing and how the respondents spent their time. In this post we are going to focus on the results of the survey questions that focused on content curation within social media marketing.

Content Curation Survey ReportWith the entire survey we really wanted to understand where and how social media marketers spent their time, what their challenges were and where the needs exist. Related to content curation, we attempted to determine its perceived importance and effectiveness, as well as the challenges social media marketers face with the function.

From our first piece written about our survey results, we know that 75% of social media marketers are spending at least two or more hours per day on scheduling social media posts, which includes curated content. But we wanted to know how many believed content curation to be very time-consuming.

We asked them “How much they agree or disagree with the following statements about content curation”

1.  66% answered Agree or Strongly Agree that Content Curation is very time-consuming for social media marketers.

We know that back office, time-consuming tasks within social media marketing has a direct correlation with how much time can be spent on the things that actually get results. Time spent on things like commenting, conversations and relationship building suffer when proper time is dedicated to the time-consuming tasks like, finding, editing, hastagging, scheduling and posting relevant, valuable content in your streams that resonates with your audience.

2. To the Statement: Content Curation is most effective when it is done consistently – 95% Agreed or Strongly Agreed

Marketers clearly believe that consistency matters when it comes to content curation if you are going to be effective. However, due to the time-consuming nature of these tasks on a daily basis, marketers often have to prioritize them to the back burner in favor of engagement and relationship building efforts that can’t be ignored. At the same time, 95% of social media managers state that consistency is how to be effective with curation. A substantial quandary.

3. While the majority of 56% said “I need to spend less time curating and more time and resources on engagement“, 32% where undecided.

This statistic was very interesting to us because 66% said content curation was very time-consuming, yet only 56% said they need to spend less time. A HUGE 32% said they were undecided on whether or not they need to spend less time. We believe the reason for the undecided answer might be their less frequent use of curation as compared with the 56%.  With 60.3% of respondents identifying themselves as a social media agency, consultant or a brand, more likely to post curated content more frequently on a daily basis, the disparity makes more sense.

4. Respondents were split on the statement “Finding relevant content to post is the most time-consuming“.  42% agreed, while a close 41% disagreed, leaving the remaining undecided.

We found this very interesting as well. We believe experience, type of respondent and the amount of tools employed by marketers and agencies may account for the split.

5. When asked if “Editing and scheduling curated content is the most time-consuming“, 47% of social media marketers said they agreed.

Once you find content to share, you still need to curate it by editing the text of the post, hashtag and schedule it to go out when and where you want it to publish. Nearly half of those surveyed struggle to keep up with this time-consuming process.

This was backed up by a recent study published by eMarketer which explains that “…curation is not as easy as simply finding and sharing content. Organizations need a strategy, and a calendar, and most marketers report that every stage of content curation is still a struggle for them. Even a majority have trouble just sharing the items they do find.” The research noted that upwards of 52% were struggling with effeciently sharing content they discover.

6. Moving from basic content curation questions, we asked if they “always properly hashtag curated content they schedule“. 53% said they always do and still a large 32% said they do not.

Always is a pretty definitive word, to which over half agreed with such consistency in their efforts, while one-third said they do not. This reflects the growing importance and perceived value of hashtagging posts within social media marketing.

Here is a look at all the statements and results together.

Survey on Content Curation

It is very clear that social media marketers are in agreement that consistent, frequent content curation is extremely important to an overall social media marketing and content marketing strategy. They also agree that when done properly it is time-consuming and better processes and tools are needed to improve this challenge.

What are the challenges you face that prevent you from being consistent and frequent with content curation?

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Content, Curation, Engagement, Hashtag, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Restaurant Social Media Success – A Five Ingredient Recipe

For some restaurants, social media may still seem like the latest marketing fad. But if you ignore it too long, you just might be watching customers, traffic and search rankings pass by your restaurant. Using social media to market your restaurant isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t find success. Let’s see if we can help you out. Any cook or brand manager will appreciate an easy to follow recipe, I am going to share with you my 5-Step Recipe for Social Media Success for Restaurants.

Keep in mind, without a focused strategy and an understanding of your audience no marketing stands a chance at success. What social media is not is just another medium to blast out irrelevant messages to Jane and Joe Public, you can leave that to radio. The brands who still don’t get social media are ones doing it wrong by blasting messages and not building relationships with their customers.

You see social media really does work, when you use it correctly

What can social media do for you restaurant brand?

▪ Raise Brand Awareness
▪ Drive Customer Traffic
▪ Increase Google Page Rank
▪ Position You As a Resource
▪ Share Your Brand Voice
▪ Make You An Authority
▪ Generate Customer Loyalty
▪ Helps You Gain New Customers

Let’s be clear, social media is not easy nor is it free. These are two facts you need to understand. If it was, everyone would be doing it successfully. While I am going to offer you an easy to follow 5-Ingredient Recipe, without a commitment of time and some resources you will still struggle.

The good news is that there are tools, apps and an increased acceptance that has made social media marketing easier for brands to and especially restaurants to find success.

Restaurants and social media go together like milk and cookies

Eating food is a social activity. From sharing pictures of food, reviewing restaurants or simply checking in… the experience of dining out really does mesh with social media activity.

Nearly nine out of 10 restaurants used social media outreach this year—the most common tactic by a wide margin—up from 77% in 2012: Restaurants Up Their Use of Social, Mobile

From Mobile apps to social media usage, smartphones are on the rise and thus they need to be part of your marketing plan.
The increased usage of mobile is another reason to be actively marketing your restaurant on social media.

One might attribute social media’s increased effectiveness for restaurants to increasing popularity of Smartphones. Location-based apps, geo-targeting and search make it easier for consumers to find the restaurant they are looking for. And, once they find that perfect restaurant , where do you think they share the news? That’s right, on social media where 54% of young adults prefer Smartphones for social media usage.

How about that recipe?

restaurant social media successA 5-Ingredient Recipe for Social Media Success for Restaurants

The 5C’s:

1. Create Content
2. Curate Content
3. Consistent Sharing
4. Conversations with Your Customers
5. Connections That Builds Brand Loyalty

Now that you have the ingredients, what’s the recipe to success?

Creating content for your restaurant has many benefits ranging from improving search rankings to building awareness and sharing news or information about your restaurant. You want to diversify the content you create to keep it fresh and try to incorporate videos, images, blogs and recipes, etc. You should also consider repurposing existing content such as historic images, menus, advertising or signage as well.

Make sure your content helps to tell a story about your brand, remember your goal is to build relationships. Don’t be afraid to get personal or share pictures from events or your customers themselves. Highlight your restaurant staff including chefs, servers, hostess or bartenders. You want to build relationships and start conversations, this requires being personal and responsive. If you are not listening or responding to customers in real-time, you are not using social media the right way. This is social media not megaphone media.

Curating content (sharing news, articles, blogs and graphics from other sources) is important since you don’t want to just share you own content. If all you do is self-promote your own content you are simply blasting out information and treating social media as a one-way conversation. Successful social media involves two-way communications, so providing interesting, relevant and valuable content that your audience is interested in will help spark that conversation. Failing to create AND curate will ensure that you will lose followers, annoy followers or your restaurant customers will just tune you out.

By curating you become a resource, you provide helpful tips that your customers and social followers will appreciate. Don’t hesitate to mix in tasteful humor, trivia or even facts about the type of food you serve.

For best results mix between 20-30% self promoted content with 70-80% curated content.

That is a lot of content every single day, isn’t it? Time and resources are limited for everyone, so using the proper social media tools like Hootsuite and Bundle Post will enable you to be consistent and efficient with your time. Simple ingredients with the right tools is a recipe for success!

One last cooking analogy:

Social media success comes from a steady, reliable heat such as an oven. If you are looking for marketing success at microwave speed, social media isn’t the tool for you.

This is a guest post by:

David SchwartzDavid Schwartz is a recovering traditional Advertising Executive turned Digital Brand Strategist for @brand_education. Utilizing the popularity of digital and the social web he helps companies understand the power of creating their own content and sharing their brand voice. David started his career working for MTV in New York, he then proceeded to Atlanta to work with the likes of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and the Home Depot. From his time working with companies of all sizes he has learned that a strong brand is the key to long-term success by turning customers into brand advocates. Now living in Nashville with his wife and two children, David works with companies of all sizes teaching and consulting on best practices for building a brand in the digital age.   

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Filed under Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Engagement, Followers, Hootsuite, Marketing, Relationship, Restaurant, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter