Tag Archives: Facebook

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

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

4 Ways To Reduce or Kill Social Media Engagement Over Time

In a post last week, we discussed an “Easy Way To Increase Social Media Engagement Right Away” where we covered the fact that social media marketing is real-time and the more you respond and engage with your audience in real-time, the more likely they are to do so more frequently. This post is going to take a look at the opposite approach and detail 4 ways that will reduce or kill your social media marketing and engagement efforts over time.

Don't reduce social media engagementIn order to scale social media engagement, you want to build upon the community interaction you have already established. If you are building relationships well, this will mean that the audience that is regularly engaging with you on social media increases and expands. The accounts that engaged with you yesterday and months and years prior should still be engaging with you now, and you should also be adding even more new relationships to those ranks consistently.

Too often social media marketers find themselves in a cycle of “new”. What I mean by that is that the portion of their following that engages them are often their newer followers and friends, yet the larger portion of their community that they have been connected with for a longer period of time engage at increasingly lesser levels. This is often an indication that there may be something wrong with the social media management or processes being employed.

Here are 4 ways to reduce your social media engagement:

- Responding Slowly: If you are managing your social media marketing in real-time as we discussed in our last post, you are going to scale your social media engagement. Conversely, if you are responding hours or even days after comments, shares and engagement, you are showing your community you are not truly engaged. They WILL stop engaging with you over time.

- Never Responding: When your audience comments on your posts or shares your content, a response is imperative. It tells them that they are important and you appreciate their efforts on your behalf. If you do the “post and leave” tactic and/or never respond to comments, they WILL stop engaging with you over time.

- Never Thanking: Social media marketing is really a parallel universe to the real world. Whatever you would do in real life, you should be doing with your social media management. Thanking others that mention you in conversation, share your content or tell others about you is something you would always do at a networking event. Ignoring those that share your content in social media is a sure-fire way for reducing and ultimately killing their engagement with you and your content over time.

- Notification Hell: As we all should understand, every social network is different and they all have their own unique capabilities, technologies and nuances. If you continually put people into notification hell when they share your posts, they WILL share them less frequently.

For example, if someone clicks the like button on one of your posts on Facebook and you always follow that by tagging them in the comment section of your post, you have now put them into notification hell. Every new comment and additional thank you that you make on that post is sending a notification to someone who just liked the post but didn’t comment.  Thank tagging for everything on Facebook will often create a negative feeling that will result in them engaging with you and your posts less often.

It is hard enough to build a community in social media, let alone get that community to see your posts, engage with you and achieve real measurable results. Don’t get caught up in the cycle of new by alienating your existing audience in ways that cause them to stop engaging. Relationships develop over time and giving your community reasons to continue to engage and do so more often, over reasons to stop engaging is crucial to your social media marketing success!

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Filed under Community, Content, Engagement, Facebook, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

1 Easy Way To Increase Social Media Engagement Right Away

There are a few things we know about most human beings. Things that make us human and also extremely unique in the animal world. We are certainly creatures of habit we both consciously and unconsciously migrate toward the path of least resistance and embrace activities that make us feel good inside. We also avoid things, activities and people that hurt our feelings consciously or even unconsciously. These unique aspects about people also correlate with our online connections and relationships.

Increase EngagementThis came up Monday on one of my Facebook threads where I posted about sneezing and subsequently popping my neck and back out. Yes, I know I am old, let’s move on shall we? :-)

In this thread, my good friend Rick Cooper made a comment of – “Rick Cooper – Is there anytime you don’t have a computer or mobile device at your fingertips Robert? You’re the fastest responder in the West!” To which I replied, “Robert M. Caruso – When I’m asleep Rick Cooper. Social media is real time. When people comment it’s because they are there, right then. The best way to get fewer comments on your posts over time is to lengthen the time you respond. Guess the best way to get more engagement over time?”

Social Media RespondingHere’s the full thread.

Whether you are consciously aware or not, you are gravitating to people that spark a good feeling inside your being. People that are helpful, like-minded or provide you value and insight that you connect with. You are also often unconsciously avoiding people or situations that make you feel uncomfortable, unvalued or hurt. With the higher frequency of social media interactions as compared the number often experienced in real life, the life cycle for feelings, good or bad about a specific person or situation are often much shorter. In other words, we do way more online in terms of interactions than we are able to in real life.

Social media is real-time. What I mean by that is that just as in an offline interaction, it is happening right then and each comment/response cycle is not typically spread over days, but happen in the instance the first communication begins. In social media however, some tend to extend the interaction cycle over an extended period of time by not responding to comments on or shares of their posts.

The easiest way to increase social media engagement over the long term is to be in the present.

It is extremely important to understand the parallels between social media marketing and the real world and the subtle dynamics that make the difference. If in fact social media marketing is real time, responding and engaging in real time is extremely important. The fact that someone is commenting on or sharing one of your posts, right now, means that they are present and available, RIGHT THEN.

Unless you are a celebrity that millions are following and hang on every post you make, all the while knowing that you’re likely never going to acknowledge your fan comments, shares or presence whatsoever, you should be, just like in real life. You see, most people have a genuine expectation to be appreciated and recognized when complimenting, commenting or otherwise “helping” someone else. It’s human nature.

Think about it. If you spoke to someone at a party and they didn’t respond, or if you introduced them to someone interested in what they do for a living and they stepped in front of you and pretended you didn’t exist, would you engage that person or share their business card again? Most people that are willing to be honest about their feelings would have to say they wouldn’t.

So the best way to increase social media engagement is to respond in real time. By doing so, you put a few things into motion in your community that make a massive difference over the long term;

1) Feel good – Everyone feels good when they are acknowledged. Doing it in real time increases the chance that they will engage more at that moment, and more importantly, engage you again in the future.

2) Appreciated – When you feel appreciated by someone, you desire to be around them more and know more about them. You make your audience feel appreciated when you are there and responding when they engage with you or your content.

3) Repetitive – In keeping with what we know about human beings in the opening of this post, we know we can subconsciously create repetitive actions with people by making them feel good, appreciated and like you are always there when they are.

People repeat activity that makes them feel good. Responding in real time, when your audience is there and engaging makes this possible.

In our next post we discuss 4 Ways That Reduce or Kill Social Media Engagement Over Time.

 

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Filed under Community, Content, Engagement, Facebook, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Facebook Announcing Plan To End Pay To Play For Pages – A Dream?

Facebook Pay to PlayYes, most likely it IS a dream. But since Facebook is about to release an earnings report this month on the 23rd, I believe it will be the peak of their revenue climb with this pay to play shift and that by the end of the year we will begin to see a dramatic decline in revenue and page activity if they stay the course.

But in a perfect world, I would love to see a $12.1 Billion revenue announcement that consisted of a new monthly page fee. Why? It would mean that they came to their senses and realized that the current pay to play model they have implemented is not sustainable as a business model and page owners, managers and brands are fleeing the Facebook platform for greener pastures. It would also mean that they have further had a reality check and finally understood social media marketing, their users and customers in a real way.

I previously wrote a piece before Facebook enacted the Pay to Play business model that included what I believed to be a better solution to their then EdgeRank Newsfeed algorithm, stock price plummeting and revenue model challenges.

Since then Facebook deployed what has come to be known as their “Pay to Play” requirement, that I believe is a completely unsustainable revenue model and one that delivers zero benefit to users, marketers or Facebook itself over the long run. This is backed up by a recent eMarketer report showing organic reach declining at an increasing rate. Diminishing returns the platform can and will deliver to brands, marketers and page owners. I decided to do some deeper research and have put together basic financials that compare what Facebook is currently doing as compared to what I propose, and the compelling differences between the two.

But before I get into that, let’s take a peek at some of Facebook’s 2013 Public Business Highlights:

Revenue for the full year 2013 was $7.87 billion, an increase of 55% year-over-year.

Income from operations for the full year 2013 was $2.80 billion. (advertising revenues)

Net income for the full year 2013 was $1.50 billion.

Free cash flow for the full year of 2013 was $2.85 billion.

Facebook currently has 54.2 Million active pages.

Facebook has 25 million small business pages.

Removing Pay To Play and Replacing It With Monthly Fees:

I went ahead and ran some numbers using my plan and compared the results with what Facebook is currently doing. This plan is predicated on Facebook displaying all page posts to newsfeeds, similar to friend posts. If they abandoned their unsustainable Pay to Play model and instead adopted my page monthly fee model, the revenue improvement to Facebook is massive and the benefits to page owners, marketers and end users is even bigger! Facebook Revenue Plan By the numbers:

  • I am factoring a little more than half of pages would participate and pay the monthly fee, remaining an active page on Facebook.
  • Small business pages would pay a small $30/mo fee, other smaller pages a $20/mo fee, non-profit and charities only $10/mo and larger big brand pages an average of $200 per month.
  • Ad revenue would still be a factor for Facebook and actually become even more valuable since you know you would be able to reach new likes that you add to your page with this new model. I pegged the ad revenue much lower to take into account the changes to the model though.
  • New 2014 annual revenue jumps from $2.8 billion to $12.1 billion under my plan – a $9.3 billion improvement over 2013!

Benefits of the Monthly Page Fee Model:

Newsfeeds would be competitively driven Facebook users would control what content they want with the power of their like/unlike

Focus would shift to creating and sharing great content and that would drive the newsfeed

The playing field for SMB’s would be leveled against Big Brands wouldn’t have a substantial advantage because of their huge budgets Efficiency/Result value would shift to time spent creating content rather than managing ad systems

So many more benefits, but you get the idea

The BIG Winners:

Users – They see content from pages they liked and wanted content from to begin with. Users would power the Facebook page success model, rather than big brands and/or budgets.

Marketers – Can access the likes they already invested heavily to obtain. The nominal monthly fee makes it a very viable marketing platform again.

Facebook – Duh. HUGE revenue win for Facebook and a lot of good will earned for listening to its users and developing an alternative that benefits everyone. (there’s a first for everything) Everyone wins! Tell me what your thoughts are on this alternative monthly fee model for Facebook Pages? What do you like, dislike or wish Facebook would do?

————————————–

a P.S. for those that enjoy those.

Here Are Just A Few Problems with the current Pay To Play Model:

Not sustainable – In another post I did some time back I discussed “By restricting the previous value of pages to marketers of all sizes, Facebook is setting the stage for a collapse of the Facebook page model and pushing both users and marketers to other platforms…”  When you require people to reach the audience they have already spent a ton of time and effort to establish, and many paid Facebook for ads to do this, then you change the game and require them now to also pay to reach them, nothing but diminishing returns will occur. If Paying for page reach via ads is the only method available, the expertise and time requirements to make that successful in a diminishing return environment pushes many right out of the market.

Users are the losers – They are not seeing the content from pages they liked and want content from.

Money, NOT content drives pages success

Not a level playing field – Most small and medium businesses can’t compete with big brands for eyeballs on the platform effectively.

Diminishing Returns –  The current model will continue to decline in results, rather than improve return and value to business stakeholders. It’s pretty simple to determine the long-term outcome of something with diminishing returns.

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Filed under Brand, Content, EdgeRank, Facebook, Marketing, Pay to Play, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

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

We recently conducted a survey of social media marketers, brands and agencies to better understand where they spend their time and the challenges they are facing with their social media marketing. The 11 question survey consisted of multiple choice questions, as well as multi-part questions that asked the respondent to rank their agreement with specific comments/challenges of content, social marketing and curation. With hundreds of respondents completing the survey, we decided that there is a lot of relevant information that others in the industry could learn from, so we will be writing several posts about the data.

For this post, we are going to focus on the main activity and use of time questions we asked.

Question 1:  HOW MANY DAYS PER WEEK DO YOU SCHEDULE CONTENT FOR YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STREAMS?

This question was crucial to understanding the level of experience of the survey respondents. Those of us in the industry for some time, we understand the importance of consistent, relevant content in all social media streams on a daily basis, all day long. In asking this question we learned that the majority of the survey respondents are heavily active with scheduled social media scheduling and a small percentage of respondents are less experienced.

82% of those surveyed stated that they schedule social media posts three or more days per week. A huge number, no doubt, but what we found most interesting is that a huge majority of almost 66% schedule content five or more days per week for their social streams.

Days You Schedule Social Media Posts

We believe that this information is showing that if you are not scheduling content for your social streams at least 5 days per week, you are likely getting lost in the noise of those that are, or at least you are sitting at your desk everyday manually live posting content to your streams.  These numbers are inline with our philosophy that social media is like a freeway and you have to have enough cars (content) on the road everyday to be seen, let alone effective.

Question 2:  ON AVERAGE, HOW MANY SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS TO YOU SCHEDULE EVERY DAY ON TWITTER

58% of social media marketers stated that they schedule more than five posts per day on Twitter and over 35% schedule more than 10 posts. Given that Twitter is a much more active posting site this was not a surprise.

Twitter is a unique social network in that updates are displayed only at the time they are posted, whereas Facebook for example will display content in the newsfeed over and over based on when users login and how well an update is engaged with by your friends/followers. Since Twitter is void of such an algorithm and posts scroll based on when it was posted, not how much engagement the post receives, posting much more frequently is imperative.

Posts Per Day On Twitter

Posting enough content on a daily basis to Twitter is crucial to growing a targeted audience, sparking engagement and building relationships. You want to be sure that whenever your audience happens to login and check their streams, they see something of valuable and interesting from you. This builds thought leadership, creates opportunities for sharing and conversations, which is what results in ROI.

Question 3:  HOW MANY HOURS PER DAY DO YOU SPEND FINDING, EDITING, SCHEDULING AND POSTING CURATED AND MARKETING CONTENT TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS?

When we asked how many hours per day these social media marketers spend managing and scheduling content, an astonishing 75% said two hours or more. That’s two or more hours every single day managing curated and marketing content for their social streams.

Hours Scheduling Social Media Posts

The question that should also be asked is, if you are spending 2-5+ hours per day managing your social media posts, what are you not doing that could be getting real results? Engagement, conversations and relationship building are all going to suffer if this much time is required everyday managing scheduled posts and marketing content.

Let’s be clear, you have to have relevant, valuable content in your streams and you also have to post updates about you, your products and what you do in an appropriate mix. If you have little or nothing in your streams, you will not get engagement. Without likes, comments and conversations it is impossible to build relationships on and offline. Without relationships your social media marketing has no foundation and will not achieve real results. It’s a quandary isn’t it?

The challenge facing the social media agencies, marketers and brands we surveyed and the millions of others around the world is that much of the time spent everyday on social media marketing is unproductive time. This survey shows that much of the time and effort doing social media marketing is spent in the back office finding, managing and scheduling content, rather than in conversations, relationship building and other functions that lead to revenue and ROI.

With the thousands of tools and applications on the market that are designed to help with these tasks, why are so many still dealing with this time/effort mismatch? We believe the answer is that most of the tools available aid with some of the curation and scheduling tasks, but few actually impact efficiency enough to make a substantial difference. Therefore, we see the answers to the survey still showing an incredible amount of time and effort being spent in the back office.

Read about 8 new ways content curation and social media marketing just got easier. That’s where Bundle Post makes a massive impact.

In our next post, we will unveil additional eye-opening details of this survey and give you a lot more data on what social media challenges marketers say they have today.

The second second survey report post is now out – The Importance And Challenges Of Content Curation

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Hey Facebook – Instead Of Repeating Posts I’ve Already Liked, How Bout…

Facebook Newsfeed IssuesYesterday morning I was catching up on my far too many, overnight Facebook notifications. As I finished my follow-up on comments, likes and tags I attempted to whirl through my newsfeed to see what everyone was up to. Scrolling, refreshing and opening various pics and articles I began to consciously notice something that I have unconsciously been aware of for several months. Repeated status updates in my feeds. Have you noticed this?

“I have a really good idea Facebook. How bout instead of putting hundreds of updates in my newsfeed that I have already seen/liked, instead you put the content from all those pages I have liked that you say can’t fit in my stream anymore because you can only display a certain amount of posts everyday in a users newsfeed… ‪#‎Rocketscience‬”

Example:

Facebook Newsfeed Issues1Just this morning as I was wrapping up this short post, I liked and commented on this graphic in my newsfeed by @AnyaDowning. It wasn’t 40 minutes later when the image I had already seen and engaged with was back at the top of my newsfeed. Really?

I have shared this YouTube video a lot recently, because it really breaks down the issues Facebook has really well. It will give you a really good perspective on what’s happening and why.

If there really was an issue with too much content and status updates that are relevant for users that Facebook page owners and brands need to pay Facebook to access users they have already paid to acquire, why are we being shown the same content over and over in our feeds? Shouldn’t Facebook show us the content from the pages we have liked instead of this useless duplication?

This among many reasons is why I think brands, marketers and social media agencies need to reevaluate their Facebook and over all social media marketing strategies. Not the WHAT or HOW, but the level of involvement using Facebook pages. Increasing activity and effectiveness on other social networks where your audience is at the highest concentration makes a lot of sense, even outside of the recent Facebook mess.

And here’s a another question for Facebook…  Do you realize that you are killing yourself?

For more on my thoughts on this and what you can/should be doing given the changes to Facebook, read Facebook Declining Page Reach: 9 Experts Weigh In

What are YOU doing differently with Facebook pages?

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Filed under Agency, Content, Facebook, Fanpage, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

The Same Power That Got Twitter To Revert Block Policy Can Make Facebook Change

By now you have heard of the Thursday night Twitter fiasco related to changing their blocking policy. The announcement caused immediate and social-wide outrage and contempt for the now publicly traded company.

Social PowerI even tweeted “I CANNOT believe @Twitter changing their block policy. Is every CEO of every social network losing their minds? We will NOT stand for this!”, referencing the continual Facebook decisions that are negatively effecting millions of business pages as well.

Didn’t hear about the situation? Here’s story from via Yahoo News.

Things declined rapidly, quickly causing Twitter to take action and revert back to the old Blocking function. An update here

This is an incredible event that shows how clearly the power of the social network user has to influence the networks and “push back” on the things that negatively effect users, brands and marketers.

The important point here is that this same power and influence can also be used with our buddy Zuck of Facebook. The “pay to play” advertising and post boost requirements for pages to see any reach and effectiveness on the platform is counterproductive to social networking, social media marketing and all other facets of the industry in general. (click to sign the petition at the bottom)

Should there be costs associated with social media marketing? For sure! But they need to be implemented the right way, that doesn’t negatively effect users and brands alike. How? I previously wrote a post that outlines this plan, but in short; a nominal monthly fee for pages. Simple, clean and huge revenue opportunity for Facebook with a once loved and effective platform in tact.

So there is an opportunity, right now! Right now, to conduct a similar effort with Facebook that yields similar results as was accomplished on Twitter. On the heels of this victory, the people together should stand up and let Facebook know they will not stand for the changes they are making. Right now, we should impact the other major social network positively for users, brands and marketers alike.

When discussing this in the social graph last night, one of my friends said the “Zuck is really stubborn”. To which I replied, “Stubbornness is easily effected when you are public and groundswell becomes tidal wave.”

So I say grab your surf board and lets ride this tidal wave and instead of the Arab Spring, it can be call the Social Winter.

What say you?

**Update**

After a lot of suggestions and requests, I have started a petition. Since Facebook is not a public company, something like this making the news (as with Twitter) is not at all a good thing and they would have to address it. If we could get 50,000 Marketers and even Facebook users to sign this, the story would get picked up and force Facebook to respond and deal with it.

Here’s the petition and link.

Facebook Petition

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Filed under EdgeRank, Facebook, Social Media

The 5 Most Important Components Of Social Media Content Strategy

When it comes to social media strategy, there is nothing more important than the content element. Often misunderstood or even over looked, content curation is crucial to establishing selfless, relevant value in your stream that sparks conversation, engagement Social Media Strategyand a positive response with your target audience. When it comes to content posting in social media, there are many components that need to work together for the best results and we are going to cover those, as well as the most frequent mistakes that cost marketing results.

The 5 most important content strategy components:

1) Topics – Before you start posting and sharing content for your social media accounts be able to answer a very basic but incredibly important question: What are the 3-5 topics your audience is most interested in when on social media? These are the topics that need to dominate your news feeds.

2) Consistency – No matter when someone steps to the side of the freeway, they need to see you and value coming from your feed. This means EVERY day, ALL day. Consistency increases the speed at which you can make meaningful connections.

3) Frequency – Think of social media posts as cars on a freeway and your audience as standing on the side of that freeway watching the cars go by. You have to have enough cars on the road so your cars are seen. Social media users don’t stand there watching all day long, they login and log off with tremendous frequency. Your content curation and marketing posts need to be on the freeway all day, every day.

Example: Twitter posts per day should be at or above 20 posts.  Yes I said 20. And that’s a minimum bar…

4) Timing – Do you know what time of day your audience is most active on social media? You should not only know this, but you should be posting more frequently during those time periods.

We use a tool called Tweriod to determine these times on Twitter. We have found that they tend to also hold true across the other platforms like Facebook and Linkedin, etc.

Social Media Posting Times

5) Content Mix – Be sure that 80% of the posts you’re making on social media is curated content that is not yours or about you. 20% of what you share should be your content or marketing posts that are about you.

We believe these are the top five content strategy components that you need to understand and use properly if you expect to be effective with your social media management.

Conversely, here are 3 of the biggest mistakes marketers make with respect to their social media posting (in no particular order):

1) Grouping posts  – This is a failing I see quite often in social media. Sending a ton of posts grouped together right after another with little posts/value before or after is not effective. I see this on Instagram and other platforms as well. Now we are all busy, but this kind of laziness will ultimately have the opposite effect. Meaning people will start to ignore all your posts because of this practice.

2) Retweeting only – There are many people out there that have no content strategy of their own and simply RT or share other people’s posts. Again, this is not a strategy, well it’s not your strategy anyway. It is you executing many other people’s strategies that is not going to establish any thought leadership or results.

3) Not enough – Probably the biggest shortcoming I see is folks just not posting frequently enough. Remember that the social network user is not logged in all day long watching your feed. They login, log off various times all day long. If you are post <20 times per day on Twitter and <5 times per day on Facebook, etc. nobody is seeing anything you are sharing.

4) Over self-promoting – At this point this should be obvious common sense to most, but unfortunately it isn’t. If you are posting more that 15-20% in your feeds about YOU, you either have an ego problem or don’t understand social media marketing yet. Provide selfless, relevant value in your streams and you will earn the right to pitch what you do.

5) Nothing human – People connect with people, not brands and logo’s they’ve never heard of. Be human and approachable. Pretending you are some big company, being sterile and corporate-like in your feeds will not build relationships.

In social media marketing content is where everything starts. If you intend on getting the best results understanding what content drives your audience, the proper quantity and timeliness of that content in your streams and consistency are what get conversations and relationships happening. This is where traffic, revenue and ROI comes from.

What components are you executing with your social media content strategy?

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Filed under Content, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Twitter

Four Hashtag Tips That May Surprise You

Hashtag With A Purpose, Not Just Because You Can

Hashtags are one of the most unique aspects of social media. I love that something so unique wasn’t started by a company, but instead the users of a social network got it all going (or so the story goes). Regardless of how it all got started, hashtags have become an integral part of social media marketing and when used properly, they can build community, grow your following and impart salient points within your posts.

Hashtag TipsNow many of us know there are hashtag and social media Nazi’s out there. You know the people who are self-righteous know-it-alls that have an over-confident view and proclamation of the what’s, when’s and how’s of hashtagging properly. I ignore these people and suggest you do as well. Are there more acceptable ways and quantities of hashtagging that can yield better results? Of course. Will the world end if you don’t do them? No.

So to those folks that feel the need to criticize everyone else, we will just say to each their own, smile and move on.

With the housekeeping out-of-the-way, let me bring up a few things you may (or may not) want to consider about your hashtagging tendencies. None the following scenarios are set in stone requirements, but rather suggestions that you should consider.

1) Your company or product name:  This one always blows me away. You have 1200 followers on Twitter, 3000 Facebook Likes and 422 followers on Instagram and your company is only about 2 years old…

   Questions: Why are you hashtagging your company or product name? Do you really think people are searching for your little company hashtag on social media? Do you really think your prospects and/or customers are following the hashtag?

   Answer: Not likely…  At the very most, you are showing everyone what a beginner you are at social media marketing.

   Suggestions: Use hashtags that your prospective customers will actually be searching or following in social media. Your posts are already tagged with your company name and profile, so you are far better off optimizing a proper social media profile and executing a proper social media marketing strategy, than wasting time hashtagging posts with your company name.

2) You’re too serious: Don’t underestimate the use of hashtags through humor. Yes, I mean making up a hashtag that doesn’t exist just to be human and fun. You know, #Icanbeannoying or #Ireallywishyouwouldshutit etc.

These nontraditional uses of hashtags are often overlooked as a way to invoke humor and the approachable into your posts. Don’t over do it, but definitely do it. Have fun with it.

3) Use as many as you want:  Again, there are some that get all Nazi about this, I am not one of them. Frankly, use as many hashtags as you want in a post, just be sure they’re relevant to the content and text you are posting. The worst things you can do are over doing hashtags in a post as well as including tags that are not relevant to the post.

Suggestion: One way to reduce the number of tags you use in a post is to tag keywords within the text of the post itself. If the word you want to hashtag is already in the text of the post, don’t add it as a hashtag too.

Example:  “This is an awesome post about using #hashtags in #socialmedia #marketing effectively”

4) Repetition is the key to advertising, but… : Putting the same hashtag(s) in every single thing you post is not wise.

Suggestion: Be consistent with your hashtagging, but never over do it. If it’s relevant to the content of the post, then hashtag it. If it isn’t a relevant hashtag, don’t.

BONUS Tip - Going across all platforms: Whether you are posting to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google Plus, be sure to hashtag consistently.

Again, these are merely suggestions that should help improve the results you’re getting with hashtags. There is no steadfast rules and I am not one to say what you MUST do, however in my experience these are a few things that you should consider and experiment with and measure the differences between the results. Then adjust and repeat.

Happy Hashtagging!

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Filed under Community, Content, Facebook, Google Plus, Hashtag, Instagram, Marketing, Results, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized