Tag Archives: marketing

Adjusting Social Media Inputs To Realize Desired Output

There are several things to be said about effective social media marketing. One of them is that social media is not static. If you’re being effective with a social media program it is often because you are doing many things right, not the least of which is continually making adjustments.

Adjusting Social Media inputs to improve output resultsThe famous quote from Albert Einstein says it best – “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” There’s not many other places that this phrase holds more true, than with social media marketing.

If you are not getting real results with your social media marketing, there is only one reason. What you are doing in one or many areas isn’t correct. Lack of results in this space isn’t because social media doesn’t work, it’s simply due to missing activity, improper strategy or most importantly improper activity that is preventing your desired results.

You need to ask yourself a simple, but extremely important question and answer it honestly. Not only do you need to do this, but you also need to be prepared for the answer you uncover.

Are you getting the results you expected from your social media marketing efforts?

If you are able to be honest with this question and accept the real answer, then you need to weigh the options.

Answer = No

If you have answered this all important question honestly as a resounding NO, then you need to make some adjustments to what you are doing. But you can’t make adjustments for adjustments sake. You need to know what you don’t know and that requires information.

There are not too many other marketing disciplines that have a bigger learning curve than social media. There are so many best practices, tools, mistakes and resources required, most professionals take years to get up to speed. What’s more? Things in social media change on a daily basis, making the learning curve even more challenging.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you know what you don’t know about social media marketing?

2) Do you have the time and ability to learn what you don’t know and execute it well enough to get results?

3) Are you spending more time learning about social media, then you are executing it effectively?

4) What 4 things are you currently doing in your social media program that are alienating your audience and results?

5) Do you have a detailed strategy and is it the correct strategy?

Hard questions aren’t they? Doing social media marketing is easy, getting real results is not. You may need to make some adjustments. What are your options?

Learn – There are many books, consultants and courses out there that teach social media marketing. I suggest doing a lot of research because many are from people who have never really achieved social media success, other than promoting their celebrity, books or training.

Invest – One option is to hire a social media professional or agency to handle it for you. Find one that has the experience and expertise to execute your social media management well. Tip – If someone tells you they can do that for $500/mo or less, run. It takes far more than that to make social effective.

Refocus – Another option is to seriously consider whether your brand, product or niche can be effective using social media and/or whether you can afford to invest the time and money required to make it a success. I personally believe almost every single market can be effective with social, but that only depends on having the proper knowledge, experience and resources.

Answer = Yes

If you answered YES to getting the results you expected, you’re not even close to finished. Fine tuning and refining what you’re doing will uncover new opportunities to increase your current results. At this stage of your social media efforts, discovering which components of your strategy and tactics are the ones that are contributing most to your results need to be accurately identified and leveraged.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you know the tactics, strategies, topics and content that is getting the best results?

2) Do you know which of these are not getting the best results?

3) What activities need to be adjusted upward to increase the results you are getting and how much of an increase of these activities is scalable?

4) Does removing less effective activities impact your overall results positively?

5) What missing components could be added to what is working well to increase your net results.

Now let me be very clear. When I say results, I am referring to REAL results. Things like traffic, leads, walk-ins, sales and revenue. I am not referring to soft results like engagement, likes, followers or branding. While these are also important metrics to track, they are not the measurement of whether your social media is actually getting results or not.

There are millions of marketers, brands and people spending an exorbitant amount of time attempting to execute social media marketing. At the end of the day, just like any other sales or marketing efforts, there needs to be a return that can be measured against the input of time, resources and money. Failure to understand this will doom your social media marketing to activity, low optimal output and little meaningful results.

 

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Filed under Audience, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

The 3 Most Important Factors For Growing Your Social Media Community

It seems that almost daily we come across social media marketers, enthusiasts and brands that still seem to have limited understanding of social media best practices. Often the social media “consultant” is even missing key factors in their own social presence that hinders their community, reach and growth. You’d think we would be beyond this in 2014, but sadly that is not the case.

How to grow a social communityWhen it comes to growing your social community there are three main factors that either propel or restrict your growth of your engaged, targeted audience. These three “buckets” are not the sole factors for growing a targeted audience, however they are the most important items you need to start with.

Let’s be clear and point out that the information within this post is specifically speaking to the marketer, brand or business professional that uses social media for marketing of any type. If you are social networking without a business purpose, and therefore not doing social media or social marketing, this information does not apply to you directly, however it is our professional opinion that you should still read and consider changes to what you are doing.

The 3 Most Important Factors In Community Growth:

1) Profile

One of the first things people do when you follow or friend them on a specific social network is look at your Profile. If you have not strategically completed your bio and information details properly, you are dramatically hindering the connections you make. Since there are so many social networks, we will focus on Twitter and Facebook as examples. Here are a few things you need to consider.

Twitter is one of the most informal, effective social platforms. Being human is extremely important if you’re going to be effective. Below are some of the biggest mistakes we see on Twitter profiles:

a) Privacy – If you’re doing social media, do not lock your privacy setting. Your community will never grow.

b) Profile pic – No pic, no follow. It’s that simple. Beyond making sure you have a profile pic, you need to consider whether you are an established brand or just starting out. People connect with people, not brands, logos or companies they’ve never heard of. Give them a human to connect with, rather than a logo they’ve never heard of.

c) Name – That’s great that your Twitter handle is @WhoTheHeckCares, but who are YOU? We see so many Twitter accounts with a great pic, and in the name field the person just put their Twitter handle again. Tell people your name. At the very least your first name and put it in the NAME field in Twitter. That’s why it’s there.

d) Bio – If you want people to be interested in you and what you do, make it easy for them to know you and what you do. All too often we see Twitter bio’s that contain cryptic tag lines, garbled incoherent sentences or no information at all. You need to know that you are leaving your potential followers confused and they are moving on instead of connecting with you.

Facebook is a social network with multiple profile types, such as a personal profile and business or community pages. These different account type are truly different and need to be managed as though they are. It is also extremely important to understand that business IS personal. The days of separating these two things are long gone. People do business with people, not faceless brands.

a) Personal Profile – When you lock your personal Facebook profile down, you are limiting your potential connections with prospective customers. Be sure your profile security settings let prospective connections get a sense of who you are and what you do.

b) Your BusinessfacebookprofileAll too often people add their business or employer to their profile hastily without intent. This leaves their business page not connected and opens a default Facebook profile for the mentioned company in your profile. This default tells nobody anything about the company or what it does and makes it impossible to build a following. Check your personal profile to ensure you have connected it to your business page. (see example to the right)

b) Facebook Business Pages – Fill out all of the profile information, and write it in a way that someone unfamiliar with you or your business will understand. Be sure your cover photo adds to the messaging and understanding of what you do, so when someone visits your page, they “get it” quickly and decide to connect.

2) Stream

a) Value – For the love of everything holy, you need to realize that social media is not direct sales, telemarketing or email spam. It is about earning relationships. When people check your social streams and find only content and messaging that is all about you, your brand, products or services, most will run. You must be selfless and realize it’s not about you, but your audience. Post content that they find interesting and relevant that is not about you, and you will earn the right to pitch your stuff to a receptive audience. Fail at this and you will get far fewer connections than you could.

b) Frequency – I heard a social media agency owner tell me last week that they were told that posting more than three times per day on any social platform was not a good idea. Really? Who told you that? Their response – “A social media guru that was speaking at an event we attended.”

Let me be really clear here. This is not 2005. If you are only posting 3 times a day on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or any other social platform, NOBODY is seeing anything you post. You have to have relevant, valuable, interesting content that YOU post, not Retweet or click Share, all day, every day. Yes, the volumes differ from platform to platform, but 3 posts isn’t the number on ANY of them.

3) Engagement

a) Conversations & Relationships – The other thing a potential social connection will typically do when reviewing your newsfeeds is look for engagement. They want to know that if they connect with you or your brand, you respond, thank, get into conversations and relationships ensue. This is SOCIAL media remember. It’s not spam media or pitch my stuff media. Be social and leverage the media and you will get many more connections and a growing social community.

When someone considering connecting with you or your brand on social media, they will unconsciously cycle through your profile, your bio and your streams. Using what they see, they quickly determine whether they want to connect with you. Focus on these three important factors and see your community grow faster than you have before.

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Filed under Agency, Audience, Community, connection, Content, Engagement, Facebook, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Ready for the Social Holiday Season? My Secret to Christmas Content Curation

“City sidewalk, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of #SocialBusiness.”

Easy content curation for Christmas social media marketingThat little line in the famous Christmas song is something I will be enjoying this year since all of my content for the Holiday Season is selected and curated. While I am shopping on the busy sidewalks, laughing and smiling there will be some of you that will probably be stuck at your computers. Christmas is a time for friends and family not a time to search and curate content. Especially when you have the ability to create, search, curate and schedule things ahead of time with BundlePost.

I will show you how I quickly and easily completed this task so that I can actually enjoy the Season this year. Wouldn’t you like to know how to save time and actually be able to accomplish more in the process? What’s more, this is something that you can use throughout the entire year, not just during the Holidays.

BundlePost has a Google Chrome extension called the Bundlet. The Bundlet allows you to grab and curate anything online and save it as a social media post in folders for scheduling.

Did you catch that? ANYTHING online. Some of you might be saying … “But I can do that with the Hootsuite Hootlet or with Buffer app”. Yes, that is true, you certainly can. However, I am not talking about scheduling things one at a time, each article or blog post separately. I am talking about Bulk Scheduling the content, graphics and blog posts you come across every day.

Using the Bundlet to save content for later bulk scheduling, there are two folder options

1. My Content – Create folders for all you or your clients marketing content and marketing messages.

2. Queues – Create folders for supplemental content. Content that you know will resonate with your audience. (Example – Christmas folder)

Christmas Queues in BundlePost

As you can see I selected to go with the Queue folder for my Christmas content. The possibilities and uses for Queue folders are actually endless. You can create a folder for any subject, client or category, then as you come across articles that you know will resonate with your audience, you can easily add them to that Queue and schedule them all in minutes. Doing research for a blog? You can use your Bundlet and Queue folders as a bookmark if you like. One place to have everything.

Now, back to Curating Christmas Content.

The Secret

Find the (2)1. Search for Content …. For things you know would interest your audience.

2. Click Chrome extension – Bundlet (Should see the content URL in the lower left hand corner and the title for the content you are queuing)

3. Drop down Save Content to – Add queue folder

4. Name folder (If you have Holiday product to share you might want to name it ‘Holiday Product’) You are the only one that will see the folder name. (So don’t stress over it LOL)

5. Select folder you just created or folder you want your content to be placed in. If folder is not selected your efforts will go to cyber space. Not even the Magic of Christmas can retrieve it for you. Sorry.

6. If box is checked, this content won’t be deleted if exported … that way you may share on multiple social platforms.

7. Curate Content. #TisTheSeason …. so have fun with it! I would suggest adding the authors Twitter handle as you see in the graphic. Great way to give them credit and possibly start a conversation. Have a special #Hashtag for Season? Be sure to include.

8. Click Submit

It only takes seconds to do these steps with the Bundlet. Now you just repeat those steps again as you find additional content for your holiday strategy! Keep going until you feel you have enough content in your Queue folder.

Let’s say you wanted to start your Christmas Content the day after Thanksgiving. That would give you a total of 28 days you need Christmas content. And let’s also say you wanted to post two Christmas items a day in between your normal content curation and marketing message posts. You would simple Queue 56 items into your Queue folder, create a schedule that contains two posting times per day, then merge the content in the Queue with that new schedule, run hashtags and your scheduled posts for the holidays are complete.

Want more help on executing with the Bundlet, Queues or BundlePost? Message me directly on Twitter and I will be happy to help!
PerfectJuliaBy Julia Hull @PerfectJulia

Director of Customer Support at BundlePost

Social media marketing professional that joined the BundlePost team early in it’s transition from social media agency to a software company. She is an expert in social media tools.

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Filed under Audience, Blog, Buffer, BundlePost, Content, content creation, Curation, Hootsuite, Marketing, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, social media tool, Strategy, Tools

Leveraging Multiple Social Media Accounts For Better Results [Infographic]

Last week as we were going through our normal social media marketing processes, and we began discussing one of the reasons our social media has been so successful in a very crowded space of social media tools. Many marketers, brands and individuals have multiple social media accounts, but often do not consciously integrate them to achieve the best results. The BundlePost brand executes a very specific procedure for leveraging all of our personal and brand social accounts to achieve the maximum reach, exposure, views and impressions.

This daily process involves cross promotional posting between our teams personal social accounts, back to the brand accounts as well as a consistent system of cross promoting to and from multiple brand social accounts to each other, our content and web properties. Sound a little complex? It can be…

Some of you may be reading this a thinking to yourself, well duh, of course you have to cross promote and you’re right. However the difference between cross promoting across the social graph and having an effective process for doing so is what makes all the difference.

We have created an infographic that depicts a typical day of the BundlePost social media marketing process. Below in the infographic we will detail an example of our process using Instagram as well as an overview of what we do across all platforms.

leveraging multiple social media accounts across the social graph

Instagram Example:

Using our Instagram accounts as an example, here is the flow of our cross promotional process…

1) Morning post of our created/branded graphic that consists of funny, coffee or social media related content.

2) All day we link back to that graphic on all other personal and business social accounts.

3) Our teams personal Instagram accounts post the same graphic to their Instagram accounts later that day/evening.

4) On days when a new blog post is live, the graphic for the blog is also shared late morning on the brand Instagram account with the URL for the blog home page.

5) Our teams personal Instagram accounts post the same blog graphic to their Instagram accounts later that day/evening.

6) At various other times of the day, the brand Instagram account posts other non-brand graphics.

Overview of the Process:

The overall intent of the process is to ensure maximum impressions over the course of the day. Regardless of which platform your target audience happens to be on at any given moment, your content will have the opportunity to be viewed. Just like with television, repeated impressions are what get the audience to take action or remember the brand message.

It is important to note that none of this works without consistency and selfless value incorporated into the strategy. Meaning, if you are going to get the benefits of following this process you must have a social content management system that can execute three specific things efficiently:

1) Consistency – The process needs to be executed daily, across all social accounts.

2) Selfless Value – You need to have enough curated, valuable, selfless content in your streams everyday, all day.

3) Repeat – You need to frequently infuse your legacy/evergreen blog, graphic and other content into your streams.

You want to take a holistic view of your social media marketing efforts. An approach that incorporates all accounts that cross promote and drive traffic where you want it to go. The result of executing this process consistently is that you can stabilize and even predict the traffic to your content, blog and landing pages from day-to-day. You will remove the massive swings of new unique visitors to your website, blog and landing pages, without spending money on ads.

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Filed under Audience, Brand, BundlePost, Content, content creation, Curation, Marketing, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Personal and Expanded Accounts Get Randomize Function In BundlePost

There are several distinctions between the different BundlePost account types. Though the majority of BundlePost users are Pro accounts that provide unlimited feeds, schedules, hashtags and upgraded functions, our Expanded and Personal account users are no less important to us. We recently evaluated the different social content management account types, their features and capabilities and came to a realization that we needed to make a few changes.

Pro accounts have always had the efficient Randomize function and recently were also given the new Mix algorithm, which makes shuffling up to 100 scheduled posts by curated source, topic and marketing messages in a single click a real breeze. This new feature was also designated as a Pro account only function, leaving Personal and Expanded accounts to continue to drag and drop scheduled posts, without any automation. We decided this needed to be changed…

Randomize feature for BundlePost Expanded and Pro UsersToday BundlePost is announcing that we have reconfigured Personal and Expanded accounts to include the Randomize feature.

Now Expanded and Personal account types can single click randomize their 40-50 scheduled posts. When managing curation for social media from multiple sources, RSS Feeds and marketing repository messages, the drag and drop capability becomes a more fine tuning strategic function, instead of the only way to mix posts from various sources. Clicking the Randomize button will randomize your scheduled posts to ensure a more random order of the content and subject matter you are posting to social media, and do it in a much more efficient way.

Though the new Intelligent Mix algorithm will remain a Pro Only feature, the Randomize feature will definitely infuse a substantial boost in efficiency to our other user types. Let us know what you think!

 

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Filed under automation, BundlePost, Content, Curation, Marketing, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, social media tool, Tools

Why You Should Stop Curating From Top Content Sites

stop sharing curated content from top content sitesLet start off with a question:

Why would you share the most popular content from high traffic content sites that most people are already reading and sharing?

Recently we found a new study released by eMarketer that details the curation sharing from top content sites across the social graph. In one example, Nearly all Upworthy articles go on Facebook. Did you read that? Nearly ALL.

Articles Shared on Social Networks by Publisher Here are some of the numbers:

Nearly 100% of Upworthy articles were shared on Facebook

Nearly one in 10 BuzzFeed articles were shared on Pinterest

With Facebook being the largest social network, it is pretty clear as to why the numbers are skewed heavily in their favor. However, the point is that content from the top sites is being heavily read AND shared by social media users. The top sites garner the largest amount of subscribers, traffic and readers.

It is really important to understand the purpose for content curation and the intended effect you should want it to have with your social media audience. It is also imperative that your social media strategy is inline with that desired intent and can be coupled with an efficient set of tools within your social media management.

Why Should You Share Content From Lesser Known Sites and Authors?

The Purpose Of Content Curation - There are several reasons you should be properly deploying unique content curation into your social media strategy. A few of them are:

1) Providing selfless value in your streams – Relevant content that your audience will find interesting.

2) Sparking conversation – If your content is always interesting to your audience and is “off the beaten path” from what everyone else is reading and sharing, it will spark conversation. This can come in many forms, but one way a conversation opportunity arises is through a RT or share of unique content you have curated. Use these opportunities to thank and open a discussion and remember that conversations build relationships.

3) Thought leadership – If you always have unique content in your streams that your peers do not, you will build more thought leadership, faster.

The Intended Effect From Content Curation - Unique content curation drives action.

1) Clicks/Views – When the content you share is unique, you will get more clicks and views of what you post. Again, this leads to more repeat and new conversations with your audience.

2) Shares - When the content you curate is unique, more people will Retweet and share your posts. Additional opportunities to engage in conversations and build relationships.

3) Discovery – When you curate unique content that result in more of 1 and 2 above, you will see a rise in the number of people who wish to discover more about you. This will translate into looking at your bio, learning about what you do and clicking to your site, landing pages and content.

Social media has a considerable amount of “noise”. If you are going to be successful using content curation, then you need to be able to cut through the noise effectively. If you are curating the same content everyone else is, from sources that everyone is already reading and sharing themselves, you end up amplifying the noise, not cutting through it.

We all want to be unique in life. We all want to display our individualism and be set apart from the crowd. In our real life circumstances this has been ingrained in many of us from a young age. Unfortunately, too many in social media do the exact opposite and are unwilling or thus far unable to spend the time to ensure they are different in this medium.

To make matters worse, tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Klout and many others are now “suggesting” content for you to share. The problem is that they are suggesting POPULAR content based on what everyone else is already reading and sharing, adding more noise to your stream. To be effective with content curation, you need to be both efficient and strategic. These platforms are furthering the problem, not improving the net results.

To be clear, I am not saying to NEVER curate content from the top content sites. I’m saying that these sources receive a ton of traffic and social sharing of their content already, therefore making it less effective for your strategy. Be unique.

Curating UNIQUE content is an important way to add value, cut through the noise and be unique. So what should YOUR answer to our opening question be? “I wouldn’t want to frequently share content from popular sites my target audience is already reading and sharing.

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Filed under Audience, Content, Curation, Engagement, Klout, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Tools

You Charge This Much Money For Social Media ??? by @smconnec

A Guest Post By Samantha Cangelosi

You charge how much for social media marketing?Who doesn’t like referrals from current clients? Having your social media agency referred to someone else shows that your current clients are obviously happy with your services, and that’s ultimately what any business owner would want, right?

When I received a referral from a client last week, I was excited about the potential business. This, however, wasn’t a typical referral call. Rather than calling about hiring me, this man reached out to me about a potential partnership between him and me. (He is a web designer with several clients looking for help with social media.)

Couldn’t hurt to talk to him about it… so I thought.

Our phone call began on a somewhat normal note — him asking me questions about how I long I’ve been doing what I do and how I came to work with the client we have in common. Simple stuff.

Briefly explaining that he had no interest in learning how to do social media “ever”, he praised me for how well we could potentially “fit together”.

Things were all fine and dandy until he started to describe his clientele. He referred to them as “mom-and-pop shops located in small strip centers.”

Red flag.

Oh, and “they hate to open their checkbooks”.

Bigger red flag.

This man continued on with how marketing agencies over-price everything, and therefore, someone like me would be great to help. I knew I had to lay out my pricing soon because the more this man talked, the more red flags appeared.

Soon after I explained my pricing, silence met me on the other side of the phone followed by, “Wow! You’re telling me that clients would pay you this much for 6 months?”

Ok. This response isn’t too uncommon for those unaware of what social media marketers do, so I proceed to share my thoughts on social media and describe how I help my customers with not just the daily management, but also strategy building. I explain that social media needs to be where business are now since their customers are on there connecting with the competitors. If businesses don’t have a presence on social media nowadays, they will get left behind.

Despite what I said, he continued to greet my answers with long awkward silences. Clearly this guy didn’t know what I was talking about, nor did he care to learn.

He finally responded, “So you’re telling me that you charge [referring client] this much money?” By this point, I was starting to get slightly offended by his attitude and tone and, frankly, it was none of his business what I charge them.

After several minutes of this back-and-forth he gave me the quotes of all quotes. The quote that launched a (865 word) blog post:

I’m sure you went to college and majored in Marketing or something.” Pause.

Me: “Journalism”

Him: “Yeah. Same thing… And I’m sure you’re book smart…but let me give you some advice”

I was in utter shock. This gentleman decided to give me unsolicited business advice on how to price my services because, apparently, mine was somehow flawed. Weird how he knew how to price my services, yet knew nothing about the industry, how it works, what I do or how I do it. Hmm…

I had to take deep breaths, remembering that a client of mine had recommended me and I didn’t want this man to talk bad about me to my current client; or any potential clients, for that matter.

I can go on and on sharing the awkward and offensive things that happened during this conversation, but I think the point has been made: this man clearly had no understanding of social media and absolutely no interest in learning.

It Takes Time

It’s our job as social media managers to help businesses realize the potential social media has, and when done right, how successful it can be. Social media requires time to do that, though. I’m not just talking about time for building relationships — we all know that doesn’t happen overnight. I’m talking about actual time. It takes time to create a social media strategy. We research their competitors, their industry, what they are currently doing with their marketing strategy.

It takes time to build accounts, optimize them, create and edit graphics, etc.

It takes time to find their business’s target audience and follow them and connect with them.

It takes time to find content to share with their target audiences — content that they will actually find interesting.

It takes time. If you want to hire someone who spends 2 minutes a day on your social media management who charges $99 a month, then be my guest, but odds are that they probably won’t have the knowledge or ability to execute a proper strategy, let alone achieve anything resembling real results.

Yes, I went to college and I’m proud of it (Go Mustangs)! Yes I consider myself “book smart,” and shocker: I enjoy learning. If you don’t then you shouldn’t be in this business because social media requires marketers to learn something new every day. I also know that I can’t live without a paycheck, just like you, “man on the other side of the phone”. This is my livelihood. This is my “bread and butter”. This is my business. I get my clients real results and I don’t work for free.

About Samantha:

Samantha CangelosiSamantha Cangelosi is a social media marketer based in South Texas. A graduate of Southern Methodist University in journalism, she has always had a passion for telling and sharing stories with audiences. Now, she gets the chance to tell brands’ stories on a daily basis all while connecting with people just like you. She loves food of all kinds, coffee with a little cream, and her Corgi-child.

Twitter: @smconnec
Facebook : Social Media Connections
Website: sm-connections.com
Linkedin:

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Filed under Agency, Content, customer service, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy