Tag Archives: Results

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

As we continue our series from the survey we conducted on social media marketing, the question of overall challenges is the focus. We asked hundreds of social media marketers, agencies and brands what are the two biggest challenges they face with their social media marketing efforts. We were somewhat surprised by the top two answers and think you may be as well.

We asked what are: “The two biggest challenges I face with my overall social media marketing is?”

2 Biggest Social Media Challenges

 

A total of 36.5% of respondents said that Engagement and Sales/Revenue were the two biggest challenges they face with their social media marketing. We found it very interesting that some of the very things that impact both of these key result areas the most were ranked much lower. The key areas that ranked lower were Time, Relationships, Clicks, Content Curation and General Results.

Time 13.68% : Not too surprising is ranked number three is the challenge of time. We all know that social media marketing is very time and human intensive, but where you’re spending time or where you aren’t spending it, is the important part. We have found that most social media marketers spend most of their time on back office functions, not the front office functions that actually result in the two biggest challenges of Engagement and Sales/Revenue.

If your time is spent managing, scheduling, editing and hashtagging curated and marketing posts, you have less time to have conversations, build relationships and engage. These are the things that result in sales and revenue, therefore adjusting where you spend time by using the proper tools, such as Bundle Post is imperative if you wish to impact the Engagement and Revenue of your social media management.

Clicks/Traffic 12.82% :  Now this one is often a challenge to figure out for some. There are several distinct reasons or combination of reasons for this to be a challenge for a social media marketer. Sometimes it is just one of the reasons listed below, but more often than not, it is a combination of several that result in little click-through traffic coming from marketing efforts. Here are a FEW reasons why this tends to occur and questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Lack of -or- Improper Strategy – Do you truly know who your audience is and what they’re interested in?
  2. Lack of Topical Thought Leadership – Are you posting topical content that drives your audiences interest or are you mainly retweeting or sharing content others are posting?
  3. Lack of Consistency or Volume – Are you scheduling social media posts everyday, all day at the appropriate levels, or are you sporadic, inconsistent or not doing it at levels that are even being noticed?
  4. Lack of Value – Do your posts provide selfless, relevant value to your target audience on a consistent basis?
  5. Not Enough Marketing – Are you sharing 10% to 20% of your posts that market you, your company, products or services, or are you rarely even mentioning your online properties, content and landing pages?
  6. Too Much Marketing – Are you posting primarily about you, your company, products or services?

These are some of the reasons that none of your friends and followers are clicking through to your website, content or offer pages. Understanding that you have to first provide value, get into conversations and build relationships in order to get traffic and clicks is extremely important. Simple conversations create interest that can get a connection to have more interest in you or your brand. Many times those conversations cause a connection to even read your bio and click to your site contained within your profile. Get into conversations with your target audience about anything THEY are interested in and see what happens to your clicks and traffic.

General Results 5.13% : We think that Engagement and Sales/Revenue would fall under this category as well, but we did not want to assume and add it to the top two challenge numbers. We also believe that Clicks/Traffic and Relationships are also under this heading, therefore we will leave this challenge as it is.

Relationships 4.7% : Relationships in social media are created through conversations, just like in the real world. Often times the reason relationships are not being forged is due to too few conversations with the proper people. If you are finding that relationships are one of your big challenges, I suggest that you take a look at these three areas:

  1. Your Target Audience – One big mistake people make is that they build communities that are not their target audience. Often the like, friends and followers many marketers attract are that of their peers and competitors, not their prospective customers. Be sure you know who you are trying to reach and connect with them, not your peers.
  2. Your Content Strategy – Another error made on the relationship front is content strategy, especially when you are missing on number one above. If you have not clearly defined who you are trying to reach, you are definitely going to be off on the types of content you are curating and creating for your streams.
  3. Where you Spend Time – Be sure you have the proper tools and processes in place. If you’re spending time everyday curating content and not engaging with your target audience, you will be hard pressed to establish relationships easily.

Follow this formula – “Content leads to conversation, conversations build relationships and relationships result in ROI.” – Get each step down properly and you will see a massive improvement on the quantity and quality of relationships you develop within the social graph.

Content Curation 3% : The biggest shock to us was Content Curation falling to one of the lowest challenges facing the hundreds of social media agencies, brands and marketers that answered our survey. Why? Well if people truly understood this challenge and had it under control and managed properly, we would not see Engagement and Sales/Revenue as the top two challenges. Proper content curation, with the proper topics/strategy, at the appropriate volumes will spark engagement, sharing and conversations. It’s where everything starts.

Adding content creation, proper levels of marketing your products and services, along with the all important strategy work is imperative to achieving social media marketing sales, revenue and ROI. All of this must be approached at the selfless value and relationship level if you’re going to be successful.

Here are the previous Survey posts in this series:

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

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

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

 

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Filed under Brand, Content, Curation, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Retweet, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing

After years of being in this industry, I have seen a lot. Changes, improvements, trends and scary little secrets that still tend to shock me even though I should be numb to it by now. Though I have never read a book or taken any classes on social media marketing, I sure have done a lot of it as an individual, then an agency and now as a brand.

50 Things I've Learned About Social MediaI have decided to create a list of 50 things I have learned about the industry. They are in no particular order and by no means is this a complete list. Just some things I decided to jot down that I believe might be helpful for our readers. I think you will find there is something directed to the beginner, all the way to the industry professional. Some are simple truths you may already realize and others are opinions I have formed through thousands of conversations and connections over the years.

50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing:

1) Social Media is a marathon, not a sprint.

2) You will make mistakes. Embrace them and move forward.

3) Consistency is the most important thing over the long-term.

4) Curating topical content is important.

5) Relationships do result in revenue.

6) Most have no idea what they’re doing.

7) Consultants and speakers are going to kill this business.

8) Do not listen to Social Media Marketing Celebrities.

9) Social media is really hard when done right.

10) A majority of social media marketers connect and engage with their peers and competitors, not their prospects.

11) The last thing we need is another social network.

12) Helping others selflessly is rewarding in and of itself.

13) Automating anything directly to your streams is not effective.

14) Using TruTwit to force new connections to prove they’re human is a beginner epidemic.

15) Most industry apps and tools are created by people who have never successfully done social media marketing.

16) Other than keynote speakers, many travel to and speak at events at their own cost/expense to pretend to be important.

17) Facebook leadership doesn’t have a clue what their customers really need and want.

18) The more immediate you respond to new comments, follows and engagement, the more likely you will get more.

19) Content isn’t king, getting real results is king. Content is part of the process.

20) Don’t pay attention to what industry “leaders” say, just watch what they do.

21) Quantity AND quality matter. It’s not an either or, but BOTH.

22) The proper tools are required. Too many people frequently try all the new tools as a distraction in order to avoid doing what they know they need to do. This is counterproductive. Find tools that solve your biggest problems ONLY, then execute with them.

23) Many social media “professionals” are arrogant and impatient with newbie ignorance or mistakes, instead of helpful.

24) The people in the industry that have the least experience, knowledge and skill call themselves Experts, Ninjas and Gurus.

25) Social media marketing changes weekly.

26) A proper social media strategy is required if you expect to get results.

27) Big brands are the worst at social media marketing. They don’t do it properly and they don’t have to.

28) Don’t pay attention to or try to replicate what big brands do in social media.

29) There is only one steadfast rule in social media – DO NOT SPAM!

30) People connect with people, not brands or logo’s they’ve never heard of. Humanize your brand.

31) SMB’s need to leverage personal and business social accounts to be most effective.

32) Most SMB’s should stop spending time and resources to learn from “experts” and hire a qualified social media agency.

33) Your mobile device must be deployed in real-time with your social accounts if you want to be successful.

34) Google Plus is NOT a replacement for Facebook, nor will it “kill” Facebook.

35) If you are holding or attending more than 2 Google Hangouts on air “shows” per week, you may need to evaluate your bank account, time management and priorities.

36) Most social media “consultants” are broke.

37) Most social media marketers don’t post frequently enough.

38) A blog is not required for every business. Content creation is required for every business.

39) Only retweeting or sharing other people’s status updates isn’t a strategy.

40) Posting quotes everyday isn’t a strategy.

41) Most marketers have not spent the time to clearly define their target audience and what drives them on social media.

42) The only place that “If you build, it they will come” works is in Hollywood.

44) Effective social media marketers don’t take nights and weekends off from engagement.

45) Social media is the center of online digital marketing efforts. Integrate it into everything you do on and offline.

46) Proper social media marketing that gets real results, cannot be hired for $50/mo.

47) There are a ton of classes and content about how to do social media marketing. Be careful what you read.

48) Most social media agencies are solopreneurs that are great at social media marketing, but need help at making it a profitable business.

49) Social media is like a parallel universe to the real world. What you would never do at a networking event, you should not do in social media.

50) Analysis paralysis will stifle your social media results. Do more, analyze as needed.

Again, this is not a complete list of what I have learned, just a random compilation that crosses all aspects of the industry. What have you learned?

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Filed under Brand, Content, Curation, Engagement, Facebook, Google Plus, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

New Weekly Bundle Post Classes Begin

What a year of tremendous growth we have experienced. Adding new capabilities, user levels and a host of feature upgrades has resulted in needed changes as we look toward the future. We have gone through great pains to be exceptional with our customer support, responsiveness to issues and communicating well with our users, as well as taking feedback and requests beyond thank you lip service and prioritizing your needs above our planning. This mindset permeates our company and is upheld by every team member at the core of how they think and more importantly how they act. It often feels like a dream come true to constantly have this recognized by our users and stated publicly. I’m not sure a brand could hope for or achieve anything better. For this we are extremely humbled.

Bundle Post Weekly ClassesIn keeping with the pace of our growth, user requirements and the ability to continue to scale our operations, today we are announcing we will be holding group setup and training classes twice per week for our users. Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday each week and will be designed specifically to help trial and upgraded users rapidly implement their setup and resulting effectiveness with the Bundle Post platform.

Users that we assist in the setup and training elements of their Bundle Post usage tend to more quickly realize the benefits, efficiencies and effectiveness results over those that do not. Knowing this, we are going to institute the weekly classes that help all users get there as easily and rapidly as possible.

Weekly Classes Will Cover:

1) Basic System Setup Using Wizards

2) Adding Feed Channels and Content Curation

3) Creating Schedules

4) Hashtagging System

5) Bundlet Chrome Extension and Queues

6) My Content Repository Marketing Folders

7) Scheduling and Exporting Bulk Posts

And a lot more!

Starting in late April or early May we will also introduce Bundle Post University classes on a bi-weekly basis. These classes will be specifically for experienced Bundle Post users that want to learn more high-level capabilities and strategies of using the system. They will be Expert and Pro level training classes that cover other effective uses of the Bundle Post technology for campaigns, expanding reach, influencer programs, company and product launches and more. We will formally announce the first Bundle Post University courses when the date is made available.

If you are new to Bundle Post or would like refresher or secondary training, register for one of the weekly classes as many times as you’d like. Our customer support team and I look forward to helping you realize dramatic efficiency and effectiveness improvements with your social media marketing efforts right away!

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Filed under Bundle Post, Bundlet, Chrome Extension, Content, Curation, customer service, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing

How To Know Your Social Media Content Strategy Isn’t Working

Determining what isn’t working within your social media marketing strategy is imperative. Your content strategy is often one of the areas that is off, and the reason your efforts are thus far in vain. If you don’t have a proper social media content strategy it will affect the rest of your social media marketing results. Identifying the key indicators pointing to what’s not working is extremely important.

Social Media Content StrategyWhat are a few of the signs that the content strategy you are using with your social media marketing isn’t working?

1) No Shares – One of the biggest things you should be seeing that will validate the topics and content you post about are shares. If you’re not getting a fair amount of RT’s and shares of the content you curate, post and create, your content strategy is missing the mark.

2) No Engagement – When your community likes and comments on the content you are posting to your streams, you can infer that the content types and topics you are posting about is resonating. But lets be very clear here. I said likes AND comments. A subtle thing many miss is that likes without comments is not a good indicator of relevance. You’re looking for both likes and comments that show your content strategy is connecting with your audiences interests.

3) No Clicks – One thing that is often overlooked is the measurement of traffic to YOUR websites, landing pages and content. When you have nailed a curation and creation content strategy, you will be providing consistent content that resonates with your audience and opens interest in content you create and more importantly an openness to investigate what you and/or your company actually does. If your social media posts about you and your services aren’t generating traffic, it’s a good indication that nobody cares what you post.

4) No Leads/Sales – At the end of the day, social media marketing needs to be about results. It needs to be about more than just clicks, engagement, likes and community size. If your content strategy is working and you have speaking to the proper audience with the content you curate and create, it will lead to conversations and then relationships.

Earning relationships should be your focus from the beginning. Providing selfless value through content posting, content creation and shares will open conversations with your community. As those conversations increase, relationships are formed, thought leadership is established and relationships grown. Through those relationships you will also generate inquiries, leads and revenue.

If you have the proper content strategy in place and are doing the proper activities surrounding what you post, likes, comments, conversations, clicks, traffic, relationships and sales are the result.

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Filed under Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized

The Drastic Difference Between Social Selling And Spam

Social Selling continues to gain popularity as a term and an action within the social media marketing space. Social selling has many definitions, but I like the one by @JulioVisko in a Social Media Today article from 2012 that says “staying connected with your prospects and build a relationship with them that goes beyond a vendor toward a trusted advisor.” The key word here is relationship, not selling, something often misunderstand by online marketers and brands alike.

Correct me if I am wrong, but we are all experiencing an increase in Social Selling VS Spamwhat I consider to be the opposite of social selling, under the guise of the often misunderstood phrase. Many newer social media applications are gaining popularity that purport to “find prospects that need your product/service and automate or suggest responses” that supposedly increase “engagement” and sales. Sounds really good, doesn’t it? Not so fast.

All, if not most of these applications are developed by gear-heads that have incredible programming skills, but little to no social media marketing experience or understanding. What results is the numerous @ mentions we are all experiencing when we tweet a specific word or phrase from brands, marketers and twitter accounts we have had ZERO engagement with. It’s simply a search for and respond with function that fills the social graph with noise, frustration and inappropriate sales messaging that has nothing to do with social.

Recently I had a Skype call with the CEO of one such technology company. The demo and call didn’t go very well as you can imagine, and actually degraded into an argument over what social media marketing actually is. This brilliant programmer’s company has tons of logo’s of major brand customers and news sites “validating” how awesome his technology is, which magnifies the problem even further. The individual argued that it is perfectly fine for brands and marketers to use technology to find “prospects” and @ mention them with a specific offer of their products, even if they have never followed, engaged or connected with the twitter account previously.

Well, I vehemently and respectfully disagree. Where I come from, we call that spam. You know, the unwanted and unrequested direct contact by a person or brand you don’t know, soliciting a product or service you did not want information about. Easily recognized in our email inbox, yet regrettably it is overlooked as acceptable by the inexperienced in social media.

What is social selling and how do you do it properly?

In a word, social selling is relationships. It is derived from connections and conversations within social networks with prospects for your products and services that start and end around building a long-term relationship. It is providing selfless value to your prospect community and earning the opportunity to “pitch” what you do.

Can you target prospects in social selling?

Absolutely you can and SHOULD! Use tools, searches and hashtags to find your target audience or prospects that need what you do, then connect and communicate with them about anything other than what you do. Show interest in them and what they do and most importantly ensure that the content you are sharing is interesting and relevant to THEM, not exclusively pitching what you do.

Social selling and spam are at opposite ends of the spectrum of effective social media marketing.

One is targeted, sustainable and long-term, one is not.

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Filed under App, Brand, Community, Hashtag, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Spam, Twitter

The Most Overlooked Social Media Success Method

As a social media software firm, we spend a considerable amount of our activity within the social graph. We are constantly engaging in conversations, evaluating metrics and reviewing people’s streams and profiles. As a part of this normal process we and many of you engage in regularly, we began to notice things that though subjective, provide valuable insight on social media success.

Or dare we say, lack thereof.

Social Media ConsistencyThe most glaring thing we are noticing is a lack of consistency on the part of many social media “professionals, consultants and agencies”, as well as the average SMB brand. What do we mean by lack of consistency?  Every single day we see social media accounts that RT or comment on one of our posts, then upon reviewing their stream we find they only post a few times per week (if that) and most of their status updates are responses or RT’s of other people’s posts.

Here is a theory we have formulated and have deployed for many years in this industry:  Proper Activity Leads To Results

The most overlooked successful activity in social media is activity itself! Consistent, daily activity…

You’ve heard the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” haven’t you?  In fact we hear from our users and brands that we consult that “just the consistent hashtagging and posting of relevant content all day, every day using Bundle Post results in a major impact in clicks, traffic, conversations and relationships”.

In social media marketing, consistency merges with activity to drive results. Given that you have a proper strategy of topics and subject matter your audience finds interesting and relevant, and you combine that with a consistent stream of curated content, engagement and conversations, you get results. If there is no consistency and therefore sporadic activity or the wrong activity, results decline or are non-existent. It really is that simple.

What does consistency look like?

1) Freeway – If you were to think of a social network newsfeed or timeline as a freeway and all the cars flying by on that freeway to be status updates, you would understand the importance of consistency much easier. You see, social network users do not stand at the side of the freeway all day long, every day. In fact they show up on the side of the freeway, logout, come back again later and so on.

If you do not have enough consistent, valuable content (status updates) in your stream every day, very few are seeing your cars driving by. Even worse, you are not providing any value to your audience that have connected to you and therefore you are completely out of sight and out of mind to your audience.

If however, you have a consistent stream of shared, curated and created content in your streams every single day from morning until night (at appropriate levels for each network), you begin to attract conversations, shares and likes of the content you are posting. In turn, the conversations and shares around your posts build relationships that can turn into sales, web traffic and real results.

By increasing the quantity and quality of the posts you make every single day, you also increase your overall reach, clicks, shares and conversations that your social media marketing will achieve. As long as you are not just sharing about you or throwing up a ton of “mud on the wall”, hoping it sticks, but rather are consciously understanding your audiences interests and posting the topics that drive them online, it becomes a numbers game at a certain appropriate level, your results increase.

Quantity + Consistency + Quality =  MORE Reach, Likes, Shares, Clicks, Traffic, Engagement and Relationships (Real Results)

2) Engagement & Response - When you pivot to achieve the posting consistency mix correctly, the next consistency requirement to focus on is Engagement and Response. If you think of engagement as outreach to your audience and response as what it sounds like, then you might have an idea of what we are discussing here.

Consistently look for opportunities to START conversations, share content from and otherwise engage with your community. Likewise you should consistently respond to comments, conversations, shares and other activity that your target audience does to amplify your content, message or posts. These are the activities that build relationships and earn your brand the right to discuss what you do within your community.

Consistency is the most overlooked and underutilized success method in social media marketing. Merging these consistency elements into your daily activity will completely transform what you currently realize in results.

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Filed under Bundle Post, Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

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

As we continue the series of blog posts resulting from our survey on social media marketers, brands and agencies, we focus our attention on the top social media dashboards and tools. As a reminder, we conducted a survey with hundreds of social media professionals to gain insight on the challenges they face with social media management. The two previous posts were;

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

and

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

Most Used Social Media ToolsWe continued with the survey and asked respondents “Which one of the following social media dashboard/tools do you use most to manage your social media posting?” Though most of the responses were somewhat expected, there is some deeper information in the data that we found interesting.

The big number that stood out most surprisingly to us was the almost 4 and half percent of respondents that are currently not using any tools whatsoever. 4.4% stated that they are using social media platforms directly, or not using any outside tools to be effective and efficient with their social media marketing.

Not so surprising was the huge 53% of respondents that stated they are using Hootsuite as the social media tool they use most often. As a dashboard that can manage many social media accounts and platforms in one place, it is well-known as the most used application for this purpose.

The second largest numbers tied in our survey. Roughly 10.7% of all respondents stated they were using both Buffer and Bundle Post social media tools. Of all of the dashboards and social media marketing and posting tools listed in the survey of social media marketers, these were the only two tools that were selected so closely. Though very different, both of these popular tools with social media marketers can be considered curation and scheduling tools. They both focus on making scheduling of curated content more efficient, but Bundle Post takes it much further with patent pending technology that also hashtags, manages marketing content and curated aggregation, while integrating with several social media dashboards, including Buffer.

While there are literally hundreds upon thousands of social media management tools on the market today, ensuring that efficiency and effectiveness of your social media efforts is key. The top social media tools and dashboards being used by many social media marketers, brands and agencies provide a good starting point for your core tools.

What social media tools are you using to be efficient and effective with your social media marketing efforts?

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Buffer, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Hashtag, Hootsuite, Marketing, Results, Social Aggregation, 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

8 New Ways Content Curation And Social Media Marketing Are Now Easier

Gone are the days that posting a few times per day on social media accounts and expecting to get any meaningful results. The tenacious appetite for relevant content from social network users is growing daily. Consistently finding, scheduling and posting relevant, valuable curated content that is interesting to your target audience has become far more challenging for social media agencies, marketers and brands. The ability to control all aspects of the process, yet garner massive time savings with result driven capabilities are paramount to competing in this environment.

If you don’t have time to focus on engagement and building relationships, you are not getting results. If you are spending time scheduling content posts, you’re not engaging. If your social media automation isn’t providing an efficient work-flow solution for content management, you’re going to like what we are about to share with you.

Today Bundle Post is announcing the release of its version 3.0, which is packed with 8 new upgrades that make content curation and social media marketing even easier. The improvements contained in this release are far from simple. In fact, this package of upgrades is revolutionary in terms of functionality, efficiency and social media posting control.

Of the seven new advancements, five are for all user types and two of the new features are Pro user only capabilities that we know you’re going to go crazy over. So let’s dive into the 3.0 and show you the powerful functions that have been included.

1) Feed Attribution - (Pro Accounts Only)

You can now attribute an entire feed channel to an author, website or even add hashtags to posts from a specific Google alert.

  • Support for by/via @ mention attributions.
  • Manually edit a specific post attribution on the export table.
  • Edit/add feed channel attribution at any time.
  • Automatically manages every posts character length for you.

RSS Feed AttributionLet’s say you have an RSS feed from a specific website or blog already added into Bundle Post and you want to attribute the posts you use from that feed channel to the site/author whenever you use their content. All you have to do is edit the attribution field next to their feed channel with something like “by @BundlePost”. From then on when you select content from their feed channel on the export table, the system will append by @BundlePost to the text of each post.

Maybe your brand has a specific hashtag (like #weRockFood) that you use with your community and want to append that hashtag to all of your content from your blog when you share it on social sites. Next to your blogs feed channel in Bundle Post, add #weRockFood in the attribution field for that feed and the system will append it to each post when you export.

If all this wasn’t enough, we have also added the attribution function to the Bundlet Chrome extension. When you add a new RSS feed channel to Bundle Post using the Bundlet, you will be able to set attribution right then and there!

There are so many awesome uses for the attribution feature, but what is really cool is that the system will always adjust the number of characters in the text of posts with attribution assigned, ensuring the character limit requirements are handled for you and room is made for your attribution. What’s more, though you set attribution for an entire feed channel, you are able to edit specific attributions manually on the export table if you desire.

Finally, we don’t overwrite the text of posts in feed channels with the attribution text, we append the attribution only during an export, so you can change attribution at any time in the future and on your next export the new attribution will be live without effecting all the posts in that channel with the previous attribution.

2) Time Slot Control - (Pro Accounts Only)

When doing an export, there are times you may want to remove specific date/time slots from an export, without having to open the file after exporting and manually making the changes. (we recommend you never open/edit export files as it changes the formatting of special characters) But maybe you want to lighten the number of posts you have over the weekend, or you need to do an export starting at today’s date but it’s already three hours passed the first time slot in a given schedule.

Timeslotcontrol1Now you can toggle specific date and time slots on/off from the export table, without effecting the actual schedule you are using. To remove a specific posting date/time, click the blue clock icon at the left of the post. This will remove that time slot from the export for that date only, leaving that time slot active for previous and future days within the export. You can toggle a removed time slot back on if you change your mind, by clicking the grey clock icon again.

When you shut off a specific date/time, the system will automatically move the post that was in that slot down one time slot for you. The removed time slot will remain on the screen as a blank post and will not be exported at all, allowing you to easily see the time slots you have toggle off.

3) Redesigned Export Table

We have made some substantial improvements to the Export Table design and functionality, making managing hundreds of feed channels, folders and content much more efficient and user-friendly. The left column containing your huge list of Feed Channels, My Content, Queues, Follow Friday and Hashtag folders, requiring you to scroll over and over is now gone. We have replaced the left column with simple and clean drop down buttons on the top of the page, allowing you to easily access content and other functions without having to scroll.

By cleaning up the main part of the export table, we were able to spread the post table all the way out, making a much more simplified view with all posts taking up a single line. The new main export table section is more compact, yet easier to view and gives more room for additional functionality we are adding today as well as future capabilities to come.

Export Table View

4) Last Used

LastUsed2Knowledge is power, when you use the knowledge effectively. We believe it’s incredibly helpful and important to track the dates you last used a piece of content in the system, as well as the last date you exported for a specific schedule in the system. Easily having access to this information enables to you better plan your next required content scheduling for a particular social media account and what content you have not shared in a while.

Now, all content, schedules and feed channel posts are tracked and given date/time stamps, clearly showing you when it was last used in an export from the system.

We took this further and added the same tracking to all folders in the system as well. Finally, we also display the date and time every single piece of content in the system was last scheduled and even show you last exported and scheduled post dates when you start a new export as show below.

Last Used Dates

We believe tracking and providing this information to our users will enable them to better plan campaigns and be more effective with the short and long-term use of their content marketing.

5) Character Length Handling

The Bundle Post system now automatically corrects the character length of your posts at all times. Whether you are using the new attributions, edit the text of a post or auto-hashtag, Bundle Post will calculate character length and ensure that you are within the proper limits for uploading into the dashboard of your choice.

You will no longer have posts that sneak by with a few too many characters, causing an error when you upload to Hootsuite or other dashboards.

6) Hashtag Reminder

Have You HashtaggedHow many times have you exported your scheduled content and uploaded it and realized you forgot to run hashtags? We have too. Now Bundle Post will remind and ask you before downloading your export file if you have not yet run hashtags on the export. We keep track if you have done and don’t nag you, so you’ll only see the reminder if you forget.

7) Content Source Colors

We have made some changes to the export table colors we know you’re going to appreciate. The system handled this terribly before, in that only each feed channel received a different color, but all other content from other folder sources were kept the same color. Now:

  • A newly modified color scheme, contrasts and sequence make it easier to differentiate from content types/sources.
  • A different color will be assigned to content coming from each different folder, not just feed channels.

InsertPost

8) Insert a Post

insert a postYou can now manually create and insert a post into the export table in real-time. Posts inserted this way are not saved to the database, but are exported with all of your other posts. A great way to add posts to an export on the fly.

Ok, so we couldn’t stop at 8 new features. Though there are quite a few other unnamed changes, enhancements and improvements that you will quickly notice, we will layout just three more bonus upgrades for you here.

**BONUS Upgrades**

1) Export Auto-Naming:

We have added an additional bonus enhancement that is not really a new feature, but we know it will be something you’ll love. Bundle Post now automatically names your export files using the name of the schedule plus the dashboard platform you exported it for. It also appends the date at the end so you can easily identify the newest export you downloaded for that schedule, platform or client. It looks something like this – Client A – Twitter-Bundlepost-export-for-hootsuite-Dec-20-2013.csv

2) More Schedule Posting Times:

More Posting TimesWhen adding multiple time slots to a schedule with start and ending times, you used to only have options for on the hour, the fifteens, half and three-quarter hours. Bundle Post 3.0 allows you to create schedule posting times that are far more varied and ensuring that your social media posts are going at non-standard times each hour of the day.

3) RSS Error Handling: 

The new Bundle Post Feed Channel page has been highly improved with some new functions and improved error handling.

First, we have added an Update All Feeds option that allows you to force the system to ingest the latest content for all of your feeds in the system at once. This process can be time-consuming if you have several feed channels in the system, but prevents you from having to manually update feeds in between the three times per day automatic function already in place.

Secondly, we have added error handling for feed channels. This new process handles two main functions; 1) It ensures that the URL you add for a feed channel is formatted properly (example: contains the http://) and if it is not done correctly, the system automatically fixes it for you. 2) If a feed channel you have added to the system stops working or is not ingesting content, it will automatically flag that feed channel with a  image next to the RSS having an issue. This alerts you that something is wrong with the source of the RSS, it has been entered wrong and is not updating, or otherwise isn’t a supported feed source.

If you want to make your social media management and social media marketing efforts up to 80% more effective, efficient and profitable, Get started with Bundle Post now!

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Filed under Alerts, Bundle Post, Bundlet, Chrome Extension, Content, Curation, Engagement, Hashtag, Hootsuite, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing