Tag Archives: Social strategy

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 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

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

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

Use Content Curation To Create Brand Advocates That Sing Your Song

Brand advocates develop within social media marketing, regardless of the size of your business, when multiple components converge to fill the needs of your target market. These needs differ related to the products and Brand Advocateservices you offer, the value they provide and the problems they solve for your customers. However, outside of your product offering, social connections begin to turn into brand advocates as you consistently and effectively deliver selfless value to them before, during and after the sale.

How do you recognize a brand advocate?

The Most Common Traits of a Brand Advocate:

1) They read and share the content you create frequently.

2) They share and comment on the content you curate regularly.

3) They often become customers of your company. (but not always)

4) They tell others about your product/service/content openly and often.

That value you deliver to your audience initially comes in the form of the content you share in your streams, through content aggregation, content curation and content creation. Let’s start by defining the difference between these three, as aggregation and curation are often incorrectly considered as the same.

Aggregation: Finding and collecting content to share

Curation: Editorializing and commenting on aggregated content when you post/schedule it.

Creation: Developing your own articles, graphics, videos and other content, specifically for the online and social media marketing benefits.

When you effectively aggregate, curate and create the content that your audience finds valuable, they will like, share and comment more and more frequently. The difference between making your social media marketing successful and a community full of brand advocates is what you do, or don’t do next. This is where most big brands fail miserably.

When your social media posts have intent and strategy behind them which resonate with your audience the shares, likes and comments roll in. Acknowledging these and moving them into conversations and ultimately real relationships is where everything we have discussed thus far becomes meaningful. There are very few brands that garner brand advocacy on the substance of their products and services alone. Brand advocacy comes from the relationships forged before, during and after the sale that takes a customer from someone who is just a customer to one that advocates for your brand on and offline. Do you see the difference?

Some Of The Benefits of Brand Advocates:

1) They expand your reach on and offline to their friends, customers and communities.

2) By expanding your reach to their communities and advocating your brand, they help you grow your community.

3) They help you organically and virally increase your sales and revenue by way of exposure, testimonial and conversation.

Content Curation SongSo where does the song reference come in from the title of this post? This week, the graphic on the right came in from one of our Pro users, @C4Compete. She wrote (or changed) a song based on the 12 Days of Christmas and turned it into the 12 benefits of Bundle Post. Unsolicited and out of the blue…

We have found that delivering value through our social media content strategy of aggregation, curation and creation, coupled with the users of our technology loving the value of the product and how we conduct customer service, results in not just brand advocates, but advocates that create content about us. That’s right. They write blog posts that mention Bundle Post. They create videos and graphics that promote Bundle Post.

When your social community begins to be made up of true brand advocates and customers that spread your message and promote your brand and products, I can assure you that you are delivering selfless value to them that is paying off in sales and revenue.

How does your content curation work together with your social media management to foster brand advocates to sing your brand song?

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Filed under Brand, Content, Curation, Marketing, Relationship, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

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

Case Study: One Of The Best Things We Did For Our Social Media Program This Year

The social media marketing program at Transparent Language is unusual because we offer language learning software for over 80 languages and our audience is massively segmented. Instead of pushing everyone into a single community, we’ve created over 30 separate community segments, each focused on a specific language. We have developed valuable content streams to share with these communities like:

• A Word of the Day service for 27 languages
• 30 Different language and culture blogs
• 30 Seperate YouTube channels

Testimonial Case StudyThis approach is beneficial to language learners, because they get a focused experience; the shared content, news, and fellow community members are all focused on the same language of interest. It benefits us to be able to target our communications also.

However, managing that many segments is a challenge for a small social media team. We’ve done a good job with our own content, feeding useful items daily to each segment, but one of the rules of good social media is that you don’t always talk about you. We wanted to provide our communities with interesting and relevant curated content about the language they are studying, as well as cultural news and articles about the country where that language is spoken.

In the past, we would take an afternoon, and go through individual Google alerts and other sources, looking for relevant items to post to each community. This was time-consuming and therefore we were unable to do it consistently. I could only get to the top half-dozen segments of our community due to the time required. It was from doing this exercise manually that I was able to instantly recognize the value of what Bundle Post had to offer when they showed me the demo.

We implemented Bundle Post in February 2013. Here is what the typical results look like for user reach on our Facebook pages:

bundle post social media results

It’s worth mentioning that the reach prior to our Bundle Post case study was quite respectable; we had a good content strategy in place, however Bundle Post substantially changed our game in the following ways:

  • We can now efficiently recycle our evergreen content back to our channels for an encore.
  • We are able to pull in additional streams of our own content (vocabulary lists posted by our Byki List Central community) and incorporate those into our content stream; we hadn’t been able to do this efficiently in the past
  • Instead of hunting through Google Alerts manually and scheduling a couple days of content sporadically, we now quickly identify quality content items for ALL of our communities, and consistently schedule out a week’s worth of content in one session – for ALL segments
  • In addition to feeds, Bundle Post lets us create a collection of our best marketing content, web pages and resources to remind our community about

All of this begs the question, is the higher engagement beneficial? Our communities continue to grow by thousands every month, so obviously higher visibility helps with that, but I wanted to look a little deeper than the raw follower counts. Like, say, web traffic.

We’ve seen a 65% increase in traffic to our website from Facebook since we started using Bundle Post. Even more impressive is the 263% increase in traffic results coming from Twitter.

Content posted to Twitter has a much shorter lifecycle than Facebook content. Our 1 – 2 content posts/day were fairly effective for the relatively slower-moving Facebook content stream, but Twitter gobbled those up much faster and it just wasn’t enough. Bundle Post allowed us to step up the Twitter volume in a way we just couldn’t do manually, and the fact that it lets us create separate schedule templates for the different frequency needs of these two platforms clearly pays off.

The Bottom line:

Signing up for Bundle Post was one of the best things we did for our social media program this year. So many social media strategies and tools are hard to attribute tangible results to, but this one has been a clear and dramatic benefit to our program.

This was an unsolicited case study and guest post by:

LG-1Lorien Green @LorienGreen
Lorien is the Inbound Marketing Manager for Transparent Language, Inc., a language software company with a combined social following of over three million. In her spare time, she makes indie documentaries and obsesses about the pinball resurgence.

*If Bundle Post can impact the results of a business that has such a highly complex and fragmented target audience, imagine what it can do for your market. Get your free trial now.

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Filed under Bundle Post, Community, Content, Curation, Fanpage, Marketing, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter, Uncategorized