Tag Archives: Social strategy

Creating A Social Media Drip Marketing Campaign – How We Launched 2.0

Social media marketing campaigns should be common place within your overall social media marketing strategy. A campaign is something outside of your normal efforts and strategy that is specific to an event, launch or other unique marketing goal. Incorporating social media campaigns into your social media marketing efforts are an exceptional way to leverage your existing strategy and community for a clearly defined short-term objective, while maintaining your existing strategy and community expectations.

Social Media Drip CampaignOne example of a social media marketing campaign was the launch of our all new Bundle Post website, user interface and 2.0 system that went live on July 2013. Our entire launch campaign strategy was executed within social media, without using any ads or other means. The campaign created incredible buzz about our platform and ultimately doubled our active user base in less than 60 days. No small results…

So how did we do it?

There were several steps and planning involved in our social media drip marketing campaign that began months ahead of time. Meaning we had already done the work to build a community by delivering value in our streams and the effort to establish and maintain relationships with that community. Had we not first done this, nothing else in the campaign would have achieved such incredible results. Before you plan a campaign, ensure that you have invested the time and effort with your followers and friends. Nothing is more crucial in your social media marketing efforts before you embark on additional campaigns.

As with any effective marketing, time spent planning and preparing will be in direct proportion to the results you obtain. Below we will outline exactly what we did to plan, create and execute our 2.0 launch campaign using Bundle Post and how you can do the same.

Creating A Social Media Marketing Drip Campaign Using Bundle Post:

Step 1: Clearly Define Campaign – Be sure you have defined your objective and the length of the campaign very clearly. Know exactly when you the campaign is to start and end, as well as the goal you are trying to achieve. It is incredibly important that the goals and objectives you set for a campaign is realistic. Not doing so will surely make the campaign unsuccessful and more importantly jeopardize your decisions when creating your campaign based on such false hopes.

Here are the launch campaign details we used: 

  • Objective – Create buzz and awareness of the Bundle Post software for those who had not heard about it, and let those that have heard about it know that a big new release was coming.
  • Goal – Increase active user base by 30% during the launch campaign.
  • Campaign Timeline – 2 weeks (exactly 13 days) prior to the scheduled launch date.

Step 2: Create A List of Supporters – You will want to create a list of people, brands and contacts that are your supporters that will, (without question) be willing to help you with your campaign. You must be sure that you ONLY ask your real friends and supporters to be involved. Don’t include big name social media people, large brands and celebrities that you WISH would be a supporter and help with your campaign, just include customers and relationships you know will be willing to help.

*More on supporters in steps 3 and 7.

Step 3: Create Schedules – This step is the most complicated, so take it slow and make sure you cover all angles.

First, determine the number of posts per day you want to send for all of your related social media accounts and networks. Do not forget your personal accounts if you are a brand.

Here are the schedules we used: 

  • Campaign Twitter (@fondalo) - 4 x’s per day
  • Campaign Twitter (@BundlePost) - 4 x’s per day
  • Campaign Twitter (@PerfectJulia) - 4 x’s per day
  • Campaign Linkedin - 2 times per day
  • Campaign Bundle Post Fanpage - 1 time per day
  • Campaign Personal Facebook - 3 times per day
  • Campaign G+ Page – 2 times per day
  • Campaign Other People – More on this in later steps

Within Bundle Post Schedules, you will want to make a new schedule for each of the social media accounts that will be involved in the campaign. If there are multiple social media accounts on the same network that have the same number of posts per day (Twitter in our example) make separate schedules for each with the time slots different for each. This way they will not be posting at the same time on the same network, though they will be posting 4 times each day during the campaign.

*you can also use the Bundle Post drip campaign for FB pages, Facebook personal profiles, Linkedin and G+ pages and any other groups or social networks supported by Hootsuite.

Step 4: Write Your Posts – This step should be broken into to segments:

  • Number of Posts: Before you begin writing the social media posts for your campaign, you first need to determine how many posts you need for the entire campaign. To calculate this, take the highest number of posts per day in any of the schedules you have made for your campaign (in our example it is 4 posts per day for Twitter) and multiply it by the number of days for the campaign. In our example, we did a 13 day campaign.

4 posts per day x 13 = 52 total posts needed

  • Writing Posts: So now you will want to create a new “My Content” folder in Bundle Post and begin writing the text of your 52 posts and include a URL where appropriate for each post. It is really important that these 52 posts have no duplicates for two reasons; 1) Bundle Post will not allow you to have duplicate posts included in an export (due to Hootsuite’s restriction) and 2) You want all of your posts to be different so they are not intrusive in your streams. Using a small number of URLs mixed across the 52 posts is fine though.

Here are some examples we used: 

  • The All new @BundlePost 2.0 will be launching June 13th!!
  • The brand new Bundle Post 2.0 will have an entirely new website and improved user interface. Are you ready? http://BundlePost.com
  • Get your Free @BundlePost account before they’re gone June 13th! http://BundlePost.com

*Notice that some posts had URLs and some did not. You’ll want to mix it up depending on your specific campaign requirements, product or service.

Step 5: Create Facebook Graphics – We added some creativity to our campaign by creating graphics about the launch that counted down the days like a space shuttle launch. We manually uploaded and scheduled them on our Facebook page and as they posted live each day, we would manually share links to the graphics on all the other social networks.

We highly suggest this for many cases. It not only provides the visual aspect for your messaging, it helps drive traffic and likes on the fanpage, making the graphics you post on the Facebook page linkable from other networks.

Step 6: Do Your Bundle Post Exports –  Once your posts are written, you will need to do your Bundle Post Exports for each schedule you created in the system. This will need to be done no later than the day before the campaign will need to start posting. This step has the following sequence:

  1. Click Export in Bundle Post.
  2. Select the schedule you want to use and the date that the first post for the campaign should start. (in our example the start date was 13 days before launch)
  3. On the Export Table, scroll down to My Content folders and open the “Campaign” folder with your 52 posts in it.
  4. Select all the posts for the export, run hashtags if desired, then export.
  5. Upload the Bundle Post file into Hootsuite, selecting the proper social media account that coincides with the schedule you just used.

*Important Notes:

  • If you have multiple accounts on the same social network (as in our case on Twitter) not only did we use different posting times for each, we also used the Auto Sort function on the Export Table to ensure that the same posts were not posted to the same network by these three Twitter accounts at or near the same time slots.
  • To do the exports for the other social networks, you will also calculate the number of posts you need for them based on the number of posts per day. For Example: In our campaign we posted 4x’s per day on Twitter and only 2x’s per day on Linkedin. Therefore we exported 52 posts for the Twitter campaign from the My Content folder and only 26 posts for the Linkedin schedule export. – *If we exported all 52 posts for the Linkedin schedule, the campaign would run for 26 days on Linkedin, due to the fewer posts per day in the Bundle Post schedule made for our Linkedin account. Make sense?

Step 7: Do Exports For Supporters – Lastly we used a little known ability of Bundle Post to expand the reach and success of our campaign. We created additional schedules and exports for that list of friends and supports and gave them Bundle Post files to upload into their Hootsuite accounts! Therefore we had some 20 other Twitter accounts also sharing our campaign posts at different times and all they had to do was upload our file. Easy and effective.

So there you have it. All the details of how we launched 2.0 using the Bundle Post system to create an effective social media drip campaign. The result of the campaign not only achieved our objectives, it exceeded our goal by a huge percentage. We increased our active user base by 100% instead of the 30% goal and have continued the growth with a smaller, ongoing drip campaign using Bundle Post that continues to drive traffic and new user growth.

How are you going to use Bundle Post drip campaigns for you and your clients?  Get started FREE

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Filed under Bundle Post, Community, Facebook, Fanpage, Followers, Google Plus, Hootsuite, Marketing, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter

On July 3rd, 2013 Twitter announced new API rules for developers that create applications for the Twitter platform. One of the most important changes announced was that “automated following or bulk following is also prohibited.” Twitter HashtagThis is a significant hit to hundreds of legitimate as well as spam-like Twitter applications being used by millions of people worldwide to either “game” their follower counts -or- legitimately increase their targeted following.

What does all this mean for the Twitter User?

There are two sides to these changes, some being positive and some, well let’s just say they create some challenges you need to be aware of. Let’s start with a few of the positive things these rules should produce.

The Positives:

Spammers – If they can’t use these tools to mass follow people, this should positively impact the amount of spam and spammers that are using Twitter in this fashion.

Counts less of a focus – If gaining followers can be “gamed” less, then making your follower count the game will also be reduced.

Focus on content and conversation – Clearly if huge follower counts is less of the issue, people will have to refocus their efforts back to quality social media content and engaging in conversations in order to drive community growth. (Hello Big brands. It’s about time you did this right anyway)

The Negatives:

Community Growth Harder – For every small to medium-sized business and marketer, these changes and the ultimate demise of follow tools will certainly make growing communities more time-consuming and difficult.

Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter:

This brings us to hashtags… Brands and marketers must really understand their audience better in order to develop more targeted content and hashtag strategies that will attract their followings. You need to know the topics and content subject matter that your target audience is engaged with and therefore what your topical and content strategy needs to be to make it easier for them to find you. Therefore, incorporating hashtags thoughtfully in this mix will be paramount to the future of community growth on Twitter.

Ask Yourself:

1) Do you know the topics that your prospective followers are interested in?

2) Do you know the hashtags that your prospective followers are using and following on Twitter?

3) How are you going to more effectively use hashtags now that follow tools are going to be nonexistent?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to figure out the answers, and fast.

For consistent automated hashtag and content sharing tools read this.

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Filed under Community, Content, Engagement, Followers, Hashtag, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter, Uncategorized

The Most Important Thing A Social Media Agency Can Do For Clients

So you’re a social media marketing agency and you are managing account for your clients, and you are wanting to take the results to the next level. You have set up the accounts, are regularly and frequently sharing valuable content in the various streams and are of course engaging and building relationships. Now you may even be asking yourself a few important questions like;

Social Media ResultsWhat is the most important thing you should be doing to maximize the reach for a client’s social media?

How do I implement it once I know?

Sound familiar? We thought so. We have been there. Previously to becoming a social media software company, we were a social media agency. We dealt with this question frequently and discovered that as it relates to retail client’s, there is one specific thing you can do to make a clients social media marketing more effective, more quickly. What is it?

Teach the client’s staff to understand and leverage their face-to-face contact with customers around social media.

Today’s consumers are incredibly connected online through social media, and an ever-increasing part of that connectivity is through mobile. Ensuring your client’s staff understands this and teaching them to recognize and utilize “in store” opportunities that further the overall social media marketing effort is essential. Using the staff to magnify and multiply the social media exposure is important for a comprehensive strategy that delivers.

Here are some key points to follow for best results:

1) Group Training –  If at all possible do a group training that brings all the staff that has consumer contact together in one place at one time. Be careful to only explain the basics of social media marketing, and not get into the deep details. You just want the group to have a decent understanding of it.

Going too deep into social media marketing will often cause the team to lose interest, get bored and take way too long. Keep it simple and short.

If your client location is not local to you, schedule a Google Hangout or Skype call with the client when they can have their staff together in a room for you to train all at once. Recording the training for use with new staff members can also be very helpful.

2) What You’re Doing – Be sure that the staff understands what the general strategy of the social media program is all about. They should know what you are doing for the client so they can answer basic questions when in a conversation with a visiting customer.

3) Spotting Customers – Teach the staff what to watch for when customers are in the store. Train them to keep an eye out for customers using or carrying smart phones and tablets, etc. If someone has a smart phone or tablet, they are likely a social media user.

Be sure that you cover the things likely to be asked of them about the client’s social media and give them some opening comments or questions they can use to bring it up. Things like:

- Are you guys on Facebook?

- Have you checked in on Foursquare?

- Are you following us on Twitter for our specials?

Prior to doing the staff training, work with the client to establish some kind of discount program for likes and follows, enabling the staff to incent customers to like the company page, follow and mention on Twitter, check in on Foursquare, etc. If the client is agreeable to the incentive program, be sure to have the details for the staff when you do the training.

4) Client SM Accounts – One of the most important things the staff must know off the top of their heads is what the client social media account names are. Make sure to go over all of the networks the client is on and the exact account names customers can use to find them.

Adding signs on the doors and at check out counters with the social media account names will not only aid staff in remembering, but also remind customers that the client is there.

5) Handouts – Prepare handouts with the bullet points that you covered in the meeting so they have something to reference once you leave.

6) Make It Personal for the Staff  **MOST Important**- If there was one thing we learned as an agency going through these steps with a client, was that making it personal and beneficial for the employees to do these things is imperative. In other words, have an answer for “what’s in it for them”.

Example: If the client is a restaurant, help the staff understand how they can make bigger tips by talking about social media with their customers. Give them examples of how they get bigger tips when they connect with customers about sports teams and how social media users are often even more fanatic than sports fans. Making the human connection with a customer about social media can result in bigger tips. If the client is some other kind of business, work with the client to create contests for the staff that enables them to win small bonuses or store credits, etc.

The point is, make it personal and beneficial for the staff to get on the social media marketing program.

Getting staff involved in the right ways with on site customers will make a significant impact on the overall social media marketing effort you are managing for them. If you do it properly, it will make your agency’s job much easier and the community growth, engagement and revenue results considerably larger and faster.

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Filed under Agency, Community, Facebook, Google, Marketing, Mobile, Results, Smart Phone, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

#Hashtag For #Facebook [And More] Automatically

With Facebook joining the ranks of Twitter, Google Plus and others with hashtag functionality, being strategic and consistent with hashtags across the social graph has become more important than ever. Add the Facebook graph search into the mix and hashtagging on Facebook will become an extremely important venue for the function.

There is another unique factor on Facebook that needs to be considered. I call it the “Newbie Factor”. Facebook not only has the largest social network population in the world, it also has the largest inexperienced social media population in the world. You know, those consumers and SMB’s that have never been on Twitter or Google Plus and are not experienced with social media marketing, let alone hashtags. This could materialize as a massive opportunity for brands and marketers if done properly.

So now that the top three social networks are supporting hashtags, you know you have to do it consistently and strategically. As if you didn’t already have enough taking up your social media marketing time, right?

There is a solution. Bundle Post has the only patent pending automated hashtag and content scheduling system in the world. Here’s how it quickly and effectively handles hashtags:

Hashtags Facebook1) Hashtag Folders: The Bundle Post hashtag system lets you create folders for each of your campaigns, clients or accounts that coincide with a content strategy of topics.

For more on how it works, click here.

2) Keywords/Phrases: Within each folder you designate the keywords and phrases that you know will be found in the text of the content curated by Bundle Post. You can also identify any words or phrases that will be contained in the text of posts and have Bundle Post automatically replace them with a specific twitter name, making it an active link when posted.

3) Replace: With a single click on a specific hashtag folder, Bundle Post will automatically hashtag 100 scheduled social media posts for any platform in just one second! All of the scheduled curated and marketing content displayed on the Bundle Post export table will get hashtagged for you, that easily!

Bundle Post makes hashtags on all social networks fast, easy and consistent for social media agencies and social media marketers that use Hootsuite. Social media management, curation, hashtags and scheduling has never been so efficient and effective. Get your free trial now.

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Filed under Agency, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Facebook, Hashtag, Marketing, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized

Social Media Content Curation, Aggregation, Scheduling and Marketing Goes 2.0

If there is one thing I have learned over my years of experience with internet, software and technology startups is that you cannot make a bad product get traction in the marketplace with a really awesome website and messaging. I have also learned that you cannot keep an exceptional product from growing virally, even if the messaging, website and interface are horrible. The Bundle Post Social Content Management System is a great example of that.

Even though we have not spent any time and resources on the Bundle Post website up to this point, our horrid old logo, site design and messaging has not kept the application from growing to thousands and thousands of users. It has not prevented our company from growing revenue, user base and testimonials.

Bundle Post 2.0 websiteToday we are putting all of that on steroids by launching Bundle Post 2.o with a brand new website, logo, messaging and massively improved user interface.

Bundle Post is “A Totally New & Unique Way To Curate & Manage Social Media Content“, and a complete social media content management system that works WITH Hootsuite. The system helps you to more efficiently find, aggregate, schedule, hashtag and manage social media content, as well as your evergreen marketing content in one place.

With Facebook announcing that they are are joining Twitter and Google Plus by including hashtags in their system, Bundle Post’s patent pending automated hashtag function just got even more valuable to our users. Since the Bundle Post system supports all social networks offered by Hootsuite and being the only automated hashtag function available, it will no doubt become an even more strategic element to the Bundle Post system.

Earlier this week, we did a sneak peek webinar with several social media industry professionals and bloggers. Here is the recorded video from that call.

The launch of Bundle Post 2.0 highlights the Patent Pending, Social Content Management System that automates back-office social media content, curation and scheduling functions, resulting in consistent posting, dependable content and improved engagement. The solution provides you with more time to focus on building valued relationships through your social networks, while ensuring you always have relevant, consistent, valuable content that you control.

Bundle Post PricingThe new system removes the largely useless Free Account type and instead offers a full Pro version, 30 day Free Trial period to all users. Existing Free Account holders have automatically been upgraded to the 30 day Free Pro Account status, enabling them to use the brand new Pro version right away! No changes have been made to the pricing on the remaining Expanded and Pro level account types, as we remain focused on delivering massive value to our users.

Hashtags FacebookStart reducing the time you spend on social media content curation, scheduling, hashtagging and posting with Bundle Post 2.0 and instead spend more time building relationships and getting results. Now you can elevate your social media marketing and fully execute a robust social media content strategy in less than 30 minutes every five days.

Welcome to Bundle Post 2.0 – Home Page | How It Works | Pricing

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Filed under App, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Engagement, Facebook, Google Plus, Hashtag, Hootsuite, Marketing, Results, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

See A Need, Fill A Need – The Simplicity Of Social Media Marketing

Social Media StategyThis weekend I was watching the movie Robots, with my four year old. If you have kids, you have no doubt seen this comedy filled movie with a great story about overcoming social status, wanting to do something great and believing in yourself. Beside the film being quite entertaining and a lot of fun, there is a great thread of business and social media wisdom throughout the movie, in the form of a quote.

“See A Need Fill A Need” is something Bigweld says that inspires the main character “Rodney” to invent new technology as well as help fellow robots that can no longer obtain spare parts.

Here is a quick trailer for the movie.

If you don’t have kids or have never seen this classic animated film, you’re probably asking yourself , so how does all this kids stuff connect to social media? What’s worse you’re may even be ready to close the post and move on, but I challenge you to stay with me on this one.

Social media marketing must have a strategy for delivering value to your audience to be effective. The strategy should be designed around the topics and interests of that audience that may have nothing to do with what your company actually does. So it is your job in social media to determine the needs of your target audience (their interests) and fill that need with content.

For example: If your target audience is stay at home mom’s and you are sharing posts about your cleaning products without also sharing content about parenting, kid friendly events and funny kid stuff, you aren’t effectively seeing the needs of your audience, nor are you filling the needs they have.

Here are some tips for identifying your target audiences social media content needs:

1) Clearly define your social media audience. 

Be very specific here. Knowing what your target audience really looks like demographically and even geographically is important. Everyone is NOT your target market.

2) Investigate the websites and social media accounts they frequent.

Knowing the brands and social media accounts that likely have communities of your target audience will provide you details about your audience very easily.

3) Observe what content topics they tend to share, comment and like the most. (usually it’s 3-5 topics)

Put yourself in your target audiences shoes. If you were them, what would drive your interests when you logged into social media everyday? Watch your customers and prospects on other social media sites and with other brands to determine the topical drivers.

4) Stay clear of the larger brands for social media marketing and content topics.

Most major brands don’t do social media correctly, and they don’t really care to. They simply leverage the billions in branding and marketing they have already done over the years into the social space as an additional channel to pitch themselves. Everyone else has to do social media properly if they intend on getting any real results.

So, properly seeing and then filling the interest needs of your social media audience is the best and proven way to increase conversations and build relationships with them. The value derived from doing this effectively is that the relationships that result will be your best opportunities to realize increased revenue and ROI through social media marketing.

By Robert Caruso
@fondalo
http://fondalo.com
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

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

Social Media Purpose and Tactics – The Truth About Content and Engagement

Social Media TacticsRecently eMarketer released a new report that purported to cover Social Media Tactics and which work best. Though the report has a lot of valuable information, most is based on a highly misguided view of social media to begin with. In this post I am going to outline two of the points in the report and attempt to give you some straight talk about them that is intended to help you adjust strategy and be more effective.

Engagement:

Early in the report there was a statement that stood out to me as a huge red flag:

the greatest percentage of respondents from both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies considered customer engagement to be the primary purpose of their social media marketing.”

With so many marketers seeing engagement as the primary purpose for their social media marketing, it is no wonder why the respondents answered the way they did on other segments in the report. Engagement should simply be a part of the process within social media marketing, not the goal or purpose for it. The goal or purpose should be a clearly defined objective that is different for every business, but that should include things like increased sales, revenue, customers, traffic, etc. Real results and measurable metrics that make the time-consuming activities in social media worth while.

Content Creation:

A huge misnomer in the report is the repeated theme of the content creation requirement. Yes creating content is required. Photo’s, graphics, articles, blog posts, etc are optimum drivers when focused on the interests of your audience and delivers real value to them. However, there are two issues that need need to be dissected about this segment:

1) Average Small/Medium Businesses – Content creation can be an effective tool for driving social media marketing results, but the hard facts are that most SMB’s do not have the staff, resources or budget required to constantly create fresh creative content. In fact in most cases establishing a budget for this purpose for most SMB’s would not result in anything close to a return on investment. Larger companies and bigger brands are able to leverage their previous branding, resources and huge budgets without the need for real measured results and this is highly skewed in this report.

Most Difficult Social Media Marketing Tactics

2) Content Sharing – Since the overwhelming majority of marketing professionals that responded, reported that the top tactics of “content creation” were also the most difficult to execute, this leaves many scratching their head for what to do in their social media marketing. Not once in this report was a reference to content curation, aggregation or sharing, let alone a strategy around sharing. The average business must have a content strategy that involves posting content that others have written; content that is interesting and relevant to their target audience, provides value to that audience and starts conversations.

Reports like these can be incredibly insightful for the largest brands out there, or those that work with large brands, the fact is that small and medium businesses just don’t have the resources to execute social media this way. Furthermore, many of the larger brands do social media marketing in direct contrast to how it should be done, therefore spending most of their efforts pitching their products, not responding to their audience and producing content that are more liken to commercials than content that adds value to their audience.

If you are not a large brand, don’t let this report discourage you. Use the information to establish an effective strategy of content sharing and do what level of content creation you are able to, focusing on delivering value to your audience and building real relationships. THESE are the tactics that actually get real results.

By Robert Caruso
@fondalo
http://fondalo.com
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

Google+Google

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Filed under Content, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Results, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Uncategorized

Social Media Requires Some Comedy

Do yourself a favor. Take a look at your social media marketing and ask yourself a few questions…

fondalo the comedian1) Am I funny/fun?

2) Am I able to laugh and make fun of myself/your brand?

3) Do I actually do it?

4) Do I occasionally share funny/fun content?

5) Do others get a laugh from my content strategy from time to time?

Some of the most effective content in the social graph is funny. Think about the content that is most shared on Facebook. It’s funny videos and graphics that connects with the audience. It makes the day better and becomes memorable and is shared.

This blog post (and video) is a result of a back injury Sunday and over exhausted from working 24/7 for 2 straight years.  This forced me to realize that I am not invincible and put me on my back for nearly the entire day. The good news is that the following video is the ultimate result. I hope you laugh as hard as we did… ;-)  

If your social media marketing isn’t incorporating fun, funny and tasteful hilarity every week, you are missing opportunity to connect in a great way with your audience and extend your reach through the shares that result. Be a bit silly, laugh a bit and invite your target audience to laugh with, or even at you too!

Remember to keep the content audience appropriate and refrain from obscenities and other content that may be considered offensive to anyone in your target audience.

Have some fun with it!

By Robert Caruso
@fondalo
http://fondalo.com
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

Google+Google

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Filed under Community, Facebook, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized

Reality Check: Daily Required Social Media Marketing Activity

I am frequently seeing articles explaining how to do social media marketing in 30 minutes or an hour each day and decided it was time to deliver a reality check. Unless you are a social media “guru”, “author”, “celebrity” or #fauxpert that has never done social media marketing outside of self promotion and has a huge social following, it’s time for a reality check. Any expectation that real results, revenue and return on investment for any SMB or marketer will be achieved by following such advice is foolish thinking.

Social Media Reality CheckSorry to burst your bubble, but effective social media marketing is a detailed combination of technology integration, creativity and a whole lot of activity 24/7. It’s not working when you want, getting weekends off and forgetting to check your feeds, mentions and conversations for days at a time. We call that kind of activity and dedication social networking, not social media.

That’s great if you are an enthusiast that is not using social media channels for marketing, but then again I don’t write for enthusiasts. My articles are always focused on the average brand, SMB, individual marketer and social media agencies. It’s what I know and do, not a hobby or a subject matter I have become known for and use to generate book sales, speaking gigs or ad revenue from blog traffic.

Our goal is to change the message of the industry that is dominated by the folks outlined in the above paragraph into that of real effective use of social media by people who have and actually do it. It’s one thing to consult Starbucks or most other major brands on social media because you sold a ton of books about the subject. It’s another thing to actually create and execute a strategy for the majority that make up social media marketers like small and medium brands or individual marketers and get results. Heck, my 14-year-old daughter could consult Starbucks or most other major brands on their social media marketing. They do it wrong and don’t have to do it right. They have billions in media and marketing dollars that drive their brand on and offline.

While articles that tell you that you can get results with minimal time and effort in social media are incredibly appealing to the masses, I am hear to tell you that it takes work.

*Note – Social media agencies, consultants and coaches – keep reading. There are some reality checks for you as well. :-)

In an effort to both deliver a reality check as well as a real guide of activity, following is a list of SOME daily activities that are required to get results with any social media marketing program.

1) Content Posting: Every day you need to have relevant valuable content for your audience in your stream. Content that gets them to engage, like, comment and share. Not just posts about you or what you do, but information, news and articles your audience will find relevant.

How much content? Here is a basic list of posts per day on a few of the networks you are likely working with:

Twitter – 15-20
Facebook Personal – 4-8
Facebook Page – 3-6
LinkedIn Personal – 5-10
Groups – 1-4
G+ Personal – 10-15
G+ Brand Page – 2-5

Every industry, audience and brand is different, but this will give you a sense of some minimum levels that are required.

2) Content Creation: Like it or not, you have to not only share content relevant to your audience, you also have to create your own content. Blog posts, videos, images, infographics, etc. You can’t lead in an industry where you are not contributing to its message in new ways. This is not an occasional required activity, it’s every single week.

3) YOUR Content Posting: Once you have created content, you need to post it. The good news is that the more content you have created the more content you have available to post daily. I believe content you have created and posts that are about you and what you do should make up about 20% of what you post every day.

4) Content Sharing: Part of social media marketing is sharing other people’s social posts that you and your audience may find interesting and valuable. This serves two purposes;

  1. It delivers additional value to your audience beyond what you found and posted.
  2. It lets others know that you appreciate what they post and wanted to pass it along.

5) Real and Real-Time Posting: These posts are above posting and sharing content and are just about being real, human and approachable. These are often just text and consist of what you are thinking, the weather, where you are and what you are doing. Don’t forget that people connect with people in social media. Don’t be a logo or a robot. Nobody can like or build a relationship with either of those.

6) Community Growth: Every day you need to be growing your community of fans, followers and friends that are your target audience. If you build it they will come doesn’t work in social media. Though doing the above 5 activities every day will help you consistently grow your community, if you are using social media for marketing, that community size needs to increase. Therefore every day you need to be searching and finding your target audience on all of the social networks and connecting with them. Don’t wait for them to find you.

7) Community Outreach: Within your community you need to continually reach out and engage. That is no different from being at a live networking event. You start conversations and get to know them. You share their content and information with others and build a relationship. This must be done daily to be effective with social media marketing.

8) Response/Engage: The opposite of outreach is responding. When someone likes, shares, comments on your posts, acknowledge them, thank them and star a conversation. If someone mentions you in social media, respond.

I have a lot to say about this section, but in order to keep it a blog post and not an article I will say that timing matters. When someone mentions you or comments, they are there, online, right now. Waiting hours or days is missed opportunity and will never see any real results.

9) Follow Backs: When someone follows you on Twitter, Circles you on Google Plus or Friends you on Facebook or Linkedin, you need determine whether you want to reciprocate or accept. I recommend that this is done every single day. We do it twice per day ourselves.

*Tip – if you’re using social media for marketing, follow, friend and connect with those that are your target audience. If you are a restaurant in Tennessee, friending or following someone in the UK doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

10) Data/Statistics: You need to know what is working and what isn’t. Paying attention to your statistics, results, analytics and data on a daily basis is required. Knowing this information enables you to adjust the what’s and when’s of what you are doing and set realistic goals and targets. Not knowing means you are not getting anywhere.

11) Planning/Strategy: Every day you need to be planning and adjusting your strategy. Using what you learn to improve results in social media marketing is no different from anything else in business. Test, measure and adjust… DAILY.

More Reality Checks for Marketers:

So if you think that real, effective social media marketing can actually be accomplished in 30 minutes or an hour per day, I invite you to think again. This is why there are so many social media agencies out there and more popping up every single day. Not too many people have the time, knowledge and ability to execute all of these thins on a daily basis. If you can’t either or are not getting results, I suggest you speak with a qualified social media professional agency as well.

*If you are paying $99/mo for “social media” from some online company, you’re being robbed. It takes far too much time, tools and activities to really do social media marketing right that results in real business.

More Reality Checks for Social Media Agencies:

If your agency is teaching social media marketing instead of doing it, before taking some unsuspecting persons money, be sure they understand what it really takes. Stop taking money from people to teach them things they will never have the time, skill or experience to execute well. Anyway you slice it, it’s stealing…

*As a consultant or agency that teaches social media, the person you teach is rarely the CEO that paid for you. Be aware that the admin, intern or junior employee you train, will soon be in love with social media marketing just like you and will be starting their own agency when their employer pulls the plug. Stop creating competitors for yourself every six months, while making pennies for doing it. Do the hard work for clients and get them real results by delivering effective social media management that has value and recurring revenue.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more required in social media marketing like strategy, targeting, social selling, conversations and more. But true to form, I am not here to condemn or be hurtful. My only goal here is to increase the effectiveness of social media marketing in general and change the message to real results, not scores, followers, likes or speakers. Go do this!

By Robert Caruso
@fondalo
http://fondalo.com
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

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Filed under Agency, Blog, Community, Engagement, Facebook, Fanpage, Followers, Google Plus, Infographic, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Twitter, Uncategorized

Blogging For Social Media Marketing – My Top 12 Tips

I am frequently asked about blogging and how to use it effectively for marketing within social media. I decided to put together a list of my top ten tips that is specifically designed for the individual marketer or small to medium business.

Blog TipsThis list is not at all for the large brand, affiliate marketer, the social media author or speaker. Those specific groups are typically about numbers, driving less than targeted traffic, ego inflation and/or putting out volume over substance. Exactly what you should NOT be doing if you are serious about being effective with your blog within social media. If you want to measure REAL results that is –  You know things like sales, revenue and new customers. But I digress…

In no particular order, here are my top ten tips for using your blog effectively within your social media marketing strategy. I have broken them up into two sections – Strategy and Execution.

Blog Strategy:

1) Write for your audience – Too often brands and marketers forget who their target audience is. Write for your target audience, not for traffic. Deliver value and relevance in your content, just like a proper content strategy within your social marketing strategy. Write content that solves their biggest problems, answers their questions and/or helps them improve.

2) Stay away from time sensitive writing – New is great and often shiny, but does it attract your target audience? Writing content about something new in your industry or an event that is happening can destroy the long-term validity of the content. It’s ok to include some time/event based posts, but try to write content that has value for your audience, that can be found via search and/or shared via your social media efforts over a long period of time – i.e. relevant, Legacy content.

3) Be concise – Remember that a blog post is NOT a magazine article. People have very short attention spans and keeping your blog posts short, to the point and without all the fluff is important. Give your readers clear points to absorb along with a title that states exactly what they can expect from your piece.

4) Have personality – Be real and approachable with your posts. Don’t be afraid to put your personality into your articles or even be a little controversial at times.

5) Write yourself – For MOST marketers or SMB’s doing your own writing is going to get the best results. Having the benefit of your voice consistently across your content is extremely helpful for your readers.

For some that lack writing skills or the time and resources necessary to blog, outsourcing the function to a professional may be required. Be sure that the professional you select to write for your blog can follow your strategy  and capture your voice (tone and personality) accurately.

Blog Execution:

6) Consistency – Just as with your regular social media marketing content posting, consistency with blog posts matters. You must have a consistent flow of relevant, valuable blog posts on your blog to build and retain an audience. Occasional posts will not be effective, so be consistent every week. I try to write two new blog posts per week.

7) Comments – Also like your social media marketing, responding to comments on your blog is important. Respond always and do it quickly after a comment is posted.

8) Use drafts – Whenever I think of a new blog post idea, I start a new posts in WordPress and save it as a draft. I add notes and bullet points for what I want to do with the post and save it. This way I always have some 30 blog posts started and only need to select one to finish whenever I need to write.

9) Stay ahead – Keep ahead with completed posts in the queue

10 SEO – When writing a blog post, you want to not only follow the strategy items we have listed above, but you also want to consider the long-term search engine optimization of your posts. Including images, tags and keywords in your posts is highly important for being found on search engines.

For the average brand and marketer, there are three main points to consider here:

a) Always include a graphic that depicts the content. This is important when readers share the content on social networks, but also for SEO. Be sure the name the image file with words contained in the title and body of your post and also complete a description that does the same.

b) Always include tags of the keywords and phrases appropriate for the post.

c) Be sure the main keywords of your post are included in the title, the body of the post as well as in tags.

11) Be realistic – Be realistic about what you can really do. Don’t set editorial calendar expectations too high for yourself so that you can’t complete them. Don’t expect that you will get 20,000 hits a day when you are just starting out. Be consistent, even if that is only one or two blog posts per week. Commit to the realistic expectation and stick to it.

12) Be Social – Without integrating your blog into an effective social media marketing strategy, it is highly unlikely you will ever get much traction with your blog. You need to have a targeted social community established that is highly engaged in order to best take advantage of a blog. Here are two things to consider:

a) When you post a new blog, share it multiple times that day in the social graph.

b) Keep a list of your blog posts and share them at lest once a week/month.

A blog is an extension of your brand, your website, your overall web presence and more importantly your social media marketing. Understanding the best way to leverage and integrate it properly across all of them will help you begin see increased results.

By Robert Caruso
@fondalo
http://fondalo.com
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

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Filed under Blog, Community, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized