Tag Archives: Twitter

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

I HATE #FollowFriday ’s – How To Make Them Effective by @PerfectJulia

Should start by explaining what #FollowFriday is. In a nutshell it was not created by Twitter but by it’s users. Every Friday people suggest certain followers in their network to other followers in their network by using the hashtag #FF or #FollowFriday. An introduction so to speak.

Every Friday morning I feel the love pouring through my laptop from Twitter with mentions containing words like, Smart, Savvy, Funny, Fun, Knowledgeable, Awesomesauce, Mentor, Friend, Favorite. All of them have the hashtag #FF attached to them, designating that they are Follow Friday mentions.

Hate Follow FridayHow could someone hate that? Well, there are other people that are Smart, Savvy Funny, Fun etc that are attached to same exact tweet. Yes, a group of fellow Twitter users that are also smart. Imagine that. As many users that will fit in 140 characters that is. I think it is far less effective and beneficial when someone places a bunch of people in the same tweet that are from the same industry or the town. These kinds of Follow Friday posts are the ones that have made many dislike the practice altogether, since they feel there’s little value in recommending a bunch of Real Estate agents, for example all in one tweet. Many just don’t appreciate that, and I certainly understand why.

Most people like me, value their time! Every Friday morning being bombarded with tweets that show no real value can be considered a waste of time to many. You have to respond to everyone and say thank you, not to mention the computer and mobile app notifications ringing all day long.

The question I always ask myself is what am I saying Thank You to exactly? Especially when it’s the same people every single Friday. If you want to add the most value to your #FF posts, get rid of the multiple twitter handles in the tweet and just talk about a specific person. Tell your followers why you think people should follow THAT specific person, brand or account. Take the time to get to know the people you mention and what they’re about. To say that @PerfectJulia is favorite says nothing….. please elaborate as WHY I’m a favorite of yours and give me a real reason to say Thank You!

I can imagine some of you are now deleting me from your follow Friday list, but before doing so please hear me out.

I’m a meat and potatoes kinda girl… Forget the fluff and give me the steak! When attaching the hashtag #FF to a tweet that means you are introducing and more importantly recommending someone to your network. I expect a WHY I should follow that person. Make sense?

Imagine if you’re a small business owner and another small business in the same town with a nice size following gave you an unsolicited promotional shout out with a #FF. You could not hate that could you?? I know I would not hate it at all. In fact you could do it every single Friday as far as I’m concern and mostly likely I would certainly do the same in return.

So when you use Follow Friday mentions, be sure that you are adding value to the person you mention and give people valid reasons they should follow them too. Why? Because then it means something and delivers something.

Eyeballs, trust, recommendations, click through traffic, targeted follower increases, etc.

Now if you need a place to store all these #FF shout outs and easily schedule them out, then Bundle Post has a Follow Friday feature that is perfect for this! It becomes a repository of all your Follow Friday posts, giving you the ability to edit them at any time to shake things up if you like. Once the data entry is done it takes simply a couple of seconds to make edits, hashtag and schedule them out every week. The Follow Friday feature in Bundle Post can also be used for other shout outs like a #MarketingMonday list or say #WW for #WineWednesday, as well. Or create something new. The possibilities are endless!

Give your following a real reason to say “Thanks a million for the #FF mention!” and give your followers the reasons they should follow them too!

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Filed under Brand, Bundle Post, Hashtag, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Days You Schedule Social Media Posts

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

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

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

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

Posts Per Day On Twitter

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

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

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

Hours Scheduling Social Media Posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What say you?

**Update**

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

Here’s the petition and link.

Facebook Petition

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Filed under EdgeRank, Facebook, Social Media

The 5 Most Important Components Of Social Media Content Strategy

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

The 5 most important content strategy components:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Posting Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four Hashtag Tips That May Surprise You

Hashtag With A Purpose, Not Just Because You Can

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Hashtagging!

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

Adjust 3rd Party App Settings In Facebook To Extend Your Personal Reach

If you are like most experienced social media marketing aficionado’s, in addition to business pages, you are also using your personal Facebook profile to build business connections and foster relationships. Again, if you’re experienced in social media marketing, you’re probably using a social media dashboard tools and applications like Hootsuite and Instagram to post some of your updates to that personal Facebook profile.

Facebook Public PostBut did you know that many third part Facebook applications default your posts to friends only? It’s true…

So all that marketing, hashtagging and content posting using Hootsuite, Instagram, and other social media applications is not reaching outside of your designated friend list on Facebook.

I would liken this to the equivalence of having your Twitter account set to private, or at least never showing the bulk of your content to non-followers. This will not extend your reach, grow your connections or make your hashtags effective outside of your existing connections. Tell me how this makes sense for a social media marketing professional? It doesn’t…  People connect with people and do business with people they know and like. But you already know this.

So now that we know most third party applications default to friends only when posting on Facebook, the question remains – How do we adjust third party application settings to default posts to public instead of friends only?

Facebook Hootsuite Settings

Here are the simple steps:

1) click on the gear icon at the top right of the Facebook navigation bar.

2) Click the account settings option.

3) Click “Apps” from the left menu bar.

4) Find the third party applications you’d like to change to public.

5) Click the “visibility” drop down and select “Public” for that application.

You’re done!

From now on, all posts sent from that third party application will be viewable by everyone, dramatically extending your personal social media reach on Facebook beyond your friends and making your personal Facebook social media management more expansive.

*note – We made these setting changes for ourselves in order to increase the reach and effectiveness of our personal marketing efforts using Hootsuite and Bundle Post on Facebook. As we looked through the apps section, we noticed several other applications that also needed changing in the same manner. We suspect you will too.

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Filed under App, Bundle Post, Facebook, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Easily Recycle Your Facebook Fanpage Content Across The Social Graph

There are many different types of RSS content feeds that you can add into Bundle Post that will easily bring content to you. Let me say that again…. “bring content TO you” If you’re constantly searching for relevant content to share and are struggling to keep up, you can will quickly understand what a huge time saver this can be.

Here are just a few feed types that Bundle Post supports:

1) RSS from a Blog/Website

2) Google Alert feeds

3) Bing Alert feeds

4) Pinterest users or boards

5) YouTube Channels, Users or Searches

6) Scoop.it user feeds

7) Stumble Upon user feeds

And today I would like to introduce you to the Bundle Post supported Facebook fanpage feed! Don't Monkey Around

Why this is a big deal? Well, for example if you are sharing photos on your fanpage like the one on the right that we shared on ours, you should want to quickly and easily have access to them inside Bundle Post, so that you can use them to share on Twitter, Linkedin and your Google Plus page as well. Bundle Post gives you the ability to easily track and manage those fanpage graphics, schedule and post them, resulting in additional traffic and engagement on your fanpage! No Monkey business about that, is there?

Now, what if you are a Social Media agency and you are looking for supplemental content for your clients? -or- you are a marketer that wants to share great graphics from a specific page on other social networks? Easy, the code I am going to share with you below is not just for YOUR fanpage, but can help you curate content from ANY Facebook Page right into your Bundle Post account.

First you want to locate the face page ID for the fanpage that you would like to use. To do this, click here  and type in the Facebook fanpage URL. Facebook page ID Lookup Once you have the ID you want, use the following URL, but replace our ID number with the one you just obtained. http://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=atom10&id=181664241864032

Now you are ready to add this to your feed channels in Bundle Post as another source of content to share for yourself or your clients.

Side note and recommendation -

When testing this out I discovered if someone shares just a photo without a comment or description, the title that comes through for the content will be “Click to Edit’  like you see below. No worries! We have a solution for you! Content Curation and editing! At this stage you will be able to click on ‘view’ to the right and go directly to the image on Facebook. After evaluating the image you can now go back into Bundle Post and DOUBLE click on the “Click to Edit” text and change it to whatever text you want it to be when you share it on social media. facebook RSS Content

Here is the sample image that I added my two cents to…

contentedit “Are you surviving the #SocialMedia Revolution? via @Tweet40K

with this graphic linked to his fanpage: example

You will also notice that Bundle Post brings in the most recent content that is shared on that Facebook Page, with the ability to utilize that content from Facebook right inside your Bundle Post account and have a wealth of new content to add to your scheduled exports across the social graph.

PerfectJuliaBy Julia Hull @PerfectJulia

Director of Customer Support at Bundle Post.

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Filed under Alerts, Blog, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Facebook, Fanpage, Social Aggregation, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

CEOs Watch A Lot Of Video – Social Media Marketing Is The Great Break-Through

Executives and Video75% of Executives polled in a recent survey told Forbes magazine that they watch work-related videos at least once per week.

Do you know what that means? It’s proof that once a person becomes an executive, they don’t just give up their social media or online habits. Executives are totally reachable online. At times there is a perception that you need to sell to the lowest common denominator and hope that they bring your pitch to the next Monday morning meeting. Most marketing efforts target the bottom tier of the pyramid (because it’s the wider net to cast), in hopes that somehow the big cheese will get wind of it.

Why aren’t more companies marketing to the President/CEO/CFO/VP if these are the people with the main decision making power? Because we still envision an out-of-touch authoritarian perched in a corner office on the 25th floor, guarded by a security desk and card access points. Want to know the best (or worst!) kept secret of the digital age? The Internet is the great equalizer. The invisible wall between your marketing and their eyes does not exist. We do not still live in a world where every memo needs to go through a secretary before it gets to the corner office on the 25th floor.

Video can help you shatter that illusion and speak directly with an executive demographic. Here’s an earth-shattering factoid: CEOs use the Internet too.

To be clear, most VPs, Presidents and CEOs aren’t wasting their 9 to 5’s passing around the latest cat meme or spending hours on YouTube learning the Harlem Shake. Know your audience. Forbes says that 50% of CEOs watch “work-related” videos on YouTube at least once a week. They are looking to catch on to new ideas that will add value to their business. They are searching for inspiration, knowledge, partnerships, information and value-drivers. They are fed business related content through their social media channels like Linkedin, RSS feeds, blogs and even Twitter.

Perhaps the most interesting number is 65%. That’s the percentage of CEOs who visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. Here’s where Explainer video becomes a marketers dream. You can bust through that the pre-digital-age “wall of engagement”. The primary decision maker watches videos, and then actively engages with the information. Video is not passive marketing; rather, it is active marketing.

Social media marketing is this generation’s great break-through. You don’t need a secretary to book you a meeting; if you’ve invested in video content, you’ve already got your foot in the door.

This was a guest post by:

Christine SheppardChristine Sheppard is a movie buff with a degree in Film and a career in B2B marketing. She graduated from Carleton University with her BA in Film Studies, and continued her education at Ryerson University specializing in Film Production and Media Arts. Her approach to marketing is strongly influenced by her education, exploring the effects of new media on popular culture and keeping her finger on the pulse of the trends in marketing communications. Her career highlights include promotions and copy writing for film and television and her role as a marketing specialist launching innovative digital projects, traditional, and social marketing campaigns in a largely B2B environment. She is a member of the talented team of writers at Illustrate iT. Head over to the Illustrate iT Blog to read her weekly posts about the hottest topics in video marketing!

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Filed under Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Video

How To Grow Targeted Followers On Twitter?

An analogy I often use about building a social media community is to look at it like a radio station. Even if you find the perfect radio station with all of your target prospects listening to it, but you only have 60 listeners you’ll never get to ROI (return on investment) on your radio advertising, even if it everybody buys your stuff. Likewise with your social media marketing efforts, it requires that you have a big enough audience to get ROI.

Grow Twitter FollowersHere’s a couple of scenarios that might depict your situation.

1) You’re a new marketer and you’re just starting your social media accounts. You currently have little or no listeners, or worse the majority of your listeners/followers are most likely not your actual target audience.

2) Maybe you are a social media agency that has just brought on a new client and you’re setting up their social media accounts or taking over existing social media accounts. The client has some followers on Twitter and likes on Facebook but the numbers are fairly low and not targeted.

These are very common situations that I see frequently. In either case you have a problem that begs the question; How do I get more targeted followers on Twitter? Am I right?

Ok, we will get to that in a moment. First lets put some perspective in place for your community target size. We already know we have to have a big enough audience, but what is big enough?

Local: If you are a hyper local business (aka a local restaurant, Real Estate Agent, etc.) you need a minimum of 2000 targeted followers.  That is followers that are your target audience on Twitter.

Regional: If you are a regional brand or marketer your minimum target should be at least 5000 targeted followers in order to be able to be effective.

National/International: Lastly if you’re a national or international brand you need to have a minimum of 7500 targeted followers if you want to achieve results.

So the question is probably obvious in most people’s minds right now – How do you grow your targeted followers on Twitter?  The fact is it is easy if you know how.

Unfortunately the only place that “If you build it they will come” works is in Hollywood. In social media you must proactively build a social media community made up of your target audience. A following that you can deliver value to and are likely to be interested in the product or service you sell.

So assuming that you’ve already properly defined your target audience very clearly, including geographically, demographically as well as psychographically, it’s pretty easy to find and connect with your target audience on Twitter. Here’s a video I put together that shows you one way to hyper target Twitter followers, so you can follow them.

*Tip: Find the Twitter accounts that have already built a following of the target audience you are looking for and follow the people they follow. The ManageFlitter app can help you do that as well.

A percentage of the targeted people you follow will follow you back. That percentage will vary greatly, depending on whether you have the following items in place first.

1) Value – Your social media stream needs to provide value to your audience. This needs to be done a couple ways.

a) You need to have enough content in your steam everyday. (20+ posts per day on Twitter)

b) The content you share needs to be interesting, relevant and valuable to your audience.

c) 80% of what you post should NOT be about you, but instead be what your audience is interested in.

When you follow someone on Twitter, many will immediately check your timeline to see what you are posting as part of their determination of whether to follow back. If you aren’t consistent with your content strategy, few will follow back.

2) Bio – Your Twitter Bio is so important. Be sure that it is not ordinary, “pitchy” or overly corporate.

Here is a great post on optimizing your Twitter Bio.

3) Engagement – Are you having conversations in your stream, or are you using social media marketing like a bullhorn? If someone you follow looks at your timeline and sees that you are simply pushing information and not responding, engaging and having conversations, few will follow back.

Your social media management and strategy must include a community growth strategy as a substantial part of your overall social media management. There are many parts that work together to make your efforts successful. Missing any of those components will dramatically reduce the results.

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Filed under Community, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter