Tag Archives: Twitter

The How To’s of Customer Targeting, Acquisition And Retention In Social Media

In a report released earlier this month, “Over 85% of US marketing executives cited acquiring new customers and increasing retention as the top two 2014 marketing priorities.” After reading this, I asked myself when isn’t that the top two priorities of most executives? Isn’t that why a business is marketing to begin with? But I digress…

Customer Targeting Retention & Acquisition in Social MediaThe report further outlined that Executives said that “getting or holding target customers’ attention, as well as finding their target audience online, were the top two major challenges.

I find it interesting how larger brands and agencies find these things so challenging. They have the biggest budgets, the most resources and yet still navigate the online marketing world as if it is print or television. In today’s social networking world, finding your target audience couldn’t be more simple. Holding the attention of target customers is really just as easy, if in fact you are doing it properly.

What small, local and medium businesses lack in the form of resources and budgets, they more than make up for in common sense, nimbleness and the ability to effectively execute quickly. If and only if you understand one simple truth about digital marketing in today’s world…

It’s NOT about YOU!

The reason most of the big brands see the issues outlined in this report and challenging is because most have yet to recognize this fact. Big brands often solely self promote their wares and create a persona of “too good to engage” to their audience. A quick scan of most brands social media feeds and mentions will uncover huge communities that are attempting to engage with their favorite brands and those same brands ignoring the comments, mentions and engagement by the very target customers they say they are trying to find and hold attention with. Is it really this difficult to understand?

Acquire and Retain Customers:

If your priority is to acquire and retain customers, engage them. Make them feel wanted beyond their pocketbook. If you ignore your audience, they’ll not be your audience for very long.

Get Attention:

If you want to get the attention of your target customer, create and curate content that they are interested in. It might not have anything to do with your industry, product or brand. Meet them where their interests are and make your feeds be about them, not you.

Find Your Audience:

If you want to find your target customer, simply search for the people that are your target, connect with them and show interest in who they are. There’s no place this is done any easier than Twitter. I have said many times that Twitter is the hub of social media marketing.

The Wrap Up:

In an age where Facebook organic reach is declining to ultimate zero and the need for real results from social media marketing and other online channels are increasing, marketers need to adjust their “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. SMB’s need to better recognize the opportunities readily available and gain the knowledge and executional capabilities required to capitalize on them.

Twitter is your friend, learn it and execute it well to grow your targeted community. It is one of the only social networks that enables you to easily find and connect with your target audience easily.

Facebook now requires you to pay to reach the audience you already invested heavily to grow. Recognize this and either establish a budget to do that or maintain your presence there, but get better elsewhere.

Above all, look at your social media connections as more of an intimate one-on-one relationship, rather than an audience for your advertisements. If you stop ignoring your community and respond to their mentions, seek to converse with them about what they’re doing and curate recent relevance based on their interests, you will earn their respect and gain their interest in what you do.

 

 

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Filed under Brand, Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Social Media Risk Management, Lawyers and Fear – Just Stop!

I am constantly seeing blog posts about the “risks” of social media marketing for brands. Are there risks? Of course there are risks and you need to manage them appropriately. But are there risks to waxing /buffing the floors at your restaurant, selling bikes that Understanding the real social media riskspeople will use for extreme sports and baking treats that contain peanuts? Am I being silly? Yes, I am trying to make the point that no matter what you do in today’s lack of common sense lawsuit business environment, there are risks. There will always be that one person looking for their “gettin’ paid” easy money opportunity to extort money from a business because they spilled coffee (that by the way is always hot and requires you to be careful) in their lap in a drive-through. Let’s get real shall we?

When my Twitter friend @maxnrgmike approached me about the topic and asked me to write a post about this, I had to consider it. It all started when I shared post about CEO’s and social media marketing. Mike jumped in and the thread began. Since I always try to keep my word, here we are. I am not going to get into deep statistics and “legalese”, but I am going to draw some business similarities that should get you to think and also attempt to insert some common sense into the discussion surrounding risk management and fear issues we often see in this space.

A discussion on risk management in social mediaNow, if you’re McDonald’s or Starbucks, you may have a more realistic risk management requirement for social media. You are a much bigger target, are known to many more people around the country and inherently become a “brand of opportunity” for some less than scrupulous people to go after.

But if you’re a small or medium business attending social media legal seminars and getting scared out of your pants about the “massive risks” some attorney is hammering about, can we all just chill out? Is social media marketing a bigger risk than the inherent business risk of being a medical device manufacturer, an insurance company or even a construction contractor? I think not…

Like any other business, industry or marketing effort a company uses, it comes with certain risks. The average SMB needs to put a little common sense into their social media equation, rather than listen to Lawyers that have a vested interest in being seen as educated on the topic.  By the very nature of their view on social media, an attorney dissuading you from social media marketing using fear is not going to be a very active or experienced social media user. Further more, that attorney probably doesn’t have a level of understanding of social media marketing to make them a qualified or trusted source to outline the risks for a small business beyond the completely legal aspects anyway. Just as I am biased toward social, they are going to be so against it. My knowledge of the industry easily outweighs their knowledge of only the legal side.

If that is the perspective, I have already outlined many more risky business scenarios you should be focused on instead of social media marketing.

So rather than have a discussion about legal risks, living in fear and making excuses as to why your business should not be active and effective in social media, let’s outline the compelling REAL risks you have at stake if you don’t.

Important And Real Social Media Risks:

1) Absent – Let’s be clear. You’re customers and prospects are all on social media, whether you think so or not, they are. Everyone is at some level. What’s worse is so are your competitors. Social media marketing is a marathon and your target audience is on the sidelines of the race cheering. Unfortunately for you, you’re not even running in the race, let alone own shoes or even bothered to stretch. To top it all off, your competitors ARE in the race, own running shoes and are making decent time. Your customers and prospects are connecting with your competitors, eating at their restaurants, buying their bikes and hiring them to do their remodels and you don’t even know it’s happening!

Another way you could be absent is owning running shoes, but not actually being in this social media marathon by not being active and/or you are not responding to your customers and prospects that check in to your business or mention you. Imagine the people who have had a poor experience at/with your business and are posting about it on their blog, on Facebook and other social platforms. They can’t tag your business because you don’t have social profiles, so you remain unaware this is even happening.

It used to be that a happy customer told one person and an unhappy customer told 10. With social media those numbers become multiplied by thousands. Risk you say? You might want to know about these situations. If you’re absent, you just never will and you will be left wondering why your business is failing.

2) Ineffective – You’re trying to learn and be effective in social media marketing but don’t have the knowledge, experience, time or resources to do it properly. So you end up either making huge mistakes as in number three below, or you become Absent as in number one above. Either way, you risk your competitors taking advantage of not living in fear and out running you in this distance race. If your audience is in social media already, and I argue they are, then your biggest business risk with social media is being absent or ineffective.

That means you are risking your entire business on this whole social media thing going away and your company surviving because you are just awesome like that. Might want to reconsider the real risks here.

3) Stupidity - Another real risk is that you do something stupid that alienates your business in horrific ways. Let me show you an example of such a thing. Meet Amy’s Baking Company and see how poorly run social media marketing had ZERO legal implications, but incredibly negative business results. Causing or letting a situation spin out of control on social media without the knowledge and experience to not be “stupid” is a huge risk. If you don’t know what you are doing, hire an experienced social media agency to manage it for you.

What’s a bigger risk? Being in and effective with social media marketing or going out of business because your fear got in the way and your business crashed and burned because you ignored it? Only you can decide.

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Filed under Brand, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Risk Management, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

How To: Expand Local Business Social Reach Through Content Creation

Even the smallest brands and individual online marketers need to create relevant content for their target audience. It’s about creating thought leadership in certain topics, staying top of mind with your audience and driving traffic to your site through your blog or other social platforms.

Expanding Social ReachThere are many types of content creation that marketers and small brands can and should be doing. Some of the types of created content are; Blog posts, video, images, graphics, infographics, email newsletters, landing pages, events. Most of these kinds of content creation can be done with limited resources, using smart phones or by outsourcing to experienced small agencies.

Expand Your Social Reach:

One of the important and often overlooked reasons consistent content creation is so important is that it provides the opportunity for local businesses and small marketers to expand their social reach. By consistently creating content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience, you also generate content that other social media users want to share.

At the heart of effective social media marketing is sharing or “curating” relevant content from others. In fact, when done properly, about 80% of what a social media marketer posts should come from sources other than themselves. This means that they need recent, relevant content on a daily basis and a lot of it!

Some How To’s:

  • Be consistent with at least 1-2 blog posts per week. Make it easy by using images and videos you capture in and around your daily work and personal activities as the basis for your posts.
  • Optimize your posts around locality and topics both your audience and content curators are interested in.
  • Share your content with hashtags both your audience and content curators are using and following around your locality and topics.
  • Write for legacy, not always events. In other words, create content that is not event-driven but is timeless and can be posted, read and consumed long-term, not just for a specific date or event.
  • Identify and build relationships with social media accounts that post and share about local content frequently. By developing these relationships, they will likely find and share your content as well.
  • On the day’s you publish your posts, schedule shares on Twitter up to 3-4 times across the day and once on other social platforms.
  • ALWAYS include at least one graphic in your posts.
  • Share the graphic from your blog post on image networks like Instagram and Pinterest with a link to the blog post it came from.
  • Share your legacy content in your social streams repeatedly over time.
  • Start conversations with your target audience when they post something that is connected to one of your recent posts. As the conversation develops you can mention a blog post you did on the topic and share the link. (when appropriate)

Some Never Ever’s:

  • Never tag people/accounts when you share it on social media. We call this spam. Earn relationships that want to share your content.
  • Don’t create content that is only and always about you, your company or what you do. Instead create content around what interests your target audience at a rate of 80% and 20% of your blog posts should be about you, your products, services and specials, etc.

Content creation can be a very effective way for local businesses to drive traffic to their website. It is best done when it adds value to the target audience and is not-self centered. Include outreach campaigns to develop relationships that need your content for their social media strategies and always thank those that mention and share your content.

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Filed under Blog, Content, content creation, Curation, Infographic, Marketing, Relationship, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Spam, Strategy

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