Tag Archives: Value

The What, When and How Of Social Media Marketing Messages – Part 1

Most social media professionals are aware that along with sharing curated content and posts it is also extremely important to share your created content and marketing messages at appropriate levels. Though some mistakenly post only their promotional posts, combining sales messaging content with selfless, relevant and interesting posts your audience will find valuable is an essential part of any social media strategy.

The What, when and how of posting social media sales and marketing message posts.It’s perfectly alright to promote your brand and offers within social media. In fact, if you’re using social media for marketing, that should be one of the reasons you’re there in the first place. The issue becomes when and how often you post promotional messages, not if you do.

Many industry leaders tend to state that an effective ratio of shared/curated content is best at a level of somewhere between 75% to 85% of a marketers posts. The remaining 15% to 25% can be made up of your promotional, sales messages and created content. The idea is that since this is SOCIAL media, the goal is to provide selfless value to your audience, and that is done by sharing content and posts that they find valuable, not just your posts. This practice tends to start conversations with your community members. When this value based process is repeated over time, relationships develop that make people more open to what you actually do.

One of the challenges that social media marketers, brands and agencies have related to their marketing messages is not knowing all of the content and messaging they have available to share. This obstacle is magnified due to the fact that spreadsheets and Word documents are frequently the organizational tools used for this purpose. Not only does this make it extremely inefficient, it also tends to spread out workflow across multiple people, documents and platforms. This unorganized and disjointed process often results in less than optimal results, missed opportunities and an inability to take advantage of legacy content and messaging that could be utilized with improved effect.

These human and time intensive processes are often some of the biggest obstacles social media marketers have to deal with when it comes to consistent messaging and real revenue results within their social media marketing efforts. There are some specific steps to take that will diminish these issues and they all start with ONE.

Do you know what you have to share?

Let’s be specific here. What makes up your “what you have to share”?

Examples of social media marketing, sales and/or promotional posts are things like;

  1. Your home page
  2. Secondary website pages (About us, location)
  3. Individual Product/Service pages
  4. Your main blog home page
  5. Specific legacy or evergreen blog posts
  6. Landing/Signup pages
  7. Your other social profiles
  8. Specific created graphics and pictures
  9. Email newsletter list subscription pages
  10. Your text only quotes/sales messages
  11. Etc.

What URLs do you have that contain these kinds of posting opportunities?

  1. Your Website
  2. Your YouTube Channel
  3. Your Blog
  4. Your Facebook Page
  5. Your Facebook Page images
  6. Instagram pics

The intent of marketing and promotional messages in your social stream

should be to drive traffic to your offers, content and landing pages in an attempt to either;

  1. Increase traffic
  2. Convert traffic
  3. Drive sales/leads
  4. Educate on products/services you offer
  5. Branding

As we stated previously, one of the biggest challenges facing social media marketers is efficiently and effectively managing marketing posts. This was one of the reasons that we created the Bundle Post Social Content Management System as an agency. The time-consuming and inefficient methods of managing spreadsheets and Word docs was a nightmare. Something had to change to make it more effective, less time-consuming and require less human resources.

In Part 2 we will discuss how to create and manage a repository of sales messages for social media posting and efficiently implement them within your social media management.

 

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Filed under Agency, Blog, Bundle Post, Content, content creation, Marketing, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Strategy

Social Media Conversations That Become Leads

Conversations within social media is what builds relationships. Those resulting relationships are what lay the foundations for real results like sales, revenue and customer acquisition. But the question I hear most often is “How do you get into conversations that become leads?”

Social media conversations that become leadsOne way to get into conversations is to simply start them with others. For brands this is an infinitely more difficult task given the resources required, the restrictions of certain social networks and simply time. This doesn’t scale well and therefore is often only a small part of a social strategy long-term. Starting conversations with your target audience is effective, but requires massive resources to pull it off with anything resembling return on investment (ROI).

Another and more frequently used approach to starting conversations is something I call luring.

I frequently use analogies to correlate social media marketing to things that most people already understand. I find that many comprehend some of the complexities of social media much better this way. So let’s look at social media engagement or social selling as fishing.

Lure, luring, fishing. Get it?

If you agree that “Content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships and relationships result in ROI“, then we can equate content to a fishing lure and getting a bite on the line as a conversation. The reason for a fishing lure is to attract and catch fish. Different sizes and types of lures are designed to attract different types and sizes of fish. Therefore the right content, created and curated (the lure) in your streams will attract a certain type of prospect and therefore increase the chances that they share, comment or like the content you post (the bite).

Furthering our analogy, if you don’t cast enough times on the day you are fishing, you greatly reduce your chances of getting any bites. Casting your lure into the lake only a few times will likely result in no fish being attracted to your lure. You have to keep casting, reeling in and casting again in order to increase the odds that a fish will even see your lure, let alone be attracted to it. This is why having enough consistent, relevant, valuable content in your streams is so important.

This gets even complex when there are numerous types of fish in the lake, but you’re only interested in catching a specific kind. Now you have to consider WHICH lures (content subject matter) are best to attract that specific type of fish and also how many times you need to be casting and reeling in your lure each and every day in order to get a bite. If you want to attract fish that have a higher propensity to engage with you from the content you post, focus on curating content that highlights the challenges that your product and service solves for your target audience.

5 Social Media Ways To Foster Conversations With The Right Audience -

  1. Enough Posts (Casting) – social network users are logging on and off, and switching from desktop to mobile all day long. If you do not have enough posts all day, every day, you’re likely to be seen less.
  2. Content Type (The Lure) – Whether you are curating or creating content, you need to ensure that what you are posting is relevant and interesting to your target audience. Know what THEY are interested in and post about those topics. This is what will get them to engage YOU.
  3. Crowded Waters – Just because an article is popular or comes from a popular site, doesn’t mean you should post it in your streams. In fact, I would say that in most cases the opposite it true. Sharing content that everyone has already seen, read and shared themselves is hardly an effective strategy. If your peers and competitors are fishing in the same cove of the lake, grab your fishing pole and fish somewhere else where this fish see less of the same lures.
  4. Create Lures – Along with posting curated content, you should also be creating content. Think of this as the experienced fly fisherman that ties their own flies. Know your intended audience (fish) and what they’re interested in and create content that connects their needs, challenges and interests with what you do, without overtly pitching your product or service.
  5. Leads – When you have a “fish on” (conversation started) don’t reel it in as fast as humanly possible. Take the time to expand the conversation around your contact without immediately moving to what you do. Building relationships over time is what gets results. Getting a bite and immediately attempting to land the fish is a great way to rip the hook out and lose the fish altogether.

At the end of the day, social media marketing lead generation is not dissimilar to the real world. Relationships take time and often require many conversations to build trust. Taking the time to earn that trust will open doors to discuss what you do with your connections and turn relationships into leads.

If you’re having the right conversations with the right connections, your conversations will become leads.

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Filed under Brand, Community, Content, content creation, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Uncategorized

Two New Content Curation and Marketing Milestones For Social Media

Today Bundle Post is announcing two new milestones that are quite significant. We are also announcing something new Bundle Post is doing to immediately expand the traffic and social reach of content creators.

Let’s get down to business…

- Over 2.5 Million Social Media Content Posts

Last week, Bundle Post hit another critical milestone of 2,500,000 pieces of content managed every month. With a growing user base that is recognizing the massive efficiencies and improved effectiveness within social media marketing, the amount of marketing posts, curated posts and other social media status updates being made through the Bundle Post system is escalating rapidly.

How can Bundle Post help you be more effective, efficient and profitable with your social media management? Check out this Case Study

- Over 1,000,000 RSS Feeds Added

1 Million RSS FeedsOn March 26, Bundle Post launched the RSS Project with the vision of indexing over 250,000 RSS Feeds into our system in less than 90 days. We are excited to announce that in just a few short weeks we have exceeded over One Million RSS Feeds. Yes you read that correctly, we exceeded our goal by 300% AND did it in almost half the time.

The integration work required to bring innovative content discovery, expanded reach and social sharing capabilities are currently being developed. We will soon be announcing phase two of the RSS Project that will allow writers, bloggers, brands and content creators the ability to validate ownership of their RSS within Bundle Post, which will result in our ability to promote and suggest unique, recent and relevant content our users are looking to curate it. The result will be more traffic, new readers and an expanded social reach.

To add your RSS Feed to the Bundle Post Index, click here then keep reading.

- The Bundle Post Social Accounts Sharing YOUR Content

Late last week, Bundle Post shifted its social media content curation process to the sharing of content directly from our own Index. This means that a large amount of the curated posts we are now sharing across our corporate accounts is being hand selected from content creators like you that have added their RSS feed into our index. This first step ensures that the content curation we do as a brand not only provides relevant, valuable content for our audience, but also benefits the content creators that add their RSS Feeds into our index.

From experience we know that sharing fresh content from new sources always achieves better conversations, more value and engagement opportunities over sharing the same content everyone else shares, from the same repeated sources. Our strategy will be to continue to migrate away from popular content that many are already sharing and focus in on leveling the playing field and discovery of authors, content and sources that are recent and relevant.

We’d love the opportunity to share your recent/relevant content too. Add RSS Feed

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Filed under Blog, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Marketing, RSS Feed, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

2 Biggest Social Media Challenges

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the previous Survey posts in this series:

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

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

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

 

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

Facebook Announcing Plan To End Pay To Play For Pages – A Dream?

Facebook Pay to PlayYes, most likely it IS a dream. But since Facebook is about to release an earnings report this month on the 23rd, I believe it will be the peak of their revenue climb with this pay to play shift and that by the end of the year we will begin to see a dramatic decline in revenue and page activity if they stay the course.

But in a perfect world, I would love to see a $12.1 Billion revenue announcement that consisted of a new monthly page fee. Why? It would mean that they came to their senses and realized that the current pay to play model they have implemented is not sustainable as a business model and page owners, managers and brands are fleeing the Facebook platform for greener pastures. It would also mean that they have further had a reality check and finally understood social media marketing, their users and customers in a real way.

I previously wrote a piece before Facebook enacted the Pay to Play business model that included what I believed to be a better solution to their then EdgeRank Newsfeed algorithm, stock price plummeting and revenue model challenges.

Since then Facebook deployed what has come to be known as their “Pay to Play” requirement, that I believe is a completely unsustainable revenue model and one that delivers zero benefit to users, marketers or Facebook itself over the long run. This is backed up by a recent eMarketer report showing organic reach declining at an increasing rate. Diminishing returns the platform can and will deliver to brands, marketers and page owners. I decided to do some deeper research and have put together basic financials that compare what Facebook is currently doing as compared to what I propose, and the compelling differences between the two.

But before I get into that, let’s take a peek at some of Facebook’s 2013 Public Business Highlights:

Revenue for the full year 2013 was $7.87 billion, an increase of 55% year-over-year.

Income from operations for the full year 2013 was $2.80 billion. (advertising revenues)

Net income for the full year 2013 was $1.50 billion.

Free cash flow for the full year of 2013 was $2.85 billion.

Facebook currently has 54.2 Million active pages.

Facebook has 25 million small business pages.

Removing Pay To Play and Replacing It With Monthly Fees:

I went ahead and ran some numbers using my plan and compared the results with what Facebook is currently doing. This plan is predicated on Facebook displaying all page posts to newsfeeds, similar to friend posts. If they abandoned their unsustainable Pay to Play model and instead adopted my page monthly fee model, the revenue improvement to Facebook is massive and the benefits to page owners, marketers and end users is even bigger! Facebook Revenue Plan By the numbers:

  • I am factoring a little more than half of pages would participate and pay the monthly fee, remaining an active page on Facebook.
  • Small business pages would pay a small $30/mo fee, other smaller pages a $20/mo fee, non-profit and charities only $10/mo and larger big brand pages an average of $200 per month.
  • Ad revenue would still be a factor for Facebook and actually become even more valuable since you know you would be able to reach new likes that you add to your page with this new model. I pegged the ad revenue much lower to take into account the changes to the model though.
  • New 2014 annual revenue jumps from $2.8 billion to $12.1 billion under my plan – a $9.3 billion improvement over 2013!

Benefits of the Monthly Page Fee Model:

Newsfeeds would be competitively driven Facebook users would control what content they want with the power of their like/unlike

Focus would shift to creating and sharing great content and that would drive the newsfeed

The playing field for SMB’s would be leveled against Big Brands wouldn’t have a substantial advantage because of their huge budgets Efficiency/Result value would shift to time spent creating content rather than managing ad systems

So many more benefits, but you get the idea

The BIG Winners:

Users – They see content from pages they liked and wanted content from to begin with. Users would power the Facebook page success model, rather than big brands and/or budgets.

Marketers – Can access the likes they already invested heavily to obtain. The nominal monthly fee makes it a very viable marketing platform again.

Facebook – Duh. HUGE revenue win for Facebook and a lot of good will earned for listening to its users and developing an alternative that benefits everyone. (there’s a first for everything) Everyone wins! Tell me what your thoughts are on this alternative monthly fee model for Facebook Pages? What do you like, dislike or wish Facebook would do?

————————————–

a P.S. for those that enjoy those.

Here Are Just A Few Problems with the current Pay To Play Model:

Not sustainable – In another post I did some time back I discussed “By restricting the previous value of pages to marketers of all sizes, Facebook is setting the stage for a collapse of the Facebook page model and pushing both users and marketers to other platforms…”  When you require people to reach the audience they have already spent a ton of time and effort to establish, and many paid Facebook for ads to do this, then you change the game and require them now to also pay to reach them, nothing but diminishing returns will occur. If Paying for page reach via ads is the only method available, the expertise and time requirements to make that successful in a diminishing return environment pushes many right out of the market.

Users are the losers – They are not seeing the content from pages they liked and want content from.

Money, NOT content drives pages success

Not a level playing field – Most small and medium businesses can’t compete with big brands for eyeballs on the platform effectively.

Diminishing Returns –  The current model will continue to decline in results, rather than improve return and value to business stakeholders. It’s pretty simple to determine the long-term outcome of something with diminishing returns.

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Filed under Brand, Content, EdgeRank, Facebook, Marketing, Pay to Play, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Be A Maitre d’ Of Social Media Marketing

Maitre d' Of Social Media MarketingI can’t recall the source or specifics, but I recently heard a story on the radio involving a restaurant and a Maitre d’ that is embedded in my thoughts for time and memorial. Not the specific details, but the over-reaching premise and point of the story that directly connects to social media marketing and customer service. The story crossed my mind again this morning, triggered by a television commercial that was on in the background in my office. I decided to make the story the topic of this post.

The Story:

A couple came into the high-end restaurant that was known for their steak. The gentleman had really been craving a good steak, so he and his wife decided to go out. The Maitre d’ seated his guests at a table and proceeded to give them the royal treatment, helping with chairs and napkins. Taking the couples order the waiter meticulously detailed every instruction for their meal and went off to secure its creation with the chef.

After getting the couple their drinks, appetizers and salads, the moment of truth arrived. The waiter delivered the most beautifully prepared steak the man had ever seen.

As the aroma filled the man’s nostrils, the Maitre d’ asked if there was anything else the couple required. The simple gentleman looked up at the highly polished servant of culinary excellence and politely asked for some A1 steak sauce. Without so much as blinking, the Maitre d’ immediately snapped back with, “right away sir”.

After a short period of time, the Maitre d’ rushed over to the couples table and opened a bag, revealing the A1 steak sauce the customer requested. Slightly out of breath, the Maitre d’ calmly pronounced “Your steak sauce sir.”

The gentleman looked up at the Maitre d’ and said, “why are you out of breath?” To which the Maitre d’ replied, “I had to run 5 blocks to the grocery store for your steak sauce.”

This restaurant didn’t even have A1 steak sauce and the Maitre d’ went and got it!

BE The Social Media Maitre d’

What did you learn from this story as it relates to social media marketing? I got a lot from it. Here are some things that stuck with me.

1) Stand out – Stop doing the same thing everyone else does. Stand out from the crowd in new and unique ways that deliver value to your audience.

2) Value, not price is incredible – Providing value in your streams, content and actions is what matters, not the price of your product or service.

3) Selfless is an action – Stop looking at what is in it for you and be selfless in your relationships in social media. Do this right and it will come back to you in so many ways it’s immeasurable.

4) Don’t belittle, just help – The Maitre d’ could have easily made this guy look and feel like a loser for wanting steak sauce, yet he didn’t. He did what was needed to help the man get what he wanted/liked. Most importantly he did it without belittling the man.

5) Be memorable – In everything you do in social media, do it in a way that your prospects, customers and connections never forget you. Make a memorable impression, over and over.

6) The customer isn’t always right – We could all argue that ruining an amazing, expensive steak with A1 is almost inexcusable, however who are we to say how someone else likes their food. Follow the example of keeping your opinion to yourself and just helping, therefore making them FEEL as though they are right.

7) Immediate action – Don’t wait, don’t think, don’t even ponder. Take action toward a customers need, NOW.

8) Serving others is the highest reward – No need to embellish this at all.

There are many more things that could be added to this list, but these are the main points I wanted to impress upon you, as they impressed upon me. As you continue your week, remember this incredible Maitre d’ as you engage with customers, prospects and connections in social media. Let your actions speak loud, your customer service stand apart and value trump your profitability.

disclaimer: I tried my very best to find the actual story, but despite my best searches, (I even tried using Google instead of my Bing) I was unable to locate it. So I apologize for not providing credit to the originator, but I tried to stay true to what I remembered and made a valiant effort to find it.

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Filed under Community, customer service, Marketing, Relationship, Restaurant, Results, Social Media Marketing

Interview with @BryanKramer about #H2H, Social Media and @BundlePost

H2H_eBook_cover1This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Social Media author, speaker and Bundle Post Pro user Bryan Kramer of Pure Matter to discuss the human, emotion and successful factors of social media marketing. As a Pro user of Bundle Post, Bryan gives his perspective on social media changes, content curation, the human elements and the unique capabilities that the Bundle Post social media tool gives him and his team.

Find out why Bryan is a Pro user of Bundle Post, how he uses the application to make himself “look smart” and save a ton of time.

Grab a chair and listen:

Here are some of the highlights of the interview:

- The Book Human to Human – Comes out in book form this week. Grab a copy here.

- It’s ok to make mistakes and be really human and authentic in social media.

- The H2H model is even resonating with the big brands. Listen to hear some examples such as Oracle.

- Businesses don’t sell to businesses. “You have to sell to a person.”

- Bryan got started curating and sharing in social media.

- Bryan references being a Connoisseur. I found this great blog he wrote that details this awesome logic. Read it here: Collector or Curator? Becoming a Social Connoisseur

- Content curation is just as important as blogging!

- If you’re curating unique stuff, you don’t have to worry about growing your community, building thought leadership or getting results.

- You can’t be everything to everyone. People like people who share things that are interesting to them. Share the best content!

- “It was almost over night that I fell in love with the Bundle Post product.”

- “I enjoy using anything that makes me look smart. Bundle Post makes me look smart and it cuts down on my time requirement.”

- “I have a family, a business, launching a book and speaking. How am I going to do all this stuff? That’s why I like your product because I can do something in 30 minutes for a week worth of posts.”

- “Bundle Post is like RSS/Feed Reader on I can organize, auto-hashtag and share it out..”

- “I really think everyone can use Bundle Post. Who really doesn’t have a problem with time? Everyone that’s online struggling with time to curate. Executives are perfect for this.”

- Bundle Post helps you easily stay top of mind with your audience.

We’d like to thank Bryan for taking time out of his schedule to talk to us about his great book and his use and view of Bundle Post. Connect with Bryan on Twitter at @BryanKramer.

*We want to be very clear that Bryan is not being given his Pro account, not even a discount. He upgraded his Bundle Post account to Pro and pays for it like our other users. The value and results of the technology speaks for itself.

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Filed under Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

The Most Overlooked Social Media Success Method

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

Or dare we say, lack thereof.

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

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

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

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

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

What does consistency look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media “Friends” – When To Unfollow, Unfriend Or Disconnect

I recently had this issue come to a head and have kept quiet about it, but while traveling it crossed my mind that there are probably a lot of people out there in a similar situation, so here goes…

unfriend or unfollowThe fact is you’re just not going to hit it off or even get along with everyone or every personality. This is going to be true even if they are your target audience, age group and demographic. The fact is that we are all human and not all humans get along or even want to get along. Some people just get on other people’s nerves for whatever reason. Heck I know many that just don’t like me, and that’s ok.

So over the past few years I have been connected with someone all over the social graph. I mean everywhere. We have engaged some, but there was always something a bit off. The only time the individual ever commented on anything I wrote or shared it was always in a very condescending, arrogant and argumentative way. Have you ever experienced someone like that?

After more than two years of this largely out of mind situation, I decided I would investigate a bit further. I watched what they did when engaging others. Whether they shared other people’s content we were both connected to and what the support looked like that they afforded those other people.

Here’s what I discovered:

1) They were in fact considerably more antagonistic with me then with anyone else we were mutually connected with.

2) They were considerably more supportive to others we were mutually connected with.

3) They did have an occasional troll-like temperament with some other people, but not as consistent as with every engagement with me.

Once I had confirmed my feelings through my investigation, I asked myself the following questions:

1) Do I genuinely like this person?

2) Are they supportive of our company and our technology?

3) Are they likely to ever purchase and use our product?

4) Do I consider them someone who has similar industry ideals as we do?

The answer to every single one of these questions was a definitive NO, which led to a final question…

WHY am I connected to this person, sharing their content and being supportive of them and what they are doing?

Answer: There really isn’t a good reason.

With that, I took a few moments and quietly disconnected from every single social network connection where we were “friends”. To be honest I did not feel bad at all. I don’t particularly dislike this individual, but I also don’t like them either, and just like in real life, you don’t have to hang around business associates you will never do business with and don’t particularly get along with.

So here’s the deal; You DO NOT have to have your brand or personal social media accounts connected with people who are not a good fit. Don’t feel obligated to remain in relationships that offer no value. If you’re using social media for marketing, you do in fact need to be polite and open, but you don’t have to continue in circles with connections that are not uplifting, enjoyable or a non-prospect for what you do. Be kind, be discrete and move along.

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Filed under Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Restaurant Social Media Success – A Five Ingredient Recipe

For some restaurants, social media may still seem like the latest marketing fad. But if you ignore it too long, you just might be watching customers, traffic and search rankings pass by your restaurant. Using social media to market your restaurant isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t find success. Let’s see if we can help you out. Any cook or brand manager will appreciate an easy to follow recipe, I am going to share with you my 5-Step Recipe for Social Media Success for Restaurants.

Keep in mind, without a focused strategy and an understanding of your audience no marketing stands a chance at success. What social media is not is just another medium to blast out irrelevant messages to Jane and Joe Public, you can leave that to radio. The brands who still don’t get social media are ones doing it wrong by blasting messages and not building relationships with their customers.

You see social media really does work, when you use it correctly

What can social media do for you restaurant brand?

▪ Raise Brand Awareness
▪ Drive Customer Traffic
▪ Increase Google Page Rank
▪ Position You As a Resource
▪ Share Your Brand Voice
▪ Make You An Authority
▪ Generate Customer Loyalty
▪ Helps You Gain New Customers

Let’s be clear, social media is not easy nor is it free. These are two facts you need to understand. If it was, everyone would be doing it successfully. While I am going to offer you an easy to follow 5-Ingredient Recipe, without a commitment of time and some resources you will still struggle.

The good news is that there are tools, apps and an increased acceptance that has made social media marketing easier for brands to and especially restaurants to find success.

Restaurants and social media go together like milk and cookies

Eating food is a social activity. From sharing pictures of food, reviewing restaurants or simply checking in… the experience of dining out really does mesh with social media activity.

Nearly nine out of 10 restaurants used social media outreach this year—the most common tactic by a wide margin—up from 77% in 2012: Restaurants Up Their Use of Social, Mobile

From Mobile apps to social media usage, smartphones are on the rise and thus they need to be part of your marketing plan.
The increased usage of mobile is another reason to be actively marketing your restaurant on social media.

One might attribute social media’s increased effectiveness for restaurants to increasing popularity of Smartphones. Location-based apps, geo-targeting and search make it easier for consumers to find the restaurant they are looking for. And, once they find that perfect restaurant , where do you think they share the news? That’s right, on social media where 54% of young adults prefer Smartphones for social media usage.

How about that recipe?

restaurant social media successA 5-Ingredient Recipe for Social Media Success for Restaurants

The 5C’s:

1. Create Content
2. Curate Content
3. Consistent Sharing
4. Conversations with Your Customers
5. Connections That Builds Brand Loyalty

Now that you have the ingredients, what’s the recipe to success?

Creating content for your restaurant has many benefits ranging from improving search rankings to building awareness and sharing news or information about your restaurant. You want to diversify the content you create to keep it fresh and try to incorporate videos, images, blogs and recipes, etc. You should also consider repurposing existing content such as historic images, menus, advertising or signage as well.

Make sure your content helps to tell a story about your brand, remember your goal is to build relationships. Don’t be afraid to get personal or share pictures from events or your customers themselves. Highlight your restaurant staff including chefs, servers, hostess or bartenders. You want to build relationships and start conversations, this requires being personal and responsive. If you are not listening or responding to customers in real-time, you are not using social media the right way. This is social media not megaphone media.

Curating content (sharing news, articles, blogs and graphics from other sources) is important since you don’t want to just share you own content. If all you do is self-promote your own content you are simply blasting out information and treating social media as a one-way conversation. Successful social media involves two-way communications, so providing interesting, relevant and valuable content that your audience is interested in will help spark that conversation. Failing to create AND curate will ensure that you will lose followers, annoy followers or your restaurant customers will just tune you out.

By curating you become a resource, you provide helpful tips that your customers and social followers will appreciate. Don’t hesitate to mix in tasteful humor, trivia or even facts about the type of food you serve.

For best results mix between 20-30% self promoted content with 70-80% curated content.

That is a lot of content every single day, isn’t it? Time and resources are limited for everyone, so using the proper social media tools like Hootsuite and Bundle Post will enable you to be consistent and efficient with your time. Simple ingredients with the right tools is a recipe for success!

One last cooking analogy:

Social media success comes from a steady, reliable heat such as an oven. If you are looking for marketing success at microwave speed, social media isn’t the tool for you.

This is a guest post by:

David SchwartzDavid Schwartz is a recovering traditional Advertising Executive turned Digital Brand Strategist for @brand_education. Utilizing the popularity of digital and the social web he helps companies understand the power of creating their own content and sharing their brand voice. David started his career working for MTV in New York, he then proceeded to Atlanta to work with the likes of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and the Home Depot. From his time working with companies of all sizes he has learned that a strong brand is the key to long-term success by turning customers into brand advocates. Now living in Nashville with his wife and two children, David works with companies of all sizes teaching and consulting on best practices for building a brand in the digital age.   

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Filed under Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Engagement, Followers, Hootsuite, Marketing, Relationship, Restaurant, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter