Category Archives: Audience

Are You Truly Thankful With Your Social Media?

It’s that amazing time of year again when we all consider our blessings and those that are blessings to us. As I considered what we were going to post this year I started thinking about all of the people and brands we are connected with, those that read and share our Being and showing you are Thankful In Social Mediacontent and our amazing loyal users. We are truly grateful to all of them and we make considerable attempts to show it every single day of the year.

This Thanksgiving, I wanted to dive deeper into the meaning of the word “Thankful”.

thankful

adjective: thankful
  1. pleased and relieved:
    “they were thankful that the war was finally over”
    synonyms: grateful · appreciative · filled with gratitude · relieved
  2. expressing gratitude and relief:
    “an earnest and thankful prayer”
    synonyms: grateful · appreciative · filled with gratitude · relieved

I also wanted to better understand the opposite of being Thankful. That is being ungrateful.

ungrateful

adjective: ungrateful
  1. not feeling or showing gratitude:
    “she’s so ungrateful for everything we do”
  2. not pleasant or acceptable:
    “he turned to the ungrateful task of forming a police cordon”

I found this exercise pretty telling. If you don’t feel thankful, you tend to not show it and therefore are ungrateful. I would take it further as it relates to social media marketing and say that “If you are ungrateful for the generosity and mentions of your community and ignore their sharing of your content, there is something clearly wrong.” In fact, I would go further and say that if you’re not thankful, it is because you tend to think you are entitled, better than others or arrogant. Is that a harsh statement? I think it’s pretty accurate.

Think about the brands, celebrities and industry “guru’s” that you’ve mentioned over the past year. Specifically, consider the ones that show appreciation when you mention them or share their content. When they display Thankfulness, how does it make YOU feel? Aren’t you far more likely to engage them again in the future, share more of their content or recommend them to others? Of course you would be.

On the contrary, when you share or RT content from a brand or individual and they never show they are Thankful, how does THAT make you feel? This is the entire point we are attempting to make here.

As we considered whether we are truly thankful and whether or not we put that gratitude into action, I decided to have the team run some numbers. As a rule, our entire team make an attempt to thank every single mention, share or RT across all platforms in the social graph. When you consider that we average around 2,000 of those on any given day, it requires time, resources and a commitment. For us it is not a question of whether it should be done or not, it has to be done. When you are really thankful for the efforts that others make on your behalf, it isn’t an option or a question of resources, but a conscious act of being and showing thankfulness. We are truly thankful…

Taking it further I had our team run some numbers. Here’s what we discovered about how we use our BundlePost system to show our grateful appreciation. Currently we share content from 472 RSS Feeds from BundlePost. Really. Part of being thankful is showing through sharing other people’s great content, and we do that quite actively. There are 472 RSS Feed channels that we actively share content from, containing articles from people we engage with, use BundlePost, share OUR content, etc. Fortunately BundlePost makes managing so many feeds easy, allowing us to attribute posts from each RSS to the author, schedule and hashtag the social media posts in seconds. I’m not sure how we could even do this any other way.

Want more of these kind of connections in your community? Here are just a few folks we consistently see that show they are Thankful. We suggest you connect with them also.

 Rob Peters @StandardofTrust – Social & Digital Skills Coach for Executives. How We Connect, Keep Promises, & Earn #RelationshipCapital #RC is Source of Distinction.

 Lynn Abate-Johnson  @peoplefw – #SocialBusiness Specialist | Pro #SocialMedia Mgmt | Kickass Community Director | Content Curator | LinkedIn | FB | Google+ | Instagram |

 Andrew M. Smith @andrewsmith1443 – Social Media Manager @TSL_Marketing, passionate about social media, B2B, digital marketing, technology, data, red wine & bourbon lover, foodie, Brit.

 Timothy Hughes @Timothy_Hughes –  Top 35 UK Blogger, Speaker, Market Influencer, Forbes Top 100 #SocialSelling – Prefer Algebra to Sets – Work @oracletim Music @SM_Sounds –

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Filed under Audience, BundlePost, connection, Content, Curation, Hashtag, Marketing, Relationship, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Thanksgiving

Hyper Local Marketing – Did you know?

Unique content for Hyper Local MarketingDid you know the BundlePost team works daily with Social Media agencies and Internet marketers? Folks that are working hard to get the word out about goods and services or hired to get the word out for others. One of the biggest concerns I hear among these folks is about hyper local marketing. Here is a strong accusation on the matter – Many agencies miss the mark entirely and are only concerned about taking money from small business owners. Sad, but true.

However, many small business owners miss the mark too by thinking everything is about the amount of ‘Likes’ and ‘Follows’ online. This is mostly because they have listened to folks that just want to take their money. Until one day the small business owner wakes up and says….. “my priority is getting my services and products sold or getting people in the door of my shop!!

The pressure is on!! The Agency now has to get to work because Small Business owners have found out – Social Media: It’s Quantity AND Quality, Not Either or

Likes and Followers are NOT sales by themselves. So we know we need quantity and quality, but what exactly do we share for the hyper local market? You can set up Google alerts to feed into BundlePost on any topic. Alerts for local are news, local events in the area, or content aggregation on any subject you’d like for that matter. However, I want to introduce you to a few things that I know will get the conversation going with your hyper local target market. The kind of things that are outside of box thinking for the typical social media marketer.

When I think hyper local marketing I think ‘Community’. When I think ‘Community’, I think history, community spirit, friends and family. Wouldn’t it be awesome for hyper local marketing to reflect that? What do you know about the history of your community? When and how was the local town established? There might be some in the audience saying ‘Who Cares’, but please remember hyper local marketing is about the community, where locally owned brick and mortar businesses actually still care about the community,  otherwise why would they have invested the time and money there.

If you can’t feel the community spirit, please know you’re not alone and I can totally understand. I was born and raised in Modesto California. I used to tell people, “Yup, born and raised, but was able to escape a few times.” Which obviously says that I wasn’t happy here. I could drive by the hospital and cemetery within five to ten minutes of each other and be overwhelmed with “Born here… died here”.

A couple of years ago I isolated myself in the mountains. Away from family, friends and community. For the very first time I spent a Christmas entirely by myself. One of the worst feelings ever. Loneliness. My only community was online. Shortly there after I decided I needed to go ‘Home’.

I am not saying to isolate yourself so that you learn to appreciate things more. Please don’t do that! What I am saying is that maybe it’s time to get re-acquainted with your surroundings. Time to do a little research like I have and possibly fall in love with where you or your client businesses live like I have.

Start looking for the positive things, the community spirit, the history and the fun trivia facts that most folks don’t know. By the time you are done with your research, you will feel like the town historian. That my friends can give you the cutting edge above your competition!

Seems like my favorite way to start a conversation lately is with… “Did you know?”

Example

Did you know that Modesto was established in 1870? Common knowledge for a local, but did you know that Paradise City and Tuolumne City literally picked up their homes and business buildings and moved them to Modesto? They placed everything on wood planks and wheels and drawn by horse to relocate for the new railroad city.

See, anyone can find out what year a town was established, Wikipedia is pretty good for that. If you want to sound more interesting dig deeper. Remember, I lived here my whole life and I didn’t know about the cities that disappeared. I was so curious about it that I looked up a map from the late 1800’s at the local library to see exactly where they were and drove to the sites, no sign of a city ever being there. NONE.

IMG_20141123_152429756

Did you catch that in the last paragraph that yes, I said LIBRARY. Your local Library is a wealth of untapped content dying for you to share! The only hard part is that there usually isn’t a ‘Share’ button. You actually need to read, learn, take notes and CREATE content that is not easily found online. The amazing part is that your librarian is eager and ready to help you. When I started asking questions about our community, I soon had a small audience of volunteers ready to assist with research.

Another Example

Did you know that Modesto is home to world’s largest winery? Again common knowledge for a local. But taking it one step further, did you know that Boone’s Farm wine is a Gallo product? Remember the Blue Hawaiian and Fuzzy Naval? Some folks probably don’t want to remember. LOL Okay, so still pushing the common knowledge for some here. So let’s get the inside scoop with this. SO, Did do you know how Boone’s Farm got its name? Here my friends is a great piece of inside scoop trivia for you. Boone’s Farm was named after a horse called Boone. Boone belonged to Julio Gallo’s granddaughter, Gina Gallo. Between the Gallo family estates was a small stall/shed for Boone on the property. Above the stall door hung a sign that read, “Boone’s Farm”

So in the last example I used the ‘Inside Scoop’. What large companies do you have in your community? Do you know someone who works for the company? Is there possibly a factory that offers tours? My inside source for this last example was my father. Dad used to work for the Gallo family in the early 70’s as a personal body-guard to the Gallo family. Awesome resource, right?

Step away from your computer and start asking the community about its past. You’ll be surprised about the awesome things you will find to share. You just might be able to rekindle the community spirit with your hyper local marketing.

In the end when we take pride in our community and we will often support our community by shopping local.

 

PerfectJuliaBy Julia Hull @PerfectJulia

Director of Customer Support at BundlePost

Social media marketing professional that joined the BundlePost team early in its transition from a social media agency to a software company. She is an expert in social media tools.

 

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Filed under Audience, BundlePost, Community, Content, Curation, Local, Marketing, Social Aggregation, Social Business, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

How To Maintain Consistent Website And Content Traffic through Social Media

Maintaining consistent traffic to your content, website and landing pages is crucial to your online marketing success. The ability to understand your top traffic sources and subsequent traffic patterns once they land on your content is key to reducing the frequent ups and downs that are difficult to predict. Am I right?

How to Maintain Consistent Web and Content TrafficIn fact, many marketers and brands experience continual highs and lows of traffic depending on their ability to maintain consistent content creation, Pay per click (PPC) advertising and a consistent social media presence. The challenges that surround these required activities and the resources required to maintain consistency are just a few of the reasons that predictable and sustainable traffic levels are difficult to realize for most.

We all know these challenges and we are continually attempting to improve the results, often without success. The problems brands, marketers and other organizations face in this environment are easy to define, establishing simplified, results driven solutions should be as well. Unfortunately. for many they are not, so let’s try to change that.

How to Maintain and Scale Web and Content Traffic?

We have established processes and technology (BundlePost) that has enabled us to consistently maintain predictable and scalable traffic to our site, content and landing pages every day, week and month. We have achieved the predictability by following a duplicatable process on a consistent daily basis, and you can too.

1) Social Media – If you aren’t doing social media right, nothing else in this post is going to help you. Think of your social media as the foundation of your web, content and landing page traffic. You must have a consistent, active and engaged social presence at the core of your traffic strategy. If you are unsure whether you have this soundly in place, refer to the numerous posts on our blog about what a proper and effective social presence looks like.

Here’s a couple of blog posts that will help, should you need clear definitions of “Doing Social Right”:

– 50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing

– 18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Part 1

– 18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Part 2

2) Connect – Imagine finding the perfect radio station with your exact target audience you’re trying to reach, but they only had 60 listeners. You would never get ROI if you ran your ad there, even if every single listener bought from you. Likewise in social media, you must have a large enough target audience in order to see consistent, predictable results. You must find and connect with your target audience to continually be growing your community, provide them with selfless value everyday, all day and most importantly build relationships with them through conversation and appreciation.

3) Content Curation – Giving selfless value through curating great content is important. Be sure that you are doing it consistently and the topics are relevant to your audience. Good curation will earn the right to share and promote your own content.

4) Content Creation – If you are not creating good content consistently, you will not build thought leadership or have anything new to deliver to your audience. Consistent new content written for your audience builds a following of loyal readers that rely on you for knowledge and new information.

5) Marketing Messages – When you are doing social properly, you earn the right to pitch what you do. I am not talking about tagging people in your marketing messages, but rather posting about your product or service across your streams. When you have earned relationships through conversations that were started through great created and curated content, people are far more open to click on your marketing messages. You must have your marketing messages in your streams daily that lead to your landing pages.

6) Evergreen Content – When you are creating great content consistently, you build a repository of content to share repeatedly. Remember that people are not signed into social networks all day long and you are adding new connections to your community frequently. Therefore many will not have seen a blog post you wrote months ago and you will want to use that content in your streams again and again in a conscious and strategic way.

The key to all of these important activities is consistency. The more consistent you are, the more each component achieves improved results. When you consistently do them together, the results become dramatically compounded and through measurement and tracking you will be able to scale up and maintain consistent traffic to your website, landing pages and content.

to get consistent traffic, you need to understand where it's coming from and leverage this sources more

To get consistent traffic through your social media marketing efforts, you need to understand where the traffic is coming from and why, then leverage those sources more. When you take the time to understand your top traffic sources, you will be able to spend more time where you are getting the most consistent results, and less time where results are more challenging.

What Is Your Traffic Achieving?

Once you have laid the foundation of your process and are consistently executing it, you need to ensure that you have a plan related to dealing with the consistent traffic you are driving to your pages. If you are going to start achieving consistent traffic to your site, your content and landing pages, you need a plan to convert that traffic.

What is your goal for the traffic? (what are you trying to achieve? example – leads, newsletter subscribers, new trial accounts, etc.)

Is your page messaging and traffic flow conducive to that goal?

Are you measuring and tracking your conversion of new unique visitors that sign up, order, become a lead, etc.?

Do you have lead capture forms and other technology in place to facilitate the intended goal?

 

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Filed under Audience, Blog, connection, Content, content creation, Curation, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

The Significant Difference Between Autopilot and Marketing Automation

This last week we had a BundlePost user state that they wanted their social media marketing on “autopilot” and thought that’s what we did or advocated. Nothing could be further from the truth. Marketing automation and the term autopilot have no relation to one another in social media marketing. One is a carefully thought out and actively managed strategic component of an effective social media program, the other is liken to a drone with no pilot, mission or results.

social media marketing on autopilotIn the commercial aviation industry, millions of dollars are poured into the avionics and systems that keep aircraft in the air, comfortable for passengers and controllable by highly trained pilots. These systems are all integrated together to make the function we all know and understand as autopilot, possible. But what we never see is a plane placed on autopilot, without an experienced captain monitoring all aspects of the controls.

Pilots would never put their plane on autopilot, leave their seat and subsequently allow the plane to cruise unattended. Not only is that illegal and against all common sense and regulations, but it’s incredibly foolish and would be an accident going someplace to happen. On the contrary, there are two pilots in every commercial cockpit even though autopilot capabilities are on board. Both professional pilots are present, strapped in their seats and always ready and able to respond to any circumstance that arises.

Autopilot was never developed or designed to fly an airplane unattended, nor was it ever meant to be used as something to replace an experienced pilot. Advanced technology is designed to help efficiently manage some mundane human tasks, freeing up the pilots to ensure a smooth flight and potential problems or opportunities.

Let’s put some clarity to the differences between these two distinctly different marketing approaches as it relates to social media marketing. We will give six examples of each and provide a little detail as we go.

Social Media “Autopilot” Tactics –

Social media success does not appear by accident, or via automation, rather it can only be achieved through consistently executing proper strategy, activities and human interaction.

Accepted social marketing tactics do NOT include the following activity, tools or automation:

1) Auto-posting content from any source – This is not strategic, safe or effective.

2) Auto-tagging and posting messages – This includes things like newspaper posts that tag people you’ve automatically displayed on your Rebel Mouse or other newspaper pages, “top influencers tag messages” or any other similar tools or systems that auto-post to your pages, profiles or timelines. They are clearly automated, provide ZERO value to anyone (including yourself) and most people know this.

3) Automated Timeline or Direct Messages – We all know these are automated and not sincere as a result. We ignore not only the message you have automated, but we will likely ignore you hence forth.

4) Automated Retweet applications – Some of the newest horrid autopilot technology is the automated RT app. This little gem lets you select specific people/accounts and it will automatically RT their tweets at specific intervals. This is like an accident going somewhere to happen. It’s not effective, don’t do it.

5) Automated Pitch Tagging – We just connected (or have no relationship) and your autopilot solution tags me to pitch your link, blog, website, product or service. Have you ever wondered why email spam is now illegal? You’re doing the equivalent on social media and your brand and results will reflect it if you don’t stop. In fact many (including myself) report accounts that do such spamming, every time it happens. Wonder why your account gets suspended? Now you know.

6) Automated Engagement Posting – Imagine going to a networking event and when you introduce someone to somebody else, or tell someone about another persons book or product, the person you were referring to, took out their smart phone and played a recorded message. Or better yet, imagine that you were having a conversation with someone and a person or brand you’ve never heard of, jumped in to the conversation to tell you about their product all because he overheard you mention the word “fruit”.

Whatever you would do in real life, you should do in social media. Whatever you would never do at a networking event or walking down the street, don’t do in social. It’s not more complicated than that. Autopilot does not get real results in social media and will damage your reputation.

Consider this: If you and thousands of others are using such autopilot tactics in their social media marketing and hundreds, if not thousands are connected the same people, your autopilot tagging and posting are also appearing to the same person. What do you think the impression of your brand, product or service is when your automation is just like everyone else’s automation and being seen by the same person? I can tell you. You just became a brand or person they will not be doing business with.

“If your social media isn’t getting results you need less automation, more human & the right tools” ~@fondalo

Social Media Marketing Automation –

If you expect to get results there are a few social marketing automation functions that you need to be doing. Liken these activities as the aviation autopilot explanation we discussed earlier. You, the pilot are always there in the seat, but the plane’s autopilot can be running these functions for you.

1) Landing Page, Lead Capture, Email Drip Campaign – If you are using social media for marketing and do not have a clear marketing automation path for your prospects, you are undoubtedly not achieving the results you should/could be. Understanding your prospects click-through, registration and sign-up/order flow is extremely important and requires sales automation to be most effective.

2) Content Curation Scheduling – You must have enough relevant, valuable content in your social streams every day. It’s part and parcel effective social media. I am not referring to Retweeting or sharing other people’s curated content, but discovering and posting content that resonates with your audience. Though you should sometimes RT and share, you need to build thought leadership around the topics that drive your audience, and that requires you to aggregate and curate content they want. Scheduling these posts is a requirement, unless you have unlimited time and aren’t going to do the things that actually get results, like having conversations and building relationships. (I am being very sarcastic here. You must engage with your community if you expect results) You can either spend time posting content, or engaging and driving ROI from your efforts. Content curation scheduling is imperative!

3) Community Growth Targeting – Using tools that will help you identify your target audience and connecting with them enables you to grow your community and leverage the Social Media Connection Cycle. Finding and connecting with your customers and prospects across the social graph is extremely important. Doing it manually is cumbersome and extremely inefficient.

4) New and Evergreen Content Scheduling – When you create content in the form of blog posts and articles, you need to share that to your streams so your audience is aware. Posting it once is pointless, so you need to strategically schedule new and evergreen content multiple times when it is created as well as on an ongoing basis.

5) Scheduled Marketing Messages – If you have knowledge of something you will be doing on a specific day/time, scheduling your status update about it ahead of time makes perfect sense. Periodically scheduling marketing messages about what you do, that link to your landing pages (without tagging anyone) is appropriate and efficient. If you have done your other social strategy and activities effectively, you will earn the right to do so and people will read, click and share them.

6) Scheduled Graphics – If you are creating and posting graphics and photos to various social sites, you will want to ensure that you’re being consistent and frequent. You can’t be at your desk all the time and you shouldn’t be spending desk time doing such manual tasks. Scheduling this kind of content to your various social accounts is efficient and appropriate.

Wrap Up

There is a massive difference between social media marketing automation and autopilot. You need to know the difference and stop sheepishly replicating the activity other people are doing, when most of them are as broke and ineffective with their social media results as you are. Stop being part of the blind leading the blind and start understanding social media for what it is, not how the popular majority are using it (unsuccessfully). If you’re going to replicate what someone else is doing, you had better be darn sure that it is actually effective on the dollar and cents level and more importantly isn’t hurting your results instead of improving them.

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Filed under Audience, automation, Blog, Brand, BundlePost, Community, Content, content creation, Curation, Engagement, influence, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Retweet, Smart Phone, Social Aggregation, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Marketing, social media tool, Strategy, Tools

Social Fishing – Give The Fish What THEY Want, Not What You’re Hungry For

Over the last week, I have had live conversations with a few brands, individuals and marketers on the topic of social media content strategy. After receiving multiple questions from the various parties on these calls, I thought a new analogy to explain social marketing was needed.

Social media marketing is like fishingHere are some of the questions that were being asked:

How often should we post on social media?

What kind of content should we be posting?

Do these questions sound familiar? They should. They are the cornerstone to being effective with social media marketing.

Here’s how I answered these and other questions…

Let me share the analogy with you

Imagine you are a fisherman, woman or person and your job is to find, attract and catch fish. Without fish, you don’t eat and you have nothing to sell to the fish plant that processes fish for other people who want to eat fish but can’t/don’t fish. Without fish to sell to the processing plant, you have no income to survive on. So you fish…

If your livelihood depended on being good at fishing, you should probably know what kind of fish you need to catch. If you know what kind of fish you want to land, you had better know what type of bait they are attracted to and use that to fish with, rather than whatever you happen to be hungry for.

Let’s dive deeper…

If you’re going to be successful at catching fish, there are a few things you need to do.

1) Know what type of fish you are wanting to find, attract and catch.

2) Know what live bait, lure or tackle those specific fish are attracted to.

3) Have the appropriate lb test line that will support the fish size you are trying to catch.

4) Have the proper fishing poles, reels and other gear needed to catch and land the type of fish you are looking for.

5) Know where to find the fish you are trying to catch.

6) Have your fishing pole in the water at all times.

7) Have more than one fishing pole in the water at all times.

If you are fishing every couple of days. rather than every day, your chances of attracting or catching a fish is far less likely. If when you fish, you cast once, reel in and then go home, you are definitely not going to be successful. If the bait you have on the end of your line is a sandwich, but the fish you are trying to catch only hit on worms, you will not catch any fish you are targeting.

Let’s bring these fish home

In social media, you are fishing with content. You need to know what your target audience (type of fish) is interested in and share that content (bait) 80% of the time. Posting only a few times per day on social media will ensure a tiny percentage of your audience sees anything you post, therefore you need to have poles in the water all day, everyday to increase the likelihood your posts (lines in the water) are seen.

If you are fishing in social media, using content, graphics and status updates that are only about you, your brand or your content, it is like fishing for cod using a sandwich you want to eat. You must share content that your target audience is attracted to and get’s them to bite. Your posts need to be everyday, all day and of the variety that your target audience responds, clicks, shares, comments or likes.

When you have a fish on, you slowly reel it in. If you try to immediately land the fish, you will likely pull the hook out and/or break the line. You must patiently work the fish by reeling it in slowly (having conversations and building the relationship). When you have skillfully and patiently brought the fish to the side of the boat, you can bring it INTO the boat.

If you’ve done this well, some fish will gladly hop right into your boat for you by asking what you do, requesting information or signing up on your website. Some fish will require a net and more careful attention before trying to bring them into the boat.

At the end of the day, be sure you are giving your fish what they want, and not chumming the water with your food, leftovers and interests.

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Filed under Audience, Brand, Content, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Adjusting Social Media Inputs To Realize Desired Output

There are several things to be said about effective social media marketing. One of them is that social media is not static. If you’re being effective with a social media program it is often because you are doing many things right, not the least of which is continually making adjustments.

Adjusting Social Media inputs to improve output resultsThe famous quote from Albert Einstein says it best – “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” There’s not many other places that this phrase holds more true, than with social media marketing.

If you are not getting real results with your social media marketing, there is only one reason. What you are doing in one or many areas isn’t correct. Lack of results in this space isn’t because social media doesn’t work, it’s simply due to missing activity, improper strategy or most importantly improper activity that is preventing your desired results.

You need to ask yourself a simple, but extremely important question and answer it honestly. Not only do you need to do this, but you also need to be prepared for the answer you uncover.

Are you getting the results you expected from your social media marketing efforts?

If you are able to be honest with this question and accept the real answer, then you need to weigh the options.

Answer = No

If you have answered this all important question honestly as a resounding NO, then you need to make some adjustments to what you are doing. But you can’t make adjustments for adjustments sake. You need to know what you don’t know and that requires information.

There are not too many other marketing disciplines that have a bigger learning curve than social media. There are so many best practices, tools, mistakes and resources required, most professionals take years to get up to speed. What’s more? Things in social media change on a daily basis, making the learning curve even more challenging.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you know what you don’t know about social media marketing?

2) Do you have the time and ability to learn what you don’t know and execute it well enough to get results?

3) Are you spending more time learning about social media, then you are executing it effectively?

4) What 4 things are you currently doing in your social media program that are alienating your audience and results?

5) Do you have a detailed strategy and is it the correct strategy?

Hard questions aren’t they? Doing social media marketing is easy, getting real results is not. You may need to make some adjustments. What are your options?

Learn – There are many books, consultants and courses out there that teach social media marketing. I suggest doing a lot of research because many are from people who have never really achieved social media success, other than promoting their celebrity, books or training.

Invest – One option is to hire a social media professional or agency to handle it for you. Find one that has the experience and expertise to execute your social media management well. Tip – If someone tells you they can do that for $500/mo or less, run. It takes far more than that to make social effective.

Refocus – Another option is to seriously consider whether your brand, product or niche can be effective using social media and/or whether you can afford to invest the time and money required to make it a success. I personally believe almost every single market can be effective with social, but that only depends on having the proper knowledge, experience and resources.

Answer = Yes

If you answered YES to getting the results you expected, you’re not even close to finished. Fine tuning and refining what you’re doing will uncover new opportunities to increase your current results. At this stage of your social media efforts, discovering which components of your strategy and tactics are the ones that are contributing most to your results need to be accurately identified and leveraged.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you know the tactics, strategies, topics and content that is getting the best results?

2) Do you know which of these are not getting the best results?

3) What activities need to be adjusted upward to increase the results you are getting and how much of an increase of these activities is scalable?

4) Does removing less effective activities impact your overall results positively?

5) What missing components could be added to what is working well to increase your net results.

Now let me be very clear. When I say results, I am referring to REAL results. Things like traffic, leads, walk-ins, sales and revenue. I am not referring to soft results like engagement, likes, followers or branding. While these are also important metrics to track, they are not the measurement of whether your social media is actually getting results or not.

There are millions of marketers, brands and people spending an exorbitant amount of time attempting to execute social media marketing. At the end of the day, just like any other sales or marketing efforts, there needs to be a return that can be measured against the input of time, resources and money. Failure to understand this will doom your social media marketing to activity, low optimal output and little meaningful results.

 

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Filed under Audience, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

The 3 Most Important Factors For Growing Your Social Media Community

It seems that almost daily we come across social media marketers, enthusiasts and brands that still seem to have limited understanding of social media best practices. Often the social media “consultant” is even missing key factors in their own social presence that hinders their community, reach and growth. You’d think we would be beyond this in 2014, but sadly that is not the case.

How to grow a social communityWhen it comes to growing your social community there are three main factors that either propel or restrict your growth of your engaged, targeted audience. These three “buckets” are not the sole factors for growing a targeted audience, however they are the most important items you need to start with.

Let’s be clear and point out that the information within this post is specifically speaking to the marketer, brand or business professional that uses social media for marketing of any type. If you are social networking without a business purpose, and therefore not doing social media or social marketing, this information does not apply to you directly, however it is our professional opinion that you should still read and consider changes to what you are doing.

The 3 Most Important Factors In Community Growth:

1) Profile

One of the first things people do when you follow or friend them on a specific social network is look at your Profile. If you have not strategically completed your bio and information details properly, you are dramatically hindering the connections you make. Since there are so many social networks, we will focus on Twitter and Facebook as examples. Here are a few things you need to consider.

Twitter is one of the most informal, effective social platforms. Being human is extremely important if you’re going to be effective. Below are some of the biggest mistakes we see on Twitter profiles:

a) Privacy – If you’re doing social media, do not lock your privacy setting. Your community will never grow.

b) Profile pic – No pic, no follow. It’s that simple. Beyond making sure you have a profile pic, you need to consider whether you are an established brand or just starting out. People connect with people, not brands, logos or companies they’ve never heard of. Give them a human to connect with, rather than a logo they’ve never heard of.

c) Name – That’s great that your Twitter handle is @WhoTheHeckCares, but who are YOU? We see so many Twitter accounts with a great pic, and in the name field the person just put their Twitter handle again. Tell people your name. At the very least your first name and put it in the NAME field in Twitter. That’s why it’s there.

d) Bio – If you want people to be interested in you and what you do, make it easy for them to know you and what you do. All too often we see Twitter bio’s that contain cryptic tag lines, garbled incoherent sentences or no information at all. You need to know that you are leaving your potential followers confused and they are moving on instead of connecting with you.

Facebook is a social network with multiple profile types, such as a personal profile and business or community pages. These different account type are truly different and need to be managed as though they are. It is also extremely important to understand that business IS personal. The days of separating these two things are long gone. People do business with people, not faceless brands.

a) Personal Profile – When you lock your personal Facebook profile down, you are limiting your potential connections with prospective customers. Be sure your profile security settings let prospective connections get a sense of who you are and what you do.

b) Your BusinessfacebookprofileAll too often people add their business or employer to their profile hastily without intent. This leaves their business page not connected and opens a default Facebook profile for the mentioned company in your profile. This default tells nobody anything about the company or what it does and makes it impossible to build a following. Check your personal profile to ensure you have connected it to your business page. (see example to the right)

b) Facebook Business Pages – Fill out all of the profile information, and write it in a way that someone unfamiliar with you or your business will understand. Be sure your cover photo adds to the messaging and understanding of what you do, so when someone visits your page, they “get it” quickly and decide to connect.

2) Stream

a) Value – For the love of everything holy, you need to realize that social media is not direct sales, telemarketing or email spam. It is about earning relationships. When people check your social streams and find only content and messaging that is all about you, your brand, products or services, most will run. You must be selfless and realize it’s not about you, but your audience. Post content that they find interesting and relevant that is not about you, and you will earn the right to pitch your stuff to a receptive audience. Fail at this and you will get far fewer connections than you could.

b) Frequency – I heard a social media agency owner tell me last week that they were told that posting more than three times per day on any social platform was not a good idea. Really? Who told you that? Their response – “A social media guru that was speaking at an event we attended.”

Let me be really clear here. This is not 2005. If you are only posting 3 times a day on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or any other social platform, NOBODY is seeing anything you post. You have to have relevant, valuable, interesting content that YOU post, not Retweet or click Share, all day, every day. Yes, the volumes differ from platform to platform, but 3 posts isn’t the number on ANY of them.

3) Engagement

a) Conversations & Relationships – The other thing a potential social connection will typically do when reviewing your newsfeeds is look for engagement. They want to know that if they connect with you or your brand, you respond, thank, get into conversations and relationships ensue. This is SOCIAL media remember. It’s not spam media or pitch my stuff media. Be social and leverage the media and you will get many more connections and a growing social community.

When someone considering connecting with you or your brand on social media, they will unconsciously cycle through your profile, your bio and your streams. Using what they see, they quickly determine whether they want to connect with you. Focus on these three important factors and see your community grow faster than you have before.

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