Category Archives: Smart Phone

What 1 Billion Mobile Users On Facebook Looks Like [infographic]

At least once every month, more than 1 billion Facebook users will access the behemoth social site in 2015. There is no doubt that as consumers become even more mobile with their internet usage, Facebook will take advantage of it with mobile ad revenues that are expected to be three-quarters of their total ad income. As mobile app users have made the switch to a predominant mobile/social connection and Facebook has facilitated their business model and functionality to adjust to this, 1 billion can seem to be a small number.

Mobile internet usage, social networking access as well as social media marketing in the mobile age is changing how we do a lot of things today. In some sense it has increased our patience in normal life, since waiting on someone who is late doesn’t involve boredom and staring at the ceiling, while at the same time we expect instant gratification, responses and communication with our friends, favorite brands and vendors. But if we really considered the billion number, it may cause us to reconsider how we currently look at mobile and how it will continue to evolve.

With numbers so large being tossed around in business, banking and social media, we sometimes don’t grasp how big that number actually is. In order to truly grasp just how enormous 1 billion is, and understand the incredible impact 1 billion mobile users have on a social network, we decided to do some research on the 1 billion figure and put it into more interesting perspectives that might surprise you.

Infographic - 1 Billion Mobile Facebook Users

Before we go any further, we’d like to add that by 2016, over 2.16 billion smartphone users will exist worldwide. Coupled with what we already explained about what 1 billion looks like, it’s important to recognize how quickly these numbers scale when they are that large.

Once you are able to conceptualize the size and scale of 1 billion and relate it to the number of mobile users that are accessing Facebook, you can truly get a picture of the impact mobile is having on social networking, social media marketing and mobile advertising.

If you also consider that there is only an estimated 1.9 Billion smartphone users in the entire world, the total of 1 billion mobile Facebook users begins to appear as large as it really is.

What is your strategy to leverage the 1 billion mobile Facebook app users over the next decade?

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Filed under ad, advertising, App, Facebook, Marketing, Mobile, Smart Phone, 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

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

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

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

How do I implement it once I know?

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

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

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

Here are some key points to follow for best results:

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Are you guys on Facebook?

– Have you checked in on Foursquare?

– Are you following us on Twitter for our specials?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Images Changing Social Media – Instagram, Facebook And Pinterest

Because we are all human beings in social media and online, with exception of bots, we are all very visual. We have a need to visualize what we read and process the text under the proper context of its meaning. Think about it… We process information primarily visually, then use text to get the deeper detail.

Example:  Think about today’s computers and smart phones. Without getting into who stole what from whom, we have GUI (graphical user interfaces) today that makes it easy to use a computer or smart phone. We visually determine what we want to do, largely without reading any text, due to the graphics that guide our actions. This was such a powerful change to everything we do, I even copyrighted the phrase “Pictures rather than words” in 2000.

Many of you read my prediction about Facebook and Pinterest where I predicted that Facebook would create something to combat the Pinterest growth and resulting leak of time on site to the new network. I took a lot of heat for this prediction by the many avid users of Pinterest, but I am used to that. You see, I am committed to never getting emotionally attached to a network or method. I look at the industry solely from the facts and data patterns in order to best utilize social media marketing and be as forward thinking in my writing as possible. Whether it be Google, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Pinterest, I am committed to keeping an unbiased business view of the industry. Am I always right? Of course not. Does this approach give me the ability to provide a unique perspective for my readers, absolutely!

So, with the acquisition of Instagram, it is clear that Facebook did in fact see the importance of the image and categorizing segment of social media Pinterest captured and intended to address it. I believe that Facebook is developing additional “in network” changes to their platform that will make the best use of the Instragram infrastructure and user base that ultimately results in an online and mobile Pinterest-like solution to its users. One of the significant advantages that Facebook achieves with this purchase is an irrevocable lead over Pinterest in the mobile, social media application of grouped/sorted images. That along with becoming the default method for mobile image content creation and sharing to the social graph, as well as it’s primary repository location that houses that content, the momentum gained here is massive!

What’s next? Look for some initial integration of the Instagram platform directly into Facebook’s systems, followed by some substantial changes to the way that images can be grouped and managed within Facebook. I think that they will follow all of this with some additional categorization abilities for shared content that will enable Pin-like sorting of other content not directly uploaded into Facebook by users.

Now that we are seeing the reality of Facebook’s chess move designed to combat the Pinterest phenomena, what do I suggest YOU do? A few things…

1) Stop whining and complaining about it.

2) Be prepared for the inevitable Facebook dominance of this market segment also.

3)  Look for ways to take advantage of these changes for marketing purposes that address the interests of your target audience.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Facebook, Mobile, Smart Phone, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

How You Know You Need To Hire A Social Media Firm…

I am frequently asked by companies whether they should hire a social media firm to handle their social presence or if they should go it on their own. This is no simple question, but rather one that should be considered by every company regardless of size. The answers are equally as challenging due to the many variables that must be evaluated.

My motivation for this post is to provide some simple points that will help you evaluate your ability to successfully manage a social media marketing effort on your own. More importantly, I will provide you with some analogies and information that will highlight the importance of your decision.

I have often said “It is better to NOT conduct social media marketing for a business if you are going to do it wrong”. The resulting damage to your company could prove to be a major mistake. Do it right, hire a talented social media firm to manage it with you, or don’t do it at all.

Having said that, the flip side is equally as ugly. Not having an effective presence in the social graph for your company, could result in a  similarly damaging outcome. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. The gun went off years ago and your competitors are already in the race. What’s worse is that you have not even started your training or stretching. You haven’t hired a professional coach or athlete to ensure you are in the race, let alone staying with the lead pack. Furthermore, consumers are all in social media now. If you aren’t, you have a problem.

Here are some indicators that  you may need to hire a social media firm to help you:

  1. You have fewer than 2000 TARGETED followers on Twitter.
  2. You have fewer than 200 fans on your Facebook Fanpage.
  3. You don’t know what the acronym DM means.
  4. You have fewer than 20 conversations on Twitter each day.
  5. You post fewer than 15 selfless articles, blogs, etc. that provide value to your Twitter audience per day.
  6. You post less than 1  selfless article, blog, etc. that provide value to your Fanpage audience per day.
  7. You take more than 2 hours to respond to Twitter or Facebook comment.
  8. You see fewer than 3 new customers, inquiries or walkins per week directly attributed to your social media efforts.
  9. You don’t know what #FF or RT means.
  10. You don’t have a list of customers, prospects and influencers you engage with weekly and mention on Follow Friday.
  11. You don’t have either Hootsuite or Tweetdeck running on both your desktop AND smart phone.
  12. You read and retweet fewer than 5 posts of your followers daily.

Though some of these statements are elementary, if you can identify with more than 7, I suggest you seek out a social media management firm or consultant to help you build a strategy, manage your program and lead you to return on investment. Social media management, social content management and relationship building within the social graph requires a few things: knowledge, experience and a lot of time. Do yourself a favor and seek help from a social media professional if you need it.

If you need some suggestions of whom to talk to about outsourcing your program, feel free to connect with me and I will refer you to some top-notch folks in your area.

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Filed under Facebook, Hootsuite, Retweet, Smart Phone, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, TweetDeck, Twitter