Tag Archives: automation

9 Characteristics Of Human, NOT Automated Social Media Marketing

Human characteristics of social media marketingThere are a few highly important things that separate big brand social media marketing from everyone else, and that is the human component. Big brands are able to focus their social media marketing on their brand, branding and advertising components that are centered around the company’s image and other major media advertising components. There is little human connection, conversation or relationship building coming out of the larger brands. The majority provide little to none selfless value and it is all about the creative and messaging, which by the way we enjoy seeing some of it.

The Big Brand Approach

As an example of how many larger brands approach social media marketing, I will share an example. I will not name the large beverage company, but I will say that I am a fan of their product and buy it regularly.

The story:

About two years ago, being a loyal consumer of a specific beverage, I decided to show my loyalty to them in social media. I mentioned them several times a week, shared pics of their packaging as I used it, etc. On a rare occasion I would receive a response or a thank you and I was good with that, but that soon completely ceased. In replace of the rare response, they began to engage ME on a weekly basis. Sounds good right? Not so fast…

The engagement I received from them, every single week hence forth was simply them tagging me about their latest news, product launch or promotion. You see, they realized I had influence within social media and decided to use me to further promote their brand. No relationship investment was every made on their part, no human connection or interest shown in me as a person or my company. Simply bold and direct promotional (spam).

They may get away with this with others, but not with me. I have completely disengaged with said brand on social and you know what? They never engaged with me again after I stopped mentioning or promoting their content. There is a difference between social media relationships and direct marketing. Most large brands do not care to understand this fact.

The Relationship Reality

At the end of the day, all non Fortune 5000 brands that are lacking the huge resources and established customer base, really need to look at and approach social media marketing very differently. Long term focus, care and gratitude with authenticity, combined with human connection is what gets results.

9 characteristics of social media marketing:

Here are just nine ways you can improve your human relationship perception in social media as well as identify other brands and connections that get it too.

1) Profile picture  – The account photo is of the real person behind the social account. This is mostly common for Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook personal accounts. However, as a brand matures on Twitter, building the brand beyond the main contacts personal image is important. Remaining human after that transition will determine how effective you are from there.

2) Profile Bio – Does their social media bio contain things about them as a person, not just a pitch for what they do? Relationships require personal connections, not just business needs. Today, business IS personal. Humanize your brand.

3) Responsive – When you mention or engage with them, do they actually respond? Do they respond in a timely manner, when you are still logged in?

4) Grateful – After sharing their content, is it met with gratitude in the form of a like, comment or reciprocation? This is something only humans do.

5) Interest – Humans show interest in others, not just themselves. Do they show interest in you and/or what you do?

6) Selfless Value – Their timeline is not just posts about them or what they do.

7) Conversations – Their timeline contains conversations with others.

8) Relevance – Their timeline contains relevant content you’re interested in, not solely their industry related things.

9) Real – A real person/personality is detectable behind the profile when you interact with them

The Perils Of Auto-pilot

The other opposite end of the spectrum from Big Brands are the newbie automation users. Those that send automated or manual sales messages as private messages on Twitter on LinkedIn, immediately or soon after connecting with them and without any relationship effort made on their part, they move right to pitching their wares. Another newbie auto-pilot tactic is using tools that tag others about your sales pitch in-stream based on something they posted previously, or any other contrived method. I could go on, but you get the idea.

The only place that in-feed or private message automation sees results is from newbies using it with/toward other newbies that do not yet know better. The brands and marketers that are using automation don’t understand social media and how relationships with long-term focus connect. Making matters worse is that new social network users who respond to these non-human automated tactics don’t either. The clicks garnered by the automation folks are short-lived and requires a constant stream of newbies in order to get traffic, clicks or results long-term.

This short sided tactic ultimately gets reported so much by more experienced users, and the reputation of automation marketers becomes clear to future new connections, so that it eventually slows and ceases to obtain even the smallest results.

Wrapping It Up

Spam is spam, whether it is done via email or within social media marketing. Failure to understand the personal, human level connection elements within this marketing medium means a lot of frustration, lack of real results and wasted time. If you are going to invest the time doing social media marketing, invest it in providing value, being human and present, while getting into conversations that build real relationships.

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Filed under advertising, Audience, automation, Brand, Community, Content, Human, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Part 3 – What Is Social Media Friction And How To Reduce It

Process and Workflow Social Media Friction in Social Media FrictionThis is our final post in our series about social media friction. So far, we have covered the broad definition of friction and also detailed one of the most common types, Promotional/Results Friction.

In our final blog on this topic, we are going to take a look at what is often the most challenging category of friction, Process/Workflow Friction.

What Is Process/Workflow Friction?

My definition of Process/Workflow Friction is anything within your daily social media management processes and that is inefficient and requires diverting your attention from effectiveness.

Consider process/workflow friction as the required elements of your daily workflow that is not smooth, requires more time than it should or involves tasks and tools that do not seamlessly work together. Conversely, frictionless process/workflow would be having everything across your social media management tasks highly efficient and effective, leaving your time and focus on engagement, conversations and relationship building.

Consequences Of Process Friction:

Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, when there is friction in your daily social media workflow, your effectiveness and results are impacted negatively. Though we know that doing social media properly requires an incredible amount of time and resources, where your time is being spent is the crucial factor, not how much time you are spending.

Workflow friction in social media marketing typically manifests for one of two reasons. Though the reason you are experiencing friction in your daily processes matters, identifying friction points and reducing them should ultimately be the priority.

Workflow Friction Reasons:

1) Undefined Processes: Probably the most prevalent reason marketers experience workflow friction with their social media marketing is undefined processes. This can include things like a nonexistent strategy, improper strategy or misunderstanding of how to utilize social media effectively.

Without the proper knowledge and experience to execute effectively, strategy and process can become completely disconnected.

2) Incorrect Tools: The definition on insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Unfortunately, many social media marketers do just that. They are using a myriad of disconnected inefficient tools that result in numerous friction points in their daily required tasks.

Many of these tools and workflow issues inadvertently create additional promotional/results friction that only tends to compound the lack of results. An example is tools that are suggesting curated content for you based on what’s popular and already being shared by your peers. If you want results with your social media marketing, be sure you have control of content selection in an efficient way. There’s nothing that will more negatively affect your content curation strategy than sharing popular content everyone has already read and shared or worse, content that is not targeted to the audience you are trying to reach.

Finally, any tools that are automatically posting to your timelines, tagging other people or duplicating what you see others automatically posting, is creating friction in your social media results. Avoid all such tools if you want to reduce friction with your workflow and results.

Identifying Workflow/Process Friction:

Efficiency without improved results, does not impact your overall effectiveness. Reducing and removing friction in your daily social media management should manifest in not only improved efficiency, but also effectiveness and net, real results. It is extremely important that you understand this difference if you are going to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.

Ask yourself a few questions:

Is your current workflow scalable? – In other words, are you able to scale up volumes, clients and required tasks without an impact on your time and resources using your current processes. If the answer is no, you have friction in your workflow.

Am I spending more time on process than I am on results? – If you are spending more than 35% of your time managing social media posting, hashtagging, scheduling, determining marketing message posts, etc, you have friction in your workflow.

As social media becomes more mature and platforms continue to make changes that affect your ability to reach your audience, being consistent, efficient and effective will become even more important. Identifying the friction you have in your workflow, tools and processes will be something that you can no longer overlook. The pain points that your social media management friction are inflicting on you daily will begin to show up in diminishing returns if left to continue. Identify and reduce the friction that is keeping you from realizing the achievable results that social media can deliver when done properly.

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Filed under Friction, Marketing, Results, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Strategy

Part 2 – What Is Social Media Friction And How To Reduce It

Promotional/Results friction in social media marketing - Part 2In our first post of this series, we attempted to define and detail social media friction and the general consequences it can have on your overall social media management and results. We also listed two of the main friction groups that most marketers need to focus on, which were 1) Promotional/Results Friction and 2) Process/Workflow Friction.

In this second blog post of this series, we are going to focus on the friction that often accompanies Promotion and Results.

What Is Promotional/Results Friction?

My definition of Promotional/Results friction is anything that hampers your social media marketing results.

Think of this kind of social media friction as anything you are doing or not doing that creates friction between your community and what you do/are marketing. Conversely, frictionless promotional/results would be having everything across your social accounts easily understood, discoverable and found.

Examples Of Results Friction:

1) Poor BIO – You are creating friction with your promotional results if your bio is done in such a way that people leave having no real idea what you do. This is a common friction point across the social graph.

2) No Link – If you are using social media for marketing and have no link in your bio, on your page or profile, you are creating friction between your connections and results. Along the same lines is having multiple links in your profile. Keep it simple and frictionless for your connections.

3) Bad SMO – Bad social media optimization of your website, blog or other web properties is a common friction point in social media marketing. Remove the friction by ensuring you have links to your social accounts prominently displayed on the top right of every site/page your audience visits. Make it easy for them to connect with you and your brand wherever THEY want to. Friction is making this a difficult task for your community.

4) Bad Landing Pages – Do you know where you are sending your connections when they click the link(s) in your personal and brand social accounts. Is there unified messaging on the pages? Are you confusing your prospects on social media with messaging on your website or landing pages that are unclear?

All of these examples can create friction that is effecting your bottom line results. Strive to create a frictionless experience for your audience and make everything easy to understand.

Identifying Results Friction:

Many of these friction points can be easily identified by simply reviewing your social accounts with these things in mind. Less obvious friction points can be discovered by paying attention to your audience and their interactions with you.

Are people asking what you do? – If people have to ask what you do, you have created friction with your social media marketing. If you frequently get this question, you definitely need to examine your profiles, messaging and landing pages to determine the friction points that are causing the confusion.

Do people seem uninterested in what you do when you bring it up? – There are usually two scenarios that cause this:

1) You have a product or service they don’t want/need

2) They do not understand what you do and don’t want to appear dumb by asking.

Here’s something to help you conceptualize frictionless promotional/results – “Conversion = Providing value greater than cost with a process that easily facilitates the customers decision” @fondalo

Social media marketing and management is challenging in and of itself. Making it more difficult to achieve results by adding friction between your community and what you do is liken to shooting yourself in the foot. Identify and the promotional/results friction that exists in your marketing efforts and take immediate conscious steps to reduce and remove them.

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Part 1 – What Is Social Media Friction And How To Reduce It

There are two absolutely required components for successful social media marketing, Strategy and Execution. When these important elements work together and are done properly, social media results are not only achievable, but they can be expected. Understanding and identifying the friction points that are inevitably present within these two components can be challenging. More importantly,  reducing the friction within your social media management is crucial to your social media success.

What Is Social Media Friction and How to reduce itUnfortunately, there is a significant difference between strategy and execution. There is often an even wider gap between strategy and the ABILITY to execute a social media strategy efficiently and effectively. Often this chasm between strategy and execution is due to unidentified frictions in workflow, processes and tools being used in the social media management process.

Consider workflow to be specific processes, functions and procedures that are required in order to fulfill your social media strategy. These elements are made up of all of the tasks you do (or need to do) on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Clearly defining these tasks in detail and creating processes and procedures to implement them in an efficient and scalable way is what workflow is all about. Anything that gets in the way of that workflow causes friction in your ability to execute the strategy, do it efficiently or even achieve your overall strategic objectives.

So What Is Social Media Friction?

Merriam-Webster’s defines the word friction three ways: the act of rubbing one thing against another; the force that causes a moving object to slow down when it is touching another object; and the disagreement or tension between people or groups of people. Though some of use could conceptually tie some of these definitions somewhat theoretically to social media, they don’t quite fit.

My definition of social media friction is any process, workflow, tool or hindrance to the smooth and efficient execution of a comprehensive social media strategy. Furthermore, friction can also be any obstacle or resistance encountered by members of your community to engage with you, discover what you do or to buy or inquire about your product or services.

In social media, friction can be any function that resists the fluid momentum and execution of progress toward the overall goal objective or objective of a defined strategy. Am I getting too technical here?

There are typically two kinds of social media marketing friction that negatively impact effective and efficient execution.

1) Promotional/Results Friction

2) Process/Workflow Friction

Often times social automation or sales automation technologies are deployed in an attempt to reduce these two friction points, but if the wrong automation is utilized, they can actually increase friction with your audience. (More on that in later posts in this series)

What’s The Cost Of Friction?

Friction cost is the direct or even indirect costs associated with the friction within your social media marketing. Friction can include actual hard costs and fees for things like inefficient or ineffective tools or even additional staffing. Some of the more difficult to measure are opportunity costs, resulting from missed sales opportunities and overall lack of results with social media marketing.

Can Friction Be Good?

There are some mechanics in life and business where friction can be a good thing. For example, without friction you would not be able to deploy brakes on your car and bring it to a stop. In business, some bureaucratic friction is required for decision-making and spending in order to make such things more measured and controlled.

However, within social media marketing identifying and reducing the friction forces that hinder smooth effective execution is a sticking point that many overlook. During this series we will attempt to dissect the discovery and reduction of social media friction that many marketers face and provide some solutions that will enable you to make adjustments.

What are the main friction points in your social media management?

Read Part 2 Here

Read Part 3 Here

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Filed under Friction, Marketing, Results, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Strategy

The Top 50 Hashtags Used In @BundlePost

The top used hashtagsThis week we are releasing the top 50 hashtags being replaced by Bundle Post users. The patent pending hashtag technology within Bundle Post allows users to hashtag up to 100 scheduled social media posts in just about one second. Yes, we said one second.

Background:

Originally as a social media agency, we developed what became the Bundle Post system exclusively for us. We had no intention on creating a product, however it worked so successfully that we knew in a matter of weeks that everyone using social for marketing needed it and we would become a social media software company.

The automated hashtag tool arose out of a few facts.

1) We all know hashtags are extremely important to highlight specific words in a status update, attract your target audience and develop thought leadership on certain topics, among many other reasons.

2) We also know that it is extremely time consuming, not consistent or as effective as it could be, so we developed a system that would resolve these challenges.

How It Works:

The Bundle Post hashtag system has three components.

1) Folders – You can create folders within the system to segment hashtags you wish to use based on clients, topics, campaigns or projects.

2) Keyword/Phrase – Within a folder you can specify the EXACT keyword or phrase you want the system to find in the text of up to 100 scheduled social media posts.

3) Replace – Tell Bundle Post the exact hashtag or @mention you want replaced for each keyword/phrase within a folder.

When you’re managing up to 100 curated or marketing message posts in Bundle Post, you simply call the hashtag folder you wish to run against the scheduled status updates you have on screen and click to “Hashtag Now”. In one second the automated hashtag tool will find all of the exact keywords or phrases contained in the social media posts and replace them with your specified exact hashtag or mention.

With thousands of users and hashtag folders in the Bundle Post database, we are now able to report on the top 50 hashtags being replaced by our users. They are listed below in hashtag popularity order, with the most popular keyword/phrases associated with each specific hashtag.

The Top 50 Hashtags:

Hashtag Keyword/Phrase
1 #socialmedia Social Media, socialmedia, Social Networking, social-media, small business social media
2 #Marketing marketing, market research
3 #Facebook facebook
4 #Twitter twitter
5 #Linkedin Linkedin, Linked In, LinkedIn for business
6 #business business
7 #pinterest Pinterest, pintrest, Pinterest for business
8 #seo seo, search engine optimization
9 #google google, Google for business
10 #Mobile mobile
11 #entrepreneur Entrepreneur
12 #instagram Instagram
13 #branding branding, brand
14 #smallbiz small business, small_business, small businesses, small biz, small businesses
15 #startup start-up, startup, start up
16 #content content, Content Curation
17 #blog Blog, blogging
18 #YouTube YouTube
19 #social Social, social media, social listening
20 #blogging blogging
21 #leadership leadership, leaders, lead, Servant Leadership
22 #health health
23 #tech Tech, technology
24 #Video video
25 #advertising advertising
26 #wine wine
27 #contentmarketing content marketing, contentmarketing
28 #SM sm, Social Media, #socialmedia, lists, social media manager, social media marketer
29 #smallbusiness Small business, smallbusiness
30 #coffee coffee, Latte
31 #SMM Social Media Marketing, smm, social, social marketing, social media, Facebook, YouTube
32 #fitness fitness
33 #Technology Technology, Tech
34 #Sales Sales
35 #food food
36 #Google+ Google Plus, Google+, Google +
37 #recipe recipe, recipes
38 #SMB small business, small_business, small businesses, small biz, small businesses
39 #brand brand
40 #tips tips
41 #ROI ROI, return on investment
42 #cloud cloud
43 #apple Apple
44 #android android
45 #wordpress wordpress
46 #infographic infographic
47 #Ecommerce E-Commerce, ecommerce
48 #ff ff, follow Friday, follow fridays
49 #B2B Business to Business, B2B
50 #DIY DIY, do it yourself

The Bundle Post Hashtag Automation system is included with all account types. To start your 30 day FREE trial, click here

For the Top 50 RSS Feeds in Bundle Post – Click here

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Filed under automation, Bundle Post, Curation, Hashtag, Marketing, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Marketing, social media tool, Tools

Scheduled Post Mixing Algorithm Arrives On Bundle Post

In Social Media Efficiency improves time allocation and resultsOne of the features loved by our users is the Randomize/Auto-sort function on the export table. The existing app allows you to randomly scramble up to 100 schedule social media posts with a single click. It’s used to mix up numerous posts you have selected from various RSS feeds, blogs and content curation sources to ensure that you are spreading out the content from various sources or topics throughout each day, rather than grouping them from the same sources consecutively.

The existing Randomize automation feature is truly a random algorithm. Usually some manual drag and drop fine tuning is required to ensure that the 3-5 days of social media posts you are managing are spread out by topic and source of content. The system makes this an easy visual process by color coding all posts differently that are selected from each RSS feed or content source you are using.

Bundle Post Announces The New “Proportional Mix” Tool

Let’s break this down for you in detail…

New Mix Option – This additional sorting option will automatically and intelligently calculate the number of social media posts from the different feed channels you have selected for the export and the number of posts from each of those RSS feed channels and proportionally mix your scheduled posts.

The Mix feature is most useful when you’re scheduling social media posts from numerous feed channels and my content folders, where your export table has two or more colored content groups. When you click the new Mix button, the Bundle Post algorithm with calculate the number of colored posts from each RSS feed source and the percentage of posts as compared to the total number of posts on-screen. It will then mix up your scheduled posts (max 100) proportionally based on the percentages it calculated in the first step. Hit the Mix button once and you’re done!

The result of the new Mix function will be a substantial additional savings in time managing your scheduled, curated and marketing posts. You will need even less time using the drag and drop capability on the export table to ensure that your topical social media posts are evenly spread out across the 3-5 days you are scheduling. We are saving about 5-10 additional minutes on each muti-post scheduled export.

Just like the existing Randomize function, the new Mix feature is for Pro level accounts only.

mixing up curated posts for social media

Existing Auto-Sort – The existing Randomize function will remain active and can be used in conjunction with the new Mix option. Our testing shows that the randomize feature is now best used for content exports that are comprised of posts coming from a single feed, follow friday or my content folder source. For example, if you are doing an export for a specific my content campaign and only using content from that folder for your export, use the randomize function before exporting.

We have labeled the Mix feature as beta for the time being and may continually make improvements based on its use and the feedback from you, our users. Let us know what you think.

P.S. – We would like to thank @W_Goddard of @GoToMarketers for requesting this feature and our BundlePost staff for pushing us hard to get it developed and implemented.

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Filed under App, automation, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Marketing, RSS Feed, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, social media tool, Tools

Hashtag Automation Gets An Efficiency Upgrade

The Bundle Post development team has been hard at work on a copious amount of back-end systems upgrades. Many of the things we have been working on are not things you can actually see, but server enhancements and scalability upgrades that are the underlying foundation for the larger feature additions that are in development. There are so many groundbreaking social media management capabilities coming down the pipe in the next several months, but we have to wait to share all that. However, we did roll out a few enhancements to the automated hashtagging functions within the system that we are sure you’re going to appreciate.

Automatically hashtag social media postsFor those of you that are unaware, part of the Bundle Post 20 patent pending claims is our Automated Hashtagging System. This feature enables you to identify exact keywords, phrases and company names that you would like the system to locate in the text of curated and marketing posts, then automatically convert those into replaced hashtags or @mentions you desire. Not only can you schedule 100 content curation and social media posts rapidly with total control over what is scheduled, but you can also hashtag those 100 social media posts in about one second! 

Another use for the Bundle Post Hashtag function is to automatically turn company names into their @ Twitter names. You can simple tell the system what exactly to find (example Bundle Post) and instead of replace the company name in the text of the post with a specific hashtag, you can tell the system to replace it with the Twitter name (@BundlePost). So anytime “Bundle Post” appears in the text of a post within the system, it will be modified to display @BundlePost. Pretty cool huh? Yes, we know. :-)

Here’s what the system looks like –

Social media automation, curation and hashtags

With the background explained, lets discuss the enhancements to the hashtag system that is now live for all users.

Bundle Post Auto Hashtag Function Upgrade:

1) Sorting View – Previously when you opened and viewed a Hashtag folder in Bundle Post, the keyword list for that folder were displayed in recent order, putting the most recently added keyword and replacement hashtag at the top. We found this very difficult to easily find keywords and replacement hashtags contained in the folders. Now – when you view a hashtag folder or open a folder to hashtag your scheduled posts, they are all displayed alphabetically. making it easy to find/view specific keywords in your list.

Automated Hashtag Tool

2) Hashtag Order – We have made the actual hashtag system more intelligent to ensure that single word finds aren’t preempted by phrases when you run hashtags in the system. Previously the system would hashtag your scheduled posts in the same sequence in which you added the hashtags into that folder, similar to the old sorting view we described above. What that meant was that if you had a keyword/hashtag for the single word “Social” before the phrase “Social Media” in your hashtag folder, the system would find and hashtag the word “social to #social” then not be able to find the exact phrase “social(space)media”, leaving your posts looking like this: #Social Media is awesome.

The new functionality ensures that whatever sequence you have added keywords or phrases to your hashtag folders, the system will always hashtag phrases with multiple words in them first, then hashtag single words after that. The new intelligent function tracts all of your hashtags listed and determines how many words you have in each Find field and uses that information to intelligently automate the hashtagging of your scheduled posts.

What you will potentially find is that keywords that were not being hashtagged even though you had them listed in your folder are now being discovered properly by the system. You will also be able to more easily manage the keywords and hashtags within Bundle Post to ensure your posts are always hashtagged and done so properly.

The Bundle Post social media marketing, content curation and content management tool is a completely unique approach that gives you complete control of your posts and gives you the time to engage and get results. All of the automation resides in the back office, so nothing is auto posted to your newsfeeds.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the new hashtag functions, so comment below on how you’re using the Bundle Post hashtag system.

*BONUS System upgrades live -> You will also notice that we have incorporated a lot of JavaScript functionality into the user interface across the entire system that has largely removed the need for your browser to refresh. We will continue to incorporate more of this higher level functionality and improve the overall user experience, speed and capabilities.

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Filed under automation, Bundle Post, Content, content creation, Curation, Hashtag, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, social media tool