Tag Archives: consultant

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 Two Opposing Forces That Drive Social Media Marketing

Opposing Social Media ForcesAfter many years in this business, I have come to the realization that there are two main forces that drive the social media message. These two connected, but sometimes opposing forces combine to keep social media marketing at the forefront of on and offline marketing discussions. These two forces are what enable the numerous events, trade shows and conventions that the social media space seems to do at much higher levels than most other industries.

I will attempt to outline these two forces with as little bias as possible, while providing some editorial perspective to each.

Educational Forces

Description: The education forces are made up of Bloggers, Consultants, Strategists, Speakers and Trainers whose business is that of coaching and teaching others on how to do social media marketing. Their income, fame and expertise is often solely or largely derived from teaching or consulting other individuals or brands about the space.

Advantages: Since social media is constantly changing, the educational aspect of social media marketing is crucial. Daily changes to platforms, methods and tools require effective marketers to stay current on what’s new and more importantly what’s changing. The educational forces within the industry ensure that these changes are disseminated to active social media participants.

Educational forces are also extremely helpful to those that are new to social media marketing. Let’s face it, understanding the many do’s and don’ts of social media, let alone the most effective “how to’s” is not something easily figured out on your own. Educators within social media provide basic level know how to newbies and those wanting to migrate from dabbling in it.

Another positive that results from industry educational forces is the top of mind effect that occurs both on an offline. What I mean by that is with so many events, speakers, books and blog posts that educate on social media marketing, it constantly drives the press and other media sources to keep it in the news. We see this in the form of brands and news outlets constantly promoting their social profiles and making social media part of their stories and advertisements. Educational forces help ensure this continues.

Executional Forces

Description: Executional forces are Internal Brand Departments, Individual Marketers, Social Media Agencies whose business is that of actually executing social media marketing. Their income and ROI is largely derived from effectively implementing social media marketing on a daily basis that achieves sales, revenue, lead generation or other result oriented outcome. They don’t derive income  from promoting social media in general, generate blog traffic about their social media trainings or how to/strategy consulting services. They are brands and marketers that promote and sell using social media, not promote and sell social media itself.

Advantages: Without executional forces, there would be no need for the educational forces of the industry. Those that are actually executing social media marketing well and therefore achieving real measurable results provide the credibility to an otherwise hypothetically effective marketplace.

Executional forces also provide the data used in research reports that fuel social media marketing’s prominence. It’s the wood in the fire that drives the press coverage about the industry on a continual basis.

Lastly, the executional forces enable integrated marketing by connecting all aspects of on and offline marketing components together by “doing the work”.

Can These Two Opposing Forces Work Together?

The answer is yes, they can work together, but they must improve how they work together. As the social media market, platforms and tools begin to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions, educational and executional forces need to combine their forces or realize the consequences. The industry needs to better manage the educational forces that are controlling the messaging of the industry and executional forces are all too quiet about how they are getting real results.

These are some of the questions that are yet to be resolved between the opposing forces

Should industry educators be held accountable to provide social proof of what they teach, beyond their celebrity status?

Should they be somehow required to show executional experience that supports their desire to be a social media consultant or educator?

Should executional forces do a better job of crossing the divide with educational forces?

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI

Social Media Agencies, Consultants Must Walk The Talk

I consult a lot of social media agencies, marketers and brands on their internal strategy, processes and implementation. I come across many that don’t seem to realize that if they are selling social media marketing to their clients, their feeds should reflect their ability and professionalism.

One of the favorite sayings that often comes out of my mouth is “Show me, don’t tell me”. In my many daily conversations, that phrase is often times followed by something like “I don’t care what you say, I only watch what you do”. This mentality is how I run my life and business. I do this very consciously when I have conversations with people, however most people do it unconsciously.There is a big difference between the two.

The average person unconsciously evaluates what you say and how it compares to what you do. Because it is unconscious, it often takes a bit longer to come to a conscious conclusion about someone or something. Business people however, are a bit more discerning in their relationships with vendors and look for results and clues to match with what the vendor is pitching them.

This fact has two serious implications you need to understand in your social media marketing sales efforts:

1) What you are proposing to do and achieve for your prospective social media management clients must match what you are doing and achieving with your social media marketing. If it does not, you loose credibility. Worse, you don’t have an important sales tool that shows you are able to achieve what you are proposing for your client. Additionally, it can impact the pricing or perceived value a prospect is willing to pay for your service.

2) In a competitive bidding scenario for a new social media client, where there are more than one competitors vying for the account, you need to be able to point to your social media and compare it to your competitors. Especially, when there is a disparity in the pricing you are proposing, the ability to show results over the competitor and say “If they aren’t doing it for their own accounts, what makes you think they can for yours” goes a long way in winning the account.

Be sure that you do what you say, not only in your daily business interactions, but also in your feeds. Get results for your brand, so you can show you can do it for your prospects. Your social media accounts must show that you are leading, creative and innovative and that what you do is effective and get’s results.

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Filed under Agency, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy