Tag Archives: followers

The Top 5 #Hashtag Mistakes Marketers Make On Social Media

Hashtag MistakesHashtags have become synonymous with social media marketing and it’s no wonder why. A totally unique component of social media, hashtags have the ability to grow your following, expand the reach of your content and highlight important words within your status updates.

One less obvious thing that your hashtags tell your audience is whether you actually know what you are doing or not. If you are making novice mistakes while hashtagging your social media posts, it tells your readers a lot about you. If your target audience are newbie social networking users, this is less of a factor, however if the audience you are trying to reach have been on social for a while, you’re going to need to be sure you know what you’re doing.

Here are the Top Five Most Common Hashtag Mistakes:

1) Not Hashtagging – When you do not hashtag the words and phrases your target audience is following, it’s like fishing without using any bait. Make it easy for your audience to find you by not only sharing the content that is interesting and relevant to them, but by including the hashtags that they follow.

2) Too Many Hashtags – Though it is our belief that there are no steadfast rules in social media marketing, there are best practices that will achieve better results. We do not think there is or should be a defined rule for the number of hashtags you use in a post, but common sense goes a long way. If you use so many hashtags in a post that it becomes distracting instead of helpful, you are using too many.

On Instagram, we see this abused quite frequently. Only add relevant hashtags to your posts instead of baiting followers with completely irrelevant and numerous hashtags.

3) Inconsistency – One of the most overlooked and effective techniques in social media marketing is consistency. We are referring to two distinct types. 1) Topical and 2) Frequency

Topical Consistency: Stay on target with 5-8 topics that interest your audience and determine the hashtags that are most common and effective surrounding those topics. If you attempt to be known for more than a handful of key topics and/or are hashtagging so many different categories, you will be far less effective.

Frequency Consistency: If you are going to hashtag, do it consistently. Within social media marketing there is nothing more effective than being consistent with your posting, topics and hashtags.

4) It’s All Me! – This one really sets off the newbie radar. For the love of all things social media holy, stop hashtagging your name, your brand or your product name. You are not Starbucks, Pepsi or Oreo. Hashtags are active links allowing people to see all content about a relevant topic. You or your new/tiny company are not that, at least not yet. Don’t get the cart before the horse, or you never will be either.

5) Confusing Hashtags – Unless you are trying to be funny on occasion (which we love), don’t hashtag long phrases or words only you understand the meaning to. You are simply confusing your audience and not achieving anything meaningful for you or your social media success.

How you use hashtags, how many and what hashtags you use say a lot about you. Making adjustments to what you are doing with hashtags can make a significant difference toward improving your real results. Take some time to evaluate what you have been doing and how your audience is responding, then insert some higher level, conscious tactics that will be inline with your goals and your communities needs.

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Filed under Audience, Community, Content, Followers, Hashtag, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, tactics

How To Grow Targeted Followers On Twitter?

An analogy I often use about building a social media community is to look at it like a radio station. Even if you find the perfect radio station with all of your target prospects listening to it, but you only have 60 listeners you’ll never get to ROI (return on investment) on your radio advertising, even if it everybody buys your stuff. Likewise with your social media marketing efforts, it requires that you have a big enough audience to get ROI.

Grow Twitter FollowersHere’s a couple of scenarios that might depict your situation.

1) You’re a new marketer and you’re just starting your social media accounts. You currently have little or no listeners, or worse the majority of your listeners/followers are most likely not your actual target audience.

2) Maybe you are a social media agency that has just brought on a new client and you’re setting up their social media accounts or taking over existing social media accounts. The client has some followers on Twitter and likes on Facebook but the numbers are fairly low and not targeted.

These are very common situations that I see frequently. In either case you have a problem that begs the question; How do I get more targeted followers on Twitter? Am I right?

Ok, we will get to that in a moment. First lets put some perspective in place for your community target size. We already know we have to have a big enough audience, but what is big enough?

Local: If you are a hyper local business (aka a local restaurant, Real Estate Agent, etc.) you need a minimum of 2000 targeted followers.  That is followers that are your target audience on Twitter.

Regional: If you are a regional brand or marketer your minimum target should be at least 5000 targeted followers in order to be able to be effective.

National/International: Lastly if you’re a national or international brand you need to have a minimum of 7500 targeted followers if you want to achieve results.

So the question is probably obvious in most people’s minds right now – How do you grow your targeted followers on Twitter?  The fact is it is easy if you know how.

Unfortunately the only place that “If you build it they will come” works is in Hollywood. In social media you must proactively build a social media community made up of your target audience. A following that you can deliver value to and are likely to be interested in the product or service you sell.

So assuming that you’ve already properly defined your target audience very clearly, including geographically, demographically as well as psychographically, it’s pretty easy to find and connect with your target audience on Twitter.

*Tip: Find the Twitter accounts that have already built a following of the target audience you are looking for and follow the people they follow. The ManageFlitter app can help you do that as well.

A percentage of the targeted people you follow will follow you back. That percentage will vary greatly, depending on whether you have the following items in place first.

1) Value – Your social media stream needs to provide value to your audience. This needs to be done a couple ways.

a) You need to have enough content in your steam everyday. (20+ posts per day on Twitter)

b) The content you share needs to be interesting, relevant and valuable to your audience.

c) 80% of what you post should NOT be about you, but instead be what your audience is interested in.

When you follow someone on Twitter, many will immediately check your timeline to see what you are posting as part of their determination of whether to follow back. If you aren’t consistent with your content strategy, few will follow back.

2) Bio – Your Twitter Bio is so important. Be sure that it is not ordinary, “pitchy” or overly corporate.

Here is a great post on optimizing your Twitter Bio.

3) Engagement – Are you having conversations in your stream, or are you using social media marketing like a bullhorn? If someone you follow looks at your timeline and sees that you are simply pushing information and not responding, engaging and having conversations, few will follow back.

Your social media management and strategy must include a community growth strategy as a substantial part of your overall social media management. There are many parts that work together to make your efforts successful. Missing any of those components will dramatically reduce the results.

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Filed under Community, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter

On July 3rd, 2013 Twitter announced new API rules for developers that create applications for the Twitter platform. One of the most important changes announced was that “automated following or bulk following is also prohibited.” Twitter HashtagThis is a significant hit to hundreds of legitimate as well as spam-like Twitter applications being used by millions of people worldwide to either “game” their follower counts -or- legitimately increase their targeted following.

What does all this mean for the Twitter User?

There are two sides to these changes, some being positive and some, well let’s just say they create some challenges you need to be aware of. Let’s start with a few of the positive things these rules should produce.

The Positives:

Spammers – If they can’t use these tools to mass follow people, this should positively impact the amount of spam and spammers that are using Twitter in this fashion.

Counts less of a focus – If gaining followers can be “gamed” less, then making your follower count the game will also be reduced.

Focus on content and conversation – Clearly if huge follower counts is less of the issue, people will have to refocus their efforts back to quality social media content and engaging in conversations in order to drive community growth. (Hello Big brands. It’s about time you did this right anyway)

The Negatives:

Community Growth Harder – For every small to medium-sized business and marketer, these changes and the ultimate demise of follow tools will certainly make growing communities more time-consuming and difficult.

Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter:

This brings us to hashtags… Brands and marketers must really understand their audience better in order to develop more targeted content and hashtag strategies that will attract their followings. You need to know the topics and content subject matter that your target audience is engaged with and therefore what your topical and content strategy needs to be to make it easier for them to find you. Therefore, incorporating hashtags thoughtfully in this mix will be paramount to the future of community growth on Twitter.

Ask Yourself:

1) Do you know the topics that your prospective followers are interested in?

2) Do you know the hashtags that your prospective followers are using and following on Twitter?

3) How are you going to more effectively use hashtags now that follow tools are going to be nonexistent?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to figure out the answers, and fast.

For consistent automated hashtag and content sharing tools read this.

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Filed under Community, Content, Engagement, Followers, Hashtag, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter, Uncategorized

How To Determine Topics For Your Social Media Content Strategy

Content is not the king of social media marketing, but it certainly is the starting point that drives conversations, action and results. Having and executing an effective social media content strategy is the difference between your brand being in social media and getting results in social media.

Social Media Content StrategyI have discovered that there are typically three to five main topics of interest that social network users are most attracted to. Those topics are typically different for everyone, so knowing what they are for your specific market is tremendously important.

I have also found that there are three basic steps that can help you determine the topics your social audience is most interested in.  Follow these steps and combine it with an appropriate volume of posted, curated, shared and your created content to get the best results.

Three steps to determine topics for your social media content strategy:

1) Know Your Audience – Knowing your audience is the most important step in the content strategy process. You need to clearly define who you are trying to reach, very specifically. Define them demographically (statistical characteristics), geographically (location or locations) and psychograhically (personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles).

*Don’t forget things like gender, age, income levels, etc.

2) Research – Once you have defined your clear target audience and know a few specifics about who they are, do your research. Here are some things to consider:

  • Current Customers – Ask your current customers this question… When you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., what content topics interest you the most?
  • Competition – Investigate your competitors pages and social accounts. What topics that they post about get the most comments, likes, shares and conversations. Be sure the followers of those accounts are your target prospects also, or the information you obtain will lead you on a wild goose chase with your own strategy. Many brands social media marketing and content strategies are often focused on their peers, not their prospects. Don’t make the same mistake!
  • Search Engines – Use your favorite search engine to find statistics and information about your target audience. The internet has a ton of information, government and private studies, as well as news reports that will easily point you to topics your audience favors.

3) Test/Measure – After you have narrowed potential topics down to 5-10, start sharing news, blog posts and other content surrounding these topics to your streams. Aggregate content around then topics and post them in your newsfeeds consistently everyday. Measure the engagement, clicks, likes and comment rates around the topics. This will narrow you down to the top three to five that your audience most responds to.

Once you have determined your target markets three to five driving topics, you will want to slowly and steadily increase the volume of posts you are doing across the social networks you are focusing on. If you have properly identified the right topics of content to share, this will rapidly increase the amount of conversations, clicks and relationships you have in your community and more importantly get you on a path to improved results.

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Filed under Community, Followers, Marketing, Monitoring, Relationship, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

5 Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make Before Even Getting A Client

I love the fact that social media has grown so much and now there are so many companies taking advantage of the possibilities. I also dig that there are so many new social media agencies being started by talented individuals that have decided to turn their love of the industry into their business. But it is very important to note that understanding how to be effective marketing in social media, does’t automatically equate to being effective at running a social media agency.

As some of you know, prior to Bundle Post and becoming a social media content management software company, we were a social media agency. We made all the mistakes and figured out a lot of the challenges starting and growing a social media agency entails. I consider us very fortunate to have developed many procedures, rules and processes that I am now able to pass on to many of our software users and readers of our blog.

Social Media Agency MistakesBeyond the many business challenges of an agency, there are distinct changes to mindset and focus that many new agency start ups overlook. These subtle miscues often result in a slower path to revenue and profitability for not just the newbie, but many long time practitioners. Getting these social media marketing components in tact for your company, will help you excel your growth and results.

Five Of The Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make:

1) Priorities: When I work with social media agencies or have them go through my course, I explain that there are two priorities they should have. Unfortunately, most don’t have the two proper priorities in place. They should be:

a) Meet with and sign new clients.

b) Handle client programs perfectly.

I often find that many are doing so many other things outside of these priorities, that they end up stuck in the same place. I have also discovered that much of the time fear is the reason. Without having these priorities your agency will not grow at the level it can. Additionally, by having these as your priorities, all other issues and challenges you face will be resolved, because you will have the resources and capital to address them.

2) Wrong voice: The next three mistakes surround your agency’s own social media management. The first, “Voice” is probably the biggest mistake I see made. When I say voice, I am referring to messaging, content creation (blog posts) and content strategy. Many, and I really mean MOST social media agencies focus their voice incorrectly on their peers and competitors, rather than their prospects.

Preaching to and for the choir is not at all in line with the proper priorities set out in number one above and lead to great relationships, but not new clients and revenue. But let me be clear. I am not saying never to engage with your peers. I am saying do not fall into the trap of writing and posting content that will not attract your target audience, or spending the majority of your time engaging and building relationships with non-prospects. You would, or at least shouldn’t do that with your clients social media programs, and you shouldn’t on yours.

3) Wrong Audience: Similarly to wrong voice, building the wrong community that is not made up of primarily prospect relationships is another big mistake. Part of being a social media agency for your clients is a proven ability to not only manage their social media, but to also build a highly targeted community for them. If you can’t do this effectively for your company, there is a problem. Find and connect with your real target market and build relationships with them that result in new clients. Just as you would for YOUR clients. Spend less time growing likes and follows from your peers and competitors.

4) Wrong Focus: The third big mistake social media agencies make in the management of their own accounts is not focusing where their audience is and building communities and spending time on networks that will never return results. Again, you would not recommend building a clients community on a network that you know will not deliver results, so don’t waste valuable time doing that yourself.

Again, I am NOT saying that you should not have a presence and understand the more niche networks so you can be effective for your clients that do need to use those platforms. I am saying be wise with your time and get some focus to what you are doing and where you are spending it and with whom.

5) Website Error: Lastly, check your website with respect to Pricing and Packages. Do not have either listed on your website. Why? Do I really need to get into this? I suppose I do…

Let me give you a few important reasons, then point you to another post that covers this in detail:

a) Social media programs are not cookie cutter.

b) If you give prices to shoppers, they will shop your price, not even understanding the differences between what you do.

c) Someone will always be cheaper.

d) Don’t sell price, sell value.

Again, for more on this read this post too.

Though there are so many more mistakes I see being made by many social media agencies, it is my sincere hope that these social media management mistakes can now be avoided and you can get on with making the revenue and getting the results that are possible.

* For more on social media agencies and the proposal and sales pitch, read this 5 part series.

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Filed under Agency, Community, FAIL, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter