Tag Archives: Friction

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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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?

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Read Part 3 Here

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