Tag Archives: Google

Top 2015 Social Media Predictions – Disruptive Technologies

It’s that time of year again when many social media “professionals” publish their predictions for the coming new year. Rarely, but on occasion, there are less than general forecasts that hit the bullseye. More often than not, many of the predicted transformations, Social Media & Digital Marketing Predictions for 2015platform trajectories and overall suggested industry paths are more or less off base or plainly obvious already from the previous year.

Although we don’t profess to be any more effective with a crystal ball, we believe we do have a fairly good pulse on the industry and have made some pretty on target predictions in the past. Though this is going to be one of our more lengthy posts, as we attempt to detail the background behind these predictions and outline where we see things going, it will be worth the read.

What we believe is very different about this coming year is due to social media in general, as well as the main platforms have matured in significant ways over the last several years, making their current paths pretty obvious to many. Furthermore the consolidation of platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp, among many others have further shown an industry that has grown up.

So What’s Next?

It is our belief that 2015 will see the rise of some very disruptive technology in the social, content marketing and search spaces. These required digital marketing components have become more and more disjointed and the gap in the playing field between the massive content sites and the small brand or blogger is widening at an alarming pace.

Why Is A Change Coming?

When an industry matures, what often happens next is consolidation. The acquisition of perceived current and/or future competition. We have seen this hold true in nearly every industry on and offline. Growth becomes more difficult as an industry matures and market penetration reaches critical mass, requiring acquisition to enable continued growth into new and adjoining markets.

Let’s face the facts, the common thread across all digital marketing is CONTENT. In 2013-2014 Facebook taught us that content is not only key to social and digital marketing success, but more importantly we have to find better ways to utilize it and control it if we are going to be successful – OR – you are going to have to pay to get people to see your content online.

Most of us now know that you must be consistently creating great content and getting traffic to that content in order to make it effective, however Mashable, Huffington Post and the numerous other massive content sites are dominating the noise, shares and traffic online. Everyone from large to local brands, as well as marketers and solepreneurs are now creating content, but are also competing with the plethora of content, news and celebrity sites where there is just no level playing field has become a big problem today and is only expected to get worse.

Today’s Options:

Given the current state of social media and content marketing, you are left with four main options to get traffic to your content.

1) Huge Community – You already have a huge loyal social community built (Big Brands). This represents only about 1% or less of social media accounts.

2) Sharing Platforms (Triberr) – I’ll share yours if you share mine, but wait, you’re not sharing mine. Even when you do share mine, few in your social community care what you share and I don’t get much or any traffic. Are you sure you’re really influential?

3) Social Pay to Play – If you want traffic to your content on Facebook, you better start paying. Does it work, sure! Is it sustainable or cost-effective? We don’t believe it is.

4) SEO/PPC – So you’re spending time on SEO for your content in hopes that it drives traffic. The only problem is that Google only wants to show searchers the most popular PAGES for their search, not the most resent/relevant content for their search. Why? Because they want you to invest in Pay Per Click ads on their platform. This isn’t a real solution for long-term, sustainable content traffic. Is it an option for traffic to your home page or landing page still, maybe…

General Predictions For 2015:

Now that social media and digital marketing has reached this mature phase, we can comfortably predict the next phase, which is disruption. Mature markets with massive companies dominating their space will always give rise to new innovation by smaller, lesser known businesses. We saw this with Google years ago, as they rapidly displaced the previous dominating search engines of AOL, Yahoo, Lycos and Alta Vista. (Ok, we just aged ourselves)

In 2015 we believe we are going to see technologies that will disrupt the status quo of the combination of social media marketing, content marketing and SEO/PPC marketing. These disconnected marketing components are ripe for new and innovative technology that will deliver unique and disruptive capabilities in 2015. We believe technology that uncovers new and completely unique ways to drive traffic to content, provide paths to improved social ROI and diminish the SEO/PPC models we have seen over the past decade are going to be made clear very soon.

Disruption Areas To Watch In 2015:

There are several key areas that I think are going to be dramatically effected with disruption in 2015:

1) General Social Media Marketing – As social media marketing becomes more and more complex, new technology is required to make it easier, regardless of user experience, knowledge or skill. This is a requirement for the industry whose time has come.

2) Big Data – The internal, open web and social silo’s are disconnected and therefore not as useful as they could be. Solutions that connect open web content to traffic to social will change this for big and small brands.

3) Traffic To Content – Technology that levels the playing field for content creators, exposes their content to those that need it and expanding the social reach of content in new innovative ways will be realized.

4) SEO/PPC – Though never going away, Google has made it clear that the inevitable demise of SEO is a top priority. Using SEO and PPC for content traffic will become less useful, requiring innovative technology to replace it.

5) CrowdCuration – We believe we will see the rise of new technology called crowdcuration that will make curating and sharing unique content very efficient, while enabling social users to build new traffic, thought leadership and communities through this new platform.

We will be writing a lot more on these 5 areas over the next 6 months, so be sure to subscribe to our blog, or add our feed to your BundlePost account.

 

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Filed under automation, BundlePost, Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Results, SEO, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, social media tool

Inline Social Media Content Editing, Hashtag Adds – Plus 4 More Upgrades

By now it has probably become apparent that Bundle Post has no interest in sitting on our hands with our product development. Continuing to innovate, improve and fine tune the technology is at the core of who we are as a company, while at the same time creating substantial new features like the new Bundlet Chrome extension and Queues drives where we are going with the product.

Will our commitment to continually advance the efficiencies and effectiveness that Bundle Post delivers to our users slow? Not a chance!

Today we are releasing a large package of tweaks and improvements across the entire platform. Though there are no substantial new features, you will notice copious enhancements that either make your life easier or at least smooth out several things we were not happy with in the system.

Following are some of the more prominent upgrades that will improve your social media content management workflow:

1) In-line Editing Everywhere – Now, anywhere there is content text or URLs within the system can be edited by double clicking. That includes export table pop windows and feed channels. (More on significant changes to the Feed Channels page below)

2) Hashtag Add/Edit – One thing we found when managing an export is that often times that is when you discover a keyword or phrase that is not included in a specific hashtag folder you are using. There wasn’t an easy way for users to add one on the fly while on the Export Table, so we added it. Now, when you call a Hashtag folder from the Export Table, you can and edit hashtags right in the pop-up window before telling it to run against the posts you have waiting on-screen. Handy to say the least!

Automated Hashtags

3) Cleaner Tables – Throughout the system we have improved the layout of tables. We have added more graphic buttons and made them cleaner. We unified the new look and formatting across the entire system and made the edit/add functions of many sections open a pop window instead of taking you to an entirely different page. We think you will find it much improved and definitely more efficient.

4) Schedules Redesign – The Schedules section has been completely redesigned. It has the new cleaner, graphical look on the main page, and now opens the view posting time function in a pop window. The new pop window for schedules lets you add both single and multiple time slots to a schedule right on-screen.

Social Media Schedule

5) Content Markers – We thought that the color coding of different content sources was very helpful, but it didn’t tell you what each content type was once it was on the Export Table. We have added text markers next to each post so you will always know what type of content is on-screen.

Export Table Content Markers

6) Feed Channel Page – The Feed Channel page has been substantially upgraded with a new table layout and graphic functions, as well as additional editing functions for URLs. The left side of the table contains feed type icon and a new page icon that lets you open the actually RSS to view it right inside Bundle Post. We took the “everything editable” approach to the Feed Channels page by even giving you access to see and edit the RSS URL for your feeds also. The intent here is to allow you to easily check and correct feeds you have in the system should you accidentally add one wrong or have the wrong URL, without having to delete everything and start over.

RSS Feed Channel

There are a ton of other little things that were modified, improved or upgraded, but we wanted to focus on the items that will really impact the user experience and effectiveness of your social media content management in this post. We hope you like the improvements and look forward to your feedback. As always, there is more to come.

If you still haven’t used Bundle Post, click here to get a free trial!

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Filed under Bundle Post, Bundlet, Chrome Extension, Content, Curation, Hashtag, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

Social Media Content Curation: Introducing Simplified Topical Feed Alerts

Bundle FeedToday we are releasing the first version of what we are calling Bundle Feeds. This new alert-like Feed Channel allows you to create new Feed Channels right inside of the Bundle Post system based on keywords or exact phrases, without needing to go out to Bing or other locations to create alert content topics.

Our team has been planing and designing a new content discovery system to integrate into Bundle Post for some time. With the decline and subsequent demise of Google RSS Alerts, coupled with the lack luster results of Bing Alerts or any other suitable replacement for Google Alerts, we decided to step up our work on this new feature.

How Do Bundle Feeds Work?

Once you create a Bundle Feed, the system will create a new feed channel that will source content on that specific phrase or keyword topics for you. The first version is in Beta and has a lot more functionality and options in development, but it is a giant first step toward where we are going with content discovery for our users. Bundle Feeds provide a totally unique option for discovering topical Feed Channel content within the system.

Content Curation DiscoveryVery Cool Function:

Our team has developed a very unique function with Bundle Feeds that allows you to test the results of your query several times before actually saving the new Feed Channel. This feature enables you to fine tune your query as you create it, ensuring you will get the content results you are looking for. Use the “Test It” button during the Bundle Feed creation process and review the results, make edits to the phrase or keywords and click Test It again, until you’re satisfied. (Max returned is 10 results)

To create a new Bundle Feed, follow these simple steps:

1) Click on the Feeds link from the Bundle Post navigation bar.

2) Click the “Create Bundle Feed – beta” link under the “Add Feed Channel” Option

3) Name your new Feed Channel.

4) If you don’t want the system to sanitize used content from this new Feed Channel, check the “Don’t sanitize this Bundle Feed” check box at the top. (for more on feed sanitizing, read the “Sanitizing Feeds” section)

5) Enter an Exact Phrase, Keywords or BOTH and press the “Test It” button.

6) When you are satisfied with your feed terms and the test results, click the “Submit” button to save the new Feed Channel to your feed page.

7) Bundle Feed Channels will be designated in your list of Feed Channels with a  icon, so you clearly know what content is coming from this feature.

That’s it! Your new Bundle Post Feed Channel will source new content for that topic multiple times per day and deliver the content into that new channel for you. From there you can use the content just like you would any other Feed Channel within the system.

Best Results:

Throughout our use and testing of the new beta Bundle Feed feature, we discovered that testing results and modifying your phrase and keywords before saving the new feed channel gets the best results. We recommend using the exact phrase field with a specific word or phrase first, then modify the results with the addition of keywords to niche it down to want you want.

* The more you niche your Phrase and Keywords, the less content you will get back over time, so ensure you have the proper balance.

Again, we want to reiterate that the new Bundle Feed feature is in Beta and we have a lot more work to do on it. We have seen some pretty great results already, so we decided to release it in Beta so our users have another great tool for topical content discovery within their social content management.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

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Filed under Alerts, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Google, Results, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Uncategorized

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

Google Reader Shutting Down Leaving Huge Curation Gap For Marketers

Yesterday Google announced on the official Google Reader Blog that on July 1, 2013, they will retire Google Reader. Originally announced on the official Google Blog that same day, the excuse given was that usage over the years had declined and that the company is focusing its efforts on other products. As I read and researched the effects that this decision by Google has on social media content curation, I was compelled to pull a late night and write a post about it, in place of my originally scheduled blog post.

What does this mean for social media marketers that rely on Google Reader and other readers for social media content aggregation,  discovery and sharing in the social graph? It may be more of an initial inconvenience for some, as there are many other RSS readers on the market. Many other readers do use Google Reader for their syncing though and that will cause even more wide spread RSS reader issues. This change is also signaling that for social content aggregation and curation, scrolling through readers, scheduling content one by one manually or with browser plugins like Hootlet and Bufferapp, is definitely going away and frankly it must.

Efficient, reliable and effective means of content discovery, scheduling and management has to be done differently if social media marketing time spent is going to be able to realize profitable returns. Done properly, social media agencies,  marketers and brands must have enough interesting, relevant content in their streams every day and they know that. Content is where everything starts. It’s what creates conversations, develops thought leadership and influence, all of which are required for real results.

With old school content discovery and management methods going the way of the dumb cell phone, one must consider where social media content management is going. Where it has to go and what that looks like. Let me show you…

Though we rarely write about our own technology, this market changing event by Google compels us to do so this week.

Originally as an agency, we had the same issues you do. Searching, finding, editing, scheduling, hashtagging and posting enough relevant, valuable content for our clients target audience across all of the social network accounts they had. And doing that 7 days a week. Efficient? Not so much. Consistent? Near impossible. Effective? Let’s not go there. Profitable? We all know the answer to that. We knew that if we did not spend the hours every day on content management, all other social media management functions, results and metrics would fail. Something had to be done differently…

Bundle Post InfographicBundle Post is the first Social Content Management system designed to solve the enormous time challenge of content management within social media. We designed it for us and had no intent on making a product. That changed quickly as the results increased on every client program, we saw huge efficiency gains and profitability climbed massively. We knew we were soon to become a social media software company.

So what is Bundle Post? The system efficiently handles 5 of the time-consuming back office functions related to social media content.

1) Aggregation and Curation – Attach Google Alert and RSS feeds where all content is ingested four times per day and saved as social media posts. You can view, edit and delete content you wish to use from every feed channel.

2) Legacy Content Management – My Social Content serves as repository folders of you and/or your clients legacy social content posts. Their website, videos, fanpage, interviews, photo’s etc. Legacy content can be merged with curated feed channel content and together be scheduled as individual posts for your newsfeeds.

3) Hashtags and Content Change – Hashtag folders for all campaigns can be created and house the keywords/phrases you want flagged for content changing in the text of all posts within Bundle Post. You designate the replacement hashtag or other text you want the system to replace. It automatically hashtags and/or changes the text of 100 social media posts in a single second.

4) Scheduling – Posting time schedules for all social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus, Groups, etc can be saved in Bundle Post and merged with content from 1 and 2 above. Easily scheduling 100 posts in less than 30 minutes.

5) Follow Friday Mentions – All Follow Friday posts can be managed in Bundle Post. Each post can be customized, twitter account names added or removed as you wish. With Bundle Post Follow Friday mentions on Twitter take 45 seconds on Thursday night instead of all morning on Friday.

What Bundle Post Isn’t? We are not a social media dashboard like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or the many others. We do not do anything current dashboards do and they can’t do what we do, due to our 19 claims in a Pending Patent filed over 24 months ago.

Bundle Post is a back-office social media content management system that currently integrates with Hootsuite. Your scheduled social media content comes out of Bundle Post and uploads directly into Hootsuite.

You use Bufferapp or Hootlet to schedule content? That’s great when you come across a single article you want to share and schedule. But why would you spend hours finding, scheduling, editing and hashtagging enough content everyday for all your social profiles?

In 30 minutes our users manage 5 days of currated content, your legacy blog posts and your own marketing content. Yes, that’s right, 30 minutes. Not auto-posted content. Content YOU select and control. Nothing leaves Bundle Post to your social media accounts without you allowing it to be sent. Now you have the time to build relationships, get ROI and even handle more clients, all more effectively with better net results.

One more thing… You can share Bundle Post export files with others in your brands community and they can upload them into their Hootsuite, making your scheduled content reach even bigger. Have we got you thinking yet?

Welcome to Bundle Post. Want a live demo? Hit the website and click to contact us or just message  us @BundlePost on Twitter and let’s change the effectiveness and efficiency of your social media marketing NOW!

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Filed under Agency, Community, Facebook, Fanpage, Followers, Hashtag, Hootsuite, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

How To Leverage Social Media Connections Into Prospects And Customers

Does this ever happen to you? You engage with a prospect quite a bit on social media. You are building a relationship and it’s time to tell them about your new product/service, etc. But you forget their name and/or twitter tag.  Or you want to mention someone and can’t remember their profile. Sound familiar?

The next step in social media is to more effectively manage relationships. Not just connecting and engaging, but ensuring that you know who your prospects and customers are at anytime, and having the right conversations with them every day. Sounds simple, right? It’s not…

Twitter lists and automated community management tools such as Commun.it are largely ineffective for this purpose. Lists have many limitations and are only useful within Twitter, among many other problems. Commun.it does little to actually manage or further prospect and client relationships beyond the annoying automated postings. So what do you do?

Social Relationship ManagementSocial relationship management is something I have been interested in for a while. With a sales and marketing management background, CRM tools were always a must, but there wasn’t much that was designed for social media marketing. With the new Nimble software and recent integration with Hootsuite, the challenges of managing prospects, customers and relationships within the social graph have become a thing of the past for me and my team.

Check out this quick video of me using it to add a contact through Hootsuite!

Notice how effective and easy @Nimble makes managing relationships, conversations, prospects and customers? The ability to so easily add a contact, find their Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ accounts is a dream come true! If you are not using a social CRM, you are missing out on opportunities to be effective and profitable with your social media marketing.

If you are a social media agency, this is a must have. In fact, let’s think about this…  Who should be using a social CRM?

  • Social Media Agencies
  • Marketing Companies
  • Individual Social Media Marketers
  • B to B Companies
  • Software Companies
  • Local Restaurants
  • B to C Companies
  • Everyone using social media for marketing!!

The bottom line is you must be more effective and efficient with your social media content, engagement, relationships and results. The proper social media tools like Hootsuite, Bundle Post and Nimble are required to achieve just that!

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Filed under Agency, Community, Facebook, Google Plus, Marketing, Relationship, Social content management, Social CRM, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Facebook Does More To Make Google Plus Viable Than Google Ever Could

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am no Google or Google Plus fan. I have repeatedly discussed my views on what can only amount to a failure on Google’s part to get in and actually dominate or at least become relevant in the mainstream social space.

This opinion is of course based on a premise. That Facebook doesn’t lose this on their own. What does that mean?  I believe this battle is Facebook’s to lose, rather than something Google has to win.

Let’s face it, neither of these two giants are consumer privacy friendly. Facebook however, has mastered the art of pissing their user base off by consistently overreaching their power and control of their users information, as well as keeping users off center by changing the rules, settings and functionality of privacy management.

1) Privacy Policy Changes

2) Making managing privacy settings near impossible to understand and stay on top of.

3) Changing users settings without their consent.

4) Most recently – Changing users profile content without their consent.

Really, this list could go on and on. If you are unaware of the recent blunder Facebook tried to do secretly to all of their users, see a great post by my friend @susie_parker called “Facebook Changed Your Email and Didn’t Even Tell You“.

Is it possible for Twitter to be the only social network managed by people that are at least smart enough to not piss off their user base? Sorry for the tangent…

I am completely amazed at how one of THE most prolific companies that has ever existed on this planet can continue to be so stupid. Is it stupidity or arrogance? Most likely it is a combination of both. Regardless of the medical issue or character flaw contained within this company’s leadership and displayed secretly in their board room, there is a significant outcome that is becoming more and more likely to surface.

Loss of market share to Google Plus.

Facebook is continually alienating its users, egregiously stepping on privacy and user information controls. I can’t think of too many other things Facebook could do to consistently hand Google and it’s mostly cricket filled network an upper hand in the social media battle.

I have a few suggestions for Mr. Zuckerburg and the Facebook board:

1) Stop messing with your users privacy.

2) Make privacy and user control a top priority in your business.

3) Deploy a focused campaign that builds trust with your user base that is based on actions, not words.

4) Quit making changes to your system (for at least a while) that frustrates and upsets your users.

5) Lay low – You already created a mess with your IPO and a ton of bad press as a result. Chill out, sit down, shut up and focus on 1-5 above.

Failure to take these common sense, immediate steps will even get this Google hater to start spending time on Google Plus, let alone the millions of other users that will someday soon, have had enough. You’re driving off a cliff Facebook. You might want to hit the breaks before it’s too late.

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Filed under Facebook, FAIL, Google, Google Plus, Social Media, Twitter