Tag Archives: influence

Social Media Marketing – Data And Results Matter

One thing that has become obvious about the social media industry is change. Buzzwords, new trends and even big surveys that measure the next thing big business is focusing on in social are a never-ending stream of change. Content, influence marketing, analytics, engagement, branding, ROI and lead generation are just a few of the described “priorities” in at least one of the last several years in the industry. This moving target priority method is not expected to be going anywhere soon.

Social Media Data And Results MatterAlthough fast paced industries such as social media marketing, e-commerce and mobile are in a constant state of advancement and change, the goals that marketers focus on need to be more focused. If every time a new fad or buzzword appears, and the focus and goals get drastically changed, you can expect that results and management support will also.

Don’t get us wrong, we realize that social media is constantly changing and the executional requirements right along with it, but without focus on a clear objective of why you are in social, what you are trying to achieve and a steadfast plan to measure it, problems will arise.

For Example:

In a recent Harris Poll, 88% of professionals doing social media marketing consider it to be “important”. The data further showed that 82% of marketers strongly or somewhat strongly agree that analyzing social media engagement data can help improve their bottom line.

The Challenges:

At the same time and despite the plethora of monitoring and analytics solutions on the market today, social media marketing best practices, results and objectives seem allusive. Here’s the numbers to back that up.

  • 84% of marketers said it helped them to engage with influencers like the media
  • 84% said they thought social marketing could enhance relationships with existing customers
  • 67% of marketers say that assessing the effectiveness of social media activities was a challenge for them
  • 62% said designing and overall social media strategy was a challenge
  • 59% believe that educating staff about social media was difficult
  • 56% have a hard time making sense of the data gathered through social media
  • 55% are finding it challenging to align social media strategies across departments
  • 44% struggle with executive “buyin” on social media importance
  • 42% said they find it difficult to know when to take action on data from social media

It is no wonder that organizations small and large alike are struggling to get real results from social media when general knowledge and commitment to required resources are at such drastic odds. Like any other component of business, data should drive decisions in social media marketing and the execution of the resulting efforts require commitment, experience and appropriate tools. If marketers and brands invested much more heavily on the front-end decision and commitment level of social media marketing, the decisions related to data, execution, strategy as well as tactics would be far more clear.

When social media marketing is executed with sound strategy and the commitment of expertise and resources are made, real measurable, dollar and cents results will appear. When and if they do not, one of the cogs in the wheel is improperly aligned. It’s not the medium that is the problem, it’s the fabrication of and the subsequent operators steering the wheel that determine whether social media is successful or not from one marketer to another.

 

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Filed under Analytics, Brand, Content, Data, Engagement, influence, Marketing, Monitoring, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, social media tool, Strategy, survey, Tools

How Social Media Actions Within Relationships Build Trust

There seems to be a new round of social scoring and now “trust” based sites that purport to either determine a persons social influence or business trustworthiness. As if we did not have enough of these sites already, it seems every geek that can code is trying to jump into social media software to try to get a piece of the pie in this ever-growing industry.

Seeming to coincide with this new rush of social media influence and trust score platforms are some bloggers telling people to shut up about them. Not to stop talking about them because they are tired of it, but telling people like me that are highly skeptical of such services ability to accurately measure social and e-commerce influence and trust into a score to shut up. Really?

“Actions Within Relationships Build Trust, not easily manipulated false scores.” #quote

  • Actions that result in trust with your online community are what is important.
  • Real results, actions and revenue are the measurement of trust and value you deliver to your community.
  • Relationships that go beyond conversations with your peers is what truly measures your successful social media marketing.
  • The right social relationships that are earned through proper actions will result in something well beyond an inaccurate score, something that imparts monetary value to both you AND your community.

I was approached a couple of times recently regarding a newer social scoring site. One conversation went something like “I think u would want to because #TrustCloud is like your online credit score. They evaluate profiles & give u a score.” To which I replied, “No algorithm can do that. A credit score is based on your payment history. These social scores can easily be manipulated.”

So let me be very clear. I will not shut up about easily manipulated social media influence scoring sites like Klout, Kred and the like. I will continue to preach real results and help guide my audience to things that will help them achieve those results in their social media marketing efforts. I will continue to battle against all efforts by those people in this industry that have high scores, but no real results to show for it.

Dare I say that ROI matters? You need a return on your investment of time and resources from your social media management that goes beyond your ego and the perception others have of you because of your score!

If your social media marketing success story is about your book, seminars and speaking revenue covering the social media industry, that does not qualify you to preach the validity of scores to a restaurant, entrepreneur or brand. Having done social media marketing successfully for one does. I can and have “gamed” these scoring platforms to get my score to increase. Doing so has always resulted in a reduction in “real” effectiveness and results.

Focus on your actions within your social relationships, so your social media marketing achieves a clearly defined goal, not a high Klout score that doesn’t buy groceries!


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Filed under Community, influence, Klout, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

Do You Want To Be Famous or Effective In Social Media?

In a single week recently, I had two conversations within two separate Facebook posts on this topic. Both conversations really boiled down to two things.

1) Using time most effectively

2) Doing activities that get real results

Let me outline the two conversations and include another situation that is becoming much more common…

Conversation 1: It all started with this chat message from a young lady I have been coaching for her social media agency. “I want to be somebody and I feel like I have to do everything I can.” The conversation was about her wanting to blog, do weekly videos on YouTube, etc., in order to become a “name” in the industry.

My Response was as follows: Do you want a name or to make money? If you want to make money, don’t waste time doing things that don’t accomplish that.

The young lady responded with: Both. I need to make money, I’m in a horrible situation but making a name is still very important to me and I don’t do free time. I work that’s it (literally) so if I have time I feel these things could at least help get my name known, plus I feel that the visual/audio is preferred to written blog posts all the time.

My advice to her wrapped up with: You can’t accomplish both when you’re starting out, if anyone tells you differently they’re lying. You either want a name with no proof you have actually done it and no results and revenue to show for it (and there are thousands of these people online) or you build a business and get recognition from doing it well.

Conversation 2: This conversation was apart of a long thread on a Facebook post. The conversation centered on being everywhere in the social graph and showing that you have “influence”. I really go involved when the comment “But, if someone really is an expert, they BETTER have a pretty impressive social media presence” was made.

I responded with: The point is that if you actually have clients and are making money because you are effective, you don’t have the time or NEED to manage your social media so much! – I know for a FACT a number of folks who waste a ton of time appearing influential in social media, yet have nothing financially to show for it. THIS is how people in this business get known as experts. Unfortunately, they have become experts at wasting their time and upping their egos…

Another person involved in the thread added by something to the effect that “If you actually have clients, you don’t have the time to personally be everywhere all the time, or manage a really big Klout score.” To which I wholeheartedly agreed!

Another situation: I was mentioned again on twitter in something like “I nurtured 1155 relationships on Twitter in 2012 with the Commun.it app. Thanks my top members: @xxxxxx @xxxxxx and @xxxx .” This sort of thing is happening to me quite a bit due to the increased use of the application by some, but here are some things you need to consider:

1) Are the relationships you are “nurturing” with prospects? On this particular post (and most) I have noticed that the top “influencers” that you are mentioning with the app are competitors, not prospects. How does that make any sense?

2) If you are spending time building relationships and a name in the social media space but are not getting new clients that pay for this huge amount time, who are you kidding?

My intent here is to get you to focus, to spend your time and efforts wisely, and to use this incredibly powerful medium of social media marketing in a way that furthers your goals, revenue and results. Spend some time early this year to make some modifications to your social media management strategy that will result in achieving real goals and not improving your ego.

I will end my post with a quote one of my good friends posted the day after I wrote this article.

“I aspire to be well off while they aspire to be well-known… #We’reDifferent” by @sociallyahead

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Filed under Agency, Facebook, Relationship, Social Media, Strategy

Your Social Media Fake Follower Attack FAILED – What To Do If It Happens To You

Last Sunday morning seemed like any other. I got up, pressed the on button on the coffee maker and awaited my normal rapid and lengthy infusion of coffee bliss as I started up the laptop in the office. I moved to the family room so I could hear if the baby boy woke up and began to open my normal and numerous tabs that are always running when I am in the pilot seat.

As usual I started in Hootsuite, checking follows and mentions, then migrated to counts from overnight. WHAT? I went from 48,176 followers to nearly 75,000 followers. Alarm bells sounded as I stared at it, my mind racing…

Someone has purchased followers for my Twitter account. Clearly this is an attempt to discredit my solid reputation in the industry. Who could have done such a thing, I wondered?

Knowing I have no enemies in this business, there is only one single person that has any motivation to do this to me. Can it be proven? No, so we will not worry about the who and simply move to what YOU need to know if some crazed bully, freak does this to you or your brand, or if a client of yours happens to buy some twitter followers to “help you” in your social media marketing efforts of their brand.

Before we cover how to handle these two scenarios, let me first answer a question I know some of you are thinking…

How is it even possible for someone to purchase followers for another persons Twitter account?

Trust me it is all too simple. Just take a look at the tons of fake followers on the Presidential candidates Twitter accounts using the Status People’s Faker App. Do you think these two campaigns are dumb enough to purchase followers? Of course not, their many emotionally charged supporters are doing it on their behalf, to either discredit the other side or to make their candidate appear more popular.

Regardless, Twitter does NOT allow purchasing of fake followers. So no company selling such followers would ever be allowed access to the twitter API for their product. Therefore, all that is required to purchase followers is your credit card and the Twitter name of the account you wish to buy followers for. No validation of ownership, no required login to the effected Twitter account. Nothing.

In the case of influential social media professionals, they know better than to buy fake followers. Anyone in this business that speaks at events, consults brands or manages other clients social media programs that actually know what they are doing, would never buy or leave purchased followers on their account. That shows a complete incompetence. In fact, I have heard the “I’ve been hacked excuse” by such fraudulent social media experts, in order to cover up their fake follower purchases. But let’s say that occurred (even though it’s hogwash), the question remains, why have you not removed them. Why are you falsely inflating your community size? Are you a liar, a fraud or are you just incompetent? Not too many other choices.

Enough of the rant… Here are the steps you need to take if your account has been falsely pumped up with purchased followers on Twitter:

1) Visit ManageFlitter and login

2) Make sure you’re in the Unfollow menu at the top of the page.

3) Choose “Fake Followers” on the left side.

4) Click on “Fast Select” to be able to select 100 at a time.

5) Drag the cursor across the icons to choose 100.

6) Click on “Force 100 to Unfollow You”

7) Click on the next page # button.

8) Repeat until there are no other fake followers found.

In less than a few hours I was all cleaned up and back to normal. Here’s my faker report I pulled before this occurred, anticipating this might happen.

So my message to the sick individual that wasted their money in an attempt to make me look bad, I say nice try. I am pleased to know you wasted what little money you have. You not only didn’t accomplish what you wanted to, you made my Sunday even better through the support and love shown to me by many. I am a social media professional and would NEVER leave fake followers in my Twitter community to appear influential. Why are you?

My message to the brand or individual social media user, don’t purchase fake followers on Twitter in order to look influential. You will be caught by someone eventually and only ruin your brand and reputation. If you are harassed by someone, or your client has purchased followers that you need to get removed, you now know the process, tool and steps to do so quickly.

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Filed under Fakers, Followers, Hootsuite, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Building Social Media Relationships With Influencers

A frequent question I get from my connections in the social graph is “How do I build a relationship with an influencer for my brand/product”. Though it is a common question, the answer isn’t as common.

Since I sincerely believe that social media marketing is a parallel universe to the real world, I always take a step back and consider what we do in real life. What are the steps we would take in our local offline environment to accomplish this? What adjustments can/should we make within the social sphere to help us achieve what we are wanting to do.

First, we need to understand that social media marketing is NOT about you. You have to have a mindset of giving, providing value to others and a willingness to help them succeed.

Secondly. you need to clearly define what you hope to accomplish by building the relationship with the influencer. Review your product? Have a phone call? Share your link? There are many different goals one could have for wanting to build a relationship with someone specific within social media. know what yours is.

Once you have aligned your thinking with the first and second points above, you can then follow these steps to best position yourself for a relationship:

1) Identify – Be sure that the person/brand you are targeting for the relationship makes sense. Identify the person(s) that are best suited for your brand, product or service.

2) Observe & Document – Do your research. Make sure you know what they do, their website and blog locations. Monitor their social posts and conversations and take note of who they are as a person and what drives their conversations. Pay specific attention to the human/personal topics that they engage around and document the information.

Don’t rush the observation step. Take time to understand the influencer. Rushing will usually result in missing the important subtle things that are most important! This can take a week or a month, depending on the person. Take your time…

3) Engage – Once you understand the topic drivers and personality of your influencer, begin to engage with them. Specifically comment on their posts, share their content and facilitate meaningful conversations with that person. If they have a blog, share their articles and comment on them. Look for ways you can assist them by furthering their reach, introducing them to prospects and retweet their relevant content.

*Important – A big mistake made at this stage is to do too much too quickly. Do NOT like/share bomb. (don’t like 5 posts on their wall in a row or RT their last 4 posts, etc.) This can come across as stalking or an obvious ploy. Use common sense and ramp up these activities over several weeks or months.

4) Build – Build a relationship with the influencer through more and more frequent conversations.

5) Ask/Answer – Ask open-ended questions about them, their articles and their business. The goal here is to continue to further the relationship building, but also foster a climate where the influencer begins asking YOU questions about what you do. This is the point you know you have earned the right to talk about what you do and what you would like from them.

*Important – DO NOT ask for anything at any point before this stage. You must do the work prior to requesting a call, review of your service or sharing of your content. Also, be sure that you continue steps 3, 4 and 5 on an ongoing basis. Don’t make the influencer feel as though they had a horrible one night stand and were played.

I cannot stress enough that patience in the entire process is crucial. If you follow these techniques and take it slow, you will develop influencer relationships that will bring value to them and benefit your brand.

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