Tag Archives: Linkedin

An Effective Way To Add High-Level B2B Connections On LinkedIn For #SocialSelling

More than ever, Business to Business (B2B) marketing requires one-on-one relationships. Making real, human connections with your business prospects to forge relationships that open doors to social selling. Being effective within social media to achieve this all important task is paramount to short and long-term success.

Add High-Level B2B Connections On LinkedInOne of the key social networks for effectively forging B2B relationships is LinkedIn. Unfortunately, as the most formal business social network, higher level connections are sometimes not as open to connecting with people they don’t know. All too often, the decision makers many B2B companies want to connect with, are also bombarded by contacts that are pitching them and sending them spam, without first making the all important relationship connection. This can lead to executives denying or ignoring friend requests.

So what is an effective way to improve your LinkedIn connections?

We have found that if you leverage the most informal social platform WITH the most formal one, amazing things can happen. Twitter is the most informal social network there is and you don’t have to already be a “friend” to engage with someone. When you want to build a relationships with a B2B connection on LinkedIn there are steps you can follow to do this very effectively.

1) Most LinkedIn users display their Twitter account name if they also have a Twitter account. Go connect with them on Twitter first.

2) Spend a few weeks commenting, retweeting and getting into conversations with the person on Twitter. Start slow and build the daily amount up to about 3-4 daily interactions over at least a two-week period.

3) Build rapport and name recognition with the person without coming across needy or as a stalker.

4) Once you have invested a few weeks in building a relationship, then friend request on them on LinkedIn with a personal message that references your conversations on LinkedIn.

Ok You’re Connected, What Now?

When the connection on LinkedIn is accepted, don’t make the newbie mistake of sending your sales pitch or requesting a call or meeting. You’re not done yet. You will want to continue the escalated engagement on Twitter, and add the same slowly ramped up activity of liking, sharing their content and commenting on the posts of your new connection for a few more weeks. The goal here is to build a deeper rapport with your connection that focuses on conversation around common interests. Only when you have accomplished that do you bring up a potential discussion out of the social graph.

Wrap Up

Providing that your contact is at least fairly active on social media, this process is highly effective. People that would never respond to you or accept a friend request on LinkedIn will often follow, respond and engage with you on the far more informal Twitter. Putting in the time and effort using this process breaks down the barriers that they have within the formal LinkedIn ecosystem, making them far more receptive to an add.

Remember that Business to Business connections are human. People often do business with people they feel they know and like. Today, business IS personal and not the cold fiscal only decision-making process of earlier times. When connections become relationships through conversation and mutual interests, those relationships become friendships and potential customers.

If you take a different view of LinkedIn as part of the overall social media flow, rather than a prospecting tool, your B2B efforts will be rewarded with incredible relationships, sales and customers.

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Filed under Content, Relationship, Social Business, Social Media, Social Selling, Twitter

Death and Social Media: It’s No Trick or Treat

In the social world the obsession for sharing everything is growing stronger and I feel we are losing the human touch to Social Media. Have we become so desperate for content to share that we disregard how something may affect someone?

Death And Social Media - It's No Trick or TreatFor example Death. Death and Social Media: It’s No Trick or Treat.

Ever experience the unexpected loss of a loved one? Do you remember the heartbreak you were feeling? Of course you do. That same feeling is why writing this blog post has been a difficult one for me. We know that death is never easy to accept, we also know that an unexpected death adds to the grief in numerous additional ways.

grandpaMy Grandfather would have celebrated his 98th birthday this month. Not too far fetched of a thought or possibility since my Grandmother just celebrated her 99th birthday last month with family here at my home. Grandpa passed away unexpectedly 20 years ago, long before Facebook, Twitter or even text messaging. His time came back when communication had more of a human element to it.

I received a phone call at work about Grandpa’s passing. It was a terrible shock. I remember trying to reply but no words could be spoken at the time. Just nonstop, heartbreaking sobbing and tears. I had a complete meltdown.  Writing this post brings those emotions back, something I wasn’t really prepared for. I miss him terribly and wish he was here to meet his great, great grandson. He would be proud of him, just like my grandmother is.

What does this have to do with Social Media?

I can tell you that there is no way I would have been able to handle the news via a cold, uncaring text message or social media post.

As much as a person tries to express themselves in written word it still does not hold the same sincerity, tone and emotion as when delivered via a live human voice. The delivery and timing of such an important message would make social media no trick, and certainly no treat on the matter of death. Obviously there is never a good time to receive news of an unexpected death of a loved one. However, with a phone call the messenger can get a feel as to what the person is doing and feeling at the time. To send a message via text or on social media, you have absolutely no idea where the receiver of the tragic news is or what they are doing at the time.

The social networks are certainly a way to communicate. In fact, a great way to communicate… I will never argue with anyone on that point. Just not the best form of communication when it comes to matters that deserve the all important human, emotional touch.

I think Maya Anglou stated it perfectly, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

Allow me to tell you of another unexpected death…. one that occurred 10 months ago and the tragic inspiration for this blog post. (Yes, it has taken 10 months to finally finish this blog)

A week before Christmas I received news that a very dear friend of mine, Peter Mah unexpectedly passed away. Unfortunately, I received the horrible news via text message. My first initial thought was … “Is this some sort of very sick joke?” I mean, I had known this man for about 20 years, my grandmother has known he and his family for even longer than that. But Peter was not just an acquaintance, I considered him family…. and he knew that.

I had a strange feeling that I should check the Facebook fanpage for the restaurant that Peter and his family owned and sure enough, there it was. I am not immediate family so I did not expect a phone call, but to this day I have no idea who actually sent me the text message. I can only imagine that someone blasted the news to everyone that was on their contact list. How impersonal and cold?

Peter didn’t own a computer, if you can imagine that. I always gave him a bad time about it, but he always did his networking face to face. No Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. He remembered everyone and all of their personal details. He read the newspaper faithfully every single day and could hold a conversation with just about anyone, and on any topic. When it came to tech stuff like websites, online presence and smart phones, he relied on others. So the Facebook fanpage was managed by some of the employees and customers.

Here is where things got complicated and tricky. News traveled very fast about Peter’s death, so fast that his mother was one of the last to know. One of the employees explained to me that there was a man who read about the tragic loss and tried calling Peter’s mom to offer his condolences. The number that was listed was no longer in service. Thank God! He then called the restaurant asking for her correct phone number. It is then that he learned that the mother didn’t even know yet. Family was on their way into town to meet with her and give her the tragic news.

I cannot even begin to imagine the devastating heartache of losing a child. I just can’t. Can you imagine getting a phone call from someone you hardly knew, offering condolences for the loss of your child? Certainly, but hearing them say that they heard on Facebook about your child’s death, when you yourself didn’t even know yet? Believe it or not but not everyone is on Facebook or any other social platforms.

In the social world the obsession for sharing everything is growing stronger and I feel we are losing the human touch to relationships and social media. Have we become so desperate for content to share that we disregard how something may affect someone?

Death and Social Media:  It’s No Trick or Treat.

PerfectJuliaBy Julia Hull @PerfectJulia

Director of Customer Support at BundlePost

Social media marketing professional that joined the BundlePost team early in its transition from a social media agency to a software company. She is an expert in social media tools.

 

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Filed under death, Human, Social Media, Twitter

The 3 Most Important Factors For Growing Your Social Media Community

It seems that almost daily we come across social media marketers, enthusiasts and brands that still seem to have limited understanding of social media best practices. Often the social media “consultant” is even missing key factors in their own social presence that hinders their community, reach and growth. You’d think we would be beyond this in 2014, but sadly that is not the case.

How to grow a social communityWhen it comes to growing your social community there are three main factors that either propel or restrict your growth of your engaged, targeted audience. These three “buckets” are not the sole factors for growing a targeted audience, however they are the most important items you need to start with.

Let’s be clear and point out that the information within this post is specifically speaking to the marketer, brand or business professional that uses social media for marketing of any type. If you are social networking without a business purpose, and therefore not doing social media or social marketing, this information does not apply to you directly, however it is our professional opinion that you should still read and consider changes to what you are doing.

The 3 Most Important Factors In Community Growth:

1) Profile

One of the first things people do when you follow or friend them on a specific social network is look at your Profile. If you have not strategically completed your bio and information details properly, you are dramatically hindering the connections you make. Since there are so many social networks, we will focus on Twitter and Facebook as examples. Here are a few things you need to consider.

Twitter is one of the most informal, effective social platforms. Being human is extremely important if you’re going to be effective. Below are some of the biggest mistakes we see on Twitter profiles:

a) Privacy – If you’re doing social media, do not lock your privacy setting. Your community will never grow.

b) Profile pic – No pic, no follow. It’s that simple. Beyond making sure you have a profile pic, you need to consider whether you are an established brand or just starting out. People connect with people, not brands, logos or companies they’ve never heard of. Give them a human to connect with, rather than a logo they’ve never heard of.

c) Name – That’s great that your Twitter handle is @WhoTheHeckCares, but who are YOU? We see so many Twitter accounts with a great pic, and in the name field the person just put their Twitter handle again. Tell people your name. At the very least your first name and put it in the NAME field in Twitter. That’s why it’s there.

d) Bio – If you want people to be interested in you and what you do, make it easy for them to know you and what you do. All too often we see Twitter bio’s that contain cryptic tag lines, garbled incoherent sentences or no information at all. You need to know that you are leaving your potential followers confused and they are moving on instead of connecting with you.

Facebook is a social network with multiple profile types, such as a personal profile and business or community pages. These different account type are truly different and need to be managed as though they are. It is also extremely important to understand that business IS personal. The days of separating these two things are long gone. People do business with people, not faceless brands.

a) Personal Profile – When you lock your personal Facebook profile down, you are limiting your potential connections with prospective customers. Be sure your profile security settings let prospective connections get a sense of who you are and what you do.

b) Your BusinessfacebookprofileAll too often people add their business or employer to their profile hastily without intent. This leaves their business page not connected and opens a default Facebook profile for the mentioned company in your profile. This default tells nobody anything about the company or what it does and makes it impossible to build a following. Check your personal profile to ensure you have connected it to your business page. (see example to the right)

b) Facebook Business Pages – Fill out all of the profile information, and write it in a way that someone unfamiliar with you or your business will understand. Be sure your cover photo adds to the messaging and understanding of what you do, so when someone visits your page, they “get it” quickly and decide to connect.

2) Stream

a) Value – For the love of everything holy, you need to realize that social media is not direct sales, telemarketing or email spam. It is about earning relationships. When people check your social streams and find only content and messaging that is all about you, your brand, products or services, most will run. You must be selfless and realize it’s not about you, but your audience. Post content that they find interesting and relevant that is not about you, and you will earn the right to pitch your stuff to a receptive audience. Fail at this and you will get far fewer connections than you could.

b) Frequency – I heard a social media agency owner tell me last week that they were told that posting more than three times per day on any social platform was not a good idea. Really? Who told you that? Their response – “A social media guru that was speaking at an event we attended.”

Let me be really clear here. This is not 2005. If you are only posting 3 times a day on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or any other social platform, NOBODY is seeing anything you post. You have to have relevant, valuable, interesting content that YOU post, not Retweet or click Share, all day, every day. Yes, the volumes differ from platform to platform, but 3 posts isn’t the number on ANY of them.

3) Engagement

a) Conversations & Relationships – The other thing a potential social connection will typically do when reviewing your newsfeeds is look for engagement. They want to know that if they connect with you or your brand, you respond, thank, get into conversations and relationships ensue. This is SOCIAL media remember. It’s not spam media or pitch my stuff media. Be social and leverage the media and you will get many more connections and a growing social community.

When someone considering connecting with you or your brand on social media, they will unconsciously cycle through your profile, your bio and your streams. Using what they see, they quickly determine whether they want to connect with you. Focus on these three important factors and see your community grow faster than you have before.

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Filed under Agency, Audience, Community, connection, Content, Engagement, Facebook, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

The 5 Most Important Components Of Social Media Content Strategy

When it comes to social media strategy, there is nothing more important than the content element. Often misunderstood or even over looked, content curation is crucial to establishing selfless, relevant value in your stream that sparks conversation, engagement Social Media Strategyand a positive response with your target audience. When it comes to content posting in social media, there are many components that need to work together for the best results and we are going to cover those, as well as the most frequent mistakes that cost marketing results.

The 5 most important content strategy components:

1) Topics – Before you start posting and sharing content for your social media accounts be able to answer a very basic but incredibly important question: What are the 3-5 topics your audience is most interested in when on social media? These are the topics that need to dominate your news feeds.

2) Consistency – No matter when someone steps to the side of the freeway, they need to see you and value coming from your feed. This means EVERY day, ALL day. Consistency increases the speed at which you can make meaningful connections.

3) Frequency – Think of social media posts as cars on a freeway and your audience as standing on the side of that freeway watching the cars go by. You have to have enough cars on the road so your cars are seen. Social media users don’t stand there watching all day long, they login and log off with tremendous frequency. Your content curation and marketing posts need to be on the freeway all day, every day.

Example: Twitter posts per day should be at or above 20 posts.  Yes I said 20. And that’s a minimum bar…

4) Timing – Do you know what time of day your audience is most active on social media? You should not only know this, but you should be posting more frequently during those time periods.

We use a tool called Tweriod to determine these times on Twitter. We have found that they tend to also hold true across the other platforms like Facebook and Linkedin, etc.

Social Media Posting Times

5) Content Mix – Be sure that 80% of the posts you’re making on social media is curated content that is not yours or about you. 20% of what you share should be your content or marketing posts that are about you.

We believe these are the top five content strategy components that you need to understand and use properly if you expect to be effective with your social media management.

Conversely, here are 3 of the biggest mistakes marketers make with respect to their social media posting (in no particular order):

1) Grouping posts  – This is a failing I see quite often in social media. Sending a ton of posts grouped together right after another with little posts/value before or after is not effective. I see this on Instagram and other platforms as well. Now we are all busy, but this kind of laziness will ultimately have the opposite effect. Meaning people will start to ignore all your posts because of this practice.

2) Retweeting only – There are many people out there that have no content strategy of their own and simply RT or share other people’s posts. Again, this is not a strategy, well it’s not your strategy anyway. It is you executing many other people’s strategies that is not going to establish any thought leadership or results.

3) Not enough – Probably the biggest shortcoming I see is folks just not posting frequently enough. Remember that the social network user is not logged in all day long watching your feed. They login, log off various times all day long. If you are post <20 times per day on Twitter and <5 times per day on Facebook, etc. nobody is seeing anything you are sharing.

4) Over self-promoting – At this point this should be obvious common sense to most, but unfortunately it isn’t. If you are posting more that 15-20% in your feeds about YOU, you either have an ego problem or don’t understand social media marketing yet. Provide selfless, relevant value in your streams and you will earn the right to pitch what you do.

5) Nothing human – People connect with people, not brands and logo’s they’ve never heard of. Be human and approachable. Pretending you are some big company, being sterile and corporate-like in your feeds will not build relationships.

In social media marketing content is where everything starts. If you intend on getting the best results understanding what content drives your audience, the proper quantity and timeliness of that content in your streams and consistency are what get conversations and relationships happening. This is where traffic, revenue and ROI comes from.

What components are you executing with your social media content strategy?

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Filed under Content, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Twitter

CEOs Watch A Lot Of Video – Social Media Marketing Is The Great Break-Through

Executives and Video75% of Executives polled in a recent survey told Forbes magazine that they watch work-related videos at least once per week.

Do you know what that means? It’s proof that once a person becomes an executive, they don’t just give up their social media or online habits. Executives are totally reachable online. At times there is a perception that you need to sell to the lowest common denominator and hope that they bring your pitch to the next Monday morning meeting. Most marketing efforts target the bottom tier of the pyramid (because it’s the wider net to cast), in hopes that somehow the big cheese will get wind of it.

Why aren’t more companies marketing to the President/CEO/CFO/VP if these are the people with the main decision making power? Because we still envision an out-of-touch authoritarian perched in a corner office on the 25th floor, guarded by a security desk and card access points. Want to know the best (or worst!) kept secret of the digital age? The Internet is the great equalizer. The invisible wall between your marketing and their eyes does not exist. We do not still live in a world where every memo needs to go through a secretary before it gets to the corner office on the 25th floor.

Video can help you shatter that illusion and speak directly with an executive demographic. Here’s an earth-shattering factoid: CEOs use the Internet too.

To be clear, most VPs, Presidents and CEOs aren’t wasting their 9 to 5’s passing around the latest cat meme or spending hours on YouTube learning the Harlem Shake. Know your audience. Forbes says that 50% of CEOs watch “work-related” videos on YouTube at least once a week. They are looking to catch on to new ideas that will add value to their business. They are searching for inspiration, knowledge, partnerships, information and value-drivers. They are fed business related content through their social media channels like Linkedin, RSS feeds, blogs and even Twitter.

Perhaps the most interesting number is 65%. That’s the percentage of CEOs who visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. Here’s where Explainer video becomes a marketers dream. You can bust through that the pre-digital-age “wall of engagement”. The primary decision maker watches videos, and then actively engages with the information. Video is not passive marketing; rather, it is active marketing.

Social media marketing is this generation’s great break-through. You don’t need a secretary to book you a meeting; if you’ve invested in video content, you’ve already got your foot in the door.

This was a guest post by:

Christine SheppardChristine Sheppard is a movie buff with a degree in Film and a career in B2B marketing. She graduated from Carleton University with her BA in Film Studies, and continued her education at Ryerson University specializing in Film Production and Media Arts. Her approach to marketing is strongly influenced by her education, exploring the effects of new media on popular culture and keeping her finger on the pulse of the trends in marketing communications. Her career highlights include promotions and copy writing for film and television and her role as a marketing specialist launching innovative digital projects, traditional, and social marketing campaigns in a largely B2B environment. She is a member of the talented team of writers at Illustrate iT. Head over to the Illustrate iT Blog to read her weekly posts about the hottest topics in video marketing!

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Filed under Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Video

Creating A Social Media Drip Marketing Campaign – How We Launched 2.0

Social media marketing campaigns should be common place within your overall social media marketing strategy. A campaign is something outside of your normal efforts and strategy that is specific to an event, launch or other unique marketing goal. Incorporating social media campaigns into your social media marketing efforts are an exceptional way to leverage your existing strategy and community for a clearly defined short-term objective, while maintaining your existing strategy and community expectations.

Social Media Drip CampaignOne example of a social media marketing campaign was the launch of our all new Bundle Post website, user interface and 2.0 system that went live on July 2013. Our entire launch campaign strategy was executed within social media, without using any ads or other means. The campaign created incredible buzz about our platform and ultimately doubled our active user base in less than 60 days. No small results…

So how did we do it?

There were several steps and planning involved in our social media drip marketing campaign that began months ahead of time. Meaning we had already done the work to build a community by delivering value in our streams and the effort to establish and maintain relationships with that community. Had we not first done this, nothing else in the campaign would have achieved such incredible results. Before you plan a campaign, ensure that you have invested the time and effort with your followers and friends. Nothing is more crucial in your social media marketing efforts before you embark on additional campaigns.

As with any effective marketing, time spent planning and preparing will be in direct proportion to the results you obtain. Below we will outline exactly what we did to plan, create and execute our 2.0 launch campaign using Bundle Post and how you can do the same.

Creating A Social Media Marketing Drip Campaign Using Bundle Post:

Step 1: Clearly Define Campaign – Be sure you have defined your objective and the length of the campaign very clearly. Know exactly when you the campaign is to start and end, as well as the goal you are trying to achieve. It is incredibly important that the goals and objectives you set for a campaign is realistic. Not doing so will surely make the campaign unsuccessful and more importantly jeopardize your decisions when creating your campaign based on such false hopes.

Here are the launch campaign details we used: 

  • Objective – Create buzz and awareness of the Bundle Post software for those who had not heard about it, and let those that have heard about it know that a big new release was coming.
  • Goal – Increase active user base by 30% during the launch campaign.
  • Campaign Timeline – 2 weeks (exactly 13 days) prior to the scheduled launch date.

Step 2: Create A List of Supporters – You will want to create a list of people, brands and contacts that are your supporters that will, (without question) be willing to help you with your campaign. You must be sure that you ONLY ask your real friends and supporters to be involved. Don’t include big name social media people, large brands and celebrities that you WISH would be a supporter and help with your campaign, just include customers and relationships you know will be willing to help.

*More on supporters in steps 3 and 7.

Step 3: Create Schedules – This step is the most complicated, so take it slow and make sure you cover all angles.

First, determine the number of posts per day you want to send for all of your related social media accounts and networks. Do not forget your personal accounts if you are a brand.

Here are the schedules we used: 

  • Campaign Twitter (@BundlePost) – 4 x’s per day
  • Campaign Linkedin – 2 times per day
  • Campaign Bundle Post Fanpage – 1 time per day
  • Campaign Personal Facebook – 3 times per day
  • Campaign G+ Page – 2 times per day
  • Campaign Other People – More on this in later steps

Within Bundle Post Schedules, you will want to make a new schedule for each of the social media accounts that will be involved in the campaign. If there are multiple social media accounts on the same network that have the same number of posts per day (Twitter in our example) make separate schedules for each with the time slots different for each. This way they will not be posting at the same time on the same network, though they will be posting 4 times each day during the campaign.

*you can also use the Bundle Post drip campaign for FB pages, Facebook personal profiles, Linkedin and G+ pages and any other groups or social networks supported by Hootsuite.

Step 4: Write Your Posts – This step should be broken into to segments:

  • Number of Posts: Before you begin writing the social media posts for your campaign, you first need to determine how many posts you need for the entire campaign. To calculate this, take the highest number of posts per day in any of the schedules you have made for your campaign (in our example it is 4 posts per day for Twitter) and multiply it by the number of days for the campaign. In our example, we did a 13 day campaign.

4 posts per day x 13 = 52 total posts needed

  • Writing Posts: So now you will want to create a new “My Content” folder in Bundle Post and begin writing the text of your 52 posts and include a URL where appropriate for each post. It is really important that these 52 posts have no duplicates for two reasons; 1) Bundle Post will not allow you to have duplicate posts included in an export (due to Hootsuite’s restriction) and 2) You want all of your posts to be different so they are not intrusive in your streams. Using a small number of URLs mixed across the 52 posts is fine though.

Here are some examples we used: 

*Notice that some posts had URLs and some did not. You’ll want to mix it up depending on your specific campaign requirements, product or service.

Step 5: Create Facebook Graphics – We added some creativity to our campaign by creating graphics about the launch that counted down the days like a space shuttle launch. We manually uploaded and scheduled them on our Facebook page and as they posted live each day, we would manually share links to the graphics on all the other social networks.

We highly suggest this for many cases. It not only provides the visual aspect for your messaging, it helps drive traffic and likes on the fanpage, making the graphics you post on the Facebook page linkable from other networks.

Step 6: Do Your Bundle Post Exports –  Once your posts are written, you will need to do your Bundle Post Exports for each schedule you created in the system. This will need to be done no later than the day before the campaign will need to start posting. This step has the following sequence:

  1. Click Export in Bundle Post.
  2. Select the schedule you want to use and the date that the first post for the campaign should start. (in our example the start date was 13 days before launch)
  3. On the Export Table, scroll down to My Content folders and open the “Campaign” folder with your 52 posts in it.
  4. Select all the posts for the export, run hashtags if desired, then export.
  5. Upload the Bundle Post file into Hootsuite, selecting the proper social media account that coincides with the schedule you just used.

*Important Notes:

  • If you have multiple accounts on the same social network (as in our case on Twitter) not only did we use different posting times for each, we also used the Auto Sort function on the Export Table to ensure that the same posts were not posted to the same network by these three Twitter accounts at or near the same time slots.
  • To do the exports for the other social networks, you will also calculate the number of posts you need for them based on the number of posts per day. For Example: In our campaign we posted 4x’s per day on Twitter and only 2x’s per day on Linkedin. Therefore we exported 52 posts for the Twitter campaign from the My Content folder and only 26 posts for the Linkedin schedule export. – *If we exported all 52 posts for the Linkedin schedule, the campaign would run for 26 days on Linkedin, due to the fewer posts per day in the Bundle Post schedule made for our Linkedin account. Make sense?

Step 7: Do Exports For Supporters – Lastly we used a little known ability of Bundle Post to expand the reach and success of our campaign. We created additional schedules and exports for that list of friends and supports and gave them Bundle Post files to upload into their Hootsuite accounts! Therefore we had some 20 other Twitter accounts also sharing our campaign posts at different times and all they had to do was upload our file. Easy and effective.

So there you have it. All the details of how we launched 2.0 using the Bundle Post system to create an effective social media drip campaign. The result of the campaign not only achieved our objectives, it exceeded our goal by a huge percentage. We increased our active user base by 100% instead of the 30% goal and have continued the growth with a smaller, ongoing drip campaign using Bundle Post that continues to drive traffic and new user growth.

How are you going to use Bundle Post drip campaigns for you and your clients?  Get started FREE

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Filed under Bundle Post, Community, Facebook, Fanpage, Followers, Google Plus, Hootsuite, Marketing, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Reality Check: Daily Required Social Media Marketing Activity

I am frequently seeing articles explaining how to do social media marketing in 30 minutes or an hour each day and decided it was time to deliver a reality check. Unless you are a social media “guru”, “author”, “celebrity” or #fauxpert that has never done social media marketing outside of self promotion and has a huge social following, it’s time for a reality check. Any expectation that real results, revenue and return on investment for any SMB or marketer will be achieved by following such advice is foolish thinking.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but effective social media marketing is a detailed combination of technology integration, creativity and a whole lot of activity 24/7. It’s not working when you want, getting weekends off and forgetting to check your feeds, mentions and conversations for days at a time. We call that kind of activity and dedication social networking, not social media.

That’s great if you are an enthusiast that is not using social media channels for marketing, but then again I don’t write for enthusiasts. My articles are always focused on the average brand, SMB, individual marketer and social media agencies. It’s what I know and do, not a hobby or a subject matter I have become known for and use to generate book sales, speaking gigs or ad revenue from blog traffic.

Our goal is to change the message of the industry that is dominated by the folks outlined in the above paragraph into that of real effective use of social media by people who have and actually do it. It’s one thing to consult Starbucks or most other major brands on social media because you sold a ton of books about the subject. It’s another thing to actually create and execute a strategy for the majority that make up social media marketers like small and medium brands or individual marketers and get results. Heck, my 14-year-old daughter could consult Starbucks or most other major brands on their social media marketing. They do it wrong and don’t have to do it right. They have billions in media and marketing dollars that drive their brand on and offline.

While articles that tell you that you can get results with minimal time and effort in social media are incredibly appealing to the masses, I am hear to tell you that it takes work.

*Note – Social media agencies, consultants and coaches – keep reading. There are some reality checks for you as well. :-)

In an effort to both deliver a reality check as well as a real guide of activity, following is a list of SOME daily activities that are required to get results with any social media marketing program.

1) Content Posting: Every day you need to have relevant valuable content for your audience in your stream. Content that gets them to engage, like, comment and share. Not just posts about you or what you do, but information, news and articles your audience will find relevant.

How much content? Here is a basic list of posts per day on a few of the networks you are likely working with:

Twitter – 15-20
Facebook Personal – 4-8
Facebook Page – 3-6
LinkedIn Personal – 5-10
Groups – 1-4
G+ Personal – 10-15
G+ Brand Page – 2-5

Every industry, audience and brand is different, but this will give you a sense of some minimum levels that are required.

2) Content Creation: Like it or not, you have to not only share content relevant to your audience, you also have to create your own content. Blog posts, videos, images, infographics, etc. You can’t lead in an industry where you are not contributing to its message in new ways. This is not an occasional required activity, it’s every single week.

3) YOUR Content Posting: Once you have created content, you need to post it. The good news is that the more content you have created the more content you have available to post daily. I believe content you have created and posts that are about you and what you do should make up about 20% of what you post every day.

4) Content Sharing: Part of social media marketing is sharing other people’s social posts that you and your audience may find interesting and valuable. This serves two purposes;

  1. It delivers additional value to your audience beyond what you found and posted.
  2. It lets others know that you appreciate what they post and wanted to pass it along.

5) Real and Real-Time Posting: These posts are above posting and sharing content and are just about being real, human and approachable. These are often just text and consist of what you are thinking, the weather, where you are and what you are doing. Don’t forget that people connect with people in social media. Don’t be a logo or a robot. Nobody can like or build a relationship with either of those.

6) Community Growth: Every day you need to be growing your community of fans, followers and friends that are your target audience. If you build it they will come doesn’t work in social media. Though doing the above 5 activities every day will help you consistently grow your community, if you are using social media for marketing, that community size needs to increase. Therefore every day you need to be searching and finding your target audience on all of the social networks and connecting with them. Don’t wait for them to find you.

7) Community Outreach: Within your community you need to continually reach out and engage. That is no different from being at a live networking event. You start conversations and get to know them. You share their content and information with others and build a relationship. This must be done daily to be effective with social media marketing.

8) Response/Engage: The opposite of outreach is responding. When someone likes, shares, comments on your posts, acknowledge them, thank them and star a conversation. If someone mentions you in social media, respond.

I have a lot to say about this section, but in order to keep it a blog post and not an article I will say that timing matters. When someone mentions you or comments, they are there, online, right now. Waiting hours or days is missed opportunity and will never see any real results.

9) Follow Backs: When someone follows you on Twitter, Circles you on Google Plus or Friends you on Facebook or Linkedin, you need determine whether you want to reciprocate or accept. I recommend that this is done every single day. We do it twice per day ourselves.

*Tip – if you’re using social media for marketing, follow, friend and connect with those that are your target audience. If you are a restaurant in Tennessee, friending or following someone in the UK doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

10) Data/Statistics: You need to know what is working and what isn’t. Paying attention to your statistics, results, analytics and data on a daily basis is required. Knowing this information enables you to adjust the what’s and when’s of what you are doing and set realistic goals and targets. Not knowing means you are not getting anywhere.

11) Planning/Strategy: Every day you need to be planning and adjusting your strategy. Using what you learn to improve results in social media marketing is no different from anything else in business. Test, measure and adjust… DAILY.

More Reality Checks for Marketers:

So if you think that real, effective social media marketing can actually be accomplished in 30 minutes or an hour per day, I invite you to think again. This is why there are so many social media agencies out there and more popping up every single day. Not too many people have the time, knowledge and ability to execute all of these thins on a daily basis. If you can’t either or are not getting results, I suggest you speak with a qualified social media professional agency as well.

*If you are paying $99/mo for “social media” from some online company, you’re being robbed. It takes far too much time, tools and activities to really do social media marketing right that results in real business.

More Reality Checks for Social Media Agencies:

If your agency is teaching social media marketing instead of doing it, before taking some unsuspecting persons money, be sure they understand what it really takes. Stop taking money from people to teach them things they will never have the time, skill or experience to execute well. Anyway you slice it, it’s stealing…

*As a consultant or agency that teaches social media, the person you teach is rarely the CEO that paid for you. Be aware that the admin, intern or junior employee you train, will soon be in love with social media marketing just like you and will be starting their own agency when their employer pulls the plug. Stop creating competitors for yourself every six months, while making pennies for doing it. Do the hard work for clients and get them real results by delivering effective social media management that has value and recurring revenue.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more required in social media marketing like strategy, targeting, social selling, conversations and more. But true to form, I am not here to condemn or be hurtful. My only goal here is to increase the effectiveness of social media marketing in general and change the message to real results, not scores, followers, likes or speakers. Go do this!

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