Tag Archives: marketers

The Top 5 #Hashtag Mistakes Marketers Make On Social Media

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

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

Here are the Top Five Most Common Hashtag Mistakes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Between The Social Media Lines

The other day I was working in my office and my lil man (5-year-old) was in his play room coloring. Every 5 minutes or so he would come into my office carrying his dinosaur coloring book open to his latest masterpiece in order to show Papa what amazing creation he Stay between the lineshad completed this time. As this continued over at least an hour, I noticed that he was improving on his accuracy, and also getting substantially more creative with his colorful interpretations of what a dinosaur should look like.

As this went on, it reminded me of a 1992 Isuzu commercial from my (eh hem) childhood. The video featured a crusty old make teacher, patrolling his elementary school classroom full of students who were coloring. The teacher stoically navigates the classroom while repeating the phrase “Stay between the lines, the lines are our friends.

I am not sure, but I think I remember this commercial so well because I was a bit of a rebel as a teenager. I know this is likely a shock to those of you that know me or at least read my social media and blog posts. :-)

The point here is this…

There are no lines in social media marketing!

I mean, yes there are definitely best practices to achieve real results and be effective, but there is only one steadfast rule. DO NOT SPAM.

Many of us, including myself have become conditioned to point out when other people/brands are doing social media “Wrong”. We do this for many reasons. Some reasons are very selfless and out of a true desire to help, but if we were honest we would also recognize some of the other reasons aren’t so humble or helpful. Being human and therefore full of faults, failings and ego, I must also admit to correcting others at times without always from the proper motivation care. I continue to work on that.

Since there are no lines in social media, marketers are free to head off-road, be creative and execute differing strategies and tactics that suit them. Not every method is going to get results and many may even negatively affect your results in dramatic ways you are not realizing.

Understanding best practices and the concepts of social media from a core level is incredibly important. Having a solid understanding of what social media is and how it is best used provides a foundation for decision-making, strategy development and “off-roading your coloring” so to speak.

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Filed under Best Practices, BundlePost, Marketing, Results, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Social Selling, strategies, Strategy

Questioning The Status Quo Of Content Marketing, Traffic, Social Reach and SEO

When it comes to blogs, content creation and digital marketing, most content marketers are trying to achieve one main thing – TRAFFIC. You develop quality content for your audience in the hopes that you can generate new traffic and then repeat traffic that returns often. Mostly this is done through SEO, social reach and email subscriptions that connect your created content with those that find it interesting, relevant and valuable.

For the professional blogger, big brands or content sites, all of this comes together through high volumes of frequent new content, multiple authors and massive traffic. With very little budget, the average business, marketer or brand is often competing in all Status Quo of SEO and Content Marketingareas of online marketing, including social media, SEO and email subscribers in an uphill battle for eyeballs. The resulting content marketing, social media and search quandary becomes a high school-like popularity contest with few winners.

Popular content becomes the driver without regard for quality and social media becomes flooded with people sharing the same piece of marginal content. The social graph is flooded every day with shares of blogs, articles and news from the same sites and writers, which often contain tired, reused story ideas. Does this sound familiar?

Here are some questions we are asking ourselves:

  • For Social Marketers:

1) Is there a difference between recent/popular and recent/relevant content?

2) If curating recent/popular content drives more clicks and shares, does it also result in the desired engagement and relationships with your target audience?

3) Does curating the same popular content sources/authors day after day achieve real net results?

  • For Content Creators:

1) Is most popular search results benefiting the content creator as much as driving Pay Per Click competition for an advertising platform?

2) Does “tribal” sharing really achieve measurable results, clicks, views and expanded social reach of/by your intended audience?

3) Does the status quo effectively get your content in front of both your target audience and those that need it for curation?

Should the Status Quo Somehow Evolve?

As we continually ponder these questions at Bundle Post, we are also considering answers that have the opportunity to level the playing field between big brands, content sites and the average blogger, writer and brand.

  • Are there more questions we should be asking?
  1. What would it look like if content marketing, blog traffic and SEO were turned on its head to better benefit content creators, curators and the content consumer?
  2. What if there was an easier way for content creators to get their content in the hands of those that need to curate it, thereby expanding their social reach with their actual target audience?
  3. What if all the great content that is often undiscovered could better compete with the recent/popular content sites?
  4. How would content marketing, SEO and traffic evolve effectively if most recent/relevant quality content, not popularity became the bar?
  5. How can something like the Bundle Post RSS Project be used to positively impact brands, curators, consumers and social media marketers?

We are purposefully not answering some of the questions because we want to know what you think. We’d love your input and ideas.

 

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Filed under Blog, Brand, Content, Curation, Results, RSS Feed, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing

The Importance And Challenges Of Social Media Content Curation [SURVEY REPORT]

This is our second blog post about the results of a large social media marketing survey we connected with hundreds social media marketers, brands and agencies.  We first wrote about the time requirements of managing and scheduling posts for social media marketing and how the respondents spent their time. In this post we are going to focus on the results of the survey questions that focused on content curation within social media marketing.

Content Curation Survey ReportWith the entire survey we really wanted to understand where and how social media marketers spent their time, what their challenges were and where the needs exist. Related to content curation, we attempted to determine its perceived importance and effectiveness, as well as the challenges social media marketers face with the function.

From our first piece written about our survey results, we know that 75% of social media marketers are spending at least two or more hours per day on scheduling social media posts, which includes curated content. But we wanted to know how many believed content curation to be very time-consuming.

We asked them “How much they agree or disagree with the following statements about content curation”

1.  66% answered Agree or Strongly Agree that Content Curation is very time-consuming for social media marketers.

We know that back office, time-consuming tasks within social media marketing has a direct correlation with how much time can be spent on the things that actually get results. Time spent on things like commenting, conversations and relationship building suffer when proper time is dedicated to the time-consuming tasks like, finding, editing, hastagging, scheduling and posting relevant, valuable content in your streams that resonates with your audience.

2. To the Statement: Content Curation is most effective when it is done consistently – 95% Agreed or Strongly Agreed

Marketers clearly believe that consistency matters when it comes to content curation if you are going to be effective. However, due to the time-consuming nature of these tasks on a daily basis, marketers often have to prioritize them to the back burner in favor of engagement and relationship building efforts that can’t be ignored. At the same time, 95% of social media managers state that consistency is how to be effective with curation. A substantial quandary.

3. While the majority of 56% said “I need to spend less time curating and more time and resources on engagement“, 32% where undecided.

This statistic was very interesting to us because 66% said content curation was very time-consuming, yet only 56% said they need to spend less time. A HUGE 32% said they were undecided on whether or not they need to spend less time. We believe the reason for the undecided answer might be their less frequent use of curation as compared with the 56%.  With 60.3% of respondents identifying themselves as a social media agency, consultant or a brand, more likely to post curated content more frequently on a daily basis, the disparity makes more sense.

4. Respondents were split on the statement “Finding relevant content to post is the most time-consuming“.  42% agreed, while a close 41% disagreed, leaving the remaining undecided.

We found this very interesting as well. We believe experience, type of respondent and the amount of tools employed by marketers and agencies may account for the split.

5. When asked if “Editing and scheduling curated content is the most time-consuming“, 47% of social media marketers said they agreed.

Once you find content to share, you still need to curate it by editing the text of the post, hashtag and schedule it to go out when and where you want it to publish. Nearly half of those surveyed struggle to keep up with this time-consuming process.

This was backed up by a recent study published by eMarketer which explains that “…curation is not as easy as simply finding and sharing content. Organizations need a strategy, and a calendar, and most marketers report that every stage of content curation is still a struggle for them. Even a majority have trouble just sharing the items they do find.” The research noted that upwards of 52% were struggling with effeciently sharing content they discover.

6. Moving from basic content curation questions, we asked if they “always properly hashtag curated content they schedule“. 53% said they always do and still a large 32% said they do not.

Always is a pretty definitive word, to which over half agreed with such consistency in their efforts, while one-third said they do not. This reflects the growing importance and perceived value of hashtagging posts within social media marketing.

Here is a look at all the statements and results together.

Survey on Content Curation

It is very clear that social media marketers are in agreement that consistent, frequent content curation is extremely important to an overall social media marketing and content marketing strategy. They also agree that when done properly it is time-consuming and better processes and tools are needed to improve this challenge.

What are the challenges you face that prevent you from being consistent and frequent with content curation?

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Content, Curation, Engagement, Hashtag, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Where Social Media Brands, Marketers And Agencies Spend Their Time [REPORT]

We recently conducted a survey of social media marketers, brands and agencies to better understand where they spend their time and the challenges they are facing with their social media marketing. The 11 question survey consisted of multiple choice questions, as well as multi-part questions that asked the respondent to rank their agreement with specific comments/challenges of content, social marketing and curation. With hundreds of respondents completing the survey, we decided that there is a lot of relevant information that others in the industry could learn from, so we will be writing several posts about the data.

For this post, we are going to focus on the main activity and use of time questions we asked.

Question 1:  HOW MANY DAYS PER WEEK DO YOU SCHEDULE CONTENT FOR YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STREAMS?

This question was crucial to understanding the level of experience of the survey respondents. Those of us in the industry for some time, we understand the importance of consistent, relevant content in all social media streams on a daily basis, all day long. In asking this question we learned that the majority of the survey respondents are heavily active with scheduled social media scheduling and a small percentage of respondents are less experienced.

82% of those surveyed stated that they schedule social media posts three or more days per week. A huge number, no doubt, but what we found most interesting is that a huge majority of almost 66% schedule content five or more days per week for their social streams.

Days You Schedule Social Media Posts

We believe that this information is showing that if you are not scheduling content for your social streams at least 5 days per week, you are likely getting lost in the noise of those that are, or at least you are sitting at your desk everyday manually live posting content to your streams.  These numbers are inline with our philosophy that social media is like a freeway and you have to have enough cars (content) on the road everyday to be seen, let alone effective.

Question 2:  ON AVERAGE, HOW MANY SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS TO YOU SCHEDULE EVERY DAY ON TWITTER

58% of social media marketers stated that they schedule more than five posts per day on Twitter and over 35% schedule more than 10 posts. Given that Twitter is a much more active posting site this was not a surprise.

Twitter is a unique social network in that updates are displayed only at the time they are posted, whereas Facebook for example will display content in the newsfeed over and over based on when users login and how well an update is engaged with by your friends/followers. Since Twitter is void of such an algorithm and posts scroll based on when it was posted, not how much engagement the post receives, posting much more frequently is imperative.

Posts Per Day On Twitter

Posting enough content on a daily basis to Twitter is crucial to growing a targeted audience, sparking engagement and building relationships. You want to be sure that whenever your audience happens to login and check their streams, they see something of valuable and interesting from you. This builds thought leadership, creates opportunities for sharing and conversations, which is what results in ROI.

Question 3:  HOW MANY HOURS PER DAY DO YOU SPEND FINDING, EDITING, SCHEDULING AND POSTING CURATED AND MARKETING CONTENT TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS?

When we asked how many hours per day these social media marketers spend managing and scheduling content, an astonishing 75% said two hours or more. That’s two or more hours every single day managing curated and marketing content for their social streams.

Hours Scheduling Social Media Posts

The question that should also be asked is, if you are spending 2-5+ hours per day managing your social media posts, what are you not doing that could be getting real results? Engagement, conversations and relationship building are all going to suffer if this much time is required everyday managing scheduled posts and marketing content.

Let’s be clear, you have to have relevant, valuable content in your streams and you also have to post updates about you, your products and what you do in an appropriate mix. If you have little or nothing in your streams, you will not get engagement. Without likes, comments and conversations it is impossible to build relationships on and offline. Without relationships your social media marketing has no foundation and will not achieve real results. It’s a quandary isn’t it?

The challenge facing the social media agencies, marketers and brands we surveyed and the millions of others around the world is that much of the time spent everyday on social media marketing is unproductive time. This survey shows that much of the time and effort doing social media marketing is spent in the back office finding, managing and scheduling content, rather than in conversations, relationship building and other functions that lead to revenue and ROI.

With the thousands of tools and applications on the market that are designed to help with these tasks, why are so many still dealing with this time/effort mismatch? We believe the answer is that most of the tools available aid with some of the curation and scheduling tasks, but few actually impact efficiency enough to make a substantial difference. Therefore, we see the answers to the survey still showing an incredible amount of time and effort being spent in the back office.

Read about 8 new ways content curation and social media marketing just got easier. That’s where Bundle Post makes a massive impact.

In our next post, we will unveil additional eye-opening details of this survey and give you a lot more data on what social media challenges marketers say they have today.

The second second survey report post is now out – The Importance And Challenges Of Content Curation

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter

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

What does all this mean for the Twitter User?

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

The Positives:

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

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

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

The Negatives:

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

Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter:

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

Ask Yourself:

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

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

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

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

For consistent automated hashtag and content sharing tools read this.

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