Tag Archives: Marketing Automation

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

The Significant Difference Between Autopilot and Marketing Automation

This last week we had a BundlePost user state that they wanted their social media marketing on “autopilot” and thought that’s what we did or advocated. Nothing could be further from the truth. Marketing automation and the term autopilot have no relation to one another in social media marketing. One is a carefully thought out and actively managed strategic component of an effective social media program, the other is liken to a drone with no pilot, mission or results.

social media marketing on autopilotIn the commercial aviation industry, millions of dollars are poured into the avionics and systems that keep aircraft in the air, comfortable for passengers and controllable by highly trained pilots. These systems are all integrated together to make the function we all know and understand as autopilot, possible. But what we never see is a plane placed on autopilot, without an experienced captain monitoring all aspects of the controls.

Pilots would never put their plane on autopilot, leave their seat and subsequently allow the plane to cruise unattended. Not only is that illegal and against all common sense and regulations, but it’s incredibly foolish and would be an accident going someplace to happen. On the contrary, there are two pilots in every commercial cockpit even though autopilot capabilities are on board. Both professional pilots are present, strapped in their seats and always ready and able to respond to any circumstance that arises.

Autopilot was never developed or designed to fly an airplane unattended, nor was it ever meant to be used as something to replace an experienced pilot. Advanced technology is designed to help efficiently manage some mundane human tasks, freeing up the pilots to ensure a smooth flight and potential problems or opportunities.

Let’s put some clarity to the differences between these two distinctly different marketing approaches as it relates to social media marketing. We will give six examples of each and provide a little detail as we go.

Social Media “Autopilot” Tactics –

Social media success does not appear by accident, or via automation, rather it can only be achieved through consistently executing proper strategy, activities and human interaction.

Accepted social marketing tactics do NOT include the following activity, tools or automation:

1) Auto-posting content from any source – This is not strategic, safe or effective.

2) Auto-tagging and posting messages – This includes things like newspaper posts that tag people you’ve automatically displayed on your Rebel Mouse or other newspaper pages, “top influencers tag messages” or any other similar tools or systems that auto-post to your pages, profiles or timelines. They are clearly automated, provide ZERO value to anyone (including yourself) and most people know this.

3) Automated Timeline or Direct Messages – We all know these are automated and not sincere as a result. We ignore not only the message you have automated, but we will likely ignore you hence forth.

4) Automated Retweet applications – Some of the newest horrid autopilot technology is the automated RT app. This little gem lets you select specific people/accounts and it will automatically RT their tweets at specific intervals. This is like an accident going somewhere to happen. It’s not effective, don’t do it.

5) Automated Pitch Tagging – We just connected (or have no relationship) and your autopilot solution tags me to pitch your link, blog, website, product or service. Have you ever wondered why email spam is now illegal? You’re doing the equivalent on social media and your brand and results will reflect it if you don’t stop. In fact many (including myself) report accounts that do such spamming, every time it happens. Wonder why your account gets suspended? Now you know.

6) Automated Engagement Posting – Imagine going to a networking event and when you introduce someone to somebody else, or tell someone about another persons book or product, the person you were referring to, took out their smart phone and played a recorded message. Or better yet, imagine that you were having a conversation with someone and a person or brand you’ve never heard of, jumped in to the conversation to tell you about their product all because he overheard you mention the word “fruit”.

Whatever you would do in real life, you should do in social media. Whatever you would never do at a networking event or walking down the street, don’t do in social. It’s not more complicated than that. Autopilot does not get real results in social media and will damage your reputation.

Consider this: If you and thousands of others are using such autopilot tactics in their social media marketing and hundreds, if not thousands are connected the same people, your autopilot tagging and posting are also appearing to the same person. What do you think the impression of your brand, product or service is when your automation is just like everyone else’s automation and being seen by the same person? I can tell you. You just became a brand or person they will not be doing business with.

“If your social media isn’t getting results you need less automation, more human & the right tools” ~@fondalo

Social Media Marketing Automation –

If you expect to get results there are a few social marketing automation functions that you need to be doing. Liken these activities as the aviation autopilot explanation we discussed earlier. You, the pilot are always there in the seat, but the plane’s autopilot can be running these functions for you.

1) Landing Page, Lead Capture, Email Drip Campaign – If you are using social media for marketing and do not have a clear marketing automation path for your prospects, you are undoubtedly not achieving the results you should/could be. Understanding your prospects click-through, registration and sign-up/order flow is extremely important and requires sales automation to be most effective.

2) Content Curation Scheduling – You must have enough relevant, valuable content in your social streams every day. It’s part and parcel effective social media. I am not referring to Retweeting or sharing other people’s curated content, but discovering and posting content that resonates with your audience. Though you should sometimes RT and share, you need to build thought leadership around the topics that drive your audience, and that requires you to aggregate and curate content they want. Scheduling these posts is a requirement, unless you have unlimited time and aren’t going to do the things that actually get results, like having conversations and building relationships. (I am being very sarcastic here. You must engage with your community if you expect results) You can either spend time posting content, or engaging and driving ROI from your efforts. Content curation scheduling is imperative!

3) Community Growth Targeting – Using tools that will help you identify your target audience and connecting with them enables you to grow your community and leverage the Social Media Connection Cycle. Finding and connecting with your customers and prospects across the social graph is extremely important. Doing it manually is cumbersome and extremely inefficient.

4) New and Evergreen Content Scheduling – When you create content in the form of blog posts and articles, you need to share that to your streams so your audience is aware. Posting it once is pointless, so you need to strategically schedule new and evergreen content multiple times when it is created as well as on an ongoing basis.

5) Scheduled Marketing Messages – If you have knowledge of something you will be doing on a specific day/time, scheduling your status update about it ahead of time makes perfect sense. Periodically scheduling marketing messages about what you do, that link to your landing pages (without tagging anyone) is appropriate and efficient. If you have done your other social strategy and activities effectively, you will earn the right to do so and people will read, click and share them.

6) Scheduled Graphics – If you are creating and posting graphics and photos to various social sites, you will want to ensure that you’re being consistent and frequent. You can’t be at your desk all the time and you shouldn’t be spending desk time doing such manual tasks. Scheduling this kind of content to your various social accounts is efficient and appropriate.

Wrap Up

There is a massive difference between social media marketing automation and autopilot. You need to know the difference and stop sheepishly replicating the activity other people are doing, when most of them are as broke and ineffective with their social media results as you are. Stop being part of the blind leading the blind and start understanding social media for what it is, not how the popular majority are using it (unsuccessfully). If you’re going to replicate what someone else is doing, you had better be darn sure that it is actually effective on the dollar and cents level and more importantly isn’t hurting your results instead of improving them.

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