Tag Archives: quality

The Social Media Connection Cycle Explained [Infographic]

After many years in the industry, first as a social media agency, and now as a social media marketing software application, we have observed many cycles. As with most industries, there are cycles and flows that appear over time and social media is no different. Though not all social media accounts, brands or industry niches will experience the identical cycles, we have determined that those that really understand social media and are executing it well, will quickly recognize the flow I am about to explain. This concept is something that we have observed, modeled and used for many years, and still do today.

The cycle of engagement with your social media connectionsWithin your community there are ebbs and flows or “cycles” that occur. Though most social media managers are not consciously aware of this cycle, it is occurring nonetheless. So it is very important to understand the cycle, the components included within it and how it should affect your overall focus and subsequent results.

The Social Media Connection Cycle is a natural process that occurs within most social media communities. By community, we are specifically referring to the friends, followers and likes that are connected to you and/or your brand within the various social networks. All of these combined connections can be referred to as your community.

What Is The Social Media Connection Cycle?

The social media connection cycle is the flow of community connections in and out of the relationship sweet spot. This natural cycle is very similar to a businesses prospect, current and past customer flow and can even be seen in one’s individual relationships. Made up of the 5 components of your community, the connection cycle concept will help you visualize the sweet spot within your social following where the magic happens and the activities you can do to continue and grow that sweet spot.

Your Community – As stated above, your social community is “the combined connections you or your brand have within the social graph.” It is the envelope that contains the additional components and other elements of the cycle. The main “bucket” if you will.

Inside of this bucket are the 4 segments of the connection cycle including Relationships, New and Older Connections as well as Highly Targeted Connections. We will define these separate components and discuss their specific role within the cycle, then we will wrap up with the big picture.

First, the above Infographic shows that a “typical” social community is made up of 50% of Older Connections, 30% from Newer Connections and 20% from Highly Targeted Connections. Though the percentages from each of these segments may not be exactly the same for every company, marketer or niche, we have observed this to be a fairly typical scenario that makes up your overall community.

Active Relationships – At the center of the connection cycle are your real, active relationships. These are the connections that you know and engage with regularly.

The active relationship group within the cycle is comprised of portions of your connections that come from Older Connections, Newer Connections and Targeted Connections. Typically the percentages of these groups that migrate into your relationship bucket are as follows:

New Connections – 20% of these flow into active engaging relationships

Older Connections – 20% of these flow into active engaging relationships

Highly Targeted – 60% of these flow into active engaging relationships

It is really important to understand that Active Relationships are often not a substantially growing number or percentage of your overall community. What typically happens is that connections flow into and out of the active relationship cycle from the various connection types, while the overall number or percentage remains fairly constant. This is especially true when your community size is fairly static and not growing at a daily conscious pace. In fact if your social community is static or decreasing, it will often have a direct impact on the quantity and percentage of your active relationships within your social media efforts.

Older Connections – The ebb and flows of your connection types within the connection cycle are often least impacted by older connections, however by no means does that make them any less important. Think of your older connections as fluid relationship connections that periodically move in and out of the active relationship bucket over time. I often think of them as those friends that you get together with a few times a year, and it seems like you start right where you left off last.

The interesting thing we have discovered about older connections is that though only around 20% are inside the active relationship bucket at any given time, they represent about 50% of our new upgraded users in BundlePost. The important point here is the confirmation that social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Long-term connections, even if they are not inside the active relationship bucket TODAY, do pay off in social media.

New Connections – New connections are made up of new followers, likes and friends that have “recently” connected with you on social media. Often times you can’t immediately establish whether they are a highly targeted connection, nor can they be considered an older connection, however they do represent one of the most important connection types within a healthy social community.

When your social media marketing consciously executes an effective strategy to grow your community, it has a powerful impact on your active relationships. Though new connections typically only make up 20% of your active relationship segment it is one of the factors you actually have control over. When you’re actively and continually focused on growing your overall community with new connections your audience grows, the number of engagement opportunities increase and it directly impacts your active conversations and relationships.

Highly Targeted Connections – The final segment of the connection cycle is made up of Highly Targeted Connections. I say “IS”, but I think the word SHOULD is probably more appropriate. If you are not consciously focusing on the connections within your community that are your highly targeted customers, prospects and influencers, you are dramatically and negatively impacting your social connection cycle. More importantly, your are likely not achieving the kind of results your social media marketing should be realizing.

The Wrap Up

The concept of the social media connection cycle is intended to help you visualize the dynamic flows within your social community. They are active, not static cycles that flow in and out of the central relationship zone, which is the “sweet spot” and where you should be spending your time, focus and energy.

Everything we discussed within this post is predicated on a few things. We are assuming you have a proper social media strategy in place and that you are executing it well. We also assume that you understand the quantity AND quality concepts related to consistent content in your streams every day, all day. And finally, we expect that you have set communication, conversation and rapid response as priorities for your daily social activity. If these assumptions are accurate, then visualizing the social media connection cycle throughout your daily social media management will bring new focus, understanding and opportunities to achieve improved results. If not, then you are likely experiencing another kind of cycle that has nothing to do with real results…

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Filed under Brand, Community, connection, Content, Engagement, Followers, Infographic, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, social media tool, Tools

Social Media: It’s Quantity AND Quality, Not Either Or

For many years I have been explaining that social media is like a freeway. The analogy here is that you must have enough cars on the road (curated posts, status updates, etc) on the freeway every day, all day, if you are going to be seen and therefore be effective. This concept is extremely important on all platforms since we know that social network users are not logged on watching their streams all day long. Whenever they log in, or step up to the side of the freeway, you want to ensure they see one of your cars flying by that is something interesting and relevant to them.

With the onset of Pay to Play, specifically on Facebook, the posting quantity element becomes even more crucial. For over two years now, we have been slowly and methodically increasing the quantity of posts we send every day and have found that there is a direct correlation with the amount of clicks, likes, comments and overall real results that this has achieved. If more people see you every day, your results will increase, as long as your posts are relevant and valuable and you don’t over do it.

social media quantity is as important as qualityWith Facebook massively constricting anything resembling organic reach for pages that are not paying to boost their posts, marketers need to increase the volume of posts they are doing to maximize the organic reach they can garner. In fact, all social media platforms are adding advertising models in order to monetize their user base. At the same time social network monetization is occurring, the volume of content being generated, posted and shared within the social graph is continually increasing at exponential levels. What that means for you is that quantity AND quality of curated and created content you post are equally important. You MUST increase the volumes you are currently posting if you are going to maintain your existing result levels, let alone increase them.

There are no surprises here. I have been saying this for years. In fact, as early as 2008, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg defined the “Zuckerberg’s Law” about content sharing. The “law” is very similar to what many in technology known as “Moore’s Law“. Zuckerberg said, “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before…”

Last week, a friend of mine sent me the following tweet:

@brianrants –  I think @jaybaer unknowingly makes the case for @BundlePost extremely well here

In Jay’s incredible presentation he asks the question if it is time to replace the rifle with the shotgun in social media marketing. Though I definitely agree that the posting volumes have to increase dramatically if you’re going to continue to be successful, I would and have always said that it has never been an either or situation. It’s BOTH!

Conclusion:

I prefer not to use the shotgun analogy as it has more of a negative connotation to most people. The implication is that of slinging mud on the wall in the hopes that something sticks. That is not what I am saying or implying whatsoever. Rather I am saying that quality, relevant and interesting content is a requirement, every bit as much as the quantity you are posting… And now that the game has changed, the quantity needs to increase to keep pace.

I am also not going to say that paying for boosted posts is out of the question. There may be a place for that for many marketers. But again, this is not an either or scenario. Volume matters…

The social media marketing game has changed and you have to change with it or be left in the dust.

Are you aware of the changes that are impacting what you were doing?

What are you doing to work with these changes in order to continue to maintain and increase your social success?

What does all of this look like for Twitter? You need to have more than 20 relevant, valuable posts per day if you want to even be seen. And that’s a MINIMUM.

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Filed under Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter