Tag Archives: Relationships

Identifying And Growing Your Target Social Media Audience

One of the biggest mistakes made in social media marketing is building the wrong communities. What we mean by that is that many brands and marketers build followings of their peers, competitors or incorrect prospects, rather than their target audience. Subsequently, the time spent on social networks engaging, creating and posting content doesn’t achieve the level of desired results that they had hoped.

Why is the proper targeting and growing of your social community so important?

Our experience tells us that any marketing that is being executed, no matter how skillful, creative or unique is always limited by improper targeted of audience. For example, if your intended audience is nurses, yet you attract, connect with, follow and engage with mostly healthcare vendors like yourself, your results will be minimal. Furthermore, if your company is a restaurant in Chicago and you send direct mail advertisements to homes in Boston, do you think your marketing resources will achieve a return?

Social media marketing is very similar from the audience targeting metrics of other marketing mediums in that you need to know specifically who you are trying to reach. By specifically, we mean you need to be able to clearly outline all facets of your prospective social connects three ways:

Geographically - Specific location or locations, including city, state, region, county or country.

Demographically –  Things like gender, age, ethnicity, language, home ownership, employment status, etc.

Psychographically – Personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles

If you do not specifically know who you need to connect with and/or know but are connecting and engaging with others instead, your social media results will suffer greatly. Therefore it is important that the community you build is made up of the of people you need to reach for the product/service you are marketing.

It makes doesn’t it? Please tell me it does… If in fact it does make sense, why do so many do the exact opposite of these things in their social media efforts? The answer is, it is not easy and being humans we often take the path of least resistance, to our own detriment.

Identifying and Growing Your Social Community

Let’s attempt to change the difficulty factor of growing a targeted community through knowledge.

1) Identifying Your Target Audience – The first and most important step to growing a targeted community is to define it clearly. As we stated above, you really need to know who you are trying to reach, where they are located and what interests them. Since we know effective social media marketing is not about you, but rather your audience, then nailing the details of who you need to reach is imperative!

Be very specific about the location(s), demographics and interests of your intended audience. The more specific you are in defining who you want to reach, the more effective you can be. Though geographic and demographic can often be easily determined with experience, psychographic interests can sometimes stump even the most experienced marketer.

There are two tricks to help you identify the more vague psychographic targeting. They are;

  • Competition: One way to determine more about your prospective target audience is to watch your peers and competitors social accounts. Watch for the non-business related topics and interests that drive your prospects to engage, like and share. Taking this further, look at the personal profiles of your prospective customers and take note of the topics that thread through everything they engage with online. The list that results from investigating several prospective customers and competitors social accounts will result in identifying 4-8 key interests or topics that drive your audience.

and

  • Existing Customers: Speak with existing customers and known prospects about their interests on and offline. Discover that drives them in their life. Those are the topics you want to share content on and use to find your target audience.

2) Growing Your Target Audience – There are two distinct ways that marketers should be actively growing their target audience. Attracting new connections and proactively connecting. Having a community that is constantly growing with new connections, while engaged with conversations and relationship building is crucial for numerous reasons and should be a strategic part of any social media marketing program.

Let’s define these two community growth elements.

  • Attracting – If you desire to have organic growth within your social community, ensuring that you are attracting the right connections is imperative. To do this effectively, you will want to be sure you know who you are trying to reach and what topics drive their activity on social media (as we discussed above). Using this information and the other research we suggested, you will want to tailor your content curation, creation and hashtagging to these interests. Be sure that the content you are sharing and the hashtags you are using to attract your following is correctly focused on your prospects needs and interests, not that of your company, peers or competitors.

and

  • Proactive – Supplementing your attraction growth should be an extremely consistent and highly targeted execution of proactive connecting. If you know who you are trying to reach and have defined this very clearly, social media profile searches, viewing friends of your connections as well as connecting with your competition’s following is extremely effective.

At the end of the day, you must be providing value to your community, engaging in conversations and building relationships if your social media marketing efforts are going to see real results. If your strategy is on point, being executed properly and conversations are a daily part of your process, adding audience growth and targeting methods into the mix will add substantial results to your bottom line.

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Filed under Audience, Brand, Community, connection, Content, content creation, Curation, Hashtag, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Social Media Content Curation, Marketing Messages and Results

In business, marketing and social media, time is money and results are important. With so many tools to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to spend time, effort and money in order to realize real, measurable results.

I want better results from my social media marketingKnowing that 75% of Social Media Marketers Want Better Tools and 88% Better Results [Report] it is no surprise that many are looking to improve their efficiencies and reallocate their time management toward engagement activities. Content curation, creation, evergreen content sharing, hashtagging and status update scheduling are crucial components to this time reallocation. However, being forced to use a myriad of readers, browser plugins and other clunky tools require far too many hours and resources in an efficient work flow to realize the best results.

In fact, more time is spent managing these required tasks than is spent in conversations and relationship building, creating a significant problem for marketers. Time and content management are in constant challenge with efficiency and strategy, forcing many to invest time for required back office tasks instead of putting resources toward the things that do achieve social media results.

What If You Had 10 More Hours Per Week?

What if there was a better way to manage curated and marketing content in social media, that enabled you to be more efficient, strategic and effective? What if you could spend less time on the required activities and more time engaging, building relationships and getting results?

You Can…

It never ceases to amaze us when someone sees BundlePost in action for the first time. Our completely unique approach to social content management always gets the “Ah ha” moment and response as the new user realizes the incredible impact the technology has on their social media management.

If you’re tired of DOING social media marketing and want to finally start being strategic, effective and get real results, let us show you BundlePost in action. Tweet us to schedule a live demo today.

Tweet: Hey @BundlePost I'd love to see your Social Content Management System in action! http://ctt.ec/V6KGB+ Hey @BundlePost I’d love to see your Social Content Management System in action!

 

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Filed under BundlePost, Content, content creation, Curation, Engagement, Hashtag, Marketing, Plugin, Relationship, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, social media tool, Strategy, Tools

Social Fishing – Give The Fish What THEY Want, Not What You’re Hungry For

Over the last week, I have had live conversations with a few brands, individuals and marketers on the topic of social media content strategy. After receiving multiple questions from the various parties on these calls, I thought a new analogy to explain social marketing was needed.

Social media marketing is like fishingHere are some of the questions that were being asked:

How often should we post on social media?

What kind of content should we be posting?

Do these questions sound familiar? They should. They are the cornerstone to being effective with social media marketing.

Here’s how I answered these and other questions…

Let me share the analogy with you

Imagine you are a fisherman, woman or person and your job is to find, attract and catch fish. Without fish, you don’t eat and you have nothing to sell to the fish plant that processes fish for other people who want to eat fish but can’t/don’t fish. Without fish to sell to the processing plant, you have no income to survive on. So you fish…

If your livelihood depended on being good at fishing, you should probably know what kind of fish you need to catch. If you know what kind of fish you want to land, you had better know what type of bait they are attracted to and use that to fish with, rather than whatever you happen to be hungry for.

Let’s dive deeper…

If you’re going to be successful at catching fish, there are a few things you need to do.

1) Know what type of fish you are wanting to find, attract and catch.

2) Know what live bait, lure or tackle those specific fish are attracted to.

3) Have the appropriate lb test line that will support the fish size you are trying to catch.

4) Have the proper fishing poles, reels and other gear needed to catch and land the type of fish you are looking for.

5) Know where to find the fish you are trying to catch.

6) Have your fishing pole in the water at all times.

7) Have more than one fishing pole in the water at all times.

If you are fishing every couple of days. rather than every day, your chances of attracting or catching a fish is far less likely. If when you fish, you cast once, reel in and then go home, you are definitely not going to be successful. If the bait you have on the end of your line is a sandwich, but the fish you are trying to catch only hit on worms, you will not catch any fish you are targeting.

Let’s bring these fish home

In social media, you are fishing with content. You need to know what your target audience (type of fish) is interested in and share that content (bait) 80% of the time. Posting only a few times per day on social media will ensure a tiny percentage of your audience sees anything you post, therefore you need to have poles in the water all day, everyday to increase the likelihood your posts (lines in the water) are seen.

If you are fishing in social media, using content, graphics and status updates that are only about you, your brand or your content, it is like fishing for cod using a sandwich you want to eat. You must share content that your target audience is attracted to and get’s them to bite. Your posts need to be everyday, all day and of the variety that your target audience responds, clicks, shares, comments or likes.

When you have a fish on, you slowly reel it in. If you try to immediately land the fish, you will likely pull the hook out and/or break the line. You must patiently work the fish by reeling it in slowly (having conversations and building the relationship). When you have skillfully and patiently brought the fish to the side of the boat, you can bring it INTO the boat.

If you’ve done this well, some fish will gladly hop right into your boat for you by asking what you do, requesting information or signing up on your website. Some fish will require a net and more careful attention before trying to bring them into the boat.

At the end of the day, be sure you are giving your fish what they want, and not chumming the water with your food, leftovers and interests.

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Filed under Audience, Brand, Content, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

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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Why You Should Stop Curating From Top Content Sites

stop sharing curated content from top content sitesLet start off with a question:

Why would you share the most popular content from high traffic content sites that most people are already reading and sharing?

Recently we found a new study released by eMarketer that details the curation sharing from top content sites across the social graph. In one example, Nearly all Upworthy articles go on Facebook. Did you read that? Nearly ALL.

Articles Shared on Social Networks by Publisher Here are some of the numbers:

Nearly 100% of Upworthy articles were shared on Facebook

Nearly one in 10 BuzzFeed articles were shared on Pinterest

With Facebook being the largest social network, it is pretty clear as to why the numbers are skewed heavily in their favor. However, the point is that content from the top sites is being heavily read AND shared by social media users. The top sites garner the largest amount of subscribers, traffic and readers.

It is really important to understand the purpose for content curation and the intended effect you should want it to have with your social media audience. It is also imperative that your social media strategy is inline with that desired intent and can be coupled with an efficient set of tools within your social media management.

Why Should You Share Content From Lesser Known Sites and Authors?

The Purpose Of Content Curation - There are several reasons you should be properly deploying unique content curation into your social media strategy. A few of them are:

1) Providing selfless value in your streams – Relevant content that your audience will find interesting.

2) Sparking conversation – If your content is always interesting to your audience and is “off the beaten path” from what everyone else is reading and sharing, it will spark conversation. This can come in many forms, but one way a conversation opportunity arises is through a RT or share of unique content you have curated. Use these opportunities to thank and open a discussion and remember that conversations build relationships.

3) Thought leadership – If you always have unique content in your streams that your peers do not, you will build more thought leadership, faster.

The Intended Effect From Content Curation - Unique content curation drives action.

1) Clicks/Views – When the content you share is unique, you will get more clicks and views of what you post. Again, this leads to more repeat and new conversations with your audience.

2) Shares - When the content you curate is unique, more people will Retweet and share your posts. Additional opportunities to engage in conversations and build relationships.

3) Discovery – When you curate unique content that result in more of 1 and 2 above, you will see a rise in the number of people who wish to discover more about you. This will translate into looking at your bio, learning about what you do and clicking to your site, landing pages and content.

Social media has a considerable amount of “noise”. If you are going to be successful using content curation, then you need to be able to cut through the noise effectively. If you are curating the same content everyone else is, from sources that everyone is already reading and sharing themselves, you end up amplifying the noise, not cutting through it.

We all want to be unique in life. We all want to display our individualism and be set apart from the crowd. In our real life circumstances this has been ingrained in many of us from a young age. Unfortunately, too many in social media do the exact opposite and are unwilling or thus far unable to spend the time to ensure they are different in this medium.

To make matters worse, tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Klout and many others are now “suggesting” content for you to share. The problem is that they are suggesting POPULAR content based on what everyone else is already reading and sharing, adding more noise to your stream. To be effective with content curation, you need to be both efficient and strategic. These platforms are furthering the problem, not improving the net results.

To be clear, I am not saying to NEVER curate content from the top content sites. I’m saying that these sources receive a ton of traffic and social sharing of their content already, therefore making it less effective for your strategy. Be unique.

Curating UNIQUE content is an important way to add value, cut through the noise and be unique. So what should YOUR answer to our opening question be? “I wouldn’t want to frequently share content from popular sites my target audience is already reading and sharing.

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Filed under Audience, Content, Curation, Engagement, Klout, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Tools

4 “Not So Obvious” Reasons Good Content Curation Is Important

We all know, or at least you should, that having enough relevant, selfless, valuable content in your streams is highly important. Curating great content from sources outside of your own, in large enough quantities on a daily basis is the center of any effective Reasons Good Content Curation Is Importantsocial media marketing strategy. That selfless value provided to your audience is what tends to spark conversations, establish thought leadership on various topics and earns you the right to “pitch” your stuff.

Beyond the more clear reasons that curated content is effective and used by so many in social media, there are a few not so obvious reasons that you need to be aware of. Understanding these additional objectives when curating enough content in your streams will help you expand what you are doing and the results you can achieve.

But first, what do we mean by “good” content curation?

1) Enough volume in your streams every day, all day. For example, if you don’t have 20 posts a day on Twitter, you’re not being seen much. People aren’t logged in all day watching their newsfeeds, so you have to ensure no matter when they login on any network, one of your curated posts fly by. More about posting quantity

2) Relevant – The content you curate into your streams should be focused on the 3-5 topics that drive your audience when they’re on social media. What are THEY interested in? What drives them to click, comment and like? It’s not about you and what you do, it’s about them and their interests.

3) Unique – The curated content you post in your streams will get the best results if it’s “off the beaten path”. In other words, don’t share the same popular content and sources as everyone else. Be sure the content you curate in your streams is unique and not something your audience has likely already seen, read and shared themselves. You may also want to check competitors streams to ensure your topical curated content is unique from the sources, sites and authors that you are sharing.

So let’s get a little deeper and discuss other human responses that normally occur when your content curation is really good.

4 Not So Obvious Reasons Good Content Curation is Important

Timeline Checks – New connections that you friend or follow often first check your timeline before accepting your request or following back. When your social streams are consistently full of interesting, relevant content, no matter when a prospective connection happens to check your timeline, they will see value and accept/follow back at a MUCH higher percentage than if you don’t have good, consistent content curation in effect.

Attraction – A huge advantage to the proper execution of a great content strategy is attraction. Nailing your topical curation strategy and executing it every day, all day will result in more of your target audience finding YOU. As your consistency and strategy align, you will grow an extremely targeted community at a much faster pace.

Under The Hood – Really good content curation will spark conversations with your audience. If it doesn’t, your strategy or topics are off and you need to make adjustments to your topics, sources and volumes.

You want your audience to learn that no matter when they look, your streams will always have something valuable for them. When you’ve got it right, conversations will result. As your conversations increase, you build relationships and get your connections to want to know more about you. Most do so by clicking to view your bio on that specific social network.

Click – If you’re properly curating, attracting and engaging with the right audience AND your bio is well thought out, it can also drive your connections to click-through to your site from your bio.

Do you see the natural relationship flow that content curation done well can facilitate in your social media marketing?

Do you understand the nuances that proper social media management can achieve?

What changes do you need to make in your social media execution to leverage human behavior to improve your results?

These not so obvious advantages to exceptional, consistent and valuable content curation represent the culmination of what is called social selling. Understand the underlying human activity the typical social network user completes as a normal course of what we discuss in this post, then take the time and effort to ensure your targeting, strategy, quantity and consistency are inline to realize the additional benefits consciously.

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Filed under Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Strategy

4 Significant Advantages You Have Over Big Brand Social Media

Social Media AdvantagesSocial media marketing often gets media attention and viral activity when big brands create a big budget video designed to attract attention and be shared. Consumers often connect with humor or emotion contained within such videos, share them and the next thing you see is the media and news sites writing about how awesome or effective the campaign was and what you need to learn from the situation for your brand. Sound familiar?

Big brands are also singled out when they commit an epic fail within social media marketing. Writers and the media love to jump on the bandwagon for these situations and turn another company’s misfortune into traffic, viewers and subscribers.

In both cases, there are often few connections between these fortune 500 companies and your business or personal brand. Nothing they do within social media can seriously be translated over to what YOU should be doing. In fact, it is my belief that most major brands are largely clueless about social media marketing, engagement, relationships, selfless value and their audience. And you know what? They don’t have to.

Large brands have spent millions and probably more like billions on branding, major media advertising and exposure over the last 15 years prior to the heydays of social media. Their purpose and focus for being in the social graph is more liken to being forced into it or solely to further their other advertising efforts, rather than a corporate culture shift that compels them.

Let’s be very clear here. I am not speaking about EVERY major brand out there, but certainly MOST. Don’t believe me? Just mention your favorite major brand on Twitter, or comment on a post on their Facebook fanpage and prepare for the ignored silence you will receive. For most it is about branding and additional impressions, not relationships, conversations and connecting with their audience.

Having said this, there are several distinct advantages that small and medium-sized business (SMB) marketers and brands have over large behemoth corporations that you may not consider. Understanding these advantages and leveraging them within your social media management is paramount to winning in your space. Let’s outline a few of these advantages.

“there are several distinct advantages that (SMB) marketers/brands have over large behemoth corporations”  Tweet:

4 Significant Advantages You Have Over Big Brand Social Media

Decision Making – One massive advantage you have as an SMB is a lake of corporate bureaucracy. You have the freedom to make decisions and execute on them without committees, corporate politics and meetings. You can perceive needs, identify opportunities and respond to them as you see fit.

Nimble – In business there is something to be said about having speed. Speed to market and the ability to shift, change and pivot are distinct advantages online. Having the freedom to make decisions and the ability to quickly act upon those decisions is incredibly valuable to a social business. Market changes, trends and the latest news provide opportunities to the nimble brand within social media. Your ability to act upon these information pipes faster than the larger brands should be an important part of your social media strategy.

Relevant Value – As we defined above, large brands often make their social media marketing an extension of their media advertising and branding efforts. YOU have the ability to transcend branding and elevate your efforts to the human level. You are able to share relevant, selfless content with your audience that big brands don’t. You’re able to comment on your target audiences posts and open communication channels that build real and lasting relationships.

Understanding this point and executing it properly, provides your SMB with numerous opportunities to out maneuver big brands and gain traction far more rapidly than they ever could.

Mistakes – Finally, you can make mistakes with your social media marketing efforts with far less impact to your brand. You’re not a massive publicly traded company with executives that are far more afraid of what could go wrong within social media, than how to make it effective. You can make mistakes, own them, apologise and move forward without a massive media or social graph backlash that requires thousands of dollars, public relations repairs and time to heal from the impact. You can press your social efforts ahead without fear of making a brand-killing mistake. Talk about freedom!!!

As you finish reading this blog post and go back to your day, I would like to challenge you to consider these advantages. Ask yourself if you are actually leveraging them in your favor. At the end of the day, you have many opportunities to be more effective than these big brands. Maybe not in raw numbers, but certainly with more speed and as a percentage.

Stop trying to emulate what big brands do in social media and instead focus on being human, engaging and with selfless value. At the end of the day THIS is where you can outperform your biggest competitors.

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