Tag Archives: success

Adjusting Social Media Inputs To Realize Desired Output

There are several things to be said about effective social media marketing. One of them is that social media is not static. If you’re being effective with a social media program it is often because you are doing many things right, not the least of which is continually making adjustments.

Adjusting Social Media inputs to improve output resultsThe famous quote from Albert Einstein says it best – “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” There’s not many other places that this phrase holds more true, than with social media marketing.

If you are not getting real results with your social media marketing, there is only one reason. What you are doing in one or many areas isn’t correct. Lack of results in this space isn’t because social media doesn’t work, it’s simply due to missing activity, improper strategy or most importantly improper activity that is preventing your desired results.

You need to ask yourself a simple, but extremely important question and answer it honestly. Not only do you need to do this, but you also need to be prepared for the answer you uncover.

Are you getting the results you expected from your social media marketing efforts?

If you are able to be honest with this question and accept the real answer, then you need to weigh the options.

Answer = No

If you have answered this all important question honestly as a resounding NO, then you need to make some adjustments to what you are doing. But you can’t make adjustments for adjustments sake. You need to know what you don’t know and that requires information.

There are not too many other marketing disciplines that have a bigger learning curve than social media. There are so many best practices, tools, mistakes and resources required, most professionals take years to get up to speed. What’s more? Things in social media change on a daily basis, making the learning curve even more challenging.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you know what you don’t know about social media marketing?

2) Do you have the time and ability to learn what you don’t know and execute it well enough to get results?

3) Are you spending more time learning about social media, then you are executing it effectively?

4) What 4 things are you currently doing in your social media program that are alienating your audience and results?

5) Do you have a detailed strategy and is it the correct strategy?

Hard questions aren’t they? Doing social media marketing is easy, getting real results is not. You may need to make some adjustments. What are your options?

Learn – There are many books, consultants and courses out there that teach social media marketing. I suggest doing a lot of research because many are from people who have never really achieved social media success, other than promoting their celebrity, books or training.

Invest – One option is to hire a social media professional or agency to handle it for you. Find one that has the experience and expertise to execute your social media management well. Tip – If someone tells you they can do that for $500/mo or less, run. It takes far more than that to make social effective.

Refocus – Another option is to seriously consider whether your brand, product or niche can be effective using social media and/or whether you can afford to invest the time and money required to make it a success. I personally believe almost every single market can be effective with social, but that only depends on having the proper knowledge, experience and resources.

Answer = Yes

If you answered YES to getting the results you expected, you’re not even close to finished. Fine tuning and refining what you’re doing will uncover new opportunities to increase your current results. At this stage of your social media efforts, discovering which components of your strategy and tactics are the ones that are contributing most to your results need to be accurately identified and leveraged.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you know the tactics, strategies, topics and content that is getting the best results?

2) Do you know which of these are not getting the best results?

3) What activities need to be adjusted upward to increase the results you are getting and how much of an increase of these activities is scalable?

4) Does removing less effective activities impact your overall results positively?

5) What missing components could be added to what is working well to increase your net results.

Now let me be very clear. When I say results, I am referring to REAL results. Things like traffic, leads, walk-ins, sales and revenue. I am not referring to soft results like engagement, likes, followers or branding. While these are also important metrics to track, they are not the measurement of whether your social media is actually getting results or not.

There are millions of marketers, brands and people spending an exorbitant amount of time attempting to execute social media marketing. At the end of the day, just like any other sales or marketing efforts, there needs to be a return that can be measured against the input of time, resources and money. Failure to understand this will doom your social media marketing to activity, low optimal output and little meaningful results.

 

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Filed under Audience, Engagement, Followers, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

100% Year Over Year Sales Growth Exclusively Through Social Media – You Can Too!

Is it possible for a small startup company with little funding to succeed exclusively through social media marketing?

Can social media really achieve ROI (return on investment) no matter how crowded their industry space is?

The question of ROI, huge sales and revenue growth for an organization built exclusively on social media marketing as its one and only marketing channel is constantly a topic of discussion online. Many are now writing articles that suggest a change of focus toward less measurable things like branding, exposure or some other old school marketing lingo that simply replaces real results with a lot of flashy terminology.

100 percent sales, revenue and user growth The answer is a definitive YES!  You can get ROI and more than 100% sales and revenue growth each year. How do we know? We’ve done it. We would like to make it official.

Today Bundle Post is announcing that it has achieved over 100% sales, revenue and user base growth in less than 12 months!

Do you think we are a little excited? Of course we are. shouldn’t we be? We have not even done a single social or online ad whatsoever.

You can do this too!

So the question becomes, how does a social media technology startup that is self-funded and in one of the most crowded spaces online compete with companies that have millions in venture funding?

Below you will find six keys to an effective social media program. We also include links to more detail on specific items within each section. So let’s take a peek under the hood…

1) Start Early –

You can’t wait to start your social media marketing when you have your site, product or ducks all nicely in a row. You need to have built a community well before you launch your actual product or service if you are going to be effective launching it in social media. So you have to start early and build a community that knows you BEFORE you are ready to go to market.

Already launched, now what?

If you have already launched your company or service, you’ve GOT to work over time. Growing your community size is every bit important as anything else in social media. This has to be a constant and active part of what you are doing.

WHY?

You have to have a large enough audience to make social media effective. Think of radio or TV advertising. Although it is mass market, direct advertising and anything but social, it’s about the numbers. Social media marketing is about the numbers too, but not only the numbers. It’s also social. You must find your target audience and connect with them. In essence you need to take an active role in growing your audience on a daily basis and not just building your profiles and hoping they will come.

But this alone doesn’t make social media effective. It’s just a single spoke in the wheel.

2) Stay Consistent – In social media, there is nothing more important than consistency. Just like in sports, if a team is really good at something, but not consistently, they struggle to win. You need to be consistent will all of your social media components if you expect to see results.

Here are a few things to be consistent at:

  • Selfless Value – Share enough relevant, valuable content every day, all day that is interesting to your target audience.
  • Be Grateful – Thank people who share your posts. Do it always and do it quickly.

3) Strategy – You need to know exactly where you are going and how you indeed on getting there. Get this wrong and you’ll be in trouble. You need to get it right and stick to it! In social, we call that strategy.

Know these 5 things:

  • What is the specific and realistic objective of your social media program.
  • Who exactly are you trying to reach. (no time to be general. Think geographic, psychographic and demographic)
  • What are they interested in? (that’s what you need to post content about)
  • What brands/people have already built a following of your intended audience? (Follow their following)
  • How often do I plan to proactively engage with my intended audience DAILY?

4) Always Respond –

One of the biggest mistakes we see being made in social media is slow or no response from accounts. When you are mentioned, tagged or your posts are shared, you not only need to respond, but you need to do it rapidly. When someone engages with your brand or content you posted, they are there, right at that moment. Missing the opportunity to have a conversation is limited by the length of time you take to respond.

Ignoring connections that engage with your brand is a death sentence. Over time, they stop. Do this at your own peril.

5) Be Known For Something –

You don’t just DO social media and magically get results. Having an effective social media program involves really understanding your audience, the topics that interest them and the challenges they have that you help with. If you truly understand these things about your potential and current customers, you will know the topics you need to be known for posting about. This is called “thought leadership” in social media.

Beyond subject matters, be known for your engagement, gratitude and response. Better yet, follow our lead and also be known for your Customer Support. We are constantly and publicly acknowledged for our support response, willingness to help and hands on approach. Mimic this and make it not only a priority, but part of your company culture. You will thank me later.

6) Earn Relationships –

Before you start posting your marketing stuff in your feeds, be sure you have real, selfless value in them. A small percentage of what you post on a daily basis should be about you and what you do. The largest number of posts should be what we discussed in number 2 above. Curate content that is valuable to your audience and earn the right to pitch your wares by first doing that and responding to the conversations that result.

Building relationships is a process. Providing selfless value is the method. ~ 

Does this seem like a lot? Well, it is. There’s an enormous amount involved in running an effective social media marketing program. Your social media management, tools and workflow are the essential components that must work together effortlessly. For us and many other social media marketers, brands and agencies, Bundle Post is the glue that makes them all converge.

If you’d like a live demo of Bundle Post in action and a one on one social media marketing consultation, hit us up on Twitter @BundlePost

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media ROI, social media tool, Social Selling, Strategy, Tools, Twitter

The Most Overlooked Social Media Success Method

As a social media software firm, we spend a considerable amount of our activity within the social graph. We are constantly engaging in conversations, evaluating metrics and reviewing people’s streams and profiles. As a part of this normal process we and many of you engage in regularly, we began to notice things that though subjective, provide valuable insight on social media success.

Or dare we say, lack thereof.

Social Media ConsistencyThe most glaring thing we are noticing is a lack of consistency on the part of many social media “professionals, consultants and agencies”, as well as the average SMB brand. What do we mean by lack of consistency?  Every single day we see social media accounts that RT or comment on one of our posts, then upon reviewing their stream we find they only post a few times per week (if that) and most of their status updates are responses or RT’s of other people’s posts.

Here is a theory we have formulated and have deployed for many years in this industry:  Proper Activity Leads To Results

The most overlooked successful activity in social media is activity itself! Consistent, daily activity…

You’ve heard the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” haven’t you?  In fact we hear from our users and brands that we consult that “just the consistent hashtagging and posting of relevant content all day, every day using Bundle Post results in a major impact in clicks, traffic, conversations and relationships”.

In social media marketing, consistency merges with activity to drive results. Given that you have a proper strategy of topics and subject matter your audience finds interesting and relevant, and you combine that with a consistent stream of curated content, engagement and conversations, you get results. If there is no consistency and therefore sporadic activity or the wrong activity, results decline or are non-existent. It really is that simple.

What does consistency look like?

1) Freeway – If you were to think of a social network newsfeed or timeline as a freeway and all the cars flying by on that freeway to be status updates, you would understand the importance of consistency much easier. You see, social network users do not stand at the side of the freeway all day long, every day. In fact they show up on the side of the freeway, logout, come back again later and so on.

If you do not have enough consistent, valuable content (status updates) in your stream every day, very few are seeing your cars driving by. Even worse, you are not providing any value to your audience that have connected to you and therefore you are completely out of sight and out of mind to your audience.

If however, you have a consistent stream of shared, curated and created content in your streams every single day from morning until night (at appropriate levels for each network), you begin to attract conversations, shares and likes of the content you are posting. In turn, the conversations and shares around your posts build relationships that can turn into sales, web traffic and real results.

By increasing the quantity and quality of the posts you make every single day, you also increase your overall reach, clicks, shares and conversations that your social media marketing will achieve. As long as you are not just sharing about you or throwing up a ton of “mud on the wall”, hoping it sticks, but rather are consciously understanding your audiences interests and posting the topics that drive them online, it becomes a numbers game at a certain appropriate level, your results increase.

Quantity + Consistency + Quality =  MORE Reach, Likes, Shares, Clicks, Traffic, Engagement and Relationships (Real Results)

2) Engagement & Response – When you pivot to achieve the posting consistency mix correctly, the next consistency requirement to focus on is Engagement and Response. If you think of engagement as outreach to your audience and response as what it sounds like, then you might have an idea of what we are discussing here.

Consistently look for opportunities to START conversations, share content from and otherwise engage with your community. Likewise you should consistently respond to comments, conversations, shares and other activity that your target audience does to amplify your content, message or posts. These are the activities that build relationships and earn your brand the right to discuss what you do within your community.

Consistency is the most overlooked and underutilized success method in social media marketing. Merging these consistency elements into your daily activity will completely transform what you currently realize in results.

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Filed under Bundle Post, Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Restaurant Social Media Success – A Five Ingredient Recipe

For some restaurants, social media may still seem like the latest marketing fad. But if you ignore it too long, you just might be watching customers, traffic and search rankings pass by your restaurant. Using social media to market your restaurant isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t find success. Let’s see if we can help you out. Any cook or brand manager will appreciate an easy to follow recipe, I am going to share with you my 5-Step Recipe for Social Media Success for Restaurants.

Keep in mind, without a focused strategy and an understanding of your audience no marketing stands a chance at success. What social media is not is just another medium to blast out irrelevant messages to Jane and Joe Public, you can leave that to radio. The brands who still don’t get social media are ones doing it wrong by blasting messages and not building relationships with their customers.

You see social media really does work, when you use it correctly

What can social media do for you restaurant brand?

▪ Raise Brand Awareness
▪ Drive Customer Traffic
▪ Increase Google Page Rank
▪ Position You As a Resource
▪ Share Your Brand Voice
▪ Make You An Authority
▪ Generate Customer Loyalty
▪ Helps You Gain New Customers

Let’s be clear, social media is not easy nor is it free. These are two facts you need to understand. If it was, everyone would be doing it successfully. While I am going to offer you an easy to follow 5-Ingredient Recipe, without a commitment of time and some resources you will still struggle.

The good news is that there are tools, apps and an increased acceptance that has made social media marketing easier for brands to and especially restaurants to find success.

Restaurants and social media go together like milk and cookies

Eating food is a social activity. From sharing pictures of food, reviewing restaurants or simply checking in… the experience of dining out really does mesh with social media activity.

Nearly nine out of 10 restaurants used social media outreach this year—the most common tactic by a wide margin—up from 77% in 2012: Restaurants Up Their Use of Social, Mobile

From Mobile apps to social media usage, smartphones are on the rise and thus they need to be part of your marketing plan.
The increased usage of mobile is another reason to be actively marketing your restaurant on social media.

One might attribute social media’s increased effectiveness for restaurants to increasing popularity of Smartphones. Location-based apps, geo-targeting and search make it easier for consumers to find the restaurant they are looking for. And, once they find that perfect restaurant , where do you think they share the news? That’s right, on social media where 54% of young adults prefer Smartphones for social media usage.

How about that recipe?

restaurant social media successA 5-Ingredient Recipe for Social Media Success for Restaurants

The 5C’s:

1. Create Content
2. Curate Content
3. Consistent Sharing
4. Conversations with Your Customers
5. Connections That Builds Brand Loyalty

Now that you have the ingredients, what’s the recipe to success?

Creating content for your restaurant has many benefits ranging from improving search rankings to building awareness and sharing news or information about your restaurant. You want to diversify the content you create to keep it fresh and try to incorporate videos, images, blogs and recipes, etc. You should also consider repurposing existing content such as historic images, menus, advertising or signage as well.

Make sure your content helps to tell a story about your brand, remember your goal is to build relationships. Don’t be afraid to get personal or share pictures from events or your customers themselves. Highlight your restaurant staff including chefs, servers, hostess or bartenders. You want to build relationships and start conversations, this requires being personal and responsive. If you are not listening or responding to customers in real-time, you are not using social media the right way. This is social media not megaphone media.

Curating content (sharing news, articles, blogs and graphics from other sources) is important since you don’t want to just share you own content. If all you do is self-promote your own content you are simply blasting out information and treating social media as a one-way conversation. Successful social media involves two-way communications, so providing interesting, relevant and valuable content that your audience is interested in will help spark that conversation. Failing to create AND curate will ensure that you will lose followers, annoy followers or your restaurant customers will just tune you out.

By curating you become a resource, you provide helpful tips that your customers and social followers will appreciate. Don’t hesitate to mix in tasteful humor, trivia or even facts about the type of food you serve.

For best results mix between 20-30% self promoted content with 70-80% curated content.

That is a lot of content every single day, isn’t it? Time and resources are limited for everyone, so using the proper social media tools like Hootsuite and Bundle Post will enable you to be consistent and efficient with your time. Simple ingredients with the right tools is a recipe for success!

One last cooking analogy:

Social media success comes from a steady, reliable heat such as an oven. If you are looking for marketing success at microwave speed, social media isn’t the tool for you.

This is a guest post by:

David SchwartzDavid Schwartz is a recovering traditional Advertising Executive turned Digital Brand Strategist for @brand_education. Utilizing the popularity of digital and the social web he helps companies understand the power of creating their own content and sharing their brand voice. David started his career working for MTV in New York, he then proceeded to Atlanta to work with the likes of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and the Home Depot. From his time working with companies of all sizes he has learned that a strong brand is the key to long-term success by turning customers into brand advocates. Now living in Nashville with his wife and two children, David works with companies of all sizes teaching and consulting on best practices for building a brand in the digital age.   

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Filed under Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Engagement, Followers, Hootsuite, Marketing, Relationship, Restaurant, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

How Social Media Actions Within Relationships Build Trust

There seems to be a new round of social scoring and now “trust” based sites that purport to either determine a persons social influence or business trustworthiness. As if we did not have enough of these sites already, it seems every geek that can code is trying to jump into social media software to try to get a piece of the pie in this ever-growing industry.

Seeming to coincide with this new rush of social media influence and trust score platforms are some bloggers telling people to shut up about them. Not to stop talking about them because they are tired of it, but telling people like me that are highly skeptical of such services ability to accurately measure social and e-commerce influence and trust into a score to shut up. Really?

“Actions Within Relationships Build Trust, not easily manipulated false scores.” #quote

  • Actions that result in trust with your online community are what is important.
  • Real results, actions and revenue are the measurement of trust and value you deliver to your community.
  • Relationships that go beyond conversations with your peers is what truly measures your successful social media marketing.
  • The right social relationships that are earned through proper actions will result in something well beyond an inaccurate score, something that imparts monetary value to both you AND your community.

I was approached a couple of times recently regarding a newer social scoring site. One conversation went something like “I think u would want to because #TrustCloud is like your online credit score. They evaluate profiles & give u a score.” To which I replied, “No algorithm can do that. A credit score is based on your payment history. These social scores can easily be manipulated.”

So let me be very clear. I will not shut up about easily manipulated social media influence scoring sites like Klout, Kred and the like. I will continue to preach real results and help guide my audience to things that will help them achieve those results in their social media marketing efforts. I will continue to battle against all efforts by those people in this industry that have high scores, but no real results to show for it.

Dare I say that ROI matters? You need a return on your investment of time and resources from your social media management that goes beyond your ego and the perception others have of you because of your score!

If your social media marketing success story is about your book, seminars and speaking revenue covering the social media industry, that does not qualify you to preach the validity of scores to a restaurant, entrepreneur or brand. Having done social media marketing successfully for one does. I can and have “gamed” these scoring platforms to get my score to increase. Doing so has always resulted in a reduction in “real” effectiveness and results.

Focus on your actions within your social relationships, so your social media marketing achieves a clearly defined goal, not a high Klout score that doesn’t buy groceries!


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Filed under Community, influence, Klout, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy