Tag Archives: technology

When Brands Fail To Remain Relevant, They RadioShack – Who’s Next?

Now that the buzz and media frenzy about the demise of RadioShack and the analysis of why by Wall Street and other experts  is beginning to subside, another consideration should be examined. What happens to brands that do not remain relevant, stop innovating and sit on their hind quarters? Well in short, they RadioShack…

When Brands Fail to Remain RelevantAre You Relevant?

On and offline businesses should be getting a clear message that remaining relevant through evolving with changing times is a must. The penalties for not doing so can be incredibly harsh as we have seen with many top brands in North America that became so massive and full bureaucracy that they could no longer move or even make decisions quickly when times changed. A reliance on their “brand” coupled with an expectation that their customers would remain loyal if they continued to do business and usual has resulted in many going the way of RadioShack.

Many have commented and speculated as to the reasons for RadioShack and other big brands falling, but the details all tend to simply boil down to not remaining relevant and changing with the times. We’ve seen very similar results with the likes of Palm, BlackBerry and even Kmart. Regardless of the industry, company size or product niche, brands and marketers must realize what their customers want, how their buying habits change and how marketing and delivery of products and services continually change.

Who’s Next?

We believe the next industry that we can expect to experience a significant shake up is in the content world. Now we bet you are thinking we mean online, and that will be part of it, but for this discussion we are referring to content providers, television and Hollywood.

Just like digital disrupted the music industry with the rise of the iPod and later online music services like Pandora and iHeartRadio, the cable and satellite space is going to be in real trouble. Visual content we normally think of for television, movie theaters and DVD players has been on a long transition toward streaming services via the likes of Netflix and others.

Now before you start thinking “duh, we know this”, it’s important that we take the discussion to a deeper level. Beyond the innovation of technology resulting in an advancement in relevance that Streaming Video providers are delivering to the market, there are a few other things that they are taking advantage of that might not be as obvious.

1) People hate their Cable Company – Maybe hate is too strong of a word, but most of us dislike Comcast and the like. We feel you have extorted from us for years, displayed horrible customer service and near zero concern for us as a customer. Your social media has highlighted these facts to many and your prices are not sustainable. Most of use want something better, that gives us control, without the $200+ monthly bill.

2) Content is becoming a Commodity – With the internet expanding in technology and access on a daily basis, we know how to get the content we want, without being tied to our television. Though we like our local content and special “shows”, we are tired of you controlling the content we have access to and when and how we can access it. Additionally, your technology is seemingly ancient and we want the latest, easiest to use and non-tethered options that fit our lifestyle.

3) On Demand Rules Consumption – The way we want to consume content is changing. We have increasingly busy and diverse work hours and responsibilities for career and home. We want access to content when it is convenient for us, not you.

These are just a few of the reasons that Comcast and the like are going to see a disruption in their monopoly businesses. Technology is advancing and driving down price, while increasing access, mobility and on demand capabilities today’s consumer wants. Innovation, service and care has all but disappeared in the space, while prices and restrictions continue to rise. Consumers are screaming for alternatives and the industry is only clamping down harder to retain their domination. This opens the door for massive market disruption.

Online Disruption As Well?

These similar constraints and concerns will ultimately disrupt online content consumption patterns as well. As consumers increasingly tire of Google and Facebook controlling the content they’re able to see and easily discover and marketer frustration is amplified for many connected reasons, a shakeup to the status quo is certainly going to come in short order. Consumers want the most recent relevant content in increasingly simplified ways and content marketers, brands and blogs need improved abilities to get in front of those consumers with their content. Do you see the similarities here? Another space rife for disruption.

How do you see relevance and innovation disrupting on and offline brands, marketers and consumers in the future?

 

 

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Filed under Brand, Content, customer service, Facebook, Google, marketers, Marketing, Social Media

Should We Be Lowering The Social Media Marketing Bar?

Should we Lower the Social Media BarYes, we should. Now let me explain…

In my recent post entitled Top 2015 Social Media Predictions – Disruptive Technologies I covered one of the important disruption areas to watch this year, that was General Social Media Marketing. In fact it was the number one item listed in my 2015 predictions. Specifically I was referring to making social media easier to implement, get results and be effective. The actual prediction was as follows:

“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.”

The Problem:

The social media marketing industry is incredibly complex. Marketers, brands and individuals are attending events and classes, reading articles and buying books at a massive pace, trying to understand what to do. At the same time a handful of social media speakers, authors and celebrities are raking in the speaking fees and book royalties.

I say good for them, and good for anyone that achieves success! However after almost a decade of social networking, the gap between the “experts” and the average brand or marketer is widening, therefore I believe the current path isn’t resolving the complexities faced by marketers and is only serving to perpetuate the massive learning curve. Furthermore, I think that the majority will continue to be left behind after giving up, running out of time and resources, or keep on trying without realizing the promised results.

What Does Lowering The Bar Mean?

What It Does NOT Mean – Sometimes to explain something, it is helpful to first clarify what it doesn’t mean. Lowering the social media marketing bar does NOT mean to lower standards, do it incorrectly or somehow promote less professional ethics and methods. It should also NOT be considered to in any way promote auto-pilot tools and tactics.

If the social media marketing industry is going to be sustainable, survive long-term and even thrive beyond the point it is today, something needs to be done differently. Technologies that facilitate social media management need to better understand the challenges, learning curves and complexities of individual marketers and adjust to them appropriately. Existing and new tool developers must produce from a deeper level of experience and understanding of social marketing to simplify functions that are needed, not just create features because it’s possible to do so.

Social media marketing IS challenging, but those with extensive experience in the field must raise the bar on the technology side of the business in order to lower the bar on the user experience side. Those with the experience are better able to break down the barriers that exist for less experienced marketers and define best practices, processes and strategies that can then be incorporated into simplified technologies that are effective, not just automated.

User Beware

One of the more destructive trends within the social media marketing space is and has always been the continual flood of new tools being developed and introduced. Don’t get us wrong, we love tools, but the problem is that the overwhelming majority of tools created for the social media space are developed by gear heads with limited or unsuccessful experienced executing social media marketing themselves. The fact is that MOST tools are created because they can be created and not because they actually understand the problem they think they are solving or because it really solves a problem to begin with.

The Future Is Bright

I believe the social media marketing bar needs to be lowered with a new era of sophisticated technology that drops the massive knowledge requirements for marketers to be successful. This can only be accomplished when the most experienced and successful marketers use their knowledge to raise the bar and expectations for the next generation of social media tools. I want to impact the real results of marketers in ways that don’t exist today. I want to change the culture of shiny new tools that distract marketers and brands from obtaining those results and instead replace the prevailing culture with innovation that significantly impacts the bottom line.

Data combined innovative technology can and should drive change and simplification for the masses. If better results are achieved by all social media marketers, it will represent even more receptive actions on the part of consumers and buyers. The more receptive consumers and buyers are to great social media marketing, the better the results are achievable for all. If only big brands and experienced marketers are dominating the results spectrum, the entire house of cards is in jeopardy.

What are your thoughts on this?

 

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Filed under automation, Brand, Data, Marketing, Results, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, social media tool, Strategy, Tools

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

Inline Social Media Content Editing, Hashtag Adds – Plus 4 More Upgrades

By now it has probably become apparent that Bundle Post has no interest in sitting on our hands with our product development. Continuing to innovate, improve and fine tune the technology is at the core of who we are as a company, while at the same time creating substantial new features like the new Bundlet Chrome extension and Queues drives where we are going with the product.

Will our commitment to continually advance the efficiencies and effectiveness that Bundle Post delivers to our users slow? Not a chance!

Today we are releasing a large package of tweaks and improvements across the entire platform. Though there are no substantial new features, you will notice copious enhancements that either make your life easier or at least smooth out several things we were not happy with in the system.

Following are some of the more prominent upgrades that will improve your social media content management workflow:

1) In-line Editing Everywhere – Now, anywhere there is content text or URLs within the system can be edited by double clicking. That includes export table pop windows and feed channels. (More on significant changes to the Feed Channels page below)

2) Hashtag Add/Edit – One thing we found when managing an export is that often times that is when you discover a keyword or phrase that is not included in a specific hashtag folder you are using. There wasn’t an easy way for users to add one on the fly while on the Export Table, so we added it. Now, when you call a Hashtag folder from the Export Table, you can and edit hashtags right in the pop-up window before telling it to run against the posts you have waiting on-screen. Handy to say the least!

Automated Hashtags

3) Cleaner Tables – Throughout the system we have improved the layout of tables. We have added more graphic buttons and made them cleaner. We unified the new look and formatting across the entire system and made the edit/add functions of many sections open a pop window instead of taking you to an entirely different page. We think you will find it much improved and definitely more efficient.

4) Schedules Redesign – The Schedules section has been completely redesigned. It has the new cleaner, graphical look on the main page, and now opens the view posting time function in a pop window. The new pop window for schedules lets you add both single and multiple time slots to a schedule right on-screen.

Social Media Schedule

5) Content Markers – We thought that the color coding of different content sources was very helpful, but it didn’t tell you what each content type was once it was on the Export Table. We have added text markers next to each post so you will always know what type of content is on-screen.

Export Table Content Markers

6) Feed Channel Page – The Feed Channel page has been substantially upgraded with a new table layout and graphic functions, as well as additional editing functions for URLs. The left side of the table contains feed type icon and a new page icon that lets you open the actually RSS to view it right inside Bundle Post. We took the “everything editable” approach to the Feed Channels page by even giving you access to see and edit the RSS URL for your feeds also. The intent here is to allow you to easily check and correct feeds you have in the system should you accidentally add one wrong or have the wrong URL, without having to delete everything and start over.

RSS Feed Channel

There are a ton of other little things that were modified, improved or upgraded, but we wanted to focus on the items that will really impact the user experience and effectiveness of your social media content management in this post. We hope you like the improvements and look forward to your feedback. As always, there is more to come.

If you still haven’t used Bundle Post, click here to get a free trial!

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Filed under Bundle Post, Bundlet, Chrome Extension, Content, Curation, Hashtag, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

Crossing The Lines Of Social Media And Real Life

Social Media TechSocial media gets real when relationships grow into real life connections. Whether it be customers walking into your store, phone calls to further conversations or video chats resulting in a deeper relationship, IRL (in real life) needs to be a part of your social media strategy.

We have become so digital that many no longer touch, feel and connect in real life. The power, reach and efficiency that social media marketing provides is undeniable, but what are we missing? Deep human connection can only go so far within the digital realm. For many, the IRL component is required in order to take a business relationship to the next level. The fact is, technology is extremely useful, but technology will never make us human. In fact, if we are not careful it will do the opposite.

A good friend of mine @jamesoliverjr pointed this video out to me the other day, and it struck such a cord that I had to share it.

Ask yourself these questions…

  • What is your IRL social media marketing strategy?
  • Is your brand getting real with your audience on a human level?
  • Is the overuse of technology effecting your personal relationships in ways you haven’t considered?
  • Are you consciously taking time and making effort to get to coffee with friends, prospects and customer relationships you have in the social graph?

Here is an easy to follow path to moving a relationship toward real-life opportunities:

1) Identify a person you wish to deepen your relationship with.

2) Increase the amount of comments on and sharing of their content. Do this slowly over an extended period of time. Doing it too rapidly comes across kind of creepy. Good relationships are built over time, not in a few days.

3) Spend more time getting to know them and what they do through more frequent interactions. When in conversations, use them as opportunities to ask more personal questions about them. Remember what you learn and ask them about specific events and activities they mentioned that were coming up in your next conversations.

4) Raise the IRL idea casually. Try using phrases like – We should grab coffee sometime. We should chat sometime. I’d love to ask you some questions on a phone call if you some time. These soft approaches to raising the idea allows you to judge their willingness without backing them into a wall. If they give a positive response, simply ask when would be good for them. If the response is negative or cold, continue with steps 2 and 3 for an extended period of time before raising the issue again.

I am very proud that our company, a social media software firm, does a tremendous amount of IRL interaction with our customers and prospects. The results from these furthered relationships are easily measured and valued by both our company and our users. Don’t underestimate the value and impact that taking social media relationships outside of the social graph has. A cup of coffee, phone call or video chats deepens your social media relationships and makes a real human connection that cannot be achieved with technology alone.

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Filed under Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy