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How Do You Approach Social Media?

Every company using social media falls into one of these three categories.

80% of people fall in one category, 10% in another, 10% in the remaining category.

So what are those categories?

Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, “What happened?”

Don’t Be The 80%

The common myth when it comes to companies using social media is “Yeah, I’m on social media.” What the heck does that mean though? Why does that statement influence your bottom line?

80% of companies using social media are there to watch things happen. (You should probably tweet that.)

Lets take an example from nature. Does the early bird get the worm? Yes. Do you think it sits around and waits for that worm to magically pop up from the ground so he can fly down and snatch it up or does he actively fly around fertile soil searching for the right spot where he knows the worm to be at? If you answered the latter, you are completely right.

When you say you are “on social media” you are saying you’re the bird who sits on the fence and does nothing but watch. You can bet your salary that it influences your bottom line. And your stomach.

Be The Active 10%

I’m not talking about the 10% that wonder “What Happened?”. If you’re in that category, you need some education first. The rules have changed on the major global scene and you need to be brought up to speed.

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There is a category I like to call the “Action Takers”. These companies know what they need and pursue it with dogged devotion. They are faster, smarter and leaner than the competition. These are the companies with a loyal fan base, brand evangelists, and just seem to be everywhere you look.

How To Be The Active 10%

By now you know I’m talking about the “those who make things happen/action takers” category. I’m going to give you a simple tip to get started on that path, no matter where you fall category-wise.

Post Daily.

If you have a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account, Pinterest profile, Linkedin account or whatever, you need to be posting there. This is the first step on the path of a fruitful social media campaign, all the rest build upon how seriously you want to take this first step.

Seriously, I know you have 5 minutes of free time in your business to devote to this, you are NOT Donald Trump. Schedule in 5 minutes where you will visit each of your social media accounts and just post something. Anything. Status update, client testimonial, picture, video, etc. will work.

I will be covering exactly what you should be posting in next weeks post.

If you want to take your approach to social media seriously and jump ahead of everyone else who just read this article, subscribe to my newsletter below.

Image credit: Highways Agency

Humanizing The Social Media Industry

It’s no secret that social media has created an entirely new marketing category within businesses. Social media has the ability to permeate into every avenue of a consumer’s life providing companies with an abundance of opportunities for brand advertising. The rules, however, are far different than the traditional advertising campaigns of yesteryear. Experts suggest taking an inside-out approach. By creating a fun working environment for your employees, through special events, or getting involved with charitable organizations, and uploading photos of these events, you can introduce customers to your brand’s personality. Showing the many faces of your employees goes a long way towards humanization. Since Facebook has no delineation between people’s pages and company pages, it’s becoming smarter to expose your company on a personal level.

Many companies are giving their customers the opportunity for daily interaction with their brands, by engaging directly with them. Starting discussions about relevant trending topics, offering up polls where customers can vote, and giving the most loyal page patrons moderator privileges are a few of the ways to increase views, and encourage returns.

One of the most important tenants here is to ensure your presence. Being actively involved in social media invites crucial dialogue with the public. Use this space to address concerns, and own up to any mistakes your company may make. Showing the public that you are interested in how they feel about their experiences with your product can mean the difference between a loyal customer and a one-time purchase. Recently, on Saladworks.com’s Facebook page, a customer complained of poor service she received in one of the local stores. The guest relations team seized the opportunity to communicate how seriously they take these matters. Not only did they enter into an almost instant dialogue with the customer herself, but they publicly took responsibility and detailed how they would rectify the situation. Quick resolution speed, and a sincere concern for the consumer’s experience turned a negative comment into a display of Saladworks.com’s desire to please their public, which helps not only retain the customer in question, but humanizes a company who is not only willing to admit the mistake, but also compensates for it.

Another useful idea is to reach out to key individuals within your community and offer them a personalized service. According toAlan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company. Mulally personally invited a man who had posted on their Facebook page about searching for a new SUV to a special test drive of the company’s new Edge Crossover for a man who had posted on their Facebook page about searching for a new SUV. Not only did this convince this person to purchase the vehicle, but news about his experience spread quickly throughout his highly connected social network.

Social media is having as great an impact on lifelong brand integration as television did over 50 years ago. Companies can’t afford to miss out.

Inspiration from: mashable.com

What’s The Deal With Facebook Timeline?

I’m sure you’ve noticed the big change over the weekend. As of March 30, Facebook has ported all of it’s pages into the new Timeline design, including business pages. While there are plenty of people who aren’t happy about the change, those who are business minded know how to accept, and most importantly, adapt to change. Properly used, Timeline has been shown to increase engagement by 46% on average. What does it mean for your business?

Real-time Analytics

Unlike the old Facebook pages which took up to 2 days to provide insights and analytics, Timeline’s tools provide information within 5-10 minutes. New or enhanced metrics include virality, people talking about engagement, friends of friends and reach. What this does is give businesses the ability to monitor the popularity of their posts, the influence of their page, how far their posts are travelling, and even allows for adjustments to be made immediately. Tracking virality (the percentage of people who saw the page and “talked about it”) is now easy to do, which can help sellers tap into what’s being discussed amongst their fanbase and post accordingly.

Content, content, content

What is the most effective way to drive traffic to a storefront? Fresh content. Sure, it takes more work than the old Facebook Fanpages since Timeline encourages sellers to post new content frequently, but creating a daily posting plan rich with opportunities for customers to interact, through polls or thoughtful updates which engage the customer to participate in a discussion, will help businesses increase exposure.

Regular Expression

Commonly known advertising tenants tell us that one of the best way to reach customers is through visual imagery (pictures and videos). With fully customizable features, like the 850 x 315 pixel cover, and 111 x 74 pixel picture icon (located just below the cover), businesses can focus on expressing their core brand message. Profile information has been moved from the left of page to the front and center, and have gained 310 pixels, which businesses can use to display more products or larger images in the most visually optimal spots on the page.

The real message here is that, while changing over to something new might be a hassle at first, Facebook’s Timeline provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to integrate themselves into the Facebook experience in ways that not only promote their products and services, but also create a social space where consumers can return for thoughtful interactions. Your business actually has the chance to become a regular Facebook “friend” for the fans, which will increase customer retention, and perhaps even opportunities for conversion (linking someone from Facebook to your own site where they can choose to become a member).

While it seems as though converting your model might take a little getting used to, the numbers indicate that it is a worthwhile investment. Some of the businesses involved in the preliminary launch of Timeline reported an increase in engagement by as much as 161%. The real question is, can you afford not to use Timeline?

Host of the Social Media Roundup Podcast!

I just wanted to announce to you guys that I am going to be starting up a new podcast! It’s called the Social Media Roundup Podcast. In it I will cover the latest social media tips, news, and interviews. Hoping to interview some of the big guys and anyone else who’d be interested in sharing their knowledge.

I’m also working with the guys at Posse Social Media, a consulting company based in Charlotte, NC. They have some awesome ideas of their own and I’m proud to be part of their team. Some awesome stuff will be coming out of this, so stay tuned.

The podcast hasn’t officially launched yet, but when it does I will let you know. :)

http://www.possesocialmedia.com/2011/12/02/social-media-roundup-podcast-coming-soon/

Social Content Optimisation (SCO): Real or Just Another Acronym?

Advertising agencies do put a considerable amount of effort into their advertising strategies, and now as online marketing is getting mainstream attention, we see them coming up with sophisticated and convincing strategies. A 3 letter Acronym is popular with online marketing. PPC (pay per click), which we know is very real, and SEO (search engine optimisation), and SMO (social media optimisation) and now we have SCO (social content optimisation). I have looked at their strategy and flow-chart extensively, and have worked in advertising for 10 years, along side many agencies, including the one that created this new one. The whole point of this new SCO is to show that search and social are not mutually exclusive, and a few added bonus points. Here is a look at the issues, and further points to consider.

 

  • Auditing. The first stage of SCO is the general audit of what people are talking about on a particular client’s website. This makes a certain amount of sense. It is a look at what content assets a client have online, and what their followers or related users are actually talking about, and comparing the two. This is relatively simple stuff, and is a job for some junior staff to do.

 

  • Search-able and Shareable. The goal we see arise from this is knowing what the majority of users are interested in and then creating content and media that is appropriate for them. This again, makes sense. If you were serving food at a construction site canteen, and you wanted to sell more of it, you would start asking around to see what the majority of people wanted to eat. Social media websites make this pretty easy, as we only have to analyse words, images and video. Creating simple software to assist with this can be done without any programming knowledge.

 

  • Breakthrough? As a plan of action, it makes clear sense to a potential client, although it is not really any groundbreaking strategy. Anyone in business would and should be doing this. On the other hand, making content that your users will be impressed by is probably going to come from a creative department. Creating something ahead of the content curve of your readers is the true art of content developers. Not so far ahead that it loses traction, but far enough to give them a jolt, and inspire them.

 

Can we really say this is a new strategy? It is more like grandstanding and banner adding to something that should already be apart of sensible and step-by-step SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media strategy. Advertising agencies are very good at selling themselves to their clients, and then managing down their expectations – the words spoken directly to me by a major Asian director of a substantially sized ‘digital agency’.

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