Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Automation has its limits

robot2-225x300If you’re running a comprehensive social media strategy on numerous platforms, you have to automate. Using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite, Dlvr.it or any of the many others available, becomes essential for keeping track of your posts, having post do double-duty between different networks and scheduling content evenly through the day, and even for evenings and weekends.

But a well-organized automated system is not all joy. Too much automation can make your social media content feel, well, automatic. By definition, social media is social, with real people behind electronically transmitted words and images. Here are some best practices for keeping your automated tools well in line.

Always customize. Automation tools make it easy to send out the same content between multiple platforms. Too easy. Not only is Twitter different from the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn in terms of tone, but your audience and followers are different. And if they’re not, and some clients, customers or fans follow you on multiple sites, they’ll end up seeing the exact same content again and again.

Follow up. While you might automate your posts, you can’t automate your conversations. After scheduling your content, stick around to get involved in the conversation.

Don’t go crazy. Overscheduling your social media channels just tires your followers out. (And turns them into non-followers.) Again, it’s too easy to schedule content, but resist piling on too many posts or tweets in a day.

Be in real time, sometimes. When big news in your industry hits, or you truly have something fresh or spontaneous to say, say it.

 

Want To Win On Twitter? Think Like A Good Host

By Jeff Cann, 

It’s often said that social media is much like a cocktail party: intimate, engaging, and an opportunity for the host to meet new people and give guests a truly memorable evening. For a brand, social media is not much different. While it was once impossible to imagine that your favorite running shoe company or baseball team could ever talk to you personally, brands and customers now have that opportunity each and every day.

So that all brands can be incredible hosts, I would like to share three best practices for throwing the best Twitter cocktail party you can.

1)     Don’t always talk about yourself. 

A very quick and easy way to audit what type of content your Twitter handle creates is to look at the proportion of Tweets that are Re-Tweets, @Replies and Regular Tweets.

McDonalds

MAP - from-mcdonalds

What should your mix look like?  Because different industries will see different levels of engagement, as well as utilization of Twitter as a customer service channel, there is no magic formula. But ensuring that you’re proactively and reactively engaging with customers and potential customers more than you’re broadcasting news about yourself is always the first step to becoming a good host.

2)     Work the room and play to your audience

One thing all of your customers have in common is the fact that they have purchased your product or service. While this may bind the whole crowd together at a very basic level, there will always be very distinct groups and interests within that crowd, making a one-size-fits-all approach not only difficult, but largely ineffective. Cocktail parties are no different. Guests all share something in common, but groups of folks can and will congregate and engage in very different conversations. In a nutshell, it’s the job of social analytics to show brands who these groups are and what the people in those groups are talking about.

Heartbeat - Scripps - Food measure

Using the Communities report in Sysomos Heartbeat, brands can uncover who the most influential community members are, and what the theme of their group’s conversation is. By leveraging this information, you can provide value to the group’s conversation and spend your time (and resources) wisely by targeting the folks who know the most about a topic.

3)     Host your party at the most convenient time

Depending on where you are in life, a 6pm cocktail party may be infinitely more appealing than one that starts at 11pm. A brand’s audience is no different.  So if you’re going to host a party, you may as well do it at a time that works well for the majority of your guests.

rolling rock

MAP - Rolling Rock

Given that your followers are your guests, look to make announcements, host online chats and execute campaigns based on the times when their base engagement rates are highest. Sounds simple, but it will give a big boost to your chances of success.

 

While social brings with it new challenges and opportunities, the overall objective from a marketing standpoint has never changed: get the right message to the right person at the right time. Following the three best practices above will ensure that you’re not only a good host, but that your brand is positioned for success and capitalizing on the tremendous opportunity that social represents.

 

Since joining Sysomos during its startup days in 2009, Jeff Cann has experienced the impact and spread of social across virtually all industries and job functions. With 14 years of client service and client management experience, including seven years exclusively in web and social analytics, Jeff brings a unique data- and client-focused lens to Sysomos. In his current role as Sr. Director of Client Experience, Jeff manages a team of Social Media Specialists responsible for client usage, adoption and success of Sysomos applications. 

Focusing on the Digital Marketing Basics

It’s always a good idea to take a step back from the digital marketing landscape to explore some tips and ideas.

We sometimes get caught up thinking we know everything, while sometimes forgetting the little things matter.

The reality is if you can take  time to review the basics, you will always be better off.

Here are a couple of tips that can  help your online efforts:

1. Post Frequently

Many brands believe  they run the risk of alienating their audience by posting too often on Facebook and Twitter. Now, there is some truth to this but many try to simply post 1-2 times per day.

You have to post often. You need to find relevant stories, questions and some promotional information to make an impact on your fans and followers.

Don’t worry about best time of day or any of that. People are always connected. Worry about volume and impact.

2. Invest, Invest, Invest

You need to invest more than time into social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. You need to invest  cash. Notice I didn’t use the word spend. Look at every dime spent as an investment in marketing and communications.

Facebook ads are proving to be more effective, even though they are still under utilized resource.

Create a budget, stick to it and drive traffic to your fan page and/or Website. It’s simple, fun and generates a high click rate if done well.

What tips do you have for digital marketers? Sometimes the most obvious are the most overlooked.

Seven Tips for a Great Corporate Blog

Have a corporate blog? Want to make it as good as you can? Here are seven straightforward tips to improve your blog.

1. Focus on your customers

If you’re just promoting your products, your readers will quickly turn away. A blog is not meant to be an ad or an online brochure. Focus on what your customers are interested in. Offer them useful information about topics related to your company and industry. Every once in awhile, it’s fine to mention a new product, feature or company news — but only after you have everyone hooked.

2. Have a plan

Blog posts take time, and nothing puts a writer off the project than not having a topic. Create an editorial plan in advance so you can post regularly (weekly or, ideally, more often), and not be scrambling for ideas. By planning in advance, you can take advantage of seasonal topics (such as back to school!) and major corporate news and events.

3. Read the competition

Keep your eye on what competitors are doing on their blogs. Don’t copy them, but use any unanswered questions to develop ideas for blog posts. Keep an eye out for things such as style, use of images and other techniques to see if they seem effective with customers.

4. Develop a personality

Use the writing of your blog to develop a voice that your customers can relate to. If your sector allows it, consider a casual and fun approach. A blog with character is more fun to read and could attract loyal readers.

5. Keep at it

Regular posting creates loyal readers and drives search engine “juice”.

6. Break it up

In general, blog posts should be 300-400 words. If you do write longer posts, most readers will lose interest. Even if your content is on word count, keep the text easy to read by breaking things up with subheads, number or bullets. Most people skim content online so breaking text up into chunks will help them zero in on the info they’re looking for.

7. Review

There’s a saying: writing is rewriting. Don’t expect the writing to go easily and quickly. Review your work several times — even the next day — before you publish. Don’t be concerned if it takes several attempts and rewrites to get the post to just where you want it to be.

B2B Social Media: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why [Infographic]

Social media isn’t just for consumer brands. In fact, more and more B2B brands are waking up to the power that comes from being able to connect with their customers and potential customers through social media. More importantly, they’re seeing results from it.

Did you know that 83% of business marketers say that they’re using social media? Or that 75% of customers of B2B business customers plan on using social media to connect with and learn more about vendors? With numbers like that, it’s hard to ignore.

So where does one start when using social media for the B2B space? Well, lucky for you, we’ve put together an infographic to help you get started.

Below you’ll find our infographic with three tips to get get started in B2B social media, along with some pretty interesting facts about the space.

But if this was just enough to wet your whistle, don’t worry, we have more for you in our latest white paper. If you want to learn how to use social media for B2B effectively, check out B2B Social Media: A Roadmap To Revenue.

2013 is Your Year for Social Media

As we all know, most New Year’s resolutions get thrown by the wayside in about a week. For brands and organizations, the top of their New Year’s wish list should be a greater focus on social media.

If you are struggling with the strategic or tactical sides, or the time component needed to make a dent, then here are some tips to help get you started.

Activity Yields Results

Be aware of how much to post, tweet or publish and recognize that you can annoy your audience.

At the same time, it is important to understand you need to be active to find your audience, connect with relevant users and personalities, and get your story out to the world.

Social media is the place where you get out of it what you put in. Be active.

Get Key Personnel Involved 

Social media is the perfect avenue to connect with the true voices within your organization. This by no means only senior people; it should include the people that your customers will connect with when they have questions, issues or concerns.

Get the frontline of your organization out into the digital world.

Set Realistic Goals

The biggest mistake made by many organizations is they venture blindly into the vast and complex world of social media.

You have to set goals and make sure you measure them appropriately and honestly as you proceed. Each tactic should be assigned a specific goal.

These tactics and others can really help you get the most of your 2013 digital marketing.

A Couple of Tips for Digital Marketers

Most brands and digital marketers seem to be using many of the same tactics to reach the same short and long term goals.

One thing is certain, everyone is looking for an edge in this crowded marketing paradise.

Here are wo tips that can really prove that the devil is in the details.

Keep it Short and to the Point

Many users and brands try to be overly eloquent. We have to realize most of our online fans and audiences want us to be succinct. They also tend to be fairly savvy for the most part, and don’t require as much information as we think.

Keep everything as short as possible, and trim the fat on every update and tweet whenever possible. This is doubly important for any video content.

When’s the last time you stopped reading or watching something because it was simply too long? I am a guilty culprit, that’s for sure.

Ask and Never Assume

Always tell your audience what you are up to, and what you want from them. This is the only way to really get what you want.

You might think it is redundant or pointless to say “click here” or “watch this” or “share”, but direct communication in the digital world can go a long, long way.

Think about it this way, the online world and the popular forums are filled with a lot of noise. You might assume it is inherently clear what you want, but it never is. Tell your audience what you want, and many more will happily oblige. Of course, this is a two-way street.

Check back here often for more tips on how to stand out in the vast world of social media. See what I did there?

Everyone’s Using Social Media, Now What?

social mediaIt wasn’t that long ago that brands using social media had a competitive advantage because many of their competitors were on the sidelines.

That has quickly changed as more brands embrace social media. As a result, the playing field has been levelled so it’s no longer enough to simply to be in the game.

So what does it take to rise above the crowd? How do brands separate themselves from the pack and all the noise created by brands battling for attention.

In my mind, it comes down to the five C’s:

1. Creativity. While updates, tweets and posts have become table stakes, the ability to be creative is more important than ever. It means doing things out of the box, pushing the envelope and taking risks. The classic example is Old Spice’s “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, which become a huge success by being different, innovative and entertaining.

2. Commitment. The brands that thrive using social media are ones that pound away day in, day out. They’re focused strategically and tactically, they have well-defined goals and objectives, and they have dedicated resources to make it happen. They keep going, engaging and moving forward, leveraging social media as an integral and engrained part of their marketing and sales efforts.

3. Community. The most successful brands see the creation and nurturing of a community as paramount. They are focused on bringing potential and existing customers into the fold, and keeping them there using a variety of approaches. Sometimes, it involves “carrots” such as prizes and contests; sometimes, it’s simply being involved and present such as offering great customer service.

4. Content. To me, content has always been king (probably due to my days as a newspaper reporter!). Brands that create compelling content (videos, blog posts, white papers, case studies, photos, etc.) on a continual basis have the best chances and opportunities to keep users coming back on a regular basis.

5. A culture of engagement. We talk a lot about engagement to the point where it has lost some of its lustre and impact. But the value of engagement can’t be under-estimated. Brands that really want to build community and a vibrant social media presence see engagement as a key ingredient. They’re involved with their users, maintain a constant and enthusiastic presence, and see their users as members of the community, not just potential or existing customers.

What do you think? How do brands rise above the crowd?

Tips on Developing Your Social Street Cred

As much as social media has been around for a few years, it is still, in many ways, a new and evolving frontier for for marketing, communications and advertising.

For individuals, brands or agencies looking to embrace and leverage social media, it is important to learn from those who have succeeded and failed.

Here are some time tested approaches and tips that everyone should explore and try to embrace. Keep in mind, none of them have to be treated as dogma, and you should see what works best for you.

Party Where the Party’s Happening

One of the biggest and most practical pieces of advice is party where the party is happening. In other words, participate on social media networks where your target audiences are talking, creating and consuming content.

It makes no sense to be on Facebook, for example, if you’re target audiences aren’t using Facebook. Rule: It is not the size of the social network that matters but where you need to play to engage and connect. This could mean focusing resources on niche social networks – and there lots of them out there.

Be Transparent, Generous

Second, be transparent, honest and generous. Many of the most successful brands using social media have connected with existing and potential customers by offering value through resources, tips, insight and information. Their goal is driving awareness, brand loyalty and a following as opposed to getting people to purchase products or services.

This is not to suggest sales aren’t important but social media isn’t about sales as much as it’s about nurturing relationships with customers.

Street Cred is Everything

Finally, everyone must remember that digital street cred is everything. Building a brand through social media means building trust on a day in, day out basis.

Social media a great vehicle to show people you want to serve their needs and interests, and that you will make a commitment to do that as part of how your brand operates online and off-line.

This advice may come across as straightforward but they’re key elements of having sustained success on social media.

Learning Boolean with Sysomos

 Do you know how to search using boolean searches? Do you even know why you would want to? Well, the reason you’d want to is because it will help you get much better results when you search. If you don’t know how to do a boolean search though, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In order to help our subscribers (and the general public) understand how we focus your searches to only pull in relevant information, we put together this great new video to help teach you.

Boolean is the use of the words AND, OR and NOT (as well as a few other things) within a search to really help you focus in on what’s actually important to you when you search. Boolean is a key player in how our Sysomos software, both MAP and Heartbeat, helps you to weed out the bad or unintended information you get when searching. OR helps you expand your search to include more information., AND helps to focus your search and NOT tells your search to stay away from certain information.

In order to help you understand these concepts better, we’ve put together this handy tutorial video that explains what a boolean search is and how to use it effectively. We used our Sysomos software for the purpose of this tutorial, but the lesson learned can be applied other places as well.

As an added bonus lesson for today, we wanted to show you how our Sysomos software helps sort all of this relevant information you just brought in using a boolean query. The following video shows how the use of queries and tags in our Heartbeat software bring in and make sense of information. Queries go out into the social world and bring the information back into our system. Using a boolean query (as we just learned how to do) will help to bring in the best quality information. Tags then help you to sort and make sense of all that information by placing it into the “buckets” that make the most sense for your purposes. Watch the video below to get a much better explaination.

A big thank you to the team at Think 33 for helping us to make these great videos.

So, are you feeling smarter yet?