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  • feedwordpress 07:34:31 on 2015/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , real time, , , Social Media Management, , ,   

    Google Now Showing Tweets 

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    This has been a long time coming. We knew it was on the horizon and now it’s finally here. Tweets are now appearing in Google search result again after being missing for a few years. When it was announced in February, we went to work integrating Twitter back into the search spectrum of content marketing strategies. Now that it’s here, the initial testing has been pretty strong.

    “When tapping on a tweet in Google search, you’ll be taken directly to Twitter where you can view the Tweet and discover additional content,” Jana Messerschmidt, vice president of global business development & platform at Twitter said in a blog post. “By deeply integrating Twitter’s real-time content into Google search, we hope you find it easier than ever to explore your interests across both Twitter and Google.”

    This will give the real-time power of Twitter that Google craves. The news section has been the best way to get real-time information for a while, but even then it’s not truly real-time and requires major publications to be the source of the news. With Twitter, Google will be able to follow trends and highlight sites that aren’t on the mainstream popularity lists. With the rise of citizen journalism and specialty blogs, this will be especially useful when events unfold and regular people find their way to report them before the media.

    From a marketing perspective, the jury is still out. We will have to see how standard searches react to Tweets that are pertinent, but again the initial testing has been very compelling. Will marketers start spamming Twitter at the same rate they did a couple of years ago or will the safeguards that Twitter has put into place supersede and eliminate “Tweeting for rankings” that used to fill Twitter when Google was first tied into their firehose. Time will tell.

  • feedwordpress 01:16:49 on 2015/05/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Social Media Management, , , ,   

    The Difference Between Theoretical Social Media and Practical Social Media 

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    This is the type of blog post that will get me into trouble with the wrong people. That’s absolutely fine by me. The people I want to reach are the people who need help for their business, not the people who make a business out of preaching social media.

    There are two types of social media “gurus” out there today. One is like the law professor – more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the law and its applications than most judges. In both the legal and social media marketing professions, the smartest usually end up teaching rather than doing. The other type is like the courtroom attorney. They aren’t immersed every day in legal papers or reading memos from the various courts. They aren’t sitting at coffee shops debate Roe v. Wade. They’re in their offices preparing arguments or in the courtroom making arguments.

    I’ve been asked why I don’t write a book on social media. Blogging over 2000 words per day means I could bust out a book in a month or two. There are two reasons that I don’t. First, social media changes too rapidly. By the time someone finishes reading my book, parts of it will be obsolete. The second reason is because I’m better in the courtroom. Trying to teach people about social media has never been my thing. I like making social media marketing happen rather than theorizing about social media.

    There’s nothing wrong with the law professor types. They make great money speaking at conferences, selling books, or driving traffic to their websites for ad revenues. It’s almost appealing, but there’s something about theory that I simply don’t like. To test a theory means you have to be doing it, not talking about it.

    The reason I’m writing this is to point out one major flaw that I see businesses and marketers make. Many of you spend so much time reading, watching videos, or following your favorite guru that you miss the opportunities to really learn out in the field. The best strategies that we employ for our clients didn’t come from a blog post by a guru. They came from watching what other businesses and marketers are doing and improving on their concepts.

    The best place to learn how to succeed on social media is by spending time on social media. Look at your competitors. Look at other industries. Look at what corporations are doing. Look at what tiny startups are doing. Ask yourself how it played for you when you saw this Facebook post or that Tweet. Did it work? Could it have worked better done another way? Could it work better for you?

  • feedwordpress 15:16:35 on 2015/04/01 Permalink
    Tags: , Mistakes, , , Social Media Management, ,   

    Social Media Mistakes: Are You Making Them? 

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    When digital media is the way of the world, an online reputation is almost as important as a first impression. As we perfect our social media profiles, we do so with the intention of gaining respect and attention. All too often, however, we make avoidable mistakes that are potentially damaging and find it difficult to rectify those mistakes.

    A good social media profile possesses certain items such as a straightforward image that could be used professionally or candidly. Due to the fact that cyber-vetting is a real threat, consider whether or not you’d like your future boss, clergy member, or even worse, your parents to see what you’re posting. Social media does not exist in a vacuum, and it spreads like wild fire.

    There are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to both professional and personal social media success.

    DO maintain an image you would be proud to represent in public. This means don’t post anything you wouldn’t publicly say or do. Posting pictures of yourself drinking copiously and heading to your child’s daycare the next day may have negative ramifications. Be prepared to deal with the fallback if you’re willing to represent a particular image.

    DON’T be a jerk. Nobody likes the opinionated person that simply chooses to spew vitriol or negativity on your own profile or on other people’s upbeat status updates. A friend of mine was asked to stop posting statuses about his faith in God simply because it made someone uncomfortable. Be careful what you’re saying to others, you never know what connections they may have that YOU may sometime need.

    DO be honest. Don’t pad your social media profiles to make you sound more impressive. If a prospective employer is checking your profiles, imagine the confusion you could be causing by fibbing to impress your friends. Honesty is always the best policy, even if it means that your profile isn’t all that special. In your pursuit of honesty, however, don’t the “filterless” person

    DON’T post inappropriate pictures and expect to garner respect. If you want to post pictures of a fun wine trail weekend with your girlfriends, that is fantastic and will most likely get a great deal of attention from your audience or friends. Posting a photo of you tipping back a bottle of wine, sans glass, may have a more negative connotation. Save those photos for a quiet night at home. The world doesn’t need to see that.

    DO be approachable. This is an important concept, especially in using social media for your business. People buy from people they have a connection with, so make the connection. Post a photo of the family dog, a candid selfie of your team, or a work luncheon. This allows you to come across as relatable, and people like being able to relate to someone with whom they’re doing business.

    DON’T use social media as your profanity outlet. Once again, this goes back to the whole issue of reputation management. Playing it fast and loose with the profanity in your social media posts may come back to bite you. Before posting, ask yourself a couple of questions; would you speak that way in public, would you want someone you hold dearly to hear you speaking that way or would you react negatively to the same type of post?

    DO educate yourself. What do you know about proper privacy settings? Do you know what options there are for your LinkedIn profile? How difficult is it to block a heckler on Twitter? Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to be better prepared for both personal and professional social media efforts. If someone is managing your social media, the possibility exists that they’ll know about these things, but personal knowledge is incredibly important as well.

    DON’T make all of your business public. If you’re having a difficult time in your relationship, no one else needs to know. There are some things that are best kept private. The influx of social media has increased the amount of information to which people have access, but that doesn’t mean we need to know EVERYTHING. Transparency is key, but too transparent can a bad thing. Constant changing of your relationship status can make you seem wishy-washy, and that sends a very bad message.

    If you’re making any of the above referenced mistakes, chances are you are unaware of the potentially damaging nature or negative effect that your social media may have on your future. While many prospective employers claim that they do not vet employees by checking their social profiles, a great many of them Google candidates. Pay attention to what’s being put out there by you and by your peers.

  • feedwordpress 12:56:17 on 2015/03/31 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Personalization, Reputation Management, , , Social Media Management, , ,   

    Better Social Media Marketing comes from Personalized Social Media Strategy 

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    If you think it’s the software, you’re mistaken. Social media marketing is unlike many other types of digital marketing because it is much less reliant on specialized software and more empowered by creativity and personalized strategy. I understand why agencies rely on software, but it’s not something that we would ever recommend.

    In our industry, the car business, we believe in learning what we can about a dealership and customizing their social media to fit their market, personality, brands, selling style, and community involvement. One does not simply pull out a generic set of deliverables and start checking off the boxes. True automotive social media strategy requires diving in and building a strategy around the dealership.

    Perhaps the most important factor in designing a strategy is to keep it fluid to adapt to changes in the local market. A perfect example popped up late last week. A dealership had been doing very well with their campaigns but saw a challenge from other brands popping up. They were selling a popular brand but the data was showing that less popular brands nationally were selling more cars in their area than they were.

    Social media has many purposes. Sometimes, it’s all about driving targeted traffic to the dealer’s website. That’s the core of what we do, but there are times when the need arises to pull a play out of the old social media playbook – excitement and buzz. While we believe that buzz is something that’s a side effect of a strong social media campaign rather than a focus, we knew that in this particular situation, we had to focus a bit on making people aware that they should consider this particular brand.

    Under normal situations, we find that “sizzle” happens in the standard course of building campaigns, but their situation required that we turn up the heat. We adjusted a couple of their campaigns and redirected some budget to get the word out that this particular brand was hot and needed to be at the top of mind.

    Personalization requires that you toss out preconceived ideas. That’s not to say that you don’t follow best practices, but they don’t always fit into a particular situation. For example, it’s a best practice to get the word out about reviews. Most review sites get very little traffic. They’re great for letting people know that it’s good to do business with you through the star-ratings present in Google, but most of the people who read through these review sites skip passed the 5-star reviews and search for the bad ones. They’re looking for dirt. Social media is ideal for getting the actual words of positive reviews out in front of people.

    This best practice works for many, but not all. Some are having reputation challenges and the last thing you want to do is to highlight your reputation if it’s bad. Just because something is a best practice doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone.

    Social media is a wonderful way to drive traffic and interact with the community. The way to maximize it is to rely on real solutions and strategies rather than software and bulk posting.

  • feedwordpress 14:19:44 on 2015/03/29 Permalink
    Tags: , social analytics, , Social Media Management, , social tools   

    Not All Social Media Platforms are Equal – How to Pick the Ones That Work for You 

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    Launching a new business? Or promoting an existing one? Either way, my guess is that social media figures pretty high on your priority list when it comes to marketing your brand.

    Over 70% of all online adults in the United States have a Facebook account. For the first time ever, 56% of senior citizens are on social media. That figure stands at 89% for young ’uns, or users from 18 to 29 years of age. The millennial generation, consisting of young adults born between 1980 to 2000 and accounting for nearly 30% of the US population, see social media as their primary means of connecting with brands. Over half of them claim that “social opinions” directly influence their purchase decisions.

    So we all agree that being on social media is unavoidable if you want to be relevant to today’s consumer.

    With the explosion of social media platforms, the question now arises, “which social media platforms will give me actual results?” And this, my friends, is the most sensible place to begin your social media journey.

    Research Your Options

    The first step to social media success lies in being active on the right platforms and engaging with your target audience in the form that they prefer best. But before you make a choice of which platform would work for your business, you need to first figure out what each platform has to offer you and then proceed by eliminating the least attractive ones.

    Before we analyze each platform’s pros and cons, let’s see where they all stand with respect to each other.

    The data above clearly shows Facebook as the leader in terms of number of users, followed by LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – in that order. This data also shows us how in a matter of a couple of years, Twitter has gone from being the third largest network to a lowly number five. At the same time, we see Facebook stagnating in its usage figures in the last year with a barely-there upward blip in 2013.

    Let’s arm ourselves with some more facts about the top five social networks before we decide which ones work best for our business.

    Facebook offers brands the widest possible reach – with 1.34 billion active users per month, Facebook is light-years ahead of competition. As a platform it is marginally more popular with women than men, it’s also more popular among Hispanics and Whites as compared to African Americans. A trend that has been accelerating in recent years is the exodus of teens from the site with 3 million teens dropping off in the last three years.

    The days of sailing along on Facebook only on organic content are history. The team over at Ogilvy Social discovered in early 2014 that organic reach via Facebook had dropped to just 6% for the average brand. For brands with larger followings (over 500,000 followers) this figure dropped by two-thirds to become just 2%.

    To make matters worse, Facebook has ensured that advertising on it is not cheap. Price per ad on Facebook increased by 247% in 2014 as compared to previous years.

    So in short, Facebook is a must-have for all social media marketers –B2B or B2C. However, to get tangible results Facebook demands some skilled handling to strike the right balance between paid and organic content.

    LinkedIn is the professional social network that is great for building the top of your funnel and following up on leads. Being a professional networking platform, the followers you attract on LinkedIn typically have vested interests in your business and tend to be easier to influence. From a demographic perspective, LinkedIn is home to more college graduates and high income individuals than any other. It’s also the only network where 30-64 year olds outnumber 18-29 year olds. LinkedIn offers active groups and communities devoted to specific business topics, thus offering businesses a very targeted audience to converse with. It has also vastly improved its publishing platform Pulse making content marketing a bigger focus than simply job hunts and P2P networking. The downside? LinkedIn offers the lowest daily engagement among its users with only 13% of its members logging in on a daily basis.

    LinkedIn works beautifully for B2B businesses and professional service providers. Content that works well on this platform includes industry news, facts and figures, long form articles, expert advice and so on. This is the platform to build your reputation as a respected brand, not one that specializes in cat memes.

    Pinterest’s astounding growth in the last few years continued in 2014 and it stands neck to neck with LinkedIn as the second favorite social network among Americans. Pinterest is credited with reimagining site design and for revolutionizing social media with overwhelmingly image driven content. It’s still disproportionately skewed towards a female audience; however, its male membership did see an 8% growth over 2013. Pinterest is often compared to an online shopping wish list, making it one of the forerunners in the area of social commerce. A whopping 70% of Pinterest users use it to get inspiration on what to buy. In comparison, just 40% of Facebook users feel tempted to spend by viewing posts on Facebook. With the introduction of Rich Pins, Pinterest has morphed from being a pretty catalogue of images to an actionable marketing platform that can lead to direct purchases.

    Pinterest is a must-do for online retailers, fashion and luxury brands, travel and hospitality companies, and nearly every business that focuses primarily on women buyers and has the ability to put a visual spin to their marketing.

    Instagram has been long known as a niche image sharing site that was populated by teeny boppers and (extremely) young adults. However, all of that changed in 2014, when Instagram overtook Twitter in terms of active users and now stands proud at the 300 million users mark. Instagram has a more international profile than Twitter, with 70% of its users outside the United States. Instagram doesn’t just offer brands a wider reach than Twitter, they also see engagement rates up to 50 times higher on their Instagram profiles than those on Twitter!

    Instagram is not just the world’s largest photo sharing site, it’s also a great place to build a “look” for your brand and create your own visual fingerprint.

    Twitter has a strong core following of tech savvy, news hungry opinion leaders, but in its attempt to become more and more like Facebook, it’s been losing some of its original sheen. The 140 character limit on Twitter enforces discipline on brands that like to ramble endlessly, while its new image heavy timelines offers some visual succor to readers and brands alike. Like LinkedIn, Twitter attracts a larger proportion of college educated users, but unlike LinkedIn, Twitterati tend to be young movers and shakers.

    Twitter is often seen as a social customer care hub, a platform where users tend to directly converse with brands instead of simply ‘sharing’ or ‘liking’ branded content like they do on the other social platforms. Twitter timelines tend to be extremely crowded and to make your presence felt among your followers’ timelines, Twitter demands a lot more bite-sized content than all the other social networks put together.

    Considerable Overlap in Social Network Membership

    As you may be aware already, social media platforms are not mutually exclusive in terms of their membership. According to the latest data from Pew Research, 52% of all social media users are active on two or more social networks. In the case of users who use just one social network, the network of choice remains Facebook for at least 79% of users.

    When you decide on your social media strategy, try and pick at least two sites instead of focusing on just one. Keep in mind the quirks of each site and then proceed to select your weapons of choice.

    The Deciding Factors

    The question remains, ‘What will work for me?’ Well, now that we know what the top five social networks have to offer a business, you need to take three simple steps to zero in on the final answer.

    1. Know Thy Audience

    Dig deep and figure out who your business targets. Do you speak to soccer moms or construction supervisors? Is it school teachers or CEOs that your brand addresses? Once you know your target demographic, match it to that of the most popular social networks to begin with and move ahead from there. Check for specific quirks like the soaring popularity of SnapChat among teenagers and young adults to help you along the way.

    2. Look at the Data

    Your audience may tell you what they think they like, but your data will tell you what they really do like. Once you choose a social media management platform, you’ll be able to analyze which networks your traffic originates from, and how valuable (in terms of ROI) it is for your business. For instance, Oktopost is a social media management tool aimed specifically at B2B marketers, whereas Hootsuite is mostly oriented towards B2C. And then there’s always the old workhorse Google Analytics.

    Digging deep into the numbers provided by these tools enables you to better manage your social media presence, learn about what type of content works well, and get real-time opportunities for conversions.

    Also check out which platforms your users share your content on. All of these signals will come together and offer you a complete social profile of your target audience – a much more accurate picture than what you can glean from asking your users directly or following third-party research data.

    3. What’s the Competition Up To?

    Finally, before you commit your time and energy to any one or more social network, take a quick peek at what the leaders in your industry are up to? Which platforms are they most active on? Where do they get most engagement out of? Tools like SocialMention or SimplyMeasured offer detailed intelligence on competitor tactics that will help you decide what works for your audience and what you ought to run a mile from.

    Happy socializing!

  • feedwordpress 11:15:50 on 2015/02/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Social Media Management, , ,   

    Social Media: All About ROI 

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    When it comes to business sensibility, we are often required to determine whether or not the juice is worth the squeeze concerning our expenses. If the hot new advertising campaign we’ve kicked off isn’t getting us any further attention, at what point do we pull the plug and consider it a loss? Is the new $200 coffee maker we purchased for the break room encouraging morale or wasting people’s time? Are our social media expenditures simply costing us money or are we actually seeing results?

    With any transaction of goods or services, ROI is most certainly expected. As a consumer driven society, we want to be sure we’re getting our money’s worth, especially in terms of successful business dealings. The worst threat to our sanity as human beings is to think we’re being taken across. So, when determining a sensible social media contract for outsourcing, can ROI be considered an attainable goal?

    This is a highly contested question in the world of social media, as concern swells around how important a presence can be. Allow me to answer that question quickly and without excessive words; very important. Social media is a way of adding a human element to your branding, and people like human. They like to see the faces of the businesses they frequent, they enjoy your fun fact or quirky anecdotes, and they like to know there’s a human on the other side of the website when they need help with something.

    There are many goals to focus on when it comes to social media. Improving your brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and ramping up your exposure are all fantastic examples of attainable goals. These goals are easily measurable with analytics and can therefore prove whether or not the effort of your social media company is working. ROI, however is trickier.

    The reason most social media company’s don’t list ROI as a client goal is this; it’s not easily measured from behind the desk. Whether or not your Facebook page is driving people to purchase from you, thus increasing your business, is knowledge that can only be attained by asking your customers what drove them to your location. This means relying on customers for honest answers and feedback.

    If social media outreach tactics allow you to gain new customers, then the ROI question is easily answered. During a targeted outreach campaign, if direct contact yields a new client or customer, then your social media efforts are indeed netting a positive in the new business column. At this point, ROI is a sure thing.

    Unfortunately, too often, these results go unmeasured and the questions go unasked, making ROI such a dicey dilemma for social media professionals. ROI remains one of the great unknown questions when acquiring a new client. There is no simple answer to the question as to whether or not social media can increase your bottom line or even match what you’re spending.

    In terms of whether or not social media is worth the money you’re spending for the services you retain, the short answer is yes. If the firm you’ve hired has their eye on the ball and is willing to be diligent and steadfast in portraying your business on social media platforms, the package is well worth the money. In contrast, if the company you’ve hired is bogged down with personnel changes and personal issues, then this question becomes, ultimately, more challenging. In any event, the risk is often worth the reward.

    For some social media professionals, ROI is an attainable goal, as it should be. In a customer service profession like social media management, commitment to the customer should be the number one concern. If the customer is willing to listen to advice and stick to a plan, ROI is absolutely something a social media professional should be able to provide. However, to ensure the maximum return on your investment, a long term plan is probably the best chance at success.

    Social media isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon. So, if you’re expecting an immediate return within weeks of starting up a fan page, social media may not be a successful endeavor. The goals a customer sets for their social media must be realistic, and it is the responsibility of the social media manager to assist in the setting of these goals.

    In making the decision to outsource social media, discuss the importance of ROI with your management professional. During this discussion, the manager should be able to let you know exactly how realistic your goals are. If your ROI is not something they are willing to consider, move on. ROI is entirely realistic, but it won’t be immediate. Before signing social media contracts, ensure that your goals and the social media company’s goals align; this is the number one concern for a cohesive relationship and will often guarantee a better result.

  • feedwordpress 08:24:07 on 2015/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , Dark Posts, , , Public Posts, , Social Media Management, , , , , Unpublished Posts   

    If a Social Media Company Doesn’t Offer Both Sides of the Posting Coin, Run Away 

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    It’s hard to pick a better Joker from the Batman movies. The original Jack Nicholson version was dark and funny and had the psychopathic flare that only Jack can bring to the table. Heath Ledger’s Joker brought critical acclaim and an Oscar win because of the raw grittiness in the way he threw himself into the role.

    We shouldn’t choose. We shouldn’t have to. Both performances can thrive on their own merits and be watched for generations to come.

    The same sort of toss-up applies to Facebook and Twitter posting, particularly when it comes to advertising for business. Everyone knows about the public posting component. These are the posts that appear on the Facebook pages or Twitter profiles of the business and fill the news feeds and timelines of the business’ followers. The unpublished side, known to some as “dark posts”, are usually not known by the business community and often ignored by marketing companies.

    If a social media company isn’t taking advantage of both of them, you should run away and pretend like they don’t exist. Both are extremely important to the success of a business’ social media presence. If anything, the dark posts are even more important than the public posts. Let’s define them, then go into why they’re both so important.

    Public Posts

    Not much to say here since you all already know what they are. If you post to your “wall” on Facebook or to your Twitter profile, you’re posting publicly. These posts appear whenever anyone visits your page or profile. They also appear on the Facebook news feeds and Twitter timelines of those who are following you (though your actual reach with advertising on either platform is normally pretty abysmal, even embarrassing).

    Dark Posts

    These are the unpublished posts on Facebook and Twitter. They’re the ads that don’t appear on your page or profile, but fill the news feeds and timelines of the audiences you select. They aren’t bound by time – they run until you replace them or tell them to stop.

    Dark posts are avoided by many companies for three reasons:

    1. They aren’t automated. You can’t schedule them with Buffer or Hootsuite, for example, and an API feed doesn’t work. This makes them non-scalable, which means that only nimble companies like the automotive social media folks, our friends at Dealer Authority, have the ability to manage them for their clients.
    2. They aren’t popular. For whatever reason, both Facebook and Twitter have done terrible jobs at letting businesses know the power of dark posts. This is good for those who are taking advantage of them because the competition in most industries is minimal. Of course, that also means social media companies can get away with not selling them because few businesses are asking about them.
    3. They aren’t profitable… for the social media company. Unlike Google PPC where even small businesses can have monthly budgets in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, social media dark post advertising is usually in the hundreds or thousands per month. Those charging a percentage can’t make much money and those charging a flat often have to overcharge to make them worthwhile.

    The thing is that these types of posts have the strongest ROI, higher than with public posts. For this reason, social media companies must offer them if their goal is to truly help their clients.

    Why You Need Both

    By themselves, neither is exceptionally effective. Sure, you can get incredible branding and exposure through a public posting strategy with a small advertising budget and you can get great traffic to your website through a dark posting campaign with a slightly higher budget, but it’s in the combination of both types of posting that a proper strategy can be delivered.

    Get the buzz with public posts. Get the traffic with dark posts. It’s not a hard concept to understand, but it’s strangely a hard service (for some) to deliver.

  • feedwordpress 09:28:30 on 2015/01/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , small business, , Social Media Management, , , , , , While You Were Away   

    ‘While You Were Away’ Will Make Twitter More Important for Business 

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    Twitter was tiny. Then it was huge. Then it was irrelevant. Now, it’s on the verge of landing somewhere in between “huge” and “irrelevant” with the rollout of their “While you were away” feature.

    Businesses have had a love/hate relationship with Twitter since its birth. It can be a tremendous communication tool, of course. That hasn’t changed. However, it seemed to only be of true benefit for big companies. Local businesses outside of real-time floaters like food trucks or music bands had a hard time generating a true return on investment.

    The problem has been that for a local business to have any chance of getting noticed on Twitter and generating proactive benefit, a lot of time was necessary. Unfortunately, the return did not always justify the time spent. What’s worse is that it became painful for some who were finding that the positive things they tried to do went nowhere while anything negative about them that went out on Twitter seemed to go viral.

    Bad news flourished. Good news got buried.

    That’s in the process of changing. “While you were away” will bring real ROI for local businesses.

    Start Paying Attention to Twitter Now

    Twitter While You Were Away

    One of the most appealing aspects of Facebook is its extremely intuitive algorithm. Most people take for granted the amazing complexity and uncanny accuracy of the algorithm that powers the news feed.

    On the other hand, Twitter has always maintained strength in real-time exploits. See what’s happening now… and now… and now again. This meant that local businesses would have to Tweet several times a day in order to get any traction, plus engage in conversations, plus monitor for mentions, plus several other little annoying activities that made it more cost- and ROI-effective to simply maintain a basic presence and monitor briefly every day.

    The new feature means that quality could trump quantity, or rather add to it. On Facebook, it’s better to post less and make it meaningful. Posting too much can hurt. With the new Twitter, it will likely make sense to focus on quality first but with the understanding that quantity will still help. In essence, “While you were away” means that you want to do whatever you can to generate some sort of interactions on some of your Tweets. If you do, your Tweets from minutes, hours, or even days ago have an opportunity to be seen by your audience in ways that were impossible in the chronological-only world of old Twitter.

    Quality is new Twitter’s best friend.

    Here are a few anticipatory best practices. We can’t be definitive at this point because the feature is still limited, but we can anticipate some things that you’ll want to do to bump up your Twitter quality.

    • Include images whenever appropriate. By keeping them the proper size (2-to-1 ratio) and compelling, you’ll get more attention while it’s live, giving it more potential engagement and increasing its chances of being seen by people when they log into Twitter next time.
    • Post often but spread it out so as to not get unfollowed. Every guru has an opinion about frequency. I like to keep at least an hour between standard Tweets (not including @replies).
    • Do not ask for retweets. Here’s the thing. It works. Unfortunately. Then again, panhandling at the subway station can work as well, but it’s not something that you want to do for a living. Rely on your content. They’ll retweet it if they love it.
    • Retweet and favorite others’ posts aggressively. I’m a little worried about using the word “aggressively” in this best practice because it can definitely be taken too far, but helping others will encourage them to help you. Don’t do it randomly, though. Whatever you retweet will appear on your Twitter profile. Be selective and only retweet the best content from good sources. That doesn’t necessarily mean big sources. A Ford dealer will probably notice if you retweet them. Ford corporate most likely will not.
    • Use hashtags, but don’t overdo it. Reading these, one would think that it’s written by Goldilocks. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right. That’s really what you want to do with Twitter – find the sweet spot for all activities.

    I hate to admit it, but I lost love for Twitter over the last couple of years. The love is getting renewed. Twitter is going to be effective for small businesses once again if they do it right.

  • feedwordpress 06:50:36 on 2015/01/04 Permalink
    Tags: , engagement, , , , , , reach, Social Advertising, , Social Media Management, , , ,   

    Getting More People to Like Your Facebook Page is 99% Worthless 

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    Someday, I will have the opportunity to prove to a client or prospect beyond any reasonable doubt that this is true. In the meantime, I will continue to write about it in hopes that the facts will win out.

    To prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, I would have to take a page that has zero fans and send massive engagement and traffic with a small budget. Then, we’d need to look at the statistics to show that a page that starts off with zero likes can have more than just paid reach. It can have more organic reach than pages that have tons of likes.

    We do have examples, not to the extreme of having zero fans, but by demonstrating that through strong content and proper use of advertising we can get strong organic reach. Here’s a quick one that’s pretty clear:

    Facebopok Page Likes

    As you can see, this page has 2,458 people liking it. However, you’ll see that the small budget, in this case around $15, was able to get it good paid exposure. More importantly, it generated more organic reach than the number of people who like the page.

    Now, let’s look at a different page. It has nearly 8 times as many likes, but the reach is minimal.

    Facebook Page Likes are Worthless

    The gap is crystal clear. Facebook has been pulling back on organic reach for some time. While many will say that it’s all about greed and the bottom line to force pages to use money to get exposure, it’s more likely about what the users want. When they see page posts on their news feeds, they are much less likely to engage with those posts than the posts of their friends and family. Still, they’re a business, so the reduction of organic reach and the rise of sponsoring posts is the end result.

    You’ll notice that I said that page likes are 99% worthless. There’s one minor benefit. Some would call it credibility. Others would call it ego. Either way, having a page that people are liking gives a psychological boost to the page to let people demonstrate how popular their page really is. While likes are infinitesimal in importance compared to reach, it’s still a benefit.

    Focus on content. Put a budget behind it. Give your page real reach rather than the artificial benefits associated with page popularity.

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