Monthly Archives: February 2014

Reasons Your Content Isn’t Working

Hand holding a Social Media 3d SphereSo you think you’ve tried everything with your social media marketing plan but you still can’t get your pages to take off? Well worry not.

Plenty of people have found their social media falling flat in the last year, mostly due to the many changes that effected the social media landscape.

Facebook and Google changed the way their algorithms work, Instagram added video and Twitter… is still Twitter. You are should be thinking about “farming” customers instead of “hunting” them. Even if you are creative and thoughtful with your content, there are still reasons why your current strategy might not work.

1. You Aren’t Being a Problem Solver

In this day and age anyone with a question immediately goes to the internet (read Google) for an answer. Blogs are a great way to solve peoples problems before they even know they had them.  That’s why list blogs are so popular, because they often walk people through their problem with step by step solutions. Problem solving shows your audience that you know what they want, thusly more engagement always surrounds posts of this type. Establish yourself as the go to source for answers by putting answers out there while you wait for the questions.

2. You Don’t Use Images

We cannot stress this point enough, but IMAGES increase ENGAGEMENT substantially.  Audiences would much rather read an article that has more pictures than words because it communicates faster.  Hardly anyone has the time to read a 2000 word blog post, but people will check out a 500 word post that has 20 pictures as examples.  People want to be visually stimulated, not sucked into a word jungle, so with everything you post, make sure the pictures are good and present.

3. Your Community Doesn’t Care Social-Media-Listening-Image-two

Is the content you are producing for your community or is it what you think it wants? Knowing who your audience is and what they care about is the cornerstone to any marketing strategy. If you are giving your audience what they want, your content should be successful.  Use the analytics tools that most social networks have to learn more about your target demographic and which of your posts gets the most engagement.  This should allow you to understand where your audience is coming from and where to give them what they want.  Remember, not all content is good for every channel.  If your community is most active on certain networks, save your best content for that without neglecting the other platforms you use.

Social media management is a full time job because content creation is no joke.

However, the best content in the world goes no where without a good strategy to reach your audience and deliver what they want. Always listen to your feedback and don’t forget the pictures.  Good luck!

 

Social Media Myths Busted

MythbustingIt’s now 2014 and social media is easily one of the most talked about topics in the last decade. Thousands of people are now “experts” on the subject and will offer you conflicting reports on what you should and shouldn’t do on social media channels.  What isn’t talked about much are the myths associated with social media use and how you can bust them.  Here are the most talked about myths in social media and how you can break them.

1) Social media marketing has no ROI

With so many users online, how could social media not increase your ROI if you are using the channels effectively? Reaching as many customers and potential new ones as possible with relevant information that will interest your audience will definitely bring in ROI. Make sure you are putting your best content out there for the benefit of the customer, not to make them buy something.

2) The More you Join the Better

The wonderful thing about social media is the number of choices and options to use for platforms.  Your instinct is to join as many of the different networks as possible to increase your visibility, but unless you have a lot of free time to keep these channels active, it’s best to stick to a few that you really understand. Pick the channels that are best suited for your content and focus on making them great.

3) You need more posts to be successful

Number of posts does not automatically equal success. In all actuality, there is a fine line between posting too little and too much.  Stick to relevant, quality posts every so often without spamming your customers or it will negatively impact your page.

4) Monitoring your social pages is not important

We cannot stress this enough. It is VERY important to monitor the growth and status of all the social channels that you manage. How can you tell what content is successful without checking on your metrics at least once a week? You can’t, which is why monitoring your content is so vital to the growth of your pages.

cash_cowright15) Social Media is a cash cow

The point of having social media pages for your business is to connect your with people, not to make direct sales or fundraise.  This simple concept escapes many businesses because they want to see direct results from their efforts.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work this way because it goes against the first tenant of social media, which is to be SOCIAL.  You should see an increase in indirect sales and customer satisfaction with your product if you are managing your pages correctly, but direct sales from social media will be rare.

Social media can be scary and daunting, but don’t get caught up in misinformation on how to best manage your pages.

If you keep it simple, monitor your content and listen to your audience it should be a breeze.

 

What to Ask a Marketing Agency

shutterstock_104707244We know that managing your company’s social media pages can be a time consuming task.

There are many media management firms that will take over your pages for a price. If you are thinking about outsourcing your social media marketing to an outside agency, there are several things you should consider before turning your pages over.

Firstly, can the agency use their influence to gain more traction for your brand and reputation? Ask about their understanding of influence and how to use it for media marketing. Does the agency have any connections that overlap to your industry? Do they represent competitors?

Don’t write off an agency just because they represent your competitor, as they should be constantly monitoring any brand they represent, and therefore should be in tune with the most cutting edge marketing solutions.

Another thing you should know is that the best user-generated content is usually produced by professionals.  Agencies generally employ copywriters who’s sole job is to write copy, or content, for publishing on various channels, be it blogs, facebook posts or tweets.  This is one of the benefits of outsourcing your social media and should be considered.  For most small business’s, copywriting is not something with a dedicated job position, so the time and skill to write good content is often overlooked or done poorly.

The last thing you should ask is if the agency will focus on specific digital channels for your business or try to cover all of them.

The best marketing strategy is to hone in on what will work for your business and not try to spread yourself thin.

Not every business is visual enough to warrant having an Instagram account but may benefit from a Pinterest page instead. Focusing your best content on select channels will ensure your audience is getting the most out of it, so make sure the strategy fits your business.

Third party marketing agencies exist to professionally put out creative content related to your business. If this is something your business is considering, don’t be afraid to ask what they will do for you.  After all, that’s why you will be paying them, not the other way around.  Putting your reputation in the hands of an outside party can be daunting, but if you find the right agency, it could be a match made in heaven.

How to Respond to a Social Media Crisis

crisis_managementSOSDo you know what to do in the event of a social media crisis? How do you defend yourself and your brand online? We’ve covered how to prevent social media meltdowns before, but now we will cover what to do when it happens to you.

Remember that your brand reputation matters, online and off, so it’s important to know who your critics are and where they are coming from.

Are they an upset customer? How about a competitor? Or is it just a troll who is seeking attention but no real solution?

First and foremost you should act quickly.  Avoid sitting on your hands waiting for answers and do your best to respond quickly and appropriately to any concern or criticism.

Next, take charge of the situation and assure your fans that you are in control of the crisis.  You will put people at ease by not only addressing their concerns quickly, but letting them know you have a good grasp of the problem.

You should be prepared to handle the reality of the situation and deal with the facts.  If someone is critiquing your product or a customer experience they had, allow them to vent but also try to rectify the problem at hand by engaging with them.  Dealing with the crisis as it arises will show others that you aren’t just trying to let it blow over.

To avoid any misconceptions, use all of your company resources to communicate what has happened and how you are going to fix it.  Encourage dialogue before others have a chance to spread negativity like wildfire.  Again, engage with the critics and nay-sayers before they accuse you of ignoring the problems they have.

reputationLastly, you should make sure you deliver on what you promise to do.  If you are handling customer concerns, do what you need to do make them happy.  Allow people to come back and say that you handled the crisis well instead of poorly.

There are many large and small companies that have made mistakes on social media, so don’t beat yourself up when they happen.

Remember that mistakes are part of learning and the experiences that don’t break you make you stronger.  This is especially true of crisis situations.  Make these moments your time to really shine and handle anything that comes your way.  You will be happy that you did.