Executive Social Media Training Workshop: What Every Executive NEEDS to Know About Social Media

Executive-SM-Workshop

We recently ran a workshop for executives on social media marketing. Most of the executives in our training program were older and weren’t actively using social media. They are busy.

They know that their friends and family are using social media, but they don’t have a big interest in it personally.

They do, however, realize that social media is changing business.

They may not want to use it for themselves, but they need to understand how it impacts their business.

Here are some key insights for executives about how social media is changing business.

1) Everyone is on it.

While you may not use social media, your employees, suppliers, customers, investors, prospects, media, board of directors and every other stakeholder is probably using social media in some way. This means that you can’t afford to ignore it. It is here, it is real and it is big (and growing). Since it is so broadly used you need to understand the implications throughout your business.

2) Marketing should include social media (and it probably has a better ROI).

Almost all marketing plans now include some consideration of social media (or at least online marketing). If you aren’t taking advantage of social media as a marketing strategy you are missing out – over 90% of businesses use social media for marketing. Your marketing plans should definitely include social media – it is the #1 online activity of adults and it is one of the top things we do with our phones. Marketing is an eyeballs game, and the eyeballs are on social media.

3) Social media touches every aspect of your business.

Social media isn’t just about marketing strategies – it impacts all aspects of your business… it should be a part of your strategy for a few business areas including:

  • Customer service
  • Recruiting
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Research & Development

4) Data and targeting capabilities are HUGE.

Most executives are SHOCKED to discover the targeting advertising opportunities on social media. It will blow your mind. You can target more accurately on social than on any other medium. Check out the behavior and retargeting opportunities – these can be game changers for your business.

5) It isn’t going away and it isn’t a moving target.

There is still an impression that social media is constantly changing so investing in it may be a poor choice since the target is always moving. This just isn’t true. I’ve done social media since 2007 and the fundamentals are the same. Why? Because people don’t change. Social media doesn’t change as frequently or as quickly as people think. Set the right strategy and your plan will be future proofed.

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Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:

Facebook

Instagram

  • Rolls out 60 Second Videos Instagram rolls out 60 second videos (increasing the length from 15 seconds). This may create new opportunities for marketers to use Video on Instagram to share their story without worrying about the time limit.
  • Ad Overlay Makes Ads More RelevantInstagram ad overlay makes Instagram ads even more relevant with compelling calls to action.
  • Instagram Video Explore Channels Instagram created a video explore channel where you can search for and explore videos. This further demonstrates their focus on video as a strategy.

Twitter

Pinterest

  • Pinterest Launches How-To Pins How-To Pins could be a way to increase your exposure on Pinterest. The downside is that they are pulling the “How-To” details into Pinterest which may result in fewer clicks to your website. This is great for exposure of your business but may reduce traffic.

YouTube

  • Google Builds YouTube ConnectGoogle is competing with Periscope and Facebook Live with their new connect for YouTube. This brings livestreaming into YouTube and may make Google a major player in the live video space.

Snapchat

  • Chat 2.0 – SnapChat launches Chat 2.0 which allows people to connect with audio and live video. This makes SnapChat even more interactive while continuing to provide the privacy that users love.

Periscope

 

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It Isn’t Digital Marketing. It’s Marketing in a Digital World.

Marketing-in-a-Digital-World

People often talk about digital marketing as though it is a silo – different from the rest of marketing. They think in terms of channels when building a marketing plan – building the plan for television, print, radio and then of course digital.

The challenge is that we aren’t doing traditional marketing and digital marketing. We are marketing in a world that is digital.

People spend more time on their phone than watching television.

We look at our phone within 15 minutes of waking up.

We use devices to solve almost any problem, do research and find information.

The world we live in is digital and you are simply marketing in it.

What this means for marketers is that we need to first think of the problem we are trying to solve and then think about the tools that will best solve it. The tools should match how people are influenced and how they make decisions.

Social Media Tip 06242015Rather than thinking about marketing in channels and silos we should think about marketing as trying to solve problems and determine the most effective way to solve those problems.

Digital should be a part of every strategy upfront, because it is probably the largest medium influencing purchasing behavior. People don’t think in terms of channels. They don’t really think at all about your marketing – most of it happens subconsciously.

When you build your marketing strategy, don’t think in terms of digital marketing versus traditional marketing. Think about the problem you are trying to solve and the touch points that you can use to solve it. Consider where your audience spends their time and meet them there.

How to Improve Your Digital Marketing Skills in 2016

How-to-Improve-Your-DM-Skills

Business professionals and marketers need to keep their skills sharp, now more than ever. As digital marketing is constantly evolving, it is vital to continue to learn.

But how do you stay up to date on the changes? How do you keep your skills sharp?

It sometimes seems overwhelming to stay on top of digital marketing, but the reality is that it isn’t as difficult as you think.

With a small investment of your time and $$ you can keep your skills sharp. Make the time to invest in yourself. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing, that we forget the importance of learning and practicing. Prioritize investing in yourself and your skills or you’ll quickly find that your skills are stale and out-of-date.

Here are a few simple things that you can do to keep your skills sharp (and improve them) in 2016:

1) Attend a digital marketing conference.

Seriously. Attend a digital marketing conference. This is where you’ll learn from experts and expand your knowledge base. Conferences get you energized, allow you to network with other smart people and get the latest on industry trends, tools, strategies and approaches.

2) Read a few books.

Read a few good books about digital marketing topics that you want to learn more about. Books tend to go into more depth than blog posts and are usually based on facts, data and research vs. opinions. Since publishing times are long most books aren’t going to be good resources for breaking news or trending topics, but they are good for digging into an area that you want to improve your knowledge around.

3) Subscribe to some blogs.

Choose A FEW blogs and subscribe to the RSS feed. Make it a priority to read a few blog posts or trade publications at least every other day. This will keep you up to date on new content and give you quick posts on new topics.

4) Attend a training.

Formal training is great because it provides structure around learning something new. It is usually more comprehensive versus a conference or blog post, meaning that you’ll learn a topic from start to finish. Digital Marketing Training is a great way to continue to advance your skills. I teach a 4 Day Digital Marketing Boot Camp and I learn at least 10 new things every time I teach the course, plus I have a long list of things that I can improve upon.

5) Follow great social media accounts

If you are already using social media personally try following some professional content. I get my best news from social media and enjoy seeing a mix of personal and professional content in my streams. Follow a few accounts to get breaking news and inspiration in your social media news feeds.

Who Cares What the Next Big Thing is in Social Media?

Who-Cares-Blog

People often ask this question – “What is the next ‘big thing’ in social media?”

The question is usually asked by marketers or social media marketers who are hoping to gain insights that will allow them to beat their competition to the next big site. The idea is that by getting in early they’ll have an advantage over competitors.

Trying to choose the next big thing is a big waste of time.

Why?

You are Guessing

First, you don’t actually know that this next big thing will actually be worth your time. Remember Ello? Or brands on Vine? Or even Google+? Trying to determine the next big thing is a gamble and you may waste valuable time and resources trying to get in early.

Nobody is There Yet

You don’t need to beat your audience to a social network – you want to meet them there. If you get on a network too early, chances are that you won’t get any real ROI because your customers are not using it yet. Meet your customers, don’t beat them.

Your Biggest Opportunity is Optimization

This is my primary issue. Your biggest opportunity is optimization of your existing social networks. The largest social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. – are where your biggest and most obvious opportunities exist. If you have already nailed them, have optimized your content and are getting results then maybe move on to something new. For example, Pure Michigan is one of the top global tourism boards on social media and has a tremendous presence on the big sites. It makes sense for them to experiment with SnapChat and other tools.

Most of us will get bigger bang for our buck by optimizing what we are already doing.

Don’t get sucked in with shiny objects and jump on every new network. You’ll waste considerable time and resources. Focus on the big places where you can really play to win and get in front of your customers.

March Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:

Facebook

Facebook Ranks Live Videos Higher – Live videos are considered a separate type of content and may rank better in the newsfeed vs. regular videos.

Facebook Your Business Story – In keeping with the trend to focus on video, Facebook launches Your Business Story where you can quickly and easily create a video to showcase your business.

Updates to Page Messaging – Facebook wants to be the real-time communications channel between customers and businesses, and they’ve launched Page Messaging features to make Page Messaging even more robust. If you use messaging for business or are thinking about it check out these guidelines.

Facebook Test Email Subscriptions from Instant Articles – Facebook is testing allowing publishers to collect email subscriptions directly from Instant Articles. This may make Instant Articles even more appealing on Facebook.

Facebook Moments now Supports Videos – Over 400 M photos have been shared on Moments to date, and it now supports videos. While there are no implications for businesses, this helps solidify Facebook as the place for content sharing.

Facebook Improves Lead Ads – Lead ads allow you to generate leads (email addresses) directly from your Facebook Ads. This makes it easy to get information from people who want to hear from you. Their email (Facebook email) is already populated making it easy for them to connect with you.

Instagram

Instagram Launches a Timeline Algorithm – Similar to Facebook, Instagram will now use an algorithm in the timeline to change the order of content to show you what you are most likely to be interested in. Apparently average Instagrammers only see 70% of potential photos, so the new change will show them the content they are most interested in first. This means GOOD CONTENT MATTERS on Instagram and that you’ll need to drive engagements and interest to maintain your reach.

LinkedIn

Account Targeting Makes Ads More Relevant – Businesses can now target accounts by uploading a list. Once the list is uploaded the ads can be further segmented by job role, seniority, etc. This could make LinkedIn ad targeting much more valuable.

Twitter

Twitter Turns on Timeline Algorithm – There has been a lot of speculation around Twitter which has seemed to lose its place in the social media world lately. While there was speculation that Twitter would remove the 140 character limit, they have announced that they aren’t planning to do that. Instead they are changing the timeline to give you content based on “Tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline. We choose them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more. You can find instructions for how to turn off this behavior here.”

Pinterest

Promoted Pins open to Everyone on DIY Platform – Pinterest promoted pins (or ads) are now open to all businesses with a DIY platform – you can now start testing promoted pins for your business.

Meerkat

Abandons Live Video Streaming – Meerkat acknowledges that they can’t compete with Facebook Live and Periscope – especially since people don’t go live all that often there isn’t a need for a separate channel. They will stick around as a video streaming service to communicate with your friends.

Google+ Create

Google+ Launches Create – A way for power users on Google+ who create great collections to get more exposure. Google continues to launch features around Google+ but it remains to be seen if anything will stick and actually drive users.

Google Ads

Google will no longer show ads on the sidebar of search results – Google will no longer show sidebar ads on search results. This may mean that ad prices go up (since supply and demand dictate prices and supply is dropping) but it is too soon to know.

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Digital Marketing Reports: Stop Vomiting Numbers at Me!!!!

Digital-Marketing-Reports

I recently reviewed a social media marketing report that a social media agency sent to their brand. The report was beautiful. It had lots of colorful charts.There were lots of numbers and lots of information. It looked great!

After reviewing the report I asked a few questions:

  • Are the numbers good?
  • Do they indicate success or failure?
  • How do the numbers relate to our investment?
  • For the demographic data, has it changed?
  • What should we do based on the demographic information?
  • Are the demographics what we would expect?
  • What will we do differently because of this report?

None of these questions could be answered.

As social media and digital marketers we are so used to throwing numbers together that we forget to spend time figuring out what the numbers actually mean.

Answer the Big Questions:

Most brand managers and executives look at the reports but are left with more questions than answers. The biggest question is: Do the numbers show success or failure? Is this a good investment? Are we doing well?

Rather than vomiting data and charts, try providing less information and include more analysis. This means provide a detailed analysis of what the numbers mean and what we are learning.

An Analysis Framework to Help:

What – what does the data tell you?

So What – what does the information mean and what conclusions can you draw?

Now What – what should we continue to do and what should change?

Answer these three questions and you’ll provide actual insights vs. just data. This is how you’ll provide meaningful measurement and reporting. By answering questions, not vomiting information.

Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:

Facebook

Facebook Launches Private Message Replies – This is GREAT – Pages can now reply privately to people who leave a comment!!

Facebook Updates the Algorithm – AGAIN!!! – Facebook announced another change – they will be looking at quality with qualitative feedback to determine what you see in your news feed.

Facebook Ads Now Feature Automatic Captions  – Facebook continues to optimize video features for advertisers including automated captions and better analytics.

Facebook Live Video is Easier for Businesses to Manage – Facebook Live video has an update for the Pages app making it easier for Page Managers to use this feature.

Facebook Opens Instant Articles to All Bloggers –  Instant articles means your content will load faster on Faceb0ok – the downside is that viewers will view your content on Facebook – not on your site…

Facebook Canvas – This provides a robust mobile video ad platform for brands. If you are advertising on Facebook this can provide a much more meaningful experience. Also check out an example here.

Facebook Announces Reactions – Reactions allow you to do more than just like – Facebook reactions allow people to respond with a variety of emotions.

Instagram

Instagram Extends Video Ads to 60 Seconds – If you advertise on Instagram you can now create longer ads.

Account Switching – Instagram announced account switching for mobile – you can now switch between multiple accounts making it easier to manage multiple accounts.

Twitter

Twitter Reaches Users Who Aren’t Logged in – Twitter updated their home page for non logged in users to show content from Twitter – ideally this change shows them content that inspires them to join.

Twitter Allows for Curation – see the best Tweets first – Twitter now allows users to choose to see some content at the top of the news feed – making your most important content more accessible.

Twitter First View – Makes promoted Tweets easier to see (first in view in the newsfeed).

Twitter Launches Customer Service Tools – Twitter launched a variety of tools to make customer service easier including switching conversations to private (from public) and customer service feedback.

Twitter Lets You Share Videos Quickly in Direct Messages – This is an interesting feature making it easier for users to have robust private conversations.

Twitter Improves Embedded Timelines –  Making it easier for people to view content from Twitter on your website or anywhere else online.

Pinterest

Pinterest Increases Data on Recipe and Movie Pins – Making the experience on Pinterest more relevant. The downside is that this could mean fewer clicks since people can find what they want right on Pinterest.

Google+

Google+ Improves Web Preview – Yes, Google+ still exists and yes, they continue to improve it.

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Government Social Media Workshop: 6 Things to NEVER Do on Social Media as a Government Official or Agency

6 Things Gov Blog Post header

Does Social Media frighten your government organization? Actually, if you don’t have a solid social media policy and strategy, it actually should. The basic nature of social media is based on sharing and conversations, so negative comments or Social Media ‘mistakes’ could reach mass awareness before it can be addressed by your government organization if you don’t have a trained team, a solid strategy and a social media policy.

To avoid such a situation, here are 6 things to NEVER do on social media as a government official or agency:

  1. Rant and complain. Just don’t. Don’t create or join in negative conversations. Take the upper hand and find a positive way to encourage and support your community – and to represent your office/department. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want shared with your boss, the media or your mother!
  2. Be sarcastic. While it is fun to show your personality on social media, humor is subjective. Be careful when posting sarcasm or potentially ‘uncomfortable’ humor. Often this type of communication can be misunderstood and requires a lot of attention to resolve it if it is taken the wrong way.
  3. Give Social Media account access to the wrong people. Only allow access to your Social Media accounts to anyone with whom you have COMPLETE confidence in their representation of you/your organization online – at all times. Just because an intern is active in Social Media, he/she may not be mature/knowledgeable enough to respond on your behalf. Avoid any Admins who might possibly mistake their work social media account for their personal account or might potentially update in Social Media while drinking.
  4. Have only one person in charge of your Social Media. What happens if that person quits, becomes disgruntled, gets sick, or, God forbid, dies? Have multiple administrators for all of your Social Media accounts to make sure you maintain access as well as potential use as a back-up should the other administrator not be accessible.
  5. Remove comments. But, wait! What if they’re negative? (Right?!) People comment on Social Media because they want to be heard. Comments about your government official/agency may be your constituents’ attempt to communicate with or about you. You may not be able to resolve their complaint or situation, but you have the wonderful opportunity to show them that you care and that their feedback/situation is important to you. Often just responding with ‘Thank you for your feedback. We’ll …” shows them and others that you are interested in their opinion and receiving their feedback. The one exception for removing comments is any that may be offensive or threatening. These should be addressed offline.
  6. Try to be on every social network. It’s impossible and there is no way you can do every one of them well. Follow your Government Social Media Policy and Strategy to determine which social networks align with your audience/community as well as your social media strategy/goals. Claim your name in other social networks and post that you’re not active there but to sign up for your updates for the future.

The best way to get great results on Social Media as a government official/agency, is to have a solid Social Media strategy and a trained team who can implement it. 

Need help with your government Social Media plan? We can help. Contact Boot Camp Digital for help utilizing Social Media to support and grow your community online. We offer Social Media policy workshops and Social Media training for government employees, as well as organizations and companies.

January Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media and digital marketing from the last month. Let us do the work for you, we gather the updates, you reap the benefit of having all of them in one place!

We read all of the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

As a value add for our All Access Pass Members, we provide a monthly call where in 30 minutes we share the biggest changes in social media and importantly how they impact your social media strategy and 30 minutes of open Q&A where we answer questions from our members!

The top news in social media that we covered this month includes:

Facebook

  • Testing professional services feature – This service lets you find local businesses based on ratings and reviews. This could be interesting (IF people actually use it) and it would make local business Pages and reviews even more important. Facebook has tried to make business listing more relevant in the past with enhanced search, etc, but they have not been overly successful. We’ll keep our eyes on this and keep you updated.
  • Facebook videos are embeddable – Could Facebook be getting in on YouTubes turf? Maybe. Facebook launched an embed API which means that Facebook videos can now be embedded on other sites. This is another move in the direction of making Facebook more about videos.
  • Facebook LIVE gets bigger – Facebook live brings the streaming power of Periscope to Facebook. Verified Pages can now stream live — the streamed event shows up as a notification to fans and is recorded and added to the Timeline after streaming. This is a great way to increase visibility with your fans.
  • Facebook messenger adds fun new features – This is probably more relevant for personal users vs. businesses, but Messenger has new capabilities including private photo group messaging, fun animations and more. As Messenger becomes more relevant it will likely generate increased business opportunities over time. Also, Facebook announced that Messenger has over 800 Million Users… making messenger one of the biggest social networks.
  • Facebook Launches Audience Optimizer – This is mostly relevant for content producers, however it allows you to suggest who is likely to be interested in your content. This may be linked to rumors that Facebook will be launching additional newsfeeds to connect you to things you might be interested in.
  • Facebook Enhances Lead Ads – Facebook enhances their lead ads to provide additional information to drive sign ups. If you haven’t checked out lead ads yet take a look – initial studies show that they are a cost effective way to focus your Facebook advertising budget.

LinkedIn

Twitter

  • Celebrate New Years with a Secret Emoji – Twitter created a cool feature where if you used the #HappyNewYear a new year emoji would be unlocked and added to the Tweet. While this isn’t mind-blowing it could signal potential future opportunities – imagine if a brand could create/purchase special emojis that are unlocked when you use their hashtag….
  • Twitter launches conversational promoted Tweets – This is ONLY available with promoted Tweets, but you can now create conversations with Promoted Tweets. This makes Twitter ads even more interactive — if you actually create an ad that people want to interact with.
  • Is Twitter Lifting the Character Limit – There are rumors that Twitter is lifting the character limit – so instead of 140 characters you could have 10,000 characters. This has not been confirmed. In unrelated (or maybe related?) news a number of top executives recently left Twitter, suggesting changes at the social network.

Pinterest

  • Pinterest Buyable Pins show price drops – Pinterest is focusing on retail (they announced that Retail and CPG are their focus areas for ads) and Buyable Pins will now feature price drops, making them more relevant for shoppers.

Vine

  • Vine For You Channel – Vine has created a custom channel for each user populated with Vines they think you’ll love. As Vine continues to try to become the “go-to” place for video consumption this new feature could drive even more users.

Google+

  • Google+ Adds Features – You thought it was dead, didn’t you? Google is still looking to do SOMETHING with Google+ and make it a relevant community. Google+ added community categories in an attempt to drive user discussions on the platform.

Persiscope

Influencer Marketing and the FTC

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