August Social Media Round Up

Social media news monthly round up

Don’t have time to follow all of the most important social media news? Who does? Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media from the last month.

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.

Facebook

  • New private communications options – Replying to comments with a private message is the biggest advantage here – this will allow Page managers to take customer service offline more efficiently. Also, your responsiveness will be showcased on your Page, so responsive businesses can be easily identified (and if you aren’t responsive your fans will know). This release also includes “saved responses” so brands can save and quickly send template responses for common questions.
  • Facebook launches live video streaming for public figures – Jealous of the attention Meerkat and Periscope were getting, Facebook launched their own live video streaming app. It is only available to public figures, but it will be interesting to see this platform develop.
  • Business messenger – Facebook Business Messenger now allows businesses to create personal connections with customers through messenger. There could be a lot of interesting potential with this.

Instagram

  • Opens API for advertisers – don’t get too excited this is only for advertisers- you still can’t fully post or manage Instagram from a computer, but it is a set in the right direction.
  • Hootsuite Integrates with Instagram (sort of) – Many features of Instagram are now available in Hootsuite, which means that many aspects of Instagram can be managed through Hoostuite. The biggest limitation is that photos scheduled don’t auto post to Instagram – you get a notification through the mobile app and have to manually post.

Twitter

Google+

  • Google+ gets separated out – Google will be separating out Google+ and maintaining it as a place where people can connect around shared interests. You won’t need to use Google+ to sign in on other Google services.
  • Google Alphabet Reorganization – Google is reorganizing – now their core products will remain under Google and their new products will go under something called “alphabet” – this should help them streamline.

LinkedIn

Buffer for Video

  • Buffer announced Buffer for Video – You can now streamline your video posts with Buffer for video. We know that video is making a HUGE push this year, and Buffer may be a great way to manage your video scheduling.

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Quick and Easy Social Media & Entrepreneur Tips!

 BCD 08182015We know that Social Media Marketers & Entrepreneurs are BUSY. So, we bring you quick and easy social media & entrepreneur tips to keep you motivated and up-to-date!

  • If you are deeply engaged in your business, social media should be easy. Enjoy your craft & it will lead to your success!
  • There is no magic to achieving social media excellence. To be successful, you need a plan, not magic.
  • When it comes to marketing channels, there’s a clear trend: Marketers focus first on results and performance-driven tools, and then focus on brand building tools.
  • There are 3 stages you should go through to get started in social media: Education, Building, and Maintaining.
  • Keep your skills sharp and up to date: Attend 1 conference a year, read 1 book a month, participate in 1 networking event a month, read 3 blogs per day!
  • Be realistic when developing your plan for digital marketing: how much time and effort is realistic for you?
  • Creating an amazing, customized proposal will keep the clients coming in! Do this by: making it a stand-alone document, spending time creating a good template, always be selling yourself!
  • When you want to be successful, you need to make a consistent effort. Effort here and there will never be as profitable as consistency.
  • Discipline and consistency are vital to success, staying focused is imperative.
  • The first step to building a strong personal brand is to start with where your brand is now! Do an online search of yourself!
  • 3 dimensions to consider to differentiate yourself from the rest: Your personality, Your Skills, Your in-person attributes.
  • The key to success is to not only find your passion but also show your passion.
  • Excellent entrepreneurs possess a desire to always be improving!
  • When you’re consistent, disciplined and dedicated, success will follow. There are no shortcuts to success!
  • The last 10% of anything you do matters the most. Are you pushing through until the end or quitting at the most important part?
  • Entrepreneurs should take time to appreciate how far you’ve come and celebrate your success!

7 Types of Videos to Add into Your Video Marketing Strategy

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From Cat Videos to Unboxing Videos, Cute Kids to TED Talks, VIDEO IS HOT! YouTube alone has over 4 billion videos uploaded every day (not counting videos uploaded directly to Facebook). 4 billion videos uploaded … EVERY DAY!!

Your videos have A LOT of competition!

Or, maybe they just have A LOT of opportunity to engage your customers, clients, buyers!

Video marketing is NOT right now and we’ve been researching how businesses can better take advantage of this powerful medium, so I wanted to share a sneak peak at some of the content that we’re including in our latest training.

Video is extraordinarily important as a part of a digital marketing strategy, yet many businesses aren’t sure where to start. Here are 10 different types of videos that could be a part of your video marketing strategy.

  1. Explainer Video on Your Home Page – An explainer video is what it sounds like; it is a video that explains what you do. Explainer videos are popping up on all types of websites, from lawyer websites to startups to accountants. An explainer video is typically animated and it simply and clearly explains your value proposition.
  2. Welcome Videos on Your Home Page – An explainer video focuses on what you do and explaining your value proposition, some professions simply require a welcome video that acquaints customers with their business. For example a Dentist may create a welcome video on their homepage that makes them approachable and answers any questions.
  3. How-To Videos – Showing people how to do something via video is a simple and easy way to provide value. As you think about your business and industry, what can you teach people how to do?
  4. Q&A Video – Do you have commonly asked questions? Why not answer them via video – it can be faster and easier than writing a blog post, and helps your audience to get to know you.
  5. Product Demo Video – if you have a great product, why not show it off with a short demo video. Many companies have reported dramatic increases in their sales when they add a product demo video to the mix. (Again – even videos of just taking your product out of the packaging – Unboxing videos – are getting massive views!)
  6. Testimonial Videos – Testimonials are VERY powerful tools to show your prospects that they will have a great experience with you and to overcome and objections or concerns that they may have. Consider recording video testimonials for your website.
  7. Meet the Staff Videos – Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, people want to know what to expect when they walk through the doors. Show them with a video that lets them know exactly who they will be working with.

 

Digital Marketing Tips in Under a Minute

Digital Marketing Tips in a Minute

In under a minute get quick and easy digital marketing tips to take your digital marketing to the next level.

  • Objectives May Change, Be Flexible. Launch with a plan, but be flexible so you can adapt & adjust once you start.
  • Listen to Conversations! What are people saying about your brand/company, your competitors, your industry. Use this information to find out what they want from you!
  • Mix it Up! Don’t post the same pictures over and over, mix it up! 
  • Use Automation to Help Social Networks Connect With One AnotherUse the tools out there to promote consistency across your social networks.
  • Don’t Just Post Pictures, Make Them Fun! Make them interactive with your audience; mix in some trivia, fill in the blanks, caption contests…
  • A Small Voice Can Make a Huge Difference! How are you using your online voice to make a difference? What do you offer your audience?
  • Can Your Non-Image Content be Recreated into an Image? Research shows that 60% of consumers are more willing to consider local search results with images.
  • Is your LinkedIn profile picture professional? Recruiters on LinkedIn spend more time examining a user’s picture than the person’s qualifications
  • Visual social marketing allows businesses to create deeper connections with customers. How are you connecting?
  • Interesting Content is a MUST! When you create content to engage w/ your audience, ask yourself what is your audience really interested in?
  • Social Media Isn’t About Sharing Everything! You don’t have to share EVERYTHING, social media is about sharing the most interesting information.
  • What are Your Constraints? Before finalizing your content plan, address any constraints that can affect your level of achievement (time, cost…).
  • Drive engagement which has the benefit of increasing brand affinity.

* VISUALS are Vital! Get our FREE Checklist for Visual Social Media Marketing!

Amazon GiveAways Case Study Example – A Spammy Waste of Time

Amazon recently launched Giveaways (or I recently discovered them) where you can easily run a giveaway/sweepstakes on Amazon. It is extremely easy to set one up, but they clearly didn’t think through the wonderful world of internet spam — don’t waste your time until they have some controls in place.

How Amazon Giveaways Work

It is extremely easy (although has limited functionality) – you choose a prize and the number of prizes and frequency you want to give out the prizes at (for example 3 prizes for every 1,000 people).

You can require people to follow you on Twitter to enter (YAY!) so presumably this would be a cool tool to grow your Twitter following.

Amazon Giveaway Entry Form

 

Next you customize a few settings (name, etc.) and your giveaway is ready to go. The setup is SOOOOO easy. You don’t have a lot of flexibility but you can set it up in 5 minutes or less.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 11.01.13 AM

The Results

My contest was approved, so I promoted it through our Twitter account and on Facebook. I thought this would be a great way to connect with our customers and test a new digital marketing tool.

For the first two hours I got about 25 entries (I had planned to give away one prize for every 400 entries). All of a sudden, the contest generated HUNDREDS OF ENTRIES in under an hour. The prizes were gone and the contest is closed before my promoted post on Facebook was even approved!

Since I required that users had to follow us to enter (which seemed like a great way to get our Facebook followers to connect on Twitter) we ended up getting followed by HUNDREDS of fake spam accounts in under an hour.

This is a sampling of our new followers:

 

 

Amazon Giveaway Example

You can see the HUGE spike in followers when some bot online must have picked up our contest – we got almost a thousand spam followers in minutes.

Bottom Line: Before our customers and fans even became aware of the contest it was overwhelmed with entries from fake Twitter accounts & bots.

With the technology that Amazon has, you’d think they would be able to see that thousands of entries in under an hour isn’t organic for a business trying to promote a giveaway.

Now our Twitter account is FULL OF SPAM FOLLOWERS!!!!!!!

Overall Amazon Giveaways are a good idea but a TERRIBLE execution. I can’t believe that Amazon hasn’t put some controls in place to prevent this.

The way they currently work they are a waste of time and will overwhelm your account with spam followers and lower the quality of your Twitter account.

 

5 Steps to Launching Your Social Networks

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Many people who are just getting started on social media want to start with creating the account and posting. Why not? That is the fun part. The reality is that you aren’t likely to be successful if you just jump in.

To launch an effective social media account you’ll want to take some time to do it properly. Many businesses don’t get results from social media because they haven’t approached it strategically.

The conversation is “We should be on Facebook. Who here is good at Facebook? Hey you – young marketing person. Get us on Facebook!” An account is created and content is posted.

Time Passes

“I don’t think social media works. We aren’t really getting results.”

The problem is that the approach wasn’t strategic to begin with. If you want to be successful with social media, follow these steps.

 

1) Education and Landscape Assessment

Before you launch that Facebook Page or Twitter account, spend some time educating yourself and learning about social media. Assess the landscape to determine what the real opportunity is and how others are using it.

  • Take some webinars or sign up for a formal social media training program to get a solid understanding of how the tool works and best practices.
  • Check out what your competitors are doing – what works and doesn’t work.
  • Find your audience online – what are they up to? What do they like? What do they talk about?
  • Learn best practices, tips and tricks to optimize your implementation.

2) Strategy

Don’t just do it. Create a strategy. Strategy is the most important thing to your success. What do you want to achieve and who is your audience. This should guide your implementation.

Create a solid social media strategy and build a clear social media plan.

Steps to Building a Social Media Plan

3) Building

Next, build your social media channels. When you get started you’ll need to create your account and build your audience.

Building naturally takes more time than maintenance because you are getting started. You need to build audience and promote your account plus create content.

  • Create social media assets
  • Launch assets
  • Promote assets
  • Start posting relevant content using best practices
  • Build audience

4) Maintain

 

Maintaining is about content optimization and community management. Post content regularly and participate and engage with your followers.

5) Analyze and Optimize

Once you’ve launched and are posting you aren’t finished (you never really are). Social networks change and you need to constantly improve and stay on top of what works.

Analyze your performance and optimize your execution. Continue to improve.

July Social Media Round Up – Facebook Doubles Down on Video, Instagram Search Improves, Meerkat Gets Cooler and More…

Social media news monthly round up

Don’t have time to follow all of the most important social media news? Who does? Check out our round-up of the biggest changes in social media from the last month.

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.

Facebook

Twitter

  • Twitter Removes Background Images – This isn’t a major change, but Twitter has removed background images that could previously be customized when viewing the site. Now you’ll just see a light grey background, which IMO reduces the clutter.
  • Twitter Makes Account Management Easier with Data Dashboard – It is now easier and more transparent to control your account.
  • Twitter Summary Cards Have More Detail – If you get traffic to your site from Twitter you should be using Twitter cards – which are now even more in-depth. Twitter cards show more of your content directly in the Twitter stream – check out the new features.
  • Twitter Launches Safety Center – This makes it easier for people to understand how to protect themselves and report inappropriate behavior on Twitter. If you engage in spammy tactics or other offensive behavior you may find more people are reporting you.
  • Twitter Launches Mobile Ad Manager – You can now manage Twitter ads on the go 😉

Instagram

  • New Search and Explore – Instagram makes discovering the best photos easier with new search and explore. Make sure that you accurately tag your photos and consider adding locations to your images to maximize your visibility.
  • Instagram Launches Desktop Search – Instagram announced that the search feature is now available on Desktops 😉 You can search users and hashtags from a computer now. YAY!

Pinterest

  • Rolling Out Buyable Pins – Pinterest is rolling out buyable pins with select partners (if you have a Shopify store you can get them). Integrating commerce may increase sales and this is a trend we are seeing across social networks.

SlideShare

  • SlideShare Announces New Lead Generation Tools – If you are in B-to-B, slideshare can be a great way to acquire new leads. Check out SlideShare’s newest lead generation tools if you want to advertise on SlideShare to drive leads.

Google+

  • Google+ Begins to Dismantle – Google announced a while ago that it would start removing Google+ integrations from their other services (like YouTube, App Stores, etc). It has finally taken the first step by removing the Google+ account integration from YouTube!

YouTube

  • YouTube 360 Degree Ads – If you want to explore the future of Video Ads, check out the new YouTube video format. Their new 360 Degree video ads turn video into an interactive experience where users can click to view more. Definitely worth a look.

Vine

  • If you haven’t paid attention to Vine yet, you probably didn’t notice that they recently repositioned themselves. Rather than a platform focused on sharing videos, they view themselves more as a media platform where people consume videos.
  • Vine Announced Recommended People to Follow – Which lets you discover accounts that are interesting to you.

SnapChat

YikYak

  • First, if you don’t know YikYak it is a mobile micro-messaging app where you can see messages from people nearby. It is growing in popularity with teens
  • YikYak added photos – This makes the platform even more robust and interesting.

Meerkat

Periscope

Google

 

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Information with out Analysis is Pointless: Digital Marketing Analytics

Digital Marketing Information Analysis

I recently started using a FitBit, which gives me all sorts of information about my body. My fitbit gives me sleep information – it tells me how often I sleep, restlessness and how often I’m awake. The sleep information is really interesting – apparently I’m very restless and sometimes wake up a lot at night. I kind of already knew this.

FitBit Sleep Tracking

Here is the problem with this information.

What do I do with it?

So I don’t sleep well. What do I do with that information?

Is it good? Is it bad? What causes it?

I know none of these things.

I do nothing. I look at it. I find it interesting. I do nothing.

This got me thinking about digital marketing analytics.

I’ve worked with countless companies who struggle with measurement and analytics. The reason they struggle is that they print out reports, they look at them, they find them interesting…. but they don’t really know how to interpret the results or act on them.

For example when you show a CEO that you grew Facebook fans by 5% one month, what is that actually telling them? Is it good or bad? How did we achieve the growth and can we replicate it?

The problem with digital marketing reporting is that many people pull reports and overwhelm themselves, their clients and their bosses with data without providing any analysis or insight.

When it comes to digital marketing analytics and reporting, it is important to provide analysis and insights to bring meaning to the information.

The next time you create a report, ask yourself:

  • What does the information mean?
  • What is it telling you?
  • What caused the results?
  • Are they good or bad?
  • What conclusions can you draw from the information?
  • How does it inform your strategy?
  • What action can you take?

Do You Work in Marketing? Why You Should Get Smart on Social Media.

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Social media isn’t going away, and it doesn’t work like other channels. You can’t simply hire agencies and rely on social media executional excellence. Smart marketers are enhancing their skills with education and training in social media to increase their effectiveness and marketability.

Here are 4 reasons why all marketers need to better understand social media:

1) More and More Marketing Dollars will Go To Social Media

Social media is continuing to dominate time and attention. More people check Facebook each day than listen to the radio or read a newspaper. 20% of online time is spent on social media, not to mention that social also dominates mobile time. The point is that as time shifts to social media, so do marketing dollars. This means that you can’t afford to ignore it. Social is big and here to stay. Get used to it.

 

2) You need to understand it to do your job.

Whether you work for a big brand, an agency or a small business you can’t afford not to understand social media. A basic understanding of social media is required for you to effectively do your job. Knowing how things like SEO (search engine optimization), visual content, paid search, paid social and more work individually and together is important to making smart choices. You’ll get pitched more and more ideas from your agency, startups and other vendors and really understanding how social media works (even if you don’t want to use it) is vital to making smart choices.

 

3) It is more complex than the marketing channels you are used to.

Social media is more complicated than traditional channels, which means you need to really consider what you want to do and why. Traditional advertising is centuries old, and we have well-established approaches, best practices and metrics for these channels. They are also relatively stagnant.
Social media on the other hand is new and constantly changing and evolving. New opportunities emerge regularly, and you need to at least understand them to be effective. You don’t have to be a pro, but you do have to have a solid understanding of what things work, why they are effective and how brands can play.

 

4) It should be integrated upfront with EVERYTHING you do

Consumers don’t have a single-channel relationship with your business. They interact seamlessly through digital and traditional channels. Social should be connecting experiences with your product, in your store, with your sales team or at events. It isn’t a stand-alone or independent idea, and simply posting about a traditional or real-world event isn’t integration. Integration means creating experiences that connect across the mediums that your audience participates in is vital. Disconnected teams don’t work anymore.

Fast and Easy DIY Digital Marketing Tips

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We know that Social Media Marketers are BUSY. So, here is our speedy solution to help you stay aware of some Fast and Easy DIY Digital Marketing Tips. Actually, here’s over 10 digital marketing tips in under 1 minute …. Here goes:

  • Marketing channels should not be silos. Cross-share content across social networks.
  • Get your audience involved by asking for user-generated images and captions. *
  • Use fun facts to engage with people in a way that is highly sharable.
  • Drive traffic to your blog with relevant images. If a great post doesn’t have an interesting image, it’s less likely to be clicked on. *
  • Find brand influencers. Follow influencers who are already talking about your brand and build relationships with them.
  • Like other users’ photos to get noticed. Most brands have to work for their audience by participating and interacting online.
  • Build a promotion map. Your promotion plan should include PAID sources, EARNED sources, and OWNED sources.
  • Repurpose your infographics. A great infographic can be turned into at least 3 different blog posts! *
  • Google has expanded mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal! Be prepared! Optimize your site for multiple devices.
  • Is your content getting the most bang for the buck? Once the initial buzz of your content has worn off, promote it again to get the most out of it!
  • Instagram adds new filters and emoji hashtags – Making Instagram even more fun! *

* VISUALS are vital! Get our FREE Checklist for Visual Social Media Marketing!