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 new video ad tools – Each day on average 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook and it’s estimated that mobile video will account for 75% of total mobile data traffic by 2020. Facebook shares best practices for mobile video based on testing.
  • Facebook enhances ad features – On both Facebook and Instagram Facebook announced a variety of ad improvements. These are probably mostly relevant to advanced advertisers.

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn launches new student app – The app is mobile only and is geared towards college students. This shows LinkedIn is looking at really connecting with college students who don’t currently heavily use the site.

Instagram

Twitter

  • Twitter adds connections to mobile app – In an attempt to make it easier to find people and accounts you are interested in, Twitter has added a connections feature that connects you with things you may be interested in.
  • Twitter announces Omnisearch – Twitter is looking to make searching even better, and this is where they are investing their time and effort.

SnapChat

  • SnapChat stories drive 10 Billion daily video views – Snapchat is becoming a bigger and bigger player in social media (although it remains elusive to most businesses). Stories show videos or photos for 24 hours, making them more permanent then regular snaps. This also emphasizes the importance of video.
  • SnapChat lets you FaceSwap from the camera roll – SnapChat is building its features to make it more fun to customize pictures and really express yourself with snaps. The new FaceSwap feature builds upon this.

Periscope

  • Periscope ads viewer stats – Giving broadcasters more information about performance.
  • Periscope launches sketch while you scope – This feature allows broadcasters the ability to draw on the screen while scoping. This functionality is similar to SnapChat – where people love drawing on photos. It will be interesting to see how heavily this feature is used and if people can actually draw and record at the same time…
  • Periscope experiments with archived streams – Periscope is experimenting with a feature that will archive streams forever.

Pinterest

  • Pinterest allows affiliate links – Pinterest has announced that they will now allow affiliate links in pins. They were previously removed as Pinterest tried to reduce spam. Pinterest now feels that they have a great spam control program so they will not allow affiliate links.

YouTube

  • Video Bumper 6 Second Ads – YouTube knows that mobile first is the key to marketing – their new video ads build on this strategy with short 6 second ads to drive ads on short mobile video views.
  • Amazon allows video uploads – Amazon launched a service to compete with YouTube – you can now upload a video and earn money from ads. This puts Amazon in direct competition to YouTube.

Google

Interesting Research

  • User Generated Content Sells – BazaarVoice released a study that shows the impact of user generated content – both in driving sales and social media. Check it out if you still aren’t convinced that UGC must be on your menu.

 

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Looking for a Job? How to Upgrade your Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing Skills

Looking-for-a-Job

More and more jobs are looking for marketers who understand digital marketing. Digital marketing skills including social media, content marketing, analysis, SEO and digital advertising are among the most in-demand skills for most marketing roles.

Yet many experienced marketers don’t have these skills.

They started and advanced in their careers before digital marketing and now struggle with how to upgrade their skills.

If you want to keep your skills relevant you can’t afford not to learn social media and digital marketing. Over 90% of businesses use social media and almost every business has a digital presence.

While you may never be directly implementing a digital marketing campaign, you need the digital marketing foundations to be successful as a marketer.

Here are 3 ways to upgrade your skills:

1) Invest in Digital Marketing Training

Start by learning the basics. Conferences are great for advanced strategies, tactics, tips & tricks and tools but don’t really cover a topic from start to finish. They especially lack the basics.

You need comprehensive training to level-set your knowledge and get you the base that you can continue to grow on.

2) Volunteer or Get Some Experience

The second thing you’ll need is some experience to put that you learn into practice, even on a small scale. You may be able to find opportunities at your current workplace. Look to add some digital work to your job scope – even if it is only limited. This will help you to see how it really works.

If your current company isn’t an option for getting some experience consider volunteering somewhere or helping a non-profit. This can be a great way to get real-world experience to support your training.

3) Read, learn and grow

Build a personal development plan for yourself – that includes reading some books for comprehensive and researched coverage of a topic as well as subscribing to blogs or websites that share relevant content.

Stay up-to-date on changes and industry news so that you can have educated discussions about the state of digital marketing. You don’t need to be an expert, or an expert implementer who understands every best practice, just know enough to make smart choices.

 

How to Achieve Digital Transformation for Your Organization

Digital-Transformation

 

Many companies want digital transformation – they want to transform their organization from traditional marketers to stealthy digital marketers – who know the latest tools, are quick to act and think of digital as a part of marketing.

The challenge is how do we transform an organization to make digital a part of the DNA?

We’ve worked with a number of companies on this – and it is no easy feat. But it isn’t as simple as a workshop here or there. It involves a cultural shift in the organization that takes time and investment to manage.

Here is how to begin the steps towards digital transformation for your organization:

1) Organizational Audit

    You can’t fix a problem or build a plan until you know what you are working with. Start with an organization audit to understand where you are now – what are the current knowledge levels, barriers and opportunities?

2) Desired Future State

    Once you know where you stand, the next step is to determine your desired future state – where do you want to be and when? Setting out a clear road-map is vital to your success. It will allow you to build a program that bridges your current state to where you want to be. This often involves setting objectives by job-type or department and identifying competencies required for current and future performance.

3) Executive Digital Training

    It starts at the top. If the executive team doesn’t have the knowledge they can’t manage the organization. Most executives aren’t experts on digital marketing and struggle to understand even the basics.
    Start by training your executive team so that they understand the power and importance of digital.

4) Executive Championing

    Executives should champion digital and set the example internally. It isn’t enough for executives to have the knowledge; they must be internal champions demonstrating that digital is a priority, sharing news and other articles and asking tough questions.

5) Comprehensive Organizational Training

    Organization training should involve multiple touch points through the year. Many businesses want to “transform” their organization with only a single digital marketing workshop or one-time training. A comprehensive training program with multiple live and online touch points is required to really generate success.

6) Internal Champions

    To drive success there should be a number of internal champions and experts throughout the organization. While the entire organization is seeking to grow their knowledge and skills, experts provide deep knowledge and can keep the organization accountable while providing a resource.
    Some large companies bring a small group of champions through an intensive internal training program to empower them to return to their organization and truly be a catalyst for change.

6) Learning Culture

    There should be a culture around constant learning and development. For example creating internal, informal knowledge sharing, providing regular digital updates/digests, etc. The culture should be curious and eager to learn and share ideas.

7) Reward Structure

    The reward structure must be consistent with the desired outcomes. In addition to recognizing digital achievements in the formal reward structure, informal recognition is key. Highlight or feature individuals or teams modeling the desired behavior.

8) Resources

    Perhaps this should be first, but in order to effectively initiate change in an organization you’ll need the resources to do it. Identify resources – people, budget, champions, time and be sure that you truly have the resources to make this a priority.

6 Social Media Trends to Take Advantage of NOW

6-Social-Media-Trends

Social Media continues to grow and evolve, and many marketers read articles about trends to watch or predictions on the next big thing.

Stop wasting your time on the next big thing and take advantage of what is trending now.

1) Video

    All of the big social platforms are making significant video plays now. Our latest and greatest monthly call almost always has updates about how the big networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) are enhancing video features.

Get video into your strategy now.

2) Social Media Advertising

    Advertising is growing in importance across social networks. All major networks have ad platforms and for the most part they are cheap ways to reach your target audience. Invest in getting results from social ads now – you’ll reap the rewards now and in the future.

3) Cheap & Quick

    Figure out how to do things quickly and cheaply. Waiting for a big budget or following traditional creative processes is time consuming. Find quick ways to prove your concept and then invest more. Try things fast. Be nimble. Experimentation and quick iteration is key to your success.

4) Visuals & Images

    Visuals and images also drive every social network. Other than copywriting this is the top thing that can make or break your success online. Get good at creating great visuals to accompany your content and social network strategies.

5) The Right Content Strategy

    Many businesses still lack a coherent content strategy. You need a well thought out strategic content plan. Invest in creating great stuff that people are actually interested in and link your content strategy to your website to your SEO to your lead generation to your social media. Integrated content planning is vital to online marketing success today.

6) Get Out of the Silo

    If you are a social media manager you can’t afford to sit in a silo and think ONLY about social media. Social should support digital which should support traditional which ultimately should all support achieving a marketing goal. If you manage social media as a stand-alone you will miss out on big picture opportunities that connect the consumer journey and drive real results.

 

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.

Find out more about customized executive training.

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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