Should You Hire a Social Media Agency or DIY?

IShould you hire a social media agency or DIY?‘ve been doing social media for a long time, and I work with both businesses and agencies who implement social media….. I get asked about this all the time “What is the best way to handle my social media? Should I hire an agency or do it myself?” There isn’t one answer to this question, so instead I want to share the investment, pros and cons of each. As a side note, whether you DIY or outsource, you should invest in your knowledge so that you can responsibly manage your social media.

My two cents. Internal social  media generally gets the best results when done effectively. But if you can’t do it right, hire someone.

Hiring a Social Media Agency

Investment: Minimum of $1,000/month ($12k/year) for most decent companies. Management Time/Requirements: 2 – 4 hours a month to answer questions, review progress and check-in. Pros:
  • Should use best practices (in theory, although not all of them do)
  • Know how to optimize
  • Scale/benefits as they use tools across accounts (again, in theory)
  • Consistent implementation
  • They can execute big campaigns and have more specialized resources to leverage
Cons:
  • Expensive (even at a basic level, it is close to half of the cost of an employee)
  • They don’t know your partners, customers, etc to build community
  • They aren’t in your business, so they might not post the best content of what is really happening
  • Objectives may not match as they want to maintain their contract vs. your business objectives
  • Some put you into a “plug and play” model where they execute the same things for all of the clients vs. customizing for your business (this is typical of smaller social media agencies)

DIY

Investment: Minimum of 30 minutes a day, plus setup time (learning) and training. Management Time/Requirements: Depending on the size of the organization, 2 – 4 hours a month in management + implementation. Pros:
  • You know your business, so there is less onboarding time
  • Opportunity to create really great content that connects
  • Often more cost efficient
  • Higher accountability and better alignment of objectives
  • Quicker response times and better customer responses (if well trained)
Cons:
  • Must invest in training/capabilities
  • Must be a priority (or it won’t be well done and can work against you)
  • Need the right type of employee to effectively execute
DIY social media vs hiring a social media agency In my opinion, most of the biggest success stories in social media occur when the business is running their own social media, or is very heavily involved in the management. That being said, if you don’t have the time/resources to do it right, you may nee to outsource it to get a result. The reality is that an outsourced model (hiring an agency) works best for larger organizations. Here is why. For a smaller business with 1k – 10k fans, you probably won’t generate a positive ROI from spending $12k/year on social media management. The reason is that the amount of work required to run an account with 1k fans is only marginally less than managing an account with 100k fans, yet they both cost around the same amount to manage. The bottom line is that there isn’t one answer; in some instances DIY produces amazing results, in other cases agencies bring creative and optimization that far surpasses what a business could do internally. Review your objectives and resources and decide what is right for you.

Is a Pinterest marketing strategy right for your business?

pinterest for business

Diversity of users has never been Pinterest’s strongest asset and discovering ways for non-retail or non-visually fascinating businesses to thrive on Pinterest isn’t easy. Women post over 90% of pins, and the most pinned categories include recipes, DIY, fashion, and home decor. Pinterest marketing couldn’t be a more obvious choice for retailers or a more confusing option for every other industry. However, Pinterest has exploded and business opportunities are growing. Curious if your business belongs on Pinterest? Read below and find out

Is anyone currently pinning from your website?

Find out by heading to pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite. You may be surprised… 70 percent of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users, not brands. If you find that visitors are already sharing your pin-worthy content, sign up and join in the fun. Figure out what content people are already pinning and create a board for that category.

Does your business have a blog?

The most popular destination for Pinterest users who click on pins is blogs. Using creative imagery to share a teaser about your blog and posting it on Pinterest can bring interested traffic and sometimes quality leads to your site.

 

Would your business benefit from building trust?

A great way to build the fundamental marketing principles of know, like, and trust is by showcasing your company’s personality. Constant Contact has a “Life at Constant Contact” board with 6,000+ followers. Use Pinterest for business marketing to show how well you treat your employees and how awesome your entire staff is.

Do you have stats, quotes, tips, or advice that could be beneficial to Pinterest users?

Pinterest is full of Infographics, statistics, quotes, and tips for nearly every industry. Do a quick search of Pinterest and see if your inspirational sales quotes  have a place on someone’s board. This is where B2B companies have lots of opportunity to get their message across in creative ways. All over Pinterest, you can find e-mail marketing templates and even cold calling scripts formatted into images. The opportunities of how to use Pinterest for business are endless.!

Do you have an e-commerce store?

Shoppers originating from Pinterest average $140-$180 per order. Pinterest offers an amazing opportunity to visually display your products while placing them  just one-click away from potential customers.

Still wondering if a Pinterest marketing strategy is right for your business? Want to learn more about Pinterest for business marketing? Join us July 7th for the live (online) Pinterest Marketing for Business course. If you can’t make it live, you can enjoy the same amazing content on-demand.

Live Online Streaming: July 8th, 2014 at 1:00pm EST

Length: 75 minutes

Early Bird Investment: $27 (limited rate)

RegisterNow

***Even if you can’t make the event you can view the recording at any time***

Steps to Building A Social Media Plan: Infographic

While social media has now been around for many years, many businesses still struggle with building a social media strategy that gets real results. The reason is that we often get caught up in the implementation and forget to continue to link back to our strategies.

These 8 Steps to Building a Social Media Strategy originated in my bestselling Book Social Media Field Guide and were also used as the basis for the textbook that I coauthored. As you consider your social media marketing, don’t forget to be strategic and always link back to your objectives. 

Steps to Building a Social Media Plan

 

Listen:

Listen across social media channels for conversations about your business or brand, competitors and industry.  Pay attention to conversations from people in your target market. What do they talk about? How do they talk?

 

Marketing Strategies and Objectives:

What are your key marketing strategies and objectives?  What do you hope to achieve from using social media?  What results will equal success?

 

Target Audience:

Who is the target audience for your social media marketing activities?  Where are they online?  What do they talk about?  How do they interact with each other?  Who are they key influencers that you want to build relationships with?

 

Content:

What is the right content plan to meet your marketing objectives and effectively reach your target audience?  Content must be relevant, interesting and engaging?

 

Tools:

What are the right sites to engage in for your social media marketing strategy?  What social media sites represent the biggest opportunities for your content given your marketing goals and your target audience?

 

Implement:

Plan and execute a social media presence in your key social media platforms.  Begin posting, sharing and creating content.  Build relationships.  Interact with people.  Join community discussions.


Track and Measure:

The key to continued and improved success in social media is to continuously track and measure your social media marketing.  Continuously test different content and content variations and track and measure the results.  Always be testing.  Measure your success – both qualitative and quantitative.

 

Adjust:

Based on your results adjust your strategy.  Be flexible.  Allow results and interactions to lead to re-evaluation of your strategies.

 

 

Your Employees Hold The Keys To LinkedIn Success

A LinkedIn Page is a great hub for your businesses digital activity and is everyone’s first thought when using LinkedIn to drive business results. But no matter how strong and optimized your LinkedIn page, it will never have the same business-growing potential as your employees.  Below are 3 very easy steps your employees can take to provide value as your most important LinkedIn assets.

Write Recommendations:

Writing LinkedIn recommendations is a great way to pay-it-forward, help out a former employee or client and provide an effective boost to their profile. Recommendations also position you as an expert, an encouraging leader in the community and someone who would be desirable to work with/for. An office full of employees who write awesome recommendations makes a truly positive statement about your organization to potential clients.

Connect with Customers:

LinkedIn doesn’t take place of your CRM system but it does allow you another avenue to connect with customers and nurture relationships. Features like LinkedIn introductions and recommendations make it a powerful tool for getting referrals. Encouraging all of your employees to maintain strong relationships can bring about a massive improvement in B2B relationships and high-quality referrals.

LinkedIn Training

Post In Groups:

Groups provide the perfect venue for employees to showcase their expertise, offer guidance, and help position themselves and your company as experts. Employees that are seen as industry thought-leaders become some of your most crucial brand advocates and are able to generate business value far beyond their basic job description.

A LinkedIn campaign that takes advantage of an entire office’s LinkedIn activity is a scary thought for many companies but can produce astounding results for those willing to trust their employees. For professionals who are serious about getting more results from LinkedIn  join us March 21st for Advanced LinkedIn Training: Getting Results By Connecting. Sign Up Below!

 social media training

 

Announcing LinkedIn 101 Online Training: Putting LinkedIn to Work for You

LinkedIn is becoming one of the most important networks for professionals with over 277 million active users. Being your virtual resume and Rolodex, LinkedIn can help you organize contacts, give opportunities to meet others in your industry, and more.

Why is LinkedIn so important?

linkedin trainingHave you ever Google-d yourself? If you’re an active LinkedIn user, a majority of the time your LinkedIn profile is the third or fourth result in search. LinkedIn isn’t just about searching for a job. This growing network is consistently adding new features and benefits to help you connect easily with like-minded people.

Millions of people and companies are taking advantage of LinkedIn and seeing huge results, here’s a few reasons why…

  • 2 new LinkedIn members join every second
  • 40% of LinkedIn users check in daily
  • 3 million businesses have LinkedIn company pages
  • 94% of recruiters vet candidates from LinkedIn
  • 84 million of LinkedIn users are in the United States

Our upcoming LinkedIn 101 Online Training: Putting LinkedIn to Work for You will cover everything you need to know to optimize your personal and company page to see results. LinkedIn is where professionals go to learn about you and assess your credibility, our LinkedIn training will help you create a strong page that positions you as an expert and someone who everyone wants to connect with.

Through this LinkedIn class, you will learn the best practices and killer tips to connect with others and grow your visibility effectively through your personal and company page.

These classes always fill up quickly so register now!

LinkedinDetails:

Live-Online Streaming – March 6th, 2014 @ 1pm EST

Register NOW! http://bootcampdigital.com/linkedin-101-training/

Can’t catch the live streaming? You can always watch the recorded version shortly after.

See you there!

Reserve your seat today for the social network you need to be on!

RegisterNow

 

This Week in Social Media: Klout Steps Up Its Game, Facebook Admin Changes, LinkedIn Company Page Updates, and More!

This week in social media

This week in social media brought big changes for LinkedIn. With over 277 million users, LinkedIn is helping you take your personal and company page to the next level. Twitter’s redesign might not be here to stay with new options in the mix while Facebook changes admin capabilities to help manage your page.

Stay on top of your game with the new Klout capabilities and search Pinterest by your interests. Can’t make it to a Google hangout? Call in from your phone through a new app. Learn how these changes can affect you and your brand…

1. LinkedIn: How You’re Connected

LinkedIn How You're Connected

LinkedIn recently added this feature to find the strongest commonalities between you and someone you’re not connected with. When looking for an introduction, you can see “who” in your network knows them and now also “how.”

Why is this helpful?

Now, you will be able to tell which common connection is most valuable for an introduction. This is an added way to expand your network and grow connections – take advantage of it today.

2. Twitter’s Redesign – More Changes Ahead

Not long after announcing the more appealing profile for Twitter users, rumors are a new one is again in the works. The newer version resembles Facebook and Pinterest featuring photos and includes additional changes.

How does this change Twitter for you?

Twitter's New RedesignTwitter is always testing so it’s unknown whether this design will happen but it emphasizes the importance of photos. Creating appealing photos and videos is vital – if that’s not your forte, check out our Instagram, Infographics, and Images Online Training or our Marketing in 15 Seconds or Less Online Training.

3. Pin Your Interests

A new tool allows you to explore Pinterest based on a wide variety of interests – available on desktop and mobile soon. The more you use Pinterest and your interests change in real life, so will they on Pinterest.

Pinterest

How can you take advantage of this?

Before, pins were organized in broad categories. Rich, descriptive board names and pin descriptions will help Pinterest organize your uploaded pins into the new interests and easier for consumers to find.

4. Klout Steps Up Its Game

New Klout Changes

Recent changes have morphed Klout into a social media “coach” with information about your activity as well as a stream to easily share content to all networks – similar to Hootsuite. Additionally, you can morph and track your impact, schedule content posts, and more.

Is this of any value?

Klout is a great way to now watch over your activity on all networks with an easy way to see when you haven’t been active. Check it out to see your score and opportunities to grow your personal and company brand online.

5. Call into Hangouts

UberConference gives the hangout creator a free phone number that those wishing to join through their phone can call and connect. Join a hangout, see who’s talking, mute the call, record the call, and more – check out the demo below…

How is this helpful?

Google hangouts are a great way to connect with consumers, colleagues, friends, and more – this provides an extra way for people to join hangouts and connect on the go.

6. Facebook Admin Changes

Recently announced, Facebook admins can edit link and text only updates, finally. Starting February 20th, Page admin names will appear next to updates and comments they post – only admins can see names.

Does this affect you?

Facebook Page Admin RulesAllowing Page admins to finally edit updates is huge – everyone has hit “post” at one point or another just to see a typo. If you’re page has many admins, the new feature of seeing who posts what is helpful. In case anything inappropriate was ever posted, you can easily identify the responsible party.

7. New LinkedIn Company Page Updates

New LinkedIn Company Page features include the option to upload a custom image to accompany a link, like and comment as the company, and the new company feed you can see at linkedin.com/company/home.

Can this be valuable?

Upload Image on LinkedInLinkedIn recently purchased Bright, a matching service for prospects and employers for $120 million so it isn’t going anywhere. Company pages are great ways to connect with current and potential employees and build brand awareness, learn how to optimize your company page in our LinkedIn 101 Online Training.

Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for next time. Have a great weekend!

 

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Announcing Marketing in 15 Seconds or Less Social Media Training – February 20th

Mktng15SorLessShort-format videos are taking over. Snapchat, Instagram Video, and Vine are the new trend in social media that give a quick, easy way to connect with a large number of people.

Does this matter for your brand?

If you want to have a strong online presence as social media grows and changes, then yes!

You can’t ignore these platforms and the opportunities they present. It’s not about making a short video and throwing it up but having an effective video marketing strategy to create engagement with your brand that can bring leads, customers, and sales. Take a look at the facts…

  • In 72 hours, an average person can retain 95% of a video (vs 10% of text)
  • Snapchat users in total receive (not send) 400 million photo or video snaps a day
  • Over 16.5 million users use Snapchat daily
  • When Instagram launched video, there was a 37% increase of Instagram shares on Twitter
  • Instagram videos create 2x more engagement than photos
  • Vine grew 403% between the 1st and 3rd quarter of 2013
  • 5 vines are tweeted every second

Our upcoming Marketing in 15 Seconds or Less: Snapchat, Instagram Video, and Vine Marketing Online Training will cover why you need to be paying attention to these platforms, the opportunities for your brand, how to create compelling videos, and more.

With Vine marketing training, learn the best way to maximize your 6 second videos to effectively market your brand. Snapchat is primarily populated by younger generations but in our Snapchat marketing training section, see what brands are marketing successfully on Snapchat and the best practices for your brand. Additionally, take your Instagram account to the next level with Instagram video with our tips and tricks in Instagram Video marketing training.

This is your chance to learn everything you need to know about marketing your brand using these new tools. With this online training, you will learn which platforms are best for your brand and how to harness the power of videos to see huge results.

Details:

Video CameraLive Online-Streaming: February 20th, 2014 @ 1:00pm-2:15pm

Register NOW! http://bootcampdigital.com/snapchat-instagram-video-and-vine-video-marketing-training/

Can’t watch the live streaming? You can always watch the the recording at your own convenience.

See you there!

Don’t miss out – reserve your seat today!

RegisterNow

Announcing Social Media Effectiveness and Efficiency Training – February 4th

SocMediaEffectivenessNot only are high growth firms using social media but they’re being strategic about where they spend their time. Social media marketing can be a huge investment of time no matter your experience level.

Small businesses alone can spend an average of 5.5 hours a week on social media (85% admitted the business owner was the primary person running social media). Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other top sites can be an affordable and effective way of getting in front of customers but if you lack a structured plan then you might not be seeing the results you predicted. If you aren’t active, your competitors will be.

Our upcoming Social Media Effectiveness and Efficiency Online Training will cover top strategies and tools to help optimize your time spent on social media marketing. Managing time that bring results is a struggle for any marketer and business owner.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about top tools leading marketers use that can help you stay focused, optimize your efforts, and improve your overall ROI (return on investment)!

Details:

Watch the Online Training Live: February 4th, 2014 @ 1:00pm EST

Register now! http://bootcampdigital.com/social-media-effectiveness-and-efficiency/

Remember, you can join us online live or watch the recording at your convenience.

See you there!

YouTube Online Training

Announcing: Advanced Google+ Strategies Online Training

Already present on Google+ but not seeing any results?

AdvGoogle+Launched in 2011, Google+ is the fastest growing network with over 540 million monthly active users. Google+ isn’t a social network but rather an identity network and Google has made it clear that Google+ is a priority by favoring it in Google Search.

2014 is predicted to be HUGE for Google+ with the possibility of stealing Facebook’s spot on top. Just having a Google+ page isn’t enough anymore. 40% of marketers and 70% of brands have a presence on Google+ and are attracting your customers.

+1s are the top social media influencer for search engines and will build both your credibility and appearance in search results. It’s time to take advantage of the opportunities Google+ presents and using it strategically to build your brand and audience.

In our upcoming Advanced Google+ Strategies Online Training, we will cover many important things to grow your brand online through Google+ including…

  • Connecting your Google+ profile to other online profiles (and the possible risks)
  • Creating a business page strategy that gets results
  • The power of Google+ on search engines and how to take advantage of this
  • The biggest mistakes that can impact your profile’s effectiveness
  • How to setup and use Google Authorship
  • The big picture for Google+ to build a solid foundation for the future
  • Much, much more!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn the strategies and tips that will bring results on Google+.

Watch the Online Live-Streaming Event: January 23rd @ 1:00pm EST

Register now! http://bootcampdigital.com/advanced-google-for-business-training/

Remember, you can join us live for this event or watch the recording at your convenience.

See you there!Adv Google Strategies

5 Social Media New Years Resolutions

Screen shot 2014-01-02 at 3.38.08 PMWith the new year upon us, I’m standing at my desk (I have a standing workstation) and getting organized for next year. Each year social media marketing continues to grow and evolve, and we, as social media marketers must grow and evolve with it.

As I reflect on 2013 and consider social media trends for 2014, I wanted to take a moment and share some social media new years resolutions with you that are sure to get you better results.

1. Get Focused

Start your year right by getting focused on what really matters. What is getting you the best results and why? How can you best build your brand or business? What is currently getting you the best results? Stop with the shotgun approach to social media and become a sniper. Focus on a few specific goals and objectives to take your marketing to the next level.

2.  Explore New Social Networks

The big social networks haven’t changed – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – but it might be time to mix up your marketing. Many of these social networks have become cluttered, and it is harder and harder to stand out. Make your new years resolution to explore and experiment with some new social networks…. try Instagram, Pinterest or even SnapChat (although apparently your data may be stolen on SnapChat).

3. Be Consistent

Get more consistent and regular in your posting. We are all guilty of this (well, maybe except for those of you who are extremely disciplined). Start getting more consistent in your execution and be deliberate about what you post when.

4. Do Fewer Things Better

When it comes to social media, don’t try to do everything at once. You can often get better results by doing fewer things better. This may contradict the consistency message, but if you don’t have something good to say today, don’t post. Instead of writing 3 blog posts create one awesome infographic. Focus on creating great stuff instead of constantly spitting out garbage.

5. Invest in Yourself and Your Knowledge

This tip is a great reminder for all of us (even me!) as it is important to take time to invest in social media training and education. Many professionals are required to continue to educate themselves with CPE credits because they understand the importance of continuous learning, training and education. Investing in yourself means you’ll get better results down the road. Take time to read and explore, or join a formal social media training class. Either way, plan to spend time staying up to date and getting new ideas.

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