I’m excited to be speaking at a one-day social media workshop in Bucharest, Romania by focusing in on those advanced social media marketing concepts that you need to dive into to help you raise your social media to the next level. Starting simple with concepts like content and social voice, and moving on to more interesting ideas of experimental social, social selling and advocacy, this episode gives you some ideas of ways to re-examine and adjust your social media strategy.
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In This Episode:
- Will be speaking at a 1 day social media event in Bucharest, Romania on February 25th 2015, will be a great opportunity to learn best practices in advanced social media marketing
- Social media, at the beginning, is something you do because everyone else is doing it – there are still a lot of companies that don’t have a strategy, don’t know how to build their content, don’t know how to measure the ROI
- How do I help businesses get to the next level?
- My goal in 2015 is to productize his content packaged and consumed in a way that makes sense
- Originally, the people planning the event in Romania were going to do a very elementary workshop – one that is an overview of general social media concepts and platforms – there’s already a lot of content there on the basics of social media
- What content could I create and deliver that would get people to the next level? Here’s his agenda.
- Starts with the content! What is the content? Does it represent your brand? Your objective? Sometimes, over time, the content gets misaligned. It’s time to realign
- Next is social voice; What’s the tone? Who’s speaking and in what style (for both blog content and status updates)? And more importantly, as visual becomes more important, what’s the visual tone? What colors, subjects, and layouts are going to resonate the most with your audience?
- What about social SEO? What can you do with your social media presence and content to help it appear more prominently in news feeds? Only way to really figure this out is through experimentation, experimenting, and tracking those results
- Another concept is paid social – it’s exciting to see that platforms are providing ways to approach people in more targeted ways
- One of my favorites is experimental social – are you including experiments? Campaigns are a kind of experiment, focusing on certain platforms, audiences, or types of content
- Do you have a social media strategy? Have you been optimizing it over time as techniques change? Examine your tactics, examine the weight you carry on each platform
- Analyze your social! Analyze the cost as well as the benefits. Not just the growth, but are you meeting all of your objectives? You should have baseline ROI metrics that you can go back to on a regular basis to track your progress
- Evolution of social business: social selling is increasing. How can you enlarge your social media program and train your salespeople so they can start generating marketing leads from their networks, sharing and contributing to marketing content, and getting unique information from social media
- Advocacy is something we are really starting to think about – think about your fans and brand advocates, think about influencer marketing, and think about employee advocacy
Resources & Links:
- Learn more about Influencer Marketing in the Digital Age.
- If you’ve been waiting to dip your toe into the social selling waters, get started with these 10 tips.
- Learn more about the power of visual content here.
- Now that you know the power of visual content, here’s how to leverage it on different networks.
- Download my free e-book on employee advocacy.
Although this goes beyond the scope of this podcast, I actually came back from my annual physical today. I actually take two annual physicals one here in the United States my annual physical, and another one in Japan where they have what they call Nin Gen Doc (人間ドック) or person doc sort of hard to explain. But it’s a half day full on procedure that is really, really thorough, almost like an executive physical exam I think is the closest thing we have here in the states. And I mention this because our health is everything, right? And social media goes you know it’s part of our life, part of our business, but we are human beings. And just a reminder out there that if you haven’t scheduled yourself for your annual physical exam, it’s a great time to do so, just a great reminder.
You hear about young people that come down with diseases, you see them in the Facebook feeds, your friends or friends of friends, and all we can do is you know outside of our daily health is to get those checkups and make sure that everything is operating according to plan. I want to keep recording these podcasts as long as I can, and I want you to keep listening as long as you can as well. So I’m gonna stop preaching about health because that’s not what this podcast is about, and let’s get back to social media. So some of you may know if you’ve been following my personal Facebook feed where I tend to actually publish my most personal things, believe it or not it is Facebook, right, that I will be speaking at a one-day social media event in Bucharest Romania on February 25, 2015.
If any of you are in Europe or in Romani by chance, it’s gonna be a great opportunity to really learn best practices in what I’m gonna call advanced social media marketing. At this point, even in not so advanced countries in terms of social media, which I suppose Romania is part of at least that’s what my event organizers have told me. That social media at the beginning of its evolution is just something that you do because everyone else is doing it. And there’s still a lot of companies in the United States probably a majority of companies that are still doing this without a strategy just throwing things up, not really measuring, or maybe measuring the wrong things, and really not knowing how well they’re doing, what they could be doing better, or what is their ROI.
And if you’re nodding, then you obviously are part of that crowd, and if you’re smiling, maybe you’re a social media consultant like myself, and that’s what we do is to help businesses get to that next level. So how do I help businesses get to the next level? Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my own content and of different ways to productize that content, and social media center of excellence when it is launched is going to be one of these types of ways in which I plan on productizing the content. But I really want to work in 2015 my big New Year’s resolution, although it’s a little bit early for one, is really to get my content packaged and consumed in a way that makes sense and has value for everybody out there. So I hope you are as excited as I am.
So one of the things I thought of as my Romanian clients were planning this workshop with me, originally we were gonna do a very, very elementary workshop. I consider an elementary workshop more of an overview of general social media concepts and really an emphasis on platforms, learning more about what you can do on all the major platforms. Actually, something that I teach as Rutger’s University as part of the social media MBA program is really going deep on all of the platforms and really summarizing it with social media strategy, creation, optimization, metrics, ROI, or what have you. But as we found out when we started to publish information about the event, there was already a lot of, well, content, a lot of other people or businesses that are doing seminars on the basics of social media.
So what content could I create and deliver that will really help get their clients and their customers in Romania to the next level vis a vis the social marketing to get them thinking about things that they don’t even know about, right? And that’s where I came up with the agenda that I wanted to share with you today because I think it covers what I would consider more advanced social media concepts that if you do a deep dive analysis of each one of these for your business. And I think each one requires a deep dive to better understand it and understand the potential, you’ll get a better idea as to how you can help bring your own social media to the next level. So consider this a pre-2015 audit like an annual audit of sort of where we are today with our social media marketing. And well it all starts with the content, right? I always talk about social media being the convergence of information and communication. What is the content?
Does the content represent your brand? Better yet, does the content represent your objective? And often we find we begin social media programs with content that aligns with our objects, and somehow over time that content gets misaligned. And the content that I talk about is all the way from blog posts to status updates to photos and videos. It should always all be aligned with our objective and our business identity, our culture, our branding, right? And is it so? So that’s the first and maybe the easiest one. But the next one, which more companies need to think about, is the social voice, and I break social voice into two things. The voice is sort of your tone who is speaking in what tone and what style not only for your blog content but more importantly for those status updates for any time you’re typing anything out in social media.
But more importantly recently with the advent of visual social networks and with the role that visuals can have in displaying your content more prominently in newsfeeds, is that visual voice. What is gonna be the visual, right? And when we talk about tone, we don’t talk about font or font size or font style. When we talk about visual, we start to talk about these things and colors and what types of subjects are going to best resonate with your target audience and be best aligned with your content and your objective. Obviously this is no easy thing to do, but I think as you are begin to think about it you make a more concerted effort to be aligned with a strategy. And it’s going to help your company over time be more effective in your social media marketing.
What about social SEO? Now, I consider social SEO as what can you do with your social media presence and your content to help it appear more prominently in newsfeeds. And I think this obviously gets a lot of attention with Facebook diminishing edge rank. This is something that we should all be working towards, and the only way to find out about this is really through experimenting to understand what works and what doesn’t work. But we should always not just be throwing content out there but seeing how we can appear more prominently, how we can be seen by more people organically. And that brings me up to the next concept, which is paid social, and just the different ways that we can use paid social on the different platforms. It’s really exciting to see the Facebooks of the world, the twitters of the world that now will allow you to upload email databases, will allow you to upload or put a pixel, a conversion pixel on your website.
So whether they’re on your email list, whether they visit your website, you now have a way of approaching them in a very, very natural way because now you can target them in social media itself, and obviously the micro targeting options what have you, you know, paid social is a best practice. How often you use it is up to debate. How much of your social media budget you put towards it is up to debate, but it is mainstream now, and it’s something that you need to learn to leverage better for your company.
Experimental social, one of my favorites, and I always talk about social media marketing and that’s since being one nonstop experiment because the landscape is always shifting. So are we including experiments, and I consider campaigns really a type of experiment on a specific or a group of social networks to test out certain types of content, or engaging with a certain target audience. And are we doing enough of this, because if we’re not, we’re never really gonna be able to best optimize our social media presence. Social media strategy, do we have one, have we been optimizing it over time as things change, and this is a really, really good time to do a revamp on your social strategy as we enter 2015 especially you want to look at the different weights that you have on the different social networks.
Those tactics you’ve been using vis a vis social SCO and obviously that content piece I think is gonna be critical as well. As well as just your general spend and your ratio of spend between organic or you know people cost vs. tools cost vs. paid social vs. outsourcing agency fees, which is probably gonna the four major components of your social media budget. Analyze your social and that’s one type of analyzing is obviously analyzing the cost but we then need to analyze the benefits. And I’m not talking about likes growth or follower’s growth or retweets growth or wildest influence that followed today, but really are we meeting all those objectives that we had. And when we began a social media strategy for those who read Maximize Your Social, you began it with your social media audit.
And you compared yourself to your competitors, so you should have these base lined metrics that you can go back to as part of your analysis, which you should be doing on a regular basis. But it’s really getting deeper into what I wrote about in Maximize Your Social those primary ROI metrics from your social media program, which are often not gonna be included in any social media dashboard something that you’re actually gonna have to calculate, which I hope you will, and are doing are a regular basis. But it’s always a good time as we near the end of the year to take a step back and really take a fresh analysis of what we’re doing. So I think these are the major, you know, I covered content, voice, SCO, paid, experimental, strategy, analysis. I think those are the seven major concepts, and there are more, but these are the seven major things that I think form the basis of how to take your social media to an advanced level.
Going beyond that, and these are very general concepts, I mean like I said we can go really deep on each one of them, and I usually do whenever I speak. I’d like to share with you two more, which is the evolution of social business, and I think because I know a lot of you are interested in social media for business as increasing sales, marketing, or what have you. So I’m not gonna talk about social recruiting, which is another major way, or social media for customer service but social selling, which is how can we enlarge or expand our social media program, train our salespeople so that they can start generating in essence marketing leads from their own network, sharing marketing content, contributing to marketing content, and really helping to expand social media to help generate new leads from their unique networks of customers and clients or I should say customers and perspective clients.
But also help them as part of their sales process by getting unique information from social media that’s gonna help them close deals or accelerate a sales process, keep things moving quicker and more voluminous in their sales pipeline. This is something that a lot of companies that obviously because of my first two books being published on LinkedIn social selling has been a hot topic for the last two years or so. It’s something that is still one of the most popular things that I get hired for to do speaking and training on. And finally when we think about expanding social media from a sales and marketing perspective outside of marketing and sales, we then start to think about advocacy. And I think there’s a lot of different ways of looking at advocacy, but there’s three big ways I would look at it. One is really your customers, your employees, your fans that you already have out there brand advocacy, right?
Another way if you think of advocacy of people advocating for you is influence or marketing is tapping into “influencers” in your industry or in your genre or whatever it might be that are going to, and it may be from a paid arrangement or by providing in something that are gonna speak out in your behalf in social media, right. I consider it part of the general notion of advocacy; although, it might be a little bit less genuine. Therefore it comes with higher risk but it also is the potential of higher return, and finally we talk about employee advocacy, which is another new buzz word.
I wrote a free e-book, which you can download on Maximize Social Business with the folks at PeopleLinx, which are employee advocacy software provider, and really when we start thinking about social media marketing expanding into sales and sales needing content to share to their networks, we begin to see how salespeople working with social selling program we see the beginning of the creation of employee advocacy or leveraging your employees. But it goes well beyond that, and it really looks into the evolution of a company into becoming a social business and how I believe employee advocacy can accelerate that if it’s done right, and it’s obviously not being done right by most companies. In fact, the FTC recently in the Wall Street Journal you’ll have to go back a few days to find the article.
But it actually has reached out to a company and saying you know when your employees are promoting your campaign in social media, they need to know that they are employees or representatives of your company. And it sort of raises a very, very interesting legal issue about employee advocacy that if you’re listening to this podcast and you represent a larger organization that has a legal department, something you may want to look into for a future reference. But these are really the main things that I would look at or I want you to look at when you do an audit for you to concentrate on. I look forward to exposing or talking more about these concepts in a one-on-one basis in future podcasts. But hopefully it’s given you a few good ideas from a relatively short 15-minute investment of your time listening to this podcast.
Transcript provided courtesy of GMR Transcription Services, Inc.