Is your social media strategy stuck in “2011 social media?” Inspired by sitting in a traffic jam himself, this week I focus on helping you audit your social media strategy and social presence in general for the new year. Explaining the importance of examining your current metrics, I encourage you to try new platforms and new formats on those platforms. Let me help guide you through how to re-measure your social media ROI and reallocate your precious resources for your social media program in 2015 and beyond.
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In This Episode:
- Many people are stuck in old school social media circa 2011 – they think they just need to have Facebook, Twitter, and a Linkedin page
- We know about the growth of platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, we know the market is becoming more fragmented, so we’re spending our time on more networks
- As we wrap up 2014, it’s important to take a step back and analyze: on a channel by channel basis, where are you spending your time? Calculate the time and ROI on each network
- What is your cost per acquisition? Per engagement? Per new follower? From this exercise, you can figure out what you should get out of every hour you spend on social and use this data to get unstuck
- Once you have the data, try experimenting on other networks; For the first few months of the year, try a new network a month, or reinvest in an old network. Think niche, experiment!
- Some network ideas to try out or reinvent your approach include Facebook (try a group for brand advocates or employees), Twitter, Linkedin (long form blog posts, a showcase page), SlideShare, a business account on Instagram or Pinterest, Google+ (try a community) Tsu, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Reddit
- There are lots of formats within each platform, and each one also has it’s own various paid options
- You need to mix it up! If you’re stuck in traffic, it means your audience has moved elsewhere, or maybe there’s more competition, so you need to differentiate in order to be heard above the noise
- Hopefully you’ll find a sweeter spot and learn a lot about the resonance of your content and potential new communities in the process
- Make a promise to try a new network, format, or type of paid every month, but be sure to do it strategically, and be sure to continue to measure the ROI and create the optimum balance between networks to create a data driven approach
- In addition, it’s essential in the new year that your company has a visual voice, especially to participate in networks like Instagram and Pinterest
- Visual content will be shown more prominently, and it’s the key to being effective and present in news feeds and current networks, so find your visual voice
Resources & Links:
- Create a social media strategy by reading Maximize Your Social. Download this free preview.
- Breathe new life into your Facebook strategy with these 8 tricks.
- Want to give SlideShare a try? Start by learning the anatomy of a great SlideShare deck.
- Once you’ve got the deck covered, it’s time to build your SlideShare following.
- How to post on Google+ and get results.
- Learn more about the power of visual marketing.
Hey, this is Neal Schaffer and welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social. Well, I’m in Southern California today, but if you can hear what I can hear, this is not my normal home office atmosphere. You should be able to hear rain and a windshield wiper, and that’s because I’m in my car, actually, in the middle of a two-hour-and-15-minute drive in heavy traffic that should only take 45 minutes.
And as you know, not only am I passionate about podcasting, but I’m passionate about podcasting in unique situations. And because I use this Sony portable IC recorder, it gives me the opportunity to do that. So today, I’m coming to you from the 405, the San Diego Freeway, and I’m right near the Crenshaw Boulevard off ramp in Hawthorne, California. I’m actually going up to videotape a workshop that I’m really excited about. You should see me release that in the market in the next few weeks. It’s called “How to Use Social Media for Your Content Marketing.”
I’m really excited about the video session that I’m about to do, but today, I don’t wanna talk about that. Today, I wanna talk about the situation that I’m in now, and perhaps a lot of you are in with your own social media. You’re in traffic. It’s raining. It’s dark. You can’t move forward. You’re stuck, and I think a lot of us get that way with our social media.
Now, it’s the end of the year, and I promised you on the last podcast, although my voice did not get better as I promised it should, I did promise you to talk about sort of auditing your presence and looking forward. And I think that a lot of people are stuck in old-school social media. I call old-school social media sort of 2011 social media, where it’s like, okay, we get social. We need to have a Facebook page. We need to be on Twitter. We need to have a LinkedIn page, and that’s it.
And the problem is that, as we enter 2015, we just had an announcement that Instagram has past Twitter in terms of active users, and Instagram is pure mobile, where Twitter has mobile and desktop. We know about the growth of Snapchats, of Pinterest, of all these new and emerging networks. Even a network like tsū, I see some sponsored posts that get thousands of Likes, if not over 10,000 Likes, from a very small niche network.
So the market is becoming more fragmented, and we are spending our time on more networks. And I wish I had the data to prove it, but I think anyone you talk to would tell you that maybe, before, Facebook was their primary platform. But now maybe they spend a third of their social networking time on Instagram and the remainder on Facebook or the split between LinkedIn and Twitter and Google+ or Facebook and Pinterest – whatever it might be.
So really, when you think about your social media for 2015, I want you to think about, on a channel-by-channel basis, “Where are we spending our time?” Take a day. Take a week, and just trying to calculate the time you spend on each network because that’s your expense, right? Your time. And if you have any tools that you use for specific platforms, add them in. If not, you don’t have to worry about the tools. Obviously, if you’ve done any social advertising, I want you to add that in, as well.
But really take look. Think holistically. If you have an e-commerce site or if you have your Google Analytics plugged in with conversion and goals, you can actually calculate the ROI that you get from each platform. But I really want you to calculate what is your cost per whatever – its acquisition, cost per engagement, cost per new follower, or whatever it is, we can calculate a few metrics from our own participation in social media, or we can calculate metrics for every time that we post in social media.
So we’ve got a few things going on here – your cost for each platform. You’re gonna divide it up, and you don’t have to be that exact – 50 percent Facebook, 25 percent Twitter, 25 percent Instagram – whatever it might be. Divide it up. Right? Your cost per engagement – because you need to create content, or you need to post something, and your cost per follower to expand your reach.
And from that exercise, you’re gonna get idea as to, “Okay, for every hour I spend, I should be able to get X number of engagements, X number of followers, and/or if we have – you know, based anecdotal evidence or if we’re plugged into our Google Analytics – X number of leads, X number of conversions.” And that data really should be your data for 2015, and this is what’s gonna help you get unstuck because at the end of the day, your activity on social media channel should almost be like a dashboard. You’re gonna be raising the lever, you know, like a mixing board at a recording studio, for lack of a better word.
You know, just on a side note, we all talk about how we’re able to multitask. Some people say you can’t multitask. Hopefully, I’m multitasking correctly here as I’m driving through traffic, and I know that you’re not supposed to be on the phone when you’re driving. I’m not sure about the legality of actually recording a podcast of holding a IC recorder in one hand while I drive. So hopefully, I’m not breaking any laws, and I absolutely encourage you not to do this – wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt. But anyway, I’m gonna get back to the podcast. That was just a side note.
So once we have that data, I want you to start reaching out onto other networks. If you’ve never been on Google+ or maybe you tried a network six months ago and you didn’t see any value in it, go back to it. I want you, for the first few months of the year, to try a new network a month or reinvest, strategically, in an old network a month. Whatever it is, you have a large choice of networks.
And I want you to think niche. One of the companies that are interviewed for an upcoming podcast on tsū said, “We were late to the market with all the other networks. With tsū, we don’t know if it’s gonna be big or not, but we have a chance to build brand awareness with a community.” I got an incoming call. I’m gonna continue this podcast shortly.
Well, sorry for that interruption. So what I want you to do is, as I said, a platform a month. Experiment. And with those metrics in hand, compare the potential. Now, I’m gonna throw out a bunch of social network names. Obviously, you’re already on Facebook – I assume – and Twitter and LinkedIn. How many of you are on SlideShare? How many of you are publishing long-form blog posts on LinkedIn? How many of you are using paid social or have experimented with paid social on any given platform, the different types of paid social on any given platform?
How many of you have so much content to share that it makes sense to start a LinkedIn Showcase Page or maybe multiple Showcase Pages for all the different products and services that you’re company offers? How many of you have been leveraging Instagram as a business? How many of you have a business account on Instagram? Not as many as I’d like to see – or on Pinterest.
How many of you are on Google+ with a brand page that are actively posting to it? How many have you have started a Facebook group for your company – not Facebook page but a group – for your fans, for your brand advocates, maybe for your employees? How many of you have started a Google+ community or a LinkedIn Group? How many of you have experimented with tsū? With Ello?
I take a step back with Ello because it’s still very, very difficult to use compared with tsū, even though they both got started about the same time. But hey, you never know where these platforms are gonna go – or if you’re targeting a younger demographic, Snapchat. And what about Tumblr and reddit? These are sites that are now Top 15 in the United States in terms of website traffic. Have you been experimenting with those platforms, as well?
So there’s plenty of platforms out there. Within each platform, there’s a lot of different formats, right? Personal profile, group, page, and obviously, with Google+, you have things like Hangouts, and you have all the various paid options. And you need to mix it up because if you’re stuck in traffic, that means that your audience probably has either moved elsewhere, maybe more of the competition’s come in, and it’s getting harder to differentiate yourself and be heard above the “noise.” You have to do something different.
And with those metrics in hand for your ROI and by trying out all the different communities that exist in social, hopefully, it’s gonna help you find a sweeter spot for what you’re doing, and you’re gonna learn a heck of a lot in the process, about your content, about what content is resonating with who. And you’ll have these different communities not knowing which is gonna be the biggest provider of ROI in 2015.
I’ll end this podcast – and not that I’m any closer to my destination. I still got a ways to go, but I’ll end this podcast. That’s the one thing I want you to do is really, if you don’t have the metrics, create the metrics, do your audits, get some measurements done, and start experimenting a platform a month, a format a month, like start a Google+ community – whatever it is – a different type of paid thing. Just do something different each month of the year next year strategically, and measure, and tweak, and align those levers on the mixing board so you get the optimum mix. That is truly maximizing your social. That is my vision for this podcast and for how I believe businesses should be running a data-driven approach to social media marketing.
Now, what is related to all this is, in 2015, and I’ve been saying it for a while, but it’s a necessity in 2015 that your company has a visual voice. A visual voice, you need to have if you wanna participate in a social network like Instagram or Pinterest, but it also helps your content be found in social because, whether it’s a Facebook post, a Twitter, tweet, a LinkedIn post, a Google+ post, it will be shown more prominently in the feed when you have a photo.
Visual content is gonna be key for your company in 2015 to be effective in visual social networks and to be more effective and to be heard above the noise in the other social networks that you’re in. And there’s a lot of different types of visual content that you can create. But you need to be thinking visual, and you need to do it now before everyone else does it.
You know, I’m really surprised. I’ve talked about how the success I’ve had with Pinterest, and out of nowhere, it’s now the second largest driver of website traffic for http://maximizesocialbusiness.com, and I was able to do it. Anyone can do it, I believe.
Now, there are some categories that are more competitive than social media marketing, especially if you’re consumer-facing brand; you have a product for a female demographic. It doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact, but if you haven’t tried it, and you don’t have a visual strategy, you’ll never have an impact, and it doesn’t even matter if you have a visual product or not. Right?
I’ve been having a lot of success recently with quote images. Instead of reusing everybody else’s quotes, make your own. Put your own little watermark in your photo to bring people back to your site, but really, you have your own way of looking at the world. Your brand has your of own way of looking at the world. You don’t have to copy everyone else’s quotes. Find your own that matter, right?
I mean I’ve been using a combination of business quotes, like Dale Carnegie. I’ll have some Edwards Deming coming out, and it resonates with the business readership that we have, as well as social media quotes from like – so Gary Vaynerchuk and Brian Solis that resonate with our social media fans. You need to find the content that resonates with your fans from a visual perspective.
And that’s another episode of Maximize Your Social, coming to you from the 405 freeway, and, well, it’s a rainy day. Otherwise, I’d say sunny Southern California, but the sun is coming out, as it always does here. I’m sorry my voice doesn’t sound any clearer today. My voice is gonna be sorry because it’s gonna have to do some video recording for the next few hours, but wherever you are in the world, make it a sunny, safe, and social day. Bye-bye, everybody.
Transcript provided courtesy of GMR Transcription Services, Inc.