Category: Social Media Marketing World

The Internet Entrepreneur’s Guide to Regaining Time from Social Media Marketing

Do you have enough time for social marketing?

How many hours a day should you spend on social marketing?

Does 48 hours a day seem reasonable?

The usual answers are to delegating, outsource and automate, but all these take resources you could use elsewhere.

Forget what social media ‘experts’ tell you to do, they have their own agendas. Instead, you need to look at whether all the social media tasks on your to-do list are worthwhile.

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How to Turn Employees Into Social Marketers

Social media for business is shaking up the organizational chart. It’s turning employees into marketers, marketers into change agents, and trainers into technology. It’s good for business, good for employees, and a historic opportunity for marketers to radically expand their influence on the organization.Everyone’s in MarketingMost marketers, especially B2B marketers, don’t really understand social. Most marketers use social networks as another broadcast channel, more advertising inventory on which the brand hawks its wares.That’s not social.It’s a business cliché that every employee is in sales. Now there’s a new reality: Everyone’s in marketing, too. In the past, marketing departments controlled the company’s marketing channels. Social networking has changed that. Everyone—from the CEO to the night watchman—can use social networks to represent the company, its brand, and its offerings.That’s social.Social networking has turned employees into microsites. They’re on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks representing themselves, the company, and the brand. When employees associate themselves with a brand, they become its ambassadors. In the social-driven marketplace, they carry the company flag.Marketers who devote their budgets driving traffic to their corporate websites are waking up to the fact that those websites are just the beginning. As marketers, they also need to influence the hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of employee-operated microsites that also represent the brand.Social networks aren’t like other marketing channels. Social networks are…well…social. They’re about 1-1 relationships and conversations. They’re about people networking, not brands broadcasting. This media isn’t paid or owned. It’s earned—earned from a company’s employees who are the owners of their social networks.Marketing as a Corporate Change AgentSocial networking casts the marketing department in the unfamiliar role of corporate change agent. As the access to marketing tools spreads to the full employee base, all those employees become critical pieces of the marketing ecosystem.The marketing team’s role shifts from executing campaigns to employee enablement. Marketing needs to guide employees to use social in ways that drive brand awareness, generate leads, attract talent, and deepen customer relationships.Like every change effort, it’s a process. It’s a lot more complicated than placing an ad or optimizing a website. The marketing department must bring the rest of the company to the new world of social business. Marketing is literally leading the rest of the company to the future of business.Fortunately, the path to that future is fairly clear. In simplest terms, it comes down to three M’s: Mobilize, Maximize, Measure.
  • Mobilize their excitement. Some employees don’t see the point of social networking. Companies need to help employees understand the power of social marketing, how it fits into their daily workflow, and how it’s a win-win for the company and the employee.
  • Maximize their effectiveness. Employees who use social networks effectively do 3 things: create compelling profiles, build robust and relevant networks, and engage those networks with valuable content. Here again, employees need help.
  • Measure their impact. As with any marketing initiative, top performers measure the impact of their activity. If bottom-line contribution isn’t clear, they look at leading indicators like profile quality, network size and relevance, social sharing, and clickthroughs.
Personalized Training at Enterprise ScaleOver the past two years, forward-looking companies and professional services firms have brought social media experts into the office to train employees on social. While many have seen positive results with this approach, it has a significant limitation: it doesn’t scale.When a manual process doesn’t scale, there’s an opportunity to introduce technology to automate it. That’s exactly what’s happening here. A new breed of training automation tools is starting to upstage manual training, and to deliver the benefits of social business to even the largest companies.These automated training tools integrate directly with the social networks themselves via each networks’ application programming interface (or “API” for short.) This allows them to pull in an employee’s social data—their profiles, networks, and shared content—from all the employee’s networks and make personalized recommendations based on that data.Integration directly with the social networks themselves is what sets social training automation apart from traditional e-learning solutions. E-learning solutions explain or simulate a process for the user, without actually executing on them. Automated social training tools actually help the employee, in real time, take the actions required on social networks to be more effective.Trust is the Basis of SocialEmployee online interactions with prospects, customers, and channel partners are based on trust. They connect to those individuals with a strong expectation that they retain full control over who sees and participates in those interactions. That trust is sacred. Without it, social networks degenerate into very noisy broadcasting booths.Employee networks are similarly sacred. They belong to the employee, and must not be compromised. If employees so much as suspect that someone else is accessing their conversations on social networks, the opportunity to conduct business there is lost.Companies achieve the best results when they guide, not invade. The best companies offer social training (whether manual or automated) as an employee benefit, a form of professional education or development. They steer clear of top-down mandates (“This is mandatory for all staff!”) in favor of recommendations (“We think this could really help you.”) Most of all, they respect the privacy of their employee’s networks.Professionals want to use social better. Ask your colleagues about LinkedIn and the vast majority will say, “I’m on it, but I don’t use it very well.” They need help, and they want it.By helping employees become effective social marketers in a scalable and non-controlling way, marketers can improve company performance and reinvent themselves as company change agents.About the Author Michael Idinopulos is the Chief Marketing Officer for PeopleLinx. He led one of the earliest enterprise-scale deployments of blogs, wikis, and social networking. Michael’s TEDx talk, “Mr. Manager, Tear Down These (Digital) Walls” is available on YouTube. Michael holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in philosophy from U.C. Berkeley.

Facebook 101: What’s the Difference Between a Profile and a Page?

It’s no secret that Facebook is the most-used social network in the US. However, because its capabilities for businesses are so different from the personal experience, many people still don’t understand some of the basics behind Facebook marketing. In this 4-part series, we will ask and then answer some questions about Facebook, from the more basic to the highly tactical.Today, we’re going to look at some of the most fundamental aspects of Facebook. As you venture into Facebook marketing, you'll want to be able to differentiate between profiles and pages, good content and bad content, etc., but asking these questions of the experts can be intimidating.But they shouldn’t be! Everyone who is starting out on social media needs the basic knowledge to launch a successful Facebook marketing campaign. That said, here are 3 basic questions that you may have but are afraid to ask:

1. What’s the difference between a profile and a Page?

Put simply, a profile is for people and a Page is for companies. With a profile, users must request to be your friend (and then you have to accept them) before they receive content from you in their news feeds. Profiles come with features like Chat and gaming capabilities that are not available to Pages.To create a profile, you have to sign up for Facebook from the home page with a personal email address, entering your personal information, not the information of your company.A Page, however, requires a user to hit a button labeled “Like,” and content will start to be visible on his or her news feed. Pages are different as well in the sense that they must be created from an existing account, and different individual people (who have their own profiles) are assigned as admins.

For example, if you search “Samantha Gale” on Facebook, you will find a personal profile with personal updates. But if you search 60 Second Marketer, you will see a picture of our CEO Jamie Turner and links to our blog posts and other relevant content. You can see what I mean in the image below:  I have access to both of these timelines. But the difference is that I signed up for my personal Facebook using my own email address and information, and I can create Pages through that account.If your goal is to market your brand, then you should create a Page. It should originate from the person who will have primary access to it. To create a Page, log in to your profile and click on “Like Pages” in the column on the left. At the top of that page, there should be a green button labeled “+ Create Page.” Facebook will prompt you through the rest.Ideally, there should be more than one person attached to the page as an admin for the purpose of simple checks and balances. Once you have created your Page, you can edit admin settings from your dashboard by clicking “Edit page” at the top and then “Manage Admin Roles.” You should select someone who you trust and who is associated with your brand. Make them a manager to add a level of accountability.

2. What should I put on my Page?

After you’ve created your Page and have selected another admin, you should add content to your Page. You may have filled in some of this information while you were creating your Page.Your contact information is imperative in social media. This includes a telephone number, email address, and most importantly web page that your fans can go to if they want to shop your site, learn more about your brand, or contact you outside of Facebook. Make sure all of this information is where it’s supposed to be — there are different places designated specifically for each method of contact.Another thing you want to make sure you get right is your “About” section. This is not the place to go into a full company history or to detail your products and services. This is the place for a quick tagline, and maybe some contact info. The more detailed information (but only as detailed as necessary) belongs in the section labeled “Company Overview.”Your profile picture should be your logo or another image easily identifiable with your brand. Your cover photo, on the other hand, can be a bit more creative. You can use text in creating your cover photo, but be sure not to use too much, or Facebook may see it as spam. Typically, the cover photo will change frequently as new promotions or events come and go. The profile photo, on the other hand, stays relatively consistent.

The last things you should do before creating content are to make sure your Page is published and invite your friends to “Like” the Page. If it isn’t published, no one will ever find it, even if they search for it specifically. Likewise, if you don’t invite your friends, there will be no one there to see your content.

3. What should I post on Facebook?

The answer to this question is so loaded that people have entire blogs dedicated to exploring new ideas around it. But it can be answered simply: post content relevant to your brand and to your audience.Now, what does that actually mean? Well, your brand has something to offer, and your audience is the pool of people who might potentially be interested in it. There are all kinds of ideas regarding promotions, contests, content marketing, etc., but here is a quick and dirty tip sheet for developing Facebook content:
  • Make posts visually interesting. People like pictures, so pair everything with a photo or graphic original to your brand that shares or links to relevant information in the caption.
  • Don’t be afraid to share other people’s content. Just because your company didn’t create it doesn’t mean it can’t be relevant. Just remember to position it to contribute to your brand rather than compete with it.
  • Be original. If you didn’t create the content, source it appropriately. Nothing destroys your credibility like someone accusing you publicly of plagiarism.
  • Watch your tone. Your posts should have a specific personality to them — a personality that you have hand selected to be associated with your brand.
  • Post regularly. No, it isn’t too much to post multiple times a day. Just make sure that each post is different from the last, and you will be rewarded with more exposure.
So by now you should be able to create a Page, set it up effectively, and begin developing content. Once you’ve been posting content regularly for a fair amount of time, you will be able to extract value from the analytics built into Facebook. Be sure to come back for part 2, where we’ll discuss how your content is discovered and how to boost its exposure!About the Author: Samantha Gale is a writer and account manager at 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with well-known brands around the globe.