One of the questions I get a lot from my webinar attendees is, “I don’t have a lot of time to post to my social networks during the day. How can I make time to be active on social media and run my business?”
The truth is, social media marketing isn’t easy. It takes time and a commitment to grow your social channels, create and share great content, and engage with your followers. However, there are some tools that can help do some of the work for you, giving you some time back. You don’t have to be sitting in front of your computer to post to your social channels.
Try using one of these tools to schedule your content in advance:
The first sign that things were changing on Facebook appeared a few weeks ago. There was a significant drop in reach for almost all of our clients. Reach is the metric provided in Facebook analytics that is supposed to show how much exposure a post receives. The drop happened on the same day immediately following algorithm changes.
Since then, we’ve tested a variety of strategies to see if the lost exposure could be regained. There were some gains but overall Facebook has become less effective as a marketing platform. Following the drop in reach, the question we received most often is, “why?” Here are the six top reasons we found:
- The Facebook algorithm change reduced exposure.
People will not respond if they don’t see the message. The basic algorithm change buried any messages seen as frivolous and reduced exposure of promotional posts that were not sponsored ads. The announcement that sponsored ads are going away in April is misleading. Sponsored ads are changing. They will still exist in a different format. The changes in April will not benefit companies that don’t participate in Facebook advertising.
I was recently involved in a discussion where a business manager raised the idea of buying Twitter followers. My immediate reaction was ‘definitely not’ but others in the conversation noted their own experiences in purchasing followers and ‘Likes’ and the results varied significantly. It’s unethical, it’s tantamount to deception, but it’s also something that many brands have either considered or have already undertaken. A recent report suggested the fake social media profile industry is worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year, so there's definitely demand coming from somewhere. And you have to agree, upping the numbers does give a business more clout in the social space. So the question is, should you do it? There's a few things you should consider before submitting to the social media dark side.
Numbers Do Matter
No matter how you look at it, you can't downplay the importance of follower and 'Like' counts. More followers equals more popularity and, theoretically, higher influence. Having a million followers not only suggests that what that person says is important, but that by getting them to engage with you, you are also important, by extension. As an individual, that's very powerful, but as a brand, it's potentially priceless. If Katy Perry, the current holder of the highest follower count in the world, tweeted about your product, that's coverage you simply can't get anywhere else.
With the New Year still ramping up, marketers are busy focusing on how to ensure success in 2014. This can be a daunting task, with conflicting priorities, pressure from sales teams and senior executives, and an ever-growing list of new strategies, tools and success metrics. With this in mind, we cut through the clutter to identify the five things that should be at the top of every marketer’s priority list this year if they’re tasked with contributing greater revenue and shortening sales cycles (which, frankly, is just about everyone).
Clean your database
A clean and complete database gives marketers the ability to effectively reach out to the customers who are most inclined to be interested in what they have to offer. Such a database saves marketers a lot of time, in turn saving the company’s money. Moreover, it helps foster and maintain strong customer relationships. With the right marketing data management techniques in place, developing a strong database is feasible.
Put behavioral data to work
Behavioral data provides insight into a customer’s habits, preferences and interests. What else could a marketer ask for? With the rise of mobile and social media, pinpointing accurate behavioral data is entirely possible. This has led one industry insider to declare that “social behavioral data will be king” in 2014. With access to customers’ activities, interests and thoughts across social platforms, marketers have direct insight into their behavior and can use that information to develop effective campaigns.
As we enter 2014, some are calling real-time marketing a fad, and predicting its death. Shane Atchison, CEO of Possible, is one of them, citing the fact that most of those who attempted to emulate the real-time success of the Oreo campaign failed miserably. “It turned out that people didn’t want to hear soap brands weighing in on the new Katy Perry album.”
Is this a fair criticism of real-time marketing? Was the “you can still dunk in the dark” Oreo tweet so popular that any other attempts by a brand to connect to a real-time event in social media just seem like a blatant copy? Has real-time marketing been typecast?
There’s a growing debate around the concept of real-time marketing. The problem may be that it is – more often than not – fabricated. Marketers have simply been trying too hard to go viral and not focusing on the true nature of real-time marketing.
Pushing out content in real time to take advantage of a pop-culture event like the Super Bowl or the more recent “polar vortex” that plunged much of the US Mid-West and North-East in sub-arctic temperatures, isn’t real-time marketing, it’s simply real-time content. And yes, there is a difference.
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