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3 ways to stop wasting time on social media

112987077With social media eating up an increasingly larger chunk of brands' communications strategies these days, it's easy for marketers to find themselves lost in the day-to-day planning and execution of messaging through all the various channels. What started as a seemingly menial task -- planning a brand's tweets for the week -- has now expanded to crafting Facebook posts and managing Pinterest boards, Instagram uploads, and Google+ interactions. Suddenly, what started as a seemingly simple task has become an unwieldy time-suck. And even those brands that are lucky enough to have dedicated social media managers are finding that the potential channels of interest are proliferating faster than the personnel allotment to manage those channels.

Since social media managers now have to do more with either the same or fewer resources, they have to create efficiencies in their current processes. Here are some simple ways to do so that you might not have considered. Streamlining your processes in this way will free you up to do more of what really matters in social media -- respond and engage.

Some of the following examples might seem obvious at first, but don't knock 'em until you've tried 'em. Simple tools (like calendars) tend to create an outward ripple of efficiencies. Have you discovered a creative solution to an efficiency problem? Please share in the comments below. The following ideas are ones I have personally used and tested.

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Email marketing vs. social media: content matters

112987077CLEVELAND, Ohio -- When Greg Jurcisin isn't running his two restaurants in Euclid and Concord, he's thinking about how to keep customers to coming back. For him, e-mail marketing trumps social media.

In a world where social media dominates conversations for millions of people, small business owners like Jurcisin still find that marketing to customers who willingly sign up to hear about specials, activities, coupons and trivia is much more effective than marketing to the masses. In the last eight years, he's built a following of 2,600 customers who want to hear about his gourmet pizzasliquor tastings, live bands and even exclusive discounts.

Meanwhile he's still trying to reach 1,000 Facebook fans.

"When you use e-mail you're putting out all of this information and it's done. If they want more they can go to your website," said Jurcisin who owns Beach Club Bistro and Beach Club Grill.

And Jurcisin is not alone. With 3.3 billion users, email marketing has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined.

"Social media is a slow process to build unless you have someone at your company dedicated to it or you can afford to hire a specialist. We have a Facebook page, but I'm running a business I don't have time to keep running back to a computer to answer questions about something we posted," Jurcisin said.

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Over 9.4 Billion Online Video Ads Were Seen in September

112987077There were 9,436,158 online video ads seen in September, according to a recent comScore report.

ComScore found that over 50 percent of the total U.S. population saw online video ads last month. About 3.4 billion minutes of online videos were seen in September. The study shows that a viewer saw approximately 64 video ads over the month.

According to the firm the number one property for online ad views was Google Sites. The web-hosting service garnered over 1.7 billion video ad views. However, comScore reports that Google's service only offered 142 million minutes of viewable ads.

The BrightRoll Video Network led the pack in minutes ads were viewed. Users watched 681 million minutes of BrightRoll ads last month. The video network also garnered the highest total reach of the U.S. population. BrightRoll video ads were seen by over 43 percent of the U.S. population.

Hulu came in second in total amount of video ads seen but failed to reach much of the total population. The streaming video service's video ads were only seen by 7.5 percent of the U.S. population. Hulu did, however, lead the pack in frequency of ad views with an average viewer watching 51 ads each during September.

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Social Media is Dead.

112987077The past two weeks have been unique. Last week I was in Syracuse, New York training a brilliant sales team at BlueRock Energy. The week before was spent hopping from borough to borough with the talented team at Vanguarde Consulting speaking with small business owners (save the Bronx due to a scheduling mix up).

Both weeks were filled with powerhouse executives who were charging headlong into the world of social media. All of them embracing the seismic shift of social media, and frankly it was inspiring.

I saw sales representatives like Wendy Defazio of Bluerock Energy migrate from a barren LinkedIn profile into a thriving, engaged, and appropriate profile that will surely help her close business in the coming months.

While working with the City of New York for a special program sponsored by the Pivot Conference and Social Week called "Social Week Gives Back" I was able to chat with small business owners in each borough and discuss how sales professionals can leverage social connections to boost sales. I was inspired by the work Natasha Bernardez is doing with her Twitter account for her holistic and socially responsible food business. We were Tweeting just moments after I lectured in Queens - she "get's it."

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Content Marketers Beware: How to Keep Up With The Changes on Social Sites

112987077It seems like every time I get a handle on a social media channel or a search optimization technique—something changes. Facebook expands its insights, Google introduces Panda 20, and the list goes on. Keeping up-to-date with changes impacting search and social is an overwhelming (and sometimes frightening) task for marketers. Heraclitus was correct: change is the only constant.

Hiding from this reality will only make matters worse. To ensure that you stay in the know and keep your online channels in lockstep, we've included a few recent updates.

Google and the Guest Post

In a recent interview article on the art of guest posting, Matt Cutts of Google encourages companies to not "overdo it" when it comes to guest post submissions. No matter where it is--Google will serve up the most relevant, high-quality content and punish publishers who try to "game" the system. Guest posting is still worthwhile so long as brands are creating articles, infographics and videos that are original and relevant. As Google's Panda algorithm continues to evolve, quality remains critical. Stuffing a post with keywords worked at one point, but not anymore. No matter where you submit and publish your content, be authentic and focus on the needs of your audience.

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