Is Your Social Media Strategy Working


Congratulations! You have created a social media strategy with the steps you’ll take and the goals you want to achieve. Or maybe you’re just getting started and need some guidance on how to go about setting yourself up for success.

After you have implemented your strategy, it is very important to measure the actual impact you are having. Here are just a few of the many ways you can determine if your strategy is having a positive impact on your marketplace.

  1.  Vanity Metrics: While this should not be the highlight of your results, vanity metrics can help you quickly and easily see whether your activity is working. When you gain fans and followers, see more “Likes,” “favorites,” “shares,” and “retweets,” you can tell that what you’re publishing is attracting interest.
  2.  Sales: Get with your sales team and start tracking the social media conversions. Start asking how the person found out about your company. If you learn that new customers are reaching out based on your social media activity, you’ll have evidence that your strategy is working, and your sales staff will appreciate it.
  3. Website Traffic: Measuring your website activity is key in determining how social media plays a role in your website traffic. We use Hubspot and Google Analytics, which can get you all the info you need to see where your traffic is coming from, but there are a lot of other good tools out there as well.

The bottom line is, you need to prove the return on investment (ROI) of your social media strategy in order to make it worthwhile. Your vendors will want to see whether social media is money well-spent. Using vanity metrics are a great start, but using deeper metrics and analytics will really showcase your success. I have given you everything you need to make social media flourish for your marketplace, but feel free to reach out anytime with any thoughts or questions.

Optimizing Your Social Media Goals For Success


Are you doing the best you can on social media, but don’t know if it is really helping out your business? You know it’s important to have social media ROI, but aren’t sure how to get it. It is important to set business goals and figure out how social media can reach those goals. Lastly, determine how you can measure the impact of your social media efforts on these goals.

Each social media goal should relate to your specific business goals and I have listed some top ones below:

  • Brand Awareness: It’s important to stay front and center in people’s minds in order to build brand reputation. If customers don’t know about your brand and what it stands for, your business needs to work on being more influential. When your customers are aware of your brand on social media, they are more likely to recommend it to their friends by liking posts on Facebook and retweeting you on Twitter.
  • Increase Website Traffic: Increasing traffic is important to all sites and is crucial if you are selling online. While website traffic should never be the ultimate goal of your website, in order to accomplish other website goals, you must have some traffic. Besides sales opportunities, the more people you have visiting your site, the more chances people have to engage with your blog content, social media, interact with your brand or share your site with friends and followers.
  • Website Visitor Retention:  After you increase your website traffic, you want to start measuring how much time they are spending on your site. The longer people are staying on your site, the more chances that they will buy from you. Another very important aspect of visitor loyalty is to understand on average how many visits are required for one of your visitors to convert. A conversion could be a visitor purchasing from your site, signing up for an email newsletter and so on.
  • Conversion Rates: It’s important to be able to direct the relationship your social media has with sales. We use Hubspot to measure our traffic sources, but there are many other easy tools you can  use. One of the most frequently utilized web goals is a visitor converting to a lead captured by entering personal information online. For companies that conduct the majority of their business online, these goals are very important to the organization and are key measures of success.

You should make measuring your social media success a primary focus of your social media marketing efforts. I recommend you measure and monitor your goals on a monthly basis. It is very important to set up a monitoring process that correctly articulates the info you are looking for. By measuring your social media impact, you ensure the best use of your time and resources. Good luck and please let us know how I can help!

Time to Create a Social Media Strategy


Social media traffic has the potential to be one of the biggest referrers of quality traffic to your site. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social media traffic is very engaging. We blogged about social media engagement last month. Now I am going to discuss what you need do to create a strategy that works. A good social media strategy will benefit your business in many ways. It will assist you to holistically drive traffic to your site, build relationships, better customer service, satisfaction and retention.

Before getting started, make sure you do your research. It is important to know who your target market is and develop a plan for reaching them. You can then optimize your content with the keywords needed to reach them. Competitor analysis can be a great way of seeing what is and isn’t working.  It is also crucial to determine what social media platforms to focus on and have different strategies for them. Find out where your target audience is spending their time on. Once you figure out who your target market is, what platform they are on and what they are looking for, you can then start delivering value to them. The more value you can provide, the faster you will grow your presence. Remember, consistency is key. People will get used to viewing your social media posts before work and/or at lunch every day, so make sure to give them that.

You need to get followers or everything you are doing on social media is pretty pointless.  Without people seeing, reading, and re-sharing the content you post, you’ll never build relationships, trust or see significant traffic. As your follower count grows, you can slow down on growing your targeted following, as the exposure from the content you share will start to earn you significant follower growth and traffic.

There are many techniques to engage and get followers naturally on Twitter, but platforms such as Facebook is largely a pay-to-play site now. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but you do need to start running Facebook and/or LinkedIn ads depending on what your target market is. Linkedin is usually a lot pricier. It is also important to cross-promote on your social media. If you have a lot of followers on Twitter, then tweet out your LinkedIn and Facebook page in order to grow on those platforms also.

You need to automate for success. Nobody has the time to be tweeting all day. As I said at the beginning, the one key to success with social media is consistency and if you can find shortcuts to help you achieve those goals, then go for it. The easiest way to be consistent is to use tools (many of which are free) to schedule your posts. The best standard for posting on Facebook is 3-5 times a week and their algorithm fluctuates very frequently; LinkedIn is the same. Twitter is the best of both worlds because you can post as much as you want up to once an hour, mixed in with retweets and @ mentions. Instagram, Pinterest and others are pretty flexible, it is best to optimize for preferred times though.

Last but not least, you want to benchmark, measure, analyze and make recommendations on your social media analytics. We use HubSpot and Sprout Social and they work great, but there are endless tools out there that work just as well.  You need to commit to following your strategy for months until you start seeing any real results, but even then it could take years for your strategy to start producing the ROI you are looking for. Right now, you are investing your time and resources so that you can get those results. Keep that in mind in the months ahead.

The Shared Economy is Encouraging Future Collaborative Growth

sharing economy

The peer-to-peer economy has grown exponentially in recent years. The internet, social media and e-commerce space has made it very easy for citizens of the world to cash in on the trend to realize their dreams. This new economy has opened the gates for young passionate entrepreneurs with revolutionary business models. Banking, shopping and renting apps have turned these tasks into more of a fad than a chore. People today find it more convenient to own certain items and share others.

There is no reason to worry about parking or living wherever in the house of your dreams anymore. The world is at your fingertips. The sharing economy not only makes life affordable, accessible and equal for everyone on the internet, but it also helps preserve resources for a sustainable future. This may very well be only the beginning of a larger movement that is being powered by the connected world we live in.

AirBnb, Uber, Lyft and other startups were first to notice the shift in preferences and were quick to take advantage of it. Now these startups are growing into multi-million and billion dollar companies. These startups have used technology to facilitate ways to borrow or rent products depending on the usage time and need. These new technologies of these peer-to-peer economic activities are helping to shape the future for building a social movement centered on genuine practices of sharing in the production and consumption of goods and services. This is not only encouraging collaborative growth, but in turn helps consumers save a lot of money while shaping the trends and opportunities of today into businesses of tomorrow! 

What Happened to Social Media User Engagement?


Brands are using social media now more than ever to build communities and drive ROI!  Forrester reports that 80% of the top 50 global brands actively post to the top five social media platforms, and their followings on those platforms has increased. However, engagement has been slowing down a lot over the last year, so smart brands are turning to new creative ways to holistically engage on social media platforms.

Brands really need to stand above the social media noise. One way of doing this is by developing a persona for your brand. Share a vine or things of interest in and to the office. Personalize your brand’s Twitter presence by including the Twitter handle of the person(s) tweeting in their bio. Join the conversation, reply to the people who take the time to tweet you a question, retweet a partner, and the list goes on and on.

It is important to present your brand as a thought leader. Be known as an expert that people turn to by sharing relevant information they can use right now. You also need to start using ads on your top of content to really boost engagement. Natural user engagement is still very much alive and can thrive under the right conditions, it just needs a little extra boost from time to time to really get the kind of reach you are looking for from your social media.  Last but not least, utilize your social tools to nurture and engage your brand’s target market in ways you never thought imaginable!

Social Enterprise Collaboration Tools Bring Social Business to Life!


Social networks for business help enterprises effectively collaborate across departments, offices and countries. These tools give employees a sense of online community and help forge connections between different parts of the business and your customers.

Some business leaders still have a hard time understanding the benefits of the social business. Organizations that have tried to make their businesses social often find that after embracing the technology initially, employees’ enthusiasm soon dies down and only a handful of workers continue to use the technology.

So, how can businesses develop a long-term social business strategy? Brian Solis and Charlene Li do a profound job of describing the success factors of social business strategy. I absolutely agree with Solis that the expectations of your connected customers and employees, and how you improve connections, conversations, and experiences will all be deciding factors of how you grow your business and increase the value of the brand.

Setting goals and roles

Social tools have evolved well beyond Facebook and Twitter, over just a few short years. We now have an opportunity to use socially-driven collaboration tools in new ways to change the way we work. You need to set your goals based on your company objectives and assign roles. Some great collaboration tools are enterprise social networking, cloud team collaboration, online communities that all enable multiple levels of sharing with external and internal members of the business. Enterprises that don’t embrace these technologies could very well risk becoming irrelevant. Your business model will always be under threat from a smarter, nimbler competitor with a new idea or a better use of technology. If you don’t want to end up like your local taxi firm you need to start collaborating with your partners, staff and customers to create innovative new ideas to stay on top.

Customer service

According to Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast Study, social networking, alongside predictive analytics, will be one of the most disruptive business technologies over the next three to five years. For many organizations, that disruption is already underway.

For those businesses that are already have a social enterprise strategy, it’s not simply about providing employees with the means to interact with each other more effectively and many interactions with customers could be improved by the use of social tools. Effectively channeling social collaboration through your socially enabled cloud infrastructure is a great way to engage with and get real time response with both your internal and external customer base.

Social media is rapidly becoming the main interaction point for customer service and external communication in the more open industries. Don’t get me wrong, content is still king, social media is just rapidly taking on a new level of interaction. In this more interactive and collaborative social world, customers now deserve more dynamic and engaging interaction.

Mandating that employees use social tools is one way to ensure new technologies are utilized, but as Solis alludes to above people will often get side-tracked unless the social aspect of business is firmly engrained in it’s culture.

The best way to bring culture of sharing is by collaborating across the organization. This is all made much easier by the accessibility and connectivity of a cloud infrastructure combined with open communication that good social tools or the right enterprise social network can bring. Your business needs to open culture and leadership in order to holistically make the cloud, social and mobile technology work effectively.

Business must understand what they’re trying to achieve before they set off on the journey, and be committed to making cultural changes to the way they work. If you are not a business that offers social collaboration, your customers may force your hand and insist you rapidly change your approach. New modern devices are getting more advanced every day, always-on mobility and the way your data is consumed proves social collaboration isn’t the ideal, it’s the new norm and if you do not jump on board you will get left behind.

Image Credit: OneDesk

Small Business Social Media Tips


Social media may be the last thing on your mind after a long day of managing employees, interacting with customers, ordering inventory and keeping track of your finances. But it’s an important tool that can help you market your small business and engage with customers.

Social media marketing has proven it’s here to stay, has sustainable ROI and companies are finding ways to accurately measure their success. If you engage in social media marketing wisely, it will be your most cost-effective marketing tool. I think social media is largely defined by its ability to enable a new form of word of mouth. For small businesses, social media enables them to embrace this new power of word of mouth marketing and use it to build a powerful bond with their audience. Here are some simple ways small businesses can optimize their social media presence.

Set goals and benchmarks

It is important to clarify your company’s strategy and goals, so that you know what you are working towards. Your goals don’t have to be extensive; you can aim to increase your number of followers or engagement with customers, or to get sales leads directly through social media. Set clear benchmarks before you start any online marketing campaign and throughout, in order to have a clear measure of success.


Optimize your website

Your social media accounts should focus on driving users to your website, so it is very important to have a website that reflects your brand and is up to date with your most current content, products, services, etc. Make sure all of your social media accounts include a link to your website and vice versa. I like to use a website as a social media hub, that links all of their social media platforms together. It is important to identify your target keywords. Optimize your content great for your community and search engines. Use Google Suggest and Google Adwords to identify the right keywords to use blog posts, and be sure to optimize all of your social media platforms for search engine optimization (SEO).

Share content

Social media is about more than just selling your products and services; it’s a chance to engage with your customers and establish your business as an industry expert. Sharing content – whether it’s original articles, aggregated articles, photos or videos – is a great way to engage with your customers.

People are also looking for something authentic. They want to know the real you. If you’re business is a hotel, for example, share information about hotels that’s not directly related to your business. If you own a sports store, tweet about and to the athletes your business is affiliated with. If you own a bakery, post Instagram photos of your staff frosting cupcakes behind the scenes.

I strongly recommend sharing before selling. Sharing other industry leaders content at a ratio of four to one before you promote your business is a good place to start. This will also encourage other thought leaders to share your content. You are now ready to effectively launch your small business social media. Good luck and be sure to contact us with any questions.

Image Credit: WireWalkers