Social Media Marketing is a 24/7 job

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I’m a community manager so I know the routine. You wake up and immediately check any mentions about your brand online, across all of the social networks. You also check for mentions right before you fall asleep, not to mention at least once an hour everyday.

At Engage121, our clients use social media 24/7 like I do and our goal is to make it easier for them with our software, when they’re in the office and when they’re not. Our new iPhone app will make the job of a community manager much easier.

We’ve updated our existing iPhone app to include the same functionality you have when you are using Engage121 on your desktop. Here are a few things you do while you’ re in the office, and that you need to do when you’re on the go as well. This is also a great checklist for you to use, before you download an app that claims to help you with your community management tasks.

Mentions: you need to know immediately if someone mentions your brand online, good or bad. We’ve all seen what happens when you ignore mentions online and the PR crisis hits and spirals out of control. Now you can monitor any time of day, easily on your iPhone.

Manage Scheduled Posts: You read a great article earlier in the day and you scheduled it to go out later that night, but shoot Facebook just took away that functionality. You need to delete that post before it goes out and damages your credibility. The new iPhone app allows you to delete posts that are scheduled in your Planner.

Publish great content, on the fly: While you’re monitoring for brand mentions you dive into your newsfeed to read one last article before you end your day, and it’s GREAT.  You want to publish it to your social networks and you need to do it now since it’s during the evening hours while your community is most engaged . You can now easily share links on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn groups and elsewhere in the iPhone app the same way you do on your desktop through Engage121.

Alert team members: Someone has asked you a question on Twitter and you responded but  you know that it’s definitely something that customer service needs to handle. You can send notifications to  your Connect121 contacts in the iPhone app. There’s no need to open Outlook, tag them in an update so they see the notification as soon as they get into the office.

We’re really excited about our updated iPhone app, and I would be very excited to hear your thoughts. Do you like the app? Do you need more functionality? Let me know, that’s what I’m here for – to make your job easier.

Happy Posting!

 

 

 

 

7 things you need to consider before using Facebook Ads

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I think Facebook Advertising is one the best ways for you to 1. Build your Facebook Community 2. Get more leads 3. Gain more visibility. However, to be successful, there are a few things you need to know!

It all comes down to one word, targeting. You can run anything as a Facebook Ad and you will get lots of clicks, and even some new page likes, but they won’t be from people who care about your business. They’ll be spammers or people who do not make up your target market. How can you ensure that your Facebook Ads are being seen by the target audience for your business?

First, you need to determine which type of Facebook Ad you would like to use. Below are targeting options that pertain to all 3 types of Facebook Ads, but I’m going to focus on Sponsored Post Ads, in other words, a published post on your timeline converted to an advertisement.

Geographic Location: You can target your advertisement to people who live in a certain country, state, city or zip code. You can also check a box to include cities near that location within a 10, 25 or 50 radius.

Age: There’s no need to show your ad to people who are 13 years old and older if your target audience is retirees. Select the age range that is most appropriate for your business and the content you are promoting.

Gender: Is your target market mostly men or women? Or, is your target market men, but women also contribute to the buying decision? You can select them both or just one.

Interests: This is what I consider the “gold” of Facebook Advertising. You can select certain interests to ensure that your ad is placed in front of the right audience. For example, if your target market is stay-at-home moms, you can target your ad to Parenting, Family, Kids, Kid Activities, etc.

Connections: You can show your ad to anyone, people who already like your page, or people who do not yet like your page.  However, the “platinum,” is friends of connections. By selecting this option your ads will show to friends of your existing fans (those who already like your page). The great thing about this is that your ad will show with the viewer’s friends name in it. For example, my Facebook friends would see “Jenny likes Engage121″ or “Jenny likes New Blog Post by Engage121.” See the potential? We know everyone values their friend’s input, especially when it comes to buying decisions.

Advanced Targeting: If you’re not socially savvy, you can skip this paragraph. I’m just kidding! The one targeting option here that you should select is language. If you’re advertising in the United States select English (US), or if you’re targeting other ethnicities add Spanish to your selections or whichever language reflects your audience.

Budget & Time Frame: Lastly is the budget you set for your ad or campaign. You can run a Facebook Ad for as little as $5/day. You can also say you want to spend$50 on the ad, which wouldn’t require you to set a daily limit. There are other conversion options, but I’m going to keep it simple for now. Comment below if you’d like to get techy with me.

Why do you need to do all of this work? By targeting your ad you will ensure that those clicks you’re receiving aren’t from spammers. How? Because spammers on Facebook do not fill out their profile and so there is no data such as age, gender or interests associated with their profiles.

I previously wrote a blog post on How to Get Results with Facebook Ads for SpinSucks, which outlines the return I received from using Facebook Ads. There are some additional points in that article that I think you would find helpful.

Have you ventured into Social Advertising yet? Or are you still skeptical?

Yes. A Tragedy Should Alter your Content Strategy

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As with any tragedy, we often explore this topic every time innocent life is abruptly taken.  However, how should you alter your content strategy?

While the answer to me is somewhat obvious, I continue to see folks not understand the most basic of principles.  Being, (i) You’re not always the most important thing in the world and yes, (ii) a sale can wait a day or two.  While there is no timetable for personal bereavement, or a national tragedy like Newtown, which hit VERY close to home.  Respect for those who have lost their lives is just a human trait. I recently witnessed a spat between a VERY influential celebrity and a writer… which matured into an insensitive chest beating by the celebrity informing this “correct” writer that he didn’t have enough “followers” to tell him how to tweet (auto-posting) during a tragedy or any other time (image of writer responding to the celebrity below, informing him how insensitive he was – I agree with Steve).

Here are my tips for the Guy Kawasaki’s of the world that believe they are above reproach.  Oops, I name dropped:

  1. Posting directly after a tragedy should reflect how you or your business support those of the tragedy; please turn-off scheduled tweets or posts, it’s insensitive. (see image of Engage121 during the Boston Bombing)
  2.  Stay away from political dialogue.  As with Newtown, we were all upset with the vicious nature of the crime, however this is a time for the victims, not political posturing.
  3. Timing – within 24 hours, we need to showcase our resolve.  While I recommend this period to showcase resolve, use common sense and social media.  Social conversations are a great barometer for sentiment.  Listen and your community will tell you if it’s ok!
How do you currently alter your content strategy?

What does it take to be a good Community Manager?

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I’m often asked “what does it take to become a community manager?” My answers usually turn people away, so instead of focusing on how difficult it is, I’m going to focus on what it takes to be a good community manager once you’ve landed the role. Although, you don’t have to take my word for it, I interviewed 3 rockstar CMs to share their thoughts.

Here are 6 tactics that will get you to the top:
-Research
-Connecting
-Experimenting
-Listening
-Tracking
-Pushing back 

Research: This never stops, and it shouldn’t no matter what profession you’re in, but with social media marketing you need to be the “go-to person” for Facebook questions, and any other social network that your clients or company is using.
How-To: Read blogs, a lot, written by the top content producers in the industry, such as Mashable. Also by the top influencers in the industry, for example David Armano, Gini Dietrich, the list goes on.

Connecting: You need to build relationships with the people I just mentioned above. If they are true “influencers” and actually use social media daily, and don’t  have their assistant do it, then this is possible.
How-To:  Read their blog posts, and comment on the posts by giving your thoughts. I know it’s scary since you’re just starting out and this person is a big-wig but I promise that they’ll listen. I remember the first time I commented on Spin Sucks, I was so scared I think I read my comment 15 times before publishing.

Experimenting: Take risks, immediately. In the beginning you’ll only have your own personal networks to experiment with but that’s ok.
How-To: Write a controversial blog post, tweet someone you wouldn’t dare to on a normal day. Post content that you know will piss someone off. This is how you push the envelope in Social Media, and it is the only way you’ll learn what the boundaries truly are with your audience.

Listening: Listen to what others are telling you, in your company and online.
How-To: You need to be able to take the feedback you receive and implement it into your current strategy. Sometimes, heck most of the time, you won’t agree and you’ll know that it’s not “best practice” for completing a task but you need to find a way to show them that you are listening. You’ll need their help later getting more people on board using Social Media, as well as getting budget for events and applications.

Tracking: If you’ve landed a role in Social Media Marketing and you don’t have data to take with you, then you mine as well stay where you are because getting a job somewhere else, especially if  you’re moving up, is going to be tough without analytics in your portfolio. If you only have access to your own personal networks that’s ok,  you can track your followers, the engagement you received for certain types of content. But being able to show the growth you achieved for your employer  by conducting your current social strategy is a game changer.
How-To: Tools, they’re out there, and if you don’t have a budget you can use some that are free. If you have a budget I would highly suggest paying for a SMMS, Social Media Management System. Using an SMMS you can create charts that track data for you, compare them against your sales data for the month, and so much more. Plus using an SMMS makes your job so much easier, and gives you much more free time to do things like write blog posts.

Pushing Back: You are in your role because you know what you’re doing, remember that. If you have years of experience using social media marketing to grow a business then don’t let someone tell you that you’re doing it wrong, again you need to Listen, but stand your ground.
How-To: You’ve got data to back up your strategy, use it to show them why you’re right.

Do you agree with my strategy above? If so, why? If not, let’s debate in the comments below!

 

Photo credit: socialfresh 

Tagging is now professional on LinkedIn, finding new places is exciting with Foursquare, and more

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This week’s Social Media recap is all about new features on your favorite social networks. You can now manage one YouTube channel with multiple Google+ accounts.

Foursquare took their app to a whole new level by making search and discovery the #1 focus with their new design.

If you’ve been looking for a good reason to start using Facebook Ads you can start today because you now have many more targeting features with the new parent categories.

Do you want to make sure your friends see your new position on LinkedIn? Not a problem, you can now tag people & companies in your status updates.

Lastly, Facebook does care about their users, they now want to know if you’re happy or sad by having you share your emotions in your status updates.

What’s your favorite update this week?

How much do you really know about your Twitter followers?

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Do you know where they shop? You should. Here’s why, imagine you’re creating a new marketing campaign that is focused on Twitter for a new product, and you’re looking to offer coupons for this new product but you’re not sure which features will redeem the most coupons. If you know where your customers shop, you’d know which stores you should offer coupons at, and drive your customers where they want to shop. Which in turn will help you build customer loyalty.

How can you determine where your followers shop? Our new Twitter demographics chart in Engage121, enables you to glean this type of marketing intelligence. Our new chart provides users aggregated opinion data about your followers’ preferences for brands, hobbies, sports, schools, restaurants, travel and more. So, you can better understand your customers’ habits, profiles and preferences.

 

This new feature provides you with powerful info-graphics describing your Twitter audience, revealing:

  • Whether they are male or female.
  • Their interests.
  • Where they like to shop and eat.
  • Who they follow.
  • How active they are.
  • The languages they speak.
  • Their family status.
  • …and much more.

What do you know about your Twitter followers?

Next up is Meredith, our newest rockstar

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Social Media is all about Transparency, and showing that you are actually a human not just a business. To stay on that path I feature the newest members of our team here so you can get to know who is behind our software, who is on the other line of the telephone and behind the email. I would like to introduce you to Meredith Klein-Hertzel, Program Manager.

Background: I was born in Daegu City, South Korea and was adopted when I was 5 months old.  I spent my first few years in Massachusetts and then we moved to Connecticut where I lived up until I went to college.  I swore to myself that after high school I would move as far away from Connecticut as possible.  I moved back to Connecticut less than a year after I was done with college.

College: I went to Bentley University in Waltham, MA where I majored in Information Design & Corporate Communication with a concentration in public relations.  Say that five times fast 

Hobbies: I love almost anything and everything having to do with being in or on the water.  I try and spend as much time as I can on a boat over the summer months.  I don’t care that I live an hour outside New York, I’m a crazed Boston sports fan and proud of it! I love live music in all shapes and sizes and try to go to as many concerts as possible.  One of my favorite things to do is wine and dine with my friends.  I’m a big fan of cooking a big meal but love going out and experiencing a great meal as well.

Experience: In my pre-Engage121 life, I was an account director at a technology company.  I sold video streaming technologies for qualitative market research.


One thing you’d never guess about me
: Of all the things in the world you can have phobias of (spiders, heights, snakes, small spaces, etc.), I’m terrified of helium balloons.  A fear I’m not proud of, but it is what it is.

What is your goal for being at Enage121? I hope to continue to learn about the ever-changing world of social media so I can contribute to an effective and enjoyable experience for our clients.

Comment below to welcome Meredith to the team. She’d love to hear from you!

LinkedIn Search, Facebook Replies, Yelp, and Flipboard gets fancy

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This week’s Social Media Recap

This week’s Social Media Recap includes updates from all over the web. I’ve got 5 big updates for you to check out!

1. LinkedIn overhauled their search function for the first time in years.
2. Facebook rolls out replies to business pages, now you can reply directly to the person who commented on your post.
3. Yelp launched a Revenue Estimator tool for merchants to get a sense of how much money they are making from leads through Yelp.
4. Flipboard opens magazine creation and integrates with Etsy to become the next big eCommerce site.
5. Facebook started placing ads purchased through its ad exchange, FBX, in the newsfeeds of users.

What did  you learn about this week?

How to Drive More Event Registrations with Influencer Marketing

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Events are a powerful marketing tool. They give you the opportunity to bring your network together and inspire conversations that help create ideal buying conditions. The key to a successful event is a full room of interested attendees and engaging speakers. Here is a simple breakdown of how you can leverage influencer marketing for your next event.

Step 1: Take a close look at the event content, track themes and speaker expertise. Use this content to define your core topics.

Step 2: Use those topics to search for people who are involved in the relevant online conversations. When looking for influencers, it’s important to identify people who are:

  • relevant to your topic areas,
  • have a good reach; and
  • inspire messages that resonate.

These are the influencers who can help spread the word about your event and perhaps be speakers, moderators or guest bloggers at your event.

Tip: Use geo-targeting to find influencers who are near the event or who live in important markets for you.

Step 3: Engage with your influencers by reaching out with a compelling and relevant invitation or call-to-action. Don’t just send out a blanket email; I guarantee it’ll fall on deaf ears. Try to understand what motivates your influencers so you can convey the real value of attending. I’ve found that many people welcome the opportunity to network with other thought-leaders in the space, get the opportunity to cover an event or interview a fellow influencer.

Tip: If you have a long list of influencers, it’s ok to send a template email sometimes. In fact there are many good strategies for influencer engagement. Here are three we wrote about earlier.

Step 4: Events are very dynamic, but we tend to focus most of our efforts on the actual day of. Use the time before, during and after the event to create relationships with you influencers. From excitement generating pieces to liveblogging to post-event lessons learned there are countless opportunities to work with your influencers to create content that will help you drive registrations and extend your event virtually.

Tip: Monitor mentions before, during and after the event to measure how effective your engagement efforts have been.

These are just a few ideas for promoting your next event with influencer marketing. Have you tried other techniques?

Liane Blanchette is Director of Customer Success at Traackr, an influencer marketing platform. She also contributed to their Guide to Influencer Marketing, which provides additional resources and use cases.