Tag Archives: SocialFlow

Creating a Social-Friendly Brand: Interview with BJ Emerson, Part 2

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It’s time for round two of picking BJ Emerson‘s brain for Social Media tips and tricks. Last week we discussed using storytelling to grow your brand online. In this interview we dive deeper into creating a social-friendly brand. Here are a few of the things we discussed.

What is the difference between hearing and listening in Social Media?

Hearing is a natural function, it’s about survival. Listening is more focused on putting energy towards someone, a follower, and capturing what they are trying to communicate.

When you’re listening and creating content how do you know what will resonate with your audience?

There are many tools available to help you cut through the noise. Over time you will learn what will resonate as you are interacting with your followers. Fortunetely for us there is now software that will show you how well your content will resonate with your followers, such as Engage121. Not only WHEN to post but WHAT to post!

I asked BJ if he could give one tip to a marketer who is just getting start in Social Media Marketing what would it be?

Follow smart people!

I couldn’t agree more! Don’t forget to follow BJ on his blog, it’s full of MUST-READ content for marketers.

What is your one tip for marketers who are just getting started using Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Recap of the Week

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Did you hear that Google+ is the new Enterprise Social Network? They’re making big strides in becoming the social network you can’t live without.

Want to get your inbox to ZERO? It’s possible, here are a few tools to help.

Do you believe in Social Media Optimization? I compiled a case study of our clients’ usage to prove that it works, thanks to SocialFlow. Take a look and see for yourself, data doesn’t lie. If you’re still not convinced join me on September 13th for a webinar with the head of Research & Development at SocialFlow as we dive further into the data discussion.

What did you discover this week?

Content Optimization has proven ROE

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With hundreds of millions of users on Twitter and other social networks, how can you make sure that your message is reaching your audience at the right time? How can you make sure they are reading your tweet or post? How can you prove that posting to these social networks isn’t a waste of time?

Optimizing your Social Media publishing seems to be a great way to make sure your efforts are providing results. The day of composing an excel sheet which tracks every tweet and post published, the time of day it was published, the content type and how many RTs, likes or comments it received is OVER. There is no way big brands can perform this task, even for smaller brands it would prove to be difficult.

We wanted to prove the value of content optimization, so we integrated SocialFlow into our software to help our clients optimize their content. To prove to our clients that optimization works, we offered SocialFlow to them for free, for three months.

The Results. Overall, the average increase for SocialFlow ReTweets rose by 944%. That’s a big number I know, but we proved across more than 8,200 tweets, that optimization drove our client’s ReTweet numbers from 11 ReTweets per 100 tweets sent, to 150 ReTweets per 100 tweets! That’s a dramatic difference.

I know that some of you have been growing your online communities for years, you know your followers by name, you have brand ambassadors and you know what they like, when they like it. That’s great, for now, but what will you do a few years down the road when someone else starts engaging with your communities? How will you ensure that you brand is still resonating with your audience?

Today it seems that optimizing your Social Media publishing is key to ensuring that your message is being read and reproduced by your followers.

How do you determine when to send your messages across the social sphere?

 

Meet Your Audience Halfway

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Just because you show up to the party, doesn’t mean anyone has to interact with you. Social Media works similarly in that you can build a nice looking Twitter or Facebook profile and put out some great content at the right time, but there’s no guarantee that anyone will engage.

Listening 101
When someone is nice enough to follow you or like your page, it’s your responsibility to show them you are listening. You can do this by using the keywords and hashtags they are already using. Respond to the conversations already taking place.

Remember the questions they are posting on your page or tweeting. The answers to these questions make great blog posts, and if one person has that question you can bet others do as well.

Politeness counts
When your followers start engaging with you always say “thank you for your post/comment/RT.” You can also like their comment or favorite their Retweet.

Examples of Listening In Practice
When you see your name mentioned see what else they are referencing. For example, when I search for mentions of Engage121, I usually see #SMMS, SM tools, or community management. Then I search those hashtags or keywords on the web to seek out leads and potential customers.

College Hunks Hauling Junk is one of our clients and they do a great job meeting their audience halfway and engaging with them on their terms. College Hunks is not waiting to have someone tag them on Twitter but they are actively searching for their brand name being mentioned. Not everyone is going to take the time to search for your twitter handle before mentioning you or your services, especially when they are not satisfied!

Facebook fans can now direct message a business page. This is great for brands because not everyone wants to post their question or concern publicly on the brand’s timeline. Make sure to turn this feature on in the admin panel on your business page. Since College Hunks has enabled this feature on their business page they were able to get a new customer from responding to one of their fan’s immediate needs. Remember Social Media is in real-time and as you can see this was an immediate request. If College Hunks had waited a week to check their messages they would not have got this customer.

Are you engaging with your audience on their terms?

To read more posts about Best Practices for Optimizing your Social Media Publishing scroll through our blog here and SocialFlow’s blog to see posts written by Megan Smith.

Our next webinar will be on Septemmber 13th, you don’t want to miss this one! With the help of SocialFlow’s Head of R&D, Gilad Lotan, we will be delving into the power and intricacies of timing in social media optimization.

Social Never Sleeps

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As part of our continuing series, Top 8 Best Practices for Optimization, today we will focus on #4, thinking outside your time zone.. Catch up on previous posts here and here.

More than 70% of tweets comes from outside the U.S.” -  Katie Stanton, Vice President of International Strategy, Twitter

It’s key to remember then that the sun doesn’t really set for social media. There’s always someone online somewhere and to stop publishing after work for instance, means you could be seriously missing out on your available audience.

For example, take a look at these sample audience oscillation graphs:

 

 

What does this tell us? Your audience activity level fluctuates and it’s not going to be the same exact fluctuation every day. Without real time data figuring into your publishing strategy, you will potentially miss a significant portion of your audience every time you post.

It’s not about manning social media 24/7, it’s about having enough information for your audience, when they are active and what they are talking about to publish effectively. With a platform like SocialFlow, you can optimize content with real-time data and an open time window so that content goes out at the best possible time – when the largest amount of active audience is available and your content is relevant to them. Using an application such as Engage121 lets you optimize your publishing through SocialFlow, as well as monitor your brand and engage with your followers all in one dashboard.

 

Now that I have a Social Flow account, what do I do with it?

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Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

That’s right, start tweeting. You do not need to worry about bombarding your followers; SocialFlow does the scheduling for you. Compose your tweets using the resonance meter, which measures the effectiveness of your tweet depending on the keywords that are used. If your meter is in the red try putting more explanation and details in your tweet, as well as leaving at least 10 characters for someone to ReTweet your message. The meter should start to move towards the green, remember green means go!

 

Our clients who have used SocialFlow have seen great results. Our client’s followers have increased by 5.9% incrementally, (MOM). SocialFlow factors in when your audience is the most engaged and most active to determine the best time to send your tweet to help gain you more engagement with your followers. SocialFlow’s algorithm factors in many things, such as trending topics, audience, followers, historical data, and trends.

I have been using SocialFlow for the @engage121 twitter handle since April 4th, my ReTweets in 30 days increased by 8%. My new followers are more focused around the audience I am targeting: Tech, CMOs, and Social Media Professionals. Before SocialFlow my new followers ran the gamut for the industries they were associated with, now I am seeing the conversations I was looking for.

The true value points in using SocialFlow to me is; 1. Not having to track when my audience is the most responsive, 2. Knowing what time of the week or day 3. And what content is relevant to them at that time. Then documenting those results in an Excel doc and trying to think about that, quickly, before scheduling each tweet. I put tweets in my SocialFlow queue and select a mandatory release time by the end of the hour, day, week, or by a set time. When I come into work the next day I will notice that my tweets were sent at 12:30am, 4:00am and other times that I would not have thought of. We do have many clients in the United Kingdom and other time zones. SocialFlow helps me keep ALL of my followers engaged.

How do you determine the best time to Tweet?

Engage and Reward your audience

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In the first post in our Best Practices series for Optimizing your Social Media Publishing, number 5 states:

Engage & reward you audience: Interactions, contests, quizzes and conversation are all great ways to engage and reward your audience in Social Media. Use a content management and publishing applications like Engage121 to help you effectively and efficiently reach your community and prospects.

We all talk about engagement but how is it defined? How is it measured?

We define engagement as starting or promoting interaction around content or the brand. The interactions are measured in the number of clicks, replies, shares, likes and comments.

Simple Rules of Engagement

1. Do ask questions that revolve around relevant subject matter.
You know that this will help you build the right fan base who is interested in your area of business.

2. Don’t continuously blast a marketing message.
It’s not polite to speak at people at a party and only talk about yourself, why do it on social networks.

3. Do try to keep the conversation going.
If someone comments with a question or simply states an opinion, respond positively. Not only is it helpful to keep the conversation going, it’s a reward for the fan to hear from you. These days, it’s downright expected.

How do I Reward my audience? What is a reward in social media?

Any positive reinforcement for participation, something that makes the follower or fan feel good for interacting with the brand and promotes future interaction from them.

Examples of Effective Rewards
1. As you respond to fans, consistently engaging them, you will build loyal fans. When they are consistently engaging, one way to reward them is to give them an exclusive offer – something only they can receive. Ask them to DM you for a special discount code, gift card, or exclusive opportunity of some sort.

2. Do try to promote them as much as they promote your brand by engaging with you. Give a #FF shout out or mention them on Facebook, letting others know you value this individual will make them feel good (you should give them a heads up).

3. Don’t always give things away to your fans on Facebook by having them post, like, comment or share something on your wall, which is against Facebook’s terms of service. You’re always giving away free things and your number of likes is increasing, so you only post new content once a month. Your fans are only coming back to your page to get free stuff, not to consume and repurpose your content, but you don’t care because you have 5,000 likes for you page.

4. Do use all the tools available to you to. Create contests on Facebook to reward your community administered through a custom app, and get some promotion for yourself since apps now have like, and tweet buttons.

You know that rewarding your fans isn’t enough; you must give them something of value (exclusive content, a chance to display their own talents to your audience, information they can use) which will insure that you have a valuable community built around people who are interested in your industry, so you blog once a week and share it on your networks.

There are many unique ways a company or brand can engage with and reward their audience.

How have you done this effectively?

 

 

 

 

Do not over publish in Social Media

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How do you determine how much content you should publish on a daily or weekly basis? It’s a fine line between too much and too little, and just enough to keep your community wanting more. Analyze what you’re currently doing to determine how much to publish.

 

Analytics: Watch to see the reaction your posts receive, and think about the type of content you’re publishing. Is it general content that is applicable to everyone, or are you focusing on your niche audience with content they would only be interested in? When you determine the type of content your audience is responding to the most, think about the time of day you are pushing this type of content. You’ll need to keep track of your findings, along with the data below, and after a few weeks look over your results to see if you can spot a trend for the best posting time and choice of content.

 

Engagement: What type of content do you usually get the most likes, comments, shares, and RTs from? Chances are it is a post that asks your viewer to think. Is your post composed as a question to drive an immediate response? Are these posts getting more engagement early in the morning or late afternoon, mid-week or weekends? Add this data to your tracking document.

 

Growth: Are your followers and subscribers increasing at a reasonable rate? If you are not seeing a substantial increase in your community, and you are publishing on a regular basis, try switching up your content. Change your strategy and broaden your target audience. This is where sharing content from other business pages can help increase your visibility and growth. Also do not forget to comment and like posts on business pages that are centered around your target audience as well.

 

There are many factors to consider and it is hard for one human to figure out. SocialFlow does the thinking for you so you do not need to consider time of day for posting. Use SocialFlow for real-time availability and predictive analytics to determine engagement. The SocialFlow optimizer takes all of that into account and publishes your content for you to Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.

 

How did you configure your content strategy?

How can I optimize Social Media to achieve better results?

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I asked our Social Media savvy friends at SocialFlow to team up with me to write a series of blog posts, listing and explaining best practices for optimizing your social media publishing. Here are our TOP 8 master points for getting results from your business efforts in Social Media.

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Start with great content: Align an ideal mix with your goals that may incorporate evergreen content, external resources, personality, questions, tips/how-tos, video, images and audio.

2. Don’t over-publish: Find the sweet spot of enough messaging to satisfy your audience but not so much that they get tired of hearing from you.

3. Master a content cycle: Keep a constant flow between listening, planning, creating, publishing and evaluating. All are important in social, and all will enhance your results.

4. Think outside your time zone: Publish in off hours and recycle occasionally to hit night owls and those on a different schedule. Remember, not all your fans and followers are online at the same time. It’s okay to recycle your message.

5. Engage & reward your audience: Interactions, contests quizzes and conversation are all great ways to do this. Use a content management and publishing application like Engage121 to help you effectively and efficiently reach your community and prospects.

6. Make sure your website encourages social sharing: Do you have easy social tools on site? Are you using Open Graph tags correctly?

7. Meet your audience halfway: Listen to them, and use the keywords and hashtags your audience is already using.

8. Save time through science and technology: Use the SocialFlow Optimized Publisher™  to streamline your publishing to Facebook and Twitter. Optimizing means you don’t have to guess when the best time to deliver your message is or how often.

Tune in next Tuesday as we go in depth to cover how to approach and execute these best practices one-by-one.

 


Why should I use SocialFlow to tweet?

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In this webinar Michael Chin, VP of Marketing at SocialFlow, teaches you how SocialFlow works and shows you how it can effectively increase your engagement on Twitter.

SocialFlow publishes your content (tweets) at the optimal moment; maximizing clicks, retweets, mentions and follower growth. There are many simultaneous conversations occurring on Twitter, making it difficult, if not impossible to break through the white noise and deliver your content.

We believe SocialFlow, through Engage121, can help you accomplish that task. We are now offering SocialFlow for free to all Engage121 clients for a 3 month period starting May 1st, 2012 until July 31st, 2012. Clients please refer here to learn how you can activate SocialFlow or call your customer experience rep.

How do you determine the best time to tweet?