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Monday, 23 December 2013

Twitter Facts for 2013 (infographic)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Long Form Content vs Series of Blog Posts

Last week I was involved in a number of conversations with readers about blog post length and whether it was better to write long posts or short ones.
My short answer to the question was to write ‘useful’ posts, and to use as many words as were necessary to do so.
Having said that, I have been experimenting over the last few months with the two extremes of short and long posts.
If you’ve been paying attention here on ProBlogger this year, you’ll have seen some of what our team have called ‘mega posts’.
For example here on ProBlogger we’ve published:
Over on dPS we also experimented with longer posts including on a post titled The Ultimate Guide to Learning How to Use Your First DSLR (4202 words).
These posts have all performed well above average compared with other posts on my sites over the last 12 months (in fact they feature pretty heavily in the most-read new posts on my blogs in 2013).

What About Series of Posts?

When I recounted the above examples in conversation this week the question that came each time was whether the same content could have been delivered as series of posts.
Wouldn’t it make sense to break a 7000-word post down into 10 700-word posts?
The answer, of course, is that a series of posts is definitely an option.
I’ve certainly created my fair share of series over the years, and will continue to do so, but I also think there is a place for longer-form content. In fact, I think good long-form content has some distinct advantages over series of posts.
For me, I think the main advantage of long form content is that its just more useful and convenient for readers to get it all in one go.
A series of blog posts is great for page views and helping you to fill a week’s editorial calendar, however if you put yourself in a reader’s shoes, it can also be a little (or a lot) painful.
Readers following the blog have to wait for new posts to be published before getting the full information in the series.
Readers who come across the series later have to follow links between posts to get each installment.
Neither of these problems are enough to stop me writing a series of posts, however, there are a couple of good reasons why I think long-form content is attractive to readers.
The other thing I’ve noticed about good quality and useful long-form content is that it gets shared – a lot.
While I’ve had great search traffic to each of the above posts this year, they have each been shared at a higher rate than the average post on my blogs in the same timeframe.
While I do find my series of posts can get shared around too, I’ve never seen a series that I’ve written shared as much as some of the long-form content I’ve created (the only exception might have been when I first ran 31 Days to Build a Better Blog as a series many years ago).

Choose the Best Length for the Topic At Hand

Let me finish by saying that I am not suggesting creating longer-form content just for the sake of publishing longer-form content.
The key is to choose the appropriate length and style of posts for the topic you’re covering.
Long form, short form, series of posts or other formats can all work.

Have you tried longer-form content?

I’ve love to hear about your experience of longer-form content. Have you tried it? How was it received?
Please share a link in comments below – I’d love to see your longer posts.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

THE TOP DRIVER OF SOCIAL MEDIA ROI THAT YOU ARE PROBABLY MISSING

Attribution problems are likely the greatest barrier to social media ROI in the market today. The reality is that social media does a tremendous job of starting the conversation, but many times it isn’t the “last” place someone looks before making a purchase. Therefore, there are a lot of sales that social media influenced that go unreported.
Remarketing advertising offers an opportunity to segment social media users and show them targeted ads through the Google Ad Network or through Facebook using tools like AdRoll.
In order to do this with the Google Ad Network ,you will need to create a segment of users inside of Google analytics that came from any social channel. For example, create a separate segment for users referred by Twitter (t.co) or Facebook (fb.me).  Because the social referrer may come from a variety of different sources, it is imperative that you take the time to set up your segments properly and create a standard way of sharing links.
Target CustomersHowever, you can start to better control this so that your custom segments are spot on if you have Google Analytics. Every time you post a link on a social channel add tracking parameters that you can control. This free tool allows you to customize the source, medium and campaign that will report inside of Google Analytics. For the purposes of this discussion we are focused on the source. Put the social channel where you are promoting the link in the source field, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin, etc. If you want to know all the ins and outs of how to do this, check out this tutorial from Google.
With the combination of Google URL Builder to easily segment your social audience and adding a little line of remarketing code to your site you will be able to add massive layers of ad testing to figure out what drives social conversion. Here are some of my favorite things to test and attempt to answer:
  1. Do Twitter or Facebook followers convert more often on direct response ads for our products or services?
  2. Does remarketing with content marketing ads have a larger impact on social conversion than direct response ads?
  3. Are social media followers more likely to convert into email subscribers before purchasing or vice versa?
  4. Do remarketing ads that are aligned with the type of content in the link they originally clicked on more or less effective in driving conversions?
Remarketing offers a tremendous ability to finally test and measure social media’s role in both direct response and longer-tail conversions.  It’s easy to implement and inexpensive to test what conversion points will work with your social media fans and followers.
Did you notice? There is still one big gaping hole. You can currently only add visitors to remarketing lists if it is a link that goes to your own website. For most of us, we share up to 80% of our content that goes to a third party website, i.e. Mashable, CNN, etc. This is the value we provide to our audiences.
If you are interested, I have good news. SME Digital and WebMechanix solved this problem with our patent pending technology TRKS.IT. You will be able to track your third party links (links to someone else’s website) exactly the same way you track 1st party links (links to your website) and add users who click links to remarketing lists based on which link they clicked. The product will launch into beta very soon for WordPress and Google Analytics users. If you are interested in being a tester please join the mailing list here.
Have you used remarketing to test different conversion opportunities with your social media followers? If so, what were the results? What have you tested to close the gap between social media engagement and conversion? Leave a comment and share your story!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Instagram Direct: This Week in Social Media

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.

What’s New This Week?

Instagram Introduces Instagram Direct: Instagram Direct gives you “a new way to send photo and video messages to friends.”
Twitter Enables Photos With Direct Messages: With Twitter’s latest iOS and Android app updates, you can now “send and receive photos via direct messages and swipe back and forth between timelines.”
twitter direct message photos
You can now share and view photos via direct message (DM) on your Twitter mobile phone app.
Twitter Introduces Broad Match for Keyword Targeting for Ads: Twitter advertisers can use the new broad match, sentiment filtering and negative keyword match feature “to support the increasingly sophisticated needs around keyword targeting.”
twitter broad match
For example, a coffee shop that wants to reach coffee enthusiasts can run a campaign targeting the broad match keywords “love coffee.”
Facebook Rolls Out Full Availability of New Like and Share Buttons: After testing, Facebook rolled out the new Like button and extended it to the Follow and Like Box plugins as well.
new Facebook buttons
In early tests over the past month after launching the new Like and Share buttons, Facebook has “seen more than a 5% lift in likes and shares across the web.”
Google Is Testing +Post Ads: “+Post ads allow a brand to take a piece of their public Google+ content, like a photo, video or even a hangout, and with a few clicks, turn it into a display ad that can run across the more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network.” This new feature is currently only offered to a select group of partners.
Your LinkedIn Inbox Gets a New Look: LinkedIn “started to roll out a new, freshly redesigned and easier to navigate inbox experience to help you better manage and build your professional relationships on LinkedIn.”
linkedin inbox
LinkedIn’s new inbox gives you a “cleaner and more streamlined design with larger pictures to make it easier to follow and manage your professional conversations.”
Foursquare No Longer Allows Private Check-ins on iOS7: In the latest iOS7 app update, Foursquare decided to remove the ability to privately check in. Private check-ins are still available on other platforms.
Here’s a cool social media tool worth noting:
Circle: An app to show you local news and events from helpful and positive people who are near you right now.
circle
Use Circle to find out what’s happening near you.

Weekly Marketing Tip

Here we bring you weekly marketing tips from Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner:

Other Mentions

Introducing Social Media Marketing World60+ pros help you master social media marketing! Join Chris Brogan (co-author of The Impact Equation), Mari Smith (co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day), Michael Hyatt (author ofPlatform), Jay Baer (author of Youtility), John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing), Amy Porterfield (co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies), Mark Schaefer (author of Tao of Twitter), Michael Stelzner (author ofLaunch) and experts from more than a dozen brands as they reveal proven social media marketing tactics at Social Media Marketing World 2014—Social Media Examiner’s mega-conference in beautiful San Diego, California.

Check out this overview of the conference or click here for more details.
What do you think? Please share your comments below.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Facebook Campaign Ideas for Christmas

Ideas for Christmas, Campaign Ideas for Facebook
Our lives and times have changed a lot due to sharp turns in technology. For many of us it revolves around work, family and social life while others see it differently. However no matter which age group, social and ethnic background we belong to, we have always yearned for Christmas. Christmas is a beautiful tradition and it is difficult to not get caught up in the Christmas spirit. Thomas Jefferson termed “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as unalienable rights in the declaration of independence. Christmas is the right time to share the joy, happiness, love, peace and your pursuit of happiness with other people around you.

Christmas in Modern Times

Christmas has changed a lot with the advent of modern day technology. Television, Internet, E-commerce, smartphones, and social media have redefined many aspects of our lives. This festive event has also changed in some ways due to these technological advancements. Businesses and companies reach people differently on this occasion, but the spirit has always been an integral part of the message.
Social Media has become an integral part of any marketing campaign. People share their moments of happiness through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Businesses and companies are also trying to reach people through social media.
Facebook is way ahead of other social media platforms, in number of users and user engagement level. Almost everybody is using Facebook, including our grandmas. Facebook is very entertaining, at times informative, and the concept of sharing is always there. A well executed Facebook campaign can potentially give you a huge global audience. For businesses and companies, the goal is to have loyal customers following their Facebook Page. Christmas provides an opportunity to reach out to the consumers and let them know how important the season and the holiday spirit is to your brand.

Plan Ahead

The one thing about Facebook is that you cannot wait for an opportunity, because hype about anything can soon be overwhelmed by another incident.  Facebook is proving Andy Warhol correct, who famously coined the term “15 minutes of fame”. Every incident and event has a very short window of opportunity therefore planning ahead is always a good idea. To deliver the right message at the right time should be the priority.

Defining the Christmas Audience

Campaigns on social media must be very precise about target audience, as people show interest on their personal liking or disliking. Defining a Christmas target audience is not an easy task. A common misconception is that Christmas, Santa Claus and Christmas Carols are for kids. While it is correct that children are the ones who believe in Santa Claus, a quick look at the Christmas parties happening around the world will affirm that adults in-fact also enjoy all things Christmas as much as the kids, if not more. Make sure your brand messaging is correctly defined for your consumer.

It is the season of kindness and generosity

Christmas has always been a season of showing kindness and generosity. Your Facebook campaign for Christmas should capture this essence. If you are planning to give gifts to your Facebook fans through a contest, it must not create a sense of deprivation, it must be fair yet kind enough to give the fans another chance to participate if they don’t win at the first attempt. If you are just sharing a post or cover photo wishing a happy holiday season you may want to add a discount offer to it. No matter how meager your discount would be, it sends a message out that you are at least giving something back to your consumers.

Try not to sell anything

Your Facebook campaign for Christmas should not appear like a marketing message to your customers. The Facebook campaign must make sure that it portrays the true message of this festival. It is a time to share happiness, joy and peace, therefore the campaign must spread happiness in the air rather than the scent of cheap sales tactics.

Discount Vouchers and Gifts

To add more social value to your Facebook campaign for Christmas, discount vouchers and gifts may be a wonderful idea. Adding a small contest or a game to win gifts will be a tremendous way to approach and engage your Facebook fans. If you are offering discount vouchers, make sure that you do not limit your offer to a particular age or social group. You can add a game or contest which offers a higher percentage of discounts to winners. You can apply same for liking and sharing your Christmas post.

Conclusion

The Christmas spirit is unique and this festive event is something we look forward to all year long. Due to the fact that shopping for presents is ingrained in the holiday itself, there is always a boost in sales for most retail brands. While this may be a great opportunity for sales, the real opportunity here is the chance to create a lot of goodwill amongst your customers and convert them into loyal customers.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Great Social Apps to Create and Manage Content

best social apps, canva
If you're managing the social media network and blog for your business or brand, in addition to other responsibilities—such as running your business—to create engaging content, and to manage it simply and quickly is not an easy task. Especially if you don’t have the technical or artistic know-how.
In my quest for simplicity and versatility in content creation and social media management, I've found some great social apps and tools that help me create great looking content, including promotional material such as contests and surveys. I also have my favorite applications that I use to easily schedule, post and manage across several social media platforms.

Best Social Apps for Content Creation

Pagemodo

I first used Pagemodo to create a free Facebook tab graphic. But the social media platform offers much more. In addition to Facebook cover designs and tabs, Pagemodo also offers social media post scheduling, contest creations, and a post designer. Its simple interface makes it easy to find content to post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn by searching with keywords within the Pagemodo platform. The contest publisher comes with ready-made templates--just fill in the blanks, and upload images. The post designer, in beta stage, offers a plethora of predesigned posts that can be modified, or you can create your own with a library of images, or uploaded photos. You can access analytics of your social posts, and more in-depth Google Analytics with a paid account. A free account gets you one tab and Facebook cover, and limited post scheduling.
Best social apps: Pagemodo
Pagemodo's Post Designer comes with predesigned posts, and editing is super easy. Choose photos from the free library of images.

 

Canva

Speaking of Facebook covers, the new kid on the block Canva has a fantastic drag and drop editor to make all sorts of infographics, including Facebook covers, social media cards, blog graphics, invitations, photo collages, postcards, and business cards. It's super easy to use, and they offer a huge library of photos for purchase at $1 each. Right now Canva is in beta stage, and you have to request to be on a waiting list, or have a friend refer you. I was able to open an account just a few days after requesting one.
Best social apps: canva
With Canva, you can choose from tons of ready-made layouts, drag and drop images from its library or upload your own, and modify text to create great looking graphics. Download the finished product to upload to your social pages or blog.

 

Shortstack

A daunting task for many might be creating promotions and applications for Facebook. Shortstack is a great alternative to paying for a developer, and makes the process as easy as one, two, three. You can create promotions, surveys, contests and other campaigns with its easy-to-use templates. Applications can integrate with MailChimp to capture subscribers emails, as well as with other platforms, including Google Analytics, RSS, Twitter and more. You can use it for free, or pay for more options.

Best Apps for Post Scheduling and Management

Buffer

Buffer is one of my favorite social media message scheduling and sharing applications. Install the extension on your browser, and with one click you can share content and schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. With Chrome, you can share posts directly from Facebook news feeds. It’s free, but with a minimum number of days you can schedule ahead of time, and you can only connect up to four social media profiles. However, for only $10 a month, you can schedule as many posts as you want, use up to 12 social profiles, and have two team members assigned to manage an account.
Best social apps: buffer
If you use Chrome, install the Buffer extension to share posts directly from Facebook.

Bitly

It's better to have shortened links when posting and sharing stuff so it looks better. It also gives more space for your Twitter messages. This handy application will shorten those unsightly, long links to external pages and sites that you want to share. It is also useful for tracking clicks, and bookmarking your favorite sites and pages. Bitly's link shortener can be used across multiple platforms, including Buffer. Best of all, it's free!

SproutSocial

Last, but not least, is my newest favorite, SproutSocial. The social media management platform is not perfect, but it offers almost everything I need to manage, post, monitor and analyze social media accounts from one place.  I can search for content within its Feedly integration, schedule posts, reply to messages and comments on Facebook and Twitter, and monitor all messages across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn personal profiles from one place. If they could add YouTube and LinkedIn business pages to the mix, it would be almost perfect. The platform also provides pretty looking social media analytic reports, but it does need to upgrade its Google Analytics integration--right now the metrics it imports are pretty skimpy. But of all the social media management tools out there, I find it to be one of the most comprehensive.

Monday, 9 December 2013

How to Use LinkedIn Showcase Pages

Does your business have products or services that target unique audiences?
Do your customers spend time on LinkedIn?
Finding an effective social strategy to reach the right audience for each of your products and services can be challenging.
LinkedIn helps you solve this problem with its LinkedIn Showcase Pages.
In this article, I’ll show you how your business can benefit from LinkedIn Showcase Pages.

What are LinkedIn Showcase Pages?

Today, few businesses are islands.
Many companies are complex, offering various and disparate products and services for which they must create multiple marketing campaigns to reach different audiences.
This can make social media marketing resemble a juggling act. And that’s fine, even unavoidable; but while juggling, you need to make sure you don’t drop any metaphorical balls.
Showcase pages allow companies with multiple brand messages to segment them easily and deliver them to the right audiences.
“linkedin-showcase-pages”
Showcase pages allow you to deliver different content to your different audiences. You can have up to 10 different showcase pages associated with your business page.
Showcase pages are extensions of your company’s main company page for branding tie-in and easy navigation.
“microsoft-business-page”
Visitors find links to your showcase pages in the right sidebar of your business page.
Your main company page still serves as a central messaging hub for LinkedIn’s millions of members.
Each showcase page is the ideal place to deliver engaging messaging to distinct target audiences with particular goals and needs.

Why LinkedIn Showcase Pages?

The more layered a company’s business offerings, the more segmented its target audience can get.
When a company attempts to use its social media channels to broadly promote every single product and service to every eyeball, it risks alienating an audience already over saturated with information. This is obviously something marketers want to avoid.
Consider Adobe, one of LinkedIn’s customers. Its Creative Cloud audience is quite distinct from its Marketing Cloud audience, and each needs to be—and is—treated as a separate entity.
“adobe-showcase”
Adobe has created a showcase page for Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud to target their communication with these very different audiences.
The needs of Adobe, and companies like it, are best served when they cultivate distinct audience segments.
In order to target these various audiences on LinkedIn with the most relevant marketing content, it’s ideal to create an independent social media presence for each segment. This allows companies to dial in on precise messages—and the audiences that are keen to receive them—while stripping away all that’s irrelevant.
Of course, like many marketers, you’re already aware of many of these principles. But it’s the application of these principles that can become challenging. With so many unique audiences, not to mention your own products and services, multilayer marketing can quickly get complex, particularly when you consider that it’s imperative for a company to present a unified brand front.
Showcase pages provide you with a solution to deliver the right message to the right audience on LinkedIn.

How to Setup a LinkedIn Showcase Page

Setting up your showcase pages to highlight individual brands couldn’t be easier.
Here’s how to set up your showcase page.
  1. Identify your brands, business units or initiatives that need a showcase page.
  2. Click the Edit menu on your company page, and then select Create a Showcase Page.
  3. Start sharing your content.
“create-linkedin-showcase”
On your company page, click Edit and then select Create a Showcase Page.
With showcase pages, you can offer targeted, relevant content that builds relationships with your selected audiences.
An extension of company pages, showcases pages allow you to:
  • Post organic company updates
  • Create sponsored updates for greater reach
  • Attract followers to your showcase page

What You Can Do With LinkedIn Showcase Pages?

Because the presentation of content is critical to engagement, showcase pages allow you to include a large image—what is called a “hero image”—across the top of every page, along with information about your company and links to your other showcase pages.
Below this hero image, content is formatted in two columns. Your feed is front and center, with the last several updates always available above the fold.
“adobe-creative-cloud”
The showcase page has a hero image at the top and two columns of content below.
Some of LinkedIn’s first showcase page adopters—Microsoft, Cisco and Adobe—use the feed to keep followers updated with:
  • Product announcements
  • Relevant company and industry news
  • Information about upcoming webinars
  • Links to blog posts
“adobe-creative-cloud-update”
Adobe shares an update targeted to people interested in their Creative Cloud product on their Creative Cloud showcase page.

Showcase Page Analytics

Monitoring the performance of your showcase pages is a crucial part of your content marketing strategy. Page administrators can track and view analytical data to gain deeper insights into:
  • Engagement—see the engagement value of individual posts.
  • Trends—identify patterns across key metrics.
  • Demographics—understand more about your follower demographics and sources.
showcase analytics
You can access analytical data to see how well your showcase pages perform.
Showcase pages can be used for optimizing your campaign effectiveness with A/B testing. Just make sure you use LinkedIn’s analytics tools to track the traffic and content reach of your showcase pages separately from your main company page.
Closing thoughts…
You can use the new LinkedIn showcase pages to accurately target content to your different market segments and enhance your company, product and industry trend information. Your followers will be able to follow the showcase page or pages of interest to them.
For more information on showcase pages, take a look at LinkedIn’s solution page. Or jump right in and create your showcase pages in minutes.
What do you think? Have you set up a showcase page? What has been your experience? Please share your comments below.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Dealing With Online Trolls As A Businessperson

Internet Trolls
Internet trolls have become unavoidable, no matter what kind of website you have or what industry you’re in. Trolling is basically making a comment that’s designed to make people upset and get a reaction out of them. Most of the trolls I’ve noticed make anonymous posts and comments, but they sometimes make their identity known.  As a businessperson, you don’t want to come across as being aggressive with anyone, customers and non-customers alike.
No matter how much an online troll can frustrate you, you always have to keep your composure and take the higher ground when dealing with them, otherwise you risk ruining your brand and your online reputation. So what else should you do when dealing with trolls?

Remember What They Want

Just like your customers, you have to remember that trolls want something, and that something is a reaction. Trolls will use any means necessary to elicit a reaction either from you or your customers or your readers if you have an online blog. The limits they can go to to stir the pot can be quite shocking, but don’t give them what they want.
While you can ban them or delete their comments, who’s to say that they won’t make up a new profile just so they can continue with their malicious attack? This is why it’s important that you learn to properly deal with them rather than simply delete their harmful comments or ban them.

Ignore Them

Instead of deleting troll comments or banning them, you can simply ignore them and tell your other readers or customers to do the same thing. The moment you engage with them is the moment they really start to set their sights on you. While it’s always a good policy to always respond to comments about your products or services, be they good or bad, online trolls are the exception. Don’t give them the reaction or attention that they’re aiming for and they’re sure to move on.

Don’t Take Things Personally

While it might not seem like it, Internet trolls aren’t attacking you personally. I don’t know what makes people want to scour the Internet in search of innocent prey that they can use to unleash hateful and rude comments on, but I do know that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Should you ever encounter trolls on social media, never think that their comments mean that something is wrong with your products or services. Again, it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you or your business.

Report Them

Even if you do ban a troll you should still report them so that they don’t keep up with their foolish behavior with other individuals on the same social media site. You should also report them if you’re ever unable to ban them from your social media platform. Make it difficult enough for them to engage anyone in conversation and eventually they’ll move on from the social media site entirely, making things better for you and everyone else.

Laugh About It

Instead of getting angry or frustrated whenever you encounter a troll, have a good laugh about it. Here you are trying to better your life and run a business while other individuals have nothing better to do than make nasty comments. Which of you is actually making something of your life? In fact, maybe you should be flattered that out of all of the other businesses out there they decided to leave a rude comment on yours. You must be doing something right to receive such an honor.
No matter how big or how small your business is, there’s always a chance that you’ll become the next victim of trolling. Learn how to deal with them now so that you can make all of the right moves when/if it happens and so that you can get back to your business as soon as possible.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Instagram Reportedly Working on New Messaging Feature


Instagram

Citing an anonymous source, GigaOm reported last month that Instagram was preparing to launch a new private-messaging feature. It claimed the new feature would pop up in an updated version of Instagram before the end of this year.

A holiday launch, one of the busiest times on social media in terms of photo-sharing, would make perfect sense for a new Instagram messaging product.

On Friday, Techcrunch revealed information obtained from an anonymous source that shows several users have been given personal Instagram.com email addresses. The source, reportedly an ecommerce marketing professional, discovered the unique email addresses during a data-gathering request from a third-party company that collects social-networking information.

Currently, there are no further details about what the personal email addresses might mean, or how they would work for Instagram users.

But given Facebook’s recent moves toward offering Facebook.com email addresses as part of its service, such a change would fall right in line with the company’s strategy to tighten its grip on existing users by offering features that keep them linked to Facebook wherever they go.

Instagram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Friday, 29 November 2013

Story as Strategy: How Social Storytelling Leads to Business

Do you use storytelling in your business?
Are you wondering how to use stories in your social strategy?
To learn how you can use stories to sell, I interview Gary Vaynerchuk for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.
It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).
In this episode, I interview Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Crush It! andThe Thank You Economy. He’s also the CEO of VaynerMedia. His newest book is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy World.
Gary shares why storytelling is important for your business.
You’ll learn how to discover deeper data and why analytics are an essential part of your social strategy.
Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunesRSSStitcher or Blackberry.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Story as Strategy

The story behind Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Gary explains how he had an epiphany that he might have let people down by over-indexing the act of giving in The Thank You Economy. Although he knew his readers would understand that to give is great, they wouldn’t necessarily understand that at some stage you have to ask.
The book title, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, stands for Give, Give, Give, Ask. You have to remember to give value, which eventually leads to putting out a good call to action, which leads to business. Gary says that even some of the best social media people don’t know how to ask for business.
jab jab jab right hook
Gary's new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy World.
The idea behind the book was for it to be a utility for people. It looks at individual pieces of content as case studies.
You’ll hear why Gary wanted to write a how-to book and why the title is a boxing metaphor.
Listen to the show to find out why Gary looks at social media as a science.
What boxing teaches us about social media marketing
Gary explains that it’s the crossroads of the analytics and being creative to create business results.
He feels like a lot of social media experts don’t put enough effort into analyzing data. Gary didn’t put in the effort either until he started VaynerMedia. Now he has seven full-time analysts. This has given him a much deeper insight into the black-and-white of it all.
vayner media on facebook
VaynerMedia on Facebook.
There are also people who think it’s all algorithmic. They underestimate the value of the human touch and creative, which is the art. Analysis is the science. It’s the crossroads of the two.
Most social media marketers don’t look deep into their analytics because of time or capacity. Most are consumed by speaking, consulting and selling content. Gary feels that it’s time and money that hold most people back. This is why he wanted to share his ideas.
Gary recommends that you use Facebook analytics to test for deeper data. It’s a great tool that has a ton of uses.
You need to think about and test what you put on your Facebook page and Twitter.
Listen to the show to find out why Gary likes to isolate himself into ‘doing’ versus ‘consuming.’
Common traps marketers fall into when it comes to social media
Gary advises that you need to be careful and be able to back up what you say.
He believes that he gets away with a lot of stuff because of the huge success he has had with Wine Library TV. Plus VaynerMedia is an eight-figure business already, where the number of employees has grown from 25 to 300.
wine library tv
Gary has had huge success with Wine Library TV.
You’ll find out why self-awareness is important and what else you need to consider when you want to help people.
Listen to the show to find out why execution matters.
Why storytelling is important
Gary says that storytelling matters because stories are powerful and everlasting and they are what turn a commodity into a business. He believes that a story matters more than anything else.
It’s brand equity. It’s why we buy name-brand products. It’s why fashion works. It’s what cool is about. It’s our sense of place in the world.
The best way to do it is contextually. His book includes 86 case studies that show individual pieces of content that are good and bad. Gary’s biggest goal for the new book is for it to be on everyone’s desk as a reference for when they want to put content out there.
You’ll hear why Gary always starts his talks with his own personal story and whyYouTube and Twitter were the two platforms that became important to him.
A recent New York Times article talks about how Gary and his team at VaynerMedia helped Nilla Wafers exponentially grow their business results with content only onFacebookTwitter and Instagram.
new york times riding the hashtag
The New York Times recently featured Gary and his team at VaynerMedia.
You’ll learn about what type of content works best for each platform and the importance of having respect for the context of the platform you tell your story on.
Listen to the show to find out what you need to ask yourself to turn a boring product into an interesting one.
What is micro-content? 
When it comes to storytelling, Gary explains that “micro” means fast. When you think about how quickly content is consumed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram from a mobile device, then you need to put content out there that can capture attention in about 1/100th of a second.
It has to be lightweight and can include memes, animated GIFs and Vines.
You’ll learn about the different types of stories you can tell and why it’s important totalk about your value proposition.
In Gary’s book, he talks about the formula, micro-content + community management = effective social media marketing. When it comes to the community management component, Gary says it’s the proudest aspect of who he is in the social media space. He says that 90% of his tweets are @replies. You don’t just throw your content out there, you have to engage.
gary vaynerchuk twitter
You have to engage with your audience.
You’ll discover why Gary chooses engagement over consumption and entertainment.
Listen to the show to find out why Gary believes that Twitter is the one true social network.
How to use a story effectively to drive conversions and sales
Gary says it’s important to engage, engage, engage and create context, so when you ask someone to buy from you, they feel like they owe you something.
Listen to the show to find out why it’s important to continue to deliver.
The importance of effort
You have to put in the effort and the time. A lot of people know what to do, but don’t follow through and actually implement. Gary believes there are a lot of thought leaders who put out blueprint without doing what they are teaching.
It’s part of the opportunity for these leaders to separate themselves from the pack.
Listen to the show to find out why Gary’s latest book is still gaining momentum in presales.

This Week’s Social Media Question

Doug, who is starting a social media strategy company helping small businesses in the Orlando, Florida area, asks, “What is the most effective way to manage usernames, passwords and logins for my clients?”
The good news for the most part is that there’s no need for your clients to give away their passwords to all of their social media accounts for you to manage. For example, with a Facebook page, LinkedIn account or a Google+ account, it will allow you to add administrators.
However, Twitter is slightly different. You’ll need a management app such asSocialOomph or HootSuite, where within the app you can delegate control. Twitter doesn’t make it easy for multiple people to manage accounts because they have a single email address tied to every account.
With Pinterest, I don’t think they have as robust of a management strategy.
If you’re in a position where you need to share (or a client needs to share with you) an ID and password for a social network, I strongly recommend that you make sure whoever is managing your account uses a secure password management tool such as1Password.
one password homepage
1Password is a great password storage system for managing multiple accounts for clients.
Whatever you do, don’t use your web browser to store IDs and passwords. If your laptop gets stolen, someone can pull up the web browser and essentially take over your accounts.
If you have given away your ID and password, then change them. If there are quite a few of you who share the same ID and password, then 1Password is a robust password storage system that works great across every platform.
Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

SMMW logoSocial Media Marketing World 2014 is our physical mega-conference, which is set to return to San Diego, California on March 26, 27 and 28.
The conference is an incredible opportunity for small business owners and marketers who work for corporations. It features more than 60 sessions across four major tracks, including social tactics, social strategy, community management and content marketing.
There are a lot of big brands that will be presenting, so if you work for a brand, you can go nonstop from brand panel to brand panel. There is also plenty of non-brand stuff for those of you who are not part of a big brand.
Representatives from IBM, Whole Foods, Century 21, SAP, Citrix, Aetna, Experian, Intercontinental Hotels and Kelly Services PLUS moderators from Cisco and Price Waterhouse Coopers will be speaking or participating in the conference.
The list of brands is growing on a regular basis, so be sure to check it out.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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